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Archive for August, 2017

Extra shuttle, parking incentives offered on opening game day

All faculty, staff and students are invited to attend the season’s opening football game Thursday, Aug. 31, at 7 p.m. in the Glass Bowl when the Rockets play against Elon.

“To our knowledge, because of our academic calendar change, this is The University of Toledo’s first opening game ever to be held during the first week of classes, and so it’s a great opportunity for the campus community to unite,” said President Sharon L. Gaber.

With the large number of people expected on campus and the ongoing construction on Bancroft Street, students, faculty and staff are encouraged to use alternative means of transportation Aug. 31 to help minimize congestion, including parking off site in the dedicated lot on Scott Park Campus (Lot 22) and using UT shuttle services, taking public transportation, walking or carpooling to Main Campus.

In addition to the shuttle that regularly loops from Main Campus to Scott Park, a second Scott Park shuttle will be added on game day to assist with the flow to and from Main Campus. The additional Scott Park shuttle will be marked “Lot 22,” will pick up and drop off at Lot 22, and will pick up and drop off on Main Campus at the Transportation Center. Please note: The last shuttle to Scott Park will depart the Transportation Center at 6:30 p.m. For complete UT shuttle information, visit utoledo.edu/facilities/transit.

Drivers also should note that the following Main Campus lots will be closed for game day beginning the night of Wednesday, Aug. 30: Lots 5, 6, 7, 9 and 10. (Cars parked in Lot 9 will be towed.) Additionally, Lots 3 and 4 east of Savage Arena will close at noon on game day.

For all faculty, staff and students who choose to park on Scott Park Campus Aug. 31 and take the shuttle service to campus, the following incentives are being offered to thank drivers for helping to reduce congestion on or near Main Campus:

• A pair of tickets to the Aug. 31 game, sideline/section 24, compliments of Huntington Bank (25 pairs available for faculty and staff; students get into the game free);

• One dining card for an all-you-care-to-eat meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner) at one of UT’s two dining halls (100 available for faculty, staff and students); and

• One UT T-shirt (100 available for faculty, staff and students).

Incentives will be distributed in Lot 22 at Scott Park Aug. 31 while supplies last.

Football opening night to feature fireworks

The University of Toledo announced its home-opening football contest vs. Elon Thursday, Aug. 31, will feature a halftime fireworks show, courtesy of area auto dealerships that are part of the Rockets’ Car Coaches Program.

“The home opener is a celebration of a new season, so we want to kick it off with a spectacular fireworks display that will light up the Glass Bowl,” said Dave Nottke, deputy director of athletics. “We would like to express our sincerest thanks to all of our Rocket Car Coaches who have made this special fireworks presentation possible.”

The Elon game will be the first opportunity for fans to see the Rockets, preseason favorites to win the 2017 Mid-American Conference Championship. Game time is 7 p.m. in the Glass Bowl.

Season tickets begin at $80 and are available at the UT Athletic Ticket Office, online here, or by calling 419.530.GOLD (4653). Tickets are half-off for UT employees and retirees, and UT students are admitted free to home games with ID.

Fireworks for the home opener have been made possible thanks to the generosity of Ballas Buick GMC; Brondes Ford Toledo; Brondes Ford Maumee; Brown Automotive Group; Bobby Jorgensen’s Kistler Ford; Charlie’s Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram; Grogan’s Towne Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram; Perrysburg Auto Mall; Yark Automotive Group; and the White Family Dealerships — Dave White Chevrolet, Jim White Toyota and Lexus of Toledo.

UT golfer helps Thailand to fifth-place finish at Summer World University Games

Junior Pinyada Kuvanun tied for 13th place individually to help Thailand to a fifth-place showing in the women’s golf competition at the 2017 Summer World University Games.

The final round was scheduled to be played Sunday but was canceled due to inclement weather in Taipei City, Taiwan.


Kuvanun carded rounds of 75-71-75 to finish at five-over par 221 in the competition. Kuvanun combined with Pasinee Thongthaengyai (76-73-72) and Kent State’s Pimnipa Panthong (71-72-76) to post a team score of 436. The top two individuals’ rounds registered each day were counted in the team scores.

The United States earned the gold medal with a score of 421 with China (424) and Korea (431) receiving the silver and bronze medals, respectively. Japan placed fourth with a team score of 434.

Kuvanun and the Rockets will open their 2017-18 campaign Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 18-19, at Ball State’s Cardinal Classic in Yorktown, Ind.

