— Communication and the Arts | UToledo News







— Communication and the Arts

UT alumnus is Beyoncé’s full-time art director

In 2010, Andrew Makadsi graduated from The University of Toledo with dual bachelor’s degrees in film/video and communication. He headed to New York to work in the fashion industry, not as a clothing designer, but as an intern.

These humble beginnings when he worked for free, or nearly free, helped him make contacts in the fashion industry and earn a name for himself. In less than six years, all of that hard work got him noticed, not only in the garment district, but in music industry circles among artists like Beyoncé.



Makadsi’s passion for fashion began long before he left the University. Inspired by top clothing designers and the artists who create the images that promote their work, his film class projects often combined his love of photography and art design with his obsession with fashion. Some of his non-class student projects involved fashion design installations, such as one he helped create for a Student Filmmakers Showcase after-party. The party theme and décor essentially comprised an art installation that was film and fashion-based.

He gave credit to his UT teachers as instrumental in his success. He said it was important to have “teachers like Holly [Hey], who convinced me to major in film. I learned a lot of great things, editing and the software tools, and also a lot about other filmmakers.”

He added that the intimacy of the program meant “having teachers who pay attention to you. Holly really saw something in me and inspired me.”

While the UT film program presented Makadsi with opportunities to branch out to explore other artistic venues, it also allowed him to develop his fashion aesthetic on a deeper level.

“I did a film for Tammy’s [Kinsey] class and other classes that leaned toward that vibe, toward that genre. If I was asked to do something different, I would, but they would also let me express my passion,” he said. “This is not to say they weren’t strict and hard, because they were. But they let me do it.”

Another critical aspect of the program was that the technology was up-to-date and readily accessible.

“Everything was so hands-on,” Makadsi said. “The equipment was available all the time. So we always were able to develop an idea that was in our heads.”

Clearly, Makadsi made the most of it.

Holly Hey, UT associate professor of film, concurred: “Andrew was one of the hardest-working students that I ever taught. He set the bar high in my classes, and his work combined excellent technique, complicated storytelling, and emotional honesty. He epitomizes hard work, making the most of opportunity by showing up, giving it your all, and being a generous collaborator.”

It was his collaboration with other artists in New York that created the opportunities for work and projects that brought him recognition. Over time, free projects led to paid gigs and eventually full-time work.

Makadsi said he never wanted to settle into any one area of the industry, which is what intrigued him about art direction. One of his major full-time jobs was with Industrial Color, a creative production and post-production house; it was there that he learned he enjoyed the full spectrum of art direction.

“I would shoot images, do productions, and I realized that I should be an art director, then I could be involved in so many different things not just one thing,” he said.

In his fashion work, Makadsi has done work for top designers, including Alexander Wang, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, Sephora, Levi’s and others.

His work in fashion drew the attention of music artists who were looking for new ideas for videos and tour concepts. He has worked with Kanye West, Jay Z, Swedish House Mafia, Big Sean and others, most notably Beyoncé, starting from the On the Run Tour until Lemonade and the Formation World Tour. He has created the art direction for many of her videos, tour visuals and promotions. Initially, Makadsi said he worked on a few projects and now works for her full time “keeping everything that goes out about her on-brand, from little things to the big things. I’m part of an amazing team. They are just the most creative people.”

Hey said, “I am so happy for Andrew’s success, but I am not at all surprised by it. It was clear to me that he knew what he wanted when he graduated, and that it was really all about how hard he pursued it, working his first jobs without pay, meeting people, making connections, and collaborating with artists in film, fashion, music videos and photography.”

Makadsi has some advice for film students: “Follow your instinct and the voice within, but make sure you work hard. Talent is 20 to 30 percent of what makes you a good filmmaker and artist. But having the discipline and working hard makes the biggest difference.” 

He also advised students to get lots of internships and to prepare to be rejected. “I have been rejected from the silliest and dumbest internships. Don’t let it get you down.”

Makadsi added that whether it’s paid work or internships or free work, it should include “having a new challenge every day, having a job that teaches you and takes you to a new level.”

