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Saginaw Valley State University graduates will hear from Patti Poppe, president and CEO of Consumers Energy, during Commencement exercises Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11.
Through their hard work and commitment, nearly 1,100 students are expected to complete degree requirements, and 992 individuals have indicated they plan to don regalia and participate in their respective ceremony. SVSU has 921 students expected to complete bachelor’s degrees and 177 who will receive master’s or other advanced degrees.
Students graduating in the colleges of Business & Management and Health and Human Services will participate in the Friday ceremony at 7:30 p.m. Students graduating in the colleges of Arts & Behavioral Sciences, Education, and Science, Engineering and Technology will take part in the Saturday ceremony at 11 a.m. Both ceremonies are held in O’Neill Arena of the Ryder Center.
As is tradition, SVSU President Don Bachand will congratulate each graduate as they cross the stage.
Poppe is president and chief executive officer of Jackson, Michigan-based CMS Energy and its principal subsidiary, Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest utility and the nation’s fourth largest combination utility. Consumers Energy provides electricity and natural gas to 6.7 million of Michigan’s 10 million lower peninsula residents. She was named to this position in July 2016.
Poppe held a variety of automotive management positions and served as power plant director at Detroit, Michigan-based DTE Energy before returning to her hometown of Jackson to join Consumers Energy in 2011.
Poppe earned a master’s degree in management from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. She also completed a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in industrial engineering from Purdue University.
As president and chief executive officer, Poppe has focused on the company's triple bottom line commitment to people, the planet and Michigan's prosperity.
The Consumers Energy Foundation supported the Consumers Energy Talent Program for SVSU engineering students, as well as high school students who enrolled in SVSU’s Engineering Careers and Concepts course. Senior electrical or mechanical engineering students at SVSU applied for funding from Consumers Energy for senior design capstone projects focused on alternative energy. To qualify, students were required to propose a novel idea, plan the time line, budget for supplies and conduct research and development activities accordingly for a two-semester project.
For those unable to attend Commencement exercises, SVSU will provide a live video stream of each ceremony. The link and additional information can be found online at svsu.edu/commencement.
An economist hoping to familiarize Midwestern communities with the United States’ central banking system will visit Saginaw Valley State University later this month.
Cindy Ivanac-Lillig, an economic outreach specialist at the Chicago Federal Reserve, will discuss the central bank’s influence on the U.S. economy Thursday, March 28, at 6 p.m. in SVSU's Curtiss Hall, seminar rooms D and E. The event is free and open to the public.
Ivanac-Lillig joined the Chicago Federal Reserve in 2008. She leads a variety of economic education programs for Midwest teachers, students and professional associations while also managing education partnerships on behalf of the organization.
Prior to joining the Chicago Federal Reserve, Ivanac-Lillig provided financial consulting for London-based Ernst & Young and worked abroad for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Ivanac-Lillig received a master’s degree in international affairs and economics from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in 2003 as well as a bachelor’s degree in finance from Boston College in 1995.
For more information on her appearance at SVSU, please contact Kellie Konsor, SVSU assistant professor of economics, at (989) 964-4323 or email event organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
The childhood lemonade stands were just a warmup for Maggie Walker, a Saginaw Valley State University student whose entrepreneurial ambitions led her to start a retailing business as a college junior and win a first-place statewide award for it recently.
The SVSU accounting major from Laingsburg received the first-place nod in the entrepreneurship category of the Michigan Collegiate DECA competition hosted in Dearborn Feb. 1-3. She and five of her SVSU classmates at the contest qualified for Collegiate DECA’s national competition scheduled for April in Orlando.
“It was pretty surprising to win,” Walker said. “It was great hearing someone tell you that your idea could be successful.”
Collegiate DECA is an international association of high school and college students interested in marketing, management and entrepreneurship in business, finance, hospitality, and marketing sales and service. The organization hosts competitions judged by panelists, including mock investors.
The business plan Walker pitched to a mock investor in the entrepreneurship category, though, was no mock setup. She presented her own real-life start-up, Everyday Adult, which she founded in August 2018 to help young business professionals purchase professional clothing at affordable prices. Already, she has sold clothing to 60 customers and built an online following of 10,000 people.
Walker said Everyday Adult sprouted from her own shopping habits.
“I buy a lot of clothing for myself, and some of the prices are so high for a college student like me, so I like to find the best prices,” she said.
