Honors Program Director
by Betsy Garbe - Nov. 6, 2013
Peter Bradley wants the Honors program at Ferris State University “to enhance the university’s strengths: excellent specialized and innovative practical education with a broad basis that will stimulate life-long learning.”
“I believe that we are well-placed to become a leader – both regionally and nationally – in uniting experiential, career-based education and the tradition of Honors as cultivating lifelong, autonomous learners and global citizens,” he said.
Bradley, who has served as director of Ferris’ Honors program since January, has plans in the works to help achieve that goal.
“The first is the Honors Student Association, which will be a student-run group that will bring together the Honors Programming Board, the Honors Peer Mentors and the Endeavor (a student-run online newsletter) under one governance structure,” Bradley said. “It will also allow students to have a voice in the course selection in Honors and formalize how students are represented on the Honors Council.”
Bradley also is working to increase the number and variety of courses available to Honors students, including study abroad options.
“Ferris’ traditions and values of serving the public good through practical and liberal education are a perfect fit for my ideals,” Bradley said. “While I am a philosopher who has spent years teaching and defending the ‘core text,’ I also believe that a strong general education liberates thinking, which is the core idea not only consistent with, but enhanced by a practical, career-focused education.”
Ferris’ Honors program has grown steadily from an initial enrollment of 132 students in 1997 to 702 this year. The program provides academic and leadership resources and support for some of the university’s most highly motivated students.
The program’s office recently moved to its new home in Pickell Hall, one of five residence halls that house Honors students.
Bradley replaced Professor Emeritus Maude Bigford, who founded Ferris’ Honors program in 1997. He came to Ferris from McDaniel College in Westminster, Md., where he was an associate professor of philosophy and director of the first-year seminar program in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies as well as the acting director of McDaniel’s Honors program.
Bradley earned a bachelor’s degree in 1996 from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and a doctorate in 2002 from Temple University in Philadelphia, both in philosophy. He was a post-doctorate fellow at Washington University in St. Louis before joining McDaniel in 2004.
In his free time, Bradley is a cyclist, loves food and cooking, and considers himself an “old techie.”
“I used to be a UNIX system administrator between undergraduate and graduate school,” he said. “I worked in the first dot-com boom.”
Betsy Garbe is a News Services student writer in University Advancement and Marketing.
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