He also encouraged students to be strong self-promoters on social media: “So many people have been hired off Instagram and Tumblr. Be natural. Have [your online portfolio] be a reflection of you and your image. People will want to hire you based on your work and who inspires you. They hire you based on your vision, especially in my industry. Never settle. Even if you think you’re happy with it. Never get too comfortable. Always take it to the next level.”

Artist retracing explorer’s trek to give workshop, lecture July 7

Chris Olszewski will talk about his project, “You, Me and the DeVille Makes Three: Vision Quest 2016,” Thursday, July 7, at 10 a.m. in the UT Center for the Visual Arts Haigh Auditorium on the University’s Toledo Museum of Art Campus. 

Olszewski is part Native-American and initiating a trek that will take him and his Cadillac from Detroit to Quebec City and back. Along the way, including pre- and post-trek stops in Toledo, the professor of art in the School of Foundation Studies at the Savannah College of Art and Design will work with groups of students as well as local communities on exorcising people’s demons. 

“Mobile Skin 2016,” acrylic paint, paint markers, Sharpie on Vinyl, by Chris Olszewski

“Mobile Skin 2016,” acrylic paint, paint markers, Sharpie on Vinyl, by Chris Olszewski

He will retrace the 1,500-mile trek of Antoine Cadillac by driving a pearl white 1998 Cadillac DeVille from Detroit to Quebec City and back. Antoine Cadillac was a French explorer, politician, adventurer, diplomat, trapper and trader in New France.

Olszewski explained why the white car is central to his travel project: “In Native-American tradition, the albino has healing powers and is considered sacred and magical. When my journey is complete, the vehicle will be ceremonially shot, skinned, ground down and used for medicinal purposes.

“I am designing an automobile skin that will act as a soft monument or a mobile message board to connect with the local populations I will encounter throughout my journey. The skin will be used to collect stories and develop a connection with events that happened 315 years ago. This vehicle skin is designed with an image of the Detroit municipal flag, the Cadillac coat of arms, regional Native-American iconography, Quebec City imagery and Detroit imagery. The color scheme for this project is red, blue and yellow — triadic color harmony — and is based on Detroit’s flag.”

Following the lecture, Olszewski will hold a workshop with the students of Young Artists at Work run by the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo in the CVA courtyard. 

During his visit to Toledo, the Cadillac will be on display all day until 7:30 p.m. outside the Center for the Visual Arts.

More information about Olszewski’s work and journey is available here.

New College of Arts and Letters to advance collaboration opportunities

The new College of Arts and Letters will increase collaborative opportunities for faculty and students across the humanities, social sciences, and visual and performing arts.

The college, which was approved June 20 by the UT Board of Trustees, is a merger of the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences and the College of Communication and the Arts.

“The liberal arts are the core of any great university, and bringing closer together the students and faculty from these many disciplines will provide additional opportunities to recognize and enhance those areas of study both at the University and in the community,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said.

Dr. Jamie Barlowe, dean of the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences, will serve as dean of the College of Arts and Letters effective July 1.

“The new College of Arts and Letters allows us to recognize, promote and expand cross-disciplinary relationships and opportunities to benefit students,” Barlowe said. “By strengthening our ties, we can build on our current accomplishments and initiate creative new ones.”

The College of Arts and Letters will serve 1,900 students majoring in disciplines such as the humanities, economics, foreign languages, psychology, communication, theatre and music, as well as the more than 14,500 students enrolled in general education classes taught by faculty in the college.

The college will include a School of Visual and Performing Arts, and Debra Davis, currently the dean of the College of Communication and the Arts, will serve as director and continue to build relationships in the community and support programming.

The college administration will consist of a senior associate dean and two associate deans. Dr. Barbara Schneider will serve as the senior associate dean, a title she currently holds in the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences, and will focus on communication, humanities and the School of Interdisciplinary Studies. Holly Monsos will be the associate dean focusing on the arts, continuing a similar role she holds as an associate dean in the College of Communication and the Arts. The final associate dean will focus on social and behavioral sciences. That position has not yet been filled, but it will be a promotion of an existing UT faculty member, Barlowe said.

Faculty committees from each of the colleges are continuing to work through the summer on a new constitution and bylaws for the college, faculty council and committee on academic personnel.

