Community Matters

Hi everyone,

I hope the week is off to a good start for you!  In the midst of the excitement around the quickly-approaching break, I wanted to take a minute to reflect on the significance of the upcoming holiday, and how that relates to our time here at Michigan Tech.  I know, that sounds really cheesy, but don’t tune out on me yet!

One of the most emphasized values of Michigan Tech is its sense of community.  I’ve always been really impressed that these aren’t just a collection of words that look good on a mission statement, Michigan Tech really means it!  For a lot of us, our campus is really far away from our hometowns, and with winters being what they are here in the U.P, most of us can’t manage to go home for a weekend visit on a regular basis.  Therefore, it’s really important to find your niche here on campus, and in the Houghton community, to find your Michigan Tech family!  This doesn’t mean that you have to be a constant social butterfly with scores of friends (unless you want to be!).  Rather, I mean that there is immense value in finding a place in the Michigan Tech community where you feel you belong, and make connections with people who make you feel welcome, and are there for you.  In turn, it is crucial that you return the favor.  There are few compliments higher than being a good friend, being accepting, empathetic, and non-judgmental toward each fellow member of the Michigan Tech community.

We’re in this journey of higher education and self-discovery together, and our community is what we make it!  Let’s renew our drive for making Michigan Tech (our home away from home) a safe, fun, and tolerant place for everyone.

So in the spirit of community, diversity, and learning, don’t forget that this week is International Education Week.  Keep an eye out for events that might interest you:

I hope you all have a wonderful break!  Happy Thanksgiving, and safe travels!


Movie Night!

Hello fellow transfer students,

I hope you had a great weekend, and that Week 11 is off to a good start! We’re on the final stretch before Thanksgiving break, so keep up the good work; you’re almost there!  Since this is such a busy time, it is always good to take some time to relax and have fun.

That being said, don’t forget that tonight is our Transfer Student Movie night in Fisher 230!  We’ll be meeting at 6pm to watch “Free Birds” (a Thanksgiving-themed animated comedy), and enjoy some snacks.  You’ve earned it, and this event is just for you, so I hope to see you there!

Check out this website to learn more about tonight’s movie:


On a more serious note, use this week and a half before Thanksgiving wisely!  Make sure you are keeping up with homework and other assignments, and that you know exactly what is due immediately after the break.  It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of going home and enjoying the holiday, but before your vacation begins, make sure that every assignment is turned in, and that you have a gameplan for working on the assignments that will be due when you get back.  When you are home, set aside just a little time to work on upcoming projects.  Remember, there will be just two more weeks of class once we return from Thanksgiving break, so you don’t want to have to scramble to get things done in that short amount of time.

So, be aware of what needs to be done, stay up-to-date on homework, and don’t completely forget about academics over the break; these strategies will all help you stay ahead, and avoid excessive sleep deprivation when preparing for finals!

Week 10? Bring it on!

Hey everyone,

I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween!  Can you believe that it’s November 3rd, and the sun is shining like nobody’s business?!  As I mentioned in my last post, we usually have a good layer of snow on the ground by now, so this mild weather is a nice change of pace for this time of year!  Equally unbelievable is that we’re already on Week 10 of the semester!  Perhaps it’s because I know I will be graduating in the Spring, but this semester seems to have flown by incredibly quickly!  Most of us are probably already thinking about final projects, and all the other last details of the semester.

As the end of the semester quickly approaches, it can be easy to run out of steam; the majority of the work is over anyway, right?  Well, yeah, it’s true that we have come a long way, and that we’re almost done with our Fall classes, but try not to get too caught up in looking ahead.  Those final projects still need to be finished, those last few exams need to be taken.  You’ve made it this far, just keep up the great work!  I know, it’s a challenge to use the upcoming Thanksgiving and semester breaks as motivators to keep going, without losing focus of the tasks at hand, but I have all confidence that you can do just that.

I also wanted to include the following dates as a quick reminder of what is coming up:

Friday, November 6th: Last day to drop full semester course with a “W”

Friday, November 20th: Thanksgiving Recess begins at 10pm

Monday, November 30th: Classes Resume

I’ll keep you updated as other key dates approach.  And remember that you can always check the academic calendar at

Hang in there guys, Thanksgiving is almost here!


