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October 2, 2014

SVSU gives science award to Vassar student with plans to own family farm

Saginaw Valley State University sophomore and Vassar native Landon Zwerk recently received the school’s S.K. Yun Science Award, given annually to one or more SVSU students showing enthusiasm for studying natural science.

“I knew it would be cool to win, but I didn’t understand the magnitude of it until I received the award,” said Zwerk, who earned a $500 check as part of the accomplishment.

Holly Little, SVSU lecturer of biology, nominated Zwerk for his work on an assignment given during her fall 2013 plants and civilization course. Zwerk was tasked with presenting a report on the journey of a crop from its roots in the soil to its role economically, nutritionally and culturally.

Little, in her nomination letter, described Zwerk’s efforts as “beyond my expectation.” His report centered on how sugar is extracted from sugar beets. The assignment led him to tour a Michigan Sugar plant for research.

Zwerk, a management major, was familiar with the crop before his assignment. His father and two other relatives own Vassar-based Zwerk & Sons Farms, a 7,000-acre operation that farms sugar beats, wheat, corn and beans.

Zwerk has worked multiple jobs at the family establishment. “I like going to work every day,” he said of his outside-of-school activity. “There’s always something to do there, even in the winter.”

While Zwerk describes himself as “the lowest guy on the totem pole right now,” one day he plans to own the family business. He would become the fourth generation in his family to manage the company.

Zwerk expects his SVSU education will help him achieve that goal. The S.K. Yun Science Award and its $500 check, meanwhile, will help him pay for tuition, books and other fees associated with that education.

The S.K. Yun Science Award is named in memory of S.K. Yun, an SVSU physics professor from 1969 until his death in 1994. Yun was known for his research in theoretical high-energy physics.

“I was very grateful,” Zwerk said about receiving the award. “It was an honor to represent the Yun family and the university.”

October 2, 2014

Consumers Energy Donation Promotes STEM Education to SVSU Students

Saginaw Valley State University has received a gift from the Consumers Energy Foundation to support academic programs with an emphasis on adding engineering talent to the STEM pipeline. Consumers officials presented the check to SVSU Friday, Sept. 26.

“Our Promise is to care for the Michigan communities we serve,” said Dennis Dobbs, vice president of generation engineering and services for Consumers Energy. “That starts with having a ready workforce with the skills and talents needed to deliver on our Promise. Our partnership with SVSU will assure that the talent pipeline remains full and can connect the dots between high school students interested in a STEM curriculum with SVSU and ultimately Consumers Energy.”

The $25,000 donation will fund the Consumers Energy Engineering Talent Development Program at SVSU. The initiative is intended to develop a pipeline of electrical engineers to meet the region's energy industry needs. It will involve recruiting potential engineering students out of high school, promoting energy design projects by SVSU students, and connecting those students with opportunities at Consumers Energy over two years.

“We are committed to preparing highly qualified graduates to meet the needs of employers in the Great Lakes Bay Region and throughout Michigan,” said SVSU President Donald Bachand. “We are highly appreciative of this gift from Consumers Energy, as it will assist our students as they pursue degrees in our very demanding engineering programs.”

Consumers Energy also contributed $25,000 to support the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum at SVSU. Both gifts are part of SVSU's “Talent. Opportunity. Promise” fundraising campaign; for more information, visit

The Consumers Energy Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Consumers Energy. It provides funding for a variety of areas including education, community, civic and cultural development, social services, the environment, and emerging issues. For more information, visit

October 1, 2014

SVSU pianist joined by clarinetist in concert

Saginaw Valley State University’s Carl Angelo, artist in piano and organ, will perform a piano recital Wednesday, Oct. 8 in SVSU's Rhea Miller Recital Hall. He will be joined by clarinetist Kip Franklin for the concert, which begins at 7:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Winner of the 1987 American Guild of Organists Young Artist Competition in Indianapolis, Angelo has worked as a soloist and collaborative musician on piano and organ across the United States.

