Each year, Central Michigan University and Michigan Tech’s CMU’s New Venture Competition. Due to COVID-19, this year the competition pivoted online and became the New Venture Online Competition — NVOC. Contestants pitched their ideas in either a 10-minute or two-minute pitch. Four Michigan Tech Husky Innovate students competed in the 10-minute pitch category and three won top prizes.
Michigan Tech faculty, staff members and students received awards totaling $90,500 in funding through the Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC), sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for the 2020-2021 funding cycle.
Michigan Tech Undergraduates receiving $3,000 research fellowships:
- Troy Maust (ECE): “Auris: An RF Mission” with Lyon Brad King (ME-EM)
- Lea Morath (BME): “Evaluating Zinc Alloys for Biodegradable Arterial Stents” with Jeremy Goldman (BME)
- Victoria Nizzi (MSE): “The Use of Computer Modeling to Simulate and Predict the Biodegradation of a Magnesium Alloy Fracture Plate” with Jaroslaw Drelich (MSE)
- Collette Sarver (Chemistry): “Accurate Theoretical Prediction of Anharmonic Infrared (IR) Spectra of Neutral Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)” with Loredana Valenzano-Slough (Chemistry)
- Tyler Strauss (ME-EM): “Effects of Optogenetic Stimulation of the Subthalamic nucleus on Stress-Induced Depression” with Chunxiu Yu (Biological Sciences)
Michigan Tech Graduate Students receiving $5,000 research fellowships:
- Kelsey LeMay (BME): “Processing of Porcine Internal Mammary Arteries for Hyman Bypass Graft Applications” with Jeremy Goldman (BME)
- Sophie Mueller (GME): “Keweenaw Fault Geometry and Slip Kinematics: Mohawk to Lac La Belle, MI Segment” with James DeGraff (GME)
- Elise Rosky (Physics): “Freezing of Droplets in Mixed-Phase Clouds: Understanding Mechanisms of Ice Nucleation” with Raymond Shaw (Physics)
- Steven Stelly (KIP): “The Impact of Food Deprivation on Cardiovascular Physiology” with William Cooke (KIP)
- Mitchel Timm (ME-EM): “Transport, Self-Assembly, and Deposition of Colloidal Particles in Evaporating Droplets” with Hassan Masoud (ME-EM)
- Emily Tom (MSE): “Investigation of Novel Mg-Zn-Ca Alloys for Bioresorbable Orthopedic Implants” with Jaroslaw Drelich (MSE)
- Issac Wedig (KIP): “Arm Cranking with Blood Flow Restriction: A Potential Exercise for Use in Space?” with Steven Elmer (KIP)
Faculty and staff members receiving $5,000 or more for pre-college outreach and research seed programs include:
- Glen Archer (ECE): “Michigan Tech Electrical Engineering Outreach Program for Pre-College Students to Build Early Interest in STEM Areas” (includes augmentation)
- Joan Chadde (CEE): “Engaging High School Women and Native Americans in Rural Communities in Environmental Science & Engineering STEM Careers” (includes augmentation)
- Lloyd Wescoat (CEE): “Celebrating Lake Superior: A 2020 Water Festival for Grades 4-8” (includes augmentation)
- Elena Giusarma (Physics): “Learning to Simulate the Large-Scale Structure of the Universe with Convolutional Neural Networks”
- Kathyrn Perrine (Chemistry): “Influence of Water Vapor and Cationic Species in Corrosion Reactions on Iron Interfaces”
- Lorelle Meadows (Pavlis Honors College): MSGC Administrative award ($3,675)
By Michael R. Meyer
Lorelle Meadows, dean of the Pavlis Honors College (PHC), selected Darnishia (Dar) Slade, manager of Global Engagement Programs, as a showcase member earlier this month.
Meadows selected Slade because she “embodies the values of the Pavlis Honors College in her teaching. She exemplifies the honors abilities, and is a great role model for students who are working to develop these important skillsets and mindsets.”
Slade teaches the first Honors Seminar (HON 2150), as well as the Capstone Courses for students in the Global Leadership Pathway, pursuing their Leadership Minor. In this role, Meadows praises Slade’s “remarkable ability to adapt as class time evolves, targeting opportunities for visiting important points that pop up at unexpected times” as well as her “use of a variety of interactive techniques to assess student understanding of a concept.”
