Articles by David Dupont

Medical Mutual Contributes $1 Million to BGSU’s Wellness Initiatives

As Northwest Ohio’s population rapidly ages, Medical Mutual of Ohio and Bowling Green State University are working together on a new initiative designed to help senior citizens live longer, healthier lives and to create new wellness programs for older adults on and off campus. The health insurance company is contributing $1 million to assist with the development of The Optimal Aging Institute (OAI). Developed through the University’s Center of Excellence for Health and Wellness Across the Lifespan, The OAI’s mission is tied to the seven dimensions of elder wellness: physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual, cultural and occupational. The OAI will provide learning opportunities and educational materials for service providers, health systems, entrepreneurs, corporations, caregivers and older adults. It will also be a resource for informational events such as diabetes self-management, navigating the healthcare system, and learning to use social media, as well as for health and wellness events such as how to cook budget friendly and nutritional meals, yoga and mindfulness meditation. BGSU’s arts and cultural events on campus also will be marketed through the Initiative so that more members of the community can enjoy those activities. Medical Mutual’s contribution will support this initiative and build upon the company’s previous generous support of the BGSU Center of Excellence for Health and Wellness Across the Lifespan. “Medical Mutual of Ohio has already proved to be a great partner and we are excited about working with them on this new initiative to foster the seven dimensions of wellness through focused educational, service and research activities,” said Dr. Marie Huff, dean of the College of Health and Human Services and co-director of the center. “Both of our institutions recognize the benefit of healthy and active lifestyles across the lifespan and in supporting our communities. With their generous support we will be able to advance a culture of wellness on our campus and in our region.” The American Council on Education specifically states that higher education institutions are exceptionally positioned to create new frameworks for this population, and they are drawing attention to the…


BGSU Eyes Possible Cuts of Courses, Programs With Low Enrollment

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green State University is continuing its state-mandated assessment of courses and programs that have low enrollment. The reporting is required by House Bill 64, which seeks to increase efficiency on college campuses. Trustees approved the report, though because of the state deadline and the timing of trustee meetings, it has already been submitted. BGSU administrators, Provost Rodney Rogers said, identified 24 degree programs that graduate fewer than 20 students over a four year period. Rogers said that 15 of those programs were deemed not to require further action. Several of them were new and already seeing increased growth. Nine programs, however, were identified as possible candidates for major revision or elimination. The administration will work with department chairs and faculty to determine if “it makes sense for us to offer” these programs or whether they need to undergo revisions to make them fit more with societal needs, Rogers said. The six programs on the Bowling Green campus identified were: bachelor of arts degrees in Russian, Latin, classical civilizations and music, and bachelor of science degrees in statistics and electro-mechanical systems technology. Three associate degree programs at Firelands were also identified: electro-mechanical, EMT and manufacturing. “The hard work is just beginning as we work with deans and chairs to make the next step,” Rogers said. He noted that Venu Dasig, interim dean of the College of Technology, is already working with faculty to transition the electro-mechanical systems technology program into one with more emphasis on robotics. The report also identified hundreds of courses deemed to have low enrollment. The administration, Rogers said, identified 581 courses that met the low enrollment criteria. It deemed 193 courses as needing no further action because they were upper level or lab sections which are expected to have low enrollments. Administrators will continue to monitor them. Another 177 courses were identified where “there’s opportunity to better manage our curriculum,” he said. The question is whether there’s overlap with other courses. Another 158 appear because there are multiple sections of…


