Friday, June 25, 2010

Outstanding Graduate: Kelsey A. Schnell

Kelsey A. Schnell is the latest example of an outstanding graduate Ferris State University is producing and sending out in the world to make it a better place.

Schnell, perhaps best known at Ferris for his work as editor-in-chief of the Ferris State Torch student newspaper, cherishes his time and accomplishments at FSU as he looks forward to the future.

Here is a small portion of a feature story that was first published in Points of Pride and later featured later on the News Services Web site:

Kelsey A. Schnell smiled with pride as he graduated this May with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a minor in Political Science.

The inspiration behind Schnell’s smile runs deeper than earning his degree. The Bay City native is also smiling for his great aunt, Marjorie Denison, who died on April 23, 2010.

“Aunt Marge” was a major part of Schnell’s Big Rapids support system.

“Her doors (both the house and refrigerator) were always open to me,” Schnell says. “Before she passed away, I put on my cap and gown for her, and pride was clearly visible in her smile.”

Remembering his great aunt, her advice is still ringing in his ears.

“We were kindred spirits. I would stop over to her house a few times a week and update her on my life, have a cup of coffee and just talk,” Schnell recalls. “She was an educator for Big Rapids Public Schools and an important figure in the community. She was always so humble and kind. She would say, ‘To whom much is given, much is expected.’ She was right.”

For the complete story, visit the News Services Web site.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Learn More About Ferris State University's Emeriti Association

Ferris State University
is important to a lot of our faculty, staff and administrators when they're here and even long after they've retired from their duties.

A good example of dedicated faculty, staff and administrators who have retired can best be seen through the Ferris Emeriti Association.

Here is a description of the Emeriti Association and its mission:
An association of retired faculty, staff and administrators of Ferris State University

The Ferris State University Emeriti Association is formally linked to Ferris State University through the Department of Alumni Relations in the Division of University Advancement and Marketing. Our mission is to serve as a social and professional services support unit for retired Ferris State University personnel who have been granted Emeritus status upon retirement and as a liaison unit between our membership and University activities.

Here is contact information for the Emeriti Association:

420 Oak Street
Prakken 101
Big Rapids, MI 49307
(231) 591-2510


Benefit information:

Mary Kay MacIver
(231) 591-3739 or toll-free at (888) 378-3647 or

For address corrections: Click here

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Outstanding Graduate: Sara Weidmayer

Sara Weidmayer is another example of outstanding graduates Ferris State University is sending out into the real world.

Weidmayer is a wife and a mother who has successfully worked her way through the Michigan College of Optometry.

Here is an excerpt from a story originally published in the Points of Pride newsletter and later featured again on the News Services Web site:

As a mother, wife and student in the Michigan College of Optometry, Sara Weidmayer of Jackson performed an astonishing balancing act in her pursuit to become a doctor of Optometry.

Now, she swells with pride when reflecting on her time at Ferris and being able to remain committed to being a loving mom and dedicated wife to her husband, Nick, and son, Caleb.

“Ferris is a great university, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time as a student there and in the Michigan College of Optometry,” she says.

Earning her first degree from Ferris in 2007, a Bachelor of Science in Vision Science, Weidmayer will spend the next year completing an Ocular Disease residency at the Battle Creek VA Medical Center.

As she prepares to begin the next chapter in her life, Weidmayer feels prepared as she moves on to her residency.

“I’m proud to be a Ferris alumnae and hope to stay connected to FSU and MCO in the future.”

For the complete story, visit the News Services Web site.

This Isn’t Your Mom and Dad’s Summer Camp

As the dread welled in our stomachs, lyrics to the quirky tune “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh” rolled mercilessly through our heads. We were off to summer camp.

All of us can reminisce to our days of adolescence and summer camp, now chuckling at Allan Sherman’s song that serves as a parody of summertime hijinx for generations past. But today, youth heading off to summer camp are more apt to have the theme song from television show “CSI,” The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” playing on their iPhones as they foray into the world of biotechnology.

For high schoolers on campus this week at Ferris, summer camp means using DNA fingerprinting or cloning and identifying genes. Long gone are arts and crafts at picnic tables by the lake. These activities have been replaced by high-tech laboratories, and leaky cabins and tents where the bed bugs bite have been replaced with college residence halls.

Summer camp has now become a means to identifying a career path or college program of choice, Ferris associate Biology professor Bradley Isler said, noting campers get a glimpse of college life while meeting faculty and learning about Ferris.

“These camps give them a chance to see what they could experience at Ferris in the biotech program. It’s nice to get them excited about science, but it’s even nicer to get them excited about science at Ferris; it’s a very good place to go to college,” he said.

But the fun doesn’t stop here. Ferris will welcome a host of students throughout the summer months for everything from Criminal Justice to Digital Animation and Game Design, not to mention athletics camps. If you’re interested in learning more, visit

Ferris Grad Zack East Highlighted In Bulldog Bytes For New Morning Show

Ferris State University graduate Zack East is on the air in Southwest Michigan and people are taking notice of his talents.

East was saluted in Bulldog Bytes, the Alumni Association Electronic Newsletter, for his on-air accomplishments in the "Class Notes" section.

Here is what was printed in Bulldog Bytes:

Zack East (A&S'06) hosts a new morning show on Benton Harbor-based station WCXT-FM (98.3 The Coast). The show titled "Best Mix in the Morning with Zack East", will focus on music, news and weather. If you are in the area, be sure to tune into Zack's show!

Class Notes

Did you get married, promoted, receive an honor, have a baby? Let us know! We'll publish your news in the next issue of the Ferris Magazine. Send your class note to the editor at or post it on the Online Community at

Ferris State University News Headlines

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. Grab a cone or make your own sundae at the local hospital’s ice cream social before relaxing to the tunes of the Ferris Community Summer Band. Read more below from today’s news headlines and also see what faculty, staff and students are up to.

Ferris Community Summer Band Presents Pair of Concerts

Ferris State University’s Community Summer Band is presenting a pair of concerts at 7 p.m. June 23 and 24, the Big Rapids Pioneer reports. The June 23 concert, “It’s Good to be Back Home,” is being held in the Big Rapids Band Shell, while Thursday’s concert will be in Centennial Park in conjunction with the Mecosta County Medical Center Auxiliary Ice Cream Social. Directed by Richard Scott Cohen, the band features area adults, and college and high school students. Sponsored by Ferris as part of its Music for Life initiative, the summer band is celebrating its 45th year of bringing the campus and community together through music.

Ferris Baja Team Participates in Competition

The Ferris State University Baja racing team recently traveled to Rochester, N.Y., to participate in the 2010 Baja Society of Automotive Engineers summer competition, reports the Big Rapids Pioneer. Spearheaded by Ferris Automotive Service Technology associate professor Gary Gage, the team’s eight members raced in several events, placing third in the hill climb, 17th in acceleration and 22nd in endurance. The team finished the competition with an overall placing of 35th out of 96 teams. Team members included Drew Porter, Dane Miller, Sam Westendorp, Randy Richardson, John Bauer, Jon Rodriguez, Charlie Woznack and Tyler Koroleski.

Holmes Receives 2010 Blackboard Catalyst Award for Community Collaboration

Hoping to collaborate with other universities across the nation and to improve student user’s Blackboard experience, Ferris State University’ s Dr. Mary Holmes has been awarded the 2010 Blackboard Catalyst Award for Community Collaboration, reports. Holmes, Ferris’ E-learning administrator, meets weekly via telephone with individuals from other colleges and universities to discuss strategies and to generate ideas for creating a better Blackboard experience for the users at each member’s home college; Holmes was nominated by the other members of this workgroup for the award. “We chose to nominate Dr. Holmes based on her continued leadership of the CE/Vista Workgroup, a collection of North American Higher Education institutions representing more than 350, 000 students. Dr. Holmes runs these weekly meetings in an inclusive, collaborative fashion that invites the participation from each and every user,” Blackboard Senior Solutions Engineer Matt Davis said.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ferris Looks Forward To Traverse City Cherry Royale Parade

It's not too early to begin making your plans for July 10 in Traverse City as Ferris State University heads up north for the DTE Energy Cherry Royale Parade.

People from Ferris, who have been involved with the parade over the years, enjoy themselves in beautiful Traverse City and always look forward to the return trip.

