2017 February | UToledo News







Archive for February, 2017

UT undergrad discovers elusive companion star to Beta Canis Minoris

Nick Dulaney was determined to solve a galactic mystery. Why is there an unexpected, wavy edge on a disk around a bright, rapidly rotating star located 162 light years away from Earth?

The junior studying physics at The University of Toledo spent last summer analyzing 15 years of spectroscopic archive data collected at the Ritter Observatory on campus and discovered that Beta Canis Minoris, which is three and a half times larger than the sun and easily visible to the naked eye, is not alone.

Nick Dulaney, a junior majoring in physics, helped discover the star Beta Canis Minoris is actually a binary star, or a double star.

With the help of Dr. Noel Richardson, UT postdoctoral research associate, and Dr. Jon Bjorkman, professor of physics and astronomy, Dulaney found that the highly studied star featuring a disk around its equator is actually a binary star, or a double star.

“A low-mass secondary star orbits around Beta Canis Minoris,” Dulaney said. “While it’s circling the bright star, the smaller star stops the disk on the bigger star from getting too big by creating a wave in the disk.”

Beta Canis Minoris is what is known as a Be star, a hot star that rotates so fast that the material on its equator is ejected into a large gaseous disk surrounding the star.

“Nick discovered that the star was moving back and forth every 170 days,” Richardson said. “This motion is caused by the pull of the companion star and is very difficult to measure.”

Dulaney also found that the companion star tugs extra material from the disk toward it. This causes the observations to change repeatedly every time the star orbits. The student’s findings are leading new efforts by Bjorkman’s international modeling team to determine how the stars interact. 

Dulaney is the lead author on the research paper recently published in the Astrophysical Journal. He worked on the project while participating in UT’s Research Experience for Undergraduates Program sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

“This is a big milestone for me and shows that I am progressing toward building a career,” Dulaney said. “Doing this research has given me valuable experience, and I am very grateful to the National Science Foundation and The University of Toledo for the opportunity.”

“Many students don’t have similar publications until halfway through their graduate programs,” Richardson said. “As an undergraduate, Nick has shown that he is capable of collecting and analyzing data, and then communicating the results with scientists. These skills will serve him well in his future and shows the strengths of our undergraduate program at The University of Toledo.”

Dulaney started using the Ritter Observatory as a freshman and is one of nearly two dozen undergraduates making up a team that uses the observatory every clear night. The students help graduate students in making the measurements and operating the telescope.

“This student observing team is a gem for the University,” said Dr. Karen Bjorkman, dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Distinguished University Professor of Astronomy; and Helen Luedtke Brooks Endowed Professor of Astronomy. “Nick’s project highlights how our 1-meter telescope on campus is used for both educational and scientific missions.”

Professor becomes Fellow of National Academy of Inventors

Dr. Sarit Bhaduri, professor of mechanical, industrial and manufacturing engineering in the College of Engineering, and director of the Multifunctional Materials Laboratory, has been elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He is the first faculty member from UT to be inducted into the academy.

Being elected to be a National Academy of Inventors Fellow is a high professional distinction granted to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a substantial impact on the quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society.


“This award provides great recognition of Dr. Bhaduri’s success in translating his research into commercial opportunities that can provide great benefit to individuals,” Dr. Frank Calzonetti, vice president of research, said. “His ability to look for applications of his research is impressive, and this award is a signal that UT is a national leader in research and technology commercialization.”

“This recognition has an energizing effect on me for inventing newer processes and products for the benefit of the society,” Bhaduri said.

This is the third fellowship of a national body Bhaduri has been elected to, having been recognized as a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society and the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering.

Bhaduri is listed as an inventor in approximately 35 U.S. and foreign patents, and has 37 applications pending. His inventions include wear resistant metallic alloys, innovative alkaline earth bone cement, antibacterial coatings, and synthesis of nanoparticles. He has strong expertise in the development of a wide array of materials used in structural applications, including orthopaedics and dentistry.

“I am excited and at the same time humbled by the fact that I will be joining a very elite group of people such as Nobel laureates and members of national academies of science, engineering and medicine,” Bhaduri said.

2016 Fellows will in inducted Thursday, April 6, at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.

New director of Humanities Institute named

Dr. Mysoon Rizk, UT associate professor of art history, has been named the new director of the Humanities Institute in the College of Arts and Letters.

Rizk has a long history of involvement with the Humanities Institute, according to Dr. Jamie Barlowe, dean and professor of the College of Arts and Letters, and interim vice provost for faculty affairs.


“Her work with the Humanities Institute inspired her participation in the Humanities Center at Wayne State University in Michigan, where she presented at the 2003 Humanities and Social Change Conference, delivered numerous brown-bag talks, and served on its steering committee,” Barlowe said.

Rizk also has participated in the Humanities 2000 initiative, giving presentations to local high school teachers and mentoring high school students.

The Humanities Institute was started in 1986 by Dr. Roger Ray, professor emeritus of history. Most recently, Dr. Christina Fitzgerald, associate professor of English, served as director of the institute.

