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Scott L. Carmona College of Business News

April 23, 2024

Nearly 900 SVSU students to participate in commencement

Consul general of Canada in Detroit to speak

Saginaw Valley State University will hold commencement exercises on Saturday, May 11, at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. When the celebrations are complete, more than 1,100 SVSU graduates will be ready to take their next steps into careers, graduate programs, or other endeavors to which their education has led.

Nearly 900 SVSU students eligible for graduation have indicated that they will march in the two ceremonies.

Graduates from the College of Arts & Behavioral Sciences, Scott L. Carmona College of Business and College of Science, Engineering & Technology will be recognized in the 10 a.m. ceremony.

Graduates of the Crystal M. Lange College of Health & Human Services and the College of Education will be recognized in a ceremony at 2:30 p.m.

Both events will take place at SVSU’s Ryder Center and will be livestreamed. The links to livestreams will be available at

Colin Bird, consul general of Canada in Detroit, will address the graduates.

Bird was appointed to this diplomatic position in September 2022, bringing a skill set revolving around trade. In his role, Bird oversees consulate activities in Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.

The consulate in Detroit is one of 13 Canadian consulates in the U.S., in addition to the Embassy of Canada, providing services to Canadians visiting and living in the United States. While the consulate assists Canadians with passport and visa issues, provides information on studying and voting abroad, and offers other services, Bird’s role often puts him in meetings with U.S. and Canadian leaders to facilitate collaboration between the two countries, which have enjoyed a long and fruitful trade relationship.

Bird has held positions in Canada’s government since 2004, when he joined Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. In 2014, he was appointed minister-counsellor for trade and economic policy for the Embassy of Canada in Washington, D.C., where he handled all aspects of the United States-Canada trade relationship. He has also represented Canada before dispute settlement panels and the Appellate Body at the World Trade Organization.

Prior to his current appointment, Bird served as director of trade negotiations, multilateral and Americas, for Global Affairs Canada. In this role, he was responsible for multilateral trade matters, particularly Canada’s membership in the World Trade Organization. He also has served as Canada’s senior trade official at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, where he chaired the Trade Committee, and as Canada’s senior trade official for the G7 and G20.

Bird holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a law degree from the University of Ottawa.

SVSU graduates are building careers in high-demand fields in the Great Lakes Bay Region, throughout the state and beyond. According to a survey conducted by SVSU’s Office of Career Services, at least 96% of graduates from 2019 through 2022 are employed or continuing their education.

April 23, 2024

SVSU students to present research in two showcase events

Saginaw Valley State University students will cap off the academic year with two events designed to recognize and celebrate their work. On Friday, April 26, SVSU will host the SE&T Symposium and the SVSU Student Showcase. Both events are open to the public, and there is no charge to attend.

The annual SE&T Symposium features the work of students and faculty in SVSU’s College of Science, Engineering & Technology. Students will present original work, including research and design projects and special course work, through both poster sessions and oral presentations. Faculty are invited to present their research through posters or oral presentations. Faculty are also invited to organize a special session such as a panel discussion or workshop.

This year’s Symposium features over 120 students and their faculty advisors. It takes place in Pioneer Hall beginning at 8:30 a.m. and running until 3:00 p.m.

Poster sessions run from 10:00 a.m. until noon, featuring undergraduate research projects, class projects and senior capstone projects. Oral presentations begin at 1:00 p.m. and last until 3:00 p.m.

The SVSU Student Showcase will be held in SVSU’s Curtiss Hall, from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. Students from all five SVSU college will present scholarly projects they have worked on throughout the academic year. This year’s showcase will feature 39 poster presentations, 14 oral presentations and five performances.

The SE&T Symposium and SVSU Student Showcase are proud Cardinal traditions that recognize student achievements, inspire innovation and promote collaboration.

February 9, 2024

Saginaw Valley State University to host book discussion with Andrew Liveris, former Dow chairman and CEO

Saginaw Valley State University will host Andrew Liveris, former chairman and chief executive officer of Dow and former executive chairman of DowDuPont, for a discussion of his latest book, “Leading Through Disruption: A Changemaker’s Guide to Twenty-First Century Leadership.”

