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Graduate School Announces Fall 2018 Award Recipients

Kevin PhillipsWe are happy to announce grad student Kevin Phillips (Integrative Physiology) is among the winners for the Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Award. Congratulations!

Finishing Fellowships provide support to PhD candidates who are close to completing their degrees. These fellowships are available through the generosity of alumni and friends of the University. They are intended to recognize outstanding PhD candidates who are in need of financial support to finish their degrees and are also contributing to the attainment of goals outlined in The Michigan Tech Plan.


Kamm’s Research Highlighted in Unscripted

Kelly Kamm 1

Small populations in rural areas of the Upper Peninsula mean big gaps in state health care data. Kelly Kamm’s research on infant feeding seeks to bridge those gaps.

What do Beyonce, Gisele Bündchen, Mila Kunis and Blake Lively have in common? Fame and fortune, check. Breastfeeding their babies, check.

Considering these celebrities’ public endorsement of breastfeeding, it might seem like breastfeeding is popular in the United States. But that’s not the case. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that has been trying to raise the national rate of women breastfeeding, race and socioeconomics heavily influence if a woman ever breastfeeds. The numbers are even lower for women who breastfeed for six months and longer.

Kelly Kamm, research assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology is unsatisfied by the CDC’s statistics. She hopes to better understand how families feed infants in the UP.

“The question ‘have you ever breastfed’ means, to some extent, did somebody try in the hospital, but it’s not really a good metric of what’s going on in the UP. We’re such a small percentage of the population, any state or national data doesn’t actually survey anybody up here, so there’s really not much known about what’s going on.”

Kelly Kamm,research assistant professor

The full article, “How Do Upper Michigan Mothers Get Breastfeeding Support?” was featured in Unscripted.


KIP Coordinates National Biomechanics Day Outreach with Local Schools


Slide2National Biomechanics Day is Thursday (April 6), a world-wide event for high-school teachers and students to advance the science and education of human biomechanics.

This year’s theme is, “Science Meets Fun on National Biomechanics Day.” The Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology (KIP) Department has collaborated with several departments across campus to invite local students to engage in fun, hands-on activities focused on biomechanics research.

Students will start their visit with KIP faculty, Steve Elmer and Tejin Yoon. Elmer will engage students in building a wooden apparatus that they will use to investigate the influence of rotational inertia on turning performance. To do this students will navigate a slalom course with and without the wooden apparatus. Yoon will demonstrate the many tools used to analyze and describe human motion during exercise, and students will even get a chance to test their strength compared to Michigan Tech football players.

Students will also have the opportunity to visit additional biomechanics laboratories across campus. Physical Therapist, Caroline Gwaltney, and several Central Michigan University doctorate of physical therapy students will demonstrate how foot position can alter posture.

Students will also make imprints of their foot type and analyze how different foot type impacts movement across multiple joints.

In Mo Rastgaar’s (MEEM) HIROlab, students will place EMG sensors on their arms and move a robotic arm, as well as investigate an agile robotic prosthesis as it moves on a circular treadmill.

Finally, students will wear trackable sensors to experiment with creating sound from their own movement and dance in Myounghoon “Philart” Jeon’s (CLS) Mind Music and Machine lab.

The event will begin at 9 a.m. Thursday with lab activities scheduled to begin at 9:10 a.m.


Local Students Win Portage Health Foundation Making a Difference Scholarships to Michigan Tech

1491240303Four students who are entering Michigan Tech this fall to pursue health-related careers have received $8,000 Making a Difference scholarships from the Portage Health Foundation. Another 10 entering first-year students received $1,000 awards.

The $8,000 scholarships went to:

  • Peter Alger, Houghton, computer engineering
  • Alexa Destrampe, Lake Linden, exercise science
  • Hannah Kariniemi, Calumet, biological sciences
  • Karmyn Polakowski, Houghton, biological sciences

Receiving $1,000 scholarships were:

  • Blake Dupuis, Lake Linden, exercise science
  • Lauren Gabe, L’Anse, biological sciences
  • Austin Goudge, Houghton, medical laboratory science
  • Bella Nutini, Hancock, exercise science
  • Celia Peterson, Calumet, biomedical engineering
  • Anna Pietila, L’Anse, biological sciences
  • Lindsay Sandell, Houghton, biomedical engineering
  • Brooke Tienhaara, Calumet, biological sciences
  • Nicholas Walli, Finlandia University, biological sciences
  • Sloane Zenner, Houghton, mechanical engineering

The students are from Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga or Ontonagon counties.

