THE MAGAZINE OF SVSU
The fall and rise of Jaeleen Davis
RICH EVENHOUSE, DIGITAL DIRECTOR AT HOLLAND-BASED IMAGE GROUP, HELPED PRODUCE A VIDEO COMMERCIAL FOR SVSU IN MAY 2016. THE COMMERCIAL WAS A COMPONENT OF THE UNIVERSITY’S NEW MARKETING CAMPAIGN. READ MORE ON PAGE 22.
photo by Michael Randolph
REFLECTIONS: FALL 2016 ı EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Linda Sims ı EDITOR: Justin Engel ı MANAGING EDITOR: Tim Inman ı WRITERS: Jill Allardyce, Justin Engel, Karen Izzo, Jan Poppe, Madison Shumate , Linda Sims, Jason Wolverton ı GRAPHIC DESIGNERS: Jill Allardyce, Justin Engel, Hallie Wright ı PHOTOGRAPHERS: Jill Allardyce, Tim Inman, Michael Randolph, Kyle Will ı ADVISORY BOARD: Don Bachand, president; Deborah Huntley, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs; and Alumni Relations staff Jim Dwyer, Kevin Schultz and Pamela Wegener ı REFLECTIONS magazine is published twice a year. For comments and inquiries contact: Justin Engel at Saginaw Valley State University • Wickes 389 • 7400 Bay Road University Center MI 48710 ı email@example.com • (989) 964-4883
CONTENTS THE POWER OF YES Gene Hamilton reflects on a 47-year career spent building the university’s foundations and strengthening community support.
FOREVER YOUNG Merry Jo Brandimore calls it a career after more than three decades shaping the lives of students on campus.
ON THE COVER ROSE BUTTERFLY
Childhood disease and a near-fatal accident weren’t obstacles for senior Jaeleen Davis. They were a test of her persevering spirit. cover photo by Mischa Lopiano, MLive
THE STORY OF WE In the largest and most ambitious marketing strategy in university history, campus leaders hope to shine the brightest spotlight yet on SVSU.
IMAGES IN BLACK AND WHITE SVSU hosts a vintage photographic catalog that captures the histories of Saginaw, blacks in America, and photography itself.
RECESS IS OVER The number of Michigan teaching jobs is on the rise again. The College of Education is prepared to supply the talent.
A CARDINAL LEGACY For one Saginaw Township family, attending SVSU has become a tradition running three generations deep.
A NEW CONNECTION Alumni Relations hopes a new social networking tool available to SVSU graduates and current students empowers both.
Forever Red prez nabs leadership award
photo by Michael Randolph KIM SALWEY RECEIVED A STUDENT LEADERSHIP AWARD FOR HER WORK WITH FOREVER RED, A STUDENT ORGANIZATION.
When Kimberly Salwey arrived at SVSU as a freshman in 2012, she was admittedly shy and timid. The marketing major experienced a dramatic transformation by the time she graduated in May 2016. That’s when her enthusiasm for her school and her fellow students earned her the Outstanding Student Leader award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) for a six-state region. Salwey said the turnaround came when she joined Forever Red in 2013. By 2015-16, she served as president of the student group that promotes school spirit, supports student scholarships, and connects students with alumni. Forever Red received the Outstanding Student Organization award for CASE District V, which encompasses Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. “I wanted to be part of something bigger than I am,” she said. “I know I can say I was part of something bigger here at SVSU.” After graduating, Salwey accepted a travel expert position at Great Lakes Bay Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Battle of the Valleys earns statewide acclaim
The next ‘Battle’ The football rivalry between SVSU and GVSU continues Saturday, Nov. 5, at Wickes Stadium, but the competition kicks off a week earlier when the Battle of the Valleys fundraiser begins. This year, SVSU’s collections will benefit Hidden Harvest, a Saginaw-based nonprofit that feeds people in need in the Great Lakes Bay Region.
A two-university rivalry became the toast of the state this year. Michigan Campus Compact, a state organization that recognizes college students serving as civically-engaged citizens, selected SVSU and its Battle of the Valleys initiative as the recipient of the first-ever 2016 Innovations in Community Impact Award. The 2015 Battle of the Valleys coordinator was SVSU student Natalie Schneider, a business management major from Saginaw Township. Schneider and her fellow SVSU students who helped organize the Battle of the Valleys initiative accepted the awards during the Michigan Campus Compact Awards Gala in East Lansing in April 2016. Battle of the Valleys is a one-week, annual fundraising competition between students from SVSU and Grand Valley State University. Since 2003, students have raised funds for their university’s
respective charity partners during the week leading up to the rival schools’ football game. SVSU has won 10 of the 13 competitions — including the last eight — raising $331,329 of the $508,819 total. The university that wins the competition also takes possession of a Battle of the Valleys trophy until the following year. SVSU students in 2015 once again brought the trophy back to their campus by raising $24,540 for Get Outside for a Healthy Inside, an affiliate of the Saginaw Community Foundation dedicated to improving physical fitness in Saginaw. JARROD EATON, A HEALTH SCIENCE MAJOR FROM ST. JOHNS AND THE 2015-16 STUDENT ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT, CELEBRATED WINNING THE BATTLE OF THE VALLEYS COMPETITION IN NOVEMBER 2015 AT GVSU.
photo by Kyle Will
photos by Michael Randolph JEFF SCHALK, A MECHANICAL ENGINEERING MAJOR FROM STERLING HEIGHTS, MAKES ADJUSTMENTS TO CARDINAL FORMULA RACING’S VEHICLE BEFORE COMPETITION IN MAY.
Cardinal Formula Racing
Team responds to improved competition The collegiate formula racing circuit has evolved since Brooks Byam began advising SVSU’s Cardinal Formula Racing team in 1998. “It’s getting to the point where it’s beyond an undergrad exercise,” said the professor of mechanical engineering. “The competition is unbelievably fierce.” Evidence of this shift in competition was on display at the 2016 Formula Society of Automotive Engineers Collegiate Design Series at Michigan International Speedway in May. While this year’s SVSU team placed 30th out of 120 teams by scoring 568 points, last year’s team placed higher — 26th — despite scoring nearly 50 points fewer. “We’re facing a lot more graduate schools from overseas, with students working at big, European professional sports car companies,” Byam said. “It’s really tough.” The top three teams in the 2016 competition arrived from Germany and Austria. Still, for the second consecutive year, SVSU’s team earned the best score among the exclusively-undergraduate schools at the contest. The 30th-place finish also represents
KAMERON CAREY, A MECHANICAL ENGINEERING MAJOR FROM SAGINAW, PREPARES FOR A TEST RUN IN MAY.
the sixth-best finish in the program’s twodecade existence. SVSU’s students in May outperformed teams from schools such as University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (which finished No. 46 overall), as well as Duke (No. 37),
Northwestern (No. 53) and Georgia Tech (No. 54). “I’m thrilled with my students,” Byam said. “They’re a sophisticated race team that can build a car, get it ready and have it go fast right away. They’re just awesome.” REFLECTIONSMAGAZINE 5
photos by Tim Inman REGIONAL LEADERS GATHERED IN APRIL DURING THE UNVEILING OF SVSU’S SAGINAW PROMISE SCHOLARSHIP. PICTURED, FROM LEFT, ARE RECIPIENTS BRANDON WEBSTER, A DELTA COLLEGE STUDENT, AND MICHAEL PAPESH, AN SVSU STUDENT; MAMIE THORNS, SVSU SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR DIVERSITY PROGRAMS; DON BACHAND, SVSU PRESIDENT; DAVID GAMEZ, VICE PRESIDENT OF SVSU’S BOARD OF CONTROL; AND LAURA YOCKEY AND TOM BRALEY, MEMBERS OF SVSU’S BOARD OF FELLOWS.
Scholarship benefits Saginaw students In April 2016, SVSU established a new scholarship to provide additional financial support for students in Saginaw. In partnership with Saginaw Promise — which offers financial aid to students in the Saginaw County region — SVSU’s Saginaw Urban and Civic Partnership Scholarship will provide up to $3,000 annually for up to 10 students who reside within the Saginaw Promise zone and attend SVSU. The scholarships are renewable for up to four years. “Saginaw is important to us,” SVSU President Don Bachand said. “The young people in Saginaw are especially important to us. We want to work more closely with the Saginaw Promise and other groups locally to provide opportunities for lifelong education. Our future depends on it.” Lumina Foundation workforce data shows that, by 2025, 60 percent of jobs in Michigan will require a college degree or
FRESHMEN TAMIA AND TIERA THORNTON, WHO ARE TWINS, AND FELLOW 2016 ARTHUR HILL HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE KATELYNN JACOBS RECEIVED SVSU’S NEW SAGINAW URBAN AND CIVIC PARTNERSHIP SCHOLARSHIP.
postsecondary certificate. Only one-third of Saginaw County residents currently have completed at least an associate’s degree. Students who receive the scholarship
will be expected to engage in one or more service projects aimed at encouraging students within Saginaw Public Schools to pursue higher education.
Grants boost Bay County Health Department clinic Under the leadership of at the Bay County Health Kathleen Schachman, Harvey Department, leading to Randall Wickes Endowed Chair improved treatment of mental in Nursing, SVSU secured funds health and substance abuse for three grants in 2016. The problems among primary aid boosts community health care patients. The grants and experiential learning for include $962,800 from the students in the College of U.S. Department of Health Health & Human Services. and Human Services as well Two of these grants support as $94,900 from the Michigan the integration of behavioral Health Endowment Fund. KATHLEEN SCHACHMAN health services into the primary A third grant — for $1.9 care setting at SVSU’s University Clinic million from the U.S. Department of 6 SVSUNEWS
Health and Human Services — involves a collaborative effort with Wayne State University. This grant helps implement and test creative academic-practice partnership models aimed at improving experiential training for advance practice nursing students in primary care settings. This grant also aids in the expansion of the University Clinic as an interdisciplinary clinical setting for five days per week, improving the continuity of care and substantially increasing access for the clinic’s students and clients.
