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Archive for March, 2016

World-renowned polar explorer to speak at UT April 5

Ann Bancroft’s extraordinary life has consisted of many firsts: first woman to cross the ice to both the North and South Poles, leader of the first group of women to cross Greenland, and first woman to sail and ski across Antarctica’s landmass alongside fellow polar explorer Liv Arnesen.

The author, educator, philanthropist and pre-eminent polar explorer will be at the University to share her story Tuesday, April 5, at 7 p.m. in Doermann Theater.



“We choose speakers that we hope will engage, challenge and provoke the audience,” said Interim Provost John Barrett. “Ann Bancroft will do just that. She went out and chased her dreams, and because of that she has a very inspirational story to tell.”

Not only has Bancroft achieved many polar exploration firsts, but she also has inspired girls and women around the world to do the same. In 1991, she founded the Ann Bancroft Foundation, which provides grants, mentoring and encouragement to girls ages 5 to 18 to help them reach their biggest aspirations.

For her achievements, Bancroft has received numerous awards and recognition, including induction into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1995.

Tickets to the lecture are free and can be obtained at utoledo.edu/honorslecture. Bancroft’s talk is part of the UT Jesup Scott Honors College Distinguished Lecture Series.

For more information about Bancroft and her latest expeditions, visit yourexpedition.com.

Students to pay tribute to African heritage

With 54 countries, Africa hosts a variety of cultures that will be featured at a performance this week.

The University of Toledo African People’s Association is presenting “Rhythm of Africa” Saturday, April 2, in the Student Union Auditorium. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m., with the show starting at 7 p.m.

Microsoft Word - Document1The cultural celebration will showcase African dance performances from groups around the state, including UT’s own Ethiopian Dancers, with food during the intermission.

After the show, several clothing lines will display their work, which will be for sale.

“This is a way to learn about the culture,” said Nnenna Kalu, event coordinator for the African People’s Association. “Africa is a very diverse continent, and this is a way to get a feel for that diversity through dance and fashion and also singing.”

The African People’s Association is an outlet that fosters unity among students from African countries and provides learning opportunities to students, faculty and staff about African cultures.

Tickets for $10 can be purchased at the Ask Rocky counter located at Student Union Room 2525 or at the event for $15. Tables of eight can be reserved for $70.

For more information, email Kalu at nnenna.kalu@rockets.utoledo.edu.

UT Health kicks off Toledo Heart Walk campaign with employee event

University of Toledo Health is encouraging employees to participate in an employee walk Friday, April 1, to kick off UT’s support of the Greater Toledo Heart Walk.

UTMC CEO Dave Morlock, along with Rocky and Rocksy, will lead the walk at noon at the Morse Center on Health Science Campus.

Heart Walk Toledo copyThe event will include healthy snacks, information on the Toledo Heart Walk, and packets for Heart Walk team captains to pick up.

The Toledo Heart Walk will take place Saturday, May 14, at the Huntington Center in downtown Toledo.

“Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States,” said Vicki Riddick, senior wellness officer. “This event and the Heart Walk are both great opportunities for our employees to walk for their heart health.”

Maps of walking routes for all UT campuses will be provided at the event.

To join UT’s team for the Toledo Heart Walk, visit heart.org/toledowalk.

UT students to make 1,000 pizzas to fight hunger

The University of Toledo Catholic Student Association will make more than 1,000 pizzas in less than 20 minutes to donate to Toledo area shelters, food banks and soup kitchens.

Campus HEAT, which stands for Hunger Elimination Amongst Toledoans, will take place Tuesday, March 29, at 6 p.m. in the Student Union Auditorium.

Students assembled pizzas last year to help feed the homeless.

Students assembled pizzas last year to help feed the homeless.

Nearly 300 students are expected to form pizza assembly lines for the annual tradition, which requires 250 pounds of pizza sauce and 500 pounds of shredded mozzarella cheese.

“We plan to fill up a lot of freezer space for charities,” said UT sophomore Johnathan Fife, co-chair of the committee organizing Campus HEAT. “Last year, we made 1,000 pizzas in 13 minutes and 30 seconds. It’s our way of giving back and helping the impoverished in our community.”

