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UToledo Pre-Health Advising Center Offers Enhanced Support for Students Pursuing Healthcare Careers

The University of Toledo is celebrating the opening of a specialized undergraduate advising center to support students in UToledo’s growing pre-professional and allied health programs.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate the new Pre-Health Advising Center will take place Thursday, Nov. 7, at 9 a.m. outside University Hall Room 2160. The Nursing Advising Center, relocated across the hall, also will be recognized.

Deborah Hendricks, director of the Pre-Health Advising Center, left, and Shavron Kelley, program coordinator at the Pre-Health Advising Center, are on campus to assist students interested in pre-professional and allied health programs.

The new Pre-Health Advising Center brings together a comprehensive array of services for students interested in pursuing a career in healthcare.

Academic advisers will be available to help students who have declared a pre-med/pre-vet/pre-dental concentration with course selection, provide information about clinical and networking opportunities, and offer guidance on navigating the application process to medical school and other professional healthcare programs.

“We know that jobs in healthcare are growing. As part of our commitment to student success, we want to ensure our students are on track and well-prepared to enter those career fields,” said Dr. Amy Thompson, vice provost for faculty affairs and professor of public health. “This center provides specialized resources to support and encourage students, as well as help them review their options at UToledo.”

UToledo boasts an extensive catalog of options for undergraduate students pursuing a career in healthcare; these include a number of pre-medicine tracks, pre-physical therapy, pre-dental, pre-veterinary and pre-pharmacy.

The Pre-Health Advising Center is open to all undergraduates enrolled in a healthcare program. Staff at the center also can provide guidance to those considering attending UToledo or who are undecided on a major explore the University’s numerous pre-professional and allied health fields.

“We want our students to find the right home for their interests and talents,” Thompson said. “Our advisers can walk students through academic prerequisites and help them evaluate all possible majors that are in the health professions so that they find the best fit.”

The center also has special workshops for pre-medicine, pre-dental and pre-veterinary students, as well as students enrolled in UToledo’s Bacc2MD Program and the UToledo/Case Western Reserve University’s School of Dental Medicine Program.

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.

Serving Healthcare Needs of Transgender Population Topic of Upcoming Lecture

Providing culturally sensitive care to transgender individuals will be the topic of the 12th annual Dorothy Hussain Distinguished Lectureship hosted by The University of Toledo College of Nursing.

Dr. Jordon Bosse, a registered nurse and project manager of research and education for Boulder Care Inc., will be the keynote speaker.

Bosse

The free, public lecture, “What’s the ‘T’? How to Provide Patient-Centered, Culturally Sensitive Care to Transgender People,” will be held Tuesday, Oct. 29, from 1 to 3 p.m. in Collier Building Room 1000. Register in advance through the College of Nursing website. Students do not need to register.

Bosse, who holds a Ph.D. in nursing science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has worked with vulnerable and marginalized populations in both the social service and healthcare fields for more than two decades. Much of his work has been focused on the needs of the LGBTQA+ community.

According to Bosse, many transgender or nonbinary people have had negative experiences in healthcare because of difficulty finding providers who have the knowledge, skills and experience to work with transgender and nonbinary people, a lack of understanding from physicians, or even the binary choices presented on forms and electronic medical records.

One of the best things healthcare providers can do, he said, is educate themselves.

“Caring for transgender and nonbinary patients isn’t a clinical specialty. You will likely come in contact with people from diverse gender groups in the course of your practice. The only way to know is to ask,” he said. “Get in the habit of asking all patients what they would like to be called, what pronouns they use and then use them. If people give responses you’ve not heard before, it’s OK to ask for more information.”

Bosse will be joined by Dr. Michelle Boose and Dr. Robert Gottfried, both assistant professors in the Department of Family Medicine in the UToledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences, for the conversation on serving healthcare needs of the transgender population.

The lecture is named after the late Dorothy Gladys Hussain, whose professional career spanned 32 years as a staff nurse and critical care nurse at the former Medical College of Ohio Hospital. She was known for patient advocacy and championing patients’ rights.

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.

Deans Appointed to Vice Provost Roles to Advance Health Affairs

The Office of the Provost has appointed two deans to take on additional responsibilities as vice provosts.

Dr. Christopher Cooper, dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, and executive vice president for clinical affairs, has been appointed to serve as vice provost for educational health affairs.

