I was very pleased to see SVSU make headlines last week for our role in the Reinventing Saginaw Symposium. Andrew Miller, assistant professor of geography, along with student research assistants Mitchell Kloc and Daniel Johnson, helped our friends at Saginaw City Hall. They tracked how a drop in crime rates in the city correlates with an increase in the number of abandoned structures demolished, then presented those findings at a symposium featuring local and national leaders. What a great way to represent SVSU’s commitment to community engagement.
I also want to congratulate another member of our faculty — and his students — for outstanding work. David Berry, professor of kinesiology, will accept the 2015 Distinguished Athletic Trainer of the Year award this Friday during the Michigan Athletic Trainers Society’s symposium in Ypsilanti. Then, later this month, he will accept the 2015 Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer award from the National Athletic Trainers Association at a St. Louis, Missouri conference.
Students are benefitting from the fine instruction provided by David and his colleagues. Six graduates of our athletic training program passed the Board of Certification national exam necessary to become a certified athletic trainer, giving SVSU a 100 percent pass rate during the most recent exam cycle.
Speaking of outstanding service: Be sure to thank Cynthia Woiderski for the more than two decades she served as our director of disability services. She retires Friday, but isn’t leaving without earning due praise for being such a great advocate for students. Her peers at the Michigan Association on Higher Education and Disability named Cynthia this year’s recipient of the Margaret A. Chmielewski, Ph.D., Memorial Award. She has overseen many changes for the better at SVSU, and I’m happy to see her work appreciated.
I’m also pleased to announce that Monica Reyes has agreed to succeed Cynthia, and has been working with her to learn the responsibilities of her new position. Please give Monica your support as she steps into this new role.
There are still plenty of events to attend and sights to see around campus in June. Our University Art Gallery is showcasing 114 pieces of artwork from 53 of our students, such as the piece, "Lines" pictured here from Julie Maurer. The 10th annual Student Art Exhibition showcases the creative minds that make our fine arts students so exceptional. Be sure to visit the gallery before the exhibition ends June 12.
In response to the findings of the Climate Survey, a working group will convene over the summer to begin identifying action steps to address some of the areas of improvement identified in the survey. This is important work, so I encourage you to participate as you are able. You can sign up online.
Photo courtesy of MLive.
You may have seen in the news this week that one of our incoming freshmen, Bryan Kreifeldt, received the Michigan Student Service Award for logging 1,166 volunteer hours – the most in Bay County – while attending nearby John Glenn High School. I’m excited students such as Bryan are dedicated to keeping that kind of commitment to community alive. He’s got the right idea — and he’s coming to the right university.
Bryan, who plans to study pre-dentistry, also will benefit from the right guidance. A note of appreciation to Heidi Lang, pre-health professions advisor, who recently completed her term as president of the Central Association of Advisors for the Health Professions. She does an excellent job helping students prepare for medical school, dental school and other professional programs. In fact, on Facebook this week, one of our recent grads who is headed to medical school bragged to Bryan — unsolicited, mind you — that Heidi is “the top adviser in the country.” I don’t know if that can be quantified. I do know that attempting to do so misses the point. Earning such effusive praise from the students we serve is a goal each of us should pursue. So whether a custodian or a president, a professor or a secretary, let’s strive to be the best in the country at what we do. Go Cards!
Finally, I enjoyed my recent trip to Asia. Conversations with our friends at Ming Chuan University in Taiwan and Seowon University in South Korea were productive, and I enjoyed connecting with the Roberts Fellows students, as well. International relationships are important and international travel always leads to interesting experiences, but this week’s pleasant weather also has reinforced that it’s good to be back home in Michigan. I hope you are enjoying summer.