Distinguished Staff Awards: 1996


Stan Dinius

public safety director

Dinius was designated as the Robert L. Ewigleben "Employee of the Year" as the nominee receiving the most points by committee evaluation.

The fourth annual award, patterned after FSU's Distinguished Teacher Award, recognizes those employees not directly involved in teaching. Criteria for selection are a positive attitude and enthusiasm for Ferris; excellence in performance of duties; interest in students or demonstrated cooperation with other staff; and participation as a member of the University community and public service to others.

Honorees will each receive a one-time bonus of $500, recognition at a Board of Trustees dinner and meeting, individual plaques, and have their names engraved on a plaque permanently displayed on campus.

"Participating in the selection process was both difficult and rewarding," said Bill Taylor, news services director and committee chair. "Each nominee was deserving. Our committee had a tough job. However, that was balanced by learning about the many positive contributions of so many of our employees."

Dinius, who has headed Ferris' public safety department for seven years, keeps his staff's morale high with positive comments and an open door policy to listen to and discuss concerns. He displays a similar concern for students, taking the time to hear their concerns and dealing with difficult situations in a tactful manner.

In striving to provide a safe environment on campus, Dinius has established a "Door to Door" crime prevention program in residence halls, maintained communication with the campus and local community through crime prevention programs, and collaborated with other agencies to improve training and enhance computer capabilities. He is a past president of the Michigan Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators and the Meceola Central Dispatch Technical Advisory Board.


Carol Bluhm

Pharmacy animal care facility coordinator

Bluhm, a staff member since 1985, manages the Pharmacy animal care facility to be in compliance with the continuing change in guidelines regulated by various agencies. She not only cares for animals, but has become adept in the medical, computer and human relations fields.

She trains student employees, provides instruction and develops independent studies for fourth year biotechnology students, and mentors students from the Mecosta Osceola Intermediate School District's Math, Science and Technology Center. A past president of the Michigan Association for Laboratory Animal Science, Bluhm received that group's Outstanding Achievement Award in 1994. She has facilitated the donation of equipment to FSU worth more than $100,000.


Karen GreenBay

Allied Health Sciences retention coordinator

GreenBay, an 11-year employee and alumna now working on her master's degree, assists Allied Health Sciences students with personal and academic advising, serves as a liaison with other University faculty and staff, and participates in CAHS recruitment activities.

She enjoys networking with others sincerely interested in making Ferris an environment which students and visitors will accept and appreciate. "I find great pleasure helping students who want to succeed in life and in their education," said GreenBay. She is a board member of the Mecosta County Division of the American Heart Association, and received the Michigan AHA's 1996 Leadership Award for Minority Programs and 1995-96 Volunteer of the Year Award.


Jerena Keys

Communications Center customer service director

Keys, a full-time staff member for 12 years, works with the student affairs division to provide consulting and technical support for recruiting, enrollment and retention activities. The Communications Center she supervises was opened last fall to answer toll free inquiries and make calls to prospective students.

She enjoys working with people to find solutions to problems, and has been involved with the "We Care" and "First Impressions" programs since they were started on campus. A true Ferris ambassador, Keys is a past president of the General Federation of Women's Clubs-Big Rapids and the Association of Ferris Women, and chaired the United Church Governing Board and Riverview Cub Scout Committee.


Sharon Octernaud

information services and telecommunications director of special project

Octernaud, who has been a staff member for 13 years, provides support to faculty and staff regarding the effective use of information technology, telecommunication services and continuous quality improvement techniques. She has developed a computerized decision-support system (FIS), drafted information technologies policies and promoted distance learning activities.

In her change-agent role of helping professional and personal growth, Octernaud coordinates "First Impressions," facilitates the Student Quality Council and chairs the Professional Orientation and Development Committee. She won Microsoft Corporation's 1995 Innovators in Higher Education Award for fostering desktop to desktop communication.


Scott Thede

Technology computer resources director

Thede, a 12-year staff member, has served the past 10 years in Technology computer support positions. Since July he has been responsible for the College's computer support for seven buildings, 2,000 students, 140 personnel, 10 major labs, 15 smaller labs and 631 computers in all. He also handles maintenance of all computer-related equipment.

In addition, he has provided technical support for the Michigan Community Growth Alliance, Big Rapids and Morley Stanwood schools and several local businesses. An electrical engineering technology alumnus, Thede serves on FSU's NoNet, PC Standards and Windows '95 Committees and chairs the College of Technology's TechNet Committee.


Shari Wessels

construction department secretary

Wessels has worked at FSU since 1980, the last 13 years in the construction department. She handles all ordering and budgets for the department and prepares the master schedule for four program areas. In addition, she helped to prepare program materials for several training grants awarded by the Department of Labor and seminars offered by the Associated Builders and Contractors of Grand Rapids.

She is a member of the Ferris Select 60 mentoring group and chairs the Publicity Committee of the Women's Professional Development Conference. She has also been active for over a decade with the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, serving as committee chair of Pack 174 of Reed City and Troop 1184 of Chase.