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.

December 18, 2015

SVSU Board approves $12 million renovation of Zahnow Library

Room and board rates set for next two years

By JJ Boehm

The Saginaw Valley State University Board of Control approved spending up to $12 million to renovate SVSU’s Zahnow Library during the Board’s regular meeting Friday, Dec. 18.

“Modern libraries continue to be at the heart of teaching and learning for universities, but the ways in which today’s students study and learn are much different than they were a generation ago,” said SVSU President Donald Bachand. “Our students have told us that they want more flexible study spaces, more support services, and we are making these changes to better serve them.”

Funding for the project includes a $1.5 million gift from the Harvey Randall Wickes Foundation in Saginaw.

“From our earliest days, the Wickes Foundation has supported SVSU’s determined and persistent quest to provide exceptional learning opportunities for students from our region, our state and our world,” Bachand said. “We are grateful for their continued generous support.”

SVSU expects to receive additional private donations to support the renovation. The remainder of the project will be financed through existing funds reserved for campus construction and renovation.

The Board also approved room and board rates for the next two fiscal years, as part of the auxiliary services budget that covers self-supporting services such as housing, campus dining, and the Bookstore.

The total weighted increase for 2016-17 will be 3.17 percent; the increase for 2017-18 will be 2.2 percent. For incoming freshmen who choose to live in the First Year Suites, annual room and board will be $8,736; those who wish to reside in the more modern Living Center residence halls will pay an additional $500 for a total of $9,236.

For returning students whose meal plan participation is voluntary, rates range from $4,300 for a two bedroom unit in Pine Grove Apartments to $6,850 for a single efficiency unit in University Village.

In other action, the Board:

  • Passed a resolution congratulating the SVSU Student Association for their leadership in this year's "Battle of the Valleys" fundraising competition. In one week, SVSU raised more than $24,450 for Get Outside for a Healthy Inside.
  • Passed a resolution to congratulate the 2015 SVSU men's soccer team which qualified for the NCAA Division II national tournament for the fourth time in five years.
  • Passed a resolution to congratulate the 2015 SVSU women's volleyball team which qualified for the NCAA Division II national tournament.
  • Passed a resolution to grant undergraduate and graduate degrees, as 637 students are expected to complete degree requirements at the end of the fall semester.
  • Approved sabbatical proposals for 10 faculty: Jesse Donahue, political science; Larry Hatcher, psychology; Ming-Tie Huang, physics; Ava Lewis, nursing; Hong Park, economics; Arra Ross, English; Gary Thompson, English; Vetta Vratulis, teacher education; Bing Yang, biology; and Scott Youngstedt, sociology.
  • Reappointed the accounting firm of Andrews Hooper Pavlik to serve as SVSU’s auditors for the 2016 fiscal year.
  • Approved compensation for the 2016 calendar year for executive staff. President Bachand’s salary was set at $275,000; it was also announced that the Board and Bachand have a verbal agreement on a new contract through June 2019. Bachand earned $256,250 in 2015.

“The university has enjoyed a remarkably successful year in terms of fundraising success, student enrollment, and external accreditation of academic programs,” said Scott Carmona, chair of the Board.  “We are pleased with the leadership President Bachand is providing and the direction SVSU is headed. We want this progress to continue.”

    The Board also established compensation for Deb Huntley, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, whose salary for 2016 will be $220,000, and James G. Muladore, Executive Vice President for Administration and Business Affairs, whose salary will be $210,000.

 

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December 16, 2015

SVSU to host 800 high school business and marketing students

Saginaw Valley State University will host more than 800 high school business and marketing students for a DECA competition Thursday, Dec. 17. Students will be judged on their knowledge in a variety of categories, such as principles of finance, human resources management, business law and ethics, and marketing communications.

The competition will take place from 9 a.m. to approximately noon in various classrooms in Curtiss Hall. An awards ceremony will be held around 1 p.m. in Cardinal Gym, located in the Ryder Center.

