Individuals honored include Jan Eckert, Alumni Relations Assistant, University Advancement and Marketing; Linda Faysal, Secretary II, Design, Manufacturing and Graphic Arts; Linda Golden, Account Clerk III, Academic Affairs; Scott Hill-Kennedy, General Counsel; Dan Hurley, Placement Coordinator, Career Services; Audrey Lyons, Library Information Services Assistant II, LIS Collection Management; and Rex Richardson, Environmental Health and Safety Technician, Physical Plant Administration.
The seven were chosen through the nomination of their peers and by review of President William Sederburg and the Distinguished Staff Awards Committee. The award recognizes those employees not directly involved in teaching. Criteria for selection are a positive attitude and enthusiasm for Ferris; excellence in performance of duties; interest in students or demonstrated cooperation with other staff; participation as a member of the University community; and public service to others.
Eckert, a Ferris employee since 1974, has been with the Alumni Office for the past eight years. In addition to her secretarial and coordinator duties for Alumni events, she is a member of her area's Spirit Team which promotes employee motivation and raises funds for campus and community projects such as Relay for Life. She also assists at the Welcome Tents during orientation. Her community service includes 12 years as her department's United Way representative, and chairing the Morley-Stanwood school carnival. In 1996, she co-chaired the committee that helped pass the bond issue to build the new Morley-Stanwood High School.
"I feel Ferris is one of the best employers in our area," said Eckert. "The opportunities of growing professionally and personally are unlimited."
Faysal has been with Ferris for 19 years, beginning as a clerk-typist in the Accounting Office. She went on to serve 14 years with Katke Golf Course before moving to her current position in the College of Technology in September of 1995. Faysal is responsible for meeting the needs of an assistant dean, three program coordinators, 32 faculty, and more than 400 students.
"The never-ending diversity keeps me young," said Faysal. "What do I like most about my position? Graduation. When I see all those young people going off into the world and prepared to succeed, I feel a great deal of pride that I had a part in their achievement."
Golden has spent the last 10 of her 13 years at Ferris in the Office of Academic Affairs. Her position entails more than handling the normal financial functions for the office. She helped establish the "Account Clerks Quality Process Group," which has facilitated information sharing, continuity of data and resources between Colleges, and making account clerks across campus an integral part of the budget management team.
"What I like best about my job is that I believe in what I am doing," Golden said.
Hill-Kennedy serves Ferris as a behind-the-scenes team member. From 1991-93 he was employed as Assistant General Counsel, and in 1994 was appointed General Counsel. His position directs the activities of a full-service law office as well as the labor relations and affirmative action functions of the University. He was a key figure in the recent contract settlement between FSU and the Ferris Faculty Association.
"What I like so much about my position is that the Office of the General Counsel continues to improve the professional services it provides to our campus colleagues," said Hill-Kennedy. "It is a pleasure to come to work with good colleagues who believe with you that your activities are making a positive difference on campus."
Hurley began employment with the University in September of 1994 as a graduate assistant in the Career Planning & Placement Office (now the Office of Career Services). He served as Interim Director during the summer of 1995 and has been Placement Coordinator for the past two years. His primary function is to serve as the job search consultant for the University's student and alumni populations.
"The part of my job that I enjoy the most is teaching students the art and skill of marketing themselves," said Hurley. "This usually takes place during times of individual counseling. I enjoy working with students, helping them identify and successfully market their talents."
Hurley has also been busy in the community, serving as a board member (and a term as president) of the Mecosta County Area Chamber of Commerce. He chairs the Governmental Affairs Council and is a Chamber Ambassador.
Lyons, who retired April 30, 1998, was part of the Ferris family for over 30 years. Her responsibilities within the Timme Library were always demanding and detailed. She adapted with ease to the new automated systems, embracing the new technology with enthusiasm and good humor.
"The students are what made my job interesting," said Lyons. "I have trained hundreds of students, and a lot of them consider me almost a grandmother. They came to me for advice and made my years at Ferris very rewarding."
Richardson has dedicated 30 years to the campus and surrounding community. His interest in students is ensuring that they can live and learn in a safe environment.
In conjunction with his position at Ferris, he serves as Assistant Fire Chief for the Big Rapids Charter Township Fire Department, as a Medical First Responder with the Fire Department, and as a Fire Investigator for the Mecosta County Sheriff Department. He is on-call 24 hours a day, weekends and holidays included. Anytime there is a safety hazard on campus, he responds immediately, assesses the situation, and takes appropriate corrective actions.
"I enjoy working with people and assisting in their time of need," Richardson said.