Articles by David Dupont

Naturalization ceremony, Vagabrothers part of International Education Week at BGSU

Bowling Green State University will celebrate International Education Week 2017 Nov. 13-18. Presented by International Programs and Partnerships, the week is a community celebration of global culture and diversity, with free activities open to all, and opportunities to learn about everything from international careers to international travel. Highlighting the week on Thursday (Nov. 16) will be a visit by the globetrotting Vagabrothers, award-winning travel videographers photographers and writers. The brothers, Marko and Alex Ayling, are globally engaged storytellers on a mission to explore the planet by connecting with other young people and inspiring viewers to do the same. Students will gain knowledge, advice and general travel tips through the brothers’ experience of visiting more than 30 countries. Their entertaining talk begins at 7 p.m. in the Lenhart Grand Ballroom at the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. Students can get important information on working abroad at the International Career Panel Discussion, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Wednesday (Nov. 15) in 208 Union. A panel of five professionals with experience working in international education, business, nonprofits and government will share their stories and offer advice to students considering similar careers. Jeffery Jackson, Career Center director, will facilitate the discussion. The week’s events begin Monday (Nov. 13) when BGSU hosts a naturalization ceremony for 36 new citizens at 11 a.m. in the Lenhart Grand Ballroom at the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. Among those being naturalized are a current student, Ping Liu from China, in the professional MBA program, and former student Matias Razo Alvizo from Mexico, who attended BGSU Firelands from 2009-11. Two BGSU alumni will officiate:…


Registration now open for STEM teaching symposium at BGSU

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Registration is now open for the annual Symposium on STEM teaching, which will be held Nov. 18 at Bowling Green State University. With nearly 50 informative and engaging sessions encompassed in six different STEM teaching and learning strands, the annual Northwest Ohio Center for Excellence Symposium on STEM Teaching offers a valuable opportunity for in-service and pre-service teachers, higher education faculty, and business and community partners to share and learn from one another in a common effort to advance STEM education for people of all ages. BGSU faculty member Gabriel Matney will be the keynote speaker. A former middle and high school teacher, Matney holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics Education and is in his sixth year as an associate professor of mathematics education in the BGSU School of Teaching and Learning. Matney has actively worked on numerous grant projects designed to help in-service teachers create dynamic and minds-on classrooms that improve the learning of their students. His research centers on improving professional development for teachers and the development of pre-service teachers as professionals. In addition to his work with teachers in northwest Ohio, he has given more than 74 workshops across the United States, Thailand, South Korea and Japan. The pre-registration and onsite registration fee for the symposium, which runs from 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m., is $40. The fee for undergraduate and graduate students is $5. The registration fee includes six hours of high-quality professional development, the keynote address, conference bag/materials and lunch. For more…


BG Community Tree Lighting set for Nov. 17

From DOWNTOWN BOWLING GREEN Downtown Bowling Green is decorated and ready to kick off the holiday season Friday, November 17 th as Mayor Richard Edwards officiates the throwing of the switch that will light the Community Tree. The annual Community Tree Lighting Ceremony, organized by the Downtown Bowling Green has grown enormously in recent years and proves to be a well attended event yet again. This year’s program will include a prelude of music by the Madrigals and refreshments from Qdoba, Meijer, and the American Red Cross. The Downtown Bowling Green office is also honored to announce the partnership with the BGSU International Program to bring the town and gown together on this community event. The week of the tree lighting is International Education week and to bring light to this, there will be ornaments on the tree representing over 80 countries. The ornaments have been handmade by the students who will also be volunteering to assist the day of the event. The Wood County District Public Library has been a community partner in this event for so many years. Michael Penrod, Executive Director of the library gave us free rein on decorating and program choices. The library opens its doors to everyone for a free concert by the Madrigals in the library atrium at the conclusion of the tree lighting. So many thanks need to be extended; To the City of Bowling Green for all their assistance with logistics, BG Fire Department for transportation, Bowling Green Electric for the…


Daniel Gordon : “It is my honor to continue serving you”

Dear 1st Ward residents and BG friends, Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to all of you who supported me in my re-election as your City Councilman and won us our landslide victory on November 7th. It is my honor to continue serving you and working to improve our quality of life. I will not rest until I have done all I can to make sure everyone in Bowling Green feels safe and valued, lives in a strong and vibrant neighborhood, and is free to live their life as they choose. Whether you voted, knocked doors, made phone calls, donated time or money, wrote a letter to the editor, hosted a fundraiser, posted a yard sign, or told your neighbors to get to the polls – thank you. I could not have done it without you, and this victory is as much yours as mine. Again, thank you, and here’s to two more years. Daniel Gordon 1st Ward Councilman Bowling Green  


