Campus

Students do the neighborly thing on East Side

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   With their rubber gloves and blowing garbage bags, the students scooped up sandwich wrappers, paper plates, and beer cans. But their primary prey was much smaller. “The two big contenders are cigarette butts and Taco Bell sauce packets,” said Sean Herman, who organized Saturday morning’s cleanup of the city’s East Side through The Common Good organization. By 9 a.m. nearly 50 students and a couple full-time residents were crammed into The Common Good house on Crim Street to load up on coffee and bagels before heading out for the neighborhood cleanup. They were given gloves, garbage bags and maps with instructions of streets their teams should cover.   Herman has organized several cleanups, but this one drew more volunteers – from fraternities, a student environmental group and honors students. The work focused in the Wooster Street area on the east side of the city. “This is where the most trash seems to accumulate,” he said. Through The Common Good, Herman has pulled together occasional cleanup crews for the past 18 months. “I just thought there was a need out there and no one was doing anything about it,” he said. Hollie Baker said the cleanups started after the East Side neighborhood group began talking about the negative effects of living in an area so populated by university students. “So this is a way to help the East Side become cleaner and show them that college students acknowledge it’s a problem,” Baker said. Megan Sutherland, director of The Common Good, said BGSU students canvassed the East Side neighborhood to ask how relationships could…


BGSU taking a bite out of crime with forensic science

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Crime is paying off for Bowling Green State University, or at least the science of investigating crime. On Friday, the university’s Board of Trustees approved a new bachelor’s degree in Forensic Science. It’s the latest offering in forensic science, including a master’s degree. Five years ago, Provost Rodney Rogers said, BGSU had no students studying forensic science. Then the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation announced it would locate a new crime lab on campus, and that initiated the creation of programs related to the lab. Now the university has about 250 students studying forensics in some form. That includes forensic specializations in chemistry, biology and computer science. Rogers said that the university is looking to boost that number even more. As it is, he said, BGSU now has one of the strongest programs in the country. Betty Montgomery, a former state Attorney General, who was instrumental in getting a BCI lab located in Bowling Green, said the university needs to get that message out through major media. Having a new lab on campus is an example of the university engaging with society. Jon Sprague, the director of the Center for the Future of Forensic Sciences, told the trustees about some of the research being done through the auspices of the center. That research involves both faculty and students across disciplines. That includes research into how double pane glass changes the trajectory of a bullet, which involved physics, and an analysis into how to optimize the process of dealing with a backlog of rape kits, which requires advanced data analysis Greg Grecco, a junior in…


BGSU trustees hike room & board costs, & add Greek fee

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The cost to eat and sleep at Bowling Green State University is going up in fall. The university trustees approved an increase that averages 2.4 percent for room costs at their meeting Friday. The 11 options, organized in three tiers, have varying costs, and varying rates of increase. This schedule, said Sheri Stoll, chief financial officer, is being compressed from four tiers. Previously Greek housing had its own tier, but with the opening in August of the new Greek Village, now under construction, the administration moved Greek housing to the top tier. Even that, Stoll said, does not cover the cost of the new housing. In order to avoid having other resident students subsidize Greek housing, a new “parlor” fee will be assessed to members of sororities and fraternities whether they live in the chapter house or not. Chapters will determine how they are assessed. The trustees also approved an average 2.5-percent increase in meal plans. That would raise the cost of the recommended Bronze plan by $2.44 a week. Stoll was asked about a ranking that showed BGSU’s room and board costs are less than at most other Ohio schools. She noted it has been three years since board fees have increased. She also noted that rents for off-campus housing are among the lowest in the nation. That puts additional pressure on what the university can charge.


