Category Archives: News

Four Michigan Tech Students Named University Innovation Fellows

 

Congratulations to Abigail Kuehne (Psychology and Communication, Culture, and Media/ Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors ’21), Sam Raber (Psychology ’22), Lindsay Sandell (Biomedical Engineering ’21), and Gary Tropp (Computer Network and System Administration ’22), who have been named University Innovation Fellows by Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school). This global program trains student leaders to create new opportunities for their peers to engage with innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking, and creativity.

Michigan Tech’s team of University Innovation Fellows support student interests, create an ecosystem for innovation, and encourage environmentally sustainable practices on campus. They aim to preserve a culture of inclusion, encourage creativity and self-authorship, and help students create lasting connections. Current UIF proposals include a university-sanctioned gap year program, updates to campus wellness opportunities, student ambassador programs, and creating a space to reduce waste and encourage students to share and reuse common school items.

 

University Innovation Fellows logo


Darnishia Slade Recognized at Dean’s Teaching Showcase Luncheon

By Michael R. Meyer

Darnishia Slade (left) was recognized at the Dean’s Teaching Showcase luncheon event by Lorelle Meadows (right).

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.”

All of the Dean’s Teaching Showcase members pictured at Recognition Luncheon.

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.


Spend Your Spring Break in Silicon Valley


Aspiring student entrepreneurs and innovators are invited to apply for the Michigan Technological University Silicon Valley Experience, a Spring Break tour of California Bay Area companies that includes meetings with entrepreneurs and Michigan Tech alumni who are leaders in their field. The deadline to apply is February 8th, 2019, and the application form can be found at SVE Experience 2019 Application. Up to fifteen students will be selected for this experience. Major funding for the trip is provided by Michigan Tech alum Kanwal Rekhi, as well as the Pavlis Honors College Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship and the School of Business and Economics in collaboration with 14 Floors.

Silicon Valley is known for its software giants, high-tech startups, Fortune 1000 companies, innovative culture and entrepreneurial ecosystem – the environment that affects local/regional entrepreneurship, such as culture, policies, talent, entrepreneurial organizations, regional resources, and networks.

The Silicon Valley Experience will showcase multiple perspectives of a day in the life of successful entrepreneurs, innovators, engineers, and business leaders. This tour will provide an interactive opportunity for students to discover more about a variety of industry settings, to sample various innovative corporate cultures through tours and presentations, and to meet and talk with successful alumni entrepreneurs.  

Students who apply and are accepted will have the opportunity to:

  • Tour companies like Google, Netflix, Hewlett Packard, Facebook, Ford, Clari, BYTON, Twilio, Autodesk, Waymo, the Porter Vineyard, as well as recent Michigan Tech alumnus startup, Handshake
  • Meet with entrepreneurs and innovators
  • Talk with Michigan Tech alumni who are leaders in their field
  • Get answers to your real-world business, innovation, and leadership questions
  • Gain firsthand knowledge of the enterprises that are revolutionizing global business

Lodging, some food, and ground transportation to and from toured companies will be covered. Students will be responsible for arranging and paying for their own air travel. As part of the student application, students will create a 2-minute video describing how they will share their experience with the Michigan Technological University community upon completion of their travel in order to positively contribute to our entrepreneurial ecosystem. Students may apply for a limited travel scholarship to help cover the cost of air travel. If you have any questions, please contact Lisa Casper (lcasper@mtu.edu). 


Congratulations to the Bob Mark Business Model Competition Winners

By Amy Karagiannakis

Pavlis Honors student, Deanna Springgay, presenting her business model for Little Trainer.
Pavlis Honors student, Deanna Springgay, presenting her business model for Little Trainer.

The 2018 Bob Mark Business Model Competition took place Wednesday, December 5 in the Opie Library. 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.

Lavanya Ajexh Kumar presenting on her web-based stress management program, AlzWell
Lavanya Ajexh Kumar presenting on her web-based stress management program, AlzWell

There were more than 20 participants that made up 15 teams from various majors and disciplines who pitched to a panel of judges comprised of President Koubek, faculty, and community members. Ideas ranged from hypothermia preventing life jackets to a web-based stress management program. Participants had five minutes to pitch their ideas and present their business model. The judging panel then had time following the presentation to ask questions and provide valuable feedback to our young entrepreneurs.

