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President to Deliver Video State of the University Address

President Sharon L. Gaber will continue the University’s tradition of giving an annual State of the University Address, but in a different, digital format as advised by our public health experts.


The 2020 State of the University speech will be published to utoledo.edu/video and shared with the campus community via email at the time it was originally scheduled to be delivered live, at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7.

“Despite these unprecedented times, our role as a public research university is more important than ever,” Gaber said. “We are educating the next generation of critical thinkers and innovative leaders, advancing knowledge through groundbreaking research, and serving as a strong community partner with our region and our state.”

This will be Gaber’s fourth State of the University address since being named president in July 2015.

Toledo Athletics Launches Rocket Spring Reading Program

The University of Toledo Athletic Department is launching the Rocket Spring Reading Program for students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

To complete the program, students must read at least 10 books between March 25 and May 31. Each book must be recorded in the student’s Rocket Reading Log.

With recent developments requiring students to learn from home, the Rocket Spring Reading Program is designed to encourage kids to continue hitting the books. The reward for completing the program is one free ticket to the Toledo Football home opener against San Diego State Saturday, Sept. 12.

Each student must bring his or her completed Rocket Reading Log to the Rocket Ticket Office located at Savage Arena on Main Campus. The guardian of the student will receive the ticket via email/mobile to the Sept. 12 game. Tickets are based on availability.

There are three separate specialized categories: kindergarten through second grade, third through fifth grade, and sixth through eighth grade. The deadline to redeem the 2020 Rocket Spring Reading Program reward is Friday, July 10, at 5 p.m. at the Rocket Ticket Office.

Download the Rocket Reading Logs: kindergarten through second grade, third through fifth grade and sixth through eighth grade.

For more information, email Adam Simpson at adam.simpson@utoledo.edu.

Songfest Moves Online During Coronavirus Pandemic

The song, dance and philanthropy of Songfest has united students at The University of Toledo since 1937.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 83rd annual event won’t take place at Savage Arena in front of a big crowd as originally planned.

However, organizers found a way for the show to go on online.

The fun has already started on Twitter. Go to @UToledoSongfest to vote for the best Songfest performances of all time.

Students who have been preparing their performances for Songfest 2020 “Rockets Hit Shuffle” also will share their dances and songs from home to the Twitter account using the hashtag #Songfest2020. And money will still be raised for this year’s charitable organization — the Family and Child Abuse Prevention Center.

“We want to turn this sad time for many students into an opportunity to engage and raise awareness for the Family and Child Abuse Prevention Center, which works to promote healthy relationships and break the cycle of family violence so every home can be a safe home,” said Grace Garcia, UToledo student and member of the Mortar Board National Honor Society. “Many hours of practice go into the weeks and months leading up to Songfest, and we want to carry on this beloved tradition in the safest way possible in this unprecedented time when we can’t be together.”

Garcia said raising money and awareness to help domestic violence victims is especially important right now as families are huddled at home because of the national shutdown to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“Spotlighting this issue can have a huge impact because children and families with a history of domestic violence are at an increased risk of facing more problems as schools are closed and many employees are working from home or not working,” Garcia said.

The Songfest donor drive is open until Monday, March 30. To donate, go to the Fundly website.

UToledo Launches COVID-19 Emergency Support Crowdfunding Campaign to Help Students

As the world grapples with the growing coronavirus pandemic, The University of Toledo has created a fund to assist students during this unprecedented time.

Rocket nation is asked to consider donating to the COVID-19 Student Emergency Support Crowdfunding Campaign.

The University of Toledo Foundation is partnering with the UToledo Division of Student Affairs with a goal to raise $30,000 by the end of the fiscal year. The campaign collected $10,000 in a matter of hours after launching, and, as of March 23, more than $20,000 has been raised.

“The outpouring of support since this fund launched has been amazing,” UToledo President Sharon L. Gaber said. “We want to thank alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the University who are coming together to assist our students. We are Rockets helping Rockets.”

“So many UToledo students are being impacted by this new reality we are living,” Dr. Phillip “Flapp” Cockrell, vice president for student affairs and vice provost, said. “Within a week, 1,159 of our students can no longer work on campus, and 125 students are not able to return home to their native countries.”

“Gifts through this campaign will alleviate some financial stress and worries for UToledo students who are struggling to maintain basic needs,” said Dr. Michele Soliz, associate vice president for student success and inclusion.

This online giving campaign will provide emergency relief for students in need. Donations will help students facing financial hardships pay for housing, utilities, car repairs, medical bills, food and toiletries.

“Together, we can make a difference for our UToledo students,” Cockrell said. “Gifts of any amount will be appreciated.”

Make a donation and learn more about the drive on the COVID-19 Student Emergency Support Crowdfunding Campaign website.

