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Archive for May, 2019

Creativity blossoms with University’s Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition

A small flock of enigmatic birds intently gaze across Centennial Mall. A wayward sea turtle suns itself near the southwest corner of Bowman-Oddy Laboratories. And a wave rolls between UToledo Medical Center and Mulford Library.

“Birdzels” by Mark Chatterley, “Turtle” by Jonathan Bowling and “Blue Wave” by Mike Sohikian are three of the 10 new works installed for The University of Toledo’s 14th annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition.

Mark Chatterley’s “Birdzels” are perched on the west side of Centennial Mall.

“For me, ‘Birdzels’ were meant to be fun. They are a cross between anime, emojis and Angry Birds — with a little Snoop Dog mixed in,” Chatterley said and laughed. “They are made from high-fired clay with a crater glaze on the outside. I feel I am pushing the material to make it unrecognizable as clay.”

Bowling’s recycled reptile features a dredge scoop, railroad spikes, horseshoes and stove grates.

“Being able to make something from nothing is what I like to do,” Bowling said. “It’s economical, too.”

Thanks to the President’s Commission on Campus Design and Environment, new sculptures sprout up each spring.

“Big Blue X” by Brian Ferriby sits atop the hill west of University Hall, and Glenn Zweygardt’s stainless steel work titled “New Mexico Passage” shines on the west side of the Student Recreation Center.

Bernie Dominique’s geometric work “Four Square” can be found by the northeast side of Wolfe Hall, and Beau Bilenki’s engineering feat “Hole in One” is between Nitschke and Palmer halls.

A 250-pound fish flies near the University Parks Trail and Ottawa House with Michael Angelo Magnotta’s “Above the Waves.”

“My sculptures typically begin with a trip to the metal yard,” Magnotta said. “From the shapes and textures I rescue, a conversation takes place — a visual conversation — that results in my sculptures.”

“Turtle” by Jonathan Bowling sits near the southwest corner of Bowman-Oddy Laboratories.

Gregory Mendez’s forceful “Kometes” is located north of Ritter Planetarium, and Kenneth M. Thompson’s intricate “Laminated Stack, Triangle” sits on the east side of the Health and Human Services Building.

More than 180 artists submitted proposals to the Midwest Sculpture Initiative, and the President’s Commission on Campus Design and Environment reviewed the entries and selected pieces for this year’s exhibit.

Since the exhibition began, more than 130 sculptures have rotated through the display on UToledo campuses, and several have become part of the University’s collection courtesy of campus benefactors, colleges and departments.

Those wishing to make a gift to support the exhibition are encouraged to contact the UT Foundation at utfoundation@utoledo.edu or 419.530.7730.

Steam plant to shut down for maintenance

The steam plant on Main Campus will be shut down from Monday, June 3, through Wednesday, June 12, for maintenance repairs and mandated infrastructure safety improvements.

During the steam shutdown, most buildings located on Main Campus will not have hot water to sinks and showers, according to Michael Green, director of energy management. Some buildings also may experience cool spots due to the lack of steam reheat.

“We encourage employees to please bring a sweater in case your building is too cold in the mornings and use the hand sanitizer in place of hot water,” Green said. “We appreciate your support and understanding.”

For more information about the steam shutdown, contact Green at 419.530.1036 or michael.green@utoledo.edu.

UToledo astronomer wins observing time on Hubble after most competitive cycle in history

This summer’s 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing also marks a major life milestone for The University of Toledo astronomer who is a world leader in her particularly male-dominated field.

“I was born in 1969, two months after Neil Armstrong took one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” Dr. Rupali Chandar, professor of astronomy, said. “I am delighted every time the anniversary comes up in July — the moon landing epitomized the human spirit of discovery, and that same spirit drives my research to understand our universe of galaxies.”

Dr. Rupali Chandar, professor of astronomy, was awarded 40 hours of observing time with the Hubble Telescope between July and early 2020. Her work will focus on star formation in nearby galaxies.

Chandar, who studies star formation in galaxies far, far away with her feet firmly on Earth, is gearing up to once again use NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope for her research.

However, this year is extra-special for two reasons.

Chandar not only won coveted observing time in the most competitive cycle in history, she also leads the Space Telescope Users Committee.

