Dean’s Teaching Showcase: Andrew Galerneau

Andrew Galerneau
Andrew Galerneau

Bruce Seely, Dean of the College of Sciences and Arts, provided significant context for this week’s Dean’s Teaching Showcase nominee, Andrew Galerneau. Andrew, a lecturer in the chemistry department, is primarily responsible for teaching Organic Chemistry, which, according to Seely is “one of the more dreaded foundational courses for majors and non-majors.” Seely knows that student evaluations are generally lower in classes that are “large, required and foundational”, and Organic Chemistry is all three of these.

But according to Seely, Andrew “sees this situation as a challenge, not a limiting factor.” By making use of research-based active learning strategies and motivational techniques like gamification, Andrew helps students “really learn the material”. At the same time, Andrew’s enthusiasm and excitement helps him “bring students – even those who are initially reluctant – to see material as interesting and important.” Andrew’s passionate commitment to helping students learn keeps the course positive in this challenging environment.

Andrew demonstrates this passion as he describes his teaching methods. Speaking about his technique of having students answer three open-ended pre-lecture questions before each lecture, he says: “ I personally grade at least of third of these questions prior to lecture and deliver direct feedback on my student’s assignments. I want them to know that I am reading what they write and that I am actively interested in how they are learning the material.” He also provides small incentives for discussion board participation and uses an “achievement system” to recognize students using anonymous monikers and Canvas announcements for perfect performance in certain elements of the class. His goal is to “foster a community of students who are passionate to engage in peer-to-peer learning.”

Seely sees Galerneau as the latest committed faculty member to bless the chemistry department, placing him on a list with people like Fredrick Williams (for whom the instructional innovation award was named) and Paul Charlesworth (an instructional innovation award winner who has extensively developed content and methods in the introductory chemistry course.) Seely feels “very lucky to have people who possess such passion and excitement about, and dedication to, teaching.”

Andrew will be formally recognized with the 11 other Dean’s Teaching Showcase nominees at a luncheon near the end of spring term. Please join Dean Seely and the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning in thanking Andrew for his outstanding contributions to the teaching mission of the College of Sciences and Arts.

From Tech Today, March 6, 2015, by Mike Meyer, director, William G. Jackson CTL.


Dean’s Teaching Showcase: Scott Kuhl

Scott A. Kuhl
Scott A. Kuhl

The Dean’s Teaching Showcase nominee for this week comes from the College of Sciences and Arts. Dean Bruce Seely has chosen to recognize Scott Kuhl, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science with an adjunct appointment in Cognitive and Learning Sciences. Dean Seely values “what Scott Kuhl attempts to accomplish as a teacher mainly for the mindset he employs, and less for the specific teaching techniques has adopted.” He notes that Scott “does not differentiate between regular classes, summer youth and support for Enterprise activities as educational venues—but approaches all with the goal of creating a fun and motivating environment.”

In his more traditional courses, Scott does attribute his teaching success to specific techniques, like providing detailed assignment descriptions with numerous tips to “help get students going in the right direction.” He also provides numerous examples, some of which he walks through in class in detail, and encourages students to share additional examples with each other. Finally, he emphasizes prompt feedback for his students. He has accomplished this by creating an automatic grading program which provides a “provides a transparent, well-defined set of expectations for assignments” and a score that can be adjusted by an instructor or grader as necessary. He’s even willing to share this tool with those interested.

Kuhl is also focused on continual improvement. Though the Husky Game Development (HGD) Enterprise he leads is focused on games, he attributes its dramatic growth under his leadership to a careful cycle of feedback, change and evaluation. He sees the value of interdisciplinary teamwork, communication, development and management for students in HGD, and has led the group in both publishing academic papers and receiving sponsorship from both Chrysler and the Department of Labor.

Scott will be formally recognized with the 11 other Dean’s Teaching Showcase nominees at a luncheon near the end of spring term. Please join Dean Seely, computer science chair Min Song and the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning in thanking Scott for his outstanding contributions to the teaching mission of the College of Sciences and Arts.

From Tech Today, January 30, 2015, by Mike Meyer, director, William G. Jackson CTL.


