2023 Distinguished Staff Award Winners
KCAD Communications Coordinator
Kyle leads communications processes for KCAD, with duties including creative development and brand management, vendor management, performance tracking, and web and social media services. His nuanced understanding of KCAD’s community, educational value and ethos assures authenticity in the college’s communications and promotes the best of KCAD to wider audiences. Kyle brings an admirable combination of enthusiasm and professionalism to all his projects—among them, service on the KCAD President’s Cabinet, Leadership Team and Emergency Management Leadership Team, as well as the Wege Prize team, which has engaged 700 participants from 200 higher education institutions across 49 nations since 2013. Kyle’s community service centers around the person he calls “the guiding light” in his life, his daughter, Ruby, who was born with severe cognitive and physical impairments. In his family’s journey to empower her, they received help from multiple advocacy and assistance programs which they now support.
Secretary Level 3, Educational Counseling and Disabilities Services
Ashley is a self-motivated, empathetic team member who understands the work of her department may be the difference between failure and success for the Ferris students it serves. Known by coworkers for her warm smile and willingness to take on extra work, Ashley is often the first face that students who are struggling without disability accommodations see when they seek help, and she is ready to put them at ease and efficiently connect them with the support they need. Ashley creates a safe, welcoming space, not only in her department office but across campus, in her service to such groups as the Liaison Committee for Students with Disabilities, the Ferris Women’s Network, and the Alliance for First Generation Students. She also is a recipient of a 2020 Pat-on-the-Back Award and a 2021 Woodbridge Ferris Award. In her community, she and her husband volunteer for the American Youth Soccer Organization.
KCAD Coordinator of Academic Records
Mary began at KCAD as a receptionist in 1990, and in her service has risen to assistant positions in the Records and Registrar’s offices before serving as Interim Registrar and, finally, Coordinator of Academic Records for KCAD. She is responsible for ensuring accuracy in records of grades, transfer credits, graduation audits and degrees, as well as building schedules, new courses, catalog information and multiple other related functions in support of academic recordkeeping for the KCAD community. Known for her energy and magnetic personality, Mary most values the opportunities her job affords her to meet new people each semester—with many of whom she has built lasting friendships—and to take on challenging scheduling issues to support students. She serves on the FEI Transfer Team, the MyDegree Advisory Board and the Curriculum Committee, and in too many off-campus volunteer roles to mention, serving Feeding America West Michigan, Kids Food Basket, ALS Walk of Grand Rapids and as a poll worker for Kent County elections, among many other activities.
Secretary Level 3, College of Business Dean’s Office
In her more than 20 years at Ferris, Susan has served the Accounting Office and colleges of Business, Engineering Technology and Health Professions. Known for her dependability and effectiveness, Susan is celebrated by her coworkers for her humor, kindness and knowledge of university protocols, as well as administrative and internal communications best practices. In the College of Business, she has seamlessly taken on the work of two staff who retired after 30 or more years of employment and manages the college’s unique centralized budget. She also completed Microsoft Office Certification and was asked to teach ISYS 105 for the college. She has served on multiple college search committees, as well as on the Customer Interactions Subcommittee of the university’s COVID-19 Re-entry Committee. Outside of Ferris, Susan also maintains an amateur radio license and supports the Reed City Schools Band Boosters and her church, serving as secretary to both.
Elise Bohn is known for her diligent work as Reference and Instruction Librarian and, since 2019, as Library Director for Kendall College of Art and Design. In her roles, she has been responsible for oversight of a full-service academic library, as well as development and delivery of its resources. She has been integral to multiple projects to incorporate faculty and student artwork into the library environment. Elise embraces the leadership opportunities, variety of responsibilities and the “all hands on deck” approach involved in maintaining a smaller library, loves that her position continues to allow her to work directly with students, creating comfortable, welcoming spaces for them to study, socialize and belong. She serves on numerous KCAD academic committees, and, in her community, she has participated in the Grand Rapids Women’s Chorus.
In recognition of her outstanding service as a valued member of Ferris staff, Elise Bohn has been selected to receive the 2021 Ferris State University Distinguished Staff Award.
Nicole DeKraker has served Kendall College of Art and Design in many roles supporting students, most recently as its Director of Student Engagement. She has helped build resources such as the KCAD Food and Wardrobe Pantry, which started as a closet with basic food resources for students in need but grew in scale through staff collaboration to include clothing and art supplies that are free to students in need. She also has served on multiple campus committees to support student experience and campus climate, as well as outreach to the larger Grand Rapids community. She currently is working with Friends of GR Parks’ Adopt a Park program to facilitate KCAD’s adoption of Rosa Parks Circle for the purpose of hosting community activities. Nicole and her husband are also deeply committed to animal welfare, and have cared for and fostered more than 21 animals.
In recognition of her outstanding service as a valued member of Ferris staff, Nicole DeKraker has been selected to receive the 2021 Ferris State University Distinguished Staff Award.
Franklin Hughes has served Ferris for more than 10 years, primarily as Multimedia Specialist for the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Strategic Initiatives and the Jim Crow Museum. An avid researcher and visual storyteller, Franklin notably uncovered the university’s forgotten history of early service to African-American students, many of whom attended via Virginia’s Hampton Institute during the Jim Crow era. He cites co-authoring the book “Haste to Rise” with Diversity, Inclusion and Strategic Initiatives Vice President and JCM founder David Pilgrim as one of his proudest accomplishments at Ferris, along with his work with the Johnson Scholars Program of the Ferris Youth Initiative, for which he has served as a mentor. Franklin and his family also has provided housing to Ferris students in need. They are active in Riverside Christian Church in Big Rapids and Ripley Church of Christ in Ripley, West Virginia, where he provides the music ministry.
In recognition of his outstanding service as a valued member of Ferris staff, Franklin Hughes has been selected to receive the 2021 Ferris State University Distinguished Staff Award.
Kristen Johnson has worked at the university for more than 22 years as a Secretary Level 2, first in Transfer Articulation for Allied Health Sciences and then for the Humanities Department, which also encompasses the Creative Arts Center, Theatre Program and Williams Auditorium. In her work, she provides administrative support for the auditorium in addition to critical functions for Humanities, including personnel action form, release time and FTE database, and syllabi document management. A superb listener who likes helping students and faculty solve problems, Kristen is known for her cool head and readiness to flex and take on new and diverse responsibilities as duties shift. In the Big Rapids community, Kristen and her family support their daughters’ 4H participation, as well as local shelter Our Brothers Keeper, the Animal Rescue Coalition and Muskegon River Watershed.
In recognition of her outstanding service as a valued member of Ferris staff, Kirsten Johnson has been selected to receive the 2021 Ferris State University Distinguished Staff Award.
Anne London has worked as Director of Student Academic Affairs for the College of Arts, Science and Education since 2017. In this role, she liaises with Admissions to provide communications, and support faculty and staff participation in recruitment and retention activities. She also conducts Tuition Incentive Program reporting and NCAA verifications for all of CASE, as well as graduation auditing. Additionally, she currently serves as Interim Director of Academic Advising for the college. Anne is seen as a point of contact for academic policy questions for CASE and has led a number of process improvements, including college-wide adoption of MyDegree and other digital forms, as well as design of the communication processes related to summer orientation for CASE. She has served in multiple roles for the Region V National Academic Advising Association’s Planning Committee and the Michigan Academic Advising Association.
In recognition of her outstanding service as a valued member of Ferris staff, Anne London has been selected to receive the 2021 Ferris State University Distinguished Staff Award.
Secretary Level II, College of Business
Christine provides support for students, faculty and staff in Ferris State University’s College of Business. A self-starter with a positive attitude, she has a genuine love for the university and is known among her coworkers for her diplomacy, empathy and can-do approach in challenging circumstances. Christine’s duties include considerable event planning for the college’s annual DECA Conference, Welcome Back Celebration, Homecoming Tailgate, Commencement Open House and Student Excellence Awards banquet, at all of which she is typically the first to arrive and last to leave. She also provides scholarship coordination, transfer credit evaluation processing and numerous other duties with energy, enthusiasm and a focus on student experience and quality. Outside of Ferris, Christine fosters displaced pets and advocates for animal rights, and supports Animal Rescue Coalition of Mecosta County. She also supports food pantries such as Project Starburst and provides grocery shopping and free rides to families in need.
Admissions Coordinator, Extended and International Operations
Kasey is responsible for processing for Ferris State University’s Statewide, Online and Graduate admissions and is regarded as an expert in all aspects of their admissions and transfer processes. A one-person department, she provides exceptional service for these units, including all 22 off-campus locations for Statewide, and manages all incoming college transcripts for the university. An expert in transfer articulation, Kasey led training for the Transfer Process Committee and has provided key support in implementing the university’s new admissions application and data bridging between Salesforce and Banner systems. In addition, she assists academic program staff and Communication Center student workers. She also provides support at Dawg Days, Orientation and Commencement, serves as advisor to the Phi Sigma Kappa student organization and on the Phi Sigma Sigma advisory board, and volunteers in the classroom and as a recess monitor at St. Mary’s Catholic School.
Assistant Director of Admissions—Recruitment
Jeff is responsible for overseeing recruitment operations and supervising Admissions Recruiters as well as Student Admissions Representatives. Known within his team as a positive and supportive leader, he sets up, manages and converts data on prospective students to determine how his team can best help them in their college decision processes. Focused on meeting prospects where they are, Jeff has helped expand Admissions services to include increased virtual visits and calling campaigns throughout the COVID-19 pandemic while managing his own local recruitment territory, and cites the opportunity to help make higher education possible for students among the most rewarding aspects of his career. In addition, he serves on the Athletics Compliance Committee, Commencement Team, FTIAC Action Group and Misconduct Admissions Review Committee. He also has served as a Ferris Youth Initiative mentor for two years. Outside of Ferris, Jeff serves on the Evart High School Postsecondary Advisory Committee.
Financial Aid Officer for Statewide and Doctorate of Community College Leadership
Lindsay provides support for students on financial aid issues and processes enrollment and grades for all of Ferris’ Statewide locations. She also oversees the Employer Tuition Reimbursement program and provides support for the Michigan Works! Program, as well as the Get Real financial literacy program in Big Rapids and Grand Rapids. Lindsay has assisted in the development of multiple scholarships and manually awarded more than $3.5 million since 2011. Known for her positivity and passion for her work, she identifies helping students reduce their debt as one of her favorite parts of her job. Lindsay has served on numerous committees for Ferris, including the Strategic Planning and Resource Council and the Strategic Enrollment Planning Committee. She volunteers with Boy Scouts of America, Jenison Public Schools, WGVU and her religious organization, and is an active advocate for the cleft palate community, mentoring parents as they prepare their children for surgery and helping them access resources.
