Richelle Winkler Wins Distinguished Service Award

From Tech Today, June 1, 2017 by Mark Wilcox

Richelle Winkler’s efforts to better her community have been recognized by Michigan Tech.

Richelle Winkler, an associate professor in the Department of Social Sciences, is the recipient of the 2017 Faculty Distinguished Service Award.

The award is intended to complement the Distinguished Teaching and the Distinguished Research Awards already established at the University. It recognizes service to the University community that has significantly improved the quality of some aspect of campus life.

University Provost Jacqueline Huntoon says, “The faculty Distinguished Service Award Committee maintains very high standards and are only willing to make awards to individuals whose actions are particularly meritorious. Dr. Winkler exemplifies the characteristics that the award is intended to honor. She is an outstanding scholar whose efforts benefit the University and our community.”

Active in the Community

Winkler was recognized for her work with the Houghton Energy Efficiency Team (HEET), Main Street Calumet, the International Association for Society and Natural Resources, Copper Country Recycling Initiative, Keweenaw Land Trust and the new Keweenaw Climate Community. These activities have helped unify Michigan Tech and the local community as they work toward solutions to environmental sustainability problems.

A nominator for the award describes Winkler as “a catalyst in the community through her leadership and coordination of activities that connect members of the campus and local community in ways that also benefit her students.”

“I am thrilled and honored to receive this award.”Richelle Winkler

Over the past five years Winkler has partnered with Main Street Calumet on three projects with the aim of empowering community members to better understand opportunities and challenges for community development and to envision strategies for future improvement.

She was one of the founders of HEET and was on the organizing team that submitted Houghton County’s entry into the Georgetown University Energy Prize competition.

About receiving the faculty service award, Winkler says: “I am thrilled and honored to receive this award. Being recognized for supporting community-based efforts and building campus-community partnerships says a lot about Michigan Tech-s commitment to civic engagement in our local community and supporting sustainable community development. I have been only one of many partners on all of these projects. Dozens of community members, students, and other faculty and staff equally deserve recognition as they continue to energize our work.”

Winker will receive a cash prize of $2,500 and will be honored at a dinner this fall.

 


Beth Reed Named 2017 Distinguished Teacher

By Mike Meyers | Published May 24, 2017

Learning the names of all her students may not seem significant. But it is one of the factors students cite as what makes Beth Reed an outstanding educator.

Beth Reed, a senior lecturer in the Mathematical Sciences Department of Michigan Technological University, is the recipient of the 2017 Distinguished Teaching Award in the Assistant Professor/Lecturer/Professor of Practice category.

Reed, who is also assistant to the department chair, has been teaching mathematical sciences at Tech since 1985 and has been recognized at the departmental level multiple times for both her teaching and her service. This year she was named to the Deans’ Teaching Showcase.

Reed began her academic career in forestry, earning a master’s in forest biometrics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1982. She joined Michigan Tech’s School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science in January of 1983 as a research associate working on four different research projects before moving to the Department of Mathematical Sciences in 1985.

Reed says the secret to her success lies, in part, in her effort to “personalize” her classroom. Though many of her classes have almost 60 students, she learns every student’s name. She say, “I expect and actually get interaction from almost everyone. It really helps that I can call on each person by name. and if they don’t know the answer, I can turn to their neighbor and ask them to help out.”

Her students echo the value of this individual attention. As one student puts it, “She learns everyone’s names and calls on them in class. She tries to include everyone and ask everyone questions. She also has a friendly environment, is easily approachable and easy to listen to.”

Students applaud the structure and the organization of Reed’s classes. One student writes, “She sends an email every Friday laying out the schedule for the next week, which allows preparation.” Reed states she likes to let her students know what to expect, which enables them to focus on “concentrating on the problems rather than worrying about taking notes.”

“Beth is simply an excellent teacher …”Mark Gockenbach

Reed finds ways to give plenty of feedback both in and outside of class, using “worksheet days” that are dedicated to students working on statistical problems in small groups individually. “I am there to answer questions as they come up,” she explains. “We meet at the end of class and go over the entire worksheet so that all students have a corrected version as they leave class. The act of doing statistics rather than listening and/or talking about it has served them well.”

Again, her students confirm the value of this frequent and specific feedback, writing “Professor Reed gives great feedback, in class, on homework assignments and on exams.  I am never left confused about why I was marked down on an assignment, and I can always find an answer or clarification to problems.”

Mark Gockenbach, chair of mathematical sciences, echoes the organized, caring and constantly improving nature of Reed’s teaching. “Beth is simply an excellent teacher—clear, organized, intentional and reflective. She cares about her students and makes an effort to establish a personal connection with each of them, while still holding them to a high standard. Students respond to her enthusiastic and caring style, and I admire the fact that she is still trying to improve her courses even though she has taught them many times before.”