Angelo is the organist at First Presbyterian Church of Flint. He has performed with soloists and chamber ensembles, including a 2-piano concert with Saginaw pianist Catherine McMichael and as guest pianist with the Valley Winds woodwind quintet. Angelo has also appeared with violin virtuoso Elizabeth Pitcairn and with opera tenor Paul Spensor. Angelo has accompanied choruses featuring conductor Vance George, director emeritus of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus; and Craig Jessop, former director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

For more information, please contact the SVSU Department of Music at or (989) 964-4159.

October 1, 2014

SVSU Hosts Gilbertson Hall Building-Naming Ceremony

SVSU Hosts Gilbertson Hall Building-Naming Ceremony

Saginaw Valley State University will host a building-naming ceremony for Eric. R. Gilbertson Hall Monday, Oct. 13 at 10 a.m., as the facility previously known as the Regional Education Center is formally re-named.

The building serves as an example of the dramatic growth seen at SVSU during Gilbertson's presidency.  It opened in August 2003, having cost $28 million to construct the 130,000 square foot facility.

The ceremony will include remarks by Gilbertson’s two children, Sara and Seth, who both are SVSU graduates. Other speakers include Jerome Yantz, who has served on SVSU’s Board of Control since 2001; In-Soo Lee, president of the University of Suwon in South Korea, and Chuan Lee, president of Ming Chuan University in Taiwan; Elyse Ledy, a 2013 graduate of SVSU; and Donald Bachand, president of SVSU. Jeff Martin, chair of the Board of Control will serve as master of ceremonies.

When Gilbertson arrived in 1989, SVSU's enrollment stood at 5,915 students; it increased to 10,245 at the time he retired.  The number of students living on campus rose more than fourfold, from 616 residents in 1996 to more than 2,700 in recent years.

SVSU's physical campus saw perhaps the most dramatic transformation under Gilbertson's leadership, tripling in size to more than 1.5 million square feet of building space. In addition to student housing, major new construction projects during his tenure included Curtiss Hall and the Performing Arts Center in 1996, the Doan Science East building in 2001, the Student Center and Fitness Center in 2003, and the Health and Human Services building in 2010. In addition, Zahnow Library and Pioneer Hall saw major expansions.

Private fundraising advanced under Gilbertson, as well; the market value of SVSU's endowment increased more than twenty-fold and currently stands at nearly $77 million.

Following a sabbatical, Gilbertson returned this fall as an executive-in-residence to teach courses in leadership and administration, and in constitutional law; he also serves as an advisor to SVSU’s moot court program.

The ceremony is open to the public. A reception will follow. Those planning to attend are asked to RSVP online at

A number of parking restrictions will be in place throughout the day of the ceremony, Monday, Oct. 13.  A tent will be erected over parking lot G-1, so no parking will be available in that lot.  Some parking will be available for faculty, staff, students and visitors in parking lots G-2, G-3 and H. University Police will be present at the entrances to the parking lots to direct traffic. Should those lots become full, overflow will be directed to the J parking lots.

October 1, 2014

Technology Update for October

By Jennifer Paradise

It's October!

Hopefully you've gotten into the swing of things for Fall semester. As a follow-up to August's Technology Update, we have some new information about two systems on campus. ClearPass, the system for managing devices on the wireless, has been in use for a few weeks now. Also PaperCut, the print management and wireless printing service, is now available as well.

If you're interested in either product, or want additional information, follow the links below.

ClearPass, | ClearPass Registration Guide


If you have questions about either system, contact the IT Support Center at x4225,, or stop in and see us in Curtiss 150.

September 30, 2014

SVSU convenes K-12 exchange program between China, local schools

Saginaw Valley State University, three local K-12 school districts and a high school in China are orchestrating a student and teacher exchange program in hopes of learning from each other's educational systems.

