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.

The Registrar's Office

FERPA (Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), also known as the “Buckley Amendment”, is a federal law which provides that Colleges and Universities will maintain the confidentiality of student educational records. The law basically states that no one outside the University shall have access to students’ educational records nor will the University disclose any information from those records without the written consent of students. There are exceptions, such as allowing certain personnel within the University with a legitimate educational interest to see the records, or releasing the records in an emergency in order to protect the health or safety of students or other persons.

Directory Information

Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the University can release directory information about you without your prior authorization. LSSU considers the following directory information: name, address, telephone number, email address, place of birth, enrollment status (e.g., undergraduate or graduate, full-time or part-time) major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, height and weight of members of the athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees, honors and awards received (including scholarships), and most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student.

You have the right to refuse to permit the release of any or all of your directory information. If you would like to prohibit or restrict the use of your information, please complete and sign a Directory Restriction Request and submit it to the Registrar’s Office.

Word of Warning: When you restrict your name, you are telling us that you do not want us to acknowledge you as a student in any way. Your name will not appear in any official University publications nor will we be able to verify your enrollment to any outside source. This also means we will not be able to provide service to you by telephone, nor will we be able to help you in person without proper picture identification. A restriction that you place on your record remains in place until you request, in writing, that the restriction be removed.

If you do not want your directory information to be included in the Student Directory that LSSU publishes each year, your written request needs to be received before the end of the sixth day of the fall semester.


Annual Notification

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:

The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access. Students should submit to the Registrar, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

The right to request amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask the University amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.

If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.

The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.

A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.

The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Lake Superior State University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202

Related Links

  • FERPA Information for Parents
  • U.S. Department of Education - FERPA General Guidance for Students
  • Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO)

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    Fisheries and Wildlife Mgmt...

    Thaddeus Lewandowski

    Thaddeus Lewandowski
    Fisheries and Wildlife

    "The opportunity at LSSU to do research is amazing. This past summer I motored through coves and islands with Prof. Garvon surveying water birds for the affects of pollution. I spent the other part of my summer on the shore of Lake Superior monitoring nests of the endangered Piping Plover."

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