BGSU arts events through Dec. 15

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS At the galleries – The School of Art’s Faculty and Staff Exhibition continues through Dec. 12 in the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery at the Fine Arts Center. Included are works in mixed media, digital, print, paint, glass and graphics. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free Nov. 27 –  The BGSU University Choral Society and Graduate Brass Quintet present “Joyous Sounds: A Yuletide Celebration,” a selection of traditional and popular holiday choral arrangements. The performance will begin at 7 p.m. in the First United Methodist Church, 1526 E. Wooster St., Bowling Green. Free Nov. 27 – The Accorda Trio will perform a guest recital at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall at Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Nov. 28 – The College of Musical Arts’ Faculty Artist Series presents violinist Penny Thompson Kruse.  She is a professor of violin and has performed extensively as a soloist, orchestral and chamber musician with such orchestras as the Eastern Festival Orchestra, Hutchinson Chamber Orchestra, Kansas City Chamber Orchestra and the Philharmonia of Kansas City. The recital will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Nov. 29 – The BGSU Concert Band, under the direction of Dr. Bruce Moss, will perform at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall, Moore Musical Arts Center. Tickets purchased in advance are $3 for students and children and $7 for adults. All tickets purchased on the day of the performance are $10.  BGSU students with an ID card are admitted free. Nov. 30 – Guest vocalist Salvatore Champagne, the Robert W. Wheeler Professor of Voice and director of vocal studies at Oberlin College and Conservatory, will present a master class for students and the public. He began his singing career in 1988 as the tenor soloist in a European tour of Leonard Bernstein’s Songfest conducted by the composer and for the next 10 years was a guest artist in many of Europe’s finest opera houses and concert halls. He appears throughout the country giving master classes and seminars. The master class begins at 2:30 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall at Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Nov. 30 – The Toledo Museum of Art welcomes BGSU students in the Doctor of Musical Arts program to perform for the EAR|EYE: Listening and Looking Concert from 7 to8:30 p.m. They will perform contemporary music in various galleries at the museum and explore the relationship of contemporary music and art. The museum is located at 2445 Monroe St., Toledo. Free Nov. 30 – The University Women’s Chorus and the University Men’s Chorus will present a joint concert. Tickets purchased in advance are $3 for students and children and $7 for adults. All tickets purchased on the day of the performance are $10. BGSU students…

BGSU graduate student Ashley Doonan dies

Bowling Green State University has announced that student Ashley Doonan, 26, of Dover, New Hampshire, died, Friday, Nov. 30. Doonan was a third-year doctoral student in the Rhetoric and Writing program. In a statement to the BGSU community, President Rodney Rogers wrote: “We mourn her loss and share in her family and friends’ sorrow.” Condolences to her family can be sent to and the university will deliver will deliver them. A GoFundMe drive has been established to help her parents, Cathie Curtis and Wayne Valley of Ossipee, New Hampshire, bring her remains home from Ohio. The university also reminds anyone coping with the loss that counseling is available at the BGSU Counseling Center  at 419-372-2081.

Information sought on whereabouts of BGSU student

Information is being sought about Jacob Bromm, Bowling Green State University freshman from Troy, Michigan, who has not been in contact with family or friends since Nov. 20. In a post on Facebook, BGSU said the university and Bromm’s parents are seeking information on his whereabouts.  According to the post, the student “told his parents that he was not coming home for Thanksgiving.” The university said that friends reported  that “Jacob indicated to them that he was leaving Kohl Hall to take an Uber to the airport to fly out west.” BGSU police are investigating and have reviewed all relevant, available security footage.  The university stated that “there is currently no evidence that his absence is not voluntary or that he is in distress.” Bromm is 18, and legally an adult. “The University shares the Bromm family’s concern,” the post states. Anyone with information on his whereabouts should contact BGSU Police at 419-372-2346.

