All posts by Laura Petroskey

2nd Place Win at Design Expo

A team from the Business Development Experience Course (BUS 4992) tied for second place in the category of Design Expo Image Contest, in 2014’s Design Expo.  This accomplishment is particularly impressive, as over 600 Michigan Tech students across all disciplines competed in this year’s hands-on, discovery-based learning program, hosted by the Institute for Leadership and Innovation and the College of Engineering.

The team, titled “Balise and RFID Use in Rail Systems,” consisted of members Frank Kampe (’14, BS in Marketing), Min Li (’14, BS in Operations and Systems Management), Daniel Holmberg (’14, BS in Management), and Kevin Heras (projected graduation: Fall 2014, majoring in Management).  In order to participate in the Design Expo, team members took the Business Development Experience two-course sequence, where business school students ascertain the commercial viability of potential projects.  Since the implementation of the courses, business school students have been teaming up with the Enterprise and Senior design project teams to look at their technologies from a business perspective.

Team Advisor and Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Saurav Pathak, was pleased with his students and the work they conducted.  “This group in particular made valuable recommendations to Technical Expert Network (TEN) on how to expand the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technologies in the US rail industry,” Pathak remarked.  He added, “The fact that business school students were placed as award winners in an event that predominantly highlights the technological feats at Michigan Tech is proof that there is value in ascertaining the business prospects of these technologies.”

Congratulations to the team on their award!


Littlest “Graduate” Celebrates Her Parents’ Commencement

August and Elizabeth Skultety [weren’t] the only ones in their family wearing caps and gowns at  Michigan Technological University’s 2014 Spring Commencement Saturday.  Their 3-year-old daughter, Charlotte, [was] right there with them in a miniature cap and gown in honor of her parents’ graduation from Michigan Tech.

“All of college has been a family experience for us,” said Elizabeth, who is receiving her Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, “so it feels like she is graduating too. She has put up with all of our studying and other commitments.”

August is receiving a Bachelor of Science in Management with a concentration in supply chain and operations management. Yoopers born and raised—August from Gladstone and Elizabeth from Escanaba—the Skultetys will be moving to Midland, Mich., to start jobs at Dow Chemical.  August will be a supply chain analyst for Dow, and Elizabeth will be a production engineer with Dow AgroSciences.

Both Skultetys have fond memories of their days at Michigan Tech. Elizabeth found the chemical engineering department very hands on and the professors very personable. She is especially grateful for the mentorship of Professor Julia King , under whom she conducted research. King not only helped Elizabeth with her studies, she helped the family find day care for Charlotte when they found themselves struggling with that.

Elizabeth was also very involved in the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and is currently the president of the Michigan Tech chapter.

August said he enjoyed working with the School of Business and Economics. He had special praise for Professor Dana Johnson, who he said was very helpful throughout his Tech experience.

Houghton also proved the perfect place to pursue some of their favorite activities; hiking, camping and playing in the snow.

The couple chose to work with Dow Chemical after positive experiences as interns there. “We both chose Dow because we really liked the company as a whole,” said Elizabeth. “They are a family oriented company, and we like the Midland community for that as well.”

The Skultetys are looking forward to the next chapter of their lives, at Dow. “We were able to both get internships, and I was able to go to a career fair after my sophomore year and immediately get a great internship with Dow,” said Elizabeth. “I was really happy that the job opportunities were so good.”

August called Dow “our first choice, so it [the career fair] enabled us to get positions with our first-choice company,” said August. “We both got hired in August, so we haven’t had to worry all year.”

Though the Skultetys are leaving, they have a bit of advice for the students who come after them: time management and a stable support system are the keys to success at Michigan Tech.

Although the family enjoyed their time in Houghton, they are ready to start the next part of their journey. “It is a relief [to graduate]. We are ready to move on and start the next chapter in our lives,” said Elizabeth. “We are closing on a house this summer in Midland. We are ready to settle down in a community and get some roots.”

As for the littlest cap-and-gown wearer, Charlotte is just a little sad to have to cover up the sparkly new dress she got for the occasion. She’ll get to show off a little bit of sparkle, though, with the sparkly white shoes she got to complete her ensemble.

Michigan Technological University (www.mtu.edu) is a leading public research university developing new technologies and preparing students to create the future for a prosperous and sustainable world. Michigan Tech offers more than 130 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering; forest resources; computing; technology; business; economics; natural, physical and environmental sciences; arts; humanities; and social sciences.

