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UToledo Art Faculty Work Published in International Research Journal

University of Toledo Art Department faculty Eric Zeigler and Brian Carpenter received international recognition for a course they designed.

Their paper, “Engaging Tools,” was published this spring by the international research organization, Architecture_Media_Politics_Society (AMPS), in its conference publication, “AMPS Proceedings Series 17.1. Education, Design and Practice — Understanding Skills in a Complex World.”

Students get hands-on training in tool use in the UToledo Department of Art Foundations of Art Studio Technologies course.

Zeigler and Carpenter’s paper covers the development and implementation of a course they designed for The University of Toledo Department of Art: Foundations of Art Studio Technologies (FAST). The purpose of the course is to enhance students’ understanding of themselves as “tool-users” and to reinforce the importance of agency that is developed through the process of “making.”

The paper’s introduction states, “The paper examines … our approach for creating an environment where students understand the physical, historical and philosophical relationships between tools; can operate and discern the components of tools; and begin to create a foundation to become a manually competent knowledge worker.”

“I would add that the course is a foundational component in a college career where an understanding of the components of the systems we live within needs more scrutiny and analysis than ever before,” said Zeigler, assistant professor of art and coordinator of the Art Print Center.

The FAST course has been offered at UToledo since 2016, according to Carpenter, assistant professor of art and gallery director.

Students have appreciated the class. One wrote anonymously in a course evaluation, “I love that we are able to learn something conceptually and then immediately apply it hands-on. This isn’t common in most classes, and I really appreciate this.”

A compilation of all the papers presented at the AMPS conference was published this spring on the AMPS website.

UToledo to Host Virtual Roundtable Discussion June 25 After Death of George Floyd

As protests continue and calls for defunding police sound across the country, The University of Toledo is hosting its second campus conversation about the death of George Floyd.

The Dialogues on Diversity Virtual Town Hall series will continue Thursday, June 25, at 5:30 p.m. with “The Death of George Floyd: Where Do We Go From Here?” hosted jointly by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Africana Studies Program.

The free, public event can be accessed on WebEx using the access code 160 482 0630. The meeting password is maP4hKYQM32. Join by phone at 415.655.0002.

“Now that Mr. Floyd has been laid to rest, the protests are still strong and will continue, but we know they, too, will eventually fade from public consumption with the next big news cycle, and the anticipation of the murder trial of the four officers in a few months, what’s next,” said Angela Siner, director of the Africana Studies Program and moderator of the virtual town hall. “The year 2020 has been unprecedented with the COVID-19 pandemic, the murder of George Floyd and subsequent civil protests. These issues must be addressed individually and collectively for us and the nation to heal and move forward.”

Participants also will include:

• Dr. Shirley Green, UToledo adjunct professor of history and director of the Toledo Police Museum;

• Dr. Shingi Mavima, UToledo assistant professor of history;

• Dr. Michael Stauch, UToledo assistant professor of history;

• Dr. Dale Snauwaert, UToledo professor of social and philosophical foundations of education and peace studies, and co-coordinator of the peace studies minor in the Judith Herb College of Education; and

• Dr. Willie McKether, vice president for diversity and inclusion, and vice provost.

The University of Toledo is a community that celebrates and respects people of all backgrounds and experiences. As an institution, we remain committed to building an inclusive environment free of racism, sexism, bigotry and other negative influences.

UToledo Benefactor Passes Away

Helen McMaster, a local philanthropist who had a passion for helping others and was known for giving to The University of Toledo, died June 14 in Perrysburg. She was 103.

Known for her kind, generous nature, McMaster had the vision and the desire to provide funding to make others’ ideas come to fruition.

Harold and Helen McMaster received honorary degrees from The University of Toledo during the McMaster Hall dedication ceremony in 1987.

Harold A. McMaster, her husband of 66 years, died in 2003. He was an inventor who made a name for himself in the glass industry and solar energy field, and later shared his wealth with several area educational institutions.

He co-founded Glasstech Inc., Glasstech Solar Inc. and Solar Cells Inc., and formed McMaster Energy Enterprises, a Toledo umbrella organization for Solar Cells, Solar Fields Inc., McMaster Fuel Limited and the McMaster Motor Co. Inc.

The McMasters donated approximately $4.5 million to The University of Toledo.

