International Film Festival opens at BGSU

From BGSU Program of International Studies For the next five Thursdays (April 4, 11, 18 , 25 and May 2), BGSU’s Program of International Studies is once again launching its annual International Film Festival. All screenings are at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Theater in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union The event is free and open to the public, and we are particularly pleased that the film festival connects to the World Languages & Cultures Conference on “Austria in Europe: Migration, Immigration, Integration: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives,” which will be bringing colleagues from the Universität Salzburg and national scholars in the field to Bowling Green (April 11-14). The conference continues the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the agreement that has allowed BGSU students to study abroad at the Universität Salzburg; the celebration began this past summer in Salzburg and brought together around 80 alumni. (Please contact Dr. Christina Guenther ( for more information about the ASA conference.) The International Film Festival also connects to the annual Pallister French-Canadian Lecture Series made possible through the late Professor of French, Jan Pallister. This year’s Pallister speaker is Québécois film director Frédérick Pelletier who will be on hand to discuss his film, Diego Star (please see the attached flyer for more information).  This year’s theme of the International Film Festival is “Undoing the Single Story.” The title refers to Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Achidie’s well known TED talk about the “Danger of the Single Story”—where the complex richness of other individuals and cultures is reduced to the shorthand of a single story. She adds, “So that is how to create a single story—show a people as one thing, as only one thing, over and over again, and that is what they become. […] The Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti writes that if you want to dispossess a people, the simplest way to do it is to tell their story, and to start with, ‘secondly’ … If, for instance, the story of the Boston Tea Party starts with the harbor scene where American patriots cast British tea into the Atlantic, the meaning of that story changes quite a bit. One way to move beyond the Single Story is to listen to stories told by film directors from around the world. Our film festival will begin with famous Turkish-German Fatih Akin’s The Edge of Heaven, followed by two Austrian films. The second film, Down There [Unten}, to be screened on Friday, April 12, will be introduced by the film director himself, Djodje Cenic. On April 18, we have included Timbuktu by Abderrahmane Sissako, and the following week will bring Frédérick Pelletier to Bowling Green with his film, Diego Star. The International Film Festival will end with Five Broken Cameras, a documentary put together by two film directors, one from Palestine, the other from Israel.  Each of the films will be introduced by a BGSU faculty member who will also linger after the film for an informal discussion with the audience. There will be a reception, open to the public, following the Pallister film on April 25th. All films will be shown with subtitles and will be screened in the theatre located in BGSU’s Bowen-Thompson Student Union 206. This event would not have been possible without the generous support of BGSU’s College of Arts & Sciences, the Departments of Theatre and Film and World Languages and Cultures, the School of Critical and Cultural Studies, and the Program of Africana Studies.

WBGU-TV sponsoring 5K run-walk as part of moon landing anniversary events

From WBGU-TV PUBLIC TELEVISION “The Great American Run: Ruby’s Race for Space,” is a new 5K fun run/walk blasting off April 6. It is sponsored by WBGU-TV in celebration of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing. The flight crew for the event includes the station’s mascot Ruby, the red-eye tree frog. The race launches at 10 a.m. (registration begins at 9 a.m.) and follows a flat, easy course through the beautiful campus of Bowling Green State University starting at the Recreation Center on Ridge Road. The race is in conjunction with the BGSU Wellness Center’s SAAM 5K and Dog Walk with support from Dave’s Running Shop.Walkers/runners of all ages and abilities are welcome. We’re shooting for the moon – let’s see if we can total 238.9 cumulative miles (77 participants) in honor of the 238,900 mile-trek from the earth to the moon! Proceeds benefit a new documentary in the works by WBGU-TV and featuring Northwest Ohio’s own Neil Armstrong – the first man on the moon. Cost is $25 for pre-registration and $10 – 1-mile fun run/walk ($20 day of race). Register at The 5K runners will receive a specially-designed race logo T-shirt while fun run walkers will receive a Moon Pie gift packet. Awards for first-third place in the various age divisions. For more information about the event, contact Cari Tuttle at WBGU-TV at 419-372-7024. WBGU-TV is a PBS affiliate and partner of Bowling Green State University serving a 19-county region with award-winning programming and educational resources. For more information, visit

