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Arts and Letters

World Language Proficiency Topic of Oct. 3 Discussion

“Languages Mean Business” is the title of a roundtable discussion that will take place Thursday, Oct. 3.

Presented by The University of Toledo Department of World Languages, the free event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Carlson Library Room 1005.

“World language proficiency and intercultural competence are increasingly important for business collaborations, healthcare services, cutting-edge collaborative scientific research, as well as national security,” said Dr. Linda M. Rouillard, professor of French and chair of the World Languages Department.

The roundtable discussion will include comments from:

• M. Cyril Gauchet of the Québec Delegation;

• Guillaume Lacroix, French consul general in the Chicago office;

• Dr. Ngalula Sandrine Mubenga, UToledo assistant professor of electrical engineering technology and founder of SMIN Power Group LLC and STEM DRC Initiative;

• Ryan Wertz, Ohio Department of Education consultant with Ohio Seal of Biliteracy; and

• Paul Zito, vice president of international development with RGP Northwest Ohio.

All participants are invited to share their experiences of the ways in which their knowledge of other languages and cultures has enhanced their job prospects and careers.

Studying and speaking foreign languages is more important than ever, according to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, which noted in a 2017 report the economic and scientific need for international language fluency.

Register for the free event, which will include refreshments and lunch, on the “Languages Mean Business” website.

For more information, contact Rouillard at linda.rouillard@utoledo.edu or 419.530.2029.

Regional Biological Sciences Conference Blends Art, Discovery

Cytoskeletons serve as the internal frame for individual cells, providing the structural support that allows a wide variety of essential cellular functions to happen.

Under the right light and magnification, cytoskeletons also can be incredibly beautiful.

UToledo student Savanna Hudson created this work; the faces of the people are made of images of cells from humans and other organisms, emphasizing the correlation of everything alive in nature being made of the same basic unit.

On Friday, Sept. 27, The University of Toledo will host the third annual CellulART, a regional scientific meeting that blends cutting-edge cytoskeleton research and art.

“In the cytoskeletal field, you’re constantly trying to think about what’s the best or most aesthetically pleasing way you can present your research,” said Maura Graves, a doctoral student in the UToledo Department of Biological Sciences. “In a way, you have to think like an artist. What’s the most beautiful way you can take this image from microscopy and engage with your audience?”

Graves is the lead organizer for this year’s event, working alongside fellow biological sciences doctoral students Sushil Khanal and Debatrayee Sinha.

The event will be held from 8:15 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. in the Center for the Visual Arts on the University’s Toledo Museum of Art Campus.

Like most scientific meetings, CellulART features a series of lectures and poster presentations. Unique to this event is the addition of artwork created by both cytoskeletal researchers and UToledo art students who have reinterpreted scientific data and images.

Fifteen regional universities are participating, including Notre Dame, Ohio State, Loyola and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

This year’s keynote speaker at 1 p.m. is Dr. Bruce Goode, professor of biology at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., who is widely recognized as one of the country’s preeminent cytoskeletal researchers.

“Dr. Goode is at the forefront of his field. He’s pushing the limits in a lot of different ways, not only in the nature of his discoveries, but also in the technology he’s using. He’s one of the world leaders of the new generation of cytoskeleton researchers,” said Dr. Rafael Garcia-Mata, UToledo associate professor of biological sciences and one of the event creators.

The event also will feature a presentation and artwork by Dr. Ahna Skop, a professor in the Department of Genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Event sponsors include the American Society for Cell Biology, the Journal of Cell Science, Thermo Fisher Scientific, New England Biolabs, Ibidi and Cytokeleton Inc.

For more information, visit the CellulART website.

UToledo Banned Books Vigil to Take Place Sept. 26

Keep the light on and your mind open: Students, faculty, staff and area residents will answer riddles to win prizes, discuss ideas, and eat snacks at the UToledo Banned Books Week Vigil Thursday, Sept. 26, in Health and Human Services Building Room 1711B.

