PhD GRA Funding Available-ADVANCE Initiative

The ADVANCE Initiative at Michigan Tech is seeking a PhD student to participate in and conduct research on faculty gender and career issues including diversity, equity, and inclusion. Research would be primarily focused on STEM disciplines but may also be expanded to other disciplines. Up to three years of support for tuition and stipend are available (including summer semesters) through this Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) position.

The ideal candidate is either an incoming PhD student with a Master’s degree or a current PhD student in their first or second year. Students may pursue any of Michigan Tech’s PhD degree programs but should have or be willing to take courses in survey methods and quantitative analysis. The research done under the ADVANCE programs will ideally form the core (or a substantial portion) of the student’s dissertation. Familiarity with current diversity and inclusion research in STEM is advantageous but not required.

To apply, please submit:

  1. A cover letter indicating your current academic level
  2. A CV
  3. A statement of interest regarding diversity and inclusion in STEM to Prof. Adrienne Minerick.

A multidisciplinary team of faculty will be reviewing application materials, so please try to minimize technical, discipline-specific jargon. The start date for this position is as soon as possible but no later than August 19, 2019.



Langston Fellowship Awards

Nancy Langston has been awarded two fellowships for her upcoming sabbatical leave. In the fall, she will be the Mellon Visiting Scholar in Environmental Humanities at the Center for Environmental Futures, University of Oregon. In the spring, she will be the Fulbright  Canada Research Chair in Interdisciplinary Sustainability Solutions at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Canada.  Before heading out to Oregon, she will spend a month in China and Mongolia, where she will give a keynote lecture at Renmin University’s Center for Ecological History, and then do research with colleagues from the Smithsonian on nomadic reindeer herders in Mongolia’s taiga. Her sabbatical research explores the ways northern migratory species and peoples are adapting to climate change in the Anthropocene.

Sorby Elected President of ASEE

Professor Emerita Sheryl Sorby (ME-EM) has been elected president of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).

The ASEE recently elected eight officers to its Board of Directors. The board members will begin their terms at our annual conference in June in Tampa. The following is a list of the elected officers.

Sorby, professor of Engineering Education, University of Cinncinati, was elected president-elect, a term she will hold one year before assuming the presidency in 2020.

Posted in Tech Today, April 18, 2019


AAAS If/Then Ambassadors Applications Open

AAAS is searching for 100 women from a variety of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers to serve as high-profile role models for middle school girls.

The AAAS IF/THEN Ambassadors program furthers women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics by empowering current innovators and inspiring the next generation of pioneers.

The AAAS IF/THEN Ambassadors program brings together 100 women from a variety of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers to serve as high-profile role models for middle school girls. STEM professionals use their skills in many fields – including research and development, sports and recreation, finance, fashion, gaming, engineering and manufacturing, entertainment, healthcare, retail, music, and more. The AAAS IF/THEN Ambassadors program highlights women in STEM who are contributing in all these fields, showing girls the different career pathways they can pursue and how STEM impacts their lives every day. AAAS IF/THEN Ambassadors will gather for in-person summits, create personal press kits that highlight their stories and take their outreach to the next level, be featured in original entertainment and media content, and engage with middle school girls in formal and informal educational spaces.

For more information about the program click here. To check eligibility click here. For a list of required materials click here.

If you have questions, find FAQs here or email us. Follow us on Twitter @MeetAScientist.


Flynn and Heikinen Named Directors of the Elaine Bacon Literacy Program

Elizabeth Flynn (HU) and Denise Heikinen (HU) have recently been named directors of the Elaine Bacon Literacy Program. They succeed Andrea Hauge-Bacon, who was director for twenty years.

The Program aims to improve the literacy of international adults including reading, writing and speaking. Participants come from countries such as China, Iran, Egypt, Russia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, South Korea and Georgia. Free tutoring sessions take place from 10 a.m. to noon on Mondays, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays and 10:30 a.m. to noon on Wednesdays at the Portage Lake United Church and from 1 to 3 p.m. Fridays in the community room of Daniell Heights.

From 10 a.m. to noon on Thursdays students are encouraged to participate in a related organization, International Neighbors. Participants visit local places of interest, take hikes or engage in activities designed to improve vocabulary, fluency or cultural awareness.

Many different instructional techniques are used in the program. Some tutors use a weekly newspaper, News for You, which is directed at students for whom English is not their original language and provides news stories about recent events. Each paper also includes a crossword puzzle, vocabulary and pronunciation. The stories enhance students’ reading abilities, help increase their vocabularies and form the basis for discussions of important national and international occurrences or less
consequential human interest items.

Other class focuses on language structures and conventions, and everyday conversation and the challenges of living in a culture that may be quite unfamiliar. Some students attend all of these classes while others choose those that suit their particular needs or schedules. Students benefit from the tutoring sessions, linguistic and cultural immersion and find that their conversational abilities, as well as reading and writing abilities, improve quite dramatically.

Humanities in Tech Today, April 8, 2019


Megan Frost Selected Chair of KIP

Frost is currently serving this year as interim chair of the department. Her regular three-year appointment begins July 1. Frost received her PhD in Chemistry from the University of Michigan in 2003 and joined Michigan Tech in 2007.

