Idea Pitch Competition Winners

The first annual Husky Innovate Idea Pitch Competition took place Wednesday, October 17, 2018 in Fisher Hall. The Competition was hosted by the Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship, a collaboration between Pavlis Honors College, School of Business and Economics, and Vice President for Research Office.

Cameron Philo accepting First Prize in Idea Pitch Competition

There were more than 30 participants from various majors and disciplines who pitched to a panel of judges comprised of faculty, alumni, and community members. Ideas ranged from a Ride Share application to a Hydrogen Supplemental Fuel Generator. Participants had two minutes to pitch their innovative and disruptive ideas. Alumni from Michigan Tech’s 14 Floors initiative joined the judging panel to offer valuable feedback and expert advice to our young entrepreneurs.

Judging panel made up of faculty, alumni, and community members

The winners of the 2018 Idea Pitch Competition were:

Honorable Mention – Sarah Smyth, Business, for Post-op Bra for Breast Cancer Survivors

Honorable Mention – Christopher Codere and Joshua Hansen, MBA and Software Engineering, for Firearm Detection Technology for Police Officers

Honorable Mention – Marina Brusso and Maxx Fredrickson, Marketing/Management and Management, for Parking Improvement App

Third Place – Mayank Bagaria, Mechanical Engineering, for Wearable Translator

Second Place – Gary Tropp, Computer Network & System Administration, for A Better Way to Schedule Classes

First Place and Audience Favorite – Cameron Philo, Electrical Engineering, Pavlis Honors College, for Life Pro Jackets

From left to right: Mayank Bagaria, Gary Tropp, Cameron Philo, Christopher Codere, and Joshua Hansen. Not all winners are pictured.

Congratulations to all of our winners and participants, and thank you to our panel of distinguished judges for donating their time and expertise. Photos from the event can be viewed and downloaded here.

Erica Austin and Kyle Schuhknecht presenting their idea, Mr. Green Tips, an eco-friendly informational application.

The Idea Pitch Competition is part of Husky Innovate, a series of workshops and competitions that guide students through key phases of business development while emphasizing strategies for success. The next workshop in the series is Business Model Canvas Bootcamp. Identifying your value propositions and customer segments is a key part in developing a winning business model. This is a two-part workshop being held November 14 and 28 and registration is required. More information on upcoming Husky Innovate events can be found at mtu.edu/husky-innovate.


Critical Language Scholarship Application Now Open

By The USA Study Abroad Team

The USA Study Abroad Team announces that applications are now being accepted for the U.S. Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program at clscholarship.org/apply. Applications are due November 27, 2018.

The CLS Program is a fully-funded intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program for U.S. undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities. Students spend eight to ten weeks abroad studying one of 15 critical languages: Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, and Urdu.  Most CLS languages do not require previous study of the target language.

The program includes intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains. The scholarship program includes international airfare, tuition, and all program costs, as well as meals and living accommodations (often with a host family).

The CLS Program seeks participants with diverse interests, and from a wide range of fields of study and career paths, with the purpose of representing the full diversity of the United States. Participants are selected based on their commitment to language learning and plans to apply their language skills to their future academic or professional pursuits.

CLS is part of a wider government initiative to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering foreign languages that are critical to national security and economic prosperity. CLS plays an important role in preparing students for the 21st century’s globalized workforce and increasing national competitiveness.

Questions? Email CLS@AmericanCouncils.org.


Innovation Week at Michigan Tech

Innovation Week

The University Innovation Fellows are hosting their 2nd annual Innovation Week to promote innovation and entrepreneurship on the Michigan Tech campus. There are a variety of events being held next week, October 14-20 with the final event being a regional meet-up for students from universities across the midwest with ties to the University Innovation Fellows program. The University Innovation Fellows program empowers students to become agents of change at their schools. The Fellows are a global community of students leading a movement to ensure that all students gain the necessary attitudes, skills, and knowledge required to compete in the economy of the future.

Please share the following public events with faculty, staff, and students of the Michigan Tech entrepreneurial community.

“I have an idea that I think can make some money…now what?” | Oct. 14 | 1pm | Fisher 125

Idea Pitch Practice | Oct. 15 | 5pm | ICE House

Idea Pitch Competition | Oct. 17 | 7pm | M&M U113 | This competition is hosted by the Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship, a collaboration between the School of Business and Economics and the Pavlis Honors College.

