Minds Aflame Event May 23 to Feature Campus Experts, Guest Speakers on ‘Globalization and Ferris’

Ferris State UniversityFaculty, staff, students and Big Rapids community members are invited to consider the global economy, and community the afternoon of Tuesday, May 23. Ferris State University’s Office of International Education will offer a Minds Aflame event, “Globalization and Ferris,” as part of the university’s multi-year “Beyond” series.

Piram Prakasam is director of Ferris’ Office of International Education, and he said the program, to be held in Room 202 of the University Center, is designed with the needs of students and the community in mind.

“What are known as ‘Ted Talks’ generally follow a two-day format, with 20 speakers, which is primarily developed for an audience in the technology, engineering and design fields,” Prakasam said. “We have arranged for our nine speakers to make 15-to 25-minute presentations, offering an opportunity for students to participate in a flexible format, to gain useful information about their place in the global economy, and community, all in the course of an afternoon.”

Mike Wade, assistant director of Ferris’ Office of Multicultural Student Services, will host the event, and President David Eisler will offer the welcoming address, at 1 p.m. The program is arranged in two sessions, with Prakasam and other OIE and university staffers presenting along the concept of “reframing,” and, Prakasam said, following a break beginning at 2:20 p.m., a variety of campus speakers and guests will address “engaging.”

“Without giving away their messages, Juanita Lillie, of Coopersville, will give her perspective on the Study Abroad program, and her hopes to expand such opportunities for students with special needs, and Arya Rao, of Big Rapids, a young woman, who determined as a high school student, that she would carry on a family tradition of learning and community involvement.”

Other presenters in Minds Aflame, beyond Prakasam, are Julie Alexander of Ferris’ Educational Counseling and Disabilities Services office, West Michigan English Language Institute Academic Coordinator Louis Arokiasamy, Honors Program director Peter Bradley, Education Abroad Coordinator William Sartore, and OIE Assistant Director Lisa VonReichbauer.

“We seek to inform our audience by giving them useful details to engage them in a way that will encourage their involvement and activity in programs like Study Abroad and to inspire them to take action, for themselves, or the benefit of others,” Prakasam said. “While these concepts may present some problems, our presenters intend to frame them as a prospect for action and change which creates opportunities for the greater experiences of our faculty, staff and students. Ubuntu, or a continuing theme of interconnectedness, is explored throughout the course of this event.”

Anyone wishing to attend the presentation who requires special accommodations should contact the Office of International Education at (231) 591-2450.


PHOTO CAPTION: Ferris State University President David Eisler will be among the speakers at “Minds Aflame,” a program as part of the continuing “Beyond” series, on Tuesday, May 23. Eisler will give the welcome address for the event, beginning at 1 p.m.