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Archive for July, 2018

New staff appointed to Office of the Provost

The Office of the Provost has appointed three new associate vice provosts to continue to make progress on the University’s strategic plan.

Following the recent retirement of three senior academic administrators, there was an opportunity to realign the structure of the positions in the Office of the Provost along the priorities of the University’s strategic plan, said Dr. Andrew Hsu, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.

“In the Division of Academic Affairs, we have made excellent progress on the implementation of the strategic plan,” Hsu said. “With the appointment of these highly qualified administrators who are joining the Office of the Provost team, we will continue to make progress in the priority areas of student and faculty success.”


Dr. Denise Bartell is joining the University Aug. 1 as associate vice provost for student success to replace Dr. Steve LeBlanc, who retired from that position. Bartell comes from the University of Wisconsin in Green Bay, where she served as director of student success and engagement, and associate professor of human development and psychology.

In her role, Bartell will oversee the offices of Success Coaching and Academic Support Services, and lead the University’s efforts to support undergraduate student retention and degree completion, including efforts in the areas of advising, orientation, first-year experience, academic enrichment, and the blending of curricular and co-curricular learning.


Dr. Barbara Schneider, senior associate dean in the College of Arts and Letters, and associate professor of English, has been appointed to serve as associate vice provost for faculty development, effective Aug. 20. The position is open following the retirement of Dr. Connie Shriner, who had served as vice provost for faculty development, assessment, program review and accreditation.

In her new role, Schneider will provide leadership for faculty professional development initiatives related to student success, including high-impact teaching practices and pedagogies of engagement. She will provide oversight of the Teaching Center and the Office of Classroom Support, and will be responsible for the implementation of the University’s strategic plan goals on faculty development related to student success.


In addition, Dr. Amy Thompson, director of the Center for Health and Successful Living in the College of Health and Human Services, and professor of public health, now serves as interim associate vice provost for faculty affairs. She was appointed to that role July 9. Thompson provides oversight of the faculty orientation program, the UT faculty leadership institute, and the University’s faculty awards program. She also works closely with Dr. Jamie Barlowe, interim vice provost for faculty affairs, on additional faculty initiatives related to the priorities of the University’s strategic plan.


Margaret “Peg” Traband, senior vice provost of academic affairs, was the third administrator who retired in June from the Office of the Provost. Dr. R. William Ayres has been promoted to that position.

Two deans also have taken on additional responsibilities in the Division of Academic Affairs.


Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich, dean of the College of Graduate Studies, has been appointed to also serve as vice provost for graduate affairs. She serves as the liaison between the Office of the Provost, the college deans and graduate program directors. Bryant-Friedrich also monitors the implementation of strategic plan priorities as they relate to graduate student enrollment and retention.


Dr. Christopher Ingersoll, dean of the College of Health and Human Services, has taken on additional responsibilities as vice provost for health science affairs. He serves as the liaison between the Office of the Provost and the deans of the four health science-related colleges, and he monitors the implementation of college-level strategic action plans as they relate to the University’s strategic plan.

Rockets name new softball coach

Joe Abraham has been named the head softball coach at The University of Toledo, UT Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien announced Wednesday.

Abraham is the 11th coach in program history and comes to Toledo after serving seven years as the head softball coach at Hillsdale College.

“We’re extremely excited to bring in Joe Abraham as the new head coach of our softball program,” O’Brien said. “Joe has a successful track record at each of his collegiate stops. I am certain that he’s the right person to further push our program and student-athletes to new heights. His accomplishments at Hillsdale were remarkable, and his dedication to education, character-building and personal accountability make him the perfect fit for Toledo.”

Abraham replaces Kristen Butler, who accepted the head coaching position at Rutgers following the end of the 2018 season.

Abraham said he is eager to get to work at Toledo, adding that the position checked all the marks for his career aspirations.

“I’m excited as I could be about coming to Toledo,” Abraham said. “This is the perfect program because of its geographic location, its membership in the Mid-American Conference, my familiarity with northwest Ohio area high school coaches, and the great support of the UT administrative staff. Mike O’Brien and [Senior Associate Athletic Director] Kelly Andrews, along with their staff, were very professional. I’ve said many times one of the only reasons I would leave Hillsdale would be to take a Division I coaching job in Ohio. I’m very excited to get started.”

