Parental Accommodation for Graduate Students

Having a family and pursuing a PhD is balancing act. I’ve given birth to 3 precious girls while pursuing my PhD. The parental accommodation policy at Michigan Tech has helped me embrace and enjoy my personal life without feeling pressure to finish my degree. I will finally graduate this semester!

Being a graduate student is challenging.  When coupled with becoming a new parent, that challenge can be overwhelming.  To assist graduate students who are new parents, the Graduate School has a parental accommodation policy;  in place since 2010.  This policy grants eligible students:

  • a six-week excused absence from classes,  
  • a one-semester extension for a student’s time-to-degree limit, 
  • a one-semester extension for completion of a qualifying exam,  
  • a one-semester extension for completion of a proposal defense, and 
  • guarantees that no student will be penalized financially during the period of accommodation.

This policy applies to graduate students who:

  • have new childcare or related responsibilities due to a recent or upcoming birth or placement of a child under four years of age in the home for the purposes of adoption
  • are the primary caregiver for the child or children new to the home
  • are enrolled full-time at Michigan Tech
  • are in good academic standing
  • have completed at least one full-time semester at Michigan Tech.

Funding may be available from the Graduate School to Department Chairs, School Deans, Graduate Program Directors, and Principal Investigators who must hire a temporary replacement for a student who has been granted an excused absence under the parental accommodation policy.

The Parental Accommodation policy has been in place since 2010. Graduate students who have availed themselves of this benefit have found it to be very helpful at a critical period in their lives.  

One student said, “Returning to work and school right after having a baby is not an easy job. This opportunity to have 6 weeks of parental leave helped me to cope well with my new status. Especially because it provides excused absences in which one can ask to extend course completion which is the peace of mind. Without having this leave, I cannot imagine how I could continue my studies with no complications. I appreciate MTU graduate school to provide this accommodation for new parents. And I encourage all grad students who are considering to become parents to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Another commented, “Having a family and pursuing a PhD is balancing act. I’ve given birth to 3 precious girls while pursuing my PhD. The parental accommodation policy at Michigan Tech has helped me embrace and enjoy my personal life without feeling pressure to finish my degree. I will finally graduate this semester!”

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Editing Services

The English Language Institute now provides editing services to all members of the campus community with the following options:

  • Copy editing (grammar, spelling, punctuation, flow, readability) for when quick turnaround is needed
  • Face-to-face editing conferences for long-term writing improvement
  • Editing workshops for small groups and research teams, tailor-made for your writing context

Editing services are provided by highly qualified English language instructors with expertise in grammar, writing and language instruction. Service rates are $25 per hour. Requests for editing can be made here.

Request a workshop by emailing eli@mtu.edu (1.5 hours of preparation billed for each hour of workshop).

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Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Spring 2020 Recipient – Hongmei Lu

Hongmei Lu
Environmental Policy

I am a Ph.D. candidate studying Environmental and Energy Policy in the Department of Social Sciences. I received my M.Sc. degree from Wageningen University, The Netherlands in Landscape Architecture & Planning. I started my Ph.D. program in Fall 2016 at MTU under the supervision of Dr. Audrey L. Mayer. My research interests include policy making and policy implementation pertaining to the urban environment, including green infrastructure, green stormwater management, municipal waste management, etc. My dissertation topic is “From Garden City to Sponge City: Urban green infrastructure policy development in China.”

I am very grateful to the Graduate School for the Finishing Fellowship support, which allows me to completely focus on my research at this final stage of my graduate studies. Thanks also to all the supports for my study from the Department of Social Sciences in the past four years.

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Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Spring 2020 Recipient – Christina Welch

Christina Welch
Chemistry

I am a fifth-year doctoral candidate in the department of Chemistry. Briefly, my research focuses on the various roles glycans play in improve human health. Currently, we are using this knowledge to study the relationship between a well-known heart and cancer biomarker and its unconventional ligands. The exploration of this relationship has allowed us to develop a new protein and glycoprotein purification method, which was published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. I am also working on a natural hemolysin that has therapeutic potential.

The years I’ve spent at Michigan Tech has been one of immense growth and development. I am deeply grateful to my advisor, Dr. Tarun Dam, for his unwavering encouragement and character. He has helped me to become a better researcher, mentor, and person. I would also like to thank the Chemistry department, the graduate school, and the finishing fellowship committee for supporting me. Last, I would like to personally thank Dr. Debra Charlesworth, Jacque Smith, and Prof. Pushpalatha Murthy for all of the encouragement they’ve offered during my time here.

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Graduate Student Support Group

The Graduate Student Support Group will meet weekly, starting Tuesday, January 21 from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm in Counseling Services. This is open to Tech graduate students who may be suffering from some of the challenges associated with graduate school, like working in isolation, procrastination, impostor syndrome, and feeling overwhelmed. Connect with others around the unique experience of advanced education and exchange coping ideas, gain perspective and find some balance as you manage with the demands of grad school.Please contact Pat Frueh at pjfrueh@mtu.edu, if you have questions and would like to join the group.

