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First graduates of joint J.D./M.D. program look to future at the intersection of law and medicine

Mark Fadel came to The University of Toledo well-informed about what lie ahead.

One of his brothers is a surgeon. Another, an attorney. Fadel had seen firsthand the rigors of completing just one of those degrees.

He was embarking on both simultaneously. Law and medicine combined.

Mark Fadel and Alexis Holman are the first graduates of the University’s J.D./M.D. program.

“Watching them go through those programs individually, they sacrificed a lot,” he said. “To do it together was very difficult. It took a lot of perseverance.”

After six years of intense study, switching between medical textbooks and case law, clinical rotations and writing projects, Fadel will join Alexis Holman as the first graduates of UToledo’s J.D./M.D. program.

Holman also is set to receive the valedictorian award at the law commencement ceremony.

“There is a famous quote, ‘Faith is taking the first step when you do not see the top of the staircase.’ That is a great analogy for the program,” Holman said. “There were some challenging moments for us, but I am so happy we saw it through. Graduation will be a special moment.”

One of roughly two dozen such programs in the country, UToledo’s joint degree, established in 2013, is geared toward individuals who are driven to work at the intersection of medicine and law who seek opportunities to shape the future of health-care policy.

D. Benjamin Barros, dean of the College of Law, said it takes an amazing amount of talent, ambition and perseverance to complete two professional doctorates in such a short time frame.

“The combination of the two degrees can be very powerful. There are a wide range of intersections between law and medicine, and there are only a few people who are fully trained in both,” Barros said. “Recipients of this joint degree are well-poised to be leaders in a wide range of areas, including health-care policy, health-care system management and health-care regulation. We are incredibly proud of Alexis and Mark.”

After graduation, Fadel is going to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center for a residency in otolaryngology, more commonly known as an ear, nose and throat specialist. He has already taken the bar exam and expects to learn his results within the month.

Holman will head to the University of Michigan for a residency in anesthesiology. She elected to take the bar exam after learning where she matched for residency.

Each said their respective residency programs were receptive to their dual degrees and the perspective that brings. They intend to continue researching and writing on medical law topics while in residency.

Looking further into the future, Holman and Fadel see a wide range of opportunities to put their unique training to use.

“With the changing face of health care — the shift to bigger medicine and increase in regulation — I was interested in trying to give physicians a seat at the table to help shape the future of care delivery in the United States,” Holman said.

Fadel and Holman already have had their work recognized at a national level, winning the Hirsch Award in the American College of Legal Medicine Student Writing Competition in back-to-back years. Fadel was recognized in 2018 for a piece arguing for stronger limitations on who can opt out of measles vaccinations read the UT News story. Holman won in 2019 for a paper questioning whether the FDA’s processes for determining equivalency between name brand and generic drugs were sufficient; read the UT News story.

“We are very proud of these two for their academic accomplishments and excellence,” said Dr. Christopher Cooper, dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, and executive vice president for clinical affairs. “They were the pioneers of this new program, and they have set an excellent example. They have a bright future ahead of them.”

Holman and Fadel credited faculty in the College of Law and College of Medicine and Life Sciences for being open to working with them as the first students in the program, and each other for their support during the difficult parts of their journey.

“Watching our friends match, graduate, sit for the bar, and participate in all the exciting things you do at the end of each of these programs was pretty hard to watch,” Fadel said. “We always wondered when it would be our moment and, finally, it came.”

The College of Law commencement is Sunday, May 5. The College of Medicine and Life Sciences commencement is Friday, May 10.

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.”

Internships lead to full-time jobs for graduating business students

The stress of finding a full-time job in their desired field is over for Octavio Vazquez-Ederra and Emily Antypas.

The University of Toledo seniors will walk across the commencement stage and into business careers.

The secret to their success? Internships.

Antypas

“I did three internships with The Andersons in Maumee and that led to a job offer in its ethanol accounting group,” said Antypas, who is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and marketing. “I am excited to start working full time after commencement.”

While taking classes, Antypas, who is from Lambertville, Mich., was active in the accounting fraternity Beta Alpha Psi and worked in the UToledo College of Business and Innovation’s Office of Student Services.