Coffee Sprints | Oct. 18 | 6:30pm | Library 244

Teaching Design Thinkers: The Responsibilities of Empowering the Next Generation | Oct. 19 | 1pm | Rekhi G05 | Registration for this event is required, and it is sponsored by the Pavlis Honors College, William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning, and the Visiting Professor Lecturer/Scholar Series (VPLSS) which is funded by a grant to the Provost’s Office from the State of Michigan’s King-Chavez-Parks Initiative.


Introducing Husky Innovate Workshops and Pitch Competitions

The Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship at Michigan Tech, a collaboration between the Pavlis Honors College and the School of Business and Economics, announces a new series of workshops and events for students called Husky Innovate. Husky Innovate is a succession of workshops and competitions guiding students through key phases of innovation and business development, while emphasizing evidence-based strategies for success.

Semi Final Presentation for CMU New Venture Competition

Students are encouraged to participate in any/all events of their choosing, whether they’re interested in learning more about entrepreneurship and innovation to distinguish their résumé, or they want to start their own business and build knowledge, expertise and confidence through participation.

Ideate and create

Students who challenge themselves to pitch their idea at a national, state or regional competition will find the Husky Innovate track provides a solid foundation for their goals. The workshops and events emphasize experiential learning and provide the opportunity to get valuable feedback from peers and mentors.

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The Idea Pitch Competition will be held 7 to 9 p.m. Oct. 17 in Fisher 138. During the two-minute pitch competition students will share their favorite innovative and disruptive idea in an interactive, community setting. Cash prizes will be awarded. Students should register early;  participation is limited to the first 30 registrants.

See more events and upcoming workshops at mtu.edu/husky-innovate.


New Campaign to Fund Transportation and Accommodations for Visiting Prospective Huskies

Michigan Tech has started a new crowd funding campaign through the help of Superior Ideas to raise money for travel and accommodations for underrepresented prospective Huskies. Given the Keweenaw’s unique geographical location, many students considering Michigan Tech are faced with barriers such as high transportation and accommodation costs when trying to plan a campus visit.

Orientation 2018
Orientation 2018

Events such as Open House and Preview Day allow students to visit campus and get hands-on experiences discovering all of the academic and extracurricular opportunities Michigan Tech has to offer.  Open House is an all-day event held on campus every fall for prospective students to meet with current students, faculty, and staff in order to learn more about Michigan Tech. Students have access to information on financial aid, student life, student activities, career center, residence halls, as well as visits in the academic departments they are considering. The admissions office opens up access to online applications that help students start the admission process while on campus. Open House often helps students vetting their higher education options determine if Michigan Tech is a potential fit. Preview Day, held annually in the spring, is designed for students accepted to Michigan Tech to come to campus for a day to help make (or reinforce) a decision around attending Michigan Tech. Students attend informational sessions about academics, co-ops, internships, housing, financial aid, and scholarships; meet and talk with faculty, staff, and current students; and experience a taste of college life by exploring campus, visiting the residence halls, and touring academic departments.

Students at the Husky statue during their visit to campus.
Students at the Husky statue during their visit to campus.

Open House and Preview Day are Michigan Tech’s way of showing off what the University has to offer and draw in new students. The on-campus experience, whether through Open House, Preview Day, or Admissions-led campus tours, contribute greatly to the decision made by potential students. Some high-potential, traditionally underrepresented students, do not have access to a support network to help them make the trip to Houghton for Preview Day or Open House at Michigan Tech.

“Being able to take a bus to visit this university ultimately changed the path of my life. Being given the opportunity to see this campus made this university go from a choice that I wasn’t even considering to my first choice college. Now I am here as a first year student making my mark as a true Husky!” – Jailynn Johnson

huskies

This project seeks to organize funding to help potential or admitted students travel to, and stay in, Houghton in order to understand all that Michigan Tech has to offer them and aid them in deciding upon a university. The fund will help with transportation, accommodations, and potentially a per diem to offset or eliminate the expenses incurred by these potential Huskies. Leading the project are Darnishia Slade, global engagement programs manager, and Joseph Thompson, associate director of industry engagement, both of the Pavlis Honors College. Slade is a proud Tech alumnae of the School of Business and Economics who understands the value of the “Tech Experience.” She is passionate about youth development and would like to expose more underrepresented minorities to the rich and rewarding possibilities that Michigan Tech has to offer. Joseph Thompson joined the University after working in multiple industries as a Mechanical Engineer. In his current role, he works with Michigan Tech’s industry partners, corporate foundations, granting agencies, alumni, and university supporters to identify different ways to connect with or support the academic and professional aspirations of Michigan Tech students.

