Thursday, November 16, 2017  
University hosts naturalization ceremony | BGSU, UT sign foreign language course exchange agreement
New citizens Ping Liu (left) and Matias Razo

The 34 people from 20 countries becoming American citizens Nov. 13 heard from someone who knew well what they had gone through to get there and how they might be feeling.

Danijela Tomic, head BGSU women’s volleyball coach since 2012, had just become a U.S. citizen herself — “57 days ago” — she told the group assembled in the Lenhart Grand Ballroom at the Bowen-Thompson Student Union for the naturalization ceremony hosted by Bowling Green State University and coordinated by International Programs and Partnerships.

Tomic came to the United States 22 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegovina (the former Yugoslavia) knowing not a word of English. She had been playing volleyball in Croatia, but after the 1990 civil war broke out, she and her family found themselves stranded in four different countries and prospects were slim for the future. She took the surprising and brave step of applying to coach volleyball in Little Rock, Arkansas, and was accepted.

She told the new citizens that they now probably know more about the United States than most native-born citizens because of the serious amount of studying they had to have done to pass the citizenship test. She also knew the tremendous anxiety they faced as they met with their interviewer and answered the questions that would help determine their fate. Finally reaching the day when they were to take the final step was a highly emotional moment, she said.


BGSU/UT enter into foreign language agreement - The Blade
Research at BGSU touches lives - BG Independent News
Naturalization ceremony held at BGSU - WTOL, NBC24, The Blade, Sentinel-Tribune, WFIN, BG Independent News
Transient Canvas to perform - BG Independent News
Toledo Symphony gives student composer reading session - BG Independent News
Paralympic athlete Long shares message of positivity - BG Independent News

Signing the shared courses agreement were (left to right), from BGSU, Raymond Craig, Rodney Rogers and President Mary Ellen Mazey; and, from UT, President Sharon Gaber, Andrew Hsu and Charlene Gilbert.

Bowling Green State University and The University of Toledo have announced a collaboration in foreign language education that will expand opportunities for students at both universities, while saving resources by reducing duplicative academic programs.

The programs are among those identified by the Ohio Department of Higher Education in response to the Governor’s Task Force on Affordability and Efficiency’s recommendation that universities in the same region offering duplicative programs look for opportunities to collaborate.

On Nov. 15, BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey and UT President Sharon L. Gaber led the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement supporting the foreign language course exchange.

Also signing the agreement were Drs. Rodney Rogers, BGSU provost and senior vice president; Andrew Hsu, UT executive vice president and provost; Raymond Craig, BGSU College of Arts and Sciences dean; and Charlene Gilbert, UT College of Arts and Letters dean.

“We are pleased to enter into this partnership with The University of Toledo, which will provide exceptional educational experiences for both BGSU and UT students,” Mazey said. “As one of BGSU’s core values, we welcome opportunities to collaborate. This agreement combines the strengths of both universities, resulting in efficiencies that support students’ degree completion.”


John (Jack) Schroeder, 89, died Nov. 9. He served as chief accountant for the University from 1981-92.


Guest speaker Keith McCandless will visit BGSU Dec. 4 to share the philosophy of Liberating Structures, a leading-edge change approach used for a variety of strategic initiatives in colleges and universities in the United States and Denmark.

Co-founder of the Social Invention Group and co-author of the book “The Surprising Power of Liberating Structures – Simple Rules to Unleash a Culture of Innovation,” McCandless will explain his approach to enlivening experiences and interactions in the classroom, boardroom and beyond. His talk will be held from 2-4 p.m. at the BGSU Collab Lab in the Jerome Library. Attendance is free but spots are limited to just 30 people. Register with Brian Pack at

According to McCandless, conventional structures for meeting and planning tend to be either too inhibiting (presentations, status reports and managed discussions) or too loose and disorganized (open discussions and brainstorms) to creatively engage people in shaping their own future. They frequently generate feelings of frustration and/or exclusion and fail to provide space for innovation to emerge and germinate. With Liberating Structures, McCandless encourages participants to spark inventiveness by minimally structuring the way we interact while liberating content or subject matter. Going by this strategy, McCandless hopes to show how very simple constraints can help unleash creative adaptability, generating better than expected results. Additionally, McCandless will have leaders of the Liberating Structures strategy join the session virtually and share their own experiences with the participants.

The event is hosted by the BGSU Master of Organization Development Program.