Ryan Named Recipient of James M. Davenport Memorial Award for Higher Education Work

Ferris State UniversityDedicated service to leadership in education has earned longtime Ferris State University faculty member Mike Ryan the James M. Davenport Memorial Award from the National Council of Higher Education.

The award was presented to Ryan, a professor of Biology in Ferris’ College of Arts and Sciences, at the 2016 NEA Higher Education Conference, held in early April, in San Diego, Calif.

“Dr. Ryan can truly be characterized as a happy warrior in the cause of fairness in higher education,” said Charles Bacon, president of the Ferris Faculty Association and a College of Arts and Sciences professor of Chemistry and Physics. “His insightful and compelling intellect is coupled with an infectious and disarming sense of humor. He has maintained and elevated his service throughout his career, as evidenced by his record of achievement.”

Ryan has been a Ferris faculty member since 1977, and has actively worked to strengthen programs and relationships at all education levels from kindergarten through college. Ryan’s award recognition was based primarily on his work to support students and labor organizations. He has helped negotiate nine contracts and served as local president for 15 years. Also, from 2002-05, Ryan served as a National Education Association board member.

In the state of Michigan, Ryan has served many years as a member of the Michigan Association of Higher Education Board of Directors and was vice president. He has also served for five years as a member of the Michigan Education Special Services Association board and as part of the Michigan Education Association Financial Services Board. Ryan was an MEA board member from 2011-14.

In various capacities, Ryan has worked with numerous colleges and universities, nationwide, to help them organize and advise faculty and union activities.

A Ferris faculty member since 1977, Ryan was awarded the Mildred Sugarbaker Award, as an outstanding leader, in 2008.

Ryan also has numerous Ferris awards and achievements, to his credit, including:

James Davenport was the first president of the NCHE. A faculty member at Washtenaw Community College, in Ann Arbor, Mich., Davenport worked more than two decades for higher education faculty and programs with the NEA and internationally. His dedication to the higher education community, and his belief that all educators must work together as one family, are recognized in the award. Click NCHE for more information.


PHOTO CAPTION: Mike Ryan, a College of Arts and Sciences faculty member at Ferris State University, received the James M. Davenport Memorial Award for his support of students and labor organizations. Ryan has worked at Ferris since 1977.