Friday, February 5, 2010

Ferris In The News

TIP Program Provides State Aid for Students to Earn Degrees at Ferris

Raised in a single-parent household, Ferris State University student Amanda McCurdy believes she would have found a way to fund her college education, the Big Rapids Pioneer reports. However, without the Tuition Incentive Program, she said she would have racked up a tremendous amount of debt through Financial Aid. The TIP program encourages eligible students to complete high school and enter associate degree programs by providing tuition incentives for up to 12 credit hours per semester through state funding for a student’s first two years of college. Ferris is one of only five public universities in Michigan that offer this opportunity to students. The number of students at Ferris qualifying for the program has increased by more than 200 students in the past three years, with 699 students qualifying in fall 2009. “Ferris is unique in that there are a fairly wide variety of associate degrees offered,” Bill Potter, Ferris’ University College dean, said. Ferris TIP program Coordinator Felice Kelley-Nelson has experienced the program’s benefits first-hand. “I was a teenage parent trying to pay for my education,” she said. “This program helps students that might not have gotten to attend college and get their degree.”

Ferris Grad Returns for Festival of the Arts

Mark Kostrzewa experienced a homecoming recently. The 1981 Sacred Heart Academy graduate, now living near San Francisco, Calif., returned to mid-Michigan for several performances, including two in Big Rapids and one in downtown Mount Pleasant, reports the Morning Sun of Mount Pleasant. “I’m excited about being back,” Kostrzewa said. Although he’s had a longtime interest in music, for years he didn’t have the time to pursue it seriously. After graduating high school, he attended Ferris State University, graduating in 1985. He moved to California and began working for American Airlines, over the years operating as a jet mechanic and electronics tech. Kostrzewa has performed at numerous venues in the San Mateo County region of California, but his local shows came about by chance. He let the Ferris alumni newsletter know about his CD, and heard back from one of the professors involved in the Festival of the Arts, an art and music festival in Big Rapids. “He sent me an e-mail and said ‘Would you be interested in coming back?’ and I said well of course.” Read more at

Fishing Tournament Benefits Ferris Surveying Students

When not plotting 3-D points to be translated into two-dimensional map points, members of Ferris State University’s Surveying Engineering program are going ice fishing. The goal is to raise funds for the annual student trip of the Burt and Mallet student chapter of the American Congress on Survey and Mapping, the Big Rapids Pioneer reports. The students are coordinating an ice fishing tournament beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday (Feb. 6) at Clear Lake. Registration is $25 per person or $35 a couple and begins at 8 a.m. at the Department of Natural Resources boat launch on the south side of the lake off M-20. The tournament features prizes and raffles. Student organizer Calvin Ellison said this is a great way to raise funds while at the same time have a little fun. “Pulling a big fish out of a little hole – that gets your heart pumping,” he said.

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