Support for MiSTEM Advisory Council

MiSTEM Networks in the UP colored map
MiSTEM Networks in the UP, Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget

Jacqueline Huntoon, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $385,136 grant from the State of Michigan, Department of Education.

Christopher Wojick (CEE), Stephanie Tubman (Provost Office), Douglas Oppliger (EF) and Amanda Gonczi (GLRC) are Co-PIs on the project “2018-19 MiSTEM Advisory Council Grant.”

This is a one-year project.

By Sponsored Programs.


Sirak Seyoum ’93 Climbs Mt. Everest

Serak Seyoum ’93 with fellow climbers Keval Kakka and Avtandil Tsintsadze in Lobuche, Nepal.

Michigan Tech alumnus Sirak Seyoum ’93, an electrical engineer living in San Francisco, has taken a few months off his professional position at Cargill. He intends to become the first Ethiopian to conquer Everest, the highest mountain in the world. He began his climb in April and is currently at High Camp Lobuche in Nepal.

Sirak Seyoum ’93. His goal: to be the first Ethiopian ever to climb Mt. Everest.

Sirak discovered his passion for climbing more than 11 years ago. He has been climbing mountain ranges around the world nonstop ever since. As a young boy, Sirak grew up in Gondar, Ethiopia, idolizing sports legends like Pele and Abebe Bikila, which continued to inspire his love for the outdoors. He engaged in college sports while excelling academically at Michigan Tech. His father, Dr. Seyoum Taticheff passed away in 2011, proud and supportive of his son’s mountain climbing ambitions. While a little anxious, his mother Dr. Fantaye Mekbeb is also Sirak’s number one fan, thankful to see her son’s passion coming to fruition in 2019. She is confident in his ability to reason, and his mental and physical strengths, as are all his friends.

Sirak’s conquest of some of the most challenging mountains around the world is testament to his level of fitness. As if climbing mountains is not challenging enough, Sirak is known to wear weighted vests while he climbs.

Visit Sirak’s Facebook page for ongoing posts from his climb of Mt. Everest. In addition, Sirak’s GoFundMe page tells more about his efforts to help bring attention to street children in Addis Abeba.

 

April 2019: Sirak Seyoum at High Camp Lobuche, Nepal
Sirak in the lead on Mt. Chopicalqui, Peru (2015)
Sirak Seyoum ’93 Mt Chopicalqui, Peru (2015)

Tau Beta Pi Honor Society initiates 20 new members

Michigan Tech Tau Beta Pi Spring 2019 Initiates

Tau Beta Pi initiated eighteen students and two eminent engineers into the Michigan Tech Michigan Beta chapter this semester.

A nationally-recognized engineering honor society, Tau Beta Pi is the only one that recognizes all engineering professions. Members are selected from the top eighth of their junior class, top fifth of their senior class, or the top fifth of graduate students who have completed 50 percent of their coursework.

Tau Beta Pi celebrates those who have distinguished scholarship and exemplary character and members strive to maintain integrity and excellence in engineering. The honor is nationally recognized in both academic and professional settings. Alumni embody the principle of TBP: “Integrity and Excellence in Engineering.”

Spring 2019 Initiates:

Undergraduate Students

David Castelvetere: Mechanical Engineering

Laura De Marchi: Biomedical Engineering

Lucas Determan: Computer Engineering

Brooke Forseth: Civil Engineering

Dakota Frohriep: Electrical Engineering

Zachrey Gogulski: Environmental Engineering

Ben Johnson: Mechanical Engineering

Sean Luke: Mechanical Engineering

Nate Marus: Biomedical Engineering

Josh Poquette: Electrical Engineering

Cameron Reid: Chemical Engineering

Erican Santiago: Biomedical Engineering

Christian Walters: Mechanical Engineering

Jason Whitler: Mechanical Engineering

Derek Willis: Mechanical Engineering

Bronson Wood: Chemical Engineering

 

Graduate Students

Chaitanya Bhat: Civil and Environmental Engineering

Li Wei: Electrical Engineering

 

Eminent Engineers

Sean Kirkpatrick: Biomedical Engineering

Faith Morrison: Chemical Engineering

 


ASTM Award for Glass Strength Researcher Stephen Morse

Stephen Morse ASTM Award 2019
Stephen Morse (left) accepts the ASTM Award.

Stephen Morse was awarded an American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International Committee Award of Appreciation for his outstanding contributions to the Standard Practice for Determining Load Resistance of Glass in Buildings (E1300) and the Subcommittee (E06.52) on Glass Use in Buildings.

He was recognized for his work on greatly improved design methodologies for architectural window glass.

Morse holds a joint appointment as an assistant professor in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics and Civil and Environmental Engineering.


