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Archive for August, 2019

Revved Up: Rockets Ready for 2019 Season

Consistency has been the hallmark of The University of Toledo football program, and Head Coach Jason Candle is counting on that to continue in 2019 as his team battles for a Mid-American Conference title this fall.

The Rockets, who are one of only nine Football Bowl Subdivision teams to have a winning record in each of the past nine years, were chosen by the media to win the MAC West Division and make an appearance in the MAC Championship Game in Detroit Dec. 7.

A total of 13 returning starters are among the 49 letterwinners back from last season’s squad — six on offense, five on defense and two special teams players. Among those returning this year are 2018 All-MAC tight end Reggie Gilliam, leading rusher Bryant Koback, and senior defensive leaders Kahlil Robinson and Jordan Fisher.

The Rockets will open their season at Kentucky Saturday, Aug. 31, at noon. That contest will be televised on the SEC Network.

After a bye week, UToledo will host another Kentucky school, Murray State, Saturday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m. at the Glass Bowl.

Candle is excited for the season to begin.

“This team is fun to coach,” Candle, who is in his fourth year at the helm, said. “It’s a good group of guys to be around. They really love what they do, and they are passionate about it. If you can handle that, then the locker room becomes a player-driven locker room and you have a real chance.”

The Rockets were 7-6 last season and earned a trip to the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl. Candle said while his team is not focused on looking backward, they are motivated to improve upon that record.

“Last season is over. The past is the past,” said Candle, who is 28-13 as Toledo’s head coach. “But we’re foolish if we can’t learn from it. A year ago, we were coming off an 11-3 season, and we were trying to learn from those three losses. It’s no different this year.”

After the home-opener, the Rockets travel to Fort Collins to play Colorado State Saturday, Sept. 21, before returning to the Glass Bowl to host Brigham Young University Saturday, Sept. 28.

Conference play starts Homecoming weekend when Western Michigan visits for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff Saturday, Oct. 5.

Toledo will play at Bowling Green Saturday, Oct. 12, and at Ball State Saturday, Oct. 19, before returning home for three games: Eastern Michigan Saturday, Oct. 26; Kent State Tuesday, Nov. 5; and Northern Illinois Wednesday, Nov. 13.

The Rockets will close out the 2019 season on the road at Buffalo Wednesday, Nov. 20, and at Central Michigan Friday, Nov. 29.

Season and single-game tickets are on sale at the UToledo Athletic Ticket Office in the Sullivan Athletic Complex in Savage Arena, online at the Toledo Football Central website, and by phone at 419.530.GOLD (4653). Faculty and staff can buy tickets half off with ID, and UToledo students are admitted free with ID.

Toledo Athletics to Hold Garage Sale Aug. 30 in Savage Arena

The University of Toledo Athletics Department will hold a garage sale Friday, Aug. 30, from noon to 7 p.m. on the west concourse of Savage Arena.

The sale will include used gear from numerous Toledo athletic programs, including football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, baseball, volleyball, and track and field.

Fans will have the chance to purchase items such as shoes, clothes, uniforms, jackets and other Rocket team gear.

All sales are final; proceeds will go to The University of Toledo Athletic Department.

Items will include but are not limited to golf balls; golf ball bags; jerseys (football, volleyball, baseball, basketball, track); duffels and backpacks; shoes; T-shirts; jackets; pants; shorts; buns and sports bras; full-size Toledo flags; pullovers; polos; hats; and golf bags.

UPDATE: Electricity restored to several buildings on Main Campus

Power has been restored to several buildings on Main Campus.

Electricians have fixed a high-voltage switchgear that went down.

Electricity is back on in Gillham Hall, Health and Human Services Building, McMaster Hall, Ritter Planetarium and Observatory, Savage & Associates Business Complex, Snyder Memorial Building, and Stranahan Hall.