Visitors see arts in action at annual BGSU showcase & sale

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Song and dance  and more spilled into the corridors, classrooms, corners and stages of the Fine Arts Center and the Wolfe Center for the Arts Saturday during the 14th ArtsX. The gala showcases the creativity of all the arts on campus. This year ArtsX invited special guests Verb Ballets, a Cleveland-based company. The company adopted the name Verb Ballets because it evoked action, said Richard Dickinson, associate artistic director. The company’s performances at ArtsX showed how fitting that name was. In the second of the Verb’s two performances Saturday evening, it blended humor and sensuality to the music of Mozart in K281. That sensuality was evident throughout, whether on the contemporary “Between the Machine” with a pulsating score that mixed jazz with industrial sounds, to the climatic setting of Ravel’s “Bolero,” where European and Indian classical dance moves blended with flamenco. Verb didn’t restrict its action to the stage. It also presented classes for community and university dance students earlier in the day and performed and worked with middle and high school students on Friday. Dickinson said the company particularly enjoyed the middle school, where a two-hour delay on a Friday meant the energy level was particularly high. The company’s performances Saturday had people buzzing in the halls of the Wolfe Center and Fine Arts Center as they perused the jewelry, ceramics, glass, prints, and more on sale.  Artists also demonstrated their techniques. Music suffused the event from traditional sounds from Beethoven to taiko drums to the experimental work of doctoral students. As usual there was far more going on than any one visitor could take in. While the crowd attending seemed smaller than in the past, the energy of the participants was still high.        

Verb Ballets brings contemporary & classic dance moves to ArtsX

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Verb Ballets is pool putting the moves on ArtsX. The annual arts gala is being held tonight (Saturday, Dec. 1) in the Fine Arts Center and the Wolfe Center for the Arts on The Bowling Green State University campus. The Cleveland-based dance company will be the special guest performers. This is the first time ArtsX has brought in a featured guest without a connection to the university. That marks a further step in the development of the gala that started 14 years ago. Verb Ballets is a fitting artist for this year’s theme “Let the Arts Move You.” The company moves in a variety of ways. The full-time company of classically trained dancers mixes both classic and contemporary ballet, said Jen Garlando, Verb Ballets’ director of marketing. The ballet’s performances at 5:30 and 7 p.m. in the Donnell Theatre at ArtsX will demonstrate that range. The company will open with the Grand Pas de Deux from Don Quixote by the great 19th century Russian choreographer Marius Petipa and the music of Ludwig Minkus. Staging is by the legendary Cuban choreographer Laura Alonso. The classical pas de deux shows both technical virtuosity and glamour. The piece comes from the company’s ongoing exchange with Cuban dancers, Garlando said. “K281” choreographed by Adam Hougland brings together modern and classical moves for a quirky and humorous take on a beloved Mozart piano sonata. From Mozart, Verb Ballets will move to a DJ mix of industrial sounds to create driving pulse for “Between the Machine” by Charles Anderson. In a cross-cultural exchange, the choreography for Ravel’s “Bolero” will blend Indian and modern dance styles. “Its drive, propulsion, and intensity build with the famous crescendo” is how the company describes the work. “The piece, choreographed by Heinz Poll, the company’s founder, is a visual masterpiece set to the driving force of the well-known score.”  Romanian dancer Daniel Precup set the company’s premiere of “Ne Me Quitte Pas,” a song about the complex struggles of love by the French singer-songwriter, Jacques Brel.  The performances will be the culmination of Verb Ballets’ residency here. The dancers worked with Bowling Green middle school and high school students on Friday, and university students in both dance and musical theater on Saturday. This is the fourth year ArtsX has brought in guest performers. Those past performances have featured circus acts, aerialists, and puppeteers.  The dance company is an appropriate visitor this year given the pending move of BGSU’s dance program into the Department of Theatre and Film. It was the School of Human Movement, Sport, and Leisure Studies. When the gala began 14 years ago, it was a way of bringing together the sales held by the various art clubs with collaborations from other campus arts programs and University Libraries.  Even then, Dennis Wojtkiewicz, the art faculty member was involved…

