June 5, 2014

‘Fast Animal’ poet earns SVSU Board of Fellows Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize

American author and professor Tim Seibles will receive the 13th triennial Saginaw Valley State University Board of Fellows Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize. American author and professor Tim Seibles will receive the 13th triennial Saginaw Valley State University Board of Fellows Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize.

Three judges appointed by the United States poet laureate selected Seibels for his book “Fast Animal,” a collection of work that threads life's journey from childhood to adulthood. The text was a 2012 National Book Award finalist. He has authored four other books of poetry including “Buffalo Head Solos.” One of that collection's poems, “Harvest Moon,” was highlighted in the Pennsylvania Center for the Book’s Public Poetry Project in 2011.

A native of Philadelphia who now resides in Norfolk, Va., Seibles serves on the faculty of Old Dominion University in the English and the Master of Fine Arts in Writing departments. He also serves as a teaching board member of the Muse Writers Workshop and works part-time at the University of Southern Maine in the Stonecoast M.F.A. in Writing Program.

Seibles plans to visit SVSU during the community-wide Theodore Roethke Poetry & Arts Festival, from Friday to Wednesday, Nov. 7-12. He will be honored at the Triennial Poetry Prize Celebration Tuesday, Nov. 11, when Seibles plans to read from his collection of poems. He also will attend a number of other events relating to the festival.

The Theodore Roethke Poetry & Arts Festival is made possible in part by a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The week's lineup will include two productions of a play written by a Roethke disciple, David Wagoner; a display of editions of Roethke's poetry and memorabilia in the SVSU Zahnow Library; a writer's workshop; and a poetry slam at SVSU's Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum. The lineup also includes a jazz concert, a wine and poetry event at Midland-based Creative 360, a presentation of first edition and rare edition books at a Roethke program offered by SVSU's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and a poetry reading at Dow Gardens in Midland.

Named for the late Saginaw poet who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1954 for “The Waking,” the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize has been awarded since 1968 to notable poets for a particular collection of poems published in a specific three-year period.  Past winners include former U.S. Poets Laureate Robert Penn Warren (1971) and Robert Pinsky (2008). The award includes a $10,000 cash prize, awarded by SVSU's Board of Fellows.

June 2, 2014

A New System for Changing Passwords Coming Soon

The new system will be available on Sunday, June 22, 2014 at 7:00 PM.

By John LaPrad

This is an informational message. No immediate action is required. You do not have to change your password because of this system update. Just follow the regular notifications when your password expires. You may log into the system to update your password reset options after Sunday at 7:00 PM, if desired, by using the Quicklinks off the SVSU web page, like always.

With the switch to Microsoft's Active Directory, we have a new system for changing passwords (270kB) that will be active Sunday 6-22-14 at 7 PM. This new system offers additional ways to reset your password if you forget it. Also, we are changing the required password changes from three times a year to two times a year. 

When logging into the new Active Directory password change system for the first time, you will be required to set up password reset options that can be used if you forget your password in the future.

With this new system there are three ways to reset your password should you forget it. It’s possible to set up three questions like before, it’s also possible to enroll your cell phone and receive a text with a reset code, and it’s possible to link to Google Authenticator if you use that.

Set up the three security questions, then select the Verification Code tab to set your cell phone number so you can receive a reset text code if you need it, or click on the Google Authenticator tab to enroll there.

When finished, make sure to click the Update button to save your settings.

When you are finished with the enrollment, click on the Change Password tab to change your password. Be sure to follow the password policy requirements listed.

June 2, 2014

Physical Security for Hard-Copies and Mobile Devices

Originally Updated 07/16/2013 © 2013 ePlace Solutions, Inc.

By Jennifer Paradise

One of the main causes of security incidents is lost, misplaced or physically stolen sensitive information, whether in hard-copy or electronic form. This bulletin reviews practices for maintaining physical security of hard-copy information as well as electronic devices.

Protecting Hard-Copy Information

Hard-copy sensitive information presents several security issues. For example, paper can be easily lost or misplaced, and can be read or possibly even copied without the owner realizing this has happened.

