Category Archives: Communication

Finishing out the semester

Welcome back!

Students have all safely returned to campus and are getting back to the grind, ready to finish out the last few weeks of the  fall 2012 semester with a bang. Campus may be a little colder and whiter than when we all headed home for the Thanksgiving holiday, but the routine is pretty much the same. Hopefully you all had the opportunity to enjoy some relaxation, lots of good food, and some holiday shopping with your students while they were back home with you over break. I know that at least for me, break was a great way to recharge and brace myself for the end of the semester.


Even though 3 weeks may seem like a pretty significant amount of time, when it comes to final exams and end-of-semester papers and projects, it goes by in a flash. This semester’s final exam period will be Monday, December 17 through Friday, December 21. Even though most students aren’t quite back to full mental capacity and are still partially on break, now is the time to start thinking about how to prepare for finals. By getting a jump start, students will be able to reduce the stress and often overwhelming amount of work that comes with finals week. Preparation and organization are key to finishing any semester strong, so here are a few strategies that I’ve learned through my four years at Michigan Tech.

Get organized: This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s shocking how quickly things can get out of hand when the workload increases and deadlines are coming up quickly. Many students keep a planner with all of their assignments and exams written down in one convenient location, and it’s important to keep this up-to-date. Another great way to stay organized is keep to-do lists for each week and to set goals for what you’d like to get accomplished. This helps with motivation because nothings feels better than crossing something off of the list and moving on to the next task! Finally, using Google Calendar and Google Drive are super useful for keeping everything straight when times are hectic. Google Calendar allows students to put all of their classes, exams, meetings, and deadlines on one calendar so that they can see an overview of what they need to do and when they need to do it. Google Drive provides an organized way to keep assignments in one spot so things don’t get lost or buried in the pile of papers on a desk.

Get some extra help: This is a huge one that many students overlook. When studying for finals, remind your students that they are not alone. Learning centers, professors, and teaching assistants are all there to answer any questions and clarify any unclear concepts. Michigan Tech has a learning center for almost any subject that you can think of, including writing, math, biology, engineering, physics, and chemistry just to name a few! Each learning center is staffed by students who have been successful in the courses associated with the center. Most centers offer walk-in appointments or weekly sessions, depending on the level of support a student needs. Professors and teaching assistants have office hours that students can visit if they have a specific question about a lecture topic or assignment. This is time that is set aside specifically for students and any questions that they may have. Not only is this a great way to get inside information directly from the instructor, but it allows students to develop a connection with their professors. Another way to get a little extra assistance is to form study groups with other students in the same course. Working as a group gives students a wider knowledge base and different perspectives on how to solve a problem or answer a question. Also, everyone has different learning styles and unique approaches to studying, so working with others can introduce students to strategies and techniques that they haven’t tried before.

Students hard at work

Stay healthy: When things get busy, it’s often easy to sacrifice sleep, exercise, and proper nutrition to stay on top of things. However, it’s important for students to keep in mind that the last thing they need during finals is be sick. Treat school like a 9 to 5 job, so when night comes there’s some time to recharge and get some rest. Of course there will be a need to study and do some work at night, but if students get the majority of assignments out of the way during the day, things will seem much more manageable. Also, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule is very important and helps to ensure that students are getting the rest that they need to get everything done! Many students feel that they are too busy to fit exercise into their crazy schedules during finals. However, exercise doesn’t have to mean hours in the gym. A brief jog, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or doing some push-ups and crunches in their room is much better than nothing at all. A healthy body means a healthy mind, which is something that every student needs. Finally, remind your student to make smart choices in the dining halls and to avoid using food as a way to deal with the stress. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables gives busy students the energy they need to keep up with their schedules. Avoid sugary and fried foods that will only slow the body down and go for nutritious and healthy options instead!

Keep calm and carry on: Remember not to freak out! Many students think they need to spend every waking moment studying and doing homework, and while it is important to dedicate time and put forth effort when it comes to their studies, students must also take time to unwind. Studying and working nonstop is a recipe for getting burned out. It’s important to set aside some time to chat with friends, read for leisure, watch a little TV, or do a bit of web surfing to relax and recharge. Studying is important, but research has shown that 2-3 hours is the maximum amount of uninterrupted time that someone can study something and still absorb information. Students should take brief study breaks to get the most out of study sessions.