The 14 recipients of the 2017 awards have an average GPA of 3.81. Their interests reflect a broad spectrum of majors including biological sciences, exercise science, biomedical engineering, computer engineering, medical laboratory science and mechanical engineering. The scholarship winners flip Michigan Tech’s male to female ratio of 3:1, with 10 female and 4 male recipients.

The scholarships are part of a Michigan Tech-Portage Health Foundation partnership established in 2015 to support health-related research and education, jobs and community health. The scholarships were first awarded in 2016.

“The awards reflect the high-caliber student talent we have locally, thanks to exceptional schools, outreach programming and parent support,” says Jodi Lehman, director of foundations at Michigan Tech. “We know that student talent is key in supporting the success of college peers and inspiring K-12 students to pursue health science and engineering pathways.

The Portage Health Foundation and Michigan Tech share the long-term goal of retaining or recruiting back local workforce talent — whether that be orthodontists, doctors, physical therapists, orthopedic surgeons, biomedical engineers or professionals in the field of medical informatics. Scholarships ultimately play a critical role in helping to grow our local economy while fostering healthy communities.”

At a dinner for finalists, the scholarship recipients heard from current students also supported by the Portage Health Foundation through the Undergraduate Research Internship Program (URIP). Both speakers shared their internship experiences and career goals.

Read the full story.


Stephanie Dietrich in Undergrad Research Symposium

StephanieDStephanie Dietrich’s research, Subjective and Objective Assessments of Sleep Differences in Male and Female Collegiate Athletes, was presented at Michigan Tech’s 2017 Undergraduate Research Symposium this past week.

With the assistance of Jason Carter, she hypothesized that female athletes would demonstrate improved objective, and worse subjective, assessments of sleep when compared to men.

A number of studies report that sex (i.e., male vs. female) can influence subjective and objective assessments of sleep. Specifically, women tend to report lower subjective sleep quality compared to men, yet objective assessment via actigraphy have shown a paradoxically higher sleep duration and sleep efficiency in women compared to men. The vast majority of work in this area has been limited to middle-age and older adults. Despite the importance of sleep in athletic performance, no studies to date have focused on young, healthy athletes.

The Undergraduate Research Symposium highlights the amazing cutting-edge research being conducted on Michigan Tech’s campus by some of our best and brightest undergraduate students.

The students showcasing their work today have spent a significant portion of the past year working alongside Michigan Tech faculty and graduate students to explore, discover and create new knowledge. They’ve spent long hours in the lab or out in the field designing experiments, gathering data, creating new models and testing hypotheses. They’ve applied their classroom knowledge in new and sometimes unexpected ways, and developed new skills that will propel them forward in their careers.


KIP Student Thomas Bye participates in Undergrad Research Symposium

IMG_6206Thomas Bye presented his research, The Effects of Respiratory Muscle Fatigue on Upper-Body Exercise Performance, at the 2017 Undergraduate Research Symposium.

With the assistance of Dr. Steven Elmer, Bye evaluated the effects of respiratory muscle fatigue on upper-body exercise performance. Through his research, we will have a better understanding of the respiratory system, elite sport performance, and exercise prescription for patients with COPD and asthma.

The Undergraduate Research Symposium highlights the amazing cutting-edge research being conducted on Michigan Tech’s campus by some of our best and brightest undergraduate students.

The students showcasing their work today have spent a significant portion of the past year working alongside Michigan Tech faculty and graduate students to explore, discover and create new knowledge. They’ve spent long hours in the lab or out in the field designing experiments, gathering data, creating new models and testing hypotheses. They’ve applied their classroom knowledge in new and sometimes unexpected ways, and developed new skills that will propel them forward in their careers.


KIP Student Sydney Smuck participates in Undergrad Research Symposium

unnamedSydney Smuck’s research, Smart Exercise Application with Wearable Motion Sensor: Validity & Usability, was presented at Michigan Tech’s 2017 Undergraduate Research Symposium this past week.

With the assistance of Tejin Yoon, Smuck looked to improve the commitment levels of a home-based exercise program, a smart exercise application with a wearable motion sensor.

The Undergraduate Research Symposium highlights the amazing cutting-edge research being conducted on Michigan Tech’s campus by some of our best and brightest undergraduate students.

The students showcasing their work today have spent a significant portion of the past year working alongside Michigan Tech faculty and graduate students to explore, discover and create new knowledge. They’ve spent long hours in the lab or out in the field designing experiments, gathering data, creating new models and testing hypotheses. They’ve applied their classroom knowledge in new and sometimes unexpected ways, and developed new skills that will propel them forward in their careers.


