UToledo News » News








Ryan White Program to Raise Funds for HIV Care With Evening of Food, Music

The fourth annual Re-Tie the Red Ribbon fundraiser presented by The University of Toledo Medical Center’s Ryan White Program will take place Saturday, Sept. 14, at the SeaGate Convention Centre in downtown Toledo.

Re-Tie the Red Ribbon supports UTMC’s Ann Wayson Locher Memorial Fund for HIV Care, which provides HIV care for adults and children in the Toledo area who have needs not covered by other agencies or programs in the community.

Tickets for the fundraiser are $50 each and include a variety of food stations and entertainment. The event will take place from 6 to 10 p.m.

“The University of Toledo Medical Center has been the regional referral center for HIV care for more than 30 years and has served the needs of the growing populations of persons with HIV,” said Richard Meeker, manager of community engagement and development at the Ryan White Program. “Support of this event makes a difference to the women and men in our community who depend on the services of the Ryan White Program.”

Wayson Locher opened the first grant-funded free and anonymous HIV testing site in northwest Ohio in 1985 and was one of the key organizers for The University of Toledo’s Ryan White Program. The memorial fund was developed in her honor after her death in 2010.

UTMC’s Ryan White Program offers high-quality comprehensive HIV/AIDS care services. The program uses a multidisciplinary model that incorporates healthcare, mental health services and case management for those affected by HIV/AIDS in Lucas County and the surrounding counties in northwest Ohio.

Entertainment at this year’s Re-Tie the Red Ribbon event will be provided by the Toledo School for the Arts Alumni Band, The Overton Project, and jazz vocalists Ramona Collins and Trez Gregory.

The Ryan White Program is seeking sponsorships with opportunities that range from $250 to $5,000 and include VIP tickets and recognition at the event.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit The University of Toledo Alumni Association website.

Feminist Scholar Selected to Lead Eberly Center for Women

Dr. Angela Fitzpatrick started her new job as director of the Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women Sept. 9.

The feminist activist, educator and scholar has been building community, inspiring action, and uplifting student leaders for more than a decade.


Since 2015, Fitzpatrick was director of the Women’s Center and an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Cincinnati. Prior to that, she served as assistant director and lecturer in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, S.C., and was an instructor in the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at Bowling Green State University.

“We are excited Dr. Fitzpatrick will join us at UToledo to lead the Eberly Center for Women,” Dr. Michele Soliz, associate vice president for student success and inclusion, said.

“Dr. Fitzpatrick is dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion, which has driven her service to campus and community,” Dr. Willie McKether, vice president for diversity and inclusion, and vice provost, said. “She has a reputation for developing networks that mold and mobilize change-makers of all genders.”

The Eberly Center for Women promotes the advancement of women at UToledo and in the community by creating an environment that supports learning, discovery and engagement that helps them achieve their highest potential.

“I look forward to becoming part of the team in the Eberly Center for Women,” Fitzpatrick said. “I am eager to learn more about the needs of our various stakeholders and expand our programs and services so that we can make an even greater impact on campus and in the community.”

She received a bachelor of arts degree in honors and anthropology from the University of North Dakota and continued her education at Bowling Green State University, where she received master and doctoral degrees in American culture studies.

Fitzpatrick was honored with the Excellence in Teaching Award from the National Society of Leadership and Success while at Coastal Carolina University. At the University of Cincinnati, she received the Equity and Inclusion Award from the Division of Student Affairs.

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.

Study May Unlock New Diagnostic Tools for Fainting Disorder

New research from The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences strongly suggests postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, or POTS, is an autoimmune disorder and may help pave the way for a simple blood test that could help physicians diagnose the condition.

POTS is characterized by large increases in heart rate and sometimes decreases in blood pressure when standing up. That can cause lightheadedness, heart palpitations and even loss of consciousness. In addition to fainting, POTS patients also regularly suffer from a litany of additional symptoms, including fatigue, pain, gastrointestinal issues, bleeding disorders, anxiety and brain fog.

About 3 million Americans are believed to be affected, but because of its wide-ranging and seemingly unrelated symptoms, POTS is notoriously difficult to identify.


“The trouble with diagnosing POTS is that it’s currently principally a clinical diagnosis. It’s based on history, the absence of other illness, as well as the finding of increase in heart rate when standing. There is no blood test right now to aid in the diagnosis. It can be an incredibly frustrating process for patients,” said Dr. Blair Grubb, Distinguished University Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics in the UToledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences and director of electrophysiology services at The University of Toledo Medical Center.

