Pat on the Back Awards 2018-19

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 May 2019

I nominate Dr. Brian McDowell of the Michigan College of Optometry, who went above and beyond to help a student locate a replacement part for her computer, order it, and help her install it in time to complete an important assignment. 

We would like to nominate Susan Thrush in the College of Pharmacy for a Pat-on-the-Back Award. Susan is an invaluable member of the Pharmacy Practice department. She goes above and beyond expectations to serve the needs of our students, faculty, and staff. She provides unwavering support and always identifies ways to make our lives easier with logistics, planning, creativity, and a “go-getter” persona. Susan took on a complex student elective project for the College’s new curriculum; her impeccable attention to detail, motivation, and organizational skills have created a successful and smooth process. Thank you Susan for everything that you do for the department and the College.

I would like to nominate Mike Cousineau from the Custodial Department for going above and beyond. He is always willing to lend a helping hand whether it is for the day or night crew. We appreciate him always going the extra mile.

I would like to nominate Josie VanAvery for a Pat-on-the-Back Award. Each year, she makes it possible for the Honors Program to use the second floor of FLITE for the Honors Senior Symposium. She organizes the transformation of the second floor, ordering table linens, overseeing the rearrangement of furniture, and helping break down the event. Her hard work contributes a lot to the success of our Senior Symposium.

I would also like to nominate the Rachel Goldman in Catering and Shana Beisiegel, Larrey Eberts, and Mark Schuelke in the UC who make our Honors Awards Ceremony easy to organize and memorable for our guests each spring. We appreciate them.

I would like to nominate Ann Breitenwischer and Kristy Motz for Pat-On-The-Back recognition.  As the circumstances of life occur or other schedule conflicts arise for fellow reference librarians, Ann and Kristy are always especially ready and willing to trade or assume additional shifts to ensure librarian research assistance is available at FLITE's Oval Information Desk.  Recently, Ann traded several reference shifts with me to accommodate professional development travel and other commitments that were unanticipated, and Kristy has offered to adjust her schedule in several instances when she observed that it could benefit mine. Thanks to all the librarians who ensure reference desk coverage, and especially Ann and Kristy who so consistently volunteer for that coverage as schedule conflicts arise for fellow librarians.

Awardees for April 2019

I would like to nominate Annette LaRock and Lisa Worth both for Pat on the Back Awards.  Both of these wonderful ladies take our phone calls and emails of complaints with smiles in their voices and on their faces.  They only get complaints, our problems that need fixing, never a good word either. So, think of them the next time you put in a work order or make a call to them.  They are the front line at the Physical Plant that keeps all of us running. Thanks to both of you for helping us to look our best.

Shaun Soper in the Copy Center deserves a pat-on-the-back award for delivering excellent customer service with a kind and gracious attitude. He fixes our printing set-up errors and patiently teaches us proper printing techniques even when we continue to mess up. Our work looks profession due to his knowledge and skill. He is a huge asset to Ferris and we want him to know that we appreciate him.

I would like to nominate John Randle and Brenda White for a Pat-on-the-Back. Both John and Brenda have played an important role in a project to automate payroll processes for student hiring. While their participation in the project was crucial, they are not the beneficiaries of this process improvement. Even so, they offered their support and assistance graciously and competently. Thank you both so much!

The Ferris Women’s Network would like to provide a Pat-on-the-Back to its voluntary planning committee for hosting the Start Smart Salary Negotiation Workshops on April 2, 2019  for 34 students and 32 professional staff. This committee worked diligently over the past couple of years to bring this formal presentation to Ferris State University. The planning committee consisted of Andrea Kitomary, Leah Monger, Jennifer Yontz, Karen Simmon, Michele Albright, and our friend Megan Eppley from Mecosta County Chamber of Commerce. A special thank you to Karen Simmon and Michele Albright who received AAUW training to facilitate this program. We would also like to thank VP of Student Affairs, Jeanine Ward-Roof for providing support.

I would like to nominate Kim Kleeves for the Pat–on-the-back award.  Each student or visitor, as they come into the dean’s office in the College of Health Professions, is welcomed with her consistent, genuine and caring attitude. Behind the scenes, she manages numerous phone calls, request from students, faculty & staff in addition to all her other job duties. Her hard work and dedication to the students is seen on a daily basis and very appreciated. Thanks Kim for all you do in COHP.

