Friday, March 12, 2010

Community Rallies Around Bulldog Hockey In A Big Way

BIG RAPIDS - During the course of a long regular season, Ferris State University relies heavily on one of the best and most loyal student sections in all of college hockey.

This week, as Ferris commences Central Collegiate Hockey Association Tournament action, FSU's student population, which packs the "Dawg Pound," is wrapping up spring break and slowly returning to campus in Big Rapids. While officials in the Ferris Athletics Department are hopeful many students will return a little early from break, it also recognizes that efforts must be made to reach out even more to the local community. The Bulldogs will need a true home-ice edge as 13th-ranked Ferris takes on 18th-ranked Nebraska-Omaha in Ewigleben Ice Arena on Friday night at 7:05 p.m., Saturday at 7:05 p.m. and (if necessary) on Sunday at 7:05 p.m.

Take a trip around Big Rapids, and it is apparent that local businesses and fans are taking lead roles in rallying around the hometown Bulldogs of long-time head coach Bob Daniels.

The outpouring of support has been nothing short of refreshing to see so many local businesses and citizens filled with pride for Bulldog hockey as it attempts to blaze a trail to famed Joe Louis Arena in Detroit and to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2002-03.

The buzz is in the air and Ewigleben Ice Arena seems destined to have a good dose of students, faculty and staff (as usual). But, it's reasonable to expect the facility might welcome students from several local schools who have been invited to fill the Dawg Pound.

It's great to see Ferris State University's Athletics Department making this significant reach out to local communities inside Mecosta County and beyond.

Small towns can accomplish BIG things.

Here are some of the local businesses showing their support for the Ferris State University hockey team through signs placed prominently:

Wesco Gas Station/Beer Cave – Good Luck In The Playoffs Bulldog Hockey
Isabella Bank – Good Luck Ferris State Hockey!!!!
Independent Bank – Good Luck FSU Hockey Bulldogs
Meijer – Sandwich Board in front of entrances
The Gate Bar and Grill – Go FSU Beat Nebraska Omaha
Currie’s Gas Station – Go Bulldog Hockey in Playoffs!!
Wendy’s – Go Bulldawgs Hockey Team
Walgreens – Good Luck FSU Hockey Team!
Buffalo Wild Wings – Go Dawgs
Quality Inn – Go Bulldogs
South Park Homes – Bulldog Hockey Playoffs this Fri., Sat., & Sun
The community is poised to rally around Ferris State University Bulldog Hockey. Now, many hope that the community and hockey team will deliver this weekend on the ice as this round of the CCHA Tournament commences.

A special thanks to Dominic Hennig, the play-by-play voice of Bulldog hockey on local radio, for information he supplied to contribute to this story.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Ferris In The News

Ferris Hosts Michigan Energy Conference April 7 and 8

Ferris State University will once again host the Michigan Energy Conference April 7 and 8 in Big Rapids, the Big Rapids Pioneer reports. Under the theme “Conserve and Convert, Together Brings Solutions,” this year’s series of sessions will focus on energy conservation opportunities, practices and policies. All conference sessions are open to the public. “The focus of the Michigan Energy Conference isn’t about presentations filled with a bunch of sales pitches, rather it’s an opportunity for educational and business leaders to come together and discuss issues impacting Michigan residents today and in the future,” Ferris Energy Center Coordinator Arn McIntyre said. Presenters include professors from Ferris; Central Michigan, Grand Valley State and Western Michigan universities; and Northwestern Michigan College, as well as industry professionals from Consumers Energy, Dow Chemical Co., DTE, GZA Geoenvironmental, and the Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center. For more information, visit

Ferris Students Film Shows About Area Programs, Organizations

Community-oriented programs and organizations are getting air time on Ferris State University’s cable channel through content created by students studying advanced producing and directing in the school’s Television and Digital Media Production program. Under the direction of TDMP assistant professor Glen Okonoski, students in the class produce one hour’s worth of programming each week. Students do everything from brainstorming show topics to filming and editing, reports the Big Rapids Pioneer. “For me, what’s awesome about this class is it provides students real-world learning opportunities while at the same time providing a platform for the community to share their stories,” Okonoski said. Shows produced by the students air on channel 97 and also may be found online at

State Eyes Cuts to Tuition Help for Students

Students already struggling to pay for college may have to pay more, 9&10 News reports. The Michigan Legislature is looking at making major cuts to the Tuition Incentive Program, a scholarship fund designed to help some of the state’s most needy students pay for an education. While it’s still early in the budget process, Ferris State University is already preparing for the possibility this funding may be reduced and how it might impact students. This week, leaders from several Michigan colleges and universities met with the state Senate Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee to discuss these issues. View video at

Ferris State University Official Speaks On Education Funding to TV 9and10

BIG RAPIDS - Ferris State University is working to do everything possible to keep access to a college education affordable for students.

