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June 20, 2014

SVSU student Amanda Gettgen chosen from 850 for Challenge Detroit project

The Clinton Township native will move to Detroit in September

Amanda Gettgen was one of 33 students chosen for an initiative aimed at improving Detroit.Saginaw Valley State University senior Amanda Gettgen, a Clinton Township native, was chosen as one of 33 people charged with helping re-energize metro Detroit’s creative and professional core.

Gettgen, a marketing major, was selected as a Challenge Detroit Fellow. The initiative — now in its third year — tasks participants with living in Detroit for one year while helping to attract and retain a creative and professional class in the city.

The initiative funds her downtown Detroit stay, which begins in September.

“I’ve lived the whole suburban Detroit life,” said Gettgen, whose hometown of Clinton Township is about 20 miles north of downtown. “I really want to fully immerse myself in Detroit. I want to be right where everything is happening.”

Gettgen, who expects to graduate from SVSU in August, was selected from 850 who applied for Challenge Detroit. Each person submitted an application video earlier this year, and since then, 40,000 votes were cast online to narrow that pool of candidates down to 33.

The initiative pairs each participant with a sponsoring organization. Gettgen will work with Detroit-based Marketing Associates, a community-engaged marketing firm. She will spend her Mondays through Thursdays collaborating with the company’s creative, project management and event management departments.

On Fridays, she will work with Challenge Detroit’s other 32 participants on yet-to-be determined projects.

“I, too, want to be part of the revitalization movement that shows my fellow Detroiters, city boosters and the world that Detroit can’t be beat,” Gettgen says in her 90-second Challenge Detroit application video.

“As a Challenge Detroit Fellow, I will seize the opportunity to encourage the spirit of Detroit and unlock new opportunities for change through increasing community engagement, empowering Detroiters and promoting positive perceptions of the city.”

Viewers can watch Gettgen’s online video here:

June 19, 2014

Grand Opening of Ming Chuan University’s Michigan Campus (at SVSU)

Grand Opening of Ming Chuan University’s Michigan Campus (at SVSU)
Monday, June 23 at 1:30 p.m.
Ming Chuan University-Michigan, located in SVSU’s Regional Education Center


Ming Chuan University, a sister school to Saginaw Valley State University based in Taiwan, will host the grand opening of its Michigan campus Monday, June 23 at 1:30 p.m. This facility is located in the west wing of SVSU’s Regional Education Center.


Ming Chuan was the first Asian university to be accredited in the United States, by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. University officials at the two schools believe this joint venture is the only collaboration in Michigan where an Asian university has a physical campus in the state.


Initially, two joint graduate degree programs will be offered at Ming Chuan University-Michigan; classes will be taught by Ming Chuan and SVSU faculty. Students may pursue an International Master of Business Administration degree or a master’s degree in teaching Chinese as a second language.  


Ming Chuan and SVSU also have a history of student and faculty exchange programs, which will continue.

June 19, 2014

SVSU receives $5 million to stimulate STEM learning

Saginaw Valley State University has been awarded $5 million by the Midland-based Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation.Saginaw Valley State University has been awarded $5 million by the Midland-based Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation to increase learning in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math) at the middle school, high school and college levels, particularly within the Great Lakes Bay Region.  It is the largest single private gift SVSU has ever received.

The funds will be used to establish the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow STEM Scholar Network at SVSU.

“We profoundly appreciate this expression of confidence in our ability to contribute to meeting the need for more highly qualified graduates in the STEM disciplines in our region and our state,” said SVSU President Donald Bachand. “We have a strong history in these fields and we have fine faculty and staff who are up to the task. This builds upon our many successful STEM programs already in place, and we’re eager to get started.”

SVSU will use the funds to support summer camps for middle school and high school students and to sponsor undergraduate research projects by SVSU students.

“We are pleased to have SVSU as a partner in this most vital effort,” said Macauley Whiting Jr., president of the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation. “There is a pressing need to expand the STEM pipeline and SVSU’s proposal addresses this by reaching students at three critical junctures. With the proper academic preparation, students from the Great Lakes Bay Region and across Michigan can enjoy rewarding careers and supply the talent to meet the workforce needs of our leading employers, benefitting all of us.”
Starting in 2015, SVSU will host a four-week, 160-hour summer camp that will target 60 middle school students who are struggling academically; it will be modeled on a successful pilot program implemented by SVSU and Saginaw Public Schools in 2012 at Ruben Daniels Middle School in Saginaw. Students who have participated in that program have demonstrated significant improvements in their math proficiency. The Ruben Daniels program enlists high school and college students to serve as mentors, as well as SVSU and school district faculty who serve as instructors.

