Tag: University

Place Your Cap and Gown Rental Orders

Spring Commencement will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, April 28, in the MacInnes Ice Arena.

Faculty who need to rent a cap and gown should be measured at the Campus Bookstore in the Memorial Union.

In order to avoid shipping costs, orders for caps and gowns need to be placed by March 2. Any order placed after March 2 will be assessed a shipping fee. After 4 p.m., April 13, cap and gown rental is not guaranteed, and you will be responsible for any applicable shipping fees.

To coordinate your rental, contact Beckie Belanger, Campus Bookstore, at 487-2410 or bmbelang@mtu.edu .

You may also order online from the Campus Bookstore at Cap and Gown.

Published in Tech Today.

University Rankings in News

Michigan Tech was highlighted by the World Ranking Guide as one of world’s leading universities and MBA programs. Some of the highlights include:

  • Being ranked 115th among the National Universities by US News (2012).
  • Being listed in the top tier of national universities in the US News 2011 “Best Colleges”.
  • Garnering “Best in the Midwest” honors as it was included among Princeton Review’s The Best 373 Colleges, 2011 Edition.
  • Being ranked 213th globally in the Webometrics ranking of world universities, July 2010.
  • Being ranked the 7th most wired campus in the nation by PC Magazine in 2007.
  • Being ranked in the top 100 MBA programs in “Beyond Grey Pinstripes”, a ranking by the Aspen Institute.
  • Being ranked 179th of 600 US colleges and universities in research and development expenditures (NSF, 2004).

For more information see Ranking.

Originally posted in Tech Today.

Board of Control Approves New Degree Programs

At its regular meeting on Friday, Dec. 9, the Board of Control approved two new master’s degree programs, two new bachelor’s programs and a new PhD program. The new degrees–in medical informatics, biomedical engineering, biochemistry and molecular biology, physics and physics for high school teachers–now must go to the academic affairs officers of the Presidents’ Council, State Universities of Michigan, for review and approval.

The new master’s degrees reflect Michigan Tech’s commitment to providing the kind of education that industry is seeking. “The demand for master’s degrees is growing in industry,” said Provost Max Seel, “and we are trying to be proactive in meeting that need.”

The advancement of technology in the medical field, accompanied by the need to track and analyze vast amounts of data while keeping sensitive data confidential, created the need for the biomedical and medical informatics programs, he added.
The master’s degrees are professional degrees, designed to prepare students to work in the increasingly complex and demanding STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) specialties, Seel explained.

The University has also put in place an accelerated master’s degree framework, Seel noted. “We want students to know that at Michigan Tech, you can go straight through to a master’s degree,” he said.

The accelerated master’s program will enable students to complete a master’s degree in a shorter period of time than previously was possible. Biomedical engineering, the School of Technology and mechanical engineering are the first ones planning to offer an accelerated master’s degree.

The new PhD is a nondepartmental program in biochemistry and molecular biology, drawing on existing faculty and existing courses, Seel said.

The two new physics degrees are a Bachelor of Arts in Physics and a Bachelor of Arts in Physics with a concentration in secondary education.

“The motivation for offering a BA degree in physics is to give students who are not planning to study physics in graduate school a strong foundation in physics but significantly fewer physics course requirements than our current BS programs,” Seel explained. “The resulting flexibility will allow students to pursue other scholarly interests and career goals in the arts, humanities, social sciences, business, entrepreneurship, medicine and law. Physics can provide an excellent foundation for interdisciplinary endeavors in all of these fields.”

Seel said the University is also following a recommendation of the Gender Equity report of the American Physical Society to increase participation of women in physics. The recommendation reads: “Make it easier to enter a physics program after the first year to allow for late starters or those with lower initial preparation in mathematics. Create flexible tracks for physics majors to allow interdisciplinary studies or to pursue an education degree.”

The BA in Physics with a concentration in secondary education is designed to prepare more students to become high school physics teachers.

“The preparation of teaching professionals in the sciences has become an issue of national concern,” President Glenn Mroz said. “We are very fortunate in our local school districts to have excellent high school teachers with strong science credentials, but this is simply not true nationally. And if students don’t have good science teachers in K-12, they will not be prepared to pursue the math and science-related degrees in college that are in the highest demand for jobs.”

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

Over 400 Michigan Tech Grads to be Honored at Midyear Commencement

Michigan Tech will hold Midyear Commencement at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 10, in the Wood Gymnasium at the SDC.
At the ceremony, the University will honor the achievements of more than 400 graduating students, including 336 students receiving undergraduate degrees, 107 master’s degree candidates, and 27 PhD recipients.

Chang K. Park ’73, founder, president and CEO of Universal Remote Control Inc., will give the commencement address as well as receive an Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy. His Harrison, N.Y.-based company is a world leader in technology and innovation and has supplied more than 80 million remote controls and home automation devices in the past 10 years alone.

