Category: Succeeding in Graduate School

Articles about professional development and seminar announcements.

Inaugural Ada Lovelace Day Celebration at Michigan Tech

Michigan Tech will hold its inaugural celebration of Ada Lovelace Day, an annual event held to recognize the accomplishments and contributions of women to the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics and to encourage young women to pursue careers in STEM fields.

Tech’s celebration will be a two-day series of events beginning at 7 p.m., on Tuesday, Oct. 16, in Fisher 139 as Professor Martha Sloan (ECE) and guest speakers Mary Long and Michelle Eggart discuss their experiences as women working in STEM fields.

On Wednesday, Oct. 17, from 8 to 10 p.m., in Fisher 135 there will be a film screening of “The Gender Chip Project” followed by a panel discussion featuring female faculty and graduate students from departments across campus, including Sarah Green, Nina Mahmoudian, Laura Brown, Patty Sotirin and Kaitlyn Bunker, who will discuss their experiences as women in STEM disciplines of academia.

Both events are free and open to the public, and concessions will be provided free of charge for the film screening. To view the event flyer, visit Ada Lovelace.

In addition, there will be a display on the first floor of the J. R. Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library featuring books and articles by women in STEM.

For information about upcoming diversity-related events, contact Renee Wells at to subscribe to the weekly Diversity Programs listserv.

Fair use in academia

Students who wish to use copyrighted materials in a thesis or dissertation must show that they have the ability to republish those materials.  One argument students can use is that their use is “fair use.”  This provision of US Copyright allows the reuse of materials if certain conditions are met.  Students sometimes think that all educational use of materials is fair use, but a recent court case illustrates that this is not true.

In order to use copyrighted materials in a thesis or dissertation, there are three simple steps:

  1. Determine if permission is needed to republish copyrighted materials
  2. Obtain permission for copyrighted materials (if necessary)
  3. Document the ability to republish copyrighted materials.

The Graduate School has helpful resources online, including a seminar from our copyright librarian.  Check them out!

Fall Career Fair Attracts Nearly 300 Employers

Michigan Tech’s Fall Career Fair has already attracted 279 registered employers, and more are registering every day. More than 3,000 Tech students are expected to visit the Student Development Complex to speak with potential employers from noon to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 2. Thousands of interviews for internships, co-ops and jobs are scheduled all over campus on Oct. 3 and during the days that follow.

“From Michigan Tech’s perspective, the job market looks great,” said Jim Turnquist, director of Career Services. “Companies are so eager to get their names in front of students that they are sponsoring unique events such as a picnic outside the MUB, boat rides and a Ride and Drive, an opportunity for students to test-drive some of the latest model cars. The salaries being offered are higher than last year’s already excellent salaries, too.”

Career Services sponsors a job fair twice a year, in the fall and spring. Last year, 243 employers came to the October event and 178 participated in one in February.

“Tech graduates are simply fantastic,” commented Jason Biehl, a senior manufacturing engineer at GM and a 1994 graduate of Michigan Tech. Biehl was on the GM recruiting team that participated in a recent Career Fair. “Tech’s reputation extends from Virginia to Texas, from the US to Europe,” he said. “That’s why we’re here,”

Julie Way, assistant director of career development education, said: “Career Services is excited to organize and host this valuable event, where our students are given the opportunity to work in internships and co-ops during their college careers, and also to begin a new chapter of their life in a rewarding full-time career upon their graduation. We want to extend our thanks to all those who have generously donated rooms and offices for all the interviews.”

Published originally in Tech Today.

Attracting Underrepresented Graduate Students: GEM GRAD Lab This Saturday

Rod Carter credits his graduate education at Michigan Tech for the strong problem-solving skills it takes to succeed at his job: high-level materials research for Boeing. A research and technology engineer, Carter was the first African American to earn a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Tech, in 2008.