Another aspect of the network will target 36 high school students per year in three 80-hour summer camps built around particular ‘hot topic' themes. One goal will be to encourage these students to pursue college degrees in the STEM fields by incorporating hands-on problem-based learning into camp activities. These camps will kick off in 2015.

The third element of the initiative will sponsor undergraduate research at SVSU to motivate students to complete college degrees in the STEM disciplines. Nationally, more than one-third of college students who declare a major in the STEM fields change their course of study prior to graduation.

The $5 million gift will be used to establish an endowment at SVSU to support such programs permanently, and to provide start-up funding to launch the programs.

June 18, 2014

SVSU Professor Searching for Unknown Insects

Stephen Taber Earns Braun Fellowship

By Justin Engel

It's not uncommon this time of year to see Stephen Taber walking outside. He doesn't spend time outside for exercise. He is looking for something unusual. Unusual as in insects that have not been discovered. This research has resulted in Taber being awarded the Braun Fellowship to pursue his discovery of insects previously unknown to science.

The associate professor of biology will receive research support grants totaling up to $37,500 over the next three years to further his scholarly and professional activities.  Funds may be used for research expenses, equipment, travel and/or other related support.

Taber's project involves teaming with SVSU students in the search for insect species. He has discovered 20 new species unknown to science since joining SVSU in 2004. Taber maintains one laboratory at SVSU focused on insect studies; he has a second lab in the Manistee National Forest. Taber and his students will search for insects in the forest from spring to fall. His findings are expected to be published in journal articles that document new discoveries.

Taber is an award-winning faculty member. He received SVSU’s Warrick Award for Excellence in Research in 2013.

Taber has authored two books, The World of Harvester Ants and Fire Ants, both published by Texas A&M University Press, and co-authored three other books on plant and animal life in his native Texas. He also has written nearly 50 peer-reviewed journal articles, including 30 that have been written during his tenure at SVSU. Three of these have included SVSU students as named authors.

A resident of Saginaw, Taber completed a bachelor's degree at Texas A&M University, a master's degree at Texas Tech University and a Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining SVSU, he received teaching excellence awards from the University of Texas at Austin and St. Edward's University.

Established in 2005, the Braun Fellowship program was created through a $1.5 million endowment from the Saginaw-based Harvey Randall Wickes Foundation.  Administered by the Saginaw Community Foundation, the program’s purpose is to recognize the exceptional accomplishments and potential of select SVSU faculty and staff.  It is named in honor of Ruth and Ted Braun of Saginaw.

June 17, 2014

SVSU Board increases tuition by 3.19 percent for 2014-15

The Saginaw Valley State University Board of Control voted to raise tuition by 3.19 percent for the 2014-15 academic year during the Board’s regular meeting Monday, June 16. The increase was part of a $119.6 million general fund budget approved by the Board for the 2015 fiscal year.

For the 2014-15 academic year, a Michigan undergraduate student taking 30 credits will pay $8,691 in tuition and mandatory fees for the upcoming academic year, up from $8,422 in 2013-14. Taking the increase into account, SVSU’s tuition remains the lowest among Michigan’s public universities.

In other business, the Board:
•    Passed a resolution to approve the reauthorization of Detroit Community Schools, a previously authorized charter school, for the 2014-15 academic year.
•    Passed a resolution to reauthorize HEART Academy and Wolverine Academy, two previously authorized charter schools, for the 2014-15 academic year.
•    Confirmed board members for previously authorized charter schools.
•    Approved the addition of pre-kindergarten to Cesar Chavez Academy and HEART Academy, previously authorized charter schools.
•    Appointed Nancy Lamb to the board of directors for the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum.
•    Granted promotions to 15 faculty members. Elevated to the rank of professor are:
    •     David Berry, kinesiology
    •     Ken Jolly, history
    •    Ric Roberts, theatre
    •     Bob Tuttle, mechanical engineering
•    Promoted to associate professor are:
    •    John Baesler, history
    •     Stephanie Brouet, chemistry
    •     Jonathon Gould, teacher education
    •     Olivier Heubo-Kwegna, mathematical sciences
    •     James Hitt, philosophy
    •     Melissa Hobart, communication
    •     Mazen Jaber, marketing
    •     Emily Kelley, art
    •     Yu Liu, management
    •     Jennifer McCullough, communication
    •     Matthew Vannette, physics
•    Granted tenure to Jason Pagano, assistant professor of chemistry.
•    Granted emeritus status to three retired or retiring faculty and staff:
    •     Hsuan “Frank” Chen, professor emeritus of physics
    •    Margaret “Peggy” Flatt, professor emerita of nursing
    •     Jon “Chris” Looney, registrar emeritus
•    Authorized the issuance and delivery of general revenue refunding bonds to realize cost savings to existing debt, where appropriate.