BGSU presenting Handel’s adult-themed opera ‘Semele’

 From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green Opera Theater and the Bowling Green State University Department of Theatre and Film will present Handel’s “Semele” April 5 and 7. “Semele,” a masterpiece of Handel’s mature period, is considered something of an anomaly in his career: It is an English-language work with a secular text, written at a time when Handel was concentrating on the composition of sacred oratorios. Though never staged in Handel’s lifetime, the dramatic story, based on Ovid’s “Metamorphoses,” telling of the ill-fated love of Semele and Jupiter, lends itself to an operatic treatment. The vocal writing is virtuosic, tuneful and thrilling, and the choral movements are some of Handel’s most beautiful and most exciting. This combination of stirring music and compelling drama makes for a great night in the theater. “Semele” will be directed by Danielle Wright from Detroit’s Opera MODO and presented at 8 p.m. April 5 and at 3 p.m. April 7 in the Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre of The Wolfe Center for the Arts. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for non-BGSU students/children in advance. All tickets are $20 the day of the performance. BGSU students are free with ID. Tickets are available online at or by calling 419-372-8171. This production includes sexual content that may not be suitable for all ages. Please use discretion. This production is one of the spring premier arts events sponsored by PNC Bank. To our guests with disabilities, please indicate if you need special services, assistance or appropriate modifications to fully participate in this event by contacting Accessibility Services at, Theatre and Film, 419-372–8495. Please notify us prior to the event. 

Falcon forward Alex Barber has family ties to home ice

By DAVID DUPONT  BG Independent News Sometimes when Falcon forward Alex Barber is skating off the ice at the Slater Family Arena, he looks up at the mural and sees a photo of his father in his hockey glory days. Tim Barber was a member of the 1980 state championship team from Bowling Green High School, and scored a hat trick in the championship game Now, almost four decades later, Alex Barber, No. 6 on the Bowling Green State University hockey team, is pursuing hockey glory of his own. He and his teammates are headed to Allentown, Pennsylvania, for the regional round of NCAA Division I Hockey Sweet 16.  “How cool it is that I’m skating in the same rink where my dad had so much success,” the younger Barber said. This will be the first time in 29 years the Falcons have earned a berth the NCAA Sweet 16. The Falcons last won it all in 1984. On Saturday at 4 p.m. on ESPNU, BGSU will take on the team those earlier Falcons beat for the title in 1984, the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs. Alex Barber (Photo provided by BGSU Athletics) For Alex Barber, a freshman, it’s an auspicious start to his collegiate career. “It’s been a good season. It definitely exceeded my expectations. We’ve obviously done really well. I didn’t expect to have  this much success.” And that he’s having that success in the same rink where his father had success is a bonus. His BG roots go back even further. His grandmother Sue Barber was the figure skating coach at BGSU, where his grandfather Les Barber taught English and was an administrator at the university. There’s a photo of him as a 2-year-old with his father on the arena ice. “It looks pretty much the same,” he said. Now he’s playing collegiate hockey here. That’s maybe not much of a surprise. He attended hockey games with his family when they visited Bowling Green, where his aunt Amy Rybak teaches writing. When he was 8, his grandparents got him a Falcon hockey jersey with his name on it. Barber, 20, grew up in Dublin frequenting ice arenas . He started playing hockey at 5, and his older sister Emily was a figure skater. His father continued playing recreational hockey until just a couple years ago. That’s one of the attractions of the game, Tim Barber said. “It’s something you can play your whole life. … and get that same feeling as long as you want to do it. … It’s a team sport you can play forever.” Alex Barber remembers going out on Saturday nights to “watch the old man try to play like he’s young again. It was pretty cool to see him play out there.” During winter break they had a chance to get out on the ice for an hour to skate together. Tim Barber said his son also started playing soccer and baseball, but his passion was for hockey. “Even when he had 6 a.m. games, he was always up and ready to go,” the elder Barber recalls. “He kept making the team. It’s great it worked out for him.” “Growing up I always wanted to play college hockey,” Alex Barber said. “It was something my parents always talked about me doing once we realized it was a possibility.” He played Tier I junior hockey in the United States Hockey League, first with the Youngstown Phantoms and then with the Central Illinois Flying Aces. BGSU was the first college that showed interest in him, and Barber verbally committed to becoming a Falcon at…

