Friday, July 30, 2010

Scenes From Ferris State University's Campus

It's summertime, but activity continues on Ferris State University's campus in Big Rapids with camps, construction, student life and more.

In this collection of pictures, which can be viewed as part of Ferris' Week in Pictures feature, also has a work of art displayed Friday in Pocket Park in downtown Big Rapids.

Photos were shot by Ferris photographer Ed Hyde.

Here are the images below:

Robert Barnum and Eddie Wiepert pose for a picture to celebrate the unveiling of "Visual Sound" as part of the Lantern Project, a public art initiative in Pocket Park in downtown Big Rapids.

Ferris State University hosted a band camp that featured young musicians from Petoskey. The sounds could be heard around the central area of the Big Rapids campus.

Here is another image from Ferris' band camp this week on the Big Rapids campus in outstanding weather.

Brutus the Bulldogs was up to his old tricks giving the young ones in our community plenty to smile about this week at Ferris State University.

With all this good weather, it seems only natural to step out on the grass to showcase and hone some of those soccer skills.

Ferris Makes Important Announcement Regarding Athletics Hall of Fame

Below is an important update for Ferris State University's Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame. This announcement comes after a summer of transition within Ferris' Athletics Department that includes the retirement of long-time Athletics Director Tom Kirinovic.

Here is a portion of the official press release:
Due to the transition in athletic directors, Ferris State University has announced the annual Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame banquet and induction ceremony will not take place this fall.

Presently, the university is in the midst of a search for a new Athletics Director following the retirement of former AD Tom Kirinovic at the end of June. Due to time contraints involving the transition and eventual change in leadership, the event will not be held this year, but plans are underway for it to resume in 2011 after a one-year hiatus.

The Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame, which inducted its Charter Class in 2000, was established to honor those former student-athletes and coaches who have distinguished themselves in their sport or honorary members who made truly exceptional contributions to athletics.

FSU most recently inducted its 10th class of honorees in the fall of 2009 and currently 95 individuals have been enshrined by the selection committee, which is comprised of faculty, staff and community members.
For the full press release, visit:

Professors, Students Bring Public Art to Life

Robert Barnum is on a mission: He’s going to prove that public art is neither expensive nor a burden to maintain. Enter the Lantern Project, a public art initiative that’s resulted in four sculptures being placed throughout Big Rapids – the fourth of which was dedicated today (July 30) in downtown Big Rapids’ Pocket Park.

But Barnum is not alone in his venture. Associate professor of Welding Engineering Technology (WET) Dave Murray and scores of Fine Arts and WET students have collaborated to bring these sculptures from drawings to reality through hard work and dedication in and out of the classroom.

Neither Barnum nor Murray can total the number of hours students spend bringing these projects to life, but both estimate it may be thousands of hours from inception to completion.

Read more about this project at

Detroit Free Press Article Highlights Ferris Hockey Student-Athlete Eric Alexander

Ferris State University hockey student-athlete Eric Alexander (pictured) has enjoyed quite a summer with his performance in the recent Washington Capitals Summer Development Camp.

The Detroit Free Press has an article in its online edition that includes an interview with Alexander, a native of Kentwood in the Grand Rapids area, and highlights his efforts at the camp.

Here is an excerpt from the story written by Detroit Free Press writer George Sipple:

On players he knew at camp: "Andy Miele (Grosse Pointe Woods) was on my line. We were teammates on the Chicago Steel three years ago. Chris Forfar, he goes to Michigan State. There's a couple other kids: Ian Ruel (Ann Arbor) and my teammate Taylor Nelson."

Scoring a couple goals in the scrimmages, after scoring three goals last season at Ferris: "I think last year I didn't get as big of an opportunity as I could have. I played on the fourth line, and it's hard to generate offense when you don't get a lot of opportunities. At camp, they rolled the lines pretty well, and you're playing with the best players around your age. That helps, too."
For the full article, visit the Web site of the Detroit Free Press:

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Japanese Students Visit Ferris State University And Share Their Experiences

Ferris State University
welcomed 28 students and two professors from Japan's Tokyo Technical College for eight days beginning the week of July 11 in Big Rapids.

