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Business and Innovation

Associate VP of Alumni Relations to Retire

Dan Saevig has been part of The University of Toledo every day for more than half of his life, first as a student and then as an employee at the institution he loves.

That will change soon: The associate vice president of alumni engagement and executive director of the UToledo Alumni Association will retire Monday, March 2.

Saevig

“I love The University of Toledo; I know its life-changing powers,” Saevig said.

The native of Oregon, Ohio, received a bachelor of arts degree in communication and a master of business administration degree from UToledo in 1984 and 1989, respectively.

Then Saevig joined the staff at his alma mater as assistant director of alumni relations in 1990. Three years later, he was promoted to executive director of alumni relations. He left the University in 1999, but returned to campus in 2002 as associate vice president of alumni relations.

“Dan has dedicated his life to The University of Toledo. With his Rocket passion and energy, he has helped grow UToledo’s alumni participation, as well as alumni programs and donations,” President Sharon L. Gaber said. “We thank Dan for his tremendous service to the University for 27 years.”

Under Saevig’s leadership, the Office of Alumni Engagement has:

• Upped its annual programs from 40 in 1990 to 200 in 2019.

• Grown UToledo Alumni Association membership five consecutive years; this includes an 8% increase last year and an 8% increase so far this fiscal year, totaling more than 27,000 members around the globe.

• Helped increase alumni donations from 2.59% in 2015 to 5.37% last year as measured by U.S. News & World Report, with a portion of membership dues as a gift to the UT Foundation; 66% of donors last year were members of the UToledo Alumni Association.

“When I started working in the alumni office, we were mostly promoting events in Toledo. Now we truly are a national program,” Saevig said.

He added he is proud of the diversity of the UToledo Alumni Association Board and how the Koester Alumni Pavilion was a project that came together in six months in 2012. “The Koester Alumni Pavilion, a gathering spot just west of the Glass Bowl, is a real point of pride for alumni and friends of the University,” Saevig said.

In addition, he played a pivotal role in the expansion of Art on the Mall, the UToledo Alumni Association’s signature event that started in 1992 and has become a summer tradition. The UToledo Alumni Association also is financially secure, having increased its reserves by 300% during his tenure.

“I can leave UToledo knowing we have the right person to lead the Office of Alumni Engagement for the next 20 years,” Saevig said. “[William] Billy Pierce is that person. He’s an alumnus, he’s well-liked, he’s personable — alumni will enjoy connecting with him.”

Pierce, senior director of alumni engagement, will succeed Saevig.

A longtime UToledo donor, Saevig is giving a $150,000 parting gift to his alma mater — provided there is no official sendoff celebration.

“The donation is a thank-you for the University’s impact on me and my family,” he said. “It’s important for employees to give back. We are blessed to be working at UToledo. I wouldn’t be who I am without the friendships and relationships I developed here over the years. I want to show my support for the institution that I love.”

Families Set to Celebrate Commencement Dec. 14

More than 2,000 students at The University of Toledo will graduate at commencement ceremonies Saturday, Dec. 14, in Savage Arena.

The University is holding two ceremonies to include both undergraduate and graduate students from each of the colleges.

A total of 2,070 degrees will be awarded: 1,474 bachelor’s degrees, 426 master’s degrees, 104 doctoral degrees, 41 associate’s degrees, 15 education specialist degrees and 10 graduate certificates.

The 9 a.m. ceremony will recognize all Ph.D. candidates and graduates from the colleges of Arts and Letters; Engineering; Judith Herb College of Education; Natural Sciences and Mathematics; and Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

The 1 p.m. ceremony will recognize undergraduate and graduate students receiving degrees from the colleges of Business and Innovation; Health and Human Services; Nursing; University College; and Medicine and Life Sciences.

Commencement is always a time to celebrate with family. Their support is critical to achieving success. For several students walking across the stage this year, family was literally at their side for the journey.

Lori and Jordan Boyer in 2001 and 2019

At 48 years old, Lori Boyer is set to take the stage and grasp her diploma on the same day as her son, Jordan.