Michigan Tech AFROTC Cadets Selected for Competitive Training

Ten Michigan Tech AFROTC Detachment 400 cadets in their second and third academic years competed in a national selection board to attend the annual summer field training encampment at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. They competed against all other 144 AFROTC detachments in the nation for limited slots, and all ten cadets were selected—a rare honor for any AFROTC detachment.

This year’s selectees are: Horatio Babcock, Micah Ball, Jacob Carley, Adam Cottrell, Caleb Dann, Reed Deemer, Cy DeLeeuw, Nicholas Fisher, Brian Nance and Logan Sheffield.

Each will attend one of five four-week encampments throughout the coming summer. Their training will include leadership and followership skills, problem-solving, time management, decision-making under pressure, teamwork, marksmanship, physical fitness, drill and ceremony, military ethos and knowledge, confidence building, cultural competency, survival skills and operating in austere deployment environments.

These ten cadets have been preparing all spring semester in an intense training program led by AFROTC cadet trainers Nicholas Grygleski and Jacob Ahles. This is a significant milestone in AFROTC; attendance is required to proceed in the program and become a commissioned officer in the Air Force. The ten cadets will return next fall to become the new cadet leadership in the 400th Cadet Wing here at Michigan Tech AFROTC. The Det 400 cadre and staff are immensely proud and eager to see them in action when they return.

From Tech Today, by Major Jason Engler, Department of Aerospace Studies.


Central Michigan University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, in Partnership with Michigan Tech, Discussed During Benishek Visit

Jason Carter Benishek
Jason Carter (left) with U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek.

During a recent visit by U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek, a tour of the Advanced Technology and Development Center was arranged to discuss the doctor of physical therapy program coordinated between Michigan Tech and Central Michigan University (CMU). Dr. Jason Carter, Chair of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology, met with Dan Benishek in person while CMU was represented via videoconference.

Benishek visits Copper Country

Benishek said, “Many of the local hospitals contributed to the creation of this facility so that they would have students training here in Northern Michigan and know what Northern Michigan is like, grow to love the area and be able to have more of those people stay here in Northern Michigan and work here and provide for the care of the people living here.”

Read more at ABC 10 News, by Mike Hoey. WATCH THE VIDEO

Benishek pays visit to Michigan Tech

The program shares CMU faculty with Tech and gives undergrads at Tech access to CMU’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

“We have a cohort of 12 students per year that enroll into that program and graduate with a doctorate in physical therapy from Central Michigan, and hopefully stay here in our Upper Peninsula to become physical therapists.” said Jason Carter, Department Chair of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology.

Read more at Upper Michigan’s Source, by Nick Brennan. WATCH THE VIDEO

Benishek Tours U.P.

Tuesday began with a tour of the Doctor of Physical Therapy space at the Advanced Technology Development Center on the campus of Michigan Tech.

Read more and listen to the audio interview at The Keweenaw Report.

Benishek pays a visit

Carter said both universities have given their full support to the program.

“I think it’s a great example of universities being more efficient with resources,” he said.

During Tuesday’s stop, Benishek and Carter talked via videoconference with program head Pete Loubert and professor Tim Zipple.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Garrett Neese.


Linda Ott appointed Associate Dean in CSA

Linda Ott
Linda Ott

The College of Sciences and Arts is very pleased to announce the appointment of Linda Ott as associate dean for special initiatives, focusing on diversity in computing. Ott’s appointment signals a renewed effort to increase the diversity of students in computing and information. The under-representation of women and ethnic minorities has been little affected by significant national efforts to introduce changes—indeed, there has been some backsliding on earlier gains.

National attention for the difficulties came from recent attention to the poor record of largest firms in Silicon Valley in recruiting and retaining women in these firms. Michigan Tech, like many universities, has worked steadily to increase the number of women enrolled in computer science, software engineering and computer engineering, but the five-year average enrollment of women stands at only 7.5 percent of the total student population in computer-related degree programs. Morevoer the situation has changed only a little since 2009. Clearly, progress is elusive.

