University of Toledo receives funds to support human trafficking victims

The issue of human trafficking remains prominent in the area, as Ohio ranks fifth-highest among the states in total reported human trafficking cases, per the U.S. Federal Bureau of Information Crime Reports. Additionally, Toledo has been identified as the fourth-highest ranking city in the nation for recruiting victims into the illegal trade.

Recently, to help battle this issue, the Toledo Community Foundation awarded $75,000 to the University of Toledo to support the Partners Against Trafficking in Humans project.

“In our PATH project, we are connecting victims of human trafficking with care coordinators to provide them with systems of care,” said Fanell Williams, lead project coordinator in the UT College of Social Justice & Human Service.

Williams said that the project aims to assist victims of human trafficking and is being coordinated by the Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute at UT.

The PATH project is a modified replica of the Pathways model used by the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio to address low birth outcomes in Ohio, according to Williams. Adapted in August 2016, PATH is the first of its kind.

“Our end goal is for it to be an evidence-based model so that other cities, counties, states and places can use the model to assist their victims in human trafficking,” Williams said.

The victims of human trafficking are diverse and include men and women, both adults and children, as well as foreign nationals and U.S. citizens in the United States, according to the Human Trafficking Hotline.

“There is no single profile for trafficking victims; trafficking occurs to adults and minors in rural, suburban or urban communities across the country,” states the Human Trafficking Hotline.

The program functions through collaborative efforts with the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition and several agencies, Williams said. Currently, the project serves 27 clients. Williams estimates that it will grow to 50 clients by 2019.

An important aspect of PATH is to train professionals in the community about human trafficking and trauma so that they can better understand the victims’ situations. Thereby, they can implement the most effective methods to serve the clients, according to Williams.

After receiving training, the agencies sign a memorandum of understanding and provide a trained contact person from their agencies to interact with care coordinators.

“We’ve trained about 800 or more professionals in the Lucas County community on this issue,” Williams said. “We have 19 agencies that are PATH-approved.”

Care coordinators of the program perform an initial assessment of the clients to establish their basic needs, from food, support systems, education, life skills and healthcare to injury. Then, the clients receive the appropriate services corresponding to their needs, such as mental health appointments or legal facilities, Williams said.

The clients are given incentives to complete their appointments and move forward in their process.

“Through this process, hopefully they’re able to see the benefits of getting their lives on track and controlling their lives,” Williams said.

PATH defines a series of stages for the client: from victim to survivor and, lastly, to thriver. The PATH project aims to assist the clients in achieving self-autonomy.




Staff changes at the IC

Winter is finally leaving and spring is beginning to arrive. Just like the seasons changing, it’s time for staff changes at The Independent Collegian.

After spending the past two semesters as managing editor, third-year communication student Emily Schnipke will become the new editor-in-chief for the 2017-2018 school year.

“I couldn’t be more excited,” Schnipke said. “This is a great opportunity for me to become more involved with The Independent Collegian as we move closer to celebrating 100 years of the student newspaper.”

Jessica Harker, the previous editor-in-chief, will step into the shoes of managing editor for the rest of the spring semester.

Current Director of Photography Savannah Joslin will graduate at the end of this semester. She will be attending graduate school in the fall at UT. Rachel Nearhoof, associate director of photography and webmaster/social media coordinator, will also be graduating this spring but will return next fall as the IC’s director of photography.

“Rachel is more than equipped to take this on,” Joslin said. “She has everything she needs to know, plus more.”

Carla Marzari, second-year computer science and engineering major, will be the IC’s new webmaster in Fall 2017.

On the business side of the newspaper, filling in the empty position of outside sales representative is Joe Stechschulte, who will take on the role of sales representative and mentor for student sales representatives next fall.

“This is a great time to be a part of the IC,” Schnipke said. “I look forward to becoming more involved with the rest of the student body and covering what really matters to students.”




Empowering women in STEMM fields

Tonya Matthews, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Michigan Science Center in Detroit, shared her story of empowerment in the white, male-dominated fields of science, technology, engineering, math and medicine in Nitschke Hall Monday.