“Going forward, I would like to maintain the vitality Dr. Fitzgerald brought to the Humanities Institute with her lively program of happy hours by mostly junior faculty at Libbey Hall; a series of annual keynote talks by nationally recognized speakers; and a fellowship granting program by which tenured faculty could apply and receive funding for research,” Rizk said.

Rizk said she looks forward to cultivating collaborations between the institute and the Toledo Museum of Art, as well as local high schools.

“I am excited to explore the potential for any collaboration that increases public appreciation for the many roles that the arts and humanities play in society,” she said.

Rizk joined the Department of Art at UT in 2000. She earned her bachelor’s degree in studio art from Oberlin College and a PhD in art history from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, completing a dissertation on the contemporary American artist David Wojnarowicz.

University Women’s Commission seeks applications, nominations

Wednesday, March 15, at 5 p.m. is the deadline to submit nominations for the Alice H. Skeens Outstanding Woman Award and for female undergraduates to apply for the University Women’s Commission Scholarship.

Award recipients and four $1,000 scholarships winners will be honored at the University Women’s Commission’s Outstanding Women’s Award Ceremony Wednesday, April 12, at 11:30 a.m. in the Savage Arena Grogan Room.

The scholarship guidelines and application, and the award nomination form, can be found at utoledo.edu/commissions/uwc.

Award nominations should be sent to Kelly Andrews, chair of the University Women’s Commission, Mail Stop 302.

Scholarship applications should be submitted to Dawn Steinmiller in the Financial Aid Office, Rocket Hall Room 1200.

For information about the awards, contact Andrews at kelly.andrews@utoledo.edu, and for information about the scholarship, contact Terri Hayes-Lepiarz at teresa.hayes@utoledo.edu.

Be sure to check out and like the commission’s Facebook page: facebook.com/universitywomenscommission.

Midwest Graduate Research Symposium to be held March 25

The University of Toledo’s Graduate Student Association is accepting registration for its eighth annual Midwest Graduate Research Symposium.

The symposium will take place Saturday, March 25, in the Memorial Field House and the Thompson Student Union.

“We are very excited to host this premiere event as it brings together hundreds of graduate students from across the region and showcases student progress in a wide variety of fields,” said Jessica Sherman, Graduate Student Association vice president.

The event will feature a keynote address from the Northern Ohio’s Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate; several professional development workshops; an awards banquet; a poster show; and eight sessions of concurrent podium presentations where students will discuss their work.

“The Midwest Graduate Research Symposium is an excellent opportunity for students to network, work on professional developmental skills, and receive constructive feedback on their presentations,” Sherman said.

Registrations must be submitted by Saturday, March 4, online at https://graduatestudentassociationblog.wordpress.com. All participants will receive participation certificates and an invitation to the awards dinner following the symposium.

Several awards will be given out at the dinner, where the top three poster presentations and oral presentations will be recognized.

For more information, contact the Graduate Student Association Office at graduatestudentassociation@gmail.com.

UT researchers reducing fertilizer runoff in Lake Erie to help fight harmful algal blooms

Wetlands restored by researchers at The University of Toledo are showing promise as a weapon against phosphorus discharge from the Maumee River into Lake Erie.

Phosphorus, specifically from fertilizer runoff in the spring and summer, is linked to the size of the annual harmful algal bloom.

Researchers at UT are studying a cost-effective way to reduce the amount of phosphorus that reaches Lake Erie by using strategically located restored wetlands on public land in the watershed to soak up the phosphorus, said Dr. Kevin Egan, associate professor in the Department of Economics.

A 10-acre treatment wetland at Maumee Bay State Park and a sedimentation basin upstream of the wetland were built in 2014 and 2015 to test the use of wetlands to soak up phosphorus.

Results of the model system showed reductions of 50 percent to 75 percent of dissolved reactive phosphorus in the water prior to reaching Lake Erie.

“Our results are encouraging. We observed reductions in sediment, Escherichia coli, total phosphorus and total dissolved phosphorus for both the sedimentation basin and the treatment wetland,” said Ryan Jackwood, PhD student working on the environmental remediation and restoration project. “These projects serve as a proof of concept to show that these types of treatment systems work and that we can implement similar projects in the Maumee River to achieve water quality improvement.”

Quinton Babcock, an undergraduate researcher in the UT Department of Economics, is conducting a survey on what the public thinks of the proposed plan to use natural ecosystems to end the algal blooms through phosphorus reduction. Respondents have a chance to win prizes up to $150.

Take the survey here.

University reaffirms support for transgender students

The University of Toledo continues to welcome and value people of all racial, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic, national and international backgrounds. We believe our diversity makes us stronger, and we work hard to create and foster an inclusive environment.

UT remains committed to treating every person with respect and equality. All students, faculty and staff at the University are able to use restroom facilities according to their identity, or they can use one of more than two dozen public and individual gender-neutral restrooms located across UT’s campuses.

