Category: Awards

Tumban Honored by National Academies

Ebenezer Tumban portriat
Ebenezer Tumban

Original story by Mark Wilcox in 15 July Tech Today

A Michigan Tech professor has received a prestigious national recognition. Ebenezer Tumban (Bio Sci) has been named a National Academies Fellow in the Life Sciences for the 2016-17 academic year by the National Academies in Washington, DC.

In a letter to University President Glenn Mroz, Barbara A. Schaal, vice president of the academy and chair of the division of earth and life sciences, said the honor was bestowed upon Tumban because of his selection and “enthusiastic participation” in the 2016 National Academies Northstar Summer Institute (NANSI) on Undergraduate Education in Biology held last month at the University of Minnesota.

According to the letter, representatives from 15 U.S. research universities met in Minneapolis for three days of workshops, discussions, intensive teamwork and analysis focused on enhancing undergraduate education within the themes of active learning, assessment and diversity.

Tumban says he was “overwhelmed with joy” when he learned of the honor. Of the three-day summer institute he says, “I put in a lot of effort to prepare a learning activity which I used during my teaching demonstration, and I’m glad it paid off.”

Tumban expressed gratitude to Bruce Seely, dean of the College of Sciences and Arts, Provost Jackie Huntoon and Chandrashekhar Joshi, chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, for providing the financial support needed to attend the workshop.

Joshi calls Tumban “an outstanding and dedicated teacher.”

“Dr. Tumban is a phenomenal instructor who truly enjoys teaching; he is an active researcher who is engaged in developing new vaccines against human papilloma virus and he is a delightful colleague who is always willing to help others,” Joshi says.

Joshi adds that when the opportunity came for Tumban to attend the NANSI workshop, he enthusiastically volunteered. “So far, four other faculty members in biological sciences and one faculty member in chemistry have previously participated in similar NANSI workshops, and they have already incorporated what they learned into their regular classroom teachings,” Joshi said.

Tumban said he appreciates all the support he’s received. “I would also like to thank NANSI for organizing the workshop and the Center for Teaching and Learning at Michigan Tech for exposing me to different active learning strategies which were instrumental in the workshop.”

In her letter to Mroz, Schaal said, “by sending participants to the National Academies Summer Institute, your institution is at the forefront of improving undergraduate education that is so essential for preparing both future scientists and scientifically literate citizens.


Robert Larson awarded AAS-Lundbeck Research Fellowship


Robert-LarsonRobert Larson
, PhD student in Biological Sciences, has been awarded the 2016  AAS-Lundbeck Research Fellowship as announced on their website.   His research is titled ” Targeting Cardiac Sympathetic and Renin Angiotensin Systems with Ang-(1-7) in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy” which will be completed in the Department of Internal Medicine at The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine with Dr. Mark Chapleau.

The Summary of his research:

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a relatively common inherited disease characterized by cardiac hypertrophy (enlarged heart), fibrosis, and dysfunction. Patients with HCM exhibit abnormal neural reflex control of blood pressure and heart rate, and are at high risk of developing heart failure, arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. Current treatment strategies primarily target symptoms and not development of the disease. We propose a novel treatment strategy with Angiotensin-(1-7), a peptide known to diminish sympathetic nerve activity and the pro-fibrotic and pro-hypertrophic actions of angiotensin II. We hypothesize that a combination of sustained inhibition of cardiac sympathetic activity and inhibition of adverse cardiac actions of angiotensin II will act synergistically to prevent or reverse cardiac fibrosis, hypertrophy and arrhythmias in HCM. We will test this hypothesis using an established mouse model of HCM, in which a human mutation is targeted selectively to the heart.

Robert will be completing his degree under Kineseology and Integrative Physiology Adjunct Professor Qing-Hui Chen this summer.

Congratulations from Biological Sciences!


VanAcker awarded National Student Honor Award from ASCP

VanAckerBrent VanAcker, a senior in the Medical Laboratory Science Program, was recently awarded an American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) National Student Honor Award (NSHA). This award is based on academic achievement, leadership ability, community activities, professional goals, and endorsements from faculty and community leaders. Brent will be graduating at the end of this semester and then will be going to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN to complete a Clinical Practicum in Medical Laboratory Science. Our congratulations to Brent for earning this prestigious award!

Submitted by:
Karyn Fay  MS MT(ASCP)SH
Director: Medical Lab Science Program
Michigan Tech University


Rupsa Basu takes awards in 3 minute thesis competition

BasuFrom Tech Today

The Graduate Student Government and the Grad School would like to congratulate the following winners of the 2016 Three Minute Thesis Competition held last Thursday:

Masters Divison:
First Place, $500- Ekramul Ehite (ME-EM)
Runner Up, $250- Abhilash Kantamneni (CS)
People’s Choice, $100- Abhilash Kantamneni (CS)

PhD Division:
First Place, $500- Rupsa Basu (Biology)
Runner Up, $250- Zichen Qian (Bio Med)
People’s Choice, $100- Rupsa Basu (Biology)


Fay winner of distinguished teaching award

FayOriginally published in Tech Today

Choi, Fay Receive Distinguished Teaching Awards

Chang Kyong Choi (ME-EM) and Karyn Fay (Bio Sci), have been named winners of the 2016 Distinguished Teaching Awards.

Choi, affectionately known as “CK”, won in the Associate Professor/Professor category, while Fay, a professor of practice, received the award in the Assistant Professor/Lecturer/Professor of Practice category.