Katherine Boo – The Searing Compassion of Investigative Journalism

By FRANCES BRENT Kathrine Boo, possessor of a Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting, a MacArthur Genius Fellow for just being, a National Book Award for non-fictional writing, The Hillman for social justice writing , etc. is small. She is fair to the point of near transparency yet has “the arm of an investigative reporter and the soul of a poet.” She endured four years of India’s Southern sun and then wrote her book. Her book, the best selling “Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity was the BGSU Common Read selection for 2015. Tuesday night she spoke at the Union to a rapt audience of students and visitors. The book has no “I” but chronicles her observations, insights, and entwinement with the people of the “stumpy plug of slum” Annawandi — tucked next to 5 star hotels and the glamorous, booming Mumbai Airport. It is investigative reporting, done over four years, that reads like a novel – filled with striving humans, a relentless environment, corrupt officials, murder, terrible suspense and an uncertain ending. Katherine Boo, writing for the New Yorker has become the historian of modern poverty, injustice, deprivation, hopelessness, isolation. She records disasters bestowed on humans by the implacable hands of nature, government, greed, history, religion and fellow human beings. “Behind the Beautiful Forevers” recounts tales of human resiliency, ingenuity, tactics, hopes, treachery, envy, bravery and determination. She deals with success and failure, hope and despair. If her revelations has an effect on public policy so be it. She is the bearer of news, not the shaper of public policy. Asked by a tender-hearted student why Boo didn’t rescue individuals she came to know well, she spoke of journalistic ethics involving money. While writing about individuals, her work and impact is long term. The book “no one would want to read” has proven popular and provides the means to help indirectly. Her calm, implacable, clear sighted recounting of what she had learned over four years of involvement is more effective than any polemic in…


BGSU Lively Arts Calendar, Feb. 24 – Mar. 9

Feb. 24—The College of Musical Arts presents its Faculty Scholar Series at 8 p.m. in the Bryan Recital Hall of Moore Musical Arts Center. Dr. Eftychia Papanikolaou, associate professor of musicology, will present “What Did the Ballerina Hear? The Unheard Music of Degas’s Paintings.” Dr. Ryan Ebright, a visiting instructor of musicology, will present “Operative Entrepreneurship and Iconoclasm in Steve Reich’s ‘The Cave.’” Free Feb. 25—The International Film Series continues with “La teta asustada” (The Milk of Sorrow)(2009) at the Gish Theater and Gallery. Director Claudia Llosa focuses on a grim period of South American history, 1980-2000, which left 70,000 people dead. The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. Free Feb. 26—BGSU’s Opera Theatre performs Pietro Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana.” The show begins at 8 p.m. in the Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre in the Wolfe Center for the Arts. An additional performance will be on February 28 at 3 p.m. Advance tickets are $5 for students and children and $15 for adults. All tickets are $20 on the day of the performance. Feb. 27—The Rhythm Project presents a tap dance concert featuring dance majors, minors and alumni from BGSU and children from The Beat Dance Company. Performances are at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., 222 Eppler North. Tickets, $5 at the door, are available one hour prior to show time. Contact Colleen Murphy at cmurphy@bgsu.edu for additional information. Feb. 29—The College of Musical Arts presents Music at the Forefront: “Bearthoven.” The performance will be at the Clazel Theater located at 127 N. Main St., Bowling Green at 8 p.m. Free Mar. 1—Tuesdays at the Gish continues with“Love and Basketball” (2000), directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood. The film follows Monica and Quincy through middle school, high school, college and into their basketball careers as they take on their individual quests as well as their evolving relationship. The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater and Gallery, Hanna Hall. Free Mar. 1—Doctor of Musical Arts students of The College of Musical Arts will perform. The recital will be in…


Skip McDonald Sings the Blues and So Much More

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Skip McDonald may be the featured artist at “The Blues, The Hines Farm Blues Club and Beyond and 21st Century Blues with Skip McDonald AKA Little Axe” on campus, just don’t pin him down to performing what you may consider “the blues.” When he walks on stage listeners can “expect blues, expect some funk, expect some gospel, expect some jazz, expect a good time,” he said. McDonald will play during the event which will run Thursday from 4 to 5:15 p.m. at Bowling Green State University’s Student Union Theater and then Friday 7 to 10 p.m. at Oak Openings Metropark Lodge, 5230 Wilkins Road, Whitehouse. “I’m an in-the-moment kind of guy,” he said. He doesn’t decide what to wear until the last minute, or what to play until he hits the stage. “That makes it exciting for me.” Otherwise it just becomes “run of the mill.” He wants to be true to himself and the moment. “I don’t want to be the person who imitates me, I want to be me.” McDonald doesn’t care much for labels. All these different genres, he said, are just for marketing. “You call it something so you can sell it.” At various times he’s been  a folk musician and a jazz musician. He was a session player for Sugarhill Records and played on early rap records, including those by Grandmaster Flash. Disco, rock, house, folk, blues, jazz, the labels don’t matter. ”When it comes down to it, there are only two kinds of music – music you like, and music you don’t.” Growing up in Dayton, McDonald, 67, was surrounded by music of all types. His father was a guitar player, and he tagged along. Dayton was awash in music: touring acts such as B.B. King or Motown stars, and homegrown talent like guitar legend Robert Ward. “There was always a community of people who played together and jammed together,” McDonald said. McDonald believes he was destined to be a musician. “I had nothing to do with that decision….


