Bowling Green State University

Katherine Boo – The Searing Compassion of Investigative Journalism

By FRANCES BRENT Kathrine Boo, possessor of a Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting, a MacArthur Genius Fellow for just being, a National Book Award for non-fictional writing, The Hillman for social justice writing , etc. is small. She is fair to the point of near transparency yet has “the arm of an investigative reporter and the soul of a poet.” She endured four years of India’s Southern sun and then wrote her book. Her book, the best selling “Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity was the BGSU Common Read selection for 2015. Tuesday night she spoke at the Union to a rapt audience of students and visitors. The book has no “I” but chronicles her observations, insights, and entwinement with the people of the “stumpy plug of slum” Annawandi — tucked next to 5 star hotels and the glamorous, booming Mumbai Airport. It is investigative reporting, done over four years, that reads like a novel – filled with striving humans, a relentless environment, corrupt officials, murder, terrible suspense and an uncertain ending. Katherine Boo, writing for the New Yorker has become the historian of modern poverty, injustice, deprivation, hopelessness, isolation. She records disasters bestowed on humans by the implacable hands of nature, government, greed, history, religion and fellow human beings. “Behind the Beautiful Forevers” recounts tales of human resiliency, ingenuity, tactics, hopes, treachery, envy, bravery and determination. She deals with success and failure, hope and despair. If her revelations has an effect on public policy so be it. She is the bearer of news, not the shaper of public policy. Asked by a tender-hearted student why Boo didn’t rescue individuals she came to know well, she spoke of journalistic ethics involving money. While writing about individuals, her work and impact is long term. The book “no one would want to read” has proven popular and provides the means to help indirectly. Her calm, implacable, clear sighted recounting of what she had learned over four years of involvement is more effective than any polemic in arousing strong emotions. Boo used multi-media to document her observations. She speaks truth with documents in hand. After reading about the mud, the squalor, the crowding, the unreliable water supply the cleanliness and comeliness of…

Skip McDonald Sings the Blues and So Much More

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Skip McDonald may be the featured artist at “The Blues, The Hines Farm Blues Club and Beyond and 21st Century Blues with Skip McDonald AKA Little Axe” on campus, just don’t pin him down to performing what you may consider “the blues.” When he walks on stage listeners can “expect blues, expect some funk, expect some gospel, expect some jazz, expect a good time,” he said. McDonald will play during the event which will run Thursday from 4 to 5:15 p.m. at Bowling Green State University’s Student Union Theater and then Friday 7 to 10 p.m. at Oak Openings Metropark Lodge, 5230 Wilkins Road, Whitehouse. “I’m an in-the-moment kind of guy,” he said. He doesn’t decide what to wear until the last minute, or what to play until he hits the stage. “That makes it exciting for me.” Otherwise it just becomes “run of the mill.” He wants to be true to himself and the moment. “I don’t want to be the person who imitates me, I want to be me.” McDonald doesn’t care much for labels. All these different genres, he said, are just for marketing. “You call it something so you can sell it.” At various times he’s been  a folk musician and a jazz musician. He was a session player for Sugarhill Records and played on early rap records, including those by Grandmaster Flash. Disco, rock, house, folk, blues, jazz, the labels don’t matter. ”When it comes down to it, there are only two kinds of music – music you like, and music you don’t.” Growing up in Dayton, McDonald, 67, was surrounded by music of all types. His father was a guitar player, and he tagged along. Dayton was awash in music: touring acts such as B.B. King or Motown stars, and homegrown talent like guitar legend Robert Ward. “There was always a community of people who played together and jammed together,” McDonald said. McDonald believes he was destined to be a musician. “I had nothing to do with that decision. That decision was made for me, and I’m happy about it.” At about age 8 he started playing with a gospel group. He’s been an active performer since. About 30 years ago, he moved to…

