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Ferris State names five alums as distinguished alumni award winners and three more as pacesetters to be honored at 2023 Fall Reunion

Recognizing the continuing accomplishments and contributions of the alumni community, Ferris State University will recognize five Distinguished Alumni Award winners and three Pacesetter Award honorees at Fall Reunion on Friday, Sept. 29.

The Ferris State Alumni Association salutes alumni based on professional growth, leadership and contributions to the community, society and Ferris State University through the Distinguished Alumni Award and Pacesetter Awards. Honorees serve as role models for current students and help build a community of Ferris State alumni who support each other.

“Our Alumni Association takes great pride in recognizing the best of the best among those who have graduated from Ferris State University. This is at the heart of the work our Alumni Association leadership invests in identifying and honoring the winners of our Distinguished Alumni Award and our Pacesetter Award,” said Brandi Behrenwald, executive director of Alumni Relations. “We have a diverse group of alumni we’re highlighting this year with great stories strengthened by their Ferris State experience. We look forward to recognizing their past and continuing accomplishments and connections to Ferris State.”

The 2023 recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award and Pacesetter Award from Ferris State and its Kendall College of Art and Design are:


Distinguished Alumni Award recipients


  • Kim Herremans, a Class of 1982 Dental Hygiene alumna of the College of Health Professions, is the executive director for the Greater Tampa Bay Oral Health Coalition. She founded, implemented, or expanded various programs to increase access to dental health services in Florida. The Apollo Beach, Fla. native co-authored a dental hygiene textbook and has lectured in numerous states at dental hygiene meetings and at universities. She has also been involved in Operation Smile, an organization of volunteers and surgeons who correct children’s cleft lips and palettes.



  • Shane Napper, a Class of 1997 Construction Management alumnus from the College of Engineering Technology, is the president and COO of Rockford Construction and serves on the Ferris State Construction Advisory Board. The Caledonia native is a founder of and presenter for the Rockford Construction “Dimensions” program, which supports local minority, women, and veteran-owned trade contractors.


  • Mike Van Diepenbos is a Class of 1987 alumnus of the College of Engineering Technology in Architectural Technology and a 1989 College of Business alumnus in Business Administration. Van Diepenbos is she senior vice president and group manager for Business Banking at Comerica Bank. The Cascade resident is a former Alumni Association board member who co-founded and co-chaired the Ferris State Grand Rapids Council and is currently serving on the Ferris Foundation Board of Directors. His professional affiliations include the Economies Club of Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids, Southwest Michigan and Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce.


  • Gary Waters, a Class of 1975 and Class of 1978 alumnus of the College of Business majoring in Business Administration and Business Education, is a nationally recognized collegiate basketball coach. Now residing in Tampa, Fla. Waters was a head coach at Kent State, Rutgers, and Cleveland State. He started his career as an assistant coach at Ferris State after playing for the Bulldogs for two seasons. An inductee to three halls of fame, Gary authored the books “Ten Principles of a Character Coach” and “Coaching Millennials from a Character Perspective.”


  • Keith Winn, a Class of 1972 Kendall College of Art and Design alumnus in Interior Design, is the founder and president emeritus of Catalyst Partners, a sustainable consulting firm. The Grand Rapids native is also a founding member of the U.S. Green Building Council and was a developer of the LEED building certification. When the Catalyst Partners headquarters building in Grand Rapids was renovated in 2010, it received the highest number of LEED credits in the world at that time.


The Pacesetter Award, established in 1998, is presented based on similar criteria as the Distinguished Alumni Award, but winners have graduated in the last 12 years or less.


Pacesetter Award recipients


  • Farah Jalloul, a Class of 2017 College of Pharmacy/MBA, is the director of professional development for the Michigan Pharmacists Association. The Lansing native is a preceptor of Ferris pharmacy students and has spoken numerous times at the College of Pharmacy, including giving the keynote address for the Class of 2026 White Coat ceremony. Jalloul has authored a pharmacy law book to help prepare students for the state required MPJE law exam for licensure. She also serves as the state Pharmacy Emergency Preparedness Coordinator.


  • Robbie Rankey, a Class of 2010 College of Business alumnus in Business Administration, is the executive director of Simon Group Holdings. His career includes law school, public accounting and more than 10 years in politics. The Orchard Lake native has been an active member of the Alumni Association board since 2019, Robbie also regularly attends the Ferris Foundation Benefit and various athletic events. He is active with the Boys and Girls Clubs of SE Michigan.


  • Joshua Solas, a Class of 2018 Kendall College of Art and Design Illustration alumnus, is an artist and creative director of Solasink. He is an active member of the Equity Council at KCAD. The St. Andrews, Jamaica resident’s company was commissioned in 2022 to restore the National Coat of Arms Sculpture at the National Stadium in Jamaica and to brand the Universal Music Group’s Black History Month digital campaign in 2023.


