January 27, 2016

SVSU and Dow showcase new mobile lab designed to boost STEM education

Saginaw Valley State University and The Dow Chemical Company leaders unveiled a new mobile research laboratory during a ceremony at SVSU Wednesday‌, Jan. 27.

The mobile lab is a large recreational vehicle outfitted with scientific equipment to travel to K-12 schools in Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay Region and beyond to introduce students to hands-on learning opportunities, and ultimately increase interest in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, math). It also will travel to various locations as part of research activities for SVSU students and faculty and K-12 students and teachers involved in the Dow Science and Sustainability Education Center at SVSU.

SVSU purchased the lab as part of the Dow Science and Sustainability Education Center, which was established thanks to a gift from The Dow Chemical Company Foundation.

“We are very grateful to Dow for their generous support, and we share their goal of increasing opportunities for students to pursue careers in STEM,” said Deborah Huntley, SVSU provost and a former research chemist. “This sort of community engagement empowers our students and faculty to pursue ambitious research and learning endeavors, while collaborating with our corporate and educational partners to inspire the next generation.”

The mobile lab is equipped with scientific instruments selected to allow K-12 students to analyze soil and water samples collected in the Saginaw Bay Watershed. It also will provide for the study of alternative energy.

“The mobile lab is an innovative approach to bring science directly to the students and get them excited about learning,” said Rich Wells, Dow vice president and site leader Michigan Operations. “Dow understands how crucial it is to improve access to science, technology, engineering and math education for all students, and to help them see the opportunities that STEM skills can provide.”

Students in teacher Craig Coopersmith’s science class at White Pine Middle School in Saginaw Township were invited to the ceremony and the first to tour the mobile lab and use the instruments.

SVSU expects to begin making school visits with the mobile lab later this year. Those interested in arranging a visit should contact David Karpovich, H.H. Dow Endowed Chair in Chemistry and director of the Dow Science and Sustainability Education Center at 989-964-4349 or dsk@svsu.edu‌.

SVSU faculty and staff designed the lab in cooperation with Farber Specialty Vehicles in Columbus, Ohio, who built the vehicle.
The Dow Science and Sustainability Education Center at SVSU was established to enhance STEM education in the Great Lakes Bay Region at all levels. It features a unique summer internship research program that promotes collaboration between high school students, teachers, SVSU students and SVSU faculty mentors. The Center also aims to engage the broader community with its mobile science lab, through which citizens will have opportunities to participate in scientific studies of the Saginaw Bay Watershed as well as green chemistry, biodiversity, and alternate energy. 

January 26, 2016

SVSU students fare well in national moot court tournament

Four Saginaw Valley State University students competed in the American Collegiate Moot Court Association national tournament hosted by California State University, Long Beach on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 15-16.
                                    
Two teams of two SVSU students competed in the tournament. The team of Mark Babcock and Billie Deshone won three rounds to advance to the second day of the tournament. They were eliminated by a team from the U.S. Air Force, ranked No. 9 nationally going into the tournament.

Babcock is a Saginaw resident who graduated in May 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and is enrolled in additional courses. DeShone is a history major from Saginaw.

The other team featured students Rachel Cahill, a political science major from Niagara Falls, Ontario; and Rob Mass, an economics major from Howell. The pair defeated the team ranked No. 1 going into the tournament from the University of North Texas before being eliminated during the tournament’s first day. This marked the second consecutive year Cahill has competed in the national tournament.

The four qualified for nationals by virtue of their strong performances at the American Collegiate Moot Court Association’s Great Lakes Regional moot court tournament at SVSU Nov. 13-14.

In a moot court competition, students act as attorneys in teams of two. They 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.

SVSU’s undergraduate program ranks No. 20 overall in the national rankings and earned a No. 17 finish for the 2014-15 academic year. Formed in 2010, the relatively young program has quickly climbed ahead of highly regarded schools such as Duke University and the University of Chicago.

January 26, 2016

SVSU, Dow to dedicate mobile science lab

Saginaw Valley State University and The Dow Chemical Company will officially dedicate and publicly unveil a mobile science laboratory during a brief ceremony Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 10:30 a.m. in SVSU’s Ryder Center.