I would like to give a shout out to Patty Rettinger and Darlene Waring for helping me adjust to my new position in the College of Business. They always answered my questions with a smile. It’s not always easy adjusting to new co-workers, however they have made me feel like I have worked here forever. They have made the transition the best experience ever.


Awardees for March 2019

I would like to nominate Nicole Lintemuth in Accounting for a Pat-on-the-Back Award. She is not only great with numbers, but through her careful review of a document posted online, she found a discrepancy in information that needed correction. Thank you for reading and catching this! I appreciate you!

I would like to nominate Rachel Goldman and Stan Valier from Catering!!! Between the two of these wonderful people they cater many different and varied functions for the College of Pharmacy alumni and students throughout the year. They are always a pleasure to work with and help me down to the last detail even when I call at the last minute.  I don’t know how we would do everything we do without them, they are the best!!!  We just had another function last week and as always it was fantastic!!! You two are the best and I don’t know how this university would live without either of YOU!!!  Keep up the great work!

I would like to nominate Dr. Mark VanLent. Dr. Mark has a genuine respect for students and the staff that he works with. He routinely checks in with his co-workers to see how they are doing and goes above in beyond in his work duties and responsibilities.

I would like to nominate Jennifer Spicer. Jennifer does a wonderful job of managing a busy counseling center office and taking care of many big and small details that often go over looked. Her calming presence is a strong asset to the staff, clients and student workers.

I would like to nominate three outstanding student employees at The Rock Cafe. Carly Gruber, Julian Sheriff and Julia Willer. We have a large number of exceptional student employees, however during the last few weeks of winter storms we were left short handed. Our whole team pulled together to provide great food and customer service to everyone on campus. These three wonderful students went way above and beyond to be here and help out in any way possible to help the full time staff. They are always ready to help anytime it is need and are very hard working. I believe we should acknowledge the outstanding work they provide every shift they work. Thank you.

I’d like to nominate Dava Cook, Mail Center Coordinator, for a Pat-on-the-Back award. Dava is always there to help us with all of our U.S. and campus-wide mail needs. Recently, she was able to retrieve some mail for me before it left campus so that I was able to fix some problems with it, and she did it promptly with a smile. Dava’s can-do, friendly attitude really helps and is appreciated!

I would like to nominate Stacy Anderson and Carrie Buss for the Pat-on-the-Back award.  I unexpectedly needed an electronic resource added to the library system right away. They got it added in less than 24 hours and did so with the utmost professional courtesy. Thank you!

Linda Bomar and the Staff of the Sports Complex deserve a Pat-on-the-Back award for all their help this weekend, and prior to, the Music Takes Action Concert. Thanks for everything!


Awardees for February 2019

I would like to nominate the guys in the Motor Pool Garage for their hard work and dedication in keeping the vehicles and equipment on our FSU campus in working order!  Tom Worth, Gene Lawler and Adam Schoen are the guys behind the scenes that drop everything to keep Grounds equipment (especially lately!) running and back on the “road” – along with tending to all other vehicles at the same time!  Their diligence and dedication is VERY MUCH APPRECIATED!  Thank you!

The FerrisNow staff, and especially Leah Melichar, deserve a hearty pat on the back for the work they do with dual enrolled students. My son applied electronically on Wednesday night and also emailed their office. Leah responded to him first thing Thursday morning. His guidance counsellor submitted the required paper work that same morning, and my son received a welcome email from Leah Melichar and Angie Buys before noon. This is the way to make students feel valued, impress parents, and grow our university. He's registered for a summer class and excited to be Bulldog.

I would like to nominate Sandy Stoddard from the Office of Transfer and Secondary School Partnerships for a Pat-on-the-Back Award. The Music and Entertainment Business program recently worked with Sandy on an Articulation Agreement with West Shore Community College. Sandy not only was fast and efficient at putting the documents together but also quickly responded to any requests for changes.  It was a pleasure working with her.

