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April 4, 2018

SVSU student organization Forever Red named best in Midwest region

A group of Saginaw Valley State University students have been honored at a national level for inspiring their peers to embrace school spirit and to give back to their campus and surrounding community.

SVSU's Forever Red received the Outstanding Student Organization award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) for District 5, which encompasses colleges and universities in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Forever Red's goals are based on three pillars: connecting with SVSU alumni, enhancing the student experience on campus, and promoting “Red Pride,” a phrase associated with SVSU school spirit.

“There are student advancement organizations all over the country doing some amazing things,” said Bryan Crainer, the group's adviser and SVSU's associate dean for student life and leadership programs.

“I think what really separates Forever Red among its peer organizations is that they are doing it all. They aren't just a student-alumni organization, or a student-foundation organization, or an ambassador group. They are all of those things.”

Forever Red has quickly established itself as an elite student organization in the Midwest. Formed in 2011, it has won the Outstanding Student Organization award twice in the past three years.

The organization's president, Morgan Seeley, a history education major from Breckenridge, won the 2018 CASE District 5 Outstanding Student Leader award two years after Kim Salwey, the Forever Red president in 2016, received the same award.

Forever Red's growing legacy is a testament to the development of programs geared to engage with alumni and organize fundraising campaigns that support student scholarships. One of those successful initiative is the Cardinal Forever Initiative. Forever Red sells SVSU t-shirts for $1 during Fresh Start, an event aimed at acclimating freshman to life at SVSU during the beginning of the academic year.

“From that first day on campus, when Forever Red sells a freshman a t-shirt, their goal is to share their ‘Red Pride’ in hopes that the feeling rubs off on other,” said Crainer.

Forever Red also generates school spirit through events on campus including a 5K competition during the days leading up to the football Homecoming game as well as "I Heart SV Week," another scholarship fundraising drive that collected $4,200 recently.

“Forever Red understands that the university is at its strongest – and will be into the future –  when its constituents have a deep sense of pride in the institution,” Crainer said.

April 4, 2018

SVSU student named top leader in six-state region for her extraordinary enthusiasm

A Saginaw Valley State University student known across campus for enthusiastically promoting school spirit has earned a coveted honor for her passionate advocacy. 

Morgan Seeley, a history education major from Breckenridge, received the Outstanding Student Leader award from The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) for District 5, which includes colleges and universities in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Minnesota and Wisconsin..

Seeley, who will graduate in May, earned the award largely based on her engaging work with Forever Red, an SVSU student organization. Forever Red's goals are based on three pillars: connecting with SVSU alumni, enhancing the student experience on campus, and promoting "Red Pride," a phrase associated with SVSU school spirit.

“Usually a student will find that one or two of those pillars really resonates with them,” said Bryan Crainer, Forever Red’s adviser. “Morgan is a unique case where she fully buys into each of the organization's pillars and strives to see the organization excel in each of those areas.”

When she was appointed president of Forever Red for this academic year, Seeley continued to build upon the foundation set by her predecessors, Crainer said.

“She challenged the organization to improve the programs that have become traditions, and explore new ways to reach students, faculty, staff and alumni,” said Crainer, SVSU's associate dean for student life and leadership programs.

In addition to her individual award, Seeley learned that the organization she leads also earned recognition from CASE District 5. Forever Red received the Outstanding Organization award.

“For me, it's more exciting that Forever Red won this tremendous award,” Seeley said. “I am so grateful to have been named the Outstanding Student Leader, but the biggest reward has been seeing the organization get the recognition it deserves.”

Forever Red organizes fundraising events throughout the year to support student scholarships. One scholarship drive, "I Heart SV Week," collected $4,200 recently. Another successful endeavor is the Cardinal Forever Initiative where Forever Red sells SVSU t-shirts for $1 during Fresh Start, an event that introduces freshmen to life at SVSU.

Seeley may have recognized a hint of the support from CASE during the beginning of her term as Forever Red president. In August 2017, she attended a CASE national conference where she presented on Forever Red to an audience of peers from similar organizations at other higher education institutions. Attendees watching the presentation were given blank comment cards and encouraged to provide written feedback to the conference's presenters.

When she finished speaking, Seeley collected the response cards.

