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Scott L. Carmona College of Business News

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 amcamootcourt.org

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 amcamootcourt.org

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 mihealthfund.org

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

June 6, 2022

Michigan Small Business Development Center conference honors SVSU regional director

Beth Roszatycki, regional director for the Lake Huron Region of the Michigan Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Saginaw Valley State University, earned the Culture Award for going above and beyond to support Michigan small businesses. She received the honor at the 2022 Michigan SBDC conference. 

 

The Culture Award is a peer-nominated award for individuals recognized as going above and beyond expectations to advance the SBDC’s mission of helping Michigan small businesses succeed. Roszatycki shared the honor with Laura Mahronic, regional director for the Upper Peninsula SBDC 

 

“Laura and Beth helped during a time of need,” said J.D. Collins, state director of Michigan SBDC. “When another region needed help, it was the actions of two people that stood out above the rest. Beth’s actions remind me of a quote: ‘If you have more than what you need, build a longer table.’ Your leadership bucket runneth over – thank you.”   

 

Each year the entire Michigan SBDC network gathers with clients, team members and guests to learn, network and recognize each other for the work done assisting Michigan small businesses to succeed. The conference included a Capital Region client panel discussion, general sessions and breakout sessions as well as the awards ceremony. 

  

The Lake Huron Region SBDC, housed at the Scott L. Carmona College of Business at Saginaw Valley State University, is one of the Business Excellence Centers at SVSU, which provide training, consulting and research services to Michigan’s business community.  

 

The Lake Huron Region SBDC was recently awarded ARPA funds to support small businesses in Bay County. 

    

The Michigan SBDC provides no-cost consulting, business education, market research and technology commercialization to new and existing businesses throughout Michigan’s 83 counties. Michigan SBDC services are available through the support of the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The Michigan SBDC is committed to fostering and sustaining a culture of inclusion through equitable outreach and service to Michigan’s diverse business community. Entrepreneurs and small business owners may access the services of their nearest Michigan SBDC by visiting www.michigansbdc.org. 

 

April 21, 2022

SVSU B.A.T.S. Project tackles difficult community challenges

Saginaw Valley State University is celebrating the 10th anniversary of a unique research initiative designed to involve students from different academic disciplines in identifying collaborative solutions to community challenges in Saginaw and other urban settings. The 2022 B.A.T.S. Project ― Business, Art, Theatre and Social Work Reinvent Urban Communities ― is designed to foster creative thinking and problem solving through a community and leadership development project.

Students and faculty from the academic programs involved will hold a presentation program on Thursday, April 21 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in SVSU’s Rhea Miller Recital Hall. The event is free and open to the public. 

Forty-two students will present the results of their research during the event, which includes poster presentations, skits, and the unveiling of murals that will be hung in SVSU’s College of Health and Human Services building. The presentations will be judged on teamwork, creativity, audience engagement, and research and clarity of message. The judges are Dominic Monastiere, Boutell/First Merit Bank Executive in Residence at SVSU’s Scott L. Carmona College of Business, and Sammy Brobbey, supply chain specialist at Microsoft.

Launched in 2012, the B.A.T.S. Project began as a means to promote collaboration across different curricula at SVSU. That year, the project involved students from business, art and theatre; this year, social work students are included, as well.  

“BATS began in conversations between faculty about our very focused majors interacting and learning from each other's disciplines,” explained Mike Mosher, professor of art/communication and multimedia and one of the SVSU faculty involved in the creation of the project. 

This year’s semester-long research project had four teams of students analyzing and addressing different community challenges: 

  • Transportation in the Saginaw area, including access and accommodations for persons with disabilities 
  • Food insecurity in Saginaw, including food deserts and temporary food assistance 
  • Abuse and neglect 
  • K-12 schools and student success 

Abigail Walk, a business management major from Saginaw, said, “This collaborative research project has taught me the importance of synthesizing information, clear deadlines and communication, the impact of a positive attitude, and being a team player to help out whenever it is needed regardless of my experience on the subject. I learned to step up even if I am not an actor, artist or a social worker.” 

Alexis T. Krzeminski, a finance major from Warren, said her team hopes to increase awareness of sensitive topics facing the community and to inspire change. 

“I was assigned the study focus area of transportation. I have learned how fortunate myself and others are to have a car but realizing that not everyone is as fortunate as us. We must be grateful for the things we take for granted." 

Students involved in the B.A.T.S. Project include business students who are part of the Vitito Global Leadership Institute, students in Mosher’s Art 433 Community Murals class, social work students in the SW316 – Social Welfare Policy I class, and students in the Theatre 336 – Intermediate Acting class.