These are just a few tips that I’ve found helpful during finals and I hope your student will find them useful as well! One of the most important things that you can do as parents is to just be supportive. Take the frantic phone calls in stride, offer words of encouragement, and be the shoulder that your student can lean on when things get busy. As a survivor of six finals weeks, I can attest that your students will get through this. Even after all of the “I just know I failed!” and “I can’t do this!” calls, they’ll most likely do much better than they expected and be ready to take on another semester and conquer new challenges.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please post a comment or email me directly at

Until next week,

Ready to take a break!

Although we all love being at Michigan Tech, many students (including myself) are ready for a break! Luckily, in less than two weeks we’ll be getting just that. With about ten weeks of classes, exams, homework, campus involvement, and other activities under our belts, Fall Break is a welcomed sight on the horizon. This year’s Fall Break will begin at 10:00 p.m. on Friday, November 16, and last through Sunday, November 24.

Students who are planning to make the trek back to the homestead for break have several transportation options. The Inter-Residence Hall Council Rideboard is a great online option for students who need a ride home to post a ride request. Students who have a car will find it useful to recruit passengers by posting where they are going and the destination that they may be passing on the way. This is a great way for students to split up expensive fuel costs, make a new friend on the long drive, or just have some company for the ride through the infamous “Seney Stretch.” Another option is to take the Indian Trails bus. The routes will be advertised on posters around campus, but they can also be found on the Indian Trials Website. Just check under the Scheduled Service tab for more information.

Reminders for Students

All students who live in the residence halls should have received a “You Deserve A Break” newsletter in their mailbox, as well as an email with a link to the online newsletter. This newsletter has important information about when the dining halls, Campus Café, and reception desks will be closing for Fall Break. The newsletter also has some important reminders for students leaving campus for Fall Break, including things like room security and parking.

For students who are planning on leaving campus for break, it is important to remember to close and lock the windows, unplug nonessential electrical appliances, turn off all lights, and lock doors before departing for the week. Michigan Tech also encourages students to leave their vehicles at home if they will not be using them often during the winter months. The amount of space in the parking lots is greatly reduced due to snow, so the fewer vehicles on campus, the better!

Students who are not taking their vehicles home over break or who are staying in the residence halls over break need to make sure their vehicles are moved to Lot 26 by Sunday, November 18, to avoid towing. Vehicles should be moved back to their assigned lots by 11:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 24.

If your student has a bike on campus, they must remove them from the bike racks by Friday, November 16, as the racks are moved during Fall Break to new, snow-friendly locations. Despite the move, the racks are available for use throughout the winter months in their new locations. Students also have the option of placing their bikes in on-campus storage. Students may look at the “You Deserve A Break” newsletter for more specific bike storage information.

Students who are planning to stay on campus for all or part of Fall Break will need to register at their residence hall reception desk by Thursday, November 15. This includes students who plan on leaving after 8:00 p.m. on Friday, November 16, or returning prior to noon on Sunday, November 24. There is no extra charge for staying in the residence halls during break. The dining halls will close on Friday, November 16 at 6:00 p.m., and will reopen on Monday, November 25.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please email me directly at or post a comment!

Students After Tech Part 2

Each December and May, students graduate from Michigan Tech, moving forward with their degrees and lives. Ever wonder what they move on to do, or how the students at Michigan Tech become so successful? Below, Michigan Tech alumni and future graduates share their stories with you.

Dan Madrid

I graduated in the fall of 2010 with a BA in computer networking and systems administration and an international minor in Spanish. In my five and a half years at Michigan Tech, I was involved in McNair Hall Association, Student Entertainment Board, Inter-Residence Hall Council, Michigan Tech Student Foundation, and Michigan Tech Orientation twic–as an Orientation Team Leader in 2008 and 2009 and as a member of the Orientation Executive Staff in 2010. I also was involved in the Homecoming committee in 2009, Sigma Tau Gamma National Fraternity, and Greek Judicial Board. Additionally, I studied abroad in Ireland during the fall of 2008 and in Costa Rica during the summer of 2010, worked in the International Programs office, and also had two internships during the summers of 2008 and 2009 at Ford Motor Company.