Born and raised in South Korea, Park came to the US as a teenager. He soon developed an interest in mathematics–the only language he could understand. After enrolling at Michigan Tech, he received bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and engineering administration and went on to earn an MBA at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He began his career with an engineering consulting firm specializing in mass transit and for several years was employed in corporate finance. Then he started a business in his sister’s garage and steadily expanded it to market and develop remote controls and related devices.

He chairs the Chang K. Park Foundation, an organization that supports human rights, the elimination of poverty and hunger, political reform and economic justice. He is also a member of the board of Common Cause.

Written by Marcia Goodrich, senior writer

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

Creating a Veteran-friendly Campus

When Jillian Richards came to Michigan Tech from the military, she traded discipline for self-discipline, regimen for free time, camaraderie for aloneness. The changes have been “a culture shock,” she says.

A native of Stevensville, Richards, 26, served eight years in the Army. Now she is a junior in civil engineering, and the transition from military to civilian life has been difficult. So much so, she sought counseling for insomnia and questioned whether getting out of the military was the right thing to do. Civilian life is a different world for her.

Consider: In the military, she was told, “This is what you have to learn, and this is how you’re going to learn it.” In college, she must be more self-directed. “We have to relearn how to learn,” she says.

Consider, too: In the military, there is a tight buddy system. “We looked out for each other. We trusted each other. We were brothers and sisters. Here I’m on my own. It’s frustrating.”

Then she stumbled on a fellow veteran at a birthday party. They started talking. “We were both frustrated with classes and other students,” she says. “I vented to him. He was someone who understood.”  The company of a compatriot buoyed her. She’s sleeping better these days and is now the president of the Student Veterans Organization.  The primary goal of the group, which has about 20 regulars, is to find a resource room where veterans can gather to meet, hang out and do homework together. “It would be good for our well-being,” Richards says. “Reaffirm we’re all doing the right thing.”

An estimated 200,000 soldiers a year are leaving the military, some returning home from war. Many will go to college on the GI Bill, which covers eight semesters of tuition, fees and books. (Veterans can transfer these benefits to their children.)  Against this backdrop, efforts are underway to make Michigan Tech a veteran-friendly campus.

It’s a distinct mission: veterans are older, more experienced, more mature, and often are married with families; as well, some are saddled with combat experience and suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  Rob Bishop, who is an advisor to the campus veterans group, says he would never have made it through college without a veteran-mentor. He hosted a webinar in late October for the campus; it addressed the needs of student-veterans.

The message: Veterans make good employees, but they don’t know it. They’re focused, reliable, good leaders and adept at teamwork, but they struggle to market themselves. They need to be confident that a leader in Iraq makes a leader in a corporation, that it’s not a big jump to go from being an artillery spotter to a student of physics.

Kathy Pintar, registration coordinator, is the point person who certifies benefits for veterans and monitors their academic progress.  “We, as a campus, have a lot more to learn and do to embrace these veterans,” she says.  She reports that there were 44 veterans on campus in spring 2009; now there are 86, ranging in age from 20 to 50.

Since 2008, Michigan Tech offers in-state tuition to out-of-state students who are the offspring or spouse of a person on active US military duty. Tech is also a “yellow-ribbon school”—a federal designation for a program where Tech commits $2,500, which the government matches, to help offset the tuition of nonresident students. Tech also provides veterans and current military personnel with a National Service Graduate Fellowship—a program initiated by the Graduate School to provide a tuition award to those who have provided service to our country.

Other initiatives are planned:

  • Holding a special session at Orientation to direct veterans to Tech’s wide array of student services, as well as their GI Bill benefits.
  • Steering them to the Veterans Hospital in Iron Mountain and local mental health providers.
  • Encouraging veterans in the larger community to connect with student-veterans.
  • Helping faculty learn to spot veterans who are suffering from PTSD.

Some plans are substantive; some are symbolic: In January, there will be a military appreciation night at a hockey game to recognize all veterans and ROTC cadets. Starting in December, veterans will sport red, white and blue honor cords at commencement, a salute to their service to the country. All of it is not only helpful, it’s good business. Says Bishop: “If we can create a network and an opportunity, we can become a destination for vets.”

Published in Tech Today.

Flu Shots Available on Campus

Flu shots are available for faculty, staff, and students.  Bring proof of Aetna insurance to obtain the shot as a benefit, or if not covered by Aetna, the cost is $25 per shot, payable at the time of service.

Anyone under the age of 18 cannot be vaccinated without parental permission.

Here is the schedule:

  • Monday, Oct. 24, 4 to 7 p.m., Memorial Union Commons Area
  • Thursday, Oct. 27, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Memorial Union Peninsula Room A
  • Wednesday, Nov. 2, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Memorial Union Ballroom (in conjunction with How the Health Are You Wellness Fair)
  • Thursday, Nov. 3, 3 to 6 p.m., Memorial Union Commons Area

For more information, contact Benefits at benefits@mtu.edu .

GLBTQ Workshops Scheduled

Robyn Ochs, writer, speaker and activist, will present two free lectures on Tuesday, Oct. 18, as part of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (GLBTQ) history month.

