Thursday, August 13, 2015

UT alumna directs COBI's new Graduate Programs office

In addition to 2,500 undergraduates working on their bachelor's degree in The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation, there are also some 500 students working on their graduate degrees who have just acquired a new mentor and advocate with the arrival of Dr.  Rosalinda Dunlap as Director of the new Graduate Programs office in the College of Business and Innovation.

"We have a wonderful program, and we have great opportunities," Dr. Dunlap said. "My mission is to grow enrollment, retain - - and graduate - - students. I intend to build on the strong foundation COBI already has and lead the college to new levels of Graduate Programs growth."

Dr. Rosalinda Dunlap
"I myself am a UT alumna, having earned my Ph.D. in higher education administration from UT, and also my Master's degree from UT in educational technology with an emphasis on human resource administration" she said. "I had such a wonderful experience at UT that I want to take that and share it with current and future graduate students to take them to the next level of their educational experience.”

"When I came back to this campus and saw some of the same classrooms I sat in, I just felt this warmth; it was emotional. I know what graduate students go through, and I know that I can help enhance their experience to make their educational journey at UT a positive and memorable one.”

"COBI currently offers various concentrations within the MBA program, including finance, human resource management, information systems, international business, leadership, marketing and operations management," she explained.  "I've taught and developed curriculum in healthcare administration at the graduate level, and I would like to add that to our other current concentrations so prospective students can advance their career in healthcare administration if they choose to.  I feel several of our current and future healthcare professionals would benefit from earning an MBA with a healthcare concentration if they chose to further their careers into administration.”

Dr. Dunlap said she would also focus on working with other UT colleges, such as engineering, pharmacy and law, for a dual degree program, and how we can help them get that degree.

"I also want to utilize our alumni to be a part of our classes, to have them meet regularly and to celebrate their successes," she said.

As a professor, Dr. Dunlap received various awards, including the Top 3 Faculty Recognition Award, the Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, and the Webbie Award for outstanding teaching, dedication and service to students. She explained that her more than 20 years of experience in higher education administration, as an MBA professor, human resource administrator and corporate trainer have prepared her well for the exciting opportunity at COBI.

"I have extensive knowledge in curriculum development and online education at the graduate level of instruction, and my experience is closely aligned with both COBI's and UT's goals of UT increasing enrollment and graduation rates while building advanced graduate programs. Furthermore, as an academic dean, I was responsible for programs in 18 disciplines, managed a substantial budget, supervised faculty, program directors, chairs and staff."

Dr. Dunlap has been a member of the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education, the Society of Human Resource Management, the Northwest Ohio Human Resource Association and the Toledo Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as several other professional organizations. She has also published a book on career professionalism and published her dissertation on "The relationship between policies, practices and institutional trends in the awarding of doctoral degrees to Hispanic students."

Other individuals serving students in the new COBI Graduate Programs office are Darlene Howard, assistant director; Stacy Jenkins, advisor; and Carol Stamm, career placement coordinator.

"I am particularly excited about working on COBI's accelerated Executive MBA program, which enables working professionals to complete their EMBA in just 12 months," Dr. Dunlap said.  "It also provides executive coaching by experienced professionals to further ensure students' success. That is both innovative and fantastic!"

Enrollment is now underway for the next Executive MBA cohort, which will begin in October.

When speaking with graduated MBA and EMBA students, Dr. Dunlap said she frequently hears, "'Without my Executive MBA, I would not have gotten the job I wanted.' This is a true testament to the wonderful graduate programs offered in COBI."

Born and raised in Perrysburg, Ohio, Dr. Dunlap said, "Fun time is family time," including time spent with her children and grandchildren, and that she also enjoys activities such as whale watching and swimming with the dolphins.

"I am excited and looking forward to be working with the staff in our newly developed Graduate Programs office, the COBI faculty and staff, and the entire UT community," Dr. Dunlap said. "I will strive to provide solid leadership and direction to the Graduate Programs office as we continue to educate the next generation of business graduate students."

COBI professor assessing financial damage from water crisis

The memories of last year's water crisis in and around Toledo are still fresh in the minds of most residents, and the anxiety about a repeat event in 2015 is high.

But a University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation professor is hard at work at one of the critical issues surrounding last year's 3-day event: namely, what was the economic impact of the 2014 Toledo water crisis on the local economy.

Furthermore, if you have information that could contribute to the report, he would love to hear from you.

Dr. Andrew Solocha, Professor in the Department of Finance in the UT College of Business and Innovation, along with Dr. Neil Reid, Director of The University of Toledo Jack Ford Urban Affairs Center, are currently researching that very issue, funded by a grant from the Environmental Law and Policy Center in Chicago. They began their research in May, and will have an initial impact report by the end of August.

