Archives—March 2015

Upcoming Events and the Spring Weather

Hello Parents,

The Don Keranen Memorial Jazz Show will take place this Saturday, March 28 at 6:00 pm at the Rozsa Center
The Don Keranen Memorial Jazz Show will take place this Saturday, March 28 at 6:00 pm at the Rozsa Center

I hope you’re all having a great week! Now that the sun is out and here to stay, enduring the next few weeks of the semester will be a breeze! We also have some exciting events coming up this week that your students might take interest in.

First of all, the Phi Sigma Biological Sciences Honor Society has been hosting their annual Biology Week this week starting Monday, March 23 and extending through Friday, March 27!  Events include a Bone Marrow Registry, an undergraduate research presentation, Biology Jeopardy night, a showing of the movie Osmosis Jones, a presentation on a mobile clinic established in Lima, Peru, an exhibit on anxiety and depression, and more! The week is designed to spread awareness of the biological sciences and health on campus and incorporates other biology-related organizations in the week as well. The organizations include the Pre-Health Association at Tech (PHAT), the Society of Medical Laboratory Scientists (SMLS), MedLife, the Wildlife Society, and Wellness. This is a fantastic opportunity for students to get involved on campus and learn more about biology. For a detailed list of the events taking place during Biology Week, please visit the Biological Sciences Department website.

In addition to Biology Week, the 48th annual Don Keranen Memorial Jazz Show will take place on Saturday, March 28 at 6:00 pm at the Rozsa Center! Don Keranen (1942-2000) is considered to be one of the most talented musicians to have come from the local area. He attended Northern Michigan University, where he received a degree in music and continued on to the University of Oregon for graduate studies. He played a wide variety of instruments, performed as a vocalist, and composed and arranged musical works. Keranen developed the jazz studies program here at Tech and established what is now known as the Superior Wind  Symphony. The performance taking place this Saturday will be under the direction of Mike Irish and will include internationally-known jazz singer Kathy Kosins, an ASCAP award-winning songwriter/vocalist. If your students are interested in jazz or are looking for a thrilling night full of music and fun, I would highly recommend that they attend the concert! It’s free for students via the Experience Tech fee, and is sure to be an invigorating performance. For more information on the Don Keranen Memorial Jazz Show, please visit the Rozsa Center website.

With the end of the semester drawing near and the sun shining, it can be easy to for students to get antsy as they itch to break their cabin fever. With the snow melting, there are a lot of ways to incorporate outside activities to both enjoy the gorgeous weather and relieve the ensuing stress that will come as we approach the end of the semester. With the snow melting, the Michigan Tech Trails are a great way to release energy. In the winter, the trails are open for snowshoeing, snow-biking, and cross country skiing; but when the snow is melted, the trails are open for mountain biking, running, and hiking. Students can take advantage of other hiking spots in the area as well, including the Nara Nature Trails in Houghton, which are interconnected with the Michigan Tech Trails, and the Maasto Hiihto trails which are located across the bridge in Hancock. There are also outdoor tennis courts, basketball courts, and rollerblading trails that are great to take advantage of as the spring approaches. Each surround Michigan Tech’s campus, so these are fantastic activities to participate in especially if your student doesn’t have much time to spare. In addition to these particular outside venues, there are other outdoor activities right on campus that students can get involved in! Students can throw a frisbee around, toss the football back and forth, play catch with a baseball, etc. right on campus! If the outdoor weather isn’t doing it for your students, they can always check out the Student Development Complex (SDC), which includes a vast multi-purpose area for basketball, badminton, volleyball, a track, a swimming pool, and racquetball and squash courts! There are a plethora of activities to do both inside outside to relieve stress. Burning energy and getting some fresh air is an extremely effective way to help students stay focused during this critical time of the semester, so I hope they find some way to stay active!

That’s all I have for you this week! If you have any questions about any of the items mentioned above, or would like to see more information written on a specific topic, please feel free to email me at I hope you all enjoy the week and enjoy the weather in each of your own home towns! Until next week!



Fall Registration and Preview Day

Hello Parents,

Michigan Tech's annual Preview Day will take place this Saturday, March 21.
Michigan Tech’s annual Preview Day will take place this Saturday, March 21.

I hope you’re all having a great week! As students have been coming back to campus from their travels during spring break, it’s obvious they have brought the beautiful weather with them! The warm temperatures and bright, shining sun have finally been welcomed back to Houghton to give students something to look forward to as we finish up the last five weeks of the semester. I hope the weather’s been just as beautiful in each of your hometowns!

There’s a lot to look forward to as we approach the final stretch of the year. Registration for fall 2015 courses has already begun and will last through Sunday, April 5. Students’ registration times are based on the number of credits they’ve earned at the time of registration, giving priority first to the students with the most credits earned and continuing through to the students with the least credits earned. Registering for the right classes at the right time is extremely important, and it’s absolutely essential to plan ahead. Here are a few tricks I’ve learned during my time here at Tech that your students can use to make sure they’re ready:

  1. Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor to make sure you’re taking the courses you need in order to graduate on time. I’ve heard horror stories about students who registered for all of their courses without consulting their advisor, and didn’t graduate when they expected to because they forgot to take a course or mixed up the number of credits they needed for a certain concentration. This is the most important thing to do when preparing to register!

  2. Try to register as soon as your registration time opens. It’s not smart to leisurely log on a half hour after registration opens for you and try to register. Make sure you know what you can and want to take beforehand so you’re ready when the time comes. It’s important to be savvy, prepared, and quick when you’re registering to make sure you can get into the classes you want to take.

