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August 26, 2014

SVSU adds master’s degree program in teaching Chinese

Saginaw Valley State University is adding a Master of Arts degree program in teaching Chinese as a foreign language to its curriculum, following approval by the SVSU Board of Control Monday, Aug. 18. Courses will be offered for the fall 2014 semester, which begins next week.

The program is a joint effort with Taiwan-based Ming Chuan University, which dedicated its Michigan campus on SVSU’s campus in June. Mandarin has become an increasingly important language in the business world and global society, and SVSU expects demand for the program to grow among both domestic and international students.

In other business, the Board:
•    Passed a resolution of appreciation for Joe Rousseau, who is retiring as director of SVSU’s School and University Partnerships office, which oversees charter schools.
•    Appointed Isabelle Weiss to the board of directors for the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum.
•    Appointed Trish Burns, Janet Greif, Don Pussehl, Laura Yockey and Bill Zehnder; and reappointed Waheed Akbar, Paul Chaffee, John Decker, Ken LeCureux, Terry Lerash and Scott Walker to the SVSU Board of Fellows, a community advisory board.
•    Approved spending up to $475,000 to renovate South Campus Complex buildings B and C. These structures were built in 1966 and 1968, respectively, and are in need of new windows, doors and other materials.

August 18, 2014

SVSU Board votes to re-name Regional Education Center as 'Gilbertson Hall'

A formal building-naming ceremony will be held Monday, Oct. 13

The Saginaw Valley State University Board of Control voted to honor Eric Gilbertson’s service to the university by re-naming SVSU’s Regional Education Center as “Eric R. Gilbertson Hall.” The announcement occurred during the Board’s regular meeting Monday, Aug. 18. Gilbertson retired from the presidency in February after holding the position for more than 24 years.

“While no single recognition can fully express our gratitude or adequately capture all of the contributions Eric made over the past quarter century, our hope is that Gilbertson Hall will serve as a lasting tribute to his legacy of commitment to putting students’ needs first and of building collaboration across the Great Lakes Bay Region,” said Jeff Martin, chair of the SVSU Board of Control. “I hope each of us is inspired to follow the example of Eric and his wife Cindy and to do our part to make SVSU and our community even better.”
A formal building-naming ceremony will be held Monday, Oct. 13. Faculty, staff and the public are invited to attend. 

The building serves as an example of the dramatic growth seen at SVSU during Eric Gilbertson’s presidency.  The $28 million facility debuted with the latest technology available throughout its 130,000 square feet when it was dedicated in August 2003‌.

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.

Many of the new endowments established were dedicated toward providing special opportunities for students. Examples include:
•    the Roberts Fellowship, a year-long leadership development program for 12 outstanding students that culminates in a three-week trip to Asia;
•    the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Student Research and Creativity Institute, which supports and promotes outstanding and innovative student work in any discipline by providing up to $10,000 per project;
•    the Vitito Global Leadership Institute, which provides extraordinary business networking and international travel experiences for students in SVSU’s College of Business and Management.

Following his retirement from the presidency in February, Gilbertson was granted a sabbatical. He returns this fall as an executive-in-residence to teach courses in leadership and administration, and constitutional law; he also will serve as an advisor to SVSU’s moot court program.

August 18, 2014

New System for Changing Your Password

By Mike Holliday

Welcome back to SVSU!

ITS has updated the Password Self Service (Change Password) website to help you resolve password issues without having to contact the IT Support Center. Password issues can arise if you forget to change your password before it expires or if you simply forget it altogether.

In order to resolve password issues without contacting ITS, Password Self Service requires enrollment action on your part to establish how you want to receive password reset assistance.

Please take a moment today to enroll. You can access the Password Self Service web site by going to the SVSU home page, clicking on QuickLinks then Change Network Password OR click on Change Password in the mySVSU portal.

Click on the Password Security Enrollment option, then login with your current SVSU username and password. Under the Enrollment tab you may choose to setup any or all of the following methods to help you reset your password:

  • Security Challenge Questions
  • Verification Code (text message or email)
  • Google Authenticator

If you encounter issues with enrolling or resetting your password, please contact the IT Support Center at 989-964-4225, or visit us in Curtiss Hall, Room 150.

