Category Archives: advance

New Chair of CEE Dr. Audra Morse

It was Michigan Tech’s “wonderful reputation” that first got the attention of Audra Morse. That reputation was enough to convince her to leave Texas Tech to lead Michigan Tech’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

On July 1, Audra Morse began her tenure as chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Michigan Technological University. Morse comes to Michigan Tech from Texas Tech, where she had been the associate dean for undergraduate studies for more than 4 years.

Morse earned her bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degrees from Texas Tech and has been on the faculty there since 2003. She is a licensed professional engineer and a board-certified environmental engineer with the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists. She is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Water Environment Federation, the American Water Works Association, American Society for Engineering Educators and the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists. However, she is most active with ASCE, serving at both the global and regional levels.

Morse says it was the “wonderful reputation” of Michigan Tech and the CEE Department that got her attention. “I met and worked with CEE alumni through my activities and service with ACSE on the state and global level, and I regard them as leaders in their field.” She says it was the experience working with staff from Tech’s Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Department on the Transforming Engineering Culture to Advance Inclusion and Diversity (TECAID) project that allowed her to learn more about University’s culture. “I believe my values as a faculty member are in alignment with what I learned about Michigan Tech, and I could envision being a faculty member there,” she says.

Although she has come from a university with a student population roughly five times that of Michigan Tech, Morse says the similarities between the two schools are striking. “Upon first glance it may seem that the institutions must vary significantly, but the two Colleges of Engineering and the departments are very similar in size. The similar size of students, faculty and staff inspired me to apply to Michigan Tech,” Morse says.

She says that at Michigan Tech, engineering comprises a greater percentage of the overall student population, which is different from her previous experience. “I see this as an opportunity at Michigan Tech that I did not have (at Texas Tech). As such, I believe CEE students and graduates, as well as the CEE faculty and staff, can have a greater impact on the University’s successes as compared to larger institutions.”

Morse says as she prepared for her interview, she reviewed the University’s Strategic Plan, the CEE Department’s mission statement, vision statement and guiding principles. “The themes, ideas and goals present in these documents resonated with me,” she explains. “Additionally, the College of Engineering recently finished the College Strategic Plan, which outlines goals for members of the College to accomplish.” Morse says these documents set a baseline for what she would like the department to accomplish. “However, the true creativity exists in how the department meets the outlined goals.”

“The faculty, staff and students of the CEE have and will continue to accomplish great things …”Audra Morse

Michigan Tech’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is consistently ranked among the best of the nation. Morse hopes to build on that success.

“I believe the CEE Department has great potential to grow the graduate program while continuing to build industry funding sources, increase diversity of the undergraduate student population and advance the quality of our undergraduate education through more service learning and problem-based learning approaches, while also creating more inclusive classroom environments. The faculty, staff and students of the CEE have and will continue to accomplish great things, and I look forward to making others aware of their successes.”

University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Jacqueline Huntoon says “Michigan Tech is fortunate to be able to attract talented individuals to leadership positions on our campus. Dr. Morse brings a great deal of experience to her new position, and I look forward to working with her in the future.”

Morse succeeds David Hand, who has been the CEE department chair since 2011 and returned to the classroom as of June, 30.

Reprinted from Tech Today, “From Lubbock to Houghton” by Mark Wilcox. July 19, 2017


Women Also Know Stuff

Women Also Know Stuff is the name of a website that provides a database of political science scholars working in politics, policy, and government in order to make women’s work more visible and accessible to others:

www.womenalsoknowstuff.com  and #womenalsoknowstuff

A summary article of the project appears in Inside Higher Education by Colleen Flaherty (July 6, 2017) with the tagline, “New paper explains effort to fight gender bias in political science, and, perhaps, in other disciplines as well.”

The board of Womenalsoknowstuff has published a paper documenting their project.

Women Also Know Stuff: Meta-Level Mentoring to Battle Gender Bias in Political Science

Emily Beaulieu, University of Kentucky

Amber E. Boydstun, University of California, Davis

Nadia E. Brown, Purdue University

Kim Yi Dionne, Smith College

Andra Gillespie, Emory University

Samara Klar, University of Arizona

Yanna Krupnikov, Stony Brook University

Melissa R. Michelson, Menlo College

Kathleen Searles, Louisiana University

Christina Wolbrecht, University of Notre Dame

Abstract

Women know stuff. Yet, all too often, they are underrepresented in political science meetings, syllabi, and editorial boards. To counter the implicit bias that leads to women’s under-representation, to ensure that women’s expertise is included and shared, and to improve the visibility of women in political science, in February 2016 we launched the “Women Also Know Stuff” initiative, which features a crowd-sourced website and an active Twitter feed. In this article, we share the origins of our project, the effect we are already having on media utilization of women experts, and plans for how to expand that success within the discipline of political science. We also share our personal reflections on the project.

 


Michigan Tech Named a Top Online School for Women in STEM

by Jennifer Donovan, Tech Today, June 26, 2017

SR Education Group, an online education research publisher, has named Michigan Tech one of the 2017 Top Online Colleges for Women in STEM.

To develop this list, SR Education Group researched all accredited colleges offering at least 10 fully online STEM degrees, evaluating them on factors indicative of support for women students in STEM, including the proportion of female STEM graduates and available online resources for women in STEM. More than 280 schools were considered; 64 made the cut.

See the full SR Education Group announcement here.