All of these things helped me further my personal growth and education in ways that I never thought I would. I learned how to manage teams; interact with businesses and professionals; manage finances and run meetings; plan any kind of event from philanthropic to social; and grow my communication, leadership, and other skills that are vital in the business world. I now work for Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan, as an IT professional. I attribute my successes to my formal education from Michigan Tech, and also in large part to what I learned outside the classroom with my involvement on and off campus.

Michigan Tech is a phenomenal school both for your education and the opportunities for personal growth through the many student organizations and other ways to get involved. I am a Husky through and through and would not trade my experiences at Michigan Tech for anything in the world.

Anna Miller

AnnaAfter four incredibly amazing years at Michigan Tech, I knew I’d miss it but was also anticipating starting something new. I graduated from Michigan Tech with a degree in mechanical engineering in May and have experienced many exciting changes since. I moved to Saginaw, Michigan, and started working my first full-time at Nexteer Automotive. I have been enjoying the change of pace from school. I love my job so far and have learned so much in the short time I’ve been working. It definitely confirms that all my hard work at school has paid off when I use something I learned at Tech every day.At Tech I was involved with several activities for my major, including an Enterprise team, a semester co-op at SC Johnson, and my International Senior Design project. I put to use many of the things I learned in classes, and most importantly gained a lot of confidence in myself as an engineer. I also did a lot of things for fun, including working for the first-year Orientation programs (the most exciting job on campus!) and coordinating the broomball season (the most exciting sport on campus!). From these experiences I learned a lot about myself, how to manage my time, what I’m capable of, and how to keep a healthy balance. I’m thankful to have had so many opportunities in college to set me up for happiness and success now, in my new job, and in my life after college.

Eric Johnson

Good morning! Eric Johnson here.

This fall, I will be a fifth-year scientific and technical communication (STC) major at Michigan Tech. I switched to STC during my sophomore year when I realized that chemical engineering was not for me. I have been involved in several organizations during my time here at Tech, like Blue Key National Honor Society, Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society, Lutheran Campus Ministry, and the Michigan Tech Pep Band. Upon graduation, I plan to move to Los Angeles to pursue my dream of working in the entertainment industry.

Jess Banda

During my time on campus I was involved in fifteen student organizations. I even helped found five new student organizations, including Mind Trekkers, the Green Campus Enterprise, Camera Club, Art Revolutionizing Tech, and Michigan Tech Taking Education Abroad. My college philosophy was to take advantage of as many of Michigan Tech’s professional development opportunities as possible, and it paid off! This month I’ll be starting my master’s degree program as a fully-funded graduate student in International Non-Governmental Organization Development and Administration at the University of Wyoming. As part of the program I get to travel abroad for two years to found a nonprofit from the ground up. I’m very excited about my future!

A big thank you to the students and alumni who shared their stories with us! I hope that you are able to share these stories with your students, especially incoming first-year srudents. Please do not hesitate to email me if you have any questions or concerns.

Students After Tech Part 1

Each December and May, students graduate from Michigan Tech, moving forward with their degrees and lives. Ever wonder what they move on to do, or how the students at Michigan Tech become so successful? Below, Michigan Tech alumni and future graduates share their stories with you.

Aaron Andersen

When I enrolled at Michigan Tech, there were two things in my life I knew for certain: one, I was fresh out of high school, and two, I had absolutely no idea what was ahead. In the back of my mind, something drew me toward engineering. Maybe it was because it sounded challenging, or maybe it was because I was a closet nerd and I loved to figure things out. No matter the reason, I packed up my life and moved 535.4 miles to a town that most people (even from the Lower Peninsula) are only vaguely familiar with.

