Author: Sue Hill

Dean’s Teaching Showcase: Jeremy Shannon

Jeremy Shannon
Jeremy Shannon

The College of Engineering has selected Jeremy Shannon, principal lecturer in the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences (GMES), for this week’s Deans’ Teaching Showcase. Dean Janet Callahan selected him for teaching excellence in a field course.

Shannon joined GMES as a lecturer in 2007. He teaches a variety of courses throughout the year including Understanding the Earth (GE2000), a large course that is taken by many non-major students. Department Chair Aleksey Smirnov (GMES) says “Dr. Shannon provides a vital contribution to GMES undergraduate instruction and advising. He is an outstanding instructor and an impactful and trusted mentor.”

One of Shannon’s favorite courses is Field Geophysics (GE3900), a summer, a five-credit course required for Geological Engineering, Geology, and Applied Geophysics majors. Most geoscience programs only require a field geology course, so this class provides an extremely unique, hands-on experience for GMES students. The five-week-long class is set up like a consulting job with weekly projects. Each project uses a different geophysical technique, or a combination thereof, with specified goals. As one student put it, “Jeremy had an innate ability to connect with us all, especially on field trips. He utilized more field visits than any other professor I had at Tech. This gave me real-life scenarios and examples to help cement concepts I had learned in the classroom.”

A typical week involves fieldwork, the reduction, interpretation and modeling of data, and a final written report or oral presentation. Shannon worked for a few years in environmental consulting and likes that he can share with students his own experiences that mimic the format of this class, especially the report writing. This class offers one of the best opportunities in the GMES curriculum for practice in scientific writing, an invaluable skill that will translate directly for students that either choose employment or decide on graduate school. A recent alumnus observed that Shannon made sure the students also “focused on the hard work that occurred back in the classroom completing the reports to improve students’ report writing skills. Jeremy had very high standards for the reports. His resolve in consistent writing and proper formatting for all reports significantly influenced my use of proper documentation, even today.”

Shannon is an MTU alumnus and took the Field Geophysics class as an undergraduate in the summer of 1992. He was honored to take over the class in 2007 from his former professor and mentor Dr. Jimmy Diehl, who taught it for 25 years. He has continued and built upon this legacy to deliver a unique field experience to GMES students. In particular, Shannon has proactively worked to upgrade the geophysical equipment which is typically expensive. Over the last several years, with the help of departmental, alumni, and C2E2 funding, new seismic refraction and ground-penetrating radar systems were purchased. Other equipment includes magnetometers, electrical resistivity meters, electromagnetic instruments, and one precious gravity meter. And he makes using the equipment fun. Another student said, “Jeremy helps students to see the joy in fieldwork. He makes it exciting to see seismic waves be recorded by a geophone, or he encourages us to be patient in aligning the gravimeter.”

The class projects typically target objects or structures within tens of meters below the surface. The projects include determining depth to bedrock and water table, mapping contacts between different rock types, or locating buried metallic and non-metallic objects on the site of a Calumet & Hecla stamp mill in Lake Linden. About five years ago, Shannon collaborated with the Michigan DNR and had the class perform geophysical surveys to delineate a buried bedrock valley near McLain State Park. There is no definite surface expression of the valley as it is filled with glacial till, but a gravity survey showed that the ~3 km wide and 200 meters deep valley trends to the north through a portion of the park. The absence of bedrock near the surface where the valley is located is precisely the location where significant beach erosion is taking place. These results became part of the decision-making process, which resulted in the recent restructuring of the park layout.

Dean Callahan summarizes: “Shannon’s dedication to continually improve the field course provides a unique learning environment for our students in which they develop skills that they will use throughout their careers. He is very deserving of this recognition.”

Shannon will be recognized at an end-of-term luncheon with other showcase members, and is also a candidate for the CTL Instructional Award Series (to be determined this summer), recognizing introductory or large-class teaching, innovative or outside the classroom teaching methods, or work in curriculum and assessment.

