Articles by David Dupont

Top BGSU musicians put their heart into concerto performances

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Long before the winners of the Competitions in Musical Performance step on stage in front of the Bowling Green Philharmonia, they need to strike up a relationship with the composition to which they want to devote a chunk of their lives. That means hundreds of hours of practice, then additional hours rehearsing with an accompanist before the December competition where they have their short time on stage during the semifinal and finals rounds until they hear the full force of an orchestra at their back. On Sunday at 3 p.m. that work will come to fruition on the Kobacker Hall stage during the annual Concerto Concert. Four musicians, two graduate students and two undergraduates, were selected from a field of 87 competitors back in December. Pianist Zhanglin Hu will open the concert with one of the war horses of classical literature. The sophomore piano performance major will perform the first movement of Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto. Hu said he and his teacher, Robert Satterlee, selected the piece because its grandeur and majesty fit Hu’s style. Having the support of the orchestra only accentuates those qualities, he said. “With the orchestra you can hear a lot of different voices,” he said. “The orchestra produces a richer sound.” That means as a soloist he must invest “more and more energy into his playing.” Hu said that he enjoyed working with the conductor Robert Jay Garza III, who brought his own ideas to the table. “The concerto is the story between the orchestra and piano,” Hu said. Saxophonist Andrew Hosler has a much smaller ensemble behind him for Walter Mays’ “Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Chamber Ensemble.” The ensemble has a dozen winds, strings, percussion, and organ. Hosler said some string parts can be doubled to make the orchestra larger but he and conductor by Alexander Popovici opted to stay with the original, spare orchestration. The piece, the sophomore explained, requires great interplay between the ensemble and the soloist. It does not have an actual meter, instead the…


BGSU trustees vote to increase room & board charges

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Bowling Green State University Board of Trustees approved increases in room and board Friday. These were the first fee actions taken under the Falcon Guarantee program, so for incoming first-year students these are the charges that they will pay during their undergraduate careers. The average increase will be 2.3 percent, but the actual amount varies depending on the residence hall and room. Chief Financial Officer Sheri Stoll said that the state asks the university to report the cost of its standard double room. Such a room will cost $2,865 next year, up $75, or 2.7 percent. Room rates vary from $2,210, up $40, or 1.8 percent for an economy triple in a tier 2 residences  (Conklin, Offenhauer, Founders)  to $4,120, up  $90, or 2.2 percent in a tier 3 hall (Centennial, Falcon Heights, Greek units.) Stoll said that in considering room rates the university has to balance “competing issues.” It must be cognizant of how much local rental prices are, and Bowling Green has some of the lowest real estate prices. But it must also make sure it’s bringing in enough money to support the programs offered by residence life. Also, Stoll said, the university has to take in enough revenue to maintain the buildings to make sure that “we are able to keep residence halls that students are going to want to come and live in.” The trustees also approved 3-percent increases in meal plans. The plans will now range in price from $1,719 for a Bronze Plan to $2,220 for a Gold Plan. Also, the Community Plan, formerly known as the Commuter Plan, will increase to $325 from $315, a 3.2 percent increase. The name of the plan was changed to reflect that it is used by faculty, staff, and community members as well as commuting students. That plan gives card holders 55 meals. The new board rates will hold for the class of 2022 for their next four years. Students in the classes 2020 and 2021 could be subject to…


Rodney Rogers named 12th president of BGSU (updated)

