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Distinguished Staff Award Winners

2024 Distinguished Staff Award Winners

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Angela Buys

Instructional Designer & Technologist, eLearning

Angela Buys is a recipient of the Distinguished Staff Award. She currently serves as an Instructional Designer and Technologist in elearning. Many of us recognize the valuable work she & her department do here through working with faculty, staff & students to make online learning the most effective learning environment possible. Her true desire is for Ferris to put forth excellence, to better the opportunities for education, while recognizing that education brings people out of poverty & is a stepping-stone to a better future.

In her role in elearning, she seeks to make sure that each person who calls has a good experience, feels supported, and gets what they need to move forward. She is committed to solving their problem and not passing them on to someone else. Her goal is always to remove the roadblocks to their success.

When asked what one of her strengths is and how does Ferris benefit from it, she replied that her top strength is her “belief” that Ferris is about education and excellence. Angie also dedicates time to this belief by volunteering for the First Gen work group where she and other members work to positively impact First Gen students, creating initiatives that foster a sense of community and belonging for these and all students. 

Angie is also mentoring her second Ferris youth initiative student, striving to gain a deeper understanding of her challenges in life and in school. Angie helps her identify and connect with FSU resources and shares ways she can create healthy relationships, while at school and beyond. Going the extra mile, Angie often attends events with her mentee to help build a bond of support and friendship. 

Outside of Ferris, Angie serves on the school board for the Charter Academy, is involved with Angels of Actions and is a BRHS mentor for their virtual school. In that role she tries to build a bridge to Ferris by offering the first bite of how an education at Ferris could change their lives for the better.

Eric Haner

Registrar and Assistant Dean of Enrollment Services

Eric Haner is a recipient of the Distinguished Staff Award, currently serving as the Registrar and Assistant Dean of Enrollment Services. Initially, he walked in our doors as a student. He stayed post-graduation to build his career here because he wanted to keep making positive changes on a campus that means so much to him. His passion for Ferris is truly palpable.

Eric’s role is vital to ensuring the integrity of data on campus and protecting its constituents; to making sure processes are equitable and consistent and making sure there is standardization. The nature of his position allows him to be very interconnected across campus reaching into the daily work lives of many of us. He desires to make changes that positively impact the big picture for the breadth of campus users. He is a problem solver.

Showing empathy and creating positive exchanges with students, employees and others is an important part of his life and work. Leveraging technology so fellow employees can focus on duties above and beyond tedious tasks that software can handle is part of his goal to streamline efficiency across campus. He works to make the small details serve the big picture in the most logical way possible.

Eric serves on numerous implementation committees that he isn’t required to be on but chooses to because his job provides him with the big picture viewpoint. This allows him to see how to make processes work better, often by putting technology to work.

Eric loves that we believe in diversity and opportunity here. He can be himself in this community and strives to help others do the same. He recognizes that good things don’t always come easy, but he values the progress we collectively make every day. Ferris is better because of the people who work here and who are dedicated and motivated to make a difference.

Sherry Standen

Enrollment Services Software Specialist

Sherry Standen is a recipient of the Distinguished Staff Award.

She is an Enrollment Services Software Specialist. She is an integral part of the communication broadcasts that are directed at students.

Her impressive attention to detail and thoroughness is reflected in a 15-year perfect record of the right messages going out to the right student groups.

Sherry gathers data and reports for Admissions and other administrators who seek appropriate data to understand what the trends are.

In addition, she works with the Financial Aid Office to make sure the details are in place so students who receive FSU communications are getting accurate information that is specifically directed to their needs.

Sherry recognizes that her work helps bridge the gap for prospective students... from interest, to admitted status, to sitting in a chair in the fall.

Her long-time involvement in Dawg Days is another focused effort of bridging that gap.

Sherry enjoys meeting incoming students and their families during summer Orientation as it creates a meaningful connection between her data driven work and the real lives it impacts.

When asked what she likes best about Ferris, her response was the opportunities that Ferris offers to grow both professionally and personally. Ferris is about opportunities.

Sherry is valued for many things, including that she’s easy going, likes to have fun, and doesn’t like to take things too seriously. She carries that forward to help create a better, more lighthearted, upbeat and fun work environment. 

Amy Truong

Secretary Level 2 – Mathematics

Amy Truong is a recipient of the Distinguished Staff Award.

She has worked on campus for several years giving her a broad sense of campus and its resources.

The knowledge and experience she has gained lends itself well to being an integral and vital part of the functioning of the Math Department, where she currently serves in the role of Administrative Assistant. 

Amy’s impact in Math is clearly stated by the large number faculty nominations and positive comments that were submitted in support of her.

Amy is valued for her skills, attention to detail, desire to help students and for going out of her way to support and assist faculty and her Dept Chair.

Amy has also jumped across department lines to help CHP with the Math Placement Guide and Math ladder, to make sure students are properly placed into the correct math course.

It’s also important to her to help students be successful by helping them identify which courses offer the teaching and delivery methods that best align with their learning styles. She understands that successful math progression is important for many students to maintain their seat in their programs. 

Amy is a Ferris Alumni and her experience as a student gives her knowledge to lend to current students. She sees the difficulties they face having been a student here and can relate and assist better because of it. 

Outside of her Ferris duties, Amy serves on the WISE Finance Advisory board and started their annual 5K event to raise funds for the shelter’s renovation projects and needed items. This year they will be moving to a new shelter building due to those efforts. 

Mandy Zweifel-Huges

Director of Admissions Services, KCAD

Mandy Zweifel-Hughes is a recipient of the Distinguished Staff Award, currently serving as Assistant Director of Admissions and leader of the Kendall College of Art and Design Admissions team. 

Mandy first joined KCAD and the University as an administrative assistant for Admissions in 2019 before translating her higher ed background and master's degree in higher ed administration into a leadership role in 2021. She is a natural servant leader who places collaboration and authentic relationship building at the heart of her team’s mission. Mandy leads by example with her boots firmly on the ground. She models an infectious “can-do” attitude and a genuinely human-centered approach to recruitment opportunities and challenges alike. 

In an increasingly challenging era for higher ed recruitment, Mandy has been a beacon of positivity and resiliency. She has worked to deepen her team’s relationship with the KCAD faculty, ensuring that faculty voices are heard and creating meaningful opportunities for their experience, perspective, and presence to feed recruitment strategies and messaging. She has also worked diligently to strengthen ties between KCAD and the larger Ferris Enrollment Services team, uncovering new opportunities for collaboration and resource sharing while fostering a stronger sense of collective identity and alignment. She never hesitates to take on extra responsibilities when the need arises. This includes being her team’s point person for both international and graduate students and overseeing the KCAD Dual Enrollment Program.

Mandy’s tireless efforts have not only helped KCAD begin to reverse pandemic-era enrollment declines—they’ve also earned the Admissions team a fitting reputation as one of the most trusted and respected staff groups on campus. 

Outside of her primary role, Mandy serves on several committees, including the KCAD Leadership Team, the KCAD President’s Cabinet, the KCAD Strategic Planning and Action Committee, and the FEI Transfer Pathways committee, among many others.

In her personal time, she is part of the inaugural group of the Rockstar Women’s Movement, which is focused on empowering woman in West Michigan. She is also a devoted mother of two who prioritizes an active presence in her kids’ increasingly busy lives as they transition into young adulthood, while also being a caretaker for her mother-in-law alongside her husband.

Previous Recipients