Tyler Oberly visits Bluffton

w9IJlUFyOn the afternoon of Thursday, January 22 Bluffton University hosted a mathematics seminar unlike any you’ve ever been to. Tyler Oberly, Manager of Analytics for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, addressed an eager audience with a speech titled “Sports Analytics: Diving into the math behind athletics.”

The seminar, which was open to all, focused on the emerging industry of sports analytics, and Oberly’s journey to his current position.

Analytics, without going into much detail, is the process of collecting and analyzing data, the ultimate goal being recognition of trends to improve performance. With so many teams searching for a more reliable way to measure and predict player performance, the sports analytics industry is rapidly expanding across all the major professional and collegiate leagues.

Oberly is a graduate of Bluffton High School (2006) and the University of Toledo where he majored in electrical engineering. He is married to Erin (Neal) Oberly, the daughter of Guy and Diane Neal.

He said that while he was happy creating business and risk analysis reports in the industrial world, he knew it wasn’t what he really wanted to be doing. Growing up playing football, basketball and running track, Oberly has always had a passion for sports, and knew he could turn that into a career. He just didn’t know how yet.

“I could not fall asleep after watching that movie,” said Oberly about Moneyball. “It was my eureka moment when I realized I could do this. I was already doing it, just not in a sports context.”

In his time at Toledo Oberly had begun to develop his own model for evaluating National Football League rosters and salary caps, called the Elitics PER (Player Efficiency Rating) Model. The Elitics PER Model is designed to provide one metric in reviewing all players from all positions throughout the NFL.

As one of seven finalists in the 2014 MIT Sloan Business School’s Evolution of Sport conference, Oberly was able to present his work to an audience of sports professionals looking for the next big thing that could change the face of sport.

Obviously Oberly impressed at least one person in that crowd because he was shortly thereafter hired by the Buccaneers to head up their new analytics department. He now works closely with Head Coach Lovie Smith and General Manager Jason Licht, as well as other front office personnel.

For more on Oberly and his innovative work follow him on Twitter: @tyleroberly, or check out some of his writing from his time at The Sideline View.

Dr. Friesen’s trip to Italy

Dr. Melissa Friesen spent two weeks of the holiday break in Italy participating in the directors’ symposium, “Theatre-makers: Theatre for Social Change and Community Engagement,” put on by La MaMa Umbria.

In the beautifully scenic hills of rural Umbria, near the small city of Spoleto, Dr. Friesen and 14 others immersed themselves in the culture while expanding their theater teaching techniques.

Dr. Friesen said the most enriching part of the symposium was the hands-on exercises she was able to take back home. The new warm-up rituals and focus games she performed were important for her she said because of the awareness she now has concerning their actual effectiveness. Psychodrama as drama therapy opened her mind to the personal change that can occur when fully engaging in these practices.

Though she’s had fun and found usefulness in all the workshops she’s attended over the years (including trips to California and Broadway), it sounded as though her adventure in Italy was her favorite. The relevance to the Theatre for Social Change course that she’s developed and is now teaching for the second time is no doubt a big reason why she enjoyed the experience so much.

After an intense two weeks of mentally exhausting work and play, Dr. Friesen said she’s inspired and ready to apply what she’s learned in all the different aspects within her job.

If you’re curious to know more about Dr. Friesen’s trip ask her about it yourself. She’s always friendly and willing to talk to students during her office hours or when you spot her around campus.

Bluffton Public Library – February 2015 Events

Bluffton Public Library announces its February 2015 programs, opportunities, and services. Programs are open to the public, but when noted below, require registration. To register during library hours, call 419-358-5016 or stop by the front desk. After hours, email psc@blufftonpubliclibrary.org or leave a comment on Bluffton Public Library’s Facebook. Registering for BPL programs is now easier than ever with our online registration button. Visit our website at blufftonpubliclibrary.org and click on the “Register Here” button, which will take you to an online form. Specify the program for which you’d like to register and provide us with contact information.

Join us for our winter sessions of Storytime from January 26th- March 17th. Remember to register via phone, email, online, or at the front desk. We will be exploring stories about how to stay warm and cozy. On February 2nd and 3rd children are welcome to wear their pajamas for Bedtime Tales. For more information grab a Storytime bookmark or check the schedule on our website

Chill Zone continues Tuesdays afternoons (February 3rd, 10th, 17th, and 24th from 3:30pm to 4:30pm). Middle and High School students are welcome to hang out at the library for games, movies and crafts every Tuesday.

