Maneet Singh

Sometimes my name tag says Taylor 2.0. It’s a running joke with one of my coworkers; basically, we were arguing about who is better at their jobs, and I said, “You’re Taylor and I’m better, so I’m Taylor 2.0 now.” So that’s been my name tag ever since. It’s a fun joke at work and everyone says, “You don’t look like a Taylor.” And I say, “I don’t look like Taylor, but I’m Taylor 2.0, so that’s a different person.”

Hockey has definitely changed me as a person. I used to be so introverted and keep to myself, not have many friends, not talk to people. Hockey opened everything for me.

I’m from Rajasthan, India. Cricket is a religion in India and that’s what I used to play, amongst other sports, but when I came to Michigan Tech, I watched my first hockey game in October 2016 and I was like, “Okay, this game is something.” So I slowly started to follow the game, then I learned about Mitch’s Misfits and I joined them, and that just pushed me into hockey. I see my parents in Hockey Coach Joe Shawhan and his wife, Lauralee. Since we met, they’ve never let me feel like I am away from home. They have never thought of me anything short of a son and they always tell me that I am family. I probably can’t repay all the love I get from them.

I’ve been home twice since coming here, the summer after my freshman year and last fall for my sister’s wedding. My mom misses me a lot, she always texts me and calls me, “Please come home, please come home.” My dad is pretty opposite, he’s like, “Why do you want to come back home? Enjoy your life. Go visit different states, go explore the US. Just explore.”

I chose Michigan Tech because the number three has been a very lucky number for me. Michigan Tech was the third school on my list, I got accepted into Michigan Tech on February third, which is my birthday, and I left India for the US on August 3rd. I casually applied to Michigan Tech because it was a free application. I got accepted, learned as much as I could about it, and thought, “This place just feels right.”

Snow played a big factor because I had never seen snow in my life. Rajasthan is a really hot place and I was like, “Yeah, I need snow. I should see snow.” But when I came, I was like, “Oh, this is snow. This is the UP snow.” My surroundings went from like 45-50 degrees Celsius to like -10 to -15 degrees. It was fun adapting to it. And I had never been to the US before I applied to college, so the first time I came to the US was coming to start school. There’s only three things that force me to stay here: good education, so-good people, and hockey. You take one of those things out I might survive. If you take hockey out, I will definitely not survive.


Lucas Grulke

 Lucas Grulke

Somebody who knew someone, who knew someone, convinced me to come to Michigan Tech and here I am — and almost graduated. During O Week I thought I had made the worst decision of my life. The only reason I got up every morning was Army Physical Training (PT).

Coming in, I only had the money to afford one year of college. After that, I either had to pull out a lot of student loans, drop out and go into the military, or figure something out. Army ROTC (AROTC) has a three-year scholarship you have to compete for, and in order to compete, you have to have a good PT score, good grades, and in general, show you participate in activities. So that really became the only driver to keep me in college. I had a semester and a half to be awarded the scholarship and I needed to make sure I could secure it. It was a grind. I kept trudging through it and in February of my second semester, I was awarded the scholarship and it was instant relief. And honestly, from there, it’s been the normal path. I’m not a believer in luck. I think a lot of it is what you prepare for.

We’re in the Third Brigade. There are eight brigades in the USWe’re the gritty cadets because we don’t train in the nice warm weather, we train in the frozen tundra. We do everything in snowshoes. While I’m here, I’m focused on doing all I can to be a top candidate and a leader. AROTC has given me a lot of opportunities like going to Chile for Cultural Understanding and Leadership Proficiency for a month and being Battalion Commander. From June 16 to July 19, I’ll attend Sapper Leader Course.

I had to compete against the entire Third Brigade for the spot and it’s not guaranteed I’ll pass [it’s called tabbing, actually; he’d earn a sapper tab for his uniform] when I complete the course. I told my buddy, “Either I’m coming out with that tab or I’m coming out on a stretcher.” Also, I have a little brother, Caleb; he’s a first-year student here. I will not let him hold [my not tabbing] above me the rest of my life. He’s also in ROTC, an engineering management major, and he’s actually—him and my good friend, Greg, are helping me with all the training. They PT with me five days a week. They keep me accountable. That way I don’t slack off. My parents don’t really know why Caleb and I were so inclined to do the military. I say it’s because no one ever plays navy; instead, they played soldiers. I don’t know if that’s what it was, maybe we just like a challenge and hard work. That’s just kind of how it panned out. I guess it’s a good thing, especially knowing that Caleb came here means I might have done something right. He sees it as a good thing. The cadre lets me know every day that he’s doing better than I did as a first year. And I like to think if he wasn’t that means I didn’t do my job.


