Torch News Briefs

Renee Douglas named Interim Director of Birkam Health Center

Renee Douglas, Interim Director of the Personal Counseling Center, was named as the Interim Director of the Birkam Health Center.

Douglas was the Director of Non-Residential Clinical Services at the YWCA Center for Women in Grand Rapids prior to coming to Ferris. Before that, she was the Public Affairs Director at Planned Parenthood Centers of West Michigan.

Douglas is also a counselor at the Personal Counseling Center. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in health communications with a minor in women’s studies. In addition, she has also earned a Master’s degree in marriage and family therapy and is a limited license psychologist.

Angie Roman named Director of Career Services

Angie Roman has recently been named as the Director of Career Services. She has been at Ferris since 2008 as the Coordinator of Career Services.

Roman obtained her bachelor’s degree from Ferris’ social work program and is currently enrolled in the Masters of Business Administration Program. Prior to working for Career Services, Roman was in public employment.

Prism Contest open for submissions

The annual student writing and art competition, Prism, is now open to all Ferris students.

The Department of Languages and Literature at Ferris is sponsoring the program. There are cash prizes in each category. Winners will be honored at an awards banquet in the spring as well as in print in “The Prism” journal published in the fall.

Entries are considered in the categories of Freshman/Sophomore Essay, Freshman/Sophomore Research Paper (The Mary Kilgallen Award), Junior/Senior Essay, Junior/Senior Research Paper, Technical Writing/Professional, Writing/Script Writing, Poetry, Short Fiction and Art.

The art contest accepts original artwork in any medium; photography is not considered. The deadline for submission is March 14. For more information, contact Jonathon Taylor of the Department of Languages and Literature at

Karen Strasser named Director of Grants and Research

Karen Strasser, Interim Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, has been named the Director of Grants and Research.

Strasser has previously served as acting associate dean and department head for the College of Arts and Sciences. She has also been an associate professor of biology. Strasser earned her Bachelor of Science degree in marine science/biology from the University of Tampa (Fla.) and her Doctor of Philosophy degree in environmental and evolutionary biology from the University of Louisiana.

In May 2011, Strasser worked with five Ferris students for 10-12 weeks when she led an undergraduate research fellowship program to promote student-faculty research efforts. Additionally, she has worked with the College of Arts and Sciences Special Grants Committee to revise the review process for internal grants including the Student Research Grant, Dean’s Initiative Award and Special Events Grant.