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Pat on the Back Awards 2014-15

The Ferris State University Pride Committee continues to recognize and reward the small ways that we show our Ferris Pride.  The Pat-on-the-Back Award is a quick, easy, fun way to let someone know that they did a good thing and someone noticed.

This award is an easy and excellent way to thank a Ferris employee or student for exhibiting pride and doing something good for others through their actions.

To nominate someone, email [email protected] with your name and address, the nominee's name and address, and the reason you have chosen this faculty, staff, or student for a Pat-on-the-Back award.

Thank you for the great participation for this fun and important award!


Congratulations to the following individuals for receiving this recognition! Each of the candidates will receive a Pat-on-the-Back certificate and their name will be entered into a drawing at the end of the semester for some fun prizes.

Awardees for July 2015:

Dawn Schavey: I would like to nominate Dawn Schavey for a ‘Pat on the Back Award’. Dawn Schavey worked for months to try and get a Ferris State University policy on interpreting the MTA for our Students. She worked with Teams and Individuals to have the MTA policy clear and beneficial. She then scheduled and ran an Advisor Training Session to roll it out. The amount of dedication, time and effort was over and above her normal duties. Dawn voluntarily put herself in the path between the MACRAO and MTA, a necessary but unpopular place to be. Dawn should be publicly recognized for her work. She put her heart, mind and soul into effort with sweeping implications for a long time to come!

Linda Hayes: I would like to nominate Linda Hayes – CSS 201 – for a Pat-on-the-Back Award. Linda is extremely kind, helpful and knowledgeable in Admissions. She goes above and beyond to make the Dean’s offices orientation days, and everything that leads up to them, flow smoothly.

Mary Holmes and Scott Randle: I'd like to nominate Mary Holmes and Scott Randle, in the E-Learning area of EAS, for their help with setting up a Tegrity account. They juggled responsibilities while each was on vacation, yet still, their assistance was prompt. Thanks!


Awardees for June 2015:

Kristin Poleski & Sara Rasmussen: I would like to nominate Kristin Poleski-faculty and Sara Rasmussen-staff, School of Criminal Justice, Bishop Hall 509, for Pat-on-the-Back awards for their hard work in getting the criminal justice internship off to such a great start this year. Coordinating the internship and over 400 students takes a lot of time and patience, but this is one of the smoothest starts in a long time.


Awardees for May 2015:

Wil Gasper: I would like to nominate Wil Gasper for a Pat-on-the-Back Award. Last year we contacted Wil about wanting to plant an herb garden outside of our building that would be used by the cooking classes. Wil met with myself and Kaky Wolfer several times to plan the garden. As soon as spring was here his crew arrived to remove the old landscaping and replace it with top soil and Dairy Doo. We are so excited to have fresh herbs readily available. A big thank you to Wil and his crew for helping us make it possible.

April Ringler: I would like to nominate April Ringler for a Pat-on–the-Back award (and think she also deserves a halo and some angel wings). She had a student call which lasted just over ½ hour where she demonstrated an enormous amount of patience and professionalism. She very nicely explained the same thing over and over to this student, who continually argued with her, asking for us to give him something that was not even within our capability of offering. She went above and beyond to try to help this student, even though he seemed unreceptive to anything she offered, and continually insisted we give him something we could not. I have heard her on many calls demonstrate the same patience and professionalism even though the caller is upset and yelling at her for something out of her control. She does a great job of not letting these things get under her skin. Beyond this, she also deserves a Pat –on-the-Back for all the work she has done making e-transcripts a reality: helping with testing, doing lots of background research on what our competitors offer, revamping our website language, and adapting to all the changes to our process. If having a big chunk of her job go through a complete revamp stressed her out, she didn’t let it show. Kudos April, I think many of us could stand to learn a thing or two from you

Elisa Gramza, Bruce Gilchrist & Dave Steffens: I would like to nominate Elise Gramza, Bruce Gilchrist, and Dave Steffens for all of their hard work in making e-transcripts a reality for Ferris. Getting the job done required a Banner upgrade, several new Banner forms and tables to be developed, reports created, and lots of troubleshooting. While there were snags along the way, these three worked through them and in the end, gave us a great product which will benefit students and increase efficiency. A mere thanks just isn’t enough to convey the appreciation of all of their hard work on this project.


