Fall Semester 2023 Heats Up in October

Greetings from the College of Sciences and Arts at Michigan Tech!

Michigan Tech trees with yellow foliage
October and fall foliage arrive

As I write today the temperatures are soaring into the upper 80s with humidity that would make any orchid happy. Unprecedented! The colorful foliage is making its ascent up the vibrancy charts. And those are not the only things that have been elevated around the Tech campus. 

Large Class Enrolls for Fall Semester 2023

The College of Sciences and Arts welcomed its largest incoming class in years, 255 undergraduates, up 27% from the prior year, building on many years of undergraduate growth. Total College enrollment stands at 1,147, a 3.2% increase, and our first-time transfer increase is 48%, mostly thanks to the nursing program. This is in line with the university welcoming the largest class of new first-year students since 1983.

More Accolades for Michigan Tech

On top of these numbers, The Wall Street Journal named Michigan Tech the nation’s second most influential public university for salary impact — how much a college boosts salaries earned by students after graduation. Tech also made the Journal’s list of Best U.S. Colleges in 2024, ranking 16th overall among U.S. public universities.

We pride ourselves in CSA on our outstanding classroom instruction and on our world-class research and creative activities. CSA faculty brought in $8.7 million in new external research awards last year, up 17% over the previous year! We do have 2 faculty members in a million-dollar club in external research spending, Raymond Shaw who makes his own clouds in a cloud chamber, and Stephen Techtmann who converts plastics to food via microbes. 

Ravindra Pandey and Neetu Goel
Dean Pandey and Neetu Goel

Research Highlights for Fall Semester 2023

And there are new developments in the College when it comes to research, too.

  • Professor Neetu Goel is a Fulbright senior scholar from Panjab University, India visiting my physics research group to investigate the interaction of biomolecules with quantum materials.
  • Yan Zhang (Biological Sciences and Health Research Institute) received a $469,500 R&D grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH) to study the impacts of high levels of urinary phosphate in polycystic kidney disease.
  • Tatyana Karabencheva-Christova (Chemistry) received a $427,001 R&D grant from NIH looking into structure-function relationships of matrix metalloproteinase-1 from computational and experimental studies.

Other Items of Note For Fall Semester 2023

Jared Anderson and his faculty in Visual and Performing Arts continue to create a vibrant lineup of art shows, performances, and technical theatre, with students at the forefront as performers, designers, creators, audio producers, etc. This week it is New Music in the Mine.  Next week the opera The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage debuts in the McArdle Theatre and the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra plays in the Rosza Center. And at the end of the month, you can elevate your fright at The Haunted Smelter. There’s always something to do with the arts.

We welcomed three new inductees into our College of Sciences and Arts Academy. Emily Prehoda, Linda Kennedy, and Upendra Puntambekar. They have become successful leaders and practitioners in their chosen fields and have excelled in leadership roles. Their achievements and skillsets: Linda’s legal acumen, Emily’s energy policy and sustainability expertise, and Upendra’s technology and market leadership span across a number of diverse subjects. A diversity reflective of the variety of subjects housed within the College of Sciences and Arts here at Michigan Tech. They join the ranks of 65 distinguished members who have made a difference for their communities—professional, academic, or geographic, or sometimes all 3. 

Thanks for reading! I am sure the first snowfall is just around the corner. Ah, the snowfall total for the winter! Another thing many of us look forward to seeing grow on the Tech campus over the course of this academic year.

Best wishes.

Ravi Pandey

Dean – College of Sciences and Arts