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March 16, 2020

SVSU-hosted College Night canceled

The Great Lakes Bay Region College Night set to be hosted at Saginaw Valley State University next week will be canceled in response to the COVID-19 virus outbreak.
SVSU has canceled all large gatherings of 50 or more people through Sunday, April 19.
The Great Lakes Bay Region College Night on Monday, March 23 was set to attract 40 higher education institutions as well as high school students seeking their next education destination.

March 13, 2020

SVSU coronavirus update, message from Provost to campus

Dear students,

We know you have many questions. Our entire university is working diligently to respond to the changing expectations resulting from the COVID-19 virus outbreak.

With classes moving to online or remote instruction through April 17, we ask that you:

  • Please know that we care about the health and well-being of you and our entire campus community.
  • Please check your SVSU e-mail regularly.
  • Please visit our web page for the latest information
  • Please remember that classes are continuing, albeit in different formats. We are doing everything we can to help you complete your academic requirements.
  • Please look after one another. We have an incredibly supportive community. This is a difficult time, and many people will understandably be feeling stress or anxiety. If you have friends or classmates who you know may be struggling, do your best to help them. Sometimes a simple phone call or text of support is enough. If you think someone needs professional help for their mental health, please encourage them to seek it.

In the interests of everyone's health and welfare, please know that students cannot be required by faculty to come to campus or to otherwise meet in person, even off campus, through Friday, April 17. Students and faculty may elect to meet face to face in small groups, but this should be discouraged whenever possible to minimize social contact.

We would also like to remind students that race and ethnicity do not influence the likelihood of illness and that it is important to be supportive of all members of the SVSU community regardless of race, ethnicity, or national origin.

We understand that the necessary transition to online or remote instruction may prove challenging for some students. We have extended the date to withdraw with a "W" grade through the final day of classes, Friday, April 24.

We know many students are inquiring about refunds. We will have more information about our plans in the future and communicate those when we are prepared to do so.

Students planning to register for upcoming terms should know that Academic Advising has made arrangements to be able to hold advising appointments via Microsoft Teams or by phone, as well as in person for the time being. Please contact them at 989-964-4286 or to schedule an appointment.

SVSU and our fellow GLIAC institutions have suspended all athletic-related activities through May 31. This includes all practices, and all strength and conditioning sessions. The Ryder Center remains open for members of the campus community. Adjusted hours can be viewed here:

At this time, our on-campus computer labs remain open. We are posting signs on computers to encourage social distancing.

Zahnow Library remains open and we will continue to offer academic support services. We are working to expand the virtual academic support we can offer; we expect to share more information about this soon.

Many faculty will be using Canvas as an online resource as we transition to remote and online instruction. You can find answers to many questions at Within Canvas, ITS is working to make the “Student Orientation to online/hybrid learning” content available to all students (this previously has been accessible only for students in online courses). We will be making other helpful resources available too. You should know that many faculty have attended online teaching workshops over the past two days. They want to provide the best possible learning environment for you.

Adobe has announced that SVSU students can download Adobe software products to their personal computers. If you need such software for your courses, please download it. Many other software companies are adopting similar policies. Please check online regarding your personal needs. You can contact ITS for assistance if you encounter difficulty.

We are moving quickly to implement a process to allow students to check out a university computer. Priority will be given to students who do not otherwise have access to online course material. If you do not have consistent online access, please notify your instructors.

In the interest of continuity, some faculty hope to continue synchronous learning, such as conducting a video lecture at the normally scheduled class time. Please avoid scheduling work or other conflicts with your normally scheduled class times. You may be expected to be available online during your regularly scheduled class period. Please check with your instructor. When students encounter unavoidable conflicts, they should contact their instructor to discuss alternate arrangements.

We will continue to share updated information via e-mail and online, but we know sometimes a phone call may be preferred. Starting tomorrow, we will have a campus hotline at 989-964-2110. It will be staffed from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

At this time, we are expecting students to return to campus for regular classes and normal operations on Monday, April 20. Please plan accordingly. Please also understand that this is subject to change, given the rapidly evolving nature of this virus outbreak.

Finally, please be kind and understanding to yourself and others during the unprecedented challenges we are all facing. A little care and compassion goes a long way. Above all: Thank you. We know this has been hard on each and every one of you, and we appreciate your patience and understanding, and the support you have shown one another. As difficult as this week has been, it has deepened my pride in our Cardinal family.


Deborah Huntley
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

March 12, 2020

SVSU update on coronavirus and large gatherings

Rendering of Coronavirus COVID-19

Dear campus community,

We have updated information to share with you regarding SVSU’s response to the COVID-19 virus outbreak.