Meadows said Slade is also, importantly, able to “assess the climate of the classroom as students encounter challenging topics.” These exceptional facilitation skills have also been noticed by her PHC colleagues. In their words, “Her ability to facilitate learning in a way that embodies the mindsets we are encouraging in our students serves as a model for the rest of us, who are also trying to facilitate student learning and development.”
In the short time Slade has been a part of the Honors College, she has continuously explored ways to improve the classroom experience for students, evolving course materials and methods of delivery to increase student engagement and learning outcomes. As an example, she has observed the flow of the semester through the energy level that students bring to class. At a low energy period, she stopped class and simply went around the room asking every student to say one word that exemplified how they were feeling. It was a quick activity to gauge how students were experiencing their semester, and it was revealing.
It was around Week 5 or 6, and students were feeling the pressure of looming exams and a long stretch until a break from coursework over Thanksgiving. Synthesizing this, she created and introduced a handout at the next session that focused on campus resources for self-care, aligning this with a session on the physiology of mindfulness. Several students reflected on the timeliness and value of this simple act.
Slade’s excellent sense of the student experience likely stems from her previous work in both academic and student affairs departments of the University. Meadows, describing this unique perspective, says “Her compassion for the students, not just their learning, but for their personal well-being, is inspiring. Her teaching doesn’t stop at the classroom or office door. She takes time to talk individually with students and solicit their experience, then she synthesizes all that, and brings that knowledge to our discussions of college matters.”
One PHC faculty member noted that, “When Dar joined our team, I felt that every meeting she brought up an excellently formulated point that surprised me — mainly drawn from her approach to students.”
The students themselves have also indicated an appreciation for Slade’s openness and personal interest. Recent student comments include “I have known Dar to take time out of her day to get to know students and to be there for them and to get to know what is going on and what’s wrong,” and “Dar is someone who I can go to for any reason without any fear of judgment.”
Meadows summarizes Slade’s contribution this way: “Darnishia Slade brings creativity and compassion into her teaching. She has influenced students both inside and outside the classroom, and uses these experiences and insights to affect change in our programs.”
Slade was recognized at the end-of-term luncheon with other showcase members, and is now eligible for one of three new teaching awards to be given by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning this summer recognizing introductory or large class teaching, innovative or outside the classroom teaching methods, or work in curriculum and assessment.
The 25th Annual Student Leadership Awards were held Friday, April 19 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, five of the winners and ten of the nominees were Pavlis Honors College students.
Tessa Steenwinkel, nominated by the Department of Biological Sciences, was awarded the Provost’s Award for Scholarship. The Provost’s Award for Scholarship is given to a student who best represents student scholarship at Michigan Tech. This outstanding student is considered excellent not only by academic standards, but also for participation in research scholarship activity, levels of intellectual curiosity, creativity, and communication skills. Steenwinkel was also nominated by the Pavlis Honors College for the Rising Star of the Year.
Logan Alger, nominated by the Pavlis Honors College, was awarded Rising Star of the Year. Rising Star of the Year is awarded to a student that shows great potential for leadership and who attempts to develop themselves personally in everything they do. Logan is currently working on his honors project in which he is developing a mentorship program for Pavlis Honors Pathway students.
Elise Cheney-Makens was awarded the Dean of Students Award for Service and also Exceptional Community Service Project. Elise volunteered at the Ronald McDonald Home in Rochester, MN to support critically ill children and their families during the summer 2018 while she was a research intern at Mayo Clinic. Giving back in her own community of Houghton, she developed the Science Fair Mentoring Program to help 4th and 5th graders at Houghton Elementary plan, develop, and execute their science fair projects. Elise, in addition to creating this program, was responsible for recruiting 20 undergraduate volunteers. Elise has also volunteered as a Young Women Leaders Program mentor (a Center for Diversity and Inclusion program) for a year, working with middle school girls to develop leadership skills.
Magann Dykema was awarded the Outstanding Future Alumni Award. This award recognizes the contribution of a student volunteer who supports the Alumni Association’s mission of “Celebrating Traditions. Creating Connections.” Dykema demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the success of Tech traditions during her time on campus. She was also nominated for the Exceptional Enthusiasm as a Student Leader award. Magann is graduating this semester with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering. She is then headed to the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse to start a master’s program in Student Affairs Administration.
