Page 1


How extensive is

Brain Gain? Alpena native Jackie Krawczak chose to stay in her home state after completing her education — are other SVSU grads also helping to reverse the brain drain? Read how, on page 24

Greetings to all SVSU alumni, members of the Alumni Association, and University Supporters:

n One of Russ Beaubien’s ceremonial duties as president of the SVSU Alumni Association is to present a scroll listing the names of the graduating class to President Gilbertson, left, at Commencement.

“We all

have a chance to even better ensure the value of that degree,

now and

in the

I hope you enjoy receiving Reflections magazine as much as I do. It’s a great way to communicate with our alumni and university supporters so we all learn about the programs and people who continue to make our alma mater special and important to our region. As I reflect on my life as a student, graduate and president of the Alumni Association, I am reminded about my SVSU connections. My degree, and the hard work it took to obtain it, meant a lot to me then, and still means a lot to me today. This university provided me with an education and an opportunity. I know you made the choice to attend and receive your degree from SVSU. Now, we all have a chance to even better ensure the value of that degree, now and in the future. Supporting and being connected to SVSU, on many levels, does that. For the past five years I’ve served on the board of directors for the Alumni Association. The board has been working hard to develop more opportunities for alumni of this university, including “talking” with alumni. We recently heard from 585 alumni through an online survey. We learned that you view receiving communications as an important way of staying connected, you want more networking opportunities, and you look forward to our upcoming alumni “online community.” We also learned that many of you are unclear as to whether or not you are a dues paying member of the Alumni Association. So let’s start there, with a message that is more basic than getting involved with your Alumni Association — it’s join us, support us and help us do things to build a bigger and better association. For starters, your support will enable us to continue to bring Reflections to a wide and large audience. And of course, we will continue to listen to you while we work to bring you improved or enhanced alumni career services, events, discount programs, mentoring programs and opportunities for family fun. If you are not sure about your Association membership status, or if you wish to join, call us at (989) 964-4196 or email It’s a great day, and a great time to be a Cardinal.

Russell A. Beaubien, P.E., B.A., ’91 Immediate past president, Alumni Association




A Lesson in Cultural Sensitivity


Volume 2, Number 2 • Fall 2007

S TA F F EDITORS Tim Inman Jan Poppe

Fifteen students returned home from a June 2007 trip to Senegal, West Africa, with a better understanding of African art and cultural diversity — real world lessons in breaking down stereotypes.

WRITERS J.J. Boehm Tim Inman Jan Poppe ART DIRECTOR Jill Allardyce PHOTOGRAPHER Tim Inman

Nursing: A View from Down Under



CONTRIBUTORS Andy Bethune Pamela Clifford Amanda Alliston ADVISORY BOARD Jill Allardyce, M.A., ’06 Andrew Bethune, B.B.A., ’87 J.J. Boehm, M.A., ’06 Pamela Clifford, B.B.A., ’92 Tim Inman, B.A., ’89, M.Ed., ’96 Jan Poppe, M.A., ’01

Accompanied by two faculty, fifteen nursing students spent three weeks in Australia to study the country’s health care system and nursing education.

REFLECTIONS Magazine is published twice a year. Letters and feedback are welcome! Comments, suggestions and inquiries contact: Alumni Relations at Saginaw Valley State University 7400 Bay Road • University Center, MI 48710 Phone: (989) 964-4196 SVSU Alumni Web Site: SVSU Web Site: SVSU Foundation Web Site:


The Brain Gain



A look at several successful SVSU graduates who are helping reverse Michigan’s brain drain.







SVSU Today

Foundation Notes

Alumni Zone

From news briefs to a new entrepreneurin-residence, to news about students traveling to amazing places — exciting things are happening at SVSU.

An update on “The Promise for Tomorrow: Our University. Our Region.” — SVSU endowment campaign, and a generous gift that supports a trip “Down Under.”

Alumni profiles, class notes, and alumni events.



Children’s book shatters science



Despite the fact that job opportunities in science and engineering are expected to grow 70 percent more than the market in general, U.S. students are not pursuing these fields. The number of U.S. students completing natural science and engineering degrees has fallen relative to other countries. In 1975, the U.S. ranked third among nineteen economies in terms of the number of students completing science-based bachelor’s degrees; by 1999, the U.S. dropped to 14th on the list. (Source: National Science Foundation, http://www.nsf. gov/statistics/nsb0602/) Intended for elementaryage students, Tapp’s book features photos and profiles of scientists such as geologist and archaeologist Robert Ballard, who discovered the wreck of the Titanic in 1987 and is among the world’s most recognized scientists. What Does a Scientist Look Like? is published by Blueberry Hill Publications in East St. Paul, Manitoba. (For more n Among those featured in Anne Tapp’s book, “What Does a Scientist Look Like,” is Deborah R. Huntley, an associate vice president for academic affairs information, visit www. at SVSU, and also a Ph.D. professor of chemistry — but, as this picture whatdoesascientistlooklike. demonstrates, clearly not a white male in a lab coat. info/.) “Kids today want to be athletes and rock age students and 92 percent of college stars; they don’t aspire to careers in students picture a white male in a lab setting. science,” Tapp said. “One of the reasons for In response, she has authored a book this is that they think all scientists are white showing the diversity within science, both in men working in a sterile lab setting. This terms of disciplines and practitioners. Her book shows that’s not the case.” work is titled, simply, What Does a Scientist Look Like? hat does a scientist look like? Research by Anne Tapp, associate professor of teacher education, has shown that 98 percent of elementary-

4 - SVSU Today

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n Seated at the table are Marvis Lary, dean of CMU’s College of Health Professions; and Jan Blecke, dean of the SVSU College of Nursing & Health Sciences. Also on hand for the May 2007 signing of the agreement were, from left: Donald Earley, SVSU associate professor of occupational therapy; Linda Stanford, assistant dean of the CMU College of Health Professions; Clint Fitzpatrick, director of graduate enrollment for the CMU College of Health Professions; Clifford Dorne, SVSU associate vice president for program development & graduate recruitment; Deborah Huntley, SVSU associate vice president for academic affairs; Donald Bachand, SVSU vice president for academic affairs; Janet Nagayda, SVSU associate professor of occupational therapy; and Peg Flatt, SVSU professor of nursing and assistant dean of the College of Nursing & Health Sciences.

New agreement benefits

occupational therapy majors


tudents with an interest in occupational therapy can maximize their academic credentials thanks to a new articulation agreement between SVSU and Central Michigan University’s College of Health Professions. Janet Nagayda noted that the two schools are combining resources so that students will finish an undergraduate degree at CMU before transferring to SVSU to complete a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy. “CMU has a pre-O.T. program, and this agreement assures that beginning in fall 2008 three seats in SVSU’s program will be made available to qualified O.T. students from CMU,” Nagayda said.


Cardinal athletes, coaches thletes and coaches had a number of notable accomplishments during spring 2007. Among the highlights: • Baseball coach Walt Head reached a career milestone in the second game of a doubleheader at Mercyhurst Sunday, April 1: Head won his 700th game in his 25th season at SVSU. His team finished the 2007 season with a 34-14 record and advanced to the NCAA Regional level for the first time in five years. • SVSU placed third overall in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference President’s Trophy race, the school’s highest finish since 1997-98. The highest finish for SVSU came in men’s golf, where the Cardinals finished second in the GLIAC, adding eight points to the school’s total. Men’s and women’s cross country both recorded ten points for the Cardinals, with the men finishing third and the women finishing fourth. Men’s baseball recorded SVSU’s other top-three finish, coming in third and recording seven points. SVSU competes in sixteen Division II sports out of a possible twenty. • In his seventeen years as the head bowling coach at SVSU, Dan Dorion has had some very talented teams. But he declared his current bunch as the greatest he’s ever had after SVSU became the first team since Western Illinois in 2002 to repeat as champions at the 2007 United States Bowling Congress Intercollegiate Team Championships, April 21. Led by sophomore anchor Dan MacLelland (Windsor, Ont.), the Cardinals defeated Robert Morris 2-0 in the best-of-three championship match at Northrock Lanes (Wichita, Kan.). The USBC Intercollegiate Team Championships is the pinnacle event of the college bowling season with the top sixteen men’s teams in the country vying for national titles. Dorion has led the Cardinals to four titles and two second-place finishes in his tenure as head coach. MacLelland, who was named the tournament’s most valuable

player, was joined on the all-tournament team by teammates Greg Kuehnl (Ewen, Mich.), Toby Sidle (Bryan, Ohio), Jason Howard (Burton, Mich.) and J.R. Raymond (Gaylord, Mich.). • The track & field team not only works hard on the track, but also in the classroom. They were selected as one of the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic Teams.

a GPA over 3.60. McDaniel’s highlight of the outdoor season was winning the javelin at the GLIAC Championships. • Seniors Darren Husse and Adam Miller headlined the four Cardinal golfers who were named to All-GLIAC teams. Husse (Hartland, Mich.) and Miller (Gaylord, Mich.) were both named to the All-GLIAC First Team. Husse was SVSU’s leader all season, averaging a 72.4 score,

SVSU Today


reach new heights

n Coach Dan Dorion, far right, declared this team his greatest ever after the squad repeated as national champions last spring. Junior Becca Rudey (Wixom, Mich.), who made the All-Academic individual team by earning a 3.90 grade point average, led the women’s track and field squad. On the track, Rudey ran a qualifying time of 17:26.00 in the 5,000 meter run during the indoor season, and also ran a 9:59.89 in the 3,000 meter run during the outdoor season. In addition, Rudey earned AllAmerican status in cross country and track & field this year. Leading the men’s team was junior Tony McDaniel (Yale, Mich.), who qualified in the javelin throw. He recorded a distance of 197’6”/60.20 meters during the outdoor season. McDaniel also received All-Academic individual honors due to his excellence in the classroom with

while Miller was right behind him with an average of 72.5. Joining them were junior Mike King (Livonia, Mich./Detroit Catholic Central), who was named to the All-GLIAC Second Team, and senior Scott Urquhart (Queens Ferry, Scotland), who was Honorable Mention All-GLIAC. King’s average of 72.8 was the best of anyone on the All-GLIAC Second Team, while Urquhart finished with an average of 74.5.

Follow the Cardinals For sports schedules, team rosters and game results, visit



S. Carolina special education teacher is newest ambassador for public education


13-year-old juvenile delinquent named Tiffany led Ann Marie Taylor, (B.A., ‘97) into the classroom. Before starting her career as an educator, Taylor met Tiffany during a college internship where she helped the girl stay in school and off the streets. Taylor said her experiences with Tiffany are among the reasons why she entered the teaching profession — it showed her that she could make a difference in the lives of children. A special education teacher at Pine Tree Elementary School in Kershaw County, Taylor was named South Carolina Teacher of the Year. The announcement was made May 4, 2007. As State Teacher of the Year for the 2007-08 school year, Taylor will represent South Carolina’s 50,000 teachers and participate in a year-long residency at the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention and Advancement. She also receives a $25,000 cash award, a 2007 BMW Z-4 roadster to use for the year and a SMART board (an interactive whiteboard that turns a computer and projector into a teaching and presentation tool). She will participate in Leadership South Carolina and attend Notre Dame’s prestigious three-day Excellence in Teaching Symposium. In addition, she was awarded a Dell laptop computer and a set of Michelin tires.

n Ann Marie Taylor with student Dayquion Oliver.

Hybrid courses added to M.B.A. program


hile SVSU’s M.B.A. degree has been offered for many years, students who enrolled in the program beginning fall 2007 were among the first to experience online learning. “We’ve re-launched our M.B.A. program and now it is characterized by the introduction of hybrid courses to facilitate accessibility and overcome time and distance constraints,” said Marwan Wafa, dean of the College of Business & Management. He noted that foundation course requirements were redesigned to be delivered online and reduced to a total of six credit hours. In addition, concentrations in international business, entrepreneurship, and technology are some of the characteristics of the new M.B.A. program. For more information on the M.B.A., or other graduate degrees, go to, or call P. Laine Blasch, graduate recruitment coordinator, at (989) 964-2184.

