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UT to host community electronics recycling drive Feb. 6

The time to dispose of your old, broken or unwanted electronics is now.

The University of Toledo’s Sustainability, Energy Efficiency and Design (SEED) Initiative will kick off Recyclemania, an eight-week recycling competition that draws participants from colleges across the United States and Canada, with a community electronics recycling drive.

The fourth annual electronics recycling drive will take place Saturday, Feb. 6, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Parking Area 25, which is located near Rocket Hall off Secor Road.

Community members are invited to drop off laptops, computers, printers, speakers, cameras, cell phones, VCRs and more. Any data-bearing devices will be wiped.

Televisions, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and CRT monitors will not be accepted, as they have to undergo a different recycling process.

“Recycling electronics instead of sending them to the landfill has environmental, social and economic benefits, including conserving rare minerals currently mined unsustainably, often through poor working conditions,” said Neil Tabor, sustainability specialist for the UT SEED Initiative.

The initiative is pairing up with Affinity Information Management (AIMecycling), an R-2 Certified recycler located in Toledo, to handle items.

Last year, the University took ninth place in the electronics recycling category of Recyclemania, thanks in part to the success of the 2015 community electronics recycling drive.

UT names finalists for provost

The University of Toledo announced Wednesday four finalists for the position of provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.

“We are excited to announce four outstanding finalists who will be visiting The University of Toledo in the coming weeks to interview for the position of provost and executive vice president for academic affairs,” wrote Dr. Kaye Patten, senior vice president for student affairs and Dr. Christopher Ingersoll, dean of the College of Health Sciences and Interim Dean of the College of Social Justice and Human Service, in a letter sent the campus community.

In addition to meeting with faculty, administrators and academic leaders, the candidates will also each participate in two open forums — one on Main Campus and one on Health Science Campus — to provide an opportunity for the UT community to offer input.

The candidates are:

Wednesday, Feb. 10 — Dr. Christopher Keil McCord, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Northern Illinois University. Open forums for McCord will be:

  • 1:15 – 2:15 p.m. — Student Union Room 2592 on Main Campus
  • 4:45 – 5:45 p.m. — Health Education Building Room 100 on Health Science Campus.

Friday, Feb. 12 — Dr. Andrew Hsu, dean of the College of Engineering at San Jose State. Open forums for Hsu will be:

  • 10 – 11 a.m. — Health Education Building Room 105 on Health Science Campus
  • 3 – 4 p.m. — Student Union Room 2592 on Main Campus

Wednesday, Feb. 17 — Dr. Donald Siegel, dean of the School of Business at the University of Albany. Open forums for Siegel will be:

  • 1:15 – 2:15 p.m. — Student Union Room 2582 on Main Campus
  • 4:45 – 5:45 p.m. — Health Education Building Room 100 on Health Science Campus

Thursday, Feb. 18 — Dr. Charles Robinson, vice chancellor for diversity and community at the University of Arkansas. Open forums for Robinson will be:

  • 1:15 – 2:15 p.m. — Student Union Room 2592 on Main Campus
  • 4:45 – 5:45 p.m. — Health Education Building Room 100 on Health Science Campus

Finalists’ curricula vitae are available at the provost search website,

Additionally, all of the open forums will be streamed live at and archived on the provost search website for those unable to watch live.

Black History Month to celebrate student activism

The University of Toledo’s celebration of Black History Month will inspire students to be active in shaping the world they want to live in.

This year’s theme is “Live for the Moment, not for the Movement: Black Activism in the 21st Century” and will kick off with a keynote address by Tuskegee University President Brian J. Johnson. 

The kickoff luncheon will be Saturday, Feb. 6, from noon to 2 p.m. in the Student Union Auditorium when Johnson will discuss recent events happening around the country and the need for action to address issues continuing to impact the African-American community.

“UT students want to get involved. As a college student, this is the time to learn, to grow, to develop, and to do your part to shape the world you will live in,” said Henderson Hill III, UT assistant dean of multicultural student success. “Be part of the conversation, but also be intentional and mature in how you handle activism.”

Henderson joined UT in January from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn., where he was the director of the Wilbur N. Daniel African American Cultural Center. In the newly created position, Henderson leads the UT Office of Multicultural Student Success in the Division of Student Affairs.

Johnson has served since 2014 as the seventh president of Tuskegee University, one of the nation’s leading historically black institutions of higher education founded in 1881 by Booker T. Washington.

“We are honored to have Dr. Johnson begin our celebration of Black History Month that gives us the opportunity to recognize cultural history and honor the contributions of African Americans who have contributed to our global society,” Hill said.