Barlowe joined UT in 1990. She was the founding chair of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies and also is a professor in the Department of English.

She was named an associate dean in 2011 and became interim dean later that year. Barlowe, who earned her bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and master’s and doctoral degrees from Ohio State University, was appointed dean in May 2012.

Glacity Theatre Collective to perform original musical at Toronto Fringe Festival

The Glacity Theatre Collective has been selected to perform at the Toronto Fringe Festival June 29-July 10 and will present its original musical, “House of Vinyl,” written and composed by company members Dr. Edmund B. Lingan, UT associate professor and chair of theatre and film, and Timothy Lake.

Originally developed and performed in Toledo one year ago, this tightly wound, bubble-wrapped, 55-minute psychedelic musical was developed as part of Glacity Theatre Collective’s Junkbox Theatre project. The idea is to take unfinished scripts, loosely connected scenes, current obsessions, scribbled notes and musical compositions with or without lyrics that company members have from previous inspirations and mash them together to see what sticks. The ultimate goal is a completely new story that any audience can appreciate.

Tori Zajac and Nolan Thomaswick rehearsed a scene from the Glacity Theatre Collective’s musical, “House of Vinyl.”

Tori Zajac and Nolan Thomaswick rehearsed a scene from the Glacity Theatre Collective’s musical, “House of Vinyl.”

The musical has been reworked slightly since its original production and now features a smaller cast playing multiple roles.

In the Toronto Fringe Festival format, companies have exactly 15 minutes to set up for each performance and another 15 to strike afterward, so the technical elements were streamlined to fit the festival parameters.

Directed by Lake and based on a story that Lingan has written and re-written as a play, novel and screenplay, “House of Vinyl” focuses on Horton Stephen Wilder, who has an intense fear of open spaces, or agoraphobia. When Horton is forced out of his apartment and into the street because of a gas leak, he embarks on a strange and hallucinogenic journey involving lawyer-knights, psychic stingrays, a diaper fetishist, and yards and yards of vinyl. Will he ever make it back to his apartment and safety? Or will he be trapped in the “House of Vinyl” forever?

Nolan Thomaswick is returning in the role of Horton. Other returning cast members are Jennifer Nagy-Lake, Tori Zajac, Lingan, and Holly Monsos, UT associate dean of the College of Communication and the Arts. New to the cast are Dr. Gary Insch, dean of the UT College of Business and Innovation, and Lynnette Bates and Noah York.

The Lingan-Lake score is mostly guitar-driven and is played by Lingan and Insch, augmented with triggered samples. Andrés Medina is stage manager, costumes are designed by Bates, and lighting is designed by Cory Sprinkles.

To help offset the cost of housing a company of 11 for nearly two weeks in Toronto, the collective has started a Go Fund Me campaign. To learn more or to donate, go to https://www.gofundme.com/Glacity.

Before leaving for Toronto, “House of Vinyl” will play two performances Friday and Saturday, June 24 and 25, at 8 p.m. in the Center for Performing Arts Center Theatre. The doors will open 30 minutes prior to curtain.

All tickets are $20 online or at the door and include a reception afterward. To purchase tickets in
advance, go to http://glacity.tix.org.

After the weekend shows in Toledo, the company will travel to Toronto for seven performances at the Robert Gill Theatre during the festival.

To learn more about the Toronto Fringe Festival, click here.

Go to http://glacity.org for more information about the collective or “House of Vinyl.”

Trustees approve budget, College of Arts and Letters

An operating budget that positions The University of Toledo for success for the coming year and into the future was approved Monday by the UT Board of Trustees.

The $737.8 million operating budget is conservatively based on flat enrollment for the coming academic year as part of the institution’s efforts to strengthen its financial foundation. Reflected in the budget are the stabilization efforts called for by UT President Sharon L. Gaber earlier in the year for a 1.5 percent reduction to the operating budget for fiscal year 2016 and 3 percent to the entire budget for fiscal year 2017, which reduced operating expenses by about $12 million.

