Author: Sue Hill

Former Physics Faculty Robert Mount

Robert MountProfessor Emeritus Robert H. “Bob” Mount, a longtime member of the physics faculty, passed away July 2 at his home in Hancock. He was 86 years old.

Mount came to Michigan Tech in 1954 from Cleveland Cliffs Iron Co., where he was employed as the chief geologist. He retired from the University in 2000. For much of his career, he taught introductory physics courses. “His 46 years of service is the second-longest in department history—the longest being James Fisher,” said physics professor Bryan Suits.

His colleagues remember Mount as health conscious. “His extensive early-morning exercise routine was very important to him,” Suits said. “He would retire early so he could get up at 3 or 4 a.m. to do his workout. Hence, he often passed when it came to attending the department’s evening events—they were past his bedtime.”

Read more at Tech Today.


Sue Bagley Honored by Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology

Sue Bagley
Sue Bagley

Susan T. Bagley, professor professor emerita of environmental microbiology in the Department of Biological Sciences, has received the Charles Porter Award from the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (SIMB).

This award recognizes longtime members for outstanding, sustained service to the society for seven or more years. Bagley has over 35 years’ experience as an environmental microbiologist, working in academia and government on microbial-based treatment of air, waterborne and industrial organic wastes; microbial production of bio-based fuels; and mutagenicity and toxicity of environmental pollutants.

She has received research funding from a wide range of governmental, industrial and foundation sources and has coauthored more than 85 peer-reviewed articles, proceedings and reports. Most of these studies have involved multidisciplinary collaborations with faculty and students. She taught introductory courses in microbiology plus applied and industrial microbiology and microbial physiology for senior undergraduate and graduate students.

Bagley has been a SIMB member since 1997 and has served in a range of positions, including president, editor-in-chief of SIMB News, and chair of the Nominations, Planning, and Annual Meeting and Exposition Program Committees. In addition, she has been a member of the Finance, Publications, and other Annual Meeting and Exposition Program committees.

She is a senior editor and co-chair of the Presidential Committee on Diversity, working to establish a standing SIMB Diversity Committee. She has also chaired numerous Annual Meeting sessions. Outside of SIMB, she serves the American Society for Microbiology as editor-in-chief of the MicrobeLibrary, a member of the Education Board and the Committee on the Status of Women in Microbiology and as coordinator of the new Speakers’ Bureau, encouraging undergraduates to consider careers industrial microbiology and biotechnology.

From Tech Today.


Michigan Tech Employee Service Recognition Event

On Wednesday, May 14, faculty and staff members, along with their guests, gathered at the Memorial Union Ballroom for an awards dinner recognizing 25, 30, 35, 40, and 45 years of service to Michigan Tech.

Within the College of Sciences and Arts, the following employees were recognized.

25 Years
Lois Blau, Chemistry

30 Years
Diane Shoos, Humanities
Karen Kangas, College of Sciences and Arts
Robert Kolkka, Mathematical Sciences

40 Years
Bradley Baltensperger, Cognitive and Learning Sciences

Retirees
Steven Seidel, Computer Sciences
Susan Bagley, Biological Sciences

Read more at Tech Today.


Michigan Tech Spring 2014 Commencement

Commencement 2014The next generation
Michigan Tech holds commencement

Nearly 1,000 graduates were honored at Michigan Technological University’s Spring Commencement Saturday with 747 students receiving bachelor’s degrees, 203 master’s degrees and 38 Ph.D.s.

Student speaker Collin Doerr-Newton, a sound design major who was chosen to speak after submitting and reciting his speech to a panel, likened Michigan Tech to a piece of music.

Leland D. Melvin, a former astronaut and associate administrator for education at NASA, shared his journey to space with the graduates as the featured speaker.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Meagan Stilp.


Air Force and Army Reserve Officer Training Corps Cadets Take Oath of Office

ROTC Oath 2014Taking the oath
7 Army, 13 Air Force offices commissioned

Each of the seven Army ROTC cadets was introduced by Lt. Col. Adam Melnitsky, Battalion Commander and professor of military science at Michigan Tech.

Lt. Col. Michael Brothers also introduced each of the 13 graduating Air Force ROTC cadets, making sure to share an embarrassing story when possible.

After the oath of office, each cadet exchanged his or her first salute with a service member then handed over a silver dollar – a tradition dubbed the “Silver Dollar Salute” dating back to before the U.S. Armed Forces were organized.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Meagan Stilp.


Wallace Wins Faculty Service Award

Charles Wallace
Charles Wallace

The Faculty Distinguished Service Award Committee has announced Charles “Chuck” Wallace, associate professor and interim department chair, Department of Computer Science, as the 2014 recipient of the Faculty Distinguished Service Award for his outreach activities in the community.

“I congratulate Chuck on this well-deserved recognition and add my thanks,” said Max Seel, provost. “This type of extensive continuous outreach is well beyond the normal service expectations of a faculty member.”

Read more at Tech Today, by Danny Messinger.


Kathleen Halvorsen Wins Research Award

Kathleen Halvorsen
Kathleen Halvorsen

Kathleen Halvorsen, whose scholarship bridges social and policy sciences relating to climate change, has been chosen to receive Michigan Technological University’s 2014 Research Award.

Professor Alex Mayer, who nominated Halvorsen for the award, called her “a major force in joining social science with natural science and engineering disciplines.” She is a professor in both the Department of Social Sciences and the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science.

“[H]er most noteworthy contributions are advancing research into biologically derived fuels, fostering interdisciplinary research and spearheading Michigan Tech’s environmental and energy policy graduate programs,” Mayer said. “Professor Halvorsen has shown a remarkable ability to bring literally dozens of colleagues together to craft proposals and lead projects which advance science and international collaborations across continents.”

Read more at Tech Today, by Marcia Goodrich.


Retirement Party for Brad Baltensperger April 30, 2014

Brad BaltenspergerBrad Baltensperger, chair of the Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences and professor of geography, is retiring after 40 years at Michigan Tech. The campus community is invited to attend his retirement party on Wednesday, April 30, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., in Memorial Union Ballroom A2. Please join the department in celebrating his career and wishing him an enjoyable retirement. Refreshments will be provided!

From Tech Today.


Houghton County Aiming for $5 Million Energy Prize, with Help from Michigan Tech

Think GreenGeorgetown University is offering a $5 million prize for the American community “that leads the way in energy efficiency,” and a Michigan Technological University student thinks there’s no reason Houghton County shouldn’t win.

“There aren’t a lot of small communities with a great technological university in their midst,” said Abhilash Kantamneni, a graduate student in computer science. “I think we have a shot at it.”

The ad hoc committee includes Kantamneni, Ala, county commissioner Tom Tikkanen of Calumet Township, Michigan Tech social sciences faculty members Richelle Winkler and Chelsea Schelly, Lynn Artman of the School of Technology, Melissa Davis of the nonprofit NewPowerTour, Keweenaw Research Center Director Jay Meldrum, Sam Lockwood of the Keweenaw Geothermal Research Group, Kim Stoker of the Western Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Region, Phil Musser, former director of the Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance, and Elmore Reese from Main Street Calumet. Representatives from utility companies UPPCO and SEMCO are participating in the effort, along with energy-conservation businesses and organizations such as Michigan Saves, Efficiency United and BlueTerra.

Read more at Michigan Tech News, by Marcia Goodrich.