Toledo’s American Hero

December 26th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in From Our Alumni

By Patty Gelb

026_2012 USAF HeadshotBenjamin Tran (B.S., Engineering, ‘05), knew as a youngster that he wanted to be on the cutting edge of technology development. So, as a freshmen engineering student at The University of Toledo, he decided to pursue a co-op position at the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Wright-Patterson AFB near Dayton, Ohio.

“It seems many good ideas come out of the military,” Tran said. “I knew I would get exposure to the latest and greatest technology.”

Fewer than ten years later, Tran, now a full-time civilian employee at the AFRL, was in Washington D.C. in September to receive the 2014 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal. This honor is given by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service to U.S. civil servants whose outstanding achievements have improved the lives of Americans and others around the globe. Tran and his co-worker, Sean Young, were the recipients of the most prestigious award dedicated to honoring America’s civil servants as a result of their development of a cutting-edge system of sensors that when placed on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), more commonly called drones, identify improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and destroy those bombs before they can cause harm to the men and women in the armed forces.

Ben - Afghanistan 2014 - 06In the past, IEDs caused two-thirds of the casualties to U.S. forces in Afghanistan. AFRL – the Air Force’s only organization dedicated to the discovery, development and integration of war-fighting technologies for the military – assumed the responsibility of addressing this concern.

As an AFRL electronics engineer, Tran was working on flight testing small UAV systems in the laboratory when he had the opportunity to deploy to Afghanistan. The miltary needed to use the small UAV to help detect IEDs as well as the insurgents emplacing the IEDs to help keep troops out of harm’s way when traveling on main supply routes during combat missions. Tran deployed to Afghanistan to help employ the cutting edge small UAV system.

He had not been in a war zone before.

“It was very eye-opening,” said Tran. “They sent me directly to the front lines.”

Tran was embedded with a route clearance patrol, flying UAVs and doing counter IED detection.

035 2011 Afghanistan Ben UAV“It was quite an experience to go from working in a laboratory-type environment where you get to go home at the end of the day and sleep in your bed, to being on the front lines, getting shot at, with rockets coming into the base,” said Tran. “It is a much different environment for an engineer to go and experience something like that.”

Although it put him out of his element, the deployment to Afghanistan helped him with his research. He was able to see what soldiers dealt with day-to-day, get feedback back to the lab and implement changes immediately.

“You get that really good, candid and honest feedback from the guys on the ground who are very open and honest to tell you ‘Hey, this particular piece of your technology works and this particular piece of your technology doesn’t work as it is designed and you need to work on it,’” said Tran. “It’s super helpful. We have been able to take their feedback and inject it directly back into our development and our research and acquisition cycle back in the labs.”

Although being on the front line in Afghanistan helped his research, his work was back in the lab in Ohio. It was in that lab that Tran was able to fulfill his lifelong dream of working in military research. His upbringing instilled a love of country that made him want to use his skillset in a way that gave back.

007_1988 6 years old 2Growing up in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, the son of a Vietnamese immigrant, Tran was raised to appreciate his country’s freedoms. He grew up hearing stories of his grandparents selling everything that they owned to get their family of ten out of Vietnam before the fall of Saigon. The family spent a year in a refugee camp in Thailand before St. Peter’s Church in Mansfield, Ohio sponsored them to immigrate to the United States. Getting a second chance in America made the whole family appreciate their adopted country.

“My dad would always share stories about things he saw during the war in Vietnam,” said Tran. “He was in college right around the fall of Saigon. The communists came in, raided his school, took all of the books out into the front yard and burned them all in view of the students. He would share stories like that where you just think ‘Wow, can you imagine that happening here in the United States?’”

The appreciation of country that permeated the family influenced young Tran. He also developed the same love of military, airplanes and rockets like his father, who was a mechanical engineer at a small company in Findlay, Ohio. When he was a child, the family took many trips to the Wright-Patterson Air Force Museum and he built model airplanes and rockets alongside his dad.

006_1988 6 years oldIn high school he excelled in science and math and knew that he wanted to go into engineering. When it came time to decide on a university, Tran chose The University of Toledo.

