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Room: 2110
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Phone: 419.530.2002
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Presidents to share stories to inspire success

When trying to inspire students to succeed after college, who better to reach out to than those at the top.

“Straight Outta College: Exclusive Interviews with the Presidents” will spotlight three presidents: Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and former president of Spelman College; Dr. Sharon L. Gaber, president of The University of Toledo; and Dr. Brian Kennedy, president, director and CEO of the Toledo Museum of Art.

The free, public event will be held Friday, Oct. 9, at 10 a.m. in the Driscoll Alumni Center Auditorium.

Leaders will start by giving a brief history of their journey to their respective presidencies. Then the floor will be opened to students to ask questions about the panelists’ roads to success.

“All of our guests are very much accomplished, and we want students to walk away with the feeling that ‘I, too, can achieve just as these individuals have,’” said Dr. Willie McKether, associate professor of anthropology and associate dean in the UT College of Languages, Literature and Sciences.

Given the backgrounds of each speaker, McKether anticipates the conversations to surround strategies for student success, retention, graduation, the role of art in community building and engagement, and the importance of museums in the community.

Anyone interested in becoming an effective leader in an organization is encouraged to attend, said McKether, who also is president of Brothers on the Rise, a program that helps UT males, especially African-American and Latino, make the transition from high school to college.

In addition to Brothers on the Rise, the Straight Outta College event is presented by the UT College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences; the departments of Sociology and Anthropology, Women’s and Gender Studies, Africana Studies, and Art; Alpha Phi Boule, which is the local chapter of the service-based professional fraternity Sigma Pi Phi; the Association of Black Faculty and Staff; and the Toledo Museum of Art.

Alumni to be recognized at annual Homecoming Gala Oct. 9

Graduates from each of The University of Toledo’s degree-awarding colleges will be recognized Friday, Oct. 9, at The University of Toledo Alumni Association’s Homecoming Gala.


The event, which annually draws sellout crowds to the Student Union Auditorium, will begin at 6 p.m.

The program features the recipients of the Alumni Association’s highest honors: the Gold T, the Blue T and the Edward H. Schmidt Outstanding Young Alum.

Dr. Richard Paat of Perrysburg is the 2015 recipient of the Gold T, which is presented to a graduate in recognition of outstanding career accomplishment.

A 1986 graduate of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, Paat is one of the world’s foremost medical missionaries. Since 1994, he has led 63 medical missions and disaster relief teams that have treated nearly 100,000 patients around the world. In May, he brought a medical team into Nepal to assist in earthquake relief efforts, treating 2,000 patients in one of the most devastated regions of the country. He has gone to Indonesia after a tsunami and Biloxi, Miss., following Hurricane Katrina. He annually brings five volunteer medical teams to the Philippines, Honduras, Guatemala, Tanzania and Haiti.

For more than a decade, Paat also has provided free medical care to the uninsured and homeless of the Toledo area, volunteering at a free inner-city medical clinic and running a mobile migrant worker clinic during the summer.


An internal medicine specialist, Paat was inducted into the International Medical Mission Hall of Fame in 2013. He’s been named Ohio Physician of the Year, has been a Jefferson Award for Public Service recipient, and has been named Catholic Physician of the Year in the United States. He also serves as faculty adviser to UT’s Students for Medical Missions organization.

Tom Guitteau of Toledo is the 2015 recipient of the Blue T, which is presented to an Alumni Association member who has made outstanding contributions to the progress and development of the association and the University. Guitteau, who served as president of the Alumni Association during the 1988-89 school year, has remained active with his alma mater since graduating from the Judith Herb College of Education with a bachelor’s degree in 1963 and a master’s degree in 1973.

Retired regional vice president of agencies for the Columbus Life Insurance Co., Guitteau served 19 years as the color commentator for UT football games on radio and television, broadcasting the team from which he earned a varsity letter as a lineman in 1962. A charter member of the President’s Club and the Heritage Society, he is a past president of the Varsity T Club and has provided financial support to a variety of campus projects, including the Koester Alumni Pavilion and the renovation of the Glass Bowl.

