Distinguished Staff Award: 2005

 2005 Distinguished Staff Award Winners (L to R):

  • FSU President Dave Eisler.
  • Gary Lutz
  • Mandy Seiferlein
  • Leroy Wright
  • Paul Sullivan
  • Karen Lobdell


Ferris employees chosen for the award include Karen Lobdell, secretary, University College; Gary Lutz, lead TAC coordinator, Information Systems & Technology; Mandy Seiferlein, administrative assistant, Pharmacy (Kalamazoo); Paul Sullivan, director, Birkam Health Center; and Leroy Wright, assistant director, Residential Life.

These outstanding individuals were nominated by their peers for their positive attitude and enthusiasm for Ferris, their interest in the success of students, cooperation with other staff, participation as a member of the Ferris community and their public service to others.

Karen Lobdell

Lobdell, employed at Ferris since 2000, is a secretary in University College. Along with providing support to faculty and students, she provides support for Joan Totten, department head of Developmental Programs and Curriculum; Shelly VandePanne, FSUS coordinator; and Christina Hollenbeck, SLA program coordinator. She is currently working on her bachelor's degree, and has maintained a cumulative 3.5 grade point average. In her spare time she volunteers for the United Way and Relay for Life, and she is a public notary.

"What I like most about my job is the people I work with and the students I interact with. I like my job as much today as I did when I first started," says Lobdell.

Gary Lutz

Lutz, lead TAC coordinator, is responsible for the successful coordination of the students and staff of the TAC, ensuring positive customer relations while trying to solve complex technical related issues quickly and efficiently. He has successfully transitioned from student apartment manager to part-time computer technician, full-time help desk manager to lead TAC coordinator in his seven years of service to Ferris. He serves on many committees at the University, is the Ferris men's volleyball club advisor, and is an executive board member of the West Michigan Help Desk Institute serving as Web master.

"What really makes my day is when a frustrated customer calls and I am able to take ownership of the customer's problem and follow it through to a successful completion. I enjoy assisting all levels of people because each interaction allows them to learn more skills, and often I do too," says Lutz.

Mandy Seiferlein

Seiferlein, administrative assistant at the College of Pharmacy in Kalamazoo, supports students by taking the time to know them and help them in any way she can, even if that means staying late to assist students who are finishing up their rounds. She also supports faculty and the entire department through a variety of activities including coordinating and taking minutes for monthly meetings, and she plays a strong role in the coordination of the faculty development program and faculty recruitment efforts. In addition to her full-time position, she is a full-time graduate student pursuing a master of public administration with a concentration in health care administration.

"It is so rewarding to me as a staff member to understand a student's individual situation -- what brought them to the College of Pharmacy, what they want to do when they're done, who their families are," says Seiferlein.

Paul Sullivan

Sullivan, director of the Birkam Health Center, has been an active employee of Ferris for over 30 years. He began his employment as a residence hall director, and returned five years later as the University's psychological counselor. Over time he developed the center into a fully functioning counseling center, and in 1996 he assumed the role of director. As director he is responsible for staff, operation and services of the health center.

"I really like addressing the challenges and problems brought to me every day by these various groups from all over campus," says Sullivan. "I am humbled and respectful of the extraordinary spirit and motivation which our campus students and employees possess as they succeed personally and academically," adds Sullivan.

Leroy Wright

Wright, residential life assistant director, is in his third year of employment at Ferris. He is responsible for supervising five residence hall directors, community development and programming, advising the Residence Hall Association, recruitment, selection and training of 16 desk services managers and over 250 desk service assistants each year.

"Working with staff members at Ferris has allowed me to see how creative and committed we are to making the Ferris experience both rewarding and challenging when it comes to developing good citizens in our students," says Wright.