The Adult Book Discussion is back on the first Wednesday of the month (Feburary 4th) at 12pm. We will be discussing the book Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink, Ph. D. – limited space and copies are available, so advance registration is requested.

Our next installments of Teen Games will be February 4th and February 25th in the lower level of the library. Teens/tweens (11-16) are welcome to join after school from 3:30- 4:30pm for an indoor games session; games may include: balloon stomp, fruit salad, shoe mix etc.

Yoga Fit, a yoga-based exercise class, is offered at Bluffton Public Library on Wednesdays at 6:30pm by BFR Sports & Fitness. For February, sessions are on the 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th. Please contact BFR to register.

On February 7th and 21st at 10am stop by the library to read a book to a certified therapy dog. Teddy and Tango love hearing stories and just getting a friendly cuddle from children, teens, college students, or whoever. This program supports literacy, the humane treatment of animals, and healthy stress relief practices.

On February 9th and 23rd from 6 to 7:30pm join us for Jammin’ at the Library– an informal time for acoustic musicians to come together “Song Circle” style and share their love of music. This program takes place on the main floor of the library during the winter months.

We’re hosting our first ever Sweet Reads Book and Chocolate Exchange on February 13th! Love books and chocolate? Who doesn’t! Between Feb. 2nd and Feb. 12th, we will collect books (in new or good condition) and new, packaged chocolate. When you donate, pick up your corresponding vouchers, and then, come in on Friday, Feb. 13th between 2:30 and 4:30pm to redeem them for whatever chocolate or book you’d like! If you donate chocolate, you choose some chocolate, and if you donate a book, you choose a book (and if you donate both, you get both!) Must have vouchers to redeem.

On February 18th, Anime Club will meet at 6pm. Join us to view an Anime Movie, and plan the next round of Anime Club activities and fundraisers.

We’re on a D.I.Y. kick! Interested in learning simple suminagashi (marbleizing paper)? On Friday, February 20th at 4pm, we invite adults and responsible teens to learn how to make suminagashi and then try making their own. Registration is required for this event by February 17th.

Registration for 1000 Books Before Kindergarten opened on January 26th, but there is still time to sign-up! Commit to reading your child/children 1000 books before they start kindergarten (for babies, toddlers and preschoolers); BPL will supply a starter pack with reading logs and book lists. The first 100 people to sign up for this challenge will receive a free “1000 Books Before Kindergarten” book tote– and a board book to go with it! BPL thanks the S.H.A.N.N.O.N. Service Club and The Friends of Bluffton Public Library for sponsoring this

Are you struggling with your laptop, or fumbling through your Kindle? You don’t have to do this alone! When it comes to learning more about technology, we all come from different skill levels, backgrounds, and needs. This is why Bluffton Public Library offers FREE one-on-one basic tech tutoring classes every other month. Register for a one-hour session for February today!

It’s still cold, so we’ll keep on serving – Hot Tea Tuesdays will continue in Febuary! From 10am to 2pm, a variety of hot tea and other hot beverages will be available for you to make and sip at the library—or to take to go!

For February, BPL will also have a book display on biographies and will unveil the recyclable reading igloo in the children’s section. BPL also encourages patrons to stop by to view February’s display case, which will exhibit a local craft items made at the Bluffton Senior Citizen’s Center.

Please note that the library will be closed on President’s Day (February 16th).

Public Services Coordinator / Bluffton Public Library
419-358-5016 / psc@blufftonpubliclibrary.org

College athletes: rate your coach

Locker Room Talk® (www.lockerroomtalk.com) is a rating and review website for college coaches which compiles information in an easy-to-search format so that high school athletes undergoing the varsity recruiting process can make educated decisions.

Through a short, anonymous online survey, Locker Room Talk gives college players the unique ability to easily rate and review their coaches.  The website is a positive platform for college student-athletes to express their views so that high school athletes can better evaluate the programs they are considering.

“We need current and recently graduated college athletes to fill out our simple, fast, anonymous online survey to provide information about your experiences with your coach. By sharing your honest opinions, you will be helping high school athletes make the best choices for their futures,” said Oliver Loutsenko, co-founder of Locker Room Talk.