Band director from Stoneman Douglas High talks about the healing power of music

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Last Valentine’s Day, the Douglas Stoneman High School Wind Symphony was rehearsing Vaclav Nelhybel’s “Symphonic Movement” when the killing started. A gunman had entered the ninth grade building across from the band room and was shooting. The code red lockdown was in place. The band students put away their instruments, left the music on their stands, and guided by the SWAT team left the building. Before that moment, what the band had on its mind was performing that piece in just a few weeks in Carnegie Hall during the New York Wind Band Festival. Now an expelled student had returned to the Parkland, Florida school and killed 17 staff and students, including two involved in the band program. The music stopped, but not for long. Alex Kaminsky, the band director at Douglas Stoneman High, visited Bowling Green State University Thursday to talk about his experience in the aftermath of the tragedy and to hear the premier performance of a composition written in response to the attack. In the afternoon, he spoke with the students in Lisa Martin’s Band Methods class. Bruce Moss, the director of band activities, arranged the visit. He called Kaminsky one of the best high school band directors in the country. While most directors would be happy to be asked to perform at the prestigious Midwest Clinic once, Kaminsky will be bringing the Stoneman Douglas Band there for his fourth appearance, an engagement secured before the shooting. Moss noted Kaminsky has taken bands from three different schools to the clinic. On Thursday Kaminsky told the class of future band directors that the day after the shooting, his pastor told him: “‘None of us understand this. … You are here for such a time as this.’” That statement weighed on Kaminsky. “I realized at that moment that everything I did or would do would affect the trajectory of the students with whom I had been entrusted. …  My role in their lives has been heightened to a level I’d never had to experience in the past.”  Among the victims were two ninth graders Alex Schachter, 14, a trombonist, and Gina Montalto, 14, a member of the color guard. Kaminsky’s son, Ethan, also a ninth grader, was not in the building where the shooting occurred. A trumpet player, he was the only freshman in the elite Wind Symphony. So he was with his father. That helped Kaminsky focus on all the students. The band director decided after the memorial service that he needed to bring the band members and families together. So they arranged to gather at their usual off-campus hangout. As he and his wife were getting ready to leave for the meeting, Ethan was blowing his horn. Nothing special, a few jazz licks, his father recalled. His parents had to wait to leave until he was…

Halloween bias incident counter to BGSU values, but did not violate code of conduct

Nine Bowling Green State University students who dressed up as Mexicans and denigrated the concept of cultural appropriation on social media will not face discipline under the student code of conduct, though they will be required to meet with administrators to discuss the Halloween incident. The fraternity has also agreed to other actions. In a statement to the BGSU community issued Wednesday President Rodney Rogers and Vice President for Student Affairs Thomas Gibson said the investigation into the action of nine fraternity members has been completed. Though Gibson and Rogers did not name the fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha, has issued an apology for the incident. In the administration’s statement, Rogers and Gibson write: “While their actions were inappropriate and counter to BGSU’s Core Values on diversity and inclusion, the reported behavior is protected speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and our own policy on free speech and expression. Therefore, there was no violation of the student code of conduct.” The nine students, however, have been suspended from the fraternity for at least one year and must apply to be readmitted. In its apology, the fraternity said: “The costumes pictured were offensive, arrogant, and insensitive.” Pi Kappa Alpha promised to cooperate with the university on sanctions to the nine students. The behavior, the fraternity said, was “unacceptable,” and does not reflect “who we are a chapter or as citizens to the community.” The fraternity and administration agreed to a series of sanctions: • The chapter will appoint a Diversity and Inclusion Chair. The fraternity member appointed to this role will meet with staff from the Office of the Dean of Students to learn about campus resources to educate active and future members on diversity and inclusion. • The chapter will work with the Office of the Dean of Students to identify a speaker to come to campus next semester to talk about diversity and inclusion. All members of the fraternity will attend, and the presentation will be open to the campus community. • The chapter will identify a community service project for spring 2019 that focuses on the Latino/a/x community. In addition, the Office of the Dean of Students will meet with each of the students involved in the incident to discuss their choices and how they do not align with our values as a university.

Trans athlete Chris Mosier talks about the long road he traveled to be a trail blazer

