Category: Student Leadership & Involvement

New School Year- SLI Staff Introductions

Jessie Stapleton
Director of Student Leadership & Involvement

Jessie is the Director of Student Leadership & Involvement, a member of Phi Sigma Sigma, and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Northern Michigan University and a Masters of Science in Education from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.  She is an avid Green Bay Packer fan, she’s mildly obsessed with her cat Charlie, and loves driving her ’66 AMC Rambler Rebel.  In her spare time, she enjoys baking, reading, camping, and ice fishing.

Favorite Snack: Cheese
Favorite thing to do outside of work: Camping


Rochelle Spencer
Assistant Director of Student Leadership & Involvement

Rochelle is the Assistant Director of Student Leadership & Involvement.  She is a Michigan Tech Alumni (go Huskies) and got her Masters at Saginaw Valley. Aside from working at SLI, Rochelle also teaches a fun workout class called Pound, which encourages participants to rock out while they work out. She loves to read books and drink lots of coffee. In her free time, you can find her at the Crossfit gym or hanging out with her cat, Liam. 

Favorite Snack: Popcorn. Peanut Butter. Ice Cream.
Favorite thing to do outside of work: Crossfit and hang out with my cat


Danielle Meirow
Coordinator of Student Leadership & Involvement

My name is Danielle Meirow and I am the new Coordinator for Community Service and Leadership Programs for Student Leadership and Involvement. I may look familiar though because I have worked at Michigan Tech for the past two years as a Residence Education Coordinator, primarily in East McNair Hall. I am originally from St. Clair Shores, MI where my family still resides, but I moved here from New York City where I attended NYU to earn my Master’s Degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Sciences and Women and Gender Studies from Grand Valley State University. I currently advise Broomball here at Tech and am actively engaged in the greater community through my involvement with the Parade of Nations planning committee and the Keweenaw Young Professionals.

Favorite Snack: Cafe Cheese Curds with both marinara sauce and ranch. I am working hard to get my fill before moving out of the residence halls!
Favorite thing to do outside of work: Walk my dog Jack. He’s my best friend and a complete mama’s boy


Sarah Porter
Office Assistant of Student Leadership & Involvement

Sarah is the Office Assistant of Student Leadership & Involvement. She holds an Associate’s Degree in Environmental Sciences and hopes to continue her education here at Michigan Tech. During her free time, she enjoys baking and rock-hounding off Lake Superior. She enjoys hiking to places with tall trees or deep rivers, even an occasional dive into the water. She’s also an avid painter and loves working with clay.

Favorite Snack: Mangoes or Hot Cheetos or Pizza
Favorite thing to do outside of work: Go on adventures with my Husband or cuddle with my dog, Benji


Molly Fitzgerald
Student Worker

Hi y’all! My name is Molly Fitzgerald (They/Them) and I’m a 2nd year Masters student with the Biology Department. Right now I am working on creating interesting and accessible scientific information in the form of children’s books, pamphlets, and posters. I love to be creative through my artwork, so taking that to the next level and marrying my creativity with my scientific background is my passion. I have a lovely cockatiel named Spud, and she is almost one year old. If I am not in lecture, work, or meetings, I am always with her! 

Favorite Snack: Watermelon! Or Ice Cream…
Favorite thing to do outside of work: Be with my bird, Spud, or to do some painting!


Tessa Mlinar
Student Worker

I am a fifth-year pre-med biology student from Duluth, Minnesota. I love hiking around the Keweenaw and have a goal to visit every National Park (I visited 8 this summer.) I am hoping to go on to Medical School this next year and stay in the Midwest to work with underserved communities. On campus, I am involved in research, clubs, tutoring, greek life, and Student Leadership and Involvement!

Favorite Snack: Salt and Vinegar Chips
Favorite thing to do outside of work: Cuddle my dog and watch reality TV 🙂


Hunter Malinowski
Student Worker

Hunter is a second-year student, majoring in computer science and psychology. She is originally from Canton, MI. On campus, she is the Vice President of Public Relations for the Panhellenic Council and the Vice President of Copper Country Coders. This semester, she is a University Innovation Fellow Candidate and also conducts research in the Mueller Lab. Additionally, she is a part of the Pavlis Honors College. Some of her hobbies include anything crafty, like crocheting, sewing, and making jewelry, as well as watching TV. Her all-time favorite TV show is Frasier.

