My congratulations to Randy Baruth, head coach, and everyone in our men’s basketball program for their historic accomplishment of winning the NCAA Division II Midwest Region and advancing to the Elite Eight in Frisco, Texas next week. I traveled to the University of Wisconsin-Parkside for the regional final against Ferris State, and it was inspiring to share the joy of the occasion with our student-athletes and their families. My thanks to all the faculty, staff and students who supported the team on campus, as well. We are in the process of organizing a viewing party for next Wednesday, March 23; we play against Western Oregon University around 9:30 p.m. Stay tuned for details. Go Cards!
This past Monday, many of you received a request to complete the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Great Colleges to Work For survey. I encourage you to do so. This survey was designed specifically for higher education institutions and has been distributed via e-mail to a random sample of faculty and staff. If you are among those who receive the survey, I encourage you to participate for two reasons. First, SVSU will receive a report that summarizes overall responses to 15 survey themes. These results play an important role in our internal assessment and strategic planning processes. The report will provide information critical to SVSU's ongoing efforts to build and maintain an exceptional work environment. Second, we have the opportunity to be selected for national recognition to validate what we believe and what I hear from many of you, namely that SVSU is a great place to work. Please look for an e-mail from “Great Colleges” <firstname.lastname@example.org> and share your responses. The confidential survey should take about 20 minutes to complete.
Our people are what make this a great place to work, and I’m pleased to report that Tom Barnikow, assistant director of Career Services, has been named the Young Professional of the Year by the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce. He will receive this award at the chamber’s annual meeting next Wednesday, March 23. Community engagement takes many forms. Sharing time, talent and expertise with regional organizations working to improve quality of life in our Great Lakes Bay Region is one such opportunity. Congratulations, Tom.
Several colleagues are working to improve public safety in Saginaw through a Project Safe Neighborhood grant. Carol Zimmermann, associate professor of criminal justice, is one of these individuals and was recently quoted in an M-Live series highlighting this initiative. We also have students doing internships at Saginaw Police headquarters as part of this program. My compliments to all involved in this undertaking, and to everyone who gets involved with these sorts of community endeavors.
Our forensics team impressed over spring break. Melinda Dinninger, a communications major from Saginaw, was recognized as the top novice competitor in the oratory/persuasion category at the statewide forensics competition at Eastern Michigan University last weekend. Gina Kearly, a communications and theatre major from Midland, took home second place overall and top novice honors in the programmed oral interpretation section. When our students go head to head with their peers from other schools, they consistently impress, year after year. The success of these students, as well as those in our moot court program, our Cardinal Formula Racing program, and so many other experiential learning initiatives is proof of our competitive spirit and the outstanding support they receive from their faculty advisers. Keep up the good work. We are proud of your success. Pictured (L to R): Melinda Dinninger, Erik Breidinger, Gina Kearly, and Baron McBride.
Tonight, our College of Business and Management will recognize several businesses and individuals for their contributions to the regional business community and/or SVSU. Stacie Krupp, assistant professor of accounting, is receiving the Excellence in Teaching: Faculty award, while her colleague, Betsy Pierce, assistant professor of accounting, will receive the Excellence in Service award. The Excellence in Teaching: Adjunct award goes to Robert Chadwick. Kayla Bischer, an accounting major from Harbor Beach, will receive the Outstanding Undergraduate Student award, while the Outstanding Graduate Student award will be presented to Michael Stackhouse. Tom Braley, a financial adviser with Wells Fargo Advisors is receiving the Outstanding Alumnus award. In addition, David Dittenber, owner of three restaurants in downtown Bay City, is receiving the Outstanding Entrepreneur award; Annie Rummel, CEO of Great Lakes Bay Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau, is receiving the Outstanding Business Leader award; Scheurer Healthcare Network of Pigeon is receiving the Outstanding Business award; Zehnder's of Frankenmuth is receiving the Outstanding Family Business award. My congratulations to all.
While men’s basketball continues to compete, I would be remiss not to acknowledge the fine play of our women’s basketball team, which won an NCAA tournament game over spring break. Student-athletes in swimming and diving, and track and field, represented us well at their respective national championships. By all accounts, this is the finest collective winter sports season in history. Here’s hoping our winning streak continues. We also have moved into spring sports, and I had the opportunity to see our softball and tennis teams in action last week. After a slow start to their Florida trip, softball won their final nine games, and tennis went 5-1 on the week. For me, the best part of attending these contests is visiting with the parents and families. I receive suggestions on where we can improve, but mostly, I hear how appreciative they are of the quality education and opportunities their sons and daughters receive. That is a result of the fine work so many of you perform on a daily basis. I can tell you it is recognized and appreciated. Thank you.