I am pleased to welcome two new Board of Control members to Saginaw Valley State University. Lt. Governor John Cherry and Rajkumari “Raj” Wiener succeed Jenee Velasquez and Scott Carmona for eight-year terms, each bringing extensive experience in higher education. As Lt. Governor, John Cherry chaired the Michigan Commission on Higher Education and served as our commencement speaker in May 2004. Raj Wiener is an SVSU alumna, past recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award and a current member of the SVSU Foundation Board. We are excited to have two individuals so dedicated to our region on our Board. You can read the full press release on these appointments from the Governor’s Office here: https://www.michigan.gov/whitmer/0,9309,7-387-90501_90625-503855--,00.html
The Center for Academic Innovation has selected three faculty members to receive grants to develop Open Education Resources. These faculty members are Julie Keil, associate professor of political science; Tommy Wedge, assistant professor of theatre; and Grace McClurkin, assistant professor of mathematical science. These three will receive a 5-year Title III grant, which will make online textbooks available to students and give faculty flexibility in creating personalized, interactive content in multiple formats as well as cut down costs for students. I commend these three faculty for not only being awarded grant monies, but for pursuing them in the interest of student success.
This week, the Campus Climate Survey Committee met to touch base on survey progress. With the survey completed, we are preparing to roll out the 2019 survey on Oct. 1. The survey will remain open until Oct. 25. Anonymous responses to this survey are used to assess our campus’ inclusivity and identify areas of improvement. In the weeks leading up to the opening of the survey, you will hear about initiatives and programs that have been introduced to our university as a result of the last Campus Climate Survey. This is an opportunity to use your voice to improve our university. Your response matters, so please participate! More information on the climate survey can be found at https://www.svsu.edu/climatesurvey/.
Another Cultural Competency workshop will take place next Wednesday, Aug. 14, led by Dr. Tyrone Holmes. He will speak on “A Roadmap to Civility” and address this incivility by identifying uncivil behavior at SVSU and the steps we can take to reduce this behavior. Dr. Holmes will also present on “The Impact of Unconscious Bias on Institutional Inclusion” and identify ways to promote inclusion and reduce bias at SVSU. The workshop will have four sessions and take place in Seminar F & G in Curtiss Hall. For more information and to register for the sessions, visit: http://bit.ly/culturalcompetencyworkshops
This week, the Center for Community Writing and the Saginaw Bay Writing Project welcomed 22 middle and high school writers to campus for “Word Play,” a creative writing camp led by certified K-12 teachers. Throughout the week, 13 teachers from the Saginaw Bay Writing Project lead workshops and spent one-on-one time with participating students, developing their creative writing skill. The camp will conclude on Friday with a gallery walk at the Writing Center, where students will share their work with friends and family. This camp — like the many other camps hosted here through the summer — provides a great opportunity to welcome young people from our community to our campus.
As the academic year approaches, some of our students are preparing to leave home for the first time. Earlier this week, SVSU students were interviewed by ABC-12 on their experiences or thoughts about the transition for college freshmen. Haley Ludviksen, a senior nursing student, recommended getting a planner to help organize the day, and reach out to professors and tutors when needed. Another Cardinal, Armani Posey, a recent transfer student, suggested learning how to manage course work while also maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The students interviewed did a great job representing our university in the media, and with mentors like these on campus, I am confident that our incoming freshmen will find friendly and helpful faces when they arrive on campus in just a few short weeks! You can see the full story here:
There is still time to check out “Life Observation” in the University Art Gallery. The exhibition features work by both Dr. Deb Huntley, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs; and Matt Krease, Graphics Center assistant manager. The exhibit, which is based on finding joy in everyday life, will end this Friday, August 9. I encourage everyone to check it out in support of your colleagues. The work is truly impressive! The Art Gallery is open on Fridays until 3 p.m. Information on future galleries can be found at https://www.svsu.edu/artgallery/.
According to the 2019 Football Preseason Coaches' Poll that was held in conjunction with GLIAC Football Media Day in Detroit, SVSU’s football team is predicted to finish in 4th place this season. The Cardinals finished last season with an 8-3 record. The Cardinals’ home opener is Saturday, Sept. 14, against Tiffin. GLIAC play begins on Saturday, Sept. 21, against Michigan Tech at home.
Speaking of Cardinal football, junior defensive end David Still III recently had the opportunity to sit down and interview with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot. He was asked a range of questions regarding his hometown, teammates and his collegiate career. David is a 2020 draft prospect, and we wish him the best of luck. You can read his full interview here: https://www.nfldraftdiamonds.com/2019/08/david-still-iii/
Finally, we welcome and congratulate Matt Pumford, the newest addition to the men’s and women’s golf coaching staff. Prior to joining SVSU, Matt spent the last two years as the head coach at Freeland High School and was named the Division 3 Coach of the Year in 2019. Matt earned a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University, where he played for the Spartans, and thereafter played professionally for two years on mini tours. Later, he earned his master’s degree from SVSU in 2007 and is a six-time winner of the Saginaw District Championship Tournament. We are very pleased to have Matt as part of our coaching staff!
As a reminder, there is still one week to RSVP for the Welcome Back Picnic on Thursday, August 22. If you haven’t already RSVPed, you may do so here.
Have a great weekend, and go Cards!