Category Archives: Congratulations

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.


Theresa Coleman-Kaiser presented on Leadership Coaching

Theresa Coleman-Kaiser, Senior Associate Vice President for Administration, presented at “The Toyota Way to Service Excellence: On-line Event” on January 31st. Her session was titled “Case Study: My Journey Developing Coaches for Leadership Excellence.” The learning objectives for her session included:

  • Why coaching for Leadership Excellence and developing leaders as coaches is a critical management function
  • How to begin, sustain, and cascade a coaching practice to create an aligned stream of leaders throughout your organization
  • How to make your Learner’s thoughts visible in order to understand mindset, skill, and will
  • The wide range of feelings associated with a coaching practice, and how to find joy in developing others

Picture of Theresa presenting a Lean Topic

You can find “The Toyota Way to Service Excellence On-Line Event” agenda at the Lean Frontier’s website and view any sessions from the on-line event until April 30, 2018 free of charge.

Instructions to enroll:

  1. Navigate to the course Website
  2. Click on “Enroll in Course for $195” (course fee will be waived in next step)
  3. Click “add Coupon Code” and enter: CORPSUBSCRIBE
  4. Click “Apply” to confirm code
  5. Enter email and click “Continue”
  6. Click “Enroll in Course”
  7. Enter name and create password
  8. Click “Create Account”
  9. Click “Continue to Course”

Better Know a Golfer—Mark Maroste, PGA Member

Mark Maroste, Associate Director of Auxiliary Services and Manager of the Portage Lake Golf Course was elected to Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) of America membership after completing the Professional Golf Management (PGM) Program in 2012. The PGA PGM Program can take up to eight years to complete and involves passing three knowledge level tests, a Player Ability Test, and accumulating 36 work experience credits.

Portage Lake Golf Course

The Level 1 Seminar courses include Business Planning, Customer Relations, Introduction to Teaching/Club Performance and Tournament Operations. Golf Car Fleet Management is a self-study course during the first level.

The Level 2 Seminar courses include Golf Operations, Intermediate Teaching/Club Alteration, and Merchandising and Inventory Management. Turfgrass Management is a self-study course during the second level.

The Level 3 Seminar courses include Advanced Teaching/Golf Club Fitting, Player Development/Teaching Business, and Supervising and Delegating. Food and Beverage, Human Resources, and Career Enhancement are self-study courses during the third level. Completing each level includes attending five days of seminars, completing a web-based work experience portfolio, and passing a test before being allowed to advance to the next level and repeating the process until the third level is passed. Once elected, a member must earn 36 credits every two years to maintain membership.

Mark MarosteBy becoming a PGA Class A Teaching Professional, Mark is able to elevate the status of the Portage Lake Golf Course’s teaching program. Paul Sintkowski, Assistant Golf Professional, is currently on Level 1 and plans to continue to go through the levels to full membership.

Once Certified, members are encouraged by the PGA to continue their education in the Master Professional Program. The Master Professional Program is the PGA’s highest designation PGA Professionals must have eight years of PGA membership to achieve PGA Master Professional status.

For more information on Mark and the Portage Lake Golf Course, please visit the PLGC website.


OIS Donates to LeaderShape®

The Office of Information Services (OIS) donated one full scholarship that allowed a student to participate in the LeaderShape® Institute.

The LeaderShape® Institute is an intensive week-long leadership development experience that is designed to help young leaders learn to “lead with integrity.”  This highly interactive program provides the tools for individuals to:

  • Act consistently with core ethical values, personal values, and convictions
  • Develop and enrich relationships
  • Respect the dignity and contribution of all people
  • Believe in a healthy disregard for the impossible
  • Produce extraordinary results

The LeaderShape® Institute uses interactive program methods rather than classroom lectures—everyone is a teacher and everyone is a learner. At the LeaderShape® Institute, participants create a LeaderShape® Breakthrough Blueprint they can begin to implement as soon as they leave. The objective of each participant’s blueprint is to produce extraordinary results in their organization and their institution during the next nine to 12 months.

The Michigan Tech LeaderShape® Institute continues to be very popular after almost a 20 years at the university.

OIS is proud to have contributed to an organization that instills leadership abilities into young people. OIS staff members believe in leadership by relationship building and collaboration and are pleased that a long-running institute provides this training on the Michigan Tech campus.

