Campus

Scholar reflects on the role food played in the fight for racial justice

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Like any army, those who struggled for freedom during the Civil Rights movement marched on their stomachs. Food became an early symbol of the movement when five black college students took seats at a Woolworth lunch counter and waited in vain to be served while white onlookers pelted them with invective. Food scholar Jessica Harris has looked at the menus of the lunch counters where the protests spread and noted that the bill of fare was hot dogs, hamburgers, grill cheese – typical “American” food. Harris was the keynote speaker for the Beyond the Dream presentation Wednesday evening at Kobacker Hall in the Bowling Green State University campus. Her talk “Feeding the Resistance: Deacon’s Chicken and Free Breakfasts” culminated an evening in which the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was celebrated in music, words, and art. The program opened with Joseph Schwantner’s “New Morning for a New World: Daybreak of Freedom” performed by the Bowling Green Philharmonia conducted by Emily Freeman Brown. The programmatic piece offered orchestral swells and whispers to accompany a text read by Uzee Brown, a BGSU gradate and now chair of the music department at Dr. King’s alma…

Read More

BGSU center has spent decade tracking changes in family life

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The last few decades have not been easy on the Norman Rockwell portrait of the American family’s holiday dinner. Those neatly delineated generations and family relationships are a thing of the past. The grandchildren may be the products of parents who live together without marriage. Or they may be the children of a same-sex couple. The grown son or daughter still lives at home with mom and dad, who may be contemplating divorce. Grandma has brought along her special friend. They are a committed couple, but live apart from each other, and have no intention of altering that arrangement. All this change, say Wendy Manning and Susan Brown, co-directors of the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University, may cause some observers to despair. Some take a dim view of the decreasing marriage rate and see it as a sign of the decline of the American family, said Brown. But “if you’re open to a diverse range of shapes a family can take, it has never been better because people can form the types of families they want to form. We’re more accepting of a wide range of family…


Mazey brought a life’s worth of experience to BGSU presidency

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Outgoing Bowling Green State University President Mary Ellen Mazey admits that when she arrived on campus six years ago, she ruffled some feathers. “In the first few years a lot of people criticized me,” Mazey said in a recent interview. She looked at the campus and where it was and where she felt it needed to go, and took action. That meant a reduction of some 150 positions, three quarters of which were vacant. It meant tearing down the Popular Culture house, a move that still rankles some on campus. That became the site of the new Falcon Health Center, built, owned and operated by the Wood County Hospital. It meant injecting the school colors, orange and brown, into all the buildings as a way of addressing what she was told was BGSU’s lack of school spirit. Mazey, who came to BGSU in July, 2011, is retiring Dec. 31. This was her first presidency, and she says, her last. She’d spent three and a half years as provost of Auburn University. She had served as dean of the college of arts and sciences at her alma mater West Virginia University and before that at…


BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey owes her life to education

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News As she departs as president of Bowling Green State University, Mary Ellen Mazey is worried about a sentiment gaining currency. “There’s a lot of questions out there about the value of a college degree,” Mazey said during an interview earlier this month. “I just deplore that. We should be providing everybody in this country with the ability to be educated through at least a four-year degree.” Mazey knows the value of education not just because that’s been her life’s work as a professor and administrator; she knows it because “I’ve lived the American Dream because of education.” Mazey is retiring on Dec. 31 after six years as BGSU president. Provost Rodney Rogers has been named interim president. In the past semester, campus audiences have heard the life stories of JD Vance, author of BGSU’s Community Read “Hillbilly Elegy,” Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Clarence Page, and former ESPN personality Jay Crawford about how they rose from modest upbringings to success. Mazey’s story is just as compelling. Mazey, 68, was born, the third of three children, and the first born in a hospital in Ronceverte in southeastern West Virginia. Her two brothers were nine and 10 years…


Mural embraces multi-dimensional view of health

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Artist Bonnie Cohen makes her living helping institutions celebrate. In synagogues, nursing homes, Jewish Community Centers, and schools all along the East Coast, her murals celebrate donors who funded those institutions and their missions. Those murals, she said, are not just generic listings of names, but reflect the good work that happens within those buildings. That’s the spirit with which the Akron artist took on a mural now in place in the lobby of the College of Health and Human Services at Bowling Green State University. Wednesday she and a crew of six were on campus to install the mural, which was funded through the Ohio Arts Council’s Percent for Art Program. That program allocates 1-percent for purchasing public art for any new building or renovation of $4 million or more funded by the state. The university wanted something that was abstract, but invoked the seven dimensions of wellness. What she has created is a mural made from sundry tiles, ceramic, recycled glass, marble, about 25 different types in all. It wraps around the wall across from a south facing window, so those tiles will catch the light and change with it. Two darkly…


BGSU suspends fraternity for hazing (updated)

Bowling Green State University has suspended the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity for hazing and related activities. Dean of Student Chris Bullins announced the suspension today in an email to the campus community. The suspension is effective starting in the spring semester. The statement says: “The suspension is the result of a formal disciplinary sanction hearing regarding the violation of two Code of Student Conduct charges: hazing and discouraging participation in the conduct process. Individual students may also be held accountable under the Code of Student Conduct.” Bullins said that the fraternity accepted responsibility for the violations. It does have the option of appealing. As it stands the fraternity would have to wait until fall, 2020. to be eligible for reinstatement. “There is a detailed process and plan of action to be considered for reinstatement,” the statement explains. The fraternity has 50 members, 12 of whom live in the fraternity house. University Spokesman Dave Kielmeyer said the university will be able to accommodate those still are required to live on campus. Though hazing is gainst state law, Kielmeyer said, “the incident is not being investigated by police.” The statement continues: “Please know that student safety is our No. 1 priority and we thoroughly…


Alli Hoag glass art takes wing at the intersection of technology & daydreams

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Inside the River House Arts gallery in the Secor Building in downtown Toledo, art lovers can find respite from the dreariness of winter. Projected on the wall is an image of glistening water with bubbles rising to the surface looking up through the surf at the Hawaiian sky. The water is reflected in the surfaces of the reflective concave domes spread across the gallery floor. The domes were salvaged from a failed solar panel plant. The projector is hidden beneath one of the domes. The work is part of “Alternative Beginnings,” a solo show of work by glass artist Alli Hoag. The exhibit continues in the gallery through Jan. 27. (For information on hours click.) The art in the show plays on Hoag’s fascination with nature and how we perceive it. In an age when so much is at a digital remove, Hoag wants to engage the viewer’s body in the act of understanding art. Most of the pieces use convex glass domes. Inside are cast glass images of moths, canaries, and hummingbirds. “Using the distorted lens makes them (the viewers) evaluate what they’re seeing,” the artist said. It’s as if they are “seeing…