As part of the University of Toledo’s celebration of Women’s History Month, Matthews spoke about how she overcame these obstacles and how students of every age, race and gender can thrive in the face of difficulty.

The metaphor Matthews used for empowerment was an editorial cartoon depicting a teacher telling a raven, a monkey, an elephant, a fish in a bowl, a seal and a dog to take the same “fair” exam: to climb the tree.

This exam seems fair at first, but there is something wrong in telling these students who have shown up every day to take this test which gives an unfair advantage to the monkey, Matthews said.

“Who would judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree?” Matthews said. “I don’t know, perhaps the type of folks who would look at a college application from someone who works 25 hours a week to support their family and someone who does not have to do that, but they both must go to school every day to make those grades.”

Matthews said the problem with the teacher’s question is the question itself.

“You are the ultimate judge in your life,” Matthews said. “You are the one who ultimately gets to shape the questions and standards by which you judge yourself. Ever since I was a little girl, I have asked myself the same question: ‘How do I save the world?’”

Fourth-year bioengineering major Therese Orsagos attended the event expecting encouragement but didn’t realize how inspiring Matthews’ story would be.

“She was amazing and very inspirational,” Orsagos said. “You could tell just how passionate she was about this stuff. She had a very positive and encouraging vibe.”

According to Matthews, the only way to answer this question is by having friends who will support you through college and life. Find a group of friends who both look like you and look like everyone else, especially in the STEMM field.

“However it is you define yourself, and you are in an environment where you don’t see yourself, that can be scary,” Matthews said. “When I got to Duke University I didn’t see myself, so I raised an army of friends who looked like me.”

However, this army of friends can only do so much. Matthews said we all need someone who will see our potential and propel us to the top of that tree.

“What I have learned is that it’s not who you know, but it’s who knows what about you,” Matthews said. “I worked for a gentleman, Dr. John Fleming, who was succession-oriented. He wanted to find someone to replace him who would be successful in that role. He had been looking for years and he found me, and I never knew I had been found.”

Without Fleming sponsoring Matthews in her career, she said she would not have climbed the tree to CEO and to a thriving career.

“Dr. Matthews is well-known in the STEMM community, and she is very down-to-earth,” said Kelley Webb, a graduate assistant of the African American Initiatives in the Office of Multicultural Student Success. “I believe that she exhibits the qualities that many women, especially black women, desire to develop, and she is doing something positive in a growing field.”

Matthews said there is a lot being done about diversity in the STEMM fields, but there is room for improvement.

“We know mentorships and sponsorships are really important, but we know not everyone has the same access to them. Without a doubt, we are making progress, but we also have a lot of ideas just sitting on the table,” Matthews said.




University of Toledo College of Law and Judith Herb College of Education move up in rankings

When it comes time to decide upon a university, many students turn to national rankings, such as the one by U.S. News and World Report, a credited website that ranks colleges, to make a good choice.

Visitors of the credited site will now find that the University of Toledo’s Judith Herb College of Education ranks No. 172 out of 256 schools as part of its 2018 Best Graduate Schools. Last year, it was ranked 190.

“As we looked at the future and read the tea leaves, we thought that, for this college, because of the strength of our faculty, it would make sense to focus on graduate education,” said Virginia Keil, interim dean of the Judith Herb College of Education. “As a result of that, I think, when you pay attention to things, good things start to happen.

As stated in U.S. News and World Report’s methodology of calculation, the Best Graduate School rankings are based on two types of data: expert opinions about program excellence and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research and students.

Associate Dean of the College of Education, Richard Welsh, alongside Keil, observed the significance of the recent statistical improvement.

“I think we’re are all competitive by nature. We all want to have good feedback and good reports,” Welsh said. “But I also think it’s this element about being proud of what we’re doing. This validates we are on the right track.”

Alongside the College of Education’s improvement, UT’s College of Law also recently rose in the ranks, jumping from No. 144 to No. 132 out of 196 schools.

Dean of the College of Law, Benjamin Barros, used a set of definitive factors to explain the recent jump.

“There are three main things that contributed to our rise,” Barros said, “One is an increase in our entry and our LSAT standards, another is an increase in our entry and undergraduate GPA and a third was an improvement in the job placement numbers.”