The students and professors traveled to Michigan as part of an English as a Second Language course. As part of the visit, the students attended daily classes taught by two of Ferris' ESL instructors to help strengthen their English speaking. As part of their visit, the students took photos and put together PowerPoint presentations for classmates and others to showcase their time in Big Rapids and highlight their improved English-speaking skills.

While the students learned to better speak English and enjoyed a slice of American culture, they also helped teach Ferris students, faculty and staff a little about Japan and Japanese culture.

The experience was an eye opening one for many of the Japanese students visiting the United States for the first time.

At the end of the week, the Ferris staff that assisted during the program hosted a going-away party for the 28 students and two professors shown as part of the video.

Yuzo Suhara, an architecture student, and Takeshi Ebisawa, studying automotive engineering, represented classmates as they addressed the student staff and faculty that worked with the group.

As part if this video clip, Adam Wetherell, director of camps and and conferences at Ferris, expressed kind thoughts as he addressed the group as they finished their last full day in Big Rapids.

Ferris Professor Pat Klarecki Earns PGSF Educator of the Year Award

Pat Klarecki, a professor in Printing Management in Ferris State University's College of Engineering Technology, received a prestigious honor.

Klarecki, department chair for Printing and Imaging Technology Management, has been named the Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation Educator of the Year Award recipient.

Here is the press release:

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - Pat Klarecki, Professor, Printing Management, College of Engineering Technology, Ferris State University (Big Rapids, Michigan) has been named the eighth recipient of the Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation (PGSF) Educator of the Year Award. This award recognizes excellence in educational instruction for graphic communication and printing. The award will be presented at the NAPL Critical Trends Summit and Breakfast Monday, October 4, 2010, during GRAPH EXPO '10.

"If an educator can reach out and inspire many students, it is a winning combination for the industry, the college, and the students," said Ted Ringman, vice president of development at PGSF. "The award is unique in that only PGSF scholarship recipients are invited to nominate educators who have been a strong positive impact in their academic careers and lives. Professor Klarecki has combined his industry experience, his love of printing, and excellent academic credentials to bring an exciting learning experience into the classroom and the Printing Management Department."

According to Professor Klarecki, "With the rate and volume of change occurring in the print media industry, it is absolutely mission critical that educators and industry professionals build strong partnerships. Research data shows that the current work force is beginning to retire in larger numbers, with fewer and fewer young people entering our industry through educational channels. Educators need the industry leaders' voice in local and state governmental debates about the future of career and technical education. Educators need direction and assistance from our industry to teach the skills and concepts that will drive businesses forward. And lastly, there are significant numbers of talented young people who want to pursue careers in print media but simply cannot afford the cost of college education; your support of PGSF is more important than ever."

To check out the site that made the press release public, visit:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Student Orientation Video Shows The Joy Of Involvement At Ferris State University

This summer, Ferris State University welcomed more than 2,100 new students to campus in Big Rapids who will inject new energy and bring fresh perspectives.

Orientation started on June 14 and covered a 16-day period as the campus pulled together to pull yet another enthusiastic welcoming party for the newest Bulldogs.

New student orientation is a special time of the year for the newbies, but also for the student orientation leaders at Ferris.

“Orientation brings new energy to our campus and we’re excited about the new students who are coming to Ferris and doing what we can to help them make the transition,” Ferris Dean of Student Life Leroy Wright said. “We’re also energized about helping parents. We’re trying to help students feel like Ferris is going to be the place for them and this is going to be their home away from home.”

In this video, University Advancement and Marketing student videographer Chris Wilson took time to visit various facilities as he put together this presentation on Ferris' student orientation leaders.

In shooting this particular video, Chris interviewed Nicholas Campau, coordinator of Student Life at Ferris; Jasmine Williams, a Student Life assistant; Melissa DiVietri, a student orientation leader; and Laura Wroblewski, also a student orientation leader.

Ferris State University student orientation leaders pose for a photo inside the Timme Center for Student Services on the Big Rapids campus. The student orientation leaders were at their energetic best throughout the groups of new students coming to Ferris for orientation.

