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April UToledo Board of Trustees Meetings

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Join via Webex:
Meeting number (access code): 160 451 5294
Meeting password: UTBOTAPRIL2021

Join via Phone:
Meeting number (access code): 160 451 5294

9 a.m. Clinical Affairs Committee Meeting
9:15 a.m. Academic and Student Affairs Committee Meeting
9:30 a.m. Finance and Audit Committee Meeting
9:45 a.m. Trusteeship and Governance Committee Meeting
10 a.m. Board of Trustees Meeting

Any questions may be directed to the Office of University Marketing and Communications by calling 419.530.2410 or via email to

‘What Were You Wearing?’ Returns for Four-Day Exhibit for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

The “What Were You Wearing?” exhibit returns to The University of Toledo in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Hosted by the UToledo Title IX Office and sponsored by the University Libraries, the installation runs Monday, April 12 through Thursday, April 15 at the Carlson Library in room 1005. Facial coverings and social distancing are required.

There will be an opening virtual reception featuring remarks from campus senior leadership about the exhibit beginning at 2 p.m. April 12 via Zoom. Information regarding the kick-off can be found on the event’s Invonet page.

This installation has been presented by universities nationwide with each display varying per campus with the survivor stories. The purpose of this installation is to disband the common rape myth that people “ask for it” by dressing a certain way. In reality, what someone was wearing when they were sexually assaulted does not matter.

This installation will feature new anonymous survivor narratives along with the 31 previously submitted narratives. Each narrative is presented with a re-creation of the clothing items worn by the survivors at the time of their sexual assault.

Participants have the opportunity to view the installation, learn about resources, and attend educational learning sessions.

Participants will also have the opportunity to write messages of support on fabric that will be stitched together to create a “Messages of Hope” quilt. The quilt will feature various shades of teal for Sexual Assault Awareness Month and purple symbolizing Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Staff from the Title IX Office will be present to ensure that students, faculty, staff and visitors can ask questions and get connected with campus resources.

“As an institution and being part of the UToledo community, we never want to be desensitized to the gravity of the impact of education and awareness regarding sexual misconduct,” said Vicky Kulicke, UToledo director of Title IX and Compliance and Title IX coordinator. “This installation is an anchoring event for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.”

The Title IX Office is hosting several Bystander Intervention and Consent Culture trainings during the month of April, as well as a series of hour-long virtual Lunch and Learns this week, each beginning at noon.

  • Monday, April 12, University Counseling Center and the Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness;
  • Tuesday, April 13, Employee Wellness, Understanding Trauma and PTSD;
  • Wednesday, April 14, Consent Culture and Bystander Intervention; and
  • Thursday, April 15, Title IX.

On March 31, the Title IX Office set up red flags in Centennial Mall spelling out 3,636, which represents the number of intimate partner/domestic violence, felonious assaults and domestic violence threats reported to the Toledo Police Department last year.

The Red Flag Campaign is rooted in the bystander intervention strategy to bring attention to and address dating violence, stalking and sexual assault.

Additionally, during the month of April, the Title IX Office will collect hygiene products to donate to a local gender inclusive shelter that serves survivors. Title IX ambassadors developed the service project in response to the need during the pandemic. Donation boxes will be set up at the Office of Student Affairs, the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership, the Office of Multicultural Student Services, the Student Commuter Lounge, Carlson Library 1005 and the Office for Student Advocacy and Support.

Additional events planned for Sexual Assault Awareness Month can be located by visiting the Sexual Assault Education and Prevention Program website.

UToledo Students Host Dialogue on Diversity to Discuss Microaggressions

The University of Toledo is continuing its Dialogues on Diversity series with a conversation organized and hosted by students.

The virtual town hall titled “The Effects of Microaggressions on Our Campus Community” will take place 6 p.m. Thursday, April 15 on Webex.

The discussion will be moderated by Payton Beechler, a junior majoring in human resource management and president of Inclusion, a student organization dedicated to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion, primarily focusing on students with disabilities and accessibility.

“The goal of this dialogue is to allow students to express their experiences with microaggressions on campus and identify ways we can minimize these incidents,” Beechler said. “The students participating in this discussion will represent different minority groups on campus allowing those involved to hear different perspectives.”