The discussion will take place in SVSU’s Rhea Miller Recital Hall (in Curtiss Hall) from 1-2 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 13. Complimentary copies of the book will be available, and a book signing will follow the discussion. Register for this free event here.

Liveris will share essential wisdom from his 40 years of global leadership experience. His model of leadership offers tools to tackle any problem quickly and responsively with an eye toward creating a more equitable and sustainable future.

Jayati Ghosh, dean of the Scott L. Carmona College of Business at SVSU, said, “Our students, who are future business leaders, will gain a lot from Mr. Liveris, an expert with a wealth of experience in a rapidly changing world proliferating with economic challenges and technological advances.”

In a career spanning more than 40 years with Dow, Liveris was the company’s longest-serving CEO, with a tenure of 14 years. Prior to being appointed chairman and CEO, he had assignments in manufacturing, engineering, sales, marketing, and business and general management.

Liveris currently serves as president of the board of the Brisbane Organising Committee for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, chairman of The Hellenic Initiative, and as a director of Lucid Motors, IBM, Saudi Aramco, Worley, Novonix and the Minderoo Foundation. He has served as an adviser to President Biden and former Presidents Trump and Obama, including as co-chair of Obama’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership. He is co-chair of the Build Together Coalition that successfully advocated for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed by President Biden in 2020. He was also appointed as a special adviser to the Australian government’s National COVID-19 Coordination Commission.

This book discussion is presented by Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, Dow, Great Lakes Bay Economic Club, Midland Business Alliance, Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce and Saginaw Valley State University.

November 14, 2023

College students honed skills at SVSU regional sales competition

Promising future sales professionals had an opportunity to demonstrate their skills and receive personalized training during a groundbreaking regional sales competition hosted by the Scott L. Carmona College of Business at Saginaw Valley State University in October.

Open to SVSU and regional university students, as well as recent graduates interested in SVSU’s sales certificate program, the competition offered a unique opportunity for participants to test their skills in a supportive environment, while receiving advice and instruction from sales professionals.

“The Scott L. Carmona College of Business is committed to providing opportunities to our students that allow them to develop both professionally and personally,” said Jayati Ghosh, dean of the Carmona College of Business. “The SVSU Regional Sales Competition gave the students an opportunity to learn from professionals while honing their skills.  For the employers of the Great Lakes Bay Region, it was an opportunity to meet the talented students.”

On the first day of the competition, 12 students – nine from SVSU and three from Northwood University – received personalized training from the NBA Milwaukee Bucks inside sales team. The following day, the students participated in two competition categories: A tournament-style role play competition with three rounds and an elevator pitch competition. Representatives from SVSU employer partners assisted with judging both categories.

The role play scenarios were based on the training the student competitors received from the Milwaukee Bucks representatives. Chase Valuet, an SVSU marketing major from Sterling Heights, won first place and $1,000. Macy Hawkes, an SVSU marketing/professional sales major from Auburn, won the $500 second-place prize. Gavin Glefke, an SVSU marketing/professional sales major from Chesterfield Township, in Macomb County, was awarded $250 for third place. Northwood University student Brooke Englehardt took home the $100 prize for fourth place.

Three students were awarded cash prizes for the elevator pitch competition. Northwood University students Julian Lee and Aidan Wheeler won first ($300) and second ($250) prizes, respectively. Macy Hawkes, the SVSU marketing/professional sales major from Auburn, took home third place and $100.

The sales competition was made possible through an SVSU Resource Grant and support by corporate sponsors Morley Companies, Standale Lumber and Supply, VTC Insurance Group, Blue Wheel and Residential Home Health.

July 19, 2023

SVSU receives grant to help SVSU Midland County students launch businesses

Starting a business can be an exciting — but often daunting ―  undertaking. With a generous grant from the Midland Area Community Foundation, Saginaw Valley State University is positioned to help four Midland County SVSU students launch businesses in the next year. The SVSU Student Entrepreneurs project will provide vital resources and tailored support to help students successfully establish their startups.

