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BGSU faculty honored for excellence

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS The University recognized a group of its highest-achieving faculty April 13 during the annual Faculty Excellence Awards. Faculty were honored for research, teaching, creative arts, service, leadership, advising, mentoring and more during the celebratory event in the Lenhart Grand Ballroom at the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. Joining President Mary Ellen Mazey on the stage were alumnus David Levey, chair of the BGSU Board of Trustees, who gave credit to his undergraduate faculty for launching him into a successful life; Dr. Rodney Rogers, provost and senior vice president; and Dr. William Balzer, vice president for faculty affairs and strategic initiatives, who led the event. “All of BGSU takes great pride in the work and accomplishments of our faculty,” Rogers said. “Time and time again, we hear stories about a particular faculty member who changed a life, challenged a student, opened a door to new possibilities. That’s what makes BGSU such a great place.” Three faculty received the Professorship of Excellence title. The Professorships of Excellence are presented to faculty holding the rank of full professor who have achieved outstanding success in teaching, research, creative arts or service and whose work merits special recognition. The title is held for three years, and brings additional support for its duration. Dr. Cynthia Baron, theatre and film, was named Professor of Research Excellence. Dr. Mikel Kuehn, musicology, composition and theory, was named Professor of Creative Arts Excellence. Dr. Kefa Otiso, geography, was named Professor of Service Excellence. The Master Teacher Award, selected and presented by the Student Alumni Connection, was given to Dr. Andrew Gregory, School of Earth, Environment…

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All of BG invited to giant community block party

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Citizens of Bowling Green are invited to a giant block party on Saturday, April 22. Actually, it’s a party covering multiple blocks and the entire city is welcome to attend from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The idea for “Court Street Connects” was born at a Community Action Plan meeting last year. The concept for a block party was top on the list for local residents wanting to bring about positive changes in city – especially the East Side. Court Street was identified as a great location since it is a natural corridor between Bowling Green State University and downtown. But the party is reaching far beyond that one street, said Heather Sayler, the city’s planning director who has been working on the Community Action Plan. “To improve neighborhoods, you’ve got to bring a lot of people together,” Sayler said. “It’s really exciting.” Those coming together to make the block party a big bash include the city, BGSU, Wood County, fire division, police division, parks and recreation department, bicycle safety commission, BG City Schools, Wood County Historical Society, local businesses, library, bookmobile, the Common Good, county solid waste agency, county park district, Wood County Hospital, East Side Neighborhood Group, Habitat for Humanity and more. “It’s all free,” Sayler said, including many children’s activities. Various types of entertainment will be provided from the Wood County Courthouse steps, including acoustic music, theater and poetry reading. There will also be “pop-up art” along the street. Q’dobe will have a food truck on site. The city will also be test driving  bike lanes, which will be…


Student-run benefit intends to keep the jazz coming to BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Jeff Bouck was looking around for places to get a master’s degree in jazz studies, Bowling Green State University stuck out in part because of the number of guest artists it featured. More than a chance to hear these master musicians, the program offered plenty of time with them to learn the craft first hand. At the end of his first year here, Bouck and fellow jazz graduate student Mitchell Borchardt have organized a benefit for the Student Jazz Association to help ensure that continues. The SJA is a BGSU campus organization which promotes jazz in the community, primarily by bringing in guest artists. Those have included recently vocalist Kim Nazarian, drummer Carl Allen, trombonist and composer Alan Ferber, pianist Jon Cowherd, and many others over the years. These artists provide lessons, master classes as well as rehearsing and performing with students. This means students get to experience playing music with the guidance of the composer. The benefit for the Student Jazz Association will be held Thursday, April 27, starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Clazel in downtown Bowling Green. The event will feature a show by the BGSU Lab Band I giving the premier performance of pieces by Borchardt and Bouck as well as performing work by Duke Ellington, Sammy Nestico, and others. They along with Ian Palmer will conduct the band, BGSU’s premier jazz ensemble. In addition to the music there will be card games and raffle baskets. A $2 cover charge will be collected at the door. The student composers penned their charts specifically for this show. Bouck’s is a…