“Sofo Foods donates all of the crusts, sauce, cheese and toppings for the pizzas,” Pam Meseroll, an adviser for UT’s Catholic Student Association, said. “We are grateful for their support in our effort to make sure no one goes hungry.”

NASA engineer to discuss deep space flight to asteroid, dwarf planet

Dr. Gregory Whiffen, principal engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, will visit UT to share the math and physics behind Dawn’s 6.3-billion-kilometer journey to the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

In 2007, the United States launched the deep space robotic mission propelled by ion engines. Known as Dawn, the spacecraft orbited a giant asteroid called Vesta in 2011 and now is circling the dwarf planet Ceres.



Scientists are studying Vesta and Ceres, which both formed about 4.5 billion years ago, to learn about the early solar system.

“In terms of net propulsive capability, the Dawn spacecraft is by far the most capable space vehicle ever launched,” Whiffen said.

In fact, earlier this month, the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s team behind the Dawn mission received the National Aeronautic Association’s Robert J. Collier Trophy, which is given annually in recognition of the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America.

On Wednesday, March 30, Whiffen will give a talk titled “The Dawn Discovery Mission to Vesta and Ceres” at 7:30 p.m. in Memorial Field House Room 2100.

“I will briefly introduce the physics of ion propulsion and how this technology can greatly expand our exploration capability in our solar system and beyond,” Whiffen said.

He also will talk about Dawn’s physical perils in orbit around Vesta, as well as share some of the spacecraft’s discoveries and possible future directions for the mission.

On Thursday, March 31, Whiffen will give a talk titled “The Dawn Discovery Mission to Vesta and Ceres: Optimal Control of Spaceflight” at 7:30 p.m. in Memorial Field House Room 2100.

“The general problem of deep space trajectory design for ion-propelled spacecraft results in an elegant, but very difficult mathematical problem,” he said. “Optimal control theory has been and is continuing to be used to guide Dawn through all of its maneuvers both in deep space and during close proximity operations around Vesta and Ceres.”

Bellman’s principle of optimality will be outlined at the lecture.

Dr. Ivie Stein Jr., UT associate professor of mathematics, said, “It will be exciting to hear from a principal engineer who uses optimal control theory in mathematics to plan trajectories to the outer planets.”

Both free, public events are sponsored by Delta X, the Office of Student Involvement, Pi Mu Epsilon National Mathematics Honor Society at the University, the Mathematics and Statistics Department, and the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

For more information on Whiffen’s talks, contact Stein at ivie.stein@utoledo.edu or 419.530.2994.

UT College of Business and Innovation offers Export Success program to area businesses

The University of Toledo’s College of Business and Innovation is again partnering with United Parcel Service and the U.S. Commercial Service to provide area small- and medium-sized businesses access to experts who will help their companies enter new markets through the Export Success program.

Beginning in April, Export Success participants meet monthly for nine months in specialized sessions covering relevant topics based on an understanding of current members’ needs. The program then helps companies develop plans to improve their business’ supply chain, identify talent, understand export financing, and develop market entry strategies.

business logo“Businesses today function on an international platform,” Dr. Gary Insch, dean of the College of Business and Innovation, said. “Facilitating existing or new exporters to enter foreign markets benefits all of northwest Ohio.

“Companies often recognize that expanding to international markets is something they should do. We make it easier for them to do this because we have the experts who will show them how to proceed. Furthermore, we provide them with all the criteria for success, whether they have a manufactured product or intellectual property.”

“Export Success not only assists companies that are planning to conduct international business, but it also works with businesses already doing business globally who are looking for ways to expand their international presence,” noted Debbe Skutch, director of the UT Center for Family and Privately Held Business, and Export Success program coordinator. “Furthermore, Export Success not only provides information, but actually matches local manufacturing companies with foreign markets.”

Chad Gottschalk of the Bionix Development Corp., said “Export Success provided a great learning experience and fantastic networking opportunities for myself and other members within our organization. It is always great to be a part of something where different members of a community bring collective thinking to the table. Every session provided a wealth of knowledge that helped me bring new ideas back to the office and apply them to my day-to-day activities.”

Export Success participants also have access to the International Trade Assistance Center, which provides free export assistance services to small- and medium-sized businesses. Services include market research; an examination of culture, finances and resources to make sure they are ready to export; locating sources of funding, such as a loan or grant; export compliance education; cultural and language assistance; export documentation; and logistics.

