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Five Individuals Selected for Distinguished Staff Awards

Ferris State UniversityThree staff members from Ferris State University's main campus in Big Rapids and two professionals working at statewide locations have been selected for Distinguished Staff Awards, after a review by the Distinguished Staff and Team Award Committee.

Five members of the Ferris State University community have were highlighted with Distinguished Staff Awards. Distinguished Staff and Team Award Committee Chair Elize Gramza, the university’s registrar, said that their selection process was completed before university instruction and operations were adjusted to remote delivery due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Distinguished Staff Award recipients are Catherine Belkowski, outreach coordinator, Metro Detroit region; Anne Hogenson, director of Marketing, University Advancement and Marketing; Laura Porritt, secretary-level 3, Grand Rapids region; Karen Simmon, project manager, Physical Plant; and Jennifer Stevens, administrative assistant, Enrollment Services.

“It is not unusual for a nominee to express how humbled they are to even be considered,” Gramza said. “The committee is challenged every year to select recipients from a great pool of nominees because so many of them are well deserving of the recognition. It is not uncommon to have nominations for past recipients, who are not eligible for reconsideration. We find that award winners excel in their positive attitude and enthusiasm for Ferris, excellence in the performance of their duties, interest in students, demonstrated cooperation with staff, their participation as a member of the university community, and offering service to others.”

Gramza serves on the Distinguished Staff and Team Award Committee with Jody Gardei, Staff Center for Training and Development manager; Donna Eaton, Extended and International Operations secretary; Karen Kirk, assistant to the vice president of University Advancement and Marketing; and Lisa vonReichbauer, assistant director of the Office of International Education.

“Each member of the committee is appointed by Ferris President David Eisler and are past recipients of the Distinguished Staff Award,” Gramza said. “It is an honor to learn more about our colleagues and their roles and contributions to Ferris and beyond. The team carefully considers information submitted by each nominee, the interview process, any letters of recommendation and the nomination itself. It never ceases to amaze and humble us, to hear about everything these nominees are doing for Ferris and the surrounding communities.”