BGSU art faculty honored for excellence by Ohio Arts Council

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Two Bowling Green State University faculty members, Charles Kanwischer and Lou Krueger, were among the artists to receive Individual Excellence Awards from the Ohio Arts Council. For Kanwischer, who was honored for his graphite drawings on panel, said that it is remarkable that Ohio continues to honor individual artists. “It’s such a statement that individual artists are valued. It’s such a nice validation.” Having a state give support to individual artists is becoming rare. Many arts councils only give grants to organizations. Some states have abolished their state arts councils, he said. Kanwischer and Krueger were among 77 artists to receive funding from among the 465 who applied. The council distributed $375,000 in grants, almost all for $5,000. “You have to give credit to the politicians, Republicans and Democrats,” he said. “It’s hard to complain about support for the arts.” Kanwischer’s portfolio features his landscapes. The settings can be rural, suburban or urban. He said he was interested in the cyclical change in the landscape. Some of the drawings now on display at Shaheen Modern and Contemporary Art in Cleveland, depict road construction. One drawing from 2010 “Route 24 Road Project – Support Columns” shows at once construction while also evoking images of ancient ruins. Kanwischer said his work has not undergone any dramatic shifts. Instead he feels he is able to get deeper and deeper into “landscape that reveals stories.” He’s appreciative that the arts council supports “long-term careers” not just the new and novel. This is his seventh grant in the 19 years since he joined the BGSU faculty. In return for…


Young conductor brings Mahler masterwork to BGSU stage

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News In “Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth)” the composer Gustav Mahler tried to trick fate. Diagnosed with a health ailment, and emotionally reeling from the death of his eldest daughter, he didn’t want to write what would be his Ninth Symphony. For other composers the ninth symphony was their last. So he wrote “The Song of the Earth,” a six movement work of symphonic proportions, but didn’t call it a symphony, said Bowling Green State University musicologist Eftychia Papanikolaou. The piece also called for a large orchestra so was difficult to perform. But in the early 20th century a group of Viennese musicians including Arnold Schoenberg decided this work should be performed more often. So a reduction of the score for 14 musicians was created. Conductor Mercedes Diaz Garcia, a doctoral student at the College of Musical Arts, was drawn to the piece and decided that she wanted to present it to the Bowling Green community. So she recruited the musicians and the two vocal soloists. They’ve been rehearsing the difficult hour-long work for weeks and will present it Wednesday, April 19, at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall on campus. The project is an act of love for all concerned. Diaz Garcia can’t pay anyone, and the project is not part of her doctoral studies. “‘The Song of the Earth’ is not about the physical earth but about the inner world, it’s about the depth of the human soul. So it’s very deep, it’s very exhausting,” the conductor said. For all its challenges she found musicians who are up to…


Bill Mathis ready to move arts at BGSU into a new era as music dean

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News William Mathis takes charge as dean of the College of Musical Arts at a crucial time for arts education. Focusing on the traditional paths of performance and music education will not be enough for higher education music programs. “It’s a different arts and musical landscape then when I was coming up,” said Mathis, 56. While making sure students continue to achieve “technical and musical mastery,” the college needs to broaden its offerings. “We talk a lot about musical entrepreneurship, and I’ve been thinking about citizenship in the arts, arts advocacy and the connection to communities, and how the arts can impact the life of society in our local community,” he said. “The skills that requires are not part of a traditional music curriculum. How can we give that to them? I’ve been thinking about this a lot this year.” Music programs, and arts programs in general, need to prepare their student for a new entrepreneurial environment. “Twenty years from now the schools of music adapting to this will be around,” Mathis said. The fate of those sticking to the more traditional approach is less certain. Mathis wants BGSU to in the forefront of those that survive. Mathis stepped into the role of interim dean last July after Jeff Showell announced his retirement. After a national search, he was named dean in February. Mathis said he felt his administrative background made him a prime internal candidate for the permanent position. He’s served as chair of the Department of Performance Studies and as the college’s graduate coordinator. “I have a disposition that lends itself to this…


BGSU arts events through April 28

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS April 13 – The International Film Series continues with the Swedish film “Force Majeure,” directed by Ruben Östlund. An award winner at the Cannes Film Festival, the Toronto Film Festival, and other internationally recognized venues, the film deftly explores the emotional dimensions of the legal term “force majeure,” an unexpected event (such as a hurricane) that releases both parties from the obligations of a contract. In this story, the ski vacation of a seemingly ideal family takes a sudden turn when an avalanche approaches them as they are having a pleasant lunch at the lodge. The screening will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater located in Hanna Hall. Free April 13 – Prout Readings conclude with B.F.A. student readings at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free April 13 – Bowling Green Opera Theater presents a variety of opera scenes. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free April 14 – The University Choral Society and Early Music Ensemble present Bach’s “St. John Passion.” The moving and sacred oratorio of Johann Sebastian Bach is a dramatic representation of the Passion as told in the Gospel of John for the Good Friday Vespers of 1724. Revel in the extravagant, expressive music of the season. The performance will begin at 7 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, East Wooster St., Bowling Green. Free April 14 – The Toledo Museum of Art and BGSU’s College of Musical Arts present EAR | EYE Listening and Looking: Contemporary Music and Art. The performance and discussion…