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Honors Program students receive recognition

BIG RAPIDS - The 18th bi-annual Honors Awards Night at Ferris State University honored 58 students for excellence in academics, leadership and volunteerism. Held at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center on Oct. 19, the evening was sponsored by President David Eisler and the board of trustees.

The event recognizes Honors Program students who received a 4.0 during the spring 2007 semester. Of the 58 recognized, 20 students were also recognized for maintaining a cumulative 4.0 GPA. These individuals were awarded a plaque in addition to the certificate received by all attendees. In total, the average GPA for the Honors Program is 3.52.

According to Maude Bigford, Honors Program coordinator, these students go above and beyond the requirements of the program and this night is special because it awards their efforts. In addition to the group GPA awards, individual students were recognized for being an outstanding peer mentor, outstanding volunteers, outstanding leaders and outstanding academic senior.

As a member of the Honors Program, some students volunteer as peer mentors for freshmen students. Hope Kwapiszewski of Bay City was voted as the Outstanding Peer Mentor for her dedication to students and assistance in aiding them in their first year at Ferris. Outstanding volunteers were Kimberly Betters of Carney, Megan Truskoski of Grandville, Janelle Turino of Ishpeming and Nichole Wheelock of Traverse City. Since 1997, when the Honors Program was formed, 116,500 volunteer hours have been reported by students, Bigford said.

Recognized for being outstanding leaders in and out of the classroom were Christopher Beran of Sterling Heights, Kelsey Schnell of Bay City, Kelly Toren of Cedar Springs and Wheelock. These students have taken the initiative to be leaders in their classes and are active on campus through registered student organizations, Bigford added.

Finally, Anthony Coy of Charlotte, a Psychology major, was recognized as the Outstanding Academic Senior. According to Bigford, Coy was chosen for his strong GPA, leadership roles on campus, commitment to volunteerism, the outstanding quality of the essay he wrote when he was in competition for this award, and his stellar interview performance.

The students also chose Amy Dorey, professor of Hospitality, as Outstanding Professor. According to Bigford, in their speech, students expressed their gratitude for professor Dorey's willingness to help and make herself available to them at all times. She has made it a point to make sure each student has her cell phone and home phone number and asks them to call for anything they may need. Overall, her incredible dedication to students was recognized with the award, she added.

Currently, the Honors Program has 581 members. To be a member of the program, students must achieve a 3.25 cumulative GPA at the end of each school year, attend three campus cultural events each semester, commit to 15 community service hours each semester, join a campus club, group, organization or team; complete 10 or 12 honors credits, reside in one of the honors halls for at least the first two years of college, and attend the Honors Senior Symposium each year.