WBGU-TV director of engineering Tom Cummings receives Ferrari Award

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS The fact that the WBGU-TV, Bowling Green State University’s public television station, stays on the air 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year is due in large part to the efforts of Tom Cummings, director of engineering and technical services. In addition, Cummings assists the University community and the external community in numerous significant ways. His many years of dedication and expertise have earned Cummings’ the 2018 Michael R. Ferrari Award from Administrative Staff Council. He accepted the award at the council’s annual spring reception May 15. As the top administrative staff award, it includes a $1,000 cash prize and a reserved parking spot for a year. “Whether it’s providing the streaming service for important University addresses or events or managing the vastly more complex transition of the station’s signal as a result of the FCC bandwidth auction, Tom brings his considerable knowledge, expertise and organizational skills to the job at hand,” wrote nominator Dave Kielmeyer, chief marketing and communications officer. “He is a calm and steady presence in keeping the station on the air and in handling the various problems that can arise in such a technical environment.” According to Tony Short, co-manager of the station, “Tom can always be counted on to cover every aspect of the broadcast and IT area. His knowledge of broadcasting and the television station’s computer systems is extraordinarily thorough and his outstanding job performance reflects his understanding and expertise in all of these areas. His professionalism and organizational skills have proved invaluable to the success and the digital advancement of WBGU-TV.” Cummings’ latest project is leading the move of the WBGU-TV signal from Channel 27 to Channel 22 after the spectrum auction, a nearly $400,000 project that must meet a deadline of Nov. 1. He is working closely with local cable and satellite providers, the FCC, television tower engineers, tower riggers and television broadcast vendors to design the project, supervise the installation and bring everything online. “Tom is strong in both technical and “people” skills, whether dealing with faculty, staff, students or external partners,” Kielmeyer said. “He adeptly keeps a number of weighty projects going at once while providing a high level of focus and service to each. He models the Ferrari Award criterion of innovation and initiative, always seeking the best solution to problems and bringing together the talents of…

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WGTE launching new children’s service

Submitted WGTE PUBLIC MEDIA WGTE Public Media announced that it will launch a new, free localized 24/7 children’s service on Jan. 16.  The free services include a new TV channel and live stream on digital platforms. The effort is WGTE’s latest initiative to support early learning in the community. WGTE will broadcast PBS KIDS shows 24 hours a day on the television channel previously called WGTE Family. WGTE will also offer a live stream, making it easy for Toledo-area children to watch their favorite series during primetime and other after-school hours when viewing among families is high. Viewers will be able to watch the WGTE-branded live stream through and on the PBS KIDS Video App, which is available on a variety of mobile devices and tablets. The live stream complements on-demand clips and full episodes, which will continue to be available for free on the PBS KIDS Video App and streaming via Following its initial launch, the localized live stream experience will expand to offer an integrated games feature, enabling children to toggle between a PBS KIDS show and an activity that extends learning – all in one seamless digital experience. The live stream and games feature is grounded in research demonstrating that measurable gains in learning are achieved when children engage with PBS KIDS content on multiple platforms. The games will align with the learning goals of each TV series, deepening children’s involvement and supporting learning. “WGTE Public Media has been an integral part of the community for 63 years, delivering content and services that parents trust and that move the needle in early learning,” said Marlon Kiser, President and CEO of WGTE Public Media “We are excited to build on the work we do every day for northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan’s families by adding these new 24/7 services to our offerings, ensuring that our proven educational content is accessible anytime and anywhere to all kids – especially those who need it the most.” PBS stations reach more kids aged 2-5, more moms with children under 6 years old and more children from low-income families than any other kids TV network. With its new 24/7 channel and digital offerings, WGTE will build on this reach and impact.  

