RTC Alumnus, Dr. Isidore Kafui Dorpenyo, Publishes Book

Dr. Isidore Kafui DorpenyoDr. Isidore Kafui Dorpenyo, 2016 RTC graduate, has published his first book, User Localization Strategies in the Face of Technological Breakdown: Biometric in Ghana’s Elections published by Palgrave Macmillan Press, 2019. The book is an extension of his RTC PhD dissertation work. Dr. Karla Saari Kitalong of the Humanities Department at Michigan Tech wrote the foreword to the book.

“Dorpenyo argues that the success of a technology depends on how it meets the users’ needs and the creative efforts users put into use situations.” He “identifies and advances three user localization strategies: linguistic localization, subversive localization, and user-heuristic experience localization, and considers how biometric systems can become a tool of marginalization”. – Dr. Karla Saari Kitalong

Dorpenyo is currently Assistant Professor of Professional Writing and Rhetoric at George Mason University, USA. His research focuses on election technology, international technical communication, social justice, and localization. He co-edited a special issue of Technical Communication focused on technical communication and election technologies. Dorpenyo has also published in Technical Communication Quarterly, the Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, and Community Literacy journal.


Josh Chase Joins 2019 Bedford New Scholars Advisory Board

Josh ChaseRTC Phd candidate Joshua Chase joins the 2019 Bedford New Scholars advisory board. According to Leah Rang, development editor at Bedford/St. Martin’s, the board advises the publishing company about

“teaching challenges they face and the research in the field that excites them. They also give us feedback on the direction of our new projects. In the process, Bedford New Scholars participants have the opportunity to connect with other graduate students from across the country and to learn a bit about how publishing works”.

She further stated in a blog post that the members of the board are nominated from among the leading programs from across the country. Josh was recommended to the board by Dr. Marika Seigel, the immediate past Director of the Composition program at Michigan Tech


RTC PhD Candidate attends Europe Games Research Summer School

Over the summer of 2019, RTC PhD Candidate, Lyz Renshaw, participated in the Higher Education Video Game Alliance (HEVGA) Europe Games Research Summer School held in The University of Skövde, Sweden from August 21 to 23. The school was attended by PhD students and graduate students who are working in areas connected to digital games — Renshaw’s dissertation falls within this research area.

Lyz shared her experience:

The experience was great, working alongside other graduate students from schools such as University of California Irvine, Wisconsin-Stout, IT Copenhagen and Uppsala University. We had speakers from all over Scandinavia attend, including scholars from University of Skovde, Uppsala, and Gothenburg. I was given the opportunity to present a chapter of my dissertation and receive feedback from senior researchers and peers, including a graduate student who works directly with many of the scholars I base my work on.

Outside of the intended goals of the program, it was also enlightening to see how higher education is different internationally, how curriculum is designed, courses run, expectations of graduate students.

I also left the program with a collaboration project in the works, taking a previous paper I had present at the e-sports conference at UCI last year (and at an RTC colloquium last year) and pairing up with a graduate student from that university who had seen my earlier work.


Book Discussion: Jacob Riis’s “How the Other Half Lives”

Stephanie Carpenter (HU) and Allison Neely (Michigan Tech Archives) will lead a discussion of “How the Other Half Lives” (1890) by Jacob Riis. The event will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 12) at the Copper Country Community Arts Center in Hancock.

This program is in conjunction with the National Endowment for the Humanities On the Road exhibit “Jacob A. Riis: How the Other Half Lives,” on display at the Keweenaw National Historical Park’s Calumet Visitor Center (98 5th Street, Calumet) now through Oct. 20.

The discussion will focus on Riis’s verbal and photographic imagery. Questions to be considered include:

Black and white photo of three children sleeping on the street.How does the book depict “the other half”—and who is included (and excluded) from that category.

How does Riis encourage us to see the subjects of his book
What parallels can we draw between Riis’s presentation of new immigrants and urban poverty and depictions that we see today,

Participants are encouraged to view the exhibit prior to the discussion—and to read the book. Copies of “How the Other Half Lives” can be purchased from the Calumet Visitor Center. Scanned excerpts are available by emailing Carpenter.