Panelists include:

  • Isabella Weik, a junior majoring in general studies and president of the Multifaith Council;
  • Erin Black, a sophomore majoring in communications and minoring in disability studies and vice president of Inclusion;
  • Kirsten Kendrick, a sophomore majoring in criminal justice pre-law and minoring in Spanish and incoming president of the Sexuality and Gender Alliance;
  • Nisha Luke, a senior majoring in public health and minoring in biology and chemistry and president of the Indian Student Cultural Organization; and
  • Zion Hoffman, a junior majoring in early childhood education and member of Inclusion Champions.

This is the 14th town hall in the series of recent virtual Dialogues on Diversity since George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis by a police officer, sparking protests nationwide against systemic racism.

The University of Toledo is a community that celebrates and respects people of all backgrounds and experiences. As an institution, we remain committed to building an inclusive environment free of racism, sexism, bigotry and other negative influences.

Groundbreaking Research on Neurodegeneration Lands UToledo Junior Goldwater Scholarship

Jacob Connolly always had an interest in the brain. Now, that interest is paying off.

The junior in the UToledo College of Engineering has been named a recipient of a Goldwater Scholarship, one of the country’s oldest and most competitive honors in the fields of science and mathematics, from the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence Foundation.

Jacob Connolly

Selected from a field of more than 5,000 applicants, Connolly joins an exclusive cohort of high-achieving students, each a future leader in their respective fields.

“It feels amazing to see that all the work that I’ve put into this research is being recognized,” said Connolly, who also is a student in the Jesup Scott Honors College. “I think my research is really interesting, and it’s nice to share it with others who believe it could have an impact on the health of the general public.”

Connolly’s research focuses on neurodegeneration in a strain of rodents known to develop chronic kidney disease, a key indicator of future cognitive impairment. Connolly studies the effects of various factors on the speed of that degeneration.

“I test the cognitive ability of these animals. We look at different factors such as age and a diet high in salt to better understand if those factors have an effect on their cognitive processes.”

In addition, Connolly studies the paraoxonase enzymes, which may be linked to protection against cognitive impairment and dementia. All of his research takes place in the labs of Dr. David Kennedy and Dr. Steven Haller, assistant professors in the UToledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences, with whom he became connected via the integrated co-op program in UToledo’s bioengineering program.

“When I was looking for my first co-op rotation, I knew pursuing undergraduate research was something that interested me,” he said. “So, I found a list of possible advisors, I sent them emails and Dr. Kennedy responded and said, ‘I’d be happy for you to come work in our lab.’”

Kennedy said he is glad to have Connolly on the team.

“We emphasize a team-based approach to science in that we expect all members of the lab to work together to achieve common goals. Since day one Jacob has embraced this philosophy,” Kennedy said. “He is an exceptional team player and has elevated the science of everyone with whom he interacts. Multiple trainees and staff in our lab have spontaneously commented on what a pleasure it is to work with Jacob – they absolutely love him.”

Beyond Connolly’s immediate impact on the UToledo research community, his faculty mentors said they believe his work will have a long-term impact on the field.

“Patients who suffer from neurodegenerative disorders currently have limited treatment options. Jacob has discovered an antioxidant enzyme the body already produces that may have significant protective functions in decreasing inflammation in the brain,” Haller said. “By understanding how this enzyme functions and what factors regulate it, we are aiming to create therapies that augment the body’s own natural defense system to help it prevent, heal or recover from various forms of damage or trauma.”

Connolly said he intends to continue his research through the end of his time at UToledo, but he has big plans for his postgraduate studies.

“My plan right now is to go to medical and graduate school to receive an M.D./Ph.D. I would like to focus on neuroscience, as my long-term goal is to become a neurosurgeon,” he said. “I do not know exactly where I will continue my education, but I’ve lived in the Toledo area my entire life and The University of Toledo has always been a crucial part of it, so that’s definitely one of my top choices.”

The newly minted Goldwater scholar is nothing but thankful for the support he’s received as a Rocket.

“There are always people at The University of Toledo who are willing to help you,” he said. “Without Dr. Kennedy and Dr. Haller, none of this would be possible.”

