Professors to speak at BGSU commencement

BOWLING GREEN, O.—Two esteemed members of the faculty will speak at Bowling Green State University's fall commencement.

Dr. Ronald E. Shields, a professor and chair of Bowling Green's Department of Theatre and Film, will address degree candidates in the Graduate College, College of Business Administration, College of Health & Human Services, College of Musical Arts and College of Technology during ceremonies at 7 p.m. Dec. 14 in Anderson Arena.

The following day, Dr. Jeffrey Gordon, an associate professor of geography and the University's 2006 Master Teacher, will be the commencement speaker for those graduating in the College of Arts & Sciences and in the College of Education & Human Development. Those ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m. Dec. 15 in Anderson Arena.

In all, the University will award some 1,185 diplomas at the ceremonies.

Shields has taught at Bowling Green since 1986. He is a veteran stage director, having directed contemporary as well as classical plays, original adaptations of prose fiction and poetry, and opera. His most recent credits include directing two North American premiere productions of early Baroque operas by Cavalli. Both stagings were scholarly and artistic collaborations with colleagues at BGSU and lutist Paul O'Dette of the Eastman School of Music.

An elected accreditation officer for the National Association of Schools of Theatre, Shields also has served as editor of Theatre Annual: A Journal of Performance since 2002 and a member of the Text and Performance Quarterly editorial board since 1992.

He received the 2004 Outstanding Performance Studies Scholar Award from the Central States Communication Association and the 2006 Leslie Irene Coger Award for Distinguished Scholarship and Creative Work, presented by the National Communication Association.

Gordon is among a select group of Bowling Green faculty chosen by students to receive the University's Master Teacher Award. Because students pick the recipient, the award is considered the highest among faculty honors at BGSU and recognizes faculty who demonstrate special care for their students.

The geographer's teaching is described as “interactive, honest and sincere.” His style of instruction reflects his belief that “the most important aspect of education at this time is to facilitate the changing face of teaching.” Holding the belief that students can learn much from one another, he encourages their interaction and infuses them with his enthusiasm for geography.

A member of BGSU's faculty since 1980, Gordon is among modern geographers who are interested not just in mountains and maps, but in how people fill, use and occupy space. Because of his wide-ranging interest in geography he has been quoted in the news media for his studies of rural mailboxes, roadside memorials, the National Tractor Pull, flea markets, bumper stickers and other phenomena that are part of the “cultural landscape.”

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(Posted December 04, 2007)