  3. Pick as many back-up courses as possible, just in case there’s no more room in the PE course you really want to take, or the elective course you were counting on getting into. This is an easy tip to forget, but it’s really important if you want to get into the courses that interest you the most. If you don’t pick any backups, by the time you find another course that fits in your schedule that you want to take, it will probably already be filled.

To register, students must log onto Banweb, and click on Students, Registration, then Add/Drop Classes. To view the potential courses your students might want to take, they can follow the same steps but click Look Up Classes to Add instead of Add/Drop classes. As a parent, you may also be able to log onto your student’s account and access this information via Guest Access. Through Guest Access, your students can grant you access to their electronic bill notification, tuition bill and associated holds, emergency contact information, financial aid awards, unofficial academic transcript, midterm grades, term end grades, and class schedules. For info on how to be granted guest access to your student’s account, please visit the Guest Access website or contact the Registrar’s Office.

In addition to the fall registration, Preview Day is coming up this Saturday, March 21! Preview Day is an all-day event dedicated to students and their families who are already admitted to Michigan Tech to learn more about who we are as a university and see if we are the right fit for them. You and your student may have been to a past Preview Day yourselves! During Preview Day, students will attend informational sessions about academics, co-ops, internships, housing, financial aid, and scholarships; meet and talk with faculty, staff, and current students; and experience a taste of college life by exploring campus, visiting the residence halls, and touring academic departments. Preview Day is a great opportunity for Michigan Tech to show off what we have, and to draw in new students to study here.

In addition to these two events, the 23rd annual Copper Country Bowl for Kids fundraiser will also take place on Saturday, March 21 to help benefit our local Big Brothers Big Sisters organization. Big Brothers Big Sisters is a nation-wide mentoring program designed to provide children who are facing adversity with strong and enduring one-to-one relationships that help them realize their potential. Bowling sessions will start at noon, 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm at The Mine Shaft bowling alley. Individuals and teams are invited to register for this special event to help Big Brothers Big Sisters raise funds for local programs exclusively benefiting the youth in the Copper Country. This fun and meaningful event is a fantastic opportunity for your students to both get more involved in the community, and to help those in need. For more information about the Bowl for Kids fundraiser or about Big Brothers, Big Sisters, please contact

That’s all I have for you this week! If you have any questions about registration, Preview Day, or Big Brothers Big Sisters, please feel free to contact me at I hope you all have a great weekend. Until next week!


Spring Break 2015

Hello Parents,

A photo of Michigan Tech's campus in the late spring. Although our spring break is around the corner, Houghton still have lots of snow to keep us in the winter spirit. But this beautiful view is what we have to look forward to in the coming weeks!
A photo of Michigan Tech’s campus in the late spring. Although our spring break is around the corner, Houghton still have lots of snow to keep us in the winter spirit. But this beautiful view is what we have to look forward to in the coming weeks!

I hope you’re all having a great week! We have officially started Track B this week, and are embarking on the second half of the semester. Spring break is just around the corner now and students are longing for the sunshine, relaxation, and adventure that comes with the vacation from school. However, with the break comes a few updates to be aware of:

If your students are leaving campus for the break, please make sure they complete the following before leaving to save energy in their residence hall room:

  1. Turn off all lights

  2. Unplug any non-essential electrical equipment

  3. Turn off your alarm clock

  4. Make sure windows are closed and locked

  5. Empty any perishable foods from your refrigerator

  6. Empty the trash

  7. Make sure the door is locked

If your student is still in need of a ride from campus, they can find transportation via Michigan Tech’s very own Barkboard, an online student forum used only by Michigan Tech students for rides, buying or selling textbooks, off-campus housing, and much more. Using Barkboard, students can post for both a ride request or an extra rider if they have an spare seat and are looking for more people to help split the cost of gas. This is extremely convenient for students who live in close proximity to each other so they can carpool and share the cost.

If your students are planning to leave their vehicle on campus during the break, they must park it in the northwest side of commuter Lot 26 by Sunday, March 8 at 11:00 pm, and move it back into their assigned lot by Sunday, March 15 by 11:00 pm. If your student leaves their vehicle in their assigned lot over break, it may be towed away (at the owner’s expense) due to snow plowing services. Please advise your students to leave their vehicles in Lot 26 until at least 5:00 pm on Friday, March 13 for plowing purposes. If your student will be staying on campus over break and will be regularly using their vehicle, please have them visit Transportation Services in the Administration Building for an accommodation.

If your students are not planning to go home and want to stay in their residence hall room during break, they must complete the “Register to Stay for the Break” registration form before Thursday, March 5. There is no charge to stay on campus over break, but it’s important to remember that the dining hall will be closed after lunch in Douglass Houghton Hall and McNair, and after dinner in Wadsworth Hall on March 6. All three dining halls will remain closed until Monday, March 16 at the normal serving hours. Although the dining halls will be closed, kitchenettes within the residence halls will be open, and the MUB Food Mall will be open from 8:00 am – 3:00 pm on March 9 – 13. If your student will leave late (after March 7), or will return early (before March 15), they must also register using the above form.

In addition to the closed dining halls, all residence hall entrances will be locked starting  8:00 pm on Friday, March 6. Only students that have registered to stay on campus over break will have access to the residence halls, and they will be able to enter the building using their student ID card. The main entrance doors to the residence halls will reopen on Sunday, March 15 at 7:00 am.

All of these items are important aspects to remember when leaving for spring break. If you or your students have any questions about spring break or preparing their rooms for the vacation, please feel free to email me at If your student is returning home for the break, I hope you have a wonderful time with them and that they fill you in on all their adventures so far this semester! Have a great week!