Day: December 1, 2011

Student Veterans Honored at Midyear Commencement

For the first time at Michigan Tech, graduating student veterans will be honored at commencement with red, white and blue cords in recognition of their service to the country.

Three graduates will wear the cords this fall and be recognized by President Glenn Mroz during commencement on Saturday, Dec. 10, in the SDC Wood Gym. The students are:

  • Mike Geiersbach of Wheeler (Marine Corps/Military Police), who served more than four years and is graduating with a BS in Mechanical Engineering.
  • Sue Larson of Waupaca, Wisc. (Air Force), who served six years and is receiving an MS in Environmental Engineering Science.
  • Matt Smith of Hancock (Air Force/Security Forces), who served two years and is receiving a BS in Electrical Engineering Technology.

Larson, a graduate student, said: “I think it’s great that Michigan Tech is so supportive of the student veteran population and has chosen to distinguish us in this way. It will be an honor to be among the first veterans to wear the new red, white and blue cords.”

The presentation of the cords reflects the growing number of activities and services on campus that focus on students who are veterans or children of veterans. This initiative is being coordinated by Veterans’ Services/Registrar’s Office and the Vice President for Student Affairs Office.

Submitted by Kathy Pintar, veteran school certifying official, registrar’s office
Published in Tech Today


Education in Tune with Industry Raises Michigan Tech’s Job Placement Rate to Nearly 95 Percent

As Michigan Governor Rick Snyder takes the podium at Delta College today to talk about the need for more highly skilled workers to meet Michigan employers’ needs, Michigan Tech reports that its job placement rate has risen to an astonishing 94.6 percent.

At its most recent Career Fair in September, the University hosted 720 recruiters from 245 companies. Students participated in more than 4,200 interviews at the event and in the days immediately following it. The University has another Career Fair scheduled for February 2012.

“Employers measure us by the performance of our alumni working at their companies,” said Jim Turnquist, director of Career Services. “We have a reputation for excellence.”

And employers are willing to pay for excellence, Turnquist noted. For example, the average salary reported by a 2011 Michigan Tech graduate in software engineering was $67,000; biomedical engineering, $60,000; and electrical engineering, $58,561. The national average salary of a 2011 college graduate was $51,171, according to the latest report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

In Snyder’s fifth special message to the Legislature since he took office Jan. 1, the governor is expected to outline his plan for improving ties among employers, educators and students to better match job skills to employers’ needs.

“At a time when many are questioning the value of a college education, we stress an education that meets both the needs of the students and the requirements of industry. It’s part of our DNA at Michigan Tech,” said President Glenn Mroz. “We work hand in hand with the industries that employ our graduates, through co-ops, internships and our signature Enterprise Program–where students work in teams to solve industry problems–to make sure our graduates are well-qualified to enter the workforce.”

During the economic downturn in 2009, the University’s traditionally high job placement rate dropped to 83.1 percent, still well above the national average of 63.7 percent. But Turnquist saw the economy starting to take a turn for the better in late 2010, as more recruiters began coming to campus.

“Companies are retooling and reengineering, and they’re hiring our people to do it,” he said.

by Jennifer Donovan, director, public relations
Published in Tech Today


Jackson Teacher Honored

A teacher in Jackson won a national award for his teaching of high school astronomy and attributes the honor in part to Michigan Tech.

Mark Reed, who teaches at Jackson High School and Lumen Christi High School, won the Thomas J. Brennan Award for 2011 from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.

Reed was cited for exceptional commitment to classroom or planetarium education.

He is involved with Tech’s Michigan Teacher Excellence Program (MiTEP). He spent a week on campus in 2011 and will spend another week in 2012. He describes the classes and fieldwork as “wonderful”–“They get the creative juices going.”

At Tech, he worked with faculty and doctoral students, including Professor Bill Rose (GMES) and graduate student Mark Klawiter (GMES).

MiTEP is funded by the National Science Foundation to improve Earth science education nationwide.

Participation can lead to a master’s degree in applied science education.