College of Graduate Studies

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New Teaching Assistant Training – August 24, 2017

Attention new Fall 2017 Teaching Assistants. For detailed agenda, please Click Here.


BIG FISH: Jessica Sherman Collier, grad student, Finalist for National Fellowship Sea Grant [VIDEO]

A University of Toledo graduate student in biology who has been working to restore giant, ancient sturgeon to Lake Erie was recently selected as one of 61 finalists across the country by Sea Grant for the 2018 Knauss Fellowship.

As a finalist, Jessica Sherman Collier, PhD student researcher in UT’s Department of Environmental Sciences, will spend a year working in Washington, D.C., on water resource policy.

“I am very excited and quite honored to be selected for this fellowship,” said Sherman Collier, who was recommended to Sea Grant by her PhD adviser Dr. Jonathan Bossenbroek. “The Knauss Fellowship is an amazing opportunity, and I am so happy to represent The University of Toledo and the Great Lakes region while I am there.”

Sherman Collier will spend a week in November interviewing with up to 20 different federal agency and legislative offices, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Interior, National Science Foundation, U.S. Navy, and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. After being matched with her fellowship placement, her work will begin in February.

“This is a great launch to Jessica’s career, and I hope she finds satisfaction doing work as a public servant for the betterment of our environment,” said Dr. Tim Fisher, geology professor, chair of the UT Department of Environmental Sciences, and interim director of the Lake Erie Center.

“We are excited about the talent and perspectives the 2018 Knauss Fellowship finalists will bring to their executive and legislative appointments next year,” Jonathan Pennock, director of the National Sea Grant College Program, said. “The Knauss Fellowship is a special program for Sea Grant, and we are proud of the professional development and opportunities Sea Grant has provided our alumni, the current class and now these finalists.”

Knauss finalists are chosen through a competitive process that includes several rounds of review.

Since 1979, Sea Grant has provided more than 1,200 early-career professionals with firsthand experiences transferring science to policy and management through one-year appointments with federal government offices in Washington, D.C.

Sherman Collier, who also is president of the North American Sturgeon and Paddlefish Society Student Subunit, has been involved in the project to restore lake sturgeon to Lake Erie. Most recently, she helped the Toledo Zoo secure $90,000 in federal grant money to build a sturgeon rearing facility along the Maumee River, which flows into Lake Erie. Sherman Collier assisted the project by verifying that spawning and nursery habitat still ex

ist in the Maumee River to sustain a population of the fish that can live to be 150 years old and grow up to 300 pounds and eight feet long.

“I have enjoyed working with partners at the zoo, as well as state and federal agencies to give these large and ancient fish a chance to thrive in Lake Erie once again,” Sherman Collier said. “This is an instance when scientists and natural resource managers have the opportunity to improve the state of an ecosystem by restoring a species that belongs there and to learn a good lesson about our actions in the past.”

BIG FISH:  Jessica Sherman Collier, grad student Finalist for national fellowship Sea grant


Thomas Lai, graduate student, awarded Spitzer Fellowship in astronomy

“As a teenager, gazing at the stars on the dark canvas of the sky was like entering the most luxurious cinema,” reminisced Thomas Lai, a graduate student studying astronomy. “Soon I picked up the habit of staying in the dark whenever I could, and to recognize as many constellations as possible during my high school years.

“In retrospect, I can see this as a sparkle of the beginning of my interest in the enigmatic cosmos.”

Lai’s passion and hard work were recognized by the Department of Physics and Astronomy: He recently received the Doreen and Lyman Spitzer Graduate Fellowship.
The fellowship is named after Toledo natives. Lyman Spitzer was a world-renowned physicist and astronomer, who was an early proponent of a project that became the Hubble Space Telescope. The Spitzer Space Telescope, launched in 2003, is named after the scientist. Doreen Spitzer was a prominent archaeologist who had an affinity for all things Greek.

Lai, with assistance from Dr. Adolf Witt, Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Astronomy, and Dr. JD Smith, associate professor of astronomy, was able to publish a study on light emissions from nebulae in the Cassiopeia constellation.

