Deans’ Teaching Showcase

John JaszczakDavid Hemmer, dean of the College of Sciences and Arts has selected John Jaszczak, professor of physics and interim department chair of Chemistry as our third spring showcase member.

Jaszczak’s contributions touch large-class teaching, curriculum development and assessment, three key areas the showcase tries to recognize. He has been a key contributor to the assessment process not only within his department, but also at the college and university level.

In the Department of physics, Jaszczak has led the effort in coordinating and communicating assessment data for PH 2100- University Physics I, with the goal of trying to identify and then assist students at risk of underperforming and getting off track on their degree schedule.

This effort has led to a campus-wide consensus on the proactive development of a new physics course, PH 2110 University Physics 1 Workshop. This workshop was developed by Senior Lecturer Katrina Black and piloted for the first time in fall 2018 by Physics Instructor Amanda Shaw.

As a new dean I have been blessed to have a colleague like John Jaszczak. He cares deeply about student learning. As associate dean, he spearheaded efforts to improve teaching and assessment in the College. More recently he has done a marvelous job leading the Chemistry Department during a transitional year while we search for a new chair. Even while leading chemistry, he is working tirelessly on efforts to improve outcomes in Physics 2100.—David Hemmer

On a broader scale, Jaszczak has been chair of the University’s Goal 2 committee since its inception in fall 2014. In this role, he has led efforts to help faculty think about and assess student learning in courses on the General Education Mathematics and Science Course Lists. Jaszczak has been instrumental in helping instructors pilot several different assessment methods, including a methodology to efficiently utilize electronically graded exams for students in large-enrollment classes. The method allows assessment without sampling, potentially providing statistically significant data that can be insightful for instructor-initiated action.

At a University level, Jaszczak has met frequently with faculty across many departments, led  well-attended Coffee Chats, and compiled, discussed and reported on assessment results. Hemmer  concludes, “It’s clear to me that Jaszczak has been and continues to be one of the key people at Michigan Tech helping to advance student learning in STEM.”

Jaszczak will be recognized at an end-of-term luncheon with 12 other showcase members, and is now eligible for one of three new teaching awards to be given by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning this summer recognizing introductory or large class teaching, innovative or outside the classroom  teaching methods, or work in curriculum and assessment.




CSA Researchers Participate in first TechTalks

Screen Shot 2016-11-16 at 11.55.24 AMOn Thursday, November 10, 2016, several researchers gave two minute presentations for the inaugural TechTalks session of the Michigan Tech Research Forum. Seven of the 13 researchers presented work from CSA disciplines, including the Distinguished Lecture:

  • Steven Elmer– Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology, Exercise As a Form of Medicine
  • Yang Yang – Department of Mathematical Sciences, Numerical Methods for Partial Differential Equations
  • Selin Philip – Department of Coginitive and Learning Sciences, Creating a Culture of Better Mental/Behavioral Health among the American Indians in the Keweenaw
  • Loredana Valenzano– Department of Chemistry, Molecules, Surfaces, Crystals: A Quantum Chemical Quest from Fundamentals to Applications.
  • Nabanita Saikia – Department of Physics, Emergent Frontiers in 2D Nanomaterials for Biomolecular Recongition and Self-Assembly.
  • Lynn Mazzoleni– Department of Chemistry, Introducing the New 2D-Liquid Chromatograph and High-Resolution Mass Spectrometer in the Chemical Advanced Resoulation Methods (ChARM) Core Facility at Michigan Tech.
  • Tarum Dam – Department of Chemistry, Enriching Health-Related Research Through Glycobiological Approaches.

Michigan Tech Research Forum events are presented by the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs in coordination with the Office of the Vice President of Research. Additional TechTalks sessions are coming up in Spring 2017. Interested in nominating yourself or others? Use this online form.

Browse the Twitter conversations in “TechTalks 2016: Take One,” by Allison Mills.


Distinguished Lecture –image151928-pers

Richelle Winkler gave the inaugural Michigan Tech Research Forum Distinguished Lecture on Thursday, October 13 at 4:00 p.m. in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge. She discussed Making Research Matter: Democratizing Science and Other Lofty Goals.

Professor Hugh Gorman nominated Winkler, an associate professor of sociology and demography, for “community engaged scholarship” that extends across the Michigan Tech campus. Examples of Winkler’s projects include examining the feasibility—social and technical—of using mine water for geothermal heating systems in Calumet and examining the social, economic, and technical aspects of improving recycling in Houghton County. Both projects involve students and community members, and both have real impact in the communities. Winkler also conducts research on the changing demographics of anglers and hunters—and the implications for policy. She presented on this subject at the Department of Biological Sciences last spring.


Linda Ott blogs on STEM

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Linda Ott, Professor of Computer Science and Associate Dean for Special Initiatives in the College of Sciences and Arts, was welcomed as a guest blogger on STEMconnector.org.

STEMconnector.org seeks to bring science, technology, engineering, and math educators a way to connect their ideas to improve STEM education. In The Thrill of Computer Science For All, Ott details her excitement around President Obama’s initiative to expand K-12 computer science education funding.

“We can make a difference more quickly through a concerted effort to attract more students today.  Here are some of the things we are doing at Michigan Tech.  Perhaps others will find inspiration here for immediate action:

If all of us involved in computing do something—help advise a local FIRST Robotics team, teach a Saturday class on programming at a local library, talk to a local Girl Scout troop, invite area students and parents to see how you actually use programming—there will be an immediate impact.”


Steve Short: Impact of Exercise Science

Former Michigan Tech varsity football quarterback Steve Short is making an impact with the Denver Nuggets and the NBA. Steve is a physical therapist helping athlete Wilson Chandler throughout his recovery. According to Chandler, Steve has been there “every step of the way.”