Dr. Andrew Solocha
"Lake Erie is an enormously important resource," Dr. Solocha said.  "I didn't know anything about the science behind this, but I was really concerned about what happened here last year, and so I volunteered my time for this research. We envision a series of reports, the first one in August about the three days from last year, and then other reports over time."

"My training is in economics, data and model building, and for this research and report it is essential to have someone with experience in both business and economics, because we have to interpret this data, find out what the data is saying to us; sometimes it doesn't say anything at all.  We have to go and interview people, and people can be confused or have misinformation.  This is a work in progress, and we don't yet know where all the answers are to make this complete."

"We need to be able to assess what the damages - - all the damages - - are.  We know several sectors that were impacted by the 2014 water crisis, including hospitals, the food processing industry, restaurants, tourism and consumers, plus we will probably see an impact on housing," Dr. Solocha said.

"But there may be impacts that we can't see, and there could be a long-term impact. For example, people who typically go to Lake Erie beaches who have decided that now they can't go there in the future because of the negative publicity for the region."

"Of course, there was also good news, such as the charities who came out, mobilized and helped," he observed. "For example, the American Red Cross brought in water for people, and the National Guard distributed water and food."

"The University of Toledo has been fantastic in helping us with this project, as have other organizations such as the United Way of Greater Toledo.  It is absolutely critical that people know we are working on this report and that they help us." Dr. Solocha said.

If you have information you would like to share about the economic impact of the 2014 water crisis, you are encouraged to contact Dr. Solocha at

Peter Davis becomes new president of COBI Alumni Affiliate

Peter Davis is a man on a mission.  In fact, several missions, including helping COBI students and alumni, expanding his own business, and making a meaningful impact on the world. 

Talking with him leaves little doubt that he will accomplish all of them, and much more.

Davis is the new president of The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation Alumni Affiliate, having served as vice president of the Affiliate since 2013. He succeeds his friend Blaine Stout, who just completed his term as president. 

"I met Blaine when we were both in the COBI Executive MBA program, and he asked me to come to a meeting of the group," Davis said. "I was not too familiar with the alumni board or its outreach to the community, but I liked its purpose and agreed to serve as vice president."

Davis said his term as vice president was a learning experience about what the Alumni Association does as he sets his personal goals for the next two years. "We're trying to engage the alumni of the college and raise money for the students' education and careers. We want to do more outreach, add more value to alumni, and, following UT President Dr. Sharon Gaber's lead, we want to conduct larger events that will draw in more members of the business community."

He said that he wants to align the Board with the mission statement and establish "project based" committees which will focus on action items and best use everybody's time.  He added that he also wants to bring a nationally recognized business speaker for a college event next spring.

"It's all about getting the COBI Alumni Affiliate active in the community," Davis said.

"The value of being active in the Alumni Association is that it provides proximity to business leaders. It's the power of networking. My whole career is all about relationships, plus it’s a good cause, helping younger people stay in college so that they can one day give back. The benefits are not short-lived. It could lead to a job opportunity, career advancement…you don't know where it will go.  Students and recent grads are educated, but they need opportunity."

"Students and graduates might be friends with hundreds of people on Facebook," Davis said, "so they have quantity of contacts, but it's the quality that counts. You have to have human touch, and you have to grow that connection. The disadvantage of social media is that it does not advance their social skills."

Originally from Temperance, Michigan, Davis came to UT while selecting a college and "fell in love with it." He is equally proud that he obtained his bachelor's degree from COBI with a major in finance and also became a certified die maker. "My father and uncle were die makers, and I've always liked the trade. In 2004 my brother/business partner and I bought our father's business, Dundee Manufacturing Company, but I figured I had to get the business and finance knowledge to best run the business, and that has become a staple of my success."

"When the recession hit, we did what we had to do to survive, but in 2009 I decided I had to recreate myself and obtain my EMBA degree from the University of Toledo, to advance the companies growth.

The business not only survived but thrived, and construction will soon start on a new facility in Temperance, Michigan, which should be operational next year….a move which also brings with it his commitment to create more jobs.

But Davis is also working on more than attracting people to be involved with the COBI Alumni Affiliate and expanding his business.

"I'm a cancer survivor. In my heart of hearts I feel that God gave me a second chance, and that there must be a purpose in what you're doing. "

He has participated in mission trips to Haiti, including a recent trip to assist in an eye care clinic.

"These trips have made me realize the need for safe drinking water there. This is such a basic need, but they can't get it.  So I just started a non-profit organization called Hope2O to help make this happen," Davis said. "I originally was trying to develop the technology to bring safe water to where it is needed, but I've learned that the technology already exists, so through my non-profit I want to raise the money to get this done."

"You have to do something."

COBI senior Nathan Boothe eyes careers in sports and business

Love of sports runs deep through the veins of Nathan Boothe, a marketing and sales major in the College of Business and Innovation and the only senior on The University of Toledo men's basketball team.

