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Faculty get new contract, promotion & tenure at May BGSU trustees meeting

By DAVID DUPONT  BG Independent News Bowling Green State University trustees Friday signed off on the third contract between the BGSU-Faculty Association and the administration. The three-year contract calls for 8.5 percent pay increases over the life of the agreement. At the time the agreement was reached, association president David Jackson said, it marked progress in bringing faculty salaries up to the middle of the pack in Ohio public colleges. “Our goal is not to become the highest paid faculty in the state. We’re trying to reach the median.”  The increases will be 3 percent in each of the first two years, and 2.5 percent in the third.  As with the previous three-year agreement, the negotiations went smoothly. In presenting the contract to the trustees, President Rodney Rogers said that it was evidence of a “strong relationship” between the faculty association and the administration. Board Chairman Daniel Keller said that the new agreement was “reasonable and equitable to all parties.” The contract goes into effect on July 1. Among the other terms, some of the cost of health insurance will be shifted to faculty. Negotiating teams pose for portrait after BGSU Board of Trustees meeting. Seated in front, from left, David Jackson, president of the BGSU Faculty Association, Daniel Keller, president of the Board of Trustees, and BGSU President Rodney Rogers. Also at the meeting, trustees approved tenure and promotion actions for 53 faculty.  They were: 23 being promoted to full professor;  15 granted tenure with promotion to associate professor; eight promoted to senior lecturer; and seven promoted to lecturer.  These actions are “momentous” for the faculty, Rogers said, and he urged them to take time to celebrate this milestone in their careers. Also at the meeting, the trustees approved more spending for the renovation of the Technology Building. The board approved spending $6,303,731 for infrastructure needed for the project. This money will come from state capital funds, said Vice President for Finance and Administration  Sheri Stoll. As she has in the past, Stoll noted, this was not the kind of work that attracts students to attend the university. The money will pay for: “tunnel top replacement, heat plant controls, central chilled water manufacturing, centralized emergency power generation, electrical service upgrades, and building security related upgrades associated with supporting the pending Technology Building renovation and the northwest quadrant of campus.” Still, keeping up on these upgrades does make the campus…

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Winter Session trips add up to great experiences for BGSU students

By ABBY SHIFLEY BG Independent Correspondent Scott Knapke’s 2019 study abroad experience allowed him to spread ideas and visit another culture, without giving up too much time with his family. The extended Winter Session allowed BGSU student Scott Knapke to spread ideas and visit another culture, without giving up too much time with his family. There were 116 students enrolled in study abroad experiences over Winter Session, with nine courses offered. The courses took BGSU students across the globe, to places like Australia, New Zealand, China, Curacao, Peru, France and Spain. Scott Knapke (purple shirt) works with students at the Bilingual Experimental School of Changsha First High School. (Photo by Gabriel Matney/provided) The group Knapke went with consisted of 10 students who went to China and introduced Math Camp to Chinese educators — a student-led math program here at BGSU. “It was lots of interaction and knowledge of one another,” said associate professor Gabriel Matney, who led the trip. “Lots of time to ask questions, break the ice, get to know each other, become friends and then to perform this thing together called Math Camp.” BGSU students co-led two Math Camps with more than 30 students at Hunan Normal University in Changsha, China. “We go there to share ideas and gain ideas,” said Matney. The group also hiked the Great Wall of China, which surprisingly had an ice cream stand at the top, Matney shared. Additionally, they visited six other schools across China and three major cities. “Overall, we spent so much time with the Chinese students and had so many opportunities to ask questions,” Knapke said. “I learned so much more about their culture and their view of education, and you can definitely tell there is much more drive.” As an AYA Math Education major, Knapke said he learned a lot from his experience in China and would apply those ideas to his teaching career. He plans to finish out his senior year and then study under Matney as a graduate student to get his masters in curriculum and teaching. Knapke said, “instilling in my future students the idea of being open minded in anything that we do and making sure that they have that growth mindset and they have that drive to succeed in my classroom, would be the biggest benefit that I’ve gained from this experience.” Another study abroad trip was to New Zealand, led by professors…