Engineering Students Take Top Prizes at 2019 Graduate Research Colloquium

The Graduate Student Government (GSG) hosted the 11th Annual Graduate Research Colloquium March 27 and 28, to celebrate the hard work and outstanding achievements of our graduate students. The event has grown from a one-session event with a handful of participants into a two-day event with a record 85 participants, representing 17 academic schools and departments. The event ended with an awards banquet honoring presenters, award nominees and three new awards recognizing departments for supporting graduate education. Congratulations to the 2019 graduate student recipients for their outstanding accomplishments.

Janna Brown
Janna Brown

Top three GRC poster presentations:

  1. Janna Brown, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  2. Laura Schaerer, Department of Biological Sciences
  3. Avik Ghosh, Department of Chemistry

Top three GRC oral presentations:

  1. Nabhajit Goswami, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  2. Nicholas Gerstner, Department of Humanities
  3. Jeremy Bigalke, Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology
Nabhajit Goswami
Nabhajit Goswami

The Graduate School sponsors three awards to honor students that have committed an extraordinary amount of time to their studies, instructing others or serving the graduate community. These awards include: Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award, Dean’s Award for Outstanding Scholarship and Graduate Student Service Award.

Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award:

Chemical Engineering

  • Aaron Krieg
  • Daniel Kulas

Chemistry

  • Vagarshak Begoyan
  • Charles Schaerer

Civil and Environmental Engineering

  • Dongdong Ge
  • Christa Meingast
  • Mohammadhossein Sadeghiamirshahidi
  • Darud E Sheefa
  • Sarah Washko

Cognitive and Learning Sciences

  • CatherineTislar

Electrical and Computer Engineering

  • Mehdi Malekrah

Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences

  • Brandi Petryk

Humanities

  • Elizabeth Renshaw

Mathematical Sciences

  • Jacob Blazejewski
  • Nattaporn Chuenjarem

Mechanical Engineering–Engineering Mechanics

  • Ahammad Basha Dudekula
  • Siddharth Bharat Gopujkar
  • Cameron Hansel
  • Erica  Jacobson
  • Luke Jurmu
  • Mingyang Li
  • Si Liu
  • Niranjan Miganakallu
  • William Pisani
  • Samantha Swartzmiller
  • Upendra Yadav
  • Zhuyong Yang

Physics

  • Lisa Eggart
  • Nicholas Videtich

Social Sciences

  • Sun Nguyen
  • Daniel Trepal

Dean’s Award for Outstanding Scholarship:

Atmospheric Sciences

  • Janarjan Bhandari
  • Kamal Kant Chandrakar

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

  • Jeffrey Kiiskila

Biomedical Engineering

  • Anindya Majumdar

Chemistry

  • Mingxi Fang
  • Shahien Shahsavari

Civil and Environmental Engineering

  • Mohammadhossein Sadeghiamirshahidi
  • Xinyu Ye
  • Shuaidong Zhao

Electrical and Computer Engineering

  • Wyatt Adams

Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences

  • Priscilla Addison

Humanities

  • Nancy Henaku

Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology

  • Jeremy Bigalke

Mathematical Sciences

  • Matthew Roberts

Mechanical Engineering–Engineering Mechanics

  • Sampath Kumar Reddy Boyapally
  • Oladeji Fadayomi
  • Hui Huang
  • Xian Li
  • Miles Penhale
  • Nikhil Appasaheb Shinde
  • Rahul Jitendra Thakkar
  • Mitchel Timm
  • Xiucheng Zhu

Physics

  • Chad Brisbois
  • Dolendra Karki

School of Business and Economics

  • Garrett  Mitchell
  • David Renaldi
  • Gina  Roose
  • Dylan Steman

Social Sciences

  • John Barnett
  • Erin Burkett
  • Robert Zupko

The Graduate Student Service Award is given to graduate students nominated by the Graduate Student Government Executive Board for their outstanding contributions to the graduate community at Michigan Tech.

Graduate Student Service Award:

  • Daniel Byrne, Department of Computer Science
  • Nabhajit Goswami, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Ami Kling, Department of Biomedical Engineering

Michigan Tech is a member of the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS), which solicits nominations for its Excellence in Teaching Award and Distinguished Master’s Thesis Competition.

The MAGS Excellence in Teaching Award participating schools are able to nominate one master’s and one doctoral level graduate students who exemplify excellence in the teaching/learning mission of our university.

Excellence in Teaching Award Nominee:

  • Jacob J. Blazejewski , Mathematical Sciences

The MAGS Distinguished Master’s Thesis Competition recognizes and rewards distinguished scholarship and research at the master’s level.

Distinguished Master’s Thesis Competition Nominee:

  • Sagda Osman, School of Technology

Michigan Tech is also a member of the Council for Graduate Schools/ProQuest and recognizes nominees for having completed dissertations representing original work that makes an unusually significant contribution to the discipline.