Michigan Space Grant Consortium Award Recipients Announced

gScmGaeKIP students received awards tallying $10,000 in funding through the Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC), sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for the 2017-18 funding cycle.

Michigan Tech Undergraduates receiving $2,500 research fellowships:

  • Thomas Bye (KIP): “NASAs Concern for Upper-Body Work Performance During Spaceflight: What Impact Does Respiratory Muscle Fatigue Have?” with Steven Elmer (KIP)
  • Marcello Guadagno (ME-EM): “Stratus Meteorological CubeSat: Payload Integration and Mission Level Design” with Lyon Brad King (ME-EM)

Michigan Tech Graduate Students receiving $5,000 research fellowships:

  • Matthew Kilgas (KIP): “Muscle Function Following Aerobic Exercise with Blood Flow Restriction: Implications for Spaceflight” with Steven Elmer (KIP) and Tejin Yoon (KIP)
  • Kevin Nevorski (Bio Sci): “Nitrogen in Space: An Examination of How Nitrogen Cycle Processes are Related in Streams and How Those Processes are Influenced at Multiple Special Scales” with Amy Marcarelli (Bio Sci)

NASA implemented the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program in 1989 to provide funding for research, education and public outreach in space-related science and technology. The program has 52 university-based consortia in the United States and Puerto Rico.

As an affiliate of the Michigan Consortium, Michigan Tech has been an active participant in MSGC for approximately 20 years. MSGC funding is administered through Michigan Tech’s Pavlis Honors College.

For more information, contact Paige Hackney in the Pavlis Honors College at 7-4371 or visit the MSGC website.


Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology student place at Graduate Research Colloquium

32897145312_f70a45955c_zKIP students Andrew Chapp placed 3rd in the Oral Presentation Competition and Mathew Kilgas placed 1st place in the Poster Presentation Competition at the 2017 Graduate Research Colloquium. Kate Glodowski won a Graduate Student Service Award for her work. Below is a complete list of winners.

The 2017 Graduate Research Colloquium (GRC) was held on February 15-16 in the Memorial Union Ballroom. There were oral and poster presentation. The banquet was held on the evening of February 16

ABC 10’s Keweenaw Bureau Reporter Rick Allen reported on the colloquium. Read more and watch the video at ABC10 UP, by Rick Allen.

Complete list of winners:

Oral Presentation Competition

  1. 1st Place: Kevin Sunderland, Department of Biomedical Engineering
  2. 2nd Place: Teresa Wilson, Department of Physics
  3. 3rd Place: Andrew Chapp, Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology
  4. Most Attended: Muraleekrishnan Menon, Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics
  5. Most Attended: Niranjan Miganakallu, Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics

Poster Presentation Competition

  1. 1st Place: Matthew Kilgas, Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology
  2. 2nd Place: Brian Page, Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics
  3. 3rd Place: Zichen Qian, Department of Biomedical Engineering
  4. People’s Choice: Mugdha Priyadarshini, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Graduate Student Service Awards

  1. Gorkem Asilioglu, Department of Computer Science
  2. Hossein Tavakoli, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  3. Kate Glodowski, Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology
  4. Erin Pischke, Department of Social Sciences

The GRC is held each year by the Graduate Student Government at Michigan Tech.


Summer 2017 PHF Graduate Assistantship Nominations Open

Screen Shot 2017-01-16 at 8.39.25 AMApplications for summer 2017 Portage Health Foundation Graduate Assistantships are being accepted and are due no later than 4 p.m. Feb. 14 to Debra Charlesworth in the Graduate School.

Students are eligible if all of the following criteria are met:

  • Must be a PhD student participating in health-related research that is aligned with the PHF’s mission
  • Must be eligible for or in Research Mode at the time of application
  • It must be two years after starting the graduate program at the time of application
  • Must not have previously received a PHF Graduate Assistantship

Priority will be given to students originally from Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga or Ontonagon counties. Non-resident students and international students are encouraged to apply if their health research is applicable to health needs and job shortages of our local community (obesity research, rural health, medical informatics, drug delivery and lab testing, physical therapy, etc.).

These assistantships are available through the generosity of the Portage Health Foundation. They are intended to recognize outstanding PhD talent in health-oriented research areas. Applicants should be catalysts for promoting and improving the overall health of residents in Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga and Ontonagon counties through one of the following:

  • Health research and technology development
  • Health education or preventive and wellness initiatives
  • Rural healthcare access, informatics and assessment of care

Students who receive full support through a PHF Graduate Assistantship may not accept any other employment. For example, students cannot be fully supported by a PHF Graduate Assistantship and accept support as a GTA or GRA.