Business Hlogo 1c BlackThe 2016-17 budget includes no undergraduate tuition and general fees increases and no increase in graduate tuition, with the exception of a 2 percent increase for the Doctor of Pharmacy Program. Trustees previously approved a 2 percent increase in residence halls fees, and the budget includes a 2 percent increase in meal plan fees to cover increased costs.

Professional staff will receive a 2 percent wage increase; however, senior administrators will defer 2 percent increases until January contingent on positive enrollment growth. Pay increases for union salary groups are included in the budget according to collective bargaining agreements.

Trustees also approved a Strategic Plan for Diversity and Inclusion. The plan is the culmination of an eight-month process led by Dr. Willie McKether that engaged students, faculty, staff and members of the external community. McKether will lead the implementation of the plan as he starts his new role as vice president for diversity and inclusion July 1.

In addition, the Board of Trustees also approved the new College of Arts and Letters, which is a merger of the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences and the College of Communication and the Arts.

The college will be led by Dr. Jamie Barlowe, who is currently the dean of the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences, who said the merger provides opportunities to recognize, promote and expand cross-disciplinary relationships and opportunities to benefit students. The college will include a School of Visual and Performing Arts, and Deb Davis, currently the dean of the arts college, will serve as director.

The College of Arts and Letters will serve 1,900 students majoring in disciplines such as the humanities, economics, foreign languages, psychology, communication, theater and music, as well as the more than 14,500 students enrolled in general education classes taught by faculty in the college.

Associate professor to screen film in England

Holly Hey, UT associate professor and head of film, has been invited to screen her film, “the dum dum capitol of the world,” at Future Now: The Aesthetica Art Prize Symposium in York, England,Thursday and Friday, May 26-27.

“the dum dum capitol of the world” will be shown as part of the specially curated selection of artists’ films and moving image works selected from the winners of the Aesthetica Short Film Festival over the last several years.

Hey stillsHey’s film screened at the 2015 Aesthetica Short Film Festival and will be showcased with high honor among the best at the Future Now: The Aesthetica Art Prize Symposium. “the dum dum capitol of the world” received the LEF Moving Image Award.

She said the first-person experimental documentary is a moving-image meditation that contemplates landscape, home, recollection, queerness and time.

“The project uses personal history to reflect on universal themes about home, life, love, parenting, memory and death,” she said.

Hey began the project in 2005 when she received funding from the LEF Moving Image Foundation. She later received funding from The University of Toledo in 2012 and completed the film in 2014.

Future Now: The Aesthetica Art Prize Symposium is an extension of Aesthetica Magazine, a British art and culture publication that covers photography, visual art, music, film and theater. It has a readership of more than 284,000 and national and international distribution.



The symposium will consist of more than 40 speakers who will address diverse art topics. It also offers learning and networking opportunities through the industry sessions for artists.

Hey, who holds a master of fine arts degree in filmmaking from the Art Institute of Chicago, makes a broad range of work that can be seen in galleries, film festivals, live performances and on television. Her works have screened both nationally and internationally, and the National Educational Telecommunications Association distributed her major release, “Rat Stories,” which aired on PBS affiliates in the United States, British Columbia and Puerto Rico.

For more information on the event, click here.

Think Bink: Alumnus to release series of animated shorts

You know Nemo and Dory and Woody and Buzz, Simba and Nala and Shrek and Donkey. But are you ready to meet Bink?

An adorable seafaring creature with yellow fur, blue spots that match an upright comb, and big brown eyes, Bink will be coming soon to a screen near you, courtesy of Eric Miller Animation Studios.

Bink’s first test is about to begin.

Bink’s first test is about to begin.

“We needed an animated short to show potential clients, so I wanted to create a main character that’s cute and likable,” Eric Miller (Univ Coll ’05) said during a call from his Los Angeles home. “But animation can get really expensive, and since I was funding this on my own, I was trying to find ways to keep costs low.”

He found inspiration in the Minions’ shorts that feature the yellow hooligans on a white background.

“I thought a similar style was a good idea; I could use a simple background and it’ll be character-driven and comedy-driven, and that’s where the initial idea for Bink started,” Miller said.

Bink logoWith former fellow DreamWorks Animation co-worker Charlie Petrek, Miller began shaping his small, sociable star.