Mosher said the project helps art students make connections between their work and the needs of the communities where their art will be displayed. 

“It's important for Art 433 Community Murals students to learn to develop and produce themes and imagery with and for other ‘neighborhoods.’ This year, the B.A.T.S. teams participated in developing painted panels for the Social Work suite in the Health and Human Services building.”

Joseph Ofori-Dankwa, the Harvey Randall Wickes Endowed Professor in the Carmona College of Business and one of the architects of the B.A.T.S. Project, said SVSU students have gained a lot of exposure to and a greater understanding of community operations through the project. 

“In the past, B.A.T.S. participants have worked with community organizations such as United Way of Saginaw County, First Ward Community Center, Pets Angels Adoption and Rescue, Autism Center of Michigan, Edgewood Assisted Living Center and the Yellow Ribbon Guard,” he said. “Work with First Ward Community Center, for example, has included helping mentor and place some young leaders from Saginaw on boards of corporations and organizations such as the Saginaw Community Foundation.” 

Associate Professor of Social Work Catherine Macomber added that the social work students worked with mentors from the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at SVSU.

“These older adults have worked with the social work students to frame these policy issues in terms of impact,” Macomber said. “The OLLI mentors are able to help the social work students understand the broader implications of policies and how the reach goes well beyond the immediacy of a tax payment or a ride on a bus designed to meet the needs of persons with disabilities.  The collaboration with OLLI mentors has been an integral part of the broader understanding of policy advocacy toward social justice.”

In addition to the team presentations, the B.A.T.S. presentation program will include performances by the Saginaw High School Drumline, remarks by SVSU President Donald Bachand and Provost Deborah Huntley, and an update on the future of the B.A.T.S. Project by SVSU faculty.  

Registration is not required for this free public event. 

A list of participating students accompanies this release.

February 1, 2022

SVSU and Lake Huron Region office of SBDC awarded ARPA funds to support small businesses in Bay County

Award is part of $2 million being managed through Bay Future, Inc.

The Lake Huron Region Michigan Small Business Development Center, housed at Saginaw Valley State University, has partnered with local organizations to provide much-needed financial support for small businesses in Bay County that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The $368,500 award is part of the $2 million in ARPA funds allocated to Bay Future, Inc. by the Bay County Board of Commissioners.  

The SBDC will work with Bay Future to help new businesses get off the ground and grow existing businesses.  

“The SBDC offers critical tools and resources to guide entrepreneurs in launching their new business, early-stage startups, as well as providing consulting services to help business owners put a growth plan into action, and expert consulting to help mobilize technology to commercialization. After the once-in-a-century pandemic, with this funding, our local economy will now be poised for a once-in-a-generation comeback,” said Beth L. Roszatycki, Regional Director, Lake Huron Region Michigan SBDC. 

Roszatycki said the SBDC has been a go-to resource for small businesses striving to weather the pandemic. That support will continue with SBDC consultants providing a variety of services and resources to Bay County businesses, including one-on-one consulting support, small business training and a “comeback toolkit.” The SBDC also will offer a “90-day refinement program” that includes weekly discussion and instruction to prepare owners to expand their business activity. 

The Lake Huron Region SBDC is part of the Scott L. Carmona College of Business at Saginaw Valley State University. It is one of the Business Excellence Centers at SVSU, which provide training, consulting and research services to Michigan’s business community.

For more information, contact the Lake Huron Region SBDC at sbdc@svsu.edu.  

December 16, 2021

SVSU graduates to cap off fall semester with in-person commencement on Friday

More than 400 graduates of Saginaw Valley State University will celebrate their determination to complete their academic degrees during Commencement exercises Friday, Dec. 17.

The university will hold two ceremonies for fall 2021 graduates: one at 12:30 p.m. for students in the colleges of Arts & Behavioral Sciences; Education; and Science, Engineering & Technology, and another at 4 p.m. for graduates of the colleges of Health & Human Services and the Carmona College of Business. Both ceremonies will be held in SVSU’s Ryder Center and will be video-streamed live.  

SVSU also is holding a Commencement ceremony Saturday, Dec. 18 for those who graduated in 2020 and did not receive an in-person ceremony due to pandemic restrictions in place at the time. More than 125 people have registered to participate in the Saturday ceremony. 

SVSU President Donald J. Bachand will deliver remarks at each ceremony.  