Lori, a preschool teacher, started taking classes at UToledo in 1990, but stopped to raise her three children.

After returning in January to cross the finish line, the UToledo employee at the Early Learning Center is graduating from University College with a bachelor’s degree in an individualized program of early childhood education and educational leadership. Her son is graduating from the College of Engineering with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering technology.

“I am proud to share this special moment with my oldest son,” Boyer said. “It’s important to me to prove to all of my children that you can accomplish anything no matter what point you are in life. I accomplished something I set out to do a long time ago, and it has the potential to take me in different directions in my career.”

Fall commencement also is a family affair for a brother-and-sister duo who worked side by side as undergraduates in the same exercise biology research lab.

Nicole and Dylan Sarieh

Dylan and Nicole Sarieh, two-thirds of a set of fraternal triplets, both chose to study exercise science as pre-med students in the College of Health and Human Services, while their brother studies business at UToledo.

Together, Dylan and Nicole researched the molecular regulation of skeletal muscle growth under the guidance of Dr. Thomas McLoughlin, associate professor in the School of Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, in order to help clinicians develop ways to help patients grow stronger after suffering from muscle loss.

“The opportunity to do real, meaningful, hands-on work in the lab definitely built our confidence and opened our eyes to what is important,” Dylan said about his undergraduate research experience. “My sister and I both plan to next go to medical school. She wants to be a dermatologist, and I want to be a general physician.”

“Whether at home, in the classroom or in the lab, I always had someone I could lean on who was tackling the same challenges,” Nicole said. “Putting our two brains together — even during car rides — made a big difference in our success.”

For some graduates, they found love and are starting their own family.

McKenna Wirebaugh completed a co-op at the BP Whiting Refinery in Whiting, Ind. This photo shows Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline.

McKenna Wirebaugh, who is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, met her soon-to-be husband at UToledo. Both she and Travis Mang, her fiancé, will receive degrees Saturday.

Turns out, planning their upcoming wedding is the only item left on the to-do list. Wirebaugh secured a full-time job as a process engineer at BP’s Cherry Point Refinery in Blaine, Wash., located about 40 minutes south of Vancouver. She is scheduled to start her new job in March, about a month after her honeymoon.

“I chose to go to UToledo because of the mandatory co-op program in engineering,” Wirebaugh said. “It guaranteed I would have a paycheck while in school and build my resumé. I’m grateful for my decision because it ended up launching my career.”

Wirebaugh completed four co-op rotations with BP while at UToledo. She also helped build a water purification unit that was sent to Ecuador through the nonprofit organization Clean Water for the World.

Her favorite experience as a student in the Jesup Scott Honors College was a class focusing on creativity. For a group project on the dangers of cell-phone use, they brought in a PlayStation 2 system and challenged students to text and drive on Mario Kart without crashing.

“My professors have truly cared about me inside and outside of my academic career,” Wirebaugh said. “I don’t see the friendships I’ve made here ending anytime soon.”

In the event of inclement weather, the approximately two-hour commencement ceremonies will be moved to Sunday, Dec. 15.

For those unable to attend, the ceremonies will stream live at video.utoledo.edu.

For more information, go to the UToledo commencement website.

Spanish Culture in Business Topic of Nov. 18 Event

Dr. Marcelo J. Alvarado-Vargas, UToledo associate professor of management, will discuss “Spanish Culture and Business Insights” Monday, Nov. 18.

Sponsored by the Beta Gamma Sigma Chapter of the UToledo College of Business and Innovation, the event will take place at 6 p.m. in Stranahan Hall Room 0111.

Alvarado-Vargas

Alvarado-Vargas will talk about the impact of international business in Latin America and the changing dynamics of the world.

He will present research findings on why women are underrepresented in management in Latin American companies.

Founded in 1913, Beta Gamma Sigma is the international business honor society for Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business-accredited institutions, which are the top 5% of business school programs around the world.

Graduate and Professional Program Fair Slated for Oct. 30

Looking to advance your career? Want to learn more about continuing your education? Stop by the Graduate and Professional Program Fair Wednesday, Oct. 30.

