Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ferris In The News

Blues and BBQ to Rock Ferris This Weekend

Ferris State University’s Student Government and Dining Services are presenting the second annual Blues and BBQ from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 19) in Lot 36 (Top Taggart Field parking lot). The event will feature the tunes of Big Daddy Fox and the Krewe and a barbecue competition prior to Ferris’ football showdown with Grand Valley, reports the Big Rapids Pioneer. Blues and BBQ began in 2008 to raise scholarship money in memory of a Ferris student. “Given that it was a downpour during last year’s event, we still managed to raise $5,000,” said SGA President Claire Gould. “We expect to have about 8,000 people in attendance this year. There’s been a big buzz about the event this year based on last year’s success.” In addition to BBQ, there also will be hamburgers and hotdogs. Admission is $8 for Ferris students, $10 for adults and free for children 10 and younger. Patrons will receive $1 off by brining a non-perishable food item for Project Starburst. Proceeds from the event will benefit the scholarship fund.

125th Anniversary Coffee Table Book Now on Sale

For 125 years, Ferris State University has built a tradition of educating and training students to meet the challenges of the workforce. A new coffee table book, “Ferris State University: The First 125 Years,” chronicles Ferris’ history and its progression from Big Rapids Industrial School to the university it is today, the Big Rapids Pioneer reports. The book is available for purchase at the Lundberg Bookstore on campus, Great Lakes Book and Supply, the Old Pioneer Store and Emporium, and Ferris Ice Arena Pro Shop, and costs $24.95. Order online at Proceeds from the book will benefit Opportunity@125, an initiative marking Ferris’ 125th anniversary and designed to raise scholarship funds for students.

Ferris Welding Program Receives ABET Accreditation

The Welding Engineering Technology Bachelor of Science program at Ferris State University is the only program in the country to be accredited by the Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET, Inc., reports the Big Rapids Pioneer. “This accreditation just validates the quality of our welding Engineering Technology program,” College of Engineering Technology Associate Dean Ron McKean said. Accreditation is a voluntary peer-review process that requires programs to undergo periodic evaluations conducted by individuals working in industry, government, academia and private practice. ABET is the recognized accrediter for college and university programs. “The ABET accreditation is the culmination of a programmatic direction that began 10 years ago involving our advisory board, employers, alumni and faculty to establish measure and achieve nationally-recognized outcomes and objectives,” said Ken Kuk, Ferris WET professor.

Ferris Students Remember 9/11

It was eight years ago Friday, but Sept. 11, 2001, still seems like yesterday for Ferris State University student Craig LaForge. The Reed City resident, 17 at the time, had just enlisted in the Army. His entire life changed after the events that shook America, reports the Big Rapids Pioneer. “My first thought was that I was going to war,” he said. LaForge eventually served a tour of duty in Iraq in 2005, and today remains a member of the Army National Guard. While LaForge’s recollections of Sept. 11 were different than most of his peers at Ferris, many students in professor Rick Griffin’s International Organizations class discussed the events of that day. The intention of stepping back from the normal lesson plan to have an open forum for discussion was to keep the events and aftermath of Sept. 11 fresh in students’ minds, Griffin said. Student Courtney Brock, 16 when the events of Sept. 11 occurred, likened 9/11 to an event that changed her mother’s life years before. “My mom talks about how she can remember exactly what she was doing and wearing when Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated,” she said. “I don’t know if I’ll be able to explain to my children why something like Sept. 11 happened, but it did have a devastating effect on everyone’s lives. Watching those planes fly into buildings and seeing people jump out of windows isn’t something you can forget.”

Ferris Steps Up to the Challenge: 125 Hours for 125 Years

Volunteering gets a competitive edge as Ferris State University’s Volunteer Center kicks off the Initiative 125 Service Challenge, which runs Aug. 31, 2009 through April 23, 2010, the Big Rapids Pioneer reports. The idea for the service challenge was brought to the attention of the Student Leadership and Activities managers by Mary Kay MacIver and Ferris’ History Task Force. “The Initiative 125 Service Challenge is based on the belief of our founders, Woodbridge and Helen Ferris, that the world improved over time through human endeavor. This initiative provides an opportunity for Ferris faculty, staff, students, alumni and area members to honor them and our 125th anniversary by making a lasting impact in their communities as a result of their volunteer efforts,” said MacIver, associate director for Advancement Services. Challenging the entire campus to take initiative by serving the local community, Ferris continues the trend of volunteerism it started 125 years ago.

Ferris Officials Report Record Fall Enrollment

Students are back and the campus is bustling at Ferris State University, where officials are reporting another record fall enrollment. Ferris officials report there are 13,865 students enrolled systemwide, reports the Big Rapids Pioneer. “As Ferris celebrates its 125th anniversary of providing educational opportunities, these enrollment numbers are an exceptional start to the year,” said Fritz Erickson, Ferris provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “Strong enrollment growth systemwide demonstrates Ferris is offering courses that will prepare the future leaders of Michigan who in turn will help invigorate the state’s economy.” Dean of Enrollment Services Kristen Salomonson noted the regular philosophy at Ferris is to merge classroom learning with practical experience. This, coupled with small class sizes and personal attention from faculty and staff, is reassuring to parents and students, she said. The Ferris family is committed to its mission of ensuring educational opportunities for all students, Ferris Director of Financial Aid Rob Wirt said. Financial Aid has increased 11 percent from $68.2 million in Fall 2008 to $75.9 million this fall.

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