Darnishia Slade Honored by NSBE

The award is named after the late Bayard Rustin, a civil rights leader who worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and was an organizer for the March on Washington and other protests.

Stuart Liburd, Jr., president of Tech’s NSBE chapter said Slade was as deserving recipient of the first Bayard Rustin Award  as she exemplifiles Rustin’s commitment and “behind the scenes” work.

“In Darnishia’s time here at Michigan Tech, she has helped elevate sudents, faculty and the whole University community to obtain a level of utmost excellence that empowers us so we can be our best selves.”

Calling the award the biggest compliment she has ever received, Slade says she is still taken aback by the award. “This means so much to me because it came from the students.” Slade says she feels a connection with Rustin in that his work, like hers, is essentially grass roots. “He didn’t mind getting his hands dirty. And he never gave up on his convictions that minorities in the United States could, and would, succeed.

In remarks upon accepting the award at the MLK Banquet, Slade said she feels it’s important to “pay it forward” to students because of mentors she’s had, such as Betty Chavis, Gloria Melton and the late Inetta Harris.

Slade is an alumna of Michigan Tech and is currently a PhD student in Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors.

Published in Tech Today, January 30, 2019 by Mark Wilcox

 


Stockero named Outstanding Reviewer

Shari Stockero (CLS/Math) has been named the 2019 Mathematics Teacher Education Outstanding Reviewer by the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators.

Her research focuses on noticing high-potential instances of student mathematical thinking (MOSTs) and understanding what it means to productively use these instances to support student learning. Specifically, in her current work, she and her colleagues are working with a group of teacher-researchers from across the U.S. to enact and study the teaching practice of building on MOSTs. She is also working on a project to develop middle school science teacher leaders in Michigan.

Posted in Tech Today, January 15, 2019



Barr elected to IEEE Professional Communication Society Board of Governors

Nancy Barr (ME-EM) has been elected to the IEEE Professional Communication Society’s board of governors.

The PCS’s mission is to foster a community dedicated to understanding and promoting effective communication in engineering, scientific and other technical environments.

Barr’s three-year term began Jan. 1 and runs to December 31, 2021.

Posted in Tech Today, January 11, 2019 by Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


Stacey Cotey Receives Wildlife Award

A faculty member of Michigan Tech’s School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science and an alumnus of the school are among the seven recipients of the Animal Welfare Institute’s (AWI) Christine Stevens Wildlife Award.

The Animal Welfare Institute announced the winners are developing innovative, less intrusive wildlife study techniques and more humane methods of resolving conflicts between wild animals and humans.

Stacy Cotey (SFRES), an instructor, PhD candidate and undergraduate student advisor, received a $14,500 grant to analyze snow tracks left by northern river otters to determine if there is enough nuclear DNA left in the snow track to identify an individual otter and to optimize the collection, filtration and storage methods for collecting DNA from snow tracks. By creating individual genetic profiles, the researchers hope to better monitor the animals’ behaviors, population numbers and genetic diversity.

Andrew Von Duyke of the North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management, who received his PhD from SFRES, received the award for monitoring polar bears of the Alaska-Chukotka subpopulation by sampling environmental DNA from snow tracks to genetically “fingerprint” individual animals and estimate the size of the subpopulation.

Established in 2006, the award provides individual grants of up to $15,000 and is named in honor of AWI’s late founder and longtime president, Christine stevens, who dedicated her life to reducing animal suffering both here and abroad. Stevens founded AWI in 1951 to end the cruel treatment of animals in experimental laboratories. Inevitably, her work expanded to take on other animal welfare causes, including protecting vulnerable species, reforming methods used to raise animals for food, banning steel-jaw leghold traps, ending commercial whaling and much more.

“The winners are compassionate scientists, managers and advocates who embody the legacy of Christine Stevens,” said Cathy Liss, president of AWI. “From enlisting drones to monitor the population of a threatened rattlesnake, to using digital acoustic tags to examine close encounters between boats and Florida manatees, these pathbreaking research projects demonstrate less intrusive methods to study wildlife and offer humane solutions to human-wildlife conflicts.”

by School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science

Appeared in Tech Today, December 20, 2018


New Assistant to the Provost for Faculty Development

After a University-wide search, Shari Stockero was selected for and has accepted the position as assistant to the provost for faculty development. Stockero’s role in this position begins immediately. In her new position, she will provide leadership for faculty and will collaborate with others from across campus to promote professional development and career success among early- to mid-career faculty.

