New Music Festival adds puppetry & dance to the mix

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis, contemporary classical ensemble Hub New Music and puppetry/dance artist Sha Sha Higby headline the 39th annual New Music Festival at Bowling Green State University Oct. 17-20. The international festival features the work of more than 30 guest and BGSU faculty composers and performers and includes eight concerts, plus composer talks, panel discussions and a performance and exhibition by artist-in-residence Higby. Organized by BGSU’s MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music (MACCM), College of Musical Arts and Fine Arts Center galleries, the festival supports the creation of new work and engages the University and regional communities in the process of music appreciation and awareness. Most festival events are free and open to the public. A complete schedule can be obtained online at Higby leads off the festival Oct. 17 with a 7 p.m. performance in the Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre at the Wolfe Center for the Arts. She has entranced audiences with her mesmerizing puppetry/dance performances at major venues throughout the world since 1974. The first full day of events begins Oct. 18 with a 1 p.m. Composer Talk by Kernis in Bryan Recital Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center, followed by three concerts, two including his compositions. One of America’s most honored and prolific composers, Kernis’ music appears prominently on concert programs worldwide. He has been commissioned by America’s preeminent performing organizations and artists, including the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco, Toronto, and Melbourne (Australia) Symphonies, Los Angeles and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestras, Walt Disney Co., Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Renee Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, Joshua Bell, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and Sharon Isbin. Also a conductor whose works have been recorded on several labels, Kernis teaches composition at Yale School of Music and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Classical Music Hall of Fame. Leta Miller’s book-length portrait of Kernis and his work was published in 2014 by University of Illinois Press as part of its American Composer series. Hub New Music performs at 8 p.m. Oct. 19 in Kobacker Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center. Hailed by Oregon ArtsWatch as “one of the most talked about younger contemporary classical ensembles,” with its unique instrumentation of flute, clarinet, violin, and cello, the ensemble has been praised for performances of adventurous repertoire that are “gobsmacking and perfectly played,” said Cleveland Classical. The Boston Globe encouraged audiences, “next time the group offers a concert, go, listen, and be changed.” The festival’s final performance, at 8 p.m. Oct. 20 in Kobacker Hall, features the BG Philharmonia performing large ensemble works by Kernis, Kory Reeder, Martin Kennedy, John Corigliano and Erkki-Sven Tüür. “The Works of Sha Sha Higby” exhibition showcasing her intricate textile costumes will run through Nov. 4 in the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery at the Fine Arts Center. Higby studied art, made dolls and pursued the art of puppetry and sculpture in her early years. She has received many prestigious grants that have enabled her to study the arts of carving, mask-making, puppetry and dance throughout Southeast Asia. Gallery hours for the exhibition are 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays.  Founded in 1980, the New Music Festival has hosted such notable composers as John Adams, Milton Babbitt,…

