All posts by akaragia

Summer DC Internships

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The Fund for American Studies is currently accepting applications for full scholarships to attend Summer 2018 programs in Washington, D.C. through their Leadership Scholars Program.

The Institutes are eight week summer academic internship programs sponsored by The Fund for American Studies in partnership with George Mason University. The programs offer undergraduate students a first-hand look at the U.S. political system through:

  • An internship placement
  • Courses for credit in economics and government
  • Exclusive lectures, briefings and professional development seminars
  • Housing in the heart of Washington, DC

Pavlis Honors College students may receive priority admission and scholarship consideration along with other NCHC members. You are encouraged to apply by the priority deadline of February 7, 2018.

The goal of these programs is to help students close the gap between theory and practice by developing skills to work on today’s most pressing global and domestic policy issues. The Fund for American Studies is committed to providing an educational experience that will prepare students for a successful career in domestic, economic, or foreign policy and beyond.

Scholarship funding is still available and students should apply by the final deadline of March 13, 2018. Visit www.DCinternships.org for more information on admission and program requirements.


Meet Magann Dykema…

By Amy Karagiannakis

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From right to left: Magann Dykema, Brad Turner, and Kathryn Christopher. Photo credit to Patrick Beaudouin.

 

Magann Dykema is committed to spreading a culture of innovation across the Michigan Tech campus. A University Innovation Fellow (UIF) since 2015, Magann is always looking for new opportunities to engage Tech students in innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking and creativity. Fellows work to ensure that their peers gain the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to make a positive impact on the world. Magann’s biggest and most impactful project on Tech’s campus is #uifresh which introduces incoming first-year students to innovation and the entrepreneurial mindset. To date, Michigan Tech’s University Innovation Fellows have engaged with over 4000 incoming first-year students through orientation, exposing them early on to powerful entrepreneurial tools and resources.

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Magann at the March 2017 UIF meetup in Silicon Valley. Photo credit to Ryan Phillips.

Have you visited the Alley yet? The space where the old Michigan Tech bowling alley used to reside was completely redesigned and repurposed to create an open-community workshop incorporating elements of machine shops, wood shops, art studios and computer labs where Michigan Tech students, faculty, and staff can come together to share resources and knowledge to build and make things. Magann is currently the Alley Student Director and collaborated on the design and creation of the new makerspace back in the fall of 2015. Magann worked with Pavlis alum Brad Turner to incorporate a design thinking process to turn an old bowling alley into a multi-functional makerspace that the entire University community could benefit from. The Alley currently has tools and equipment available to use for 3D printing, woodworking, electronics, crafting, and sewing, but Magann hopes to expand these offerings through more donors and sponsorship. The Alley and its associated events and activities are completely student led and student driven. The student team also offers classes, seminars, and workshops. Their mission: to create an environment where everyone in the Michigan Tech community is encouraged and supported by providing a welcoming space, learning opportunities, a maker network, and resources.

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Michigan Tech’s makerspace, the Alley

Last summer, Magann traveled to Brazil to pilot the new Belem site for the Global Leadership pathway in the Pavlis Honors College. Her team’s goal on this initial trip was to determine the needs of the Belem people and develop sustainable solutions that the local community would support. Over five weeks, Magann and her team were able to establish a network of contacts in Brazil, as well as a plethora of resources to aid the next Pavlis team that travels to Belem. Project opportunities for future Pavlis cohorts include stormwater management, English language and STEM education classes, and alternative energy using biofuels. The work and documentation that Magann and her team completed over these initial five weeks in Brazil laid the groundwork for future Pavlis teams to continue to help the people of Belem.

Magann (front, right) in Belem, Brazil for her Pavlis Honors College immersion experience.
Magann (front, right) in Belem, Brazil for her Pavlis Honors College immersion experience.

