The University of Toledo – News Releases

For the Media

Search Archive


Contact Us

Main & Health Science Campus
University Hall

Room: 2110
Mail Stop 949
Phone: 419.530.2002
Fax: 419.530.4618

Archive for the ‘News Release’ Category

UT students to give back in day of service throughout Toledo March 25

More than 1,000 students along with faculty and staff from The University of Toledo will be giving back to the community by participating in the Big Event on Saturday, March 25.

The annual Big Event is the largest, one-day, student-run service project at the University when students come together to say “thank you” to the residents of Toledo for their continual support throughout the years.

Volunteers will work around the University’s campus as well as locations throughout the city, where they will pick up garbage, rake leaves, paint and pull weeds.

“For some of our community participants, the Big Event represents a chance to get work done that might be beyond the resident’s abilities,” said Dr. Page Armstrong, associate lecturer in the Jesup Scott Honors College and faculty adviser for the event. “It has become an annual part of their lives and they can count on UT students to be there to help. The Big Event is a great way to let the Toledo community interact with our students and to see what a wonderful resource our students and UT are to the community.”

Participants will meet at the Student Recreation Center before going out into the community for their volunteer projects.

Big Event clean-up projects begin at 12:30 p.m. at locations throughout the city, including:

  • Oakleaf Village Assisted Living Center, 4220 N. Holland Sylvania Road;
  • UT Stranahan Arboretum, 4131 Tantara Road;
  • Manos Community Garden, corner of Jackson and 14th streets;
  • Nightingales Harvest Organic Garden, which serves cancer patients and their families, 2820 W. Alexis Road; and
  • Toledo Botanical Garden, 5403 Elmer Drive. As part of Love Squared, students will be picking out crocheted squares to put together to make a blanket that will be donated.

The Big Event is a national organization that was started at Texas A&M in 1982.

UT Canaday Center’s spring lectures look at historic preservation, communities

How do efforts to preserve historic homes affect the communities where these homes are located?

Two upcoming lectures at The University of Toledo will attempt to answer this question from the perspective of someone who has worked for 45 years in the historic preservation field, and someone who has personally committed to preserving one historic home.

The talks are being held in conjunction with the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections’ exhibit, “House and Home: The Intersection of Domestic Architecture and Social History, 1870-1970.”

Dr. Ted Ligibel, director of the Historic Preservation Program at Eastern Michigan University, will present a lecture titled “From Frontier to Mid-Century Modern: 45 Years of Historic Preservation in Northwest Ohio,” 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 29 in the Canaday Center on the fifth floor of UT’s Carlson Library.

Ligibel’s career in historic preservation began in 1974 in Toledo as a grassroots preservationist.  As an associate in UT’s Urban Affairs Center, he led students in efforts to inventory Toledo’s neighborhoods and prepare nominations for the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1991, Ligibel joined the EMU faculty, and he became director of its graduate Historic Preservation Program in 1999. He is the co-author of “Historic Preservation: An Introduction to its History, Principles, and Practice,” published in 2009, which has become the national best-selling textbook in the field.

Ligibel will discuss his long career in this field, and on successful and unsuccessful efforts to save historic homes and communities in northwest Ohio.

Author Amy Haimerl

Author Amy Haimerl will talk about her experience in preserving a home in Detroit that she chronicled in her book “Detroit Hustle: A Memoir of Love, Life, & Home” (Running Press, 2016) 3:30 p..m. Monday, April 10 in the Canaday Center on the fifth floor of UT’s Carlson Library.

Haimerl purchased her home — a 1914 Georgian Revival located in what was once one of Detroit’s premier neighborhoods — for $35,000. The home had no plumbing, no heat and no electricity. She and her husband believed it could be renovated for less than $100,000. Years later, after overcoming many roadblocks and weathering Detroit’s municipal bankruptcy, the couple has invested more than $300,000 in saving their home.

Her book is more than just a story of one couple’s effort to save a home. It is also a story of finding their place in a thriving community.

Haimerl is an adjunct professor of journalism at Michigan State University and a freelance journalist who writes on aspects of business and finance. Not only did she live through Detroit’s bankruptcy, but she helped to cover the story for Crain’s Detroit Business.