She decided to apply those bargain-hunting skills to a business plan by finding new or barely-used clothing and offering those items to customers largely through Poshmark, a retailing website. Her customers are primarily 25 or younger. Her Poshmark account can be found at https://poshmark.com/closet/poshwmw.
While the business transactions occur online, Walker said she hopes to expand Everyday Adult’s presence.
“My end goal is to purchase a trailer and sell at pop-up boutiques,” she said.
Walker said she applied many of the business practices learned while studying at SVSU. The result is a company with a promising start, she said.
“This is pretty much my first real business if you don’t count the lemonade stands I had when I was a kid,” she said. “It’s been great.”
Along with Walker, the following SVSU students competed at the Michigan Collegiate DECA contest earlier this month:
There are about 15,000 Collegiate DECA members representing about 250 colleges and universities nationwide. SVSU's DECA chapter is led by Amy Hendrickson, associate professor of law, and Betsy Pierce, associate professor of accounting.
During the 2019 national tournament, a pair of Saginaw Valley State University students demonstrated the hard work and tireless commitment that continues to make the institution's moot court program among the best in the United States.
SVSU teammates Lindsey Mead and Justin Weller advanced to the round of 32 at the American Moot Court Association national tournament Jan. 12-13 at Florida A&M College of Law in Orlando. They qualified for the second day of the competition and won their opening match of the day before being eliminated; 80 teams from across the U.S. qualified for the annual contest.
“It was a great showing for the team,” said Julie Keil, the program's founder and adviser as well as an SVSU associate professor of political science. “We expect to have both students back next season, which bodes well for us.”
Mead, an English major from Saginaw who also competed in the 2018 national tournament, is a junior at SVSU. Weller, a political science major from Bay City, is a sophomore.
Acting as teams of two attorneys, students competing in moot court tournament are tasked with arguing two hypothetical legal cases based on real-life courtroom battles. The competition is judged based on the clarity of the students' argument, their public speaking skills, their ability to answer questions, and how well they know the law and the case.
Mead and Weller were among 160 of the nation's most elite moot court competitors who qualified for this month's national tournament based on their performances in regional tournaments. In total, 878 students participated in the American Moot Court Association's 2018-19 season.
The SVSU moot court program has competed at the highest level over the years, and SVSU consistently has been ranked among the nation's top programs. Its current ranking by the American Moot Court Association at No. 19 is its highest yet, ahead of larger institutions such as Texas A&M University (ranked no. 21) and University of Louisville (No. 23).
A listing of the top 25 programs can be found at www.acmamootcourt.org/top-programs-in-intercollegiate-moot-court.
Two Saginaw Valley State University professors will expand their research through support received from SVSU’s Braun Fellowship. One research project will examine the efficiency of free market societies, while another will map invasive species at a national wildlife refuge.
Kaustav Misra, associate professor of economics, and Rhett Mohler, associate professor of geography, each will receive research support grants totaling up to $37,500 over the next three years to further their scholarly and professional activities. Funds may be used for research expenses, equipment, travel and/or other related support.
SVSU empowers students through research opportunities, and both projects will involve SVSU students serving as research assistants.
Misra's research will test existing studies and theories concluding that free market societies are more efficient than their non-free market counterparts. His project will involve researching the markets in India and Vietnam.
“The results will help institutional theorists and policy makers who are associated with policy designs, and increase the knowledge base of the field,” Misra said.
Misra received his Ph.D. in applied economics from Mississippi State University in 2010. He joined the SVSU faculty in 2011 and now serves as the chair of both SVSU's Department of Economics; the Research and Publications Committee; and the Vitito Global Leadership Institute, a student leadership development program for students in SVSU's Scott L. Carmona College of Business & Management. His previous economics-based research has appeared in over 20 peer-reviewed journals.
Mohler's research will involve mapping two invasive plants – buckthorn and common reed – in the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, south of Saginaw. Using drone technology, he plans to continue monitoring the plants' presence as treatment is applied in the coming years. The results, he said, will inform wildlife management communities about the treatment's effectiveness.
“Research like this helps me to teach informed classes by being on the leading edge of what is being done in my research field,” Mohler said.
Mohler earned his Ph.D. in geography from Kansas State University in 2011 and joined the SVSU faculty the following year. His earlier research – dealing in part with remote sensing and geospatial analysis – has been published in peer-reviewed journals 12 times over the years.
Mohler's studies have connected him with a number of environmental groups in the region. He is a member of both the Friends of the Bay City State Recreation Area as well as the Saginaw Bay Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area.
Both Misra and Mohler plan to present their findings through articles submitted in peer-reviewed academic journals as well as presentations at conferences across the globe.