Awardees for April 2015:

Chuck Rathbun: I would like to nominate Chuck Rathbun. Chuck goes above and beyond to assist me. Even when he is very busy he will continue to help. Chuck will always do research if he is unable to fix the issue at that time. He is a real asset to FSU. Thank you Chuck!

Haille Bernson: I would like to nominate Haille Bernson, for a Pat-on-the-Back Award. Haille is an honors student in the nursing program who is serving as the project manager for the Ferris State University project management team in the West Michigan THE Project 2015 competition. Besides being an excellent student, a passionate writer, and an inspiring leader; Haille is also one of the hardest-working individuals I have ever met. She constantly goes above and beyond expectations, even with her incredibly busy schedule. Her efforts as the project manager for our competition team are truly appreciated. I am fortunate to work with her and to be able to call her one of my best friends!

Dean Kludy, Scott Claerhout & Rob Hazekamp: I would like to nominate Dean Kludy, Scott Claerhout and Rob Hazekamp for a Pat-on-the Back award! These three gentlemen from our TAC department all went above and beyond the call of duty to help get the accounting software from Konica Minolta set up on the Ferris server and updated. This process has been ongoing for about one year now, and as we (hopefully) near the end of the installation, I had to give a SHOUT-OUT to all three. With a very busy work schedule already, the timing, coordination and efforts of all three were “spot-on”. They did everything and more, including writing out the instructions (SOP’s) to help the CET faculty & staff adjust to the update. Words alone cannot express my appreciation! TAC, you have a great bunch of “Pod People” going on! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Lena Yarrington: I would like to nominate Lena Yarrington in catering. Lena always seems to go above and beyond to assist those in need. Recently, she scoured her records for documentation needed in a hurry and found the information when we couldn’t. Thank you for all you do Lena.

Merrie Lange, Joan Birkam, Christina Bregg, Jane Pedelty & Mary Jo Peppler: I would like to nominate Merrie and the rest of the copy center crew for their hard work and timeliness on completing jobs. Last week I submitted a pretty large order and asked if it could be done that day even though I figured it would be impossible. By golly, they did it! Thank you! Kim Kleeves & Carrie Curtis: I would like to nominate Kim Kleeves in the College of Health Professions Dean’s Office and student employee Carrie Curtis for always graciously stepping up to get the job done! You guys rock!!

Rob Wagner: I would like to nominate Rob Wagner for a pat on the back. Rob provides technical support for the Financial Aid Office. We have relied on him to help us with numerous projects, and each has a pressing deadline. Rob has created a new Award Letter that is of high professional quality, which supports our enrollment initiatives. He is always a team player and gets the job done for our department!


Awardees for March 2015:

Steve Plautz: I would like to nominate custodian Steve Plautz for a Pat-on-the-Back Award. He makes extra effort to keep the walk ways into our building snow and ice free. When walking up to our building you can always tell when he’s working. Steve also has a happy and positive greeting to start my day. It is much appreciated!

Jeff Gabalis: I would like to nominate Jeff Gabalis in Media Production, Jeff consistently goes above and beyond. Even when he is very busy he will continue to accept and happily complete additional projects to help faculty for the benefit of students, he is a real asset to Ferris. I have never asked Jeff for anything small or had much notice that I could provide and he still cheerfully accepts another large project with a short deadline.

Todd Ballard: I would like to nominate Todd Ballard, Equipment Repair, School of Automotive and heavy Equipment, Todd Has only been with Ferris a short while and he is already taking on additional roles to benefit the students, He has volunteered to be the advisor for the SAE Baja team and recently spent a good deal of time and his own fuel after hours and on the weekend to support the team. We are fortunate to have him in the auto building working to support Ferris Students, he has become a genuine asset very quickly.