“The UToledo College of Business and Innovation fueled my success in many ways,” Antypas said. “I took advantage of job fairs, resumé critiques, interview practice and advisors who helped me stay on track.”

“My four years here were so memorable and successful because of friends, professors and meaningful classes,” she said. “I loved every moment.”

Vazquez-Ederra is moving to Dallas next month for a full-time job in the sales development program at Owens Corning, which makes insulation, roofing shingles and composite building materials. The opportunity stems from his internship that already turned into a part-time job at the company’s world headquarters in Toledo.

Vazquez-Ederra

“With Owens Corning, I have been pioneering Spanish trainings in order to target the Hispanic contractor network where nine out of 10 roof installers south of the Mason-Dixon line speak Spanish,” said Vazquez-Ederra, who is graduating with a degree in international business and professional sales. “I wrote my honors thesis on the consultative selling method as it applies to Hispanic populations in order to create a tailored approach to our changing market demographics.”

Vazquez-Ederra, who was born in Argentina and moved to the United States at the age of 4 with his family, competed in national sales competitions both at UToledo and in Atlanta. He credits the people at UToledo for making a difference in his life.

“No question was out of line for professors, advisors and staff,” Vazquez-Ederra said. “They were flexible and guided me on the right path.”

“I have already found an apartment down in Texas,” Vazquez-Ederra said. “I’m excited to start this next chapter, but will always be grateful to the faculty and staff of The University of Toledo, who feel like family.”

Both Vazquez-Ederra and Antypas also are students in the Jesup Scott Honors College.

Last year, 90 percent of graduating seniors had jobs lined up upon graduation in the College of Business and Innovation. Eighty-five percent of all undergraduate business students complete internships.

“Success breeds success,” Dr. Anne Balazs, dean of the UToledo College of Business and Innovation, said. “We are proud of the determination and focus of our students as they learn hands-on in the field that interests them while working toward a degree. Business internships provide exposure to accomplished leaders, build confidence and — as we’ve seen over and over again — lead to full-time positions.”

Building foundations: Recent UToledo cosmetic science and formulation design grad lands dream job with Estée Lauder

Margaret Gorz was two years into an undergraduate degree at a college in northern Michigan with a tentative plan to go on to medical school, but she was far from certain she was on the right path.

“I enjoy science, but I felt like something was missing because I can also be a creative person and an artsy person,” Gorz said.

UToledo alumna Margaret Gorz stood outside Estée Lauder, where she is an associate scientist.

That nagging feeling there was something better suited to her interests led to a series of Google searches. Who develops cosmetics? How do you get a job designing makeup? Where can you learn how to make personal care and beauty products?

Gorz quickly zeroed in on the Cosmetic Science and Formulation Design Program in The University of Toledo College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences — the only such undergraduate program in the country.

“What really drew me in was that I could mix two of my passions into one career,” she said. “I knew going into the program that this was probably my best shot at becoming a cosmetic scientist.”

Three months after earning her bachelor of science degree in 2018, Gorz landed a job in New York as an associate scientist for the Estée Lauder Companies.

Established in 2013, the Cosmetic Science and Formulation Design Program teaches students how to design, produce, test and market cosmetics and personal care products.

In addition to basic sciences, the program teaches pharmaceutical formulation and manufacturing, the mechanisms behind how cosmetics and pharmaceuticals work, and outlines the raw materials that go into cosmetic and personal care products.

Gorz

“It’s a mixture of science, art and business. We really train our students with a focus on the industry,” said Dr. Gabriella Baki, assistant professor of pharmaceutics and director of the Cosmetic Science and Formulation Design Program. “I continuously look at job advertisements, and I look at what skills they usually require to ensure we hit those target skills and knowledge set.”

While there are a handful of master’s programs that offer cosmetic science, the cosmetics industry traditionally looked to individuals with an undergraduate education in chemical engineering, biology, chemistry or biochemistry to fill formulation jobs.

But Baki said employers are taking note of UToledo’s program, which includes a unique combination of classroom work and laboratory experience. During their studies, students in the Cosmetic Science and Formulation Design Program will create about 60 different cosmetic and personal care products in the lab.

