Category: News

Study Abroad Update for Fall 2020

Dear Fall 2020 Study Abroad Students,

As you know, Michigan Tech has been monitoring the CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19 and international travel.

Regrettably, in order to protect your health, and to minimize the financial impact to all involved, Michigan Tech is cancelling all study abroad programs departing August through December 2020 due to the continued spread of COVID-19. This includes both European Project Semester programs and study abroad programs operated by third-party providers.  

Like you, we are deeply disappointed by the need to make this decision. We highly value the unique, soul-enriching, perspective-changing experience of study abroad. Ultimately, our higher priorities must be to protect your personal health, minimize disruptions to your academic success, and promote the well-being of the entire Michigan Technological University community.  

We know that this decision will affect each of you in different ways and that you have each been preparing for the possibility that your program might be canceled by delaying your bookings and enrolling in Fall courses at Michigan Tech as a backup. 

Students with questions about how this cancellation affects degree programs including minors and certificates, should contact academic advisors and faculty program leaders as soon as possible. Please also feel free to contact Vienna Chapin if you have any questions about this cancellation, or if you would like to meet virtually to plan an alternative future study abroad experience. Vienna can be reached by email, vrchapin@mtu.edu, or by phone (906) 487-1976.

Lorelle Meadows, PhD

Dean, Pavlis Honors College


Congratulations, Pavlis Honors College class of 2020

Spring 2020 Medallion Ceremony – Pavlis Honors College at Michigan Tech

Congratulations to our graduates! Watch our virtual medallion ceremony as we celebrate Adison Cook, Brad Dahm, Becky Daniels, Samantha Dertinger, Lucinda Hall, Lianne Novak, Clara Peterson, Cameron Philo, Brenna Rosso, Emily Rutledge, Addie Saltarelli, Joshua Undlin, and Amanda Vermeer.

Transforming a Michigan Tech Program into an Honors Program

Every Michigan Tech graduate has accomplished something amazing — Michigan Tech has prepared them to create the future in their fields. So how did our Honors graduates go above and beyond?

They had once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Took action. Learned and led. Developed relationships in the Michigan Tech community and around the world. Take a look at this photo essay to see how the Pavlis Honors College’s class of 2020 created their own definitions of success.

Spring 2020 Pavlis Honors College graduates


2020 Michigan Space Grant Consortium Award Recipients Receive $90,500 in Funding

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)

Michigan Tech Receives Bronze Seal for Excellence in Student Voter Engagement

All-In challenge bronze award for 20-29% voting rateAt the 2019 ALL IN Challenge Awards Ceremony held to recognize colleges and universities committed to increasing college student voting rates, Michigan Technological University received a bronze seal for achieving a student rate between 20% and 29%. A full list of seal awardees can be viewed here

“Civic engagement is on the minds of faculty, staff and students at Michigan Tech,” said Bonnie Gorman, Dean of Students and Vice President of Student Affairs. “Our students are on the forefront of solving some of our nation’s most vexing problems and it is critical to have them engaged in the political process as well.”

Student participation in elections has increased from the 2014 midterm election to the recent 2018 midterm election. According to the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, an initiative of Tufts University’s Institute for Democracy & Higher Education, voter turnout at the more than 1,000 institutions participating in the study increased by 21 points from 19% to 40%. Michigan Tech’s data reveals a student voting rate in the 2018 midterm of 26.9 percent, a 17.5 point increase from 2014 (9.4% rate in that midterm).

The growth is encouraging, and student leaders are identifying ways to increase participation in coming years. “While working on Voter Registration Day, I realized that there are a lot of questions students have regarding voting that otherwise go unanswered,” said Anna Ellis (forestry ‘20), chair of the Undergraduate Student Government’s Political Affairs Committee. “Michigan Tech has made great strides in increasing political involvement, but if we want to continue this we will need to create resources that make the process less confusing for busy students.” 

NSLV report showing Michigan Tech's increase of 17.5% voting participation rates.

“We are excited to honor Michigan Tech with an ALL IN Challenge bronze seal in recognition of their intentional efforts to increase democratic engagement and full voter participation,” said Jennifer Domagal-Goldman, executive director of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. “More institutions like Michigan Tech are changing culture on campus by institutionalizing nonpartisan democratic engagement efforts that are resulting in the incredible student voter turnout rates that we’ve seen across the country.”

The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge is a nonpartisan, national initiative recognizing and supporting campuses as they work to increase nonpartisan democratic engagement and full student voter participation. The Challenge encourages higher education institutions to help students form the habits of active and informed citizenship, and make democratic participation a core value on their campus. 

More than 560 campuses, enrolling more than 6.2 million students, have joined the Challenge since its launch in summer 2016.

If you want to get involved in the Michigan Tech ALL IN Democracy Challenge and help with voter registration, contact Kari Henquinet at kbhenqui@mtu.edu.


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.