Choi received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Chung-ang University in Seoul, Korea and earned a PhD from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

He emphasizes a personalized learning connection with each of his students, achieved through active individual meetings while valuing what he calls the “unique ideas, experiences, strengths and attitudes” each student brings to the classroom. Read Choi’s full story.

Fay, a native of Manistique, received a BS in Medical Technology from Lake Superior State College (now Lake Superior State University). She worked in medical labs throughout the country, returning to the Upper Peninsula to earn a Master’s in Biological Sciences.

After serving as hematology superior at a local hospital, she came to Michigan Tech initially as an adjunct faculty member in 2002, eventually turning to teaching full time. Read Fay’s full story.

Fay and Choi will each receive a $2,500 monetary award and a plaque at an awards dinner sponsored by University President Glenn Mroz in the fall.


Alumnus Johnathon Aho awarded Outstanding Young Alumni Award

Jonathon AhoFrom Tech Today:

Alumni Association Announces 2016 Awards

Michigan Tech’s Alumni Association has named its 2016 award winners. Each year, members of the Michigan Tech Alumni Association Board of Directors review dozens of nominations of outstanding alumni and friends to determine award recipients.

The 2016 recipients include:

Outstanding Young Alumni Awards — Benjamin Almquist ’04 Materials Science and Engineering, London and Johnathon Aho ’08 Mathematical Sciences/Biological Sciences, Rochester, Minnesota.

This award is presented to alumni under the age of 35 who have distinguished themselves in their careers. The award recognizes the achievement of a position or some distinction noteworthy for one so recently graduated.

 This award recognizes alumni who have made outstanding contributions both in their careers and to Michigan Tech over a number of years.

Previously Jonathon was awarded the President’s Award for Leadership in 2008

Other alumni award recipients were:

Humanitarian Award — James Tanis ’56, ’58 Geological Engineering/Geophysics and Janet Tanis, Sedona, Arizona.

This award is presented to those alumni and friends who, through their outstanding involvement and dedication, have made a significant contribution of volunteer leadership or service which has improved or enriched the lives of others and the welfare of humanity and whose accomplishments reflect admirably on or bring honor to their Alma Mater.

Mr. and Mrs. Tanis are founders of the Bwindi Community Program, helping the children of rural Uganda get an education.

Honorary Alumni Award — John Patton, former professor of Chemical Engineering, ’68-’77, El Paso, Texas.

This award honors individuals who have provided service and support of the university characteristic of dedicated alumni. The Association reserves this award to recognize the strongest non-alumni supporters of Michigan Tech.

Outstanding Service Award — Joshua ’03 and Jana Fogarty ’05 Materials Science and Engineering, Plymouth, Wisconsin.

This award is presented to alumni and friends making significant contributions to the success of the Association and/or the University.

Distinguished Alumni Award — William Bernard, Jr. ’69 Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Perrysburg, Ohio.

This award recognizes alumni who have made outstanding contributions both in their careers and to Michigan Tech over a number of years.

Many of these awards will be presented at the Alumni Reunion Awards Dinner on August 5. For additional information, contact Alumni Relations.


Marti and Ingram place 2nd, 3rd in Undergraduate Student Expo

Hannah Marti

UPDATED: Link to the official news release in Tech Today.

Excerpted from an email from Lorelle Meadows, Dean Pavlis Honors College congratulating the winners of the Undergraduate Research Expo:

“During the Expo, all of the posters were judged by a minimum of 2 faculty judges. The researchers receiving the highest average scores are:

1st Place Gina Testa, Wildlife Ecology and Management

“Avian Community Responses to Stand Age in Northern Aspen Forests”

2nd Place Hannah Marti, Biomedical Engineering (who worked in Dr. John Durocher‘s laboratory)

“The Effects of Changes in Fitness and Fatness on Aortic Pulsatility”

3rd Place Olivia Ingram, Biological Sciences ( who worked in Dr. Kevin Trewartha‘s lab in Cognitive Learning Sciences)

“The Role of Implicit Memory Processes in Age-Related Declines in Motor Learning”

Congratulations!  These students will all receive a small token, a $20 gift card to dining services, lunch with the Vice President for Research and an invitation to receive their certificate at the Annual Student Leadership Awards Reception.

Expo visitors also voted on an audience choice award and we have a remarkable three-way tie.  The winners of this award are: Olivia Ingram, Lewis Marshall and Abbey Senczyszyn.  Winners of the audience choice award may stop our office beginning tomorrow to retrieve your audience choice prize.”


Leguizamon, Van Goethem win poster presentation awards

LeguizamonVanGoethem
Edited from Tech Today:

Two graduate students in the Department of Biological Sciences received poster presentation awards at the Midwest Aquatic Plant Management Society conference Tuesday, 8 March, in Grand Rapids.

Carmen Leguizamon (advised by Casey Huckins) received a second place award. Ryan Van Goethem (advised by Amy Marcarelli) received a third place award. MAPMM


Travis Wakeham awarded numerous honors by Graduate Student Government

travis wakehamGraduate student, Travis Wakeham was recently honored with numerous awards by the Graduate Student Government , including:

Outstanding Teaching Award for his involvement and development of our Anatomy and Physiology laboratories working closely with Dr. John Durocher and Brigitte Morin.

Best oral presentation at the recent Graduate Student Colloquium  that includes an award of  $300.

Best attended oral presentation at the Colloquium that includes an award of $50.

In addition, his picture was featured on the TV website reporting on the Colloquium.

Travis is a Masters student working in the lab of  Dr. John Durocher and conducted much of the research for his presentation in the lab of collaborating colleague Dr. Stephen Elmer in the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology.