Friday, November 20, 2009

Ferris In The News

Debate on Michigan’s Knowledge Economy Continues

At Business Review’s knowledge economy forum last week, we all learned a lot – mostly about what we still have left to learn. With roundtables dedicated to exploring what a knowledge economy means to Michigan’s economic pillars, as well as talent attraction and retention and education, we gathered more than 150 people from across the state and representing a breadth of industries to discuss our state’s future, West Michigan Business Review reports. It was an incredible feeling. An inspiring comment by President David Eisler of Ferris State University in Big Rapids was that the colleges don’t necessarily need more money to improve education – just stronger partnerships. He referenced the existing partnerships that university has with west Michigan community colleges, including Dowagiac’s Southwestern Michigan College, where Ferris offers programs to SMC students. The equation of open capacity plus demand minus bureaucracy and greed will equal positive outcomes for Michigan workers. Read more at

Ferris Recognized for Storm Readiness

A student project turned into a special recognition at Ferris State University. Wednesday night, the National Weather Service named the school a StormReady facility, reports 9&10 News. It’s one of only four universities in Michigan to be recognized. From an outdoor broadcast system to emergency phone alerts, students spent months documenting how the school was prepared for an emergency. The National Weather Service is encouraging communities to take part in the StormReady program. They say the better prepared you are, the more people could be saved in a disaster. Watch the video at

Learning Life Lessons Through Basketball Practice

This week marked the start of boys’ basketball practices across the state. With that comes drills, plays, sprints and any other little thing coaches can think of to get players mentally and physically ready for the rigors of the upcoming season, Cadillac News reports. However, Manton coach Ryan Hiller wanted to give his team a different kind of refresher course. Two years ago, Ferris State University Assistant Athletics Director Jon Coles visited the Rangers’ basketball team to talk about leadership on and off the court. He also talked about what Manton’s student athletes would have to do to get noticed by various colleges and universities. On Wednesday, he returned to give a little refresher to the upper classmen who were on the team two years ago, as well as a fresh perspective to the ones who weren’t. “Without question, leadership is a benefit to them on and off the court. Eventually everyone becomes a leader, whether it is of their family, a business or in education,” Coles said. “The skills they learn (Wednesday) afternoon they can use the rest of their lives.”

Granholm Recruits for Student Aid Battle

Gov. Jennifer Granholm stepped up her campaign Wednesday to put public pressure on the Senate – especially Senate Republicans – to restore the Michigan Promise Scholarship program, which was eliminated in the new state budget. Among her tactics: a letter sent to 348,000 high school and college students who have qualified for the grants, faulting the Legislature for killing the scholarship. Matt Marsden, a spokesman for Senate Republicans, said the income-tax change Granholm supports was approved by the Senate last month to add more money to K-12 public schools. “We wish we had the resources to provide the Promise grant. Presently, we do not,” Marsden said. “There are other more-pressing needs now.” Some schools are scrambling to figure out ways to make up the difference. Ferris State University also will use stimulus funds to help students such as Paula Getzmeyer, 18, of Ortonville, who has been told that she will receive $1,100 to make up for a semester’s worth of the Promise and Competitive grants – both state funds – that she had expected earlier this year. That help from Ferris will cover books and other odds and ends, said Getzmeyer, a pre-pharmacy student. “You learn in your first year how quickly those things add up,” she said.

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