Favorite Snack: Cosmic brownies
Favorite thing to do outside of work: Crochet and hang out with friends


10 Reason’s Why You Should Join a Student Organization

1. It’s fun!

One of the most important reasons to join a registered student organization (RSO) is to have fun! Meeting new people, making new friends, trying new things, and participating in activities will help you make the most of your Michigan Tech experience. What could possibly be better?

2. It looks great on a resume.

It’s true, it’s a competitive world out there. Your future employers will be extremely excited to hire someone who has had a great deal of experience and been relatively active throughout their college career, as opposed to someone who has simply gone to class. Being involved will ultimately make you a stronger and more well-rounded candidate for internships, co-ops, graduate schools, job opportunities, etc.

3. It’s a wonderful way to meet new people.

Joining an RSO gives you a convenient way to meet and spend time with other people–many of whom will likely share similar interests, values, and goals. This allows you to form lifelong friendships and expand your social circle, thereby placing you in closer contact with faculty/staff, members of the community, fellow students, and even possible new lifelong friends!

4. It helps to build community.

Since a lot of Michigan Tech students live quite far away from their family and friends back home, they may feel homesick at school. Getting involved enables you to re-establish a sense of belonging, create a chosen family, form an additional circle of friends, and will no doubt ease the transition from high school to college.

5. It’s an awesome way to develop crucial leadership skills.

Participating in a student organization not only teaches you leadership skills but also helps you broaden and improve those you already have. You’ll learn the best way to communicate with both individuals and large groups, and you’ll gain emotional intelligence as you develop new relationships. And you will be surprised to discover all kinds of fascinating new things about yourself by being involved in group activities and events. The management skills you learn as a result will be highly useful in the future when you must venture out into the real world and begin the ever-dreaded job search.

6. It allows you to discover your passions, strengths, and talents.

Joining an RSO presents many opportunities to learn more about yourself, your goals, your passions, and your strengths. You can also find out what you’re good at, what you enjoy (or what you don’t), whether that’s leading, event planning, generating ideas, or serving others. This self-awareness will be beneficial in your future. These can provide you with a sense of self-worth, lead you in new and unexpected directions, and–most importantly–help you succeed in life.

7. It’s the perfect way to maximize learning.

Remember that college is all about learning new information (about yourself, about others, about the world, and about life in general), yet oftentimes the best learning happens outside of the typical classroom setting. Being part of an organization allows you to put all of those things you’ve been learning in class to the test in real-world situations. You’ll get to learn what works and what doesn’t, and you’ll be able to take that knowledge back to the classroom, and then, of course, along with you in a future career. 

8. You’ll learn how to engage with diverse groups of people.

Chances are, the RSO you choose to participate in will include a diverse group of people — you’ll be faced with the same situation in the working world! Learning how different people respond and react to certain situations will help you develop your skills in presenting and implementing ideas, creating inclusive environments, and become a more effective leader.

9. You’ll get a break from your studies.

Concentrating on schoolwork is obviously important during a graduate program, but giving your mind a break is necessary (and beneficial). While taking part in your RSO, you’ll be able to socialize with like-minded individuals and actually learn as much from them as you would your schoolwork. And everyone needs a break once in a while–especially college students who are constantly swamped with school work. Getting involved is the perfect way for you to take some time out of your busy day to focus on hobbies, passions, or other activities.

10. It emphasizes the importance of teamwork.

Knowing how to work well with a team is an essential skill for any career. Being in an RSO teaches you how to do this by putting you in situations where you are required to take advice from others, as well as give your own.

So what are you waiting for???

Michigan Tech is full of wonderful opportunities for students to get involved, but RSO’s might just be the best option (in our opinion!). Joining an RSO and getting involved will not only enhance your overall Michigan Tech experience but will also introduce you to a world of endless opportunities. So what are you waiting for? Go out there and explore all the incredible things our awesome RSO’s has to offer! You can start by checking out our RSO’s on Involvement Link!



ADVISOR APPRECIATION MONTH – April

Thank you to our Student Organization Advisors!


We highly value the work that our faculty and staff do with our many registered student organizations (RSO), and we want to take some time to celebrate them and recognize how important they are.

All of our RSO’s must have an advisor who is a full-time faculty/staff member at Michigan Technological University – meaning we have faculty and staff helping to support all 240+ of our organizations!

