I was fortunate to receive a tour of the Saginaw facilities for Central Michigan University’s College of Medicine this week, accompanied by its dean, George Kikano. We have signed an agreement that will grant our pre-medicine students admission through the Early Assurance Program. It will be particularly beneficial for students with a desire to practice medicine in Michigan with an emphasis on rural and underserved regions. We have had a similar agreement with Michigan State’s medical school for several years, and that program has served our students quite well. These partnerships are a testament to how our students are empowered through the undergraduate preparation they receive in our curriculum and in our advising.
Our students continue to make us proud through their research and service and their outstanding presentations at professional conferences. Last weekend, seven Writing Center tutors were among a very select group of undergraduates selected to present their research at the International Writing Centers Association conference in Denver. Their presentations focused on best practices conducting online sessions, creating a writing center strategic plan, and tutoring in the community writing center. Alison Barger, an English/creative writing major from Frankenmuth, presented on tutors' perceptions of working with international students which was the result of a year-long study funded by an Undergraduate Research Grant where she worked with Veronika Drake, assistant professor of English. Last weekend also saw Erik Breidinger, a communication major from Auburn, win the undergraduate paper competition at the American Association of Geographers East Lakes/West Lakes joint meeting for his research on the Kawkawlin River with Rhett Mohler, assistant professor of geography. Their work was supported by our Saginaw Bay Environmental Science Institute and the SVSU Foundation.
This week was a particularly exciting time for events happening on campus. Flautist Townes Osborn Miller and pianist Carl Angelo entertained us musically Monday. Our graduates returned Wednesday for the third annual Alumni Authors Showcase. Then my predecessor and friend Eric Gilbertson engaged audiences on a very timely national topic – the U.S. Supreme Court and politics – during the annual O’Neill Lecture. Today, our campus is hosting the Advocates for Latino Student Advancement in Michigan Education conference as well as motivational speaker Carlos Ojeda Jr., and I’m confident those in attendance will have a tremendous experience. I’d also like to thank colleagues Elsa Olvera, assistant director/coordinator of our KCP/Gear Up grant program, and Carmen Stricker, assistant director of Admissions, for writing the application for the $41,000 that helped fund this event to bring some 500 high school students to campus.
Inspiring events abound next week, as well. World-famous theoretical physicist Michio Kaku will speak Monday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. in the Malcolm Field Theatre for Performing Arts. He has a tremendous following because of his unique way of bridging science and pop culture. I’m looking forward to his presentation, titled “The Next 20 Years, How Science Will Revolutionize Medicine, the Economy and Our Way of Life.” The Cardinal Singers will perform Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 7:30 p.m. in the Rhea Miller Recital Hall. The concert will feature selections from composers Scott Tuttle, Ivor Davies, Arthur Sullivan, and Henry Purcell. Kevin Simons, assistant professor of music, will direct the group featuring our very own, very talented vocalists.
We continue to receive favorable feedback on our marketing plan, both from those familiar with SVSU as well as people being introduced to our institution for the first time. This must be a relentless effort on our part, as we work to increase public awareness and understanding and grow enrollment. This week, our partners, The Image Group, were on campus during this particularly colorful fall week to capture video for our next TV commercial and other projects. I’m excited to see the finished product. In the meantime, your grassroots support is valuable, too; please continue to encourage prospective students to visit our Admissions Open House next Saturday, Oct. 29.
I would like to thank everyone who has pledged support for our United Way campaign. Our community has done a wonderful job in supporting this important cause, and Linda Sims, executive director of communication and external affairs, and Coop brought plenty of Red Pride to the Saginaw’s Most Stylish fundraising event last night (pictured here with attendees from SVSU and alumni). Faculty and staff should have received their pledge forms a few weeks ago. If you need new forms, they are available in the Human Resources offices in Wickes 373. Congratulations to colleagues Sharon Opheim and Pat Shelley, who earned the first two weekly prizes. Please consider supporting your United Way.
The offices of Academic Affairs and Diversity Programs are hosting an inclusion advocacy training session for SVSU faculty and staff next Friday, Oct. 28. Our inclusion advocates contribute to the quality of search and screening processes which lead to effective hiring decisions, but helping search committee members and hiring leaders fully embrace diverse talents and skill sets. There are sessions to train new advocates and to provide additional training for current advocates. For more information, contact the Office of Diversity Programs at 964-4068.
Friday, Nov. 18, is SVSU Family Night during the Saginaw Spirit hockey game at the Dow Event Center. Faculty and staff are invited to join in a night of celebrating SVSU student success. SVSU Student Association, student-athletes and coaches may be recognized on the ice between periods. Up to four tickets are available at no cost. Please contact Jennifer Weiss from University Communications by Nov. 8 to reserve your tickets at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her in Wickes 389.
A number of our sports teams are performing with brilliance that matches the fall colors. Melanie Soenksen of the women’s swimming and diving team was selected as the top athlete in the GLIAC by collegeswimming.com for her recent performances, which included setting a new school record in the 50-yard freestyle (23.87). The women’s tennis team takes a six-match conference winning streak – the longest in more than a decade – into Sunday’s Senior Day showdown with Northwood. Our men’s soccer team has risen to first place in the GLIAC and No. 23 in the nation as they prepare to host Walsh Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Women’s soccer hosts Grand Valley at noon Sunday. Our men’s cross country team is ranked No. 15 in NCAA Division II as they run in the GLIAC championships this weekend. Volleyball swept their three matches in last weekend’s Midwest Crossover tournament and returns home to play Walsh at 2 p.m. Saturday. Football takes its 4-2 record on the road to Wayne State Saturday, where SVSU is hosting an alumni tailgate prior to the game. Finally, while their seasons don’t start for a couple of weeks, our men’s and women’s basketball teams are both ranked among the top 10 in the nation in various preseason polls. Go Cards! Say it with me: Go Cards!