Broadway, blues & opera intersect in colorful “Street Scene” at BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The brownstone at 346 on an anonymous street on New York’s Lower East Side is the home to seven families of motley ethnicity. “Street Scene,” the opera they inhabit, brings together music of the Old World and New to express their joys, hopes, passion, fears, and desperation. The 1946 collaboration of composer Kurt Weill, poet Langston Hughes, and playwright Elmer Rice opens Friday at 8 p.m. in the Donnell Theatre in the Wolfe Center for the Arts on the Bowling Green State University campus. A matinee performance will be presented Sunday at 3 p.m. Advance tickets are $15; all tickets are $20 the day of the performance. Call 419-372-8171, go online at, or visit the box office in the Wolfe Center to purchase tickets. “Street Scene,” said Kevin Bylsma, coordinator of opera at BGSU, “is a great amalgamation of operetta, opera and musical theater that tells a poignant story that resonates as much today as it did in 1946.” The tale of immigrants tossed together in a strange, sometimes hostile place had such resonance that guest director Nicholas Wuehrmann considered setting this version in contemporary times. There’s the “universality of the themes of love, relationships, the struggle of the immigrant population, prejudice, just every day life and the struggle to get along, and dreaming and hoping,” the director said. “It reminds me of the people I know in New York.” He passed on the idea, trusting the audience will relate regardless of the time period. All the characters have their own struggles, and the show highlights them in song. In the opening we hear the janitor (Brett Pond) and Anna Maurrant (Alicia Yantosca) sing of their dreams. His are expressed in a grinding blues number “I Got a Marble and a Star,” sung as residents ask him about repairs that need to be made. Anna expresses her desires in a passionate aria in which she declares that “I will always believe there will be a brighter day.” For her that “brighter day” may include the milkman Sam Sankey (Jarrod Davis) with whom she’s carrying on a not-so-secret affair. The neighbor ladies – Emma Jones (Hillary LaBonte), Greta Fiorentino (Elizabeth Vogel), and Olga Olsen (Betsy Bellavia) – gossip about it in the bouncing “Get a Load of That.” All the play’s drama plays out in front of the brownstone. While the setting roots the production in 1946, many of ideas could come from today. That’s true when Anna’s husband Frank Maurrant (Otis Jeffries) and Eastern European Jew Abraham Kaplan (Aaron Meece) argue about politics, and the hopes and futility of class struggle. The joining of the personal and political come through when Frank sings the folk-song-inspired aria “Let Things Be Like They Used to Be.” Lippo Fiorentino (Nathan Wright) shows up to sweeten everyone’s day with ice cream cones. In the show’s most lighthearted number, a sextet of neighbors – including Carl Olsen (Nick Kittman) and George Jones (Daniel Baumgartner) – sing the praises of ice cream in a Puccini-like ensemble. The orchestra, directed by Emily Freeman Brown, knits these disparate elements together. Some passages of spoken dialogue are underscored by the strains of the orchestra, giving the scenes a cinematic touch. Weill’s deployment of a variety of styles is more than pastiche; each…

Speakers at BGSU rally decry the specter of white supremacy

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News A rally to protest surreptitious visits by the white nationalist group Identity Evropa drew about 60 people outside the Education Building on the Bowling Green State University campus. Speakers condemned white supremacy and criticized the BGSU administration for not taking stronger action. Those fliers are the “burning crosses of the 21st century,” Ashley Philipp, one of the organizers of the rally, said quoting Indiana University professor Charles Geyh. The initial posting of the flyers, which occurred over spring break, and subsequent postings represent an attack on campus and “show how the ideology of white supremacy runs deep in this campus and in this country.” Some postings have reportedly been booby trapped with razor blades. Dave Kielmeyer said that was “absolutely not” the case with the flyers posted at BGSU. On its website the group asserts: “We are a generation of awakened Europeans who have discovered that we are part of the great peoples, history, and civilizations that flowed from the European continent.” The site publicizes the group’s opposition to sanctuary cities and support for building a border wall. City Councilor Daniel Gordon noted that Wood County had been early in the last century a hotbed of the Ku Klux Klan. “This was always here.” Gordon said he was tired of protestors being condemned as anti-American. “The only anti-American thing I see is Fascist support, stated or understood, for our current administration.” Anisah Hashmi, an American of Pakistani descent, said too many people believe the country has entered a “post-racial utopia.” People remember Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech, but not the speech in which he opposed the War in Vietnam and the country’s militaristic reach around the globe. Hashmi said as a Muslim she must endure lectures from strangers about what her religion says about women. “They don’t even speak Arabic.” Beatrice Fields urged her listeners to guard against complacency and “learn about people who can’t fight for themselves” and recognize their own privilege. She said training for those who want to be allies to those under threat was starting late that afternoon. She also reached out to the administration saying she’d “like to break bread” with them. Kielmeyer issued a statement in response to the rally: “Bowling Green State University strongly condemned the white separatist group that targeted our university and the University of Toledo earlier this month. The fliers, which were posted illegally and in violation of University policy, were removed immediately. “Our top priority is to create an environment where everyone feels safe and welcome on our campuses and to live up to our core values of showing respect for one another and supporting a culture of inclusion. “Over the last month, members of the University’s senior leadership team have conducted listening tours with student organizations and held office hours for students to better understand their concerns. Based on those conversations, the University is in the process of finalizing a comprehensive action plan to address the concerns that have been raised and strengthen our campus climate.”  