BGSU actors bring ‘Middletown’ to life

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Middletown, the setting and namesake for the new theater production on campus, doesn’t have much to recommend it. Even the indigenous people passed through leaving little mark. A statue of a horse is the only tourist attraction, unless you, like tour guide (Christa Federico), count the air. That air, she says, contains bits of people, dust and objects that went before. That seems pretty heavy philosophizing for a tour guide, but Middletown seems to do that to people. They say things that rise deep from their psyches, and those psyches are often troubled. Eavesdropping, the local car mechanic (Danny Miskell) hears Mary (Mackenzie Baumhower) say she and her husband are starting a family. Don’t have an only child, he blurts out. Whenever you hear childish noises, it’s always that same child. Even the librarian, the sane presence at the heart of this troubled town and the play, is given to disturbing observations. When Mary says she’d like to get a library card, the librarian played by Bessie D. Smith says: “Good for you. Most people think ‘I’m going to die anyway, so why bother.’” That sense of mortality, and the search for some kind of meaning in life pervades “Middletown.” The Will Eno play, directed by Jonathan Chambers, opens tonight at 8 and with shows Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. continuing Feb. 25, 26 and 27 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 27 at 2 p.m. Tickets $15 and $5 for students and children in advance from www.bgsu.edu/arts and by calling 419-372-8171. All tickets are $20 on…


BGSU opera production brings favorite son Shawn Mathey back to campus

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Operatic tenor Shawn Mathey’s career has taken him to stages around the globe. Now approaching a new stage in that career, he’s circled back home to Bowling Green. Looking to add teaching to his repertoire of skills, he’s treading the same halls his father Professor Emeritus Richard Mathey did for 32 years. That will bring him into the spotlight in the Bowling Green Opera Theater’s production of “Cavalleria Rusticana” by Pietro Mascagni. The one-act opera will be staged Friday, Feb. 26, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 28, at 3 p.m. in the Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre in the Wolfe Center for the Arts on the Bowling Green State University campus. Since 1998 when Shawn Mathey left BGSU to attend the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, he’s returned frequently. For the past few years he and his wife, Sujin Lee, an adjunct voice professor at BGSU, and their two daughters have made Bowling Green their permanent residence. Mathey’s visits, though, were a respite from a busy international career. Now he looks forward to adding teaching to his resume. He’s back studying at BGSU where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree before starting his musical studies. “Things are cooking,” Mathey said of his operatic schedule. That includes performing in John Adams’ “The Flowering Tree” in Lisbon this spring. “But you start looking ahead for the next phase, looking ahead to when you don’t want to be single handedly funding the suitcase companies.” Lee is the one who encouraged him to start laying the groundwork for an academic position now. Colleges…


Owner Wants to Keep ClaZel in the Heart of BG

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The old gal can’t keep up with those late nights the way she once could, which is the situation the ClaZel now finds itself in. As someone who considers himself the beloved venue’s caretaker as much as its owner, Ammar Mufleh decided late last year that the late night dance parties had to stop. The late night dance club that was in the venue on weekends ended last December. The venue now concentrates on special events – wedding receptions, corporate meetings, fundraisers, and concerts. “College students put a little more wear and tear on a facility,” Mufleh said. “I take a lot of pride in the time, talent, and treasure it took to rebuild and renovate it.” It wasn’t only the theater that was strained. “I have a very talented staff,” he said, and their energies would be sapped on Friday nights when at 2:30 a.m. they’d have to scrub, do some repairs, and transform the space into the setting for a wedding reception on Saturday. After the reception, the staff would be back at it, transforming the ClaZel again into dance club for that night. The new focus will be “less taxing on the staff,” Mufleh said. “I’m excited to focus on a demographic that really appreciates the allure, the aesthetic the history of the theater,” he said. Mufleh, who grew up in a family of entrepreneurs in the Toledo area, can count himself in that demographic. As a student at the University of Toledo, he recalls driving down to Bowling Green to see movies at the ClaZel. He admired the structure then, even…