BGSU working to get sexual violence victims to report assaults

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Mike Campbell, police chief and director of public safety at Bowling Green State University, knows what people do when they look at the Campus Security and Fire Safety Report. They scroll to the end where the numbers are. Numbers that show how many thefts and liquor code infractions there are. He knows what number is going to pop out on the 2018 report. In 2017 there were 20 rapes, all on campus,  reported, up from 14 reported in 2015 and eight reported in 2016. There were also seven reported cases of fondling when none had been reported before. That number comes with a caveat though. The key term is “reported.” Campbell said: “If we’re talking about those numbers themselves, it’s not completely unexpected.” The university has expanded its efforts to combat sexual violence, and a lot of that effort has been to increase reporting.  “We’re trying to create an environment  where people are comfortable reporting. …If we don’t know something transpired it’s difficult to support the survivor, and it gives us the ability to investigate that and hold someone accountable for their actions.” Jennifer McCary, the Title IX officer for BGSU, has been central in getting out the message that sexual assaults should be reported. She has given presentations to 2,100 students and about 200 faculty, who are required to report if a student tells them of an assault. She noted that nine of the rapes reported in 2017, actually happened in 2016. But neither McCary nor Campbell would say that the increase in the number represents just more reporting as opposed to an actual increase. “That’s always tough to discern,” Campbell said.  “Studies out there show approximately 90 percent don’t report their assaults ever,” he said. “Sexual violence is very underreported. Everything we can do that encourages those  victimized to report gives us the ability to investigate that crime but also to support that survivor.” McCary, who is assistant vice resident for student affairs, was hired as a result of the report by a task force on sexual violence that was created in response to protests in spring, 2017, over the way the university handled reports of rape and sexual violence.“We do have new student sexual misconduct and relationship policy,” McCary said. “We will investigate reports that come in.” A student may report an incident but may not want to pursue it, she said.  A student may talk about something to a professor, but will not want to go through the investigative process. If a student “is willing to participate,” fact-finding is conducted “to try to get as much information as possible,” McCary said. That may progress to disciplinary action. That process has resulted in students being permanently and temporarily removed from campus. That disciplinary process is under a shadow as institutions of higher education are awaiting new guidance from the US Department of Education. The current interim guidance was handed down under the Obama Administration. Officials are expecting that the new guidance will advise the use of the higher clear and convincing standard for determining guilt. The university uses a preponderance of evidence standard. By that standard a finding is made based on whether “it’s more likely than not” that there has been a policy violation. This is in keeping, McCary said,…

New physics, digital forensics programs approved by BGSU Faculty Senate

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green State University Faculty Senate Tuesday approved two new academic programs. Both the Bachelor of Arts in physics and then new computer science specialization in digital forensics passed with minimal “no” votes. John Laird, who chairs the Department of Physics and Astronomy, explained that some students now enroll as bachelor of science physics majors, but lack the calculus needed to start their physics courses. That delays their completion of their degree requirements because they first need to get that grounding in calculus. The new bachelor of arts program would give those students another avenue. The existing  bachelor of science route, he said, is geared for students who are planning to go on to graduate school. But many physics majors are being hired with bachelor’s degrees, Laird said. This new major would serve their needs. Later he explained that physics majors are in demand in a range of fields. They tend to be good problem solvers and have strong backgrounds in math and use of technology. Steven Green, an assistant professor in computer science, also cited a demand for students trained in digital forensics. This is a subset of cyber security, which has a much broader focus. DigItal forensics, he said, is concerned with working in law enforcement to gather evidence after a crime is committed. Those in the field access information from devices and make sure the chain of evidence is maintained.  A digital forensics lab has just been renovated, and the department already has two faculty members who specialize in the field. The programs now must be approved by the university trustees, and then the state. In his remarks to the senate, President Rodney Rogers spoke of what promises to be a major expansion of BGSU’s curriculum, the merger with Mercy College. The university and Mercy Health have signed a letter of intent for the operations of the nursing college to be transferred to BGSU, and BGSU trustees gave the administration the authority to pursue the deal this Friday. Rogers said Mercy College complements BGSU. It gives university undergraduate and graduate nursing programs as well as programs other health specialties. Mercy College also works extensively with post-traditional students, while BGSU remains an institution with mostly traditionally aged students. Mercy will provide the university with an array of programs aimed at helping meet the “critical need for nurses and other health professionals.” Rogers said the university is doing its due diligence on the merger with a sense of urgency. This, he said, means that he’s unable to answer the many questions that have been posed by faculty and others. Such a transfer, he said, has never happened in Ohio, though there have been some similar actions nationally including the merger of a Catholic-affiliated nursing college with a public university. The process is expected to as long as four years, which is when the university’s current arrangement with the University of Toledo ends.