Created by former varsity college athletes as a “force for good,” Locker Room Talk® is an invaluable resource for high school athletes and their families as they prepare to make one of the most important choices of their lives.  It covers both men’s and women’s teams in sports such as football, baseball, basketball, tennis, soccer, lacrosse, hockey, skiing, swimming and more.

For more information, call 203-556-5839, visit www.lockerroomtalk.com, Facebook, Instagram (@lockerroomtalk) or Twitter (@LRTsports).

Click here to take the quick survey!

Writers, artists, musicians wanted


Did you know that Bluffton University has student writing journals? Most don’t. Plans to change that are in the works!

A new student team of editors met on Tuesday evening, January 20, 2015. Some exciting ideas are being planned for your artistic expression.

Editors of the BU online writing journal Inspiration Point and the hard copy journal Shalith are after your creative pieces. The motto of both resources is “Anything is Possible.”

Poetry, short story prose (both fiction and nonfiction), drawings, and black and white photographs will be considered for publication in Shalith. Works longer than 1,000 words, color photographs, possibly music, essays, speeches, and research papers will be considered for publication in Inspiration Point.

The creation of a new website for the online magazine Inspiration Point is being researched to make it more user friendly. Thoughts regarding a cover contest for the Shalith with a possible cash prize from sales were also discussed.

Keep your eye out for flyers announcing our new website address to which you can submit your original works.

Make some extra cash right here on campus

If you are looking to make a little extra money, I propose short term telemarketing.

You have probably received a flier in your mail box or have seen advertisements posted around campus: Phonathon is here again.

Speaking from personal experience, this job is not hard. You call people, you read from a script and maybe have some side conversation. Some of the people that I have talked to gave me some great information about my future as a social worker. That’s right, you might even be calling alumni who are currently in your future profession.

If the $8.20 or $8.45 an hour for just talking to people doesn’t spark your interest, do it for the experience. You can put telemarketing on your resume. Bluffton University is a liberal arts college, you are here to become well rounded, this is another opportunity.

It is only for two weeks, January 31st-February 11th. Monday-Friday evenings 5:45pm-9pm, Saturdays 10am-2pm and 2:30pm-4:30pm, Sundays 1:30pm-4:30pm and 6pm-9pm


Apply at www.phonathon.com

You need this code: BU15S


My opinion: Try it, your student loans aren’t going to pay themselves.


We’re back!

The holiday season is officially behind us and all the students have returned to campus for the spring semester.  The Bluffton Connection staff is hard at work producing new content for the site.  Please bear with us this first week or so as we get back into the swing of things.

Show hosts and DJ’s wanted

Bluffton University students,

If any of you are interested in hosting a radio show of any kind shoot me an e-mail: moodsa@bluffton.edu.

Possible show types:

  • advice
  • music
  • literary
  • poetic
  • political
  • short shows
  • talk
  • weather updates

Suggestions are welcome. Come and try out your radio skills with 96.1 WBWH FM.

Looking forward to your e-mails,

Daila Moore

See you in the spring semester!

Bluffton student body, faculty/ staff, community members and anyone else who might be reading this:

On behalf of the Bluffton Connection staff I would like to thank you all for your support in what has been an interesting rebuilding period for us. Due to final exams the week of Dec. 8-12 and Christmas break after that, there will be no new content posted until we return to school in the new year. Please check back with us on Jan. 5, 2015 when we will begin our spring semester.

Music review: T.I.’s “About the Money (Remix)”

Artist: T.I. Feat. Young Thug, Lil Wayne & Jeezy
Song: About The Money (Remix)
Genre: Hip Hop, Rap
Rating: 4/5

The King of the South released the official remix to “About the Money” the hit single from his newly-released album Paperwork.

The “About the Money” original version topped the billboard charts at #1 while trending on twitter as soon as it dropped. The remix could have the same effect that the original had in the clubs and radio airwaves. T.I adds Lil Wayne and Jeezy to the remix, two artists who are known for killing remixes.

T.I announced recently that he will be dropping two more albums this year titled, “The Return”, and “Love and Liability” (According to HotnewHipHop) . T.I discussed how these three album coincide with each other in various ways.

Check out Tip’s “About the Money Remix.” Let us know which you liked better, the original or remix?