Other features and benefits of Export Success include access to ancillary educational programs offered by the UT College of Business and Innovation — such as the Schmidt School of Professional Sales and the Center for Family and Privately Held Business — and site visits to area companies that already have achieved a level of success in global entrepreneurship.

A limited number of grant and funding opportunities are available. For more information, download a registration form here, or call the UT Center for Family and Privately Held Business at 419.530.2068.

Financial education program introduced for students, alumni

Post-graduation can be a tumultuous time for students — especially for those facing educational loan debt.

The University of Toledo has partnered with American Student Assistance to provide a new product called SALT, which is a comprehensive financial education program that helps students and alumni build financial skills for life.

asa-logoA few of SALT’s easy-to-use features include tools for monitoring and managing student loans; interactive financial courses; a scholarship search; and access to expert loan counselors who are available by phone or through live chat.

Several engagement meetings are planned to introduce the SALT initiative and to gather ideas and engagement strategies that will work best for UT students and alumni.

Sessions will be held Thursday, March 31, at:

• 8:30 a.m. in Rocket Hall Room 1530;

• 10 a.m. in Student Union Room 3018;

• Noon in Collier Building Room 1050; and

• 2:30 p.m. in Student Union Room 3018.

And on Friday, April 1, a session will take place at 8:30 a.m. in Rocket Hall Room 1558.

The meetings, facilitated by an American Student Assistance engagement consultant, will provide UT students, recent alumni, faculty and staff the opportunity to learn about SALT’s features, to view a website demo, and to share ideas on personalizing the University’s engagement plan.

To discover firsthand what SALT offers, students should activate a free SALT membership at saltmoney.org/UToledo and watch the SALT overview video at saltmoney.org/tour.

UT and TPS announce collaboration to help high school students earn associate degrees

A collaboration between The University of Toledo and Toledo Public Schools will allow students to graduate with both their high school diploma and an associate’s degree.

Through the College Credit Plus program students are able to enroll in the academic tracks that will apply to UT’s associate of arts degree in general studies, enabling them to earn that college degree upon high school graduation.

Toledo Public Schools Superintendent Romules Durant spoke at a press conference last week along with, from left, TPS and UT student Taylor O’Toole, UT President Sharon L. Gaber and Professor Rebecca Schneider. The four announced a collaboration between UT and TPS that will allow more high school students like O’Toole take college classes.

Toledo Public Schools Superintendent Romules Durant spoke at a press conference last week along with, from left, TPS and UT student Taylor O’Toole, UT President Sharon L. Gaber and Professor Rebecca Schneider. The four announced a collaboration between UT and TPS that will allow more high school students like O’Toole take college classes.

“UT is excited to expand this partnership with TPS to make a college education more accessible and convenient for students. Not only will these students be able to accomplish their goals of earning college credits early, but also have a degree in hand, further positioning them well for success,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said.

“Our mission is to produce competitive college and career ready graduates through a rigorous curriculum … and this new collaboration will allow many students to get a jump start on their future by earning college credits while still in high school,” TPS Superintendent Romules Durant said.

The statewide College Credit Plus program gives college-bound seventh- through 12th-grade students the opportunity to earn high school credit and college credit simultaneously at any Ohio public college or university.

The University also is helping to train high school teachers to teach the college courses right in their high school classrooms to make it even more accessible for students to participate in the College Credit Plus program.

Dr. Rebecca Schneider, professor and chair of UT’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the Judith Herb College of Education, recently received two state grants to develop programs and pay for high school teachers to earn the needed qualifications.

UT is one of 19 applicants chosen to receive a portion of $10 million in new grant funding allocated by the Ohio General Assembly as part of the Straight A Fund. UT received a total of $769,000 in grants from the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Higher Education. The grants will fund tuition for a master’s degree for up to 40 teachers to be able to teach at the college level.

“The program gives students the advantage of starting the transition to college early, while reducing the cost and length of time to receive a bachelor’s degree,” Schneider said. “By credentialing dozens of high school teachers in our area to teach college courses, we are expanding higher education opportunities for more children.”

A total of 911 students enrolled in the College Credit Plus at UT in fall 2015. Of those, 401 are TPS students.

