News items about the Scott L. Carmona College of Business. For a complete list of News, please go to the Newsroom. To submit an item, please contact JJ Boehm, director of media and community relations, at ext. 4055
Next up: accountant, The Rehmann Group
Fun fact: Skidmore has competed nationally in American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) tournaments. AJGA’s alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth and Sergio Garcia.
On Saginaw Valley State University’s golf team, Micah Skidmore’s precision and hard work paid off, earning the Saginaw native numerous accolades including First Team All-GLIAC honors in 2014.
In his SVSU studies, a different kind of precision and hard work helped Skidmore hit the college student equivalent of winning a tournament: A full-time job waiting for him after graduation.
Once Skidmore receives his bachelor’s degree in accounting in May, he will join the financial firm Rehmann as a full-time accountant in the tax division, known as Rehmann Robson. He was connected to his future employer during an SVSU Career Services jobs fair.
“I am excited to have a job that I can start my career with,” he said. “Rehmann is an amazing company, and I was so blessed to have received an offer from them.”
Those who worked with Skidmore academically weren’t surprised by the news.
“In my opinion, (Rehmann) got the better part of the deal,” said Anthony Bowrin, SVSU associate dean of the College of Business and Management. “They couldn’t pay him enough money.”
Skidmore already has experience working among professional accountants. In the summers of 2013 and 2014, he worked as an intern in the tax department of the Starbucks corporate headquarters in Seattle.
Bowrin, who has worked at SVSU for six years, counted Skidmore among his top students ever.
“From day one, he was excellent,” Bowrin recalled of the first of several classes he taught with Skidmore as a student. “He sat in the front row of a class in Science West, totally engaged, asking questions, breaking the ice and being very interactive with the class.”
When other students struggled in class, Bowrin sometimes turned to Skidmore to help them with tutoring.
Skidmore’s generosity extends beyond the classroom. He is a regular volunteer at SVSU golf clinics, working with youths interested in the sport.
“This was a rewarding experience: helping younger kids that sincerely enjoyed and appreciated the experience,” he said.
Those youths learned from an exceptional golfer. Skidmore's accomplishments continued right up until days before his graduation.
In his final game as an SVSU golfer, Skidmore and his teammates in May played in the 2015 NCAA Division II Midwest/Central Super Regionals at the Cog Hill Dubsdread Course, a Chicago site where the PGA sometimes plays. Skidmore’s individual performance tied him for ninth place among the competition, his sixth top 10 performance of the season.
Skidmore said he values the lessons learned at SVSU — both on the golf course and in the classroom. He credits his SVSU experience in part for his success in finding full-time employment so quickly.
He said mentors such as Bowrin and Mark McCartney, professor of accounting, helped in preparing for a career.
“Having put in five full years to attain my professional accountancy degree, I am well prepared to handle the stress of the workplace while thriving under pressure,” Skidmore said. “I think my ability to handle stressful and busy times can be attributed to my time here at SVSU.”
He said his experience on the golf team strengthened his work ethic and also taught him to succeed under pressure.
“None of this could have been possible without SVSU,” Skidmore said of his career opportunities.
[Return to We Are 2015 Page]
Saginaw Valley State University was ranked No. 20 nationally on a list rating the best educational institutions for military-affiliated students seeking an education in business.
Rama Yelkur, dean of SVSU's College of Business and Management, said SVSU takes pride in providing a top-notch education and experience for students affiliated with the military.
“The College of Business and Management at SVSU focuses on both classroom and experiential learning,” Yelkur said. “We also provide flexible day and evening classes that allow veterans to schedule around their full-time jobs and families, as they are often different from the traditional 18- to 22-year-old student.”
The Military Times is an independent media organization dedicated to news and information about the military. In November, the organization ranked SVSU No. 40 in its Best for Vets: Colleges 2015 list.
To determine its business school rankings, Military Times focused on culture and curriculum that cater to military-affiliated students.
The rankings will be published in the issues of Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times - on newsstands now - as well as online at ArmyTimes.com, NavyTimes.com, AirForceTimes.com, MarineCorpsTimes.com and MilitaryTimes.com.
The full rankings are available online here: http://bestforvets.militarytimes.com/business-schools/2015/
SVSU’s College of Business and Management is accredited by the leading accrediting agency for business colleges, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, or AACSB. Less than 5 percent of the 13,000 collegiate business programs worldwide are so accredited.
