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Paralympian Jessica Long tells fans only a negative attitude can sink their dreams

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Shoe shopping can be a problem when you don’t have any feet. Double amputee Jessica Long said she dreaded trips to the shoe store because of it reminded her she didn’t have legs. The way the clerk would look at her and her prosthetic legs and feet made her feel disabled. She just wanted shoes that were comfortable and cute. Long wondered if she’d ever be able to wear high heels or flip flops. Now at 25 new developments mean she can wear flip flops and has high heel prosthetics. She considers her prosthetic legs as “really tall shoes.” She loves to show her legs. And, along the way, she’s won 25 medals, 13 of them gold (the only ones she counts,) at the Paralympic Games. Long, the second most decorated Paralympic athlete, was in Bowling Green this week, as the special guest of We Are One Team Bowling Green. She met with athletes on the Bowling Green State University campus, addressed a crowd of 500 in the Stroh Center Wednesday night, and talked to fourth graders from Crim and Conneaut at the Wood County Library on Thursday morning. As WA1T president and founder Yannick Kluch said at both events, the organization was created to promote diversity and social justice through sports. Long’s mission is to encourage everyone, regardless of their situation, to strive to excel and persevere. “I believe the only disability in life is a negative attitude,” she told both crowds. Long…


Naturalization ceremony, Vagabrothers part of International Education Week at BGSU

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


Registration now open for STEM teaching symposium at BGSU

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


Muslim students at BGSU dedicate themselves to social justice

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


Immigrant Ohio conference looks at ‘Refugees Past and Present’

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


Paralympic champion swimmer Jessica Long to visit BGSU

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


Artist gets to the heart of Jerome Library with sculpture

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News In celebrating the largest piece of art on the Bowling Green State University campus, Jerome Library welcomed a new piece to its collection. The wood, Plexiglas, and LED artwork by Vince Koloski pays tribute to the towering murals that decorate the east and west facing walls of Jerome Library. As with the murals, though, what’s inside the new work is what’s important, Koloski said. From the interior unfold five panels with phrases that praise libraries and books. “It’s a nice building,” Koloski said, “but what’s important is what’s in the building, the knowledge, the content.” That’s what those panels represent. The quotations were collected by the other important element in his view, the librarians. Those librarians, retired and active staff, together with the campus and Bowling Green community gathered Friday afternoon to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the dedication of Jerome Library. Library Dean Sara Bushong said this was 50 years to the day that the ceremonies marking the dedication of the library in 1967 began. The formal dedication was held the next day on Nov. 4. In her talk on the history of the Donald Drumm murals, Librarian Amy Fry noted that the building was not intended to have the murals. But BGSU President William T. Jerome was “keenly interested in beautifying the campus.” To that end, Fry said, he invited Donald Drumm to serve as an artist in residence. His first project was creating a cast aluminum sculpture for the lobby of…


BG Peace Marchers make statement with their feet

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Nearly 125 people bundled up to join the annual Peace March on Friday from downtown Bowling Green to Bowling Green State University. Among them was Holli Gray-Luring, who was pushing her 3-year-old son, Ian, in a stroller. “It just feels good to be a part of something so positive,” said Gray-Luring, who also participated in the Peace March last year. “The people who stand here are aligned with our thoughts and beliefs in the world.” The second annual Peace March was again organized by Not In Our Town Bowling Green – a group dedicated to accepting diversity and speaking out against hatred. “It is an opportunity to be very visible on the streets of Bowling Green,” said Julie Broadwell, the community co-chair of Not In Our Town. The march makes a statement that all people are “welcome and included in Bowling Green life.” The walk started downtown in the free speech area off East Wooster Street. Led by a group holding the Not In Our Town banner, the walkers stayed on the sidewalks as they headed east to the BGSU campus. Most walked, some used wheelchairs. Joining in were BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey, several university officials and students. On the city side, were Mayor Dick Edwards, several City Council members and city residents. The walk ended in front of the student union, in the free speech zone on campus. “I think the peace march is something so special,” said Alex Solis,…