Catherine is the Outreach Coordinator for the Metro Detroit Region, and has the responsibilities of being the Program Advisor for the Business Administration – Professional Track Program. Catherine is very active in promoting on-campus and off-campus programs, regularly attends and participates in functions organized by the following community colleges: Wayne County Community College, Macomb Community College, St. Clair County Community College, Oakland County Community College, and Schoolcraft College. Many of those functions are not related to recruiting, but she attends and participates representing Ferris State University. Catherine has always been extremely accessible to all off-campus staff including all the adjunct faculty members in the Metro Detroit Region. She reaches out to all the Metro Detroit Off-Campus adjuncts and provides assistance, coordinates meetings, and coordinates in-service trainings before the start of each semester. Staff and faculty members speak glowingly of Catherine which is a reflection of her dedication and work ethic. She supports the Michigan Nature Association to protect rare, threatened and endangered species and is active in her local church.
As the Director of Marketing for University Advancement and Marketing Anne works tirelessly to promote the University as effectively and efficiently as possible. She is a thoughtful, positive manager who is not afraid to lead by doing during the busiest times of the year. As the editor of the Ferris Magazine, Anne leads her team of staff and volunteer contributors to proudly and informatively share what is happening at Ferris to all our internal and external constituencies. Anne has personally coordinated/managed the creation of much of our new brand marketing, including coordinating students, faculty and staff to appear in our new video and in other types of ads. She is a wonderful ambassador explaining to students, faculty and staff what we are doing and why and how important their role is in telling the Ferris story. Anne supervises a team with a great deal of demands, but she always exhibits enthusiasm when working with colleagues on their projects and helping them to achieve their goals despite challenging timelines and budgets. Anne regularly makes herself available to speak to marketing and public relations classes at the request of our faculty, and she serves on numerous University committees. In the community, Anne lives at and is the manager of the Mecosta County Old Jail, where she manages the property and assists the local historical community with maintenance and related fundraising. She also volunteers a significant amount of her time and resources to local animal rescue efforts.
Laura’s primary responsibilities are to provide administrative support to the Director of the Grand Rapids Region and supervise part-time and student employees. Laura provides support in running the day-to-day operations of the Director’s Office, which includes assisting staff, faculty, and students. Laura states that she enjoys coming to work every day because her job is very versatile and dynamic, always presenting challenges and opportunities to learn something new. Laura thoroughly enjoys helping students succeed by assisting with questions, supporting group events or attending an event where students are recognized (Ferris Grand Rapids Graduation Ceremony). In addition, she provides faculty with the tools and resources they need as well as excellence in customer service, so those faculty can give their best to students. Her ultimate goal is to ensure our students are successful. Beyond Ferris, Laura volunteers in a variety of ways including with her church, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Kent County Animal Shelter and the Lowell Farm and Wildlife Center.
As a project manager, Karen works with a variety of groups on campus to oversee construction and renovation projects. These projects range from purchasing a new chair to renovating or building a new building. In addition, Karen also manages signage for the University. Karen enjoys meeting people from different departments and learning about their role in how the University works. She is a life-long learner and seeks out opportunities to advance her knowledge and skill set. If Karen doesn’t have an answer or knowledge about their specific needs, she will spend the time to better understand what they do, how they do it and why it's important. In addition to her formal role, Karen serves the University as a volunteer for events like Pancakes with the President and First Impressions Tables and various committees like the History Task Force and the Ferris Women's Network. Karen also has served on the City of Big Rapids Parks and Recreation Board and is joining the City of Big Rapids Planning Commission.
As the Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Enrollment Services Jennifer coordinates the Spring and Fall Commencement ceremonies each year. There is a multitude of planning and organizing that goes into the large events. There are many moving pieces that make up a ceremony and Jennifer remains calm while handling things ranging from a medical crisis to a sound system failure. Jennifer is always friendly and positive in her approach to every situation. She treats everyone with dignity and respect. Jennifer is willing to take on new assignments and new responsibilities. After the commencement ceremonies are over, she jumps in to help the Registrar’s Office post the degrees online so that students can get their diplomas much quicker than ever before. Jennifer is an excellent role model to the Enrollment Services staff, and they hold her in the highest regard. They look to her to have a pulse on the happenings within the Department. Outside of work Jennifer participates in volunteer work every weekend and sometimes throughout the week with her religious organization. Each month she averages about 15 hours and at least one time a year she commits to volunteering 30 hours each month. This involves visiting homebound people as well as Bible studies.
Account Clerk Level 3, David L. Eisler Center
Shana currently manages all incoming reservations for the David L. Eisler Center and IRC Connector, as well as all academic space requests for Registered Student Organization. She coordinates the logistics for approximately 5,000 events each year and helps each customer achieve success with their event through her attention to detail. Shana works closely with FSU Catering to implement new options and to ensure the set-up of each event will meet the objectives of her customers. Shana has served on various academic and disciplinary committees at Ferris and also with First Impressions. While overseeing one of the larger student staffs on campus, she co-created a very effective and universal training program for student employees. Outside of Ferris, Shana has made a large commitment to volunteer 840 hours with her religious organization including outreach programming, mentoring youth, visiting those who are home-bound and preparing meals.
Coordinator of Alumni Relations
In his multitasking role as Coordinator of Alumni Relations, Kevin promotes a positive and enthusiastic attitude about Ferris through his work with current and former students. His event planning includes activities that welcome alumni to reunite and engage with other alumni, current administrators, staff and students. These events range from in-state to out-of-state and include sporting events, golf outings, weekend trips and family adventures. As the advisor for over 50 students in the Student Alumni Gold Club (SAGC), Kevin serves as a role model, mentor, friend and advocate. Kevin feels that being granted the opportunity to work for his alma mater is truly a blessing in more ways than one and he states that there “are very few higher education institutions (or companies for that matter) that feature a culture that revolves so much around my favorite Ferris attribute – community.” Outside of work, Kevin donates to organizations such as Ducks Unlimited, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and the American Cancer Society. His volunteer work includes assisting with learning activities at an elementary classroom and with the Hunter Safety program at the Mecosta County Rod & Gun Club.
Director of Plant Operations
As Director of Physical Plant Operations, Mark oversees all of the Physical Plant trades --Carpentry, Lock Shop, Paint, Plumbing, HVACR, and Electrical. He is responsible for directing repair and maintenance work across the campus and the Grounds Department staff. On a daily basis, Mark is at work before the sun rises and is normally here until the sun sets. He has built a reputation at Ferris by treating people with respect and handling their requests with time and cost always at the forefront. Mark is the Physical Plant representative to the Liaison Committee for Students with Disabilities and has been a member of the Mercury Minimization Taskforce. During periods of non-business hours, Mark is the second contact for each Physical Plant trades department when issues arise on campus during weekends, holidays and break periods. Outside of work, Mark served the Reed City Fire Department for eight years, was on the Reed City School Board for 12 years, and along with his wife was a leader of their church’s youth group for several years. Mark reaches out in his neighborhood, helping with things like clearing snow and assisting his neighbors when they are in need.
Financial Aid Office Coordinator and Advisor
In her role as Financial Aid Office Coordinator and Advisor, Melanie’s duties involve all aspects of the administration and awarding of federal, state and institutional financial aid to students. She goes above and beyond to assist students and families in all aspects of the financial aid process. She's calm, precise, and takes the time to explain all the steps to ensure that all parties understand. On top of her day-to-day duties, Melanie assists with student recruitment efforts and other on-campus initiatives, such as the Bulldog Family and Friends Weekend. She brought and coordinates the annual Get Real! Program to our campus to help promote financial literacy to Ferris students and is the go-to person for Admissions recruiters. Outside of work, Melanie and her husband maintain a 55-mile motorized ORV trail system for the DNR, perform annual forest clean-ups in conjunction with the federal Adopt-A-Forest program, and work within groups that donate lifesaving rescue equipment for trail systems.
Secretary Level 3, College of Business Graduate Programs
In addition to supporting the College of Business graduate programs, Shannon’s roles have varied and evolved over time during her career at Ferris. She processes all graduation audits for COB graduate students and works closely with College of Pharmacy staff and administration to recruit, admit, advise and graduate Doctor of Pharmacy students with the Ferris MBA degree. Shannon also works with the Kendall College of Art and Design’s Registrar and Admissions offices to schedule the ASDI certificate for MBA students and KDES course electives for students in several KCAD Masters programs. Shannon has planned and chaperoned two camping trips with International students while supporting many student organizations and causes such as the American Marketing Association, Wesley House, United Way, Relay for Life, First Lady’s Attic, and as Club Sports Advisor to the Ferris Bowling Team for five years. Outside of work, Shannon has served as a host for high school exchange students, accommodating nine German girls from the Heide Symphony and supporting the Big Rapids Public School Band program by sewing color guard uniforms, chaperoning events at band camp, volunteering at competitions, planning events and fundraisers, and donating time and money to enhance to the program.
Outreach Coordinator, Great Lakes Bay Region, Statewide and Online, Extended and International Operations
Kimberly Brandimore has been with Ferris State University since January 2013 and is known in her office as a one-woman team who “does it all with a smile.” She walks students through every step, making sure all of their questions are answered, and always goes above and beyond her responsibilities. Kim is upbeat and represents Ferris well, planning events such as tailgating at Ferris football games for Great Lakes Bay Region students, which she planned to help off-campus students feel more connected to their college experience. She enjoys helping students get the most out of their educations, supporting them to reach their goals so that they are better equipped to help themselves. Kim is part of multiple local volunteer organizations, representing Ferris and serving the community well. She is a Bulldog, through and through.
Secretary, Extended and International Operations
Donna Eaton has been employed at Ferris State University for a total of 21 years. She is often the first point of contact students have with Ferris, and she is very enthusiastic and proactive in getting them through the processes of admission and registration. Donna cares about students, works hard to make sure Ferris is always shown in a positive light and is an excellent advocate for the university. Students refer to her as the “go-to” person at Ferris, and she even received a Pat-on-the-Back Award after being nominated by a student for whom she had gone above and beyond. Donna is involved in fundraisers for United Way and volunteers for the Manna Pantry of Big Rapids.