BGSU students advocate for solar array on campus

By BG INDEPENDENT NEWS A hill created by construction debris goes mostly unoccupied during the year. Except that is on Independence Day when people gather there to watch the fireworks being launched from the stadium to the southeast. A group of Bowling Green State University students have a different vision for the site – they’d like to see an array of solar panels erected there. Recently the Environmental Action Group and Environmental Service Club drafted a letter and had it signed by a couple dozen other student leaders urging the university to take the city up on its offer to put solar panels on the site. The city’s main solar array will be located on Carter Road, but it offered to also place some on campus. No site was designated. City officials confirmed Monday night that the offer was made, but they’ve yet to hear a response from BGSU. Lily Murnen, president of the Environmental Service Group, said the university hasn’t taken enough action to fulfill its climate action plan that resulted from president Mary Ellen Mazey joining other higher education executives in signing a Climate Commitment calling for campuses to become neutral in their greenhouse gas emissions. That plan, filed in November, 2014, sets out “a vision of the institution as a sustainable campus in the 21st century, operating economically and efficiently, and producing net zero greenhouse gas emissions. This is a vision to be realized by the year 2040.” The solar project would provide “great visibility for the university showing how we are taking some steps to realize our goals,” Murnen said. Matthew Cunningham, the president of the Environmental Action Group, said, the solar panels could also provide students with hands-on learning experiences. As much as the lack of action, Dan Myers, public relations officer for the Environmental Action Group, said the students were concerned that the administration is not communicating with students. “We’re pretty significant stakeholders in the university.” Cunningham said he did see Mazey at a Presidents Day event, and that she said she would be…


Friends serve up support at benefit for Corner Grill staff (updated)

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Howard’s Club H got to rocking a little early Saturday. At 2 p.m. the Mechanical Cat was on stage rapping about other worlds against a psychedelic background. The business at hand though was a centered on a very real world cause – helping the 10 or so employees of the Corner Grill, who have lost work because of the Feb. 1 fire. The Grill is a beloved part of the downtown scene, whether for folks people heading to work at dawn, the employees from the county courthouse down the block, or the late night revelers and the workers who serve them. It’s been that for decades. So Howard’s, another venerable downtown establishment, opened its doors to host the benefit that ran from early afternoon to early the next morning with a full slate of bands, as well as a buffet of home cooked food and raffle items. Howard’s employee Nikki Cordy who organized the benefit reported: “It was absolutely amazing. It certainly exceeded my expectations. We had perfect weather,everyone was in such a positive and fun mood,we ran on time,all the bands showed up & kicked ass,we raised over $4,000. I couldn’t possibly be happier.” Larry Cain, the owner of the Grill, said he was glad to see the turnout to help his employees. They’re a team, he said. He now expects the Grill will take three to four months to open its doors. A glance inside the diner shows a gutted interior. The linoleum counter, Cain said, has been saved. That’s good, given he wants to preserve as much of the eatery’s classic look as possible. He hopes when the Corner Grill reopens it will feature that old atmosphere but with a much improved operation for his workers, including space for another cook in the grill area. All that will take time working with disaster recovery, architects and construction crews. In the meantime, Patrick McDermott, the third shift cook at the Grill, said he was reaching out to places he used to work…


