Events | UToledo News - Part 2








UToledo to Honor Holocaust Survivor With Book Release Celebration, Endowed Professorship

The University of Toledo is honoring the life and legacy of the late Philip Markowicz, a Holocaust survivor who was a cherished member of the Toledo Jewish community.

During the virtual event “An Evening in Honor of Philip Markowicz” at 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13 on Zoom, UToledo and Markowicz’s children will celebrate the release of his book recently published by The University of Toledo Press titled “Losing God in Translation: A Study of the Hebrew Bible” and announce an endowed professorship in Judaism and Jewish Biblical Studies established in his name.

Register for the virtual event at the UToledo College of Arts and Letters website.

Philip Markowicz

“The University of Toledo College of Arts and Letters is grateful for Mr. Markowicz’s many contributions to this community and the generous gift his family has made to establish the Philip Markowicz Endowed Professorship in Judaism and Jewish Biblical Studies,” Charlene Gilbert, dean of the College of Arts and Letters, said. “This gift serves as a permanent testament to the scholarship he sought to pursue before his dreams of being a biblical scholar were destroyed by the brutality of the Nazi invasion of Poland.”

Markowicz’s children, Dr. Allen Markowicz and Professor Sylvia Markowicz Neil, together with their spouses Hindea Markowicz and Daniel Fischel, have for the past decade supported a UToledo faculty position in Jewish studies. They and others in the community donated more than $250,000 to fund the new endowed faculty position in Markowicz’s name, and the family will match additional contributions up to $125,000.

“This gift has been fundamental in supporting our efforts to increase our offerings in the study of Judaism and to continue Philip Markowicz’s legacy of scholarship of the Hebrew Bible,” Dr. John Sarnecki, chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, said.

The event also will feature a keynote lecture by Dr. Yonatan S. Miller, assistant professor of religious studies and the new Philip Markowicz Endowed Assistant Professor who also prepared and edited Markowicz’s new book.

Markowicz was born in 1924 in Przerab, Poland. The son of a rabbi, Markowicz was known as a Talmud prodigy but his yeshiva education was interrupted by the Nazi invasion of Poland.

He survived the ghetto of Lodz, several concentration camps including Auschwitz, and a death march. Nazis murdered his entire family with the exception of his brother.

After being liberated by the Allies, Markowicz met and married his wife, Ruth, in a Displaced Persons camp and started their family and emigrated to Toledo, where – with no connections or resources – Markowicz trained himself in electronics and created a thriving business.

Philip continued his passion for Torah study and wrote extensively in his retirement. He published an autobiography, “My Three Lives,” in 2010, and completed the manuscript for “Losing God in Translation” shortly before he died in 2017.

The publication of his new book inaugurates a new series from The University of Toledo Press with the imprint of the University’s Center for Religious Understanding.

UToledo Students Host Dialogue on Diversity to Discuss Black Lives Matter Movement

The University of Toledo is continuing its Dialogues on Diversity series with a conversation organized and hosted by students.

The next virtual town hall in the series titled “Black Students Matter: Finding Our Way in the Revolution” will take place 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3 and can be accessed on WebEx using the access code 172 033 9974. The meeting password is DoD7. Join by phone at 415.655.0002.

The discussion will be moderated by Emir Moore, UToledo graduate student in the Master of Business Administration program and graduate assistant for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, with participants including:

• Tulani Black, president of the Association for the Advancement of African American Women;

• Anthony Gennings, student trustee on the UToledo Board of Trustees;

• Dominga Grace, organizer of Toledo Together; and

• Nadia Shelton, president of the National Panhellenic Council.

“Since students are back on campus and settled into the fall semester, we thought that it was important to provide a platform for students’ voices to be heard,” Moore said. “This conversation will provide student leaders an opportunity to share their thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement and racial equity in our society and on our campus.”

This is the seventh in a series of recent virtual Dialogues on Diversity since George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis by a police officer, sparking protests against systemic racism across the country.


UToledo Health Professions Chapter Places Highly in International Competition

A group of Rockets in the health professions have launched themselves from competition in Ohio to recognition among their peers at the international level.

In June, students in The University of Toledo chapter of the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) Future Health Professionals competed with state finalists from around the country during HOSA’s 2020 International Conference, held virtually for the first time in response to COVID-19.

More than 7,000 students from high schools and postsecondary institutions in the U.S., Canada and China participated in events testing their abilities in health science and leadership. The UToledo students had qualified to compete in the international conference during HOSA’s virtual statewide competition in April.

“Placing as a champion or becoming a finalist at a HOSA International Conference is
very significant, and each of these members deserves recognition for their dedication and hard work,” said Rupesh Boddapati, a bioengineering major and founder and president of UToledo’s chapter of HOSA Future Health Professionals. “I’m very thankful for their interest and dedication to the organization, to UToledo and to the community.”