I’d like to provide a Pat on the Back for helping to ensure another successful Career & Internship Fair!  Mike Przydzial, Linda Bomar and the Athletic Complex Staff, Stan Vallier, Rachel Goldman and Catering Staff, Katie Thomas, Nick Smith, Teresa Fogel, Jacob Schrot, Sean Williams, Leeann O’Neal, and the many CLACS Student Staff and the Student Veterans Association, the Society for Human Resource Management, and the numerous volunteers that helped with set up, greeting employers and students, and tear down.

I would like to nominate Angela Johnson for a pat on the back award.  I would like to recognize the efforts of Angela Johnson in EIO.  I was looking for some data from 2013 and 2014 and she went above and beyond to try and find what I was looking for even though the department has changed systems and it has been over 5 years.  She was very professional and diligent and I appreciated the extra effort as the data she provided is valuable for our college.  Thanks again Angela!

I would like to nominate custodian Kristy Cutler for the Pat On The Back award.  Kristy always helping out her team by getting our equipment ready at night. It is her teamwork that makes the dream work. Thank you Kristy.

I would like to nominate custodian Terrie Newberry-Morey for a Pat On The Back Award.  Terrie always has a positive attitude and makes coming to work a joy.  Thank you Terrie.

Kudos to Dominique Starling who is not only reliable as an employee, she is sincerely a caring person who also contributes her own time plus makes herself available to help with coverage.  Whether during inclement weather situations in late nights or any daytime shifts when others may have conflicts with their schedule, if scheduling allows she is always available.  She has successfully handled numerous incidents including her quick responses, effective care and communication at a blood drive event and her professionalism in managing disruptive patrons. She continually serves FLITE as an excellent role model to all.

Kudos to Cameron Bourlier, Amber Dolegowski, Dannielle Rogers, and Drew Smythe for their great team spirit, their knowledge, quick responses and communication in dealing with the unexpected situation of a pipe burst at FLITE during the below zero temperatures we all experienced. We thank them for their outstanding team effort from contacting DPS, informing patrons, deciding to move books away from the watery path, reporting to library Dean and appropriate personnel to providing detailed chronology of the incident, these student employees did an excellent job.

Kudo thanks to all of our Student Employees who work through the inclement weather showing up on time whether early morning or late night shifts and especially those who pitched for covering others’ shifts.

For several years, Student Night Managers, Megan Kludy, Dannielle Rogers, Dominique Starling, and Samuel Stover have demonstrated their extraordinary work ethics and great leadership, and have contributed their effort and remarkable work to our library services.

Thank you to all of our student employees for their contributions!

FLITE personnel would like to nominate the combined group of staff members who were actively involved with helping after the pipe burst incident at FLITE on one of this winter’s very cold weekends.  We thank the FLITE Student Employees who were working that day, Department of Public Safety, the Jim Crow Museum weekend staff, the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, and the Physical Plant personnel from Plumbing and Custodial, all who helped on that Saturday.  We also recognize the Moving Crew for moving the book shelving so we may dry out the floor.

Thanks very much to all of them.


Awardees for January 2019

A note of appreciation is extended to tutors, SLA facilitators, office assistants, Teresa Brown and Kimberly Smith for their outstanding work during our move to the Academic Literacies Center in FLITE 120. You are an asset to the work that we do!

A note of appreciation is also extended to Provost Paul Blake and Dean Jason Bentley for their leadership and support. “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” ~Sir Isaac Newton

I would like to nominate Dan VanHorn and his student workers:  Tyler Dard, Devyn Jacobs, Owen Fedewa and Zach Pritchard, for the excellent job they do for a Pat on the Back Award. They had to move everything around at the College of Pharmacy as we got ready for renovations and moved all of the Dean’s Office upstairs. Dan and his guys were wonderful and they worked their tails off trying to get everything done before the classes started. I know it is Dan’s job but he never complained even though he had a right to with what was piled on him. The students were wonderful, they were exhausted too but they pushed on. I know they were still working when I left for the day most of the time!  What a great crew and we are lucky to have them. Way to go Dan and guys, keep up the great work and take a break once in a while.

I would like to recognize Amy Greene and EIO. What an amazing team of experts. Amy helped us start Online Math Tutoring. She was patient, thorough and knowledgeable. I am grateful for EIO and Amy. You are awesome.