Muslim students at BGSU dedicate themselves to social justice

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Many people serve others because of the dictates of their religions. For Adam Smidi, it was his desire to serve others that led him to rededicate himself to Islam. As he read the Koran and about the prophet Mohammad, he found a calling. At the recent Muslim Student Association Convention at Bowling Green State University, Smidi said:  “I wanted to learn more about my religion that I was so far away from. I found that there was this element of social justice, like a pillar, or a backbone of the religion … treating yourself with dignity and treating others with the dignity that everyone deserves.” The Muslim Student Association has dedicated this year to reaching out to the community through service, Toghrul Alakbarov, president of the group, said. They will collaborate with others including plans to participate in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service next year. The convention is attended both by members of the association and community members invited for a free dinner, conversation, and entertaining lessons about Islam as well as presentations on weighty matters. Smidi, now a doctoral student in organizational communication at BGSU, was born in West Virginia, making him a self-described “Muslim hillbilly” and grew up in Toledo. His family, though, frequently traveled back to Lebanon to visit. He was “growing up with two cultures, two identities, and loving them both, my American and Muslim identities.” He now runs his family’s car dealership. “What’s most important to…


Nathan Eberly: Congratulations to winners & all those who campaigned

As a candidate for City Council At-Large, coming in fourth out of six, I wake this morning not with disappointment but rather with excitement. Earning 10% of the vote in a very competitive race is very telling. But this letter is not about me. I am writing this to congratulate all candidates that won seats on City Council last night. Congrats to Sandy Rowland and Greg Robinette for their wins for At-Large. Congratulation to Daniel Gordon, John Zanfrandino, Michael Asphacher, and William Herald for winning their respective Ward representative spots. I wish to congratulate also all those that dedicated the last year to their community as a candidate and look forward to seeing them continue their dedication in other ways. I love BG. There is so much potential for our town going forward and it will take us all as stakeholders in the town’s success to come together to fulfill that potential. Everyone needs to be represented and heard. It’s possible. Congratulations to everyone once again! And thank you to all those that voted for me to represent them, all those that volunteered, and all those hat donated. I’m thrilled to continue my early Wednesday in that same way I always have. With a bright look forward and seeking ways to have a positive impact on my community! Nathan Eberly Bowling Green


Election finals

The Bowling Green School district’s $72 million 37-year bond request failed at the polls Tuesday. The levy went down 3468 46.3 percent to 4019 53.7 percent. Sandy Rowland (D), 2970, 31.20 percent and Greg Robinette (R), 2677, 28.1 percent won at large council seats.  Holly Cipriani (D) 1956, 20.55 percent came in third. Trailing were  Independent Nathan Eberly, 934, and Green candidates Beverly Elwazani, 717,  and Carolyn S. Kawecka, 226. In ward races William Herald (R) ousted Democrat Scott Seeliger 1470-1358 in Ward 4. Two Democratic incumbents fended off Republican challenges. In Ward 1 Daniel Gordon won 253-79 over  Hunter Sluss. In Ward 2 John Zanfardino defeated Kent Ramsey 531-248.   The charter amendment prompted by anti-pipeline activists went down to defeat 2144 38.6 percent, to 3405, 61.4 percent. The county human services levy passed with 67.8 percent of the vote with about 10 percent of the precincts left to report.


Immigrant Ohio conference looks at ‘Refugees Past and Present’

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS More than 65 million people worldwide have been forcefully displaced from their homes by conflict and war. Bowling Green State University will address the global refugee crisis at the daylong 2017 “Immigrant Ohio” symposium starting at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 14 in 228 Bowen-Thompson Student Union. “Refugees Past and Present” will include three panel sessions that will focus on refugee stories of displacement from the 1940s through the present, settling refugees, and a discussion about the future of the global refugee situation. BGSU alumna Anne Marie McGranaghan from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees in Washington, D.C., will provide the keynote address. McGranaghan, an associate resettlement officer, will talk about “Global Resettlement Trends.” She earned a bachelor’s degree in social work in 1981 and master’s degrees in college student personnel and guidance counseling in 1988. The symposium, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., is free and open to the public. The first panel, “Becoming Refugees: Stories of Displacement,” will include people who were refugees from North to South Korea, Pakistan to India, and from Hungary, Vietnam, Cuba, Russia, Somalia, Syria and Burundi. “Settling Refugees,” the panel after a lunch break, will include representatives from US Together in Toledo, Job and Family Services, Cleveland Catholic Diocese’s Ohio Center for Survivors of Tortures, ASPIRE at the Penta Career Center, and Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE). The final panel of the day offers a look at “What’s Next? A Time to Ponder,” with panelists Peter and Betsy Ujvagi talking about “The Community Perspective: The Hungarian Community in…


