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Archive for November, 2010

Music professor to discuss release of composition Nov. 22 on WGTE radio show

Jex

Jex

Dr. David Jex, UT professor of music, will be a guest on WGTE FM 91’s “Afternoon Classics” Monday, Nov. 22, at 1 p.m.

He will talk about his new composition titled “Three Dances” for baritone saxophone and piano that was released on the disc, “Connections,” which features sax player Lynn Klock, a faculty member at the University of Massachusetts.

Jex and Klock are both from the Toledo area and played together in bands while in college; they have stayed in touch over the years.

“I sent a copy of ‘Three Dances’ to Lynn and to some other saxophone friends for possible performances,” Jex said.

The prolific composer continues to churn out material.

“I just finished the composition ‘Dark Passage’ for alto saxophone and F horn,” Jex said. “Two UT students requested a duet from me to play on their upcoming recitals, and this piece is the result.”

Jex also is the music director for the Toledo Repertoire Theater’s production of “A Christmas Carol.”

“Besides rewriting some of the music, I’m having a great time conducting and working with the cast,” he said.

Liberian energy expert to speak at UT

The sustainability efforts of Liberia will be the topic of conversation when Augustus Goanue, executive director of the Rural and Renewable Energy Agency of Liberia, visits The University of Toledo Thursday, Nov. 18.

His lecture, “Sustainable Education in Liberia,” will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Student Center Auditorium on the Scott Park Campus of Energy and Innovation. The free, public lecture is part of the President’s Lecture Series on Diversity.

Goanue has been at the heart of the energy reform of the Government of Liberia since 2004 and served as adviser of the agency he now leads. About three years ago, he coordinated the drafting of Liberia’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Policy and Action Plan and participated in the formulation of the National Energy Sector White Paper and the National Energy Policy of Liberia.

Goanue has extensive experience in renewable energy and energy efficiency policy analysis and formulation, project design, planning, and management both locally and internationally. He is an electrical engineer with bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Liberia.

The President’s Lecture Series on Diversity was charged in 2008 by Dr. Lloyd Jacobs to promote awareness of diversity issues through public activities and events open to the University and the surrounding communities.

For more information on the event, contact the President’s Lecture Series on Diversity at plsd@utoledo.edu or 419.530.4229.

Law student covers college football for The New York Times

While sipping coffee and reading the morning news, you might notice a familiar University of Toledo name in the byline of one of the nation’s most prestigious papers, The New York Times.

Carty

Carty

Jim Carty, a third-year student in the UT College of Law, has been a freelance writer covering college sports for The New York Times since 2008.

“When I was asked to write for The Times, my first thought was how happy it would make my mom because she grew up in Brooklyn and was an avid reader of the newspaper all of her life,” Carty said. “But to be asked to write for them more than once — that is always nice because they must have liked your work the first time.”

The journalist first was approached in fall 2008 when he started classes at UT to write an article for The New York Times about a football game between Ohio State and Michigan State. Carty then was asked to write several more articles after that about various college teams.

The New York Times learned of Carty from his work as a sports columnist for The Ann Arbor News. He worked for the newspaper from 2002 to 2008, but always has held an interest in law. To achieve his ambitions, he took the LSAT and was accepted into the UT College of Law in 2008.

To focus on his classes at UT, Carty decided to put The New York Times writing on hold for 2009, but the newspaper kept him in its rotation of writers to contact him when needed.

In August, The Times did just that, looking for Carty to write an article about the renovation of the University of Michigan’s stadium. Knowing he had a less-demanding schedule then previous years, Carty agreed to write again. And he has since written a number of articles for The New York Times about University of Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Michigan State football.

The New Jersey native initially attended college interested in pre-law, but after he became involved in Syracuse University’s periodical, Carty was drawn to journalism. He graduated from Syracuse University in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in history.

Carty, who will graduate in December, said he believes it is a natural process for a journalist to transition into law due to the long hours of work dealing with research and writing in both fields.

“Jim is an exceptional student. He is the quintessential law student with exceptional writing skills and is one of the brightest students I’ve ever had,” said Marilyn Preston, legal writing professor in the UT College of Law. “His journalism background was a benefit for my course because it requires the ability to analyze cases and write in a concise and precise manner.”

“I have had a tremendous experience here at UT. I came in not knowing what to expect, and I love the size of the school,” Carty said. “The professors are very student-oriented and it is so great to establish that relationship with everyone.”