I would like to nominate Amy Greene and Jackie Hughes for a Pat on the Back award. I sent Amy Greene a last minute request to add someone to a Blackboard account. It was already well past 5 p.m. on a Friday afternoon. Within an hour, Jackie Hughes and Amy Greene had it done. Kudos to them both.


Awardees for December 2018

I would like to nominate Katie Thomas, Angela Roman and the CLACS staff for their fantastic work with the Bulldog Football fan buses to Texas. The complicated project of organizing and reserving buses, seats, tickets and hotel rooms had to be organized and executed in timely manner. Katie worked tirelessly with the utmost professionalism with the lines of people and multitudes of phone calls. Great job, people. Thank you.

I wish to nominate the chaperones of the Texas Fan buses, Sean Allen, Janae Mutschler, Angela Roman, Samantha Sanchez Rivera and Val Wells, for a Pat on the Back Award. They accompanied over 200 of our students, employees and community members to Texas making sure everything went smoothly. They gave their weekend PLUS for the cause. I thank you and our DAWGS thank you also. 


Awardees for November 2018

I would like to nominate Terry Langan in the Registrar’s office (CSS 201) for always being so kind and understanding when dealing with scheduling classes.  She is always so patient and helps you to understand the schedule matrix so you can do your job.  She has helped me so many times and always with a cheerful attitude.  FSU is lucky to have such a dedicated employee.

I would like to nominate Nate Wallace and Bob Horner in Information Technology for a Pat-on-the Back Award. People only contact them when there is a problem. People who call tend to be stressed, frustrated, and upset. I called Nate at 4:15 pm in a panic because I had left out information in my University Wide Notice (UWN). The preferred deadline for UWN notices is 3:00 pm.  Nate was compassionate and calm while asking me to hold as he checked with Bob Horner to see if the UWN had been sent. Bob was about to send the Email, but graciously took my call, made my addition, and treated me kindly. By their actions, Nate and Bob told me that I matter. This is not the first time they have accommodated me and my self-imposed problems. They consistently treat people with care. Thank you, Nate and Bob. You make Ferris a lovely place to work.


Awardees for October 2018

Thank you to the Institutional Testing and Research Team involved in Perkins reporting that included Mitzi Day, Jerome Forbes, Melissa Dohnal and Kathy Fisher for supporting a comprehensive review of the reporting requirements. Recently, several updates to these reports were identified and the team went above and beyond to answer questions, provide supplemental reports, and to complete analysis to confirm accuracy. Thanks to their efforts to improve the reports and to share knowledge with others, the reporting process should be more efficient for upcoming years. Your time and teamwork is appreciated.

I would like to nominate Carla Kleinheksel, from the Payroll Office, for a Pat-on-the-Back Award. Carla is helpful, knowledgeable, forward-thinking, and dedicated. She goes above and beyond and is always the first one to ask “how does this affect the employee?” She takes her work very seriously which has been nothing but a benefit to Ferris State University employees. She carries the Payroll Office with competence and passion. Thanks for all you do, Carla.

I would like to nominate several faculty and administrators for a Pat-on-the-Back Award. Our program is currently undergoing reaccreditation. The accreditation visiting team was on campus September 22-25. In preparation for the visit, the team requested meeting with specific instructors in programs that teach courses used by our students to meeting our accrediting body’s requirements.  They also requested assessment data and examples of student work from the courses with only three weeks’ notice. 

The following people were instrumental in pulling together this data and or attending interview sessions with the team: Mickey Albright, Paul Blake, Sandra Brigance, Jeff Christafferson, David Frank, Fred Heck, Phil Kohn, Gayle Lopez, Gary Lutz, Angie Mishler, Jody Ollenquist, Fran Rosen, Roberta Teahan, Karen Weber and Jim Woolen.

I would like to nominate two amazing students for the Pat-on-the-Back Award. Celeste Moore and Eric Heater. Celeste and Eric are custodial students that work with the Dining Custodial Team. They have only been with our team for a short time but do a fantastic just and are eager to assist us with any task no matter how boring it is. We are very appreciative of all that they do and look forward to having their assistance for a long time. THANK YOU CELESTE and ERIC. You guys are awesome.

