Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ferris State University's Andie Wirgau Featured In Profile At Vision Mid Michigan Web Site

Andie Wirgau, the new coordinator of Ferris State University's Doctorate in Community College Leadership program, has been featured by Vision Mid Michigan.

“I want to personalize their experience and to make sure students feel as if they are more than just a name or number when they enroll,” Wirgau said in her profile. “I love the potential that this program and the students will have. This program positions Ferris in way to be nationally recognized. It also is a major benefit for community colleges throughout the nation.

"Ferris definitely is on the cutting edge of education with programs like the DCCL,” she added.

For the full story from Vision Mid Michigan, visit the Web site, here.

Also, don't forget, Wirgau was featured in an article that originally appeared on Ferris' News Services Web site.

Former Ferris All-American Visser Earns Role In Kurt Russell Film 'Touchback'

Ferris State University football fans may soon get to see a former Bulldog on the big screen as ex-FSU standout Jake Visser is among a handful of players selected for the upcoming Kurt Russell movie, "Touchback" this week.

More than 1,200 football players from across the country tried out to be extras for the film and Visser was announced Tuesday (Aug. 10) as one of only 38 participants who made the cut.

Visser was among hundreds of hopefuls who showed up last week vying for the movie's football-player roles. The tryout took place at the Coopersville (Mich.) High School football field for the movie, which is shooting in both the Coopersville and Grand Rapids areas. The production is about a man who attempts suicide and wakes up in the past to relive his high school football stardom, which previously ended when he was seriously injured.

The movie features prominent actor Kurt Russell as the head coach. It also includes Brian Presley as the football player and Melanie Lynskey as his wife. Former Oscar nominee Christine Lahti has been cast as Presley's mother.

Producers needed to fill the rosters for two teams, including "Team Coldwater", which is guided by Coach Hand (Russell), and "Team Cuyahoga" led by Marc Ellis. Visser will be a member of the Team Cuyahoga squad.

Filming is scheduled this upcoming week for August 13, 16 and 17 at the Coopersville High School field from 9 p.m. - 6 a.m. In addition to the football players, extras are needed to sit in the stands during those hours. Refreshments, prizes and entertainment nightly are planned, according to producers.

The lower-budget independent film currently is in talks with distributors for a 2011 release.

In addition to Visser, the list also includes current Big Rapids High School football coach Mitch Cumings. Several players with ties to Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference member schools are also included.

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

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Chasing The Dream: Chris Wilson

Ferris State University students come from all walks of life and each one has a unique set of goals, dreams, talents and challenges they juggle on the path to adulthood and a career.

Chris Wilson, a student-athlete who is a member of Ferris' football program and soon to be a graduate of the Television and Digital Media Production program, is one of our students.

In this, the first of a continuing series, Wilson talks about what it means to be a student-athlete at Ferris and discusses a little the balancing act that must take place to excel - and not just to remain eligible.

Here is the first video of the series.

You can follow Chris's blog to keep up to date on his day to day activities.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

From The President's Desk: Fall Enrollment

Here is a note from President Dave Eisler to the Ferris State University community:
As state support for higher education decreases, it is our students who pay an increasingly larger share of the cost of their education. This fall, tuition will constitute more than 72 percent of University revenue. Currently, overall enrollment is up 419 students and 2,564 credits more than at the same time last year. We are seeing record growth in Grand Rapids, at Kendall, at other state locations and on-line.

The same is not true in Big Rapids, which presently has 48 students and 1,157 credits fewer than at this same time last year. The greatest concern is in continuing students where we are running 209 students and 1,157 credits behind last year. It seems likely we’re seeing existing students squeezed by the slow economy and the increased cost of their education. If you talk to students as I do, you hear many stories of second and third jobs and the challenge of juggling those while maintaining grades.

Enrollment is a critical component of our finances, and historically we have enrolled a significant number of students during the last week before classes begin. Anything that discourages students from enrolling or attending in the fall will have significant budget repercussions. Every 1,000 Student Credit Hours equate to about $330,000 in revenue, and 100 full-time students represent nearly a million dollars in revenue. I am hopeful that we will close this enrollment gap over the next few weeks, but if this does not happen we will need to reduce our budget even further beyond the reductions received from the state.
Check back for more items from the desk of the president here on the Ferris State University Blog.

Make your plans for Homecoming 2010 By Getting Involved With The Alumni Association

Lets face it, the 2010-11 academic school year is just around the corner here at Ferris State University.

And, the start of the academic year means Homecoming festivities can't be too far behind. Once again, that is the case as Homecoming is set for Oct. 9 here on the Big Rapids campus.

As always, you are urged to participate and get your plans in motion sooner rather than later (we will, of course, take your plans later, but we'd love to have them sooner).

The Homecoming Committee recently announced its 2010 theme as "Get Back to Where You Belong."

In all honesty, where you belong is Ferris. Take the big step and make it happen as you join with old friends and meet new friends through Homecoming.

Look for details on the official Homecoming Web site at

Don't forget to visit Bulldog Bytes, the official Ferris State University Alumni Association Electronic Newsletter.

Dr. Joseph Lipar Featured In Latest Edition of Faces of Ferris For Card Wildlife Education Center Work

In the latest edition of the Faces of Ferris series, we take a look at the work of Dr. Joseph Lipar, director of the Card Wildlife Education Center and an assistant professor of Biology at Ferris State University.

Dr. Lipar has done outstanding work in promoting the mission of the Center and helping to bring young people and dollars into the mix.

Here is an excerpt from the Faces of Ferris entry:
Joseph Lipar maintains an ageless zest for his work at Ferris State University.

An assistant professor of Biology and director of the Card Wildlife Education Center, Lipar frequently rekindles his personal fountain of youth any time a group of youngsters visit Ferris to reap the benefits of the Card Wildlife experience. While the Center is open to visitors of all ages, and has its fair share of adults, nothing matches or beats the smiles Lipar sees as groups of boys and girls journey through the 5,000-square-foot facility inside the Arts and Sciences Commons. It is a top-notch educational resource for students of all ages and an eye-opening museum with entertainment value -- particularly for children.

"I think it's the perfect place to take the kids," Lipar said of the Center, which has almost all of its specimens coming from benefactor Roger Card, a 1963 graduate of Ferris' College of Engineering Technology, and his late wife, Debra, who both have hunted animals from around the world. "The museum is used as a resource to learn about biology, to learn about wildlife, to learn about ecology and environmental biology. We have a lot of visitors who come to the Center on their own or as part of a scheduled tour."

For the full Faces of Ferris entry, visit the official Web site here.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Ferris' Inventor's Academy Featured In Video

Training future generations of potential inventors, Ferris State University welcomed middle-school students ranging in age from 12 to 14 to campus this summer for the Inventor's Academy.

The Inventor's Academy was part of the 2010 Engineering and Technology Exploration Summer Academy at Ferris.

Student videographer Chris Wilson stopped by the camp and had an opportunity to speak with an instructor, Dan Wanink, who is an associate professor in the School of Design and Manufacturing at Ferris, and camp attendees.