Magann hails from Norton Shores, MI and is in her fourth year at Michigan Tech. While her focus is in water resources as a Civil Engineering major, her passion is teaching design thinking. IDEO CEO, Tim Brown describes this methodology and mindset, “Design Thinking draws upon logic, imagination, intuition, and systemic reasoning, to explore possibilities of what could be—and to create desired outcomes that match people’s needs with what is technologically feasible and what a viable business strategy can convert into customer value and market opportunity.” Magann has also been an integral part in helping get the new Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship (ICE) established at Michigan Tech. Director of Global Leadership and Co-Director of the Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship, Mary Raber stated, “Magann has really embraced the intent of the Pavlis Honors College by taking advantage of all that Michigan Tech has to offer in order to gain the most from her educational experience.  Participating in the University Innovation Fellows program, spending five weeks living and working in Brazil through the Global Leadership pathway, and helping to lead the new makerspace, are just a few of the ways Magann is making a lasting impact at Tech.”

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Magann crowned at the 2017 Michigan Tech Homecoming.

Having attended Tech’s Summer Youth Program (SYP) in 2012 and 2013 as a high school student, Magann wanted to give back by becoming an SYP counselor herself. Working for the Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship and in collaboration with SYP, Magann developed and taught a design thinking-related summer camp called World of Design. Through the success of this initiative, Magann was also able to offer after-school classes to elementary and middle school-aged children called Discovering Your Creative Confidence and Inner Maker. Magann is the Vice President of MUB Board and was recently crowned Homecoming Royalty. Magann is an avid bowler, a diehard Detroit Tigers fan, and loves exploring the outdoors.


I-Corps Site Program at Michigan Tech

The Michigan Tech I-Corps Site Program and the Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship will be hosting its next NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Workshop beginning January 2018. Dates and times for the upcoming workshop are tentatively scheduled for Jan. 17, Jan. 24, Feb. 14 and Feb. 21 from 5pm-8pm.

The I-Corps Site program is a team-based program structure that was developed through a partnership between the National Science Foundation (NSF) and successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. The workshop provides an introduction to the Lean Start-up business development methodology which focuses on getting out of the lab and using the proven tools of Customer Discovery and the Business Model Canvas to evaluate the commercial potential of innovative technologies.

This is a great opportunity to work with an experienced team of workshop leaders to determine, document, and fully realize the commercial potential of your technology. Teams which successfully complete the program requirements are eligible for $2500 to advance their technology-focused start-up ideas through customer discovery and prototyping. Teams also become eligible for NSF’s National I-Corps program which includes $50,000 in funding.

Participants of I-Corps Site programs and NSF’s National I-Corps have demonstrated significantly higher funding rates from the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) programs which offer Phase I awards up to $225,000 and Phase II awards up to $750,000. Past participants also report that the I-Corps program had a positive impact on their careers, as well as their approach to research, teaching and mentoring.

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Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor, Dr. Andrew Barnard commented on his experience with I-Corps, “Our participation in the I-Corps Site Program at Tech helped us to understand our potential customers and get answers to questions that will steer our research for years to come. It has propelled us to the National I-Corps Program where we’re excited to learn more from our customers about our product idea.”

Apply today for this great experience. For more information on the Michigan Tech I-Corps Site Program or to apply for the January workshop, visit mtu.edu/honors/ice/icorps/.


Meet Laura Schimmel…

By Amy Karagiannakis

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Schimmel in Montserrat, Spain on a study abroad

Laura Schimmel is driven towards making an impact in the environmental sustainability field. Growing up on a small farm in Oxford, MI laid a solid foundation for her interest and education in sustainable development. Peace Corps Prep, within the Pavlis Honors College Community Engagement pathway, is preparing her for the U.S. Peace Corps after graduation.

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Schimmel volunteering at the Niabi Zoo

Laura’s love of animals, along with her commitment to conservation, drew her to volunteering at the Niabi Zoo in Coal Valley, IL last summer for her Pavlis Honors College immersion experience. The zoo’s name comes from the Native American Osage language and means “young deer spared by the hunter.” Laura’s personal interest in conservation and sustainability paralleled with the zoo’s mission to connect the community with nature through conservation leadership and education. As an interpreter in the zoo’s new ocean exhibit, much of her time was spent teaching visitors about tropical fish, sharks, eels and stingrays. Educating local children and adults about the direct connection they have between the Mississippi River basin and the ocean was one of the most rewarding aspects of the experience. “Even though these animals seem exotic, we are more connected to them than it may seem. I refined my ability to communicate scientific information to people spanning a wide range of ages, nationalities, and socioeconomic statuses,” reflected Laura.

