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Archive for December, 2011

UT hosts field officer training for Ohio police departments

The University of Toledo is becoming the site of choice for law enforcement training in northwest Ohio.

This week, The University of Toledo Police Department is hosting a four-day Field Officer Training Course at the Dana Conference Center on Health Science Campus. The course will instruct experienced policemen and women on proper methods to train and evaluate new officers.

Officers from the University of Akron Police Department, the Clay Township Police Department, the Wood County Sheriff’s Office and the Bowling Green State University Police Department, in addition to UT Police, are participating in the training.

“The field training course is timely as the UT Police Department prepares to hire four new police officers,” UT Police Chief Jeff Newton said. “We want to make sure the best possible training experience is provided to the new officers.”

Training campus police officers is particularly important in light of recent events at colleges. The 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech in which 32 people were killed prompted enhanced campus security measures at college campuses across the country. The University of Toledo adopted the UT Alert text message system and the outdoor public address warning system as part of its emergency communications upgrades.

Just last month UT hosted training for law enforcement officers on vehicle stops and approaches in conjunction with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. And the University is planning law enforcement training sessions on defensive tactics, police interviewing and police dispatching.

“Education is key to the University’s mission, and it’s great to see UT providing training and instruction to police departments across the state and into Michigan,” Newton said.

Page named honorable mention All-America by SI.com

Toledo junior Eric Page has been named honorable mention All-American by SI.com at both wide receiver and punt returner.

Eric Page and his teammates celebrated in the end zone.

Last season, Page was named second-team All-America by SI.com at kickoff returner.

Page, a first-team All-Mid-American Conference selection at wide receiver, kickoff returner and punt returner this year, is Toledo’s all-time leading receiver with 293 career receptions. He has caught a school-record 112 receptions this year, ranking third in the nation and second in the MAC in receptions per game (9.3). He is 17th in the nation and third in the MAC in punt returns (10.9), and sixth in the MAC in kickoff returns (23.4). He leads the MAC and is seventh in the nation in all-purpose yards (169.3). He is one for three passing with one touchdown throw; he also has thrown for a two-point conversion.

The Toledo native is one of four finalists for the 2011 Paul Hornung Award, which is given annually by the Louisville Sports Commission to the most versatile player in major college football. Page joins Arkansas wide receiver Joe Adams, Georgia defensive back Brandon Boykin and Oregon running back LaMichael James as finalists.

Page was a first-team All-America selection by Sporting News and Walter Camp at kickoff returner in 2010, averaging 31.1 yards per kickoff return and scoring three TDs on kickoff returns.

Campbell named head football coach

University of Toledo Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien announced Monday night that Interim Head Football Coach Matt Campbell will assume the head coaching position on a permanent basis.

Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O'Brien, right, introduced Matt Campbell as Toledo's new head football coach Monday night.

Campbell was named interim head coach Dec. 9, replacing Tim Beckman who resigned to become the head coach at the University of Illinois. Campbell becomes the 26th head football coach in the 91-year history of Toledo football.

“We are very pleased that Matt Campbell has agreed to become the head football coach at The University of Toledo,” O’Brien said. “There is no doubt that Matt has done a terrific job in his three years as our offensive coordinator. The performance of our offense speaks for itself. But I have also been very impressed with Matt as a person and as a leader of young men. He is quite simply a very exceptional football coach and I believe the best person to lead this program going forward. We are very excited for the future of Rocket football under Matt’s guidance.”

“I’m honored to become the next head football coach at The University of Toledo,” Campbell said. “I would like to thank Mike O’Brien and President Lloyd Jacobs for giving me this opportunity. I would also like to thank Tim Beckman, the Rocket coaching staff, and most of all the young men on this football team who have helped me reach my goal of becoming a head football coach.

“Finally, I would like to thank my parents and my wife, Erica, for all their love and support in helping make this day possible,” he said.

Campbell will get his first chance to coach the Rockets Wednesday, Dec. 28, vs. Air Force in the Military Bowl in Washington, D.C.

“I’m looking forward to the work ahead of us,” Campbell said. “We have an important bowl game to play on Dec. 28, as well as a recruiting class to sign and a coaching staff to hire. But most of all we need to get to work on our ultimate goal of bringing a MAC championship back to Toledo.”

