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March 3, 2014

What's "Social Engineering?" How does it affect me?

Originally updated 9/26/2012 © 2012 ePlace Solutions, Inc.

By Jennifer Paradise

Criminals use manipulative techniques known as "social engineering" to deceive their victims into revealing sensitive information.  Such scams play on emotions like fear and the human tendency to want to help or trust others. A common approach uses fraudulent "phishing" e-mails, as in fishing for information. The scamming e-mail is often designed to look as though it comes from an individual or organization the recipient will recognize, or has an existing relationship with. The message attempts to fool the recipient into revealing sensitive information. The mechanisms used may entice the recipient to (a) click on a link leading to a fraudulent website (although it may appear legitimate), (b) reply to a specific offer or request in the e-mail, or (c) download an infected attachment.

Defending against social engineering attacks is difficult because cyber thieves are creative and constantly coming up with new approaches, but the following guidance can help avoid becoming a social engineering victim.

Think before you click. Be cautious with any message you don't expect or that doesn't make sense. If you get a message from the New York police about a speeding ticket but you have not been driving in NY recently, it's bogus. Delete immediately. Even if you had been driving in NY, ask yourself whether it makes sense that the NY police have your e-mail address. Probably not.

Be wary of offers of something for nothing. These are most likely scams. Won the lottery without entering? A free gift card from a store you don't patronize? Likely bogus.

Check validity with a web search. If you suspect the offer/threat could be real, don't click. Search instead. Many sites list known hoaxes. Reading through these can put your mind at ease.

Carefully scrutinize the destination of links in e-mails and text messages. Hover your mouse/finger over the link to see where it really goes. Clever phishers sometimes include valid links among the malicious links in the e-mail in a further attempt to disguise their intent.

Do not respond to unsolicited requests for sensitive information, whether by e-mail, phone, or text message. If an unsolicited caller starts asking for personal information, it's time to end the call.

Do not submit personal information via website pop-up screens. Legitimate organizations do not ask for personal information via pop-ups.

If you think a request might be valid but can't verify the identity of the requester, then contact the organization making the request yourself so you can be sure of whom you are talking to.

February 28, 2014

ITS Announces a New Service Tracking System

Submit and track IT support tickets at

By Mike Holliday

As users of the SVSU ITS Service Management System for IT requests, you now have the ability to submit new IT requests, to see status updates, and to track the progress of your requests online at:

Additionally, ITS is launching the Service Request Management Customer Satisfaction Survey, which will allow users to provide valuable feedback specific to their requests.  We plan to use your responses to better understand and serve the campus.

A quick overview document (with screenshots) can be found here??.

By visiting‌ you will find a link to mySupport Online under the Contact Us section.

February 10, 2014

SVSU Board Appoints New President

By J.J. Boehm

The Saginaw Valley State University Board of Control appointed Donald Bachand as the school’s next president. Bachand was selected from a group of four finalists who interviewed on campus January 28-31. He becomes the fourth president of SVSU, replacing Eric Gilbertson, who is retiring after more than 24 years of service.

“As the Board evaluated the candidates, it became clear to us that Don best demonstrated the attributes we were seeking in the new president,” said Board chair Jeff Martin. “He is a dynamic leader and an excellent listener, and he sets high standards and expectations for faculty and staff.

“We wanted someone who could maintain enrollment in the face of declining high school graduates, help students succeed academically, and improve graduation rates. We are confident that Don is ready for these challenges.”

Bachand has served as SVSU’s vice president for academic affairs since 2006 and added the responsibilities of provost in 2010. Prior to that he served nearly 10 years as dean of the College of Arts and Behavioral Sciences. Bachand first joined SVSU in 1978 as an assistant professor of criminal justice.

“I accept this position with enthusiasm, but mindful of the challenges that lie ahead,” Bachand said. “I have spent most of my life at this university and care deeply about its future. I will work hard to maintain the work ethic, collegiality and ‘first name’ basis of SVSU; those characteristics are integral to who we are and are what set us apart.”

