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Archive for July, 2010

Visitation, memorial service for student announced

The memorial service for Casey Bucher will take place Friday, July 23, at 1 p.m. at Witzler-Shank Funeral Home, 222 E. S. Boundary St., Perrysburg.

Bucher, 22, a sophomore majoring in exercise science, died July 18.

Those wishing to pay their respects may stop by Witzler-Shank Funeral Home Thursday, July 22, from 5 to 8 p.m.

Online condolences may be made here.

Memorial contributions to the Toledo Area Humane Society are suggested.

Workshop to train area professionals in family violence prevention program

Area school counselors and other professionals in social services, criminal justice, education, medicine and related fields will be trained this week to conduct a family violence prevention program.

The two-day workshop, Thursday and Friday, July 22 and 23, will train more than 50 professionals in the Adults & Children Together (ACT) Against Violence Program developed by the American Psychological Association to build parents’ positive, nonviolent discipline techniques and help families handle behavior problems.

The training will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days and will be held in the Springfield Local Schools’ administrative offices, 6900 Hall St., Holland. Participants in this Helping Parents to Prevent Violence: The ACT Parents Raising Safe Kids Program workshop will become part of a network of more than 3,000 ACT Against Violence professionals across the country.

“Research has shown that the ACT program has the potential to decrease or prevent children’s aggressive behavior as well as family violence in families with young children,” said Dr. Michele Knox, a clinical psychologist who is a University of Toledo associate professor of psychiatry and director of the ACT Great Lakes Regional Center.

Knox will present at the workshop along with Dierdre Washington, assistant manager of prevention education at Harbor Behavioral Healthcare, and Donna Dickman, director of the Partnership for Violence Free Families.

Thursday morning, 9 a.m. to noon, will cover children’s behavior and how children learn violence, and following a lunch break, the afternoon session, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., will focus on resolving conflicts in a positive way. On Friday, the morning topic will be positive discipline and teaching alternatives to corporal punishment, with the afternoon focusing on media violence and children and helping parents raise nonviolent children.

The popular workshop, which is funded by grants from the Verizon Foundation and the Metlife Foundation, is at capacity.

For additional information, contact Knox at 419.383.3815 or michele.knox@utoledo.edu.

Verizon grant helps UT expand violence prevention program

The University of Toledo Foundation has received a grant from the Verizon Foundation to expand a program to prevent domestic violence.

The “ACT Against Violence: Primary Prevention of Family Violence” program will be offered to an additional 30 families with the $9,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation.

Adults & Children Together (ACT) Against Violence is a program developed by the American Psychological Association to prevent child maltreatment and family violence.

Dr. Michele Knox, a clinical psychologist who is a UT associate professor of psychiatry and director of the ACT Great Lakes Regional Center, said research has shown that the interactive and activity based approach of the program reduces violence toward children and decreases or prevents children’s aggressive behavior.

“The best and most effective time to address family violence is when adults become new parents and the children are very young,” Knox said. “This grant will allow us to use the most effective methods of family violence prevention with many more of those young families in our region.”

The eight-session, evidence-supported parenting program is designed for parents and primary caregivers of children from birth to 8 years of age. The sessions are one and a half to two hours and are held at a variety of community agencies, schools and health-care settings.

In addition to preventing child maltreatment and youth violence, the program has the long-term goal of raising children to become nonviolent adults. It includes anger management and social problem-solving skills for parents and children, as well as information about child development and guidance in nonviolent parenting skills.

“Verizon has a long-standing tradition of working to improve the communities where we operate by supporting organizations that strive to make a difference in the lives of individuals,” said Todd Colquitt, president of Verizon Ohio. “Through grants and the generous contributions of time and talent from our employees, we are having a positive impact on our communities.”

The ACT Against Violence program is held in various locations throughout the area. For information, contact the ACT Great Lakes Regional Center at 419.383.5495.

UT player, Colombia National Team advance in Women’s World Cup



The dream is still alive. Sophomore women’s soccer player Natalia Gaitàn and the Colombia National Team (1-1-1) have advanced to the quarterfinals of the Under-20 Fédération Internationale de Football Association Women’s World Cup in Germany.

Gaitàn and her teammates now will battle Group B winner Sweden (2-1-0) in the Round of Eight Saturday, July 24, in Bielefeld.

Colombia claimed an impressive 3-0 victory vs. Costa Rica this week in Dresden and later received confirmation that host Germany had defeated France to put them through to the quarterfinals.

Gaitàn and her home country are making their first appearance in the Under-20 Fédération Internationale de Football Association Women’s World Cup, and the triumph over Costa Rica was their first-ever victory in a World Cup at any level.

A captain, Gaitàn helped Colombia tie for second with France in Group A with four points. Teams earn three points for a win and one point for a draw. Colombia opened the 16-team tourney with a 1-1 draw vs. France July 13, followed by a 3-1 loss to Germany July 16.

For updates, go to www.utrockets.com.

Glass act: Family fuses fun with creations

Bob and Deb Less prepared glass pieces for the kiln in their studio in Holland, Ohio.

Bob and Deb Less prepared glass pieces for the kiln in their studio in Holland, Ohio.

Imagine a decorative, circular plate of clear glass bearing shards of purple, green and yellow arranged to represent an iris flower. Picture a similar clear plate, circumscribed by emerald and navy glass fragments that surround a dragonfly. Or envision a warped wine bottle, its glass sides flattened together and curved to form a basin.

These are some of the pieces Bob and Deb Less may bring to Art on the Mall.

The glass fusion artists who are business owners by trade will be in booth 87 on Centennial Mall Sunday, July 25, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with their daughter, Beth Ann, 15, who attends St. Ursula Academy.

“Making and selling glass fusion pieces is what we do for fun, but we do make a little money at it,” Bob said.

Glass fusion involves using a kiln to melt flat glass pieces in different colors and shapes into a single item. From design to finish, the process can take anywhere from 19 to 37 hours. Kiln firings take 16 hours, and certain pieces demand two sessions.

Daughter Beth Ann Less worked on a project.

Daughter Beth Ann Less worked on a project.

Bob and Deb own a real estate investment company, but they began shutting it down a few years ago. Bob is also a certified public accountant. Both grew up in Toledo and are graduates of UT; Deb received a bachelor’s degree in business administration and an MBA in 1982 and 1984, respectively, and Bob earned an MBA in 1986. From 1983 to 1997, Deb worked at the Medical College of Ohio, where her titles over the years included assistant hospital director, associate hospital director, acting medical chief operator and chief operating officer.

The couple’s artistic forays into glass fusion began a year and a half ago with another hobby: wine-tasting. They were drawn to melting wine bottles to make trays and other pieces, but soon expanded the craft.

“You can’t buy a kiln to melt a few wine bottles, and it is difficult to find a local kiln for rent that is made for compatible glass, so we decided that we needed to do a bit more with the kiln,” Deb said.

Both Deb and Bob had taken glass fusion lessons at the Toledo Museum of Art, and Beth Ann has learned largely from trial and error as well as from listening to and watching her parents.

Due to their backgrounds in business, Deb and Bob say they don’t feel burdened by managing the commercial side of their artistic hobby, as other artists might. Deb manages their home studio’s inventory, and Bob deals with the taxes as well as pricing the pieces.

For Art on the Mall, the family said they will feature a number of pieces for under $25. They plan on bringing approximately $4,000 to $5,000’s worth of items and hope to sell about 20 percent of those.

They used to make bigger pieces, but because of the troubled economy, they started focusing on smaller and less expensive works. They subsequently sold a high volume, gained a bigger patron following, increased custom order requests, and were able to interact with more people, which they enjoy.

“We like to make the small pieces useful,” Deb said. “What sets our art apart from other artists’ work at shows is that we make art you can use, such as coasters, cutting boards, something to hang in the garden, bowls and soap dishes. They don’t just have aesthetic appeal.”

The family also will feature garden art, including wind chimes, bird baths and other pieces appropriate for the summer season. Many works will be decorated with outdoor, natural objects.

When asked why they like glass fusion as an artistic medium, Deb answered that glass in whatever shape or state is visually appealing. The trio also noted that glass is easy to “repurpose.” If one use of it doesn’t turn out well, they said it can be melted and used again.

After receiving the good news in late May of their acceptance for UT’s juried art fair, the family is in an excited “production mode” to make enough pieces by July 25.

Student dies after off-campus assault

A University of Toledo student was assaulted Sunday evening near the corner of Bancroft Street and Westwood Avenue and later died from injuries suffered in the attack.

Casey Bucher, 22, a sophomore majoring in exercise science at the University, was stabbed just after 8 p.m. in the 2600 block of Bancroft. He was transported to Toledo Hospital where he later died.

“The University community is heartbroken by the news that this happened to one of our students,” said Dr. Kaye Patten Wallace, vice president for student affairs. “We are offering counseling services for members of our community who would like to talk.”

The UT Counseling Center can be reached at 419.530.2426.

Patten Wallace said she has been in contact with Bucher’s family and that future UT efforts would be in accordance with their wishes. UT will communicate information about memorial services when it is available, she said.

The Toledo Police Department has arrested and charged Lawrence Fitzgerald James, 24, with the crime.

UT Police Chief Jeff Newton said random acts of violence, though rare, do occur.

“These types of tragedies are always senseless,” Newton said, adding that UT partners closely with Toledo police to minimize and prevent crime on and around the University’s campuses.

“The safety of our students is the University’s top priority,” he said. “We work closely with the UT Division of Student Affairs, UT student organizations and neighborhood organizations to make our community safe.”

Toledo law alumnus wins national writing award for copyright paper

A 2009 graduate of The University of Toledo College of Law has received national praise for an essay he wrote about intellectual property.

Robert Platt won the 2009 Nathan Burkan Memorial Competition from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers for his essay, “A Comparative Survey of Moral Rights.”

Platt wrote the essay, which focused on how different legal systems and different countries recognize an author’s non-economic or moral rights, during his final year of law school at UT.

“I was rather surprised when I received notification of this award,” Platt said. “Because I chose to write a survey, the style of my essay was not that of a typical law-review article.”

The first-place prize comes with his essay being published in The Journal of the Copyright Society of the USA and a $3,000 award. Second place went to a law student at the University of Hawaii and third place to a Georgetown University law student.

Platt is the second UT College of Law student to receive this prestigious award. Tamera Peters, a 2005 graduate, placed first in the 2005 competition.

“Both students benefitted from the rich intellectual property curriculum at the College, as well as from the guidance of Professor Llewellyn Gibbons,” said Daniel Steinbock, interim dean of the College of Law. “I know of no other school that has had two students do so well in this national competition in the past decade.”

Platt received his undergraduate degree in broadcast and cinematic arts from Central Michigan University and worked at a radio station before attending law school. He is serving as a Presidential Management Fellow with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Student earns prestigious internship at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

About 6,000 students apply each year to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Science Undergraduate Laboratory internship program. With an acceptance rate of roughly only 15 percent, The University of Toledo’s Jeffrey Kodysh said he was ecstatic to beat the odds and secure a spot at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

Jeffrey Kodysh posed for a photo by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Sign.

Jeffrey Kodysh posed for a photo by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Sign.

“ORNL has a special relationship with our nation’s most important inventions and technologies. It was instrumental in the development of the nuclear bomb and houses the world’s fastest supercomputer,” said Kodysh, a senior majoring in geography and planning. “It’s a great feeling to be an integral part of the exciting heritage of American innovation here.”

The 11-week internship running from early June to mid-August has Kodysh working with Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology to determine photovoltaic energy potential in urban areas. This effort will allow scientists to better estimate how much sunlight reaches areas in cities where photovoltaic arrays can convert it into electricity.

“Many of our nation’s urban areas have buildings and other structures well-suited to the installation of photovoltaic arrays,” he said. “Rooftops of industrial buildings, barren toll station canopies and unutilized apartment complex rooftops are all examples of areas with such potential.”

Kodysh added, “By creating three-dimensional models of these structures and then simulating the sunlight shining on them, scientists can then begin to have a clearer idea of what energy potentials exist where.”

Jeffrey Kodysh and his mentor, Dr. Olufemi Omitaomu, look at the real-time visualization tool developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for monitoring the U.S. electric grid transmission system.

Jeffrey Kodysh and his mentor, Dr. Olufemi Omitaomu, look at the real-time visualization tool developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for monitoring the U.S. electric grid transmission system.

LiDAR technology measures distances between objects with a laser, which is beamed from an emitter and bounced off targeted objects. The time it takes to return and the speed at which the laser beam is traveling is used to calculate the distance. This allows scientists to produce a three-dimensional model of the ground, including buildings.

Exploiting these unused locations for solar energy collection is better than building photovoltaic arrays on land with other crucial uses such as farming, Kodysh said.

Technically speaking, Kodysh is using his geography background to develop a new LiDAR-based methodology for calculating photovoltaic energy potential of specific buildings based on Geographic Information System technology.

He will be taking into consideration photovoltaic limiting factors such as shading from trees or other buildings. Kodysh will use three-dimensional mapping software to look at the LiDAR data and determine what parts of buildings receive sunlight or shade throughout the day by simulating the sun’s path across the sky. This building-specific approach is part of a semiautomated methodology that can then be applied to whole cities.

Even though the appointment is a prestigious one, two professors acquainted with Kodysh aren’t surprised he earned it.

“Jeff isn’t passive about looking for opportunities,” said Dr. Larry Connin, the administrative coordinator for the UT Honors Program and associate director of the UT Office of Undergraduate Research. “When we say in the Honors Program there are many things you can use to enhance your education, I think Jeff has embraced that seriously.”

Dr. Thomas Kvale, the director of the UT Office of Undergraduate Research and professor of physics, expressed similar sentiments about Kodysh. “My interaction with Jeff was through the Toledo Internship Program as the director of undergraduate research. He did a great job with the city internship, and my impression is that laid the foundation for his landing the ORNL internship.”

Working at the lab is stimulating for Kodysh, who said, “The academic energy here is amazing. The lab is filled with intelligent, creative and dedicated persons that are excited about creating an innovative future for energy in both the U.S. and the world.”

He said he hopes to incorporate the experience into his honors thesis — a requirement for graduation from the Honors Program, in which he is enrolled.

Kodysh’s internship is administered by the Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education.

UT VP to speak at White House Clean Energy Economic Forum



The University of Toledo has been asked to participate in the Clean Energy Economy Forum at the White House in Washington, D.C., Friday, July 16.

One of five panelists invited from across the nation, Dr. Frank Calzonetti, vice president for research and development, will join the Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, senior government economic officials, and members of the private sector.

“UT was selected based on our national leadership in renewable energy, technology transfer, technology incubation and cluster-based economic development,” Calzonetti said. “The University of Toledo is a great example of a university that is helping to transform an economy in need to new solutions.”

As an example, Calzonetti pointed to the Northwest Ohio Partnership for Alternative Energy Systems National Science Foundation project as one of the best examples of how universities can partner with government and the private sector in creating regional innovation economies.

“Our research in solar energy is nationally recognized and the fact that the University has played an important role in moving this research into commercial development separates UT from many other universities,” Calzonetti said.

Calzonetti, the only speaker representing higher education, will join John Fernandez, assistant secretary, Economic Development Administration, and Joyce Ferris, founder and managing partner, Blue Hill Partners, for a discussion on invention and innovation. A second panel on commercialization and competitiveness will follow.

These discussions will inform the White House and Department of Commerce leaders on ways that the United States can develop a strong innovation system to take global leadership in clean energy, Calzonetti said.

“It’s a great opportunity to promote the role that universities can play in regional economic transformation but also to highlight the need for additional funding to help advance this effort,” Calzonetti said. “While UT has placed economic development and community engagement as a priority — and this is viewed very favorable by national leaders who are eager to see the development of innovation economies in areas that badly need it — little funding exists for this activity at the national level.”

UT has established the framework for its economic engagement and development efforts in a recently published book by UT President Lloyd Jacobs and Eva Klein titled The Relevant University: Making Community and Economic Engagement Matter.

Campus Exposure: A sneak peek at college for students of all ages

Area students, from first-graders to high school seniors, will come to The University of Toledo for Campus Exposure, a program designed to give them a glimpse of the college experience.

The theme for the four-day event is “Take Hold of Your Future.”

Sessions are designed to help students of all ages identify academic and career goals.

Elementary students will be on campus Monday, July 19; middle school students will attend the program Tuesday, July 20; high school students will be at UT Wednesday, July 21; and a fun day for all participants is slated for Thursday, July 22. Sessions will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

Students will learn about theatre, the arts and women in history. Younger students will have scavenger hunts with prizes, and older students will attend character development sessions and have discussions on “What is Your Dream?” “Think Big!” and “Living Science” with hands-on experiments.

Campus Exposure is sponsored by the UT Mentoring Collaborative, which partnered with the UT Judith Herb College of Education and the UT College of Pharmacy, along with UT faculty and staff, community partners and State Farm Insurance.

Registration is limited and is on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information or to register, contact Sheila Doles, program facilitator for the Mentoring Collaborative, at 419.381.3280 or sdoles@utoledo.edu.