BGSU 2018 security report available

The annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report is available. It contains: Crime statistics for the previous three (3) calendar years, including reported crimes that occurred on campus, in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by BGSU, and on public property within or immediately adjacent to and accessible from campus; Campus policy regarding the reporting of on-campus criminal activity as well as facility access; Campus policy for the reporting of off-campus criminal activity; Campus policy and services regarding law enforcement and public safety; Information regarding personal safety and crime-prevention programs; Campus policy regarding the sale, possession and use of alcohol and illegal drugs; Information regarding drug, alcohol and sexual violence education programs and campaigns; Policies and procedures for preventing and responding to dating violence, domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault; Information regarding how residential students can designate a contact person that the University should notify should they be missing for more than 24 hours; and, Fire safety information for on-campus residential facilities, including the number of actual fires, types of fire safety systems, as well as fire safety educational programs.

BGSU cited as one of the top in the country from student engagement

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University has been recognized as one of the best universities in the country for student engagement. The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings placed BGSU at No. 20 nationally in student engagement among public universities. The WSJ/THE rankings are “designed to answer the questions that matter most to students and their families when making one of the most important decisions of their lives — who to trust with their education.” Student engagement examines factors such as engagement with campus, interaction with teachers and other students, and the number of accredited programs. BGSU scored especially high in the student rankings, according to the data published as part of the study. BGSU was recognized by students for being their right choice, providing an inspiring environment and for being worth the cost. On a scale of zero to 10, with 10 representing strongest agreement, BGSU students gave the University the following scores: Right choice: If you could start over, would you still choose this college? — 8.4/10 Inspiring: Does your college provide an environment where you feel you are surrounded by exceptional students who inspire and motivate you? — 7.6/10 Worth the cost: Do you think your college will be worth what you and your family are paying? — 8.1/10 “As a public university focused on preparing students for success beyond graduation, we know that connecting with students in meaningful ways plays a critical role in their achievement,” said BGSU President Rodney Rogers. “Because student engagement and outcomes are key to these rankings, they reaffirm the work of our faculty and staff in providing our students with rich and diverse learning environments.” Data sources for the rankings include the Times Higher Education U.S. Student Survey of nearly 200,000 current students and the annual Times Higher Education Academic Reputation Survey, along with public data on areas including completion rates, graduate employment and loan repayments.

Weather spotter training to turn eye to winter

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS The 2018 Skywarn Severe Weather Spotter’s Training, with an emphasis on winter weather, will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 9 at Bowling Green State University. This free training will include information on how to measure snow, how to report different types of winter weather, the meteorology of snow, freezing rain, sleet and more; and the criteria for Winter Storm Warnings, Winter Weather Advisories, Blizzard Warnings, Lake Effect Snow Warnings and more. This training is open to first responders and the general public. No pre-registration is required. Attendees can register the night of the class starting at 5:30 p.m. in 113 Olscamp Hall. Attendees should use parking lot N on Ridge Street near Mercer Road. Presented by the National Weather Service WFO Cleveland office with assistance from the Wood County Emergency Management Agency and the BGSU Office of Emergency Management, attendees will receive (either that night or via mail) their SKYWARN card from the NWS. EMA will provide class attendance certificates to first responders. If you have questions about the class, call the WCEMA office at 419-354-9269 or email