With numbers creating a competitive push for programs throughout the university, UT President Sharon Gaber set a reminder on what the figures mean.
“It is not about chasing rankings,” said Gaber. “It is about enhancing quality.”




Three tickets campaign to lead Student Government

As the school year starts to unwind, Student Government elections ramp up. Voting for student body president takes place from April 10-13 via OrgSync. This year, there are three tickets for president: Jared Enoch, Cameron Forsythe and James “Jimmy” Russell.

Enoch

Enoch, fifth-year mechanical engineering and political science major and chemistry minor, has served on SG since spring 2015. He currently serves as the chair of the student affairs committee. Enoch’s running partner is Brayton Conley.

“Brayton and I are both extremely passionate about UT and want to do as much as we can to help improve the university and make it an institution students are proud to attend,” Enoch wrote in an email.

The major categories of Enoch and Conley’s campaign are inclusion, communication and improvement.

“We plan to include all types of student voices in the decisions we are making and talks we have with administration,” Enoch wrote. “We plan to use social media to more effectively communicate with the student body and pledge to attend a new student org meeting once a week.”

To get in touch with Enoch and Conley or to learn more about their platform, they can be reached on their Facebook page “Jared and Brayton for Student Body President and VP,” or on Twitter, @JaredBrayton17.

Forsythe

Forsythe, second-year mechanical engineering major and business administration minor, currently serves as student body vice president and has been a member of SG since September 2015. His running partner is Andrew Montry.

“Our campaign is aimed to improve the students’ time at the university,” Forsythe wrote in an email. “Through our platform of “Your UT,” we want to emphasize that if we are elected, we will value your opinions, gather your feedback and continually work to properly reflect your opinions.”

Forsythe added that he and Montry separate their platform into four main categories: “Your Student Experience,” “Your Health and Safety,” “Your Student Organizations,” and “Your Student Government.”

To get in touch with Forsythe and Montry or to learn more about their platform, they can be contacted on their Facebook page, “Cameron and Andrew for Student Body President & VP,” or their Twitter and Instagram, @UToledo2017.

Russell

Russell, second-year political science major, currently serves as external affairs chairman. Russell’s running partner is Drew Williams.

“We both take pride in Student Government and the work we do within the organization,” Russell wrote in an email interview. “UTSG is our primary organization and, therefore, representing the students to the administration is our passion.”

Russell and Williams look to bring many improvements to campus.

“Some of our major platform pieces are implementing a campus wide service award that would allow students to graduate with special service distinction, partnering with TARTA to allow all students’ Rocket Card to count as a bus pass and implementing a permanent clothes drive on campus to give back to the local community more.”

To get in touch with Russell and Williams or to learn more about their platform, they can be contacted via Facebook or Twitter at @JimmyandDrew4SG.

Debate

A debate will be held April 5 at 7:30 p.m. in Student Union room 2591. The debate will be moderated by the election board, which consists of Sandip Janda, Martin Linthicum Hunter Eby, Nadeen Sarsour, Reem Hajeir, Michael Peachock, Sebastian Wright and Andrew Taylor.

“We as moderators will compose several basic questions but have just put out a survey to the student body requesting suggested questions and topics of discussions,” said Andrew Taylor, SG recording secretary.

Students are encouraged to attend the debate.

“This may be the best opportunity for students to learn about the platforms of their potential student body president and vice president,” Taylor said.




New Ohio bill proposing textbook fee raises concerns

Paying tuition is a looming concern for most, if not all college students. An increasing number of students are obligated to take out student loans to fulfill their tuition requirements each year. It is for this reason that the new bill being proposed for Ohio schools to increase tuition by charging a textbook has been questioned among University of Toledo students.

“For the 2018-2019 academic year, the board of trustees of state institutions of higher education shall provide textbooks to all undergraduate students as a mandatory service,” the bill, H.B. 49, states.

In accordance with the bill, the board of trustees of UT may charge a textbook fee of up to $300 for a full-time undergraduate student.

“Essentially, the bill will put the responsibility of purchasing texts books on the institutions,” said Student Government President, Amal Mohamed. “Tuition will go up by approximately 300 dollars a semester, but all textbooks will be provided to students.”