The first workshop, “Loosening the Gender Girdle: How Gender Affects You,” will be held at 3 p.m. in Memorial Union Ballroom A. Ochs will discuss the cultural implications of gender and the ways gender helps shape our perception of the world.

The second workshop, “Beyond Binaries: Identity and the Sexuality Spectrum,” will be at 7 p.m. also in Ballroom A. Ochs will explore sexual identity–its construction, our own self-perceptions and perceptions of others.

GLBTQ history month is sponsored by the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, Keweenaw Pride, oSTEM, the Michigan Tech Safe Place Program, the Tech Parents Annual Fund, Housing and Residential Life, the Affirmative Programs Office and the Arcus Foundation.

For more information, contact Renee Wells, coordinator of GLBTQ outreach, at 487-2920 or at rrwells@mtu.edu.

Tech among Four Michigan Schools Named Top National Universities

Michigan Tech joins three other Michigan schools ranked among the top universities in the nation in US News & World Report’s 2012 edition of “Best Colleges.”

In addition to Michigan Tech, Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Western Michigan University were all included in US News’ list of the nation’s top national universities. Now ranked 115, Michigan Tech continues its climb on the list, a spot it shares with Washington State University, Howard University in Washington, DC, and the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.

“We can’t infer too much from a small change in our ranking, but it is going in the right direction, from 121 in 2010, to 117 in 2011, to 115 today,” said Max Seel, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “We are making progress toward our goal of becoming a premier technological research university.” Among the nation’s public universities, Michigan Tech was ranked 57, the same as in 2011.

Also, Michigan Tech joins Michigan State and the University of Michigan on the “Best Colleges” list of top US engineering schools whose highest degree is a doctorate. Tech was ranked 66, up from 74 in 2011. “We’re in very good company,” said Dean Tim Schulz (COE). “It’s gratifying to be recognized by our peers as one of the leading engineering programs, both within Michigan and nationwide.”

In addition, Tech was included among the “A-Plus Schools for B Students,” a category comprising top-quality universities that also admit a significant proportion of students with ACT scores between 20 and 30. “This speaks to the attention our undergraduate students are receiving,” said Seel. “It highlights the level and quality of our education and is an important indicator of student satisfaction.”

Rankings don’t tell the whole story, he added. “While we appreciate the recognition from US News, we know that the best measure of our success is the success of our graduates,” Seel said. “Employers recognize the value of a Tech education. We already have 225 companies signed up to recruit our students during the upcoming fall Career Fair, up from 160 a year ago, so we can expect to surpass last year’s placement rate of 87.5 percent.”

Tech’s Enrollment Tops 7,000

With well over 7,000 students, enrollment is at its second-highest point since 1983.

Data reported to the State Budget Office on Wednesday, Sept. 7, show total enrollment at 7,031, a 1 percent increase over fall 2010’s official figure of 6,976.

Female enrollment is up for the sixth straight year to an all-time high of 1,837, or 26.1 percent of the student body.

Graduate enrollment increased approximately 5 percent, with a record 1,303 students seeking master’s and PhD degrees, up from 1,256 in fall 2010. “We broke through 1,300 for the first time and processed 3,000 applications, another record number,” said Jacqueline Huntoon, dean of the Graduate School. “Graduate enrollment continues to increase in accordance with our strategic-plan goal of having 3,000 grad students by 2035.”

“Of our on-campus enrollment, growth is strongest among international students, and we are very pleased that students are drawn here from all over the world to pursue a graduate degree,” she said. Many are self-supporting or are supported by their employers or home countries, she noted. “They provide an economic boost both to the University and to the local community.”

Another area of growth is distance learning. The number of students seeking a graduate degree online is up markedly, from 58 to 106.

Undergraduate enrollment is up as well, with 5,728 students compared to last year’s 5,720. The number of new first-year students grew from 1,115 to 1,161, an increase of approximately 4 percent. The freshman class will also include more women: 288 as compared to 273 in 2010.

In addition, the academic credentials of the entering freshman class are up for the sixth straight year, with a record-setting average ACT composite score of 26.4, compared to last year’s 26.1.

“Smart, adventurous students want to study with other smart, adventurous students,” explained John Lehman, assistant vice president of enrollment services.

The enrollment count also reflects the fact that more students are staying at the University. The retention rate from undergraduates’ first to second year of study has risen to 83.3 percent, approximately 2.5 percent higher than 2010’s 80.9 percent.

The COMPASS program employs a variety of strategies to improve student retention. “Our orientation program helps new students acclimate to the community and learn about the resources that can make them successful,” said Director Susan Liebau. The office offers special services for transfer and commuter students, along with the ExSEL program, which combines leadership development with tips for improving academic performance.

In addition, the University tracks first-year students’ mid-term grades and has stepped up efforts to reach out to those who are struggling. “That’s been one of our most effective efforts to ensure the success of students,” Liebau said.

Published in Tech Today
by Marcia Goodrich, senior writer