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New Chemistry Lab to be Dedicated in Honor of Water Quality Leader, UToledo alum Sept. 19

The University of Toledo is honoring a successful alumna who inspired generations of students to pursue careers in chemistry and focused her life’s work on improving water quality and the preservation of safe drinking water around the globe.

A dedication ceremony for the new Dr. Nina McClelland Laboratory for Water Chemistry and Environmental Analysis in The University of Toledo College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics will take place Thursday, Sept. 19, at 3:30 p.m. in Bowman-Oddy Laboratories Room 2059.


The namesake of the new chemistry lab will attend the event.

“We are proud to recognize Dr. McClelland’s important contributions to science and to The University of Toledo,” UToledo President Sharon L. Gaber said. “Water quality is a critical area of research at our University, and this new lab will benefit our scientists and students in their search for solutions to protect public health and the environment.”

The lab features state-of-the-art equipment, including novel extraction and microextraction technology and high-resolution mass spectrometry, tandem mass spectrometry, and an advanced imaging system.

McClelland, UToledo dean emerita, retired from the University in 2011 after serving as dean of the UToledo College of Arts and Sciences, as well as working in the Provost’s Office. She began at UToledo in 2003 as an adjunct professor in the Department of Chemistry.

McClelland served as chair of the Board of Directors for the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific organization. She also served as chair, president and chief executive officer during her more than 30 years with NSF International, an independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to certifying products and writing standards for food, water and consumer goods.

She has served on several major committees, including the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the U.S. Department of Commerce, the National Drinking Water Advisory Council in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Committee on Water Treatment Chemicals in the National Academy of Sciences’ National Research Council.

McClelland earned bachelor and master of science degrees from UToledo in 1951 and 1963, respectively. She received her doctoral degree in environmental chemistry from the University of Michigan in 1968. UToledo awarded her an honorary doctorate in science in 2003.

New Course Evaluation Fall Pilot Program Launching

Student success is the goal behind a new course evaluation program that can be taken for a test drive this fall.

Monday, Sept. 30, is the deadline for colleges, departments and programs to sign up for the pilot program.

“This new online process is designed to improve the quality of the course evaluation questions used and reflect the University’s commitment to student success,” said Dr. Karen Bjorkman, interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.

Last year, the Office of the Provost established a committee to review course evaluation processes.

“We were charged with developing and testing a common core of course evaluation questions and exploring a standardized method for deploying class evaluations to students,” said Dr. Amy Thompson, vice provost of faculty affairs and professor of public health.

Thompson and Dr. Christine Fox, professor of educational statistics and research methods, were assisted on this project by Dr. Svetlana Beltyukova, professor of educational statistics and research methods.

They created 12 core course evaluation questions that were tested spring and summer semesters. Nearly 4,000 students answered the questions, and faculty and student feedback on the evaluation process was collected.

A voluntary soft launch of the course evaluation program is taking place this fall, with full implementation planned starting summer 2020.

“Colleges, departments and programs may still add specific questions regarding their areas,” Thompson said.

The course evaluation will be an online process through a new software from Campus Labs. The link for students to complete the questions will be on all Blackboard course sites, and an email with a link to the evaluation will be sent to students enrolled in classes. All responses will be anonymous.

Faculty members will be able to review the course evaluations one week after grades have been submitted.

Colleges, departments and programs interested in the fall pilot program should contact Elissa Falcone in the Office of the Provost at elissa.falcone@utoledo.edu by Sept. 30.

For more information on this initiative, contact Thompson at amy.thompson4@utoledo.edu.

International Conference at UToledo Targeting Human Trafficking Grows to Record Level

In the wake of high-profile sex trafficking charges against financier Jeffrey Epstein and singer R. Kelly, this dark world of modern-day slavery is under an intense spotlight and garnering global attention.

Survivors, researchers and advocates around the world are coming together this week for the 16th Annual International Human Trafficking and Social Justice Conference at The University of Toledo.

This year marks the largest event since the conference began at UToledo in 2004 and for the first time features an art exhibit in collaboration with the UToledo Department of Art to raise critical consciousness for social justice.

“We are proud so many people want to learn about human trafficking,” said Dr. Celia Williamson, Distinguished University Professor and director of the UToledo Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute. “Our conference brings sex and labor trafficking out of the shadows and helps end abuse. More than ever before, we have the opportunity to educate, collaborate and save lives.”

The conference, which — to date — has welcomed presenters from 42 states and 30 countries, is Thursday and Friday, Sept. 19 and 20, in the Thompson Student Union on Main Campus.

UToledo’s Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute and the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition host the conference.

Williamson recently published a new book titled “A Seat at the Table: The Courage to Care About Trafficking Victims,” which tells her life story and transition from at-risk for trafficking to a world-renown social worker and researcher, working directly with victims and revolutionizing global anti-trafficking efforts.