HOSA Future Health Professionals, founded in 1975, is an international student organization with more than 245,000 members that helps to develop leadership and technical skills in health science education programs around the world.

UToledo students named 2020 HOSA International champions are:

• Rupesh Boddapati, third place in pathophysiology;

• Sharvari Brahme, second place in extemporaneous writing; and

• Maya Girn, third place in cultural diversities and disparities.

Several UToledo students also earned recognition as 2020 HOSA International finalists. They are Aditya Acharya in medical law and ethics; Samhitha Dasari in human growth and development; Megha Girn in nutrition; Drew Pariseau in nutrition; and Jessica Rinehart in medical math.

UToledo to Host Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony For New Solar Array on Health Science Campus

A new 2.3-acre, 337-kilowatt solar array on Health Science Campus is expected to save The University of Toledo nearly $30,000 a year while increasing the amount of renewable energy powering the University.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the HSC Tech Park Solar Field will take place Tuesday, Aug. 25, at 10 a.m. at its location off of Arlington Avenue along Main Technology Drive near the Facilities Support Building. Parking is in lot 44E.

Mike Green, UToledo director of sustainability and energy, took this photo of the solar array on Health Science Campus.

“The solar field project is complete, and we are working with a local utility provider to get the field operational and tied into the grid,” Jason Toth, senior associate vice president for administration, said. “This work represents a unique collaboration between students, faculty, an outside donor and UToledo to support sustainability on our campus.”

First Solar, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of solar cells and a company with deep ties to UToledo, donated 365 kilowatts of its Series 5 modules valued at $192,000 to the University in 2017. Approximately 10% of the donated modules are being reserved for maintenance.

A senior design team made up of UToledo students studying mechanical, industrial and manufacturing engineering worked with UToledo Facilities and Construction to identify the site and prepared construction engineering drawings with assistance from JDRM Engineering. The UToledo Student Green Fund approved spending $350,000 to cover the costs to install the array. The construction contract was awarded to Solscient Energy LLC after a public bidding of the project.

The projected electrical production over the 25-year life of the system will be more than $700,000, enough to power about 60 homes annually.

“The University of Toledo continues to reduce its carbon footprint and strengthen its commitment to a clean energy future,” said Dr. Randy Ellingson, professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. “Thanks to First Solar’s generous donation of modules and UToledo working to keeping costs down, the array will produce some of the lowest cost solar energy in the state of Ohio. We are excited to connect our students to these solar projects. They gain valuable experience with this fast-growing energy technology that generates nearly carbon-free electricity directly from sunlight.”

Based on avoided combustion of fossil fuels, the array will prevent the release of approximately 6 million kilograms of carbon dioxide while generating approximately 10.5 gigawatt hours of clean electricity for Health Science Campus.

A portion of the value of the electricity generated will go to a UToledo fund for use on future renewable energy projects.

Building on its more than 30-year history advancing solar technology to power the world using clean energy, UToledo researchers are pushing the performance of solar cells to levels never before reached.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded UToledo $4.5 million to develop the next-generation solar panel by bringing a new, ultra-high efficiency material called perovskites to the consumer market.

The U.S. Air Force also awarded UToledo physicists $7.4 million to develop solar technology that is lightweight, flexible, highly efficient and durable in space so it can provide power for space vehicles using sunlight.

Plus, the U.S. Department of Energy last year awarded UToledo physicists $750,000 to improve the production of hydrogen as fuel, using clean energy — solar power — to split the water molecule and create clean energy — hydrogen fuel.

These activities involve collaboration with U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories, U.S. companies and universities, and enable the UToledo Wright Center for Photovoltaics Innovation and Commercialization to continue strong international leadership in the field of solar electricity generation.

UToledo History Faculty Member to Give Talk Celebrating Suffrage Centennial

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

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


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

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

Register for the event on the library website.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UToledo College of Nursing to Hold Drive-Through Convocation

The University of Toledo College of Nursing will host a drive-through convocation this weekend to recognize its summer graduates.

The socially distanced event will honor two important rites of passage for nursing students — a pinning ceremony for undergraduates and a hooding ceremony for doctoral students.

“These are really important moments for our students and their families. We want to give them that moment of recognition,” said Dr. Linda Lewandowski, dean of the College of Nursing. “We’re trying to do the best we can to ensure our students have a way to celebrate their academic success and entry into the nursing profession, even in the midst of this pandemic.”

The event will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 15, outside the Collier Building on UToledo’s Health Science Campus in Parking Lot 44. Doctoral students will be recognized first, followed by undergraduate students. The ceremony will continue throughout the day, with graduates participating one at a time in order to comply with current state guidelines that limit large gatherings.