Council for Graduate Schools/ProQuest Nominee:

  • Erin C. Pischke, Social Sciences Department
  • Lauren N. Schaefer, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences Department

New Graduate School Awards to Graduate Programs Innovations to Enhance Graduate Student Recruitment and Enrollment Award:

  • Significant Enhancement in Recruitment and Enrollment Award – For creative strategies to enhance growth in graduate programs. Awarded to Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
  • Graduate Research Colloquium (GRC) Participation – For highest participation at the GRC. Awarded to Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology, Biomedical Engineering and Chemistry
  • Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Participation – For highest participation at the 3MT competition. Awarded to Biological Sciences

The GSG sponsors an Annual Merit Awards Program consisting of four awards that honor the exceptional work of one staff member, one graduate mentor and two graduate students. The recipients of these awards were nominated by their fellow graduate students and selected by the Graduate Student Government Executive Board.

Exceptional Staff Member Recipient:

  • Brittany Buschell, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences

Exceptional Graduate Mentor Recipient:

  •  Melissa F. Baird, Social Sciences

Exceptional Student Leader Recipient:

  • Karina Eyre, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Exceptional Student Scholar:

  • Miles Penhale , ME-EM

Congratulations to award recipients and nominees and a huge thank you to all the presenters, judges, volunteers and GSG supporters for helping make this one of the largest colloquiums in GSG’s history.

By Graduate School and Graduate Student Government.


2019 Portage Health Foundation Making a Difference Scholarship Recipients

Portage Health FoundationFourteen students have been awarded the Portage Health Foundation Making a Difference Scholarship. The scholarships are part of a Michigan Tech-Portage Health Foundation partnership established in 2015 to support health education. This year’s recipients have an average GPA of 3.8 and represent the breadth of health-related research happening on Michigan Tech’s campus.

 $8,000 Scholarship Recipients:

$4,000 Scholarship Recipients:

 $1,000 Scholarship Recipients:

  • Cassidy Becia, Houghton, exercise science
  • Andrew Eskola, Calumet, exercise science
  • Kellen Klein, Lake Linden, biological sciences
  • Rory LaBine, Ontonagon, computer engineering
  • Kaisa Nagel, Calumet, humanities
  • Madison Palosaari, Lake Linden, medical laboratory sciences
  • Elisabeth Svoke, Houghton, biological sciences
  • Kyle Usimaki, L’Anse, biological sciences

Bernadette Yeoman-Ouellette, chairperson of the Portage Health Foundation Board said, “I am so impressed by the caliber of our Make a Difference Scholar candidates. With the investment from the Portage Health Foundation in the form of scholarships, the seed is planted. With nurturing from Michigan Tech University, these students have every opportunity for their education to blossom into their dream careers in health care.”

“It is the synergy between the Portage Health Foundation and Michigan Tech University that allows this fruition to occur,” she added.

At the recent awards dinner, scholarship recipients and faculty members had the opportunity to hear from current students, Allie Waara and Elisha Earley, both PHF undergraduate research interns; and Alexa Destrampe, a Portage Health Foundation and Randy Owsley Memorial Athletic Trainer Scholar.

“We are especially grateful to the Portage Health Foundation for their support of our students through the Making a Difference scholarship program,” said Michigan Tech President Richard Koubek.

“Each recipient is truly deserving of the award and we are eager to see the impact these students will have on our community in the years to come.”


Engineering Students Sweep the 2019 Undergraduate Research Symposium

URS 2019The 2019 Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS) was held on Friday, March 29th, in the lobby of the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts from 1-5 p.m. The URS highlighted the amazing cutting-edge research being conducted on Michigan Tech’s campus by some of our best and brightest undergraduate students.

The Pavlis Honors College hosts undergraduate researchers and scholars from all departments, schools and programs to present abstracts for presentation at the URS.

VIEW THE PHOTO GALLERY

The winners of this year’s symposium, based on the assessment of faculty and staff judges from across campus, ARE:

First Place: Ceily Fessel Doan, Environmental Engineering, “Comparison of Nannochloropsis and Chlorelle Vulgaris Algae to Energy Efficiency in the Rio Grande Watershed” working with Alex Mayer

Second Place: Jacob LeBarre, Chemical Engineering, “Improvement of Virus Purification Method using Cation Exchange Chromatography” working with Caryn Heldt

Third Place: Kaylee Meyers, Biomedical Engineering, “Nitric Oxide Releasing Composite Hydrogels for Tendon Repair Via Matrix Metalloproteinase Controlled Pathways” working with Rupak Rajachar

Honorable Mention: Brenna Rosso, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, “Assessing the Expression and Purification of Arg-Tagged MS2 Coat Protein by Cation Exchange Chromatography” working with Ebenezer Tumban