• Martin Arford, associate professor of geography, was presented the Osprey Award for Outstanding Conservation Volunteers by the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy for the work at the Frankenlust Township Park and the invasive species removal that he coordinated with the help of SVSU student volunteers.
• James Bowers, assistant professor of criminal justice, and Poonam Kumar, director of online/hybrid learning, co-authored an article titled “Students’ Perceptions of Teaching and Social Presence: A Comparative Analysis of Face-to-Face and Online Learning Environments” that was accepted for publication in the International Journal of Web-based Learning and Teaching Technologies, 10(1), 2845.
• Ann CoburnCollins, director of academic programs support, recently attended the Innovations for Adjunct Faculty Support conference in Phoenix, Ariz., where she gave three presentations: “Creating an Inclusive Orientation Process”; “Developing Adjunct Faculty for Improved Student Success”; and “Developing and Resourcing an Adjunct Faculty Support Center.
• Danilo Sirias, professor of management, provided training for 112 math teachers on his Problem Solving Maps methodology in Manila, Philippines. He was sponsored by Theory of Constraints for Education and hosted by the Rotary Club of Makati Central. More than 1,000 Philippine teachers have been trained on this methodology.
• Marilyn Skrocki, associate professor of health sciences, and Poonam Kumar, director of online/hybrid learning, gave an invited session titled “Strategies to Support Student Retention in Online Courses” at the Transforming the Teaching & Learning Environment: the 2014 PASSHE virtual conference, organized by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
• Stephen Taber, professor of biology, had a manuscript titled “The Previously Unknown Female of the Fungus Gnat genus Paratinia Mik (Diptera: Mycetophilidae) with Notes on Nearctic Males” accepted for publication in Southwestern Entomologist magazine.
• Bob Tuttle, professor of mechanical engineering, was selected by the American Foundry Society to receive its 2015 Applied Research Award for his “Ultrasonic Testing Gage R & R Study.” Tuttle’s research involves the ultrasonic testing of steel castings and has helped make advancements in testing standards. The project’s goal was to measure the repeatability and reproducibility of X-ray and ultrasonic testing readings for castings and to compare the results. This information is now being used in participating foundries as a way to work on permitting ultrasonic testing, as opposed to X-ray standards.
• Gardner Umbarger, associate professor of teacher education, presented at the 16th International Conference for the Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities-CEC in Clearwater Beach, Fla., in January. The topic of his presentation was “The Ethics of School Immunization Exemption Laws.”
• Scott Youngstedt, professor of anthropology, presented a paper titled “Water Vendors, Gender, and Islam in Niamey, Niger” at the 113th annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association
• James Bowers, assistant professor of criminal justice; Kim Lacey, assistant professor of English; and Poonam Kumar, director of online/hybrid learning, presented “Teaching Presence on the Rise: Engaging Undergraduate Students in Online Course” Nov. 15, 2014, at the Bucknell Digital Scholarship Conference.
• Brandon Haskett, assistant professor of music, recently published two articles: “A Case Study of Early Professional Development Opportunities for Steel Band Directors in the United States: The Haystack Steelpan Program,” in Visions of Research in Music Education (December 2014); and “A Survey Study of U.S. Collegiate and K12 Steel Band Directors’ Attitudes Relating to Steel Band Curriculum and Pedagogy” in Update: Applications of Research in Music Education (November 2014). Also, Haskett presented “The Development of K- 12 and Collegiate Steel Bands in the U.S.” at the Percussive Arts Society International Conference in November 2014.
• Robert Tuttle, professor of mechanical engineering, and Yousef Jabbari, associate professor of mechanical engineering, have received a $21,359 grant from the American Foundry Society for their Thermal Property Trends in Green Sand. This project focuses on determining how the thermophysical properties of foundry molding sands vary with temperature and sand composition. Results from this project will improve the performance of the solidification simulation software by creating new thermophysical property data sets and developing a better understanding of the effect of molding sands on removing heat from a casting.
• Sara Beth Keough, associate professor of geography, and Scott Youngstedt, professor of anthropology, have co-authored an article that was published in Vol. 57, no. 4 (2014) of the peer-reviewed journal, FOCUS on Geography. The article is titled “The Material Culture of Water: Transportation, Storage, and Consumption in Niamey, Niger.” Funding for fieldwork in Niger was provided by the American Geographical Society’s McColl Fellowship and an SVSU Faculty Research Grant.