Perhaps the biggest reason for Reed’s success is her desire to motivate as many students as possible to be successful. One student quote summarizes this. “She makes me want to learn. She makes me feel welcome and comfortable. She has respect for all of her students, and we all have respect for her.”

Reed will receive a $2,500 monetary award and a plaque at an awards dinner sponsored by University President Glenn Mroz in the fall. Scott Miers, an associate professor of mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics, received the Distinguished Teaching Award in the Associate Professor/Professor category this year.

 


Susan Liebau Wins 2017 Diversity Award

Posted by Mark Wilcox, Tech Today, May 11, 2017

Established in 2014, Michigan Technological University’s Diversity Award recognizes the accomplishments of a Michigan Tech faculty or staff member who contributes to diversity and inclusion through exemplary leadership and actions.

Susan Liebau, director of the Waino Wahtera Center for Student Success, has been named the recipient of the 2017 Michigan Tech Diversity Award.

To qualify for the award, individuals must be nominated by fellow employees, students, alumni, University groups, employee networks and community organizations or other University partners. The award is intended to honor those who have gone above and beyond to further and foster diversity and inclusion at Michigan Tech.

In one of three nomination letters on Liebau’s behalf, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students Bonnie Gorman stated, “It’s always gratifying when a student comes and asks for your support because they want to submit a nomination for an award. That’s what happened in this case for Susan.”

Gorman wrote that Liebau, for years the advisor for the Society of African America Men, was approached by members of that organization when the previous advisor left and the group was about to fold. Gorman notes Liebau is an active supporter of the Society of Intellectual Sisters Bra Show and oversees the training of the Orientation Team Leaders and the Wahtera Center coaches which involves nearly 100 students annually.

In another nomination letter, Heather Simpson, assistant director of the Wahtera Center, wrote, “As director of the Waino Wahtera Center for Student Success, Susan places an emphasis on diversity and inclusion in all areas she supervises. She actively recruits and encourages underrepresented students to work for the Wahtera Center, in a variety of positions, include key student leadership roles.” Simpson writes that she knows of “no one more deserving” of the Diversity Award than Liebau.

“I feel honored and humbled.”Susan Liebau

“The 120 Wahtera Center staff connects with every first-year student and hundreds more each year,” wrote Ryan Bennett, assistant director of orientation programs. “To say their ability to relate to students is essential would be an understatement. … The stories that result from their efforts provide extremely compelling evidence of Susan’s commitment to promote a diverse and inclusive campus culture.”

Bennett writes Liebau “works determinedly to cultivate and change the norm from the ground up, through the development of meaningful individual relationships and dialogue.”

Kellie Raffaelli, director for the Center of Diversity and Inclusion is chair of the award selection committee, a subset of the University’s Diversity Council, says Liebau is a worthy recipient of the award.

“Susan has been a consistent champion of increasing students understanding of diversity and inclusion throughout campus as well as continually working toward underrepresented students having a stronger sense of belonging here at Tech.”

Raffaelli says Liebau embodies what it means to be an ally and most certainly has “gone above and beyond to create an inclusive campus community.”

Liebau says she looks to ensure students feel welcome, valued and part of a community that will support and encourage them.

“I feel honored and humbled that others recognized how much this means to me and took the time to nominate me for this award,” she says.

“It isn’t always simple or easy, but creating an inclusive and supportive campus is something we should all strive for as a campus community.”

Liebau will receive a $2,500 award and will be recognized during the Faculty Awards Dinner in September. In addition to Liebau, Allison Carter, director of admissions and Josh Olson, chief information officer, were also nominated for the award.


Stephanie Carpenter winner of 2017 Press 53 Award

Humanities Professor Wins Fiction Award

Stephanie Carpenter (HU) has been named winner of the 2017 Press 53 Award for Short Fiction for her short story collection “Missing Persons.”

Besides publication by Press 53 in October, Carpenter will receive a $1,000 advance and a quarter-page color ad in Poets & Writers magazine. The judge for the competition was Kevin Morgan Watson, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Press 53.

Of the winning manuscript, Watson says, “These stories are diverse in voice, setting, conflict and style. Ms. Carpenter’s skills shine in this collection, as does her ability to step into the shoes of a wide range of people while peeling back the complex layers of their lives. For a group of stories to rise above 230 other manuscripts competing for my attention, every story has to deliver an interesting, satisfying and powerful experience, and ‘Missing Persons’ did just that. I’m looking forward to sharing this collection of stories with readers everywhere.”

Carpenter’s prose has appeared in prestigious journals and magazines such as Witness, Nimrod, The Cossack Review, Big Fiction, The Crab Orchard Review and others. She teaches creative writing and literature at Tech. “Missing Persons” is her first book-length publication.

