You are invited! Completely free, no reservations, and no strings attached! The Monthly Lecture Series is an opportunity to hear outstanding speakers. Join us for refreshments at 9:15 AM followed by presentations from exceptional speakers from 10:00 to 11:00 AM in the Franciscan Center. Alternatively, you may attend online. For links to join these lectures via Zoom, please visit: www.


We Ain’t Been Pickin’ On the Parkway: Appalachian Heritage, Identity, and Landloss in the Wake of the Blue Ridge Parkway

10:00 – 11:00 AM, Friday, January 20
Meeting ID: 889 8642 5888

The Blue Ridge Parkway is the longest and most visited national park in the United States, bringing in close to 2 billion dollars in tourist revenue to the Appalachian region.

Yet the Parkway has not always been a symbol of regional pride and success. During the 1930s, construction of the parkway was resisted by local communities. Ultimately, the struggle over building the Blue Ridge Parkway became a struggle over the very identity of Appalachia and its people. While Park Rangers and tourists viewed Appalachia through a romanticized and timeless lens, Appalachia’s many diverse communities sought to take advantage of Parkway tourism while resisting stereotypes of backwardness often imposed on Appalachian peoples. This talk explores the early history of the parkway, its development, and its imperiled future.

Dr. Cheryl Dong is an Assistant Professor Public History at BGSU and on the Board of Directors at the National Council of Public History. Previously, she taught at the University of Northern Iowa. Dr. Dong will soon have a book published entitled Why Don’t You Die for the People? Memory and Martyrdom in the Black Panther    Party.


Pop Culture Lives Here: Collections at the Browne Popular Culture Library

10:00 – 11:00 AM, Friday, February 17
Meeting ID: 823 8259 3585

“Popular culture is the way of life in which and by which most people in any society live.” according to Ray and Pat Browne, founders of the Browne Popular Culture Library at Bowling Green State University. Everyday items may not seem worthy of a library but the Browne Popular Culture Library is not an ordinary library. With the tagline, “Pop culture lives here: for the study of everyday American life,” this collection holds over 100 years of artifacts of everyday American life: from all forms/genres of fiction to cookie cutters, from movie and TV scripts and press kits to Happy Meal toys, from mail order catalogs to comic books, and much more. Learn what kinds of items are collected and why, as well as how they are organized and used.

Professor Stefanie Hunker is the Chair of Special Collections at BGSU and the Digital Resources Librarian in the Browne Popular Culture Library. She has been employed at the library since 1995 and holds a master’s degree in library science from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She is also a former U.S. Marine and a veteran of the Persian Gulf war (Desert Shield/Desert Storm).


Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, and    Contemporary Issues

10:00 – 11:00 AM, Friday, March 17

Technology continues to change our everyday lives both positively and negatively. There are constant worries: who will be the next person to lose a job to artificial intelligence (AI)? Will I be “safe” on the internet? Are my online banking transactions visible to hackers? The list goes on. Several experts warn against the limitless use of AI in every domain and pose the question: “Just because we can do it, should we do it?” In this lecture, we will explore these and similar questions related to AI, machine learning, and cybersecurity. We will also cover cyber-safe behavior and the innovations in these areas that protect us from hackers.

Ahmad Javaid is an Associate Professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at the University of Toledo. He has been exploring these areas through grants funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Department of Energy( DOE), and the State of Ohio. He has been in the Toledo area for over a decade as a student and a faculty member at UToledo.


Evolution of the Toledo Police Department

10:00 – 11:00 AM, Friday, April 21 

Police have difficult jobs to do, jobs that change over time with new threats, developing technologies, and shifting politics. As the Chief of the Toledo Police Department (TPD), George Kral has worked through many such changes. Chief Kral began his career with Toledo police in 1990. He worked in field operations, crime analysis, internal affairs, the detective bureau, planning and research and the records bureau. Appointed police chief in 2015, Chief Kral oversaw a force of more than 600 officers before retiring in January. Learn about the evolution of policing in Toledo from Chief Kral.


The Streets of Toledo

10:00 – 11:00 AM, Friday, May 19 

Revisit Toledo through photographs taken between 1930 and 1970. These never before published pictures were taken by an advertising company representative and vividly show downtown Toledo in its heyday, including such landmarks as Tiedtkes department store. Tour Toledo streets as they were last century!

Larry Michaels is a retired Lutheran pastor who served at Martin Luther Church on the East Side where he grew up. He also has a PhD in English and has taught at the University of Toledo, and has written several books of local history.