Category Archives: Student Spotlight

2018 Sam Tidwell Outstanding Man and Woman in Business

Each year the School of Business and Economics recognizes two students who bring honor and pride to the school through high scholastic achievement and involvement. Students eligible for this honor went through an intense interview process that included an essay and interview with faculty.  This year 4 men and 7 women applied.

We are pleased to announce the 2018 winners: Joe Platz (accounting) and Emma LaFleur (engineering management).

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Project Management Institute Competition

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Each year Michigan Tech’s OSM4200 Advanced Project Management course competes in the West Michigan Chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMI) competition in Grand Rapids Michigan.  This year, two Michigan Tech teams competed: “Lettuce Taco ’bout Food Waste” and “Squash the Waste”.

This year’s project plan was to design, create and package an educational program that draws current practical information from the national, state, and municipal levels to show what people can do to reduce food waste. Michigan Tech’s “Squash the Waste” placed 3rd out of 8 teams in THE Project 2018 project management plan competition on Monday, April 9.  The team’s mentors were Ginger Connin and Thomas Conquest.  Roger Woods, Senior Lecturer was the team’s Project Champion and Faculty Advisor. The team members were:

John Carey: undergraduate student – engineering management major

Shelbie Koenitzer: undergraduate student – management major with a concentration in entrepreneurship

Emma LeFleur: undergraduate student – engineer management major

Austin Riipli: undergraduate student – engineering management major

Nihar Brahmbhatt: graduate student in electrical engineering


Incoming Marketing Student Qualifies for Business Professionals of America Nationals in Dallas, Texas

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MENOMINEE — The Menominee High School Business Professionals of America (BPA) team has its second student in six years be a national qualifier.

Senior Coleton Kotecki, president of Menominee’s chapter of BPA, is the school’s sole qualifier for nationals, which will be held May 8-13 in Dallas, after placing at state in Grand Rapids, Mich.

“I’m honored to be able to represent Menominee, the U.P. and Michigan because I’m only the school’s second national qualifier in the past six years,” he said.

Kotecki competed in the category of extemporaneous (extemp) speech. In this event, participants are given limited-preparation time to develop a speech based. Topics in BPA extemp tend to be focused on business aspects.

“BPA’s extemp category is very similar to impromptu speaking,” he said. “First, I go to the prep room. I have eight cards lying face down with business related topics on the other side. I choose two of them, not knowing what the topics are. Once I see the topics I have to choose one of the two to give my speech on.

“I am provided with three index cards. I’m not allowed to use any references besides my brain. I have 10 minutes to prepare my speech. Once my time is up, I must deliver a two-to-four minute speech relating to my topic to a panel of two to three judges.”

The first competition the team attended was the Regional Leadership Conference at Bay College in Escanaba, Mich. At regionals, he placed first.

“The top four at this event move on to states,” he said. “Roughly 25 students compete at this level.”

Those students who made it to state competed at the State Leadership Conference at the Amway Grand Hotel in Grand Rapids.

“I competed against 40 kids at this level and the top three made it to nationals,” he said.

Kotecki will be competing against 77 students from 25 states and Puerto Rico in a little over a month.

“It’s going to cost about $1,400 for my advisor (Mary Fay Daigneau) and I each to go,” he said. “The National Leadership Conference is not only a great honor to be a part of, but it’s quite expensive.”

IMG-0507Kotecki is in need of donations in order to compete in Dallas.

For those interested in donating to help him make the trip, contact Kotecki at 715-923-6778 or koteckicoleton@gmail.com or Daigneau at 906-863-7814 or dagineaum@gomaroons.org. Donations can also be accepted on Kotecki’s Go Fund Me page.

“While participating in this event, I plan on expanding my leadership skills, mastering my speaking skills, and developing relationships with new people,” he said. “I plan to take what I learn from the National Leadership Conference with me to Michigan Technological University this fall, where I plan to major in marketing at their School of Business & Economics.”

– Chelsea Ewaldt, EagleHerald Staff Writer


Shawn Badanjek, Engineering Management & MIS, Wins Big at Lear Open Innovation Challenge with other Michigan Tech Students

By Jennifer Donovan
Original Link

Five Michigan Tech students competed in the Lear Open Innovation Challenge 2018, and four brought home awards.

Michigan Technological University students Shawn Badanjek, Mayank Bagaria, Anurag Kamal, Cameron Philo and Arvind Ravindran completed this year’s challenge, and Badanjek [student in the School of Business and Economics] was a member of the team that won the grand prize.

Lear Corporation, based in Detroit, is a leading automotive supplier that hosts the annual challenge to build connections with the state’s universities and tap new sources of innovative ideas.

“Detroit is the birthplace of the automobile, and, leveraging this proud legacy and manufacturing expertise, its industries are poised to be ground zero for the development of tomorrow’s mobility solutions,” the Lear Open Innovation Challenge website explains.