‘Best Buddies’ program makes matches to last a lifetime

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News Normally, the paths of Jenna Allen and Maggie Hunt would not have crossed. They would not go bowling together, bake cookies together, or blast music in the car together. Allen is a Bowling Green State University senior studying to be an intervention specialist in special education. Hunt attended Wood Lane and works at a country club in Perrysburg where she washes dishes, sets tables, folds napkins, and fills salt and pepper shakers. But the two women have formed a friendship through the “Best Buddies” program. The international program matches people together in an effort to end social isolation for individuals with developmental disabilities. Allen established the Best Buddies chapters at BGSU. She matches up BGSU students with people with developmental disabilities. Her first match was her own. “Maggie and I just clicked,” Allen said “So we decided to be each other’s buddies.” During a recent dinner at Panera together, the two talked about their friendship. They gabbed about going to the movies, eating dinner together, and bowling. “She is 100 percent better than me at bowling,” Allen said of Hunt. “She has her own bowling ball with her initials.” Hunt agreed, and listed off all the sports she competes in through Special Olympics – basketball, track, swimming and golf. “She’s extremely athletic,” Allen said of her friend who she calls “Mags.” Allen often attends Hunt’s Special Olympics competitions to cheer her on. “She’s a good friend to me,” Hunt said. Like many friends, the two go to movies – like the new “Jumanji” movie and “Smallfoot.” They eat dinner at each other’s homes or at restaurants (Panera is Hunt’s favorite.) They make cookies at Allen’s house. And like friends, they crank up the music in the car and sing together. Top on their list are tunes by Alvin and the Chipmunks, NSync, and “High School Musical” songs. “She shows me the dance moves from ‘High School Musical,’” Allen said, grinning at Hunt. When it was mentioned that Bowling Green High School was putting on “High School Musical” this year, the two immediately starting making plans. “Oh my gosh, we have to go,” Allen said to Hunt. The Best Buddies program got a slow start last year with just seven matches. But this year the chapter is up to 80 participants. “It’s been the best experience of my college experience,” Allen said. “I’m so grateful to have met Maggie and so many wonderful people.” The program starts each year with a “mixer” for people to get to know each other. Then they are matched based on their personalities, hobbies, and availability. “We really try to make it an authentic friendship,” Allen said. The match of “Mags” and Allen has created a friendship that both hope to continue, even after Allen graduates. “Maggie is a very, very caring girl,” Allen said. “She always asks me about school, my parents, my boyfriend.” As the two ate their meals at Panera, their conversation was sprinkled with giggles and stories of good times. “She cracks me up,” Allen said. The feeling is mutual. “I like hanging out with good friends,” Hunt said. Both intend to continue their friendship from afar – wherever that may be for Allen. “Absolutely. We have each other’s cell phone numbers,” Allen said. “We’re going to be lifelong friends.”