Written by Aleksey Smirnov, Chair of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences.


Graduate School Announces Spring 2021 Finishing Fellowship Award Recipients

Michigan Tech campus at night in the winter with Husky statue.

The Graduate School proudly announces the recipients of the Doctoral Finishing Fellowships for the spring semester, 2021. Congratulations to all nominees and recipients.

The following are award recipients in engineering graduate programs:


Dean’s Teaching Showcase: Trever Hassell

Trever Hassell
Trever Hassell

College of Engineering Dean Janet Callahan has selected Trever Hassell, Senior Lecturer in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) for week two of the Deans’ Teaching Showcase. Callahan selected Hassell for his strong engagement of students in large classes. In one student’s words, he “has done an excellent job providing world-class teaching even in the midst of the pandemic and the shift to online learning. He continues to lecture on the important course material while trying out ideas to encourage student interaction outside of the lecture setting.”

For his large section remote course, Hassell has been adapting iClicker questions used in previous semesters (pre COVID-19) for use with Reef (or iClicker Cloud). Simultaneously, he has been expanding his question bank. Implementation of the iClicker Cloud software during the Michigan Tech FLEX initiative allows Hassell to engage and stimulate student learning during lectures and receive real-time feedback regarding whether students are mastering the learning objectives of the course. Lecture iClicker questions are posted prior to the lecture for students to review in advance. During the lectures the iCloud clicker app is used for polling students, taking a screenshot question on the lecture computer screen and sending it to the students’ Reef app or mobile device webpage. Students respond to the question and their information is provided in real-time to the instructor. Class response results are then viewed, shared, and discussed. Utilizing the iClicker Cloud software has also allowed for uninterrupted course participation even as students have had to switch from remote to face-to-face modes. “Using technology to engage students keeps the Zoom sessions productive, helping students focus on understanding the material”, said Dean Callahan.

Having more than eight years of experience with “online/blended” courses, Hassell continually refines his online delivery. It is no surprise that pivoting to the FLEX mode of instruction presented him with an opportunity, rather than a burden. He found that transitioning from a touchscreen laptop using the ZoomIt app, which had a granular screen annotation resolution limitation, to a Windows Surface Pro and annotating with Microsoft OneNote vastly improved the annotation resolution, increasing student engagement in virtual activity. Interim ECE Chair Glen Archer said, “Trever has always been an experimenter and early adopter in the classroom. He’s always on the lookout for new tools and techniques that will make life in the classroom better.” In addition, Hassell has made course structural changes allowing for greater flexibility in the weekly assignments, course participation, and exams addressing student accommodations under COVID. Hassell gives students a choice, allowing participation by either synchronous iClicker questions or asynchronous communications within lecture discussions. As another student noted, “His courses are always very neatly organized, and his posting of lecture notes before our Zoom lectures each week has certainly helped. Mr. Trevor Hassel also encourages much-needed discussion both during and outside of lecture.”

Hassell has actively taken advantage of professional training and development opportunities. The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) has been a vital resource and asset for information and advice. Attending several of the CTL’s lunch and learn workshops played a key role in helping him integrate available tools and strategies into the classroom environment. And students appreciate it. As another student commented, “Being in Mr. Hassell’s class in Power Electronics has been a very enjoyable experience. He was always available and even though I took the class in the middle of the pandemic, I felt like we were in the same room with him all along.”

Hassell will be recognized at an end-of-term event with other showcase members, and is also a candidate for the CTL Instructional Award Series (to be determined this summer) recognizing introductory or large-class teaching, innovative or outside the classroom teaching methods, or work in curriculum and assessment.


Engineering Alumni Activity Spring 2021

Kim Nowack
Kim Nowack

Congratulations to CEE alumna and recent Academy inductee Kim Nowack who has been named the recipient of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Michigan’s Felix A. Anderson Image Award. The award is for outstanding individuals who take steps to improve the public image of the engineering profession. Nowack is the Mackinac Bridge Authority Executive Secretary.

