I hope you enjoyed the semester break and the holiday season. Liana and I certainly did and are eager to embrace all that the new year will bring. With students returning this week, my thanks to all of you working with them to make sure they stay on track academically and otherwise.
We are seeing a welcome increase in interest from school districts and others looking to hire our graduates as teachers. Michigan employers contacted our Cardinal Career Network to post 849 education jobs during the 2014-15 academic year, up from 687 the prior year. Formal and informal inquiries have continued to increase this year, as well. If you know students who have an interest in a teaching career but have taken a different direction due to a perceived poor job market, you may suggest they reconsider. The College of Education has extended its deadline to apply to the teacher education program for next fall until next Friday, Jan. 22.
If you are still looking for a New Year’s resolution, I have an idea for you. Pledge to encourage more students to consider attending SVSU. At our December Commencement ceremonies, I spoke with a number of students and families who were most appreciative of the opportunities SVSU afforded them, the quality education they received, and the supportive environment fostered by faculty and staff. If you have students in mind, please visit svsu.edu/referacardinal/. We have an online form that is easy to use and will allow our Admissions colleagues to follow up. Recruiting good students is everyone’s responsibility. (Perhaps you have heard that before.)
While many students returned home to work part-time jobs or simply enjoy some time off between semesters, we also had 75 students travel to seven different sites to perform service projects through our Alternative Breaks programs. These students built homes, contributed to disaster relief efforts, tutored children, worked on environmental sustainability, and much more. Our students learn a great deal through these trips and they consistently return with renewed commitment to service on our campus and in our region. My utmost appreciation to these students and all those who completed volunteer service during the semester break.
While classes are canceled this coming Monday, Jan. 18 in recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, many of us will be participating in community events across the region to celebrate his life and legacy. I also invite you to attend the annual Great Lakes Bay Regional MLK Celebration we host Wednesday, Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. in the Malcolm Field Theatre for Performing Arts. The keynote speaker will be N. Cornell Boggs III, senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary at Dow Corning. For more information, visit svsu.edu/mlk.
Our men’s and women’s basketball teams have been on a roll, and each is tied for first place heading into their games this weekend. We have home games tonight against Lake Superior State University at 6 p.m. for the women and 8 p.m. for the men; first place is on the line in the men’s game. Saturday, both teams play at Northwood. I’d also like to congratulate Emily Wendling and Katelyn Carriere of women’s basketball on their recent selections as GLIAC athletes of the week; Emily also won a national player of the week honor. In addition, Shaun Yap of men’s swimming also was recently selected as GLIAC athlete of the week by CollegeSwimming.com. Go Cards!
Photo credit:Andrew Whitaker, MLive.
As the calendar has flipped forward to 2016, I hope you are as eager to come to work each day as I am. I hope you take pride in the success of our students, faculty, staff and alumni. (Some recent graduates were featured today for starting an engineering firm in Saginaw, "SVSU grads bring engineering firm to Old Town Saginaw.")
If you have ideas on how to improve our university, please share them. Above all, I hope in the year ahead we will all continue to work together to provide the best education and the best environment for our students. They demand – and deserve – nothing less.