Steve’s road to the Denver Nuggets began with a dual major in biological sciences and exercise science at Michigan Tech (2010), continuing with more education in the field of physical therapy.

Watch the interview with Steve Short, Wilson Chandler, and Denver Nuggets head strength and conditioning coach, Steve Hess.

Steve Short, Wilson Chandler, Steve Hess
Steve Short, Wilson Chandler, Steve Hess
Wilson Chandler and Steve Short
Wilson Chandler and Steve Short

Science, Engineering Challenges for Middle School Girls at Get WISE Workshop

WISE
WISE

More than 250 middle school students from across the western Upper Peninsula will spend the day exploring the excitement of science and engineering fields during the annual Get WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) event on Tuesday, February 23, 2016, at the Wood Gym in Michigan Tech’s Student Development Complex. For more than 25 years, this event has brought seventh and eighth graders from 15 schools to campus for a day of hands-on activities, scientific challenges, talks with female role models and more.

“By having these girls spend the day solving science challenges in a fun atmosphere, we build their confidence and perhaps spark their interest,” said Liz Fujita, a coordinator at Michigan Tech’s Center for Pre-College Outreach (CPCO). “The girls are so creative in their solutions. We hope they will look at STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] with new eyes.”

One of this year’s activities will challenge them to build a simple water filter out of household materials. Another will have them creating a model heart valve to let marbles through one way, but not back the other way. “What’s fun about it is that there is more than one correct answer,” said Fujita. “That’s one thing we’re trying to show the students—that there’s rarely one ‘right’ solution to an engineering problem. It’s all about trying ideas out and improving on your previous attempts.”

The girls will also have opportunities to meet female role models enrolled in graduate and undergraduate programs at Michigan Tech, as well as staff members from widely varying campus departments. The students will be able to hear stories about what shaped their career paths, and ask questions of these successful STEM women.

“Get WISE teaches my female middle school students to problem-solve, work as a team to accomplish challenges, and not be hesitant to share their thoughts and ideas,” says L’Anse science teacher Jen Martin. “Throughout the day I see them gain more and more confidence, and they bring that confidence back to school. Get WISE has a long-lasting effect on my students.”

Get WISE is hosted by the CPCO office in partnership with the College of Engineering, the College of Sciences and Arts, and the Western Upper Peninsula Center for Sciences, Mathematics and Environmental Education.

From Tech Today, by Jenn Donovan.


Tech Student Wins Scholarship, Recognition for New Student Organization

On January 20, Michigan Tech student Amanda Marciniak was named the recipient of the Lt. Col. Bill Morley Academic Scholarship by the Arnold Air Society and Silver Wings national headquarters. The $2000 scholarship recognizes superior academic merit and dedication to advocating for our nation’s aerospace power.

Silver Wings is a national, co-ed, professional organization dedicated to creating proactive, knowledgeable and effective civic leaders through community service and education about national defense. Members are civilian students who desire to work with and support Air Force ROTC programs at universities around the country. Michigan Tech’s own Dotsie Stewart Chapter of Silver Wings was chartered last year and works closely with Arnold Air Society, an Air Force ROTC cadet service organization. Together these two student organizations work hard together to support community events, provide volunteers for local veteran’s organizations, raise money for charities and promote the activities of Air Force ROTC.

Ms. Marciniak’s essay and student record was selected from among nearly one hundred submissions around the nation, and is one of only seven winners. Her achievement puts Michigan Tech and our Silver Wings chapter on a short list of successful and noteworthy schools which will be recognized at the Arnold Air Society and Silver Wings National Conclave in Dallas, Texas this March. Ms. Marciniak will travel and attend for free and have the opportunity to meet General Robin Rand, the commander of Air Force Global Strike Command; Gwynne Shotwell, President and COO of SpaceX and Peter Bergen, author, journalist and National Security Analyst for CNN. Congratulations Amanda Marciniak!

From Tech Today, by Jason Engler, Chair Aerospace Studies (AFROTC).


Seely Gives Keynote at IC-AMMN-2K16

IC-AMMN-2K16

Bruce Seely, dean of Michigan Tech’s College of Sciences and Arts, was the keynote speaker at an international conference on “Advances in Applied Mathematics, Materials Science and Nanotechnology for Engineering and Industrial Applications” in Kochi, India.

From Tech Today.

Located in Kerala, India, FISATTM (Federal Institute of Science and Technology) is a private self financing Engineering College.

The goal of IC-AMMN-2K16, the international conference on Advances in Applied Mathematics, Materials Science and Nanotechnology for Engineering and Industrial Applications, was to provide a common platform for scientists, academicians, industrialists and young researchers from different parts of the world for active discussions and fruitful interactions.


House Family Foundation Gives $2.3 Million for Endowed Professorships, Graduate Student Assistantships

Kui Zhang, Dave House and Min Song
Kui Zhang, Dave House and Min Song

Recipients have been named for two professorships endowed by Dave House, an alumnus and longtime supporter of Michigan Technological University. The House Family Foundation gave $1 million to support each professorship and another $270,000 to fund graduate student assistantships.

Min Song, chair of the Department of Computer Science at Michigan Tech, will hold the Dave House Endowed Professorship in Computer Science. Kui Zhang, professor of mathematical sciences, will hold the Dave House Endowed Professorship in Statistics, Data Mining and Data Analytics.

The graduate student assistantships will provide $30,000 annually to each of three graduate assistants in Michigan Tech’s new Master of Science in Data Science program for three years. They will contribute to the research of the Alliance for Computing, Information and Automation Research Center at Tech.

Read more at Michigan Tech News.