The bill states that the textbook fee will cover any instructional tools, such as bound and electronic textbooks and software, used specifically for curricular content instruction in a course.

According to Mohamed, student government is assembling a task force of senators that will visit various student organizations and classes to educate them on the bill. Once students understand how it will affect them and the university, they will make an educated vote.

Mohamed, fourth-year biology and psychology major, stressed that the student government aims to assess the opinion of UT students on the subject.

“We are introducing a referendum that will be made public in the upcoming weeks, in which any student at UT can vote for how they feel about the bill,” said Mohamed.

However, the Finance Committee on Higher Education will have the final say on imposing the fee, Mohamed said.

While the effects of the bill will be felt by all students, the benefit could vary according to major.

“It depends on your major, what year you’re in and how much you use textbooks,” said Judy Daboul, third-year biology pre-med major. “Our library itself has a lot of textbooks that you can use.”

Daboul elaborated that, while science majors may spend around $300 on textbooks during their first year, the cost for other majors, such as English, is usually far less.

Furthermore, several alternatives exist for students, such as purchasing cheap books from Amazon, borrowing from the library and even forsaking textbooks altogether in favor of studying from lecture notes, Daboul said.

“Especially for international students, they already charge a high fee and then adding this makes it more expensive,” said third-year psychology major, Rasha Sheikh. “While the fee doesn’t suit me, it might suit others.”




UT harnesses solar power for sustainability

Every student has faced the dilemma of sitting on campus somewhere, studying in a beautiful green space, only to be forced inside to charge their electronics.

But with the help of the Student Green Fund, that won’t be an issue any longer. The University of Toledo community can now use the sun’s energy to power up their electronics outside.

In spring of 2016, second-year UT student Julia Button wrote a proposal to the UT Student Green Fund for exterior tables with solar panel-equipped umbrellas that harnesses the sun’s energy into attached ports.

These ports can then be used by students to charge whatever electronic devices need it when they are outdoors.

Installed last semester and currently ready to use, the solar panel tables sit outside the Student Union, near the Engineering Campus and on the Health Science Campus, the tables stood ready for student use.

Director of Energy Management, Michael Green, said he understands the benefits of bringing environmentally friendly ideas to fruition.

“It’s a loving, kind, sustainable change,” Green said. “It’s going to have a good, social, positive impact for students.”

According to Green, students may plug in their devices or utilize an absorbable energy charging pad, all while interacting in an outside environment.

Campusgoers have already begun reaping the benefits of the recently constructed tables. First-year student Emily Mahoney said she utilizes the charging station for both means of convenience and interaction.

“It’s a refreshing addition to campus,” Mahoney said. “I was able to charge my cell outside and even meet others at the table. I can see myself, and maybe even a couple of friends, there again sometime soon.”

According to the Student Green Fund webpage, the SGF serves to finance student proposed projects that promote sustainability through an optional five-dollar fee offered at the start of each semester.

SGF Manager Matthew Rader hopes to keep the SGF active and encourages students to bring their eco-friendly proposals forward.

“Any student that has a sustainable idea can present to the fund,” said Rader. “We as a group discuss it, vote on it and approve it.”

According to their grant requirements, any student currently enrolled or recognized student organization may apply for funding from the SGF. University faculty, staff and administrators are also allowed to apply for funding, with the requirement that the funds directly involve one or more students.

Project proposal sheets can be found on SGF’s UToledo webpage.




Tapingo come to UT

Just walking through the student union during lunchtime can be a struggle due to long lines weaving throughout the whole building. However, thanks to the University of Toledo’s decision to implement a new app called “Tapingo,” dining lines have the potential to become a lot shorter and speedier.

Tapingo is an app that will allow students to preorder their food from certain locations on campus.

After working on implementing the app for several months, it went live Monday, March 20 for UT campus.

Gary Casteel, operations director for UT’s dining and hospitality services, said Tapingo will improve the speed of service, cut down wait time, allow personal order customization and save previous orders so that reordering is a breeze.

“It will speed up the payment process in our retail locations, but most of the advantage goes towards the guests’ experience,” he said.