Spotlight on high school artists

“Inspired by Haring,” painting, by Rachael Dzierzak, grade 10, Notre Dame Academy

“Inspired by Haring,” painting, by Rachael Dzierzak, grade 10, Notre Dame Academy

The University of Toledo’s “Focus 2010” art exhibition that features pieces from 21 northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan high schools is coming to a close.

The juried art exhibition, which has been on display since Oct. 23, will conclude with a reception honoring all of the participating artists on Sunday, Nov. 21, from noon to 2:30 p.m. in the Center for the Visual Arts Gallery on the Toledo Museum of Art Campus.

“More than 1,200 artworks were submitted for this year’s exhibition. Jurors selected 273 works for inclusion in this annual exhibition, 23 of which have been given awards of merit,” said Leanne Gilbertson, gallery director.

“Hamilton,” sculpture, by John Bussdieker, grade 12, Bowling Green High School

“Hamilton,” sculpture, by John Bussdieker, grade 12, Bowling Green High School

“A panel of jurors, consisting of six local artists, art educators and gallery directors, selected artworks across a range of media for these awards.”

Awards are based on quality, craftsmanship and originality. A private awards ceremony for the artists and their families will be held at 1:30 p.m. during the reception at the GlasSalon in the Glass Pavilion at the Toledo Museum of Art.

Throughout the exhibition, members of the community — including educators, educational administrators and business owners — had the opportunity to select their favorite works of art. The artists of those pieces will receive merit awards that include cash prizes and gift certificates during the private reception.

For more information on the free, public exhibit, contact Gilbertson at 419.530.8436.

After tornado, rebuilding continues for UTMC employee

Within the span of six months, Kelli Chovanec has lost a home, replaced nearly everything she owned, taken a new job, and learned she’s carrying a baby boy.

Kelli Chovanec and her daughters, Kathryn, left, and Breann, posed for a photo on the stairs of their new home in Delta.

Kelli Chovanec and her daughters, Kathryn, left, and Breann, posed for a photo on the stairs of their new home in Delta.

As she faces a few milestones during the upcoming holidays — the birth of her new son, to be named Jacob, around Dec. 16, and the passage of six months since a devastating tornado turned her family’s life upside down — Chovanec reflected on the generosity of community.

“What happened in June is going to be a part of me and my life forever,” said Chovanec, who recently completed her second week as assistant director of nursing on the sixth floor of UT Medical Center. “It’s something you take with you.”

Chovanec and her two daughters, Breann, 5, and Kathryn, 3, were hunkered in the basement of their Delta home when an EF2 tornado struck June 5. She remembers sobbing on her cell phone to her husband, Quinn, “I think our house is falling down!” as their two-story structure crumbled.

After the shell-shocked trio emerged to find their home disintegrated around them, the work really began.

Chovanec, who has been with UTMC for five years, said she and her husband had no idea where to turn for basic necessities. As they assessed their options from a hotel, dazed by the turn of events, a circle of help was already forming.

“I needed a ton of help, but I didn’t even know where to begin,” Chovanec recalled. “We needed everything.”

Local organizations, including the American Red Cross and the United Way, provided staples and steered the Chovanecs in the direction of further assistance. Friends, colleagues and strangers appeared with bags of clothing, food and gift cards. Meals were provided at a local church.

“One day, we came back to our house to find a bunch of people cleaning up all the trees in our yard,” Chovanec said. “Some of them were from the National Forestry Service, but others were just volunteers who raked for hours. They didn’t know me or my family. They didn’t even know each other, but they helped.”

Slowly, the family has begun rebuilding their lives. Chovanec and her husband sold their badly damaged home to a builder. Within a few months, the Chovanecs attended an open house in the place they once called home.

“The builder hugged us and was glad we came. She had found my baptismal gown and some photos during the rebuilding. They felt the love we had in the house.”

A few months ago, the family bought a home in Delta, which Chovanec has been furnishing in anticipation of her son’s arrival.

She looks back on the way relatives, friends, colleagues and community cared for her family with concern and said it isn’t possible to express the depth of her gratitude. Although she and her husband weren’t charity-oriented before the tornado, she said they’re rapidly becoming known as the “can’t say no” couple.

“When they ask you to buy a shamrock or give a dollar for charity, we always give now,” Chovanec said. “How could we say no with all the help we’ve been given?”

Once the Chovanecs settle completely — both physically and mentally — they intend to return the kindness they received.

“We don’t know how or when, but we’ll give of ourselves in the way people gave to us,” she said. “How do you express how thankful you are to people you don’t even know? I guess we just give to someone else.”