Ott’s appointment will bring much more energy to efforts to recruit a more diverse population of students into computing fields. Bruce Seely, dean of the college, notes how the appointment builds off Ott’s long-standing commitment to addressing the lack of diversity in the field. Over the past two years, Linda led the effort to bring Michigan Tech into the Pacesetters progam of the National Center for Women in Information Technology (NCWIT). And for a much longer time she has engaged in activities with the Summer Youth Program and other outreach efforts at the state-level to raise the awareness of female students concerning the opportunity in computing. Seely noted that “Linda is perfectly positioned to explore and help implement ways to bring more students from diverse backgrounds to campus. This is her true passion.” She will continue these programmatic efforts and outreach initiatives while also studying the lower retention and persistence rates for all students—not just women—pursuing Tech degrees in computer science, computer engineering, network and systems administration and software engineering. In addition, she will compare and benchmark Tech’s efforts against other schools and national patterns, understand the retention of students in computing-related fields and seek external funding to support programs to address these issues.

Because many groups on campus are working on these questions, Ott will collaborate with different groups on campus, including academic departments, schools and colleges, admissions, development, alumni relations, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion and WISE.

By allowing her to devote all of her time and effort to these tasks, Seely added, he hopes Michigan Tech can make real progress on diversity. “I am thrilled Linda is going to devote her time and energy to these important and challenging problems.”

She will begin her efforts Monday, March 16.

From Tech Today, by College of Sciences and Arts.

Tech appoints Ott as Associate Dean for Special Initiatives

Though the job title may be new, Linda Ott, Associate Dean for Special Initiatives in the College of Sciences and Arts at Michigan Technological University, is no stranger to promoting diversity in computer-related programs.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Meghan Marquardt (subscription required).


Dean’s Teaching Showcase: Scott Kuhl

Scott Kuhl
Scott Kuhl

The Dean’s Teaching Showcase nominee for this week comes from the College of Sciences and Arts. Dean Bruce Seely has chosen to recognize Scott Kuhl, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science with an adjunct appointment in Cognitive and Learning Sciences. Dean Seely values “what Scott Kuhl attempts to accomplish as a teacher mainly for the mindset he employs, and less for the specific teaching techniques has adopted.” He notes that Scott “does not differentiate between regular classes, summer youth and support for Enterprise activities as educational venues—but approaches all with the goal of creating a fun and motivating environment.”

In his more traditional courses, Scott does attribute his teaching success to specific techniques, like providing detailed assignment descriptions with numerous tips to “help get students going in the right direction.” He also provides numerous examples, some of which he walks through in class in detail, and encourages students to share additional examples with each other. Finally, he emphasizes prompt feedback for his students. He has accomplished this by creating an automatic grading program which provides a “provides a transparent, well-defined set of expectations for assignments” and a score that can be adjusted by an instructor or grader as necessary. He’s even willing to share this tool with those interested.

Kuhl is also focused on continual improvement. Though the Husky Game Development (HGD) Enterprise he leads is focused on games, he attributes its dramatic growth under his leadership to a careful cycle of feedback, change and evaluation. He sees the value of interdisciplinary teamwork, communication, development and management for students in HGD, and has led the group in both publishing academic papers and receiving sponsorship from both Chrysler and the Department of Labor.

Scott will be formally recognized with the 11 other Dean’s Teaching Showcase nominees at a luncheon near the end of spring term. Please join Dean Seely, computer science chair Min Song and the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning in thanking Scott for his outstanding contributions to the teaching mission of the College of Sciences and Arts.

From Tech Today, by Mike Meyer, director, William G. Jackson CTL.


SURF Proposal Workshop

Will Cantrell, coordinator for the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program, will conduct a workshop for students on the SURF application process, including writing an effective SURF proposal. The workshop will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 3, at 6:30 p.m. in Fisher 127.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to notify students interested in applying for SURF funding to attend. For more information, see the SURF online information page.

The deadline for SURF applications is noon on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015.

From Tech Today.


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.


Exploring Majors at Michigan Tech Course

Exploring Majors
Exploring Majors

Not sure if your current major is right for you?

SA 1000, Exploring Majors at Michigan Tech will be offered again, Spring semester 2015 at TR 10:05-10:55.

This is a one credit course that exposes students to many majors on campus and allows them to gain insight into who they are, what they might thrive at, and what’s important to them in terms of a major or eventual career path. Some students even confirm that their current major is the best for them.

The course is open to all students, no waivers required.

Contact General Sciences and Arts Program Director Sylvia Matthews if you have any questions.