Project Connect in need of more volunteer hosts for next week’s event

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The  volunteers’ t-shirts are made, now Project Connect needs to get more people to fill them. On Tuesday afternoon, students in Janet Ballweg’s screen printing class at Bowling Green State University put their skills to good use, printing 170 yellow t-shirts that will be worn by the hosts at Project Connect. Those hosts help guide guests through the dozens of services that will fill every corner of St, Mark’s Church next Wednesday (Oct. 17) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Project Connect is, according to organizers: “A one-day, one-stop event with free goods and services for Wood County individuals, families, elders, and veterans in need. This event is to get individuals that are in need in Wood County more aware of the broad range of organizations and resources available for their benefit.” In 2017, Project Connect, an initiative of the Continuum of Care Coalition of Wood County,  helped 574 individuals from 278 households. More than 200 people volunteers and 52 providers and agencies set up shop. Project Connect provides same day services as well as long-term connections.  The hosts are key players in this. They help the guests navigate the event so they get what they need, whether it’s legal help, food assistance, a winter coat, or a haircut. One week out from Project Connect those hosts are in short supply. An email sent out Tuesday said 46 hosts were still needed. Click to volunteer. It takes more than 200 volunteers to stage the event, said Erin Hachtel, one of the Project Connect co-chairs. And these students are a part of the effort. “For me it’s a way to show the many ways people can use their talents to help people. You see people using art to make a difference in the community.” This is Project Connect’s sixth year, and Ballweg’s students have printed the t-shirts each year. Some years they’ve done more and in multiple colors. Hatchel was wearing a red shirt, which signifies that she’s a member of the organizing committee. On the day of the event this lets people know, she’ll have broader knowledge about what’s going on. Because there were extras from previous years, only yellow shirts are being printed.  “It’s a way to give back to the community,” Ballweg said. This service learning project has elements of both. Given it’s early in the semester, the students have only completed one printing project so far. Taking this  on accelerates their learning. They have to work together, and teach other while printing the shirts, Ballweg said. While their schedules don’t allow them to volunteer on the day itself, she does encourage them to stop by to see for themselves what happens at Project Connect. Those who do are impressed, she said. They don’t realize that this kind of poverty exists in Bowling Green. Hatchel said: “I hope this is something that lasts beyond their student years and they take with them.” 

Author Adam Alter warns about the dangers of being hooked on electronics

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Writer Adam Alter believes technology has an addictive power over people. He should know.  In his talk Monday at Bowling Green State University, Alter related his own experience with the game Flappy Bird. He was on a six-hour flight from Newark to Los Angeles. He had plans for all he would accomplish in that time. He started by playing the game. Six hours and a continent later, he was still playing the game. “I had lost all sense of the passage of time.” Alter was on campus because his book “Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked,” was chosen as the campus’ Common Read. It raised, said Sheila Roberts, acting vice provost of academic affairs, themes that are familiar and  “frankly a little bit uncomfortable.” Speaking before a packed ballroom mostly of students, Alter described how people’s involvement with technology is increasingly taking over that part of our lives not devoted to work, sleep, and the other necessities of life. That free time “where all the magic happens.” Alter said he deleted Flappy Birds, and its developer Dong Nguyen, in a fit of conscience, even had the game pulled from app stores even though it was making $75,000 a day in advertising and sales. Alter doesn’t see Apple, Facebook, and the other tech giants as following suit. Though, he said, they seem aware of the dangers and are instituting some changes. Alter said he was prompted to write the book after reading a profile of Apple founder Steve Jobs in The New York Times. The reporter, Nick Bilton, commented to Jobs that his kids must love the iPad that had recently been released. Jobs replied they didn’t have one. “We limit how much technology our kids use at home.” In exploring further, Alter found that Jobs was not alone. His attitude about his children’s engagement with technology was typical of those in the tech industry. This is akin, Alter said to the belief among drug dealers: “Never get high on your own supply.” The author noted that many tech executives send their kids to the Waldorf School of the Peninsula where computers are only allowed after grade 8. Instead much of the learning happens outdoors. Alter wondered: “What were they so concerned about?” Young people, like the majority of those he was addressing, are more tied to technology. A study asked people would they rather have their phone fall and shatter into a 1,000 pieces or break a bone in their hand. About half the young people surveyed preferred to break the bone. Some asked if the injury would keep them from using their phone. The cell phone does, he said, enable us to connect with other people. “It’s a large part of our social well being.” And during the question period after the talk, one young man spoke about how he has friends who suffer from depression and extreme anxiety who call him for support. He feels he can never shut off his phone. But what we have now is not what we will have in 10 years, Alter said. “In 20 years we’ll laugh at Facebook.” Already younger users are fleeing the platform. On the horizon is virtual reality where everyone has a personal set of…

Faculty panel is skeptical about claims of technology addiction

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News On Monday Adam Alter, the author of “Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked,” will talk about his book, which has been the Common Read this year at Bowling Green State University. A crisis, he believes, is at hand with many people, 50 percent even, becoming addicted to technology. In anticipation of his talk, a panel of faculty from the Psychology Department was convened to discuss his thesis. The members of the panel, moderated by department chair Michael Zickar know about addiction from the inside out. Casey Cromwell is a biopsychologist, who has studied the chemical workings of addiction including time in the same lab discussed by Alter in his book. Harold Rosenberg has treated people suffering from addiction and compulsion disorders. Eric Dubow is a child psychologist who studies the impact of technology on children. And Joshua Grubbs is “the porn guy,” though his work extends beyond studying porn to other compulsive behaviors including gambling. “I tend to be a skeptic,” Grubbs said, of Alter’s theory that technology is designed to be addictive. “I think we pathologize a lot of things that are very normal behaviors, and that there is money to be made from pathologizing normal behavior,” he said.  The diagnosis of addiction has traditionally been restricted to those hooked on substances such as drugs and alcohol, not those linked to behaviors. Only recently has gambling been recognized as an addiction.  In addition, the World Health Organization recognizes excessive gaming and compulsive sexual behaviors as impulse control disorders, not addictions. “It’s important to define addiction correctly because if we’re not defining it correctly, we’re minimizing the struggles people who actually have addictions,” Grubbs said. Cromwell said many of the experiments into the underlying mechanisms of addiction are done using animals. But behaviors like cell phone use or watching porn can’t be tested on animals. Rosenberg noted that one characteristic of addiction is the simultaneous need to take a substance but not liking the outcome. This occurs when the addict’s tolerance for the drug develops. It’s an internal “tug of war.” Cromwell said the role of the neurotransmitter dopamine in this is “a little confusing,” and may not apply to the craving. And Rosenberg wondered: “What are they addicted to the content or is it something about the device itself?” “I actually think it’s quite specious to separate technology addiction from what you doing on our phone,” Grubbs said. Because people overuse something doesn’t mean that it is addictive, Grubbs said. “Do some people use pornography so much it ruins their personal life?  Yes, I’ve treated those people.” Then again in the 1990s, some people ruined their lives by compulsively collecting Beanie Babies. No one would say Beanie Babies, however, are addictive. Whether technology is addictive or not, Dubow said, it clearly can prove to be a distraction in an educational setting. Studies have shown that schools that ban the use of cell phones in class have seen an increase in their standardized test scores. However, this becomes tricky as more teachers want to use internet resources in class, he said. One school in a wealthy district that he works with has given all students lap tops. But for a district that can’t afford that, a cell…

Not In Our Town project to tell stories of local lives

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Every life has a story. There’s a beginning, an end, and everything in between that makes a person who he or she is. Not In Our Town Bowling Green would like share the stories of local residents’ lives by putting words and photos together for an exhibit. “We want to use narratives and storytelling to promote understanding across differences,” said Christina Lunceford, campus co-chair of Not In Our Town. “We are trying to find a way to better tell the story of who’s in our community.” The Not In Our Town Narrative Project will be modeled after storytelling projects in other communities across the U.S. The purpose is to provide “space for our community to develop understanding of varying world views and lived experiences.” The photos and stories will tell about the lives of local leaders and everyday people in the community, Lunceford said. “Who’s got a story to share,” she said. The idea is that once the photos and narratives are collected, they will be displayed on a BGSU diversity and inclusion webpage, but also be part of a rotating exhibit in the community – in places like the library or storefronts. “We want to talk about the richness our backgrounds bring,” Lunceford said. “We want to understand how people’s backgrounds and experiences benefit their communities.” Local people wanting to share their stories or be part of the process of photographing or collecting the narratives are asked to email, or fill out this survey to indicate interest. Individuals who would like to share their stories and portraits will be contacted to set up photography sessions and interviews. The interview questions that will help guide personal narratives will be sent out in advance. By showcasing the various voices that make up the Bowling Green community, the goal is threefold: to celebrate diversity that is in BG through visual arts, to showcase acts of “ally-ship,” and to raise awareness of the experiences of marginalized groups in the community. The idea for the narrative project comes from the works of Dr. Howard C. Stevenson on racial literacy and inspired by the California Polytechnic State University’s Dr. Jennifer Teramoto Pedrotti’s work with the Kennedy Library’s “I am Cal Poly” exhibit and University of California-Santa Barbara’s Dr. Kip Fulbeck’s “Pan Asian, 100% Hapa” traveling exhibit.

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.”