Effective immediately, we are canceling all large gatherings of 50 or more people through Sunday, April 19. This includes all public events and any classes that include 50 or more students. Students in such classes should contact their instructor for any special instructions. Registered Student Organizations or other groups that would typically draw 50 or more people should make alternate arrangements.

We have no home contests for SVSU Athletics this weekend. Our varsity teams who are scheduled to travel will do so, unless they receive guidance from the host institution advising them not to travel. We will work with those institutions on any special instructions, such as limiting spectators. Our Athletics Department is coordinating athletics activities with our conference and the NCAA to assure that appropriate measures are in place to protect participants and spectators.

Our Campus Dining locations are implementing changes, such as new seating configurations to reduce communal dining, and the removal of certain menu items and/or food stations. Dining services will remain open; they encourage people to download and use the GrubHub app for ordering from retail facilities.

We expect to share additional information later today, but we wanted to share the news of canceling large gatherings without delay.


Donald J. Bachand, President

March 12, 2020

Event featuring Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha canceled

The Michigan State University College of Human Medicine has canceled the planned Thursday, March 12 presentation featuring Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha at Saginaw Valley State University in keeping with MSU’s proactive measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The SVSU-hosted event was organized through SVSU’s Early Assurance Program partnership with Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.
Hanna-Attisha is a pediatrician, scientist, and public health advocate whose research and insistence helped reveal dangerous levels of lead in Flint's water supply following a change in the city's water source.

March 11, 2020

SVSU coronavirus update concerning classes

Dear campus community,

We care about you, and your health and well-being. The State of Michigan has confirmed two individuals have contracted the COVID-19 virus. We are monitoring the latest guidance from the state and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

The SVSU leadership team meets daily to discuss the status of this outbreak and SVSU’s operations. The team had a conference call with the Saginaw County Health Department this morning and is communicating with the department frequently. At this time, the risk for contracting the virus in our area is low, but this is a rapidly developing situation. Please remember that race or ethnicity has no bearing on the likelihood of becoming sick or transmitting disease.

Effective today (March 11), SVSU is suspending all university-sponsored international travel through at least June 30. We strongly advise faculty, staff and students to avoid personal international travel, as well.

We strongly discourage SVSU-sponsored domestic travel by faculty, staff and students, as well. Faculty, staff and students should consult with their supervisor prior to any trips. We may further restrict domestic travel with little advance notice, as circumstances warrant.

We are suspending face-to-face instruction for lecture and discussion classes and moving to online or remote instruction, effective Monday, March 16 and through at least Friday, April 17. All instructors will contact their students no later than Wednesday, March 18 to provide further information about course delivery. We are continuing to work with faculty and staff on laboratory and performance classes, and the university will provide additional guidance.

We will re-evaluate the need for remote learning before April 15 and will provide further information at that time. During this time period, students doing purely remote work can return to their permanent place of residence but for students who remain on campus, we will maintain operations in our residence halls and dining services. For campus dining, we will be taking steps to increase “grab and go” options and reduce communal dining.

Academic and student support services, as well as business operations, will remain open.

At this time, SVSU is evaluating the upcoming public events we are scheduled to host. We are planning to hold events scheduled for this weekend and will make a decision regarding future events later this week. We will continue our enhanced cleaning and sanitation procedures, and we will encourage our visitors to practice good hygiene, as we all should be doing, and to consider their personal health in connection with the implications of large gatherings. Again, this could change with little advance notice.

Symptoms of the COVID-19 virus include: a cough, a fever greater than 100.4 degrees, and shortness of breath. If you exhibit these symptoms, please call-in sick, avoid contact with others and call your health care provider. It is important to call ahead so that health care agencies can provide appropriate assessment, care and instructions. Please know that many health insurance plans offer tele-medicine services. Individuals who have been sick should remain home until their fever has been gone for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines.

The health and welfare of our entire campus community is our highest priority. We will continue to update the campus community with the latest information surrounding the COVID-19 virus, and will update our webpage.


Donald J. Bachand, President

March 9, 2020

21st-century feminism topic of SVSU Women’s History Month presentation

Bringing with her a message of female empowerment, Philadelphia-based author and activist Feminista Jones will discuss the state of feminism in the 21st century during a Saginaw Valley State University Women's History Month presentation later this month.
Her talk, titled "Intersectional Feminism/Women’s Empowerment," is scheduled Thursday, March 19, at 6 p.m. in SVSU's Rhea E. Miller Recital Hall. Her presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session. Both are free and open to the public.
Jones is a feminist writer, public speaker, retired social worker, and community activist. She is an award-winning blogger and author of four books including the critically-acclaimed 2019 release, “Reclaiming Our Space: How Black Feminists Are Changing the World from the Tweets to the Streets.”
Her thought-provoking, conversation-starting writing has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time magazine, Essence, Complex, Vox, Salon, and EBONY.
Jones recently addressed challenges facing the modern feminist movement in a July 2019 blog entry, titled "We Need a 21-Century Kind of Feminism."
"The 21st-century wave of feminism will not be collectively successful in its fight for gender equality if we do not embrace intersectionality as praxis and create space and support for all girls and women to become actively engaged in the work," Jones wrote in the blog entry. "Women of color, queer and trans women, disabled women, immigrant women, and poor women must all be called in and allowed space at the table to contribute their wisdom and experiences to the modern feminist movement."
In 2017, Jones was named one of the “100 Most Influential People in Philadelphia” by Philadelphia magazine, and in 2018, she was featured in Philadelphia Style magazine for her community and activism work.
Jones’ lecture is part of SVSU's Dow Visiting Scholars and Artists program. For more information about Jones’ presentation and the Dow Visiting Scholars and Artists program, visit