Student potters filled with enthusiasm for Empty Soup Bowl Fundraiser

By DAVID DUPONT  BG Independent News John Balistreri, head of the ceramics area at Bowling Green State University, makes it very clear: The clay program’s involvement in the Empty Soup Bowl project was the students’ idea. He wasn’t at the Clay Club meeting when the idea came up. And when he was told the students wanted to do it, he drew a hard line. This was a busy time for the studio. “This place is going around the clock,” he said. The students had to committed to create the hundreds of soup bowls — “beautiful bowls that people will want to use” — needed for the event. They also had to be learning something along the way. “It’s up to them to pull it off right,” he said. The students convinced him they would. Emma Robinson works on glazing a bowl. The Artists vs. Hunger: Empty Soup Bowl Fundraiser will be presented from Saturday, April 13, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Wood County Historical Center and Museum. The sale of the bowls for $15 each as well as the good will offering for the soup to fill them will benefit the Brown Bag Food Project. Megan Messer is the student who proposed the idea. Now working on her Bachelor of Arts in ceramics with a minor in community art, she started as an education major. As part of that program she volunteered at Brown Bag. She was impressed by the locally grown effort to address food insecurity. The project provides groceries to tide people in need over until they can get more permanent help. She met Marissa Muniz, a Brown Bag board member and publicist for the museum, while volunteering. Messer came up with the idea of staging an Empty Soup Bowl fundraiser. “It was exciting,” she said. “It could bring us out into the community more, and help a good cause.” Empty Bowl events are held around the country. One of Messer’s classmates, David Rummel, from Bryan, participated in a similar effort back home that was organized by potter Brandon Knott. The project, he said, “is not too terribly hard. It’s a great way to raise funds for a good cause.” Emma Robinson, another student in the ceramics studio, agreed. She said she was on board as soon as the idea was brought up in the Clay Club meeting.  Artists sometimes can be insulated making their work in their studios. “It’s nice to use our skills to reach other communities, and give back,” she said. She added that the project also is a good way to rally the students involved around a common goal. Balistreri is always pushing the students to increase their production, and this will force them to do that, Robinson said. “They’re learning how to make pots, the rhythm of it,” Balistreri said. David Rummel with bowls he’s made. The potters are using the project to experiment with applying a variety of glazes. When Balistreri was convinced the students were committed, he said he’d throw 50 bowls himself — but the students would have to glaze them. They expect to create about 400. Rummel said he was attracted to pottery because it create objects that people will use. “They’ll have it in the cupboard. It’s a way to share myself with someone else. It’s very spiritual.” Bowls waiting to be fired.

Rachel Vannatta is a master teaching professor that students can count on

By DAVID DUPONT  BG Independent News Rachel Vannatta’s “a-ha” moment came when she was pursuing her master’s degree. At the time she was teaching English in an alternative K-12 school  in Minnesota that she helped found with four other teachers. She had to take statistics, and suddenly certain issues started adding up. “There were so many questions,” Vannatta said. “You’re doing all these innovative things, but not seeing the results you want. But then sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t.” Now she saw that data could help guide instruction. So she knew she needed to go on and get a doctorate  “just because I finally had some tools to address these nagging questions I had about practice: Why some of our instructional techniques or policies were working with some students and not others. Some students just excelled when you had others who failed miserably.” So she went on to the University of South Dakota to get a PhD in educational methodologies. Since 1998 she has taught at Bowling Green State University. As a faculty member in the School of Educational Foundations, Leadership and Policy she teaches graduate students statistics and how to applied them. Earlier this year, the BGSU Board of Trustees approved naming her as a distinguished teaching professor in recognition of her work. The role of data in education is increasing greatly, though not always for the best. Students face a barrage of tests in school, so many it’s very difficult for teachers to really mine that data to find out how to improve their teaching, Vannatta said. Instead the data is used largely to evaluate teachers. “When it comes down to teachers really looking at student progress that’s where it’s most effective,” Vannatta said. “So when not used as evaluative measure for the teacher, but rather to truly measure student progress … that’s when it’s most powerful, and that’s where the boat is missed. They have so many assessments to give, they don’t have time to sit down and look at it.” Vannatta is recognized for her ability to teach about statistics to those people who will have to put them to use. And often she teaches online to students in different time zones from Europe to Texas. Many are leery of numbers. “There’s a good half of them who are scared to death. … Most of my students come into class thinking: ‘I’m bad at math,’” Vannatta said. “‘I’m not a math person, so I can’t do stats.’ My whole goal is we have to turn that around.” So she has them write a reflection on how they came to believe they aren’t good at math, and she has them watch a TedTalk by Angela Duckworth about grit. “What the research says is success isn’t built on your ability. Some of the smartest most intelligent minds are not the most successful,” Vannatta said. “It all comes from that persistence and having that grit.” She’ll even drive that home with a pep talk by Beast Boy from “Teen Titans Go!”  And she’ll talk about her own struggles. “I ran away from first grade three times. There are many points in my life when I struggled as a student.” She tells them that all the statistics she teaches “I have wrestled with myself.” Reflecting on how she learned informs how she teaches. “I’m not a genius, and I’m a better teacher for it.” Vannatta makes extensive use of videos, both during her online and face-to-face teaching. The value of those videos became apparent when she was teaching a face-to-face course in quantitative methods. Many of the students had…

