Thank you to everyone who helped make Saturday's Open House such a success. More than 400 prospective students visited campus and were given a world-class welcome by our Admissions colleagues and the many faculty and staff who volunteered for the event. Based on surveys taken at the event, these students traveled greater distances to attend than in previous years, suggesting that more high school students are becoming familiar with us. A post-Open House survey asked students to rate their experience. On a scale of 1 to 4, with 4 being the best score, they rated us a 3.94. Here is one of the many positive comments received: "I was greeted the second I walked in the door and welcomed all the way through. The faculty, staff and students made the whole day welcoming and I have decided to become a Cardinal." Early indications for our recruiting efforts are encouraging. The number of admitted students – those who have applied and been accepted – is up by more than 1,000 compared to this time last year. Let's keep this momentum going as we work with these students through the enrollment process.
Congratulations to Kellie Rankey, who won the 2017 Student Paper Competition Award from the Michigan Sociological Association conference last Saturday. Her paper explored life in the Mumbai slums and explored commonalities among successful slum redevelopment programs. A creative writing major from Saginaw, she presented her paper at a student session during the conference in Grand Rapids, where a few of our sociology faculty also presented.
Several of our students also performed well in the 2017 ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) for the East-Central North America region. One of our three teams finished No. 56 among 140 teams in the computer programming competition, ahead of students from institutions such as Notre Dame, Penn State, Ohio State and Purdue. Congratulations to our participants as well as Khandaker Abir Rahman, assistant professor of computer science & information systems, who also serves as the team’s adviser.
Next week, we are hosting an important site visit from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which will be evaluating our College of Business & Management for re-accreditation. I would like to thank everyone in the College of Business & Management for their hard work in preparing for the evaluation team. They have performed exceptionally in making sure the big details are in order as well as the smaller details, such as new signage installed recently on campus, reflecting the new AACSB logo. I am confident we will make an excellent impression on our guests.
The holiday season will be here soon. Many of you will be traveling to some of our region's busiest commercial shopping districts in preparation. We hope to grab the attention of holiday shoppers from across the state - and Canada - who plan to visit Birch Run and its premium outlets. Recently, we installed a number of SVSU banners on sign posts there, to be seen by the 1.1 million shoppers expected to visit the outlets in November and December. This is a continuation of our efforts to look for opportunities to boost public awareness about SVSU.
We have many tools at our disposal, including social media. A social media post encouraging application to our nursing program for the upcoming winter semester went out across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ this past Sunday. It reached well over 30,000 people, scoring an engagement rate of 11 percent where 1 percent is considered "good." The most important rationale for its tremendous performance is simply the action taken by our followers. They took the time to comment with testimonials and tag individuals to make them aware of the program. This is a reminder of the power of social media and is another example of the many ways all of us can impact enrollment at SVSU. If you are not already following our official and departmental social media channels, I encourage you to do so. These provide good content to share across your personal social media. A list of various social channels is available at svsu.edu/socialmedia.
The popular annual International Food Festival is scheduled next Tuesday, Nov. 7 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Marketplace at Doan. Tickets are $9.25. Students from a dozen nations will cook this year, in partnership with Dining Services. Some of the delicious items on the menu include chicken stew from Nigeria, crepes from France, kabsa from Saudi Arabia, coconut cake from Laos, and momo pickles from Nepal, to name a few.
In addition, our Office of International and Advanced Studies will sponsor a number of events in observation of International Education Week. The lineup includes a campus-wide office door decorating contest, using the theme "We Unite." International students also will set up informational tables across campus throughout the week. Our international students also will participate in a number of events where staff, faculty, students and friends are invited. You can find a full list online.
Our campus this Saturday will play host to the C of IDEAS Summit 2017: Enhancing Lives, Creating Community. I would like to thank Dorothy Millar, professor of teacher education and C of Ideas coordinator, who helped organize the all-day conference. The summit will focus on advancing interdisciplinary education and developing solutions to enhance the quality of life of individuals with disabilities. A lineup of events is kicked off by a presentation from our latest Dow Visiting Scholar, Richard Lavoie, author of the book “The Motivation Breakthrough: Turning on the Tuned-Out Child.” He will discuss effective strategies and techniques to motivate children during his presentation from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Ott Auditorium.
Richard Lavoie will be the first of two Dow Visiting Scholar events scheduled within the coming week. Ann Ruggles Gere will present “Literacy: The Full Story” Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Gilbertson Hall, Room 202. She is the chair of the joint Ph.D. program in English and education as well as the director of the Sweetland Center for Writing at the University of Michigan. She has published a dozen books and over 100 articles.
Award-winning violinist Hal Grossman will perform in concert as part of the Rhea Miller Concert Series on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the Rhea Miller Recital Hall. Hal is a first prize award winner for International Cleveland Quartet Competition and the National Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. He has been praised by critics for his “vibrant tone” and “superb technique.”
The following few days offer some big games for our fall season student-athletes. After earning a first-round bye, the men’s soccer team faces Northern Michigan Friday at 10 a.m. at Northwood’s Dean Field in Midland, where the GLIAC Tournament semifinals will be played. Our team was 2-0 against the Wildcats during the regular season. Let’s hope for a sweep.
The women’s soccer team defeated Ferris State 2-1 in the first round of its GLIAC Tournament. The team next faces Ashland in the semifinals hosted by GVSU Friday at 7:30 p.m. Our team defeated Ashland 2-1 earlier this season thanks to a game-winning goal by Whitney Fleming.
The men’s and women’s cross country teams will travel to Ohio on Saturday when our student-athletes will compete at the Midwest Regional Championships. The women’s competition begins at 10:30 a.m. and the men’s play begins at 11:45 a.m. The men earned an eighth place seed in their tournament while the women earned the No. 10 seed.
Also on Saturday, the 5-4 football team travels to Northwood for the traditional Axe Bowl at 1 p.m. Here are some fun facts: SVSU leads the all-time series vs. Northwood — which kicked off in 1975 — with a 26-15-1 record against our rival. I hope we can tilt the series even more in our favor this weekend. Go Cards!