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Toledo Football Player Followed His Heart to Find a Career Path

Like many college students, Bryce Harris arrived on campus as a freshman looking for some guidance.

A scholarship football player, Harris had all the help he needed from the Rocket coaching staff. There was no issue there. But on the academic side, he had no idea what to major in, or beyond that, what he would like to pursue as a career after football. He only knew one thing for sure: He liked working with young people.

Bryce Harris ran with a youngster at Victory Day in 2016.

An introductory career class and some assistance from a UToledo success coach helped send him in the right direction.

The class was Career and Self-Evaluation, taught by DeMya Wimberley, who also became Harris’ success coach. By his sophomore year, Harris had his direction — school counseling.

“DeMya helped me find my academic niche and my career field,” said Harris, the Rockets’ starting center. “My goals in life centered around helping people. I just needed to find a career that would allow me to do that.”

Winberley said Harris possessed all the tools for success before he came to college. He just needed a little nudge.

“I saw right away that Bryce had a maturity about him. He had a focus. He just needed direction,” said Wimberley, who is a program manager for the Center for Success Coaching. “My class helps students learn more about themselves. Sometimes you need to learn a little more about yourself before you can choose a career path.”

Since UToledo does not have an undergraduate major in school counseling, Harris chose psychology as his major with a minor in school counseling. He earned his bachelor’s degree in spring 2019. He then entered the College of Graduate Studies, which does have a school counseling major. He is on course to receive his master’s degree next spring.

While the time commitment of being a student-athlete can pose its challenges, for Harris it has provided an opportunity he might not otherwise have had.

“My home life was very stable growing up, but in reality, I’m not sure I would have even gone to college right out of high school if it wasn’t for football,” said Harris, who attended Firestone High School in Akron. “It would have been a bit tough financially. I probably would have worked for a few years and then maybe pursued it later in life.”

In addition, the circumstances of his athletic career have made it possible for him to finish six years of higher education while on an athletic scholarship. After sitting out his first season as a redshirt in 2015, Harris moved his way into the starting lineup the following season. He became a stalwart on the offensive line, earning second-team All-Mid-American Conference honors as a junior in 2018. However, off-season surgery forced him to sit out the 2019 season, while the Coronavirus pandemic has put the 2020 season on hold. With his athletic career delayed, Harris has forged ahead on his academic journey. A two-time Academic All-MAC honoree, Harris gained the opportunity to earn not one, but two degrees during his playing career as a Rocket.

Bryce Harris posed last year with some students from St. Pius X Catholic School in Toledo.

“Bryce is someone who has always maximized his ability and potential in everything he does, both on and off the field,” said Toledo Head Football Coach Jason Candle. “He’s a mature young man who has really grasped the concept of what it means to be a student-athlete. It takes a special person to be in a position to earn two degrees while playing college football. It says a lot about his parents, too. They have been supporting him through every step of the way.”

Harris said the highlight of his academic experience thus far has been an externship at St. Pius X Catholic School in Toledo. There, he worked with students in a classroom, helping them with their assignments, but also getting to know them as individuals, listening to their problems, and offering guidance. He was required to work 60 hours in the program, but enjoyed it so much he volunteered for an additional 60 hours. He also participated in an after-school program there, spending time with students until their parents or guardians were able to pick them up. For Harris, the experience fit perfectly with his goal to help others. It’s something he does in his spare time as well.

“My parents always taught me that if you’re in a position to help others, do it,” Harris said. “I’ve been doing some type of volunteer work since my freshman year of high school back in Akron. So coming to Toledo and participating in all of the volunteer opportunities they provide for us in the football program has always been a no-brainer for me to sign up. I love working with the youth, or anyone in need. Seeing a smile on someone’s face is all I need to brighten my day.”

Harris’ life away from football is on a pretty clear path right now. He has two more semesters left to finish before he receives his master’s degree in May. He also got married during spring break last March to his high school sweetheart, Janelle Perry, a former track and field star at both Ursuline College and Central Michigan University.