UToledo students can apply for up to $500. For details, go to the Division of Student Affairs website.

“We encourage students in need to apply for help,” Soliz said. “We will review applications and work with the Office of Financial Aid to distribute funds.”

For more information, contact the Office of Multicultural Student Success at omss@utoledo.edu.

UToledo Medical Students Learn Residency Placements Via Virtual Match Day Event

A total of 165 fourth-year medical students at The University of Toledo learned their residency placements March 20 during a live-streamed, virtual Match Day event.

The annual Match Day celebration is a highly anticipated moment for medical students in the UToledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences and at medical schools across the country. Soon-to-be physicians discover at the same moment where they will spend the next three to seven years in residency as they train in their chosen specialties.

Under normal circumstances, students gather together in person with family and friends to share the experience of learning the next step in their careers. However, because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the need to limit large gatherings, UToledo celebrated the 2020 Match Day remotely.

“We know this is a very important time in the lives of our students, and one they expected to spend with friends and colleagues as they take one of the final steps before going out into the community as physicians,” said Dr. Christopher Cooper, dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences. “We worked very hard to create something special despite the difficult realities we’re living with right now. We are so proud of this class of fourth-year students who will soon be providing care in the communities in which they’ll be practicing.”

In addition to the 165 who learned their match Friday, two individuals had already matched with the U.S. Armed Forces, bringing the total to 167.

The number of students who matched with The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences residency programs increased 30% over the previous year, while the total number of students staying in the greater northwest Ohio region increased nearly 50% over the 2019 match.

“We are delighted so many of our students will be staying in our region as they begin their careers as physicians,” Cooper said. “One of our key missions is to provide a pipeline of well-trained, well-qualified physicians to care for our region’s health. It’s encouraging to see such a large increase in the number of students who matched in northwest Ohio.”

Among the other institutions where UToledo students will do their residency work are Yale, Brown, Emory, Duke, the University of Chicago, the University of Michigan, the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic.

Match Day Goes Virtual: UToledo Medical Students Asked to Share Photos, Videos

Celebrating online — that’s what 165 fourth-year medical students at The University of Toledo will do when they find out where they will continue their training Friday, March 20.

This unprecedented time calls for a virtual Match Day event. The live stream will start at 11:30 a.m. on the College of Medicine and Life Sciences website.

The highly anticipated annual ceremony will take place at noon as UToledo graduating medical students will join thousands of their peers across the country to open emails that contain their match.

To recognize this memorable day in a safe way, Dr. Christopher Cooper, dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, and executive vice president for clinical affairs, invites students to share their social media posts, photos, videos and messages during the live-stream event.

Students are asked to use #UToledoMatch on social media posts. In addition, students may send messages, photos from watch parties and more to medsocial@utoledo.edu. Photos and videos of students opening their emails to learn where they matched are encouraged.

Special GIF stickers for UToledo’s virtual Match Day have been created: Search UToledo in the Instagram and Snapchat apps.

Medical students spend months interviewing with hospitals and universities across the nation to determine where they want to continue to their medical training.

Students rank their top institutions, and academic and community-based health systems rank their top student choices. A computer algorithm administered by the National Resident Matching Program then puts together the students and residency programs.

Residents are licensed physicians who care for patients under the supervision of attending physicians while they continue to train in their chosen specialties.

Last year, 165 UToledo fourth-year medical students matched into positions in 23 specialties at institutions in 28 states.

Nominations Sought for UToledo Gold T, Blue T, Young Alum Awards

Wednesday, April 15, is the deadline to submit nominations for The University of Toledo Alumni Association’s most prestigious awards.

UToledo, Medical College of Ohio and Medical University of Ohio graduates are eligible to be nominated for:

The Gold T, which is presented to a UToledo graduate in recognition of outstanding achievement in his or her field of endeavor while providing leadership and noteworthy service to the community.

The Blue T, which is given to a UToledo Alumni Association member and University graduate who has made outstanding contributions to the progress and development of the Alumni Association and his or her alma mater.

The Edward H. Schmidt Outstanding Young Alum Award, which is presented to a University graduate who is 35 years or younger in recognition of outstanding achievement in her or his field of endeavor, while providing leadership and noteworthy service to the Alumni Association, University or community. This award is named in memory of the 1942 alumnus and a longtime supporter of the University and its Alumni Association.

To submit a nomination, contact Sarah Metzger, executive assistant and alumni relations coordinator, at sarah.metzger2@utoledo.edu or 800.235.6766 with the name, email address or telephone number of the UToledo graduate and the award for which he or she is being nominated. Nominees will be contacted for information to be considered by the Alumni Association Awards Committee.

