There are 82 Saginaw Valley State University students participating in the institution's Alternative Breaks program, which is a student-led organization that sends its members across the U.S. to perform volunteer work during traditional school break periods.
SVSU students are on spring break from March 7 to March 13. Those students participating in Alternative Breaks programs during spring break split into eight groups in eight cities across the U.S. Here are details for the eight groups:
Syria’s crisis will be the focus of a series of presentations at Saginaw Valley State University led by Mouhanad Hammami, president of The National Arab American Medical Association Michigan Chapter.
The event — free and open to the public — is scheduled for Wednesday, March 16, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Curtiss Hall’s Seminar Room E at SVSU.
Hammami is the featured speaker. Other speakers will include John Baesler, SVSU associate professor of history; Rosina Hassoun, SVSU assistant professor of sociology; and Ingrid Hoskins, an SVSU history major from Pinckney and president of SVSU’s History Club.
The group will discuss the root causes and consequences of rebellion in Syria, where an estimated 250,000 people have died during nearly five years of anti-government protests and civil war. The crisis has led to millions of refugees attempting to flee to surrounding nations.
Hammami’s talk will focus on the medical needs of those refugees.
A graduate of Aleppo University in Syria, Hammami completed his postdoctoral research in pediatrics at the Newborn Center of the University of Tennessee in Memphis. He then accepted a faculty appointment at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit and a research position at the Detroit Medical Center Department of Pediatrics.
In 2006, he was granted the American Medical Association Foundation for Excellence in Medicine and Leadership award for his public health advocacy and community work. He was awarded the “Health Policy Champion Award” by the Michigan Department of Community Health in 2011. He was named the “Arab American of the Year in Medicine” by The American Arab Professionals Network in 2012.
Hammami recently was named director of the Wayne County Department of Health, Veterans and Community Wellness, where he oversees all health, wellness and human services for the 13th largest county in the nation.
For more information about the March 16 event, contact Baesler at (989) 964-4381 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saginaw Valley State University students are community-minded. Each year, they put their time, their energy and their money into helping others during the annual “Battle of the Valleys” fundraising competition against their counterparts from Grand Valley State University.
Over the past 13 years, SVSU has raised more than $330,000 to support charitable causes, primarily in the Great Lakes Bay Region.
In 2015, SVSU students raised $24,540 in one week for Get Outside for a Healthier Inside, an affiliate of the Saginaw Community Foundation whose goal is to increase physical activity and promote healthy living in Saginaw, focusing specifically on building parks and maintaining trails.
The SVSU Student Association is now accepting applications for its 2016 charity partner. The deadline is Friday, April 8. For more information or to request an application, please contact Natalie Schneider, Battle of the Valleys coordinator, at email@example.com.
This year’s Battle of the Valleys will be held Battle of the Valleys Sunday, Oct. 30 through Friday, Nov. 4, leading up to the football game between the two schools Saturday, Nov. 5.
For more information on Battle of the Valleys, visit svsu.edu/bov.
When Kimberly Salwey arrived at Saginaw Valley State University as a freshman in 2012, she was admittedly shy and timid.
Now, just months shy of graduation, the marketing major from East Tawas has experienced a dramatic transformation. Her enthusiasm for her school and her fellow students, and her engaging leadership style has resulted in Salwey receiving the Outstanding Student Leader award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) for a six-state region.
“I was really surprised and shocked to win this,” Salwey said. “I'm thankful because I wouldn't be who I am without my SVSU experience; I have been blessed to be surrounded and empowered by influential and strong leaders who have continuously pushed me to better myself.”
Salwey serves as president of the student organization Forever Red, which was created in 2011 to promote SVSU school spirit, support student scholarships through fundraising, and connect students with alumni. In addition to Salwey's individual award, Forever Red received the Outstanding Student Organization award for CASE District V, which encompasses Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Both Salwey and Forever Red - with its 130 student members - will be eligible for the same awards at the national level. Winners will be announced during a CASE conference in Atlanta in August.
