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July 8, 2014

SVSU nursing student Jessica Asaro wins ‘best paper’ at international conference

The Ira native’s paper compared the medicine of the United States to that of Indonesia and Nepal

Jessica AsaroSaginaw Valley State University nursing student Jessica Asaro’s honors thesis recently was selected “Best Student Paper” at the Global Science and Technology Forum’s 2nd Annual Worldwide Nursing Conference in Singapore.


Health care professionals from about a dozen nations including the United States attended the conference June 23-24, when Asaro presented her thesis paper titled “Complementary and Alternative Medicine Usage Across Nations.”

The Ira native’s paper compared the medicine of the United States along with Indonesia and Nepal, two nations she visited during study abroad trips sponsored by SVSU in 2011 and 2013, respectively. Asaro, who will earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing this August, visited villages in both countries to study the various methods of health care practiced abroad.

The Singapore-based Global Science and Technology Forum earlier in the year selected Asaro’s work as a candidate for “Best Student Paper.” About 30 other students presented papers at the conference.

“It was neat I could turn this into an opportunity,” said Asaro, who called the starting point of that award-winning honors thesis — joining SVSU’s honors program — “one of the best decisions I made” at the university.

“Even though the classes are challenging, they prepared me for the nursing program, which is writing intensive,” she said. “The professors who taught honors classes expected more out of their students, which helped me to develop the skills I needed to succeed in the nursing program and throughout the rest of my career at SVSU. I would not be the person I am today without the support from the honors program.”

Asaro has been invited to publish her paper in the Global Science and Technology Forum’s Journal of Nursing and Healthcare. The publication features peer-reviewed scholarly articles selected from conferences.

Asaro, a 2010 Marine City High School graduate, said she was motivated to pursue nursing after helping her mother cope with rheumatoid arthritis.


July 1, 2014

Updating the Software for Your Devices

Originally Updated 04/02/2012 © 2012 ePlace Solutions, Inc.

By Jennifer Paradise

Wondering what to do with emails that suggest you download new or updated software? What about those annoying update messages that appear on your device’s screen from time-to-time? You probably understand that updating device software is a key part of maintaining security. But, you also know that downloading and installing software can be dangerous. What to do? This training bulletin provides guidance on how to safely keep your device(s) updated.

Why is this important? Cyber thieves are constantly discovering software vulnerabilities to attack. Through such holes, malware can be inadvertently installed on a device – YOUR device - simply by visiting an infected webpage or opening a malicious file. The installed malware can then be used to compromise computer systems. In response, developers publish software updates, also known as patches, to close the holes and prevent such attacks. Keeping device software updated has become a key part of computer system security.

Sounds easy enough - install updates when available. But, cyber thieves are clever and try to fool users into installing bogus updates that contain malware. Separating the good from the bad is tricky business. Following the guidance below can help you learn to install updates safely. It will take practice, but regular software updating is an important habit for all device users to develop.

  1. Pay attention to what software is on your device. Notifications about software you don’t have are likely fraudulent. If you don’t recognize it, don’t install it. 
  2. Over time, learn to recognize the normal update process for your software. Only respond to notifications that fit the usual pattern. 
  3. Some programs deliver updates via software already installed on the device. These notifications generally appear when the application is launched. Installing these is normally safe. 
  4. Other continuously running programs (e.g. anti-virus and anti-spyware) may automatically scan for updates and notify via pop-ups when updates are available. This is a great example of why it’s important to know what software you have, and what update notice they normally provide. 
  5. DO NOT install software or “updates” directly from e-mail links or attachments. To check the legitimacy of an e-mail update notice, go to the vendor’s site directly - don’t click on the link in the e-mail!! If the site has an update for software that you use, download it yourself directly from the vendor site.

Keeping your device updated can seem like a daunting task. How to begin? First, it is critical to update antivirus and anti-spyware programs as soon as new definitions are available. Applications most prone to attack should be next. Focus first on the parts of your system that thieves normally target. These include operating systems (e.g. Windows XP, or 7), web browsers (e.g. IE, Firefox, Chrome), helper programs used to run applications and read/play files (e.g. Java, Adobe PDF Reader, Flash, QuickTime).

If in doubt, the safest way to check for and install updates is from within each program. To do so, start the program you want to check, click on the “Help” pulldown menu, click the “Check for Updates” menu item, and follow the instructions.

June 27, 2014

SVSU educator earns award from American College of Healthcare Executives

A Saginaw Valley State University faculty member has earned recognition for her role in health care administration education and community outreach.

