Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Summer 2021 Recipient – Daniel Bryne

I began my Ph.D. in computer science in the Fall of 2016. I currently work with Dr. Zhenlin Wang and Dr. Nilufer Onder to model and optimize caching systems deployed in cloud computing environments. Data caching helps improve the speed and efficiency of front-end cloud applications such as websites and video streaming. Specifically, we focus on utilizing new memory technologies to lower operational costs while meeting performance targets. In collaboration with researchers at the University of Rochester, we have developed a new data caching system. Our system uses intelligent data replication and allocation across multiple memory devices to maximize performance while reducing overall operating costs. My improvements to caching systems have gone outside the lab, being adopted into a widely-used open-source caching system, memcached.

I am incredibly grateful for my committee’s support as I finish my dissertation over the summer. It has been a wonderful journey, and I have greatly enjoyed my time as a graduate student, especially my tenure as GSG Vice President. I am happy to have had the opportunity to advocate for graduate students and achieve increased support for health care. I also would like to thank the College of Computing for its efforts in creating a strong research environment and a supportive community of graduate students and faculty. I extend my sincere gratitude to the Graduate School for this support during the final period of completing and defending my dissertation.


Nominations open for KCP Future Faculty Fellowships

The application deadline has been extended to June 18, 2021.

Applications are being sought 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 or administrative careers in post-secondary education.

Priority will be placed on applications submitted by 4pm on May 13, 2021, but applications will be accepted through May 31, 2021. 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 beginning this year, applications will be submitted through the MILogin Citizens Portal. Questions about eligibility or the application procedure can be directed to Dr. Debra Charlesworth.


Nominations for the Gustave O. Arlt Award in the Humanities Open

Nominations for the Gustave O. Arlt Award in the Humanities are due by April 15, 2021 to Debra Charlesworth in the Graduate School.  The award recognizes young scholars who have published an outstanding book in their field.  Fields eligible for nomination this year are Linguistics and Philosophy.

Eligible candidates can be alumni from Michigan Tech, or current faculty.  Michigan Tech may nominate one candidate.

See the CGS website for complete details on eligibility and materials required for a nomination.


Degree completion timeline on MyMichiganTech

Graduate students can now see a personalized list of items they need to complete for each graduate degree on MyMichiganTech. A full description of items needed to complete each degree along with details about when, how, and why to complete them is found on the Graduate School’s web site.

Students can access their personalized list by:

  1. Logging into MyMichiganTech using their Michigan Tech ID and password
    • For example, if your email is blizzard@mtu.edu, you would log in with “blizzard” as your ID along with the same password used to check email
  2. Clicking on the “Current Students” link in the menu bar across the top of the page
    • The “Student Checklist” box in the left column will show items that are due now or recently completed
    • More help on accessing MyMichiganTech is found in our previous tutorial

For detailed information about the degrees you are seeking, look for the “Degree Completion Timeline” section in the center “My Status” column:

  • The question mark icon will display a pop-up window with helpful information and links
  • If links to any of the forms aren’t working, the helpful link will direct you to technical information
  • Click on the “your degree completion timeline” link to display a new window described in the screenshots below
  • The “timeline details” link will take you to more information on the Graduate School’s web site


Check if your Dissertation, Thesis or Report is Complete

Students can check whether their dissertation, thesis, or report submission is complete on MyMichiganTech.  Additional details about the submission process can be found online for dissertations, theses, and reports.

First, log into MyMichiganTech using your Michigan Tech ID and password and click on the “Current Students” tab.

  • For example, if your email is blizzard@mtu.edu, you would log in with “blizzard” as your ID along with the same password used to check email
  • More help on accessing MyMichiganTech is found in our previous tutorial

In the center column, labeled “My Status,” find the Degree Completion Timeline section.  Click on the hyperlink “your degree completion timeline” – boxed in red below.


Defense scheduling moved to MyMichiganTech

The Graduate School is pleased to announce that final oral examinations (“defenses”) can now be scheduled on MyMichiganTech. This applies to students scheduling a defense of their dissertation, thesis, or report.  

Students will log into MyMichiganTech to complete a scheduling request, and their advisor will log into the Workflow system to review that request and make a decision. Email notifications will be sent throughout the process. A student tutorial and advisor tutorial with screenshots is available on our blog, as well as a presentation in our seminar archive. A complete overview of the process to complete a dissertation, thesis, or report is available online.

A few things to note:

  • Students who have already completed their defense or have a defense already scheduled with the Graduate School do not need to repeat this process on MyMichiganTech.
  • Faculty will need to log into the Workflow system to approve defenses. Please refer to our advisor tutorial.
  • The Graduate School will continue to accept PDF forms this semester if a student has already started that process with their advisor.
  • Please delete any PDF forms that have been saved to use later. Always go to our website for the most current information and forms.
  • This process applies to the final oral examination, and not to other examinations such as a qualifying examination or research proposal examination. 
  • Graduate programs should remove references and links to the “pre-defense form” from their website and handbooks, as this process replaces the form.

The Graduate School would like to thank our colleagues in EAS for their hard work on this project. For any questions, please contact the Graduate School.