“There were several factors that played into going to UT,” said Tran. “The UT College of Engineering’s reputation for being a smaller, but very good and prestigious engineering school in Ohio. The other factors were the location, only an hour and a half from my hometown. And, I absolutely fell in love with Toledo’s campus. I loved the look and the feel and the sense of community that everyone on campus had. I went and toured several Ohio schools and I knew Toledo was for me.”

Tran has fond memories of his time at UT and he excelled both in and out of the classroom. In 2002, he was one of the re-founding fathers of Pi Kappa Alpha, a social fraternity, when they were welcomed back into McComas Village on campus.

“It was basically a bunch of my friends who were mostly engineering and pharmacy students who wanted to break out of our shell and meet other students on campus and get more involved with the community and campus in general,” said Tran. “We thought that would be a good avenue, which it was.”

004_1986_4 yrs oldTran knew he wanted a career where he could be involved in military research.

When given the chance to interview for the AFRL summer co-op position and with the encouragement from his advisor, Rhonda (Schorling) Moore, he jumped at the opportunity. Tran feels that her guidance and support in applying for the position at such a young age helped shape his career path.

AFRL had gone without co-op students for ten years because of budget cuts and Tran was part of the first class that they brought back. He wasn’t very happy about his first year at AFRL and almost didn’t return.

“Nobody knew what to do with us because they hadn’t seen co-op students in ten years,” said Tran. “They kind of stuck me in a corner and had me read reports all summer which really wasn’t that thought provoking at the time. I actually came back to Rhonda and asked her to see if she could find me another [co-op opportunity].”

039_Iraq Ben UAVKnowing Tran’s interest in the military, Moore advised him to give it another chance. AFRL wanted Tran back and Moore told him that if it wasn’t working out the second summer, she would look for other opportunities. Tran agreed with the plan.

“My second co-op ended up being awesome,” Tran said. “They took me out on trips to different Air Force bases, I got to crawl around inside an F-16. I think they still use that picture today in the College of Engineering recruiting stuff. If it weren’t for Rhonda, I don’t think I would have gone back.”

Moore called Tran a talented and gifted young man. “We definitely are proud of him and all the amazing accomplishments he has had so far,” Moore said. “He is a true testament to the Engineering Co-op Program and how it can provide phenomenal opportunities while in college that can help propel [students] for their future careers.”

Tran took something else away from his time at UT that is very important to him. During his senior year, he met Kelly Swick (BS,’06, MBA,’08), who was a junior majoring in biology. Her sorority and Tran’s fraternity teamed up to work on a homecoming float. They had mutual friends who introduced them during the float-building activities and they hit it off.

Ben at  Hill AFB in UtahThe next two years were monumental for Tran. Following his 2005 graduation, Tran was offered a full-time position with AFRL. He started that summer as an associate electronics engineer and also started working on his master’s degree in engineering at Wright State University. In 2007, he married Swick and two years later he received his master’s degree.

“For a little over five years [at AFRL] I was doing a lot of the controls related research and getting out and doing flight test stuff with small UAVs,” said Tran.

In 2011, he did his first volunteer deployment to Afghanistan as one of the first civilians from the lab and he was grateful for the experience.

“We’re supposed to be the dreamers and thinkers of the military, which we are and do a very good job of that,” said Tran. “But sometimes you get so far detached from what’s real and what kind of technology is really available to the soldiers right now that it definitely levels you a little bit.”

Tran lived, patrolled, ate and slept side-by-side with troops on the front lines. He was able to see exactly how his technology was being used, train soldiers and instantly make modifications and improvements.

Ben - Afghanistan 2011 - 02The UAV system that Tran took on this deployment did not have the new cutting-edge sensor. That technology did exist in larger aircraft, but was not yet installed in the smaller UAVs.

Based on a combination of feedback from Tran’s deployment – a threat that Tran could not give specifics on due to security reasons – and the validation of the need for this technology from a three-star Army General in D.C., funding was generated and urgency for quick development of the needed new sensor system began.

“Once this general said this has to happen now, that is when Sean and I were pushed together,” Tran said. “We were told ‘Ben, you have the deployment experience and the UAV expertise. Sean you have already been working on this sensing technology. You two put your brains together and get these two things to work together. Here’s your money. You have six months to make this happen…go.’”

