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Archive for September, 2018

Events slated for Muslim Heritage Month at UT

The University of Toledo will shine a spotlight on Muslim Heritage Month with several events planned in October.

“Muslim Heritage Month is a time for all of us, regardless of faith, to remember who we are and where we came from,” Adil Hasan, president of the Muslim Student Association, said. “We hope that this month brings the opportunity for all of us at The University of Toledo to come together and welcome different traditions and beliefs.”

Listed by date, events facilitated through the Office of Multicultural Student Success and the Muslim Student Association include:

• Monday, Oct. 1 — Muslim Heritage Month Kickoff, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thompson Student Union Trimble Lounge. Stop by for baklava and henna, and learn about Islam from members of the Muslim Student Association.

• Friday, Oct. 5 — Public Jumma Prayer, noon to 1 p.m., Centennial Mall. The Muslim community on campus and in the Toledo area will come together for the annual prayer.

• Wednesday, Oct. 10 — Muslim Heritage Tabling, noon to 2 p.m., Thompson Student Union. Come learn about Islam and meet members of the Muslim Student Association.

• Wednesday, Oct. 17 — Muslim Heritage Month Keynote Address by Sheikh Alaa Elsayed, 6 p.m., Thompson Student Union Auditorium. He is director of public relations for Mercy Mission, director of religious affairs at the Islamic Center of Canada/ISNA-Canada, chair of the National Zakat Fund, and tutor for the Alkauthar Institute.

• Wednesday, Oct. 24 — Warm up with the Muslim Student Association, noon to 2 p.m., Thompson Student Union Room 2500. Stop by for hot chocolate and coffee.

• Friday, Oct. 26 — Toledo Museum of Art Visit, 5 p.m., Thompson Student Union Room 2500. Register for a free meal and trip to the Toledo Museum of Art. Go to webforms.utoledo.edu/form/82550034439.

For more information on events, click here.

Office of Diversity and Inclusion adds new location on Health Science Campus

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion has expanded to include a second location on The University of Toledo’s Health Science Campus.

The new office is located in Mulford Library Room 128. Currently, the office is staffed three days a week — Monday, Thursday and Friday.

“We are excited to be able to support faculty, staff, students and community members who work and utilize services on the Health Science Campus,” said Jennifer Pizio, director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. “It’s part of our mission to make sure we reach all of our UT constituents and partners. In the coming months, we’ll be developing new programming specific to the needs of the Health Science Campus.”

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion was established in 2016 following the development of UT’s Strategic Diversity Plan. The mission of the office is to ensure every member of the UT community feels included, respected and free from discrimination. It also works to promote a diverse and culturally aware environment that prepares students for success in today’s global world.

Pizio said it was important that the office establish a physical presence at Health Science Campus for those studying and working there. A new Health Science Campus Diversity and Inclusion Committee also meets monthly to discuss specific needs and programming for faculty, many of whom have dual roles as both instructors and clinicians, and students who are juggling classes and clinical practicums.

“The Health Science Campus has a unique set of challenges and exciting opportunities housing both a health-care and higher education institution under the UT umbrella,” she said.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion also will bring some of its regular programing over from Main Campus, such as “Constructive Dialogue: Navigating Difficult Conversations in the Classroom.”

The hourlong discussion series helps guide faculty through conversations about challenging topics such as race, gender and sexual orientation. Upcoming sessions will take place Tuesday, Oct. 2 and Nov. 6, on Main Campus in Carlson Library Room 1109 and Thursday, Oct. 4 and Nov. 8, on Health Science Campus in Mulford Library Room 520. All sessions are from 1 to 2 p.m.

To RSVP for any of these sessions, email diversity@utoledo.edu. Both the Main Campus and Health Science Campus locations also can be reached at 419.530.2260.

Breakthrough research at UT shows promise in treating drug-resistant form of deadly breast cancer

A University of Toledo cancer researcher has received nearly $450,000 in grant funding from Susan G. Komen Northwest Ohio to continue his research into triple negative breast cancer, an aggressive form of the disease that frequently develops resistance to existing chemotherapies.

