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March 23, 2016

SVSU to host watch party for men’s basketball game

SVSU to host watch party for men’s basketball game
Wednesday, March 23, 9:30 p.m. to end of game
Curtiss Hall banquet rooms

Hundreds of students, faculty and staff at Saginaw Valley State University plan to show their support for the men’s basketball team and share their enthusiasm Wednesday, March 23.

SVSU is hosting a watch party for supporters to view the NCAA Division II tournament game being played in Frisco, Texas. The Cardinals are playing Western Oregon University. The game is expected to tip off around 9:30 p.m. Eastern time.

SVSU advanced to the Elite 8 of NCAA Division II for the first time in school history by winning the Midwest Regional championship last week.

SVSU is providing complimentary food and beverages, as well as free T-shirts, to those who attend.

March 22, 2016

SVSU alum leads social media for NCAA Division II men's basketball tournament that features SVSU

When Chris Roekle first stepped onto the Saginaw Valley State University campus, he didn't have a Twitter account. Now, he makes his living in the social media realm, and that ability to adapt in a rapidly changing environment has led to an extraordinary opportunity.

Roekle will be coordinating all social media efforts on Twitter and Instagram for the NCAA during the Division II men's basketball Elite-8 in Frisco, Texas March 23-26.  

“It's extremely humbling,” Roekle said. “It's kind of like a break … How cool is it that I get to run all of the creative content for the NCAA Division II Elite-8?”

Roekle will find himself posting about his alma mater and Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) member, SVSU.  The Cardinals men’s basketball team defeated GLIAC rival Ferris State to win the Midwest Region and advance to the NCAA Division II Elite 8. They are scheduled to play Wednesday, March 23 around 9:30 p.m. Eastern time.

After coordinating the social media efforts during last year's NCAA Division II women's basketball tournament, Roekle said he is up for the challenge the men's basketball tournament presents.

“This is a bigger animal with a bigger spotlight, so it's a really good opportunity,” he said.

After graduating from Michigan Lutheran Seminary High School in Saginaw, Roekle graduated from SVSU in 2009 with a bachelor's degree in finance and then received his M.B.A. in 2013. He is currently the director of strategic communications for the GLIAC, where he operates much of the conference's social media.

After receiving his master's degree from SVSU, Roekle went to the University of Nebraska where he spent a year as a graduate communications intern and covered the 2013 Big Ten champion Nebraska women's soccer team.

While at SVSU, Roekle was an intricate part of SVSU Athletics' social media growth, which allowed for more attention to be garnered by the university. He also worked closely with the baseball, cross country, golf, track and field, volleyball, and women's basketball teams.

Looking back, Roekle credits his time at SVSU for developing the determination required to succeed in the field of intercollegiate athletics.

“I learned that hard work pays off,” he said. “I really felt like I paid my dues, and kind of went above and beyond which is always a good way to go about things. You don't want to just be content with how things are. You want to put your own spin on things.”

Roekle has developed a formula for social media success. He has successfully brought attention to the GLIAC by more than doubling the conference's followers on Twitter.

Roekle’s calling card has been employing creative graphics in his tweets, instead of “just posting text.”

“I have found that posts with multimedia – photos, graphics, video – take more time to generate, but they also produce a lot more interest,” he said.


March 21, 2016

SVSU to host entrepreneur and author Michael Drew

Entrepreneur and author Michael Drew will speak at Saginaw Valley State University Thursday, March 31‌, to share his insights on how students can make the most of their college experience.

The presentation will begin at 6 p.m. in Curtiss Hall Banquet Room A; it will be preceded by a networking reception from 5 to 6 p.m.

Drew's talk will introduce a set of nine principles on how students can make the most out of their college experience, and ultimately land the job of their dreams. The nine principles focus on networking and thinking ahead.

While attending Central Michigan University full time, Drew has still managed to find time for business endeavors. He has worked his way through three tech startups, one of which was sold in 2015. He serves as a marketing team leader and analyst at Quizzle through Bankrate, Inc., a leading publisher, aggregator, and distributor of personal finance content on the Internet. Drew is also the co-founder of GoGarden, a social relationship manager application.

