PC Replacement Update

The Office of Information Services (OIS) is working with the individual departments within VP for Administration to identify which computers will be upgraded this fiscal year. Once the upgrades have been identified and agreed upon, OIS will be contacting each employee notifying them that their computer is scheduled for replacement. At that time, OIS will submit purchasing requests for the upgrades to IT. If you have any questions, please contact Colin Neese or Cayce Will at OIS@mtu.edu.

PC Update Icon

If you would like to update your PC to Windows 10, please contact IT at 7-1111.


Mentor Program Update

Mentoring IconThe Mentoring program at Michigan Tech provides employees the opportunity to learn from experts to develop and grow in their career and balance work and life challenges. It is a relationship which supports learning and performance improvement through facilitated problem solving and clear guidance. The mentors help assess the mentee’s strengths and suggest ways to grow in their personal and professional lives. This increases the likelihood of retention and career success and fosters an inclusive, diverse, and collaborative environment.

Since receiving a grant from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) in 2015, Michigan Tech began to develop a staff mentoring program. The success of the program in its first year paved way to the second cohort of trained mentors. The second cohort consisted of 20 mentors who graduated from the staff mentoring training program and have since been matched with mentees. After the graduation of the second cohort, WorkLife Connections at Michigan Tech carried out a mentee survey and two mentor focus groups to assess the progress and development of the mentoring program.

The data from the survey suggests that the mentoring program has been successful in helping mentees learn more about Michigan Tech. 80% of respondents stated that they were able to learn more about the university and its various departments and services from their mentors. 50% revealed that the mentoring program helped them develop their network of colleagues and 40% stated that it provided them with knowledge of a career path. 30% of respondents also stated that the program helped them develop their interpersonal and communication skills and helped gain knowledge of a different job function.

According to the survey results and the focus group discussions, the mentoring program provided an avenue for the mentees and the mentors to discuss a range of issues: childcare, resume and LinkedIn building, and improving the mentees relationship with their department and supervisors. The mentoring program is a dynamic partnership built on mutual respect, trust, and the sharing of ideas and experiences. The program proved to be especially useful for those mentees who were new to the region and to Michigan Tech. The mentors were able to give them the proper guidance, tools, and institutional knowledge to help them succeed and become a part of the campus community.

Inclusivity IconWith the help of the Gallup Strengths Finder Test, mentors assessed the individual strengths of their mentees and advised them on areas they could work towards improving. For those mentees that were unsure of their goals and what they wanted to get out of the mentoring program when they first joined, it was revealed that the presence of a mentor to act as a sounding board helped them better streamline their thought process and set benchmarks in their personal and professional lives.

A number of mentors stated that they were able to impart their knowledge of specific skills to their mentees. For example, one mentor was able to teach a mentee how to do an audit; another mentor helped a mentee in creating budget projections for their supervisor. One of the mentors successfully guided their mentee into their new position and helped the mentee improve their interviewing skills by providing practice interview sessions and feedback.

If an employee is unhappy, it shows in their work, their interactions and in their behavior. One mentor suggested that the university make use of the mentoring program as an institution-wide system of development to improve their staff, faculty, and students experience. The mentoring program is a great support network for those in need of professional guidance on campus. The data from our survey and focus groups suggest that the Michigan Tech mentoring program brings value to various stakeholders at many levels—mentees, mentors, supervisors, colleagues, the university and the campus community. The mentees have an opportunity to gain practical knowledge and insight from an experienced employee who has achieved a level of expertise they aspire to attain. The mentors have an opportunity to expand their repertoire of professional knowledge and skills through their instruction and facilitation of the mentee. Finally, the university has the opportunity to further develop and disseminate the wealth of talent, skill and knowledge of its employees.

Learn more about Michigan Tech’s Mentoring Program at the WorkLife Connections Website.


Parent Ambassador Training in the Keweenaw

Picture of Danielle Davis2018 UPCC Conference

Danielle Davis, Administrative Assistant for Business Operations, attended the 2018 UPCC Conference, Mental Health Matters: Building Our Collective Capacity to Promote Mental Health & Social – Emotional Competence held at Northern Michigan University on May 7th. The conference was hosted by The Upper Peninsula Children‘s Coalition. The Conference sessions included: “What is Mental Health? Beyond the Absence of Illness,” “Changing the Path: Using Best Practices,” “Social & Emotional Competence: A Common Goal,” and “Current Child Advocacy Opportunities” which provided an update on the “2018 Kids Count in Michigan Data.” Kids Count Data gives information on family support programs, family and community, access to healthcare, health, education, etc. The report has data from across Michigan, with individual county profiles being revised and available soon. The local Kids Count Data will be shared at the Copper Country Great Start Collaborative meetings. Finally, the UP Legislative Panel answered questions regarding the well-being of children and families in the Upper Peninsula.

