Archives—November 2015

UP-STEAM Summer Workshops

UP-STEAMMichigan Technological University in the Upper Peninsula is organizing summer week-long workshops starting in June 2016 for academics interested in the interrelation of the liberal arts, humanities, and STEM fields at the college level. Following movements in K-12 education, we seek to address for higher education the observation that STEM plus Arts = STEAM, and that STEAM is crucial to universities, especially tech-heavy ones.

Our first workshop will take place June 13-17, 2016, on the campus of Michigan Tech.  We will bring faculty, campus leaders, and researchers together to discuss the state of the liberal arts, humanities, and sciences in higher education. Located near the tip of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on Lake Superior, Michigan Tech is a tourist destination for many people from the Midwest and beyond.

Convening Committee

Andy Fiss (Humanities) writes and teaches about the communication of science and the history of STEM education. He is especially interested in mathematics education and in its intermittent partnerships with science education, engineering education, arts education, and language education.

Scott Marratto (Humanities) works on philosophy of technology.

Patricia Sotirin (Humanities) works on communication, language, and gender.

Ron Strickland (Humanities) writes on the cultural politics of the Humanities and higher education. He is Chair of the Department of Humanities at Michigan Tech.

Steven Walton (Social Sciences) is a historian of technology and science with a background in mechanical engineering. He studies how technical systems are developed and how technicians make sense of their systems and their wider role in society.

For questions, please contact Jacqueline Ellenich, UP-STEAM Coordinator at (906) 487-2008 or jmelleni@mtu.edu



Elie Wiesel Essay Contest

Every year the Elie Wiesel Foundation presents awards to college students for top essays on ethics. First prize is $5,000. This year’s prompt is: Articulate with clarity an ethical issue that you have encountered and analyze what it has taught you about ethics and yourself.

Note this topic is only a suggestion. Students may write about any topic they wish, as long as it explores the theme of ethics. Essays must be submitted by Dec. 14. Find out more here.

(This article first appeared in Tech Today.)


Roxane Gay Wins 2015 PEN Center USA Freedom to Write Award

Roxane Gay
Roxane Gay

English professor Roxane Gay will recognized by PEN Center USA, a literary and human rights organization, at the 25th Annual Literary Awards Festival on November 16, 2015. Gay received her PhD from Michigan Tech in 2009 in Rhetoric and Technical Communication. She has received acclaim for her novel An Untamed State and her bestselling essay collection Bad Feminist.

“The freedom to write,” Gay said about winning the award, “has been one of my life’s greatest blessings and it is a freedom that should be available to everyone who wants or needs to share their voice,” says Gay. “I am thankful that organizations like PEN Center USA are doing the necessary work to ensure that such freedom is protected. It is humbling to be considered worthy of such an award. I am thrilled and honored.”

Read more about her accomplishments at the Literary Hub, by Jonathan Russell Clark.

Gay’s recent article in The Opinion Pages of the New York Times, Where Are Black Children Safe?, has been widely circulated.

Technology has made the world a panopticon. It has widened the range of who watches and who is watched. Each day, we learn of a new injustice against the black body and in many cases, we now have pictures, videos. We have incontrovertible evidence of flagrant brutalities though, sadly and predictably, this evidence is never enough. At some point, this evidence, these breathtaking, sickening images, will render us numb or they will break our hearts irreparably. There is no respite from the harsh reminder that our black bodies are not safe. The black bodies of those we love are not safe.

Read more at the New York Times, by Roxane Gay.