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February 5, 2019

Musical duo to delight audiences at SVSU with euphonium, piano performances

A performance inspired in part by a steampunk superhero comic book series will be on the program for a classical music concert scheduled this week at Saginaw Valley State University.

Musicians William Sutton and Ling Lo will perform Friday, Feb. 8, at 7:30 p.m. in SVSU’s Rhea Miller Recital Hall. The concert is free and open to the public.

The duo arrives at SVSU with résumés featuring both local and international accolades.

Sutton, who will be playing the euphonium alongside Lo’s piano performance Friday, won the Midwest Regional Tuba-Euphonium Conference’s euphonium solo competition in 2015. Sutton also advanced to the semifinal round four times at the Leonard Falcone International Euphonium and Tuba Festival. Sutton, an adjunct faculty member in SVSU’s Department of Music, has performed with groups such as the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra, Lansing Symphony Orchestra as well as the Orchestra of Northern New York.

As a soloist, Lo has performed in global competitions including the International Bohemia Metro Cup and Taiwan Cultural Cup Music Competition. She carries degrees in piano performance from both Boston University and Soochow University in Jiangsu, China. Lo is currently completing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance and a Master of Music degree in collaborative piano from Michigan State University.

Friday’s performance will include selections such as “In League with Extraordinary Gentlemen,” a Peter Graham-composed musical piece inspired in part by a comic book series and 2003 film about a group of steampunk-themed superheroes known as The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Other musical selections planned for Friday include work from 19th century Austrian composer Franz Schubert and 20th century American composer William Grant Still.

For more information about Friday’s concert, contact the SVSU Department of Music at or (989) 964-4159.

February 5, 2019

SVSU to host more than 100 employers for Summer Job and Internship Fair

Saginaw Valley State University will host its Summer Job and Internship Fair on Wednesday, Feb. 20 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the second floor of SVSU's Curtiss Hall in the banquet and seminar rooms. 

More than 100 employers will be looking to interview and potentially hire prospective workers. This event is free and open to the public.

The employment fair will offer opportunities to visit with representatives from companies and agencies based locally and across the nation. Dow Bay Area Family YMCA, Detroit Police Department, Auto-Owners Insurance, Bavarian Inn Lodge & Restaurant, Chippewa Nature Center, and Apple Mountain are among the wide range of employers expected to attend Tuesday.

Bill Stec, interim director of Career Services, advises that all who are seeking valuable work experience attend.

Stec also offered his best tips for those who want to make a good impression at the fair. Attendees should consider preparing for the event by doing the following:

  • Researching the list of companies who will be in attendance by going to and clicking on the events tab.
  • Highlighting the top 15 companies you would like to network with at the fair
  • Printing 15-20 copies of your resume
  • Preparing questions to ask employers to show interest in their specific organization.

The Summer Job and Internship Fair was originally scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 29, but was postponed due to inclement weather.

For more information about the Summer Job and Internship Fair, visit

February 1, 2019

SVSU to host STEM activities, games for Girl Scouts Saturday

Saginaw Valley State University will introduce a group of Girl Scouts to the wonders of science during an all-day event Saturday, Feb. 2.


About 90 girls — from kindergarten to fifth grade students — will participate in SVSU’s third annual STEMapalooza from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Kochville Township campus.


With the help of SVSU faculty, staff and students as well as community partners from Nexteer Automotive, STEMapalooza will engage the girls in a series of science-based exercises and games. Activities will include exploring SVSU’s Gertrude Boutell Greenhouse, investigating the different phases of matter with SVSU’s Biology Club, and building toy roller coasters out of marbles.


“STEMapalooza is a fantastic way to introduce the girls to STEM concepts,” said Adrianne Cole, SVSU’s director of STEM and the event’s coordinator.


“With the gender imbalance in STEM careers, we want to encourage girls to get excited about STEM by visiting campus and working with strong STEM role models, including our own SVSU students.”


The activities largely will take place in SVSU’s Doan Science East building as well as the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum.


STEMapalooza is funded in part by a $3,120 Nexteer Steering the Future Fund, first established at the Saginaw Community Foundation in 2013.