Dr. Linda Lewandowski, dean of the College of Nursing, has been appointed to serve as vice provost for health affairs for interprofessional and community partnerships.

In his vice provost role, Cooper will serve as a liaison between the Office of the Provost and the deans of the four health-related colleges with a focus on facilities and college resources related to health education.

In her vice provost role, Lewandowski will serve as a liaison between the Office of the Provost and the external community for targeted health-related partnerships and initiatives, and will be responsible for the development and implementation of interprofessional collaborations among the University’s health-related academic programs.

Fall Enrollment Numbers Reflect Focus on Student Success

For the seventh consecutive year, more students have returned to campus this fall semester for their second year of studies, once again confirming the University’s growing trend of student success.

The University of Toledo’s first-to-second-year retention rate is 76.4%, and the six-year graduate rate improved to a record high of 51.2% as a result of campus-wide increased efforts to support student success.

This year’s entering class has a record high academic profile with an average ACT score of 23.03 and average GPA of 3.48.

Total enrollment for fall semester 2019 is 19,782, according to official 15-day census numbers, which includes 15,568 undergraduate students and 4,214 graduate and professional students. UToledo had 20,304 students enrolled in fall semester 2018, of which 16,065 were undergraduates and 4,239 were graduate students.

“We’re proud to see our efforts to support students having such a positive impact on our retention and graduation rates. We’ve exceeded our Strategic Plan goal three years ahead of schedule,” UToledo President Sharon L. Gaber said. “Our goal now is to continue this positive trend while also refocusing our efforts to strategically grow enrollment so more students can benefit from the UToledo experience.”

This academic year UToledo focused on opportunities to expand programs in the health professions to meet both student and community demand.

The College of Nursing experienced a 10% increase in enrollment with the largest cohort of students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing. UToledo added faculty in order to accept more students into the program and launched a new competency-based education RN to BSN program, which is the first of its kind among Ohio institutions. This new online program provides the flexibility for working nurses to advance their careers through self-paced learning that’s personalized, accessible and convenient.

The College of Medicine and Life Sciences grew its graduate programs and recruited a highly qualified class of M.D. students with more than 5,400 applicants for 175 spots. The new class of medical students had an average MCAT score that places it in the top 20% nationally.

Toledo recently hired a new director for the Pre-Health Advising Center, Tess Newlove, to continue efforts to support success for students interested in health professional programs.

UToledo, ProMedica to Announce Launch of Nursing Now Northwest Ohio

The University of Toledo College of Nursing and ProMedica are partnering to launch Nursing Now Northwest Ohio, joining a global campaign aimed at improving healthcare by raising the status and profile of nursing.

A celebration formally announcing the initiative will take place Thursday, Aug. 8, at 3 p.m. in Collier Building Room 1050 on UToledo’s Health Science Campus.

The event will feature leaders from the University and ProMedica, including UToledo President Sharon L. Gaber, ProMedica President and CEO Randy Oostra, UToledo College of Nursing Dean Linda Lewandowski and ProMedica Chief Nursing Officer Deana Sievert.

A keynote address on the impact of nurses on the health and well-being of communities will be delivered by Dr. Faye Gary, the Medical Mutual of Ohio Kent W. Clapp chair and professor of nursing at Case Western Reserve University.

Nursing Now is spearheaded by the Burdett Trust for Nursing in collaboration with the World Health Organization and the International Council on Nursing.

The three-year campaign — which leads up to the 200th anniversary of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale’s birth — is focused on ensuring nurses have a strong voice in healthcare policy, encouraging investment in the nursing workforce, recruiting more nurses into leadership positions, and improving healthcare worldwide. National and local groups from more than 80 countries have since joined the campaign.

Nursing Now Northwest Ohio will highlight the impact of nurses in our community and around the world, and focus on expanding the influence of nurses in the region through a variety of service and educational initiatives.

Annual medical student white coat ceremony to take place Aug. 9

The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences will welcome a new class of medical students with an official white coat ceremony Friday, Aug. 9, at 10 a.m. in Nitschke Auditorium.

The white coat ceremony, held during the week of orientation, is a long-established tradition for first-year medical students that emphasizes the principles of their chosen profession and prepares them for the journey to become medical professionals.

This year, 175 students will take part.