Abraham compiled a 158-136 record at Hillsdale (86-71 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, 14-8 Great Midwest Athletic Conference) from 2012 to 2018. He was named the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 2016 after leading his team to a 26-12 (19-7 GLIAC) record. The Chargers experienced only one losing season during his seven years at the helm.

Abraham’s tenure at Hillsdale was topped off this past season when the Chargers claimed their first Great Midwest Athletic Conference title and advanced to the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional. Following the season, junior outfielder Katie Kish was named Second-Team All-America by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association and First-Team All-Region by the Division II Conference Commissioners Association.

Off the field, the Hillsdale softball program has maintained one of the highest grade-point averages of any varsity program over the past five years.

Before his tenure at Hillsdale, Abraham spent time at Division III Whitworth University, where he was head coach from 2008 to 2011. His teams improved steadily throughout his tenure, finishing the 2011 campaign in third place in the Northwest Conference.

While at Whitworth, Abraham returned the program to a level of success it hadn’t seen since the mid-2000s. Before the 2009 season, no player from Whitworth had ever earned all-region honors; Abraham’s players racked up three such honors in 2010 and 2011. Two players also picked up Academic All-District awards following the 2011 season, and the team’s conference record improved from 11-15 in 2009 to 17-11 in 2011.

Prior to his time at Whitworth, Abraham founded the Buckeye Heat travel softball team in Columbus, Ohio, in 1999. He spent 10 seasons coaching at various age levels and put together an overall record of 428-115, sending dozens of players to college teams around the country.

Abraham also served as coach for the United States softball team at the International Cup tournament, which competed in Holland from 2004 to 2006. He coached Ohio’s top players in the Ohio vs. West Virginia All-Star games from 2005 to 2008 and conducted many clinics for players in the central Ohio area. He spent seven seasons coaching Thomas Worthington High School in Ohio, where he rang up a record of 103-52. His prep teams won three league championships in a six-year span and achieved a top-10 ranking in the state of Ohio for the first time in school history in 2005.

A native of Columbus, Ohio, Abraham graduated from Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in print journalism and political science. He went on to Capital University Law School, where he graduated cum laude in 1996, practicing law from 1996 to 2008.

Abraham inherits a Toledo softball program that is coming off a breakout season. UT reached 30 wins for the first time since 1995, finishing the 2018 campaign with a 35-23 (16-7 Mid-American Conference) record and a share of the MAC West Division title. First baseman Bailey Curry became the first Toledo softball student-athlete to earn MAC Freshman of the Year. Curry and junior pitcher Kailey Minarchick were each named to the First-Team All-MAC squad as well, while senior Ashley Rausch made the second team, and freshman Kylie Norwood was selected to the All-Freshman squad.

Water restored to buildings

Water has been restored to the buildings on Main Campus impacted by the water main break Monday on Bancroft Street.

While the restroom facilities are reopened, the drinking fountains will remain closed until at least Monday while the buildings remain under a drinking water boil advisory.

The buildings impacted include University Hall, Gillham Hall, Stranahan Hall, Savage & Associates Business Complex, McMaster Hall, Ritter Planetarium, Driscoll Alumni Center, Health and Human Services Building, Snyder Memorial Building, Libbey Hall, Memorial Field House, Honors Academic Village, MacKinnon Hall, Scott Hall, and Tucker Hall (including the Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women).

Ongoing repairs to the main water line could result in intermittent water shutoffs and lower water pressure on campus. When using restroom facilities, individuals are asked to flush the toilets twice to ensure full drainage.

Bottled water is available at distribution sites in Libbey Hall outside the Admissions Office, University Hall outside Doermann Theatre, Stranahan Hall in the first-floor lobby, and Health and Human Services Building in the first-floor lobby.

Staff members organizing Aug. 4 bowling fundraiser for Sunshine Communities

Get ready to have fun and help those in need at the first bowling fundraiser organized by three UT staff members for Sunshine Communities.

George Hayes Jr., electrician journeyman, along with UT Print Shop staff members Tricia Dorring and Keith Henson, both office machine operators, are organizing a bowling event to benefit Sunshine Communities.

“I Need a Little Sunshine in My Life” will take place Saturday, Aug. 4, from noon to 3 p.m. at the Toledo Sports Center, located at 1516 Starr Ave.

Bowling will cost $10 for three games, shoes and a bowling ball. There will be door prizes, a silent auction, raffles and a 50/50 featured as well.

