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 excercise. He is looking for something unusual. Unusual as in insects that have not been discovered. This reasearch 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 www.svsu.edu/investiture.

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 lahaney@svsu.edu.

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 www.svsu.edu/literacycenter.

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 new system for changing passwords (270kB) 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

May 20, 2014

“Hi, I’m from ITS. I need to look at your computer.”

By Jennifer Paradise

When someone walks into your office and says that, what’s your first reaction? Do you A) quickly jump out of your chair and let the person do what they need to do? Or, B) are you skeptical of their request and ask questions? If you chose B, then congratulations. You have chosen to protect not only yourself and personal information, but potentially the rest of the campus community.

Ideally everyone who needs to work on your computer will contact you or your supervisor in advance to set up an appointment. However, there are occasions when that may not happen. While we like to think that everyone coming into our offices has good intentions, that’s not always the case. As a campus community, we all need to be vigilant against would-be attacks on our network and confidential information starting with our computers. 

What Should You Do?

Here are a few things you can do to keep your information and the information of others safe:

  1. Never share your password with anyone. Period.
  2. Ask questions. Who are you? Who is your supervisor? If the person is an outside contractor, ask who their contact person is on campus. Feel free to call that person to verify the details.
  3. If someone needs to work on your computer, log out before letting them do their work. Unless they are specifically working with your account, they can do their job with their own username and password.
  4. Lock your workstation or logoff your computer when you leave your desk. You can also password-protect your computer after your screen saver displays.
  5. Never share your password with anyone. Period.

May 19, 2014

SVSU Cardinal Formula Racing car finishes tops in acceleration category at international competition

The 2014 team finished 36th overall

Brooks Byam, Cardinal Formula Racing adviser since 1998, said the 2014 team features an eclectic mix of 16 students designing an Indy-style vehicle distinct from previous incarnations. Saginaw Valley State University’s Cardinal Formula Racing team sped to its fifth-best finish ever during the annual Formula Society of Automotive Engineers Collegiate Design Series competition.

The May 14-17 event at the Michigan International Speedway featured 120 schools across the globe competing in categories including design, cost, acceleration and endurance.

SVSU’s team finished 36th overall, including first in the acceleration category.

Last year’s group finished second in the acceleration category.

“We have fast cars year after year because we have a great team of students, faculty, staff, administrators and sponsors,” said Brooks Byam, SVSU professor of mechanical engineering and Cardinal Formula Racing advisor since 1998. “The great support we have is why we go fast.”

SVSU’s Cardinal Formula Racing team has only finished better four times in its history. The top four finishes were sixth in 2002, eighth in 2005, 14th in 2008 and 18th in 2010.

Byam said he is already looking forward to next year’s competition. He estimates 12 of the 2014 team’s 16 students will return to design next year’s Indy-style car.

“The students did a great job and I am very proud of them,” he said. “I'm a very competitive person and so are my students. We left MIS wanting more. We all believe we left a lot of points out there on the track. We'll be back next year.”

The 2014 team featured a mix of students from various fields of study.

The mechanical engineering students on the team are Jarred Felt, of Muskegon; Alex Fullerton, of Onaway; Zach Haveraneck and Brandon King, both of Saginaw; Matthew Kline, of Jonesville; Clayton Piechowiak and Logan Shelagowski, both of Bay City; Zachary Putnam, of Hale; Brandon Stanhope, of Dearborn; and Brandon Verhun, of Ann Arbor.

The group’s two electrical engineering majors are Justin Dolane, of Davisburg, and Shane Oberloier, of Beaverton. There are two Saginaw graduate students studying for a Master of Business Administration degree: Henry Shin and Joey Wisniewski. Scott Stanford, of Novi, is an accounting major. Samuel Dantuma, of Pinconning, is a fine arts major.

Related: SVSU's 2014 Cardinal Formula Racing team gears up for international competition (from May 16, 2014)

May 16, 2014

SVSU Cardinal Formula Racing team gears up for international competition

Previous SVSU teams finished with four top-20 finishes, including sixth in 2002

‌Michigan International Speedway will host the event from May 14-17.

Brooks Byam, SVSU professor of mechanical engineering and Cardinal Formula Racing adviser since 1998, said the 2014 team features an eclectic mix of 16 students designing an Indy-style vehicle distinct from previous incarnations.

“What's unique about this year's team is how multidisciplinary it is,” he said.

For instance, “this is the strongest contingent of electrical engineering students we've had,” he said.

Brooks Byam, Cardinal Formula Racing adviser since 1998, said the 2014 team features an eclectic mix of 16 students designing an Indy-style vehicle distinct from previous incarnations.

As a result, the Cardinal Formula Racing team has built its first vehicle with a touch screen dash where drivers can control the race car's systems.

The group - largely comprised of mechanical engineering majors - also features students studying marketing, accounting and fine arts.

“The really unique part is having the artist on the team,” Byam said of Pinconning native Samuel Dantuma. “He's fantastic.”

Dantuma has helped design elements for the vehicle with artistic flair, including a shroud that covers the car's shocks.

“The parts are very functional and very attractive,” Byam said of Dantuma's contributions.

Byam didn't offer predictions for the team's performance at the upcoming event, which will test teams in categories that include design, cost, acceleration and endurance.

“The car has the basics to be very fast - not a lot of mass, a lot of horsepower - but it's hard to tell how we might do right now,” he said. “We have to have things go our way.”

Byam has led SVSU to four top-20 finishes, placing sixth in 2002, eighth in 2005, 14th in 2008 and 18th in 2010. Several past team members have continued to engineering careers in NASCAR and other racing series, as well as leading automotive manufacturers.

Last year, Byam won the competition's Carroll Smith Mentor's Cup, given to one outstanding faculty mentor each year since 1999.

Erich Heuschele, an adjunct instructor of engineering, serves as the team's industry advisor.

The mechanical engineering students on the team are:
•    Jarred Felt of Muskegon
•    Alex Fullerton of Onaway
•    Zach Haveraneck of Saginaw
•    Brandon King of Saginaw
•    Matthew Kline of Jonesville
•    Clayton Piechowiak of Bay City
•    Zachary Putnam of Hale
•    Logan Shelagowski of Bay City
•    Brandon Stanhope of Dearborn
•    Brandon Verhun of Ann Arbor

The group's two electrical engineering majors are Justin Dolane of Davisburg, and Shane Oberloier of Beaverton.

In addition, there are three business students.  Two from Saginaw are graduate students studying for a master of business administration degree: Henry Shin and Joey Wisniewski. Scott Stanford of Novi is an accounting major.