President's Message to Campus - October 5, 2018

United Way Kick-off

Yesterday was the kick-off for our annual United Way campaign. Faculty, staff and student volunteers aim to raise $60,000 to help those in need in Mecosta and Osceola counties. The various agencies that receive funding from our local United Way help to meet critical and basic human needs in the community, as well as provide support for youth in crisis.

If you would like to give to this year’s United Way campaign, contributions can be made via payroll deduction or a one-time gift. You can also make a donation to our campaign through a number of fundraising activities happening on campus through December. Thank you to our United Way campaign volunteers, and co-chairs Jeanine Ward-Roof and Linda Telfer, for leading campaign activities on campus. Your gift to the United Way provides for many useful efforts in our communities. I strongly encourage you to support this very worthwhile cause.

Good News

This month’s Good News list highlights the many achievements of our faculty and staff. I always appreciate learning about the different ways our students, faculty and staff collaborate on campus and in the greater Big Rapids community. I encourage you to take a few moments to read about the wonderful things members of the Ferris community are accomplishing. While the complete Good News list is online, below is a sample of those accomplishments.

  • Dan Noren presented “La Martinique: Que scay-je? (Martinique: What do I know?)” at the annual American Association of Teachers of French Conference in Trois Ilets, Martinique.
  • Garrett Stack co-authored the article “Convincing the Public to Kill: Asian Carp and the Proximization of Invasive Species Threat” in Environmental Communication.
  • Jon Taylor served as technical director for STAGE-M’s production of the musical “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”
  • Deirdre Fagan completed a writers' residency at The Writers' Colony at Dairy Hollow in Eureka Springs, AR. Her poem, "Outside In" was nominated for Best of the Net 2018 by Nine Muses Poetry.
  • Approximately 275 people attended the College of Business Committee on Inclusion event “The Glass Ceiling.”
  • Criminal Justice Law Enforcement Academy students raised and donated $1,100 for the Michigan Special Olympics. They participated in the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, running with local police officers and Area 5 Special Olympians to provide community awareness of the needs of the Michigan Special Olympics.
  • Amy Kavanaugh presented "Service Learning for Pre-Service Teachers," featuring the University’s collaboration with Big Rapids Public Schools at the International Literacy Association Conference.
  • Ian Partak, a Heavy Equipment Service Engineering Technology student, won the TMC FutureTech National Student Technician Competition in Orlando, Fla.
  • The College of Pharmacy was granted accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education through June 2024.
  • Eric Nybo co-authored and published a book chapter in Studies of Natural Products Chemistry, Vol. 59, Chapter 4: “Recent Developments in the Quest for Novel Microbial Natural Products.”
  • During Summer 2018, the eLearning Department supported faculty through workshops and virtual meetings resulting in 18 courses successfully meeting the new Ferris Online Course Quality Standards.
  • Amy Greene and Tracy Russo will present their research on Gender Disparities between Online and Face-to-Face Discussions at the American Association for Teaching and Curriculum conference.
  • Lingfei Xu received a competitive travel scholarship to the Access Services Conference for her work and potential further contributions in the field.
  • Vandana Rajaram received the MOSA First Year Class Student Choice Award for Outstanding Professor. Her abstract, "The Effect of Automobile Window Tints on Contrast Sensitivity and Color Discrimination under Photopic and Mesopic Lighting Conditions," was accepted for presentation as a Scientific Poster at the American Academy of Optometry.
  • Alison Jenerou, Avesh Raghunandan and Sara Bush published “Divided Visual Attention Performance of Ice Hockey Players with History of Concussion” in the journal Vision & Development Rehabilitation.
  • The TIP Emerging Scholars Program hosted workshops, events, activities and social events for 70 incoming TIP Scholars to help them connect to campus resources.
  • The Honors Program welcomed 330 new FTIAC students with the program’s first convocation ceremony.
  • Bob Griffith presented at the Banner Users Group of Michigan conference.
  • Kemi Fadayomi received the Michigan American Council on Education Women’s Network 2018 Distinguished Woman in Higher Education award.
  • Ferris State Hockey teamed up with the Grand Rapids Griffins Youth Foundation to host the first-ever Bulldog Showcase at Griff's Ice House in Grand Rapids.
  • During move in and the first week of classes, 767 students received help via iConnect, a service to help students connect their electronic devices to the Ferris network.
  • Governmental Relations and General Counsel hosted the 12th Annual Founders’ Day Community Ice Cream Social, serving Jones’ Homemade Ice cream to over 2,000 people.
  • Over 60 KCAD alumni, faculty and students are participating in ArtPrize 10.
  • Gayle DeBruyn contributed a chapter entitled “Engagement Between Knowledge Institutions and Communities: Design Process and Wicked Problems,” to the publication Academia and Communities: Engaging for Change.
  • UICA received two grants from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs to support three exhibitions and professional development opportunities.
  • 320 students attended Headphone Disco, sponsored by Entertainment Unlimited, during Bulldog Beginnings.
  • 700 students attended Bulldog Bonanza which featured 100 RSOs and local businesses.
  • During the first two weeks of the semester there were over 36 events planned for students, with a cumulative total of 8000+ students attending those events.
  • Nicholas Campau and Kaitlin Zies were featured in the latest issue of Campus Legal Advisor, providing training tools for conducting investigations and hearings on stalking.
  • The University Center, in collaboration with the Wesley House RSO, have set up a self-serve dry and canned good food pantry, including a small area for toiletries, inside the University Center.
  • Tyrone Collins presented information about Ferris to teens and parents from the Rhonda Walker Foundation in Detroit.
  • The week of September 17th, Jeff Stewart traveled approximately 1385 miles across the Upper Peninsula attending college fairs representing Ferris State University and Kendall College of Art & Design.
  • Ted Halm collaborated with Marie Yowtz to manage a website that houses information for web accessibility standards, tutorials and resources. He also assisted Anne Hogenson to create a website for “Trademark Use by Registered Student Organizations and Club Sports.”
  • The Alumni Association hosted 29 students who received a total of $32,000 from the Alumni Legacy Scholarship Endowment.
  • The Ferris Futures Scholarship Challenge has received 270 gifts and pledges to new and existing endowments, with more than $5.54 million of new gift commitments from Ferris State University benefactors. With the match, this creates more than $11 million of new endowed funds for the support of Ferris students.
  • Ferris State Video, the official YouTube channel, has more than 2,000 subscribers and the University’s Facebook page managed by News Services, has more than 51,000 likes. The channel features a diverse range of content, including breaking and general news posts, video features and photo galleries. In September 2018, the month’s three most popular posts reached 15.4K, 13.2K and 11K people, respectively.