Dr. Amit K. Tiwari, an assistant professor in UT’s College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences who specializes in investigating multidrug resistant cancers, recently identified a new chemotherapy drug that is showing promise in curing triple negative breast cancer, even in cases where patients have developed resistance to conventional chemotherapy.


“Poor prognosis in most triple negative breast cancer cases is due to development of drug resistance. Once patients develop resistance to one chemotherapy, they stop responding to any other chemotherapy. Resistant triple negative breast cancer results in metastasis, diminishing patient survival time to less than a year,” Tiwari said. “These new drugs are unique. Not only are they showing promise in destroying triple negative breast cancer cells, but even if the disease gets to the stage of drug resistance, it is reversing the resistance and making it more sensitive to traditional chemotherapy.”

Triple negative breast cancer accounts for between 15 percent to 20 percent of all breast cancer cases. Treatment is difficult because the cancer does not respond to hormonal therapies or therapies that target HER2 receptors — common methods of treating other breast cancers.

But what makes the disease especially deadly is that the patient often develops resistance to currently available chemotherapy drugs.

“The goal of my research has been to understand why these patients end up getting drug resistance and how we can stop it,” Tiwari said.

His research led him to targeting the cancer cells in a nonconventional way, which has proven both successful in treating the disease and in reversing drug resistance. The new treatment, which has been lab-tested on human breast cancer models, has been provisionally patented by UT.

With the three-year grant from Susan G. Komen Northwest Ohio, Tiwari and his team of researchers at The University of Toledo will be able to continue development and research of the new drugs and move their work closer to clinical trials.

“We are so thankful for the friends, family and neighbors that fight alongside us, helping to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths in Ohio, both on the ground and through research,” said Mary Westphal, executive director of Susan G. Komen Northwest Ohio. “As we celebrate 25 years of impact in northwest Ohio, we are so pleased to be able to award this grant to our partners at The University of Toledo.”

“The University of Toledo is a long-standing partner of Komen Northwest Ohio, receiving funding to support community health programming and advance scientific research for a number of years,” UT Vice President for Research Frank Calzonetti said. “Dr. Tiwari’s efforts to develop new treatments for the most aggressive form of breast cancer is the latest example of how our talented faculty experts are advancing knowledge that impacts our community.”

Triple negative breast cancer patients currently have a poor five-year survival prognosis; however, Tiwari said those who do make it to the five-year mark have a good long-term prognosis. If the new treatment is proven to be as promising as the initial research suggests, Tiwari said it could be a major breakthrough toward curing triple negative breast cancer.

“This actually brings a lot of hope,” Tiwari said.

The Economist editor to offer perspective of global market Oct. 3

Zanny Minton Beddoes, editor-in-chief of The Economist, will deliver the 2018 Edward Shapiro Distinguished Lecture Wednesday, Oct. 3, at 7 p.m. in Doermann Theatre.

Named one of the “most powerful women in the world” by Forbes, Beddoes is a renowned global economics expert, sought-after for her authoritative perspectives on the world economy — past, present and future.


Beddoes’ talk at The University of Toledo is titled “What’s Next? Making Sense of a Global Economy.”

In this big-picture presentation, Beddoes will reveal the interplay of democracy, demography, technology, energy and government policies as the ultimate drivers of economic change. Topics will include:

• How is Europe displaying attributes typical of Japan, where economies are no longer shrinking, but stagnant?

• Emerging market economies are being tested — a candid look at which have promise and those that could collapse under the pressure.

As the first female editor in The Economist’s more than 170-year history, Beddoes enlightens audiences on financial and economic trends with prescient analysis that is detailed yet comprehensive in scope.

