I am pleased to announce that Consumers Energy CEO Patti Poppe will serve as our May commencement speaker. You may recognize Patti from the Consumers Energy “Thanks, dad” commercial or from her visits to campus for FIRST Robotics. Patti received both her bachelor’s and master's degrees at Purdue University in industrial engineering and shortly after began her career at General Motors. After taking on a number of leadership roles at GM, Patti went on to work for DTE Energy before being named Consumers Energy CEO in 2016. Her successful career landed her among the 100 Most Influential Women in Crain’s Detroit Business Magazine in 2016. I look forward to welcoming her to campus in May!
With April upon us, we look forward to welcoming 8,000 visitors to the Great Lakes Bay Region for the FIRST Robotics State Championship! This is our third year hosting the tournament on our campus. Robotics teams from across the state — made up of 5,000 high school students — will be on campus from April 10-13, preparing for and engaging in an exciting, space-themed competition. As we prepare for guests to arrive, I would like to remind you that minor traffic, parking and WiFi interruptions should be expected. An earlier campus-wide e-mail explains the implications for our faculty, staff and students in more detail, but please understand that it may not be “business as usual” on campus. This is a worthwhile event for our campus during which we can reach prospective students and support them in their STEM education. I encourage you to stop by Ryder Center during the competition; the students’ energy and enthusiasm for Robotics is something you don’t want to miss!
You might have seen that Betsy Pierce, associate professor of accounting, is raising money to support children suffering from cancer. In efforts to raise money, Betsy voluntarily shaved her head, encouraging students and staff to support her campaign by donating $20 to wear a hat of their choice. Donations can be made online at www.stbaldricks.org/participants/mypage/1009888/2019. Thank you, Betsy, for being an example of philanthropy and selfless giving! We can all learn from you.
By now, many of you are aware of the military transfer credit grant we received from the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency. This grant will assist us in our efforts to offer specific course credits for the training and education veterans receive while in the armed services. Tomorrow, we will host visitors from the American Council on Education (ACE) as well as representatives from other universities across the country to discuss best practices and experiences with military transfer credits. This workshop will engage department chairs, faculty and staff, and will go a long away in ensuring we offer the best educational opportunities available to veterans.
I hope you all had an opportunity to walk by the Student Counseling Center this week to view the “What Were You Wearing?” exhibition. This was one of a handful of activities and events on campus centered around Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Week. This powerful exhibition displayed outfits based on what sexual assault survivors were wearing at the time of the assault and was intended to undermine the judgment and blame many survivors experience. This exhibition was preceded by a presentation by the Underground Railroad’s Prevention Education Coordinator Shawn Shutt. Further coverage of this event can be found here: https://www.abc12.com/video?vid=508071162
Alpha Kappa Lambda also participated in Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Week through “These Hands Don’t Hurt,” which raised money for It’s On Us, a national organization dedicated to ending sexual assault. Thank you to all who contributed to AKL’s campaign and participated in Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Week.
Please remember that we always have resources available through the Student Counseling Center, our Title IX office and University Police to assist victims of sexual assault as well as trainings and resources for sexual assault prevention.
Congratulations to Jared Kaufman, communications and theatre education major, who will be competing for an acting scholarship in 2020. After his outstanding performance in “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival offered Jared the opportunity to compete against top college actors in the Midwest for the distinguished Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship. In a way, Jared carries a family legacy, as his brother Jacob also earned a trip there in 2017 as part of SVSU’s technical crew. You can see Jared in this month’s musical, “9 to 5,” which opens April 10. Congratulations, Jared!
Four of our SVSU faculty and staff participated in the recent Women in Power panel hosted by the African Student Union. Panelists included Professor of Education LaCreta Clark, Senior Event Coordinator LaToya Peoples, Professor of Sociology Dawn Hinton and Assistant Professor of Communications Brittany Collins. These outstanding university professionals fielded questions from event attendees and ASU president Henrietta Nwokeabia on the topics of women in education, women supporting women and various other topics. Thank you to the panelists for volunteering their valuable time for this important event!
Your last opportunity to RSVP for the 30th Annual All University Awards Banquet is Friday, April 12. Please check your inbox for an e-mail from Human Resources containing further event and RSVP information. I would like to thank our Human Resources department, the Conference Center, University Communications, the award chairs and all involved in the planning the preparation of this exciting evening. I look forward to celebrating our colleagues with all of you on Friday, April 26!
We are pleased to welcome Darvin Ham to the men’s basketball coaching staff for the 2019-2020 season. Darvin is an alumnus of Northwood University, where he earned All-GLIAC Second Team honors and GLIAC All-Defensive Team honors. He most recently served Saginaw Arthur Hill High School as their head men’s basketball coach. Tommy Twardecki will return to men’s basketball as a full-time assistant coach, having served the past two years as assistant coach under the leadership of Randy Baruth. I wish both Darvin and Tommy the best in the upcoming season!
Congratulations to sophomore women’s golfer Annika Neumann on being named GLIAC Women’s Golf Athlete of the Week. These honors come after an exceptional performance at the Perry Park “Spring Fling” last weekend. Congratulations, Annika!
Please continue to keep up with our spring Athletics teams at www.svsucardinals.com. Go Cards!
As many of you heard, we experienced a small fire in Brown Hall this past weekend. Thankfully, the fire was quickly extinguished by our sprinkler systems and no one was injured. In this scenario, much of the challenge came after the fire had been extinguished. I would like to thank Assistant Director of Campus Facilities Joel Kiss and the custodial and facilities crews, which put in several hours of work to ensure that the building was open to students by mid-week. I would also like to thank Special Assistant to the Provost Tammy Elliot for working long hours on Sunday to reschedule multiple classes that would have taken place in Brown Hall had it not been for the water damage; this is no easy task! When incidents like these occur, I like to think that our true Cardinal colors come through, and I am very grateful to my colleagues for their efforts in minimizing the disruption this fire caused our faculty, staff and students!