If you’d like to contribute to this campaign, please visit Superior Ideas and donate today. Your donations will help defer prospective student transportation costs by assisting with accommodations in Houghton and potentially providing a per diem for food and other travel expenses.


Pavlis Honors College and CTL Invite Instructors to Join a Reading and Reflection Group

Instructors are invited to apply to join the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and the Pavlis Honors College in a Reading and Reflection Circle centered on teaching in the 21st century.
This semester, we are inviting faculty to join us to read, reflect and dialogue on “Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty” by James M. Lang.
A complete description of the book is available here.
The Reading and Reflection group will meet from 11 a.m. – noon on the first Friday of each month (Oct. 5, Nov. 2 and Dec. 7). Faculty selected for the circle will be provided with a copy of the book. Refreshments will be provided during the meetings.
If interested, apply using this form. Applications are open until Monday, Sept. 10.
Questions can be directed to Mike Meyer (mrmeyer@mtu.edu) and/or Lorelle Meadows (lameadows@mtu.edu).

Michigan Tech Alumnus, Benefactor and Friend, Frank Pavlis dies at 101

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Frank Pavlis with Honors College alum, Shelby Marter in Allentown, PA.

by Mark Wilcox
Michigan Tech and the honors college that bears his family name are mourning the passing of Frank Pavlis. The alumnus, benefactor and friend of the University died Friday, Aug. 24 at Legacy Place Cottages in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He was 101.

Pavlis was raised on a farm in northern Lower Michigan and was the first in his family to graduate from college. He finished at the top of his class with a degree in chemical engineering from what was then the Michigan College of Mining and Technology. Pavlis’ success in Houghton led to a fellowship from the University of Michigan where he earned a master’s degree.

Following college, Pavlis turned down a job offer from Shell Oil to become the first employee of a small new Detroit Company called Air Products. Pavlis was tasked with the design and construction of a prototype processing plant to separate oxygen from atmospheric air. The project was completed a year later with Pavlis as the chief engineer. Air Products was credited with making a significant contribution to Allied success in World War II. Today, Air Products and Chemicals Inc., now headquartered in Allentown, Pennsylvania, has more than 19,000 employees in 55 countries with annual revenues of about $10 billion.

Pavlis rose through the ranks, joining the company’s Board of Directors in 1952 and serving as vice president for engineering and finance before retiring in 1980 as vice president for international/world trade. He is said to have traveled around the world five times in his lifetime.

Throughout his professional success, he never forgot Michigan Tech. The University responded by presenting him with an honorary doctorate of philosophy. He received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2009 and is a member of the University’s McNair and Hubbell Societies. He was the principal benefactor of the Pavlis Honors College which began in 2014.

Lorelle Meadows, dean of the Pavlis Honors College, reflected on what Frank Pavlis means to Michigan Tech.

“Frank was a visionary, foreseeing the value of a global education for the college graduate of the 21st century,” Meadows says.

“He so generously gave of his time and resources to encourage our students to reach outside of their comfort zones and challenge themselves to attain their full potential as professionals and citizens of the world.”

Pavlis was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Ethel, in 2002. The couple had no children.

Funeral services for Frank Pavlis will be held at 4 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10 at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Macungie, Pennsylvania. Contributions in his memory can be made to Jah Jireh Homes of America – Allentown, 2051 Bevin Dr., Allentown, PA 18103. Donations received will be used to fund charitable care at Legacy Place Cottages.

Pavlis will be laid to rest in the small Michigan cemetery where his wife, parents, grandparents, brother and sister are buried.

“We will all miss Frank greatly,” Meadows says. “But his legacy will live on as we continue to put his vision to work to graduate students who will go out—ready and empowered—to make their unique contributions to society with understanding, vision and a commitment that honors his life.”

