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President’s Weekly Update - Week of Monday, February 12, 2018

State of the University

President Bachand at podium with Outstanding Achievement logos behind him: The Chronicle Great Colleges to Work For, Military Times 2018 Best Colleges, Best Dorms in Michigan for Niche, AACSB Accreditation for College of Business, and Outstanding Corporate Community Service and Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce.

My thanks to everyone who attended last Thursday’s State of the University address. We have important challenges ahead of us; we also are achieving unprecedented success in many areas. There is encouraging progress on enrollment for the fall 2018 freshman class. Our goals now must be to provide the best possible customer service and communication – at all levels of the organization – to prospective students and parents. For those who missed the speech last week, you can watch it online, if you are so inclined.

Sally Decker receives Fulbright

Sally Decker and the Fulbright logo

As I mentioned last Thursday, congratulations to Sally Decker, professor of nursing, on being selected as a Fulbright Scholar. This is a highly competitive opportunity offered by the United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Sally will use the grant funding to travel to Ireland, where she will work with inter-professional teams at the Royal College of Surgeons. She will also teach health education courses and work with faculty members on simulation.

Enhancing Cultural Competency

40 colleagues in Campus Facilities participate in the “The Behaviors of Inclusion” cultural competency workshop in Ott Auditorium in Gilbertson Hall.

We want everyone on our campus to feel welcomed and included, and we each have an important role to play to sustain a supportive environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors. I would like to express my appreciation to the roughly 40 colleagues in Campus Facilities who participated in a workshop on “The Behaviors of Inclusion” Wednesday night, as well as those who attended the Tuesday and Thursday sessions on the same topic. If each of us increases our understanding of those with cultural differences even a little, the collective impact is significant.

Honoring great authors

Jules Gehrke, associate professor of history; Catherine Curtis, reference librarian; the 2018 Stuart D. and Vernice M. Gross Award for Literature recipient author Drew Philp; and student Ashley Blinstrub.

As part of our institution's commitment to honoring Michigan’s exceptional writers, we presented the Stuart D. and Vernice M. Gross Award for Literature during a ceremony Thursday. This year, that honor goes to Drew Philp for his book, "A $500 House in Detroit: Rebuilding an Abandoned Home and an American City," which details the history and resurgence of this great American community, which also happens to be the hometown of yours truly. Congratulations to Drew and those who recognized his exceptional work. Pictured (L to R): Jules Gehrke, associate professor of history; Catherine Curtis, reference librarian; the 2018 Stuart D. and Vernice M. Gross Award for Literature recipient author Drew Philp; and Ashley Blinstrub, research & assessment librarian.

Musical performance this week

guitarist Brad DeRoche

There are some tremendous arts events on the calendar for SVSU in the remaining weeks before spring break. Among them is a musical performance from Brad DeRoche. An active concert guitarist and an adjunct instructor here, he has performed as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral soloist across North and South America. He brings his talents to the stage of the Rhea Miller Recital Hall tonight, Thursday, Feb. 15, at 7:30 p.m.

Theatre production set

Death by Design Performance

Our outstanding theatre department will open its winter semester lineup next week with "Death by Design," a murder-mystery comedy directed by Ric Roberts, professor of theatre. The curtains will open Wednesday through Saturday, Feb. 21-24, at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Feb. 25, at 3 p.m. in the Malcolm Field Theatre for Performing Arts. I am excited about this latest stage production and hope many of you can attend.

Have a 'Taste of Soul'

Taste of Soul

One of our most delicious annual events, "A Taste of Soul," is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 21 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Marketplace at Doan. Admission is $9.25. My thanks to the faculty and staff who share recipes and our colleagues in Dining Services who make this a highly anticipated part of Black History Month each year.

Student-athlete honors

It has been an award-winning week for SVSU Athletics. At the GLIAC swimming and diving championships, two Cardinals – Melanie Soenksen and Wilhelmina Francisco – won their events on the competition’s opening day. Melanie won the 50-meter freestyle with a time of 23.43, and Wilhelmina won the 3-meter diving with 419.75 points. Best wishes to our student-athletes still competing at this event.

Congratulations to SVSU men's basketball senior guard Mike Wells Jr. After his 44-point effort last week, he earned his second GLIAC South Division Player of the Week award. He and his teammates host Wayne State this Thursday at 8 p.m. in the regular season home finale. The women's team opens the day's double-header Thursday at 6 p.m. It is faculty-staff appreciation night, so I hope to see many of you in attendance.

If you are among those dreaming of warmer weather after this week’s milder termperatures, here is an update you will enjoy: baseball and softball season is right around the corner. Baseball opens play on the road this weekend. Our student-athletes are already gaining recognition, too. Of the 50 student-athletes from across the country selected to the "Watch List" for the NFCA/Schutt Sports Division II National Player of the Year award, senior softball second baseman Meredith Rousse is on the list. Go Cards!