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President’s Weekly Update - Week of Monday, November 6, 2017

Paying tribute to our military veterans

Douglas Szczepanski, a retired U.S. Army sergeant and 2011 alumnus, founder of the Miracle Soldier Inc. organization.

I hope many of you will join us for the Veterans Day Celebration today from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Curtiss Hall banquet rooms. Douglas Szczepanski, a retired U.S. Army sergeant and 2011 alumnus, will serve as the keynote speaker. A Purple Heart recipient, Doug was severely wounded by a suicide car bomb while on patrol in Baghdad in 2005. After a long recovery period, he returned to school and founded his own nonprofit organization, Miracle Soldier Inc. Now Doug serves as a motivational speaker. Today’s event also will feature the reading of the winning entry in a recent Veterans Day-themed essay contest as well as a performance by Encore. Thank you to everyone who helped organize this event, including Military Student Affairs and its director, Bethany Alford.

A Cardinal Singers anniversary

The Cardinal Singers will celebrate their 10-year anniversary with a concert in the Rhea Miller Recital Hall Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The concert will feature favorite pieces sung by the choir since its founding in 2007. Alumni from as far as Texas are returning to join the current Cardinal Singers for the final song of the night, “The Awakening.” The audience at this special event should expect an entertaining evening.

 

Play explores the fantastical

She Kills Monsters playbill.

Our Department of Theatre will host a series of performances sure to please those in attendance. The department’s latest play, “She Kills Monsters,” follows the story of a young woman who reconnects with her late sister vicariously through the deceased sibling’s Dungeons & Dragons notebook. Dave Rzeszutek, associate professor of theatre, is directing the play; he says to expect both real-world elements as well as goblins, ogres and elves. Performances are Wednesday to Saturday, Nov. 15-18, at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 19, at 3 p.m. You can purchase tickets online.

A freshman finishes first in competition

2017 Sims Public Speaking Competition Winners

Congratulations to the students who competed in the Sims Public Speaking Competition last Friday. This event, now in its 28th year, allows students to hone their oral communication skills while presenting on topics of their choosing. This year, freshman Zac Peterson, a marketing major from Midland, won first place and a $400 cash prize for his presentation, titled "Male Body Standards.” Five additional awards and prizes were given to outstanding students.

Enjoying worldly delights

A collage of photos from International Food Festival

Photos provided by university Communications and SVSU Food.

The International Food Festival delighted and satisfied patrons again this year. This event’s popularity was obvious by the length  of some of the lines and the willingness of attendees to wait in them. It was obvious that our international students enjoy sharing a taste of their homeland with our campus community. For those curious about the survey, the results are in. France won Best Sweet Dish, Nepal earned Best Savory Dish, Bangladesh received Most Refreshing, Pakistan won Best Decorations, Russia earned Best Customer Service, and China won for Best Teamwork. Thank you to everyone who helped continue to make this campus tradition a success.

Gerstacker class to honor

The 2017 Gerstacker Fellows

Congratulations is in order for the latest group of K-12 educators to be selected for Gerstacker Fellowship. Since 2005, the program has provided valuable leadership development to K-12 teachers, principals, superintendents and administrators from across the state. The most recent class of 10 fellows will present at a symposium today, while the 12 members of the new class will be introduced as well.



Grad Fair a success

Grad Fair Cap Gown

It may be hard to believe for some, but our December commencement ceremony is not so far away. One of the earliest indicators of that fast-approaching occasion is our Graduation Fair, which was held Wednesday. Our future alumni shared in the excitement of their SVSU experience. An appearance by Coop, DJ music, prize drawings and give-a-ways were among the highlights. I hope the experience adds to the many positive SVSU memories for our graduating seniors.

'Tis the season again

Christmas tree decorated with SVSU for the 2017 Festival of Trees.

Once again, we have decorated a tree that will be part of the lineup in the Festival of Trees annual fundraiser scheduled for Friday through Sunday at Apple Mountain. The funds raised during the festival supports the Junior League of the Great Lakes Bay Region's mission of promoting volunteerism, training its members, and improving the community. There will be more than 100 designers contributing decorated trees and wreaths that will be raffled away. The raffle is scheduled for 4 p.m. Sunday. For Festival of Trees information and hours, visit their website.



Recognizing community leaders

Helen Raica-Klotz and Monica Reyes

I am pleased to have been invited to participate in The Michigan Banner’s Heart of the City awards luncheon, scheduled for Friday at Horizons Conference Center. Two of our colleagues will be recognized. Helen Raica-Klotz, director of the Writing Center, will receive the Outstanding Journalism Award. Monica Reyes, director of Disability Services, will receive the Leadership Award. Please join me in congratulating them.

When sports seasons overlap

Men's soccer competes as the No. 5 seed in the Midwest Region Division II Tournament.

Congratulations to our men’s soccer team, who earned a bid to the NCAA Division II Tournament and will compete as the No. 5 seed in the Midwest Region. Our student-athletes will face No. 4 seed Davis & Elkins Friday at 7 p.m. in West Virginia. The victor will face No. 1-seeded Ohio Valley on Sunday.
 
Congratulations to the women’s soccer team on a strong finish to their season. For the first time since 2012, they advanced to the finals of the GLIAC tournament last Sunday. The club posted a 10-7-2 record this year.
 
The football team, fighting to finish with a winning record for the year, will conclude its season Saturday at 1 p.m. at Ashland.
 
While some teams are putting the finishing touches on the season, other student-athletes are just getting started. The men’s basketball team plays its first game Friday at 3 p.m., while the women’s basketball team plays at 7 p.m. Both teams face Bellarmine on the road. The men's team plays Bellarmine at the University of Indianapolis while the women's team plays at Bellarmine. The men’s team plays its first home game Wednesday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m., while the women’s team opens at home next Thursday, Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. Go Cards!