Archive for January, 2012

Dreams of Jewelry

By Kelsey Klein

The silence of the art gallery was interrupted when a woman, rushing, bounced into the room. Spotting an acquaintance sketching, she called cheerily across the empty space between them. Her black and white polka dot jacket, blue and green checkered shirt, bright green bag, and heavy boots contrasted sharply with the polished floor and sparkling glass walls surrounding her. She sat down and began to spread her work on the table in front of her. She picked up a necklace and laid it on a display. Another necklace was carefully placed on the table beside the first one. The woman unwrapped a ring from a soft cloth, placing both the ring and cloth down. Soon came several more necklaces, two bracelets, and a curved vessel depicting a shark-mouth silhouette. The woman smiled at the things she had made and began explaining their meanings.

Jessica Baker, a 19-year-old sophomore at Bowling Green State University, has known her career path since she was a small child. Many people’s dreams shift as they grow. Instead of astronauts, they become bankers. Instead of dancers, they become teachers. Some swear they will be artists and become baristas at coffee shops. Baker, however, has not let go of her dreams.

Baker began making jewelry on a road trip in fourth grade. She and her cousin made bracelets in the

Baker explains a concept for a new piece of jewelry she is working on. Photo by Kelsey Klein.

car and Baker, hooked, asked her mom for more beads. Soon, Baker was hooked on working with wire as well, making and selling bracelets on her Minister, Ohio, elementary school playground. Her playground business continued, even during the winter months, until Baker was making custom bracelets for peers—an elementary school version of artistic commissions.

Baker continued to make jewelry throughout high school. Her free time was a process of discovery, vision and new ideas for her work. When it was time for college, Baker knew she wanted to attend BGSU.

“This was… the only destination I had in mind,” she said. “It was the only place I applied to. I didn’t do any tour here. I just knew I was coming here.”

Kim Zeigler, Baker’s cousin from the fourth-grade trip, was instrumental in Baker’s assurance that she was attending BGSU. Zeigler graduated from BGSU in 2008 with a Bachelor’s degree in art education and is currently a full-time jewelry artist. Baker and Zeigler have always had a strong relationship centered around art, Zeigler said in an email.

Baker was equally certain about her degree path: 3D fine art with a focus in jewelry and metalwork.

“I didn’t really think of anything else. I was just like, oh, I’m in college, I like making things, so I’ll major in making jewelry,” she said, shaking her long, dark hair. “It was that thing that I was destined, I guess you could say. The thing that I would always go back to.”

Baker was not sure, however, about how she would work with metal. Since materials and machinery for metalwork are extremely expensive, Baker did not have an opportunity to try making art with metal before she came to college.

Baker explains the process of working metal into a vessel shape. Photo by Kelsey Klein.

Last semester was a process of figuring out how to work with metal, according to Baker. Now that, as she puts it, she is friends with metal, she is more focused on using metal.

Baker’s relationship with metal is more than a friendship, according to Tom Muir, head of the Jewelry and Metalsmithing Department at BGSU and a mentor of Baker.

“She has a real sensitivity for the material,” Muir said. “You can see if someone really cares and nurtures something, and I think that was really evident in her work, too.”

Baker, according to Muir, respects the metal to the point of reverence for what it can become under an artist’s hand. She treats the material with love. Baker finishes her work properly, fixing errors she makes until her work is perfect.

Working to finish her art properly, however, involves much trial and error for Baker. Her first idea, she said, isn’t always her best idea. She experiments, changes her work and starts over in her quest to translate her artistic vision.

“When I decide I’m going to make something, I put my heart into it and I set my mind.” she reflected. “It becomes almost like a puzzle that I have to break and solve… I can’t stop until I figure it out.”

Life is art for Baker. She finds inspiration in the details of life.

“Jessica is constantly abstracting the everyday real world and turning it into jewelry,” Zeigler wrote in an email.

Baker once saw a brick wall that inspired some necklaces. She also finds inspiration in colors and in trees she sees.

One of Baker’s necklaces depicts brightly colored hand shapes laced with chain. The necklace, she says, was inspired by her feeling that time sometimes chokes her.

