Month: March 2017

New accomplishments!

One of the best things about being dean is to watch faculty and students build the successes that help their careers and the reputation of Michigan Tech. Three items passed across my desk this week that show the range of areas where the people in this college are doing really good things.

image39817-persKathy Halvorsen, professor of natural resources policy in Social Sciences, with a joint appointment in the  School of Forest Resources and Environmental Sciences, was just elected Executive Director of the International Association for Society and Natural Resources (IASNR). Her term will begin in January 2018. Kathy has been deeply involved in a major project on Sustainability, Ecosystem Services, and Bioenergy Development across the Americas, sponsored by the National Science Foundation’s  Partnerships for International Research and Education program to the  tune of $4.8 million over the period 2012-17.  Through such international efforts, Kathy has been involved in IASNR, culminating in this newest leadership position within the organization. 

image93052-persAnne Beffel, professor in Visual and Performing Arts, has been deeply in performance art over her entire career. She has labeled her most recent effort “Every Color of Eyes.” The effort is related at least in part to the visit to campus this week of Jane Elliot, recipient of the National Mental Health Association Award for Excellence in Education. Elliot conducted the now famous  “Brown Eyes/Blue Eyes Experiment” in which she treated blue-eyed students better than brown-eyed students, and student performance quickly came to match those expectations. Beffel, with the help of several students, intends to show our differences as well as our common humanity through the metaphor of eye color. She is asking for people to email her pictures of their eyes for an exhibit opening March 31 in the Rozsa Gallery. Please consider volunteering!

StephanieDStephanie Dietrich, received first place presentation in the Fifth Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Her research was “Subjective and Objective Assessments of Sleep Differ in Male and Female Collegiate Athletes,” in Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology.

This is the second year in a row that KIP students have been at the top of the list in this event! And that does not exhaust the list of accomplishment from that department.

admin-ajax Kilgas-1Two KIP students- Matt Kilgas and Thomas Bye — and faculty advisor Steve Elmer received Michigan Space Grant Consortium awards in the most recent competition. But this year Tom Bye was the first undergraduate in the department to secure this type of support.

Congrats to Stephanie, Matt, Tom. Clearly, the faculty and students in the college are doing quite well – and I extend my congratulations to all of them!

The PEP Band!

Pep Band truck4Considering that Michigan Tech offers no degrees in music, the variety of quality musical groups here is quite amazing. Jazz and vocal groups, an orchestra and bands — students can participate in all of these, often in more than one venue. But for the typical student here, the Huskies Pep Band has been the face of Tech’s musical activities. The band enters every sporting on campus playing “Also Sprach Zarathustra” – the theme from “2001 a Space Odyssey.” And the fun only begins there, as the announcers welcome “The Cream of the Keweenaw, The Pride of Pasty Land, The Second-Best Feeling in the World!” The band has grown large enough to maintain three separate units, and every one of them has a good time!

The stories about the DaWGs (Damn, We’re Good!) are legion. I remember when Nebraska-Omaha added their Division 1 hockey team in the 1990s, they engaged Pep Band director Jeff Bell-Hanson as a consultant to tell them how to do it right! Obviously Tech knows how to do it right. How else to explain Northern Michigan’s decisions more than 2 decades ago to NOT allow the Pep Band into the ice arena in Marquette? The Northern Sound Machine simply could not compete! And for several years, the Huskies provided the official pep band for the WCHA Frozen Five hockey finals. Not bad for a unit that prides itself on volume!

Recently the band’s truck, which moves instruments from Walker to the SDC (or wherever the band is playing), got a facelift. The humor associated with everything the band does (ask Northern Women’s Basketball Coach Troy Mattson how it fells to attract the band’s attention!) is obvious on every panel. I especially like the rear door, which thanks drivers for being “behind” the Pepe Band!

Pep Band truck2

Pep Band truck1

Pep Band truck3

The decorations mark the support of alumni and friends of the band, who have long provided gifts large and small. But funds from friends and alums also support the acquisition of the instruments provided to students, notably percussion, tubas and other large bass instruments. Instrument repair and maintenance, music, and other operating expenses also are assisted through the generosity of those making annual gifts. In this day of declining state support for higher education, the importance of gifts are rarely so obvious. So let me join the band in thanking everyone whose support allows the band to be heard (and now seen!)  from in its own inimitable way!

The band will clearly help make a difference at the upcoming WCHA hockey championship at the Student Ice Arena Saturday March 18th. Go DaWGS and Go Huskies!