Category: News and Important Updates

Advocates & Allies Call for Applications

Advocates and Allies invites Faculty and Staff to apply to become part of the Advocates and Allies Advisory Board (A3B) or Advocates Team. These two units will work in conjunction with the ADVANCE Initiative to plan and implement workshops for the campus and work to institutionalize the Advocates and Allies program at Michigan Tech.

What is Advocates and Allies? 

Advocates and Allies is one of three programs that are part of the NSF-funded ADVANCE Initiative dedicated to engaging majority stakeholders in the dissemination of knowledge on gender equity as well as actively participating in activities to increase allyship on campus.

What is the Advocates and Allies Advisory Board?

The Advocates and Allies Advisory Board (A3B) is a group of women, minorities, and gender diverse individuals who will work with the NSF-funded ADVANCE team to select, guide, and advise the Advocates Team. The two groups will then work in tandem to make our campus culture more inclusive by advancing knowledge, allyship and policy/practices.

What is the Advocates Team?

This group of majority stakeholders (men) will work closely with the NSF-funded ADVANCE initiative and the Advocates and Allies Advisory Board (AAAB) to make our campus culture more inclusive by advancing knowledge, allyship and policy/practices. Advocates will be expected to participate in program development and delivery while executing Personal Action Plans related to equity issues on campus.

Apply by filling out our form. Deadline is Oct 1, 2021.

Please contact us at with any questions.

Women’s Equality Day

Thursday 26 August is Women’s Equality Day!  Join us in celebrating this truth! 

From Wikipedia:Women’s Equality Day is celebrated in the United States on August 26 to commemorate the 1920 adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment (Amendment XIX) to the United States Constitution, which prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex. It was first celebrated in 1971, designated by Congress in 1973, and is proclaimed each year by the United States President.

From the National Women’s History Alliance:

ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Presidential Executive Order Advancing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility

This last month, President Biden signed an Executive Order Advancing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) in the Federal Government.  The premise is based upon public servants reflecting the communities they serve; this has parallels in academia as well.  ADVANCE at Michigan Tech is very encouraged by these measures to assess DEIA in the workforce and will work with our Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion to support the development of strategic plans for our campus.  The EO expands learning opportunities, addresses harassment in the workplace, equity in professional development opportunities, and advances mechanisms for pay equity.   The DEIA language is deliberately inclusive of individuals with disabilities and LGBTQ+ individuals in addition to gender, race/ethnicity, and socio-economic status. Adopting these foundational values into our DNA will strengthen Michigan Tech for the future.

For further reading on the Executive Order, please look at the Fact Sheet that outlines all of the details of the Order.

Today’s feature was shared with us by the ADVANCE PI team. If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at ( or visit our website:

Juneteenth Tweet Summary

1. In honor of our country’s newest national holiday, Juneteenth, ADVANCE at Michigan Tech will be sharing a new resource each hour (approximately) on Black culture and systemic racism in academia. The complete list will be posted on our blog ADVANCE Newsblog – MTU Blog site for the ADVANCE initiative

2. The BARC (Building an Anti-Racist Classroom) Collective has a Suggested Reading List (…) featuring classics and contemporary work on racism, anti-racism, and decolonizing the academy. Also foster Principled Space in classrooms.

Principled Space

The BARC collective begins each session with a ground-clearing practice that sets a levelled foundation upon which to build our work and relations in the workshop space. Artist and activist Hanalei…

3. See past @AWIS program with Dr. Malika Grayson, author of Hooded: A Black Girl’s Guide to the Ph.D., for a conversation about surviving and thriving in STEM despite experiencing Imposter Syndrome and other challenges.

Whats Next Webinars – AWIS

4. Experiences in science are varied. For a perspective that will change the way you think, read Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein’s (54th Black American woman Ph.D. in physics) ( book, The Disordered Cosmos (… ). #DisorderedCosmos

The Disordered Cosmos

From a star theoretical physicist, a journey into the world of particle physics and the cosmos — and a call for a more just practice of science. In The…

5. A community group is reading the book, “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together” by Heather McGhee. Author interview podcast on NPR helps summarize discriminatory laws and practices that negatively impact society.