In addition to our winners, Pavlis would also like to acknowledge the following nominees:
- Cameron Philo was awarded Departmental Scholar by the Pavlis Honors College and therefore nominated for the Provost’s Award for Scholarship
- Clara Peterson was awarded Departmental Scholar for Chemical Engineering and therefore nominated for the Provost’s Award for Scholarship
- Joshua Jay was nominated for Student Employee of the Year
- Marcello Guadagno and Corrina Kostrzewa were nominated for the President’s Award for Leadership
The Undergraduate Research Symposium winners were also recognized at Friday’s Award ceremony. Ceily Fessel Doan (environmental engineering) took first place for her research, Comparison of Nannochloropsis and Chlorelle Vulgaris Algae to Energy Efficiency in the Rio Grande Watershed. Jacob LeBarre (chemical engineering) placed second for his research entitled, Improvement of Virus Purification Method using Cation Exchange Chromatography. Third place was awarded to Pavlis Honors College student Kaylee Meyers (biomedical engineering) for Nitric Oxide Releasing Composite Hydrogels for Tendon Repair Via Matrix Metalloproteinase Controlled Pathways.
The Pavlis Honors College would also like to acknowledge our 2019 Dean’s Scholarship Award recipient, Madi Vachon. Madi is a very active member of the Pavlis Honors Ambassadors group. She volunteers her time to design, plan, and implement recruitment efforts to grow the Pavlis community. Madi goes above and beyond to engage with students on a meaningful level which has significantly added to our enrollment and retention. Thank you for your continued support Madi! The Pavlis Honors College Dean’s Scholarship is awarded annually in the amount of $1,000 to recognize an Honors student’s outstanding commitment to our programs and pathways.
Congratulations to all of the award nominees and winners.
Five student teams from Michigan Technological University traveled to Central Michigan University (CMU) in Mount Pleasant, MI to compete in the ninth annual New Venture Competition held Friday, April 12. Student teams from Michigan Tech and CMU presented business plans and pitches to panels of experienced entrepreneurs. The Michigan Tech students that competed in the 2019 CMU New Venture Competition were:
- Mayank Bagaria for Vakya
- Apurva Baruah for Yooper Ag
- Ahammad Basha Dudekula for AGTO Autonomous
- Cameron Philo for Life Pro Jackets
- Karuna Rana and Sid Premchandani for Reality Check
Michigan Tech students Cameron Philo and Mayank Bagaria advanced to the semifinals last Friday. Cameron Philo won Best Technology and was awarded $10,000. Philo participated in Michigan Tech’s I-Corps Site Program last Fall. I-Corps is a team-based program structure that was developed through a partnership between the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. The workshop provides an introduction to the Lean Start-up business development methodology, which focuses on getting out of the lab and using the tools of customer discovery and the business model canvas to evaluate the commercial potential of innovative technologies.
This is the ninth year of the New Venture competition and the eighth year of Michigan Tech’s partnership with CMU. Last year, four out of Michigan Tech’s six participants took home cash and in-kind awards.
Michigan Tech’s Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship (ICE), a collaboration between the Pavlis Honors College and the School of Business and Economics, continues to be an excellent resource for students looking to start their own business or bring new ideas and concepts to the next stage of development. Husky Innovate was introduced this academic year by ICE as a succession of workshops and events that build on each other leading up to the CMU New Venture Competition. The intention is to guide students through key phases of innovation or business development while emphasizing evidence based strategies for success. Many of the students that competed in this year’s New Venture Competition also participated in various Husky Innovate events and workshops throughout the academic year. Students interested in innovating, developing, and implementing their ideas and inventions are encouraged to visit the Pavlis Honors College (M&M 722) to learn more about ICE and the resources available to them.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By Amy Karagiannakis
PHC students Elle Heinenon, Volleyball and Sarah Wade, Cross Country received Spring All-Academic Excellence Awards from the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). The All-Academic Excellence Award recognizes student athletes with a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher.
Elle Heinonen was voted team captain of the Michigan Tech Women’s Volleyball team this past Spring. Heinonen has played a significant role in rebuilding the Women’s Volleyball program at Tech resulting in a winning season this past year. Heinonen reflected on her experience, “It has taught me team work, time management, and sacrifice among many more lessons I have yet to realize.” Heinonen is majoring in Exercise Science and is entering her senior year this upcoming season.
