The faculty, staff and students of the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program will host a holistic health and living camp this summer to support stroke survivors. This camp, titled “Skills for the Job of Living,” will include physical rehabilitation and activities for psychological and social support. This program will serve 20 participants from the Great Lakes Bay Region who have suffered a stroke six or more months ago. The camp will take place July 22- Aug. 2. This is a great example of service from one of our top graduate programs and I thank Don Earley, professor of occupational therapy, for his involvement in this important project.
SVSU was selected as this year’s partnering institution for Michigan Human Resources (HR) Day, sending 16 of our students with career interests in human resources to Lansing as HR Day volunteers. Participating students took advantage of valuable networking time and connected with hundreds of HR professionals on career strategies, best practices and other key updates to HR work throughout the state. Students also had the opportunity to hear about current full-time and internship opportunities in the field of HR. Thank you to Bill Stec and Tom Barnikow in our Career Services office for organizing this fantastic opportunity for our students!
I want to thank everyone who participated in the Cesar Chavez Day of Service. Many of our SVSU students, faculty and staff came together last Friday and Saturday to participate in community service projects throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region. The Center for Community Engagement, Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and Office of Student Life all did a fantastic job bringing this volunteer opportunity to our students and represented our university well. Thank you to all!
Over 270 faculty, staff and students are volunteering their time for FIRST Robotics this year, and there are SVSU connections to the competitions beyond this. 2007 SVSU alumna Jamie Forbes has served as lead mentor of Bullock Creek High School’s robotics team, Blitzcreek 3770, since its creation nine years ago. Jamie, originally from Yale, Michigan, earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from SVSU and began teaching at Bullock Creek shortly after. Her team is competing this weekend for the fifth year in a row.
SVSU student Daniel Schwarck also played a key role in ensuring that his alma mater – Kingston High School – qualified again for the state championships. The Kingston Robocards will appear in competition thanks in part to Daniel’s mentorship. A 2018 graduate of Kingston High, the freshman electrical engineering major was not yet ready to leave the Robocards behind and will use his experience to lead his former peers throughout the weekend.
Best of luck to all teams competing!
The Great Lakes Bay Regional Youth Leadership Institute graduated 83 high school participants last night. This program, led by the Office of Diversity Programs, provides leadership experience centered on issues related to diversity and leadership for select junior and senior high school students. These students represent Saginaw, Midland and Bay counties. This year, the group has worked diligently through several leadership sessions and participated in several community engagement initiatives as well. One such initiative honors the memory of Casaundra Williams, an avid supporter of the leadership institute and SVSU, who passed away last December. This year’s graduating class has so far raised over $5,000 for the Casaundra Williams Memorial Scholarship. Congratulations to all graduates and many thanks to Mamie Thorns and her staff in Diversity Programs for making these leadership experiences possible for students year after year.
It might be hard to believe, but our May commencement ceremonies are only weeks away! I hope all graduates had the opportunity to attend Wednesday’s Graduation Fair and have picked up their cap and gown from the Bookstore – that is truly a milestone moment! As our campus community prepares for commencement weekend, I encourage you to visit the new commencement website. The newly designed website is meant to simplify “need-to-know” information for students, faculty, graduates and their supporters. Thank you to all involved from Registrar, Web Operations and University Communications for spearheading efforts to streamline this important information and get our students excited about one of the biggest moments of their lives.
Sunday is the last day to see “9-5 The Musical” in the Malcolm Field Theatre for Performing Arts. Directed by Ric Roberts, professor of theatre, the musical is based on the famous 1980 film that later was reimagined for the stage with Dolly Parton’s music and a book by Patricia Resnick. Audiences can expect an outstanding show from our student cast, and I hope you will have an opportunity to attend the show. Showtimes and ticket information for the show can be found at: https://www.svsu.edu/theatre/showschedule/. Break a leg, cast and crew!
Mark your calendars for Monday, April 15, and Wednesday, April 17, as we will welcome two outstanding authors to campus. Best-selling novelist Devin Murphy will present a reading in Founders Hall at 7 p.m. on Monday. Devin has appeared in more than 60 literary journals and anthologies and currently serves as associate professor of creative writing at Bradley University in Illinois.
Award-winning author Aisha Sabatini will read from her works in Founders Hall on Wednesday at 4 p.m. Aisha is the recipient of the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses Firecracker Award for nonfiction and has recently been nominated for several prestigious writing awards nationwide. She serves as the Helen Zell Visiting Professor of Creative Non-Fiction at the University of Michigan. Both authors are visiting as part of the Voices in the Valley series and their readings are free and open to the public.
I am pleased to welcome Jennifer Pruett as the new head coach of the women’s basketball program. Jennifer most recently coached at Division I St. Bonaventure University in New York. While leading St. Bonaventure, Jennifer coached several of her athletes to both academic and athletic recognition. Her career in New York was preceded by coaching positions at Kent State, Longwood and Central Michigan University. Jennifer is a two-time graduate of Ohio University, having played women’s basketball there for three years and one year at Michigan State University. I look forward to seeing the progress of our women’s basketball program under Jennifer’s leadership! Welcome to SVSU!