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Attending Propel Collegiate Leadership Summit 2019

Civic engagement involves working to make a difference in the civic life and improving the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political methods.

To me, civic engagement means volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America to tutor students in inner-city schools, participating in community service opportunities with the Toledo women’s soccer team, encouraging family members and peers to vote in local elections, coaching soccer to my community’s youth, and staying active in the community by engaging with its leaders.

UToledo students who attended the Propel Collegiate Leadership Summit posed for a photo; they are, from left, John Young, Lexa Bauer, Rebecca Dangler, Liam Walsh, Myla Magalasi, Lexi Alvarado and Stephanie Smith.

When I was informed of U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s annual Propel Collegiate Leadership Summit, I jumped at the opportunity to apply. I am so grateful to have been accepted and to have had the pleasure of attending the summit with 400 other civically engaged students from across Ohio.

The theme for this year’s summit was civic engagement, and it was incredible to meet and listen to other students’ experiences and opinions. It was eye-opening to realize the number of people who exemplify the definition of being civically engaged so well.

I was lucky enough to accompany six other UToledo students to the summit: Rebecca Dangler, Liam Walsh, John Young, Lexi Alvarado, Stephanie Smith and Myla Magalasi. It was humbling to be surrounded by so many awesome leaders, and I loved knowing that six others were from the same community as I am.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Connie Schultz and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown spoke last month at the Propel Collegiate Leadership Summit.

The summit began with a tremendous discussion between Sen. Brown and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Connie Schultz. They discussed their backgrounds, opinions and gave advice on how to move forward. When the floor opened for questions, there were a number of thought-provoking, intellectual and fascinating questions asked by the students, including one asked by Dangler. Schultz and Sen. Brown had very good answers to the questions and did a great job engaging everyone and meeting us at our level.

Following their discussion, there was a panel of influential leaders from northwest Ohio that included Katy Crosby, chief of staff for the city of Toledo; Richie Webber, founder of a nonprofit for recovering addicts; and Ruth Chang, founder of Midstory, a nonprofit created to share the historic and social history of northwest Ohio through different multimedia mediums. Their panel was equally as groundbreaking and set a great tone for the remainder of the summit.

The keynote speaker for the summit, Monica Ramirez, spoke of her work with the migrant farming communities in Fremont and across the country. She told her story with a passion and articulateness that drew the audience in and truly left an impression. After the keynote presentation, Diana Patton took the stage to prompt discussion amongst the audience about what each of our individual stories looks like and what that means to us. She challenged us all to look within ourselves to find a passion, a gift, and a way to use them to change the world.

Patton’s talk was a great segue into the breakout sessions that followed. Each session had a different focus. The first that I attended focused on how to advance your career and professionalism. The second, called the Engagement Fair, gave everyone an opportunity to meet and reach out to organizations and professionals that promote civic engagement. The third and final session focused on how to tell your story and how to make it mean something to others.

The speakers in each session conducted themselves with such a high level of professionalism without presenting their lives as untouchable. It was so inspirational to be able to engage with these amazing leaders. I learned a great deal about myself, my career, and how to make this world a better place.

It was an honor to have been selected to attend this summit with so many other outstanding leaders and students. I appreciate all of the speakers’ willingness to dedicate their day to helping students like us succeed. They are true examples of what it looks like to be civically engaged.

My life, career aspirations and worldview were so positively affected by this experience, and I hope that many others feel the same. I also hope that future University of Toledo students go and continue to make differences in our communities.

Bauer is a pre-law sophomore majoring in political science in the College of Arts and Letters, and also a member of the soccer team.

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.

UToledo Professor Elected Fellow of Renowned Scientific Society

A professor at The University of Toledo has been awarded one of the highest honors a scientist can earn.

Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich, professor of medicinal and biological chemistry, is among the 443 scientists elected in 2019 as Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society.

Bryant-Friedrich

The lifetime appointment is an honor bestowed upon the society’s members by their peers and recognizes individuals for their efforts in advancing science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished.

Bryant-Friedrich has created tools for the study of oxidative damage processes in DNA and RNA, contributing to the development of new, more effective ways to treat or prevent cancer, neurological disorders and age-related disorders.

Her research also includes biomarkers, photochemistry, mass spectrometry and ionizing radiation.

“I am thankful to be elected as a Fellow to the AAAS for the contributions I have made to the science that I love,” said Bryant-Friedrich, who also serves as dean of the College of Graduate Studies, vice provost for graduate affairs and director of the Shimadzu Laboratory for Pharmaceutical Research Excellence. “Scholarly recognition by one’s peers is the highest honor, and recognition for my work validates my efforts. I credit this honor to the wonderful like-minded, adventurous students and colleagues who have accompanied me along this journey.”