Bryan Crainer, Forever Red adviser, praised Salwey in his letter nominating her for the award.
“Kim is extraordinarily forward-thinking,” said Crainer, SVSU associate dean of student life and leadership programs. “What has made her such a dynamic student leader on our campus and such an extreme benefit to Forever Red is that she is constantly looking for ways in which the organization can improve.”
Crainer described her as an unselfish leader.
“Kim is the rare student leader that is not the least bit concerned about getting credit or receiving any kind of accolades or recognition for her work,” he said. “She very humbly goes about her business and works very diligently to ensure that Forever Red is the best organization that it can be for the university, for its members, and for the community.”
Salwey said she arrived at SVSU “shy,” but with a desire to become involved in the campus community. She joined Forever Red as a freshman and developed as a leader.
“Throughout the past four years, I have learned what it takes to be a leader by having a mentor like Bryan,” she said. “I've grown so much as a person because of Bryan's guidance and I'm grateful to have met him the beginning of my freshmen year.”
The experience also helped Salwey discover a love for philanthropy.
“I always knew about the importance of giving back,” she said. “but I didn't realize it was going to be something I was so passionate about.”
Salwey was able to channel that newfound passion into initiatives that benefited SVSU and its students. One of the most recent accomplishments involved Forever Red's contributions to I Heart SV Week, a campaign in early February that raised both scholarship money and awareness about the importance of philanthropy. The effort resulted in $27,500 raised by Forever Red and the SVSU Foundation.
“Enhancing the student experience through scholarship is one of Forever Red's pillars,” she said. “I Heart SV Week was a big accomplishment and I'm very proud of our members for putting this on.”
Salwey said the campaign encompassed the community engagement spirit that she has grown to love as a member of Forever Red and SVSU.
“I wanted to be part of something bigger than I am,” Salwey said. “I know I can say I was part of something bigger here at SVSU.”
Saginaw Valley State University students, faculty and staff raised $37,000 for the American Cancer Society during SVSU’s annual Relay For Life. The campus event is organized by SVSU’s chapter of Colleges Against Cancer.
SVSU’s Relay For Life event featured student groups — including cancer survivors — raising funds from 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26 to 2 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 27 in SVSU’s Ryder Center. The event featured activities, games and a silent auction.
Relay for Life is considered the world’s largest fundraising event to fight cancer. Over 4 million people participated in 6,000 events globally in 2015.
Relay for Life events feature participants taking turns walking or running around a track while also raising money through various methods including silent auctions and competition-based fundraising.
The funds raised support the American Cancer Society’s efforts to fund groundbreaking cancer research, provide information and critical services for people with cancer.
A community-minded marketing class at Saginaw Valley State University hopes to help the Village of Chesaning reinvent public perception.
After the loss of the popular Chesaning Showboat Festival in 2013, leaders in the small town located in largely rural in southwestern Saginaw County are hoping to strengthen the village's image.
Gary L. Clark, SVSU professor of marketing, and 26 students in his marketing research course plan to provide a blueprint that empowers the community of about 2,000 residents.
“The Village of Chesaning is primarily interested in four things,” Clark said. “What is their current image, how can they increase their population, what does their population want to be offered that the village council can provide, and how should they brand Chesaning?”
The collaboration began when Chesaning Village Administrator Troy Feltman sought out Clark, whose previous classes have led marketing-related projects for approximately 130 businesses and organizations.
“The reason the village engaged the marketing class was to help us with a branding process we're going through,” Feltman said. “We're trying to create a new identity for the community.”
Students will survey the community's residents, teachers, municipal leaders, business owners and members of the Chesaning Chamber of Commerce.
At the end of the semester in April, Clark and his class will present their findings to Feltman, who will then decide what to do with the information.
“We will give them data on what the surveyed people think, and they will make their data-driven decisions,” Clark said. “We will suggest certain things they should do, but they'll have to make their own decisions based on the information.”