Report on East Wooster Street doesn’t pull any punches

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News Bowling Green took a jab to the gut last week in the release of a study on the East Wooster Street entrance to the community. The “strategy for redevelopment,” conducted by Development Strategies of St. Louis, pulled no punches as it pointed out where the city has gone wrong, and where it needs to change course to avoid a downward spiral. The university and historic downtown are definite draws for the community, the study stated. But East Wooster Street – the front porch of the community – is littered with “haphazard development and poor quality buildings.” The study concluded that it’s not enough that the city has made minor changes to the zoning code, and that BGSU has purchased of some lots and demolished of some eyesores on East Wooster Street. To compete with other communities, especially other university towns, the city and BGSU need to take some control to promote healthy development along East Wooster. Mayor Dick Edwards discussed the “painful truth” of the study last week with City Council. “Bowling Green has a major image problem that needs to be fixed,” Edwards said of the report. “The condition of the city is placing the university at a competitive disadvantage in attracting students.” It’s not just student enrollment that is at risk, according to the study. Both BGSU and Wood County Hospital have reported difficulty attracting talent because the community appears to lack “quality of life” characteristics. The report has an “unmistakable sense of urgency,” Edwards said. “The simple truth is that we as a community cannot afford the economic losses associated with declining enrollments,” the mayor said. Following are some conclusions and recommendations from the study: First impressions really count Bowling Green is a far more impressive community than its first impression indicates. It has two major assets that many communities would be envious of: a public university and a charming, historic downtown. Even so, the main corridor that welcomes visitors to the city and connects these destinations gives a negative impression that is hard to overcome. The investments BGSU has made in the Stroh Center and Falcon Health Center set a new standard for quality; however, both public and private investment will be needed to infuse the 1.8-mile corridor with vitality. Behind in economic development trends The national economy is changing, but Bowling Green has not adapted its approach to economic development. The city’s efforts in regards to industrial/manufacturing jobs have proven fruitful, but this singular focus has come at the expense of knowledge-based industries that are growing and are expected to become increasingly important in the future. This blue-collar focus needs to be balanced with a broader vision of growth that will lead to greater prosperity in the long-term, and this is going to require a new strategic direction that is supported by all members of the community. People are searching for quality of life People are increasingly choosing where they want to live based on the quality of life. Therefore, the quality of place (amenities, public space, walkability, etc.) is becoming a critical component in attracting and retaining the next generation of people who will call a community home. At least two major institutions, BGSU and Wood County Hospital, have clearly stated that the quality of the city, and the state of Wooster Street in particular, are negatively affecting their ability to attract talent. Potential employees don’t see the amenities they desire and find it easier to go elsewhere. Top students and their parents come to the community and don’t see it as a fun, progressive place they…

