Category Archives: Alumni

Call for Applications: Songer Research Award for Human Health Research

2018-19 Songer Award Recipients. Pictured Left to Right: Abby Sutherland, Billiane Kenyon, Jeremy Bigalke, Rupsa Basu, Matthew Songer, and Laura Songer.

Matthew Songer, (Biological Sciences ’79) and Laura Songer (Biological Sciences ’80) have generously donated funds to the College of Sciences and Arts (CSA) to support a research project competition for undergraduate and graduate students. Remembering their own eagerness to engage in research during their undergraduate years, the Songers established these awards to stimulate and encourage opportunities for original research by current Michigan Tech students. The College is extremely grateful for the Songers’ continuing interest in, and support of, Michigan Tech’s programs in human health and medicine. This is the second year of the competition.

Students may propose an innovative medically-oriented research project in any area of human health. The best projects will demonstrate the potential to have broad impact on improving human life. This research will be pursued in consultation with faculty members within the College of Sciences and Arts. In the Spring of 2019, the Songer’s gift will support one award for undergraduate research ($4,000) and a second award for graduate research ($6,000). Matching funds from the College may allow two additional awards.

Any Michigan Tech student interested in exploring a medically related question under the guidance of faculty in the College of Sciences and Arts may apply. Students majoring in any degree program in the college, including both traditional (i.e., biological sciences, kinesiology, chemistry) and nontraditional (i.e., physics, psychology, social science, bioethics, computer science, mathematics) programs related to human health may propose research projects connected to human health. Students are encouraged to propose original, stand-alone projects with expected durations of 6 – 12 months. The committee also encourages applications from CSA students who seek to continue research projects initiated through other campus mechanisms, such as the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program, Pavlis Honors College activities or the Graduate Research Forum (GRF).

Funds from a Songer Award may be used to purchase or acquire research materials and equipment needed to perform the proposed research project. Access to and research time utilizing University core research facilities, including computing, may be supported. Requests to acquire a personal computer will be scrutinized and must be fully justified. Page charges for publications also may be covered with award funds, as will travel to appropriate academic meetings. This award may not be used for salary or compensation for the student or consulting faculty.

To apply:

  • Students should prepare a research project statement (up to five pages in length) that describes the background, methods to be used, and research objectives. The statement also should provide a detailed description of the experiments planned and expected outcomes. Students must indicate where they will carry out their project and attach a separate list of references/citations to relevant scientific literature.
  • The application package also should provide a concise title and brief summary (1 page) written for lay audiences.
  • A separate budget page should indicate how funds will be used.
  • A short letter from a consulting faculty member must verify that the student defined an original project and was the primary author of the proposal. The faculty member should also confirm her/his willingness to oversee the project. This faculty letter is not intended to serve as a recommendation on behalf of the student’s project.

Submit applications as a single PDF file to the Office of the College of Sciences and Arts by 4:00 p.m. Monday, April 22. Applications may be emailed to djhemmer@mtu.edu.

The selection committee will consist of Matthew Songer, Laura Songer, Shekhar Joshi (BioSci) and Megan Frost (KIP). The committee will review undergraduate and graduate proposals separately and will seek additional comments about the proposed research on an ad-hoc basis from reviewers familiar with the topic of the research proposal. Primary review criteria will be the originality and potential impact of the proposed study, as well as its feasibility and appropriateness for Michigan Tech’s facilities.

The committee expects to announce the recipients by early May of 2019. This one-time research award will be administered by the faculty advisor of the successful student investigator. Students will be expected to secure any necessary IRB approval before funds will be released. Funds must be expended by the end of spring semester 2020; extensions will not be granted. Recipients must submit a detailed report to the selection committee, including a description of results and an accounting of finds utilized, no later than June 30, 2020.

Any questions may be directed to Megan Frost (mcfrost@mtu.edu), David Hemmer (djhemmer@mtu.edu) or Shekhar Joshi (cpjoshi@mtu.edu).


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

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

New Memorial Wall Honors Fallen Michigan Tech Veterans

War Memorial WallMichigan Technological University has had a War Memorial Wall ever since its Memorial Union Building was dedicated in May 1952, but it only named those lost during World War II and the Korean conflict.

Michigan Tech’s Army and Air Force ROTC, the Student Veterans Association, American Legion Chaplain Paul Nelson, and Matrosic himself, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, participated in the ceremonies.

Read more at Michigan Tech News, by Jennifer Donovan.


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.


Ken Kraft Passes Away

Ken Kraft
Ken Kraft's first year of teaching in the department, from The Michigan Tech Forester, 1962, Michigan College of Mining and Technology.

Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences Ken Kraft passed away on Jan. 12 at his Chassell Township home.

Kraft’s research was in invertebrate ecology, particularly in aquatic environments, and some of his work was used by the Army Corps of Engineers and Cleveland-Cliffs (now Cliffs Resources) in their environmental studies.

“He was well respected in his fields of study—entomology and aquatic environmental studies,” said Professor Emeritus Bob Keen. “He was also a mentor to a number of graduate students, including some who went on to attain PhDs and did very well.”

Kraft’s career at Michigan Tech actually began in forestry, where he was taught zoology, and he joined the biological sciences department when it was formed in 1962. He eventually rejoined the forestry faculty before retiring.

Read more at Tech Today.


Tech Graduation and Officer Commissioning

Tech Graduation 2013Thousands of people packed the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena Saturday morning to hear how a dish washer became a strategist for a $104 billion technology company and watch almost 1,000 Michigan Technological University students become alumni.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Stephen Anderson.

Service saluted from beginning to end Saturday

Nineteen Air Force and Army ROTC cadets were commissioned as second lieutenants.

Read more at the Mining Gazette.



Technical Communication Scholars to Converge on Tech

Technical CommunicationMichigan Tech is hosting the 40th Annual Meeting of the Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication (CPTSC) Thursday to Saturday, September 27 to 29. It is one of the largest international meetings of its kind, according to Ron Strickland, chair of the humanities department, and it brings many benefits with it.

Strickland said the annual meeting is also a chance to showcase the University’s humanities programs, faculty, and facilities. The humanities department will set up a couple of tables to present their publications and grants, one focusing on technical communication.

Read more at Tech Today, by Dennis Walikainen.