The AAAS includes more than 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serves 10 million individuals, and publishes the journal Science. It was founded in 1848 and its tradition of naming AAAS Fellows began in 1874.

“This prestigious national honor for Dr. Bryant-Friedrich brings great pride to our campus,” UToledo President Sharon L. Gaber said. “Recognition by AAAS is an external validation of our talented experts determined to advance science and improve our world.”

Bryant-Friedrich, who joined the University in 2007, will be honored in February at the organization’s annual meeting in Seattle.

She shares this honor with four UToledo colleagues who were previously elected to AAAS: Dr. Heidi Appel, dean of the Jesup Scott Honors College; Dr. Karen Bjorkman, interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs; and Dr. Steven Federman, professor of astronomy, who were named Fellows in 2017; and Dr. Jack Schultz, who recently retired from his position as senior executive director of research development and has been an AAAS Fellow since 2011.

Last year, Bryant-Friedrich was named a Fellow of the American Chemical Society.

She received a bachelor of science degree in chemistry at North Carolina Central University, a master’s degree in chemistry from Duke University, and a doctorate in pharmaceutical chemistry from Ruprecht-Karls Universität in Germany. In addition, she conducted postdoctoral studies at the University of Basel in Switzerland.

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.

National Lab Day at UToledo to Fuel Region’s Engagement With Preeminent Scientists, World-Class Facilities

For the first time, The University of Toledo will host National Lab Day to connect students and researchers with scientists from U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories and explore opportunities for additional partnerships.

The event to enhance northwest Ohio’s collaborations to make discoveries, find innovative solutions, and create groundbreaking technology will take place Thursday and Friday, Oct. 10 and 11, on the University’s Main Campus.

“We are proud to welcome to our campus the country’s preeminent scientists from world-class facilities across the country,” UToledo President Sharon L. Gaber said. “This event presents an extraordinary opportunity for our students and scientists. We appreciate the Department of Energy recognizing UToledo’s momentum in advancing science and selecting us to host National Lab Day.”

A kickoff ceremony will be held at 8:45 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, in Nitschke Auditorium and feature Gaber, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur and Chris Fall, director of the Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

“From manufacturing the first Jeeps for the U.S. government at the onset of WWII, to the founding of America’s largest solar company — First Solar – Toledo has a long and storied history as a world leader in manufacturing, national security, and cutting-edge research and development,” Kaptur said. “That is why Toledo is the perfect place to host an event like National Lab Day. Partnership is at the core of the success of our national labs, and National Lab Day will help facilitate important and long-lasting partnerships that bring students and faculty together with the National Lab directors.”

The Department of Energy maintains 17 national labs that tackle the critical scientific and national security challenges of our time — from combating climate change to discovering the origins of our universe — and possess unique instruments and facilities, many of which are found nowhere else in the world.

Toledo native and director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Mike Witherell, who grew up just blocks from the University, is a key organizer of the event.

“The University of Toledo is experiencing tremendous growth in its research enterprise,” Witherell said. “As a resource for the nation, the Department of Energy national laboratories are a resource for the University as it innovates and drives economic growth for Toledo, the northwest Ohio region, the state and the nation. My colleagues from the labs and I are delighted to join with the University and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur at National Lab Day to explore the many exciting possibilities for engagement.”

Participants in National Lab Day 2019 at UToledo will meet laboratory directors and researchers; explore funding and fellowship opportunities; discover facilities open to academic and industry scientists; and learn about student internships and postdoctoral fellowships.

UToledo scientists will lead panel discussions with national laboratory scientists on a variety of topics, including:

• The Land-Water Interface: The Great Lakes Region and the World;

• Sustainability and Life Cycle Assessment;

• Structural Biology, Imaging and Spectroscopy;

• Astrophysics;

• Exposure Science — ‘Omics’ Applications for Human Health;

• Materials and Manufacturing; and

• Photovoltaics.

Registration, which is open for the academic and commercial research community, is required. Visit the National Lab Day website to register.

As part of National Lab Day, about 100 high school seniors will be on campus Friday, Oct. 11, to learn about career paths in STEM, meet national laboratory scientists, and learn about each of the national laboratories.

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.