Muslim student thanks BG for anti-discrimination efforts

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Nearly two years ago, Ahmad Mehmood stood up in front of Bowling Green City Council and asked city leaders to stand up for people from different lands. On Monday, Mehmood was back – this time thanking City Council for taking a stand against discrimination in the community. “I didn’t expect life here to be as easy,” said Mehmood, who has been a student at Bowling Green State University for two years. As a “brown Muslim student” from India, he was prepared to face discrimination and distrust. But instead, he found acceptance. “There is no space for hate,” he said praising the anti-discrimination resolution passed by City Council in January of 2017. “The City of Bowling Green has made it clear. It won’t accept that from its residents.” Back in 2017, as council was considering the anti-discrimination resolution, Mehmood stressed that for international students the measure was far more than a symbolic act. “We’ve always felt like we belong here,” he said on Monday evening. “We share something bigger than what divides us.” Mehmood talked about his homeland of India, where groups are targeted as part of the caste system. “We don’t want our country to be like that,” he said. No two people are identical, he said. “It’s almost like finding the same two colored socks on a Monday morning.” Yet, there are enough similarities that different people can coexist. “We can live side by side,” he said. To show appreciation to city leaders for their efforts, Mehmood invited City Council, the mayor and others to the annual Muslim Student Association dinner on Oct. 19 on campus. Council member Sandy Rowland thanked Mehmood for the invitation, and said she would attend. “I’m proud and happy to have you here,” Rowland said. “I want to thank you for your kind words, and want you to know you are appreciated in Bowling Green.” Mayor Dick Edwards thanked the Muslim Student Association for its involvement in the community. “I too have been the beneficiary of their very thoughtful invitations to various events.” The resolution passed by council in 2017 condemns violence, hate speech and discrimination targeting Muslim people and expresses solidarity with the Muslim community and all those targeted for their ethnicity, race or religion. The resolution calls on council to: Condemn all hateful speech, violent action, and discrimination directed at Muslim people and those perceived to be Muslim anywhere in the city or outside the city; Reject political tactics that use fear and misinformation to manipulate voters or to gain power or influence, and commits to prevent this from happening in the City of Bowling Green; Commit to pursuing a policy agenda that affirms civil and human rights, and ensures that people subjected to hate speech, violence, or discrimination on the basis of race, religion, or immigration status can turn to government without fear of recrimination; Reaffirm the value of a pluralistic society, the beauty of a culture composed of multiple cultures, and the inalienable right of every person to live and practice their faith without fear; Urge the citizens of Bowling Green to increase their involvement with the Human Relations Commission, Not In Our Town, and other community organizations, programs, and events that promote these principles, including by engaging with the local Muslim…

For Matt Wilson, music is about more than making sounds on his drums

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Matt Wilson is in the middle of it all. And the  jazz drummer and composer wouldn’t have it any other way. As much as the music, he said in a recent telephone interview, he was drawn to the jazz community. Wilson remembers as a teen going to festivals and watching in awe at the interaction among the performers. “I just saw the way players greeted each other … how they talked and showed their love and asked about families. I’d sit and see that from a cloud. Now I’m part of it. I love the social aspect.” The 54-year-old musician has gone on to play and teach with many of those he first admired, and he also passes that sense of community on to a new generation, not just as a teacher but as a fellow musician. Now he’s sometimes the oldest musician on the stage. This week Wilson will interact with the students at Bowling Green State University during a four-day residency. His visit will culminate in a performance with the jazz faculty and the Jazz Lab bands  at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall. Tickets in advance are $7 and $3 for students from or by calling 419-372-8171. All tickets are $10 the day of the performance. Wilson said his mother attributes his playing drums to his childhood. He was born with a clubfoot. Because of the treatment to correct the problem, he couldn’t run around. He’d be seated in one place with toys around him, like a drum set. And he used his imagination to find new ways to play with his toys. That approach to drums have earned him the respect of his peers. In 2017 he was named Musician of the Year by the Jazz Journalist Association.  His parents played a lot of music, not necessarily jazz, but instrumental music. Then he saw Buddy Rich on an episode of “The Lucy Show” in the 1970s, and he was hooked. “I liked the  look. I liked the energy,” he said. “I liked the way to brought people together.” Wilson started learning drums on his own. When he did start taking lessons, he found a teacher who was more interested in teaching music rather than just the rudiments of drumming. So when he was showing Wilson a bossa nova beat, the teacher would play along on bass. Budget cuts had taken their toll on his school’s music program. It had a band, but no jazz ensemble. He and his brother, a saxophonist, would by sheet music and play duets. They’d play for 4-H and PTA meetings, complete with some comedic schtick.  “I had to go in the community,” Wilson said. “I was around older musicians who gave me really great guidance.” Staring in his early teens he worked a number of jobs at weddings and dances. Once he was playing with a pianist at a nursing home. After the tune she asked: “We were playing ‘Sweet Georgia Brown.’ What were you doing?” Playing a solo, he said, taken aback. “I knew I had to play the song like everyone else.” Performing in a rock band that played original material taught him how to come up with drum parts when he didn’t have a recording as a model. Though he grew up…

