Category Archives: Faculty Opportunities

AISES November Opportunities Newsletter


AISES Opportunities:

SPRK-ing Interest in Computer Science- A New AISES Pre-College Program
AISES is excited to announce a new K-12 program combining robotics and computer programming to increase awareness and interest in STEM and Computer Science (STEM+C) among Native American students. The program will engage students in hands-on STEM+C activities powered by Sphero technology, created by AISES and tailored to Native students.

BPA Internship Application Now Available!
Deadline: December 15, 2017
One to two positions will be available in BPA’s Transmission Services. The internship will be located in Vancouver, WA (just outside of Portland, OR). The ideal student will have a background in electrical, civil or mechanical engineering.

The National American Indian Virtual Science and Engineering Fair (NAIVSEF)
Students from 5th-12th grade can participate in the NAIVSEF. There are two categories for entrants, Senior Division (grades 9-12) and Junior Division (grades 5-8). NAIVSEF projects may be submitted by individual students or teams of up to three students.  AISES awards cash prizes to the winners of each division. Complete details and timeline at:

AISES Energy Challenge
The AISES Energy Challenge (EC) is an energy-specific science fair designed to engage and encourage high school and middle school students to participate in STEM education through a creative, hands-on, problem solving and engineering process in an environment similar to a science fair. Complete Details and timeline at:

AISES 2016 Annual Report is now available
Download the PDF version here

Visit the AISES Job Board
The AISES Job Board is the premier resource to connect career opportunities with highly qualified Native STEM talent.

Winds of Change 2017 National Conference Wrap-Up
Relive the fun and see some great photos! The Winds of Change 2017 National Conference Wrap-Up is available now at The photos and stories in this exclusive digital edition bring back wonderful memories of those busy, full days in Denver, and we can all relive that excitement in these pages.

Get your limited edition AISES 40th Anniversary merchandise, while supplies last!
– AISES 40th Anniversary Star Quilt
– AISES 40th Anniversary Drum
– AISES 40th Anniversary Mug

Join AISES! Be a part of #PledgeNativesInSTEM
AISES seeks to identify partners who are making a difference in student achievement nationwide to join us in improving educational outcomes for North American Indigenous students.  To catalyze these efforts, AISES is organizing a campaign to support Natives in STEM. #PledgeNativesInSTEM

2018 AISES National Conference
Save the date for the 2018 Annual AISES National Conference October 4-6, 2018 in Oklahoma City, OK.

Ways to Motivate Teaching Assistants

They want Responsibility and Contact with Both Students and Peers

By Rachel L. Kajfez and Holly M. Matusovich

Graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) play critical roles in higher education. While they are teachers, they also are students. Therefore, institutions have an obligation to design positions and programs that support their professional development. Past studies have analyzed GTA developmental programs from the perspective of content and pedagogy training, but little research has examined the experience of GTAs in these programs. To develop teaching environments and training programs that support GTA development, we must better understand the factors that motivate GTAs.

According to self-determination theory, intrinsic motivation depends on supporting three psychological needs: competence, autonomy, and relatedness. The purpose of our study was to examine graduate students’ motivation to teach in first-year engineering programs with regard to these three needs. We interviewed 12 GTAs from five universities in one phase of a mixed-methods study. Through a combination of a priori and open coding, we identified five factors that affect GTA competence, autonomy, and relatedness. They can be summed up as training, previous experience, appointment structure, students, and teaching colleagues.

All GTAs in our study received training that supported their competence. The most common forms included weekly and university-wide training sessions. These sessions provided a venue for GTAs to learn about program and university policies, course content, and general pedagogical practices. Based on our findings and previous literature, we recommend that all GTA positions include some form of content and pedagogy training.

Across all sites, GTAs reported that prior experiences contributed to their competence. The most common influential experiences were as a teacher or student. Accordingly, we suggest that GTA programs acknowledge and build on GTAs’ previous experiences, tailoring training when feasible. For example, if GTAs will be teaching a lab course and have taught a similar class at a different institution, have them reflect on their previous work, identifying qualities of their teaching they would like to preserve and opportunities for enhancement the new position affords them.