Tapingo can be used to order food at Croutonz, Agave, Java City, Subway and Starbucks, but Casteel said that other locations may be added in the future.

“It’s awesome this app works for most places on campus, but it would be even more convenient if they could somehow make this work for the dining halls,” said Trevor Daniels, second-year mechanical engineering student.

Taylor Burchfield, first-year communication major, said this app will help students who have a small window to grab lunch between classes.

“This app is a game-changer because that Subway line is not a joke,” said Justus Maveal, second-year business major. “It will definitely save some time.”

To use the app, students need to download it from the app store on their phones, select the location, place the order and choose the method of payment.

Tapingo shows the wait times for each location and gives an approximate time when the order will be ready for pickup.

Each location that uses Tapingo has a sign identifying where to pick the order up, Casteel said.

Casteel said UT is the first school to use the Tapingo app in the area.

According to the Tapingo website, they believe that “technology removes the hassles and stress of everyday transactions—so humans can focus on more important things. You know, human things.”




Students react to ten-year master plan

In February, the University of Toledo’s board of trustees approved a master plan that will put into place a series of major campus renovations over the next decade. This plan comes after many strategic planning sessions and suggestions from the community, experts in education and construction and UT students.

But do UT students really understand what the master plan is and what is entails?

“I think there is a lot of students who don’t even realize a lot of it was done,” said Cameron Forsythe, UT Student Government vice president. “We haven’t seen an immense outpouring of feedback about it, at least what I’ve experienced personally.”

Forsythe, as a representative of SG, was involved in representing the students in the creation of the master plan. He said that many of the students he has talked to are “intrigued and happy about it.”

“In specific, there’s a few things I’ve actually gotten quite a few comments on,” Forsythe said. “The first would be the bridge over Douglas, the pedestrian bridge. I know that there are several people who are excited to see that happen. It’s an effort that’s been ongoing for a number of years now and to finally see the university actually implementing it, they are very encouraged by that.”

Another portion of the master plan calls for a new building to be built on the UT’s Engineering Campus. The building, which will replace Palmer Hall, will be the new hub of research at the University of Toledo. Forsythe said that the new building will increase the collaboration of student research.

“The way I understand it to be, is there will be premade laboratories that aren’t major-specific because right now, within the basement of Palmer Hall, we have engineering-specific labs,” Forsythe said. “In Bowman-Oddy, we have other specific labs for other majors. The intent of this new building is to take all of those labs and put them into one place where they will be able to share resources. They’ll be able to share ideas on how to move forward and things of that nature.”

According to Forsythe, Palmer Hall was not originally built for classroom use, as it was previously owned by a private company. He said that Palmer has not been maintained enough to reach the standards of top-level classrooms.

Many students seem excited about the prospect of Palmer Hall’s demolition, Forsythe said.

“Pretty much the response I’ve gotten from every engineering major I’ve spoken to about it, or really anyone who has a class in Palmer Hall, is that they’re excited to see that building gone,” Forsythe said. “Everyone was hoping something would be done.”

The master plan also lays out the plan for a new green space between the classroom buildings on the engineering campus, where tables and other seating will be provided for people’s enjoyment.

“I look forward to it,” Forsythe said. “Any time we can add green space on campus without negatively impacting parking, campus operations and other aspects of the student life, I’m generally in favor of. Any way we can promote an outdoor space for student use is beneficial and an idea that’s being very beneficial to the college as well.”

Changes that are beneficial to students are the whole idea behind the master plan. The plan calls for the reorganization and consolidation of colleges and majors that are spread out across campus. For example, the department of communication has ties to three different buildings on campus: the Lance Thompson Student Union, Sullivan Hall and Rocket Hall.

“I think the overall consolidation of things, especially for the majors that are currently spread out across the entire campus, will be beneficial,” Forsythe said. “When you’re having a 10-minute gap and both those classes are at Field House, that’s not an issue. But if you have a 10-minute gap and one of your classes ends at Rocket Hall and one starts at HH 10 minutes later, that’s when you struggle to get there.”

Another huge change to campus will be the demolition of Carter Hall and the construction of new baseball and softball fields in its place. Zach Harig, a third-year communication student, says the move from Scott Park will help to centralize the athletic programs.

