Category Archives: Academics

Midterm Outreach

With October comes midterm, and midterm grades were posted for all first-year students on Monday, October 17.  In order to support first-year students, the Waino Wahtera Center for Student Success provides outreach to students who received more than one “UN” (unsatisfactory) midterm grade. Academic Advisors also receive midterm grade reports and are encouraged to contact students they think are struggling. While only first-year students receive midterm grades, midterm is a great time for all students to evaluate what they have been doing and make changes as needed.

If you think your student may benefit from additional support, encourage them to take advantage of some of the academic resources available to them on campus. The Learning Centers provide coaches to help students understand subject material, and coaches are students themselves.  Many centers offer individual tutoring or team-style learning sessions, they are free to students and a great support for their success.  There are other academic support services available to students through the Waino Wahtera Center for Student Success, Counseling Services, and Student Disability Services.

Academic Success Coaches

Academic Success Coaches are successful students who provide direction and support to peers who need assistance developing the skills that support success and retention like how to study, time management, using campus resources and working with faculty.  The coaches have their own space in the Waino Wahtera Center for Student Success and students can choose to schedule an appointment or stop by during walk-in hours.  Coaches represent a variety of backgrounds, majors and life experiences. Coaching appointments and walk-in hours are available 10:00 AM-5:00 PM Monday –Friday.

Bob Mark Elevator Pitch Competition

Hello parents!

I hope everyone has been doing well. I’m sure people would agree that the weather up here has been crazy. Students have been studying and enjoying the sun. We’re two weeks into November and today is the first real snow we’ve seen.  Students have registered for broom ball teams for next semester and are starting to think ahead to Winter Carnival. One of the events that  occurred this week is the Bob Mark Elevator Pitch Competition.

The Bob Mark Elevator Pitch Competition is an annual opportunity for students with great ideas to present those ideas in front of an audience and compete for prize money. This is event is hosted by the School of Business and Economics and is open to all students. Using an elevator pitch, students make a two minute long speech to explain a business idea before a panel of expert judges . This year the first place winner receives $1,000 cash, a $5,000 expense account, 1 year of Smartzone office space, and $2,500 worth of business consulting.  Prizes are also awarded for second and third place, as well as audience favorite. There are some very impressive ideas that come through this competition from the crazy smart students we have here at Michigan Tech.

In addition to the Bob Mark Elevator Pitch competition, there are plenty of opportunities for students to get involved on campus while still being able to focus on exams and final projects. From Film Board movies to mini golf hosted by MUB Board, the opportunities for fun study breaks are always around.

If there are any questions, feel free to email me at Have a good week!


41 North Film Festival

Hello Parents!

Hard to believe we’re already eight weeks into the semester. For better or worse, we’re settling into one of the most important times for students (in my opinion). The weather keeps getting colder and it won’t be too long before we start seeing the snow stick. There are still some awesome things happening on campus this week, including the 41 North Film Festival, October 23-25.

The 11th annual 41 North Film Festival, formerly known as the Northern Lights Film Festival, shows independent films that are released and Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 9.57.51 AMin discussion at the moment. It is an event that is getting students and the local community involved in the world of these films throughout the weekend. The films are absolutely free and open to the public. In addition to the films themselves, this festival allows the audience to interact with the filmmakers, producers, and other people in the industry. “Destination Cinema at Michigan Tech” is providing a chance for students and community members take a look at this films and gain some new perspective through watching the films and discussions about them.

In addition to the critically acclaimed movies that are being shown in the Rozsa, there will also be prizes at each screening. Sponsors have donated items to be raffled off throughout the weekend. Between the afternoon and evening screenings there will be live music shows in the Rozsa lobby. These are local bands and there will be a different one for each day of the festival. Additionally, attendees will have the opportunity to order food from local places and have it delivered after the afternoon screening, during the break.

With plenty of cool things going on, it can be difficult to want to stay in and study. However students here have some of the best work ethics and can always be seen the library or in a classroom getting things done. If there are any questions about events or happenings around Michigan Tech, feel free to email me at

Have a good weekend!


Fall Career Fair

Hello Parents!

