Monday, June 14, 2010

Ferris State University News Headlines

Ferris State University faculty, staff, students and alumni are making an impact in communities across Michigan, and local news media are taking notice. For example, Automotive Service Technology associate professor Russ Leonard and his students are creating biodiesel fuel that will be used to power mowers at Katke Golf Course. The three excerpts below are today’s sampling of Ferris in the News.

Leonard Works With Students to Create Biodiesel Fuel for Katke Golf Course

Where some people might have seen used cooking oil as a waste product, Ferris State University professor Russ Leonard saw a teaching opportunity, the Big Rapids Pioneer reports. Leonard is a professor in the Automotive Engineering program at Ferris and he began brainstorming ways to implement creation of biodiesel fuel into the Fuels and Lubricants curriculum. With used cooking oil available from Ferris’ Rock and Westview dining centers, Leonard researched how to convert the oil into fuel that can be used to power everyday machines. Now, the project will allow his students to create biodiesel fuel to power one of the mowers at Katke Golf Course. “I did some research on the needed equipment and applied for a Ferris Foundation Merit Grant,” Leonard said. Automotive Engineering Technology student John Bauer said the process of creating biodiesel fuel has been interesting, noting he likes being able to see what he does in class be used for community purposes. Added Leonard, “Instead of just reading about this, students can experience how the entire process works first-hand.”

Ferris Seeks Community Input

After two years of self study, Ferris State University is asking for help from the community in the form of a new survey, reports the Big Rapids Pioneer. The self study process and survey are part of a re-accreditation process for the university. Under Criterion 5 of the re-accreditation, a team of Ferris faculty and staff has been charged with researching and creating a five-part review of how the university is meeting the needs of students and the community. Review subjects include mission and integrity; preparing for the future; student learning and effective teaching; acquisition, discovery and application of knowledge; and engagement and service. Engagement and service is where the community plays a part in helping Ferris evaluate itself, said Jennifer Hegenauer, who co-chairs the team. Community members may find the survey at

Cox Receives Distinguished Alumni Award

David Cox was given a Distinguished Alumni Award by Ferris State University’s College of Education and Human Services during its 36th alumni awards banquet, the Big Rapids Pioneer reports. One alumnus from the college is honored each year based on his/her professional achievement and service. Cox is currently director for Career and Technical Education at the Wexford-Missaukee Intermediate School District. He earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Ferris. His community involvement includes serving on multiple educational- and community-related committees, including the Ferris Technical Education Alumni Council, Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce Leadership Committee, Michigan Associate of Secondary School Principals CTE Commission and Northwestern Michigan Council of Workforce Development Board of Educational Advisory Group, among others.

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