Fast forward five years. I am now a design engineer working at Nissan in Farmington Hills, MI (more specifically, the Nissan Technical Center of North America). I graduated with a B.S. in mechanical engineering and a minor in music (more on this later). If you would have asked me where I’d be at this point five years ago, my answer would have ranged from professional Hollywood stunt driver to working in the manned space-flight program (wishful thinking, probably). Nonetheless, I stuck with engineering my first two years at Michigan Tech as I became more familiar with the area and the community.

Let me make one thing clear: this is a school and town like none other, and I say that in the best sense. The ridiculous commute home might be a turnoff for some people, but once I became acclimated with the school and met new people, any sign of homesickness was nonexistent. It’s a very unique college experience that most universities cannot offer—not only are there countless student organizations and things to get involved with, but the school atmosphere and surrounding area are each in their own element. A strong selling point for me was the smaller classroom size—rather than sitting in the back of a giant lecture hall, most classes have 35-50 students. This allows for a more personal learning experience. Professors will know your name after a few weeks and questions are welcome throughout class.

One thing everyone will tell new students at Tech is to get involved with something. My first year at school I joined the concrete canoe and the steel bridge student teams. That summer I was flown to Seattle to compete internationally against other schools. It was an experience that made me want to wear any Michigan Tech shirt I had in my wardrobe with a sense of pride. During my second year I joined the Formula SAE Enterprise, which designs and builds an F1 car that competes against other schools. I was beginning to realize the reputation Tech had earned for itself over the years among other schools as having an elite engineering curriculum.

At about my third year a funny thing started to happen—I was beginning to see what engineering is really like. Classes got harder (understatement), homework got more brutal, and I was beginning to second guess my decision to major in engineering. At around this same time, the right side of my brain began to slowly become more prominent. I had always loved music and the arts, and it was starting to overtake my interest in engineering. I was at a crossroads—these were two very different career paths. Luckily for me, Michigan Tech has programs in both disciplines. So, like most college students, I made a rash decision and dropped my engineering major. I decided that I should give music a shot and began pursuing a degree in audio production, a program that relates music with engineering.

As it turns out, audio production came with its own set of challenges. At the end of my second semester, I met with my advisor about career options and what happens after school is done. The faculty at Tech is all highly qualified and personable, and my advisor noted that an engineering degree would yield many job opportunities; he also suggested that I keep a minor in music so that I didn’t have to drop that interest altogether, and that’s exactly what I did.

One of the best things about Michigan Tech is that students are given many options, from degree programs to classes to student organizations and Greek life. If Tech wouldn’t have had these flexibilities, I wouldn’t have been able to switch my major back so readily and retain a minor that allowed me to balance both interests.

At around the time I switched my major back to engineering, I accepted a position as the resident assistant for the Visual and Performing Arts Learning Community. Learning Communities are communities in the residence halls that have different characteristics geared towards students who have a common interest (performing arts, in my case). Other  examples include Learning Communities devoted to healthy living, first-year students, and international interests/experiences. This decision was one of the best I made throughout my college career. As a resident assistant, not only was I able to meet dozens of new people and get heavily involved with an on-campus organization, but I had a major impact in the experiences of many new college students. It gave me the opportunity to assume a leadership role and have a positive impact. I had an active hall—we did everything from go to hockey games  and skiing trips to singing karaoke. Every Monday we had movie night. These are the kinds of things that make Tech such a tight-knit and personal community.

Prior to my interview at Nissan I put together an engineering portfolio of project highlights from things I had worked on throughout school as well as at internships I held over the summertime. The guys I interviewed with were extremely impressed with the hands-on experience that Tech offers and especially with the different organizations I was a part of. Without question this portfolio aided in securing a job offer from them. Sometimes people ask, “Do you regret anything about going to a smaller school so far away?” And sure, if I thought about it long enough I could probably come up with a thing or two I would change. But when I think back to that time when I was fresh out of high school and didn’t know what to do next, I can say with certainty that I made the right decision.