BGSU rally to oppose white supremacy set for today (March 22)

A rally to protest postings on campus by the white identity group Identity Evropa will be held today (March 22) at 3 p.m. on the steps of the Education Building at Bowling Green State University. The group put up posters on the BGSU campus as part of a national recruiting campaign. The group organizing the rally, Fight Back Against White Supremacy, said more calling cards” have been left since and the group has posted on social media. In a news release, Ashley Philipp, one of the organizers, said the BGU administration “as still not made any active steps to quell the growing unrest of the student population or deter the offenders.” When the first flyer appeared, the administration issued a statement condemning the fliers and reasserting that it “does not tolerate hate, racism, sexism or intolerance.” ( Philipp said there is a possibility the rally will have to be moved because of problems getting a permit from the university. If that’s the case, those gathered will march to the green space on the southwest corner of the intersection of Church and W. Wooster, across from the police station.

Higher ed, faculty are under fire, union president says

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Higher education has been dealing with challenges for a awhile. “Basically for quite some time it’s been open season on public education,” Rudy Fichtenbaum, national president of the American Association of University Professors, told a gathering of union members and guests last week. Those include attacks on unions, funding reductions, challenges to tenure, increased use of part-time instructors, and changing rationale for funding. Fichtenbaum’s talk for the first part of a session that included a review of legislative action pending in Ohio. (A story on that presentation will be forthcoming from BG Independent News.) “Many of these problems stem from ill-conceived policies implemented over the last 30 years on a bipartisan basis,” he said. But those threats on all fronts have escalated since the November election. “His presidency represents the greatest threat to academic freedom since the McCarthy era,” Fichtenbaum said. “Actions show this not an exaggeration.” Trump’s election has emboldened followers to threaten others. “The AAUP continues to make a distinction between speech and action,” he said. .”We’re talking about actions that threaten people, burning a mosque, painting swastikas, yelling at people, pushing people into the street because of the color of their skin or their religion. … We oppose discrimination on the basis of race gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, national origin. We’ll fight for a welcoming learning environment where all people can freely and safely learn.” The AAUP, he said, is supportive of the idea of sanctuary campuses. Tightening restrictions on immigration has an effect on international students, about 10 percent of whom come from majority Muslim countries, he said. He said there’s already “anecdotal evidence” that international students are already looking elsewhere, particularly Canada and Australia, to further their studies. That’s a loss for campuses. Having foreign students on campus provides the kind of atmosphere needed for students dealing with a global economy. International students also benefit higher education budgets. “These are students who generally pay full tuition,” he said. More legislation is taking aim at faculty unions and unions in general. Fichtenbaum expects a right-to-work case to make it to the Supreme Court within a couple terms. Bills targeting both private and public unions are already in the works in Ohio. That’s not the only way academic freedom is being attacked. There’s legislation proposed in Iowa and North Carolina that would require that faculty to have an ideological balance, essentially “a political litmus test,” he said. While the bills have gotten out of committee, he said, “just the very fact people are so emboldened to propose this kind of stuff” is troubling. At some point one of these bills make get through and become law. The Trump Administration is looking at privatizing the federal student loan programs. They also want to hold colleges and universities responsible for students who can’t pay back their loans because they dropped out or aren’t earning enough after graduating. The idea, Fichtenbaum said, is schools “need to have some skin in the game.” But schools will then be less willing to enroll higher risk students, he said. This is already happening as Ohio with state support tied to retention and graduation rates. College completion rates are correlated to family income. “Just get more students with higher incomes, and you’ll increase your graduate rate,” he…