BGSU students advocate for solar array on campus

By BG INDEPENDENT NEWS A hill created by construction debris goes mostly unoccupied during the year. Except that is on Independence Day when people gather there to watch the fireworks being launched from the stadium to the southeast. A group of Bowling Green State University students have a different vision for the site – they’d like to see an array of solar panels erected there. Recently the Environmental Action Group and Environmental Service Club drafted a letter and had it signed by a couple dozen other student leaders urging the university to take the city up on its offer to put solar panels on the site. The city’s main solar array will be located on Carter Road, but it offered to also place some on campus. No site was designated. City officials confirmed Monday night that the offer was made, but they’ve yet to hear a response from BGSU. Lily Murnen, president of the Environmental Service Group, said the university hasn’t taken enough action to fulfill its climate action plan that resulted from president Mary Ellen Mazey joining other higher education executives in signing a Climate Commitment calling for campuses to become neutral in their greenhouse gas emissions. That plan, filed in November, 2014, sets out “a vision of the institution as a sustainable campus in the 21st century, operating economically and efficiently, and producing net zero greenhouse gas emissions. This is a vision to be realized by the year 2040.” The solar project would provide “great visibility for the university showing how we are taking some steps to realize our goals,” Murnen said. Matthew Cunningham, the president of the Environmental Action Group, said, the solar panels could also provide students with hands-on learning experiences. As much as the lack of action, Dan Myers, public relations officer for the Environmental Action Group, said the students were concerned that the administration is not communicating with students. “We’re pretty significant stakeholders in the university.” Cunningham said he did see Mazey at a Presidents Day event, and that she said she would be sending a response to the letter to student government. That the activists said would not be enough. Undergraduate Student Government leaders, Cunningham said, have too much on their plate. Murnen said that this issue also…

Activist Rosa Clemente to give keynote address at BGSU Black Issues Conference

Rosa Clemente, the 2008 Green party vice presidential candidate, will be the keynote speaker for the 17th annual Black Issues Conference at BGSU. The conference, which features a wide range of research and creative presentations by students, faculty and staff, will start at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. Presentations will include visual and performing arts and critical analyses of contemporary black society and culture from across the academic spectrum. Special emphasis is placed on current social and political movements, such as #BlackLivesMatter, and the issues of importance to black communities as we look ahead to the 2016 election cycle. Clemente’s keynote presentation will begin at 12:30 p.m. In addition to her political run in 2008, Clemente has spoken widely on issues of Afro-Puerto Rican identity, feminism and hip-hop activism. She is a graduate of SUNY-Albany and Cornell University and has studied and lectured across the country on nationalist movements, particularly those involving young people of color. She frequently speaks on youth participation in politics. Over the last 20 years, she has written for Clamor Magazine, The Final Call, The Black World Today and The Ave. Clemente’s intersectional approach to black identity and politics is especially timely. Registration is free for BGSU students and $15 for all others. Deadline was Feb. 12. For information contact Stephanie Rader at

BGSU taking a bite out of crime with forensic science

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Crime is paying off for Bowling Green State University, or at least the science of investigating crime. On Friday, the university’s Board of Trustees approved a new bachelor’s degree in Forensic Science. It’s the latest offering in forensic science, including a master’s degree. Five years ago, Provost Rodney Rogers said, BGSU had no students studying forensic science. Then the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation announced it would locate a new crime lab on campus, and that initiated the creation of programs related to the lab. Now the university has about 250 students studying forensics in some form. That includes forensic specializations in chemistry, biology and computer science. Rogers said that the university is looking to boost that number even more. As it is, he said, BGSU now has one of the strongest programs in the country. Betty Montgomery, a former state Attorney General, who was instrumental in getting a BCI lab located in Bowling Green, said the university needs to get that message out through major media. Having a new lab on campus is an example of the university engaging with society. Jon Sprague, the director of the Center for the Future of Forensic Sciences, told the trustees about some of the research being done through the auspices of the center. That research involves both faculty and students across disciplines. That includes research into how double pane glass changes the trajectory of a bullet, which involved physics, and an analysis into how to optimize the process of dealing with a backlog of rape kits, which requires advanced data analysis Greg Grecco, a junior in neuroscience, spoke about his research into how components of designer drugs effect hyperthermia in users. The work being done in the university, Sprague said, benefits both BGSU and BCI. The degree in forensic science as one of three new degrees approved by the trustees. Also approved were: • Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology. The major, Rogers said, is designed for students who may want to go into science related fields, including health professions, who don’t need the daunting math and upper level courses. • Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Law. The disciplines have much in common, Rogers said, and the major…

BGSU trustees hike room & board costs, & add Greek fee

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The cost to eat and sleep at Bowling Green State University is going up in fall. The university trustees approved an increase that averages 2.4 percent for room costs at their meeting Friday. The 11 options, organized in three tiers, have varying costs, and varying rates of increase. This schedule, said Sheri Stoll, chief financial officer, is being compressed from four tiers. Previously Greek housing had its own tier, but with the opening in August of the new Greek Village, now under construction, the administration moved Greek housing to the top tier. Even that, Stoll said, does not cover the cost of the new housing. In order to avoid having other resident students subsidize Greek housing, a new “parlor” fee will be assessed to members of sororities and fraternities whether they live in the chapter house or not. Chapters will determine how they are assessed. The trustees also approved an average 2.5-percent increase in meal plans. That would raise the cost of the recommended Bronze plan by $2.44 a week. Stoll was asked about a ranking that showed BGSU’s room and board costs are less than at most other Ohio schools. She noted it has been three years since board fees have increased. She also noted that rents for off-campus housing are among the lowest in the nation. That puts additional pressure on what the university can charge.