Secretary, Ferris Flint, Ferris Statewide and Online, Extended and International Operations
Aleane Taylor has worked for over 12 years in the Flint location of Ferris State University and does the utmost to represent the university well and serve as a resource to its students, from their first points of inquiry through graduation. She is active as a community volunteer and in church organizations in Flint, and is currently working with her daughter to develop a non-profit organization, "The CHANCE Foundation," which stands for “Change Happens Amazing New Chapters Evolve.” She considers it a true blessing to be a part of the university and especially the Ferris-Flint family. Her favorite part of her work at Ferris is her sense of connection to the Ferris “family” and how everyone in it helps each other. Aleane is the heart and soul of the Ferris-Flint Operation.
Disbursements Manager, Administration, Finance and Human Resources
Emily Zoet has been employed at Ferris since January 2015 and is part of many committees and campus groups that enhance the university for students and employees. She encourages staff to develop professionally, fosters collaboration between coworkers and creates an uplifting work environment. Emily is a dedicated and hardworking employee whose work for the university demonstrates its core values at every level. Emily looks for the positive in any situation and will always help someone who is having a rough day. Emily loves being part of the Ferris family, and her dedication to the university shines through her work.
Associate Athletic Director
Jon Coles continuously strives for excellence in his pursuit for efficient communication, organization and high energy, while serving in a demanding position that affects not only internal constituents such as coaches and colleagues, but also the Ferris community, alumni and donors.
In addition to his hectic athletic schedule, Coles serves on committees across campus to help enrich the lives of all FSU students and student-athletes. His presence in the Big Rapids area is just as remarkable as he serves on numerous task forces and finds time to volunteer as a coach for youth soccer, basketball and baseball.
Manager, Staff Center for Training and Development
Jody Gardei, with nearly two decades of service to Ferris, excels through her numerous opportunities to collaborate with the many different departments on campus. She carries a strong personal belief that actions should be aligned with personal values, and remains a steadfast advocate for civility in the workplace. Gardei also supports the belief that professional development is the key to personal and professional growth, and she continuously works to bring new and enriching programs to her colleagues.
Gardei devotes a good portion of her free time to serving as a mentor for the Ferris Youth Initiative, as a faith formation teacher at St. Mary and St. Paul Parish, as well as sitting on the Manna Food Pantry Board of Directors.
News Services and Social Media Manager
Since Sandy Gholston began attending FSU as a freshman in 1993, he has achieved great success as a student, alumnus and professional. He is a talented and respected "storyteller" and has the gift of sharing the amazing stories that surround the people of this great university.
Gholston's love for Ferris shines through in his quest to lead the first social media efforts on campus, starting from the ground level and working up to managing several social media outlets on a daily basis, ensuring that the FSU community is actively engaged and up-to-date on all university news.
In addition, Gholston's passion for Bulldog athletics is apparent in his volunteer role as one of the radio and television voices of Bulldog football, men's basketball and women's basketball for many years. Sandy also finds the time to advise two student organizations while serving as a role model for all students he comes into contact with.
Registrar, Associate Dean of Enrollment Services
Elise Gramza has proven instrumental at turning academic requests into working solutions and always seeks to find the best resolutions with a focus on students. She is friendly and positive in her approach to every situation, never avoiding problems, but instead "digging in" to fix them. Gramza displays grace under pressure and see challenges as opportunities to fulfill the student-centered mission of Ferris. She finds personal rewards in her dedicated service to the students, staff and faculty of Ferris State University.
Gramza exhibits selfless acts while volunteering for events across campus, as well as with organizations such as the Susan G. Komen Foundation and The American Cancer Society.
Assistant Director, Office of International Education
Lisa vonReichbauer strives for excellence in all her services to international students. In only four short weeks, she stepped up to the challenge of creating a curriculum for the Intensive English Program. She met that goal and has been going strong ever since.
With great passion for her work, vonReichbauer helps students from 40 different countries integrate successfully into the Ferris community. On a daily basis, she remains busy overseeing immigration and orientation, as well as student advising and services in the Office of International Education. She is also the Primary Designated School Official with the Department of Homeland Security and the Responsible Officer with the Department of State – both roles that carry the weight of great responsibility.
In addition to serving on many FSU committees and advising two student organizations, vonReichbauer oversees the annual International Festival of Cultures, which attracts 1,500 visitors to campus each spring.
Web Content Manager
University Advancement and Marketing
Ted Halm was recognized for his outstanding service as a valued member of the Ferris staff. Halm's pro-Ferris mentality and consistent hard work is a true testament to his long career at Ferris. Beginning with the online campus calendar and "Week in Pictures" section, Halm aimed to take his creativity and initiative further, engaging and collaborating with more than 100 individuals across campus, including faculty, staff and students, in the effort to redesign the university website, resulting in a unified pride for his work and team.
Halm's mentorship and promotion of student talents are unmatched, including his personal assistance to Registered Student Organizations and Bulldog Athletics. He has cultivated positive relationships with alumni and has contributed to numerous committees, councils and societies.
During his career at Ferris, Halm has been recognized by the Who's Who Historical Society for Information Technology as well as the Cambridge Who's Who Among Executives and Professionals in Education. During his various positions at Ferris, one of Halm's many accomplishments consisted of winning 10 national publication awards for athletics.
Halm has also made his mark in the local community, playing and coaching in the Big Rapids Men's Softball Association for 36 years, as well as taking on the task of writing the league's constitution. Furthermore, Halm is admired for the positive example he has set as a proud and active father of two children, who are currently attending Ferris.
Dining Services Enterprises
Gary Schneider's attitude, hard work and love for Ferris are treasured by those around the university. Through his continuous quest for excellence as he prepares invoices, participates in bid committees, manages menu items through FoodPro, and working with the Physical Plant on equipment repairs, Schneider has developed positive, longstanding vendor relationships, proving beneficial to the university and those it serves.
By sharing his knowledge of hunting, trapping, fishing and cooking over an open fire, students have enjoyed the opportunity to experience outdoor activities from a new perspective. Additionally, Schneider has always strived to offer students, employees and the community new recipes to ensure the availability of healthy, delicious menu selections.
Schneider's involvement with the safety committee for the Rock Café, the National Association of College and University Food Services, FoodPro conferences, and ServSafe sanitation classes has further demonstrated his goal that patrons always have healthy food choices in a safe, clean dining environment.
Additionally, Schneider's participation in the community is admired. He shares his time and talents with the Michigan Trappers Association and St. Anne's Catholic Church, and has contributed to the Big Rapids High School band and Big Rapids High School hockey fundraisers.
Faye Young, named an "FSU cheerleader" by a co-worker, carries a cheerful and trustworthy personality that is loved by many. Her positive outlook is admired as she always strives to make a difference in an employee's or student's life, in even the simplest of ways.
Young has made more than 200 baskets for students in her assigned residence hall, as well as for sick employees. She has helped to raise money for those who are unable to work while recovering from long illnesses, and has improved the lives of those around her because of her kind heart and caring manner.
Young has set an outstanding example by teaching her grandchildren how to give to others through stuffing baskets, making cookies and creating crafts, among other things. She has supported Relay for Life and the FSU team for many years, and her efforts do not go unnoticed, as she has received previous awards from the National Association of College and University Residence Halls.
Executive Director, Flint/Midland Region
Extended and International Operations
Janelle Hemingway's positive and engaging personality has made her an outstanding advocate for Ferris State University and the students she serves. As executive director for the Flint and Midland region, Hemingway's position requires increasing positive awareness for Ferris. She has consistently ensured delivery of qualified student services and has forged partnerships with Delta College and Mott Community College with diligence and compassion, going "above and beyond" on a daily basis.
Janelle's dedication to Ferris and her giving nature is evidenced by her decision to serve as interim academic advisor for Early Childhood Education students at Delta College for two years to ensure their needs were met and to help improve student services. In addition, she has volunteer in her local community by raising funds for the Old Newsboys of Flint and being an active member of the United Way of Bay County.
Assistant Director, University Recreation
Fernando Labra's positive attitude about Ferris and his dedication to the students and employees of the university has led his colleagues to cite him as an outstanding member and representative of the Ferris community.
Fernando's collaborative student-centered approach, can-do attitude and Bulldog Pride are reflected in his daily service to Ferris. His commitment to excellence is demonstrated by the student-learning outcomes and assessment initiatives utilized for the university’s intramural and club sports programs.
Fernando serves on numerous campus committees for events such as Bulldog Beginnings and Meijer Madness. He also volunteers for leadership roles and works countless hours in his tireless efforts to serve the students of Ferris State University. Fernando's friends and co-workers know him as a humble employee of the university who downplays compliments but is quick to recognize the efforts of others.
Marketing Coordinator, Extended and International Operations
Angela Morris has excelled at her duties at Ferris by working diligently and professionally to execute marketing strategies that enhance statewide and online programs along with other departments in Extended and International Operations. From organizing events such as open houses, blitzes, online scavenger hunts and information sessions to coordinating marketing materials, Angela's project management and organizational skills shine. She can be counted on to always focus on the Ferris message, and her meticulous attention to detail has earned Angela the nickname "Eagle Eye."
Angela's work in her local community includes her role as a committee member for the Humane Society of West Michigan, organizing events such as Paws, Claws and Corks, and participating in charity events such as Nana’s Run for ALS.
Information Technology Security Analyst, IT Services
Velislav Pavlov has demonstrated excellent commitment to self-improvement since joining Ferris by acquiring specialized certifications in his technical field and earning his master's degree while remaining positive and energetic.
Velislav has coached the university's Cyber Collegiate Defense Team, donating his time on weekends and during vacations. The student team has earned second place at the Michigan Collegiate Cyber Defense Network Invitational the past two years.
His dedication to customer service and teaching students to look at challenges in a positive manner are commendable. Velislav has brought his professional discipline to life by helping to bridge the gap between the end-user and technology and utilizing industry experts in his classroom.
Cinthia Vander Sloot
Assistant Director, University Recreation
Cinthia has proven to be an outstanding member and representative of the Ferris community with her enthusiastic attitude about Ferris and as a champion for the betterment of students and employees of the university.
Cinthia's commitment to health and wellness is exemplified in her role as assistant director of University Recreation, as a former member of the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports, and as a pioneer of the university’s Wellness Program. As a certified fitness instructor, she has positively impacted the overall well-being of the campus community as well.
