Pat on the Back Awards 2016-17

The Ferris State University Pride Committee continues to recognize and reward the small ways that we show our Ferris Pride.  The Pat-on-the-Back Award is a quick, easy, fun way to let someone know that they did a good thing and someone noticed.

This award is an easy and excellent way to thank a Ferris employee or student for exhibiting pride and doing something good for others through their actions.

To nominate someone, email [email protected] with your name and address, the nominee's name and address, and the reason you have chosen this faculty, staff, or student for a Pat-on-the-Back award.

Thank you for the great participation for this fun and important award.

Congratulations to the following individuals for receiving a Pat-On-The Back recognition. Each candidate will receive a Pat-On-The Back Certificate.

Awardees for June 2017:

Dissertations are a daunting task and Alison Konieczny has served as a tremendous resource. Thank you Alison for your support and time.

Awardees for March, April and May 2017:

I would like to nominate Brian McDowell for a Pat on the Back Award. He is a faculty member in the Michigan College of Optometry and this doctorate program is very grueling. He goes above and beyond for each student he teaches to make time to work with them when they need help and guidance. During this past week with critical proficiency exams, he came in on Saturday to work with a student to ensure they had any assistance/guidance they needed to be successful for their exam on Monday. He is always putting the student first and wants to help every Optometry student succeed. 

I would like to nominate Kevin Carmody, Nicholas Smith, Kaitlin Zies and Ferris student Patrick Maloney for their help on Friday Feb. 24. Kevin, was instrumental in ensuring that Harry Potter Team Trivia went smoothly through his diligent research and assistance in asking questions. Nicholas was our main contact in reserving the University Center, ordering catering, and getting the rights to the movie. Kaitlin stayed late Friday night to help score trivia and offer her expertise in planning the event. Patrick was our student government liaison and helped promote our event throughout the week, including a giant movie banner to hang in the University Center.

We would like to nominate Sean Waanders, Senior Systems Administrator, for a Pat on the Back Award. Sean notified our dean’s office that he could see someone in distress on our security camera. He alerted the office that this individual may be in need of assistance. At a time when people hesitate to get involved. Sean alerted us to a situation that we otherwise would not have been aware of. Contact was made by our staff with the individual to assess his needs and fortunately, the person was okay and appreciated that someone was looking out for his well-being. It is nice to know that the security features installed are working and that there are people like Sean who help us help others in need. Thank you Sean.

FLITE would like to give Dan VanHorn and his student crew a kudos for the great job they have done moving furniture around for us at FLITE. Dan is always there for us when we need him and we appreciate the work he and the team do for us.

FLITE would like to pat Dave Golden on the back for his awesome craftsmanship refinishing our old tables and desks. They now look great again and appreciate his dedication to making them look like new again.

FLITE would like to thank Jeff Warner and his FLITE crew especially Rachel for the work within the Reading room, we appreciate all of our custodial crew’s efforts to maintain FLITE. Thank you.

I am nominating FSU Police Officer Nicholas Greenway for a Pat on the Back Award. One evening, while we were having very windy and cold weather during spring break, Officer Greenway went way out of his way (literally – he will understand this) to help me retrieve my lost cell phone. It appeared stolen as it was making its way across the highway, fast food places and all over campus and campus housing, while we tracked it moving around on the “Find my cell phone” app through our spotty internet technology. Officer Greenway never gave up the “chase” and through many twists and turns to this story, plus a “three hour tour” (again, he will get this) … he located it for me, and then we had some laughs. The next morning, I received a call that someone found it and apparently was in the midst of returning it the evening while we were tracking it--this has been one unique story, I must say.  I am a very relieved, thankful and lucky staff member, and this has created a fun story to tell.  Officer Greenway, thank you again - you are one of the best.  We are proud that you serve FSU and are very happy you have made FSU part of your career.