In the largest study of POTS patients to date, published Sept. 9 in the Journal of the American Heart Association, Grubb and UToledo research collaborators found 89 percent of patients they examined had elevated levels of autoantibodies against the adrenergic alpha 1 receptor.

“People have suspected an autoimmune connection for years, and other small-scale studies have suggested it,” said Grubb, one of the world’s foremost experts in syncope and disorders of the autonomic nervous system. “We did a much larger cross-section of patients than has ever been done before and found that almost all of them tested positive for autoimmune antibodies. That’s a significant finding.”

None of the 55 patients who participated in the study had another recognized autoimmune disorder. Fifty-two were female, with an average age of 30.

Researchers screened the patients’ blood for autoantibodies against nine receptors. A handful of patients showed elevated levels against all nine. But it was the prevalence of adrenergic A1 subtype receptor autoantibodies that make their findings so intriguing.


“I think that we have identified a biomarker. We now might have the ability to diagnosis this, or at least have an inkling. Like other autoimmune disease, we can take a blood sample and detect if there are increased levels of autoantibodies present. According to our results, autoantibodies against this particular receptor should be present in about 90 percent of patients with POTS,” said Dr. William Gunning, a professor of pathology in the UToledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences, and the paper’s lead author.

Gunning and Grubb say much more research is needed. However, this study adds significantly to the evidence that POTS is an autoimmune disorder — and it shows it may be possible to give physicians unfamiliar with the condition an easy way to test for it.

“What this does is prove the concept,” Grubb said. “Other studies had used very expensive research tests. What we used are the same kind of testing methods that would be used by regular hospitals. We wanted to do something that would potentially be a test applicable to the general population, not just a research test.”

While Gunning and Grubb caution they’re still investigating the precise methods by which POTS is established, their study does raise the possibility that existing immune modulating medications could be a viable therapeutic method for some patients.

The study was supported by funding from the Dysautonomia Advocacy Foundation, the Life as a Zebra Foundation, and the Virginia Lounsbury Foundation.

UToledo Slates Events for Hispanic Heritage Month

An exhibit by Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist José Galvez will be the signature event as The University of Toledo celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

“We are excited to work with Carlson Library on this display of César Chávez and the farmworker movement,” Aleiah Jones, program coordinator with the Office of Multicultural Student Success, said.

Camera in hand, Galvez began taking photos for The Arizona Daily Star before moving to California to work for The Los Angeles Times, where he was the first Mexican-American on staff. He was part of a team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 1984 for a series on Latino life in southern California.

His lenses also focused on Chávez as he negotiated contracts with farm owners and inspired workers to create the United Farm Workers.

“El Movimiento” will be on display from Tuesday, Oct. 1, through Friday, Oct. 11 on the first floor of Carlson Library. The free exhibit can be seen during library hours: Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to midnight; Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday from 11 a.m. to midnight.

“This year we are exposing our UToledo community to local nonprofits that are doing work in the Toledo area,” Jones said. “Adelante, the Latino resource center, will host a kickoff with Bachata Heightz as the headliner Saturday, Sept. 14. We also will be attending the Sofia Quintero Art and Cultural Center Fall Fest Friday, Oct. 4. Both events require tickets and can be reserved through InvoNet.

“It is more important than ever that the University celebrate the impact and influence of Hispanics and Latinx people during Hispanic Heritage Month,” Jones said.

Listed by date, events facilitated through the Office of Multicultural Student Success and the Latino Student Union include:

Wednesday, Sept. 11 — Hispanic Heritage Month Kickoff, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thompson Student Union table near South Dining Hall. Stop by to learn the history of the month and to hear more about the events that are planned.

Saturday, Sept. 14 — Adelante’s Hispanic Heritage Month Kickoff, 1 to 11 p.m., Promenade Park in downtown Toledo. Bachata Heightz will headline this event. Tickets: $15 in advance, $20 at the gate; free for children 5 and younger. Get tickets on UToledo’s InvoNet.

Sunday, Sept. 15, through Tuesday, Oct. 15 — Nuestra Historia Display, first floor of Carlson Library. Works by and about Latinos will be on display. The free exhibit spotlights the social and political impact of Latinos on the United States. It can be seen Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to midnight; Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday from 11 a.m. to midnight.

Thursday, Sept. 19 — Film Screening, “Roma,” 6 p.m., Thompson Student Union Room 2500. See the Academy Award-winning Netflix original film in Spanish with English subtitles. Snacks from Latin Cravings will be provided.

