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Archive for June, 2014

UT appoints College of Engineering dean as interim president

The University of Toledo Board of Trustees has appointed Dr. Nagi Naganathan, dean of the UT College of Engineering, to serve as interim president beginning July 1.

Naganathan

Naganathan

The move comes following a decision by UT President Lloyd Jacobs to accept the invitation to be a Distinguished Fellow with the Council on Competitiveness, a global economic development nonprofit organization based out of Washington, D.C.

Joseph Zerbey, chairman of the UT Board of Trustees, said the University is fortunate to have a leader like Naganathan to step in and guide the University during the months ahead.

“Dr. Naganathan is one of the University’s most respected individuals and has led and grown the College of Engineering for more than a decade. The college is one of only eight nationwide with a comprehensive co-op education system and the result is near-perfect job placement for a surging number of engineering graduates,” Zerbey said.

“His commitment to academics, research and philanthropic growth along with his partnerships across campuses and relationships throughout the community and country are among the many reasons the Board of Trustees has asked that he serve in this vital role,” Zerbey said, noting that Naganathan has raised more than $15 million for the College of Engineering during his time as dean.

“I’m honored by the trust placed in me by Chairman Zerbey and the Board of Trustees, and excited to serve the University in a new capacity,” Naganathan said. “I’d like to thank Dr. Jacobs for his leadership and friendship during the last eight years. As interim president, I will do my very best to make sure that our University remains committed to excellence in academics, research, patient care and community engagement through a synergistic engagement of our expertise in all of our campuses.

“We are an academic institution, and we will be defined by the educational and research excellence of our faculty and the resulting success of our students,” Naganathan added. “We must maintain and grow our commitment to a strong educational foundation. Whether a student is in a professional school or studies humanities, social sciences and the arts, critical thinking and communication skills must be part of every graduate’s education.”

Naganathan, who also has been leading the search for the next dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences with committee co-chair Dr. Robert Mrak, professor and chairman of the Department of Pathology, said the merger between UT and the Medical University of Ohio brought with it many collaborative opportunities between the Health Science and Main campus colleges.

“As an example, the connections between the colleges of Medicine and Engineering during the past eight years have energized many synergistic opportunities in the area of orthopedic biomechanics,” Naganathan said. “The UT Medical Center is a critical component of the University and going into this role knowing what outstanding colleagues I’ll be working with is something I’m very excited about.”

Dr. Kris Brickman, professor and chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine, said he knows faculty, staff and students on the Health Science Campus are grateful for Jacobs’ leadership and that Naganathan would undoubtedly receive the same support.

“As the dean of one of the top colleges of engineering in the country, Dr. Naganathan has a proven track record of exceptional leadership skills,” said Brickman, who also serves as UTMC chief of staff and president of the UT Physicians Group.

“Those of us who have had the opportunity to work with him value his insights and commitment to advancing the educational mission of The University of Toledo. We look forward to working with him in our efforts to continue to advance our academic and clinical enterprises,” Brickman said.

Naganathan is the author and co-author of more than 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals and national and international conference proceedings, and as a principal and co-principal investigator has secured more than $6 million in sponsored research from outside agencies. He also has been awarded a U.S. patent on the use of piezoelectric devices in active suspension systems (U.S. Patent 5,390,949). Naganathan’s work with industry includes conducting vibration analysis and control studies on heavy-duty truck powertrains for companies such as Dana and Eaton corporations and as a design engineer with Ashok Leyland Motors.

“Nagi Naganathan is a very strong leader and in the time I’ve known him the difference he has made at The University of Toledo College of Engineering is clear,” said Dr. Stephen Director, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Northeastern University in Boston.

Director is one of 33 prominent engineering leaders from across the nation in the private sector and academia, also including Accenture, Owens Corning, Carnegie Mellon University and UCLA. Naganathan has organized and met with the group annually for the last decade to discuss the ever-evolving needs of employers and best practices to ensure UT is imparting needed skills as engineering students graduate.

