2016 Amazing Challenge Registration Open

The fifth annual HuskyPAW/SWEAT Amazing Challenge will be held on Saturday, July 30, 2016.

If you’re not familiar with the HuskyPAW/SWEAT Amazing Challenge, it’s loosely based on the TV show “The Amazing Race.” Teams complete a series of challenges while they race toward the finish line. Challenges are a mix of physical activity and mental challenges or puzzles. Each challenge needs to be completed in order to receive a clue to move forward. While this can be a competitive race for many teams, it can also be a fun family event completed at your own pace.

Register your team of colleagues, friends and family. Teams are limited to four adults, although for those teams that are made up of families with children, we do allow more than four members. The deadline to register is Friday, July 15, 2016, but space is limited. HuskyPAW members will receive bonus points for participating.

Volunteers are also needed the day of the event. If interested, please contact Shannon Brodeur at sbrodeur@mtu.edu.

Tuition Reduction Incentive Program (TRIP)

Register Now for TRIP

Eligible employees whose family members will take classes at Michigan Tech may be eligible for the Tuition Reduction Incentive Program (TRIP). The program allows approved family members a 50 percent reduction in tuition at Michigan Tech. Applications to the TRIP program must be completed each academic year.


Students who will be enrolling in Fall semester must send their TRIP application to the Benefit Services office no later than July 1, 2016 to ensure adequate time for processing. Applications may be faxed to (906) 487-3220, sent by campus mail or delivered in person. For security purposes, please do not email applications.


For the policy, eligibility and application, visit Education Benefits. Please contact Benefit Services at benefits@mtu.edu or 906-487-2517 should you have any questions.

Here is the link:

Unemployment Fraud Issues

Michigan Tech has been receiving occasional unemployment claims for active employees. Employees affected have been contacted by Benefit Services. Benefit Services will dispute the claims which are then sent to the Unemployment Fraud Unit for investigation. Once the investigation is complete, a determination will be issued to all parties involved. Should you be contacted by Benefit Services regarding an unemployment claim filed under your name, you may contact the Unemployment Fraud Unit at 855-842-7463.

Should you become a victim of identity theft, please refer to the Identity Theft Resources page through Information Technology. This page offers valuable information for avoiding misused or stolen social security numbers (SSN) or taxpayer identification numbers (TIN) as well as reporting and fixing a stolen identity.

Please do not modify this information unless you contact me first.

Thank You,


2016 Benefits Fair Door Prize Results

Benefit Services would like to thank all the employees, retirees, and vendors who attended the 2016 Benefits Fair held last Thursday, May 5, 2016. The Benefits Fair was a success with 282 employees and retirees in attendance as well as up to 30 vendors. Congratulations to the following individuals who were winners of the various door prizes raffled off after the event:

  • SDC 1 Day Spin Class – Sharri Karppinen
  • SDC 1 Day Yoga Class – Joe Sever
  • SDC 1 Day Zumba Class – Joel Vertin
  • SDC Single Day Admission Passes – Lorraine Watts, Darlene Persha, Linnea
  • McGowen Hobmeier, Crystal McLeod, Kathleen Lewandowski, Nels
  • Christopherson, & Nikki Ebert
  • Portage Lake Golf Course 9-Hole Golf Pass – Heather Kiilunen
  • Portage Lake Golf Course Golf Ball Sets – Renee Hiller, Jake Manchester, &
  • Don Close
  • Athletics 2 Hockey Family Passes – Sue Tomasi & Kimberly Oldt
  • Rozsa 2 Tickets to a 2016-17 Performance – Renae DesRochers
  • Pilgrim River Gift Certificate – Erika Erkkila
  • Applebee’s Gift Cards – Rory Gronevelt, Vicky Roy, & Michelle Reed
  • Magnuson Franklin Square Inn Gift Certificate – Ray Lasanen
  • Tranquil Touch Massage Gift Certificate – Penny Foetisch
  • Maggie’s Massage Gift Certificate – Lorraine Young
  • J. Jukuri Spa Gift Certificate – Karmen Markham
  • J. Jukuri Spa Gift Bag – Karen Giddings
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of MI Herbs & Spices Gift Bag – Carol Asiala
  • Benefit Services Jawbone UP – Audrey Barnett
  • Superior Chiropractic Gift Certificate – Carol Schaaf
  • EyeMed USB Chargers – John Longenecker & Don Kilpela
  • EyeMed Waterbottles – Tori Connors & Georgeann Larson
  • EyeMed Golf Balls – Pat McCarthy & Jake Guter

