Common course evaluations get critical look in BGSU Faculty Senate

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The proposal to change the way Bowling Green State University students evaluate courses and professors drew questions at the recent Faculty Senate meeting. The teaching and learning evaluation instrument would make sure that there are the same six questions on every course evaluation. Departments would still be able to supplement the evaluation with their own questions. The common course evaluation would also be administered online, explained Julie Matuga, vice provost for institutional effectiveness. A working group was charged with studying the issue in fall, 2015. It included faculty, administrators, and students. “What we’ve tried to do over the past two and half year is to bring in a lot of individuals to get their feedback,” she said. The goal, Matuga said is “to better inform institutional professional development efforts, and provide feedback on teaching and learning.” The group also wanted to make sure faculty had ready access to the data. The group presented a report to the senate in March. The new evaluation will continue to be tested this semester before being implemented in fall. The group recommended adopting EvaluationKIT to administer the evaluations. The system works well with Canvas, BGSU’s online course management…

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BG to get a new look – and new smell – in 2018

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green will be getting some makeovers this year. People entering the city from Interstate 75 will encounter a new look on East Wooster Street and less odors from the wastewater plant. In the downtown area, the new Wooster Green is scheduled to get a gazebo this spring. Mayor Dick Edwards, one of the main forces behind the Wooster Green project, reported to City Council Tuesday that in late April or early May, the gazebo will be built on the Wooster Green at the corner of West Wooster and South Church streets. Edwards also noted that more than $230,000 had already been pledged for the project. A sign has been erected in the green space, showing the proposed entry for the community gathering space. The East Wooster Street corridor is getting multiple crosswalks, which should be completed this spring, Public Works Director Brian Craft reported. Preliminary work will begin for the roundabouts at the Interstate 75 interchanges. Public Utilities Director Brian O’Connell said odor control measures will be installed at the wastewaster plant this spring. The plant, which sits along I-75, has been the source of many complaints about unappealing odors. And…


What’s happening in your community (updated Jan. 20)

NEWLY POSTED:  Toledo Symphony plays live to ‘Singin’ in the Rain,’ Jan. 20 Voted the greatest movie musical of all time by the American Film Institute, beloved classic “Singin’ in the Rain” comes to life on the big screen with live orchestral accompaniment by the Toledo Symphony, Saturday, Jan. 20, at 8 p.m. in the Stranahan Theater. The movie features award-winning onscreen performances by song and dance legends Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds. Sara Jobin will conduct the orchestra. NEWLY POSTED:  Violinist Maria Sampen returns for Great Performance recital, Jan. 21 Violinist Maria Sampen and pianist Thomas Rosenkranz will present violin sonatas by Johannes Brahms along with contemporary works in a Great Performances concert at the Toledo Museum of Art, Sunday Jan. 21 at 3 p.m.This is the first of two concerts featuring Sampen, who grew up in Bowling Green and is now a professor of violin at the University of Puget Sound and Rosenkranz, associate professor of piano at Bowling Green State University. Program includes the Sonatas no. 1 and 2 for Violin and Piano by Brahms, Clara Schumann’s Three Romances and William Bolcom’s Second Sonata for Violin and Piano.   NEWLY POSTED:  Toledo Opera staging ‘Rigoletto,” Jan….


BG Middle School ‘Ending the Silence’ on mental health

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Silence can be soothing – but not if it allows warning signs and the stigma surrounding mental health issues to go unnoticed. Bowling Green Middle School counselors Debra Ondrus and Alyssa Santacroce presented a program to the board of education Tuesday evening about “Ending the Silence at BGMS.” The school partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Wood County to focus on emotional and mental health. National statistics show that one in five Americans suffer from mental health issues, Santacroce said. For students, those problems can affect their academics and daily lives. Bowling Green Middle School is the first school in Wood County to work with NAMI to offer this for students, Ondrus said. Staff and students worked together to recognize the signs of mental health problems. Through the program, they tackled the topics of: Decreasing the stigma Identifying warning signs Finding positive coping skills Treating the problem Recognizing signs of suicide Students not only talked about how to help themselves, but also how to help others who are suffering. “I was amazed,” Ondrus said of the ideas students came up with to help others. One student vowed to stop…


BGSU students fan out through the region on MLK Jr. Day of Service

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Steady snow showers throughout the region Monday couldn’t keep more than 800 university students from answering the call to service. The snow just gave a few of them another way to help. A group of Bowling Green State University students participating in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service came to the office of Downtown Bowling Green. While some of them worked inside creating chalk signs for an upcoming United Way fundraiser, a handful headed outside with shovels and ice melt to clear sidewalks. They just wanted to help, said Jamie Hawkins and Jenna Battaglia. This is the 10th Annual Martin Luther King Jr, Day of Service coordinated by BGSU. With the students involved this year, the event will have sent about 5,800 volunteers into the field to serve the community. Angel Alls-Hall, one of the student organizers of the event, told the volunteers before they went out that this was a way of honoring King’s own service. “Today we carry on that legacy of activism and service that Dr. King embodied. So let us go out to the community to serve today and in days to come.” Jauntez Bates, a senior political…


School board ponders whether, what, and when of new bond issue request

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Back in November when the Bowling Green school bond issue went down in defeat, board members insisted that they would return with the same $72 million plan that would consolidate the district’s three elementary schools and extensively renovate and expand the high school. Early Monday morning, two months later, they met to discuss whether that was the best option. The workshop session was part post mortem of the election and part a free-wheeling discussion about what other options there may be to address the district’s building needs. In the end, the board seemed poised to return to the ballot, possibly as early as May, with the same plan. The board, which meets in regular session Tuesday, set another special meeting for Friday, Jan. 19 at 7:30 a.m. to further discuss the next step. It is possible a decision on whether and what to put on the ballot and when will be determined then. They must decide by Jan. 31 if the board is to put the issue on the May ballot. Board member William Clifford, who said on election night that the board would return with the same plan, asked Monday whether there was…


Work Leads to Independence at new worksite in BG

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   In one room, workers put together flow lines for windshield washers. In another, workers put labels on bags of bird seeds. In another, workers rebuild ink and laser cartridges. And in another area, people on their day off from work sit together and play cards. This is just as Vic Gable had imagined it could be. A place where Wood Lane workers with developmental disabilities could work together under one roof. A place where those same workers could hang out with friends on their days off. And a place where Work Leads to Independence (still known on paper as Wood Lane Industries) has a storefront in the Bowling Green community. “You always have a wish list of what you want, and this had it all,” Gable, director of Works Leads to Independence, said of the program’s new location at 991 S. Main St. – formerly the home of Heringhaus Furniture. “This is in the heart of the community.” On the very first day the site was open, customers walked in the front door to get document shredding services and laser cartridges refurbished. “The community has been very welcoming to us,” Gable said….