The event will take place from 2 to 6 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

Attendees can meet with representatives from colleges and programs; learn ways to fund graduate education; and start the graduate program application process.

On hand will be representatives from all UToledo colleges: Arts and Letters; Business and Innovation; Engineering; Health and Human Services; Judith Herb College of Education; Law; Medicine and Life Sciences; Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Nursing; Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; Graduate Studies; Jesup Scott Honors College; and University College.

Go to the Graduate and Professional Program Fair website and register.

The first 100 to attend the event will receive an application fee waiver; J.D., M.D. and Pharm.D. applications not included.

For more information, email graduateinquiry@utoledo.edu.

Day of Giving College Events and Giving Stations

UToledo’s third annual Day of Giving will take place Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 15 and 16.

The 36-hour campaign, “Rocket Forward: You Launch Lives,” will begin at midnight Oct. 15 and end at noon Oct. 16.

Several events are planned Tuesday, Oct. 15:

Day of Giving Fall Festival — 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Centennial Mall

• Student organizations will host booths with games.

• The Rocket Marching Band and UToledo cheerleaders will perform.

• President Sharon L. Gaber will greet students from noon to 12:30 p.m.

• The festival also will offer a dog-petting station, corn hole games, a basketball contest, pie in the face, pumpkin bowling and pumpkin golf.

College of Business and Innovation — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Savage & Associates Business Complex Second-Floor Atrium

• Giving station with ice cream.

Judith Herb College of Education — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Gillham Hall

• Giving station with popcorn.

College of Health and Human Services — 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Wednesday, Oct. 16, 8 to 10:30 a.m. in the Health and Human Services Building Atrium

• Giving station with popcorn, other snacks and prizes.

Jesup Scott Honors College — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside MacKinnon Hall

• Giving station with snacks.

College of Law — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Law Center Patio

• Fall Fest hosted by the Student Bar Association: Donate to decorate mini-pumpkins; play corn hole, ring toss and horseshoes; and eat kettle corn, caramel apples and cider.

Student Recreation Center — 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

• Giving station; popcorn from 2 to 6 p.m.

University College — 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Wednesday, Oct. 16, 9 to 10:30 a.m. in Rocket Hall

• Giving station with popcorn, snacks, and a chance to spin the wheel to win prizes with a donation.

The University of Toledo Medical Center — starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 15 and 16, in the Four Seasons Bistro

• Giving station in the cafeteria.

Colleges of Nursing; Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and Medicine and Life Sciences — 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Collier Building Lobby

College of Nursing will host a Day of Giving party with a giving station, snacks, a pumpkin decorating contest, music and entertainment. President Sharon L. Gaber and Health Science Campus deans will be on hand for Day of Giving selfie photos with students, faculty and staff.

Give online at rocketforward.utoledo.edu Oct. 15-16 and share your UToledo story on social media at #RocketForward.

Spotlight on Alumni at Annual Homecoming Gala Oct. 4

It’s Homecoming and that means The University of Toledo Alumni Association will present its most prestigious honors: the Gold T, Blue T and Edward H. Schmidt Outstanding Young Alum Award.

These three recipients will be recognized — along with distinguished alumni from each UToledo college — at the Homecoming Alumni Gala and Awards Ceremony Friday, Oct. 4, at 6 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

Tickets for the gala are $30 each and may be purchased by calling the Office of Alumni Relations at 419.530.ALUM (2586) or by visiting the UToledo Alumni Association website. A limited number of tickets remain.

Barry

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

The 2019 recipient is Alan Barry of Commerce Township, Mich. A 1966 graduate of the College of Business and Innovation with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, Barry is the retired president and chief operating officer of Masco Corp., a Fortune 200 company with interests around the world. Masco’s well-known brands include Delta faucets, Behr paint and KraftMaid cabinetry. Barry spent 36 years with Masco, beginning his career in 1972 with what would become its BrassCraft Manufacturing Division. Named one of the 50 most influential people in the home-building industry by Builder Magazine, Barry was instrumental in creating Masco Contractor Services, the industry’s largest organization for installation of insulation and other products in new home construction. Barry spearheaded the acquisition and internal development of the companies assembled to create this extensive organization.