Eight students, four teachers and the principal from Chongqing's Friends High School are visiting the Great Lakes Bay Region before departing Oct. 4.

The Chinese delegation arrived Sept. 22, when the visitors were paired with host families from the participating K-12 schools.

Bay City Public Schools, specifically Western Middle and Western High School, have served as the hosts during the visit of the Chinese delegation.

On Oct. 18, a return visit connected to the partnership between SVSU and the Nan'an District's schools in Chongqing, China is planned. This exchange will involve three teachers and two administrators from Bay City Western Middle and High School along with eight Western High School students; four elementary school teachers from the Frankenmuth School District; and two teachers from Bay-Arenac Intermediate School District’s Career Center. The visit to Chongqing will be for a 2-week program.

Robert Maurovich, co-director of SVSU's Gerstacker Fellowship Program along with Carolyn Wierda, said the idea for a 2-year exchange program was born during a 2012 visit to China by the university's Gerstacker Fellowship, a K-12 teacher and administrator leadership development initiative.

“The idea is this exchange program could be a transforming experience for the students and teachers as they learn about a culture and educational system on the other side of the world,” said Maurovich, who will join the delegation visiting China in October.

When the Gerstacker Fellowship Program Fellows visited Friends High School, they learned it is a high-achieving institution with over a 100-year history serving 4,000 students in grades 6 to 12.

Before the group departs, the delegation from China will have toured SVSU, K-12 classrooms across the region, as well as local industries including Dow Corning Corp. Their 2-week itinerary also involves visiting Bronner's Christmas Wonderland, the Bay City State Recreation Area, the Dow Gardens, as well as a Saginaw Spirit hockey game.

Maurovich said a similar exchange experience is planned for the schools in 2015.

“SVSU's role has been as the convener, to bring everyone to the table and see how we can make this happen,” Maurovich said. “We have the expertise and know what it takes to put together a trip like this.”

Maurovich said the initiative could provide a template for future exchange programs.

“We hope to parlay this so that more school districts will have the opportunity to do this later on,” he said.

September 23, 2014

SVSU alum earns competitive scholarship while attending University of Louisville dentistry school

A Saginaw Valley State University graduate has received a highly competitive scholarship that will cover $200,000 to $300,000 of her costs in dental school.

Logan Schuiteman, who earned her SVSU bachelor’s degree in biology in May, now is enrolled at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry. There, she plans to graduate with a doctor of dental medicine degree in 2018.

A Rogers City native, Schuiteman learned in September that she was awarded the National Health Service Corps scholarship, which will pay for at least two years’ worth of the costs associated with tuition, books, uniforms and equipment. The program also includes a monthly stipend to help cover living expenses. Schuiteman said she might also apply for a third year of support from the scholarship.

In return, she will “repay” the program by working in the dental field at an under-served community for the same number of years that the scholarship covers her expenses.

Schuiteman called the scholarship “a blessing.”

“I felt an overwhelming feeling of relief that I’m not going to be so much in debt when I graduate,” Schuiteman said of learning she was a recipient.

Only a select few earn the scholarships. In 2013, 180 of 1,739 applicants received the support. The National Health Service Corps has yet to finish awarding its 2014 recipients.

Heidi Lang, SVSU’s pre-health professions advisor, called Schuiteman’s accomplishment “significant.”

“That (scholarship) is not something they routinely give out,” Lang said. “I’m not speechless she got it though. I’m speechless because I’m so excited for her.”

Schuiteman, a 2010 Rogers City High School graduate, said she knew early on in her SVSU education that she wanted to pursue dentistry.

“I wanted a job where I help people and still have time to have a family,” she said. “I was really drawn to the idea that I could be my own boss and set my own hours. You don’t usually get to do that in the medical field.”

She said her direction professionally was solidified while at SVSU, where the close 1-on-1 relationships with professors and instructors played a key role in her preparation for the next stage of her education.

