Ferris State University

Organization Description

Ferris State University is a public institution that was founded in 1884. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 12,866 and is located in Big Rapids, Michigan.

Participant Biographies

Dr. Rhonda Bishop

As a Registered Nurse, I have always been a teacher. Eventually, I realized I could impact individual patient lives by helping them understand how to be well, or help others pursue a nursing career and impact a multitude of lives. This realization created a passion for more and fueled my personal pursuits in higher education. My first teaching assignments occurred in the clinical setting, but my path to teaching in higher education included adjunct clinical assignments at the community college and university setting. As I mentored nursing students in the clinical setting, I developed a teaching philosophy that was focused on technical skill development, but, as I pursued my own graduate and doctoral degrees, my teaching philosophy evolved to a greater emphasis on cognitive and affective skill development. A blending of cognitive, affective, and psychomotor skill development is now foundational to my personal approach to teaching. I believe learning is an experiential process that results from a non-threatening learning environment that promotes critical thinking and individual exploration. In my classrooms, the use of collaborative case studies, simulations, and critical thinking exercises transforms the typical lecture environment into a practical application experience. As a result, I have learned that the teacher-centered environment does not work and only produces boredom and rout memorization, and that students learn best when what they learn is valued and applies to real life.

Dr. Victor Piercey

Victor Piercey received his Ph.D in mathematics from the University of Arizona in 2012. Dr. Piercey also holds a B.A. in Humanities from Michigan State University, a law degree from Columbia University with a certificate in international and comparative law, and a M.S. in Mathematics from Michigan State University. He practiced law in the New York office of Weil, Gotshal, & Manges LLP for two years before returning to Michigan for a career in Mathematics. Dr. Piercey began working as an assistant professor in the mathematics department at Ferris State University in the fall of 2012 and is currently an associate professor. He is a co-founder of the Special Interest Group of the Mathematical Association of America (SGIMAA) dedicated to Inquiry-Based Learning, and currently serves as its chair-elect. In addition, he chairs the SIGMAA dedicated to quantitative literacy, serves as four-year vice chair of the Michigan Section of the MAA, and is a member of the board for the journal Problems, Resources, and Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies (PRIMUS). He regularly uses inquiry-based learning and his legal experience to enhance his mathematics instruction and provide students with transformative experiences. His current project is an inquiry-based sequence of courses entitled Quantitative Reasoning for Professionals, which is the result of collaboration with faculty in business, health professions, and social work funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. Some sections of this course are linked with sections of freshman writing courses.

Dr. Mischelle Stone

Mischelle Stone is an Associate Professor of Social Work at Ferris State University. She obtained her Ph.D. from Michigan State University. She has nearly twenty years of experience working in the fields of substance abuse and mental health, and also has a strong background working and consulting in the field of criminal justice. Her research interests include how practitioners learn to do their work, how academic studentship translates to learning, and more recently, resiliency. Dr. Stone has presented at numerous conferences and is a member of the National Association of Social Workers.