• Jeffrey Koperski, professor of philosophy, has published his first book with Wiley-Blackwell: The Physics of Theism: God, Physics, and the Philosophy of Science.
• Helen Raica Klotz, Christina Montgomery, and Christopher Giroux, with Crystal Brinson, Zach Gibson, Taeler Singleton, Kramer Stoneman and Ka Vang, published “‘Developing Writers:’ The Multiple Identities of an Embedded Tutor in the Developmental Writing Classroom” in Praxis: A Writing Center Journal (12:1), December 2014.
• Anne Tapp, professor of education, and Joe Jaksa, associate professor of criminal justice, presented “The Role of Technology in Virtual Mentorships and Internships” at the 13th Annual International Conference on Education, Jan. 8 in Honolulu.
Saginaw Valley state University recognized six of its graduates and one future graduate at its annual Alumni Celebration Friday, Feb. 20. Five alumni were honored with the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest award presented by the SVSU Alumni Association. In addition, the Young Alumni and Future Alumni award recipients were bestowed.
The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to an SVSU graduate in recognition of distinguished service and accomplishment in any field of human endeavor that enhances the prestige of the university.
In the College of Arts & Behavioral Sciences, Patrick McInnis received the 2015 Distinguished Alumnus honor. He currently serves as CEO of Fathead, an industry leader of officially licensed sports and entertainment graphics with headquarters in Detroit. Previously, McInnis served as president of Quicken Loans from 2002 to 2009. He completed a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 1988.
In the College of Business & Management, the 2015 Distinguished Alumnus award was given to Dave Abbs. A certified financial planner and owner of Abbs Retirement Planning Advisors in Saginaw, he also is actively involved in the Great Lakes Bay Region, having served as chair of SVSU’s Board of Control and the Saginaw Community Foundation Board. Abbs completed a bachelor’s degree in business with an emphasis in marketing and management in 1983.
In the College of Education, Karen Abbott received the 2015 Distinguished Alumna honor. During her 35-year career in education, she has served as a teacher, administrator and principal; she presently is the elementary principal at Rutherford Winans Academy, a charter school in Detroit. Abbott completed a bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1979.
In the Crystal M. Lange College of Health & Human Services, the Distinguished Alumna award was given to Carmella Jones. A registered nurse and an ordained American Baptist clergywoman, she serves as the director of the Faith Community Nurse Program at Holy Cross Health in Silver Spring, Md. Jones completed a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1981.
In the College of Science, Engineering & Technology, Rick Nash received the Distinguished Alumnus honor. Since 2007, he has served as a global product line executive director and chief engineer for Saginaw-based Nexteer Automotive's steering columns and intermediate shafts business. Nash began his career as a project engineer for General Motors after completing a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1988.
The Young Alumni Award recognizes an individual who has graduated within five years, contributed to student and campus life, has a strong affinity for and connection to SVSU, has been recognized for a strong work ethic, and has shown evidence of professional achievement and civic service. The 2015 recipient is Sarah Lockwood, who graduated from SVSU in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. A native of Waldron, she has since completed a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry at Michigan State University – where she received the Outstanding Teaching Award – and currently serves as chief technical officer at LifeBlood, a start-up company in East Lansing.
The Future Alumni Award is presented to an SVSU student of junior or senior class standing who meets the same criteria as the Young Alumni award. The 2015 recipient is Valerie Adams, an exercise science major from Washington Township who is expected to graduate with honors in May. She has been accepted into Duke University's Doctor of Physical Therapy program, where she will continue her education in the fall. While at SVSU, Adams has presented at the 2014 National American College of Sports Medicine conference, received a grant to redefine proper nutritional practices for NCAA collegiate athletes, and she is an active member of several student organizations.
The NFL’s Super Bowl will be played Sunday, Feb. 1 and while stakes are high on the field, advertisers are competing just as fiercely during the television broadcast. Last year’s game, Super Bowl XLVIII, set a new record for the most watched television program in American history, attracting 111.5 million viewers. The price for a 30-second commercial during the game also is at an all-time high: $4.5 million.
Rama Yelkur, dean of the College of Business and Management at Saginaw Valley State University, is one of the nation’s leading experts on whether viewers find ads to be likable. She has studied Super Bowl ads for 20 years and has identified certain factors that can predict whether an ad will appeal to viewers.
Yelkur’s most recent finding is that ads with a positive emotional appeal are better liked by audiences.