The project was quickly accelerated through an acquisition cycle that could typically take anywhere from up to ten to twenty years and they got it down to six months.

When asked if they made that timeline, Tran responded instantly, “Absolutely!”

What came out of this fast-tracked research and development was the UAV sensor system that led to the discovery of many IEDs, weapons caches and individuals responsible for malicious activities against coalition forces.

Ben - Afghanistan 2011 - 08“I can tell you that the type of technology that we put on the small UAVs existed in bigger aircraft before, but the lower tactical level guys never had control of that type of an asset before,” said Tran. “It was putting a new sensor on a small UAV to provide a new detection capability. But the real effectiveness was combining that with putting it in the hands of soldiers who were on the ground and were at the platoon level. A platoon is a group of about 20 guys as opposed to a brigade where you’ve got like 10,000 troops. So you are bringing it down from a brigade level asset to a platoon level asset.”

Developing a tool like this is not an easy feat. It takes a lot of science, research and calculations. There is hardware development and flight and controls testing. All the specialized software to operate the system had to be created. Recognizing the need, having the knowledge from the front line and the skills to make it happen, Tran and Young worked tirelessly to fast track the development.

“I would say that ‘Ah-ha’ moment came when we actually had our first flight test,” said Tran. “We were demonstrating the technology, here in the States, with guys who understood the problem. These were guys who had been deployed before and understood the threat. They said ‘As soon as we send this over there, this is going to do good things.’”

They quickly finished the flight test portion, packed up the system and sent it overseas. It was deployed with oversight from an Air Force Captain and immediately put into action. The first mission that the system flew was ironically on September 11, 2012, which gave its first flight a surreal feel.

That poignancy was accentuated by something Tran experienced on one of his deployments. While oversees, he witnessed a fallen hero ceremony.

“In a fallen hero ceremony; everybody lines up on the tarmac. They bring the troops who have been killed in action, with the U.S. flag draped over their casket, and they are loaded onto the plane,” said Tran. “When you experience something like that, it really tears at your heart. To know that I have had a hand in preventing those types of ceremonies and especially, even the guys who get wounded — lose limbs — to know that I’m preventing those sorts of things from happening, it is a very tremendous feeling.”

And helping prevent these ceremonies is exactly what has transpired.

“Between September, 2012 and September, 2013 — the specific place and the specific Army unit that the system was flying for did not experience one fatality due to IEDs,” Tran said.

The success of Tran and Young’s work resulted in their being presented the Heyman Service to America Medal (Sammies). Each year, the Partnership for Public Service sends out a request for nominations across all divisions to help highlight dedicated federal employees who have made significant contributions to our country. Honorees are chosen based on their commitment and innovation, as well as the impact of their work on addressing the needs of the nation.

Tran and Young’s branch chief, Hector Guevara nominated them. It was endorsed by the executive director of AFRL, Ricky L. Peters, and submitted to the Partnership.

Young_Tran Portrait“It’s our understanding that the Partnership received about 400 nominations from across the federal civil service and they narrowed it down to around 30 finalists and we were selected as winners in our category out of the 30,” said Tran.

The Partnership presented eight medals in September to public servants whose outstanding achievements have improved the lives of Americans and others around the globe. Tran and Young were among them.

They were treated to a black tie, gala event at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium across from the Smithsonian Museum for American History in Washington, D.C. The awards were presented by the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Robert Work. Tran recalled a special honor when Work pulled him and Young aside backstage. It was the night before the U.S. was going to launch air strikes on ISIS and Work had meetings with President Obama following the award ceremony. He told them he would not be able to stay and have dinner with them and asked if they would be interested in meeting him for breakfast.

“We said “yes sir,” Tran said with a laugh. “We got to spend about an hour and a half eating breakfast with Secretary Work in his office in the Pentagon. It was really great because during that hour and a half, we got to tell him everything that we were working on and get some feedback from him on problems that he is seeing. There were several follow-ups because of that and that kind of helped our work as well and get us exposure to other facets of the [Department of Defense].”

Sammies winners and First Lady photoTran and Young, along with the other award recipients also got the opportunity to visit the East Wing of the White House to meet First Lady Michelle Obama.

