Archives—March 2014

Taking a Break

Hello Parents,

I hope you’re all having a great week!  As students head into the remaining 5 weeks of the semester, it’s common for everyone to start feeling restless and ready for the bright, warm, and hope-restoring weather of springtime after these long winter months.  Now that the weather here is becoming more mild and less bitter, students can start exploring the outdoors again!  After slaving away with homework, lab reports, essays, and poring over textbooks, now’s the time for students to step away from the computer, clear their minds, and recharge with a little fresh air.

A bike path at Nara Nature Park.  Photo courtesy of TripAdvisor.
A bike path at Nara Nature Park. Photo courtesy of TripAdvisor.

There are a plethora of great places to explore in the Keweenaw, especially this time of year.  As always, students can enjoy winter sports such as cross country and alpine skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing on the Tech Trails and Mont Ripley, as I mentioned in the Winter Weather article I posted last month (feel free to refer to this article for more information on winter activities in the Keweenaw). These facilities available at not cost to Michigan Tech students, so it’s a great deal to take advantage of them!

Students can also explore the glorious nature trails of the Keweenaw at Nara Nature Park, which is connected to the Tech Trails. The 100-acre nature park is open for cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and in the warmer months for hiking, running, biking, and exploring. The trails go down near the Keweenaw Waterwayl and house a plethora of wildlife and beautiful scenery for hikers.

In addition to these trails, the Maasto Hiihto trails in Hancock also offer cross country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter along with hiking and biking in the warmer months. Connecting with the Churning Rapids trails, there are over 25 km of terrain to explore, not to mention the beautiful scenic routes along the way, including breathtaking views of the Keweenaw Waterway, Ruby Marsh, and the beautifully wooded forest.

If your students are interested in a little more adventure, there a variety of waterfalls in the area that are exciting to explore both in the winter and springtime months.  Some of the famous ones include Hungarian Falls in Lake Linden and various waterfalls near Copper Harbor, including Jacob’s Falls and Montreal Falls. Their beauty is absolutely astounding in both seasons.

These are all great ways to help students relax a little bit and to take some time to step away from the stresses of academia and enjoy a little time for themselves, which I’m sure is much needed at this point in the semester. It’s easy to forget about the importance of study breaks when work starts to pile up. Some of my favorite ways to unwind during this time of the semester is to take some time to myself and play intramural sports with my friends, dabble a little bit with my guitar, and I always make sure to get a little exercise to release the stresses of academic life. Other great ways your student can release  their ever-building stress is using the SDC’s multipurpose room, exercise facilities, or pool; going for a jog along the canal, taking a mental break and listening to calming music, practicing breathing exercises, and making time to partake in the hobbies they enjoy.

That’s it for this week!  I hope your students are finding fun and healthy ways to relieve the stresses in their lives.  If you have any questions about any of the facilities or resources I mentioned in this post, please feel free to email me at  Until next week!


Return from Break

Hello Parents,

I hope your students enjoyed their time off with spring break!  It was definitely well deserved, as students escaped the bitter cold we’ve been experiencing here for the last few weeks—although the bright sunshine we’ve been having makes it all much more tolerable and even a bit enjoyable! As we approach the ninth week of the semester, we’re beginning to head into the meat of the semester as there are only six more weeks until summer break. It’s hard to believe how fast it flies by! Time always seems to go by faster in the spring semester because of the multiple breaks we have, the many events that take place, and the sunshine we have, which makes everyone antsy for summer.

I would like to extend my apologies for the lack of articles the last two weeks.  There was a miscommunication on our end and I apologize that it affected your weekly reading. But I have a feeling this article will make up for it as I go over the many events that will be taking place this week!

The first happening this week is the Current Students Roommate Matching online match program, which will take place from Monday, March 17 to Monday, March 31.  Students who have registered to live in the residence halls for the 2014-2015 academic year and don’t already have a roommate are invited to participate by creating an online profile and view the profiles of other students to help them find a new roommate. Students who don’t find roommates through the online match program will be assigned to other students who also don’t yet have roommates. If you have any questions about the Current Students Roommate Matching program, please contact Housing and Residential Life at

The next big event this week is Pride Week. Pride Week takes place every spring semester and commemorates the culture, community, and identity of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (GLBTQ) community within the local area and at Michigan Tech. This celebration is sponsored by Keweenaw Pride and includes events such as film screenings, guest speakers and panel discussions, and the 14th Annual Drag Show. For more information about events for the 2014 Pride Week, please see the events poster.

The ESC/BRC Student Research Forum will take place on Wednesday, March 19.  Graduate and undergraduate students in the fields of ecosystem science and biotechnology will present their research posters with an award show to follow. This is a great opportunity for students to attend, if they’re interested in participating in research or are currently enrolled in either of these programs of study to see how they can apply their degree into something tangible.

H.M.S. Pinafore will also take place on Wednesday, March 19. This fully staged production of the exciting story of high seas romance and captivating chicanery will be performed by the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players (NYGASP), which is in its fourth decade of operation!  This spectacular event is only $5 for Michigan Tech students.

A Peace Corps info session will take place on Thursday, March 20.  Any student interested in potentially joining the Peace Corps is invited to attend and learn more about what it means to volunteer and how to go about the application process. Michigan Tech also offers several Peace Corps Master’s International degrees, so the session will also provide information about this opportunity as well. This is a great opportunity for students to start thinking about their futures and how they want to give back to the global community.

Fall registration starts Wednesday, March 20 and will extend through April 6.  Students’ registration times are based on the amount of credits earned at the time of registration.  The registration priority schedule outlines when students can start signing up for courses.  Students can see how many credits they’ve earned by logging on to Banweb, clicking on Students, Student Records, and finally on Academic Transcript (Unofficial).  It’s important for your students to schedule an appointment with their advisors before they register to make sure that they’re taking the courses they need in order to graduate on time. I’ve heard horror stories of students about to finish up their last semester when their advisor points out they didn’t take a class that they need for their degree and are then unable to graduate. No one wants this to happen to your students! Please remind them of the importance of going over their potential classes with their advisor.

Preview Day will take place this Saturday, March 22.  As you may already know, Preview Day is sponsored by the Office of Admissions and is designed for students who have already been accepted to Michigan Tech to explore the opportunities Tech has to offer them, as they get a better feel for what college is really like. There are many events and sessions for parents and students to attend, such as information on internships and co-ops, financial aid and scholarships, and it even includes complimentary day passes to Mont Ripley, the SDC, and the MUB Bowling Alley! Perhaps the most important event will be the academic department tours, where students can get a better idea of what they might want to study while at Michigan Tech and get a better sense of the department they’ll be working with for the duration of their college career.

As you can see, there is a lot going on this week!  Please feel free to email me at if you have any questions about any of these events or if you would like to see more information written on a specific topic. Hope you have a great rest of the week, and I look forward to writing for you again next week!

Until next time!