Please join me in congratulating our colleagues who received 2017-18 Dow Professor Awards. These awards, which are graciously supported by the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Academic Development Fund, support the work of individual faculty, and sometimes faculty teams, for academic and pedagogical innovation projects that enhance student learning. This year’s recipients are: Sally Decker, professor of nursing; Christopher Giroux, assistant professor of English; Hideki Kihata, professor of art; Scott Kowalewski, assistant professor of rhetoric & professional writing; Gary Lange, professor of biology, in collaboration with lecturers of biology Holly Little and Katherine A. Cottrell-Donahue; Art Martin, associate professor of biology; Rhett Mohler, assistant professor of geography; and Bill Williamson, professor of rhetoric & professional writing.
Our colleagues are also receiving national acclaim within their disciplines. Lee Trepanier, professor of political science, is the latest example, as he was selected as the Member of the Month by the American Political Science Association, the national professional organization for political science in the U. S. Much as we as a university must continue to demonstrate the value of public higher education, Lee recognizes the same challenge within political science. “How can we demonstrate our value to the public – whether in teaching, research, or service – and become a relevant in public discourse, public policy, and politics itself,” he said. Congratulations to Lee and my thanks to each of you who works in your professional organization; this service ultimately supports our students and enhances our university’s reputation.
Our campus is preparing to host the statewide FIRST Robotics competition, Wednesday through Saturday, April 12-15. This competition will bring nearly 5,000 high school students to campus, plus their teachers, coaches, parents and others. For many, this will be their first visit to SVSU, and we want to make our first impression the best possible. As was shared previously, we have a great need for volunteers. You can register online at svsu.edu/firstvolunteers. I know this is a busy time of year with many competing demands for our time, but serving as good hosts reflects well upon us all. My thanks to all of you who have already agreed to volunteer.
More than 150 employers are eager to interview our students and alumni during the spring university-wide employment fair Friday, March 31. The event, which will run from noon to 3 p.m., will be in the Curtiss Hall banquet and seminar rooms. Our colleagues in Career Services do a fine job working with employers large and small, local and national, to provide an opportunity for our students, alumni and others to gain valuable experience and showcase their abilities. You may also have heard from some of our students and from participating employers during the “Art Lewis Show” on WSGW 790 AM, which was broadcast live from the Starbucks on campus this morning. A complete list of employers is available online through the SVSU Career Services website at svsu.edu/careers.
I am very proud of our Student Association for reaching out to a few colleagues and the Saginaw Transit Authority to skillfully negotiate the addition of “Nightline” — a late-night route from SVSU to Old Town Saginaw, with stops in between. The pilot program debuted this past weekend with significant interest from students and favorable feedback from riders and businesses alike. It runs three more weekends and includes stops at movie theatres, restaurants, stores and more. If enough students take advantage of this opportunity, we hope to make this a regular offering access to retailers and businesses south of our campus. More information on the Nightline bus service, which is free with an SVSU I.D. card, is available in the Student Association office and on its Facebook page.
Our final theatre production of the academic year opens next week, as we stage the Tony Award-winning musical, “Assassins.” The play combines Stephen Sondheim's signature blend of intelligently stunning lyrics and beautiful music with a panoramic story of our nation's culture of celebrity and the violent means some – from John Wilkes Booth to Lee Harvey Oswald – will use to obtain it, as written by John Weidman. The dark musical comedy will explore the dark side of the American Dream, where assassins and would-be assassins meet, interact and inspire each other. Our production also will feature a live orchestra with SVSU music students and faculty. Ric Roberts, professor of theatre, directs the play, while his colleagues in music, Brandon Haskett and Kevin Simons, provide musical direction. The show opens next Wednesday, April 5 and runs through Sunday, April 9. I encourage you to attend as your schedule permits. More....
Our campus community does much to embrace our international students, and vice versa. Our region also welcomes them, as evidenced by the "sweet" reception students in our English Language Program received at the Chippewa Nature Center in Midland this week. During a field trip, students from China, Mexico and Saudi Arabia learned about one of Michigan’s natural resources: maple sap, which becomes maple syrup. As you can see, our students enjoyed displaying their Red Pride in front of the center’s sugar house. Our ELP students also will share their cultures with fifth grade students from Carrollton Public Schools during the annual Passport to the World event next Friday, April 7. Our English Language Program celebrates its 20th anniversary this week. Please join me in congratulating all our current and former colleagues in this program for reaching this milestone, and for their important work teaching the language skills that help our international students acclimate to our campus and our country.
Every April for the past 28 years, we have gathered to honor our colleagues and friends at the All University Awards Banquet, which this year is set for Friday, April 21. We look forward to giving recognition for those who have devoted a minimum of 10 years of service to our university, as well as others who will receive one of 13 prestigious awards for making an outstanding impact on the lives of many. Please allow me to congratulate all of the honorees in advance for making SVSU a special place for our students and visitors, and I hope to see you at the banquet.
It has been a good week for our athletic programs. Congratulations to our men’s golf program, which won the GLIAC spring invitational by eight strokes, tying the program's 36-hole scoring record with a three-under par 573. They are back in action Monday at an NCAA regional tournament. Our women’s golf team continues to battle in their inaugural season; they too set a program record with a team round of 324 in their tournament last weekend, finishing in 9th place. They hit the links in Ohio this weekend. Our 15-6 softball team also hits the road this weekend, including Samantha Willman, the reigning GLIAC Pitcher of the Week, and Evy Lobdell, who was named the GLIAC Player of the Week. Baseball travels to Ohio this weekend, while track and field has a meet in Kentucky. Our only home contest is provided by our 14-5 women’s tennis team, who will conclude their best season in at least 15 years with a home match Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Greater Midland Tennis Center against departing GLIAC rival Hillsdale. Go Cards!