Category Archives: Academics

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

linda-garden-small

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.”


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.


Three Inducted into Academy of Educators 2015

The Academy of Educators induction ceremony was held on Saturday, October 3, 2015. This year two alumni educators and one honorary member were recognized as those who brought distinction to themselves, Michigan Technological University and the Teacher Education program, through their participation, commitment, outstanding leadership, and/or public service in the field of education.

Awards were presented by Bruce Seely, Dean, College of Sciences and Arts, Susan Amato-Henderson, Chair, Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences, and Shari Stockero, Director of Teacher Education, Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences.

The 2015 inductees are:

Dennis P. Harbour
Master’s in School Administration, ‘77
Bachelor of Science, Business Education, ‘74
Superintendent of Schools (retired)
Copper Country Intermediate School District

Darrell R. Hendrickson
Bachelor of Science, Forestry, ‘77
Secondary Teacher Certification, ‘01
7th Grade Teacher
Washington Middle School
Public Schools of Calumet-Laurium-Keweenaw

Charles G. Schepke
Master of Science, Applied Science Education, ‘05
Bachelor of Arts, Biology, ‘87
Secondary Teaching Certification, ‘94
5th – 8th Grade Teacher
Roscommon Middle/High School

Portraits and brief vitae of these distinguished academy members will be prominently displayed in the Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences to serve as inspirational role models for Michigan Tech students.

Academy of Educators 2015
Academy of Educators – 2015 Inductees

Exploring Majors Live Streaming Event July 23

Exploring majors is a good thing! Not being sure what you want to major in means you’re open to exploring options and finding what is best for you. Join academic advisor, Sylvia Mathews, for an overview on the benefits of being undecided and the many options available at Michigan Tech to help you find a major that best suits your interests, talents and values without delaying graduation or losing money pursuing a major that isn’t right for you. Questions? We’ll be happy to answer them live!

Attend the Preptalk “Exploring Majors: the benefits of being undecided” at 2:30 pm on Thursday, July 23, 2015.

Exploring Majors


Reception for Pat Martin on May 15, 2015

Pat Martin
Pat Martin

The Department of Social Sciences invites the campus community to recognize Pat Martin for his 38 years of service to Michigan Tech as Professor of Archaeology. The department will hold a reception to recognize Pat from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday, May 15, on the 2nd floor of the Annex to the Academic Office Building.

Pat, who has served as the Chair of Social Sciences for the last six years, was instrumental in the creation of the department’s Industrial Archaeology graduate program. After his retirement, Pat will remain active as a research professor, initiating projects and advising students, as well as serving as the Executive Secretary of the Society for Industrial Archeology and as the President of The International Committee for the Conservation of Industrial Heritage — so “retirement” is slightly misleading.

From Tech Today, by Department of Social Sciences.