June 19, 2018
Saginaw Valley State University's Danielle Slonac continued her accomplished undergraduate career by presenting her research on the geography of innovation in the autonomous vehicle industry at Oxford University in England during The Institute for Global Business Research conference in May.
Growing up only 60 miles from the Motor City of Detroit in St. Clair, Michigan, she said her interest in the auto industry led to researching how the industry will continue to evolve.
“The research I conducted looks at national competitiveness and intellectual property in the autonomous vehicles industry,” Slonac said. “I focused on how various factors influence autonomous vehicle patents by nation and how this impacts which nations will likely become the leaders in this emerging market as it continues to develop.”
George Puia, the Dow Chemical Company Chair in Global Business at SVSU, served as Slonac’s research adviser and traveled with her to Oxford.
“When I found out that I would get to present my research at Oxford University I was incredibly humbled, honored and excited,” Slonac said. “Oxford is such a prestigious and influential university, and to be able to present my research there was an incredible opportunity. I was really grateful for everyone who helped me get there and proud of the hard work it took to make it happen.”
Slonac, a triple major in management, finance and supply chain management, recently completed her four-year career on the SVSU women’s tennis team. Throughout all of these responsibilities, she has maintained a 4.0 grade point average.
Slonac expects to graduate in December; she plans to attend graduate school to pursue a Ph.D. in order to become a business professor.
June 5, 2018
Jessica Schafer-Thomas started tossing T-shirts. That action sparked an interest in sports marketing that has landed the recent Saginaw Valley State University graduate one of the most coveted internships in the industry.
A Clio native who earned a bachelor's degree in marketing, Schafer-Thomas is headed to New York City to participate in a coveted internship with the Manhattan Sports Business Academy, starting June 10. With only 25 spots available for the summer, Schafer-Thomas is among the select few to earn the highly competitive opportunity.
“I've never been to New York City so it's going to be a big change of pace for me, but I'm absolutely ecstatic,” Schafer-Thomas said. “I feel like this is what I'm supposed to be doing and SVSU definitely helped to set me on that path.”
The program runs eight weeks and requires participants to work full-time at their internship placement while also attending a weekly speaker series, receiving one-on-one mentorship with established sports industry professionals, and participating in weekend outings. Past internship providers include Madison Square Garden, the NFL, Red Bull, and the New York Mets among other prominent names in sports.
As the first SVSU student ever to be admitted to the prestigious program, Schafer-Thomas is grateful for the three years she spent as a sports marketing and promotions intern for SVSU Athletics. Responsible for all in-game promotions at football, basketball, soccer, and volleyball events, Schafer-Thomas earned herself a reputation around campus.
“I'm kind of known as the t-shirt girl,” Schafer-Thomas said with a laugh. “If you went to a basketball game over the past few years, chances are you saw me shooting T-shirts into the crowd. After my first year working with the athletic department, people started to recognize me around campus. It always made me smile.”
Jim Dwyer, SVSU executive director of alumni relations and a former SVSU men’s basketball player, served as a mentor to Schafer-Thomas.
“It was clear to me that Jessica was very driven to make her way in the sports marketing field,” Dwyer said. “She knew the value of experience outside of the classroom and that positioned her to get this opportunity. She took her weaknesses and parlayed those into strengths and then was relentless in making it happen.”
Beyond her internship, Schafer-Thomas was a member of the coed business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi. She also dedicated a great deal of her time to IMPACT, a Christian-based student organization. Schafer-Thomas volunteered for SVSU Athletics, as well, working at events such as SVSU's Community Youth Days clinics for grade school children.
Each year, SVSU students compete in a charitable fundraising competition against their counterparts from Grand Valley State University, known as Battle of the Valleys. A chance encounter helped lead Schafer-Thomas down her current path.
“I remember attending my first Battle of the Valleys event,” she said. “One of the students working the event asked me to participate in one of the promotions and I was on cloud nine. That was a surreal moment for me. It made me feel like I belonged and it helped to point me in the direction of what I really wanted to do.”
Schafer-Thomas feels prepared for her move to New York.
“SVSU has taught me to stay true to myself and trust my own abilities,” Schafer-Thomas said. “I love what I'm doing and, although getting here wasn't easy, I'm really proud of the fact that I decided to step out of my comfort zone and try.”
For more information on the Manhattan Sports Business Academy, visit https://gomsba.com/.