Chandar heads the group of 12 astrophysicists from around the world who act as the direct interface between astronomers who want to use the telescope and top-level management of the Hubble project. Committee members hail from places with prestigious astronomical communities such as Harvard and Arizona State, as well as Paris, Spain and Italy.

She is the second UToledo astronomer to lead this powerful committee. Dr. Michael Cushing, associate professor of physics and astronomy, and director of Ritter Planetarium, led the committee in 2015 and 2016.

“It’s unusual for one university to have had more than one representative in the group — let alone two people who have led the committee’s work,” said Dr. Karen Bjorkman, interim provost and Distinguished University Professor of Astronomy. “Dr. Chandar is a shining star for women in science and contributes significantly to The University of Toledo’s research excellence in astronomy and astrophysics.”

Even as a child, Dr. Rupali Chandar was looking skyward. She was born two months after the Apollo moon landing and is shown in this photo with her mother, Sneh Chandar.

Every year astronomers around the world vie for precious minutes of Hubble’s view of unfathomably distant celestial targets. It is NASA’s flagship space telescope.

“I’ve used Hubble data from the beginning of my career, and this cycle was the most challenging one in my experience, with only one in 12 proposals being successful,” Chandar said. “I am thrilled that my proposal was approved.”

As head of the Space Telescope Users Committee, she helped implement the dual-anonymous selection process that debuted this cycle, which means the names of the proposers and reviewers are made known only after the review process is complete.

“Hubble is leading the way in emphasizing the science and ideas that are proposed, and not who is doing the proposing,” Chandar said. “Although it’s too early to tell, this double-blind review process has the potential to reduce inherent bias.”

Chandar, a mother of two who joined the UToledo faculty in 2007, was awarded approximately 40 hours of observing time spread out between July and early 2020. Her work will help understand star formation in some of the most intensely star-forming galaxies found in the nearby universe.

And by nearby, she means those 130 million to 300 million light years away.

These galaxies are generating stars at a pace about 100 times faster than the Milky Way.

“In the modern-day nearby universe, most galaxies form stars at a modest rate,” Chandar said. “I will be observing a sample of the few actively merging, nearby galaxies that have rates of star formation that are as high as galaxies in the early universe. Studying them gives us insight into what was happening when the universe was young and galaxies were just starting to form.”

Astronomers can’t study details of star formation in early galaxies because they’re too far away. We’re talking billions and billions of light years.

However, astronomers believe new, more powerful telescopes in the pipeline, like the James Webb Space Telescope, will make it possible to study the evolution of the earliest stars in greater detail than ever before.

As Chandar looks ahead to the next 50 years of space exploration, it’s vitally important for her to inspire children, especially girls, to take the step toward science.

“Girls in elementary school are just as interested in science as boys. It’s alarming how much that changes during middle school,” Chandar said. “When I was in fifth and sixth grades, I read about the formation of the solar system and wrote reports about black holes, but I didn’t think you could do astronomy as a career until I took a class during my sophomore year of college.”

She ended up earning her Ph.D. in astrophysics at Johns Hopkins University in 2000.

“Good professors make a difference,” Chandar said. “Without many female astronomers around, my mentors have been almost exclusively men. Their support has been critical for achieving my dream career.”

Chandar has one more connection to the moon landing, besides being born in 1969.

“I was lucky enough to hear Neil Armstrong’s last public address at the July 21, 2012, First Light Gala to celebrate the debut of the Discovery Channel Telescope when The University of Toledo joined as a scientific partner,” Chandar said. “We were all devastated when Neil died just a few weeks after that.”

As part of the partnership, UToledo students and researchers use the Discovery Channel Telescope at Lowell Observatory in Arizona to collect data on a wide variety of objects, from the closest failed stars known as brown dwarfs to star-forming regions within our own galaxy to more distant merging galaxies.

The 4.3-meter telescope located south of Flagstaff overlooks the Verde Valley and is the fifth largest telescope in the continental United States and one of the most technologically advanced.

The Discovery Channel Telescope partnership has been a boon to UToledo astronomers and helped put the astronomy department on the map.

“It’s another powerful tool at our fingertips to continue NASA’s mission and push technology to new frontiers over the next 50 years,” Chandar said.

Sensors for Lake Erie early-warning buoy network to get tuneup for algal bloom season

Scientists and water treatment plant operators throughout the region are visiting The University of Toledo Lake Erie Center to make sure equipment that measures water quality throughout algal bloom season is ready to be deployed in buoys across Lake Erie.

