Category Archives: Outreach

CLS Congratulates Student Athlete Mariah Sherman

The Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences would like to congratulate Psychology student athlete Mariah Sherman on a successful career with Michigan Tech’s Division II Women’s Volleyball Team. Sherman wrapped up her final regular season home game as a Husky with a 22 kill win over rivals Northern Michigan University. As the lone senior on the Team, Sherman was honored before the game for her accomplishments over her last 4 years as a Husky including: 1000 career kills, GLIAC Academic All-Excellence Team, and GLIAC North Player of the week. The department wishes Mariah and the rest of the volleyball team the best of luck on their playoff season.

Read the Daily Mining Gazette article here.

Read about her GLIAC honors here.


Healthy Minds Survey

Health Minds Sticker with tagline

The Healthy Minds Survey (HMS) is a campus-wide, nationally recognized, online survey about student mental health and well being. Since its national launch in 2007, HMS has been fielded at over 180 colleges and universities, with over 200,000 survey respondents.  Getting this information from students across the country will help the Healthy Minds Network get a clearer picture of how students handle the stresses of college life and how well their mental and emotional health needs are being met. More importantly, Michigan Tech will gain valuable information that will help the university make informed decisions about the mental health services and outreach programs available to students.

Take approximately 25 minutes out of your day to give the university your feedback on mental health and wellness on campus.

Take the survey here.

The survey remains open from September 24th – October 22nd.

Healthy Minds Heads Sticker with tagline



Donations Needed for Semi-annual Free Sale

amato-henderson-personnelCo-founders of the highly successful semi-annual free sale at Michigan Tech were featured in a segment on TV6 news on Monday evening. Female faculty began the free sale five years ago due to limited local options for women’s business attire.

Ready to clean out your closet and help students at the same time? Consider donating your gently used, clean women’s business clothing and accessories to the Free Sale. Your items will be available to all Michigan Tech students at no cost. Donations help provide students with business attire for the fall career fair. Sizes 12 and up are particularly needed this year.

It has become kind of a passion of mine and I think the reason why is because when you see those students stand taller, look a little prouder and realize that they do look wonderful and their gratefulness that they have when they are leaving is just, I think, what inspires us to keep going — Susan Amato-Henderson, Cognitive and Learning Sciences Department chair.

The next semi-annual Free Sale will be held from 11-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Meese Center. Donations are now being accepted during normal business hours at the following locations:

  • Van Pelt and Opie Library – Front Desk and Jeannie DeClerk’s office, 219
  • Lakeshore Center – Pat Muller’s office, 320 A1
  • Academic Office Building – First Floor and Latika Gupta’s office, 128
  • Dillman Hall – Tess Ahlborn’s office, 108A
  • Meese Center – Susan Amato-Henderson’s office, 107

The semi-annual Free Sale is held the weekend before Career Fair. Your donations have helped hundreds of students dress for success. In addition to business suits, we gratefully accept and give away business-appropriate shoes, jewelry, blouses, briefcases, blazers and more.

We are in particular need of larger sizes. Want to volunteer and join the fun? Contact Tess Ahlborn for more information.


ACSHF Student Receives Local Hero Award

boroski-personnelWhitney Boroski, MS student in the ACSHF program and Manager of Student Health and Wellness, was recently awarded the 2018 Michigan Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking (MCRUD) Local Hero Award. MCRUD provides leadership on state and national issues, and assists individuals, grassroots groups, and organizations to reduce underage drinking locally.

Boroski has been resourceful in creating programs and utilizing campus and community resources to assist in reducing underage drinking at the university.


Research for Teachers Poster Session

Group of Teachers present posters on mobile chalkboards to attendeesA poster session for the Michigan Tech 2018 Research Experiences for Teachers was held from 3 to 5 p.m. yesterday (Aug. 9) in the Great Lakes Research Center Second Floor Atrium.