Marilyn Skrocki, SVSU associate professor of health sciences, received the Great Lakes Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) 2014 Regent Distinguished Faculty Member Award during a Michigan Health and Hospital Association conference on Mackinac Island Thursday, June 26.

The ACHE is an international organization with more than 40,000 health care executives as members. The Great Lakes Chapter covers Michigan and northern Ohio.

“I am humbled by receiving this award, knowing the individuals who have received it in the past,” Skrocki said.

Kyle Grazier, chair of the University of Michigan School of Public Health's Department of Health Policy and Management, earned the accolade in 2013.

Christina Freese-Decker, the regent for the ACHE's Great Lakes Chapter, said Skrocki earned this year's award based in part on her success growing SVSU's master of science in health administration and leadership program.

“Marilyn's engagement with ACHE is exceptional,” Freese-Decker said. “Her active promotion of the networking and career services through ACHE has benefitted her students.”

Skrocki joined the SVSU faculty in 2010.  She completed a law degree at Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

June 25, 2014

SVSU co-hosting sustainability conference with India’s top business school

Saginaw Valley State University will host an international conference on business sustainability Tuesday, Sept. 23 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.
The news magazine India Today recently named Shri Ram the No. 1 commerce college in India for 2014, a position the school has attained nine of the past 10 years.

The conference features several high profile speakers including Linda Kennan, vice president for corporate stewardship at Dow Corning; Debashis Kanungo, global head of talent transformation and management for Tata Consultancy Services; and Bo Miller, global director of corporate citizenship for The Dow Chemical Company.  The conference is expected to draw presenters and attendees from the Great Lakes Bay Region, throughout the U.S. and around the world.

In addition to the distinguished keynote speakers, this event will include two multi-session tracks, one for academic scholars and another for business professionals.  For the academic track, scholars will present original research on a broad range of business sustainability issues. For the practitioner track, business leaders will share their case studies and cautionary tales about implementing sustainable business practices in a variety of industries.

Individual sessions in each track will focus on sustainability topics in a wide range of sectors including agribusiness, the automotive industry, construction, entrepreneurship, energy, family business, information technology and doing business in India.

The conference will combine the expertise of two business schools with industry expertise in Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay Region to provide valuable insights to practitioners, academics and students. This distinctive global conference is open to all business professionals and community leaders with an interest in sustainability.  For more information, or to register for the event, visit

About SVSU College of Business and Management:
Saginaw Valley State University’s College of Business & Management provides a distinctive business education by integrating academic and experiential learning while challenging students to develop as professionals, leaders, and entrepreneurs in a dynamic, global environment. The college is among of the less than 5 percent of business schools worldwide that are accredited by AACSB-International, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. SVSU offers undergraduate programs in accounting, economics, finance, international business, management, supply chain management, and marketing as well as an MBA program. The college also hosts the Stevens Center for Family Business which offers resources for the unique needs of family-owned businesses. For more information, visit

About Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University
For more than 75 years, Shri Ram College of Commerce has been a distinctive destination for those aspiring to pursue careers in business and economics. The college offers undergraduate degrees as well as a Post Graduate Diploma in Global Business Operations, similar to an international business MBA.  SRCC alumni occupy distinguished positions in government, banking, finance, academia and business. For four consecutive years, the school has been recognized as the No. 1 commerce school in India through a multi-faceted rating process conducted in partnership between India Today, the leading newsweekly in India, and Nielsen Company. For more information about SRCC, visit

June 20, 2014

SVSU graduate and Ubly native Nicole Franzel cast on CBS reality show ‘Big Brother’

The first episode airs Wednesday, June 25, at 8 p.m

Nicole Franzel, a 2014 SVSU graduate, is a contestant on the CBS reality TV show, A recent Saginaw Valley State University graduate from Ubly will compete for $500,000 this summer in the popular CBS reality show, “Big Brother.”

Nicole Franzel, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in nursing in May from SVSU, is one of 16 contestants selected from across the nation. The first episode airs Wednesday, June 25, at 8 p.m.

“Big Brother,” now in its 16th season, is a reality show where housemates compete in challenges and campaign to stay in the show’s house. Typically, the housemates vote out one contestant weekly until two remain. Then a panel of ousted contestants selects a winner to receive the half-million dollar prize.

“Big Brother” has released video interviews of Franzel ahead of the first show.

In one interview, Franzel describes one of her favorite activities as studying, “because that is what I do most often.”

Watch her “Big Brother” introduction video here:

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.

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