Friday, April 15, 2011

2011 Michigan Energy Conference Video

Shakespeare's Birthday (Apr. 19)

Since 1996 the Shakespeare’s Birthday celebration at Ferris State University has been a way for students, faculty and staff to mark the birthday of the bard.

The event will be held on Apr. 19 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Quad.

Professor Elizabeth Stolarek first began the Shakespeare’s Birthday celebration in the College of Arts and Sciences atrium as an “All Day Reading of the Sonnets” in which faculty, staff, students and the Big Rapids community would take turns reading Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets.

Associate Professor and Program Coordinator Chris Vonder Haar of the Department of Languages and Literature said, “It’s just a fun way for the campus and community to come together to enjoy student performances of selected sonnets and comic scenes, or to join in the hurling of Shakespeare’s insults or, a crowd favorite, to cheer on of the swordfighters.”

The annual observance of Shakespeare’s birthday, believed to have taken place on April 23, 1564, has grown at Ferris including not only the reading of sonnets but also acting out scenes from various Shakespearean plays performed by Ferris students in costumes of that time period.

“Every year, those in attendance are entertained and at the same time learn alittle more about Shakespeare, arguably the greatest poet and playwright in the English language,” VonderHaar said.

Approximately 250 high school students will be in attendance from the Big Rapids High School.

Other local schools have also been asked to attend.

The Languages and Literature department will host the event.

Annual Easter Egg Hunt (Apr. 18)

Come out and have fun at Ferris State University UREC's Annual Easter Egg Hunt!

The Hunt will be on Apr. 18 from 6 to 10 a.m. at Top Taggert Field.

Children 12 and under will start the hunt at 6:30 a.m. Children 13 and older will begin their hunt at 7:30 a.m.

Registration for the event begins on Apr. 11 and ends at 6 a.m. on Apr. 18.

The cost is $3 per person, cash or check acceptable.

All our welcome to join!

Contact Fernado Labra at (231) 591-2678 for more information.

BGC 2011 Step Show (Apr. 30)

Ferris State University's Black Greek Council is hosting the 2011 BGC Step Show

The show will take place in Williams Auditorium from 6 to 10 p.m. on Apr. 30.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. with the showing starting at 6:30 p.m.

Cost is $10 per person to attend and tickets can be found at the Williams Auditorium.

Contact Brandon Cole at (231) 591- 2617 for more information.

Pilgrim to Speak at NAACP Forum in Detroit

Ferris State University's Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion and curator of the Jim Crow Museum Dr. David Pilgrim will speak at a national forum on contemporary racism and intolerance.
The NAACP's Detroit branch will host the forum, intended to be the first part of a national discussion of diversity, at the United Auto Workers-General Motors Human Resource Center in Detroit.
From PRNewswire:

On Saturday, April 30, 2011 at the UAW/General Motors, located at 200 Walker Street in downtown Detroit, we will present a National Forum entitled "From Symbols of Hate to Portraits of Understanding." This Forum will bring together members of the Muslim, African American, Native American, Latino, Jewish, and Gay communities to address, identify the problems and prescribe some solutions for these very serious matters.
This National Discussion will begin with a special presentation from Dr. David Pilgrim of Ferris State University entitled: "Them: Images of Separation" sponsored by the Jim Crow Museum of Racists Memorabilia. Other participants will be Rev. Dr. John Mendez, Pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church of Winston-Salem, NC., Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota, member of the House Financial Services Committee, David Victor, Chairman, American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Ms. Nickole Fox, Health Education Director for the American Indian Health and Family Services Organization, representing the Native American Community, Curtis Lipscomb, Executive Director of KICK, representing the Gay community, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade of the Eastern District, speaking for the Civil Rights Division, U.S. Justice Department, Imam Dawud Walid, Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and Mr. Paul Perez, Regional Coordinator of the Justice for Our Neighbors Organization, representing the Latino Community.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Vern Ehlers Speaks At Michigan Energy Conference At Ferris State University

Ferris State University's Professional Tennis Management Banquet To Be Streamed Live

The 2011 Ferris State University Professional Tennis Management Banquet Weekend will be streamed live via the Ustream online service.

Here is a link to the PTM Ustream page:

Ferris Student-Athletes Participate In The Big Event

A "winning" performance was turned in by a number of Ferris State University student-athletes at The Big Event held this last Saturday (April 9) in the Big Rapids community as members of both the women's soccer and men's ice hockey program participated in various city-wide improvement projects.

The Bulldog student-athletes were among a record-setting 1,600 volunteers from Ferris State who gathered at the FSU Campus Quad Saturday morning before dispersing throughout the Big Rapids community to perform more than 200 service projects for local residents within a four-hour time frame. Those who volunteered received their project assignments, tools for the projects and a free "Big Event" T-shirt.

A total of fifteen FSU women's soccer student-athletes along with head coach
Matt Kellogg were Big Event participants this year. Comprising the group were Cassie Aro, Kelsey Aubil, Bri Borgman, Sam Boyle,Hillary Braun, Logan DeClercq, Amanda Foster, Rachel McCollum,Courtney Meharg, Audra Merino, Hillary Procunier, Kasey Ruimveld, Mekyla Spraggins, Katie Syring, and Cassie VanderSloot. Representatives from the FSU men's ice hockey team included Cory Kane, Andy Huff, Eric Alexander, Kyle Bonis,Tommy Hill, and Derek Graham.