“Our college baseball and softball programs really haven’t gotten the support that they have deserved and worked for the past decade,” Harig said. “That’s because a lot people don’t want to drive even two or three miles off of campus. Now that they are on campus, students and fans will have easier access to it.”

Harig said that the old venue at Scott Park, including the stands and the fields themselves, is in a state of disrepair. The new fields will be a major upgrade.

“When you stack those over at Scott Park up against the rest of the Mid-American Conference, they are not nearly as nice,” Harig said. “A couple of players I talked to from Northern Illinois said ours was by far the worst stadium that they’ve ever played in. The new ones are going to be a lot nicer and getting a lot more people on Main Campus is going to be a win-win for everyone involved in the programs and the university.”

The new location and nice venue will help to recruit new players to UT, according to Harig.

“I think this will make it a lot easier for the programs to sell themselves, so to speak. During recruiting visits, you don’t need to bring players to Scott Park and show them a deteriorating venue. Instead, you’re led on campus, right near academics, right next to the Glass Bowl.”

Although the master plan addresses many important issues on campus, one that is always on the forefront of students’ minds is missing from the plan: parking.

“As for parking concerns, in Student Government, it’s definitely something that we’re not going to be quiet about,” Forsythe said. “Parking is one, if not the largest, comment we get from students. And we’re going to continue to treat it that way.”

Forsythe said the board continued to point out that, even though parking at the northern end of campus is continuously packed, “There is always parking at Rocket Hall.” Forsythe said that Student Government fought this claim continuously.

“Their notion was that all the problems can be solved by simply parking elsewhere, and that we didn’t have a parking issue on campus,” Forsythe said. “We recognize it to some extent that yes, we do need to walk, but at the same time there were some proposals that they were actually looking into and took the parking, in our opinion, and made it worse.”

One proposal thought of was taking Lot 10 and moving it farther away from the Centennial Mall. The idea was to turn the area into another green space, just like they did with the mall decades ago.

“But that’s one of the things we fought them against and we were fortunate that they heard us and they didn’t implement that change,” Forsythe said.




University of Toledo students celebrate Islamic culture

Islam Awareness Week comes at a time when the topic of Islam has become a staple of the major news outlets. Despite being constantly bombarded with stories focusing on Muslims, many of us remain unable to answer even the most basic questions about the world’s second largest religion. UT itself has a sizable Muslim population longing to spread awareness of their faith and eliminate misconceptions.

“Islam Awareness Week is a tradition followed by all universities across North America where we as the Muslim Student Association educate people about Islam and our cultural values,” said Alyan Ahmed Memon, co-president of the Muslim Student Association.

The MSA organized an event for each day of the week. On Monday, March 13, the program kicked off with “Try on a Hijab Day” at a Student Union table.  This event allowed non-Muslims to don the emblematic headscarf and to ask MSA representatives about their faith.

“Women can still feel beautiful while wearing a hijab, and I got to experience that firsthand,” said second-year social work major Kenya James. “It’s very important to acknowledge Islam and make people aware of it because there are a lot of false stereotypes of Muslims and Islam.”

Tuesday’s event featured Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The speaker addressed Black Lives Matter and the travel ban. Memon said that MSA wanted to the base the week’s events on real-world problems.

An open mic night of the Muslim Writers Collective will be held on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Brady Innovation Center. Participants will share their poems and stories regarding the subject of “failure.”

“It’s a topic that everyone can relate to,” said Rana Elhag, MSA secretary.  “You can do a million different spins on it.”

Memon stressed that Muslims stand up for various problems in the world, not just issues that affect their community alone. To demonstrate this notion, a workshop on mental illness will be held Thursday by Ali Altimimy in Student Union 2592.

“Islam is worried about your whole being; not just your heart and spirituality, but the mind, body, soul. Everything,” said Fatma Ismail, a fourth-year religious studies major and former MSA president.

Islam Awareness Week will be capped off with a public Friday prayer at 1:30 p.m., led by Adam Smidi, in Student Union 2582.

Elhag emphasized the importance of MSA designating a week to reach out to the student body. She said that it enables them to clarify the issues that arise regarding their community.