Earlier this week, Ferris State University President David Eisler (along with, among others, presidents from Central Michigan University and Lake Superior State University) spoke to to the
Michigan State Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education (hosted on Monday (March 8) at Ferris in the Interdisciplinary Resource Center.

A crew from TV 9&10 (Jodi Hathaway and photojournalist Jordan Nagel) spoke to Ferris State University Communications Officer Marc Sheehan (pictured) about what additional cuts might mean for students.

Check out the video at:

Women Investing In Leadership And Learning (WILL) Set For March 16

BIG RAPIDS - Activities related to Women's History Month continue at Ferris State University with the fourth annual Women Investing in Leadership and Learning Conference.

The conference, March 16 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center, is the product of an idea from Student Government to recognize the many different ways that women are committed to leadership and learning.

WILL also is committed to showing that there are different ways to be successful and to achieve success in leadership.

Organizers are confident that people who attend the event will be able to enjoy celebrating the breakthroughs of women in so many fields.

For more information, contact Brooke McComb at (231) 591-2611 or

Ferris President Addresses State Senate Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee

BIG RAPIDS – Ferris State University President David Eisler presented testimony to the Michigan State Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education today (March 8) in Ferris’ Interdisciplinary Resource Center in Big Rapids. Also presenting testimony were Lake Superior State University, Central Michigan University and the University of Michigan-Flint.

Introducing his remarks, Eisler thanked lawmakers and the Ferris Board of Trustees for their work on behalf of the university, and acknowledged support from state legislators that is leading to construction of a new Michigan College of Optometry building, which is currently underway on Ferris’ Big Rapids campus.

Among the topics Eisler focused on during his presentation were access to higher education, the decade-long decline in funding for Michigan universities and erosion of student financial aid. In discussing access to a college degree, Eisler noted that Ferris is living its historic mission of providing opportunity by being Michigan’s fastest growing university as it celebrates its 125th year as an institution of higher education.

“In a time when the need for a bachelor’s degree has never been greater, I am proud that 30 percent of all enrollment growth for Michigan public universities in the past decade has been at Ferris State University,” he said.

Eisler pointed out that the state’s current budget slashed general fund support for student financial aid, which dropped from $111 million to $48 million – a decline of 56.8 percent. Additionally, the Merit Award Trust fund was decreased by 71.6 percent. “In one year this removed 63.9 percent of the financial support Michigan had provided our students,” Eisler said.

And, while he lauded lawmakers for increasing the Tuition Incentive Program (TIP) by $6 million, or 23.8 percent for the current year, Eisler urged legislators to reject a proposed executive budget that would drastically reduce TIP support. Under the proposal, first- and second-year support, which currently covers two years of university tuition, would be reduced to community college tuition levels, and eliminate the more modest third and fourth year of the program.

Eisler called upon first-year Print Management student Melissa DiViertri to speak to how the TIP program expands access to higher education. “I have two campus jobs and am involved in multiple groups on campus,” DiViertri said. “I am learning it all here, at Ferris State University, and want to do everything possible to continue my education at Ferris because this university offers me what I need to be successful in my education.”

Eisler ended his testimony by reiterating his belief that restoring funding for Michigan’s universities is not only in the best interest of students, but is essential for the state’s future economic success – by investing in the human capital that will be the engine of that future economic growth.

For the full text of Eisler’s presentation, visit

Photo by Bill Bitzinger, FSU Photographic Services

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

No. 13 Bulldogs Will Face Nebraska-Omaha In CCHA Playoffs

BIG RAPIDS - Ferris State University would love nothing more than to advance to the final four of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association and officially send the University of Nebraska-Omaha off to its new league: The Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

The 13th-ranked Bulldogs of head coach Bob Daniels finished in the top four and earned a first-round bye. UNO, however, fought its way to victory in a first-round series by sweeping Bowling Green State University in its best-of-three series (winning both games 6-1).

The seeds held strong through the first round of the conference tournament as all of the higher-seeded teams prevailed in sweeps of 2-0.

The second-round series are as follows (the higher-seeded teams host the series):
No. 1 Miami University vs. No. 8 Ohio State University
at Oxford, Ohio
No. 2 Michigan State University vs. No. 7 University of Michigan
at East Lansing, Mich.
No. 3 Ferris State University vs. No. 6 University of Nebraska-Omaha
at Big Rapids, Mich.
No. 4 Northern Michigan University vs. No. 5 University of Alaska
at Marquette, Mich.
These will be best-of-three series played March 12-14. Games one (Friday) and two (Saturday) are scheduled for 7:05 p.m. starts. Game three, if necessary, also would be played at 7:05 p.m. on Sunday.

On Dec. 4-5, Ferris and UNO played a two-game regular-season CCHA series in Big Rapids at Ewigleben Ice Arena. The Bulldogs swept that series winning 2-0 and 3-1.

Photo by Ed Hyde, FSU Photographic Services

Celebration of Women’s History Month is Underway at Ferris

BIG RAPIDS – The theme of Ferris State University’s Women’s History Month Celebration this year is: Writing Women Back into History.