UToledo Banned Books Vigil to Take Place Sept. 26

Keep the light on and your mind open: Students, faculty, staff and area residents will answer riddles to win prizes, discuss ideas, and eat snacks at the UToledo Banned Books Week Vigil Thursday, Sept. 26, in Health and Human Services Building Room 1711B.

Every fall for 22 years, the University community has celebrated the right to read and think freely because “Censorship Leaves Us in the Dark.” This theme of the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week, Sept. 22-28, highlights the role reading plays in democracy.

The free, public open house champions the right to read, think, speak and create freely.

“The battle for the First Amendment is never won,” said Dr. Paulette D. Kilmer, UToledo professor of communication and coordinator of the UToledo Banned Books Vigil. “Somebody is always eager to censor books, music, TV, movies, art and other cultural forms of free expression in the name of protecting us from ourselves.”

Recently, a Catholic school in Nashville banned the “Harry Potter” series, claiming the books contain spells and curses. In 2018, censorship affected 531 resources, including books, magazines and databases, according to the American Library Association.

Many instances of banning and challenges are not reported, Kilmer said.

“All books are vital to our democracy,” she said. “The ones that lack lasting value will fall away because they will not merit literary attention or remain interesting to the next generation. All books are not equally good reading, but each person must determine for him or herself what to read without outside interference.”

The book festival calls attention to everyone’s right to read what he or she wants, Kilmer added.

UToledo faculty and area teachers are invited to bring classes. Attendance vouchers will be provided.

Programs will start every 30 minutes during the event, which coincides with the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week. Door prizes will be given out every half hour. The first 300 guests will receive a grab bag at the door. Pizza is scheduled to arrive around 3:45 p.m.

Topics and speakers will be:

• 9 a.m. — “How Copyright Rules Cramp Free Speech” by Lucy Duhon, collection sharing coordinator and scholarly communications librarian in University Libraries.

• 9:30 a.m. — “The Sound of Silence: What Does It Look Like?” by Dr. Monita Mungo, assistant professor of sociology.

10 a.m. — “Silence = Death” by Holly Hey, professor of film, with Dr. Allyson Day, assistant professor of disability studies.

• 10:30 a.m. — “Banning Pride?! Challenging ‘This Day in June’” by Dr. Sharon Barnes, associate professor and chair of women’s and gender studies.

• 11 a.m. — “Prison Resistance and the Right to Speak” by Dr. Renee Heberle, professor of political science and co-director of the Program in Law and Social Thought.

• 11:30 a.m. — “Super Hero Women Return to Save the World” by Warren Woodberry, Toledo author and playwright.

• Noon — “Banned in Boston: Lillian Hellman’s ‘The Children’s Hour’” by Holly Monsos, professor of theatre and associate dean of the College of Arts and Letters.

• 1 p.m. — “A Thousand Hands, A Million Stars: Speaking for Those Whose Voices Have Been Rendered Silent Through Human Sex Trafficking” by Jane Atwood, instructor in the Department of Music and University College.

• 1:30 p.m. — “Outrageous T-Shirts — Free Expression or Rudeness?” by Kilmer.

• 2 p.m. — “Google Docs, Social Media and Censorship: How Third-Party Corporations Are Deciding What You Can Study” by Dan McInnis, assistant lecturer in the Jesup Scott Honors College.

• 2:30 p.m. — “Banning Books in Nigeria: Findings From a Study of the Origin, Methods and Motivations” by Dr. Mojisola Tiamiyu, associate professor of psychology.

• 3 p.m. — Banned Books “Jeopardy” hosted by The Independent Collegian.

• 3:30 p.m. — “Why Democracies Need a Free Press” by Ben Morse, editor-in-chief of The Independent Collegian.

4 p.m. — “Don’t Look a Smith Horse in the Mouth,” an episode of “American Dad” that was fined by the Federal Communications Commission.

• 4:30 p.m. — “Woody Guthrie Songs” performance by Risa Cohen, local singer and storyteller.

Kilmer said the Banned Books Vigil would not be possible without the help of generous sponsors on campus and in the community. She gave a special thanks to the Office of the President; the Office of the Provost; the Jesup Scott Honors College; the College of Arts and Letters; the School of Visual and Performing Arts; Communication Department; Athletic Department; Disability Studies Department; Law and Social Thought Program; Inside-Outside Prison Exchange Program; and Phoenicia Cuisine.

For more information about the UToledo Banned Books Vigil, contact Kilmer at paulette.kilmer@utoledo.edu.

Making Connections: Engineering Student Interns in Silicon Valley

Naba Rizvi is one of nine students selected from more than 1,000 applicants to receive the Adobe Research Women-in-Technology Scholarship.