“This ceremony underscores the foundation of the medical profession for first-year medical students,” said Dr. Christopher Cooper, executive vice president for clinical affairs and dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences. “The white coat serves as a symbol of their entry into medical school. It reiterates their commitment to professionalism, educational excellence, and their service to others through medical care.”

Seventy-six% of the incoming class are from Ohio, and nearly one-third are from northwest Ohio. A total of 14 states — including California, Illinois and New York — are represented.

In addition to the presentation of a white coat, the event will include a welcome from Cooper, a keynote address on humanism in medicine, and a recitation of the Medical Student Pledge of Ethics.

A livestream of the event is available on the College of Medicine and Life Sciences white coat ceremony website.

In addition to first-year medical students, UToledo also has white coat ceremonies for students in a number of other programs.

• The College of Medicine and Life Sciences will host white coat ceremonies for students in the Physician Assistant Program Friday, Aug. 23, and students in the Biomedical Sciences Program Thursday, Sept. 5.

• The College of Nursing will hold a white coat ceremony for incoming undergraduate and graduate students Wednesday, Sept. 4.

• The College of Health and Human Services will hold a white coat ceremony for first-year physical therapy and respiratory care students in their junior year, which is the first year of their professional program, Friday, Aug. 30.

• The College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences will hold a white coat ceremony for students in both the Doctor of Pharmacy Program and Pharmaceutical Sciences Program Thursday, Aug. 22.

College of Nursing graduate to continue education at Johns Hopkins to earn doctorate

Hunter Perrin grew up seeing the difference his mother made in the lives of her kindergarten students and knew early on he wanted to devote his career to caring for children.

Now the soon-to-be graduate of The University of Toledo is preparing to attend Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where he’ll work toward a doctorate of nursing practice in pediatrics.

Perrin

“It’s such a vulnerable population, and every person who enters this profession is going to make a difference in the lives of every patient they touch,” Perrin said.

Perrin came to the UToledo College of Nursing with the idea that he would earn a bachelor of science in nursing, work in pediatrics as a registered nurse, and eventually go on to become certified as a nurse practitioner.

He didn’t anticipate that would happen so quickly — and certainly not at the country’s top-ranked nursing program. But with the encouragement of UToledo faculty and a number of key connections made at nursing conferences across the country, he was able to get into his dream program.

“Every single experience here at The University of Toledo has been great. The one thing I love about this place is that there’s a lot of opportunities if you’re willing to seek them out and put in the effort,” Perrin said. “I’m not sure I would have gotten that anywhere else.”

Dr. Linda Lewandowski, dean of the College of Nursing, praised Perrin’s accomplishments and his dedication to pediatric nursing.

“It’s always inspiring to identify UToledo students who show the passion, skill and drive to make a difference that Hunter has. As a former Hopkins faculty member, I know that being admitted to the D.N.P. program at Johns Hopkins is very competitive and the program is very demanding,” she said. “However, I have no doubt that Hunter will excel there as he did here at UToledo. The nursing profession always needs caring leaders, and I am certain that Hunter will make a positive difference in the lives of many children and families in the future and make us proud.”

Perrin, who also was a student in the Jesup Scott Honors College, completed a capstone project on the psychological development of children after a school shooting. He and two graduate students analyzed research on the role of health-care professionals and looked at legislation and policy that might help guide the response of nurses after a tragedy.

“There are varying levels to what each child experiences after a school shooting, but it’s important to note that every single child will have a reaction, even if they’re not outwardly displaying it,” he said.

Perrin presented the findings at the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Master’s Education Conference in Tampa, Fla.

He also traveled to Taiwan in 2018 with other nursing honors students to learn about their health-care system, and is on the board of the UToledo Student Nurses Association.

At Hopkins, Perrin hopes to tackle another societal health-care issue by examining the best care methods for newborns whose mothers have opioid use disorder.

“If there’s a need,” he said, “I’m going to try to go there.”

Entertainment icon Katie Holmes to deliver commencement address May 4

Katie Holmes, a native Toledoan who rose to fame as an actor, producer and director, will return to her hometown to deliver the keynote address during The University of Toledo’s undergraduate commencement ceremony Saturday, May 4.

A Notre Dame Academy alumna and international icon of screen, stage and film, Holmes will address 2,078 candidates for degrees — 2,023 bachelor’s and 55 associate’s candidates. The event will take place at 10 a.m. in the Glass Bowl.

