Thanks to the leadership of Pre-Health Professional Advisor Heidi Lang, we have established an Early Assurance Program (EAP) with Wayne State University's School of Medicine. This partnership, which has been two years in the making, will grant early assurance of admission for up to two SVSU pre-medical students each year. Our first group of students will apply through the EAP to Wayne State next year for a spot in the class of 2020. This is the third such partnership we have. Over the past four years, 11 of our students have received early admission to MSU's College of Human Medicine, and we have an agreement with CMU's College of Medicine too. Partnerships like these highlight our commitment to advancing the medical careers of our pre-med students and allow us to continue to be a competitive choice for prospective students. Congratulations to all involved in bringing this exciting partnership to fruition.
Congratulations to Head Men's and Women's Cross Country Coach Rod Cowan on his recent recognition from the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Rod, who is in his ninth year of service at SVSU, was named Midwest Region Coach of the Year. Under Rod's leadership, the men's cross country team finished runner up at the NCAA Division II Midwest Regionals, which was the best finish for the Cardinals since 2009. Women's cross country also had an outstanding season, falling just short of competing at the NCAA Division II national championships in Pittsburgh, Pa. this weekend. I commend Rod for his dedication to Cardinal athletics and our cross country teams. This is a well-deserved honor and I look forward to seeing where he will take our athletes this weekend and in the seasons to come.
Over the past three years, the SVSU Writing Center has made a commitment to supporting writers not only on our campus but in our larger community through the Saginaw and Bay Community Writing Centers, the Saginaw Bay Writing Project and other community writing-based projects and events. These initiatives play a unique role in our community engagement efforts here at SVSU in that they support a diverse group of writers throughout the region. To better fulfill the needs of the community, these initiatives have been combined to create the Center for Community Writing (CCW). The Center will be led by Writing Center Director, Helen Raica-Klotz, and Writing Center Assistant Director Chris Giroux. This new center will continue to provide community engagement opportunities for our students, local organizations and the Center for Community Engagement through writing-based initiatives in the Great Lakes Bay Region.
I am pleased that our Board of Control Chair, Jenee Velasquez, will be delivering this December's Commencement address. Jenee currently serves as the executive director of the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, where she has been since 2005. Before joining the SVSU Board of Control, Jenee acted as co-chair for our Talent. Opportunity. Promise. fundraising campaign, which successfully exceeded its fundraising goal bringing in $28 million for student and faculty research and other needs among our campus community. To us, Jenee is an obvious choice for commencement speaker; her long history as an SVSU advocate and her service to our Board of Control is so appreciated and serves as a great example to the 600-plus graduates who will be leaving our institution in pursuit of promising careers. I look forward to Jenee's remarks and to celebrating our graduates alongside our faculty and staff.
Last Wednesday we had the pleasure of hosting the first annual "Coming Home" mixer. Organized by Discover Great Lakes Bay, this event was intended to provide an opportunity for regional alumni and graduates to network with the region's top employers, especially those alumni interested in moving back to the area. More than 20 employers were in attendance, including Covenant Healthcare, the Dow Chemical Company and Nexteer Automotive. Invited alumni included those from Alma, Central Michigan, Davenport, Delta College, MidMichigan College, Northwood and SVSU. Discover Great Lakes Bay is a talent retention initiative through Saginaw Future and staffed by our own Assistant Director of the Center for Community Engagement Riley Hupfer.
Tonight is the last night to see "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year! A Christmas Variety Show!" at 7:30 p.m. in the Malcolm Field Theatre. SVSU student dancers, actors and vocalists will perform together for this 10th annual holiday show, and this year, the production will take audiences back to the ’60s and ’70s, recalling Christmas television specials from decades passed. The annual production is directed by Ric Roberts, Professor of Theatre, and Peggy Mead-Finizio, assistant professor of theatre. You can purchase tickets online at https://www.etix.com/ticket/v/14187.
Best wishes to our men’s cross country team and Allison Dorr of the women’s team, who are headed to Pittsburgh to race in the NCAA Division II national championships Saturday. Dorr earned all-region honors this week, as did Nate Frasier, Tom Goforth and Austen Mandernach of the men’s squad.
Congratulations to Omar Sinclair of our men’s soccer team, who this week was named to the United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division II All-American Third Team. He and teammates Michael Shaikly, Michael Hamilton, Azaad Liadi and Lukas Betz earned various all-region honors as well. On the women’s side, Molly Vanderhoff and Valentina Giambanco also earned all-region.
Believe it or not, the conference season gets underway tonight for our basketball teams. The women tip off at 6 p.m., followed by the men’s team at 8 p.m.; the men are coming off a 70-65 win over Hillsdale on Sunday. Both teams are in action at home again on Saturday against Northern Michigan. The women play at 1 p.m. and the men play at 3 p.m.
Best of luck to all, and Go Cards!