Active hands were assembling a loft in a second-floor room of Ferris State University’s Ward Hall on Friday, Aug. 23. The work gave incoming freshman Shantale Burks, of Flint, a moment to consider the significant changes coming her way, shortly, as she waited in the corridor.
Shantale is a freshman who is entering the College of Health Professions’ School of Nursing.
“I have been looking at Ferris and its Nursing program for years, well before I was finishing my studies at Flint Hamady High School,” Burks said. “I decided some time ago that this was the place for me.”
Burks will be the first in her family to pursue a college degree.
“It has been nice hearing the reaction of my parents, as we prepared to come to campus,” Shantale said. “I am really looking forward to all of the changes that are ahead in the next year.”
Burks said those adjustments include becoming more familiar with her roommate, Anna Johansen, of Holland, who was part of the crew putting the loft together.
“We talked over the summer,” Burks said.
Johansen’s circumstances are different from Burks in several respects, as her father, Todd, and grandfather, Dale, are Ferris graduates. The Holland High School graduate said she was happy to continue the family tradition.
“I’ve been pretty excited recently, and a little nervous,” Johansen said. “I am glad my family is here to help get our room together.”
Johansen will begin higher education in the College of Retention and Student Success as she takes General Studies courses.
“I want to be comfortable as I get started at Ferris,” Johansen said. “I am very familiar with the area and really like it. I believe that will help me to find the program that is right for me.”
Approximately 2,000 freshman students will join others in pursuit of degrees and certificates as Ferris’ 2019-20 academic year begins Monday, Aug. 26. Special emphasis on the university’s 135th anniversary will be part of the Founders’ Day celebration on Thursday, Aug. 29.