Author: College of Engineering

Sue Hill is the Digital Content Manager for the College of Engineering.

Baird Presents on Indigenous Heritage Landscapes

Melissa Baird
Melissa Baird

Melissa Baird, assistant professor of anthropology in social sciences department, presented a paper in an invited conference in October sponsored by the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences and the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History at Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden entitled “Extractive Industries and Indigenous Heritage Landscapes.”

From Tech Today.

Two New Lecturers in Social Sciences

Carl Blair
Carl Blair

Carl Blair, PhD

Carl Blair joins the Department of Social Sciences as a lecturer. He earned his PhD and MA in Ancient Studies from the University of Minnesota and his BA in History and Biology from St. Olaf College in Minnesota.

Blair has been a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin, coordinator of Study Abroad at Michigan Tech, as well as a visiting assistant professor. He is an archeologist with a wide range of interests, particularly the rise of social complexity in pre-industrial societies. He has designed and led an undergraduate study abroad program in Cumbria, England, for Michigan Tech.

He has been team leader for Commonwealth Cultural Resources, surveying the historic and prehistoric remains on National Forest lands in both northern Wisconsin and Michigan. Blair is principal investigator for SMELT, an archaeological research project where both experimentation and field work is used to explore early, large-scale European iron-smelting industries.

Ryan Cook
Ryan Cook

Ryan Cook, PhD

Ryan Cook is a lecturer in the Department of Social Sciences. He most recently taught at Saint Xavier University in Chicago.

Cook earned his PhD and MA in Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of Chicago and his BA in Cultural Anthropology from St. Cloud State University.

Cook has authored more than 15 publications on religion, UFOs and culture. He received the Overseas Dissertation Research Grant in 2002 from the University of Chicago.

Four New Tenure-Track Faculty in Social Sciences

Melissa Baird
Melissa Baird

Melissa Baird, PhD

Melissa Baird joins the Department of Social Sciences as an assistant professor. She earned her MS and PhD in Anthropology from the University of Oregon and her BA in Anthropology from the University of California Berkeley.

Baird is a member of the American Anthropological Association and the Society for American Archaeology. She has been a reviewer for the International Journal of Heritage Studies, Otago Press and Arctic Anthropology.

Baird has presented nineteen times at professional meetings and has been invited to talk at five different events on archeology and anthropology. She also has published five refereed journal articles.

Rebecca Graff
Rebecca Graff

Rebecca Graff, PhD

Rebecca Graff is a visiting assistant professor for the Department of Social Sciences. Graff earned her MA and PhD in Anthropology, from the University of Chicago and her BA in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Graff has been a lecturer at the University of Chicago, an adjunct instructor at DePaul University, and preceptor and Earl S. Johnson Postdoctoral Instructor for the Master of Arts program in social sciences at the University of Chicago.

She has written extensively on archeological projects and cultural heritage. Graff also has an interest in languages, specifically Spanish, French, Latin and Hebrew.

Nancy Langston
Nancy Langston

Nancy Langston, PhD

Nancy Langston is a new professor in the Department of Social Sciences. Langston earned her PhD in Environmental Studies from the University of Washington, her MPhil in English at the University of Oxford, and her BA in English at Dartmouth College. She did a dissertation in zoology at the University of Washington and held the Eddy Postdoctoral Fellowship in ecology from the University of Washington.

Langston has published three books, 29 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, nine textbook and encyclopedia entries, and 20 journals, reviews, proceedings and white papers. Her interests range from the environment to history.

She has been a delegate to the American Council of Learned Societies and was on the board of directors of the Forest History Society.

Chelsea Schelly
Chelsea Schelly

Chelsea Schelly, PhD

Chelsea Schelly is a new assistant professor in the Department of Social Sciences. She earned her PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, her MA in Sociology from Colorado State University, and her BA in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Schelly has eight publications, two book reviews, as well as two papers under review, and five papers and two books in progress. Her research interests are in environmental sociology, sociological theory, comparative historical sociology and science and technology studies.

Schelly has presented at 15 sociological conferences. She also has been both a teaching assistant and an instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Colorado College, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and Colorado State University.

Breaking Digital Barriers to Present an Online Seminar

Breaking Digital BarriersMichigan Tech’s Breaking Digital Barriers Group to present an Online Seminar for People Who Help Older Adults Use Technology.

The one-week online seminar, Digital Literacy and the Older Adults, is for anybody who:

*helps older adults use technology,
*wants to help people in their community cope with the rapid change in technology that has become part of our everyday life, and
*or anyone who has ever tried to debug their parents’ computer problems over the phone.

The seminar will run Nov. 18 to 22, with a time commitment of 1-2 hours a day.

The seminar will take place online. Registration is at

The Breaking Digital Barriers group is composed of faculty and graduate students in the computer science, humanities, and social sciences departments of Michigan Tech. They developed a community outreach program that helps older adults acquire the skills needed to experience the benefits of technology.

From at Tech Today.

Carl Blair and Study Abroad in Cumbria


Faculty Take Students Abroad

Social Sciences lecturer Carl Blair led a group of students to Cumbria, England, to study anthropology, history and archeology, in the fourth year of a “Frontiers and Fortresses” study abroad program.

“”I have been working in Cumbria since I was an undergraduate myself,” said Blair. “Cumbria gives a perspective on England that you are not going to find in any other place.”

Students earn credit in these classes. “This is a Michigan Tech program, taught by Michigan Tech faculty, with regular Michigan Tech classes, so for the students it is a seamless educational experience,” said Blair.

Read more at Michigan Tech News, by Erika Vichcales.

Gorman Speaks on the Story of N

Story Of NThe Friends of the Van Pelt and Opie Library invite the campus and community to hear Professor Hugh Gorman (SS) speak about his new book, “The Story of N: A Social History of the Nitrogen Cycle and the Challenge of Sustainability,” at the Friends annual meeting.

The presentation and (very short) meeting will be Thursday, Oct. 24 in the East Reading Room of the van Pelt and Opie Library, 4:30-6 p.m.

The Friends plan the Annual Book Sale (mark your calendars for April 1 and 2), and other events in support of the library’s mission. To get involved or learn more, contact the chairman, Amy Hughes (

From Tech Today.