The College of Nursing considered several convocation options and polled students about their preferences before deciding on the drive-through convocation.

Mohammad Abouahmed, a bachelor of science in nursing student, said he was appreciative for an opportunity to celebrate the occasion with his family and friends.

“It’s a special time. There are 90 some people in our cohort, and we’ve been around each other on a nearly daily basis for the past four semesters,” Abouahmed said. “I view the pinning almost as our version of a graduation versus walking across the stage. It’s definitely more sentimental. It’s more specific and more meaningful in a sense.”

Pinning and hooding are both time-honored academic traditions.

Each college of nursing has its own specific pin that is a symbol of a student’s graduation from that particular school — a tradition that goes back more than 100 years. Students set to earn their bachelor of science in nursing degree can elect the person of their choice to place the pin on their lapel as a symbol of their entry into the nursing profession.

Similarly, students who are completing a doctor of nursing practice degree will be recognized with a traditional academic hooding ceremony in which their name is announced and a doctoral hood is draped over their shoulders to signify their professional stature.

Graduates and their families, all of whom will be required to wear masks, will drive to the main tent staging area where they can then exit their vehicles. Graduates will come to the stage, while family members will have a designated area for taking photographs.

On the Dot: Stickers With QR Codes Enhance UToledo Virtual Campus Tour

Circling around The University of Toledo just became more fun — and educational. More than 40 stickers with QR codes have been placed on UToledo’s campuses.

The dots are located outside buildings on Main, Health Science and Toledo Museum of Art campuses. Each sticker features a QR code that offers information about the structure and UToledo programs taking place in the building.

Dots like this one outside Memorial Field House allow persons on campus to explore the University and learn more about its programs.

“I think there are people that may be wandering campus every day wondering what goes on in that building or what it looks like on the inside. Now they’ll get a sneak peek inside many buildings with 360 images, and some additional photos and links to social media,” Jessica Kennedy, art director in Marketing and Communications, said.

The codes also will take visitors to UToledo’s virtual tour.

“We worked with Enrollment, which thought the stickers are a good alternative for those that can’t make it to scheduled tours or aren’t comfortable doing group tours at this time,” Kennedy said. “We also discussed this as a follow-up for students who have been on a group tour, but want to revisit campus on their own, which we know many students and families do.”

She was inspired to create the stickers during the pandemic.

Jessica Kennedy, art director in Marketing and Communications, placed a sticker outside the Student Recreation Center.

“I noticed a lot of people walking around campus while we were in quarantine, and I thought we could take the opportunity to engage with community members and potential students as tours were closed, but students and families were still visiting campuses,” Kennedy said.

Kathleen Walsh, director of web development in Marketing and Communications, suggested custom QR codes.

“We created landing pages on the UToledo website for the custom QR codes. This gives us the ability to update the content at any time,” Walsh explained. “This flexibility means we can create custom tour information for specific situations. For example, when Toledo plays Bowling Green in the Glass Bowl or Savage Arena, we can add video clips from past games between the archrivals.”

A GPS map is being created so users can have a mobile experience with walking directions from dot to dot, Walsh added.

Kennedy had fun working on this project.

“I learned a lot about our campus and that many universities don’t have self-guided tours. If they do, it’s likely a map or brochure that you can take around campus,” Kennedy said. “Having the YouVisit assets with video and photos makes it a richer experience, and having the dots around campus invites those coming to visit, as well as those in our community, to learn a bit more without having to visit our website or search out the information.”

Keep an eye on the University Instagram account for a chance to win prizes through a scavenger hunt featuring the self-guided tour.

College of Business and Innovation Virtual Town Hall Aug. 14

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

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

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

Register to attend the virtual town hall.

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

Provost to Hold Webinar on COVID-19 Guidelines

The Office of the Provost will host a webinar Friday, Aug. 14, to discuss the guidelines and protocols that have been developed for the safe return to on-campus classes and activities.

The virtual town hall meeting will take place from 1 to 2 p.m. on WebEx using the access code 160 991 2639. Join by phone at 415.655.0002.

The event will be hosted by Dr. Karen Bjorkman, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, and Dr. Amy Thompson, vice provost for academic affairs. There will be an opportunity to ask questions, and the virtual town hall will be moderated by Dr. Cyndee Gruden, who recently joined the Office of the Provost as vice provost for academic administration and faculty affairs.

The discussion will be on the Rocket Restart plan and guidelines and protocols for in-class issues related to COVID-19.

“We look forward to our faculty and staff participating in the discussion, as together we prepare to welcome students back to campus for the beginning of classes next week,” Bjorkman said.