Saturday, May 23, 2009

Ferris Student Raises Awareness, Funds Through Bike Trip

Ferris Student Bikes For A Good Cause

BIG RAPIDS – Many college students this summer will be asking themselves, “What will I do during my summer vacation?” Some will work at internships and jobs, others will go on a vacation, and a few may even find themselves back in the classroom.

Joel Gardner, a sophomore majoring in Political Science in the College of Arts and Sciences at Ferris State University, decided to spend his summer vacation testing his strength and will by biking and camping along the shores of Lake Michigan.

Though many students enjoy biking during the warm months of summer, Gardner is going the extra mile: his mission is focused on philanthropy.

Gardner has set up Web site where supporters can make a donation to the International Justice Mission during his biking trip. The International Justice Mission is a human rights organization that intervenes in areas with defective systems of justice where human trafficking and sexual slavery are allowed to persist.

“I want to raise awareness for a huge problem. Not many people are aware of what goes on and even less people do things to solve it,” Gardner said. “I want to get people thinking about these types of issues in the world so they will want to get involved.”

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Ferris Recognizes Distinguished Staff

BIG RAPIDS – Ferris State University recognized the achievements of faculty and staff during the annual Employee Service Award Celebration.

The reception honored employees completing from five to 40 years of continuous service to the university, as well as announcing awards for Distinguished Staff.

This year, five people were nominated by their colleagues and chosen to receive the Distinguished Staff Award.

They include:

Steve Johnson, equipment technician, College of Engineering Technology, has worked at Ferris for 22 years. His colleagues noted not only does he go above and beyond in his daily responsibilities, but he has been actively involved in the community with such projects as assisting with CET picnics, serving as ski club advisor, working with AM radio stations, volunteering for the Year of the Dawg project and Friends of Ferris, and maintaining the sound system at his church.

Angela Mishler, senior recruiting officer for Enrollment Services, has worked at Ferris for 10 years. While she has demonstrated her enthusiasm for the university, her colleagues noted she is an ambassador of good will. Her involvement in the community includes Ferris’ 6th Dawg Women’s Basketball Booster Club, United Way, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Stepping Stones Parent Advisory Group.

William Potter, dean, University College, has been employed at Ferris for 10 years and has exhibited bulldog pride everyday in and out of the office. Potter encourages his colleagues and students to be successful in whatever life brings them, his colleagues noted. His community and Ferris involvement includes leading the university’s Political Engagement Project, volunteering with various committees from academic advising to university planning to scholarships, raising money for March of Dimes and participating in band boosters.

Paula Rushford, Advancement Services accountant for University Advancement and Marketing, has been working at Ferris for four years. She demonstrates her work ethic as her day often begins early and ends late, he colleagues noted. Her activity in the Ferris and local communities includes starting a PGM scholarship for students and volunteering in her child’s classroom.

Karen Youngs, custodian for Physical Plant, has been employed for 3.5 years at Ferris. Youngs is dedicated to making the Prakken building clean and safe for everyone as she continues to learn by taking training sessions and testing new products, her colleagues noted. On top of being dedicated to her work, she is serving as a role model while she is helping raise her grandchildren.

To be nominated for these awards, staff must have been employed for a minimum of two years, demonstrate a positive attitude, and be actively involved in the Ferris and local communities. Honorees were selected by the Distinguished Staff Awards Committee and received a plaque and a one-time monetary award of $500.

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Specially-trained Bulldogs competing in national championships

Stuart and Muir competing for national championships in Texas

SAN ANGELO, Texas – Ferris State University runners Mikinzie Stuart and Tina Muir are true student-athletes – in all senses of the term.

Stuart and Muir, competing this week in Texas at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field National Championships (May 21-24), understood they needed an extra component to training for this all-important meet. Like good students, the two studied. Simulating the warmer and more humid Texas climate, while preparing in Michigan, was challenging. However, Stuart, Muir and head coach Steve Picucci went to work to developing a strategy to soften at least the initial physical and mental shock of competing in the Texas heat of May.

“Training for Texas has been pretty unique,” said Stuart, a senior from Saginaw, who earned All-American honors in March during indoor track and field season by finishing seventh in the mile run (4:58.59). “Since Texas weather consists of 90-to100-degree temperatures, and Michigan’s current highs have only been about 75 degrees, I’ve had to recreate that extra heat by wearing layers of long-sleeved shirts during workouts and runs.”

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Your One-Stop Shop For Battle At The Ballpark Information

New Web site for football game between Bulldogs and Huskies

BIG RAPIDS - Ferris State University is gearing up for one of its biggest college football events in recent years in what is being billed as the Battle at the Ballpark.

The Battle at the Ballpark will be a gridiron battle between the Bulldogs and the Michigan Tech University Huskies in Comstock Park at Fifth Third Park on Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. Fifth Third Park is the home of the West Michigan Whitecaps minor league baseball team.

The Bulldogs and Huskies, members of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, are long-time college football rivals.

The official Battle At The Ballpark Web site:

Ferris Foundation Announces Exceptional Merit Grant Awards

Ten faculty are extended awards by Ferris Foundation Board

BIG RAPIDS – The Ferris Foundation Board of Directors extended $50,000 in Exceptional Merit Grant Awards to 10 faculty members. Recommended by the Gifts and Grants Committee, the following proposals will receive a portion of the funding:

Charles Bacon, professor, Physical Sciences – Develop just-in-time learning modules in the virtual world Second Life;
Sheila MacEachron, assistant professor, Nuclear Medicine Technology – Provide students with an opportunity to learn advanced nuclear cardiology techniques and practices;
James Hoerter, professor, Biology – Establish a controlled environment to maintain and breed zebrafish to support faculty/student research;
Robert Most, assistant professor, Electrical Engineering Technology and Computer Network Systems – Initiation of a Robotics Expertise Center to facilitate student learning, applied research and program recruiting;
Joseph Lipar, associate professor, Biology – Provide funds to reimburse travel costs for schools visiting the Card Wildlife Education Center;
Deborah Ducat, secretary level 3, School of Education – Purchase Dramatic Play and listening center materials to be used at Tot’s Place for Early Childhood Education students;
Chuck Drake, professor, Mechanical Engineering Technology – Enhance data acquisition and listening capabilities for student projects (baja car);
Gloria Lukusa-Barnett, associate professor, Developmental Programs and Curriculum, and Karen GreenBay, SCHOLAR program coordinator – Create a service learning project that allows Ferris students to support soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan;
Michael Berghoef, professor, Social Work – Provide students with technology for a variety of interactive activities to enhance cognitive and physical functioning for Mecosta County senior citizens to promote healthy aging;
Russ Leonard, associate professor, Automotive Service Technology – Create a bio-diesel laboratory for students to learn about bio-diesel.

The Gifts and Grants Committee develops policies and procedures, and recommends additional resources for Exceptional Merit Grants and Foundation for Excellence Scholarships.

The committee also monitors scholarship awards for compliance with donor specifications, recommends and monitors grant disbursement, and recommends student scholarship recipients for the Foundation Scholarship.

For more information or to make a gift to Ferris State University, please contact The Ferris Foundation at (231) 591-2365 or

Details about establishing scholarships or endowments may be obtained from the Advancement Office at (231) 591-3825.