6 - SVSU Today

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Starbucks now open for business on campus


s director of dining services, Matt Wilton could offer anyone some coffee, but he has a larger vision for how to serve up a cup of joe on the SVSU campus. A Starbucks is opening on the first floor of Dow Doan Science Building, in the same space formerly occupied by Java City. “We know that people have always enjoyed meeting for a cup of coffee, and it’s even better when that can happen in an atmosphere that is inviting and relaxing,” Wilton explained. “For our students in particular, it’s really nice to have a place where they can escape from the pressures of daily life and perhaps be inspired. This also can be a way for students to make connections with others, or even meet informally with one of their professors outside of class for help with an assignment, or just to chat.”

The new Starbucks brings its familiar and popular menu of flavored coffees to the campus community; but as Wilton is quick to point out, Starbucks offers more than refreshing drinks … patrons will encounter “an experience.” “Most people today are very certain about what they want, and will go out of their way to get it,” Wilton noted. “This addition makes our campus more attractive for students.” According to Wilton, only a small number of universities in Michigan have one or more Starbucks on campus. “We’re certainly on the front edge of the trend to include this opportunity at our institution,” Wilton said. And students, faculty and other visitors to SVSU now will be able to enjoy that experience.

BY THE NUMBERS 120,000,000

Customer Starbucks Cards activated as of August 2007


Ounces of coffee sold in Java City at SVSU in 2006-07


Starbucks-operated stores in the United States


Company-operated stores in other nations


Retail stores in Michigan (SVSU is No. 202)


Starbucks was named one of Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” in 2007


More than 30 coffee blends and single-origin coffees


Starbucks is dedicated to being a unique “third place,” between home and work

Counseling and Health Services merge to emphasize the connection between mind and body


ollege students encounter many new and different experiences, and often face difficult decisions that sometimes affect their physical and psychological health. Beginning with the fall 2007 semester, two formerly separate units have merged to form the new office of Counseling and Health Services. The change marks a more holistic approach to providing accessible, cost-effective, high quality primary and psychological care, preventative services and health education for students. Tony Thomson directs the new office, which seeks to advance the health of students and serve as the principal advocate for a healthy campus community. “Combining these offices means we can develop a strategic plan with a common philosophy, shared priorities and a singular direction,” Thomson said. “For now, the offices are not combined in the same physical location, but that will happen in the future.” Many Saginaw Valley alumni will remember Gloria Hansen, who retired in June 2007 after directing health services for 24 years. New members of the Counseling and Health Services team are June Stefanko, director of health services; Susan Blackhurst, assistant director of health services; and Hilary Crichton, health and wellness educator. The new staff join Thomson and Jennifer Ordway, assistant director of student counseling, to provide a range of wellness education programming and assistance. Thomson says plans include offering programs in behavioral health and substance abuse, sexual health, nutrition and fitness, and sexual assault awareness. The outreach efforts, according to Thomson, are “where people will really see how this new partnership will come together.”

SVSU Today

Not just coffee…




A strong Alumni Association makes

healthy university

for a


s Pamela Clifford knows, alumni identify very strongly with their alma mater in more ways than one. That’s why the associate director of alumni relations can be found at a variety of places — from trade shows to baseball games — that enable her to promote the Alumni Association. In early May, the Alumni Relations office was among the 200 exhibitors at the Mid Michigan Regional Business Expo in Ryder Center, where Clifford was promoting the benefits of membership in the Alumni Association to the 2,000 guests in attendance, including current SVSU student David Young, business banking officer at National City Bank. According to Clifford, her focus is on “building relationships with the alumni of today and tomorrow.” For details on how you can join the Alumni Association, see the outside wrap on this issue of Reflections, or contact Clifford at, or call (989) 964-7462. n David Young, a student at SVSU, and Pamela Clifford, associate director of alumni relations, at the Mid Michigan Regional Business Expo.


this adventure called



re you retired and enjoy spending time with others who share a spirit of adventure? SVSU’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) is partnering with the Tuscola Technology Center in Caro to offer classes for active seniors. Topics include drawing, financial planning, communications, the global and Thumb

economy, Native Americans in Michigan, ethics, memory, and a “great decisions” discussion program. Details about OLLI membership, as well as classes available at the new Thumb-area satellite and other course offerings, can be found at www.svsu. edu/olli, or call (989) 964-4475.

Fire-fighting robot wins top prize in international competition


hat started out as an idea for a senior design project earned top honors at an international competition for four mechanical engineering students. Denny Esterline, Kayla Kibbey, Vaughn Lietzke, and Kevin Smith built a technologically-advanced, fire-fighting robot — which the group nicknamed “Loki” — and entered it in April 2007 in the Home Robot Fire Fighting Contest at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. More than 120 challengers from Brazil, China, Singapore, Denmark and the U.S. pitted robots that autonomously explored

8 - SVSU Today

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a scaled-down house, then searched for and extinguished a lit candle. The SVSU team’s 4-pound robot used a computer processor to ignite its artificial intelligence and sensors to accomplish its task. Esterline noted that the 8-inch-tall wheeled machine represents the next generation of fire sprinkler systems. The group assembled more than 100 parts into the device at a cost of approximately $2,000.

Think Green:


Pioneer Hall re-opens


he pioneering spirit that led to the construction of Pioneer Hall is more than evident in the $16 million renovation of SVSU’s engineering facility. In fact, Pioneer Hall is the first facility — not just on campus, but in the greater Tri-Cities region — to be considered for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED is a “leading-edge system for certifying the greenest performing buildings in the world.”

Pioneer Hall originally was named to honor 12 local pioneers of American industrial technology. Ground was broken in 1976, and it opened for use by students and faculty two years later. Its construction cost was $2.7 million — all financed through contributed funds.

The renovated Pioneer Hall was completed in time for fall 2007 classes. To celebrate the re-opening, SVSU hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony and symposium Sept. 10. Arnold Allemang, senior advisor and member of the board of directors at The Dow Chemical Company, gave the keynote address at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The symposium– titled “Pioneering MidMichigan’s Economic Future through Innovation, Education and Engineering” — included a panel consisting of SVSU faculty Brooks Byam (mechanical engineering) and David Karpovich (chemistry) and SVSU endowed chairs George Puia and Christopher Schiling; Emily Stover DeRocco, assistant secretary of labor for employment and training for the U.S. Department of Labor, opened the symposium. As part of her remarks, DeRocco noted the impact of SVSU on the region it serves: “Colleges and universities are now critical partners in a regional economy and represent one of the most valuable assets that a region can possess. In addition to the economic benefit they bring by employing hundreds of individuals in the region, they perform several critical functions. “The first and most obvious (regional asset) is to educate the next generation. If we agree that education is the critical factor in an individual’s future success, then having

an institution of higher education in the region is certainly an asset. And while many people like to focus on top-20 schools or the big names, institutions like Saginaw Valley State, where the large majority of students are from the region and remain here when they graduate, are arguably of greater value to a regional economy. “In the shorter-term, it is the applied research at Saginaw Valley State and in particular the new facilities that we are here to celebrate that can provide economic benefit. From educating and training students on state-of-the-art equipment to pushing the envelope of performance and searching for better and improved processes, these labs can increase the innovation capacity of the region and become an engine to attract and create innovative companies. “The focus on applied research will certainly make graduates from the program appealing to the larger companies in the area such as Dow Chemical and Hemlock Semiconductor, but in combination with the Accelerated Entrepreneurship program of the university, it will also give individuals the opportunity to start new businesses — creating and contributing to an entrepreneurial culture that is vital to the success of any region.”

SVSU Today

with state-of-the-art green technology

“With new and improved facilities (like Pioneer Hall) and a commitment to leading the transformation of this region, Saginaw Valley State is going to be critical part of the success of this region, this state, and our nation.” — Emily Stover DeRocco, Assistant secretary of labor for employment and training for the U.S. Department of Labor

n Emily Stover DeRocco SVSU REFLECTIONS - 9


Pondering the value of academic freedom I

n an address to honors students attending SVSU’s spring 2007 Honors Convocation, President Eric Gilbertson offered his views on “The Idea of a University.” His talk included the following excerpts:

“What holds the idea of a university together still today — large or small, public or private, old or new — what gives the idea coherence and force and vitality, is a commitment to certain shared values. Among these values is a belief in the work and dignity of each and every person. Each of those with whom we share the human condition has limitless potential to do good, to know more, to contribute to our shared humanity. And there is a commitment to the search for truth,

wherever that search may lead. Call this the scientific method; call it intellectual integrity; and call it academic freedom, for that too is central to the idea of a university. “Academic freedom, like its First Amendment companion freedom of speech, is often misunderstood, often resented, often jeopardized. For when scientists challenge accepted dogma, when critics challenge power, and when artists show us visions of ourselves and our world that is disturbing, resistence and

resentment are natural and predictable consequences. “If academic freedom and freedom of expression are to mean anything, they mean that critics cannot silence that with which they disagree — however strongly they may disagree. Academic freedom and freedom of expression are hard to take sometimes: it is difficult to see and hear things that challenge your personal beliefs and may offend the things you cherish. But a core value of a university — and indeed of a free society — is tolerance. And we should be intolerant of intolerance. “The choice to listen to any idea is ours to make individually. But the choice to suppress the ideas others may express is, thankfully, for none of us to make. That is the idea of a university; and that is its core value.”

Supreme Scholar S

ince writing the welcome letter for the last issue of Reflections, Christine Macey (B.A., ’07) has been busy. The Swartz Creek native relocated to Washington, D.C. for “the internship of her dreams” as she was one of only two students in the nation selected for a summer internship with the U.S. Supreme Court. Macey’s duties included performing research on visiting foreign dignitaries, assisting in developing speeches for Chief Justice John Roberts, summarizing news articles, and handling memoranda. Macey remains in the nation’s capital and is currently in her first semester of law school at Georgetown University. Her legal ambitions include donning the black robes and becoming a judge herself. Perhaps she will follow in the footsteps of her role model, Sandra Day O’Connor, and one day return to the nation’s highest court. In Macey’s words, “There is no institution I admire more,” and there is no telling how high this Cardinal can fly.

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GLIAC basketball tournament

is the goal, says new coach

n Frankie Smith speaks to media at an Aug. 28 news conference announcing his appointment as SVSU’s seventh men’s basketball head coach.

SVSU Today


hen Frankie Smith was introduced at an Aug. 28 news conference that announced his hiring as SVSU’s seventh head men’s basketball coach, he made it pretty clear what would be the goal for his team: the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s post-season tournament. “It will not be acceptable to not be in the GLIAC tournament,” Smith told reporters. “And it’s my responsibility to get us there.” Smith comes to SVSU from Miami University (Ohio), where he was an assistant coach since April 1999 under former Saginaw High coach Charles Coles. “We are losing a phenomenal person and a very good coach in Frankie Smith,” said Coles. “Frankie has certainly earned the right to be a head coach at a wonderful institution like Saginaw Valley State. He has the ability to have a disciplined program on the court and also have players who absolutely love him off the court.” Prior to Miami University, Smith posted a 125-35 (.781) career record during his six-year stint as the head coach at Tug Valley High School in Naugatuck, West Virginia. Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education and a minor in history from Eastern Kentucky University in 1988. For details on the men’s basketball program, including a 2007-08 game schedule, visit

n Cardinal fans will be welcomed to outdoor athletic events by a new entrance and plaza located adjacent to Wickes Memorial Stadium. New signage and a building for concessions accompany improvements to the baseball and softball stadiums, as well as the relocated field for soccer matches. Future plans also include making improvements to Davis Road between College Drive East and Pierce roads. SVSU REFLECTIONS - 11

Ken Kousky

Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation Entrepreneur-in-Residence Professional Credentials and Accomplishments B.A., Economics and Urban Studies, Washington University M.A., Economics, University of Pennsylvania 1981-83 Led turn-around of electrical manufacturing company, going from losses to record profits in 18 months 1984 Start-up business, Cache Data Products, formed to create multi-user network systems 1986-87 Merger of Cache with Novell, Inc. Kousky serves as VP at Novell, Inc. and President of NetWare Centers International. NWI opens 20 offices worldwide 1989 Returns to Washington University (Mo.) and forms Center for Communication and Networking Management and establishes graduate program in Telecommunication Management 1991 Start-up of Wave Technologies 1995 Named an “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Deloitte & Touche 1996 Wave goes public 2001 Wave acquired by Thomson Corp. through an all-cash tender offer 2001 Start-up of new business venture, IP3, Inc., an information security consulting firm 2003 Returns to hometown, Saginaw 2006 Named SVSU’s Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation Entrepreneur-in-Residence

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“Universities are the wellspring for talent and ideas, and can function as economic magnets to attract investment, entrepreneurs and talent to a region.”