Sarah Wade is a third year Electrical and Computer Engineering major and competes on the Michigan Tech Cross Country team. Wade serves as the Auris Payload Systems Engineer on the Aerospace Engineering Enterprise. She is currently preparing to travel to India for her immersion experience as part of the PHC Global Leadership pathway. Wade’s team will be staying and working with the Karpaga Vinayaga College of Engineering and Technology (KVCET) located just outside of Chennai (Madras) in the state of Tamil Nadu. Over the course of five weeks students will be focusing their efforts on implementing solar power in the local community, incorporating a sustainable garden into the existing composter system, updating the water filtration system, and teaching STEM to middle school students in Kunnankulathur. Follow the Global Leadership India team through their blog this summer.
GLIAC announced its Spring Academic Excellence Awards Thursday, June 1. A total of 65 Michigan Tech men and women student athletes were recognized for their academic accomplishments. Congratulations Elle and Sarah, and good luck with the upcoming season!
By Amy Karagiannakis
The 33rd annual Shell Eco-marathon Americas competition took place over the weekend, April 27-30 in Detroit, MI. This year’s event was the second season that Michigan Tech’s Supermileage Systems Enterprise team competed. Shell Eco-marathon challenges student teams from around the world to design, build, test and drive ultra-energy-efficient vehicles. More than 100 teams from universities and high schools across the country and abroad came to the heart of the Motor City to compete on the track located on the city streets surrounding the Cobo Convention Center.
In order to participate, teams must successfully complete a 4-phase registration process, including submission of technical information about their vehicle and design. There are two vehicle categories: urban concept and prototype. Within these categories there are three energy types: internal combustion (multiple fuel types), battery, and hydrogen. In order to compete, teams must pass a rigorous technical inspection and complete 10 consecutive laps around a 0.6 mile closed course in downtown Detroit, maintaining a minimum average speed of 15 mph. Awards are given for teams achieving the highest efficiency (either mpg or m/kWh). Off-track awards are also given for Innovation, Communication, Safety, Design, and Perseverance & Team Spirit. This year, 119 teams from 8 different countries were approved to compete.
The Supermileage Enterprise competed in the Prototype/Battery Electric class. Of the 27 teams that participated, 22 made it through technical inspection and 17 completed at least one performance run. Tech’s Supermileage Systems Enterprise was one of those 17 teams. The team’s design included a 500W brushed DC motor and controller using a 48V/20Ah lithium ion battery back and battery management system. The motor controller must be purpose-built and designed by the team (i.e. no off the shelf controllers allowed). The Supermileage Enterprise improved their controller design from last year and upgraded the battery for improved vehicle acceleration. They completed one run with 104 m/kWh…about 3,500 MPGe. The team took 10th place in the BEV prototype category.
Michigan Tech’s Supermileage Systems Enterprise team also competed for the Communications, Safety, and Technical Innovation Awards at the Shell Eco-marathon. They won the Technical Innovation Award for their flexible motor controller design. The judges reviewed the application and interviewed the team. They noted the team’s well-defined engineering requirements as one of the key strengths over other applications.
Rick Berkey, Supermileage Systems Enteprise advisor and Director of Michigan Tech’s Enterprise Program, commented, “It goes without saying that I am so proud of our team’s accomplishments, throughout the year and especially at the event. Competing in the electric vehicle category is particularly challenging given that teams must build their own motor controller. This is not a trivial task! Receiving the Technical Innovation Award was a real testament to the team’s motor controller design AND their ability to articulate what makes it innovative and unique. To see us place 10th in only our second year of SEM competition shows the talent and drive of the Supermileage Systems Enterprise. It’s rewarding and humbling to work with such a great group of students and to see them get recognition on a national stage among peers from schools around the globe – that was the highlight for me.”
The $3,000 monetary award will be put to good use, and the Supermileage Systems Enterprise now has an impressive trophy to display on campus.
The Supermileage Systems Enterprise team will now begin converting their vehicle over to the internal combustion engine for the upcoming SAE Supermileage competition on June 8-9 at the Eaton Proving Grounds in Marshall, MI. Good luck and congratulations!
By Amy Karagiannakis
The 23rd Annual Student Leadership Awards were held Friday 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 fourteen awards that were presented at this year’s ceremony, four of the winners were Pavlis Honors College students.