“Thanks to the $40,000 grant from the Midland Area Community Foundation, we will provide seed funding, tailored support, and infrastructure to help four SVSU student entrepreneurs launch their businesses in Midland County. This support enables our student entrepreneurs to navigate Michigan's diverse business environment, foster innovation, and shape a brighter future for all,” said Mohamed Adel, associate director of the Dow Entrepreneurship Institute at SVSU.

Through the Student Entrepreneurs, operated as part of the Dow Entrepreneur Institute within SVSU’s Carmona College of Business, students will find assistance with a variety of business startup challenges, including:

  • Identifying a business problem
  • Developing a prototype solution
  • Identifying angel clients
  • Preparing the resources needed to continue creating the startup

The SVSU Student Entrepreneurs project will coordinate resources and provide labs for students to work on their projects, regardless of their field of study.

Unlike startup competitions that reward just one individual or entity, the Student Entrepreneurs project will offer the same resources to each of the student businesses with the aim of positioning them all to succeed.

Each student entrepreneur can earn up to $10,000 based on the documented achievement of five specific milestones:

  • Building the business model canvas (BMC) and incorporating the business. This includes the value proposition, customer components block, resources components block, revenue structure and cost structure. Funding earned: $1,500.
  • Validating the product/service. The purpose is to work on developing detailed blueprints of the product/service they want to offer and building a clear cost structure for the product/service. Funding earned: $5,000.
  • Building the marketing plan. This includes delivering a detailed marketing plan that includes situational analysis, target marketing, positioning, competitive analysis, marketing mix, and control measures. Funding earned: $2,000.
  • Building the financial model. This includes 3-5 year financial projections, assumptions, sensitivity analysis, and valuation. Funding earned: $1,000.
  • Building the business plan. To raise funds from investors, students will build a business plan that includes a detailed description of the company, industry analysis, market analysis, marketing and sales strategy, operations plan, financial plan, and the company’s management structure and staffing needs. Funding earned: $500.

Adel explained that the project’s broader purpose is to help strengthen the local economy.

“Entrepreneurial activity is a vital indicator of economic strength. Small businesses create jobs and opportunities for all citizens and improve the overall quality of life,” Adel said. “Entrepreneurs play a crucial role in helping the Great Lakes Bay Region navigate a shifting and often uncertain economy. It is essential to assist college student entrepreneurs who are just starting their careers. College campuses are ideal environments for entrepreneurism as they provide resources, collaborative opportunities, and a platform for incubating and developing innovative ideas.”

SVSU’s Student Entrepreneurs is modeled on a program at Ohio University’s Innovation Center that supported 249 jobs generating an estimated $18 million in employee compensation and $49.7 million in economic output in Athens County in 2021. Over the last seven years, the business incubator’s job creation numbers have increased 78%, and employee compensation generated from its client companies is up 211%”

For SVSU, a conservative projection is that 10 student businesses (the total project scope) will create 200 jobs over five years and generate $10 million in economic activity over the same period. Entrepreneurial success or failure is difficult to predict, but it is also true that communities that prioritize strategic investments in start-up businesses tend to enjoy higher rates of growth.

Student entrepreneurs are now being recruited for the program. SVSU students from Midland County who are interested in participating can find more information or apply for the program here:

The Midland Area Community Foundation exists to cultivate the power of giving within our community, support long-term transformation, and help ensure all residents thrive.

The project aligns with the Midland Area Community Foundation’s Building Our Livelihood focus area. 

April 18, 2023

SVSU renews elite accreditation for business programs

Saginaw Valley State University has earned a renewal of its accreditation by AACSB International, the leading accrediting body for collegiate schools of business. The external stamp of approval confirms SVSU’s Carmona College of Business among the top business programs worldwide.

“SVSU business students receive an education that is truly world class, as evidenced by our continued accreditation,” said George Grant Jr., SVSU president. “This also validates the investment of private donors who generously contributed more than $15 million to support construction of a new home for our Carmona College of Business. I would like to compliment all our colleagues who continue to uphold the high standards necessary to maintain this distinction.”

In February 2020, SVSU dedicated a $25.4 million, 38,500-square-foot building addition for the Scott L. Carmona College of Business.

