2023 Distinguished Team Award Winners
Web Marketing Team
Cassidy Cobb, Eric Hazen, Dale Hobart, Paul Hobart
The Web Marketing team’s role is to develop the university’s digital platforms and make it easier for prospects to become a Ferris State Bulldog and thrive on our campuses. Web Services is responsible for the university’s website, Ferris.edu, and provide aid and guidance across many Ferris and KCAD platforms. Their primary goal is to use the website to attract and retain prospective students, donors and community members. The team measures the impact of its work in a number of ways, but one of the most straightforward is the number of users who complete key actions while visiting the website, such as submitting an application, completing a request for information, or scheduling a campus visit. Over the past year, their work has increased this number by more than 25%. Time on site also has increased by more than 37%, and their recent Web Personalization effort has seen interactions on the ferris.edu homepage increase by 2,800%. Accolades for this accomplishment also have included recognition by software provider Modern Campus in a published article and invitations to present at CASE conferences.
Ferris State University Custodial Department
Ferris State University’s Custodial Department has shown tremendous flexibility and teamwork, adjusting its approach to campus custodial services to best meets its goals of providing a clean, healthy and safe environment for all members of the university community. In response to staff reductions and increased demand for disinfection services following the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Custodial Department modified its approach and working schedules to implement an “Efficiency Cleaning” model in which multiple staff are assigned to a group of buildings. Working collaboratively, staff were able to complete increased cleaning activities to support a safe environment for campus reentry per new daily disinfection protocols. Throughout initial reentry, custodial staff also took on a number of high-risk responsibilities, including sanitization of spaces known to have been occupied by COVID-positive students. The quick work of the Custodial Department to modify its operations to support campus reentry and the dedication of custodial staff to providing a safe environment for the campus community was very important to resumption of fully in-person learning.
In recognition of their outstanding service as valued members of Ferris staff, the Custodial Department Team has been selected to receive the 2022 Ferris State University Distinguished Team Award.
IT Solution Center, led by Scott Thede
When COVID-19 first affected university operations in March 2020, the IT Solution Center quickly understood how critical it was about to become to the university’s continuity. Members worked quickly to reinvent processes so that they could safely secure and distribute IT resources to the campus community, with many on the team taking on duties outside of their normal work to make sure that all needs were met. From procuring and imaging hundreds of loaner laptops for students, faculty and staff to complete remote work to finding solutions to decontaminate returned hardware for redistribution, this team reacted rapidly and effectively to ensure that the university could continue to provide instruction.
Though the scope of this task, alone, was almost unthinkable, the team had to innovate quickly again when remote work was mandated for many of their own staff. Keeping the pace they had established, they implemented a new phone system so that their team could continue to support staff and students while working remotely. They further developed new systems for processes such as data backup and transfer, which could not be performed in-person, and solutions for faxing for HIPAA compliance. As the university planned for reentry in Fall 2020, the team strategized to outfit Hi-Flex classrooms with technology to allow remote attendance.
Those working with the IT Solution Center team at this time commend their acceptance of risk, generosity with their time and positive, support-focused outlook. Their commitment and willingness to go above and beyond allowed the university to continue its mission through a period of extraordinary challenge.
The Anti-Violence Alliance led by Joy Pulsifer
The Anti-violence Alliance (formerly Anti-Violence Coalition) is a multidisciplinary team of faculty, staff, and students, that are committed to adapting, expanding, and developing new approaches to sexual violence prevention efforts at Ferris State University. The Alliance is committed to building a healthier, stronger, and safer community by delivering powerful, effective, research-informed, and on-going awareness, education, and prevention opportunities across campus focused on changing the culture and preventing sexual violence. This team is an incredible group of thirty-five staff, faculty, and students who have given their time to work together to learn more about and get engaged with the work to reduce violence on our campus.
The Team began in January 2019 when they received a $40,000 grant from the Michigan State Police to use for sexual assault prevention. They used the grant funds for a three-day intensive training for the entire Alliance, to pay for Bringing in the Bystander Train the Trainer weekend, to purchase the license to use Bringing in the Bystander, and to pay 10 Peer Educators to lead the prevention efforts in the fall 2019 and the spring 2019. More than 496 attendees have completed Bringing in the Bystander since March 2019.