Teen pianist Eric Lin rises to the top of Dubois field

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News In a field called the best ever, Eric Lin, a 15-year-old from Falls Church, Virginia, easily came out on top of the David D. Dubois Piano Competition Sunday at Bowling Green State University. Internationally known pianist Spencer Myer, the guest artist and juror, praised the maturity of Lin’s work. “It was extremely grown up playing,” Myer said. “You can tell he’s a serious thinker. Lin was also “the most technically refined,” he said. “The technical refinement contributes to how easily he can express himself.” All the judges, Myer said, were in agreement that Lin merited the top prize. That top prize carries a cash award of $3,000. Other prize winners selected by Myer and fellow jurors, guest judge James Giles, of Northwestern University, and BGSU faculty member Robert Satterlee, were: • Heather Gu, Troy, Michigan, second prize, $2,000. • Shuheng Zhang, Canton, Michigan, third prize, $1,000. • Henry Tang, Brooklyn, NY, honorable mention. Lin said he came to the Dubois competition on the advice of a couple older friends who have competed in the event. “They said it was an excellent experience.” That proved to be the case, Lin said. “A lot of competitions are very serious, here it’s very relaxed. You can really just express yourself here.” Myer noted that as well. “There seems to be a very collegial atmosphere.” Lin said he and his teacher, Marjorie Lee, work together selecting pieces. She will choose pieces for him to play, and he decides whether he likes them or not. This year, he said, he had more input into the process. Together they strive…


Prospects good for Boys State to stay at BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The state American Legion and Bowling Green State University both want Buckeye Boys State to continue to meet in Bowling Green. The two sides are in the process of negotiating a new five-year conference agreement. The current deal lasts through the 2016 event. Boys State brings about 1,300 male high school juniors to campus for a week of mock government activities each June. A recent letter to a local newspaper asserted that BGSU was about to lose out in hosting the event. However, Gerald White, the director of Buckeye Boys State, in an email to the university prompted by that letter asserted the Legion’s desire to keep the civics event at Bowling Green where it has convened since 1978. The email was intended, he said, “to set the record straight” and let university officials “know exactly where American Legion Buckeye Boys State stands so there is no misunderstanding, confusion, or misleading information.” Yes, he said, the Legion does check out other campuses “to see what would be available should something catastrophic occur on the BGSU campus or in the City of Bowling Green which would necessitate Boys State not being able to conduct the program.” Also, he said, other institutions do query the Legion about whether it would like to move. That’s not surprisingly, the director said, given the program’s success and prominence. None of those has offered “significant financial incentives” to get Boys State to relocate. The conference agreement must be periodically studied, he said, adding: “I think it is a mark of the partnership between American Legion Buckeye Boys State, the City…


Pressure is on for top teen pianists at Dubois competition at BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News This weekend a couple dozen of the best teenage pianists in the country will converge on Kobacker Hall on the Bowling Green State University campus for the David D. Dubois Piano Festival and Competition. They will perform music for solo piano for a small audience panel of judges, fellow pianists, and a few anxious family members. Music lovers from the community are welcome as well and will be rewarded by hearing talent akin to what’s heard on the National Public Radio show “From the Top.” There won’t be jokes, and endearing stories though. Just music played in the most rigorous setting a musician can encounter. At stake are cash prizes. The winner receives $3,000, second place $2,000, and third place $1,000. The semifinals will take place Saturday from 9 a.m.to 5 p.m. with the finals Sunday from 9 a.m.to noon. The winners will be announced at 12:30 p.m. This year the guest pianist will be Spencer Myer. (Christopher O’Riley, host of “From the Top” did the honors in 2012). Myer performed in many competitions, especially as he was launching his career. Even when he didn’t get past the first round, he feels he gained from those experiences. He made contacts and was heard. “Things always came from that exposure.” A competition like the Dubois pushes students to learn a number of pieces, most of them memorized. The Dubois participants prepare programs 20 to 30 minutes long. They must select pieces from three of four musical eras, Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Contemporary, including at least one classical sonata. All music written before 1945 must be…