“We are excited to host Zanny Minton Beddoes here on the UT campus,” said Charlene Gilbert, dean of the UT College of Arts and Letters. “Her role as a thought leader on the national and international stage is truly impressive. As one of Forbes’ 100 most powerful women in the world, we are sure her remarks will be both timely and insightful. The College of Arts and Letters is deeply committed to bringing speakers of this caliber to our campus, providing our students and our community with exposure to some of the world’s most important leaders and intellectuals.”

Tickets for the free, public Edward Shapiro Distinguished Lecture are available at utoledo.edu/al/shapiro-lecture.

The annual lecture is made possible by an endowment left by Dr. Edward Shapiro, professor emeritus of economics, who retired in 1989 and wanted to provide opportunities for the University to bring world-renowned speakers to Toledo.

Past Shapiro Distinguished Lecture speakers include Elie Wiesel, Oliver Sacks, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Toni Morrison, Wynton Marsalis, E.J. Dionne Jr. and Audra McDonald.

Judith Herb College of Education to dedicate new center

The Judith Herb College of Education will dedicate a new center Thursday, Oct. 4.

The mission of the Herb Innovation Center is to evaluate and inspire peer-reviewed research in the college to improve and advance education and endow a great society.

UT alumna and benefactor Judith Herb will be at the ceremony.

“We are excited to unveil this new center that will empower faculty and students to conduct research with the ultimate goal of improving learning,” said Dr. Raymond Witte, dean of the Judith Herb College of Education. “We are grateful to Judith Herb for her generosity and dedication to her alma mater, and for her belief in the power of education.”

In 2006, Judith and Marvin Herb, and their sons, Thomas and Jon, contributed $15 million to fund numerous scholarships as well as educational assessment support and research initiatives in the College of Education. The Herbs designated $8 million of the gift for the Herb Scholars Fund, with another $4.25 million going to support the Herb Research Initiatives Fund, which bonded together researchers with a common interest in learning. The remaining $2.75 million funded the creation of a faculty development and electronic assessment support system fund. Additionally, to recognize the single largest donation in school history, the college was renamed in honor of Judith Herb.

The ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. in Gillham Hall third floor lobby. A short ceremony is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. with an open house to follow.

RSVPs are requested by Friday, Sept. 28; go to utoledo.edu/education/dedication.

Clothesline Project to bring awarness, healing to UT Sept. 27

The University of Toledo will host the Clothesline Project Thursday, Sept. 27, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Centennial Mall.

The T-shirts created by victims of sexual violence or made in honor of someone who has experienced violence are put on display every year by the UT Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness.

“The Clothesline Project is a powerful tool to convey the experiences of survivors and to raise awareness about various types of sexual violence,” Shahrazad Hamdah, sexual assault and domestic violence advocate in the Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness, said. “People can read the messages and look at the artwork on the T-shirts. Also, making a T-shirt based on your own experience, or in honor of someone you may know, can allow for healing.”

The T-shirt display coordinates a color to many types of abuse: white for those who died because of violence; yellow and beige for battered and assaulted women; red, pink and orange for survivors of rape and sexual assault; blue and green for survivors of incest and sexual abuse; purple for those who were attacked because of their sexual orientation; and black for women attacked for political reasons.

If it rains, the project can be viewed in the Thompson Student Union Trimble Lounge.

Fall gardening topic of Satellites’ luncheon Oct. 2

“Mum’s the Word: Medicine for the Fall Garden — Inside or Out” will be the topic at the Satellites Auxiliary’s luncheon Tuesday, Oct. 2.

The talk will be given by Theresa Hoen, master gardener from Hoen’s Garden Center and Landscaping in Holland, Ohio.


“Theresa is an excellent speaker and will bring hands-on items and her fall know-how tidbits,” Lynn Band, president of the Satellites, said.

The luncheon will be held at noon in Collier Building Room 1050.

Those who attend may bring their own lunches to the free event, or they may pay $7 — $5 for students — for a box lunch that will include a beverage and specialty dessert.