UToledo Hosts Dialogue on Diversity to Discuss Anti-Asian Hate

The University of Toledo continues its Dialogues on Diversity series with the next virtual town hall, “Stop Anti-Asian Hate, The Fight to Eliminate Racism in All Forms,” taking place at noon Tuesday, April 6, on Webex.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the blatant discrimination and violence that Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander folks have experienced,” said Aleiah Jones, manager of the Office of Multicultural Student Success. “The organization Stop AAPI Hate received 3,795 reports of anti-Asian hate incidents between March 2020 and February 2021. Anti-Asian hate is not a new phenomenon in our country. We mourn the victims of the recent attack in Atlanta and stand in solidarity with our AAPI community.”

Sara Clark, director of the UToledo Center for International Studies and Programs, will moderate the discussion with participants including:

  • Dr. An Chung Cheng, professor of Spanish in the UToledo Department of World Languages and Cultures, and director of the Asian Studies Program;
  • Dr. Joseph Hara, Distinguished University Lecturer in the UToledo Department of World Languages and Cultures, and director of the Japanese program;
  • Hua Liu Sowa, Ph.D. student in UToledo’s Judith Herb College of Education, and former chair of the Chinese Center of Toledo Board of Directors;
  • Carolyn Sowa, Toledo native who is a master’s student in international law at Beijing University and a master’s student in international relations at the London School of Economics; and
  • Xinren Yu, assistant director of the UToledo Center for International Studies and Programs.

Immediately following the event, the University Counseling Center with the Office of Multicultural Student Success and the Center for International Studies and Programs will host a support group for students. UToledo students can access the support group meeting on Invonet.

Additional resources are available at UToledo’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month webpage.

This is the 13th town hall in the series of recent virtual Dialogues on Diversity since George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis by a police officer, sparking protests nationwide against systemic racism.

UToledo Astronomy Discovery Defies Model of How Stars Are Born

Using data from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, astronomy researchers at The University of Toledo found that torrential outflows of gas from infant stars may not stop them from growing.

The research published in the Astrophysical Journal squelches commonly assumed models of star formation.

Nolan Habel, Ph.D. candidate in the UToledo Department of Physics and Astronomy

The first author of the study is UToledo graduate student Nolan Habel.

“We looked at 304 young, still-forming stars called protostars in the star-forming region of Orion — the nearest major star-forming region to Earth,” said Habel, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. “Our results fly in the face of the most common explanation of how exactly protostars go from objects with dense envelopes of collapsing hydrogen gas to an isolated star.”

In the largest survey of protostars to date, Habel and Dr. Tom Megeath, UToledo professor of physics and astronomy, focused on one question: how much of this gaseous material ends up on the star and how much is blown away from the star in the formation process?

“There are remarkable ‘U’- or ‘V’- shaped structures extending to the north and south of a protostar,” Habel said. “They are actually hollowed-out cavities carved into the surrounding gas by hurricane-like winds or jets of material expelled from the poles of the protostar.”

They expected that as a protostar gets older, they would see these cavities in the surrounding gas cloud sculpted by a forming star’s outflow grow steadily, as theories propose, but they found this isn’t necessarily the case.

The study shows no evidence that the cavities were growing steadily as the protostar aged.

“In one stellar formation model, if you start out with a small cavity, as the protostar evolves, its outflow creates an ever-larger cavity until the surrounding gas is eventually blown away, leaving an isolated star,” Habel said.

An image from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope reveals the chaotic birth of stars in the Orion complex, the nearest major star-forming region to Earth. The stellar outflows are carving out cavities within the gas cloud, composed of hydrogen gas.

The study shows that gas clearing by a star’s outflow may not be as important in determining its final mass, as conventional theories suggest.

“Our observations indicate there is no progressive growth that we can find, so the cavities are not just steadily getting bigger until they push out all of the mass in the cloud. There must be some other reason why the gas doesn’t all end up in a star.”

The Hubble images reveal details of the cavities produced by protostars at various stages of evolution. The UToledo team used the images to measure the structures’ shapes and estimate the volumes of gas swept away to make the openings. From this analysis, they could estimate the amount of mass that had been cleared out by the stars’ outflows.