SVSU Today


he endowment proposal that created systems, unions and farming as ripe for entrepreneurship, and he suggests that “all are in vital need of radical transformations the position of “Entrepreneur-inand entrepreneurship. Clearly the small start-up has a short Residence,” which is housed in fuse — the restaurant, the consultant, the artist need customers the Entrepreneurship Institute at SVSU, noted that the endowed chair immediately or they go hungry. However, these same pressures position would need to have “proven apply to our schools and hospitals today. They must find new, economically viable solutions and respond rapidly to the new records of success in applied fields, world order, too.” be able to formulate and maintain Kousky feels this interpretation of entrepreneurship makes outreach partnerships and alliances, and teach and communicate his role at SVSU all the more timely, credible and realistic for new, forward thinking priorities to students, graduates, and students, and the region as a whole. the business and economic development communities SVSU A $2 million endowment from the Herbert H. and Grace serves.” A. Dow Foundation created the Entrepreneurship Institute as a In December 2006, Ken Kousky was named SVSU’s first Dow Entrepreneurin-Residence and, indeed, he has a long and impressive list of teaching successes, three business start-ups, two major mergers, and an IPO (Initial Public Offering). One of Deloitte “The Competitiveness Index: Where America Stands,” a 2007 report by the Council on Competitiveness & Touche’s 1995 “Entrepreneurs of multi-disciplinary center to educate students, support businesses the Year,” Kousky understands that business is a lot more than and workers, help commercialize ideas, and offer research and start-ups and buy-outs. In fact, it’s about dispelling the myths creative collaborative partnerships in the region. At the heart of surrounding entrepreneurship that he looks upon as one of his the Institute and the role of the Entrepreneur-in-Residence is early responsibilities as the new SVSU Dow Entrepreneur-inthe understanding that entrepreneurship is critical to regional Residence. economic development, and that the University is key to fostering “Entrepreneurship isn’t just about starting new a culture of entrepreneurship as well as developing a spirit of businesses. When we talk about enhancing and embracing entrepreneurship within its graduating workforce. entrepreneurship, I think the focus should be on the rapid “Experiential learning is a vital process for teaching realization of a positive economic outcome,” says Kousky. entrepreneurship,” Kousky adds. “Creative problem solving “There is something very important being lost in today’s is important and it must be learned in the context of real world popularization (of entrepreneurship) if we limit the discussion to constraints.” only new businesses.” He points to the education and medical

Ken Kousky Brings a Fresh Interpretation of Entrepreneurship.


Entrepreneurship Myth-busting


ike the hosts of the popular Discovery Channel show “Mythbusters,” Kousky enjoys his role of debunking myths; the difference, however, is that this job just happens to be a bit more serious than most of the show’s episodes that address urban legends, pop culture and old wives’ tales.

Myth: Entrepreneurship is about revolutionary ideas or breakthrough inventions. Reality: Kousky cites his first business venture, a company turn-around, as an example of how often times entrepreneurship is about going back to the basics, which he says is really what is meant by “revolutionary ideas” — returning from where we started. In 1981, he joined an electrical manufacturing firm that produced a limited, custom product that was sold to customers at cost, in the hopes that they would buy the high volume commodity from them, rather than the Korean competition. Under Kousky’s guidance, the company substantially increased the cost of the one-of-a-kind product, met the head-to-head Korean competition with lower prices, going from losses to record profits in just eighteen months.

Myth: Regionalism means just that, staying within mid-Michigan. Reality: Regionalism, according to Kousky, is “leveraging each others’ resources, but not constraining our opportunities. Going global — we really need to be exporting if we are to be successful regionally — that’s regionalism.” And with the Internet’s ability to open up a global market, Kousky adds that no business is too small to have an international market.


o, where does Kousky see entrepreneurship at SVSU? He offers a final myth buster when he says that it’s much more than vision; as Kousky says, “It’s a combination of realism and vision.” He wants to “stop these discussions about the way the world should be, and let’s look at what we have to work with.” That includes students and graduates, a globally-connected international population (faculty, students, regional corporations), middle-aged employees who have taken early retirement or buy-outs, farmers, educators and medical personnel, as well as economic development organizations — and the University is what connects them all.

“The overwhelming majority noted that the quality of the region’s four year colleges and universities affects their business and is a very strong asset for the region; 50 percent of survey respondents described one or more of the region’s colleges and universities as the most valuable institution to their business’s innovation.”

Myth: There is no venture capital in the region and no one will invest here. Reality: “That just isn’t true,” says Kousky, again citing his own experience when in 1992, he returned to Saginaw and met with a group “Mid-Michigan Regional Innovation Assessment,” a May 2007 report by the Council on of physicians about investing in his business, Competitiveness, that also cited SVSU’s entrepreneurship initiative as an example of Wave Technologies. entrepreneurial environment development within the region. Kousky adds that the Beginning in fall 2007, Kousky began plans to organize a Center investors each made their money back — about tenfold. And the for Experiential Learning with the College of Business & Management’s amount of venture capital needed to start or fund a business is also Entrepreneurship Institute, as a source of faculty support, student mythological. According to Amar Bhide’s research, 26 percent of the internships and co-op programs. He also has developed a series successful businesses he studied started with less than $5,000, and of lectures oriented to entrepreneurship and women, minorities, two out of three on the 1996 Inc. 500 started with less than $50,000. youth and retiring Baby Boomers. On the drawing board is “Cardinal Kousky argues that “bootstrapping,” the art of starting with what you Consulting,” a way to organize student employees and the external have, is a vital process that hardens most successful entrepreneurs. business community to build mutually beneficial projects, workshops for high schools, a micro-loans program, and regional entrepreneur Myth: Entrepreneurs are people who want to control their own awards. And though he doesn’t want to share too many details, destiny. Kousky is also working on a “company” that has the potential to reach Realty: Kousky says that entrepreneurship is anything but the more than one million home-schooled students, charter schools control. “It’s like a Black Diamond run on a ski mountain. You can’t and small school districts with specialized educational kits. control the mountain; you just have to react and go for it. It’s a And like a true entrepreneur, when asked what will happen if response and reaction to the world, rather than trying to control the some of these plans fail, Kousky smiles and responds, “But what if world.” Most importantly, according to the National Commission on they succeed?” Entrepreneurship, successful entrepreneurial growth companies understand the need to move and change quickly. 14 - SVSU Today

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BY THE NUMBERS 24,700,0001 Number of U.S. businesses in 2004

“Exceptional execution of an ordinary idea” was cited by almost nine out of ten successful entrepreneurs as the key to their success and enough to create the needed “distinctiveness.” In his interviews with successful entrepreneurs, Bhide found only six of 100 who claimed to have had a truly unique idea, rather than an ordinary idea that helped create distinctiveness.


Percent of U.S. businesses in 2004 that were small businesses

10,300,000 2 U.S. workers who referred to themselves as “independent contractors” (7.4 percent of total employment) in 2005



U.S. workers who referred to themselves as “self-employed” (7.2 percent of the employed workforce) in 2005 1

Source: U.S. Small Business Administration 2 Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

SVSU Today

Amar Bhide, economist, business professor, entrepreneur scholar and author of The Origin and Evolution of New Business (2000)


ENTREPRENEURIAL ALUMNI Several years ago, Elaine Makas-Howard (Ed.S., ’01) was an education instructional director whose contract was not being renewed. She says that it would have been easier to leave Michigan, but instead she stayed and started a business, Curriculum Connections, LLC, that provides curriculum assistance to small and rural schools. Makas-Howard says that SVSU “helped me develop alternative ways of thinking about my practice. What I did was take an ordinary idea and create a different way to deliver services to an older established institution.” Regarding Michigan’s need for entrepreneurship, Makas-Howard adds, “I think it (entrepreneurship) is one of the keys to re-creating our economy. If we are to keep globally competitive, we need to rethink how to interface with mainstay businesses like manufacturing and education.”

Entrepreneurial Thinking and the Local Business Community

SVSU’s Center for Business and Economic Development (CBED) in August 2006 created under its umbrella a Center for Entrepreneurship and Commercialization, focusing on assisting startups and small businesses become successful with the help of university talent and resources. Dulcey Simpkins, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Commercialization, currently manages projects with more than twenty businesses throughout the Saginaw Valley and Thumb. With funding from the U.S. Department of Labor’s WIRED (Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development) grant designed to foster entrepreneurial business development in growth sectors, she helps local ventures find technical and business solutions through coordinating facultystudent research projects, or in SVSU’s ISO-certified Independent Testing Lab. In the first year of this program, Simpkins set up ten students and seven faculty/staff members with funding and work plans for their WIRED-related projects. In addition, she feels working with Ken Kousky adds more firepower to SVSU’s business support arsenal. “Ken is a tremendous resource for new and growing businesses in our area, and he helps strengthen the collaboration between the College of Business & Management and CBED in order to support regional innovation.” Simpkins says CBED is actively collaborating with Kousky on efforts to develop “Cardinal Consulting” and other initiatives that foster an entrepreneurial culture.



n The Whitehouse downtown in Senegal.

SVSU associate professor of art Mike Mosher and professor of sociology Scott Youngstedt led a three-week study abroad trip to Senegal, West Africa, sponsored in part by the SVSU Foundation. The June 2007 trip included fifteen students and its intent was to have students return home with an increased understanding of African art, as well as learning about cultural diversity and breaking down stereotypes.

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Graphic design student Amanda Alliston received independent study credit for serving as a creative coordinator for the trip. One of her responsibilities was managing the artwork, diary entries and student papers, some of which are showcased here in a snapshot fashion. Upon returning from Senegal, Amanda met with the University Communications team to develop design elements for this story. Readers will be pleased to know that Amanda received an “A” — and University Communications’ heartfelt “thanks.” Throughout the following pages, you will see Senegal through the eyes of SVSU students.

n Goree Island colonial houses.


n Jessica Gibson with Senegalese boys

“One of my favorite memories is when we were on Goree Island. There were local boys playing football (soccer), and Dr. Youngstedt and I started playing with them. It was cool to see how they played, most of them with no shoes, and any kind of ball they could find. I think they were impressed that we could keep up with them. But this is one of my favorite memories of the trip.” — Jessica Gibson, (B.A., ’07) former SVSU soccer player

Inspired by Senegal, students create works of art.

n Paintings by Samantha Eurick n Sketch of African vase by Erica Kowal, MFA

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n Downtown Dakar Mosque

“Teaching is a sharing process — sharing opportunities like this trip. It’s about sharing world culture and saying, ‘Hey, this is yours, too. Make it yours. Understand it. Don’t see it as something apart from you.”

SVSU Today

— Mike Mosher, Associate Professor of Art/Communication & Multimedia

n Joseph Schulte with Senegalese kids at Toubob Diallo village beach. In the background is professor Scott Youngstedt with student Sarah Olson.


n Clown at a champion wrestling match at Léopold Sédar Senghor Stadium.

