Monday, November 2, 2009

Ferris In The News

Grand Haven’s Marc Sheehan’s Passion is Poetry

Marc J. Sheehan may be a communications officer for Ferris State University in Big Rapids, but the Grand Haven resident’s true passion is writing poetry, reports. In 2008, a collection of his poems entitled Vengeful Hymns was awarded the Ron Snyder Prize given by Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio. As a result, his poetry was published and released in 2009 by the Ashland Poetry Press. “Being a poet is to be a member of what seems to be an ever-diminishing community,” Sheehan said. “There are few in history who have ever been able to support themselves solely as poets. You don’t do it for the money.” Sheehan said that he writes about the powerful themes of life, which for him are nature, irony, joy, life, death, loss and loneliness. “Ideas come to me and I have a need to exercise the idea, scratch that itch because it’ll just keep gnawing at you,” he said. “What is my purpose in writing poetry? In the words of Wordsworth, ‘to enlighten and entertain.’ If I can do that, it’s about as good as it gets.” As with many writers, place provides a solid ground to the writing and location informs a major role in Sheehan’s work. Read more at

Chesaning High School Tennis Team Sees Advantages From Ferris PTM Program

There’s a pipeline to professional tennis that runs through the Chesaning boys tennis program, reports While the Indians aren’t grooming players for Wimbledon or the U.S. Open, they do have a program that is finding a way to have former and current players stay involved in the sport for a living. Senior Troy Harmon, only the second singles player in school history to record more than 20 wins in a season, will continue in tennis at Ferris State University. He’ll become the seventh player to join the college’s Professional Tennis Management program. “The kids here play a lot of tennis,” Chesaning coach Dave Gasper said. “They’re out there every summer playing. We had five kids a while ago that went to tennis camp up there and got really good. They got hooked and wanted to go to college there.” Gasper’s two sons, Mark and Adam, both went through the program and have jobs in the field. Read more at

Ferris Professors Discuss Lure of Vampire Lore

Since Author Bram Stoker unleashed Dracula in 1897, vampires have long been a part of the world’s pop-culture scene, especially in literature and cinema, the Big Rapids Pioneer reports. Why is popular culture enjoying such a feeding frenzy on these scary stories? It could be because they’re so subversively sexy, said Lynn Anderson, bookseller at Great Lakes Book and Supply. “It’s all about holding back temptation,” Anderson said, particularly of the Twilight series. That drama, and romance, is what Ferris State University professor Robert Von der Osten believes is driving the current vampire craze. Beginning with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, audiences have loved the tale of dangerous and forbidden love affairs between vampires and humans. Avid vampire and zombie fan, and Ferris professor Randy Groves said humans have always desired immortality – something vampires possess, even though they are technically dead. The fantasy surrounding vampires allows people to vicariously deal with many things considered “taboo,” he added.

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