May 11, 2018
Late nights, early mornings, a determined spirit and a supportive family carried Scott Carmona to success as a businessman starting in the late 1970s. Back then, the Bay City native – who married his wife Nancy at age 19 – was pursuing an education at Saginaw Valley State University, using wages earned operating small business ventures built with sweat equity.
Forty years later, some things have changed for Carmona. Other things have not. His tenacious work ethic turned fledgling entrepreneurial experiments into prosperous business enterprises that grew along the I-75 corridor, even as far south as Florida. Despite his far-reaching interests, though, he never forgot his roots in the Great Lakes Bay Region or the role his alma mater played in providing an educational foundation for his success.
Carmona and his family have pledged the lead gift for the fundraising campaign for SVSU's business school. The SVSU Board of Control approved naming the college the Scott L. Carmona College of Business & Management at the Board’s May 11 meeting. (Carmona is a member of the Board; he abstained from the vote.)
"I am thrilled to have this academic college named in honor of my family," Carmona said. "This is an honor, since my family is from the Great Lakes Bay Region, and we have SVSU alumni in our family and businesses, and we embrace that entrepreneurial spirit."
Carmona is the owner of Sunrise National Distributors Inc., a Bay City-based distributor of automotive aftermarket products. He owns and manages several real estate developments in Michigan and Florida. He also has remained active in community organizations including the Bay County Growth Alliance, the Dow Bay Area Family YMCA and the McLaren Bay Special Care Hospital board of directors. A member of the SVSU Board of Control since 2011, Carmona and his family have contributed financially to SVSU scholarship funds and academic ventures.
Carmona's entrepreneurial acumen, philanthropic vigor and tireless work ethic represent a shining example for students enrolled in the business college, said Donald Bachand, SVSU president.
"Scott and his family showed great determination and creative thinking to build successful businesses, and they continue to work hard for the successes still in front of them," Bachand said. "We thank the Carmona family for their outstanding generosity and committed support of our students and our university.
"Their story resonates with so many of our students who are driven to complete their degrees, even as they juggle work and family demands themselves. I hope our students find inspiration in the Carmona family's story, and we are proud to have the Carmona name forever associated with our institution."
Andy Bethune, executive director of the SVSU Foundation, said the Carmona family's gift is a statement that will positively affect the region for generations.
"We are grateful to the Carmonas for their generous support of our College of Business & Management campaign," Bethune said. "Their commitment is a major step forward in the growth and development of the college, and sets the tone for the importance of private philanthropy and the long-term success of our institution and the region we serve."
While the College of Business & Management has been a part of SVSU since 1972, the legacy of Carmona and his family is being attached during a turning point in its history. A $25 million, 38,500-square-foot building expansion – expected to open in January 2020 – will house the academic college's classrooms, faculty offices and business programs. Those elements are spread across SVSU's campus today.
The new space will include state-of-the-art technology such as analytics labs and a Bloomberg Trading Room, which tracks stock data in real time. Planners say the upgrades will provide hands-on learning opportunities for students while also encouraging members of the business community to visit campus and engage with students.
Carmona said his family is excited to invest in the project.
"With the success of this university's alumni and how they have spread SVSU's influence across the world, we decided we wanted to support the continued success of future generations of students from here," he said. "This expansion will give students a leg up in the business world. We want to help future generations find success."
Carmona knows the value of an SVSU education. He completed a bachelor's degree in engineering in 1981 and his son, Ryan, received a bachelor's degree in finance in 2008. Shannan Weston, the current president of Sunrise National Distributors Inc., started with the company as an intern, completing a bachelor's degree and an M.B.A. at SVSU as she climbed the ranks.
Carmona learned persistence from his father, who emigrated to the U.S. from Egypt at age 17. While attending SVSU in the late 1970s, the just-married Carmona made ends meet at first by developing a swimming pool maintenance company. It was a gritty job that required him start his days early. During his senior year, he was contracted to perform service work for Coca-Cola USA. The new opportunity led him to create a small business that specialized in repairing and remanufacturing dispensing equipment used in restaurants across the country.
"I would show up at Coca-Cola's office in Dearborn – with my shirt still dirty from working on pools – to pick up equipment to work on," he said. "I was driving all over the place, sometimes waking up at 4 in the morning and working throughout the night."
