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April 18, 2017

SVSU hosting 10th annual ‘Pros vs. Joes’ charity basketball game in honor of fallen student

Faculty and staff from Saginaw Valley State University will hit the hardwood Tuesday, April 18, to help raise money in the name of a student who died tragically 10 years ago.

The 10th annual “Pros vs. Joes” charity basketball game is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Hamilton Gymnasium inside SVSU’s Ryder Center. The game pits SVSU faculty and staff, or the “Joes,” against members of SVSU’s men’s and women’s basketball teams, or the “Pros.”

Money raised for the event supports the Abou Traore (ah-BOO tray-OHR-ay) Memorial Scholarships. Traore was a pre-med student at SVSU who died in a drowning accident in 2007. He had aspirations of returning to his home country of Senegal as a doctor.

The scholarship was endowed at $10,000 after five “Pros vs. Joes” events, and the game has raised another $5,000 since. The event is still going strong, even though some of those in attendance did not get the chance to meet Traore.

“Now we’re at a point where students weren’t impacted by him directly,” said Michele Gunkelman, the director of SVSU’s Residential Life office. “Most of the ‘Joes’ team is just participating because of the cause and to help out because they’re such giving people.”

This year’s “Joes” team might be the biggest yet, as 27 people have signed up for the game.

“Students are like, ‘Oh, my professor is playing in that? So they’re going to stop out to see that,” Gunkelman said.

Money is raised through donations but also from those in attendance paying money to free a player from the “penalty couch.” Players must wait there after committing a foul while cheerleaders raise money from the crowd to get them back in the game.

Two students receive $1,450 scholarships each year. This year, Nana Kofi Yevoah, a business administration and accounting major from Ghana, and Pratima Gurung, a nursing student from Nepal, were chosen from 175 applicants to receive the scholarships.

April 17, 2017

SVSU moot court students' strong performance in national tourney wraps up best year yet

Four Saginaw Valley State University students capped off a year of determined study and preparation with a strong showing at a national moot court tournament at the University of Chicago.

Two SVSU teams of two students each competed in the National Invitational Tournament on April 7 and 8. The tournament, which consisted of 18 teams, is designed for teams that did not qualify for the American Moot Court Association's national tournament, which was held in January.

The team of Danielle Musselman, a communications major from Mancelona, and Jacquob Littlejohn, a political science major from Auburn, delivered effective oral arguments and finished third overall, falling to a team from the host school.

Musselman also received a sixth place orator's award, making her the first student from SVSU's moot court program to win the award at the National Invitational Tournament. The honor marks the first time SVSU won an orator’s award at both the national and national invitational tournaments.

Meanwhile, the team of Alex Partridge, a history major from Vassar, and Hayley Tomich, a pre-law major from Chesterfield Township, advanced to finish in the top eight.

The four students' performances in the tournament were the culmination of the best year of competition that the SVSU moot court program has had. In addition to the orator award success, the program had six of its eight teams compete in the national tournament or national invitational tournament.

“That was by far the best finish we’ve had,” said Julie Keil, an assistant professor of political science and the advisor to SVSU's moot court program.

Each year, the American Moot Court Association organizers create a single fictional U.S. Supreme Court case - often based on actual cases heard in lower courts - that competitors must address when participating in the regional and national tournaments. The students make arguments to a panel of judges by drawing from constitutional law and Supreme Court cases. Judges then decide winners based on public speaking ability, knowledge of cases and of law, and the ability to answer questions.

This year's case study concerned voter rights. The AMCA will announce a new case study on May 1.

Keil said SVSU's moot court program, now in its sixth year of existence, continues to grow. There are now three assistant coaches who work with the students, whereas the program started with just Keil helping the students.

"Having a lot of one-on-one attention really helps," Keil said. "And we're getting some really good students."