Susan Roberts & Lori Henderson: I would like to nominate Susan Roberts and Lori Henderson for the Pat-On-the-back award. I was working to get a budgeting software on my computer that would greatly help in my daily job duties. There were some issues with my security and Lori and Susan worked diligently to get it all straightened out for me. Susan even walked over to my office and sat at my computer, while speaking to Lori on the phone, to get it resolved. She then sat with me to show me how to use the program. They both went above and beyond the call of their jobs to help me get it all figured out. It was a true demonstration of teamwork and being willing to help fellow FSU co-workers. I am thankful to get to work with 2 people that are always so helpful.


Awardees for February 2015:

Marie Cross: I would like to nominate Marie Cross from the Registrar's Office for her excellent customer service, friendly personality and brainstorming skills. My daughter was in a bind trying to get a transcript in time for a Grad School application (her fault) and even though she was busy trying to catch up from the holiday backlog, Marie took the time to speak with us several times on the phone and helped to come up with a solution that worked for us. She bent over backwards to make it as easy for us as possible and followed it through to make sure it was accomplished, even though it required extra effort on her part. She is a perfect example of an employee who treats each student as if they are a part of the Ferris family. As a parent of a student whose home is a long way from campus, I truly appreciate employees like Marie!

Thomas Liszewski and Elisa Cotter: I would like to nominate Thomas Liszewski and Elisa Cotter for the Pat on the Back Award because of the stellar job they did in providing an amazing Resident Advisor Training. They went above and beyond the call of duty and delivered a highly informative training to a very large audience of resident advisors. Kudos!

Frank Conant: I would like to nominate Frank Conant (student worker ? TAC Dept) for a Pat-On-The-Back award: I recently went from the world of a dumb phone user to my first smart phone. I had successfully logged onto Ferris WiFi, but it was not working. I called TAC because I needed to register my device. I was unable to find the information needed to get it registered. Frank came to my office after he got off work (on his own time!) and helped me find the information needed and now I¨m up and running. Thank you, Frank, for going the extra mile!

Rafael Dominguez, Kevin Jackson, Jeff Warner, Bruce Borstler, Corey Spekowske, Dianne Britten, Doni Cassidy, Greg Eichenberg, Jay Bush, Jeff Morey, Josh Fricke, Karen Rodhy, Kimberly Walters, Marianne VanHorn, Mark Lunstead, Melanie Buffin, Pam Marvel, Sandy Paul, Scott Kosaski, Sonya Biller and Val Harley: The custodial staff gave up their Saturday or Sunday to clean the David L. Eisler Center for opening on January 5. When the office occupants left the David L. Eisler Center on Friday, January 2 the facility still looked like a construction zone with construction materials and construction dust everywhere. When we returned on Monday morning everything was cleaned and ready to open. We are all so thankful of the job they did to make a great first impression on the customers to the facility.



Congratulation to Tracy Morneau - the winner of the fall semester's pat on the back recognition prize!



Awardees for December 2014:

Kasey DePew: I would like to nominate Kasey DePew for a Pat-on-the-Back award. Kasey goes above and beyond in everything she does. Not only does she work hard for her student ‘customers,’ but she is extremely helpful with questions from staff members as well. She is my go-to person for so many things (many of which stretch beyond her job description), and is always happy to help. She is a true asset to the University.

Brandon Eberts: I would like to nominate Brandon Eberts for his excellent customer service. He would say that he is just doing his job but he goes beyond expectations to make sure things are right. I appreciate that he really reads the UWN's submitted to him and makes sure that they are of the highest standards. He has eagle eyes and a great positive attitude. Thank you for your hard work!