Go Cardinals!

August 18, 2014

Technology Update for Fall 2014

By Jennifer Paradise

Over the summer there were a number of updates made to the technology on campus. The following information details these changes as they pertain to faculty, staff, and adjuncts, and students. 

Faculty, Staff, and Adjuncts Technology Update Newsletter (584KB)

Submit and track tech requests. How is IT doing? Let us know in a survey!

New Workshops Announced for Fall

Want a cool new app for use in the classroom? How do you number pages in Word? Sign-up for a workshop at

Microsoft Office 2013 Roll-out

Office 2013 was installed in all classrooms. Need it in your office? Contact the . Need it at home? Visit for a discount.


Record your lecture in the classroom or in your office, and share it with your students. Contact the for more information.

We are Test Driving a New LMS: Canvas

Instructure's Canvas is being piloted by a few faculty and adjuncts on campus. Stay tuned for more details!

Time out! Why is my computer locked? (60KB)

After 30 minutes of inactivity, your computer will lock itself. What's the key to unlocking it? Log back in with your username and password.

Have you met Lynda?

A LyndaKiosk is in the Center for Academic Achievement in the Zahnow Library. Students can learn how to use popular software for free with Lynda.

What's the password?

Forgotten passwords can be reset by text message, other email addresses, or using the Google Authenticator. Enroll at

Student Technology Update Newsletter (583KB)

Submit and track tech requests. How is IT doing? Let us know in a survey!

New Open Lab Hours and Locations

Need to work with a computer while on campus? Computer lab locations and schedules are posted online in the campus calendar.

Microsoft Office 365 for students is free!

Everyone likes, "free," right? As a student you can get Office 365 for free on up to 5 devices (e.g. laptop, tablet). Visit to get started.

Print Documents from the Web

Upload your document online and print when you get to campus. Print stations are conveniently located throughout campus.

Kiosks Now Have Microsoft Office

Computing on-the-go just got easier. The computer kiosks located around campus now have the Microsoft Office Suite installed.

The equipment was upgraded and the ClearPass device management system added to make wireless connectivity faster and more reliable.


A LyndaKiosk is in the  in the . Students can learn how to use popular software for free with Lynda.

What's the password?

Forgotten passwords can be reset by text message, other email addresses, or using the Google Authenticator. Enroll at

August 6, 2014

Japanese delegation visits Saginaw Tea House

Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2 p.m.
Japanese Tea House and Cultural Center, Celebration Square, Saginaw

A delegation of 12 high school students and two teachers from Tokushima, Japan are visiting the Great Lakes Bay Region to improve their English skills and experience American culture. They arrived Tuesday, July 29 and have been staying on campus at Saginaw Valley State University, which has a sister-college relationship with Shikoku University in Tokushima.  The group will return to Japan Monday, Aug. 11.

The delegation will meet Saginaw mayor Dennis Browning and receive a tour of Saginaw’s Japanese Tea House and Cultural Center Wednesday, Aug. 6 at 2 p.m. They will have dinner with Yoko Mossner, executive director of the tea house, tomorrow evening.

In addition, the group has taken in a Great Lakes Loons baseball game and visited Sanford Lake. They will make an excursion to Frankenmuth and Birch Run on Friday.

August 1, 2014

Using Social Media Wisely

Originally Updated 12/07/2011 © 2011 ePlace Solutions, Inc.

By Jennifer Paradise

Facebook, Twitter and other social media can lead to liability for the company, even when used from outside of the workplace and during your own free time. Employee use of social media can:

  • Lead to disclosure of confidential company information, or
  • Lead to disclosure of confidential personal information of our customers or clients.

These disclosures are usually innocent, although negligent, and not designed to harm the company.

A new breed of evil hackers is growing.  Hackers use social media to assist with:

  • Spearphishing attacks with other employees at the company, generating seductive messages that appear to come from trusted friends.    
  • Infecting a corporate network with malware and viruses, exploiting vulnerable networks, stealing intellectual property.  

Data breaches can be an enormous expense for the company. Depending on the size of the breach, a company could spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, even millions of dollars, notifying the victims of the breach and/or dealing with legal actions filed by the state attorney general or victims of the breach.

