"Bulldog Stories" is a segment of Ferris in Focus. Formerly known as "Teacher Feature," the Bulldog Stories segment allows for biographical briefs on various individuals around the Ferris campus, with emphasis being on staff and faculty. The name change was to allow for more than just instructors to receive segment time.
Financial Services Coordinator of State Programs Kristi Williams shares insights into her past, including the fact that she had been working at Ferris for over ten years by the time that the show interviewed her. She claims her "biggest reward" is "getting to help out students." Originally from Saginaw, Kristi moved to Reed City and was "very fortunate" to find work at Ferris. She also talks about how she managed her staff and faculty life in spite multiple sclerosis threatening her.
TDMP instructor Clayton Rye comes on to talk about his lifetime experiences and about how he wound up at Ferris.
Being slow in school at first, Clayton's prowess academically improved significantly when he reached high school. Alas, he left high school with a strong lack of a sense of direction. He therefore joined in on the Vietnam War. It was the time he spent in Vietnam that compelled him to assume a creative side to his persona. This, in turn, convinced him to enroll at USC's film school. Among the short films he produced there was FNG, about a black man who enters the Vietnam War and is "baptized by fire."
Clayton goes on to mention how elated he was to be offered a teaching position at Ferris, which he has had ever since and has loved it. When Clayton first began teaching at Ferris, film was still the primary motion picture media in practice. He brings up the thrill he gets from knowing that his students can brag to their children and grandchildren about having the opportunity to make films with actual celluloid. Overall, his favorite part of his job is hearing the ideas that different students come up with.
Alicia’s wanted to go to Ferris since she was 6. She looked at a lot of other schools, and decided that Ferris truly was the best overall fit. She did attend a community college for a while, and learned about chiropractor arts. While she went there, she also looked after her family’s farm.
She did eventually get her wish to go to Ferris, but only after she’d learned that her real passion was in teaching. She got a teaching job on the side with the Eastwood Early Childhood Center, for starters.
She also had some history as a DJ: Alicia would get up at 5 in the morning to milk cows, then would head to work. She worked at a pool supplies store, then would do DJ work whenever she had time and wasn’t in class. She also got into karaoke that way.
Alicia’s luck hadn’t always been great. In fact, the second week of classes, she got in a car accident and broke her back. She originally had planned to voice the narrative for the Mancino’s ad that semester; but the role of narrator was reassigned to Josh Byers due to Alicia’s back injury.
The piece ends with a quote from Alicia herself: “I always find the strength and passion for fun.”
Dennis, a New Media major, said that his options for a proper school for studying printing consisted of only two: Ferris or Western. And he settled for Ferris. He had no idea just how much of the printing process had gone digital, something which took him off guard when he went into the New Media program.
Dennis was, among other things, part of the Student Leadership program’s web development team. He listed several other things at campus that he was involved in, one of which was the Gamma Epsilon Tau fraternity. He was also nominated for several Image Awards.
He even went as far as to say: “I wish I could have accomplished even more.”
Danny used to be Brutus the Bulldog. He was also Nuclear Medicine Tech major. The Student Alumni Gold Club sent out an e-mail that a new Brutus was needed, and Danny answered the call. His friends suggested he accept the offer, since they saw him get very excited at a few games. As a result, he took on the mantle.
The most difficult part about the job is that only a self-appointed elite are allowed to know who the bulldog is, making it essentially a superhero identity of sorts. He often joked that a lot of his friends had no idea who was under the mask in spite the fact that he messed with them the most. However, in the end, he felt depressed at having to give up the mantle.
Bonnie Rogers got the spotlight for this segment. She’d lived a good share of her life in Grand Rapids. She’d been in Big Rapids since August of 2009, majoring in Resort Management. She got the idea to have that for a major because she’d spent a good share of her life living in hotels. Her goal: work at a hotel in the Bahamas.
Bonnie was born with a hole in her back, thus confining her to a wheelchair for many years. She even joined an RSO specifically for the disabled. Her boyfriend, Sylvester, was often seeing willing to bend over backwards for her.
One of her biggest compliments was the fact that Ferris’ biology program was willing to put the microscopes down at her level, instead of forcing her to have to find some way into a taller wheelchair like what the teachers made her do in high school.
Jackie stated her primary reason for attending Ferris was the cross-country track program. She made most of her early friends in cross-country also; and claims that everything she does can be traced back to how her freshman year went when she befriended the cross-country team.
After two years being undecided, she took on a speech-related major. Miss Motormouth went on to mention her time in the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. Track students are told not to join Greek houses, but that didn’t stop her. WGRD (97.9) in Grand Rapids even taught her a few basics of being a radio show host. She stated that the company that WGRD is a part of also owned several stations in New York; and that she’d want to eventually go to one of those stations.
Megan Barker decided to do a piece on Megan Willoughby for this segment. MW is from Shepherd, MI. She had at the point of her appearing on camera been in the nursing program at Ferris for about 3 years. She got into the field because she was inspired by the nurses that took care of her mom when she was young and her mom had cancer.
Next, she touched on her then-fiancé, Ben. He was studying automotive engineering and design at the time, and was also “a huge servant for God” in Megan’s words. The couple married on May 15th of 2010. She brought up on the side that she had two biological sisters as well as three step-sisters. If not for the fact that all the kids in her family are female, her family would have been the Brady Bunch.
She next touched on her involvement in the His House Fellowship on campus; stating that it helped her grow in faith significantly. She also pointed out that the Footprints poem was one of her favorites, indicating that it has been very true of her life. Megan concluded that life isn’t fair; and that she’s thankful that the small number of tragedies in her life have given her the opportunity to offer testimony to others going though worse problems.
Geography teacher Jason Scheidt came on the program, to discuss how he wound up teaching geography at Ferris. He stated that he always likes knowing where he's going before he gets there, and wants to instill that same passion in his students. In addition to that, he talked about having two cats and a dog at home. He went in-depth about the fun he has playing sports when not teaching, and then finished by stating that his research on railway engineering was one of many theses used by the Obama administration to justify billions of dollars in extra spending in Congress.
The final Bulldog Stories segment for Spring 2010 went to Bob Daniels, then the head hockey coach at Ferris. He mentioned right off the bat that he had been at Ferris for 21 years, and was an assistant coach for the first three of his years. He’d been at other colleges in the past, but it wasn’t until Ferris that he became a head coach—and found his true calling. He managed to feature in only one game back when he played hockey at MSU.
He’d also been to Miami-Ohio, and to UIC as an assistant coach. Upon arrival in Big Rapids, he and his wife had a few children. At the time the video was shot, his oldest daughter had become a senior at Big Rapids high school. Her plans were to enter the pharmacy school at Ferris immediately afterward. One of his proudest moments was when Ferris’ hockey team got a chance to play a game in the Joe Luis arena.