Former UT great to join Rocket Football Radio Network team

Former Toledo quarterback Bruce Gradkowski will return to the Glass Bowl this season, this time as a color analyst for the Rocket Football Radio Network.

Gradkowski, who wore the Midnight Blue and Gold for the Rockets from 2001 to 2005, played 11 seasons in the NFL for Tampa Bay, Cleveland, Oakland, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. He led the Rockets to the 2004 Mid-American Conference Championship and two bowl appearances. He earned first-team All-MAC honors as a senior in 2005, finishing his career with a 45-13 triumph over UTEP in the GMAC Bowl.

Quarterback Bruce Gradkowski led the Rockets to the 2004 Mid-American Conference Championship.

“It’s exciting to officially be a part of the Rocket family again,” Gradkowski said. “This is where it all started for me and laid the foundation for an 11-year NFL career. I can’t thank [UT Vice President and Athletic Director] Mike O’Brien and UT President [Sharon L.] Gaber enough for all the support they have given me and my family over the years. Also, thanks to Head Coach Jason Candle for continuing to reach out to the alumni to keep them involved, and for the great job he has been doing. To the city of Toledo, thank you. That’s why we call this place home. Let’s go Rockets!”

Also new to the Rocket Football Radio Network this year will be Mike Robinson, who will handle sideline coverage. Robinson is a former head coach at Bowsher High School in Toledo, and also served as an assistant coach at Central Catholic High School in Toledo when the Fighting Irish won two state championships. More recently, Robinson has served as a color analyst for high school football games on BCSN.

Gradkowski and Robinson will join play-by-play announcer Brent Balbinot, who is in his second season as the voice of the Rockets.

“We are very pleased to have Bruce and Mike join our radio team,” said Mary-Bec Gwyn, general manager of Rocket Sports Properties, the rights holder for Rocket sports. “Bruce is one of the all-time Rocket greats, as well as a longtime NFL quarterback, so he will add tremendous insight into our broadcasts. Mike is a talented young announcer who knows our team well. We think fans will be thrilled with the radio coverage of the Rockets this season.”

The Rocket Football Radio Network consists of six stations throughout northern Ohio. The flagship station is WSPD (AM 1370) in Toledo, which will carry Rocket football for the 51st season this fall. The network also includes WMTR (FM 96.1) in Archbold; WOHF (FM 92.1) in Bellevue; WJMO (AM 1300) in Cleveland; WBVI (FM 96.7) in Fostoria; and WFGA (FM 106.7) in Hicksville.

The games also are streamed online at UTRockets.com, the official website of Rocket Athletics.

Rocket Sports Properties (a property of Learfield) secured UT Medical Center as the naming sponsor beginning in 2009. The partnership provides UTMC rights to the radio network for football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball and coaches shows.

Rockets share joy of victory with area special needs students

The UT football program hosted its fourth annual Victory Day for special needs students from Toledo area schools Aug. 19 in the Glass Bowl. Participating students met UT football players, ran drills, and heard their names announced over the public address system as they scored a touchdown.

Victory Day is an opportunity for special needs students to have their moment in the sun on the football field. Each student was partnered with a UT football player who served as his or her mentor for the day. The young athletes wore Rocket jerseys and were presented with medals at the end of the day to commemorate their victories.

Two students got a big lift from the Rockets during Victory Day.

Toledo football players, cheerleaders, Rocky the Rocket and UT Marching Band members also were on hand to cheer on the participants.

“It certainly is a fun day for our players and for the kids in the community,” said Head Coach Jason Candle. “We get to share a meaningful experience with these kids. Our players really love to do it. We’re in the middle of preseason camp, and sometimes players can start to feel a little sorry for themselves — they’re in pain or their legs hurt. But this is an eye-opening experience. Our players our blessed to have their opportunities. This is a great reminder of that and a great way to give something back to the community.”

Senior wide receiver Cody Thompson added, “Just being with these kids and making their day a little bit better is awesome. It’s always good to give back and put a smile on someone’s face.”

Victory Day was started in 2010 by Aaron Segedi, a teacher and football coach from Trenton, Mich., a cancer survivor whose life was saved thanks to a liver donation from his sister. Since then, the Victory Day program has been adopted by high schools and universities in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

The Rockets first celebrated Victory Day in 2014.

UT to participate in multi-agency action targeting grass carp in Sandusky River

A team from The University of Toledo Lake Erie Center will participate in a multi-agency project this week to assess the ability to target and capture grass carp, a type of invasive Asian carp reproducing in the Sandusky River, a Great Lakes tributary that flows into Lake Erie.