Both projects will benefit communities - both local and global - all while providing hands-on experience for the student research assistants helping the educators analyze data and manage drone technology.
Established in 2005, the Braun Fellowship program was created through a $1.5 million endowment from the Saginaw-based Harvey Randall Wickes Foundation. Administered by the Saginaw Community Foundation, the program's purpose is to recognize the exceptional accomplishments and potential of select SVSU faculty and staff. It is named in honor of Ruth and Ted Braun of Saginaw.
Saginaw Valley State University welcomed campus, community and business leaders to celebrate a $25 million construction project that will enhance business research and education, while also supporting the region's business community through state-of-the-art educational resources and strengthened partnerships with local entrepreneurs.
The groundbreaking ceremony for a planned 38,500-square-foot building expansion to house SVSU's Scott L. Carmona College of Business & Management began at 11:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 22. The event was held near the entrance of SVSU's Groening Commons, next to where the addition will be built.
“This building project will provide resources to advance teaching and learning in our business disciplines, and it further reinforces our commitment to graduate outstanding business professionals for the leading employers in our region and our state,” said Donald Bachand, SVSU president.
“We would like to thank the state legislators who supported the nearly $10 million in state funding we received for this project, as well as the many alumni and friends who have given generously to create these new opportunities for students, faculty, staff and the business community.”
Bachand joined several speakers for the event. Others included Andrew Bethune, executive director of The SVSU Foundation; Anthony Bowrin, dean of the Scott L. Carmona College of Business & Management; John Kaczynski, SVSU director of Governmental Affairs; Morrison Stevens Sr., chairman of Stevens Worldwide Van Lines and a chair of the fundraising campaign supporting the expansion project; and Jenée Velasquez, executive director of The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation as well as chair of the SVSU Board of Control.
The namesake of the College of Business & Management, Scott Carmona, also spoke at the groundbreaking. In May, the SVSU alumnus and his family pledged the lead gift for the project's fundraising campaign.
“SVSU equipped me with many of the tools in life that I used to build a successful career in business along with the steadfast support of my wife, Nancy,” said Carmona, the owner of Sunrise National Distributors Inc. and a member of SVSU's Board of Control.
“It is our hope that this newly constructed and renovated building will be an inspiration for the many business students to remain engaged with this wonderful community and to share their time, talent and treasures. Because at SVSU, success is not acquired for its own sake, but for the sake of the people and the places that once lifted you up.”
The expansion project will create additional space to house the academic college's classrooms, faculty offices and business programs. Those elements are spread across SVSU's campus today.
The new space also will include state-of-the-art technology such as analytics labs and a Bloomberg Trading Room, which tracks stock data in real time. Planners say the upgrades will provide hands-on learning opportunities for students while also encouraging members of the business community to visit campus and engage with students.
"The opportunities and technologies that will be available when this facility opens in 2020 will be spectacular and will prepare and empower students for many years to come," Carmona said.
The $25 million project is funded in part by a $9.8 million commitment from the State of Michigan. The SVSU Foundation is leading a $15 million fundraising campaign to support the expansion project.
Following the Monday groundbreaking ceremony, a reception will be hosted in SVSU's Curtiss Hall second floor banquet rooms. The banquet rooms also will serve as an alternative site of the groundbreaking ceremony in the event of poor weather conditions.
Campus and community leaders will gather Monday for a groundbreaking ceremony before construction begins on a $25 million building expansion project at Saginaw Valley State University. The 38,500-square-foot expansion, announced earlier this year, will house SVSU's Scott L. Carmona College of Business & Management when construction is expected to finish in January 2020.
The groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 22 at 11:30 a.m. near the entrance to Groening Commons. In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will move indoors to the Curtiss Hall banquet rooms.
The expansion project will create additional space to house the academic college's classrooms, faculty offices and business programs. The new space also will include state-of-the-art technology such as analytics labs and a Bloomberg Trading Room, which tracks stock data in real time. Planners say the upgrades will provide hands-on learning opportunities for students while also encouraging members of the business community to visit campus and engage with students.
Saginaw Valley State University students elected Kayla Flintoft and Tyler Boylen as the 2018 Homecoming queen and king, respectively.
Flintoft and Boylen were crowned Saturday, Oct. 13 during a halftime ceremony at SVSU's home football game against Northern Michigan University.
Flintoft is a biology and secondary education major from Caro. She is involved in SVSU's Outdoor Adventures program and works for Residential Life. Flintoft also is member of the university’s Foundation Scholars Program.