A large RV has been outfitted with scientific instruments to conduct water quality testing and other research. Operated through the Dow Science and Sustainability Education Center at SVSU, the lab will travel to K-12 schools in the Great Lakes Bay Region and beyond to stimulate interest in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, math).

A visiting class of science students from White Pine Middle School in Saginaw Township will attend the event and have the opportunity to be the first K-12 students to utilize the mobile lab.

January 19, 2016

SVSU student team wins national sportsmanship award

Saginaw Valley State University was represented by 14 members of its Sigma Pi fraternity chapter in the NIRSA: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation National Flag Football Championships in Pensacola, Florida January 2 - 4. The team, Theta-Beta, was selected to receive the Sportsmanship Award for the men's collegiate league.  

Brandon Baber, a secondary education major from Mayville, was one of the participating players. He said playing in the tournament was a great opportunity to represent SVSU.

“We got to meet guys from all over and talk to them about their schools and tell them about ours,” he said.

While the SVSU team lost both games it played, the team showed excellent sportsmanship throughout. Baber said the award was a great honor, and a good representation of what SVSU “is all about.”

“We're very proud to have received the award,” he said. “I remember our second game against Valdosta State, when the whole time we were just talking and joking with them. It was fun to show what SVSU is all about and to spread the fun of sports.”

Baber was joined by 13 teammates, all from Michigan. They were:

•    Tyler Anglebrandt, and exercise science major from Lexington
•    Thomas Barz, a communications major rom East China Township
•    Devin Brown, a nursing major from Warren
•    Jacob Camilleri, a physical education major from Flat Rock
•    Zachary Chehowski, an athletic training major from Coldwater
•    Justin Cusumano, an engineering major from Richmond
•    William Eisiminger, a marketing major from Canton
•    Jacob Goley, a nursing major from Troy
•    Sullivan Goodman, a mechanical engineering major from Wyoming
•    Marshall Mitchell, an engineering major from Clinton Township
•    Daniel Pagel, a special education major from Chesterfield
•    Clinton Shope, a music major from Owendale
•    Aaron Watts, a health science major from Linwood 

January 19, 2016

National spotlight shines on SVSU alum Janis

Former Saginaw Valley State University wide receiver Jeff Janis, 2013, B.S., was the center of attention during the Green Bay Packers' Saturday, Jan. 16 Divisional playoff matchup against the Arizona Cardinals.

After coming into the game with just four career catches, an injury to the Packers' Randall Cobb provided Janis an opportunity to step up. The former SVSU star answered the call, catching seven passes for 145 yards with two touchdowns.

The key moment for Janis came when he pulled in the second of his two scores. Down by a touchdown, the Packers were forced into throwing a Hail Mary into the end zone. With time expiring, quarterback Aaron Rodgers chucked the ball as far as he could, and Janis, leaping and fending off two Arizona defenders, came down with the catch to send the game into overtime.

Green Bay would go on to lose the game, but Janis made a name of himself by stepping up when his team needed him the most.

Following the game, Janis was a social media sensation, with recognition from multiple online sources including:

  • NFL.com - Jeff Janis' miracle moment won't soon be forgotten
  • ESPN.com - Packers receiver Jeff Janis: 'It tells me that I can play'
  • FoxSports.com - Who is Jeff Janis? Here's everything you need to know
  • ESPN.com - Should the Packers have been playing WR Jeff Janis all along?
  • Valley Vangaurd - Former SVSU star Jeff Janis plays big role in Green Bay Packers playoff game
  • SVSUCardinals.com - Green Bay Packers Hail Mary makes Tawas native Jeff Janis instant star
  • SVSU Facebook

Photo credit (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

January 15, 2016

SVSU students compete in national moot court tourney in California

Four Saginaw Valley State University students from SVSU’s nationally-ranked moot court program are competing in the American Collegiate Moot Court Association national tournament hosted by California State University-Long Beach Friday and Saturday, Jan. 15-16.

Competing in the national tournament are Mark Babcock, a Saginaw resident who graduated in May 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and is enrolled in additional courses; Rachel Cahill, a political science major from Niagara Falls, Ontario; Billie DeShone, a history major from Saginaw; and Rob Mass, an economics major from Howell.