Jason Arbuckle
Jason Arbuckle

Michigan Tech alumnus Jason Arbuckle who earned his BS, MS and PhD in Electrical Engineering from Michigan Tech, has been named to the newly formed role of Marine Autonomy Technology Lead for Brunswick Corporation. The story appeared in Yahoo Finance. Throughout his career, Arbuckle has been instrumental in the development of helm software for Mercury Marine products from single engine to six engine vessels and has been granted more than 45 patents related to marine control systems.

Ali Mirchi
Ali Mirchi

Civil Engineering PhD alumnus Ali Mirchi is quoted in the article “The return of a once-dying lake,” on the BBC. Mirchi, an assistant professor in the department of biosystems and agricultural engineering at Oklahoma State University, has extensively studied Lake Urmia in Iran. The lake is currently 3m (10ft) below its target water level. “So there’s quite a ways to go,” says Ali Mirchi.

Monique Wells
Monique Wells

DTE Energy announced the appointment of Monique Wells as its director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Wells will be responsible for accelerating DTE’s progress in building a workplace where everyone feels valued and able to contribute their best energy toward serving our customers, communities and each other. Wells graduated from the University of Toledo with her Master’s degree in Career and Technical Education, and graduated from Michigan Technological University with her Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering. She serves on Spring Arbor University’s Engineering Advisory Board, as well as Michigan Tech University College of Engineering’s Advisory Board.

Marty Lagina
Marty Lagina

Michigan Tech alumnus Marty Lagina was mentioned in the article “Who Owns Oak Island of ‘The Curse of Oak Island’ Isn’t Exactly Clear,” in Distractify. Brothers Rick and Marty Lagina are known as the stars of The Curse of Oak Island. Marty Lagina graduated from Michigan Tech with his mechanical engineering degree in 1977.

Thomas Fudge
Thomas Fudge

Michigan Tech alumnus Thomas Fudge has been appointed as a director of First Majestic Silver Corporation. Mr. Fudge brings over 42 years of professional mining experience having previously worked with companies including Tahoe Resources, Alexco Resources, Hecla Mining, and Sunshine Precious Metals. Mr. Fudge holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mining Engineering from Michigan Technological University and has overseen numerous major mining construction projects in the United States, Mexico, Venezuela, Yukon Territory, Guatemala, and Peru.

John Matonich
John Matonich

Alumnus John Matonich was recently appointed to the Gogebic Community College Foundation Board of Directors. Matonich holds a BS in Surveying from Michigan Tech. He is a retired CEO/Chairman of ROWE Professional Services Company.

Shannon Kobs Nawotniak
Shannon Kobs Nawotniak

Michigan Tech alumna Shannon Kobs Nawotniak, (BS geology, ’03), an associate professor at Idaho State University, presents on “Submarines, Volcanoes, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life” at Muskegon Community College. A graduate of Michigan Tech and SUNY Buffalo, Kobs Nawotniak serves as Geology Co-Lead on the NASA FINESSE project and Deputy Principal Investigator on the NASA BASALT project, both of which use terrestrial lavas to investigate planetary volcanoes.

Mike Olosky
Mike Olosky

Michigan Tech alumnus Mike Olosky (ME) has been named Chief Operating Officer of Simpson Strong-Tie. Olosky holds degrees in mechanical engineering from Michigan Technological University and Oakland University and received his MBA from Michigan State University’s Eli Broad School of Business.


Graduate School Announces Fall 2020 Award Recipients

Auroral activity

The Graduate School announces the recipients of the Doctoral Finishing Fellowships, KCP Future Faculty/GEM Associate Fellowship, and CGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Nominees. Congratulations to all nominees and recipients.