Screen Shot of the LeaderShape Promotional Video
Screen Shot of the LeaderShape Promotional Video

Find a video of participants and more information about by the institute at the LeaderShape® website. http://www.mtu.edu/student-activities/leadership/leadershape/


First Friday Social Event Management Kaizen

Auxiliaries Services facilitated a Lean event to apply a Plan, Do, Check, Act cycle to the way departments within Michigan Tech coordinate events, specifically, the First Friday Socials that many departments have participated in over the years.
Picture of Blizzard T. Husky with a fan at the Skybox Social.
Picture of Blizzard T. Husky with a fan at the Skybox Social.
Before the Continuous Improvement team applied Lean thinking to the event management process, they found that different departments were hosting similar events with unique needs. The hosting departments had to secure the services they needed to execute their event using multiple on and off campus resources. The team also found that some departments are experienced with planning events while others have little to no experience.
The team’s target state for after the event is to establish a one-stop shop for the customer to contact for all event needs. The problem the team had to tackle was the lack of a centralized location for departments to contact to gain all of the services they need to host a First Friday Social.
To solve this problem and find waste and root causes the team created a process map. This showed the breakdown of what the customer was required to do and what the MUB and Dining Services had been helping with. They brought in outside eyes and assembled a team from multiple departments on campus. After this exercise, they noticed that the customer had an excess of responsibilities and there was a gap where an Event Management Team could help to streamline and error proof the planning the process.
The team decided to breakdown the event planning process into a timeline and then a flow chart and a corresponding checklist to provide at the initial event planning meetings. This helps the customer to see what items are their responsibility and what items the team is available to help with.
The improvement team also created a walk through check list to make sure that the proposed event space is appropriate and that all needs will be met for the event. The walk through check list is still being developed and improved as the team gains experience meeting with customers at the site of the event.
Finally, in an effort to collect metrics and ideas for potential future improvements, the team created a short survey for the customer to evaluate their process, the value in having an event management team, and how they can improve for future events.
Team members included: Daryl Matthews, Laura Harry, Beth Frederick (of GLRC Facilites), Lori Weir, Austin Kunkel, Kari Price, Kari Pietrzyk, and Karen Johnson. Facilitator: Bob Hiltunen
For more information about Lean and Process Improvements at mtu.edu/improvement.

UAW Certification Program

Michigan Technological University offers its UAW employees a certification program designed to provide a professional development opportunity for those who would like to increase their skills in business and administrative applications and tasks. The program consists of four courses including; Business Communications, Microsoft Office Suite, Social Media, and a Michigan Tech specific course comprised of several department liaisons from across campus who provide an overview of and information on their areas such as Banner, Google Suite, Discoverer, and Continuous Improvement. The program was created after a conversation between President Mroz and the Gogebic President, Jim Lorenson. From there a Memo of Understanding was negotiated with the UAW to form a committee and develop a recommendation. The UAW employees were surveyed, as were a select group of UAW supervisors, to gain insight into what areas where training was needed. The committee then met with Gogebic Community College faculty to determine what courses would look like, duration, location, cost, etc. Participants come from all over campus, as all UAW employees are eligible to participate. The benefits for completing the program is the education received, a graduation certificate, and those who graduate are encouraged to add the completion to their resume.

UAW Picture of Blizzard T. Husky, MTU's mascot at graduation

In 2016, 42 UAW employees graduated from the program. For more information about this program and other professional development opportunities please visit the Human Resources website: http://www.mtu.edu/hr/


Sully—In Print Again!

Sully Article CoverMichigan Tech’s Merchandising Operations Manager (Campus Store/University Images) Shane “Sully” Sullivan, was interviewed for an article in the July/August Issue of The College Store Magazine, published by the National Association of College Stores. The article, titled “Reaching Freshman before they’re Freshman” (page 54), explored ways campuses have reached out to students before they move onto campus, during their first few weeks as students, and maintaining a relationship with students once they begin their courses. In the article, Sully explains his department’s “opt-in” strategy for notifying customers of the store’s services, sales, and promotions. Having customers voluntarily sign up for the marketing email service (Google group HuskyDeals-l) instead of forcing customers to opt-out guarantees that the customers are agreeable to receiving the emails and makes it much more likely that they will use the promotions and purchase products. Sully goes on to say that his department limits the amount of marketing emails sent to customers to two per promotion event; a main promotion announcement and a reminder that’s sent out a couple weeks later. Ways that Sully and his staff spread the word about their opt-in email list include mentioning the service in meetings with other department members, adding promotional flyers highlighting the service to customer’s bags at check-out, and engaging new students as they are on orientation campus tours. Sully and his staff are happy to engage students and staff in the store or around campus and are always looking for feedback as to how they can improve their services and cater better to their customers.


Student Spotlight Series: Rylie Store, Office of Continuous Improvement

A picture of RylieStore
Rylie Store

Rylie Store is a third-year student here at Michigan Tech who is currently majoring in both Medical Lab Science and Pre-Medicine. Rylie is also a graduate of the Young Women’s Leadership Program (YWLP). Rylie is currently working with the Office of Continuous Improvement as a Process Improvement Coordinator (PIC). A typical day working for the Office of Continuous Improvement, in Rylie’s words, “is hard to describe” because she often finds herself engaging in different activities almost daily. Some days, for example, she can be in the office creating powerpoints for a report out on a past Kaizen, and on others, she might be out at meetings facilitating a Lean improvement process. One thing is always consistent though whenever she is working, Rylie is always trying to help improve the school and campus. Working at the Office of Continuous Improvement comes with a lot of responsibility but Rylie likes the challenge and is overjoyed to be working with and learning about Lean Improvement.