March 6, 2020

SVSU updates on coronavirus

SVSU continues to take action in the interest of the health and safety of the campus community related to the COVID-19 virus. We also continue to remind you of precautions you should be taking.

Information and guidance surrounding the spread of the virus is fluid and changing rapidly. We have been working closely with the Saginaw County Health Department and following the guidance of the CDC and other agencies to ensure we are following the latest guidance for protecting the health and safety of our campus community. Our Campus Facilities staff have enhanced our cleaning and sanitization procedures for frequently touched surfaces. We will continue to collaborate with our local partners throughout the duration of this virus outbreak.

Our best protection and your best protection against the spread of this or any other virus is to practice good hygiene.

  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  •  Stay home when you are sick
  •   Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces  

As of this writing (March 6), there are no confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus in Michigan, but we urge you to follow these recommendations out of an abundance of caution and out of respect for your fellow students, faculty and staff.

We will continue to provide updates to the campus community, as developments dictate. You can find our most recent information at

March 5, 2020

Channeling a new skill in theater production, SVSU student now recognized nationally as a top college talent

When Rhiannon Hall enrolled at Saginaw Valley State University in 2017, she was excited to pursue her passion for theater but was not yet sure which role — either as a performer or behind-the-scenes crew member — best suited her. Empowered by SVSU faculty and inspired by her experience working on award-winning campus productions, Hall in less than three years both found her niche and was recognized nationally for excelling at it.
The Bay City resident learned this week she was selected to attend the Kennedy Center American College Theater National Festival from April 7-11 in Washington D.C. There, she will join some of the top U.S. college talent as they network and learn from industry professionals.
She earned the opportunity in part because she was recognized recently for her skills in dramaturgy work, an off-stage role that involves finding opportunities to deepen a play's immersive effects outside of the boundaries of the on-stage production. She was the recipient of the Regional Dramaturgy Award given at a Kennedy Center regional competition covering Midwest colleges in January. The award was presented to students at the eight regional divisions associated with Kennedy Center in the U.S., but only four of those recipients — including Hall — were selected to attend next month's national festival.
Hall and her three peers will spend five days honing their craft at the festival's workshops while receiving tutelage from Mark Bly, who has worked in dramaturgy for 35 years at theaters in Washington D.C. and New York City.
“I was shocked when I found out I was invited,” Hall said.
“The regional competition was in January and I had not heard anything since then. I had put it out of my mind so I wouldn’t think too much about it. Then I was opening my email to do homework on Tuesday when I saw the invitation, and I just started crying.”
The all-expenses-paid opportunity represents both a validation of her hard work and determination as an SVSU theatre major as well as a signal that her shift to practicing dramaturgy was a wise choice, she said.
Graduating from Fairview High School in 2017, the Grand Blanc-born Hall enrolled at SVSU with an initial interest in acting. Not long after her arrival, though, she was exposed to other elements of theater production that allowed her to channel untapped talents within her, she said.
“I came to SVSU thinking I knew theater, but I didn’t really know theater,” she said. “I’m thankful for all the people who showed me what I didn’t know.”
Among her SVSU mentors were David Rzeszutek, associate professor of theatre, as well as Margaret “Peggy” Mead-Finizio and Tommy Wedge, assistant professors of theatre. The trio challenged Hall to explore stage management and dramaturgy work on SVSU's play productions. And she responded.
In particular, Hall gravitated toward dramaturgy. Her flair for the work shined especially bright during SVSU's fall 2019 adaptation of "Proof." She provided writings to the actors that offered them deeper explorations of character motivations than what was available in the play’s script. For the audience, she arranged for SVSU’s Student Counseling Center to occupy a booth outside the production, making staff available to answer questions from attendees after they watched the drama about grief, depression and mental health.
The work won her the Kennedy Center regional award, and ultimately, the invitation to Washington D.C.
“I didn’t even know what dramaturgy was when I came to SVSU,” said Hall, who expects to graduate in May 2021 and hopes to eventually provide dramaturgy work professionally.
“I’m really grateful that I found a passion in a part of theater that speaks to me and makes sense in my heart.”