Ziggython getting ready to roll along

  By ALYSSA ALFANO BG Independent Student Contributor Twenty-four hours of dancing, 120 miles of biking and many months of fundraising all for the benefit of children and families at Mercy Children’s Hospital in Toledo. Participating students attend monthly meetings, fundraise, and in April, they participate in 24 hours of dancing at Ziggython, three days of biking from Cincinnati to Bowling Green, or 12 hours of gaming to bring the fundraiser to a close. This year’s Ziggython will be begin Saturday, April 8, at 6 p.m.,  and continue through April 9 at 6 p.m. i Perry Field House o the Bowling Green State University campus Nicole Masjlo, a sophomore at BGSU and Morale Captain for Dance Marathon, encourages students interested in Dance Marathon to find out the different ways to get involved and raise money by checking the organization’s social media pages. As a Morale Captain, Masjlo and the other captains make sure that the different organizations and dancers involved are keeping up with their fundraising.  In addition, they help dancers and other participants stay energized and excited throughout the event. Masjlo says that Dance Marathon works with surrounding high schools to hold mini-marathons where the students can go to have fun, dance, and raise money for the cause. Dancers are required to raise money for the organization before Ziggython.  When they reach a certain monetary goal, participants can earn rewards and incentives such as time to sit, a nap, time to shower and more. In addition, vendors come and sell promotional items such as t-shirts and headbands to raise money for the cause.  Friends of dancers can also come and pay to put their friends in “jail.”  These are both fun ways to draw people in and raise money. Dance Marathon puts a lot of emphasis on their slogan “for the kids.” Much of the proceeds go to children at the hospital who are in need of support.  However, there are others that receive support from Dance Marathon. Some of the money that the organization raises goes towards helping the families of the patients, especially those who have been staying in the hospital with their child. The money helps these families get what they need while dealing with the struggles of their child’s illness, according to Masjlo. There are a lot of fun activities to keep participants engaged throughout the event.  Some of the events that will be included at Ziggython this year are a rave in the early hours of the morning, zumba, performances from accapella groups, and, of course, food to name a few. Twenty-four hours is a long time to stand and dance, so having fun activities and incentives is a great way to keep people going.

Pro Musica, Naslada Bistro team up to raise funds for music student enrichment

From PRO MUSICA Naslada Bistro, in downtown Bowling Green, will be hosting a fundraiser for Pro Musica from March 27 (Monday) – April 1 (Saturday). A portion of each bill will be donated to Pro Musica during the weeklong event. All monies raised will be use to fund student travel grants for students in the College of Musical Arts at Bowling Green State University. Patrons need to mention Pro Musica when they order. Located at 1820 S. Main Street in Bowling Green, the bistros name mean “lingering over excellent food and sipping quality wine in the company of good friends” in Bulgarian. It is known for its authentic European and American cuisine prepared with the freshest of ingredients. Pro Musica, funded by nearly 250 dedicated alumni, friends, parents and members of the Bowling Green community, sponsors a wide variety of musical events and provides financial to music students for educational travel projects. In addition, the organization provides funding for scholarships and various awards at Bowling Green State University’s College of Musical Arts. The organization supports raises funds to support student-initiated educational travel projects to attend workshops, festivals, competitions or master classes, both domestically and internationally. Every dollar Pro Musica raises goes to help students. As a bonus, diners may wish to pair their meal with concerts being offered during the college’s annual Jazz Week events. Concerts include: Tuesday (March 28), Vocal Jazz Ensemble featuring jazz vocalist Kim Nazarian, 8 p.m., Bryan Recital Hall; Wednesday (March 29), Jazz Faculty Group, 8 p.m., Bryan Recital Hall; Thursday (March 30), Jazz Lab Band I with guest trombonist Alan Ferber, 8 p.m., Kobacker Hall, (March 30), Coffee & Classics, 7 p.m., Wood County Public Library and Saturday (April 1), Bravo BGSU! A Celebration of the Arts, 6 p.m., Wolfe Center for the Arts. Bryan Recital and Kobacker halls are located in the Moore Musical Arts Center. The Jazz Lab Band I concert and the Bravo! BGSU!! A Celebration of the Arts event require tickets. For further information, and how to purchase tickets, visit

