The Michigan Legislature has passed a bill that should aid SVSU and others working to address the state’s growing teacher shortage. We also are holding an Education Employment Fair next Tuesday, June 19 to address this, and interest is high. Currently, students entering post-baccalaureate teacher certification programs – those who have already completed a bachelor’s degree and are seeking to pursue teaching as a second career – are required to take the SAT, a college entrance exam. The SAT is not a good measure of whether these individuals – many of whom have been out of high school for many years – are capable of completing teacher certification requirements. The legislation, which now heads to Governor Snyder, removes this barrier. Craig Douglas, dean of the College of Education, recently spoke about the importance of this measure to NBC 25 news. You can watch that interview.
Further, Anne Tapp, professor of teacher education and assistant dean of the College, has been elected president of the Michigan Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. This is an important leadership role in our state to advocate for effective education and teacher preparation. Congratulations and best wishes to Anne in her duties.
A two-time graduate recently was recognized at the state level for her hard work. Kristen Taber, who received her master’s degree in administrative science in 2013 and bachelor’s degree in political science in 2011, was named the Michigan Credit Union League & Affiliates Young Professional of the Year. Kristen works as the e-commerce experience strategist for Members First Credit Union in Midland. Kristen “has shown outstanding eagerness to get involved with the credit union’s community and advocacy initiatives, which has resulted in an award-winning growth in fundraising,” according to the announcement of the award.
Kristen is not the only alumna in the state spotlight. The Miss Michigan Scholarship Pageant is underway this week in Muskegon and features a trio of community-minded women who all graduated from SVSU last year. They are Jaeleen Davis, who received a bachelor’s degree in communication and criminal justice; Mallory Rivard, who earned a bachelor’s degree elementary education and early childhood education major; and Kara Terry, who received a bachelor’s degree in athletic training. They represent three of the 34 contestants. Mallory finished as first runner-up in 2017. Whatever the outcome this time, their commitment to empowering their communities and causes make me proud to call them members of the Cardinal family.
We continue to build alumni engagement through affinity groups, such as our 600-plus alumni who work for The Dow Chemical Company. Our Dow Employee Affinity Group, led by alumnus Matt Roe, held an event at Dow Thursday that included a presentation by Tony Bowrin, dean of the College of Business and Management, on our upcoming building expansion. These alumni also are working on a variety of efforts to share their Red Pride within Dow and the community, and it is great to see their enthusiasm.
We also welcomed some 250 alumni at Dow Diamond Thursday night for a Great Lakes Loons game, and a great time was had by all. My thanks to everyone in Alumni Relations and on our Alumni Association board for their work to connect our alumni with their alma mater.
Little Bavaria had a strong SVSU showing during last weekend’s Frankenmuth Bavarian Festival. Vehicles in the parade included the Mitchell Motorcoach wrapped bus and our water quality truck, and Cardinal mascots walked in the parade, as well. Abby Engel, who graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in communication, even served as Bavarian Festival Princess. Thanks to all involved.
We will support many other community festivals and events this summer, including Saginaw’s 8-week Light Up the City celebration. The Consumers Energy-championed initiative — supported by a number of sponsors from the region — is aimed at encouraging residents to promote safety by turning on their porch lights. Participants raise awareness for the cause by walking together through designated neighborhoods each Wednesday for eight weeks beginning this week. SVSU, along with First Student, are co-sponsors of the second week of the campaign scheduled for Wednesday, June 20. Participants that week will gather at Arthur Eddy Academy, 1000 Cathay in Saginaw, for the walk from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Volunteers can receive free T-shirts for the event from Jennifer Weiss, administrative secretary for University Communications, by contacting her at ext. 4039 or firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, June 18. For more information on the entire campaign, visit Light Up the City’s Facebook page.
A new exhibition opened recently at the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum. I encourage you to stop in to see the Regional Biennial Juried Sculpture Exhibition before it ends in September. Ten years ago, the museum established the biennial exhibition to support working artists. Michelle Perron, director of the Office of Exhibitions and Public Programs at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, juried the exhibition. She selected 151 artworks from 66 artists across Michigan and northern Indiana. It is an outstanding and eye-opening gallery of work.
As part of the 60th anniversary of Fredericks’ Spirit of Detroit sculpture, the museum commissioned Bill Holland, a motion graphics designer, to create an animated short film depicting the iconic sculpture visiting the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum. It is a fun and energetic short that follows the Spirit of Detroit as he makes his way across the I-75 corridor, hops the SVSU archway entrance and tours our sculpture museum (featuring the plaster of his head). Watch the 81-second film here: http://marshallfredericks.org/the-spirit-of-detroit-animation/.
School is out for most of the K-12 crowd in Michigan and our institution is busy organizing all of the camps aimed at empowering and engaging those students in the summertime. We will offer opportunities in a variety of subjects including fine arts, STEM, sports and more. If you have children in elementary, middle or high school — or know of youths that would be interested in participating in these camps — please encourage them to visit www.svsu.edu/summercamps/.