All posts by hrpowers

Diverse Dialogues: Unlearning and Relearning Truths: A Continued Conversation about Decolonization

As part of the process of decolonization in our Michigan Tech and wider communities, there is an equally important personal process of decolonizing ourselves. A first step begins with a process of unlearning “truths” – the information we think we know about Indigenous, Native histories and identities. Unlearning allows space for relearning truths – the missing, forgotten and invisible stories and identities that remain critical to creating socially just communities and doing social justice work.

In this dialogue, we will engage in unlearning activities to reflect on our common myths, biases and stereotypes about Native, Indigenous peoples. This will be followed by opportunities to relearn Indigenous and personal truths through dialogue with each other. The Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) invites you to join our final Diverse Dialogue for the Spring semester at 4:05 p.m. Thursday, April 25, in GLRC 202. “Unlearning and Relearning Truths: A Continued Conversation about Decolonization,” will be led by Valoree Gagnon, Amy Howard, and Kari Henquinet.

The Diverse Dialogues series aims to provide opportunities for students, faculty and staff to have conversations about relevant issues of equity, diversity, inclusion, social justice and much more. Be part of crucial campus conversations, help to highlight underrepresented voices, elevate the social justice work being done by our Michigan Tech community and engage and learn from difficult diversity and inclusion issues that affect us all. If you’re part of the dialogue, you’re part of the solution.


Power by the People: Renewable Energy Reduces the Highest Electric Rates in the Nation

Solar PanelCoal is the primary fuel source for Midwest electric utilities. Michigan Tech researchers found that increasing renewable and distributed generation energy sources can save Michigan electric consumers money.

As renewable energy technologies and access to distributed generation like residential solar panels improve, consumer costs for electricity decrease. Making electricity for yourself with solar has become more affordable than traditional electricity fuel sources like coal.

However, as the researchers contend in a new study, while utility fuel mixes are slowly shifting away from fossil fuels toward renewable sources, Michigan utilities, and U.S. utilities broadly, continue a relationship with fossil fuels that is detrimental to their customers.

Read the full story on mtu.edu/news.


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).



On the Road

Adam Wellstead
Adam Wellstead

Adam Wellstead (SS) was an invited speaker at the Pipeline Safety Trust conference in New Orleans (Oct. 18-19). His presentation provided an overview of the recent Independent Risk Analysis for the Straits Pipeline effort that was led by Michigan Tech.


Baeten published in Water History

John BaetenJohn Baeten, PhD, Industrial Heritage and Archaeology, recently published an article in Water History titled “A century of red water: mine waste, legacy contamination, and institutional amnesia in Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range.”
The article examines the first lawsuit filed in Minnesota over the pollution of surface waters from migrating mine tailings, and the ongoing challenge that policy makers face in managing and remembering these legacy contaminants.
The article comes from research Baeten conducted while at Michigan Tech completing his PhD. The work was supported by a grant (Toxic Mobilizations in Iron Mining Contamination) from the National Science Foundation.

Information Session on Ghana Study Abroad, Tonight

In a row, Americans and Ghanians play hand drums at a cultural event.Kari B. Henquinet (SS/PHC) invites Michigan Tech students to enroll in her course as a visiting professor in Accra, Ghana during the summer 2019 term.

Hear all about the program at the Ghana Study Abroad Information Session at 7 p.m. tonight (Oct. 9) in Fisher 126. Henquinet is partnering with University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC), a long-standing study abroad partner of Michigan Tech, to teach SS 3910, Histories and Cultures of Africa. Students may take other courses for Michigan Tech credit in the program.

Additional information on the program is available online.



The Changing Face of the Great Lakes Fishing Community

Fish in a netRichelle Winkler was featured in a news story in Michigan Tech News.

Recent research proves the stereotype that fishing is a “dad sport” is no longer accurate. Building on earlier research that found the number of people who fish has been steadily declining, a new study conducted by researchers at Michigan Tech and funded by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, evaluates the shifting demographics within the angling community and looks to determine how the changing composition may impact fishery management decisions.

Among the major findings is that female fishers make up a growing proportion of anglers in the Great Lakes region, as younger generations of women are more likely to fish than their mothers and grandmothers. The increasing number of female anglers in the younger angling community, however, is not sufficient to reverse the overall decline in anglers.

Read the full story on mtu.edu/news.


WWI Symposium Keynote Speakers

WW1CC logo with Quincy MineTwo speakers are featured this weekend with the WWI symposium “Armistice and Aftermath.”

John Morrow, Jr. (University of Georgia) will present “African American Experience in WWI and Aftermath” from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday (Sept. 28)in the Rozsa Lobby. Lynn Dumenil (Occidental College) will present “Women and the Great War” from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 29) in the MUB Ballroom. Both talks are free and open to the public.

Morrow’s talk will address how African Americans understood and participated in the war effort on the home and fighting fronts and how white Americans responded to their efforts. He will explore how the war affected race relations and the conditions of African American life in the postwar United States.

Dumenil’s talk will focus on popular culture images of women in World War I, especially the attention given to how American women challenged gender conventions. She will explore claims that the war transformed traditional gender roles as well as the persistent power of expectations about women’s traditional roles.

Morrow Jr. and Dumenil will be on campus all day Friday (Sept. 28). If you are interested in meeting with either of them, email ww1cc@mtu.edu.

The visits have been supported by the Visiting Women and Minority Scholars program. The public lectures are part of “World War I in the Copper Country,” an extensive program of events and exhibits commemorating the WWI Armistice. Sponsors include Michigan Technological University Institutional Equity office, the Departments of Humanities, Social Sciences and Visual and Performing Arts, Finlandia University, the Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw and the Michigan Humanities Council.