Achieving accreditation is a process of rigorous internal focus, engagement with an AACSB-assigned mentor, and peer-reviewed evaluation. During this multiyear path, schools focus on developing and implementing a plan to align with AACSB’s accreditation standards. These standards require excellence in areas relating to strategic management and innovation; student, faculty, and staff as active participants; learning and teaching; and academic and professional engagement.

“The renewal of AACSB accreditation, the most prestigious accreditation available to business colleges, affirms the exceptional quality of our programs, our curriculum and our faculty,” said Deborah Huntley, SVSU provost and vice president for academic affairs.

“Worldwide, only 6% of universities offering business programs receive this accreditation. I am very proud that our students receive an education that meets the highest professional standards in the world.  I would like to recognize the dedication of all those associated with the Carmona College of Business, and especially Jayati Ghosh for her outstanding leadership as dean.”

SVSU is among 36 business schools worldwide who extended their global accreditation in business in April 2023. SVSU received an extension for 6 years, the maximum granted by AACSB.

“We are pleased to maintain the prestigious AACSB accreditation,” said Jayati Ghosh, dean of SVSU’s Carmona College of Business. “It demonstrates our commitment to excellence in teaching, research, curriculum, and preparing students for successful careers and leadership positions in business. I want to congratulate the faculty, staff, students, advisory board members, and alumni for their commitment to continuous improvement.”  

For more than a century, AACSB accreditation has been synonymous with the highest standards in business education. Today, a total of 981 institutions across 60 countries and territories have earned AACSB accreditation in business.

December 7, 2022

SVSU moot court teams make strong showing at home tournament

Zoey Schwab contributed to this story

Hours of preparation propelled Saginaw Valley State University students to strong showings in a moot court regional tournament hosted by the university on December 2 and 3. SVSU hosted 30 teams from around the country for the event, one of 16 regional tournaments at which students compete to qualify for the American Moot Court Association’s national tournament in January.

Julie Keil, SVSU associate professor of political science and a moot court adviser, said the competition at this tournament was fierce, and included teams from Yale, Duke University, University of Chicago, Loyola University, and others.

Two SVSU teams finished the tournament in the top 3, earning spots at the national tournament. The team of Ethan Day, of Linwood, and Diva Patel, from Kawkawlin, placed 2nd in the tournament. Day completed a degree in professional and technical writing from SVSU and remains enrolled in a post-baccalaureate program. Patel is a cell biology, molecular biology and biomedical sciences major. Political science majors Nikolas Baker, of Standish, and Garrett Powell, of Chesaning, finished in 3rd place.

These students will join four other SVSU students who qualified for the national tournament at earlier competitions: Ethan Rose, a political science major from Ypsilanti, and Abigail (Abi) Walk, a management major from Saginaw, and political science majors Kennedy Kreger, of Battle Creek, and Jeffrey Ramsey, of Greenwood.

Of the 10 SVSU teams – each consisting of two students – that participated in the competition, six advanced to the second day of competition, with five of the pairs placing in the top 16.

“This is SVSU’s best showing in its history,” Keil said. “The success of the teams was based on their qualities of intelligence and hard work, but also the number of hours they and all of the coaches put into preparation.”

Amy Hendrickson, associate professor of law and co-adviser of SVSU’s moot court program, and Kevin Lorentz II, assistant professor of political science, helped coach the students alongside Keil.

In addition to Day, Patel, Baker and Powell, other teams included:

  • B Browne, a political science major from Midland, and Toni Gjerkaj, a pre-law major from Sterling Heights, who placed 7th.
  • Karson Bagelmann, a pre-law major from Antelope, California, and Alec Leppek, a political science major from Bay City, who finished in the top 16.
  • Nikolas Corriveau, a Great Lakes Bay Early College student from Saginaw and Symone Guy, a political science major from Flint.
  • Velencia Gonzalez, a criminal justice major from Saginaw and Jacob Spencer, a political science major from Canada.
  • Patrice Henderson, a criminal justice major from Saginaw and Madison Hutchison, a criminal justice major from Saginaw.
  • Emmy Martin, a political science major from Tawas City, and Blake Woerner, a communication major from Owosso.
  • Antony Souss, a criminal justice major from Marine City and Mackenzie Victory, a political science major from Chesterfield, finished in the top 16.
  • Larkin West, a history major from Saginaw and Camden Williams, a political science major from Jenison.