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News For Chris Mosier, the crisis came on his birthday. Mosier a groundbreaking trans athlete told an audience at Bowling Green State University as the guest of We Are One Team that he hated the song “Happy Birthday.” Even when it was sung to a stranger, “I have a physical reaction to it.”  He made it a practice of not celebrating his birthday. He felt that he was “inauthentic” and not worth celebrating.  On his 29th birthday, though, his partner persuaded Mosier to go out to a restaurant. It was packed, and then the waiter referred to Mosier and his partner as “ladies.” Mosier began to cry. They had to leave. Mosier knew he had to do something to address his gender identity. He decided to begin his transition. Six years later a few blocks from that New York City restaurant, Mosier said he cried again, this time with joy. He was in a trailer and he had just finished the filming of a Nike commercial featuring him as a trans athlete. In both those instances he had the same thought: “I never thought my life would be like this.” Mosier grew up in northern rural Wisconsin. He was told he couldn’t wear his hat backwards, or run around without a shirt even as a 6-year-old, or skateboard, because girls don’t do that. He pinned an image of a male bodybuilder’s torso on his closet door. That was his future. “For my entire life, I was searching for a vision of myself.” His dreams didn’t fit into a “princess” future.  “Those were painful and hurtful years,” Mosier said. But no matter how he was viewed elsewhere, everybody wanted him on their team. He was a talented athlete. And he dreamed of having his name on a basketball jersey. When he looked for colleges, he looked for ones that had jerseys with names.  He was recruited and was headed towards playing college ball. Then he refused the offer at the last minute. He had, he said, a lot of excuses. He needed to work. He wanted to participate in extracurricular activities. He needs time to study so he could excel academically. It was only later, he said, that he realized the true reason: “I didn’t want be on a women’s team.” So he went to Northern Michigan in Marquette. It was only there that he started hearing about what transgender meant. It took him five years to graduate, and because of health issues related to a history of head injuries, he was out of shape. After graduating in 2003, Mosier went to Chicago for graduate school. He saw promotions for the Chicago Marathon and decided despite his poor physical conditioning, he wanted to run it. Running, he said, was a way to reconnect with sports without having to deal with locker…

BGSU moves into the holiday spirit with ArtsX

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University’s pre-holiday celebration of the arts will highlight movement Dec. 1 as Verb Ballets, a Cleveland-based contemporary ballet company, takes the stage. Their bold artistry, unique styles and technical excellence have captivated audiences of all ages. The company’s two performances, at 5:30 and 7 p.m. in the Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre in The Wolfe Center for the Arts, are just two ArtsX activities scheduled from 5 to 9 p.m. The 2018 ArtsX, with a theme of “Let the Arts Move You,” will also showcase musical, theatrical and dance performances; exhibits and demonstrations; hands-on activities; and art sales for holiday shoppers looking for unique, handmade gifts. A tentative schedule is available at

Scholar ponders a future when artificial intelligence will have rights

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News A philosophical talk that ventured to the fringes of science fiction wound its way to the hot button real world issue of abortion. Matthew Liao, director of the Center for Bioethics at New York University, was at Bowling Green State University recently to discuss The Moral Status and Rights of Artificial Intelligence. It was the first event sponsored by the Institute for Ethics and Public Philosophy. Liao posited conditions in which robots or other artificial intelligent entities could have greater moral status than their creators. But as the question and answer session after the talk wore on, the issue of abortion came up. Liao argued: “The idea here is that if the entity has some sort of physical code … that generates moral agency … then that’s sufficient reason to think that it can be a rights holder.” He was questioned whether that didn’t give moral status to a fetus. Liao responded that the fundamental right of bodily integrity would trump that just as someone wouldn’t be expected to give up a limb in order to save someone. That may be admirable, but not morally required.  Some reasons for having an abortion, he said, may be specious, but having a fundamental right, as he defined the right to bodily integrity, also entails sometimes misusing that right. So how then could robots come to have greater rights than humans? It wouldn’t be, Liao said, because they were more intelligent, rational or empathetic. It would be because they had some as yet unidentified quality. That’s quite a leap from the time when computers were developed that could beat  the greatest Jeopardy champions at their game in 2011 or the masters in the ancient game of Go. And then a new generation of machines arrived that could beat those earlier machines. That new generation of computers learned not from human behavior but by self-reenforced learning. These are not just academic exercises. “Different companies are trying to learn about human emotions to get robots to be more human like,”Liao said. This is important as countries, especially Japan, face shortages of caregivers for the elderly. “Some of the elderly become really attached to these robots,” Liao said. “That’s going to become more an issue as robots become better at what they do.” Some entities have greater moral status than others moving up from rocks to plants to animals to animals with moral agency. That capability for moral agency is encoded into people. Could that capability be replicated in artificial intelligence? That could happen in three ways. One way would be to upload the human brain. Scientists could image it, create a simulation and then upload it to software. In Europe there’s a $1 billion project to create computational models of the brain, he said. Efforts are also underway in the United States. If that…