She will sign copies of her book at the lecture. Her talk is part of University Libraries’ celebration of National Library Week.

“House and Home: The Intersection of Domestic Architecture and Social History, 1870-1970,” is an exhibit on display in the Canaday Center through May 5.

For more information on the free, public exhibit or lectures, contact Barbara Floyd, director of the Canaday Center and interim director of University Libraries, at 419.530.2170.

UT to host Midwest Graduate Research Symposium

Graduate students from across the Midwest will present their research at The University of Toledo this weekend.

The 8th Annual Midwest Graduate Research Symposium will take place 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, March 25 in the Memorial Field House. Students at the graduate and postdoctoral levels from multiple disciplines and universities will give oral and poster presentations of their research.

“We expect more than 200 graduate students from all over the region to be here at UT to showcase their research and network,” said David Barboza, member of the Graduate Student Association on UT’s Health Science Campus. “This event is unique because it consists of students from dozens of universities representing a variety of disciplines, including psychology, engineering, chemistry, medicine, art, natural sciences and more.”

This year 65 schools were invited to the symposium, which is run by UT’s Graduate Student Association. For the first time, undergraduate students are eligible to attend this year.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Emmitt Jolly, a biologist from Case Western Reserve University.

The symposium also includes professional development seminars, panel discussions, an awards ceremony and a formal dinner.

Presentations are judged by faculty from various universities.

Toledo Hackathon to focus on devising solutions to Lake Erie issues March 24-26

Launchpad Incubation at The University of Toledo is hosting the regional Toledo Hackathon from 6 p.m. Friday, March 24 through 6 p.m. Sunday, March 26 at 1510 N. Westwood Ave.

The Eric Hack competition challenges participants to think of creative solutions to some of Lake Erie’s biggest issues.

Local coders, designers, engineers, water experts, students and the general public are invited.

“At a time when critical funding for the health of Lake Erie is in jeopardy, it’s more important than ever for citizens to come together to produce homegrown, innovative solutions for the most precious resource in our region,” said Morgan Fitzgibbons, program director for Erie Hack.

One of the goals of Erie Hack is to engage young people in the emerging “blue economy”: the economic sector dedicated to sustaining freshwater bodies around the globe. One of the ways this is accomplished is by hosting hackathons in cities surrounding Lake Erie.

The tech-driven water innovation competition, which includes more than $100,000 in prizes, focuses on six individual challenges:

  • Mitigate nutrient loading and its environmental impacts;
  • Reduce and remediate urban pollution;
  • Cultivate resilience in water infrastructure systems;
  • Manage aging water infrastructure systems;
  • Connect communities to the value of water; and
  • Drive the creation of meaningful data.

Both individuals and teams not exceeding five members may compete. Participants must be 18 years of age or older to compete, unless he or she is on a high school team.

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required in advance at

For more information on Erie Hack, visit

UT biochemist studies new point of attack against dangerous stomach bacteria with help from astronauts

Research at The University of Toledo could lead to new treatments for a type of bacteria that is in the stomach of half the world’s population, causes ulcers, and is linked to the development of stomach cancer, one of the most common causes of cancer death worldwide.

And astronauts on the International Space Station played a key role in making the experiment possible.

Dr. Donald Ronning, left, and Mike Banco, UT graduate student, with NASA patches

A team of researchers led by Dr. Donald Ronning, professor in the UT Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, discovered a new point of attack for the bacterium called Helicobacter pylori by using neutrons to decipher how an important enzyme works in the bacterium’s metabolism.

“There are no current drugs on the market that target this special enzyme called MTAN found in the bacterium,” Ronning said. “The enzyme synthesizes vitamin K2 and is essential for the bacterium to survive.”

Most of the people who have an H.  pylori bacterial infection are treated with general antibiotics that are 50 years old, and in some regions of the world 30 percent of the strains are resistant to those drugs.

“It’s likely that inhibitors targeting this enzyme can lead to the development of medication specifically targeted to kill bad bacteria without harming useful bacteria or human cells in the gastrointestinal tract,” Ronning said.

The research, which was supported by a NASA grant and done in collaboration with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee and the Technical University of Munich in Germany, was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. UT graduate student Mike Banco also participated in the study.