Magann Dykema was presented with the Pavlis Honors College Departmental Scholar Award. Dean Lorelle Meadows nominated Magann to represent the PHC and to be considered for the Provost’s Award for Scholarship. Magann is an amazing asset to the PHC, not only by academic standards, but also for her motivation, creativity, and communication skills. Magann serves as the Operations Coordinator for The Alley, Michigan Tech’s new makerspace.
Kemin Fena was awarded Exceptional Community Service Project for her Your Story, Our Story project. This was in collaboration with Right Start UP and was made possible through help from Fena and other motivated community members that invested significant time and effort. Fena served as Project Manager for Your Story, Our Story under the direction of the Project Director and Tech instructor, Dr. Sara Thiam.
Erin Richie was presented with 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. Erin was and continues to be involved in service projects abroad and within the community. Richie was also recently awarded the Pavlis Honors College Dean’s Scholarship for her commitment to recruiting and outreach efforts as an Honors Ambassador.
Brad Turner was presented with the Clair M. Donovan Award. This award recognizes a Michigan Tech faculty or staff member, student, or an exceptional community member who has contributed the most outstanding service during the preceding year. This award is in honor of Clair M. Donovan, who made immeasurable contributions to Michigan Tech through his service as national president of Blue Key, as an alumnus, and as a civil leader. Turner oversaw the design and development of the makerspace which was converted from Tech’s old bowling alley in the basement of the MUB. He currently serves as Alley Director. As a University Innovation Fellow, Turner creates opportunities for students across campus to engage in more activities and events that inspire innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking and creativity.
The Undergraduate Research Symposium winners were also recognized at Friday’s Award ceremony. Stephanie Dietrich, Exercise Science major, took first place for her research, Subjective and Objective Assessments of Sleep Differ in male and Female Collegiate Athletes. Brain Flanagan, Computer Engineering major, placed second for his research entitled, The Effects of Uncertain Labels on Damage Assessment in Remotely Sensed Images. Third place was awarded to Drew Hanover, Mechanical Engineering major, for Building-to-Grid Predictive Power Flow Control for Demand Response and Demand Flexibility Programs.
The Pavlis Honors College would like to recognize all Honors student nominees: Sam Casey, nominated for the President’s Award for Leadership and Exceptional Leadership in Student Governance, Rachel Chard, nominated for the President’s Award for Leadership, Rachel Kolb, nominated for the President’s Award for Leadership and Student Employee of the Year, Shelby Marter, nominated for Exceptional Enthusiasm as a Student Leader, and Jacob Cavins and Neffertia Tyner, both nominated for the Outstanding Future Alumni Award.
By Amy Karagiannakis
More than 1000 students in Enterprise and Senior Design showcased their work last Thursday at Design Expo and competed for awards. A panel of judges, made up of distinguished corporate representatives and Michigan Tech staff and faculty members, critiqued the projects. The College of Engineering and the Pavlis Honors College is pleased to announce the following winners.
Black&Veatch Building a World of Difference® Student Design Awards:
Senior Design Awards (based on poster)
1st place: BME – Enhanced Measurement and Analysis of Gait Disturbances – Aspirus
2nd place: MSE – High Pressure Die Casting Vent Optimization – Mercury Marine
3rd place: BME – Customizing Transcatheter Nitinol Stents for Treatment of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome in Infants – Spectrum Health
Senior Design Honorable Mention
ME-EM – Improved Inline Component Cleaning System – MacLean-Fogg
ME-EM – Snowmobile Chassis Magnesium Component Design – Polaris
BME – Blubber-Only Implantable Satellite Tracking Device for Humpback Whales
Enterprise Awards (based on poster and presentation)
1st place: Consumer Product Manufacturing Enterprise
Tie for 2nd place: Formula SAE & Wireless Communication Enterprise
3rd place: Aerospace Enterprise
Ann Arbor SPARK Design Expo Image Contest:
1st place: Formula SAE Enterprise
2nd place: Customizing Transcatheter Nitinol Stents for Treatment of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome in Infants
Pavlis Honors College Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship Innovation Award:
1st place: BME – Customizing Transcatheter Nitinol Stents for Treatment of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome in Infants
2nd place: BME – Instrumentation of Manual Medical Devices
3rd place: BME – Posture Correction Device with Haptic Feedback for Parkinson’s Disease
Congratulations and thanks to ALL teams for a very successful Design Expo 2017!