In his role as provost, Bachand has evaluated SVSU’s degree programs and has seen the high success rates graduates have on state licensing exams and acceptance into graduate and professional schools. He said too many people across Michigan and beyond are unfamiliar with the quality of SVSU’s faculty and its overall academic rigor; one of his first priorities will be to change that.

“We have an obligation to our students and alumni to improve understanding in the broader community of how good we are academically and how good our faculty are as teachers and scholars,” he said.

During his time on the faculty, Bachand received the Landee Award for Teaching Excellence, SVSU’s highest honor for classroom teaching. He also served as an officer in the SVSU Faculty Association, giving him the valuable experience of having negotiated a contract from both the labor and management perspectives.

Martin said that experience factored into the Board’s decision.

“We wanted someone who could strengthen already strong relationships within the institution,” he said, “because in today’s increasingly competitive market, everyone – faculty, staff, students, donors, alumni, everyone – needs to be working together to provide our students with a first class college education.”

Governmental affairs and private fund-raising are two aspects of the presidency where Bachand has some experience but said he will need to grow. He has been honored for his commitment to diversity, receiving SVSU’s Roosevelt Ruffin Diversity Award in 2012 for his support of community outreach programs and his leadership in implementing programs designed to increase diversity among the faculty.

A native of Detroit, Bachand began his career by serving 10 years in the Detroit Police Department. He spent several years on patrol before becoming among the youngest in department history to receive a promotion to sergeant; he was assigned to the chief of police’s strategic planning division. While on the force, Bachand completed a bachelor’s degree at Mercy College and a master’s degree at the University of Detroit. After joining SVSU, he went on to complete a Ph.D. at the University of Michigan.

A long-time resident of Midland, Bachand has been actively involved in a number of organizations across the Great Lakes Bay Region and plans to build those bonds as president.

“I know how important SVSU is to the entire region,” he said. “We prepare many of the professionals that are being hired by employers large and small. We also serve as a cultural and intellectual resource, not just in terms of what takes place on our campus, but also in the many ways in which our faculty and staff are engaged with the community.”

Martin said the Board received numerous comments from the faculty, staff and students who attended open forums with the finalists, and those were taken into consideration.

“We are very grateful for their valued input,” he said. “It helped the Board reach this decision and we look forward to having their continued support in the years ahead.”

Bachand will take office almost immediately. His first day as president will be Monday, Feb. 17.

“I know this place, and I’m ready to hit the ground running,” he said.

Bachand will receive an annual salary of $250,000, as well as a University-owned home and vehicle. He also receives the same health care and retirement benefits as other SVSU employees.

February 7, 2014

SVSU bestows alumni awards

Saginaw Valley State University honored six of its leading graduates and one student about to graduate during its Alumni Celebration Friday, Feb. 7 at 5:45 p.m. in Curtiss Hall’s banquet rooms.

By J.J. Boehm

Saginaw Valley State University honored six of its leading graduates and one student about to graduate during its Alumni Celebration Friday, Feb. 7 at 5:45 p.m. in Curtiss Hall’s banquet rooms.

The SVSU Alumni Association selected five alumni – one from each college – to receive the Distinguished Alumni awards. The association also has selected recipients of the Young Alumni Award and Future Alumni Award, given to outstanding individuals who recently graduated or who soon will earn their degrees.

Here are the individuals who were honored:

Scott Carmona, the distinguished alumnus for the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, earned his bachelor’s degree in 1981. Carmona has distinguished himself as a successful business leader, savvy developer and visionary community leader. He is the owner and chief executive officer of Sunrise National Distributors, Inc., a national distributor of automotive aftermarket products. He serves on SVSU’s Board of Control and Foundation Board.