January 29, 2019

Quintasonic Brass to perform at SVSU

A professional brass musical group will perform at Saginaw Valley State University later this week.


Quintasonic Brass will visit campus Saturday, Feb. 2, at 7:30 p.m. in SVSU's Rhea Miller Recital Hall. The performance is free and open to the public.


The group features trumpeters Vincent DiMartino and Jason Dovel, horn player Matthew Haislip, trombonist Alex van Duuren and tuba player Alex Lapins.


Saturday’s planned program features musical selections composed as early as the 18th century and as recent as this century. 


The quintet began performing together in 2016, but the musicians began collaborating with each other for years prior to the group's formation. All five players also work as educators at colleges and universities across the U.S.: DiMartino at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky; Dovel at University of Kentucky; Haislip at Mississippi State University; Duuren at University of Tennessee; and Lapins at University of Tennessee.


More information about Quintasonic Brass is available on its website at


For more information about Saturday’s concert, contact the SVSU Department of Music at or (989) 964-4159.

January 25, 2019

SVSU named Military-Friendly University for eighth year

Saginaw Valley State University has earned continued recognition for the committed support it provides to military-affiliated students.

VIQTORY has designated SVSU as a Military Friendly® university for the 2019-20 school year. This marks the eighth time the school has been honored with this recognition.

This designation is due in part to the dedicated staff in SVSU's Military Student Affairs Office. They assist military-affiliated students with everything from admissions counseling to a veteran peer support group.

Bethany Alford, director of Military Student Affairs at SVSU, said that their staff works hard to be sure that military-connected students feel valued and receive exceptional service from SVSU.

“We take much pride in serving those who have served for us,” she said. “This national designation demonstrates, once again, SVSU's commitment to serving student veterans and their families.”

Along with this designation, SVSU has also been recognized by Military Times for its Best for Vets national honor and the gold level Veteran Friendly honor by the Michigan Veteran Affairs Agency earlier in the school year.

VIQTORY is a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business founded in 2001. VIQTORY's free, data-driven Military Friendly® lists can be found online. VIQTORY's lists are also published in G.I. Jobs, Military Spouse and Military Friendly® brands.

Colleges and universities are selected for this designation based on public data and surveys completed by veterans.

For more information on SVSU's Military Affairs Office, visit

The Military Friendly® list and more information on the selection process can be found at

January 18, 2019

SVSU earns high praise for its fiscal health from top credit rating service

Saginaw Valley State University works hard to maintain a high-quality education at relatively low tuition rates for its students. That commitment recently resulted in a top credit rating service praising SVSU for its fiscal responsibility and strength.


New York City-based Moody’s Investors Service in a Jan. 14 report announced an A1 rating for SVSU’s $102 million in existing debt, citing the university’s “prudent fiscal discipline.”


SVSU’s high rating is especially impressive considering Moody’s less-optimistic analysis and forecast for the higher education industry as a whole, said James G. Muladore, executive vice president for administration and business affairs.


“They have issued a negative outlook for higher education based on demographic and enrollment trends and what is seen as declining net tuition revenue,” he said. “We’re pleased we have this positive affirmation as well as a stable outlook for the future. We’re fortunate we’re in a relatively good place at this time.”


In its recent report, Moody’s stated “the A1 rating reflects SVSU's consistently well managed operations that continue to generate very good cash flow and debt service coverage.”


The positive rating — along with a similarly high A credit rating recently issued by New York City-based Standard and Poor’s Financial Services — will allow SVSU to seek low interest rates for potential future projects, Muladore said. The $102 million in existing debt largely represents campus construction projects that supported SVSU’s academic programs and student housing in recent decades.


Muladore said he expects SVSU will remain on solid footing relating to its debt, which he projects will fall to $70 million — a 31 percent reduction — by 2023.


He said the university’s fiscal strength was in part the result of following conservative budgeting practices over the years.


The Moody’s report is available online at

January 18, 2019

Determination drives SVSU team to strong showing at national moot court tournament

During the 2019 national tournament, a pair of Saginaw Valley State University students demonstrated the hard work and tireless commitment that continues to make the institution's moot court program among the best in the United States.