Pavlis Honors student, Gary Tropp accepts the First Place award from Dean Johnson. Tropp also won the MTEC SmartZone Game Changer award.
Pavlis Honors student, Gary Tropp accepts the First Place award from Dean Johnson. Tropp also won the MTEC SmartZone Game Changer award.

The winners of the 2018 Bob Mark Business Model Competition were:

  • First Place and MTEC SmartZone Game Changer Award – Gary Tropp (Computer Network & System Administration) for VARS (Virtual Advising Registering and Scheduling)
  • Second and Third Place – Tie between Mayank Bagaria (Mechanical Engineering) for Vakya and Karuna Rana (Environmental and Energy Policy) for Reality Check
  • Audience Favorite – Nate LaJoie (Finance) and Michael Betz (Management) for Backpack Keg
  • Honorable Mention – Deanna Springgay (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) for Little Trainer
  • Honorable Mention – Russ Crofton (Mechanical Engineering Technology) for Moonlight Cycles

Congratulations to all of our winners and participants, and thank you to our panel of distinguished judges for donating their time and expertise. The Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship would also like to thank MTEC SmartZone and Arroyo Networks for their support and prize contributions. Photos from the event can be viewed and downloaded here.

Karuna Rana presenting Reality Check, an app to verify product sustainability.
Karuna Rana presenting Reality Check, an app to verify product sustainability. Rana tied for second and third place.

The Bob Mark 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. More information on upcoming Spring Husky Innovate events can be found at mtu.edu/husky-innovate.


Michigan Tech Students Named University Innovation Fellows

Congratulations to Cara Hardin, Lexi Steve, Gi West, and Cameron Philo for being named University Innovation Fellows (UIF) by Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school). This global program trains student leaders to create new opportunities for their peers to engage with innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking and creativity.

The University Innovation Fellows Program empowers students to become agents of change at Michigan Tech. Fellows work to ensure that their peers gain the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to make a positive impact on the world.

“During training, Fellows gain skills, mindsets and knowledge to face ever-more complex challenges at their schools and in the world,” said Humera Fasihuddin, co-director of the University Innovation Fellows program. “They learn frameworks like design thinking and lean startup, which help them analyze their campus ecosystems, understand the needs of others, and uncover opportunities for change. As a result, Fellows design learning experiences that better prepare peers for their careers.”

Cara Hardin is a third year student majoring in Mechanical Engineering. Steve, West, and Philo are all Pavlis Honors Pathway Program students. Lexi Steve serves as an Honors Ambassador and is currently studying abroad in Spain this Fall semester. Gi West is the Student Director for The Alley makerspace. Cameron Philo recently competed and won first prize and audience favorite in the Husky Innovate Idea Pitch Competition.

Hardin, Steve, West, and Philo were sponsored by Pavlis Honors College Assistant Dean, Mary Raber. Michigan Tech’s Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship funded the Fellows’ six week online training. These students will have the opportunity to travel to the University Innovation Fellows Silicon Valley Meetup in California this coming Spring 2019. During the meetup, Fellows will take part in immersive experiences at Stanford’s d.school and Google, and work with leaders in education and industry. They will participate in experiential workshops and exercises focused on topics including movement building, innovation spaces, design of learning experiences, and new models for change in higher education.

“In traditional education systems, students have to wait until they graduate to make a difference. We don’t believe that,” said Leticia Britos Cavagnaro, co-director of the University Innovation Fellows program. “Students are uniquely equipped to make a difference while they’re in school; they know best what other students want and need. Our Fellows are working with their peers, faculty and administrators to co-design a different educational experience and bring about change where it’s needed most.”

Tech’s new Fellows will advocate for lasting change by creating opportunities for students across campus to engage in more activities and events that inspire innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking and creativity.

 


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.


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.

IMG_5458

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

IMG_1627
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.