The poster session concludes the NSF-funded Teacher Professional Development summer institute, “Computational Tools and the Environment.”  Twelve in-service teachers were paired up with civil and environmental engineering graduate students to research topics such as water quality, lead contamination, aquaponics and renewable energy.

The results of their research have been translated into curricula for science and mathematics classes. They will present the results of their research and curriculum development at the poster session.

Michigan In-service Teachers Participate in Engineering Course at MTU

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Through the generous support of a grant from the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, 8 Michigan teachers participated in a two-week long summer institute on the campus of Michigan Tech last month. The teachers are newly admitted students in the Master’s of Applied Science Education program, housed in the Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences. The teachers engaged in hands-on experiments in the course, The Engineering Process, which was taught by Dr. Irwin from the School of Technology. Teachers took part in both the technical and creative sides of the problem solving process surrounding engineering.

ICAD 2018

International Conference on Auditory Display, ICAD 2018 Michigan Technological University graphic logo.Michigan Technological University has the honor of hosting the 24th annual International Conference on Auditory Display.

ICAD is a highly interdisciplinary academic conference with relevance to researchers, practitioners, musicians, and students interested in the design of sounds to support tasks, improve performance, guide decisions, augment awareness, and enhance experiences. It is unique in its singular focus on auditory displays and the array of perception, technology, and application areas that this encompasses. The overarching theme of this year’s conference is sonification as ADSR (art – design – science – research).

Portions of this conference have been made available for free to the general public:

Presentation from Dr. Stefania Serifin

June 11th, 11 a.m. – 12 p. m. 
Forestry Building Room G02

20 Years of Sonic Interactionsstefania_Lg-300x300

Sonic interaction design is a fertile field of investigation at the intersection of sound and music computing and interaction design. For the past twenty years together with several collaborators we have been designing sonic interactions for different applications, ranging from physics based simulations of musical instruments and everyday objects, new interfaces for musical expression, cultural heritage, walking and rehabilitation, learning and training, as well as virtual and augmented reality. In this talk, she will present an overview of these activities reflecting on their impact and perspectives for the future.

Presentation from Dr. Carryl BaldwinCarryl

June 12th, 11 a.m. – 12 p. m.  
Forestry Building Room G02

Auditory Displays to Facilitate Attention Management in Highly Autonomous Systems

Two recent crashes in January 2018 involving Tesla’s Model S, underscore the importance of the need for driver’s to maintain awareness in semi-automated vehicles, even when the autopilot is engaged.  Despite manufacturer’s warnings and cautionary statements in owner’s manuals, decades of research in vigilance indicates that this will be a challenge, if not impossible for most drivers. This talk will focus on our recent and on-going research developing novel methods of assisting the driver with attention management in highly autonomous systems.  Included in this discussion will be a discussion of the methods to develop and validate effective auditory collision avoidance alerts, driver state monitoring with low-cost physiological sensors, and using specific types of music as a means assisting operators with maintaining sustained attention.

Diversity Workshop

June 12th, 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Forestry Building Room 144

A hands-on workshop on the development of audio-based educational tools and teaching scenarios of activities pertinent to the ICAD domain.

Sonification Concert

June 13th, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts

Experience experts’ takes on sonification in concert setting.

You may also register for the full conference here. For more details, visit http://icad2018.icad.org/

Partial funding is provided by the Visiting Women & Minority Lecture/Scholar Series (VWMLSS) which is funded by a grant to the Office of Institutional Equity and Inclusion from the State of Michigan’s King-Chavez-Parks Initiative.


Michigan Tech’s Mi-STAR kits to be supplied by Nasco

Mi-STAR’s curriculum and its associated professional learning program were designed and developed in full alignment with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the Michigan Science Standards. The curriculum is unique in that it integrates content and methods across the traditional disciplinary boundaries of Earth and space science, life science, engineering and physical science. Engineering principles are fully embedded in the curriculum; engineering is not treated as an afterthought or add-on by Mi-STAR.

Although the curriculum is still being developed, all of the 6th-grade units will be available in time for the start of school in fall 2018. Several 7th- and 8th-grade units will also be available for the fall. When completed, the entire middle school curriculum will address all of the middle school standards.