I would like to recommend Justin Harden for a much-deserved Pat-On-the-Back Award. Justin has chaired the Tailgate Party events for Bulldog Family and Friends weekend for two years in a row, and has done a phenomenal job both years. From securing student volunteers to work the event, down to the tiniest detail, Justin insured that these events went off without a hitch and he did so calmly and with a smile. Great job, Justin.


Awardees for September 2018

I would like to nominate the outstanding staff we have in the Grand Rapids region. Laura Porritt works tirelessly to support our faculty, onboarding new hires, handling room assignments and so much more. Deborah Snyder works to support faculty and the office staff as our Concur guru. Sara Pasquantonio and Amanda Rummel for our Front Desk Hero’s answering hundreds of phone calls, walk-in’s and registrations. Our Financial Aid officer Lindsay Young, who works all hours to ensure all students get answers to their FA questions and consortium forms are processed. And lastly, to all our advisors and EIO marketing team, in the last 2 months we have had a handful of events and 360+ scheduled appointments. When numbers are down it’s hard to look to see our own success, but in two months we went from 471 Unduplicated Headcount to 661 and 2,990 Student Credit Hour Production to 4,104 just in GR alone. Thank you for all you do for Ferris.

I would like to nominate Jennifer Kailing-Wallace, for the Pat-on-the-Back Award. Jennifer is always kind, thoughtful and helpful with our job posting questions, even if we have asked the question before. We are, too often, asking for last minute assistance. If there is any way possible, Jennifer and her great attitude make it happen. Thank you, Jennifer.

We would like to nominate Kara Pellerito for managing our table order and taking care of moving the older heavy tables off the fourth. Our patrons, faculty and staff will appreciate the updated furniture. Thanks to Kara and her crew, including Dan VanHorn.

I would like to acknowledge the TAC Call Center, Bob Horner, IT service desk specialist, and his team for the great work they do to assist during the busiest time of the year, when the University opens. Frank Konant, Ryan Bohy and Chris Brackin went above and beyond assisting the Office of Housing and Residence life getting 60-plus iPads registered for wireless connectivity to use the following day. The IT team made sure the iPads were ready and set up for hall opening so we would have minimal interruption in using these in our new check in process. We appreciate your effort each and every day that you assist our students and us. Thank You.

I would like to acknowledge Kimberly Young, Secretary 2, Office of Housing and Residence Life, for working tirelessly at making sure the iPads for the Office of Housing and Residence Life student’s new check in process were loaded and ready to go. Along with Okai Strickland, Secretary 1; Laura McKiness, Secretary 3; and student helpers Ryan Dumont, Nate Allen, McKenzie Williams and Kaylee Meshigand for their teamwork to make sure that the iPads were ready to go and staff were trained. Next, appreciation go out to the hall directors: Henry Hammond, Brett Strohkirch, Emily Maloy, Debbie Lynn Mayo, Jamie Franklin and Katie Cortright. Each hall director stepped up to learn the new process and ensured that check in went smooth. They each deserve a Pat-on-the-Back for all their efforts in getting staff trained and buildings ready for the big Housing opening.

I’d like to nominate David Alban for sharing his expertise, syllabus, etc. with me to allow our Grand Rapids class to seamlessly begin at the last possible moment. Many, many thanks David and to Dr. Mike Ennis for also sharing what he does online. Thank you, Mike. Our GR students are benefiting greatly from these men putting students first and I greatly appreciate them both.

I would like to nominate Sharon DelBello, for her tireless assistance in making sure that my email and OneDrive accounts were working properly. My email was hacked and I had recently had a user ID name change, and somehow throughout this there were some things in the back end of my Microsoft accounts that were refusing to run properly. Sharon came over to my department, and spent hours tracking down the correct fix and reinstalling everything I needed to do my job. As well, during the time she was here she also followed up on a few other IT related issues for our department and fixed them as well while she was here. Our eLearning Department is very thankful for her time, persistence, and expertise that she demonstrated.