There are other potential liabilities outside of data privacy and security. Believe it or not, the Federal Trade Commission or FTC has rules about publishing testimonials in support of the company's products and services.

You can help protect the company from potential liability when you are engaging in social media at home or anywhere else.

  1. Never disclose the Company’s trade secrets or other confidential proprietary information
  2. Never disclose private or personal information related to (a) clients or customers, and (b) Company employees, managers, supervisors, senior management, officer, board member, or owners.  This includes, for example, financial information, Social Security Numbers, etc.
  3. Don’t disclose client/customer names, client/customer information, or the work the Company performs for such client/customers unless such information is already in the public domain, for example listed on the Company’s website.
  4. If you say something online in support of the Company, its products or services, even if you are using a personal account, disclose your relationship with the Company.
  5. Don’t accept “friend requests” from anyone you don’t know personally, including friends of friends.  Your Facebook friends see all of your personal information along with that of your friends and associates.

July 11, 2014

Six Great Lakes Bay Region nurses honored at SVSU awards ceremony

Saginaw Valley State University recently honored six regional health care professionals during the fourth annual Nursing Excellence Awards event Wednesday, May 28.

The ceremony recognizes the dedication, service and leadership shown by local nurses in clinical practice, education, leadership and community service. Recipients earned a $300 prize and a Waterford crystal bowl.

A selection committee comprised of regional health care leaders and SVSU faculty chose this year's recipients.

Awards and recipients include the following:

Acute Care Nursing Awards
•    Mary Haley, staff nurse at St. Mary's of Michigan, was recognized for her efforts in patient safety and quality of service. “Mary cares for each of her patients as if they were a grandparent,” her nomination letter reads.
•    Steve Laporte, staff nurse at MidMichigan Medical Center, has worked with the medical center's cardiothoracic surgeons in initiatives decreasing the number of surgery-related blood transfusions.

Nursing Education Awards
•    Hall Hewett, nurse educator at Covenant HealthCare, was nominated in part for leadership in the campaign to raise awareness about sepsis, a whole-body inflammation caused by severe infection.
•    Mary Gay Showalter, nurse educator at McLaren Bay Region, was recognized in part for her role in developing the McLaren Bay Region Preceptor Program. The initiative helps retain nurses in the region.

Community Nursing Award
•    Cindy Thornton, a nurse with MidMichigan Home Care, was honored for her work in aiding patients. "She is dedicated to the profession, her patients, her colleagues and her professional role," her nomination letter reads.

Long-term Care and Rehabilitation Nursing Award
•    Kelly Miceli, a nurse with St. Mary's of Michigan, was nominated in part for her initiative in improving the hospital's rehabilitation unit. She added furniture, decorations and signage with inspirational quotes to rooms there.

In all, 88 people attended the ceremony honoring the nurses. The event's keynote speaker was Carol Stoll, vice president for patient services and chief nursing officer at Covenant HealthCare.

July 11, 2014

SVSU Students Select Charity Partner for annual ‘Battle of the Valleys’

Saginaw Valley State University's Student Association has selected its charitable partner for the 12th annual “Battle of the Valleys” fundraising competition. SVSU students will raise funds for the Cory Rivard, Jr. Promise Foundation when they compete against their rivals from Grand Valley State University during the weeklong challenge in November.

The selected charity has ties to both schools.  It was created in 2012 by the Rivard family of Algonac, Mich., in memory of Cory Rivard, Jr., who committed suicide in January 2011. Cory attended GVSU, while his younger brother Josh was a very active student during his years at SVSU; Josh graduated in May.

The Cory Rivard, Jr. Promise Foundation seeks to educate college students about depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses by working directly with college campuses to increase suicide awareness and prevention. Using the tagline “A Hug From Above,” the foundation encourages students to show their love and gratitude for those around them as Cory did: with a hug.

The SVSU Student Association hopes the selection will remind students at both schools of the importance and true meaning of “Battle of the Valleys,” which began in 2003 to capitalize upon the schools’ football rivalry by raising funds for deserving non-profits. Over the past 11 years, the competition has generated $432,963 in charitable donations between the two schools.  SVSU students have raised a total of $275,498, winning eight of the 11 annual competitions, including the last six.

