Saturday, July 24, 2010

Check Out The Latest Faces Of Ferris Featuring Fritz Erickson

The Faces of Ferris series continues with an entry on Ferris State University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Fritz Erickson.

In this entry, Dr. Erickson's transition to Ferris is well documented as is his strong passion for quality education that has been a major part of his life for more than 25 years. In a short period of time, he already has made an impact on the academic culture at Ferris since his hiring was announced by President David Eisler last year.

Dr. Erickson speaks highly of the time he already has spent at Ferris and looks forward to a future helping to build on the strong tradition of academics at the University as focused on in Faces of Ferris:
Fritz Erickson quickly realized he and his family found a great new home as he accepted an opportunity to become Ferris State University's new provost and vice president for Academic Affairs last year.

Passionate about education, Erickson came to appreciate that Ferris' educational mission was closely aligned with his own strong teaching and learning values. Erickson, strengthened by more than 25 years of administrative experience in higher education, was heartened to learn strong educational values are both campus and community wide. As a man who has built a career of more than a quarter century in education, Erickson's confidence that he had found a great new home base for himself and his family was further solidified.

"I have been a dean for nine years, and the opportunity to expand my interests and serve as a provost, particularly at Ferris, has great appeal," said Erickson, who served as dean of the College of Professional and Graduate Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay for six years prior to his appointment at Ferris. "Ferris' unique combination of professional and liberal arts programming is a real fit for me along with the opportunity to work with multiple-location programming."
For the compete Faces of Ferris entry on Fritz Erickson, visit here.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Retiring Deans Recognized By Ferris Board Of Trustees

Ferris State University's Board of Trustees took time out of its most recent meeting to recognize three retiring deans.

Board of Trustees chair Tom Cook recognized Tom Oldfield, dean of the College of Engineering Technology; Ian Mathison, dean of the College of Pharmacy; and Matt Klein, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, for their years of dedicated service to the University.

The presentations took place during a regular meeting of the Board of Trustees on July 14 at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center in Big Rapids.

Tom Oldfield (right) was recognized by Ferris State University's Board of Trustees on July 14 at a regular meeting in Big Rapids. Oldfield is standing next to Board of Trustees chair Tom Cook.

Matt Klein (right) receives recognition from Ferris State University's Board of Trustees on July 14 at a regular meeting in Big Rapids. Klein is standing next to Board of Trustees chair Tom Cook.

Ian Mathison (right) earned a little spotlight from Ferris State University's Board of Trustees on July 14 at a regular meeting in Big Rapids. Mathison is standing next to Board of Trustees chair Tom Cook.

Ferris Student Gets a Glimpse of Hollywood as PR Intern for Traverse City Film Festival

Sara Miller didn’t have to venture far from Ferris State University, nestled in Big Rapids – a hamlet in western Michigan that boasts small-town charm, an abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities and one of the state’s fastest-growing universities, to experience the glitz and glamour of Hollywood.

She’s getting a first-hand view as a public relations intern for Traverse City Film Festival.

Founded by Michael Moore, this year’s festival will feature more than 100 films created by independent filmmakers from a myriad of countries, including Iran, Cuba and Vietnam.

“Working at TCFF has been an amazing experience,” Miller said. “It’s fun, fast-paced, career-oriented work. Nothing beats a job you love. It’s not your typical job. I get to do something new and exciting every day, whether it’s working on press releases, press kits, talking to the media, setting up interviews or helping out at the office. I’ve learned to expect the unexpected.”

Curious to learn more about Sara’s summer internship experience? Read the full story at

Camping Is A Way Of Life During Ferris State University Summers

The months of June and July, at Ferris State University, are prime times for campers of all kinds to make their way to Big Rapids.

Throughout the summer, Ferris has hosted a variety of academic and athletics camps to give young people a hands-on learning experience in a relaxed setting.

Ferris camps give young people an opportunity to have a good time away from home, but also to learn a few things to take back home with them.

Ferris State University Associate Head Hockey Coach Drew Famulak demonstrates technique to Bulldog hockey campers during a session this summer in Big Rapids.

A Ferris State University tennis camper works through some action at the Racquet and Fitness Center in Big Rapids. Historically, Ferris tennis camps are among the most popular.

A little summer gridiron action can be just what is needed for young people taking part in a Ferris State University football camp.

Don't sweat the technique. A Ferris State University volleyball camper receives some instruction during a session this summer inside Ewigleben Sports Arena on the Ferris campus.

A special thanks to Ferris State University photographers Ed Hyde and Kelly Kachaterian for their work in bringing these images to life.