This event is free to all UT students, faculty and staff, and community members can reserve tickets for $20 by contacting the Division of Student Affairs at 419.530.2665.

Listed by date, additional Black History Month events will include:

Wednesday, Feb. 10

  • “We’ll Have No Race Trouble Here: Memphis Politics and the 1940 Reign of Terror” by Dr. Jason Jordan, UT visiting assistant professor of history, 4:30 p.m., location to be determined.

Wednesday, Feb. 17

  • “We Are STEMM: A Celebration of African-American Accomplishments in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine” by Dr. Emanuel Rivers, vice chair and research director of Henry Ford Hospital’s Department of Emergency Medicine, 6 p.m., Health Education Building Room 110.

Friday, Feb. 19

  • African-American Children’s Books Read-In, noon, Robinson Elementary, 1075 Horace St.

Saturday, Feb. 20

  • Student trip to the Motown Museum in Detroit sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Student Success. Open to the first 42 UT students to RSVP to or 419.530.2261.

Thursday, Feb. 25

  • Africana Studies Brown-Bag Lecture, 12:30 p.m., location to be determined. Dr. Rubin Patterson, professor and chair of sociology and anthropology at Howard University, will present “Preparing African Americans for Environmental and Climate Stabilization Leadership.”
  • Screening of the film “Fruitvale Station,” 5:30 p.m., location to be determined.

Monday, Feb. 29

  • The Men of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. (Lambda Epsilon) and the Ladies of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. (Alpha Pi) will present “We Shall Overcome,” 7 p.m., Student Union Room 2582.

Throughout the month of February, The University of Toledo Libraries will have displays of books by African-American authors in Carlson Library and Mulford Library. To view the “Activism and Civil Rights: 20th Century Activism” library guide, click here.

For more information, contact the Office of Multicultural Student Success at 419.530.2261 or

Click here to download photo of Johnson.

UT Peace Corps applications double in 2015

University of Toledo alumna Katie Alber is no longer startled awake by donkeys braying or goats banging on the door of her host family’s metal-roofed home in the small West African country of Gambia where she is serving as a health extension volunteer for two years.

“I have brewed attayah (tea) in the bush, eaten a rat the size of a cat (it tasted like pork) and grown good enough at Mandinka to use sarcasm successfully,” Alber posted on Facebook.

Katie Alber

Alber has access to the Internet once every few weeks.  On her blog, she wrote, “I am loving every second! It is a great and humbling challenge which I hope will bring meaning and enlightenment.”

The 2012 graduate is one of more than 200 UT alumni who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961 when the agency was formed under President John F. Kennedy.

UT is seeing a renewed surge in passion to be a part of the Peace Corps.

Fourteen graduates and soon-to-be graduates of The University of Toledo submitted applications to the Peace Corps in 2015. That is more than double the previous year.

In 2014, six UT college seniors and alumni applied and four – including Alber – embarked on the journey of immersing themselves in another culture with a combination of international experience and rewarding work in education, health and the environment.

“For four consecutive years we have seen growth,” Sammy Spann, assistant provost in UT’s Center for International Studies and Programs, said.  “Seniors and graduates are delaying or taking a breather from their careers to join the Peace Corps and define themselves.  Momentum is picking up because this generation is seeing more turmoil.  They are interested in spreading compassion and empathy, as well as getting more real-world, life-changing experiences.”

A Peace Corps representative will be on campus from 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18 in Snyder Memorial Room 1100 for students interested in learning more about this global service.

“Just because you’ve earned your degree doesn’t mean you stop pushing the edge of your comfort zone and global understanding through The University of Toledo,” Spann said.  “We have made a strong effort to encourage students to consider joining the Peace Corps to improve the human condition, as well as help them gain leadership skills to attract the attention of employers, including the State Department.”

Far from home, Alber works in West Africa to educate families about nutrition and hygiene, to raise awareness about malaria and to help improve water systems and sanitation practices.

“It may have been a long day of clinic work and 40k+ of biking, but there’s always time to stop and enjoy an African sunset,” Alber wrote on Instagram.

Alber is one of 350 new Peace Corps volunteers from across the United States sworn into service in December 2015 after three months of cultural, language and technical training.

Peace Corps volunteers receive paid living expenses, full health and dental coverage, vacation days and more than $8,000 upon completion of service.

For more information about applying for the Peace Corps, go to


UT to present master planning findings

The University of Toledo’s campus master planning team will hold three forums this week to discuss initial findings about the use of campus facilities.

