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President's Message to Campus - September 6, 2019

Good News

It is a pleasure to share the Good News and works of our colleagues across the University. This beginning of the academic year listing is impressive, 16 pages of accomplishments, honors and extraordinary efforts. Below is a small sampling. I encourage you to review the complete Good News list online and congratulate your colleagues on their success.

  • The Charter Schools Office Scholarship Fund has awarded $4,400 scholarships to 29 new freshmen and 14 returning students.
  • Ten Graphic Media Management students were awarded $36,400 in scholarships from the Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation.
  • Graphic Design students designed a new website and complete rebrand for Project Starburst, a local non-profit food pantry.
  • Television and Digital Media Production received $30,000 in grant funding from the Higher Education Television Association.
  • Television and Digital Media Production students, under the direction of Bill Jung, broadcast the U.S. Rowing Association National Rowing Regatta in August.
  • Digital Animation and Game Design students participated in Skills USA, winning first place in 3D Visualization and Animation for the second year in a row.
  • Under the direction of Mike Korcal and John Posillico, six HVACR students placed 3rd in the 2019 International Design Competition sponsored by American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers.
  • Kimberly Beistle was featured in “Women in Dentistry: Female Representation in the Workforce and in Dental Leadership” in the Summer 2019 West Michigan District Dental Society Bulletin.
  • College of Pharmacy faculty David Bright, Peg DeVoest, Thomas Dowling, Namita Giri, Renee Koski, Sonali Kurup, Lisa Meny, Tracey Mersfelder, Danielle Rustem (former P4 student), Claire Saadeh, Lisa Salvati, Kyle Schmidt, Scott Sexton, Dane Shiltz, Minji Sohn, and Kali VanLangen, were published in 10 different publications and faculty Felix Amissah, David Bright, Thomas Dowling, Deeb Eid, Heather Girand, Jennifer Lamberts, Lisa Meny, Tracey Mersfelder, Lisa Salvati, Mandy Seiferlein, Minji Sohn, Kali VanLangen and Greg Wellman engaged in more than 10 presentations held in Michigan, Chicago, Minneapolis, Texas and Canada.
  • Ann Breitenwischer, Sela Constan-Wahl, Jody Gardei, Leah Melichar and DeeDee Stakley presented “How to Build Networks and Make Professional Connections that Matter” at the Michigan ACE Women’s Network annual conference in Lansing.
  • Peter Bradley co-facilitated the National Collegiate Honors Council Assessment and Evaluation Institute in Lincoln, Neb.
  • Monica Frees presented at the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Conference at the University of Findlay.
  • Students, faculty and staff volunteered over 1,150 hours to “Welcome Home” our Ferris Family during Operation Move-In 2019. 
  • A new in-house malware sandbox (Cuckoo) has been set up by Cybersecurity to test software without resorting to third-parties.
  • Nine teams from around the world competed in KCAD’s sixth annual Wege Prize design competition. The 2nd place team, comprised of students Joe Dunaske, Kate Hyman, Lindsey Maner and Sydney Johnson, proposed a service model furniture company that shifts end-of-life responsibility of bulk furniture waste from the user to the manufacturer.
  • KCAD students Morgan Adams and Lydia Mejia won Gold ADDY Awards at the national 2019 American Advertising Awards. Adams won for her publication design, “It’s a Circus in Here,” and Mejia for her book design “Everybody Outside.”
  • KCAD students Matt Veenhoven and Aiden Wysocki were part of a student team that won 1st place in the 2019 MWest Challenge student venture competition for MedRover, a business proposal that would help summer camps track and handle campers’ prescription medicine needs.
  • Karen Carter presented her paper “Mapping the Display of Posters in the Marginalized Areas of Paris, 1881-1905” at the Nineteenth-Century French Studies Colloquium in Los Angeles; published a chapter in the book Design History Beyond the Cannon titled “Confronting racial stereotypes in graphic design history;” and attended the HERS Institute Higher Education Leadership Development Program at Bryn Mawr College.
  • Stephen Halko was featured in Climate, a group exhibition of artists from around the country whose work explores human interaction with the environment, at (SCENE) Metrospace in East Lansing.
  • Phil Renato was featured in WaterWorks, an exhibition at the New Jersey-based Long Beach Island Foundation that explored the impact of water on all life forms.
  • Brenda Sipe published her article, “Engaging Faculty and Students with Design Thinking,” in the online journal Department Chair and published the article, “Embedding Design Thinking in a Culture of Innovation at Two Community Colleges,” in the Community College Journal of Research and Practice.
  • UICA’s Off the Wall event entertained 250 guests with performances by actors, musicians, singers and dancers in The Galleries at UICA. Proceeds support UICA’s programming, exhibitions, films and arts-focused events.
  • The Center for Leadership, Activities and Career Services implemented Bulldog Connect, the replacement for OrgSync.
  • Michele Albright obtained a grant for $8,000 from the Fremont Area Community Foundation to provide education and support for Census 2020.
  • To welcome students back to campus and provide opportunities for engagement, this year’s Bulldogs Beginnings included 50 events over 17 days.
  • The Aug. 3 Dawg Days had 459 total guests in attendance, 177 of which were prospective students. This was the largest Dawg Day to date in terms of total guests.
  • 2,030 students completed orientation on campus in June and July. This is up 32 students from the year prior, and our largest four weeks of summer orientation since 2015 (2,142).  
  • The University was recognized by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators as one of 80 institutions demonstrating commitment to advancing first-generation student success through the First Forward program.
  • Women's golfer Destiny Lawson captured the 2019 Michigan Junior Invitational at Pine River Country Club in Alma, Mich., with a round of 71 to finish one-under par for her first victory as a collegiate golfer.
  • Senior quarterback Travis Russell is one of the nominees for the 2019 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, one of the most prestigious off-the-field honors in college football.
  • Since July 1, 2016, the Ferris Futures Scholarship Challenge has received 5,101 gifts and pledges to new and existing endowments, with more than $7.68 million of new gift commitments. With the match, this creates more than $15.36 million of new endowed funds for the support of Ferris students.
  • More than 25 Bulldog Ambassadors sent personal notecards with words of encouragement and pride to more than 1,300 students who completed their first year at Ferris.
  • UA&M launched the updated brand and marketing campaign, Ferris Forward, developed in partnership with advertising agency 160over90, faculty and staff. A new style guide, brand resources and templates have been developed for use throughout the University.
  • Bill Bitzinger, Ted Halm and MaryKay MacIver developed a 135-year history website timeline that highlights the significant milestones in the University’s history.