Campbell, 32, is now the youngest head football coach in Division I Football Bowl Subdivision. He served three seasons as the Rockets’ offensive coordinator, and also was responsible for coaching the offensive line. The Rockets currently rank eighth in the nation in total offense (493.2) and scoring offense (42.3) this season, as well as third in fewest turnovers (12). The Rockets’ offense gained the national spotlight when it scored more than 60 points in consecutive games for the first time in school history: 60 points vs. Northern Illinois Nov. 1 and 66 vs. Western Michigan Nov. 8.

The Rockets’ offense also features one of the most exciting players in the country, junior wide receiver Eric Page. Page ranks third in the nation in receptions with 112 and is a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award as the nation’s most versatile player. He made first-team All-MAC at three positions: wide receiver, punt returner and kickoff returner.

Campbell also mentored an offensive line that ranks sixth in the nation with just nine sacks allowed this season, and features two All-MAC players, Mike VanDerMeulen (first team) and Zac Kerin (second team).

Campbell played a big role in Toledo’s resurgence in 2010, a season that saw the Rockets go 8-5 and make their first bowl appearance in five years. Under Campbell, the Rockets ranked third in the Mid-American Conference in both scoring and total offense. Page was third in the MAC in receptions with 99, and earned numerous All-America honors as a kickoff returner. Running back Adonis Thomas rushed for 1,098 yards and led the conference with 6.3 yards per carry. Campbell also led a very effective offensive line, including junior tackle Mike VanDerMeulen, a third-team All-MAC selection.

In 2009, Campbell helped guide UT to the 16th-ranked offense in the country (437.9 yards per game), despite losing senior quarterback Aaron Opelt to injury midway through the season. The Rockets also ranked No. 1 in fourth-down conversions (80.0 percent) and No. 18 in passing yards (278.1). Four Rockets earned All-MAC honors, while Page led the nation in receptions by a freshman and was named first-team Freshman All-America by Phil Steele and the College Football News.

Campbell has earned national attention for his recruiting, as well. Rivals.com named him a “top recruiter” in 2011. Campbell was one of nine coaches from non-automatic qualifying schools in the Bowl Championship Series to make the list, and the only one from the Mid-American Conference. Toledo’s 2011 recruiting class was ranked No. 1 in the MAC by both Scout.com and Rivals.com.

Prior to his service at UT, Campbell served as an assistant coach at Bowling Green for two seasons, one as the offensive line coach (2007) and one as the offensive line coach/running game coordinator (2008). The Falcons participated in the GMAC Bowl in the 2007 season.

Campbell began his coaching career as the offensive graduate assistant at Bowling Green in 2003 and 2004, working with the tight ends for teams that won the 2003 Motor City Bowl and 2004 GMAC Bowl. He then spent two years as the offensive coordinator/offensive line coach at Mount Union.

A 2002 graduate of Mount Union, Campbell was a member of five national championship teams as a coach and player for the Purple Raiders. He was a two-time first-team All-American and was voted as the Ohio Athletic Conference’s Best Defensive Lineman in 2001 and 2002. He was a vital member of three Mount Union teams that won national titles in 2000, 2001 and 2002. During his career at Mount Union, he had 207 tackles, 49 tackles for loss and 22 sacks. Campbell also excelled in the classroom, earning CoSIDA Academic All-America honors. In his final two years of his stay at Mount Union, Campbell was the offensive coordinator on a team that won back-to-back national titles.

A native of Massillon, Ohio, Campbell attended Perry High School. He and his wife, Erica, have two daughters, Katelyn, 3, and Isabella, 2.

Tree removal to begin as part of Ottawa River restoration

The restoration project for the portion of the Ottawa River on The University of Toledo Main Campus continues with the selective removal of trees in the coming weeks, weather permitting.

Up to 20 trees will be removed; these will be limited to dead or dying trees, those needed to be cleared for access for project equipment and materials, or trees that pose a threat to public safety. This is the first step in the President’s Commission on the River project to restore the waterway.

“The process of removing the trees is very selective and carefully conducted as to not impact the habitat or bank stability,” said Dr. Patrick Lawrence, professor and chair of the Department of Geography and Planning, and chair of the President’s Commission on the River. “All of the sites will be replanted when the project nears completion in fall 2012 and spring 2013.”

