Campus

LEGO teams face off in robot tourney at BGSU

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University will host a FIRST LEGO League event Saturday, Jan. 14 on the second floor of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. Guided by adult coaches, FIRST LEGO League teams research a real-world problem such as food safety, recycling or energy and are challenged to develop a solution. They must also design, build and program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS technology, then compete on a tabletop playing field. This event, organized by the Sylvania STEM Center, northwest Ohio’s regional gathering space for STEM education and exploration, consists of teams of students in grades four through eight. This year’s challenge is Animal Allies and teams have been tasked to identify a problem when people and animals interact and design a solution that makes the interaction better for animals, people or both. This tournament is the second-level competition for 23 teams from northwest Ohio. Each of these teams earned their place in the tournament by securing top spots at regional tournaments. The top nine teams will advance to the state championship in Dayton in February. FIRST LEGO League allows kids to combine science, technology, engineering and math concepts with imagination to solve a problem. During the process, they also develop critical thinking and team-building skills. The BGSU College of Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering is supporting the event by paying for the venue and volunteering. To date, more than 255,000 kids have participated in 1,464 FIRST LEGO League events in 88 countries. WHAT: Second-level FIRST LEGO League competition WHO: 23 fourth- through eighth-grade teams from northwest Ohio WHEN: noon-5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14; an opening ceremony parade begins at noonin the Lenhart Grand Ballroom of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union WHERE: BGSU Bowen-Thompson Student Union


BGSU community ready to serve in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

From the BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS More than 1,000 BGSU students, faculty and staff expected to participate in 9th Annual MLK Jr. Day of Service More than 1,000 Bowling Green State University students, faculty and staff members are expected to participate in the 2017 Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, an annual community service event. MLK Jr. Day begins at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 16 with volunteer check-in and breakfast; an opening ceremony begins at 10 a.m. featuring keynote speaker Ty Boyd, a 2009 Construction Management and President’s Leadership Academy alumnus. Volunteers will assist community partners between 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. A closing ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. The ceremonies will take place in the BGSU Bowen-Thompson Student Union Lenhart Grand Ballroom. In honor of Martin Luther King Jr., volunteers serve on MLK Jr. Day to make it “a day on, not a day off.” Volunteers will work at approximately 48 community partner sites during the day. Community partners design a service project for the volunteers to complete as a team. This year’s projects include: Working alongside Owens Community College students on a variety of projects aimed at inspiring others to join in caring for animals and conserving the natural world at The Toledo Zoo. Painting the Lott Industries Shared Lives Studio and Gallery, 20 North St. Clair St., Toledo Designing meal-delivery bags for the Wood County Committee on Aging, BGSU Bowen-Thompson Student Union Lenhart Grand Ballroom Building and refurbishing picnic tables for the Wood County Park District, 18729 Mercer Road, Bowling Green. Other service projects include cleaning, painting, canvassing, organizing files and other office items and sorting donations. This year, BGSU is proud to be a member of the inaugural MLK Jr. Season of Service Consortium of Northwest Ohio. The consortium includes Bowling Green State University, Lourdes University, Mercy College, Owens Community College, the University of Toledo and the United Way of Greater Toledo. This group has collaborated to organize MLK Jr.-related events, educational programs…


Top scientists engage youngsters in Kids’ Tech University at BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Paul Morris knows that Kids’ Tech University presented at Bowling Green State University has a lot going for it. Each of the four weeks features an esteemed scientist who knows how to talk to children age 9 to 12 about their research. And then the kids have carefully designed activities related to the science that allow students to do the work of science themselves. Then there’s Morris’ hair. He sports a frizzy mop of white hair. Morris said he’s gotten enough comments on it, he’s decided to stop cutting his hair. “I look the part.” It’s a silly way to get across a key element of the program. “The idea that children are being directed by a real scientist that’s part of the excitement we want to capture.” Registration is now underway for the program that runs four Saturdays throughout the semester starting Feb. 11 and continuing Feb. 25, March 18, and April 8. Each starts at 10 a.m. and continues until 3 p.m. or so. Registration is $90. Visit http://kidstechuniversity-bgsu.vbi.vt.edu/. The mission is to get children excited about science, technology, engineering and math before they get into middle school. The Feb. 11 session will feature Dr. Jennifer M. DeBruyn, who works at the Body Farm in Tennessee, a lab which studies decomposition of human bodies. DeBruyn is a microbiologist who studies how all manner of matter decomposes. Her talk is: “Life after Death: Exploring the decomposer organisms that recycle corpses back to soil.” In the afternoon, Morris said, students will do an array of experiments involved in forensics, including fingerprinting and DNA analysis with the assistance of BGSU faculty and students. “The strategy is to enable them to meet and interact with scientists who talk about what they do, and as a second component we give them a variety of hands-on activities that we run that are related to speaker’s talk.” Morris said he looks for activities “that I think the children would…