Be sure to check out Bulldog Bytes, the Ferris State University Alumni Association Electronic Newsletter, for more information.

Here is the note from Bulldog Bytes:
Calling all Traverse City area alumni! Catch Ferris State University's entry in the DTE Energy Cherry Royale Parade on July 10 beginning at 11:15 a.m. Bring the kids to see Brutus the Bulldog Mascot entertain the crowd along with the Ferris Cheer Team! You can also "cool off" to the sounds of the Key West Permafrost Blues Band featuring Ferris faculty and staff members!
Here is Bulldog Bytes information.

Ferris State University News Headlines

Ferris State University students find success in a number of areas. Read below today’s Ferris in the News to learn more about an educational opportunity in South Korea, and excellence in and out of the classroom for one student-athlete. Plus, see what incoming freshmen are up to during their June orientation sessions.

Ferris Students Head to South Korea

A pair of Ferris State University students will be immersed in South Korean culture during a seven-week trip they hope will broaden their cultural horizons, the Big Rapids Pioneer reports. Sarah Nagel and Kyle Lucas will go to Dankook University, located about one hour outside of Seoul, South Korea, where they will teach students English during a three-week internship. After the internship, they will take classes at Dankook. The trip was organized by Ferris’ International Center, which provides students with opportunities to travel the globe in an effort the make the university a global campus, said Piram Prakasam, director of International Education at Ferris. Currently, there are 132 international students studying on the Ferris campus. The goal of the International Center is to increase the number and quality of the student pool at Ferris with the international experience, Prakasam said.

Ferris Pitcher Kayle Stevenson Picked as School's Top Senior Female Student-Athlete

Ferris State University pitcher Kayle Stevenson was named the 2009-10 recipient of the university’s Helen Bennett Award as the Bulldogs’ outstanding senior female student-athlete, reports the Grand Rapids Press. Stevenson led the Ferris softball team to a 26-16 record this season, including a third-place finish in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The award, named in honor of late faculty member Helen Bennett, is given annually by the Ferris Professional Women’s organization to a senior female student-athlete who combines academic and athletic excellence. Stevenson, a two-time All-GLIAC second-team honoree and 2010 Daktronics All-Midwest Region second-team selection, went 12-6 with a 1.98 ERA in 124 innings this spring. She threw five shutouts, had 16 complete games, struck out 84 and held opponents to a .204 batting average. She also earned GLIAC All-Academic honors for the third consecutive year.

More Than 2,000 Students Participate in Ferris Orientation Program

Ferris State University’s campus has been re-energized as approximately 2,100 students participate in new-student orientation activities, which began June 14 and cover a 16-day span, the Big Rapids Pioneer reports. Ferris’ orientation program is a day filled with activities, including student ID card photos; confirmation of academic majors; meeting faculty, staff and educational counselors from the academic majors; learning course requirements; talking to financial aid representatives; registering for classes and more. “Orientation brings new energy to our campus and we’re excited about the new students who are coming to Ferris and doing what we can to help them make the transition,” Ferris Dean of Student Life Leroy Wright said. “We’re also energized about helping parents. We’re trying to help students feel like Ferris is going to be the place for them and this is going to be their home away from home.”

Monday, June 21, 2010

Ferris Video Feature: Student Recreation Center

A good way to stay in shape is is regular visits to Ferris State University's Student Recreation Center.

In this video, produced by Television and Digital Media Production students, gives an overview of what is offered at the Student Recreation Center.

Featured in the video is Cindy Horn, the direction of University Recreation at Ferris, who helps illustrate what the center has to offer.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

From The Desk Of President Eisler: Summer University Participation

Here is a note from Ferris State University President David Eisler in reference to activities related to Summer University 2010 earlier this month, June 8-9.
I want to thank everyone who put in much work hard to make Summer University a success, including Warren Hills and members of the Summer University steering committee: Kathy Lake, Mike Cairns, David Pilgrim, Chris LeTourneau and Steve Stratton.

Additional thanks are due to Lori Helmer, Bryan Marquardt and everyone in Dining Services for the great job they did in hosting this year’s Summer University lunch at The Rock.
Keep visiting the Ferris State University Blog for more information about things taking place on and off campus involving the institution.