While the experience at Niabi was certainly valuable, Laura is excited to pursue more international endeavors through the U.S. Peace Corps after graduation. The federal U.S. Peace Corps volunteer program is highly competitive, generally only accepting one fourth of its annual applicants. The Community Engagement pathway through the Pavlis Honors College offers Peace Corps Prep certification that aligns closely with the skills and training that the U.S. Peace Corps is looking for in its applicants. Peace Corps Prep lays the foundation for Honors students to specialize in an area of international development such as education, health, or the environment

Laura is an active member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Engineers Without Borders (EWB). Through her involvement in SWE since 2015, she has helped organize and participated in various events ranging from pre-college outreach to fund raising. She presented at the 2017 D80 Conference on her EWB team’s work designing and implementing a water system for a rural community in Guatemala. The team is currently trying to organize a trip to Guatemala over the upcoming winter break. Laura’s experiences with EWB have enabled her to apply her engineering education to real world issues that truly benefit communities in need of basic infrastructure.

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Schimmel (right) working with Engineers Without Borders

 

As a member of the Alternative Energy Enterprise (AEE), Laura collaborated on a project with the Keweenaw National Historic Park regarding a geothermal energy system using abandoned mineshafts as the thermal reservoir. She currently writes the blog on the Sustainability Demonstration House project which seeks to retrofit the Kettle Gundlach building (formerly the university president’s residence) with more sustainable energy, water, and gas efficiency. Laura explained her interest in AEE projects, “Living sustainably is not merely a trendy alternative lifestyle for those living in the UP. With electricity costs more than twice as high as the rest of Michigan, and the second highest in the US, living efficiently is absolutely necessary.”

Alternative Energy Enterprise team photo
Alternative Energy Enterprise team photo

Laura Schimmel’s passion for the environment and conservation is fueled by her love for the outdoors. She enjoys hiking and camping and has enjoyed exploring the Keweenaw landscape and other areas of the upper peninsula while at Tech. An avid runner, Laura has accomplished six half marathons and last September completed her first full marathon. Her favorite places in Houghton to run and train are the Tech Trails and along the Portage Canal. Laura is expected to graduate Fall 2018 with bachelor’s degrees in both Materials Science and Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. She is determined to join the Peace Corps after graduation and feels this time in public service will help to build intercultural competency and develop a better understanding of critical global issues. Ultimately, she hopes that her time in the Peace Corps will help give her direction and focus, so that she can continue to make positive impacts in the field of sustainable development. Michigan Tech News recently published a story about Laura Schimmel and the Peace Corps Prep program.

Laura volunteering at the UP Science Fair
Laura volunteering at the UP Science Fair

 


Mount Vernon Leadership Fellows Program Now Accepting Applications

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The Mount Vernon Leadership Fellows program is a competitive six week long summer leadership program that takes place just outside of Washington, D.C. at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. The program offers a small, select group of rising college juniors unparalleled opportunities in the nation’s capital and on the famous estate of the first President of the United States. The program is fully funded and offers a $3000 stipend plus room, board and transportation expenses. During your six week fellowship you will engage in dynamic leadership education curriculum, interact with nationally recognized corporate, government, and military leaders in the nation’s capital, and discover how to change the world through self-reflection, exciting experiential activities, and a community service-focused capstone project.

Apply today and take advantage of this amazing opportunity to develop a network of professional contacts and become a lifelong member of an engaged community of fellowship alumni. The deadline to apply is January 31, 2018. This year’s program runs from May 26 – July 6, 2018. Please visit the Mount Vernon Leadership Fellows site for more information.


Josh Jay and Robert Lambert Named University Innovation Fellows

Congratulations to Josh Jay and Robert Lambert who have been named University Innovation Fellows (UIF) by Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school). This global program trains student leaders to create new opportunities for their peers to engage with innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking and creativity.

The University Innovation Fellows Program empowers students to become agents of change at Michigan Tech. Fellows work to ensure that their peers gain the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to make a positive impact on the world.

