Category Archives: advance

New Assistant to the Provost for Academic Equity and Inclusion

by Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

After a University-wide search, Audrey Mayer (SFRES) was selected for and has accepted the position as assistant to the Provost for Academic Equity and Inclusion. Mayer’s role in this position began Monday. While serving as assistant to the provost, she will continue in her position as associate professor of ecology and environmental policy.

In her new position, Mayer will work with various councils and groups to provide leadership for campus-wide diversity-enhancement efforts and oversee the University’s response to the Climate Study (conducted earlier this academic year). She will also serve as Michigan Tech’s representative for external groups such as the American Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU), the Michigan Associate of State Universities (MASU) and King-Chavez-Parks (KCP).

Provost Jackie Huntoon says, “I am very happy to have Dr. Mayer join the provost’s office team. She has been involved with efforts related to equity and inclusion for many years, and I have come to rely upon her because of her ability to provide me with helpful just-in-time advice. Dr. Mayer will also represent Michigan Tech on some important diversity-related groups and initiatives at the state level.”


New Dean for School of Technology

Michigan Tech announces that Adrienne Minerick (ChE) has been hired to serve as dean for the School of Technology. She will begin serving on July 1 and replaces retiring dean, Jim Frendewey.

Minerick is currently associate dean for research and innovation in the College of Engineering, assistant to the provost for faculty development, and a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Michigan Tech.

Minerick joined the University in 2010. She holds three degrees in chemical engineering; one from Michigan Tech and two from the University of Notre Dame.

Submitted by Office of the Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs, published May 15, 2018 in Tech Today


Callahan Named Michigan Tech’s Next Engineering Dean

By Stefanie Sidortsova, published May 14, 2018 in Tech Today

Janet Callahan will become dean of Michigan Technological University’s College of Engineering on July 1, 2018.

Callahan comes to Michigan Tech from Boise State University, where she is chair and professor of the Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering. Callahan replaces retiring dean Wayne Pennington.

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Callahan to the University,” says Jacqueline Huntoon, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Her record of scholarship, leadership and innovation makes her well suited to lead the College of Engineering as it continues to move forward.”

“Each dean selected in the history of a college has the opportunity to help shape that college’s future,” says Callahan. “I look forward to working with faculty, staff and the administration at Michigan Tech to assure an exceptional quality educational experience for students, and to further enhance the research trajectory of the college and university.”

Mining academic leadership and an entrepreneurial spirit

Callahan brings to the University more than 20 years’ experience in higher education. Her career began in 1992 at the Georgia Institute of Technology as an assistant and then associate professor of materials science and engineering. She was awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER award in 1996, through which her student, Eden Hunt, patented a new method for creating nanoparticles in sapphire and other oxides using reactive metals.

In 1998, Callahan co-founded a medical device start-up with new intellectual property and took a hiatus from teaching to serve for two years as the company’s director of research. Pulled by her interest in the future of engineering, she returned to her faculty position at Georgia Tech in 2001.

In 2004, Callahan joined Boise State University to help launch its new undergraduate program in materials science and engineering and was then appointed the founding associate dean of Boise State’s College of Engineering. Callahan remained in this position from 2005-2016 before serving the Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering as chair.

Callahan played an integral role in securing $40 million in funding from Micron Technology to establish Boise State’s undergraduate and graduate programs in materials science and engineering and to support the Micron Center for Materials Research. She also brought in more than $2.5 million dollars in external funding for academically talented STEM majors and facilitated the establishment of the Boise Center for Materials Characterization.

Callahan holds a PhD in Materials Science, an MS in Metallurgy, and a BS in Chemical Engineering, all from the University of Connecticut at Storrs, where she is a member of the Academy of Distinguished Engineers.

A foundation in materials

Callahan describes herself as an engineer at heart who remains fascinated by metallurgy and ore, collecting rocks rich in copper, iron and more from her outdoor excursions.