While serving as the assistant to the provost for faculty development  Stockero will continue in her positions as professor in the Departments of Cognitive and Learning Sciences and Mathematical Sciences, and director of teacher education at Michigan Tech.

Jacqueline Huntoon, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs says “I am pleased to welcome Dr. Stockero to this position. The Early Career Management program and the Michigan Tech Research Forum are both important initiatives that are bringing faculty together in ways that will support their career success. I look forward to seeing these initiatives continue to move forward under Shari’s leadership.”


Archer Installed on Michigan Lean Consortium Board

Ruth Archer, director of Continuous Improvement at Michigan Tech, was installed on the Michigan Lean Consortium’s (MLC) Board of Directors during the eighth annual Michigan Lean Consortium conference held Aug. 8-10 in Traverse City. This is Archer’s first three-year term on the 10-member board. At the conference, she presented a session titled “Sustaining a Culture of Excellence through Perceptual Engineering.” Archer was also invited to participate on a “Women in Lean” panel during the conference.

The MLC is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that is governed by an all-volunteer board, dedicated to developing and supporting Lean systems thinkers to positively transform Michigan. The MLC has more than 1100 members representing dozens of industries with a broad spectrum of Lean expertise.

Michigan Tech holds a university-wide MLC membership available to faculty, staff or students. If you would like to be listed as a member and have access to member-only benefits from the MLC, send an email to improvement@mtu.edu.

Tech Today, August 23, 2018


GLRC Hires Gagnon to Promote University-Indigenous Community Partnerships in Research

The Great Lakes Research Center announces the appointment of Valoree Gagnon as director, University-Indigenous Community Partnerships.

In this new role, Gagnon serves as a resource for those desiring research partnerships with indigenous communities by providing guidance for creating and sustaining equitable partnerships, supporting growth for mutually-beneficial research design and practices, and by strengthening inclusion of transdisciplinary knowledge. She intends to continue to expand Michigan Tech’s partnerships in the region—across disciplines, jurisdictions and communities—and strengthen m’naademdamowin (respect) and reciprocity for one another.

“I’m pleased to be in a role that allows me to make meaningful connections among people. Building partnerships is an important pathway for advancing research and policy,” says  Gagnon. Her office is located in GLRC 310 and she can be reached by email.

by Great Lakes Research Center


Ye Sun Wins CAREER Award

An innovative idea to replace wearable health monitoring devices with embroidered electronics garners attention from the National Science Foundation.

Health monitoring devices—FitBit or Garmin accelerometer watches, apps on cell phones, heart monitors—are becoming ubiquitous, but they have their drawbacks. In some climates, these devices can rub irritatingly against skin. Some are heavy and bulky. So imagine if embroidery on clothing could replace these devices altogether.

Ye Sun, an assistant professor in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, has received an NSF CAREER Award, which recognizes outstanding achievement by early career faculty. The research and development grant is for Sun’s project “System-on-Cloth: A Cloud Manufacturing Framework for Embroidered Wearable Electronics.”

Sun’s project is funded for $500,000 for five years.

Flexible electronics to improve well-being monitoring

Well-being management includes daily monitoring of health signals, including heart rate, brain waves and muscle signals, and the list of monitorable signals is growing.

By using conductive thread and passive electronics—tiny semiconductors, resistors and capacitors—Sun’s lab is able to design flexible embroidery to turn logos into wearable electronics.

“For now, when we have wearable devices there are different problems—they can cause skin irritation and some people can’t wear these devices 24 hours a day, but sometimes such long-term monitoring is necessary,” Sun says. “In the future, all electronics can be flexible and won’t affect people’s lives.”

Sun’s lab can embroider on just about anything flexible, whether cloth, foam or other materials. The lab provides coding for the electronics and stitch generation to embroiderers. The stitches themselves become the electronic circuit.

Building manufacturing networks and combining art and engineering

But the funding isn’t just for improving embroidered electronics, it’s also to build a manufacturing network and cloud-based website where stitch generation orders can be made.

