2010 October | UToledo News







Archive for October, 2010

Key control operations to be consolidated

The University of Toledo is centralizing its key control operations into one department.

Starting Monday, Nov. 1, the key requests on Health Science Campus will go through Police Support Services on Main Campus.

To make a key request, employees will need to complete a form, which is available here, and submit it to Police Support Services either through campus mail to mail stop 207 or by bringing it to Transportation Center Room 1400 on Main Campus. All forms need to be signed by the supervisor of the person submitting the request.

When the key is ready, the person who submitted the request will be notified by phone or e-mail and can pick up the key at Health Science Campus Dispatch weekdays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information call 419.530.KEYS (5397).

UT to offer textbook rental option to students

The University of Toledo soon will offer students a new way to get their textbooks for about half the cost of purchasing a new printed book.

A textbook rental program through Barnes & Noble Booksellers will begin spring semester and allow a student to rent a textbook for a semester and turn it in during final exam week for a fraction of what the book would cost to buy.

“We recognize the costs associated with going to college, and this is one way we as a University can help our students achieve a high-quality education within their budget,” said Joy Gramling, director of auxiliary services.

Using fall semester 2010 prices, for example, College Algebra by Ron Larson, a common text for a first-year math course, cost $181.35 new and $136 used. Renting this book would have cost students $92.49. The Call to Write by John Trimbur was $88 new and $66 used, while renting this book would have cost students $44.88.

Students can pay the rental fee at the bookstore or from the store’s website, utoledo.bncollege.com, at the same time they would purchase a new or used book at the beginning of the semester.

During the class, students can highlight and write in the margins like they would a book they planned to sell back to the bookstore. But instead of selling it back for a portion of what they paid or storing it on a bookshelf, students will return the book to the bookstore and that’s the end of it.

As with any purchase in the bookstore, students can use their Rocket Card, credit cards, cash or check. If renting their textbook, students must provide a credit card number that will be held until the book is returned. Rented materials not returned by the return date or returned in an unusable condition automatically will be charged 75 percent of the new book price plus a processing fee of 7.5 percent.

Not every book is available through the rental program. The University in conjunction with Barnes & Noble will determine qualifying books based on their popular use in college courses.

Textbook rental programs are a growing trend at colleges and universities as schools look to help make higher education more affordable to their students. Barnes & Noble began its textbook rental program in the fall and already has more than 300 campus bookstores participating as it expands the program.

“We are committed to providing students with the widest range of content options and price points available,” said Ann Fraley, vice president at Barnes & Noble College Booksellers. “Whether students are interested in new books, used, digital, unbundled or now rentals, they know they can find what they want at The University of Toledo Bookstore.”

UT and Barnes & Noble are working to identify which textbooks will be available for the rental program when it begins spring semester.

“We will identify a number of books that encompass a variety of academic disciplines and course levels to ensure that as many students as possible have the opportunity to rent a textbook,” Gramling said. “We are listening to our students and faculty and working to make changes to benefit their University experiences. We look forward to offering this textbook rental program.”

Princeton Review names UT College of Law to list of top schools

law-coverThe University of Toledo College of Law has been named one of The Princeton Review’s best 172 law schools in the nation for 2011.

“The Princeton Review is just the most recent recognition of this college’s outstanding reputation in the legal community,” said Daniel Steinbock, interim dean of the College of Law. “It’s clear UT law students and alumni feel strongly they are receiving a top-tier educational experience.

“This comes on the heels of our recent designation as a Best Value Law School by The National Jurist magazine,” Steinbock added.

For its 2011 book, The Best 172 Law Schools, The Princeton Review compiled its list based on surveys of 18,000 law students as well as school-reported data, according to its website. The surveys were taken from an average of about 100 students per law school from 2009-10, 2008-09 and 2007-08 academic years.

The 80-question survey asked students about their school’s academics, student body and campus life, themselves, and their career plans.

According to Princeton Review’s UT College of Law profile, “Students speak overwhelmingly of the school’s obvious care and concern for their future, and the focus on learning and helping students to succeed.”

Additionally, “All professors have an open-door policy, and are very accessible whenever you need them; UT Law ‘is one school that actually follows through on that.’”

best-law_olStudents surveyed also praised those UT-coordinated legal experiences outside of the classroom, an area, Steinbock said, where the college has long committed to matching the high-quality law curriculum.

According to the profile, “The school furthers each student’s practical background through almost weekly opportunities to attend speakers or lecturers, such as [Supreme Court Associate] Justice [Antonin] Scalia. Law Career Services has put a great deal of effort into the school’s mentorship programs and public service externship programs in order to ensure that students have the opportunity to network while still in school.”

“This listing in The Princeton Review goes to show that UT College of Law students believe the college is living up to its promises,” Steinbock said.

“While we always have more work to do, I’m excited for our students, faculty and alumni to receive this recognition.”

High school students test local streams with help from UT

Alfonso Zapata, who attends Toledo Early College High School, collected a water sample from the Ottawa River as part of the Student Watershed Watch.

Alfonso Zapata, who attends Toledo Early College High School, collected a water sample from the Ottawa River as part of the Student Watershed Watch.

“Learning hands-on is so much more exciting then sitting in a classroom studying,” said Mary Perkins, a freshman at Toledo Early College High School, as she tested pH levels of water from Ottawa River.

On a recent, brisk, sunny morning, hundreds of high school students grabbed their environmental sampling equipment and headed to local streams in the Toledo area. Knee deep in water wearing chest waders and boots, teenagers received firsthand experience testing the quality of Toledo’s aquatic ecosystems.

“I have been testing water ecosystems since I was 10 participating with the [Toledo] Zoo team and Girl Scouts,” said Natalie Thomsen, another Toledo Early College High School freshman. “It is great to finally do this in school because I love that with just one simple water test, we can educate ourselves on what is or is not harmful in the water. With this information, we can learn to help improve the environment.”

They were participating in Student Watershed Watch, which is a Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments program to educate students about local stream ecosystems. Students have the chance to test streams for temperature, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, pH levels and many other properties to discover the overall quality of the water.

Verl Luse, UT graduate student, and Joseph Kefnard, a student at Toledo Early College High School, placed ropes across the Ottawa River to measure the waterway’s velocity and cross-section (the water depth from bank to bank). From these measurements, the total stream discharge — volume per second — will be calculated.

Verl Luse, UT graduate student, and Joseph Kynard, a student at Toledo Early College High School, placed ropes across the Ottawa River to measure the waterway’s velocity and cross-section (the water depth from bank to bank). From these measurements, the total stream discharge — volume per second — will be calculated.

The UT Lake Erie Center sponsors seven area high schools through a National Science Foundation GK-12 grant to take part in Student Watershed Watch. With the grant, UT supplies the necessary water sampling tools to the high school science teachers and also provides UT graduate students to aid the classes.

In addition to Toledo Early College High School, the schools participating in the UT-sponsored portion of the 21st Annual Student Watershed Watch are Bowsher High School, Central Catholic High School, Clay High School, Northview High School, Ottawa Hills High School and Start High School.

“This is a great opportunity for students to practice water-quality testing and a chance to expose them to University faculty and staff to discuss science and education,” said Dr. Cyndee Gruden, UT associate professor of civil engineering.

“From a University standpoint, the Student Watershed Watch program is an excellent way to engage the community and communicate environmental knowledge to students, parents and teachers.”

Students will have a chance to share their results at the Student Watershed Watch Summit Tuesday, Nov. 16, at the University when participating schools release and compare their findings.

For more information on the Student Watershed Watch program, click here.

UT amends budget: Units to trim 1.5% due to state deferring payment

The University of Toledo is responding to a nearly $8 million deferment of state funding for the current fiscal year with an across-the-board 1.5 percent general fund budget adjustment.

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland recently announced that the state is deferring a one-month payment of state share of instruction dollars to higher education. Pushing back the $127.5 million payment for June, the last month of the state’s current fiscal year, will help Ohio balance its fiscal year 2011 budget.

In doing so, the state is temporarily reducing that planned revenue for Ohio’s colleges and universities. The deferment has a $7.9 million effect on UT’s current budget, said Dr. Scott Scarborough, senior vice president for finance and administration, and interim vice president and director of UT Medical Center.

The state of Ohio has called the move a delay in payment, but given the projected $8 billion hole in the next budget cycle, some college and university leaders are skeptical the money will materialize later and be reinstated to higher education.

Federal economic stimulus dollars already contribute to more than $18 million of the University budget, which likely will not be available for the fiscal year 2012 budget.

“There is no scenario that makes next year look better than this year,” President Lloyd Jacobs said at last week’s UT Board of Trustees Finance Committee meeting. “Every scenario is bad.”

Should the state share of instruction dollars be paid back to UT, trustees directed it to be used to advance strategic initiatives of the University.

UT has been planning for a difficult 2012 and will continue to do so, Scarborough said, adding that the University ended the last fiscal year better than expected.

The University had budgeted a 0 percent operating margin for the academic enterprise for fiscal year 2010 and actually ended the year with a positive 2.5 percent operating margin because of expanded Pell Grants and a moderate winter, Scarborough said.

The clinical enterprise of the University was budgeted at 3 percent and ended the year with 3.9 percent because of growth in outpatient services, he said.

During the trustees’ committee meeting, the group also addressed the facility needs of UT Medical Center and began a discussion about how much investment can and should be made to upgrade the hospital.

Longtime theatre professor to be remembered

A memorial gathering for Charles H. “Chuck” Vicinus will take place Saturday, Nov. 6, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Center for Performing Arts.

Charles “Chuck” Vicinus posed for a photo in the Center for Performing Arts in 1993.

Charles “Chuck” Vicinus posed for a photo in the Center for Performing Arts in 1993.

During his 22 years with the Department of Theatre and Film, he directed more than 100 productions for the UT stage.

Vicinus was appointed UT professor of theatre in 1978 and was the program adviser for the acting and directing segment of the department’s new bachelor of fine arts degree program.

He started UT Summerstage in 1979. The program gave students a chance to work with Equity actors under Equity rules from June to August. UT Summerstage ran through the mid-1980s. During that time, Vicinus was managing director.

The native of Rochester, N.Y., served as chair of the UT Theatre and Film Department for six years and for 13 years was a co-director of the Governor’s Gifted Summer Institute, which gave Ohio students the chance to perform Shakespearean plays.

Vicinus was involved with the American College Theatre Festival at the state and national levels, and he helped establish the Performing Arts Council of Toledo. The Toledo Repertoire Theatre board member also was a co-artistic director of the First Night Toledo program from 1994 to 2002.

In 1993, he was named professor emeritus and continued working at the University until his retirement in 2000.

Vicinus maintained homes in Holderness, N.H., and Toledo. For the past three years, he taught at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire.

Tributes are suggested to the Theatre Alumni Scholarship at the UT Foundation. For more information, call 419.530.7730.

UT Medical Center to offer skin cancer screenings Oct. 30

Following a successful event last year, University of Toledo Medical Center physicians once again are pledging their time and expertise to help the community with a free skin cancer screening from 9 a.m. until noon Saturday, Oct. 30.

“Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers, and our physicians wanted to give their time to help prevent the disease,” said Janelle Tipton, an oncology clinical nurse specialist at the hospital. “Getting a screening is the most effective way to check for skin cancer, and it is fast and easy on patients.”

Organizers will strive to screen more than 100 patients Saturday in the Surgery Clinic, located on the second floor of UT Medical Center.

The screening will take only a few minutes; if a doctor finds something suspicious, counseling will be provided on-site. The physicians then would offer the patient a referral and a recommendation for a biopsy.

Most skin cancer is caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet light caused by the sun. To prevent skin cancer, the American Cancer Society recommends avoiding indoor tanning and using sunblock to protect your skin when outside in the sun.

Professor to present ‘Scars: A Love Story’

webscars-poster-enhancedMost people have a few scars. Whether it’s from falling off a bike or major surgery, most people have had their fair share of bumps and bruises.

Dr. Jim Ferris, the Ability Center of Greater Toledo Endowed Chair in Disability Studies, will look at what our scars may have to tell us in his one-man show, “Scars: A Love Story,” which will be performed at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29, and Saturday, Oct. 30, in the Center for Performing Arts Studio Theatre.

“Scars are things that we all have,” he said. “They mark us and distinguish us, but they are something we share. They not only bridge our wounds, they connect us to the human experience — maybe even to each other.”

“Scars: A Love Story” combines poetry, visual arts and music into a form that Ferris calls a “post-contemporary” performance. The show includes photographs of scars that Ferris collected from people around campus.

“Every scar has a story. It’s amazing how asking about people’s scars brings those stories out,” Ferris said. “Scars are universal. They are a part of living.”

