Adjunct Teaching Excellence Award


The Adjunct Teaching Excellence Award recognizes an adjunct member of the Ferris faculty who has demonstrated excellence in teaching as evidenced by such things as students’ ratings of instruction, development of innovative teaching and learning strategies, devotion to the quality of students’ learning experiences, high scholarly standards, and evidence of creativity in instructional approach. The Adjunct Teaching Excellence Award Committee recommended Adjunct faculty Jon Brief as the recipient of this year’s honor. Jon is an instructor at our Dowagiac campus.

The nomination letter that was received for Mr. Brief spoke to his outstanding methods of being an adjunct teacher.

“He really cares about his students and they know it by the comments they make. He not only cares about them, he cares about their education, their future careers, and their lives. He is also a cancer survivor and taught for us all the way through his cancer treatments. Jon is an exceptional professor and person. One of his recent classes even started up a Facebook page so he could stay connected with the students after the graduate. He hears from them regularly.”

“Jon tries to impart as much ‘real world’ teaching on the students as possible and creates learning opportunities for them in this regard. The vast majority of them consistently tell him how much they really appreciate and like this. For example, since he is an adjunct and works in industry for his main occupation, he is constantly sharing with the students ‘real life/real world’ business stories and the students really like this since they are learning it from someone living in the business trenches day-in and day-out.”

His candid philosophy on teaching is sincere and humble, and students really appreciate it: “I often get asked the question, why are you doing this? And my answer has always been and will continue to be, ‘I am doing this as a way to give back.’ All of the colleges and universities that I have attended have been terrific, and it is because of the education they provided me that a lower-middle-income kid from Traverse City, MI – with no father – eventually became a relatively successful individual. So I want to give back, and even if I only end up helping one other individual become relatively successful too, then I will consider this endeavor worthwhile and time well-spent.”

Congratulations, Mr. Brief, for being the recipient of the 2014 Adjunct Teaching Excellence Award!

Former Recipients

2013 - Brooke Moore
2012 - Nell Hill
2011 - Kevin Besey
2010 - Mary Alkire and Megan Dixon