BY DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News In naming Rodney Rogers as the 12th president of Bowling Green State University Friday, the Board of Trustees signaled approval of the institution’s direction. Rogers is a familiar figure who came to BGSU in 2006 as dean of the College of Business, moved up to provost and on Jan. 1 took over as interim president when Mary Ellen Mazey surprised the university by announcing her retirement. Rogers is also the first president with a BGSU degree. He received his Masters of Business Administration from BGSU. Megan Newlove, who chairs of the board, said: “When the board started looking at what we wanted in our next president, we realized we had just what we wanted right here.” Kyle Johnson, the undergraduate trustee on the board, said he’s heard several people on campus say they hoped Rogers was named as president. Asked about this being Rogers first presidency, Newlove expressed confidence in him. “We’ve seen him grow in each role. We have confidence he’ll grow in this role.” Rogers, 59, received a five-year contract with a salary of $245,500. In a press conference after the meeting, Rogers said he was building on the great foundation laid down by Mazey and those who came before her. A public university has a particular charge to serve the public good. They do that by having programs that are relevant and focus on societal issues, he said. The university’s work on clean water, forensic science and the opioid crisis as examples of that. In an interview following his remarks said he will take every opportunity he can to advocate for the value of higher education. “There’s a lot of value to the work our faculty do. We need to articulate to the public why that was a great investment.” That research is more and more integrally related to the teaching. It is not enough simply to lecture, he said. The goal is to engage students in “focused, discovery-based inquiry.” A public university also must make sure that education is affordable…


Commissioners to review state of the county, March 13

(From BG Chamber of Commerce) Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce, along with Wood County Commissioners Dr. Ted Bowlus, Dr. Doris Herringshaw, and Craig LaHote, present the 2018 State of the County Address. Live broadcast with DJ Clint Corpe of The Morning Show on 88.1 WBGU-FM. This event will take place on Tuesday, March 13 in the Alvin L. Perkins Atrium at the Wood County Courthouse. Doors will open at 7:30am, with the program beginning at 8 a.m. Light refreshments will be provided. This event is sponsored by the Northwestern Water & Sewer District, Wood County Economic Development Commission, McDonald’s, Panera Bread, The Morning Show 88.1, Wood County Commissioners and the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce. Attendees are asked to park in the lot east of the Courthouse, off Summit Street. All spaces (except those with a meter) are free to people on county business. This event is free and open to the public and RSVP’s are appreciated. Please RSVP by Monday, March 12th by calling (419) 353-7945 or email MarissaMuniz@bgchamber.net.


Filmmaker Gaston Kabore sees movies playing role in coming African Renaissance

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Gaston J-M Kabore, a filmmaker from Burkina Faso, would like to see the waves of refugees fleeing Africa stay at home. “If you teach the youth … not to leave their continent and go and die in the desert and the sea because they believe there’s Eldorado elsewhere, if they take the money they gather to make the risky trip, if they make it work where they are, they will do miracles,” he said. They need to understand that over the ages, Africans have resolved their issues and can again. In the past Africans built civilizations and empires with sophisticated religions and rites, sculpture, dance, and music. The Mossi emperor still exists, without any civic power, but still commanding respect enough that he is called upon to mediate disputes. But now there are psychological “sediments” undermining Africans’ belief in themselves. Kabore, 67, has dedicated his career to telling the stories of his people. On Friday at noontime he will be the keynote at the Africana Studies Student Research Conference in the Bowen Thompson Student Union. His talk is free. The filmmaker has been in residence on the Bowling Green State University campus this week, where all four of his feature films and his short philosophical film “2,000 Generations of Africans” have been screened. Kabore started as a historian, beginning with studies in his homeland before traveling to Paris. In France he studied how Africans were depicted in illustrated magazines in the period following the 1885 Berlin Conference. At that conclave of European powers, leaders decided how they would conquer and divide Africa. When their forces met, Kabore said, they would stop. That led to boundaries drawn without regard for natural features or tribal divisions. “This explains some of the drama we live with today.” He wanted to study history, he said, because he was learning the history of Africans that “was being written exclusively by Europeans.” He did not “feel the thoughts and conscious decision of the Africans no matter who they are.” Studying…