Carmona's company, National Equipment Refurbishers Inc., flourished, employing up to 50 people at one point. After 15 years, he sold the business to create and develop other companies, largely in the commercial real estate and automotive aftermarket distribution industries. Over the decades, he also pursued business interests outside of Michigan, including Texas, New Hampshire and Florida, where he developed an industrial park in the 2000s.
The entrepreneurial spirit remains strong in Carmona, who would rather talk about new opportunities than reflect on past accomplishments.
"It's hard for me to look back, because I'm always looking forward and asking, ‘What are we going to do tomorrow?,'" he said. "It's the same with education. The exploration for education is endless. Let's always look ahead and learn something new."
For SVSU and its College of Business and Management, the vision for its future is clearer thanks to the generosity of a family who is helping future generations of business professionals.
May 11, 2018
Mallory Fisher has wrapped up her last round of final exams and is about to pack her bags for her job in Texas. Within weeks, she will begin a full-time position in The Dow Chemical Company’s Finance Development Program for Accountants in Houston, where she spent time as an intern last summer.
A Midland native, Fisher began her journey at SVSU in 2014; she graduates Friday, May 11. She quickly became an active member of the campus community and earned a number of accolades during her time as a student. Most recently, she was named the Outstanding Accounting Student Representative by SVSU's chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants.
“Honestly, being singled out by such an outstanding organization for work in my field was the perfect bookend to my time as a Cardinal,” Fisher said. “These past four years have been filled with endless studying and self-motivation to succeed in the field of accounting.”
Fisher parlayed that self-motivation into a position with Dow as part of their college co-op program in 2015. As a tax department co-op, she had the opportunity to travel to Lake Jackson, Texas in May 2017 to participate in a summer internship with Dow's Texas Operations Controllers.
There, Fisher was actively involved in several projects that would span the length of her 12-week internship including one that required her to analyze data that would then be used by the Texas site controller and the vice president of Gulf Stream operations to make management decisions for the Dow sites in Texas.
Lowell McLaughlin, associate director of Dow Chemical's department of U.S. State and Local and Canadian Property Tax, spoke highly of Fisher’s attitude and aptitude.
“Mallory has been a standout college co-op and intern at Dow,” said McLaughlin, Fisher's supervisor. “She has a great work ethic and positive 'can do' attitude that has allowed her to grow and flourish in her roles.”
Fisher explained that it was the support of McLaughlin and the Dow team based in Midland that gave her the confidence to take such a huge step in her life.
“Moving 1,400 miles from my family, friends, coworkers and community was a huge step for me, personally and professionally,” Fisher said. “When Dow asked me if I would be willing to work in Texas, I immediately knew that this was a perfect opportunity to be daring, challenge myself, and step outside my comfort zone.”
Her professors noticed the difference. Betsy Pierce, assistant professor of accounting and faculty advisor to Beta Gamma Sigma, feels confident Fisher is headed down the right path as she continues to gain momentum in her career trajectory.
“After her internship last summer, she came back completely energized and excited about the idea that she might be able to go back to Houston for a full-time job,” Pierce said. “As it turns out, that's exactly where she's going. It's just so clear to me that she has a true love for working in the corporate field and we couldn't be more excited for her.”
Fisher is among the 1,083 individuals expected to graduate from the university this month. She will participate in Commencement exercises for graduates in the colleges of Business & Management and Health & Human Services Friday, May 11 at 7:30 p.m. Students completing degrees in the colleges of Arts & Behavioral Sciences, Education, and Science, Engineering & Technology will take part in the ceremony scheduled for Saturday, May 12 at 11 a.m. Each ceremony will be held in O'Neill Arena of the Ryder Center.
Drive and determination were not limited to Fisher’s work with Dow. She is the outgoing president of SVSU’s chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma, the international honor society recognizing those who have achieved academic excellence in business-related programs, and the outgoing vice president of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Fisher also completed Cardinal Business Edge, a program that aims to strengthen the business and leadership skills of a select group of high-performing incoming freshmen.
Fisher hopes to inspire others to step out of their comfort zones to find success. She recently was invited to co-host the College of Business and Management's Best in Business Awards Night, and thought back to the days when such an opportunity might have passed her by.
“During my freshman year, I admittedly hated public speaking,” Fisher said. “I remember my professor told me that, as an effective communicator, I'd be invited to speak frequently because people know that I have something important to say. Co-hosting the awards ceremony in front of my professors, administrators, mentors, local business leaders, and my peers was such a great example of how much I've grown as a Cardinal and a businesswoman.”