The river restoration project is funded with a $235,000 grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and $114,000 from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

The goal is to improve the habitat of the river with native aquatic and stream bank plant species and other natural materials. The long-term benefits will be to increase the diversity of aquatic species in the river and improve environmental conditions. The in-stream restoration portion of the project is scheduled for August 2012.

The President’s Commission on the River will host a public meeting from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14, in Student Union Room 2591 to show preliminary design elements and plans for the river restoration.

Offensive coordinator named interim head football coach

UT Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien announced today that Football Offensive Coordinator Matt Campbell will serve as the Rockets’ interim head coach, replacing Tim Beckman, who will be introduced as the new head coach at the University of Illinois today.

Matt Campbell will be the interim head football coach when the Rockets take the field for the Military Bowl Dec. 28.

O’Brien said that Campbell will lead the Rockets at the Military Bowl vs. Air Force Dec. 28, adding that a national search for Beckman’s permanent replacement will begin as soon as possible.

“We wish Coach Beckman and his family the very best in their new life at the University of Illinois,” O’Brien said. “Tim did an outstanding job in his three years with the Rockets. He built a solid foundation based on discipline and personal accountability, and he leaves our football program in very good shape for our next head coach.

“In the meantime, we have a very important bowl game coming up on Dec. 28, and we are pleased that Matt Campbell will be leading our team on an interim basis and serving as our head coach for the game vs. Air Force. Matt has done a great job guiding our offense the past three years, and we look forward to his leadership in what should be an exciting game in our nation’s capital.”

Beckman, 46, was 21-16 in three seasons with the Rockets, 17-7 in Mid-American Conference play. He led Toledo to an 8-5 record in 2010, as well as a berth in the 2010 Little Caesars Bowl in Detroit, UT’s first bowl since 2005. This past season, the Rockets went 8-4, 7-1 in MAC play, and earned their second consecutive bowl trip.

Campbell, 32, is in his third season as the Rockets’ offensive coordinator, and also is responsible for coaching the offensive line. Under Campbell’s guidance, the Rockets rank eighth in the nation in total offense (493.2) and scoring offense (42.3) this season, as well as third in fewest turnovers (12). He also mentored an offensive line that ranks sixth in the nation with just nine sacks allowed this season. The Rockets’ offense features one of the most exciting players in the country, junior wide receiver Eric Page. Page ranks third in the nation in receptions with 112 and is a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award as the nation’s most versatile player. He made first-team All-MAC at three positions: wide receiver, punt returner and kickoff returner.

Campbell has earned national attention for his recruiting. Rivals.com named him a “top recruiter” in 2011. Campbell was one of nine coaches from non-automatic qualifying schools in the Bowl Championship Series to make the list and the only one from the Mid-American Conference. Toledo’s 2011 recruiting class was ranked No. 1 in the MAC by both Scout.com and Rivals.com.

Prior to coaching at UT, Campbell served as an assistant coach at Bowling Green for two seasons, one as the offensive line coach (2007) and one as the offensive line coach/running game coordinator (2008). He began his coaching career as the offensive graduate assistant at Bowling Green in 2003 and 2004. He then spent two years as the offensive coordinator/offensive line coach at Mount Union.

The 2002 graduate of Mount Union was a member of five national championship teams as a coach and player for the Purple Raiders. He was a two-time first-team All-American and was voted as the Ohio Athletic Conference’s Best Defensive Lineman in 2001 and 2002. He was a vital member of three Mount Union teams that won national titles in 2000, 2001 and 2002. During his career at the school, Campbell earned CoSIDA Academic All-America honors. In his final two years of his stay at Mount Union, Campbell was the offensive coordinator on a team that won back-to-back national titles.

He and his wife, Erica, have two daughters, Katelyn, 3, and Isabella, 2.

Page named finalist for Hornung Award as nation’s most versatile player

Toledo junior Eric Page has been named one of four finalists for the 2011 Paul Hornung Award, the Louisville Sports Commission announced today.

Eric Page was named the national wide receiver of the week last month by the College Football Performance Awards for his play in Toledo’s 63-60 loss to Northern Illinois. He caught five touchdown passes and tied the MAC record set by Marshall’s Randy Moss in 1997.

The Paul Hornung Award is given annually to the most versatile player in major college football. The finalists were chosen by the 16-member Paul Hornung Award Selection Committee with fan voting on Facebook counting for an additional vote.

