Online magazine gives high marks to BGSU’s apparel program

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University’s apparel merchandising and production development program has been named one of the nation’s top 50 fashion merchandising programs for 2018. The online publication ranked the College of Education and Human Development program No. 46 overall, which places it in the top 25 percent of the schools considered for evaluation. Each year ranks the top fashion merchandising schools in the U.S. The rankings are based on factors that include the schools’ admission data, graduation success, reputation and an extensive proprietary survey conducted with school and industry stakeholders. This is the sixth year that has released annual rankings and the first time that BGSU has appeared on the list. “BGSU’s program prepares students for a professional career in fashion, which is a field much broader than most people realize: everything from textiles and merchandising to product development, computer-aided design and brand representation,” said Dr. Deborah Wooldridge, professor and director of the School of Family and Consumer Sciences. highlighted BGSU’s small classes, new workshop in the Eppler Center and graduation requirement of two program options. Students participate in co-ops and internships. Both a major and a minor are available; students choosing the major can either minor in marketing at the University’s nationally ranked College of Business or study for a year at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City in the areas of advertising and communications or textile development and marketing. Many students further complement their classroom experience with visits to domestic or international fashion hubs in Paris, London, Milan and more.

Excitement building for first Habitat home in BG

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   For 25 years, Habitat for Humanity has been building homes in Wood County. But until now, none was constructed in Bowling Green. On Monday, shovels were dug into the ground at the first of three Habitat homes to be built in Bowling Green, near the corner of Manville and Clough streets. Mark Ohashi, the executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Wood County, said he once asked his predecessor, Maxine Miller, about her motivation for building the first home in Bloomdale. Miller said, “I just feel that everyone deserves a decent house to raise their family.” “It was that simple,” Ohashi said. Many take housing for granted, but those who live in inadequate homes or who can’t afford decent housing know how important a good home can be. “We’ve been able to make an incredible impact on 39 families in Wood County,” Ohashi said. “We’ve built all around Wood County, but never in Bowling Green.” Marlene Lerch, whose family was chosen for the new Habitat home, is not taking the home for granted. “I’ve been praying for a house for years,” said Lerch, who has lived in a manufactured home for about 10 years. “This will be a safe place for my family. This is all a new beginning.” Lerch, who is a home-based coach with WSOS Head Start, said she is looking forward to putting her “sweat equity” into the home construction. “I’m ready,” she said. Her three children are also ready for the move. “I’m looking forward to getting out of a trailer and getting an actual house,” said Eric Lerch, 11, who will start at Bowling Green Middle School in a couple weeks. “I actually get a new bedroom,” which he plans to paint red and silver, Eric said. His older sister, Audrey, who will be a senior at Bowling Green High School, has plans to paint her bedroom light gray. “Just being able to have it be our own. With this opportunity it’s going to be amazing,” Audrey said. Their mom said the family has gone through a lot in the last few years. “I never thought in a million years that I’d get a new house built for me,” Lerch said. As she thanked those at the groundbreaking, Lerch expressed her appreciation….

The university & students add value to their communities, Gardner tells BGSU grads

