BGSU School of Media & Communication

Poetry in motion – Sandra Faulkner explores link between women & running

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Sandra Faulkner wanted to study women runners, she used poetry as well as footnotes. Earlier this year, Faulkner, a professor in the School of Media and Communication, published “Real Women Run: Running as Feminist Embodiment.” The book is deeply personal scholarship. Early on Faulkner traces her own history as a runner, starting when she was 11 years old, growing up in the suburbs of Atlanta. She ran so hard her nose started bleeding. She didn’t notice until she finished the race, and won third place. But she missed the awards ceremony because her mother couldn’t staunch the bleeding. Her life as a runner has been full of small triumphs, injuries, and frustrations – sometimes at the same time. Though Faulkner says she doesn’t race to place, she’s still competitive. After one race she saw that she was fourth in her age group, but she thought there were only four runners in that class. Only later didn’t she learn there were more than that. Her life as a runner is told in brief journal-like entries, and each is paired with a haiku. One reads: “Don’t call us a girl / don’t call us a girl jogger / fierce women running.” The personal stories are “in service critiquing, discovering, uncovering larger social patterns,” she said. They take us up to Sept. 3, 2016, when Faulkner is 44 and has a daughter of her own, who cheers on her mother and herself has started running. “She’s more of a sprinter,” Faulkner said. This was the right time for Faulkner, an ethnographer, to research women and running. She would never have done this as a dissertation. When she used interviews for her dissertation on Sex and Sexuality at Penn State, where she studied interpersonal communication, it was considered unconventional. But when “Real Women Run” was starting, Faulkner had tenure and was taking the next step of applying for promotion to full professor. She had already completed a much cited book on poetic inquiry, “Poetry as Method: Reporting Research through Verse.” “I’m convinced that this book wouldn’t have happened until that exact point.” BGSU, where she’s been on faculty for 11 years, was the place to do it. “BGSU has been a great place for me.,” Faulkner said. “I have felt very supported in my work. I think this is my best work. I feel very satisfied and pleased.” Last fall, she coordinated an international conference on poetic inquiry on campus. It was held in conjunction with the annual Winter Wheat writing conference….


BGSU students help senior bridge the digital divide

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Kate Magsamen-Conrad was inspired to create the course to help teach seniors about technology before she arrived on the Bowling Green State University campus. During the period of transition before starting to teach at BGSU she was home in the New York area. Given that she teaches media and communication, she was called upon to help her grandmother learn about the laptop that she’d gotten a year before and hadn’t touched. “It was really terrible,” Magsamen-Conrad said of the experience. She realized all the knowledge and technical savvy that’s a given when learning to use these devices.  “I can’t even think about all the different steps to do things.” Technology is everywhere, from the supermarket to the parking lot, and there’s so much potential for it to benefit elders. “But it’s underutilized … because they haven’t grown up with it and don’t have the familiarity.” So in spring 2013 the class was launched in collaboration with the Wood County Committee on Aging and the Wood County District Public Library. The class links elders with students from small group communication and a research methods classes. Earlier this month the most recent class graduated. Magsamen-Conrad said the class gives students a way to contribute to the community and put their learning to use in a way that matters. “This is a real human being who is going to benefit from your preparation for this assignment. I don’t think there’s a better way to improve presentation and professional skills.” Each class has about 30 seniors in it, though one class had about 60, she said. Many take the class several times, building on their knowledge. Jo Zbiegien, of Fostoria, said it was the fourth time she’s taken the course. “I got so frustrated not being able to find anything I wanted to find on my cell,” she said. Then her husband got her an iPad, and all she could figure out to do was play a few games and get text messages. Now the course has expanded her abilities.  Zbiegien has learned about the capabilities of Google and how to use GPS. That’s important, she said, because she drives a lot, and her phone is essential in case she ever needs help while on the road. She plans to take the class again to try to figure out how to transfer all her contacts from her Android phone to the iPad. Pam Ruffner said the course “was awesome because the students are caring and informational.” She said she got an iPad a few years ago…