BGSU Arts Events through April 3

March 25 – The BGSU School of Art’s printmaking division welcomes Lauren Kussro, an artist and educator at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Her work has been shown in many locations around the country, including solo exhibitions at Nashville International Airport, Twist Gallery and Vanderbilt University, and group exhibitions at Kai Lin Art in Atlanta, the Dadian Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the Manhattan Graphics Center in New York City. Her creative process is centered in playful investigation of the natural world, and frequently features combinations of printmaking, sculpture and sewing. Her public presentation will begin at 5 p.m. in 1215 Fine Art Center. Free March 25 – The College of Musical Arts’ Music at the Forefront series features Sarah Cahill, a pianist, composer and producer. The New York Times called her “a sterling pianist and an intrepid illuminator of the classical avant-garde.” She has commissioned and premiered over 60 compositions for solo piano and was named a 2018 Champion of New Music by the American Composers Forum. Her performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall at Moore Musical Arts Center. Free March 26 – Music at the Manor House presents the piano students of BGSU piano professor Robert Satterlee. The recital will begin at 7 p.m. in the Wildwood Metropark Manor House at 5100 Central Ave., Toledo. Free March 26 – Tuesdays at the Gish presents “Wendy and Lucy,” a 2008 film directed by Kelly Reichardt. This award-winning film is an intimate character study of a young woman, Wendy, and her dog, Lucy. On her way to find work in Alaska, Wendy’s car breaks down in a small town and she finds herself stranded and unable to pay for repairs or even food. This American drama is a simple yet beautifully told narrative of uncertainty and hope in the face of hardship. The screening will begin at 7:30 p.m. in 206 Bowen-Thompson Student Union. Free March 26 – BGSU composition students will present their works during the Student Composers Forum. They will perform at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall at Moore Musical Arts Center. Free March 27 – Photographer David Hilliard will present a public lecture during a three-day residency in the BGSU School of Art. Hilliard’s color photographs, which were part of the 2017 FACE IT exhibition in the Fine Arts Center, are often triptychs presenting elaborative narratives. He explores a range of themes and situations drawn from his immediate surroundings from the awkwardness of adolescence to complex notions of intimacy and identity. His talk will begin at 5 p.m. in the Eva Marie Saint Theatre, The Wolfe Center for the Arts. March 27 – The College of Musical Arts presents its Faculty Scholar Series. The event will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, Moore Musical Arts Center. March 28 – The BGSU Wind Symphony will present an evening of chamber music. The concert will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, Moore Musical Arts Center. Free March 30 – The College of Musical Arts’ Faculty Artist Series welcome Brittany Lasch on trombone. Winter weather in January postponed the original recital. Lasch is an assistant professor in the college. As the second-place winner of the 2017-18 American Prize, she has appeared as soloist with numerous ensembles including the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own,” the Queen Symphony and the Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass. She also was a winner of the Astral Artist’s 2017 National Auditions and the 2015 National Collegiate Solo Competition hosted by the U.S. Army Band. The recital will begin at 6 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center….

BGSU is StormReady

By DAVID DUPONT  BG Independent News Keeping students, staff, faculty, and visitors safe on campus takes more than glancing up at the sky. With thousands of people’s lives at stake, Matthew Keefe, manager of support services, Public Safety Department,  said it takes collaboration with a network of people, including officials from the city officials, county Emergency Management Agency, and the National Weather Service to try to stay on top of severe weather. For two years Keefe and others BGSU have been working to develop a plan to meet the criteria of the National Weather Service’s StormReady program.  That program provides a standard level of emergency preparedness for hazardous weather. Finding out who he needed to connect with was both the greatest challenge of the process and the greatest reward. The university was honored Friday as the first college in Northwest Ohio, and the fifth in the state, to be declared StormReady. President Rodney Rogers said such a move is a reflection of how seriously BGSU takes its responsibility to keep students, both the 6,000 who live on campus, as well as those who live off campus, and the rest of the campus community, safe. He noted that 90 percent of all presidentially declared disasters are weather related. Those could tornadoes like the one that struck Lake Township in 2010, said Keefe.  Or it could be the wind storm that sheared part of the roof off the Moore Musical Arts Center in 2003. Karen Oudeman, of the National Weather Service Cleveland, spelled out what’s expected of StormReady designees. “They must establish a 24-hour warning point and operations center,” she said. Also, they must have multiple ways of receiving severe weather warnings and forecasts and for alerting the public. They must create a system that monitors local weather conditions StormReady designees, Oudeman said, must also promote the significance of public readiness by publicizing its plan and by providing training to weather watchers and holding training exercises. An outside panel reviewed, BGSU’s program and found it complied with the StormReady guidelines. The process is ongoing, and the certification must be renewed every three years.

Eva Marie Saint cancels trip to BGSU (updated)

An Evening with Eva Marie Saint, scheduled for Friday, March 29, has been cancelled. Dean Raymond Craig of the College of Arts and Sciences wrote in a notice addressed to Friends of BGSU Arts that: “Ms. Saint regrets that she will not be traveling to Bowling Green State University this spring.” The Academy Award winning actress and graduate of BGSU was schedule to perform with students during the evening event. Dave Kielmeyer, spokesman for the university, said that the change of plans was not related to the controversy over the name of the Gish Film Theatre. Plans for the event just were not coming along as well as the university would want, he said. “It’s as much on us.” Saint’s appearance was originally scheduled as part of the rededication of the Gish Film Theatre in its new space in the Bowen Thompson Student Union. However, that was cancelled when members of the Black Student Union questioned the venue being named in part for Lillian Gish, who starred in “The Birth of a Nation.” The 1915 D.W. Griffith silent movie epic has been tied to the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan and widely criticized for its racist depictions of African-Americans.