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“Our three week program in Senegal packed with excursions and lectures by distinguished local intellectuals was enormously successful on many levels. We focused on the crucial significance of the arts — music, dance, painting, sculpture, community murals, and film — in Senegalese culture. In addition, we learned a great deal about Senegalese history as well as contemporary social and political issues. Equally important, SVSU students immersed themselves with sensitivity and respect in the everyday lives of a Francophone, West African, and predominantly Muslim culture. (This was the first SVSU study abroad program to a majority Muslim nation.) Appreciating cultural diversity as well as our common humanity, SVSU students established many friendships and scholarly contacts with whom they continue to correspond. Indeed, SVSU students will never see the world and their own country the same way again.” —Scott Youngstedt, Professor of Sociology

SVSU Today n From Left to Right: Mariane Yade (Senegalese advisor), Chris Ray, Derek Bolen, Josephine (Senegalese advisor), Jessica Gibson, Judith Kerman, Jennifer Phelan, Erin Stanton, Amanda Alliston, Joe Schulte, Samantha Eurich, Penda Mbow (Senegalese historian and community activist), Jessica Day, Erica Kowal, Micheal Mosher, Scott Youngstedt, Esmeralda Perez, Nicholas Hauman, Ousseinou (Senegalese advisor). Not Pictured: Sarah Olson, Rachel Flores, Katherine Grulke, Chrysanthe Mosher.

In August 2007 Senegal native and SVSU student Abou Traore drowned tragically in a tubing accident. Mourning students painted the Spirit Rock outside Living Center North as the Senegalese flag.



PRO From Football Players to Future Professionals


ith five former Cardinals earning NFL paychecks in 2007, SVSU is in elite company for producing professional football players. But this season’s squad boasts a distinction that is particularly rare and perhaps even more impressive: four seniors are headed to professional and graduate schools. Twin brothers Christopher and Joseph Dougherty have identical plans to attend dental school, while towering tight ends Steve Brander (six-foot-five, 250 pounds) and Kevin Kelch (six-foot-four, 245 pounds) are headed to law school and physician assistant school, respectively. The NCAA does not track the academic programs of its nearly four hundred thousand student-athletes, but college athletics officials — including Tom Brown, commissioner of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference (in which SVSU competes) — know it is quite unusual for a program to have multiple players with such lofty post-graduation plans. “Having four student-athletes from one team go on to professional schools is a rare and great achievement,” Brown noted.

decided on Dougherty, D.D.S., after the brothers returned from a two-year mission trip to South America as part of their Mormon faith, while Christopher studied business until an experience as a dental patient caused him to reconsider. “I had a chipped tooth when I was little and it always bugged me,” he said. “I tried to cover up my smile; I was really self-conscious. Finally I decided I really need to get this fixed and the dentist did a great job. I could tell he was happy because I was, and that reminded me of the mission work I did in Chile, the things I was able to do to help people and to get that satisfaction. It just kind of fit into place.” Joseph Dougherty offered an alternate explanation. “Being the little brother (by nineteen minutes), he wants to follow in big brother’s footsteps,” he said sarcastically. Christopher, a quarterback, and Joseph, a wide receiver, have grown accustomed to taking hits and absorbing punishment, but they insist their dental plans are not motivated by a desire to inflict pain on others. “The goal is no pain. That’s how you get your patients,” Christopher quipped.

Picking Paths

Eschewing the

to Profession

The tales of how these student-athletes chose their professional plans are quite varied. Brander has wanted to be a lawyer since childhood, Kelch always had an interest in the medical field, while the Doughertys had no designs on dentistry growing up — though their father had suggested the idea. Joseph 22 - SVSU Today

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Easy Road

Brander is a big target — both running down the middle on a pass pattern and for those who hold the “dumb jock” stereotype. “I let people say what they want to say,” he said. “I’ve always known what I can do in the classroom. Those stereotypes don’t bother

me at all.” But Brander bristles when someone suggests his student-athlete status results in preferential treatment in the classroom. “There is a definite stigma that college athletes are allowed to take it easy,” he said. One look at Kelch’s schedule last winter dispels that notion. His days began at 6 a.m. That’s when the football team holds its off-season conditioning sessions. Three days a week he worked a full eight hours in a local orthopedic office. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Kelch was in class from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. as part of a 17-credit schedule composed entirely of upper division biology and chemistry courses. His schedule this semester includes biochemistry and microbiology, which are required to be accepted into physician’s assistant programs. “I don’t have any ‘being a bum’ time,” Kelch remarked. It is difficult to juggle the demands of being a competitive college athlete and a student with postgraduate aspirations. Cutting class and slacking off are not options. “That’s the difference for people who want to go on to professional or graduate school,” Christopher

SVSU SVSU Today Today n Cardinal football wide receiver Joseph Dougherty and his twin brother Christopher, a quarterback, will trade their football jerseys and helmets for lab coats and face masks when both enter dental school following graduation from SVSU.

Dougherty said. “You have to do well in your classes. You have to get A’s.” These overachievers do more than excel at their coursework. The Doughertys each job-shadow a local dentist, and Brander completed an internship for U.S. Senator Carl Levin. They are also quick to compliment the support they have received at SVSU. “It starts with the coaches,” Brander said. “From day one, they know we’re here to get a degree.” Joseph Dougherty says his biology and chemistry courses “definitely prepared me well to take (the dental school exam)” and his scores are “very competitive,” but more meaningful is the guidance he has received from SVSU faculty when applying to dental schools. “I know people at other schools who didn’t have that help,” he said. Sleep and socializing are among the sacrifices these four have made to achieve their goals. For the sake of interviews, Kelch also will be forced to forgo one of his trademarks this season: shaving interesting designs into his hair. “I have to look professional,” he said.

Good-bye to

the Gridiron Pigskin. Past tense. Permanently. It can be an unsettling thought. “It’s going to be different without football being there,” Brander said. “That’s been part of my decisions my whole life, since fourth grade.” A west Michigan native, Brander’s top three choices for law school are Pepperdine, Wisconsin and Florida. Kelch, from Michigan’s Thumb, is considering several schools in the Midwest and would like to remain in Michigan. The Doughertys’ decisions are complicated by the fact that both are married and take that commitment seriously. “There’s a lot more responsibility when you take the plunge,” Joseph said. The University of Iowa – their home state – sits atop their lists, though each has applied to ten dental schools. Waiting for acceptance can be nerve-wracking, but Christopher does not

let it bother him. “I’ve always been the type of person to not get too stressed out or too worried about things. It’s the same way on the football field.” … Spoken like someone whose position places a premium on poise in the pocket. After dental school, Joseph Dougherty is considering further preparation to specialize in orthodontics, oral surgery or the like. And after potentially twenty years of school together, the twins have discussed having shared or partnered practices. The prospect of being teammates for life? “That’d be cool.” Playing football is fun, but it takes a toll. A former walk-on, Kelch considered giving it up but decided to persevere. “I’ve never quit anything in my life. There were a couple years in the middle where it was tempting to give up football because of everything I have to go through to get to where I want to be, but because I had to work so hard to get on the team and love football so much, I couldn’t give it up.” That attitude is sure to result in success in any field.


brain gain

The devestating effects of brain drain are reversed as SVSU


grads buck the trend to leave the state.

apping out a plan for one’s future can seem simple: finish high school, leave home for college, learn independence while obtaining a degree that opens the door to a fulfilling career. Then, enter the job market — but, that’s where the picture can take a dramatic, even unpredictable, turn. Jackie Krawczak’s route from high school to job market followed along that path, and when she looked at what her options were for finding employment, she faced the typical decision — live and work in Michigan (her first choice); or, go elsewhere, anywhere, perhaps even far away from home, to find companies that are hiring. But Jackie’s resolve to stay “home” — in her beloved Michigan — was strong. After graduating from SVSU in 2005, she immediately finished a master’s degree at Central Michigan University. She landed an internship at the Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce, and started applying for full-time positions, more than a hundred, some out of state but most in Michigan. “I did not want to leave this state because of my family, the beauty of Michigan, and the recreational opportunities,” Krawczak says. Some of the applications resulted in interviews, and many of those turned into rejections. But she hung in there, and eventually learned about an opening for executive director of the Alpena Chamber of Commerce. “I felt my chances were slim, since it is typically a job that requires lots of experience; but I decided that it was a brand new challenge and I felt up to it.” Long story short, she landed the position. “I believe I made it through the interview process and earned the job because of several things,” Krawczak says. “First, my many experiences at SVSU helped me understand how businesses work and how to effectively interact with others. In addition, the networking I was able to do while at SVSU provided some great references for this job. I owe so much of who I am now to the experiences at SVSU — and that includes developing my

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leadership abilities, being mentored by faculty and staff who cared about me as a person, and getting involved in different things that taught me the value of creating networks.” As she reflects on it, Krawczak shares a deeper sense of her commitment to stay in Michigan. “The biggest motivation for me was the idea that Michigan needs help right now, and I wanted to help. I realized that if I wanted to get back up into northern Michigan, someone had to assist in making it a better area to live, work, play and raise a family. I don’t think I could have left the beauty and success of Michigan in the hands of other people and wait until it was ‘fixed’ before I would come back. I wanted to be a part of making this a great state economically once again.” Some people have told Jackie that she’s “crazy to want to stay in Michigan,” let alone northern lower Michigan. But she tells those who would doubt her, “This is my home, and I am not leaving. I could have taken a higher paying job in another state; I could have taken a job that has a more secure future. But I didn’t because I believe in giving back to the state that has given me so much.”

The best and brightest

Colleges and companies go to great lengths to recruit those who fit this coveted classification. Governments are placing an increasing emphasis on the educational attainment of their citizens — and raising the stakes. In July, Maine passed a “pay to stay” law that provides college graduates with tax credits of up to $2,100 per year to cover payments on college loans. The first of its kind, the legislation is intended to reverse an exodus of the educated as more than half of those who earn degrees in Maine leave the state. Despite the goals and recommendations outlined in the 2004 report by the Commission on Higher Education chaired by Lt. Governor John

Bringing Business from A to... A

Alpena and Ann Arbor may be close alphabetically, but from geography to population to lifestyle, the cities have little in common. Far removed from any city of size, Alpena serves as the anchor community for northeast lower Michigan despite a population of around 11,000, while Ann Arbor’s more than 110,000 residents live just beyond the borders of metro Detroit in a bustling city home to a major university and associated high-tech businesses. But both communities have leaders, SVSU alumni, who are confident that their efforts will contribute to improving Michigan’s fortunes. Krawczak (B.A., ’05) brings the unbridled enthusiasm of youth to her historic lakeshore town. The executive director of the Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce arrived in May and tells naysayers that she “couldn’t have started at a better time,” and as for those who question her age (24), she confidently asserts that she “is completely ready for this” and asks only for one year to prove she is right. After finishing graduate school, Krawczak had job offers out of

SPARK was too tempting to turn down. It paid dividends quickly as the regional economic development corporation recorded an “unbelievable year” in 2006, seeing more than $600 million in new business committed, including investments by major companies such as Google and Toyota, as well promising start-ups. Finney had little time to rest on his laurels, however, as the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced in early 2007 that it was pulling its research and development operations — and 2,800 jobs — out of Ann Arbor. The former SVSU student government president was among those leading efforts to mobilize the community and get large numbers involved in filling the inevitable voids created by the departure and identifying new opportunities. Finney feels “pretty optimistic about the situation.” “We have a lot of activity underway. The start-up area has been particularly exciting; we’ve already exceeded the number of start-ups we were engaged with all of last year.” When meeting with leaders of established businesses deciding where to expand or locate new operations, Finney hears a recurring refrain: they want to know that they will find minds in the local hiring pool. “The first thing we always hear: ‘it’s about talent,’” he said. “If you can’t (answer the talent question), your opportunities for success are pretty remote.” As he competes with cities like Atlanta, Chicago and Austin, Texas, Finney says Michigan must keep its best and brightest in the state and the man who proudly displays his red SVSU license plate in the home of maize and blue says that requires placing a priority on higher education across the board. “We should invest aggressively in our universities. It’s what all other successful regions are doing.”

SVSU Today

Cherry, which called for doubling the number of college graduates over the next decade, Michigan remains mired in the middle in terms of the number of residents with college degrees. The news pages are filled with stories of college graduates and young professionals fleeing the state for more prosperous or more appealing locales. An April survey by Detroit Free Press and Detroit television station WDIV found that 53 percent of students at the three largest state universities (Michigan State, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and Wayne State) expect to leave the state, taking their talents and tax dollars with them. SVSU alumni stand in stark contrast. Upwards of 80 percent continue to call Michigan home despite opportunities to seek their fortunes elsewhere and the sometimes harsh personal realities caused by the state’s prolonged economic slump. Responses from a survey of alumni for this story reveal various reasons, ranging from those cited by Krawczak (e.g., SVSU’s provision of opportunities for networking, leadership and mentoring) to others who cited a love of their native state and a deep-seated desire to return it to prosperity, as evidenced by economic developers, entrepreneurs and educators across the state.