All student-athletes and their coaches are completing the Bringing in the Bystander Program this academic year, and so far they have had six sessions of the program specifically for Athletics with four additional sessions planned for the spring 2020.
This fall they wrote another round of grant funding from the Michigan State Police and asked to fund a one-year, fixed length, full-time Violence Prevention Coordinator, which was funded and posted for hiring. The team is focused on the sustainability of this work so that they can change and maintain a safer campus culture.
Crimson and Gold Team, Led by Kristen Salomonson
The goal of this team was to increase yield for students admitted to Ferris State University. According to a 2017 survey of prospective students, 40% indicated that a meeting with a current student was important to their decision to enroll. Since this opportunity was missing at Ferris, a new program was needed to build and foster relationships between current and prospective students before they arrive on campus and ultimately enroll at Ferris. The team members carefully developed the program which entailed outreach to the academic Deans, finding suitable C&G hosts, creating a daily schedule and event interface for ease of sign-up, establishing a social media, email and text communication plan, and publishing a comprehensive training manual for the C&G hosts.
One of the most significant challenges facing the program was identifying students to serve as C&G hosts that matched the interests of the prospective students. There are now approximately 90 current students who have built a greater commitment and connection to the University than ever before by serving as C&G hosts. Though the C&G program was created to yield prospective students, it has also impacted retention and the overall campus climate, enabling Ferris to reach more than 100 students in its first year with a yield rate of 70%. As students consider their multiple opportunities for college, the C&G program offers them unique insights into how they could find a “fit” at Ferris and separate the University from its peer institutions.
Kristen Salomonson (chair), Jessica Davison, Angela Garrey, Lincoln Gibbs, Richard Goosen, Kristi Haik, Arrick Jackson, Arielle Miller, David Nicol, Brandie Sigler, Nick Smith and Sherry Standen.
Kevin Jackson and the Physical Plant’s Residential Life Custodial Team
When the Physical Plant’s Residential Life Custodial Team was faced with a reduction in staff, they developed an entirely new approach for cleaning and maintaining campus residence halls. They used the team’s experience to think outside of the box, creating a systematic and team-oriented strategy not only to continue but to improve their services. The team’s pride in their effort and quality of work is shared by every member. With the system they developed, in the latest Ferris Housing Survey, the custodial team received a 97% positive rating, an increase compared to previous years. The team enjoys their positive interactions with students and giving back to the campus community, and takes pride in what they have accomplished through their philosophy of “not seeing problems, only challenges.”
Kevin Jackson, Brian Bowling, Dianne Britten, Melanie Buffin, Mark Falsetta, Sue Hodell, Lauri Knoop, Brian Krum, Tim Maguire, Jason Mason, Gary Myers, Jodi Nelson, Stephanie Noud.
The Ferris Parents Committee team consists of individuals across the Student Affairs division who have collaborated to develop programming and support for the parents and guardians of our students. Their team has created new initiatives that enable parents to better understand the University experience and how to support their students. The new initiatives include a "parents table" during orientation that gathers information and provides information, printed emergency cards, a yearly calendar, a dedicated parents' website that's easily accessible from the Ferris homepage, and the establishment of an email address for parents to submit their questions and concerns. In addition, the Ferris Parents Committee team hosted their inaugural family and friends weekend that was highly popular and exceeded their anticipated 150 person guest count to over 1,300 people in attendance. These low-cost but high-impact enhancements will continue to serve an audience that is extremely important to the future growth of Ferris State University.
Parents Committee Members
Ferris Youth Initiative Mentoring Team
The Ferris Youth Initiative Mentoring Team: Janette Ward, coordinator. Team members are Julie Alexander, David Bright, Nicholas Campau, Erin Diehm, John Duman, Jennifer Dirmeyer, Emily Fransted, Jody Gardei, Scott Garrison, Karen GreenBay, Danyelle Gregory, Kelly Hicks, Franklin Hughes, Jackie Hughes, Laura McKiness, Matt Olovson, Michelle Perkins, David Pilgrim, Dave Schrock, Cinthia Vander Sloot, Patty Terryn, Charlotte Tetsworth, Mark VanLent, Matt Wagenheim, Trinidy Williams and Krissy Workman.
