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Pat on the Back Awards 2022-23

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 a Pat-on-the-Back recognition. Each candidate will receive a Pat-on-the-Back certificate.

Awardees for April 2023

The below narratives were received … 

I would like to nominate our Michigan College of Optometry (MCO) Admissions team for a Pat-on-the-Back Award. They are such a well-oiled machine that we sometimes forget how amazing it is that we have had full cohorts each year through the pandemic and into 2024. The team consists of the talents of Health Colleges Administration Specialist, Amy Parks and MCO faculty, Dr. Jim MillerDr. Joe PoleDr. Sarah Hinkley and Dr. Sarah Bush. This is an exceptionally positive group that knocks it out of the park every time. Our student ambassadors are an integral part of this team and provide incredible support in giving tours, sharing their MCO experience, and participating in the interview process. They are Ashley PetersDaria LaisureEmma KerrHannah LongKayla McCaigLaura SchnepfLeah JippingMolly LeslieNick KeinathRachel McKurasSelena NehmehSheen MathewTate HammondTaylor FissAnita KamranAshley KerrDanielle HendersonEmerson LankfordEmma KainJoeya KahnJulie JustinLogan OostdykMarilyn JohnsonPaige WeberRiley ParkerTravis Bethke and Will Haunfelder. We appreciate the work of this incredible team.

Awardees for March 2023

The below narratives were received … 

I would like to recognize the entire Facilities Management Grounds Crew with a Pat-on-the-Back Award for their significant efforts year-round, but particularly during recent weather events on campus. We all enjoy the beautifully maintained lawns, flowers, trees and shrubs during the spring, summer and fall months. We should also note that the Grounds Crew reported to work as early as 3 a.m. and worked 12-hour shifts for multiple days - plowing campus roads, parking lots and salting sidewalks to make sure our campus is as safe and accessible as possible during the ice/snow events. Thank you, Nick Battle, Josh Bonham, John Brockway, Brian Cady, Brad Charron, Richard Coby, Gordy Graham, Lionel MacKenzie, Paul Mulder, Marcus Todd, Scott Wilcox, Daryl Young and Chuck Zimmerman

I would like to nominate Trinidy Williams, Jesse Fuller and Marie Delamater for their assistance with Concur. I am very thankful for this team and their ability to assist me in my journey to reconcile my expenses. Thank you.

Ryan Buckley, Heather Stewart and Jacqueline Holman are deserving of a shout-out, hug and maybe even an adult beverage for all of the work they are doing on the new scholarship process. Their diligence and skills are working hard to get all scholarship monies out to our students. Your work and professionalism are noticed, and we are lucky to have you in Bulldog Nation.

I would like to nominate Andy Rayburn and Pat Frebes for a Pat on the Back. I recently had a complicated computer issue. Andy and Pat worked a long time to figure it out, eventually having to include the vendor on a 1 ½ hour conference call to figure out the solution. I’m sure they spent hours on this problem, and I appreciate all the help they give our department!

I would like to nominate the following Campus Services students for a Pat-on-the Back Award Chris Kessler, Talon Soenksen, Griffin McFarlin-Fraass, Tyler Thomsen, Ethan Valdes and Caden Ososki. Their hard work getting all of the tables and chairs loaded for the Career Fair was an enormous help. Thank you, guys.

I would like to nominate the following individuals for Pat-on-the Back Awards. They were instrumental in breaking down the Career Fair in a timely manner. Thank you, Devon Willis, Pat Marek, Nick Johnston, and Torri Fry from Custodial. Also Thank you Talon Soenksen, Devin Hubbard, Mackensie White, Will St. George, Lili Lambert and Mara Lynch. You are all an asset to Facilities Management and Ferris State University.

Awardees for February 2023

The below narratives were received … 

I would like to nominate Jesse Fuller, Disbursements Department, for a Pat-on-the-Back Award. His attention to customer service is beyond exemplary. I sincerely appreciate his quick response time and follow-up. He has helped a great deal with our Concur process issues, and I can’t thank him enough for everything he has done to make the process more efficient.