“He has a strong sense of what is needed in higher education and has moved the college forward,” Director said. “His leadership has been key to increased enrollment and preparedness among the college’s students, the recruitment of outstanding faculty, and the increase in external research funding during his tenure as dean.”

“For the last 10 years I’ve been so impressed as I’ve watched Nagi and his team attract more and more stellar students to The University of Toledo,” said Karl Ronn, managing director of Innovation Portfolio Partners in Palo Alto, Calif., and a former vice president of research and development for Procter & Gamble.

“The growth started with reaching out to high schools to build relationships early and getting them to reach for the stars,” said Ronn, who like Director is a member of Naganathan’s Visiting Advisory Board. “Then when they arrive at UT, his team works hard to make sure the students will succeed after college by giving them strong academics plus classes in entrepreneurship and public speaking. These are the kind of leaders we need.”

Naganathan has received a number of prestigious awards. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the recipient of the Society of Automotive Engineers Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award, America Society of Mechanical Engineering Outstanding Regional Faculty Advisor Award, Technical Society of Toledo/Toledo Society of Professional Engineers Engineer of the Year, UT Outstanding Teacher and Research Awards, and Distinguished Alumnus Award from his alma mater, the National Institute of Technology in Tiruchirappalli, India.

In spring 2014, Naganathan was elected in a national ballot by his fellow deans of engineering for a two-year term on the American Society of Engineering Education Engineering Deans Council executive board. He also is a member of the international executive committee of the board of directors of the World Association for Cooperative & Work-Integrated Education, board of directors of the Ohio Aerospace Institute, executive committee of the national Council of Energy Research and Education Leaders, and Rotary International.

Naganathan earned his bachelor’s degree with honors in mechanical engineering from the National Institute of Technology at Tiruchirappalli (formerly known as Regional Engineering College, Tiruchirappalli), University of Madras, India; a master’s degree in mechanical and industrial engineering from Clarkson University, New York; and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Oklahoma State University.

UT employee wins top award at technology conference

A staff member from The University of Toledo Information Technology Department received the Top Presenter Award at this year’s Ohio Higher Education Computing Council Conference.

Conference attendees rated 42 presentations, and Don Curtis, UT enterprise applications automation developer, won the highest honor.

“It’s the only public forum for Ohio institutions to showcase their work and get feedback from their peers,” Curtis said. “There’s no other place I could go and do something similar to get that sort of recognition.”

“This exemplifies the technological innovations and advancement at The University of Toledo and further recognizes UT’s technological leadership amongst colleges and universities in Ohio,” said Dr. Godfrey Ovwigho, UT vice president for information technology.

Peers evaluated presentations on the following criteria: topic relevance, the ability to provide innovative and applicable ideas, sufficient discussion time and positive interaction between presenter and attendees, and effective visual aids.

“The award measured the amount of excitement about the particular project we were showing; it wasn’t about my presentation skills as it was about the app, the kiosk application, that we put together and showed to other universities, and that generated a lot of excitement,” Curtis said. “I think it showcases our capabilities, the talent we have on our team, and our creativity with technology. It’s not just about getting a bunch of money and throwing it into technology; it’s sitting back and saying how can we use this most effectively?”

Curtis’ presentation explored the ways kiosks could be built quickly and inexpensively.

He detailed two UT projects: the Rocket Wireless Kiosk, created with Joy Seifert, UT director of auxiliary services, to check in customers at the Rocket Wireless store, and RocketPADS, developed with Rick Gerasimiak, UT manager of desktop support, and Jeff Coyne, UT senior server administrator, which offer students controlled access to web-based student apps and online services in the Carlson Library Information Commons.

“I can’t take credit for all the ideas, of course,” Curtis said. “Jeff and Rick were important in conceiving the project with me, my supervisor, Sherry Blosser, saw the value in the idea and let me spend development time on it, which was important, and Godfrey came up with the original request.”

In addition to Curtis’ presentation, Mohammad Wadood Majid, UT enterprise application administrator and developer, and Dr. Golrokh Mirzaei, UT application developer, lectured about on-call scheduling systems.

The annual conference was held in May at Kent State University. The conference brings together higher education information technology professionals from around the state to share ideas, problem solve and create relationships.