Students of children’s literature creating books of their own

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The spirit of Dr. Seuss and other masters of the picture book was alive in the Bowling Green State University’s Technology and Resource Center in the Education Building. The students in the Literature for Young Children course taught by Elizabeth Zemanski and Amanda Rzicznek were busy writing, cutting, and drawing as they created their own picture books. They draw inspiration from the needs of the children they’ll be teaching, from their own favorite books, and from a talk given by published children’s author Lindsay Ward. The goal is to give them insight into the way picture books come to be. Their work will be exhibited for all to see at the Picture Book Showcase Thursday, Nov. 29 from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Pallister Room of the Jerome Library. Samantha Aukerman, an early childhood major, was a little nervous about the prospect of having her work on display. Still the project was fun, she said. Her book is about a shy cactus’ efforts to find a friend. Because of the cactus’ limited mobility, that’s difficult, until he meets a hedgehog. All this stems from the landscape of Aukerman’s life. She has cacti in her room, and her roommate collects stuffed hedgehogs. That was one of the lessons students took away from a talk in October from  Ward. She spoke about all the odd places she found inspiration for her books. Her series on the neurotic dinosaur named Dexter came from her husband’s discovery of a toy dinosaur abandoned in a doctor’s office. In her talk Ward quipped that speaking to the college students was a rare treat. She usually didn’t speak to audiences who were her size and who could read their own books. Aukerman is also drawing Ward’s attention to material. Ward, who works in cut paper, talked about collecting various types paper. For “Please Bring Balloons” she used vintage paper that had discolored around the edges because of oxidation  to create the landscape of New York City. Aukerman is using sponged paints for her minor characters and the landscape, but is using cut paper for the cactus, Calvin, and his hedgehog friend. The art is in service of her message, Aukerman said. “What people say about you really changes how you think about yourself,” she said. That sense of self-image is not talked about, she said. And it should be.  Rebecca Armstrong, also an early childhood major, said working on her own book “helps me understand how children read the books. … The pictures are really important.” Growing up she loved hearing her mother read the Junie B. Jones books to her. She loved the main character. “She was kind of sassy and funny and passionate about what she was doing.” The project also gave Armstrong a new appreciation for the difficulty of putting together a book. “It’s…

Band director from Stoneman Douglas High School to visit BGSU

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Alex Kaminsky, the band director at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, will visit Bowling Green State University’s College of Musical Arts Nov. 29-30. The high school is the site of a February 2018 shooting, which left 17 dead and more than 15 wounded. Kaminsky uses music therapy to help people heal from this tragedy. Kaminsky’s visit will include four events open to the public, beginning with a talk at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 29 in 1002 Moore Musical Arts Center. At 4 p.m., he will speak with members of the Falcon Marching Band and the Ohio Student Collegiate Music Educators Association Chapter in the Kelly Rehearsal Hall in the Moore Musical Arts Center. At 8 p.m. Nov. 29, the BGSU Concert Band will premiere a work written in honor of the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Kobacker Hall in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Tickets are $3 for students/children, $7 for adults in advance and $10 all tickets, day of the performance. BGSU students get in free with their ID. Tickets are available at Dr. Katherine Meizel, an associate professor of musicology in the College of Musical Arts, will interview Kaminsky at 9 p.m. Nov. 29 in Kobacker Hall in a talk-back session. Meizel recently helped release an album of young people singing their songs about the impact of gun violence and the need for change. The songs are part of an album called “Raise Your Voice: The Sound of Student Protest.”

Provost appointment leads to shifts in BGSU administration

In a message to the Bowling Green State University campus, President Rodney Rogers announced two key administrative shift. With the pending arrival of Joe Whitehead in January as the university’s new provost, John Fischer, who has been interim provost, will serve as senior vice provost for academic affairs during a transition period. His responsibilities will include oversight of undergraduate education and experiential learning, academic advising, eCampus and the development of new programs. Rogers stated: “He has also made critical and ongoing contributions to program development and student success. I know he will play an important role in supporting Dr. Whitehead as he transitions to Bowling Green State University.” He had been vice provost for academic affairs assuming the duties as interim provost in January. Also, Sheila Roberts, who has served as acting vice provost for academic affairs, will be going on administrative leave before returning to her position as associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences. Whitehead will assume his duties as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs on Jan. 22. He currently is professor of physics at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University and senior adviser for research with the University of North Carolina System.  

