Archives—April 2012

Let Summer Begin!

The Successful Completion of an Academic Year

Graduation 2011. Photo Credit: Brennan Tymrak

Congratulations, Michigan Tech students and families; you have nearly made it through this academic year! That is quite an accomplishment!

Students, I hope you conquered your final exams and passed all your courses with flying colors. For graduating students, the last couple of weeks have been especially meaningful. It is a truly great achievement to graduate from Michigan Technological University. (Reminder: Commencement is Saturday, April 28!)

Parents and family members, I would like to recognize you for the support and encouragement that you have offered your student during their time at Michigan Tech. I strongly believe that it is your commitment to your student’s success that has prepared them to create the future both at Michigan Tech and around the world.

Summer Courses

The spring semester will soon come to a close and Track A summer courses will begin. Each summer, many Michigan Tech students take courses on campus or online from Michigan Tech. Summer courses are a great way for students to stay on track with their degree requirements. Even taking just one or two summer classes can allow students to take a smaller course load during the academic year or allow for students to take a co-op during the academic year and still graduate in four years.

I spent the last two summers taking courses at Michigan Tech. By taking summer courses, I am able to graduate a semester early. Overall, I’ve really enjoyed taking summer courses.

One of the key things to remember when taking summer courses is to make sure you stay on top of the course readings and assignments. Most summer courses are offered Monday through Thursday for seven weeks, which requires students to attend the course period four days a week. This means that homework or reading may be assigned and be due the next day.

Course periods in the summer also tend to be a little bit longer than they are in the academic year.  This means it is important for students taking summer courses to attend all course sessions, and take notes and stay awake during course sessions.

Although taking summer courses may sound like a lot of work, it is a great way to get a couple of harder courses out of the way while enjoying the opportunity to study on the beach.

Explore the Keweenaw! Photo Credit: Liz Banda

I have found that one of the best parts of taking summer courses at Tech is the opportunity you have to enjoy all that the Houghton area has to offer in the summertime. Since summer courses typically run Monday through Thursday, it is easy for students to spend their three-day weekends exploring the Keweenaw Peninsula and participating in local summertime festivities.

There are several things to do in the local area over the summer. Some of the summer festivities students enjoy participating in include Keweenaw Bike to Work Day, Bridgefest, the local Fourth of July celebrations, and the Strawberry Festival.  Throughout this summer, I plan on highlighting the various upcoming local events.

Jampot Summer Opening

One of my favorite places to go in the summer is the Jampot. It’s absolutely delicious! A full variety of jams, jellies, and fruitcakes as well as select muffins, cookies, and confections are baked fresh daily. The Jampot is located on State Highway M26, three miles north of Eagle River and five miles south of Eagle Harbor–next to Jacob’s Falls. The Jampot’s opening day will be Friday, April 27. Visit their website,, for more information.

Students Returning Home

For those of you who have a student returning home for the summer, you may notice some changes in your interactions with your student. Going away to college and living away from home provides students with valuable experiences that prepare them to enter the workforce and eventually live entirely on their own.

Because of your student’s time living away from home, you may find that your student’s schedule no longer matches that of your family’s or that your student has created their own set of routines and habits. You may also find that your student is somewhat reluctant to return home. It is most likely not that your student does not want to live with you or spend time with you, but that they miss their college friends and the life that they have created away from home. As students begin to see others around them graduating, they too are looking forward to finishing their degree, getting a full-time job and gaining further independence.

As your student returns home, I encourage you to talk with your student about their experiences living away from home and engage in a discussion of your expectations for one another. Being back together as a family for the summer can be lots of fun. Enjoy your time with your student!

Please feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or suggestions you may have.

Samantha Allen

Spring 2012 Commencement

As the semester wraps up and final exams start, Michigan Tech students are looking forward to summer break—whether they’re heading back home for the summer, taking on an internship, staying in Houghton for summer classes, or graduating and beginning a full-time job. The only thing now that stands between Michigan Tech students and their exciting plans for summer break is a week of final exams!

Commencement Information

For graduating seniors, this week is going to be an especially busy one as they finish up finals, prepare for Commencement, and begin the process of moving to the location of their full-time job or graduate program. This year’s Spring Commencement will take place Saturday, April 28, at 10:30 a.m. in the Student Development Complex Ice Arena.

Graduating students may receive up to four Commencement tickets by showing their photo ID at the Customer Service Center in the Campus Bookstore from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 16, through Thursday, April 26. On Friday, April 27, extra or unclaimed tickets will be distributed from the Student Development Box Office on a first-come, first-served basis.

Graduating students are asked to attend rehearsal in the Student Development Complex Ice Arena on Friday, April 27. The rehearsal is expected to last an hour.

