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President’s Weekly Update - Week of Monday, October 3, 2016

Spirited Homecoming week

Students rally for ABC 12s Marc Jacobson on Friday morning.

Photo Credit: WJRT

Homecoming is always a special time of year on campus, and this year is proving to be no exception. We have seen Red Pride building throughout the week. We even had an enthusiastic group of students on campus from 5 to 7 a.m. today for ABC 12's “School Spirit” challenge, which also serves as a service project, as students donate non-perishable food items for the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. This weekend, we will welcome many alumni back to campus, recognize a new Homecoming king, queen and court, and – we hope – celebrate a victory. My appreciation to all the students who have participated in Homecoming events this week, and to the faculty and staff who have supported them.

Theatre season opens next week

The Cripple of Inishmaan Logo

Our fall theatre schedule opens next Wednesday with the staging of Martin McDonagh's classic “The Cripple of Inishmaan.” In this dark comedy set in 1934, the people of Inishmaan learn a Hollywood director is filming a documentary on a neighboring island. Character Cripple Billy, an unloved boy whose chief occupation had been gazing at cows and yearning for a girl who wants no part of him, is determined to cross the sea and audition for the Yank. Dave Rzeszutek, associate professor of theatre, is directing, and said students have responded well to working with a dialect coach to help them learn an Irish accent. Our theatre productions are consistently well done. I encourage you to attend, as your schedule permits.

Wind Ensemble concert

A jazz ensemble

There are a number of performing arts events planned for the coming weeks. Among those is the Wind Ensemble concert featuring our student musicians and our new colleague, Norm Wika, assistant professor of music. Wika will direct the ensemble's 29 performers Thursday, Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m. in SVSU's Rhea Miller Recital Hall.

Heretical lives matter

We Inspire Visiting Scholars and Speakers Lecture Series 2016-17

The first visiting scholar in our Visiting Scholars and Artists lecture series will be Paul Chang-Ha Lim; he will present next Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. in Founders Hall. Lim, an associate professor of history and religious studies at Vanderbilt University, is presenting our Barstow Lecture this year. His talk is titled “Heretical Lives Matter…Really? Policing the Boundaries of Mystery in Civil War London.” Lim’s latest book, “Mystery Unveiled: The Crisis of the Trinity in Early Modern England,” was awarded the Roland H. Bainton Prize as the best book in history or theology in 2013 by the Sixteenth Century Society and Conference. I look forward to his presentation, and I hope to see many of you there..

Employment Fair today

Art Lewis interviews Subha and Bijesh, as they are discussing how they plan to meet with as many of the 120+ employers that will be in attendance as possible.

More than 120 businesses and organizations registered to interview our students and alumni as part of our employment and networking fair, hosted by Career Services. I enjoyed the opportunity to appear on WSGW’s Art Lewis Show to promote the event, though our students and alumni already had done a good job in this regard. This fair is one of several such events we hold throughout the year, and we should encourage our students to attend. Among employers who participated in one or more SVSU job fairs last year, 84 percent reported that they followed up with at least one candidate, and 57 percent made a job offer to at least one candidate they met at a fair.

Community-minded service

SVSU participants in the 2016 AIDS walk.

While organizers of the annual AIDS Run & Walk Great Lakes Bay Region moved the event from our campus to Bay City this year, we continued to show great dedication toward the cause. A number of our Peer Health Educator students volunteered their time to support the event, which raised over $40,000. This walk has been an annual partnership with Sacred Heart and SVSU Student Wellness Programs. Special thanks to Cortney Heileman, coordinator of Peer Health Education, and Katie Weller, a nursing major from Peck and sexual responsibility coordinator for PHC, who assisted in organizing this event.

Cyber Security

Fisherman hooking a computer.

October is national Cyber Security Awareness Month, and here at SVSU we are promoting cyber security, too. I know that hackers often target universities, but I was surprised to learn that last month, nearly 7 million legitimate emails were delivered to our campus community, while more than 13 million emails were blocked as spam! We are fortunate to have a dedicated team of IT professionals who are committed to protecting our networks. A special word of thanks to John LaPrad, manager of technology services, because his is a particularly thankless job. Each of us can do our part to be vigilant, and some helpful tips are posted in the MySVSU portal. Please take the time to review them, for your sake and ours.

Cardinals flying high

We have enjoyed a good week for SVSU Athletics and have many home contests this weekend. The football team rallied to win at Michigan Tech last weekend and will host Northern Michigan at 7 p.m. Saturday. Men’s soccer scored a big win over No. 12 Tiffin on Wednesday, and they host Northwood at 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Women’s soccer has won their last two matches and will host Michigan Tech at 1 p.m. today and Northern Michigan at noon Sunday. Women’s tennis won both matches last weekend and hosts Ashland at 1 p.m. Saturday and Walsh at 10 a.m. Sunday. Please show your support for our student-athletes, as your schedule permits.