“It was really a five to ten minute visit with her,” said Tran. “She’s a very busy lady. But she took the time to shake everybody’s hand and say thank you, ask a few of us what we do and take a photograph with us. It was really neat to get recognized for doing this work, especially at that level.”

Things have not slowed down for Tran. Ever since the system has been deployed they have been doing upgrades. They added other detection capabilities due to requests from soldiers and Special Forces.

“It’s not even the same system that it was back in 2012,” said Tran. “It just keeps snowballing. We have expanded beyond the Army now and are also working with the Marine Corps and Navy. It’s huge, it’s really caught fire.”

Tran has now completed three deployments working directly with the soldiers on the front line. He went to Afghanistan and Iraq in 2011 and back to Afghanistan in 2014. Tran is in constant communications with soldiers using the system.

“Actually every day we get feedback,” said Tran. “We get requests from other soldiers who are deployed around the world who are doing different missions that want this type of technology.”

20140922_Ben and Kelly Tran - Sammies Award Gala - DC In October, Tran was recognized with one more honor – this one from The University of Toledo Alumni Association. Tran was presented the 2014 Edward H. Schmidt Outstanding Young Alum Award given to a UT graduate who is 35 years old (or younger) in recognition of outstanding achievement in his or her field of endeavor, while providing leadership and noteworthy service to the Alumni Association, university or community. Tran was welcomed back to campus during this year’s Homecoming Gala.

He received a standing ovation from the sellout crowd in the Student Union Auditorium. (To view the on Tran shown during the Gala, click here.)

017_2007 married
Tran shared in the questionnaire used to create this video that his favorite UT memory was meeting his wife in 2004.

“Who knew we’d be returning 10 years later as a married couple to celebrate this prestigious award at our alma mater,” he wrote.

And who knew he’d return as a hero?

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UT Alumna New Provost for University in Texas

December 26th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in From Our Alumni

By Samantha Watson

Dr. Felicia NaveBeginning this school year, Prairie View A&M University has a new provost, Dr. Felecia Nave (MEng ’01, PhD ’05).

Nave, who received her degrees in chemical and environmental engineering and her PhD in engineering from The University of Toledo, wasn’t always sure she wanted to become an academic.

While working on her doctorate, Nave began thinking about the career she wanted and reflected on some of the experiences she had both in and outside of school. She had interned with Procter & Gamble, participated in a future faculty development program at Carnegie Mellon University, and peer mentored at UT.

“I had to do some self-reflection to truly figure out what it was that I wanted to do long-term,” Nave said. “I came to the conclusion that working as an academic was where I wanted to pursue my career.”

Nave joined the faculty at Prairie View in 2003 as an assistant professor of chemical engineering. She then utilized everything she had learned at UT to build her academic profile and secured a tenure promotion after six years.

After receiving tenure, Nave became interim assistant dean of the College of Engineering. Shortly after, she became associate provost and associate vice president for academic affairs at Prairie View.

“I enjoyed the work,” Nave said. “I was able to have an immediate impact on student success and in moving to upper administration, I had more access to a broader group of students and was able to bring to bear some of the initiatives that had been successful on a local level in engineering to the larger University population.”

Earlier this year, the university announced that Nave would take over as provost in August.

“It has been overwhelming,” Nave said. “At the same time it’s quite exciting. I recognize the opportunity that has been provided for me.  I am very humbled by and appreciative to our President, Dr. George C. Wright, for entrusting me with this very important responsibility.”

Nave said she is excited to leave her own mark at Prairie View and will start by reviewing the current practices and programs to ensure they are relevant and fulfill the needs of both the faculty and the students.

“Our goal is ensuring student success,” Nave said. “Making sure that we are engaging our students in a way that they leave not only with a degree but with an education.”

“My faith and family have been the most critical driver of my success,” she said. Nave also credits a lot of her success to her time at UT, and especially the faculty that she worked with while studying here.

“They’re in my corner — not only when I was a student, but also as I moved into the profession,” Nave said “And I still have them as part of my mentor circle.”

