2020 August | UToledo News

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Archive for August, 2020

Education Professor Named American Psychological Association Fellow

Dr. Revathy Kumar, professor of educational psychology in The University of Toledo Judith Herb College of Education, has been elected a Fellow of the American Psychological Association.

The appointment will be effective in January.

Kumar

With more than 121,000 members, the American Psychological Association is the leading scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States.

Kumar joined the UToledo faculty in 2001. Her research focuses on social and cultural processes involved in constructing a sense of self and identity among adolescents in culturally diverse societies. Of particular interest are the roles of teachers, teacher-education programs, schools, communities and families in facilitating minority and immigrant adolescents’ development, learning and motivation.

Her work has been published in education and psychology journals, and she has authored and co-authored several book chapters. In addition, Kumar has given presentations about her research around the world.

“I am honored to be elected a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. It is humbling to be nominated and elected by scholars whose work I respect and admire,” Kumar said. “I also want to acknowledge the support I have received over the last 20 years from my colleagues and administrators at The University of Toledo to engage in the kind of work I love doing.

“Now I am even more energized to collaborate with teachers to conduct intervention research to improve the academic and psychological wellbeing of students, particularly those from minority and immigrant backgrounds,” she added.

“We are extremely proud Dr. Revathy Kumar is receiving Fellow recognition within the prestigious American Psychological Association,” Dr. Raymond Witte, dean of the Judith Herb College of Education, said. “Few within the profession receive this distinction, and Dr. Kumar and her work are indeed worthy of the honor.”

Kappa Delta Rho Fraternity Wins Big at National Convention

When the National Fraternity of Kappa Delta Rho hosted its 105th National Convention earlier this month, the men at The University of Toledo who proudly wear the letters of Kappa Delta Rho fraternity were celebrated repeatedly throughout the virtual event.

Members of the UToledo chapter received:

Members of Kappa Delta Rho fraternity, shown here in a pre-pandemic photo, received several awards at the national convention in August.

• The John V. Dempsey Outstanding Chapter Website Award;

• The Leo T. Wolford Award for Outstanding Campus Involvement; and

• The Outstanding Chapter Operations Award.

The men of the Pi Alpha Chapter of Kappa Delta Rho fraternity also were honored with the Robert D. Corrie Chapter of the Year Award. This honor is given to the chapter that demonstrates the five fraternity values: fellowship, leadership, scholarship, service and tradition.

Individual members of the chapter also were recognized at the national level. Avery Charles was the recipient of the Outstanding New Member Award, and Alumni Advisor Rick Longenecker was honored with the Outstanding Chapter Advisor Award.

“The Greek community is incredibly proud of the achievements that the men of Kappa Delta Rho have made here on our campus, and we look forward to seeing them continue to progress and showcase the positive aspects of fraternity membership,” Alex Zernechel, UToledo assistant director for Greek life, said.

Explore Campus With Instagram Scavenger Hunt

Explore The University of Toledo campus and win prizes along the way through a series of scavenger hunts hosted on the UofToledo Instagram account.

During the three-day scavenger hunt, which runs through Saturday, Aug. 29, clues will be posted each day featuring ten campus locations on Main Campus, Health Science Campus or the Center for the Visual Arts on the University’s Toledo Museum of Art Campus.

Students will discover the location using the clues and that’s where they will find a prize inside a UToledo water bottle. If found, students are encouraged to share a selfie with the prize to let the UToledo community know that location has been claimed.

UToledo Launches Dashboard to Report Positive COVID-19 Cases On Campus

The University of Toledo has launched a public dashboard to provide transparent information about the prevalence of COVID-19 within the UToledo community.

The dashboard, which will be updated weekly, provides information about the number of positive cases among faculty, staff and students across the University. It also includes a snapshot of the University’s current cleaning and disinfectant supplies, as well as enhanced cleaning procedures.

“As the University continues to navigate this pandemic, we want to share what we know about the prevalence of COVID-19 within our campus community,” UToledo Interim President Gregory Postel said. “By building this dashboard, we’re also giving ourselves a better understanding of how cases on campus compare to the community around us, and what data-driven adjustments we may need to make to protect the health of our entire community.”

UToledo’s dashboard is part of a refreshed coronavirus website that details the University’s response to the pandemic.

Interim President Postel Describes Dashboard in Video

UToledo Interim President Gregory Postel, M.D., explains the dashboard data and how this information is being used by University leadership to make decisions to keep our campus community safe and healthy. Watch the video.

The positive cases are reported using data from a variety of sources, including tests conducted by The University of Toledo Medical Center on behalf of the University, self-reported cases, and the voluntary surveillance testing of asymptomatic faculty, staff and students.

