The Center for Pre-College Outreach is looking for about 25 female volunteers to help out at “Get WISE,” an event seeking to raise women’s interest in science and engineering. Although not sponsored by the Michigan Tech Women in Science and Engineering group (the source of this blog), it is a worthy event that we endorse! The event will be held on Feb. 25 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Volunteers or anyone looking for more information can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) section at Michigan Tech will be hosting the 2014 Society of Women Engineers Conference at the Michigan Tech campus, Feb. 14-16, with the theme titled “Extracting the Elements.” For more see Tech Today, 21 January 2014.
The Library of Michigan has chosen WISE member Professor Nancy Auer’s book “The Great Lake Sturgeon,” coedited with Dave Dempsey, as one of the 2014 Michigan Notable Books.
Twenty books made the list, ranging from Jim Harrison’s “The River Swimmer” to a pie cookbook to a collection of Upper Peninsula poems and stories.
See the whole article in Tech Today on 8 January 2014. Way to go Nancy!
We are having our first Michigan Tech WISE faculty and researcher meeting for the 2013-2014 year. This will be a casual, get-to-know-each-other and catch-up-with-each-other meeting. Please mark this Thursday (9/19) 5:00pm-7:00pm on your calendars.
The details are:
Date: Thursday, September 19, 2013
Style: WISE will provide refreshments (cheese, fruits). Pizza can be ordered for those who’d like. Please get your own drinks.
WISE stands for Women in Science and Engineering. It is an informal networking and professional development group for faculty and researchers in engineering and science fields at Michigan Tech. We hold monthly luncheon meetings and discuss issues that will help with performing our professional tasks (teaching, research, service) while balancing work and life.
Our co-director team members are Nilufer Onder, associate professor of computer science; Adrienne Minerick, associate professor of chemical engineering; and Nina Mahmoudian, assistant professor of mechanical engineering. We are very excited to start the new academic year and see you.
Beyond the Glass Ceiling is a new student-edited feminist publication at Michigan Tech where writers can examine gender balance issues. As reported in Michigan Tech News:
Beyond the Glass Ceiling is the successor to the former TechnoBabe Times, a publication largely housed in the humanities department a decade ago. Graduate student Katie Snyder wanted to revive the tradition, with encouragement from faculty, leading to the new publication.
Visit the Michigan Tech News story for more information or go to their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Beyond-The-Glass-Ceiling-Mich-Tech-Newspaper/216829025108704
Susan Bagley, a professor emerita of biological sciences, has received the Waksman Outstanding Teaching Award.
Presented by the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, the award recognizes teaching excellence that incorporates an active, productive research component and is named for Nobel laureate Selman Waksman. Recipients must have been an active, fulltime professor for at least 10 years or have attained emeritus status. Funding for the award is provided by the Waksman Foundation.
David Hand, chair of civil and environmental engineering, has first-hand knowledge of Bagley’s teaching abilities. “I was in the first microbiology class Sue ever taught at Michigan Tech, and she’s never changed,” he said. “Sue doesn’t just teach microbiology, she gets students excited about the subject, and they become eager to learn. That’s her successful strategy for teaching, and we faculty members can all learn from her example.”
Emily Geiger, a PhD student in biochemistry and molecular biology, has nothing but praise for her mentor and former teacher.
“My passion for microbiology, my work ethic and my responsible conduct can be attributed to Dr. Susan T. Bagley,” Geiger said. “She was the first to introduce the topic of microbiology to me, and her teaching and ability to communicate difficult subjects went beyond that of other professors.”
“Dr. Bagley sees the potential in each of her students and pushes us to be the best we can be. She has the ability to make her students believe that they can achieve anything, regardless of the field,” Geiger said. “Dr. Bagley will be a lifelong mentor of mine and an individual I respect and admire for the contribution of her time and knowledge to educate and inspire thousands.”
Chandrashekhar Joshi, chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, calls Bagley “one of the most dedicated teachers on the Michigan Tech campus.”
“She truly cares about giving her students the best learning experience. Receiving the Waksman Teaching award is the most appropriate recognition of Sue’s illustrious career, which spans over 30 years,” Joshi said. “She influenced the lives of thousands of Michigan Tech students through her teaching, advising students in their research and serving on graduate committees. Even though Professor Bagley retired recently, we are fortunate that she will continue her educational mission in the capacity of emerita professor.”
For Bagley, the honor was unexpected. “I was completely surprised to learn that I had been selected to receive the Waksman Outstanding Teaching Award,” she said. “The past recipients’ list reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ in this field, and I am so honored to join this group. The Waksman Award really recognizes the importance of ensuring that our graduate–and undergraduate–students are prepared for careers, in this case in industrial microbiology and technology. Teaching takes place in all areas, including the formal classroom, the lab and at meetings. In a broad sense it is really about mentoring, making sure that the students have the knowledge, skills and experiences to allow them to succeed after graduation.”
The Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology is a nonprofit, international association dedicated to the advancement of microbiological sciences, especially as they apply to industrial products, biotechnology, materials, and processes.
Published in Tech Today
Associate Professor Nilufer Onder (CS) was included in the Top Women Professors at Affordable Colleges by Affordable Colleges Online, a website devoted to helping prospective students and their families find good colleges at a reasonable cost.