Looking Ahead

I know I’ll regret writing this, but I can’t believe how nice the weather has been lately!  For those of you who have been at Tech for a while, you know what I’m talking about, and for those preparing to spend their first winter here, you’ll know soon enough!  Now, I don’t want to make the snow, ice, and cold of the U.P seem so harrowing.  Indeed, I was really nervous about moving here and facing the notorious winters, even though I had lived in Lower Michigan my whole life, and was no stranger to the harsh season.  But when I got here, and the first snow fell in mid-October (hence my surprise at this year’s weather!), I began to realize that winter is a way of life here in the U.P. Yes, people complain, yes the weather is a hassle, and sometimes downright brutal, but it is also an endearing part of living here.  My first year here, I watched students and locals alike don coats and boots fit for the Arctic, and wade through snow that reached past their knees.  Through all these hardships of the Houghton winter, people just shake their heads, a knowing smile teasing at their lips, and say, “That’s the UP for ya!” Now, in my senior year, having braved countless snowstorms, felt the pain of leaving my gloves at home, and making a habit of wearing two pairs of socks, I find myself adopting the same resignation.  Even though the winters here can be harsh, they also bring the campus to life, especially when the snow first falls.  So, ultimately, I encourage you to embrace the (roughly) six months of snow that lie ahead, and find at least one thing that you enjoy doing during the winter.  Visit the OAP ( and rent some snowshoes to take on the Tech Trails, head over to Mont Ripley ( and try your hand at skiing or snowboarding!  Or, if you’re like me, and prefer to remain inside where it’s warm, try to find a hobby that will keep you busy on those days when going outside just isn’t gonna happen!  There is a lot to do on campus, even when winter is at its peak, so I encourage you to take part in whatever interests you!

Plans for the Weekend?

Hi everyone,

Thank you again to those who were able to make it to our first gathering of the semester!  It was great to meet you, and I hope that you’ll be able to make it to our next event.  Until then, I wanted to alert you to some of the fun events going on around campus that are worth keeping in mind if you’re looking for something to do.

First, there is the 41N Film Festival, which begins this Friday, and ends on Sunday.  This is a compilation of independent films, and is free to students and community members!  You will have the opportunity to see some interesting and engaging films, and to interact with directors, producers, and critics.  I would definitely encourage you to check out the festival’s schedule: and see what interests you.

Also coming up this weekend is a benefit concert to support Michelle Crisz-Brill:

Michelle is a PhD student in Forestry and a returned Peace Corps Volunteer who has recently been diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. A benefit concert will be held at the Continental Fire Company on Saturday October 24th from 6-11 PM.

Don’t miss out on this rocking evening at the Continental Fire Co in support of the wonderful Michelle and her husband Kyle! Doors open at 6 pm, Silent Auction, and Live music from 7 pm featuring Samuel Akbar and the Traps, Electric Park, Erika Vye and Steve Brimm, and other local musicians who will share their talent.

See the Facebook Event for more information or donate directly to a GoFundMe account set up for her.

If you have questions about this event, please contact Jarod Maggio (

I hope these suggestions are helpful in planning your weekend!  Otherwise, just try to get outside and enjoy this awesome weather!

Here’s What’s Happening

Happy Week Seven, everyone!

I hope classes are going well, and that you have had a chance to go out and enjoy our last few days of sunshine!  It’s hard to believe that the semester is almost halfway over already!  With time quickly passing, there is so much approaching: the start of Track B, Halloween, spring registration, Thanksgiving, and all the classes, homework, and exams in between!

Don’t forget to check the Registration Priority Schedule: to see when you are able to register for Spring/Summer 2016 classes, and remember to speak with your advisor to make sure you are signing up for all the right classes.  I know it seems easy to manage your schedule alone, but talking to your advisor is really helpful for keeping on track.

This is the time of year when many students can feel overwhelmed, but know that you’re not alone!  We all understand the position of being a transfer student, and dealing with the stresses of adjusting to a new school, while keeping up with assignments.  Take a deep breath!  We can help each other!  Don’t forget that I hold office hours every week (Mondays, Wednesdays 12:30-1:30pm, and Tuesdays 2-4pm), so feel free to stop by if you have questions, or just need to talk.

And, as a final reminder, there is an immediate opportunity for you to take a break, mingle with fellow transfer students, and enjoy some free food while you’re at it!

Tonight is our Transfer/Commuter Student Pizza Social!

Fisher 125 at 5pm

Come enjoy good company and free pizza!


It’s Week 6! So….?