Astronaut Reid Wiseman on the International Space Station holding UT experiment

The first six months of Ronning’s stomach bacteria experiment took place on the International Space Station, which orbits Earth approximately 16 times a day.

“We sent samples of the protein we were trying to inhibit on a SpaceX rocket up to the International Space Station’s microgravity environment in 2014,” Ronning said. “Astronauts activated the experiment and helped us grow the large, high-quality crystals of these proteins we needed in order to use a rare methodology called neutron diffraction.”

When the proteins were returned to Earth on a SpaceX rocket, the largest crystals were the size of a grain of rice or the width of a paperclip.

Ronning based his structural determination of the enlarged, crystallized proteins using neutron diffraction, which affords visualization of hydrogen atoms in the protein.

“The usual methods for determining three-dimensional structures of molecules, such as x-ray diffraction, don’t allow us to see hydrogen atoms and their movements that are vital to the function of enzymes synthesizing vitamin K2,” Ronning said. “Instead, we used neutron diffraction for our crystal structure analysis, which allows us to see the hydrogen atoms and shows us how they do their job in the protein. In the history of mankind, there have been 106 molecular structures solved using this technique. It’s an expanding field.”

Based on the findings, it is now possible to develop molecules that are better at blocking the enzyme’s reaction process.

“By seeing what the protein looks like in a 3D model and understanding how it functions, we have a better idea of how to create a drug to prevent that function and would kill the bacteria causing the infection in the gastrointestinal tract,” Ronning said.

Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals to hold oral arguments at UT College of Law March 22

University of Toledo law students and members of the public will get to experience a morning of appellate court arguments when the Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals holds oral arguments Wednesday, March 22 in the UT Law Center McQuade Law Auditorium.

Oral arguments at the free, public session begin at 9 a.m., and the final case will be argued starting at 10:15 a.m.

Presiding over oral arguments is a panel of three judges from the Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals: The Hon. Arlene Singer, a 1976, UT law alumna; Thomas J. Osowick, a 1981 UT law alumnus; and Christine E. Mayle.  The judges will hear four cases:

  • Romstadt v. Garcia, et al. is a personal injury lawsuit in which the plaintiff was injured when hit by a vehicle owned and insured by defendant-appellee but driven by her son. The issue on summary judgment was limited to the question of whether the son had his mother’s permission to drive the vehicle at the time of the accident. Plaintiff now argues that summary judgment was inappropriate because of material inconsistencies in the mother’s deposition testimony and because the question turned on the credibility of the mother’s testimony.
  • In State of Ohio v. Whites Landing Fisheries Inc., the defendant-appellee was charged by the state under the Ohio Revised Code and Ohio Administrative Code with three counts of illegally harvesting yellow perch from a part of Lake Erie for which the annual quota was zero. The defendant-appellee alleged in its motion to dismiss that the definition of “Lake Erie yellow perch management units” in the code provision was unconstitutionally void for vagueness. The appeal is from a grant of a motion to dismiss based on the unconstitutionality of a penal provision.
  • State of Ohio v. Brandeberry involves a guilty plea and sentencing order for a juvenile prosecuted as an adult for charges of arson and murder. On appeal, the defendant challenges the constitutionality of the mandatory transfer and sentencing provisions that resulted in defendant being prosecuted and sentenced as an adult. The constitutional challenges allege violations of due process and equal protection, as well as ineffective assistance of counsel.
  • In State of Ohio v. Greely, the appeal is from a sentencing order after a guilty plea to charges of aggravated burglary and rape. For purposes of sentencing, the court treated the aggravated burglary and rape counts as dissimilar offenses and ordered separate and consecutive sentences. The defendant argues that the court erred in treating the offenses as dissimilar and imposing consecutive sentences.

Experiencing appellate arguments firsthand will be especially helpful for first year UT law students. As part of their Lawyering Skills II course, each law student must research and write an appellate brief and then present an oral argument on behalf of a fictional client.

“The opportunity for students to observe judges and lawyers in a real court session is a valuable learning experience in our oral advocacy curriculum,” said Terrell Allen, UT legal writing professor and director of the College of Law’s legal research, writing and appellate advocacy program. “We appreciate the court’s willingness to provide this useful experience and instruction for our students.”