I would like to nominate Steve Beck, Arik EastlingBrent KundingerRussell Mishler and Zack Kipfmiller, IT Support Services, for a Pat-on-the-Back Award. We are sincerely grateful for the outstanding customer service and quick response time we have received with our computer and AV issues by these individuals. Recently, we had a few major challenges occur with our technology here at Ferris Grand Rapids, which were resolved quickly and efficiently by this amazing IT support team! A huge THANK YOU to everyone for taking such great care of us.

I’d like to nominate Chris Swank for assisting a student in single-digit temps with their frozen bike lock. When the student came into our office with their concern, Chris promptly heated some water and took it down so the student could attend their next class on time. Thanks for all you do Chris.

Awardees for January 2023

The below narratives were received … 

I would like to recognize Sandy Howe from the College of Business Custodial crew for all her hard work.  That woman is on the move all night - I don’t know how she does it.  On the third floor in the hallway where the faculty offices are located, many of the light bulbs were burnt out so some of us had a hard time putting our keys in the doors. Sandy noticed and before I knew it, she had the bulbs changed. Thanks, Sandy, for making our workplace better and for all of your hard work!

I would like to nominate Devon Willis for a Pat on the Back award. Devon cleaned the carpets in the Transportation Services office before break and did an amazing job. The extra effort he put into cleaning them makes them look like new again. Thank you, Devon, for your hard work and dedication.

Awardees for December 2022

The below narratives were received … 

I’d like to nominate Shana Beisiegel and Tom Morris for Pat-on-ohe-Back awards. They are a joy to work with—proactive, responsive and reliable. I never worry about an event in the David L. Eisler Center because I know I can rely on their expertise and partnership. Ferris is lucky to have them! 

I would like to nominate student Al Alley for a Pat-on-the-Back Award. Al has gone above and beyond over this break by volunteering to reorganize the Gender Exploration closet in the LGBTQ+ Resource Center. They came in solely because they wanted to and stayed for quite a long time. They came back on a different day to continue to help and made the RC much more organized. I cannot express just how much I appreciate them and all they’ve done over break. 

Awardees for November 2022

The below narratives were received … 

​​​​​​​I’d like to nominate Ferris Printing Services’ Melinda Arnson, Christina Bregg, and Ken Lenahan, as well as student workers Gabe Waldrup and Andrew Friedman. They did a tremendous amount of work very quickly to provide printed materials and signage for President Pink’s inauguration events and provided proactive, solution-focused support at every turn. I really can’t commend them highly enough. They are generous with their time, responsive and always provide excellent customer service to campus and community clients.

I’d like to nominate Kaytlyn Sheldon at the Michigan College of Optometry. She always has a positive attitude, smiles at everyone she comes across, and is willing to help at a moment’s notice. Recently, Kaytlyn has taken on many additional tasks to assist the college in preparation for its accreditation visit but also helped create recruitment materials for current faculty positions at the same time. Her responsiveness and personality have been a welcome sight during times of challenge at MCO.

I am requesting a Pat-on-the-Back Award for Shana Beisiegel. Shana is Amazing. She always finds a way to get the customers’ facilities' needs met and with a smile on her face. We are a department that always needs popular dates, so finding a way to get us the rooms we need can be difficult. She plans well in advance and is detailed to ensure all events go off without an issue. She is a true asset to Ferris State University. 

I would like to nominate Niyant Bhavsar for a Pat-on-the-Back Award. Niyant is a tremendous asset to Ferris State. I reached out to him the morning before the Thanksgiving holiday break with an urgent data request for the Payroll office. Even with such short notice, Niyant got the job done with time to spare, saving what could have been a full day-plus of work for Payroll. Thank you, Niyant. We appreciate your fantastic attitude and willingness to help.

