Last week we welcomed 100 local elementary school students to campus for the "Hour of Code," a national initiative to promote diversity in computer science. This program introduced its young participants to computer coding, which is writing a computer program using programming language. Students from Saginaw Township, Bay City Public and Bangor Township schools learned under the instruction of George Corser, assistant professor of computer science and information systems; they also toured our Marshall Fredericks Sculpture Museum to introduce them to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) education. Over 180 institutions host Hour of Code events across the country, however I would like to recognize the STEM experts and leaders on our campus for providing robust and accessible STEM education opportunities for local students. Their efforts have put us at the forefront of STEM education in the region and have helped us to build a robust foundation of future STEM professionals.
Congratulations to studio art technician Sara Clark for her recognition by the juror of the 56th annual Greater Michigan Art Exhibition. Each year, two out of about 50 Michigan artists are selected to present a new body of work at the exhibition the proceeding year. Last year, Sara was one of those two artists. She has spent the last year developing a collection of new pieces for display in this year's exhibition, which opened in mid-October. You can see Sara's work on display at Midland Center for the Arts until Jan. 6, 2019, or you can visit her at the exhibition reception on Saturday, Dec. 1 from 7-9 p.m. Congratulations to Sara on this outstanding recognition. Her dedication to her artistic expertise has made her an outstanding member of our staff and a model for our art students for the past 28 years.
Four of our SVSU staff and faculty returned from a productive trip to China early this week. David Callejo-Perez, interim dean of the College of Education; Ju Yu 'Louise' Chen, coordinator of study abroad; Debra Lively, professor of teacher education and Brian Thomas, director of global engagement and presidential liaison to Ming Chuan University visited several of our sister schools to review existing program partnerships. The group met with 94 students currently enrolled in the Ministry of Education program in Early Childhood Education at Changchun Normal University. They presented on SVSU and comparable SVSU programs. They also presented to almost 200 Shanghai Normal students who are interested in coming to SVSU for a three-week program in teacher education. The group even met up with three familiar faces from our College of Education: alumna Rebecca Meredith who is teaching in Shanghai and students Alina Anderson and James Sira who are fulfilling part of their student teaching requirements in China.
Students enrolled in the Great Lakes Bay Youth Leadership program, led by Special Assistant to the President for Diversity Programs Dr. Mamie Thorns, will be giving back for the holidays Friday as part of their annual gift wrapping party. Each year, the 85 plus high school juniors and seniors involved in the leadership program bring and wrap gifts for families in need. This year, the leadership group selected three shelters in the Great Lakes Bay Region to support through this annual activity: the Underground Railroad of Saginaw, Shelter House of Midland and the Bay Area Women's Shelter of Bay City. Graduates of the Great Lakes Bay Youth Leadership often comment on the lessons they learn throughout the program – one being the importance of philanthropy and service to their local communities. This is just one example of the many hands-on experiences these students take part in throughout the program to develop their leadership skills and become more active citizens in their communities.
Sincerest thanks to Jim Dwyer, Pam Wegener, Sue Brasseur and Hannah Maine in our Alumni Relations office for hosting another special evening for our graduates last Thursday. The Senior Class Toast, a relatively new tradition at SVSU, is highly anticipated by our seniors, and gives them an opportunity to celebrate with their family, friends and the faculty and staff that have contributed so much to their college experience on campus. Events such as these remind us all of why we are here: to support our students and see them through to successful careers upon graduation. There are few things more exciting then celebrating with our students, who have worked so hard to reach this outstanding milestone. Thank you, once again, to the Alumni Relations office and all involved in making this time of year so exciting for our students.
Congratulations to our All-American athletes!
After last weekend's NCAA Division II cross country championships, we have three newly named All-American athletes: Tom Goforth, Carlee Stimpfel and Allison Dorr. They join men's soccer senior defender Omar Sinclair.
Goforth, Stimpfel and Dorr all contributed to a successful championship weekend. Of the 34 competing teams, the men's team finished 6th in the nation! Dorr finished 28th overall. Dayton Brown, Nate Frasier and Austen Mandernach were also top finishers for the men during the championship.
The team's efforts, as well as the strong national performances of our soccer teams, earned SVSU a 9th place ranking in the first Division II Fall Learfield Director's Cup standings. In addition, SVSU is currently ranked second among all GLIAC schools. These are terrific and well-deserved recognitions for our student-athletes and our teams!
Our men’s and women’s basketball teams played in Sault St. Marie against Lake Superior State University Thursday night. The women recorded their first win of the season, beating the Lakers 73-67. The men’s team fell 70-62. Both teams are back in action Saturday in Big Rapids against Ferris State University.
Our men's and women's track and field indoor season opens today with the SVSU Holiday Open.
Congratulations, once again, to our All-American student-athletes, our men’s cross country team, and best of luck to all competitors this weekend!
With the end of the fall semester upon us, I wish you and our students the best during finals week and in the hectic days to come. A break is just around the corner, and I thank you all for your hard work over the past several weeks. Your work matters, and it especially matters to our students. Just this week, I heard from a graduate student from Ming Chuan University who has been studying to teach English as a second language; he noted more than once that everyone on campus has made him feel welcomed and that SVSU feels very much like home. He thanked us for making his educational experience at SVSU possible and assured me of the difference all of us make in his life and the lives of his peers. This is not an isolated example of the impact each of us have in the lives of our students, so once again, thank you for the work that you do, and best wishes during finals week.