Check Out The Petoskey Marching Band Friday At Ferris State University's Top Taggart Field

It's band camp season once again at Ferris State University. This week, Ferris is hosting the Petoskey Marching Band.

The Petoskey Marching Band will be having its performance on Friday, July 30 at 6:30 p.m. at Top Taggart Field and everyone is welcome to come watch the performance.

Petoskey has been coming to Ferris for close to 20 years and if you have never seen them perform, you are in for a real treat.

With More than 210 students, they give a powerhouse performance and fans will amazed how much band members learn in one week of rehearsals.

Anyone with questions can contact Adam Wetherell, coordinator of camps and conferences at Ferris, at (231) 591-5824, or by e-mail:

The Approach Of Career Services To Student Learning Activities And Assessments

In today’s competitive job market, employers tell us they are looking for well-rounded candidates. The degree gets them in the door, but a student’s transferable or “soft skills” also play an important part. For this reason, the Career Services office is offering Certificates of Participation in a variety of transferable skills, such as customer service and promotional skills. Students participate in three one hour long sessions to earn their certificate. This gives students who don’t have an internship requirement, haven’t held student employment jobs, or those that just want a resume builder the opportunity to gain these important skills.

In February 2010, a Promotional Skills Certificate was offered. The objectives were:

  • Build and maintain positive customer relationships
  • Develop a positive, professional attitude
  • Learn the importance of being knowledgeable of themselves and the product/service they’re promoting
  • Use listening skills to anticipate customer needs
  • Understand company branding
  • Brand themselves in their job search
Our learning assessment was having each participant “sell” themselves to the class. The presentation had to be less than one minute long and could be anything they wanted. Some students sold their resume, some gave their 30 second commercial, some told us why we should hire them, and some even created unique poems or handouts.

Each presentation was critiqued by everyone in the classroom, includ­ing two Ferris staff members. Each learning objective was rated on a 1-5 scale with 5 being the best. The presentation critiques showed:
  • Knowledge of Product—average score was 4.5
  • Positive attitude—average score was 4.3
  • Communication skills—average score was 4.2
  • Building Relationship with audience—average score was 4
  • Professionalism—average score was 4.3
  • Uniqueness (branding)—average score was 4
The scores show our participants not only learned but exhibited the skills we were teaching them. Nineteen students earned a Promotional Skills Certificate.

Angie Roman serves as coordinator of Career Services at Ferris State University. This article was first published in the June 2010 Student Affairs Assessment Newsletter.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ferris Alumni Success Stories: Mahogany Reynolds-Clarke Scores with Movie Roles

With a leading role in the feature-length independent film The Boy with the Sun in His Eyes, another major role in the film One Hit Wonder, and a bit role in Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail, Mahogany Reynolds-Clarke (AS'93), known to many of her classmates as Julie, is moving from the fashion runway to the movie set.

Mahogany's modeling career also includes print and television in addition to such fashion coups as being a top model during the 2007 Detroit Fashion Week. Even though it seems like a big change to play Solange, a "hit woman" who wreaks havoc (albeit fabulously) across Europe, Mahogany says she felt a kinship upon reading the script.

"I felt like the character was basically me minus the assassinations! I wanted to do an action-type film, because it seems to me there aren't a lot of African-American actresses who get those kinds of roles. It was a lot of hard work physically, but it was exhilarating."

In making the successful transition to acting, Mahogany typifies the kind of dedication to craft that so many careers in the creative arts require. She hopes that others follow the dreams they have instead of settling for easier, but less fulfilling paths.

"I encourage current students and fellow graduates to pursue your passion. When you have faith and determination you can achieve anything," she says.

More information about Mahogany along with links to sites for her films is available at

Ferris Alumni Success Stories: Bill Martin’s Cargo of Hope

A message from Bill Martin carries with it a sense of adventure and the exotic which makes it stand out from more mundane e-mails:

“The M/V Africa Mercy is currently on station in the Port of Cotonou, Benin, West Africa, until Dec. 8, 2009, and then sails to Tenerife, Canary Islands, for six weeks of ship maintenance and inspections. My plans are to depart Cotonou via Air France on Dec. 9 and fly to my home on the Isle of Palms, S.C., for the holidays. I return to the ship in Tenerife on Jan. 17, 2010. We will sail to Lome, Togo, West Africa, for a 24-week Field Service beginning Feb. 10 and then to South Africa for five months of dry-dock to replace our four large generators.”

