Congratulations are in order for students on our forensics team who competed in last weekend's Michigan Intercollegiate Speech League State Tournament at Eastern Michigan. Three students qualified for the National Forensics Association competition in April, including communication and theatre majors Aubree Harrell and Josh Lloyd, who earned top novice and second place in duo interpretation. Communication major Tiler Jewell earned third place in persuasion. The team, made up mostly of novice competitors, took home six of the 11 top novice awards and finished third in the state overall. Congratulations to all, including coaches Amy Pierce, associate professor of communication, and Ryan Rigda, lecturer of communication, on this outstanding performance!
Our moot court team is advancing to nationals for the ninth year in a row! English major Lindsey Mead and political science major Justin Weller advanced as a team to the American Moot Court Association national tournament Jan. 12-13 at Florida A & M College of Law in Orlando. This is Mead's second appearance at the tournament, which includes 120 of the nation's best undergraduate moot court competitors. The moot court program has excelled since its beginning in 2010 under the advisement of Julie Keil, associate professor of political science. She is now joined by Amy Hendrickson, associate professor of law. This year the team is ranked 19th in the nation, ahead of much larger institutions, such as Texas A & M and the University of Louisville, among others. Congratulations, and best of luck at the national tournament in January.
Our community outreach resulted in 1,500 postcards from K-12 students from across the region being returned to the Writing Center – destined for the Governor elect's office in January. This postcard campaign was organized by the SVSU Writing Center in collaboration with the Great Lakes Bay Region YWCA and was intended to foster civic-mindedness among participants. Messages ranged from light-hearted concerns to students' anxieties about bullying, the Flint water crisis, gender equality, environmental issues, homelessness and school shootings. Teachers involved in the project noted how pleasantly surprised they were at students' responses, which were often focused on the needs of others. The postcards will line the length of the Writing Center walls until they are mailed to Governor Elect Gretchen Whitmer's office post-inauguration. I encourage you to check it out when you have time. Further coverage of this initiative can be found through the Midland Daily News.
SVSU will partner with Midland Public Schools on an $80,000 research grant program intended to coach teachers and staff in student trauma and negative impacts of current behavioral interventions. This program, called Resiliency in Students and Educators (RISE), begins immediately and will run through June 30 of 2020. SVSU will work with Central Park Elementary to impact student performance. The RISE program will equip teachers with pedagogical and organizational tools to improve student success and integrate a full range of social and educational services in the school. This project is in partnership with the College of Education and the College of Health and Human Services and will involve early childhood, occupational therapy and social work faculty, staff and students. Many thanks to project lead Colleen D'Arcy, associate professor of teacher education; Kimberly Johnson, field education coordinator in the social work department and Jill Innes, assistant professor of occupational therapy, for their support of this program.
Last Friday, 50 senior undergraduate engineering students in 14 teams participated in a symposium showcasing the collaborative projects they have been working on throughout the fall semester. This symposium included a number of impressive and innovative projects that involved collaboration with outside clients and university organizations. Some outside clients included General Motors, Nexteer Automotive and Duperon Corporation.
Our graduating undergraduate nursing students participated in a nursing symposium and graduate recognition ceremony Thursday in the Ryder Center.
These and other events over the past week are outstanding preludes to Our Commencement ceremonies. Friday's ceremony will take place at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday's will take place at 11 a.m., both in the Ryder Center. I encourage you come by and support the over 500 undergraduate students and over 120 graduate students graduating from SVSU!
Congratulations to Molly Vanderhoff who was named both an NCAA Division II Scholar All-American and to the United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-North/Central Region team. Vanderhoff, a junior mid-fielder, received this recognition based on her performance with the women's soccer team this season, but also for her performance in the classroom, carrying a 3.7 GPA as a pre-physical therapy major.
Congratulations, as well, to sophomore wide receiver Chad Gailliard and junior defensive tackle Heath Williams of our football team on being named to the Division II All Super Region #3 team.
Our men's and women's track and field teams opened their indoor season last weekend at the SVSU Holiday Open, while some distance runners traveled to Grand Valley to compete in the Holiday Classic. Lauren Huebner broke two school records! She won the women's pentathlon and posted an NCAA provisional qualifying score; she also won the 60-meter hurdles.
On the men’s side, Tom Goforth also set a new school record in the 5,000-meter race and posted an NCAA provisional qualifying time. Ali Aldrich (shotput), Ryan Kelly (shotput), and Jordan Walter (800 meters) each also posted NCAA provisional qualifying results. Our teams will return for the season on January 11 for the SVSU Classic.
Both the men's and women's basketball teams fell to Ferris State last weekend, with the women losing 72-44 and the men falling short 74-69. The men play again on Monday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m. at home against Grace Christian, while the women will travel to Florida to compete against Florida Southern on Monday, Dec. 17, at 2 p.m. and again on Tuesday, Dec. 18, at noon against Eckerd.