Best Practices

  • Keep sensitive papers off your desk and locked in drawers when you are away 
  • Shield sensitive hard-copy information to avoid accidental exposure - e.g. while walking down a hallway, taking an elevator, or waiting in line 
  • When it is necessary to send or otherwise transport sensitive hard-copy information, ensure the documents are protected with adequate packaging; be sure to use the appropriate level of receipt verification 
  • As with electronic data, remove all unnecessary sensitive information, e.g. remove or mask account numbers on financial statements 
  • Remove sensitive information immediately from shared copiers, fax machines and printers. 
  • Don't forget to remove the original from copiers 
  • Fax machines that may receive sensitive information should be located inside locked rooms

Safeguarding Data on Mobile Devices

Physical security precautions are vital for mobile devices which can be easily misplaced, lost or stolen. Storing sensitive information on laptop PCs, smartphones, thumbdrives and other mobile devices is strongly discouraged.

If your organization's processes and procedures or your job responsibilities require you to store or transfer sensitive information via a mobile device, the information should be protected with the same level of security used in other IT systems in your organization AND should be encrypted.

Best Practices

  • Ensure the device's password protection is enabled 
  • Encrypt the information 
  • Never leave a mobile device unattended without first physically securing it, e.g. cable lock laptop PCs; it's better to keep devices with you at all times 
  • Refrain from advertising the presence of mobile devices; for example - use non-descriptive carry bags for laptops 
  • Closely monitor mobile devices during airport and other security inspections 
  • Never put a mobile device in checked luggage - always maintain physical control

May 20, 2014

“Hi, I’m from ITS. I need to look at your computer.”

By Jennifer Paradise

When someone walks into your office and says that, what’s your first reaction? Do you A) quickly jump out of your chair and let the person do what they need to do? Or, B) are you skeptical of their request and ask questions? If you chose B, then congratulations. You have chosen to protect not only yourself and personal information, but potentially the rest of the campus community.

Ideally everyone who needs to work on your computer will contact you or your supervisor in advance to set up an appointment. However, there are occasions when that may not happen. While we like to think that everyone coming into our offices has good intentions, that’s not always the case. As a campus community, we all need to be vigilant against would-be attacks on our network and confidential information starting with our computers. 

What Should You Do?

Here are a few things you can do to keep your information and the information of others safe:

  1. Never share your password with anyone. Period.
  2. Ask questions. Who are you? Who is your supervisor? If the person is an outside contractor, ask who their contact person is on campus. Feel free to call that person to verify the details.
  3. If someone needs to work on your computer, log out before letting them do their work. Unless they are specifically working with your account, they can do their job with their own username and password.
  4. Lock your workstation or logoff your computer when you leave your desk. You can also password-protect your computer after your screen saver displays.
  5. Never share your password with anyone. Period.

May 19, 2014

SVSU Cardinal Formula Racing car finishes tops in acceleration category at international competition

The 2014 team finished 36th overall

Brooks Byam, Cardinal Formula Racing adviser since 1998, said the 2014 team features an eclectic mix of 16 students designing an Indy-style vehicle distinct from previous incarnations. Saginaw Valley State University’s Cardinal Formula Racing team sped to its fifth-best finish ever during the annual Formula Society of Automotive Engineers Collegiate Design Series competition.

The May 14-17 event at the Michigan International Speedway featured 120 schools across the globe competing in categories including design, cost, acceleration and endurance.

SVSU’s team finished 36th overall, including first in the acceleration category.

Last year’s group finished second in the acceleration category.

“We have fast cars year after year because we have a great team of students, faculty, staff, administrators and sponsors,” said Brooks Byam, SVSU professor of mechanical engineering and Cardinal Formula Racing advisor since 1998. “The great support we have is why we go fast.”

SVSU’s Cardinal Formula Racing team has only finished better four times in its history. The top four finishes were sixth in 2002, eighth in 2005, 14th in 2008 and 18th in 2010.

Byam said he is already looking forward to next year’s competition. He estimates 12 of the 2014 team’s 16 students will return to design next year’s Indy-style car.

“The students did a great job and I am very proud of them,” he said. “I'm a very competitive person and so are my students. We left MIS wanting more. We all believe we left a lot of points out there on the track. We'll be back next year.”

The 2014 team featured a mix of students from various fields of study.

The mechanical engineering students on the team are Jarred Felt, of Muskegon; Alex Fullerton, of Onaway; Zach Haveraneck and Brandon King, both of Saginaw; Matthew Kline, of Jonesville; Clayton Piechowiak and Logan Shelagowski, both of Bay City; Zachary Putnam, of Hale; Brandon Stanhope, of Dearborn; and Brandon Verhun, of Ann Arbor.