Racing Internship With Hendrick Motorsports Fuels Dreams

In spring semester, I moved down to Charlotte, N.C., with the opportunity of a lifetime to work for one of the top teams in American racing, Hendrick Motorsports.

As a young person interested in cars, every Sunday I had watched their four NASCAR Cup Series race cars compete with others on tracks across the country. It is that passion that directed my educational goals to become a mechanical engineer in the hopes that I could play some role in the automotive industry. Although I had such a strong desire, I never believed that I would have the opportunity to work in professional racing, let alone a team of this pedigree.

Michael Day, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering, had an internship at Hendrick Motorsports.

As you enter the Hendrick Motorsports race shops every morning, the front lobbies are lined with race and championship trophies. Hendrick Motorsports has more championships than any other team in NASCAR history, and more than 250 race wins in NASCAR’s top series. Every day this reminded me of the high expectations of cleanliness, hard work and results that are expected in order to achieve success in each race.

The group of engineers that I worked with oversaw the recording and distribution of data to each of the four race teams that compete every weekend. This information is crucial for their performance throughout the race weekend. Some of this information is gathered right before the cars leave for race weekend on a suspension rig; this was an area where I spent most of my time. It was a very surreal feeling to be wrenching on cars that would take to the track in front of millions the following weekend!

Another type of lab test we performed is on a seven-post machine, where the car was bolted down to hydraulic actuators that mimic the road and aerodynamic inputs on the vehicle throughout a lap. This allowed us to test new theories as we prepared for upcoming events.

Michael Day locked in the steering wheel of a car so vehicle measurements could be taken for an upcoming race.

However, real track testing is still the most valuable. Because of this, I was able to join the team on a two-day tire test during my internship. This exposed me to the extensive data systems that are used in the cars for testing, as well as the unique goals that were set in order to record data that we could use at that track for the race weekend.

I also was able to experience a variety of areas throughout the rest of the shop; these included building shock absorbers, post-race car teardowns, and assisting the race engineers with various reports throughout the week. Above all, I was impressed with the high work ethic and attention to detail that every employee showed day in and day out.

This was my fourth co-op at The University of Toledo, and I don’t believe that this opportunity would have become available without the experience gained and growth that took place throughout my previous internships in the automotive industry. Over the past four years, UToledo has given me the power to grow my skills and the ability to truly capture my dreams.

Day is a senior majoring in mechanical engineering.

Traffic Alert: Part of Secor Road to Close Aug. 27-28

The southbound lanes of Secor Road between Kenwood Boulevard and Bancroft Street will close at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27.

The closure is necessary for a sewer repair.

Motorists can take a detour via Central Avenue to Douglas Road to University Hills Boulevard to Bancroft Street.

Work is scheduled to be complete and Secor Road southbound lanes reopened at 6 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28.

UPDATED: Rice Blvd to Return to Gateway

Back by popular demand: Rice Blvd will reopen Wednesday, Aug. 28.

That’s right, it was a short hot chicken run at the restaurant in the Gateway on the southwest corner of UToledo’s Main Campus at Dorr Street and Secor Road.

“The students came back to campus and wanted us to bring back our Japanese-inspired cuisine,” owner Jun Park said.

“We want to make the campus community happy and serve our customers what they want,” he added.

Sushi, rolls, bento boxes, rice bowls, miso soup, edamame, seaweed salad and more are back on the menu.

The restaurant will be open Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The sushi bar is open all day.

For more information, call Rice Blvd at 419.725.2735.

Rocket Wellness Coalition Launching Mindfulness Program

Beginning fall semester, the Rocket Wellness Coalition will offer various mindfulness-related practices to the UToledo community.

“Mindfulness, or the ability to be in the moment and aware, is something that a lot of University of Toledo community members have been requesting programming on,” said Andrea Masters, assistant director of Rocket Wellness. “It is important to offer tools and skills in order to reduce stress and build resiliency.”