What is somewhat less certain is his future on the gridiron. Like all his teammates, Harris is hopeful that there will be a spring football season so he can wear the Midnight Blue and Gold one last time. There is also more at stake than just school pride for Harris, who is a candidate for the Rimington Award as the nation’s best center and the Outland Trophy as the country’s top down lineman. Another good season also could improve his prospects for a potential NFL career, especially since he has not played football in almost two years.

“I’ve been playing football since I was 8 years old and all that time I’ve dreamed of playing in the NFL,” Harris said. “I worked hard to get an athletic scholarship so I could get my college degree and get a chance to play in the NFL. Hopefully, I can do both.”

2020 Varsity ‘T’ Hall of Fame Class Announced

The University of Toledo Varsity ‘T’ Hall of Fame will induct seven former student-athletes this fall.

A dinner will be scheduled at a later date, pending developments with the COVID-19 pandemic. Information on purchasing tickets will be announced after the event is scheduled.

The 2020 Varsity ‘T’ Hall of Fame inductees are:

Kate Bean McCauley, women’s volleyball, 2003 to 2006. She dominates the Toledo volleyball record book, ranking first in career attacks (4,522), second in career kills (1,515) and career service aces (173), third in career kills per set (3.40) and fifth in career digs (1,401). She also ranks fourth for most kills (435) in a season, and her 39 digs vs. Ball State as a senior was the most ever by a Rocket in a match. A native of Louisville, Ky., McCauley made the Mid-American Conference All-Tournament Team in 2005. She is the only Rocket in volleyball program history to be named to the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-America First Team (2005 and 2006) and is one of two student-athletes in Toledo history to be a member of the first team on more than one occasion. She also was a three-time Academic All-MAC team selection and a three-time Academic All-District pick.

Jeremiah Detmer, football, 2011 to 2014. A three-time All-MAC selection, Detmer was the 2013 MAC Special Teams Player of the Year. That season, Detmer was a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award that goes to the nation’s top kicker, a year in which he also made first-team All-MAC, connecting on 19 of 20 field goals and 44 of 45 extra points. Detmer is second on Toledo’s all-time field-goal list with 65, trailing only Rusty Hanna (68 from 1989 to 1992), and seventh all-time among MAC kickers. He is the MAC’s all-time leader in field-goal percentage (65-77/84.4%) and ranks third in points scored in Toledo history with 340. His long field goal of 52 yards ranks second in Toledo history. Detmer was named MAC West Division Special Teams Player of the Week nine times during his career. He ranked No. 44 on Toledo’s All-Century Team released in 2017 and was the only kicker on the list. As a freshman in 2011, Detmer was used mostly for kickoffs, but he still hit field goals of 50 and 52 yards. He took over the field-goal duties full time in 2012, at one point making 17 field goals in a row. He ended the season hitting 24 of 29 boots, earning third-team All-MAC honors. His best game in 2012 came in a 29-23 win over No. 18 Cincinnati in which he hit all five of his field-goal attempts. In 2013, he extended his consecutive field-goal streak to 23, the fifth-longest streak in NCAA history. He also ranked second in the nation in field-goal percentage (95.0%). As a senior co-captain, he made second-team All-MAC, connecting on 17 of 22 field goals and nailing 57 of 59 extra points. A three-time Academic All-MAC selection, Detmer made Academic All-District in 2013. He graduated with a degree in education in 2015.

Greg Mancz, football, 2010 to 2014. A three-time All-MAC selection, Mancz won the Vern Smith Award as the top player in the MAC in 2014, the only offensive lineman ever to earn that honor. Mancz was a four-year starter on Rocket teams that went 34-17, and won two division co-championships and two bowl games. As a freshman, he earned Freshman All-America (Yahoo Sports) and Third-Team Freshman All-America (Phil Steele) honors in 2011. He was a key part of an offense that ranked eighth in the nation and first in the MAC in scoring (42.2), and 10th in the nation and first in the MAC in total offense (481.3). Toledo’s offensive line also ranked tied for sixth in the nation and first in the MAC in fewest sacks allowed (10) that season. He went on to make third-team All-MAC as a sophomore and second-team all-league as a junior. In his junior season, the Rocket offensive line allowed six sacks in 12 games, the fewest in the country. Mancz earned first-team All-MAC honors in 2014 for a Rocket offense that ranked No. 1 in the MAC in total offense (486.3) and in rushing offense (247.3). He also earned second-team All-America (Football Writers Association of America) honors, becoming the first Toledo offensive lineman to make either first- or second-team All-America on one of the five major All-America teams since Dan Bukovich made the Associated Press first-team in 1938. A four-time Academic All-MAC pick, Mancz has played five seasons in the NFL with Houston Texans. Mancz ranked No. 36 on Toledo’s All-Century Team that was released in 2017.