April 6, 2017

SVSU business students organize anniversary dinner for Vietnam Vets

Four Saginaw Valley State University students are hosting  a dinner to recognize local Vietnam veterans for their military service. The event will take place Friday, April 7 at the Kochville Township Veterans Hall from 5-7 p.m.

The event will see SVSU students serving meals to 50 Vietnam veterans in order to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. The dinner is free of charge for all veterans in attendance.

In order to recognize and honor all of the military branches, representatives from the SVSU marching band will present a medley of the military branch songs following dinner.

The Veterans Affairs Medical Center will be presenting a signed proclamation commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War as well as pins for all the veterans in attendance.

The students are part of SVSU's Vitito Fellowship, a program for students who are driven to pursue leadership roles in business organizations that operate in an increasingly global setting.

Vitito Fellows Lauren Miller, a marketing major from Byron; Anthony Bodeis, an accounting major from Mayville; Tyler Newell, an international business major from Saginaw; and Bijesh Gyawali, a finance major from Nepal are raising funds for the event.

Sponsors for the dinner include Farm Bureau Insurance - John Aird Agency, Greenstone FCS,
Hammer Restoration, Independent Bank, Team One Credit Union and the Wirt Rivette Group.

March 16, 2017

SVSU students to honor military veterans at Loons opener

Saginaw Valley State University business students are organizing an event in the spirit of service. Home Runs for Heroes will honor local military veterans in partnership with the Great Lakes Loons Thursday, April 6 for the team’s home opener at 6:05 p.m. at‌ Dow Diamond.

The participating students have been selected for SVSU's Vitito Global Business Leadership Institute, a program for students who are driven to pursue leadership roles in business organizations that operate in an increasingly global setting.

The game will be free of charge for the first 100 veterans who register.

Additional tickets have been reserved that can be purchased for spouses or other guests who wish to attend the game with a veteran. The Loons have also generously agreed to let veterans have early access to the game so that they can watch batting practice. If attendees wish to do so, they need to arrive by 3:30 p.m.

“We are looking to have as many SVSU students as possible come out to the game, represent our school, and show their appreciation for our veterans,” said Carter Mazur, a business management major from Saginaw and one of the four SVSU students organizing the event.

Aranya Biswas, an economics major from the Asian country of Bangladesh; Kara Brunk, an accounting major from Southfield; and Mitch Kennedy, an accounting major from Bad Axe, have been working with Mazur to plan and promote the event and raise the funds needed. They have a GoFundMe page set up and are accepting donations through that channel, https://www.gofundme.com/homerunsforheroes. All donations will be used to offset the cost of tickets, food and t-shirts.

Any veterans interested in being a part of this event are asked to register online at https://goo.gl/forms/sXp4riulI20DwFso1.

SVSU has received multiple awards for its commitment to supporting veterans. Military Times recognized SVSU as part of its Best for Vets: Colleges 2017 rankings, as SVSU was rated No. 34 nationally by the independent media organization dedicated to news and information about the military. This was the highest ranking for any Michigan institution.

The Best for Vets rankings evaluate many factors, such as university culture and academic outcomes, in evaluating what makes a school a good fit for service members, military veterans and their families. For more information on the rankings, go to http://www.militarytimes.com/bestforvets-colleges2017.

February 3, 2017

SVSU business students selected for global business leadership

Eleven Saginaw Valley State University students passionate about global business will receive leadership development and travel abroad after being selected for the 5th class of SVSU’s Vitito Global Leadership Institute.

Vitito Fellows are selected on the basis of academic ability, character, leadership experience or potential for leadership, and a community-minded commitment to learning and service.

During the 18-month program, SVSU business students learn the importance of leadership to organizational success in a global context, and develop the knowledge, skills, and perspectives that distinguish great leaders. The class also travels internationally during the final semester of the program; past destinations have included the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Portugal.