‘Sum Of Us’ Examines The Hidden Cost Of Racism — For Everyone

Author Heather McGhee draws on a wealth of economic data to make the case that discriminatory laws and practices that target African Americans also negatively impact society at large.

5. Sabrina Nawaz’s in Forbes: “Commit To Inclusion: Establish Anti-Racist Team Norms” 95% of senior managers are white and establish comfy – to them – team norms. Alternatives enable understanding of BIPOC faculty experiences to better position for success

Commit To Inclusion: Establish Anti-Racist Team Norms

If you are looking to get the most out of a diverse team, don’t go it alone. Enlist the help of your team to create inclusive norms that allow everyone to make an ordinary day yield extraordinary…

6. POCSquared offers a blog and podcast dedicated to “putting people of color into the equation” in STEM fields.

Putting People of Colour Into The Equation

7. Great read to learn and understand the difficulties Black scientists continue to face when seeking funding for their research. #fundblackscientist @Lola_UMich @kellystevenslab @KristynMasters @dr_princess @drkahaynes
8. Concluding tribute to our newest national holiday, Juneteenth. Let’s support communities & elevate excellence of Black scientist @BlkInEngineering @BlackInBME @BlackInChem @BlackInBiophys @BlackInRobotics @BlackInCardio @BlkInComputing @BlackInCancer @BlackinNanotech @BlackInMath

Sarah Schulte Named a Notable Woman in Law

Posted in Tech Today, April 20, 2021

Sarah Schulte, Michigan Tech’s General Counsel and Secretary to the Board of Trustees, has been named one of the “Notable Women in Law 2021” by Crain’s Detroit Business Magazine.

In the issue published Monday, Crain’s notes Schulte “educates on legal issues, helps assess risk and helps develop strategies to reach University goals.”

The magazine also noted Schulte’s role as chair of the University’s pandemic response team. The magazine quoted University President Rick Koubek saying Schulte’s “innate ability to lead teams and engage with University stakeholders through the lens of her legal training has been central to MTU’s successful pandemic response.”

On receiving the honor, Schulte called it a privilege to work with an “incredibly skilled and dedicated group of people at Michigan Tech.” She said the collaborative and collegial environment at Michigan Tech allows the effective and efficient sharing of information to connect with those with the greatest expertise in the relevant area.

“The accomplishments of this institution are remarkable — launching satellites, standing up a COVID-19 lab, and establishing a varsity Esports team to name just a few. As a team, when focused on the common purpose of our institutional mission and connected by the trust that working together brings, this university will continue to leave its mark through the extraordinary achievements of students and faculty,” Schulte said. 

The Honorees of this year’s Notable Women in Law were selected by a team of Crain’s Detroit Business editors based on their career accomplishments, track record of success in the field and mentorship of others. 

A Michigan native, Schulte received her bachelor’s in political science from Western Michigan University and her law degree from the University of Michigan. Prior to coming to Michigan Tech, she served in the University of Washington Division of the Washington State Office of the Attorney General. In private practice, she primarily engaged in civil defense litigation with a specific emphasis on school law, public entity defense, employment law, complex litigation and commercial defense.

Presentation Winners: Graduate Research Colloquium 2021

by Graduate Student Government

This year’s Graduate Research Colloquium organized by the Graduate Student Government was hosted virtually due to COVID restrictions. There were in total 48 presentations — 17 poster presenters and 31 oral presenters.

Poster presentations took place in a pre-recorded video style and the oral sessions were hosted live via Zoom. You can watch all the poster videos and recordings for the oral sessions here. Each presentation was scored by two judges from the same field of research.

Participants were able to gain valuable feedback from these judges before presenting their research at an actual conference. It was stiff competition amongst all presenters. Following are the winners for each of these sessions.

Poster Session

  • First place was won by Utkarsh Chaudhari from the Department of Chemical Engineering for his presentation titled “Systems Analysis Approach to PET and Olefin Plastics Supply Chains in the Circular Economy.”
  • Second place was shared by Katherine Schneider from the College of Forest Resources & Environmental Science for her presentation titled “Revealing Silphid Stomach Contents Using Novel iDNA Methods” and Seth Kriz from the Department of Chemical Engineering for his presentation titled “Purifying viral vaccines by two-stage aqueous extraction.”
  • Betsy Lehman from the Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences was awarded third place for her presentation titled “What’s Going On? Sensemaking in Informational and Social Situations.”