“It takes a massive amount of energy to extract metal out of rock,” Callahan explains. “When we don’t recycle metal, it creates a new cost to our world—to re-create metal from its metal oxide. Because of this, I’m passionate about explaining how important it is that we place each aluminum can, for example, into the right recycling stream.”

When she learned of Michigan Tech’s search for its next dean of engineering, her interest in materials science, combined with the strong national and international reputation of the University’s alumni, led her to apply for the position.

“I felt a visceral connection to the foundational roots of Michigan Tech and to the Keweenaw,” Callahan says. “The native copper here is not oxidized – it’s metal. This means it was cut out of the earth in slabs and shipped on rail. The copper found here supplied most of the copper needs of the country for decades.”

She noted that her interest in the leadership position was also based on Michigan Tech’s reputation in the 21st century as a vital supplier of talented engineers with an international reputation of creativity, work ethic and accomplishment.

Develop leaders, emphasize collaboration, foster excellence

While Callahan is a materials scientist, her research interests extend into STEM education, student retention, STEM teaching and learning, and self-efficacy. Her interest in student life and the non-academic side of higher education led her to live on campus in the Engineering Residential College as part of Boise State’s Faculty in Residence program. Between 2010 and 2012, Callahan lived with her family in a two-bedroom apartment on the third floor, overlooking the Boise River.

At the time, the Engineering Residence College was a co-ed living-learning community, home to first-year engineering students from all engineering majors. Callahan met with the resident students every week and worked with a program assistant to develop student leadership. This resulted in community-focused projects, including an accessible ramp built for a community botanical garden, sage and bitterbrush planted in an area damaged by a wildfire, and a framed Habitat for Humanity house. Callahan remains in touch with the students.

Callahan, who will be the first woman to serve as dean of the College of Engineering, looks forward to developing strong connections with the students, staff and faculty at Michigan Tech, and advancing research that crosses disciplines. “Innovation happens when materials are discovered, new applications of existing materials are found, and theories from one field are applied to another,” she says. “Deans must foster interdisciplinary research and innovation as core principles and find ways to encourage faculty, staff and students to learn, be creative and collaborate.”

“What the students do here, what our talented faculty focus their efforts on, is vital to our nation,” she says. “We need to tell that story.”

 

 


Heldt Grant

Caryn Heldt (ChE) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $300,000 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation. The project is titled “Driving Forces in Aqueous Two-Phase Systems for Vaccine Development.” This is a three-year project totaling $300,000.


Tech in 10: Q&A with Nina Mahmoudian

by Allison Mills, Tech Today, April 10, 2018

Michigan Tech’s thought leaders glimpse into the University’s future. Nina Mahmoudian, Lou and Herbert Wacker associate professor in mobile systems of mechanical engineering, reflects on where the field is heading over the next decade.

Q: What is happening today that will change mechanical engineering education and research 10 years from now?

The pieces that make an intelligent system are becoming more accessible and affordable. These components are going to change the face of education and research, especially in robotics. Users are getting younger and getting more hands-on learning opportunities—they’re watching YouTube videos, reading articles, taking online courses. They’re doing a lot of self-learning and teaching themselves programming on their own; kids often come to us with more background because they’re interested. It’s a new way of learning and there are so many opportunities, so we need to take it seriously.

Read the full story at mtu.edu/news.


Coleman-Kaiser Participates in Lean Community of Practice Activities

by Associate Vice President for Administration

Theresa Coleman-Kaiser, senior associate vice president for administration, traveled to Grand Rapids March 16 for a quarterly meeting of the board of directors of the Michigan Lean Consortium (MLC). In her role as board vice president, Coleman-Kaiser coordinated a presentation by Cheryl Ronk, president of the Michigan Society of Association Executives, on best practices for governing boards.