BGSU Arts Events through March 13

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS At the galleries —The 67th Annual Undergraduate Art Exhibition, a juried selection of art in all media by students in the School of Art, will remain open through Feb. 19. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday evenings 6-9 p.m., and Sunday 1-4 p.m. The show will be open Presidents Day, Monday, Feb. 19. Feb. 15 — Guest artist Mark Fewer will conduct a violin master class. Described as “genre-bending” by the National Post, and “intrepid” by the Globe and Mail, Fewer has performed around the world to critical acclaim, including performances from the early baroque to the avant-garde, with recent performances as soloist with groups as wide-ranging as the Melbourne Symphony, the Fodens-Richardson Brass Band, the Zapp Quartet and the McGill Percussion Ensemble. The class will begin at 2:30 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Feb. 15 — The University Band and Concert Band will perform a concert. Advance tickets are $7 for students and $10 for other adults; tickets the day of the concert are, respectively, $10 and $13. Tickets can also be purchased at bgsu.edu/arts. For more information, call the box office between noon and 6 p.m. weekdays at 419-372-8171. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall, located in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Feb. 15 — The BGSU theatre department presents the opening performance of “The Language Archive,” playwright Julia Cho’s comedy about a scholar of dead or dying languages who finds it impossible to verbalize love in any of the obscure languages he has mastered, and who perhaps feels more affection for language than for people. Advance tickets are $5 for BGSU students and $15 for other adults; all tickets the day of the concert are $20. Tickets can also be purchased at bgsu.edu/arts. For more information, call the box office between noon and 6 p.m. weekdays at 419-372-8171. The show opens at 8 p.m. in the Eva Marie Saint Theatre at the Wolfe…


BGSU sorting out confusion over fall finals week

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green State University’s new 15-week semester hit a snag six months before it is scheduled to start when a discussion during a meeting of administrators led to a misunderstanding about how exam week would be handled. Faculty later were shocked when they found a fall calendar on the registrar’s page stating the last day of classes for the fall semester would be Dec. 14 with the first commencement ceremony scheduled for that night. The senate was meeting the second time this month Tuesday during an on-call session. Senate Chair David Border called the session after all “the noise” generated by the confusion. Acting Provost John Fischer told Faculty Senate he took full responsibility for the confusion. What were intended to be complex, “nuanced” discussions about how to approach finals week turned “funky,” and within an hour of the meeting he was getting calls. The first discussion among department chairs and school directors was about how to make sure finals week was being used for exams, final projects or other educationally significant work. That week has become even more important, he said, because of the need to meet the number of contact hours – the time faculty are with students in the classroom – required by the state. With a 16-week semester, BGSU had already recorded the required number of hours before finals week. When Interim President Rodney Rogers was provost, he would, at the end of the semester, informally poll students waiting in line at Starbucks in the student union and ask them if they had an exam or other class meeting in all their courses during finals week. He found, Fisher said, that just about all said at least one course was not meeting. That cannot happen in a 15-week semester. So the chairs and directors discussed to stop calling the last week of the semester finals week. That was the first problem. The second more nagging issue is how to shoehorn exams into a final week of the semester. Three-credit hour…


Keep an eye on rising rivers

Brad Gilbert, Wood County EMA director has issued the following weather advisory: Light to sometimes moderate rain will continue through the morning hours before tapering off early this afternoon. Colder temperatures will also be moving into the area today and will mix with more precipitation from another storm system moving across Southeast Ohio tonight and tomorrow morning. A wintry mix will be possible late tonight and into the drive times Thursday morning. Conditions may become slippery with some freezing rain and sleet. Higher chances of mixed precipitation will be to our southeast (Akron to Mansfield to Lima). At this hour, the Portage River is cresting around 10.77 feet which is minor flood stage. Because of the current rain, the crest will likely last a little longer than normal; however, no major increases in river levels are anticipated at this time. At this hour, the Maumee River at Grand Rapids continues to rise. Mayor Berry reports that flood prone areas such as the campgrounds and park are beginning to fill with water. Forecast models indicate the river cresting in the minor flood stage; however, a lot of rain has fallen in the upper Maumee River basin in Northeast Indiana, so we will need to continue to monitor the Maumee River for days to come. Another weaker storm system will impact the area Friday through Sunday with mostly rain; however, Friday morning may also see a wintry mix at times. Please use extra caution when driving Thursday and Friday mornings.


