Alumni Success Stories

Ferris Honors Program Alumnus Jonny OaksJonathan (Jonny) Oaks
Graduated 2005
B.S. Applied Mathematics
Rochester, Michigan

Starting Fall 2011, I will be a full-time mathematics instructor at Macomb Community College in Warren, MI. I have had a lot of teaching experience leading up to this position, teaching as a teaching assistant while in graduate school at Oakland University in Rochester, MI, and at various colleges and universities in the Metro Detroit area. However, I would not be where I am today without the help that the Honors Program gave me in taking the first steps toward becoming a tutor in the Ferris State University Academic Support Center. Through the Honors Program Communication class, I gained the confidence that I needed in my own communication skills that I needed to first become a tutor and now a mathematics instructor in my current position.

I cannot thank the Honors Program enough for all of the wonderful non-academic opportunities that it provided me with as well. From the cultural events to the community service hours, I really gained a new understanding and appreciation of the world around me. The Honors Program is an experience like no other that will give any student a unique experience. Part of my experience in the Honors Program also included editing The Endeavor Honors Program Newsletter my senior year. As a mathematics instructor, this invaluable writing experience has made it easier for me to teach on-line classes in which I must be able to clearly express my thoughts in writing in order to communicate with students.

Ultimately, I am most thankful for the mentorship that I received as part of the Honors Program. Maude Bigford and the rest of the Honors Program staff are truly like coaches to me. After each cultural event, they would meet with me to help me see how what I experienced related to my everyday life. Maude was instrumental in being a role model for me of how I now hold office hours with my students. When other instructors comment that my office looks warm and inviting to students, I have to credit a majority of what I learned about communicating with students back to my meetings in the Honors Program offices as an undergraduate student.

I know that without the Honors Program, I would not be in my current position. Thank you, Honors Program!