“It’s like in the old movies when the mission leader says, ‘Let’s synchronize our watches,’ before the team splits up,” said Dr. Tom Bridgeman, UToledo professor of ecology and director of the UToledo Lake Erie Center. “This collaboration helps to ensure conformity of data coming from the probes for the next few months.”

The UToledo water quality and sensor buoy rides the waves off the shore of the Maumee Bay State Park Lodge in Oregon, Ohio.

Partners in the early-warning buoy network will do the calibration between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Thursday, May 30. Those include researchers from Ohio State University and Bowling Green State University, as well as water treatment plant operators in Cleveland, Toledo, Oregon, Elyria, Avon, Sandusky, Lorain, Ottawa and Huron. LimnoTech, YSI and Fondriest Environmental are local companies providing technology support.

UToledo’s water quality and sensor buoy annually rides the waves off the shore of the Maumee Bay State Park Lodge and Conference Center in Oregon. It is part of the Great Lakes Observing System’s early-warning network of buoys throughout the western Lake Erie basin that provides live data vital in the assessment of harmful algal blooms.

“We go out on our research vessel at least once a week for sampling throughout the summer, but the buoys are out there all the time,” Bridgeman said. “Even when it’s too rough for boats to be on the lake, the buoys can alert if something is developing or changing quickly.”

“With harmful algal bloom season just around the corner, this event brings together water treatment plant operators and UToledo, BGSU and industry experts to prepare the instruments that are a part of Lake Erie’s early-warning system,” Ed Verhamme, project engineer at LimnoTech, said.

The buoys are equipped with what is called the YSI EXO sonde, a black and blue instrument consisting of several probes to measure various water quality parameters, including how much blue-green algae are present, water temperature, clarity, oxygen levels, turbidity and pH.

It’s one piece of the battle plan to track and combat the growing harmful algal bloom in order to sound the early warning for water treatment plant operators as they work to provide safe public drinking water.

“We are watching very closely and are prepared,” Bridgeman said.

National Youth Sports Program celebrates 50 years at UToledo

The National Youth Sports Program at The University of Toledo will soon celebrate its 50th anniversary.

The three-week summer camp, hosted on UToledo’s campus every year since 1969, provides a blend of athletic and educational programming for income-eligible children to help them build social skills, confidence and healthy lifestyles.

About 150 area youth between the ages of 9 and 16 are expected to participate in this year’s program, which takes place weekdays from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. beginning Monday, June 3, and running through Friday, June 21.

Registration information is available on the UToledo NYSP website.

“For 50 years, the administration at The University of Toledo has seen the National Youth Sports Program as an asset to the community and to the University. There’s a lot of credit due to a lot of people, and I’m proud we’re able to continue offering this enriching experience,” said Dr. Ruthie Kucharewski, professor and chair in the School of Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, and administrator of the National Youth Sports Program.

A celebration to recognize the 50th university will be held Sunday, June 9, at noon in the Health Education Center Gym.

Students stretched on the track during UToledo’s National Youth Sports Program.

The National Youth Sports Program was established by an act of Congress in 1968. UToledo was one of the first universities in the country to offer the federally funded program the following year.

Though federal funding for the program has since been cut, UToledo continues to operate the camp through fundraising and in-kind donations.

Participants receive instruction in a number of sports and recreational activities, such as soccer, basketball, track, swimming and fishing.

In addition to the athletic and recreation therapy activities, the youth are provided educational and health programs; academic tutoring; information about nutrition and personal hygiene; peer-refusal skills; and alcohol, tobacco and other drug seminars. The camp also schedules field trips and hosts a guest speaker every day at lunch to inspire the children to become the best version of themselves.

“We want to make our community’s youth well-rounded individuals. We’re helping them to grow emotionally, psychologically, physically and socially through a variety of constructive recreational activities and educational experiences,” Kucharewski said. “I think that the experiences the children have at NYSP helps stimulate their imagination about their future, about what they might aspire to be when they grow up.”

Pride at the Pavilion Social set for June 6

The University of Toledo LGBTQA+ Alumni Affiliate will host the Pride at the Pavilion Social Thursday, June 6.

UToledo alumni, employees, students, fans and friends are invited to attend the free, family-friendly event that will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the William and Carol Koester Alumni Pavilion, which is located northwest of the Glass Bowl.