Cash or check payable to the Satellites Auxiliary will be accepted. Complimentary valet service will be available for the event.

Those who attend are asked to bring a stuffed animal for pediatric patients at UT Medical Center.

The Satellites Auxiliary is a volunteer group designed to promote education, research and service programs; provide support of patient programs in accordance with the needs and approval of administration; conduct fundraising events; and provide services.

RSVPs are requested by Sunday, Sept. 30. Call Ray or Donna Darr at 419.382.0054; Carol Okenka at 419.654.5326; or Mary Jane Kill at 419.381.1425.

Teachers’ Garage Sale to take place Sept. 29

The UT Judith Herb College of Education Alumni Affiliate will hold a Teachers’ Garage Sale Saturday, Sept. 29.

The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Driscoll Alumni Center Bryan Board Room.

Local teachers and community members have donated classroom and office supplies for the sale.

The money raised during this one-day event will support the First-Year Teacher Fund. This scholarship benefits a senior pursuing a degree in education in the UT Judith Herb College of Education.

For more information or to make a donation to the First-Year Teacher Fund, go to https://give2ut.utoledo.edu or contact the UT Foundation at 419.530.7730.

Physicists from around the state to converge on campus for meeting

The Ohio-Region Section of the American Physical Society will hold its fall meeting at The University of Toledo Friday and Saturday, Sept. 28-29.

More than 100 physicists are expected to visit campus for the event.

The theme of this year’s event is “Celebrating Planck’s 1918 Nobel Prize in Physics: The Many Implications of Energy Quanta.”

Hot topics of the meeting will include nanoscience and quantum confinement; photovoltaics and semiconductor physics; and astrophysical observations and neutron stars.

On Friday evening, there will be a banquet and a public presentation focusing on the roles of energy quantization in physics and astronomy.

These regional meetings provide an ideal venue for students and science teachers to present research results, foster future collaborations, and engage in discussion, according to Dr. Nik Podraza, UT associate professor of physics.

For a complete schedule and more information, visit utoledo.edu/nsm/physast/osaps.

UT research award dollars reach five-year high

The University of Toledo researchers brought in $27.1 million in new grants to fund research during the 2018 fiscal year, contributing to a five-year high in external research funding.

When combining the 39.5 percent increase in new awards compared to 2017 with renewal grants awarded to continue progress on previously funded projects, the total amount of grants awarded to UT in 2018 climbed to $46.6 million, an increase of 21 percent compared to the previous year.

“Our research portfolio is growing,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “The University’s faculty members are leaders in their academic disciplines who are making important advancements in their field of study and helping UT achieve national research prominence.”

The number of grants jumped 15 percent in fiscal year 2018, from 282 in 2017 to 326. Of those, the number of new awards increased 11 percent, from 163 to 182.

“My office has seen grant awards increase across the entire campus in a wide range of disciplines, showing a strong faculty response in supporting the University’s commitment to building research,” Vice President for Research Frank Calzonetti said. “I am particularly impressed by the number of new awards, compared to awards to continue previously funded projects. These new awards are mostly for projects that have met agency merit review criteria and have a higher probability of future funding.”

Federal awards in 2018 include:

• $2.4 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to Dr. Sridhar Viamajala, professor in the UT Department of Chemical Engineering, for a project titled “A Comprehensive Strategy for Stable, High Productivity Cultivation of Microalgae With Controllable Biomass Composition”;

• $1.8 million from the Air Force Research Laboratory to Dr. Randy Ellingson, professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, for a project titled “Ultra-High Efficiency and Lightweight Thin-Film Photovoltaic Electricity for Portable, On-Demand Power for Defense Applications”; and

• $438,172 from the National Institutes of Health to Dr. Heather Conti, assistant professor in the UT Department of Biological Sciences, for a project titled “Novel Role for B-Defensin 3 in the Regulation of Innate Lymphocytes and Oral Mucosal Immune Responses.”

For more information about UT’s research enterprise, visit utoledo.edu/research.