Many members of our Cardinal family are doing their part during this public health crisis. I am proud of these individuals and proud to share these great acts of kindness and heroism with all of you this week. If you know of colleagues or students who are making a special contribution to the fight against COVID-19, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you did not already know, we are serving as the drop-off center for an initiative led by the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance and Michigan Health Improvement Alliance. This initiative is meant to secure public donations of needed medical supplies during the Coronavirus pandemic. The items include N95 face masks, hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes. On Thursday, we received a donation of several thousand gloves. Those donating supplies should contact University Police Dispatch at 989-964-4141 to arrange a drop off. More details on this initiative can be found at here.
Norman Wika, SVSU associate professor of music, created a Facebook group where SVSU students and faculty members could upload rehearsal sessions captured on video just one day ahead of the university’s move to remote learning. The Facebook group quickly gained a following, including from alumni who graduated years ago. As of Wednesday, 175 videos have been uploaded and feature instrumental and vocal performances from musicians practicing physical distancing or isolation at home. I commend Norm for this creative use of technology to keep his students engaged while off campus! If you know of others showing this sort of innovation, please share.
Local Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and three-time alumna Smriti Pant is on the front lines of combating the coronavirus by testing patients at the first drive-through testing site in Saginaw through the Great Lakes Bay Health Centers (outside the David R. Gamez building on Lapeer Ave.). She joins pre-medical graduates Patrick Bishop and Derek Williams in these efforts. The testing site requires proper paperwork, including a lab request from an individual’s doctor.
Drive-through testing sites like these are essential to containing the spread of the virus by identifying those who have the virus and working with health departments to identify others who might have been infected by that individual. These individuals are just a few of hundreds of alumni in the health professions who are making the Cardinal difference on the front lines, risking their own health each day. Thank you to all Cardinal healthcare and first responders alumni who are stepping up during this unprecedented time!
Another alumna, Lynn Klammer, is part of a newly formed, grassroots organization called Mid-Michigan Mask Makers or “4M.” A shortage of personal protective equipment has put many
healthcare workers at risk. 4M responded to the shortage of such supplies by creating and donating nearly 1,000 masks so far. Hundreds have gone to local healthcare organizations, including Covenant and McLaren. Over 150 volunteers, including Lynn, have donated their time and sewing supplies for this cause. You can support 4M at their GoFundMe page linked here. Please also keep in mind that the organization is looking for people to sew. If you are interested, please look for their Facebook group at this link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/203671260967240/
For the next few weeks, several offices on campus are coming up with creative ways to engage our Cardinal community near and far. The Foundation Office has interviewed faculty and students on their remote experiences away from campus for their donor newsletter. The Alumni Office has similarly reached out to garner stories of alumni and others in the Cardinal community making big strides against the spread of COVID-19. It seems that everywhere I look, departments and individuals are working creatively to keep students, faculty, staff and friends of SVSU connected to the institution. I thank each and every one of them for their efforts.
Last week I mentioned one of our women’s basketball players – Mariah Cook – received All American Athlete honors from the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Senior football player Max Fister joins Mariah with that honor. As an offensive lineman, Max earned these accolades as someone who had grown in speed, size and presence throughout his career with the Cardinals. Congratulations, Max!
Cardinal Athletics is now accepting applications to the SVSU Athletic Hall of Fame. Inductees will be honored in early October at the annual induction ceremony. Criteria and instructions on how to nominate someone can be found at https://svsucardinals.com/general/2019-20/releases/20200319fybc92.
As we continue to work away from one another, I would like to once again thank faculty, staff and students for their flexibility and efforts during this difficult time. I appreciate all of you.