Kids’ interest in learning gets a lift at air show, STEM in the Park

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Saturday was a day for kids’ dreams to take flight. For the first time the STEM in the Park and the Wood County Air Show teamed up in their offerings, giving families a double dose of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, and yes, some arts and sports, activities. The result as Saturday’s Take Flight with STEM. Yolanda Robles-Wicks said in past years she’s attended the air show at the Wood County Regional Airport with her children. They see airplanes in the air, and the show gives them a chance to get inside the cockpit and see them close up. “It expands their horizons and shows there’s endless possibilities of what can be created,” she said. This year her children were again on hand, but Robles-Wicks was working. She’s  staff member at the project-based earning school iLEAD in the Holland. This is the public tuition-free charter school’s third year in Ohio, and first year at the air show.. The air fair fits right into what the academy teaches, said Monique Myers, the outreach coordinator. Students learn by doing. The academy was offering a hands-on activity at the air show. Kids got to build construction paper helicopters that had working LED lights in them. Robles-Wicks, a 2009 graduate of BGSU, said the project was selected because it was a change from the usual paper airplane. Over at the Perry Field House, activity spilled out on the lawn. More than 110 different stations were offered. Kara and Lucas Eisenhauer traveled to STEM in the Park from Fremont with their four children, ages 3 to 10. They’d spent almost three hours there and as the event was wrapping up regretted not getting there earlier. They were happy to learn that the air show was still going to be open for a while. Kara Eisenhauer said she was impressed by all the activities that were offered. Every station had something for children of different ages. “Each station seemed to engage everyone,” she said. “This is the most important way to teach kids. Give them a fun, hands-on activity.” She feels so strongly about this kind of learning that she quit her job as a teacher to stay at home to use these methods to teach her own children. Though college choices are still in the future for her family, Kara Eisenhauer said certainly BGSU would be considered “if this is what they’re teaching.”

Facelift for College fo Technology building moves forward

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Bowing Green State University Board of Trustees have approved spending $1.6 million to get the renovation of the home of the College of Technology, Architecture, and Applied engineering underway. The money which comes from funds appropriated by the state legislature will go toward architecture and engineering work. That includes $1 million for studying the building itself, and $630,000 toward studying the infrastructure upgrades needed to support the renovation, said Sheri Stoll, BGSU chief financial officer. This work will enable university officials to give trustees a “rock solid estimate” of the final cost of the project. It its capital budget, the state has allocated $16.7 million for the project — $10.4 million for the building, and $6.3 million for infrastructure. The project is expected to get underway by late 2019, with completion set for summer, 2021. The building was constructed in 1971 and is getting “a little long in the tooth,” Stoll said.  “The College of Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineers is one of our growing colleges,” she said. As the college programs develop to meet the contemporary needs, “they are in a building not designed or intended for some of those purposes.” President Rodney Rogers said the programs offered in the college help meet the state’s workforce needs. The building, he said, was originally designed with an open space concept. That’s been altered over the years. Most recently a robotics lab was added. During the morning session, the trustees heard good news about enrollment, which is up overall about 1 percent, as well as retention rates, which are just shy of 77.2 percent. The goal is to have 80 percent retention of first year students from fall to fall. Vice President for Student Affairs Thomas Gibson addressed what the university is doing for segments of the student population who are not returning at as high a rate as others. These are commuting students, students from underrepresented minority groups, and students in the TRIO program, a federal effort to increase enrollment of low income students and those who are the first in their families to attend college. For commuter students, the university has created the Falcon FLOC, a program aimed at helping students connect with their peers and feel more a part of campus life. Also, within a couple weeks, the university will open drop-in offices to provide academic advising in Findlay and Perrysburg.  Commuter students are distinguished from off-campus students, who live near the university and typically have lived in residence halls early in their college careers. Commuter students, who most often live at home, tend to drop out at a higher rate than their peers. For TRIO and minority students some of the solutions overlap. Getting more students involved in summer programs was one solution, and prompt intervention at the first sign that they are struggling academically was another. Gibson also said allowing TRIO students to register early for classes could help address “the summer melt.” The university is also shifting some scholarship funds to make them available to students from underrepresented minorities. Interim Provost John Fischer said another group of vulnerable students are those who are admitted “underprepared” in math. Those students typically are enrolled in a remedial class that does not earn college credit. The university is working on having…