Page joins Arkansas wide receiver Joe Adams, Georgia defensive back Brandon Boykin and Oregon running back LaMichael James as finalists.

The winner, chosen by a selection committee of 16 national sports journalists and former college and NFL players, will be announced Sunday, Jan. 8, and will receive the honor Thursday, Feb. 2, at the Galt House in Louisville during the annual Paul Hornung Award banquet, sponsored by Jewish Hospital Sports Medicine.

Page, a first-team All-MAC selection at wide receiver, kickoff returner and punt returner this year, is Toledo’s all-time leading receiver with 293 career receptions. He has caught a school-record 112 receptions this year, ranking third in the nation and second in the MAC in receptions per game (9.3). He is 17th in the nation and third in the MAC in punt returns (10.9), and sixth in the MAC in kickoff returns (23.4). He leads the conference and is seventh in the nation in all-purpose yards (169.3). He is one for three passing with one touchdown throw, and he also has thrown for a two-point conversion.

The Toledo native was a first-team All-America selection at kickoff returner in 2010, averaging 31.1 yards per kickoff return and scoring three TDs on kickoff returns.

The Louisville Sports Commission launched the Paul Hornung Award in 2010 to honor its namesake and native son and to promote outstanding performances by versatile college football players that often go unnoticed. Owen Marecic of Stanford, a two-way starter and All Pac-10 performer at fullback and linebacker, won the inaugural Paul Hornung Award in 2010.

The Paul Hornung Award winner will be selected from among the four finalists following their participation in bowl games. Fan voting to select the winner is open on Facebook. Fans can vote as often as once a day by going to www.votepaulhornung.com.

Grad student’s chemistry research recognized at international conference

A University of Toledo graduate student’s passion for chemistry research was recognized when he received a young scientist award at an international conference.

Shu Xu showed off the Santosh Nigam Memorial Outstanding Young Scientist Award he received from Dr. Lawrence J. Marnett of Vanderbilt University, a conference organizer, and Renate Nigam, widow of the award’s namesake and patron of the honor.

Shu Xu received the 2011 Santosh Nigam Memorial Outstanding Young Scientist Award this fall at the 12th International Bioactive Lipids in Cancer, Inflammation and Related Diseases Conference in Seattle. The award, given by the Eicosanoid Research Foundation, included an engraved plaque and $1,000 prize.

Xu, who said he is humbled and honored by the recognition, researches an important aspect of polyunsaturated fat metabolism related to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.

Originally from Nantont, China, the 28-year-old was one of 10 investigators worldwide chosen as finalists for the award. His research presentation, “The Structure of the Catalytic Domain of 12-Lipoxygenase,” was selected for the honor in a juried session at the conference.

“One of the reasons I wanted to attend the 2011 conference was to find the proper outlet to show off all of the research and hard work that went into this discovery,” Xu said. “I am very passionate to learn all there is to know about bioactive lipids, and I am eager to continue my research.”

Dr. Max Funk, Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry and the adviser of Xu’s doctoral program, said he is proud of Xu, who is the first UT student to be nominated and selected for this international award.

“What an honor for the Chemistry Department and the University as a whole to have him be recognized with the 2011 Santosh Nigam Outstanding Young Scientist Award,” Funk said. “Xu’s accomplishment is representative of the excellent work and commitment to research that exists at The University of Toledo.”

Online FMLA, leave of absence applications available

Employees now have an online option when applying for leaves of absence, whether it is a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), medical, military or other type of leave available as part of faculty and staff benefits.

According to Debra Robertson, leave of absence adviser in the Department of Human Resources and Talent Development, employees may file initial paperwork using the myUT website.

“This is a nice alternative to coming into the HR office to get the paperwork process rolling,” Robertson said. “If you’re going in for surgery in the near future, you can apply from your home or work computer. It saves our employees a step.”

Robertson said she receives employees’ completed online applications daily.

She stresses that the online application is the start of the process. Employees must continue to have certification paperwork completed by their medical providers to certify medical leaves. Military service orders must be sent to the Human Resources and Talent Development Department, as well.

Changes in the FMLA and leave of absence procedure are part of the department’s focus on streamlining processes to maximize employee convenience. In October, employees participated in open enrollment for health-care benefits using an online process for the first time.