For more information on Kids Count Data visit the Michigan League for Public Policy website.
For future UPCC Conferences or information please visit the Upper Peninsula Children’s Coalition’s website.

Parent Ambassadors

The Copper Country Great Start Collaborative (CCGSC) started training seven new parents as local parent ambassadors on Thursday, April 26th in Baraga County. Five of the parents are from Baraga County and two from Houghton County.  The last group of parent ambassadors trained by the CCGSC connected over 100 families with local resources. They invited Danielle Davis, Administrative Assistant for Business Operations, who is was previously trained in this program to speak to the group in training. Danielle shared her experiences with helping local families find resources and information about the events she has volunteered for in the past. Danielle shared how the Strengthening Families Framework Training, which is a based on engaging families, programs and communities in building the five protective factors, helped her while she was working with families in the community.

There will be another Strengthening Families Framework Training for family service providers, parents and community members on Tuesday, June 12th and Wednesday, June 13th in Bergland, MI. Please call 906-575-3438, ext 103 to register by May 16th.


On The Road—Mont Ripley

The season may be over, but the Mont Ripley Ski Area crew is not taking it easy! In order to gear up for the next season, Nick Sirdenis, General Manager, Esa Leppanen, Skier Services Manager, Katie Jo Wright, Ski Shop Supervisor, and Dan Wiersgalla, Rental Shop Supervisor, traveled to Madison, WI for the annual buying “Super Show.” The show is a showcase for ski and snowboard equipment and outdoor apparel. Mont Ripley attended the show to place orders for next year’s snow season and to meet with representatives from the various vendors. The show is put on by the Midwest Winter Sports Representatives Association (MWSRA). Mont Ripey attended the show for several reasons, none being bigger than being able to receive the special show discounts on many of the products Mont Ripley needs for the snow season. But we also learn about the new products and continue to build our relationships with our product reps. It is also a good time to look at new products and vendors that are coming out.

Blizzard On Ripley

Like and follow @MontRipley on Facebook for all of their updates on and off the slopes!


Congratulations—”Of the Month Award” Nominees

Michigan Tech would not be the university we know and love without the stunning members of the Staff and Faculty. Two Michigan Tech Administration employees were nominated for the “Of the Month Awards” for February 2018. Rick Ahola, Building Mechanic, was selected for the Custodial/Maintenance Staff award and Gloria Pihlaja, Greeter, was nominated for the Institution Faculty/Staff of the Month Award. These awards come from the National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH), an organization recognizing the efforts of others working to improve the residence hall experience.

Michigan Tech Campus Picture

Rick was selected for the Custodial/Maintenance Staff of the Month award for his work in East McNair Hall. Rick has been focused on improving the residence halls’ heating, but that is not all. There were many other unexpected repairs that have been made to McNair Hall and Rick continued to ensure the heating project was done in a timely manner. Rick is also being praised for doing “a great job pushing the solution to the problem.”

Gloria was nominated for the Institution Faculty/Staff of the Month Award for her working making the McNair Dinning Hall a cheerful place. Gloria is the first person students see and interact with when they walk into the dinning hall to eat. Her nominator said, “she is always such a delightful person. I love it when I see her in the dinning hall because she makes conversation and always smiles with every person that comes through the front door.” Although Gloria was not selected for the award, she deserves to be recognized for her amazing attitude and positive interactions with students, making “McNair feel like home.”

Thank you Rick and Gloria for keeping this Crazy Smart campus in “top notch” shape. Keep up the great work!

For more information on these awards or to suggest nominees of your own, please contact housing@mtu.edu.


Safety Tip—Eye Strain

Using computers and other screens is unavoidable but there are ways to make it easier on your eyes, and keep them in tip-top shape. This all starts when you sit down at your computer, make sure to position the computer screen an arm’s length away at eye level. Next adjust display brightness to approximately the same brightness as the surrounding area. Adjust text size and contrast for easier reading. Once you are all set up and working remember to look away from the screen, about every 20 minutes, and focus on a distant object for 20 seconds. Next time you are reading a book or magazine also try this tips to prevent your eyes from fatigue.

Baby with magazine

For more information on eye health please visit The National Institute of Health’s website.