Arts and culture
Scholar examines campus sculptures As an art scholar, Nick Hartigan loved spending summer buried in paperwork. Hartigan, the first recipient of SVSU’s Fredericks-Follett-Roethke Graduate Fellowship in the Arts & Humanities, in July 2016 researched a pair of artists with works featured across the campus. His studies involved access to thousands of documents housed in the SVSUbased sculpture museum dedicated to one of those artists, the late Marshall M. Fredericks. “There’s a total scope available here that is rare to find in most museums,” said Hartigan, a fifth-year doctoral student at the University of Michigan who specializes in the study of 20th-century sculptures. The events that led him to SVSU’s campus began more than a year ago when Marilyn Wheaton, director of the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum, sought individuals interested in pursuing scholarly work on Fredericks, whose monumental sculptures appear in sites around the world. Members of the History of Art program at the University of Michigan’s Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies recommended Hartigan for the research. When Wheaton approached SVSU leaders about funding his visit, the seed was planted for the fellowship, which supports a new graduate student’s visit each year to SVSU’s campus. That individual will study Fredericks, the late Saginaw-born poet Theodore Roethke or the popular British author Ken Follett. All of their collections are housed in SVSU’s archives. Hartigan recently finished participating in a pre-doctoral fellowship at the
NICK HARTIGAN SPENT ONE MONTH AT SVSU STUDYING CAMPUS SCULPTURES SUCH AS “CHRIST ON THE CROSS.”
Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. During his SVSU stay, he largely researched Fredericks’ “Christ on the Cross.” The 28-foot-tall, 7-ton bronze sculpture is located at a Catholic shrine about 30 miles south of the Mackinac Bridge. A plaster model of the sculpture looms over the interior of SVSU’s museum. “This is an enormous piece,” Hartigan said. “Aside from the sheer technical expertise involved in creating something that size, there were huge logistical
challenges. Fredericks had to cast it in Norway and have it transported here.” Hartigan also studied another internationally-renowned artist featured on campus: the late land-art sculptor Nancy Holt, whose “Annual Ring” sculpture is located north of Ryder Center. Hartigan plans to submit a paper about his research of Fredericks to scholarly publications while also including his findings in his dissertation on public sculptures.
U on closer inspection Nick Hartigan spent a month researching SVSU’s campus art collections. REFLECTIONS asked him to share his observations on three of those pieces: The Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum’s largest attraction, “Christ on the Cross;” “Mary Queen of Scotts,” a sculpture depicting the Scottish terrier of Fredericks’ sister; and “Annual Ring,” a dome-shaped cage sculpture created by Nancy Holt. Here’s what he said about each: Annual Ring
Mary Queen of Scotts “This is a huge steel structure that, surprisingly, seems to almost disappear into its surrounding landscape. It really only comes to life when you’re inside, looking out and up into the vignettes it offers on the surrounding trees or stars.”
“Often, when artworks enter a museum’s collection, the first thing to disappear is evidence of humor. We’re accustomed to treating artworks as ‘serious objects,’ even when they were made with a wink and nod. This is a small and subtle reminder that sculptures can be full of wit and humor, just like the artists who made them.”
Christ on the Cross (pictured above) “This is likely the largest plaster crucifixion in the world and serves as a dramatic example of a question that should be considered throughout a visit to the museum: How should we distinguish the work of the artist and the work of fabricators? Where does the artistic action start and stop and how should we think about the role of the artist in artworks that see many iterations in many mediums in many places around the world?” REFLECTIONSMAGAZINE 7
Student’s neuroscience work goes national Zackary Bowers’ knack for neuroscience is earning him attention from a number of national organizations. The latest: The psychology major from Freeland was invited to the Society for Neuroscience’s annual conference in November 2016 in San Diego. He will present on research performed in SVSU’s Brain Research Lab. “It’s an external validation of your hard work,” the senior said. “It immediately makes you grateful for all of the people who help you here at SVSU.” Bowers has worked for two years in the lab under the guidance of Charles Weaver, assistant professor of health sciences, and Jeffrey Smith, SVSU’s Malcolm & Lois Field Endowed Chair of Health Sciences. Bowers began at SVSU as a business major before connecting with members of the Brain Research Lab. He grew up reading publications such as Popular Science. Discovering the university’s laboratory reignited his interest in science. His research relates to improving the lives of individuals who suffer traumatic brain injuries. It’s research that’s earned him accolades before. While attending The Michigan Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience
ZACKARY BOWERS, A PSYCHOLOGY MAJOR FROM FREELAND, PERFORMS RESEARCH IN SVSU’s BRAIN RESEARCH LAB.
conference in May 2016, Bowers received an Undergraduate Student Outstanding Poster Award from among 180 poster presentations. In June, he presented the same research at the National Neurotrauma Society
conference in Lexington, Kentucky. Bowers expects to graduate in May 2017 and plans to pursue a Ph.D. that focuses on research of brain cell development. Eventually, he hopes to work as a university professor.
Campus welcomes new student affairs leader SVSU hired a student advocate well as the lesbian, gay, bisexual — with more than 23 years of and transgender communities. higher education leadership “Throughout my professional experience — to serve as its new career, I have been intentional associate provost for student about cultivating a campus and affairs. community environment where Sidney R. Childs began in July students feel welcomed and 2016 after serving since 1993 at strive to create a more just and Bowling Green State University. equitable world, one in which all Since 2014, Childs worked of our students see themselves as both interim vice president as valuable individuals and feel SIDNEY CHILDS and assistant vice president for confident and competent in student affairs at the Ohio campus, located their own identities,” Childs said. south of Toledo. Childs led programs to Prior to his work in Bowling Green’s enhance student retention and persistence student affairs office, Childs led the to graduation, and also to strengthen university’s TRIO programs, which offered community partnerships. He provided educational outreach and academic direction for underrepresented student enrichment programs for first generation populations, offering guidance on campus and underserved students. issues relating to diversity, inclusion, as His new role at SVSU also will involve 8 SVSUNEWS
nurturing an inclusive and empowering campus environment. Deborah Huntley, SVSU provost and vice president for academic affairs, said Childs will provide an engaging leader for students. “Dr. Sidney Childs brings a wealth of experience to SVSU,” Huntley said. “His work as interim vice president for student affairs at Bowling Green, leadership in TRIO and innovation in student programming has helped countless students meet their potential as engaged citizens. He has shown an ability to work across units within the university to foster student development in and out of the classroom. We are very excited to have Sidney join SVSU.” He replaced Merry Jo Brandimore, who retired in August after a 33-year career in SVSU’s student affairs division (see page 14).
YI-AN HUANG, OF TAIPEI, TAIWAN, WAS AMONG FOUR STUDENTS TO RECEIVE THE FIRST-EVER JOINT DEGREES OFFERED BY SVSU AND ITS SISTER INSTITUTION, MING CHUAN UNIVERSITY. CHUAN LEE (LEFT), MING CHUANâ€™S PRESIDENT, CONGRATULATED HUANG AND HER CLASSMATES DURING THE MAY 2016 COMMENCEMENT CEREMONIES.
THE RED PRIDE RUNWAY With fall underway and winter ahead, REFLECTIONS asked LaDonna Young, a 2009 and ’12 alumna, to select a Red Pride-inspiring clothing and apparel lineup from the SVSU bookstore’s current stock; Here’s what she picked …
SPIRIT PRODUCTS headband $13.98
LEGACY navy hat $21.98
REDSHIRT crew sweatshirt $44.98
CAMELBAK water bottle $26.98 REDSHIRT canvas tote bag $24.98
LEAGUE COLLEGIATE OUTFITTERS joggers $39.98
JARDINE FOOTWEAR flip flops $19.99
I feel the most proud when I rock my ’fro and SVSU logo. The red makes me feel empowered and accomplished. It is a beautiful reflection of my past, present and promising future. The day is great when you’re a Cardinal!” –LaDonna Young
photo by Michael Randolph
Do you share LaDonna’s sense of style? Want to see what else is on the shelves? Go to svsu.bncollege.com for the SVSU Barnes & Noble College Bookstore’s hours or online shopping options.
The Great Lakes Voyage Graphic design major and Auburn native Carly Peil hopped aboard a Viking-style warship from Norway, the Draken, during its July journey from Bay City’s Tall Ship Celebration to Chicago’s Navy Pier … and brought her Twitter followers along for the ride
A chance encounter brought Gene Hamilton to SVSU; nearly a half-century of fulfilling challenges and lasting friendships followed BY JAN POPPE
There are two kinds of people who say “yes” to a challenge. One reluctantly says “yes” out of obligation. The other enthusiastically says “yes” out of faith. In his 47 years at SVSU, Gene Hamilton showcased his faith in the institution as he answered “yes” to multiple challenges, charges and positions given to him, knowing that the request was always intended to be in the best interest of the university, for the good of its students and the good of the community. That faith and his success in executing it were recognized in June 2016, when Hamilton — surrounded by family, cohorts and supporters — witnessed the renaming of Cardinal Gym to Hamilton Gymnasium, days before his retirement. Many who know Hamilton know the story of how he arrived at SVSU in 1969 via a chance encounter at Owosso St. Paul High School with Paul Gill, an admissions representative who later retired from his position in the SVSU financial aid office. Gill talked to Hamilton — then
Yes The Power of
a coach, teacher and guidance counselor at St. Paul — and saw a hard-working, multiple hatwearing guy who would be a perfect fit for a fledgling college headed toward its imagined future. When Hamilton and Mary Pat, Gene’s wife, met with the college’s president at the time, Sam Marble, Hamilton sensed the palpable sincerity of Marble’s vision of a great university. The Hamiltons decided a leap of faith was in order, and in 1969, he joined the admissions staff. Over the course of nearly a half-century, Hamilton worked in cooperative education, economic development, international programs, conference bureau, advancement, community affairs and government relations. And, along the way, he coached a few basketball games, helped identify the “Cardinal” as SVSU’s mascot, and secured his Ph.D. Now that he is a retired Cardinal, Hamilton looks back — not so much at his many titles and positions — but at the life lessons that came from the challenges he accepted. “I learned from every president I worked for and a lot from colleagues,” Hamilton said. “That group taught me how to view both the academic as well as business side of a university.” He said “the greatest lessons” he learned from those colleagues were perseverance and the value of forming friendships. “It’s really always been about people; whether working with legislators or students, it’s been about forming relationships,” he said. “That’s my life at SVSU and that’s the way my life will go on. I’ll continually look to see if there’s something I can do to help. And I’ll be out in the community doing the same.” n photo by Michael Randolph
Visit Reflections magazine’s web-exclusive content featuring Hamilton’s thoughts on some of his biggest successes, as well as a timeline tracing his many roles at the university. Available at svsu.edu/reflections.