“We are holding Pride at the Pavilion to honor LGBTQ+ Pride Month,” Ryan Wright, president of the LGBTQA+ Alumni Affiliate, said. “Pride Month was established to recognize and celebrate LGBTQ+ people across the globe for their accomplishments and the contributions and impact they have made.

“2019 Pride Month is especially significant because this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. For a half-century this June, the LGBTQ+ community has been actively fighting for liberation,” he said. “With this event, we hope to unite our local LGBTQ+ community and our allies to join us in commemorating and celebrating this historic year and the transformative LGBTQ+ leaders of tomorrow.”

Hot dogs, chips and pop will be served, and there will be a cash bar for those 21 and older.

And there’ll be music and outdoor games, including cornhole.

“The Pride at the Pavilion Social is intended to be a casual gathering to mingle and have a good time with one another in the spirit of collectively celebrating our LGBTQ+ community,” Wright, an instructor in the UToledo American Language Institute, said. “And this event is unquestionably dog-friendly because they, too, are our friends and members of our families.”

Registrations are appreciated; go to the Alumni Association website.

UToledo to present summer workshops in the arts

The University of Toledo School of Visual and Performing Arts will host several workshops and camps in the arts this summer.

These are day-camp only, no overnight stays. Parking during these events is free.

Workshops, dates and times are:

Students created masterpieces during Art Camp last summer.

Art Camps — June 3 through 7. There will be two weeklong camps available — a camp for ages 7 to 10 and a camp for ages 11 to 13. Each camp offers a morning workshop (9 a.m. to noon) and an afternoon session (1 to 4 p.m.). There will be a break between the morning and afternoon sessions, with supervision of students who stay for both workshops. Projects for the younger camp center on dinosaurs in the morning and sci-fi adventures in the afternoon. In the morning, the older student camp will present literary journeys in which projects are related to famous youth novels, and in the afternoon cosplay in which students design and sew a costume. Students staying all day are encouraged to bring a lunch and beverage; lunch is not provided. The workshops will be held in the Center for the Visual Arts on the University’s Toledo Museum of Art Campus. Cost: $60 for each workshop, $105 for both, and includes all tools, materials and supplies needed. Deadline to register: Friday, May 31.

Theatre Camp — June 3 through July 14. The Department of Theatre and Film will host the Children’s Theatre Workshop of Toledo as it presents a workshop culminating in the performance of the teen musical, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood.” The Children’s Theatre Workshop will prep students ages 13-18 to host auditions, cast the show, and rehearse the musical for a weekend of public performances. Rehearsals and performances will take place in the Center for Performing Arts. Cost: $180. Deadline to register: Saturday, June 1.

Flute Camp — June 17 through 21. Toledo Symphony flutists Joel Tse and Amy Heritage will lead classes in all aspects of flute playing and performance. The three tracks available include a morning-only session for first- and second-year beginners, a full-day track for students with at least two years’ experience, and another program for adults. Extras included in the camp fee: guest instructor-led sessions in yoga, drumming, eurhythmics and music theory, plus chamber and solo performance opportunities, a piccolo workshop, flute-care instruction and more. Flute Camp will be held at the Center for Performing Arts. Cost: Track one $150, tracks two and three $300; daily rate $65 for those who cannot attend all days of the workshop. Deadline to register: Monday, June 10.

Students played during last summer’s Jazz Jam Camp.

Jazz Jam Camp — June 23 through 28. The Jazz Jam Camp will be held at the Center for Performing Arts. It offers all levels of jazz instruction by master jazz musicians/educators, as well as performance opportunities and a recording session. The camp is open to all people ages 12 and older. All levels of jazz students can discover and achieve their jazz potential through one of four program tracks: instrumental jazz, vocal jazz, teacher training (continuing education credit available) and jazz appreciation. Cost: $500 ($50 nonrefundable deposit plus $450 camp fee). Daily lunch is included in the fees. Teachers participating in the camp can reduce their own fees by $100 for each student from their school who participates. Deadline to register: Saturday, June 1.

