May 13, 2014

SVSU senior Evan Nudi, from Flint, to attend University of Texas at Austin Ph.D. program in behavioral neuroscience

Evan Nudi graduated from SVSU in May 2014.Flint native Evan Nudi will head to Texas this fall with plans to pursue a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin's behavioral neuroscience program.

He will continue the sort of research he began at Saginaw Valley State University, where Nudi graduates along with some 1,000 other students in May. He'll receive a bachelor's degree in psychology.

The 2007 Flushing High School graduate hopes one day to be able to oversee his own research lab studying traumatic brain injuries and strokes.

His work in SVSU's Brain Research Laboratory helped shape those aspirations.

"I've always been interested in the brain and brain functioning," he said. "At first, I went down the clinical psychology route, and I knew it wasn't for me."

While working at the laboratory, Nudi was charged with overseeing two projects studying traumatic brain injury and recovery. The second project was funded by SVSU's Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Student Research and Creativity Institute, a program supporting student research projects, up to $10,000.

Charles Weaver, an SVSU assistant professor of health sciences who worked with Nudi in the laboratory, said his student possesses the wherewithal to succeed at the next level. And the level after that.

"He is methodical and confident in his skills, and intellectually, is graduate school-ready," Weaver said. "Because of his ability to problem-solve, he was given many responsibilities, and managed and completed them efficiently. Evan is one those students who truly understands the necessity of learning the fundamentals of basic neuroscience.

"His vision of becoming a research scientist is within his grasp, and he is ready to seize it," Weaver said. "The effort is there and the heart is there."

Nudi praised the opportunities that opened up for him, including several trips where he presented his research to others -- including professionals -- in the field.

Nudi has presented twice at the Society for Neuroscience Conference, including once in New Orleans and again at San Diego; at the National Neurotrauma Society symposium in Nashville; and at the Michigan chapter of the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting. He plans to attend a second conference for the latter group when it convenes May 30.

May 13, 2014

Alpena native Hope Bauer to pursue doctor of medicine degree from Michigan State University

‌Alpena native Hope Bauer this fall will pursue a doctor of medicine degree from Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine. ‌

Bauer’s latest academic endeavor will begin after she receives her bachelor’s degree in biology from Saginaw Valley State University in May. She joins some 1,000 other graduates earning degrees from the institution.

Bauer said her studies in medicine and her ambition to become a doctor were inspired in part by migraines she’s endured since she was a youth.

“I had to go to the ER a lot,” she said of the migraines that began when she was six. “I wanted to be able to help people the way the doctors were able to help me since I was little.”

As a child growing up in Alpena, Bauer played with toy stethoscopes and faux syringes while many of her friends collected Barbie dolls. With her latest decision, Bauer is one step closer to achieving that lifelong goal of practicing medicine. Specifically, she hopes to work as an orthopedic surgeon in a community resembling her hometown.

“I would love to be in northern Michigan,” she said.

The faculty and staff who have watched Bauer blossom as an undergraduate predict she will achieve her goals.

“She’s a superstar when it comes to medicine,” said Heidi Lang, SVSU’s pre-health professions advisor. “She’s the full package.”

Bauer has proven her value outside of the classroom setting too.

The President’s Scholarship recipient was a member of Phi Sigma Sigma, worked as a tutor for biology and chemistry students, volunteered at Saginaw’s Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center, and participated in an SVSU Alternative Breaks trip that sent students to mentor youths at a North Carolina YMCA.

Those experiences could have been very different had Bauer followed an initial path after graduating from Alpena High School in 2010. Originally, she was set to attend another university for her undergraduate studies, but two of her SVSU-bound friends and a campus visit convinced her to become a Cardinal instead.

“I am so happy (with the choice),” she said. “I gained a lot here. I really liked the close interaction and doing research with an advisor.”

It was an experience she admits isn’t easy to leave behind.

“I don’t know if it’s hit me quite yet,” Bauer said of the fact she’s soon to graduate from SVSU. “I’m just going into the unknown. That’s what I did when I came here, and that worked out.”

May 7, 2014

Jake Dunkerson and Garrick Salois awarded FNI fellowships

The Field Neuroscience Institute has selected two SVSU neuroscience students to receive fellowship for the 2014-15 academic year. Each student will receive $3500.00 to help cover their tuition costs at Saginaw Valley State University. Jake Dunkerson, a senior Health Science major and Garrick Salois, a senior Psychology major will perform independent research projects (sponsored by the SVSU Student Research and Creativity Institute) exploring how the environment impacts neuroplasticity.

For more information about SVSU, click here.

For more informationa about the SRCI program at SVSU, click here.

