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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.

March 9, 2016

Experts to discuss Syria’s national crisis during SVSU event

Syria’s crisis will be the focus of a series of presentations at Saginaw Valley State University led by Mouhanad Hammami, president of The National Arab American Medical Association Michigan Chapter.


The event — free and open to the public — is scheduled for Wednesday, March 16, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Curtiss Hall’s Seminar Room E at SVSU.


Hammami is the featured speaker. Other speakers will include John Baesler, SVSU associate professor of history; Rosina Hassoun, SVSU assistant professor of sociology; and Ingrid Hoskins, an SVSU history major from Pinckney and president of SVSU’s History Club.


The group will discuss the root causes and consequences of rebellion in Syria, where an estimated 250,000 people have died during nearly five years of anti-government protests and civil war. The crisis has led to millions of refugees attempting to flee to surrounding nations.


Hammami’s talk will focus on the medical needs of those refugees.


A graduate of Aleppo University in Syria, Hammami completed his postdoctoral research in pediatrics at the Newborn Center of the University of Tennessee in Memphis. He then accepted a faculty appointment at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit and a research position at the Detroit Medical Center Department of Pediatrics.


In 2006, he was granted the American Medical Association Foundation for Excellence in Medicine and Leadership award for his public health advocacy and community work. He was awarded the “Health Policy Champion Award” by the Michigan Department of Community Health in 2011. He was named the “Arab American of the Year in Medicine” by The American Arab Professionals Network in 2012.


Hammami recently was named director of the Wayne County Department of Health, Veterans and Community Wellness, where he oversees all health, wellness and human services for the 13th largest county in the nation.


For more information about the March 16 event, contact Baesler at (989) 964-4381 or email

March 7, 2016

SVSU seeking charity partner for Battle of the Valleys 2016

Saginaw Valley State University students are community-minded. Each year, they put their time, their energy and their money into helping others during the annual “Battle of the Valleys” fundraising competition against their counterparts from Grand Valley State University.

Over the past 13 years, SVSU has raised more than $330,000 to support charitable causes, primarily in the Great Lakes Bay Region.

In 2015, SVSU students raised $24,540 in one week for Get Outside for a Healthier Inside, an affiliate of the Saginaw Community Foundation whose goal is to increase physical activity and promote healthy living in Saginaw, focusing specifically on building parks and maintaining trails.

The SVSU Student Association is now accepting applications for its 2016 charity partner. The deadline is Friday, April 8.  For more information or to request an application, please contact Natalie Schneider, Battle of the Valleys coordinator, at

This year’s Battle of the Valleys will be held Battle of the Valleys Sunday, Oct. 30 through Friday, Nov. 4, leading up to the football game between the two schools Saturday, Nov. 5.

For more information on Battle of the Valleys, visit

March 3, 2016

SVSU group and its leader honored as best in Midwest for inspiring student giving

When Kimberly Salwey arrived at Saginaw Valley State University as a freshman in 2012, she was admittedly shy and timid.

Now, just months shy of graduation, the marketing major from East Tawas has experienced a dramatic transformation. Her enthusiasm for her school and her fellow students, and her engaging leadership style has resulted in Salwey receiving the Outstanding Student Leader award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) for a six-state region.

“I was really surprised and shocked to win this,” Salwey said. “I'm thankful because I wouldn't be who I am without my SVSU experience; I have been blessed to be surrounded and empowered by influential and strong leaders who have continuously pushed me to better myself.”

Salwey serves as president of the student organization Forever Red, which was created in 2011 to promote SVSU school spirit, support student scholarships through fundraising, and connect students with alumni. In addition to Salwey's individual award, Forever Red received the Outstanding Student Organization award for CASE District V, which encompasses Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Both Salwey and Forever Red - with its 130 student members - will be eligible for the same awards at the national level. Winners will be announced during a CASE conference in Atlanta in August.

Bryan Crainer, Forever Red adviser, praised Salwey in his letter nominating her for the award.

“Kim is extraordinarily forward-thinking,” said Crainer, SVSU associate dean of student life and leadership programs. “What has made her such a dynamic student leader on our campus and such an extreme benefit to Forever Red is that she is constantly looking for ways in which the organization can improve.”

Crainer described her as an unselfish leader.

“Kim is the rare student leader that is not the least bit concerned about getting credit or receiving any kind of accolades or recognition for her work,” he said. “She very humbly goes about her business and works very diligently to ensure that Forever Red is the best organization that it can be for the university, for its members, and for the community.”

Salwey said she arrived at SVSU “shy,” but with a desire to become involved in the campus community. She joined Forever Red as a freshman and developed as a leader.

“Throughout the past four years, I have learned what it takes to be a leader by having a mentor like Bryan,” she said. “I've grown so much as a person because of Bryan's guidance and I'm grateful to have met him the beginning of my freshmen year.”

The experience also helped Salwey discover a love for philanthropy.

“I always knew about the importance of giving back,” she said. “but I didn't realize it was going to be something I was so passionate about.”

Salwey was able to channel that newfound passion into initiatives that benefited SVSU and its students. One of the most recent accomplishments involved Forever Red's contributions to I Heart SV Week, a campaign in early February that raised both scholarship money and awareness about the importance of philanthropy. The effort resulted in $27,500 raised by Forever Red and the SVSU Foundation.

“Enhancing the student experience through scholarship is one of Forever Red's pillars,” she said. “I Heart SV Week was a big accomplishment and I'm very proud of our members for putting this on.”

Salwey said the campaign encompassed the community engagement spirit that she has grown to love as a member of Forever Red and SVSU.

“I wanted to be part of something bigger than I am,” Salwey said. “I know I can say I was part of something bigger here at SVSU.”

March 1, 2016

SVSU Relay For Life raises $37K

Saginaw Valley State University students, faculty and staff raised $37,000 for the American Cancer Society during SVSU’s annual Relay For Life. The campus event is organized by SVSU’s chapter of Colleges Against Cancer.

SVSU’s Relay For Life event featured student groups — including cancer survivors — raising funds from 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26 to 2 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 27 in SVSU’s Ryder Center. The event featured activities, games and a silent auction.

Relay for Life is considered the world’s largest fundraising event to fight cancer. Over 4 million people participated in 6,000 events globally in 2015.

Relay for Life events feature participants taking turns walking or running around a track while also raising money through various methods including silent auctions and competition-based fundraising.

The funds raised support the American Cancer Society’s efforts to fund groundbreaking cancer research, provide information and critical services for people with cancer.

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