Our student employees are inspiring and I appreciate all they do. They are vital to keeping our university running efficiently and effectively. I am extremely pleased to report that Zach Metiva, a computer science major from Standish, received the Midwest Association of Student Employment Administrators Student Employee of the Year award for Michigan. Zach, who will graduate next month, has worked for Web Communications since June 2014, creating dynamic web pages for various programs across the university. That practical experience paid off for Zach, for SVSU, and for our Great Lakes Bay Region. He will begin working full-time in May as a web developer for Rehmann, a financial services firm in Saginaw. Congratulations, Zach. Best wishes in your career. We look forward to what I am sure will be many return visits to Cardinal country.
Photos courtesy of the Saginaw Arts & Enrichment Commission.
Our faculty and staff continue to earn honors, as well. The Saginaw Arts and Enrichment Commission announced the 27th Annual All Area Arts Awards nominees. They include Kevin Simons, assistant professor of music; Marilyn Wheaton, director of our Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum; and Ricardo Verdoni, a filmmaker and member of our Board of Fellows. These three – and many others – make great contributions to arts and culture on campus and in our region. Congratulations on your nominations, and good luck.
Our colleagues in the College of Education and their Student Leadership Team recognized six area "Heroes in Education" earlier this week. There are many roles in education, as we know. Teachers play a key role, as do the cooks who make sure a student who is too shy to come for breakfast gets fed, and the custodians who keep a close eye on parking lots to ensure students and staff get to their cars. I would like to congratulate this year's "Heroes in Education":
Pictured: Ashli N. Maser with Drs. Holly Little and Tami Sivy.
We enjoyed a wonderful Honors Convocation Thursday, recognizing 17 of our most accomplished graduating students. The event included presenting the Florence F. “Jo” Saltzman Award to 2015 graduate and chemistry major Elizabeth Haiderer, now studying in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program at Michigan State University; Elizabeth presented her 2015 thesis on antibiotics. Stephanie Brouet, associate professor of chemistry, served as her adviser. Each year, a faculty committee selects the most outstanding Honors thesis from the previous academic year. The award is named after Jo Saltzman, who served on our Board of Control from 1974-91. Congratulations to Elizabeth and all of our Honors students.
One of our greatest points of pride is our students’ opportunities to engage in undergraduate research with faculty. They are doing amazing work, but don’t take my word for it. I encourage you to take a closer look for yourself by attending our inaugural SVSU Student Showcase hosted by the Undergraduate Research Program. The event is next Friday, April 22, from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Curtiss Hall. You may download Guidebook, a free app in the app store for an online program with start times. More than 75 projects will be on display, featuring work spanning all five academic colleges. We will be awarding prizes for the four top poster presentations, two top research papers, the top performance presentation and the top faculty mentor, but all of the students and faculty involved are winners. The lessons learned and the struggles overcome will pay dividends for decades to come.
Next Friday also marks the annual Science and Engineering Symposium in Pioneer Hall. Poster sessions run from 10 a.m. to noon and will feature student projects in biology, chemistry, electrical engineering, mathematical sciences, mechanical engineering, and from our Saginaw Bay Environmental Science Institute. The College of Health and Human Services will have more than 100 students displaying their work next Friday, as well. The poster session runs from 9 a.m. to noon in the Movement Analysis Laboratory (H143).
April is awards season, so I have more good news to share. The University Writing Committee hosted their annual Writing Awards reception Tuesday. Congratulations to Adam Coughlin, associate professor of kinesiology, who received the Innovative Writing in Teaching Award, as well as all the student winners — and their faculty nominators — who received the Braun Awards for Writing Excellence, The Boehm Writing Award for e-Portfolios, the Tyner Prizes, and the Seitz Scholarship. In a society filled with fragmented communication, good writing never has been more valuable. Congratulations to all and to everyone at SVSU who promotes good writing.
I thoroughly enjoyed meeting 21 students from Paris, France who were visiting campus Wednesday as part of a 10-day exchange program with Beth Ann Fall's French classes in Bay City Public Schools. Our colleagues in Modern Foreign Languages, especially adjunct instructor Ann De Corte, did a wonderful job coordinating the visit. Our French students were wonderful ambassadors, too, engaging with the elementary students in both English and French conversations. Our visitors also experienced the Marshall Fredericks Sculpture Museum and the Marketplace at Doan. My compliments to those involved. These sorts of community interactions are rewarding on many levels.
The semester is winding down, but we still have many events remaining. Next Monday, we will welcome a special guest composer of national acclaim, Sydney Guillaume, along with musician friends from Mott Community College; they will join with our Concert Choir and Cardinal Singers at 7:30 p.m. in the Rhea Miller Recital Hall. Guillaume is a Haiti-born composer fresh from performing at New York City’s Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. The concert, titled “The Music of Haiti,” will be directed by Kevin Simons and will feature piano accompanist Amanda Lewis. At the risk of sounding like an infomercial, but wait, there’s more! The percussion ensemble and Valley Steel perform in concert Wednesday, April 20; the next night, the jazz ensemble performs. Both concerts are at 7:30 p.m. in the Rhea Miller Recital Hall. Meanwhile, in the University Art Gallery, the works of B.F.A. students Alison Bur and Myles Roznowski go on display next week. An artists’ reception is scheduled for Thursday, April 21 at 4:30 p.m. Attending any of these is a great way to relieve stress and support our students at the same time.