The Ferris Youth Initiative Mentoring Team is coordinated by Janette Ward, Independent Living Skills Coach. Janette and her team of approximately 27 staff members have superlatively demonstrated the core values of Ferris State University through their commitment to go above and beyond to connect students with resources on the FSU campus, as well as support services within their home communities. The program’s structure embodies an approach that is culturally sensitive, inclusive, and responsive to the unique needs of the student participants. The FYI Mentoring Team should be recognized for their personal sacrifices in order to support these students and their success not only in graduation but in life.
Center for Leadership, Activities and Career Services
Employees for the Center for Leadership, Activities and Career Services were chosen to received the 2015 Distinguished Team Award "for providing unwavering support and exceptional programming to the Ferris community while promoting Ferris State University's core values."
The CLACS team oversees Ferris State's 200-plus registered student organizations and engages students in a variety of social and educational activities that promote interaction and build community partnerships. The CLACS office offers opportunities for students to develop ethical, social, leadership, citizenship and employability skills.
Dental Hygiene Program and Student American Dental Hygienists Association: Children's Dental Health Fair
The team's mission was to "coordinate, motivate and donate time, resources, and volunteers to support the Ferris State Dental Hygiene student component of the American Dental Hygienists Association and hold a free dental health fair for children in honor of National Children's Dental Health Month (February) in order to help the underserved families of the community in obtaining dental care." As a result, more than $4,000 in free dental services were provided to the local community. Team members included Susan Wancour, Catherine Archer, Kimberly Beistle, Sandra Burns, Danette Boyd, Annette Jackson, Denise Byrnes, Linda St. Clair, Nancy Baar, Cameo McGowen, Becky Zimmerman, and first and second-year Dental Hygiene students.
Coordinated by Sherry Hayes, more than 125 Ferris employees and students are involved in planning and running five different Commencement ceremonies each May, and two different Commencement ceremonies each December. These employees and students represent each college and division within the University. While each and every member of the Commencement Team is important, several of the key leaders include Tim Bowman, Physical Plant Commencement coordinator; Elaine Kamptner, Commencement scripts coordinator; Brandi Behrenwald, Student Alumni Gold Club coordinator; and Christa Bull, Commencement brochure designer.
Dawg Days Team
The Dawg Days Team provides a welcome and informative campus visit experience for prospective students — an experience that has an influence in determining that Ferris State University is the right university for them. This team shines as a superior example of customer service, volunteerism, and collaboration. They strive to ensure that their guests leave with a clear, accurate and positive impression of Ferris through an extraordinary cross-campus spirit of cooperation and dedication.
University Eye Center at Family Health Care
Michigan College of Optometry Team members: Pamela Borstler, Robin Cooter, Tracy Dard, Christine Kamen, Linda Littke, Lisa Roach and Nancy Wiseman
This team opened and operates a satellite University Eye Center in collaboration with Baldwin Family Health Care. The clinic provides quality eye care and patient education to over 500 patients at a minimal cost to our local population most in need. This includes the uninsured and underinsured. As a two-fold benefit, they are also giving practical experience to students in our optometry program. They not only have been able to help numerous patients, and also has contributed to the long-term sustainability of Ferris State University in the University Eye Center by giving back to our surrounding community. Patients are seen in Baldwin, but most of the paperwork is done on campus. These generous and caring team members have demonstrated that we all can make a difference.
Dining Services Community Education Engagement Team
Craig Bowman, Doni Cassidy, Mary Cook, Lora Ellison, Carol Gilders, Lori Helmer, Julia Knopf, Mark Lane, Mike Langan, Julie Modene, Rick Modene, Cindy Ottobre, Stephanie Patton, Yvonne Seiter, Laura Snyder, Jeannie Tollenaar, Betty Traynor
This dedicated team worked with staff and students from the Culinary Arts Program at the Mecosta Osceola Career Center to provide job shadows and work explorations.
