Lake Superior State University
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Alum Success

Ben Mitchell

Ben Mitchell
Mechanical Engineering '06

Ben Mitchell grew up in a devout household in the central Upper Peninsula of Michigan where emphasis was placed on helping others. He traveled with his father to places such as Kenya and Peru on short-term medical missions. When he was in Kenya, a missionary explained that engineers have the greatest potential to influence the largest number of people. During high school, Ben participated in a youth mission trip to Tijuana. A result of the mission trips, his family decided to adopt three Vietnamese children when he was a junior.

All of these experiences had a great influence on Ben’s outlook on life. He decided to major in mechanical engineering and enrolled at Lake Superior State University. Near the end of his senior year, he decided to volunteer for the Peace Corps to help others.

His two-year commitment began in the fall of 2007 and took Ben to Burkina Faso in western Africa. He resides in the village of Tansila, population 3,000, approximately 10 km from the Mali border. His host organization is the local cotton growers union. It works cooperatively with other villages to improve and expand their production techniques. He serves as an agribusiness advisor as a part of the Small Enterprise Development program which helps create market linkages and assists with the advancement of business skills.

Distinguished Teaching Award

Jim Sherman, 2000 Recipient

Jim Sherman received an extra special retirement gift during commencement ceremonies on Saturday at Lake Superior State University.

The accounting professor of 29 years was selected by his students and colleagues as this year's recipient of the LSSU Distinguished Teaching Award. The award is kept secret until it is announced at commencement each year.

"Jim is considered to be highly professional by both students and colleagues," said Don McCrimmon, Ph.D., LSSU Executive Vice President and Provost, in announcing the award. "He is an expert teacher who draws upon experience to show students the application of the theory. His philosophy and attitude are inspirational, and he tends to bring out the best in students."

"He is fair and honest," McCrimmon continued. "He is the most friendly and helpful faculty member in the College of Business and Economics, and perhaps the University."

One of the students who nominated Sherman for the award called him "...a role model to aspire to" and said he is considering following Sherman's lead to become an educator so he may have a positive influence on the lives of students.

An alumnus of Lake State - he attended from 1959-1961 - Sherman received a bachelor's degree in business administration from Northern Michigan University, and a master's degree in accounting from Southern Illinois University. He is a certified public accountant.

He was hired at LSSU in September 1971 as an assistant professor in the Business Administration Department, earning tenure in 1976.

"Jim has certainly been a credit to this institution," said LSSU President Robert Arbuckle, Ph.D. "He has been one of the builders of academics here at Lake State."

Sherman expressed surprise in accepting the award, but said he will forever savor the day and that he shares the honor with his students.

Sherman and his wife, Judith, have six children. Upon his retirement, they will be leaving Sault Ste. Marie to settle in eastern Tennessee.

A committee comprised of the five most recent recipients of the award, as well as several graduating seniors with the highest grade point averages in their class, chooses the current award recipient from the nominations submitted by LSSU employees and students.

Also during commencement ceremonies, former Lt. Gov. Connie Binsfeld was issued an honorary degree, alumnus Dan Goodrich of Cedarville received the Paul Ripley Award for Young Alumni, and senior Sophia Chandauka of Zimbabwe addressed the graduating class.

Bio-
Chemistry ...

Peter Bonneau

Peter Bonneau
Biology

"I’ll be beginning medical school at Wayne State University beginning the fall of 2009 while participating in the U.S. Air Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program. Upon receipt of my MD, I intend to enter into a residency in family Medicine and afterwards practice as a family physician in the U.S. Air force."

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