‘The Relevant University’ to air June 24

Tune in to “The Relevant University” Tuesday, June 24, at 7 p.m. on AM 760 WJR.

Relevant U logo 2014This month, Lawrence J. Burns, UT vice president for external affairs, discusses creating a strong brand and building partnerships to enhance promotion.

In this month’s episode:

• Wade Martin, vice president of corporate partnerships for the Detroit Lions, discusses a new partnership with UT to help students interested in sports marketing.

• Dr. Dave Strukel, UT associate professor of communication, and Dr. Ed Lingan, UT associate professor and interim chair of theatre and film, share some of the personal branding lessons they teach students.

• Scott Myers, director of corporate sales and marketing for Broadway in Detroit, talks about upcoming shows with strong brands, including “Wicked” and “The Book of Mormon.”

• And Toledo Region Brand Manager Jeff Schaaf talks about the new “It Matters Where You Make It” campaign.

The University and Detroit’s WJR Radio produce the monthly, hourlong program that explores the critical role higher education plays in our world.

Listen at utoledo.edu/therelevantuniversity.

UT president nominated for Council on Competitiveness Fellowship

University of Toledo President Lloyd Jacobs will step down effective June 30 after being nominated to serve with a global economic development nonprofit organization based out of Washington, D.C.

Dr. Lloyd Jacobs at the 2006 investiture ceremony

Dr. Lloyd Jacobs at the 2006 investiture ceremony

“I am honored to have been nominated to be a Distinguished Fellow with the Council on Competitiveness. The trustees of The University of Toledo and I have preliminarily agreed that, to allow me to avail myself of this unique opportunity, I will be granted a sabbatical leave beginning July 1, 2014, until I return as a professor of surgery in 2015,” Jacobs said.

“I have enjoyed the last eight years in my current role and the 10 years Ola and I have spent in Toledo. I am enthusiastically looking forward to working with the Council on Competitiveness as a Distinguished Fellow during this sabbatical and perhaps beyond,” he said.

“I want to thank Dr. Jacobs for his service to The University of Toledo and for elevating this institution to new heights on the national stage,” said Joseph Zerbey, chairman of the UT Board of Trustees. “Given that success, it is easy to see why the Council on Competitiveness would look to him to put that expertise to work on a national and international scale.”

In appreciation of Jacobs’ many contributions to The University of Toledo, the $36 million Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center will be named in Jacobs’ honor, Zerbey said.

The board will announce its appointment of an interim president at the board meeting scheduled for Monday, June 23.

Employees now can change tax withholdings on myUT portal

In an effort to improve the payroll experience at The University of Toledo, employees now can update their Ohio and Michigan tax exemptions on the myUT portal.

All employees have to do to change their state withholdings and exemptions is log in to the myUT portal. Once there, the information they need is located under “My Toolkit” on the employee tab.

Under the “Pay Details & Leave Balances” section, there is a “Tax Forms” link that leads to all tax forms available to employees. The first link, which is new, is “W4 Tax Exemptions or Allowances,” and clicking on it allows employees to update this information.

Questions can be directed to payroll at 419.530.8780.

Black students, alumni to join for picnic June 22

Sunday, June 22, black students and alumni at The University of Toledo will come together for a picnic on Main Campus.

The picnic will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. at the William and Carol Koester Alumni Pavilion, just west of the Glass Bowl.

It is sponsored by the UT Black Alumni Affiliate, the Association of Black Faculty and Staff, and Brothers on the Rise, an organization dedicated to helping black male students at UT succeed.

The purpose of the picnic is to promote campus spirit, create and maintain University traditions, and bring students in contact with individuals who have walked in their shoes.

Guests will receive free hamburgers, hot dogs, sides and beverages.

Parking will be available in lots 9 and 10, the two lots closest to the Glass Bowl.

For more information, contact Marcus Sneed, associate director of alumni relations, at 419.530.5378.

UT Medical Center finalizes leadership structure

University of Toledo Medical Center CEO Dave Morlock announced several personnel changes, including the retirement of a leader with nearly a decade of outstanding service to the hospital.

