Friday, June 18, 2010

Time To Start Thinking About Ferris State University Homecoming

It's never too early to begin making preparations for Ferris State University homecoming activities.

Sure, it's month away, but we've got you hooked up with the information you need to set your plans in motion to return to Big Rapids, reminisce with old friends and meet some new friends at Ferris.

Below is a list of the scheduled events that already have been planned for homecoming this fall.

You are encouraged to check out the official Ferris Web site for homecoming activities, here. The theme of this year's homecoming activities is "Get Back To Where You Belong."

Also, on the Web site, there is general information about the homecoming activities that are taking place. Where you belong is at Ferris, and we hope to see you in October. Bringing together these activities is a credit to the homecoming committee and its advisers.

Also, stay tuned for more details about an entertainer Ferris hopes to have for homecoming.

Schedule of Events

Monday, October 4Lip Sync Contest, 7 p.m. Williams Auditorium
Tuesday, October 5Kickball Tournament, 6:30 p.m. Top Taggart Field
Wednesday, October 6King and Queen voting begins at 8 a.m. Click here for information.
Thursday, October 7Bonfire at 8 p.m. in Lot 61 by Brophy/McNerney
Friday, October 8Comedian, 7 p.m. at Williams Auditorium
Saturday, October 9Alumni Welcome Tent, Lot 37, immediately west of Top Taggart Field, 10 a.m. to game time.
Saturday, October 9Parade, noon downtown Big Rapids
Saturday, October 9College of Education and Human Services Alumni Tailgate, immediately west of Top Taggart Field, Noon to kickoff
Saturday, October 9College of Engineering Technology Chili Cook-off, Lot 37, immediately west of Top Taggart Field
Saturday, October 9HVACR Tent, Lot 37, immediately west of Top Taggart Field
Saturday, October 9College of Business Tailgate Tent, Lot 37, immediately west of Top Taggart Field
Saturday, October 9Black Alumni Welcome Tent, Lot 37, immediately west of Top Taggart Field
Saturday, October 9Football Game
2 p.m. Top Taggart Field. Please read the tailgate policy.
Saturday, October 9Homecoming Afterglow - stay tuned for details
Saturday, October 9Black Alumni Celebration, 8-11 p.m., The Gate
Sunday, October 10Black Alumni Brunch, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Rankin Center CDR

Ferris State University News Headlines

Students looking for an opportunity to make an impact in their community can do so through Ferris State University’s Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Sustainability. The Grand Rapids Press reports on how a new partnership with Habitat for Humanity will allow faculty and students from Ferris to study environmentally-friendly design techniques. This is just one of three stories featured in today’s news excerpts. Read below to see more.

Habitat for Humanity Homes to be ‘Learning Laboratories’

The first net-zero home for Habitat for Humanity of Kent County will not need magic, although it will be designed to result in almost no energy costs, the Grand Rapids Press reports. Kicking off a revitalization project in Wealthy Heights, a neighborhood around Wealthy Street and Visser Place in Grand Rapids, the centerpiece for Habitat for Humanity will be the net-zero house – designed to generate as much energy as it consumes – that will not only provide a home for a family in need, but will give Ferris State University a chance to study what does and does not work in environmentally friendly buildings. Several departments at Ferris, which debuts a new energy degree this fall, will be involved in designing and studying the house. “We’ve constructed very inefficient buildings for many, many years,” said Tom Crandell, director of corporate and professional development at Ferris. “Now is the time to do construction that will last a long time but that will be efficient.”

Ferris Hosts Criminal Justice Camp for High Schoolers

Crime scene investigation, self-defense tactics and firefighter training might seem like an entire college career’s worth of training, reports the Big Rapids Pioneer. However, students at Ferris State University’s Criminal Justice Camp got a taste of all these subjects and more this week. Now in its fourth year, the Criminal Justice Camp aims to teach sophomore- through senior-age high school students about the different aspects of law enforcement. “It’s about informing students about what they’ll be getting into before they make a decision about their prospective career path,” Greg Vander Kooi, Ferris associate professor, Criminal Justice, said. “It helps students get rid of a lot of misperceptions they might have about law enforcement. Vander Kooi said three students who attended the 2009 camp entered the Criminal Justice program at Ferris this year. “It’s been a good experience that has focused on the entire public safety experience,” said Tony Kelley, a Big Rapids High School senior who attends the Mecosta-Osceola Career Center’s Criminal Justice program.

Welding Students Build Pergola for Pocket Park

As part of the downtown Big Rapids streetscape renewal project, Ferris State University Welding Engineering Technology students designed and created a pergola to be installed in the revamped Pocket Park on Michigan Avenue, the Big Rapids Pioneer reports. Dave Murray, Welding Engineering Technology associate professor and pergola project coordinator, said students spent the last year working on the design and fabrication of the pergola. Completing the project is as much about community service as it is about a grade for his students, Murray said. “We want these guys to learn to give back to their communities,” he said. “This project gives them something real to work on; it’s a chance to do something real-world.”

