B.A.S.I.C., also known as Building Adult Skills in Computing, is a program run at Michigan Tech that helps community members in the area learn more about computers, tablets, phones, etc.
Leatrice Fullerton is the Program Manager of Advocacy and Community Education at Disability Network Southwest Michigan. Fullerton sat down with one of the GCEC committee members to discuss her experiences and work.
Joan Chadde, the Director for the Center Science and Environmental Outreach, sits down and talks with a member of the GCEC committee to discuss her work in the area.
Nurse Practitioner Robin Meneguzzo and Michigan Tech Professor Chris Morgan have been working together to develop online health resources for the Houghton, Michigan area.
Darnishia L. Slade has been appointed to a three-year term with the Michigan Community Service Commission, representing fellow experts in the delivery of human, educational, environmental, or public safety services to communities and individuals.
The Michigan Community Service Commission strives to build a culture of service by providing vision and resources to strengthen communities through volunteerism. The Commission develops a three-year comprehensive national and community service plan for the state that shall be updated annually, oversees and submits the state’s applications to the Corporation for National and Community Service and other public and private funding sources, establishes policies and procedures for the use of federal funds, and develops initiatives to promote community service in coordination with existing programs.
“I am honored to receive this appointment from Governor Whitmer!” said Slade. “I am ready to roll my sleeves up and do the work of continuing to make Michigan one of the nation’s leading state service commissions and a model state for volunteerism. I believe that through volunteerism lives are enriched, cultural understanding is exchanged, and lasting partnerships are established.”
Lorelle Meadows, dean of the Pavlis Honors College, says “Dar is an excellent individual to serve the State of Michigan in this way. She has the depth of knowledge, experience, and passion to make an impact on community service outcomes so important to our state at this time.”
Slade is an instructor, advisor, and the manager of global engagement programs for Pavlis Honors College. She is a member of the IDEAhub Leadership Team and an organization advisor for the Society of Intellectual Sisters and Canterbury House.
By Dean Lahti
The Pavlis Honors College fosters and promotes our future leaders – Lexi Steve serves as an excellent example for the program.
Steve, a fifth-year mechanical engineering student, joined the Pavlis Honors College’s Honors Pathway Program during her second year at Michigan Tech. Steve said that she applied because of the travel experiences and leadership opportunities that the program had to offer.
Leadership is nothing new to Lexi. Steve received an Undergraduate Research Internship Program (URIP) award as well as a scholarship from the Dean of Students. She used her undergraduate research internship to establish a program in hydroponic research. As a member of the Green Campus Enterprise, Steve is involved in designing and building a tiny house that focuses on sustainable living in Bete Grise.
She said that her motivation for her endeavors at Michigan Tech comes organically. “Hardly any of these were planned,” Steve said. “I’m a bit of a social butterfly, so it’s easy for me to hear and learn about a lot of events and organizations MTU and Pavlis have to offer.”
For her immersion experience through the Pavlis Honors College, Steve was part of a group that went to Peru. During her time in the country, she and her teammate used their training in design thinking to help the community refocus on how to communicate and support each other to the fullest. One of the projects that came out of that was a vertical gardening system that utilized old soda bottles filled with dirt and flowers at a local school mentoring program. It gave the kids something to take care of and added a bit of color to the area they were living.
She said that her volunteer experience in Peru was unique. “We formed a community there and it made me passionate about what Pavlis had to offer.”
These unique experiences through the Pavlis Honors College have allowed Steve to contribute to local and global communities. She is continuing her sustainability efforts at Michigan Tech through starting an organization called Students for Sustainability. The group has established a mini-composting project in partnership with Apple Acre Farms. This project focuses on community improvement through reducing food waste.
With graduation in the near future, Steve said that the networking opportunities that she has experienced through the Pavlis Honors College have prepared her for the future. “The staff at Pavlis is there to support students,” she said. “They give you the tools that you need for success.”
Steve recommends the Honors Pathway Program because it “is a great space to open up your mind and take advantage of the experiences that the program offers.”
For more information about the Honors Pathway Program, visit www.mtu.edu/honors/pathway.
This piece is part of our student profile series by Dean Lahti, guest writer and current Michigan Tech student.
Thomas Oommen is a professor in the geological and mining Engineering and Sciences Department and the director of the computational science and engineering PhD program here at Michigan Technological University. He is actively involved in undergraduate and graduate education, research, and service. He teaches the engineering geology course at Michigan Tech, has participated in over 8 million dollars in research grants and published over 100 peer reviewed publications. His research focuses on utilizing remotely sensed sensor data, remotely sensed data, data machine learning algorithms, and geological knowledge to solve real world problems that affect human health and safety. Beyond Michigan Tech he serves as the editorial board member of the GSA and AEG joint publication environmental and engineering geoscience. He’s vice chair of the ASCE Geo-Institute engineering geology and site characterization committee and a member of AEG technical committee on the landslides and a member of the AGU natural hazards Award Committee. He is also an ABET program evaluator for the geological engineering and geology programs.
Val Gagnon is the Director of the University-Indigenous Community Partnerships at the Great Lakes Research Center as well as a Research Assistant Professor in the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. Splitting her time between Michigan Tech and the Great Lakes Research Center, Val has done a lot of work for indigenous people in the Keweenaw Peninsula.
Dr. Caryn L. Heldt is the Director of the Health Research Institute, Covid lab technical director, the James and Lorna Mac chair in Bioengineering, and Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Michigan Technological University. She received her bachelor’s of science in chemistry and chemical engineering for Michigan Tech in 2001. She worked for two years at BASF corporation before commencing her PhD studies. Upon receiving her PhD in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina State University in 2008 under the guidance of Dr. Reuben Carbonell, she joined Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for her two year postdoctoral training under the guidance of Dr. George’s Belfort. In 2015 Dr. Heldt was was awarded a National Science Foundation Career Award to study virus surface chemistry for research. Her lab is focused on the purification removal and activation and detection of viruses and gene therapy vectors.
Mattison, Bailey and Aprille are all Returned Peace Corps Volunteers studying at Michigan Tech. See how they incorporated this year’s topic “The pursuit of social equity and representation” into their Peace Corps services.