Operatic double header bridges the centuries with laughter

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Comedy is timeless. The BGSU  Opera Theater’s double-bill of “How to Reform a Drunk” by Christoph Willibald Von Gluck from 1760 and “The Four Note Opera” by Tom Johnson from 1972  are as different in their approaches as you’d expect from works written 200 years apart. The reactions they provoke are the same – knowing chuckles and hearty guffaws. The operas will be performed tonight (Nov. 3) at 8 p.m. and Sunday (Nov. 5) at 3 p.m. in Kobacker Hall on the Bowling Green State University campus. Tickets are $20 at the door, and cheaper if purchased in advance by calling 419-372-8171 or online. https://www.bgsu.edu/the-arts.htmlfrom The Gluck is a classic comic send-up. A vintner Lukas (Tyler Strayer) conspires to get the drunken father Zipperlein (Aaron Meece) to let him marry his daughter Marie (Hannah Stroh). She, however, is in love with the actor Anton (Aaron Hill). Her mother (Eunice Ayodele), the victim of her husband’s drunken behavior, is caught betwixt. As much as Katharine despises Lukas, “actors,” as she tells her daughter, “are the worst.” Still Anton gets into her good graces by concocting a plan to reform Zipperlein. That leads to a wonderfully fantastic scene with the husband believing he and Lucas have died and gone to hell where they will face punishment for their drunkenness. Before then they get to sing robustly of the joys of wine. The English translation and adaptation from the French by Ellen Scholl, of the BGSU faculty,…


BGSU marks Jerome Library’s 50th year

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Fitting for a library that doubles as a work of art, Jerome Library will unveil a new piece at its celebration of the 50th anniversary. The program will start at 4 p.m. Friday. There’ll be short presentations on the history of the library as well as a presentation by Librarian Amy Fry on the mural. Then a piece by sculptor and book artist Vince Koloski, that draws inspiration from those murals, will be unveiled. The eight-story tall building with six floors of abstract art running up both the west and east faces first opened in 1967. Dean of University Libraries Sara Bushong said she’s been assured by the artist Donald Drumm that the designs have no hidden meaning. Bushong said that at the time, students “either loved it or thought it was the most atrocious thing they’d ever seen.” Now it’s hard to imagine campus without it. While the mural has been a constant landmark on campus over the past 50 years the services within it have evolved. When it was built it was devoted mostly to stacks of books. Now every one of its floors have been repurposed, sometimes several times over, Bushong said. The change is most evident on the first floor. “The goal is to have the first floor to be a very student services focused,” she said. The floor hosts the Learning Commons, Student Athletic Services, and, most recently, the Collab Lab. And, she added, “we’re still circulating books, which…


Bruce Meyer named interim VP for capital planning at BGSU

Bruce Meyer, assistant vice president for campus operations, has been named interim vice president for capital planning and campus operations. This fills the role of the late Steven Krakoff, who died in October 16, shortly after being diagnosed with cancer. The position reports both to the president and the vice president for finance and administration. Andrea Depinet, director of campus services, will step into Dr. Meyer’s role while he is in the interim position. According to the announcement made this morning (Nov. 1) by BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey, Meyer’s “current responsibilities align well with the position, and he has a thorough knowledge of the University and the capital projects underway. He is a member of the Executive Team tasked with implementing the Campus Master Plan.” Meyer joined BGSU in 2010 and is responsible for the overall leadership, direction, vision and management of Campus Operations, which serves a wide range of university units, from Intercollegiate Athletics to Academic Affairs. He also serves as an adjunct professor in the Department of Management in the College of Business, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Supply Chain Management, Logistics and Global Management. He is a past president of both the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce and the Bowling Green Community Development Foundation and served on the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Commission. Before arriving at BGSU, Meyer served as the Dean of Business, Engineering Technologies and Workforce Development at Terra State Community College. He also has more than 30…


Winter Wheat plants seeds of literary harvest

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The seeds for Winter Wheat were planted at Bowling Green State University back in 2001, and the writers have been harvesting the benefits annually ever since. Abigail Cloud, who is coordinating this festival, said: “The basic metaphor is sewing the seed for later harvest.” Winter Wheat begins Thursday, Nov. 2, and runs through Saturday night when the participants will gather at Grumpy Dave’s for an open mic. The weekend will include workshops, panels, talks, and readings. Between 200 to 300 participants are expected. Winter Wheat is free and registration is open throughout the weekend. For more information and schedule visit http://casit.bgsu.edu/midamericanreview/winter-wheat/ Cloud said she’d just arrived at BGSU in 2001 when Karen Craigo set about organizing the first gathering.  “She had been wanting to do a community event for a while,” Cloud said. The event welcomes back graduates of the Creative Writing Program as well as students and faculty from schools around the region and as far away as California and Texas, and writers from the local community. “It’s a good town-gown outreach,” she said. “It’s kind of nice to have a banner event for creative writing.” This year Winter Wheat is convening in conjunction with the meeting of the International Symposium for Poetic Inquiry. This is the first time the symposium is being held in the United States. Faculty colleague Sandra Faulkner, the host, suggested the arrangement and Cloud readily agreed. Winter Wheat adds value for those traveling from abroad. Last year a meeting of student editors convened at…