For the past five years, Guitteau has served as an academic mentor to UT student-athletes.


Dr. Alex Adams of Boise, Idaho, is the 2015 recipient of the Schmidt Award, which is presented to a graduate who is 35 years of age or younger in recognition of outstanding achievement in his or her field of endeavor.

Adams recently was named executive director of the Idaho State Board of Pharmacy, with responsibility for enforcing laws for 2,400 registered pharmacists in the state. Prior to that appointment, he served for nearly three years as the vice president of pharmacy programs and vice president of foundation research programs for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores in Arlington, Va. In that role, he was responsible for the foundation’s $6 million evidence-based research portfolio, as well as serving as the primary staff liaison for public health officials around the country on behalf of a trade association that represents more than 40,000 traditional community pharmacies, supermarkets and mass merchants with pharmacies.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences in 2007 and a doctorate in pharmacy in 2009. Adams and his family have established a scholarship in the College of Pharmacy.

Additional seating has been added for the Homecoming Gala this year; however, a limited number of seats remain. Tickets are $30 per person.

Call the Office of Alumni Relations at 419.530.2585 (ALUM) for more information or to make reservations.

Revised October UT Board of Trustees Meetings


Monday, October 12, 2015
Driscoll Alumni Center, Schmakel Room
11:30 a.m. Clinical Affairs Committee Meeting
1:00 p.m. Academic and Student Affairs Committee Meeting
2:00 p.m. Finance and Audit Committee Meeting
2:45 p.m. Trusteeship and Governance Committee Meeting

Please note the new times for two committee meetings and the cancelation of the Oct. 14 social dinner.

Any questions may be directed to the University Communications Office by calling (419) 530-7832 or via email at

UT researcher receives grant to develop Alzheimer’s drug

A University of Toledo researcher who saw his grandfather battle Alzheimer’s disease is hoping to find better treatment options with the help of a new research grant.

Dr. Isaac Schiefer, recently appointed assistant professor in the Department of Medicinal and Biological Chemistry, has received a $100,000 New Investigator Research Grant through the Alzheimer’s Association.

Schiefer will walk in his grandpa’s honor at The Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Sunday, Oct., 18, on UT’s Main Campus. The walk will start at the Health Education Center with registration and check-in at 9:30 a.m., a ceremony at 11:30 a.m., and the walk at noon.

Dr. Isaac Schiefer

Dr. Isaac Schiefer

“This disease is just heart-breaking and not just for the patient,” Schiefer said. “I can remember my grandma talking with my grandpa about a memorable vacation when my grandpa said, ‘I don’t remember any of that.’ The look on my grandma’s face was crushing.”

Schiefer, a synthetic bioanalytical chemist, developed a prototype molecule, which improves memory in mice, using a $10,000 grant he received last year from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. His newest grant will allow him to further study the drug characteristics of the prototype molecule.

Schiefer said the molecule was designed to increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor, also known as BDNF.

BDNF, a protein, is important for long-term memory, and patients with Alzheimer’s disease have been shown to have less of it. Schiefer said BDNF’s ability to heal damaged brain cells could be compared to how Human Growth Hormone, known as HGH, helps athletes recover from muscle fatigue or injury.

The molecule is the first step toward a drug that could be given to Alzheimer’s patients.

“My lab designs the drugs, makes the drugs and then we test to see if they work,” Schiefer said. “A key component of my research is making a drug that can be manufactured quickly and cheaply.

“If something cures cancer, but it costs too much to make or it is hard to make or too expensive, it isn’t going to be marketable,” Schiefer said. “I want to put a drug on the market. I don’t see any reason why you can’t translate a drug from UT to the market. There are a lot of resources here. If your product is good enough, you can sell it.”


‘Rocket Road Trip’ to UT Homecoming

Get your motor running: “Rocket Road Trip — All Roads Lead Back to UT” is the theme of the University’s Homecoming.