The four qualified for nationals by virtue of their strong performances at the American Collegiate Moot Court Association’s Great Lakes Regional moot court tournament hosted by SVSU Nov. 13-14.

Two SVSU students also are attending the tournament in California as alternates. They are political science majors Tor Dahl of Saginaw and Connor Hughes of Howell.

In a moot court competition, students act as attorneys in teams of two. They 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.

Cahill’s accomplishment marks the second consecutive year she has competed for the national tournament. She was part of a team that finished 59th overall in the January 2015 competition in Miami.

SVSU’s undergraduate program ranks No. 20 overall in the national rankings and earned a No. 17 finish for the 2014-15 academic year. Formed in 2010, the relatively young program has quickly climbed ahead of highly regarded schools such as Duke University and the University of Chicago.

For more information on SVSU’s moot court program, visit https://www.svsu.edu/prelaw/studentopportunities/mootcourt/

For more information on the American Collegiate Moot Court Association, visit http://www.acmamootcourt.org/

Saginaw Valley State University is a comprehensive university with more than 90 programs of study for its nearly10,000 students. Located on a suburban campus in Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay Region, SVSU is committed to quality teaching in the classroom, field-based learning outside, NCAA Division II athletics and a broad range of academic and extracurricular opportunities for students to excel.

In 2015, SVSU received the Community Engagement classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, a distinction achieved by only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities. By their senior year, 84 percent of students have engaged with community employers and agencies in internships, field placements or some other component of their academic preparation. National research has shown that students who are engaged in the community and on campus are more likely to be successful academically, and to have the critical thinking, problem-solving skills, self-efficacy, and adaptability desired by employers.

January 8, 2016

Dow Corning executive to keynote regional Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at SVSU

‌The senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary for Dow Corning, N. Cornell Boggs III, will serve as the keynote speaker for the seventh annual Great Lakes Bay Regional Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Wednesday, Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. in the Malcolm Field Theatre for Performing Arts at Saginaw Valley State University.

Cornell BoggsBoggs, who joined Dow Corning in 2012, leads the company's global legal, corporate security, and government relations functions. He had extensive experience prior to joining Dow Corning, having served as chief responsibility and ethics officer for MillerCoors, as well as serving in leadership roles in the corporate legal departments of several other companies, including Tyco International, Monsanto, Anheuser-Busch, and Intel.

Boggs began his career as a judicial clerk for the Court of Appeals of Indiana, followed by an appointment as a trial attorney at the United States Department of Justice. He completed a bachelor's degree and a law degree at Valparaiso University, where he currently serves on the board of directors.

Boggs has been actively engaged in advancing diversity in both the businesses he has worked as well as within the legal profession throughout his career. He is a strong proponent and active participant in a variety of mentoring organizations, including the Chart Your Own Course Foundation, through which he mentors young minority attorneys. He also served for seven years on the board of directors for the Minority Corporate Counsel Association. At Dow Corning, Boggs supports the company's efforts to foster diversity through employee resource networks, diversity training, and educational outreach.

In addition to Boggs' keynote address, the program will include the presentation of regional scholarship awards by the Bay Area, Midland Area and Saginaw community foundations to high school seniors who have embodied Martin Luther King's ideals.

Officials also will announce the winners of the Drum Major Award at the event, which recognizes people whose community involvement in the Great Lakes Bay Region serves to advance King's vision.

The event is open to the public; admission is free of charge. For more information, contact SVSU's Office of Diversity Programs at (989) 964-4068, or go to svsu.edu/mlk.

January 4, 2016

SVSU to host 600 high school students in the health sciences

SVSU to host 600 high school students in the health sciences
Wednesday, Jan. 6, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Health and Human Services Building and Gilbertson Hall, SVSU

Saginaw Valley State University will host 600 high school health science students for a HOSA competition Wednesday, Jan. 6. Students will be judged on their knowledge in a variety of categories, such as dental science, clinical nursing, physical therapy and veterinary science.