The group’s two electrical engineering majors are Justin Dolane, of Davisburg, and Shane Oberloier, of Beaverton. There are two Saginaw graduate students studying for a Master of Business Administration degree: Henry Shin and Joey Wisniewski. Scott Stanford, of Novi, is an accounting major. Samuel Dantuma, of Pinconning, is a fine arts major.

Related: SVSU's 2014 Cardinal Formula Racing team gears up for international competition (from May 16, 2014)

May 16, 2014

SVSU Cardinal Formula Racing team gears up for international competition

Previous SVSU teams finished with four top-20 finishes, including sixth in 2002

‌Michigan International Speedway will host the event from May 14-17.

Brooks Byam, SVSU professor of mechanical engineering and Cardinal Formula Racing adviser since 1998, said the 2014 team features an eclectic mix of 16 students designing an Indy-style vehicle distinct from previous incarnations.

“What's unique about this year's team is how multidisciplinary it is,” he said.

For instance, “this is the strongest contingent of electrical engineering students we've had,” he said.

Brooks Byam, Cardinal Formula Racing adviser since 1998, said the 2014 team features an eclectic mix of 16 students designing an Indy-style vehicle distinct from previous incarnations.

As a result, the Cardinal Formula Racing team has built its first vehicle with a touch screen dash where drivers can control the race car's systems.

The group - largely comprised of mechanical engineering majors - also features students studying marketing, accounting and fine arts.

“The really unique part is having the artist on the team,” Byam said of Pinconning native Samuel Dantuma. “He's fantastic.”

Dantuma has helped design elements for the vehicle with artistic flair, including a shroud that covers the car's shocks.

“The parts are very functional and very attractive,” Byam said of Dantuma's contributions.

Byam didn't offer predictions for the team's performance at the upcoming event, which will test teams in categories that include design, cost, acceleration and endurance.

“The car has the basics to be very fast - not a lot of mass, a lot of horsepower - but it's hard to tell how we might do right now,” he said. “We have to have things go our way.”

Byam has led SVSU to four top-20 finishes, placing sixth in 2002, eighth in 2005, 14th in 2008 and 18th in 2010. Several past team members have continued to engineering careers in NASCAR and other racing series, as well as leading automotive manufacturers.

Last year, Byam won the competition's Carroll Smith Mentor's Cup, given to one outstanding faculty mentor each year since 1999.

Erich Heuschele, an adjunct instructor of engineering, serves as the team's industry advisor.

The mechanical engineering students on the team are:
•    Jarred Felt of Muskegon
•    Alex Fullerton of Onaway
•    Zach Haveraneck of Saginaw
•    Brandon King of Saginaw
•    Matthew Kline of Jonesville
•    Clayton Piechowiak of Bay City
•    Zachary Putnam of Hale
•    Logan Shelagowski of Bay City
•    Brandon Stanhope of Dearborn
•    Brandon Verhun of Ann Arbor

The group's two electrical engineering majors are Justin Dolane of Davisburg, and Shane Oberloier of Beaverton.

In addition, there are three business students.  Two from Saginaw are graduate students studying for a master of business administration degree: Henry Shin and Joey Wisniewski. Scott Stanford of Novi is an accounting major.

May 15, 2014

SVSU earns new distinctions for commitment to military students

Saginaw Valley State University recently met the criteria for two key initiatives leaders say will help the university’s recruitment, retention and support of military veterans looking for a college education.

SVSU now is recognized as meeting the requirements for the U.S. Department of Education and Department of Veterans Affairs’ “8 Keys To Veterans’ Success” initiative, which designates institutions providing outstanding services to active and reserve service members, veterans and their dependents.

Additionally, SVSU has become a “Yellow Ribbon” school - a Veterans Affairs program that guarantees eligible veterans’ tuition will not exceed the cost of the highest tuition at a public institution of higher learning in Michigan.

Denise Berry, SVSU's director of Military Student Affairs and special assistant to the vice president of Student Affairs, said veterans shopping for higher education institutions are now often including both initiatives on a list of must-have items.

“Participation in these national initiatives helps get the word out that SVSU is committed to supporting veterans and their families,” Berry said. “We want them to know if they come here we're going to take care of them.”

