Archives—April 2015

Biology alum guest speaker for commencement

Spring Commencement Ceremony This Saturday

Tech Today. Michigan Tech’s spring commencement ceremony will be this Saturday, May 2, at 10:30 a.m. in the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. This year, nearly 1,100 students will be awarded degrees, including almost 300 graduate students.


The guest speaker will be Dr. Susan E. Skochelak, Group Vice President for Medical Education at the American Medical Association (AMA) and director of the AMA’s Center for Transforming Medical Education. She developed and leads the AMA’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative working to promote innovation that better aligns physician training with the changing needs of our health care system.

Skochelak received her bachelor’s and master’s degree in biological sciences from Tech and received her MD degree from the University of Michigan. She obtained a Master’s of Public Health at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where she trained as a resident physician in family medicine and preventive medicine. She completed a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars fellowship while at Chapel Hill.

The student speaker will be Kyle Yarusso; the Lake Elmo, MN, native will be completing his BS in Applied Ecology and Environmental Science. After graduation, he will serve as a Centennial Volunteer Ambassador with the Student Conservation Association, a non-profit that inspires lifelong stewardship of the environment. Down the road, Yarusso plans to attend graduate school, studying the human dimensions of environmentalism and conservation.

Doors to the arena open at 8:30 a.m., and students are expected to be present and prepared at 9:45 a.m. A seating chart of the graduates and additional information is available on Michigan Tech’s commencement website. Prior to the ceremony, the official ROTC commissioning ceremony will take place; a public commissioning will also occur during commencement.


2015 SURF Awards recipients for Biology and BMB students

The following students in Biological Sciences and Biochemistry and Molecular are recipients of Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Recipients (SURF) Awards for 2015:

Student Name Student’s Major Advisor/Department Project Title
Peter Nouhan Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Thomas Werner / Biological Sciences Uncovering the Enhancers of the Pigmentation Gene Yellow
Ryan Van Goethem Biological Sciences Amy Marcarelli / Biological Sciences Impact of Stamp Sands on Aquatic Macrophyte Communities, Myriophyllum spicatum, and Myriophyllum spicatum x sibiricum Hybrids in the Portage Waterway
Virginia Van Vianen (HI) Biological Sciences Erika Hersch-Green / Biological Sciences The Effects of Increased Anthropogenic Nitrogen on Plant Characteristics and Pollinators

Additional University recipients can be found at: http://www.mtu.edu/research/archives/awards/surf/

This is the description of the award from the University web site:

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)

SURFs are open to all Tech undergraduates who have at least one semester remaining after the summer.

Annual awards of up to $4,000 are available. Program requests for applications are announced in TechToday beginning in November, with applications for these annual awards due January 30, 2015.

Fellowship recipients will conduct a research project under the guidance of a Michigan Tech faculty mentor, during the summer semester.

Fellowship recipients are required to:

  • Submit interim reports of their progress through the summer
  • Attend meetings of SURF award recipients
  • Present their research

Linville, Dalton awarded Student Leadership Awards; Bachman Departmental Scholar

Bachman photo small

Dalton photoStudent Leadership Awards Ceremony Held Friday

Outstanding students, staff and a special alumna were honored Friday at Michigan Tech’s 21st Annual Student Leadership Awards Ceremony. The event’s keynote speaker was also the winner of, perhaps, the most prestigious award presented. Brtta Jost, ’02, ’04 received the 2015 Outstanding Young Alumna Award. Jost is senior engineer in large structures design engineering for Caterpillar. In her remarks, Jost recalled the changes that have occurred since her days as a student, most of them in technology and social media.

“Back then, if a speaker looked out and saw the audience looking down, she would have thought they were bored or disinterested,” she said. “Now I know you’re posting my remarks on Twitter.”

Jost said the most important aspects of a Michigan Tech education have not changed since her time here a decade and half ago.