“Our students have overcome extraordinary challenges to complete their degrees. I’m extremely proud of all of our graduates who have persevered through all of the ups and downs of the past two years,” Bachand said. “I’m very happy that we can share this occasion with students and their families.” 

Brooke Elward, a marketing major from Shelby Township, is among those graduating. She is looking forward to the celebration.  

“I am thrilled to participate in Commencement,” she said. “College is where you choose what you love to do. I get to celebrate me finding myself with my family.” 

Of the 486 students who applied to graduate, 407 are expected to receive bachelor’s degrees and 79 are expected to earn master’s or other advanced degrees. Around 425 graduates have indicated that they will don regalia and participate in Friday’s commencement exercises.

Elward has some idea of what’s in store Friday; she was among the scores of volunteers who helped coordinate SVSU’s first outdoor Commencement ceremonies in May.  

“Seeing how happy those students were to walk across the stage outside in the rain made me excited for December,” she said. “The shared energy of being proud of yourself, but also having the faculty show up to show you how proud of you they are is phenomenal!” 

Each graduating student is allowed up to four guests, and health and safety protocols will be observed. SVSU also is providing a live video stream of each ceremony. Details are available at www.svsu.edu/fall2021.

November 5, 2021

SVSU faculty presented with Distinguished Professor of the Year Awards

The Michigan Association of State Universities (MASU) honored two Saginaw Valley State University faculty members with the Distinguished Professor of the Year Award during the Oct. 25 meeting of the SVSU Board of Control. The award recognizes the dedication and outstanding efforts of faculty from Michigan’s 15 public universities to the education of undergraduate students. 

Professor Joseph Ofori-Dankwa, Harvey Randall Wickes Professor of International Business and a professor of management at SVSU, was recognized as one of the state’s three recipients of the 2020 Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year Award. Tami Sivy, a professor of chemistry at SVSU, was recognized with the honor in 2021. 

“Dr. Ofori-Dankwa’s commitment to bringing his students outside of the classroom and into the world shows how higher education in Michigan continues to evolve to meet the needs of its students and Michigan’s people,” said Dr. Daniel J. Hurley, CEO of the Michigan Association of State Universities. “These professors give their all when it comes to dedication to student success, helping them achieve their ambitions, all the while strengthening Michigan’s prosperity.” 

Since joining SVSU in 1987, he has earned several university awards including the House Family Award for Teacher Impact, the Rush Distinguished Lectureship, the Braun Fellowship, and the Thomson Award for Community Engagement. He has helped develop and teach courses for SVSU’s Vitito Fellows Global Leadership Institute, including experiential leadership projects for SVSU business students. He has also helped coordinate the B.A.T.S. (Business, Art, Theatre and Sociology) program as well as other inter-disciplinary teaching initiatives.  

A native of Ghana, Ofori-Dankwa is a leader in expanding programs to Africa. He has led and facilitated 10 trips with students, faculty, and Saginaw community leaders to Ghana since 2000. In addition, he served as a faculty advisor for SVSU electrical and computer engineering students planning to design and install solar panels at a health clinic for the Royal Seed Home Orphanage in Ghana.  

He has founded or coordinated additional programs including the Makola Institute, which is a training and advocacy center for market women and small-scale business operators in markets in Ghana, and the Makola Foundation which provides funding for entrepreneurs and students. He has also provided a curriculum on leadership and ethics for the U.S. State Department’s Young African Leadership Institute, initiated by former President Obama and located at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration.  

Ofori-Dankwa received his Bachelor of Law from the University of Ghana, his M.S. in management and technology from the University of Wales, and his Master of Labor & Industrial Relations and Ph.D. in organizational behavior from Michigan State University. 

Sivy joined the SVSU faculty in 2008 and has served as department chair since 2015. In her tenure at the university, Sivy has promoted outstanding student experiences for undergraduate students, creating opportunities for research and community partnerships. She emphasizes developing students’ critical thinking skills and helps them discover joy in learning.   

“Dr. Tami Sivy represents the best of teaching, research and dedication to student success,” said Dr. Daniel J. Hurley, CEO of the Michigan Association of State Universities. “She mentors and empowers her students, symbolizing the excellence in higher education for which Michigan’s public universities are globally renowned.”  

Sivy not only teaches classes at every level, she is responsible for the entire upper-level biochemistry curriculum and has mentored more than 50 SVSU students in laboratory research. Sivy sits on the steering committee of the Saginaw Bay Environmental Science Institute at SVSU. She also was involved in the development of the SVSU /STEM/Dow Science and Sustainability Center’s mobile laboratory and the curriculum that is used in outreach activities to area students. She has mentored many regional high school teachers and students in environmental research projects.    