Roll on down West Bancroft Street for fun and spirited celebration. Homecoming week activities planned for this year include:

Tuesday, Oct. 6
• Casino Night, 7 to 10 p.m., Student Union Auditorium. Win big at this Las Vegas-style game night. Transportation will be available from 6:30 to 10:15 p.m. for students living in residence halls; stops will be made at the Transportation Center, Ottawa House, Horton International House and the Student Union. Students who bring a canned good will have a chance to win prizes; all donations will go to the UT Student Food Pantry.

Wednesday, Oct. 7
• Field Day, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Centennial Mall. Check out the free food and games.

• Homecoming Court Showcase, 7 p.m., Student Union Ingman Room. The top 10 king and queen candidates will walk the runway and show their Rocket pride. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Canned goods welcome for the UT Student Food Pantry.

Thursday, Oct. 8
• College of Business and Innovation Alumni Affiliate Dean’s Breakfast, 7:30 a.m., Toledo Club Centennial Room, 235 14th St. Speakers will be UT President Sharon L. Gaber and Dr. Gary Insch, dean of the UT College of Business and Innovation.

• National Pan Hellenic Council Talent Show, 7 p.m., Doermann Theater. Students will take the stage and perform in this competition. Canned goods welcome for the UT Student Food Pantry.

• Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. Pancake Breakfast, 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., Horton International House.

Friday, Oct. 9
• Food Truck Lunch, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Centennial Mall. Stop by to see what these meals on wheels will serve up.

• Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. I-75 Homecoming Basketball Tournament, 6 to 10 p.m., Health Education Building. Cost: $30 per team. Admission to watch the action: $3 or a canned good.

• Homecoming Alumni Gala and Awards Ceremony, 6 p.m., Student Union Auditorium. The Alumni Association will present this year’s Gold T, Blue T and Edward H. Schmidt Young Alum Award, and college and affiliate award winners will be honored. Tickets are $30 per person, $10 for children.

Saturday, Oct. 10
• The Edward C. and Helen G. Schmakel Homecoming Parade, 10:30 a.m. Sponsored by Blue Key, the parade will begin at West Bancroft Street and go to Middlesex Drive to Hughes Drive to Cheltenham Road and back on West Bancroft Street. The grand marshal for this year’s parade will be UT President Gaber.

• Alumni Tailgate, noon, William and Carol Koester Alumni Pavilion. Stop by for free hot dogs, chips and pop; beer, wine, bloody marys and Rocket fuel (vodka mixed drink) will be available for purchase with proper ID. And Five O’Clock Rush will play live music.

• Toledo Rockets vs. Kent State Golden Flashes Homecoming Game, 3 p.m., Glass Bowl. Cheer on the Rockets and see the crowning of the Homecoming king and queen. Tickets range from $25 to $60; $15 and $12.50 for children 12 and younger; half off for UT faculty and staff; and free for UT students with IDs. For tickets, call 419.530.GOLD (4653).

Sunday, Oct. 11
• The Golden Alumni Society Homecoming Luncheon, Inverness Club, 4601 Dorr St., Cost: $25. President Gaber will be the featured guest speaker.

For more information, go to

Annual Catholic lecture to focus on pope’s views on climate change

The leader of the Catholic Church has made waves in his first two and half years in the papal office, tackling a number of hot-button issues. Arguably the biggest: climate change.

Dr. Peter Feldmeier, the Thomas and Margaret Murray and James J. Bacik Catholic Studies Professor at The University of Toledo, will present, “The Pope Goes Green: Francis and Climate Change,” at the annual Murray Bacik Lecture at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 7 in the Libbey Hall Dining Room. A reception will follow the free, public event.



“Francis addresses a number of what he sees as interrelated issues, including pollution, the degradation of the planet, the culture of consumerism, poverty, marginalization of those most vulnerable to climate change, and climate change itself,” Feldmeier said. “He sees them all as a piece. He also sees far too little action, even as these issues, particularly climate change, demand immediate attention.

“The damage that climate change will bring in this and the next century is already decisive, but he believes that the human race can still come together to limit that future damage. Francis also believes that the created world and the sentient beings in it exist on their own right and not merely as objects of human utility. His vision is an inclusive one where love of God, love of neighbor, and love of the created world all mutually implicate each other.”