Named the College of Business and Innovation’s Outstanding Graduate in 2005, Barry and his wife, Karen, a 1964 graduate of the former UToledo Community and Technical College, have been major philanthropists to their alma mater. They have created laboratories in accounting and leadership in the College of Business and Innovation, as well as scholarship and fellowship funds in that college.

Schuster

The Blue T is presented to a University of Toledo Alumni Association member and UToledo graduate who has made outstanding contributions to the progress and development of the Alumni Association and the University.

Tom Schuster of Maumee, Ohio, is the 2019 honoree. Schuster earned an associate’s degree in industrial technology from the former Community and Technical College in 1965 and a bachelor’s degree in adult liberal studies from University College in 1985. A past member of the Alumni Association’s Board of Trustees, he has served on numerous association committees over the past three decades. Schuster is also a past president of the Downtown Coaches Association, a support group that raises thousands of dollars for the UToledo Athletic Department each year. He and his wife, Marilyn, are members of the President’s Club and Heritage Oak Society, the latter in recognition of a planned gift that will provide support to generations of future Rockets. Since graduation, Schuster has financially supported many areas across campus; these include University College, Savage Arena, the Larimer Athletic Complex and the Koester Alumni Pavilion.

Retired from Daimler Chrysler since 2001, Schuster was a senior manager in charge of IT computer operations for 27 plants in the United States and five in Canada, while overseeing 175 employees.

Babcock

The Edward H. Schmidt Outstanding Young Alum Award is presented to a University graduate who is 40 years of age 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 Ed Schmidt, a 1942 alumnus and a longtime supporter of The University of Toledo and its Alumni Association.

The 2019 recipient is Bret Babcock of Nashville, Tenn. Babcock earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and organizational development from the College of Business and Innovation, and the Jesup Scott Honors College, in 2010.

Babcock is chief operating officer, chief financial officer and partner at LOGICFORCE, a technology consulting firm that provides eDiscovery, IT optimization and network service consulting, as well as digital forensics to clients in the legal industry. Since joining the company four years ago, Babcock has played a key role in driving success, achieving a compound annual growth rate of more than 40% and helping expand to over 40 employees across 16 states.

Previously an assistant vice president and portfolio management officer at Bank of America, Babcock is involved with several nonprofit causes and organizations, including A Child’s Place, the Orchard and LIFE Fellowship. Babcock earned an MBA from the University of Mississippi and in 2017 was awarded the Ole Miss MBA Outstanding Young Alumnus Award.

For more information, contact Dan Saevig, UToledo associate vice president of alumni engagement, at 419.530.4008.

2019 KeyBank Global Leaders Forum to Focus on Success in Changing Retail Market

The former CEO of Tabasco will deliver the keynote address at the 2019 KeyBank Global Leaders Forum hosted by KeyBank and The University of Toledo Family Business Center.

Tony Simmons, great-great-grandson of the creator of Tabasco sauce, is the seventh family member to assume leadership of the family-owned and operated McIlhenny Co. on Avery Island in Louisiana over five generations.

Simmons

The event titled “A Hot Topic: Success in a Changing Retail Market” will begin at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, at the Hilton Garden Inn, 6165 Levis Commons Blvd. in Perrysburg.

Registration is required for the free, public event. Register on the KeyBank Global Leaders Forum website.

Simmons plans to focus on the Tabasco brand, his recipe for success, and how to address the needs of both the family and the business.

The keynote address will start at 8 a.m., followed by a panel of local business leaders who will discuss governance and boards within a family business. Members of the panel include Simmons; Steve Wurth, president and CEO of Wurtec; Aly Sterling, president of Aly Sterling Philanthropy; and Joe Shrader, president of Shrader Tire and Oil.

The KeyBank Global Leaders Forum Fund was established with the UToledo Family Business Center to bring world business leaders to town to share their stories and engage conversations for local companies to achieve success for their business. KeyBank shares the center’s passion for learning — whether it’s for the student population or the local business community.