Jessica Popiel Stone, women’s golf, 1996 to 1999. She was the MAC Player of the Year and a first-team All-MAC selection as a senior in 1999, compiling a career-best stroke average of 78.7 that year. She also made the MAC All-Tournament Team in 1998, a year in which the Rockets won the MAC Invitational Tournament. Popiel was a tournament medalist twice in her career. Additionally, she was named a National Golf Coaches Association All-American in 1997 and 1998, and won the MAC Presidential Award (1998-99) and MAC Commissioners Award (1998-99). A four-year letter winner, Popiel co-captained the Rockets for the 1998-99 season. She was the first Rocket to compete in an LPGA Tour event, playing in the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic (now Marathon Classic) from 2000 to 2002.

Dr. John Rudley, men’s basketball, 1965 to 1969. Rudley was a four-year starter and two-time co-captain at point guard, helping to guide the 1966-67 team to a 23-2 record, MAC Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance. He was the team’s floor general and leading passer in an era when assists were not kept as a statistic. With scorers like Steve Mix, John Brisker and Bob Miller on the floor, he likely had big assist numbers. Rudley averaged 7.4 points and 3.9 rebounds as a sophomore, 12.0 points and 4.6 rebounds as a junior, and 15.0 points and 4.8 rebounds as a senior captain. Rudley received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from UToledo, then went on to earn his master’s degree and Ph.D. in administration from Tennessee State University. He served as the president of Texas Southern University from 2008 to 2016, and is president emeritus and distinguished professor of business there. Previously, he served as interim chancellor and president at the University of Houston (2007 to 2008), as well as vice chancellor for business and finance at Houston (2002 to 2007), vice chancellor for business and finance for the University of Tennessee Board of Regents (1995 to 2002), vice chancellor for administration and finance at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga (1987 to 1991, 1992 to 1995), and vice president for fiscal affairs at Texas Southern (1981 to 1987). He also worked for former Tennessee Gov. and Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander at the U.S. Dept. of Education from 1991 to 1992.

Chris Wallace, football 1995 to 1998. Wallace played quarterback for four seasons at Toledo and was the starter in 1997 and 1998. He ranks fourth in career touchdown passes (44); fifth in career passing yardage (5,454) and passing attempts (848); sixth in career passing completions; and seventh in completion percentage (54.7). He accumulated most of these numbers in just two seasons. As a junior in 1997, Wallace set records (all since broken) in passing yardage (2,955), passes completed (232) and TD passes (27). He still holds the single-season record for passes attempted (433). For his efforts in 1997, he was named second-team All-MAC. His biggest game as a Rocket came in 1997 when he passed for 364 yards in a thrilling win over Miami, tossing a winning TD strike to Brock Kreitzburg with just seconds remaining. Wallace led the Rockets to division titles in both 1997 and 1998, including an 8-0 start in 1997 that saw the Rockets move to No. 18 in the Associated Press poll. He played 18 seasons of professional arena football, retiring following the 2018 season. Wallace spent eight seasons with the Florida Firecats, setting league records in career touchdowns (484) and passes completed (1,797), and team records for TD passes (100) and passing yards (3,918). He led the Florida Tarpons to league titles in 2012 and 2013, and rejoined the team in 2015 until his retirement in 2018. Wallace was a high school football coach and dean of students at the Florida Christian Institute in Fort Myers for three years. He returned to Ohio to take care of his father, James, during his battle with Alzheimer’s disease, which ended in 2011. Wallace lives in Springfield, where he serves as the community mentor supervisor for the Springfield City School District. Wallace leads the Springfield Chapter of My Brothers Keeper, which was launched by President Obama as a national initiative to address the opportunity gaps facing young minority male students. The program connects students with community leaders through mentoring relationships and educational events to help ensure all young people reach their full potential. Wallace also coaches football at his alma mater, Springfield High School, where he serves as the offensive coordinator. In 2019, he helped lead the Wildcats to their first state semifinals in school history. He also serves as the head coach for the freshman basketball team at Springfield.

Inma Zanoguera, women’s basketball, 2011 to 2015. Zanoguera was a three-time All-MAC honoree who played on teams that averaged 22 wins per season and won one MAC regular-season championship and two division crowns. As a senior, Zanoguera earned first-team All-MAC honors, leading the Rockets in scoring (15.4), rebounding (6.7) and assists (5.0). She was selected as one of 30 NCAA women’s basketball nominees for 2014-15 Senior CLASS Award, only the second player in school history to make the list. As a junior, she averaged a team-best 14.0 points and 8.7 rebounds, earning second-team All-MAC. Zanoguera was a third-team All-MAC pick as a sophomore, averaging 10.2 points and 5.6 rebounds for a Rocket team that went 29-4 and won the MAC regular-season championship title. She was named MAC West Division Player of the Week six times in her career. Zanoguera, who played both guard and forward as a collegian, ranks fourth in school history in career minutes played (3,936), fifth in free-throw percentage (.819, 258 of 315) and games played (132), seventh in steals (195), 10th in rebounds (781), 10th in assists (375) and 15th in scoring (1,424 points). A two-time team captain, Zanoguera was twice named Academic All-MAC. She graduated with a degree in communication. After graduation, she played professional basketball in Italy. A native of Llucmajor, Spain, on the island of Majorca, Zanoguera played for all Spanish national teams from U16 to the senior team. She was a three-time European Championship Gold Medalist (2011, 2012, 2013); a Bronze Medalist with the Three-on-Three Senior Team in the 2015 European Olympics in Baku, Azerbaijan; and was selected to the All-Europe U20 First Team in 2013. Zanoguera was featured in a 2018 documentary titled “Running Home,” which chronicled her journey to the Western Sahara refugee camps in Algeria, where many Sahrawi people, including her mother, fled during a civil war in neighboring Morocco. While there, Zanoguera ran and won the Sahara Marathon in her first attempt to run the 26-plus-mile event.

Others to be honored by the Varsity ‘T’ Club include Dan Saevig, who will receive the Distinguished Service Award. Saevig retired in March as UToledo’s vice president of alumni engagement after serving his alma mater for 30 years. And receiving honorary lifetime membership awards from the Varsity ‘T’ Club will be former Toledo Mayor Mike Bell, a football player at UToledo from 1973 to 1976, and Jeff Hepinstall, who played football for the Rockets from 1974 to 1977 and has been an active member of the Varsity ‘T’ Club for many years.

Former Toledo Women’s Basketball Standout Signs Pro Contract in Israel

She’s back! Former Toledo women’s basketball great Naama Shafir is making a comeback. Shafir has signed a professional contract to play for Elitzur Ramla in the Israeli Female Basketball Premier League.

Shafir is one of nine former Rockets under Head Coach Tricia Cullop to play professionally overseas, joining Melissa Goodall (Italy and Spain), Andola Dortch (Belarus), Inma Zanoguera (Italy), Brenae Harris (Spain), Janice Monakana (Great Britain), Jay-Ann Bravo-Harriott (Spain and Great Britain), Mariella Santucci (Italy) and Sara Rokkanen (Spain) on that list.

In addition, Kaayla McIntyre, Janelle Reed-Lewis, Dortch and Harris currently play for the Toledo Threat, which is part of the women’s professional basketball organization.

Shafir, who retired in 2019 after getting married and giving birth to a daughter, is playing for Elitzur Ramla for the second time. During the 2017-18 season, she averaged 7.5 points, 3.1 rebounds and 4.7 assists in 30 games. Shafir shot 39.8% from the field, including 39.5% from three-point range, and 89.8% from the free-throw line, helping the team make it to the finals.