Choral Conducting Workshop – July 23 through 25. This workshop is a comprehensive and immersive choral conducting workshop. It is designed to serve and educate individuals as conductor, teacher, leader, scholar and performer. The workshop will be led by Dr. Brad Pierson, UToledo assistant professor of music and director of choral activities. Conductors will engage in sessions covering a wide variety of topics. Conductors may choose from either a three-day immersion workshop (July 23-25), or a one-day workshop (July 25). Coffee and a light breakfast will be provided in the mornings. The workshop will provide 18 contact hours of professional development for Ohio teachers. Please provide any required paperwork as needed. Cost: $300 for the three-day option; $100 for the one-day option if registered by Monday, July 1. After July 1, fees increase by $25. Fees are due upon registration. This workshop will be held in the Center for Performing Arts. Deadline to register: Saturday, July 20.

For more information and to register, visit the summer workshops’ website, or call the UToledo School of Visual and Performing Arts at 419.530.2452.

Minority vendor showcase coming to campus May 29

The University of Toledo will host a Minority Supplier Showcase Wednesday, May 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union Ingman Room.

“The purpose of this showcase is to promote University spending with local companies. It’s a great opportunity for purchasers on campus to become familiar with and consider utilizing the goods and services offered by businesses in our region that they may not be aware of,” said Dr. Willie McKether, vice president for diversity and inclusion.

Part of the University’s Strategic Plan for Diversity and Inclusion, the Minority Supplier Showcase increases knowledge and awareness of Minority Business Enterprises and Encouraging Diversity, Growth and Excellence businesses with a goal of increasing their participation as providers of goods and services for UToledo.

Twenty-four vendors will be at the showcase; these will include companies specializing in office supplies, promotional products, furniture and transportation.

There will be samples, prizes, food and live music. Faculty, staff and community members are encouraged to attend.

Representatives of The University of Toledo’s Minority Business Development Center and Minority Business Assistance Center will be available with information about resources and education opportunities.

For more information, contact Vera Mendoza at 419.530.5535 or diversity@utoledo.edu.

Track and field athletes compete at NCAA Preliminaries

University of Toledo senior Katie Dewey concluded her weekend Saturday at the NCAA East Track and Field Preliminary Round in Jacksonville, Fla. She finished in 40th place in the shot put with a throw of 14.88 meters.

The meet served as the final competition for the Rockets in their 2018-19 campaign.

Senior Katie Dewey finished 40th in the shot put and 26th in the discus at the NCAA East Regional.

“Overall, we had another strong season,” Head Coach Linh Nguyen said. “We’re losing some really great seniors and appreciate all their contributions to our program. At the same time, we have some great, young talent returning, as well as coming in, and our future looks bright.”

Dewey was the first Toledo thrower to compete in the NCAA East Prelims since Kyesha Neal in 2016. She also placed 26th in the discus Friday with a throw of 49.24m meters.

“Katie came down here for the first time ever and competed really well,” Nguyen said. “She finished about 20 spots above her seed in the discus and threw well during the shot. It was a great way to cap her Toledo career.”

Senior Petronela Simiuc competed in Jacksonville Thursday and placed 47th in the 1,500 meters with a time of 4:40.28. The race was run with temperatures in the 90s and high levels of humidity.

“Petronela had a tough race this week,” Nguyen said. “She didn’t feel very good at the start, and I think the record temps here may have played a role in that. She still had a great season and should be proud.”

Petronella Simiuc represented Toledo in the 1,500 meters Thursday at the NCAA East Regional.

Football team earns top academic score in MAC for fourth time in last six years

The NCAA recently released its annual Academic Progress Rate (APR) figures for the four-year period from 2014-15 and 2017-18, and The University of Toledo football team posted an impressive score of 981. No school in the Mid-American Conference had a higher APR score than Toledo.

This is the fourth time in the last six years that the Toledo football team has led the MAC in APR. This year’s 981 mark tied the team record set in 2017. The Rockets have posted at least a 970 APR in each of the past six years.

Head Football Coach Jason Candle posed for a photo with some of the 21 Rockets who graduated this spring.

“I could not be more proud of our student-athletes,” said Head Coach Jason Candle. “We always stress the importance of pursuing academic success with the same intensity required to play championship-level football. Our APR score reflects our student-athletes’ relentless commitment to our academic goals and upholding our University’s proud tradition.”

APR is a gauge of every team’s academic performance at a given point in time. Points are awarded on a semester-by-semester basis for eligibility, retention and graduation of scholarship student-athletes. 1,000 is considered a perfect score. Sports that fail to reach the cut point (930) can be penalized with the loss of scholarships, practice restrictions and post-season bans.

The APR data released this month is a cumulative figure taken from the 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years.