Mi-STAR’s curriculum and associated professional learning support student-centered instruction in middle school classrooms. Each unit in the Mi-STAR curriculum addresses a real-world problem that is of wide interest to 21st-century society. By maintaining a focus on real-world problems, the curriculum helps students understand how science and engineering are used to design solutions to issues that are relevant to their communities and the world.

“By partnering with a major corporation to produce and deliver kits to schools, Mi-STAR will be able to expand its reach and provide better service to educators and other users” says Jackie Huntoon, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Michigan Tech. Huntoon noted “anything a STEM-focused University like Michigan Tech can do to increase students’ interest in science before they graduate from high school will ultimately benefit our state and the nation.

“Michigan Tech scientists and engineers have devoted a lot of time and effort into making Mi-STAR the best it can be—and these efforts are really having a positive impact on Michigan’s teachers and students.”

Mi-STAR was founded in 2015 through a generous gift to Michigan Tech from the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation. In 2017, Mi-STAR was identified as a promising program by STEMworks at WestEd.

School districts partnering with Mi-STAR have been successful at obtaining support from the Michigan Department of Education to enhance their teacher’s professional learning and to improve science learning outcomes among their students while using the Mi-STAR curriculum and professional learning program. In 2018, Michigan Tech received funding from the National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program that will be used to increase the number of teachers proficient with Mi-STAR’s NGSS-aligned curriculum and who are prepared to lead reform efforts in their schools, districts and the state.

As of January 2018, Mi-STAR was used by more than 450 teachers in more than 100 schools/districts with an estimated 45,000 students. Nasco was started in 1941 by a vocational agricultural teacher, Norman Eckley. Starting as a simple operation in a two-car garage, Nasco has grown to an enterprise publishing more than 35 different catalogs, with an annual circulation exceeding 5 million, to customers in education, agriculture, healthcare training and lab sampling worldwide featuring materials available for a wide array of educational, training and production needs.

by Jackie Huntoon, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs


Dr. Ellis Recognized at Dean’s Teaching Showcase Luncheon

Dr. Jsusie and joshosh Ellis was recognized on April 24 by CLS Department Chair Susie Amato-Henderson at the annual Dean’s teaching showcase luncheon. College of Sciences and Arts Dean Bruce Seely selected Ellis, Assistant Professor in the Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences (CLS) for his synthesis between research and teaching.
Following his experience as a K-12 teacher in Minneapolis, Ellis was driven to understand more about how teachers know when their students have learned. As a budding researcher with his eye on K12 education, Ellis entered the STEM Education doctoral program at the University of Minnesota, where faculty embraced this connection between research and educational practice. “I learned how to rigorously analyze teaching through a research lens, and I also learned how to conduct more meaningful research through the teaching lens. I firmly believe that I need both research and teaching to do it.”
This synthesis is embedded in Ellis’ research and classroom instruction at Michigan Tech, where he teaches future K-16 educators. His approach is especially useful when exploring how educational technology can support student learning. This might be best shown by a comment Ellis shared from B.W. Seibert: “Teachers will never be replaced by technology … but teachers who use technology effectively will replace those who do not.”
Ellis considers this perspective “both a warning and an opportunity for teacher education students at Tech eager to use the incredible technological tools of our age to push the boundaries of what we think learning is.” He applies Seibert in his instructional technology course (ED3100) and in his with the newly developed foundations of online teaching (ED5101) course. Both courses help educators learn to reach broader audiences, engage diverse participants and empower people of all abilities and backgrounds to achieve more. Students “learn how technology can lower barriers to finding information and more quickly allow students to seek knowledge and understanding.”
As one of 12 Deans’ teaching showcase members, Dr. Ellis is now eligible for one of three new teaching awards to be given by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning this summer recognizing introductory or large class teaching, innovative or outside-the-classroom teaching methods, or work in curriculum and assessment.