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The sun shined down on Bowling Green State University graduates Saturday morning. For the first time since 2013, summer commencement ceremonies were held outdoors on university lawn. Since that time construction projects in the area had forced summer commencement into the Stroh Center. Now with the work on University and Moseley halls and the Kuhlin Center completed, graduation was moved back outdoors. “It’s beautiful,” said graduate Abby Paskvan, of Bowling Green. “I’ve taken so many pictures.” Others approved as well, though Diamond Hurt was concerned about temperatures expected to rise to 90. Dressed in her cap and gown she was already feeling the heat. In his remarks, graduation speaker State Sen. Randy Gardner (R-Bowing Green) praised university officials for “preserving these traditional buildings.” “They have not only protected our heritage and our history but inside they have modernized learning centers for our students.” BGSU President Rodney Rogers said the unprecedented renovation and building boom that the graduates had experienced during their time on campus was not over. Nearby the new College of Business is just starting to take shape with the expansion and renovation of Hanna Hall, and after that will come the renovation of the College of Technology. The graduation class had 942 degree recipients, including 364 receiving graduate degrees. During their time on campus, Rogers said, more than 1.5 million volumes, paper and digital, have been borrowed from Jerome Library. In that time, students have eaten as well 1.6 million meals at the Oaks Dining Center alone. Students have spent 2 million hours at the Rec Center. By making the commitment and graduating, they are adding value to the university, he said. “Make sure you have fun,” Rogers urged them. “And never stop learning.” The Economist magazine said that BGSU was the top college in the state for return on education, the equivalent of return on investment for a business, a fact noted by both Gardner and Rogers. “Not only will your BGSU degree be of value to you, but this university is becoming more than a value to others,” Gardner said. The majority leader in the state senate praised BGSU’s efforts to reach beyond campus to help the community. That includes its partnership with the county Committee on Aging to build a new senior citizens center…

Young artist wins People Choice honors at Now OH exhibit

Amanda Gargac doubled up on her honors at the 11th Now OH exhibit in the university galleries. When the show closed recently the ballots for People’s Choice were counted and Gargac was the winner. The 18-year-old from Northwood also received the Kiwanis Youth Award  for her painting “Mother to All.” The painting is a portrait of her grandmother, the mother of 13 children. Gargac will be a sophomore at the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The Now OH exhibit is open to all artists in a 12-county region of Northwest Ohio. This year 65 artists exhibited work.

BGSU dedicates Downing center to aid military students & veterans

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When William Downing was discharged from the Navy in 1952, he decided to attend Bowling Green State University. He’d never been to Bowling Green. He didn’t know anyone there. When asked by his high school principal in Cleveland why BGSU, he explained: “All my buddies went to Ohio U. If I went down there with them I’d never finish.” Attending BGSU turned out to be the right move. He did graduate and soon after married Joan, his Falcon flame, whom he met his junior year. The former Navy boxer graduated with a degree in physical education. He taught for a year before going into business. He went on to found Downing Enterprises of Akron. Growing up on the east side of Cleveland at that time – he graduated from high school in 1948 – “not that many people were going to college.” But the G.I. Bill “set me up,” he said. Downing said though he didn’t continue his career as a teacher, BGSU gave him the educational foundation to succeed. He wants other veterans and current service members have the same advantages. On Wednesday BGSU celebrated the gift of $1 million made by Downing and his late wife to their alma mater by dedicating the William and Joan Downing Military and Veteran Center. The business he founded is what made such a legacy gift possible, said his son, William Downing Jr. Both he and his two sisters followed their parents to BGSU. Barbara Henry, the director of the Nontraditional and Military Student Services, said the two-pronged approach, scholarships and support for services is “a great way to focus on success.” The first two scholarships made possible by the Downing gift were announced at the ceremonies. Keylin Freeman, a major in electronics and computer engineering technology and a member of the Ohio Army National Guard, said the money is a boost. He joined the National Guard as a medic after one semester at BGSU. His parents, he said, encouraged him to enlist. “They thought it would give me a good form of discipline and responsibility as well as the educational benefits.” They were right, he said. Because of his military obligations he ended up having to drop classes, so it’s taken him longer to complete his degree, and he exhausted his military educational…

Safe Communities urges caution as schools get back in session

From WOOD COUNTY SAFE COMMUNITIES Wood County Safe Communities announced today that there have been seven fatal crashes in Wood County compared to eight at this same time last year. *** August is back to school month for local school districts and higher education facilities in Wood County. When traveling rural roads, please be attentive to school buses in the area picking up and dropping off the precious cargo. Watch for increased traffic in the area of school buildings and be mindful of the 20-mph school zone speed limit during restricted times. Bowling Green State University (BGSU) will start its fall semester Aug. 27. Wooster Street is the main thoroughfare to enter the campus and shows a high volume of crashes from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Most crashes occur on Friday but with any event at BGSU, please be aware of the high volume of traffic and travel these areas with caution. Additionally, Owens Community College will start its fall semester in August. Watch for increased traffic on Oregon Road with students entering and exiting campus. Students are encouraged to be mindful of congestion in parking lots and be aware of their surroundings. Let’s prevent the high number of crashes that occur in your parking lots. Let’s make this back to school season the safest in history!!