Family values at the heart of star sport broadcaster Jay Crawford’s life

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The first image Jay Crawford flashed on the student union ballroom screen Tuesday night was one of him on his graduation day in 1987. Here he was in all his 22-year-old finery, gold necklace visible because his shirt collar was unbuttoned, and long locks hanging underneath his mortar board. The image was a fitting introuction to his talk “You Can Get There from Here,” in which he talked about his journey from Bowling Green State University to a tiny TV station in Hazard, Kentucky, and over 30 years all the way to ESPN’s flagship show SportsCenter.  That “really groovy picture of me,” he said, caught him on the first step of his journey. In the talk the Sandusky native offered advice and encouragement to students about how to pursue a career. That photo also introduced an important undercurrent to Crawford’s success story. He was flanked by his parents. “The people on left and right had an undying faith and belief in me,” he said. They worked hard to put him through college debt-free. “It was my job to never let them down,” Crawford said.  “I want my parents to be proud of me. I want them to understand I appreciate the sacrifices they made for me.” Crawford is spending this academic year as an executive in residence in the School of Media and Communications. In April as part of a cost cutting move, ESPN bought out his contract. The terms of his separation agreement with ESPN will keep him from taking another media job until late 2019. This period is his “practice retirement,” he said. Introducing Crawford, Tariel Turner, an undergraduate student, said has been impressed by Crawford’s “ability to listen, and not just listen, to understand and to affirm.” The qualities that allowed him to ascend through sports broadcasting are rooted in the qualities he learned from his family, particularly grit and work ethic. “Work ethic is a choice,” he said. “If you choose to be the first in and the last out and work harder than all your colleagues, you’ll be rewarded. People from this part of the country have it.” With family members sitting in the front row, he talked about his uncle who was a farmer. No one, he said, worked harder or longer. His Auntie Annie raised four kids by herself. The children went on to get master’s degrees. And after having to quit high school to help support her family, she received her high school diploma at 95. “That’s where I come from,”…


Falcon Media settle into new nest at Kuhlin Center

By ALYSSA ALFANO BG Independent Contributor Bowling Green State University’s School of Media and Communication has a new building on campus, which opened for use in the fall of 2016. The new building was named Michael and Sara Kuhlin Center after two BGSU alumni. Sara graduated in 1969 and Michael graduated in 1968 with a degree in journalism. The building, previously known as South Hall, provides new technology, classroom space, and more for students in the programs that are housed within this building.  In addition, this building provides new and updated spaces for student media organizations on campus. This fills a great need for these organizations. After speaking with BG Falcon Media editor, Holly Shively, it was clear that some updates were needed.  West Hall was outdated and had old technology. In addition to new technology and classroom spaces, the location of this building is much better than that of West Hall. “I think we are in a better place on campus,” said Shively. She went on to say that the building’s location is easier to find and more centered on campus. Change brings many good things. However, it can take a while to get used to and can often leave room for improvement. As expected with any new building, while students and professors settle in they are discovering a few situations that may require some change. One thing that Shively and several others said needed adjusted, was the layout of the classrooms in the Kuhlin Center. While the classroom size and new technology is beneficial to students, the layout is not ideal.  The computers in the classrooms outline three of the four walls and face away from where the professor stands. This layout may be good for labs and in-class workdays, it is not ideal for in-class discussions and lectures.  In addition, there are no desks.  In the center of the classrooms there is one long conference table. This makes it difficult for students and professors to have effective lectures in class. This type of classroom doesn’t work for more traditional classes.  All of the classrooms within the Kuhlin Center are computer labs.  There are no lecture halls within this building.  As a result, students have to go to other places on campus to have class. Another change that may need to be considered is the placement of the advisors and faculty within the School of Media and Communication. Many of the advisors are on the third and fourth floor and this tends to be out of the way for many students. In spite of these flaws, there are…


