The calendar shows May, but schools are closed today as a late-season snowstorm hits the Upper Peninsula. Fortunately, it held off long enough to not affect travel for our graduates and their families this past weekend. Our growing enrollment meant that, for the first time ever, we held a separate commencement ceremony for our graduate students on Friday afternoon, followed by an undergraduate ceremony Saturday morning. More than 170 College of Sciences and Arts students walked across the stage, earning bachelors, masters, and PhD degrees from our more than three dozen degree programs. It was a truly joyous occasion and, with the hockey arena packed, I expect we will continue with the separate undergraduate ceremony each spring going forward.
Friday evening was the emotional commissioning ceremony for our Army and Air Force ROTC program, where we celebrated our nation’s newest second lieutenants. Celebrating our students’ accomplishments is one of my favorite jobs as dean.
Graduation also means the final Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting of the year. While we are all saddened by the recent closure of Finlandia University, we are excited that we have managed to, on very short notice, essentially move their nursing program into our Department of Biological Sciences. With the BOT approving this last week, we look forward to welcoming students in the Fall. Also at the BOT meeting, ten CSA faculty received final approval for granting of tenure or promotion to full professor!
Of course, summer means travel, and faculty in CSA are the campus leaders in leading students on study abroad and study away experiences. Three of our Visual and Performing Arts faculty, Lisa Gordillo and Mary and Kent Cyr, are leading students to Vienna, Prague and Dresden, including an opportunity to attend the famous “Prague Quadrennial,” one of the largest international festivals of theatre, design, and architecture in the world. Other students will travel to Germany, including Dresden and Leipzig, under the direction of our Humanities Assistant Teaching Professor Stephanie Rowe.
Social Sciences faculty Kat Hannum and Mark Rhodes will lead students on a 20-day Amtrak adventure across the United States, studying sustainable tourism. Finally, Social Sciences faculty Dan Trepal will lead students to study history and archaeology in Cumbria in the United Kingdom.
Critical to everything we do are our alumni and friend donors. All your donations to our departments, scholarships, and the general fund are vitally important to our success. In particular, support to defray the additional costs of studying abroad is much needed. Thank you so much for supporting Michigan Tech! For CSA giving opportunities please visit: https://www.mtu.edu/sciences-arts/giving/
If you are ever back in town I hope you will stop by, say hello, and share with me your MTU story. Please do not hesitate to email me any time at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your MTU experience or offer suggestions.
Dean- College of Sciences and Arts