Oral Presentations

  • First place was awarded to Neerav Kaushal from the Physics department for his presentation titled “Simulating the Universe with Convolutional Neural Networks.”
  • Ninad Mohale from the Materials Science & Engineering department took second place for his presentation titled “Effects of Eta Phase on the High Temperature Creep Behavior of Nimonic 263”
  • Third place was shared by Priyanka Dipak Kadav from the Chemistry Department for her presentation titled “Capture and Release (CaRe): A novel protein purification technique” and Isaac John Wedig from the Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology department for his presentation titled “Exercise is Medicine: Promoting Physical Activity During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

A hearty congratulations to all the winners at this year’s Colloquium. The Graduate Student Government would like to thank everyone: presenters, judges, volunteers, and GSG supporters, for making this a great event despite COVID-19 restrictions.

Zoom Safety Tips

As we continue to work remotely and rely heavily on Zoom and other videoconferencing apps for meetings, it’s important to always consider safety in our meetings. Below we’ve highlighted an email with Zoom Safety tips shared by the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) and a story from Inside Higher Ed about a Black PhD candidate’s defense that was Zoom bombed and attendees were subjected to racist slurs. Special thanks for Faith Morrison for sharing these resources with the ADVANCE Team.

Dear NOBCChE Member,

We hope that you have had a strong start to 2021 and have a productive year planned. With the world moving further and further into a virtual environment, NOBCChE Leadership wants you to be safe and to be able to host events without concern for virtual safety.

Recently, a NOBCChE chapter was “Zoom Bombed” with slurs and derogatory speech.  We are working with the proper authorities to identify the culprits.  In the meantime, we are sharing some tips with our NOCChE members to reduce the risk of this happening again and assist in keeping your zoom sessions safe.

1)     Don’t share Zoom information freely on social media. When making flyers for social media advertisement, it’s best to include a contact email for the chapter and then, add the persons interested to a mailing list, so Zoom information is circulated through a more controlled channel.

2)     Set a waiting room. With a waiting room enabled, hosts can control who enters and who has access to controls within the meeting. This way, only those who are associated with the event can be admitted by the meeting host.

3)     Don’t use personal meeting IDs for public events. A personal ID is the default for when you launch zoom and start your meeting. With access to this, someone could potentially join your Zoom sessions, scheduled or not.

4)     Require a passcode. When creating your zoom meeting, setting a passcode is a great first line of defense for the meeting room itself. When creating advertisements, do not put the passcode in the flyer or advertisement until closer to the time of the event to limit sharing of the passcode.

5)     Only allow registered users (optional). When only registered users are allowed to join the event, users must have an account through Zoom and in some cases through an email from the license holding institution to join the meeting. This can be used to restrict entering attendees. (ex: emails would be the only groups admitted to a registered zoom meeting launched through a licensed zoom account.)

We hope that these tips help keep our members safe in this increasingly virtual world in which we reside. Please contact your university or institution’s IT department to get more assistance with Zoom or other supported virtual meeting platform security and safety procedures.

Stay Strong,
NOBCChE Executive Board (Student Rep, Regional chairs, & Officers)

ADVANCE at Michigan Tech Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The ADVANCE PI Team is committed to education and dialogue as critical activities in making equity and inclusion integral to faculty, student , and community life at Michigan Tech. The need for such work is self-evident; the value of such goals for all in our campus community is undeniable. We support the statements from the ADVANCE Advocates Team and the Advocates and Allies Advisory Board and we join them in affirming the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, practices, and policies that engage and educate all members of our community. 

Faculty Fellow Program-Call for Applications

Originally posted in Tech Today on Dec. 15, 2020 by the Office of the Vice President for Research.

Applications are being solicited for the Faculty Fellow Program, sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research. The program expands familiarity with sponsored program administration and strategic planning among the faculty, develops leadership capacity among the faculty and improves sponsored programs administration and strategic planning through faculty input.

Applications are due no later than 4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 18 and must be submitted electronically per the guidelines. For additional information, see Faculty Fellow Program.