Alberto Gonzalez finds distinction close to home

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Professor Alberto Gonzalez has come a long way and not far at all. The first time Alberto Gonzalez set foot on the Bowling Green State University campus was when he and his twin brother, Gil, arrived to move into Kohl Hall. Sons of a Mexican American worker from nearby Sandusky County, they hadn’t done college visits. For them even heading 30 miles west to Bowling Green was a major move. In a way it was their generation’s migration. Their grandparents had been born in Mexico. Their parents were born in south Texas. They grew up in rural Riley Township near Fremont, and now they were attending college. Alberto Gonzalez graduated from BGSU in 1977 before continuing his graduate work in communications at Ohio State where he earned a doctorate. He ended up returning home to teach, and at its February meeting the university’s board of trustees named him a distinguished university professor. Gonzalez, who has taught at the university since 1992, was pleased with the honor for more than what it said about him. “For me it brings attention to the School of Communications and speaks to the quality of work, the quality of research done in this school,” he said on a recent interview. “You never do anything isolation. All the things I’ve been able to accomplish is because of having great colleagues around me and having great doctoral students. I learn from them and publish with them.” In the resolution approved by trustees one of his former students, Eun Young Lee, was quoted as saying: “He provides me with a model for what it truly means to be an academic, which I am now trying to pass on to my students. … He has made me genuinely believe in and adopt the pedagogical value that each student in college deserves hearty and sincere guidance.” Gonzalez said that the honor for him is also gives affirmation and encouragement to faculty of color and students of color. Gonzalez has built his career on the scholarship in intercultural communication studies. He’s written books and articles and is the co-author of one of the most prominent texts “Our Voices: Culture, Ethnicity, and Communication,” now in its sixth edition with a seventh in the works. Gonzalez learned early what it is to be ethnic. His mother died when he was 5, so he was raised by his father. His father, who worked for Whirlpool, had firm ideas about assimilation. Though Gonzalez said he only spoke Spanish until he was 4, his father…


New home for media and communications the talk of BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG INDEPENDENT NEWS South Hall was an eyesore; the Kuhlin Center is a gem. Some people scoffed at the idea that South Hall with its facade pimpled with window air conditioning units should be renovated. Now three years later the new home for Bowling Green State University’s School of Communications and Media Studies including a new wing housing a suite of studios is ready to educate a new generation of professionals. About two weeks before the first day of classes, construction workers are still putting finishing touches on the $24 million project even as faculty and staff begin to move in. “These projects tend to go down to the wire,” said Steve Krakoff. “This one is no different.” Krakoff, vice president, capital planning and campus operations, was a prominent advocate for renovating rather than razing the former South Hall. It had good bones, he said. Now he and John Fischer, vice provost for academic affairs, and Brian Swope, assistant director of office of construction and design, three administrators closest to developing the project, are walking the halls of the nearly finished Kuhlin Center. The School of Media and Communication includes three departments: Communications, Media Production and Studies, and Journalism and Public Relations. Even for those who were familiar with the building’s previous iterations it can be hard to identify its features. What was a dank theater space on the fourth floor is now a conference room. The Kuhlin Center, Fischer said, will have “the nicest conference spaces on campus.” In a fourth floor hall is a display case packed with trophies won by the forensics team. Now they will have home to match the quality of their efforts. Previously, Fischer said, they were in a basement office. The building also has a room to which to conduct focus groups. The center is designed “to support the research agenda of the faculty,” Fischer said. The center is designed with plenty of informal lounges. This is a continuation of an approach used in the Education Building, College of Business and Olscamp Hall. “There’s a lot of emphasis on collaborative space,” Krakoff said. In working on those other buildings, Fischer said, he wondered if they were overdoing it. But all those spaces in hallways and tucked under stairwells get used. These provide opportunities “to continue the conversations” started in classrooms. All the student media organizations will have offices in a large space just off the first floor lobby. Fischer said there’s a great deal of interest in what the collaboration of print, digital and broadcast…