Working in the Office of Continuous Improvement involves using and practicing Lean principles on a daily basis, and Rylie has been involved in designing Lean training events around campus and coordinating the events to run effectively and efficiently. Since the Office of Continuous Improvement has started coordinating Lean events the office has hosted over 240 successful kaizens. The Office of Continuous Improvement is proud to have facilitated or been involved with a large number of successful events that have improved a wide range of processes around campus, from a process to check out keys to improving the commencement ceremony for graduation.

Rylie is originally from the Houghton/Hancock area and has explored much of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and is always looking for new and exciting places to visit. Over this summer, Rylie has plans to cross off more U.P. destinations from her bucket list that she hasn’t had the opportunity to visit yet. During her free time, she enjoys downhill skiing, photography, hunting, fishing, and pretty much anything else outdoor related. Rylie is also part of the Ski and Snowboard Club of Michigan Tech and has traveled with the club out west for spring break this past semester. Skiing has been a big part of Rylie’s Life, she grew up downhill ski racing and training in Colorado before college. She has also obtained her Professional Ski Instructors of America Level 1 Certification her senior year of high and is hoping to achieve her Level 2 certification this winter to better help instruct her students at The Mont Ripley Ski Area.

Before college, Rylie started her own photography business as a junior in high school. A big portion of her business was photographing senior photos for fellow students at her school. Rylie shot senior pictures for over 50 clients in the first two years of establishing her photography business. She also shot weddings, shooting 20 wedding as a second photographer at the events to capture the more candid shots and participating in a few weddings as the main photographer.

Rylie in front on the Improvement Office Kanban Board.
Rylie in front on the Improvement Office Kanban Board.

Working in the Office of Continuous Improvement, Rylie gets to meet with many new people every day from across campus and enjoys the diverse amount of people she gets to interact with and, as Rylie said, “how everyone is unique.” Her favorite things about Michigan Tech go hand in hand with each other; she loves the community and the people, she appreciates that everybody is readily accepted at Tech and that there are not people considered “outcasts” here. She believes that there is a place for everyone to fit in and make new friends and she believes that she has found that in the Michigan Tech community.

Children are a big part of Rylie’s life. Over the past few years, she has taught over 100 kids at Mont Ripley, babysat for over 50 others, and has been a Summer Camp Counselor for a Girl Scout Camp for the past three years. She loves being around kids, their imaginations, their language, and how they see the world.

As for Rylie’s plans for after graduating, she has deemed it the “Magical Question” and is currently torn between going to medical school or into the research field for medical lab science. Above all else, she knows that she wants to be a mother when she is ready.


2017 ACUPA Policy Conference

Andi Barajas, Media and Communications Specialist for Business Operations under the Office of the Vice President of Administration, attended the annual Association of College and University andiPolicy Administrators (ACUPA) conference held on June 21-23, 2017 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The conference was well attended and focused on topics including analyzing gaps in a university’s policy collection, University Policy in tumultuous times, student organizations, Title IX, enterprise risk management, employing student interns, automating policy and procedure management, contract management, and the partnership of forms with policies.
Andi has been a part of the Business Operations Office and assisting with University Policy since late 2016. She thought this was a great opportunity to expand her knowledge-base on policy and network with other university policy offices to gain insights on how our peers are handling the same challenges and situations we find ourselves in.
You can find more information on this and other ACUPA events at The ACUPA website: acupa.site-ym.com. To discuss a need for a policy or policy changes please contact policy@mtu.edu.


Incident Command Team – Successful Drill

KIMG0221The Incident Command Team at Michigan Tech coordinated a successful drill activation for the emergency call center last fall. Theresa Coleman-Kaiser, Associate Vice President for Administration, is part of the Logistics Section of the Incident Command Team. One of the responsibilities of the Logistics section is to activate a temporary call center at the request of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). In the event of a large University or community incident occurring, the EOC will determine the need for a call center and activate it if needed. There are multiple locations set for the call center and the specific location will be determined at that time of the emergency depending on the incident. The Logistics section coordinated an exercise, in October of 2016, where an “incident” occurred, requiring the call center to be activated. The call center staff was briefed on the “incident” by Public Safety and then had practice callers dial in with questions, comments, and concerns. The call center staff was able to practice setting up the call center, answering the phones, and responding to the caller’s concerns and questions. Additional ideas to further develop this call center were identified and were addressed with more training. The team received the additional training in January, it focused on a “shots fired” scenario. During this training, a Public Safety dispatcher was in attendance to answer questions and share stories of calls that have come into them. This training is taking place to establish a functioning team of respondents that will, in the event of a major University incident, be available to answer questions and address concerns from the general public and the campus community.

You can find more information on this and other Vice President for Administration Committees here: http://www.mtu.edu/administration/leadership/committee-task-force/