College of Business Applied Statistics Team
Michael Cooper, Elies Kouider and Nathaniel Tymes
This team was developed in 2003 when its members recognized a need to increase student access to statistics expertise by consolidating office hours for Statistics faculty. The team also wanted to help increase the level of faculty development and scholarship among faculty and staff in the College of Business and the University as a whole by starting a monthly colloquium that involves all disciplines within the college. Most recently, the team started a Research Consulting Center to assist all faculty and staff within the University and the community at-large, with plans to conduct workshops for all faculty and staff.
Westview Dining Services
Westview Dining Services for its annual MOARC Christmas celebration. This team includes the following people: Linda Aldrich, Melody Armstrong, Mark Arnold, Marianne Battle, Connie Buffin, Sandy Carey, Carolyn Cook, Dave Cook, Mary Cook, Sue Cook, Tracy Franck, Carol Gilders, Lori Helmer, Mary Herring, Cheryl Hinsley, Susan Holt, Claudia Johnson, Brenna Kelley, Lauri Knoop, Mark Lane, Bryan Marquardt, LeeAnn Martin, Tom Morris, Cindy Ottobre, Tom Overholser, David Page, Gordon Patton, Sandy Paul, Karen Rohdy, Colleen Sauntman, Laura Seay, Yvonne Seiter, Mary Shattuck, Laura Snyder, Joanne Telfor, Allen Tetsworth, Jeannie Tollenaar, Betty Traynor, Stan Vallier, Dan VanHorn, Paula Walter, Tassi Witbeck and Faye Youngs.
Martin Luther King Committee
Martin Luther King Committee: Through the collaboration of more than 15 members on its team, the Martin Luther King Committee accomplished a week of celebration and awareness for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. legacy. There were many diverse activities to unify the campus and simultaneously celebrate Dr. King's vision.
The Martin Luther King activities committee, chaired by Karyn Benner and Karen GreenBay, includes team members Andrea Beck-Jones, Tyrone Collins, Kaiya Hamilton, Katherine Palazzolo-Miller, Maurice Webb, Leroy Wright, Sandy Alspach, Tangynica Anderson, Anthony Baker, Jasmyne Brookins, Cheytaya Brown, Wendy Dodd, Matt Eickhoff, Todd Heft, Cindy Horn, Vanita Sanders, Charlie Wade, Hurdylyn Woods, Nina Woods, Rev. Jon Fleming, Pastor Robert Garrels, David Pilgrim and Okia Strickland.
Janus Custodial Training Team
The Janus Custodial Training Team, comprised of Sandra Werner, Barb Gilmore and Stephanie Patton received the Distinguished Team Award for 2005. Werner, Gilmore and Patton are credited with developing a new training program that merged together several different cleaning methods into one program that meets the needs of two different custodial divisions. The team also assists in other ventures, including set up and preparation for the Custodial Equipment Expo held at the Granger Center and promotes Ferris in a positive light to community members.
Technology Assistance Center Development Team
Gary Lutz, Susan Cherry, Phyllis Sherman and John Duman
In August of 2003, the Technology Assistance Center was implemented based on the plans and proposals of the TAC Development Team. Each member individually researched various areas, added information and insight from their varied experiences and backgrounds, and then collaborated as a team to develop a well thought out proposal.
Each team member's dedication to the customer during the implementation stage and their continued commitment has contributed greatly to the success of the TAC. They are to be commended for their diligence, the additional responsibilities, and the obstacles they overcame to achieve the team's goal for a single point-of-contact for all computer-related issues on campus
Custodial Work Order Process Committee
Team members: Diane Johnson, Chair, Kay Anderson, William Carpenter, Abdollah Ferdowsi, Will Gasper, Thomas Jackson, Jerena Keys, LouAnn Kirkpatrick, Fonda Kuzee, Jackie Perrin, Denise Wild, Sandra Werner, Lynn Winans, and Carla Worth.