She is a world leader in nitric oxide chemistry and designing nitric oxide releasing polymers. Her research led to her being cofounder and chief technology officer of the startup company FM Wound Care. Its patented technology infuses bandages with nitric oxide gas, which kills bacteria and prevents infection.

David Hemmer, dean of the College of Sciences and Arts, said he was thrilled with Frost’s selection. “Her scholarship is a natural fit for the integrative physiology work in the department,” Hemmer said. “She has done a wonderful job leading the department on an interim basis this year, and I am excited that she will be joining KIP and CSA on a more permanent basis.”

Frost took over last year when former chair Jason Carter moved to the Vice President for Research office. Carter said he was also pleased to learn the news. “KIP has a strong and cohesive identity, both internally and externally, as an academic unit that values excellence in both research and teaching. Megan has demonstrated throughout her career, and in her time as interim chair, that she too espouses those core values.”

Carter added “I look forward to Megan building upon this strong foundation to take KIP to new heights that advance the department’s national and international presence and impact.”

by College of Sciences and Arts, Tech Today April 5, 2019


Morrison Selected for Dean’s Teaching Showcase

Dean Janet Callahan, College of Engineering, has selected Faith Morrison, Professor of Chemical Engineering and associate dean, for the Dean’s Teaching Showcase.

Callahan chose Morrison not only for her excellent and innovative teaching, but also for extensive historical involvement in academic advising and planning for assessment, especially for Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. (ABET).

Callahan’s words, “Professor Morrison has been focused on improving the Chemical Engineering undergraduate program throughout her career.  She has been heavily involved in academic advising, assessment activities, and implementing new pedagogy to enrich her students’ learning experience. Dr. Morrison’s continuous drive to improve student learning is an inspiration to us all.”

In his nominating letter, Chemical Engineering Chair Pradeep Agrawal focused mostly on Morrison’s unique and deeply-considered teaching philosophy. He especially emphasized her willingness to continually be “flexible in developing her teaching approach to match the learning style of a younger generation.”

One such contribution that has clearly been well received is a series of YouTube videos published by Morrison on rheology and momentum transport, several of which have more than 100,000 views.

Morrison believes her fundamental purpose is to teach students how to learn, and that keeping them active in the classroom is important to this end. In her words, she gives students a chance to “attempt solutions and see how their ideas work — I allow them to lead the problem‐solving, since I believe they benefit from following where their ideas lead.”

This does not mean she allows them complete freedom. Morrison carefully chooses activities and scaffolds discussions, taking “great care to identify and organize classroom topics and to keep the conversation going.”

Agrawal also emphasized this active and carefully customized approach, which Morrison applies even in larger classes. “Faith finds ways to engage students regardless of the class size. Her approach encourages all students to achieve a minimum level of proficiency in order to pass her course, but she also provides “stretch” assignments to students aspiring to earn top grades. These “stretch” assignments are harder problems, designed to challenge the top performing students. Her unorthodox approach allows the students to work at a level commensurate with their aspirations, but also ensures a minimum level of preparedness of the subject matter. ”

Finally, Morrison was selected because, according to Agrawal, she “earns the respect of her students, in spite of maintaining a rigorous work load and standards.” Faith carefully balances the ability to “meet students where they are” and setting a high -— but still appropriate — level of challenge. In her words, she has “found that when I set expectations where I need them to be, the students are able to rise to the occasion.”

Morrison will be recognized at an end-of-term luncheon with other showcase members, and is now eligible for one of three new teaching awards to be given by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning this summer recognizing introductory or large class teaching, innovative or outside the classroom teaching methods, or work in curriculum and assessment.

Originally posted in Tech Today, March 22 by Michael R. Meyer, Director William G. Jackson CTL


Green Takes Part in Global Environmental Outlook

Sarah Green (Chem) has been in Nairobi, Kenya for the launch of the Sixth Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-6) at the United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA).

The GEO report assesses the state and trends of the environment, as well as examining the policies meant to improve it. Green has served as co-chair of the Scientific Advisory Panel for the report since its early planning meetings in 2015.
The 744-page GEO report identifies the key drivers of environmental degradation around the world in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other international agreements. It calls for integrated social, economic, and environmental policy actions to address critical issues such as air pollution, biodiversity loss, ocean health, climate change, and land degradation. Human health and well-being are intertwined with the health of the planet through the food, water, and natural systems we depend on.
The report guides governments, non-governmental organizations, and businesses in strategies to design successful policies. GEO also investigate pathways to environmentally sustainable development and synergies among the SDGs.
As co-chair of the Scientific Advisory Panel, Green, with co-chair Nicholas King (Cape Town, South Africa), guided the process of ensuring scientific integrity of GEO, including selection of authors, outline of topics, and the review process.
Since 2015 Green has attended meetings of authors and government representatives in Bangkok, Geneva, Cairo, Cancun, Guangzhou, Singapore and Nairobi.
She hopes to communicate the findings of GEO to a wide audience.
Posted in Tech Today, March 14, 2019