Toledo Symphony establishes $10,000 scholarship for BGSU composition students

From TOLEDO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA The Toledo Symphony Orchestra is pleased to announce an exciting new scholarship opportunity for Bowling Green State University students. Each year, two Toledo Symphony Composition Scholarships will be awarded to incoming students in the Master of Music in Composition degree program at BGSU. To be considered for this award, composition applicants must include a previously written work for orchestra and/or a large instrumental ensemble in their application portfolio.  A jury of composition faculty members reviews the candidates’ work based on an evaluation of their current abilities as well as the prospect of their continuing development as a composer of orchestral music. Scholarship recipients are awarded $10,000 for demonstrating such musical excellence in their program. During the second year of their degree, each scholarship recipient is guaranteed a spot in the annual Toledo Symphony BGSU Student Composition Reading Session. The annual TSO Readings at BGSU are a unique opportunity for students to hear their work read by a professional orchestra along with gaining knowledge and insight from guest composers. Once the scholarship recipients are chosen, the Toledo Symphony Orchestra has the ability to request exclusive performance rights for the newly composed works. Zak Vassar, President & CEO of the Toledo Symphony, considers the scholarship program an investment in the future of classical music and the Toledo community. “BGSU’s College of Musical Arts has cultivated many wonderful composers, and writing new music has become a major point of differentiation for the College. I am proud to further the…


BGSU Muslim Students Association invites community over for dinner & talk about refugees

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Muslim Student Association is inviting members of the community to dine with them. There’s more than dinner on the menu though. The third Muslim Students Association convention will be focused on Community Engagement with a focus on the issue of refugees. The free event will be Thursday, 6-9 p.m. in the multipurpose (room 228) in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union on the Bowling Green State University campus. “Our focus is to bring people from all backgrounds, cultures, and faiths together some we can have a discussion, come together and get know each other,” said Ahmad Mehmood, graduate student in the College of Technology. And some Middle Eastern food and pizza will help ease the interaction. That conversation will center on the global refugee crisis and “what can we do from a humanitarian standpoint,” Mehmood said. Many of those refugees are Muslims, he said, but it is an issue everyone should be concerned about. “It doesn’t matter what you believe or ascribe to, we feel this is a topic that can bring everyone together,” he said. “People like us who have been every privilege, in every way, have the education, the financial ability, if they don’t come together to preserve humanity, to help humanity, I don’t think anyone else will.” He hopes those speaking can share personal stories that will deliver the message better than didactic speeches. There will be several speakers. The main address will be given by Adam Smidi, a doctoral student in…


Treehouse Troupe takes “New Kid” on the road to share lessons about tolerance

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bullying is an international language. That’s a lesson Nic learns on her first day in an American school. She had moved with her family to the United States from Homeland, not speaking English, and now she must adjust to life among strangers. That’s the plot of “New Kid,” a play by Dennis Foon being staged in schools around the region by Bowling Green State University’s Treehouse Troupe. Recently the troupe staged “New Kid” in the atrium of the Wood County Public Library for home-schooled students and students from St. Aloysius. We meet Nic played by Shannan Bingham and her mother played by Kristyn Curnow as they discuss leaving their country Homeland. The backdrop is colorful and their costumes are an iridescent green. Though they say they don’t know English, their lines come out as English, and the audience knows what they are saying. Soon Nic is in her new school, shyly joining two other students, Mencha (Autumn Chisholm) and Mug (Harmon Andrews) at recess. Before she comes out the audience gets to listen in on Mencha and Mug’s conversation. Not that it will do them any good. They’re animated as they chat but the words frustrate comprehension. Clearly it’s a language, just not one we understand. Nor as it turns out any other language. The actors’ body gestures, make it clear that they are negotiating some sort of exchange. The language was made up by the playwright to give youngsters a sense of what it’s…