Conference to address psychology of religion & spirituality

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS  “Relational Spirituality” is the theme of the 2019 Mid-Year Conference for the Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality (Div. 36) that will be hosted at BGSU April 5-6.  Dr. Annette Mahoney, a BGSU professor of psychology and president of Div. 36, helped to organize this year’s conference where will professionals discuss the latest research findings and advances in the psychology of religion and spirituality. Keynote speakers include Dr. Crystal Park, University of Connecticut, “Advancing the Psychology of Religiousness and Spirituality: How can a Meaning Perspective Contribute?” and Dr. Julie Exline, Case Western Reserve, “Spiritual Struggles and Supernatural Attributions: A Relational Perspective.” Dr. Kenneth Pargament, BGSU professor emeritus of psychology, will present a clinical workshop on “Advances in Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy: Understanding and Addressing Spiritual Struggles.” Mahoney is also one of the presenters for a symposium “Diving into New Details about Relational Spirituality: Friendships, Hook-up and Verbally Abusive Parents of Emerging Adults.” Registration is required by March 22 for the event, which will be held in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union beginning with registration and breakfast at 8 a.m. A detailed schedule is available on the conference website at

Peregrine eggs evident in courthouse clocktower

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS More falcons are getting ready to call Bowling Green home, as new peregrine falcon eggs have made their appearance on the Falcon Cam, Four eggs are visible on the camera, which is provided by a partnership between the Wood County Commissioners and Bowling Green State University. Last year, four eggs were laid in the Wood County Courthouse tower. “Spring is on the way and our falcon family hanging around the Courthouse nesting box is a sure sign,” said Andrew Kalmar, Wood County administrator. “This is the ninth year we will be able to watch the falcons grow their family. The Courthouse falcons have attracted the interest of many people over the years, and we are glad they are back.” The peregrine falcon is BGSU’s official mascot. A pair of the raptors first took refuge in the clock tower — just two blocks west of campus — nine years ago. “We love that the peregrine falcons have made a tradition of calling Bowling Green home,” said Dave Kielmeyer, BGSU chief marketing and communications officer. “The bond the falcons have formed with the town and University is fitting, given our University mascot.” Peregrine falcon eggs typically have a 33-day gestation period, so the eggs are expected to hatch in mid April. For more information about the peregrine falcons in the courthouse clock tower, go to

BG gets ‘dose of reality’ – curb appeal lacking as families shop for college

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News Shopping for universities has become a “buyer’s market,” and many prospective students and their families aren’t attracted to what Bowling Green is selling. Bowling Green has received this “dose of reality” in the latest study on city development. Without making some major changes in the community, the report projects Bowling Green State University will likely see a big drop in enrollment. The consultants have shared a painful truth, Mayor Dick Edwards said during Monday’s City Council meeting. “Bowling Green has a major image problem that needs to be fixed,” Edwards said of the report. “The condition of the city is placing the university at a competitive disadvantage in attracting students.” Edwards, however, objected to some of the bold statements in the report. “I sincerely believe that we have not been standing still as a community,” he said. “I nevertheless agree that timing is critical and we have no choice but to move forward with deliberate speed on a priority basis.” The “Strategy for Redevelopment” focuses on the East Wooster Corridor, and was researched by Development Strategies of St. Louis. Bowling Green State University contracted for the study that is looking at how to best develop the areas on the outer fringe of the university. The city and university have been working on the East Wooster roadway for the past few years, with roundabouts and a new bridge over Interstate 75 underway. But the report pointed out that the minor rezoning efforts by the city are not enough. The report has an “unmistakable sense of urgency,” Edwards said. Projections call for diminishing numbers of traditional age college students beginning in 2025. That will intensify the competitiveness in the marketplace. Also, students and parents are increasingly making decisions about colleges based on appearance of communities. Communities like Kent have made substantial improvements in the areas adjoining the campus, Edwards said. Bowling Green is in the beginning stages of those efforts. “The simple truth is that we as a community cannot afford the economic losses associated with declining enrollments,” the mayor said. BGSU President Rodney Rogers has been awaiting the report. “He clearly senses this urgency,” Edwards said. “The numbers are very, very telling.” The numbers, which show the potential decline in enrollment, are a “dose of reality” for the university and the city, the mayor said. The key to the city’s future along the East Wooster Corridor, according to Edwards, will be the ability to attract private investors to build in targeted areas along the corridor – such as the Thurstin-Manville intersection, the area near the Falcon Health Center, and the entry point into the city off I-75. The city needs to make way for that development, according to the consultants. The city must create a “regulatory framework for development,” to establish standards for setbacks, landscaping, signage, architectural quality – and then make sure to stick with those standards. “I agree with the consultants, the city must be proactive rather than reactive, and that means addressing as a matter of priority zoning issues, architectural standards and expanding the offerings of incentives,” Edwards said. BGSU and the city will be meeting soon to set priorities based on the report. “A shared vision between the city and the university on how best to move forward is paramount, and I have every reason to believe that the excellent working relationships between town and gown will continue unabated,” the mayor said. Though the report points out deficiencies in the city, Edwards remained optimistic that the city can accomplish the goals set. “I sincerely believe opportunities abound,” he said. City…

