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Archive for January, 2016

Creative wellness to be discussed at opening of Health Science Campus Artist Showcase

Laura Miller shared her story about how picking up a paintbrush and putting bold, eye-catching colors on canvas helped her cope with cancer in U.S. News & World Report in 2014.

The former oncology nurse will visit The University of Toledo to talk about “Art and Creative Wellness” at the opening of the 2016 Health Science Campus Artist Showcase Friday, Jan. 29.

Laura Miller and her painting, “Healing Meadow,” acrylic

Laura Miller and her painting, “Healing Meadow,” acrylic

Her talk will be at 4 p.m. in the Mulford Library iCare Room 028/029. A reception with the artists will take place from 5 to 6 p.m. on the fourth floor of the library, where more than 60 pieces are on display.

“I started painting a few months after my diagnosis,” Miller said. “I found that while painting, I lose myself to the process and moment, giving me a mental break not otherwise possible. It gave me a good distraction during a difficult time. I like to say I ‘self-medicated’ with art.”

That self-medication with art helps one’s health, too.

“Research now shows that creativity can ease pain, decrease blood pressure, help overall mental health, among other benefits,” Miller said. “The creative process helps patients heal by giving them a break from their worries, even if for a brief time, relax and express themselves.

“My creative outlet was painting, but there are many other creative outlets such as visual arts, music, writing, cooking and gardening, to name a few.”

“Marley Turner,” oil, by Jennifer Diaz Warner Giovannucci, technician in the Department of Neurosciences is included in the 2016 Health Science Campus Artist Showcase.

“Marley Turner,” oil, by Jennifer Diaz Warner Giovannucci, technician in the Department of Neurosciences, is included in the 2016 Health Science Campus Artist Showcase.

The Monclova, Ohio, resident will discuss the importance of scheduling time to use your imagination.

“We need to think about creative wellness just as we think about diet and exercise,” Miller said. “We all know that it’s important to eat right and be active. So if we know creativity is good for us, we should try to include that as part of our overall wellness plan, too.”

A total of 26 artists will share their inspiring talents in the 2016 Health Science Campus Artist Showcase. Works in several 2- and 3-dimensional media by students, faculty and staff affiliated with the health sciences on Health Science and Main campuses will be on display during the 11th annual event.

“The artist showcase is very popular with our students, faculty and staff,” Jodi Jameson, instructor in the College of Nursing, librarian in Mulford Library, and member of the artist showcase committee, said. “It’s always fun to see the creative side of those that you work or study with on a daily basis.”

The free, public exhibition will be on display through Friday, March 18.

For more information on Miller, go to lauramillerartist.com; for more information on the showcase, visit libguides.utoledo.edu/hscart or call 419.383.4218.

“Dewdrop Flower Closeup,” photography, by Dr. Rick Francis, director of research and sponsored programs

“Dewdrop Flower Closeup,” photography, by Dr. Rick Francis, director of research and sponsored programs, is among 60 pieces on display in this year’s Health Science Campus Artist Showcase on the fourth floor of Mulford Library.

Student retention increases as UT maintains spring enrollment numbers

The number of University of Toledo undergraduate students continuing their studies into the spring semester increased more than 2 percentage points over last year helping to keep enrollment on par with the previous year.

Total enrollment for spring semester 2016 is 18,849, according to official 15-day census numbers. UT had 18,783 students enrolled in spring semester 2015.

The fall to spring semester undergraduate retention numbers for the 2015-16 academic year increased to 89.1 percent from 87 percent the previous year. The trend follows a nearly 2 percent increase in the first-year to second-year undergraduate retention rate recorded in the fall semester.

“As the University develops a strategic enrollment plan to grow our student body, we intend to continue this momentum to both recruit and retain more UT students,” President Sharon L. Gaber said. “Every member of the UT faculty and staff is committed to the success of our students to ensure that they succeed in their studies and graduate on time. We will continue to see the enrollment numbers reflect that commitment.”

UT engaged enrollment consultant Ruffalo Noel Levitz in the fall to begin working to increase student populations across the institution.

Through the additional outreach to potential students currently underway that is more personalized, customized and timely, UT leaders are optimistic the University will end the recent trend of enrollment declines by the upcoming fall semester, and hopefully begin a trend of increased enrollment next academic year, said Jim Mager, interim vice president for enrollment management.

“The quality of the admission and financial aid staff, advisers, success coaches, faculty and staff at UT is outstanding, and everyone is committed to student success,” Mager said. “Spring enrollment is what we predicted given fall enrollment numbers, but the outreach efforts of these dedicated individuals is already having an impact on the number of students attending UT, and we will continue to see that grow.”

Long-term strategies also are being developed to position UT to continue to grow enrollment in subsequent years, he said.