The Custodial Work Order Process Committee investigated and established the use of technology to create a computerized custodial supply ordering system. In addition, it developed an innovative teaching and learning program for the custodial staff and other stakeholders in order to use the system. In this regard, the committee developed opportunities for custodians to meet their customers, established an electronic method to allow stakeholders to communicate their needs to the custodians, provided computer training for custodial staff and developed an electronic order system. This cross-divisional committee demonstrated that it is a Ferris State University Distinguished Team by effectively accomplishing its goal of re-engineering the supply order process through the use of technology, empowering employees, and developing a continual communication flow with stakeholders.
FSU History Commemoration Task Force and W.N. Ferris' 150th Birthday Subcommittee
Team members: Harry Dempsey, Chair, Jennifer Ditto, Gary Huey, Dan Hurley, William Keller, Beth Krueger, Mary Kay MacIver, R. Larry Martin, Melinda McMartin, Barry Mehler, Todd Price, Sheila Squicciarini, Steve Stillwell, Patty Terryn, Kristine Szot-Green, and Jim Wessell.
This team's central purpose is to preserve and promote the Ferris mission by commemorating the unique history of the institution and its founder by establishing and maintaining a campus presence and awareness of the Ferris legacy. This was accomplished by creating a ten-year plan for the establishment of that historical presence on campus, through the display of the University's historical artifacts and through the observance of significant dates and anniversaries, such as Woodbridge Ferris' 150th Birthday celebration. This diverse committee, comprised of University faculty, staff, emeriti, and local community members, is to be commended for creating a visible record of the words and philosophy of Woodbridge Ferris and a tangible presence of the vision he had for his institution. Congratulations on your accomplishments.
Dining Services Training Team
Team members: Craig Bowman, Michael Langan, Stephanie Patton, and Viriginia Reinink.
The Dining Services Training Team developed an innovative program to formally train entry-level Dining Service employees in order to provide employment opportunities to individuals not typically qualified to fill those positions. Along with providing new opportunities, this training program also satisfied department goals of continuous quality improvement. This weeklong training program has received five-state regional recognition from the National Association of College and University Food Services, and has served as a model for other training programs, both on-campus and at other universities. The Dining Services Training Team, comprised of service and management employees demonstrated the true meaning of teamwork and proved what can be accomplished when people pull together for one common goal.
Recruitment CD Committee
Team members: Bill Bitzinger, Jeff Gabalis, Raymond Gant, Kent Kachaterian, Donna Smith, Susan Starkey, Adam Wetherell, and Louise Yowtz.
This cross-divisional committee produced a CD-Rom to be used as an effective, national recruitment tool for faculty and administrative employees. This tool combines technology and information in an innovative way and emphasizes the University's accomplishments and its role as a national leader in many areas of education. This team was able to deliver its product in a short period of time and at little cost to the University by producing it "in-house." In effectively accomplishing its goals through cross-divisional cooperation, the Recruitment CD Committee demonstrated those qualities that make it a Distinguished Team.
Academic Support Center
The Academic Support Center was cited for providing students access to a variety of academic skill-building opportunities that assist them in their pursuit of academic excellence. Each semester the Center's tutors and paraprofessionals provide academic assistance to approximately 1,200 students. The assistance includes individual and group tutoring and weekly seminars on improving test-taking, time management, note-taking, and text-reading skills. Co-supervisors Jane Pole and Arlene Krellwitz state that their most rewarding experience is to hear reports of student success.
Representing the Center at the team awards were Krellwitz, Julie Urick, support staff and Melinda Rosely, a student tutor.
Orientation, Advising and Registration Team
The Distinguished Team Award cited the cross-divisional Orientation, Advising and Registration Team for assisting new students and their parents in becoming acclimated to university life.
Providing orientation, advising and registration to new students is complex and demanding. Last year, to better meet the needs of students and parents, Ferris changed its two-day summer orientation program to a one-day program. The cooperation exhibited among the divisions of Academic Affairs, Administration and Finance and Student Affairs resulted in the development of a successful one-day program. In addition, the August weekend orientation programs attracted 1,500 students-more than twice the number the committee set as its goal. Jana Hurley serves as supervisor of this team.
Representing the Orientation, Advising and Registration team in addition to Hurley were Cheryl Webber, Michelle Burke, Carole Jones and Cathryn Claerhout.