Most recently, Shafir played for Maccabi Ramat Hen in the D1 Israel National League during the 2018-19 campaign. She tallied 9.6 points, 4.5 boards, 4.7 helpers and 1.1 thefts in 24 contests. Shafir converted 49.3% from the floor, including 42.6% from beyond the arc, and 86.8% from the charity stripe, guiding the squad to the cup final and the league semifinals.

“I’m happy to hear Naama is resuming her professional career after taking a year off for the birth of her baby,” Cullop said. “She was a joy to coach, and I’m sure her teammates are thrilled for her return.”

One of the most decorated players in school history, Shafir was a four-time All-MAC selection. A 2018 Varsity ‘T’ Hall of Fame honoree, she sits first in program annals in career games played (139), minutes played (4,218) and assists (722), as well as ranking third in free throws made (538), fourth in steals (227), fifth in points (1,874), seventh in field goals made (601), tied for ninth in scoring average (13.5), and 10th in free-throw percentage (.773).

As a freshman, Shafir averaged 11.7 points and 4.5 assists, earning honorable mention All-Mid-American Conference recognition. A year later, she earned second-team all-league honors, contributing 14.3 points and 6.7 helpers, leading Toledo to the MAC Championship Game for the first time since 2001. As a junior, Shafir tallied 15.3 points and 5.1 assists, garnering first-team All-MAC accolades. The Rockets won the MAC regular-season championship that year and went on to capture the Postseason WNIT. She was named tourney MVP, scoring a career-high 40 points against USC in the championship game before a record crowd in Savage Arena.

Shafir played in only four games in 2011-12 due to a knee injury, but the Hoshaya, Israel, native came back in 2012-13 to propel the Midnight Blue and Gold to a 29-4 overall record, 15-1 in the league. Shafir once again collected first-team all-league honors, registering 12.8 points and 4.6 assists. She was runner-up for MAC Player of the Year and a regional finalist for the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Coaches All-America Team.

An excellent student in the classroom as well, Shafir earned Academic All-MAC honors a program-record three times.

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.”


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 History Faculty Member to Give Talk Celebrating Suffrage Centennial

Dr. Chelsea Griffis, associate lecturer in The University of Toledo Department of History, will give an online talk, “Votes for Women,” Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Presented by the Toledo Lucas County Public Library, the Zoom talk will take place at 6 p.m.


“We need to celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment,” Griffis said. “It was not a perfect victory, as we know women of color were still denied their legal right to vote. The 19th Amendment, women’s direct connection to political power, changed our nation forever.”

Her talk will focus on the amendment that prohibits states and federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex. The amendment was ratified Aug. 18, 1920, and officially adopted eight days later.

Register for the event on the library website.

Griffis received a master of arts degree and doctorate in history, and a graduate certificate in women and gender studies, from The University of Toledo.

She is working on a book titled “The Heart of the Battle Is Within: Women of the Political Right and the Equal Rights Amendment,” which examines conservative women’s divergent stances on the ERA based on how they conceptualized their own womanhood.

Dialogue on Diversity to Address Intersection of LGBTQIA+, Black Lives Matter

The University of Toledo is continuing its Dialogues on Diversity series with a conversation on the complexity of identities, what that means for agendas of justice movements, and how they can be effective allies for each other.

The next virtual town hall in the series titled “ALL Black Lives Matter: An LGBTQIA+ Dialogue” will take place Thursday, Aug. 20, at 5:30 p.m. and can be accessed on WebEx using the access code 160 849 0975. The meeting password is DoD6. Join by phone at 415.655.0002.

The discussion will be moderated by Sheena Barnes, executive director of Equality Toledo, with participants:

• Dr. Sharon Barnes, associate professor and chair of the UToledo Department of Women’s and Gender Studies;

• Veralucia Mendoza, regional field manager at Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio;

• LaVelle Ridley, a 2016 UToledo alumnus who is a Ph.D. candidate in women’s studies at the University of Michigan; and

• Dr. Michele Soliz, UToledo associate vice president for student success and inclusion.