On Saturday, April 28, graduating students are expected to arrive to the Student Development Complex Ice Arena no later than 9:45 a.m. For information regarding seating arrangements, take a look at the undergraduate degree candidates. This link has the names of students who will be walking at Spring 2012 Commencement, as well as which row and seat they will be in.

Lastly, for those of you who would like to have a great photo of your student receiving his or her degree, there will be a professional photographer taking pictures of each student on stage. For more information on how you and your student can get the proofs, and for ordering information, visit graduation photos.

The Commencement speaker will be Martha N. Sullivan. Sullivan earned a bachelor’s degree from Michigan Tech in mechanical engineering in 1985, and has steadily ascended the corporate ladder. She was named president of Sensata Technologies in 2010, in addition to her role as chief operating officer and director of several of Sensata’s operating subsidiaries. Previously she was executive vice president and chief operating officer, a position she had held since Sensata was purchased by Bain Capital from Texas Instruments in 2006.

Sensata Technologies is one of the world’s leading suppliers of sensing, electrical protection, control, and power management solutions. The company, with revenues of $1.8 billion, has manufacturing and technology development centers in eleven countries and employs 11,500 people.

Since her graduation from Michigan Tech, Martha has maintained a close relationship with the University. She is a member of the Presidential Council of Alumnae, has been inducted into the Academy of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, and serves on Michigan Tech’s Generations of Discovery Campaign, which strives to raise $200 million to enable Michigan Tech to realize its goal of being an institution of world-class stature.

Graduate Reception

In addition to Commencement, there will also be two receptions for graduating students to attend with their families. On Friday, April 27, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., the President’s Reception for Graduates, hosted by President and Mrs. Glenn D. Mroz, will take place. The reception will be held in the Memorial Union Ballroom and business casual attire is requested.

In addition to the President’s Reception, several academic departments are hosting receptions for their graduating students on Friday evening.

Taking place after Commencement will be the Graduate Reception, hosted by the Michigan Tech Alumni Association. The Graduate Reception will take place directly after Commencement in the Student Development Complex Multi-Purpose Room. This is a great place for new Michigan Tech alumni to network and learn about alumni benefits and services.

Lastly, after the graduation ceremony, Dining Services will offer a Commencement Brunch from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Memorial Union Ballroom for graduates and their family and friends. Tickets for the brunch are $20 per person and can be purchased at the door or at the Central Ticketing Operations at the Student Development Complex.

I wish all students the best of luck on their final exams and safe travels as they leave for summer break. Parents, for those of you with graduating seniors, I hope you have a wonderful time at Commencement!

Please feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or suggestions you may have.

Samantha Allen

Final Weeks of Spring 2012 Semester

Residence Hall Checkout Procedures

With a little more than one week of regular classes and then final exams, Michigan Tech students are ready for a much needed summer break.

Recently, students residing in the residence halls received the “You Deserve a Break” newsletter in their mailbox and via email. The newsletter contains all the necessary information regarding important checkout procedures.

Before students can leave for summer break, they will need to make sure they return all the furniture in their room to its original setup.  Students will also need to vacuum and clean out their dresser and desk drawers.

Forty-eight hours prior to checking out, students must make a checkout appointment with their Resident Assistant. The Resident Assistant will verify that the student’s furniture is back to the original setup, that the room is clean, and that there are no damages to the room.  The Resident Assistant will provide students with a signed yellow checkout form after checking the room; students will take that form to their residence hall reception desk—along with their key—when they are ready to leave campus.Following this checkout process is very important.  Improper checkout results in a $25 fee and students who do not turn in their key prior to leaving campus will receive a $55-75 fee.  Students who are not graduating this spring must vacate their room and properly check out before noon on Saturday, April 28. Students who are graduating must vacate their room and properly checkout before noon on Sunday, April 29.

Students with extenuating circumstances may request a late departure by filling out the Early Arrival/Late Departure Form at under the online forms link. A fee will be assessed to students registering for late departure.

All the above information also applies to residents in Hillside Place; the only difference is those residents will need to return their yellow checkout form to the reception desk in McNair Hall.


Mail received after Saturday, April 28 will be forwarded to the home address students have on file with the University until June 2.  If a student will have a forwarding address different from their home address, this will need to be indicated on the top portion of their yellow checkout form before turning it in at the residence hall reception desk.

It is also a good idea for students to verify that their home address is correct on Banweb by going to the Personal Information tab and clicking on the View Addresses link.  Mail will only be forwarded until June 4, so it is extremely important for students to notify senders of their change of address as soon as possible.  All mail received after June 2 will be returned to sender.