Catherine Gatewood, the distinguished alumna for the College of Education, earned her bachelor’s degree in secondary education/history in 1995. She has spent her career in education, serving today as vice president of Academic Affairs for Bay College in Escanaba. Prior to joining Bay College, she served as vice president of Academic and Student Affairs for Anoka Technical College in Anoka, Minn. She began her career teaching American history at Meridian High School in Sanford.

Pamela Forbus, the distinguished alumna for the College of Business and Management, earned her Bachelor of Business Administration in 1987. Since 2007, Forbus has led a team of more than 30 strategy, analytics and market insight professionals who have an influence on the growth agenda at Frito-Lay. After earning her SVSU degree, she began a 12-year account service and planning career in the advertising agency industry with Y&R, Chiat/Day, WB Doner and Campbell-Ewald.

Dawn Klida, the distinguished alumna for the College of Arts and Behavioral Sciences, earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1990. In 1997, she was a founding partner in the law firm Skinner, Wilderboer & Klida. In 2010, she was appointed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm to the 74th District Court, where she is the presiding sobriety court judge. She also is a member of the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce.

Janice Penney, the distinguished alumna for the Crystal M. Lange College of Health and Human Services, earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1986 and a master’s degree in nursing in 1995. Penney was recently named chief nursing officer of MidMichigan Health and vice president and chief nursing officer of MidMichigan Medical Center-Midland. Throughout her career, she has held many leadership roles, including serving as the strategic business unit leader for cardiovascular services and nursing director at MidMichigan Medical Center-Midland.

Jamie Jager, the Young Alumni Award recipient, earned her bachelor’s degree in English in 2011. Following graduation, she worked at a local nonprofit organization for two years before joining Saginaw’s New Hope Valley Assisted Living as the deputy director in late 2013. She was a member of SVSU’s prestigious Roberts Fellowship, a leadership development program, in 2010.

Jadrianna Sobczak is SVSU’s Future Alumni Award winner. Expected to graduate in May with a bachelor’s in exercise science, Sobczak has immersed herself in the college experience. Last spring, she travelled to Guangzhou, China, where she worked in a hospital on the campus of Jinan University, learning the differences between the health care systems of the United States and China. A native of Bad Axe, Sobczak also serves as a peer advisor, assisting fellow students with their academic pursuits.

For more information on the Alumni Celebration, visit the Alumni Association website at

February 5, 2014

SVSU joins national honor society for history

By J.J. Boehm

Saginaw Valley State University’s history department recently announced that the National Board of Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society has approved the establishment of a chapter at Saginaw Valley State University.

A national honor society, Phi Alpha Theta recognizes and celebrates the achievements of students and faculty who have excelled in their study of history.  The group carries more than 350,000 members in 860 chapters.

SVSU’s chapter has been designated the Alpha-Omicron-Rho chapter. The approval is an affirmation of the strong credentials of history students and faculty at SVSU.

The chapter’s installation ceremony and initiation of its first members is planned for April 2014. Membership in Phi Alpha Theta is lifetime and student members will have access to Phi Alpha Theta’s extensive scholarship and awards program.

Membership is open to students who meet the requirements of 12 credit hours in history with at least a 3.1 GPA in history and a 3.0 GPA overall.

Nameeta Mathur, SVSU professor of history, serves as the faculty advisor to Alpha-Omicron-Rho.

February 5, 2014

Visiting Scholar Tackles Procrastination in SVSU Talk

By J.J. Boehm

If you have been putting off addressing your procrastination problems, Saginaw Valley State University has a speaker for you.  Joe Ferrari, St Vincent dePaul Distinguished Professor at DePaul University and author of “Still Procrastinating? The No Regrets Guide to Getting It Done” will speak Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 5:30 p.m. in the Alan Ott Auditorium of SVSU’s Regional Education Center.

Considered an international research expert on chronic procrastination, Ferrari will present a review of the science helping us understand the causes and consequences of procrastination. Why do you procrastinate?  When will you procrastinate?  How does your procrastination impact on you? on others? on living a satisfied, successful life?