Medium has a message about the complexity of delivering the news

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News It’s hard to get away from the gaze of the four-sided column of mirrors planted in the entryway of the Kuhlin Center. The artwork, Medium, will have students and professors reflecting on their vocations. Medium is a four-sided pillar with two-way mirrors on each side, and a projector as a hidden presence within. The mirrors will capture on the buzz of activity in the lobby of the center, and scrolling down the center of each mirror will be a randomly selected statement starting with either “we” or “they.” Recently artist Erik Carlson, who created the piece, was in the lobby putting finishing touches on the work in the new home for Bowling Green State University’s School of Media and Communication.  At this point what’s reflected is the mess of construction, ladders, buckets, drop cloths, packing boxes and the like. Assisting him is Nicholas Hanna, a Los Angeles computer programmer. Carlson, whose studio Area C is in Rhode Island, said the concept is to mediate the media experience and have students consider what their role as future professionals is in the process of gathering, disseminating and consuming information. The “we” is those who produce and deliver the news. And the “they” are those who are the subject of the news and the consumers. Smack in the middle will be the “I,” the students and faculty learning and teaching about this process. As they read the statement they can consider themselves on both sides. All the while they will be staring themselves in the face. Carlson said that the concept came about as he thought about what the building would be used for. When he discovered that the University Library had a digital archive of The BG News dating back to 1921, he knew he wanted to tap that rich resource. The archive became one of two sources for those “we” and ‘they” phrases. The other is the closed-captioning for the live feed of whatever is going out over WBGU-TV’s main station. On this Saturday, the station is broadcasting a show about beer making. The phrases “WE GET IN ALL THE WORT” and “WE DON’T WANT TO GRIND IT DOWN” scroll from bottom to top on a screen, the words, starting with “WE” slowly becoming visible. They blink a little, a sign that this is a live phrase. Then a phrase from the archives rolls by: “THEY MUST HAVE KNOWN MICKEY WAS A MOUSE.” The rate at which they appear and fade varies, though each lasts about 30 seconds, Carlson said….


Step in the right direction: South Hall to be renamed for Falcon Flames Mike and Sara Kuhlin

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Mike Kuhlin learned his lessons from his wife well, and Bowling Green State University is a beneficiary. Kuhlin met his Falcon Flame, Sara, after graduation when both were working for the university. Kuhlin, a 1968 journalism graduate, told the Board of Trustees Friday that he was the kind of guy who ended up with 50 cents in his checking account at the end of the month. “We were kids who were the first in our families who went to college, also kids who didn’t have a clue what our future was going to hold for us.” This guy from Long Island, New York, married the woman from Ohio, in Prout Chapel in 1971. When they bought a house, Sara Kuhlin took a job at a bank and declared they were going to pay off the mortgage as fast as they could. They did, Kuhlin said. “And we were never in debt again.” Sara died in 2013. At a gathering recently Kuhlin was asked to sum up his life’s philosophy in six words: “Living her values as my own.” Doing that is what has enabled the Kuhlins to contribute to their alma mater. Capping that off will be the naming of the new home for the School for Media and Communication the Mike and Sara Kuhlin Center. (“Kuhlin” is pronounced “Coo-Leen.”)  The building had been South Hall. It is in the final stages of a $24 million make over, including the adding of a new production wing. The center will open this fall. BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey has long insisted that she didn’t want buildings named after directions. Instead of South, East and West halls, the university should have buildings that boast the name of donors. This marks a long step in that direction. The naming is in recognition of the more than $2 million in donations the Kuhlins have made to the university over the years. He said that when the idea of having the building named for him and his late wife he was “bowled over.” “Then I had a lot of reservations about, with all the other names around campus, how does Kuhlin fit into that,” he said. He was convinced when university officials told him they hoped that his action will spur other donors into action. “I am happy to talk to them,” he said of other donors. “I’m excited our gift will go toward the maintenance of that building so we can keep it state of the art,” he told the trustees. BGSU, he…