The University’s graduate commencement ceremony is scheduled the same day at 3 p.m. in the Glass Bowl, and will commemorate 915 candidates for doctoral, education specialist and master’s degrees, as well as graduate certificates. Analese Alvarez, an educator and musician who has recorded with the Grammy Award-winning rock group Fleetwood Mac, will be the keynote speaker. She is a candidate for a doctoral degree.

Both ceremonies are open to the public and can be viewed live on the University Views website.

President Sharon L. Gaber will present Holmes with an honorary doctor of humane letters degree before the keynote address.

“The University of Toledo is pleased to welcome Katie Holmes as our commencement speaker to inspire our newest alumni as they celebrate receiving their degrees,” Gaber said. “As a Toledo native with close, personal connections to the University, we are eager for her to share her experiences and accomplishments in the entertainment industry and as an entrepreneur and philanthropist.”

Holmes

Holmes is an internationally recognized film and television actor, producer and director, as well as a Broadway actor and an entrepreneur.

An exceptional student at Notre Dame Academy, Holmes was accepted to Columbia University, but deferred to embark on an entertainment career. She made her feature film debut in “The Ice Storm” in 1997, then established herself as a rising young actor the next year in the television show “Dawson’s Creek.” For six years, she played Joey Potter, a character still recognized in pop culture.

Holmes has appeared in supporting or starring roles in more than 30 films and television programs, including acclaimed performances as Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy in “The Kennedys” and “The Kennedys: After Camelot,” Hannah Green in “Wonder Boys,” Rachel Dawson in “Batman Begins,” April Burns in “Pieces of April,” Rita Carmichael in “All We Had,” and Paige Finney in “Ray Donovan.”

Her credits as a director and producer include “All We Had,” “Touched With Fire,” “The Romantics” and “The Kennedys: Decline and Fall.”

Holmes made her Broadway debut in a revival of Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons” in 2008 and played the role of Lorna in “Dead Accounts” in 2012.

As an entrepreneur, Holmes managed and designed a well-received fashion line, Holmes & Yang, with Jeanne Yang, from 2009 to 2014.

Her philanthropic efforts include the Dizzy Feet Foundation, an organization Holmes co-founded in 2009 that increases access to dance education in the United States. She also supports the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes; Love Our Children USA, a national nonprofit organization that fights violence and neglect against U.S. children; Raising Malawi, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to helping vulnerable children in extreme poverty through health, education and community support; and the Motion Picture and Television Fund Foundation.

Alvarez

Graduate ceremony speaker Alvarez has been an educator for nearly two decades and is a candidate for an education doctorate in educational administration and supervision.

The Santa Barbara, Calif., native has enjoyed an outstanding career teaching high school music, highlighted by leading her previous school’s music department to become a Grammy Signature Schools recipient in 2015. She has continued teaching music while pursuing her doctorate at UToledo by serving as a graduate assistant for the Rocket Marching Band and athletic bands since 2015.

Alvarez”s long career as a musician includes recording with Fleetwood Mac on “The Dance” and appearances on “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” and Nickelodeon’s “The Big Help.” She also was a member of the Los Angeles Laker Band, a subset of the University of Southern California’s Trojan Marching Band. She has performed with numerous professional ensembles, including The Desert Winds and the Gold Coast Wind Ensemble.

A volunteer club advisor for Gay Straight Alliances, Alvarez co-chaired the Southern Nevada chapter of the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network and served the Gay and Lesbian Center of Las Vegas. During the past year, she has been executive director at Equality Toledo, where she has worked to support the local community.

Alvarez earned a bachelor of music degree from the University of Southern California and a master of music degree from Northern Arizona University, both in music education.

UToledo’s spring commencement ceremonies will recognize graduates from the colleges of Arts and Letters; Business and Innovation; Judith Herb College of Education; Engineering; Graduate Studies; Health and Human Services; Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Nursing; Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and University College.

UToledo’s College of Law will host its commencement ceremony Sunday, May 5, at 1 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium. Angelita Cruz Bridges, a 2000 graduate of the College of Law who serves as an assistant United States attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, will give the commencement address.

The next week — Friday, May 10, at 4 p.m. — the College of Medicine and Life Sciences will hold its commencement ceremony in Savage Arena. Dr. Scott Parazynski, a physician and inventor whose career included serving 17 years as an astronaut, during which time he flew five space shuttle missions and conducted seven spacewalks, will be theutoledo.edu/commencementrmation, visit the commencement website.