For information about the Field Neuroscience Institue, click here.

May 5, 2014

Jake Dunkerson wins NNS Travel Award!

The National Neurotrauma Society offers a limited number of travel grants for postdoctoral fellows and graduate students presenting their exciting results. Funding provided by the National Neurotrauma Symposium and an NIH grant allows for up to $10,000 in travel grants. Grants are awarded based on financial need and merit.

For more information on the National Neurotrauma Society meeting, click here.

May 5, 2014

Jake Dunkerson wins SRCI!

Due to the prevalence of TBI, and scarcity of restorative treatments for surviving victims of TBI, the exploration of a possible preclinical therapy is thus warranted. Researchers have demonstrated that CCI to the rat mFC results in persisting cognitive, behavioral, and neurodegenerative cellular response for up to one year post injury. The EE paradigm by itself reduces these deficits, and when combined with stem cell therapy, results in full functional recovery short-term; however, this combination has only been demonstrated in acute brain injury models. In this light, the purpose of the current investigation is to measure functional recovery and observe histological outcomes in prolonged exposure to EE and delayed stem cell transplantation for 3 months post-mFC CCI injury in rats. It is hypothesized that rats exposed to an EE long-term that receive stem cell transplantation with achieve greater functional gains and experience a superior neuroprotective response than rats exposed to EE without stem cell therapy.

The SRCI committe awarded $9994.40 to support Jake's project.

For more information about the SRCI program at SVSU click here.

May 5, 2014

Garrick Salois wins SRCI!

The proposed study will investigate the differences in neuronal morphology and astrocyte proliferation between groups of rats that received either pre-injury EE or SE and either EE or SE post-injury. Samples will be optically cleared using SeeDB and IHC will be used in order to visualize morphological and structural differences between groups. To investigate differences in total dendritic length, total bifurcations, and dendritic spine density, anti- microtubule-associated protein (MAP-2) will be used. The antibody anti-synaptophysin will be used to quantify synapses in the sample. Neuronal nuclei will be labeled with NeuN and counted in order to quantify cell loss in the injured brain. To quantify the immune response to the injury astrocytes will be labeled with glial fibrillary-associated protein (GFAP) (Beonisch, Farmilo, & Stead, 1989). After IHC, samples will be imaged using confocal microscopy. The series of images produced will be stitched into single 3-dimensional images using Imaris. Imaris will then be used to volumetrically render portions of the tissue that are immunohistochemically-labeled. The software may then be used to calculate dimension, such as combined length of dendritic arbors; or to count cellular and morphological features such as neural cell counts and dendritic spines. Three regions will be analyzed: the CA1 region of the hippocampus, the medial dorsal thalamic nucleus (MDN), and the lesion site. CA1 is an important region of interest for two reasons. Firstly, CA1 is a site of migration of progenitor cells from the dentate gyrus. Secondly, the hippocampus plays a role in learning and memory and cellular differences in this region may facilitate observed recovery in these cognitive functions following TBI (Gaulke et al., 2005). The MDN is associated with executive functioning and MFC contusion results in substantial neural loss and astrocytosis in this region (Sato, Chang, Igarashi, & Noble, 2001; Bigler & Maxwell, 2011). It is hypothesized that rats reared in EE and that are returned to EE following MFC contusion will show increases in dendritic length, total bifurcations, dendritic spines, and synapses when compared to rats that experience EE only before or only after injury. Animals experiencing any EE will show an improvement in these morphological features compared to animals that receive only SE.

The SRCI committe awarded $9957.73 to support Garrick's project.

For more information about the SRCI program at SVSU click here.

May 2, 2014

Microsoft Internet Explorer Fixed

By Mike Holliday

Tuesday, May 1, 2014, Microsoft released a critical security update for Internet Explorer (IE). Users are encouraged to run Windows Update to patch their system. All versions of IE have a patch issued, including Windows XP.

To run Windows Update

  • Click Start
  • In the Search box, type: Windows Update
            (XP users may find it under Programs-Accessories-System Tools)
  • Choose Check for Updates
  • Install ALL Important/Security Updates (optional are optional)
            - Some updates may require a system reboot to completely finish the installation.
            - Some updates are cumulative, so you may need to repeat the steps above to get all important updates.

To verify that you are patched

  • Click Start
  • In the Search box, type: Windows Update
  • Click on View Update History
  • Sort by Date Installed
  • Look for:  Security Update for Internet Explorer..... (KB2964358)  or  (KB2964444)
           - Look for Installed On date:  5/1/2014 (or since)

If you have either KB update mentioned above - your Internet Explorer is patched and you should feel "safe" to use IE again.