Foundation Opportunity Scholarship/Merit Grant Awards

The Ferris Foundation is proud to announce the awarding of 20 Opportunity Scholarships to students, all of whom are from Michigan, and the following Exceptional Merit Grant Awards:

-Hira Herrington and Team, College of Business
“Fund initial research into virtual reality classrooms and courses leading to VR courses to increase enrollment”

-James Brady, Michigan College of Optometry
“Critically evaluate online ordered spectacles with progressive additional lenses”

-Patrick English, College of Engineering Technology
“Support electric vehicle instruction with hands on opportunities for students”

-Changqi Zhu, College of Arts, Sciences and Education
“Determine if apoptosis is the main cause for the reduced lifespan of Atg1 expressing fruit flies”

-Andrew Peterson and Team, Extended and International Operations
“Acquire the hardware and software required for production of esports broadcasting”

-Emmanuel Jadhav and Team, College of Health Professions
“Identify factors that enable successful campus transition of first generation students”

-Tracy Nichols Busch and Team, College of Arts, Sciences and Education
“Bolster the offers of the Museum of Sexist Objects and commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment”

The Exceptional Merit Grants Program was established by The Ferris Foundation to promote support for faculty and staff excellence. The program helps with funding programming, operating costs, matching grant expenses, travel, seed money, equipment and other expenses. Please join me in congratulating this year’s Merit Grant recipients.


The Strategic Planning and Resource Council (SPARC) is a group of University faculty, staff, administrators and students who meet monthly to discuss strategic planning efforts, current challenges and opportunities, and other timely topics relative to higher education.  

This month’s meeting will be dedicated to the University’s 2019-2024 strategic plan, Ferris Forward. Facilitating this meeting will be Jennifer Johnson, David Pilgrim and Spence Tower. They will share information and solicit feedback on the plan as it is finalized for presentation for the Board of Trustees in October. Everyone is welcome – you need not be a member to attend. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 10, at 3 p.m. inside the University Center, Room 202.


It was a beautiful evening last night for much of the football team’s home opener against Findlay. At the end of an explosive first half, Ferris led 17-14. With rain starting in the second half, the game tightened up. In the closing minutes of the game, Findlay drove the length of the field for a touchdown, but failed on a 2-point conversion. Ferris then ran out the clock for a very exciting 24-23 win.  

Earlier in the evening the volleyball team began their season with a 3-0 win over Ohio Dominican at their annual home invitational. The tournament schedule was expanded to include Seton Hill (Pa.) and now includes 16 games over three days. Seton Hill was originally heading to Florida for a tournament that was cancelled due to Hurricane Dorian. With the revised schedule, the women’s game tonight against McKendree has been pushed back to 6:30 p.m. On Saturday they have two matches, with the first at 10 a.m. against Gannon (Pa.) and then 6:30 p.m. against Seton Hill.

Our women’s soccer team opens their season at home today with new head coach Greg Henson. This afternoon’s match against Truman State (Mo.) is at 4 p.m. followed by another game against Quincy (Ill.) on Sunday at noon.

On Saturday the men's and women's cross country teams will host the 45th annual Ray Helsing Bulldog Invitational at Katke Golf Course. The women's collegiate 5,000-meter race begins at 9:30 a.m. and will be followed by the men's collegiate 8,000-meter event at approximately 10 a.m. Several local high schools will also be competing. 

The race is held in honor of legendary coach Ray Helsing, who passed away in 2014. He guided the Bulldog cross country along with track and field programs from 1968-82, was inducted into the Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001 and developed more All-Americans than any coach in Ferris’ history. This race is open to the public and free of charge to attend.      

Thank you for supporting our student-athletes and coaches as they begin the fall season. 

David L. Eisler, president