BGSU grad students make pitch to have best Three-Minute Thesis talk

By DAVID DUPONT  BG Independent News And the winner of the first Three-Minute Thesis  competition at Bowling Green State University is … Kacie Pummill, a graduate student is Speech-Language Pathology. Pummill is studying how to help people suffering from speech disorders make themselves understood. The competition is aimed at helping graduate students make their own research, often on arcane topics, understandable to the general public. Coming away from the recent Three-Minute Thesis Competition, it was hard not to feel both a little bit smarter, and more than a little bit humble, because the knowledge on display. Seventeen graduate students presented three-minute presentations on some aspect of their research. An “elevator speech” is the term used by Dean of the Graduate College Peggy Booth. The topics covered ranged from the intricacies of computer science to Star Wars. The second contestant, Kevin Oyale Chiteri from biological sciences presented on : “Functional Analysis of Arabidopsis thaliana Organic Cation Transporters (OCT5 & OCT 1) genes in Polyamine Transport in Plants.” Deep work to be sure. Not all topics were as daunting. Aju James, from American Culture Studies, talked about the role of stand-up comedy in developing an urban community in Mumbai. Regardless of the topic, each contestant could only use one slide and three minutes. No props, no poems, no costumes, no song and dance, and no rap. Just spoken word.  A “compelling oration,” Booth said, that challenges student to communicate their research ideas and highlight their significance for a non-specialist audience. And, she noted, “it’s fun.” The rules, Booth explained, are set by the University of Queensland, the originator of the competition.The Australian institution introduced the Three-Minute Thesis concept 10 years ago, and it proved so popular that the school trademarked it. Now 600 universities around the world host competitions with BGSU being one of the newest additions.  Pummill, who comes from Chillicothe, said she didn’t expect to win. “I just wanted to do this for myself and develop an elevator pitch and get to know my research in a way that I can explain it to my family members, relatives, and friends who aren’t in my field.” Pummill, who got her bachelor’s degree from Ohio University, said she was attracted to studying speech and language pathology because “I really have a passion to help people.” She wanted to go into a medical field “but I’m not good with blood so nursing or…


Students pack in the knowledge about seeking post-college employment

By ABBY SHIFLEY BG Independent Correspondent Avery Lane had two questions for BGSU students: First, what are your plans after graduation? Second, how are you going to get there? During the second week of Winter Session, students attended the Backpack to Briefcase boot camp. The event aimed to provide students with resources they might need for their careers, as well as to challenge students to think about their post-graduation plans. Fifty-three students registered for the boot camp, which consisted of individual consultations, mock interviews, eight presentations, an etiquette lunch and professional headshots for each student. Some students at the boot camp had plenty of experience in the workforce, but still attended the camp for extra practice. “Any practice is good practice,” said Brian Armstrong, a senior majoring in geography who had a summer internship at the Iowa County Highway Department in Wisconsin. He ended up giving a presentation to the highway commissioner, which resulted in a $2 million increase in the department’s highway budget. “I feel like everyone should have the opportunity and take advantage of the opportunities that we have here to better yourself and prepare yourself for the future, for your career,” Armstrong said. “So that’s why when I saw this opportunity to come and get a mock interview done and come to this session I signed up.” The first presentation on Tuesday was on making a “one-minute commercial,” for students to use to inform potential employers on their skills and qualifications. Armstrong said he hopes that after the boot camp, “when I get to interview for a job, I’m not going to be nervous, I’m going to be prepared, I’m going to kill any interview that I go for.” “Dressing for Success” was the topic of the second presentation on Tuesday, given by Assistant Director of the Career Center Andrea Gutierrez and an employer partner and BGSU student, Bobby Bergstrom. The presentation covered what is appropriate to wear to a job interview and what isn’t, but also how the expectations can change depending on the nature of a company. Nicole Edelbrock, a junior majoring in graphic design, has bright purple and blue hair, which has upset some of her employers. “It’s mostly been retail, smaller jobs,” Edelbrock noted. “I’m not worried more so for artistic, graphic design jobs, and I wouldn’t really want to work for places that have biases against tattoos, and piercings and hair.” Edelbrock…