"Our family has a tradition of playing sports. I had uncles who played college football, an uncle who played professional baseball for the San Francisco Giants organization, and a sister who played professional basketball for a team in Poland and now plays for a team in Russia."

Nathan started playing basketball in the 6th grade, and also got into golf in high school, but it was his basketball skills - - where he helped his Warren Township Blue Devils post a 31-4 win-loss record - - that attracted a visit from an assistant coach from the University of Toledo, who traveled to Boothe's hometown of Gurnee, Illinois to observe him.

"I had a good relationship with an assistant coach, I got on UT's campus, and I loved it.  It was a good fit from the start for me with a good group of people," Boothe recalled. "The deal was done once they had my Mom happy with how serious they are, not just with basketball, but with academics and becoming a better person.  Coach K (Tod Kowalczyk, the men's head basketball coach) really cares about us developing into a better person."

Boothe said he enjoys team activities such as visiting a children's hospital and helping with youth basketball camps. "People would be surprised to know that I love hanging out with little kids. I think people by looking at me would think that I would not be good with kids, but I love doing the camps."

But it's all business when it comes to being a UT Rocket basketball player, and Boothe clearly recognizes his added responsibilities on the court this year. As the only senior on the team, the 6'9" power forward center knows he must assume a position of leadership.

"I have the responsibility to get the team together," he said.  "I have to step forward. The team is young this year, but we should be good."

Boothe also feels the added pressure when a game is being televised, but only at the start. "Once I'm on the court, I don't think about it. It's just really enjoyable, and I'm blessed to be able to do it."

As for the future, Boothe admits that he would love to play basketball professionally, if not in the NBA then maybe in Europe, as his sister now does. (Boothe also admits that, even today, backyard basketball with his siblings is still "competitive.") And he recalls that it was a "thrill to have met one of the all-time greats, Michael Jordan" once at a tournament where Jordan's son was playing.

However, Boothe is also excited about the opportunities of a career in business.

"My dad is in sales, he travels and enjoys it," Boothe said.  "I don't want to be in an office.  I really liked Professor Pullins sales classes, and COBI advisor Darlene Stevens talked me into a double major of marketing and sales. I would like to use my business degree and do marketing for a sports product."

This summer he worked in ticket sales for UT athletics, and said "I once visited the headquarters of Nike, and it would be the perfect job to do marketing for Nike."

Yes, the blood that runs deep through Boothe's body is saturated with sports, which is why, even when naming his favorite movies - - which he enjoys watching with his friends - -  his second favorite film is Miracle, about the 1980 Olympic gold-medal winning United States hockey team.

But both his basketball and business opponents should know that the favorite movie of this personable, children-loving, imposing young man is Gladiator.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Football player named to 2015 Allstate Good Works Team

Toledo senior tight end and COBI student Alex Zmolik has been nominated for the 2015 Allstate American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team.

Alex Zmolik, center in back, spent his spring break on a volunteer mission trip in Nicaragua.
Every year, the Allstate Insurance Co. and the American Football Coaches Association honor college players who balance academics and athletics, while remaining committed to helping others and bettering their communities.

Zmolik is a two-year starter for the Rockets. He had a career-high 16 receptions in 2014, helping Toledo to a 9-4 mark. His career-best six receptions were key in UT’s 63-44 victory in the GoDaddy Bowl last year.

Zmolik, who earned Academic All-MAC honors in 2014, is a marketing and sales major with a 3.42 grade point average. He is the Rockets’ team leader for Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Athletes in Action activities. He also volunteers at the Boys and Girls Club a few times each month. During this past spring break, Zmolik traveled to Nicaragua, volunteering his time on a mission trip.

A total of 197 student-athletes from all levels of college football were nominated for the award. A final roster of 22 award recipients will be unveiled in September. From the nominees submitted by sports information directors across the nation on behalf of their schools, a special voting panel consisting of former Allstate American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team members and college football media members will select the 2015 Good Works Team.

Once the final team members are announced in September, fans are encouraged to visit the Allstate American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team website on, featuring profiles and images of the players, for the opportunity to vote for the 2015 team captain.

College of Business and Innovation hosted fifth annual Technology Camp for high school students

 The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation presented its fifth annual Technology Camp on July 14, 15 and 16 in the Savage & Associates Business Complex.

Approximately 40 area high school students from throughout Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan attended the camp which immersed them into the vast possibilities of modern technology. Participating students had the chance to create their own apps, learn web design, discover modern business applications of technology, create an iMovie and actually build a computer.

"Computer technology is becoming an essential life skill for young people, and this camp is an outstanding opportunity for them to immerse themselves in a technology learning experience at literally no cost to them," noted Darlene Stevens, enrollment management specialist in the College of Business and Innovation. "Students were able to explore both the power and the fun of information technology (IT). We know that some of the students will become so enthralled by this experience that they will decide to study IT at UT.”

COBI provides the entire camp experience free of charge for the participants.