GTAs noted that appointment structures affected their autonomy, including the jobs they were assigned. Duties that supported autonomy included lecturing, grading, one-on-one discussions with students, developing curriculum, holding of?ce hours or review sessions, and overseeing undergraduate teaching assistants. When GTAs felt responsible for or had control over some decisions during each of these types of activities, their autonomy and teaching motivation improved. We recommend that institutions enable GTAs to engage in at least some of these activities.

GTAs reported that their relationships with students affected their teaching experiences. Helping and seeing their students succeed raised their view of—and enthusiasm for—teaching in general. We encourage all GTA positions to include such direct interaction with students as being the instructor of record or taking responsibility for office-hour sessions.

GTAs also discussed relationships with fellow GTAs and with faculty. In most instances, participants viewed their relationships with peers more positively than their relationships with faculty. They described the community they built with their peers and how they were able to learn directly from each other. We recommend that activities be integrated into GTA programs to foster positive working and learning relationships among GTAs.

In their relationships with faculty, our participants had both positive and negative experiences. Often faculty served as gatekeepers to experiences such as delivering a lecture to a class. We suggest faculty supervisors take an individualized approach to supporting competence and autonomy with each graduate student, carefully considering previous experience and appointment structure. We believe this individualized approach could improve relationships between GTAs and faculty.

When developing teaching environments and training programs for GTAs, we recommend that faculty and administrators consider the five factors that we identified and their effects on GTAs as teachers and students. Addressing these factors will strengthen GTAs’ motivation in teaching and, with time, improve the quality of teaching in engineering.


Rachel L. Kajfez is an assistant professor of engineering education at Ohio State University. Holly M. Matusovich is an associate professor of engineering education at Virginia Tech. This article is excerpted from “Competence, Autonomy, and Relatedness as Motivators of Graduate Teaching Assistants” in the April 2017 Journal of Engineering Education.

National Geographic and Zoological Society of London Launch New Nat Geo Photo Ark EDGE Fellowships

Although our planet’s wildlife and wild places are disappearing at an alarming rate, most threatened species still receive little or no conservation funding. To help save wildlife and sound the alarm for lesser-known species at risk, the National Geographic Society and Zoological Society of London (ZSL) have launched a new fellowship collaboration.

In partnership with ZSL’s EDGE of Existence Program, which focuses on the planet’s most unique and endangered species, the new fellowships will support on-the-ground conservation efforts to help save creatures featured in the National Geographic Photo Ark. The Photo Ark is a flagship program of the National Geographic Society founded by National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore. It aims to document every species in the world’s zoos and wildlife sanctuaries, inspire action through education, and help save wildlife by supporting on-the-ground conservation efforts.

Want to become a National Geographic Explorer? Learn how you can apply for a grant from the National Geographic Society here. You can support our efforts to enable more cutting-edge scientists, conservationists and educators like these to get out into the field here.

Find out more about Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) species, and ZSL’s EDGE of Existence Programme, at

Nominations Open for 2018 MAGS Excellence in Teaching Awards

Nominations are now open for the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) Excellence in Teaching Awards. Michigan Tech may nominate one student at the MS and PhD level. Nominations are due to the Graduate School no later than 4 p.m. Jan 10.

Eligible students:

  • will have been enrolled at Michigan Tech during the 2017 calendar year and have a teaching appointment
  • will have earned the Michigan Tech Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award
  • will have an excellent teaching portfolio and student evaluations

Graduate program assistants and directors have been provided a list of eligible students.

See the application page for complete details on what is required for a nomination.

NAE Awards: Nominations open Jan 1, 2018

Nominations for the 2018 Simon Ramo Founders Award, the 2018 Arthur M. Bueche Award, the 2019 Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize, and the 2019 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education will be accepted beginning January 1, 2018.