“Employers love that our students have these hands-on skills. They can formulate right away,” Baki said. “That’s something that chemists or chemical engineers are not trained to do, and we are competing against those graduates.”

Working for one of the world’s largest cosmetic companies was where Gorz envisioned herself eventually ending up — not starting out just a few months after graduation.

Now she’s formulating color cosmetics such as lipstick and foundation for brands including Smashbox, Becca, Origins and Aveda.

“This job was basically my dream job,” Gorz said. “Our program really gives us a competitive advantage that makes us stand out. We already have some of that super-specific knowledge in things like the raw materials that go into the products.”

Other graduates of the program have gone on to careers in a variety of formulation, marketing, quality control, and clinical testing roles at companies including Amway, Henkel Beauty Care, Nu Skin, Wacker, Fareva, Active Concepts and KDC/One.

As for Gorz, her success stands as a testament to the impact and support of the Cosmetic Science and Formulation Design Program — and as an example of where UToledo grads can go.

“That was something very special,” Baki said. “What she’s doing is something that a lot of other students now see as possible, and they’d like to follow in her footsteps.”

Canine in training on campus through Rocket Service Dogs

She was one of the most popular residents in Ottawa House West: an energetic blonde with sparkling brown eyes and an outgoing personality.

“Aspen is why most people come to our room,” Alana Shockley, a sophomore majoring in communication, said and then laughed while petting the Labrador retriever.

Aspen, center, was happy to pose for a photo Courtney Koebel, left, and Alana Shockley of Rocket Service Dogs in Ottawa House West.

The 1-year-old dog definitely turned heads and made a lot of friends.

“Some people ask, ‘How did you get a dog in a residence hall?’ And we explain she’s a service dog in training,” Courtney Koebel, a sophomore majoring in education, said. “Some ask if they can pet her, and we have to calm her down first.”

Settling down is just one thing Shockley and Koebel worked on with Aspen.

“We are trying to teach her commands — sit, stay, kennel — and to get her to focus,” Koebel said. “It’s going well. She has a good work ethic, but she gets distracted sometimes.”

Koebel and Shockley welcomed their four-legged roommate last fall. They are members of Rocket Service Dogs, a University organization partnering with Assistance Dogs for Achieving Independence and the Ability Center of Greater Toledo to encourage students to foster and train dogs.

“We were trying to figure out how to get more involved on campus and were looking at all the organizations,” Shockley said. “And once we saw Rocket Service Dogs, we fell in love because we’re really crazy animal lovers, it’s dogs, and we’re helping people.”

Students in the organization take an orientation and policy class through Rocket Service Dogs, and then a handling course taught by Assistance Dogs for Achieving Independence.

Aspen is the first canine to live and train in a residence hall through Rocket Service Dogs.

It took a year of planning between the University, Assistance Dogs for Achieving Independence and the Ability Center of Greater Toledo to make the placement possible, according to Josephine Biltz, a third-year student majoring in biology and president of the Rocket Service Dogs.

“Aspen seemed to really like the residence hall from the second she walked in, and I think it was a really great atmosphere for her to be exposed to a lot of different people,” Biltz said.

While Aspen wasn’t ready to attend class on campus with Shockley and Koebel, she did go to school once a week. Every Friday, the trio headed to Flower Hospital for class with Assistance Dogs for Achieving Independence.

“We practice attention, loose-leash walking. Sometimes they teach us new commands, and then we’ll practice old commands,” Koebel said. “We work on Aspen’s attention, get her to focus for long periods of time, so she’ll be able to come to University classes with us. And sometimes instead of class, we’ll have outings. We’ll go out with [Assistance Dogs for Achieving Independence] to a public place to see how she reacts.”

Praise and rewards bolster Aspen’s desire to please — and learn.

“We usually give her small treats to motivate her; sometimes we just use her kibble,” Shockley said. “We bought her some little Milk-Bones, and she really likes those.”

“When you’ve been working with her for a while and she finally understands what we’re trying to do, it’s rewarding to see her get excited,” Koebel said. “She really likes treats, so she’s kind of always excited.”