“During training, Fellows gain skills, mindsets and knowledge to face ever-more complex challenges at their schools and in the world,” said Humera Fasihuddin, co-director of the University Innovation Fellows program. “They learn frameworks like design thinking and lean startup, which help them analyze their campus ecosystems, understand the needs of others, and uncover opportunities for change. As a result, Fellows design learning experiences that better prepare peers for their careers.”

Robert Lambert
Robert Lambert
Josh Jay
Josh Jay

Jay and Lambert were sponsored by Pavlis Honors College Assistant Dean, Mary Raber. Michigan Tech’s Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship funded the Fellows’ six week online training. These students, along with Raber and Tech’s other Fellows, will travel to the biannual University Innovation Fellows Silicon Valley Meetup next month. During the meetup, Fellows will take part in immersive experiences at Stanford’s d.school and Google, and work with leaders in education and industry. They will participate in experiential workshops and exercises focused on topics including movement building, innovation spaces, design of learning experiences, and new models for change in higher education.

“In traditional education systems, students have to wait until they graduate to make a difference. We don’t believe that,” said Leticia Britos Cavagnaro, co-director of the University Innovation Fellows program. “Students are uniquely equipped to make a difference while they’re in school; they know best what other students want and need. Our Fellows are working with their peers, faculty and administrators to co-design a different educational experience and bring about change where it’s needed most.”

Tech’s new Fellows will advocate for lasting change by creating opportunities for students across campus to engage in more activities and events that inspire innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking and creativity. If you’d like to learn more about the program, visit http://bit.ly/UIF-Fall2017.

 


Meet Kyle Ludwig…

By Amy Karagiannakis

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Planning meals and eating healthy can be challenging for college students. Sometimes finding the time (and money) to go grocery shopping and cooking your own meals can seem like impossible tasks. Yet, studies show that meal planning can lead to healthier eating habits, a more active lifestyle, and a great amount of savings. If there was a mobile app that could recommend healthy meals that you actually want to eat, provide recipes, and generate grocery lists, while tracking your nutrition progress automatically, would you download it? Kyle Ludwig expects you will, and not just students, but also busy, young professionals. He plans to launch his app, Looma on Indiegogo this coming December. Looma didn’t just happen overnight, and really not even in the last year. Looma has been through many iterations, design concepts, ideas, and names since Kyle came to Tech as a transfer student from Traverse City, MI in 2015.

Kyle joined Pavlis Honors College in 2015 as a Custom Pathway student with a focus on entrepreneurship. His Pavlis mentor and advisor, Jim Baker recalled how far Kyle has come, “Kyle has done an amazing job of developing a network of advisors, mentors, and team members to bring his company through a series of transformations and accomplishments on the path from idea to reality.  Entrepreneurship and taking someone’s ideas into the market requires a constructive balance of persistence and agility which Kyle has exemplified and which will serve him substantially throughout his career and life.” Kyle participated in Michigan Tech’s I-Corps Site Program in 2016 with a very different version of Looma, then called TRU. TRU was merely an idea at that time that focused more on personal medical diagnostics than nutrition and wellness. Kyle’s long-term career goal is still to work on blood diagnostics technology for personal health applications, but Looma has taken him on an unexpected, but welcome detour. “The I-Corp Site Program at Michigan Tech helped me realize the direction for my business by introducing me to processes which inspire product development around the customer.”

Kyle Ludwig and Adam Weber accepting their check for Best Technology at the Bob Mark Elevator Pitch Competition.
Kyle Ludwig and Adam Weber accepting their check for Best Technology at the Bob Mark Elevator Pitch Competition.

Since his participation in I-Corps, Kyle has competed in numerous pitch competitions all over the state of Michigan. He won $1000 for Best Technology at the Bob Mark Elevator Pitch in 2016 and competed in the New Venture Competition at Central Michigan University. TRU was also one of 27 semi-finalists out of 70 student company applicants from across Michigan that was selected to compete for up to $20,000 in cash prizes at the 2016 Accelerate Michigan Competition. While TRU did not walk away with a check, the startup’s founder did gain experience and new ideas for how to improve. Now a 2017 semi-finalist, Kyle will have the chance to compete at the Accelerate Michigan competition again, but this time with Looma.

