Exceptional Merit Grant Awards Accentuate Learning in Ferris Colleges, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts

Ferris State UniversityThe Ferris Foundation Board of Directors has acted upon recommendations from the board’s Gifts and Grants Committee and approved $41,504 in Exceptional Merit Grant Awards for seven proposals submitted earlier this year.

Carla Miller, the executive director of The Ferris Foundation, said there were grants awarded to two proposals from the College of Health Professions and one submission each from the Michigan College of Optometry, the College of Engineering Technology, College of Pharmacy, College of Education and Human Services, and the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, in Grand Rapids.

“The quality and variety of projects submitted by our faculty was outstanding,” Miller said. “The Ferris Foundation Board of Directors was so pleased to review and support these proposals that are focused on excellence, which will provide tremendous benefit to these programs whether they promote the arts or a sustainable teaching environment.”

One of the award proposals, submitted by a member of the CHP faculty, came from Nursing Simulation Specialist Pam Smyth, who is prepared to obtain a state-of-the-art SimScope. The device, to be purchased at a cost of $6,500, will augment the laboratory experience for Nursing and Pharmacy students, who are already honing their clinical skills for patient interaction with the aid of high-fidelity mannequins in the laboratory.

“If I want a student to learn about respiratory aspects of congestive heart failure, we can use the SimScope and the student can listen to the patient whether it is a live actor or a mannequin,” Smyth said. “They will hear what sounds like crackling, through the device, and can offer relief through administering a diuretic. When appropriate, they can check again to hear a clearing in the lungs.”

Smyth said the SimScope is fully addressable to simulate heartbeat, breathing and other sounds, which are indicators of a patient’s wellbeing.

“This is huge, as actors with an understanding of the appropriate patient communication can help us present the desired scenario to our students,” Smyth said. “With the SimScope, the full range of experience is offered so our students can master the appropriate response that provides relief to the patient.”

Smyth said with the disbursement made by The Ferris Foundation, she intends to act directly to acquire this stethoscope and begin laboratory use with Nursing students later in the Summer 2017 semester.

“I am thrilled and honored that the proposal was accepted,” Smyth said. “I will use the SimScope to its fullest benefit.”

Other proposals approved Exceptional Merit Grant Awards include (listing of proposal, faculty member filing and grant award):

  • The purchase of environmental health monitoring equipment for measuring exposures to air contaminants and noise as submitted by Margaret Wan, assistant professor for Public Health in the College of Health Professions. The grant award is $5,738.

  • The purchase of a chassis dynamometer for student team and classroom use as submitted by Professor Chuck Drake, from the College of Engineering Technology. The grant award is $7,500.

  • To synthesize designer drug molecules in an organism as submitted by Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry Eric Nybo, from the College of Pharmacy. The grant award is $7,500.

  • Enhancements for the Ferris State University Eye Center’s partnership with the nonprofit Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired as submitted by Dr. Sarah Hinkley, from the Michigan College of Optometry. The grant award is $6,000.

  • Body camera purchases to aid Law Enforcement Academy students in learning the dynamics of that technology, as submitted by Criminal Justice Professor Cecil Queen. The grant award is $4,790.

  • Recruitment efforts and marketing related to attendance of Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts events and submissions from the Kendall College of Art and Design, as submitted by Film Coordinator Nicholas Hartman. The grant award is $3,476.

These awards are funded by one-half of the net proceeds from The Ferris Foundation for Excellence Benefit, which has been held annually since 1999.

PHOTO CAPTION: Among those programs being supported by Exceptional Merit Grant Awards is Ferris State University's Eye Center, which operates in a partnership with the nonprofit Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Grant applicant Dr. Sarah Hinkley is pictured working with area school children.