Her commitment to diversity is reflected by the funding she secured for adaptive exercise equipment for the Student Recreation Center. Cinthia's support of lifelong learning is evidenced through her teaching of academic classes. Her volunteer work with the Big Rapids High School Athletic Department and community soccer teams shows that her commitment to health and wellness extends beyond the campus.
Director of Marketing and Admissions, Extended & International Operations, Ferris-Grand Rapids
Jennifer Amlotte has been recognized for excelling at her duties by working diligently and cooperatively with the statewide sites and departments in Extended and International Operations to market their uniqueness and highlighting the “personality” of each. From organizing events such as open houses that recruit students, to “guerrilla” marketing tactics that blasts Ferris into every community, she is always emphasizing the Ferris message and has led the marketing team to win four national awards from the Higher Education Marketing Report.
Amlotte is active in her community by mentoring high school students, designing marketing materials for events, and teaching in the evening program for elementary students for the Mamrelund Lutheran Church. She has also volunteered for Relay for Life and Sparta Public Schools.
Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, University Advancement and Marketing
Brandi Behrenwald’s Bulldog pride runs deep. With her engaging personality and outstanding communication and organizational skills, Brandi is outstanding advocate for Ferris State University and a key member of the Ferris Foundation Gala Committee. As the Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, her role is challenging and diverse and her devotion to the Student Alumni Gold Club is evident in her praise of the student members.
Brandi has been recognized for “going above and beyond the call of duty” which attests to her true dedication to Ferris. She serves the community by volunteering for her children’s athletics teams and has established a scholarship for Lakeview students in memory of her brother-in-law.
Associate Athletics Communications Director; Bulldog Athletics
Rob Bentley oversees the University’s entire athletics communications operation and serves as the sports information director with direct oversight of all communications, multimedia, broadcasting, website, social media, statistics, award nominations, historical functions and more.
Bentley takes great pride nominating and promoting Ferris State’s student-athletes for a multitude of various conference, regional and national awards and personally led the charge to help Ferris earn the title of “Best Sports Logo” in Michigan. All of these honors help generate positive publicity for the University and build tremendous pride in the accomplishments of Bulldog athletes.
Food Service Worker, Dining Center – The Rock Cafe
During Ramona Larson’s eight years of employment, she has expressed a positive attitude about Ferris, has been a great example to its student employees, and has formed relationships with co-workers whom she often refers to as “family.” She is highly skilled as a Food Service worker and has always been willing to be the person that new employees or students can go to for on-the-job training or advice.
Larson is an active member of the community by intentionally volunteering her services at least once every three months and encourages family members to join her in doing so. Examples of her service to the community include providing temporary shelter to the homeless, donating to Angel Tree, coordinating the AFSCME children’s Christmas party, and at times providing rides or funds from her own pocket to help out Ferris students when in need.
Director of Transfer Services Center, Retention and Student Success
Deedee Stakley is a positive, informed, and generous representative of the University to many of its stakeholders. In sharing her expertise on best practices and innovations at the state and national levels, she has made Ferris a recognized leader in transfer services and has a reputation for getting things done.
Stakley’s highly effective collaboration with a diverse array of partners has created exceptional opportunities for both the University and its students. In addition to the many partnerships that she has helped forge for the University, her personal commitment as a long-time volunteer for the Children’s Leukemia Foundation, Make-a-Wish, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Societies has helped make a profound difference in the lives of others.
Extended and International Operations
Jocelyn Goheen has earned the reputation as being the "Face of Ferris." She always finds time in her busy schedule to be available for faculty, staff, students and the community. Her calm demeanor, willingness to listen empathetically and work through concerns with a smile on her face is unsurpassed. She always keeps the best interests of students at the forefront and continually goes above and beyond to do what is best for students and strives to make a difference in their lives.
Goheen is active in her community, volunteering for organizations such as Our Lady of Consolation Church, Rockford Public Schools, Relay for Life, Running for Hope and other charitable activities.
Mary Holmes works quietly behind the scenes to keep computers updated and running throughout the night. Because of her tireless efforts, faculty, staff and students do not have to struggle with inconveniences in their working and learning environments. Holmes also has shown exemplary service in Grand Rapids by assisting the parents of second graders in their quest to learn Spanish in order to communicate effectively in their communities.
Holmes' compassion for faculty and students is reflected in her resolve to "do whatever it takes" to resolve a technical issue. Her positive, enthusiastic attitude is contagious and provides an excellent first impression for students in her FSUS class. Holmes has been honored with professional awards for her support of the Blackboard learning platform at Ferris. In her community, she is active with Relay for Life and the LeRoy Community Library Board, where she wrote a grant for the library to receive new computers.
Deb Thalner has been instrumental in leading Ferris State's Flint office into a state of growth and prosperity. Her energetic personality and sense of humor have also served to invigorate the teams and committees that carry the Ferris brand into the additional sites of Midland, Lansing and Clinton Township.
Thalner took on a project that resulted in a recommendation to centralize the admissions process at the statewide Ferris locations. This has proven to be a more efficient and streamlined approach for online learners. Overall, she has been an effective mentor for students and a proven leader in both the Ferris and local communities with her diligent work.
Coordinator of Student Life
Student Affairs Dean's Office
Nick Campau's Bulldog pride runs deep as he exemplifies true Ferris State University spirit. Campau's positive energy channels into his numerous collaborations with students, where he often becomes a big brother, tutor, advocate, confidant, advisor and parent for so many. During his daily routine, Campau enjoys being available for all students -- listening to their dreams and aspirations and supporting them as they grow and develop their own sense of independence. This is most notable through Nick's work with the Ferris Youth Initiative, providing scholarship and mentoring for low income orphans and those youth who have "aged out" of foster care.
Campau's community activities include his numerous hours of unselfish service to organizations such as the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Jaycees, and WISE. He leads by example and strives to serve others in helping to make the world a better place.
Secretary, School of Education
College of Education and Human Services
Described as being "the busiest person in Bishop Hall", Deb is quick to lend a hand and uses her expertise and knowledge of the FSU community to find the resources necessary to support student and faculty needs. She approaches new and challenging situations with enthusiasm, taking great pride in knowing that she is able to turn a frustrating situation into something workable. Students are Deb's top priority and she finds great joy in knowing that she is able to make a difference for them.
As a very proud parent and foster parent, Deb is actively volunteering for Crossroads Charter Academy, the United Church, as well as soccer and softball teams. She is also involved in the community as a Girl Scout and Brownie leader. Her involvement with the Ferris Professional Women allows her volunteer spirit to enrich even more local organizations that include Relay for Life and the Susan P. Wheatlake Cancer and Wellness Center.
Customer satisfaction is Marquardt's top priority. He has achieved it to an exemplary degree in how he works harmoniously with a variety of departments and individuals across campus. He is keenly aware of special diets for students and goes above and beyond to ensure their needs are met. Helping students reach their potential and gain independence is truly a gratifying experience for Bryan. The Bulldog spirit shines through in how much he loves his work and Ferris State University.
Marquardt freely embraces the spirit of "giving back" as evidenced by his involvement with the International Festival of Cultures, HOPE Network, 4-H, United Way, and St. Michael's Parish. He also provides a positive role model for young athletes by having coached the FSU Club Hockey team as well as currently coaching AAU youth basketball and baseball.
Photo Services Coordinator
University Advancement and Marketing
Bill "sees and not just looks" at some incredible opportunities every day, visually documenting the history of the university. Recognized for his positive approach, enthusiasm and energy, he continues to bring fresh, new opportunities into all that he does. By interacting with amazing people and their stories, he helps to illustrate the multi-layered experiences of the open-learning environment. As photographic technology has advanced, Bill has successfully moved the photographic services of the university from film-based to digital-based photography. His personal mission is to be a visual storyteller by putting a human face on the Ferris State University experiences of students, faculty, and staff and to be thankful for that opportunity.
Educational Counseling and Disabilities Services
Deb is the classic Ferris story, having moved through various faculty, counseling, and now, administrative roles. Her priority continues to be for the students, often taking on the most challenging cases. Her representation on various campus committees has led to several policy change initiatives for students with disabilities as well as enhanced services to students focused on career-making decisions. Her energy level and fine representation of Ferris are well known to colleagues both on and off campus. Described as an excellent and valued colleague, she works, almost invisibly and without ego, to make the institution a better place. Her expertise extends into her efforts as a master gardener, in Toastmaster's, and with St. Paul's Catholic Parish.
College of Arts, Sciences and Education
Cheryl's positive attitude and helpful manner shine through her friendly smile. Her love of education is shown from the genuine care she has for students to her own personal goal of attaining her bachelor's degree. Described as an "out of the box" thinker, she is considered a tremendous asset to the university as she handles her college's budget with skill and professionalism. Cheryl's work with the Ferris Pride Committee and the United Way campaign demonstrate her value of team spirit within the University. Her dedication to St. Mary's Church and School is evident in having co-chaired major fundraising events as well as coaching their volleyball teams.
Physical Sciences Department
Described as the "behind the scenes" person who makes things run smoothly in her department, Pam's professional yet friendly manner is applauded. She works proactively to keep the safety of all involved her priority. She strives to provide a safe environment and positive educational experience for all involved. Her joy in working with students is admired in her cheerful attitude and the cherished friendships she develops with them. Pam is active in the local community through her long-standing membership in the General Federation of Women's Club, having been selected Clubwoman of the Year, as well as her volunteer service to her church.
University Supervisor: Field Placement
College of Education and Human Services
Deb's simple rule of always putting students first is applauded as she consistently goes to any length to help students successfully transition into teachers. Her ability to develop outstanding collaborations with students, faculty and administrators is admired. Her positive outlook in her work and enthusiasm for her students is contagious as she excels at lifting the spirits of those around her. Beloved by her colleagues, Deb is described as the "Grand Rapids Office Mom" and the person you want on your team. She is recognized as an active member of her community and volunteers for a number of charities that include the White Pine Trails Patrol, Relay for Life, Michigan Special Olympics, and the Riley McKenzie Fund.
Contact Lens/Low Vision Technician
Michigan College of Optometry
Rhonda Atteberry has worked at Ferris for over 8 years. Rhonda feels the most important aspect of her job is helping students and patients. She welcomes patients to come to her home to pick up equipment, prescriptions and or medicines if it works better for the patient. She went out of her way to find equipment for a couple that have low vision and are speaking impaired at no cost to the patient. She is the mother of 5 children and helps the neighbor with his children. She is active with her family in 4-H, soccer, volleyball and many church activities.
