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Toledo Athletics Launches Rocket Spring Reading Program

The University of Toledo Athletic Department is launching the Rocket Spring Reading Program for students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

To complete the program, students must read at least 10 books between March 25 and May 31. Each book must be recorded in the student’s Rocket Reading Log.

With recent developments requiring students to learn from home, the Rocket Spring Reading Program is designed to encourage kids to continue hitting the books. The reward for completing the program is one free ticket to the Toledo Football home opener against San Diego State Saturday, Sept. 12.

Each student must bring his or her completed Rocket Reading Log to the Rocket Ticket Office located at Savage Arena on Main Campus. The guardian of the student will receive the ticket via email/mobile to the Sept. 12 game. Tickets are based on availability.

There are three separate specialized categories: kindergarten through second grade, third through fifth grade, and sixth through eighth grade. The deadline to redeem the 2020 Rocket Spring Reading Program reward is Friday, July 10, at 5 p.m. at the Rocket Ticket Office.

Download the Rocket Reading Logs: kindergarten through second grade, third through fifth grade and sixth through eighth grade.

For more information, email Adam Simpson at adam.simpson@utoledo.edu.

College of Arts and Letters Offers Virtual Showcase During Stay-at-Home Order

The University of Toledo College of Arts and Letters has launched a series of videos on its social media channels designed to showcase the arts and humanities as the community rides out the pandemic at home.

The series, called 2-Minute Desk Sets, is an opportunity to “Stop, breathe, and enjoy something beautiful courtesy of our amazing arts and humanities faculty,” said Dr. Melissa Gregory, associate dean in the College of Arts and Letters.

She summed up the theme of the series: “In these challenging times, let’s share what we love.”

Each week the series will feature one or two videos, one on Monday and another on Wednesday. The video might be of a reading of a famous work or a mini-performance.

On Monday, March 30, Yerra Sugarman, visiting assistant professor of creative writing in the English Department, will share one of her poems, “Hymn.”

For those wishing to follow the series online, go to the College of Arts and Letters Facebook page or the College of Arts and Letters Twitter.

Past videos also are available on the college’s YouTube playlists page. Two videos are there to view. As more videos are released, they will be posted to this site.

Songfest Moves Online During Coronavirus Pandemic

The song, dance and philanthropy of Songfest has united students at The University of Toledo since 1937.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 83rd annual event won’t take place at Savage Arena in front of a big crowd as originally planned.

However, organizers found a way for the show to go on online.

The fun has already started on Twitter. Go to @UToledoSongfest to vote for the best Songfest performances of all time.

Students who have been preparing their performances for Songfest 2020 “Rockets Hit Shuffle” also will share their dances and songs from home to the Twitter account using the hashtag #Songfest2020. And money will still be raised for this year’s charitable organization — the Family and Child Abuse Prevention Center.

“We want to turn this sad time for many students into an opportunity to engage and raise awareness for the Family and Child Abuse Prevention Center, which works to promote healthy relationships and break the cycle of family violence so every home can be a safe home,” said Grace Garcia, UToledo student and member of the Mortar Board National Honor Society. “Many hours of practice go into the weeks and months leading up to Songfest, and we want to carry on this beloved tradition in the safest way possible in this unprecedented time when we can’t be together.”

Garcia said raising money and awareness to help domestic violence victims is especially important right now as families are huddled at home because of the national shutdown to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“Spotlighting this issue can have a huge impact because children and families with a history of domestic violence are at an increased risk of facing more problems as schools are closed and many employees are working from home or not working,” Garcia said.

The Songfest donor drive is open until Monday, March 30. To donate, go to the Fundly website.

UToledo Launches COVID-19 Emergency Support Crowdfunding Campaign to Help Students

As the world grapples with the growing coronavirus pandemic, The University of Toledo has created a fund to assist students during this unprecedented time.

Rocket nation is asked to consider donating to the COVID-19 Student Emergency Support Crowdfunding Campaign.

The University of Toledo Foundation is partnering with the UToledo Division of Student Affairs with a goal to raise $30,000 by the end of the fiscal year. The campaign collected $10,000 in a matter of hours after launching, and, as of March 23, more than $20,000 has been raised.

“The outpouring of support since this fund launched has been amazing,” UToledo President Sharon L. Gaber said. “We want to thank alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the University who are coming together to assist our students. We are Rockets helping Rockets.”

“So many UToledo students are being impacted by this new reality we are living,” Dr. Phillip “Flapp” Cockrell, vice president for student affairs and vice provost, said. “Within a week, 1,159 of our students can no longer work on campus, and 125 students are not able to return home to their native countries.”

“Gifts through this campaign will alleviate some financial stress and worries for UToledo students who are struggling to maintain basic needs,” said Dr. Michele Soliz, associate vice president for student success and inclusion.