Norma Tomlinson, who joined the organization in 2005 and currently serves as associate vice president of UTMC, will retire Sept. 12.

“Norma’s professionalism, experience and institutional knowledge were very helpful to me as I assumed my new role, and I’m incredibly grateful to her,” Morlock said. “Given all she has done to create a high-quality, safe clinical environment for patients and health-care learners, this community is lucky to have her.”

“I am so proud of all that we’ve accomplished together in the last 10 years,” Tomlinson said. “We’ve come such a long way from where we were in 2005, and it has been my privilege to work with so many people so dedicated to the health and well-being of others.”

Prior to joining UTMC, Tomlinson was the vice president of clinical services and chief nursing officer with three other health systems, most recently, at Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tenn., as the vice president of clinical services and operations, and chief nursing officer.

Morlock also announced title changes and some modifications in responsibility, in some instances formalizing a structure he laid out earlier this year.

Dr. Carl Sirio will serve as chief operating officer for UTMC, as well as chief clinical and chief medical officer. Simultaneously, Dr. Ron McGinnis, interim dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, announced that Sirio has been named senior associate dean for clinical affairs.

“Carl has shown himself to be an outstanding leader with a comprehensive knowledge of UT’s health-care delivery model, as well as a thought leader nationally when it comes to recognizing and anticipating changes in the health-care industry and their effects locally,” Morlock said.

Dr. Bryan Hinch will assume the role of chief medical information officer having capably served as the associate chief for the last several years dealing with difficult information technology issues.

Dan Barbee will move from his role as chief nursing officer to become vice president for clinical services, overseeing nursing, pharmaceutical care, laboratory services, radiology, respiratory, physical, occupational and speech therapies.

In other changes, Monecca (Mo) Smith has been selected to serve as chief nursing officer. Barbee said that Smith’s breadth of experience in inpatient services, emergency medicine, ambulatory care and nursing administration, coupled with her deep institutional knowledge, makes her an ideal candidate to lead nursing services to the next level.

Angie Ackerman is being named outcome management director and is expanding her role and taking over the staffing clerks and the house supervisors in addition to her current responsibilities, which include case management, social work and bed placement coordinators.

“These are not easy times for any health-care organization,” said Sirio, specifically referencing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, as well as the expected visit later this year by the Joint Commission, UTMC’s accrediting agency. “But our advantage is our people. The most complex and dire medical cases in the community come to us and as the only academic medical center in the region, we welcome these challenges.”

‘Breaking It Down’ event to discuss Parkinson’s research

Parkinson’s disease is diagnosed in tens of thousands of Americans each year. The cause is unknown, but many health-care professionals across the country are finding new ways to help prevent and treat the disease.

sunset adThe Gardner-McMaster Parkinson Center of The University of Toledo Medical Center will present “Breaking It Down,” an event discussing the advances in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, at the Woodlands at Sunset House, 4030 Indian Road, Toledo.

The free event will take place Sunday, June 22, at 3 p.m. Those wishing to attend may RSVP to 419.724.1225 extension 2309.

Dr. Lawrence Elmer, director of the Gardner-McMaster Parkinson Center and professor of neurology, will review breakthroughs in the understanding of what causes Parkinson’s disease and the many options available to treat it.

“Breaking It Down” also will feature a smooth jazz performance by flutist Alexander Zonjic.

“I was fortunate enough to visit Sunset House with my friend, Larry Burns of The University of Toledo. Once we saw the beautiful setting and how relaxing it is, we thought it would be a perfect location for a concert,” Zonjic said. “I believe there is a real therapeutic and healing effect to music. The jazz concert we will perform fits in perfectly with the atmosphere and mission of the event.”

The Gardner McMaster Parkinson Center is an interdisciplinary organization dedicated to providing comprehensive, compassionate and state-of-the-art services to people with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders and their families.

As White House honors Maker Movement, UT to hold celebration June 18

The University of Toledo will join the White House and universities across the country to recognize June 18 as a National Day of Making, a celebration of students, researchers, entrepreneurs and amateurs who work to innovate through physical creation.

