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Theatre students compete and succeed at Kennedy Center festival

Josh Lloyd theater student

Last week I had mentioned that 22 of our students were presenting and competing at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in Madison, Wisconsin. I am pleased to report that the competition was a success for our students. Three SVSU students made it to the final rounds of their respective categories and a fourth advanced to the national finals. Theatre major Josh Lloyd and his partner Clay Singer, a psychology major from Frankenmuth, advanced to the final 16 in the acting category, competing against 300 other college students. Josh was also honored with the prestigious Voice and Speech Trainers Association's Vocal Excellence Award. Theatre major Oliva Greanias also advanced to the final 16 in the musical theatre category, and special education major Arianna Whisman made the national finals in unrealized production of costume design. These are tremendous accomplishments for our students and a testament to the strength of our theatre programs here at SVSU. Congratulations to all!

Moot Court team makes great showing at national competition

Moot court national competitors Justin Weller and Lindsey Mead

Representatives from our Moot Court team had an impressive performance over the weekend at the American Moot Court Association national tournament. English major Lindsey Mead and political science major Justin Weller advanced to the top 32 among 80 teams across the U.S. that qualified for the tournament. The team advanced to day two of the competition, winning their opening match before being eliminated. Lindsey and Justin are among 160 national qualifiers who entered the competition based on their performances in regional tournaments, and both will return to compete with the team next year. Our moot court team is ranked higher than ever by the American Moot Court Association, standing at No. 19 ahead of larger institutions such as Texas A&M and University of Louisville. Congratulations to Lindsey and Justin on an outstanding performance!

Associate director of Career Services begins term as Dow Family Y board president

Tom Barnikow, Assistant Director of Career Services

Congratulations are in order for Interim Associate Director of Career Services Tom Barnikow. Tom was recently appointed as President of the Dow Family Y Board of Directors after two years of service. He previously served as the board's vice president. Tom has been with our Career Services office since 2012 and has since proved to be an outstanding leader on campus and in the community, serving in multiple leadership capacities with Energize Bay Area Young Professionals Network, the Valley Society for Human Resource Management and the Michigan Career Educator and Employer Alliance.  Please join me in congratulating Tom on this well-deserved appointment.

Two College of Education alumni receive state-wide recognition for excellence

Terie Elbers Michigan Lottery award recipient

Alumni from our College of Education have been recognized with Excellence in Education Awards from the Michigan Lottery. Tracey Jaworski ('98, '04) is a kindergarten teacher at Cass City Elementary and received the Michigan Lottery recognition in December for her commitment to improving struggling students' behavior in her classroom; her patience and endless dedication to student development were cited as supports for this award. Terie Elbers (89', '94) is a lead teacher in the Great Start Readiness program at Reese Elementary school and was recognized for the development of an outdoor classroom and nature playground to expand hands-on teaching opportunities for her students. Recipients of the Excellence in Education award receive a $1,500 cash prize and a $500 grant to their classroom. Congratulations to both of these fine educators and graduates of SVSU!

Marching in memory of MLK

SVSU Students and staff and annual MLK Unity March

While our campus will be closed on Monday, I encourage you use this day of remembrance to join your colleagues at the Martin Luther King Jr. Unity March. The march will begin at 10 a.m. on the corner of Franklin and Hayden Street in downtown Saginaw and will proceed to the Dow Event Center where remarks about Dr. King’s work and impact will be presented. Given the predicted cold weather, SVSU participants will receive an SVSU hat or scarf to wear during the march. These items are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. In addition, an SVSU van will be available to take people back to their parked cars during the event. To sign up for the march, contact University Communications at (989) 964-4039.

The march will kick off a week of opportunities to remember the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., and we look forward to the MLK Celebration here on our campus on Wednesday, Jan. 23. Along with our keynote speaker Valerie Jarrett, a former senior adviser to President Obama, three regional community leaders will be recognized with the Drum Major Award at the celebration, including Leola Wilson, who served eight years on our Board of Control and 20 years as president of the Saginaw NAACP. The celebration will take place in Malcolm Field Theatre for Performing Arts at 7 p.m. with a simulcast available in the Rhea Miller Recital Hall. Free tickets can be acquired here:

Art students showcase work at annual gallery

Student art show flyer

This week, our art department opened the 14th Annual Student Show at the University Art Gallery. The annual event gives current art department majors and minors an opportunity to showcase their work. Students will present in multiple mediums, including photography, painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics and more. You can view the students' work during regular Art Gallery hours, which can be found here. This exhibit is often my favorite exhibit in the Art Gallery each year, because it showcases the outstanding ability and work of our students. If you happen to be walking by the Art Gallery, be sure to stop in to view their work.

State of the University address approaching

Don Bachand at SOTU address

Though the semester only just began, we are already looking forward to the annual State of the University address, scheduled to take place on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 4 p.m. in the Malcolm Field Theatre. The great efforts of our faculty and staff allowed us to start the academic year off on the right foot, bringing in a large freshmen class and maintaining a consistent overall headcount. Our faculty, staff and students have since celebrated remarkable accomplishments in academics, athletics and beyond, and I look forward to highlighting these accomplishments, as well as the work still ahead of us, on Feb. 7.

A reminder on campus alerts

Campus alerts logo for School Dude

Yesterday, a fire alarm was triggered in Curtiss Hall due to smoke originating from construction work. Many people did not evacuate as is required by our Emergency Operations Plan. While a communication went out regarding the alarm yesterday, I would like to reinforce that all occupants must evacuate a building when a fire alarm is sounding. Once evacuated, individuals should not re-enter that structure until officials have indicated the building is safe to re-enter. There is no need to contact Campus Facilities once an alarm has activated unless there is new information to share about the emergency.

For more information regarding fire alarms or other emergency situations on campus, please consult the SVSU Emergency Operations Plan at

Cardinal Athletics roundup

Winter athletic collage

Both of our basketball teams played against the Ashland Eagles yesterday. The women, who are now 3-13 after a loss to Davenport last Saturday and to Ashland (83-60) yesterday, will play again on Saturday against Wayne State in Ypsilanti at 1 p.m. The 5-11 men, who lost in double overtime to Davenport on Saturday and to Ashland (83-61) yesterday, will play next Wednesday at home against Grace Christian. Tip off is at 7 p.m.

Despite a loss, the men's and women's swimming and diving teams swam well against Wayne State last Saturday, posting impressive swim times, including three first-place finishes for women's team member Sydney Shipps in the 1,000 freestyle, the 500 freestyle and the 200 freestyle. Wayne State's women's team is ranked No. 14, while the Cardinals are ranked No. 25. Wayne State's men's team is ranked No. 8. Full results of the meet can be found here. SVSU's swimming and diving teams will compete again this Saturday against Ashland; the women's team will also compete against Hillsdale.

Congratulations to several of our track and field team members who posted NCAA Provisional qualifying marks or were top finishers during last week's SVSU Classic against Davenport. Senior Ryan Kelly posted an NCAA Provisional qualifying mark in shot put, setting a new indoor school record of 18.04 meters. Ryan was also named this week's GLIAC Men's Field Athlete of the Week. Freshman Alicia Aldrick registered an NCAA Provisional qualifying mark in shot put with a distance of 14.32 meters. Full results of the SVSU Classic can be found here. SVSU will next host the Doug Hansen Open today at 2:30 p.m. in the SVSU Fieldhouse.

Best of luck to all of our athletes competing this weekend!

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