Nine students from Michigan and two from abroad have been selected to begin their Vitito Fellowship during 2017 winter semester. They are:
•    Aranya Biswas, an economics major from the nation of Bangladesh
•    Anthony Bodeis, an accounting major from Mayville
•    Kara Brunk, an accounting major from Southfield
•    Bradford Duke, a management major from Coldwater
•    Bijesh Gyawali, a finance major from the nation of  Nepal
•    Mitchell Kennedy, an accounting major from Bad Axe
•    Chase Martin, a finance major from Applegate
•    Carter Mazur, a management major from Saginaw
•    Lauren Miller, a marketing and management dual major from Byron
•    Tyler Newell, an international business and supply chain management double major from Kingsley
•    Charity Warren, a management major from Pinconning

The 11 selected students each wrote an essay explaining their personal and professional goals, as well as their performance and potential as a leader. To be eligible, students in SVSU’s College of Business and Management must have completed at least 45 credits to apply the program. The candidates must commit to three consecutive semesters of course work, co-curricular activities, and global travel experience in order to be admitted.

The program is named in honor of Bob and Bobbi Vitito, who have donated generously to support and empower SVSU students through leadership and service opportunities, and study abroad experiences. Bob served as chair of SVSU’s Board of Control and Foundation Board of Directors; professionally he served as president and CEO of Citizens Banking Corporation (now part of Huntington Bank). Bobbi enjoyed a distinguished teaching career in Saginaw schools. Their exceptional dedication to developing the next generation of leaders culminated in the establishment of the Vitito Global Leadership Institute in 2013; it is supported through a $2 million endowment.

December 22, 2016

SVSU promotes Bowrin to business dean

Saginaw Valley State University has announced that Anthony Bowrin has been chosen to serve as dean of the College of Business and Management. He had been serving as interim dean since June.

Bowrin joined the SVSU accounting faculty in 2009. He served as associate dean of the College of Business and Management from 2013 until his appointment as interim dean. Bowrin also previously chaired the College’s Graduate Committee, which has responsibility for activities related to SVSU’s M.B.A. program.

In 2013, Bowrin co-authored the College’s self-evaluation report for AACSB accreditation, which was ultimately successful. This places SVSU among the top 5 percent of all business schools worldwide.

“We conducted a national search and ultimately decided that Tony was the right person to lead our business programs,” said Deb Huntley, SVSU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “He is highly respected by faculty within his college, and he has been an enthusiastic leader as associate and interim dean. Under Tony’s experienced leadership we will continue to innovate our curriculum and strengthen ties to regional businesses.”

Among other tasks, Bowrin will oversee adapting the M.B.A. curriculum to a fully online program, starting in 2017.

In addition to academic programs, SVSU’s College of Business and Management serves as a valuable resource to the regional business community.  It is home to the Stevens Center for Family Business, which supports family businesses through education, collaboration and networking opportunities, and the Dow Entrepreneurship Institute, which 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 student entrepreneurs.

Prior to SVSU, Bowrin served nine years on the faculty and held leadership positions at the University of the West Indies, where he had completed bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He completed a Ph.D. at Southern Illinois University.

As executive director of the University of the West Indies School of Business and Applied Studies, Bowrin led a team of 25 permanent administrative staff and over 60 part-time faculty members. The school achieved profitability and cash flow stability by initiating strategies that strengthened the institution’s focus on excellence in academic programs and customer service. These initiatives included flexible scheduling of classes, the development of customized assistance activities to facilitate student success, and finding creative ways of resolving students’ challenges, while maintaining the integrity of program requirements and objectives.

A resident of Midland, Bowrin will be responsible for providing strategic and academic leadership for the college, and for maintaining continuous improvement to meet AACSB standards. He officially begins his new duties January 1.

December 2, 2016

Communications executive and alumna to address SVSU December graduates

A respected communications executive will deliver the keynote address to graduates during Commencement exercises at Saginaw Valley State University. Jan Botz, an SVSU alumna who previously served as chief communications officer for Dow Corning and as vice president of Public Affairs and Communications at the University of Notre Dame, will speak Friday, Dec, 16 at 7:30 p.m. and again Saturday, Dec. 17 at 11 a.m. in O'Neill Arena.