Meet with a Fulbright Finland Centennial Ambassador

Suzanne Louis from the Fulbright Center in Finland will be on campus tomorrow (Nov. 7). She is here to meet with faculty and students who may be interested in applying for a Fulbright grant to Finland to study or conduct research. The country is currently celebrating its 100th anniversary of hosting Fulbright grant recipients, and alumni are traveling across the country to celebrate and promote the exchange.

Contact Helen Halt ( or 7-1218) in IPS if you would like to meet with Suzanne. She will be available between noon-3 p.m.

SWE: Join the webinar for Publishing 101 on November 10


Getting your journal papers accepted isn’t just a matter of doing good work, it also requires communicating it appropriately and selecting the proper venue such as a conference or journal publication. Likewise, conducting reviews of other people’s journal papers takes more than just a knowledge of the technical domain. This webinar will help you:

  • Evaluate a conference or journal to determine its suitability for your work
  • Determine the criteria that reviewers are likely to be using for the review
  • Critically read a paper that you are assigned to review

Publishing 101

Date: Friday, November 10, 2017

Time: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM CT

Register Today »

Faculty: Opportunity for Funding for Minority Students Conducting Undergraduate Research

Faculty Mentors, I am writing to make you aware of an opportunity for undergraduate student funding for research through the Michigan Space Grant Consortium.  Michigan Space Grant offers funding specifically for Under-Represented Minority Students engaged in research that relates to NASA’s very broadly defined interests.  This can include research related to health, earth science, and space and planetary science and exploration, as well as science education.

Details can be found at this site.  Applications are due for our campus on November 17th.
Here is an overview:

MSGC Undergraduate-Under-Represented Minority Fellowship Program

The Consortium offers up to $14,000 in support in the form of undergraduate fellowships of $2,500 to under-represented minority students.   This program is similar to the MSGC Undergraduate and Graduate Fellowship Program, with the following differences:

  • Applicants must be under-represented minority (African-American, Hispanic, Latino, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders) undergraduates who are U.S. citizens and currently enrolled at MSGC Affiliate Institutions.
  • Under-represented minority students who are U.S. Citizens and have a GPA below 3.0, but have strong mentorship, do qualify for an award.
  • Mentors qualify for $1,000 per student.  A mentor may have up to two under-represented minority students on his/her team.  MSGC funds cannot be used to pay salaries or travel to persons that are not U.S. Citizens.  MSGC funds can be used to purchase supplies and services for the project.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.
Best wishes!
Lorelle Meadows

Lorelle Meadows, Ph.D.

Dean, Pavlis Honors College
Michigan Technological University

NIH: New NIGMS Funding Opportunity

Summary by Federal Science Partners

New NIGMS Funding Opportunity: Collaborative Program Grants for Multidisciplinary Teams– The National Institute for General Medical Science has released a new funding opportunity announcement (FOA) to support multidisciplinary, collaborative team research in scientific areas within the mission of NIGMS. The Collaborative Program Grant for Multidisciplinary Teams (RM1) seeks to support highly integrated, interdisciplinary teams working toward a common scientific goal. This program replaces NIGMS Program Project Grants (P01) and most of NIGMS’ P50 centers programs (with the exception of the Structural Biology of HIV/AIDS centers). The first receipt date for the new program is January 25, 2018.  RM1 applications should have a unified scientific goal within the NIGMS mission that requires a team with diverse perspectives and expertise in a variety of intellectual or technical areas. NIGMS looks to support projects that are challenging, ambitious, and innovative, with the potential to produce lasting advances in their fields. Unlike many larger programs, NIGMS Collaborative Program Grants require one integrated research plan and a separate management plan that addresses shared leadership, responsibility for decision making and resource allocation, and opportunities for professional development and credit. Optionally, the team can expand to support early stage investigators (ESIs) in pilot projects that enrich program objectives and help the ESIs obtain independent funding. More information about this program can be found here.