BGSU looks to hook prospective students at presidents Day Open House

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Monday was the day that Bowling Green State University hoped to seal the deal with high school seniors shopping for a college education. The university’s Presidents Day Open House Monday attracted about 4,000 guests to campus. Shortly before noon, Cecilia Castellano, vice provost for strategic enrollment planning, reported that 1,400 prospective students had registered. Including family members and others accompanying the students, that’s about 3,500 visitors. The event was scheduled to continue until midafternoon and people were still registering. Castellano said about 70 percent of students who attend end up attending BGSU. It’s the biggest day for visits at BGSU. Castellano said the goal is to give visiting high school sense “a sense of community, to feel that they can belong here.” A campus fair with table for academic departments, support services, and activities filled the ballroom in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. BGSU is showing off all the opportunities students have to stand out, Castellano said. They were also offered chances to connect with current BGSU students and faculty “so they can find their niche.” They were given a list of dozens of classes they and their parents can attend. She was part of that effort stationed in the ballroom helping visitors find what they needed. The Open House allows them to visit every residence hall where freshmen live “so they can picture themselves here,” she said. While many students were here already planning to commit, some were still on the fence. John Spragg, from Strongsville, is interested in the criminal justice program especially as it relates to forensic science. He was heading off to a reception hoping to meet faculty and learn more about interaction between forensics studies and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation lab on campus. His older brother studies criminal justice at Kent State, and he’s considering joining him. Still he’s considering BGSU as a way of “striking out on my own.” John Hahn had also whittled his choices down to two schools – BGSU and Ohio University. He’s considering journalism….


Young at art: Youthful pianists display prodigious gifts at Dubois competition at BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News No one landed a quadruple Lutz at the 2018 David D. Dubois Piano Competition Sunday. That wasn’t the only difference between the kind of athletic competition seen globally and that held in Kobacker Hall on the Bowling Green State University. There were no cheering throngs, just a handful of listeners. But then no one flopped. No gold medals are handed out. But the winners collect checks, and all participants, even those who applied but didn’t make the semifinals are eligible for BGSU scholarships. Collecting the $3,000 top prize, was 16-year-old Raymond Feng, of Rochester, NY. Isabelle Liau, 16, of Novi, Michigan, placed second collecting $2,000 and bettering on her third place performance in last year’s competition. Third, $1,000, went to 13-year-old Angelina Ning from Charlotte, North Carolina. To compete classically-trained pianists in grades 8 through 12 (age 18 or younger) must prepare a 20-30 minutes long program of music from the last 500 years or so, with music from at least three stylistic periods, Baroque through contemporary. One piece must be a Classical Era sonata – Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and their contemporaries. All must be memorized with the exception of pieces composed after 1945. Though most finalists played a contemporary piece, none took advantage of that exception. The only music visible was on the judges’ table in front Robert Satterlee, of the BGSU piano faculty, and the guest artists Ursula Oppens and Phillip Moll. Behind them sat Laura Melton, also of the piano faculty, who was the driving force behind bringing the event here, and continues to direct it. Robert Swinehart, who represents the Dubois Trust, said that staging the festival at BGSU was a wise decision. He attends every year, and every year, he said, the field of pianists improves. “This is a phenomenal event.” He was a close friend of David Dubois for 20 years, he said. Starting as a high school math teacher, Dubois applied his knowledge to management systems beyond education in books, speeches and consulting. He also loved music,…


Science teachers enrich lesson plans with activities about Lake Erie algae blooms