Procrastination is not the same as delay, waiting, dawdling, or just being lazy, and it certainly is not poor time management. International research shows 20 to 25 percent of adults are chronic procrastinators, individuals who delay as a lifestyle.

Ferrari presents his approach to exploring the phrase “everyone procrastinates, but not everyone is a procrastinator.” He emphasizes how procrastination is not about time and he offers suggestions based on empirically validated research on the ‘cures’ of procrastination.

A leader in the field, Ferrari has written more than 380 scholarly research articles, and 15 scholarly books; he also has given 700 professional conference presentations.  His work has been featured in USA Today, The New York Times, The Times of London, The Chicago Tribune, and numerous broadcast outlets.

At DePaul, Ferrari was the founding Director of the Ph.D. program in community psychology and director of the M.S. in general psychology program.  He has received DePaul’s Excellence in Research and Excellence in Public Service awards. Ferrari completed a master’s degree and a Ph.D. at Adelphi University.

Ferrari’s talk is open to the public.  Admission is free of charge.  His visit is sponsored by SVSU’s Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Visiting Scholars series.

January 22, 2014

SVSU Mobile App now available!

Download from the Apple App Store for iPhone and iPad, and the Google Play Store for Android.

By Mike Holliday

‌The SVSU mobile app is now available from the Apple App Store (for iPhone and iPad) and the Google Play Store (for Android). Search for ‘SVSU’ and install it now. The FREE app provides important information right at your fingertips:

  • Courses - View your course schedule on the go.
  • Important Contacts – Quickly access office contact information.
  • Directory - Find faculty, staff, or student telephone numbers and call directly from the app.
  • Notifications - Stay informed with personalized announcements delivered right to your phone.
  • Grades - Check your grades on the go.
  • Events - Know what’s going on at SVSU!

The SVSU app requires your SVSU username/password to access your student information (courses, grades & notifications), as well as the directory.

The SVSU app is available Monday-Saturday 24 hours each day, and on Sundays from 1 p.m.-12 a.m. The SVSU app is not accessible on Sundays from 12 am (midnight) to 1 p.m. due to weekly maintenance. Any attempt to sign-in during this time will result in a login failure.‌

January 22, 2014

Access Your M-Drive Online with V-Drive

By Mike Holliday

There is a new way to access your M-drive from the Internet. We have replaced the Netstorage product with 'Web File Manager' accessible from the quick links and directly at It has many new features and a better interface. 

January 17, 2014

SVSU student to lead national convention for 400,000-member service fraternity

Saginaw Valley State University junior Amber Swanson will serve as chairperson of the 2014 national convention for Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed service fraternity with 400,000 members on 375 campuses.

Swanson said she expects 2,000 members to attend the convention from Dec. 27-30 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Chicago. The group assembles every two years.

“I was literally jumping for joy,” the communication major said upon learning of her appointment via email last month.

“Words cannot describe how insanely excited and fortunate I feel as I embark on this new journey. I cannot wait to plan a spectacular convention, meet brothers from across the country and represent Alpha Delta Upsilon (SVSU’s chapter).”

Over the next 12 months, Swanson’s duties will include developing a theme and logo for the conference, recruiting membership involvement, developing the program lineup and serving as spokesperson for the event.

The convention goals include conducting business for the fraternity, educating members via workshops and celebrating the group’s successes, she said.

Swanson, a Grayling native, said pledging for SVSU’s chapter “is the best decision I’ve ever made.”

The local group in recent months has volunteered its help at the Saginaw Children’s Zoo at Celebration Square, helped organize several community BINGO games at local assembly halls and sent greeting cards that troops overseas could fill out and mail to family and friends. The fraternity plans to meet this month to determine this semester’s service project goals, Swanson said.

December 18, 2013

BRL Students attend SFN!

Long trip, but great week engaged in neuroscience

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