NIH grant awarded for research to treat heart disease

Dr. Christie ZhangDr. Christie Zhang, an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, has been awarded $459,992 by the National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute of the National Institutes of Health in support of her research on developing tissue-engineering approaches to treat heart disease.

The goal of this research is to develop a composite cardiac patch using stem cell sheets and decellularized cardiac tissue for heart repair. The xenotransplantation approach proposed in this study has great potential for future clinical translation and will bring hope to patients, awaiting heart transplants. Zhang’s project will also provide training opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students in the fast-growing field of regenerative engineering.

Biomedical engineering prof authors book

Dr. Marnie SaundersA textbook by Dr. Marnie Saunders, associate professor of biomedical engineering, has been published by Morgan and Claypool Publishing as part of its Synthesis in Biomedical Engineering Series.

The book, titled “Mechanical Testing for the Biomechanical Engineer: A Practical Approach,” focuses on the practical aspects of mechanical testing and covers topics including basic mechanics, measurement and measurement tools, design, basic machining, testing machine design and fabrication, test fixture design and fabrication, and examples of mechanical testing in the orthopedic research field.

Workplace Wisdom Series continues

The Institute for Teaching and Learning will host seminars on a variety of topics as the Workplace Wisdom Series continues. The sessions listed here are designed for specific groups; however, all are welcome to attend any Workplace Wisdom session.

All sessions will be held in Leigh Hall 414. Here is the schedule:

  • “Managing Performance: The Corrective Action Process,” presented by Mark Stasitis, director of labor relations and immigration services, Tuesday, March 3, 9:55 to 10:45 a.m. Designed for supervisors.
  • “Consensus Building,” presented by Laurel Rooks, coordinator, Office of Academic Affairs, Wednesday, March 11, 11 to 11:50 a.m. Designed for all faculty and staff.
  • “Skill Building for Administrative Assistants - EmpCenter,” presented by Diane Shovestull, manager of payroll, Thursday, March 19, 11 to 11:50 a.m.
  • “FMLA: An Overview For Supervisors,” presented by Jennifer Burns, benefits administrator, Wednesday, April 1, 9:55 to 10:45 a.m. Designed for supervisors.
  • “Customer Service,” presented by Kim Beyer, executive assistant to the vice president of student success and director of strategic planning and communications in the Office of Student Success; Jessica DeFago, associate director, Office of Accessibility; and Craig Libman, graduate assistant, Office of Student Success. Scheduled Friday, April 10, 9:55 to 10:45 a.m. Designed for all faculty and staff.
  • “Skill Building For Administrative Assistants - PaymentNet,” presented by Barb Fuller, coordinator, Procurement Card Program; and Matt Beaven, University Enterprise risk manager, Thursday, April 16, 9 to 10 a.m. (Rescheduled from Feb. 26.)

To attend and to view other scheduled sessions, please register online at Institute for Teaching and Learning Seminars.

Share your views on improvements to the Towpath Trail

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation awarded the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition a grant of $249,900 to be used toward iTowpath. The project is designed to enhance the Towpath Trail between Mustill Store at North Street and Summit Lake at Kenmore Boulevard with safe and identifiable connections to surrounding neighborhoods and area attractions.

The University and the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition are working together to make UA a stop on the Towpath Trail. The coalition needs feedback from the campus community — faculty, staff and students — on the trail. The public planning process will take place March 3-5, and everyone is invited to come and share their needs, desires and visions for the Towpath Trail.

Participants are welcome to stop by at any time throughout the planning process. Here is the schedule:

  • March 3, Walk the Towpath, 1 p.m., beginning in front of Akron Civic Theatre, 182 S. Main St.
  • March 3, Akron Civic Theatre, 182 S. Main St., 5 to 7 p.m.
  • March 4, Reach Opportunity Center at Summit Lake, 390 West Crosier St., 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.
  • March 5, Akron Civic Theatre, 182 S. Main St., 5 to 7 p.m.

The public is invited to give suggestions leading up to the public planning process with an interactive map available online. The public can also join the conversation on social media with the hashtags #iTowpath and #HeresHowiTowpath.

School of Music presents Concert Band

Join the members of the Concert Band for an evening performance led by conductor Andrew Feyes on Wednesday, March 4, at 8 p.m. in Guzzetta Recital Hall. This concert will feature works such as the “Eperata Overture” by Claude T. Smith, the “Third Suite” by Robert Jager, “Chorale and Alleluia” by Howard Hanson and “Snow Caps” by Richard Saucedo.

The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, call ext. 8301 or email

Symphony Orchestra in concert March 5

Join the Symphony Orchestra on Thursday, March 5, at 7:30 p.m. for a performance of Mussorgsky's “Kovanshchina”, Liadov's “Eight Russian Folk Songs” and Rimsky-Korsakov's “Scheherazade.” Guy Victor Bordo conducts. 
The event is free and open to the public at the First Congregational Church, 292 East Market St., one block north of campus. For more information, call ext. 8301 or email

MonsterPianos! returns to Thomas Hall

MonsterPianos! 2015

Forty-one pianists will converge on E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall on Sunday, March 15, at 3 p.m. for MonsterPianos! 2015, presented by the School of Music.

Massed pianists from campus and the community will perform an all-new program that includes Glenn Miller's "In the Mood," Franz Schubert's "Children's March," J.S. Bach's "Sicilienne," excerpts from Georges Bizet's "Carmen" and more. The pianists include Philip Thomson, Gwen Hayes, Mayumi Kikuchi, James Mismas, Tatsuya Nagashima,  Steinway Artists Sergio Gallo and Joe Augustine, and many others.

Galen Karriker, director of the band program, will conduct. A big-screen “piano cam” will put the audience in the middle of the musical sights and sounds.

The event is part of the UA School of Music's Kulas Foundation Concert Series. Support also comes from The Kenneth L. Calhoun Charitable Trust, KeyBank, Trustee; the Gilbert W. and Marguerite H. Dilley Performing Artist Series, and Thomas Hall.

Tickets are $12 for general admission, $6 for non-UA students, and free for UA students with Zip Cards and children 12 and under. Call ext. 7570 or visit


School of Music to host weekend concerts

This article originally appeared on 2-26-2015

Snowshoe rental available to explore the outdoors

This article originally appeared on 2-25-2015

Nile Project exploring music, cultures, challenges of world's longest river

This article originally appeared on 2-25-2015

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