The competition will take place from 9:30 a.m. to approximately 1 p.m. in various classrooms in SVSU’s Gilbertson Hall and Health & Human Services Building. An awards ceremony will be held around 2 p.m. in Cardinal Gym, located in the Ryder Center.

SVSU is hosting the HOSA District seven leadership conference which includes high schools from 25 counties across northeast lower Michigan. A complete list of participating counties can be found here: www.michiganhosa.org/content/new-hosa-regions-county.  For more information on Michigan HOSA, visit www.michiganhosa.org.

December 22, 2015

SVSU faculty, students contribute to new environment coming to Mid-Michigan Children's Museum

Children who visit the Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum in Saginaw in the new year will benefit from a new Play and Learn environment, thanks to the contributions of occupational therapy students and faculty at Saginaw Valley State University.

The museum worked with SVSU’s occupational therapy department in a community engagement learning exercise to identify areas for improvement, particularly so children with disabilities can play more independently in the Museum.

Julie Jacob, SVSU field work coordinator, said occupational therapy students gained valuable first-hand experience through their involvement in the project.

“Some of the students have never worked with children before, so for some of them it might be their first exposure,” she said. “The biggest thing is getting the students exposed to this environment, and looking at it through a different lens of how to get children engaged in play, and how to facilitate that.”

The museum received a $13,000 grant from The Bay Area Community Foundation, Nathalie Awrey Memorial Fund, for an adaptive play project, addressing the various ways Jacob and the SVSU students suggested the museum could be improved. Funds will be used to further develop the museum’s galleries and facility so children with disabilities can play more independently in the museum, beginning in January 2016.

“The SVSU student interns are a joy to work with and bring a unique insight to the gallery Play and Learn experience for children and adults who visit the museum,” said Angela Barris, president and CEO of the Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum.

The museum is making adaptations specifically targeting children with sensory-integrative disorders, physical disabilities, as well as emotional and behavioral disorders, but ultimately, all children will benefit. Devices such as noise-cancelling headphones, manual communication boards, semicircular desks and weighted vests; plus motion-activated faucets and an automatic door opener will be added. More complex adaptive items such as iPads with touch screen communication apps and a new Tranquil Gallery will provide respite for children who need a softer, reduced sensory experience.

In 2015, SVSU received the Community Engagement classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, a distinction achieved by only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities. By their senior year, 84 percent of students have engaged with community employers and agencies in internships, field placements or some other component of their academic preparation. National research has shown that students who are engaged in the community and on campus are more likely to be successful academically, and to have the critical thinking, problem-solving skills, self-efficacy, and adaptability desired by employers.

For more information on the Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum, visit www.michildrensmuseum.com.

December 22, 2015

SVSU students support young cancer patient, raise $7,700 for Hurley Children’s Hospital

Saginaw Valley State University students who are members of the international medical fraternity Phi Delta Epsilon raised $7,700 for The Children's Miracle Network at Hurley Children’s Hospital, which supports improving medical facilities and healthcare for ailing youths.

SVSU’s Phi Delta Epsilon members organized a benefit dinner at Horizons Conference Center in Saginaw Township in November to generate the funds. It marks the third consecutive year the group has raised money for Hurley Children’s Hospital; they have collected more than $26,000 during the three years.

In addition to the fundraising event, Phi Delta Epsilon’s members also have volunteered to spend time with 5-year-old Rowan Neumann, who is battling childhood leukemia and is a beneficiary of the Children’s Miracle Network. Members accompanied Neumann and his family on a tour of a Saginaw Township Fire Department fire stations. The visit included a ride in one of the fire trucks.

“These students are great examples of how SVSU gives back to the community in meaningful and genuine ways,” said Heidi Lang, Phi Delta Epsilon’s adviser. “It's a privilege to work with this caring group of individuals who care so much about each other and the community.”

In 2015, SVSU received the Community Engagement classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, a distinction achieved by only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities. By their senior year, 84 percent of students have engaged with community employers and agencies in internships, field placements or some other component of their academic preparation. National research has shown that students who are engaged in the community and on campus are more likely to be successful academically, and to have the critical thinking, problem-solving skills, self-efficacy, and adaptability desired by employers.