I hope everyone has had a good week! It is definitely starting to feel more like fall up here and with that comes some great opportunities around campus, including the Fall Career Fair on Tuesday, September 29 in the Student Development Complex (SDC). There seems to be a continuing trend of having the biggest career fair yet and this fall is no exception with 369 registered companies. As many of you probably know, there are a lot of alumni that come back to career fair as recruiters.

The 369 companies that come to Houghton, specifically looking for Michigan Tech students, represent everything from construction companies to places like IBM. Regardless of where someone is in their academic career, there are opportunities to hand the companies a resume and present their elevator speech.There are numerous companies for students to talk to about co-op or internship opportunities to gain experience before graduation. For graduating seniors, there are many companies looking for full time employees as well.  Following Career Fair, many companies stay in Houghton to schedule and conduct interviews in person.

To help prepare for this potentially stressful time for students, Career Services has lots of resources that any student can  take advantage of to improve their chances of getting a job. Some of the biggest events they hold are the Resume Blitz and mock interviews.  Mock interviews can be scheduled to help ease some anxiety or stress in talking to a company representative with useful feedback. The resume blitzes give students another set of eyes to check out what could be improved on their resumes. Career Services also provides help with dressing appropriately, professional name tags and head shots.

In addition to these resources, the companies and other student organizations hold events to help students get to know them and their company. The individual companies hold information sessions to give students an opportunity to get to know them before deciding whether or not to pursue opportunities there. Sponsored by the Society of Women Engineers, the Evening with Industry is another way to get to know company representatives before career fair. For additional information, follow this link to the career services website.

As you can tell, career fair is taken pretty seriously at Michigan Tech. Through this, students are able to connect with companies, expand their networks, and hopefully get experience through jobs. I mentioned before that many alumni come back to Tech for this specifically. They keep coming back because they know the quality of work that these students produce and what they can do for the respective companies.

If anyone has any questions, feel free to email me at

Have a good week!


Fall Semester has begun!

Hello Parents!

I hope everyone has enjoyed the last bit of summer. In Houghton, we’ve had some HOT weather for the start of classes. My guess is that summer is trying to hold on by a thread before we start the rather quick descent into the winter months. In the midst of Welcome Week, campus is buzzing with activity. Students and faculty are hurrying to get to classes, the computers in the library are full and tapping on the keyboards is constant, and friends are hanging out in the gardens and sitting on the benches throughout campus. There are plenty of things to be excited about for this fall too, including traditions that take place at the beginning of the school year.

One of these traditions is KDay (the “K” stands for Keweenaw Day) and is one of the best times at Michigan Tech. Taking place on the Friday, September 11 at McLain’s State Park, this event provides an opportunity for new and returning students learn about all of the student organizations and opportunities for involvement while enjoying Lake Superior and the outdoors. From Greek Life to Rugby, Anthropology Club to Fishing Club, there is a wide variety of options to get involved and meet plenty of people.  If you want to learn more about KDay, follow this link.

KDay is one of the first traditions that students can experience here at Michigan Tech.
KDay is one of the first traditions that students can experience here at Michigan Tech.


Along with all the events and activities specifically set up for Welcome Week and the beginning of the school year, there are also Michigan Tech Athletes that are getting into action. Fall sports such as football, soccer, volleyball, and cross country are starting their competitions for the year. The first home game for the football team is tonight, Thursday September 3 at 6PM. The Women’s soccer and volleyball teams begin on Friday, September 4. To keep up with the Michigan Tech Huskies Athletics throughout the year, click this link. Also, if students are interested in participating in sports outside of the Varsity sports, there are tons of intramurals to stay active. Follow this link to learn more.

With everything getting started and so much to get involved in, it can be easy to lose sight of why we’re really here as students. Luckily, we have amazing faculty, staff, and student leaders that encourage getting involved while remaining aware of our studies and the work we must put in to our classes. Michigan Tech is truly a great place to be. As always, if there are any questions, feel free to email me at

Have a good week!


Orientation Week

Hello Parents!

Orientation Week (O-Week) can bring out the best in students.  There is a lot to gain from participating in this week as they learn all about what Michigan Tech has to offer!  They are assisted by their Orientation

Throughout O-Week there are activities available to get new students involved.
Throughout O-Week there are activities available to get new students involved.