On Jan. 31, Coleman-Kaiser was invited to participate in a live online event presented by Lean Frontiers Direct. This event brought together a group of thought leaders and practitioners who each presented 40-minute webinars on themes from the Shingo Award-winning book “The Toyota Way to Service Excellence” and featured co-authors Jeff Liker and Karyn Ross. Coleman-Kaiser presented “Case Study: My Journey Developing Coaches for Leadership Excellence.” Her session was framed around her personal journey of developing leaders as coaches of continually developing teams. A practical framework was offered as a starting point for developing your own coaching practice. This online session is available for viewing by anyone at Michigan Tech through the end of April. Contact Brenda Randell for login instructions.

Coleman-Kaiser was also recently interviewed by MLC founder Debra Levantrosser as a guest on the Michigan Business Network podcast The Leaning Edge. In this six-minute interview, Coleman-Kaiser talked about her practice of coaching people to achieve their own vision of Leadership Excellence.


Environmental Engineering PhD Transition Mentoring Seminar

CEE 5992 Seminar

Date: January 22, Monday

Time: 3:05 pm – 3:55 pm

Location: GLRC 0202

Presenter and Affiliation:  Prof. Eric Seagren, Michigan Technological University

 

Presentation Title:  “A Pilot Program for Female Ph.D. and Postdoc Mentoring Teams at TUM and Michigan Tech”

 

Abstract:

The overall goal of this co-operative work between Prof. Eric Seagren (Michigan Tech) and Prof. Jörg Drewes (Technical University of Munich (TUM), Germany) is to study and implement mentoring interventions focused on a critical transition point for women in the STEM pipeline, the transition from the Ph.D. to a faculty, or other high-level, position. Specifically, the collaboration has been focused on developing a pilot program for mentoring female environmental engineering PhDs/Postdocs using a group-based mentoring approach. The goal is to provide the mentee with a diversity of opinions to meet the various needs of the Ph.D. student or postdoc. The teams consist of the mentee, the mentee’s advisor, a female faculty/research staff member from the mentee’s department, and possibly another faculty member who understands the personal and social background of the mentee. Working together, individual mentoring plans are developed by the committee. The critical professional guidance provided by postdoctoral mentoring plans has been shown to be a key indicator of a successful postdoctoral outcome, and can increase the independence, productivity, and satisfaction of postdocs. Several key components are incorporated in development of the mentoring plans: (1) self-assessment, (2) relevant activities, (3) regular meetings, and (4) periodic evaluations. During the spring and fall of 2017, pilot mentoring teams were formed by Profs. Seagren and Drewes for a trial cohort of female Ph.D. students and post-docs at Michigan Tech and TUM. The methods and results of this pilot program will be shared with Profs. Drewes’ and Seagren’s colleagues, and opportunities will be provided for the German and U.S. mentees to interact and share experiences, opportunities, and challenges.

 


New Chair of CEE Dr. Audra Morse

It was Michigan Tech’s “wonderful reputation” that first got the attention of Audra Morse. That reputation was enough to convince her to leave Texas Tech to lead Michigan Tech’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

On July 1, Audra Morse began her tenure as chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Michigan Technological University. Morse comes to Michigan Tech from Texas Tech, where she had been the associate dean for undergraduate studies for more than 4 years.

Morse earned her bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degrees from Texas Tech and has been on the faculty there since 2003. She is a licensed professional engineer and a board-certified environmental engineer with the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists. She is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Water Environment Federation, the American Water Works Association, American Society for Engineering Educators and the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists. However, she is most active with ASCE, serving at both the global and regional levels.

Morse says it was the “wonderful reputation” of Michigan Tech and the CEE Department that got her attention. “I met and worked with CEE alumni through my activities and service with ACSE on the state and global level, and I regard them as leaders in their field.” She says it was the experience working with staff from Tech’s Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Department on the Transforming Engineering Culture to Advance Inclusion and Diversity (TECAID) project that allowed her to learn more about University’s culture. “I believe my values as a faculty member are in alignment with what I learned about Michigan Tech, and I could envision being a faculty member there,” she says.

Although she has come from a university with a student population roughly five times that of Michigan Tech, Morse says the similarities between the two schools are striking. “Upon first glance it may seem that the institutions must vary significantly, but the two Colleges of Engineering and the departments are very similar in size. The similar size of students, faculty and staff inspired me to apply to Michigan Tech,” Morse says.