Bagelmann, Day and Patel also won the Top 10 Orator’s Awards.

Participants in moot court act as attorneys in a simulated argument in front of the Supreme Court. Competitions are judged on the quality and clarity of the students’ arguments, their public speaking skills and knowledge of the law and the case.

SVSU’s moot court program has qualified for the national tournament nearly every year it has competed since the program’s inception in 2010. In 2020, SVSU’s moot court was ranked No. 16 in the nation. Around 120 colleges and universities field undergraduate moot court programs, and in all, some 500 moot court teams will compete in 2022, representing those schools. 

For more information about the American Moot Court Association, go to

November 18, 2022

SVSU moot court team qualifies for national competition

By Walker Wenzel

Saginaw Valley State University students demonstrated hard work and tenacity, and distinguished themselves in moot court competition, carrying on a tradition of excellence. Four members of SVSU’s moot court team competed at the Capital University Law School Classic, a regional tournament, in Columbus, Ohio, on Nov. 12 and 13; two students earned a spot at the American Moot Court Association’s national tournament in January.

In their first-ever face-to-face tournament, Ethan Rose, a political science major from Ypsilanti, and Abigail (Abi) Walk, a management major from Saginaw, finished in third place in the competition, while the team of political science majors Kennedy Kreger, of Battle Creek, and Jeffrey Ramsey, of Greenwood, placed fourth. These strong finishes qualified Walk and Rose for the national competition and put Ramsey and Kreger in a good position to qualify at upcoming regional competitions.

Julie Keil, associate professor of political science, and Amy Hendrickson, associate professor of law, serve as co-advisers for SVSU’s moot court program. Keil says the students earned this accomplishment through extraordinary determination.

“Dr. Amy Hendrickson and I are extremely proud of this achievement but more importantly we are proud of the hard work all students put in to be this successful,” said Keil. “Both teams have worked far beyond class times with invitational scrimmages against other schools, home practices with the coaches and long hours of study room time with the four students. They also have provided a great deal of leadership and maturity we need to help the other eleven teams we have this year be as successful as they are able. They exemplify the characteristics we hope for and look for in all SVSU students.”

Participants in moot court act as attorneys in a simulated legal trial. Competitions are judged based on the quality and clarity of the students’ arguments, their public speaking skills and knowledge of the law and the case.

SVSU’s moot court program has qualified for the national tournament nearly every year it has competed since the program’s inception in 2010. In 2020, SVSU’s moot court was ranked No. 16 in the nation. Around 120 colleges and universities field undergraduate moot court programs, and in all, some 500 moot court teams will compete in 2022, representing those schools. 

The Capital University tournament was the first face-to-face tournament SVSU’s team attended in three years.

Keil said 10 other moot court teams will represent SVSU in two more tournaments, including a regional tournament hosted by SVSU on Dec. 2 and 3.

For more information about the American Moot Court Association, go to

September 27, 2022

Through internship, SVSU student gains experience in the field

Spending time in soybean fields led Saginaw Valley State University student Avery Claybaugh to find her future career field. 

A business major with an agricultural studies minor from Weidman, northwest of Mt. Pleasant, Claybaugh serves as an intern with the Michigan Soybean Committee, where she’s been gaining experience in a variety of areas. 

 “I wanted to apply to intern at Michigan Soybean Committee because it was unlike anything else I have done thus far,” Claybaugh said. “I got to assist everyone on the team in their different specialties like communications, market development and research. I am forever grateful for the experiences I have had and the industry connections I’ve made.”   

The Michigan Soybean Committee, which is headquartered in St. John’s, is a farmer-led membership organization that directs Michigan’s soybean checkoff program, providing research and promotion for its members. 

“I did fieldwork for them all throughout the summer,” Claybaugh said. “I would say about one day a week was devoted to traveling to many different farmers’ fields all throughout the state of Michigan to collect data for our on-farm trials.”