Commencement exercises for graduates in the colleges of Business & Management and Health & Human Services will be held Friday evening. Students completing degrees in the colleges of Arts & Behavioral Sciences; Education; and Science, Engineering & Technology will take part in the ceremony scheduled for Saturday morning.

The graduating class consists of 685 students who are expected to complete degrees, including 623 individuals who have indicated that they intend to don regalia and march in the ceremonies. The class includes 554 who will receive bachelor's degrees, and 131 who will receive master's or education specialist degrees.

As is tradition, SVSU President Don Bachand will congratulate each graduate as he or she crosses the stage.

A 1974 graduate of SVSU, Botz majored in sociology and English. She was a reporter and later editor of The Valley Vanguard and served in student government. Botz later earned a Master of Business Administration from Central Michigan University.

Botz is passionate about the value of liberal arts to corporate organizations; and in 2013, she established the Botz Fellowship at SVSU to help liberal arts students gain corporate experiences via internships. She also serves on the university’s Foundation Board of Directors and is a past member of the Alumni Board and the Board of Fellows. Botz received the university’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1998.

Botz began her career at The Saginaw News. After several years as a reporter and an editor, she moved on to the Dow Corning Corporation, where she held positions of increasing responsibility  in various business and communications roles in the U.S. and Europe for some 30 years. Botz retired after seven years as chief communications officer and transitioned to higher education as vice president of Public Affairs and Communications at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. While in South Bend, she served as a member of the board and the executive committee of WNIT, the northern Indiana PBS station.

In 2012, Botz formed her own communications consultancy firm. She currently works as program director of the Conference Board for two executive peer groups and conducts the annual Corporate Communications Conference. Botz was a decade-long member of The Conference Board’s Corporate Communications Strategy Council, serving as chair for several years.  
A member of the Friends Board of Wisconsin Public Television, based in Madison, she also belongs to the Arthur W. Page Society for communications executives. 

November 30, 2016

SVSU College of Business & Management program to host elevator pitch competition

SVSU College of Business & Management program to host elevator pitch competition
Thursday, Dec. 1; 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Curtiss Hall banquet rooms A and B, Saginaw Valley State University

The Saginaw Valley State University College of Business & Management’s Dow Entrepreneurship Institute will host its second annual Elevator Pitch Competition this week.

SVSU and eight other universities from across Michigan are sending a combined 25 teams of students to pitch their new business ideas during a 2-minute presentation to a panel of judges in front of an audience for a chance to win $2,000.

During the contest’s inaugural year, Joshua Zyrowski, an SVSU international business major from Saginaw, earned a $1,000 grand prize after impressing the judges with his inspired idea of a magnetic travel mug that clings to metallic surfaces.

The Dow Entrepreneurship Institute, part of SVSU’s College of Business & Management, is organizing the event, as part of a series of opportunities for students to engage in the business start-up experience.  

The Dow Entrepreneurship Institute at SVSU's College of Business & Management was funded by the Herbert H. & Grace A. Dow Foundation. The institute stimulates creation of new business ventures, serves as a resource for research activities aimed at business innovation, and provides internship opportunities with area businesses for student entrepreneurs.

November 21, 2016

SVSU student’s intellect and work ethic result in outstanding research projects as undergraduate

Jenni Putz plans to go to graduate school. The Saginaw Valley State University student already has the resume of a PhD. student.

The Lapeer native is in her fourth and final year at SVSU. Putz expects to graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in economics and applied mathematics, and a resume filled with research experience rivaling many doctoral students.

Putz has researched the benefits of short-term study abroad programs with Kaustav Misra, SVSU  associate professor of economics. Their research found students’ participation in a short-term study abroad program had a positive correlation with influencing their career aspirations and leadership skills. Putz presented her initial findings at the Academy of Economics and Finance Conference in Pensacola Beach, Florida this past February.