Aspen recently moved on to continue training through Assistance Dogs for Achieving Independence’s prison program, where she was paired with an inmate.

While their time working with the Lab was brief, Koebel and Shockley will remember Aspen and her goal.

“Depending on how well Aspen does and if her attention span gets longer, she could be paired with someone with a disability,” Shockley said. “But if not, she’ll be a therapy and emotional support animal.”

“It makes me feel good that I’m able to help someone who has a disability and can’t help themselves, so it’s cool to know I’m part of the process to help make their life a little bit easier,” Shockley said.

Learn more about Rocket Service Dogs at facebook.com/rocketservicedogs, or email rocketservicedogs@gmail.com.

Launch into Law bridge to profession program prepares students for law school application process, experience

The University of Toledo College of Law piloted the Launch into Law bridge to the profession program this year to increase the number of historically underrepresented students enrolled in law school. The free, weeklong program took place last month.

Launch into Law prepared participants to be stronger law school applicants and law students. Participants were immersed in courses to prepare them for the Law School Application Test (LSAT) and to improve legal writing and study skills.

Additionally, the participants sat in on a first-year law school class, and attended sessions on success strategies, clinical education, the admissions process, and legal career opportunities.

Faculty members in the UT College of Law presented practice spotlights on business law, health law, criminal law, and intellectual property law. The program also included a field trip to observe proceedings at the Toledo Municipal Court.

The first cohort was composed of 11 undergraduate students and recent graduates of The University of Toledo, as well as institutions around the country: Ohio State University, Penn State University, Roosevelt University, Spring Arbor University, University of Michigan, Wayne State University, and Xavier University. Participants ranged in age from 19 to 30.

Each participant was matched with a student mentor and a professional mentor based on the student’s background and expressed practice interest. Professional mentors included a common pleas court judge and prosecutor, as well as attorneys in small and large firms, legal aid/nonprofit agencies, and senior corporate counsel.

Jelani Jefferson Exum, professor of law and associate dean for diversity and inclusion, designed the Launch into Law program in collaboration with Amber Chuhy, assistant director of law admissions.

“Programs providing a pipeline to law school are vitally important, not only in providing individuals from a variety of backgrounds with access to a legal career, but also in enhancing the legal profession itself so that it better reflects the rich diversity of our society,” Exum said. “I was so pleased with the caliber of students that participated in our first program. They are bright, passionate, and all very interesting individuals whom I have no doubt will be excellent law students.”

The Launch into Law pilot was a success. Official LSAT practice tests were administered pre- and post-experience. Participant scores increased an average of 4.6 points with increases as high as 8 points. Three participants already have applied to the UT College of Law for fall 2019, with two more planning to apply in the future.

“This program has enlightened me to the true practice of law and has given me a glimpse as to what I should expect as a future law student,” said Noelle DeRiso from Penn State University. “Hearing each of the member’s journeys has only strengthened my passion to one day work within the law.”

DeRiso added, “Launch into Law has only solidified my desire to attend The University of Toledo’s law school. With the array of opportunities offered through its legal clinics and extensive courses taught by such knowledgeable professors, I know I will receive an exceptional education that will prepare me for the real world.”

For more information about the program, contact Chuhy at amber.chuhy@utoledo.edu.

Launch into Law participants gathered with their professional mentors for a group photo last month.

Timeless art: Pair of UT fine arts students incorporate old clock tower hands into mural at Carlson Library

A few years ago, The University of Toledo’s Carlson Library took delivery of a special piece of campus history — a set of hands from the University Hall clock tower.

Now those brass hands are the focal point of a two-sided mural being painted near the library’s circulation desk by two students in UT’s Bachelor of Fine Arts Program as part of the library’s experiential learning initiative.

Rose Mansel-Pleydell, left, and Tara Yarzand are painting the clock mural in Carlson Library. The painting incorporates a set of brass hands from University Hall’s clock tower.

“We always wanted to display the hands somewhere in the library. With the recent renovations, we thought the time was right,” said David Remaklus, director of operations for University Libraries. “Experiential learning is great for the library because we get to showcase student work, and we get to tap the expertise that’s available on campus.”