Cameron’s Comics turns the page with shop in downtown BG

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Jonathan Smith said he was something of a nerd when he was a kid. He loved Calvin and Hobbes and Mad Magazine. When Smith’s wife died three years ago this coming February, he needed something that he and his son, Cameron, could do together. Before then Smith traveled a lot selling and racing quarter-scale race cars. Reading comic books was just the thing. Together they’d travel to different shops in southern Michigan and Toledo, checking out what was available. That bonding experience blossomed into a store selling comic books and named after Cameron, 16, which opened in Adrian, Michigan, last year. The success of the Cameron’s Comics & Stuff took Smith, 42, by surprise. At first, he worked days at a factory and ran the store at night. But he found he could quit his factory job and devote himself to the store. Now Smith has opened a second Cameron’s Comics at 175 N. Main St. in Bowling Green. The shop officially opened Friday with a ribbon cutting. Over the weekend, Smith said, customers flocked to the store. Many were pleased to have a store devoted to comics and related literature, toys, and games back on Main Street. Though the store is open, it’s still a work in progress. More merchandise is coming in to fill the shelves that Smith built himself. He also plans to put a game room in the back. The main wall has the comics on white shelving. “They’re presented…


Paralympic champion swimmer Jessica Long to visit BGSU

Submitted WE ARE ONE TEAM  We Are One Team (WA1T), an award-winning initiative to promote social justice through sport at Bowling Green State University (BGSU), is excited to announce its 2017 fall speaker for the WA1T: Our Voices educational series: Jessica Long, 13-time Paralympic gold medalist and second-most decorated Paralympic athlete in U.S. history. On Wednesday, November 8, at 6:30 p.m. in the Stroh Center, Long will hold a keynote presentation focused on her inspirational story about being adopted from Russia at a young age to becoming a 13-time Paralympic gold medalist in swimming. The keynote event titled, “We Are One Team (WA1T) Presents: Jessica Long – The Story of a Paralympic Prodigy,” is open tothe public. “I am honored to join Bowling Green State University to promote their We Are One Team (WA1T) initiative,” Long said, “My experience as a Paralympic athlete has taught me the importance of self-confidence and acceptance of others. I hope that by sharing my story, I can help encourage others to redefine ‘normal’ and celebrate our diversity.” “Jessica is a high-profile athlete who has used her platform to create understanding for marginalized members of the sport community,” Yannick Kluch, president of We Are One Team (WA1T), said. “Her drive to promote diversity and inclusion throughout her career make her a perfect speaker for We Are One Team. We are always looking for athletes who break down stereotypes and live authentically no matter what challenges they may face.” Long was born with fibular hemimelia and…


BGSU arts events, through Nov. 21

Through Nov. 9 – “Milestones: A Celebration of BGSU School of Art Alumni Featuring Studio Arts, Design and the 25th Anniversary of the Digital Arts Program” continues in the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery at the Fine Arts Center. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Admission is free. Nov. 8 – The Faculty Artist Series presents Robert Satterlee on the piano. Satterlee has developed a reputation as an accomplished and versatile solo recitalist and chamber musician. He plays regularly throughout the United States and has appeared on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts in Chicago, San Francisco’s Old First Concert Series, the Schubert Club in St. Paul, Minnesota, the Music Teachers National Association national conferences, the Quad Cities Mozart Festival and many colleges and universities. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Nov. 9 – The International Film Series presents “The Salesman” (2016, Iran, 124 minutes, directed by Asghar Farhadi), with an introduction by Mark Hain, an instructor in the Department of Theatre and Film. After a brutal assault, actress Rana struggles with PTSD, while her actor husband, Emad, becomes consumed with a desire for vengeance. The couple’s in-movie performances in a production of “Death of a Salesman” provide a counterpoint to their own troubled marriage, and actor Asghar Farhadi brings his typical intensity to this edgy psychodrama set in a gritty, crumbling Tehran. The screening will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater, located in Hanna Hall. Free Nov. 9 –…