“I was extremely pleased that we were able to offer the Spitzer Fellowship to Thomas. He was clearly qualified; he was eager to start an independent research project during his first year as a graduate student at UT, which the Spitzer Fellowship made possible,” Witt said. “The data for this project had been secured beforehand by my collaborator, Ken Crawford, and myself. This allowed Thomas to enter right at the data calibration, reduction and analysis stage of the project — the phase where scientific results and conclusions are being extracted from a collection of images and numbers.

“I enjoyed working with Thomas. The fact that the project resulted in a peer-reviewed scientific paper in a major journal within about two years speaks for itself.”

“They showed me not only the method in conducting research, but also the right attitude in finding the reasonable answer,” said Lai, regarding the aid he received from Witt and Smith.

On the results of his study, Lai said, “I am particularly interested in extended red emission, because we understood little about the exact emission process and the carrier involved in producing such light, even though it has been studied for more than 40 years. To summarize this study, we attributed the extended red emission to a fluorescent process, namely the recurrent fluorescence, which enables small and fragile particles in interstellar space to dissipate their energy efficiently after being bombarded by high-energy photons originating in an illuminating star. This mechanism prevents particles from getting destroyed in the harsh environment filled with ultraviolet radiation from stars, and it may be a crucial process for increasing the survival rate of small carbonaceous molecules, which might be the building blocks of life.”

Though great progress has been made, Witt pointed out the work of a scientist is never finished: “It is an important part of the research experience that every successfully completed project should lead to new questions, which then demand follow-up studies. This has been the case with our work as well. A new question has emerged from some of our current findings, the solution to which we are pursuing through observations with the 4.3-meter Discovery Channel Telescope in Arizona and the 10-meter Keck II telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. This will most likely be part of Thomas’s PhD thesis.”

Luckily, Lai’s passion for this field will surely lead to many more years of scientific discovery.

“Having this paper published means a lot to my career in astronomy,” Lai said. “It encourages me to find more intriguing phenomena provided by the universe and to reveal those profound facts hidden by wonders of the nature.”


Teaching Assistant (TA) Training Save-The-Date

Attention new Fall 2017 Teaching Assistants – TA training scheduled for Thursday, August 24th, 8:30-noon, Wolfe Hall Room 1201. More details to follow – Click Here.


Congratulations, Dr. Greg Guzman – Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Winebrenner Theological Seminary in Findlay, Ohio.

Congratulations, Dr. Greg Guzman, a recent graduate of our Higher Education Doctoral program, who has accepted a position as the Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Winebrenner Theological Seminary in Findlay, Ohio.

Dr. Greg Guzman

Click Here to view the Press Release


Blooming success – Sara Guiher, a graduate student in the Department of Environmental Sciences

Sara Guiher, a graduate student in the Department of Environmental Sciences, checked out the native plants at the roundabout at Dorr Street and Centennial Road. She is working with Dr. Todd Crail, associate lecturer of environmental sciences, and other students to ensure the flowering species native to the Oak Openings region continue to flourish in that roundabout as well as one at Dorr Street and King Road. The past two years, students planted predominantly herbaceous species that keep weeds at bay by taking up nutrients and space.


College of Law’s graduate certificates in compliance re-launched as online program

Starting fall semester, The University of Toledo College of Law’s Graduate Certificates in Compliance Program will be available as an online, part-time program, allowing students to learn about compliance and law in a more flexible manner.

Bringing each graduate certificate in compliance online means the program is more accessible to working professionals or those wanting to launch a career in compliance, according to Kirsten Winek, director of communications, special programs and financial aid in the College of Law.

“The online course work is asynchronous, meaning that it can be completed even if one travels for work, can only study in the evenings, or has a variable schedule,” she said. “Adding to this accessibility is the fact that course work can be completed in 10 to 12 months on a part-time basis.”

The program allows students to choose one of three graduate certificates in compliance — higher education compliance, health-care compliance and general compliance — that range between 15 to 17 credits. However, regardless of program, all students take a 14-credit core of foundational compliance course work in areas such as ethics; organizational governance; statutory and regulatory interpretation; privacy and data security; compliance education; and auditing, investigating and reporting.

Agnieszka McPeak, assistant professor of law, teaches Privacy and Data Security. “Individuals and companies interact with technology daily, and my goal in teaching privacy and data security is to show how this topic affects our personal and professional existence,” she explained. “We therefore cover the practical and technical background as well as the legal and business dimensions of privacy and data security, drawing on real-world, current examples and our own personal experiences.”