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Area science teachers visited the Bowling Green State University campus early this month to learn how to integrate lessons ripped from the headlines into their lesson plans. The professional development sessions brought about a  dozen teachers to learn ways to teach intermediate and middle school students about issues surrounding algae blooms in Lake Erie. Doug Reynolds, who teaches fifth grade at Holland Elementary, said he was excited about having the professional development on “real world problems.” Like several other teachers in the class this was a return to his alma mater. He earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from BGSU in 1997 and 2000 respectively. Karen Krontz has yet to earn her BGSU degree. She’s student teaching at Dorr Elementary in Springfield. “It’s so relatable to everyday life,” she said of the issue. During lessons students share stories about how they use water, and they’re aware of the consequences when something goes wrong. In 2014, toxic blooms made the water in Toledo and much of the surrounding area undrinkable. “They know about algae blooms. Some were affected a few years ago, so they’re very interested.” The workshop was taught by BGSU professor George Bullerjahn, one of the leading experts on algae blooms, with Mark Seals, director of the School of Teaching and Learning, and STEM educator and researcher Ken Newbury. The sessions, funded by a $60,000 Ohio Math Science Partnership grant awarded to BGSU, demonstrated simple hands-on activities that showed the dynamics of how algae blooms form and how they can be mitigated. That meant the teachers getting their hands dirty as they put dirt into trays on top of wire screening. The lesson is intended to show how buffer zones around fields can help keep the runoff rich with nutrients applied as fertilizer from flowing into the lake. Those nutrients nourish the plant life in the lake, just as they nourish plants on land. Conor Whelan teaches science to fifth and sixth graders at a school for the gifted in Sandusky. Surrounded…


Black Swamp Players reveals wealth of talent in ‘The Secret Garden’

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Black Swamp Players have stepped out of their comfort zone in staging “The Secret Garden.” The musical, beloved by many including director Cassie Greenlee, sprawls across two continents, with the main setting a rambling mansion with many rooms, many haunted rooms and gardens, including the secret one of the title. The musical also stretches from the real world deep into the world of memory, populated by the spirits of the dead. These are characters with haunted hearts. And the musical relies heavily on its songs to tell its story and express the sense of longing, loss, and hope. All and all, a challenge, to fit onto the modest stage at First United Methodist Church. But the Players do a splendid job and demonstrate why the show is beloved by its fans. “The Secret Garden” opens tonight (Friday, Feb. 16) at 8 p.m. and continues this weekend  with shows Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. and next weekend with evening shows Feb. 23 and 24 and a matinee Feb. 25. For tickets click.  http://www.blackswampplayers.org/ The show begins with a lively party in India, where British officers and their wives are celebrating while our heroine Mary (Zoe Cross-Nelms) is in bed upstairs. Soon cholera will serve to make her an orphan (the preferred state for children in such stories). But Mary’s parents (Keith Guion and Melanie Moore) aren’t making early exit, rather they and the rest continue to haunt the stage, forming a kind of Greek chorus in dazzling white as Mary is shipped back to England to live in a gloomy mansion with her gloomy Uncle Archibald (Nathan Wright) The house has secrets. Archibald is also in mourning for his wife and sister of Mary’s mother, Lily (Megan Meyer) who died 10 years before. And Lily as well continues to haunt those she left behind. Mary’s disposition – she was apparently always something of a pill – does not improve with this change of scenery. Indeed, it seems designed to make…