“We encourage everyone to come out and have a good time while supporting Sunshine Communities,” Hayes said. “Brighten up your day, meet some new friends, and help out this local organization that makes a difference in our community.”

Guests also can show their support by providing silent auction items, monetary donations or gift certificates/cards, or by sponsoring a client from Sunshine Communities to bowl.

Sunshine Communities is a local organization supporting men, women and children with developmental disabilities by offering residential, vocational and clinical support. Its mission is to create a community among people with developmental disabilities, their families, friends, and staff by offering services that enable individuals to build life-enhancing relationships through mutual caring and growth.

Located in Maumee, Sunshine Communities offers clients numerous features, including a pool and gym, multisensory room, and therapeutic horse riding at Sunshine Acres. The Sunshine Vocational Center has activities for both residential and nonresidential clients designed to enhance social and personal growth; activities include book clubs, crafts, gardening and more.

Sunshine Communities also supports workers with developmental disabilities when searching for and retaining jobs. The organization helps individuals find jobs through Sunshine-employer partnerships and at more than two dozen of its properties, including a coffee shop and art studio.

“No matter who I’ve talked to about the event, Sunshine touches their lives in one way or another,” Henson said. “It may be taking care of a family member, friend or other individuals in their community who are affected by mental or physical disabilities.”

“Our goals for this fundraiser are to help this organization to continue its mission to build a nurturing environment for individuals with disabilities,” Dorring said. “We would like to have the Sunshine Community clients participate in our event and to have fun and build new friendships. Another goal is to have the costs for each Sunshine Communities client who would like to bowl covered.”

“We hope this event provides community members with the chance to learn more about Sunshine Communities and what its staff members do for its clients, as well as what clients may go through,” Henson added.

Registration will be held on site the day of the event and must be completed by 2 p.m.

For those who cannot attend but still wish to contribute, donations can be made at mightycause.com/story/xzuuwe.

For more information, contact Hayes at george.hayes@utoledo.edu or 419.746.1835.

Glacity Theatre Collective to present world premiere of ‘Wilkes’

A U.S. citizen is accused of a heinous crime, but rather than receiving a trial by jury as constitutionally mandated, he is condemned to death by a military tribunal.

No, it’s not 2001 in the aftermath of 9/11; it’s 1865, and the accused is the man who helped John Wilkes Booth escape after his assassination of the president of the United States.

“Wilkes,” a fast-paced contemporary play to be premiered by the Glacity Theatre Collective, tells the story of the planning and assassination of Abraham Lincoln, as well as the ensuing manhunt after Booth escaped.

The story is told from the perspective of Davey Herold, who was a close friend of Booth and a co-conspirator in the assassination plot. Following his capture with the injured Booth after 12 days on the run, Herold was tried by military commission as a domestic terrorist rather than in a court of law, a denial of his rights as a U.S. citizen.

“The play is an exploration of the origins of a continuing legal issue in our country — can citizens be defined as ‘terrorists’ and therefore denied their right to a trial by their peers? Our country has long grappled with where to draw the line between criminal behavior and terrorism — as Davey Herold’s story vividly illustrates,” playwright James Stover said.

He explained that though laws were created following the execution of the Lincoln co-conspirators so that such a thing would never happen again, in 2001, as part of the Patriot Act, these laws were superseded.

Featuring a cast of three, the 70-minute play is filled with action, suspense and a history lesson relevant today. Daniel Schweikert plays John Wilkes Booth, Jackson Howard is Davey Herold, and Bryan Harkins, a UT theatre student, is Frederick Stone.

The design team includes James S. Hill, UT professor emeritus of theatre; Kelly McBane, UT lecturer in theatre and film; Stephen Sakowski, UT assistant professor of theatre and film; and Kevin Upham, UT theatre student.

“Wilkes” stars, from left, Bryan Harkins (Stone), Jackson Howard (Davey) and Daniel Schweikert (Booth).

Stover, who was a visiting assistant professor in the UT Theatre and Film Departmetn in 2016 and 2017, is directing the production, which will be stage-managed by Tori McBean.

“Wilkes” will run Friday through Sunday, July 27-29, and Thursday through Saturday, Aug. 2-4, in the Center for Performing Arts Center Theatre on UT’s Main Campus. All performances will be at 8 p.m. except Sunday, July 29, which will be at 2 p.m. Doors will open one half hour prior to curtain.