The remaining credits include course work specialized to each certificate, such as higher education law, health-care law, or a faculty-supervised research project for students enrolled in the certificate in general compliance.

Working professionals enrolled in the program have found the course work valuable and can fit the program into a busy schedule. “My course load has been manageable each semester, and I have had great opportunities to learn not only from the professors, but also from the other students within the course,” said student and UT Residence Life Area Coordinator Brad Ledingham.

Christine Wile, a student who is an administrative assistant in admissions in the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences, added, “I found the program to be a win-win for individuals looking for an edge to advance professionally and academically. The courses are relevant and applicable in today’s complex work environments because the law professors and professionals in the compliance field teaching the classes are at the cutting edge of today’s issues.”

For more information on this program, contact Winek at kirsten.winek@utoledo.edu.


Fatimah Kareen Khalaf, a PhD candidate in the Department of Medicine, writes a Special To The Blade medical article July 3, 2017 – “UT studying methods to prevent cardiorenal syndrome”

 

Joint heart and kidney disorder is called cardiorenal syndrome, which occurs when damage to one of these organs causes injury to the other one.

Your heart relies heavily on your kidneys to control the correct amount of salt and water within your body. In turn, your kidneys rely on your heart for correctly regulating your blood pressure.

Fatimah-Khalaf-photo-jpg

Fatimah Kareen Khalaf is a PhD candidate in the department of medicine in the University of Toledo college of medicine.

Therefore, when one of these organs begins to fail, the other often follows closely behind. For example, patients undergoing heart failure frequently develop a rapid decline in kidney function. This combined decrease in organ function contributes to longer hospital stays, more frequent re-admissions, and increased rate of death.

Scientists have not yet figured out what causes cardiorenal syndrome. However, intense research is ongoing to devise new methods aimed at the prevention and treatment of this medical syndrome.

At the University of Toledo, we are focused on understanding the mechanisms causing cardiorenal disease. We are developing new tools that physicians can use to help patients survive.

We are investigating specific molecules that the body makes. These molecules, called cardiotonic steroids, normally help to regulate the amount of salt and water in your body, when present at low levels. However, in cardiorenal syndrome, these hormones often become chronically elevated, which stresses the heart and kidneys.

We have found that chronic high levels of these hormones can cause an inflammatory reaction of the body’s immune system that, in turn, causes scarring of heart and kidney tissue. Furthermore, we have found that patients with cardiorenal syndrome who also have increased levels of cardiotonic steroids are more likely to experience heart attack, stroke, or death.

We are investigating how the body produces and regulates these molecules, so that we can develop new ways to avoid the heart and kidney damage that elevated levels can cause.

My role in David Kennedy’s research laboratory is to understand the first steps within the body to produce this syndrome. It turns out that this damaging process begins with our own immune cells interacting with injured kidney cells.

Immune cells are quiet in times of health, but become active during injury. As an army is built to fight during times of war, immune cells increase to fight against any harm to the body. I have found that high levels of cardiotonic steroids cause activation of immune cells that, in turn, leads to organ injury. Therefore, constant activation of immune cells leads to organ damage rather than protection.

I have been able to show that the first steps of inflammation and scarring that normally occur in cardiorenal syndrome can be stopped by exposing immune cells or kidney cells, in culture medium, to different drugs that block the action of cardiotonic steroids. In addition, I am developing experimental methods to discover more molecules that the body produces that may help to control the levels of cardiotonic steroids. We will then work to enhance these molecules when cardiotonic steroids levels get too high.

A lot remains unknown about the function of cardiotonic steroids in the kidneys. We have worked hard to find answers to some of these important, unanswered questions. However, still more research needs to be done before physicians can safely apply our findings in the clinic. We will continue to work hard to discover appropriate treatments that can improve the outcome of patients with cardiorenal syndrome.

Fatimah Kareen Khalaf is a PhD student in the department of medicine in the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences Biomedical Science Program, formerly the Medical College of Ohio. Ms. Khalaf is doing her research in the laboratory of David Kennedy. For more information, contact Kareem.Khalaf@rockets.utoledo.edu or go to utoledo.edu/​med/​grad/​biomedical.


UT offers first online PhD program at an Ohio university [VIDEO]

Christine Billau
419.530.2077

The University of Toledo is enrolling students for the first online PhD program approved in Ohio.