June 16, 2014

Ceremony to Install Bachand as SVSU President Scheduled for Sunday, June 22

Saginaw Valley State University will hold an investiture ceremony for new president Donald Bachand Sunday, June 22 at 2:30 p.m. in the Malcolm Field Theatre for Performing Arts.
The ceremony will include Bachand’s formal installation by Jeff Martin, chair of the SVSU Board of Control, and the conferring of the presidential medallion. Bachand, who has served as SVSU’s president since February 17, will then offer his official presidential address.  

The event will feature a number of invited speakers who will deliver brief remarks of congratulations and welcome. U.S. Congressman Dan Kildee, Delta College president Jean Goodnow, representatives from Ming Chuan University in Taiwan and the SVSU Board of Fellows, a community advisory board, are among those scheduled to speak. SVSU faculty, staff, student and alumni representatives also will offer remarks.

An investiture is defined as the “formal ceremony of conferring the authority and symbols of high office.” For colleges and universities, such academic traditions date back to the Middle Ages. SVSU’s last such ceremony was in 1989 when Eric Gilbertson was formally installed as president.

Due to the large number of international guests scheduled to attend – including delegations from several of SVSU’s sister universities – and to accommodate the large processional party that will include campus officials, regional leaders and dignitaries, seating in the Malcolm Field Theatre is by invitation only. The public is welcome to watch a live broadcast in the adjacent Rhea Miller Recital Hall or elsewhere in Curtiss Hall, should the 300-seat recital hall be filled.

Following the formal ceremony, all guests are invited to attend a reception in the main campus courtyard.  Food and beverages will be provided, and the setting will provide opportunity for guests to interact personally with members of the university, including the new president and first lady.

Live video of the ceremony will be available online.  To watch or for more information, visit

June 11, 2014

SVSU hosting school readiness clinics

Saginaw Valley State University is offering summer programs to help students improve their academic preparation before returning to classrooms in September. Clinics are tailored for students who range in age from kindergarten through adult learners to help them improve their reading, writing and math skills.

The courses begin Monday, July 28 and run for three weeks. They will be held Monday through Thursday in the Literacy Center, located in SVSU's Regional Education Center. The cost is $325 per clinic. Participants must register by Friday, June 20.
Prior to the clinic, students must complete a one-hour assessment to determine their strengths and needs in reading, writing, or math. SVSU tutors use these assessments to build individualized lesson plans that maximize student potential. Assessments for summer 2014 are scheduled for July 21-23, but other times are available by contacting Laurie Ann Haney, assistant director of the Literacy Center, to schedule an appointment. She can be reached at 989-964-4982 or

In the clinic, instructors work collaboratively with parents and use data-driven instruction that correlates with state education standards. Tutoring sessions are led by active, certified teachers who hold master's degrees in literacy, are certified in reading recovery, and/or have a college degree in a related field.

SVSU’s Literacy Center provides a modern facility that fosters motivation for reading, writing, and math and utilizes the latest technology. All tutoring is directed by SVSU faculty Gretchen Owocki, Ph.D., and Haney, M.Ed. For more information, visit

June 5, 2014

‘Fast Animal’ poet earns SVSU Board of Fellows Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize

American author and professor Tim Seibles will receive the 13th triennial Saginaw Valley State University Board of Fellows Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize. American author and professor Tim Seibles will receive the 13th triennial Saginaw Valley State University Board of Fellows Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize.

Three judges appointed by the United States poet laureate selected Seibels for his book “Fast Animal,” a collection of work that threads life's journey from childhood to adulthood. The text was a 2012 National Book Award finalist. He has authored four other books of poetry including “Buffalo Head Solos.” One of that collection's poems, “Harvest Moon,” was highlighted in the Pennsylvania Center for the Book’s Public Poetry Project in 2011.

A native of Philadelphia who now resides in Norfolk, Va., Seibles serves on the faculty of Old Dominion University in the English and the Master of Fine Arts in Writing departments. He also serves as a teaching board member of the Muse Writers Workshop and works part-time at the University of Southern Maine in the Stonecoast M.F.A. in Writing Program.