Awardees for October 2022

The below narratives were received … 

I want to nominate Rob Wagner, Enrollment Services IT support, for helping us to get data for an important annual report. The University has seen a loss of key staff and their knowledge. Although Rob is extremely busy providing support to Enrollment Services, he took the time to assist us in finding the report that had the data we needed. Rob has been an important support for me in my prior position and he was like Superman and saved the day for me again. Thank you, Rob!

I’d like to nominate Melinda Arnson and the staff at Print Services for a Pat-on-the-Back Award. They go above and beyond with their customer service, meeting tight deadlines, and overall helpfulness for printing needs. We had a super tight deadline and only had a couple hours to get a job printed, made into a spiral-bound book, and then have it delivered to the meeting site. They immediately went to work, and we had what we needed in plenty of time. I highly recommend them for any print job (big or small), as their quality and service is top-notch.

I would like to nominate the following people for Pat-on-the-Back awards. I held two advisory board meetings in September and these folks were invaluable in helping me create successful events.

  • Catherine Belkowski was invaluable in lending expertise, time and help for the successful ITM Advisory Board East meeting on Sept. 15, 2022.
  • Janelle Hemingway selflessly woke up in the wee hours of the morning on Sept. 15, 2022 to attend, support and deliver just in time favors for the ITM Advisory Board East meeting.
  • Laura Porritt was critical to the success of the ITM Advisory Board West meeting held on Sept. 21, 202. Laura prepared all documents, favors, the room, set up the catering and even set up my hotel stay.
  • Alicia Schaub took terrific notes, helped to keep us on task and provided valuable insight for the ITM Advisory Board West meeting held on Sept. 21, 2022.

I would like to submit a couple pats on the back:

  1. TDMP students and faculty and staff Glen Okonoski, Bill Jung, Andrew Tingley assisted in recording an audio narration for a video project for the Jim Crow Museum. The recording was fantastic and great quality.
  2. Kasey Thompson provided audio narration for a Jim Crow Museum video project.
  3. Jason Swearingen, Joseph Strohkirch and Russell Mishler diagnosed and replaced an audio amplifier component in the Jim Crow Museum saving thousands of dollars in replacement costs.

Pat-on-the-Back Awards are given monthly. If there is someone you would like to nominate, please send your request to [email protected]

Awardees for September 2022

The below narratives were received … 

My September Pat-on-the-Back Award nomination goes to Chris Swank in the CASE Dean’s Office. Chris made additional directional signs for Starr, ASC and Science and placed sidewalk chalk down during the first day of classes with directional arrows. This made such a difference for our students as they navigated their way around during the first week. Thanks Chris.

I’d love to nominate Brenna Kelley, for all the hard work she’s done as interim Catering director over the course of the last few months, and especially during Founders’ Day this year. During a time when everyone was doing more with less, Brenna took on this role in addition to her normal duties and was a rock star.

Her team respects her, and we so appreciate her willingness to go the extra mile to make all these events special. Thank you, Brenna.

I would like to nominate Jacqueline Holman from the Advancement Team for her great work in and around the President's Football Box. Jacqueline skillfully resolved as many last-minute challenges as you could think of that popped up before and throughout the first game while ensuring guests still had a wonderful experience. Great job Jacqueline and team - all-star status.

I would like to nominate Randy Dahlstrom for the Pat-on-the-Back Award. Randy has always been extremely helpful when we go to Ferris Eyecare. Randy goes out of the way to make sure you are getting the best care and options. Ferris is extremely lucky to have Randy.

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs would like to nominate the following people for their assistance in making the 2022 Celebration of Student Research and Creative Activities a success. We appreciate each of you. 

Melinda Arnson and the staff at Print Services for printing the student research posters and for being incredibly accommodating with our various poster sizes Shana Beisiegel, Tom Morris, and the staff at the David L. Eisler Center for all their work setting up the rooms, tables, and posters Nate Clark for his graphical design expertise Patrick Davis and Peter Kremo for setting up the delicious food and drinks Russell Mishler and Jason Swearingen for all their IT assistance both before and during the event I would like to nominate Becky Walsh-Zimmerman for a Pat-on-the-Back Award. Becky has been working with our department to find creative ways to save us money while still meeting the technology needs of the employees. Becky, Thank you for thinking out of the box, you are appreciated.