Techno-whale-shark. Photo by Kelsey Klein.

Another of Baker’s necklaces, one she refers to as techno-whale-shark, was inspired by techno music and the patterns on whale sharks‘ skin.

A necklace of Baker's, inspired by the way she occasionally feels choked by time constraints. Photo by Kelsey Klein.

Baker’s biggest dream is to open her own jewelry and metal business, much like Zeigler, though the two have distinctly different styles.

“Her jewelry reflects her positive attitude because it is very bright and funky,” Zeigler wrote. “Jessica’s jewelry is jewelry you would want to wear to fun events and around happy people.”

Saving the Second Amendment

By Stephan Reed

Since the age of 10, Hofacker worked with guns. His grandfather was a gunsmith and he eventually picked up the trade of repairing firearms. He later joined the Fostoria police force in 1988 until he retired in 2005.

Hofacker and his business partner, Steve Doe, have owned and operated their gun store in Fostoria since August of 2010 and look to expand their business, using their own space and the Internet ( Besides selling guns, they teach concealed weapon classes, book international hunts, create their own ammunition by hand and operate a target range. Neither man takes gun control advocates seriously.

Hofacker and Doe offer a list of services to their patrons. Photo taken from the company's business card.

“We bump into people periodically that are so tremendously anti-gun and anti-hunting that they make negative comments to us,” Hofacker said. “The people who do that sort of thing are uninformed and uneducated. A lot of the people will see things our way after talking to them for a bit. Animal rights activists and gun control lobbyists, or freaks if you will, they don’t look at the big picture.”

In 1989, while working as a police officer, Hofacker responded to a domestic violence call. When he arrived, him and his partner found a man, under the influence of PCP and alcohol, striking his brother in the body with a hatchet. The suspect proceeded to chase the two officers while wielding the hatchet. In an effort to save his life, Hofacker discharged three bullets into the chest of the suspect. At the end of the day, all the men involved were alive and the suspect was in custody.

“We run into people who say, ‘I don’t think you should own a gun,’ and they have never been victimized,” Hofacker said. “They are so far removed from the fact that we have guns in the first place is for hunting and self-protection, self-protection more commonly nowadays.”

The gun store is home to a variety of prize animals Hofacker and Doe killed during hunts in the United States, Canada and South Africa. Photo by Stephan Reed.

In early 2010, while enjoying a beer with his best friend after a hunt in Nevada, Hofacker presented the idea of the gun store in Fostoria. Immediately, Doe complied and was willing to follow through with the plan. Hofacker’s wife, Michelle, was on board as well, motivating him by saying “If you don’t do this now, then you never will.”

Hofacker and his partner continue to run the gun shop, despite gun control controversy.

The Brady Campaign, a nationwide gun control organization, works to apply stricter gun laws to the country in an effort to cut back on gun violence. According to statistics from, more than 97,000 U.S. citizens were injured by gun-related violence last year, and among those involved, 31,593 were killed.

The Brady Campaign ranks Ohio as one of the least restricted gun control states in the nation because Ohio does not have a ban on assault weapons and does not have a “One-gun-a-month” law.

The Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence (, another group dedicated to gun law reform, focuses on the people who buy guns legally but resell them illegally. To fix the problem, group leaders are looking to pass legislation that would make background checks more extensive and gun show transactions better documented.

“Forty percent of guns bought are secondary guns. You can buy them from the dealer and sell it to me the next day,” Toby Hoover, Executive Director of the group, said.  “It’s a popular thing because you’re selling to people who can’t pass the background check. That’s against the law, but it still happens. It’s common all over.”

Doe and Hofacker keep up with the gun control debate and have already faced restrictions. For every transaction and every concealed weapon permit, the two owners report to the FBI and perform a background check on behalf of the receiving individual.

Hofacker tweeks the action on an M4 pistol in his office February 3. Photo by Stephan Reed.

“There needs to be regulations on who can own guns,” Hofacker said. “We want to stay away from ‘sensible gun laws.’ That’s the term politicians like to say. We have thousands of laws on guns. We only need a few. Nobody could know everything inside the law book. The only reason they make it so difficult is to convolute and brainwash us.”

