Saginaw Valley State University experienced an enrollment decline consistent with projections for the fall 2014 semester, while the academic credentials of its entering freshmen rose reached an all-time high.
“The number of freshmen is down somewhat, mirroring the decline in high school graduates across Michigan, but we’re quite pleased that these freshmen comprise the best academically prepared class in our history,” said Deb Huntley, provost and vice president for academic affairs.
SVSU welcomed 1,502 freshmen this fall, down from 1,593 a year go, but the 2014 class arrived with high school GPA and ACT scores that are appreciably higher than previous years, including the 2013 class, which had been the best prepared entering cohort to date.
In all, SVSU has 9,829 students taking classes this semester, down from 10,245 a year ago. In addition to the decline in freshmen, SVSU continues to see falling numbers of teacher certification students and graduate students in the College of Education, due in large measure to changes in state regulations affecting K-12 educators. Compared to a year ago, there are 178 fewer graduate students and 61 fewer teacher certification students.
SVSU also is producing more graduates, leading to fewer returning students. SVSU saw record participation in May Commencement ceremonies, and to date, 1,144 students have completed degrees in 2014.
While the total number of students dropped 4.1 percent, the number of credit hours declined by just 2.8 percent, in keeping with budget projections. This is attributed in part due to undergraduate students taking larger course loads.
SVSU's residence halls are filled again this year. There are 2,722 students living on campus, including 73 percent of the freshman class.
Huntley cited international student enrollment as another bright spot.
“We have made it an institutional priority to increase and diversify our international student population, and this entering cohort of international students is a positive step in that direction,” she said.
SVSU welcomed 116 new international students this fall, up from 81 last year. In total, there are 630 international students attending SVSU, representing 37 different nations.
Fall classes at SVSU began Monday, Aug. 25.
A leading authority on post-apartheid South Africa will give the 2014 Edwards Lecture in Philosophy and Religion at Saginaw Valley State University Monday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. in the Rhea Miller Recital Hall.
Daniel Herwitz, the Frederick G. L. Huetwell professor of Comparative Literature, History of Art, and Philosophy of Art and Design at the University of Michigan will present a lecture titled, “Truth, Reconciliation and Transitional Justice."
Herwitz will explore events of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Committees, which were established in 1995 by the Government of National Unity to help the people of South Africa deal with the violence and human rights abuses that occurred under apartheid. The lecture looks to explore whether and how societies in the midst of political transition from authoritarian to democratic regimes demand special understanding from the point of view of the theory of justice.
Herwitz co-founded the Centre for Knowledge and Innovation at the University of Natal, South Africa, where he served as director for six years. He is the author of several books, including “Race and Reconciliation: Essays from The New South Africa.” Herwitz also has written “Heritage, Culture, and Politics in the Postcolony,” “ Key Concepts in Aesthetics,” and “The Star as Icon: Celebrity in the Age of Mass Consumption.”
The William and Julia Edwards Lecture in Philosophy and Religion was established through a gift from the couple in 1993. It annually brings distinguished scholars to SVSU to discuss timely and relevant religious and philosophical topics.
The lecture series is free and open to the public. For more information please contact Professor James Hitt at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (989)-964-2607.
Mezzo-soprano Rachel Andrews, artist-in-voice at Saginaw Valley State University, will be joined in concert by pianist Nicholas Schmelter Sunday, Sept. 14, as part of SVSU’s Musical Artists Concert Series.
The concert begins at 4 p.m. in the Rhea Miller Recital Hall, and is free and open to the public.
The concert program includes 18th-, 19th-, and 20th- century opera from German composers Georg F. Handel and Johannes Brahms, as well as French composer Francois Poulenc, English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams and modern American composer Ben Moore.
Andrews completed a Doctorate in Musical Arts from the University of Michigan. She has performed in opera, oratorio and recital from San Francisco to Michigan. In addition to SVSU, Andrews has taught at the University of Iowa, Spring Arbor University, Denison University and Washtenaw Community College.