The following are award recipients in engineering graduate programs:

CGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Nominees:

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Award:

Profiles of current recipients can be found online.


Engineering Alumni Activity Fall 2020

David Hill
David Hill

Michigan Tech alumnus David Hill (’65, ME), was featured in the story “Profiling Greatness: David Hill.” David Hill was only the third individual to hold the title of Corvette Chief Engineer. During his 13-plus year tenure as Chief, Hill oversaw the Corvette’s coming of age, as the iconic American sports car reached new heights in power, performance, and sophistication. David Hill’s career as an engineer began in 1965, after earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Technological University. It was at this time that Hill was hired by Cadillac, for work in the manufacturer’s engine lab.

LeeRoy Wells Jr.
LeeRoy Wells Jr.

Michigan Tech alumnus LeeRoy Wells, Jr. (’02, EE) has been named senior vice president of operations for CMS Energy. LeeRoy currently serves as the vice president of gas operations responsible for gas transmission, distribution, and the integrity of the company’s gas system. Wells graduated from Michigan Technological University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. He also holds a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership and Management from Lourdes College, along with business certifications from George Washington University and the University of Michigan – Stephen M. Ross School of Business.

Garrick Ronchow
Garrick Ronchow

Michigan Tech alumnus Garrick Ronchow has been named president and CEO of CMS Energy and Consumers Energy and was named to CMS Energy’s Board of Directors. Rochow has a bachelor’s degree from environmental engineering from Michigan Technological University and a master’s degree in business administration from Western Michigan University.

Michigan Tech alumnus Mark Daavettila ’09 (Civil Engineering) has been hired at the Department Public Works (DPW) director of the City of Negaunee. He has been a licensed Professional Engineer in Michigan with 11 years of experience working in the civil engineering field. The story was covered by WLUC TV6, Marquette.

Kristina Fields
Kristina Fields

Kristina Fields, professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, was named one of four recipients across the UW System of the 2020 Alliant Energy Underkofler Excellence in Teaching Award. Fields earned her PhD, Master of Science, and Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from Michigan Technological University. She began teaching at UW-Platteville in 2007.

Bobbi Wood
Bobbi Wood

ThermoAnalytics, Inc., a leader in advanced thermal, fluid-flow, and infrared modeling software, announced the promotion of Bobbi Wood to the position of President and Chief Operating Officer, effective August 24, 2020. She has served as the Chief Operating Officer since 2019. Wood holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Technological University.


Michelle Jarvie-Eggart on Engineering Education

Michelle Jarvie-Eggart
Michelle Jarvie-Eggart

Michelle Jarvie-Eggart participated in a paper for the 2020 ASEE conference online. The paper entitled “Work in Progress: Student Perception of Computer Programming within Engineering Education: An Investigation of Attitudes, Beliefs, and Behaviors” was presented by Kelly S. Steelman (CLS).

Other authors include Kay L. Tislar, Charles Wallace, Nathan D. Manser (GMES), Briana C Bettin, and Leo C. Ureel II.

Steelman, K. S., & Jarvie-Eggart, M. E., & Tislar, K. L., & Wallace, C., & Manser, N. D., & Bettin, B. C., & Ureel, L. C. (2020, June), Work in Progress: Student Perception of Computer Programming within Engineering Education: An Investigation of Attitudes, Beliefs, and Behaviors Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . https://peer.asee.org/35683

Jarvie-Eggart also presented work with graduate student Amanda Singer alumnus Jason Mathews at the 2020 ASEE conference. Their paper, “Parent and Family Influence on First-year Engineering Major Choice” indicates matrilineal occupational inheritance may be affecting female engineering students.

Jarvie-Eggart, M. E., & Singer, A. M., & Mathews, J. (2020, June), Parent and Family Influence on First-year Engineering Major Choice Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . https://peer.asee.org/35035

Jarvie-Eggart is a Senior Lecturer in the Departments of Engineering Fundamentals and Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology.