BGSU recognized for work on community, economic initiatives

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University has been designated an Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP) University by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) and its Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness, and Economic Prosperity. BGSU is one of just 60 institutions in North America to receive this internationally recognized distinction, demonstrating the University’s commitment to economic and community engagement. Universities are awarded based on the quality of their connections with public and private sector partners in their region. To be considered for the designation, the APLU requires applying universities to complete a rigorous self-study and regional-engagement report. Within the self-study, BGSU highlighted such achievements as its Center for Regional Development generating $5 million for community enhancement, the NWO COSMOS project raising $22 million for STEM teacher training within the region, and participation in “Not in Our Town” a partnership with the city of Bowling Green to act against hate and discrimination within the community, which received a national ImpACT Award from the International Town and Gown Association in 2016. “We are honored to receive this distinction from APLU,” said BGSU President Rodney Rogers. “As a public university, BGSU understands its responsibility to create public good through teaching, research and community engagement. It’s our mission and our passion.” According to Rogers, it’s notable that BGSU is the only public University to receive the recognition that doesn’t have an engineering or medical school – two significant economic drivers. “This really speaks to how we engage with our community,” he said. “Our work extends beyond science and technology which, while important, do not fully address the human needs of society. We are working to support and develop communities as a whole – economically, organizationally, culturally and socially. Together, we’re strengthening the communities where we live and work, our region and our state.” Development projects at the University include: “Vital Communities Initiative,” which pairs BGSU students and faculty members with Ohio communities – Sandusky and Bowling Green are current partners – to identify and address projects that engage students in high impact learning, impact citizens of our region, and catalyze community and university resources for sustainable, livable and vibrant communities. Development of an “Early Warning Model” to identify communities at risk of economic distress.; A campaign to establish the first Center for Oceans and Human Health in the Great Lakes region, which will address harmful algal blooms and…

BGSU faculty member shares love & lessons of improv comedy

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Comedy can change your life. It did for Diana DePasquale. Now an instructor at Bowling Green State University, she was in a period of transition when she took her first improv comedy class with the Upright Citizens Brigade back in New York City in January, 2002. She said it was a “transformational time” in her life. That’s putting it mildly. Within a year she was divorced, her mother died, and then she lost her job forcing her to sell her home. Her new-found passion, though, endured. “Improv inspired me to take risks I hadn’t thought possible. My life is so very different than what I ever thought was possible for me. ” It set her on a road to higher education and led to teaching gender and ethnic studies at BGSU. Now, in her new home, she’s committed to sharing the love and lessons of improv with others. About eight months ago, she and fellow performers, Nick Morgan and Erin Kanary, formed Glass City Improv as a vehicle for their own artistry and teaching. The troupe is now enrolling students for classes that will begin later in August. The eight-week classes are held in the Valentine Theatre’s Studio A. Each concludes with a showcase performance. Cost is $150. Kanary will teach the Level 1 class, “Fall in love with improv. Love. Truth. Play.” It runs Thursdays, 6:30-8 p.m., starting Aug. 16. Morgan will teach the Level 3 class, “Seriously, get a room.  Risk. Discover. Build.”  That class runs Wednesdays, 6:30-9 p.m. starting Aug. 16. DePasquale teaches the Level 2 class, “Dig that honeymoon phase … Trust. Listen. Agree.” That class is already full. But she’ll be teaching a one-day workshop for women only, “No Shrinking Violets,” Saturday, Aug. 25, 9 a.m. to noon. The troupe has a performance Friday, Aug. 10 at 8 p.m. at the Art and Performance Center of West Toledo, 2702 W. Sylvania Ave. The faculty have their own individual focuses. An award-winning writer, Kanary, who studied improv and sketch writing at The Second City and iO in Chicago and Planet Ant in Detroit, focuses on love and play. In Level 1 students engage in short form games that encourage students to be honest and open up. Morgan is also an alum of The Second City and iO. He pushes…