This online giving campaign will provide emergency relief for students in need. Donations will help students facing financial hardships pay for housing, utilities, car repairs, medical bills, food and toiletries.

“Together, we can make a difference for our UToledo students,” Cockrell said. “Gifts of any amount will be appreciated.”

Make a donation and learn more about the drive on the COVID-19 Student Emergency Support Crowdfunding Campaign website.

UToledo students can apply for up to $500. For details, go to the Division of Student Affairs website.

“We encourage students in need to apply for help,” Soliz said. “We will review applications and work with the Office of Financial Aid to distribute funds.”

For more information, contact the Office of Multicultural Student Success at omss@utoledo.edu.

Match Day Goes Virtual: UToledo Medical Students Asked to Share Photos, Videos

Celebrating online — that’s what 165 fourth-year medical students at The University of Toledo will do when they find out where they will continue their training Friday, March 20.

This unprecedented time calls for a virtual Match Day event. The live stream will start at 11:30 a.m. on the College of Medicine and Life Sciences website.

The highly anticipated annual ceremony will take place at noon as UToledo graduating medical students will join thousands of their peers across the country to open emails that contain their match.

To recognize this memorable day in a safe way, Dr. Christopher Cooper, dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, and executive vice president for clinical affairs, invites students to share their social media posts, photos, videos and messages during the live-stream event.

Students are asked to use #UToledoMatch on social media posts. In addition, students may send messages, photos from watch parties and more to medsocial@utoledo.edu. Photos and videos of students opening their emails to learn where they matched are encouraged.

Special GIF stickers for UToledo’s virtual Match Day have been created: Search UToledo in the Instagram and Snapchat apps.

Medical students spend months interviewing with hospitals and universities across the nation to determine where they want to continue to their medical training.

Students rank their top institutions, and academic and community-based health systems rank their top student choices. A computer algorithm administered by the National Resident Matching Program then puts together the students and residency programs.

Residents are licensed physicians who care for patients under the supervision of attending physicians while they continue to train in their chosen specialties.

Last year, 165 UToledo fourth-year medical students matched into positions in 23 specialties at institutions in 28 states.

Nominations Sought for UToledo Gold T, Blue T, Young Alum Awards

Wednesday, April 15, is the deadline to submit nominations for The University of Toledo Alumni Association’s most prestigious awards.

UToledo, Medical College of Ohio and Medical University of Ohio graduates are eligible to be nominated for:

The Gold T, which is presented to a UToledo graduate in recognition of outstanding achievement in his or her field of endeavor while providing leadership and noteworthy service to the community.

The Blue T, which is given to a UToledo Alumni Association member and University graduate who has made outstanding contributions to the progress and development of the Alumni Association and his or her alma mater.

The Edward H. Schmidt Outstanding Young Alum Award, which is presented to a University graduate who is 35 years or younger in recognition of outstanding achievement in her or his field of endeavor, while providing leadership and noteworthy service to the Alumni Association, University or community. This award is named in memory of the 1942 alumnus and a longtime supporter of the University and its Alumni Association.

To submit a nomination, contact Sarah Metzger, executive assistant and alumni relations coordinator, at sarah.metzger2@utoledo.edu or 800.235.6766 with the name, email address or telephone number of the UToledo graduate and the award for which he or she is being nominated. Nominees will be contacted for information to be considered by the Alumni Association Awards Committee.

Individuals nominated in 2019 remain in the pool of candidates and do not need to be submitted again.

The winners of these awards will be recognized during the Alumni Homecoming Gala Friday, Oct. 2, and during Homecoming Saturday, Oct. 3.

For more information, contact William Pierce, associate vice president of alumni engagement, at william.pierce@utoledo.edu or 800.235.6766.

All MAC Spring Sports Seasons Canceled

At the direction of Dr. Jon Steinbrecher, commissioner of the Mid-American Conference, and in consultation with the MAC Council of Presidents and Council of Directors of Athletics, the following revised policies will be implemented:

• Cancel the MAC Women’s Gymnastics Championship, which was originally scheduled for Saturday, March 21, at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Mich.

• Cancel regular season and championship competition, and nontraditional season competition, for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year.

• Suspend formal and organized practices until further notice.

• Suspend off-campus recruiting activities and official and unofficial visits. The only permissible recruiting will be written and electronic communication to include letters, emails, text messages and phone calls, in compliance with existing NCAA legislation.

The decision to cancel spring sports competition affects seven Rocket programs (baseball, men’s golf, women’s golf, softball, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, and women’s outdoor track and field,) as well as the women’s soccer and women’s volleyball teams, which hold off-season competitions.

All activities that had been scheduled on UToledo campus athletic facilities through March 31 have been canceled. The possible cancellation of activities scheduled for dates after March 31 — including summer camps and other larger gatherings — will be determined later.