"Gun laws are only as good as the people who follow them," Doe said. "Like any other law, like murder, people break them everyday. People rob stores with guns, but is it the gun's fault? I could set this gun out on the table and it won't do it for 100 years if no one touches it." Photo by Stephan Reed.


Inside S and S Firearms, Hofacker and Doe converse around an office desk, which contains a bag of hand-packed bullets, a weathered book of gun laws and a poorly hidden flask of whiskey. Hofacker begins working on an M4 pistol and gives Doe a history lesson on each part of the gun and Doe shares his common defense for their business.

“A gun is nothing more than a tool, like a car,” Doe said. “If a person does something dastardly with a gun, then punish him. There are all kinds of rules in the book for that. If you took your car and ran over five people with it, that doesn’t mean they should take cars away from everyone.”

Hofacker and Doe are lifelong members of the National Rifle Association and are co-chairmen of their local chapter. They cite the NRA as the primary reasoning behind their business, their rationale for selling firearms to the public.

According to, a website dedicated to the review of new gun legislation, “Private citizens benefit from handguns for the same reason that the police do: handguns are easy to carry, and they are effective defensive tools. Handguns are used for protection more often than they are used to commit violent crimes, and two of every three defensive uses of firearms are carried out with handguns.”

Law requires Hofacker and Doe to call in background checks to the government before sales are final. They also perform checks on patrons trying to purchase ammunition and those attempting to obtain concealed carried permits.

In 1994, while Hofacker was working as a police officer, he was doing paperwork on a man who had been arrested on domestic violence charges, violating parole, resisting arresting and possession of a loaded .25 auto pistol. In 2011, the same man was in Hofacker’s gun class. The man was later rejected for his permit for having a felony on his record, just as Hofacker predicted.

Hofacker and his wife agree that their children should be introduced to firearms early.

“My kids started shooting at 4 years old,” Michelle Hofacker said. “A lot of people say that’s too young, but I say you’re never too young to be educated.”

There may be those who question the Second Amendment right to bear arms, but as long as laws permit, Hofacker will wear his gun rights on his sleeves — and even on the back of his truck.

Hofacker keeps a decal of the Second Amendment on the back window of his truck. Photo by Stephan Reed.

He has a decal with the words of the Second Amendment printed on the back window of his truck in the form of the American flag.

“Some people may think I’m a crackpot or a radical,” Hofacker said. “The Second Amendment is the one that allows for the first one to work properly.”

From left, Doe and Hofacker pose with their prize mountain lion during a hunting expedition in South Africa during the summer of 2011. Photo provided.

On fire for Christ

Development director exemplifies alternative lifestyle and passion for his work

Rob Hohler sits in his office at St. Thomas More University Parish. Photo by Sarah Bailey

By Sarah Bailey

When Rob Hohler first came to Bowling Green State University as an undergraduate student, he wasn’t sure about his faith.

In fact, he even said his path was a bit crooked.

“I kind of came to college with the hopes and aspirations of becoming a millionaire,” he said.

In a world and culture where many businessmen, political candidates and entrepreneurs may center their idea of success on wealth, Hohler’s journey reflects his alternative lifestyle. As an undergraduate student, Hohler started at BGSU as a business major hoping to obtain a degree that he could make as much money as possible with. Now, he is a church employee who lives a life concentrated on praying, working and living his faith.

In his office, decorated with Christian quotes and crosses, many wouldn’t assume the Catholic-raised 24-year-old had swayed from his faith at some point in his life. While he currently works as the development director at St.Thomas More University Parish, when Hohler first came to BGSU he said he was “spotty” even going to Mass.

As an undergraduate, Hohler considered himself isolated. He had friends, but not true companionship, he said. He spent his time playing video games, sleeping too much and feeling introverted.

“Though I had direction in life, I didn’t know why I was going there,” he said.

In the first semester of his sophomore year, Hohler found his way. He attended a semi-annual retreat at St. Thomas More after being repeatedly invited by the Rev. Michael Danduarand, he said. At the retreat he made friends and deepened his desire to be a part of the parish’s community.