Trustees approve study of transfer Mercy College to BGSU

The Bowling Green State University trustees approved a motion to explore the possibility of merging with Mercy College. The university and Mercy Health announced their intent to transfer the operations of Mercy College to BGSU earlier this month. This would also allow the university to explore additional collaborations with Mercy Health, BGSU President Rodney Rogers said. The transfer is expected to take three to four years to realize. The resolution gives Rogers and other top university officials the authority to make the decisions to realize the transfer. “I think this is a wonderful day for the university,”  said Daniel Keller, chair of the trustees. Acknowledging the work ahead for university personnel, he added: “The board will be fully supporting of you in your efforts.”

STEM in Park takes flight by combining with air show

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATION For the first time, STEM in the Park and the Wood County Air Fair will combine their events to make one large, multi-site event on Sept. 29 in Bowling Green. STEM in the Park, a free family day of hands-on fun at Bowling Green State University, will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Perry Field House, with free parking available. Meanwhile, all aspects of flight will be explored at the Wood County Regional Airport, with shuttle service available to transport families to both locations. The Wood County Air Fair will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. STEM in the Park will feature interactive displays and activities created by community partners, local businesses and area universities to engage children of all ages in STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – fields. More than 175 unique, hands-on STEM activity stations will be offered. The new Flight Zone, located at the Wood County Air Fair, will feature: C47, 825 and TBM Avenger aircraft displays Helicopter rides by Intrepid Helicopters (for a fee) Hot air balloon rides (weather permitting) Free airplane rides with the EAA Young Eagle Flight Program (ages 8-17) FAA Aviation Pilot and Aircraft Maintenance seminars (hosted by the Bowling Green Flight Center) Many hands-on activities “We like to have the event stay current with fresh ideas and themes,” said Event Coordinator Jenna Pollock. “My son has been into flying drones lately and this is what sparked our new Flight Zone idea. Plus, we love to partner with other community organizations and the Wood County Air Fair is a great fit.” Other activity zones back by popular demand for the ninth annual event are the Robotics Zone, Food Science Zone, Digital Media Zone, Science of Sports Zone and the H20 Zone, which explores the science behind all of water’s amazing uses. A Roots to STEM Pre-K-2 Zone is also back this year, featuring activities that cater specifically to younger children. The STEM stage will once again feature super-sized demonstrations from the Imagination Station and the Toledo Zoo. Activity station hosts include BGSU’s Marine Lab and Herpetarium, SSOE, Verizon, Challenger Learning Center of Lake Erie West, Nature’s Nursery, and more than 80 other institutions and organizations. STEM in the Park is the brainchild of Drs. Emilio and Lena Duran, both faculty members in BGSU’s College of Education and Human Development. The event seeks to increase public engagement in the STEM disciplines in a family-friendly atmosphere. The event offers hands-on activities that allow participants to dabble in robotics, launch pop rockets, pet lizards, explore virtual goggles and more. Attendees will receive free take-home STEM materials, STEM activity ideas and a complimentary catered lunch from Tony Packo’s. NWO, the Northwest Ohio Center for Excellence in STEM Education at BGSU, organizes this free event and is committed to increasing attendance among underrepresented students. For the fifth consecutive year, transportation will be provided for elementary students, and in some cases their families, from several school districts in urban and low-income neighborhoods. Nearly 5,600 people attended last year’s event. NWO is a partnership among area universities, K-12 schools and community partners with a shared mission to advance STEM education while promoting positive attitudes toward STEM teaching and learning. STEM in the Park Presenting Sponsors…