Crews will use electrofishing boats and a variety of nets during the two-day sampling expedition, which is led by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.

In 2015, UT graduate student Holly Embke collected eight grass carp eggs in the Sandusky River, which flows into Lake Erie.

The UT crew includes Nicole King, aquatic ecology research technician working with faculty at the Lake Erie Center and UT Department of Environmental Sciences.

In addition to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and UT, participating agencies include the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Geological Survey and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

This action will occur in conjunction with aquatic invasive species sampling in Lake Erie’s Sandusky Bay by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The goal of the project is to work with cooperating agencies to develop best practices to capture grass carp. It is in preparation for a large-scale, planned response in 2018.

A UT graduate student was the first researcher to find direct proof of grass carp spawning in a Great Lakes tributary. Holly Embke collected grass carp eggs in summer 2015 in the Sandusky River between Fremont, Ohio, and Lake Erie’s Sandusky Bay after a period of heavy rains.

NSF awards UT nearly $1 million grant to continue early childhood science education program

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded The University of Toledo a nearly $1 million federal grant to continue, expand and further evaluate its successful, innovative program that engages teachers and parents in supporting a young child’s natural curiosity through interactive, inquiry-based science lessons.

The University’s NURTURES Early Childhood Science program, which aims to improve the science readiness scores of preschool through third-grade students in the Toledo area, was originally supported with a $10 million, five-year NSF grant. The new $991,081 grant is part of a total of $2.25 million in federal funding for the second phase of the program that extends it through 2021.

NURTURES, which stands for Networking Urban Resources with Teachers and University to enRich Early Childhood Science, is a professional development program and collaboration between UT, local daycare centers and nursery schools, Toledo Public Schools, informal science centers and other community resources to create a complementary, integrated system of science education.

Project participants in the second phase of the project will include 120 teachers, 2,400 preschool through third-grade children, and more than 7,200 family members in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.

“We are pleased to receive additional funding from the National Science Foundation for the NURTURES program,” said Dr. Charlene Czerniak, professor emeritus of science education and research professor in the UT College of Engineering. “Building on our previous success, we will simultaneously target early childhood teachers, families and children to create a broad support system for powerful and effective science teaching and learning. This program will help close the gaps in science, mathematics, reading and literacy for young children.”

During the first phase of the NURTURES program, 330 teachers of preschool through third grade and administrators participated in a total of 544 hours of professional development in the teaching of science inquiry and engineering design for early childhood classrooms.

According to research published recently in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, every year that a student has a NURTURES program teacher adds on average 8.6 points to a student’s early literacy standardized test score compared to control students, 17 points to a student’s mathematics score, and 41.4 points to a student’s reading score.

The program includes five primary components:

• A two-week summer institute for preschool through third-grade teachers in which they have access to both scientists and instructional coaches;

• Academic year professional development, including monthly professional learning community meetings and one-on-one coaching;

• Family science activity packets sent home from school four times a year that each include a newsletter with directions for the investigation, necessary materials for the activity, and a journal sheet for children to record data or visually represent understanding;

• Family community science events, such as engineering challenge simulations, and observations and demonstrations at a park, zoo, science center, library or farm; and

• Public service broadcasts on television that promote family science activities.

According to the National Science Foundation, an important facet of this follow-up project is the research effort to understand how each component impacts student learning. Project leaders plan to use control groups and standardized tests to measure the effect of teacher professional development compared to family engagement activities.

“What a tremendous opportunity for the young children, their families and teachers in our region to participate in a project that will enhance their understanding of science and the natural world around them,” said Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur. “It is so important for the project team at The University of Toledo to continue to study the impact that family engagement has on a young child’s education. We know that spending time reading to a child exposes them to 1.8 million words a year. What other things could families be exposing to their children to set them on a pathway for success in life? The NURTURES project at The University of Toledo aims to find that out.”

The additional grant award comes one week after the American Association of State Colleges and Universities honored UT with its Christa McAuliffe Award for Excellence in Teacher Education in recognition of the NURTURES program.

Czerniak oversaw the development of the NURTURES program along with Dr. Joan Kaderavek, professor of early childhood, physical and special education in the UT Judith Herb College of Education; Dr. Susanna Hapgood, associate professor in the UT Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the Judith Herb College of Education; and Dr. Scott Molitor, associate professor in the UT Department of Bioengineering in the College of Engineering.

New parking app available

Just in time for the 2017-18 academic year, Parking Services launched the new UT Parking app Monday, Aug. 28. The free app is available for both Android and iOS devices, including iPhones, iPads and other mobile devices.