While the White House will celebrate with its first Maker Faire, at The University of Toledo, faculty and students will demonstrate one of its 3-D printers, a 21st-century tool that is increasingly available to inventors that can be used to quickly create prototypes to test new ideas and speed innovation.

UT faculty and students will offer a 3-D printer demonstration and announce plans to provide increased access to the device for entrepreneurs in Toledo Wednesday, June 18, at 1 p.m. in Nitschke Hall Room 1080.

“The University of Toledo has joined more than 150 colleges and universities across the nation and made a commitment to President Obama that we will work to democratize access to many of the advanced tools needed to create some of tomorrow’s most exciting inventions,” said Dr. Nagi Naganathan, dean of the UT College of Engineering.

Naganathan said 3-D printing is a high-profile example of technology that UT is committed to exposing its students to.

“These tools will be ubiquitous in the years ahead, and it is essential our students get in on the leading edge of this technology now if we want to ensure the United States is leading the Maker Movement worldwide,” Naganathan said.

Dr. Matt Franchetti, UT assistant professor of mechanical, industrial and manufacturing engineering, said the Maker initiative aligns closely with the experiential learning that is a key part of UT’s engineering curriculum.

“We already have some students submitting Maker portfolios as they apply for admission, and the College of Engineering has two entrepreneurial groups students can join to further their skills and find mentor/mentee relationships between students,” Franchetti said, adding that the college is looking to expand access to the technology beyond the college to students across campus.

“While many of them are engineers, no one college or discipline holds the monopoly on the spirit to invent and create, and we’re excited to join with the White House to bring attention to a really positive nationwide initiative,” Franchetti said.

Learning Ventures’ instructional designers win Blackboard Catalyst Award

Phoebe Ballard, senior instructional designer and coordinator for special projects, and Dr. Mingli Xiao, senior instructional designer, were named winners of a Blackboard Catalyst Award for Exemplary Course for their online faculty development class, UT Learning Ventures Online Teaching Certificate.

This is the second Blackboard Catalyst Award for Exemplary Course received by Ballard, who was honored in 2013 alongside former UT art lecturer, Seder Burns, for their online art class, Fundamentals of Digital Media.

Ballard and Xiao

Ballard and Xiao

Part of the annual Blackboard Catalyst Awards program since 2000, the Blackboard Exemplary Course Award highlights technologically rich, engaging, well-designed and pedagogically sound classes that showcase best practices for the user community. More than 200 entries were evaluated in a rigorous peer-review process by more than 300 faculty and instructional designers. Submissions were judged on course design, interaction, collaboration, assessment and learner support.

“The Exemplary Course Program gives faculty of online and blended courses the opportunity to reflect on their own course design and to gain new insights about best practices in online instruction,” Ballard said. “Using the Exemplary Course Rubric, we were able to identify unique and exemplary design elements that make this professional development course a high-quality, interactive and engaging experience for faculty and teaching assistants at UT.”

“I am overjoyed to hear that our course received the Blackboard Exemplary Course Award,” Xiao said. “Our course aims at providing faculty an opportunity to experience the dynamics of online teaching from a student’s perspective and to understand the importance of instructor presence. The award is one of many indicators that our design has hit the target.”

The Blackboard Catalyst Awards annually recognize and honor innovation and excellence in the Blackboard global community of practice, where teachers and learners work every day to redefine what is possible when leveraging technology.

“It’s an honor each year to recognize forward-thinking educators who are helping create a world inspired to learn through the work they do every day,” said Jay Bhatt, Blackboard CEO. “We congratulate Catalyst Award winners on their vision and innovative approaches to education, and celebrate their accomplishments with them.”

Ballard and Xiao will be honored alongside other Blackboard Catalyst Award winners during BbWorld, Blackboard’s annual user conference, in July in Las Vegas. Additionally, their course will be highlighted on the Blackboard Catalyst Award website at blackboard.com/catalyst.

To learn more about Learning Ventures’ faculty certificate courses, contact Dr. Peter You, director of instructional design and development, at peter.you@utoledo.edu or 419.530.4016.