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Outstanding Ferris State University Graduate: Brian Link

Here is another example of one of Ferris State University's outstanding graduates. Today, we feature Brian Link, who this spring earned a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Engineering Technology. This story was featured first in Points of Pride and later featured on Ferris' News Services Web site:
In his final semester at Ferris State University that culminated with earning a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Engineering Technology, Brian Link persevered through a challenging schedule, and more significantly, a painful family loss.

A native of Baltimore, Md., Link juggled a 16- to 17-credit-hour semester with a 15- to 20-hour weekly lab assistant schedule, along with being the leader of the Hybrid SAE team. He also had to overcome the sudden death in February of his younger brother, who was a 3rd class cadet in the Coast Guard Academy.

“My parents, friends and faculty all have helped support me during my experiences at Ferris,” Link says. “Kelly Hicks, the Automotive department’s secretary, has especially helped me throughout my entire career at Ferris.”
For the complete story on Link, visit here.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Johnston Speaks To Students, Parents At Ferris Orientation

Michelle Johnston, dean of the College of Education and Human Services at Ferris State University, speaks to students and families during orientation on Tuesday, June 15.

Johnston is one of many representatives from Ferris' colleges who speaks to students during orientation activities on campus over the course of the next month as more than 2,000 students (along with their families) arrive in Big Rapids to learn more about the University.

Students and parents receive a comprehensive introduction to life on campus at Ferris and learn a lot from students, faculty and staff about what to expect as they arrive on campus and begin pursuit of a college degree.

Check here to find out more about orientation activities on campus.

From The Desk Of The President: Adjunct Faculty Status Update

Here is a note from President Dave Eisler to Ferris State University:
Ferris State University administration and a group of non-tenured faculty seeking to organize a bargaining unit through the Michigan Federation of Teachers have agreed on a description of who would be included in the proposed Ferris Non-Tenure Track Faculty Organization.

Included in the proposed bargaining unit would be all Ferris non-tenure track faculty who provided direct classroom instruction at the Big Rapids campus for three or more credit hours per semester in any two semesters within the previous four consecutive semesters, or who are employed to provide direct classroom instruction for three or more credit hours in the fall and spring semester in the current academic year.

Approximately 80 non-tenure track faculty members who have been identified as meeting the bargaining unit inclusions and who were on the University payroll as of April 1, 2010 were mailed ballots last Thursday, June 10. The Michigan Employment Relations Commission will oversee the election and count the ballots, which have to be mailed back to MERC by July 1.
We will have more items from the desk of the president this week.

From The Desk Of The President: FSU Community Summer

Here is a note from President Dave Eisler to Ferris State University:
Another highlight of this time of year is the slate of weekly outdoor concerts by the FSU Community Summer Band, which consists of Ferris students, adult community members, and local student band musicians, and is conducted by Dr. Scott Cohen Their concerts include a wide variety of musical styles and played in parks and other venues around the greater Big Rapids area. Please come out to enjoy the upcoming concerts at 7 p.m. on the following dates:
  • June 16 at the Castle at Canadian Lakes
  • June 23 at the Big Rapids Band Shell
  • June 24 at the MCMC Aux. Ice Cream Social - Centennial Park
  • June 30 at the Big Rapids Band Shell
  • July 7 at the Big Rapids Band Shell
On behalf of the University and Big Rapids communities, I extend a special thank you to Scott Cohen for his many efforts with the Summer Band.
We will have more items from the desk of the president this week.

Learn More About Ferris' T.O.W.E.R.S. Program

Ferris State University has a number of outstanding programs designed to encourage students to become leaders on campus and, ultimately, to become leaders in their communities after graduation.

One of the programs that has become popular at Ferris is T.O.W.E.R.S., which stands for Teaching Others What Establishes Real Success.

Here is a brief overview of the program out of the Ferris' Office of Multicultural Student Services:
T.O.W.E.R.S. stands for Teaching Others What Establishes Real Success. The T.O.W.E.R.S. program was created to encourage, motivate and inspire youth of today to become the leaders of tomorrow.

T.O.W.E.R.S. participants, (LEADERS & PROTÉGÉS), will engage in both educational and social activities sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Student Services.

Students will gain the fundamental resources needed to become successful in their careers.
For more information on the program, visit the OMSS office, here.

Monday, June 14, 2010

From The Desk Of The President: Higher Ed Budget

Here is a note from President Dave Eisler to Ferris State University:
Last Tuesday, June 8, the state House of Representatives approved the Higher Education budget. This had been slated for approval the previous week, but ran into a snag over a proposal to require universities to report on any stem cell research they are conducting. In the end, the House approved the bill with the stem cell reporting requirement, and then immediately replaced it with a floor substitute that did not have the requirement. Perhaps more importantly the House version contains 3.1 percent more in funding than the Senate version, which reduced current funding by that amount. However, no source other than the general fund is identified for replacing the funds the Senate cut.

This bill has been rejected by the Senate and will next head to conference committee. In developing our 2010-11 budget, we assumed the University would be cut by three percent. As a result, we are well positioned to respond to the budget recommendation that results from the House-Senate conference committee. I will continue to keep the Ferris community apprised of these developments that can have such an impact on our University.
We will have more items from the desk of the president this week.

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.