“We started throwing around ideas. We came up with a creature that’s in a lab being tested, and each episode will be a different test,” Miller explained. “Because we’re trying to keep costs low, each episode is only 30 seconds. And this allowed us to spend more of the budget on making higher-quality characters and higher-quality renders.”

His sharp focus on art and cartoons began when he was growing up in Canton, Ohio.

Eric Miller attended the 2016 Producers Guild Awards.

Eric Miller attended the 2016 Producers Guild Awards.

“I was inspired most by Disney, whether the company or the person. Originally, I had a few different things I really liked and was passionate about, animation or art being one of them,” Miller recalled. “I also found I really had a passion for business. I think it was learning about Walt Disney’s story and how he started his own company and brought the two together, the art world and the business world, and realized I could make a business doing animation and that’s where my dream came from.”

And Disney said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

So the disciplined teen — he earned a black belt in kung fu at age 11 — started to look for a college to make it happen.

“I went to The University of Toledo and met Peter Patchen, and he told me about the cyber arts program and part of that was 3-D animation, something I was really interested in,” Miller said. “And I also really liked the school, so I decided to go to Toledo.”

At UT, Miller created two animated shorts: “Chessmate” in 2001 and “Mediocrity” in 2005.

Eric Miller, right, and Jeff Shiffman, co-owner of Boom Box Post, work on sound effects for Bink.

Eric Miller, right, and Jeff Shiffman, co-owner of Boom Box Post, work on sound effects for Bink.

“Eric was a creative and talented young artist who had a passion for storytelling through animation,” said Patchen, chair of the Department of Digital Arts at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y., and former UT associate professor of art from 1993 to 2006. “He was very demanding of himself and researched his projects independently and well beyond class assignments. He was also generous with what he learned and often helped other students.”

With a little assistance from a high school acquaintance who offered a place to crash in Los Angeles, Miller headed West in July 2005. Three months later, he moved to Sherman Oaks, where he shared an apartment with two UT graduates: John Kundly (Eng ’03) and Ben Hatch (Bus ’05).

Bink strikes a martial arts defensive pose.

Bink strikes a martial arts defensive pose.

Miller worked at a slew of places — Apple Store, Walgreen’s, B1 Media. Then he took a position at a temp agency that had a reputation for helping wannabes find work in entertainment. That led to a placement at DreamWorks Studios as a facilities production assistant, a job he later landed.

“I did interview for Steven Spielberg’s [production assistant] position for ‘Indiana Jones IV.’ The position was only a temporary one, so one of the questions they asked in the interview was, ‘If you get this job, what do you want to do when it ends?’ They try to help the PAs get to where they want to go, and I told them I really want to get into animation. And they smiled and said, ‘We know some people in animation.’

“So while I didn’t get the PA position for Spielberg, I was promoted to lead facilities PA. And, more importantly, when I applied for a position on ‘Monsters vs. Aliens,’ Spielberg’s office called the DreamWorks Animation producers, who originally said they were looking for someone with more experience, and then they wanted to meet with me. This shows how important your network is in Hollywood.”

He joined the studio in 2007. Miller was central office coordinator for “Monsters vs Aliens,” animation coordinator on “Kung Fu Panda 2,” cross-site coordinator for “Madagascar 3,” and modeling and surfacing production supervisor for “Home.”

Eric Miller Animation Studios logoBut that vision of his own company still beckoned.

“July 3, 2014, was my last day at DreamWorks, and July 4 was my first day of independence,” he said and laughed.

His first client? Toys R Us. “We did visual effects for more than 40 commercials for them.”

Before long, Bink was calling.

The first short is expected to debut online in May.

“When you think of DreamWorks and Pixar, they have huge rooms full of processors called render farms. Rendering is a term used to describe the process where computers calculate what each pixel will look like based on the lighting calculations and reflections of different elements, and how they all come together to form a frame of animation. When these frames are played together is when you get animation. That takes a lot of computing power,” Miller said.

“So as we’re finishing up lighting, we have to render these images. We obviously don’t have the computing power like Pixar and DreamWorks, so it takes us a lot longer to render because normally we’re running it on one or two computers. I was talking to my lighter, and he was saying some shots were taking about 25 minutes per frame. So when you multiply that by however many frames, the time it takes can definitely add up very quickly.”

Another exciting arrival: Miller and his wife, Karen, are expecting their second child this month. Their son, Kelton, 2, will have a sister soon.

“It’s kind of funny how it’s working out that Bink and the baby will be here around the same time,” he said and laughed.

Don’t miss Bink: Sign up to receive updates at milleranimation.com/bink.

Music major’s handcrafted trumpet takes top prize in 2016 business plan competition

The winners of The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation’s sixth annual Business Innovation Competition were announced April 20, with $17,500 in prize money being distributed to those who placed in the top four.

The proposal for the Freedom Model Trumpet most impressed the judges, winning Mackenzie Miller, a senior music major in the UT College of Communication and the Arts, the first-place prize of $10,000.

Mackenzie Miller, a senior majoring in music who will graduate this week, received the first-place prize in the College of Business and Innovation's sixth annual Business Innovation Competition from Dr. Sonny Ariss for her Freedom Model Trumpet. Her company, Miller Handcraft, received $10,000.

Mackenzie Miller, a senior majoring in music who will graduate this week, received the first-place prize in the College of Business and Innovation’s sixth annual Business Innovation Competition from Dr. Sonny Ariss for her Freedom Model Trumpet. Her company, Miller Handcraft, received $10,000.

“The panel thought Mackenzie’s proposal was amazingly impressive,” said Dr. Sonny Ariss, professor and chair of the Management Department.

Miller’s company, Miller Handcraft, designs and produces high-quality handcrafted trumpets. The Freedom model will be the first product to be launched. It combines the use of three standard piston valves, as well as an additional three-piston hand slide. This combination allows the musician to choose from the larger variety of musical performance styles.

Originally from Orrville, Ohio, Miller said she fell in love with UT when she came here to major in engineering.

“My family is very musically inclined,” Miller said. “I started playing the flute in the fifth grade and switched to the trumpet in high school.”

At UT, she switched her major to music. Then she started building the Freedom model trumpet.

“No one has been commercially producing these for years, and some old existing models sell for up to $10,000,” she explained. “So I build these myself, buying sheet metal, hammering it out.”

A UT bus driver, Miller said she learned about the annual business plan competition — which is open to UT faculty, staff and students — by seeing a poster.

“I was already planning on developing the business. I watched YouTube videos about developing a business plan and checked out the websites of suggested business plan sites, which were on the poster,” she said.

Miller said after her proposal had passed the first round of judging and she was asked to present before the judges, she was quite nervous.

“I’m very shy,” Miller said, “but the panel was very supportive of this, and they gave me the confidence of going in the right direction.”

Miller will graduate this week and plans on continuing the business. The list price of her trumpet is $4,500.

“I hope to eventually be able to make about 25 at a time over a three-month period, selling them online and by going to conferences. Ideally, I would like to perform with a symphony and continue building trumpets.”

Others taking home prizes from the competition were:

• Second-place winner ($5,000) — Quick Deploy, Casualty Carry Harness by Joseph Strobbe. The deployable harness empowers a single individual to efficiently remove an injured person from immediate danger while maintaining full use of his or her hands.

• Third-place winner ($2,000) — IceTyme by Kevin Gibson. The only app and website business plan in this year’s finals competition, IceTyme focuses on the marketing of ice rinks and targets hockey players, figure skaters, open skaters and rink managers to efficiently fill the facilities.

• Fourth-place winner ($500) — Morpho Bag by Hannah Ogden, Kathryn Whitehill, Justin Lyberger and Andrea Liedel. This product will provide an improved method for removal of specimens during a laparoscopic procedure.

“The sixth year of the business competition was a remarkable success, as the College of Business and Innovation received 25 entries from across UT campuses,” Ariss said. “I cannot be happier than to see the students of the four winning entries this year going for their goals. Through this competition, as well as through classes and other activities in the College of Business and Innovation, we choose to play an important role in fostering the entrepreneurial spirit by encouraging people to start their own businesses.”