The 2014 “Battle of the Valleys” fundraising campaign will be held November 9-15. For more information, visit

July 11, 2014

Future nurse and student leader attends two national conferences

Bethany ThrunAfter visiting two national conferences in a 9-day span, Saginaw Valley State University nursing student Bethany Thrun has grown particularly fond of a quote from one of her heroes, 19th century nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale.


The line goes, “I never lose an opportunity of urging a practical beginning, however small, for it is wonderful how often in such matters the mustard-seed germinates and roots itself.”


Thrun said attending both the National Association of College and University Residence Halls, and the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders has provided her the sort of inspiration Nightingale was speaking of.


“Throughout these conferences, as an enthusiastic Cardinal, I was thinking on that quote and how these conferences were my mustard seed,” the Garden City native said.


“I’ve been able to take advantage of learning about something bigger than myself,” Thrun said. “I learned a lot of lessons and have the power to pave the way for my mustard seed, and power others to find their mustard seeds.”


Thrun, who plans to graduate from SVSU in December 2015, said she hopes to gain some clinical nursing experience before pursuing a postgraduate degree. Her ultimate goal is to become president of the American Nurses Association, a national group that fosters high standards in nursing practice and advocates for the rights of nurses in the workplace.


For now, Thrun is a resident assistant for SVSU’s student housing complex, Pine Grove Apartments. Her association with the university’s residential housing led to her inclusion in an 11-student delegation that traveled to the National Association Of College And University Residence Halls annual conference at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, from May 30-June 2.


“It was a chance for residential hall leaders to combine and network, and see what we could do for each other,” Thrun said.


Over 2,600 people attended the event.


One day after Thrun returned to SVSU, she boarded a flight headed toward the University of Maryland. There, she was among 1,000 students to attend the National Conference For College Women Student Leaders, from June 5-7. The event’s agenda featured a number of leadership-geared seminars from public figures — including Chelsea Clinton — along with networking opportunities.


“It was fantastic,” Thrun said of the experience. “An amazing conference.”


Thrun’s trip there was funded entirely by two scholarships from both the Midland and national branches of the American Association of University Women, a group that organizes the conference along with Student Affairs Administrators In Higher Education.

July 10, 2014

SVSU’s Roberts Fellows share memories of changed outlooks, overseas experiences

SVSU's 2013-14 class of Roberts Fellows in May traveled to Asia, where they visited sites including the Temple of Heaven in Beijing.There is no such thing as a “former” Roberts Fellow.

Andrew Swihart, a faculty adviser for Saginaw Valley State University’s Roberts Fellowship Program, is quick to make that point whenever asked about those who have participated in the student leadership development initiative over the years.

The lifetime Roberts Fellow rule also holds true for “The 15s,” a moniker he gives those involved in the program’s 15th class picked during the initiative’s 15th year of existence. The 15s aren’t “former” Fellows, he insists, even though their year-long training — a mix of seminars, projects, adventures and misadventures — came to a close this May.

Instead, Swihart simply considers the first phase of The 15’s fellowship complete. Now the 2013-14 group has graduated to become established leaders, dependable SVSU ambassadors to the world, and mentors to future Fellows. But never “former” Fellows.

There’s no such thing.

“Every class has a different personality,” said Swihart, an SVSU professor of psychology. “The 15s are an incredibly cohesive group. More than most classes, they became very good friends with each other.”

A compass for life

That bond began to form when the group of 12 first met as a unit in spring 2013. It strengthened during the program’s weekly Friday seminars in the fall, their sessions with inspiring leaders in the winter, and all the off-the-calendar fun that happened in between. The chemistry was solid by the time the dozen embarked on the program’s 3-week capstone journey to China, Taiwan and Japan in May.

Roberts Fellow Audrey Sayles recalled that camaraderie between her classmates, Swihart and Brian Thomas, the SVSU associate professor of sociology who served as the group’s second faculty adviser.

The Roberts Fellows visited a number of sites in East Asia including the Great Wall of China.“Many of us would get together for dinner the night before our Friday morning classes and we would hang out for hours in Bennigan's, singing karaoke and just enjoying the conversations,” said Sayles, a psychology major from Jackson.