“To assert that ALL Black lives matter is a way to highlight the diversity inside African-American communities and advocate for the liberation of all: queer, female, immigrant, transgender, non-Christian or having a disability,” Barnes said. “For me, it means working always for a deeper and broader understanding of multiple and intersecting sites of oppression, especially the ingrained and difficult to upend white supremacy in our culture. I believe supporting the Black Lives Matter movement is a way to support ending all oppression, with a necessary emphasis on racial oppression.”

Trailblazing Chemist Who Served Alma Mater Passes

Dr. Nina I. McClelland, a renowned environmental scientist who championed safe drinking water around the globe and returned to teach and lead at The University of Toledo, died Aug. 16. The Toledo resident was 90.

“Dr. McClelland was an outstanding alumna of The University of Toledo and trailblazer for women in science,” Dr. John Plenefisch, interim dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, said. “Her lifelong efforts setting high standards for water quality and the environment have truly made the world a better place.”


McClelland, who earned a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1951 and a master’s degree in chemistry in 1963 from UToledo, was recognized globally as one of the most influential people in environmental science. She served as chair, president and chief executive officer during her more than 30 years with NSF International, formally National Sanitation Foundation, an independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to certifying products and writing standards for food, water and consumer goods.

As former chair of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific organization, McClelland developed a Water Quality Index to report water quality in lakes, rivers and streams. In time, states and water authorities were required to annually report water quality to Congress using the index. After the Safe Drinking Water Act was passed, she developed a standard adopted by the government regarding chemicals used to treat drinking water, as well as one covering all products that come in contact with drinking water via its treatment, storage and distribution.

When she retired in 1995 from NSF International, she formed a consulting firm whose clients included the World Bank.

McClelland was a principal and consultant with the International Clean Water program, dedicated to providing healthcare, safe drinking water and food, education, disease control, and other essentials to those in developing countries. She also served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Water Treatment Chemicals and for three terms on the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Drinking Water Advisory Council.

Safe drinking water was an issue close to her heart. In a 2016 interview, she said, “…safe drinking water from an adequate source through treatment and distribution has always been my strength and passion.”

That passion began with her first job as a chemist and bacteriologist in the Department of Health at the Wastewater Reclamation Facility in the city of Toledo. After five years, she was named chief chemist, a position she held from 1956 to 1963. She became the first woman in Ohio to earn a Class A license for wastewater treatment.

After receiving a master of public health degree and a doctorate from the University of Michigan in 1964 and 1968, respectively, McClelland joined NSF International in Ann Arbor.

During her career, McClelland served on several major committees, including the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the U.S. Department of Commerce, the National Drinking Water Advisory Council in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Committee on Water Treatment Chemicals in the National Academy of Sciences’ National Research Council.

In 2003, McClelland returned to the Glass City and her alma mater as an adjunct professor in the Department of Chemistry. Five years later, she was tapped to serve as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. She retired from the University in 2011 after working in the Office of the Provost. The dean emerita and professor emerita also served as executive-in-residence in the College of Business and Innovation.

McClelland was awarded an honorary doctorate in science by the University in 2003, and in 2014 received the UToledo Alumni Association’s Gold T in recognition of her outstanding career accomplishments. In addition, she was the recipient of the Outstanding Alumna Award from the Department of Chemistry in 1993 and the College of Arts and Sciences in 2004, and the University Women’s Commission’s Alice H. Skeens Outstanding Woman Award in 2017. And she was featured in the 2004 book titled “Nine UT Alumni Who Changed the World.”

Her many honors include induction into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame in 2010 and the National Wildlife Federation’s 2016 Women in Conservation Award, which she received for protecting safe water around the world, promoting clean energy, and preserving wildlife and habitats in Ohio. She also was named a Fellow by the American Chemical Society in 2011 and was recognized as a Legend of Environmental Chemistry by the organization.

Last year, the Dr. Nina McClelland Laboratory for Water Chemistry and Environmental Analysis was dedicated in the UToledo College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Located in Bowman-Oddy Laboratories, the lab features state-of-the-art equipment, including novel extraction and microextraction technology and high-resolution mass spectrometry, tandem mass spectrometry, and an advanced imaging system.

“Nina was a tremendous friend and supporter of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and her beloved University of Toledo,” Plenefisch said. “She will be greatly missed, but her legacy will live on at the University through the students and the research being performed in the Dr. Nina McClelland Laboratory for Water Chemistry and Environmental Analysis in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. She loved our students and was always encouraging them to seek their full potential.”