“The spirit of entrepreneurship is critically important to the ongoing success of every university and every community,” noted Dr. Gary Insch, dean of the College of Business and Innovation. “Our business competition truly reflects our emphasis on supporting innovation, fostering creative thinking, and nurturing the entrepreneurial environment, which is so essential for the economic growth of this region.”

“We owe special thanks to the panel of area business professionals who donated their time and talents to serve as judges in the competition, carefully reviewing each of the 25 entries in the competition and then meeting with the finalists, hearing their presentations, and questioning them about their projects,” Ariss said.

The judges were:

• Daniel Slifko, chief operating officer at Rocket Ventures LLC;

• Joel Epstein, managing director and principal, Waverly Partners LLC;

• Chris Anderson, president, Anderson Strategy LLC;

• Anthony Calamunci, managing director, Fisher Broyles LLC;

• Craig Burns, attorney, Marshall Melhorn LLC;

• Tom Schmidt, Ed Schmidt Automotive; and

• Charles Hodge, financial advisor, Mass Mutual.

Prize money is awarded to the newly formed business entities, not to the individual.

Smithsonian museum director and physicist to address UT graduates May 7

Leaders with a passion for diversity and science who have uplifted Americans through the arts, public service and higher education will address graduates at The University of Toledo’s spring commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 7, in Savage Arena.

During the 9:30 a.m. ceremony, former U.S. Congressman and physicist Dr. Rush D. Holt, who leads the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific and engineering society, will speak to graduates from the colleges of Adult and Lifelong Learning, Health Sciences, Social Justice and Human Service, and the Judith Herb College of Education.

Dr. Johnnetta Cole, director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and the first African-American female president of Spelman College, will speak at the 2 p.m. ceremony for the colleges of Business and Innovation, Communication and the Arts, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and Languages, Literature and Social Sciences.

There are 2,843 candidates for degrees: 234 doctoral candidates, 727 master’s, education specialist and graduate certificate candidates, and 1,882 bachelor’s and associate’s candidates.

The ceremony will be streamed live on video.utoledo.edu.



Holt, who will receive an honorary doctor of public service degree during the morning ceremony, is the chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and executive publisher of the Science family of journals.

He served eight terms as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District. During his time on Capitol Hill from 1999 to 2015, Holt advocated for increased federal research funding, science education and innovation. Holt made national headlines in 2011 when he defeated IBM’s supercomputer Watson in a non-televised round of “Jeopardy!”

Holt previously served as assistant director of Princeton University’s Plasma Physics Laboratory, one of the largest alternative energy research facilities in the country.



Cole, who will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree during the afternoon ceremony, made history nearly 30 years ago as the first African-American female president of Spelman College in Atlanta. She later served as president of Bennett College for Women, making Cole the only person who has been president of both historically black colleges for women in the United States.

She also was the first woman elected to the board of Coca-Cola Enterprises. She was the first African American to serve as chair of the board of the United Way of America.

Other commencement ceremonies taking place are:

• College of Engineering — graduate commencement Thursday, May 5, at 5 p.m., and undergraduate commencement Saturday, May 7, at 3 p.m. Both ceremonies will be held in Nitschke Hall Auditorium.

• College of Nursing — Friday, May 6, at 1 p.m. in Savage Arena.

• College of Law — Sunday, May 8, at 1 p.m. in the Student Union Auditorium.

• College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences — Sunday, May 8, at 10 a.m. in Savage Arena.

• College of Medicine and Life Sciences — Friday, May 27, at 2 p.m. in the Stranahan Theater, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd., Toledo.

For more information, visit utoledo.edu/commencement.

Choral concert slated for April 30

UT’s Concert Chorale, University Chorus and Community Chorus will perform together Saturday, April 30, for Gioachino Rossini’s “Stabat Mater” in Doermann Theater at 7 p.m.

Accompanying these three groups will be a variety of soloists.

choir image for eventTickets are $8-$4 and are available through the UT Center for Performing Arts Box Office online at utoledo.tix.com or by calling 419.530.ARTS (2787).

The concert will be directed by Dr. Brad Pierson, UT director of choral activities.