The spring 2016 enrollment includes 14,679 undergraduate students, an increase from 14,478 in spring 2015, and 4,170 graduate students, a decrease from 4,305 in the same semester last year. Contributing to the growth in undergraduate students is an increase in the number of high school students participating in the College Credit Plus program.

UT working to restore power in east parking garage

Facilities and Construction staff are working to restore electricity to the east parking garage.

Power was lost for lights and elevators in the structure when a transformer failed, according to Jason Toth, UT associate vice president for facilities and construction.

“We have located a replacement transformer,” Toth said. “We hope to have that in place by late this afternoon so the garage can be open for students, faculty, staff, and fans attending the men’s basketball game tonight.”

RSVP for Celebrity Wait Night

University President Sharon L. Gaber, Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson and other local luminaries will spend part of their evenings waiting on guests of the Eighth Annual Celebrity Wait Night Thursday, Feb. 11, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Pinnacle, 1772 Indian Wood Circle, Maumee.

The Celebrity Wait Night is hosted by the Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women and will feature a dinner served by local celebrities, as well as a silent auction, scholarship recipient announcement, and live entertainment throughout the evening.

center for women wait night 2016 adNotable silent auction items include a wine tasting at The Andersons, Detroit Tigers and Toledo Walleye tickets, Toledo Symphony tickets, weekend getaways and more.

Tickets are $60 each or $500 for a table of 10, and more than 400 guests are expected to attend. Proceeds go to the Eberly Center’s Women’s Success Programming, which provides training and workshops to those hoping to go back to school, make a career change or better themselves.

The center provides free resources and education on business etiquette, branding, resumé writing and more.

Dr. Shanda Gore, UT associate vice president for equity, diversity and community engagement, and chief diversity officer, said the goal of the Women’s Success Programming is to teach people to be the best they can be.

Kate’s Closet, a boutique-style shop that provides free professional clothing to UT students, is another Eberly Center resource that will benefit from proceeds from this event.

“This has been a community of giving,” Gore said. “We really appreciate all the support from our students, faculty, staff and the community.”

RSVPs are requested by Monday, Feb. 1; call 419.530.8570.

Author/activist to give keynote address at Conference for Aspiring Minority Youth

Political activist, motivational speaker and author Kevin Powell will be the keynote speaker at The University of Toledo’s 32nd Annual Conference for Aspiring Minority Youth Saturday, Jan. 30.

Sponsored by Toledo Excel and the UT Joint Committee, the conference will take place from 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. in the Student Union Auditorium. This year’s theme is “Beyond the Classroom: The Rewards of Self-Directed Learning.”



An acclaimed community activist and award-winning writer, Powell was born and raised in Jersey City, N.J., by a single mom in extreme poverty surrounded by violence. In spite of these circumstances, Powell studied at Rutgers University and has become one of the most respected writers and voices of his generation. He shared that story in the 2015 autobiography titled The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy’s Journey Into Manhood.

He is the author or editor of 12 books, and is working on a biography of Tupac Shakur, the late rapper.

Additionally, Powell has written for numerous publications, including The Washington Post, Newsweek, Essence, Ebony, Esquire, Rolling Stone and Vibe.

As a leader, Powell has worked on a range of concerns, including voter registration, Hurricane Katrina relief, education, the environment, eradicating poverty, and supply and resource support for post-earthquake Haiti.

Powell book coverAs an extension of his public service work, Powell routinely lectures across America and internationally, and he is a frequent presence on television and radio offering his commentary on a variety of issues, including the national conversation on domestic violence and how men can help to end the assault on women and girls.

Powell is co-founder of a national organization, BK Nation, which focuses on education, job creation and small business development, civic engagement, and health and wellness.

“Recognized for his sociopolitical influence, Kevin has earned a reputation as a positive force among youth and young adults,” said David Young, director of the Office of Excellence and the Toledo Excel Program. “His commitment to fostering broad-based communication about issues related to politics, violence and socioeconomics will make him an outstanding speaker for this conference.”

After the general session featuring Powell, there will be a breakout session for parents and educators titled “Stop Picking on Me.” This session will be led by Heather Baker, director of pupil placement and child adjustment services for Toledo Public Schools, and Cathleen Smith, Toledo Public Schools educator.

A concurrent session for students titled “Self-Directed Learning: Seeking Education Beyond the Classroom” will be facilitated by Rhonda Sewell, government affairs and media strategist at the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, and feature a panel of distinguished Toledo Excel alumni.

Toledo Excel was established in 1988 to help groups of students underrepresented in higher education, including African, Asian, Hispanic and Native Americans, for success in college. Through services such as summer institutes, academic retreat weekends, campus visits and guidance through the admission process, students increase their self-esteem, cultural awareness and civic involvement.

