Category: Uncategorized

Darnishia Slade appointed to Michigan Community Service Commission

Darnishia L. Slade has been appointed to a three-year term with the Michigan Community Service Commission, representing fellow experts in the delivery of human, educational, environmental, or public safety services to communities and individuals.

The Michigan Community Service Commission strives to build a culture of service by providing vision and resources to strengthen communities through volunteerism. The Commission develops a three-year comprehensive national and community service plan for the state that shall be updated annually, oversees and submits the state’s applications to the Corporation for National and Community Service and other public and private funding sources, establishes policies and procedures for the use of federal funds, and develops initiatives to promote community service in coordination with existing programs.

“I am honored to receive this appointment from Governor Whitmer!” said Slade. “I am ready to roll my sleeves up and do the work of continuing to make Michigan one of the nation’s leading state service commissions and a model state for volunteerism. I believe that through volunteerism lives are enriched, cultural understanding is exchanged, and lasting partnerships are established.”

Lorelle Meadows, dean of the Pavlis Honors College, says “Dar is an excellent individual to serve the State of Michigan in this way.  She has the depth of knowledge, experience, and passion to make an impact on community service outcomes so important to our state at this time.”

Slade is an instructor, advisor, and the manager of global engagement programs for Pavlis Honors College. She is a member of the IDEAhub Leadership Team and an organization advisor for the Society of Intellectual Sisters and Canterbury House.


GCEC 2020 – Thomas Oommen

Thomas Oommen is a professor in the geological and mining Engineering and Sciences Department and the director of the computational science and engineering PhD program here at Michigan Technological University. He is actively involved in undergraduate and graduate education, research, and service. He teaches the engineering geology course at Michigan Tech, has participated in over 8 million dollars in research grants and published over 100 peer reviewed publications. His research focuses on utilizing remotely sensed sensor data, remotely sensed data, data machine learning algorithms, and geological knowledge to solve real world problems that affect human health and safety. Beyond Michigan Tech he serves as the editorial board member of the GSA and AEG joint publication environmental and engineering geoscience. He’s vice chair of the ASCE Geo-Institute engineering geology and site characterization committee and a member of AEG technical committee on the landslides and a member of the AGU natural hazards Award Committee. He is also an ABET program evaluator for the geological engineering and geology programs.


GCEC 2020 – Val Gagnon

Val Gagnon is the Director of the University-Indigenous Community Partnerships at the Great Lakes Research Center as well as a Research Assistant Professor in the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. Splitting her time between Michigan Tech and the Great Lakes Research Center, Val has done a lot of work for indigenous people in the Keweenaw Peninsula.


GCEC 2020 – Dr. Caryn Heldt

Dr. Caryn L. Heldt is the Director of the Health Research Institute, Covid lab technical director, the James and Lorna Mac chair in Bioengineering, and Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Michigan Technological University. She received her bachelor’s of science in chemistry and chemical engineering for Michigan Tech in 2001. She worked for two years at BASF corporation before commencing her PhD studies. Upon receiving her PhD in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina State University in 2008 under the guidance of Dr. Reuben Carbonell, she joined Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for her two year postdoctoral training under the guidance of Dr. George’s Belfort. In 2015 Dr. Heldt was was awarded a National Science Foundation Career Award to study virus surface chemistry for research. Her lab is focused on the purification removal and activation and detection of viruses and gene therapy vectors.


GCEC 2020 – Meghan Kirkwood Gallery Exhibit

Hero City: Documentary Photography by Meghan Kirkwood features a collection of silver gelatin and inkjet photographs made as part of a documentary project about modern Mongolia and its capital city, Ulaanbaatar. Kirkwood’s images of modern Mongolia capture the unique and storied history of its capital city, and its transition through economic and cultural change – and the rich and thriving culture that animates this young Asian nation. This exhibit is presented in collaboration with Michigan Tech’s Pavlis Honors college and the D80 Conference, where Kirkwood gave the keynote address.