I would like to nominate the Financial Aid office clerical staff – Brenda White, Debbie Lunsted, Kim Galloway, Laurie Kilbourne, Lori Griffith and Nancy Walcutt  for a Pat on the Back Award. These ladies provide amazing customer service both on the phones and on the front desk every single day – regardless of how demanding and time-consuming their other duties may be. The patience, helpfulness and kindness that they exhibit to students, parents and FSU staff from across campus sets FSU’s Financial Aid office apart from many other schools. They step up to the plate to help cover additional duties as assigned, and they do so with a positive attitude and grace. These ladies are extremely valuable assets to the University and greatly deserve a pat on the back.

I would like to nominate Bruce Borkovich for a Pat On The Back Award for his help with Music Takes Action. Bruce gave up part of his Friday evening to come, in uniform, to our concert to provide an extra police presence. Additionally, he was kind enough to jump right in where he saw areas he could help.

I’d like to send a Pat on the Back award to Greg Kehr with the HVAC crew for his work in Vandercook Hall on April 11. He responded quickly to the work order and was able to replace the heat control mechanisms.  The Vandercook residents are very appreciative that the building is no longer 80-plus degrees. Thank you, Greg, for your work.

I would like to recommend Carla Hatfield for a Pat on the Back award. She works in a difficult position, as parking specialist, and normally only hears complaints from people who do not want to pay for their ticket violations. I have worked with Carla on many parking-related issues and each and every time she has demonstrated professionalism, and always goes above and beyond to help. Working with these types of situations is so much easier when you can work with people like Carla.

I would like to nominate Mary Holmes for a Pat on the Back Award. She took many calls during the migration of Blackboard. She was often trouble shooting problems that were not caused internally, and even then was able to help work through the process. Her patience in fixing problems more than once and dealing with upset users is noteworthy. Thanks for your assistance, persistence, and patience Mary.

Awardees for February 2017:

I would like to nominate, for a Pat on the Back award, Carrie Weis of the Fine Art Gallery. Carrie is responsible, among other things, for setting up and organizing the wonderful displays at the gallery every year. She is knowledgeable, organized, friendly and enthusiastic in her professional approach to the arts that appeal to the Ferris students and faculty community, and indeed to the entire Big Rapids community. Ferris is fortunate to have someone such as Carrie, and I feel privileged to nominate her.

I would like to nominate Debbie Lunsted, from the Student Employment Office. She has been super helpful and amazingly patient while assisting my office with student payments. She has gone above and beyond more than once to move the payments along. I really appreciate her kindness and great customer service towards her fellow colleagues.

Our list of nominees also includes:

Shawnee Griffin - For always putting in extra effort to help her coworkers when needed.

Amber Morgan - For always having a smile on her face and making everybody feel welcome.

Mark Lunsted - For helping his coworkers as often as he can without being asked.

The Entire Grounds Department for doing a great job during our most recent snowstorm.

Awardees for January 2017:

I would like to submit Sean Gray and Matthew Wood for a Pat-on-the-Back award. Given very short notice of the need for a new software, these two student technicians stepped up and assisted with installing the new software on a multitude of computers. The computers were urgently needed for an important university program. Without hesitation, they provided support to another area of campus beyond their usual area. Their willingness to assist and ability to fulfill the need above and beyond customer service are worthy of this award. Thank you, gentlemen.


Awardees for December 2016:

I’m very pleased to recommend Emily Zoet for a Pat on the back award. I cannot think of anyone more deserving. She manages the Disbursements Office, as a true leader and professional, always with the utmost concern for those working for her. She is also ready to lend friendly assistance to those needing help with Concur. In addition to this, she has extended herself to manage the Payroll Department as well. This, she has done with determination, and commitment to quality, growth and progress. Emily has a true vision and not afraid to take risks and often suggests new directions to explore. She inspires her team members to do the same. She has put in long hours and a lot of hard work She deserves, at the very least, a pat on the back. Great Job Emily.