UT’s facilities and construction staff, working with consultants from SmithGroupJJR, spent fall semester gathering input and ideas about the use of space on the University’s multiple campuses from students, faculty, staff and the local community.  Interviews, focus groups and open forums held throughout the month of October provided an opportunity for stakeholders to offer opinions, ask questions and raise concerns about instructional space, housing, recreation and community use of campus facilities.

“The team has completed their analysis and is eager to share what they’ve learned about how well we’re using our classrooms and teaching labs, the facility conditions of all of our buildings, the natural resources of each campus, parking, transportation patterns and other ways to understand our campuses,” said Jason Toth, UT’s associate vice president for facilities and construction. “Our next step is to talk about where UT facilities are now and where we go from here.”

The master planning team will hold the sessions to share the common themes they identified and their findings from examining the University’s facilities and to share next steps. Students, faculty, staff and the community are invited and encouraged to attend either presentation.

  • 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.; Wednesday, February 3, 2016 in the Student Union Ingman Room on Main Campus.
  • 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.; Wednesday, February 3, 2016 in the Driscoll Center Auditorium on Main Campus.
  • 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.; Thursday, February 4, 2016 in the Collier Building, Room 1200 on Health Science Campus.

The campus master planning team will be on hand for all sessions and includes representatives from UT’s facilities and construction staff and consulting group SmithGroupJJR.

For more information about the University’s master planning process or to contribute input online, visit


Apple co-founder to speak at UT

Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Inc., is visiting The University of Toledo to speak as part of the Jesup Scott Honors College Distinguished Lecture Series.


More than 5,000 people have registered for the free tickets to the Silicon Valley icon’s talk at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1 in Savage Arena on the UT Main Campus. Limited general admission tickets remain.

Wozniak and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs revolutionized the computer industry with the Apple I and II personal computers. These early designs influenced today’s Mac computer and innovative products that impact daily living, including the iPhone, iPad, iTunes and AppleTV.

The final talk in the 2015-16 Jesup Scott Honors College Distinguished Lecture Series will be Tuesday, April 5 when Ann Bancroft, one of the world’s preeminent polar explorers, speaks at 7 p.m. in Doermann Theater. Bancroft is an internationally recognized leader who is dedicated to inspiring women, girls and audiences around the world to unleash the power of their dreams.

For additional information or to request tickets, visit or call 419.530.2738.

UT seeks community input on campus diversity

The University of Toledo invites the community to join the campus conversation on diversity.

A Community Conversation on Diversity will be 6-8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1 at the Kent Public Library, 3101 Collingwood Blvd.

The conversation is one of several UT is holding to engage campus in a dialogue about their experiences and perceptions of diversity and inclusiveness at the University. Focused conversations also have been scheduled to engage students, faculty and staff about their experiences.

“We want to learn how the UT and Toledo communities feel, as well as how we should go about creating an inclusive environment at The University of Toledo,” said Dr. Willie McKether, special assistant to the president for diversity who is working to create a comprehensive University diversity plan. “These efforts to listen and gather data are critical for understanding where we are now and where we want to go as a university community.”

The discussions are part of UT President Sharon L. Gaber’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and equal access to important institutional resources.

“The University needs to be sure all voices are heard, and these sessions are essential to our strategic diversity plan,” Gaber said. “We need to incorporate the feedback we receive into our policies, procedures and initiatives, as well as ensure that UT is an inclusive, welcoming and supportive environment for all stakeholders, from faculty and staff to students and the community we’re grateful to serve.”

In the conversations, McKether will explore with participants their views on how UT currently addresses issues of diversity and their perceptions of being welcomed, valued and included at the University. Topics will include, but not be limited to, student life, campus climate, community involvement, classroom climate and inclusion.

Celebrity Wait Night to raise funds for UT’s Eberly Center for Women

The Eighth Annual Celebrity Wait Night to benefit the Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women will be 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11 at the Pinnacle in Maumee located at 1772 Indian Wood Circle.

The event will feature a dinner served by local celebrities, as well as a silent auction, scholarship recipient announcement and live entertainment. The University of Toledo President Sharon L. Gaber, Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson and other local luminaries will be among the celebrity wait staff on hand for part of the evening.

Notable silent auction items include a wine tasting at The Andersons, Detroit Tigers and Toledo Walleye tickets, Toledo Symphony tickets and weekend getaways.

Tickets are $60 each or $500 for a table of 10.  More than 400 guests are expected to attend. Proceeds support the Eberly Center’s Women’s Success Programming, which provides training and workshops to those hoping to go back to school, make a career change or better themselves. The center provides free resources and education on business etiquette, branding, resumé writing and more.