BGSU appoints Michael Ogawa to newly created VP post

Dr. Michael Ogawa, who has been serving at Bowling Green State University as both dean of the Graduate College and vice president for research and economic development, has been appointed to the new position of Vice President for Research and Economic Engagement. Dr. Margaret “Peggy” Booth will assume the role of interim dean of the Graduate College; an internal search for a new dean will begin this semester According to the letter from President Mary Ellen Mazey, Ogawa “has led significant progress in developing a more sustainable financial model for graduate education at BGSU, establishing new professional degree programs, and providing needed support to our graduate programs in student recruitment. In addition, significant gains have been made in increasing the amount of external research support the University receives.” In his new position, Ogawa will be asked “to expand his work in regional economic engagement to form new partnerships with external constituencies and to redouble his work to aggressively grow our external grant activity.” Booth will also serve as chair of the Graduate Council and will continue in her role as liaison to the Chancellor’s Council on Graduate Studies.


BGSU scholar Rebecca Kinney dissects the myth of Detroit’s death & resurrection

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Rebecca Kinney only realized she should write about her hometown of Detroit when she was living to the West Coast. Kinney grew up in Royal Oak, just north of the city, hugging Woodward Avenue. She remembers watching the fireworks explode over the Detroit River from the National Bank building downtown. She remembers how far the city seemed though it was just a 20-minute drive from her home. And she remembered being impressed by the change in architecture, the towering, imposing structures in the city compared to the single-family scale of the suburbs. Living in San Diego and San Francisco, she found everyone had something to say about the place where she grew up. Even if they’d never been to Detroit or even the Rust Belt, they knew, or thought they knew, something about the place. That made Kinney wondered: where did they get these ideas? Everyone knows this, she was told. What everyone knew was that Detroit had once been an industrial powerhouse, and then it fell into ruin. But now, it was on the rise. News magazines ran front page stories on its advertised rebirth. Photographers captured the city’s ruined beauty, depicting it as a new frontier. Chrysler celebrated it in Super Bowl ads. At the time her writing focused on Chinatowns in other cities, now her attention turned back home. “For me it was the first city I ever experienced,” Kinney said in an interview with BG Independent. “It’s a city I always compare other cities to, which is strange because until 10 years ago it wasn’t considered a city. It was considered a dead city, a dying city, a place where by all accounts nothing was happening. … Writing it off as a dead city suggests that the 670,000 people who lived there did not exist.” Detroit is still the 21st largest city by population in the nation. And what then does it mean, to say that the city is now…


BG, BGSU asked to offer support, sanctuary to immigrants, Muslims

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green city and university are being asked to take stands in support of immigrants and Muslims in the community. BGSU leadership has been asked to develop “sanctuary” plans for immigrants targeted by expected changes in policies under President-elect Donald Trump. And Bowling Green City Council will soon be asked to support a resolution condemning discrimination against Muslims. The petition signed by 331 people was submitted to Bowling Green State University President Mary Ellen Mazey, the Board of Trustees and Faculty Senate. The petition calls for the university to provide a “safe haven” for those at risk under intolerant immigration laws. The petition points out BGSU’s mission of equity, diversity and inclusion – and how Trump’s campaign statements are at odds with that mission. Proposed city resolution At the city level, the resolution proposed by council member Daniel Gordon asks the city to stand against violence, hate speech and discrimination targeting Muslim people. The resolution expresses solidarity with the Muslim community and all those targeted for their ethnicity, race or religion. This morning, the city’s Human Relations Commission reviewed the resolution and voiced support for its spirit. “This could be labeled symbolic, but even symbolic statements have power,” Gordon said. “That’s what we’re trying to change here – is attitudes locally,” Bowling Green Mayor Dick Edwards said. Edwards expressed some concerns that the resolution should be more localized. “I’m not questioning the spirit, the intent and the initiative behind it,” he said. But “it needs to be more about the city of Bowling Green. We should always be speaking with our hearts and our heads for the people we represent.” Edwards suggested the resolution could urge local residents to get involved on a local level, and interact in discussions. Gordon said he drew up the resolution in response to concerns from local Muslim students, “who don’t always feel very safe. They worry about what could happen here.” Though no hate crimes against…