Team Leaders (OTLs) in realizing their potential, and they are provided the time and opportunity to get out and explore. Whether that exploration be of the campus, the community, the Keweenaw, or all the groups and clubs, there is no shortage of options. There is definitely something for everyone.

One of the most important parts of O-Week is the Orientation Team Leaders. These are students who have been hired to work with incoming first-year students, and they provide valuable insight on Michigan Tech and university life. During the week, the OTLs work with groups of students to debrief after presentations, tour buildings and campus resources, and build relationships before the beginning of the semester. I had a great experience with my OTL, and I am still able to go to him with questions or even just to talk. I cannot say enough about how awesome OTLs truly are. They put in the effort to be available to first-year students and provide a smooth and fun transition into the throes of college life.

Another part of O-Week that is incredibly useful and interesting for all students is Day Zero. It was one of my favorite parts about orientation.  Day Zero classes are meant to give students an idea of what  some of the core or university wide classes are like (such as Calculus, Chemistry, and Global Issues), and they are set up to introduce professors and the material to be covered. It is an invaluable experience to get a head start on the semester and see what’s going on.

Of course, there is a significant amount of other activities, presentations, and events that occur during O-Week. There is always a chance to get involved, whether it be with trips around the Keweenaw,  free movies put on by Film Board, or on-campus events. The events that students participate in during O-Week can translate into involvement during the school year, new friends, and a better idea of everything that Michigan Tech has to offer.

There is plenty to do and see while in the Keweenaw. For more information on the schedule of events during Move-In Weekend and Orientation Week, click here. Otherwise, feel free to contact me at

Have a great week!


End of Summer

Hello Parents!

As you all know, the last few of weeks of summer are here. I hope you enjoy what you can before the school year starts and everyone gets busy! In Houghton, we’re in the last week of classes for Track B and have seen a change in the weather. After some very dry weeks, we have started to get some rain and things are looking beautiful. Keep in mind the weather up here, like in many other places, is unpredictable. I would recommend having your student bring a fan with them, as well as any fall or winter jackets that will come in handy later on in the semester.


One tradition during Orientation Week is the HUGE banana split.
One tradition during Orientation Week is the HUGE banana split.

As I’ve noted above, the end of summer is upon us and that means students (and parents) have to be ready to come to Michigan Tech for the fall semester. For first year students, Orientation week will be an awesome experience to get to know people interested in the same kinds of things and start to experience all that Michigan Tech has to offer. It is a very busy week for those students, but definitely worth every minute! From Day Zero classes to trips around the Keweenaw, there is plenty of things going on to stay active and involved from the start of Orientation week until the first day of classes. In my blog post next week, I’ll talk about the events occurring during Orientation Week until then for more information, follow this link.

To be prepared for the upcoming school year, one of the best things to remember is to double check what is needed and figure out if you have it. This could be anything from a good backpack, to pens and pencils, to clothes to match the weather. It is a huge transition to go from high school to college and Orientation Week is meant to make that transition as easy as possible. Once the fall semester starts and classes get going, the best advice I have for students is to get into a routine. Eat meals at the same times every day, go to all classes, and complete homework at the same time every day. By being in this routine, students will be able to adapt to college life smoothly.

Remember, if there are any questions about this information or anything else, you can email me at I hope everyone has a good week and an enjoyable end to their summer!


LeaderShape 2014

Hello Parents,

This week marks the half-way point for students this semester! We only have seven more weeks of classes until the end—Winter Break—and five more

2013 LeaderShape Alumni
2013 LeaderShape Alumni

until Thanksgiving break. It has definitely flown by! This part of the semester is always the hardest because it’s the longest stretch with no breaks. But it just makes the semester go by that much more quickly!

Applications are now available for students to apply for the LeaderShape® Institute. LeaderShape® is a weeklong leadership retreat that teaches students of all levels what it means and what it takes to be successful, effective leaders. The program focuses on how to “lead with integrity” and incorporates many concentrated and interactive activities for students to learn what this means in an intensive, hands-on approach. The institute takes place during the last week of Winter Break, January 6–11, so participants do not miss classes. Thanks to many generous donations from Michigan Tech and LeaderShape® alumni, it costs just $100 for students to participate.