In 2012, Sivy and her undergraduate students began using rapid DNA testing to detect fecal contamination and its sources at freshwater sites in the Saginaw Bay Watershed. After many years of collaboration and validation, the method has now been used to determine beach closings in Bay County since 2019. This pioneering work led the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy to request her assistance in adapting testing for the COVID-19 virus in wastewater. Sivy was the first in Michigan to engage undergraduate students in this testing, which spans the SVSU campus and seven surrounding counties. In support of freshwater and wastewater testing, she has received nearly $4 million in external funding. 

“As a faculty member at SVSU, Dr. Sivy positively impacts the classroom and surrounding community through her research on water quality,” said Deborah R. Huntley, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at SVSU. “She is a teacher who mentors and understands the needs of students. Her dedication to the success of students and her commitment to her community, colleagues and SVSU are well evident.”   

Sivy has won several awards at SVSU, including the Franc A. Landee Award for Teaching Excellence, the most prestigious teaching award conferred by the university. She also was an exchange professor at Shikoku University in Tokushima, Japan, where she served as an ambassador of SVSU to the community and taught undergraduate courses.   

Sivy earned her B.S. in biochemistry from Calvin College and her Ph.D. in chemistry and biochemistry from the University of Colorado, Boulder. 

The other two recipients of the 2020 award were Grand Valley State University Professor Stephen Mattox and University of Michigan Professor H. Scott Fogler. Thomas Werner of Michigan Technological University and Yunus Zeytuncu of the University of Michigan-Dearborn also received the 2021 award.   

October 25, 2021

Saginaw Valley State University Professor Receives Distinguished Professor of the Year Award

Saginaw Valley State University Professor Joseph Ofori-Dankwa was recognized as one of the state’s three recipients of the 2020 Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year Award by the Michigan Association of State Universities. The award recognizes the dedication and outstanding efforts of faculty from Michigan’s 15 public universities to the education of undergraduate students.

“Dr. Ofori-Dankwa’s commitment to bringing his students outside of the classroom and into the world shows how higher education in Michigan continues to evolve to meet the needs of its students and Michigan’s people,” said Dr. Daniel J. Hurley, CEO of the Michigan Association of State Universities. “These professors give their all when it comes to dedication to student success, helping them achieve their ambitions, all the while strengthening Michigan’s prosperity.”

Ofori-Dankwa is the Harvey Randall Wickes Professor of International Business and a professor of management at Saginaw Valley State University. Since joining SVSU in 1987, he has earned several university awards including the House Family Award for Teacher Impact, the Rush Distinguished Lectureship, the Braun Fellowship, and the Thomson Award for Community Engagement. He has helped develop and teach courses for SVSU’s Vitito Fellows Global Leadership Institute, including experiential leadership projects for SVSU business students. Among the inter-disciplinary teaching initiatives he has helped to co-coordinate is the B.A.T.S. (Business, Art, Theatre and Sociology) program. 

A native of Ghana, Ofori-Dankwa is a leader in expanding programs to Africa. He has led and facilitated 10 trips with students, faculty, and Saginaw community leaders to Ghana since 2000. In addition, he served as a faculty advisor for SVSU electrical and computer engineering students planning to design and install solar panels at a health clinic for the Royal Seed Home Orphanage in Ghana.

He has founded or coordinated additional programs including the Makola Institute, which is a training and advocacy center for market women and small-scale business operators in markets in Ghana, and the Makola Foundation which provides funding for entrepreneurs and students. He has also provided a curriculum on leadership and ethics for the U.S. State Department’s Young African Leadership Institute, initiated by former President Obama and located at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration.

Ofori-Dankwa received his Bachelor of Law from the University of Ghana, his M.S. in management and technology from the University of Wales, and his Master of Labor & Industrial Relations and Ph.D. in organizational behavior from Michigan State University.

The other two recipients of the 2020 award were Grand Valley State University Professor Stephen Mattox and University of Michigan Professor H. Scott Fogler. 

The Michigan Association of State Universities will recognize Ofori-Dankwa and Tami Sivy, SVSU professor of chemistry and a 2021 recipient of the award, during the SVSU Board of Control meeting Monday, Oct. 25.  

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Scott L. Carmona College of Business
Saginaw Valley State University

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ccbdean@svsu.edu
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ccbdean@svsu.edu

Amy Hendrickson
Acting Assistant Dean
alhendri@svsu.edu