The UToledo Family Business Center is a member-driven organization with more than 200 family business members that provides support specifically designed for family businesses — places that have a special dynamic, one not always served by traditional best practices advice. Family dynamics impact family business; the UToledo Family Business Center makes that the core of its mission.

Assistant provost receives Hymore Award

Dr. Julie Fischer-Kinney, assistant provost for student success and retention in the Office of the Provost, is the 2019 recipient of the Diane Hymore Exemplar of Excellence Award.

She received the honor named for the longtime executive secretary May 6 at the Outstanding Staff Awards in the Thomas and Elizabeth Brady Engineering Innovation Center.

Dr. Julie Fischer-Kinney received the Diane Hymore Exemplar of Excellence Award from Wendy Davis, associate vice president and chief human resources officer, left, and University President Sharon L. Gaber.

The award is presented annually to an individual whose work defines the core values of the University in Hymore’s spirit of support, encouragement and service.

“In the two decades Dr. Fischer-Kinney has dedicated to the University, her decisions have always been shaped with the student in mind,” a nominator wrote. “She constantly seeks student feedback on various issues in order to ensure the best outcome for the student. This allows her to stay grounded and make sure decisions are best for the current generation of students.”

Fischer-Kinney has worked at the University 21 years, starting as an academic program coordinator in the Chemical Engineering Department. She also has served as director of student services in the College of Nursing; director of New Student Orientation Programs; associate dean and interim dean of YouCollege; and director of success coaching.

“Dr. Fischer-Kinney is an outstanding supervisor, mentor and student advocate,” a nominator wrote. “She tirelessly champions efforts that impact student success and retention. Additionally, she has transformed the success coaching initiative from a raw idea into a powerful movement that is truly impacting student lives.”

Another noted that in addition to her many responsibilities, Fischer-Kinney always takes the time to serve as a success coach for students each semester.

“Many students struggle to find their ambition, but Dr. Fischer-Kinney helps instill motivation to allow the student to discover their full academic potential,” a nominator wrote. “Regardless of how busy her schedule may be, Dr. Fischer-Kinney always makes time to be there for the student. They value her as an advocate who will help them reflect on their college and life goals, and connect them to the resources and tools. Dr. JFK, as students call her, always carves out time to focus on the individual at hand.

“Success coaching and retention work can be challenging. Every day coaches hear a variety of student concerns or chase after students with assorted academic, financial and personal issues bubbling up. Dr. JFK is committed to an open, candid and warm environment where we can embrace a team approach, lean on each other as needed, and grow from each other.”

Fischer-Kinney received a bachelor’s degree in business administration majoring in marketing, and master of education and doctoral degrees in higher education from the University.

Professor pens new book offering tips to new business managers

Dr. Dale Dwyer, professor of business management, has published a new book, “Managing in a 21st Century Organization.”

The 11 chapters dive into the most important roles that managers play: architect, visionary, leader, change agent, decision-maker, motivator, evaluator and coach.

“This book teaches the most important lessons that all leaders and managers will need to help run their businesses and organizations,” Dwyer said.

Written for the novice manager or first-line supervisor who has assumed new responsibilities, the book helps identify and solve problems, make decisions, encourage employees to do their best work, and implement changes that face resistance from those affected by them.

“I don’t find traditional management textbooks very helpful for actually being a manager or leader,” Dwyer said. “In other words, students usually have to spend upwards of $100 on books that cover theories of management or the history of management, but never get the practical point of how to become an effective manager.”

He added, “I wrote this book because I think it will be helpful right away and continue to be helpful as leaders and managers progress upward in their respective organizations and disciplines.”

Dwyer focuses on five different lessons that all managers need to know to be successful:

• Why improving your ability to understand and manage emotions and needs is key to gaining trust from co-workers, bosses and direct reports.

• How developing both leadership competence and charisma is often a challenge for managers.

• Which of three different approaches for understanding and managing your organization you should employ and when to use them.

• Why recognizing your own biases can improve decision making.

• The crucial differences between employee training and employee development, as well as when to use them most effectively.