“In the future, a person can upload the embroidery design to generate the stitches or download certain stitches,” she says.

Sun is working with professional embroidering companies to create prototypes by downloading stitch schematics from a cloud-based website. She says any embroidery company has the potential to manufacture embroidered health monitors.

She also hopes flexible, wearable electronics will interest a new generation of engineers by appealing to their artistic sides—this type of embroidery circuit weaves together craft and functional design.

“I believe the embroidered wearable electronics can be a new direction for wearable electronics,” Sun says. “To make this successful, we need the technical electronics and the manufacturing to translate the design to make it happen.”

By Kelley Christensen, Tech Today, July 18, 2018


Family Tradition: Morin Named Distinguished Teacher

Brigitte Morin’s parents are educators, so it is not surprising that she became a teacher herself. In fact, she’s become a very good one.

Morin knew she wanted to teach since she was a kid. It was in her blood she says. “Both my parents were educators—my mother was a first-grade teacher and my father taught high school English and French.” Morin is the recipient of Michigan Technological University’s 2018 Distinguished Teaching Award in the Assistant Professor/Lecturer/Professor of Practice category.

Morin, a 2006 Michigan Tech alumna with a biology major and a Spanish minor, started her career teaching high school biology and horticulture in Huntley, Illinois. During her six-year tenure there, her courses expanded to include anatomy, physiology and AP biology. In 2011, she earned a master’s in biological sciences with a focus on biology education from Northern Illinois University. “I was fortunate because this program was designed specifically for high school teachers and allowed us to take many content and pedagogy courses around our busy schedules,” Morin says. “My research examined whether or not the incorporation of scientific literature in the classroom motivated students to read more outside of school. Spoiler alert–it did not.”

Great to be back home

After six years in the suburbs, Morin says she was “ready to come home.” In 2012, she was offered a temporary position in Tech’s biological sciences department, teaching a handful of medical lab sciences and general biology courses. After the retirement of Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) Director Alice Solden in 2013, Morin became a lecturer in the department. Since then, she has taught a wide variety of courses including medical terminology, human anatomy and physiology II, human nutrition, current health issues, basic medical lab techniques, clinical immunology and serology and medical parasitology.

Morin, who was recently promoted to senior lecturer, developed a new course, the Biology of Movement and Meditation, which she says teaches students, “not only the science behind meditation and yoga, but also techniques they can use to help them survive the crazy college years.”

Morin teaches several hundred students each semester and almost all of them rave about her teaching. At the top of their list is her enthusiasm. As Bruce Seely, former dean of the College of Sciences and Arts says, “Brigitte’s infectious enthusiasm is apparent to everyone who knows her and there is no surprise she has received this recognition. She clearly loves teaching—and her students know it.”

Her use of humor and clarity are also common themes, but her willingness to challenge students, while at the same time showing compassion, is especially praised. In one student’s words, “I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher than Brigitte. She realizes the importance of good grades, but she looks deeper than that. She challenges us, but makes it manageable. She cares about our well-being, not just our scores. She makes an impact.”

Large class? No problem.

Chandreshekar Joshi, chair of biological sciences, carries high praise for Morin, indicating her teaching is not only excellent, but has also helped spread best practices within the department. Joshi says, “Brigitte does an excellent job engaging students, but what impresses me most is her successful effort of flipping a huge classroom with more than 100 students. Brigitte is teaching us how to successfully implement active learning. It is a pure delight to see how easily she does a Herculean job.”

Morin’s unbridled love for both teaching and Michigan Tech is apparent. She says “At Michigan Tech, I’m spoiled. I’ve got fantastic students, a supportive department and a University that values teaching and what I do. Being here has fueled my passion for education and for connecting with students. Never once has my commitment to teaching waivered. Every once in awhile, I think, ‘Should I get a PhD? Move into research?,’ and my answer never changes. No, my place is in the classroom with my students. That’s where I find the most joy and excitement each and every day.”

Morin will receive a $2,500 monetary award and a plaque at an awards dinner sponsored by the president’s office in the fall. Richelle Winkler, an associate professor in Michigan Tech’s social sciences department is the recipient of the 2018 Distinguished Teaching Award in the Associate Professor/Professor category.

By Michael Meyer

Published in Tech Today, July 10, 2018