The Curriculum and Instruction: Special Education doctoral degree program starts in the fall semester and is open to up to six people across the country, specifically those who specialize in early childhood special education. It is the first such program to be offered online at a public or private university in the state.

“We are proud to play a pioneering role in the state of Ohio for making doctoral degrees more accessible to hard-working, full-time professionals who want to take the next step in their careers,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “This rigorous program of study is designed to prepare the leaders who will guide our education system into the future.”

“Students can complete the program without having to set foot on UT’s campus,” said Dr. Laurie Dinnebeil, chair of the UT Department of Early Childhood, Higher Education and Special Education in the Judith Herb College of Education. “Students will have the opportunity to work with nationally known leaders in the field of early childhood special education, research and measurement.”

Earning this doctoral degree would allow educators to advance into district, regional or state leadership positions. For example, they could serve as a state consultant to school districts, the director of a school district’s special education program or work for agencies and organizations at the national level. They also would be able to teach at colleges and universities.

The 70-credit hour program is designed to be completed in less than five years by part-time students who register for six credit hours each semester, including summers.

All coursework is available online with the exception of two professional seminars that students can attend virtually using Skype or FaceTime technology if they cannot attend in person.

“I’d like to congratulate The University of Toledo for this innovative approach and for changing the dynamics of higher education by offering this degree,” said Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor John Carey.

No matter the distance, students enrolled in the program will have access to all University services and resources relevant to the program, such as the UT Virtual Lab, and the library and all of its digital resources and databases. Students also will have access to supplementary support as needed, such as the UT Writing Center and College of Graduate Studies staff and resources.

Students will present information about their progress using web-based tools, such as discussion boards and webinars.

Course instructors, as well as the students’ dissertation advisor and dissertation committee members, are already accustomed to working with students from a distance. UT offers an online master’s degree and an education specialist degree program online, and students complete comprehensive examinations and master’s projects online.

“Educational scholars are used to working by themselves in classrooms, schools or other settings that provide educational experiences,” Dinnebeil said.  “That means that the quality of research that online students complete will not differ from the quality of research that traditional face-to-face doctoral students in our college complete.”

To apply, go to utoledo.edu/admission.


Several UT graduate business programs receive high continental and global rankings from Eduniversal

By Bob Mackowiak : June 23rd, 2017

Eduniversal, a global ranking and rating agency specializing in higher education, has again repeatedly included The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation in its latest listing of Best Business School programs.

The just-published results of the Eduniversal ranking for the 4,000 best masters and MBAs in 32 fields of study worldwide ranks the UT College of Business and Innovation in these programs:

• Master of Business Administration, ranked No. 35 in General Management, North America;

• Human Resources Management, ranked No. 30 in Human Resources, North America;

• Marketing and Professional Sales, ranked No. 37 in Marketing in North America;

• Master in Supply Chain Management, ranked No. 93 in Supply Chain and Logistics, worldwide; and

• Executive MBA, ranked No. 47 in Executive MBA and MBA part time, North America.

In announcing the rankings, Eduniversal stated: “This recognition acknowledges the quality and success your institution has achieved over the past year, to which we measure across three main criteria: The reputation of the programs: highly recognized by recruiting companies and have an active approach toward them; the salary of first employment after graduation: placement of your graduates in the best job positions on the market; and student satisfaction: working to improve your programs by taking into account feedback from your students.”

“We are very excited by these prestigious rankings, which validate the high quality of our faculty and students, as well as the significance of our curriculum,” Dr. Gary Insch, dean of the College of Business and Innovation, said. “The fact that our Supply Chain Program ranked No. 93 in the entire world is a truly remarkable achievement.

“These significant recognitions are among the reasons that many well-known companies come to the UT College of Business and Innovation to find the talent they need,” Insch added. “It reflects very positively on our outstanding quality, and demonstrates the extremely dynamic and mutually beneficial relationship enjoyed by our college and the business community.”

The Eduniversal Evaluation System compiles and analyzes hundreds of data about business schools from global, national and regional higher education systems, taking into account the accreditations, the results of other rankings, and the distinctions obtained in the country of the schools analyzed.

Eduniversal (best-masters.com) has been working since 1994 to provide schools and students with the best information possible in the higher education sector. The Eduniversal ranking is published once a year and was announced at its recent annual world convention.