“There were stacks of them,” she said. “There was so much positive reaction to what I was telling them about Forever Red. So many people told me they wanted to implement what Forever Red is doing at SVSU in their own colleges”

Seeley and Forever Red are continuing a tradition where CASE District 5 recognizes student passion and dedication at SVSU. In 2016, Kim Salwey, Forever Red's president at the time, earned the Outstanding Student Leader award while her organization simultaneously received the Outstanding Organization honor.

April 3, 2018

SVSU play examines issues of race and social class

The Saginaw Valley State University Department of Theatre will stage a play exploring themes of race and class in the Malcolm Field Theatre of Performing Arts Wednesday to Sunday, April 11-15.
 
Written by Detroit-born Lydia R. Diamond, The New York Times described “Stick Fly” as a “juicy family drama” that follows an affluent black family, the LeVays, as they vacation in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. The two LeVay sons, Flip and Kent, bring their respective romantic partners home to meet their parents, but clashing personalities and ideologies cause tensions to bubble over, and secrets are revealed.
 
Flip's white girlfriend Kimber – portrayed by Tristian Evanoff, a theatre major from Bay City – comes from an affluent family and finds herself fitting into the upper-crust lifestyle of the LeVays moreso than Kent's lower-middle class fiancé, Taylor, who is black.
 
Played by Indigo Dudley, a music major from Saginaw, Taylor is an entomologist by profession and was abandoned by her father at a very young age. Her less-than-affluent childhood causes her to struggle with the casual wealth that is on display in the LeVay household.
 
“Taylor is a very passionate character,” Dudley said. “She is very pro-black and clashes with Kimber a lot because of her strong views on racism and equality.”
 
Through the lens of a relatable family, “Stick Fly” aims to examine issues revolving around race and class. However, the familial tensions in the LeVay family are relatable to anyone, said Tommy Wedge, who directs the play.
 
“In essence, this play is mainly about relationships,” said Wedge, an SVSU adjunct instructor of theatre.
 
“No matter what background you come from, you'll find something in the LeVay family that you can relate to. They deal with issues we all deal with.”
 
Both Wedge and Dudley say "Stick Fly" starts the conversation about these difficult topics, but the play leaves it up to the audience to decide which side they stand on.
 
“It's interesting that the writer doesn't side towards one person,” Dudley said. “This is just the story of a group of people trying to sort through a situation. Everyone is humanized, and I think that makes it more relatable.”
 
The play includes adult language; it is recommended that patrons be age 16 or older.
 
Join the LeVay family in maneuvering their unsteady waters during SVSU’s production Wednesday to Saturday, April 11-14 at 7:30 p.m., and on Sunday, April 15 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $13 for the general public and $10 for students or attendees 60 and older.
 
For more information, visit http://www.svsu.edu/theatre/showschedule/.
 

April 2, 2018

SVSU to host record number of employers at career fair

Saginaw Valley State University’s annual Spring University-Wide Employment & Networking Fair will be the institution’s largest career fair ever, officials say.

More than 170 employers will seek job candidates during the gathering Friday, April 6, from noon to 3 p.m. in SVSU’s Curtiss Hall. The previous record number of employers to attend an SVSU career fair was 158.

“Attracting over 170 organizations to the employment fair is a win, not only for SVSU, but our entire region,” said Mike Major, director of SVSU’s Career Services, which organizes eight career fairs annually on campus.

“As SVSU continues to draw students from around the state, the Great Lakes Bay Region has an opportunity to keep them here to live, work and play. Participating organizations play a huge part in talent retention, so the growth of the employment fairs demonstrates growth throughout our region.”

The lineup of employers expected to attend the event include companies and organizations at both the local and national level. Among the participants are American Red Cross, Bavarian Inn Restaurant, Covenant HealthCare, The Dow Chemical Co., the FBI, Garber Management Group, Independent Bank, Morley Companies Inc., Nexteer Automotive and Quicken Loans.

A full list of participants is available at www.svsu.edu/careerservices

Among recruiters, employment fairs continue to grow in popularity as an efficient way to scout talent, Major said.