“We find that at the end of the protostellar phase, when most of the gas has fallen from the surrounding cloud onto the star, the young stars can still have fairly narrow cavities,” Megeath said. “There is a commonly held picture that what halts the infall of gas and determines the masses of stars are the growth of these cavities as the outflows scoop up the gas. This has been a pretty fundamental idea of how star formation proceeds, but it just doesn’t seem to fit the data here.”

In addition to Hubble, the researchers also used data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and the European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Telescope, both of which are no longer operational.

Future telescopes such as NASA’s upcoming James Webb Space Telescope will probe deeper into a protostar’s formation process. Webb’s spectroscopic observations will observe the inner regions of the gas envelopes surrounding protostars in infrared light, looking for outflows in the youngest sources. Webb also will help astronomers measure the accretion rate of material from the disks onto the stars, and study how the disks launch the outflows that clear the cavities.

Class of 2021 Commencement to be Celebrated in Person

The Class of 2021 will have the opportunity to walk across the stage in the Glass Bowl to celebrate receiving their degrees.

The University of Toledo will hold multiple in-person commencement ceremonies to celebrate graduates in person while also adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols.

Now that the state of Ohio is allowing outdoor events at sporting venues to reopen at 30% capacity, spring commencement is able to take place Saturday, May 8, in the Glass Bowl. UToledo had initially begun plans for a virtual celebration.

The ceremonies on May 8 will recognize graduates from the colleges of Arts and Letters; the John B. and Lillian E. Neff College of Business and Innovation; Judith Herb College of Education; Engineering; Health and Human Services; Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Nursing; and University College.

Graduating students will be split into at least two groups for separate ceremonies and guests will be limited with tickets required. All attendees will be required to wear face masks and keep at least 6 feet from others not in their household.

Class of 2020 graduates who earned their degrees during the coronavirus pandemic are welcome to participate in the May ceremonies. RSVPs will be required for returning graduates.

“We’re excited to have the opportunity to provide our graduates with an in-person celebration,” UToledo President Gregory Postel said. “Our Rockets continue to demonstrate focus, perseverance and strength through their academic success, despite the challenges presented by COVID-19 during the last year. We look forward to celebrating the Class of 2021’s achievements and resilience at our in-person spring commencement ceremonies.”

For graduates who prefer to participate virtually, the ceremonies will be streamed online at

University leadership is collaborating with public health experts to carefully plan the commencement events and will share more details in the coming weeks.

UToledo alumna Irma Olguin, Jr. will remotely deliver the keynote address at the ceremonies.

Olguin is co-founder and chief executive officer of Bitwise Industries in Fresno, Calif. She graduated in 2004 from the UToledo College of Engineering with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering and went on to blaze a trail of inclusivity for women and minorities in the tech industry.

Last month, Bitwise Industries announced it is investing in Toledo. Olguin’s tech company plans to open a branch in in the Jefferson Center building, Toledo’s historic former post office, to provide paid apprenticeships to students from diverse and underserved communities to learn tech skills.

“Ms. Olguin is an outstanding UToledo alumna making an incredible impact on the world,” said Dr. Karen Bjorkman, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “We are pleased to welcome the entrepreneur as our commencement speaker to inspire our newest alumni as they receive their degrees.”

The colleges of Law; Medicine and Life Sciences; and Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences will each hold separate in-person ceremonies. And those receiving doctoral degrees will have the opportunity to participate in a separate hooding ceremony. More details will be shared in the coming weeks.

Postel Appointed UToledo President

Dr. Gregory Postel was named the 18th president of The University of Toledo during a special Board of Trustees meeting on Wednesday.

The Board commended Postel for his tireless efforts since joining UToledo in the interim role last July. Board Chair Al Baker noted many of Postel’s accomplishments including successfully leading the safe reopening of campus during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the beginning of fall semester, UToledo has navigated the pandemic utilizing the Rocket Prevention Principles best practices, a proactive surveillance testing strategy and transparent communication. UToledo’s reported positivity rate has remained below the state’s reported positivity rate since tracking began in August.

In addition, Postel was recognized for the stabilization of hospital finances following a tumultuous year for The University of Toledo Medical Center exacerbated by the pandemic. Preliminary FY21 projections indicate a positive turnaround in revenue.