The event is free and open to all. RSVP by calling 482-2333 by tomorrow (Sept. 11). The Copper Country Community Arts Center is located at 126 Quincy Street in Hancock.


Megan Hughes, Humanities Internship at Portage Lake District Library

Portage Lake District Library PuppyAfter spending a summer volunteering at a small-town library, I was lucky enough to get a fall internship at the Portage Lake District Library. As their first student intern, I was their test dummy for a lot of ideas that they wanted to try out, and every one of them was brilliant. I entered the internship with a decent amount of training under my belt, but still found myself leaving each day having learned something new about what goes into running a library.

I was led by the hand the first two weeks, which acted as my training period, but after that most of my work was self-reliant. I would check in with the staff supervisor to see where they needed me, and I would get to work. The major project I was involved in was that I organized a community learning event, doing everything from creating posters and press releases to hosting the event in the library’s community room. While I was in charge of developing the event, it was overseen by the staff supervisor and library director, both of whom were integral in the learning experience.

The event that I organized was centered around digital art software and equipment. Patrons were encouraged to test out programs that I and my co-presenter had installed on our laptops and explore an art medium that many people refrain from testing. The event came together well, and despite having only a small group of individuals attend the event, it was ultimately a great success.

This experience has heightened my interest in library science and offered me opportunities to work with the library community. Before this internship I found myself lost about what it is that I wanted to do with my life, but seeing how dedicated every staff member was to spreading the love of literature has made me realize that I too would love to share that passion with others. Being able to get hands-on experience with patrons and staff members, developing a community event, and seeing the impact that this small group of people had on the community as a whole was nothing short of amazing to me.


Tyler Morgan, Student Media Writer with Michigan Tech Alumni & Friends

Alumni HouseMy time as the Student Media Writer at Michigan Tech Alumni & Friends has been the most thorough and engaging experience I have been able to take on as a Scientific & Technical Communications major during my college career.  I’ve been able to experience much of what I have been craving for work as an undergrad whether it be content production, copyediting, interviewing professionals and Tech alum, or  becoming professionally ready with programs such as the Adobe Creative Suite, web development tools such as WordPress, or collaborative tools to work with others across the office.  I have been creating Alumni Profiles on the Michigan Tech website, creating social media content, and so much more.

It’s warm and cozy walking into what used to be the University President’shouse, now an office building.  The first floor is renovated into an incredibly welcoming room with couches, fireplace, and all.  The further you delve, the more you’ll see incredibly modern offices, standing desks, and hardworking Michigan Tech employees!

It’s here I’ve been able to grow my portfolio to its finest, meet and get to know professionals in my field, and make connections that’ll last a lifetime.


Dana Van Kooy at Yale University

Dana Van Kooy, associate professor and director of the English program (HU), was a 2018-19 fellow at the Lewis Walpole library at Yale University in May-June. While there, she gave two presentations about her research for her book project, Atlantic Configurations and the Aesthetics of Disappearance. One presentation was given at the Lewis Walpole library and another at the Yale Center for British Art.

Her essay, “Speculative Tragedy and Spatial Play: Scaling Byron’s Sardanapalus,” was published in Studies in Romanticism (Spring 2019). This essay explores how Byron reformulated the conventions of tragedy during the Romantic period, creating an alternative—speculative and utopian—framework that provided audiences with more expansive rubrics of heroism, history, and empire.


Growing Up In East Germany

Dr. Thomas Werner, Associate Professor, Biological Sciences, presented his story to about growing up in East Germany and living a political double life in a socialist country at an event hosted by Modern Languages on April 10th. Werner talked about what it was like for him to have a personal spy who tried to send his parents to prison, and how his home country dropped out of existence overnight.

After the Berlin wall fell, Thomas studied Biology in Jena, Germany, and then moved to Umeå, Sweden, where he did his PhD in cell and molecular biology. He moved to Madison, Wisconsin as a postdoctoral fellow studying the evolution and development of color patterns in fruit flies. Thomas is now a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Michigan Tech. He lives in Houghton with his wife Megan, daughter Natalia, and sons Oliver and Oscar