Nave especially thanks members of the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, including Dr. Glenn Lipscomb, professor and chair; Dr. Isabel Escobar, professor; and Dr. Maria Coleman, professor, who was her adviser when she was at UT.

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Class Notes/Obits

December 26th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Class Notes

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James C. Caldwell (Ed ’64) was posthumously honored by the African American Legacy Project. Caldwell was the first African-American president of the board of trustees of the Economic Opportunity Planning Association and the founder of Fifty Men and Women of Toledo, Inc.


*Aaron Bivins (A/S ’79) was inducted into the Alliance High School Athletic Hall of Fame in October 2014. Bivins graduated from Alliance in 1974 and during his time there he lettered in football, wrestling and baseball. In his senior year, he was named tri-captain of the Alliance Aviators football team. Bivins received a football scholarship to UT where he was a star linebacker and middle guard. Bivins was named the Mid-American Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year in 1976. He also received the Jim Nicholson Award that same season as the Rockets’ team MVP.

Margaret (Peggy) K. Steinberg (Univ Coll ’77) was named a silver medalist during Professional Photographers of America’s 2014 International Photographic Competition. Her work will be on display at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, Tenn. from February 1st to 3rd, 2015. A panel of 45 certified jurors from across the United States selected the top photographs from nearly 5,000 total submitted entries in August, 2014. One of the four photographs she submitted was selected to a part of the esteemed Loan Collection and will be published in a book by Marathon Press.

Holly Taft Sydlow (Law ’75) had her portrait unveiled in the UT Law Library during an event to honor influential female lawyers in Toledo. Sydlow was the first president of the Toledo Women’s Bar Association in 1986.

judge-mcconnell1 The Hon. C. Allen McConnell (Law ’72) was awarded by the African American Legacy Project in October, 2014, as a trailblazer in the Toledo community. McConnell is a former member of Toledo City Council and currently serves as judge for the Toledo Housing and Environmental Court.

*Judge Arlene Singer (A/S ’72, Law ’76) has been the force behind the Toledo Women Lawyers History Project, a collaboration between the Toledo Women’s Bar Association and The University of Toledo College of law. The goal of the history project is to collect and catalog information about area female lawyers, creating a permanent resource for law students, historians and others.

Julia Bates (Law ’76) had her portrait unveiled in the UT Law Library during an event to honor influential female lawyers in Toledo. Bates was the first woman elected Lucas County prosecutor in 1996.

Linda Ewing (A/S ’72) introduced the public to her Jan-Pro Cleaning Systems franchise. Ewing is involved not only with setting the overall strategic direction of the franchise but also the day-to-day details of growing the business and overseeing the quality of services and keeping expenses in line. She retired in early 2014 as vice president of community affairs for Fifth Third Bank after a 30-year career. Ewing

Gregory A. Maceau, Esq. (Law ’80) announced the launch of “My Legal Times,” a new series of articles and videos focusing on some of the most commonly encountered legal issues. The articles and videos are produced by Gregory, the founder of Marceau Law, as well as the firm’s other attorneys. Installments in the new series provide straightforward, actionable advice for business people and individuals facing such problems as unpaid debts or divorce proceedings. Maceau Law is located in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Wise *Patricia A. Wise (Law ’85) was named a partner of Niehaus Wise & Kalas, Ltd. The law firm is a business, commercial, employment and labor law firm based out of Toledo.
Nancy Golinski (A/S ’88, MA ’90) published her first book titled “Exercise Your Way to a Happy Hysterectomy (and Beyond),” in September with Price World Publishing. In her book, she discusses exercises and stress management techniques to do before, during and after the surgery. Golinski has been teaching courses in the social sciences field at Tiffin University for over 10 years. Golinski
Rieger *Dr. Brad Rieger (Ed ’83, MEd ’85, PhD ’93) has announced that at the end of the 2014-15 school year he will retire as the superintendent of Sylvania Schools. He has worked as superintendent for 11 years and is responsible for 940 staff members in the district. Rieger states he will most likely explore roles with nonprofit organizations, higher education and the private sector during his retirement.