BGSU trustees approved software engineering major

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green State University hopes a new software engineering major will compute with new students. The University Board of Trustees approved the new major Friday. The new major will equip students to enter an expanding job field. When the measure was considered by Faculty Senate, Professor Robert Dyer said that the openings were growing by 17 percent a year. In introducing the new major, Provost Rodney Rogers said it aligned with areas of strength that already exist within the university. President Mary Ellen Mazey said it also fills a niche. When talking with prospective students about what they’d like to see at BGSU, engineering is the top request. Now, BGSU will have a software engineering program as part of its offerings. The Department of Computer Science, which is within the College of Arts and Sciences, already has a specialization in software engineering that was established two years ago. This will be only the second such program in the state, Rogers said. He knows of at least one student now studying out of state who plans to transfer to BGSU. David Levey, chair of the trustees, asked how faculty would be hired for the new program. Rogers said that the department has a strength in software and has hired one professor in each of the last four years. The specialization now enrolls 17 students, according to the proposal. The university expects to enroll 50 students in the new major in the first year and have 200 within the first five years. “It’s a very rigorous program,” Rogers said. The major must now be approved at the state level. The possibility of another new major related to engineering was mentioned when the trustees approved the naming of the Stephen and Deborah Harris RIXAN Robotics Laboratory. The lab, which now under construction, will allow the College of Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering to go ahead with the creation of a degree in mechatronics, an interdisciplinary field that combines electronics with a number of other engineering disciplines. Also, the trustees approved changing the name of the aviation program from Bachelor of Science in Technology to a Bachelor of Science in Aviation. This will be consistent with industry practices, Rogers said. When the matter was approved by faculty senate, Carl Braun, the liaison for the aviation program, said that often graduates have to explain their degrees to prospective employers.  Students and graduates…

WBGU part of emergency alert system

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS WBGU-TV is collaborating with Ohio’s 12 public television stations in developing and introducing a secure, alternative delivery system to provide the public with emergency information. OEAS Public AlertNet is a new statewide, multilingual, technology backbone that uses television signals to deliver critical emergency alerts and messaging to other broadcasters and public safety officials, who in turn deliver them to the public. OEAS will automatically provide the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) alerts and messaging in both English and Spanish. Ohio’s public stations are partnering with the Ohio Emergency Management Agency (EMA) and the state’s Broadcast Educational Media Commission to make this new technology the strongest and safest way to get the emergency information to the people who deliver it to the public. “Existing emergency systems have sometimes failed during crisis periods such as Hurricane Sandy, but OEAS relies on broadcast signals immune to the hacking and information congestion that commercial Internet services can experience when the need is greatest,” according to Dave Ford, Communications Branch Chief, Ohio EMA. A single digital data stream with all digital emergency messaging for the state of Ohio will be sent from the EMA headquarters in Columbus and distributed to the 12 public television stations for broadcast in support of the legacy Emergency Alerting System (EAS). OEAS has been built with the flexibility to accept new messaging formats as they are developed. Funding for OEAS was made possible through a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting through the collaboration of Ohio public television stations in partnership with the Ohio EMA and the Broadcast Educational Media Commission. Participants in the project also include the Ohio Association of Broadcasters and the State Emergency Communications Committee, representing both the local commercial and educational radio and TV stations that are the heart of EAS in Ohio. With support from FEMA and the FCC, this innovative emergency alert service has received national attention from a variety of other states. This service is at the core of public broadcasting and speaks to WBGU-TV’s mission to serve our communities and help keep the public safe today and into the future. For additional information on the emergency alert service, please contact Dave Carwile, administrator for Ohio Educational Television Stations at 614-292-9567 or