Schmelter is currently the dean of the Saginaw Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and has served as minister of music at historic First Congregational Church in downtown Saginaw since February 2011. He has performed recitals throughout Michigan, as well as Washington D.C., Chicago, Milwaukee and Toronto. Schmelter completed a master’s degree in music from Central Michigan University.
For more information about the concert, please contact the SVSU department of music at email@example.com or (989) 964-4159.
Saginaw Valley State University’s Fall Focus lecture series will connect audiences with world-renowned experts sharing new perspectives on modern day global issues as well as on historic figures.
The theme for this year’s series is “Making The Global Local.” Speakers will examine topics including the rejuvenation of a Detroit neighborhood, the future of relations between the U.S. and Mexico, the historic symbolism of the lie detector test, the push to redefine water as a worldwide resource, and ideas to improve America's schools. Other lectures will reflect on famous statesmen and scientists.
The series comprises presentations from SVSU’s Dow Visiting Scholars and Artists program, the 11th annual O'Neill Memorial Lecture, and the 12th annual Hoffmann/Willertz Lecture.
The lineup is as follows:
• Susan Mosey - "Midtown Detroit"
7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 30
Rhea Miller Recital Hall
Mosey, president of Midtown Detroit, Inc., will discuss her organization's $60 million effort to rejuvenate the Detroit district known as Midtown. The initiative has included the restoration of historic homes and a grant program for local businesses. Her account of community redevelopment will offer a potential template for revitalizing other struggling Michigan cities such as Saginaw and Flint.
• Charles Fishman - "The Big Thirst"
7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 8
Curtiss Hall seminar rooms
Fishman, author of "The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water," will highlight the resource's role in the business sector and point to the many contradictions of water in the developing world. He will offer audiences a vision of how current wasteful ways can be curbed through ingenuity and conscientious stewardship.
• Shannon O'Neil - "Mexico, The U.S. and the Road Ahead"
7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 14
Rhea Miller Recital Hall
O'Neil - an expert on U.S.-Latin American relations, trade, energy and immigration - will talk about a topic that's received international headlines recently: the United States' relationship with Mexico. O'Neil, who has testified in front of Congress regarding U.S. policy with its southern neighbor, will discuss the need for America to view Mexico as a partner instead of a problem.
• Graham Farmelo - "Paul Dirac and the Religion of Mathematical Beauty"
4 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 22
Rhea Miller Recital Hall
Farmelo will discuss the life of eccentric genius Paul Dirac, the theoretical physicist best known for co-discovering quantum mechanics. Farmelo wrote a biography of Dirac, "The Strangest Man," which was translated into 10 languages and won both The Los Angeles Times Prize For Science Writing in 2010 as well as the Costa Rica Prize for Biography in 2009.
• Graham Farmelo - "Winston Churchill - Writer, Global Political Figure, Nuclear Visionary"
7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 23
Malcolm Field Theatre for Performing Arts
In his second appearance in the Fall Focus series, Farmelo - author of "Churchill's Bomb" - will discuss Winston Churchill, the World War II-era British prime minister considered the first political leader to be a nuclear visionary. The talk will explore Churchill's pioneering role in nuclear field politics as well as his participation in a nuclear experiment when he was nearly 80.
• Charles Montgomery - "Happy City"
7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 28
Malcolm Field Theatre for Performing Arts
Montgomery, an award-winning author and urban experimentalist, will ask the question, "How can we be happier in cities?" Using examples in psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral economics - as well as cityscapes, from Disneyland to Dubai - he will explore the link between the ways we design our cities and the ways we think, feel and act.
• Amanda Ripley - "A Global Quest To Save America's Schools"
7 p.m., Monday, Nov. 3
Malcolm Field Theatre for Performing Arts
Ripley is an investigative journalist for Time, The Atlantic as well as the author of "The Smartest Kids In The World - And How They Got That Way." During her Fall Focus appearance, she will explore how the brain acquires learning and how that learning compares to what children do in school. She will also explain how people behave under extreme stress.