“In recent years, there have been more ads that tug on people’s emotional heartstrings,” she said. “Showing affection or enjoyment appeals to the mood of the consumer watching the Super Bowl, someone who often is in a party setting, having a good time.”
Yelkur, Ph.D., and SVSU student researchers looked at all 109 Super Bowl ads for the past two years and found ads’ positive emotional messages correlated very highly with how well the commercials were liked. She and SVSU student Courtney Seamon, a marketing major from New Lothrop, will present their findings at the Marketing Management Association Conference in Chicago, March 25-27.
Along with her late research colleague Chuck Tomkovick, Yelkur’s previous studies have found other factors that tend to make ads more likable: the use of humor, including animals or children in the commercials, and the appearance of celebrities. Their work has been published in leading scholarly journals and has been cited widely in popular media, including Advertising Age, CNN Money, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal.
One interesting trend that has emerged among the companies choosing to purchase Super Bowl commercials for this year’s game on NBC is that there will be fewer car commercials. Last year, 11 auto companies advertised during the big game, accounting for nearly one-quarter of air time, but only six are confirmed for this year (BMW, Kia, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Toyota).
The broadcast will feature a few Super Bowl ad debuts as Carnival cruise lines, super glue maker Loctite, cell phone accessory company Mophie, and the web site service Wix have all purchased air time for the first time.
The dieting company Weight Watchers also announced recently they will be advertising.
“There is a great deal of speculation already about how their aid will be received in a party atmosphere where there tends to be a lot of eating,” Yelkur said.
Several recognized names will be returning as advertisers.
“The usual suspects are in,” Yelkur said. “M&M/Mars, Pepsi, Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola and GoDaddy are all back. SquareSpace is back, too, after appearing in last year’s game for the first time.”
Yelkur joined SVSU in July 2013 and will continue her Super Bowl ad research, including SVSU students in the process. A focus group will watch the game on campus and evaluate this year’s commercials.
• Marlena Bravender, assistant professor of education technology, presented a workshop on using simulations in education leadership preparation, as well as a paper titled “Technology Innovation in Leadership Preparation” at the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration annual conference, Aug. 5-6 in Camarillo, Calif.
• Michael Busch, ESL specialist, had his article titled “Do adult ESL learners and teacher goals for improving grammar-in-writing correspond?” published in Language Awareness, Vol. 23, Issue 3, Pages 234-254.
• Professor of Modern Foreign Language Anna Dadlez’s three-part series, titled “Women and War,” has been accepted for publication by the Profiles in Diversity Journal. The series describes three women of different countries involved in different ways in World War II. The first part will appear in the journal this year. Two other parts will appear in 2015.
• Monika Dix, assistant professor of Japanese, published an article titled “A Mother’s Voice: The Potency of a Woman in the Jojin Ajari no haha no shu” in the Journal of Japanese Language and Literature, Vol. 48, No. 1, 2014.
• Julie Foss, assistant professor of modern foreign languages, presented the workshop “Speaking Activities for Oral Proficiency Development” at MSU’s Center for Language Education and Research, July 21-23.
• Jason Pagano, assistant professor of chemistry, presented a poster titled “Tubular precipitation patterns from reactant-loaded pellets” at international conferences: Gordon Research Seminars and Gordon Research Conferences in Oscillations and Dynamic Instabilities in Chemical Systems, Melia Golf Vichy Catalan Business and Convention Center, Girona, Spain, July 12 and July 16-17, respectively. SVSU students Patrick Fryfogle and Eric Nelson were Pagano’s co-authors.
• Hong Y. Park, professor of economics, presented three papers based on his research supported by a Braun Fellowship. First, Park co-authored “Knowledge creation structure and new competence creation” with Heyjung Chang and Yong-Seoung Park (both at Kyung Hee University); the paper was presented at the 9th International Forum on Knowledge Asset Dynamics, June 11-13 in Matera, Italy. The paper was included in the conference proceedings.
Also, Park and Il-Hyung Cho, associate professor of computer science & information systems, co-authored “Information technology and user knowledge-driven innovation” with Sook Jung and Dorrie Main (both at Washington State University); the paper was presented at the 2014 Knowledge, Culture and Change in Organization Conference, Aug. 3-4 at the University of Oxford, Oxford, U.K. In addition, Park presented “Knowledge, entrepreneurship and creation of new competence: Foundations of the creative economy,” presented at the 2014 Korea Development Institute Economic Policy Conference, Aug. 8 in Sejong City, Korea. The paper was included in the conference proceedings. The KDI is the top government sponsored policy research institute in Korea.