* * * * *

UT Community Charitable Campaign supports those who assisted family

The Chovanec family received assistance from both the UT family and the northwest Ohio charitable family during its time of need.

Kelli Chovanec encourages the UT family to support the ongoing University Community Charitable Campaign.

Faculty, staff and students can ePledge by logging onto https://uwgt/upicsolutions.org/uwgt/epledge.jsp and using LBPSQGCATH as the user ID and KESPQPFOWJ as the password. Paper pledges also are available for each department’s UTC3 representative.

Donations support Community Health Charities of Ohio, EarthShare of Ohio, Northwest Community Shares and the United Way of Greater Toledo. Donors can select individual organizations under the umbrella of these federations to personalize their contributions.

UT to host Great American Smokeout events

no-smoking-symbolThe University of Toledo’s Colleges Against Cancer and the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Prevention Committee have teamed up to host the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout.

On Thursday, Nov. 18, the organizations will be in the Student Union from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and in the UT Medical Center Skyview Food Court Atrium from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. handing out “quit kits” with mints, gum and toothpicks to help make the transition from smoker to nonsmoker easier for all members of the UT community.

“The No. 1 killer of adults is tobacco, and hosting the Great American Smokeout here at UT is a way for us to promote healthy decision making and to promote lifelong health and happiness for our students long after they graduate and become great citizens in our communities across the country,” said Alexis Blavos, an alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention specialist.

Right now, 20 percent of UT students smoke; Blavos said the goal is to reduce that statistic to less than 10 percent.

Colleges Against Cancer will have a lung machine at the event that depicts the difference between a healthy lung and one that has been exposed to prolonged tobacco use.

“Currently, one in 10 college students will die prematurely due to tobacco use,” said Becky Fitts, public relations director for Colleges Against Cancer. “Already, 223 colleges and universities across the country have enacted tobacco-free policies. That is our ultimate goal, to make UT a smoke-free environment.”

The Smokeout event on Health Science Campus is sponsored by pharmacy students and Rocket Wellness. The pharmacy students will have a table displaying information on the effects of smoking and quit tips, and Rocket Wellness will give out bags of popcorn and raffle off two turkeys at the end of the day.

“In order to be eligible to win the raffle, you must either pledge to quit smoking for the day or pledge to be an advocate for others to quit smoking,” said Michelle Peterson, wellness coordinator on Health Science Campus.

Face your Future, a student advocacy group that works with the alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention, also will take photos of students, faculty and staff on Tuesday, Nov. 16, in Student Union Room 3020 and then age those pictures 20 years both with and without tobacco use.

For more information, contact Blavos at 419.530.8436, Peterson at 419.383.6695 or visit the Facebook page UT Smokeout.

UT, Northwest State partner to offer associate’s degree in alternative energy technology

The University of Toledo and Northwest State Community College have established a partnership to offer an associate’s degree in alternative energy technology.

UT President Lloyd Jacobs, right, and Northwest State Community College President Thomas Stuckey shook hands after signing an agreement Friday at the Scott Park Campus of Energy and Innovation to establish a new associate’s degree in alternative energy technologies. The degree will be from Northwest State with students taking classes from both institutions at Scott Park.

UT President Lloyd Jacobs, right, and Northwest State Community College President Thomas Stuckey shook hands after signing an agreement Friday at the Scott Park Campus of Energy and Innovation to establish a new associate’s degree in alternative energy technologies. The degree will be from Northwest State with students taking classes from both institutions at Scott Park.

Students enrolled in the new Alternative Energy Technology Program will receive their associate’s degree from Northwest State, but take their classes from both institutions at the UT Scott Park Campus of Energy and Innovation.

UT President Lloyd Jacobs and Northwest State President Thomas Stuckey signed an agreement to establish the partnership Friday on Scott Park Campus.

“This is a great opportunity to share University of Toledo alternative energy research, expertise and facilities,” Jacobs said. “This partnership will help create the work force for tomorrow’s alternative energy economy.”

“Northwest State is excited to share the successful alternative energy program that has been established at our Archbold campus with The University of Toledo,” Stuckey said. “Offering this program in partnership with The University of Toledo will allow more students access to the education and training needed to secure jobs in the growing field of alternative energy.”

The alternative energy technology degree will have two tracks — one for systems design for those interested in developing the technology, and the other for systems service for students interested in careers involving installation and maintenance.

The students enrolled in the Alternative Energy Technology Program would be admitted to both UT and Northwest State, taking the courses from Northwest State faculty housed at Scott Park as well as UT faculty in the science, math and engineering fields.