Quotes from Nominator:
- "Works to make a difference in the lives of patients"
- "Patients taken care of and understood"
- "Cheerful, trustworthy and beloved by staff and students"
- "Will go to any length to help the local community with visual needs"
Physical Plant - Carpentry
Tim Bowman has worked at Ferris for over 31 years. He takes his job of security on campus very seriously. He is known as "Mr. Commencement" and has figured out a way to set up the 790 chairs in less than 10 minutes using 16 people. Tim has been involved with area T-ball teams and started Santa's Secret Shop at Stanwood Elementary. He was a member of the Mecosta County Sheriff Posse and the Mecosta-Austin volunteer fire department for many years. He is also active in his church and devoted to his family.
Quotes from Nominator:
- "Mr. Commencement"
- "Makes graduation a great experience for the graduates and their families"
- "Go-to guy"
- "Enthusiastic and can-do attitude"
- "Treats everyone with great respect"
Coordinator of Admissions Event Programming
Admissions and Records
Jason DaDay has worked at Ferris for over 6 years. Jason enjoys people, especially talking with them and hearing their stories. He works with many departments on campus to coordinate orientation and group visits on campus. He does sports broadcasting play-by-play for football and basketball and is the public address announcer for hockey. He is a member of the Hersey village council and is currently serving as the Village Zoning Administrator. He is also a member of the Hersey Heritage Days Committee.
Quotes from the Nominator:
- "THE person you want on your team"
- "Eternal optimist"
- "Takes genuine interest in the welfare of perspective students and all members of the university family"
Administrative Assistant to the Associate VP
Sherry Hayes has worked at Ferris for 16 years. Sherry sees her strengths as seeing the big picture and her organizational skills. She likes to make people feel welcome on campus. She works with Bulldog Beginnings/Welcome Week activities, First Impressions, Relay for Life and Meijer Madness. She has been a team mom for Rocket football including taking videos, organizing parents, snacks and team tailgate. Sherry has helped friends with the Big Rapids High School Red and Blue Football Game, silent auction and potluck. Sherry is also a member of the Brookside PTO and helps with the school book fair.
Quotes from the Nominator:
- "Bulldog through and through"
- "Consistently demonstrates her loyalty and dedication"
- "Very best of problem solvers"
- "Get-it-done approach"
- "Friendly attitude — encourages cooperation and collaboration"
College of Professional and Technological Studies (CPTS)
Tracy Powers has worked at Ferris since she began as a student employee 25+ years ago. Tracy feels that she is a salesperson for Ferris. She has worked to develop 4 new scholarships in the last 2 years for Grand Rapids campus students. She has worked at many places on campus. Tracy takes a special interest in the lives of students. One example is she took time with student that was struggling with depression and loss of medical coverage. Tracy used her connections to help get the student a low cost prescription plan and even organized a food drive and collected donations from staff members to assist the student until her insurance kicked in. Tracy encouraged this student to stay in school and was right there with her at graduation. Tracy is on various boards and committees. She is secretary of her children's PTO and is a Boy Scout Troop Leader.
Quotes from the Nominator:
- "Tracy's door is always open"
- "Patiently listens and never rushes"
- "Ferris is a part of who she is"
- "She gives her all each and every day"
College of Engineering Technology
Steve Johnson has worked at Ferris for 22 years. His colleagues noted not only does he go above and beyond in his daily responsibilities, but he has been actively involved in the community with such projects as assisting with CET picnics, serving as ski club advisor, working with AM radio stations, volunteering for the Year of the Dawg project and Friends of Ferris, and maintaining the sound system at his church.
Senior Recruiting Officer
Angela Mishler has worked at Ferris for 10 years. When demonstrating her enthusiasm for the University, her colleagues have noted she is an ambassador of good will. Her involvement in the community includes Ferris' 6th Dawg Women's Basketball Booster Club, United Way, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Stepping Stones Parent Advisory Group.
William Potter has been employed at Ferris for 10 years and has exhibited Bulldog Pride everyday in and out of the office. Dr. Potter encourages his colleagues and students to be successful in whatever life brings them, his colleagues noted. His community and Ferris involvement includes leading the University's Political Engagement Project, volunteering with various committees from academic advising to University planning to scholarships, raising money for March of Dimes, and participating in band boosters.
Advancement Services Accountant
University Advancement and Marketing
Paula Rushford has been working at Ferris for four years. She demonstrates her work ethic as her day often begins early and ends late, her colleagues noted. Her activity in the Ferris and local communities includes starting a PGM scholarship for students and volunteering in her child's classroom.
Karen Young has been employed at Ferris for over three years. She is dedicated to making the Prakken building clean and safe for everyone as she continues to learn by taking training sessions and testing new products, her colleagues noted. On top of being dedicated to her work, she is serving as a role model while she is helping raise her grandchildren.
Music Industry Management
Lori meets one-on-one with nearly all of the 160 Music Industry Management majors to make sure that they are on track and also has devoted many hours to the MIM Registered Student Organization. She is involved in the community by being a public speaking moderator, participating in United Way, and also very involved in her church.
Annette provides the best possible customer service to Physical Plant customers every day of the week. Her commitment to service often results in mornings that begin early and evenings that end late. Her involvement in the community includes 4-H, March of Dimes, United Way, Relay for Life, and other charity and church functions.
Food Service Stockroom Coordinator
Center Ice Food Court
Julie has promoted Ferris as a member of the Dining Services marketing team for the past 11 years. Dining Services has grown from generating very little off-campus sales into an organization that is generating more than $1 million in yearly sales which has been recognized nationally. She is also involved in Welcome Week, Orientation, hosting and training students for internships in marketing and business, and the Adopt-A-Highway program.
Administrative Secretary to the Dean
David L. Eisler Center for Extended Learning
Denise has been described as "performing her work at a high level with professionalism and efficiency." She demonstrates her desire to help others by putting her own needs aside when necessary to help and assist co-workers and students. She has been active in the Stanwood Elementary PTO, Morley Stanwood Middle School PTO and Cub Scouts.
Secretary Level II
Department of English, Literature, and World Languages
Deb has been said to embody the mission of the University by treating every student with dignity, respect and kindness -- all while keeping the English, Literature, and World Languages office running smoothly. She has been involved in the local canine therapy dog group, volunteers at the Old Rugged Cross museum, and has baked and delivered cookies weekly for the past 17 years to Reed City Hospital's Skilled Nursing Facility patients.
Cook/Culinary Coordinator, Center Ice Food Court
Craig Bowman's unique leadership style and mentoring of new Dining Service employees
allows room for their development into productive and happy members of the Dining
Services team. Bowman leads the members of Dining Services by embracing innovative
practices to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of fellow employees. His accomplishments
are well recognized and confirmed by presentations for off-campus entities, and his
willingness to share personal experiences demonstrates Bowman's pride in his work
at the University.
Craig has been active in the Ferris and local communities by being a supporter of sports and concessions at Morley-Stanwood Schools, serving on the Food Service Advisory Board at the Mecosta-Osceola Career Center, and participating in various leadership roles in his church.
Director, Student Leadership and Activities
Cindy Horn's colleagues have cited her as an outstanding member of the Ferris community
and a fine representative of Ferris State University who always finds the best in
every situation. Cindy works tirelessly to provide quality programs to the students
of FSU outside of the classroom. She portrays a positive outlook when working with
students and often becomes a confidant for the students as well as a mentor in a compassionate
and supportive environment. Cindy also works closely with the University and local
community providing students with volunteer opportunities. She promotes collaboration
between student organizations and truly cares about what Ferris students are doing.
Cindy has been active in the Ferris and local communities by serving on the Mecosta County Human Services Collaborative Board and with her participation in recycling.
Secretary, College of Technology
Judy Keith shows great initiative in the projects she pursues and has built a reputation
for being conscientious and impeccable in her responsibilities. She continually demonstrates
a caring and professional role when working with students and faculty, and creates
a pleasant work environment for everyone around her. She gladly assists students and
faculty and willingly shares her knowledge of the University and its programs.
Judy has been active in the Ferris and local communities by supporting Project Starburst and St. Paul's Parish with the donation of homemade items and providing hand-knitted hats to newborns at Mecosta County Medical Center.
Director, Institutional Research, Assistant Dean of Enrollment Services
Kristen Salomonson's colleagues have cited her as a prime example of someone who crosses
all divisional lines and remains committed to ensuring that Ferris is the best place
it can be. Kristen's interest in students is demonstrated by her teaching of FSUS
100 -- the First Year Experience Seminar class. She often goes above and beyond her
normal job expectations to assist students, faculty, and staff. She is also known
as an excellent planner and problem-solver who thinks outside of the box.
Kristen demonstrates enthusiasm and a positive attitude in all that she does and believes that everyone is an important component to the success of the University. Her expertise, demeanor, and performance are truly exemplary and magnified by her genuine interactions with faculty, staff and students. Kristen has been active in the Ferris and local communities by serving in various roles for the American Association of University Women, the Women's Professional Development Conference, and the Pet Rescue Organization.
Coordinator, FSUS and University College Registration
Shelly VandePanne's enthusiasm for Ferris State University is exemplified every time
she reports to her office. She participates in the Select 60 program and still maintains
contact with students that she has mentored over the year. She is always willing to
do whatever it takes to make everyone's experience a good one. Shelly is very approachable
by faculty, peers, students and their parents. Her demeanor is always pleasant and
positive mixed with a sense of humor and humility which serves as a role model for
co-workers and students.
Shelly has been active in the Ferris and local communities by participating in Boy Scouts, church activities, and supporting her local school district on many levels.
Enrollment Services Supervisor
Ferris State University-Grand Rapids
Judy is continuously collaborating with members of the main campus to ensure consistent transferring of information. Her initiative to develop a student orientation program for FSU-GR has created a positive and lasting impression of the University to potential students and their families. Judy has been active in the Ferris and local communities by sharing her numerous talents both professionally and personally with local groups and churches. She is an exceptional advocate for the University and its programs.