Recognizing that employees and students may have sought testing through their own healthcare provider, UToledo is closely working with the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department and other public health agencies to receive updated reports of all cases connected to the University.

UToledo has COVID-19 testing available on both Main Campus and Health Science campus through UTMC for all symptomatic employees and students, with test results available in as little as 24 hours. Through a partnership with Azova, the University began voluntary random surveillance testing of asymptomatic faculty, staff and students on Aug. 19.

Additionally, the University is testing all student-athletes upon their return to campus. Surveillance testing of student-athletes will continue throughout the fall semester.

The University is encouraging faculty, staff and students to self-report positive cases in order for the University to more quickly provide appropriate resources and take precautions to keep campus safe.

Should a student require self-isolation due to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, UToledo has set aside alternative housing to protect the health and safety of all students.

Women & Philanthropy Awards Grant for Art Studio

Women & Philanthropy, a volunteer organization that promotes The University of Toledo through grants to UToledo, has given its 2020 grant in the amount of $65,000 to Barbara Miner, professor and chair of the Art Department.

The grant will assist in the creation of the University’s Axon Lab/Studio, which will be the first dedicated digital design and fabrication studio on campus.

The new lab/studio space will build on collaborations across multiple academic disciplines and colleges, and will provide new opportunities for collaboration in STEMM fields and in new curricula development, according to Miner. It will serve as an innovative learning hub where technology, creativity and interdisciplinary practices converge, as students are provided with resources that meet the newest industry standards in relation to software and hardware, and community partnerships are enhanced with new tools and resources.

“The creation of this lab space is pivotal to bringing together traditional skills and contemporary practices in order to prepare our students for the meteoric pace of job/life changes globally. We are so very grateful for this support from Women & Philanthropy,” Miner said.

With this grant, Women & Philanthropy has given a total of 21 grants totaling $623,687 to The University of Toledo over the past 10 years.

“Our mission is to support the University while building relationships among a community of generous, forward-thinking women,” Dee Talmage, chair of Women & Philanthropy, said. “Through this grant, we are excited to provide students with state-of-the art technologies as they prepare for contemporary careers or admission to graduate studies.”

Women & Philanthropy at The University of Toledo was chartered in 2006 and made its first award to UToledo in 2008. Through this giving circle, members of diverse backgrounds and interests work collaboratively to make positive, meaningful and immediate impacts at the University.

Applications and guidelines for 2021 grants will be available in late fall.

For more information, go to the Women & Philanthropy website.

UToledo Health Professions Chapter Places Highly in International Competition

A group of Rockets in the health professions have launched themselves from competition in Ohio to recognition among their peers at the international level.

In June, students in The University of Toledo chapter of the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) Future Health Professionals competed with state finalists from around the country during HOSA’s 2020 International Conference, held virtually for the first time in response to COVID-19.

More than 7,000 students from high schools and postsecondary institutions in the U.S., Canada and China participated in events testing their abilities in health science and leadership. The UToledo students had qualified to compete in the international conference during HOSA’s virtual statewide competition in April.

“Placing as a champion or becoming a finalist at a HOSA International Conference is
very significant, and each of these members deserves recognition for their dedication and hard work,” said Rupesh Boddapati, a bioengineering major and founder and president of UToledo’s chapter of HOSA Future Health Professionals. “I’m very thankful for their interest and dedication to the organization, to UToledo and to the community.”

HOSA Future Health Professionals, founded in 1975, is an international student organization with more than 245,000 members that helps to develop leadership and technical skills in health science education programs around the world.

UToledo students named 2020 HOSA International champions are:

• Rupesh Boddapati, third place in pathophysiology;

• Sharvari Brahme, second place in extemporaneous writing; and

• Maya Girn, third place in cultural diversities and disparities.

Several UToledo students also earned recognition as 2020 HOSA International finalists. They are Aditya Acharya in medical law and ethics; Samhitha Dasari in human growth and development; Megha Girn in nutrition; Drew Pariseau in nutrition; and Jessica Rinehart in medical math.

Main Campus Pharmacy Announces Fall Hours, Services

Starting Monday, Aug. 31, The University of Toledo’s Main Campus Outpatient Pharmacy will return to normal business hours during the week.

The pharmacy will be open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will be closed Saturday and Sunday.

While curbside pickup is still available, the waiting room has reopened with appropriate safety precautions in place.

“Taking care of our customers safely is our No. 1 priority,” Dr. Valerie Householder, manager of the Main Campus Outpatient Pharmacy, said. “We are here for you.”