Perhaps the most prestigious undergraduate award, the Presidents Award for Leadership, was presented to Kim D’Augustino, a double major in Materials Science and Engineering and Biomedical Engineering. President Glenn Mroz cited D’Augustino’s numerous accomplishments including serving as vice president of the biomedical engineering society, mentoring students through the Wahtera Center and the ExSEL program and acting as event coordinator at the recent, highly-successful, campus Relay For Life.

Dallas Linville, was the recipient of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Advancement Award for Service, Nate Peterson received the Exceptional Leadership in Student Governance Award, the Exceptional Enthusiasm as Student Leader Award was presented to Luke Dalton and the Student Employee of the Year was awarded to Taylor Driscoll.

The Rising Star of the Year, presented to a first or second year student showing great potential for leadership, was awarded to Keagan Fortier. Britta Anderson was named Outstanding Future Alumnus or Alumna. The award is presented to a student already living the Alumni Association’s motto of “Celebrating Traditions, Creating Connections.”

Other awards handed out included:

Exceptional Program of the Year: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program

Most Improved Student Organization: Mu Beta Psi

Exceptional Community Service Project: Society of Women Engineers, Homecoming Spirit Sprint

Claire M. Donovan Award: Susan Liebau, Director of the Waino Wahtera Center for Student Success

Student Organization of the Year: Broomball Committee

Student Organization Advisor of the Year: Jeremiah Bauman, Broomball Committee

The Provost’s Award for Scholarship was selected from the Departmental Scholars. This year’s recipient was Melissa Michaelson, Departmental Scholar from Social Sciences.

Award recipients who received their awards at previous ceremonies were also recognized. They include:
Percy Julian Award: Taylor Driscoll
Exceptional Graduate Student Leader: Abhilash Kantamneni
Exceptional Graduate Student Scholar: Xu Yang
Outstanding Graduate Mentor: Dr. Gregory Odegard
Greek Man of the Year: Jonathan Iafrate
Greek Woman of the Year: Erica Morley

This year’s Departmental Scholar in Biological Sciences was Evan Bachman


In print

Congratulations to Drs. Stephanie Ogren and Casey Huckins on publication of their paper:


Stephanie A. Ogren & Casey J Huckins (2015) Applicability and Interpretation of Fish Indices of Biotic Integrity (IBI) for Bioassessment in the Upper Midwest, North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 35:2, 281-295, DOI: 10.1080/02755947.2014.1001044



In Print

A publication based on research in Dr. Ramakrishna Wusirika’s laboratory.

An article authored by a current Michigan Tech graduate student and three past graduate students was recently published in an academic journal.

“Differential Regulation of Genes by Retrotransposons in Rice Promoters” was published in the journal Plant Molecular Biology, April 2015, Volume 87, Issue 6, pp 603-616.

The authors Surendar Reddy Dhadi, Zijun Xu and Rafi Shaik are past graduate students and Kyle Driscoll is a current graduate student.

Tech Today.


David S. Bruce Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award

travisTravis Wakeham, an undergraduate researcher in Dr. John Durocher’s Clinical and Applied Human Physiology Laboratory, received a prestigious David S. Bruce Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award at the Experimental Biology Conference in Boston, MA last week. Prior to the conference Travis had already received a David Bruce Outstanding Undergraduate Abstract Award which included $100 and a 2-year complimentary membership to The American Physiological Society. Travis will receive an additional $400 and a certificate for the Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award. This award was based on the quality of his poster and his oral presentation to the David Bruce Award Selection Committee. The title of Travis’ poster was “Obesity and neural cardiovascular responses to mental stress in humans.” Travis was mentored by both Dr. John Durocher of Biological Sciences and Dr. Jason Carter of Kinesiology & Integrative Physiology during this research project.

 


Marquette High School, one of many high schools visiting this year

20150327_12542345 Marquette Senior High School students received the opportunity to travel to Michigan Tech University last Friday, March 27th. During their visit, students learned about the many new careers in life sciences and listened to professors discuss the ground breaking research that they are conducting in genetic research. Students were also allowed to visit an anatomy and physiology lecture and do labs in the life sciences with MTU students! Part of the day was devoted to helping the high school students understand the many different careers there are in the emerging fields of life science studies.

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