Reminders for Students:

On Friday, April 27 the DHH and McNair dining halls will close after lunch and the Wadsworth dining hall will close after dinner.  The Campus Café in Wadsworth Hall will close on Friday, April 27 at 1 a.m.

Students who utilized bike storage organized by the Residence Hall Councils will need to make arrangements to retrieve their bike if they have not already. In addition, students must take their bikes home with them for the summer. Public Safety will remove any bikes left on the outside bike racks on Sunday, April 29.

There is limited storage available for students who will be returning to the residence halls next year.  Students may keep a maximum of one box or plastic bin in storage. Please note there is not room in storage for large furniture items such as futons or chairs.  Students who place a box in storage will not be able to access their belongings until the fall.  Residents who are not returning to live in the residence halls may not keep a box in storage.

Final Exams:

Final exams will take place the week of Monday, April 23. Starting Saturday, April 21 at midnight, twenty-two-hour quiet hours will go into effect in the residence halls.  This means that students in the residence halls must remain quiet and be respectful to those who are studying in the residence halls twenty-two hours a day until Friday, April 27 at noon. The consideration hours, in which students can resume their normal daytime volume level, are noon to 1 p.m. and 5 to 6 p.m. daily.

I wish your student the best of luck on final exams.  Please feel free to email me any questions, comments, or suggestions you may have. Don’t forget to check back for next week’s article in which I will be writing about the upcoming spring commencement.

Samantha Allen

Spring into Fun Events

As the semester comes to an end in less than three short weeks, Michigan Tech students have a few more busy and fun-filled weekends ahead of them.

Undergraduate Research Expo


Students at the 2011 Undergraduate Research Expo present their posters to members of the faculty, community, and industry. Photo Credit: Michigan Tech

On Thursday, April 12, the eleventh annual Undergraduate Research Expo will take place in the Memorial Union Building Ballrooms from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Undergraduate Research Expo is a showcase of researchEnterprise and Senior Design projects that students have been working on over the past year or more.

Over 150 different industry and community sponsors support the projects that are on display at the Undergraduate Research Expo. The event provides students with the opportunity to highlight their research and share their results with representatives from industry, community members, students, faculty, and staff.

A panel of judges comprised of University faculty and corporate representatives will review the research projects and present awards to outstanding teams.

If your student is not already planning on attending the Undergraduate Research Expo, I strongly encourage them to stop by and take a look at some of the innovative projects going on at Tech. Chances are your student will be participating in undergraduate research, an Enterprise, or a Senior Design project at some point during his or her time at Michigan Tech.

For more information on the Undergraduate Research Expo, check out the 2012 Undergraduate Expo website. For those of you who have students presenting at the Undergraduate Research Expo, I wish them the best of luck!


Spring Fling

Adding to the fun of the end of the semester is a real campus favorite: Spring Fling. This campus-wide event will take place on Friday, April 13, from noon to 5 p.m. Spring Fling is Michigan Tech’s way of celebrating the arrival of spring and gives students the opportunity to take a break from the stress of prepping for final exams by participating in fun outdoor activities.

This year’s Spring Fling features a luau theme; student organizations will have tables set up around campus for the event and are encouraged to center their games, giveaways, and food choices around the theme. As the centerpiece for the luau, the Memorial Union Board is sponsoring a pig roast and fruit platters served outside of the Memorial Union Building—along with luau-themed dancing inside!

Spring Fling Special Events

Photo Credit: Michigan Tech Student Foundation

On Friday, April 13, the Michigan Tech Student Foundation will be hosting a mud volleyball tournament (fondly referred to by Michigan Tech students as oozeball) in Lot 15E.

Alumni may recall that oozeball used to be held on the campus green—a large field on the east side of campus. Two summers ago, when US41 was expanded, the field was greatly reduced in size. Now, the event is held in an empty parking lot next to Wadsworth Hall.

The Michigan Tech Student Foundation actually had a Senior Design Team develop portable oozeball courts two years ago so the parking lot could be quickly cleared out—and mud free!—at the end of the messy tournament.

In order to participate in oozeball, students must sign up with a team. They will then play at scheduled times throughout the day.


As a reminder, classes are still in session Friday, April 13, and students must still attend their classes that day. Typically, students have breaks throughout the day where they can enjoy the festivities of Spring Fling.

Lastly, Spring Fling is a great place for students to determine which student organizations they may want to get involved with during the next academic year.

Spring Fling is similar to Michigan Tech’s Keweenaw Day (an event held at McLain State Park in the fall) in the sense that many student organizations will have tables set up around campus with activities and giveaways. This provides the perfect opportunity for students to ask questions and learn more about the student organizations that they can participate in.

Please feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or suggestions you may have.

Samantha Allen