The articles in this issue of
highlight in dramatic fashion
how Ferris faculty members teach, work and collaborate with our
students. With this guidance, Ferris students apply their learning in real-
world settings and turn their intellectual curiosity toward answering
questions that have the potential for such practical applications as
curing melanoma and making a better contact lens.
Ferris has long been a place where academic inquiry has an applied
focus, but our Student Research Fellowship Program (page 19)
has sharpened this. When students work on research projects with
faculty experts, it is an enhanced learning experience — offering the
opportunity for publication, product creation or process discovery.
At Ferris, we are fortunate to have extraordinary students. We see this
in the collaboration of our Television and Digital Media Production
students with the Grand Rapids Symphony to create promotional
videos for the orchestra in “Classic(al) Music Videos” (page 23). In
“Renewable Resources” (page 29), senior Zach Totten explains that
the experience he has gained in Ferris’ Energy Systems Engineering
Program can be applied to the growing field of wind energy generation.
It is immensely rewarding to work at a university that cultivates talent
and helps students reach their full potential.
We believe that this close collaboration and interaction between
talented students and dedicated faculty is at the core of the rich
educational experience we provide. As a university community we
work to create a sense of place where opportunities for learning and
collaboration extend even beyond the classroom. The merger of
our Kendall College of Art and Design with the Urban Institute for
Contemporary Arts (page 37) is a prime example of this. We now have
a Kendall campus that comprises the Kendall building, the Woodbridge
N. Ferris Building, student housing at 5 Lyon, and the UICA’s public
exhibition areas and theater. This creates extraordinary opportunities
for Kendall students to grow as artists and designers in a city rapidly
becoming known for its art and culture.
Taken together, our faculty, students and campuses create an
environment that nurtures students’ curiosity and talents, and provides
ways this next generation can become the problem-solvers, citizens
and leaders our nation needs. Woodbridge and Helen Ferris started
their school 129 years ago to teach students such skills as how to keep
ledger books or operate a telegraph. Today, students sequence DNA
and manipulate virtual realities. But the end goal is the same — to give
students the skills they need to succeed.
By providing research fellowships and other opportunities, we invest
not only in our students’ future, but in a future in which our graduates
will, to echo the words of Woodbridge Ferris, make the world a better
place. I encourage you to take time now to help our students. Please
and click on the “Giving and Alumni” tab to make that
important difference. Thank you!
David L. Eisler