After 33 years and a lot of love, Merry Jo Brandimore’s career in shaping student life at SVSU came to a close BY JASON WOLVERTON
At a place where the letters “S-VS-U” mean so much, there are two other letters around campus that resonate with many people affiliated with the university, past and present: “M-J.” That would stand for “Merry Jo,” as in Merry Jo Brandimore, the nowformer associate provost for Student Affairs and dean of students who retired in August 2016 after nearly 33 years at the university. “I could do this work forever,” Brandimore said. “It keeps me young and it’s thrilling every day, but my head and my heart are telling me there are other chapters to write.” Brandimore joined the SVSU ranks in 1983 as the coordinator for Residential Life and served in a number of roles throughout her career. The one constant with each position, though, was working directly with students. The university transformed from an institution with 486 students living on campus when Brandimore started to nearly 2,700 today. When asked if she could sum up in one word a career working with students, Brandimore choked back tears when she answered: “Love.” “They call it work, but for me everything I did here was a gesture of love,” she said. “I don’t have a win/ loss record or a long list of published research. All I’ve had to give was love.” SVSU returned that gesture in
June 2016 when its Board of Control announced the name of Living Center North would be changed to MJ Brandimore House. “Many things have happened to me during my time at SVSU that brought unexpected opportunity and joy to my career and my life,” Brandimore said, “but I never imagined that a residence hall would bear my name. I am thrilled beyond words.” Though her work with students has earned her a number of accolades across the state and region, Brandimore said her greatest moments occurred during commencement ceremonies, where she watched the smiles on students’ faces as their years of hard work paid off. “Watching them move their tassels from right to left at the end of the ceremony gives me the chills,” she said. “It gets me every time.” Now that retirement has come, Brandimore plans on spending more time with family and getting to the long list of projects she’s been holding on to. But, for those worried what it will be like without a Brandimore on campus for the first time in over three decades, they need not fret. Her grandson, Parker Brandimore, is a freshman there. “I hope SVSU is where he has the best years of his life,” she said. “I know it’s where I had the best years of mine.” n
photo by Michael Randolph
Watch Reflections magazineâ€™s web-exclusive video interview of Brandimore. Available at svsu.edu/reflections.
Disease wrecked her childhood and tragedy nearly ended her life as an adult, but for Jaeleen Davis, adversity is a cue to spread her wings by Justin Engel
aeleen Davis at first didn’t notice how her blood seemed to spill into the shape of a butterfly on the spot where she fell from the sky. Her mother snapped photos of the curious scene days after Davis dropped nearly 30 feet onto the concrete floor of an empty outdoor amphitheater on Detroit’s riverfront. Overwhelmed with agony from a fractured vertebrae and the bone protruding from her wrist, the 21-year-old wasn’t aware of the pattern forming in red beneath her broken body in the moments after the fall. Photos provided her with that visual much later. Other details did not elude Davis on Saturday, July 16, 2016. She recalled plenty in her account of the day: The Hollywood Vampires concert she attended at DTE Energy Music Theater earlier that evening; the friends after the show inviting her to join them for a riverside stroll in Detroit; the way the Canadian lights sparkled against the water; how the night’s setting grew increasingly dim as the group drifted further from the cityscape’s glow; the grass crunching softly beneath her feet while she walked; the sudden, shocking absence of any surface at all beneath her feet; and the fall. That deep, frightening fall.
“I don’t remember the impact, but I do remember laying there, seeing a light and thinking, ‘This is the light people talk about when they recall near-death experiences,’” Davis said. “I was thinking, ‘OK, I’m gone.’” The source of that light, she eventually realized, was a distant bulb in the dark. Still, Davis wasn’t certain she was alive until a responding ambulance further illuminated the surroundings. Medics spent minutes stabilizing her. Surgeons spent hours resetting split bones. Davis spent weeks in hospital rooms and rehabilitation clinics before medical experts cleared her to walk again. “The doctor said that fall should have killed me, or if I had fallen slightly different, that I would have been paralyzed,” Davis said. The doctor also said that Davis should consider pausing all her previous plans — and there were plenty — in favor of months of rest and recovery. The SVSU communication and criminal justice double major was due to study abroad in Sydney, Australia from February to July 2017, and she had been on schedule to graduate that same December. She was an active advocate for a nonprofit organization benefiting sick and ailing children, with a big fundraiser set for
photo by Michael Randolph JAELEEN DAVIS SPENT FOUR WEEKS REHABILITATING AT HEARTLAND HEALTH CARE CENTER IN BRIDGEPORT TOWNSHIP, WHERE SHE RECOVERED FROM INJURIES SUSTAINED FROM FALLING NEARLY 30 FEET ONTO CONCRETE IN JULY 2016. HER BOYFRIEND, BRODERICK FLYNN, A BIOLOGY MAJOR AT SVSU, REGULARLY VISITED.
September 2016. She placed in the top 10 during her fourth consecutive appearance at the Miss Michigan pageant five weeks before her fall, and a fifth campaign for the crown was in the planning stages. And her ambitions as an actress landed Davis a small role on an NBC primetime TV show in January 2016. She was hoping to capitalize on the exposure with more acting gigs. Davis feared following her doctor’s advice of pausing those plans for months meant considerably delaying or outright derailing the freight trainlike propulsion she spent a lifetime gathering en route to accomplishing her goals. Davis’ response to the prescription: “No, thank you,” she said. “If I have to show up in a wheelchair and a neck brace, I’ll do it. This isn’t going to stop me at all.” Family and friends weren’t surprised by her persevering flair. Some suggested her injuries would accelerate her life’s momentum. For those people, such a prediction was not empty encouragement of a youthful naiveté they secretly doubted; such a prediction 18 SVSUCOVER
was backed by years of evidence. The strength of Davis’ conviction, after all, was defined by the way she turned a childhood disease that robbed her of her hair — and, for a time, her spirit — into a source of empowerment and inspiration. u
The first fall of Jaeleen Davis — the one that left her largely bald for life — managed to significantly interrupt the thrust of her earliest aspirations. Born the only child of Lisa and David Davis on March 3, 1995 in Saginaw, she showed a passion for performance arts as early as the age of 3. That was the year of one of her first memories and favorite possessions: A Fisher-Price toy stage — barely taller than her — that she used as a backdrop prop for at-home renditions of songs such as Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and the Christian hymn, “Jesus Loves Me.” “I always made sure mom and dad were there, and my stuffed animals too,” Davis said. “I would open the curtain to this little stage, sing, and then go back behind the curtain when I was
done. That was the first step.” The second: Davis’ mother drove her to Saginaw’s Pit & Balcony Theatre to audition for an upcoming production of “Babes in Toyland,” directed by Ric Roberts, now an SVSU professor of theatre. The 5-year-old earned a small role singing in the chorus. “It was such a blast,” she said. “That’s what initially hooked me on becoming a performer.” Davis continued to audition and nab roles in theatre productions across Saginaw, Bay City and Midland until her parents felt she was ready for a new outlet. While browsing a magazine, her mother discovered a casting call for a child role in a 2002 Broadway production of “Oliver!” She didn’t hesitate to sign up her daughter for auditions. The 7-year-old spent weeks preparing. Roberts, impressed with the young protégé’s ambition for the arts, coached her for the opportunity. “She sought out criticism of her work in ways that were well beyond her years,” Roberts said. “She constantly was working on improving her work on
every level.” When Davis arrived in New York, she was more than ready for the spotlight. “I remember they wanted me to sing a few verses from ‘Consider Yourself,’” Davis said of the bouncy ditty from the first act of “Oliver!” “I started to sing the whole song.” She won a role as a chorus boy. Rehearsals were scheduled to begin in a few months. Davis returned to Michigan to prepare for the temporary move to the Big Apple with her mother. “While I was waiting to go back to New York, I started to lose my hair,” she said. “It’s like I saw this dream starting to come to life, and then I felt it slipping away.” The slip started on what began as an idyllic Christmas Day in 2002. Davis awoke to her parents gifting her a black Chihuahua puppy. She played merrily with the newest addition to the Saginaw Township household. She spent the morning with her family, basking in the warm holiday glow of the moment and the prospects of her theatrical future. Her expanding world collapsed later in the aftermath of a bath as her mother brushed Davis’ hair. It was their daily routine, but on that day, something was different. “The first thing I noticed was the hair pooling against the drain,” Davis said. “Then I remember turning around, and there was more hair on the brush than on my head.” A few strokes of the comb dislodged large clumps of hair, and before daughter or mother realized it, Davis was nearly bald. What remained on her scalp fell out on its own before her 8th birthday. By then, doctors identified the culprit of her condition: alopecia universalis, a rare and severe form of a disease that convinced her immune system to attack and extract every strand of hair on her body. The diagnosis was no death sentence. Medical experts told her she would suffer no physical consequences except for a lifetime without hair, although small patches grew back during puberty. Her spirit sustained a deep damage, though. The wound festered for years. Depression set in immediately. Upset by her changing appearance, the oncecheery extrovert grew introverted and withdrawn, leading her family to cancel her Broadway role.
photo by Michael Randolph DAVIS RIDES A CAROUSEL DURING THE BRIDGE FEST CELEBRATION IN BRIDGEPORT TOWNSHIP IN JUNE 2016. DAVIS, WHO WAS CROWNED MISS BRIDGE FEST, WAS SEVERELY INJURED DURING A NEARLY 30-FOOT FALL DAYS LATER.