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


Faith Morrison Appointed Associate Dean of Graduate School

Faith Morrison (Ch E) will serve Michigan Tech in the capacity of associate dean of the Graduate School beginning this semester. The position is half time, with Morrison continuing in her faculty role for the balance of her time.

Morrison will be involved in a number of projects in the Graduate School. A major project will be the development and implementation of university-level assessment of graduate student learning and graduate program review. She will also work to develop, implement and support efforts to attract and retain a diverse graduate student body and on other projects aimed at improving the graduate student experience at Michigan Tech.

Morrison brings 26 years of faculty and service experience to her new role. She has worked closely with ABET and Higher Learning Commission accreditation in the chemical engineering department as well as working as an academic advisor and as an advisor to student groups.

Her research expertise is in polymer rheology and she is well known nationally for her service in her professional society, the Society of Rheology, as well as for her authorship of two textbooks, including a popular introductory rheology text.  Morrison’s national activities also include serving on the Board of Directors of the American Institute of Physics (AIP), as well as serving as chair of the AIP Audit Committee.

Morrison says, “I’m excited and grateful for the opportunity to address new challenges and to contribute to Michigan Tech in this new way. The team in the Graduate School is terrific and have been very welcoming.”

Pushpa Murthy, vice provost for graduate education and dean of the graduate school said, “Professor Morrison brings a wealth of experience in student learning assessment and program review to the graduate school. In addition, her deep interest and passion in increasing the diversity on campus will be of great benefit as we continue to make the campus a more inclusive and welcoming place. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to benefit from her experience by involving her in the day-to-day operations of the Graduate School.”

Posted by the Graduate School


Minerick and Reed Receive WEPAN Award for “Year of Action on Diversity”

Tech Wins Awards for Diversity Efforts in Engineering Education

by Jenn Donovan

Michigan Tech’s efforts to increase the numbers and diversity of women in engineering have been recognized by Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN), a national network of women engineers, engineering educators, universities, corporations and non-profits who are working together to develop a diverse and innovative engineering workforce.

Michigan Tech’s Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics received the WEPAN President’s Award for what the organization described as “outstanding accomplishments” in the National Science Foundation-funded engineering diversity initiative, TECAID (Transforming Engineering Culture to Advance Inclusion and Diversity).

The American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) won the WEPAN Strategic Partner Award. ASEE was honored for its “Year of Action on Diversity,” a project conceived and designed by the ASEE Diversity Committee, led by Adrienne Minerick and Teri Reed. Minerick is associate dean for research and innovation in the College of Engineering and a professor of chemical engineering at Michigan Tech. Reed is assistant vice president for research at the University of Cincinnati.

“These awards are a testament to the dedication, heart and trailblazing work our faculty and staff are doing to increase knowledge and awareness of the value of diversity and to cultivate environments that are inclusive of all individuals,” said Minerick. “These activities expand and strengthen the perspectives and education of all of our students such that they can engineer to present and future world demands and lead in a complex and changing society.”

President Glenn Mroz called the awards “a real honor for Mechanical Engineering and the entire university. We’ve been clear that it’s the responsibility of everyone at Michigan Tech to serve all students, regardless of gender or race, to have an impact on our world. This national recognition serves as evidence that people are taking that seriously, and it’s being noticed at the highest levels of our professions. The leadership that this team of people has shown is truly inspiring.”


Murthy Named Dean of Graduate School, Associate Provost

by Office of Provost and VP of Academic Affairs

Pushpalatha Murthy, currently the associate dean of the Graduate School, has been selected as the new associate provost for Graduate Education and dean of the Graduate School.

Murthy will begin serving as dean on Sunday, June 19. Prior to being selected as dean, Murthy served as associate dean of the Graduate School during the 2015-2016 academic year.

Provost Jackie Huntoon stated “I am very happy that Dr. Murthy has agreed to take on this responsibility. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position that will serve the University well. The quality of our graduate programs is very important to Michigan Tech, and Dr. Murthy is committed to undertaking efforts to continue to increase their quality through time.”

President Glenn Mroz said, “Pushpa brings her national and international perspective and experience to the position, and her passion and dedication as well. She’s served on countless groups in her career to sort out ways that we can make Michigan Tech a better place to study and to work. And she’s done it with common sense, grace and a sense of humor that puts people at ease in even the most difficult conversations.”

Murthy joined Michigan Tech in 1985, serving first as a visiting assistant professor. In 1986 she moved to the tenure track as an assistant professor.

She gained experience in administration through her service as chair of the Department of Chemistry from 2001-04 and as a program director in the Division of Graduate Education at the National Science Foundation from 2012-15. In 2014, Murthy traveled to India to conduct a series of workshops for women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

“I am honored to be given the opportunity to serve as the Associate Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School at Michigan Tech. I look forward to working with the university community to enhance graduate education at Michigan Tech” Murthy said.

She was awarded the Michigan Tech Faculty Distinguished Service Award in 2011, is a member of the editorial board for Protein Expression and Purification and is active in COACh International, a grassroots organization working to increase the number and career success of women scientists and engineers.

Through her work with COACh, she has gained experience designing and delivering professional development programs. Murthy’s work with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and COACh will greatly benefit Michigan Tech’s graduate students.

“Our campus will benefit from the expertise Dr. Murthy brings to us as a result of her work providing professional development to professionals around the world,” said Huntoon.