The data collected will allow the organization to provide farmers with information about what is helpful to the soybeans and what may be hurting them.    

She credits what she’s learned so far at SVSU with helping her in the field.  

Growing up in a small, rural town gives Claybaugh an appreciation for the contributions of farmers and the challenges they face. She plans to return to a rural community after earning her SVSU degree. 

“After graduation, I plan on working for an agribusiness,” she said. “There are a lot of opportunities that can come from a business degree, and because of this I am still figuring out what career is my best fit, but I’m leaning towards marketing or human resources for an agribusiness. 

Claybaugh values her internship experience and encourages other students to pursue internships as well.  

“Internships are important in your education because they provide you with real-world experience and also provide you with many connections that you can use when continuing your future career,” she said.  

“Through the knowledge I’ve gained through the classroom I’ve learned so much about my field and where I want to go after graduation, so this is just a step to take my knowledge from the classroom into the real world and apply it into my future career.”   

Learn more about Avery Claybaugh’s internship experience: video.

August 31, 2022

SVSU business professor receives grant to improve mental health delivery

A Saginaw Valley State University professor is working to positively impact mental health care for patients by studying how addressing bottlenecks can help reduce wait times at mental health facilities. Danilo Sirias, a professor of management in SVSU’s Carmona College of Business, has been awarded a two-year, $245,000 grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund for his project, which he will pursue in conjunction with two clinics that provide mental health services in the Great Lakes Bay Region, Child & Family Services of Saginaw and Family & Children’s Services of Mid-Michigan. 

“Access to mental and behavioral health services has become more constrained. Through this project, we intend to demonstrate how clinics can adjust their care delivery models to improve access,” Sirias said. “I’m grateful to the Michigan Health Endowment Fund for choosing my project. This type of funding makes it possible to pursue research projects that can benefit the wider community.”  

Sirias’s project involves the design, testing and implementation of a care delivery model. In addition, Sirias will use the experience gained to develop an online course that will be available – at no cost – to mental health professionals in Michigan.  

“Child and Family Service of Saginaw County is thrilled to participate in Dr. Sirias’s project aimed at providing direction beneficial to the effective and prompt delivery of mental health services,” said Jill Hogenson, the organization’s president/CEO. “Our agency’s 150-year history of responding and serving the needs of children, families and adults in  the Great Lakes Region positions us well to benefit by the changes that assist our reach and mission of ‘Building Better Lives’ within our community.”

In exploratory conversations with mental health care providers in the Great Lakes Bay Region, Sirias found that long waiting times to see a counselor are negatively impacting access to help. Sirias’s proposed innovative delivery care model consists of creating operational mechanisms, or “buffers,” to ensure that clinicians are able to devote ample time to the tasks that only they can do.  

The proposed care delivery model is based on Sirias’s research related to performance improvement in health care systems, which he has addressed in his book “Smash the Bottleneck: Fixing Patient Flow for Better Care (and a Better Bottom Line),” which he co-authored with Christopher Strear.  

Sirias’s care delivery model provides a structure that enables clinics to operate efficiently. SVSU will provide training and coaching to behavioral health clinic staff so they can effectively apply the model. SVSU will share success stories with other clinics so they can also implement the model. 

Sirias joined the SVSU management faculty in 2001. He holds a Ph.D. in business administration and a master’s in industrial and systems engineering from the University of Memphis, as well as a bachelor’s in industrial engineering from the National University of Engineering in his home country of Nicaragua. Sirias has published peer-reviewed research in several journals and is the author of the books “Bridging the Boomer Xer Gap,” (with Hank Karp and Connie Fuller), “Success . . . an Adventure” and “Problem Solving Maps.” His strategies for teaching math are used in several countries around the world. 

The Michigan Health Endowment Fund works to improve the health and wellness of Michigan residents and reduce the cost of health care, with a special focus on children and seniors. More information can be found at

SVSU is one of 18 organizations that have received behavioral health grants from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund in 2022.  

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Scott L. Carmona College of Business
Saginaw Valley State University

CCB 302
7400 Bay Road
University Center, MI 48710
(989) 964-4064

Jayati Ghosh

Amy Hendrickson
Acting Assistant Dean