The show will look at how scars from years past still impact people today. Ferris, associate professor of communication and director of the Disability Studies Program, contends that scars also can lead to stigma, a simple explanation to human fear and ignorance.

“We make assumptions when we see things, whether it is a scar or a disability. We wind up making judgments, and those judgments can outweigh other characteristics,” Ferris said.

To see how scars impact perception both literally and metaphorically, stop by the free, public performances this week or at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6, when Ferris again will perform “Scars: A Love Story.”

Engineers Without Borders receives $10,000 in national competition

The University of Toledo’s Engineers Without Borders student chapter has been granted $10,000 for another riverbank water filtration system in Honduras.

Erin Nichols, left, and Emma Boff, members of the UT Engineers Without Borders student chapter, posed for a photo with children during a visit to Honduras.

Erin Nichols, left, and Emma Boff, members of the UT Engineers Without Borders student chapter, posed for a photo with children during a visit to Honduras.

In 2008, the organization made a trip to Los Sanchez, Honduras, where UT engineering students installed a sustainable water pipeline system for the village. Now they are to begin work in La Barranca, Honduras, with the help of the new grant the organization received in June.

The Environmental Protection Agency hosts the P3 (People, Prosperity and the Planet) Awards each year to select and fund students’ project designs that will help create a sustainable future. The EPA P3 Awards are a two-phase team contest.

“We are already working on the project, thanks to the phase one grant, which allowed us to begin researching the water banks in Honduras and to begin designing our filtration system,” said Dr. Youngwoo Seo, UT assistant professor of civil engineering. “If we win the phase two award, which will grant us $75,000, we can actually begin implementing the plan. And because of the large sum of money, we will be able to help more villages and more people in Honduras on a larger scale.”

Engineers Without Borders went to Honduras to find out what exactly was contaminating the water and found heavy metals and pathogens, Seo said, adding that it was largely due to the fact that both the villagers and the animals were drinking and bathing from the same area of the river.

To solve the problem, the organization plans to build a riverbank water pipeline system, which is essentially a ditch about 50 feet away from the river that will allow the water to be naturally filtered through the ground. But to better ensure that as many contaminants are eliminated as possible, the group also will add a disinfection system, said Erin Nichols, president of UT Engineers Without Borders.

“It’s humbling and enlightening to see how hard the villagers work. They want this so badly that they are willing to do anything to help,” Nichols said. “They are very intelligent people. They just don’t have the same resources we do and that’s something we would like to provide for them.”

In April, Engineers Without Borders will present their plans and preliminary research and design results to a panel of judges in Washington, D.C.; of the 40 eligible teams, only five will be awarded the phase two grant.

“With just this small investment, we are going to make a big difference in these villages,” Seo said. “We are learning many things together, and we are hoping that other people will want to get involved.”

“Our goal as Engineers Without Borders is to create a better lifestyle for these people,” Nichols said. “We hope to get other departments on campus involved so that we can not only give them clean drinking water, but also provide them with health care, English lessons and even business plans.”

For more information on the project or Engineers Without Borders, visit www.eng.utoledo.edu/~ewob/home.htm.

Pharmacist to receive 2010 Preceptor of the Year award



Dr. Valerie Householder, University pharmacist, will receive the prestigious honor of being named the 2010 UT College of Pharmacy Preceptor of the Year.

Householder, a clinical outpatient pharmacist in the UT Main Campus Medical Center since 2006, will be honored during the College of Pharmacy’s fall convocation Thursday, Oct. 28, at 11 a.m. in Collier Building Room1000B on Health Science Campus.

“This award is so cool because it’s the students that actually nominate and recognize you for your hard work to the profession,” said Cindy Puffer, UT coordinator of managed care pharmacy services at UT Medical Center. “It’s something that truly puts value to everything Valerie does for the students.”

A UT alumna, Householder graduated from the UT College of Pharmacy with a doctor of pharmacy degree in 2003. She received her bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences in 2001.

“I had absolutely no idea that I would be winning an award like this,” Householder said. “It makes me feel really good that the students have really learned something from me and appreciate what we do here. It is truly rewarding.”

Householder previously served as director of pharmacy at Mercy Hospital in Defiance, Ohio, and has worked as a pharmacist in both hospital and retail settings in Ohio and Indiana.

“Valerie is such a hard-working individual,” Puffer said. “She clearly puts the students first and wants them to succeed, making her such a good role model for them.”