Entrepreneurial Cardinals

Educational investments pay dividends through those who utilize their knowledge in manners often unpredictable and occasionally innovative. Three SVSU alumni exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit necessary to move Michigan forward by building home-grown businesses. Their enterprises and their stories run the gamut. Like thousands of others, Marcie Woodard (B.A., ’97) found herself out of work in early 2007 when she was laid off after more than eight years with DaimlerChrysler. Rather than look for a new job, she and her husband Willie brewed up the Cyber City Coffee Company, an online emporium ( “This is my home, and I am not leaving. I could have operated from their home in Pontiac. taken a higher paying job in another state; I could have “We wanted to be the ones in charge,” Woodard explained. All of their products are 100 percent organic and taken a job that has a more secure future. But I didn’t they boast a wide variety of flavors not found in your typical because I believe in giving back to the state that has coffee shop. Having already received orders from coast to coast, early returns are encouraging. “Everybody seems to given me so much.” — Jackie Krawczak like it,” Woodard said. The couple has dreams of growing the business beyond the Internet and opening coffee shops, state, but she felt called to apply her talents in the state where she has putting other Michiganders to work. flourished. “I developed into the person I am because of the school Down Woodward from the Woodards, Luciano Gonzalez (B.B.A., systems and the universities in Michigan. To have them make me into ’04) refuses to believe Detroit is dead. Having grown up in the suburbs, who I am and then just leave, that’s not giving back at all; that’s not he moved into the heart of the Motor City and opened a Salad Creations helping others develop into great leaders.” restaurant on Michigan Route One in May. “The city is starting to grow When Michael Finney (B.B.A., ’79) left Michigan after a successful once again,” he said. And so is business for the made-to-order salad career spanning more than twenty years in the state, he had no intention company. “People can’t believe how good a concept it is. We had a line of returning; but the opportunity to be president and CEO of Ann Arbor out the door of forty or more the first two weeks we were open.”


Gonzalez has plans to open another shop in Troy, but his restaurant operations are just the tip of the iceberg when talking cabbage. His belief in the business model is so strong that he acquired the franchise rights for six counties in Michigan and has committed to see fifty franchises open in the next seven years. Valerie Peterson Owens (B.B.A. ’94, M.B.A. ’97) traces her company’s roots to her own childhood. The Saginaw mother of two saw little of her biological father growing up; but when her grades began to suffer and she developed an “attitude” during her pre-teen years, her mother felt Valerie needed a male authority figure. “It was the best thing she ever could have done,” Owens said. Her father’s influence put Owens back on the right track and convinced her that positive male role models have an essential role to play in children’s development. Very Positive Outlook (, her company, aims to improve literacy by running a series of workshops designed to convince adult males to spend time reading with children. Her clients come from schools, non-profit agencies and service industries. She also has written a related bilingual book series called Where’s my Daddy? “My life’s history is where the passion comes from. I’m a living testament that it works,” she said. It also explains why a woman is leading a company whose goal is to get men involved in children’s lives. After starting her business four years ago, working part-time on nights and weekends, Owens made it a full-time career in September 2006. She has presented workshops in eight states and projects that she will reach between 750 and 1,000 father figures this year. In addition to taking a common plunge by going into business for themselves, Gonzalez, Owens and Woodard share a commitment to the Great Lakes State. “It never crossed my mind to go elsewhere,” Gonzalez said. “In Detroit and the suburbs, if you have an entrepreneur’s mind, there’s a lot of potential to be pursued.” Woodard has had friends suggest that she put Michigan in her rearview mirror, but she intends to remain parked where she is. “We’re here to stay,” she said.

Molding Michigan’s Minds

Aspiring teachers who want to stay in Michigan have found jobs in their chosen field scarce in recent years. Many who feel the call of the classroom have departed for parts south and west where school districts are growing and hiring. Within the state, pickings are slim, as Amy Powell (B.A., ’04) has found in her quest for a teaching position. “Don’t sugarcoat it,” she stated in an e-mail. “It’s tough out there for teachers.” Diana Balbaugh (B.A., ’03) knows she was fortunate to land a job in suburban Flint four years ago. “The job market was tough when I was leaving SVSU, especially in the (physical education) department,” she recalled. But this past summer Balbaugh left the relative security of her teaching position when she was selected to be the principal of Carman Park-Baker Career Academy, a new high school that is a consortium of two school districts and in partnership with Baker College. Focused on four target areas — business, automotive, technology and medical — students can receive high school and college credit simultaneously, and the curriculum calls for instruction in employability skills and study skills. 26 - SVSU Today

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“It’s a very new concept,” she said. So new that Balbaugh could find no similar models; but the school had to get off the ground this fall, so “we’re building an airplane while we fly it,” she said. “I’m hoping our blueprint becomes something that people come to us and say ‘How are you so successful?’”

Seeing the Light

Economic gains can be calculated and test scores can be measured, but some benefits derived from an educated and involved populace are difficult to quantify. When Reflections was preparing this story, SVSU’s Office of Alumni Relations sent emails to all alumni to learn more about their choices and decisions to stay in Michigan — and the responses showed that “quality of life” was high on the list for many. What is it worth to see an historic lighthouse near Mackinac Island restored? Ann Doyle (B.B.A., ’90) doesn’t have the answer, but for the past eleven years she and a Boy Scout troop from Freeland have worked to improve the structure and grounds. “It’s a big lighthouse,” she said. “We may never be done, but every summer we do what we can.” The Michigan landmark has a Hollywood history, having been featured in the 1980 film Somewhere in Time. “We know which rock Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour sat on,” Doyle said. The troop received a national volunteer award for its efforts but the continuing motivation comes not from recognition but the personal satisfaction of seeing their progress. Instilling that ethic in young people becomes an investment that compounds as they mature. “You have to love your community to get involved in it,” she said. “You have to love where you’re living.”

Reading, ’Riting & ’Rithmetic Returns

SVSU alumni love living in Michigan. Not all, of course; but some 25,000 have made Michigan their home, and many who have left for one reason or another express a desire to return. Political and civic leaders strive for solutions to stop the current economic slide and reverse the often-referenced “brain drain.” Everyone with a stake in the state has a role to play. “We have to do a very good job on selling our elected officials on the importance of higher education and education in general,” noted Finney, “and we have to find creative ways to fund education at a level that allows our citizenry to take advantage of it.” A former Cardinal softball player who plays on a professional women’s football team, new principal Balbaugh is accustomed to meeting challenges head on. As she sees it, the state must set its sights on making gains in the brains of the next generation. “Education is what’s going to turn Michigan around,” she said. And an SVSU education is among the surest ways to ensure that the human return on such an investment will pay its dividends in Michigan.



Several “Campaign for Tomorrow” gifts have been made to enhance numerous existing scholarship and fellowship endowments, as well as to a general endowed scholarship fund. • The Hamza Ahmad Memorial Scholarship • Barnes & Noble Book Scholarship • Katherine N. Bemetz Scholarship • Blazejewski Biofuels Endowed Scholarship • Martin & Emma Block Endowed Scholarship • Barbara Ann Divine Nursing Scholarship • Gerald C. Francis Endowed Scholarship • James K. And Rosemary Hill Music Scholarship • Elston R. “E.R.” Huffman Memorial Scholarship • Jurgens Nursing Scholarship Fund • Thomas and Gladys (Benjamin) Kackmeister Memorial Endowed Scholarship • Leopold J. Kantzler Fellowship Fund • Ludington Fellowship Endowment • Marx Family Endowed Engineering Scholarship • International Student Scholarship funded by the Mridha Endowment • Sebastian & Ida Ramet Endowed Scholarship for the Study of Foreign Languages • Ronald A. Schlicker Endowed Scholarship • Seitz Creative Writing Scholarship • Maynard L. Smith Jr. Endowed Scholarship • SVSU School-University Partnership Scholarship


he Promise For Tomorrow campaign continues to move closer to its goal of $20 million. As reported in the spring 2007 issue of Reflections, the campaign was at $16.1 million. As of September 30, several new gifts have brought the campaign to over $19 million.

This endowment campaign has three strategic priorities: strengthening the University’s role in regional development; preparing leadership for regional schools and government; and attracting the best and brightest to our region. The Promise for Tomorrow is the largest fundraising campaign in SVSU’s history.

Progress Report:

Steering committee member B.J. Humphreys believes the success of the campaign is greatly due to the alignment of campaign priorities with regional concerns. “This campaign is about SVSU and our region partnering in progress. Recruiting talent, developing leaders and establishing distinctive programs is a recipe for success at all levels.”

Updates: The Gerstacker Fellows Program for Excellence in Educational Leadership The Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation established the Gerstacker Fellows program in 2006 and has since “graduated” one class and accepted participants for the second class. This summer, the first Fellows traveled to east Asia, spending time with educators and their primary, middle and high schools, as well as at Shanghai Normal University in China and SVSU’s sister institution, Shikoku University in Tokushima, Japan. According to Steve Barbus, dean of the College of Education, “Each day was filled completely with school visits, discussions and cultural events to help put what they (Gerstacker Fellows) were learning about education into a cultural context.”


CAMPAIGN Barbus added that on August 17, the Fellows conducted a symposium to share what they had learned during their full year of study and to “outline where and how they were going to use this new knowledge in transforming their leadership in their school districts and communities.” Barbus also noted, “The future of the Gerstacker Fellowship is unlimited and, as the network of former Gerstacker Fellows grows over the next five to ten years, we should begin to see the impact of the program on the communities of the region and state.”

The Clifford Spicer Endowed Chair in Engineering

n Alan Freed, Spicer Endowed Chair in Engineering

Facts about SVSU’s OLLI members: • The average age for an OLLI member is 68, yet of those who responded to a recent survey, 6 percent listed their age as “over 80.” • The average number of years of education completed was 16.5 • 88 percent have Internet access in the home • On average, OLLI members took 3.4 classes a year, and 82 percent have encouraged a family member or a friend to join • When asked about why they remained an OLLI member, 56 percent said “classes” and 32 percent answered “social interaction”

n OLLI members attending a class

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In 2005, area neurosurgeon and SVSU supporter Dr. E. Malcolm Field gave the University its largest individual gift — $3 million — to create two endowed chair positions, the E. Malcolm Field Endowed Chair in Health Sciences, and the Clifford Spicer Endowed Chair in Engineering. On July 1, the new Spicer Chair of Engineering joined the University’s College of Science, Engineering & Technology. Alan Freed obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has spent time in academia (University of New Hampshire-Durham) and for the last twenty-two years working for NASA, most recently researching the medical problems associated with astronauts while in space. Ron Williams, dean of the College of Science, Engineering & Technology, said that while primarily a bioengineer, “Dr. Freed has a background and research interests that span all of the departments in the College.” Though only on campus a short time, Freed has already established the Bioengineering Laboratory in the newly-expanded and remodeled Pioneer Hall. “The purpose of this laboratory will be to quantify the mechanical response of soft biological tissues, to catalog mathematical models used in their description, and to provide software for characterizing their material parameters from these stored data. This repository for soft tissue behavior will be able to be accessed by anyone.” According to Williams, the lab and Freed’s expertise “is particularly well suited for the medical device initiative that is being promoted for the future of the mid-Michigan region.”