For the complete version of this story, visit the Ferris Athletics website, here:

Ferris' Professional Tennis Management Program Is Celebrating 25th Anniversary

Ferris State University’s highly-respected Professional Tennis Management program plans to serve some love at its 2011 PTM Banquet Weekend in recognition of 25 years of continuous success. PTM’s celebration of “25 Years of Excellence” will be held this Friday and Saturday, April 15 and 16, in Big Rapids at the Racquet and Fitness Center and the Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center.

PTM alumni, tennis professionals, guest speakers, students, faculty and staff will be in attendance throughout a busy weekend of activities.

The banquet weekend’s keynote speaker, sponsored by Wilson, will be Todd Martin, a former highly-ranked tour professional who was rated as high as No. 4 in the world. For the complete version of this story, visit the

News Services website at:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ferris State Live Features Ferris Fest And Upcoming Higher Learning Commission Visit

We had a fun episode of Ferris State Live as we welcomed Lindsey Parker from Entertainment Unlimited to discuss the Ferris Fest concert.

FSL also had Ferris faculty member Sandy Balkema stop by to chat about the upcoming visit for the Higher Learning Commission related to critical accreditation.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Ferris State University Students Participate In The Big Event

The Big Event from the Ferris News Services website:

Training Life-saving HeroRATs in Africa: Psychology Speaker Dr. Alan Poling

Dr. Alan Poling, professor of Psychology at Western Michigan University, will speak at Ferris State University on Tuesday, April 12 at 7 p.m. in IRC 120 as part of the Psychology colloquium series. He will discuss his work to train rats to sniff out two very serious threats to human health and safety – landmines and tuberculosis infection.

Poling also works as a psychopharmacologist and behavior analyst for the Tanzanian non-governmental organization APOPO—the Dutch acronym for Anti-Personnel Landmines Detection Product Development. The organization was founded in the mid-1990s out of humanitarian concerns about unexploded ordnance in formerly war-torn regions. In January, Ferris Psychology professor Dr. Jeffrey Nagelbush read an article about Poling’s work and began efforts to bring Poling to Ferris to speak.

“I knew about the problem of land mines and efforts to ban their use for many years,” says Nagelbush. “Then, on the front page of the Grand Rapids Press was an article about Alan Poling, who helped train rats to detect these mines. I was fascinated and intrigued. This seemed like a perfect opportunity to show our students how material they were learning in our courses could be used to impact the world in a meaningful way.”

Each year, such leftover devices kill thousands of persons, approximately half of them children, often in nations that lack the financial or technological resources to practice effective demining. African pouched rats trained through the HeroRATs program at APOPO use their keen senses of smell to locate landmines for removal, clearing over 4,200 unexploded devices to date.

The HeroRATs are ideal for this type of work because they are low-tech, highly trainable and lightweight, so they do not trigger the explosives as other animal or human workers might. A readily available and environmentally sustainable resource, the rats require only good care and training – and a banana or peanut reward – for their efforts.

“A unique aspect of APOPO is that it's dedicated to coming up with local solutions to local problems,” says Poling. "For me, this has certainly been a life-changing experience and a great opportunity to do humanitarian work.”

Recent research also has shown the rats to be highly effective at sniffing out lab samples infected with pulmonary tuberculosis, which kills more people worldwide than any other infectious disease. Standard detection methods for TB involve culturing, which is accurate but very slow, or microscopy, which is slightly quicker but less accurate. The HeroRATs can smell samples much more quickly, sniffing hundreds of samples per day, while a human technician can analyze only 30 or 40. Poling’s research focuses on establishing the rats’ accuracy, which his preliminary findings suggest is better than microscopy. HeroRATs’ faster, more reliable and lower-cost detection method has already been a lifesaver for some. Since APOPO began using the HeroRATs in TB detection services for five Tanzanian hospitals, the rats have detected 620 TB cases that first-round screening missed, increasing detection by 44 percent.

“Our rats presently are used in second-line screening. The patients they detect were missed by the directly observed treatment centers and would not receive treatment, save for being detected at APOPO,” explains Poling. Since each person with active TB infects 15 other people per year on average, HeroRATs have likely prevented 9,300 additional cases of TB infection.

Poling applies learning theory to the rats’ training, regimenting it and establishing protocols for research and data analysis, which makes his work of special interest to Psychology students at Ferris.

“One of the major topics we discuss in many of our Psychology courses is learning. We present a number of different types of learning. Dr. Poling uses some of these types of learning we discuss in his training of the African rats. So our students can see a direct application of course material to helping solve a real world problem,” explains Nagelbush.

“The Social Sciences department believes it is important for our students to apply their skills and knowledge to the real world. Many of our faculty members have students do projects that involve working with people or institutions outside of the classroom. Dr. Poling's talk will provide a model of how the information students learn here can be helpful to the wider world,” Nagelbush adds. “We hope he might inspire some of our students to look for similar opportunities in their own lives.”

For more information on Dr. Poling’s lecture, visit or contact Dr. Nagelbush at

For more information on APOPO and the HeroRATs program, visit