BGSU’s Hanna Hall will be new home for College of Business

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The plan of constructing a new “signature building” on campus to house the School of Business has been scrapped. Instead, one of Bowling Green State University’s Traditions Buildings, Hanna Hall, will be renovated and added onto to house the College of Business. While the decision was made months ago, it was news to many at the Faculty Senate meeting Tuesday. Steve Krakoff, vice president for capital planning and campus operations, presented to the senate his annual review of construction projects on campus, including plans for Hanna Hall. One senator, Bill Albertini, of English, asked if he had been dreaming when he’d heard that the Education Building would come down after a new School of Business was built. No, Krakoff said, it was not a dream. “There’s comfort there.” Plans change as needs and resources are assessed. The second floor of the Education Building has been renovated with high tech classrooms. In the case of the School of Business it came down to money. Krakoff said university officials studied three options: renovating the existing building, constructing a new School of Business, or renovating Hanna Hall. They concluded that even after spending “tens of millions of dollars,” the existing building would not meet the program’s needs. A new building would cost $53 million to build now, but by 2020 or 2021 when the project would be started, inflation would push the cost to $79 million. In August, 2014, Krakoff said that the university was hoping to find private funding for the project. The Hanna renovation would cost $39 million today, and $49 million when the project…


Reflections on time & space win top prize at BGSU undergraduate exhibit

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent Media Kai Lee Liu has time on her side. The Bowling Green State University art major junior already has had her work included in international exhibits. Sunday at the opening of the Undergraduate Art Exhibit on campus she got some hometown love to go with it. Her video installation won the Medici Circle Best of Show Award and her piece “Time Is Passing Because Of People” won first prize in ceramics. Faculty member Leigh-Ann Pahapill, who Liu said was her “inspiration,” said that the young artist had great prospects. That’s evident from pieces being selected for shows in Dubai and China. Standing near her prize-winning ceramic piece, done under the tutelage of John Balistreri, Liu talked about the concept behind it. Time exists, yet it is people who give it meaning. The two towering sections of the piece evoke a canyon. The viewer feels small next to them. The piece opens up on one side, with a narrower opening on the other. Nearby is a small companion piece. This play on scale changes the way the viewer perceives their sense of scale and time, Liu said. The installation has an 18-minute video of nature scenes, including a looming moon and cascading waves, marking the passage of a day that is viewed through a thicket of glass tubes. Liu said the idea was to animate the glass as it catches the reflections of light from the video. University music student Nicholas Taylor provided the ambient score for the piece. He noted that his collaborator had submitted five pieces for inclusion in the show. Four were accepted….


Curling club to leave BGSU for new site

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   For nearly 50 years, Bowling Green Curling Club has been hurling stones at the BGSU Ice Arena. But the relationship between the ice arena and the curlers has cooled enough that the club is moving out. “There’s a really long history there,” said Shannon Orr, president of the BG Curling Club. For years, the sheet of ice on the south end of the ice arena was dedicated to curling. But recently, the curlers have had to share their ice with expanding hockey and skating programs. And though all the sports are played on sheets of ice, the surface is very different for curlers than for skating. So the curling club, with its more than 100 members, is packing up its brooms and stones and is preparing to set up shop in a new site the group plans to buy or lease north of Bowling Green. “This is a pretty exciting adventure,” Orr said. The new site is the former Perry House furniture building at 19901 Ohio 25. “It’s perfect. It’s huge,” Orr said. The site will have room for four sheets of ice that the club won’t have to share with skaters or hockey. Because of reduced ice time at the BGSU ice arena, the club had lost its weekend curling and time for its youth program. Dave Kielmeyer, spokesman for BGSU, said the university was faced with more demand for limited ice space at the arena. “We’re sad to see them go, but we understand their decision,” Kielmeyer said. “We certainly do our best to meet the ice needs of the…


