As we conclude 2020, how do you review a year unlike any other? At Bowling Green State University, a public university for the public good, we measure it by our impact.
For us, creating public good is not a slogan or a tagline. It is the fabric of who we are – it is our mission and our commitment. It is our why. As a public university, which drives the vitality of Ohio and beyond, it is also our responsibility.
Certainly, 2020 asked a lot of us. BGSU answered the call, and we are not done yet.
Here's our year in review: Our Public Good in Action.
Rodney K. Rogers, Ph.D.
Emerging from programs like nursing, medical laboratory sciences, respiratory therapy, gerontology, and many more, Falcons from around the world stepped squarely onto the frontlines to battle COVID-19.
The famed BGSU Starship robots expanded delivery zones beyond campus after shelter-in-place orders, bringing contactless delivery to the community of Bowling Green. From sunup to sundown, the fleet of more than 40 bots makes 1,000+ deliveries every day.
As the world scrambled for information about the novel coronavirus, from prevention to social impact, BGSU researchers studied and explored the virus, shaping decision-making across industries.
Students made a difference in their communities and industries, sometimes one mask at a time. Apparel Merchandise and Product Development (AMPD) major Madilyn Brigner spent the summer sewing see-through masks to help ease communication for the deaf community.
In prioritizing public health measures, BGSU named a chief health officer and forged new partnerships with the Wood County Health Department and Wood County Hospital to drive public health initiatives for the region, greatly expanding high-quality rapid COVID-19 testing capabilities in northwest Ohio.
While universities across the nation made reopening plans, BGSU committed to a safe return of on-campus living and learning and launched Design My BGSU, a flexible and adaptable approach instruction with multiple course delivery modes, resulting in record enrollment and retention.
Students returned to campus in August with a commitment to adhere to new health and safety guidelines, not only to keep themselves safe, but to protect their fellow Falcons and slow the spread of COVID-19. Individual actions kept the campus open for the planned 13 weeks of in-person learning for the fall semester.
Amid a global pandemic's economy, BGSU set the stage to drive economic vitality through business innovation and leadership with a $15 million private investment in the Allen W. and Carol M. Schmidthorst College of Business and opened the state-of-the-art Robert W. and Patricia A. Maurer Center, elevating business education at BGSU for generations to come.
Alumnus and We Are One Team (WA1T) founder Dr. Yannick Kluch ’14, ’18, known for his work as a dedicated advocate for diversity and inclusion in college athletics, was appointed to the inaugural Team USA Council on Racial and Social Justice to serve as a thought leader and diversity and inclusion expert.
BGSU faculty and staff showcased unparalleled levels of innovation, flexibility and adaptability to reach and support students. Dr. Angela Thomas offered in-person office hours through "Edugating" – a portmanteau of "educating" and "tailgating" – to safely interact with students outside of the classroom.
As the Black Lives Matter movement gripped the nation, BGSU hosted a series of events and conversations about social justice in our community and beyond. The Day of Dialogue brought students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as the wider community, together to outline and confront the challenges we face as we raise awareness and deal with racial issues.
Students answered the call to play a larger role in the general election, with more students than ever before signing up to serve as poll workers and encouraging other students to do the same. BGSU Votes shifted to a physically distanced voter engagement campaign to help students, often first-time voters, register, request absentee ballots and stay informed.
Despite a year full of unforeseen challenges, alumni and friends from around the world came together for a record-setting day of giving to support the University and its students. This year’s BGSU One Day: Homecoming Edition brought in nearly $900,000 in donations, surpassing last year’s historic success.
Researchers continued to study the health of Lake Erie, including identifying a possible cause of the Toledo Water Crisis. Dr. Timothy Davis was one of nine international researchers named to the Scientific Steering Committee for GlobalHAB, an international program that is jointly sponsored by the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) and Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO.
As the world turned its attention to a vaccine, Dr. Jinha Lee led researchers and public health experts to study the University's flu shot clinic to identify best-practices to streamline immunization clinics ahead of the release of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Facing scarce testing resources and limited health care workers, Medical Laboratory Science students and faculty became trained to administer and read COVID-19 tests, allowing the University the opportunity to open testing to all students, faculty and staff.
2020 demanded innovation. At BGSU, finding new pathways for access and affordability in education during a year of unforeseen challenges meant new partnerships, programs and resources to drive the vitality of our region, state, nation and beyond not just for this year, but for decades to come.
Addressing nursing shortage, BGSU establishes School of Nursing and invests in nursing skills and simulation lab
Cedar Fair Resort and Attraction Management program launches, leverages first-of-its-kind private partnership
A trailblazer for women in public service, Jo Ann Davidson receives honorary Doctor of Public Service degree
To keep graduate education accessible during the global pandemic, BGSU waives GRE and GMAT test requirements, offers online programs
Student-athletes persevere despite abbreviated seasons, Kailee Perry earns the women's cross country program first MAC individual championship in 25 years