Gayle Morgan Schaber (UTCTC ’86, MEd ’99, EdSpec ’01) was presented with the inaugural Global Educator Award by the UT Center for International Studies and Programs in September, 2014. The goal of the award is to encourage awardees to continue their efforts to help community stakeholders to explore the world through promoting interactions with individuals representing different cultures and traditions in an atmosphere of candid communication. Schaber was nominated by the Confucius Institute for her work bringing Chinese language and culture classes to Toledo Public Schools.

Michelle Sawyers Harris (A/S ’91) participated in Miami University’s Earth Expeditions global field course in Thailand. She studied Buddhism and spiritual connections to nature in the Old World rainforests and diverse cultural environments of Thailand. She is a founder and educator at Green Matter in Columbus, Ohio and took the course in pursuit of her master’s degree from Miami University’s Global Field Program. Harris_Michelle_2014_Thailand
Teamer, Craig *Craig Teamer (Bus ’98) was a recipient of a 2014 20 Under 40 Leadership Recognition Award presented in September, 2014. The annual awards ceremony showcases young, dynamic leaders in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan under the age of 40.
*Kelly Savage (Bus ’91) made a gift to Notre Dame Academy, a catholic high school in Toledo, Ohio, to refinish the gym floor. She played basketball during her years at Notre Dame and her gift to refinish the gym floor shows her appreciation and love of the school. She is an ’86 grad from Notre Dame Academy. Kelly recognized Savage & Associates with her gift, due to the impact the company has had on her career. She has worked at Savage & Associates as a financial advisor for 20 years. SAVAGE KELLY
Kalas Brian Kalas (Law ’99) was named a partner of Niehaus Wise & Kalas, Ltd. The law firm is a business, commercial, employment and labor law firm based out of Toledo.

Terry Kin (Bus ’95) was named as vice president of operations for Tour de Force, a leading provider of customer relationship management, business intelligence and sales force automation solutions. As vice president, he will manage the strategic and tactical operations of the development, support, and professional services teams to ensure that each department is operating efficiently and effectively. Tour de Force is located in Findlay, Ohio.

Matt Melzak (A/S ’98) has returned to the microphone for the sixth straight season to call Toledo Walleye games. He has called 645 professional hockey games in his career. He is the play-by-play announcer for all games. Melzak
Harrison, Candice Candice Harrison (A/S ’01) was a recipient of a 2014 20 Under 40 Leadership Recognition Award presented in September, 2014. The annual awards ceremony showcases young, dynamic leaders in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan under the age of 40.
Kristen Mollenkopf (Pharm ’01) was a recipient of a 2014 20 Under 40 Leadership Recognition Award presented in September, 2014. The annual awards ceremony showcases young, dynamic leaders in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan under the age of 40. Mollenkopf, Kristen
Navarre, Lindsay Lindsay Navarre (Law ’05) was a recipient of a 2014 20 Under 40 Leadership Recognition Award presented in September, 2014. The annual awards ceremony showcases young, dynamic leaders in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan under the age of 40. Navarre is the president of the Toledo Women’s Bar Association.
Sara Martino (HHS ’03, MPH ’04, MHHS ’07) was a recipient of a 2014 20 Under 40 Leadership Recognition Award presented in September, 2014. The annual awards ceremony showcases young, dynamic leaders in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan under the age of 40. Martino, Sara

Dr. Farhaan Mir (MED ’08) has joined Grand Traverse Radiologist in Traverse City, Mich. and will specialize in diagnostic radiology and vascular and interventional radiology.

Sneed Marcus L. Sneed (Bus ’07) was honored as an emerging leader by the African American Legacy Project. Marcus is currently an associate director in the Office of Alumni Relations at UT.

Scott Fulton (MA ’07) was welcomed as the new planning director for the city of Pataskala, Ohio. Fulton started this position in October, 2014.

*Benjamin Tran (Eng ’05) was presented the National Security and International Affairs Medal in Washington, D.C., by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service. Tran is an electrical engineer with Wright-Patterson Air Force Base’s Sensors Directorate. He was honored as a lifesaver for leading the development, testing and deployment of a cutting-edge aerial sensor used to locate and destroy improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan.