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) For the past two years (2005, 2006), SVSU has received $100,000 grants from the Bernard Osher Foundation to support the University’s lifelong learning institute, one of only two “OLLIs” in Michigan. Recently, the Osher Foundation announced that SVSU will receive a $1 million endowment that will provide ongoing financial support for the program. The University’s OLLI will be considered for a second $1 million endowment when it reaches the 1,000 membership level and, according to the Foundation, “continues to receive significant in-kind support from their host institution … and continues to offer a wide array of high quality, intellectually stimulating educational offerings for older learners.” OLLI director Jo Brownlie is excited about the endowment and knows that it will continue to favorably impact the region’s “50 and better” population. “This endowment will provide critical support for our program,” notes Brownlie. “It certainly is a vote of confidence from the Osher Foundation and shows that we have a vibrant and valuable asset for the mid-Michigan area.” Plans are already underway for use of the funds. Brownlie cites the ability to offer more classes and trips each semester as examples of such plans, and adds that another project made possible by the endowment is the new satellite program launched this fall at the Tuscola Technology Center in Caro.

CAMPAIGN While most of a campaign’s earliest and largest gifts are granted through foundations, endowed scholarships and programs from individual donors also contribute largely to a campaign’s ability to reach a goal. Such is the case of three recent gifts.

Jurgens Scholarship According to Lori and Bill Jurgens, “SVSU’s vision is our vision. SVSU has made a commitment to growing the healthcare industry.” And so the Jurgens, both with professional careers in healthcare, created a scholarship to reward academic achievement and provide tuition assistance to students pursing degrees in nursing at SVSU. When asked about their gift in relation to the importance of professional preparation for the region’s healthcare industry, Bill notes, “To have a care giver be smart, qualified and caring is extremely important. SVSU is determined to fill a void … this will be a great win for the student, the Saginaw Valley and SVSU.” Bill, a Saginaw native, has had careers that have included both teaching and, for the past twenty years, as owner of Automated Business Systems, a Saginaw company that provides medical billing services for area radiologists. Lori, recently retired director of ambulatory and emergency services at St. Mary’s, says that part of her motivation to give back was having Crystal Lange (SVSU’s first dean of the College of Nursing) for an instructor when she was a nursing student at Delta College. “She taught me the importance of being safe and knowledgeable — that is the only way to assure good patient care.”

Mridha Scholarship While the Jurgens’ gift is primarily focused on regional recipients and regional healthcare, Dr. Debasish and Mrs. Chinu Mridha have created a scholarship for students from West Bengal or Bangladesh to attend SVSU. According to the Mrihdas, many brilliant students are in third world countries like Bangladesh but do not get a chance at education or a career because they are not from wealthy families. “We wanted to do something for our community and we believe strongly in the value of education,” said Chinu Mridha. “Establishing this scholarship will encourage young people to pursue their dreams of a college education at SVSU.” Dr. Mridha is a practicing neurologist who serves on the Board of Directors for the Michigan State Medical Society and Saginaw County Medical Society. The Mridhas recently became the owners of the Montague Inn in Saginaw. They came to Saginaw seven years ago.

Campaign Leadership Thanks to our steering committee and regional leaders who graciously lend their time and talent to making Promise For Tomorrow a great success. Steering Committee Hugo E. (Ted) Braun Braun Kendrick Finkbeiner, PLC B. J. Humphreys Lippert Humphreys Campbell Dust & Humphreys, PC Burnett S. Kelly Dominic Monastiere Chemical Bank Alan W. Ott The Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation Margaret A. (Ranny) Riecker The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation Jerome L. Yantz Weinlander Fitzhugh Lloyd J. Yeo Yeo & Yeo Accountants and Business Consultants


Personal Giving

Regional Leadership Bay Area Dominic Monastiere, Chair

Vice Chairs: Gary Bosco William Bowen John Decker Michael Hanisko

Frankenmuth Area Susan Piekso, Chair

Midland Area William Collins, Chair

Saginaw Area Peter Ewend, Chair

Blazejewski Biofuels Endowed Scholarship

Vice Chairs:

Dick and Ann Blazejewski, (B.B.A., ’79) lifelong residents of Saginaw, recently created the Blazejewski Biofuels Endowed Scholarship. Both have been actively involved in their current business Mailroom Service Center. Previously, Dick’s careers included work as a computer programmer and a line foreman at GM, and a science, math and gym teacher at Saginaw’s Webber School. Dick said of the new scholarship, “Ann and I are proud of our SVSU community. The biofuel scholarship is an opportunity for us to help deserving students learn something that can potentially contribute to the progress of this region.”

Thumb Area

David Kessel John Kunitzer Robert Sidney Herbert Spence III

Mark Gettel, Chair


Nursing a View From

Down Under

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Why Australia?

“I think that it’s great to view the world, the people who live in it and their different cultures, the way they live and the way they receive health care.”

— Michele Ebersole, Midland

Known for koalas, kangaroos and crocodiles, the island nation provides an ideal educational environment for more than zoology; it’s a great setting to study health care because its system is quite different from that in the United States in terms of structure and delivery of care. All Australians have public health coverage and many pay for additional private insurance. Their health care industry is less reliant on technology and has lower nurse-to-patient ratios. For health educators, such as professor of nursing Sally Decker, the bottom line is that they achieve better results — and at a considerably lower per capita cost. “Australia’s outcomes in all the major indicators are clearly better than the U.S.,” she said. “If they’re getting better outcomes for less money, they must be doing something right.” The SVSU group spent most of its time based at the University of Ballarat and participated in nursing classes there while also visiting local clinics and hospitals. Each student focused on a particular topic. Melissa Milton was struck by the up-front approach to public health issues. “I saw a billboard for eating disorders. Here, you would never see that on a billboard because it’s a taboo subject. They don’t shy away from tough topics that here might be offensive.” Darryn Crocker and three of her fellow students studied suicide prevention, specifically the Yellow Ribbon Campaign, which has its roots in Australia. It works when people who are experiencing feelings of depression, confusion or loneliness give a yellow ribbon to someone, indicating that they are in need of attention. The students met with leaders of the program in Melbourne. “You can make the contact, but to sit down one-on-one, see what they’re doing, and see the materials they use was invaluable,” Crocker said.


urses and health professionals are in high demand around the world. The United States alone faces a potential shortage of nearly one million nurses by the year 2020, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers Health Research Institute. Nursing students frequently have job offers before they graduate, but a group of fifteen SVSU students wanted to do more than the minimum, make the most of their education and provide their current and future patients with the best possible care. Accompanied by two professors, they traveled half-way around the world to Australia, spending three weeks of their summer “Down Under” to study its health care system and nursing education.


Let’s GO! The trip traces its origins in large part to Becky McDermaid’s wanderlust and desire to learn. She wanted an opportunity to study internationally and took it upon herself to explore the possibility. “Your nursing career and your nursing education is what you make of it, and I saw this as a perfect opportunity to enhance that,” she said. When McDermaid approached her professors, she found them quite receptive. “One of the benefits of going to SVSU is doors are always open here.” Several other students also expressed interest and soon committed to a semester of meeting every other week to prepare for the experience. The lessons learned were not left behind. The four students who studied the Yellow Ribbon Campaign are implementing a tailored version on campus this fall; they received $5,850 from SVSU’s Student Research and Creativity Institute to support their efforts. “(Australia) takes a very studentshelping-students approach,” Crocker said, noting that U.S. programs have been more adult-focused. “We’d like to use both at SVSU.”

n Front row (from left): Sally Decker, Melissa Milton, Melody Seppo, Michele Ebersole, Courtney Sierko, Ashley Jackson, Beth Britt. Top row (from left): Darryn Crocker, Ashlie Fisk, Shelley Dukelow, Shelby Dunklee, Becky McDermaid, Jennifer Bender, Beth Roe, Torrey Freese, Heather Schmidt, Amber Simon.

“It was probably the best decision I’ve ever made in my life to go on that trip.”

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— Becky McDermaid, Clio

The trip was not without fun excursions, as the group went sightseeing to the Great Barrier Reef, the Sydney Opera House and other popular destinations, but ultimately students say the lasting benefit is that they will be better people and better nurses as a result. “The international travel provides them with skills they can use for the rest of their lives,” said Beth Roe, associate professor of nursing. “It’s going to help to make us better nurses, change the way we look at things, and question why things are done,” Milton said. And echoed McDermaid, “Too many times we get stuck in a one-channel view. This trip opened me up and broadened me to look outside of that tunnel and look for answers, look for other reasons why. I think that’s the biggest thing we can do in life is question, ask why.” For Michele Ebersole, it was her second trip abroad, having previously gone on an SVSU trip to China to explore the differences between Eastern and Western medicine. In Australia, she studied the health of Australia’s aboriginal population. And she is convinced there are no substitutes for such experiences. “It’s so much better than reading it in a book,” she said. “There’s no other way to do it.”

“Sometimes students think: ‘Get through college, get my degree, get out and start that job in the city next door.’ They never get the ideas of ‘Are we doing something the best way? Are people outside of the U.S. doing it differently?’ Just get out there, see the world and what people are doing in any profession.”

— Darryn Crocker, Traverse City



n Professor of nursing Sally Decker was a co-leader of the Vitito Study Abroad trip to Australia.

Long-time supporters of SVSU

Bob and Bobbi Vitito established an endowment, The Vitito Study Abroad Seminar, which helped fund the trip to Australia. The Vititos believe strongly in the power of international travel that supports the educational experience. “When you study abroad,” Bob notes, “it fills the educational experience differently; it rounds out the education and really broadens the life experience.” Hearing from the students after their trip, Bobbi said, was great: “To see how well the program was organized and that it was such a meaningful experience.” Bob added, “It reaffirmed what we hoped would happen. It is especially rewarding to see the impact when you know that so few (of the students) have traveled abroad and here they are doing it within the context of education.” When asked why support of the University is so important, both agreed that the satisfaction of seeing real benefits is incredibly rewarding, as is knowing that donor support is a very real way to make the University, and the region, better. Bob calls it the “ripple” effect: “It’s good for the professors who lead these trips; it’s good for the school because it enhances its international reputation; and it’s good for the students who gain a new perspective of their education and the world.” SVSU REFLECTIONS - 33


Andrew D. Booms, B.A., ’99

n In addition to leading liturgy services, Father Andrew Booms is a popular teacher at Bay City All Saints High School, where he teaches Old and New Testament courses to freshmen and sophomores. (Front Ashleigh Martin, Eric Weber Back Brianna Doyle and Brittany Banaszak)

At the age of seventeen, when many teens are weighing options about college and beyond, Andrew D. Booms was thinking about the priesthood. The Harbor Beach native decided on SVSU so that he could study psychology and philosophy; but throughout his university experience, Booms could never shake the religious calling. After graduation Booms (B.A., ’99), moved to Detroit to begin what he thought might be a career as a computer help desk technician at EDS. After only two and a half years, Andrew returned to his hometown more convinced than ever that a secular life was not to be his. He turned to his true passion — studying theology (at Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Ill., and the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago), and on June 8, 2007, Father Booms was ordained by Bishop Robert J. Carlson into the priesthood at St. Mary Cathedral in Saginaw. Booms has studied in Israel, Guatemala, El Savador, Omaha and Chicago. He has been appointed to serve as associate pastor at St. James Parish in Bay City, and as a religion teacher at All Saints Central High School in Bay City. This academic school year is the first taste of classroom teaching for Booms, who plans to utilize the resources at SVSU to assist in his teaching. His computer experiences prior to priesthood will serve as a channel to be available and reach out to people. “Ultimately,” he says, “religion and Christianity is about the personal touch, and although technology will never replace that, it can be used as a resource to stay in touch with others.” In his spare time, Booms enjoys gardening, biking, hiking, cooking, traveling reading, and learning Spanish. “My journey has been full of adventure, and there is nothing I would do differently.”

The SVSU Alumni Relations Office has 31 alumni of record in ministry, based on alumni feedback. U.S. Army Major Alan F. Pomaville, (B.A., ’90), serves as Deputy Pentagon Chaplain at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., providing pastoral and counseling to the estimated 23,000 Pentagon civilians and military personnel. A Linwood native, Pomaville shares “our office is part of the ground zero area for the Pentagon. We sit in a very humbling, very honorable, very sacred place.” He has attended 12 military schools, received a master of divinity degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, has worked for the Corporate Chaplins of America, and recently graduated from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Missouri with a doctor of ministry degree.