Leeann O’Neal and Ryan Griffin: both picked up slack as a coordinator position was vacated just before the summer. Leeann provided interim coordinator leadership during Summer Session and the start of Fall Semester. While Leeann was doing this, Ryan helped to fill the void for FLITE and the College of Arts, Sciences and Education computer support.

Russ Mishler and Conner Ivens: prepared Pharmacy 112 computers for use during Fall Semester under a short timeline. This was a great service to the College of Pharmacy in support of their programs.

Joe Strohkrich and Travis Scott: worked late hours in Grand Rapids on an Audio/Visual project to help our FSU GR locations for Fall Semester. Their efforts completed the install and the space was able to be used on time.

Randy Shanks: did a fabulous job leading the PC Vendor Review efforts. There was a tremendous amount of work to communicate with all parties, arranging the demonstrations and establishing evaluation criteria, and bringing it to a conclusion. The results of your work will help the university save money and potentially establish more reliable computer service for our customers.

Beth Haneline and Jerry Strunk: provided computer support coverage for FSU GR locations during a planned absence of the Satellite Coordinator position. They help to provide seamless support for FSU GR and other off campus locations throughout the State of Michigan.

Josie VanAvery and Laurie Wernette: I would like to nominate Josie VanAvery and Laurie Wernette from FLITE for their great assistance in the preparations for FLITE's Fall 2014 Finals Week Study Breaks.

Rosemary Kailing: Does a tremendous job of handling purchase requests, paperwork for return authorizations, and she is a great resource for protocols and procedures when it comes to purchasing. Often, folks in positions like hers go un-noticed or un-appreciated; this is not the case with her!


Awardees for November 2014:

Sadie Smits: I would like to nominate Sadie Smits for a “Pat on the Back” Award. I showed up unannounced at the Grand Rapids Pharmacy Facility hoping to get a brief tour. Upon our arrival, Sadie stepped out from behind her desk to meet us and introduce herself. Instead of passing us off to someone else, she took the time from her busy schedule to walk us through the facility. She explained the function of each area in great detail. We were treated to an informative experience and not a five minute rush tour. Her enthusiasm and pride were very evident. She went out of her way to make us feel welcomed.

Claudia Johnson, Dave Page, Sandy Holley, Cindy Ottobre, Wendy Bradley, Jeanie Tollenaar, Steve Mithaler, Rick Beckman, Tiffany Beckman, Patti Root, Laura Snyder, Laura Ward, Tina Ward, Jeff Perkowski, Pam VanAlstine, Tracy Morneau, Jill Halliday, Jacob McHugh, Tammy Spring, Carly Billings, Amy Misoni, Jeannette Griffith, Katie Dougherty, Pam Laprise, Cristy Cutler, Dawn Elmore, Jeff Stirn, Darla Szpiech, Jamie Larson, Richelle Ranshaw, Mary Sparks, Brenton Bashore, Mark Arnold and Tasha Nixon: I would like to take a few moments to recognize some individuals from the Dining Services department that have helped with some rather large catering lately. Thank you for your hard work and dedication and for going above and beyond, it is appreciated.

Connie Bookshaw: Every time I deal with Connie Bookshaw in ECDS I find her very pleasant it’s always nice to be recognized just for being kind!

Barb Hampel, Michelle Richardson, Andresa Maciejewski, Terry Langan, Lynn Bowen, Jennie Stange, Cindi Donley, Donna Schmidt, and Kim Buckingham: These ladies are hard workers and extremely efficient. They don’t often get acknowledged for all the jobs they do – so I would like to acknowledge them. They wear many different hats, but still go above and beyond to provide outstanding service to our students as well as staff members. I have weekly if not daily contact with each of these individuals and all I can say is they are professional, friendly and outstanding! They are flexible in the help they provide me and are willing to drop everything they are doing to help a student. I appreciate each and every one of you!


