Author: ddc

Let’s Talk About it: Facilitating Difficult Conversations for Graduate Students

Are you a graduate student interested in developing skills that will assist you in facilitating difficult conversations? Please join us on February 2, 2022 from 1-2:30 p.m. for Level 1 of a Facilitating Difficult Conversations workshop.

This in-person workshop is open to all graduate students. The workshop will provide foundational information and practice for handling uncomfortable work and/or peer situations in a respectful and professional manner. ​Level 2 of Facilitating Difficult Conversations will be held on a future date.

​The number of participants is limited to facilitate discussion and promote physical distancing, so please complete the registration form to save your spot. You will receive an email reminder before the event which will confirm the location. 

For more information, contact Debra Charlesworth in the Graduate School at ddc@mtu.edu.


Reasons to take a break

As the fall semester comes to a close, this article from the Chronicle of Higher Education provides some good advice about why we should take a real break over the holidays and some concrete things that are attainable to ensure 2022 starts off well. A free account might be required to view the article; it’s worth your time to gain access to a wide variety of helpful articles and news.

The Graduate School wishes you the very best for a happy and healthy new year. If you need help managing the stress associated with obtaining a graduate degree, please reach out to Dr. Anna McClatchy or Dr. Debra Charlesworth. We are here to help you achieve your goals.


Safety protocol changes

Because we are seeing an increase in cases, both on campus and in the local community, we are returning to the Health and Safety Level protocols that were in place at the start of the fall semester. Beginning Monday, October 25, face coverings will be required indoors on campus, with the exception of the SDC and Gates Tennis Center, where face coverings remain recommended for all. You are not required to wear a face covering when alone in an enclosed space. Please refer to our Health and Safety Levels for additional information. 


Vaccine requirements for graduate student employees

To comply with requirements for federal contractors and subcontractors issued by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force, all Michigan Tech student employees — including Graduate Teaching Assistants, Graduate Research Assistants, Graduate Teaching Instructors, and graduate hourly employees — must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have an approved exception prior to January 10, 2022.

More detailed information regarding vaccination and exception requirements is included below and on the MTU Flex website. Please send your questions about any of these topics to mtuflex@mtu.edu

Vaccination Timing

All employees must be fully vaccinated or have an approved exception by January 10, 2022. A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Please note that the Pfizer vaccine doses are given 21 days apart and the Moderna doses are given 28 days apart. Vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) are also acceptable under CDC guidance. 

The COVID-19 vaccine is free, and doses are available at most pharmacies and health care providers. Please visit the Copper Country Strong website for information about where and how to get vaccinated in the Western Upper Peninsula. 

Vaccination Documentation

Under the federal requirements, employees will need to show proof of their vaccination status. We are building a confidential process employees can use to provide this proof, either electronically or in person, and which Michigan Tech will use to review that documentation. We will provide more information as soon as we are able. 

Exception from Vaccination

Employees with documented medical reasons for being unvaccinated may be entitled to a disability accommodation excepting them from the vaccination mandate. Medical exceptions can be requested by contacting Michigan Tech’s ADA Coordinator at adacoordinator@mtu.edu. Information and a form will be sent to employees for completion, and documentation will be required from a medical provider.

Employees with a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance that prevents them from receiving a COVID-19 vaccine may be entitled to an accommodation excepting them from the vaccination mandate. Accommodation requests based on a religious belief, practice, or observance should be made using the religious exception form. When completed, this form should be submitted to Michigan Tech General Counsel Sarah Schulte at shschult@mtu.edu.

All accommodation requests are confidential. In the event that a request is granted, only those individuals who need to know of the accommodation will be informed of it. In the event that an accommodation request is denied, it will not be shared beyond those performing the review, except as requested by the individual seeking the exception. Employees who receive a vaccination exception may be required to comply with alternative health and safety protocols. 

All employees need to be fully vaccinated or have an accommodation in place prior to January 10, 2022. Human Resources will work with employees who have challenges with those requirements. 

Please send your questions about any of these topics to mtuflex@mtu.edu


Nominations sought for KCP Future Faculty Fellowships

Applications will be sought in mid-November for KCP Future Faculty Fellowships, a program funded by the State of Michigan.  The purpose of the King-Chávez-Parks Future Faculty Fellowship Program is to increase the pool of academically and economically disadvantaged candidates pursuing faculty teaching careers in post-secondary education.  Funding may begin in spring 2022, pending timely opening of the portal by the State.

Prospective applicants should complete the following steps before the portal reopens:

Once the portal opens in mid-November, applicants will have approximately 1-2 weeks to submit their application (step 4). The time to submit for spring funding will be short so that we can complete the review process in time to award funding for spring 2022.