Pianist Sarah Cahill spotlights women composers at BGSU recital

By DAVID DUPONT  BG Independent News Pianist Sarah Cahill admits to having mixed feelings about her project “The Future is Female.” The series of recitals is devoted to the work of female composers from the 17th century into the present. “It doesn’t seem right to lump everyone  together by gender because the majority of women composers just want to be thought of as composers,” she said in a recent telephone interview. “I’ve always been ambivalent  about all women concerts. Now I’m doing it myself mainly because there’s so much music that deserves to be heard.” Cahill will present a concert in her “The Future is Female” series Monday, March 25 at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall on the Bowling Green State University campus.  The recital is part of the Music at the Forefront series. Her repertoire for “The Future is Female” includes works by 56 composers dating by to Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre’s Keyboard Suite in D minor from 1707 to Theresa Wong’s “She Dances Naked Under Palm Trees,” inspired by the song “Images” by Nina Simone, which she is performing for the first time. Of those pieces in that repertoire, Cahill commissioned 10 of them. The Wong piece is the latest in a line of compositions written with her in mind dating back to 1977 when John Adams composed “China Gates” for Cahill who was 17. “I remember when that was a new piece no one would play it because it was such a strange piece, so minimalist,” she said. Cahill would perform the composition in competitions and “it was really frowned upon.” Now it has been well accepted by pianists and is frequently played. Commissioning new works is central to her vision as an artist. Cahill said back when she was 17 she had an identity crisis. Not unusual, she said, for a teenager. While her fellow conservatory students were locked away in the practice rooms totally consumed with being the best pianists they could be, she wanted to write and read poetry. That led to writing music criticism for alternative newspapers. “I started playing contemporary music because I liked having more of the focus on the music itself rather than me as the pianist,” Cahill said. Instead of having the spotlight on her, she wants to present “this amazing new piece that I am premiering.” She said : “I love getting a PDF of a new score and just being really thrilled and having the privilege of playing it for the first time, and then … in many cases, have it enter the repertoire.” She started playing piano at 5. At 8 he began studying with Sharon Mann who introduced her to the music of J.S. Bach. She played his suites and fugues and listened to his great choral works. The lessons were exciting, Cahill recalled. Mann was “beautiful and funny and treated me like an adult.” A gifted musician, Cahill performed a concerto with an orchestra every year from the time she was 12. And as with all her peers, the music she played was by men. Even “the minor, minor composers” were men. She’d heard of Clara Schumann, but only as the long-suffering wife of Robert Schumann, not as a composer in her own right.  “The Future is Female” is meant to counter that. The scope extends back through the centuries and around the globe. So she performs music by the 19th century Venezuelan composer Teresa Carreño. She said she loves doing research to find unknown composers “who really deserve to be heard.” The Friday before her recital at BGSU, she will perform…