BGSU prof updates industrial-organizational psychology text

“Essentials of Personnel Assessment and Selection,” first published a decade ago, was considered a go-to resource for those studying industrial-organizational (I-O) psychology. It was written by Bowling Green State University faculty Drs. Bob Guion, a pioneer in the field, and Scott Highhouse, Ohio Eminent Scholar of psychology. Before his death in 2012, Guion gave his co-author permission to take over the book and produce a subsequent edition when the time was right. That time has come. Released in early 2016, the second edition of the book contains a wealth of updated material including current legal issues in employment, and it covers new subjects like online testing. The edition was revised by Highhouse and co-author Dennis Doverspike of the University of Akron. “Certainly Bob Guion’s original vision is there, but we made quite a number of changes,” said Highhouse. “About 25 percent of the book is new content and it has a new voice overall.” Because the book’s primary audience has been graduate students planning for careers in human resources, the new edition focuses more on practical essentials and has less focus on technical and theoretic material. It presents recent research findings, more information on technology in assessing employees, and a larger discussion of senior leadership assessment in the workplace. The section on how managers make decisions about hiring was expanded considerably. The authors caution against taking a holistic approach to hiring, in which a manager takes into account everything he or she knows about a candidate—not only skills and experience but also personality, communication skills, and other non-quantifiable factors. “Even though the term ‘holistic’ sounds good, and a formula is not always popular, we know that formulas outperform subjective conclusions every time,” Highhouse said. Published by Psychology Press, the revised “Essentials of Personnel Assessment and Selection” looks to retain its status as a go-to resource. Bookseller Barnes and Noble describes it as providing the “nuts and bolts of assessment processes and selection techniques. It covers basic and advanced concepts in a straightforward, readable style.”

Prospects good for Boys State to stay at BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The state American Legion and Bowling Green State University both want Buckeye Boys State to continue to meet in Bowling Green. The two sides are in the process of negotiating a new five-year conference agreement. The current deal lasts through the 2016 event. Boys State brings about 1,300 male high school juniors to campus for a week of mock government activities each June. A recent letter to a local newspaper asserted that BGSU was about to lose out in hosting the event. However, Gerald White, the director of Buckeye Boys State, in an email to the university prompted by that letter asserted the Legion’s desire to keep the civics event at Bowling Green where it has convened since 1978. The email was intended, he said, “to set the record straight” and let university officials “know exactly where American Legion Buckeye Boys State stands so there is no misunderstanding, confusion, or misleading information.” Yes, he said, the Legion does check out other campuses “to see what would be available should something catastrophic occur on the BGSU campus or in the City of Bowling Green which would necessitate Boys State not being able to conduct the program.” Also, he said, other institutions do query the Legion about whether it would like to move. That’s not surprisingly, the director said, given the program’s success and prominence. None of those has offered “significant financial incentives” to get Boys State to relocate. The conference agreement must be periodically studied, he said, adding: “I think it is a mark of the partnership between American Legion Buckeye Boys State, the City of Bowling Green, Wood County, and Bowling Green State University and the pleasure and pride that the Buckeye Boys State Board of Trustees has in conducting our program on the BGSU campus that for 37 years, now going into 38, Buckeye Boys State has remained in the City of Bowling Green and the campus of Bowling Green State University.” While other options have been looked at, White wrote: “It is every hope of the Buckeye Boys State Board of Trustees that a Conference Agreement can be worked out to the satisfaction of both parties, but I can assure you, that at the present time while…