At the recommendation of Barbara Miner, professor and chair of art, the library invited Rose Mansel-Pleydell and Tara Yarzand to conceive a motif for the project.

The women, both juniors in the program, quickly came up with the idea to incorporate a clock face featuring UT’s signature stonework set between a pair of panels featuring abstract hues of blue and gold. Mansel-Pleydell said her panel represents the converging paths bringing people to the University, while Yarzand said hers is a shattered sky design that represents the future while paying a nod to both the UT Rockets and Toledo’s reputation as the Glass City.

But they both say they want people to find their own meaning in the art.

“It really is sort of open-ended. There’s no correct way to interpret it, but based on those things we came up with, we think it’s a pretty solid design,” Mansel-Pleydell said. “We didn’t want to do something that wasn’t clearly The University of Toledo. We wanted to use the school colors and pay homage to the Gothic architecture because it’s a gorgeous university.”

Because the hands are mounted on a thin dividing wall, the artists are able to use the rear side for a three-dimensional collage featuring a mixture of wood and metal gears meant to look like the innerworkings of a clock. Both the gears and hands will be static.

The clock mural incorporates the names of UT programs in the mortar.

There’s also a bit of a hidden element in the mural. Painted in the mortar are the names of programs at UT.

“I think there’s something like 500 different majors and career tracks,” Yarzand said. “People will stand here and try to find their own majors. It’s fun to watch.”

Yarzand and Mansel-Pleydell both earned degrees in other disciplines before coming to UT to study art. They each had high praise for the program and said they were grateful to have their artwork so prominently displayed.

“I love UT and I don’t just say that. I’ve been to four different universities now, and I honestly love it here,” Mansel-Pleydell said. “The fact that I’ve had opportunities like this come up has just been out of this world. I can’t believe I actually get paid to do art every day as a junior in college. I’m really thankful they let us do this.”

“I am happy to be enrolled in The University of Toledo as a fine arts student and very thankful that I got this opportunity in my second semester. To me, it represents a step that I wanted to take for a long time: to be a professional artist,” Yarzand said. “We hope that this mural can stand as our tribute to the University and its iconic clock tower.”

Remaklus said he’s been impressed by both the talent of the artists and how much recognition the work is getting.

“It is a really beautiful mural, but it’s also like performance art. People enjoy coming in, watching them paint, and seeing the progress they’re making,” he said. “Tara and Rose have done a fantastic job.”

Mascot makes kindergartner’s day, spreads Rocket cheer

Rocky made a special appearance last month to greet one of his biggest fans. After receiving kindergartner Eli Cordell’s email, UT’s mascot visited Delaware, Ohio, to surprise the Schultz Elementary School student.

Rocky ventured to Schultz Elementary School in Delaware, Ohio, to have lunch with Toledo fan Eli Cordell.

“I love Rocky the Rocket from Toledo. I think it’s funny when he dances,” Cordell wrote in his message. “I want to go to [UT] for college.”

After collaborating with Cordell’s teacher and the Schultz Elementary administration, Rocky traveled to Delaware, which is north of Columbus, and joined the young fan for lunch and met his parents and classmates.

It was important to the UT mascot to acknowledge how much Cordell’s message meant. From the expression of excitement and joy on the boy’s face, it was clear Cordell was elated.

Rocky gave the young fan UT T-shirts, stickers, a towel and a Battle of I-75 helmet statue.

Schultz Elementary Principal Travis Woodworth was impressed by Rocky’s surprise, saying the visit spoke volumes about Rocky and UT’s culture of appreciation and their support for the Schultz Elementary mission.

“His visit helped to encourage positive energy in the classroom, the importance of education, and excitement about school,” Woodworth said.

Rocky shares UT pride during athletic games, events and special engagements by request. To learn more, visit Rocky the mascot’s webpage.

Virtual Dementia Tour gives UT occupational therapy students lesson in empathy

Unfamiliar surroundings, confusing instructions and dulled senses are a recipe for frustration and anxiety.

They’re also a window into the life of someone who is living with dementia.

Participants in the Virtual Dementia Tour put on vision-limiting glasses and other items that dull their senses to recreate the confusion and frustration dementia patients experience in their daily lives.