New FieldTurf surface to be installed at Glass Bowl

The University of Toledo will begin installation of a new FieldTurf playing surface in the Glass Bowl following the conclusion of spring football practice, UT Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien announced yesterday.

The new FieldTurf surface is called Revolution 360, and features the latest in cutting-edge playing surface technology. The new surface will replace a FieldTurf surface that was installed in 2008.

This rendering shows what the new FieldTurf surface may look like in the Glass Bowl.

This rendering shows what the new FieldTurf surface may look like in the Glass Bowl.

The Rockets will make their debut on the new field in their home opener vs. Maine Saturday, Sept. 10.

“We are very pleased that we will have an outstanding new FieldTurf surface ready for the 2016 season,” O’Brien said. “Our new field will help the Glass Bowl maintain its reputation as one of the truly outstanding college football stadiums in the country.”

“Any time you can make improvements to your stadium, it’s good for the program,” said Head Football Coach Jason Candle. “Our players are excited about playing on a new FieldTurf surface next fall.” 

The look of the new field will not change dramatically, according to Tim Warga, UT assistant athletic director for operations and events.

“We made a few tweaks, but overall we felt we wanted to stay with our current look,” Warga said. “The bench areas will be solid blue, and the numbers on the field will be outlined in blue, but otherwise from a fan’s perspective, it will look very similar to our current field.”

The Glass Bowl was built in 1936 and had a grass playing field until Astroturf was installed in 1974. The Rockets stuck with Astroturf until 2001 when a new surface called Nexturf made its debut. That surface was replaced by Field Turf in 2008.

Staff, faculty honored for contributions to UT Online

UT Online recently recognized three employees for their outstanding contributions to The University’s online learning services.

The first award, named for Dr. Ella Fridman, who was one of the first UT faculty members to convert her courses to online versions, was presented to Barbara Mauter, adjunct instructor in the College of Adult and Lifelong Learning.

“[Mauter] should be recognized as an excellent example of what being an online instructor truly means. She is dedicated to quality and student engagement, and continues to be a strong faculty advocate for all of UT Online’s services,” wrote a nominator.

Mauter began teaching at The University of Toledo in 2007 and taught her first online course in 2010. She has written two of her own courses and is in the process of creating a third. Mauter was the first faculty member to complete the Pathway to Master Online Instructor program.

“I enjoy what I do. Maybe that’s it. I enjoy working with the students,” Mauter said when asked what she believes has made her so successful.

The second honor presented was the DiAnne M. Masztak Award, given annually to a UT community member who has supported online learning in a distinguished fashion and gone above and beyond his or her duties to provide exemplary service to students, faculty and the UT community.

This award went to Dr. Ruthie Kucharewski, professor and director of the Recreation Therapy Program in the College of Health Sciences. She was called “an endless advocate for online education and UT Online” by her nominator.

Phoebe Ballard, director of instructional design and development, center, showed off the Mark A. Yeary Award she was presented by Dr. Barbara Kopp Miller, associate provost for online education, who held the plaque where Ballard’s name was added, and Dr. Mingli Xiao, senior instructional designer.

Phoebe Ballard, director of instructional design and development, center, showed off the Mark A. Yeary Award she was presented by Dr. Barbara Kopp Miller, associate provost for online education, who held the plaque where Ballard’s name was added, and Dr. Mingli Xiao, senior instructional designer.

“I try to improve my skills and educate myself [about online learning] more all the time and connect with other online faculty so that my classes are interactive, interesting, designed well, and have good content,” said Kucharewski, who has worked at the University since 1997.

UT Online’s Mark A. Yeary Award was named in recognition of the man who worked at the University 23 years. During his time at UT, Yeary’s dedication to the distance learning program contributed greatly to the development of the largest distance learning program in Ohio here at UT.

The winner of this award was Phoebe Ballard, director of instructional design and development. Since, 2003, Ballard has worked in UT’s Online learning division, and in her spare time, she teaches at the University, serves on the board of directors for The Independent Collegian, and is an adviser for the Student Media Association.

Nominators called Ballard a “capable, caring and passionate leader” who “exhibited exemplary dedication to her work and for serving members of The University of Toledo community.”

“This award is extremely important to me because it came from my peers. They inspire me and challenge me daily, and I am very proud to be a member of this dedicated group,” Ballard said.