BGSU to return summer commencement ceremonies to University Hall lawn

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University will celebrate its 292nd commencement August 4. Weather permitting, the event will mark a return to the traditional August commencement on the historic University Hall lawn, following the building’s recent renovation. The rain location is the Stroh Center. The ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. BGSU’s August Class of 2018 has 942 degree candidates from the Bowling Green and BGSU Firelands campuses, including 364 graduate degree candidates and 85 undergraduates receiving Latin honors for meritorious achievement. There are 42 associate degree candidates from BGSU Firelands. Addressing the graduating class will be Ohio Sen. Randy Gardner (R., Bowling Green), who received his Bachelor of Science in education and his Master of Arts in political science from the University. Gardner, the Ohio Senate Majority Leader, has served northwest Ohio in the Ohio General Assembly for nearly 33 years. During his time in the Ohio Senate and House of Representatives, Senator Gardner has maintained a 100 percent voting record on bills, amendments and resolutions – more than 10,300 consecutive votes since 1985. Gardner serves as chair of the Ohio Senate Finance Subcommittee on Higher Education, where he has advocated for enhanced state support for public education while encouraging efforts to make higher education more affordable in Ohio. Gardner received the Accomplished Graduate Award from BGSU’s College of Education and Allied Professions. He received his Bachelor of Science in education and his Master of Arts in political science from the University. Gardner and his wife Sandy, residents of Bowling Green, celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary this summer. Two of their three children are graduates of BGSU. Their son Brooks received his bachelor’s degree in finance in 2013 from the College of Business Administration and their daughter Christina earned her bachelor’s degree in dietetics in 2015 from the College of Health and Human Services and her master’s degree in food and nutrition in 2017. Their youngest son, Austin, completed his master’s degree in education this summer at the University of Findlay.

The arts can be the zipper on gown-town relations, architect explains.

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Mary Ellen Mazey was president of Bowling Green State University, she called the arts the front porch of the university. Last week during the Ohio Town and Gown Summit, architect Patrick Hyland, of DLR Group, used a different expression: The arts were the “town-gown zipper.” Hyland discussed four Ohio projects that exemplified the idea that arts facilities can bring schools and communities closer together. At Mount Union College in Alliance, the 1950s vintage arts center was on the edge of campus. The building had “bomb shelter” qualities, and college officials wanted something more attractive and functional. Also, the school realized it was lagging in female enrollment. Part of the problem, Hyland said, was the poor state of the arts facilities. A new venue was needed not necessarily for majors, but for students who wanted to continue to be involved in theater and music even while pursuing other degrees. The Giese Center was packaged with raising money for health science facilities. The Giese Center included a large, multi-use facility that could be used for music, theater, receptions, and lectures. It was large enough to bring in touring road shows and was available to the local public school. The facility also included a black box theater, a flexible space akin to BGSU’s Eva Marie Saint Theatre. The Apollo Theater in downtown Oberlin near the Oberlin College was also badly in need of repair. The movie house built in 1913 had undergone “various bad renovations” over the years, Hyland said. Its days as a first-run theater were over. The college was investing in creating an arts district neighboring its conservatory. The theater was turned into the home of Oberlin’s film program. The historic character of the old theater was maintained. Historic preservation tax credits were used to fund part of the project. The main auditorium was reduced from 800 seats to 500. Another smaller 60-seat screening room for student projects, both by college and high school students, was carved out within the space. The Allen Theater on Euclid Avenue in Cleveland also opened as a movie house, albeit on a much grandeur scale, seating more than 3,000. By the 1970s it and its neighboring theaters were in disrepair and were slated to be torn down and turned into parking lots, Hyland…