Awardees for November 2016:

I would like to recognize and thank Annette Keyt, Mark Wilson and our student worker Alli Brandt for all of their help to ensure we had a successful internship interview day on Nov. 3, 2016. They helped field phone calls from employers and students wanting to attend or cancel at the last minute, check students in and answer questions. We had more than 43 facilities and 60-plus PGA Golf Management students participate in the event. Several students received multiple job offers and employers were very impressed with the students they interviewed according to comments on the surveys they submitted.


Awardees for October 2016:

The names, listed below, were nominated in October 2016.

I would like to nominate the following employees for really being a very big part of our team. They have really helped out when needed, with not being asked to do so, taking the load off the rest of our employees and just helping out when really needed. They really show just how much a valued employee really is and I want them to be recognized in front of the entire University for doing such a great job. Jay Bush, Patrick MacGregor, Doug Dorn, Mary Maguire, Diane Maguire, Terri Morey, Bruce Borstler, Shawnee Griffin, Maralee Perry, Will Timothy, Mark Lundstead, Jeff Tellkamp, Mike Cousineau, Val Harley, Marlene Jehnsen, and Karen Rhody. I am extremely proud of them and they exemplify the very best of working as a team. Thank you for stepping up.

I would like to nominate Terry Langan from the Records Office for a Pat-on-the-back Award. She processes the numerous classroom changes and room requests so efficiently. She is very thorough and all of her hard work is behind the scenes that it can easily go underappreciated. Thanks for all you do.

I am nominating Melissa Saunders (PHR 210A) for a pat on the back award.  She helped a student who was feeling ill/anxious. Melissa helped the student calm down and took time out of her busy day to walk and talk with the student. She went way out of her way to help a student in need.

I’d like to nominate some individuals from the Political Engagement Project for a pat on the back. I attended the last presidential debate viewing session and we surprised to see about 180 students. Shana Schadler and Kristi Scholten were very busy making sure students were engaged and that everything ran smooth. Kudos to them for hosting this wonderful event.

I would like to nominate Rich Piippo for a Pat on the Back. He helped the Equity Conference 2017 planning group with some graphics. Rich did a great job and we are thankful.

Jessica Lyons assisted the Public Health Programs at the exhibit booth at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting. Her conference planning experience was a big help in organizing the booth. Her creative ideas helped draw many conference attendees to talk to us about our programs. She went beyond her call of duty to pick up after the students, too. She deserves many pats on her back.

We are pleased to submit the following Pat-On-The-Back Award nomination. Anne Hogenson, our director of marketing, recently took it upon herself to work several evenings and on one occasion, nearly all night, to adjust and enhance the editing for feature videos and other support items (signs, awards, etc.) that were part of the programs for multiple major external functions hosted by the University over the past few weeks. She did this to assist others who were assigned to these projects to ensure the quality of work representing the University to our external audiences was the best it could be, given the time and resource challenges facing her team.

We believe her willingness to go above and beyond to support Ferris and her team is deserving of this special award.


Awardees for September 2016:

I would like to nominate Kathy Carroll for the Pat-On-The-Back Award. We recently hosted a program for new students and Kathy went out of her way to connect with students individually to encourage their participation. This personal effort made such an impact on students that they not only attended the event, but they also shared with me how much they appreciate her sincerity and genuine care for students. Undoubtedly Kathy is one of those individuals on campus who makes Ferris a better place through her student focus and collaboration with other departments. Thank you for all that you do!

The Disbursements Office would like to send a HUGE thank you and Pat-on-the-Back to the individuals across Ferris’ campuses who helped with the distribution of the new Purchasing Cards. • Susan Bachinski • Michelle Balliet • Mary Bradshaw • Debbie Buck • Jill Bush • Julie Courtney • Nina Davis • Deanna Goldthwait • Kathy Hotz • Tasia Jefts • Geri Johnson • Elaine Kamptner • Linda Lamontagne • Pat Maguire • Danette Mondrella • Kaytlyn Sheldon • Chris Swank (also Melissa Wilkinson, Janitza Ocasio, Ella Shaw, Trish Bunce, Leona Royer, Pam Bogucki, Laurie Mumby, and Amy Truong) • Kristine Szot-Green • Josie VanAvery • Chris Vodry • Lisa Weiler • Kim Wilber • Shari Wessels • Deb Yost. These individuals didn’t hesitate to agree to help with the process. Because of them, new cards were distributed quickly and efficiently and with the least disruption to cardholders. We cannot thank you all enough. You all are a true testament to Ferris’ values of COLLABORATION and EXCELLENCE!

