Dear LSSU Alums,
LSSU takes pride in effectively preparing our students to find good jobs, to pursue successful careers, and to enjoy productive and satisfying lives. As we prepare to celebrate the successes of our graduating Seniors, we want to reflect also on LSSU’s extensive accomplishments this past year. Let’s look at just a few.
Whitney Gravelle, President of the Executive Council of Bay Mills Indian Community, Chair of the Department of Interior’s Secretary’s Trial Advisory Committee, and Commissioner on the Michigan Advisory Council on Environmental Justice will be our Commencement Speaker on May 6. She holds a Juris Doctorate from Michigan State University, has worked for the Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resource Division in the Indian Research Section, and served as Chief Judge of Bay Mills Tribal Court. Our 2023 Commencement Exercises will undoubtedly be memorable for all who attend.
Spring productions in the Arts Center were outstanding, featuring LSSU alumna Tomantha Sylvester presenting Something Else, her groundbreaking play poignantly highlighting issues of injustice and violence against indigenous women. Audiences also enjoyed productions of the raucous comedy God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza, and LSSU Theatre Club’s performance of the compelling ‘who-dunnit’ play Trifles, by Susan Glaspell.
LSSU is proud to host The Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra on April 22nd at the Arts Center as they perform “Terra Nostra.” Admission is free, or VIP priority seating is available at a cost for those who would like to enjoy reserved parking, an hors d'oeuvres and cocktail hour in our VIP lounge, and a special meet-and-greet with conductor Libor Ondras and composer Christophe Changard. This concert will celebrate the Great Lakes region and its people in three segments centered on the beauty of the Great Lakes, an Okanogan Indian story of how Coyote received his name from the Great Spirit Chief, and a multimedia symphony about climate change.
This year’s TEDx event, organized and presented in March by our library staff, was a smash hit. Six live presenters spoke to an overflow crowd on a wide range of issues about “Identity.” Presenters were from five states and England, plus one student and one faculty member from LSSU. Videos of the event will be available online on the TEDx website and YouTube.
Our Title III five-year $1.6 million grant has substantially increased support and advising for students. We’ve added 24/7 online tutoring, increased on-campus tutoring, and expanded supplemental instruction. Tutors are now certified by the College Reading and Learning Association, and we have added a professional writing tutor. The grant has also funded our electronic bulletin board system in all buildings across campus, keeping everyone informed about campus events and activities.
LSSU’s Native American Center excelled in bringing cultural events and speakers to campus this spring. James Vukelich, noted indigenous author, social media personality, and creator of the popular “Ojibwe Word of the Day” website, shared insights about the Seven Grandfather Teachings with an overflow crowd.
The Center for Freshwater Research and Education continues to foster environmental awareness and responsibility through K-12 outreach across the region. As CFRE expands its capabilities, they will soon begin analyzing anions and cations in water samples and testing for contaminants such as PFAS and oil compounds to help protect our Great Lakes.
LSSU celebrated World Water Day in March with a well-attended viewing and panel discussion of the Batchewanaug Anishinabek Fisheries documentary, hosted collaboratively by the CFRE team and the Native American Center. The inspiring panel included Dean Sayers, Chief of Batchewana First Nation, Whitney Gravelle, President of the Executive Council of the Bay Mills Indian Community, and Brad Silet, Lead Fisheries Biologist for the Sault Sainte Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.
LSSU and Agilent hosted the 2nd Global Virtual Symposium, “Confidence in Your Cannabis: Exploring New Horizons,” featuring speakers from LSSU and industry experts. Over 1000 people attended.
We hosted the 2023 FIRST Robotics Competition in March, with 42 teams from across Michigan here to compete, bringing approximately 450 high school students to campus and almost 2,000 total attendees. The “Deceivers” team from Brimley High won its division and qualified for the World Championships held in Houston, Texas.
LSSU’s 2023 Senior Research Symposium was held in the Taffy Abel Arena in April, with 94 senior students showcasing their research accomplishments from various programs. The impressive research presentations included 72 individual projects and 5 team presentations, and our students deserve high praise for the quality and rigor of their research.
Our student athletes have won acclaim for some impressive achievements, and we are proud of those successes. Student-athlete Jenna Fleming set the school record in the javelin and earned GLIAC Women's Track & Field Athlete of the week for the second time in her career. Our men's basketball team finished fourth in the regular season GLIAC standings and played into the quarterfinal round of the league championship. LSSU athletes finished the fall term with an average 3.21 GPA, and a cumulative gpa of 3.256, well above the national average.
Admissions recruiting events and campus visitation have been robust this spring, hosting three daily campus tours and our largest Open House since 2019. We collaborated with the EUPISD and MiSTEM on ten on-campus events and brought many 8-12 graders here for STEM-ILT Big Data, History Day, PI Day Math Competition, Mind Trekkers, and TRIG Star.
Looking forward, we expect the May 5 Engineering Senior Projects event will be extremely successful (1:30 pm – 4:30 pm, CASET 212). Engineering seniors will present their work, which typically consists of visionary and innovative hands-on projects created for external constituencies while students are gaining valuable real-life experience and meeting public needs.
The MyMichigan/LSSU Superior Simulation Center will host our annual Interprofessional Healthcare Simulation Event on April 21, 10:00 am-1:00 pm. This exciting event brings students together from various programs to demonstrate their skills by caring for simulated patients in a realistic environment and showcases how well-prepared our students are to serve others.
The Lukenda School of Business will host its annual Business Banquet on April 22, and we proudly announce Erin Strang as the 2023 recipient of the Lukenda School of Business Distinguished Alumni Award. Erin is President and CEO of Central Michigan University Research Corporation, one of twenty Michigan Economic Development Corporations SmartZones, and she is focused on leading opportunities for the advancement of economic development in the Central Michigan community.
As we reflect on the many great things we have done this year at LSSU, we also recognize the hard work and dedication of our faculty and staff who have played such an essential role to make those achievements a reality. We extend our thanks and well wishes to all of you for your continued support of LSSU, and for making it possible for all of us to equip our students for successful careers, to help them find good jobs, and to help ensure they will enjoy a productive and satisfying future.
Dr. Lynn G. Gillette