Friday, July 10, 2009

Ferris In The News

Ferris Alumni Bike to Washington as Part of Activism Efforts

Marci Baranski said her cross-country bicycle ride started as a whim while riding past cornfields south of campus last summer, Michigan State University’s The State News reports. “I was like, ‘what do I love more than biking?’ … I do all this activism with the fight against climate change. It was like, I guess I could combine them somehow,” the biochemistry senior said. “That night I went home, and I was reading this youth activism blog, and it was the grand announcement of (the Trek to Re-Energize America), and it was like, I have to do this,” she said. The Trek to Re-Energize America is a nationwide bike ride to Washington, D.C., to lobby for climate change legislation. Bryce Johnson, a Ferris State University alumnus, said they also wanted to show that biking is a practical mode of transportation. “You can actually hold stuff and get to work, and go a distance, you just have to plan some time,” he said. Ferris State University alumna Anna Branner said the cyclists will use what they learn on the ride to make grassroots changes. “We’re going to be educating ourselves about how people feel about the coal mining in their town, or … that nuclear power plant in their backyard,” she said. “We can bring that change back to our communities ourselves and make a change in our communities.” Read more at

Ferris to Use Stimulus Money to Counteract Tuition Hike

Ferris State University is raising tuition by 5.3 percent, but leaders hope to soften the impact by using federal stimulus money to offer student rebates. The university also changed its policy for health insurance, extending benefits to same-sex and unmarried adults living with administrators and other non-unionized employees, reports the Grand Rapids Press. Trustees on Wednesday approved a $175.7 million budget, a 2.2 percent increase, and offered President David Eisler a 3 percent raise, which he declined. Ferris tuition has increased 13 percent for full-time students over the last five years. Administrators said using the federal surplus money will lower the 5.3 percent hike to 3.6 percent, making the bump about $11 more per credit hour. Read more at

Crossroads Selects Ferris Professor to Serve Board

Olukemi Fadayomi was selected to serve on the Crossroads Charter Academy Board of Directors following candidate interviews recently. Fadayomi was unanimously selected from a pool of four candidates, including Mark Brandly, James Scott and Laura Vallette, the Big Rapids Pioneer reports. Fadayomi has worked as a professor of Biology at Ferris State University since 1997. She has served on the Ferris Biotechnology Advisory Board, Pre-pharmacy Faculty Advisory Board and Pre-optometry Advisory Board. With 20 years of experience in education, Fadayomi said she hopes to share her passion for education with other board members and be a voice for the students of the district. “It’s the job of the board to help craft policies in line with the mission of the school,” she said. “I hope a position on the board will give me the platform to be a voice for the students.”

Kunitz Once Again Part of Championship Team That Wins Stanley Cup

Chris Kunitz fit a National Hockey League career’s worth of excitement, not to mention anxiety, into about four months. On Feb. 26, the former Ferris State University standout and Anaheim Duck, received news he’d been traded mid-season – enough to shake up any professional athlete – to Pittsburgh, a city nearly 2,500 miles away, reports the Big Rapids Pioneer. What complicated matters more, his wife, Maureen, was seven months pregnant with the couples’ first child. “It was shocking,” Kunitz said. “It was my wife’s birthday. It wasn’t quite the birthday present anyone wanted.” But, Kunitz went to Pittsburgh and the rest is history. Moving from one floundering, underachieving team in Anaheim to another in Pittsburgh, he was excited to have an opportunity to play with some of the most talented players in the game, including 21-year-old Sidney Crosby. “It was a younger team that had a lot of energy, a lot of skill,” he said. “It was a different style of hockey than I played the previous couple years.” At the end of the series, the Penguins went on to defeat the Red Wings, making Kunitz a two-time Stanley Cup winner after winning with the Ducks in 2007.

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