Globe trotting pianist Spencer Myer visits familiar ground in Bowling Green

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Pianist Spencer Myer is no stranger to Bowling Green State University’s College of Musical Arts. Growing up in North Ridgefield, he traveled to BGSU for a workshop with the Men’s Choir and a couple master classes with Jerome Rose. When he returns next weekend guest artist for the David D. Dubois Piano Competition, he’ll be the one presenting the master class. The master class will be Friday at 2:30 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Myer will present a recital in Kobacker Hall Saturday Feb. 13 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children, and BGSU music majors are free with student ID. He will then serve on the jury for the finals of the piano competition on Sunday morning starting at 9 a.m. Two of the pieces on his recital program may well be played by Dubois competitors. Myer will open his Saturday concert with Mozart’s Sonata in G Major, which he said is common for students to play but often neglected by professionals. He’ll also perform Maurice Ravel’s “Jeux D’Eau.” A technically difficult piece that has been played in past Dubois events. The centerpiece of his concert will be Robert Schumann’s “Fantasie.” It’s been in his concert repertoire for two years. “I’ve just adored the piece for so long and how poignant it is. It’s been hard to let go of it.” The piece “is so deep and so sincere. … It’s clearly a statement of love from Schumann to Clara. It has so many special moments. “It’s a piece I’ve held on…


Concerto concert puts spotlight on top BGSU musicians

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The annual Concerto Concert at the Bowling Green State University College of Musical Arts puts students in the spotlight. The soloists are students who won their chance in the spotlight in a competition in December. The conductors are students. And the Bowling Green Philharmonia is a student orchestra. Listeners should expect, however, nothing less than a top quality in the performance. Graduate student Zachary Nyce’s performance in the dress rehearsal of Witold Lutoslawski’s Concerto for Piano was proof of that. The notes had hardly stopped reverberating in Kobacker Hall when Emily Freeman Brown, director of orchestral studies at BGSU, strode onto the stage. “There are very few university situations where this could be done,” she told the assembled musicians including conductor Maria Mercedes Diaz Garcia. The concerto composed in 1988 will conclude the concert Saturday at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall on campus. Tickets are $10, $5 for students and free for BGSU music majors (and minors enrolled in MUS 99) with stickers on their IDs. Also on the program will be: • Undergraduate division winner Brianna Buck, saxophone, playing Elergie and Rondo by Karl Husa, conducted by Robert Ragoonanan. • Undergraduate division winner Yuefeng Liu, piano, playing Piano Concerto in G minor by Camille Saint-Saens, conducted by Santiago Piñeros-Serrano. • Graduate division winner, Benjamin Crook, piano, playing Piano Concerto in C minor by Ludwig von Beethoven, conducted by Evan Meccarello. Nyce was well aware of the challenge the Lutoslawski piece posed for his fellow musicians. “It’s a real challenge. I picked a very difficult piece. It’s something that needs to be heard and…


Former Stroh director indicted

BG INDEPENDENT NEWS The Bowling Green State University employee who oversaw the Stroh Center has been indicted on five felony counts. Ben Spence, a Bowling Green native, was indicted by a Wood County Grand Jury on two felony counts of theft in office and three felony counts of tampering with records. Spence, 34, who had been the Stroh director since 2013, had already resigned over financial irregularities. A statement from the university said in August, university internal auditors “discovered irregularities with cash handling practices done in connection with Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) tournaments held at the Stroh Center.” Spence was suspended at that time, and resigned in October. The university then presented the information to the Wood County Prosecutor’s Office, which is conducting an investigation. Last August, BGSU internal auditors conducted an audit of cash handling practices related to the OHSAA tournaments and discovered facts that warranted referring the matter to the Wood County Prosecutor’s Office to determine whether criminal conduct was involved. The university immediately suspended Spence. According to Dave Kielmeyer, BGSU spokesperson, the prosecutor’s office started its own investigation. While the prosecutor’s investigation was ongoing, Spence resigned his position on Oct. 12, 2015. He is no longer employed by the university. After reviewing the draft audit findings, the university put additional procedures into place at the Stroh Center, according to a statement from BGSU.