Tyler Shelast

Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Michigan Technological University, National Strength and Conditioning Association-certified strength and conditioning specialist. Professional Hockey Player — 2008-2013.

During the school year, my job is more like 6 to 6 instead of 9 to 5. Sometimes teams work out four days a week, sometimes they go to two or three, it depends on the season. Getting to work with Michigan Tech athletes is the best part of my day.

My job allows me to teach and educate young athletes on the shortcomings I experienced when I was an athlete. I had a tough road and went through a lot of pain and suffering. My goal is to help these athletes learn and understand that they can take anything that’s thrown at them. I learned more from my downfall than I did from my success, and ultimately, those are the lessons I want to share with Michigan Tech athletes — to help them grow out of darkness.

In a week it’s groups, office time, more groups, practices, and then during the hockey season, I go on the ice for hockey practice daily and am there for the team at all the games. I can’t coach, but I play an integral part in hockey due to my former playing. I really like to work out, that’s probably my favorite thing, so I try to work out once a day.

I have a lot of pride in everything I do that is Michigan Tech because I want it to excel. I want us to be the best at everything. We’re kind of like a hidden little snowglobe type place, but we need to embrace that because it’s what makes us special. Michigan Tech’s a very proud school, so I feel lucky to have a hand in shaping our culture. There’s so much that goes into seeing student-athletes grow, I mean, that’s ultimately why I’m in it, why I love being here. I’m very fortunate to work with great people.


Emi Colman

Emi Colman with rocket

I’m super into rocketry. In high school, I was the captain of one of the rocket teams and was on the team for three years. Actually, Mr. Ratza, our advisor, also recommended I do the women in engineering Summer Youth Program (SYP), so I attribute a lot to him. I came for SYP the summer into my senior year. Michigan Tech is the only school I applied to. I’m studying mechanical engineering, I’m outreach coordinator of the Keweenaw Rocket Range student organization, and I’m staying over the summer to take classes and be a SYP weekend counselor. In the fall, I’ll be an orientation team leader. I’m a very sociable person, so it’s not hard for me to be outgoing. Just genuine talking—I’m good at that.

The way I got the job (as outreach coordinator) was by raising my hand at the info session. No one else raised their hand. I’m actually really enjoying it. We’re going to New Mexico for a competition in June. Even though I’m really heavy into rocketry and this leadership stuff, I think it’s important to not get focused solely on those things, but rather, be flexible and versatile. I’m also interested in videography. Because mechanical engineering is so broad, I don’t want to specialize myself in the beginning of my college career, I’d rather be open and see where it takes me, and if rocketry doesn’t end up being my career, I can just make it a hobby because I like it; so that’s my advice—flexibility.


Jarett McClanahan

There are going to be times where you are going to need to try to figure out how to make ends meet financially, or figure out how you are going to save time to do homework, or just take care of your own mental health and well-being. One of those things you always have to put on the back burner and it can get really exhausting. But if you remember it’s only a couple of years, it can be hard in the moment, but as long as you work through it, it will be okay. I work as a student custodian in the ME-EM. I really like my job. I work 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday. I don’t have to clean bathrooms. I just go around and vacuum rooms, wipe whiteboards off, and other stuff. Other than that, I TA a few classes and I’m the vice president of the Society of Medical Laboratory Scientists club. So when I get home, I make food, shower, go to sleep, wake up, and start it all again. I have to wake up super early, but I have weekends and nights off. And I get to listen to music and podcasts while I’m working. I also do work study for the biology department, so I work on average about 30 hours a week.

My degree has a required fifth-year practicum, if you want to take the board exam to be certified to work in a hospital. I’ll be doing my practicum in July at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in my hometown of Iron Mountain, Michigan. Then I can sit for my boards and go on to work in a hospital. For our senior capstone, we meet twice a week to prepare to take an old version of the board as the final exam. Jobs for my major after graduation typically entail working in a hospital lab, doing research, or working for a corporation in the private sector; but it’s mostly doing patient sample testing to diagnose diseases. A lot of microscopes and machines.

I remember my senior year of high school, I was looking around at different schools and there was nothing super specific about Tech that drew me in, but I liked the location (two hours from home), and I had heard that it was a really good school. A lot of my friends told me it was too expensive and too hard, which made me want to go here even more.