Activist Rosa Clemente to give keynote address at BGSU Black Issues Conference

Rosa Clemente, the 2008 Green party vice presidential candidate, will be the keynote speaker for the 17th annual Black Issues Conference at BGSU. The conference, which features a wide range of research and creative presentations by students, faculty and staff, will start at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. Presentations will include visual and performing arts and critical analyses of contemporary black society and culture from across the academic spectrum. Special emphasis is placed on current social and political movements, such as #BlackLivesMatter, and the issues of importance to black communities as we look ahead to the 2016 election cycle. Clemente’s keynote presentation will begin at 12:30 p.m. In addition to her political run in 2008, Clemente has spoken widely on issues of Afro-Puerto Rican identity, feminism and hip-hop activism. She is a graduate of SUNY-Albany and Cornell University and has studied and lectured across the country on nationalist movements, particularly those involving young people of color. She frequently speaks on youth participation in politics. Over the last 20 years, she has written for Clamor Magazine, The Final Call, The Black World Today and The Ave. Clemente’s intersectional approach to black identity and politics is especially timely. Registration is free for BGSU students and $15 for all others. Deadline was Feb. 12. For information contact Stephanie Rader at srader@bgsu.edu.


Pro Musica celebrates music students’ travels near & far

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Pro Musica sends university music students around the world so they can learn and perform. Sometimes those trips send them far from home; sometimes they bring them home. That was the case with Chi-Him Chik. Pro Musica help fund the Bowling Green State University student’s attendance at a music festival in his native Hong Kong. While there, the saxophonist said, he met composers and arranged to commission new pieces for saxophone. That will mean more concerts back home both in Hong Kong and in Bowling Green. Chik was one of five students who performed Sunday afternoon in the atrium of the Wood County Public Library in the annual Coffee & Classics concert. He played “The Jungle,” a contemporary piece for solo saxophone by Christian Lauba. Pianist Josh Wang, who performed two preludes by Sergei Rachmaninoff, also used a Pro Musica grant to travel home. In his case, Wisconsin. He put together a concert tour. Not only did it give him a chance to perform his repertoire in concert several times in a compressed period of time but it gave him experience booking and promoting the tour. It went so well, Wang said, that several venues have asked him to return. Singer Suzanne Pergal traveled to Nice, France, for a summer academy. For her, to be taught by French teachers and be surrounded by native French speakers was invaluable. Sunday, though, she sang in English – four selections from “Ten Blake Songs” by Ralph Vaughan Williams, performed with Robert Ragoonanan on oboe. Caleb Georges performed a prelude from a suite by J.S. Bach on viola. He said that Pro Musica funding helped him attend a chamber music festival in California where he was able study with internationally known musicians. Pianist Yuefeng Liu opened the concert with a sonata by Alexander Scriabin. She said she used her grant Music Teachers National Association national competition. The performers were among the most recent that Pro Musica has assisted in its 30-plus years. The group of more than 300…


BGSU taking a bite out of crime with forensic science

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Crime is paying off for Bowling Green State University, or at least the science of investigating crime. On Friday, the university’s Board of Trustees approved a new bachelor’s degree in Forensic Science. It’s the latest offering in forensic science, including a master’s degree. Five years ago, Provost Rodney Rogers said, BGSU had no students studying forensic science. Then the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation announced it would locate a new crime lab on campus, and that initiated the creation of programs related to the lab. Now the university has about 250 students studying forensics in some form. That includes forensic specializations in chemistry, biology and computer science. Rogers said that the university is looking to boost that number even more. As it is, he said, BGSU now has one of the strongest programs in the country. Betty Montgomery, a former state Attorney General, who was instrumental in getting a BCI lab located in Bowling Green, said the university needs to get that message out through major media. Having a new lab on campus is an example of the university engaging with society. Jon Sprague, the director of the Center for the Future of Forensic Sciences, told the trustees about some of the research being done through the auspices of the center. That research involves both faculty and students across disciplines. That includes research into how double pane glass changes the trajectory of a bullet, which involved physics, and an analysis into how to optimize the process of dealing with a backlog of rape kits, which requires advanced data analysis Greg Grecco, a junior in neuroscience, spoke about his research into how components of designer drugs effect hyperthermia in users. The work being done in the university, Sprague said, benefits both BGSU and BCI. The degree in forensic science as one of three new degrees approved by the trustees. Also approved were: • Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology. The major, Rogers said, is designed for students who may want to go into science related…