The Office of Recreational Services and Rocket Wellness, along with assistance from other members of the Rocket Wellness Coalition, have been working collaboratively on a campus mindfulness initiative for students, faculty and staff. The initiatives include a weekly Mindful Monday video hosted by Jay Rinsen Weik, UToledo associate lecturer of music and CEO of the Toledo Mindfulness Institute, as well as mindfulness drop-in stations throughout campuses.

The Mindful Monday series will feature a short video from Weik providing a quick mindfulness strategy to help students and employees work through various challenging times in a mindful manner throughout the semester.

“Mindfulness is a skill that needs to be worked on consistently in order to master, similar to an instrument,” Weik said. “Our plan to offer multiple avenues to practice mindfulness at UToledo is to get the community in the habit of regularly having it on its radar.”

Each week, spaces across Main Campus and Health Science Campus will be designated for students and employees to drop in during the open hours and practice mindfulness, whatever that means to the individual. There will be student-only spaces and employee-only spaces in order to avoid any hesitation with participation. Visit the Rocket Wellness website for location information and times.

For more information on this program, visit the Rocket Wellness website.

Rockets Win MAC Institutional Academic Award With 3.277 GPA

The University of Toledo has been named the recipient of the 2018-19 Mid-American Conference Institutional Academic Achievement Award, the conference office announced Aug. 26. For the past academic year, UToledo’s student-athletes posted a school-record grade point average of 3.277.

It is the second consecutive year the Rockets have won the award, and the sixth time in the past eight years.

The MAC Institutional Academic Achievement Award is presented annually to the conference institution that achieves the highest overall GPA for student-athletes competing in school-sponsored sports for the academic year.

“We put tremendous emphasis on academic excellence at The University of Toledo, so it is very gratifying to know that our student-athletes are being recognized for their superior achievement in the classroom,” UToledo Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien said. “This is the second year in a row we set the school-record for our department grade-point average, and the sixth time in the past eight years we have won the MAC Institutional Achievement Award. That consistency speaks to the determined efforts of our student-athletes, as well as the outstanding support they receive from the parents, coaches, classroom instructors and Student Athlete Academic Services staff members.”

“The Student-Athlete Academic Support Services staff is excited to break another academic record and continue the academic success of our student-athletes,” Ericka Lavender, associate athletic director for academics, added. “We are extremely proud of our student-athletes, coaches, faculty and staff. Without their support, we would not be able to achieve and maintain the academic success at UToledo.”

A year ago, Toledo won the MAC Academic Achievement Award with a 3.266 GPA, a school record at the time. The Rockets also set a then-school record while winning the award in 2015-16 (3.235 GPA). The other academic years that Toledo won the award were 2014-15 (3.213 GPA), 2012-13 (3.200) and 2011-12 (3.171).

MAC Institutional Academic Achievement Award
2018-19 – University of Toledo
2017-18 – University of Toledo

2016-17 – Western Michigan University
2015-16 – University of Toledo
2014-15 – University of Toledo

2013-14 – Miami University
2012-13 – University of Toledo
2011-12 – University of Toledo

2010-11 – University of Akron
2009-10 – Bowling Green State University
2008-09 – Ball State University
2007-08 – Northern Illinois University
2006-07 – Central Michigan University
2005-06 – Central Michigan University
2004-05 – Central Michigan University
2003-04 – Central Michigan University
2002-03 – Central Michigan University
2001-02 – Central Michigan University
2000-01 – Bowling Green State University
1999-00 – Central Michigan University
1998-99 – Central Michigan University
1997-98 – Central Michigan University
1996-97 – Ball State University / Central Michigan University (tie)
1995-96 – Bowling Green State University
1994-95 – Bowling Green State University

Rockets Picked to Win MAC West Division by Coaches

The University of Toledo football team was picked to finish in first place in the Mid-American Conference’s West Division in a ballot of the league’s head coaches that was released Aug. 26 by the conference office.

The Rockets received four first-place votes and 59 total points in the poll, just ahead of Western Michigan (56) and Northern Illinois (49).