John and Sue Bradac Above and Beyond Award Winners


  • Garrett Beaulieu, of Alpena, is serving his second term as president of the Student Alumni Gold Club. In addition to his involvement in SAGC, Garrett is president of the Ferris State Associated Construction Students RSO, Secretary of Ferris State Sigma Lambda Chi Construction Honors Fraternity and is an active member of the Ferris State ASC Construction Competition Team. Garrett will graduate this coming May with a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management and has secured a position with The Christman Company.


  • Rebecca Bovee, of DeWitt, is the new member coordinator for Student Alumni Gold Club. Becca is also consistently volunteering to help staff and plan SAGC events throughout the year while keeping busy with her other professional affiliations such as membership in Phi Lambda Sigma, Omicron Delta Kappa, The American Pharmacists Association at Ferris State and Kappa Psi Professional Pharmaceutical Fraternity. Becca maintains a 4.0 GPA in the Doctor of Pharmacy program. In the spring, she will move to Grand Rapids as she continues her doctorate in Pharmacy with an expected graduation date of May 2026.


For more information about the Distinguished Alumni Award and Pacesetter Award, visit the Alumni Association website at



Local High School Schedule & Scores

CSAA Baseball

SATURDAY 4/13/24

White Cloud 9 @ Holton 5

White Cloud 0 @ Merrill 13 (6inn)

Clare 16 @ Chip Hills 7 (4inn)

Greenville 9 @ Chip Hills 9 (8inn)

Kent City 1 @ Whitehall 16 (4inn)

Fremont 3 @ Kent City 0


MONDAY 4/15/24

Shepherd 3 @ Big Rapids 9

Shepherd 12 @ Big Rapids 0 (5inn)

Newaygo 0 @ C Montcalm 1

Newaygo 0 @ C Montcalm 2


TUESDAY 4/16/24

Chip Hills 7 @ Tri County 3

Chip Hills 3 @ Tri County 2 (5inn)

Lakeview 2 @ Morley Stanwood 8

Lakeview 5 @ Morley Stanwood 11

Kent City 5 @ Newaygo 10

Kent City 4 @ Newaygo 11

Grant 1 @ Reed City 2

Grant 7 @ Reed City 5

C Montcalm 13 @ White Cloud 2

C Montcalm 2 @ White Cloud 6


THURSDAY 4/18/24

Shelby @ Kent City

Hesperia @ Lakeview


FRIDAY 4/19/24

White Cloud @ Big Rapids

Tri County @ C Montcalm

Newaygo @ Grant

Morley Stanwood @ Kent City

Reed City @ Chip Hills



CSAA Softball

SATURDAY 4/13/24

Grant 0 @ Ravenna 15 (3inn)

Tri County 0 @ Ravenna 10 (CH Forfeit)

Chip Hills 0 @ Clare 16

Chip Hills 0 @ Vestaburg 12

MONDAY 4/15/24

Shepherd 2 @ Big Rapids 12 (5inn)

Shepherd 9 @ Big Rapids 6 (8inn)

Newaygo 15 @ C Montcalm 11

Newaygo 1 @ C Montcalm 14 (5inn)

Lakeview 1 @ Vestaburg 16 (4inn)

Lakeivew 4 @ Vestaburg 10 (8inn)

TUESDAY 4/16/24

Chip Hills @ Tri County

Lakeview @ Morley Stanwood

Kent City 1 @ Newaygo 4

Kent City 0 @ Newaygo 11 (5inn)

Grant 1 @ Reed City 5

Grant 1 @ Reed City 16 (3inn)

C Montcalm @ White Cloud

THURSDAY 4/18/24

Greenville @ C Montcalm

Sparta @ Kent City

Hesperia @ Lakeview

FRIDAY 4/19/24

White Cloud @ Big Rapids

Tri County @ C Montcalm

Newaygo @ Grant

Morley Stanwood @ Kent City

Reed City @ Chip Hills

SATURDAY 4/20/24

Lakeview @Beaverton Tournament

Big Rapids @ TC West

CSAA Baseball Standings

1) Big Rapids: 2-0 | +31 -6 (+25)

2) Morley Stanwood: 2-1 | +24 -17 (+7)

3) Chippewa Hills: 2-1 | +22 -14 (+8)

4) Reed City: 2-1 | +17 -11 (+6)

5) Newaygo: 3-3 | +30 -24 (+6)

6) Central Montcalm: 3-3 | +22 -21 (+1)

7) Kent City: 2-2 | +32 -37 (-5)

8) Grant: 2-2 | +18 -12 (+6)

9) White Cloud: 1-1 | +8 -15 (-7)

10) Tri County: 0-3 | +11 -41 (-30)

11) Lakeview: 0-4 | +23 -41 (-18)

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