Indian Opinion, a harmonic convergence of musical friends

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The band Indian Opinion is all about harmony. The jazz-influenced ensemble jams over the chords of its original songs. What really holds the band together though is the harmony of friendship. Since its creation in 2015, Indian Opinion has been a staple of the local music scene with gigs at Grumpy Dave’s and especially at Howard’s Club H. “That’s our home court,” said Benji Katz, bass player, vocalist and songwriter in the group. Indian Opinion also includes Mark Dylan, guitar and vocals, JP Stebal, drums, and Connor Mancini, trumpet. They’ll be back at Howard’s for the Saturday, March 25, Battle of the Bands. They have set of songs available for download online featuring a set earlier this year from the club. ( Now the band is in the process of producing its first full studio album. The band is deeply rooted in the local scene, bridging the campus with the community. It traces its roots back to 2015 when Connor and Stebal started jamming at Stebal’s house. They knew each other as fellow music students, including singing in the Vocal Jazz Ensemble. Dylan knew Katz from living on the dorms and brought him in. “It was just a network of friends, mostly from the college of music,” Dylan said. The band originally had a saxophonist Hiroki Kato and a percussionist Billy Gruber. Even as the band has settled into its four-piece configuration, the members are still a welcoming crew inviting musicians to join them on gigs and bringing Gruber and saxophonist Garrett Tanner into the studio for the forthcoming session. Abigail Cloud, one of Katz’ mentors in the creative writing program, also joins the band as she did on the live at Howard’s session. “It’s a communal thing,” Mancini said. They welcome other musicians to jam with them on the stand, even when playing an out of town show. That’s true to the band’s jazz roots. “Jazz music connected us as a band, and the idea improvised music and jamming,” Dylan said, “ “It happened pretty organically,” Katz said. “We all have a distinct voice, and that’s allowed to shine through in all our playing. When you’re improvising your personality is going to bleed into the music.” Each brings their own musical biography to the band’s sonic palette. Katz comes from Cincinnati. At 12 he wanted to a start a band with his friends, but avoided the obvious instrument choices of guitar and drums. Instead he was attracted to the “big and clunky and powerful sound” of the electric bass. Paul McCartney’s melodic approach to bass was an early influence. Early in high school, he started studying with a teacher who introduced to him to jazz. While he had considered studying music in college, he inspired to write poetry by Jim Morrison of The Doors. He ended up getting a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in creative writing with an emphasis on poetry. He’s now pursuing a master’s degree in the program. Music runs in Dylan’s family. His grandfather was a jazz saxophonist and his father a drummer. Growing up on Long Island in New York they could take the train into New York City to go to the clubs. “I grew up with art around me,” he said. He started out influenced by Nirvana…

Small ensembles shine in big way in Wayland Chamber Music Competition

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News In a serious competition among groups of some of the best musicians in the College of Musical Arts, what set the winners apart is they seemed to be having fun. The Douglas Wayland Chamber Music Competition was held this weekend in the Moore Musical Arts Center on the Bowling Green State University campus. Lydia Qiu, a pianist from the University Michigan, was one of three judges on the panel for the finals held Sunday. “These two groups really enjoyed playing together,” she said of the Epsilon Quartet, the undergraduate winners, and Pitnix, a trio that won the graduate division. Pitnix was a repeat winner. Two of the members of the trio – Samantha Tartamella, flute, and Stephen Dubetz, clarinet – were in the ensemble when it won the undergraduate division. This year with another pianist, Emily Morin, they had to compete in the graduate division because Morin is a graduate student. Still the result was the same. Dubetz also won the undergraduate division in December’s Competitions in Musical Performance. The Epsilon Quartet, a saxophone foursome of Jacob Braslawsce, soprano, Nicole Grimone, alto, Tess Marjanovic, tenor, and Andrew Hosler, baritone, is the newest in a line of saxophone quartets to do well in the event. At least one saxophone quartet has been among the winners in all but one competition since its start in 2007. Second place in the graduate division went to Landlocked Percussion – Henrique Batista, Scott Charvet, Nicholas Fox, and Felix Reyes. Second place in the undergraduate went to the Derevo Quintet – Thomas Morris, oboe, Hayden Giesseman, clarinet, Brianna Buck, saxophone, Jack Smolenski, bassoon, and Anton Skojac, bass clarinet. The ensemble was pulled together by Morris, who was inspired by a quintet with this unusual instrumentation that he heard on YouTube. Buck, who was in a second place saxophone quartet last year, said she was intrigued by the chance to play in a woodwind ensemble. Playing with students from different studios gives a musician a chance to learn the qualities of each of the other instruments, and how best to complement them. The Wayland Competition is training for real life, she said. The ensembles must work together to perfect the music and then present it, she said. That chance to perform is one of the attractions for Buck. “You don’t often get the chance to perform when you’re an undergraduate,” she said. “So it’s a great opportunity to prepare yourself for real life.” The winning ensembles get additional performance opportunities. They will play at the Toledo Museum of Art, Sunday, April 9 at 3 p.m. and Tuesday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the Manor House in Wildwood Metropark in Toledo. They will also play on WGTE-FM at an April date still to be determined. Members of the winning of the competition, which is presented by Pro Musica, also win cash awards – $200 for each member of the first place ensembles and $100 for each member of the second place ensembles. Brian Snow, who coordinated the event with Dan Piccolo, said that having an in-house competition for students is fairly unusual. Piccolo said most often it is an event open to performers from outside the school. Here the students get to compete against their BGSU peers for outside judges. Different…