The couple’s gift of $1.2 million in 1986 — combined with $7.9 million from the state — led to the construction of the physics and astronomy building that bears their name. The five-story building with more than 42,000 square feet for classrooms and research labs opened in 1987, and the McMasters received honorary degrees from the University during the dedication ceremony. Two years later, bronze busts of the two were unveiled in the lobby of McMaster Hall.

In 1989, the McMasters gave a $1.5 million gift to UT Corp. to help extend the University’s participation in solar energy research with Solar Cells Inc. For years, UToledo researchers worked with the company, now known as First Solar LLC, and received funding from the U.S. Department of Energy.

In addition, the couple personally funded two long-range UToledo research projects to produce an efficient, low-cost, non-polluting source of vehicular power and a new concept rotary engine to utilize power derived from solar energy.

Tributes are suggested to the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorder Program, account number 2600275, through The University of Toledo Foundation.

Historic Week Recognizes Value of Diversity

University of Toledo leaders sent a message to campus Thursday recognizing Juneteenth and two impactful U.S. Supreme Court decisions aligned with the University’s core value of diversity.

The message, titled Historic Week Recognizes Value of Diversity, from President Sharon L. Gaber, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Willie McKether and Vice President for Student Affairs Phillip “Flapp” Cockrell read:

With so much rapidly happening around the world, it is important for our UToledo community to pause and recognize important days of significance and important rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court this week that speak to our core value of diversity.

Tomorrow UToledo will recognize Juneteenth with our African-American students, faculty and staff to honor the official end of slavery. We cannot go back and undo the horrible system of slavery, but we can help to ensure that current and future generations of African Americans are afforded equal rights commensurate with other ethnic and racial groups and given the unfettered opportunity for success and upward mobility in a country their ancestors helped to build through their forced and uncompensated labor.

Especially during this time when people across the country are united in protests against racism, it is important to reflect on our history but also seize this as an opportunity to move forward and do better.

Also, we applaud two historic decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court as we stand in solidarity with our LGBTQA+ and international students, faculty and staff.

Today the Supreme Court rejected an attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protects the nearly 700,000 immigrants brought to the U.S. as children and allows them to continue to live and work in the U.S.

And on Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that federal workplace discrimination laws protect the LGBTQ community, making it illegal for an employer to fire someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

As always, we will continue to monitor the potential impact of changes to laws, policies and practices on our campus community.

Please join us next week as we continue the conversations following the death of George Floyd. The second Dialogues on Diversity Virtual Townhall will be 5:30 p.m. Thursday, June 25 with “The Death of George Floyd: Where Do We Go From Here?” hosted jointly by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Africana Studies program.

The free, public event can be accessed on WebEx using the access code 160 482 0630. The meeting password is maP4hKYQM32. Join by phone at 415.655.0002.

Diversity is a core value of our University. We believe our diversity makes us stronger, and we work to create an environment of inclusion. It is the contributions of and collaboration with people from backgrounds different than our own that allow us to excel in education, research and economic development, and contribute to society.

UToledo Partners With Anthem to Provide Student Health Insurance

The University of Toledo has partnered with Anthem Student Advantage to provide a student health insurance plan with medical and prescription drug coverage.

“UToledo worked closely with Student Government and Graduate Student Association receiving valuable insight during the process of selecting a student health insurance partner that addressed students’ preferences on the plan’s design and premiums,” said Brian Pack, director of benefits and wellness for UToledo.

In addition to the new insurance provider, the University has updated its processes for the 2020-21 academic year.

UToledo will automatically enroll domestic undergraduate students and graduate students enrolled in six or more credit hours and international students enrolled in one or more credit hours per term in the University-sponsored student medical and prescription drug insurance plan, and the premium will be assessed to the student account.

This opt-out model is a best practice in Ohio and allows the University to negotiate lower premiums when there are more students enrolled in the plan, according to Pack.

Students with medical and prescription drug coverage under another plan can submit a waiver request through the myUT portal by Sept. 30 to have the fall 2020 premium removed from their student account. Students also can voluntarily enroll in the student health plan or add spouses or dependents to their plan by the same Sept. 30 deadline.

The fall 2020 student health insurance coverage is effective Tuesday, Aug. 11, through Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020. The current student health plan administered by Payer Fusion LLC will remain in effect until Aug. 10.

More information about the student health plan, including plan premiums, is available on UToledo’s student health insurance website.