*This article was written by Erika Vichcales for Michigan Tech News, and was re-posted with the author’s permission.  Please click here to see the original posting.


THE Project 2014

The Michigan Tech team (from left to right): Destine Clark, Cole Smith, Angela Barr, Min Li, Robert Stroebel, and Shivaram Kannimangalamviswanathan

Michigan Tech placed second in THE Project 2014‘s competition on April 14.  The event was held at Davenport University in Grand Rapids, MI and involved ten teams from around the country.  Competing students had been asked to prepare a recommendation to Governor Snyder to make it easier for Michigan’s Military Veterans to connect with their Federal Benefits.

2014 marked the third annual Project competition; both of Michigan Tech’s teams made the final four in 2013 (placing second and third), and Michigan Tech’s Team B placed second in 2012.

For 2014, Michigan Tech sent one team, consisting of:

  • Angela Barr, double major in Marketing and Management
  • Destine Clark, majoring in Operations and Systems Management
  • Shivaram Kannimangalamviswanathan, Graduate student in Mechanical Engineering
  • Min Li, majoring in Operations and Systems Management
  • Cole Smith, majoring in Management
  • Robert Strobel, majoring in Engineering Management

The team worked diligently over the course of two semesters to prepare for the presentations.  Smith noticed that his public speaking skills steadily improved over the course of the year.  He stated, “It was a great experience from the beginning.  I now have a better understanding of project management concepts, and feel confident I can use what I learned from this competition in the real world.  It also helped me become a stronger leader and improved my communication skills.”

Smith offered up some advice for next year’s team: “Preparation is key, and you have to know your audience.”  Want to be involved in THE Project 2015?  Apply by October 2014!


Alumni Spotlight: Maggie Chen

In late April 2014, Associate Dean and Professor of Economics, Tom Merz, met up with School of Business and Economics alum, Maggie Chen, while he was visiting Hong Kong.  Chen was very involved as a Tech student, participating in the Applied Portfolio Management Program before earning her BS in Finance in 2004.  She also completed a fellowship at Columbia University and continued on to receive her MBA from Yale University in 2010.  Chen currently resides in Hong Kong with her husband Max and their two-year-old son Mickey, where she is a foreign equities portfolio manager in the State Administration of Foreign Exchange Investment Company.  She aspires to be a visiting lecturer in finance at Tech’s School of Business and Economics.

Are you an alum of Michigan Tech’s School of Business and Economics?  We’d love to hear your story!  Send it to business@mtu.edu today!


FinanceU Is Most Exceptional!

At the 20th Annual Student Leadership Awards on Friday, April 18, FinanceU received the honor of Exceptional Program of the Year.  FinanceU, an event in financial literacy put on by the Office of Financial Aid and the School of Business and Economics’ Finance Club on November 20, owes some of its success to its partnership with Michigan Tech’s Office of Financial Aid and Wells Fargo Bank.

The Finance Club and the Office of Financial Aid have partnered to produce the successful FinanceU events in order to help students make informed financial decisions.  FinanceU’s mission is to foster a greater sense of financial literacy among all students, regardless of major.  Topics discussed at this year’s event included financial aid opportunities, how to manage one’s personal finances, starting and continuously funding a substantial retirement plan, and provided students with online tools to help manage all of these aspects.  Financial Aid Advisor, Cindy Cowell, and Wells Fargo Store Manager, Ellie Freeman, were on hand to answer questions from audience members, but the main focus of the event was for students to present information to other students, since research shows that individuals are better able to understand a message when it is delivered by a peer.

This second consecutive FinanceU event held at its roots the same message as last year’s activity; Michigan Tech students were given the knowledge and power needed to enable them to begin making sound financial decisions before even graduating from college.  Similar to the previous year’s event, a survey was administered to participants, asking them to rate their knowledge of budgeting.  This year’s FinanceU event was so successful that the number of participants doubled, with over 200 students completing the surveys.

Brett Ludwig, 2013/2014 President of the Finance Club was extremely proud of FinanceU’s accomplishments.  “With this year being the second time FinanceU has put on the event,” Ludwig remarked, “we were hoping that it would be bigger and better than last year.  Mission accomplished.  With Donzel Dixson [Finance Club member] on the bullhorn outside, the flow of students coming to the booth as well as Finance Club members going throughout the library to ask people questions were astounding.  We’re excited to host more events in the future.”  Ludwig will be graduating in a few weeks, but will leave the Finance Club in the capable hands of Heath Johnson, 2014/2015 President.