As Fisher embarks upon her professional career, one goal remains at the forefront:
“I like being known as the girl who always has a smile on her face and finds joy in life,” Fisher said. “That's the person I strive to be in and out of work.”
May 2, 2018
The hard-working journalists of Saginaw Valley State University’s student newspaper, The Valley Vanguard, have earned high praise for their writing, photography and design, and have been judged to be among the state’s best college newspapers.
The Michigan Press Association, an organization with a membership of more than 300 media organizations, named The Valley Vanguard a top three finalist for its 2017 College Publication of the Year Award. The paper competes in the Better Newspaper Contest Division II category, which represents higher education institutions publishing on a weekly basis.
Connor Doyle, the publication's editor-in-chief for the past two academic years, said the recognition was a credit to his staff's journalistic acumen. With a passion for telling SVSU's story to the campus community and the ability to work within the fast-paced environment of a newsroom, the Vanguard staff was able to operate at an award-winning level, he said.
“I am very proud of our staff and the amount of work that went into last year's publication,” said Doyle, a Midland native with a double major in finance and economics. “We made a big step this year, and it makes me very excited for next year.”
The Vanguard staff will learn whether the newspaper placed first, second or third during the 2018 Michigan Press Association Annual Convention May 10 in Lansing. Several staff members earned individual awards, as well.
Kyle Will, a graphic design major from Rockwood, received the first-place award for best sports photo. Steven Bryant, a history major from Bay City, was awarded a second-place honor of best writer. Doyle won a second place award for best news story, and Dylan Powell, a communication major from Owendale, received a second-place award for best column/review.
The second-place award for best non-front page design was awarded to Doyle; Josh Sampson, a political science major from Auburn; and Will. Doyle, Sampson, and Will also earned third place for the best front page award. Sampson received honorable mention in the best writer category.
The Valley Vanguard creates a weekly print edition while operating a website and social media accounts that keep students updated on breaking news. Reporters cover campus topics and issues relating to SVSU through news stories, opinion pieces, reviews and – among Doyle's favorite elements of the publication – feature profiles.
“When we do feature stories, you get an opportunity to tell some really cool stories that would normally not reach the student body,” Doyle said. “I have personally enjoyed the connections I have made with students, faculty and administration by telling their stories.”
To read The Valley Vanguard online, visit www.valleyvanguardonline.com.
April 30, 2018
Saginaw Valley State University honored one of Saginaw's most active community leaders, as well as faculty and staff who display extraordinary enthusiasm and dedication, during SVSU's All -University Awards Banquet Friday, April 27.
The Distinguished Service Award, SVSU's most prestigious award for a community member, was given to Dave Abbs.
Abbs served on the SVSU Board of Control from 2005 to 2013, including two years as chair.
After completing his term on the board, he accepted perhaps his most significant SVSU assignment: serving as chair of the presidential search advisory committee during 2013 and 2014. Abbs continues to support SVSU through his volunteer service on the board of directors for the SVSU Foundation, where he currently serves as secretary. He also has served on SVSU's Board of Fellows and the Alumni Association board.
In the community, Abbs has supported numerous philanthropic causes and organizations. He is a past board chair of the Saginaw Community Foundation, and he has served as board president for the Bay City Noon Optimists, the Saginaw Valley Rotary club, the Saginaw Art Museum, and the One Hundred Club of Saginaw County, which provides financial support to the families of first responders killed in the line of duty. In business circles, Abbs has served on the boards of the Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce and the Kochville Township Business Association.
Abbs graduated from SVSU in 1983 with a bachelor's degree in marketing and management. He is the owner of Abbs Retirement Planning Advisors in Saginaw; he is also a certified financial planner.
Several SVSU faculty and staff members also received recognition for outstanding achievement and dedicated service during the 29th annual ceremony.
Andrea Frederick, associate professor of nursing, received the prestigious Franc A. Landee Teaching Excellence Award. She has spent years cultivating a career in nursing, nursing management, health care administration and nursing education. After retiring from MidMichigan Medical Center, Frederick joined the SVSU nursing faculty in 2010. As an instructor, she strives to enhance curiosity, tenacity, compassion and accomplishments that inform lifelong learning. Frederick enjoys the energizing atmosphere of an academic setting because it links experienced professionals with passionate novices that are eager to make an impact.
Kaustav Misra, associate professor of economics, received the Earl Warrick Award for Excellence in Research. His research interests are in the fields of public economics, international economics and family business. Misra has authored more than 20 scholarly articles appearing in peer-reviewed journals such as "Economics of Educational Review," "Journal of Socio-Economics" and "Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice." He also has presented at more than 70 national and international conferences. Among his honors, he received the Best Doctoral Paper in the Entrepreneurship/Information Technology/Innovation track for 2011 for the Southern Management Association.
The House Family Award for Teacher Impact was presented to Warren Fincher, associate professor of sociology. Since joining the faculty in 2012, he has served as the faculty adviser for the Sociology Club; he has organized three student trips to the annual Michigan Sociological Association meeting and he led a month-long study abroad trip to India. A recent alumna headed to graduate school nominated Fincher. She wrote: “Dr. Fincher saw my potential as an excellent student and scholar way before I began to believe in myself. He has supported my insight as well as challenging certain ideals. He was one of the reasons I was excited to continue at SVSU in the sociology program.”
Roberto Garcia received the Mary H. Anderson Adjunct Faculty Award for his part-time teaching role in the English department. He aims to inspire his students to think differently about modern culture. To do that, Garcia’s course, titled "Rethinking the Dominant Culture: Jay-Z and Modern America," teaches students about the history of hip-hop and rap in order to examine the genre's impact on modern society and culture. His nominator wrote: “Roberto is an outstanding adjunct faculty member. He has taken a step to create a general education course that is relevant to urban culture and society that students have really enjoyed.”
The Thomson Award for Empowering Learning in Community Engagement was presented to J. Blake Johnson, professor of art. He dedicates a great deal of his time to SVSU and the surrounding community through Cardinal Solutions, which was started by Johnson and others to support community businesses and organizations while offering students the opportunity to build their résumés and portfolios by completing real projects for clients. A student nominator wrote: “Since arriving at SVSU, Blake has been a mentor to me and has pushed me to produce my best work. By working with local businesses and organizations in a real-world studio environment, I have seen my design, communication and project management skills grow by leaps and bounds.”
Jennifer Bridges, professor of kinesiology, received the Excellence in Online Teaching award. In the field of kinesiology, there is an expectation that each course will offer a high level of interactivity and hands-on learning. To accomplish that through her online courses, Bridges developed Motor Development Day in Kinesiology 372, a hybrid course in which students are presented with the primary theories of motor learning and motor development throughout the lifespan. In the course, infants, children and older adults volunteer to work with the students to assess various aspects of their motor milestones.
The Ruben Daniels Community Service Award was presented to Kevin Schultz, director of alumni relations, who is active on the SVSU campus and in the community. He lends his time to the Saginaw Children's Zoo where he serves on the board of directors; he is a past president of both the Fordney Club of Saginaw County and the Saginaw Sunrise Rotary Club. His community involvement also has included volunteer service for the American Legion, the Knights of Columbus, Leadership Saginaw County and the Saginaw County Republicans, among others.
Two recipients were given the Terry Ishihara Award for Outstanding Co-Curricular Involvement: Ava Lewis, professor of nursing, and Sharmee Gloss, public school academy transitions coordinator.
Lewis aims to serve both students and the larger community. She is a nurse practitioner at the Bay Community Health Clinic in Bay City and at the Saginaw Health Clinic. Lewis shares these experiences with her students through course lectures and student volunteer opportunities. Her care for others extends beyond the region, as Lewis has led study abroad trips to Zambia in 2010, 2013 and 2016 where students worked to provide nursing care and HIV education in schools, villages, clinics and through home health visits.
Gloss dedicates a great deal of her time to the success of students of SVSU; she advises 87 undergraduate students and cultivates their confidence, independence, curiosity and passion through support and engagement. To give students the opportunity to learn about the history of surrounding communities, Gloss organized a two-day program for students in 2017 in which they viewed the film "Detroit," participated in a discussion on the impact of the movie, traveled to the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and spent an afternoon in downtown Detroit.
Monica Reyes received the Roosevelt Ruffin Diversity Award. She dedicates a great deal of time to community causes, developing organizations such as the Great Lakes Bay Hispanic Leadership Institute, for which she currently serves as director. The program, designed to address a lack of Hispanic representation on community boards within the region, aims to identify potential leaders who may not normally be recognized through traditional channels. Reyes also was appointed to the Governor's Hispanic Latino Commission of Michigan in 2016. The commission recently selected Saginaw for the state's annual Hispanic Heritage Celebration.