Rocket Wheels mass bike ride to pedal off today at noon

The University of Toledo is celebrating the return of spring and the Rocket Wheels bike share program with a mass ride by students and employees from noon to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 21 beginning at the Rocket Hall bike station.

The Rocket Wheels bike sharing program, which was designed by UT Facilities and Construction, offers UT students and employees an alternative to trekking across campus and looking for parking spots.

“It is free and easy to use. Current students, faculty and staff can sign up online on the bike share website and check out a bike that day as long as the ID is valid,” said Diana Watts, UT transit and Rocket Wheels bike share coordinator. “It’s a healthy way to get around campus. Most campus buildings have bike racks very close to an entrance; it’s better than circling around for the nearest parking spot.”

The addition of the Ritter bike share station last fall provided improvement to Rocket Wheels, as now there is a station at every corner of campus, she said.

“Those who are in the parking garages, Rocket Hall Lot 25, and engineering lots 19 and 20 will find a station nearby where they can cross campus in less than five minutes,” Watts said.

So many improvements have been made at UT that it recently was named a Bicycle Friendly University by the League of American Bicyclists. The effort to obtain this designation was spearheaded by Neil Tabor, a former sustainability specialist for UT; Thomas Garey, facilities information systems manager; and Watts.

“From a sustainability perspective, bicycling reduces emissions, contributes to a healthy lifestyle, and saves on fuel costs. All of these things help to further the triple bottom line philosophy sustainability is defined by,” Tabor said. “I hope that this recognition will foster more attention for bicycling efforts at UT and highlight resources already available to students.”

Watts says new features make borrowing bikes easier than ever.

“Users will notice we no longer are using the large vending-type machines,” Watts said. “The machines are now key boxes with a swipe access. The user can select a bike number on the screen, and the key area will light up, and the door will make a sound for the user to open. The keys can be returned to any location now. All you have to do is hold the key up to the scanner and the door will unlock. The user then returns the key back to the slot that is lit up. You don’t even have to swipe your card to return a bike.”

As far as bike safety is concerned, Watts said, “We would like everyone to follow the rules of the road and wear a helmet for protection. The Campus Safety Committee would like to remind everyone to lock bikes up at designated racks and corrals on campus. Please do not block walkways or doorway areas with locked bikes that may prevent accessibility to persons with disabilities.”

Signing up for the bike share program takes only seconds and can be done at Those with a valid UT ID need their username and password to enroll.

In addition to the ride on Tuesday, free food will be offered, and prizes will be raffled to those in attendance.

“We will have a refurbished bike to be raffled off from Rocket ReCycle, and we will also give away some free water bottles from the Sustainability, Energy Efficiency and Design initiative on campus. We hope to get some more donations from other bike vendors from around the Toledo area,” Watts said.

International Joint Commission invites public to meeting at UT Lake Erie Center March 23

The International Joint Commission, an independent binational organization that prevents and resolves issues facing boundary waters between the U.S. and Canada, is holding a public meeting at The University of Toledo Lake Erie Center next week to gather input about progress to restore and protect the Great Lakes.

The free, public event is 6 p.m. Thursday, March 23 at the UT Lake Erie Center, 6200 Bayshore Road in Oregon.

It is one of six public meetings being held in communities around the Great Lakes throughout March as the commission finalizes its assessment of progress made by the U.S. and Canada to reach goals of the U.S.-Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.

UT professor and aquatic ecologist Dr. Christine Mayer serves as a member of the International Joint Commission Great Lakes Science Advisory Board, which studies Great Lakes issues and provides its findings to help the International Joint Commission make recommendations to the governments of the two countries.

“Residents of the Great Lakes region deserve clean water, healthy beaches and fish that are safe to eat,” Mayer said. “I encourage residents of northwest Ohio to attend the International Joint Commission meeting and provide their feedback on progress toward restoration of the Great Lakes.  Now is a crucial time for the public to voice their support for sustained restoration of the Great Lakes.”

With more than $12.5 million of active grants underway to address water quality concerns, UT faculty and researchers are taking a multidisciplinary approach to protecting the nation’s Great Lakes from invasive species and providing clean drinking water for generations to come.

