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NSF ASSIST Travel Grant Opportunity

Apply for the NSF ASSIST Travel Grant to attend the Academic and Research Leadership Symposium at the National Society of Black Engineers Annual Convention in Pittsburgh, PA March 21-25, 2018.

Apply here:

The Academic and Research Leadership Symposium (ARLS) is co-located with the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Annual Convention. The ARL Symposium has two threads: (1) a faculty development thread, and (2) a research networking thread. The faculty development thread hosts workshops organized by members of the ARL network that strengthen and demystify fundamental components of academia. The researcher development and networking thread is critical to the goal of a self-sustaining ARL ecosystem.  Through funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), NSBE is able to fund up to 40 early-career faculty, post-doctoral scholars, and Ph.D. candidates to attend ARLS (NSF Grant #EEC-1548319).

ASSIST Travel Grants
Travel grants will cover expenses incurred to attend the Academic and Research Leadership Symposium (ARLS) and NSBE National Convention up to $2,000.  Eligible expenses include airfare, lodging, registration, meals, and other travel costs (e.g., parking). When you apply to attend, you will be asked to indicate which expenses you need grant funds to cover.

ASSIST Eligibility Requirements
Applicants for ASSIST Travel Grants must be early-career faculty members, post-doctoral professionals, or graduate students, and must meet the following criteria:

  • Faculty applicants must have held their appointment for five years or less.
  • Faculty and post-doctoral applicants must hold engineering appointments in an ABET accredited institution; and faculty from two-year colleges must teach STEM-related courses.
  • Post-doctoral applicants must have completed a Ph.D. in engineering within 48 months prior to their application.
  • Graduate students must be within one year of graduating with an engineering degree, in good academic standing, and enrolled as full or part time students.
  • ASSIST Travel Grant recipients must be US Citizens or have permanent resident status.

Application Process
A complete application includes

  • Responses to a short set of eligibility questions.
  • Statement of Interest – describe what you hope to gain by participating in the event and how the experience will benefit you and your career.
  • Statement of Diversity Contribution – describe your contributions to engineering diversity as well as your future diversity-related goals.
  • NSF Bio – A biographical sketch that adheres to NSF guidelines.

The deadline for applying to attend Academic and Research Leadership Symposium (ARLS) is December 31, 2017, 11:59 pm PST, and applicants will be notified of decisions by January 26, 2018.

Fall 2017 Finishing Fellowship Recipients

The Graduate School is pleased to announce the awarding of Finishing Fellowships for doctoral candidates. Fellowships are available through the generosity of alumni and friends of the University. They are intended to recognize outstanding PhD candidates who are in need of financial support to finish their degrees.

(listed by nominating department)

Fall 2017 Recipients

Atmospheric Sciences
Pei Hou

Biological Sciences
Kavitha Satish Kumar

Chemical Engineering
Rui Shi

Civil and Environmental Engineering
Ting Bao
Amaneh Eslami Kenarsari
Shuaicheng Guo

Electrical Engineering
Navid Pourramzan Gandji
Xu Zhang

Materials Science and Engineering
Liang Chang

Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Brandon Jackson

Shiva Bhandari
Teresa Wilson

Portage Health Foundation Fall 2017 Kevin Sunderland

Kevin Sunderland
Biomedical Engineering

Kevin Sunderland            The sciences have been an interest of mine ever since my high-school years, but it was studying how the human body functions (and its numerous dysfunctions) that I found the most fascinating. This interest might be contributed to my (rather unfortunate) exposure to a variety of health problems that have impacted a number of my family and friends over the years. While people close to me have suffered from a variety of health concerns, but it was having to watch a family member struggle with neurological damage that I found the hardest to deal with. It wasn’t just how neurological damage can forever change a person, but it was also seeing how much the person’s family and friends also suffer when these conditions strike a loved one.