Faculty, staff and students may install the new app on their smart phones by searching for University of Toledo Parking in the App and Play stores. The app also may be found at the following links: for Android users here; and for iOS users (iPhones and iPads) here.

“After you download the app, enter your utad name and password the first time you use it,” explained Anita Crane, enterprise applications automation developer, who was instrumental in developing the new app. “A great feature is that once you log in, the app uses fingerprint recognition to provide you with one-touch, easy access. However, if your device doesn’t have this technology, the app will still work fine.

“Whenever you use the app, it should give you fast access to myparking and the parking guest site. Everything will look the same, just as if you’re accessing these sites through a browser,” noted Crane.

“We’re really pleased to be able to offer this application at the onset of fall semester,” said Sherri Kaspar, manager of public safety services. “UT drivers will discover many benefits when using the new app, including the ability to switch between registered vehicles, appeal tickets and pay parking fines.

“Also, if you want to quickly find a lot for your permit type that you don’t use often, you can quickly access frequently asked questions on our webpage and refer to the Where May I Park? information,” Kaspar added.

“For drivers who may frequently need to switch from one primary registered vehicle to another, we recommend they print a permit confirmation for each of the vehicles stored in their profile and keep them stored in their car,” said Bonnie Murphy, associate vice president for auxiliaries. “This will help to ensure drivers always have the corresponding permit confirmation readily available to display on their dashboard, which is a new requirement in 2017-18.”

As a reminder, fall semester parking enforcement begins Monday, Aug. 28. To avoid being ticketed, all drivers must have their vehicles registered and park in a lot designated for their permit type.

To register or for more information about UT’s parking system and the new app, visit utoledo.edu/parkingservices. Any questions not answered on these webpages may be sent to parking@utoledo.edu.

Part-Time Job Fair and Student Involvement Fair set for Aug. 30

University Career Services and the Office of Student Involvement are collaborating to host a Part-Time Job and Student Involvement Fair Wednesday, Aug. 30, from noon to 3 p.m. on Centennial Mall.

This will be an opportunity for students to apply for on‐campus jobs or sign up with a student organization.

“The Part-Time Job Fair is a great opportunity for students to speak directly with campus employers and get their questions answered about job openings for the upcoming academic year,” said Shelly Drouillard, director of the Center for Experiential Learning and Career Services. “Last year, 3,100 UT students filled over 4,600 different jobs located primarily on Main and Health Science campuses.”

She added, “This year will be our first time hosting this event outdoors in collaboration with the Student Involvement Fair, and our hope is that the larger venue will increase student awareness, interest and participation in on-campus employment.”

“Getting involved in campus can nurture a student’s passions and enhance their skills,” said Donovan Nichols, assistant dean for student involvement and leadership. “Signing up with a student organization allows for students to discover new interests and provides a great venue to meet new people with similar interests.”

The fair will move indoors for inclement weather; the Part-Time Job Fair will move to Thompson Student Union Rooms 2582 and 2584, and the Student Involvement Fair will be held in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

Students who are unable to attend the fair can review and apply for on-campus employment on the Rocket Jobs website, utoledo.edu/success/career/rocketjobs.

Career Services works to connect students to meaningful experiential learning and employment experiences and assists students with major and career exploration. The Office of Student Involvement and Leadership seeks to build community and is committed to providing students with opportunities for involvement that will enhance and complement their UT experience.

Passio Passenger Counting System to be used for transit starting Aug. 28

In their efforts to offer students, faculty and staff safer rides and to also collect real-time data, a new passenger counting system will be installed on UT buses.

The Scott Park shuttle bus counter was implemented Sunday, Aug. 27, with all other fixed routes to be implemented Monday, Aug. 28.

This means bus riders will be required to swipe their Rocket ID to board the bus.

The Passio passenger counting system will allow Transit Services to track who is riding and when across UT campuses. This will provide data on how to better plan or adjust transit routes on campus to support the needs of riders.

“We will be able to make sure those who are getting on the bus are valid students, faculty or staff, which will make for a safer ride. The tracking will give us more detailed reports on who is riding and where,” said Diana Watts, Transit Services and Rocket Wheels bike share coordinator.

“This is a brand-new system, so there will be some learning involved on both sides with drivers learning how to operate the system properly, and the passengers getting acclimated to the new swipe system,” she added. “We ask the UT community to have patience and understanding as we get accustomed to the new system.”

For more information about bus schedules, visit utoledo.edu/facilities/transit.