“I am delighted that the public meeting for the International Joint Commission will be held at The University of Toledo Lake Erie Center,” said Dr. Tim Fisher, geology professor, chair of the Department of Environmental Sciences and interim director of the Lake Erie Center. “The citizens of Oregon and Toledo will not have to travel far to learn about ongoing research on harmful algae blooms, restoration and protection plans for Lake Erie, and the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. But most importantly, the public will have an opportunity to express their suggestions, views and concerns to this binational agency to influence future activity.”

According to the Ohio Environmental Council, Lake Erie supplies drinking water to roughly three million Ohioans, and visitors spend more than $10 billion a year in communities along Lake Erie for tourism, travel and fishing.

“This meeting in Toledo — and all six of the International Joint Commission’s public meetings — is integral to the commission’s assessment process,” said Lana Pollack, chair of the U.S. section of the International Joint Commission. “We want to hear what people think about the government’s progress report and the International Joint Commission’s draft assessment of progress, and hear their views on how governments should address the Great Lakes water quality issues that residents care about the most.”

The International Joint Commission’s draft report, the Canadian and U.S. government report, as well as details on the upcoming public meetings around the Great Lakes can be found at

Event registration is online at and will be available at the door as well.

UT College of Law climbs 12 spots in U.S. News graduate school rankings

The University of Toledo College of Law improved its national ranking by 12 spots in one year.

U.S. News & World Report ranked UT’s law school No. 132 out of 196 schools as part of its 2018 Best Graduate Schools edition. That is up from No. 144 last year.

Indicators that helped this increase include higher selectivity of incoming students, higher employment rate at graduation and higher employment rate 10 months after graduation.

“I am glad to see the rankings reflect some of the fundamental improvements we have made,” said D. Benjamin Barros, dean of the College of Law. “We significantly increased the entering credentials of our first-year class, and our job placement numbers also moved up.  We will continue to work on improving our fundamentals, especially in areas of crucial student outcomes like job placement.”

The UT Judith Herb College of Education also ranked No. 172 out of 256. That is up 18 spots compared to last year’s ranking of No. 190. Contributing factors are higher research expenditure and higher selectivity.

“The Judith Herb College of Education continues to strive to improve the quality of all of our programs,” said Dr. Virginia Keil, interim dean of the college. “This recognition validates the quality of our faculty and the excellence of our students. Our increase in rank mirrors our upturn in graduate-level enrollment, both of which reflects the college’s rising reputation.”

The rankings are based on fall 2016 data.

Since her arrival in July of 2015, UT President Sharon L. Gaber has made boosting the University’s national reputation one of her goals.

“I am proud that the U.S. News rankings reflect the progress being made in the Colleges of Law and Education,” Gaber said. “These are important measures that contribute to student success, and a double-digit climb in one year is a significant accomplishment.”

UT, Owens Community College create Rocket Express Dual Admission Program

The presidents of The University of Toledo and Owens Community College will sign a dual-admission partnership called Rocket Express 1 p.m. Thursday, March 16 in Libbey Hall on UT Main Campus.

Rocket Express is designed to provide a seamless pathway to a bachelor’s degree from UT starting at Owens Community College.

“The new Rocket Express program is a wonderful opportunity for students to save time and money,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “We are proud to strengthen our relationship with Owens Community College to help students succeed and achieve the dream of earning a degree. This program will ensure a smooth, more efficient transition from Owens to UT and further contribute to helping the region.”

Students apply once for dual admission, work to complete their program of study at Owens and then transition to UT with help along the way from both Owens and UT student and academic services.

New and continuing Owens students who meet qualifications can apply to take advantage of the program that guarantees admission to UT and charts a course to a four-year degree. With the help of a transfer specialist, this option allows students to save time by only taking classes that count toward their specific degree.

“The seamless process of the Rocket Express program effectively removes any potential barriers that could hinder students from transferring from Owens to UT,” said Owens President Mike Bower. “The goal of both institutions is student success by offering programs that allow them to earn a degree and enter the workforce as smoothly as possible.”

Students can apply starting March 16 to enroll for the summer and fall semesters.

Currently, approximately 350 students a year transfer to UT after starting at Owens.

For more information, go to