Talking Crisis Communication with PR Students

News Services and Social Media Manager Sandy Gholston had a great opportunity to collaborate with Ferris Department of Public Safety Director Bruce Borkovich for a presentation to students from the University’s Public Relations Student Society of America chapter on Thursday, Feb. 19. The topic of the presentation was “Communication in a Crisis Situation.”

Sandy Gholston, News Services and Social Media Manager, and Bruce Borkovich, director of the Department of Public Safety.
Sandy Gholston, News Services and Social Media Manager, and Bruce Borkovich, director of the Department of Public Safety.

The speaking invitation was extended by Kaitlyn Baase, president of the Ferris State University chapter of PRSSA. Kaitlyn also is one of Sandy’s News Services and Social Media Department students. The opportunity to engage the Ferris PR students was outstanding for the presenters. The students were engaged and asked good questions to strengthen their knowledge of public relations by hearing how it worked in real situations. It was a theory-meets-practice model for the students, future PR professionals.

Bruce and Sandy shared their experiences, including the importance of collaboration, during several crisis situations at Ferris during 2014.  The presentation focused on fundamentals of communication in a crisis situation as well as the steps in a crisis situation from start to finish and some of the key players that are typically involved.

Bruce and Sandy talked about how much they enjoy opportunities to talk to Ferris students and to answer their questions.

Read the Ferris PRSSA perspective on the presentation, here.

Harris Scholarship Will Help Environmental Biology Students

Ed and Elaine Harris have made a generous gift to Ferris State University in honor of Ed’s parents, Edward and Marquita Rothe, who worked hard to make it possible for Ed to attend Ferris. As a tribute to his parents, the Harrises created the Edward G. and Marquita L. Rothe Endowed Scholarship for students majoring in Environmental Biology. The connection ties Ed’s father’s work with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to Ferris students pursuing a career in the conservation and management of Michigan’s natural resources.

Ed, who earned a Bachelor of Science in Business from Ferris in 1971, and Elaine attended the Ferris men’s basketball game against Michigan Tech on Feb. 5 along with senior Advancement officer Mark Roof, Biology Department chair Joe Lipar, Environmental Biology program coordinator Paul Klatt and Holli Nichols, a senior Environmental Biology student from Grand Rapids, to further discuss the program and the Harrises’ endowment.

“Such scholarship support for our students can create opportunities and change lives,” Roof said. “We are extremely grateful for such generosity.”

For more information about the Harris endowed scholarship or to make a contribution, email Mark at

Harris Scholarship
From left: Joe Lipar, Paul Klatt, Holli Nichols and Elaine and Ed Harris.



Fredericksons Set Up Endowed Scholarship

Phillip and Sylvia Frederickson have established an endowed scholarship available to any student at Ferris with veteran status or majoring in Construction Management or Television and Digital Media Production. Karen Lerew, interim director of Advancement, worked with the Fredericksons to develop the endowed scholarship.

Phillip Fredrickson is the former CEO of The Christman Company and a 2014 Distinguished Constructor in the Michigan Construction Hall of Fame, which is housed in Ferris’ Granger Center for Construction and HVACR.

“He established the endowment to honor his three sons, who are Ferris alumni,” Lerew said.

For more information about the endowed scholarship or to make a contribution, email Lerew at

Distinguished Alumnus Paul Doyle Serves as Honorary Coach

Distinguished Alumnus Paul Doyle served as honorary coach for the Bulldog men’s basketball team in a Jan. 24 game against Lake Superior State. Paul played for the Bulldogs in late 1970s before graduating in 1979.  He lives in Calendonia, Michigan with his wife Celeste, they have three children.

“Paul continues to be generous supporter of the FSU men’s basketball program and it was great to welcome him back to campus,” said Will Goode, senior athletic advancement officer.

Paul Doyle, basketball coach Andy Bronkema and Will Goode.


Doyle’s company, Paul T. Doyle and Associates, LLC, contracts with health care organizations and businesses across the nation to assist them with organizational transformations and help them to revamp or restructure how they provide their services to diverse populations. According to Doyle, diversity and organizational cultural competence are focal points of his company, along with addressing community health care disparities.

Doyle spends many hours of his personal time volunteering in his community. He is the founding board chair of the Grand Rapids African American Health Institute.  He has served as board chair of the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, president of the Kentwood Board of Education and as a board member of West Michigan March of Dimes.

Fundraising Software Updates Under Way

Updates are being made to Ferris State University’s fundraising software, which tracks an advancement officer’s initial contact with a potential donor to stewardship of that donor’s gift.

Heather Youngs

Heather Youngs, manager of Research and Prospect Management; Mary Kay MacIver, associate director of Advancement and Technology; and Jennifer Yontz, director of Annual Giving and Advancement Services, are working on “Millennium Rejuvenation,” a project focused on making necessary updates to the Millennium Advancement database used by employees across campus.

The updates will provide the system with more accurate data, up-to-date information and provide better reporting and data mining, Youngs said. The updates also will make the database more user friendly, allowing easier access to alumni information and gift tracking.

“We are really excited for the outcome,” Youngs said.

For more information, email Youngs at

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