For more information about Frank Pavlis or to watch a digital history of the Honors College benefactor visit mtu.edu/honors/about/frank-pavlis.


Michigan Tech Among 12 College Teams to Compete in Make 48 TV Series

Michigan Tech is one of twelve U.S. college teams Make48 recently announced to compete in Season 3 of the national invention TV series. Make48 is a nationwide invention competition documentary series that gives teams exactly 48 hours to come up with an idea, create a prototype and promotional video and then present their idea to a panel of judges. Three winning teams are chosen and the remainder of the series highlights the process of trying to get the products to market.

Other schools that will be competing along side Tech include Georgetown, Rice, Tulane, University of Nevada-Reno, University of Miami, University of Connecticut, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, University of Illinois-Champaign, K-State Polytech, and Kansas City Art Institute. The Michigan Tech team consists of Mike Gazdecki (material science and engineering), Patrick Guyon (mechanical and electrical engineering), Rachel Kolb (mechanical engineering), and Ryan Thompson (mechanical engineering). The team took fourth place in Michigan Tech’s 2018 Consumer Products Challenge for their single serve Margarita Machine. Twenty-six teams consisting of 3-5 Tech students received a Challenge Box filled with products supplied by corporate sponsors — Amway, 3M, and Kimberly-Clark. When asked about being selected to compete in Make48, Kolb shared, “I think I’m most looking forward to working with the team again. When we made our team for Consumer Products Day, none of us had worked together before, but we ended up having a blast. This will be the perfect opportunity to use the skills I learned in the UIF program to help the team!”

From left to right: Patrick, Michael, Rachel, Ryan
From left to right: Patrick, Michael, Rachel, Ryan

Filming will take place August 10th-12th at the Stanley Black and Decker Innovation Lab in Towson, MD, where the teams will compete in a 48-hour competition.

Stanley Black & Decker Makerspace in Towson, MD
Stanley Black & Decker Makerspace in Towson, MD

“Season three of Make48 is really exciting for us,” says Tim Perra, Vice President, Public Affairs for Stanley Black and Decker. “These students are in the midst of learning the skills needed to become innovators and entrepreneurs, and they’re going to be put to the test like never before in a 48-hour competition. We’re excited to welcome these students to our Makerspace and hopefully provide an atmosphere where they feel inspired to create the best products possible.”

Backed by industry giants like Stanley Black and Decker, Ace Hardware and QVC, Make48, which has now been picked up by 92% of American public television markets, is excited to turn the spotlight on students this time. “It will be intriguing to see what these young creative minds will invent in 48 hours. By bringing the collaboration of the Make48 tool technicians and Stanley’s state of the art innovation lab will no doubt leave this seasons judges with a hard task,” Make48 CEO, Tom Gray says.

Season 2 will premiere in September on local PBS/APT (American Public Television) stations across the country. You can catch season 1 by going to Amazon Prime Video, PBS.org or Make48.com. You can also find out more about Make48 by following them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.


Tech’s Frozen Engineers to Compete in Make48 Competition this Summer

By Amy Karagiannakis

Michigan Tech’s Frozen Engineers were selected to represent Tech at the Make48: College vs. College competition this August in Baltimore, MD. Teams are given 48 hours to plan, prototype, and pitch an idea for prizes and licensing potential. The top three teams may have an opportunity to license their designs and take their products to market. The entire competition will be filmed in a documentary style TV series. The goal is to foster imagination, creativity, problem solving and an entrepreneurial mindset. Make48 captures the process of invention through a hands-on competition that challenges individuals of various ages and backgrounds to take product ideas from conception to physical prototype in just 48 hours.

From left to right: Patrick, Michael, Rachel, Ryan
From left to right: Guyon, Gazdecki, Kolb, and Thompson

The Michigan Tech team consists of Mike Gazdecki (material science and engineering), Patrick Guyon (mechanical and electrical engineering), Rachel Kolb (mechanical engineering), and Ryan Thompson (mechanical engineering). The Frozen Engineers took fourth place in Michigan Tech’s 2018 Consumer Products Challenge for their single serve Margarita Machine. Twenty-six teams consisting of 3-5 Tech students received a Challenge Box filled with products supplied by corporate sponsors — Amway, 3M, and Kimberly-Clark. When asked about being selected to compete in Make48, Kolb shared, “I think I’m most looking forward to working with the team again. When we made our team for Consumer Products Day, none of us had worked together before, but we ended up having a blast. This will be the perfect opportunity to use the skills I learned in the UIF program to help the team!”

