Distinguished Staff Award: 2017

Jon Coles

Jon Coles
Associate Athletic Director

Jon Coles continuously strives for excellence in his pursuit for efficient communication, organization and high energy, while serving in a demanding position that affects not only internal constituents such as coaches and colleagues, but also the Ferris community, alumni and donors.

In addition to his hectic athletic schedule, Coles serves on committees across campus to help enrich the lives of all FSU students and student-athletes. His presence in the Big Rapids area is just as remarkable as he serves on numerous task forces and finds time to volunteer as a coach for youth soccer, basketball and baseball.

Jody Gardei

Jody Gardei
Manager, Staff Center for Training and Development

Jody Gardei, with nearly two decades of service to Ferris, excels through her numerous opportunities to collaborate with the many different departments on campus. She carries a strong personal belief that actions should be aligned with personal values, and remains a steadfast advocate for civility in the workplace. Gardei also supports the belief that professional development is the key to personal and professional growth, and she continuously works to bring new and enriching programs to her colleagues.

Gardei devotes a good portion of her free time to serving as a mentor for the Ferris Youth Initiative, as a faith formation teacher at St. Mary and St. Paul Parish, as well as sitting on the Manna Food Pantry Board of Directors.

Sandy Gholston

Sandy Gholston
News Services and Social Media Manager

Since Sandy Gholston began attending FSU as a freshman in 1993, he has achieved great success as a student, alumnus and professional. He is a talented and respected "storyteller" and has the gift of sharing the amazing stories that surround the people of this great university.

Gholston's love for Ferris shines through in his quest to lead the first social media efforts on campus, starting from the ground level and working up to managing several social media outlets on a daily basis, ensuring that the FSU community is actively engaged and up-to-date on all university news.

In addition, Gholston's passion for Bulldog athletics is apparent in his volunteer role as one of the radio and television voices of Bulldog football, men's basketball and women's basketball for many years. Sandy also finds the time to advise two student organizations while serving as a role model for all students he comes into contact with.

Elise Gramza

Elise Gramza
Registrar, Associate Dean of Enrollment Services

Elise Gramza has proven instrumental at turning academic requests into working solutions and always seeks to find the best resolutions with a focus on students. She is friendly and positive in her approach to every situation, never avoiding problems, but instead "digging in" to fix them. Gramza displays grace under pressure and see challenges as opportunities to fulfill the student-centered mission of Ferris. She finds personal rewards in her dedicated service to the students, staff and faculty of Ferris State University.

Gramza exhibits selfless acts while volunteering for events across campus, as well as with organizations such as the Susan G. Komen Foundation and The American Cancer Society.

Lisa vonReichbauer

Lisa vonReichbauer
Assistant Director, Office of International Education

Lisa vonReichbauer strives for excellence in all her services to international students. In only four short weeks, she stepped up to the challenge of creating a curriculum for the Intensive English Program. She met that goal and has been going strong ever since.

With great passion for her work, vonReichbauer helps students from 40 different countries integrate successfully into the Ferris community. On a daily basis, she remains busy overseeing immigration and orientation, as well as student advising and services in the Office of International Education. She is also the Primary Designated School Official with the Department of Homeland Security and the Responsible Officer with the Department of State – both roles that carry the weight of great responsibility.

In addition to serving on many FSU committees and advising two student organizations, vonReichbauer oversees the annual International Festival of Cultures, which attracts 1,500 visitors to campus each spring.