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Ferris Trustees Approve Honorary Degrees, Faculty Sabbaticals

BIG RAPIDS – Ferris State University's Board of Trustees today (April 9) approved awarding honorary doctoral degrees during May commencement to a well-known furniture design magazine publisher and a statewide financial aid leader. They also granted sabbatical and Fulbright Scholar leaves to 14 faculty.

Joseph F. Carroll, publisher of Furniture Today, the most recognized and respected trade publication in the residential furnishings industry, will receive an Honorary Doctor of Arts degree. Carroll is widely known and respected among Kendall College of Art and Design alumni in the North Carolina area and is a strong community leader, serving as chair of High Point University's Home Furnishings Advisory Board, president of Triad Council for International Visitors and president of Greensboro Sister Cities.

Jennifer Ramsey Wallace, outreach manager for financial aid programs for the Michigan Education Trust, will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service degree. She is known as the "TIP Lady" and has played a significant role in helping Ferris expand its Tuition Incentive Program, which has doubled from about 300 to more than 700 students in the last two years. Her work includes outreach to more than 100,000 children and parents annually to educate them about the MET and financial aid. She serves on Michigan State University's College of Social Science and Black Alumni board of directors.

The trustees also approved 12 sabbatical leave requests for the following faculty and projects:

  • College of Arts, Sciences and Education -- Siddikov Bakhodirzhon, develop computerized Maple interactive math software; J. Randall Groves, co-author a book used in a Popular Culture course; Phillip Middleton, teach in Ireland and study abolition of slavery laws in northwest Africa; Matthew Nikkari, complete articles on American Literature and Pedagogy; Tom Stoffer, integrate English essays, readings and homework assignments into themes; Joseph Tripp, study the influences of students' mathematics learning experiences;
  • College of Business -- Susan Jones, conduct research and re-write a direct marketing textbook; Alison Larabel, self-study of interactive design and development and graphic design studio experience;
  • College of Engineering Technology -- Larry Langell, training/certification on advanced plastics engineering simulation tool and industrial work experience; John Tomczyk, update editions of three books on refrigeration and air conditioning technology and accompanying CD, DVDs and audio book;
  • College of Education and Human Services -- Susan Hastings-Bishop, study leading university youth development programs to create a youth development course in Ferris' Recreation Leadership and Management Program; and
  • University College -- Terry Doyle, write a follow-up textbook on learner-centered teaching.

Marietta Bell-Scriber, Master of Science in Nursing program coordinator, was granted a Fulbright Scholarship sabbatical leave. She is the first Fulbright Scholar from the School of Nursing and the College of Allied Health Sciences and will teach in Cyprus during the 2010-2011 academic year. She hopes to use the knowledge she gains about teaching across cultures to improve the effectiveness and quality of her instruction in the Ferris nursing program.

Another Fulbright Scholar sabbatical leave grantee is Richard W. Griffin, professor of Social Sciences in the College of Arts, Sciences and Education, who will lecture during the 2011 Spring Semester at the University of Debrecen in Hungary. He will share his expertise on the United States and Mexico border culture and study the similarities and differences between the borders of the United States and Hungary.

In other action, the board approved the appointment of three new directors to The Ferris Foundation Board. They include Secondary Science Education graduate and Greenville native Mary E. Garvelink of Colorado Springs, co-founder of Commercial Design Engineering in Colorado Springs and Grand Junction, Colo.; alumnus John Engelman II, a Howard City native who is a senior scientist in product development at S.C. Johnson & Co. in Racine, Wis.; and Robert R. Friar of Big Rapids, Ferris Biology professor, Distinguished Teacher recipient, widely published scholar and sought-after expert for media.

The University welcomed its newest member of the board of trustees, Dr. William Lakin of Clinton Twp., to fill the seat previously held by Patrick LaPine.