Thursday, October 15, 2009

First Lady's Attic Is Enjoying Success

BIG RAPIDS - It's hard to ignore the early success Ferris State University's First Lady's Attic has experienced.

Since the beginning of Ferris State University's fall semester, through the end of September, the First Lady's Attic has provided 65 FSU students with clothing that will help them as they enter the job market armed with a quality education from Ferris.

In all, the First Lady's Attic has taken in 3,275 pieces of clothing (with a suit counting as one). This important project has met with a great deal of success and that is thanks in no small part to the hard work of a lot of people around campus.

Since the start of the fall semester through the end of September the FLA has provided clothing for 65 students! I also did a total of items/pieces from the inception of the FLA to the end of Sept. 09 and we have taken in 3275 pieces of clothing and this is counting a suit as one! Pretty amazing!

To refresh your memory about the mission of the First Lady's Attic:

Students at Ferris State University need not wonder anymore how they will afford to buy professional-looking clothing for a job or internship interview — or class presentation. First Lady's Attic will ensure that all Ferris students, male and female, are dressed appropriately for success.

"This is something I have been dreaming about for two years," shares Patsy Eisler, founder of First Lady's Attic. "With the foresight and collaboration of Chief Diversity Officer David Pilgrim and Vice President for Student Affairs Dan Burcham, this is now a reality.

"Here at Ferris we are committed to providing opportunities for our students. One way we can do this is to make certain they are appropriately dressed and have the best possible chance of achieving that first great job or internship. Looking the part and feeling confident in an interview or during a class presentation can make a world of difference," adds Eisler.

Once students choose their outfit, it is theirs to keep as they commence from the school environment into the world of work.

"This represents one way we can make tangible our commitment to opportunity, one of the core values of our University," notes Pilgrim.

First Lady's Attic is currently accepting donations of all men's and women's professional clothing. The Attic will gladly take not just "experienced" suits, but shirts, blouses, dress pants and skirts, blazers, dresses, shoes, ties, scarves, belts, jewelry, purses and briefcases.

All donations can be dropped off at either location of Pete's Cleaners in Big Rapids, a community supporter of the First Lady's Attic.

"I am just thrilled to be a part of this and happy that I can contribute to helping students look their best when interviewing," comments Darin Cebulla, owner of Pete's Cleaners. "Just drop off your clothes you'd like to donate at either location on Hemlock or State Street and mention they are for First Lady's Attic, and I'll take care of the rest."

Clothing also can be dropped off on campus at the Ferris Diversity Office located at the Timme Center for Student Services, Room 312.

For more information:

Welcome to First Lady's Attic!
Do you need a suit or other professional business clothes to wear to an interview or class presentation? First Lady’s Attic will ensure that all Ferris students, male and female, are dressed appropriately for success.

Fall Hours:
Monday - Friday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Rankin Student Center Room 171.

For more information about First Lady's Attic:
Please e-mail: or call: (231) 591-3193.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rock Café Keeps Mouths Watering, Stomachs Full

BIG RAPIDS – What is “just so darn good” and keeps people coming back for seconds at Ferris State University? It’s the newly renovated Rock Café.

Averaging 5,000 patrons per day, and serving more than 177,000 customers since re-opening for business six weeks ago, the Rock Café has become the talk of the town, and it’s no wonder why.

Just take a look at some of the options circulating through the menu: Prime rib and roasted baby potatoes with rosemary and thyme seasoning, along with fresh-cut green beans; salad greens tossed in white wine vinaigrette with walnuts, blue cheese crumbles, bacon crisps, and wedges of strawberry and green apple; Hawaiian pizza from a woodfire oven; stir fry prepared on a Mongolian grill with enough meat, sauce, spice and vegetable options to create just about any Asian cuisine creation the imagination can dream up.

Even if your taste buds prefer something more traditional from a turkey sandwich to a burger and fries, you’ll find it at the Rock Café. So, the ribbon-cutting ceremony held Friday, Oct. 9, was just icing on the cake for Dining Services Director Lori Helmer and her staff.

“The positive feedback we’ve received from students, and faculty and staff, has been great,” Helmer said. “It’s so rewarding to have worked with such a great team to make this renovation happen, and in five months, is tremendous.”

Students today want an element of entertainment with their dining experience, a concept we call “eatertainment,” Helmer added. The Rock Café was designed with the marketplace concept in mind, which offers this type of dining experience as food becomes the star and the staff is on stage.

“We’ve created a state-of-the-art social gathering space that’s warm and inviting yet contemporary in style,” she said. “Different eating areas were purposely created to provide flexible dining.”

The latest trend in student dining is the marketplace concept, which provides an integrated food production and dining experience with an emphasis on fresh ingredients and made-to-order preparation, she explained. It is characterized by exhibition cooking at several distinct food platforms, with the majority of the existing back-of-the-house production having been moved to several self-contained display cooking venues inside the dining area. This concept incorporates European-style marketplace décor, where cooking aromas, product freshness and abundance are prevalent, Helmer said. An emphasis is placed on food merchandising, and it also includes casual Café-style seating.

“This has been a big hit for students,” Student Government President Claire Gould said, adding her favorite spot in the Rock Café is the “Comfort Food” station where she can get the foods that remind her of home.

The facility is open 7 a.m. to midnight seven days a week and is open to the public.