She says that at Michigan Tech, engineering comprises a greater percentage of the overall student population, which is different from her previous experience. “I see this as an opportunity at Michigan Tech that I did not have (at Texas Tech). As such, I believe CEE students and graduates, as well as the CEE faculty and staff, can have a greater impact on the University’s successes as compared to larger institutions.”

Morse says as she prepared for her interview, she reviewed the University’s Strategic Plan, the CEE Department’s mission statement, vision statement and guiding principles. “The themes, ideas and goals present in these documents resonated with me,” she explains. “Additionally, the College of Engineering recently finished the College Strategic Plan, which outlines goals for members of the College to accomplish.” Morse says these documents set a baseline for what she would like the department to accomplish. “However, the true creativity exists in how the department meets the outlined goals.”

“The faculty, staff and students of the CEE have and will continue to accomplish great things …”Audra Morse

Michigan Tech’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is consistently ranked among the best of the nation. Morse hopes to build on that success.

“I believe the CEE Department has great potential to grow the graduate program while continuing to build industry funding sources, increase diversity of the undergraduate student population and advance the quality of our undergraduate education through more service learning and problem-based learning approaches, while also creating more inclusive classroom environments. The faculty, staff and students of the CEE have and will continue to accomplish great things, and I look forward to making others aware of their successes.”

University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Jacqueline Huntoon says “Michigan Tech is fortunate to be able to attract talented individuals to leadership positions on our campus. Dr. Morse brings a great deal of experience to her new position, and I look forward to working with her in the future.”

Morse succeeds David Hand, who has been the CEE department chair since 2011 and returned to the classroom as of June, 30.

Reprinted from Tech Today, “From Lubbock to Houghton” by Mark Wilcox. July 19, 2017


Women Also Know Stuff

Women Also Know Stuff is the name of a website that provides a database of political science scholars working in politics, policy, and government in order to make women’s work more visible and accessible to others:

www.womenalsoknowstuff.com  and #womenalsoknowstuff

A summary article of the project appears in Inside Higher Education by Colleen Flaherty (July 6, 2017) with the tagline, “New paper explains effort to fight gender bias in political science, and, perhaps, in other disciplines as well.”

The board of Womenalsoknowstuff has published a paper documenting their project.

Women Also Know Stuff: Meta-Level Mentoring to Battle Gender Bias in Political Science

Emily Beaulieu, University of Kentucky

Amber E. Boydstun, University of California, Davis

Nadia E. Brown, Purdue University

Kim Yi Dionne, Smith College

Andra Gillespie, Emory University

Samara Klar, University of Arizona

Yanna Krupnikov, Stony Brook University

Melissa R. Michelson, Menlo College

Kathleen Searles, Louisiana University

Christina Wolbrecht, University of Notre Dame

Abstract

Women know stuff. Yet, all too often, they are underrepresented in political science meetings, syllabi, and editorial boards. To counter the implicit bias that leads to women’s under-representation, to ensure that women’s expertise is included and shared, and to improve the visibility of women in political science, in February 2016 we launched the “Women Also Know Stuff” initiative, which features a crowd-sourced website and an active Twitter feed. In this article, we share the origins of our project, the effect we are already having on media utilization of women experts, and plans for how to expand that success within the discipline of political science. We also share our personal reflections on the project.

 


Michigan Tech Named a Top Online School for Women in STEM

by Jennifer Donovan, Tech Today, June 26, 2017

SR Education Group, an online education research publisher, has named Michigan Tech one of the 2017 Top Online Colleges for Women in STEM.

To develop this list, SR Education Group researched all accredited colleges offering at least 10 fully online STEM degrees, evaluating them on factors indicative of support for women students in STEM, including the proportion of female STEM graduates and available online resources for women in STEM. More than 280 schools were considered; 64 made the cut.

See the full SR Education Group announcement here.