Coach Robyn Fralick brings her winning ways to BGSU women’s basketball

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News With the losses piling up over the last few seasons for the women’s basketball team, Bowling Green State University has turned to someone who knows about winning. Robyn Fralick comes from Division II Ashland University where her teams racked up 104 wins in her three seasons as head coach, including a Division II record of 73 wins in a row. In her time there – seven as an assistant coach and three as a head coach – the team won two national championships and was runner-up twice. She wants to bring those winning ways to Bowling Green. Fralick talked about her aspirations for her team Thursday as the speaker at the Chamber of Commerce’s Mid-Year Awards Program. Making the move to Bowling Green was not easy. The Michigan native enjoyed her decade at Ashland. “I feel I grew up there.” Fralick met and married her husband in Ashland, and that’s where their two children were born. But they found in Bowling Green “a community we not only could, but wanted to raise our family.” “We’re very, very excited to be part of the community. We love a place where kids can ride on their bikes and feel safe and comfortable.” At Ashland, she had a mentor in Sue Ramsey, the head coach who hired her. Two of Ramsey’s core beliefs, Fralick said, were: “Take care of people and take care of details. … She lived it out every day. You cannot steal her joy.” Fralick said she also learned from Ramsey to never let how people treat you dictate how you treat them. She carried those lessons with her as she took over as head coach. The 73-win streak was “cool,” she said. “It was less about the number. It was everything about the how and why.” It showed what could be accomplished “when a group of people decide that working hard matters, when a group of people commit every day.” “It’s not about who you’re playing, it’s about playing the game in the right way for 40 minutes.  … When those things are in place good things happen.” She’s hoping to impart those lessons at Bowling Green. One of her core values is toughness. At Ashland her team scored a 100 points a game. “We played really hard…

Summit shines light on campus & community partnerships

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News University and local officials used the Ohio Town and Gown Summit on the Bowling Green State University campus last week to shine a light on their efforts to ink the campus and surrounding community. Thursday’s after-lunch keynote address offered a one-two punch of Mayor Richard Edwards and Bowling Green State University President Rodney Rogers. Both also tipped their hats to someone who could not be there, President Emeritus Mary Ellen Mazey. Though scheduled to return to campus for the summit, Mazey was not able to attend because of illness, Edwards said. Edwards knows about the relationship between communities and universities, having forged a career in both settings, including as a vice president at BGSU and Wood County Administrator, before assuming his current duties. He credited Mazey with being a driving force behind the increased cooperation between the city and campus. Not long after they’d met she told him: “Dick, let’s do a joint vision study.” That rang a “’yes’ bell in my head,” Edwards said. Kent, the home of Kent State University, serves as a model for what BG and BGSU hope to achieve. It now has a major thoroughfare effectively linking the two entities. That did not come easily. Edwards recalled fierce local opposition to an earlier attempt to do that. He quipped that he’d forgotten to ask his fellow mayors in attendance what brand of flak jacket they wore. Bowling Green’s version is a new vision for the East Wooster corridor stretching west from I-75 interchange into downtown. The project on the east end is ready to begin the construction phase. Rogers said that public universities have a special responsibility to serve the public good. That includes giving students the means to be socially mobile. That responsibility extends to doing “relevant and meaningful research” on issues of societal concern, he said. Those include the opioid crisis and water quality. Beyond that university must find ways to link that research to inform public debate on those issues. The university must also find public-private partnerships that help make sure “the cost of education does not get out of reach,” Rogers said. Private enterprises can provide some services more efficiently, and that “has allowed us to make savings that we were able to reinvest in programs.” A panel that immediately…

Second BGSU football player charged with misuse of BGSU debit card

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS BGSU Police have charged Dirion Hutchins, a Bowling Green State University student and member of the football team, with telecommunications fraud, theft and prohibited acts. The three charges are all felonies. The charges are the result of a police investigation that began after the University discovered irregular charges on debit card accounts designated for athletic book scholarships. A second student and member of the football team, Armani Posey, was charged in June. Posey was found guilty of unauthorized use of property, a misdemeanor, in Bowling Green Municipal Court on July 9 and ordered to pay the University $2,000 in restitution. Hutchins and Posey have been removed from the football team. They may also be held accountable under the student code of conduct. The University will be reviewing its procedures and practices for securing and ensuring proper use of BGSU debit cards. Because the investigation by BGSU Police is still ongoing, the University will have no further comment.