Every fall for 22 years, the University community has celebrated the right to read and think freely because “Censorship Leaves Us in the Dark.” This theme of the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week, Sept. 22-28, highlights the role reading plays in democracy.

The free, public open house champions the right to read, think, speak and create freely.

“The battle for the First Amendment is never won,” said Dr. Paulette D. Kilmer, UToledo professor of communication and coordinator of the UToledo Banned Books Vigil. “Somebody is always eager to censor books, music, TV, movies, art and other cultural forms of free expression in the name of protecting us from ourselves.”

Recently, a Catholic school in Nashville banned the “Harry Potter” series, claiming the books contain spells and curses. In 2018, censorship affected 531 resources, including books, magazines and databases, according to the American Library Association.

Many instances of banning and challenges are not reported, Kilmer said.

“All books are vital to our democracy,” she said. “The ones that lack lasting value will fall away because they will not merit literary attention or remain interesting to the next generation. All books are not equally good reading, but each person must determine for him or herself what to read without outside interference.”

The book festival calls attention to everyone’s right to read what he or she wants, Kilmer added.

UToledo faculty and area teachers are invited to bring classes. Attendance vouchers will be provided.

Programs will start every 30 minutes during the event, which coincides with the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week. Door prizes will be given out every half hour. The first 300 guests will receive a grab bag at the door. Pizza is scheduled to arrive around 3:45 p.m.

Topics and speakers will be:

• 9 a.m. — “How Copyright Rules Cramp Free Speech” by Lucy Duhon, collection sharing coordinator and scholarly communications librarian in University Libraries.

• 9:30 a.m. — “The Sound of Silence: What Does It Look Like?” by Dr. Monita Mungo, assistant professor of sociology.

10 a.m. — “Silence = Death” by Holly Hey, professor of film, with Dr. Allyson Day, assistant professor of disability studies.

• 10:30 a.m. — “Banning Pride?! Challenging ‘This Day in June’” by Dr. Sharon Barnes, associate professor and chair of women’s and gender studies.

• 11 a.m. — “Prison Resistance and the Right to Speak” by Dr. Renee Heberle, professor of political science and co-director of the Program in Law and Social Thought.

• 11:30 a.m. — “Super Hero Women Return to Save the World” by Warren Woodberry, Toledo author and playwright.

• Noon — “Banned in Boston: Lillian Hellman’s ‘The Children’s Hour’” by Holly Monsos, professor of theatre and associate dean of the College of Arts and Letters.

• 1 p.m. — “A Thousand Hands, A Million Stars: Speaking for Those Whose Voices Have Been Rendered Silent Through Human Sex Trafficking” by Jane Atwood, instructor in the Department of Music and University College.

• 1:30 p.m. — “Outrageous T-Shirts — Free Expression or Rudeness?” by Kilmer.

• 2 p.m. — “Google Docs, Social Media and Censorship: How Third-Party Corporations Are Deciding What You Can Study” by Dan McInnis, assistant lecturer in the Jesup Scott Honors College.

• 2:30 p.m. — “Banning Books in Nigeria: Findings From a Study of the Origin, Methods and Motivations” by Dr. Mojisola Tiamiyu, associate professor of psychology.

• 3 p.m. — Banned Books “Jeopardy” hosted by The Independent Collegian.

• 3:30 p.m. — “Why Democracies Need a Free Press” by Ben Morse, editor-in-chief of The Independent Collegian.

4 p.m. — “Don’t Look a Smith Horse in the Mouth,” an episode of “American Dad” that was fined by the Federal Communications Commission.

• 4:30 p.m. — “Woody Guthrie Songs” performance by Risa Cohen, local singer and storyteller.