Dissertation, Report, and Thesis Updates for Spring 2021

Graduate faculty, graduate students, and graduate program assistants are invited to attend a seminar that will present updates to the process to schedule a final oral examination (“defense”) effective spring 2021:

Beginning in mid-March, the process to schedule a defense will move online to MyMichiganTech. At the seminar, we will describe the process and be available to answer any questions you have. 

For those who cannot attend, a recording will be available on our seminar archive and a student tutorial and advisor tutorial with screenshots is available now on our blog. Please contact the Graduate School (gradschool@mtu.edu) with any questions.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Spring 2021 Recipient – Pegah Kord Forooshani

I joined Dr. Bruce Lee’s lab in the Department of Biomedical Engineering in Fall 2016, where we focused on designing biomimetic materials for different biomedical applications. The overall objective of my research is to manipulate a unique reduction-oxidation chemistry found in mussel adhesive proteins to create novel biomimetic model systems for robust antibacterial activity and enhanced wound healing. Specifically, I have been developing biomimetic hydrogel/microgels which can be activated to release Reactive Oxygen Species such as hydroxyl radical (OH) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). OH is an extremely potent oxidizer which, unlike H2O2, no known enzyme can detoxify it in the bacteria cells, leading to fast and efficient antibacterial activities. H2O2 is a mild oxidizer, which effectively functions as a broad-spectrum biocide and disinfectant in many biomedical applications. The introduction of a relatively high concentration of H2O2 is antimicrobial and a relatively lower concentration promoted wound healing. We are anticipating that our H2O2-releasing hydrogels can serve as a simple and inexpensive approach for the treatment of healing-impaired wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers.

I would like to thank Dr. Lee for his valuable guidance and support. I am also incredibly grateful to the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel and the Graduate School for awarding me Finishing Fellowship. This will allow me to concentrate on my research and complete my doctoral project in Spring 2021.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Spring 2021 Recipient – Rashi Yadav

Doctoral Finishing fellowship

There are a number of aspects in my life that inspired me to be a scientist. I grew up in Chandimandir Cantt, India and as a young girl, I wanted to be an army officer. I remember being awestruck whenever I would see soldiers as they worked relentlessly to protect people and I would think how fulfilling that would be. As I reached high school, I found myself appreciating various scientists that have contributed in revolutionizing the whole world. A scientist can defeat a microorganism capable of wiping out the human population. That is just incredible! That’s why I tell everyone that I am extremely proud of my work line as our unceasing efforts will eventually benefit the society and that is my key motivation which is extremely fulfilling. I am so glad that I am close to my 12 years long dream of getting a Ph.D.

I am very fortunate that I worked with Dr. Ebenezer Tumban, who guided me to conduct professional and analytical research and also taught me several aspects of life by setting up a great example by his deeds. I have done multiple projects under his guidance including assessing MS2-L2 based virus-like particles (VLPs) against Human Papillomavirus (HPV) associated with genital and oral cancer. In addition to this, I have worked on development of a novel thermostable bacteriophage VLP platform-based vaccine.

My experience of pursuing Ph.D. at Michigan Technological University has been incredible. It has been a life-time experience; MTU has the most beautiful summer and winter, though sometimes I have seen extreme winter. But, I must say it is absolutely worth it. I got several opportunities to participate in competitions at MTU and have won awards such as 3-minute thesis, summer fellowship, finishing fellowship etc.  When I am not doing research, I like to spend my time exploring places, going for a hike, painting and dancing.

I am so grateful to Graduate school, MTU for awarding me this prestigious doctoral finishing fellowship. I am so elated and thankful to the people who have supported me in my journey.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Spring 2021 Recipient – Ande Myers

I began my Ph.D. in 2017 and currently work with Dr. Tara L Bal in the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. My research explores propagation and restoration planting of American beech trees resistant to beech bark disease. I am collaborating with scientists at the National Park Service (Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshores) to enact an applied restoration project for the mitigation of Beech Bark Disease in Michigan. 

Over the first three years of my doctoral work, I have established a tree grafting program in the CFRES facilities, described the severity of Beech Bark Disease in two National parks, prepared a literature review and synthesis regarding the propagation of American beech, forged a working partnership with the US Forest Service Oconto River Seed Orchard, established a plan for restoration plantings in conjunction with the National Park Service, and initiated a study in methods for transplanting wild-origin American beech seedlings.

My broader research interests are in understanding the dynamics of forest disease and dysfunction and applying a diverse suite of techniques to mitigate the effects of disease and enhance forest health. I aim to present the findings of my research in a clear and understandable manner to a diverse array of audiences. I work to enhance my science communication skills through written and oral presentations, and through forging meaningful working partnerships with external agencies.

I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the graduate school for supporting the finalization of my dissertation through the award of the finishing fellowship scholarship. I also thank the faculty and support staff of the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science for creating a supportive community that has encouraged my scholarship at every stage of my degree program. Finally, the community of graduate students in the college, and Michigan Tech at large, have provided an amazing academic environment for continued personal and professional growth. I feel that my ability to perform as a researcher has been greatly benefitted by these combined communities, and they have earned my sincere gratitude.