Bryant Koback and the Rockets open their season Saturday, Aug. 31, at Kentucky.

Ohio was picked to win the MAC East, with all 12 coaches picking the Bobcats to finish on top of the division.

Toledo opens its 2019 campaign with a visit to SEC foe Kentucky Saturday, Aug. 31, before returning to the Glass Bowl Saturday, Sept. 14, for the home opener against Murray State.

To order tickets, stop by the UT Athletic Ticket Office, located in the Sullivan Athletic Complex at Savage Arena, go to the Toledo Football Central website, or call 419.530.GOLD (4653). UToledo students are admitted free with their Rocket ID; faculty and staff can buy tickets half price with ID.

Team (First-Place Votes), Total Points
MAC West Division
1. Toledo (4), 59

2. Western Michigan (4), 56
3. Northern Illinois (2), 49
4. Eastern Michigan, 42
5. Ball State (1), 26
6. Central Michigan (1), 20

MAC East Division
1. Ohio (12), 72
2. Buffalo, 50
3. Miami, 49
4. Kent State, 37
5. Akron, 25
6. Bowling Green, 19

Poet/Activist to Return to Alma Mater to Launch ‘Legacy of Black People in America’

Sierra Leone, president and artistic director of Oral Funk Poetry Productions, will visit The University of Toledo to kick off 1619-2019: The Legacy of Black People in America Series.

“Voices of the People” is the title of the first program in the series.


Leone, a writer and leader of an urban poetry movement in Dayton, Ohio, will speak Thursday, Aug. 29, at the event, which will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Thompson Student Union Steps on Centennial Mall. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, the program will be moved inside the Thompson Student Union.

“This series of events over this next year is to commemorate the totality of the horrific and majestic experience of black people in America from 1619 to 2019,” Ben Davis, professor of law and co-chair of the 1619 Committee, said. “We are also planning other events — Health and the People, Art and the People, Slavery and the People, Faith and the People, Law and the People — and a writing contest are in the works to hopefully have a series of learning moments for our University community over the course of the school year.”

“The purpose of this first program is to have members of the community honor and commemorate the lives and experiences of African Americans — living, dead, famous, infamous, from any field of endeavor — through spoken word, quotes, sayings, poems and readings,” said Angela Siner, director of the Africana Studies Program and co-chair of the 1619 Committee.

“We want these programs to inspire and engage through the words and stories that spotlight African Americans’ contributions to U.S. culture during the past 400 years,” Davis said.

Both agree Leone is the perfect person to open the series.

Leone received the 2018 Ohio Governor’s Award in the community development and participation category. The honor was presented by the Ohio Arts Council and Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation and recognized the educator and entrepreneur for creating and strengthening interactive arts participation among diverse community members while increasing awareness about the arts.

More than a decade ago, Leone and her husband, Robert Owens Sr., founded Oral Funk Poetry Productions; the creative urban arts initiative has brought together communities across racial, cultural, ideological and economic divides.

She told the Dayton Daily News she was influenced by growing up in a large family with a grandmother who believed life is better when shared: “In community, we can be more creative, more impactful, reach more people in diverse audiences.”

Her project, The Signature: A Poetic Medley Show, presents a fusion of urban poetry, music, dance and visual arts from local, regional and international talent. The quarterly show expanded to include a competition, The Last Poet Standing.

Through Signature Educational Solutions in Dayton, Leone works with schools, youth art organizations and community groups. A big focus is on girls’ and women’s empowerment.

The wordsmith has written and performed commissioned works for many organizations, and she was the featured artist at the 2017 National Breaking Silences Conference, where she shared a poem about her journey with dyslexia.

Leone was known as Lucy Armstrong when she received a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice in 2000 from The University of Toledo. The native of the Glass City is working on a book of poems and short stories.

1619-2019: The Legacy of Black People in America Series is free and sponsored by the College of Law, the College of Arts and Letters, the Africana Studies Program, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.