Kim Young’s digital prints offer break from typical vacation images

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Search the images of family vacation on the internet and you will be blinded by the sun and smiles. Quite the contrast to the gray of an Ohio winter. Digital artist Kim Young of Bowling Green has taken some of those images and altered their digital DNA to create fresh abstract images. Those images will be part of the exhibit Virtual Vacation at the Neon Heater Art Gallery in Findlay. The show includes Young ‘s digital prints and installations by video artists Laura Post and Richard Munaba. The show opens with a reception Thursday, Jan.5, from 5 to 8 p.m. and continues in the gallery on the second floor of the Jones Building,   400½ S. Main St. Findlay, through Jan. 13. Young’s digital prints depict inviting scenes of vacation sport including Disneyland, as viewers have never seen them before. She has subverted the scenes of beaches, mountains and Mickey Mouse by digging deep into their digital codes. Her prints provide a vacation as much from the clichéd images of vacation as from the Ohio winter. Young, who teaches in the Bowling Green State University School of Art, said: “I’m really interested with how computers and images, and humans and images, are interacting. There’s more images to interact with than at any point in human history, so people get kind of numb to the whole idea of images. I’m a visual artist. What does that mean to someone who makes digital images and wants people took at them? I don’t want my things to look like something people have seen a 100 million times before.” All those images that pop up on our various screens, are not really images, Young said. “They’re code.” So she started to dig into the code itself. The string of seemingly indecipherable numbers. She messed with it. Introduced glitches. She took colored pencils and wrote out the string of characters for JPG images. “I had never seen most of these…


Some of the stories that clicked for BG Indy in 2016

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News If you ask those of us involved with BG Independent News, the biggest news of 2016 was that we got this enterprise started and weathered our first year. This has been a great venture that has both challenged and rewarded us, if not enriched us. We pride ourselves on writing the best stories about Bowling Green, its immediate surroundings and area arts and entertainment scene. We’ve been heartened by the fact that we’ve had close to 160,000 users and 600,000 page views since the website was launched in late January. For that Jan McLaughlin and I thank you, our readers. It’s been a great ride. As we start a new year, we thought we’d go back and see just what stories drew the most traffic in the previous one. I decided on a top 30 of the more than 1,700 stories we’ve published. That includes the bylined stories that make up the heart of BG Independent News, but also Community Voices, Opinion, Obituaries and Newsbreak (though not the event listings that get lumped into What’s Happening in Your Community). (See the list of links at the end of the story.) The story that drew the most traffic was “The day the pizza died,” which is by neither of the principle writers. The rumors of Myles Pizza closing had been in the air for well over a year. When Chip Myles finally called it quits, I was headed out of town for a funeral, so Elizabeth Roberts-Zibbel, from Zibbel Media and an accomplished writer, stepped in and wrote her elegy to the beloved local pizza place. While this may seem ironic that our top story was written by neither McLaughlin nor Dupont, I don’t see it that way. Zibbel Media, operated by John Roberts-Zibbel and Roberts-Zibbel, is as much responsible for launching and maintaining the BG Independent enterprise as McLaughlin and Dupont, and I’m happy to have this recognition of that contribution. Some people were…


International Fellowship Program links students from abroad & local families

By DAVID DUPONT BG independent News When Rajani Shrestha arrived at Bowling Green State University from Nepal to do graduate studies in construction management, she sought to connect with  a local family through the International Fellowship Program. She was told, though, that there was no local host family for her. Undeterred, she applied again. Her second email was forwarded to Betty Laukhuf, the program’s founder who is still active. Laukhuf, who was already hosting three international students, was impressed with Shresta’s persistence and invited her into her international fold. Now the Nepalese woman is one of the program’s strongest boosters. “It’s so nice that they have put so much effort and time into this program, so students can have a better life and more emotional support,” she said. Shrestha and Laukhuf will be on hand Jan. 4 for orientation at BGSU for international students. The International Fellowship Program joins students with local families. A family can be a single person, a family with children, or an empty-nester or a couple. Laukhuf said the program has worked for her through the many stages of her own life, from being a young mother and now a widow. The families simply program friendship, companionship and the occasional helping hand. They don’t provide financial help or housing. Laukhuf founded the program almost 50 years ago. “I’ve always had a desire to be a global citizen.” Back then her daughter was 4 years old and she was a teacher, now she is retired, and sees herself more as “a grandmother figure.” Her daughter, Amy Laukhuf-Fitch, is a teacher in the Otsego schools. Shrestha has visited her class. Shrestha, in fact, has met four generations of Laukhuf’s family, from her 101-year-old mother to her grown grandsons. Not all relationships are so intertwined. Many are more casual, consisting of an outing or an occasional meal. Like so much with the International Fellowship program the level of involvement is up to the participants. The program serves as the…


Perrysburg teen expresses passion for doing good by bringing pop star Kesha to Stroh Center