“It was pretty easy for me to see that this is the life I wanted to live, and this is what my life would be about,” he said. “It’s a focal point, the purpose of life.”

He then went away for a semester to California in order to grow as a person. In searching for himself, he discovered that there was more in the world beyond him. During his journey, he said there were times where he simply couldn’t be on his own. That’s when he realized God, who was greater than himself, was with him. When he came back, he moved straight into the Newman center, a housing option available for BGSU students who want to share a prayer-based schedule. During the next two years, he became very involved at the parish, grew in his faith and continues to live at the Newman center.

This is a photo of Rob Hohler with Ryan Moninger, Kyle Moninger, Martha Gutierrez and Brittany Smith on an alternative spring break trip in 2011. Photo provided by Kyle Moninger.

“When I moved in here, I just encountered an incredible community,” he said.

Ryan Moninger, a junior who currently lives with Hohler in the Newman center and has known him since the fall of 2010, said he valued his friendship with Hohler.

“Next to my twin brother, Kyle, he’s my best friend here in college,” said Moninger, a junior majoring in architecture.

Moninger bonded with Hohler over “Halo,” a popular Xbox video game, when they began living together. He said Hohler has faced past issues, but has since risen above them.

“He’s always a source of encouragement for me and an example that I can look up to,” he said.

Along with encountering a new community came adjustments also, Hohler said. While he now lives a life focused on morning, evening prayer, mass and planning retreats, when he first moved into the Newman center it was a transition, he said.

“I was redefining what I thought about life and how I approached things,” he said. “It was like a new discovery.”

While other development directors at different churches may focus their jobs solely on raising money, a sign on Hohler’s wall in his office shows his approach is a different one.

On his bulletin board hangs a quote by Mother Theresa with a dollar bill that says,

“God does not call us to be successful. He calls us to be faithful.”

Hohler received the dollar from a friend. Before the quote was on the board, he had posted a “million dollar goal” with the dollar, he said.

“It was a bit of a sarcastic goal,” he said. Anytime someone would see it, the sign would seem very far from achieving the goal. It’s a joke that shows how someone just has to be faithful to God to find true success, he said.

Hohler graduated with a degree in business administration in 2010. Now, while he could be making more money than he is, Hohler looks at his degree as a way to serve the Lord, he said.

While lists the highest annual salary of a church development director as $73,000, according to, annual salaries in marketing and sales management can climb up to $151,260.

“I certainly could’ve made a lot more money than what I’m making now, so it definitely wasn’t the money,” he said.

Now Hohler organizes retreats twice a year, arranges the development efforts of the parish, does marketing and has various other responsibilities. One of the most fulfilling aspects of working with the retreat program is seeing the mission of the church, which is to bring people in, come alive, he said.

“The sort of life I’ve been blessed to live became really natural to me. It’s what I wanted to do. I don’t feel like I’m making a great sacrifice to be here. I feel like this is a gift to me,” Hohler said.

Tegan Gahan, a junior who has known Rob for four years, has seen him develop over the years.

“His role for me was a spiritual leader and showing me what the Catholic faith was about,” said Gahan, an exercise science major.

Hohler has always been very passionate about his Catholicism and his personality makes him an interesting person to get to know, she said.

“As you get to know him, you realize he will go out of his way for anyone,” she said. One time Gahan said she lost her car keys on a retreat and Hohler had her car towed to her apartment so that it wouldn’t get taken away.

“You couldn’t count the things that he’s done over the years to help other people,” she said.

When it comes to Hohler’s faith and how he sees himself now compared to four years ago, one aspect has changed, he said.

“I have always been a child of God,” he said. “God has always been there. The difference between now and then is that I know that.”

Max Filby

I’m Max Filby and I’m from Sylvania, Ohio, about 30 to 45 minutes North of Bowling Green.

I’m a junior studying print journalism at the University with minors in Italian and Political Science. I work at The BG News as the News Editor, a page designer and a reporter. I’ve worked at The News since I transfered to the University from OU in January 2010.

I’m interested in reporting on almost anything related to controversy. Some of the bigger articles I’ve worked on for The News include one about rats and other pests in the dining halls, one about University leadership related to the former USG president vomiting at an away football game and one about students who had PEDs to get into residence halls they didn’t live in.