I would like to nominate Evan Misener in Facilities management for a pat on the back. I needed information on facilities for a grant. He provided me with all of the information I asked for cheerfully and within hours of my request. He was a great help.

Awardees for August 2022

The below narratives were received … 

I would like to nominate Nina Davis for her administrative support to the Academic Literacies Center. Teresa Brown retired in May. Nina’s expertise is an asset to our work. Thank you, Nina, for stepping in to support us! YOU matter.

I’d like to send a pat on the back to Angela Ryan, Dean Jason Bentley, GRCC and EAB for their expertise with Navigate. They trained and identified strategies and resources to help the Academic Support Center and Structured Learning Assistance staff learn Navigate. We look forward to learning more! YOU matter.

I would like to nominate Rodney Gardei. He scheduled a carpet cleaning for the ALC and helped us with our copier when it was not working. Kudos to Rodney for all that he does! YOU matter.

I would like to nominate Vejas Grazulis for a Pat-on-the-Back Award. Vejas was such an amazing help this summer in Campus Services. He always had a positive attitude and was willing to do whatever task was assigned to him. Thank you, Vejas. Keep up the great work.

I would like to nominate Darla Szpiech-Bailey, Kristy Cutler, Josh Fricke, Devon Willis, and Pat Marek for Pat-on-the-Back Awards. Campus Services recently had a very large project to handle for Housing and it could not have been done as efficiently as it was had I not had their help. Thank you all.

I would like to nominate Teresa Havens for a Pat-on-the-Back Award. Teresa has been such a HUGE help to Campus Services the last several months. She manages to handle all of the customer requests for Campus Services and her other duties and maintains a positive attitude. Thank you, Teresa.

I would like to nominate Evan MIsener. Evan is a Project Management Intern at Facilities Management. He is always eager to assist with any issues that arise on projects he is helping on. He will take time out of his busy schedule to answer questions or provide clarification. He is an amazing asset to both Project Management and Facilities. Keep up the great work, Evan.

I would like to nominate Jody Gardei for all her assistance. She is always willing to hop on a quick Teams meeting and help with any Microsoft-related questions. She provides helpful video clips and easy-to-follow directions. If she doesn’t have the answer, she takes the time to research it and get back with you promptly. Her Microsoft 365 Learning Community in Teams is a super helpful resource for how to utilize Microsoft and its apps more efficiently. Thank you, Jody, for all you do!

I would like to nominate Jim Cook for his prompt response and helpfulness in sending out UWN messages. When I had difficulty sending out a new message, Jim hopped on a quick teams call to ensure it was being completed correctly. Jim has a wealth of IT knowledge and is able to explain things in an easy-to-understand fashion. Thank you, Jim.

I would like to nominate Angie Veldman in the Dining office. Angie goes out of her way to assist people. She is a jack of all trades. She always has a smile on her face, no matter what. Angie is the go-to person.

Awardees for July 2022

I’d like to nominate Jennifer Johnson, Dave Schrock, Beth Zimmer, Mike Berghoef, and Sandy Alspach for the July Pat On The Back award. They constructed and gave our college-wide orientation presentation throughout the four weeks of in-person orientation and represented CASE well.

I’d like to give Hannah Crouch a HUGE pat on the back for the amazing orientation photos. Thank you for capturing so many memorable moments for families, students, faculty, and staff.

I would like to nominate Brenna Kelley, Dining Services Manager, for a Pat-on-the-Back Award. Brenna has always been a pleasure to work with, but during a recent catering event on campus that Brenna assisted our office with, she went above and beyond to accommodate our specific needs despite being short-staffed and having other functions happening simultaneously. We would like to acknowledge the wonderful job that she does for Catering, Dining Services and Ferris State University. Thank you, Brenna.

If you would like to nominate someone for the Pat-On-the Back Award, please send your nomination to [email protected]. Recognitions are made monthly.