BGSU’s Hanna Hall will be new home for College of Business

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The plan of constructing a new “signature building” on campus to house the School of Business has been scrapped. Instead, one of Bowling Green State University’s Traditions Buildings, Hanna Hall, will be renovated and added onto to house the College of Business. While the decision was made months ago, it was news to many at the Faculty Senate meeting Tuesday. Steve Krakoff, vice president for capital planning and campus operations, presented to the senate his annual review of construction projects on campus, including plans for Hanna Hall. One senator, Bill Albertini, of English, asked if he had been dreaming when he’d heard that the Education Building would come down after a new School of Business was built. No, Krakoff said, it was not a dream. “There’s comfort there.” Plans change as needs and resources are assessed. The second floor of the Education Building has been renovated with high tech classrooms. In the case of the School of Business it came down to money. Krakoff said university officials studied three options: renovating the existing building, constructing a new School of Business, or renovating Hanna Hall. They concluded that even after spending “tens of millions of dollars,” the existing building would not meet the program’s needs. A new building would cost $53 million to build now, but by 2020 or 2021 when the project would be started, inflation would push the cost to $79 million. In August, 2014, Krakoff said that the university was hoping to find private funding for the project. The Hanna renovation would cost $39 million today, and $49 million when the project commenced. Also “it has advantages of location and prominence on campus second to none.” However, giving up on a new signature building will mean that a signature feature of BGSU, the Gish Film Theater, will be uprooted. “I understand that’s a sensitive subject,” Krakoff said. The current plans call for the theater, gallery and video archive and screening room to be moved. “The plan does include finding another location that acknowledges its historical significance,” he said. University officials will work to find a suitable home for the theater, said Dave Kielmeyer, director of the office of Marketing and Communication. Work wouldn’t start in the building…

Spirituals celebration over lunch in BG

The City of Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Department along with the College of Musical Arts at BGSU will be is holding its second event as part of the 10th Annual Brown Bag Music Series on Friday, February 5th from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Simpson Building, 1291 Conneaut Avenue. Folks are invited to bring their lunch and enjoy a musical performance by students and faculty from the College of Musical Arts in a comfortable and warm setting. Drinks and dessert will be available for purchase. The scheduled performance in the series will be a Celebration of the African American Spiritual. For questions or more information call 419-354-6223 or visit our website at (click parks and recreation).

Clazel will be buzzing with new piano concerto Monday

The Clazel in downtown Bowling Green is not the place you’d expect to hear a piano concerto. On Monday night at 8, though, pianist Vicky Chow will perform a recently minted concerto. Instead of strings and winds, Chow will be flanked by banks of small loudspeakers. Her performance of Tristan Perich’s “Surface Image” for piano and 40 channel 1-bit electronics is part of the Bowling Green State University MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music’s Music at the Forefront series. Chow gave the premier performance of “Surface Image” in February, 2013 in Brooklyn, New York. When it was released on New Amsterdam records the following year, it landed a multiple best-of-the-year lists. According to the label’s website: “Chow’s dynamic performance is swept up in a sublime flurry of dazzling 1-bit sounds, simultaneously entangling and unraveling over the hour long journey. The line between electric and organic is artistically blurred, as the simple hand-wired electronics fuse with the individual notes of the piano on the same, expansive plane.” A native of Vancouver, Canada, Chow was invited at 9 to perform at the International Gilmore Music Keyboard Festival and the next year performed with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. She has made a name as a performer of contemporary works giving the premier performances and recording works by Steve Reich, Michael Gordon, John Zorn and others. She is the pianist with the Bang on a Can All Stars, Grand Band, New Music Detroit and The Virgil Moorefield Pocket Orchestra. On Sunday at 3 p.m., Chow will perform a solo recital of favorite contemporary pieces in the Great Gallery of the Toledo Museum of Art.

BGSU joins initiative to support minority grad students in STEM

From BGSU Office of Marketing & Communications As the national need for professionals and higher education faculty in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines has grown, the number of minority students going into those disciplines has remained disappointingly low, leaving much rich potential untapped. “We consider it a value to change that,” said Dr. Bob Midden, director of BGSU’s Academic Investment in Math and Science (AIMS) program and the Northwest Ohio Center of Excellence in STEM Education (NWO/COSMOS). To help prepare more graduate students to step into these important roles, the University is partnering with seven other public and private northern Ohio universities to recruit, support and mentor talented students through graduate school and ultimately into the ranks of faculty. The new graduate student effort is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as part of its Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) programs. BGSU will receive $200,000 over three and a half years to support student recruitment, mentorship, professional development and research activities. Case Western University is the lead institution on the grant. “We want to align and coordinate our efforts to employ the most effective strategies to improve those students’ academic success,” Midden said. The benefits will extend not only to the students but to the University as well, according to Dr. Michael Ogawa, dean of the Graduate College and vice president for research and economic development. “Diversity is not just a numbers game to us,” he said. “There exists a wealth of data that shows how socially diverse groups are more creative, more innovative, and harder-working than related groups that are socially homogeneous. Thus, we hope that by increasing the level of diversity in our graduate programs, we will make them more intellectually vibrant and exciting.” The first steps will be small, Midden said, and will be concentrated on photochemical sciences and biology, two programs in which BGSU offers doctoral degrees. “We’ll focus first on recruiting new graduate students in those disciplines, mentor them as they progress through their degree programs and prepare them so that if they do choose to go into academia, they will be successful.” The goal is to recruit three AGEP scholars for the fall semester and identify individual faculty mentors for each. Midden…