  By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Coming from a family of music fans and people who believe in making the world a better place, Maya Dayal’s early jump into charity work shouldn’t be surprising. The 18-year-old Perrysburg woman founded Bands4Change this year, and the non-profit’s first endeavor is to bring pop star Kesha to Bowling Green State University’s Stroh Center for a benefit concert Jan. 27. Tickets are now on sale from Ticketmaster or the BGSU box office. Contact 1-800-745-3000 or ticketmaster.com. Tickets are $45 to $65. Her mother, Anisha Dayal, took Maya and her sister to Lollapalooza several years ago, and it occurred to Maya that “music can bring big groups of people together, so why not utilize this to benefit others.” Her family has been involved in environmental activism and her mother has fought for human rights. “All that passion has helped create this company,” Dayal said. The Kesha concert will raise money for Humane Society International, the National Eating Disorder Association and the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. These were causes selected by Kesha. Dayal said she wants the performers to decide what causes their performances will assist. “We wanted them to have a more personal connection with the concert and company,” she said. “We wanted them to be more passionate about the event.” But before any of this could happen, Bands4Change had to find an artist to perform. Being a start-up, and one founded by a teenager, meant the company had little credibility with performers. She and her mother, who needed to be involved because Maya was too young to legally sign off on some details, started trying to contact artists. “It was essentially trial and error,” Dayal said. Then they reached out to Kesha’s management, and “Kesha took a chance on us and said ‘yes.’” Kesha emerged on the pop scene with her debut recording “Animal.” Back then she went by the name Ke$ha. She’s since returned to the original spelling of her…


BGSU’s Russell Mills to join federal working group on community airports

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS With holiday travel at a fever pitch, many residents of smaller communities like Toledo must journey to airports a distance from their homes due to the lack of direct, nonstop air service to smaller, regional airports. Now the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is looking to help smaller communities attract and retain air service. Dr. Russell Mills, a Research Fellow at Bowling Green State University’s Center for Regional Development and associate professor of political science, has been named to the Working Group on Improving Air Service to Small Communities of the U.S. Department of Transportation. The announcement was made Dec. 19 by Acting Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs Jenny T. Rosenberg. “As we know here in the Toledo region, airline consolidation, pilot shortages and competition from nearby airports have drastically limited air service options at Toledo Express and other small airports across the United States,” Mills said. “Commercial air service is significant enabler of economic growth, particularly in small rural communities. I am very excited to serve on the DOT working group to assist small communities and Congress in identifying best practices in attracting and retaining sustainable air service.” The Working Group will consist of 25 stakeholders involved in air transportation to small communities. The group will advise Congress on current and emerging priorities, issues and funding needs related to providing air service to small communities. The group’s inaugural meeting is expected to be held next month. Based on its findings, the Secretary of Transportation will issue a report to Congress by July 2017. Mills’ research focuses on regulatory politics, especially with respect to air transportation. Before joining BGSU in 2012, he was a policy analyst with the Federal Aviation Administration. More generally, his work deals with applications of public administration theory to empirical problems. One of his first projects with Center for Regional Development was an 18-month study of the economic impact of small, regional airports on their communities, funded…


BGSU mulls impact of new concealed carry provisions (updated)

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News President Mary Ellen Mazey is not planning at this point to change the Bowling Green State University’s policy against carrying concealed weapons on campus as allowed in legislation just signed by Gov. John Kasich. Senate Bill 199, which contains the provisions of House Bill 48,  broadens where the concealed weapons can be carried including to universities and child care centers. However, the board of trustees must vote to allow such an expansion of concealed carry. Mazey, at this point, will not seek such a change. University spokesman Dave Kielmeyer said that the board of trustees could act on its own “if it so chooses.” David Jackson, president of the BGSU Faculty Association, said the Ohio Conference of the American Association of University Professors presented a resolution against expanding concealed carry, and the leadership of the BGSU union “voted in support of the resolution.” Even if no change were made, the penalty for having a concealed weapon for permit holders is being reduced in most circumstances to a misdemeanor from a felony. In a text message, Kielmeyer stated: “We’re still analyzing details of the law and the potential ramifications for our campus.” State Senator Randy Gardner, R-Wood County, voted in favor of the bill as did State Rep. Theresa Gavarone, R-Bowling Green. “I did not have a concern with university boards of trustees having the ability to make this decision,” Gardner said. He said over the more than a year this bill has been debated, he did not hear from any trustee or university president opposing it. The bill simply allows campuses to have the freedom to allow certain individuals, faculty, staff or retired law enforcement officers, for instance, to have concealed weapons on campus. The same, he said, with day care centers. The law now allows owners of child care centers to have some people with concealed carry permits on the premises if they feel that would make their facility safer. Gardner added that he does…


