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Diversity Enhancement - 2012

Michael Berghoef

Michael BerghoefBerghoef, a social work professor in the College of Arts, Sciences and Education who joined Ferris in 1997, received the Diversity Enhancement Award, which is conferred upon faculty or staff who demonstrate a significant commitment to enhancing diverse and harmonious relationships at Ferris.

Berghoef is an active advocate for diversity efforts at Ferris State University. He has been a continuous promoter for creating a campus that is inclusive to all students, faculty and staff, and he has led numerous initiatives to create learning experiences (films, speakers, discussions) that promote student understanding of people that differ in age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and socioeconomic background. He is a founding member of the Alliance for Ferris Employees and has worked hard to help secure other eligible adult benefits for Ferris faculty and staff.  Berghoef also is a Safe Place LGBT Faculty Ally Committee chair and trainer. 

Berghoef’s passion for diversity enhancement extends beyond the Ferris campus. He works to promote understanding of diverse cultures through the student study abroad experience he leads in El Salvador each spring. Since 2000, he has worked with the Jim Crow Museum as a facilitator and national presenter. Berghoef also has earned three grants since 2008 to support gerontology research, including the Ferris Foundation Exceptional Merit Grant “Promoting Healthy Aging through Interactive Technologies” that provided students with technology for a variety of interactive activities to enhance cognitive and physical functioning for Mecosta County senior citizens to promote healthy aging. He has presented at a multitude of conferences on topics related to diversity, acceptance and social justice.