• Khandaker A. Rahman, assistant professor of computer science & information systems, presented at three conferences. First, in August Rahman presented “Exploring Movement Pattern Based Authentication for Mobile Platform” at the 23rd USENIX Security Symposium, San Diego, Calif. Also, in May he presented “Proposing a Novel Defense Mechanism to Spoof Attacks Targeting Keystroke Dynamics based Cyber-behavioral Biometric Systems” at the 13th Annual Security Conference, Las Vegas. In February, Rahman presented “A Study on Defending Synthetic Spoof Attacks Against Keystroke Dynamics Based Continuous Verification Systems” at the Annual Conference of Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters.
• Scott M. Youngstedt, professor of anthropology, co-edited a book, Saharan Crossroads: Exploring Historical, Cultural, and Artistic Linkages between North and West Africa (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014). This trilingual book (English, French, and Arabic) includes 19 chapters written by authors based in Algeria, Cameroon, France, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa and the U.S.
• Matthew Zivich, professor of art, has a work accepted for showing at the Bottom Feeders and The Distant Self: Alternative Approaches to Self-Portraiture show at Slusser Gallery in the University of Michigan Stamps School of Art & Design, Ann Arbor. Zivich’s photographic work, 30 Croatian Cravats, was accepted by the curator of the show, Trevor King. The show was open to all media and runs through Oct. 8.
• Gladys Zubulake, professor of modern foreign languages, presented a paper titled “Coffee as the universal language to teach culture” at the ASTSP International Conference, Panama City, Panama, July 8-12.
• James Bowers, assistant professor of criminal justice, presented two papers at the annual Midwest Criminal Justice Association meeting, Sept. 25-27 in Chicago. The first paper, which was presented by Bowers and coauthored with SVSU students Sarah Perry, Jon Sand and Michela Andrus, was titled “Michigan Diversion Program Evaluation.” The second paper, which Bowers presented, was titled “Techniques of Neutralization Used by Michigan Sex Offenders.”
• Marlena Bravender, assistant professor of education technology, co-authored an article titled “The Construction of Simulations as an Instructional Activity for Graduate Students in an Education Leadership Program,” published in Leadership and Research in Education: The Journal of the OCPEA, Fall 2014.
• Ann Coburn-Collins, director of the Center for Academic Achievement, led a workshop on “Successful Aging with High Self- Efficacy,” Sept. 25 at Creative 360 in Midland.
Also, Coburn-Collins and adjunct instructors Lester Altevogt, Anne Acker and Lisa Tsay presented “An Adjunct Faculty Learning Community to Increase Intentional Learning,” Oct. 16 at the Lilly Conference in Traverse City.
• Fenobia I. Dallas, associate professor of rhetoric & professional writing, had a book review on The Meaning of Freedom: And Other Difficult Dialogs, by Angela Y. Davis, published in the Journal of African American History, vol. 99, issue 3 (summer 2014), pp. 343-45.
Dallas also presented a paper titled “What is a Citizen Without Civil Rights?: Ignoring the Voices in the ‘Redlined’ Areas” at the Association for the Study of African American Life and History conference, Sept. 26 in Memphis, Tenn.
• Julie Foss, assistant professor of modern foreign languages, presented two sessions, “What Can You Do with the Can-Do Statements?” with Emily Spinelli of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, and “Engage with Your State, Regional and National Professional Organizations” with Viviana Muriel de Bonafede of Detroit Public Schools, at the 50th annual Michigan World Language Association Conference, Oct. 23-24 in Lansing. Foss will serve as MIWLA president in 2015.
• Tim Kenyon, lecturer of English, presented a lecture titled “Words & Pictures: In Defense of Comics” at the Toledo Public Library, Sanger Branch in Toledo, Ohio, Sept. 27. His talk and presentation was part of the library system’s annual celebration of Banned Books Week.
• Edward C. Meisel III, lecturer of chemistry, announced that SVSU’s greenhouse is now certified by the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program. MAEAP was developed by a coalition of agriculture farmers, commodity groups, state and federal agencies and conservation and environmental groups.
