Reflections on the 17th Annual Honors Invitational

On Feburary 23rd, 2013, we welcomed 275 highly able and motivated students to our 17th Annual Honors Invitational Essay Competition. Photos from the event are available in the Honors Invitational Gallery.

As a part of the day’s events, I introduced the program to the parents, while their students were completing the actual essay. I agreed to make my prezi from that day available to those students who missed it, so here it is:

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This is the afternoon session’s prezi – the Morning’s differed only with respect to the schedule.

The event was a huge success, thanks to the volunteers who help us out every year.  We know it was successful, in part, because of the magic of twitter.  One attendee, who we eagerly expect to join us here at Ferris next fall, tweeted:

#honestly after going to ferris yesterday, I’ve never been so sure about anything (@lmccrimmon)

We would not be able to pull off an event like this without the contributions of the many students already in the Honors Program who served as tour guides, greeters, panelists, proctors, parking lot attendants and event planners.

And, of course, the small army that turned out on Saturday to support the program. Thank you:

  • President Eisler, for welcoming the students and parents to our campus with warmth and pride.
  • Nick Campau, Tyrone Collins, Jason DaDay, Mitzi Day, Mallory Ford, Carrie Franklund, Shelli Garland, Bruce Gilchrist, Rachel Mockaitis, Amy Otteson, Nancy Potter, Kristen Salomonson, Eric Simone, Jonna Skinner, Jennifer Stevens and Jeff Stewart for proctoring the essays.
  • David Scott for organizing our access to the FLITE computer labs.
  • Deb Sweet and Larry Eberts for their command of the Rankin Center.
  • Karen Bohren and Staff for sharing information about the bookstore – and the awesome new ‘Honors’ car stickers they procured for the event.
  • Scott Cohen for representing the various music groups on campus, and the possibility for our students to continue their musical practice.
  • Associate Provost Bill Potter, for meeting with CARE students in the Morning and presenting on the Scholarship, Financial Aid and CLEP panel in both sessions.
  • Honors Program Assistant Coordinators Jana Pisani and John Cullen, for everything that you do.
  • Honors Program Assistant Tammy Babcock for organizing the entire event, professionalism, resilience and a friendly attitude.
  • Honors Program Staff Support Sharon Goss enthusiasm, zest and helping to make it all possible.
  • Honors Program Recruiter Nolan McBride for making endless phone calls to prospective students and representing the students on the Q&A panel
  • Professor Sandy Balkema for her wonderful work in creating, organizing and ultimately grading the student essays.
  • Honors student panelists Nolan McBride, Megan Kuk, Nicole Christy, Kaitlin Griffin, Chet Takaski, Darien Stevens, Derek VanderHorst, Brooke Crandall and Jacquelynn Breckenridge.
  • Sandy’s crew of graders: Erin Weber, Tracy Webb, Christine VonderHaar, Janice Van Eck, Jonathan Taylor, Beth Reynolds, Jody Ollenquist, Matt Nikkari, Nathan Nelson and Laurie Nelson.
  • Mike Johnson and Amy Otteson for outstanding, up to the minute technical support, and their TAC crew: William Long, Devon Chopp, Rob Johnston, Nick Tarnowsky, Zach Roberts, Keifer Morse, John Boston, Rob Hazekamp and Josh Cochran.
  • Lawrence Bajor, Gabor Barsai, Sharon Bell, Mary Braton, Lianne Briggs, Collin Cadwell, Kim Colvert, Julie Coon, Dan Cronk, Clay DeDeaux, Chuck Drake, Jeff Ek, Rick Griffin, Jeff Hardesty, Clyde Hardman, Brad Isler, Nick Kuiper, Diane Maguire, Robert McCullough, Sandy Cook, Ronald Mehringer, Jim Powell, Theresa Raglin, Steven Reifert, Wendy Samuels, Larry Schult, Janice Weaver, Michelle Weemaes, Jenice Winowiecki, Greg Zimmerman for meeting with perspective honors students interested in each of their programs.
  • Stan Vallier and Lena Yarrington and everyone in catering services for their speed and efficiency.
  • Sara Dew, Carrie Franklund and John Randle for serving as panelists representing Financial Aid, Scholarships and CLEP. A special ‘Thanks’ to Carrie Franklund, who also served as a proctor.
  • Greg Wellman and Angie Mishler for serving as panelists for BOTH the student and parent Q&A for Pre-Pharmacy.
  • Jim Miller for meeting with the Pre-Optometry students AND parents, along with Bill Meengs, and Honors alumnae Samantha Fordyce and Anna Baumgartner.
  • George Sherlock and staff for consummate professionalism, coolness and support in the Williams auditorium.
  • Honors students co-chairs Megan Kuk and Katelin Griffin for thinking outside the box and their dedication to Honors.
  • Mark Eichenberg and crew for doing a timely job of putting up multiple signs and shoveling the pathways.
  • Hall Directors Zac Birch, Emma Mently and Marci Chou for graciously allowing visitors access to their Honors halls.

And to the 80 other student volunteers: Thank you!