Kilmer said the Banned Books Vigil would not be possible without the help of generous sponsors on campus and in the community. She gave a special thanks to the Office of the President; the Office of the Provost; the Jesup Scott Honors College; the College of Arts and Letters; the School of Visual and Performing Arts; Communication Department; Athletic Department; Disability Studies Department; Law and Social Thought Program; Inside-Outside Prison Exchange Program; and Phoenicia Cuisine.

For more information about the UToledo Banned Books Vigil, contact Kilmer at paulette.kilmer@utoledo.edu.

Center for Religious Understanding to Screen Documentary

The Center for Religious Understanding at The University of Toledo is hosting a screening of “From Cairo to the Cloud: The World of the Cairo Geniza,” a documentary film by Michelle Paymar.

The free, public screening will take place Thursday, Sept. 26, at 7 p.m. in the Center for the Visual Arts Haigh Auditorium on the University’s Toledo Museum of Art Campus. Light refreshments will be served.

The film tells the story of Talmudic scholar Solomon Schechter’s 1896 discovery of a collection of manuscripts in a sacred storeroom — or geniza — in Cairo. These ancient documents that revolutionized the understanding of Jewish history were dispersed around the globe to 70 libraries, but have been digitally brought back together for everyone to access online.

“This acclaimed documentary is a wonderful example of how the power of film can be harnessed to breathe life and excitement into lesser-known areas of academic scholarship,” said Dr. Yonatan S. Miller, director of the Center for Religious Understanding.

“The film also tells the story of a Jewish community that flourished for centuries under Muslim rule. So this movie is truly at the intersection of scholarship and religious understanding, which fits our center’s mission perfectly,” added Miller, assistant professor of religious studies.

Miller also believes there’s an Indiana Jones element to the film. He thinks of the delightful images of Schechter, who literally jumped into a pile of hundreds of thousands of geniza documents covered with 500 years’ worth of dust, juxtaposed with the contemporary researchers who are using cutting-edge technologies to identify and decipher some of those same documents.

For more information on the event, email cfru@utoledo.edu.

UToledo Researchers Take Over National Academic Research Program This Week

Five scholars from The University of Toledo will have a national audience this week through The Academic Minute, a public radio program that gives researchers the chance to share their expertise in their own words.

Beginning Monday, Sept. 23, and running through Friday, Sept. 27, one UToledo faculty member will be featured each morning on the program, which is heard on approximately 200 public radio stations throughout the country.

The program, which is produced by Northeast Public Radio in Albany, N.Y., can be livestreamed on the WAMC website at 7:30 a.m. and again at 3:56 p.m.

Here’s the schedule:

Monday, Sept. 23: Dr. Rupali Chandar, professor of astronomy in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, will explain her work peering deep into space to identify and understand young and expanding galaxies.

Tuesday, Sept. 24: Dr. Bina Joe, Distinguished University Professor and chair of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology in the College of Medicine and Life Science, will outline her research into the role played by microbiota in regulating blood pressure.

Wednesday, Sept. 25: Dr. Celia Williamson, Distinguished University Professor and director of the UToledo Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute in the College of Health and Human Services, will discuss her research into how traffickers use social media.

Thursday, Sept. 26: Dr. Neil Reid, professor of geography and planning in the College of Arts and Letters, will talk about his recent study that found craft breweries increase residential property values.

Friday, Sept. 27: Dr. Amit Tiwari, associate professor of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, will review his innovative work of identifying new compounds that provide hope for treating multidrug resistant cancer.

Each segment will be available on The Academic Minute website and shared on the Inside Higher Ed website. The Academic Minute also is available as a podcast from NPR.

Women’s and Gender Studies Research Showcase Sept. 23

Zainab Almusalem and Amelia Stower will speak at a Women’s and Gender Studies Student Showcase Monday, Sept. 23.

The free, public event will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. in University Hall Room 4280.

Almusalem will discuss “Saudi Guardianship Laws: Feminist Activism and Societal Responses,” and Stower will talk about “The State of Reproductive Justice: Toledo, Ohio, and Beyond.”