Honorable Mention: Elizabeth Polega, Biomedical Engineering “Antibacterial Properties of Mussel-Inspired Polydopamine Coatings Prepared by Simple Two-Step Shaking-Assisted Method” working with Bruce Lee

Ceily Fessel Doan, CEE, First Place
Ceily Fessel Doan, CEE, First Place
Jacob LeBarre, CHE, Second Place
Jacob LeBarre, CHE, Second Place
Kaylee Meyers, BME, Third Place
Kaylee Meyers, BME, Third Place
Elizabeth Polega, BME, Honorable Mention
Elizabeth Polega, BME, Honorable Mention

LIFT Partners with Michigan Tech

Advanced Metalworks team in the labA partnership between Michigan Tech and Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT) was featured in the story “LIFT Partners with Michigan Technological University to Support Students in Advanced Manufacturing,” in Lift Technology.

LIFT Partners With Michigan Technological University To Support Students In Advanced Manufacturing

DETROIT – LIFT—Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow, a national manufacturing innovation institute operated by the American Lightweight Materials Innovation Institute (ALMMII), today announced it has partnered with Michigan Technological University (MTU) on two programs – an Advanced Metalworks research project, currently underway, and Materials Science Summer Youth Program, on campus later this summer – to support student engagement in advanced manufacturing.

“The industry needs greater resolution when using welding machines,” said Russ Stein, MTU research engineer and lead program manager. “Additive manufacturing – or 3D printing – isn’t a new technology, but we are working on making it more effective, accessible and affordable.” More information on the MTU Enterprise Program can be found at https://www.mtu.edu/enterprise/

Read more at LIFT.


World Water Day 2019 Addresses Human Rights

Monica Lewis-Patrick
Monica Lewis-Patrick

HOUGHTON — Water should be considered a basic human right, said Monica Lewis-Patrick. But in many cases, its commodification has made reliable access out of reach of struggling households.

Lewis-Patrick, the co-founder, president and chief executive officer of We the People of Detroit, delivered the keynote address Monday, March 25, 2019, as part of Michigan Technological University’s celebration of World Water Day.

Addressing the prospective engineers in the room, Lewis-Patrick urged them to move beyond mere equations and schematics.

“What we know, is that if you will serve humanity, and you begin your conversations for solving those problems with talking to the most impacted community first, I think we can get to these solutions much quicker and with fewer casualties,” she said.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Garrett Neese.


Deans’ Teaching Showcase: Faith Morrison

Faith Morrison
Faith Morrison

This week, the Deans’ Teaching Showcase returns to the College of Engineering where Dean Janet Callahan has selected Faith Morrison, professor of chemical engineering and associate dean.

Callahan chose Morrison not only for her excellent and innovative teaching, but also for extensive historical involvement in academic advising and planning for assessment, especially for Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. (ABET).

Callahan’s words, “Professor Morrison has been focused on improving the Chemical Engineering undergraduate program throughout her career. She has been heavily involved in academic advising, assessment activities, and implementing new pedagogy to enrich her students’ learning experience. Dr. Morrison’s continuous drive to improve student learning is an inspiration to us all.”

In his nominating letter, Chemical Engineering Chair Pradeep Agrawal focused mostly on Morrison’s unique and deeply-considered teaching philosophy. He especially emphasized her willingness to continually be “flexible in developing her teaching approach to match the learning style of a younger generation.”

One such contribution that has clearly been well received is a series of YouTube videos published by Morrison on rheology and momentum transport, several of which have more than 100,000 views.

Morrison believes her fundamental purpose is to teach students how to learn, and that keeping them active in the classroom is important to this end. In her words, she gives students a chance to “attempt solutions and see how their ideas work—I allow them to lead the problem‐solving, since I believe they benefit from following where their ideas lead.”

This does not mean she allows them complete freedom. Morrison carefully chooses activities and scaffolds discussions, taking “great care to identify and organize classroom topics and to keep the conversation going.”

Agrawal also emphasized this active and carefully customized approach, which Morrison applies even in larger classes. “Faith finds ways to engage students regardless of the class size. Her approach encourages all students to achieve a minimum level of proficiency in order to pass her course, but she also provides “stretch” assignments to students aspiring to earn top grades. These “stretch” assignments are harder problems, designed to challenge the top performing students. Her unorthodox approach allows the students to work at a level commensurate with their aspirations, but also ensures a minimum level of preparedness of the subject matter. ”

Finally, Morrison was selected because, according to Agrawal, she “earns the respect of her students, in spite of maintaining a rigorous work load and standards.” Faith carefully balances the ability to “meet students where they are” and setting a high—but still appropriate—level of challenge. In her words, she has “found that when I set expectations where I need them to be, the students are able to rise to the occasion.”

Morrison will be recognized at an end-of-term luncheon with other showcase members, and 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.

By Michael R. Meyer, Director William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning.