Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ferris In The News

Tech Tour Day Six: Grand Valley, Ferris State Joining Spinoff Effort

From Grand Valley’s downtown campus I headed up Heritage Hill to the building Ferris State University’s downtown campus shares with Grand Rapids Community College – the first-ever building shared between a community college and a four-year college when it opened in 1991, reports Matt Roush in the Great Lakes IT Report. I met with Frederick “Rick” Baker, coordinator-instructor-advisor of Ferris’ Digital Media Software Engineering program in downtown Grand Rapids. He achieved the nearly impossible – giving me a 20-minute presentation on his software development class without showing me one single line of code, or indeed telling me anything about how to develop software. Instead, Baker gave me a tour of the recent rise of software-driven technological advances in appliances and handhelds. And, he told me how he teaches his students about the real world of the software development industry, about the soft skills they’ll need in human relations and making presentations, and how he teaches those skills in his class, too. All I can say is I wish I’d had more professors like this guy. Read more at http://www.wwj.com/Tech-Tour-Day-Six--Grand-Valley--Ferris-State-Join/5328881.

Ferris Professor Links Students, WWII Vets to Carry on Stories

Christine Bailey’s life has always revolved around politics. From the time she was young, world politics – especially American politics – were discussed in her home, the Big Rapids Pioneer reports. It’s no wonder she made it a career, going on to teach political science at Michigan colleges and universities. Bailey understands you can’t be aware of current events without knowledge of the past. That’s why for the last four years she’s linked Ferris State University students with World War II veterans. The students interview the veterans, record their stories and get insight into what the war was like. The veterans have their memories preserved, and in turn, the students come to have a greater appreciation for “The Greatest Generation.” Some of the pairings have become lasting friendships, Bailey said.

Ferris State Celebrates 125 Years, Creating Green Majors

Now in its 125th year of educating students and creating career pathways, Ferris State University is delving into majors that study alternative energy sources, reports the Bay City Times. Beginning in the fall of 2010, Ferris is adding two majors: Architecture Sustainability, and Energy Systems and Engineering. The new architecture program focuses on how to create sustainable designs, especially in a green-focused world. The new energy program focuses on alternative energy sources, and combines expertise from other programs such as the architecture program and the construction program. “These programs are important because 50 percent of our energy is spent on buildings,” said Ferris President David Eisler. “Our students are going to learn how to apply alternative energy.” The university will be looking specifically at wind, solar and geothermal energy. Read more at http://www.mlive.com/news/bay-city/index.ssf/2009/09/ferris_state_celebrates_125_ye.html.

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