Scholar helps guide BGSU musicians toward Holy Week presentations of St. John Passion

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Mark Munson has been waiting for the academic and liturgical calendars to align. The director of choral studies at Bowling Green State University wanted a year when Good Friday fell late enough in the semester to allow time to prepare and present J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion on Good Friday. This is the year, and this past week the singers and musicians started the final phase of preparation. The passion oratorio, originally presented on Good Friday, 1724, is a large undertaking that involves soloists, the University Choral Ensemble, and the Early Music Ensemble, directed by Arne Spohr. To help this large contingent of students, faculty and community members prepare, a leading scholar and tenor Christopher Cock, of the Bach Institute at Valparaiso University in Indiana, visited campus. In the passion, Bach relates the story of Jesus’ trial and execution using the text from the Gospel of John, with reflections by soloists and the choir. Cock has sung the role of the evangelist in the St. John Passion 50 times as well as conducted it on several other occasions. His choir has been in residence at St. Thomas in Leipzig where the piece was first presented, a rare honor for an American choir. He was at BGSU as the Helen McMaster Endowed Professor in Vocal and Choral Studies. For many of the students involved this will their first time playing it. “I’m getting chills just thinking about you’re experiencing this work for the first time,” he told them. Cock spoke about how Bach brought the theology to life in the music. “The debasement of being nailed to the cross,” he said, “was the only way Jesus could realize his full divinity.” That comes through in the instrumental introduction. The winds play a series of notes that overlap to create a dissonance “like a nail piercing a skin.” Cock said. The strings are restless, rustling, unsettled. The lower strings relentlessly lead the way to the choir’s entrance. This music may indeed have gotten Bach into trouble, Cock noted both at the rehearsal and at a talk the next day. Bach wrote the Passion in 1724, the first year of his employment at St. Thomas. He presented it again the next year, the scholar said, an unusual move. This time that distinctive opening had given way to a more soothing introduction. Cock said no one knows why, but he speculated that church authorities were bothered by that dark music. “The congregation had to be shocked and may have been disturbed” by the music. Bach continued to refine and present the St. John Passion through the remainder of his life. He last presenting it in 1749. That opening passage was returned to its place. The only instance Cock can imagine performing the piece without those measures would be on the 300th anniversary of the 1725 performance. “You miss that powerful opening.” “The cantatas were composed for the liturgical days,” he said. And while the St. John Passion and the more celebrated St. Matthew Passion now are performed in concert halls at other times of the year, it still remains rooted in the liturgy. That’s why in Bowling Green Munson has arranged for it to be performed Good Friday, April 14, at 7 p.m., in the First United Methodist…

Pro soccer player Robbie Rogers finds emotional release playing out of the closet