Gregory Postel


The University’s growing research portfolio continues to grow with several recent multimillion dollar grants announced from the Department of Defense, NASA and NIH, to name just a few. The University’s year-to-date research funding numbers are on track based on last year’s goals.

Postel was actively involved in securing the institution’s second named college – the John B. and Lillian E. Neff College of Business and Innovation, which was announced in December. He has assisted with a number of other private gifts to support the University.

“We are extremely grateful for Dr. Postel’s leadership during this challenging transition and want to commend all members of our campus community who have stepped up to realize these accomplishments,” Baker said. “Looking ahead, we know that we must continue this momentum if we are to realize our potential as a national, public research university where students obtain a world-class education and become part of a diverse community of leaders committed to improving the human condition in the region and the world.”

Postel has identified eight key initiatives and appointed campus-wide working groups focused on creating a solid foundation upon which to build future growth. The Board applauded Postel for addressing challenges head-on and noted that stable leadership is critical as the University moves forward.

“Dr. Postel’s leadership has been instrumental in stabilizing the institution, but perhaps more importantly, he is actively preparing The University of Toledo for the upcoming Higher Learning Commission visit in November 2021,” Baker said. “After careful deliberation, including consultation with members of the University’s senior leadership team, deans and faculty senate representatives, the Board was honored to appoint Dr. Postel to this position.”

The board unanimously approved a resolution to continue his service to UToledo through June 2025.

“I am truly appreciative of and humbled by the vote of confidence from the Board of Trustees,” Postel said. “I have found The University of Toledo to be an outstanding institution committed to student success. I look forward to working collaboratively with the dedicated leaders across our campuses to continue our positive momentum and achieve UToledo’s full potential.”

Postel has more than 25 years of leadership experience with university operations, academic medical centers and clinical research, as well as university governance, teaching and research. Prior to joining UToledo, he served as the senior client partner representing healthcare services and higher education at Korn Ferry, a global organizational consulting firm.

In addition to an accomplished career as an academic interventional neuroradiologist, Postel served 18 years as chair of the Department of Radiology at the UofL School of Medicine and held the positions of vice dean for clinical affairs and chair of the board at University Medical Center in Louisville. He was the founding board chair and later CEO of University of Louisville Physicians. Postel served as interim president of UofL in 2017-18 and also spent four years as its executive vice president for health affairs.

A graduate of the College of Wooster and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Postel completed a residency in radiology at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and a fellowship in neuroradiology at the Mayo Clinic Foundation.

He and his wife, Sally, have twin sons, Alex and Chris.

Special Meeting of UToledo Board of Trustees March 3

Wednesday, March 3, 2021
9 a.m.

Join via Webex:
Meeting number (access code): 160 802 4241
Meeting password: UTBOTSPMTG

Join via Phone:
Meeting number (access code): 160 802 4241

The Board of Trustees will enter Executive Session
immediately upon convening the meeting to discuss
the employment and compensation of a public employee.

Any questions may be directed to the Office of University Marketing and Communications by calling 419.530.2410 or via email to

Gender Equity Summit to Address State of Women in Toledo

The Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women at The University of Toledo is hosting a one-day Gender Equity Summit Monday, March 1.

The inaugural summit, a virtual event with the theme “The State of Women,” is free and open to the public.

“The Eberly Center for Women is bringing local stakeholders and changemakers together to explore the issues women face today and devise strategies to advance gender equity in the Toledo area,” said Dr. Angela Fitzpatrick, director of the Eberly Center for Women. “We will delve into a range of topics including the COVID-19 pandemic, economics, education and racial justice.”

Dr. Melina Abdullah, professor in the Department of Pan-African Studies at California State University, Los Angeles, will deliver the keynote address titled “Womanist Leadership” at 6 p.m.

The summit also includes panel discussions at 11 a.m., a workshop on how to advance intersectional gender equity at 1 p.m. and a networking session at 3:30 p.m.

The 2021 Gender Equity Summit is sponsored by the Eberly Center for Women, UToledo Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, Toledo Lucas County Public Library Steinem Sisters Collection, United Way of Greater Toledo, Women of Toledo and YWCA of Northwest Ohio.

To register for the event and view the agenda, visit the Eberly Center website.