President's Message to Campus - Nov. 6, 2020

Good News

This month we have much to celebrate. The Good News items below are only a small sampling of the very good work of our faculty, staff and students. Please take a few moments to review the entire Good News list. We have much to be proud of, and I am delighted to share what you, your colleagues and students are accomplishing:

  • Kyle Schmidt was appointed to the editorial board of the journal Annals of Pharmacotherapy and will serve as chair of the “Critical Care” section.
  • Eric Nybo and Sonali Kurup were featured in the story Ferris State University Research Efforts Getting Traction about recent funding provided by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
  • Eric Nybo co-authored a paper “Pathway engineering of anthracyclines: Blazing trails in natural product glycodiversification” in the Journal of Organic Chemistry.
  • Felix Amissah and colleagues presented a poster “Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and polyunsaturated fatty acids induce apoptosis by inhibiting RAS/MEK/ERK and PI3K/Akt pathways" at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Science Research Conference.
  • Felix Amissah co-authored a research paper “Application of smart solid lipid nanoparticles to enhance efficacy of 5-Fluorouracil in the treatment of colorectal cancer” in the journal Scientific Reports.
  • Deeb Eid presented "The 28th Amendment: The Right to Practice Pharmacy” at the Western Michigan Society of Health System Pharmacists/Michigan Pharmacists Association conference.
  • Deeb Eid’s research paper on the role of pharmacy technicians in administering vaccinations was recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in their October 20, 2020 statement authorizing qualified pharmacy technicians and pharmacy interns to administer childhood vaccines, COVID-19 vaccines and to conduct COVID-19 testing.
  • Tracey Mersfelder and colleagues presented "Utility and Usefulness of a Diabetes Medication Poster in an Internal Medicine/Medicine-Pediatric Clinic - Phase II” at the American College of Physicians Michigan Chapter meeting.
  • Tracey Mersfelder and colleagues presented "Stuck at Home? Not the first time. How the Plague Caused the Discovery of Bacteria and the Failed Remedies” at the Western Michigan University Medical Humanities Conference.
  • Teresa Bailey and Greg Wellman, along with Pharmacy student Larissa King, published a research paper, “Attitudes of Michigan Female College Students About Pharmacists Prescribing Birth Control in a Community Pharmacy” in the journal Pharmacy.
  • Daniel Taylor was selected as the chair of the American Academy of Optometry, Optometric Education Section.
  • Lee Templin was elected to serve a three-year term as the Great Lakes Regional Director for the Associated Schools of Construction Region 3 beginning in April 2021.
  • At the Associated Schools of Construction Region 3 Virtual Conference/Student Competition, one of the two design-build teams coached by Mark Dyke, and the Electrical competition team coached by Brian Bejcek took first place. The Heavy-Civil competition team coached by Jen Miller took third place.
  • "Integrating bots in Discord to boost student engagement," presented by Varun Singareddy, Jacob Pollak and Kyle Bourcier, was selected for presentation at the upcoming virtual Lilly Conference.
  • Nick Kuiper's TV pilot screenplay “Phojo” has advanced to the quarterfinals of the WeScreenplay TV Pilot Contest.
  • Mohamed Abusharkh, Yong Xu and student Eric Leyder virtually presented a paper “CloudMach: Cloud Computing Application Performance Improvement through Machine Learning” at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Canadian Conference on Electrical and Computer Engineering.
  • Mohamed Abusharkh, along with colleagues from IBM, virtually presented a paper “A Cloud-based Architecture for Automated Grading of Computer-Aided Design Student Work Using Deep Learning,” at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Canadian Conference on Electrical and Computer Engineering.
  • Amy Dorey completed the Meeting Professionals International Certificate in Event Crisis Communications.
  • Leah Monger is the AAUW of Michigan’s Co-Vice President for Membership.
  • Becky Johnson-Himes received the Excellence in Public Health Nursing Award.
  • Bill Killian co-authored a research paper “A MATLAB Application for Calculation of Cell Pathlength in Absorption Transmission Infrared Spectroscopy” in November’s The Resource Issue, Spectroscopy Online.
  • A special ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Softball Field thanked members of the Physical Plant staff who played a major role in the facility's renovation project.
  • When you purchase sushi from The Snack Shack or Market, the sushi vendor supplies orphans with a meal. In September, our purchases provided 550 meals for orphans in Myanmar.
  • Equal Opportunity has partnered with the Staff Center for Training and Development, Human Resources, and the Title IX Office to move the Title IX Responsible Employee Training Module and the Anti-Harassment & Non-Discrimination Training all online into Canvas.
  • For Kendall’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Brown Bag Discussion Series, the College welcomed Grand Rapids City Manager Mark Washington to lead a conversation on how government, art and equity can intersect to elevate the quality of life.
  • Students in the Urban Collaborative Studio course partnered with Division United and Team Better Block to bring color, comfort and connectivity to those attending the International Market Day event in Burton Heights with a parklet they designed and built.
  • Miranda Krajniak and Michele Bosak joined Cyndi Tiedt and Jennifer Hasso to offer UICA members a virtual and interactive tour of the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia.
  • Maggie Walcott’s poems, “I Carry” and “Hammer and Nail,” were published in the Winter/Spring 2020 edition of “Dunes Review.”
  • The Admissions and Financial Aid offices are offering five "Financial Aid Night" virtual presentations to prospective students and their parents. They are also working with Kaylee Moreno Burke in the Center for [email protected] Services to offer bilingual Spanish/English financial aid presentations in November and February.
  • The Financial Aid office is proud to announce a virtual version of the popular financial awareness event Get Real!The virtual Get Real! was created by Eric Haner.  
  • Using the Easy Virtual Fair platform, the Center for Leadership, Activities and Career Services facilitated a 3-day internship and career fair with 935 students and 104 employers participating.
  • More than 220 alumni participated in “Make A Difference Day” on Oct. 24.
  • The News Services and Social Media Team, in collaboration with Alumni Relations, created and promoted a video highlighting Rudy Grahek, better known as “Dynamite the Clown.”