“Organizations want face-to-face interaction with candidates,” he said. “In addition to reviewing résumés and cover letters, recruiters can learn more about candidates in a conversation. Employers report communication as the No. 1 skill that is lacking in new hires. Employment fairs enable recruiters to measure this important skill, even during a brief interview.”

For more information about the event, contact SVSU Career Services at (989) 964-4954 or careers@svsu.edu.

March 30, 2018

SVSU honors leading companies and business people during Best in Business awards ceremony

Saginaw Valley State University honored businesses, entrepreneurs, faculty and alumni dedicated to enriching the business climate of Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay Region during SVSU's 5th annual Academia Awards Best in Business ceremony Friday, March 23.

Recipients of the business and alumni awards were chosen by an advisory board for SVSU's College of Business & Management. The faculty award honorees were selected by SVSU students.

The recipients of the business awards include the following:

                     Star of the West Milling Co. received the Outstanding Business Award, presented to a company with a record of steady employment and strong corporate citizenship. Star of the West Milling Co., founded in Frankenmuth, is the 12th-largest flour milling company in the United States.

                     Rowleys Wholesale earned the Outstanding Family Business Award, which is given to a family-owned company that demonstrates a commitment to community-minded business practices. The Bay City-based business distributes automotive equipment such as tires and car wash chemicals.

                     Dick Garber, president of Garber Management Group, received the Outstanding Business Leader award, presented to an individual whose interests and actions contribute to the cultural and economic growth of the region. Garber is a third-generation owner of the company, with operations that include automotive dealerships in four states as well as the Saginaw Spirit hockey franchise.

                     The Outstanding Entrepreneur Award was presented both to Al Thieme, founder and chairman of Amigo Mobility International, and Beth Thieme, vice president and chief executive officer of the company. The award honors individuals whose successes include both sales as well as support for the surrounding community. The Bridgeport Township-based business produces mobility scooters that better the lives of individuals with physical disabilities.

The SVSU faculty members recognized at the ceremony include the following:

                     Amy Hendrickson, assistant professor of law, who received the Excellence in Teaching for Full-Time Faculty Award

                     Mazen Jaber, associate professor of marketing, who received the Excellence in Service Award

                     Shiva Nadavulakere, associate professor of management, who received the Excellence in Research Award

                     L. Mark St. Clair, an adjunct instructor of economics, who received the Excellence in Teaching for Adjunct Faculty Award

Alumni recognized at the event include the following:

                     Tammy Bernier, the co-owner and CEO of Duperon Corp. who earned a bachelor's degree in management in 1993, for the Outstanding Alumna Award

                     Kylie Bos, who earned a bachelor's degree in management in 2016, for the Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award

                     Patrick Dolan, who earned a master's degree in business administration in 2017, for the Outstanding Graduate Student Award

SVSU's College of Business and Management is among the 5 percent of business schools worldwide who are accredited by AACSB International; this is widely considered to be the gold standard for business school accreditation.

For more information, visit www.svsu.edu/cbm.

March 30, 2018

SVSU student supports her peers and wins award as top writing tutor in Midwest

A Saginaw Valley State University student has been honored for the care and concern she shows for her fellow students in helping them learn to write more effectively.

Sara Houser, an elementary education major from Carrollton and a tutor in SVSU’s Writing Center, received the Outstanding Tutor of the Year award from the East Central Writing Centers Association.

The association represents 100 writing centers - where students mentor their peers on writing assignments - across five states in the Midwest and selects one outstanding tutor each year.

“Sara has the ability to be warm, engaging, and genuine while asking probing questions, offering counterarguments and providing insights that make the writers re-think, re-focus and even re-imagine their original work,” said Helen Raica-Klotz, director of the SVSU Writing Center.

Raica-Klotz has seen Houser’s strong work ethic firsthand, saying Houser has tutored hundreds of writers between her work at SVSU and in community writing centers in Bay City and Saginaw that serve the public. Beyond tutoring, Houser edits and writes for the publication Writing@SVSU, which displays a variety of writing pieces from SVSU students.

For Houser, tutoring is much more than helping a student achieve a higher grade.

“Just to get someone an ‘A’ on a paper is not good enough, you have to be willing to go the extra mile,” she said.

In addition to her degree, Houser is working to achieve an endorsement to teach English as a second language.