BGSU makes list as top university for international students

BY BOWLING GREEN STATE UNIVERSITY U.S. News & World Report recently released an inaugural list of the Top Universities for International Students. Bowling Green State University ranked in the top 75 of public universities offering resources to help international students adapt to and graduate from U.S.-based schools. “As international students consider their U.S. university options, it is vital that they understand whether schools will offer them financial aid, English labs, housing and dining services during holidays, and other services,” said Anita Narayan, managing editor of Education at U.S. News. “This list is a natural extension of our mission with the Best Colleges rankings, which have helped students and their families make decisions about their education for more than 30 years.” The Top Universities for International Students range from private institutions, such as Columbia University in New York, American University in Washington, D.C., and California Institute of Technology, to public schools, including the University of Virginia, Mississippi State University and East Carolina University. “We have always strived to make our campuses welcoming to international students, and these rankings confirm that our efforts to help them assimilate to the U.S. and northwest Ohio are working,” BGSU President Rodney Rogers said. “Our faculty and staff are world class, and are committed to helping our students succeed here and in life.” Through the dedicated team of the International Programs and Partnerships (IPP) office, BGSU offers its “global falcons” immigration support services, different programs to acclimate international students to American culture, opportunities to engage with the campus community, and the advising they need to succeed, said Dr. Marcia Salazar-Valentine, IPP executive director. “Our team advocates for international students throughout their career at the University and welcomes them each and every day at our office at 301 University Hall,” she said. To compile the list, U.S. News began with the National Universities in its annual Best Colleges rankings and then evaluated those that best support the needs of international students. Nineteen initial indicators were combined, in some cases, to create the six final indicators used in the analysis. These include graduation and retention rates for international students, availability of English as a Second Language programs and grant aid to international students. U.S. News developed the methodology with input from U.S. News Global Education, a company dedicated to connecting international students with the top universities in the United…

BG celebrates community’s ‘Best Hometown’ status

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   It was a year ago that Bowling Green was named one of Ohio’s Best Hometowns by Ohio Magazine. Next week, the Bowling Green Convention and Visitors Bureau will remind local residents why their community won that honor. A “Best of BG” event is planned for July 19, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., in the Simpson Garden Park Building, and the surrounding gardens. It’s fitting that the event be held at the park, since the gardens were one of the factors that won Bowling Green its “Best Hometown” status. The event will feature at least 35 businesses in the hospitality, restaurant, retail and lodging sectors, plus non-profit organizations. “We’re pretty excited about it,” said Wendy Chambers, executive director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We’re having the opportunity to celebrate again our hometown honor.” Next week is a busy one for local officials. The city and university are hosting the Ohio Town & Gown Summit, with an estimated 150 attending. The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce is hosting its annual luncheon on Friday, followed by the second Firefly Nights downtown in the evening. “It’s a big week,” Chambers said. “Our town’s always got something going on.” That buzz of activity helped the city secure its “Best Hometown” status. As editor of Ohio Magazine, Jim Vickers is accustomed to visiting communities throughout the state. But during his stop in Bowling Green, Vickers was struck by three features of the city – the energy from the university even though most students were gone for the summer, the healthy historic downtown, and the beautiful Simpson Garden Park. The 12th annual Ohio’s Best Hometowns issue of the magazine recognizes four communities in addition to Bowling Green: Marietta, Milford, Mount Vernon and Wooster. Bowling Green beat out other communities because of its vibrant college town atmosphere, strong sense of community and shared vision for the future. “I was in Bowling Green for the site visit,” Vickers said, so he had first-hand knowledge of why the city ranked so high. “Every year we look for towns that exemplify a strong community.” They checked out the campus. “It’s a vibrant college town, even in the summertime,” he said last year shortly after the awards were announced. “There’s an energy there.” They went downtown. “The health…