Alumna Inspires with Infectious Love of UToledo

By Kate Zenone

Isabella Weik ’22

There are few people you meet who bring so much joy and passion to the world it overflows, naturally causing you to join in their excitement. Isabella Weik ’22 is one of those people. Her infectious love for The University of Toledo sets the standard for Rocket pride and launches her to the top of the list of advocates for both the University and the greater Toledo community.

The presence she carries almost makes you forget she is only a 2022 graduate. As a recent alumna, like many Rockets, Weik’s UToledo experience taught her that she needed to try new experiences to find who and where she wanted to be.

Rocket Family Ties

With a family full of Rockets, it’s easy to see how UToledo became such a special place for Weik. Her great grandmother Mary Jane Fox Sulier graduated in 1963. Five years later, Dee Weik, graduated from the University in December 1968, but not before meeting her future husband in University Hall, where Otto Weik was taking a class. 

“My grandparents met in their psychology 101 class,” Weik shared. Solidifying University Hall as her favorite building on main campus.

As if that weren’t a strong enough connection, Weik’s father, Jay Rinsen Weik, joined the Rocket family in 2006 and still serves as a senior lecturer and director of the UToledo Guitar Program.

Weik, left, and her father, Jay Rinsen Weik

Creating Her Own Path at UToledo

It’s no wonder Weik is so passionate about UToledo and the incredible community that surrounds it. Even with two of her four years falling during the COVID-19 pandemic, Weik was able to find ways to be present and active.

A proud sister of Delta Phi Epsilon and brother of Blue Key National Honor Society, she credits these organizations and the numerous friendships that resulted for her leadership journey which shaped her UToledo experience.

Weik shared that taking on her first leadership role as social chair for Delta Phi Epsilon was largely due to the encouragement of her peers and expressed an immense gratitude for having that support system. Blue Key offered her the opportunity to engage with senior leaders across the University while also providing a platform to learn about and discuss issues that were impactful, not just for her, but the entire campus.

“The history of Blue Key at UToledo is so special and I am honored to be part of such a magical group.”

Weik also worked on campus in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as their religious diversity coordinator and at the UToledo Recreational Center where she had personal training clients and taught fitness classes.  

“Becoming a personal trainer at the Recreational Center was transformational for me. I still teach one yoga class just so I can stay connected to my UT fam.” She added that many students and alumni still recognize her and often joke that she will be on campus teaching until she needs a cane.

Launching Into Her Career

These experiences provided Weik with the foundation she needed to start exploring a career path outside of UToledo. To her surprise, she found herself guided back to her family’s wellness organization, The Toledo Mindfulness Institute. She currently serves as president and chief executive officer, allowing her father to focus on other priorities within the organization.

“Seeing the benefits of mindfulness and the impact it’s had on my life, I knew I wanted to bring that to others. My ability to show up authentically in the community is directly related to my mindfulness and self-care practice. It was a natural fit for me to step into this role and continue the amazing work we are doing in the community that I love.”

As an entrepreneur and content creator interested in the arts, wellness, styling clothing and the overall renaissance of downtown Toledo, Weik is a true Toledo advocate and uses her influence to support the region and promote local and small businesses. Weik’s energy is endless and her passion even more so.

“Spending time around the vibrant community at TolHouse and other Toledo entrepreneurs who are doing extraordinary things to help our community was and still is inspiring. It was easy to see the Institute as a way to give back to the city that has given so much to me, which mirrors the way these individuals are using their platforms and organizations to do the same.” 

Building Community and Connecting Toledo

Finding community contributed to Weik’s dedication to helping connect other like-minded professionals in support of the region. As a result, she collaborated with Toledo Rotary members and founded Rotaract Club of Toledo with the support of her friends, Melvin Jackson III, Evan Trowbridge ’18, and their Toledo Rotary advisor, Mark Urrutia ’88.

The group is a service-oriented organization dedicated to building connections and supporting Toledo initiatives and non-profits. Weik served as president for the first and formative year, leading the group through their mission, vision and value creation with a close team of friends and community members. The group now has over 40 members and is continuing to grow.  

Learn more about Toledo Rotaract

Most recently, Weik is rejoining her alma mater through the UToledo Alumni Association. She was elected to serve as president of the current Blue Key Alumni Association Board. Membership in Blue Key National Honor Society is the highest leadership honor that can be bestowed upon a Rocket and the honor is only given to 13 members of the student body each year based on leadership, scholarship and involvement

A Humble Path to Success

Weik at the Best of Toledo awards ceremony

Weik’s success and commitment has not gone unnoticed. In March, she won Runner-Up in the “Up and Coming Professional” category at the Best of Toledo awards presented by the Toledo City Paper.  

“We are always grateful to have alumni, near or far, who want to stay involved. We are so glad to have Isabella as an active member of the Rocket family and greater Toledo community.”

William Pierce ’99, ’09
Associate Vice President of Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving and Executive Director, UToledo Alumni Association

Although it was not a traditional path, the support of faculty, staff and mentors who not only embraced her unique journey, but encouraged her interdisciplinary spirit helped create the incredible leader she is today. Weik is a true example of the care and community at UToledo. She is one of many alumni making a direct impact on her community – and that is something worth recognizing.

“The University of Toledo is such a special place. I was able to fully embrace who I was there and that is what helped lead me to a position where I can continue to cultivate that for others – which is really amazing! For the community I love to recognize something in me has really meant the world.”

Isabella wanted to acknowledge and express her sincere gratitude to a few individuals who made a lasting impact on her UToledo journey.

  • For helping her lean into creativity and musicianship:
    Norm Damschroder, Dr. Ellie Martin, Dr. Olman Piedra and her father, Jay Rinsen Weik.
  • For teaching her about religious diversity work:
    Dr. Jeanine Diller
  • For allowing her to be part of the diversity, equity and inclusion work and mentorship:
    Malaika Bell, Dr. Dilip Das, and Dr. Willie McKether
  • For teaching the value of business and sales:
    Dr. Anne Balazs and Deirdre Jones
  • Special acknowledgement:
    Dr. Gregory Postel, Valerie Simmons-Walston and Dr. Sammy Spann

Read more Spring 2024 Alumni eMagazine stories.