We recognize that a key element of a university education is learning to thrive in diverse social, academic and work environments. To adequately prepare students to engage in the global community, it is our responsibility to promote diversity acceptance and appreciation by elevating awareness, understanding, acceptance, appreciation and celebration of the wide range of characteristics and worldviews demonstrated by the peoples of our community and throughout the world while also making efforts to embrace and heighten diversity at Ferris State University. The Diversity Enhancement Award is conferred upon a faculty or staff member who demonstrates a significant commitment to enhancing diversity and harmonious relationships at Ferris State University.
In 2012, Michael Berghoef was named the recipient of the Diversity Enhancement Award.
Berghoef is an active advocate for diversity efforts at Ferris State University. He has been a continuous promoter for creating a campus that is inclusive to students, faculty and staff, and he has led initiatives to create learning experiences on campus (films, speakers, discussions) that promote student understanding of people that differ in age, gender, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic background. He is a founding member of the Alliance for Ferris Employees and has worked hard to help secure other eligible adult benefits for Ferris faculty and staff. Berghoef is also a Safe Place LGBT Faculty Ally Committee chair and trainer.
Berghoef's passion for diversity enhancement extends beyond the walls of campus.
He works to promote understanding of diverse cultures through the student abroad experience
he offers to El Salvador each spring. Since 2000, he has worked with the Jim Crow
Museum as a facilitator and national presenter. Berghoef has also earned three grants
since 2008 to support gerontology research, including the Ferris Foundation Exceptional
Merit Grant "Promoting Healthy Aging through Interactive Technologies" which provided
students with technology for a variety of interactive activities to enhance cognitive
and physical functioning for Mecosta County senior citizens to promote healthy aging.
He has presented at a multitude of conferences on topics related to diversity, acceptance
and social justice.
Berghoef is a social work professor in the College of Arts and Sciences. He joined Ferris State University in 1997.
2011 - Nathaniel Tymes
2010 - Not awarded
2009 - Clayton Rye
2008 - Not awarded
2007 - John Thorp
2006 - David Pilgrim
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