UToledo Students Examine Human Consumption in International Biodesign Challenge Summit 2020

Four University of Toledo students have teamed up to critically investigate the behaviors of human consumption. Their project is competing in the international Biodesign Challenge Summit 2020, held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The competition is being held online June 15-19, but the video presentations are available for view anytime. Winners will be announced June 19 on the Biodesign Challenge Summit website.

The UToledo project, “Wastr: Reassessing Our Trash,” was the brainchild of students Jarrett Cunningham, who graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in film and video in May; Madalyn Jones, a senior majoring in environmental science; Michael Miller, a bioengineering major with an economics minor; and Mohamed Nawras, who received a bachelor of science degree in biology in 2018 and is a doctor of medicine candidate for fall 2020.

The team developed a presentation highlighting the paradox of creating an eco-friendly product that adds to consumptive behaviors. The ultimate goal is to get people to become more aware of the amount of waste they personally generate.

A video presentation of the project states, “Landfills are reaching capacity at alarming rates, impacting the environment tremendously while also contributing to a culture of consumption.”

Students from UToledo prepare for the competition every year through a class offered in the Department of Art. The spring 2020 Biodesign Challenge course brought together students from multiple disciplines into the Department of Art under the direction of faculty members Brian Carpenter and Eric Zeigler. Students worked in interdisciplinary teams to research real-world problems and then sought to solve those problems with biotechnology and/or biomaterials. This year’s groups addressed potential eutrophication solutions, antimicrobial structures, innovative health testing devices, and consumption.

The Biodesign Challenge course asks students to stretch their known capabilities by making meaningful connections between disciplines and designing unique solutions to complex problems in a normal year. As the COVID-19 pandemic struck and the course moved to virtual learning, the teams continued to work extensively on their projects.

“We are truly amazed at the tenacity of our students, and the outcomes from remote research they were able to accomplish in such a difficult time,” Carpenter, assistant professor of art and gallery director, said.

“We are proud of the work every student has done, and we are excited to compete internationally again,” Zeigler, associate lecturer of art, said.

Main Campus Pharmacy Closed Week of June 22

The pharmacy located in the University Health Center on Main Campus will be closed from Monday, June 22, through Sunday, June 28, to repair damage from recent flooding.

Individuals who need to fill a prescription during this time can go to the outpatient pharmacy on Health Science Campus located in the UTMC Medical Pavilion next to the Orthopaedic Center.

Pharmacy hours are:

• Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

• Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Health Science Campus pharmacy can be reached at 419.383.3750. Curbside pickup is available by ordering online or using the RXLOCAL smartphone app.

The Main Campus pharmacy is scheduled to reopen Monday, June 29.

UToledo College of Law Named Among Top Schools for Public Service

The University of Toledo College of Law was ranked nationally in preLaw magazine’s “Best Law Schools for Public Service” in the area of public interest law.

In identifying top schools, the magazine reviewed employment data (50%), curricula (40%), and debt and loan repayment options (10%).

The UToledo College of Law has a rich history of training students for successful careers in public interest law. Public interest lawyers use the legal system to promote justice and the advancement of the public good. Graduates have a passion for public service and may choose to work for government agencies, nonprofit organizations, or law firms focused on public interest work.

The college offers numerous opportunities for students to gain real-world experience in public interest law through legal clinics, commendation program, fellowships and externships.

Legal clinics within the law school place students in supervised settings to provide community members with legal services at low and no cost. Students benefit from a rigorous and dynamic experience that combines a structured classroom curriculum with individualized instruction and collaborative learning.

The UToledo College of Law’s Public Service Commendation Program recognizes and encourages student pro bono engagement in the community and region. Students earn a commendation each academic term in which they complete 30 or more documented hours of unpaid, law-related service work. Students can secure their placements or work with the college to find volunteer opportunities with area organizations, including the Pro Bono Legal Services Program, Legal Aid of Western Ohio, and Advocates for Basic Legal Equality. Since the program’s inception in 2007, students have dedicated more than 24,500 volunteer hours.

In addition, the College of Law offers several public interest fellowships and public service externships for students to gain experience in courts, government agencies and public service organizations.

Students also can join the Public Interest Law Association student organization to explore career opportunities, raise funds for public interest fellowships, and partner with organizations on community outreach.

“One distinct mission that we have at the UToledo College of Law is to ensure that we provide our students with experiences that encourage them to develop awareness of and a dedication to public service and public interest during law school and beyond,” said Maara Fink, clinical professor of law and director of externship programs.