SVSU teammates Lindsey Mead and Justin Weller advanced to the round of 32 at the American Moot Court Association national tournament Jan. 12-13 at Florida A&M College of Law in Orlando. They qualified for the second day of the competition and won their opening match of the day before being eliminated; 80 teams from across the U.S. qualified for the annual contest.

“It was a great showing for the team,” said Julie Keil, the program's founder and adviser as well as an SVSU associate professor of political science. “We expect to have both students back next season, which bodes well for us.”

Mead, an English major from Saginaw who also competed in the 2018 national tournament, is a junior at SVSU. Weller, a political science major from Bay City, is a sophomore.

Acting as teams of two attorneys, students competing in moot court tournament are tasked with arguing two hypothetical legal cases based on real-life courtroom battles. The competition is judged based on the clarity of the students' argument, their public speaking skills, their ability to answer questions, and how well they know the law and the case.

Mead and Weller were among 160 of the nation's most elite moot court competitors who qualified for this month's national tournament based on their performances in regional tournaments. In total, 878 students participated in the American Moot Court Association's 2018-19 season.

The SVSU moot court program has competed at the highest level over the years, and SVSU consistently has been ranked among the nation's top programs. Its current ranking by the American Moot Court Association at No. 19 is its highest yet, ahead of larger institutions such as Texas A&M University (ranked no. 21) and University of Louisville (No. 23).

January 17, 2019

SVSU theatre student wins regional award for vocal excellence

A Saginaw Valley State University student's vocal talents earned him a prestigious honor while several of his classmates were praised at a recent theater festival featuring the best collegiate performing artists in the Midwest.

Over the winter break, 22 SVSU students displayed their acting skills, production expertise and more when they competed in several performing-arts related categories at the 2019 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Region III Festival (KCACTF) in Madison, Wisconsin, from Jan. 8 - 13.

Three SVSU students made it to the final round in their respective categories, and a fourth advanced to the national finals.

Theatre major Joshua Lloyd of Bay City and his partner Clay Singer, a psychology major from Frankenmuth, advanced from just under 300 students competing in the acting category to the final 16. This is the first time since 2014 that SVSU has had a student in the Acting finals.

Lloyd was also honored with the prestigious Voice and Speech Trainers Association's Vocal Excellence Award.

“It's a tremendous honor to be recognized by the American College Theatre Festival,” Lloyd said. “Attending the festival has always been a highlight of my winter semester, and to have finally made it through to finals and receiving the vocal excellence award only confirms that I must be on the right track. I'm incredibly thankful for family and friends rooting me on, and our superb faculty in the SVSU theatre department for their continued support.”

Olivia Greanias, a theatre major from Saginaw, competed in the musical theatre category and advanced to the final 16, marking the second consecutive year that SVSU was represented by a musical theatre finalist.

Arianna Whisman, a special education major and theatre minor from Bay City, made the national finals in the unrealized production costume design category.

Jennifer Lothian of Linwood, who graduated in December 2018 as a double major in communications and theatre, presented her costumes from the recent SVSU production of “The Servant of Two Masters” in the festival's costume parade. This is Lothian's second consecutive invitation to present her impeccable costume design work in the parade, which highlights costume design work by students and faculty members from across the region.

“The 2019 KCACTF Festival was a complete success,” said Ric Roberts, SVSU professor of theatre. “The theatre faculty, who traveled and coached with these 22 students, could not be prouder of all of their work.”

The Kennedy Center America College Theatre Region III covers colleges and universities in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.

January 15, 2019

Regional leaders to be honored as Drum Major Award recipients at MLK Celebration

An educator, an advocate for peace and the leader of a local NAACP branch will be honored at Saginaw Valley State University this month for community work that exemplifies the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision.


Ben Gibson, Jeanne Lound Schaller and Leola Wilson recently were named recipients of the latest Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Award, given annually to leaders in the Great Lakes Bay Region. The latest recipients will be recognized during the Great Lakes Bay Regional Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23 at SVSU's Malcolm Field Theatre for Performing Arts, where former President Obama senior advisor Valerie Jarrett will serve as the event's keynote speaker.