The Office of Multicultural Student Services has a busy month planned with several highlighted events to celebrate women that began with Naomi Tutu who spoke on the topic of “South Africa: Healing the Wounds of Racism,” in G. Mennen Williams Auditorium.

“For me, Women’s History Month means celebrating women who paved the road for me to be able to be a woman who is in school gaining knowledge, able to vote and to have an opinion,” said Tiara R. Clark, a Detroit native majoring in Construction Management, who serves on Ferris’ WHM Planning Committee. “This month is about celebrating and uplifting women today. It lets us know that we too can make a difference as young women right here at Ferris.”

Following spring break, WHM activities continue with Nancy Hulse’s multimedia presentation on domestic violence awareness titled, “That Ain’t No Way To Treat a Lady,” on Thursday, March 18 at 7 p.m. in the Rankin Student Center Dome Room. On Saturday, March 20, in Williams Auditorium, You Beautiful Black Woman presents its 20th annual “Fashion and Hair Rocks” show at 6 p.m. On Tuesday, March 23, the “Women in History Soap Box” takes place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Rankin Student Center Atrium. The YBBW Women’s RSO (Registered Student Organization) Expo and Lock-In will be held on Thursday at 10 p.m. in the Student Recreation Center.

WHM ends at Ferris with a five-star campus event, “Without Fear,” a presentation by Delores Huerta that highlights social justice and neighbors uniting. The event is scheduled for March 30 at 7 p.m. in Williams Auditorium.

“One of the reasons I wanted to be involved with Women’s History Month this year was because I wanted to contribute and incorporate some ideas that I would like the campus to take part in,” said Christina Ware, a senior from Bloomfield Hills majoring in CAD-Drafting/Tool Design Technology and the president of YBBW. “Through Women’s History Month, I just really wanted to be a part of showcasing women of all walks of life to educate our campus to know that women are making a difference in society.”

Sponsors for Ferris’ WHM events include OMSS, the 2010 WHM Planning Committee and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Visit the Virtual Women's Center for the featured women in history as a new woman will be profiled each week at:

Additionally, the Diversity in Student Affairs Web site has fun facts about women's history:

Ferris In The News

Eisler Addresses Senate Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee

State university presidents, including Ferris State University President David Eisler, gave testimony Monday to the importance of funding higher education, the Big Rapids Pioneer reports. Along with Eisler, Central Michigan University President George Ross, Lake Superior State University President Tony McClain and University of Michigan-Flint Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Vahid Lotfi spoke before the Senate Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee in Ferris’ Interdisciplinary Resource Center. Eisler’s presentation focused on the decrease in state support for higher education while emphasizing the importance of state-funded financial aid and scholarship opportunities for students. Joining Eisler was Ferris student Melissa DiVietri, who benefits from the Tuition Incentive Program scholarship. DiVietri said the possibility of the state depleting TIP funding would be devastating. A copy of Eisler’s presentation is available at

Ferris’ Music Industry Management Program Gives Students Their Big Break

When Scott Frost graduated from Ferris State University in 2008 he never thought he would be attending business meetings a year later with MTV and alternative rock mogul Pete Wentz – best known as bassist for American rock band Fall Out Boy, reports the Big Rapids Pioneer. Frost is general manager of Decaydance Records, founded and run by Wentz. What has been a dream come true for Frost to meet artists he loves, and collect a gold record for his work on Fall Out Boy’s album “Folie a Deux,” would not be possible were it not for the bachelor’s degree he received in Music Industry Management. “It definitely made a difference. Having a business mind, along with a passion for music, can really get you ahead,” he said. Ferris’ MIM program began in the mid-90s, growing significantly over the years from less than 50 students in 2000 to a current enrollment of 176. Dan Cronk, MIM coordinator, is quick to point out the program is not teaching students to be rock stars but instead emphasizes a business concentration while teaching skills that cater to the music industry. Classes include everything from music history to contract sales to microeconomics and marketing.

Trustee Sueann Walz Receives Northern Lights Award

Sueann Walz was speechless when she was honored as this year’s Northern Lights award winner for management and business, the Big Rapids Pioneer reports. Walz, assistant vice president and branch manager of Independent Bank West, was surprised with the award during the Ferris State University Board of Trustees Finance Committee meeting. “It’s a total surprise,” she said, thanking presenter Karl Linebaugh. The award is presented each year by the Mecosta County Medical Center Foundation Board of Directors to honor people for their contributions to the community. Walz was appointed to the Ferris Board of Trustees for an eight-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2007.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Dr. David Pilgrim Speaks At 2010 Race And Ethnicity Conference

GRAND RAPIDS – Ferris State University Chief Diversity Officer Dr. David Pilgrim speaks at the Grand Rapids Community College Social Science Department 2010 Race and Ethnicity Conference as part of the celebration of Black History Month.

This is the fourth year of the conference (a four-day conference).