Hi all,

Well, here we are, Week 6; the semester is well under way, and our days are filled with lectures, labs, homework, and (hopefully) some fun and relaxation!  The fall colors are really starting to come out now, and I am reminded of why I chose to transfer to Michigan Tech.  When I first visited this campus, the trees were aglow in beatiful shades of red, orange, and yellow; it looked like the hills across the canal were on fire!  I fell in love with the atmosphere of Houghton, and how close to nature the campus truly is.  This similarity to the community college I’d been attending downstate made my transition to Michigan Tech much easier: I could look out my window, see the lovely colors of autumn in a cool breeze, and feel completely at home.

So, in the midst of autumn foliage, steadily-declining temperatures, and oh so much school work, how can we take a moment to celebrate this fantastic season, and enjoy the great outdoors before winter sets in???

Weel, there is always something to do on campus, and this coming weekend is no exception!  Attend one or both of these terrific events to show your support for the football and hockey teams, and have a lot of fun in the process:

The Michigan Tech hockey team, in partnership with the Blue Line Club, will be hosting a special pre-game event at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena prior to the Huskies game vs. Laurentian on Friday, Oct. 9. Doors to the arena will open at 5 p.m.
  • Three varieties of chili will be provided and beverages will be available for purchase in LampLighters, a new cordoned-off area with alcohol sales in the west concourse of the arena.
  • Additionally, the Blue Line Club will be giving away beer mugs to the first 100 fans age 21-and-older in attendance and will hold a raffle for Huskies North Suite tickets to the game against Northern Michigan on Oct. 24
  • The Kid’s Zone is also scheduled to open early with face painting and a chance to meet Blizzard T. Husky available in the Puck Pit. An interactive green screen will also be set up where fans will be able to appear in content that will be shown on the arena video board.
  • Dirk Hembroff, the radio voice of Michigan Tech hockey, will be hosting Mix 93’s pregame show live from the beer garden and TV6 is scheduled to be on hand for live look-ins to the event.
  • LSGi Fund is sponsoring and giving away a 1000 t-shirts for students that night as part of the home opener celebrations. Students are encouraged to line up early for their Experience Tech seats and the t-shirts.


Join us for the Homecoming Tailgate!!!

  • Show your support for the Huskies, enjoy FREE FOOD, high-five Blizzard, play some yard games, and have lots of fun! Everyone is welcome – just have your student ID or a ticket for the Homecoming Football Game!
  • Menu includes a BBQ sandwich bar, BBQ Beef, Pulled Pork, Chicken Tinga, cookies, lemonade, hot chocolate, and more!  Alcohol will be available for purchase – Bring your ID.
  • Sponsored by University Dining Services with additional help from Athletics, Family Weekend, Alumni Relations, and Student Activities.
This weekend is also Family Weekend, so be sure to check out some of the great events happening here:
Otherwise, if you’re not into crowds, try going for a hike or bike ride on the Tech Trails, rent a canoe or kayak and paddle on the Portage, or just find a quiet spot outside to read or study, and enjoy the scenery!

Hey everyone,

I hope that the first few weeks of the semester have gone well for you, and that you have had good luck at the Career Fair today!  It’s hard to believe that the first month of Fall 2015 is almost over, and now most of us are taking (or preparing to take) our first exams.

I know we transfer students have been through this process before, and your first exams and assigments at Michigan Tech can seem pretty mundane as they approach.   However, at least for me, it was a process to find my study/preparation niche when I first transferred here from a small community college down state.  Learning to adjust to life on a new campus, sitting in large classrooms, and just finding out what it takes to succeed here were experiences that filled the weeks of my first semester at Michigan Tech.  And before I knew it, it was time to take four exams in one week!  Before coming to Michigan Tech, I had a rudimentary system for time-management, but, I soon learned that this is an essential component of college life.  Now, in my senior year at Michigan Tech, I have discovered many “tricks of the trade” for academic success, that I wanted to share with you here:

1. Take the time to keep a detailed, up-to-date planner.  This will help you stay organized, give you a visual idea of exactly what you need to do each day, and help you avoid forgetting due dates, appointments, etc.

2. Prioritize your activities.  Try making a to-do list each day (you can even write this in your planner), and list what you have to do by order of significance.  For example, if you have an assignment that is due the next day, completing that assignment should probably be at the top of your to-do list!

3. Utilize the resources available to you on campus.  If you are struggling with a class, go to a learning center; the coaches are very knowledgeable, and always willing to help.