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Soccer star Robbie Rogers should have been happy. At 24 he had achieved so much of what he’d been dreaming about and working for since he was 7. He’d won a national collegiate championship in his freshman year at the University of Maryland. Played on the US National team. Played in the Olympics. Won a professional championship with the Columbus Crew. And now was supporting himself as a soccer player on an English team. Yet time and again he found himself after a victory alone in his room, feeing hollow. “Why am I not happy?” he found himself wondering. “Why am I not out celebrating with my friends?” While he was showing the world what kind of soccer player he was, Rogers was not showing even those closest to him who he really was beneath the surface, a gay man. “Football was my escape, my purpose, my identity” he told an audience at Bowling Green State University. “It hid my secret and gave me more joy than I could imagine.” Rogers visited BGSU at the invitation of We Are One Team, a student organization that promotes diversity and inclusion through sports, as part of its Our Voices series. A breaking point came in 2012. As he peddling on a stationary bike in England, he overheard two teammates’ casual, homophobic banter. It was the kind of talk he’d heard often, and he realized something had to change. He thought to himself: “There’s no possible way I can come out in this world. … I made the decision at that point I would retire and come out. … It was time to discover myself away from football.” He told his parents, conservative Catholics, that he was gay. Then he came out publically. He was accepted into the London College of Fashion. “Honesty is a bitch,” he said. “But honesty makes so simple and clear.” On a visit back to California to visit his parents, his agent asked if he’d travel to a Nike event in Portland, Oregon, to speak to high schools students involved in their schools’ GSAs. Rogers didn’t know that a GSA was a Gay Straight Alliance. When he was in high school, such a thing would have been unthinkable. He spoke to the high school students, and afterward the admiring teens lined up to get their photos taken with him. He thought they were amazing to be so open and engaged as high school students. They made him realize he needed to at least go back and train. “I need to at least test my courage,” he said. He reached out Coach Bruce Arena, then with the L.A. Galaxy, to see if he could train with the team. His connections with the club went back to his youth. After a few weeks, Arena offered him a spot on the team. He remembered being unable to sleep the night before he was scheduled to show up for training. The team captain Landon Donovan called him up, and said that the coach had told the team he was joining and they were not concerned about the prospect of having a gay teammate. “I was making it a scarier situation than everyone else was,” Rogers said. His teammates accepted him. Now Rogers found himself the center…

State universities face tough battles in Columbus, Mazey says

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News President Mary Ellen Mazey apologized for being the bearer of bad news to the Bowling Green State University Faculty Senate, Tuesday. A storm front is approaching the university from Columbus, and though Mazey said she hopes the worse effects could be forestalled, she knows it won’t be easy. “We have our work cut out for us” she said of the state budget. Gov. John Kasich’s proposal calls for a 1-percent increase in state support in the first year of the biennial budget and no increase in the second. This would be paired with a freeze on tuition and freeze. Now it’s up to the House to fashion its proposal. Mazey said the state’s university presidents were focusing on three areas as the House begins working on the higher education budget. Mazey seemed confident that a proposal that would shift the cost of buying textbooks from students to the university was fading. “I think we’re making progress,” she said. The proposal to have university pay for textbooks in exchange for levying a new $300 annual fee “does not seem to be getting a lot of traction in the House,” she said. The governor’s plan, Mazey said, is not academically sound. Also the financing was not adequately researched. It would not benefit all students and would create a new bureaucracy to administer. The state’s university provosts have shaped an alternative policy that would require universities to submit a plan to reduce textbook costs by fall, 2018. In the meantime university officials would gather the data needed to formulate that plan. The plans would involve hiring professional negotiators to deal with textbook publishers. The plans could also require professors to consider the costs of textbooks, standardize the texts used in some “gateway” first year courses, use digital sources where possible, develop more open source materials, and use consortiums to identify the least expensive texts. This plan, Mazey said, is in line with the charge given by the governor’s task force on affordability, which was then overridden by the proposal to have universities pay for textbooks. Mazey said the university presidents are urging a greater increase in the budget. A 2-percent increase would be in line with the consumer price index, and “if the governor wants to freeze tuition we need 4 percent.” That’s what universities got in the last biennium budget which also had a tuition freeze. “This may be difficult to get in this budget,” she said. That 1-percent increase, $39.7 million, could be earmarked to benefit student scholarships. What the presidents are concerned about is that it will go into a broader scholarship pool where the money would be spent on scholarships for private institutions as well. The presidents, she said, are also opposing a freeze on tuition and fees. “We believe the governor appoints our boards, and they have fiduciary responsibility for those institutions. Those decisions should be left to those boards.” Still, she conceded, “the tuition freeze is pretty much reality.” One hope is that institutions that did not raise their tuition and fees as much as allowed within the past five years would be able to raise them now. That may be of some assistance financially for BGSU, Mazey said. BGSU froze tuition three years ago. Another proposal would allow levying a…