“The Language Archive” speaks to difficulties of communicating from the heart

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The linguist at the center of the play “The Language Archive” is fluent in a number of languages. The language of the heart is not one of them. The play by Julia Cho is all about the difficulty of mastering that language. “The Language Archive” opens tonight (Thursday, Feb. 15) and continues weekends through Feb. 24 at the Eva Marie Saint Theatre in Bowling Green State University’s Wolfe Center for the Arts. Click for show times and ticket information. For George (Connor Long) those troubles are evident from the opening scene. He’s concerned about his wife who always seems sad, crying at the least provocation whether watching TV, cleaning the house, or writing notes. “She uses her tears to seal the envelopes.” But his wife, Mary (Felita Guyton), wonders why he never cries, not even at the death of his grandmother. As a linguist devoted to preserving dying languages, he finds the extinction of a language far more moving than the death of any pet or family member. There are 6,900 languages in the world, he notes, and half of them are expected to be gone by the end of the century. The death of a language is the death of a world, he believes. (Though as another character points out later, the world dies first.) George works in an archive of tapes of dead and dying languages. He and his long-time assistant Emma (Laura Beth Hohman) are welcoming a couple who speak a nearly extinct language. They hope to capture their conversation on tape. Usually they have only a single speaker of an endangered language who delivers long stories and monologues. Seldom do they have two people who can converse. And Resten (Michael Tosti) and Alta (Hope Elizabeth Eller) do converse in a comic scene. They are sullen when they enter, and then they start talking, bickering. It starts with the wife’s complaints about getting stuck in the middle seat on the airplane on their flight over, devolves into his complaints about her…


BGSU named one of top 100 safest campuses

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University is ranked 32nd on the 2018 list of Safest Colleges in America, and one of only two universities in Ohio ranked in the top 100. The ranking was created using the most recent data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting and the National Center for Education Statistics. The top-ranked colleges boast safe campuses with little or no crime and low overall crime rates (off campus). “We are pleased to again be recognized as one of the safest colleges in the country,” Interim President Rodney Rogers said. “This is a great reflection of the living and learning environment at BGSU and the quality of life in the city of Bowling Green.” Individuals can support this effort by being aware of their surroundings, by reporting criminal or suspicious activity and by getting involved in University-sponsored crime prevention programs. The BGSU Department of Public Safety provides around-the-clock protection and sponsors many crime prevention programs. The Campus Escort Service, University Shuttle, sophisticated outdoor lighting system and outdoor emergency telephones combine to provide a campus environment that feels safe and secure. For information about crime prevention, policies for reporting crime on campus and crime statistics for the most recent three-year period, see the BGSU Campus Security and Fire Safety Report. Four-year institutions with enrollment of 10,000 or more were accessed to compile the 2018 list of Safest Colleges in America. Alarms.org created the list after finding that campus safety contributed to anxiety about college.


Past, present, & future live in the art of indigenous activist Dylan Miner

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News In the language of the Metis one word refers both to ancestors and descendants. The word means both great-grandparents and great-grandchildren. For indigenous people the past, present, and future are not a continuum but ever present, said Dylan Miner, an artist, activist, scholar and educator from Michigan. “All are intimately connected in a being that is myself,” he said. And all that’s connected in the art he creates. Miner, who teaches at Michigan State, was the guest for the opening talk in the Homelands and Histories Speaker Series presented by the Institute for the Study of Culture and Society at Bowling Green State University. He spoke Tuesday at the Wood County District Public Library. Miner’s art is deeply rooted both in the history of indigenous peoples and their current struggles, which are fought to secure the future. Miner is Metis on his father’s side. The Metis are a people that trace their ancestry back to the descendants of indigenous people and French and English fur traders. Miner’s people lived on Drummond Island until removed. The land of the Metis stretches from the Georgian Bay to through western Canada, straddling the border with the United States. The Metis language, Michif, is a mix of French nouns and Cree verbs and grammar. Miner introduced himself in Michif and then in Ojibway, which he learned from Ojibway elders living in Lansing. The first art work Miner discussed was a fire bag, called colloquially an “octopus bag,” which his grandfather’s grandmother had, and which still remains in his family. It was used to carry the herbs for medicine. Miner continues to use natural materials for some of his own art. In a piece celebrating Louis Riel, a Metis who led two insurrections against the fledgling Canadian government in the late-19th century, Miner altered archival photos by covering Riel’s image in birch bark. The legal systems that ended in the executions of Riel in Canada or 38 Dakota men in Minnesota in 1862, the largest mass execution in U.S….