The Outstanding Performance Award for Administrative Professional staff was given to Cara Shaw, accounting supervisor. She contributes a great deal to the Controller's office through her technical, organizational and communication skills. Shaw's responsibilities encompass a range of tasks, including accumulating and providing the annual grant reporting for the university, a task she completes flawlessly, according to her colleagues. In addition to her many other duties, she devoted countless hours with SVSU's Information Technology Services department during the initial setup of the university's new financial reporting software and installation phase, making her the resident expert for her colleagues.
Donna Helmreich-Lopez, faculty secretary and office coordinator, received the Outstanding Performance Award for Support Staff. She is highly-respected for her dependability, attention to detail and positive attitude in all the roles she fills. Though her duties are time consuming, colleagues note that Helmreich-Lopez consistently offers her assistance to those who need it, completing tasks efficiently and accurately. One nominator wrote: “We are continually amazed at both the quantity and quality of the work she accomplishes. She is a dynamo of energy and gets things done very quickly.”
February 21, 2018
Saginaw Valley State University has welcomed an accomplished business executive to strengthen SVSU’s College of Business & Management.
David Bell has joined SVSU as the associate director for entrepreneurship, experiential learning and continuing education. In this role, he will seek to enhance academic programs, grow new opportunities in entrepreneurship, and enrich the regional business community.
“David will enhance our ability to effectively position our Dow Entrepreneurship Institute as a hub of the entrepreneurial support system in the Great Lakes Bay Region,” said Tony Bowrin, dean of SVSU’s College of Business and Management. “He also will provide business development leadership for our customized training programs with business, industry, government and not-for-profit organizations.
Funded by the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, SVSU’s Dow Entrepreneurship Institute stimulates the creation of new business ventures, serves as a resource for research activities aimed at business innovation, and provides internship opportunities with area businesses for students.
In addition, Bell will aid in the design and implementation of experiential learning opportunities at SVSU, while developing and managing non-credit programs and courses. He also will help create customized training programs for business, industry, government and nonprofit organizations.
Bell previously served as The Dow Chemical Company's associate commercial director from 2003-15, where his responsibilities included leading exploration and analysis efforts to create new business opportunities for the Midland-based company. He joined Dow in 1979 as a chemist.
Bell completed a bachelor’s degree at Pennsylvania State University and an M.B.A. at Michigan State University.
February 14, 2018
Saginaw Valley State University students rose to the challenge and delivered inspiring performances at the Michigan DECA conference in Grand Rapids.
All 6 SVSU students who competed qualified for the national contest in April, despite the fact that SVSU had never before sent students to the competition. DECA is an international association of high school and college students interested in marketing, management and entrepreneurship in business, finance, hospitality, and marketing sales and service.
Those earning an opportunity to compete in Washington, D.C. are:
There are about 15,000 collegiate DECA members representing about 275 colleges and universities nationwide. Other Michigan universities competing this year included Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Kettering, Lawrence Tech, Michigan State and Northwood.
“We have a terrific group of students this year who have really pushed to get our DECA chapter off the ground,” said Amy Hendrickson, SVSU assistant professor of law. “I am particularly impressed with the performance of our freshmen who have proven that you can make an impact in your first year.”
Booms and Humphries are each first-year students at SVSU. Hendrickson and Betsy Pierce, SVSU assistant professor of accounting, serve as team advisers.
SVSU's College of Business and Management is among the 5 percent of business schools worldwide who are accredited by AACSB International; this is widely considered to be the gold standard for business school accreditation.
For more information about the DECA chapter and other student opportunities in SVSU’s College of Business and Management, visit http://www.svsu.edu/collegeofbusinessmanagement/studentopportunities/.
January 17, 2018
Saginaw Valley State University moot court program expects to face its toughest challenge yet during its ninth year competing in the national tournament.
Julie Keil, SVSU’s moot court adviser, said the team will be more ready than ever.
“The preparation is the best we've ever had,” said Keil, SVSU assistant professor of political science. “I have high hopes we will do well this year.”
Three SVSU students qualified for this year's tournament scheduled Friday and Saturday, Jan. 19-20, on the campus of University of North Texas at Dallas College of Law in Dallas. The students and Keil are completing months of intense preparation having arrived in Texas one week early – something they haven’t done before – to begin scrimmaging for the American Moot Court Association nationals.