In addition to that $10,000 award that honors women students who show great promise in the field of computer science, The University of Toledo junior landed an internship on Adobe Research’s team in San Jose, Calif.

Naba Rizvi was an intern at Adobe Research in San Jose, Calif., this summer.

“I worked on two projects,” said Rizvi, who is majoring in information technology in the College of Engineering. “They both focused on natural language processing and human-computer interaction.”

Her Adobe Research mentor was Dr. Franck Dernoncourt, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who specializes in natural language processing.

“My first project involved research engineering. I used my experience as a web developer to develop a visualization for a sentence compressor and text summarizer,” Rizvi said. “For the second project, I worked on making the output of latent Dirichlet allocation models for automatic document topic classification more human readable.”

In other words, Rizvi’s research is focusing on topic modeling — training the computer to recognize topics in written text with an algorithm.

Naba Rizvi, left, posed for a photo with Lisa Wang, a student at Westmont High School in California. Rizvi mentored Wang during the Girls Who Code Camp run by Adobe Research.

“I learned so much about natural language processing, particularly text summarization. I even submitted my first paper to a conference.”

That paper, “Margin Call,” which she wrote with Dernoncourt and Sebastian Gehrmann, a Ph.D. candidate at Harvard University, was accepted by the International Conference on Natural Language Generation. That conference will be held in Tokyo this fall.

“My colleagues and myself were delighted to host Naba this summer at Adobe Research,” Dernoncourt said. “Naba is a fast learner and highly motivated. She made a great impact on our research projects.”

What was a typical day like?

“I read a lot of research papers, wrote code, tested the output, and turned to Stack Overflow, my co-workers or my mentor for help if I got stuck,” Rizvi said. “I met with my mentor every week to discuss my projects, progress toward my goals, and any roadblocks.”

“We are proud of Naba Rizvi and all that she continues to accomplish,” Dr. Michael Toole, dean of the UToledo College of Engineering, said. “Her success is well-earned and spotlights the strength of our Engineering Technology Department in the College of Engineering.”

The student in the Jesup Scott Honors College made the most of her time in Silicon Valley, home to many global technology and startup companies.

“To receive such a competitive internship as a first-generation college student really motivates me to work harder and take advantage of all the opportunities available to me,” Rizvi said. “I embrace the growth mindset and believe it is the key to success.”

And she is familiar with success: Last year, Rizvi won the $10,000 Google Women Techmakers Scholarship, which included a scholar retreat with Google scholars from around the world on Google campuses, including the Googleplex in Mountain View, Calif.

She is taking her momentum and launching a nonprofit organization called Nontraditional Techies.

“We already have 600-plus members and a job board,” Rizvi said. “I will be creating a mentoring program and an interview series featuring people who have overcome great obstacles on their path to a technical career to inspire others to pursue a career in technology.”

Doodle Revolution Leader to Speak at Museum as Part of Honors College Distinguished Lecture Series

The University of Toledo is teaming up with the Toledo Museum of Art to bring author and visual literacy expert Sunni Brown to the Glass City as part of the Jesup Scott Honors College Distinguished Lecture Series.

Brown, author of “The Doodle Revolution,” will give an interactive lecture Thursday, Sept. 12, at 6 p.m. in the Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle.

Brown

Brown is known for her large-scale, live content visualizations, and she is also the leader of the Doodle Revolution — a growing effort to debunk the myth that doodling is a distraction. Using common sense, experience and neuroscience, she is proving that to doodle is to ignite your whole mind.

“This will be a fun, interactive event as Sunni engages with the audience,” said Mike Deetsch, director of education and engagement at the Toledo Museum of Art. “Her work has an element of gamification and play that elevates her visual dialogue and will appeal to a wide audience.”

The interactive lecture is geared to teachers, students and business professionals who work in teams.

“The Jesup Scott Honors College Distinguished Lecture Series brings innovative thinkers and doers to campus for all of the Toledo area to enjoy. Sunni Brown is an amazing speaker who will change the way you think about teamwork and brainstorming,” said Dr. Heidi Appel, dean of the Jesup Scott Honors College.

“Her talk is part of the exciting collaboration between The University of Toledo and the Toledo Museum of Art to enhance the skills of visual literacy,” Appel said. “Visual thinking fuels creativity and innovation, and knowing how to use, make and interpret visual images makes all of our students more successful.”

After the free, public lecture, Brown will sign her books, which will be available for sale.

To register for the free, public event, go to the Distinguished Lecture Series website.