Michelle Jarvie-Eggart (EF/RISE) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $199,633 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation.

The project is entitled, “Research Initiation: Factors Motivating Engineering Faculty to Adopt and Teach New Engineering Technologies.” Shari Stockero (CLS/RISE) is the Co-PI on this two-year project.

Freeman and Jarvie-Eggart to Present at 36th Annual Distance Teaching and Learning Conference

Michelle Jarvie-Eggart (EF/CLS) and Thom Freeman (CTL/CLS) will virtually present a session titled “A Case Study Examining the Effects of Online Instructor Training” at the 36th Annual Distance Teaching and Learning Conference at 12:45  p.m. Friday (Aug. 7)

Know as DT&L to those in the online learning community, it is the longest-running and most prestigious conference centered around innovations in, and advancement of, quality online learning and distance education.

It has been held annually in Madison by the University of Wisconsin, Madison. This year’s conference is a fully online event Aug. 3-7, 2020.


Graduate School Announces Summer 2020 Award Recipients

Michigan Tech in Summer

 The Graduate School announced the recipients of the Doctoral Finishing Fellowship, Portage Health Foundation Graduate Assistantship, Matwiyoff & Hogberg Endowed Graduate Fellowship, and the DeVlieg Foundation Research Award. The Portage Health Foundation and the Graduate School have provided support to help students complete their doctoral studies and to those in health-oriented research areas.

The following are award recipients in engineering graduate programs:

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Award

Portage Health Foundation Graduate Assistantship

Matwiyoff & Hogberg Endowed Graduate Fellowship

Profiles of current recipients can be found online.


Engineering Alumni Activity Summer 2020

Kristina Owen
Kristina Owen

Kristina Owen has been named the head coach of the Michigan Tech men’s and women’s cross country and track and field teams. Owen was the first-ever Michigan Tech Nordic skier to secure All-American honors in three consecutive seasons after finishing seventh in the classic in 2005, ninth in the 5K classic in 2006, and eighth in the 15K classic in 2007. Owen earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Tech with a coaching endorsement certificate.

Gregory LeFevre
Gregory LeFevre

Greg LeFevre, BS ENVE alumnus, received the University of Iowa Office of the Vice President’s Early Career Scholar of the Year Award. LeFevre and his team study how non-point pollutants change in water and what that means for ecosystems and human health.

Mufazzal Hossain
Mufazzal Hossain

Mufazzal Hossain, CEE MS alumnus, was voted the District Leader in Assembly District 38 Part B, making him the first Bangladeshi elected Democratic District Leader in the district and in Queens, New York.

Todd Fewins
Todd Fewins

Michigan Tech alumnus Todd Fewins ’92, was quoted in the story “Medical device manufacturer finds, grows skilled talent in the U.P.” in Crain’s Detroit Business. Fewins has a BS in mechanical engineering. In 2011 he was recruited by a former boss of his at Dura to open a new facility for Precision Edge in Boyne City. Five years later he was named company president.

Jon Zander
Jon Zander

Michigan Tech alumnus Jon Zander has been promoted to senior project manager at Stevens Construction, headquartered in Fort Meyers, Florida. The story was covered in Gulfshore Business. A Michigan Technological University graduate in civil engineering, Zander is a Qualified Stormwater Management Inspector.

Margaret Brumm
Margaret Brumm

The online presentation “Invent Your Story,” by Michigan Tech alumna Margaret Brumm at the Peter White Library in Marquette, was previewed by the Marquette Mining Journal. Brumm is a patent attorney and member of the State Bar of Michigan. She earned her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Michigan Technological University and her juris doctorate from the University of Michigan Law School.

Stan Kaczmarek
Stan Kaczmarek

Michigan Tech alumnus Stan Kaczmarek has been promoted to president of Gundlach Champion, Inc. in Iron Mountain. The story was covered by WLUC TV6. Kaczmarek earned a degree in Civil Engineering from Michigan Tech.