March 4, 2020

Doctor who exposed Flint water crisis to present at SVSU

A public health advocate — once named among the “100 Most Influential People in the World” by Time magazine — will visit SVSU next week to discuss her role in uncovering the Flint water crisis.
Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha will appear for her presentation Thursday, March 12, at 6:30 pm in SVSU’s Malcolm Field Theatre for Performing Arts. The event is free and open to the public.
Hanna-Attisha is a pediatrician, scientist, and public health advocate whose research and insistence helped reveal dangerous levels of lead in Flint's water supply following a change in the city's water source.
In a bestselling book, she chronicled her role in discovering the Flint water crisis, detailed how officials initially resisted her findings, and described the fallout that followed its public exposure. “What the Eyes Don't See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City” was named to The New York Times "100 Notable Books of 2018" list and was selected as the 2019-20 Great Michigan Read by Michigan Humanities.
Hanna-Attisha is the founder and director of the Michigan State University-Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative, a model program aimed at mitigating the impact of the water crisis. The program combines community and clinical programs, childhood health policy and advocacy, and robust evaluation to provide Flint children the best chance at success.
She was recognized for her public health advocacy, courage and expertise by agencies and organizations across the nation. She testified twice before the United States Congress, was awarded the Freedom of Expression Courage by PEN America, and was named among Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World" in 2016.
In a summary of the doctor's selection to the prestigious list that year, Time published the following about Hanna-Attisha:
"Residents knew something was wrong right away, but to get anyone to listen, it took civil-engineering professor Marc Edwards blowing the whistle on lead in the water and then Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a local pediatrician, testing Flint’s kids, proving they’d been poisoned. Up against official ignorance and indifference, Edwards and Hanna-Attisha were right, they were brave, and they were insistent. Flint is still a crime scene, but these two caring, tough researchers are the detectives who cracked the case."
Hanna-Attisha's appearance at SVSU is made possible through the university’s Early Assurance Program partnership with Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. The event is sponsored in part by the SVSU Foundation Resource Grant Program. Her visit is part of the annual Your Health Lecture Series initiative between SVSU, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, and MidMichigan Health.
While admission is free, RSVP is requested by going online at or by calling (616) 234-2694.
Copies of Hanna-Attisha’s book will be available for purchase with a book signing following her presentation.

March 3, 2020

At Saginaw Art Museum exhibition, SVSU student's photography puts trauma in focus

A Saginaw Valley State University student's photographic exploration of childhood trauma and adult PTSD will be on display beginning today at The Saginaw Art Museum.
Danielle Cecil, a fine arts major from Plymouth, will see her collection — titled “On Thin Ice: Therapy Through Photography” — on exhibition through Saturday, May 30 in the Artisan Wing of the museum at 1126 N. Michigan in Saginaw.
The exhibition consists of 11 black and white framed photographs taken by Cecil’s lens.
”This is the first time a series of mine is being shown somewhere other than SVSU, and I feel lucky that I was asked to participate,” Cecil said.
For her pieces, Cecil used an arrangement of found objects to represent the childhood trauma that led to her later diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
"Individually printing each image from a film negative not only allows Danielle to communicate her experiences to the public but also opens up an avenue of self-reflection," reads the museum's introduction to the exhibition.
The resulting images were created using unique equipment. Hideki Kihata, SVSU professor of art, said Danielle used a type of camera that few young professional photographers know how to use. For these pieces, Cecil operated a 4x5 view camera, which Kihata said is only used by the “top, cutting-edge photographers.”
Benn Quinno, exhibitions manager and curatorial assistant with the Saginaw Art Museum, said it is not common to have a student exhibition at the museum, and that they are a very important part of being a professional artist.
“Every exhibition an artist participates in — be it a solo, group or juried exhibiting — will appear on an artist’s curriculum vitae or artist résumé,” he said. “This can tell a curator or exhibition manager how experienced an artist is in the exhibition world and how relevant their work is to the public.”
Quinno said Cecil’s pieces were chosen because of the topic they covered.
“The work was selected because of the way she chose to use photography to address mental illness and PTSD, a subject that has a history of being ignored,” he said. “We felt it was important to not only address this type of work but to also support our local community, being that the Artisan Wing is dedicated to exhibiting local art.”
Cecil plans to graduate with a bachelor's of fine arts with a concentration in photography in May. After graduation, she hopes to find a full-time position doing commercial photography for a business in Michigan.
For more information about the exhibition, visit
The Saginaw Art Museum hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m. The facility is closed Sundays and Mondays.
Admission costs $5 for adults, and $3 for students and senior citizens 62 and older. Attendees aged 15 and younger can enter the museum for free

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