The Main Campus Outpatient Pharmacy offers immunizations, over-the-counter medications, and personalized healthcare.

Customers may download and use the RXLOCAL app to request refills and receive updates on their prescriptions.

The pharmacy is located on the southwest side of Main Campus across from the Horton International House in the University Health Center, where parking is available next to the building.

For more information, call the Main Campus Outpatient Pharmacy at 419.530.3471.

In addition, curbside pickup is available at the Health Science Campus Pharmacy and the UToledo Access Pharmacy.

The Health Science Campus Pharmacy is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The pharmacy is located at 3000 Arlington Ave. inside the UTMC Medical Pavilion. The phone number is 419.383.3750.

The UToledo Access Pharmacy at 3333 Glendale Ave. in the Comprehensive Care Clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The phone number is 419.383.3370.

Handmade Face Coverings With a Message Benefit UTMC

The purple and teal-colored cotton fabrics were originally meant to be part of a quilt. Instead, they will help protect nurses and other healthcare workers at The University of Toledo Medical Center (UTMC).

The colors weren’t chosen at random. Purple honors National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which began in 1981; teal symbolizes Sexual Assault Awareness Month, observed nationally in April since 2001. The fabrics were to be stitched together with panels featuring supportive messages from students, faculty, staff and others in The University of Toledo community to create a “Messages of Hope” quilt as part of UToledo’s “What Were You Wearing?” exhibit, part of a nationwide effort to shed light on the experiences of sexual assault survivors and combat the myth that sexual violence is caused by a person’s choice of clothing.

Community volunteers Jennifer Kregel, Barbara Limes and Jen Minard, together with UToledo’s Title IX Office, donated 40 handmade masks for use at The University of Toledo Medical Center. The colors honor Sexual Assault Awareness Month (April) and National Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October).

But in March, as facilities and operations throughout UToledo shifted remotely in response to the growing threat of COVID-19 — including the format of the exhibit going to a virtual setting — the team in the University’s Title IX Office saw a different potential purpose for the energy and materials behind the quilt.

“We talked it over and quickly decided that cloth face coverings could have an immediate, meaningful impact at UTMC,” said Lindsay Tuttle, sexual misconduct prevention education coordinator for Title IX. “Our goal right now is to pull together as an institution, help our peers, and at the same time send a message in the fight against domestic violence and sexual assault.”

That’s where volunteer Jennifer Kregel comes in. Kregel, a family and consumer sciences teacher at Perrysburg High School and friend of the Title IX Office, saw right away how the two bundles of fabric for the quilt could be repurposed. Along with her mother, Barbara Limes, and Jen Minard, an acquaintance from church, the three began trying patterns and fits to determine what would be most comfortable.

“We really wanted the coverings to be practical, something you could wear all day,” Kregel said. “Especially right now, it was nice to know we were helping people in need and making people feel safer in their jobs. And the colors to raise awareness of sexual assaults and domestic violence were a big part of that.”

“Bringing awareness to sexual assault and domestic violence is not just a day or a month, so finding positive ways to continue the conversation is essential,” said Vicky Kulicke, UToledo’s director for Title IX and compliance, and Title IX coordinator. “If the recipients of the face coverings share the meaning behind the colors, then the conversation and awareness continue.”

Ultimately, 40 face coverings were completed with the group’s materials and delivered to UTMC, where they will be sent directly to the teams of nurses, clinicians and other workers.

“We are providing the cloth coverings to any department on site that is in need,” said Jennifer Pastorek, senior supply chain director for UToledo’s Health Science Campus. “Since they’re required, many staff wear the cloth face coverings in before transitioning to their personal protective equipment (PPE) required in the clinical spaces, thus preserving the use of PPE. We are so very grateful for this community outreach and outpouring of support for our hospital and clinical teams.”

UToledo Professor Publishes Thought-Provoking ‘Black Professor, White University’

Discrimination, marginalization, exclusion, non-promotion — these are some of the issues faced by the character Dr. Darrell Thomas, an African-American professor, when he joins the faculty at the fictitious Southwest Achval University.

In the new book, “Black Professor, White University,” Dr. Sakui W.G. Malakpa illuminates the racism that exists in the world of academia.

“I aspired to bring to the reader’s attention the fact that students, staff, professors and administrators of color in higher education face daunting challenges, especially in predominantly white institutions,” the professor of special education in The University of Toledo Judith Herb College of Education said. “The work also covers issues of sexism, historical facts and concepts such as critical race theory and white privilege.”

Malakpa published the 298-page book in May through Mill City Press Inc. in Maitland, Fla. “Black Professor, White University” is available through Amazon in print and on Kindle.