Pop culture scholar recalls when comics were considered the scourge of the nation’s youth

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Banning books never seems to go out of style. To make that point, before Charles Coletta started his talk “The Seduction of the Innocent: The Anti-Comic Book Crusade of the 1950s and Beyond” he listed entertainments his students in Popular Culture classes have been forbidden to read or watch. Those include Harry Potter, “South Park,” “The Simpsons,” and  “Sponge Bob Squarepants,” a recent addition. Then he quizzed his audience in Jerome Library. “The A-Team” was a surprise, but “Family Guy” and “Bevis and Butthead” were staples of the do-not-watch list. Recently the reprinting of a classic comic story   “The Monster Society of Evil,” which hasn’t been reprinted in 30 years, was canceled because some of the characterization are racist, including depictions of Japanese from World War II and stereotypes of African-Americans that are “horrible,” Coletta said. And when just over a year ago the United Nations tried to name Wonder Woman as its fictional good will ambassador, there was an outcry over her skimpy outfits and that the superhero was not a good role model for women. Those complaints echo what was said about her 70 years ago. Because banning stuff never goes out of style, every year the Friends of University Libraries hosts an event to mark Banned Books Week.  Coletta’s focus on Thursday was on a crusade led by psychiatrist  Wertham against comics for all manner of offenses, particularly promoting violence. Superheroes, he said, was fascist role models who promote the idea that problems were solved with superior strength and violence. “I think Hitler was a beginner compared to the comic book industry,” he once stated.  Wertham also complained about unrealistic body images projected by female and male characters, racism, and embedded sexual messages. Wonder Woman, he claimed, was into bondage — a claim that proved not so outlandish when it learned that her creator William Moulton Marston was as well. But Wertham also said that her strength and independence, and hanging out with Amazons indicated she was a lesbian. And Batman and Robin’s relationship, he said, was “like a wish dream of two homosexuals living together.” He also said that comics were harming youngsters’ reading skills.   Wertham had a willing audience, Coletta said. The post-war era saw a rise in juvenile delinquency nothing major, the young folks were just getting into all kinds of mischief.  What they weren’t doing so much was reading comic books. From the 1930s through World War II, comic books were riding high. They got shipped to GIs overseas as diversion. They came in all genres romances, Westerns, cartoon characters, and, of course, superheroes with Superman coming first, followed shortly by Batman, as well as Wonder Woman. But as demand waned, publishers, most prominently EC Comics turned up the heat with horror and crime comics. Given the comic book was viewed as being aimed at juveniles this created panic. Wertham became a pioneering talking head addressing these concerns, and he testified before Congress. Bill Gaines, whose father had founded EC Comics, had a meltdown on the stand speaking for the industry. The hearings led the industry to adopt the Comics Code. Coletta noted that the panel that reviewed the comics was made up of women, and included a librarian, social worker, and movie script editor….