Piper Kerman found friends, a book & a cause in prison

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Piper Kerman was a just a couple years out of college when she stepped over the line. She’d been traveling all over the world with her drug dealing girlfriend. She tried to keep out of her lover’s business until she was asked to carry a suitcase full of money from Chicago to Brussels. Kerman knew what she’d done, and soon after broke off the relationship, returned to the United States and put that life behind her. That’s what she thought. About five years later federal authorities rang her doorbell in New York City, and the time came to pay for her crime. Kerman ended up serving 15 months in federal prison, and came out to write the best seller “Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison.” On Tuesday night she spoke at Bowling Green State University as the guest of University Libraries’ Ordinary People: Extraordinary Lives series. Being in prison meant more than serving time. Kerman said when she had carried that money from Chicago to Brussels she didn’t think about the consequences her actions. In prison she came face to face with those whose lives had been devastated by drugs. “My closeness and connection to those women led me to realize the harm of my own actions, and I’m very, very grateful for that,” she said. Kerman said she was grateful to Jenji Kohan who produced the Netflix series based on the book, for keeping the issues she wanted to highlight in the book in the forefront. Among those were friendship. Kerman said she didn’t go into prison expecting to find friends, but wouldn’t have survived without them. Kerman talked about Pom-Pom. They worked at jobs near each other in prison. Pom-Pom was released a few months before Kerman, just before Thanksgiving. She ended up sleeping on the floor of a relative who didn’t want her there. The area she lived in was cold and dangerous and poor. Before Christmas she wrote a letter to Kerman, telling her to keep her spirits up because she’d be released soon. Then she wrote: “I really miss you guys. I feel like you’re my real family.” Kerman was overwhelmed. She cried not just about her friend’s current situation but because “I wished she was back in prison with us.” In writing “Orange Is the New Black,” she said she wanted readers to…

Orange is the New Black stars to visit BG on behalf of Kelly Wicks

Submitted by the Kelly Wicks Campaign BOWLING GREEN, OH – Kelly Wicks, Democratic State House Candidate for District Three, will be joined Saturday, October 15, by stars of the Netflix series Orange is the New Black Taylor Schilling and Kate Mulgrew. Schilling and Mulgrew will speak at Wicks’ coffee shop, Grounds for Thought, at 1:00 p.m. about the importance of electing Kelly Wicks, and Democrats up and down the ballot, in November. Schilling and Mulgrew will encourage those in attendance to get involved in the campaign, and to canvass after the event on behalf of Kelly Wicks. Wicks said, “I’m thrilled to be joined by Taylor and Kate to talk about how important this year is for Democrats here in Wood County. I’m excited about the energy they will bring to our community.” The event is open to the public and free of charge.  

BGSU symposium looks at global response to 9/11

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News On the Friday in advance of the 15th anniversary of 9/11 attacks, students from Bowling Green State University shared what they had learned about how others viewed this defining act of terrorism. And the symposium Global Responses to 9/11 and the War on Terror: Literary, Media, and Film perspectives proved such a success that the organizers are considering whether this should be an annual event. The symposium grew out of Khani Begum’s graduate course of the same name offered in spring, 2015.  The 18 students, who represented a variety of academic disciplines including English, Literary and Textual Analysis, Creative Writing, American Culture Studies and Pop Culture, wrote papers of such distinction that late in the semester Begum mused that it was too bad they couldn’t present them as a group in a conference. Sarah Worman and Elena Aponte, members of ATLAS, an organization of students studying Literary and Textual Analysis, discussed the idea, and decided the organization would take on organizing the event. Begum and the graduate students decided to open symposium up to others who may want to present papers or organize panels. All it meant was working over the summer. Worman said the symposium was well attended with the keynote address by Jeffrey Brown, professor in the Pop Culture Department, on “Rewriting 9/11: Superheroes and the Remasculinization of America” drawing the largest audience. Begum had asked Brown to present the talk after hearing him give a class on the topic during last spring’s alumni college. More than a dozen other faculty members also volunteered to present papers or participate in panel discussions. The subjects ranged from a panel of Muslim women talking about their experiences wearing the veil while living in American to a discussion of stand-up comedians’ handling of the tragedy. There were presentations about news coverage, rap music’s response, the impact on children, and the many films and television shows addressing the attack and its aftermath. Worman’s paper contrasted two cinematic looks at terror mastermind Osama Bin Laden. One was the American movie “Zero Dark Thirty,” and the other was the Bollywood film “Tere Bin Laden.” The American action-thriller, directed by Kathryn Bigelow, had revenge at its core, she said. The Indian film, however, took a comic approach. It was about a Pakistani reporter who wants to move to America. He thinks if he can peddle a film about an…