As our campus was celebrating a festive Friday of Homecoming week and enjoying popular events such as the career fair and the Saints and Sinners gala, my personal favorite was a quiet gathering. A few of us met with the site reviewers from the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science who were here for an accreditation visit for our medical laboratory science program. While it will be some time before we receive their official review, their comments during the exit interview were incredibly positive toward our program, our people and our university. Special thanks to Kay Castillo, associate professor of medical laboratory science, and her colleagues for their fine work on behalf of the program, and on all aspects of a positive accreditation visit.
Congratulations to our colleagues who will be recognized at the Faculty Association’s annual banquet Friday evening. Monika Dix, associate professor of modern foreign languages, will receive the Award for Scholarship. The Award for Mentoring will go to Hideki Kihata, professor of art, and Diana Trebing, associate professor of communication, will receive the Award for Service. These are three fine faculty who contribute much to our university. Our Faculty Association also shows their genuine commitment to students through the Endowed Chrysalis Scholarship, which supports students with financial need, and the Endowed Scholarship, which supports students who work on a project with a faculty mentor. A total of eight students are receiving scholarships this year; I am sure they are most appreciative. We should all be proud that our faculty choose to direct resources to benefit students.
Our students invest a great deal of their time and resources in supporting worthy causes. We are only a couple of weeks away from our most prominent example, Battle of the Valleys, but there are many others, too. The members of Kappa Tau Epsilon (KTE) sorority are holding a fundraiser for the AVON Speak Out Against Domestic Foundation next Monday, Oct. 17 at 10 p.m. in the Thompson Student Activities Room. They also have invited University Police to share a self-defense demonstration. I met a few of their members this week and it was apparent that their hearts are in the right place and they are sincerely interested in helping others. My appreciation to them and to all members of the SVSU community who support deserving community organizations.
I attended last night’s performance of our theatre department’s production of Martin McDonagh's classic “The Cripple of Inishmaan.” I thoroughly enjoyed the show and was impressed by the acting of our students and the directing of Dave Rzeszutek, associate professor of theatre. The show continues tonight and Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. and again at 3 p.m. Sunday. It is worth your time to attend, if your schedule allows.
Next week’s schedule is packed full of events. Even yours truly can’t make it to everything, but the abundance of arts and cultural events are part of what make working at a university worthwhile. Flutist Townes Osborn Miller and pianist Carl Angelo will perform Monday, Oct. 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the Rhea Miller Recital Hall. The concert features the work of musicians such as Philippe Gaubert, Franz Doppler, Georges Hüe and Ian Clarke.
Four alumni will return to campus Wednesday, Oct. 19, at 4 p.m. for our Alumni Authors Showcase in Curtiss Hall Banquet Room A. This annual event celebrates the success of our graduates and provides a forum for our students to learn from them. This year’s featured panelists include Jill Bellestri, Dennis Hensley, Joe Hickey and Roberta Morey. Their books cover a range of topics and genres including young adult fantasy, mystery and suspense, historical nonfiction and inspirational fiction. They will be available for purchase at the event as well as in the SVSU Bookstore. The authors will also be available for a meet and greet before and after the panel session.
I was pleased to have the opportunity to visit this week with SVSU alumni who work for Frankenmuth Insurance Company. They employ nearly 50 of our graduates. We are fortunate to have so many alumni putting their skills and talents to use in our Great Lakes Bay Region. My thanks to Jim Dwyer and the Alumni Relations staff for all they are doing to engage alumni.
Next Wednesday also features the annual O’Neill Lecture, which this year will be delivered by my presidential predecessor, Eric Gilbertson. His talk, “The Empty Ninth Chair: Politics and the Supreme Court,” is set for 7 p.m. in the Malcolm Field Theatre for Performing Arts. Much as I draw upon my earlier career in law enforcement, Eric draws upon his past experience as an attorney and his interest in constitutional law. He plans to discuss the closely divided court, the conflicting judicial philosophies and political backgrounds of the justices that create the divisions.
Next Friday, Oct. 21, 23 will host the Advocates for Latino Student Advancement in Michigan Education (ALSAME) conference, which will bring hundreds of Hispanic high school students from across the state to our campus as part of broader efforts to introduce them to higher education opportunities. The conference includes a talk by a speaker who is part of our 2016 Visiting Scholars and Artists Series: motivational speaker Carlos Ojeda Jr. will address the crowd at 2:40 p.m. in the Ryder Center. He founded CoolSpeak: The Youth Engagement Company, which provides motivational speakers, programs and events designed to engage, educate and empower youth across the nation.
Our student-athletes continue to perform well in competition this fall. Congratulations to our men’s soccer team, which set a school record with its eighth consecutive victory this week, 4-0 over Findlay. Men’s cross country is running well and now ranked No. 15 in the nation, heading into the GLIAC championships next weekend. Our football team won two back-to-back, culminating a festive week of Homecoming events. Women’s tennis has won four straight and clinched a GLIAC tournament berth. Volleyball has won three in a row as they prepare for this weekend’s Midwest Crossover tournament. Most of our teams are on the road this weekend; swimming and diving is the lone exception as the men’s and women’s teams have home meets against Alma College tonight and Findlay tomorrow.