The three recipients - one each from Bay, Midland and Saginaw counties - will receive a $1,000 award for a charitable organization of their choice.


The honoree from Bay County is Gibson, a retired flight instructor and educator who taught students at Bay City Public Schools for 26 years. He taught aviation courses at Averill Career Opportunities Center in Saginaw as well as Delta College. Several of his students joined the U.S. Air Force or became pilots working for major airlines. From 1996 to 2013, Gibson himself served as a corporate pilot.


In 2002, Gibson was elected as a trustee with the Bay City Public Schools Board of Education. He helped lead the school district until 2015.


The Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Award honoree from Midland County is Schaller, who leads the Midland chapter of Nonviolent Peaceforce, a nonprofit organization working to "transform the world's response to conflict."


She worked as a peace advocate for a number of organizations including Community Resolution Center, which has offices in Saginaw and Flint. She also helped lead both Midland Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice as well as the Midland-based Helen M. Casey Center for Nonviolence. At age 68, she became a member of the Rotary Peace Fellowship. She earned a professional development certificate in conflict resolution and peace in 2015 at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand.


Wilson is the Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Award honoree from Saginaw County. Wilson who just retired as president of the Saginaw branch of the NAACP, the second-largest chapter in Michigan. Wilson joined the NAACP 50 years ago. She has served as area director of the organization's Michigan statewide conference as well as its state treasurer. She was the recipient of Michigan's NAACP President of the Year Award in 2008.

Then- Gov. Jennifer Granholm appointed Wilson to SVSU's Board of Control in 2005. She served on the board until 2013. In 2016, she received the Distinguished Service Award, SVSU's most prestigious award given to a member of the community. She remains involved in the institution as a member of the SVSU Diversity Council.


For more information about the Great Lakes Bay Regional Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration hosted at SVSU, contact the university's Office of Diversity Programs at (989) 964-4068.

January 4, 2019

SVSU students invited to perform, compete in regional Kennedy Center theater festival

A group pf 21 Saginaw Valley State University students will take their passion for theater to the annual Kennedy Center American College Theatre Region III Festival Jan. 8-13 in Madison, Wisconsin.

The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival is a national theater program involving college students across the nation dedicated to improving the quality of theater. The participating SVSU students will celebrate the creative process, share experiences and as one another's work, as well as offer insights within the theater community.

The festival honors excellence of overall production and presents student artists individual recognition through awards and scholarships in the categories of playwriting, acting, criticism, directing, and design.

Students participating in the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship will compete for $500 scholarships. The eight SVSU students who will perform are:

  • Brianne Dolney, a political science and theatre major from Bay City, and Abby Burgess, a theatre major from Commerce Township
  • Tristian Evanoff, a theatre major from Bay City, and Holly Houck, an international studies major from Saginaw
  • Josh Lloyd, a theatre and communication major from Bay City, and Clayton Singer, a theatre and psychology major from Frankenmuth
  • Dominic Pnacek, a theatre major from Saginaw, and Joe Green, a theatre major from Shelby Township

The following seven SVSU students will work with professionals experienced in musical theatre performance:

  • Erica Close, theatre major from Essexville
  • Indigo Dudley, music major from Saginaw
  • Melanie Frasca, theatre major from Waterford
  • Olivia Greanias, theatre major from Saginaw
  • Rhiannon Hall, theatre major from Bay City
  • Jessica Hurley, theatre major from Essexville
  • Conner Wieland, theatre major from Essexville

The following eight SVSU students will engage with professionals involved in costume, sound, stage, and lighting design:

  • Cailey Brown, a psychology major from St. Charles
  • Melanie Frasca, a theatre major from Waterford
  • Jessica Hurley,  a theatre major from Essexville
  • Lucas Inman, a theatre major from Saginaw
  • Jennifer Lothian, a communication and theatre education major from Linwood
  • Amber Tanner, a business major from Hemlock
  • Natasha Nash, a theatre major from Saginaw
  • Arianna Whisman, a special education major from Bay City

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