Technician, Plastics and Rubber Department
Brian assists all areas of the campus community in the delivery of a quality educational experience to students. His talent and expertise in developing specialized equipment is extraordinary and is instrumental in providing technological opportunities to students. Brian has been active in the Ferris and local communities by serving on committees that extend from the College of Technology Dean Selection Committee to his active involvement with AMVETS Post 1941. His dedication to technological advancements through the development of grants and special equipment provides quality student education and confirms his strong commitment to Ferris.
Custodian, Residential Life
Ken is devoted to providing a high standard of services to students for a quality on-campus living experience. Ken has been active in the Ferris and local communities through his contributions to Residential Life's Uniform Committee and the Colfax Township Fire Department. The support Ken provides to his childrens' school activities and his enthusiasm for a positive student experience confirms his role as a good will ambassador for Ferris in the local community.
Secretary Level II, Residential Life
Barb works closely with many other offices across campus to ensure that every student's need is being met while living on campus. Her empathy and compassion creates a lasting impression on students and their families. Barb has remained active in the Ferris and local communities by dedicating her time to the Mecosta County Children's Council and Hospice of Michigan. Barb's school spirit as a hockey fan and Blueline Club member shows her continued devotion as a Bulldog!
Moving Coordinator, Physical Plant
Glenn works closely with colleagues to assure quality delivery to staff and students' expectations. Glenn's positive attitude and great work ethic are contagious to the student employees under his leadership. Glenn has been active in the Ferris and local communities as a union representative and as a member of the Committee. Glenn's contributions to Relay for Life and Mecosta County Medical Center reinforce his commitment to Ferris State University and the local community.
Lobdell, employed at Ferris since 2000, is a secretary in University College. Along
with providing support to faculty and students, she provides support for Joan Totten,
department head of Developmental Programs and Curriculum; Shelly VandePanne, FSUS
coordinator; and Christina Hollenbeck, SLA program coordinator. She is currently working
on her bachelor's degree, and has maintained a cumulative 3.5 grade point average.
In her spare time she volunteers for the United Way and Relay for Life, and she is
a public notary.
"What I like most about my job is the people I work with and the students I interact with. I like my job as much today as I did when I first started," says Lobdell.
Lutz, lead TAC coordinator, is responsible for the successful coordination of the
students and staff of the TAC, ensuring positive customer relations while trying to
solve complex technical related issues quickly and efficiently. He has successfully
transitioned from student apartment manager to part-time computer technician, full-time
help desk manager to lead TAC coordinator in his seven years of service to Ferris.
He serves on many committees at the University, is the Ferris men's volleyball club
advisor, and is an executive board member of the West Michigan Help Desk Institute
serving as Web master.
"What really makes my day is when a frustrated customer calls and I am able to take ownership of the customer's problem and follow it through to a successful completion. I enjoy assisting all levels of people because each interaction allows them to learn more skills, and often I do too," says Lutz.
Seiferlein, administrative assistant at the College of Pharmacy in Kalamazoo, supports
students by taking the time to know them and help them in any way she can, even if
that means staying late to assist students who are finishing up their rounds. She
also supports faculty and the entire department through a variety of activities including
coordinating and taking minutes for monthly meetings, and she plays a strong role
in the coordination of the faculty development program and faculty recruitment efforts.
In addition to her full-time position, she is a full-time graduate student pursuing
a master of public administration with a concentration in health care administration.
"It is so rewarding to me as a staff member to understand a student's individual situation -- what brought them to the College of Pharmacy, what they want to do when they're done, who their families are," says Seiferlein.
Sullivan, director of the Birkam Health Center, has been an active employee of Ferris
for over 30 years. He began his employment as a residence hall director, and returned
five years later as the University's psychological counselor. Over time he developed
the center into a fully functioning counseling center, and in 1996 he assumed the
role of director. As director he is responsible for staff, operation and services
of the health center.
"I really like addressing the challenges and problems brought to me every day by these various groups from all over campus," says Sullivan. "I am humbled and respectful of the extraordinary spirit and motivation which our campus students and employees possess as they succeed personally and academically," adds Sullivan.
Wright, residential life assistant director, is in his third year of employment at
Ferris. He is responsible for supervising five residence hall directors, community
development and programming, advising the Residence Hall Association, recruitment,
selection and training of 16 desk services managers and over 250 desk service assistants
"Working with staff members at Ferris has allowed me to see how creative and committed we are to making the Ferris experience both rewarding and challenging when it comes to developing good citizens in our students," says Wright.
Joan has fulfilled the responsibilities of her position with an ongoing acceptance
of additional duties. Her combination of expertise and a positive attitude has resulted
in great admiration by her colleagues.
Joan has been active in the Ferris and local communities by mentoring students and providing leadership through active participation in numerous associations and committees.
Karen has carried out the responsibilities of her position by stretching well beyond
what can reasonably expected. She is a continuous Bulldog cheerleader with incredible
attention to detail.
Karen has been active in the Ferris and local communities through many fundraisers and tireless contributions to Relay for Life, church activities and the Clerical Technical Association.
Jeremy has capably carried out the responsibilities of his position through continuous
dedication and enthusiasm to Ferris with a "can do" attitude. He provides outstanding
leadership and professionalism which makes him a wonderful role model for students
Jeremy has been active in the Ferris and local communities by serving on various committees from personnel searches to university planning. His commitment extends from the City of Big Rapids to Mecosta County organizations. These commitments help strengthen the relationship between Ferris State University and the local community.
Kay has capably carried out her responsibilities with a solid work ethic and creative
talents to find solutions. She is a solid Bulldog supporter who is dedicated to serving
the students with a high level of professionalism.
Kay has been active in the Ferris and local communities by serving on committees for quality management processes and active involvement with the Clerical Technical Association. She dedicates her time unselfishly to her church and many charities.
Mike has been with the University for 21 years and has held a number of positions. For the past five years, he has served the University as the Associate Vice President of Students Affairs. Mike has been active in the Ferris and local communities by mentoring students, working behind-the-scenes and being an active supporter of the University and local causes. He is to be commended for his demonstrated profound dedication to the University and its students and for being a true role-model to his colleagues. Thank you, Mike, for your contribution in helping Ferris State University carry out its overall mission
Sally has been with the University for 28 years. For the past 16 years, she has served the University as the Director of Budgetary Planning and Analysis. Sally has been active in the Ferris and local communities by being available to the University around-the-clock and serving key roles in numerous committees. She is to be commended for her selfless work ethic and approach to difficult decisions, which commands respect and demonstrates her collegial demeanor. Thank you, Sally, for your contribution in helping Ferris State University carry out its overall mission.
Lori has been with the University for 19 years and currently serves as the Director of Dining Services. Lori has been active in the Ferris and local communities by participating in and developing committees, partnerships and teams, both on and off campus, for which Ferris has received local, regional and national recognition. She is to be commended for her innovative leadership and team-building concepts, which have greatly improved Ferris' dining operations and the quality of life on campus for both students and employees. Thank you, Lori, for your contribution in helping Ferris State University carry out its overall mission.
Teresa has been with the University for over 21 years and currently serves the University as the Student Activities Assistant in the department of Student Leadership and Activities. Teresa has been active in the Ferris and local communities by participating in numerous Student Activities committees, the Calendar Committee, the President's Leadership Program, the Blueline Club and volunteering her time to the Big Rapids High School's Drama and Choir Departments. She is to be commended for her multi-tasking skills, no-wrong-door philosophy and dedication to the Ferris students, which has earned her the honorary titles of "eternal Homecoming Queen" and "concert lady". Thank you, Teresa, for your contribution in helping Ferris State University carry out its overall mission.
Mary Kay MacIver
Mary Kay has been with the University for over six years and currently serves the University as the Assistant Director of Alumni Relations. Mary Kay has been active in the Ferris and local communities by enthusiastically representing the University, promoting the University and its mission, mentoring students and volunteering for a number of local causes. She is to be commended for being a true Ferris State University Bulldog! Thank you, Mary Kay, for your contribution in helping Ferris State University carry out its overall mission.
Lionel has been with the University for five years and currently serves the University as a Grounds Specialist at Katke Golf Course. Lionel has been active in the Ferris and local communities by serving on numerous University committees, positively interacting with students and assisting with the promotion of the University. He is to be commended for being a proven dedicated, hardworking employee who has demonstrated his sincere interest in the well-being of the University. Thank you, Lionel, for your contribution in helping Ferris State University carry out its overall mission.
Angela has been with the University for over six years and currently serves the University as a Secretary Level III in the department of Residential Life. Angela has been active in the Ferris and local communities by serving on hiring and policy review committees, the Young Women's Group of Chippewa Hills, furthering her education and raising a young family. She is to be commended for her infectious motivation, caring demeanor and timeliness, as well as continually striving to improve customer service and campus relationships. Thank you, Angela, for your contribution in helping Ferris State University carry out its overall mission.
Kristine has been with the University for 15 years and currently serves the University as an Account Clerk Level III in the College of Technology. Kristine has been active in the Ferris and local communities by participating in the History Commemoration Task Force, Clerical/Technical Association, church leadership roles and numerous activities which positively influence today's youth. She is to be commended for her professionalism, dedication, integrity and genuine concern for the welfare of Ferris' family and friends, which has earned her the admiration and respect of her colleagues. Thank you, Kristine for your contribution in helping Ferris State University carry out its overall mission.
Mindy has been with the University for 20 years and currently serves the University as the Executive Secretary to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Mindy has been active in the Ferris and local communities by participating in quality improvement teams, task force committees, First Impressions, and as a loyal supporter of her church. She is to be commended for her leadership skills, which have enhanced the University's image, services, and human relations. Thank you, Mindy, for your contribution in helping Ferris carry out its overall mission.
Raymond has been with the University for almost 18 years. Shortly after his arrival to the University, he became the first and only Director of Minority Affairs. He currently serves the University as Special Assistant to the President/Director of Minority Affairs. Raymond has been active in the Ferris and local communities by mentoring and motivating students to reach their full potential, serving as a moderator or guest speaker on numerous occasions, and assisting with the development of several scholarship programs. He is to be commended for demonstrating inspiration, enthusiasm and concern for all University students. Thank you, Raymond, for your contribution in helping Ferris carry out its overall mission.
Karen has been with the University for 12 years. She currently serves the University as the Assistant to the Vice President for University Advancement and Marketing and Assistant to the Executive Director of the Ferris Foundation. Karen has been active in the Ferris and local communities by supporting Operation Compassion, WISE, and Project Starburst. She is to be commended for her sense of teamwork and selfless giving, which contribute to the success of Ferris. Thank you, Karen, for your contribution in helping Ferris carry out its overall mission.