Customer Service Pilot Project—Phase 2

Initiating the Pilot

Auxiliary Services within Michigan Tech’s Administration has been conducting a Customer Service Pilot Project aimed at aligning our departments with our Mission and Guiding Principles. Specifically, our pillar of Customer Service/Service Excellence which states “Our units strive to create a great Michigan Tech experience for students, employees, and visitors. We seek to continuously enhance our understanding of customer and stakeholder needs that supports institutional values.” The pilot project consisted of creating a universal means of gathering customer service data from a variety of service-oriented locations on campus in order to poll a range of customers and situations. Auxiliaries partnered with the Office of Information Services and Business Operations in order to create location specific QR Codes that are able to be displayed in a tableau dashboard on Administration’s website. This dashboard is able to display both the “big picture,” combined results of the surveys from all of the locations the surveys have been deployed to and it is able to “drill down” to the specific locations where customers interact with Auxiliaries employees.

Locations that were selected for the pilot include: the Campus Store, the Portage Lake Golf Course, University Images, and the Central Ticketing Office.

Customer Service QR Code Ad
Look for our customer service QR Code stations around campus!

The Next Step

Phase two of the Customer Service Pilot Project included improving the design for the original “Rate our Service” ads by creating vanity URLs for each location that is tied to the same survey the QR Code is on that ad. This is a way to expand the response base from those who have used QR Codes before to everyone with a smart phone. Business Operations also created a second version of the ad that has a lower profile, so each location is able to decide what type of ad is appropriate for their space. Lastly, Business Operations created two different “How To” posters, one for the customer, explaining how to download the QR Code reader and use the “Rate our Service” ad and one for the Auxiliaries employees to explain to them how they are able to help their customers give the feedback that we find so important.

How to use a QR Code poster
Look for our “How to” posters around campus!

New locations for Phase Two include: the Mont Ripley Ski Area, the Memorial Union Guest Rooms and Office, the North Coast Grill and Deli, the Library Cafe, Coaches Corner, the Campus Cafe, Fusion, Huskies Cafe, and the Par and Grill.

If you have any questions on this or any other customer service project, please contact the Office of Information Services.


Continuous Improvement: Tips to Success

Establish an enduring culture

A leadership team who embrace change and are adaptable is critical. Similarly having a team who are resilient can also pay dividends. It’s also important to gauge the impact of any improvement work on the overall culture of the organization.

Lean MeetingGet feedback from all concerned

Be open to suggestions and take on-board feedback that has been given. Also remove blame from the equation, and allow for an open discussion.


On The Road—Educause and CUWFA

Donna Mathew attends the 2018 CUWFA Conference

Donna's Staff PhotoDonna Mathew, WorkLife Program Coordinator within VP for Administration, attended the College and University Work-Life-Family Association (CUWFA) 2018 conference. The annual CUWFA Conference took place on March 13, 2018. The three day event was hosted by Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia and was attended by over 100 work-life professionals from universities all over the country and Canada. This year’s conference focused on the theme of ‘Working Together for a Sustainable Tomorrow.’ The conference encouraged its attendees to focus on some of the unique work-life related challenges that colleges and universities face together, and exchange their experiences about what is working in their own institutions and where there still seems to be some struggle, so that they may develop solutions to close these gaps and move towards a more sustainable future.

Colin Neese attends the 2018 Educause Enterprise IT Summit

Picture of Colin NeeseColin Neese, Business Systems Analyst within the Office of Information Services, attended the 2018 Educause Enterprise IT Summit on March 5-7 in Orlando, Florida. This summit is a collaboration between EDUCAUSE, AIR, and NACUBO, the Enterprise IT summit brings together IT and finance leaders to discuss ways they can work together to address institutional challenges. The focus this year was around analytics and how they can be used to improve student success.

Need Help Finding Professional Development Opportunities?

If you would like assistance in locating professional development opportunities, please contact the WorkLife Connections Office at worklife@mtu.edu. Remember that professional development activities should be discussed with and approved by your supervisor.


Safety Focus—Staying Safe While Traveling

With nice traveling months ahead of us, Business Operations felt it appropriate to devote this Safety Focus to staying safe while on the road.

Travel Mode IconReview the escape route in your hotel room

We all do it—when checking into a hotel room, we’re tired from travel and more focused on the hotel amenities than studying the escape route map on the back of the door. But before getting too settled in, please take a look at the emergency escape routes! It’s better to know and not need to than not know and be lost if an emergency arises when everyone is sleeping.

Don’t flash your cash or valuables

Keeping your cash separated, with a little spending money easily accessible and the rest hidden, will help you from showing off a big bundle of cash every time you pay. Although it’s tempting to have your smartphone out while you look up directions or take photos, be mindful of your surroundings—thieves are known to grab cell phones from people using them on trains and run off at the next stop.

For more travel safety tips, please read this article from USA Today.