“I don’t think I cared at that point about the play,” Davis said. “Even though I would have been healthy enough, my mental health was not well.” Social rejection became an issue early on. Davis, at the time of her diagnosis, was a third grade student at Saginaw’s Handley Elementary School, where she once enjoyed learning and socializing. Before the end of the school year, she was completely bald, hiding her exposed scalp beneath bandanas and cheap wigs. Friends turned on her. “They called me all sorts of names,” she said. Davis transferred between multiple schools, stopped auditioning for theatre roles and quit Girl Scouts, isolating herself from her peers during those formative years. She spent much of her time after school at home. Her parents later divorced, splitting that home in two. “I didn’t feel like I deserved to be here anymore,” she said. “I didn’t want to be me. I wasn’t OK. There were a lot of wasted years in there.” Then she found inspiration. u
“When I met her, she was not a happy kid,” Maggie Varney, founder and CEO of Wigs 4 Kids, recalled of the first time Davis walked into the nonprofit’s office in 2006. “She wouldn’t even make eye
photo courtesy Joel Bissell, MLive DAVIS, WHO FINISHED IN THE TOP 10 DURING THE JUNE 2016 MISS MICHIGAN COMPETITION, SANG “A NEW LIFE” FROM THE PLAY, “JEKYLL AND HYDE.”
photo courtesy Wigs 4 Kids JAELEEN DAVIS FIRST VISITED WIGS 4 KIDS IN 2006, THREE YEARS AFTER ALOPECIA CAUSED HER HAIR TO FALL OFF. THE NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION PROVIDED THE THEN-11-YEAR-OLD WITH THE FIRST OF MANY HAIRPIECES.
contact with me.” Davis, then 11, was skeptical of the St. Clair Shores-based organization, which provided pricey wigs for free to children suffering from medical conditions that caused hair loss. Her attitude upon arriving at Wigs 4 Kids wasn’t unusual, Varney said. Few organizations specializing in wig production were prepared for young clientele, let alone children ailing psychologically. As a result, fitting a head for a hairpiece — a process wig producers often asked clients to perform using selfhelp kits — sometimes proved humiliating for children. Davis experienced such embarrassment during earlier attempts to find a suitable hairpiece. Wigs 4 Kids, on the other hand, attempted to create a comforting experience by also providing educational and professional guidance, a facility featuring a homelike atmosphere, children’s events and a network for families sharing similar circumstances. “It’s not just about hair,” Varney said. “It’s all about social acceptance. That’s what we try to create for our kids. They don’t really know this is therapy. They’re just busy having a great time, being a kid, being creative and relating to others.” Wigs 4 Kids helped heal Davis psychologically, but it wasn’t an immediate fix. A rare smile appeared the first time she fastened a hairpiece to her head there. She later attended one of the nonprofit’s social gatherings. Then another, and another. She eventually made regular eye contact with Varney. Hello and goodbye hugs became routine for the pair. Varney gradually chipped away at the walls Davis built around herself following her hair loss. A public breakthrough — away from the Wigs 4 Kids center — came years later when the 13-year-old decided to enter the Bay City Mall-hosted 2009 Sunburst Beauty Pageant. “I just wanted to see how I would do,” said Davis, who hid from judges the fact her hair was a wig. She won the contest. Davis, though, was most satisfied with the victory claimed in one of the competition’s sub-categories: Best hair. “That was a defining moment for me,” she said. “That was my real hair to them. I realized, a hairpiece can fix a child who is aching to feel normal again. I felt normal — I am normal — because of a hairpiece.” After that, she began competing in more
pageants, no longer withholding that she wore a hairpiece. Instead, she embraced her Wigs 4 Kids experience as part of her platform campaign. That tradition continued during her Miss Michigan appearances. She championed the nonprofit in other ways, too. Davis became a mentor to the children who were aided by Wigs 4 Kids. She supported fundraisers that paid for the expensive hairpieces. She attended Lansing press conferences outside the State Capitol to urge lawmakers to pass a Wigs 4 Kids-endorsed bill requiring private insurance companies to cover costs for hairpieces of Michigan children in need. Her rediscovered confidence influenced success in other aspects of life, renewing her passion for education as well as the arts. Excelling academically, she enrolled in SVSU’s Great Lakes Bay Early College program at 16 while still attending Standish-Sterling High School. Later, she performed research with advisor James Bowers, SVSU assistant professor of criminal justice, on crime in colleges. In September 2015, she presented her paper at the Midwestern Criminal Justice Association Conference, where she was approached by graduate school recruiters. Davis was unsure if she would take one of them up on their offer after graduation. If she followed that route, her plan would involve pursuing a career as an FBI analyst. Or she could play one on TV. Davis in recent years returned to acting. Represented by Bravo Talent Agency, she nabbed a role in a Dell computer TV advertisement in 2014. She was also cast in a small part in NBC’s primetime police drama, “Chicago PD.” In the episode titled “Now I’m God,” which aired in January 2016, Davis portrayed a cancer patient defrauded by a doctor. She wore no wig for the role. The barely-there hair on her head was her own. She also played a cancer patient in the Dell ad. Davis said she likely nabbed both roles because of her condition. She embraced the idea that alopecia universalis could play a significant role in her acting career. “What I thought was a curse was actually a blessing,” she said. “It’s opened the door for me to do things I’ve always wanted to do.” u
Maggie Varney cried the Sunday she learned of Davis’ near-fatal fall. Then
THE DAY AFTER UNDERGOING SURGERY ON HER INJURED ARM IN SEPTEMBER 2016, DAVIS ATTENDED THE ANNUAL FUNDRAISER FOR WIGS 4 KIDS, WHICH PROVIDES FREE HAIRPIECES — SOMETIMES COSTING UP TO $5,000 — TO CHILDREN WHO LOST HAIR BECAUSE OF MEDICAL REASONS.
Davis’ mother, who delivered the news to Varney, quickly conveyed the day’s second message: “Jaeleen wants you to know she will have to reschedule her Monday appointment at Wigs 4 Kids.” Tears turned to laughter. “Jaeleen didn’t even know if she would be able to walk again at that point, and here she is, staying on top of her calendar,” Varney said. “Can you understand the tenacity and the chutzpah it takes to do something like that, to be that way. She is a real person and she has her struggles, but she turns getting knocked down into getting back up like no one you’ve seen.” Varney counted herself among those who believed Davis would make good on her goal of bouncing back strong from
photo by Michael Randolph
her injuries. “Knowing Jaeleen, she will find a way to take this and turn it into something that will benefit herself and others,” Varney said. “She has a very different way of looking at things than most people.” That way of looking at things extended to her view of the bloodied imprint she left behind on a cold concrete floor in Detroit. Others might have seen such a scene and recognized it as some random-shaped splotch of rose-red gore. In the Rorschach test of her life, though, Jaeleen Davis saw something quite different down there. She saw a butterfly, its wings spread, symbolic for her of the strength needed to lift her up from where she had fallen. It wouldn’t be the first time she achieved such flight. n REFLECTIONSMAGAZINE 21
The story of
A STUDY AIMED AT REINFORCING WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A MEMBER OF SVSUâ€™S COMMUNITY PAVED THE WAY FOR THE LARGEST MARKETING PLAN IN UNIVERSITY HISTORY BY JUSTIN ENGEL
new marketing plan based on the results of a recent SVSU reputation study has provided a promising new playbook aimed at identifying prospective students whose personalities are best suited for the university. The initiative has Director of Admissions Jen Pahl, for one, feeling excited about the possibilities. “This is a real re-energizing moment for many of us at SVSU,” she said. “I can’t wait to see how this whole process helps us.” That process began in 2015 when SVSU hired Dartlet, a Seattle-based firm specializing in the science of reputation strategy and research, and The Image Group, a Holland-based firm that developed a marketing strategy for SVSU known as the “We” campaign. Dartlet representatives visited the campus last fall to lead 22 workshops with students, faculty, staff and community members. Those in attendance answered questions about their perception of SVSU’s strengths and weaknesses. Combined with an online survey, more than 900 people participated in the research. By year’s end, Dartlet revealed their findings to the
and billboard ads as well as recruitment publications — pairs the noun “We” with emotive verbs that correspond with the personality traits revealed in the reputation study. Each piece of marketing also often includes imagery or audio that illustrates the word combinations. For instance, a billboard located on Interstate 75 over the summer showcased a photo of a student graduating, accompanied with the words “We unleash.” A TV spot that began airing weeks ago multiplied that idea. The footage featured students and alumni alike studying, working in the community and enjoying campus amenities as dozens of “We”word combinations are spoken by SVSU students. “The first time I saw the TV commercial, I had chills up and down my spine,” Pahl said. “It was so powerful and so descriptive of who we are. It’s fresh, it’s clean and it’s modern. To have this cohesive campaign through multiple platforms has been exciting.” The mission of that marketing plan — to broadcast SVSU’s personality across mass media in an effort to entice prospective students attracted to those personality traits — will be a critical component to the mission facing Pahl and her Admissions staff. Prospective students discovering a kinship with SVSU’s institutional personality is a process Pahl understands well. It happened to her. As she prepared to graduate from Frankenmuth “The first time I saw the TV commercial I had High School in 1995, she set her sights on attending college at one of the state’s larger chills up and down my spine.” universities. After participating in a scholarship competition at such an institution, she “instantly — Jen Pahl, Admissions Director knew it wasn’t a good fit.” A high school counselor then recommended another university which, at the time, largely was unfamiliar to her: SVSU. Out of curiosity, she community in a comprehensive report that analyzed visited the Kochville Township campus. SVSU as if it possessed human-like personality traits. “I came away from that and truly felt a fit for my personality,” In general terms, the results showed the university was she said. “I felt a connection.” comparable to a person who was supportive and selfless; That connection led to success. First, her bachelor’s degree driven by compassion, warmth and the desire to care for in management in 2000, followed by a master’s degree in others; valued responsiveness, commitment and kindness; business administration in 2004. Then, a professional career and caused people to feel safe and supported. that involved helping new generations of prospective students “We truly, as a whole, defined who we are,” Pahl said. “This whose interests and ambitions align with SVSU. process reaffirmed how awesome this place is and showed us The Dartlet study and Image Group plan are providing Pahl how we can tell others through successful storytelling.” and her Admissions recruiters with a bold, powerful tool in The study provided the foundation for student recruitment their search for future students, she said. strategies shared campus-wide and throughout the “There was nothing like this when I was a student,” Pahl said. community. “We have always been a very humble university. This is a way Those strategies included the Image Group’s “We” to tell our story in a bright and effective way, and I’m excited campaign. The initiative — which involves TV, radio, Internet about all the people who are now going to hear us.” n
SVSU HAS DEVELOPED SEVEN NEW DESIGNS — INCLUDING THE FOUR SHOWN HERE — THAT CAN BE SEEN ON BILLBOARDS NEAR HIGH-TRAFFIC AREAS ACROSS THE STATE.
For details on how the “We” campaign will raise the awareness and enhance the reputation of SVSU, click go.svsu.edu. YOU. Vision. Play. Work. Goals. WE. Possibilities for you to be unleashed. Equations for you to solve. Pride for you to embrace. WE turns “no” into “now” and makes the impossible, practical. We create. We serve. We empower. We amaze. Together, we’ll fly. We are Saginaw Valley State University.
Who is Saginaw Valley State University? We are the curious, who interrupt lectures. We are artists who know making a mess is part of making a masterpiece. We are the teams who battle fiercely, And we are the fans who wear smeared red paint to show our pride. We are Cardinals, flocking from across the country, and across the globe. We’re the school you have to see to believe.
Excerpts from the “We” audio commercials
To listen to the “We” campaign video and audio commercials, visit www.svsu.edu/reflections.