4. Try not to cram!  I know we have all heard this before, but it’s advice worth considering!  If you can help it, you should always try to avoid cramming for an exam; this isn’t a good way to learn, and in the long-run, you probably won’t remember much of the material.

These are just a few of the fundamentals that have helped me in my time at Michigan Tech,  and I hope they are useful for you as well!

…And speaking of success: I also wanted to remind you all that the 2015 Studnet Sucess Summit will be taking place this coming Saturday (October 3rd)!

image127265-scolI encourage you all to check out this event, as there will be a great deal of information that can be invaluable to college students, regardless of their major or year!

You can learn more about this event at

Challenge: Tenacity

So I recently started re-watching House of Cards, a famous Netflix series, and I’m remembering why I was so deeply infatuated with it originally. It’s a story following Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) as he schemes his way up the ladder in politics after being betrayed by some of his closest colleagues.

In one of the episodes Frank begins one of his beloved monologues as he talks directly to the audience and shares his inner thoughts. In referring to a fellow congressman that he is meeting with, he attempts to find out if the man is with him or against him. In doing so, he says, “now we will see if he is truly a wolf or if he will join the herd as another sheep”. This is an old saying, sure, but I believe it can apply to many situations and represents a paradigm not many share.

This mode of thinking requires one to stretch their comfort zone and try new things or to go against the grain. If you have come to Michigan Technological University to gain a renowned education, congratulations, but that doesn’t mean that your dream company will hire you. Today, many companies are looking for the wolves, for the students that stand out from rest.

As a transfer student, you already stand out. You have shown that not only are you capable of pursuing a post-secondary education, but that you can do it anywhere you choose! That shows drive, determination, and one of our values at Michigan Tech: Tenacity, “We Inspire Tenacity”. You are an example of what Michigan Tech values.


So how else can you demonstrate tenacity, that drive of the wolf? Next time you are in class and a professor asks, “Any questions?” don’t hesitate to raise your hand. Instead, ask that question if you don’t understand what was discussed. Have you gone to your professor’s office hours to get a better understanding of the material that you are struggling with? These are just a couple examples of how you can do little things that typically go against the grain but can help train your brain to demonstrate your tenacity.

So I want to end my monologue to you with a challenge. Before spring break happens, I challenge you to be tenacious, to go against the grain, and to push yourself to stretch your comfort zone here at Michigan Tech. Go to a Rozsa event, go to a learning center to get help on course material, or look into summer internships or coops at Career Services.

If you complete this challenge, email me at and I will choose a few stories to include in the next blog (anonymously, of course). I hope you have a great Spring Break and have some time to binge watch your favorite Netflix series!

Travis Slooter
Transfer Assistant

Upcoming Events:
Fall Registration begins March 19th, make sure to meet with an academic advisor if you need to see which classes to take,


It’s almost that week everyone! If you haven’t started studying yet, then you should definitely start now! We had a pretty good turn out yesterday at the transfer/commuter study session and we are expecting a good number of people for the Sunday session from 5-7pm in Fisher 125.  Here are some other tips to help prepare you for finals week:

Study in short bursts! It doesn’t help to study for hours if you’re staring at the same sentence indefinitely. Break it up in to chapters or sections. When you finish one, reward yourself with a short break and then start on the next.

Find your study niche. Some people like to study alone where it is quiet. Other prefer to study in groups. Figure out what works best for you and stick to it! There is no point in studying with lots of people if you can only work alone.

Manage your time. Yes finals week is always very stressful and ridiculously busy. It’s best to go into the week with a plan. Devote time to sit at your desk and get work done, as well as time to blow off steam with  exercise or playing video games.  Everyone deserves a  little break now and then.

Get plenty of sleep. You may think its a good idea to cram all your studying into the night before an exam. Well think again! The body needs sleep in order to function properly. So study the day before and slip into bed 8-10 hours before your exam and get some shuteye!

Eat!!! Your body also needs food to function. Try to eat 3-5 meals everyday; that’s why you have unlimited swipes in the residence halls. You may be in the library for hours, but take some snacks with you to munch on. Everyone needs some brain food!

Last of all, JUST RELAX! Some people make finals week way more stressful than it needs to be. While it is very important to take classes seriously, remember it’s not the end of the world. Everyone makes mistakes but we all move on eventually. I promise you will get through college, just please try to do so without having a heart attack.

I would like to thank everyone for an amazing and fun year as the transfer assistant. I wish you all luck on your finals and that you all have a relaxing and awesome summer!