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.


Michigan Tech Named State’s Most Underrated University by Business Insider

Michigan Tech has been named Michigan’s “most underrated university” by Business Insider, a business, technology and education news website. Only one university was selected from each state.

The ranking reflects the university’s high academic standards and acceptance rate.

Business Insider explained its latest list: “We’ve partnered with Niche (a website that reviews and ranks schools, colleges and universities) to bring you the top schools in the country with great academics and high acceptance rates, To compile this list, Niche used its data for the highest academic rankings, acceptance rates and in-state population.”

Business Insider also recently named Michigan Tech among the top 20 colleges in the nation with the smartest students.

From Tech Today.


Programming Teams Shine in Chicago, Marquette

NAIPC 2014
NAIPC 2014 Michigan Tech Team

A Michigan Tech team of computer programmers took tenth place out of 21 teams at the North American Invitational Programming Contest 2014 in Chicago this weekend. The team of Eric Rinkus, Coach Jason Hiebel, Tom Holmes (CS) and Ryan McNamara (Math) solved five of 15 problems and finished ahead of Northwestern, Southern California, Virginia Tech Wisconsin-Madison and others.

Read more at Tech Today, by Dennis Walikainen.


Great ROI, Starting Salaries

Michigan Tech ROI 2014Michigan Tech has been ranked as a university with one of the best returns on investment. The website Payscale announced their rankings, and Michigan Tech was 13th, in the nation for public in-state tuition and ranked 55th in the nation overall.

Michigan Tech ranked 10th among public universities in the nation for the highest average salaries, currently at $59,200.

From Tech Today.

View the 2014 Payscale College ROI Report.


Tenth Annual ESC/BRC Research Forum Awards Announced

BRC ForumThe Ecosystem Science Center and the Biotechnology Research Center announce award recipients of the Tenth Annual ESC/BRC Student Research Forum held March 19.

Student award winners in the College of Sciences and Arts include:

Graduate Research

$100 Merit Awards

Biotechnology Research Center
Yiping Mao (Bio Sci) for “Overexpression of microRNA-30d increases insulin biosynthesis and protects against high-fat diet induced glucose intolerances,” Advisor Xiaoqing Tang

Mu Yang (Chemistry) for “Disulfide-Bond Scrambling Promotes Amorphous Aggregates in Hen Lysozyme and Bovine Serum Albumin,” Advisor: Ashutosh Tiwari

Ecosystem Science Center
Cameron Goble (Bio Sci) for “Assessment of Fish Communities in Tributary Streams of the Big Manistee,” Advisor: Nancy Auer

Read more at Tech Today.