Awardees for August 2016:

I would like to nominate Amy Parks, Health Colleges Administrative Specialist, who has been with the Michigan College of Optometry (MCO) for a full year now.  A prospective student made a special trip to MCO just to thank Amy for her words of encouragement.  She told Amy that she really made a difference in her decision to pursue her studies to become a Doctor of Optometry prospective applicant.  The student came to Ferris from the Chicago area and has set her sights on attending MCO when she has an optometry school in her home state.  That speaks volumes about our program and the people advising our incoming applicants/students.

I would like to nominate Sharon DelBello and LeeAnn O'Neal for Pat-On-The-Back!  It is always busy in the Ferris IT department, but the beginning of Fall Semester is extremely busy.  I had hardware failures in my new PC replacement computer so I was trying to work off a surface to keep access and emails updated.  Sharon gave up a test machine she was using and she and LeeAnn wiped it, set up all of my applications, and gave it to me.  They did not have to do this, but they went above and beyond during their busiest time to make sure I could work properly.   I am so thankful! 

I would like to nominate Julie Alexander for her exemplary commitment to Ferris State University students with disabilities. She is one of the strongest advocates for this student group I have ever met here at FSU! She is a joy to work with and I truly appreciate her positive nature and calm demeanor.  Thanks for all you do!

I would like to nominate Todd Ballard for all the help he provided this Summer with the all the lift and hoist inspection. With the help he provided with receiving all the supplies needed to prepare for classes. The supplies were delayed on many occasions and required rescheduling--but he adjusted his schedule to help. Thank you!!

I’d like to nominate Patti Olson from Accounts Payable and Deb Parrish from Purchasing for going above and beyond to expedite a requisition and ensure a vendor was paid on time. Patti kept the lines of communication open during the process and even took the time to walk the check to me so I could hand deliver it to the vendor their last day on campus! Deb took time out of her busy schedule to convert the requisition to a purchase order to help make this happen. I want to thank both of them for their professionalism and excellence during the process.

We would like to nominate Mark Eichenberg, Director of Plant Operations and Tim Wirth, Grounds Supervisor for the Pat on the Back Award.  They are responsible for the new accessible entrance to Williams Auditorium.  This great improvement will make entering Williams Auditorium and STARR Building so much easier.  We thank Mark, Tim and their whole crew for all of the hard work and effort, it took to improve the accessibility for our students on campus.

Awardees for July 2016:

I would like to nominate Dawn Schavey, General Advisor in the Grand Rapids Office for the Pat on the Back Award. Dawn can always be counted on to go above and beyond in her job. She puts students and their needs first, coordinates the Statewide Advisor Retreat – training us to make sure that we all have access to the newest information/skills needed to care for our student population, and she is a team player in the office and outside where FSU is concerned. Today she was volunteering in the community with the Marketing Team at the Miranda Park Party and a young climber made it all the way to the top of the climbing wall and got hung up…literally. He let go of the wall to descend but instead of coming down, he hung in his harness blowing in the wind. No one knew what to do. His mother kept telling her son it was going to be OK and to just hang on. Our tiny but strong little Dawn came to his rescue. She climbed up the wall, grabbed ahold of the young man and pulled him down as she climbed back down.

I want to nominate Nick Pattison, Tim Vanderlaan, Deborah Snider and Jennifer Amlotte for a pat-on-the-back award. We had a group of students scheduled for a tour at the Grand Rapids campus and due to some last minute absences, they stepped up and re-arranged their schedules to give a positive experience for these individuals.