Acting as teams of two attorneys, students competing in the tournament are tasked with arguing two hypothetical legal cases based on real-life courtroom battles. The competition is judged based on the clarity of the students' argument, their public speaking skills, their ability to answer questions, and how well they know the law and the case.
SVSU has built a nationally recognized program, and is currently ranked No. 24 in the country out of the more than 425 colleges and universities who field teams.
This year, SVSU students Jrew Brickel, a criminal justice major from Midland, and Lindsey Mead, an English literature major from Saginaw, represent one of the 80 teams set to face off at the tournament. Joshua Atkins, an SVSU English literature major from Reese, will team with Gabe Klotz, a Bay City native and Kalamazoo College student.
The entire contingent plans to gather in Texas beginning Sunday, Jan. 14, when Keil will begin organizing scrimmages simulating the two courtroom cases planned for the tournament: one involving Fifth Amendment Constitutional rights and a second concerning the legality of prisoners being exposed to "extreme sensory deprivation" solitary confinement.
The five days of preparation in Texas - away from the everyday distractions back home - is intended to focus the group and elevate the students' performances come tournament time. Any advantage could provide the difference versus a field of competition that's never been stronger, Keil said.
"It was much harder getting to the national this year than any other year."
Since a group of highly motivated students founded SVSU's moot court program with Keil in 2009, at least one team from the university has qualified for the nationals each year because of strong performances in regional competitions. During the 2017-18 season, more teams than ever - over 425 - participated in the American Moot Court Association regional contests, up from about 350 two years ago.
"You're getting some really top-notch schools competing, and only the top 19 percent of the competition qualified this year - but we got in," Keil said. "Fortunately, we have two good teams with some of the best students I've ever had. It shows the academic quality of our students."
It also helped that those students - and the program itself - received support from the community and SVSU alumni, she said.
The Ludington Family Foundation, a Sanford-based nonprofit, provided funding to cover the group’s travel expenses. Students involved in this year's program also received support from 16 alumni of earlier SVSU moot court teams who volunteered to help throughout the year - including when they were asked to serve as judges in the regional tournament hosted by SVSU in December.
“They were there for us at the drop of the hat," Keil said. "All of this shows the value of our program.”
January 8, 2018
Saginaw Valley State University expects to begin construction on a 38,500 square foot building addition for its College of Business and Management later this year, following construction authorization and a commitment of $9.8 million by the State of Michigan that was signed into law Thursday, Dec. 28.
“This is tremendous news for our enterprising business students and faculty, and for the regional business community,” said Donald Bachand, SVSU president. “Innovation drives business profitability, and this new facility will allow us to further innovate our strong business curriculum and promote the collaborative learning and problem-solving that fuels the modern economy.”
SVSU will undertake a $25 million project to build an addition connected to the existing Malcolm Field Theatre for Performing Arts, near Curtiss Hall, where faculty offices for the College of Business of Management are located. The expansion is estimated to cost $18.5 million, and $6.5 million is allocated to cover renovations to Curtiss Hall and other business school needs.
Last July, SVSU had received planning authorization for its capital outlay request for state funding; that was included in the 2018 fiscal year budget for the State of Michigan.
Planned improvements for the new facility include:
SVSU's College of Business and Management is accredited by AACSB International, placing SVSU in the top 5 percent of business schools worldwide. Included among the 28 academic programs are specialized opportunities that draw upon the unique business resources of the Great Lakes Bay Region, such as academic minors in entrepreneurship and family business management. SVSU hosts the Dow Entrepreneurship Institute and the Stevens Center for Family Business.
President Bachand expressed appreciation to the legislators who supported SVSU’s proposal.
“I would like to thank members of our legislative delegation in the Great Lakes Bay Region, especially Senator Ken Horn and Representative Tim Kelly; as well as senators Darwin Booher and Tonya Schuitmaker, and Representative Larry Inman of the joint capital outlay committee; and Governor Rick Snyder for their support,” Bachand said. “This facility will serve as a vital resource to advance economic prosperity in our region and our state.”
A groundbreaking ceremony is anticipated for the spring or summer of 2018.
The SVSU Foundation has begun a fundraising campaign to support the project, and hopes to generate up to $15 million in private donor support.
Scott L. Carmona College of Business
Saginaw Valley State University
7400 Bay Road
University Center, MI 48710
Acting Assistant Dean