“A vast majority of our students enroll in at least one semester of our Public Service Externship Program during their time at the college. This program provides them with opportunities to explore various areas of public interest practice at placements throughout northwest Ohio and beyond — with many choosing employment at the same offices and agencies upon graduation,” Fink said.

She added, “In addition, through the Civil Advocacy Clinic, our students provide direct legal services to members of our community in need and recognize the importance of ensuring that legal representation is not just limited to those who can afford it. Due in large part to these and other opportunities at the College of Law, our students leave aware of and committed to a lifetime of public service in practice.”

Read the full article “Best Schools for Public Service” in the Winter 2020 issue of preLaw magazine.

Listening Session on New Title IX Regulations Set for June 17

The University of Toledo will host a virtual listening session Wednesday, June 17, from 4 to 5 p.m. to help understand new regulations on Title IX, the federal law that prohibits sex-based discrimination and harassment at schools, colleges and universities.

The two-way virtual dialogue for everyone in the UToledo community is free and open to the public. The session can be accessed on Zoom, and the meeting ID for all users is 849 2169 9195. Visitors joining online should use the meeting password 871115. Those participating via phone may call 301.715.8592.

Specific questions related to case investigations or personal reporting will not be addressed during the event.Listening Session Graphic

The session will include information from several participating departments, including Human Resources; the Office of Faculty Labor Relations and Academic Inclusion; the Title IX Office; and the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.

UToledo had been anticipating the new regulations, which were recently released by the U.S. Department of Education and go into effect Aug. 14. Teams are reviewing policies and procedures in preparation for their potential impact on campus.

Visitors to the interactive session will have opportunities to ask questions and offer input and feedback on the new regulations.

“Now that the new regulations are here, the real work begins in understanding, explaining and implementing them,” said Vicky Kulicke, UToledo’s director for Title IX and compliance. “Every person learning, living, working and receiving healthcare on our campuses has the right to a safe and secure environment. This session is part of our ongoing prevention and programming to ensure that right.”

Title IX actions are based in respect, sensitivity and dignity for all of UToledo students, faculty and staff members. Members of the University community with specific, individual concerns or reporting are encouraged to contact the UToledo Title IX Office at 419.530.4191, titleix@utoledo.edu or utoledo.edu/title-ix.

UToledo’s American Language Institute Highlighted by Pearson

The University of Toledo American Language Institute (ALI) is taking language learning online.

Dr. Ting Li, curriculum coordinator for the institute, was interviewed by Pearson, highlighting ALI’s transition to online services for its English as a Second Language (ELS) classes.

Li

The piece titled “Educator Story: Moving ESL Courses Online to Keep Learning Moving Forward” highlighted The University of Toledo’s intensive English Language Learning Program, which helps non-native speakers of English achieve success both academically and professionally.

In fall 2016, ALI standardized its curriculum in alignment with the Common European Framework of Reference and Global Scale of English, which is the guiding framework for Pearson’s ESL textbook series, “NorthStar and Focus on Grammar.”

Although other intensive English programs have been using Pearson products, according to Pearson, ALI is leading the way in systematically aligning ESL students’ learning objectives and the program’s progressive level structure with teaching materials, assessment methods, and virtual learning tools. In 2018, Pearson invited ALI to collaborate in a case study to highlight best practices in using Pearson products.

Some of the article’s key recommendations, drawn from Li’s work, were:

• Get the entire faculty together to complete intensive online training both in person (if possible) and virtually.

• Create a supportive and collaborative work environment.

• Have a leader that trusts fully in the faculty’s abilities as this breeds confidence and a willingness to ask for assistance.

• Offer consistent online structure and links to avoid confusion for students.

• Be adaptable to the modern technological age and see it as an opportunity to engage students and reduce administrative burden.

Read the Pearson article.

“We are so proud of the strides ALI has made,” said Sara Clark, director of the Center for International Studies and Programs. “Sharing their best practice with others institutions will help them to focus their efforts in serving their students.”

Pearson is the world’s learning company with more than 22,500 employees operating in 70 countries. It provides content, assessment and digital services to learners, educational institutions, employers, governments and other partners globally. The company helps equip learners with the skills they need to enhance their employability prospects and to succeed in the changing world of work.

The American Language Institute is the Intensive English Program at The University of Toledo, offering English language classes to students from all over the world. ALI falls under the Center for International Studies and Programs, which supports internationalization by creating links among students, scholars, faculty, staff and the community that foster cross-cultural understanding and appreciation.