During an all-day seminar at Michigan Tech on Saturday, Sept. 15, Carter will talk about the doors that graduate education opened for him. Called the GEM GRAD Lab, the meeting addresses a critical shortfall in US engineering and scientific talent, focusing specifically on recruiting more underrepresented students into graduate programs. GRAD stands for Getting Ready for Advanced Degrees.

“Students will leave the GRAD event with a definite plan on how to apply and gain funding, and hear about real-life research and internship experiences,” says Marcus Huggans, senior director of external relations for the National Consortium for Graduate degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science, Inc., sponsor of the program. “GEM appreciates Michigan Tech’s Graduate School leadership to bring this workshop to students in the Upper Peninsula.”

Jacque Smith, Michigan Tech Graduate School director of marketing, explains: “It’s all part of an even larger goal of creating a pipeline for this talent to move on to corporations and organizations after receiving their graduate degrees.”

A major component of GEM is fellowships for Master of Science in engineering students or PhD students in engineering or science. The GEM fellowships include full tuition, summer internships and stipends.

His GEM fellowship has made all the difference to Sterling Prince, a doctoral candidate in electrical engineering. “The GEM Fellowship has been a blessing to my life,” says Prince. “It has strengthened my decision and given me confidence to achieve a doctorate in electrical engineering. It has provided the financial support I needed for my graduate program, allowing me to dedicate my time to my studies rather than working. The program has also provided me with the opportunity to work at a national laboratory, an experience that allowed me to see that I enjoy the area of scientific research and want to pursue it in my future.”

In addition to Carter, Prince and two other current Michigan Tech GEM fellows and PhD candidates–James Alexander and Tayloria Adams–will speak at Saturday’s seminar. Other speakers include Huggans; Patty Lopez, a component design engineer at Intel; and Howard G. Adams, founder and president of H. G. Adams and Associates, a consulting and training firm. Michigan Tech’s Associate Provost for Graduate Education Jackie Huntoon and Jodi Lehman, coordinator of proposal and fellowship development for sponsored program enhancement, will also speak.

More than 100 of the nation’s top universities, many Fortune 500 companies, and numerous national laboratories support GEM, which began in 1976. Since then, more than 3,000 GEM Fellows have gone on to successful careers. Michigan Tech has participated in GEM since the 1990s.

Registration for the free event starts at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the Great Lakes Research Center.

Productivity and Technology

Academics are lucky – they get two (or three if you count summer) chances to start a fresh leaf every year. Each new start is an opportunity to re-energize yourself and be more productive.  Are you looking for some inspiration on how to use technology to be more productive?  If so, check out these two resources:

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dissertation

This article from Inside Higher Ed’s blog will show you how to love your dissertation (or thesis). Writing can be an overwhelming task, and everyone can use tips on how to manage the writing process and motivate yourself to do just a little bit every day. These tips also apply to any large-scale project, like writing a proposal or journal article.

One of the pieces of advice that we often give students is that the best dissertation is a finished dissertation. Focus on completing your degree and starting the next stage in your career rather than seeking perfection.

Maintain Your Lit Review, Maintain Your Sanity

A good literature review is one of the foundations of your thesis or dissertation.  Most students complete a thorough literature review as part of their Research proposal examination, but the final dissertation might be a year or more away in the future.

This article from the Gradhacker blog has some tips on how to keep your literature review up to date using technology to automate as much of the process as possible.  Learn how to:

  • Keep track of search terms
  • Use Google Reader to stay up to date
  • Use the media to stay current

You’ve Got Mail. And Better Things to Do.

With smartphones, tablets, and computers surrounding us every day, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by new information. This essay from the Chronicle offers some great tips about how to manage your e-mail and time better to help improve your productivity.

One tip, for example, is to have an e-mail strategy – and stick to it.  How often will you read your e-mail? How often will you reply? Setting aside specific times to answer e-mails will allow you to focus on other tasks during the rest of the day.

Some articles from the Chronicle require a full subscription to read. Michigan Tech students, faculty, and staff will have full access when they access articles from a campus IP address.