Father Steven M. Gavit, (B.B.A., ’91), is the pastor for SVSU Catholics on Campus. He is also the fulltime pastor at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Bay City. “It is a pleasure and a joy to be the Campus Minister for the Catholics on Campus group at SVSU,” said Gavit.

Rev. Karen A. Mars, (B.A., ’79), is the pastor at Grand Marais United Methodist Church located on the shore of Lake Superior.

Rev. Kathie S. Schwich, (B.A., ’82), is the Director of Synodical Relations at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in Chicago.

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Roger J. Pasionek, (M.A.T., ’89), was ordained in May 2007 as a permanent deacon to serve the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw. He retired from St. Charles Community High School after 33 years of teaching.

CLASSNOTES GUIDE TO DEGREES Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Bachelor of Science Electrical Engineering (B.S.E.E.) Bachelor of Science Mechanical Engineering (B.S.M.E.) Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.) Master of Arts (M.A.) Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) Master of Education (M.Ed.)


Gary Burgeson, 1969, B.A., July 15, 2007 Stanley Solak, 1969, B.A., April 23, 2007 Charles A. Lake, 1970, B.S., August 2, 2007 Clote Bandy, 1971, B.A., 1975, M.A.T., July 21, 2007 Nanette Henning, 1971, B.A., January 23, 2007 Lawrence Brzezinski, 1975, B.B.A., April 26, 2007 Betty J. (Barr) Marshall, 1976, M.A.T., February 16, 2007 Ertie (Washington) Preston, 1981, M.A.T., August 20, 2007 Ellen F. (Gurdon) Toner, 1981, B.A., 1991, M.A.T., July 23, 2007 Susan M. Schmidt, 1983, B.B.A., April 15, 2007 Andrew C. Atkari, 1986, B.B.A., August 18, 2007 James P. Oczepek, 1988, B.S.N., January 31, 2007 Patricia J. Haueter, 1989, M.E., May 7, 2007 Pauline E. (Fournier) Duffett, 1990, B.B.A., April 10, 2007 Terri Amanda (Mandy) Rylander, 1992, B.B.A., July 19, 2007 Ernest Sanders, 1995, B.S.W., January 13, 2007 John A. Kernstock, 2000, B.S.W., June 30, 2007 Ryan Birmingham, 2006, B.B.A., May 13, 2007

NEWS FROM ALUMNI AROUND THE WORLD Email your alumni news to; Mail to SVSU, Alumni Relations, 7400 Bay Road, University Center, MI 48710; Submit Online at




Erin Lea (Morrill) Moore, 2003, B.A., and her husband, Kevin E. Moore, 2001, B.A., announce the birth of their son, Carson William Richard Moore. Deborah (Fettig) Benjamin, 2005, M.A.T., and her husband, David Benjamin, 2005, M.S.N., announce the birth of their son, Nicholas David. Debbie is a special education teacher in Flint Community Schools and David is a program manager at A&D Home Health Care in Saginaw, Michigan. Jill (Rozek) Allardyce, 2006, M.A., and her husband Evan welcomed their first child, Brock William. Jill is the Assistant Director of Creative Services in the University Communications department at SVSU. Evan is a Journeyman Electrician for the Saginaw Local IBEW 557. Manny Barriger, 2006, B.S., and his wife Christy Marie, announce the birth of their daughter, Madi Barriger. Manny is lean manager at Automation Controls in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Brock Will iam Alla rdyc e


Kim A. (Pangborn) Pittel, 2003, B.A., and John T. Pittel, 2004, B.A. of Lumberton, North Carolina, were married July 14, 2007. Kim is a social studies teacher at Lumberton Junior High School and John is a language arts teacher.

M ad i B a rr Kim & Joh n Pit tel

ig e r



Kathleen (Dietlein) Burke, 1969, B.A., and her husband, John D. Burke, 1969, B.A., reside in Auburn, Michigan.


Melinda (Brown) Klopfenstein, 1978, B.B.A., lives in Saginaw, Michigan, and is self-employed.



Frederick C. Campau III, 1971, B.A. and Catherine A. (Sczepanski) Campau, 1971, B.A., live in Charlotte, North Carolina. Frederick is a regional vice president of commercial accounts with Travelers Insurance. Neil Kent, 1971, B.A., retired from Bay City Public Schools after a 36 year career. He was the human resources director.


Sheila (Miller) Shorkey, 1973, B.A., resides in Ellisville, Missouri, and is retired.


Gashaw Lake, 1974, B.A., native of Ethiopia, is a dean at Kentucky State University.


Outstanding Alumna

Sharon (Reinke) Metaxas, 1979, B.A., of Pennsylvania is a family therapist for Associate in Health Psychology in Newark, Delaware.


Jeff Major, B.A. ’80, resides in Littleton, Colorado, and is sergeant at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Fort Logan. He is interested in hearing from former football teammates and classmates.

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Elizabeth A. Cameron-Molesky, 1985, B.B.A., 1987, M.B.A., has taught business law, management, and other courses for nineteen years at Alma College. She received her law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School and has been instrumental in developing a service learning program at Alma College. She has received the highly selective Posey Award for Teaching Excellence and created a teaching tool called “Alma College Apprentice” whereby students perform community service.

Distinguished Alumna


David R. Gilmour, 1981, B.A., has worked in various projects in the Foreign Service in more than 40 countries. He received the Superior Honor Award (twice) and the Meritorious Honor Award Honor (three times). He also worked on the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. He is currently with the U.S. Embassy in Switzerland.


Thomas A. Braley, 1982, B.B.A., of Saginaw, Michigan, is an assistant vice president and investment associate at Merrill Lynch.

Kimberly (Kreiner) Prime, 1976, B.A., 1983, M.A.T., curriculum director for Bay City Public Schools, received the 2007 SVSU Outstanding Alumni Award for the College of Education.


Alice (Krzywosinski) Gerard, 1985, B.S.N., 1991, M.S.N., president and CEO of Bay Regional Medical Center, received the 2007 SVSU Distinguished Alumni Award and the Outstanding Alumni Award for the College of Nursing & Health Sciences.

Sandy Shutt, 1982, B.S.N., has been promoted to director of Case Management/Admissions at Bay Special Care Hospital.

Cheryl (Keyser) Loeffler, 1985, B.B.A., earned a professional designation from the Insurance Institute of America. She is employed at Frankenmuth Mutual Insurance.



Steven L. Braun, 1983, B.S., was named president of JM Olson Corporation, a construction management/general contracting firm in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. Steve J. Wuobio, 1983, B.S.E.E., of Saginaw, Michigan, is an employee development consultant II for Consumers Energy.

Kurt A. David, 1986, B.A., has published his first book, “From Glory Days: Successful Transitions of Professional Detroit Athletes.” He was on campus at the 2007 SVSU Homecoming for a book signing, and the book is available online at www.

S tev en L . B ra un, ‘83


CL ASSM ATES! We love to receive your alumni news! Send updates and high-resolution photos to Lynn Marie Ittner Klammer, 1986, B.A., is a best-selling author with seven published books and numerous magazine articles. Her website,, has a complete listing of her devotional books.


Ray Stover, 1988, B.B.A., was promoted to vice president and chief financial officer at MidMichigan Medical Center-Clare. He is also president of the Harrison Lions Club and chairperson of the 2007 United Way of Clare County campaign cabinet.


Outstanding Alumnus


Alan F. Pomaville, 1990, B.A., is a U.S. Army Major from Linwood, Michigan, now serving as deputy chaplain at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.


Ray L. Christie, 1991, B.A., vice provost for academic administration at Central Michigan University, has received the 2007 SVSU Outstanding Alumni Award for the College of Business & Management.

Mary Frances (Leen) Gallagher, 1991, B.S.N., of Peck, Michigan, is an emergency department RN at Marlette Regional Hospital.


Christine (Baird) Klein, 1992, B.A., of Saginaw, Michigan, is a secondary teacher for Saginaw Public Schools.


John Haberland, 1993, B.S., of Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a principal consultant at Infospectrum Consulting and attended the Detroit-Metro SVSU Alumni Chapter event this year.

1994 Scott James, 1989, B.S., associate professor of computer science and information systems at SVSU, has received the 2007 SVSU Outstanding Alumni Award for the College of Science, Engineering & Technology.

Beth A. (Martin) Robb, 1989, B.A., has been hired as principal at Bangor Township John Glenn High School, Bay City, Michigan.

Outstanding Alumnus

Tracy Bruno, 1994, B.A., has been named head coach for women’s basketball at Oswego State (New York). Prior to Oswego, she was an assistant coach at Hillsdale College where she helped lead the Chargers to a GLIAC conference championship game. Throughout her playing career at SVSU, she was selected to all-conference, all-defensive and all-academic teams. Joseph Walton, 1994, B.S., of Midland, Michigan, is a UNIX operator at The Dow Chemical Company.

R ay l. C hr is ti e ‘9 1




Capt. Kelly (Mahoney) Czeiszperger, 1995, B.S.W., represented SVSU at her military base’s “College Night.” She is a family advocacy officer for the United States Air Force stationed at the Ramstien Air Base, Germany. Theresa (McKay) O’Neil, 1995, B.B.A., 2003, M.A., is a program administrator for the Center for Civil Justice in Saginaw, Michigan. Garrick Owen, 1995, B.A., is a member of the band, The Princess, and has won Outstanding Reggae Band in the Detroit Music Awards. His Web site is


Marsha (Morris) Mercier, 1996, B.A., of Waterford, Michigan, is a Team Leader I at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Stacy (Sahajdack) Pasini, 1996, B.A., of Howell, Michigan, is a youth assistance caseworker II for Oakland County. Tom Provoast, 1996 B.S., has a career at The Dow Chemical Company as ESO-Global Change Management Coordinator in Information Systems.


ALUMNI Guillermo Silva-Rodrigo


exico native Guillermo Silva-Rodrigo (B.A., ’06) arrived in the U.S. in 2001. His brother’s new job in Michigan led him through the SVSU gateway to a bachelor of arts in psychology with a minor in sociology. Graduating from SVSU in May 2006, Guillermo moved to California, where he began graduate school at Pepperdine University. As impressive as the above brief is, what makes Guillermo’s story more amazing is that when he arrived in Michigan he knew no English. He emphasizes the fact that he truly knew no “I will always be grateful to English, noting SVSU for all I have learned, and that his brother had to translate I am very proud to be part of the for him during his Alumni Association.” first meetings with SVSU’s Office of International Programs. Guillermo adds that his choice of SVSU was based on what he saw as an international student who “at that time needed straightforward information and a staff dedicated and willing to guide me through the new academic system I was about to know.” Guillermo says “SVSU had been one of the most remarkable and unforgettable experiences I have ever had.” He cites three reasons: the ESL (English as a Second Language) program enabled him after one year to pass the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), a requirement for all international students. Guillermo adds that as important to him as the ESL program was the SVSU Writing Center and its director, Diane Boehm. He says that the skills he uses in his research were developed and fostered in the Writing Center. 38 - Alumni Zone

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Guillermo adds that the professors he had at SVSU are as much responsible for his successes as his own focus and determination. He is especially grateful to Matthew G. Margres, professor of psychology, who was Guillermo’s instructor for several classes. Guillermo says that since Cognitive Psychology was one of the first classes he took after completing the ESL program, “you can imagine I was scared to death to face my first time in a classroom where I was the only international student.” “I remember that my skills taking notes were very poor. I failed the first test and was very frustrated since I could not take notes and hear at the same time in English. I decided to drop the class. When I talked to Dr. Margres to explain, he immediately told me, ‘hey, Guillermo, that’s not a problem; let’s find a solution for this issue, but don’t drop the class.’” As Guillermo adds, “to make a long story short, I passed his class with an ‘A’ and after that class, I applied every single piece of advice he gave me to improve my skills for taking notes and studying in English.” Currently, Guillermo is enrolled in a master’s degree program in clinical psychology at Pepperdine University, while also working at California State University at Fullerton. He is co-author of a research project about the role of photographs in the implantation process of false memories. Guillermo also works at a Mexican Consulate in California in a program called “Noches de Apoyo” (Supporting Nights), a series of workshops designed to help Mexican immigrants deal with depression, anxiety, culture shock, substance abuse and other problems that emerge as result of facing a different culture, language and so forth. After completing his master’s degree, Guillermo plans to return to Mexico to establish a private practice, and to dedicate volunteer time to work with those who cannot afford therapy. Beyond that, he hopes to someday teach at a university.