“Over the year, we became closer and closer as a group, which was evident by one of the classes near the end of the winter semester, when we decided that we should celebrate Andy Swihart's birthday,” she said. “We brought in cake and party hats — which we did get our professors to wear.”

The program created more than friendship. For some, the initiative provided a compass for life.

This was the case for Nancy Lackey, who credits the program for steering her in new directions, both professionally and philosophically.

The biology major from Beaverton was pursuing a research-based career in the biological sciences, but her Roberts Fellowship involvement inspired her to pursue an avenue in the field she’s more passionate about: conservation education and ecotourism development.

And Lackey credits a change in her worldly perspective to the group’s tour of the atomic bomb detonation site in Hiroshima. The experience challenged her “intellectually and emotionally” more than any other moment in her life, she said.

“During my education, I thought I had developed a pretty firm view on that matter, but when I actually went there in person and saw the structures, the artifacts and read the stories, my previous beliefs shattered,” Lackey said.

“I am still trying to put the pieces back together in a way that makes sense to me, but it serves as a humbling reminder of why strong intercultural relationships are so important, and of the consequences of what happens when they fall apart.”

Lackey wasn’t alone in her broadening outlook. The East Asia trip — where students visited historic sites and SVSU sister institutions alike — provided the team a number of opportunities for personal growth.

Never 'former'

Swihart said one of the trip’s assignments flexed a muscle many didn’t realize they had. The 15s were asked to travel in small groups to designated locations in Beijing without using their cell phones and without assistance from faculty advisers.

“It’s a leadership activity,” Swihart said. “It develops self-confidence.”

Roberts Fellows participated in a number of activities in 2013-14, including this English Camp with Shikoku University students in Japan.Everyone passed the test, and the exercise came in handy later in the journey when political science major Samantha Jackson was separated from the group in Hiroshima.

“She beat us back to the hotel,” Swihart said of the Goodells native. “The other students were upset, but I wasn’t anxious at all. I thought, ‘She’ll solve this,’ and she did.”

The Roberts Fellowship Program was designed to build leadership within students already considered solid leaders. The 15s accomplished that feat, Swihart said. Their triumph was illustrated in part by the service projects they completed.

This year’s class split in two groups to work on separate projects. One initiative was geared toward helping Saginaw’s Houghton Jones Neighborhood Association while a second team created an educational program marrying traditional curriculum with exercise. As an example, participants engaged in a spelling exercise would simultaneously perform workout routines.

Roberts Fellow Kate Nankervis, of Saginaw, was part of the latter group. They worked with Pulse3 Foundation, a Saginaw organization that develops educational and community initiatives that promote healthier lifestyles, to design the hybrid educational coursework.

“This was my favorite memory because it is something I am very passionate about,” said Nankervis, an elementary education major. “One of the highlights for this class was that we were able to give back to the community. Each member of the group brought their own unique skills, and when we worked together, we pulled off something pretty amazing.”

Sayles agreed she and her fellow 15s will never be “former” Roberts Fellows, and the bond they forged will last a lifetime.

“It was so hard for all of us to leave on our last day in Taiwan,” Sayles said. “It is something that is not easily explained. Rather, it needs to be experienced to be understood completely.  It was — as cliché as it is — life-altering.  I don't think I will ever forget this program, or this year.“

About the Roberts Fellowship Program

The 2013-14 Roberts Fellowship Program class also includes Cara Cole, a social work major from St. Louis; Marissa Geyer, a political science major from Auburn; Shaya Jewani, an economics major from Fort Gratiot; Rachel Katch, an athletic training major from St. Charles; Jeremy Killion, a history major from Clio; Abigail Seamon, an elementary education major from New Lothrop; Trent Varva, a political science major from Saginaw; and Kerri Vasold, an exercise science major from Shepherd.

The Roberts Fellows blog is available here:

Established in 1999, the program is named in honor of Donna Roberts of Midland, who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to SVSU through her personal generosity and prior service on the Board of Control and the Board of Fellows. A respected attorney, business leader and philanthropist, Roberts retired from The Dow Chemical Company, where she was Secretary and Assistant General Counsel. She is an honorary director of the SVSU Foundation Board.

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