Month: January 2020

A Message to Families from President Koubek

Each year at the Michigan Tech Alumni Reunion, the University hosts a special Golden M ceremony to honor those who graduated 50 (or more) years ago. A part of the ceremony that has become a favorite of mine is when the inductees reminisce about their time at Tech.  While many colorful and remarkable tales are told, most often the stories are laced with notastalia of a “special faculty” member who went the extra mile and made a lasting impact on their lives. While much has changed over the last 50 years here at Michigan Tech, our faculty’s enthusiasm and commitment to student success remains steadfast.  

A most recent example of this is evidenced through the Tech Forward initiatives our campus launched last July. The nine initiatives focus on themes that Michigan Tech faculty and staff identified as essential keystones necessary to position Michigan Tech as an educational and research leader in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. One of the initiatives that has the potential for profound impact is Education for the 21st Century led by Lorelle Meadows, dean of the Pavlis Honors College

Recently I had an opportunity to visit with the faculty and staff working group to hear not just their creative ideas, but see and feel the intensity of their commitment to provide the very best, forward-leaning, educational experience for our students. Their goal is audacious—to revolutionize how we deliver higher education, while remaining uniquely Michigan Tech.  Audacious, but they are right. Status quo is not our answer to preparing students to enter the workforce at the very forefront of their professions. We envision an experientially based education that prepares our graduates to adapt to the constantly changing needs of the future workplace, that enables them to define their individual definition of post graduate success and that satisfies our parents’ and families’ want for their student to be challenged and supported throughout their college experience.

Michigan Tech is fortunate to have faculty and staff who are highly creative and are directing that creativity toward re-envisioning the student experience at Tech. I encourage you to check out their website (www.mtu.edu/ideahub) throughout the year as they tackle this challenge.

It’s still too early to tell where this will end up exactly, but after talking with the group, a bit of advice a mentor once gave me came to mind, “Tell me who is working the problem and I can tell you how it will end before it starts.” With this group of Michigan Tech faculty and staff leading the charge, I believe it will end up very well indeed.


Pitch Perfect!

By Husky Innovate

Congratulations to Husky Innovate Idea Pitch contestants and winners. Twenty-six students and 19 teams participated in an Idea Pitch competition held at the Great Lakes Research Center late last fall. Contestants pitched innovative ideas by reframing problems as opportunities. Judges from across campus voted to select Idea Pitch winners, and 14 Floors alums acted as a panel of experts.

Seven cash prizes were awarded. Prize winners include:

  • First Prize – Jacob Soter with Cellular Beach Network, $200 cash award
  • Second Prize – Kyra Pratley with PowerPendants, $100 cash award
  • Third Prize – Mitch DeLong with FreightMate, $50 cash award
  • Honorable Mention – Morgan Flynn with Adult Atlas, $25 cash award
  • Honorable Mention  – Baillie McGirk and Brandon Oja with CartSkis, $25 cash award
  • Honorable Mention – Harrison Shields with Shields Hydrotech, $25 cash award
  • Audience Favorite  – Baillie McGirk and Brandon Oja with CartSkis, $25 cash award

The Pavlis Honors College, Office of Innovation and Commercialization, and College of Business sponsor the Husky Innovate Event Series – a succession of workshops and events that build on each other with the intention of guiding students through key phases of innovation or business development while emphasizing evidence-based strategies for success.


Dress for Success

by Heather Herman, Presidential Communications


“I believe that we not only transform the students’ external appearance with new clothing, but an amazing transformation occurs internally as well—they stand taller, hold their head up higher, and look more confident! I am so grateful to be a part of this transformation in our students during every career clothing event!”  

— Susan Amato-Henderson, Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences and founder of the Michigan Tech Career Closet


With Career Fair quickly approaching, now’s the time for students to not only polish up their resume but also their wardrobe. Unbeknownst to most students, Michigan Tech opens the Career Closet boutique prior to both the fall and spring Career Fairs. This service allows students to shop (free of charge) for gently used professional attire. Faculty and staff volunteers also provide free coaching sessions on how to dress appropriately for all types of interviews and offer interviewing tips and advice on proper etiquette in social settings. 

The Career Closet is open the Saturday before each Career Fair in the Meese building. In addition, students may also contact Susan Amato-Henderson at any other time to browse the inventory (contact information below). 

Approximately 200 students utilize the service each semester, but recently there has been an uptick in interest due to the lack of retail stores in the area, according to Amato-Henderson.  Because of an expanding interest by our students, the Career Closet committee encourages families to support the program by donating gently used professional clothing or by volunteering to collect clothing from their place of work. They are in particular need of accessories like shoes, ties, belts, jewelry, tights, dress socks, etc. In addition, they work with students to make small sewing repairs and alternations to the clothing, so donations of sewing supplies (needles, thread, pins, etc.) are needed. People interested in donating should contact Susan Amato-Henderson at slamato@mtu.edu or via phone at 906-281-0231.