Michael Hoskins thinks the world of BGSU

Michael Hoskins chats with Marcia Salazar-Valentine (left) and Sara Smith, of the International Programs and Patnerships office.


BG Independent News

In talking about growing up in Bowling Green, Michael Hoskins described a lost world.

He moved around campus just before Anderson Arena was built and with the football field was located where the College of Business now stands. He spent days at the natatorium and the “old” men’s gym – he was confused why it was called that because he never saw any old men there.

“It a very perfect kind of college town life” that included pals such as Mike Marsh.

Marsh was there to greet him Thursday when Hoskins returned to campus.

The middle child of three, Hoskins moved here at 11 when his father William Hoskins took a position at the College of Business in 1965.

His father had been recruited by then President William T. Jerome and Dean William Schmeltz, who were interested in bringing top scholars, especially in international business, to campus, President Rodney Rogers said.

Hoskins said his father was “desperately recruited,” and could have made more money elsewhere, but stayed in Bowling Green.

His work extended from founding the International Business program at BGSU to co-founding the Academy of International Business, the leading organization in the field, Rogers said.

Hoskins attended BGSU, first in computer science, before changing his major to finance, graduating in 1977, before heading off to work at IBM.

But then he moved to his passion, as, in Rogers’ words, a “serial entrepreneur.” Taking his father’s lead, he traveled the world.

He lost touch with his alma mater for some time. That happens, Hoskins said.

Then 12 years ago through Marsh, he reconnected with campus. And as he started to follow what was going on at BGSU, he became more impressed. He made donations. He founded the Hoskins Global Scholars program

He said he’d reached that stage in his life where he started wanting to give permanency to his contributions.

After talking with Interim Provost John Fischer, Hoskins decided not only to permanently endow the scholarships, but to contribute to the renovation of University Hall.

On Thursday the university celebrated the naming of the Michael E. Hoskins Grand Foyer. Also, the “fifth generation” of Hoskins scholars were introduced.

They are: Quinn Eberhard, a chemistry major; McKenzie Moss, forensic science and Spanish major; and Hannah Finnerty, international studies.

Eberhard is a first-year student who will travel to Cambridge, England, to work at the European Bioinformatics Institute.

This is a direct outgrowth with her research with BGSU faculty Neocles Leontis and Craig Zirbel. She got involved after hearing a presentation by Leontis on his work. “I felt it was intensely fascinating and was outside my current understanding,” she said.

Eberhard is the only undergraduate working on the research team. They work with RNA and proteins, and the institute in Cambridge has the largest online database of proteins.

Now “we have to do a lot of manual labor to compile this data and analyze it,” she said.

Her plan is to go to England to develop a program that will “automatically grab” the needed data from the EBI database. That information will also be available to other researchers through the institute’s site.

Eberhard has been fascinated by chemistry since high school in Columbus, where she studied the subject for three years. It offers “a deeper understanding of the world.”

She started as a chemistry major with a specialty in forensics, but has switched to a specialization in biochemistry. She’s unsure where she’ll go beyond BGSU. As a first year student, she said, she has time to decide. “I love research,” Eberhard said, and that would incline her toward getting PhD.

Moss, from Hartville in eastern Ohio, is in her second year on campus but she has enough credits to be a senior. She plans to graduate in 2020.

She will use her Hoskins funding to travel through six South American countries — Columbia, Ecuador, Peru. Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay.

Her project aims to bridge the sciences and the humanities. She will stay in small villages and interview indigenous people about the medicine passed down through the Inca culture.

They use herbs, plants, fruits and vegetables as medicine. She wants to find out what’s used for what ailments, and how the medicines are prepared.

Moss said she’ll bring this knowledge back to show that drugs from pharmaceutical corporations are “not the only option.”

Through these interviews, she also hopes to document the Quechua language, an endangered tongue that dates back to the Inca Empire.

She speaks Spanish, but not Quechua. She has a grandmother who does will assist her when she returns with the videotapes.

Moss said she had seen information about the Hoskins program and was encouraged to apply by Dean of the Honors College Simon Morgan Russell, for whom she works. Without the scholarship, “I would not been able to go through such extensive detail.” Her trip would have been two weeks at most, instead of the 66 days she has scheduled.

The third scholar, Finnerty was not available Thursday for an interview. She will travel to Cairo, Egypt, to work with National Public Radio.

In his talk during the ceremonies, Hoskins said he can imagine a time 50 years from now when Hoskins scholars will speak about their work.

That thought spurred him to make sure the scholarships will continue in perpetuity. He’s reached “the stage where that kind of thinking becomes more important.”