We have a number of great student organizations on campus. We have known this for a long time, and others are increasingly recognizing this, as well. For the second time in three years, Forever Red was named Outstanding Student Organization from The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District 5, which includes higher education institutions in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. This is a big deal. Again. And who knows — we may have won the honor three straight times if not for a rule preventing an organization from earning the distinction in consecutive years. Forever Red remains one of our most passionate and impactful student organizations. Its members truly embody SVSU Red Pride.
On top of the organization-wide award, CASE District 5 also recognized an individual student's high achievement at SVSU. Morgan Seeley, Forever Red's president, received the Outstanding Student Leader award. This also marks the second time in three years that SVSU representation was recognized in the same CASE District 5 category. Alumna Kim Salwey won the award in 2016. Like Kim, Morgan’s enthusiasm for SVSU has been unmistakable. Morgan, a history education major from Breckenridge who will graduate in May, has channeled her enthusiastic spirit for SVSU into her work with Forever Red. She is truly one of our most outstanding and influential promoters of Red Pride on our campus and in our community.
In a different competition, Sara Houser, a tutor in our Writing Center, was recognized as the Outstanding Tutor of the Year by the East Central Writing Centers Association. The East Central Writing Centers Association covers Michigan, northern Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio and West Virginia. Sara’s determined spirit shines through in her work here at SVSU. After all, this is a hard-working double major — she is studying both elementary education and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) — who takes pride in improving the academic outcomes of others. Our Writing Center tutors do important work that does not often result in a lot of recognition. I am pleased Sara is earning accolades for her contributions behind the scenes.
Sara, Morgan and Forever Red exemplify excellence at SVSU. They set a high standard for their peers on our campus as well as institutions across the nation. What an outstanding — and deserving — honor for all involved. I am proud to call them Cardinals.
Last week, we hosted the fifth annual Academia Awards for Best in Business in the Great Lakes Bay Region. A number of businesses and area entrepreneurs were honored alongside our own College of Business & Management faculty members and alumni. The SVSU faculty who received awards were Amy Hendrickson, assistant professor of law, for the Excellence in Teaching for Full-Time Faculty Award; L. Mark St. Clair, an adjunct faculty member with the Department of Economics, for the Excellence in Teaching for Adjunct Faculty award; Shiva Nadavulakere, associate professor of management, for the Excellence in Research award; and Mazen Jaber, associate professor of marketing, for the Excellence in Service award.
The alumni who received awards include Tammy Bernier, co-owner and CEO of Duperon Corp., for the Outstanding Alumna award. Tammy earned a bachelor’s degree in management in 1993. Patrick Dolan, who earned a master’s degree in business administration in 2017, received the Outstanding Graduate Student award. Kylie Bos, who earned a bachelor’s degree in management in 2016, received the Outstanding Undergraduate Student award.
The businesses and entrepreneurs honored include Star of the West Milling Co.; Rowleys Wholesale; Richard Garber, president of Garber Management Group; and both Al Thieme, founder and chairman of Amigo Mobility International Inc., and Beth Thieme, vice president and CEO of the company. Congratulations to all of the recipients.
I want to remind the campus community that we are hoping for another outstanding showing of volunteers. So far, about 160 people are signed up. Last year, 400 volunteers helped over the course of the 4-day event. With less than two weeks to go until the competition starts, I am hoping we can match that number this year.
We need individuals to assist with setup of the competition field, to welcome FIRST teams when they first arrive on campus, to represent SVSU with a smile, and to assist Robotics teams with any questions they may have regarding event schedules, information about SVSU, etc. Information on specific four-hour shifts can be found online. You can sign up to volunteer at this site as well.
Thank you to everyone who made the triennial Theodore Roethke Poetry and Arts Festival such a success over this past week. It is an honor that SVSU hosts this celebration of such a beloved poet’s legacy. On Tuesday, I was pleased to meet Douglas Kearney, the recipient of the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize, which is chosen by judges appointed by the United States Poet Laureate. Douglas certainly lived up to those high standards during his stay at SVSU. He was a spirited, energetic guest who seemed to catch a case of Red Pride before returning home to California. While speaking to our campus guests during Tuesday’s prize ceremony, he talked about how he was impressed with the ways in which our university engages with the community through events such as the Roethke festival. I was impressed, too.
And thank you to everyone who helped organize Wednesday’s Raana Akbar Memorial Lecture on Islam and Culture. This is an important, enriching community speaker series that engages audiences and explores one of the world’s most-followed religions. I was pleased we were able to invite such a respected scholar on the subject. Omid Safi, director of the Duke Islamic Studies Center, was an enlightening guest.
Our colleagues in Career Services are hosting more than 170 organizations on Friday, April 6 from noon to 3 p.m. in Curtiss Hall for the Spring University-Wide Employment & Networking Fair. This is a record-breaking number of organizations, shattering the previous record of 158 registrations. My thanks to the Career Services staff — Mike Major, Tom Barnikow, Bill Stec and Alicea Moll — for their efforts in bringing these great opportunities to campus.
Please encourage students and alumni to attend. Your recommendation makes a difference. A full list of organizations and positions is available at the Career Services website.
Congratulations to the women’s golf team, which claimed its first tournament championship during the Ohio Dominican Snowflake Open on Monday. Our student-athletes won the event by 13 strokes, with Shelbe Cahill earning the individual medalist honors.
Our baseball team will play its first home game of the season today at 4:30 p.m. versus Davenport. The two teams square off three more times here: Friday at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., and then Saturday at noon. Our team will look to improve on its 15-8 record.
The 12-12 softball team plays its first home contests this weekend. Taking on Ferris State, the team will play a doubleheader at noon and 2 p.m. Saturday. Then they face Tiffin at home at 3 p.m. Tuesday. You can also catch them on the road today at Northwood during 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. games.
A number of other teams will play on the road over the next few days. The track and field team will split up its competition between two sites: the Raleigh Relays in Raleigh, North Carolina on Friday and Saturday, and the Davenport Select at Davenport University on Saturday. The 12-10 women’s tennis faces Eastern Michigan Friday at 5 p.m. in the final game of the season. And the men’s golf team plays in the Wisconsin Parkside Invitational in Columbus, Indiana on Sunday and Monday.