• John Baesler - "Immeasurable Security: The Lie Detector and the American Cold War"
4 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 13
Rhea Miller Recital Hall
Baesler, SVSU associate professor of history, will explore the creation of U.S. national security policy after World War II through the lens of the lie detector. In order to explain why an invasive technology with questionable scientific credentials became part of U.S. national security, he will argue the test served as a symbol, representing both American science and the toughness necessary to stand up to communism.
The Estrella Consort, a saxophone quartet presented by the SVSU department of music, will perform in concert Friday, Sept 12, at 7:30 p.m. in the Rhea Miller Recital Hall. The program includes music by American composer William Albright as well as Matthias Kruger, Roshanne Etezady, Iannis Xenakis and Scott Rubin.
Named after the Sierra Estrella Mountain Range near Tempe, Ariz., the Estrella Consort was founded in 2010 while all members were pursuing graduate degrees at Arizona State University.
Performing both domestically and abroad, the group was invited to tour Ecuador in 2011 as part of a cultural exchange. During their time in Ecuador, the group performed and taught classes in the cities of Cuenca, Loja and Guayaquil. The group has also performed at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Northwestern University in Chicago, and the 2014 Joint Conference of the College Music Society and Association for Technology in Music Instruction.
Members of the group are Allison Adams, tenor saxophone; Patrick Murphy, soprano saxophone; Jeff Siegfried, alto saxophone; and Tom Snydacker, baritone saxophone.
For more information about the concert, please contact the SVSU department of music at firstname.lastname@example.org or (989)-964-4159.
Back in June, we shared an article about physical security. Physical security can sometimes seem "low-tech" and is easy to neglect or ignore, such as leaving sensitive papers in open view on an unattended desk, or printing sensitive documents on a shared printer -- it’s easy to forget to pick up the documents right away. Taking a light-hearted approach to physical security this month we are sharing a comic that you can print and post in your office. Download the PDF by clicking the link below.
Physical Security Poster (266kB)
Teachers from across the Great Lakes Bay Region will return to classrooms this fall with fresh ideas and hands-on projects meant to pique their students' interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
This summer, 13 teachers - from school districts within Saginaw, Bay, Midland and Tuscola counties - worked with SVSU faculty in part to help the teachers design engaging STEM-related projects for the approaching academic year.
The first 13 projects include initiatives involving wind turbine technology, nanotechnology, 3-D printing, underwater remote-operated vehicles, hydroponics and others.
SVSU received a $254,000 grant from the Dow Corning Foundation in 2013 to fund the collaborative effort. The Dow Corning Foundation/SVSU STEM Community Partnership is aimed at influencing 4,000 K-12 students within the region. The initiative came in part as a result of STEM-related test results such as the Michigan Merit Exam, which showed a majority of local high school students are not considered college-ready in science.
The grant also will support college scholarships for students participating in the project to attend SVSU and major in a STEM discipline. Over three years, up to 16 regional students will receive scholarships of $1,000 each for two years.
Saginaw Valley State University will host its 2nd annual 9/11 Heroes Run Saturday, Sept. 6, at 1 p.m. SVSU will partner both with The Travis Manion Foundation and with Team Red, White and Blue to host the event that pays respects to the military, veterans and first responders that have served and continue to serve.
A portion of the proceeds from the race will benefit The Travis Manion Foundation, an organization - founded by the mother of 1st Lt. Travis Manion, a Marine who died while serving in Iraq - that assists military veterans and families of the fallen. Proceeds also will benefit Team Red, White and Blue, a nonprofit organization that brings veterans and supporters of veterans together through physical fitness.
Along with the 1 p.m. event, the 9/11 Heroes Run will include a family-friendly 400-meter "fun run" for kids with SVSU's mascot, Coop the Cardinal, at 12:30 p.m.
The first 250 people to register for the event will receive a free ticket to that day's SVSU home football game vs. Indianapolis at 7 p.m.
Last year's event at SVSU attracted over 350 runners. In addition to the $2,500 the university donated to The Travis Manion Foundation, a second $2,500 donation was donated to the 100 Club of Saginaw, which provides funds to first responders killed in the line of duty.
Worldwide, more than 30,000 people participated in similar 9/11 Heroes Run events in 2013. The Travis Manion Foundation nationally earned $240,000 in proceeds from the events.
Registration this year is available online by going to www.911heroesrun.org and choosing the "University Center" location. The registration cost is $25, which includes a guaranteed T-shirt to those who sign up on or before Sunday, Aug. 31.
For more information, please email email@example.com, visit www.facebook/com/911heroesrunsaginaw/ or call Ted Lind, SVSU assistant director of advising, at (989) 415-1948.
As Leecia Barnes moved closer to graduating from high school in 2011, her parents regularly asked, “What’s the plan?”
Three years later, she’s close to completing that plan — graduating from Saginaw Valley State University with a bachelor’s degree in finance — and already has found success in her next plan, well before most college students do.
Barnes, an intern at Enterprise Holdings since May, impressed her employers enough this summer that she was offered a full-time position at the parent company of several car rental businesses including Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
The Flint native will begin her role as a management trainee after she earns her SVSU degree in December.
“It’s been so great,” she said of the internship that turned into the promise of a full-time job.
Barnes worked at various Enterprise Holdings branches across the Great Lakes Bay Region as an intern this summer, largely assisting in customer service issues. One week, she was put in charge of the Midland branch while a manager was out of the office.
“They trained me up to the point where they could leave me in charge of the place,” she said. “That was cool.”
Her success professionally matches her upward trajectory academically.
When Barnes’ dancing coach recommended she attend SVSU after graduating from Beecher High School, Barnes enrolled at the Saginaw university and began classes in fall 2011 as a recipient of the President’s Scholarship.
Since, she’s also been active as a student outside of the classroom, working for the university’s Admissions office and joining both the institution’s Forte Dance Team — where she currently serves as captain — and the SVSU chapter of Delta Sigma Pi, an international business fraternity.
She credits SVSU’s finance program in part for helping prepare her for the professional world.
“Just listening to how the professors work with their own budgets, it’s helped me figure out how to grow my money and be responsible,” Barnes said.
Those SVSU classes also prepared her to answer her parents’ question — “What’s the plan?” — years in advance. Barnes, who one day intends to apply for graduate school programs in urban planning, hopes eventually to purchase and renovate abandoned buildings while improving struggling neighborhoods.
“I want to get to the point where I can buy (a building) with my own money, and just by listening to how the professors grow their own budgets, it’s helped me figure out how I can do that,” she said. “I want to be able to use that (education) to improve communities.
“What’s the plan? That’s the plan.”
Saginaw Valley State University is adding a Master of Arts degree program in teaching Chinese as a foreign language to its curriculum, following approval by the SVSU Board of Control Monday, Aug. 18. Courses will be offered for the fall 2014 semester, which begins next week.
The program is a joint effort with Taiwan-based Ming Chuan University, which dedicated its Michigan campus on SVSU’s campus in June. Mandarin has become an increasingly important language in the business world and global society, and SVSU expects demand for the program to grow among both domestic and international students.
In other business, the Board:
• Passed a resolution of appreciation for Joe Rousseau, who is retiring as director of SVSU’s School and University Partnerships office, which oversees charter schools.
• Appointed Isabelle Weiss to the board of directors for the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum.
• Appointed Trish Burns, Janet Greif, Don Pussehl, Laura Yockey and Bill Zehnder; and reappointed Waheed Akbar, Paul Chaffee, John Decker, Ken LeCureux, Terry Lerash and Scott Walker to the SVSU Board of Fellows, a community advisory board.
• Approved spending up to $475,000 to renovate South Campus Complex buildings B and C. These structures were built in 1966 and 1968, respectively, and are in need of new windows, doors and other materials.