As part of the â€œWeâ€? marketing plan, SVSU has developed new brochures and strategies tailored for prospective students.
Dear REFLECTIONS readers,
market research and embarked upon the at SVSU, as we recently have conducted I find this an exciting time to be working plan in university history. most aggressive advertising and marketing Holland, Michigan, on the marketing of unications and marketing firm based in comm a p, Grou e that you, We are working with The Imag assistance. There are a number of ways encouraging. However, “we” need your the “We” campaign, and early returns are ts. effor of our research results, and expand the reach ally evaluate as SVSU alumni and friends, can use the firm, has developed methodology to critic gy strate ation reput nal natio a et, Dartl alumni and nts Our other partner in this process, stude 900 faculty, staff, institutions as human beings. Last fall, some to us. ted attrac been human organizations, thinking of those have le peop why fully understand SVSU’s personality and of dominant traits tion entra participated in workshops designed to more conc st highe the with na ary personas. Our leading perso The research showed SVSU has three prim s, kindness and personal attention. ortive and selfless. We deliver friendlines supp ring, nurtu g, carin is that of a provider. We are er surprising strength and perseverance, We are resilient and tenacious. We deliv Our second persona is that of a contender. and we value fortitude and hard work. cause others to get excited. We value We are passionate and enthusiastic, and Our third persona is that of a motivator. when we show our Red Pride. enthusiasm and enjoyment; especially on SVSU student Jaeleen Davis (page 16) findings abound. In this issue, the story these ort supp to nce persona. evide and ples Exam perhaps most directly to our contender tion to overcome challenges, speaking great a “It’s iming excla r, highlights her persistence and determina ssado siastic amba re (page 14), I can think of no more enthu what And na. perso ator As we bid farewell to Merry Jo Brandimo motiv our with ifies students and boundless energy ident orting supp for on passi Her nts inal!” veme Card a achie day to be support as we recognize his 12) to exemplify personal attention and better persona than Gene Hamilton (page during his 47 years at the university. s tied to SVSU that we tell every day. These are but a few of the amazing storie more of these and share your personal your SVSU experience matches one or which in nels Now it’s your turn. Think of the ways ECTIONS and other communication chan colleagues. Share the stories from REFL inal. Card #We tag hash the stories with family, friends, neighbors and use e pleas l media, As you do this through your personal socia perceptions. unity comm that reinforce these data-driven themes. and ni alum nt, stude gh ing awareness of the university throu We are measuring past, current and ongo rstanding of SVSU is relatively low. On and anecdotes: public awareness and unde gs findin past The market research confirmed unicator and storyteller, I view this as a great negative perceptions. For me, as a comm the bright side, there are no deeply held gh opportunity. I hope you will, too. When you know of families going throu effort in ways that are simple and effective. your gh Throu g. You can support your alma mater in this werin empo -minded and about how SVSU is supportive, community d the college search process, talk to them ged. The more we help others understan enga and ring inspi d, mine deter are we how of ples exam share ns. and cite reaso a, social medi nts will choose us for the right cter, the more likely it is that the right stude the essence of SVSU’s institutional chara create false impressions or s claim ed gerat outrageous and exag We are fortunate. We do not need to make . In doing rce who SVSU is and what sets us apart of who we are. We simply need to reinfo this n begu have us of Many her. so, we can build SVSU’s reputation toget world — and especially the important work. Join us. Let’s show the Cardinal. #We how — nts stude of next generation
Linda Sims, and External Affairs Executive Director of Communications
In SVSU’s archives sits a photo catalog that captures significant moments in the histories of Saginaw, blacks in America, and photography itself BY JUSTIN ENGEL
A black top hat balanced on his raised right leg, Wallace Goodridge rests his left forearm atop the same wooden easel where his brother, William Goodridge, is perched in a similar pose, inches away. Together, in the Saginaw photo studio they own, the siblings stare forward at the camera. Each awaits the telltale signs that indicate a photograph has been taken. Prop foliage surrounds them. A canvas in the background portrays a painted wooded landscape. A Dalmatian rests lazily at their feet. The easel between the brothers hoists a sign, and it bears a message: “1879 Happy New Year To All.” Wallace and William Goodridge are not alive now, to say the least. They died more than a century ago. Yet the nearly 140-yearold photograph that froze their moment in time together in 1879 breathes with life today. For one, their late-19th century camerawork produced an image stunningly vivid in detail, allowing modern eyes to see its story told in past or present tense. Secondly, the story of this particular family in this particular portrait carries historical significance that endures to this day. Historians have chased this
story. They still are. John Jezierksi began his chase decades ago. The effort landed a copy of the New Year’s Eve photograph — along with dozens of other compelling pictures produced by the Goodridge brothers — in the secured archive room on the first floor of SVSU’s Zahnow Library. There, the university serves as a steward to a legacy that touches on Saginaw history, photography history, black history, and American history, all at once. u
Jezierski, who retired in 2006 as an SVSU professor of history, recognized the power of the Goodridge brothers’ legacy almost immediately upon arriving in the region in 1970 to begin his career with the faculty. While teaching and researching Michigan history, he was exposed to images of Saginaw and its people, dating back to the community’s booming white pine lumber industry days. Many of those pictures were credited to the Goodridge brothers, who successfully operated as professional photographers from 1847 to 1922. “I kept coming across these photographs linked to this one REFLECTIONSMAGAZINE 29
family, but there wasn’t a whole lot of information about them,” says Jezierski, who lives in Portland today. “Their photographs were so compelling. I had to know more.” So he spent years reading through newspaper articles about the siblings while researching their photo collection. Jezierski then wrote a biography on the brothers, “Enterprising Images,” published in 2000. The 368-page book chronicles the 75-year span of their photography businesses, which began with a third brother in their hometown of York, Pennsylvania, and continued in the Saginaw region in 1863, when Wallace and William Goodridge relocated there. “Enterprising Images” also highlights their international acclaim, which included the inclusion of their photography in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s exhibit at the 1889 Universal Exposition in Paris. “Their work was significant on many levels,” Jezierski says. For one, photography was in its infancy when the Goodridges opened up shop in 1847. The earliest known photograph to include people was produced less than a decade earlier. So the Goodridges weren’t simply creating the first photos in their communities’ history. They were creating some of the first photographs of communities in history. What made this feat especially impressive was the color of their skin. They were a black family that began operating a successful company 18 years before the U.S. Congress passed the 13th Amendment, which freed black slaves across the country. The Goodridges avoided enslavement. They were born to the free son of a black slave woman and a white man, and lived in northern states that abolished slavery decades before the amendment did so nationally. Regardless, racial divides remained wide and violent during the years the brothers prospered. The final Goodridge photo, after all, was produced nearly a half-century before the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. “They managed to succeed in a very difficult world,” Jezierski says. “They did it without emphasizing their heritage. Many early black photographers photographed black people and culture. The Goodridge brothers succeeded by serving the white community, too.” Still, the siblings contributed substantially to a movement meant to humanize blacks at a time when blacks often were treated as less than human, says Deborah Willis, an award-winning author considered one of the nation’s leading historians on black photography. Willis, chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, first researched the Goodridge brothers in the 1970s. In their images of black families, she recognized an answer to a call for action from Frederick Douglass, a slave-turned-social reformer and one of the most influential black voices of the 19th century. At the time, many photographs portrayed blacks poorly, sometimes in images where they posed while performing slave work or stealing from whites. Douglass, concerned about how such
imagery was influencing the nation’s perception of blacks, called on blacks to “arm themselves in the war of images,” Willis says. “Frederick Douglass believed photography was biography, and if you look at a photograph, you can see a person’s character,” she says. The Goodridge brothers’ photos of blacks — including their selfportraits — showed them in the same dignified manner displayed in many photos of whites at the time. “You found real joy in those images; a real understanding of the importance of family life, and the importance of documenting it,” Willis says. “When they began to take pictures of themselves and put them into photo albums to show to their family members, that’s a real light bulb, ‘ah-ha’ moment where you understand a representational system in action.” u
These days, Rose San Miguel oversees the Goodridge catalog in Zahnow Library. Occasionally, the SVSU archives specialist, out of curiosity, opens the emerald green cover of the photo album that protects those images of 18th century family portraits, lumberyard scenes and early Saginaw. “It’s fascinating to see what life was like around here back then,” the SVSU archives specialist says. “With a lot of these pictures, it’s amazing what kind of detail there is.” The daguerreotype-style photos are copies Jezierski collected during his book research. He later donated the photos and his notes to the university archives, which house mementos of the region’s rich history as well as materials and research papers from students and faculty of the past and present. “There’s a lot of history in this room,” San Miguel says. “It’s important that we keep these items safe and secure. It’s an important role we sometimes play for the community; preserving its history.” Sometimes that role extends to sharing the history. New York City-based filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris used the Goodridge brothers’ work stored in Zahnow Library as part of his film, “Through A Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People.” The documentary aired on PBS in February 2015 as part of the Independent Lens film series. It remains available online and in Zahnow Library’s DVD collection. The movie explores the role of photography in shaping the identity, aspirations and social emergence of blacks throughout history. Willis is featured in an interview, discussing the Goodridge family’s contribution to that history. The photo of Wallace and William Goodridge on New Year’s 1879 makes an appearance in the film, too, providing imagery as Willis describes how the brothers helped open the eyes of a nation to the new world of photography and a new way of thinking about their fellow man. n
THE GOODRIDGE BROTHERS’ LATE-19TH AND EARLY-20TH CENTURY WORK FEATURES A MIX OF STUDIO PORTRAITS (INSET) AND PHOTOGRAPHY FROM THE COMMUNITY. ON PAGE 31, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT, ARE IMAGES SHOWING LUMBERJACKS ARRANGING TIMBER AS IT FLOATS DOWN THE TITTABAWASSEE RIVER IN THE 1880s; A “LOG TRAIN” THAT TRANSPORTED THE TIMBER OUT OF THE REGION THAT SAME DECADE; THE GOODRIDGE BROTHERS’ DOWNTOWN SAGINAW STUDIO STOREFRONT IN 1910; AND THE 1913 SAGINAW WOMEN’S CLUB.