Darnishia Slade

Darnishia Slade stands holding the Bayard Rustin award.

I’m still floored about winning the Bayard Rustin award. Ya know that phrase, do what you would do when no one’s looking? For me to get the award from the students was the highest compliment and really powerful for me.

I currently work in Pavlis Honors College, and it’s a lot of fun. In my 13-plus years at Michigan Tech, I can’t remember the last time I worked. There are long days, hard days, and difficult days, but I can’t remember the last time I worked. It never feels like work for me. I get all of my energy from students. I feel like I secretly get more than I give (laughs). I learn so much, and I’m always challenged in new and different ways. Higher ed is my calling in life; I love being on a college campus. There’s always something going on, something to do, something to think about, something to dialogue about. I’m also one of the advisors for the Society of Intellectual Sisters (SIS) and I was a member when I was a student here. I’m very passionate about it, so I continue to serve in that capacity with the young ladies.

I’m working on a degree, studying mental toughness and persistence. I’m living it and studying it (laughs). A lot of mental toughness and persistence has been studied in top performing athletes or the military. Bringing it into an academic context is pretty cool. The big juicy question is how can we get away from “oh, they have the right GPA or the right SAT score.” There’s just so much more to people that causes them to be successful and I think we just need to look at that a little more. The reason why I am getting the PhD is to be at the table, to be a voice for people who don’t have a voice at the table; so it’s bigger than me. I do believe there’s a level of influence that happens from being at the right table.

I always say “you don’t go through Michigan Tech, Michigan Tech goes through you,” and it is truly an experience. I want to pay it forward every day. The experiences and the support I had as a Michigan Tech student transformed my life. #mtuhumans #mymichigantech #pavlishonorscollege #phdlife


Tanna Windham and the Women’s Rugby Club at Michigan Tech

Five women in rugby shirts pose for a group photo.

I’m president of the Michigan Tech Women’s Rugby Club and I’m a third-year exercise science major minoring in psychology. Before I came to Michigan Tech, I participated in cross country and track, both for about seven or eight years. But at Tech, I wanted to expand my viewpoint on different sports and join a club team. I first heard about the rugby club through the Orientation Week packet given to incoming students. The team was putting on their annual cookout. Once I was able to meet the team, I instantly fell in love with the people on the team and how welcoming they were. I have officially been on the team for two years and have loved every minute of it.

Our team began in 2012 with only a small handful of girls. We would play games with Northern Michigan University’s women’s team. Once the club grew, we became part of the Great Waters Women’s Rugby Conference in 2016. We vary to having between 12 to 20 girls on our team and are always looking for more. Last year we had about 18 girls when we went down to NashBash, a rugby tournament in Nashville, bringing rugby teams from around the country.

Our biggest season is in the fall, which is when we compete against teams in our conference—Northern, and University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, LaCross, Platteville, and Stout. During both our fall and spring seasons, we practice two times a week for a total of about four hours each week. Outside of practices, our team continues to keep the family atmosphere by having team dinners before games and hanging out with each other as much as we can.

If I hadn’t joined the rugby team here at Tech, I don’t know where I would be, and I know many of the other girls would say the same thing. We all would be lost without this wonderful sport. 

Follow the Michigan Tech Women’s Rugby Club on Instagram.

#rugby #mtuwomensrugby #mturugby#ladyruggers #mtuwc2019 #mtuwc#michigantech #rugger #rugby🏉


Adam Loman

A young man in a Captain America shirt stands in a fitness center.

I chose Michigan Tech because it is close to home—I’m from Ishpeming—and the Air Force ROTC program offered something other schools didn’t. I like being close to my mom and five sisters. I came in knowing I wanted to do Air Force ROTC because I have a lot of service members in my family and I want to do something I care about. Right now I’m kind of in the dark about where I’ll go after I graduate and commission into the Air Force. It’s exciting I guess. It’s hard to say if I’ll be career (military); career is typically 20 (years), but I’m 22, so I can’t really fathom that right now. I have a four-year commitment and I’ll see what happens after that.