At this year’s conference, Williamson will unveil her new, free human trafficking risk assessment tool (HTRISK) that she developed with support from the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund, as well as release the findings from her study of 400 Ohio youth. That presentation will be Friday, Sept. 20, at 9 a.m. in the Thompson Student Union Ingman Room. Watch the livestream on the UToledo Alumni Association website.

“With limited time, money and resources, advocates need to know which youth are at the highest risk for sex trafficking and then do their best to prevent it,” Williamson said.

On Wednesday, Sept. 18, from 9 to 10 a.m., 475 high school students from the area will gather in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium for Human Trafficking 101, where they also will learn about dating violence and participate in a poetry slam.

For a full schedule of presentations, visit the conference website.

New this year, the UToledo Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute and the College of Arts and Letters partnered together for an art exhibit titled “Faces of Trafficking,” which features people from the greater Toledo community who are leading the fight to end trafficking.

“It is an opportunity to bring to life the people impacted by human trafficking and to provide a path for the community to join the fight,” Barbara Miner, professor and chair of the UToledo Department of Art, said.

The tall black-and-white photography installation called “The Pillars” features people on the front lines in the war against trafficking.

“These are warriors holding up the ceiling of hope,” Miner said. “Using an arresting, striking style, we’re showcasing people like Celia Williamson as well as medical and law enforcement professionals among others who work under the radar and often go unnoticed, but who are working tirelessly to protect people suffering through contemporary slavery.”

Artwork created by current and former art students in response to trafficking stories and the global issue also will be on display.

The free, public exhibit can be see from Thursday, Sept. 19, through Friday, Dec. 6, at the UToledo Center for the Visual Arts on the University’s Toledo Museum of Art Campus. Gallery hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The UToledo Center for the Visual Arts also is featuring a special project, “A Thousand Hands, A Million Stars,” a collaboration uniting visual art, poetry, music and dance produced by former UToledo faculty member Denise Ritter Bernardini.

Sept. 30 Deadline for Enrolling, Waiving Student Health Plan Coverage

UToledo strives to provide undergraduate and graduate students with easy access to a full line of high-quality healthcare services that are conveniently located on campus, in addition to a healthcare plan that covers those services.

The University recommends all students maintain healthcare coverage by:

• Remaining on their employer’s or parent’s health insurance plan;

• Choosing coverage offered by UToledo that is administered through Payer Fusion; or

• Selecting a plan through the open marketplace at healthcare.gov.

Open enrollment for fall semester runs through Monday, Sept. 30. The deadline to waive for mandated students is also Sept 30.

“There are many benefits to the Student Health Plan, including a zero-deductible for using UToledo doctors, including specialists and mental health professionals,” said LeAnna Glick, student insurance program administrator. “Students covered by this plan also can get their generic prescriptions filled at our on-campus outpatient pharmacies for a co-pay of only $5.”

Additionally, UToledo students can enroll for dental and vision coverage, as well as coverage for their spouse and/or dependents.

“There are certain students who are mandated to have healthcare coverage, including student-athletes; international students holding J-1 visas; and students in health-related programs, such as medicine, nursing and pharmacy students, and those in allied healthcare programs,” Glick noted.

They’re automatically enrolled in the Student Health Plan, but may waive it by providing proof of coverage by another plan no later than Monday, Sept. 30, so their student account isn’t charged for this coverage, she added.

Students choosing to enroll in the Student Health Plan (or waive coverage if they are a mandated student) should log in to the myUT portal and select the Health Plan – Enroll or Waive link in the Toolkit, under My Registration Steps, and complete the necessary steps by the Sept. 30 deadline.

For more details about the Student Health Plan, as well as on-campus health and wellness services, visit the Student Health Plan website.

If you have any questions or need assistance, contact studenthealthinsurance@utoledo.edu or 419.530.3474.

Forum to Focus on Helping Students in Crisis

“Rapid Response Training: Being Prepared to Assist Students in Crisis” will be discussed at the first Future of Higher Education Forum this academic year.

The program will be held Friday, Sept. 20, from 10:30 a.m. to noon in Carlson Library Room 1005.

“This session will help faculty members learn how to recognize the signs of a student who is struggling — in and outside the classroom,” Dr. Amy Thompson, vice provost of faculty affairs and professor of public health, said. “We want to make sure our faculty members are ready to help and know about available resources.”

Thompson will speak at the forum along with:

• Dr. Lisa Pescara-Kovach, associate professor of educational psychology and director of the Center for Education in Targeted Violence and Suicide;

• Katrina Nottke, assistant director of Title IX and compliance;

• Danielle Rominski, assistant director of the Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness;

• Dr. Sammy Spann, associate vice provost for student affairs and dean of students; and

• Dr. LaTasha Sullivan, interim associate director of the University Counseling Center.

“We want our students to succeed, and that means we have to look out for them,” Thompson said. “This forum is designed to help faculty members know what to look for if they think a student is having difficulty coping.”

The Future of Higher Education Forums are coordinated by the Office of the Provost in collaboration with the University Teaching Center and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Forums will be held on the third Friday of the month throughout the academic year. Visit the Office of the Provost website to see upcoming topics, as well as to view past forums.