I also do some freelance work for a magazine based out of Sandusky, Ohio called Health Matters. It’s a monthly magazine that just started this year.

Aside from reporting, I’m a big fan of movies and premium cable TV shows like “Weeds” and “Dexter” on Showtime.

Tyler Buchanan

My name is Tyler Buchanan, and I’m a Junior Journalism major and political science minor at BGSU. I am from Bellevue, Ohio.


I write for the BGNews, in my first year as a reporter and third as a columnist.


I also write for the Examiner, a hyper local online news website.  I cover the Elections 2012 and Gambling beats for the Cleveland Examiner.

Ryan Satkowiak

My name is Ryan Satkowiak, and I am a junior print journalism major from Fresno, Calif. (it’s a long story). I have been writing for The BG News since September of my freshman year, almost exclusively as a sportswriter. I currently serve as the BG News’ sports editor.

I basically figured out my freshman year of high school that I wanted to write about sports because I love sports, and I didn’t want to get stuck doing a boring 8-5 Monday-Friday job. (I’ve had one “real” job in my life. A file clerk at a law office, and it sucked). Working with the paper has helped me meet great people and develop good connections. The opportunities I’ve had from working with the BG News have also been awesome. Below is a picture of me and former NHL all-star and BG alumni Rob Blake, who I got to meet when he came back to campus last year.


Nikia J. Washington

My name Nikia Washington, commonly known  as Kia. I am a print journalism student, with a passion for writing, which essentially lead me to this field of study. On Bowling Green’s campus, I participate as a assistant director of Dance Marathon and a videographer for the BG Football team. I am also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., where I serve as the philanthropy chair.

I am originally from Cleveland, OH, but have lived in Farmington Hills, Mich. for the past 12 years. As the oldest of three children, I am the first to be shipped off to college.

In my experience as an aspiring journalist I have worked with BG-24, BG on TV and the Key and Obsidian magazines. I also worked briefly for the start up of a magazine in the Washington, D.C. area. Lately, I have been exploring writing fiction, which is quickly becoming a new hobby of mine. My ideal job is to work my way up through a magazine production company and to eventually, establish my own.

Sarah Bailey

My name is Sarah Bailey, and I am a junior and journalism major at BGSU, minoring in marketing. I am orginially from Loveland, Ohio. This past summer, I interned at the Cincinnati Enquirer where I was given the opportunity to write stories for the local news section and for Our Town Magazine. I have also written for The BG News and the Key Magazine during my time here at the university. Writing is my passion and I couldn’t imagine my life without it. I enjoy writing about fashion, entertainment, health, and mostly positive stories that showcase people in the community. I hope to one day write, market or do publishing for a major magazine.

In addition to journalism related activites, I am a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority. During my membership I have served as vice president of communications, historian, chair of the leadership and nominating committee and I am currently the chair of the policy and standards board.


Scooter Shenefield

I am finishing my undergrad at BGSU. I am studying sport management and journalism. After graduation I would like to get into a sports information office. I have some experience with this through BG’s athletic communication office.

This semester I am also working as reporter for the <a href="" The BGNEWS. I hope to learn as much as I can, and improve my writing tenfold.

Kelsey Klein

Hello, World. I am a junior Women’s Studies major at BGSU, with minors in Journalism and Sociology. I currently work as a writing tutor at the BGSU Learning Commons. I am also treasurer of the BGSU Organization for Women’s Issues, event coordinator for the BGSU chapter of Triota (a national women’s studies honorary), and a volunteer with Victims Services of Behavioral Connections.

As you can see from the things I do, women’s studies and women’s issues are my true passions. I love the written word as it applies to social activism and the lives of people. Thus, feature writing is my favorite journalistic style, though I am much more of an academic, research-orienented writer than a journalist. Nothing makes me happier than churning out a 20 page paper on something like the politics of bisexual female representation and community at BGSU (which was an actual project of mine last semester).

Professionally, it is my goal to earn a Ph.D in Sexology or Social Work (or both!) and work with community-based sex education programs and research, and with interpersonal violence victims.