Awardees for October 2014:

Karen Simmon: Hello, I would like to nominate Karen Simmon for a Ferris Pat on the Back award. Karen worked closely with me and members of the physical plant to ensure the Open House for the Staff Center for Training & Development would be renovated and ready on Founder’s Day, August 28th, 2014. Knowing there are many projects taking place, we truly appreciate the time and focus to meet the date for our grand opening. We had over 100 employees from all employee groups join us and are very excited to deliver training and development opportunities to Ferris employees!

Velislav Pavlov, Jerry Strunk and Beth Haneline: Recently, these folks helped us coordinate several classroom audio/ video upgrades, which included working at unusual hours to ensure we had proper access to classrooms and parking in Grand Rapids. I appreciated the group's willingness to help and I'm sure students at the ATC will appreciate it as well!

Debbie Lunsted: I would like to nominate Debbie Lunsted from the Student Employment office. Year after year I make mistakes in the student hiring process, and she is always there to correct my errors. She does it nicely and professionally and I appreciate it. She keeps the interest of the student at heart and overcomes my shortcomings to make sure they are taken care of. Lindsay Young, Sara Salet, Amanda Mitchell, Israel Ledesma, Mike McCaw and Maggie Edwards: Today, we collected video testimonials from nine Ferris students about their experience at Ferris to use in future marketing materials. Students were asked open-ended questions about why they chose Ferris, what made them go back to school, what they have liked about their Ferris experience, etc. Many answers were given about convenience, affordability, class size, instructors and staff, but several individuals were named in the interviews for the extra mile they have gone to help the student succeed.

I would like to nominate these individuals for a Pat-on-the-Back Award. These faculty and staff members have made a significant impact on the lives of the students we interviewed and, I’m sure, many more. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to student service: Lindsay Young, Sara Salet, Amanda Mitchell, Israel Ledesma, Mike McCaw, and Maggie Edwards.

Jeannine Martine, Bridget Olson, Marie Cross and Terry Langan: I would like to nominate Jeannine Martine, Bridget Olson, Marie Cross and Terry Langan from the Registrar’s Office for a Pat-on- the Back. This time of year is particularly challenging with a high workload and multiple conflicting deadlines and they always manage to get the work done on time with an attention to accuracy, and they do it all while remaining “cool” and collected. Thanks ladies!

Ted Halm: We would like to nominate Ted Halm from University Advancement and Marketing for this award. Ted has assisted us with numerous changes to our website with infinite patience and expertise. He has been able to trouble-shoot problems and make changes in the blink of an eye. He so deserves this recognition!


Awardees for September 2014:

Paul Quick: I would like to nominate the following employee for a Pat on the Back. Paul submitted and was granted an A&F Grant proposal for a new “Call Em All” program. Previously we would manually call students for various reasons, which would take a very long time and a lot of employees. With this program we are able to call students after hours so we have more calls received and less messages left on machines and all student are called simultaneously. Thank you and great job Paul!


Awardees for July 2014:

Tom Worth, Gene Lawler and Adam Schoen:  I would like to nominate the following employees for a Pat on the Back:  Tom Worth, Gene Lawler and Adam Schoen.  I am not sure if the campus community realizes how many vehicles and pieces of miscellaneous of equipment these 3 guys keep running.  Most FSU vehicles and most of the miscellaneous equipment FSU has are maintained and repaired by the Motor Pool garage.  A big kudos goes to Tom, Gene & Adam for doing what they do best and working diligently to get some “bigger” projects completed recently.  I am very proud to work with them!

Destiny Gorby:  I'd like to recommend Destiny Gorby for a Pat-On-The-Back for all the planning for the first Donor Recognition Dinner held in over 8 years. A multitude of details are involved and unexpected detours occurred and she handled it all with professionalism and follow-through. The dinner was a huge success and represented Ferris well. Thank you and great job Destiny!

Sharon Hopper:  I would like to nominate Sharon Hopper in HR for a pat on the back award. The new PeopleAdmin has proved to be a time consuming learning process and Sharon has made herself available to our program, our school, and our college with patience and professionalism. She has went way above and beyond her role to assist us. Thank you.