Individuals nominated in 2019 remain in the pool of candidates and do not need to be submitted again.

The winners of these awards will be recognized during the Alumni Homecoming Gala Friday, Oct. 2, and during Homecoming Saturday, Oct. 3.

For more information, contact William Pierce, associate vice president of alumni engagement, at william.pierce@utoledo.edu or 800.235.6766.

All MAC Spring Sports Seasons Canceled

At the direction of Dr. Jon Steinbrecher, commissioner of the Mid-American Conference, and in consultation with the MAC Council of Presidents and Council of Directors of Athletics, the following revised policies will be implemented:

• Cancel the MAC Women’s Gymnastics Championship, which was originally scheduled for Saturday, March 21, at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Mich.

• Cancel regular season and championship competition, and nontraditional season competition, for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year.

• Suspend formal and organized practices until further notice.

• Suspend off-campus recruiting activities and official and unofficial visits. The only permissible recruiting will be written and electronic communication to include letters, emails, text messages and phone calls, in compliance with existing NCAA legislation.

The decision to cancel spring sports competition affects seven Rocket programs (baseball, men’s golf, women’s golf, softball, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, and women’s outdoor track and field,) as well as the women’s soccer and women’s volleyball teams, which hold off-season competitions.

All activities that had been scheduled on UToledo campus athletic facilities through March 31 have been canceled. The possible cancellation of activities scheduled for dates after March 31 — including summer camps and other larger gatherings — will be determined later.

“The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staff has always been and will continue to be the main priority of The University of Toledo Department of Athletics,” UToledo Vice President and Athletic Director Michael O’Brien said. “During these challenging times, we will continue to follow the directions and guidelines that we receive from the federal, state, University and conference levels. We will also try our very best to keep our supporters updated on any and all information regarding our athletic programs.”

Mid-American Conference Basketball Tournament Canceled

The Mid-American Conference has canceled the remainder of the 2020 MAC men’s and women’s basketball tournaments due to concerns about the coronavirus.

The announcement came shortly before noon Thursday, followed by a news conference with MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland.

The men’s tournament was scheduled to begin today. No. 7 seed Toledo was scheduled to play No. 2 seed Bowling Green at 6:30 p.m.

The women’s tournament completed quarterfinals games yesterday, with the No. 9 seed Rockets upsetting No. 1 seed Central Michigan.

Semifinals and championship games had been scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

Should the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments be played as scheduled, the MAC regular-season champions would receive the league’s automatic bids, Steinbrecher said in the news conference. That would send Akron to the men’s tournament and Central Michigan to the women’s tournament.

No final determination has been made on the status of the NCAA tournaments.

UPDATED: Runner to Compete at NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships

This event has been canceled due to concerns about the coronavirus.

University of Toledo senior Petronela Simiuc has punched her ticket to the 2020 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships this week hosted by the University of New Mexico at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

The Bacau, Romania, native will compete in the mile event. The women’s mile preliminary round will be held Friday, March 13, at 7:35 p.m. Eastern Time.

The UToledo distance medley relay team, from left, Rayna Horner, Petronela Simiuc, Semra Karaslan and Meltem Yasar, captured gold at the Mid-American Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships in Akron, Ohio. Simiuc will compete in the mile at the 2020 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships this week.

The women’s mile finals will be held Saturday, March 14., at 6:20 p.m. Eastern Time.

Over the course of the indoor season, Simiuc broke Toledo’s record in the mile and 800 meters twice each. On Jan. 24, Simiuc clocked a time of 4:38.40 in the mile at the John Thomas Terrier Classic in Boston, smashing the previous record of 4:39.81 set by Megan Wright in 2014. She later broke her own record with a time of 4:34.59 to place fifth at the David Hemery Valentine Invitational Feb. 14 also in Boston.

Simiuc closed out the regular season by breaking Toledo’s 800-meter record at Michigan’s Silverston Invitational Feb. 21 with a time of 2:08.23, surpassing the previous record of 2:09.20, held by Janelle Noe. At the Mid-American Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships in Akron, Ohio, Simiuc rebroke the 800m record, posting a time of 2:07.46 in the final to place first.

Also at the MAC Indoor Championships, Simiuc clinched gold in the 800m (2:07.46), mile (4:46.93), and distance medley relay (11:38.11). She also was named First Team All-MAC for her performances in all three of her events, helping the Rockets to a sixth-place team finish with 60.5 points.

The NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships will be broadcast on ESPN3 starting at 7:15 p.m. Eastern Time Friday, March 13, and 6 p.m. Eastern Time Saturday, March 14. A re-airing of the championships is scheduled for Monday, March 16, at 9 p.m. Eastern Time on ESPNU.