I run a Physical Training (PT) program five days a week to prep other cadets for Phase I and Phase II exercises (Air Force programs). Exercises, like a Phase I, prepare airmen for battlefield positions. It takes a much more capable individual to be qualified for those positions. I like training people. I like pushing people and helping them become the best versions of themselves; a lot of times, people won’t push themselves until they get a little exposure to training at that level and then they’ll just fall in love with it. Most people don’t enjoy being at that level of discomfort but some do. I like getting people to that point, and you know once they hit that point because I don’t have to check in with them and make sure they’re coming to PT in the morning because they’ll be there five minutes early; that’s my favorite thing to see—somebody that’s killing it all the way. I picked exercise science (as my major) because I was an athlete in high school and I always enjoyed physical fitness. Exercise science is really useful. I’m able to help out a ton of my friends, the cadets come to me for health programming, and I’ve made a bunch of programs for them to help them prep for different PT tests and that sort of thing.

#afrotc #mtuhumans #exercisescience #tenacity


Adewale Adesanya

A man sits behind a drum kit.I like making an impact. I got my BS in industrial and production engineering; as an engineer, I always wanted to do something new, something innovative. And as the fourth of six children, I looked to what my older siblings were doing to make sure what challenged them, didn’t challenge me.
After graduating, I worked in oil and gas, which is serious business in Nigeria. But I started having different feelings about environmental pollution, the global temperature increasing, the vulnerability of some highlands, and the damage being caused by conventional energy, so I felt I couldn’t continue to be a part of that anymore—I don’t want to be part of the problem in energy, I want to go to green energy—so I started reading about that and doing some certificate courses online.

My interest in renewable energy is how I hope to make an impact. I know my strengths and boundaries, and things that really concern me I try to go for. So I think that’s why I care so much about energy policy and sustainability. Perhaps another factor is my religious background. I’m a Christian and am motivated by my faith.

I came to Michigan Tech from Germany where I did my master’s in energy and environmental management; I was involved in several renewable energy projects in Scotland, Germany, Kenya, Ghana, and Uganda. I saw that Michigan Tech faculty were interested in a broader view of environmental policy and so am I.

My family and I moved to Houghton in the summer of 2018. My kids like playing in the snow and eating snow. I’m passionately into music: I play the drums (drum set and local drums), bass guitar, and I sing, too. I play in bands, with locals, and I played at Africa Night. I also attend salsa dancing class where I network with other MTU students and faculty.

Adewale is an environmental and energy policy PhD student.


Lauren Fallu

A woman in a jersey holding a volleyball

I’m a fourth-year biomedical engineering student. I chose Michigan Tech because I knew I wanted to be an engineer. I saw Tech had a really high rate of employment and that was really attractive. And the small classroom sizes. I’m an introvert, so it was more appealing to me. And Michigan Tech has just worked out awesome. I’m from a suburb in Detroit. Nine hours from here. I’m so glad I stayed. I’ve made really close friends and all my professors I’m super close with—because of small class size, I can form great relationships with them, and I just feel really welcome here.

I’m on a club volleyball team so that’s another group of girls I’m close with; I’ve been playing volleyball my whole life, I’m so glad I could continue playing while at Tech. I’m close with a lot of the brothers in the fraternity that sponsored me as a Winter Carnival Queen candidate. They asked me if I would want to represent them and I was excited and a little scared because, like I said, I’m an introvert, so putting myself out there and being on stage in front of everyone is really scary to me. But it is something I can be proud of that I did and got over. Also, it’s my last semester so I want to keep making memories before I leave campus. I think it’s really important to put yourself out there and see what you like and don’t like; while you have the time on campus, it’s really important to expose yourself to anything you can because now is the time to figure it out. I’ve been able to do that here.

One of the memories I’ll take with me when I leave campus is snowshoeing. Downstate we don’t ever get enough snow to snowshoe. There are so many beautiful trails here. And Mont Ripley. There’s no ski hill back home so it’s the only time I can go. I also love to go to the Copper Country Humane Society. It’s super small so I can play with all the cats and dogs. Where I’m from I could never do that. Everything is much more personal up here.

I thought I wanted to go into research after I graduated. I got involved in a professor’s biomedical engineering research and I found I didn’t like it. That experience helped me narrow what I am interested in: industry, actual devices instead of the work to develop the devices. I think Tech makes it a priority to give students diverse classes. I’ve had a class on cardiovascular engineering, ethics, and medical devices. I’ve been able to see what specific field I want to go into, what’s interesting to me. Cardiovascular engineering is definitely what I want to go into. But if I wouldn’t have taken that class, if it hadn’t been offered, I would have never known. It’s so awesome that the department and professors expose you to different areas.