A limited number of advanced reading copies of “Missing Persons” will be available for review. If interested, contact Press 53 at 336-770-5353 or email editor@press53.com.


Gupta and Langston Broadcasting Award

[From Tech Today, “Notables,” March 14, 2017]

A radio interview featuring Latika Gupta (SBE) and Nancy Langston (SS) won the Michigan Association of Broadcasting Award for Best Feature Programming. The Copper Country Today Segment discussed the Dakota Access Pipeline Controversy and initially aired on Dec. 18, 2016.

Gupta had provided her expertise as an energy economist and Langston had focused on sovereignty and environmental justice issues. The entire interview can be found on the Copper Country Today website.


Julie Seppala Named Vice President for Finance

Michigan Tech President Glenn Mroz has appointed Julie Seppala as vice president for finance. Her appointment was effective on Dec. 18.

Previously, Seppala was appointed treasurer of the Board of Trustees, the executive director of financial services and operations and treasurer of the Michigan Tech Fund Board of Directors. She will keep those duties in her new position.

Seppala is responsible for all financial functions of the University and the Michigan Tech Fund, including financial reporting, investment and treasury management and overseeing all accounting functions.

In making the announcement, Mroz says “Julie is a remarkable, no-nonsense leader and we are looking to her to continue to make significant strides to organize our ever-increasing financing reporting responsibilities using Lean principles.”

Mroz says Seppala has been advancing the visibility of Michigan Tech through the National Association of Research Administrators and her highly-respected work with the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP).

“She’s been leading efforts to combine the reporting of finances of the University and the Michigan Tech Fund and has brought us through clean audits for both organizations for several years now.”

Seppala says “I am honored and humbled that President Mroz has given me this opportunity to take on a new role as vice president for finance. I’m looking forward to working with the University community to support the strategic initiatives of the University.”

Seppala has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and has completed Lean Facilitator training. She has facilitated numerous campus process improvement events since 2008.

Through her work with FDP, a cooperative initiative of 10 federal agencies and 155 research universities, she seeks to reduce the administrative burdens associated with research grants and contracts.

“Michigan Tech was one of three FDP universities to participate in a national pilot on documenting time and effort charged to federal grants and contracts,” Seppala says.

She led the four-year Project Payroll Certification Pilot and the two-year federal audit of the project.

Seppala is a member of the National Association of Business Officers and the National Association of Research Administrators.

She participates in the Council on Governmental Relations and the Michigan Association of State Universities State Business Affairs Officers Committee.


Charlesworth and Stevens head Postdoctoral Affairs Office

Graduate School Announcements

by Graduate School

The new Postdoctoral Affairs Office will be housed in the Graduate School. This move will expand the services offered to Postdoctoral Fellows and ensure compliance with University and federal regulations related to these positions.

Debra Charlesworth has been appointed the assistant dean for graduate studies and postdoctoral affairs and in her new role will coordinate professional development activities and other initiatives to enhance the experience of Postdoctoral Fellows at Michigan Tech. Charlesworth will work closely with HR in this new role. Departments or faculty members that seek to hire postdoctoral fellows in support of their research will continue to initiate these requests with their HR employment representative.

The Graduate School announces that Mary J. Stevens has joined them as the assistant to the dean. Stevens has many years of experience working with graduate students in IPS and we look forward to her contributions to the Graduate School. In her role, Stevens will coordinate Dean Murthy’s activities and serve to support the Graduate School in new initiatives.


4 Steps Toward Making Endowed Chairs More Equal

Creating a pipeline for women and minority faculty who are woefully under-represented among Endowed Chairs. Article in the Chronicle of Higher Education by Nicholas D. Hartlep (Nov. 13, 2016)

http://www.chronicle.com/article/4-Steps-Toward-Making-Endowed/238374?cid=db&elqTrackId=d56cd25dabcd41eb95e19445ab605e02&elq=99e0608895b54423b012219063c358df&elqaid=11483&elqat=1&elqCampaignId=4498


Pioneering Women in Business

Helping the future women of business to become leaders and entrepreneurs is the essence of the Pioneering Women in Business (PWB) scholarship.

The vision for the PWB scholarship was inspired by the memory of Joyce Cayler Lyth ’72 and implemented by her husband David Lyth ’73 in 2015.

The Lyths realized the nation needs more women in business-leadership roles. This notion is backed by data that shows nearly 60 percent of companies who were researched did not have a single female board member and nearly 50 percent did not have a female C-suite executive.

To help Michigan Tech transform the future of global business leadership we are asking for help.

Visit the Superior Ideas project for more information about the scholarship and how you can make a difference.

Tech Today by Bryant Weathers, Office of Advancement
September 7, 2016