CLASSNOTES Craig Hebert, 1997, B.B.A., has earned a professional designation from the American Institute of Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters. He is employed at Frankenmuth Mutual Insurance. Ann Marie (Owens) Taylor, 1997, B.A., was honored as 2007 South Carolina State Teacher of the Year. (see story, pg. 6)


Outstanding Alumnus

Arthur W. O’Neal, II, 1998 B.A., 2004, M.A., of Saginaw, Michigan, received the 2007 SVSU Outstanding Alumni Award for the College of Arts & Behavioral Sciences.

Eric T. Wielinski, 1998, B.A., selfpublished his first book, “Paris Willow: Life, Love, and Lunacy” (Authorhouse Publishing). The book is available from and


John-Matthew LaGalo, 1999, B.A., 2002, M.Ed., was a recipient of the 2007 Crystal Apple Award given by The Saginaw News. He is a teacher at Bridgeport Middle School.

Laural K. Skinner, 1999, B.S.N., works as a clinic instructor for Licensed Practical Nurses at St. Clair County Community College in Port Huron, Michigan Previously she worked as an emergency room travel nurse in Hawaii, Texas, Colorado, and Ann Arbor, Michigan.


Ronald Beaton, 2000, B.B.A., lives in Lansing with his wife, Patrice and two children. He recently completed his M.B.A. through the University of Phoenix. Kristen (Tuer) Eichert, 2000, B.B.A., and her husband, Brian Eichert, 2000, B.A., are owners of Stucchi’s Ice Cream in Livonia, Michigan The couple is very involved in local charities and has held several celebrity scoop nights at their restaurant for the American Diabetes Association, Karmanos Cancer Institute, and others. Vicki Freer, 2000, B.S.W., has developed and facilitated a program called Prepared Parents, an educational and supportive service for younger pregnant women and her partner. Freer is also the director of programs and services for Family and Children’s Services and presenter of “Effective ways to convey your message.” Susan (Suzy) Merchant, 2000, M.Ed., was named the Michigan State University women’s basketball coach. Suzy and her husband, Gary Rakan, have an infant son. Terri Lee (Niederquell) Shellenbarger, 2000, M.A., 2002, M.A.T., of Hale, Michigan, is an elementary teacher at Hale Area Schools.


Jamie L. (Bruske) Bain, 2001, B.A., 2007, M.A.T., of Hemlock, Michigan is a teacher at Freeland Community Schools.

Rebecca (Campbell) Boudreau, 2001, B.B.A., is a master planner for Jabil, Auburn Hills, Michigan. Andrew G. Gielda, 2001, M.E., is the new principal at Bangor Township Christa McAuliffe Middle School, Bay City, Michigan. Lisa (White) Koski, 2001, B.A., serves on commissions for the Michigan State Board of Education, has been a semi-finalist for the Michigan Teacher of the Year competition for the past two years, and recently finished her sixth year of teaching. She’s been instrumental in helping her school, Trillium Academy, become one of the top three charter schools in the state. Elaine Makas-Howard, 2001, Ed.S., started a business, Curriculum Connections, LLC, in Cass City, Michigan She services K-12 schools by contracting for their curriculum needs. She also wrote a book, Career Pathways: Preparing Student for Life by Corwin Press.



Kathryn R. (Bremmer) LaVigne, 1999, B.A. is married to Craig M. LaVigne, 1998, B.B.A. Kathryn is an emergency room registered nurse and the couple resides in Adrian, Michigan.

Lori L. Tews, 2001, B.A., is the manager of operations for CFA Society of Chicago, a service provider to professionals within the financial and investment industry. She has begun her graduate program at North Park University. Lisa M. (Hill) Workman, 2001, B.A., 2006, M.A.T., was a recipient of the 2007 Crystal Apple Award given by The Saginaw News. She teaches at Swan Valley Middle School.


Jonathan (Jon) Majchrzak, 2002, B.A., a nationally-certified strength and conditioning specialist, provides strength, speed, agility, weight management, and sports performance services to clients of all ages and fitness levels. His experience includes working with athletes, weight management clients and persons with fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. His Web site is www.fitnessgenerator. com/jonmajchrzak.




Diana K. Balbaugh, 2003, B.A., is a wide receiver/safety for the Detroit Demolition, an Independent Women’s Football League team. She is also the principal at the Carman ParkBaker Career Academy high school in Carman-Ainsworth, Michigan. Shirlene Zarin-Taj Brown, 2003, B.A., has released her second jazz album, “Simple Treasures” and also traveled with the SVSU Choir on its concert tour to Japan. She will be performing at SVSU in February 2008. Malinda (Gilliam) Howell, 2003, B.S., met her husband, Ryan Howell, 2004, B.B.A., at SVSU and chose a Cardinal wedding. Malinda works in research and development at Dow Corning in Advanced Technologies and Ventures Business. Ryan is an organizational effectiveness analyst at Dow Corning. The couple have a son and they reside in Midland, Michigan.


Richa Adhiakri, 2004, M.A., of Vienna, Virginia, is interested in hearing from alumni working in advertising, public relations, and communications field. She can be reached at Keith Pretzer, 2004, B.A., is with the 10th Judicial Circuit Court Family Division as a juvenile probation officer. Keith and his wife are expecting their first child in December 2007.


Jennifer Carroll, 2005, M.A., of Auburn, Michigan, has been named the executive director of the United Way of Bay County. Armen C. Hratchian, 2005, B.A., resides in New York and is a ratings analyst for Standard and Poors (S&P). Melissa Pettit, 2005, B.A., is a kindergarten teacher for Alpena Public Schools. She was named 2007 Teacher of the Year by Alpena in her first full year of teaching. Greg J. Pieknik, 2005, B.B.A., is a National Guard Commander for C Troop, 1-126 Cavalry.

Ar men C. Hr atc hian , ‘05

& Em ily Ha mm erb acher,


Brian Hughey, 2003, B.S., resides in Rochester, New York. Jessica (Bulgrien) Marietti, 2003, B.A., and her husband, Patrick Marietti, 2002, B.A., live in Farmington Hills, Michigan Jessica is a kindergarten teacher in Southfield, Michigan. Amy F. (Baker) Wilkins, 2003, B.A., was a recipient of the 2007 Crystal Apple Award given by The Saginaw News. She is a teacher at Carrollton Middle School. Julianne M. Windy, 2003, B.S., was a recipient of the 2007 Crystal Apple Award given by The Saginaw News. She teaches at Swan Valley High School.

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Julie M. (Haske) Zeien, 2005, B.S., of Birch Run, Michigan, is a programmer at Frankenmuth Mutual Insurance Company.


(Bob) J. Awrey, 2006, B.S., helped Team USA win the gold medal in the American Football World Cup with an 84-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and a 74-yard punt return. The scores were the first kickoff and punt returns for touchdowns in the history of the World Championships.

Adam Engel, 2006, B.P.A., resides in Freeland, Michigan, and is a business manager for AuGres-Sims/Arenac Easter Schools. Cory A. Glocksine, 2006, M.A.T., was a recipient of the 2007 Crystal Apple Award given by The Saginaw News. He is a teacher at Central Middle School. Emily Hammerbacher, 2006, B.A., works on Wall Street for Girls Inc., a national non-profit organization that creates and implements educational programs aimed at inspiring highrisk, under-served young girls. Michelle Herbon, 2006, B.A., has moved to New Orleans to teach in the Recovery School District. She also spent the summer working with Americorps. Eu-Jin Leow, 2006, B.B.A., of Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, is a consultant with Wisma KPMG in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Sara (Pelletier) Reder, 2006, B.S.N., of Bay City, Michigan, is a registered nurse at Covenant Healthcare, Saginaw, Michigan. Kari M. Schiefer, 2006, B.S.W., of Southfield, Michigan, is a foster care case worker for the Children’s Center of Wayne County. She received her Master of Social Work from Michigan State University in May 2007. Joshua Joel Stephens, 2006, B.A., is a commercial associate II with Frankenmuth Mutual Insurance Company. He is also a member of the Birch Run/Taymouth Jaycees.

Matthew T. Davey, 2006, B.B.A., has relocated to North Carolina and is interested in networking with other SVSU alumni. He is a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch, Wilmington, and can be contacted at

Ro ber t (B ob) J. Aw rey , ‘06

ALUMNI EVENTS Stay informed about alumni events by subscribing to the Alumni E-Newsletter

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Tri-County Alumni Chapter Event

The LOONS game

11th Annual Alumni

Golf Outing SVSU alumni and friends enjoyed a day at Apple Mountain Golf Club to support the Bob Becker Scholarship.


SVSU alumni enjoyed a family BBQ before the Great Lakes Loons baseball game.

Second Annual Alumni Chapter Event

An Evening in Lansing Alumni enjoyed an evening overlooking the Capitol, hosted by Shaun Johnson, ’02 (far left, both photos). Senator James Barcia (’75) joined the festivities (second photo, second from right).

Reap the benefits of joining your Alumni Association....

Job planning & placement services • On campus discounts • High speed Internet discounts • Free SVSU email • Insurance discounts with Liberty Mutual • Preferential moving services at Stevens Worldwide Van Lines • Networking opportunities at alumni events in your area.

JOIN the SVSU Alumni Association at


Now, possibly more than ever, SVSU needs a united alumni force that will help the University — protect it, fight for it, and make it even better.

Eugene J. Hamilton Special Assistant to the President for Government Relations


or this issue of Reflections, the SVSU Alumni Association’s membership committee worked with the magazine’s editorial board to promote alumni membership in and support for the Association. From the welcome letter (Page 2) to class notes (Page 35) and stories that highlight successful alumni, the message throughout is one that encourages alumni readers to support the Alumni Association; in doing so — especially in large numbers — there is the power to inform, give back, create a voice and be a part of something bigger than oneself. The same can be said of the power of a strong group with a common bond when it comes to legislative advocacy. Now, possibly more than ever, SVSU needs a united alumni force that will help the University — protect it, fight for it, and make it even better. As one of fifteen state supported universities, SVSU has enjoyed the financial support of the state government. The support

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has come primarily in two ways — annual appropriations for operations, and funding for capital outlay, or construction, projects. Because the state’s Higher Education budget provides funding for fourteen other universities, SVSU must make a case each year for its fair share of those dollars. As we all too well know, the support for state universities has significantly lessened over the past several years. This suggests a heightened and urgent need for SVSU to create and strengthen its relationships with the decision makers in Lansing. And that is where you as alumni come in. Think about it. SVSU has alumni in virtually every district in the state. Our political decision makers need to hear from you, individually and collectively. Communicating SVSU support priorities can be done through emails, letters, by attending legislative events and even by joining SVSU’s Office of Government Relations at lobbying events in Lansing or at public

relations events on campus. Alumni can also help serve the SVSU cause through support of its “Friends of SVSU” political action committee (PAC). The “Friends of SVSU” PAC was formed almost twenty years ago, and it has made an impact. In recent years, SVSU was the recipient of favorable attention in the appropriations process, and the construction boom on campus did not just come about because it was needed. Both happened because of good friends in Lansing, like former representative James E. O’Neill Jr. and former senators Jon Cisky, Mike Goshcka and Joel Gougeon. Today, we continue to rely on our legislative friends in Lansing, including two of our more than 29,000 alumni: Jim Barcia, ’75; and John Espinoza, ’02. Whether on your own, or through the Friends of SVSU PAC, make your message heard. Our alumni can make a big difference.


Promises. Peace of Mind. Planned Giving. Chances are you can make a bigger difference than you ever thought possible. To learn how, email us at or call (989) 964-4052.

Photo by: Adam Baudoux

7400 Bay Road • University Center, MI 48710

Reflections Magazine - Fall 2007  

Magazine of Saginaw Valley State University

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