I pursued a degree in biology in college, and knew that after my undergraduate education I wanted to focus on health research. I was fortunate enough after college to begin working alongside a multidisciplinary research group that brought together talent from clinicians, nurse scientists, and engineers to study a variety of complex health issues. It was during this time that I was able to see just how much advances in technology lead the way in researching medical conditions and impacting the next generation of health. This drove me to pursue my graduate education and research in a place where I could combine my academic interests in health with current advances in technology. I have been lucky enough to find such an ideal place with the community here at Michigan Tech.  Continue reading

Doctoral Finishing Fellowships Fall 2017 Teresa Wilson

Teresa Wilson

Teresa WilsonBefore entering graduate school, I earned my BA in Mathematics at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA and taught middle and high school STEM classes at an all-girls school in Post Falls, ID. I began my graduate studies here at Michigan Tech in Fall 2012. I am currently a PhD Candidate in Physics working with Dr. Robert Nemiroff. I research and develop new methods to predict sunrise and sunset times, specifically looking at how to better implement atmospheric refraction into the currently used sunrise/set algorithms. During my studies at Michigan Tech, I have been able to create a collaboration with the Astronomical Applications Department at the US Naval Observatory with the help of Dr. Jennifer Bartlett, their Software Division Chief. This collaboration has led to three successful summers of research on the development of a new sunrise/set algorithm at their facilities in Washington, DC as part of the Naval Research Enterprise Internship Program.

Michigan Tech has provided me an environment in which I was able to take the initiative to follow my research interests and create an outside network to achieve my goals. I am grateful to the Graduate School and the Dean’s Advisory Panel for providing me with the support of the Finishing Fellowship. This fellowship allows me the opportunity to focus on writing my dissertation and complete it in a timely manner.


Michigan Tech is coming to Thailand

Pushpa Murthy, Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School will be traveling to Bangkok with Jacque Smith, Director of Graduate Enrollment Services at Michigan Technological University. They will be attending the OCSC International Education Expo 2017 on November 11th and 12th (

We would like to encourage you to stop by our OCSC Expo booth (B6) and say hi and help us recruit more Thai students for Michigan Tech. On Sunday, when the OCSC Expo ends (18:00) please consider meeting us at the Michigan Tech booth and we will be happy to host an Alumni dinner, please register HERE. We will give you updates and answer your questions on what’s happening on campus.

Portage Health Foundation Fall 2017 Ashok Khanal

Ashok Khanal
Ashok Khanal

I received my Master degree in organic chemistry from Nepal. The final touch that shaped my interest in organic chemistry came after studying different iconic organic reactions and synthesis that had pushed the limit of human endeavors to synthesize molecules to catch up with the escalating need for the drug, and brought new avenues in the field of chemistry. I began my PhD at Michigan Tech in Jan 2012. I published different papers in peer-reviewed journal.  My research focuses on stepwise solid phase synthesis of PEGs and measurement of mechanical force of single covalent bond.

This Portage Health Foundation fellowship helps me to write my dissertation. I would like to thank my advisor, graduate school and Portage Health Foundation for the achievement.

Michigan Tech in India

Pushpa Murthy, Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School will be traveling in India in late October, 2017. She will be in Bangalore on Sunday, October 22 and would like to meet with Tech alumni in India, catch up with news at your end, and share what is happening at Michigan Tech and in Houghton.

If you are interested in meeting up for tea around 4pm on October 22, please contact Mary Stevens at prior to October 11th to RSVP. A venue will be set once we know how many people will be joining us.

Portage Health Foundation Fall 2017 Wenkai Jia

Wenkai Jia
Biomedical Engineering
Wenkai Kia

My name is Wenkai (Vicky) Jia, and I am from a seaside city located in northeast China. My interests are in biology and chemistry and I chose Bio-functional Materials as my undergraduate major in Beijing University of Chemical Technology. I joined Dr. Feng Zhao’s lab in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and kept working in the area of tissue engineering from 2015. My current research is applying stem cells as regenerative medicine to treat lymphedema and investigating the mechanism underneath. We anticipate that stem cell therapy could cure lymphedema and it would perform better and be more promising than conventional treatments.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowships Fall 2017 Liang Chang

Liang Chang
Materials Science and Engineering
Liang Chang

Liang Chang received her BS and MS degrees in Materials Science and Engineering from Wuhan University of Technology in China. Now, she is pursuing her PhD degree in MTU from 2013 under the instruction of Prof. Yun Hang Hu. Currently, her research focuses on electrode materials for supercapacitors, carbon electrodes for CDI water treatment, and 2D transition metal dichalcogenides for devices. After 4 years systematic training, she is confident and looks forward to fulfilling her career in contributing to energy storage area.