Ferris State University News Headlines

Kendall Student Wins Furniture Design Competition

Fine-furniture manufacturer Theodore Alexander has announced that Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University student Andrew Golombisky was named the winner of the manufacturer’s inaugural Distinction in Design competition, furnitureWORLD magazine reports. Golombisky will receive an internship, as well as a full-time position as designer-in-residence with Theodore Alexander in Vietnam. The company launched its inaugural Distinction in Design program in 2010, searching three continents for one or more premiere senior-level design students to become part of the company’s design team. The program offers an opportunity to recognize young, passionate furniture designers and offer them once-in-a-lifetime employment opportunities. Golombisky, who also is a Celia Moh Scholarship winner, will graduate from Kendall College of Art and Design in December with a degree in furniture design.

Bulldog Summer Camp Keeps Children Busy with Learning, Community Service

Children at Tot’s Place Child Development Center at Ferris State University have had a busy summer, reports the Big Rapids Pioneer. The children participated in the Bulldog Summer Camp, an annual summer learning program that provides children kindergarten through age 12 learning, recreation and volunteer opportunities. One community service project the children chose to assist was the “Save the Pool Fund” for Big Rapids’ Charles E. Fairman Community Pool. By hosting a bake sale, the children raised $240. “I’m very impressed with the enthusiasm shown by the children in taking on this service project,” Tot’s Place Manager Lori Johnson said. The summer camp also has included field trips to Patterson’s Flowers, Ferris Ice Arena and Mecosta County Agricultural Free Fair. Tot’s Place Assistant Manage Debbie Roberts added children also spent time learning math, science and reading skills; writing in journals and even honing their cooking skills.

Ferris Part of Team Receiving DOE Funding for Energy-efficient Housing Partnerships

The U.S. Department of Energy announced 15 research and deployment partnerships to help dramatically improve the energy efficiency of American homes, reports. These highly-qualified, multidisciplinary teams will receive funding to deliver innovative energy efficiency strategies to the residential market and address barriers to bringing high-efficiency homes within reach for all Americans. Ferris is a member of the Habitat Cost-Effective Energy Retrofit Program Team led by Dow Chemical Company of Midland. This team will focus on applying innovative retrofit technologies in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. The team’s vision is to improve retrofit methodologies by validating cost-effective strategies through test homes and identifying technology gaps that must be addressed. The Dow team also includes Michigan State University and Habitat for Humanity, with technical contributions from Duke Energy, DTE and Exelon. Read more at

A Summer Of Fresh Faces And New Perspectives

This summer, Ferris State University went through its annual ritual of welcoming more than 2,000 new students to campus through orientation activities.

Last month, News Services published a story about the work that Ferris puts in to welcome these new students and their families to campus led by the efforts of Leroy Wright, dean of Student Life, and Nicholas Campau, coordinator of Student Life.

Here are some a few images captured by Ferris Photographic Services staff and others:

Ferris student orientation leaders pose for a group photo inside the Timme Center for Student Services on campus in Big Rapids.

Staff work with incoming students to sort through all of the little details during the orientation process inside the Timme Center for Student Services on campus in Big Rapids.

Student orientation leaders pose for a group photo outdoors on campus at Ferris State University in Big Rapids. Who says orientation is not fun?

Here is a view from above the action, during new student orientation, inside the Timme Center for Student Services on campus in Big Rapids.

Ferris State University's Office Of International Education Featured In Video

This week, I had a chance to visit the Office of International Education at Ferris State University. As part of my visit, I met with Piram Prakasam, director of the OIE; Tara Benzing, who overseas Study Away; and Shana Beisiegel, a student adviser in the office.

We discussed a number of topics related to the offices primary functions, including: international student recruitment, advising, functions, bringing a global perspective to Ferris and more. Part of the objective of the interview was to expose video viewers to the depth and breadth of the work of the OIE as it goes through this transitional phase.

Ferris' Office of International Education strives to provide resources and necessary support to its international student population and to expand these efforts in the near future.

Hope you enjoyed the video clip of the conversations I had with members of the staff of the OIE earlier this week in its FLITE office.

For more information on Ferris State University's efforts to recruit, educate and retain international students, visit:

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tot's Place Bulldog Summer Campers Bike To Raise Funds For St. Jude's Children's Hospital

Being active and being active in the community is a big part of what Bulldog Summer Camp kids are learning through a program sponsored by Tot's Place Child Development Center at Ferris State University.

Recently, Bulldog Summer Campers participated in the camp's annual Trike-A-Thon. The Tot’s Place preschool class and the NEMCSA Head Start program planned to participate in the event to raise funds in support of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Below are photos from the Trike-A-Thon:

Bulldog Summer Campers are shown here on the move on the Ferris campus as part of this summer's Trike-A-Thon to benefit St. Jude's Children's Hospital.