Recess is OVER. After years of decline, Michigan’s teaching job openings are on the rise — and SVSU is supplying the talent By Jason Wolverton
849 teaching openings were posted in 2015 to the Cardinal Career Network
% 6 . 5 3 SE
teaching openings were posted in 2012 to the Cardinal Career Network
A INCRE rs ea in 3 y
STATISTICS FROM THE SVSU CARDINAL CAREER NETWORK
They say everyone loves a good comeback story. And right now there’s a comeback tale playing out across the state that Craig Douglas is excited about. Douglas, the dean of SVSU’s College of Education, said the demand for teaching jobs in Michigan is experiencing a stark rebound after years of decline. As a result, aspiring teachers who once faced an uncertain job market upon graduation now have plenty of options. “Teaching graduates are a hot commodity right now,” Douglas said. “The market is very aggressive in Michigan and it’s happened quickly.” Recent data supports Douglas’ claim. According to Tom Barnikow, assistant director of Career Services at SVSU, 546 teaching openings were 32 SVSUTEACHING
posted in 2012 to the Cardinal Career Network, an SVSU service that tracks job openings for students and alumni. Last year, that number swelled to 849 — a 35.6 percent increase — and there is reason to believe openings will continue to grow as seasoned teachers retire or take buyouts. Some estimate nearly one-third of the teaching jobs in the state will turn over in the next few years. “SVSU has a very good reputation of producing high-level teachers,” Barnikow said. “But with this influx of jobs in the state of Michigan, when districts come to us, we just don’t have enough people to fill them all.” William McDonald is familiar with this demand. The Saginaw High School graduate arrived at SVSU in 2010, when demand for teachers was at its lowest.
After the elementary education major graduated with a bachelor’s degree in December 2015, he had eight job offers waiting for him. Those offers came without him ever putting in a single application. “I’m so thankful to all the faculty and staff who were so supportive of me,” said McDonald, who accepted a job this year at the Saginaw-based K-8 charter school, Francis Reh Public School Academy. “Having all those offers when I graduated was phenomenal and it just shows what an awesome program SVSU has. Hard work and dedication pay off.” The resurgence of teaching jobs in Michigan was, in some ways, the result of a perfect storm, experts say. In the early 2000s, as manufacturing jobs dried up and the state’s economy
slowed, the population started to decline as people left the state. According to U.S. Census Bureau counts, Michigan lost nearly 55,000 citizens between 2000 and 2010, making it the only state in the nation to decline in size during that time. With the decline in population came a lower demand for teaching jobs, as school enrollments dropped, districts downsized and many teachers were
I graduated with, meanwhile, were leaving the state.” Moeller was able to pay bills with the help of her husband’s salary while she waited for an opportunity locally. That opportunity arrived in 2003 when Saginaw Township Community Schools hired her. She remains there today, working as a kindergarten teacher at Hemmeter Elementary School. “It’s very different now,” she said of
“SVSU’s program provides students with three times the amount of field experience other programs would provide, and when it comes to teaching, nothing beats experience.” — Craig Douglas, College of Education Dean laid off to cut costs. “You can’t find a teaching job in Michigan” became an infamous warning cry and students elected to pursue fields outside of education. Jennifer Moeller remembered that dry spell for prospective teachers although, ultimately, she “was blessed” with a job offer within one year of earning a bachelor’s degree in education from SVSU in 2002. “I was one of 100 applicants for some of these jobs,” she said. “In some cases, I was hand-delivering my résumés to try to get an interview. A lot of the students
the state’s K-12 job prospects. “We’re also seeing a huge need for qualified substitute teachers. When I was in school, it was hard to even find a job as a sub.” A shift in the job market happened in the last 12 to 18 months when a stabilizing population coupled with veteran teachers stepping aside drove in-state demand to a level unmatched since the late 1990s, Douglas said. That demand is even greater given the aggressive ways other states recruit Michigan’s teaching graduates. Douglas and Barnikow said states such as Texas,
photo by Michael Randolph
Arizona and Alaska frequently recruit in Michigan, particularly at SVSU. Recent surveys indicated more than 95 percent of SVSU education graduates found full-time work or enrolled in graduate schools. “If there is a candidate from SVSU, they do get a second look because school administrators know how much experience our graduates have,” Douglas said. “Our program provides students with three times the amount of field experience other programs would provide, and when it comes to teaching, nothing beats experience.” Douglas and Barnikow have now turned their attention to recruiting for the College of Education, where enrollment declined 55 percent in the last five years in part because of the earlier K-12 jobs dry spell. They’ve organized informational sessions, talked to parents at orientation and used social media to try to get the word out about the dire need for good teachers. “The majority think the jobs aren’t there so parents tell students to go in different directions, away from teaching,” Barnikow said. “We’re trying to change the mindset from the last 10 years. There are teaching jobs in the state.” n
photo by Michael Randolph
JENNIFER MOELLER, SVSU ALUMNA, IS A TEACHER AT HEMMETER ELEMENTARY.
FROM LARGE TO SMALL ARE NICK ANDREWS, KATIE LAWRENCE AND MARY KATHRYN ANDREWS.
photo composition by Michael Randolph
FOR ONE LOCAL FAMILY, THE SVSU LINEAGE RUNS DEEP by Jill Allardyce In Saginaw Township, a farmer some call “Pa” reveals his Red Pride while grooming his three-acre hosta garden. In the center of the garden stands a pole with a large SVSU flag, waving high and proud. It’s surrounded by a potpourri of trees planted as dedications to his family members’ accomplishments over the decades. The many trees memorialize family accomplishments, including a flowering crab and a Japanese maple dedicated to the graduation of his daughter and granddaughter, respectively, from SVSU. “Pa” is Albert Brady, a farmer born and raised in Saginaw. While Brady never attended SVSU, his pride for the university is strong. One particular branch of his family tree is about to add a third-generation Cardinal alumnus — and, somewhere in his lot, he expects to plant a tree for his great-grandson’s expected graduation from SVSU in the next few years. “I’ve lived in this community my whole life; I can remember when the land was being zoned for the university, and I know a lot of the people who have been with the school since early on,” Brady says. “I’m so proud of my family for what they’ve become and for what they’ve accomplished there.” Both Brady’s son and daughter, Steve Brady and Mary Kathryn Andrews, are graduates. It’s his daughter’s branch of the family tree, though, that now features three generations of Cardinals. Andrews, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1992, now is a pharmaceutical sales rep for Bristol-Myers Squibb. She was a mother of two children when she enrolled as a commuter student at SVSU from 1989 to 1992. “In my opinion, I graduated from one of the best nursing programs in the United States,” she said. “The only thing I regret from that time is not getting involved in campus stuff sooner. I didn’t go to my first football game until my senior year. After the game, I remember thinking, ‘Why didn’t I do this sooner?’” Sometimes her daughter, Katie Lawrence, would accompany her mother to campus. Nearly 10 years later, Lawrence was married with a 3-year-old son, Nick Andrews, when she enrolled at SVSU in the same nursing program her mother attended. She graduated in 2003, and history is repeating itself now that her son, Andrews, a 2016 Saginaw Arts and Science Academy graduate, began as a freshman history major at SVSU this fall. The youngest Andrews is benefiting from his family’s longstanding allegiance to the university. He is a recipient of the SVSU Alumni Legacy Program scholarship, given to eligible children and step-children of Cardinal alumni. His financial burden also will be eased by the SVSU Dean’s Scholarship, earned by high school graduates with a 3.0 GPA or higher and a minimum 24 ACT score. While he lives on campus, the younger Andrews still spends up to four hours on warm weekend days, tending to “Pa’s” hosta garden, the same place where his great-grandfather one day hopes to commemorate another SVSU graduation with a tree. n For additional information about the 124 available $1,000 SVSU Alumni Legacy Program scholarships offered annually, contact Alumni Relations at (989) 964-4196.
Mary Kathryn Andrews’ daughter and grandson aren’t the only members of her family to attend SVSU. Her brother, Steve Brady, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1981. Brady was a standout on SVSU’s golf team from 1977-80, and was inducted into the SVSU Cardinal Athletic Hall of Fame during the inaugural class of 2010. During his professional career, he played in 10 PGA Tour Buick Open Tournaments and was the medalist at the Buick Open qualifier four different times. He was elected to the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame in 2013. Today, he lives in Oakland Township with his family and serves as the head professional and teaching instructor at Oakland Hills Country Club.
SVSU FRESHMAN NICK ANDREWS STANDS WITH HIS GREAT-GRANDFATHER, ALBERT BRADY, IN HIS GARDEN. photo by Jill Allardyce
A NEW A social networking tool is changing how SVSU, its students and alumni interact by Jason Wolverton
SVSU ALUMNUS TOM PROVOAST BECAME A MENTOR TO STUDENT BROOKE RICHARD AFTER MEETING ON SVSU CONNECT.