He is also the author of the book "Student Dream Job," which will be released this summer.

For more information, contact Neil Baumgartner, assistant director of SVSU’s Academic Advisement Center, at or 989-964-2479.

Those planning to attend are asked to RSVP online at

March 21, 2016

SVSU students take top honors at Michigan forensics tournament

Two Saginaw Valley State University students captured top honors at the Michigan Intercollegiate Speech League forensics tournament held at Eastern Michigan University March 11‌-12.

Melinda Dinninger, a communications major from Saginaw, was recognized as the top novice competitor in the oratory/persuasion category. Gina Kearly, a communications and theatre double major from Midland, took home top novice honors and second place overall in the programmed oral interpretation section.

Baron McBride, a communications major from Waterford, and Erik Breidinger, a communications major from Auburn, also competed at the tournament in the impromptu and informative sections, respectively.

After strong performances in previous tournaments, Breidinger, Dinninger and McBride each have qualified to compete in the 2016 national forensics tournament held April 14‌-18 at Ball State University in Indiana.

Forensics tournaments are communication-based competitions that include events from three genres: platform/public address, limited preparation and oral interpretation.

SVSU, which started its forensics program in 2001, has been able to send students to such events through funding provided by a grant from the SVSU Foundation. Amy Pierce, associate professor of communication, serves as the team's adviser.


Editor’s note: A photo of Dinninger presenting during the competition is attached. A group photo of the four SVSU students who competed is available upon request.‌

March 18, 2016

SVSU to offer writing workshops for Huron County teachers

Saginaw Valley State University's commitment to community engagement will extend into Michigan’s Thumb this summer through a new program to benefit Huron County K-12 teachers hoping to develop as better writing educators.

The SVSU-based Saginaw Bay Writing Project will host summer writing workshop, funded by George Haley, a Bad Axe High School alumnus. Fifteen teachers will be accepted to participate in The George Haley/Saginaw Bay Writing Project Institute.

Helen Raica-Klotz, director of the Saginaw Bay Writing Project and the Writing Center at SVSU, said Haley’s generosity and vision for his hometown gave life to the institute.

“Mr. Haley is very passionate when it comes to good writing,” she said. “He has been involved in supporting writing causes on a national level for many years, and while he is a long-time resident of California, he has remained true to his roots and wants to provide opportunities for students and teachers in Huron County.”

Applications are being accepted from teachers in all disciplines for the workshop, planned from Monday to Friday, August 1-5, at Bad Axe High School. The sessions are scheduled from 8:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. each day.

Registration for the workshop is due Wednesday, March 30. Those interested can apply online at

“Thanks to Mr. Haley’s generous support, this is a wonderful opportunity for teachers,” Raica-Klotz said. “We are very pleased that he chose SVSU and the Saginaw Bay Writing Project to put this program together.”

The free workshop includes a $200 stipend, complimentary lunches during the sessions, and professional resources. Participation also will include an opportunity to obtain 25 free State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECH) credits or two SVSU credits, paid for by participants.

For more information, contact Marilyn Brooks, assistant director of the Saginaw Bay Writing Project, at

SVSU's Saginaw Bay Writing Project, founded in 1993, promotes literacy throughout the region. The initiative offers professional development for teachers interested in growing both as writers and as writing teachers.

March 18, 2016

SVSU offers summer writing workshop for local teachers

Saginaw Valley State University will seek to empower K-12 teachers in the Great Lakes Bay Region to better advocate the joys of writing to their students, thanks to a generous gift that will support a week-long writing workshop.

The SVSU-based Saginaw Bay Writing Project will be sponsoring a Writer's Workshop for Area Teachers from Monday to Friday, July 25-29, at the Alden B. Dow Home and Studio in Midland. Sessions are planned from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The week-long agenda includes writing seminars, evening reading sessions by various Michigan authors, complimentary lunch and dinner each day of the workshop, as well as lodging at the Holiday Inn in Midland.  

This workshop will include a keynote address from Penny Kittle, author of “Write Beside Them,” a book published in 2008 that explores how best to teach writing to high school students.

Participants also can take advantage of an opportunity to obtain 25 free State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECH) credits or two SVSU credits, paid for by participants.