“I knew I could go to them for help in my studies,” Schuiteman said. “They really knew me and knew my work ethic. That really came through in the strong letters of recommendation they provided, too.”

Schuiteman received acceptance letters from five dentistry schools before making her selection earlier this year.

“When it came down to applying to schools, I really wanted to stay in the Midwest, so Louisville was a reach for me,” she said. “After touring all the schools, Louisville was the choice. It’s a beautiful school with a great clinical review, and great in terms of research if I wanted to go in that direction.”

Whichever direction Schuiteman may take, one of her advocates at SVSU is confident the student will find success.

“She’s made a great mark everywhere she’s gone,” Lang said.

September 23, 2014

SVSU Hosting Sustainability Conference

Wednesday, Sept. 24 - Friday, Sept. 26
Curtiss Hall, SVSU

Saginaw Valley State University is co-hosting an international conference on business sustainability Wednesday, Sept. 24 through Friday, Sept. 26. SVSU’s College of Business and Management is partnering with Shri Ram College of Commerce, the renowned business school of the University of Delhi, India in organizing this conference on SVSU’s campus.

Events on the opening day (Wednesday), include a master class by Joe Affholter, a successful entrepreneur and co-founder and chief strategist for GANTEC, a Midland-based company with ties to Africa. It practices sustainable agriculture business with a unique village-focused supply chain and a triple-bottom-line business model that measures success in terms of positive economic, environmental, and community returns. Affholter will speak at 10:30 a.m.

Wednesday’s keynote address will be given by Linda Kennan, vice president for corporate stewardship at Dow Corning. She will speak in the Curtiss Hall banquet rooms at noon.

At 1:30 p.m., George Puia, Dow Chemical Co. Centennial Chair in Global Business at SVSU, will chair an industry panel that will discuss doing business in India.

That evening, conference participants will celebrate the rich heritage and culture of India, featuring food, music and dance with the conference co-hosts, Shri Ram College of Commerce, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Throughout the week, the conference will feature presentations by academic scholars and business professionals. Topics include sustainable energy, family business, sustainable agribusiness, and economic development. A full schedule is available online at

September 18, 2014

SVSU, Saginaw Township Schools formalize agreement with India girls school

Saginaw Valley State University and Saginaw Township Community Schools entered into a partnership with a school in India during a signing ceremony Friday, Sept. 12.  SVSU, Saginaw Township schools and the Rani Channamma International Residential School for Girls in Kittur, India have reached an agreement for various faculty and student exchange programs aimed at increasing learning and cultural understanding.

The memorandum of understanding was signed by Donald Bachand, president of SVSU; Doug Trombley, superintendent of Saginaw Township schools; and Mahendra Kanthi, chairman of the Board of Governors for Rani Channamma.

Details of the agreement call for the three educational institutions to share teaching and learning approaches that are considered best practices, to work on joint research projects, and to provide opportunities for students and faculty to travel abroad and experience different educational practices.

SVSU and Rani Channamma have participated in a similar arrangement with Carrollton Public Schools for several years.

September 12, 2014

SVSU and Saginaw Exchange Club to Rededicate Freedom Shrine

Saginaw Valley State University and the Exchange Club of Saginaw will celebrate Constitution Day one day early and rededicate a Freedom Shrine during a brief ceremony at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16 in SVSU’s Zahnow Library.  

Placed at schools and other buildings across the country, Freedom Shrines are a permanently mounted collection of 30 of the most important and historic American documents, including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States and the Gettysburg Address. They allow readers to see the immortal words of inspired Americans who decisively changed the course of history.

Complimentary pocket copies of “The U.S. Constitution and Fascinating Facts About it” will be distributed following the ceremony to those in attendance.

The shrine at SVSU is believed to have been originally placed on display in the 1970s, and for decades it could be found on the first floor of Wickes Hall. However, in light of forthcoming renovations to that building and to place the historic documents in a more visible location on campus, the display has been moved to the first floor of Zahnow Library.

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