Employee Benefits and Community Service Fair

The annual Employee Benefits and Community Services Fair will be held on Thursday, May 5, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m in the Isle Royale Ballroom in the Memorial Union Building.  Visit more than 30 exhibitors hosting a vast array of service organizations including health and wellness, financial and retirement services, life insurance, real estate, recreation, theater.

The fair is free and open to employees and retirees, spouses, partners and adult dependents. Attendees may register for one of many door prizes.

All employees are welcome.  Up to 1 hour of university release time is available for employees to attend.

For more details and to see a list of vendors and door prizes, visit:  http://goo.gl/forms/bKKqKp3gVO

Congratulations to the UAW Certification Program Graduates

On Friday, a ceremony was held in the Wadsworth Hall Annex to honor the inaugural graduating class of the UAW Certification Program. The ceremony was organized by the UAW Certification Program Committee; Catherine Burns (Human Resources), Amanda Cadwell (UAW Local 5,000 President), Heidi Reid (Human Resources) and Tina Sarazin (UAW Local 5,000 Vice President). Michigan Tech President Glenn Mroz and Gogebic Community College President James Lorenson gave speeches, certificates were distributed to the graduates and cake was served to celebrate.
Listed below are the names of the graduates. Extend a warm wish of congratulations to them on their achievement.
  • Laura Baril—Human Resources
  • Joan Becker— Electrical Engineering
  • Nancy Bykkonen—Human Resources
  • Amanda Cadwell—Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Gina Dunstan— Engineering Fundamentals
  • Laura Harry—Memorial Union
  • Mary Beth Hodges—Vice President for Research Office
  • Taana Kalliainen—Chemical Engineering
  • Katherine Kallio—Public Safety and Police Services
  • Marjorie Lindley—School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science
  • Tanya Maki—Human Resources
  • Rose Martell—Center for Pre-College Outreach
  • Shanda Miller—Merchandising Operations
  • Amy Olson—Financial Services and Operations
  • Dawn Pichette—University Marketing and Communications
  • Janey Pindral—International Programs and Services
  • Kim Puuri—Vice President for Research Office
  • Michelle Reed—School of Technology
  • Darlene Saari—Vice President for Research Office
  • Heather Sander—Alumni Relations
  • Lois Sedar—Athletic/Rec Facility Operations
  • Devin Seppala—Van Pelt and Opie Library
  • Mary P. Stevens—Facilities Management
  • Karen Wade—Center for Diversity and Inclusion
  • Sandra Wheaton—Facilities Management

Northstar Employee Assistance Program

With the fluctuation in weather from warmth to snow, Northstar EAP has provided us with some helpful tips in dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder. Please keep in mind that Northstart EAP offers eligible faculty and staff, and their spouses and dependents, eight free counseling sessions per person. Please contact Benefit Services at 906-487-2517should you have any questions about Northstar EAP.


IMPORTANT – IRS Form 1095C Mailed to Employees

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), employers are required to offer affordable health coverage to employees classified as full-time under IRS regulations. This includes employees such as faculty, staff, students, and temporary employees. For 2016, Michigan Tech is required to report on all employees who received an offer of health insurance coverage for 2015 to the IRS. This includes the previously mentioned employees as well as retirees enrolled in Michigan Tech’s health insurance and offers of COBRA. Anyone who received an offer of coverage will be receiving an IRS form 1095C. The forms were mailed on Thursday, March 31, 2016. Please note that these forms are not required to file your 2015 taxes however, you should keep it with your 2015 tax records in case of an audit.

If you have any questions regarding your form 1095C, please contact Benefit Services at benefits@mtu.edu or 906-487-2517.