In my spare time, which is difficult to find, I am a rabid BGSU hockey and Pittsburgh Penguins fan, an Alice in Wonderland aficionado, and a lover of warm, fuzzy things like bunny slippers.

(Photo credit to Breanna Ridgeway/Bree Lea Photography)

Tia Woodel

My name is Tia Woodel and I’m a senior working for a Print Journalism major and Women’s Studies minor at BGSU. I’ve worked at The BG News as a copy editor during the summer of 2011 and worked as an intern in the fall. As an intern, I not only continued to copy edit, but I worked on improving my reporting skills as I wrote weekly stories. I also designed one to two pages for each Monday paper, including photo spreads and campus pages.

Before working with The BG News, I interned with the Beacon newspaper out of Ottawa County. Working there helped me acquire basic journalism skills that I still use today.

When I’m not working on journalism projects, I’m attending meetings as the membership coordinator for the new on-campus organization, Triota. Triota is a Women’s Studies Honors Society that works to promote and support excellence and scholarship in Women’s Studies.

While I’ve only had the opportunity to have internships with newspapers, I hope to one day work for a magazine.

Stephan Reed

I have worked in the print journalism world for almost four years and I have done everything from newspaper layout, to reporting, to column writing, to copy editing, to photography.

I am currently the Forum Editor at The BG News located on campus at Bowling Green State University.

My goal is to become a reporter for Rolling Stone. I am a musician and I am a writer; what better way to live my life than writing stories about the colorful personalities in the music industry?

Jason Jones

My name is Jason Jones. I’m from an upstate New York town called Lowville. After high school I knew I wanted to get away and start somewhere new, so, I ended up in Bowling Green. Now I’m just two semesters away from graduating, and it’s a pretty exciting feeling.

I’m a Public Relations major. Right now I’m not sure where my ideal career path would take me. I wish I did, but I simply don’t. I think it would incredibly exciting to work for a big firm somewhere in a nice city like New York, but then I’d also find doing public relations for a professional sports team exciting.

As far as writing is concerned, I’ve always had an interest in Sports. During my first two years hear at BGSU, I worked as a sports reporter for The BG News, covering golf, rugby, soccer, football, and basketball. I fell out of the love with the whole thing however after a miserable semester spent working as the Assistant Sports Editor. Through a combination of reasons, I came to realize that it wasn’t right for me, and I left.

Now I’m enjoying my time here at BGSU. Going to class, writing, becoming involved with PRSSA, and playing on the Lacrosse team. It’s all good fun.

I’m excited to get things started with this blog.


Bri Haller

I’m a junior Print Journalism major with a minor in Political Science at Bowling Green State University. I’ve been working with the BG News since 2010 and have skills in writing, copy editing and design. I hope to launch a career at a newspaper in a major city such as Washington D.C.

Erin Cox

I am currently a junior at BGSU with a major in journalism and a minor in popular culture. I am originally from Van Wert, Ohio, attended Miami University starting in 2009 and transfered

to BGSU in the fall of 2011.

I worked at the Miami Student for a semester while I was at Miami and then interned at The Times Bulletin in Van Wert during the summer of 2011. While working for The Times Bulletin, I had experience doing an online broadcast as the sports reporter. I learned to shoot, edit and upload video to the website. I also wrote hard news and feature stories for the newspaper. After my experience with my small town newspaper, I hope to one day work for a similar newspaper because I like using all types of media and having a wide variety of topics to cover rather than just one beat.

I now write for The BG News where I have a Pulse beat to cover concerts and the music scene in Bowling Green. I also do a weekly movie review. I hope to keep involved in entertainment journalism as I further my career as well.



Sara Shipley Hiles

Sara Shipley Hiles is a journalism faculty member at BGSU. Photo by Jeanie Adams-Smith.

I’m a longtime journalist and a second-year instructor in the Journalism & PR Department at BGSU. During my career, I’ve written for newspapers and magazines, co-authored a book, worked in public relations and dabbled in editing and multimedia. At BGSU, I have taught media law, writing, reporting, environmental journalism and other topics.

I look forward to exploring the world of feature writing with my students. I can’t wait to see their work!

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