“The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staff has always been and will continue to be the main priority of The University of Toledo Department of Athletics,” UToledo Vice President and Athletic Director Michael O’Brien said. “During these challenging times, we will continue to follow the directions and guidelines that we receive from the federal, state, University and conference levels. We will also try our very best to keep our supporters updated on any and all information regarding our athletic programs.”

Mid-American Conference Basketball Tournament Canceled

The Mid-American Conference has canceled the remainder of the 2020 MAC men’s and women’s basketball tournaments due to concerns about the coronavirus.

The announcement came shortly before noon Thursday, followed by a news conference with MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland.

The men’s tournament was scheduled to begin today. No. 7 seed Toledo was scheduled to play No. 2 seed Bowling Green at 6:30 p.m.

The women’s tournament completed quarterfinals games yesterday, with the No. 9 seed Rockets upsetting No. 1 seed Central Michigan.

Semifinals and championship games had been scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

Should the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments be played as scheduled, the MAC regular-season champions would receive the league’s automatic bids, Steinbrecher said in the news conference. That would send Akron to the men’s tournament and Central Michigan to the women’s tournament.

No final determination has been made on the status of the NCAA tournaments.

UPDATED: Women’s Basketball Team Upsets Top Seed Central Michigan in MAC Tourney Quarterfinals, 78-71

UPDATED: Mid-American Conference Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher announced March 12 the remainder of the 2020 MAC men’s and women’s basketball tournaments has been canceled due to concerns about the coronavirus.

Win and advance: Toledo upset No. 1 seed Central Michigan, 78-71, Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the Mid-American Conference Tournament in Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland.

With the impressive win, the Rockets improve to 14-17 on the season and advance to the MAC Tournament semifinals against No. 4 Ohio (19-11) Friday, March 13, at 11 a.m. in Cleveland.

Junior Tanaya Beacham had 14 points, seven boards and one steal in Toledo’s upset victory against Central Michigan March 11 in Cleveland.

Toledo outscored the MAC regular-season champion Chippewas 20-5 in the pivotal third period to take control of the neutral-court matchup. The Rockets held CMU (23-7) scoreless for the final eight-plus minutes in the quarter to establish a lead they would not give up.

Molly Davis knocked down a triple to put CMU in front 44-39 at the 8:31 mark in the third quarter. The Chippewas would not score again until MAC Player of the Year Micaela Kelly converted a trey with 9:27 left in regulation. Toledo forced Central Michigan to miss 12 of its 14 shots in the period, and the Chips shot a frigid 14.3% from the field.

Junior Tanaya Beacham led a season-tying best five Rockets in double figures with 14 points, followed closely by classmate Nakiah Black, senior Sara Rokkanen, junior Tatyana Davis and freshman Quinesha Lockett with 12, 11, 11 and 11, respectively.

Toledo also benefited from eight points, a team-high eight caroms, a contest-best seven helpers and three steals to advance to the MAC’s Final Four for the seventh time in 12 years under Head Coach Tricia Cullop.

As a team, the Rockets shot a respectable 45.2% (28 of 62) from the floor, including 9 of 26 from three-point range, and 68.4% (13 of 19) from the charity stripe.

Toledo also finished with 13 assists, compared to a season-tying low 10 turnovers to run its record to 7-4 all-time against the Chippewas in the conference tournament.

Kyra Bussell paced Central Michigan with a game-high 23 points, including 21 in the first half, while Kelly added 21.

MAC Basketball Tournament to be Played Without Spectators

Following consultation with Ohio government and public health officials, and at the recommendation of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, the Mid-American Conference announced March 10 the 2020 Mid-American Conference Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland will be played. However, a restricted attendance policy will be implemented for the tournament.

Permitted to attend the tournaments will be only credentialed institutional personnel; student-athlete family members; credentialed media, television and radio crews; and official team party members.

For all others, the tournament games will be closed to the general public.

This decision was made in consultation and guidance with local government, public health and medical officials to limit large gatherings due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

“The safety of all is our greatest concern. Since January, I have stated that any decision would follow the advice of state governmental officials and medical professionals. Following the feedback, we received today [March 10], we have taken this action, which is in alignment with the recommendation of Gov. DeWine,” said Dr. Jon Steinbrecher, Mid-American Conference commissioner.

Fans will be able to watch the games through live streaming and cable networks. A full listing of games and television outlets is listed below.

Quarterfinal games for the women’s tournament begin Wednesday, March 11, with Toledo facing Central Michigan at noon (ESPN+).

The men’s tournament will begin Thursday, March 12, with Toledo battling rival Bowling Green at 6:30 p.m. (ESPN+)

Semifinal games for both tournaments will be played Friday, March 13, with championship games Saturday, March 14.

Rocket fans who have already purchased tickets to the tournament will receive a full refund. Fans who have questions may call the Rocket Ticket Office at 419.530.GOLD (4653).

The UToledo Alumni Office pregame parties scheduled at Harry Buffalo prior to each game also have been canceled.