Dwyer joined the UToledo faculty in 1989 and is a former chair of the Department of Management in the College of Business and Innovation. He received one of the University’s Outstanding Teacher Awards, as well as the first UToledo Student Impact Award.

His other books include “Got a Minute? The 9 Lessons Every HR Professional Must Learn” (2010), as well as “Got A Solution? HR Approaches to 5 Common and Persistent Business Problems” (2014), both with co-author Dr. Sheri A. Caldwell, HR director in the Grain Group at The Andersons. Dwyer also wrote “Needy People: Working Successfully with Control Freaks and Approval-holics” (2017).

“Managing in a 21st Century Organization” can be purchased on the Kendall Hunt Publishing Co. website and on amazon.com.

Projection aid system takes top prize in business plan competition

Four students who formed C-See Tech took the $10,000 prize in the ninth annual UToledo College of Business and Innovation’s Business Innovation Competition.

Kizito Kosi Akunna, Shayla Glynn, Alex Gibson and Deric Anthony — all fifth-year seniors majoring in bioengineering — developed the C-arm projection aid system. The attachment for new and existing C-arm X-ray devices aims to greatly reduce the amount of pre- and postoperative medical imaging by projecting the X-ray image onto the patient’s skin.

Bioengineering students, from left, Kizito Kosi Akunna, Shayla Glynn, Alex Gibson and Deric Anthony won $10,000 for their company, C-See Tech, in the UToledo College of Business and Innovation’s Business Innovation Competition.

“This device will cut down the number of X-rays needed during a surgical procedure,” Gibson said. “Essentially, this would aid a surgeon during a procedure, which would originally require multiple X-rays, to make appropriate markings on the skin before the first incision.”

The team developed a proprietary algorithm that filters the digital output noise of the C-arm image in order to project a clear, accurate image of the patient’s skeletal system onto his or her skin by using a downward facing vertical laser projector.

“It means a lot to all of us, especially to see an idea originally only meant for a college course become so successful,” Gibson said. “Not only is it a great honor to win the competition, but this means that our invention may someday be a reality.”

The team expressed gratitude to Dr. Halim Ayan, associate professor of bioengineering, as well as the Department of Engineering: “Without their support, we would not have gotten this far,” Gibson said.

“Obtaining a patent is our next step, as well as testing to hone in exactly what we want the final product to be. This is where our prize money will likely be going,” Gibson said.

The winners of the competition were announced April 19 in the Savage & Associates Complex for Business Learning and Engagement in the College of Business and Innovation.

Out of the 19 entries, six semifinalists were selected for an oral presentation in front of the judges.

“We congratulate all entrants for the exceptionally high-quality proposals they submitted. These technologically innovative ideas exhibit creative and analytical thinking within the University campus,” Dr. Sonny Ariss, professor and chair of management, said.

“We believe the wisely comprehended business ideas that won this year’s competition form a concrete foundation on which these entrepreneurs can build successful businesses. Our goal is to help increase the number and scale up businesses in Ohio,” Ariss said.

Finishing in second place and winning $5,000 was Forefront Prosthetics by Devin Toelke, Taryn Carmody, Emily Merris, Luke Schimmoeller and Derek Sutter. Forefront Prosthetics is focusing on creating an affordable, high-quality upper-limb prosthetic.

CLLK placed third and won $2,000. Founded in 2018 by Lauren Bakaitis, Clare Byrne, Katie Gilson and Leah Walchanowicz, CLLK offers an innovative solution to cast discomfort by providing mobile cold therapy, which will reduce swelling, skin inflammation and soreness.

“The College of Business and Innovation stands ready to offer guidance to help these teams emerge beyond the University into the community,” Ariss said. “We want to see these ideas and business plans successfully implemented, generating jobs, and enhancing the economic growth of the region.”

The Business Innovation Competition was open to all UToledo faculty, staff and students. The first-place $10,000 prize is sponsored by Owens Illinois Inc.; the second-place $5,000 prize is sponsored by C. William and Paula Fall Business Plan Award Fund; and the third-place $2,000 prize is sponsored by PNC Bank.