We would like to nominate Cosimo Bongiorno from the HVAC Department at the Physical Plant. We have two Lussino ice cream machines which we use in our Hospitality Management food labs. One of them stopped freezing the ice cream. Cosimo worked on the machine several times. He fixed multiple issues and finally got it up and running again for us. We appreciate all of the effort he put into fixing it. We will be making some homemade strawberry ice cream for Cosimo.

I would like to nominate Bridget Olson from the Admissions & Records office (CSS 201) for the Pat-on-the-Back Award. She is always so pleasant, helpful and patient as some of us struggle to learn the new Schedule Adjustment Process. I would also like to give her kudos for manually processing all the paper versions of the four-part forms all of these years and catching any errors. I’ve made mistakes and she’s always so pleasant to help me fix them. Thank you for all you do for us and the students, Bridget.

I would like to nominate Bob Cardana and his team at Williams Auditorium for a Pat-on-the-Back Award. They have been tremendously helpful with the logistics of the annual Homecoming Comedian. They have also made it a point to make sure the students involved with the event are having a great learning experience in the process of putting on great show.


Awardees for August 2018

I would like to extend a special thanks for all of her efforts to make the July 31 Transfer Decision Day such a huge success. Shari Chamberlain was instrumental in coordinating the event and helping each potential transfer student to see themselves as a future Bulldog. I also want to give a shout out to Mallory Ford, Jeffery Stewart and Omar Gonzalez and all of the college representatives who were a part of the event.

The Financial Aid office would like to recognize Nancy Wencl with a Pat-on-the-Back award. Nancy has been a pillar of strength, support, professionalism and kindness for more than 20 years. Nancy will be a great asset in her new role and not easily be replaced. Financial Aid office employees respect and rely on Nancy on a daily basis to make things run smoothly, she has been our “technical guru” and a great advocate for our students. As Nancy transitions to another position on campus, we want her to know how much we respect her and that she will be sorely missed.

FLITE would like to nominate Scott Ensley and Dave Golden for sprucing up the walls of FLITE. They always do nice work and help keep FLITE looking great.

FLITE would like to nominate Dan Vanhorn and the Moving Crew for all of his moving occasions at FLITE this past summer. He and his crew were always prompt and did a great job.

I want to thank Bob Cardana and Kate McGlynn for going above and beyond to help with the SRF Symposium. Kate went back and forth several times between the Science Building and Williams Auditorium to find me the last minute things we needed for the Poster Presentation. You both helped make the Symposium a success.

A Pat-on-the-Back goes to Katie Thomas for her fantastic job with the Founders’ Day Extravaganza, as well as, Nick Smith and Entertainment Unlimited for their Headphone Disco event.


Awardees for July 2018

I would like to nominate Joyce Mudel, secretary at the Heavy Equipment Center, for her extraordinary efforts during a recent conference that was hosted here, at Ferris. The Associated Equipment Distributors Foundation held its bi-annual National Educators Conference, at Ferris, and Joyce went above and beyond to not only make the event run smoothly but she also added many little touches to make our guests feel welcomed. To a person, the attendees felt it was a very worthwhile conference and were very impressed with Ferris State University. Thanks, Joyce.

I would like to nominate Lauren Saam for a Pat-on-the-Back Award. Day in and day out, I see her work hard in school along with her on campus job at Ferris State Catering. She puts in countless hours through her work, where she is the student manager and I see it in her eyes how determined she is. She does not let anything get in her way of her goals and dreams. I've seen her grow through the her program as she is a master's student in Criminal Justice. She helped me plan an event for my team and it was spectacle. Keep up the great work, Lauren.

I would like to nominate Julia Lucas, in the Purchasing Department, for a Pat-on-the-Back Award. Julia is extremely professional, exceptionally intelligent and one of the most conscientious of all people I have worked with. She seeks out information to understand and learn not just the task, but the information behind the task, and how it affects the process and overall big picture. Julia is an incredible asset to the Finance Division and to FSU.

I would like to nominate Wendy Stapp in the Grants Office and Leonard Johnson in Academic Affairs for the Pat-on-the-Back Award. Both Wendy and Leonard spent many hours working with me to write a grant. Their patience, guidance, laughter and ability to make grant writing a bit of fun, were greatly appreciated. I am grateful to work with such amazing colleagues.