Formal inclusion in the “8 Keys to Veterans' Success” on the Department of Education’s website means that SVSU has become just the 6th college or university in Michigan to join a select group of educational institutions fulfilling the standards initially outlined by President Obama. Those standards are as follows:
1.    Create a culture of trust and connectedness across the campus community to promote well-being and success for veterans.

2.    Ensure consistent and sustained support from campus leadership.

3.    Implement an early alert system to ensure all veterans receive academic, career, and financial advice before challenges become overwhelming.

4.    Coordinate and centralize campus efforts for all veterans, together with the creation of a designated space for them (even if limited in size).

5.    Collaborate with local communities and organizations, including government agencies, to align and coordinate various services for veterans.

6.    Utilize a uniform set of data tools to collect and track information on veterans, including demographics, retention, and degree completion.

7.    Provide comprehensive professional development for faculty and staff on issues and challenges unique to veterans.

8.    Develop systems that ensure sustainability of effective practices for veterans.

Military members and veterans seeking more information about SVSU's programs and services specific to them can contact Berry in the Military Student Affairs office at (989) 964-2462.

May 13, 2014

SVSU students, staff play leading role in Saginaw play, ‘Spring Awakening’

'Spring Awakening,' a play in production in Saginaw, stars several SVSU students.In Broadway terms, some might call Pit and Balcony Community Theater’s “Spring Awakening” an “off-SVSU production.”

Nearly half of the play’s cast and production crew are affiliated with the university, including director Tommy Wedge, an adjunct instructor in SVSU’s theatre department.

The adaptation of the Tony Award-winning coming-of-age musical set in 1891 Germany kicked off its 2-weekend run May 9 in the Saginaw theatre, 805 N. Hamilton. The final weekend includes showings on Friday and Saturday, May 16-17, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, May 18, at 3 p.m.

“It’s going really well,” Wedge said of the production. “’Spring Awakening’ is a little bit of a controversial show that deals with a lot of adult themes, but we had an almost sold-out Friday night and a great talk-back session on Saturday night.”

Wedge said six SVSU students are among the 14 cast members and seven students — along with one alumna and an SVSU staff member — are on the 20-person production team.

SVSU student cast members are Brianne Dolney, a theatre major from Bay City; Dakotah J. Myers, a theatre major from Saginaw; Carly Peil, a communication major from Auburn; Randy Robinson, a theatre major from Saginaw; Kale Schafer, a health science major from Freeland; and Alice Vanston, a pre-nursing major from Saginaw.

SVSU students in the design crew are Taylor Ackerman, a theatre major from Montrose; Alexis Alexander, a theatre major from New Lothrop; J. Cullen Humphreys, a theatre major from Saginaw; Lucy Kalinowski, a theatre major from Grand Rapids; John Little, a theatre major from Saginaw; Blake Mazur, a theatre major from Saginaw; and Amanda Moths, a theatre major from Jenison.

Sara Taylor, a 2002 SVSU graduate, is the play’s music director; and Gerald Dennis, SVSU technical director, is the set designer.

General admission tickets for “Spring Awakening” are $22. Those with student IDs can pay $10 if they purchase tickets up to 15 minutes before the show starts.

For more information, visit Pit and Balcony's website at www.pitandbalconytheatre.com.

May 13, 2014

SVSU student Jennica Young, of Saginaw Township, accepted into Ph.D. program at Southern Illinois University

Jennica Young graduated from SVSU in May, 2014.‌Saginaw Township native Jennica Young this fall has been accepted into a Ph.D. program in psychology at Southern Illinois University's Brain and Cognitive Science program.

Young's next academic challenge will follow her graduation from Saginaw Valley State University, where she is set to receive a bachelor's degree in psychology in May. She will join some 1,000 classmates earning degrees from the institution.

Young's passion for studying traumatic brain injury is about more than academics and career ambitions, she said. It's personal.

Seven years ago, her sister sustained such an injury when she hit the back of her head on a large metal pole, and has been on the road to recovery ever since.

"She's just now seeing improvements," said Young, who hopes her contributions to the science one day will help speed up such recovery times.

Eventually, the 2008 Heritage High School graduate wants to work in a research facility at a medical center such as the Mayo Clinic, advancing the world's understanding of conditions including traumatic brain injury.

Charles Weaver, an assistant professor of health sciences at SVSU, was Young's instructor in four classes. Weaver recognized in her both a knack for science and a genuine empathy for the human condition -- two qualities he believes makes her an invaluable addition to neuroscience studies.

"Jennica displayed a unique ability to systematically apply subject matter from one class to the topic presented in another," he said. "It was wonderful to behold.

"She also never gave the impression that her schooling was just about getting the highest grade," Weaver said. "Jennica is a public servant. She cares about human suffering, and wants to alleviate it. Graduate school, and a career in neuroscience pain research is her way of getting to do just that."

Early on, she eyed a major in SVSU's pre-health professions curriculum.

"After a lot of shadowing and thinking about it, I didn't know if I wanted to work as close to people," Young said. "I wanted to do more background work. Eventually, I found the neuroscience lab and liked research a lot more."

That lab -- SVSU's Brain Research Laboratory -- exposes students to neuroscience research and offers opportunities to present findings at conferences and seminars across the nation.

Young is also one of a select number of students to receive funding from SVSU's Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Student Research and Creativity Institute, a program supporting student research projects. Her project involved studying the effects of an enriched environment -- stimulation via physical and social surroundings -- on traumatic brain injuries.

Young's SVSU journey extends beyond classrooms and laboratories.

She participated in two trips for Alternative Breaks, an SVSU program sending students to volunteer for causes across the globe. Her first excursion involved building houses for Habitat For Humanity in West Virginia. The second trip allowed her to volunteer at a substance abuse clinic in Atlanta.

She's also volunteered at the Special Olympics event SVSU hosts annually.

May 13, 2014

SVSU student Kerri Vasold accepted to Michigan State University Ph.D. program for kinesiology

Kerri Vasold graduated from SVSU in May, 2014.Shepherd native Kerri Vasold been accepted to the Michigan State University Ph.D. program for kinesiology. She begins this fall.

Vasold is one of some 1,000 students set to graduate from Saginaw Valley State University this May. Not long after collecting her bachelor's degree in exercise science, Vasold will prepare for the next academic step in her pursuit of becoming a kinesiology educator at the college level.

The 2010 Shepherd High School graduate is a capable candidate for such a profession, says one of her mentors.

Jeremy Knous, SVSU associate professor of kinesiology, assigned Vasold the moniker "Mama Duck" because of her outstanding leadership abilities, often displayed in the way she organizes gatherings and makes sure her student peers are in the best position to succeed.

"She takes charge of things so it's run in proper fashion," Knous said. "She has an absolute passion to reach her goals, and while she's doing that, she has a kind heart to take care of others."

Her leadership skills, smarts and devotion to the study of exercise science have made her a star student at SVSU, Knous said.

"From an academic standpoint, she is one of the brightest people I've worked with," Knous said. "She's intelligent, humble. She'll do very well in graduate school."

And beyond, Knous predicts.

"She has the potential to be a great professor," said Knous, who tasks Vasold as a teaching assistant in several of his classrooms.

"I see her being a game changer in the field of kinesiology. She's going to be a very good asset to us or another university."

Vasold credits SVSU for equipping her for that next step.

And SVSU nearly never happened for her. Before graduating from Shepherd High School, Vasold had applied to eight colleges. When a friend suggested SVSU as a destination, her curiosity led her to tour the campus.

"I absolutely fell in love with it," Vasold said of the springtime visit. "The people here were relatable. I wanted to be here."

She began as a biochemistry major, but by the end of her freshman year, Vasold had developed an interest in kinesiology that hasn't waned since. Her studies in the subject have propelled her toward a number of opportunities.

Vasold, for instance, is a member of the university's Student Exercise Science Association, a group dedicated to raising health awareness in the campus and community.

Last year, she and fellow student Elizabeth Groendal were selected to receive $5,200 in research funds as part of SVSU's Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Student Research and Creativity Institute. Their project resulted in findings that show people who exercised sparsely were more likely to increase their physical activity if they wore fitness wristband monitors, also known as Fitbit technology.

Vasold also is a member of the institution's Roberts Fellowship Program, a year-long initiative that involves leadership development sessions for a dozen students. The opportunity finishes with a visit to Asia in May.

"I'm really excited but really nervous at the same time," she said of the coming trip abroad. "It's going to be a bit of a culture shock."

Knous said, after she's gone from the university, her accomplishments as a student there will make her a shining example for prospective Cardinals.

"She's a great representation of what students can achieve at SVSU," Knous said. "She came here from high school, achieving, and she will continue to do that."