SVSU is hosting the DECA District One conference which includes more than 20 high schools from Alpena to Holly. A complete list of participating schools can be found here:  http://mideca.org/members/membership/chapters/

December 11, 2015

Diversity leader and SVSU alum Dexter to speak to SVSU graduates

Saginaw Valley State University students will hear from an alumnus who is recognized as a national leader in creating diverse leadership teams for major corporations. Billy Dexter will address graduates during Commencement exercises Friday, Dec. 18 at 7:30 pm. and Saturday, Dec. 19 at 11 a.m. in SVSU’s Ryder Center.

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.

As is tradition, SVSU President Donald Bachand will congratulate each graduate in both ceremonies as he or she crosses the stage.

The graduating class consists of 637 students who have applied to graduate, including 560 who have indicated that they intend to don regalia and march in their respective ceremonies. A total of 505 students are expected to complete bachelor's degree requirements, and another 132 students are expected to complete master's and advanced degrees.

An SVSU graduate, Dexter serves as a managing partner at Heidrick & Struggles, an executive search firm. He leads the company's global diversity advisory services practice that assists clients in creating diverse leadership teams.  Dexter works with clients to develop inclusive solutions for talent acquisition and leadership development for global executives. His clients include major companies such as Allstate, Capital One, John Deere and the NBA.

A leader in the talent acquisition and diversity/inclusion field for more than 25 years, Dexter previously served as executive vice president and chief diversity officer for MTV Networks, a Viacom company. Prior to that, Dexter was president of Hudson Inclusion Solutions, a business division of Hudson Highland Group, a diversity consulting practice he founded within Hudson Highland.

A resident of Lemont, Illinois, Dexter currently serves on the board of directors as a trustee of the Metropolitan Club of Chicago, Link Unlimited Scholars, the Executive Leadership Council, the Goodman Theater of Chicago and the NFL Players Advisory Association.

Dexter has received numerous honors, including a recent selection by Chicago United as a recipient of Business Leader of Color.  The Society of Human Resources Management named him one of the "Top 100 Global Diversity Thought Leaders."  Savoy Magazine awarded Dexter with its trailblazer award and recognized him as one of the Top 50 African-American executives in 2010. SVSU selected him for an Outstanding Alumni award in 2011.

Actively involved as a student at SVSU, Dexter was a member of the 1982-83 NAIA national championship track and field teams; he was a member of student government and the Organization of Black Unity, and was selected as Homecoming King in 1983. He was selected as SVSU’s Outstanding Alumnus in the College of Art & Behavioral Sciences in 2010. Dexter also completed a master's degree at Michigan State University.

December 8, 2015

Happy Holidays from SVSU

"May the peace and beauty of the season remain with throughout the coming year." - Don & Liana Bachand

December 8, 2015

SVSU music students to perform works of opera

Saginaw Valley State University students will perform works of opera Friday, Dec. 11 at 12:30 p.m. in Founders Hall.  

The students will perform arias from the operas "The Magic Flute," "Game of Chance," "Elixir of Love," "Orfeo ed Euridice," "Trouble in Tahiti" and "Die Fledermaus."

Rachel Andrews, SVSU artist-in-voice, will serve as director while pianist Amanda Lewis will accompany the performance.

SVSU students performing include:
•    Stephanie Bale, a music major from Saginaw
•    Stephen Bell, a music education major from Waterford
•    Katie Fassone, a music education major from Saginaw
•    Emerald Joiner, a music education major from Saginaw
•    Madalyn McHugh, a music major from Caro
•    Rachael Parr, a music major from Pinckney
•    HeatherSeaton, a music education major from Swartz Creek
•    Keven Washburn, a music major from Millington

For more information on the event, visit SVSU's Department of Music online at www.svsu.edu/music.

December 8, 2015

SVSU jazz ensemble to be joined by guest saxophonist for concert

The Saginaw Valley State University jazz ensemble will be joined by guest saxophonist Tom Jones for a concert Thursday, Dec. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in SVSU’s Rhea Miller Recital Hall.

