BGSU dedicates Downing center to aid military students & veterans

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When William Downing was discharged from the Navy in 1952, he decided to attend Bowling Green State University. He’d never been to Bowling Green. He didn’t know anyone there. When asked by his high school principal in Cleveland why BGSU, he explained: “All my buddies went to Ohio U. If I went down there with them I’d never finish.” Attending BGSU turned out to be the right move. He did graduate and soon after married Joan, his Falcon flame, whom he met his junior year. The former Navy boxer graduated with a degree in physical education. He taught for a year before going into business. He went on to found Downing Enterprises of Akron. Growing up on the east side of Cleveland at that time – he graduated from high school in 1948 – “not that many people were going to college.” But the G.I. Bill “set me up,” he said. Downing said though he didn’t continue his career as a teacher, BGSU gave him the educational foundation to succeed. He wants other veterans and current service members have the same advantages. On Wednesday BGSU celebrated the gift of $1 million made by Downing and his late wife to their alma mater by dedicating the William and Joan Downing Military and Veteran Center. The business he founded is what made such a legacy gift possible, said his son, William Downing Jr. Both he and his two sisters followed their parents to BGSU. Barbara Henry, the director of the Nontraditional and Military Student Services, said the two-pronged approach, scholarships and support for services is “a great way to focus on success.” The first two scholarships made possible by the Downing gift were announced at the ceremonies. Keylin Freeman, a major in electronics and computer engineering technology and a member of the Ohio Army National Guard, said the money is a boost. He joined the National Guard as a medic after one semester at BGSU. His parents, he said, encouraged him to enlist. “They thought it would give me a good form of discipline…

Read More

William Hann honored posthumously for work on Armed Services Blood Program

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Dr. William Hann, a longtime BGSU biological sciences professor, had a history of helping others. Before his death in 2009, he taught biology for 25 years, was a dedicated volunteer to numerous local organizations, including the Boy Scouts, served as a military leader for 37 years in the National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve and transformed the military blood bank that has helped save the lives of service members worldwide. His dedication to the Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) earned him a Lifetime Achievement Award, which was presented posthumously at the ASBP’s annual meeting in October. His widow, Emma Hann of Bowling Green, accepted the award on his behalf, remarking how much he loved his work at BGSU and with the blood bank program. Before coming to BGSU to teach in 1967, Hann was a military policeman during the Korean War and then worked at the National Naval Medical Center and the National Institutes of Health. At BGSU, he taught bacteriology, microbiology and virology and was involved in developing the medical technology and blood bank programs at the University. According to Navy Capt. Roland Fahle, ASBP director, Hann was “a trailblazer” who “opened a door that never closed for many blood bankers.” He was best known for his work with ASBP’s Specialist in Blood Banking Fellowship Program, which trains clinical laboratory officers from all three branches of the Armed Services in the advanced, specialized blood bank topics necessary in the health care industry. Military blood bank fellows were scholastically empowered to propel the military blood banks worldwide into fulfilling their military readiness mission. As a mentor to hundreds, if not thousands, of biology students, he was known for excellent clinical and pedagogical skills. Four of his former students — Col. (Ret.) Anthony Polk ’74; Dr. W. Patrick Monaghan ’72, ’74, ’75; Col. (Ret.) James Berger ’83, ’85; and Dr. Jerry Holmberg ’84, ’85 — nominated Hann for the lifetime achievement award. They each had successful careers in the military blood bank program and previously earned the ASBP lifetime achievement…

Area National Guard called to duty overseas

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   As the soldiers marched into the gym, the families rose to their feet and let the wave of pride push aside their fears for the moment. “Ladies and gentlemen, if you’re wondering what our nation’s finest look like, look no further. They are sitting in front of you,” said Major General John C. Harris, assistant adjutant general for the Ohio Army National Guard. The “call to duty” ceremony, held Wednesday afternoon in the Stroh Center at Bowling Green State University, bolstered the soldiers being deployed for Jordan, and fortified their families preparing for their absences. “I’m really proud of him, and he’s really proud to serve,” said Melissa Krieger, of Bowling Green, about her son Logan. Logan Krieger will turn 22 next Wednesday. “He’ll miss his birthday here,” his mom said. But she is certain of her son’s service. “I know they’ve been very well trained. And I’m confident they are going to look out for each other.” Krieger was one of about 360 soldiers from the Ohio National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 148th Infantry Regiment, headquartered in Walbridge, being deployed overseas to help train the Jordanian Army. The troops are expected to spend nine to 12 months overseas. “I’ve been preparing for this for eight months,” said Kristin Russo, Findlay, as she waited for her boyfriend James Preble to march past her seat in the stands. “I don’t think it’s real until they actually leave. It’s pretty surreal right now.” But like so many others, Russo was overwhelmed with pride for her boyfriend, for whom this will be his third deployment. “I’m really proud of him,” she said. Josie Shaheen, of Syracuse, New York, is familiar with serving overseas, having been deployed to both Afghanistan and Qatar. But this time it’s her husband going, and this time they have a little girl, Emma, 1 ½ years old. “He’s going to miss her second birthday. He’s afraid she won’t recognize him when he gets home,” she said of her husband, Mahdey Shaheen. As he spoke to the soldiers…

Military Times: BGSU tops in Ohio for veterans

By BOB CUNNINGHAM BGSU Office of Marketing & Communications Bowling Green State University was named the top “Best for Vets 2017” university in Ohio by the Military Times. Military Times ranked BGSU 46th out of 130 four-year institutions in the nation, besting all other Ohio schools and remaining one of the top academic choices in the country for veterans and active-duty military personnel. “We are extremely proud to be considered among the best universities in the nation in making sure that student veterans have the necessary tools to succeed in academic life,” BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey said. “These rankings recognize Bowling Green State University’s dedication to helping current and former U.S. military personnel inside and outside of the classroom.” To be considered for “Best for Vets,” colleges had to fill out a survey of about 150 questions. Military Times evaluated schools’ responses plus other data collected by three federal agencies. Most colleges that filled out the survey didn’t make the 130-school cut, the publication said. BGSU also is among 42 schools in the new Peer Advisors for Veteran Education (PAVE) program, a peer-support system that connects new student veterans with on-campus student veterans to help adjust to university life. PAVE is a collaboration between the University of Michigan Depression Center and Department of Psychiatry and Student Veterans of America. “Best for Vets,” which regularly recognizes BGSU, evaluated schools in five categories: university culture, academic outcomes/quality, student support, academic policies and cost and financial aid. “The University has long been committed to making a college education a reality for veteran students,” said Barbara Henry, assistant vice president for nontraditional and military student services. “We are here to help make the transition from life in the military to life on a college campus as seamless and stress-free as possible.”