Dr. Shanda Gore, UT associate vice president for equity, diversity and community engagement, said the goal of the Women’s Success Programming is to teach people to be the best they can be.

Kate’s Closet, a boutique-style shop that provides free professional clothing to UT students, is another Eberly Center resource that will benefit from proceeds from this event.

“This has been a community of giving,” Gore said. “We really appreciate all the support from our students, faculty, staff and the community.”

RSVPs are requested by Monday, Feb. 1; call 419.530.8570.


Lecturer to teach mindfulness practices Feb. 2

Inhale, be aware, exhale.

Mindfulness — the ability to be in the moment, focused and aware — is a practice that requires dedication and one that UT Senior Lecturer Jay Rinsen Weik recommends starting with a face to face interaction with an instructor.

Luckily his upcoming lecture, “Zen Mindfulness,” could serve as that first step. The free, public lecture on Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. will be in the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall. After a brief musical introduction, Weik plans to talk about the practice of mindfulness and teach some basic meditations for people to implement in their daily lives.

The talk will be an extension of the Mindfulness and Creativity Initiative that Weik directs at the University.

“The initiative brings together two important aspects of human fulfillment,” he said. “One of them is creativity studies, which is ridiculously relevant no matter what field we’re talking about. The other is mindfulness. That’s the ability to be present to one’s experience; really powerfully present. Creativity is the currency of progress, and mindfulness is the currency of peace.”

Both are developable and trainable, according to Weik, who also serves as an American Zen teacher. By practicing meditational exercises daily, mindfulness can alleviate stress and reduce suffering — producing a tangible difference in a person’s life.

“The more of us that are healthy, that are creative, that are fulfilled, the better it is for all of us,” said Weik, who teaches a course called Mindfulness and Creativity at UT focusing on introducing mindfulness through meditation and breathing methods.

A reception will follow the talk. Free parking will be available in the UT Law Center’s parking areas, 12, 12S and 12W.

The lecture is sponsored jointly by the UT Mindfulness and Creativity Initiative and the UT Center for Religious Understanding. It’s made possible by the University’s College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences, the Toledo Community Foundation and other local individuals, families and corporations that support the Center for Religious Understanding.

Author/activist to give keynote address at Conference for Aspiring Minority Youth

Political activist, motivational speaker and author Kevin Powell will be the keynote speaker at The University of Toledo’s 32nd Annual Conference for Aspiring Minority Youth on Saturday, Jan. 30.

This year’s event with the theme “Beyond the Classroom: The Rewards of Self-Directed Learning” will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Student Union Auditorium. It is sponsored by Toledo Excel and the UT Joint Committee.


An acclaimed community activist and award-winning writer, Powell was born and raised in Jersey City, N.J., by a single mom in extreme poverty surrounded by violence. In spite of these circumstances, Powell studied at Rutgers University and has become one of the most respected writers and voices of his generation. He shared that story in the 2015 autobiography titled The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy’s Journey Into Manhood.

He is the author or editor of 12 books and has written for numerous publications, including The Washington Post, Newsweek, Essence, Ebony, Esquire, Rolling Stone and Vibe.

As a leader, Powell has worked on a range of concerns, including voter registration, Hurricane Katrina relief, education, the environment, eradicating poverty, and supply and resource support for post-earthquake Haiti.

As an extension of his public service work, Powell routinely lectures across America and internationally, and he is a frequent presence on television and radio offering his commentary on a variety of issues, including the national conversation on domestic violence and how men can help to end the assault on women and girls.

He is co-founder of a national organization, BK Nation, which focuses on education, job creation and small business development, civic engagement, and health and wellness.

“Recognized for his sociopolitical influence, Kevin has earned a reputation as a positive force among youth and young adults,” said David Young, director of the Office of Excellence and the Toledo Excel Program. “His commitment to fostering broad-based communication about issues related to politics, violence and socioeconomics will make him an outstanding speaker for this conference.”

After the general session featuring Powell, there will be a breakout session for parents and educators titled “Stop Picking on Me.” This session will be led by Heather Baker, director of pupil placement and child adjustment services for Toledo Public Schools, and Cathleen Smith, Toledo Public Schools educator.

A concurrent session for students titled “Self-Directed Learning: Seeking Education Beyond the Classroom” will be facilitated by Rhonda Sewell, government affairs and media strategist at the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, and feature a panel of distinguished Toledo Excel alumni.

The free, public conference is hosted by Toledo Excel, which was established in 1988 to help prepare groups of students underrepresented in higher education for success in college.