Last dance majors take to the stage in winter showcase for program in transition

By DAVID DUPONT  BG Independent News This weekend will be the last dance for the last two dance majors at Bowling Green State University. Shannon Cleary and Emily Sindyla have prominent roles in the Winter Dance Concert. That’s fitting because once they are gone, the university will have no dance majors. The major has been eliminated as part of the transition of the dance program from the School of Human Movement, Sport and Leisure Studies to the Department of Theatre and Film. Students will still be able to minor in dance. The change, which has been in the works for about two years, will be official next fall. Shayna Smith (left) and Shannon Cleary dance out in front of the ensemble in the tap number “Valerie.” The Winter Dance Concert will be Friday, Feb. 8 and Saturday, Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. in the Donnell Theatre in the Wolfe Center for the Arts. Click for tickets. For Sindyla and Cleary the performance is bittersweet. Both are passionate about dancing and BGSU’s dance program. Neither came to be dance major. Sindyla intended to major in business. Realizing she could study dance “was an added perk,” she said. She ended up majoring in dance with a business minor.    Cleary came to BGSU because “I liked the feel of the campus,” and without a clear idea of what she would study. She also ended up in dance. She’s a double major in dance and journalism and public relations. Shannon Cleary in “Valerie” That they would end up studying dance is not surprising; they both have danced since they were 2 years old. That’s 20 years of dancing. And both hope to remain involved after BGSU. Cleary, who comes from the Akron area, said when she was 8, she moved into a competitive program. From then on that’s what she did. She had dance five nights a week, four hours a night. “When I’m performing, I feel like it’s the authentic version of myself,” she said. Cleary hopes to put her public relations background to work promoting the arts, whether as a social media expert or events planner. “My dream would be to combine them both so I can be around dance.” That would preferably be in a larger city with a vibrant art scene, she added. Emily Sindyla in “A Dancer’s Mark” At this point, Sindyla expects to return to her hometown…


BGSU fall dean’s list available

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University has announced the undergraduate students who have been named to the fall semester dean’s list for achieving grade point averages of 3.5 or better on a 4.0 scale. To be chosen for the dean’s list, undergraduate students must carry no fewer than 12 letter-graded credit hours per semester. Candidates for fall commencement are also available. The names of graduation candidates and dean’s list honorees can be found online at https://services.bgsu.edu/gradlist/ Names are listed by county. Counties must be downloaded individually.


Cocoon’s Unmasquerade will feature talk on surviving deadly domestic violence

From THE COCOON The Cocoon Presents: Unmasquerade, an event to raise awareness of the lifelong impact domestic violence has on children and how one person can make a difference Thursday, April 11, from 6-9 p.m at Nazareth Hall, 21211 W River Road, Grand Rapids. Dinner will be included and a cash bar will be available. Dress is business casual. International speaker William Killibrew will take us on his journey of survival after witnessing, at age 10, the murders of his mother and older brother by her estranged boyfriend in their family living room. Killibrew was forced to beg for his life at gunpoint. The killer died by suicide. Killibrew will share the impact of the event and how he survived years of suicidal ideation and pain to emerge as a humanitarian and advocate for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. During his story, Killibrew will highlight how different individuals supported and believed in him each step of the way. And how we can all be that person.D Individual tickets:  $75 each before April 1; $100 each after April 1. Tables of eight can be reserved before April 1st for $800. Tickets are on sale now at https://bidr.co/events/unmasquerade or call 419-373-1730, ext. 1002 for more information or to reserve. All of the net proceeds will be put back into The Cocoon’s services to help survivors and their families in and around Wood County.  All services provided by The Cocoon are free of charge.  Nazareth Hall is supporting sponsor. Corporate Sponsorship opportunities are available. Call the number above for details.