Zac Wertz (MBA ’10) launched his company’s Kickstarter campaign for the Beluga Razor. The razor offers a single blade shaving experience to men. It is a user-friendly design of the type of shave that a professional barber would give.
Jasmine Thombre (Eng ’12) joined SHP Leading Design in Cincinnati, Ohio as an electrical engineer. SHP is nationally recognized as a leader in planning, designing and managing facilities for clients in the K-12, higher education, vocational/technical and community college industries.

Dr. Stacey Hoffman (MED ’10) has joined Kingston HealthCare as the medical director and attending physician. Hoffman’s initial focus is to manage Kingston’s stroke recovery program and other specialized services that will further enhance Kingston’s clinical expertise. She will immediately serve patients at Kingston Rehabilitation in Perrysburg, Ohio.

Births and Marriages

Sarah Spitulski (Bus ’12) and Kendal Norman (Bus ’11) celebrated their first anniversary on October 5. They were married in 2013 at Brandywine Country Club and honeymooned in Hawaii.

Rebecca Wagoner (Ed ’11) and Brett Glavan (Ed ’09, MEd ’11) were married on August 1, 2014 at St. Joseph’s Parish in Sylvania, Ohio and their reception was held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Perrysburg, Ohio. They will honeymoon in Jamaica in early 2015.

Shawn Waddington (Eng ’01) and Andrea Johnson announced their engagement and have plans to wed in 2015. Waddington

Jodi Lynn Leininger (Ed ’10) and John Patrick Greco (Bus ’07) were married on March 22, 2014 at Stambaugh Auditorium in Youngstown, Ohio. The couple honeymooned in St. Lucia. The couple resides in Cleveland, Ohio.

podolskykelli Kelli Podolsky (Bus ’11) and Andrew Wess were wed on December 6, 2014 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Austintown, Ohio. Their reception took place at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Hall in Youngstown, Ohio. She is currently attending Youngstown State University and Andrew is employed by General Motors of Lordstown.
*Bob Buchman (Eng ’06) and *Nicole Streitenberger Buchman (Bus ’06) celebrated the birth of their second child, Gretchen Marie Buchman, on September 28, 2014. IMG_1809

**Chief Warrant Officer Justin Shedron (A/S ’07) and Dr. Jennifer Rega Shedron are the proud parents of a baby girl. Grace Elizabeth Shedron was born September 7, 2014 at the Hillcrest Hospital in Mayfield, Ohio.

Langenderfer Nick J. Langenderfer (Bus ’09) and Libby Brown were married on June 14, 2014 at The Historic Church of Saint Patrick in Toledo. Both Nick and Libby are cheerleading coaches at UT.
Death Notices

Faculty, staff & friends

Marianne W. Alderman, Sylvania, Ohio at 85. Alderman was a former CEO of the UT Federal Credit Union. She worked at the credit union from 1975 until her retirement in 1992, overseeing the merger of the UT and MCO credit unions.

Dr. Udayan Nandkeolyar, Toledo at 61. He was a professor and chair of the information operations technology management department in the College of Business and Innovation. He joined the faculty as an assistant professor in 1988. His research focused on supply chain management, enterprise resource planning and logistics.

Leonard “Lenny” Rhodes, Monclova, Ohio at 87. He was a star basketball player for the Toledo Rockets, lettering from 1947 to 1950. Rhodes scored 811 points for UT, but was known for his defensive prowess. He played semi-pro basketball and suited up with the Harlem Globetrotters for one year. In 1987, he was inducted into the Varsity ‘T’ Hall of Fame. Rhodes was a former trustee of the UT Alumni Association.

Patricia A. Tucker, Maumee, Ohio at 68. She was a data entry operator in the quality management department at MCO from 1974 until her retirement in 2001.

**Gerald T. “Gerry” Carter (MBA ’90), Toledo at 78. He was a former math and computer programming instructor.

Dr. Marvin E. Gottlieb, Toledo at 80. He was a former faculty member at MCO for nearly three decades. Gottlieb joined the faculty as an assistant professor of psychiatry in 1968 and was promoted to associate professor in 1970. He served as acting chair in 1972 and 1973. In 1988, he was promoted to professor of clinical psychiatry with tenure. When he retired in 1996, Gottlieb was awarded professor emeritus status.

Sheila R. Sauter, Holland, Ohio at 64. She was the director of admitting at MCO from 1991 to 1993.

Joan L. Bauman, Toledo at 87. She was a former employee who worked in the UT Registrar’s Office.

Dr. Samuel L. Karr, Louisville, Ky. at 86. He was a clinical associate professor of medicine from 1970 to 1972, and later a clinical assistant professor.

David M. Showalter, Temperance, Mich. at 87. He was a former instructor who taught management classes.

Robert K. “Bob” Longley, Toledo at 91. He was the UT tennis coach from 1979 to 1985.

Jeanne H. (Heesen) Smith, Toledo at 90. She was a typist in the College of Education from 1982 until her retirement in 1992.

Robert S. Sullivant, Toledo at 89. He was a former UT administrator and professor emeritus of political science. Sullivant came to the University in 1973 to serve as executive vice president. He was also the chair of UT’s Fiscal Resources and Planning Board. In 1988, Sullivant retired and returned to the classroom to teach. An authority on the nationalists in the former Soviet Union and on the Soviet Communist Party, he was the author of the “Soviet Politics and the Ukraine, 1919-1957.”


Mona Lee Murlin Durrant (Pharm ’47), Clearwater, Fla. at 89.

June Siddall Brown (Ed ’42), Vero Beach, Fla. at 94.


Dean Garrison (MA ‘58), Big Rapids, Mich. at 85.

Robert Portmann (Pharm ’50), Akron, Ohio at 73.

**Clarence Gartz (Eng ’50), Perrysburg, Ohio at 87.

Beverly Potter (MEd ’57), Indianapolis, Ind. at 82.


Vance Harrison (Bus ’68), Erie, Mich. at 78.


*June Saxe (MEd ’72), Toledo at 89.

David Showalter (MBA ’73), Toledo at 87.

*John Wirth (A/S ’70), Fort Myers, Fla. at 66.

Carolyn Scheid (MEd ’71), Wauseon, Ohio at 87.

Stuart Kirshenbaum (Law ’77), Lawrence, N.Y. at 60.

Pauletta Brown (Univ Coll ’76, MEd ’86), Toledo at 80.

John Potrzebowski (UTCTC ’72, A/S ’75), Toledo at 92.

Marianna Schneider (Ed Spec ’72), Phoenix, Ariz. at 81.

Michael Eschrich (Ed ’72), Perrysburg, Ohio at 66.


Joyce Carson (UTCTC ’84, Univ Coll ’90), Toledo at 62.

Katherine Kajfasz (Ed ’87), Toledo at 62.

Bernard Clark (UTCTC ’86), Maumee, Ohio at 64.

Dr. Edith Meyer (MEd ’82, PhD ’90), Saint Augustine, Fla. at 80.

Jill Swart (UTCTC ’83), Suwanee, Ga. at 54.


Jacqueline Fuleky (MEd ’97), Lambertville, Mich. at 45.

Pauline Schulte (Ed ’91), Temperance, Mich. at 81.

Ronald Walters (UTCTC ’95), Perrysburg, Ohio at 44.

Rosalinda Altman (UTCTC ’92), Holland, Ohio at 62.


Donald Biel (Univ Coll ’00), Toledo at 59.

Terry Traver (HSHS ’09), Rossford, Ohio at 53.


Jeffrey Williams (Bus ’13), Toledo at 43.

*Annual Alumni Association Member
**Lifetime Alumni Association Member

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UT in the News

December 26th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in In The News
UT Appoints New Dean of College of Health Sciences

A national leader in health-care education is returning to The University of Toledo to head the College of Health Sciences beginning Tuesday, Jan. 6.

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MCO Time Capsule Opened

Faculty and staff at the University of Toledo Medical Center spent time reminiscing Monday, looking back to a time when the institution was still known as the Medical College of Ohio.

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UTPD Prescription Drug Turn In

UT College Consortium

Prostate Cancer Care at UTMC

Football Coach Signs Contract Extension Through 2020

The University of Toledo and Head Football Coach Matt Campbell have agreed to a contract extension that will run through the 2020 football season, UT Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien announced today.

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Holiday Greetings from Auxiliary Services

December 26th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in UT Technology


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