The Office of Excellence is a hub of academic programs, activities and services that reach students in the eighth grade through high school graduation and beyond. These programs include Toledo Excel, Upward Bound, and the annual Conference for Aspiring Minority Youth. The Office of Excellence is part of the Division of Student Affairs. The UT Joint Committee includes representatives from The University of Toledo, Toledo Public and Parochial schools, and civic and community leaders from the city of Toledo. The mission of the committee is to bring together people in the Toledo community interested in the education of underrepresented youth. The UT Joint Committee also serves as an advisory board and support system for Toledo Excel.

Make a reservation for the free, public conference by visiting utoledo.edu/success/excel or calling 419.530.3820.

UT to host inaugural National Girls and Women in Sports Day Jan. 30

Toledo will host its inaugural National Girls and Women in Sports Day Saturday, Jan. 30, as the Midnight Blue and Gold host archrival Bowling Green in a women’s basketball matchup at 2 p.m. in Savage Arena.

National Girls and Women in Sports Day has been established to honor the accomplishments and hard work of female athletes in the classroom, in their sports and in the community. The day will recognize how sports have helped advance the lives of women and girls by helping them reach their goals and be successful in sports and in life.

Head Women's Basketball Coach the Toledo Rockets will play Bowling Green Friday, Jan. 29, at 2 p.m. in Savage Arena.

Head Women’s Basketball Coach the Toledo Rockets will play Bowling Green Saturday, Jan. 30, at 2 p.m. in Savage Arena.

The sports of volleyball, soccer and softball will be represented at the event on the concourses at Savage Arena starting at 12:30 p.m., prior to the women’s basketball game. Those women’s teams will each have their own station where they will sign autographs, host an activity, and interact with fans.

Sideline reporter with FoxSports Ohio and Rocket women’s basketball alumna Allie (Clifton) Kaslow also will speak during pre-game festivities.

For more information about the inaugural National Girls and Women in Sports Day, contact UT Athletic Marketing, Promotions and Fan Experience Graduate Assistant Nicole Ebersole at 419.530.2482 or nicole.ebersole@rockets.utoledo.edu.

UT creates donation account in support of runner recovering from burns

The University of Toledo has set up an account where Rocket fans and supporters can donate funds to the family of UT junior track and cross country athlete Janelle Noe in support of her recovery from burns suffered in an off-campus incident Jan. 15.

To donate by mail, donors can write checks to The University of Toledo, note “Janelle Noe Recovery Fund” on the memo line, and send to:

web janelle_noe_tshirtUniversity of Toledo Athletics
Attn: Tony Zaworski
2801 W. Bancroft St.
Toledo, OH 43606

To donate by major credit card, call Tony Zaworski, associate athletic director for finance, at 419.530.2412.

There also will be a location at upcoming home basketball games where fans can drop off checks. One hundred percent of the donations will go to the family to help cover any medical expenses not covered by health insurance and other expenses that have occurred due to Noe ‘s injury.

Also, a special T-shirt in support of Noe will be on sale later this week at Rocky’s Locker, with locations in both the Sullivan Athletic Complex at Savage Arena and at Franklin Park Mall. T-shirts are priced at $20, with 100 percent of the profit from those sales going to the Noe family.

Mental Wellness Month draws to a close, but UT continues to care for seniors

When it comes to mental health, caring for seniors can be very different than caring for children, adolescents or young adults.

For the past year and a half, the University has been providing specialized care for adults 55 and older through UT Health’s Senior Behavioral Health.

“Senior Behavioral Health is a specialized program that is able to provide appropriate and individualized care for older adults,” said Ryan Domschot, community education manager for Senior Behavioral Health.

According to Domschot, a majority of the individuals seen at Senior Behavioral Health are experiencing some behavioral issues that are unusual for them. The patients are having difficulties expressing their feelings, and they can become combative, verbally aggressive and/or physically aggressive, and may have thoughts of hurting themselves or others.

Senior Behavioral Health works on creating a better quality of life for the patient and helping manage these behaviors.

“One of the primary ways we help patients is to evaluate their medications,” Domschot said. “Many of our patients come in on a variety of unnecessary medications — and may have been misdiagnosed or over-medicated by other doctors.”

Domschot said Dr. Bryan Moloney, medical doctor at Senior Behavioral Health, is able to spend more time with patients than a doctor seeing someone on an outpatient basis, and is able to gain an accurate assessment of how to effectively work with the patients and meet their needs.

“The way geriatric patients metabolize medications is different than adults,” Domschot said. “It takes a little bit longer so see any results; therefore, we tend to work with our patients on average 10 to 12 days before discharge. This helps us observe any adverse behaviors and make adjustments as necessary. Our goal is to give the patient the best quality of life with the least amount of medication.”