Houser received her award during the 40th annual East Central Writing Centers Association conference at Ohio State University March 23-25.

For more information on SVSU's Writing Center please visit, www.svsu.edu/writingcenter/.

March 28, 2018

SVSU to celebrate Holi Festival of Colors in April

The South Asian Student Association at Saginaw Valley State University next month will host the traditional Holi Festival of Colors — an annual Hindu holiday celebrating the beginning of spring and the “victory of good over evil.” The tradition involves encouraging participants to throw colorful powder at each other.
Food, music, a dance competition and many other activities also will be included in the celebration.
Holi Festival of Colors at SVSU is set for Saturday, April 21, from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Hamilton Gymnasium.
Tickets are $15 for the general public and $10 for students. Guests can pay $5 to participate only in the color throw. Children 6 and under can participate for free.
Along with tickets for the event, t-shirts are also being sold for $5 each.
For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit sasasvsu.org. To contact the South Asian Student Association, please email sasasvsu@gmail.com.

March 28, 2018

SVSU powers up to host another FIRST Robotics state championship

Saginaw Valley State University will be filled with about 5,500 high school students seeking a state championship Wednesday, April 11 through Saturday, April 14 as SVSU hosts the statewide FIRST Robotics competition for the second consecutive year.

In total, more than 8,000 people will visit the Great Lakes Bay Region for the competition, including professional mentors, family members and others.

Michigan employers report high demand for employees with scientific and technical expertise who can work in a team. As an organization, FIRST in Michigan seeks to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators.

Adrianne Cole, director of STEM at SVSU, said the event fits well with SVSU’s many outreach activities in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math).

“We are partnering with many schools throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region and beyond on a daily basis to boost student performance in math and science, and to provide teachers with tools and resources to be more effective in the classroom,” she said.

Many SVSU faculty and staff volunteer their time to support local schools and education programs, and more than 300 individuals – faculty, staff, students and alumni – volunteered during the 2017 state championships.

In addition to the learning that takes place, the event also is a boon to local businesses. The Great Lakes Bay Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau estimated the economic impact of last year’s event to be at least $1 million.

“We couldn't be more proud to welcome back the FIRST in Michigan Robotics Competition to Go Great Lakes Bay in 2018,” said Sonja Wood, Manager of Go Great Meetings for Go Great Lakes Bay. “We're absolutely thrilled to have these bright and talented students explore and experience Pure Michigan's Great Lakes Bay with their families and friends again this year, enjoying the incredible amenities and hospitality of SVSU and our entire region.”

The FIRST Robotics field will include 160 teams from across the state.

Practice sessions and robot repairs will take place in SVSU’s field house, while competition events will be held in O’Neill Arena of the Ryder Center. Both facilities are part of SVSU’s athletic complex.

FIRST Robotics teams that qualify for the state finals will arrive Wednesday, April 11 for inspection. The qualifying rounds of competition will take place throughout the day Thursday, April 13 and Friday, April 14. The playoff rounds will be Saturday, April 15 with the champion crowned that afternoon.

In each round, three teams compete using autonomous and remote-controlled robots piloted by students, battling to earn points during a two-minute round.

The theme for the 2018 FIRST Robotics competition is “Power Up.” It features two alliances of video game characters and their human operators who are trapped in a 1980s-style arcade game. Both alliances are working to defeat the boss in order to escape.

Major sponsors for the state championships include Consumers Energy, The Dow Chemical Company, DTE Energy and Ford Motor Company.

For more information, visit svsu.edu/firstatsvsu/.

About FIRST in Michigan: The FIRST Robotics Competition combines the excitement of a varsity sport with hands-on training in science and technology to help high school students discover how rewarding a career in engineering or technology can be. Remote-controlled robots, piloted by students and cheered on by thousands of screaming fans, go head-to-head in short games on the floor of a sports arena, battling it out to earn points during a two-minute round.

March 28, 2018

SVSU hosts renowned scholar of Islamic studies for Akbar Lecture

Saginaw Valley State University will host one of the leading scholars of contemporary Islamic thought and Islamic spirituality for a public lecture. Omid Safi, director of the Duke Islamic Studies Center, will speak Wednesday, March 28 at 6:30 p.m. in Curtiss Hall Banquet Room A.

A leading Muslim public intellectual, Safi has been among the most frequently sought speakers on Islam in popular media, appearing frequently in the New York Times, Newsweek, Washington Post, and on PBS, NPR, NBC, BBC, CNN, and international media.

A professor of Islamic Studies at Duke University, where he completed his Ph.D., Safi has served on the board of the Pluralism project at Harvard University and is the co-chair of the steering committee for the Study of Islam and the Islamic Mysticism Group at the American Academy of Religion, the largest international organization devoted to the academic study of religion. Committed to the intersection of love and justice, he was recently invited by the family of Martin Luther King to speak from Ebenezer Church in Atlanta during the 49th annual commemoration for Dr. King.

At SVSU, Safi’s lecture is titled, “Teachings of Rumi for Today's World.” The great 13th century Sufi mystic Rumi has become a best-selling poet in the English language, and people in his native Persia, as well as in Turkey, South Asia, and now Europe and America turn to him for inspiration and spiritual guidance.

Safi's talk will offer an in-depth dive into the ocean of divine love that animates Rumi, his poetry and teachings. The presentation will explore his astonishing love poetry, his unforgettable life stories and the legacies that are connected to him with an eye toward what these teachings have to say to us today. At a time that so many people are running ragged and find themselves overwhelmed, what do the love mystics of this tradition have to offer today, here and now? 

The lecture is open to the public. Admission is free of charge. A reception and book signing will follow the lecture.

Safi’s visit to SVSU is supported through the Dr. Raana Akbar Memorial Lecture Series in partnership with SVSU’s  Edwards Lecture Series and the Dow Visiting Scholars Lecture Series.

The Raana Akbar Memorial Lecture on Islam and Culture was established in 2011 by Dr. Waheed Akbar in memory of his wife Raana, a former member of the SVSU Board of Control, physician and community leader.

The William and Julia Edwards Lecture in Philosophy and Religion is a forum where recognized scholars in religion and philosophy are invited to share their work with the campus community.

The Dow Visiting Scholars and Artists program was established through an endowment from The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation to enrich our regional cultural and intellectual opportunities

For more information, visit www.svsu.edu/publiclectures.

March 27, 2018

SVSU welcomes scholar on academic performance of boys and men of color

Saginaw Valley State University will host a public talk by a leading scholar on the academic performance of boys and men of color. J. Luke Wood, the Dean's Distinguished Professor of Education in the College of Education at San Diego State University, will speak in SVSU’s Curtiss Hall banquet rooms Tuesday, April 3 at 5 p.m.
 
Wood serves as the director of the joint Ph.D. program in education between San Diego State and Claremont Graduate University. He also serves as director of the Ed.D. program in community college leadership. In addition, Wood is co-director of the Community College Equity Assessment Lab, a national research and practice center.
 
Wood’s research focuses on factors affecting the success of boys and men of color in education. He has been featured by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, New York Times, Chronicle of Higher Education, Huffington Post, Fortune Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, San Francisco Chronicle and C-SPAN.
 
SVSU has incorporated Wood’s work into its student retention initiatives. Earlier in the academic year, SVSU’s Office of Multicultural Student Affairs hosted a free public course offered through San Diego State University titled “Black Minds Matter.” The 8-session series is designed to encourage dialog and understanding regarding the issues facing black boys and men in education. SVSU students, faculty and staff attended the sessions.
 
As a scholar, Wood has authored and edited 14 books. His most recent books include “Supporting Men of Color in the Community College” and “Teaching Boys and Young Men of Color.” Wood also has authored over 120 publications, including more than 60 peer-reviewed journal articles.
 
Wood completed a Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy studies, and a  master's degree at Arizona State University. He also completed bachelor’s and master’s degrees at California State University, Sacramento.
 
The lecture at SVSU is free and open to the public. It is supported through SVSU’s Dow Visiting Scholars program, an endowment established by The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation to enrich our regional cultural and intellectual opportunities by featuring the insights and perspectives of highly distinguished guest presenters. Wood’s talk is co-sponsored by the SVSU’s offices of Multicultural Student Affairs, Student Affairs, and School/University Partnerships.
 
For more information, visit svsu.edu/publiclectures.