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Battle of the Valley to begin next week

Students with trophy at 2018 Battle of the Valleys

If not for the strong community-minded spirit of our students, I might not be able to bring you this reminder: The Battle of the Valley fundraiser kicks off Sunday. Over the summer, there was a moment when it appeared the longstanding fundraising tradition might be in jeopardy after GVSU students backed out of the competition that has raised $652,385 for worthy nonprofit causes since 2003. But our students rallied quickly to ensure the tradition continues even without our longtime partner. This year, the funds collected will benefit The ROCK Center for Youth Development, a nonprofit that provides after-school programs as well as educational development initiatives at 30 middle and high schools in Bay, Midland and Saginaw counties. From Oct. 6-11, SVSU students will raise money to help expand the nonprofit’s programs across the region. It will be an exciting week with activities for everyone — and all for a good cause. You can read more about the new-look Battle of the Valley fundraiser and its beneficiary here: 

Record number of SVSU students earn early admission to medical school

2019 students who were admitted early into medical programs

Each year, SVSU pre-medical students are placed in medical programs at rates much higher than the national average. This year is no exception. Ten seniors applied to various medical programs that have Early Assurance Program (EAP) agreements with SVSU, and all 10 were accepted. This program allows early application and acceptance to cooperating medical schools. Five students were accepted to Central Michigan University’s College of Medicine, four to Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine and one to Wayne State University’s School of Medicine. Students credit pre-health professions advisor Heidi Lang for their success; she does an outstanding job of preparing students for the next step in their medical career. Congratulations to all! 

Campus Climate Survey now open

Campus climate survey logo

I had mentioned earlier in the summer that we would once again partner with Rankin & Associates to develop and participate in the Cardinal Climate Survey. University climate surveys are meant to capture attitudes about the campus culture, assessing perceived levels of inclusivity and safety among all faculty, staff and students. We last participated in this survey in 2014; results of the survey were the basis for the creation of the cultural competency dialogue series, the PRIDE Center, sexual assault prevention and response trainings and a more inclusive Affirmative Actions/Equal Opportunity statement. Your anonymous response to this survey makes a difference and carries real weight in improving our campus environment. Please take a few moments to complete this survey before it closes on Oct. 25; the link can be found in an email send by University Communications on Oct. 1 titled “Please participate in SVSU’s 2019 Cardinal Climate Survey.” Thank you, in advance, for your participation. 

Management student lands competitive Future Leaders Scholarship

Paloma Barba

Congratulations to senior management major Paloma Barba on receiving the Future Leaders Scholarship from the Hispanic Latino Commission of Michigan. This scholarship is open to Hispanic/Latino students in Michigan pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree and is highly competitive; only nine students are selected in the state. Paloma, who came to SVSU from Detroit, currently works for the School University Partnership Office (SUPO) as an office assistant and senior mentor for Public School Academy Transition Program.  Paloma, along with other recipients, will be recognized on Oct. 10 as part of the Statewide Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration. Congratulations, Paloma, on your well-deserved award!

Supporting our “most stylish”

John Kaczynski participates in Saginaw's Most Stylish 2019

We are proud to support the United Way through our participation in Saginaw’s Most Stylish fundraiser since its inception. This year, Director of Governmental Affairs John Kaczynski will represent SVSU on the runway. Donations (or “votes”) go toward supporting United Way of Saginaw County programming. The winner will be announced following a runway show at Horizon’s in Saginaw on Oct. 24. You have until then to show your support for John campaign; donations can be made at 

Small Business Development Center makes new home at SVSU

Small Business Development Center Logo

We look forward to welcoming the Michigan Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to our campus next month. The agency, which is supported by the State of Michigan, has been housed on Delta College’s campus for 16 years, and in that time, has provided consulting services to business owners throughout the region. The Center will be located in the renovated Scott L. Carmona College of Business and ManagementThe SBDC provides business workshops, plan development, financial management and technology support. We embrace this opportunity to support businesses in our region and feel that our newly renovated College of Business makes us especially equipped to do so. More information on the SBDC’s move can be found via the Midland Daily News. 

University-wide employment fair seeking volunteers

Fall 2019 University Wide Career Fair

Career Services staff is in need of volunteers for the University-wide Employment Fair on Friday, Oct. 18, from noon to 3 p.m. There are multiple opportunities to volunteer; contact the Interim Director of Career Services Bill Stec ( to sign up! This is a great opportunity to interface with regional employers and our students. Thank you, in advance, for your help in making this event a success! 

Crystal M. Lange incentive award available to faculty and staff pursuing post-grad education

Crystal M. Lang Portrait

Faculty and staff who are interested in pursuing post-graduate education may now apply for the Crystal M. Lange Post-Graduate Incentive Award. Two awards of $1,000 are being offered for the 2019-20 academic year. Recipients must be full-time staff and must be registered in a program leading to a post-graduate degree, with those pursuing a doctorate having preference. Applications are due Oct. 15 and can be submitted at Questions regarding this incentive award can be directed to the Foundation office at ext. 7025 or the Provost’s office at ext. 4296. 

Former MLB manager and groundbreaking military pilot to speak at SVSU

Terry Collins former owner of the Mets

Two outstanding campus lectures will be offered next week. On Monday, Oct. 7, former New York Mets manager and Midland native Terry Collins will return to the region to talk about his passion for leadership. The talk with be moderated by former president and general manager of the Great Lakes Loons Paul Barbeau. The talk will take place 7 p.m. in the Malcolm Field Theatre for Performing Arts. 

On Wednesday, Oct. 9, Lt. Olga Custodio will speak in Founders Hall at 6 p.m. She was the first Latina to complete United States Air Force (USAF) military pilot training and later served as a commercial pilot for American Airlines. She will discuss her personal journey to “unchartered territory,” the challenges and the triumphs as part of Hispanic Heritage Month. 

In addition to these speaking engagements, the English department will host Voices in the Valley. “An Evening of Writer Friends” will feature poets Tess Gallagher and Alice Derry. The event will take place on Thursday, Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. in Founders Hall. 

All talks are free and open to the public. 

Homecoming weekend is here!

Students celebrate homecoming at SVSU

I look forward to seeing many of you at this weekend’s Homecoming festivities. It has been a great week for student engagement, from quiz bowls to free popcorn and prize wheel in Career Services. The Homecoming Parade begins on Saturday at 11:30 a.m., with the football team kicking off against Northwood at 1 p.m. 

In other Athletics news, I would like to congratulate the men’s and women’s cross-country teams on their standing in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association regional rankings. As of yesterday, the men’s cross-country team is ranked No. 5 in the region, and the women’s cross country team is ranked No. 9. Great news for two hard-working teams. 

I wish everyone a great Homecoming weekend, and Go Cards! 

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