For personal home computers
Make sure your system is enabled to get updates automatically from Microsoft.  For instructions to get security updates automatically from Microsoft, visit:
(NOTE: SVSU managed systems are already set to automatically obtain updates)

For those interested in the technical details about this security bulletin from Microsoft, visit:

For known issues about the security update:

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the I.T. Support Center at 989-964-4225. 

April 29, 2014

Internet Explorer Vulnerability

By Mike Holliday

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), along with US-CERT (Computer Emergency Readiness Team), have issued an advisory for users of Internet Explorer (IE) to discontinue use of IE until it is patched by Microsoft. The vulnerability is active and is being used to exploit and compromise systems.  Data and personal information are at high risk.

CERT has recommended users switch to another browser (Firefox/Chrome) until Microsoft has issued a fix.  As noted in a previous news article, users of Windows XP are even more vulnerable to this exploit.

Until further notice, SVSU ITS recommends all users switch and use Firefox or Chrome. 

Download Firefox from:

Download Chrome from:

To learn how change your default browser in Windows 7, watch this tutorial we put together:


For more details about this CERT alert:

From Microsoft, their technical details and workaround are posted in the following article:

April 11, 2014

Protect Yourself Against Heartbleed

Posted 4/11/2014

By Holly LaRose-Roenicke

As many of you may have heard, a flaw has been discovered in a common Internet security method. Although no specific security breaches have been identified, the flaw could allow malicious users to steal personal information. The flaw is associated with specific versions of OpenSSL, which is software that is widely used to secure web server traffic. The flaw is known as the "Heartbleed" vulnerability.

Many common websites using OpenSSL have been identified as vulnerable, including Yahoo!, Flickr, NASA and Facebook, among others. A fix for this flaw, which was announced this week, is available, and Internet service providers and website managers around the world are working to implement the patch.

What You Need to Do

ITS is strongly urging all SVSU students, staff and faculty to change your network password. To change your password, please go to and click on "changing your password" below the login box and follow the prompts to change your current password. 

Other Websites

  • For non-SVSU web services that contain sensitive data,  refrain from logging in for a few days while those are servers are patched or until you are certain they are not at risk. Or check a list of 100 most common websites and whether they have been fixed.
  • Confirm that websites you use have checked their systems and fixed them if needed. Once a website has patched the Heartbleed vulnerability, you should change your password for that site as swiftly as possible.
    • The password security firm LastPass has set up a Heartbleed Checker, which allows you to enter the URL of any website to check its vulnerability to the bug and whether the site has issued a patch.
  • If the site or service hasn't patched the flaw yet, contact the company and ask when it expects to push out a fix to deal with Heartbleed.
  • If they have not patched the flaw, avoid logging in to their service until they do. Once they confirm they have fixed the problem, then change your password.

To get detailed information on this bug, you can visit the website.

The safety and security of the Saginaw Valley community is paramount – please use the above resources to ensure your personal information is protected.

April 1, 2014

Building a Better Password

Originally Updated 2/1/2012 © 2012 ePlace Solutions, Inc.

By Jennifer Paradise

Frustrated with trying to conjure up a password that no one could guess and that you’re not supposed to write down?  You’re not alone.

This training bulletin is designed to help.  In addition to offering the current “best practice” advice on passwords, some helpful tips are included.

Password Best Practices: 

  • Make your password at least eight characters long, but the longer the better.
  • Try to avoid repeating characters more than twice.
  • Make sure it has at least one letter, and one number.
  • Use a mix of small and capital letters. 
  • Use at least two of these characters somewhere in your password: ~!@#$%^&*()-_+={}[]\|;:/?.,<>.

How could anyone remember a password that complies with all of these best practices?   Here are some tips:

Think of some activity or place that you enjoy or find interesting, but avoid subjects that you discuss in social media, birthplaces, etc.  For example, you might say that Brazil, South America is interesting.  Start by making the password a manageable length, like BrazilSoAm.  Next, employ some of these ideas, or come up with your own variations:

  • The letter “a” looks like “@”, so swap it.  Now the password is Br@zilSo@m
  • The letter “i” looks a little like an exclamation point “!”, so swap it.  Now the password is Br@z!lSo@m.
  • The letter “L” looks a little like the number “1”, so swap it.  Now the password is Br@z!1So@m.
  • You might think that “Brazil, South America” could be separated to be easier to read, so add your favorite separator.  Now the password is Br@z!1>So>@m.

Some other ideas to get you thinking:  The letter “B” looks a little like “(3” or “/3”.  An “S” could be replaced with “$”.