The program also provides patients with individualized occupational, physical and other therapies from an integrated health-care team that includes nursing staff, recreational therapists and family therapists.

“Our results speak for themselves,” Domschot said. “We have seen a great improvement with individuals who suffer from depression, anxiety and dementia-related issues. We are always working to improve our program, but so far we have been very satisfied with the outcomes.”

If you think Senior Behavioral Health can make a difference in your life or the life of a loved one, call 844.266.4889. A clinical staff member will assist you in determining whether an inpatient stay is necessary or if the issue can be addressed by another local resource.

Within the next three months, the program will offer a virtual tour to give the community an online experience of what is available and how it can help. Be sure to check http://utole.do/seniorbehavioralhealth for updates.

Domschot also leads educational seminars in the community on a variety of topics, including dementia, hoarding versus collecting, holiday blues, interacting with staff members and more. The next free seminar, which is geared toward caretakers and seniors but open to all, will be Wednesday, Feb. 24, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Sylvania Senior Center, 7140 Sylvania Ave, Sylvania. The topic will be hoarding versus collecting.

Student-athletes earn 3.216 GPA, highest fall semester mark in school history

UT student-athletes earned a combined grade point average of 3.216 in the 2015 fall semester, the highest department GPA for a fall semester in school history.

It is the third-best semester GPA overall, trailing only GPAs of 3.258 in the 2015 spring semester and 3.266 in spring 2012. It is also the 14th consecutive semester in which UT student-athletes earned a combined GPA of 3.1 or higher.

thumb-rocket-color-logo“Our student-athletes have consistently demonstrated excellence in the classroom, and this past semester was certainly no exception,” Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien said. “It says a lot about the type of student-athletes that we recruit to attend our University. It also speaks to the great support they receive from our coaches, academic staff and University faculty members.”

fall 2015 gpa boxIndividually, 44 student-athletes earned president’s list honors with a perfect 4.0 GPA, while more than 42 percent (166 of 390) earned a spot on the dean’s list by garnering at least a 3.50 GPA, and 67 percent (262 of 390) achieved a 3.0 grade point average or better for the 2015 fall semester.

Women’s golf set the all-time UT record for team GPA with a 3.714 mark.

Women’s volleyball (3.570) and women’s soccer (3.521) also were above 3.5 as a team.

“Head Coach Nicole Hollingsworth and her women’s golf team deserve special recognition for setting the school record for team grade point average,” O’Brien said. “For an entire team to average above a 3.7 GPA is really a tremendous accomplishment.”

UT Disability Studies Program announces Papenfuse Prize

The University of Toledo’s Disability Studies Program is accepting undergraduate writing submissions for the first Papenfuse Prize in Disability Studies.

The award, which will be given annually, is named after Shelley Papenfuse, who advocates for people living with disabilities through the Ability Center of Greater Toledo.

Dr. Kim Nielsen, left, announced a new award named in honor of Shelley Papenfuse. The first Papenfuse Prize in Disability Studies will be awarded in April.

Dr. Kim Nielsen, left, announced a new award named in honor of Shelley Papenfuse. The first Papenfuse Prize in Disability Studies will be awarded in April.

“Shelley Papenfuse is a marvelous citizen of Toledo who has made a difference for thousands of people,” Dr. Kim Nielsen, professor and interim director of disability studies, said. “She has made it her life’s work to challenge barriers, fight against discrimination and inaccessibility, and help us understand the meaning and value of human difference. We hope our students are inspired by her passion and drive.”

“I am completely surprised and humbly honored,” Papenfuse said. “I’m excited for the students. By celebrating their work, it will encourage their vision for the future of our community.”

Papenfuse, who uses a wheelchair, was diagnosed as a child with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis that over time destroyed every musculoskeletal joint in her body.

“My world was very different,” Papenfuse said. “It was hard. There was so much I couldn’t do. I didn’t get to play with other children. I didn’t get to go to a regular school. So I’ve done as much as I can to help create an environment so children today with disabilities can be more like everyone else.”

Papenfuse was pivotal in creating UT’s program, which now offers the first bachelor’s degree of its kind in disability studies for students interested in careers in social service, public education, advocacy, government policy, health-care administration and human resource management.

The degree program kicked off at UT in the fall, and 14 students are majoring in disability studies, according to Nielsen. She said 15 students have chosen the program as their minor.

The Papenfuse Prize will be presented each year to a student in the Disability Studies Program for a critical paper or creative writing produced in an undergraduate disability studies class.

The award includes a monetary prize and will be given at the April honors and awards ceremony of the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences.

Students who want to compete for the award should submit the paper electronically to disabilitystudiesprogram@utoledo.edu by Friday, April 8.

Faculty, along with invited guests, will convene a special committee to select a winner.