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Printing Industry Trains Ferris Student for World Competition

Friday, August 28, 2009

Press release from the issuing company

BIG RAPIDS – As students return to Ferris State University's campus, one is preparing to go to Calgary, Canada to compete for gold. Amela Mujkic, Print Management and New Media Printing and Publishing senior (Clinton Township) has spent the summer training to be the first person to represent the United States in Offset Printing at WorldSkills September 1 – 7.

According to Pat Klarecki, professor, Printing and Imaging Technology and director, School of Fabrication and Design at Ferris, without the support of industry here in Michigan and around the country Mujkic's run for the gold could not have happened.

Dave Gilson owner of Gilson Graphics in Grand Rapids, Mich. and his employees have played an incredible role in providing training for Mujkic. Gilson opened his facility to for the entire summer to allow her to train on the same equipment that she will be competing on.

Working on a daily basis with pressman Jerry White, Mujkic immediately blended as if part of the team. "She has a good work ethic and is a go getter," said White.

Gilson Graphics is familiar with Ferris students. Sandy Corneillie (Printing Management '00) interned and is still there today, according to Gilson. "We are always looking at other potential opportunities for students and the timing was right," said Gilson

The training has paid off, so far. White and Mujkic would have ongoing "competitions" since time is a factor in WorldSkills competition. She must complete her task within four hours – currently she is at two and a half.

"I'd thought I would be watching over shoulders," said Mujkic. "When Jerry was on vacation, Gilson hired me for the week."

Mujkic started off her training earlier in the summer at the Print Media Academy training class at Heidelberg USA's Print Media Demonstration Center in Kennesaw, Ga. Her time at Heidelberg was an impactful learning experience. "I didn't have any experience on a large press," said Mujkic. "I left knowing this is what I wanted to do."

As for being the first person to represent the U.S. in Printing at WorldSkills it is an honor for Mujkic and she is just amazed with her situation. "I came from war torn Croatia to this," she said.

She has absorbed all the instruction from her professors here at Ferris said Klarecki. Thomas Oldfield, dean of Ferris' College of Engineering Technology shared Klarecki's assessment. "Her success demonstrates the quality of education the faculty provides at Ferris."

While Gilson and Heidelberg donated their equipment, staff and businesses for the training, The Printing Industries of Michigan organization has helped financial support Mujkic's travel for the competition and training.  The Graphic Arts Education Foundation also sponsored the competition entry fees.

After the competition, Mujkic is looking forward to getting back to her studies in order to graduate in May 2010.




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