downloadTori Nemethy

Growing up, I’d always spent my days with my nose securely tucked inside a book. As my childhood progressed closer to college age, I realized that I would only be happy if I was writing. After dabbling in the more “lucrative” career of teaching, I decided I’d rather change my major to scientific and technical communication and utilize my passion for writing in many different facets of the real world.
In STC I wrote technical manuals and instruction sets, scripts and short screenplays, journalism articles, grants, contracts, and academic essays—all with the same vigor and enthusiasm I’d found through reading in my youth. At Michigan Tech I found that there were many more options available to me than just writing the next American novel, although that very well could still happen. My classes shaped how I thought of theory and my campus involvement trained me to crave more experiences than the average college student. Since graduating, I’ve begun a journey across the United States, working various odd jobs and meeting the backbone of American society while detailing each experience through my blog at Each new job comes with obstacles to overcome and friendships that will hopefully last a lifetime. A good writer must have experiences to convey, but a great writer gets you to take the journey with her, to delve into the routine of a housekeeper or the monotony of the conveyor belt worker.

Travis Gendron


Hi, my name is Travis and I am going into my fourth (and final!) year at Michigan Tech. I’m studying communication, culture, and media with minors in journalism and Spanish. Throughout my time here I’ve been involved on campus. I’ve worked at the reception desk, been an Orientation team leader, am currently a coach in the Multiliteracies Center, been the publications coordinator on the Orientation Executive Staff, and have recently been hired as a student writer for University Marketing and Communications.

In addition to my jobs, I’m a member and newly elected secretary of both the Michigan Tech Student Foundation and the Student Standathon Organization, as well as the president and founder of the National Communication Association at Michigan Tech. I also help to plan Winter Carnival as a member of Blue Key National Honor Society and have served on the Residential Life Conduct Board for the past two years. All of these organizations and positions have helped me gain a ton of useful and applicable skills. For example, I know what it’s like to work under deadline, to receive constructive criticism positively, and to work as part of a team. Of course I’ve learned much more than this, but I feel that these skills are the most valuable.

After graduation, I plan to attend graduate school to earn a master’s degree in public relations. My ultimate goal is work in the health communications realm and to make health information more accessible and useful to the public.

A big thank you to the students and alumni who shared their stories with us! I hope that you are able to share these stories with your students, especially incoming first-year students. Next week, I will continue to share student success stories with you. Please do not hesitate to email me if you have any questions or concerns.

Summer Preparation

Summer Preparation!

At this time of the summer, I assume many of you are beginning to get anxious about what to pack and how best to help your student prepare for move-in weekend here at Michigan Tech. In about a month, Michigan Tech students will kick off their fall semester. If you are looking for further information about room assignments and hall information, please visit the Housing website to access this. The Housing website offers many great options for you and your students to look over, especially first-year students. You can take a photo tour of some of the residence halls, gain further information about dining services and living options, and read over some frequently asked questions.

What to/not to pack?
I strongly encourage students to begin the packing process as soon as possible. Taking time to make a list is a great idea, as it really helps to make sure you have covered everything and are not leaving anything behind. When thinking about what to pack as a first-year student, it may become a bit hectic. So parents, here are some overall categories to help break it down.

Academic supplies
Notebook, binders, sticky notes, highlighters, pens, pencils, backpack, stamps/envelopes, stapler, etc.

Room Items
Bedding (twin extra long to fit your residence hall mattress), small refrigerator, microwave, cleaning supplies, small garbage bags, tools, towels, and I would consider plenty of storage containers–you can never have enough! Storage containers are a huge help. You can use them under your bed, in the bottom of your wardrobe/closet, and as drawer dividers. They will help your student utilize all of their space.

Electronic items
Computer, possibly a printer (although you have access to printers at computer labs on campus), external hard drive, power strips, calculators, coaxial cable, alarm clock, camera, and a television.

Personal Items
Medications, shower caddy, first aid kit, and toiletry items.

Clothing Items
Students should be sure to pack some warm attire! Make sure they bring warm winter coat, boots, hats, and gloves. Laundry rooms are available in each residence hall. Washing machines are free to all students and dryers are .25 cents per load. So, be sure your student brings laundry soap, dryer sheets, stain remover, quarters, and a laundry bag.