Tickets are $15 at the door or in advance online at here. Student tickets are $10 with a valid ID and are available only at the door.

For more information, go to glacity.org.

Updated: Water main break impacts several Main Campus buildings

Several buildings on Main Campus continue to be impacted by a water main break that occurred Monday evening on Bancroft Street.

The buildings impacted include University Hall, Gillham Hall, Stranahan Hall, Savage & Associates Business Complex, McMaster Hall, Ritter Planetarium, Driscoll Alumni Center, Health and Human Services Building, Snyder Memorial Building, Libbey Hall, Memorial Field House, Honors Academic Village, MacKinnon Hall, Scott Hall, and Tucker Hall (including the Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women).

City of Toledo crews will continue working Tuesday and Wednesday to complete repairs. Expect intermittent water shutdowns while the repairs are completed.

Restroom facilities in the buildings named will be closed while repairs are completed. Restrooms are available nearby in the Thompson Student Union, Carlson Library, and Bowman-Oddy Laboratories and Wolfe Hall.

The buildings will be under a drinking water boil advisory that will likely extend until Monday, and the drinking fountains will remain closed.

The University has set up drinking water distribution sites to provide bottled water for departments in the impacted buildings. Bottled water can be picked up at:

• Libbey Hall, outside the Admissions Office, for occupants of Libbey Hall, Honors Academic Village, MacKinnon Hall, Scott Hall and Tucker Hall.

• University Hall, outside Doermann Theatre, for occupants of University Hall, Gillham Hall and Memorial Field House.

• Stranahan Hall, first floor in the lobby, for occupants of Stranahan Hall, Savage & Associates Business Complex, McMaster Hall and Ritter Planetarium.

• Health and Human Services Building, first floor lobby, for occupants of Health and Human Services Building and Snyder Memorial Building.

The water main break was reported after 5:30 p.m. Monday on Bancroft Street near Brookdale Road. It occurred while city of Toledo crews were working to repair and replace water and sewer lines as part of the ongoing Bancroft road construction project.

Photographer frames memories for Art on the Mall

A stolen moment brought life into focus for Agnes L. Barnes.

In 1985, she and her husband, Chet Barnes, were on vacation in California when their friend’s car was broken into; the thief took her vintage camera, an Argus C3.

Agnes and Chet Barnes hold two of her photographs taken at the Toledo Museum of Art and Wildwood Preserve Metropark. The couple will be at Art on the Mall Sunday, July 29.

“Then I bought a Canon Rebel G,” she said. “Right after that, we went to South Africa, and I got some really nice pictures.”

A photograph of three majestic elephants crossing the road at Kruger National Park. A crouching lion near Johannesburg. Thatched-roof huts in Soweto.

“When people saw the photos from South Africa and commented on how great the pictures were, I realized, well, maybe I have an ability many people don’t have. I was 50 years old before I discovered this,” Agnes said and laughed.

“She never had a lesson in photography. She’s taken pictures, pictures and more pictures,” Chet said beaming with pride. “Her first show was in Sylvania in 1994. We had photos hanging on chicken wire under an umbrella. She won a blue ribbon and sold so many photos.”

More shows and awards followed. And more photos.

Freshly fallen snow on the boardwalk at Wildwood Preserve Metropark. UT’s iconic University Hall bell tower. The colorful animal menagerie mural on the railroad bridge over the Anthony Wayne Trail by the Toledo Zoo. A close-up of a pink rose with dewdrops.

Agnes L. Barnes looked at daisies in her garden. She loves taking photographs of flowers.

“A lot of the photos are serendipity,” Chet said. “I hear all the time, ‘Chet, get the camera.’ I’ll think she’s had enough time for a shot, and I look over and her toes are moving her back and forth: She has to get it just right.”

“I like to capture the beauty for others to enjoy that beauty,” Agnes said.

After Chet retired from Toledo Public Schools in 1996, the couple traveled so Agnes could capture more beauty.

The two have been up and down the East Coast, zooming in on lighthouses and old Southern homes. They went to England and visited quaint villages and gorgeous gardens. Island-hopping on Pohnpei, Guam, Saipan and Hawaii found lush, tropical paradises. And during two weeks in China, Agnes pointed her camera at the Great Wall and the Terra Cotta Warriors.

“So many people have told me that looking at my photos is like taking a vacation,” Agnes said.