Feedback has been favorable, Robertson said.

“I’ve had several people use it. The reaction has been, ‘It’s so easy!’”

To apply online, employees must log onto the myUT (myut.utoledo.edu) internal site with their user names and passwords. The “Application for Leaves of Absence” button is beneath the “Other HR Information” heading under the employee tab on the left side of the page.

Additional information, including an instructions page and links to sites explaining certain leaves of absence, also is available.

Those who wish to apply for leaves in person may continue to do so, Robertson said. Forms are available in the department office in Transportation Center Room 1100 on Main Campus.

Questions may be directed to Robertson at 419.530.1497.

UT finalizes self-study, prepares for Higher Learning Commission site visit

The University of Toledo is putting the final touches on a comprehensive self-study report to submit to the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools by the end of the month as part of the continued accreditation process.

The self-study is a comprehensive analysis of the institution’s history, program descriptions, policies and procedures.

The UT Board of Trustees endorsed the report at its Nov. 28 meeting and commented that the process gives the University the opportunity to review its practices and actions to confirm they are consistent with the mission and strategic direction, as well as to identify strengths and areas for improvement.

President Lloyd Jacobs complimented the people involved in creating the detailed report and said it has high value for the institution. UT Trustee Susan Palmer, who served on a committee for the self-study preparation, thanked the dedicated faculty and staff who worked with the administration on the important document.

The self-study report will be submitted to the Higher Learning Commission in advance of the site visit scheduled for Feb. 27-29.

The Higher Learning Commission will evaluate the University to ensure it meets all five of the criterion needed to maintain accreditation: mission and integrity; planning for the future; student learning and effective teaching; acquisition, discovery and application of knowledge; and engagement and service.

The UT community had a number of opportunities to provide input and feedback for the self-study, and those contributions were highly valued by the team putting it together, said Dr. Penny Poplin Gosetti, vice provost for assessment and strategic planning, who is serving as administrative coordinator of the Higher Learning Commission preparations.

“I would like to thank everybody involved in the self-study report for their hard work and dedication as we compiled such a large amount of information about our institution,” Poplin Gosetti said. “We look forward to the months ahead as we continue to prepare for the Higher Learning Commission’s site visit to make sure that all faculty, staff and students understand the importance of continued accreditation and how they can help.”

UT Physician Assistant Program receives national diversity award

“To respect and value personal uniqueness and differences; to attract and retain diverse faculty, staff and students; to challenge stereotypes; and to promote sensitivity and inclusion” — these words are from the UT Physician Assistant Program pledge.

On behalf of the Physician Assistant Education Association, Christopher Cooper presented the UT Physician Assistant Program with the 2011 Excellence Through Diversity Award, which was accepted by, from left, Dr. Vivian Moynihan, Dr. Patricia Hogue, April Gradner and Sheri Gentry.

The Physician Assistant Program is the recipient of the 2011 Excellence Through Diversity Award from the national Physician Assistant Education Association. The award was presented Nov. 3 at the association’s Education Forum in New Orleans.

Every year, the UT Physician Assistant Studies faculty, staff and students attend the awards luncheon, admiring the nominees for their outstanding achievements, according to Dr. Patricia Hogue, associate professor and chair of the Department of Physician Assistant Studies and assistant dean of diversity, student recruitment and retention.

This year, Hogue said those involved with the program mustered up the courage to submit, along with 150 other programs, and were thrilled to learn UT was selected to receive the prestigious award.

The award recognizes the outstanding commitment of a Physician Assistant Education Association member program in its implementation of specific strategies and activities designed to foster the diversity of the program faculty, staff and student body.

“The Physician Assistant Education Association award really speaks to the diversity of the faculty, staff and student body within the Physician Assistant Program,” Hogue said. “My No. 1 goal as the department chair is to decrease health-care disparity by increasing health-care provider diversity.”

The UT program places a major focus on diversity training for both faculty and students. The curriculum contains courses on topics that include providing care to diverse populations, the uninsured and the underinsured, cultural competency, and health-care disparities.

UT has the first graduate-level physician assistant program in Ohio, and students earn a master of science in biomedical sciences. The program is designed to prepare graduates for primary care practice with emphasis placed on both service to medically underserved populations and the team approach to health-care delivery.

For more information on the UT Physician Assistant Program, click here.