BG Philharmonia opens 100th anniversary season

From BGSU COLLEGE OF MUSICAL ARTS One hundred is a notable anniversary, and the BG Philharmonia is celebrating this important milestone with a year of special events during 2018-19. Large concerts in December and May in Kobacker Hall are the premier events, and every concert throughout the season will feature something special. Under the direction of Dr. Emily Freeman Brown, the Philharmonia will welcome back alumni members and host guest artists. Talented young musicians from BGSU and local schools will join in some of the performances. And four performances will feature a “birthday” composition — three in the fall and one in the spring. “This is the beginning of a great year,” said Brown, director of orchestral activities. “I have a terrific group of freshmen and new people. The spirit, the mood, the enthusiasm and the energy are incredible.” The Dec. 2 gala concert will feature the return of Bowling Green native Zachary DePue, a well-known violinist who is part of a musical BGSU family. His visit holds special meaning for Brown, who was his conductor when he became the winner of the Young Artist Competition as a Bowling Green High School student. The centennial concert features DePue in Shostakovich’s “Violin Concerto No. 1” and Stravinsky’s “Petrouchka.” Brown is also enthusiastically anticipating Bowling Green Opera Theater’s production of Handel’s “Semele” in April. Audiences will have the opportunity to see this infrequently performed work, accompanied by the Camerata di Campo di Bocce, the elite chamber group of the Philharmonia. “It’s a challenging piece and the music is so fantastic and so exciting,” she said. “It’s just out of this world.” The year culminates May 5 with the 100th anniversary concert and alumni gathering featuring Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, with all five University choirs and guest soloists. Advance tickets for the concerts are $3 for students and $7 for adults. All tickets the day of the performance are $10. Tickets are available online at or by calling 419-372-8171. As an added touch, each concert during the year will have its own concert program highlighting aspects of the Philharmonia, with photos, testimonials, past program notes and stories about the conductors. For the first performance, Brown sets the stage with an extensive history and timeline of the orchestra, aided by the program from the 75th anniversary season written by Lee Anne Snook and by Dr. Vincent Corrigan’s “100 Years of Music at Bowling Green State University,” written for BGSU’s Centennial in 2010. Brown said she was interested to learn she is not the first woman to lead the orchestra, but the third. During the second world war, as men left for the service, its first woman conductor, Lorlie Virginia Kershner, took up the baton, followed by Maribeth Kitt. Recounting the birth of the BGSU orchestra, Brown wrote: “From the very beginning, University President Homer B. Williams was determined to create what he called ‘the spirit’ of Bowling Green. He gave pep talks to students and faculty, always reminding them that because of their presence and efforts, Bowling Green was, indeed, a special place. He instilled pride and spirit in the young campus. . . In 1918, he decided that Bowling Green needed a group that could provide music at official events.” Made up of faculty members, the first “orchestra” was “more aspirational than actual,”…

BGSU gets $1 million from National Science Foundation to promote women in STEM

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University has earned a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant of $984,484 to support the “BGSU ALLIES: Building Inclusive Leadership Practices and Policies to Transform the Institution” project. This award is given to qualifying institutions demonstrating a desire for social and institutional reform. The award is granted through NSF’s Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers (ADVANCE) program. The mission of ADVANCE is to develop systemic approaches to include, enhance and highlight the contributions of women in academic STEM careers. ADVANCE works to identify and eliminate organizational barriers that inhibit the full participation and advancement of diverse faculty in academic institutions. The BGSU ALLIES project will focus on how administrators and faculty allies can work collaboratively to reduce biases and transform institutional policies and practices regarding gender equity. The project will adapt strategies to create allied partnerships between faculty departments and administrative leaders to produce a unified program of inclusive institutional operations. “By making allyship and inclusive leadership the expectation and norm at BGSU, the ALLIES program will directly help the University achieve its mission,” said Dr. Peg Yacobucci, professor of geology and principal investigator (PI) for the grant. “Our goal is to provide individual faculty with the tools they need to promote positive change and actively combat bias while also building a supportive network across campus.” Yacobucci will serve as the project director, coordinating all project activities and assisting the development of faculty ally workshops. In addition to faculty workshops, BGSU ALLIES will support online professional development training modules, revise University policies and processes and collect data on faculty success. BGSU also will host a regional conference to share best practice research with other area institutions. “The BGSU ALLIES program will bring together BGSU faculty and administrators to transform the policies and practices which impede the recruitment and career advancement of women faculty members in STEM fields at our university,” said Dr. Mike Ogawa, vice president of research and economic engagement at BGSU. “This is important work because it will also positively impact the career growth of all women faculty members at BGSU.” This project is unique in that most research in ally building in higher education focuses on what STEM means for students while BGSU’s ALLIES project will contribute new and important information regarding gender equity for faculty and administrators working in the STEM fields. The long-term goal of the project is to enhance the University’s mission of building an inclusive environment dedicated to collaboration and shaping innovative leaders regionally, nationally and globally.