Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ferris In The News

Globalization Initiative Expands Learning Opportunities for Students

Knowledge is power. Expanding your knowledge to meet global demand is crucial. Seizing the opportunity to capitalize on the knowledge of faculty, staff, students and the community, a new Globalization Initiative has begun at Ferris State University, the Big Rapids Pioneer reports. “When people think about globalization, they think about outsourcing and the pressure on the middle class, but that’s just one dimension,” Ferris Chemistry professor Piram Prakasam said. “It’s also about opening up more opportunities for people.” The initiative includes several facets, including Global Reflections – a monthly series of discussions September through March designed to open dialogue on the challenges and opportunities of globalization. The next discussion in the series, “Globalization and Us,” is set for 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15 at a location to be announced. Other components of the initiative include a bi-annual speaker series, Critical Encounters with Globalization, creation of a Directory of Resources for Globalization and compilation of a White Paper. The speaker series is designed to bring experts from academia and business together to help instructors who want to incorporate globalization into coursework and presentations. The fall session is set for 11 a.m. Nov. 12 in the IRC Auditorium.

Tres Vidas Brings Latin American Culture to Life

The stories of three legendary Latin American women will be brought to life through musical theater at Ferris State University. “Tres Vidas” is a live musical theater work that celebrates the lives of renowned painter Frida Kahlo of Mexico, peasant activist Rufina Amaya of El Salvador and poet Alfonsina Storni of Argentina, reports the Big Rapids Pioneer. The program will be performed at 7 p.m. Sept. 30 in G. Mennen Williams Auditorium. This is in conjunction with the university’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, running Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. “It is the first time an event of this nature and historic significance has been brought to campus,” said Natalia Carvalho-Pinto, event organizer. The program will give students a better understanding of Latin America, bringing to light some of its history, music and theater. Ferris’ Hispanic Student Organization advisor Luzia Tartari noted a common thread between each of the women in “Tres Vidas” was the ability to speak out at a time when women were not given rights. “All of their lives were so different, but they all spoke out for what they believed was right,” Tartari said. “I think each of them had a great impact on their culture and time.”

Honors still pouring in for Ferris State’s Jake Visser

Their distinguished college careers have run out of eligibility. But for Jake Visser and Katy Tafler, the awards keep coming, the Grand Rapids Press reports. The former two-time All-American defensive tackle at Ferris State University and three-time soccer All-American at Grand Valley State University have been honored as the NCAA Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association 2008-09 Midwest Region male and female Scholar-Athletes of the Year. Visser had a 3.89 grade point average while majoring in history education. The Coopersville native was a four-year member of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s All-Academic football team and a two-time ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American first-team pick. Visser and Tafler also were two-time recipients of the GLIAC Commissioners Award and two of 174 student-athletes awarded an NCAA postgraduate scholarship. “This is probably one of the greatest academic awards I’ve ever received,” Visser said. “Especially when it follows (former FSU linebacker) Mike Klobucher getting the same award two years ago, because I had so much respect for Mike. It’s pretty special. It’s nice when you get recognized for your hard work, whether it’s academically or athletically.” Read more at

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