Please know we are here to help address any questions or concerns. Contact UT President Sharon L. Gaber or Dr. Willie McKether, vice president for diversity and inclusion, at 419.530.2260 or willie.mckether@utoledo.edu for assistance.

Rockets, Learfield extend radio contract with iHeartMedia Toledo through 2021-22

The University of Toledo and Learfield recently announced the extension of its current radio contract with iHeartMedia Toledo through the 2021-22 athletic year.

iHeartMedia will produce all UT football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball games for the UT Health Rocket Sports Radio Network. WSPD (1370 AM and 92.9 FM) will remain the network’s flagship station to broadcast a variety of the University’s athletic games and events.

“We continuously strive to deliver quality broadcasts for our fans and believe that our long standing affiliation with iHeartMedia Toledo will be the foundation for a strong partnership moving forward. We’re pleased to have them as our flagship another five years,” said Luke Reiff, general manager for Learfield’s Rocket Sports Properties, the Toledo Rockets’ athletics multimedia rights holder since 2007.

“We are very pleased to continue our relationship with iHeartMedia Toledo,” said UT Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien. “We have a very strong and comprehensive radio presence with iHeartMedia Toledo and the UT Health Rocket Sports Radio Network that offers tremendous exposure for our football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball programs. We look forward to many more years of Rocket Athletics on WSPD and all our stations in the network.”

iHeartMedia Toledo Market President Kellie Holeman-Szenderski added, “iHeartMedia Toledo has been a proud partner of the Toledo Rockets since 1965. Our partnership goes deeper than our radio contract. We look forward to continuing our successful relationship to produce college athletics content for the Toledo community.”

The UT Health Rocket Sports Radio Network consists of seven stations, including flagship station WSPD (1370AM and 92.9 FM) in Toledo. WSPD has been carrying UT football and men’s basketball games since 1965. Rocket women’s basketball contests have been carried in Toledo on WCWA (AM 1230) for the past 14 years. WSPD also carries the UT Coach’s Show every Monday night during the football and basketball seasons. All the games and the UT Coach’s Show also are streamed live at UTRockets.com and on mobile devices.

Sales students across U.S. to participate in national sales competition at UT

Professional sales students from 30 universities across the United States will visit The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation this weekend to compete in the second annual UT Invitational Sales Competition.

The sales competition will take place Friday and Saturday, Feb. 24 and 25, in classrooms and meeting rooms throughout the Savage & Associates Business Complex on Main Campus.

The first rounds of the competition will take place from 9:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Friday, followed by the wild-card round from 1:45 to 3 p.m., and quarterfinals from 4 to 5:40 p.m. The competition will conclude Saturday with the semifinals from 8:30 to 9:20 a.m. and the finals from 10:15 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.

The winners of the competition will be recognized at an awards luncheon at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

The UT Edward Schmidt School of Professional Sales organizes this first and only national sales competition dedicated exclusively to juniors, sophomores and freshmen because graduating seniors are typically already placed in jobs due to high corporate demand.

“We want to help businesses find top and available business-to-business professional sales talent while also giving universities a recruitment tool to grow their sales program enrollments,” said Deirdre Jones, director of the Edward Schmidt School of Professional Sales and the UT Invitational Sales Competition.

The event also will feature a career fair for participating students from 9:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday in the Driscoll Alumni Center with sales leaders and recruiters from 15 sponsoring companies.

More than 100 sales leaders and recruiters who participate serve as buyers and judges for the role plays and also interact with the students during coaching and interviewing sessions and the career fair.  

Sponsors include 3M, Owens Corning, Quicken Loans, Schindler Elevator Corp., Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., Hilti, and Procter & Gamble Co.

Participating universities include Baylor, Florida State, Ball State, Oregon State, Temple and Indiana.

Three former Rockets to attend NFL Combine

Former Rocket football stars Kareem Hunt, Michael Roberts and Treyvon Hester will participate in the 2017 NFL Combine Tuesday, Feb. 28, through Monday, March 6, in Indianapolis.

The NFL Combine is a highly selective venue for college players to display their skills in front of hundreds of coaches and executives. This is the highest number of Toledo players that has ever been invited to the prestigious event.

“Many of our players had the opportunity to play in post-season games like the Senior Bowl and East-West Shrine Bowl, and really helped themselves by playing well,” said Toledo Head Coach Jason Candle. “Now Kareem, Michael and Treyvon will have a chance to show what they can do at the NFL Combine. We will also have our Pro Day here [Monday, March 20], which will give our players more evaluation pieces to add to their resumés.”

Hunt, Toledo’s all-time leading rusher with 4,945 yards, ran for 118 yards and was named the North’s Most Outstanding Player at the 2017 Reese’s Senior Bowl Jan. 28. Roberts, a first-team All-America tight end, also played in the game, catching one pass for four yards.

Roberts joined former two-time All-Mid-American Conference offensive lineman Storm Norton at the East-West Shrine Bowl Jan. 21.

Hester, a three-time All-MAC defensive tackle, was invited to play in the Shrine Bowl, but he was sidelined with an injury.