Bulldog Summer Campers hear some information on the Ferris campus as part of this summer's Trike-A-Thon to benefit St. Jude's Children's Hospital.

It's safety first at the Bulldog Summer Camp. As part of the Trike-A-Thon, a friendly officer makes sure all kids are in readiness prior to beginning the bike ride to benefit St. Jude's Children's Hospital.

A special thanks to Lori Johnson, manager of Tot's Place, and Debbie Roberts, assistant manager of Tot's Place, for bringing attention to this event.

Ferris State University News Headlines

Ferris State University not only fosters educational growth for students at the college level, read below how Ferris summer camps also give area youth a leg up on becoming the next Thomas Edison or Bill Gates. Also, read about new women’s soccer coach Matt Kellogg.

Ferris Inventors Academy Teaches Basics of Discovery

They may only be in middle school, but youth attending Ferris State University’s Inventors Academy are getting a head start on how to create new products for tomorrow’s consumer, the Big Rapids Pioneer reports. During the academy, which is part of Ferris’ 2010 Engineering and Technology Exploration Summer Academy, middle school-aged youth learn about developing products from design to manufacturing. The idea is to create an interest in technology and help students come up with new ideas, said Dan Wanink, Ferris associate professor of CAD Drafting and Tool Design Technology. “We start from the beginning and show them all the steps of what goes into a product,” he added. “Whether it’s a tennis shoe or an airplane, they learn how products are developed.”

Matt Kellogg Takes Over Ferris Women’s Soccer Program

Matt Kellogg, an NCAA Division I assistant coach at Morehead State in Kentucky the past two years, has been named to lead the Ferris State University women’s soccer program, reports the Grand Rapids Press. He replaces Neathan Gibson, who resigned in April. Kellogg, a 1996 graduate of Plainwell High School, spent the 2007 and 2008 seasons as an assistant at Kentucky under current Morehead State coach Warren Lipka. He was the Wildcats’ recruiting coordinator and moved into the head coaching position on an interim basis following Lipka’s departure. He also served three seasons (2004-07) as an assistant at Western Michigan University and served as head coach of the women’s soccer program at Kalamazoo College from December 2002 to February 2004 after being an assistant at the school for the 2002 season. Read more at

Kellogg Named New Women's Soccer Head Coach

Below is an excerpt of a press release that announces Matt Kellogg has been named the new head women's soccer coach at Ferris State University.

Here is part of that news release:

The Ferris State University women's soccer program will have a new leader directing the Bulldogs as Matt Kellogg, an assistant at Morehead (Ky.) State University, has been named FSU's new head women's soccer coach in an announcement made this Monday (July 19) by Ferris State Interim Athletics Director Keri Becker.

Kellogg, who was in his second season at NCAA Division I Morehead (Ky.) State, becomes the fourth head coach in the 11-year history of the FSU women's soccer program. He replaces Neathan Gibson, who resigned in April.

"I've spent the last seven years with the goal of directing a college program and now I'm ready," said Kellogg. "I'm thankful to Keri (Becker) and the administration at Ferris State for giving me an opportunity to show what I can do. I grew up in Michigan so it's going to be nice being close to a lot of my friends and relatives which I haven't seen in a while."

"We are excited Matt Kellogg will become a part of our Bulldog family," said Becker. "He will bring a great deal of game knowledge, recruiting connections, and enthusiasm to the women's soccer program. The team is hungry for a renewed energy that will help them reach their potential and Matt was a great match to lead this team!"

For the full press release, visit the Athletics Web site, here.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wirgau Steps In As Coordinator Of Ferris' Doctorate In Community College Leadership

Enthusiasm and passion are two of the driving forces behind Andie Wirgau, who this summer was named coordinator of the Doctorate in Community College Leadership program at Ferris State University.

She is off to a fast start this summer and says that Ferris is on the cutting edge of training for community colleges with this new program.

Over time, Wirgau hopes that the program will continue to grow and pick up steam as people begin to see the value of community colleges and what Ferris is doing, with its focus on training, to support these institutions.

Below is an excerpt from a News Services story on Wirgau:

BIG RAPIDS – Andie Wirgau’s passion for leadership and learning has led her back to Michigan to join Ferris State University’s College of Professional and Technological Studies’ staff as coordinator of the Doctorate in Community College Leadership (DCCL) program.

Wirgau, who most recently served as coordinator of student activities at the College of DuPage in Elgin, Ill., envisions Ferris as an opportunity to return to Michigan and make a difference in a program she fully endorses. A Lowell native and graduate of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Wirgau has settled in nicely in her role as DCCL coordinator which she began June 14.

“Ferris is a great opportunity because it melds my two passions, leadership and lifelong learning,” said Wirgau, who was active in course instruction, budget management, diversity initiatives and more at the College of DuPage. “This job is exciting because I will perform a lot of logistical services for our incoming students, do some recruiting, help with the admissions process, register students and more.”

Understanding the challenges for enrollees in the program, Wirgau sees herself as a resource to students adding, “These are adults with busy lives who are pursuing their doctorate. We’ll try to remove any barriers to learning and success that we can.”

Wirgau says that Ferris hopes to both personalize and ease the experience for working adults who want to pursue a leadership role in community colleges. She wants students to feel as if they are more than just a name or number as they enroll in Ferris’ DCCL program.

For the full article, visit the News Services Web site, here.

Ferris State University News Headlines

Educational opportunities abound at Ferris State University. Read more below to learn about a new degree program and how one student organization helps student-veterans.

Ferris Board Approves New Associate Degree Program

The Ferris State University Board of Trustees voted to create a new Associate of Applied Science degree in Plastics and Polymer Engineering Technology during its regular meeting recently, the Big Rapids Pioneer reports. This degree will combine two associate degree programs, the AAS in Plastics Engineering Technology (PET) and the AAS in Rubber Engineering Technology (RET). The decision to create one new associate degree and close the current AAS degree programs was made after College of Engineering Technology faculty and staff determined students enrolled in the associate degree programs for PET or RET would be better served through one program. Students currently enrolled in either the PET or RET associate degree programs will be able to complete their studies under this proposal. Read more at

Ferris Veterans Group Earns Regional Recognition

Making its mark in the mission to provide education for all, the Ferris State University Veterans Association has been striving to secure one of the nation’s most valuable assets at the collegiate level, reports the Big Rapids Pioneer. And with the acceptance of a nationally recognized award, spectators can see that they are well on their way. A registered student organization, the Ferris State University Veterans Association is dedicated to advocating for American Veterans who are both beginning and continuing their education at Ferris. Committed to ensuring that their educational needs are met and that their transition to college is as seamless as possible, the organization seeks to be an outlet through which a series of services can be offered to veterans on campus. “Our focus is to help veterans transition from military life to college life as best as they can,” explained association Treasurer and serviceman Christopher Conger. Read more at

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ferris Biological Sciences Department Head Strasser Discusses BP Oil Spill Impact On Marine Wildlife

Dr. Karen Strasser, Department Head for the Biological Sciences Department at Ferris State University, offers her thoughts on the impact of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, both short term and long term.

"They will clean up beaches and the more populated areas," Strasser said as she also discussed the impact on marine species that grow up close to the shoreline off the Gulf of Mexico. "I am not positive anybody knows what the full effects are going to be for a long time."

Dr. Strasser has taught Developmental Biology and introductory biology courses for majors and non majors. Beyond her in-class instruction, some of Dr. Strasser's research is focused on the development, ecology and systematics of decapod crustaceans.

Dr. Strasser earned her Ph.D. in Environmental and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and her B.S. in Marine Science/Biology from the University of Tampa.

Today, there are positive signs about the leak's stoppage but, the effort to clean up the spill's impact could take years - or longer.

Learn more about other Ferris State University faculty and staff experts, by visiting the Web site, here.

Ferris State University Announces 2010-11 Rates

It's that time of the year when students are finalizing their plans for the Fall 2010 semester as they begin their college experience at Ferris State University.

The Board of Trustees, in its July 14 meeting in Big Rapids, finalized some important figures for students who will begin or continue their pursuit of a Ferris degree during the 2010-11 academic year.

Here is an excerpt from a press release published on Ferris' News Services Web site:
The Ferris State University Board of Trustees approved a 4.75 percent increase in tuition for undergraduate students and a 2.9 percent increase in room and dining rates for the 2010-11 academic year during its regular meeting today (July 14). The board also approved a 6 percent tuition increase for graduate and first professional students.

In addition to tuition, room and dining, Ferris board members approved $500,000 of one-time monies to assist families impacted by the current economy in addition to the ongoing Financial Aid support provided students. Also, new for the 2010-11 academic year, the University is offering the Ferris Achievement Scholarship, which is an extension of the Woodbridge N. Ferris Scholarship. The scholarship ranges from $1,000 to $4,000 based upon a student’s qualifications.

New and continuing full-time resident undergraduates will pay $331 per credit hour – $4,965 per semester or $9,930 annually based upon 15 credits per semester. This equates to $225 more per semester.
For the complete story, visit the News Services Web site, here.