Miscellaneous Items
Last but not least, don’t forget your miscellaneous items. Students should be sure to bring their social security card, photo ID, health insurance card, and batteries. (And a snow shovel!)

Students will need their SS card and their ID if they would like to work on campus.

Leave at home
Candles, electric heaters, toaster, and toaster oven/hot plate.

Summer Reading

In preparation for the college experience, all first-year students are required to read the Summer Reading as Inquiry book. This year’s book is Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal, by Conor Grennan. This past week, postcards were sent out to all first-year students providing them with more information on this program. During Orientation week, first-year students will sit down with their Orientation team and one staff or faculty member and have a group discussion about this reading. There will also be a Summer Reading as Inquiry session for parents and family members. The book is great, so I encourage you to read it!

I hope you all are as excited for the fall semester as I am! I cannot wait to see new faces on campus and to work directly with first-year incoming students. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

-Samantha Allen,

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

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

Preview Day in Review

This past weekend Michigan Tech welcomed many new faces to campus! Each year our school hosts Preview Day, an event for accepted Michigan Tech students and their families. Students are invited to check out campus and see what we have to offer. Current students volunteer to meet incoming students—this is one of my favorite events! It is great to see new faces and share all of my incredible experiences with those considering making Tech their home for the future. Preview Day was held Saturday, March 24, from 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

During Preview Day, students and parents had the chance to attend informational sessions about academics, co-ops and internships, housing and residential life, financial aid, scholarships, and much more. Not only do they get to learn about what campus has to offer, but they have the chance to sit down and talk with faculty, staff, and current students.

Here is a recap of the great events offered:

  • Campus tours: Current students filled in perspective students about life at Tech and answered questions as they escorted families on a tour of campus.
  • University welcome: Families were welcomed to join our outstanding students and one of our dynamic faculty members in sharing some of the distinctive reasons why Michigan Tech students stand apart from others.
  • Information sessions for students and parents: Parents and students chose from a variety of 45-minute information sessions focusing on academics, financial aid and scholarships, study-abroad programs, student life, and more.
  • Residence hall tours: Students and parents explored our three residence halls with a current student as their guide. They were able to see student rooms, dining rooms, lounges, study areas, and more.
  • Academic department tours: Students and parents met with faculty members, academic advisors, and current students during a visit to an academic department. They had the opportunity to check out labs and classrooms and learn about undergraduate research opportunities.

Students were also able to stop by the Michigan Tech Showcase, Enterprise Showcase, Academic Office, and Financial Aid Office. Overall, this weekend seemed to be a great success! I hope that some of you were here and were able to enjoy what Michigan Tech has to offer you and your student.

Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Samantha Allen,

Fall 2012 Course Registration

Welcome Back!

First, I want to welcome Michigan Tech students back to campus! We’re now in the home stretch for the spring semester.

I hope all of you had a fantastic time with your student over spring break! The majority of Michigan Tech students spent their spring breaks getting some much-needed rest and relaxation. But, some students spent their break traveling with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, or on an Alternative Spring Break trip—set up through Tech’s own Outdoor Adventure Program.

Recent News at Tech:

Georgerobinsonite, a newly discovered mineral named for A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum Curator George Robinson

A new mineral discovered in the Mammoth-St. Anthony mine in Arizona has been named georgerobinsonite. The mineral is named after George W. Robinson, professor of mineralogy and curator of Michigan Tech’s A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum. It is a lead chromate—a salt of chromic acid—that occurs as minute, transparent, orange-red crystals on cerussite, another lead carbonate and secondary lead mineral.

Michigan Tech Sweeps Colorado College to Advance to Final Five: Michigan Tech will now make its first appearance at the WCHA Final Five since 2007, when it won a first-round series at Colorado College two games to one. The Huskies will have to wait to see who they play. The Final Five is re-seeded after all the first-round series are completed.

Fall 2012 Course Registration

Academic Advising

Although it may seem as though your student is just getting settled into their spring semester courses, fall course registration is quickly approaching. According to the Fall 2012 Registration Priority Schedule, registration opens Thursday, March 15 at 10 p.m. and closes on Sunday, April 1 at 12 a.m. Graduate students are scheduled to be the first to register, starting on Thursday, March 15.