Kevin Ballinger
Kevin Ballinger

Michigan Tech alumnus Kevin Ballinger was named CEO of Aldevron. The story was covered in Benzinga. Ballinger holds a BS in mechanical engineering. Headquartered in Fargo, North Dakota, Aldevron is a leading biotechnology company that develops and manufactures plasmid DNA, proteins, enzymes, antibodies, and other biologicals.

Eric Showalter
W. Eric Showalter

Michigan Tech civil and environmental engineering alumnus Eric Showalter (BS, MS), has been named the 2020 Outstanding Educator by the Associated General Contractors of America. The story appeared in AGC. Showalter is a non-tenure track faculty member, with the rank of Teaching Professor at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Mike Paddock
Mike Paddock

Civil and Environmental Engineering alumnus, Mike Paddock, published “Bridging Barriers” about how one community changed its future with help from Engineers Without Borders USA volunteers.

Tor J. S. Anderzen
Tor J. S. Anderzen

Tor J. S. Anderzen has been elected a Governor of Region 8 of the American Society of Civil Engineers. His three year term starts on October 1, 2020. He was also named an ASCE Fellow earlier this year. Anderzen, a senior aviation engineer at HDL Engineering Consultants LLC, holds a BS and MS in Civil Engineering from Michigan Tech.

Eric Charette
Eric Charette

Michigan Tech alumnus Eric J. Charette was featured in the story “Grid modernization means adapting and evolving to meet the challenges of the future,” in Power Grid International. Charette graduated from Michigan Tech with a BS in Electrical Engineering, with an emphasis in Power Systems. He serves as Executive Technical Manager of Business Development for Utilities with Hexagon.

Audrey Yazdanparast
Audrey Yazdanparast

An article by Timothy Havens (CC) and Sakineh “Audrey” Yazdanparast (’19 PhD electrical engineering), “Linear Time Community Detection by a Novel Modularity Gain Acceleration in Label Propagation,” has been accepted for publication in the journal IEEE Transactions on Big Data. The paper presents an efficient approach for detecting self-similar communities in weighted graphs, with applications in social network analysis, online commodity recommendation systems, user clustering, biology, communications network analysis, etc.

HongWen Zhang
HongWen Zhang

Michigan Tech alumnus HongWen Zhang will give a presentation at the International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI) Packaging Technology Integration Group (TIG) digital meeting on Wednesday. Zhang is R&D Manager of Alloy Group. The story was featured on I-Connect 007. Zhang has a bachelor’s degree in metallurgical physical chemistry from Central South University of China, a master’s degree in materials science and engineering from the Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Science, a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, and a PhD in materials science and engineering from Michigan Tech.

Steve Thorburn
Steve Thorburn

Michigan Tech alumnus Steve Thorburn is the recipient of the Fred Dixon Service in Education Award from the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA). The story was covered by AV Network. Thorburn had dual degrees in electrical engineering and technical theatre.

Michigan Tech alumnus Charles L. Marshall, BS electrical engineering, has been named vice president of Transmission Planning for ITC Holdings Corp. The story was covered in Yahoo Finance and  Benzinga. With a longstanding career at ITC, Mr. Marshall’s responsibilities have ranged from regulatory policy and stakeholder relations to project engineering and business unit planning.

Laura and Nate Gentry
Laura and Nate Gentry

Michigan Tech Alumni Laura and Nate Gentry ’05, were mentioned in the article “‘Heal the Zeel’ campaign rallies community support” in Rapid Growth. The couple owns Tripelroot Restaurant and Brewpub in Zeeland. They have created a menu of “Stay at Home” specials that incorporates ingredients grown by local suppliers. Nate has a BS in Mechanical Engineering and Laura has a BA in Liberal Arts.