“We are living in a time where a lot of the discussion around Islam is negative, so I hope this results in a greater sense of unity among UT students of all faiths and backgrounds,” said Elhag, a third-year pharmacy major.




University undergraduate discovers companion star to Beta Canis Minoris

Equipped with only the experience of an undergraduate, third-year physics major Nick Dulaney discovered an unknown astronomical body.

Dulaney analyzed 15 years of archive data collected at UT’s Ritter Observatory, which led him to make his discovery.

According to a news release, UT postdoctoral research associate Noel Richardson assisted Dulaney in finding that a highly studied star, featuring a disk around its equator, is actually a binary star, or a double star.

“In my research, I was studying a larger star called beta CMi (Beta Minoris), which is about 3.5 times the size of our sun and much hotter. This has a gaseous disk around its equator,” Dulaney said.

Professor of physics and astronomy and Director of the Ritter Observatory Jon Bjorkman provides fieldwork opportunities for undergraduate students like Dulaney on campus.

“Publishing the results of research projects like this brings recognition of our program, and in particular how we involve undergraduates in our research,” said Bjorkman.

Richardson credits Dulaney’s utilization of the program and tools available to his recent finding.

“This project exemplifies how our one-meter telescope on campus is so useful,” said Richardson. “Nick learned how to operate the telescope, analyze the data and discuss the findings with others during his time here. So many universities do not have such resources, and this highlights the strengths of our program.”

Adding to his recent success in the field, Dulaney was the lead author, alongside 14 others in the published research paper regarding the discovery in “The Astrophysical Journal.”

As stated on its website, “The Astrophysical Journal” is the foremost research journal in the world devoted to recent developments, discoveries and theories in astronomy and astrophysics.

“It will be very helpful to say that I am first author on a published paper,” Dulaney said.

Dulaney recognizes the weight of his discovery and the effect it may have on his future career.

“This is a big deal for me,” Dulaney said. “I got to learn a lot of great skills for the field of astronomy through this. This will be an asset for me, whether it be for graduate school or a job.”




COBI adds two new minors for fall semester

The College of Business and Innovation is offering two new minors that will give students real-life, hands-on experience that business employers look for.

The minors will be in enterprise resource planning and business information security and are effective immediately.

“Recently, industry needs for ERP-related positions are increasing and one of the primary purposes of the minor is to make students more knowledgeable and marketable with real business functions and transactions,” said Euisung Jung, one of the instructors for the ERP minor and current UT associate professor.

Jung said ERP systems are used by many area employers and most Fortune 500 companies.

“ERP is one of the fast-growing, enterprise-wide business information systems, and the three courses in ERP minor will help students understand business processes,” Jung said.

Jung said the material aims to help students understand the concepts of ERP and advance analytics.

P.S Sundararaghavan, professor for the ERP minor, said that this minor is for students who want to get familiar with how large- and medium-sized organizations are run with the help of ERP software.

Sundararaghavan said some qualities to succeed in this minor would be interest in computers, running computer packages and following instructions to see why something is wrong and try to fix it.

“It improves the employment prospects, since many firms use such software and would like people who already have some knowledge, cutting down their training time,” Sundararaghavan said. “Other students, such as computer science, information technology, may be interested in it to widen their skills.”

The business information security minor brings the students’ attention to the issues and concerns of security such as hacking, said Anand S. Kunnathur, professor for the business information security minor.

“They need to understand how to manage the security of the information resource, which is quite often the lifeblood of business,” Kunnathur said. “The business information security minor offers them this opportunity to get this exposure.”

COBI is the first to implement a program such as this, Kunnathur added.

According to Sundararaghavan, this minor is targeted at students majoring in information systems, accounting and finance. He said an interest in computers, networking and data analysis would help students succeed in this minor.

“It improves the employment prospects, since many firms seek in their candidates knowledge of information security,” Sundararaghavan said. “Other students such as computer science, information technology, may be interested in it to widen their skills.”

He said if the minors become very popular, the department would need to add one additional faculty member in the long run. If this happens, the new faculty member would be hired in the fall of 2018.

Sundararaghavan said that some of the classes that make up the minors are offered as electives; however, this is the first attempt to bring them together in a minor.