Starting on Sunday, March 18 undergraduate students are permitted to register based on the number of credits they have completed. Students with more completed credits get to register earlier than students with a smaller number of completed credits. Regardless of your student’s number of completed credits, it is important that they are prepared to register for spring courses and that they register on the assigned date.

Students should plan the courses that they want to take in the fall of 2012 and make sure that the times of the courses do not overlap. Planning for fall registration is also a great time for students to set up a meeting with their academic adviser to go over career plans and potential course choices.

I would strongly encourage that each student schedule an appointment with his or her academic adviser to fill out his or her degree program flow chart. That way, your student has a good idea of what semester they will be graduating, what degree requirements they still need to fulfill, and whether or not they need any waivers to register for fall semester. Academic advisers are a great resource with a lot of knowledge and experience regarding courses and career pathways. It is definitely to your student’s advantage to get to know them!

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

Samantha Allen

Escape for Spring Break

With less than two weeks until spring break, Michigan Tech students are excited to take some time off from classes to spend time with friends and loved ones—and to kick back and relax!

This year’s spring break will be from Saturday, March 3 to Sunday, March 11.

If your student is looking for a way to unwind, relax, and go on an awesome adventure with other Michigan Tech students, I strongly recommend checking out Tech’s Alternative Spring Break trips. This year, the Outdoor Adventure Program is offering three Alternative Spring Break trips for students.

Outdoor Adventure Program Trips

Carve Up Salt Lake City

This OAP Alternative Spring Break (ASB) will be spent tearing up the ski resorts around Salt Lake City, Utah. Students will stay for five nights at the Crystal Inn in Midvalley, Utah, where breakfast and supper are provided. We will have four-day lift passes redeemable at Snowbird, Alta, Solitude, and Brighton.

This trip is geared toward those who want to get in some real mountain skiing or snowboarding on their spring break. This trip will be from March 4 through 9.

Total Cost: $450 per person. Must provide transportation to Salt Lake City (not included in cost of trip).

Florida Haul & Sprawl

Join the OAP as we go caving, canoeing, and snorkeling during spring break! The trip features a day at the Rickwood Caverns in Alabama, outdoor adventures at the Blackwater State Park in Florida, and a thirty-two-mile canoe trip on the spring-fed Blackwater River. We’ll also relax at St. Joseph State Park, Florida, where we will snorkel, swim with dolphins, bike, and more! This trip will run from March 3 through 10.

Total Cost: $450 per person;
$400 for those willing to become van-certified to help drive.

The Atlantic/Gulf Road Trip

Come with the OAP as we take a road trip around the gorgeous southern states! This trip includes a stop at the Mammoth Caves National Park in Kentucky, with a cave tour and backpacking. Next is the Red Top Mountain State Park in Georgia, and then the Georgia Aquarium and Centennial Park in Atlanta. From there, we will head to Crooked River State Park for a swim in the Atlantic Ocean. We will also go to the Cumberland Island National Seashore (in Georgia) and the St. Joseph Peninsula State Park (in Florida) for beach combing, backpacking, swimming, disc golf, beach volleyball, relaxing, and nightlife! This trip will be from March 2 to 11.

Total Cost: $450 per person; $400 for those willing to become van-certified to help drive.

*All OAP ASB trips can be counted as .5 PE credit if a fee is paid.

The Alternative Spring Break trips have become extremely popular amongst students. For a list of Alternative Spring Break trips that have been offered in years past, see previous trips.

Space on the Alternative Spring Break trips is limited and several trips are already filled. Some trips still have openings; if your student is interested, I would strongly encourage them to stop by the Outdoor Adventure Program to learn how they can participate in the adventure trips—or the Student Activities office to learn how they can get involved in a community service trip. Also, for more details, you can view the trip itineraries on the Alternative Spring Break web page.

Please feel free to email me with 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 what students on campus need to do to prepare for the upcoming spring break.

Samantha Allen