Islamophobia is everyone’s problem

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The shadow of ISIS and American politicians who exploit its atrocities hung over the panel on Islamophobia at Bowling Green State University Wednesday afternoon. The moderator Susana Pena, director of the School of Cultural and Critical Studies, started the discussion off by positing a definition: “Islamophobia is a hatred or fear of Muslims as well as those perceived to be Muslim and Muslim culture.” She told the more than 100 people in attendance that at its most extreme Islamophobia expresses itself in physical violence and hate crimes, such as the 2002 attack on the Islamic Center in Perrysburg. It also expresses itself in racial profiling and “micro-aggressions … every day intentional and unintentional snubs and insults,” Pena said. Cherrefe Kadri, a Toledo attorney, was on the board of the Islamic Center of Northwest Ohio when the arsonist attacked. The man convicted of the crime wrote a letter of apology. “It was a cathartic exercise,” Kadri said. “He thought we were happy he was imprisoned. I assured him we were not.” Kadri said she is disappointed in politicians such as Donald Trump and Ben Carson who “think it’s courageous speaking against people based on their religion.” And she’s disappointed in other political leaders, especially Republican leaders, who have not opposed their views. “It puts people in danger.” Saudi student Adnan Shareef, president and founder of the Muslim Students Association at BGSU, said he knows of some Muslims “afraid of affiliating themselves with anything Islam.” This is especially true of women who may forego wearing traditional head covering. “They are afraid of hate crimes,” he said. “They stop speaking out about their religion and themselves.” Pena said later in the program that it’s not just up to Muslims, or other members of “marginalized” communities. Putting the burden exclusively on Muslims or African-Americans or members of the LBGT community to explain their experiences also “can be an oppressive move.” “Some days you don’t have it in you,” Pena said. “The philosophy of Not In Our Town is not to put it on the marginalized community but that it’s everybody’s responsibility… to speak up.” “Be overt in your support,” said Sgt. Dale Waltz of the Canton, Michigan, township police. “Be a little loud…

‘Adopt’ a block idea taking shape

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Residents of Bowling Green’s East Side often wake to find their yards littered with trash from party-goers. So in an effort to clean up the neighborhoods and sullied reputations of college students, plans have begun for some blocks to be “adopted” by student groups. The Bowling Green City-University Relations Commission discussed the cleanups as a goal that can be accomplished rather than started then put on hold each time a break in semesters occurs. “We talk about these things over and over again,” said Lisa Mattiace, vice president of the commission. But little is accomplished, the board agreed Tuesday evening. Peter Rodriguez, a member of the Undergraduate Student Government, said that organization had begun talks about student groups adopting city blocks, similar to the “adopt a highway” program started by the Ohio Department of Transportation. But Rodriguez added that the progress on the program “is very, very slow.” The project is brought up annually, but “there’s no traction.” Members of the city-university commission agreed they could help provide the needed traction. They recognized this program as a project they could team up with the USG to get accomplished, possibly this spring semester. And once started, it would be easy to continue every semester. “I think it’s commendable for the USG to be taking that on,” commission member Chris Ostrowski said. Tom Mellott, also on the commission, suggested that signs be erected identifying which group is responsible for which blocks. “I think it will help people understand that folks do care,” he said. Julie Broadwell, a commission member who lives on the East Side, was asked to identify the 10 city blocks most in need of being “adopted.” Barb Ruland suggested the commission could help by getting signage and providing bags for the trash. Only the areas between the sidewalks and streets would be picked up, so the students wouldn’t be entering private lawns. Mattiace pointed out that the project should be more than just trash pickup. “I don’t want the students to think they are garbage collectors for the city.” It was suggested that residents be notified of the pickups so they would not only be aware, but so they could join in the cleanups if they…

Former director of Stroh Center being investigated for financial irregularities

BG INDEPENDENT NEWS The Bowling Green State University employee who oversees the Stroh Center has resigned over financial irregularities. Ben Spence, a Bowling Green native, had been Stroh director since 2013. In a statement from the university stated that in Augu st, university internal auditors “discovered irregularities with cash handling practices done in connection with Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) tournaments held at the Stroh Center.” Spence was suspended at that time, and resigned in October. The university then presented the information to the Wood County Prosecutor’s Office, which is conducting an investigation. University officials will not comment about the investigation while it is ongoing.