KCP fellowships provide students up to $20,000 (MS students) or $35,000 (PhD students) to pursue their degrees.  Funds may be used to support students, including faculty and staff, pursuing degrees at Michigan Tech.  For Michigan Tech students, the Graduate School and nominating department must also contribute matching funds to help support the student.

Complete information about eligibility criteria and materials needed for an application is available on our web page. Please note that applications will be submitted through the MILogin Citizens Portal. Questions about eligibility or the application procedure can be directed to Dr. Debra Charlesworth.


Copyright Workshop for Graduate Students

What’s copyright and what does it have to do with your dissertation? Do you need permission to use someone else’s figure or image, or an article you wrote? Should you make your thesis open access? And what is a Creative Commons license? Get the answers to these and other questions at the library workshop: “Copyright and Your Dissertation, Thesis, or Master’s Report.”

In this workshop, you’ll learn the role U.S. copyright law plays in writing and publishing your report, thesis or dissertation. We will explore the legal use of copyrighted material, publishing agreements and Creative Commons licensing, and the role of Michigan Tech’s institutional repository Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech. After this workshop, you will be prepared to make informed decisions about using copyrighted material and the publishing options for your dissertation, thesis or master’s report.

Join us on Oct. 14 at noon in the Van Pelt and Opie Library, Room 244. Registration is required.


How to review a dissertation, thesis, or report

Beginning in fall 2021, faculty advisors will be asked to review and approve dissertations, theses, and reports in Digital Commons. This will replace the Approval form, and will allow faculty to see the work their student has submitted and be notified when it is published. This process is similar to reviewing a journal article.

When your student submits their work to Digital Commons, the Graduate School will assign the work to the primary advisor to review. This is a manual process that will generally be completed on business days from 8am-5pm. You will receive an email requesting you review the submission – click on the link in your email. The email will be from “Michigan Tech Graduate Publications” and “@dcmtu.bepress.com”.


Transition to Health and Safety Level Two

Message from Dr. Koubek from August 5, 2021.

Since the onset of the pandemic, we have worked to create a healthy and safe on-campus experience for our students, faculty, and staff—one that we can flex in response to rapidly changing environments. We have also learned that technology (while great) cannot replace the experiential learning that happens in classrooms, labs, residence halls, and beyond. For these reasons, we are delighted to welcome our students back to campus for a normal start to the fall semester.

To best ensure the continuity of campus operations, Michigan Tech strongly recommends that all employees and students receive the COVID-19 vaccine, especially in light of the virulence of the COVID-19 delta variant. 

With all of this in mind and out of an abundance of caution, Michigan Tech will return to Health and Safety Level Two as outlined in our MTU Flex plan, effective August 15, 2021, for at least five weeks. This includes reinstating an indoor face covering requirement for all faculty, staff, students, and visitors (regardless of vaccination status).

During the first few weeks of the semester, we will continue to review available data to inform our pandemic mitigation strategy. Our hope is that Michigan Tech’s face covering requirement is short-term. Our goal is to return to a face-covering-optional environment once we have more information regarding the spread of COVID-19 within our campus community.  In the meantime, I ask that you continue to do your part to help keep our campus and community safe. I look forward to seeing you all on campus soon. 


Nominations open for the 2021 CGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award

Nominations are now open for the 2021 Council of Graduate Schools (CGS)/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award. Please submit nominations to the Graduate School no later than 4pm, June 16, 2021, following our online instructions. This year, nominations are being accepted from dissertations in the fields of:

  1. Biological and Life Sciences
  2. Humanities and Fine Arts

Michigan Tech may nominate one student in each field. PhD students who have completed all of their degree requirements between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2021, are eligible. The fields of competition for 2022 will be Mathematics, Physical Sciences, and Engineering; and Social Sciences.

Nominations must be delivered to Debra Charlesworth in the Graduate School no later than 4 p.m. on June 16, 2021; e-mail nominations to gradschool@mtu.edu are preferred.  Contact Debra Charlesworth (gradschool@mtu.edu) if you have any questions about the competition.


How to change your life

If you’ve ever struggled with how to establish a new habit (maybe something like writing every day for your dissertation), behavioral science has some ideas that might be helpful for you.

In NPR’s Life Kit podcast, behavioral scientist Katy Milkman of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School presents some of her findings. One idea that we found interesting is that some flexibility in setting your goals can help you establish new habits. If you set a goal to write everyday at 10am for an hour, but don’t do it, give yourself the flexibility to fit in an hour at a different time in the day. People who gave themselves the flexibility to fit in a workout at a prescribed time or a different time were more likely to stick to that new habit.