by Carman Plank - Nov. 6, 2013
Ferris State University has offered Erin Williams more than she ever could have imagined. Since she arrived at Ferris, in 2009, the university has been a source of opportunity and a home.
Williams, of Macomb Township, enrolled at Ferris for its Dental Hygiene program but changed her major to Allied Health Sciences to become a respiratory therapist. She is now a senior in the program and set to graduate in December from the university she loves.
“I wasn’t just another number here at Ferris,” she said. “The faculty and students care about you and take the time to get to know you.”
During the past four years, Williams has been very involved on campus. She has been a member of Student Government since 2011 and last year served as vice president. She was elected president last spring and is serving in that capacity for the fall semester. (Vice president Andrew Kalinowski, of Stevensville, a junior in the Professional Golf Management program, takes over as president for the spring semester.)
“I joined Student Government to make a change and bring awareness to the campus,” Williams said. “I started as the representative of the Student Ambassador Organization to be a voice, not only for current students but also for potential students.”
The organization, which is made up of student representatives from every college and registered student organization on campus, represents student interests in all aspects of campus life and maintains communication between students, staff, administration and the Big Rapids community.
Student Government also organizes several campus- and community-service efforts, including Pancakes with the President, an event held each semester to give students a study break during final exam week, and The Big Event, which mobilizes hundreds of volunteers in a spring-cleanup effort.
Involvement in Student Government has made Williams a better person and taught her more about Ferris than she ever would have known, she said. She especially enjoyed working with Kalinowski and Lonie Donald III on “United We Stand, Divided We Fall,” a 2012 event presented by Student Government and Black Leaders Aspiring for Critical Knowledge.
“Student Government really is a learning experience,” she said. “It has taught me how to lead effectively and efficiently.”
In addition to her work with Student Government, Williams also serves as president of the Respiratory Care Association RSO and worked as a summer orientation leader.
“Getting involved on campus has really opened me up to a multitude of opportunities both on and off campus,” she said. “I was able to learn a lot about what Ferris had to offer for students both academically and personally.”
Williams works every other weekend at Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Mich. as a respiratory care extern. After graduation, she hopes to get a full-time position at Hurley.
Carman Plank is a News Services student writer in University Advancement and Marketing.
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