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Summer 2020 PHF Graduate Assistantship Nominations Open

Applications for summer 2020 PHF Graduate Assistantships are being accepted and are due no later than 4pm, March 3, 2020 to the Graduate School. Instructions on the application and evaluation process are found online. Students are eligible if all of the following criteria are met:

  1. Must be a PhD student participating in health-related research that is aligned with the PHF’s mission.
  2. Must be eligible for or in Research Mode at the time of application.
  3. Must be 2 years after starting the graduate program at the time of application.
  4. Must not be a prior recipient of a PHF Graduate Assistantship.

Priority will be given to students originally from Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga, or Ontonagon counties. Non-resident students and international students are encouraged to apply if their health research is applicable to health needs and job shortages of our local community (obesity research, rural health, medical informatics, drug delivery and lab testing, physical therapy, etc.).

These assistantships are available through the generosity of the Portage Health Foundation. They are intended to recognize outstanding PhD talent in health-oriented research areas. Applicants should be a catalyst for promoting and improving the overall health of Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga, and Ontonagon communities through one of the following:

  • health research and technology development
  • health education or preventive and wellness initiatives
  • rural healthcare access, informatics, and assessment of care

Students who receive full support through a PHF Graduate Assistantship may not accept any other employment. For example, students cannot be fully supported by a PHF Graduate Assistantship and accept support as a GTA or GRA.

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Summer 2020 Finishing Fellowship Nominations Open

Applications for summer 2020 finishing fellowships are being accepted and are due no later than 4pm, March 4, 2020 to the Graduate School. Please email applications to gradschool@mtu.edu.

Instructions on the application and evaluation process are found online. Students are eligible if all of the following criteria are met:

  1. Must be a PhD student.
  2. Must expect to finish during the semester supported as a finishing fellow.
  3. Must have submitted no more than one previous application for a finishing fellowship.
  4. Must be a PhD candidate eligible for the research mode tuition rate at the time of application.

Finishing Fellowships provide support to PhD candidates who are close to completing their degrees. These fellowships are available through the generosity of alumni and friends of the University. They are intended to recognize outstanding PhD candidates who are in need of financial support to finish their degrees and are also contributing to the attainment of goals outlined in The Michigan Tech Plan. The Graduate School anticipates funding up to ten fellowships with support ranging from $2000 to full support (stipend + tuition). Students who receive full support through a Finishing Fellowship may not accept any other employment. For example, students cannot be fully supported by a Finishing Fellowship and accept support as a GTA or GRA.

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Smart Start Seminar – January 15, 2020

New graduate students to Michigan Tech are invited to Smart Start.  In Smart Start, we’ll introduce students to resources and policies to assist them to have a successful start to their graduate career. It will be especially useful for students in their first year, but all students are welcome to attend. The seminar will be streamed for off campus students and recorded.

The seminar will be on January 15, 2020 beginning at 2:05pm in MUB Ballroom A.  Please register online to receive streaming information and reminders to attend.

It will be taped and available online for those unable to attend in person.

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Submission and Formatting 101: Master the Dissertation, Thesis, and Report Process

Students who are completing a dissertation, thesis, or report are invited to join the Graduate School to learn about the resources available to them to assist in scheduling their defense, formatting their documents, and submitting their documents.  In one afternoon, you can learn everything you need to be successful and complete your degree in a timely fashion! Faculty and staff who assist students with submissions are also welcome to attend. Attend the entire event, or stop in for the seminar that interests you.

  • When: Wednesday, January 22, 2020, 1 – 5pm (see detailed schedule below)
  • Who: Students completing a dissertation, thesis or report; faculty and staff who assist students with submission
  • Where: MUB Ballroom A; (register to attend online and receive participation instructions)
  • Registration: Please register to receive handouts via email or attend online. The seminar will be available online as well as on campus.

If you are unable to join us, the event will be taped and available online after the event. The previous semester’s seminars are always available online.

Information on submitting, formatting, and more can be found online for dissertations and theses or reports.

Detailed schedule

  • 1 – 2pm – Submission 101
    Learn what is required to submit your document to the Graduate School and the deadlines for the upcoming semester.  Best for students who are completing their degree this semester or next semester.
  • 2 – 2:45pm – Formatting 101: Using the Guide and Word Template
    Learn how to find what you need in the Guide and use a Word template to create a perfectly formatted document the first time. LaTeX resources will be referenced, but not emphasized.
  • 2:45 – 3pm: Break
    Enjoy snacks and network with other attendees
  • 3 – 3:45pm: Formatting 102: Checking and fixing your document
    Learn how to use Adobe Acrobat to check your document to ensure it meets our formatting requirements and correct it without recreating the PDF.
  • 3:45-4:45pm: Formatting 103: Copyright for your dissertation, thesis, and report
    Learn how to use copyrighted materials in your document, including papers you have published as well as materials created by someone else.
  • 4:45 – 5pm: Final questions
    Have a question that hasn’t been answered yet? We’ll be available to answer any additional questions you have.

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