Seibles plans to visit SVSU during the community-wide Theodore Roethke Poetry & Arts Festival, from Friday to Wednesday, Nov. 7-12. He will be honored at the Triennial Poetry Prize Celebration Tuesday, Nov. 11, when Seibles plans to read from his collection of poems. He also will attend a number of other events relating to the festival.

The Theodore Roethke Poetry & Arts Festival is made possible in part by a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The week's lineup will include two productions of a play written by a Roethke disciple, David Wagoner; a display of editions of Roethke's poetry and memorabilia in the SVSU Zahnow Library; a writer's workshop; and a poetry slam at SVSU's Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum. The lineup also includes a jazz concert, a wine and poetry event at Midland-based Creative 360, a presentation of first edition and rare edition books at a Roethke program offered by SVSU's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and a poetry reading at Dow Gardens in Midland.

Named for the late Saginaw poet who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1954 for “The Waking,” the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize has been awarded since 1968 to notable poets for a particular collection of poems published in a specific three-year period.  Past winners include former U.S. Poets Laureate Robert Penn Warren (1971) and Robert Pinsky (2008). The award includes a $10,000 cash prize, awarded by SVSU's Board of Fellows.

June 2, 2014

A New System for Changing Passwords Coming Soon

The new system will be available on Sunday, June 22, 2014 at 7:00 PM.

By John LaPrad

This is an informational message. No immediate action is required. You do not have to change your password because of this system update. Just follow the regular notifications when your password expires. You may log into the system to update your password reset options after Sunday at 7:00 PM, if desired, by using the Quicklinks off the SVSU web page, like always.

With the switch to Microsoft's Active Directory, we have a  that will be active Sunday 6-22-14 at 7 PM. This new system offers additional ways to reset your password if you forget it. Also, we are changing the required password changes from three times a year to two times a year. 

When logging into the new Active Directory password change system for the first time, you will be required to set up password reset options that can be used if you forget your password in the future.

With this new system there are three ways to reset your password should you forget it. It’s possible to set up three questions like before, it’s also possible to enroll your cell phone and receive a text with a reset code, and it’s possible to link to Google Authenticator if you use that.

Set up the three security questions, then select the Verification Code tab to set your cell phone number so you can receive a reset text code if you need it, or click on the Google Authenticator tab to enroll there.

When finished, make sure to click the Update button to save your settings.

When you are finished with the enrollment, click on the Change Password tab to change your password. Be sure to follow the password policy requirements listed.

June 2, 2014

Physical Security for Hard-Copies and Mobile Devices

Originally Updated 07/16/2013 © 2013 ePlace Solutions, Inc.

By Jennifer Paradise

One of the main causes of security incidents is lost, misplaced or physically stolen sensitive information, whether in hard-copy or electronic form. This bulletin reviews practices for maintaining physical security of hard-copy information as well as electronic devices.

Protecting Hard-Copy Information

Hard-copy sensitive information presents several security issues. For example, paper can be easily lost or misplaced, and can be read or possibly even copied without the owner realizing this has happened.

Best Practices

  • Keep sensitive papers off your desk and locked in drawers when you are away 
  • Shield sensitive hard-copy information to avoid accidental exposure - e.g. while walking down a hallway, taking an elevator, or waiting in line 
  • When it is necessary to send or otherwise transport sensitive hard-copy information, ensure the documents are protected with adequate packaging; be sure to use the appropriate level of receipt verification 
  • As with electronic data, remove all unnecessary sensitive information, e.g. remove or mask account numbers on financial statements 
  • Remove sensitive information immediately from shared copiers, fax machines and printers. 
  • Don't forget to remove the original from copiers 
  • Fax machines that may receive sensitive information should be located inside locked rooms

Safeguarding Data on Mobile Devices

Physical security precautions are vital for mobile devices which can be easily misplaced, lost or stolen. Storing sensitive information on laptop PCs, smartphones, thumbdrives and other mobile devices is strongly discouraged.

If your organization's processes and procedures or your job responsibilities require you to store or transfer sensitive information via a mobile device, the information should be protected with the same level of security used in other IT systems in your organization AND should be encrypted.

Best Practices

  • Ensure the device's password protection is enabled 
  • Encrypt the information 
  • Never leave a mobile device unattended without first physically securing it, e.g. cable lock laptop PCs; it's better to keep devices with you at all times 
  • Refrain from advertising the presence of mobile devices; for example - use non-descriptive carry bags for laptops 
  • Closely monitor mobile devices during airport and other security inspections 
  • Never put a mobile device in checked luggage - always maintain physical control

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