The top professors lists highlights post-secondary educators at affordable colleges who have been honored for excellence in the classroom, on campus and/or in the community. Onder was recently awarded Michigan Tech’s Distinguished Teaching Award.
“Our goal with the top professors project is to recognize today’s truly stand-out educators and mentors,” said Dan Schuessler, founder of Affordable Colleges Online. “We focused on professors at colleges with tuition rates below $20,000 per year to show that a quality education from top professors can be affordable.”
Published in Tech Today
The International Association of Bryologists has awarded its Hattori Prize to Janice Glime, professor emerita of biological sciences at Michigan Technological University, for her online encyclopedia, “Bryophyte Ecology.”
The Hattori Prize recognizes the best paper or series of papers published by a member of the association within the previous two years.
Glime has completed two volumes on this group of diminutive plants that includes mosses, liverworts and hornworts: “Physiological Ecology” and “Bryological Interaction.” A portion of the third (“Methods”) is available online, and she has at least two more volumes pending.
“Bryophyte Ecology” is read worldwide both as a text and reference. While scientifically rigorous, it is written in a conversational style. “I hope to make bryology more accessible to students who have no mentor in the field and to stimulate interest among ecologists, naturalists and educators,” Glime said. “A book such as this is dependent on scientists in many fields, all over the world.”
Glime originally conceived of “Bryophyte Ecology” as a textbook, back in the 1990s. But as bryology advanced by leaps and bounds, she was never able to finish so much as a chapter. Then the Internet came into its own, and the project shifted. In 2007, she began uploading chapters to www.bryoecol.mtu.edu. Her masterwork has two major advantages over a print edition: it offers unlimited color photography, and mistakes are easy to fix, thanks to friendly input from her fellow bryologists and other experts.
Perhaps the most enthusiastic responses, however, have come from bryologists from as far flung as China and Bulgaria, who have thanked her profusely for making such a vast trove of knowledge available.
“Dr. Glime, I think you are one of the most generous and collegial scientists I have (not!) met,” wrote a Canadian bryologist. “You are really an inspiration . . . All my students are thrilled with your online book, and I am, simply, in awe. Thank you.”
It couldn’t be done without a lot of help, Glime stresses. “The Internet and Google have made possible what could not have been done 20 years ago,” she said. “Some of the researchers and photographers have gone the second mile to help me find images and literature. Some have taken pictures for me. Some have offered to review a chapter when it was completed—especially some of the zoologists. And some have even done fieldwork to enhance the information in a particular area. Many have sent me unsolicited pictures and references. I couldn’t have found a better retirement project.”
Glime retired in 2008 after 35 years on the Michigan Tech faculty. She received the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 1994 and in 2009 was given the Distinguished Service Award for her longtime dedication to the University Senate and to student success.
by Marcia Goodrich, magazine editor
Published in Tech Today
Success is all in the planning–just ask the 2013 Distinguished Teaching Award recipients.
For assistant professor of genetics and developmental biology Thomas Werner, who won the award in the assistant professor/professor of practice/lecturer category, each semester starts an entire year in advance. “People think I’m crazy to start planning my courses so early, but I like to check all of the material to ensure that it’s accurate,” he said. “I spend about twelve hours preparing for each fifty-minute lecture.”
Nilufer Onder, associate professor of computer science, won the award in the professor/associate professor category. She also tries to plan her courses far in advance.
“I always look at the semester as a whole so I can avoid surprises and navigate the busy points more easily. It’s a matter of looking for patterns and trying to evenly distribute the workload for students,” she said.
Onder came to Michigan Tech in 1999, after receiving her PhD from the University of Pittsburgh in the same year. The former Middle East Technical University systems programmer teaches Formal Models of Computation and Artificial Intelligence courses, and advises the Women in Computer Science and Upsilon Pi Epsilon computing sciences honor society.
Students in her Formal Models class wrote, “Dr. Onder really cares about her students. She frequently asks for student input during class to make sure we truly understand what she is trying to teach us”; “She promotes online and offline learning and gives every student great opportunities to succeed. You can tell she truly puts her heart into the course and wants everyone to succeed”; “She is far and away the best teacher I’ve had in my five years at Tech. She consistently goes above and beyond.”
What earns her such acclaim? “I always try to be accessible,” she said. “Sometimes that means acting like I have all the time in the world even when I’m rushing.” She also makes a great effort to challenge students without overwhelming them. “People need to get stuck in order to learn, so I try to avoid spoon-feeding students the answers. That being said, I always make it clear that I’m there to help them through any problems.”
Onder’s favorite part about teaching is working with so many dynamic and motivated students. “Our motto here at Michigan Tech is create the future, and I get to teach the people who are going to do that,” she said. “Everything relies on computers, and it’s my job to enable my students to produce the most reliable, secure, and quality software that they can.”
“My students are a motivated and diverse group of people,” Onder added. “They all want to contribute to society in one way or another. It’s my job as a teacher to help them do that.”
by Travis Gendron, student intern
Published in Tech Today – full article
The Department of Social Sciences is happy to invite friends and colleagues to a party that celebrates the career of Susan Rapalje Martin, who will retire at the end of May.
Our celebration will be held in the second floor of the Academic Office Building Annex from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday, May 3. Join us to congratulate Susan and mix with friends over hors d’oeuvres and beverages.