Detroit Symphony executive to speak about howmusic makes community

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Paul W. Hogle will bring his wit and wisdom to Bowling Green State University and the Dorothy E. and DuWayne H. Hansen Musical Arts Series at 7 p.m. Feb. 23 with a talk titled “Music: Turning a Commodity into Community.” During the free, public presentation in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center, Hogle, the executive vice president of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, will take listeners on an imaginary journey into their favorite relative’s home and ask them to think about what happens in the family living room. “The more time I spend on university campuses,” Hogle said, “the more I observe that a university is a place where identity is created through the engagement with others, as in a family living room.” As part of Hogle’s premise, the living room challenges the notion that isolation and independence are at the root of human nature. Research shows that people—given the right circumstances—can be caring, nurturing and collaborative. Presented with the opportunity, they gravitate toward actions and policies embodying empathy, fairness and trust, instead of competition, fear and greed. The regeneration of social ties and the sense of caring and purpose that comes from creating community drive this essential transformation. Hogle will address his thoughts on how a major, influential university like BGSU can intentionally create a family living room dynamic that engages all with music, in a community of practice, thereby engaging the community itself with each other and with the university. Hogle joined the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 2010 to help develop broad and diverse audiences and expand the donor base for the organization. Previously, he was vice president for institutional advancement and learning with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and a fundraiser for nearly 20 years with symphony orchestras in Baltimore, Chicago and Indianapolis. He is an alumnus of the music management program at the University of Evansville (Ind.). In addition to the evening presentation, Hogle will be on campus to speak with students and music administrators. He will speak to students in…


BGSU trustees hike room & board costs, & add Greek fee

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The cost to eat and sleep at Bowling Green State University is going up in fall. The university trustees approved an increase that averages 2.4 percent for room costs at their meeting Friday. The 11 options, organized in three tiers, have varying costs, and varying rates of increase. This schedule, said Sheri Stoll, chief financial officer, is being compressed from four tiers. Previously Greek housing had its own tier, but with the opening in August of the new Greek Village, now under construction, the administration moved Greek housing to the top tier. Even that, Stoll said, does not cover the cost of the new housing. In order to avoid having other resident students subsidize Greek housing, a new “parlor” fee will be assessed to members of sororities and fraternities whether they live in the chapter house or not. Chapters will determine how they are assessed. The trustees also approved an average 2.5-percent increase in meal plans. That would raise the cost of the recommended Bronze plan by $2.44 a week. Stoll was asked about a ranking that showed BGSU’s room and board costs are less than at most other Ohio schools. She noted it has been three years since board fees have increased. She also noted that rents for off-campus housing are among the lowest in the nation. That puts additional pressure on what the university can charge.


Black Swamp Players bring the marvelous world of Seuss to life

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The fantastic world of Dr. Seuss tells of many amazing feats and fanciful places. Is any of that as wondrous as the Black Swamp Players managing to fit his fantastical world onto the small stage at the First United Methodist Church? That stage is bursting with color, melody and dance as the Players, in collaboration with Horizon Youth Theatre, present “Seussical the Musical” Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. returning Feb. 26 and 27 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. in the church at 1526 E. Wooster St. Tickets are $15 and $12 for students and seniors from Grounds for Thought, 174 S. Main St., Bowling Green or online at http://www.blackswampplayers.org/ticket-sales/. The show, by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, shapes a plot around several famous Seuss tales. As fun as it would be, this is not The Complete Works of Dr. Seuss (Abridged). Instead with The Cat in the Hat (Jeff Guion) as the Lord of Misrule, the script focuses on the adventures of JoJo (Maddox Brosius), a thoughtful kid from Who, the smallest planet in the sky, and the dutiful elephant Horton, who discovers Who on a puff ball. Among the three they tap into the key themes of the world of Seuss. Each is his own person at odds with society. The Cat in the Hat celebrates a sense of playful anarchy, and encourages JoJo, a boy whose great fault is he thinks too much, to be true to himself even if it means trouble for others. Horton is thoughtful in another way. Deeply empathetic, he cares for that world of people no other creatures can hear. He’s faithful despite the derision and bullying of most of the other residents of the Jungle of Nool. “A person’s a person no matter how small,” he declares. His only supporter, though he doesn’t notice, is Gertrude McFuzz (Sarah Buchanan). She’s a bird with a single tail feather, who wants more luxurious plumage. Her tale is another…