Pope Francis believes this is the most imperative moral concern of the day, which is why Feldmeier said this is an important topic to discuss. Yet many people frown upon the pope speaking out about such issues, including Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar, who recently boycotted the pope’s address in Congress because of his views on climate change.

Feldmeier response to the critics: “Some leaders, particularly Republican leaders, who resist either accepting climate change or show no interest in addressing it have criticized Francis for venturing into realms he has no right to proclaim expertise. But I think this is a false move. Climate change has been known for decades and has international consensus among scientists. One cannot legitimately reject it.”

“And given that climate change demands an aggressive response, it is morally necessary to do so,” Feldmeier said. “Human lives are at stake, the lives of thousands of species who will become extinct because of human-created climate change, and the future of our civilization and planet is at stake. If the pope is a moral leader, what greater moral imperative is there?”

For more information on the lecture, contact the Center for Religious Understanding at 419.530.6187 or visit

October UT Board of Trustees Meetings


Monday, October 12, 2015
Driscoll Alumni Center, Schmakel Room
10:30 a.m. Clinical Affairs Committee Meeting
1:00 p.m. Academic and Student Affairs Committee Meeting
2:00 p.m. Finance and Audit Committee Meeting
3:30 p.m. Trusteeship and Governance Committee Meeting

Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Driscoll Alumni Center, Board Room
5:30 p.m. Board of Trustees Social Dinner

Any questions may be directed to the University Communications Office by calling (419) 530-7832 or via email at

UT to require flu shot for hospital staff, off-site clinics

To keep its employees and patients as healthy as possible, The University of Toledo is implementing a universal flu shot policy for those in the hospital, ambulatory services, off-site clinics and others whose duties or positions cause them to be in patient care areas.

The flu shot, which will be offered free of charge, is being required for all doctors, faculty, staff, students, health-care workers and volunteers. Flu shots are also being offered on Main Campus, where the immunization is not required but highly encouraged.

“We want to provide the best possible care for our patients and the safest working and learning environment for our employees and students,” said Ann Smith, UT director of infection and prevention. “The flu spreads easily so we would like to prevent that from happening. The goal is to protect our staff and faculty as well as our patient population.”

Smith said influenza is a respiratory infection that can lead to serious complications, especially for young children, older adults and those with certain medical conditions. Even if a UT employee doesn’t work directly with patients, he or she can help prevent the spread of disease by being immunized, Smith said.

Many national health advisory organizations, including the American Hospital Association, Infectious Disease Society of America and American College of Physicians, support mandatory influenza immunization for those in the health-care field. More far-reaching, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older be vaccinated each year.

“This is something that many of our staff are already receiving every year, which we appreciate,” Smith said. “With this change in policy, we intend to move to widespread compliance because it just takes one sick person to spread it to others.”

Getting the immunization is easy. By logging onto the Fluprep website at, people can fill out the vaccine administration questionnaire in advance and take a look at the immunization schedule as well as fact sheets and other important information. If those affected by the new policy receive a flu shot outside of UT, they need to upload proof on the Fluprep website. Exemption requests, which are due by Nov. 15, can also be found at the same website. Those granted an exemption will be required to wear a mask during flu season, which runs Dec. 1 through March 31.

Dr. Carl Sirio, chief operating officer and chief medical and clinical officer for The University of Toledo Medical Center, said those on the Health Science Campus are beginning to embrace this new policy because employees understand the benefits of being vaccinated for the flu.

“We don’t want to make each other sick,” Sirio said. “This is the responsible thing to do for ourselves and for our patients because the flu virus is adaptable and hard to avoid.”

Smith said being immunized will just take a few seconds and is relatively painless.

“The flu shot does not cause someone to get sick with the flu, despite what some people claim. That is a misconception,” Smith said. “It might cause a little muscle pain or a general feeling of discomfort, illness or uneasiness, but it does not make someone sick with the flu.”