BGSU Toys for Tickets a success

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Students, faculty, staff and community members who received tickets from the University’s Parking Services traded in nearly 600 toys for their tickets this holiday season. This is the first year for the Toys for Tickets program, whose great success took organizers by surprise. “I would say it more than exceeded our expectations,” said Ashley Allen, public relations coordinator for Parking Services. “Students kept commenting on how they really loved the program.” The toys were donated to Wood County Children’s Services, which promotes the protection and safety of children and the well-being of families, and Wood County Children’s Resource Center, which provides mental health and addiction services to children, adolescents and families. “Wood County Children’s Services thanks everyone for the donation of toys,” said Brandy Laux, family assessment unit supervisor. “These toys will be given to children who may not be receiving much for Christmas. This not only puts a smile on the children’s faces, but the parents’ as well, who, for unforeseen circumstances, may not be able to give their child a gift for Christmas.” Anyone who received a citation between Oct. 1, 2016, and Dec. 9, 2016, was invited to bring it to the Parking Office with a new, unwrapped toy and have the citation dismissed. The toy needed to be of similar value to the citation amount. Citations such as for forged/illegal permits and those received for parking in a handicap area did not qualify for this program. “So many families in Wood County have been blessed by your generosity, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” said Cindy Eckel from the Children’s Resource Center. Toys were also accepted from students, faculty, staff and community members who did not have citations, but who wanted to donate to these organizations. “They heard about what we were doing and brought in bags of toys, or they received a warning citation, saw the flier and still wanted to donate,” Allen said….


NCAA honors We Are One Team at BGSU for promoting diversity and inclusion

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The NCAA thinks there’s something special about the We Are One Team, a student-driven project that uses sports to promote diversity, acceptance and inclusion at Bowling Green State University. The NCAA thinks the project is so special that it is giving WA1T its Award for Diversity and Inclusion. President Mary Ellen Mazey along with founder Yannick Kluch will travel to Nashville in January to accept the honor. “BGSU has long history of this,’ Mazey said. “This is really what we’re all about and have been for many years.” Support for diversity is written into the Falcon Creed, which also originated with students. That’s evident, she said, in the president’s office where an African American president served for 16 years followed by two female presidents as well as in the student body which is about 23 percent people of color and international. It’s demonstrated, she said, in Not In Our Town and It’s on Us, all projects with which WA1T collaborates. Kluch said that the project grew from his own experience as an international student. He came here in 2012 to study as a graduate student in Popular Culture from his native Hamburg, Germany. He admits he had some reservations about coming from a metropolitan city to “small town Ohio.” But he found his place, in part thanks to sports. Early on he attended a football game, American football, not the soccer he played back home. He didn’t know anything about the game, he just cheered when everyone else did. That’s where made his first Bowling Green friends. Now studying for a doctorate in Media and Communication, his interest in diversity led him to think about how “the emotional power of sports” could be harnessed to bring people together. Last January he and two other graduate students in Media and Communication, Chelsea Kannert and Christian Thompson, started discussions about how to do that. WA1T was launched in September. “It has definitely been a crazy ride,”…


Town-gown group wants international students to feel welcome in BG

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   A group that represents both town and gown decided last week to hold a community gathering on problems faced by international students here in Bowling Green. Ongoing discomfort for international students at BGSU bubbled to the surface during the presidential campaign. Since then, some students have reported being harassed and feeling threatened in the community. So members of Bowling Green’s City-University Relations Commission agreed last week to show international students that they are welcome here. A student from Tunisia spoke to the organization in November about poor treatment in the community. So members of the city-university commission decided to talk with members of Not In Our Town, the Bowling Green Human Rights Commission, and the international students program at BGSU about partnering to tackle the problem. Daniel Gordon suggested that an open community event be held to encourage a conversation between international students and city residents and officials. The meeting would focus on student concerns and offer some solutions. “We can look at what we can do as a community to better support our international students,” Julie Broadwell said. The discussion must go beyond the concerns, and not just conclude with “good luck with that,” she said. It was suggested that international students be given handouts of resources available to them in the community. One of the concerns already expressed is that students here on visas don’t know who to report incidents to – or if it is safe for them to make reports. The group debated the best location for such a community meeting, since the students may feel more comfortable attending an open discussion like this on campus. Lisa Mattiace, a member of the city-university commission and chief of staff in the BGSU president’s office, said that international students go through an extensive orientation when they arrive at BGSU. However, that orientation can be overwhelming and new students may not realize at that time what problems they might face. Also…