Looted artifacts are making their way home to Turkey

By JAN LARSON  McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The 2,000-year-old artifacts looted from Turkey and sold to BGSU are being carefully packed up for their trip home. Officials from BGSU and Turkey shared the stage Tuesday morning to talk about how history is being righted with the return of the ancient art. “It is clear today that the best place for these is in the Republic of Turkey,” BGSU President Rodney Rogers said. The Turkish officials were grateful. “I know BGSU could have prolonged this process if they wanted to,” said Umut Acar, consul general for Turkey. The story of the mosaics is part history, part mystery. Dr. Stephanie Langin-Hooper, one of the people who solved the mystery of the mosaics, pieced together their story. About 2,000 years ago, a Roman family built a home in the area of Zeugma on the banks of the Euphrates River, said Langin-Hooper. They had a luxurious dining room floor created with custom mosaics of handcut stone and glass. The mosaics were a “marvel of artistic creation,” with intricate images of Bacchus the God of wine, theater masks and exotic birds. “Fast forward to the early 1960s,” Langin-Hooper said. “Zeugma and all of its glorious villas had long since fallen into ruin and been buried by the sands of time.” The artifacts were lost – except to looters, who were interested in profits not preserving art. Using crude methods, like pickaxes and sledgehammers, the looters removed at least 12 of the mosaic images and smuggled them out of Turkey. They were shipped halfway across the world. They ended up in an antiquities gallery in New York City, where they were fraudulently labeled with the provenance of a legal excavation in Antioch. It was there that BGSU officials spotted them and legally purchased them for $35,000. When the mosaics made a re-debut in 2011 at the newly constructed Wolfe Center for the Performing Arts at BGSU, a new professor on campus – Langin-Hooper – started researching the artifacts. She was assisted by Professor Rebecca Molholt of Brown University. “Together we began to suspect the truth,” said Langin-Hooper, who is now at Southern Methodist University in Texas. The mosaics were not artifacts delicately removed and sold with legitimate documentation – but rather art that had been illegally looted and smuggled out of Turkey. It has been seven years since the discovery. “Today is a triumph,” Langin-Hooper said. “The looted masterpieces get to go home.” The Turkish government sent over a delegation of officials to accept the mosaics and accompany them home. The news of the artifacts returning was broadcast live on Turkey TV. Though the mosaics had been restored and were being displayed in the arts building, BGSU officials knew they needed to be returned, said Ray Craig, dean of the college of arts and sciences. “They will be reunited with…

Immigrants reflect on their journeys to citizenship

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News For Maite Yoselin Hall taking the citizenship oath was a relief. Now she’s a citizen of this country. She’s no longer subject to possible changes in regulations that would separate her from her husband. It’s easier to visit her mother in Venezuela. And she can plan to bring her mother to the United States. Hall was one of 48 people, from 26 countries, who became U.S. citizens Tuesday at the Naturalization Ceremony held in the Grand Ballroom of Bowling Green State University. United States District Court Judge James R. Knepp presided. Hall works as the coordinator of international students at BGSU. When she raised her hand to take the oath, she was flanked by new American citizens who’d immigrated from Thailand, Romania, Mexico, India, Jordan, Cuba, Egypt, and Iraq. In the row in front of her stood her parents, Alcira and Franklin Barrios. Hall said it was happenstance that they took the oath of citizenship at the same ceremony. They’d gone through the process separately. Hall first arrived in the United States as a teenager when her father took a managerial job at Owens-Illinois in Perrysburg. He’d worked as a manager for O-I in their native Venezuela. Her mother, Hall said, had encouraged her to come to the United States with her father and has encouraged her to stay.  The family lived in Toledo, and Hall went to Springfield schools. Those early years were difficult, she said in an interview. She didn’t speak any English. “I have to say those are days I do not wish to go back to. I guess they got me here.” She attended Owens Community College in business and transferred to Tiffin University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business and a master’s degree in higher education administration. It took her eight years to go through the naturalization process after getting her green card. Her husband, Rodcliffe Hall, is a naturalized citizen from Jamaica. He was her sponsor. The process is not cheap. The application for citizenship is about $800, and the cost total about $5,000. Her half-siblings are also going through the naturalization process. During Tuesday’s ceremony, Magdy AbouZied, associate director of BGSU Dining Services, reflected on his own journey to become an American citizen. He came to the United  States from Egypt in 1988, knowing only one person, his cousin. He came, he said, to finish his education, launch a career, and “enjoy the freedom this country offers.” Back in 1992, he was seated where these new citizens were. “I was very proud. What a wonderful day to celebrate.” AbouZied went on to found his own business, and start a family. When his two sons got older he decided to sell his business to have more time to enjoy their academic and sports activities.  He took a job with BGSU in…