Selections to be played include "All of Me," "The Christmas Song" and "Deed I Do." The ensemble will be directed by SVSU jazz artist-in-residence Jeff Hall, who also will play piano for various songs during the concert.

Jones received his master's degree in applied saxophone and woodwinds from Michigan State University and has since gone on to teach. He is a fine arts department chairman at Everett High School in Lansing, and also teaches choir and band at Lansing STEM Academy. Jones has performed alongside well-known artists such as Bob Hope, Jack Jones, Aretha Franklin and The Lennon Sisters.

The concert is open to the public; admission is free of charge. For more information, visit svsu.edu/music or call 989-964-4159.

December 8, 2015

SVSU steel band and percussion ensemble team up for concert

Two Saginaw Valley State University musical groups will perform together in concert Wednesday, Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m. in SVSU’s Rhea Miller Recital Hall.

The steel drum band Valley Steel will be joined by the SVSU Percussion Ensemble for the concert; both under the direction of Brandon Haskett, SVSU assistant professor of music.  

Valley Steel performs on steel drums and other steel percussion instruments. The band contains a student group and an adult community ensemble.

The SVSU percussion ensemble will open the concert with music from artists Eric Ewazen and Pat Metheny.

Following an intermission, the Valley Steel community group will perform songs such as "Got to Get You Into My Life" by The Beatles, "Shift Your Carcass" by Winston Bailey and "Pyxis" by CJ Menge.  The Valley Steel student group will follow with songs including "More Rokk, Less Talk" by Freezepop and "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder.

The concert is open to the public; admission is free of charge. For more information, visit SVSU's Department of Music online at www.svsu.edu/music.

December 8, 2015

International journal names SVSU's Puia among world's top 50 business educators

A Saginaw Valley State University educator was named among the top business professors in the world by an international journal focusing on business and economics.

George Puia, SVSU’s Dow Chemical Co. Centennial Chair in Global Business, learned he was among 50 educators worldwide to receive the inaugural Oxford Journal Global Top 50 Educators Award.

Puia – along with two SVSU students and two alumni – attended the 13th annual Global Conference on Business and Economics at Oxford University in England Nov. 22-23, when they presented their research paper exploring links between culture and entrepreneurial development.

A letter to Puia from the Oxford Journal staff explained the standards for the award:

“… You embody the standards expected for the winner of this prestigious award. Your vast and innovative contributions to your discipline, as well as your passion for the educational enterprise as a whole set you apart from others in your field. In an era in which educators seem to be ever more specialized and focused on their own productivity, your persistent focus on students and encouragement of their success makes you stand out as a role model for excellence in education.”

Puia learned he received the award while at the conference in England.

“I felt especially honored to receive the award in front of students and alumni who had collaborated with me on some very engaging research,” he said.

Puia joined SVSU in 2000. He has collaborated with SVSU students on a number of research projects and has traveled internationally with many students on faculty-led study abroad trips. Puia completed a Ph.D. at the University of Kansas.

The full list of the Oxford Journal Global Top 50 Educators Award recipients has not been published yet. The partial list includes educators from higher education institutions such as the University of Notre Dame and the University of South Carolina as well as colleges abroad including Manchester Metropolitan University in Great Britain and Afyon Kocatepe University in Turkey.

Among those who attended the conference with Puia were students Zackary Gibson, a marketing major from Davison, and Heidi Hicks, a management major from Saginaw.

Two SVSU alumni also worked on the research paper presented there: Lisa Maroni and Rosalie Stackpole. Maroni, a Royal Oak native who received a bachelor’s degree in international studies in 2010, now serves as assistant director of international recruitment and admissions at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona. Stackpole, a Trenton native who received her bachelor’s degree in marketing in May, works as a marketing project manager at Bloomfield Hills-based Flexible Plan Investments, Ltd.

The group’s research paper was titled, “Indulgence, Restraint, and Within-Country Diversity: Exploring Entrepreneurial Outcomes with New Constructs.”

The Global Conference on Business and Economics was sponsored by the Oxford Journal, as well as the Association for Business and Economics Research.