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Ludwig competing at Accelerate Michigan 2016 in Detroit

Kyle was named University Innovation Fellow (UIF) by Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school) last October, along with two other Michigan Tech students. This global program trains student leaders to create new opportunities for their peers to engage with innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking and creativity. The Pavlis Honors College Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship funded the fellow’s six week online training and their travel to the UIF Silicon Valley Meetup last March. Kyle, along with the other Tech UIFs are committed to creating opportunities for students across campus to engage in more activities and events that inspire innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking and creativity.

UIF Meetup in Silicon Valley, March 2017
UIF Meetup in Silicon Valley, March 2017

This past summer, Kyle had the opportunity to intern at Ford’s Research and Innovation Center in Palo Alto, CA. Ford is currently looking to expand into all modes of transportation. Palo Alto focuses on developing technologies that will come in the next 5-10 years, including working closely with self-driving vehicle technology that’s announced for release in 2021. Through his work with Ford, Kyle was able to collaborate with individuals from IDEO at Greenfield Labs, Stanford University, and Argo. While in Palo Alto, he developed mobile apps to improve efficiency for Ford employees. Kyle also conducted a team study to improve Agile workflow and led groups in patent ideation using the design thinking practices he learned from his UIF training.

Kyle is expected to graduate in May of 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering. While he always makes time for his school work, Looma has been monopolizing most of his waking hours. When asked about the anticipated upcoming launch, Kyle responded, “We’ll be on Indiegogo in December, just in time for New Year’s resolutions. Looma will launch for iOS after the campaign in 2018.” If you’d like to learn more about Looma or sign up for the limited iOS pre-release, visit https://livelooma.com/.

 


Rekhi Innovation Challenge

superiorideaslogoThe Rekhi Innovation Challenge is a crowdfunding competition to promote and support student innovation and entrepreneurship through the use of Superior Ideas.

The team that raises the most money will receive a monetary match, up to $5,000, and additional awards will also be offered. The challenge will run from November 10 through March 31.

Projects must be submitted by 3pm November 3 in order to enter into the competition. For additional information on the challenge, contact Natasha Chopp.


NOAA Undergraduate Scholarship Opportunities

noaascholarshiprecipientsThe National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently announced the availability of scholarships for undergraduate students majoring in disciplines related to oceanic and atmospheric science, research, or technology, and supportive of the purposes of NOAA’s programs and mission. Over 100 students are selected each year for participation in the Ernest F. Hollings (Hollings) and Educational Partnership Program (EPP) scholarship programs. These scholarships include support for two years of undergraduate study and summer internship opportunities at NOAA facilities across the country.

For information on program benefits and how to apply, visit the following web sites:

Educational Partnership Program Undergraduate Scholarship: www.noaa.gov/eppscholarship

Application Deadline:  January 31, 2018

Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship: www.noaa.gov/hollings

Application Deadline: January 31, 2018

Eligibility Requirements:

  • US Citizen
  • 3.0 GPA (Hollings) or 3.2 GPA (EPP)
  • Full-time second year student at an accredited four-year undergraduate program or third year student at a five-year undergraduate program
  • Majoring in NOAA mission disciplines, including but not limited to: atmospheric science, biology, cartography, chemistry, computer science, education, engineering, environmental science, geodesy, geography, marine science, mathematics, meteorology, oceanography, physical science, photogrammetry, physics, etc.
  • Enrolled at a Minority Serving Institution (EPP Scholarship only)

For further information, contact the Office of Education Scholarship Programs at: StudentScholarshipPrograms@noaa.gov or (301) 628-2913.


Laura Kasson Fiss and Andrew Fiss Interviewed on The Anthill

logo-7eb5f99842eee4b04f0d879253705740The Anthill, a podcast of news outlet The Conversation (UK), ran an interview with Laura Kasson Fiss (Pavlis Honors College) and Andrew Fiss (HU), as well as recordings of songs they performed as part of their presentation at the British Science Festival. Their research considers songs as science communication, in this case nineteenth-century women using parody to defend their right to study traditionally male subjects such as mathematics. Check out this link to hear more about their presentation and the British Science Festival.