Wednesday, Sept. 25 — Ted Talk: Latinx Initiatives, 5 p.m., Thompson Student Union Room 2500. Learn about the office and meet the staff; dinner will be provided.

Thursday, Sept. 26 — Diamante Awards, 6 p.m., Franciscan Center at Lourdes University. Awards for Latino leadership and achievements in northwest Ohio will be presented at this event, which is co-sponsored by UToledo, Bowling Green State University, Owens Community College and Lourdes University. Tickets are $75 for the public and $25 for students in advance on Eventbrite.

Friday, Sept. 27 — Fabulous Feminist Friday with ABLE, 2 p.m., Tucker Hall Room 0152. The Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women and Advocates for Basic Legal Equality Inc. will lead a discussion on an individual’s rights when interacting with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and police.

Tuesday through Friday, Oct. 1-11 — “El Movimiento,” first floor of Carlson Library. See shots by Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist José Galvez, who documented César Chávez and the farmworker Mmvement. The free exhibit can be seen during library hours: Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to midnight; Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday from 11 a.m. to midnight.

Friday, Oct. 4 — Fall Fest, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., Sofia Quintero Art and Cultural Center, 1222 Broadway St. in Toledo. Tour the center and the Jose Martinez Memorial Galeria, and celebrate the fall harvest with a meal prepared with ingredients from the center’s garden. For more information, go to UToledo’s InvoNet.

Monday, Oct. 7 — Delano Grape Strike Event, 6 p.m., Carlson Library Room 1005. Learn about the 1965-1970 Delano Grape Strike and Boycott when Filipino-American workers asked César Chávez to help protest poor pay and working conditions. Cultural foods will be served at this event presented by the Filipino American Association and Lambda Theta Alpha.

Friday, Oct. 11 — Latino Mental Health Forum, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Thompson Student Union Ingman Room. The National Association of Mental Illness will host its fifth annual forum; this year’s theme is “Conexion Generacional: Culture and Behavioral Health.” Tickets are free and available on Eventbrite.

Monday, Oct. 14 — (Un)Documented Study Ally Training, 4 p.m., Thompson Student Union Room 2591. Faculty and staff can learn the unique challenges this student population faces.

— Salsa With the Spanish American and Hispanic Students’ Association, 7 p.m., Health Education Center Dance Studio.

For more information, visit the Office of Multicultural Student Success website.

Military Service Center to Join National Challenge to Raise Awareness of Veteran Suicide

The UToledo Military Service Center will host the 22 Push-Up Challenge Wednesday, Sept. 11, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in front of the Memorial Field House.

Campus and community members can stop by and do 22 push-ups — and learn more about the veteran suicide epidemic in the United States.

“We were looking for a way to raise awareness of veteran suicide on campus, and the 22 Push-Up Challenge model has seen great success in raising awareness across the country,” said Eric Buetikofer, UToledo director of military and veteran affairs.

Representatives from the UToledo Military Service Center, University Counseling Center, UToledo ROTC, the Army National Guard, the Lucas County Veterans Service Commission and the Toledo Vet Center will be at the event to provide information.

“We hope that the UToledo general student population will turn out on 9/11 to help our military-connected students raise awareness of veteran suicide and learn how they can be part of the solution,” Buetikofer said.

The 22 Push-Up Challenge started in 2013 when Veterans Affairs announced an average of 22 veterans committed suicide every day. The campaign was started to promote awareness of veteran suicide prevention.

‘Free to Move: Foot Voting and Political Freedom’ Topic of Stranahan Lecture Sept. 12

Ilya Somin, professor of law at George Mason University, will discuss the importance of free movement within and beyond the United States as part of The University of Toledo College of Law’s Stranahan Lecture series.

His lecture, “Free to Move: Foot Voting and Political Freedom,” will be delivered Thursday, Sept. 12, at noon in the Law Center McQuade Auditorium.


Most Americans think of ballot box voting as the essence of political freedom. However, Somin will explain how we can best empower ordinary people by expanding opportunities for them to “vote with their feet,” whether it be in the private sector, between jurisdictions in a federal system, or even by moving to a new nation. He believes liberty and happiness can be enhanced by limiting and decentralizing political power, and by reducing barriers to both domestic and international migration.

“This is a timely lecture on immigration, federalism and other related topics like sanctuary cities,” said Lee J. Strang, John W. Stoepler Professor of Law and Values at the College of Law. “Professor Somin will argue that ‘foot voting’ is an underappreciated yet crucially important mechanism to preserve and promote individual liberty.”