Every fall, a group of second-year students in The University of Toledo’s nationally ranked occupational therapy doctorate program make their way to the West Park Place senior living community to participate in the Virtual Dementia Tour, an experiential learning program designed to give them a taste of what dementia patients struggle with every day.

“It’s a good opportunity to have an empathetic lived experience,” said Dr. Alexia Metz, UT associate professor of occupational therapy. “We hope this gives our students an anchor point to think back to in a moment where a client is having a challenge or a frustration, and to think creatively about how to teach caregivers and people in other professions to have some of that empathy.”

Developed by P.K. Beville and donated to the nonprofit group Second Wind Dreams, the Virtual Dementia Tour immerses students — if only for a few minutes — in the experience of struggling to do things that wouldn’t normally take a second thought.

“It’s going to be a very eye-opening experience, I promise you,” said Kirsten Pickle, executive director of West Park Place. “When you leave here today, we want you to have a little better understanding of the prevalence of dementia, the impact of dementia on caregivers, and what a person with dementia may be experiencing.”

To ensure the experience is as meaningful as possible, most of the specific methods are kept under wraps. Participants are outfitted with an array of gear that alters their senses and then asked to complete a list of everyday tasks alongside a partner.

For many of the students, even those who have been around or cared for those with dementia, the Virtual Dementia Tour was indeed eye-opening.

“It really demonstrated how much our experiences and abilities are shaped by our senses and knowledge of the environment around us. It was much more frustrating and anxiety-provoking not being able to complete simple things or locate objects than I had expected it to be,” said Emily Ottinger, a second-year occupational therapy doctoral student.

“It really helped me to view dementia as something more than just a memory issue, and to consider all of the other related barriers so that when I do work with individuals who have a dementia diagnosis, I can provide better and more holistic treatment.”

Occupational therapists often work directly with Alzheimer’s patients, but even those who don’t practice in geriatric care settings are likely to encounter individuals with dementia throughout their career as the number of dementia patients continues to grow.

The Alzheimer’s Association estimates 5.7 million Americans are living with the disease. As the Baby Boomers age, the association projects that number to increase to 14 million by 2050.

Because of that, Metz said it’s important to give students all the tools possible to ensure they’re both understanding caregivers and compassionate advocates.

“You fall short in teaching if you teach this kind of thing straight from a book. To feel that innate frustration coming from inside you rather than just seeing it from someone else gives them a much better understanding,” she said. “It prepares our students to be better occupational therapists.”

UT student to graduate Dec. 15, start job as mayor of Oak Harbor in 2019

Quinton Babcock, a UT student in the Jesup Scott Honor College, will graduate this weekend and become mayor of Oak Harbor, Ohio, in the new year.

On Saturday, Dec. 15, Babcock will receive two bachelor of arts degrees — one in economics and disability studies, and one in mathematics.

Babcock

And then the 22-year-old will become mayor of Oak Harbor in 2019.

How did it happen?

Babcock ran and was elected to the Oak Harbor Village Council in December 2016.

“I had always had an interest in public service, and I felt I had acquired some professional skills that I could put to good use in the community,” he said.

In August, the Oak Harbor mayor resigned. Protocol says the mayor is succeeded by the president pro tempore, who is the president of the Oak Harbor Village Council.

At the time, the president pro tempore, Don Douglas, was in the middle of a campaign for Ottawa County Commissioner. Due to the uncertainty if Douglas would be elected to this position, Oak Harbor had to elect another president to replace him.

“I was elected by the council to be the president pro tempore,” Babcock said. “Come November, Mr. Douglas won his election for county commissioner and … I will serve as mayor for the duration of 2019.”

As the new mayor, Babcock wants to create a trust with the government.

“I think people generally feel very disempowered when it comes to government; they feel the government is not responsive to their concerns,” Babcock said. “With that in my mind, I would like to use my change in position to increase transparency, accountability, accessibility and responsiveness of the village government.”

Babcock also wants to address the concern of the possible closure of the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station, a major employer of area residents. “I would like to play a more active role in advocating for state solutions to this potential problem,” he said.