The funeral service will be streamed live Thursday, Aug. 20, at 1:15 p.m.

Tributes are suggested to the Dr. Nina McClelland Laboratory for Water Chemistry and Environmental Analysis through The University of Toledo Foundation; call 419.530.7730 or email

College of Business and Innovation Virtual Town Hall Aug. 14

The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation Alumni Affiliate will host a virtual town hall Friday, Aug. 14, at noon.

Dr. Anne L. Balazs, dean of the College of Business and Innovation, will host the event and give an update on the college.

In addition, Dr. Dana Hollie, the Alan H. and Karen A. Barry Endowed Professor of Accounting and the UToledo Faculty Athletics Representative, will discuss her recently completed fellowship with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, where she was a visiting scholar in the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis.

Register to attend the virtual town hall.

For more information, contact Paul Smith, assistant director of alumni engagement, at or 419.530.5378.

UToledo, NASA Glenn to Host Virtual Technology Day

The University of Toledo and NASA’s Glenn Research Center are bringing together University faculty and students and technology businesses in northern Ohio with NASA leaders and technologists to discuss ways to collaborate.

Virtual Technical Day will be Thursday, Aug. 13, from 10 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. on WebEx. The event is free, but online registration is required.

Panel discussions will focus on opportunities for University students and researchers, small businesses and other industry partners to participate in government-sponsored research and development efforts supporting NASA’s missions.

Speakers will include:

• Jim Bridenstine, NASA administrator;

• James Reuter, NASA associate administrator for the Space Technology Mission Directorate;


• Marla Pérez-Davis, NASA Glenn Research Center director, who holds a master of science degree from UToledo; and

• Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur.

“UToledo’s engagement with the NASA Glenn Research Center is very special, and we are proud of this opportunity to foster even stronger connections,” Dr. Karen Bjorkman, UToledo provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, said. “We started offering engineering degrees at NASA Glenn over 50 years ago and to this day have UToledo employees working on site in Cleveland to support NASA’s exciting science and engineering missions.”

For more information, including an agenda and speaker bios, visit the College of Engineering website.

Following the event, 10 tech startups from Ohio, including one from UToledo, will “fast pitch” their innovations to an audience and panel of judges during NASA’s iTech Ignite the Night OHIO from 3 to 5 p.m. at

The UToledo team led by Dr. Abbas Semnani, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, will present its low-power handheld plasma unit for medical and disinfection applications, such as personal decontamination and healing wounds.

NASA iTech identifies and searches for cutting-edge technologies that solve problems on Earth, but also have the potential to address the challenges of exploring the Moon and Mars.

Toledo Football Ready to Prepare for Spring Season

Toledo Football Head Coach Jason Candle said that while he and his team are disappointed they will not be playing football this fall, he understands the decision and will help the Rockets focus on training and preparing for a football season next spring.

On Aug. 8, the Mid-American Conference announced the postponement of all fall sports until next spring due to continuing concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.


“I think what we’re all striving for is to try to find an environment for our guys that is as safe as possible and will allow them to do what they love to do,” Candle told a gathering of reporters Monday morning. “We always try to learn from the past, produce in the present as much as we can, and prepare for the future. We have had four months of dealing with the past and learning what this virus has done. The present has changed quite a bit obviously with no football this fall. The one thing we do know is there will be football in the future, and we know we have to be ready for that.”

After missing all last season due to a knee injury, senior offensive lineman Bryce Harris said he and his teammates are prepared to wait a little longer for their return to the gridiron.

“I told my offensive group that this is an opportunity for us to grow,” Harris said. “We want to play, and we want to be on the field, but we have to look at this time off as a time to get better.”

After hearing the disappointing news on Saturday, Candle said many of his players went right back to work.

“When I left here on Saturday after telling them the news, there were 20 guys down on the field working out,” Candle said. “That’s who they are and that’s who they will continue to be.”

MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said in his news conference Saturday that details regarding the plans to move fall sports schedules to the spring will be announced at a later date.