Organizers say the week-long workshop will inspire teachers interested in rediscovering the power of writing. The program will achieve that goal both through discussion of best practices, as well as workshops aimed at crafting, sharing and discussing teachers' writing.

“We know that educators who work to become better writers themselves will be more effective when teaching writing to their students,” said Helen Raica-Klotz, director of the Writing Center at SVSU and the Saginaw Bay Writing Project. “We want students throughout our region to experience the joy of writing while also improving their writing proficiency.”

The cost for participation is $150 per person, due to the support of the Alden and Vada Dow Creativity Foundation.

“We greatly appreciate the generosity of the Alden and Vada Dow Creativity Foundation,” Raica-Klotz said. “Their desire to support teachers made this possible. We are grateful they recognized SVSU's strong commitment to supporting teachers of writing in our community and chose to partner with us.”

Those interesting in participating can register online at  For more information, contact Marilyn Brooks, assistant director of the Saginaw Bay Writing Project, at

SVSU's Saginaw Bay Writing Project, founded in 1993, promotes literacy throughout the Great Lakes Bay region. The initiative offers professional development for teachers interested in growing both as writers and as writing teachers.

March 16, 2016

SVSU to honor ‘Heroes in Education’

Saginaw Valley State University is seeking nominations for its first “Heroes in Education” event intended to extend SVSU’s community-minded mission and build upon strong partnerships with K-12 schools by honoring outstanding educators.

“People who are committed to educating our young people are doing important work that benefits us all, but too often they are underappreciated or unappreciated,” said Craig Douglas, dean of SVSU’s College of Education. “We hope to change that by recognizing teachers, support staff, and volunteers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty.”

SVSU’s College of Education is seeking nominations for individuals who have positively impacted the lives of students. Those being recognized could include an enthusiastic teacher, a dedicated custodian, a tireless volunteer, a compassionate principal, or anyone else who has made a significant contribution in the field for education.

Nominations are now being accepted; the deadline to submit is Thursday, March 31 at 5 p.m. Nomination forms are available online at

The recognition event will take place Wednesday, April 13 at 7 p.m. in SVSU's Gilbertson Hall.  It is open to the public and will include light refreshments after the program; there is no charge to attend.

For more information, contact Douglas at 989-964-4195 or

March 16, 2016

SVSU Art Gallery showcases work of high school students and teachers

Saginaw Valley State University’s art department invited high school students and teachers from the Great Lakes Bay Region to exhibit their work at the University Art Gallery. The “High School Invitational” exhibition opened Monday, March 14 and will remain on display through Friday, April 8.

The SVSU art department strongly supports the creative process that develops during the high school years. The goal of this exhibition is to honor and celebrate the great creative work being done through the efforts of high school teachers and their students.

Participating high schools include:
•    Bay City Central
•    Bay City Western
•    Carrollton
•    H.H. Dow (Midland public schools)
•    John Glenn (Bangor Township schools)
•    The Midland Academy
•    Nouvel Catholic Central
•    Saginaw Arts and Sciences Academy
•    Swan Valley

A reception for the artists will be held Thursday, March 24 from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m in SVSU’s Arbury Fine Arts Center.  For more information visit or call (989) 964-4159.

March 9, 2016

SVSU names 'Best in Business' awards recipients

Saginaw Valley State University's College of Business & Management recently honored outstanding regional business leaders as well as SVSU students, alumni and faculty as part of the university’s third annual Academia Awards: Best in Business.


Several committees featuring SVSU faculty, staff and students — along with members of the business community — chose the awards recipients. They will be recognized during a dinner ceremony on campus Friday, March 18.


The recipients include the following:


David Dittenber received the Outstanding Entrepreneur award. Dittenber has more than 20 years of entrepreneurial experience, working extensively in sales and marketing, including national sales management and leadership roles. He is the owner and CEO of Downtown Restaurant Investments, which operates three restaurants in downtown Bay City. He also is the president and owner of both Facilities Management Consultants International as well as DLR Development, a design-to-build solutions firm that works with the healthcare industry.  