The program is being set up in a way that will allow the students to easily continue their education and receive a bachelor’s degree in engineering technology or individualized programs from UT.

An open house for prospective students will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 17, on the fourth floor of the Learning Resource Center, where Northwest State will be housed for the program.

UT receives outstanding counselor education awards

The University of Toledo’s Counselor Education Program was recognized with several awards at the annual conference of the North Central Association for Counselor Education and Supervision.

Ritchie

Ritchie

The University’s counseling program received the Robert Frank Outstanding Counselor Education Program Award, which exemplifies the importance of excellence through the faculty’s commitment and contributions to the profession. The award also recognizes the faculty’s commitment to the program’s standards and improvement and influence on students, the University and the surrounding community.

Dr. Martin Ritchie, professor and chair of the Department of School Psychology, Legal Specialties and Counselor Education in the College of Health Science and Human Service, was one of two faculty members to receive an individual award.

Ritchie was the recipient of the Robert O. Stripling Award for Excellence in Standards, which is based on leadership in the advancement of standards for counselor education and supervision, program development and the enhancement of the profession.

“Receiving this award makes me feel like I have come full circle with accreditation and standards, as my doctoral adviser was on a committee with Robert Stripling and I currently have the honor of chairing the Board of Directors of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs,” Ritchie said.

Laux

Laux

The North Central Association for Counselor Education and Supervision Research Award was given to Dr. John Laux, associate professor of counselor education, for significant research in the profession.

His research focuses on the career, mental health and substance abuse counseling needs of mothers in the criminal justice system, as well as substance use among college students.

“I am very honored to receive this recognition. My research has been collaborative with my fellow faculty members and doctoral students,” Laux said. “The award validates our collective efforts.”

In addition to these awards, many faculty members gave presentations during the October conference, which was attended by three first-year UT doctoral students.

“We are so proud of the national recognition that our Counselor Education Program has received from our peers,” Ritchie said. “Some people still view the University as just another regional university of no particular distinction, but the truth is we have many outstanding programs, faculty members and graduates who earn national distinction.”

Professor’s symphonic version of Coltrane classic debuts in NYC

Dave Liebman, left, a recipient of the 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award, posed for a photo with Gunnar Mossblad.

Dave Liebman, left, a recipient of the 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award, posed for a photo with Gunnar Mossblad.

Gunnar Mossblad, University of Toledo professor of music and director of jazz studies, saw the world premiere of his latest symphonic work in New York City earlier this month.

“Meditations Suite,” a symphonic version of John Coltrane’s landmark recording, “Meditations,” was performed Friday, Nov. 5, at the Manhattan School of Music’s Borden Auditorium in New York City.

The premiere featured the Manhattan School of Music Jazz Philharmonic under the direction of Justin DiCioccio and renowned jazz masters Dave Liebman and Randy Brecker as soloists. Mossblad also played soprano saxophone for two movements.

While the original five-movement work is Coltrane’s, Mossblad is responsible for the arrangement for orchestra with additional composition. Liebman recorded Coltrane’s “Meditations” 15 years ago, and he and Mossblad continually have revisited the piece since.

The work has been Mossblad’s passion for nearly a year.

“This was a much more extensive project than I ever imagined, not only because it was for a full symphony orchestra plus big band, but because it also offered many challenges musically — both because of the improvisatory nature of the original composition and my deep spiritual respect for the music,” Mossblad said.

When he is not performing or teaching, he composes music for a variety of musical styles. To date, he has written more than 75 original jazz compositions in addition to numerous classical pieces and arrangements for various solo, chamber and large ensembles. His pedagogical materials for saxophone and jazz are published by Houston Publishing, Le Moine Music and the FJH Music Co.

Mossblad, who is the musical director for the Dave Liebman Big Band, has collaborated with numerous jazz and classical artists, including Marv Stamm, Royce Campbell, John D’earth, Hod O’Brien, Mel Tormé and John Coates Jr. He is the founder of Visions, a contemporary jazz quintet, and The Manhattan Saxophone Ensemble.

Flu vaccines to be given on Main Campus, UTMC

University Health Services will hold two more employee flu clinics at the Main Campus Medical Center.

Faculty and staff can stop by Wednesday, Nov. 17, from 9 a.m. to noon, and Thursday, Nov. 17, from 8 to 11 a.m.

University Health Services will visit UT Medical Center floors to provide influenza vaccines to employees, volunteers, students and retirees Friday, Nov. 19, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Another round is slated at the hospital for Monday, Nov. 22, from 5 to 7 a.m.