The Strategic Planning and Resource Council will meet Tuesday, Oct. 9, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the West Campus Community Center. As part of our continuing strategic planning efforts, Cindy Horn and Tony Baker will present on reducing silo thinking, and Suzanne Miller and Lisa vonReichbauer will share updates on proposed new vision and mission statements. Mike Hughes will conclude the meeting with an update on various construction projects happening across campus. Please join us on Tuesday afternoon. SPARC meetings are open to all; you need not be a member to attend and participate.


Our women's volleyball team is home this weekend for a pair of GLIAC matches inside Ewigleben Sports Arena. The women, who are now 14-3 on the year, are presently ranked #6 in this week's American Volleyball Coaches Association Division II national rankings and have won nine consecutive matches. The women hold a perfect 9-0 in the GLIAC and are the only remaining unbeaten team in conference play. They host Wayne State tonight at 7 p.m. and Ashland on Saturday at 3 p.m., the top two teams in the GLIAC's South Division.

Our undefeated and nationally third-ranked football team will take on Michigan Tech at the “Battle at the Ballpark” on Saturday at the home of the West Michigan Whitecaps, Fifth Third Ballpark, in Comstock Park. This game represents our annual "Football Alumni Day" with all former players invited to attend. Kick-off is set for 2 p.m.

This will be an exciting weekend of competition for our student-athletes. If you have the opportunity, please come out and show your support for our students and coaches.

David L. Eisler, president