Naturalization Ceremony to Take Place Sept. 17 at UToledo

More than 70 people will become U.S. citizens during a naturalization ceremony Tuesday, Sept. 17, at 11 a.m. in the Law Center McQuade Auditorium on The University of Toledo’s Main Campus.

Judge Mary Ann Whipple of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio will preside over the ceremony, which will celebrate Constitution Day at the University.

UToledo President Sharon L. Gaber will give welcome remarks at the event, which will feature alumna Grisoranyel Barrios as this year’s guest speaker.

Barrios moved from Venezuela to Toledo when she was 7 years old. She attended Springfield Local Schools before coming to The University of Toledo, where she received a bachelor of arts degree in political science and a bachelor of social work degree in 2018.

She is pursuing a master’s degree in social work specializing in policy at Washington University in St. Louis and plans to graduate in December.

Barrios attended the 2017 naturalization ceremony, where she opened the court, and became a U.S. citizen in March 2019.

“I look forward to participating in the ceremony yet again, but this time as a UToledo alumna and a U.S. citizen,” Barrios said.

“Hosting this naturalization ceremony on campus is a wonderful way to celebrate Constitution Day and to honor our country’s history,” Diane Miller, chief of staff and associate vice president for government relations, said. “It is so moving to watch individuals achieve their dreams of becoming U.S. citizens.”

Constitution Day is annually observed in America to commemorate the formation and signing of the Constitution of the United States on Sept. 17, 1787.

The free, public event is sponsored by the Office of Government Relations and the Center for International Studies and Programs.

For more information on the naturalization ceremony, contact Lisa Byers, executive assistant in the Office of Government Relations, at lisa.byers@utoledo.edu.

Sept. 25 Deadline to Sign Up for Homecoming Decorating Contest

On Saturday, Oct. 5, the Toledo Rockets will take on the Western Michigan Broncos in the Homecoming game in the Glass Bowl.

But before that, you can show your school spirit by decorating your office.

Ready to get spooky? Celebrate this year’s Homecoming theme: Rocky’s Haunted Halloween.

The deadline to sign up for the contest is 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25.

UToledo students will judge the contest Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 1 and Oct. 2. They will be looking for craftsmanship, completeness, creativity, theme and school spirit.

Winners will be announced at the Homecoming game.

Three trophies will be given to the top offices and departments, while first-place winners will receive doughnuts.

Decorating rules include:

• Do not include any items that may cause a fire hazard;

• Decorations cannot block doorways or fire escapes; and

• The time you will be assigned for judging cannot be changed; if you miss it, you will not be able to reschedule.

The schedule for judging will be sent Friday, Sept. 27.

Student judges include Matthew Stojsavljevic, president of Phi Kappa Psi; James Easler, president of Blue Key Honor Society; and Rebecca Sturges, president of Student Government.

“Homecoming week is for everyone on campus to foster their Toledo spirit and get excited to cheer on the football team at Saturday’s game,” said Ashlen Torio, director of the Homecoming Committee.

Torio, a senior studying operation and supply chain management, added, “We hope that decorating offices gets staff and faculty excited to be a part of the week, and that students who see the offices decorated will get excited, as well.”

Offices and department that wish to participate and get into the Homecoming spirit are asked to sign up on InvoNet.

For more information, can contact Torio or Stewart Marmion at homecoming@utoledo.edu.

Making Connections: Engineering Student Interns in Silicon Valley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What was a typical day like?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UToledo Hires Title IX Director

Vicky Kulicke brought more than 25 years of combined experience in higher education and the public sector when she started her job as director of Title IX and compliance at The University of Toledo.

She joined the UToledo staff Sept. 9.


Most recently, Kulicke was an equity officer and Title IX deputy coordinator for seven years at Bowling Green State University.

An advocate for social justice, Kulicke introduced Bowling Green to the national grass roots campaign, Not in Our Town, which addresses bullying and discrimination, and builds safe, inclusive communities.

“We welcome Vicky and her wealth of experience she brings to her new role at the University,” Dr. Phillip “Flapp” Cockrell, vice president for student affairs and vice provost, said. “We are confident Vicky will help ensure a safe, inclusive and diverse learning environment at UToledo.”

Kulicke also has worked as an equal opportunity compliance specialist and human resources compliance administrator. At Insperity (formerly known as Administaff Inc.) in Phoenix, she made sure the company followed federal, state and local laws, regulations, policies and guidelines that prohibited discrimination in the workplace.

“I am honored and excited to join The University of Toledo to lead our prevention, education and response efforts regarding Title IX and compliance,” Kulicke said.

She received a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from Illinois State University and became a certified affirmative action professional from the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity in 2017.

In addition, Kulicke was an adjunct faculty member in criminal justice at Mohave Community College in Lake Havasu City, Ariz.; was a human relations associate for the city of Bloomington, Ill.; and worked as a victim/witness coordinator in the McLean County State’s Attorney’s Office in Bloomington.

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.