Jim Dwyer leans back in his chair, bolts forward and then leans back again. For anyone who knows Dwyer, the executive director of Alumni Relations at SVSU, it’s easy to see when he’s excited. On this day, he’s barely able to contain it. He spins his chair toward his computer, and after delivering a few finger-taps to his keyboard, pulls up anyone who graduated from SVSU in 2002. A few more clicks and suddenly he’s looking at everyone who was ever in the Roberts Fellowship Program. Want to know how many Cardinals currently reside in Texas? Dwyer has it up in a matter of seconds and then turns back with a giant grin on his face, shaking his head as if to say, “I can’t believe how big this is going to be.” This is SVSU Connect. And it’s about to change the face of alumni relations at SVSU forever, Dwyer says. Simply put, SVSU Connect is a free social network — a sort of university directory on steroids — that enables alumni, students, staff and faculty to update a profile through their Facebook or LinkedIn accounts. Generally speaking, keeping tabs on graduates is one of the most challenging tasks of any alumni office, making SVSU Connect somewhat ingenious in that it empowers alumni to keep SVSU updated on their doings through already-existing social accounts, Dwyer says. If creating an accurate database were its sole function, the tool would still be valuable for an institution that boasts more than 42,000 alumni. But learning where a graduate resides or what they do for a living is just a small part of the equation, Dwyer says. SVSU Connect is really about impacting people’s lives. “If a student is going to spend thousands of dollars to come to school here, we have to show outcomes,” says Dwyer, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from SVSU in 1976 and 1985, respectively. “We need to tell our story — and our alumni can help us do that with this tool.” That’s where SVSU Connect sets itself up as a game changer, he says. Its main function is to help with networking, mentoring and career navigation. When alumni initially sign in and update their account, they indicate whether they would be willing to assist in those areas. The site even features a space to post job openings. Features such as these already have paid dividends for one current SVSU student. Brooke Richard is a second-year freshman who is undecided about an academic major. Considering computer information systems as a possible choice, she set up an appointment with SVSU Career Services over the summer to gain perspective. They suggested she check out SVSU Connect to find alumni working in the industry locally. That’s when she found Tom Provoast, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1996. He works as an information technology service support manager at The Dow Chemical Co. She sent Provoast a message through SVSU Connect, and within a few weeks, the freshman was at Dow’s Midland campus, job shadowing. “I wouldn’t have been able to find this opportunity without the help of SVSU Connect,” Richard says. “I love that this site has gathered alumni together that are willing to engage with current students and be mentors.” For his part, Provoast is happy to share his experiences and stories while finding ways to reconnect with the university. “I had a lot of great memories when I was at SVSU,” Provoast says. “If some of my experiences and what I’ve done can help someone else, that’s great. I just wish we would have had something like SVSU Connect when I was an SVSU student.” In the meantime, Dwyer continues to promote SVSU Connect. Like a Red Pride pied piper, he’s travelling around campus, meeting with academic leaders to discuss what the tool can do for faculty. He’s also meeting with staff members and students, touting the potential of the program. “As a university, we haven’t been able to tell our story in a simple way,” he says. “These are real people with real results, and it’s important that people tell their story because we’re impacting our brand and telling people why SVSU is a special place.” n
To join, go to svsuconnect.com
photo by Michael Randolph
CLASS NOTES SVSU ART INSTRUCTOR DAVID TORREZ, PICTURED AT THE TOP OF THE SCAFFOLDING, PAINTS A MURAL ON THE SIDE OF THE CARDINAL GYMNASIUM IN 1976 WITH THE HELP OF ONE OF HIS 33 VOLUNTEER ASSISTANTS. TORREZ’S WORK, “DAWN OF EDUCATION,” WAS CONSIDERED THE LARGEST EXTERIOR MURAL IN MICHIGAN AT THE TIME, AT 103-BY-33 FEET. HE LATER CREATED A SMALLER VERSION OF THE MURAL THAT HANGS IN GROENING COMMONS TODAY. TORREZ DIED IN 2001. THE ORIGINAL MURAL WAS COVERED WHEN THE RYDER CENTER WAS BUILT IN 1989. THE BUILDING REMAINS, HOWEVER, AND RECENTLY WAS RE-NAMED HAMILTON GYM (SEE PAGE 12).
GUIDE TO DEGREES I BACHELOR OF ARTS (B.A.) I BACHELOR OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (B.B.A.) I BACHELOR OF PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTANCY (B.P.A.) I BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (B.S.) BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING (B.S.E.E.) I BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN MECHANICAL ENGINEERING (B.S.M.E.) I BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN NURSING (B.S.N.) BACHELOR OF SOCIAL WORK (B.S.W.) I DOCTOR OF NURSING PRACTICE (D.N.P.) I EDUCATION SPECIALIST (ED.S.) I MASTER OF ARTS (M.A.) I MASTER OF ARTS IN TEACHING (M.A.T.) MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (M.B.A.) I MASTER OF EDUCATION (M.ED.) I MASTER OF SCIENCE (M.S.) I MASTER OF SCIENCE IN HEALTH ADMINISTRATION AND LEADERSHIP (M.S.H.A.L.) MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NURSING (M.S.N.) I MASTER OF SCIENCE IN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY (M.S.O.T.) I TEACHER CERTIFICATION (T.C.)
Anne Ritz, 1987, B.A., 1991, M.A., was recently awarded The Michigan Campus Compact 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the growth of service learning and civic engagement at Alma College and in her MiCC membership. Ritz has worked for the past 19 years as Alma College’s service learning coordinator, connecting students to service opportunities on campus, in Gratiot County, and beyond. Jay Smith, 1984, B.A., accepted the men’s basketball head coaching position at Kalamazoo College. He has 31 years of experience in coaching at various Michigan universities. Keri Becker, 1995, B.A., was promoted to athletic director for Grand Valley State University. Steve Bentley, 1998, B.A., 2003, T.C., won a national championship during the USA Track and Field National Championships at GVSU. He won 15 championships at the state level and earned four records in the triple jump and 60-meter hurdles. Carrie Carlson, 1998, B.P.A., 2004, M.B.A., and Brian Carmody welcomed their son, Nash Carlson Carmody, on May 13, 2016. Shannon (Reinert) Emery, 1998, B.A., and Jason Emery, 2002, B.A., welcomed a daughter, Estee Eve, on Sept. 20, 2015. Megan Hammond, 1999, B.A., 2008, M.A.T., was awarded Birch Run Teacher of the Year for 2015-16. Karen Murphy, 1999, B.S., was one of 24 people across the nation to be recognized by McDonald’s of Michigan for their commitment to their community. Barbara Sageman, 1998, B.B.A., 2000, M.B.A., was hired as the alumni affairs director at Lynn University, located in Boca Raton, Florida. Joseph Sova, 1996, M.B.A., was promoted to the role of utilities director for the City of Midland. Rai Winzer, 1993, B.A., has been promoted to district sales manager for Cellular Plus-Verizon Wireless. He leads 11 stores and more than 80 employees in northeast Wyoming and eastern Montana. Alisha Beckrow, 2001, M.A., successfully defended her doctoral dissertation — an examination of the social bonds and engagement of young professional social media users — to earn her Ph.D. at Wayne State University in communication arts. Malikah Coleman, 2010, B.A., works as the graduate programs manager for Kaplan Test Prep in Detroit. Bryan Crainer, 2006, B.A., 2011, M.Ed., and Kelly Crainer, 2009, B.A., 2014, M.A.T., welcomed their third son, Elijah Cole, on Feb. 17, 2016. Bryan Crainer is SVSU’s associate dean of student life and leadership programs.
Justin Findlay, 2007, B.P.A., and Jenna (Zulauf) Findlay, 2007, B.A., welcomed Penelope James and Jack Michael on July 15, 2015. Katrina Friedeberg, 2007, B.S.W., and her husband, Eric, welcomed their daughter, Zaralyn Zoey Friedeberg, on Jan. 22, 2016. Nicole Glowacki, 2009, B.S., and Adam Greening welcomed their son, Abel Kristopher Greening, on February 29, 2016 in Palmer, Alaska. Tami Heilman-Adam, 2003, M.S., was a recipient of the RUBY Award, which highlights and acknowledges some of the Great Lakes Bay Region’s best and brightest professionals under the age of 40. Billi Jo Hennika, 2008, B.S.N., earned her master’s degree in healthcare administration from Kaplan University. Thomas Henthorn, 2004, B.A., was granted tenure and promoted to associate professor of U.S. History at the University of Michigan-Flint. Shaun Johnson, 2002, B.A., was named vice president and deputy general counsel for CMS Energy & Consumers Energy. Before accepting this position, he was a partner and director of the Energy Industry Group at Dykema Gossett, PLLC. Kerri LaDuke, 2006, M.A.T., was a 2016 Outstanding Teacher of the Year award recipient for Warren Consolidated Schools. Kevin Leininger, 2007, B.S., 2007, B.B.A., started a new position with the State of Michigan as a programmer/analyst with the Department of Technology, Management & Budget. Jesse Maldonado, 2007, B.B.A., was appointed vice president of Mortgage Lending for Catholic Federal Credit Union. Alexandra Miller, 2009, B.A., was hired as program director for Community Connections in Harbor Beach. Bryan Miller, 2008, B.A., married Whitney Perry, 2009, B.P.A., in Monroe on Sept. 19, 2015 after meeting at SVSU in 2007. Out of the 12 members of the wedding party, eight were SVSU alumni. Matthew Miller, 2001, B.S., was awarded the Satinder Ahuja Award for Young Investigators in Separation Sciences at Pittcon 2016 for his work as a technical leader with Dow Chemical Co. Julie Roberts, 2008, B.A., is now a fifth grade teacher at St. Charles Elementary School. Wade Slivik, 2008, B.B.A., was promoted from appraiser to city assessor for Bay City. Eric (Skibbe) Saylor, 2009, B.A., married Grant Saylor on Dec. 9, 2015 after five years of dating. Eric Saylor is attending University of Detroit Mercy to earn a teaching certificate. Kimberly (Oberski) Wagner, 2009, B.S., and Nicholas Wagner, 2004, B.A., 2007, M.A., are proud parents of Jack Michael Wagner, born on July 29, 2016. Nicholas Wagner is SVSU’s director of institutional research. Denise Wood, 2002, M.Ed., was awarded Teacher of the Year by Anchor Bay School District for her work at the Anchor Bay Junior Honors Academy. Yueqi Zhang, 2001, M.A., was awarded the Past Juror’s Innovation Award at the Northwest Watercolor Society 76th annual International Open Exhibition for his artwork.