Annette Rummel, CEO of Great Lakes Bay Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau, received the Outstanding Business Leader award. Rummel also has served as the president and CEO of the Frankenmuth Chamber of Commerce. She has worked in the Michigan travel and tourism industry for more than 30 years.


Scheurer Healthcare Network received the Outstanding Business award. The Pigeon-based organization aims to provide a variety of healthcare services to mid-Michigan communities and has established a continuum of care with Elder Care Services, which include an independent living facility, an assisted living facility and a long-term care unit.


Zehnder's of Frankenmuth received the Outstanding Family Business award. Zehnder's of Frankenmuth is a popular destination in Frankenmuth, offering a restaurant, golf course, waterpark and café. The business has served customers for more than 150 years.


Thomas Braley, who graduated from SVSU in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in management, received the Outstanding Alumnus award. The Saginaw resident is a financial advisor and a managing director of investments for Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC in Saginaw Township. He also has served on a number of boards including the SVSU Board of Fellows, Saginaw Promise Zone and the Child Abuse and Neglect Council of the Great Lakes Bay Region.


Kayla Bischer received the Outstanding Undergraduate Student award. The Harbor Beach native will graduate from SVSU in May with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. With a 4.0 GPA, she has been a member of SVSU’s President’s List for eight semesters. She works as a payroll generalist for Bad Axe-based Gemini Group, a plastic and metal products supplier where she hopes to advance her career after graduation.


Michael Stackhouse received the Outstanding Graduate Student award. He has more than 25 years of experience working in information technology, including areas ranging from software development to hardware. Stackhouse also serves as an adjunct faculty member in SVSU’s Department of Computer Science and Information Systems.


Robert Chadwick, an adjunct faculty member in SVSU’s Department of Management & Marketing, received the Excellence in Teaching: Adjunct award. Chadwick was chosen for his passion for giving back to students.


Stacie Krupp, SVSU assistant professor of accounting, received the Excellence in Teaching: Faculty award. The Chesaning native spent 21 years as a public accountant before trading her calculators for syllabi when she joined SVSU and the higher education world in 2012. Part of her academic approach involves challenging students with projects that mimic tasks faced by employees in the public and private accounting sector.


Betsy Pierce, SVSU assistant professor of accounting, received the Excellence in Service award. She has served on SVSU’s Vitito Global Leadership Institute selection committee since joining SVSU in 2013. The institute is a leadership development program for students studying within SVSU’s College of Business & Management. Pierce is a member of a number of other committees such as the Faculty Association Banquet Committee, Workplace Culture Committee and the Indian Student Association Holi Festival Committee.


March 9, 2016

SVSU students volunteer across the U.S. during spring break

There are 82 Saginaw Valley State University students participating in the institution's Alternative Breaks program, which is a student-led organization that sends its members across the U.S. to perform volunteer work during traditional school break periods.


SVSU students are on spring break from March 7 to March 13. Those students participating in Alternative Breaks programs during spring break split into eight groups in eight cities across the U.S. Here are details for the eight groups:

  • A team of 10 students are in Washington, D.C. The group is working with the Church of the Epiphany to feed and serve the homeless in Washington, D.C.
  • A group of nine students are in Willow River, Minnesota. They are helping with building and maintenance projects at One Heartland, a retreat center for people affected by HIV and AIDS.
  • A team of 12 students are in Tulsa, Oklahoma. There, the group is helping Little Light House, a school for special needs children, by providing educational and therapeutic services.
  • A group of 11 students are in Xenia, Ohio. They are helping workers at 4 Paws For Ability, a nonprofit organization that provides service dogs to people with disabilities. The students are helping to train puppies and dogs.
  • A team of 11 students are in Hoschton, Georgia. There, they are helping workers at Medici Project, which works with agencies in Atlanta to prevent urban poverty and human trafficking.
  • A group of 12 students are in Asheville, North Carolina. They are helping workers at the YMCA of Western North Carolina to develop service organizations in the community.
  • A team of five students are in Kanab, Utah. The group is assisting workers at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary with caring for abused and neglected animals.
  • A group of 12 students are in Toms River, New Jersey. They are helping Habitat For Humanity work on homes.

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