Congratulations to Kaustav Misra, associate professor of economics, and Rhett Mohler, professor of geography, on being recipients of this year's Braun Fellowship. Each will receive research support grants from the fellowship totaling up to $37,500 over the next three years. Misra will use these funds to research economic markets in India and Vietnam in order to test studies and theories supporting the efficiency of free market societies over non-free market counterparts. Mohler will use drone technologies to monitor and map two invasive plants in the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge. His research will inform wildlife management communities about the effectiveness of treatments against invasive species. Both of these research projects will provide experiential learning opportunities for the students involved and will benefit communities near and far. Congratulations, once again, to both of these outstanding professors and best wishes as they continue their research.
Our faculty continue to earn the trust and favor of organizations invested in adding to the world’s knowledge on matters of philosophy. Jeffrey Koperski, professor of philosophy, received $89,787 from the John Templeton Foundation for his book project exploring the intersection of science and religion. His forthcoming book — titled “Laws, Determinism, and Divine Action” — will examine the misperceptions and misapplications of matters of science and physics as they relate to religion. The John Templeton Foundation’s support of his work is a tremendous honor and a testament to Jeffrey’s commitment to his academic passions. Congratulations.
The Crystal M. Lange College of Health & Human Services will develop and launch a fully online post-graduate Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) certificate program to prepare current primary care nurse practitioners to deliver integrated mental and physical health care. The PMHNP program will effectively prepare graduates to manage the complexity of both medical and psychiatric conditions and will have a special focus on the treatment of addictions. The availability of treatment created through this program – especially in rural communities – will help to reduce stigma surrounding treatment of mental health conditions. Thank you to Dean Judy Ruland, Assistant Dean Dave Peruski and Kathleen Schachman, our Harvey Randall Wickes Endowed Chair in Nursing, for their leadership in bringing this program to SVSU.
SVSU was selected as one of seven Michigan institutions of higher learning to receive Military Credit Equivalency (MCE) Grant funds from the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency. This grant funding will be used to further support student veteran academic experiences and make it easier for student veterans to obtain a college degree. Programs supported through this grant funding include establishing exact course equivalencies between military and college courses and developing bridge programs that apply military training to degree programs in areas like health care and criminal justice. As a "Best for Vets" designated institution, we actively seek out opportunities such as these to further our offerings to military veterans returning to school for four-year degrees, and I thank Beth Alford and her staff in Military Student Affairs for their dedication to furthering our student veteran experiences.
Associate professors of social work Vanessa Brooks Herd and Catherine Macomber were recently voted in as vice chair and secretary by the board of the non-profit organization Saginaw Collaborative Inc. This newly created organization was established by Rev. Jim Williams and others to create a space for various community organizations and non-profits from the Warren Avenue Presbyterian Church building in downtown Saginaw. The goal of this organization is to foster collaboration among non-profits and further their missions as they work with Saginaw city community members. Brooks Herd and Macomber both intend to utilize their experiences with the organization to create opportunities for social work student involvement and experiential learning in the Saginaw area at a crucial time in the city's economic renewal. Congratulations to professors Brooks Herd and Macomber on these appointments; I have no doubt that they will serve the Saginaw community well in these new roles.
Congratulations to the students of the Saginaw Valley Model United Nations club, which participated — and excelled — this week in the American Model United Nations Conference in Chicago. The group earned two team awards and one individual award. The club won as a group for its pre-conference papers relating to Ghana and Kazakhstan. Individually, Josh Cianek, a political science major from Linwood, won an award for exceptional justice for his role on the International Court of Justice. He also was elected by his peers to serve as president of the International Court of Justice. The club will compete again in February at the North American Model United Nations Conference in Toronto.
Both the men's and women's cross country teams competed well this past weekend during the Midwest Regional tournament. With a second-place finish, the men will be traveling to the NCAA Championships in December at Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, while the women fell just short of a trip to the national championships, coming in fifth overall. Allison Dorr of the women's team will be running in the championship as an individual.
The Cardinal swimming and diving student-athletes also competed well over the weekend during the Wabash Invitational. The SVSU men finished in first and the women took second. The team will compete again after the new year against Wayne State University.
Men's basketball team is 1-3 overall after a 79-66 loss to No. 23-ranked Findlay on Saturday. The Cardinals continue their early season on Sunday, Nov. 25, at 3 p.m. at Hillsdale College.
Women's basketball played today against Ohio Dominican University, losing a close game, 71-70. The Cardinals will return to action Wednesday, Nov. 29, at 6 p.m. against Michigan Tech at home.
Congratulations to the men's soccer team on its outstanding season, which included the seventh appearance in the NCAA Division II tournament for the program. The team fell in the Round of 16 vs. Ohio Valley 1-0 over the weekend. Three players are celebrating All-Midwest Region accolades following a successful season: defender Omar Sinclair was named to the First Team while midfielder Michael Shaikly and forward Azaad Liadi received Second Team honors.
Two players on the women's soccer team also earned All-Midwest Region recognition: midfielder Molly Vanderhoff was named to the First Team and forward Valentina Giambanco earned a spot on the Second Team. Congratulations to all!
As many of you may know, last week SVSU celebrated its 55th year since the state granted our establishing charter. I'm thankful to have been a part of SVSU's story for 40 of those years, and I'm thankful that I get to share our institution’s successes with each of you. We all have a part to play in ensuring that our students receive the best and most competitive experiences while enrolled at SVSU and to lay the groundwork for their future successes upon graduation. It truly takes a village.
On behalf of my office and the entire President's staff, thank you for all that you do to make SVSU home for our students and colleagues.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving.