East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes for U.S. Graduate Students

NSF

The East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes (EAPSI) provide U.S. graduate students in science and engineering:  1) first-hand research experiences in Australia, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore or Taiwan; 2) an introduction to the science, science policy, and scientific infrastructure of the respective location; and 3) an orientation to the society, culture and language. The primary goals of EAPSI are to introduce students to East Asia and Pacific science and engineering in the context of a research setting, and to help students initiate scientific relationships that will better enable future collaboration with foreign counterparts. All institutes, except Japan, last approximately eight weeks from June to August. Japan lasts approximately ten weeks from June to August (specific dates are available and updated at www.nsf.gov/eapsi).


Ford Foundation Diversity Fellowships

2010 Ford Foundation Diversity Fellowships online applications are NOW LIVE and accepting registrations.

Through its program of Diversity Fellowships, the Ford Foundation seeks to increase the diversity of the nation’s college and university faculties by increasing their ethnic and racial diversity, to maximize the educational benefits of diversity, and to increase the number of professors who can and will use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.

See the Ford Fellowship web site for more information.


2009 & 2010 Environmental Research Grant Announcements

EPA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as part of its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, is offering Graduate Fellowships for master’s and doctoral level students in environmental fields of study. The deadline is October 22, 2009 at 4:00 PM for receipt of paper applications, and October 22, 2009 at 11:59:59 PM ET for submittal of electronic applications to Grants.gov. Subject to availability of funding, the Agency plans to award approximately 120 new fellowships by June 30, 2010. Master’s level students may receive support for a maximum of two years. Doctoral students may be supported for a maximum of three years, usable over a period of four years. The fellowship program provides up to $37,000 per year of support per fellowship.

For more information visit: http://www.epa.gov/ncer


Help Students Win National Scholarships

Tech Today

The Center for Teaching, Learning, and Faculty Development is conducting a workshop on helping students win national scholarships. The session will be from noon to 12:55 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 24.

Lunch will be provided to those who register by Monday, Sept. 21.
The location of the session will be announced as people sign up.

Faculty members are encouraged to attend because they play a critical role in encouraging students to pursue these life-changing opportunities.

Presenting the seminar will be Mary Durfee, advisor for nationally competitive scholarships, and Jodi Lehman, advisor for NSF graduate fellowships.

Faculty will gain information they need to identify and effectively support their top candidates for a major fellowship opportunity.

To register for this workshop, contact the center at 487-2046 or on the registration website: http://www.admin.mtu.edu/ctlfd/workshops .

The deadline for registering is Monday, Sept. 21.

For more information, contact Nancy Seely at 487-2046 or at nsseely@mtu.edu .


NSF Awards Tech $4 Million

Tech Today

The National Science Foundation has awarded $4.1 million for eight research projects involving departments across the University.

The research includes sustainable fuel production from lactose; rural and global watershed research and education; using metal organic frameworks for hydrogen storage; high school study of hydrogen-based energy; using electronic and plastic waste to improve the mechanical properties of asphalt materials; developing a better approach to energy control and management; integrating computational models into volcano research; investigation of aerosols in climate models; and improvement of wireless networks.

For the full story, see http://www.mtu.edu/news/stories/2009/september/story19079.html .


Thanks–and Recruiting Begins Anew

Published in Tech Today

The Graduate School would like to thank everyone involved in achieving the strong fall enrollment numbers. With recruitment for fall 2010 underway, the school once again asks current graduate students and faculty to help in recruiting prospective students.

To view a list of recruitment events, visit the Graduate School Recruitment Calendar.

Events where we need someone to attend:

  • September 23–University of Wisconsin-Platteville
  • October 7-8–University of Illinois–Urbana and Chicago
  • October 13-14–University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Contact Jacque Smith (jacque@mtu.edu or 487-1434) if you are willing to represent the University at any of the recruitment events. The Graduate School offers travel funding and logistical assistance.


Enrollment Up Again

Published in Tech Today

by Jennifer Donovan, director of public relations

Enrollment rose again this school year, topping last year’s number by 118 students. Fall enrollment figures tallied last night totaled 7,132.

A surge in Graduate School enrollment accounted for the increase, including increasing enrollment of international graduate students. The Graduate School reported 1,189 students, the most ever and a 21-percent increase over fall 2008. The number of international graduate students is up more than 17 percent.

“This is the highest headcount since 1983,” said President Glenn Mroz. “It shows that, increasingly, students see a Michigan Tech education as a high-return investment providing them with skills in great demand in our competitive world. Our strategic plan calls for increasing our graduate offerings while maintaining the size of undergraduate enrollment in high-demand science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. That is a critical way to provide the advanced training that will support the expansion of the entrepreneurial knowledge economy in Michigan.

“But to accomplish those goals,” Mroz continued, “something must be done about the issue of state funding. We are educating 40 percent more students than we did 40 years ago with the same level of state support.”

Jacqueline Huntoon, dean of the Graduate School, said she is extremely pleased to see such a large increase in graduate enrollment this year. “This shows that everyone at Michigan Tech is committed to increasing the size and quality of our graduate programs, in accordance with the University’s strategic plan,” she said. “It is because of our outstanding faculty, staff and current students that we are able to attract so many students from around the world.”

The record graduate student numbers include approximately 100 nondegree-seeking automotive engineers enrolled in a special advanced propulsion technology course offered in Detroit by Michigan Tech and the Engineering Society of Detroit.

Among undergraduates, the average ACT score of entering first-year students rose to 26.0 this year. The ACT score is one of Tech’s key indicators in achieving its strategic goal of attracting outstanding students, faculty and staff.

“We are attracting an academically more talented freshman class,” said John Lehman, assistant vice president for enrollment. “That indicates that our scholarship and financial aid programs are doing what they are supposed to do, enabling those who have need and are strong academically to attend Michigan Tech.”

The percentage of new female students at Tech also rose, from 23 percent last year to 26 percent this year. The University also saw a 9.8-percent increase in undergraduate transfer students, reflecting Michigan Tech’s enhanced efforts to reach out to community college students.

Undergraduate enrollment fell by 90 students this fall, to 5,943, although the number of transfer students rose by almost 10 percent. “The decrease is relatively minor and mostly related to the economy,” Lehman said. “Our undergraduate enrollment still stands well above totals from 2004 to 2007.”


Nominations sought for MAGS Thesis Award

The Executive Committee of the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) is soliciting nominations for the 2010 MAGS Distinguished Master’s Thesis Awards to recognize and reward distinguished scholarship and research at the master’s level.  Michigan Tech may nominate one candidate.

Eligible students will have earned a master of science degree between October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2009.

Please see our web page for complete details on eligibility and application procedures.  Nominations are due no later than 4pm, October 7th to Debra Charlesworth in the Graduate School.


Library Offers Web of Science Training Workshop

Published in Tech Today.

The Van Pelt and Opie Libary will offer a free workshop for electronic information resources from 12 to 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 16, in the library instruction room (244).

Don Sechler, manager of customer education for Thomson Reuters, will cover basic and advanced functionality of the “Web of Science” information resource tool. The session will include information about end-user tools, such as personalization, alerting, ResearcherID and using EndNote Web to store references and track citation activity. The workshop will include live demos of the products and time for questions from participants.

Web of Science provides access to some of the world’s leading scholarly literature in the sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities, including proceedings of international conferences, symposia, seminars, colloquia, workshops and conventions. Web of Science comprises several key electronic tools, including Science Citation Index Expanded (1973-present), Social Sciences Citation Index (1973-present) and the Arts & Humanities Citation Index (1975-present).

Although time will be limited, the session will also touch on shared searching and citation aspects with the Medline life sciences database and Inspec, an index to journal and proceedings literature in physics, electrical/electronic engineering, computing, control engineering and information technology. Medline and Inspec are part of the larger Web of Knowledge resource package available from Thomson Reuters through the library.

Preregister at 487-2507 or at reflib@mtu.edu .


Young researcher and his mentor team up on lake inquiry

Published in Tech Today

by John Gagnon, promotional writer

Scientists at Tech are known for their expertise in lake restoration and management, much of it applied to pristine Lake Superior. Now two researchers, an old hand and a budding scholar, are working on a small UP lake that is nearly choked to death.

Iron Mountain’s Crystal Lake, once a place for swimming and fishing on the southwest side of the city, doesn’t live up to its name anymore. A beautiful little lake has become a blight.

“People didn’t know where to begin to address the situation,” says graduate researcher Jarron Hewitt, a master’s student in environmental engineering. As part of a Senior Design project when he was an undergraduate, he and his fellow students helped out.

This 50-acre lake is fed by groundwater and has no natural inlets or outlets; but it receives storm-water discharges, which have proved to be its nemesis.

Storm water often has high levels of coliform bacteria from fecal pollution originating from animal waste (dogs and geese) and, potentially, humans. Following storm-water discharges, coliform levels in the lake exceed public-health standards for swimming.

Storm water also carries phosphorous-rich lawn fertilizer that stimulates algae growth. In the winter, when the lake freezes over, algae die off, sink to the bottom, decompose and turn into muck. “The history of the lake is in the muck,” Hewitt says, and there’s a lot of it–11 feet and counting. Historically, the lake was 20 feet deep; now it is 9 feet deep. The difference is muck. Core samples show that almost all of it is dead algae and other plant material, which, in the process of decomposing, use up oxygen. Telltale, then: lots of dead fish–mostly perch, bullheads, and minnows–in the spring. “The lake can’t provide a healthy environment for fish in its current state,” Hewitt says.

The charge for him and his fellow Senior Design students was: assess the condition of the lake and propose ways to restore it to beauty and “beneficial uses”–like recreation. The students started their inquiry in January and came up with three recommendations:

* Divert storm water, the source of the coliforms and fertilizer, from the lake.

* Aerate the lake to make sure there’s more oxygen for fish.

* Dredge the lake to get rid of the muck that recyles phosphorous and consumes oxygen.

Hewitt, who works under the guidance of Professor Marty Auer, is now refining the project on his own and coming up with an engineering plan to restore the lake. The work will be the basis for what Auer calls “a shovel-ready” restoration plan. “You can’t look for money unless you have a plan,” Auer says. So Hewitt is addressing more design detail and estimating the cost of the three fixes.

Hewitt is getting a taste not only of research and engineering, but also the shaping of public policy. He outlines the issue for public discourse this way: how good do you want your lake to be? “What we would like them to do is a complete restoration of the lake,” Hewitt says.

However, he confronts a reality of all enterprise: money to do the job. The biggest job, dredging, would cost several million dollars. It’s not an all-or-nothing situation. One possibility is to dredge part of the lake to improve the beach area. Also, diverting storm water would start the fix.

Auer’s time in this effort is pro bono; Hewitt needs to find money. “He’s bootstrapping this,” Auer says. “He’s supporting himself by delivering pizzas.”

Tech got involved with this issue when a Tech alumnus, who is a consulting engineering working with the City of Iron Mountain, asked Auer for help. “They’re a neighbor,” Auer says. “They’re part of our regional community. So it’s appropriate that we help them.”

He likes the job of mentoring students like Hewitt. “It’s huge for me. It’s what keeps me in it. Bringing experience to bear in partnership with students is really exciting and rewarding. It’s a great part of my job.”

He deflects attention, though, and says Hewitt “is the face of this project” who has “carried a lot of the responsibility,” including working with the city council and other civic leaders.

For his part, Hewitt is excited to help the people of Iron Mountain perhaps improve their community. Back in his hometown of Gwinn, before he ever came to Tech, he never imagined such a “hands-on, real-world opportunity.”

“I feel like I’m giving something back,” he says.

In late August, Hewitt and Auer visited Fergus Falls, Minnesota, to assess another lake severely polluted by storm water.

Auer is energized by these opportunities—what he calls “the excitement of being in a chase and pursuing mysteries.” He likens them to Sherlock Holmes, who, on learning of a new mystery, said, “Come quickly, Watson, the game is afoot.”

These days, then, Auer is inclined to say, “Come quickly, Hewitt….”