Greg Ives
Greg Ives

Greg Ives hasn’t stepped foot on Michigan Tech’s campus since receiving his bachelor’s degree in December 2003. But during the coronavirus pandemic, Ives, a Hendrick Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series crew chief for Alex Bowman, suddenly found the time to think back on his days in Houghton. Auto racing is the science of engineering coupled with the art and skill of driving. Ives, who studied mechanical engineering at Tech, said he’s been overseeing both elements of his Hendrick Motorsports team while working from home.


Michigan Tech Students Receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Seth A. Kriz in the lab.
Seth A. Kriz does undergraduate research on gold nanoparticles interacting with different viruses.

Three Michigan Tech students, Greta Pryor Colford, Dylan Gaines and Seth A. Kriz, have been awarded National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships. The oldest STEM-related fellowship program in the United States, the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is a prestigious award that recognizes exceptional graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines early in their career and supports them through graduate education. NSF-GRFP fellows are an exceptional group; 42 fellows have gone on to become Nobel Laureates, and about 450 fellows are members of the National Academy of Sciences.

The Graduate School is proud of these students for their outstanding scholarship. These awards highlight the quality of students at Michigan Tech, the innovative work they have accomplished, the potential for leadership and impact in science and engineering that the county recognizes in these students, and the incredible role that faculty play in students’ academic success.

Dylan Gaines is currently a master of science student in the Computer Science Department at Michigan Tech, he will begin his doctoral degree in the same program in Fall 2020. Gaines’ research, with Keith Vertanen (CS), focuses on text entry techniques for people with visual impairments. He also plans to develop assistive technologies for use in Augmented Reality. During his undergraduate education at Michigan Tech, Gaines was a member of the cross country and track teams. Now, he serves as a graduate assistant coach. “I am very thankful for this award and everyone that supported me through the application process and helped to review my essays” said Gaines. Commenting on Gaines’ award, Computer Science Department Chair Linda Ott explained “All of us in the Department of Computer Science are very excited that Dylan is being awarded a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. This is a clear affirmation that Dylan is an excellent student and that even as an undergraduate he demonstrated strong research skills. It also is a tribute to Dylan’s advisor Dr. Keith Vertanen who has established a very successful research group in intelligent interactive systems.”

Seth A. Kriz is pursuing his doctoral degree in chemical engineering, with Caryn Heldt (ChE). He completed his undergraduate education, also in chemical engineering, at Michigan Tech and has previously served as the lead coach of the Chemical Engineering Learning Center. His research focuses on developing improved virus purification methods for large-scale vaccine production so as to provide a timely response to pandemics. “I am extremely proud to represent Michigan Tech and my lab as an NSF graduate research fellow, and for this opportunity to do research that will save lives. My success has been made possible by the incredible family, faculty, and larger community around me, and I thank everyone for their support. Go Huskies!” said Kriz. Commenting on the award, Kriz’s advisor, Heldt said “Seth embodies many of the characteristics we hope to see in our students: excellence in scholarship, high work ethic, and a strong desire to give back to his community. I’m extremely proud of his accomplishments and I can’t wait to see what else he will do.” In addition, Kriz sings with the Michigan Tech Chamber Choir.

Greta Pryor Colford earned her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a minor in aerospace engineering from Michigan Tech in spring 2019. She is currently a post-baccalaureate student at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where she previously worked as an undergraduate and summer intern. At Los Alamos National Laboratory, Colford is part of the Test Engineering group (E-14) of the Engineering, Technology and Design Division (E). At Michigan Tech, she was a leader of the Attitude Determination and Control Team of the Michigan Tech Aerospace Enterprise, a writing coach at the Multiliteracies Center, and a member of the Undergraduate Student Government.

The fellowship provides three years of financial support, including a $34,000 stipend for each fellow and a $12,000 cost-of-education allowance for the fellow’s institution. Besides financial support for fellows, the GRFP provides opportunities for research on national laboratories and international research.

By the Graduate School.