BGSU industrial & organizational psychology rank 2nd on U.S. News list

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS U.S. News & World Report has once again ranked Bowling Green State University’s industrial and organizational psychology program one of the best in the nation. The program is tied for No. 2 on the recently released list of 2018 Best Grad Schools. “We are excited by BGSU’s No. 2 ranking,” said Dr. Michael Zickar, a professor and chair of the Department of Psychology. “Our program’s reputation is a function of our great faculty and the success that our alumni have had over the years.” U.S. News & World report shared this about the ranking: “Industrial and organizational psychologists strive to make workplaces more efficient, pleasant and productive through research and application. These are the top psychology programs for industrial and organizational psychology.” BGSU’s industrial and organizational psychology program regularly appears on this list, having placed No. 4 and No. 3 in previous rankings. Rankings are based on input from department chairs and senior faculty. BGSU shares this year’s honor with Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities and University of South Florida. Industrial and organizational psychology aims to prepare students for careers as active contributors to the psychology of work. Learning and developmental experiences are provided through coursework, research and applied projects. Graduates of BGSU’s program can be found in a variety of professional settings, from academic to applied. Employers include Dow Chemical, IBM, Procter & Gamble and Wells Fargo. “Industrial-organizational psychology has been labeled one of the fastest-growing occupations by Money Magazine and the Wall Street Journal,” Zickar said. “Our graduates help increase the productivity of organizations as well as improve the daily lives of individual employees.”

Phishing attack hits several BGSU employees in pocketbook

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Four university employees recently had their banking information hacked, with three having their pay redirected, and one of them had a fraudulent tax return filed by hackers. John Ellinger, the university’s chief information officer, reported on the incidents at Tuesday’s Faculty Senate meeting. He did not notify campus through a mass email because he did not want to tip off the hackers about how the university was responding. He assured the senate that no university data had been accessed. However, the way that information could be endanger is if hackers find a pathway using personal data of those who have access to university information. Ellinger said the problems began in January when the employees – three faculty and one staff member – clicked on a phishing e-mail originating from an account at Texas Tech. The e-mail subject line read “get you pay here.” With that connection, he said, the hackers were able to shadow the accounts. None of the four had completed the new Duo security protocol being implemented on the university’s MyBGSU system. As of today everyone will have to have signed in the two-step authentication process to access MyBGSU. Using information culled from the shadowing, the hackers were able to get onto MyBGSU and set up Duo accounts. Once there, they changed the routing for the employees’ direct deposits. Ellinger said that unlike in the past, these hackers were astute enough to send the paychecks to four different accounts set up at four different overseas banks to avoid detection. They used burner phones with four different area codes to supply the needed telephone number. One employee discovered the change before the pay was rerouted, three, however, did not and only realized the problem when their pay did not appear in their bank accounts. The university was able to make those employees whole. However, the hackers did file a tax return for one employee, who “is now in limbo land where the IRS has to determine who is authentic,” Ellinger said. Ellinger said that the incidences of compromised accounts “where someone has given away their password” to a hacker, is skyrocketing. In 2015, the university had 250 compromised accounts. In 2016 that number jumped to 1000. In 2017 already as of March 14, 450 accounts have been compromised. The activity has spiked in the last 90 days in institutions around the country, Ellinger said. His only explanation was that there is money to be made through phishing by waylaying pay and tax returns and by stealing personal data, including Social Security numbers, that exposes someone to other forms of fraud. He said that BGSU is the first Ohio public university to make the two-step authentication required for access to its system. Compliance was 95 percent as of Tuesday afternoon, and more are signing up. Some accommodations are having to be made for those without cell phones or computers. There are grounds crew staff who are in that situation, he said. Ellinger said he was pleased with the progress until another phishing attack occurred Saturday, and 125 people clicked on the e-mail. The IT staff has since cleaned up those accounts. It’s hard for an individual to tell they are being shadowed. If there’s any doubt, Ellinger said, “change your password.” “We’re doing our…

BGSU closing Forrest Creason golf course at end of season (Update)

Bowling Green State University University announced this morning that it will close its Forrest Creason golf course at the end of the 2017 season. The University determined that the course cannot reverse more than a decade of declining revenues and a mounting operating deficit given the northwest Ohio golf market and national trends. “This is not a decision we took lightly,” said University spokesman Dave Kielmeyer in this mornings statement. “We hired a consultant, developed a study and closely reviewed our options. Even with significant investment to make the course more competitive, it is unlikely that Forrest Creason could be a break-even operation. In today’s higher education environment, we simply can’t ask our students to continue to subsidize the golf course.” Kielmeyer later in an interview said the university lost $120,000 on the golf course in the past year, an expense that has been steadily climbing for the past decade. Usage is also down significantly. With the golf industry taking a hit nationally, it no longer “made any sense” for BGSU to operate a course. The university does not have any firm plans about how the land the course sits on will be used. “We want to get the community involved in the discussion,” Kielmeyer said. That discussion will likely begin in fall. The statement issued by the Office of Marketing & Communications continued: The University study identified the need for significant capital investments to address shortcomings at the course to make it more marketable. Challenges identified include an inadequate clubhouse, no outdoor shelter facilities, no banquet facility or food service, and the need for a new irrigation system. BGSU undertook the study as part of its response to Governor John Kasich’s Ohio Task Force on Affordability and Efficiency in higher education and House Bill 64, which requires public universities to assess non-core assets to find efficiencies and identify opportunities to lower costs for students. Kent State University also opted to close its golf course in 2016. There are currently three golf courses in the city of Bowling Green and four more within 10 miles. The study points out that golf’s popularity is declining nationally, particularly among college-age millennials. BGSU’s varsity golf teams practice at Forrest Creason but do not compete there because of the course’s length, slope and rating. Forrest Creason will remain open for play through December of 2017. The course’s four full-time employees will join BGSU campus operations staff. University staff will work with Forrest Creason golf leagues and organizers of annual outings to assist in finding new locations for the 2018 season. Forrest Creason opened as a nine-hole course in 1965. An additional nine holes were added in 1973. In the 2000s, the course lost more than 150 trees to the emerald ash borer. The University will be reviewing options for the site and will be seeking input from students, faculty, staff and members of the community on future uses of the land in the coming months.

BGSU arts events through March 29

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS March 16 – The Creative Writing Program’s Reading Series features visiting writer Dustin M. Hoffman. Author of the story collection “One-Hundred-Knuckled Fist” and winner of the 2015 Prairie Schooner Book Prize, Hoffman earned his MFA in fiction from BGSU.  The reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free March 17 – The Brown Bag Music Series continues with Opera! The performance will begin at 11:45 a.m. in the Simpson Building, 1291 Conneaut Ave., Bowling Green. Free March 17 – Elsewhere productions continue with “Jimmy and Sally.” The show will begin at 8 p.m. in the Eva Marie Saint Theatre located in the Wolfe Center for the Arts. Additional performances will be at 8 p.m. on March 18 and 19. Free March 18 – The ARTalk series presents “Where Next: The Future of Art.” Prominent artists and scholars will discuss the future of art in work, education and careers. Featured speakers include Cynthia Crow, program officer for the Fulbright Scholar Program in New York; Regin Igloria, multidisciplinary artist and arts administrator in Chicago, and John Jennings, graphic designer and associate professor at the University of Buffalo. The ARTalk will begin at 4 p.m. in room 204 of the Fine Arts Center. Free March 18 – The opening reception for the BFA Senior Thesis Exhibition will begin at 7 p.m. in the Bryan and Wankelman Galleries located in the Fine Arts Center. Free Through March 31 – The BFA Senior Thesis Exhibition will be on display in the Bryan and Wankelman Galleries, located in the Fine Arts Center. 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 March 19 – The 10th annual Douglas Wayland Chamber Music Competition concludes with the Student Chamber Competition Finals. The finalists will perform at 3 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free March 21 – Tuesdays at the Gish presents the 2002 film “Far From Heaven,” directed by Todd Haynes. Julianne Moore is the perfect wife, Dennis Quaid is her husband, and Dennis Haysbert her gardener. The score by Elmer Bernstein, cinematography by Edward Lachman, and design by Mark Friedberg recreate the feel of Douglas Sirk’s melodramas; Haynes’ script updates the critique to include a look at normative views of race and sexuality. The screening will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater in Hanna Hall. Free March 23 – Visiting writer Claire Vaye Watkins, author of “Gold Frame Citrus,” will share her work as part of the Creative Writing Program’s Reading Series. The reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free March 24 –Bowling Green Opera Theater presents Kurt Weill’s “Street Scene.” The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in the Donnell Theatre located in the Wolfe Center for the Arts. Advance tickets are $5 for students and children and $15 for adults. All tickets are $20 the day of the performance. Tickets can be purchased at the box office in the Wolfe Center at 419-372-8171, or online at An additional performance will be at 2 p.m. on March 26. March 24 – EAR | EYE Listening and Looking: Contemporary Music and Art explores the relationship of contemporary music and art through music performances in response to…