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Ferris, community members help Girl Scouts explore career opportunities

BIG RAPIDS - Representatives from Ferris State University's department of Recreation, Leisure Services and Wellness, and the Girl Scouts of Michigan Trails are partnering with women professionals in the community who are mentoring 15 girls ages 15 to 17, and helping them explore higher education and its related learning experiences.

The partnership was made possible through a Michigan Campus Compact Brighter Futures Grant that funds projects that positively impact disadvantaged youth.

Grant activities are underway this week and are being led by RLSW department chair/professor Susan Hastings-Bishop with the assistance of RLSW students who have helped coordinate campus resources for the career exploration workshops conducted by Ferris faculty, GSMT staff, and volunteer adults and student mentors.

Besides participating in freshwater studies of Traverse Bay, the scouts will spend the latter part of the week in career exploration workshops led by Ferris Educational and Career Counseling Center department Head Deb Cox and Counselor Rosemarie Van Ham. During the workshop, students will identify areas of career interest, explore career work values and research career Internet sites. They will also analyze a career interest assessment completed prior to the workshop.

During an allied health workshop, Sandra Burns, associate professor of Dental Hygiene, will introduce participants to biofilms and how they relate to oral diseases, and let them manipulate materials used to make impressions and dental casts.

Accountancy, Finance and Information Systems faculty member Amy Buse will teach the girls how to create a computer network and how the hardware and software interact in a computer sciences workshop.

Professor of Biology Jim Hoerter will conduct a biotechnology workshop that will allow students to respond to a simulated virus outbreak by isolating DNA in saliva and protein in the blood of infected animals. They will have to determine how the animal died from the virus and identify the virus.

Associate professor of Architectural Technology Mary Brayton and her students will instruct participants how to draw and construct an architectural model out of balsa wood, and draw a model of their building on the computer using a CAD program.

Construction Technology and Management professor John Schmidt and associate professor Suzanne Miller and their students will discuss the construction industry and management profession, and provide scouts with hands-on experience using some of the common materials found in construction.

Ferris is one of seven Michigan Campus Compact Brighter Futures Grant award recipients. Michigan Campus Compact is a state-level non-profit organization that promotes the education and commitment of Michigan college students to be civically engaged citizens, through creating and expanding academic, co-curricular and campus-wide opportunities for community service, service-learning and civic engagement.