Almusalem, the second-year student majoring in speech-language pathology and women’s and gender studies, will focus on Saudi guardianship laws as significant obstacles that prevent Saudi women from living their lives as independents.

Stower, a junior who is majoring in nursing and women’s and gender studies, believes reproductive justice is very important in the current political climate, and that it affects all women and encompasses all issues of life, from birth control to abortions, from giving birth to access of prenatal care.

Dr. Sharon Barnes, associate professor and chair of the Women’s and Gender Studies Department, hopes attendees leave the presentation with information and analysis they didn’t have before the event. She added the showcase is an opportunity to sit in community with others and think about these topics.

Snacks will be provided; attendees are encouraged to bring an opinion to share.

For more information, call the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at 419.530.2233.

Governor Appoints Two Trustees

A local attorney and dentist have been appointed to The University of Toledo Board of Trustees.

Richard S. Walinski, a lawyer who practices in the areas of contract, corporate and commercial litigation, was named by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine to a full nine-year term ending July 1, 2028. He replaces Sharon Speyer, who concluded her term in June.

Walinski

Dr. Eleanore Awadalla, who leads Awadalla Dental, has been appointed to a term ending July 1, 2022. She will complete the remaining years of the term of Steve Cavanaugh, who resigned in June upon beginning his new role as ProMedica’s chief financial officer.

“We look forward to welcoming Mr. Walinski and Dr. Awadalla to the Board of Trustees,” UToledo President Sharon L. Gaber said. “As well-respected professionals in our community, they know firsthand the value The University of Toledo brings to our city and our region. We look forward to working with them as we continue our positive momentum.”

Walinski’s family has practiced continuously in the Toledo area for more than a century. He served as chief counsel to two of Ohio’s attorneys general, as chairman of the Ohio Supreme Court’s Rules Advisory Committee, and as a member of the Ohio Constitution Modernization Commission.

Awadalla

Walinski received a law degree from UToledo, and he was the founding editor-in-chief of The University of Toledo Law Review. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from UToledo.

Awadalla has 40 years of experience providing general, restorative and cosmetic dental services.

A graduate of Ohio State University’s College of Dentistry, Awadalla is a member of the American Dental Association, the Ohio Dental Association, the Toledo Dental Society, the Academy of General Dentistry, and the American Association of Dental Examiners.

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.

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.

Donate Banned Books to Support Freedom of Reading

Support the right to read, speak, create and think freely by donating books to The University of Toledo’s Banned Book Vigil.

The vigil will return for it’s 22nd year Thursday, Sept. 26, in the Health and Human Services Building Room 1711B.

Attendees will have the opportunity to win banned books and other door prizes every 30 minutes.

“We should read banned books and protect them because our democracy depends on us being able to think freely,” said Dr. Paulette Kilmer, UToledo professor of communication and coordinator of the University Banned Books Coalition. “If someone controls what we read, then our thoughts are limited in the same way too much shade kills many plants.”

Every year, more books are banned. These include classics: “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Catcher in the Rye” and “The Lord of the Flies.”

Become a “Champion of Freedom of Expression” by donating banned or challenged books, which can be found on the American Library Association’s website. A list of recently challenged books can be found here.

Kilmer encourages the donation of banned books to give a voice to content that allows people to think freely — and have fun while doing it.

“Reading freely nurtures our imagination, inspires our best behavior, and teaches us about the world in a way that often engages our hearts as well as minds, helping us to empathize with those who differ from us,” Kilmer said.

Donations are requested by 9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16. Books may be purchased at the Barnes & Noble University Bookstore. For assistance, contact Jordan Welty at 419.530.2516 or TM573@bncollege.com and copy AM573@bncollege.com.

Cash donations also are welcome.

Fore more information on donating banned books or this year’s vigil, contact Kilmer at paulette.kilmer@utoledo.edu.