Zackary Gibson, a marketing major from Davison, has enrolled in several classes with Clark that worked on marketing projects with other organizations. Gibson said collaborating with a community such as Chesaning has presented a unique challenge not put forth by the companies and organizations they've worked with in the past.
“It's going to be a challenge,” he said. “We're used to businesses, where it's easy to look at what your strengths and weaknesses are. But, with a community, there are so many things you can do. You can deal with the council, the school system, the downtown, the businesses or the residents.”
Brittany Lentz, a communication major from Applegate, has been a part of the website analysis team that compares Chesaning to other communities of similar size to see where the village measures up. This process includes comparing municipal websites, school systems and opportunities for growth.
For Lentz and her classmates, the project offers a hands-on learning experience that will strengthen their résumés.
“It's really good real-world experience,” Lentz said. “The assignments you do apply to real-world jobs.”
Gibson echoed his classmate's sentiment. He said students will not only know how to do a job, but they'll be able to show it as well.
“As a marketing student, this real-world experience is something I can discuss in a job interview,” he said. “You have something tangible you can take into an interview. This is something you can't get from other classes because it's beyond theory. You've applied it, and that's what employers really like.”
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An award-winning author and historian will discuss her study of race and gender in southern ghost tours during a Saginaw Valley State University event.
Tiya Miles will serve as the guest speaker during SVSU’s Barstow Humanities Seminar Tuesday, March 1, at 5:30 p.m. in the university’s Curtiss Hall Banquet Room A. The event is free and open to the public.
The event is titled “Ghost Tourism and the Specter of Slavery in New Orleans.”
Miles is a professor at the University of Michigan in the Department of American Culture, Department of Afro-American and African Studies, Department of History, Department of Women Studies, and Native American Studies Program.
She is the author of several history books including “Tales from the Haunted South: Dark Tourism and Memories of Slavery from the Civil War Era” in 2015.
Her other work includes “Ties That Bind: The Story of an Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and Freedom” from 2005 and “The House on Diamond Hill: A Cherokee Plantation Story” from 2010.
Miles also writes fiction, academic articles on indigenous women’s history, and feminist essays.
Her debut fictional novel, “The Cherokee Rose,” was set on a haunted plantation in the Cherokee territory of modern-day Georgia. Publishers Weekly selected the novel as the Pick Of The Week in 2015.
For more information on the event, contact SVSU at (989) 964-2103 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saginaw Valley State University will host its 15th annual Intercultural Night Friday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. in the Rhea Miller Recital Hall.
Thirty international students from more than 10 nations will perform songs, dances, and skits that showcase their respective cultures. Nations to be represented include Bangladesh, Brazil, China, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Nicaragua, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and the United States.
“The audience can expect to be entertained by the variety of talents and cultures displayed by SVSU students from all around the world,” said Pat Shelley, SVSU's international student advisor.
SVSU’s International Students Club selected “Olympics” as the theme for this year’s event, since Brazil is hosting the 2016 Summer Olympics later this year. The major sporting event brings performers from many countries together, similar to Intercultural night.
The night will feature singing, instrumental music, dancing, skits, costumes, and cultural information from over a dozen different countries. Many of the students will be dressed according to customs of their homeland.
“The purpose of SVSU having international students is not only to provide educational opportunity, but also to enrich the campus with an international flavor through global awareness,” Shelley said. “This is one way we do that.”
Admission is $10 for the general public and free for students with their ID card. Tickets may be reserved in advance through the SVSU Box Office at (989) 964-4261.
Bay City Handy students to visit SVSU for Day of Writing
10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 23
Zahnow Library, other buildings, SVSU
Some 30 students from Handy Middle School in Bay City are scheduled to visit SVSU Tuesday, Feb. 23 as part of a “Day of Writing” event intended to reinforce the importance and value of writing.
SVSU English faculty and others will lead sessions on writing activities for the students, starting around 10 a.m. in room 111 of Zahnow Library.
In addition to the writing workshops, the visiting students will receive a campus tour, as SVSU collaborates with leaders of Bay City Public Schools as they seek to encourage students to seriously consider higher education opportunities.