Service Recognition for Reynolds and Martin

Michigan Tech Employee Service Recognition Event

On May 15, faculty and staff members, along with their guests, gathered at the Memorial Union Ballroom for an awards dinner recognizing 25, 30, 35, and 40 years of service to Michigan Tech.

Professor Emeritus of History Terry Reynolds was recognized for 30 years of service.

Professor and Chair Patrick Martin was recognized for 35 years of service.

Read more at Tech Today.

Winkler’s Class Focuses on Calumet Art Scene

Calumet ArtStudy: Art Strengthens Community Ties in Calumet

Art has long fostered human connection. Now a Michigan Technological University social sciences professor and her class are examining how art is working as a social glue in Calumet.

Students in Richelle Winkler’s Topics in Rural Community Sustainability class focused on the art scene in Calumet to better understand how the village’s First Fridays art tours benefit the community. On the first Friday of each month, Calumet’s participating art galleries and cafes extend their business hours late into the evening, offering refreshments, artist receptions, demonstrations, menu specials and more, depending on the season.

Read more at Michigan Tech News, by Karina Jousma.

Norman Publishes on Ecocolonisation

Boundary BayEmma S. Norman (SS) recently published an article, “Who’s counting? Spatial politics, ecocolonisation and the politics of calculation in Boundary Bay,” in Area and has been made freely available for a year as part of a Virtual Issue on New geographical frontiers, the theme of this year’s conference ( You can see the Virtual Issue at:

From Tech Today.

Peace Corps Program Number 1

Peace Corps Number OneMichigan Tech’s Peace Corps Program Ranked Number 1 in the Nation

Michigan Technological University ranks as the top Peace Corps Master’s International (PCMI) university nationwide for the eighth consecutive year. With 35 PCMI graduate students currently serving as Peace Corps Volunteers, Michigan Tech has earned the top spot in the 2013 rankings of PCMI and Paul D. Coverdell Fellows graduate schools.  Tulane University placed second.

“Students in our PCMI programs experience a truly interdisciplinary curriculum at Tech that prepares them to take a holistic and culturally-sensitive approach to solving real-world problems,” said Kari Henquinet, director of Michigan Tech’s PCMI programs. “They then are immersed in a new culture for two years and take on the challenges of language learning, building relationships and working together collaboratively with individuals and groups in their host countries.”

Read more at Michigan Tech News, by Jennifer Donovan.

Michigan Tech Peace Corps best in the nation

And for those thinking about joining the Peace Corps, they caution it’s the toughest job you’ll ever love.

“It’s a strong commitment. I mean, a lot of people don’t necessarily always make it through,” Brian Barbre explained. “It is difficult. There’s a lot of family separation, but for anyone who is thinking about Peace Corps, I would say, go get it!”

Read more and watch the video at Upper Michigans Source, by Sarah Blakely.

Michigan Technological University Remains Top Peace Corps Master’s International Graduate School Nationwide

“Every year, hundreds of Peace Corps Volunteers make a difference by combining meaningful service with graduate studies through Peace Corps’ Master’s International and Coverdell Fellows programs,” Peace Corps Deputy Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “After completing Peace Corps service, volunteers return to the United States as global citizens, with leadership, cross-cultural understanding, and language and technical skills that position them for success in today’s global job market.”

Read more at Midwest Peace Corps Volunteers Making a Difference.

Emma Norman Accepted as Writing Fellow

Whiteley CenterEmma S. Norman (SS) has been accepted as a writing fellow to the Helen R. Whiteley Center at Friday Harbor Labs (Washington State) for July-August 2013. She will be working on her book project, “Whose Border, Whose Water? Postcolonial Governance of (Trans)boundary Waters–First Peoples, Canada, and the United States” (Routledge Press, Earthscan Series).

From Tech Today.

Retirement Celebration for Susan Martin on May 3

Susan MartinThe Department of Social Sciences is happy to invite friends and colleagues to a party that celebrates the career of Susan Rapalje Martin, who will retire at the end of May. Martin began working at Michigan Tech as a research scientist and instructor in 1979, accepting a tenure-track position in 1993. Her work in regional archaeology has been recognized by several awards and publications. Her teaching and research direction has touched hundreds of students in anthropology and archaeology at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Our celebration will be held in the second floor of the Academic Office Building Annex from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday May 3. Join us to congratulate Susan and mix with friends over hors d’oeuvres and beverages.

From Tech Today.

Winkler’s class analyzes Calumet’s First Fridays

Students in Richelle Winkler’s Topics in Rural Community Sustainability course (SS 4390) spent the spring semester collaborating with community organizations in Calumet to analyze how First Fridays art tours affect community sustainability.  The project inventoried community assets and assessed how First Fridays contribute to these assets using participation observation, interviews, and surveys of First Fridays participants. The research team surveyed 368 visitors to eight art spaces on First Fridays in February, March, and April of 2013. Study results indicate that First Fridays and the art scene are making broad contributions to community well-being. The program has potential to spur a process of holistic community development; yet there are several opportunities of which First Fridays are not yet fully taking advantage. For instance, social relationships are one of the most important things that First Fridays participants value, and the development of social capital is perhaps the most key contribution of First Fridays.  However, we find that social capital associated with First Fridays remains somewhat narrow as similar people visit the same one or two art spaces each month and interact with one another. These relationships are important, but First Fridays may be missing opportunities to establish new relationships among multiple groups and to integrate younger people and families.  Based on the findings, the team suggests that First Fridays and the art community in Calumet could build on current successes by engaging in a visioning process whereby community members work together to define a vision and goals for the First Fridays program. The process could help to coordinate advertising efforts, build and solidify social relationships, coordinate with external agencies (such as Main Street Calumet, Michigan Tech, or Finlandia), develop leadership, establish a political voice in the community and beyond, and attract more and more diverse visitors.  The community may find that Calumet community members, artists and art space proprietors would benefit from forming a formal Calumet Arts organization that would serve to organize these efforts and coordinate with external groups.

Read the Executive Summary or the First Fridays Calumet Community Report

Team members included:

  • Lorri Oikarinen, Calumet community
  • Heather Hendrickson, senior anthropology major
  • Travis Wakeham, junior anthropology major
  • Ariel Terpstra, MS student in Industrial Archaeology
  • Rhianna Williams, MS student in Environmental and Energy Policy
  • Luke Alvin, MS student in Humanities
  • Heather Simpson, MS student in Cognitive and Learning Sciences
  • Leopoldo Cuspinera, PhD student in Industrial Archaeology
  • Talva Jacobson, PhD student in Industrial Archaeology
  • Richelle Winkler, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Demography, Social Sciences

Research Excellence Funds for Social Sciences

The vice president for research is pleased to announce this year’s recipients of the Research Excellence Fund Awards, and would like to thank all of the review committee members for participating in this important internal award process.

Emma Norman and Steven Walton received Scholarship and Creativity Grants.

Adam Wellstead received a Research Seed Grant.

Read more at Tech Today.