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Gold Medalists to Represent Ferris in SkillsUSA National Conference

SkillsUSAMatthew Korman (left), of Fennville, and Keith McCann, of Fair Haven (right), are two of Ferris State University's six competitors who took medals in the SkillsUSA Michigan Leadership and Skills Conference, April 5-7, in Grand Rapids. Korman was a gold medalist in Diesel Equipment Technology, while McCann was a silver medalist in that event. (Photo courtesy

Students from Ferris State University’s College of Engineering Technology demonstrated their technical abilities at the SkillsUSA Michigan Leadership and Skills Conference, in Grand Rapids, with six competitors participating in early-April events organized by the national nonprofit organization.

CAD Drafting and Tool Design Technology Professor Dan Wanink said each of the university’s participants took home a medal from the state competition, with Zach Heemstra of Morley, in Technical Drafting, and Matthew Korman, of Fennville, in Diesel Equipment Technology, winning gold medals. Heemstra and Korman will join Wanink at the National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky June 24-28.

“Ferris has a tradition of showing its knowledge and skills when pitted against other post-secondary competitors at this event,” Wanink said. “Our students did an outstanding job demonstrating their abilities to the rest of the state.”

Heemstra was joined by fellow Ferris students Gabriel Lacomte, of Grand Rapids, and Matthew Dow Van Arnam, of Big Rapids, in the Technical Drafting competition, where they earned silver and bronze medals, respectively. Keith McCann, of Fair Haven, was a silver medalist in Diesel Equipment Technology, while Nathan Emmrich, of Bay City, was a silver medalist in Architectural Drafting.

Wanink said a dozen members of the College of Engineering Technology faculty and staff lent their support to the Ferris SkillsUSA competitors’ preparations, and the university’s Admissions office also used the Michigan Leadership and Skills Conference as an opportunity to recruit competitors from high schools and intermediate school districts.

“Jessica Davison, the communications and social media coordinator for Admissions, was on hand in Grand Rapids,” Wanink said. “We appreciate her willingness to connect with students considering Ferris, and our alumni.”

More than 18,000 students, instructors and are expected to participate in the 55th annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference, in Louisville.