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President’s Weekly Update - Week of Monday, March 9

Spring break filled with activity

Alternative Spring Break 2015 SVSU students build Habitat for Humanity House

Many of our students were quite active during their spring “break,” engaged in the type of learning experiences that will serve them well and make us proud. Here are a few examples I’m aware of.  I’m sure there are others I missed but are no less valuable.

  • We sent some 66 students on seven separate service trips through our Alternative Breaks programs.  They visited Chicago and Detroit; as well as rural Kentucky; Tulsa, Okla.; Charlotte, N.C.; rural North Carolina; and Springfield, Mo. They now will apply lessons learned on these trips to service and volunteer projects on our campus and in our region.
  • Our business students selected for the Vitito Global Leadership Institute traveled to Hungary and met with a number of business leaders from that burgeoning economy.
  • Our business students in the Garber Cardinal Business Edge program traveled to Chicago and had an opportunity for a tour of the Federal Reserve Bank, and a visit to the company Mindshare.
  • Students in one of our new programs, the Wolohan Fellowship – all of whom are Saginaw County natives – traveled to Washington, D.C. and met with Senator Debbie Stabenow, Congressman John Moolenaar and others. They also were given a very special behind-the-scenes tour of the National Archives by SVSU alum John Hamilton.
  • My thanks to all the faculty and staff who accompanied our students on these trips.

Friends in Florida

‌‌‌‌‌‌Friends in Florida alumni lunch

I spent much of my “break” visiting donors in Florida.  Their faith in our university is comforting and energizing.  I needed the latter, given the many miles Liana and I logged, but it was well worth it.  The culmination was our annual “Friends in Florida” event, which drew 87 people, our best attendance to date. My thanks to Andy Bethune and Jim Dwyer and everyone in the Foundation and Alumni Relations offices who worked so hard to make this a success.

In addition to spending time with donors, I also visited our baseball, softball and women’s tennis teams who were competing in Florida.  Each recorded some impressive wins, but what impressed me more was how well they represent our university.  I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with the student-athletes and their families.

Congratulations to SVSU ‘Women of Achievement’


H‌illary Degner and Monica Reyes‌


I would like to extend my congratulations to Monica Reyes, associate director for the Center for Business and Economic Development, and Hillary Degner, a professional and technical writing major from Monroe, who both will be honored at tonight’s YWCA Women of Achievement awards ceremony.  I look forward to attending.

Best in Business

Best in Business Awards

This Friday, our colleagues in the College of Business and Management will honor students, faculty, staff and representatives in the regional business community during the second annual Academia Awards Best in Business ceremony. My congratulations to all the honorees:

  • Outstanding Undergraduate Student: Shaya Jewani
  • Outstanding Graduate Student: Lindsey Zion
  • Outstanding Alumnus: David Abbs
  • Excellence in Teaching Full Time Faculty: Kylie Jaber, assistant professor of economics
  • Excellence in Teaching Adjunct Faculty: Merle Davis
  • Excellence in Research: Hong Park, professor of economics
  • Excellence in Service: Amy Hendrickson, assistant professor of law
  • Outstanding Business Leader: Paul Rowley
  • Outstanding Family Business: Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn
  • Outstanding Business: Frankenmuth Insurance

Intercultural Night


Also on Friday evening, our international students will celebrate their signature event of the winter term: Intercultural Night. This is a wonderful opportunity for them to showcase a slice of their native culture with us. I encourage you to attend.

Best for Vets Top 20 Business School

Best for Vets Business Schools

We received some good news this week when Military Times released their Best For Vets Business Schools rankings. We were the top-rated school in Michigan and ranked No. 20 nationally on a list rating the best educational institutions for military-affiliated students seeking an education in business. To determine its business school rankings, Military Times focused on culture and curriculum that cater to military-affiliated students. The rankings will be published in issues of Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times.

Kudos to Beth Roe

‌‌‌Elizabeth Roe

Tuesday, I attended a presentation by Beth Roe, “A collaborative project to improve healthcare of the elderly in long-term care,” and I was struck by what an outstanding example of community engagement her work is.  She is including students in her research and she clearly has gained the support of leaders in the regional elder care community, as they attended her talk, as well.  Beth’s work is another fine example of the scholarly projects supported by the Ruth and Ted Braun Fellowship Program.

Finish Strong

If we think of the traditional academic year as a relay race, we are now beginning the anchor leg, the final seven weeks. We all must be our best runners – however we define our race – during this important stretch run.  (Yes, I understand the irony of a sprinter analogy coming from me, but I like it, so I’m going with it.)  We must run fast and with purpose, but also with intelligence and stamina to ensure we cross the finish line.  For our students, especially those who may be experiencing this for the first time, please give them your full support. They deserve no less.


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