Day: March 29, 2011

World Water Day: Michigan Tech Helps Make a Difference

World Water Day was recently observed at Michigan Tech with a variety of events including a poster session.  Several graduate students were honored with awards including:

  • Ellis Adams, Environmental Policy
  • Jessica Billings, Environmental Engineering Science
  • Aleta Daniels, Forest Ecology and Managements
  • Jonathan Ebel, Biological Sciences
  • Danielle Haak, Biological Sciences
  • Laura Kangas, Applied Ecology
  • Mariah Maggio, Environmental Policy

Read more about the events and see photographs of the award recipients online.

Peace Corps Master’s International Volunteers Try Changing the World–One Step at a Time

When graduate students Kristina Denison, Callie Bertsch and Michelle Cisz left the wooded hills of the Michigan Tech campus to serve as Peace Corps volunteers, they headed to countries that couldn’t be more diverse: Zambia, Bulgaria and Paraguay. But the lessons they learned in Michigan Tech’s Peace Corps Master’s International (PCMI) program were remarkably similar.

“I was going to Africa to change the world,” says Denison, who spent three years in Zambia, a landlocked little country in southern Africa, between Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “I learned that you have to count the small steps, to be satisfied with planting a seed.”

Bertsch expected to bring “some great innovation” to the village of Gurmen in Bulgaria. But she soon realized she was having her greatest impact in a more subjective arena: people’s attitudes. “We’re so glad you came to live with us because you’re not at all like we thought Americans were,” the Bulgarian villagers kept telling her.

Halfway around the world, in the small South American country of Paraguay, Cisz was busy readjusting her expectations too. “I had big goals, but I had to take small steps,” she says. “It was a very humbling experience.”

All three women are working toward their Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management. They wanted to travel, to serve and to learn by doing–the Michigan Tech way–so they joined a program that lets graduate students combine course work with volunteer service overseas in the Peace Corps. With eight PCMI programs in four different colleges and schools, Michigan Tech has more active Peace Corps volunteers than any other university in the nation.

See Tech Today for the complete news story.

Keweenaw Pride Hosts 2011 Pride Week

Keweenaw Pride, the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and ally (GLBTA) organization on campus, kicked off its annual Pride Week celebration last week. This week has been a work in progress for the organization since September, and it is a celebration of diversity, bringing together many people of many different origins and orientations in a week full of discussions and panels meant to open minds and break stereotypes.

The week began with a film about the controversial California Proposition 8 that was passed and put into effect in November 2008, and it was followed by a discussion panel that allowed attendees to share their opinions.

Following are the events for the week:

Tuesday, March 29
The annual event, “Guess the Straight Person,” will be at 7:30 p.m., in the DHH Ballroom. This event is meant to prove that not all stereotypes indicate a person’s sexual orientation. Come meet the panel and guess their orientation.

Wednesday, March 30
A presentation by activist JAC Stringer will be at 7:30 p.m., in the Memorial Union Ballroom. JAC is well known for his educational and entertaining presentations.

Thursday, March 31
Taboo Talk will be at 7 p.m., in the DHH Ballroom. Got a topic that is taboo in your community that you want to know more about? Come to this event.

Friday, April 1
The 11th Annual Michigan Tech Drag Show will be at 8 p.m., in the Rozsa Center. This year the show will feature the extraordinary talents of Joey Black, Tabitha Stevens, Cass Marie Domino, and, coming all the way from Las Vegas, DuWanna Moore. Seats fill up fast, so get there early.

For more information, see the Keweenaw Pride website,, or the Michigan Tech Calendar.

Published in Tech Today.