Our students continue to demonstrate their exceptional talents, both in the classroom and in their community engagement. Another example comes courtesy of Megan Christoson, a health science major from Fowlerville, who recently received the National Association of College and University Residence Halls Student of the Month award for November. She received the recognition for taking an active role in educating and encouraging students to make healthy decisions through SVSU’s Peer Health Education program, where she is currently the alcohol education intern. Megan was invited to present at the national Boosting Alcohol Consciousness Concerning the Health of University Students (BACCHUS) conference where she presented on the topic of the SVSU CHEERS program, which encourages students to arrange for a designated driver after consuming alcohol; she helped create the program. Congratulations, Megan!
Students are earning honors for their research, as well. This week, Jarrod Eaton, a health science major from St. Johns, was invited to present his research at the 2nd World Congress on Public Health and Nutrition in Rome, Italy March 22-24. His research deals with the contributing factors surrounding influenza vaccination rate disparities among college-aged populations. This should be an exciting experience for Jarrod, a health science major, who will graduate in May. Jarrod also contributed much to our campus community during his service last year as Student Association president.
Last week, we mentioned how a number of our theatre students were performing remarkably at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for Region III in Indianapolis. Well, they continued to impress throughout the weekend. Jacob Kaufman (pictured), a theatre major from Bay City, won the first-ever Region III Arts Management Fellowship at the event, which earned him an invitation to travel to the national Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival at Washington D.C. from April 16-22. What an exciting opportunity! Jonah Conner of Warren won the Region III 10-Minute Play Directing Award at the festival. Please congratulate these students and the hard-working theatre faculty and staff who prepared them for this festival, and mark your calendars for our remaining theatre productions.
We have a proud tradition of civic engagement. More than 100 students boarded buses Thursday night to travel through the night to witness today’s presidential inauguration, courtesy of a tremendous opportunity arranged by the SVSU Student Association. This marks at least the fourth consecutive inauguration our students have attended, dating back to 2005. Please join me in wishing them a memorable experience and safe travels.
We demonstrated outstanding civic engagement Monday during the annual Martin Luther King Jr. march in Saginaw. Some 40 students, faculty and staff joined me for the walk downtown. It was a very visible display of Red Pride and appreciated by many in our community. Next Wednesday, Jan. 25, we will welcome former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to campus for the annual Great Lakes Bay Regional MLK Celebration. There is great interest in his talk, as all 1,200-plus tickets for the event have been claimed. For those of you who claimed your tickets, I look forward to seeing you there. I anticipate a very thought-provoking discussion.
Congratulations to our women’s basketball team, which claimed an overtime victory over Ferris State last night to extend their winning streak to five straight. Unfortunately, the men came up short. Our track and field team hosts the Doug Hansen Open at 2:30 p.m. Friday. Later that afternoon, our swimming and diving teams host Wayne State at 4 p.m. for Senior Day. Please support our student-athletes in these home contests as you are able. Saturday, you can show your support from the comfort of your living room, as our women’s and men’s basketball teams play at Grand Valley at noon and 2 p.m., respectively. Both games will be broadcast live by the American Sports Network, carried locally in our market on CW 46. The games also will be streamed online. You can find the weblinks to watch those games at www.svsucardinals.com Saturday. Go Cards!
If that is not enough sports for you, I’m pleased to report SVSU will be represented in Super Bowl LI Sunday, Feb. 5 in Houston. It’s a sure thing. That’s because two student-athlete alumni will be on opposing teams during the NFC Championship game this Sunday. Matt LaFleur, who played quarterback here in the early 2000s, is the Atlanta Falcons quarterbacks coach, and former Cardinals wide receiver Jeff Janis will be on the field for the Green Bay Packers, one year after catching one of the great playoff touchdown passes of 2016. Both Matt and Jeff completed their SVSU degrees and have been consistent supporters of their alma mater. Go Cards!