Virtual Budget Forum

Next week I will present my annual budget forum to the campus community. Please join me on Zoom at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12 to review the University’s budget and enrollment trends, consider future challenges and opportunities, and discuss plans for our financial future. I very much look forward to sharing this information with you, and hearing your thoughts and feedback as we move forward. You can register for the Budget Forum online and the Zoom login credentials will be provided to you upon registration. Thank you in advance for attending.

Conversations That Matter

As part of the University’s Continuing Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the Diversity and Inclusion Office is hosting its second “Conversations That Matter” listening session on Zoom with students Thursday, Nov. 12, at 6 p.m. This is an opportunity for our students to share their voices with a group of University leaders. Please encourage your students to participate in this important conversation. 

Virtual Ferris Foundation for Excellence Benefit

Normally in November The Ferris Foundation hosts its annual Foundation for Excellence Benefit in Grand Rapids. This year the Foundation is hosting the event virtually beginning on Friday, Nov. 6. Jeff Blashill, head coach of the Detroit Red Wings and 1998 Ferris alumnus, will host this virtual celebration. The event will feature presentations by Stephanie Leonardos, member emerita of the Foundation; Kurt Hoffman, chair of The Ferris Foundation and Board of Trustees member; and a special look back at keynote speakers from years past. Also highlighted are Opportunity Scholarship recipients and Merit Grant recipient Dr. Eric Nybo.

There is much to celebrate this year with the Now & Always campaign having raised over $100 million and on course to reach the expanded campaign goal of $115 million. I encourage you to attend the online edition of this year’s gala and view the short presentations to see how philanthropy is helping to move the University forward. The Ferris Foundation’s efforts provide life-changing support for our students, and opportunities for faculty and staff.        

United Way

The University has begun its annual United Way campaign which runs through Friday, Nov. 20. With the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, many in our Mecosta-Osceola communities are in great need. When you contribute to this campaign, you are helping to provide Meals on Wheels to homebound seniors, food for Project Starburst and Manna Pantries, support for Mid-Michigan Community Action Agency, WISE, the Mecosta Youth Center, Hersey House of Hope and more. You can learn more about the Mecosta-Osceola United Way and the local organizations it supports.

The United Way campaign committee, co-chaired by Linda Telfer and Jeanine Ward-Roof, will not be able to hold the customary chili cook-off, silent auction, bake sales or euchre tournaments. This means your financial support for the campaign will be needed now more than ever. Please complete the yellow pledge card, or make a pledge via the “Voluntary Payroll Deduction” link in MyFSU. To do so click on the Employee tab. In the Employee Information section it is the final choice under Benefits & Deductions. If you have any questions about making your pledge please contact Terri Cook at x2504 or [email protected].

Thank you in advance for your generosity and for helping those in need during this critical time.

David L. Eisler, president