The challenge is conducted by the Innovatrium, a consulting firm founded to help organizations build the internal capacity to innovate and grow.

This year’s Lear Challenge had 57 participants from six universities: Michigan Tech, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan-Dearborn and the University of Detroit-Mercy.

The Lear Open Innovation Challenge presents a problem to interdisciplinary teams of university students. This year, the challenge involved increasing vehicle occupant safety. Two weeks later, the teams meet in Detroit to present their solutions.

The competition is designed to teach an innovative mindset, prepare students to create ideas for the future of mobility and vehicle connectivity, work with innovation coaches and Lear technology development experts and learn how to develop solutions that advance technology and manufacturing. While in Detroit, the student teams get a tour of Lear’s headquarters and a chance to network with top companies in the Detroit area and faculty from Michigan Tech, Michigan State, Wayne State, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and University of Michigan-Dearborn.

Grand Prize Winner

Five Michigan Tech students completed the challenge and four received awards. One, Shawn Badanjek, was a member of the team that won the Grand Prize. A senior in engineering management [and management information systems], he will receive an internship with Lear for the summer, where he will work with his team to develop a prototype of their idea. He will also receive $250 cash prize, a Haworth Fern chair (customized personally for him) and a set of Detroit Tigers tickets.

Lear Open Innovation Challenge grand-prize-winning team

Lear Open Innovation Challenge grand-prize-winning team: (from left) Michigan Tech student Shawn Badanjek, Janelle Newman, Shivam Bajaj, Nicole Goldi and Adrian Maloy.

Badanjek has high praise for the competition mentors. “I believe the guidance and mentoring I received from these people was priceless,” he says. “I learned more about high-level team building and interaction in two weeks than in any semester-long class I have ever taken. This is something you learn that will be with you and help you navigate team interactions for life.”

Two other students, Cameron Philo—a Pavlis Honors College student—and Mayank Bagaria, were on a team that won an award for the most innovative idea. They will each receive a $250 cash prize.

“We approached the problem from a very different perspective, not as a conventional mechanical engineer would design, but as a biomedical engineer would design,” says Bagaria, a graduate student in mechanical engineering. “Working on the team was an awesome experience; diverse universities with people from different majors provided a very different perspective to the solution. The whole experience made me realize my strength and areas I need to work on. Michigan Tech helped us throughout the process. It would not have been possible to go and compete in Detroit without Michigan Tech.”

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 60 countries around the world. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our beautiful campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.


Mitch Reinke on Hobey Baker Award fan ballot; Vote now!

unnamedHOUGHTON, Mich. – Michigan Tech defenseman Mitch Reinke is a candidate for the 2018 Hobey Baker Award, given annually to college hockey’s top player. Initial fan voting is now open on the Hobey Baker Facebook page.

Reinke, a sophomore from Stillwater, Minnesota, is sixth in the country in assists amongst defensemen with 16, placing him second in the WCHA. He is currently tied for the team lead with 18 points. Reinke was named an alternate captain in only his second season with the Huskies and was recently named to the Great Lakes Invitational and Ice Vegas Invitational all-tournament teams.

Tech is 9-1-4 when Reinke records a point. He has four multi-point games this season with a goal and an assist in a 5-4 win over Alabama Huntsville on October 20 and a pair of assists in the Ice Breaker Championship win at Minnesota Duluth (Oct. 7), a 2-2 tie at Lake Superior State (Oct. 14), and in the Ice Vegas Semifinal win over No. 13 Boston College (Jan. 5).

Reinke also leads the Huskies with 43 blocked shots to ranked fifth in the WCHA and is second on the team, and ranked in the top 10 in the WCHA, with a plus-8.

Reinke was a Preseason All-WCHA Second Team selection by the media while also receiving votes from the coaches. He was a WCHA All-Rookie Team selection last season after he appeared in 41 games in his rookie campaign, finishing fifth in the WCHA in power-play points (14) and seventh in WCHA freshmen scoring (6G-14A=20). He also received the Norbert Matovich Memorial Award as the team’s top freshman.

Reinke attended the NHL’s Nashville Predators Development Camp in June 2016 and the Calgary Flames Development Camp in July 2017. He holds a 3.48 grade point average in business management.

Award criteria include candidates emulating the exceptional character traits exhibited by the award’s namesake, Hobey Baker. A legendary American hero, Baker was a World War I fighter pilot and was known as America’s greatest amateur athlete in his day, excelling at hockey and football at Princeton. Award candidates must demonstrate strength of character both on and off the ice, contribute to the integrity of his team and display outstanding skills in all phases of the game. Consideration should be given to scholastic achievement and sportsmanship.

Mitch is a management student in the School of Business and Economics.