Believe it or not, the fall Athletics season gets started this week. The volleyball team travels to Kenosha, Wisconsin to face Bemidji State University and University of Parkside Friday, then Purdue University Northwest and University of Minnesota-Crookston Saturday. Go Cards!
Sometimes our community engagement reaches far beyond our region. Just ask Kate Scott, director of the English Language Program, who was selected to join a group bound for Sudan for a week in October. Kate is familiar with the region. She spent three years there as a third-grade teacher shortly after graduating as an elementary education major here in 2007. Her return to the north African nation will involve establishing relationships and exchanging ideas with our higher education peers there. We hope this could result in future students and faculty exchange programs. Kate was selected to join the trip by the Institute of International Education, a nonprofit based in New York City that is organizing the group.
Our reputation as both a center for arts and culture in the region as well as a community-engaged institution converged recently when SVSU was named as an outpost for the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (USDAC). This is a grassroots organization with a mission to inspire collaboration between members of the regional arts and culture communities, with the goal of creating networks and opening dialogues that lead to positive change. Saginaw was selected as one of 22 "outposts" of the USDAC, and SVSU was selected to serve as the center for that Saginaw outpost. Helen Raica-Klotz, Writing Center director, will serve as coordinator of The Saginaw Community Arts Outpost.
This new role will involve organizing arts-related events in the region and providing information about valuable resources - such as grant opportunities - to members of the arts and culture communities. The first event already is on the calendar. A short documentary, "A Body of Work," premieres Saturday, Aug. 25 at 7 p.m. at the Pit & Balcony Theatre, 805 N. Hamilton in Saginaw. The film details the highs and lows of Saginaw's automobile manufacturing industry. A panel discussion about the state of the automotive industry and its impact on Saginaw will follow the showing, which is free and open to the public. The film was produced by Elisa Urtiaga, a community artist, in collaboration with members of our staff and faculty including Dan Goodell, video production technology specialist; David Rzeszutek, associate professor of theatre; and Raica-Klotz.
Thank you to all members of the SVSU community who helped - and continue to help - our residential students return to campus this week. It has been a joy to partake in that effort. Our housing facilities are at full capacity this semester, with 2,450 Cardinals expected to be living on campus when classes start next week. I am excited to see the larger student population back home with their SVSU family and eager to watch the fall semester get underway.
This upcoming year will be a memorable one, I am sure. I am looking forward to sharing my outlook and forecasts with many of you during the Welcome Back address at 4 p.m. at the Malcolm Field Theatre for Performing Arts … followed by welcoming your good company during the picnic from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Owsley Grove.