Sally has been with the University for over 29 years. She currently serves the University as the Coordinator of International Admissions. Sally has been active in the Ferris and local communities by opening her home to students, promoting and leading the International Festival of Cultures, and serving on various committees. She is to be commended for being a proven ambassador through her work with and dedication to the University's international students and their families. Thank you, Sally, for your contribution in helping Ferris carry out its overall mission.
Ron has been with the University for 36 years. He currently serves the University as the Interim Assistant Vice President for Plant Management. Ron has been active in the Ferris and local communities by contributing to several charities, serving on University committees, and being available to the University around the clock. He is to be commended for his long term on the Ferris team and contributing significantly to the overall growth and success of the University. Thank you, Ron for your contribution in helping Ferris carry out its overall mission.
Linda has been with the University for 25 years. She currently serves the University as the Executive Secretary to the Vice President for Student Affairs. Linda has been active in the Ferris and local communities by serving on numerous committees and organizations that influence and develop the young leaders of tomorrow. She is to be commended for earning the reputation as the ultimate team player with exemplary work ethics and a sense of humor. Thank you, Linda, for your contribution in helping Ferris carry out its overall mission.
Rhonda has been with the University for over 17 years. She currently serves the University as the Benefits Specialist in Human Resources. Rhonda has been active in the Ferris and local communities by serving the United Way, Project Starburst, First Impressions, and the Women's Professional Development Conference, while being an active participant in her children's school and sports activities. She is to be commended for being a respected human resources ambassador who demonstrates compassion for all her fellow employees. Thank you, Rhonda, for your contribution in helping Ferris carry out its overall mission.
Tom has been with the University for 14 years. He serves the University as a Journeyman Carpenter and President of AFSCME Local 1609. Tom has been active in the Ferris and local communities by dedicating his time to the American Cancer Society, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, PAST, and the Riverwalk Committee projects. He is to be commended for being an instrumental force in the advancement of workers' issues, including the connection between employees and the students we serve. Thank you, Tom, for your contribution in helping Ferris carry out its overall mission.
Louise has been with the University for almost five years and is the Director of Affirmative Action. Louise has been active in the Ferris and local communities by serving on numerous University committees, training all University employees, and contributing to the Legal Access Center, Racism Summit and Dispute Resolution Center. She is to be commended for demonstrating objectivity, innovation, collegiality, and leadership to the University community. Thank you, Louise, for your contribution in helping Ferris carry out its overall mission.
Michelle, director, Student Leadership and Activities, has been the director of student leadership and activities since 1998. She oversees more than 200 student organizations, recently developed a course in Exploring Leadership, and has built relationships with the community through the Big Rapids Jaycees and the Mecosta County Area Chamber of Commerce.
Robin, administrative secretary to the Dean, College of Technology, began her Ferris career as a part-time employee in the Housing Office 23 years ago and soon moved to the College of Technology. She has served on the clerical negotiations team, piloted the new hiring process, and solicited for United Way.
Jana, dean of Student Life and director of Housing, joined Ferris nearly 10 years ago as a residence hall director and has served in many capacities since that time. She advises the Student Affairs Programming Committee, has served on many task forces, and worked with the Big Rapids Jaycees.
Debra, director, Annual Giving and Development Services, began working in the College of Pharmacy in 1978 and since that time has shared her expertise and knowledge with the entire campus. She has been director of annual giving since 1991. Jacks has participated in quality improvement initiatives and supported the American Cancer Society and Project Starburst.
Kelly, legal assistant and office manager, Government Relations and General Counsel, recently completed her tenth year at Ferris. During that decade she has been the University's only legal assistant. Marek has served on several process review committees, provided training to employees, and worked closely with the Board of Trustees.
Donna, secretary, Dean's Office, College of Technology, has been employed in the College of Technology for three years. Schmidt has served with First Impressions, supported the Boy Scouts and church and school projects, and achieved the title of Michigan Master Gardener.
Mark, director, Rankin Center and budget manager, Student Affairs, is a 14-year employee responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Rankin Student Center. Schuelke advises the Interfraternity Council, serves on numerous committees and with the Association of College Unions International.
Debra, secretary, Heavy Equipment Department, College of Technology, has been at Ferris for 12 years, beginning as a part-time employee in Rankin Center. Sweet has served as chair of the Ferris Pride Committee and worked with the Women's Professional Development Committee and the Leukemia Foundation.
When Patty started at Ferris in August of 1980, she was asked if she could help out in the Payroll Office for one month. She became the assistant supervisor of the Payroll Office in 1985 and supervisor in 1988. Fraser credits her "dedicated, knowledgeable and helpful" staff as the reason for her office's success.
She has been involved in numerous committees and projects at Ferris throughout the years including the University Retention Committee and the Total Quality Management group for Accounting/Payroll. She has also served on the administrative team for Clerical/Technical labor negotiations. Her community involvement through St. Paul's Campus Parish includes 20 years of service projects. She has been involved in the Christmas "Giving Tree" project and has served as St. Paul's landscape gardener and designer since 1984.
Grounds supervisor Will's friendly smile and warm wave greet everyone he meets as he tends the campus grounds. His enthusiasm, dedication and "can-do" attitude have provided students and employees with landscaping to enjoy year round.
Gasper contributes to the community through God's Helping Hands and his work with the youth ministry at his church. He was a charter member of Ferris State's "We Care" program and also is involved in the "First Impressions" program.
Bruce has been employed at Ferris for five years as a machine lab technician within the College of Technology. He maintains various machines for the Welding, Machine Tool, Design, Drafting, and Graphic Arts faculty. He also works on special projects and assists faculty, students and staff wherever and whenever needed. College of Technology faculty say that Hammond is always pleasant, dedicated and hardworking.
Hammond enjoys coaching Big Rapids youth baseball, hockey and soccer teams. He has been a judge for the Big Rapids Public Schools' Industrial Art Fair and has served on the Advisory Board for the Newaygo County Career Center. Hammond also assists the Machine Trades instructors at the Mecosta-Osceola Career Center.
Carole has been employed at FSU for 12 years and holds the position of Director of Conferences and Programs. Her responsibilities include the planning, implementation and coordination of many continuing education conferences, workshops and seminars.
She has performed this function in an exemplary manner, ensuring that the thousands of people who come to campus for these programs leave with a positive impression of the University. She recently received the "Hometown Hero Award" from the Mecosta County Convention and Visitors Bureau for her contributions to local tourism.
Kamp is involved with Ferris Professional Women, Martin Luther King Commission, United Way, We Care, First Impressions and a number of professional organizations.
Fonda an "unsung hero, office supervisor for Facilities Management, is known for her proficiency, efficiency, sunny disposition and dedication to her job. She has volunteered her time to several committees, organizations and her church for the benefit of others.
The Facilities Management staff appreciates Fonda's contributions and showed their support through several nominations and letters of support.
Jon has been employed at Ferris for two years. As Director of Residential Programs and Services and Associate Director of Housing, Shaffer oversees the University residence halls, including the residents' safety. He has faced many significant challenges since beginning his employment, including staffing changes, student behavioral issues, and most recently, the Brophy Hall fire. Shaffer has addressed each of those issues in a superb manner.
Shaffer is a cabinet member for the Mecosta/Osceola United Way campaign. He regularly volunteers for church and school activities, and is a volunteer coach for youth soccer and hockey. He also is very active in several professional organizations. In spite of all these activities and responsibilities, he makes time to assist and counsel individual students to help them make the most of their college experience.
Chris's work ethic shows through all aspects of her life. A Secretary Level III in the College of Business, she believes everyone should do their best every day and continually strive to improve their skills and abilities. Vodry is devoted to more than her job. Her dedication to staff and students is evident from the numerous Certificates of Appreciation she has received from offices on campus and local organizations.
Vodry serves on several campus committees working to improve communication and policies. Her involvement in community activities and volunteer work testifies to her commitment to enrich and improve lives.
Al the senior graphic designer for University Advancement and Marketing, helps promote Ferris by designing marketing brochures and publications that are distributed across the country. In many cases, a student's first contact with Ferris is through a brochure that Williams has designed. The University community benefits from his artistic talents through campus signage, Ferris Renaissance and the Michigan Art Walk. He also enjoys teaching part-time in the Visual Communications program.
Williams donates his time and talent to the Relay for Life in Big Rapids and does wall murals in the children's wing of his church in Rockford. With his busy life and schedule, he still finds time to teach watercolor and cartooning as an instructor in the Rockford Creative Arts Center.
Helen has served Ferris students, faculty, staff and administrators for the past 20 years, beginning her career as a project secretary for the Michigan Vocational Industrial Clubs of America grant in the College of Education. In addition to her administrative assistant duties, she provides administrative support for the Teacher Education, Child Development and Military Sciences areas.
Bacon also spends time helping students with their teacher certification and law enforcement certification requirements. She is involved in numerous Ferris committees and projects and Big Rapids community activities, such as the Mecosta County Medical Center Ice Cream Social. She received the Outstanding Service Award from Michigan VICA in 1993, the Dean’s Recognition Award from the College of Education in 1993, and the outstanding Student in Training in Business and Industry Award in 1998.
Meg Hackett Carrier
Meg joined the University’s Office of the General Counsel in September 1995. As the assistant general counsel, she advises and represents the University in legal proceedings and on a wide variety of legal matters.
As a member of several professional associations, she is actively involved in a variety of civic and charitable organizations. She is president of Ferris Professional Women, sits on the board of directors for the Ryerson Library Foundation and the Notre Dame Club of Grand Rapids, and is vice president of the board of directors for the Stepping Stones Montessori School.
Frank, who has been employed with the University for 22 years, is responsible for the maintenance of living microbial cultures used in a variety of laboratory classes. He has also worked as a part-time faculty member and often serves as a mentor for special projects associated with biology classes. In his dedication to the University, Hartley has gone far beyond his regular hours to routinely work weeknights and weekends.
In the community, he is actively involved in the theater group STAGE-M and at St. Andrews Episcopal Church.
Elaine began her employment with the University in 1985 as a part-time employee in the Copy Center. After five and one-half years, she began her full-time employment with the College of Business in the Clerical/Technical Association position of secretary to the Management Department. A year later, she became the assistant secretary to the Office of the President and was also acting secretary to the president for a time. In 1994 with the appointment of William Sederburg to the presidency, Kamptner was assigned to her current position.