While her striking images can transport viewers, she didn’t recognize her superpower for years.

“I didn’t look at the camera as an artistic tool; I just looked at it as something to record for future reference,” Agnes said.

“During my early years, I was born in 1937, and then World War II started, and film was very difficult to get. We did not have many pictures of my family growing up. So I made up my mind I was going to make sure I had pictures of my little brother and of my own children someday.”

With her mom’s Brownie camera, Agnes took photos of her baby brother, Paul, who was born in 1950. And then with the Argus C3, she clicked away while her children, John and Beth Ann, were growing up.

When 11-year-old Beth Ann passed away from leukemia in 1980, those images helped Agnes and Chet.

Agnes L. Barnes’ photographs appear in the book, “Choosing the Gift: Dealing With the Loss of a Loved One.”

“Most of the photos of my children were on slides, which turned out to be a really good thing,” Agnes said. “After Beth Ann’s death, I gave talks on how to help grieving families, and I showed slides of her, plus audio of her, so people would feel like they knew her, and they could see where our grief was coming from. I gave talks for 10 years.”

For nearly a decade, Agnes and Chet facilitated a bereavement group for parents.

And some of Agnes’ breathtaking shots of nature are featured in a book, “Choosing the Gift: Dealing With the Loss of a Loved One,” by Dr. Scott Shepherd and the photographer.

“The majority of the pictures I sell are because they bring back memories to my customers, I do believe,” she said.

Agnes and Chet will return to Art on the Mall Sunday, July 29. The cute couple sporting matching T-shirts that say “Eye-Catching Photos by Agnes L. Barnes” will be among more than 100 artists showcasing their work from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the free, juried show on Centennial Mall.

“Art on the Mall is a good show,” Agnes said. “Many of my customers are repeat customers; they return again and again. One lady told me that she has an entire wall that she calls her ‘Agnes wall’ because it is filled with my photos. It’s nice to keep in contact with my customers.”

Chet likes returning to his alma mater each summer; he received a master of education degree and an education specialist in guidance and counselor education in 1973 and 1975, respectfully.

“Every picture has a story,” he said.

“Chet is good at telling stories and keeping people in the booth,” Agnes said and smiled.

A missed photo opportunity is one of his favorite tales.

“The one time we didn’t have a camera was when we met Elvis Presley,” he said. “True story!”

View Mars at UT observatory as red planet comes closest to Earth in 15 years

Mars will be visible to the naked eye in late July as the planet approaches its closet point to Earth since 2003 — 35.8 million miles away.

Astronomers at The University of Toledo are hosting Mars Watch 2018 to share the UT telescope with the public for a view of what is called opposition, the point when Mars and the sun are on directly opposite sides of the Earth as the planets orbit around the sun.

“Due to the orbit of Mars and Earth, Mars is really only well-placed for observing from Earth for a month or two every two years or so,” Alex Mak, associate director of UT Ritter Planetarium, said. “The end of July and early August mark one of those opportunities.”

The Brooks Observatory in McMaster Hall will be open to the public for four nights — from 9:30 to 10:30 p.m. Thursday, July 26; Monday, July 30; Tuesday, July 31; and Wednesday, Aug. 1. Visitors are invited to meet in the lobby of McMaster Hall, where they will be guided up to the observatory.

“Mars is the planet that has fascinated humanity for the longest,” Mak said. “From its retrograde motion in the sky and its blood red color to the question of whether Mars has or had life, it is a planet that has never failed to make us wonder.”

The event is dependent on clear skies.

Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for children 5 through 12. Children 4 and younger are admitted free.

Women’s golf to hold sale July 30

The Toledo women’s golf program will hold a sale Monday, July 30, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the west concourse of Savage Arena.

The items available for purchase include Holey Toledo T-shirts, golf polos, golf skirts, Rocky head covers and more.

All proceeds from the sale will go to the Rocket women’s golf program.

Construction to close Campus Road entrance off Bancroft Street

The Campus Road-Bancroft Street intersection is scheduled to be closed Monday and Tuesday, July 23 and 24.

Work on water and sewer lines will be taking place, according to the city of Toledo.

Middlesex Drive will have access off Bancroft Street; a flagger may stop traffic during some stages of construction.

“UT employees, students and visitors are encouraged to use other entrances to Main Campus,” Doug Collins, director of grounds and transportation, said.