I myself am a 2012 LeaderShape® alumna, so I’m very excited to be sharing this topic with you today! LeaderShape® was definitely an unforgettable and once-in-a lifetime experience that is invaluable to students seeking to be the best leaders they can be. Here’s what other students say about LeaderShape®:

”For me, LeaderShape® was an opportunity to explore who I am: my strengths and weaknesses as a person and as a leader. The environment was so open that I felt I could talk about who I am now and who I strive to be in the future without fear of criticism. LeaderShape® helped me set goals for the kind of world I want to create and equipped me with new resources to go pursue my dreams. To me, the ideal of LeaderShape® wasn’t to TEACH us how to be leaders, but rather to BUILD us into leaders.” – Will Lehman, fourth-year psychology major, 2013 LeaderShape® alumnus

“LeaderShape® provided me an amazing opportunity to meet many student leaders from across Michigan Tech’s campus. Starting each day bright and early, the week is filled with intense and thought-provoking activities. At night I had the opportunity to get to know the friends I was making on a deeper level, and while I did not know it at the time, they would become an essential part of my future growth in my courses and around campus. A big part of LeaderShape ® is the development of a vision. I suppose mine was originally just a dream, the chance to make a difference around the world by working on a service project. Today I am a member of the Pavlis Institute for Global Technological Leadership and will be traveling to Ghana during the summer of 2014. Opportunities like LeaderShape® have long-lasting effects; I am so glad I had the privilege to meet the people and have the experiences that I did.” – Brandon Martinez, third-year scientific and technical communications major, 2012 LeaderShape® alumnus

“LeaderShape® was a life-changing experience. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to better themselves as a leader. The program is structured in such a way that you learn how to become a better leader by first learning about yourself (how you think/make decisions, what your morals are, etc.) and then applying that knowledge to your interactions with others. LeaderShape® gave me opportunities to make connections with other students who share a common goal of bettering the world. Many of these connections have turned into friendships that I believe have changed me for the better.” – Kristin Flickinger, third-year biomedical engineering major, 2013 LeaderShape® alumna

As you can see, LeaderShape® is a truly unique experience that caters to all different kinds of leadership styles, helping students grow and proliferate as confident leaders. For more info, check out  LeaderShape®.

That’s all for this week! If you have any questions or comments about LeaderShape® or other university happenings, please feel free to email me at


Summer Youth Programs


Though the weather has once again taken a turn for the worse, summer is technically in full swing at Michigan Tech. Even though campus is a bit quieter during the summer months with many students away, it is still a busy time behind the scenes. Not only are Track A summer courses underway, but many departments around campus are preparing for a variety of summer programs and events.

Summer Youth Programs (SYP)

Summer Youth Programs are a popular and fun series of explorations that are geared toward high school and middle school students. There are three types of programs available.

Mind Trekkers Summer Camps are aimed at students who are in grades 6–8, and are hands-on with plenty of activities. They allow students to explore the Keweenaw, learn about basic laboratory techniques, and use some of the latest computer software.

Pre-college Explorations are for students in grades 9–11 and offer the chance to experience what college might be like without worrying about assignments and grades. They allow students to explore and get involved with different areas of engineering, science, and computer programming.

Finally, Competitive Scholarship programs offer highly-competitive scholarships to talented 9–11 grade students. They allow students to immerse themselves in a specific area of science or engineering. All of these programs focus on teamwork, networking with professionals working in the field, and learning how to be a successful college student.

From forensics and computer programming to wolf/moose tracking and robotics, there is a wide variety of courses to fit the interests of any student.

All of these programs last for one week and take place at the end of June and throughout July. There is a complete schedule for all of the programs and their important dates online. In addition to being an excellent introduction to college life, these explorations are a great way for students to meet other motivated students with similar interests from around the world. Students get the chance to live in the Michigan Tech residence halls with a roommate of the same age and gender.

Student Staff

Camps are run with the assistance of student staff members who work as activity and residence counselors. Activity counselors plan fun and engaging evening activities and games for students when they are not taking part in their exploration activities. These can include trips to the beach, card games, or many outdoor games. Residence counselors are there to supervise students when they are in their rooms and at meal times. The residence counselors live in the halls with the participants, with approximately ten students to each residence counselor. Residence counselors hold meetings each night to let participants know about the activities that are coming up the next day.