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1. Keri Becker, 1995 B.A. 2. Findlay twins, Penelope James and Jack Michael 3. Joshua Rivers, 2011 B.S. 4. Mallory Daoust, 2016, B.A. 5. Alisha Beckrow, 2001, M.A. 6. Elijah Cole Crainer 7. Kerri LaDuke, 2006, M.A.T. 8. Taylor Irland, 2013, B.A. (right) 9. Jay Smith, 1984, B.A. 10. Bryan Miller, 2008, B.A., Whitney Perry, 2009, B.P.A. 11. Carrie Carlson, 2004, M.B.A., 1998, B.P.A. 12. Nicole Franzel, 2014, B.S.N. 13. Terrance Moore, 2015, B.A. (right) 14. Jack Michael Wagner 15. Nicholas Inman, 2011, B.S. (right)
Bethany Alford, 2011, B.A., was a recipient of the RUBY Award, which highlights and acknowledges some of the Great Lakes Bay Region’s best and brightest professionals under the age of 40. Chelsie Arnold, 2011, B.S., recently graduated from Logan College of Chiropractic in Missouri as a doctor of chiropractic and accepted a position at Tri City Chiropractic in Saginaw, specializing in pediatric and pregnant patients. Daniel Bublitz, 2011, B.B.A., joined WTA Architects of Saginaw as their new financial manager. Alan Butler, 2015, B.B.A., joined Wilson Realty as a licensed realtor. Isaac Clelland, 2015, B.A., was hired to the Blackman-Leoni Township Police Department. Mallory Daoust, 2016, B.A., accepted a K-3 autism teaching position with the Anchorage School District in Alaska. Raymond Deeren, 2012, B.A., was named writer-in-residence for the Union League Club of Chicago. Ryan Ermers, 2013, B.A., was named softball coach for Norcross High School in Georgia, where he teaches math. Nicole Franzel, 2014, B.S.N., was the winning contestant on the popular summer-long CBS reality TV game show, Big Brother. The Ubly native earned the $500,000 grand prize during the Sept. 21, 2016 finale episode. Spencer Goschke, 2013, B.A., married Monica Ginop, 2012, B.B.A., on April 23, 2016 in Saginaw before honeymooning in Naples, Florida. Brandon Hopkins, 2010, B.S., graduated from DePaul University in Chicago with his Master of Information Systems degree in June 2016. Nicholas Inman, 2011, B.S., was awarded King Mountain High School’s Teacher of the Year for 2016. Taylor Irland, 2013, B.A., announced her engagement to Andrew Shuster. Sara Kitchen, 2010, B.A., is now the deputy managing editor for Bloomsbury Publishing in New York City. Julie Kuzdzal, 2014, B.A., was hired as a general music teacher for the Penn-Harris-Madison School Corp. Within her first year there, the district was recognized as one of the best districts for music education in Indiana. Marco Marando, 2013, M.Ed., is now the principal of Northville Public Schools’ Amerman Elementary School. Kirsten McIlvenna, 2011, B.A., joined International Child Care USA as their new communications director. Terrance Moore, 2015, B.A., is now a law enforcement officer for the Saginaw Police Department. Alexander Norris, 2015, B.A., was hired at the Blackman-Leoni Township Police Department. Kellsey Poston, 2015, B.B.A., is now the varsity volleyball head coach at Franklin High School. She was an athlete at SVSU, where she played four years of soccer and one year of volleyball. Brittany (Raffler) McGill, 2013, B.S.N., married Brett McGill on May 29, 2016 in Interlochen. Joshua Rivers, 2011, B.S., will spend the following year conducting translational and epidemiologic cardiology research in Bethesda, Maryland, as part of the National Institutes of Health’s prestigious Medical Research Scholars Program. Kimberlee Ward, 2012, B.A., is currently training to compete at Adult U.S. Figure Skating Nationals that will be held in North Carolina in April 2017.
IN MEMORIAM Virginia Aldrich, 1988, B.S.W. — May 21, 2016 Aldrich, 69, was a graduate of Flint Beecher High School before earning a degree in social work at SVSU. She retired from Saginaw County Youth Protection Council after many years of service. Vickie Boesnecker, 1981, B.S.N. — May 1, 2016 Boesnecker, 57, was a member of one of the first nursing graduating classes in 1981. She began her career in Saginaw as a registered nurse at St. Luke’s Hospital and, after nearly 30 years of dedicated service, retired from Covenant HealthCare’s Wellness Department. Gladyce Bonner, 1971, B.A. — March 19, 2016 Bonner, was a teacher for Swan Valley Schools before retirement in Lakeland, Florida. She was 96 years old and loved to travel, quilt, read, paint and cook. Jan Brown, 1977, B.A. — May 21, 2016 Brown, 74, retired from Mayville Public Schools as a counselor. She was a former member of the Bay City Jaycees Women’s Auxiliary and the Michigan Education Association. She was one of the original counselors for Bay Area Housing and an active volunteer at the State Theatre. Brian Couillard, 2004, B.A. — April 12, 2016 Couillard, 39, went on to get his Master of Social Work from Michigan State University and worked as a crisis intervention therapist at Covenant Medical Center. He was an avid runner and participated in numerous races including three marathons. Elaine Dvorak, 1995, M.S.N. — April 16, 2016 Dvorak, 53, battled brain cancer for 15 years. She had an extensive nursing career at various hospitals around the state in many different departments. Bobbi Galarno, 1995, B.A., 2005, M.Ed. — March 7, 2016 Galarno, 43, married her husband, Francis, in Founder’s Hall on SVSU’s campus. She taught pre-calculus and algebra at Saginaw High School and Arthur Hill High School, and loved marching band and softball. James Gorzinski, 1994, B.B.A. — March 23, 2016 Gorzinski, 46, worked as senior vice president for the Wirt-Rivette Group in Saginaw. He had deep passion for hunting, fishing, antiquing, watching sports and spending time with family and friends. Margaret Greskowiak, 1991, B.B.A., 2000, M.Ed. — April 7, 2016 Greskowiak, 74, was the chief financial officer for Hemlock School District. She also was an exceptional gardener and member of various plant societies. Paul Hilbrandt, 1985, B.S. — March 10, 2016 Hilbrandt, 54, worked as an engineer at various companies such as Brown Machine, Septor Electronics, and Schenck Turner. He was also the longestserving caretaker for Richland Lutheran Cemetery, at 35 years. Geraldine Kenny, 1973, B.A. — June 21, 2016 Kenny, 85, was a lifelong resident of Saginaw, graduating from Arthur Hill High School and receiving her nursing degree from Delta College. She was married and raised six children before retiring from Saginaw General Hospital in 1989. Marilyn Knight, 1981, B.B.A., 1983, M.B.A. — July 4, 2016 Knight, 78, earned her degrees and became an assistant professor of accounting at SVSU for 27 years. Her efforts resulted in two distinguished awards, the Landee Award for Teaching Excellence (1995-96) and the 1994 House Family Award for Teacher Impact. Rajendra Mondol, 1983, B.B.A. — March 24, 2016 Mondol, 64, moved from his home in India to play soccer for MSU and SVSU. He graduated and began his career at General Motors while pursuing his passion of coaching soccer at Delta College. Anita Naugle, 2014, B.S.N. — Feb. 4, 2016 Naugle, 23, was a member of Kappa Tau Epsilon sorority and wife of Tylor Naugle. She will be remembered for her care for others and dedication to healthcare. Patricia Naugle, 1987, B.A., 1991, M.A.T. — April 1, 2016 Naugle, 69, graduated from Mayville High School in 1965. She worked at Mayville Community Schools as an English teacher. Robert Paluszak, 1977, B.A. — March 25, 2016 Paluszak, 68, retired from GM Powertrain Bay City-Plant and was a member of U.A.W. Local No. 362. He volunteered at McLaren Bay Region and was a
member of the V.F.W., D.A.V. and American Legion. Paluszak proudly served his country in the U.S. Air Force during Vietnam. Lyndsey Piesko, 2012, B.A. — March 3, 2016 Piesko, 29, also attended Alma College, where she played volleyball and later graduated from SVSU. She coached volleyball. Roberta Richard, 1993, B.B.A. — April 29, 2016 Richard, 75, was a life-long Bay City resident. She attended Bay City Central High School and was formerly employed with Mast Foulds & Co. PC. Mary Jo Robb, 1976, M.A.T. — April 3, 2016 Robb, 84, worked for Bay City Public Schools before retiring to Las Vegas. Maria Rueda, 1990, B.A. — April 15, 2016 Rueda, 74, was a 1961 graduate of Saginaw High School and a 1990 graduate of SVSU. She retired from Buena Vista School District following many years of teaching the Mexican culture to her students. Ronald Scherer, 1975, M.A.T. — May 3, 2016 Scherer, 80, graduated from Concordia River Forest College in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. He taught school for 50 years and, after retiring, he worked at the EEC at St. Peters School and ran the morning Latch Key program. He was the library administrator at the school and ran the Sunday school for many years. Michelle Sharp, 1990, B.S.W. — June 30, 2016 Sharp, 68, was a graduate of Saginaw High School and a member of the Student Social Work Organization at SVSU. Jeremy Smith, 2005, B.A. — March 8, 2016 Smith, 37, graduated from John Adams High School, obtained his bachelor’s degree from SVSU, and was studying at American Military University for a master’s degree in criminal justice. He served a tour in Iraq. He helped and guided many friends both from college and in his career as a corrections officer and brother of the Sigma Pi Fraternity. Michael Spagnuolo, 1994, B.S. — April 23, 2016 Spagnuolo, 46, served his country with the U.S. Army Reserves. He was employed at Means in Saginaw as a database analyst. He was a pitcher in the fastball leagues for many years in the Frankenmuth area and was a member of the Schaefer & Bierlein Wranglers. He was inducted into the Frankenmuth Fast Pitch Hall of Fame in 2014. Nicholas Surian, 1969, B.S. — June 9, 2016 Surian, 76, was a former editor of The Valley Vanguard, SVSU’s student newspaper. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army and was honorably discharged after his dedicated service as a medic. His employment history includes the former Saginaw Osteopathic Hospital, Central Medical Services, Dow Corning Corp., and Merck, retiring in 2002. He was a former member of the Sons of Italy and Knights of Columbus and was president of St. Stephen Athletic Club from 1981 to 1983. Willard Wade, 1990, B.B.A. — March 3, 2016 Wade, 76, earned his GED while serving in the U.S. Air Force. He continued his education through Air Force training while earning various Air Force awards. He earned his bachelor’s degree at SVSU while assigned to Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda. He retired there in 1986 after 28 years of military service. William Webb, 1979, M.A.T. — Feb. 17, 2016 Webb, 82, served his country in the U.S. Navy. He also was a math teacher at Avondale Schools, and he retired after 27 years of service. Alan Weburg, 1972, B.A. — March 9, 2016 Weburg retired from Dow Chemical to take up woodworking and substitute teaching. Gail Wicks, 2000, B.S.W. — Feb. 6, 2016 Wicks, 63, was employed as a registered nurse at Covenant Medical Center and the Aleda E. Lutz V.A. Medical Center until her recent retirement. Her passion was helping others through volunteering in her daughters’ schools, at C.A.N. Council, becoming one of the first C.A.S.A. volunteers in Saginaw County, and mentoring. She was a regular blood donor, giving over five gallons in her lifetime. Beatrice Williams, 2002, B.A. — Feb. 8, 2016 Williams, 57, was as a middle school teacher in Alabama, and was employed by B.E.A.M. Industries. She also was a faithful member of the Voices of Praise Choir.
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.com SVSU CONNECT IS AN EXCITING NEW SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORK LINKING ALUMNI, STUDENTS, STAFF AND FACULTY. SVSU Connect is different than Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites because it allows users to connect with fellow Cardinals based on the academic program they studied, a student organization they joined, and a variety of other factors that defined their SVSU experience. Want to start an affinity group of current and former Living Center residents, and share photos of your experience? Easy. Care to search for job openings offered by fellow alumni? New postings are available all the time. Curious what community events are scheduled on campus next week? The calendar is updated. These perks and much, much more are available when you join SVSU Connect. To sign up, go to www.svsuconnect.com. Users can join through their Facebook or LinkedIn accounts.
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