The 499-foot M/V Africa Mercy is the world’s largest charity hospital ship, which in the past 22 years has performed more than 32,500 surgeries, treated more than 212,000 people in village medical clinics and developed healthcare infrastructure in West Africa by working with local professionals to train others in primary care and surgical skills. Martin is the Africa Mercy’s hospital director, a position he found himself in due to a combination of talent, commitment and envy.

A Busy Retirement

“A little over 12 years ago I retired and started doing work around the world,” Martin says via satellite phone from Cotonou. “I had 22 high school or college exchange students who stayed in my home, and I decided I wanted to travel because I was envious of them.” The path Martin travelled to first contract the travel bug and then become an influential figure in West African healthcare was a circuitous one—albeit one that prepared him well.

After graduating from Ferris with a degree in Business Administration in December 1969, Martin worked for U.S. Congressman Elford A. Cederberg, then-ranking minority member on the House Appropriations Committee. He then spent 18 months with the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam. Martin returned to northern Michigan, becoming involved first with building a ski resort in West Branch, then with constructing rural health clinics, which he did for eight years before specializing in turning around struggling HMOs. After his retirement he was able to put his medical managerial skills to new uses.

For the full version of the story, visit here.

Video Highlights Ferris State University's Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom March

Check out this group of videos compiled together reflecting on the Office of Multicultural Student Services Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom March on Jan. 18 at Ferris State University in Big Rapids.

In this video are highlights from the march and words spoken at the post-march rally from President David Eisler, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Fritz Erickson, Vice President for Student Affairs Dan Burcham, Chief Diversity Office David Pilgrim, MLK Planning Committee co-chairs Michael Wade and Hurdylyn Woods.

Check out the video as posted on YouTube:

Ferris State University News Headlines

Ferris State University’s educational opportunities expanded last spring with the addition of a new doctoral degree program in community college leadership. Andie Wirgau has recently come on board as coordinator for the program. Read her story below; plus, learn how one student hit a homerun with his summer job.

Wirgau Joins Ferris as Coordinator of New Doctoral Program

Andie Wirgau’s passion for leadership and learning has led her back to Michigan to join Ferris State University’s College of Professional and Technological Studies’ staff as coordinator of the Doctorate in Community College Leadership (DCCL) program, the Big Rapids Pioneer reports. Wirgau, who most recently served as coordinator of student activities at the College of DuPage in Elgin, Ill., envisions Ferris as an opportunity to return to Michigan and make a difference in a program she fully endorses. A Lowell native and graduate of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Wirgau has settled in nicely in her role as DCCL coordinator, which she began June 14.“Ferris is a great opportunity because it melds my two passions, leadership and lifelong learning,” said Wirgau, who was active in course instruction, budget management, diversity initiatives and more at the College of DuPage. “This job is exciting because I will perform a lot of logistical services for our incoming students, do some recruiting, help with the admissions process, register students and more.” Read more at

Ferris Junior Relishes Summer Job as Detroit Tigers Batboy

Andrew Crebessa wasn’t much of a baseball fan growing up. The 2008 Greenville High School graduate was more focused on a softer yellow ball and played four years on the varsity tennis team, reports the Grand Rapids Press. Crebessa’s feelings about baseball changed last year when he landed a summer job with the Detroit Tigers. The 20-year-old Ferris State University junior is in the midst of his second season as one of the team’s batboys. “When I came here I wasn’t a huge baseball fan, and I didn’t know a ton about it,” said Crebessa, who is majoring in Criminal Justice. “I didn’t play (baseball) in high school or anything. But now, it’s basically my life and I love it.” Family ties presented Crebessa with the job opportunity. His uncle, Tyson Steele, is the clubhouse assistant for the Tigers. Read more at