“There weren’t many undergraduate students at the conference, and they were all in one session, while I presented to a group of people who were all professors,” explained Putz. “It was really scary at first, but it was a really interesting experience to present to people who have been doing this for years and whose job is to do research.”

As part of her research, Putz traveled to India over SVSU’s winter break on a 10-day study abroad trip within the College of Business and Management, where she observed various foreign and international businesses such as Amazon and pharmaceutical companies.

“I had the time of my life,” said Putz. “I thought it was a very valuable experience and I’d love to study abroad again. It had a huge impact on my life and I’m really glad my research is connected to that, which makes it mean that much more.”

Putz also presented her study abroad research at an undergraduate conference at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, where her paper took 3rd place among 16 competitors. She has submitted her research for publication.

With ambition to conduct additional research, in May Putz began looking at early college programs, where high school students can enroll in programs to earn college credit. She is now compiling her findings into a presentation that she is set to give in Washington, D.C. at the end of November.

Through her participation in SVSU’s honors program, Putz presented her honors thesis on a third research interest, income inequality, Friday, Nov. 11. She previously presented her findings at an international conference in Portland, Maine where she won an award for her work.

While drawing upon her own self-determination, Putz is quick to credit the support she has received from her faculty mentor and the university she calls home.

“Dr. Misra is great,” Putz said. “If it weren’t for him, none of this wouldn’t have happened, and for that I can’t thank him enough. Dr. Misra, the business faculty and SVSU as a whole care so much about helping students and helping them research. I just don’t think it’s something you’d get anywhere else.”

Putz has received financial support from SVSU’s Undergraduate Research Program. It supplied a travel grant for her trip to Florida, and provided research funds for her dual enrollment study.

“The program is something that is really valuable but something a lot of people don’t know about yet,” she said. “Dr. Misra mentioned it to me. It’s something SVSU offers that provides students with great opportunities for research whether they want to work with a faculty member or just work individually. They give you an opportunity to present your work and I think that’s really awesome.”

With aspirations to pursue a Ph.D. in economics as a graduate student, Putz is serious about her education and her research.

“I’d like to continue my research in income inequality because I’m really interested in it,” Putz said. “Hopefully that can turn into something I can write my dissertation on or work with faculty on something else pertaining to income inequality. I feel like the things I’m doing my research on are valuable to a larger pool of knowledge.”

August 25, 2016

SVSU students earn accolades from Enterprise internship initiative

A pair of Saginaw Valley State University students showed their commitment to excellence when they were recognized for their outstanding performance at a summer-long internship program with Enterprise Holdings, the corporation largely known for vehicle rental services.

Leslie Smith, an SVSU junior from Roseville with a double major in marketing and management, earned a $750 scholarship from Enterprise Thursday, Aug. 18, during the culmination of the internship program involving 46 college students from Michigan and northern Ohio.

“I was beyond happy to get that scholarship,” said Smith, who participated in the 2015 summer internship program, as well. “I worked really hard all summer and it really paid off. This was a great opportunity for me.”

The program is a full-time, paid internship that places participants in Enterprise Holdings locations across the region from May to August, tasking interns with business and marketing-related jobs.

George Copeland, a management major from Southfield, excelled on a team of five students recognized for Best Presentation from Enterprise during the Aug. 18 event at Ann Arbor City Club.

The team was one of 10 groups that presented on various aspects of Enterprise Holdings’ business. The Southfield native’s team presented on the company’s growth and marketing.

Both Smith and Copeland originally connected with Enterprise Holdings when representatives visited SVSU during campus employment fairs.

Thomas Barnikow, assistant director of SVSU Career Services, which organizes the employment fairs, attended the Enterprise Holdings event in Ann Arbor.

“There were students in that internship program from all over the place,” Barnikow said. “It was definitely nice to see that, not only did SVSU have representation, but that our students there did so well.”

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