The main characters in the book are Dr. Darrell Thomas and his wife, Vanessa, who join Southwest Achval University to teach economics and African-American history, respectively. Both struggle to fit in at the predominantly white school. From renting an apartment for their family to unfair teaching ratings, they encounter discrimination. Undaunted, they persevere and work hard for promotions and tenure.

“While attending professional conferences, professors and administrators of color often informally discussed their experiences in their respective institutions. The differences but mainly similarities of those experiences intrigued me,” Malakpa said. “Likewise, I know people of all races who work in varied institutions of higher education. Talking with them informally also gave me food for thought.”

He added, “Hearing other people’s experiences is reassuring in that one does not feel alone.”

Malakpa

Making more aware of those experiences has never been more important.

“As a number of readers already have told me, ‘Black Professor, White University’ comes at the right time as the world reverberates with clamors of Black Lives Matter,” Malakpa said. “In an entertaining yet educative manner, readers will learn that issues of marginalization, discrimination, non-promotion and the like exist in higher education institutions, which ought to be a part of the solution, not the problem. The work underscores this point repeatedly despite the existence of positions — director for diversity, etc. — and centers for people of color in higher education institutions — like a center for diversity.”

The work also offers suggestions for promoting, enhancing and maintaining diversity in higher education.

“As a professor of color and one who is blind, there’s no doubting of the fact that, after more than three decades, I have had my own experiences and challenges,” Malakpa said. “However, ‘Black Professor, White University’ is based less on my experiences and more on materials from the literature and the experiences of other professors of color. This is why I am currently writing a nonfictional work on the same topic.”

His own story is a page-turner.

Born in Wozi, Liberia, Malakpa lost his sight when he was a teenager; he contracted onchocerciasis or river blindness from parasites transmitted by black flies. He studied at the School for the Blind and then enrolled in Albert Academy in Freetown, Sierra Leone. He headed to the United States to continue his education at Florida State University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in three years and a master’s degree in one year. Malakpa then earned a second master’s degree and a doctorate in education from Harvard University.

In 1986, he came to The University of Toledo as an assistant professor of special education. Malakpa was promoted to associate professor in 1990 and professor in 1998. Along the way, he earned a juris doctor from the UToledo College of Law while conducting research on special education and international studies, and teaching undergraduate- and graduate-level courses.

“In general, Toledo has been a great place to live for more than three decades, but the best part of my work is the students. They give me not only reason, but also joy, enthusiasm and vitality to go to the University,” Malakpa said. “I enjoy working with students. Evidently, they enjoy working with me, too, as I have been voted both outstanding adviser and teacher; very few professors at the University have won both awards, and for that, I thank my students with all my heart.”

UToledo Updates Title IX Policy to Comply With New Regulations

The University of Toledo has updated its Title IX policy and procedures in compliance with new regulations on how to address incidents of sexual harassment.

The new regulations from the U.S. Department of Education, which went into effect Aug. 14, impact the procedures that fall under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which is the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination at institutions that receive federal funding.

Among the changes to the regulations, and therefore also UToledo’s Title IX policy, is an updated definition of sexual harassment, which is the umbrella category that includes sexual harassment, actual or attempted sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. It is defined as unwelcome conduct that would be determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the University’s education, employment program or activity.

The new regulations also change the hearing processes for Title IX investigations requiring a live hearing with cross examination through an advisor, which may be, but doesn’t need to be, an attorney. It also has been determined that the hearings can take place in person or using technology.

The scope of incidents that fall under jurisdiction of Title IX also is narrowed to programs or activities that includes locations, events or circumstances over which the school exercised substantial control.

The regulations set minimum standards that universities must take, but institutions can choose to do more. UToledo will continue to use a preponderance of evidence standard of proof that the alleged conduct did or did not violate the Title IX policy.

“We are committed to creating a safe environment for everyone on our campuses that is free of harassment,” said Vicky Kulicke, Title IX coordinator and director of Title IX and compliance. “We appreciate the campus community’s input in updating our policy, and we remain committed to our continued prevention and education programming, in addition to our role in investigating reports of sexual misconduct against members of the University community.”

The new regulations also expand the University’s obligation to ensure the community knows how to report incidents to the Title IX coordinator. The Title IX Office is working with units across campus to include contact information in additional materials and UToledo added a Notice of Nondiscrimination to its website.

UToledo’s Title IX website also has been updated aligned with the new regulations, providing additional information about what the office does, how to contact it, the investigation and appeals processes, and the training UToledo employees participate in. The updated Title IX policy is available online.

A summary of the major provisions to what is referred to as the Title IX Final Rule is available on the U.S. Department of Education website.