Judges at Make48 are looking for highly marketable ideas that appeal to a large market and are able to be manufactured. The upcoming 48-hour invent-a-thon will take place August 10-12 in Baltimore, MD at the Stanley Black & Decker Makerspace and the Baltimore Museum of Industry. You can learn more about the other university teams competing in this year’s competition here.


Pavlis Students Recognized at 24th Annual Student Leadership Awards

By Amy Karagiannakis

The 24th Annual Student Leadership Awards were held Friday, April 20 in the Memorial Union Ballroom. The Student Leadership Awards celebrate and reward the individual and group efforts of students involved in organizations across campus. There are awards for student employees, student organizations, programs and more. Among the awards that were presented and announced at this year’s ceremony, three of the winners and 14 of the nominees were Pavlis Honors College students.

Aaron Dean, Magann Dykema, Sarah Jo Martens, Logan McMillan, and Christine Wood were nominated for the President’s Award for Leadership. Sarah Jo Martens was presented with this prestigious undergraduate award. Pavlis Honors College also presented Martens with the Departmental Scholar Award which in turn allowed her to be considered for the Provost’s Award for Scholarship. Martens is a key member of the Pavlis community, not only by academic standards, but also for her motivation, creativity, and leadership. Martens plays flute in the Michigan Tech Huskies Pep Band, serves as President of the Blue Key Honor Society – Michigan Tech Chapter, and is very active in Michigan Tech’s theatre community.

Sarah Jo Martens (center) performing in Tech's West Side Story in 2017
Sarah Jo Martens (center) performing in Tech’s West Side Story in 2017

Logan McMillan was presented with the Percy Julian Award earlier this month at the annual Percy Julian Graduation Reception. This award is given each year to a Tech student who actively promotes diversity, social equality, and cultural competency. McMillan’s award was announced at the Student Leadership Awards.

Percy Julian Award winners from 2016, 2017 and 2018. Left to right, Neffertia Tyner, Jimmie Cannon, and Logan McMillan
Percy Julian Award winners from 2016, 2017 and 2018. Left to right, Neffertia Tyner, Jimmie Cannon, and Logan McMillan

Gi West was presented with the Rising Star of the Year Award. Several Pavlis Honors College students were nominated for Rising Star, including Maya Geiselhart, Cameron Philo, and Lexi Steve. Nominees for this award are undergraduates in their first or second year who show great potential for leadership and strive for personal development in everything they do. West will be taking over as The Alley director next year.

Gi West (front row, second from right) with Alley makerspace coaches
Gi West (front row, second from right) with Alley makerspace coaches

Pavlis Honors College students Emily Lilla and Laura Schimmel were nominated for the Vice President for Student Affairs and Advancement Award for Service. This award is designed to recognize students demonstrating leadership, engagement in community, and a commitment to service. Pavlis alum, Erin Richie was presented with the 2017 Service Award and gave the welcome address at this year’s award ceremony.

The Undergraduate Research Symposium winners were also recognized at Friday’s Award ceremony. Erinn Smith (biochemistry and molecular biology) took first place for her research, Refining the Purification Process of Histone Proteins. David Ross (biomedical engineering) placed second for his research entitled, Bioactive Polydimethylsiloxane Surface for Optimal Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell Sheet Culture. Third place was awarded to Alex Baker (civil and environmental engineering) for Multiobjective Optimization of Cost and Strength for Various Lengths of Doubly Reinforced Concrete T-beams.

Undergraduate Research Symposium 2018 at the Rosza Center for Performing Arts
Undergraduate Research Symposium 2018 at the Rosza Center for Performing Arts

The Pavlis Honors College would also like to recognize other Honors student nominees: Clara Peterson, nominated for the Exceptional Enthusiasm as a Student Leader Award and Peter Beach and Rachel Chard, both nominated for Outstanding Future Alumni. A list of all other 2018 Student Leadership Award winners can be found here.