BGHS grad Clayton Krueger helped bring ‘Mercy Street’ to TV

Viewers of the PBS Civil War drama “Mercy Street” have been primed for an explosive finale to the limited series. Rebels are planning an attack on President and Mrs. Lincoln when they visit the hospital at the center of the action. The climax to the series will play out Sunday at 10 p.m. on WBGU. Another cliffhanger awaits: Will “Mercy Street” be back for a second run? Among those awaiting final word is Clayton Krueger, a 1999 Bowling Green High School graduate, who is a senior vice president for television at Scott-Free Productions, which worked developing the series for PBS. In a recent telephone interview he said the company was working on scripts for a second season pending the go ahead from top brass at PBS. The production of “Mercy Street” broke from PBS pattern of importing its drama series from BBC in England. And, he said, more may be on the way. The Civil War potboiler didn’t start as a drama series. The creator Lisa Wolfinger was planning a documentary series about medicine during the Civil War, and she brought in writer David Zabel to help with the scripting. Over the course of development the idea of a fictional series emerged. They sought out Scott Free, owned by blockbuster producer Ridley Scott, “to lend some oversight to the production,” Krueger said. They met with Zabel and developed scripts. “PBS incredibly supportive,” Krueger said. “They know their audience so well.” While some networks “can get really prescriptive… PBS never took that approach.” The episodes were filmed on location in Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia. Using two directors, each in charge of three episodes, the production had an aggressive production schedule, filming as many as nine pages of script a day. In a feature film, typically two pages are done a day. “We were on schedule of a network crime procedural trying to execute a period drama,” said Krueger, who is co-executive producer. This was made possible because of Scott’s philosophy of hiring the best people and letting them work. “It’s not…


BGSU actors bring ‘Middletown’ to life

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Middletown, the setting and namesake for the new theater production on campus, doesn’t have much to recommend it. Even the indigenous people passed through leaving little mark. A statue of a horse is the only tourist attraction, unless you, like tour guide (Christa Federico), count the air. That air, she says, contains bits of people, dust and objects that went before. That seems pretty heavy philosophizing for a tour guide, but Middletown seems to do that to people. They say things that rise deep from their psyches, and those psyches are often troubled. Eavesdropping, the local car mechanic (Danny Miskell) hears Mary (Mackenzie Baumhower) say she and her husband are starting a family. Don’t have an only child, he blurts out. Whenever you hear childish noises, it’s always that same child. Even the librarian, the sane presence at the heart of this troubled town and the play, is given to disturbing observations. When Mary says she’d like to get a library card, the librarian played by Bessie D. Smith says: “Good for you. Most people think ‘I’m going to die anyway, so why bother.’” That sense of mortality, and the search for some kind of meaning in life pervades “Middletown.” The Will Eno play, directed by Jonathan Chambers, opens tonight at 8 and with shows Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. continuing Feb. 25, 26 and 27 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 27 at 2 p.m. Tickets $15 and $5 for students and children in advance from www.bgsu.edu/arts and by calling 419-372-8171. All tickets are $20 on the day of the show. Mary’s visit to the library is what precipitates what stands for a plot here. But the plot like the character’s relationships with each other is as much about missed connections and fleeting interactions as narrative. They are like so many molecules bouncing around within the confines of the stage. Sometimes they even bounce out. The cop (Noah Froelich) is aware as he abuses a man…