Anita began her career at Ferris in 1979. In her current position as Account Clerk II, she supports 20 faculty, two staff members and over 300 students in Automotive Service, Auto Body, and Automotive and Heavy Equipment Management.
Kunnen has served as a volunteer fire fighter for the Rogers Heights Mecosta Township Fire Department. As noted by her colleagues, she is an expert at “keeping many balls in the air at one time and does it with a flare and passion,” going beyond normal duties in her commitment to students, faculty, staff and guests.
Shirley has worked at Ferris for over 31 years at the Birkam Health Center, supervising and assisting nursing personnel, assisting with medical procedures, and giving immunizations and allergy shots. She also directs the Flu Clinic each year for students, spouses, faculty and staff. Ream is a charter member of the “WE CARE” program and participates in First Impressions, FSU Parent Orientation, the Bulldog Bonanza and Hallopalooza.
She is active in her church as director of Children’s Ministries, as a Sunday School teacher and as secretary of the Board of Christian Education.
Marilyn started at Ferris in 1982 after graduating from dental school. She has served as director of Clinical Education for the Allied Dental programs, as acting program director for the Dental Assisting program, and as the Dental Hygiene program director.
Recently, Stolberg assisted a dental hygiene student to complete her degree after the student was confined to a wheelchair as a result of an automobile accident. Stolberg not only helped the student overcome pressures and prejudices in working with patients, but she went the extra step in finding two practicing dentists with similar injuries to be role models. Stolberg also convinced a manufacturer to redesign dental equipment for the student that was hand operated.
Stolberg is involved with various dental associations and community service organizations, such as the United Way, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church and Project Starburst.
Margaret has been with the University for 15 years. She was the departmental secretary in the Biological Sciences for 13 years before becoming the administrative secretary to the dean of University College in 1996. In her current position, Wozniak is responsible for many duties, including supporting all University College search committees and the hiring and training of a secretarial staff of eight.
She is involved in many important Ferris committees and projects such as the Hiring Process Review Committee, the Quality 2000 Process Improvement Team, Ferris Professional Women, and First Impressions.
Her community activities center around St. Ann’s Church in Baldwin and the Mecosta County Relay for Life.
Jan has been a Ferris employee since 1974, has been with the Alumni Office for the past eight years. In addition to her secretarial and coordinator duties for Alumni events, she is a member of her area's Spirit Team which promotes employee motivation and raises funds for campus and community projects such as Relay for Life. She also assists at the Welcome Tents during orientation. Her community service includes 12 years as her department's United Way representative, and chairing the Morley-Stanwood school carnival. In 1996, she co-chaired the committee that helped pass the bond issue to build the new Morley-Stanwood High School.
"I feel Ferris is one of the best employers in our area," said Eckert. "The opportunities of growing professionally and personally are unlimited."
Linda has been with Ferris for 19 years, beginning as a clerk-typist in the Accounting Office. She went on to serve 14 years with Katke Golf Course before moving to her current position in the College of Technology in September of 1995. Faysal is responsible for meeting the needs of an assistant dean, three program coordinators, 32 faculty, and more than 400 students.
"The never-ending diversity keeps me young," said Faysal. "What do I like most about my position? Graduation. When I see all those young people going off into the world and prepared to succeed, I feel a great deal of pride that I had a part in their achievement."
Linda has spent the last 10 of her 13 years at Ferris in the Office of Academic Affairs. Her position entails more than handling the normal financial functions for the office. She helped establish the "Account Clerks Quality Process Group," which has facilitated information sharing, continuity of data and resources between Colleges, and making account clerks across campus an integral part of the budget management team.
"What I like best about my job is that I believe in what I am doing," Golden said.
Scott serves Ferris as a behind-the-scenes team member. From 1991-93 he was employed as Assistant General Counsel, and in 1994 was appointed General Counsel. His position directs the activities of a full-service law office as well as the labor relations and affirmative action functions of the University. He was a key figure in the recent contract settlement between FSU and the Ferris Faculty Association.
"What I like so much about my position is that the Office of the General Counsel continues to improve the professional services it provides to our campus colleagues," said Hill-Kennedy. "It is a pleasure to come to work with good colleagues who believe with you that your activities are making a positive difference on campus."
Dan began employment with the University in September of 1994 as a graduate assistant in the Career Planning & Placement Office (now the Office of Career Services). He served as Interim Director during the summer of 1995 and has been Placement Coordinator for the past two years. His primary function is to serve as the job search consultant for the University's student and alumni populations.
"The part of my job that I enjoy the most is teaching students the art and skill of marketing themselves," said Hurley. "This usually takes place during times of individual counseling. I enjoy working with students, helping them identify and successfully market their talents."
Hurley has also been busy in the community, serving as a board member (and a term as president) of the Mecosta County Area Chamber of Commerce. He chairs the Governmental Affairs Council and is a Chamber Ambassador.
Audry retired April 30, 1998, was part of the Ferris family for over 30 years. Her responsibilities within the Timme Library were always demanding and detailed. She adapted with ease to the new automated systems, embracing the new technology with enthusiasm and good humor.
"The students are what made my job interesting," said Lyons. "I have trained hundreds of students, and a lot of them consider me almost a grandmother. They came to me for advice and made my years at Ferris very rewarding."
Rex has dedicated 30 years to the campus and surrounding community. His interest in students is ensuring that they can live and learn in a safe environment.
In conjunction with his position at Ferris, he serves as Assistant Fire Chief for the Big Rapids Charter Township Fire Department, as a Medical First Responder with the Fire Department, and as a Fire Investigator for the Mecosta County Sheriff Department. He is on-call 24 hours a day, weekends and holidays included. Anytime there is a safety hazard on campus, he responds immediately, assesses the situation, and takes appropriate corrective actions.
"I enjoy working with people and assisting in their time of need," Richardson said.
Dinius was designated as the Robert L. Ewigleben "Employee of the Year" as the nominee receiving the most points by committee evaluation.
The fourth annual award, patterned after FSU's Distinguished Teacher Award, recognizes those employees not directly involved in teaching. Criteria for selection are a positive attitude and enthusiasm for Ferris; excellence in performance of duties; interest in students or demonstrated cooperation with other staff; and participation as a member of the University community and public service to others.
Honorees will each receive a one-time bonus of $500, recognition at a Board of Trustees dinner and meeting, individual plaques, and have their names engraved on a plaque permanently displayed on campus.
"Participating in the selection process was both difficult and rewarding," said Bill Taylor, news services director and committee chair. "Each nominee was deserving. Our committee had a tough job. However, that was balanced by learning about the many positive contributions of so many of our employees."
Dinius, who has headed Ferris' public safety department for seven years, keeps his staff's morale high with positive comments and an open door policy to listen to and discuss concerns. He displays a similar concern for students, taking the time to hear their concerns and dealing with difficult situations in a tactful manner.
In striving to provide a safe environment on campus, Dinius has established a "Door to Door" crime prevention program in residence halls, maintained communication with the campus and local community through crime prevention programs, and collaborated with other agencies to improve training and enhance computer capabilities. He is a past president of the Michigan Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators and the Meceola Central Dispatch Technical Advisory Board.
Bluhm, a staff member since 1985, manages the Pharmacy animal care facility to be in compliance with the continuing change in guidelines regulated by various agencies. She not only cares for animals, but has become adept in the medical, computer and human relations fields.
She trains student employees, provides instruction and develops independent studies for fourth year biotechnology students, and mentors students from the Mecosta Osceola Intermediate School District's Math, Science and Technology Center. A past president of the Michigan Association for Laboratory Animal Science, Bluhm received that group's Outstanding Achievement Award in 1994. She has facilitated the donation of equipment to FSU worth more than $100,000.
GreenBay, an 11-year employee and alumna now working on her master's degree, assists Allied Health Sciences students with personal and academic advising, serves as a liaison with other University faculty and staff, and participates in CAHS recruitment activities.
She enjoys networking with others sincerely interested in making Ferris an environment which students and visitors will accept and appreciate. "I find great pleasure helping students who want to succeed in life and in their education," said GreenBay. She is a board member of the Mecosta County Division of the American Heart Association, and received the Michigan AHA's 1996 Leadership Award for Minority Programs and 1995-96 Volunteer of the Year Award.
Keys, a full-time staff member for 12 years, works with the student affairs division to provide consulting and technical support for recruiting, enrollment and retention activities. The Communications Center she supervises was opened last fall to answer toll free inquiries and make calls to prospective students.
She enjoys working with people to find solutions to problems, and has been involved with the "We Care" and "First Impressions" programs since they were started on campus. A true Ferris ambassador, Keys is a past president of the General Federation of Women's Clubs-Big Rapids and the Association of Ferris Women, and chaired the United Church Governing Board and Riverview Cub Scout Committee.
Octernaud, who has been a staff member for 13 years, provides support to faculty and staff regarding the effective use of information technology, telecommunication services and continuous quality improvement techniques. She has developed a computerized decision-support system (FIS), drafted information technologies policies and promoted distance learning activities.
In her change-agent role of helping professional and personal growth, Octernaud coordinates "First Impressions," facilitates the Student Quality Council and chairs the Professional Orientation and Development Committee. She won Microsoft Corporation's 1995 Innovators in Higher Education Award for fostering desktop to desktop communication.
Thede, a 12-year staff member, has served the past 10 years in Technology computer support positions. Since July he has been responsible for the College's computer support for seven buildings, 2,000 students, 140 personnel, 10 major labs, 15 smaller labs and 631 computers in all. He also handles maintenance of all computer-related equipment.
In addition, he has provided technical support for the Michigan Community Growth Alliance, Big Rapids and Morley Stanwood schools and several local businesses. An electrical engineering technology alumnus, Thede serves on FSU's NoNet, PC Standards and Windows '95 Committees and chairs the College of Technology's TechNet Committee.
Wessels has worked at FSU since 1980, the last 13 years as the construction department Secretary. She handles all ordering and budgets for the department and prepares the master schedule for four program areas. In addition, she helped to prepare program materials for several training grants awarded by the Department of Labor and seminars offered by the Associated Builders and Contractors of Grand Rapids.
She is a member of the Ferris Select 60 mentoring group and chairs the Publicity Committee of the Women's Professional Development Conference. She has also been active for over a decade with the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, serving as committee chair of Pack 174 of Reed City and Troop 1184 of Chase.