Boylen is a supply chain management and marketing double major from Gladwin. He works at SVSU's Residential Life and Campus Recreation offices, and serves as a campus tour guide.
Alongside Flintoft and Boylen, eight other students were selected to serve on the Homecoming Court earlier in the month.
The students joining them on the 2018 Homecoming Court were as follows:
Two Saginaw Valley State University club hockey players have been selected to serve as members of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Division III Select Team.
Guy Soulliere, a graphic design major from Gladwin, and Steven Roberts, a general business major from Beaverton, have made great impacts on SVSU's team and on the national stage, leading to them having the opportunity to compete at the international level.
“When I found out, I was ecstatic,” Roberts said. “I went to Europe two years ago with the same team, and we traveled a lot. We got to play good hockey, and it was a great learning experience. I enjoyed traveling and learning about the different cultures over there.”
As members of this team, they will travel to Albany, New York for team training camp from Aug. 30 to Sept. 4 to prepare for the Student Hockey Challenge in Krasnoyarsk, Russia from Sept. 28 to Oct. 8. They will play teams from both Europe and Russia.
Only 22 players were selected from the 158 Division III club hockey teams in the nation, with SVSU being one of 14 colleges and universities represented this year.
“When I found out I was selected along with another team member, I was very excited,” Soulliere said. “It's an experience only few get to have, and I am honored to be selected.”
Both athletes are entering their fifth and final year of competition at SVSU. Last season, Roberts played center and was the scoring leader of the team. Soulliere was the overall point leader while he played forward and defense.
The two hockey players said they are eager to vie for a tournament championship across the world.
The teammates are eager to travel and compete, but Soulliere said that they will not be taking this opportunity for granted.
A leader and educational expert from Ghana will grace the Great Lakes Bay Region, offering ambassadorial greetings focused on culture and economic partnership potential.
Nana Osim Kwatia II, a leader from Ghana, will attend a number of festivals and events while touring Michigan attractions next week. At SVSU, he will participate in a session aimed at identifying opportunities for Michigan businesses to invest in Ghana during a gathering with the region's economic leaders Friday, Aug. 10.
He will be accompanied by his economic adviser, Oheneba Mercy Akosua Yeboah.
"This is an important visit for a lot of reasons," said Amy Hendrickson, an SVSU associate professor of law and one of the officials coordinating the visit. "These guests have a lot to offer culturally and, given the fundamentals of their market, they have a lot to offer us as economic partners too."
Hendrickson said she expects both guests from Ghana will surprise local entrepreneurs with the business opportunities available in his region.
"If you look to see where a lot of the smart money is at globally – in terms of where the next opportunities will be – Ghana is in the middle of that," she said.
"They have so many things going for them: A young population, emerging middle class and an economy predicted to grow at a rate that rivals China. This visit represents a fantastic opportunity for businesses to think about what their next step will be."
The group from Ghana also hopes to learn from their trip, Hendrickson said. They are interested in developing Ghana's appeal as a tourist destination, and plan to discuss ways to create such an environment with community leaders here.
SVSU's Scott L. Carmona College of Business & Management is organizing part of the delegation's visit to the region. The guests' appearance is due in part to their familiarity with Joseph Ofori-Dankwa, SVSU's Harvey Randall Wickes Chair in International Studies and a native of Ghana.
Other community and business leaders plan to address Friday's meeting at SVSU. Friday's speakers include:
• Victor Atiemo-Obeng, a retired Dow Fellow with Dow Chemical Co.
• Ric Olson, co-founder and president of Gantec Inc., and Joseph Affholter, co-founder and chief innovation officer of Gantec Inc.
• Jacob Schroeder, an international trade manager with Michigan Economic Development Corp.
• John A. Tsaras, value delivery leader for Diamond Systems Analytics
The public also can meet the group from Ghana when they serve as guests of honor at the 50th annual Saginaw African Cultural Festival at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, at the site of the former Morley Elementary School, 2533 Lapeer Ave. in Saginaw. They plan to discuss the importance of a community's elders.
The cultural festival also features an SVSU connection. Dawn Hinton, professor of sociology, serves as the event's chairperson.
During their week-long stay, the group from Ghana will receive a ceremonious key to the City of Saginaw and meet 1-on-1 with business leaders from across the state.
Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, the king of Akyem Abuakwa in Ghana, was scheduled to join the delegation but he canceled his plans to travel to the United States due to health issues.