Flu shot information and calendar:


UT scientist going to D.C. to push for more research money

A research scientist at The University of Toledo is meeting with congressional leaders to advocate for an increase in biomedical research funding.

Sumit Bhattacharya, a post-doctoral fellow trainee, will be in Washington, D.C., from Oct. 7-8 representing the State of Ohio in the NAEVR (The National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research) Emerging Vision Scientists Program. He is one of 22 participants.

“A lot of biomedical researchers haven’t been able to do the kind of comprehensive research that is crucial for the advancement of science,” Bhattacharya said. “I plan to talk to Sens. Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur regarding the current crunch in research funding.”

Portrait shot of Dr Moukarbel

Sumit Bhattacharya

His participation is crucial because Congress will be considering spending and authorizing bills that specifically address the issue of funding for early-stage investigators, according to Dr. David Giovannucci, professor of Neurosciences at UT and principal investigator overseeing Dr. Bhattacharya’s training.

“We are so proud that Sumit will be going to D.C. to speak on behalf of biomedical researchers,” Giovannucci said. “This is quite an honor as well as an opportunity to add his voice to a conversation that could help increase our case for more funding.”

The National Institutes of Health previously funded more than 30 percent of the grants applied for by junior faculty, but in recent years the number has decreased to only 10 percent due to reduction in federal funding.

Bhattacharya’s research in Giovannucci laboratory involves understanding the disease process and developing therapies to treat dry eye and dry mouth. A human drug trial to treat dry mouth is already planned.

“We are collaborating with physicians here at UT to conduct a human trial to reverse or prevent dry mouth. We want to test a compound that we have characterized,” he said.

Bhattacharya is also applying for federal funding for dry eye research. Dry eye commonly affects over 10 million people resulting in billions of dollars for health care costs each year. The majority of sufferers are women over the age of 40.

Bhattacharya was eligible to apply for the NAEVR Emerging Vision Scientists Program because he was previously funded for dry eye research through the Fight for Sight Foundation.



UT schedules events for LGBTQA History Month

The University of Toledo will celebrate LGBTQA History Month with several events this month.

The Office of Multicultural Student Success, LGBTQA Initiatives and Spectrum UT are dedicated to serving the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and allied students.

“It is important to celebrate LGBT History Month because, like any other marginalized group, LGBT people’s history has been erased from popular media. It’s critical to know how LGBT people got to where we are today, with things such as marriage equality and representation in TV and film,” said Jack Alferio, president of Spectrum UT. 

“Although we have come very far since the Compton Cafeteria Riots, the event that is recognized as being the beginning of the LGBT rights movement, we still have a long way to go,” Alferio added. “The fact that LGBT people have not reached true liberation from oppression is why we continue to celebrate LGBT History Month each October.”

Listed by date, events scheduled to increase awareness for LGBTQA History Month include:

Thursday, Oct. 1
• “Learn the Facts,” 8 p.m., Student Union Room 2591.

Thursday, Oct. 8
• “Gender Spectrum,” 8 p.m., Student Union Room 2592.

Monday, Oct. 12
• LGBTQA History Month Celebration, 7 to 9 p.m., Student Union Ingman Room.

Tuesday, Oct. 13
• All Love Photo Shoot, 3 to 5 p.m., Student Union Room 2500. Free professional shoot that will provide prints to all participants.

Thursday, Oct. 15
• Spectrum Drag/Talent Show, 8 to 10 p.m., Rocky’s Attic in the Student Union.

Tuesday, Oct. 20
• Spectrum Hate Crimes Candlelight Vigil, 7 to 9 p.m., Student Union Steps.

Thursday, Oct. 22
• Spectrum Film Screening, “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” 8 p.m., Student Recreation Center Oak Room.

Monday, Oct. 26
• Cake Social, noon to 2:30 p.m., Student Union Room 2500.

Thursday, Oct. 29
• Keynote address by Katharine Blaque, who will talk about intersectionality and her experience as a black transgender woman, 8 p.m., Student Union Room 2591.

Friday, Oct. 30
• Spectrum UT Halloween Ball, 7 to 10 p.m., Student Recreation Center Oak Room.