Perrysburg teen to receive philanthropy award

From Association of Fundraising Professionals – Northwest Ohio Chapter As a young woman herself, 22-year-old Afreen Alvi is working to help other young women find their leadership gifts through the Women of Toledo organization. In early 2017, Alvi participated in a strategy planning and development program to establish the Young Women of Toledo program, which provides coaching and mentoring for women ages 15-26 who have personal and professional development goals. After establishing an operational budget, Alvi leveraged her peer network to create a special fundraising event, selling tickets and securing vendor support that generated $4,250 in support of YWoT programs. One of the first programs Alvi helped develop was a Chat & Chew group for millennial women, a safe place for them to discuss and debate constructively, build social awareness and self-esteem, and inspire each other to take leadership action in their own communities. Thanks to Alvi’s efforts, there are now more than 30 youth and young women participating. Nina Corder, Executive Director of Women of Toledo, nominated Alvi for the Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy Award (Ages 18-23) saying, “Afreen has transformed into a great role model for other youth, and her continued involvement in the Young Women of Toledo program is a tremendous asset to our organization.” Alvi will be recognized at the 30th Annual National Philanthropy Day luncheon on November 9, from 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at Premier Banquet Hall in Toledo. The annual event is a community celebration of the philanthropic spirit and practice that results when we work together…


Arts Beat: Mustard’s Retreat gathers Pemberville audience into their musical family

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News I spent another Saturday night with another band that has many miles on its career without attracting celebrity. A week ago it was the 50-year-old hitless wonders, NRBQ, at Howard’s Club H. This week it was Mustard’s Retreat at another venerable venue, the Pemberville Opera House. Mustard’s Retreat – Michael Hough, David Tamulevich, and Libby Glover – go way back to the Ann Arbor music scene of the mid-1970s. Like so many musicians they got their start in the food industry – Hough and Tamulevich met when they were short order cooks at The Brown Jug in Ann Arbor, and Glover tended bar at the Heidelberg where Tamulevich would perform. She sang with the guys for a few years before heading out on her own, and they continued, playing the region and reaching further afield, finding their niche… in Flint. And there was a sense that those many nights on the road led to this particular show in Pemberville. They opened and closed their first set with their two most popular songs, which Tamulevich noted at the break are included in the “Rise Again Songbook,” the sequel the famous volume. They opened with “Gather the Family” and closed with “(Ours Is a) Simple Faith,” which has become a favorite in some churches. Road songs threaded through between those two, and then extended into a second set. Along the way they’ve harvested songs. A weather vane can inspired a fanciful song about a dragon. Dancing…


Third grader Evie Van Vorhis blossoms as a singer

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News With the full force of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra at her back, Evie Van Vorhis let her voice soar. Performing before more than 1,000 of her elementary school peers in the Toledo Museum of Art, the young singer sent the dulcet melody of “Ave Maria” projecting to the very back of the hall. She was, conductor Sara Jobin said, probably the youngest soprano soloist the orchestra has accompanied. “That’s was crazy,” Evie said afterward, showing for all her preternatural talent, she’s still a third grader. Beforehand, she’d admitted, she was nervous. That was quite an admission for a singer who in the past 15 months has sung in dozens of venues large and small. Her first big break came when she sang the National Anthem for Martina McBride concert at the 2016 Wood County Fair. Since then she’s performed the anthem for the Toledo Walleyes, Bowling Green State University and University of Toledo athletic events, and presented concerts in area nursing homes and senior centers. With Christmas season near at hand, she has a full schedule – 18 appearances through the end of the year. That includes auditions for Ohio’s Got Talent and America’s Got Talent. Locally she’ll be the soloist at the Bowling Green Veterans Day ceremony, Nov. 11,  at Pemberville’s Christmas in the Village  Nov. 26, and The Waterville Playshop’s “We Wish You a Broadway Christmas,” Dec. 11 and 12. Her 30-minute Christmas programs will showcase a variety of songs from “I…


BGHS Drama Club nominated for Liberator award for raising awareness of sex trafficking

The Bowling Green High School Drama Club has been nominated for a Ohio/Michigan Liberator Award for its work raising awareness of sex trafficking. The troupe is nominated in the Student/Student Group category. The award, named for the historic abolitionist newspaper The Liberator, is given out by the national organization Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution. The drama club has been working to raise awareness of the issue for five years. Recently the club presented “Lily’s Shadow,” a play written by Roxanne Schroeder-Arce in collaboration with students. The Social Issues Theatre Class had been working on raising social awareness for sex trafficking since 2012, presenting play the cast devised at more than a dozen conferences in the region. The BGHS club is one of nine nominees from the two states. To vote visit https://www.liberatorawards.com/#vote. Voting continues through the end of the month. (Read story on production)