A prolific scholar, Somin is the author of a number of books, including “Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government Is Smarter” (Stanford University Press, revised edition, 2016), as well as dozens of scholarly articles and essays in a variety of popular press outlets, including The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. He has been quoted or interviewed in Time, CBS, MSNBC and NPR, among other media.

Somin is a graduate of Amherst College, Harvard University and Yale Law School.

This free, public lecture is a part of the Stranahan National Issues Forum and is sponsored by the College of Law and its chapter of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies.

Book sales and signing will take place before and after the lecture. Food and drink will be provided.

For more information, visit the College of Law Stranahan Lecture Series website.

Toledo Women’s Cross Country Lands Second, Men Take Fourth at Huskie Challenge

The University of Toledo women’s cross country team placed second with 56 points at the Northern Illinois University Huskie Challenge in DeKalb Friday evening, finishing behind the host school total of 32 points.

“Overall, it was a solid day for our women,” said first-year Head Coach Andrea Grove-McDonough. “We do not want to be at our best at this time of year. We want to be at our best when we come back to this course in six weeks. This was really like a fact-finding mission to get a feel for the course and get experience on it.”

The men’s cross country team took fourth place Friday at the Northern Illinois Huskie Challenge in DeKalb. UToledo’s Jacob Harris crossed the finish line first.

Sophomore Claire Steigerwald set the pace for the Rockets, crossing the finish line with a time of 22:38.1 to take seventh. Junior Michelle Hostettler stopped the clock at 22:53.1 to land ninth. Freshman Emily Vining posted a time of 22:55.1 to finish in 11th place.

“Claire Steigerwald had a very good day, and she handled herself really well, which was nice to see,” Grove McDonough said. “She’s going to look great on the course again come the end of October, so I feel good about that. Emily Vining had an outstanding day for a freshman, as well, running her first 6K on such a difficult course.”

On the men’s side, freshman Jacob Harris’ collegiate debut was a memorable one after he captured the individual title. Harris crossed the finish line with a time of 25:52.1 over 8,000 meters to help the Rockets to a fourth-place team finish.

“Obviously, Jacob Harris getting the win was terrific,” Grove McDonough said. “He was very controlled, he ran with lots of poise. You really can’t ask for more than that in your collegiate debut, to come away with a win. Raymond Korir had a really nice day in his debut for us, as well. I really felt good about our men out there today and really encouraged about our men’s program moving forward and being considerably improved from where they were a year ago.”

Sophomore Raymond Korir also made an appearance in the top five, stopping the clock at 26:19.1 to finish fourth. Freshman Jake Rethman was the third Rocket to cross the finish line, posting a time of 27:19.0 to take 21st place.

The men’s and women’s cross country teams will be back in action Saturday, Sept. 28, for the Ohio State Invitational in Columbus. Competition is slated to start at 9 a.m.

UToledo Supports ‘Ohio IP Promise’ to Fuel Innovation, Strengthen Economy

The University of Toledo is one of 14 public universities in the state to unite in Columbus Sept. 6 in support of the “Ohio Intellectual Property (IP) Promise,” an initiative led by Lt. Gov. Jon Husted.

The event hosted by the Inter-University Council of Ohio showcased how universities are working to strengthen Ohio’s innovation economy, attract researchers, and serve as a magnet for investors and entrepreneurs.

“The University of Toledo is proud to participate in the ‘Ohio IP Promise’ in support of our researchers and intellectual property as a powerful tool for economic development,” said UToledo President Sharon L. Gaber, who serves as chair of the Inter-University Council of Ohio. “As we make discoveries and invent new technologies on campus, we work to provide a clear path for our researchers to navigate the journey from the lab to the commercial marketplace.”

The guiding principles of the “Ohio IP Promise” are:

• Flexible: Provide industry choices for accessing intellectual property developed through sponsored research;

• Transparent: Publish template-sponsored research and license agreements;

• Simple: Deliver fair and streamlined guidelines for faculty creator startups;

• Clear: Communicate licensing processes on university websites in a clear, prominent way;

• Easy: Provide well-defined university entry points for industry, investors and entrepreneurs; and

• Fast: Reduce impediments that hinder the pace of transactions.

“Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted challenged our public universities to bring to life their vision for a stronger economy and IP leadership in Ohio,” IUC President Bruce Johnson said. “Our universities have stepped up in a big way with enthusiasm, creativity and imagination. The residents of Ohio will be the short-term and long-term beneficiaries of this program.”

The Office of Technology Transfer at UToledo helps protect intellectual property and provides professional patenting and licensing services to UToledo’s faculty, staff and students.