As a student at Buena Vista High School, Rollin Johnson, 2009, M.B.A., set his sights on the world outside mid-Michigan. His travels and experiences after graduation took him halfway around the world, then back to his hometown, and most recently on to Baltimore Md., where he serves as director of the Center for Social Concern at Johns Hopkins University.
After graduating from college, Rollin joined the U.S. Peace Corps in 2003, serving first in Nepal, then in Burkina Faso through 2005. Those eye opening and mind-broadening experiences helped Rollin realize that he wanted to continue working for a greater good and that furthering his education would help him do so more effectively.
“The Peace Corps helped me think about how to use my business acumen in a way I hadn’t considered, how to use it around public service.”
When he returned to the United States from Africa, Rollin joined the staff of a small college in Iowa, where he promoted volunteerism and the Peace Corps.
“My experiences internationally with the Peace Corps created a really strong sense of connection with people and with organizations. That helped shape who I am.”
Rollin is a man committed to bringing public service to the forefront, and effecting meaningful change in a city [Baltimore] facing many social challenges. SVSU’s M.B.A. program, he said, helped prepare him for this work.
Going global . . . close to home
Rollin said when he decided to pursue his Master of Business Administration, SVSU was on his list of possible universities.
“Being from the area, I knew about SVSU,” Rollin said. “When I looked into the M.B.A. program, I was attracted to the curriculum; the global emphasis of the program was very interesting to me.
“I also liked the size of the program,” Rollin added. “I knew I’d have access to my professors.”
For Rollin, SVSU offered global reach in a close-knit community. “SVSU has a really friendly atmosphere,” Rollin said. “And the M.B.A.’s international emphasis was really exciting. Connections with people from around the globe opened up this cool space for me to learn from my colleagues. I liked being able to sit with someone from halfway across the world and work together to build rapport and friendships. I’m still in touch with some of those people.”
While working on his M.B.A., Rollin served as a graduate research assistant for the Entrepreneurship Institute at SVSU.
“I worked with Harry Leaver [executive director] and the team at the Center for Business and Economic Development, and with Ken Kousky [at the time, SVSU’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence],” Rollin said. “That helped me sharpen some of the ‘soft’ skills, learning how to work with people around mutual gain and goal. And the opportunity to address some real world problems provided great experience.”
That experience, and other strategies and skills Rollin learned and honed at SVSU, has helped him meet the challenges of his job.
“My work at the Center for Social Concern [Johns Hopkins University] provides new challenges,” Rollin said. “We have change agents out in the city and the community, working to pull together the optimal courses of action for a lot of different interests. Identifying the right route to prime results is challenging. SVSU prepared me by sharpening my technical skills and developing my ability to think critically.
“At SVSU, I learned the importance of plugging in and connecting,” Rollin said. “If I have any advice, it’s ‘get involved.’”
There are many reasons why someone who has never been to SVSU would find it appealing.
For Anthony Bowrin, associate dean of the College of Business & Management, it all started with a coat.
Some 2,700 miles from his native Trinidad and Tobago, Bowrin came to campus for an interview in early March 2009 and stepped of the plane without a winter jacket. Meeting him at the airport was his future colleague, Professor of Accounting Mark McCartney, who immediately took of his own jacket and offered it to Bowrin — and, luckily, it was the right fit. That type of hospitality, Bowrin says, is exactly the type of interaction he was looking for when he decided to relocate from the University of the West Indies in search of an institution that also was “just the right fit.”
Bowrin was hired as an associate professor of accounting and wasted no time introducing his students to a teaching philosophy he admits is predicated on tough love.
“My belief is that every student who is willing to work hard can succeed,” he said. “I ask them what are their strengths and weaknesses, and their likes and dislikes. If they answer honestly, they can craft a plan that will almost guarantee their success.“
Last year, Bowrin took that same philosophy to a new administrative position when he was named associate dean.
“Honestly, an administrative role wasn’t a goal when I came to SVSU,” he said. “But I can still help students as associate dean — I can still mentor them, and I can still help them navigate a plan that will help them be successful.”
Bowrin has also taken his desire to help others to a new field of sorts — the soccer field. For the last three years he has served as a youth soccer coach for recreational soccer teams at the Midland Soccer Club, where he says working with the children is “the highlight of my week.”
Still, he says, there is no greater joy than watching one of his own students find success after graduation.
“I especially enjoy getting a phone call from a student or employer commenting on the quality of what we do in the college or the quality of a student,” Bowrin said. “Thankfully I’ve received quite a few of those calls.”