The role of the advisor may or may not be spelled out in the organization’s constitution (and it does vary from organization to organization), but there are some traits and practices which we know are important for our student leaders to be as successful as possible within their organizations. First and foremost, our advisors serve as educators who act in accordance with the goals and values of their student org and Michigan Tech. Advisors must have knowledge and skills which enable them to empower students within the group they advise. Advisors must also role model ethical behavior and, when appropriate, provide direction to organizations to assist them in their successes.

Advising a student organization can be a rewarding experience, but can also be nerve-wracking. Enthusiastic new advisors can easily fall into the trap of over-advising, or micromanaging, a student group. Conversely, well-meaning advisors can adopt a “hands-off” attitude which can significantly lower the morale and productivity of a student group. As advisors, we often search for balance: we struggle to balance the demands of our “job” with the demands of this “outside” influence. It is our hope that our office can help support you balance that task.

At the end of the day, our students are blessed to have the support and guidance of our talented faculty and staff. Because of your support, our students accomplish great things, challenge each other, build networks, meet friends, create memories, and gain skills long after they leave Tech. We appreciate you and hope that you get just as much out of the advising experience as our students do.

Being an advisor provides a multitude of benefits for faculty and staff:

  • A unique opportunity to get to know and work with students outside of the classroom or office
  • The reward of watching the group develop to its fullest potential
  • The reward of watching students develop their individual skills and talents
  • The chance to informally share your knowledge and expertise on relevant topics
  • An opportunity to feel satisfaction and accomplishment through making a special contribution to a particular group of students
  • The chance for service to students, the University, and the larger community

If you are not currently an advisor and you’d like to volunteer, please feel free to check out our list of organizations on Involvement Link and send an email to rso@mtu.edu.

The Student Leadership & Involvement office is here to serve as a resource to you and to answer your questions or concerns. Contact us with questions, and be sure to look at the resources available on our website.

Thank you for all you do with our student organizations!


Behind the Scenes: Pets of SLI

Angus

Angus is a 3 year old pitbull who just celebrated his “Gotcha Day” with Beka. Rescued from the Michigan Humane Society in Detroit, MI at 10 weeks old. He loves digging in the snow, playing fetch, and playing with his cousin Kodi, a black labrador retriever. He is not super motivated by food, but loves peanut butter and scrambled eggs if you have any left over. Angus is enjoying having his people work from home but doesn’t understand why we are not always playing outside when it is sunny. 


Charlie

Meet Charlie, he is a 4 year old rescue, that makes it his mission to keep a smile on his mom’s face.  He loves cuddling, especially under a warm blanket. His favorite place to nap is in front of the wood stove or in his beehive cat bed.  When he is not napping, he can be found in his tower watching the birds or grabbing a toy from his toybox to play. His favorite game is playing fetch – but only if you are throwing a red ribbon!  


Hubert

This is Christine’s favorite succulent (nicknamed Hubert). It accompanies her during workdays from home. Little Hubert loves basking in the sunshine (just like Christine!) and always emanates a soft and comforting green hue. Hubert also loves good vibes, smooth jazz, and water. 


Liam

Liam Michael is a sassy Siamese/Maine Coon mix who loves to snuggle.  His favorite places to hang out are window sills, his Hot Cocoa Cafe box, and anywhere with soft blankets.  When he is not napping, you can find Liam playing with his favorite unicorn toy from his friend Charlie, licking windows, or trying to jump in on Zoom meetings with his mom.  


Millie

Mildred June, aka Millie, is a 3 year old pitbull and has been with Stefani since she was 12 weeks old. Born on a farm in Trenary, Millie is a true blue yooper who loves the snow, going on long hikes, and jumping in the truck to go off-roading with her family. Millie’s favorite toy is a stuffed skunk which she often carries around all day but tennis balls are a close second. Millie is a trained medical alert dog and she takes her job very seriously, ensuring that her mom never is caught off guard. She’s pretty thrilled about this whole working from home thing and can be found snuggling up to one of her parents while they work or jumping into Zoom sessions to say hello. 


Behind the Scenes: Students of SLI

Hey Huskies!  The office of Student Leadership and Involvement has some amazing students that work here.  We wanted you all to get to know them a little better! 

Meet Jaina!

Year: 4th year

Major: Mechanical Engineering Technology

# of years working for SLI: 2

I have another year of university left so as of right now I’m starting to get prepared for starting senior design in the fall with Blizzard Baja. For the summer I plan on continuing working with SLI and moving back to Houghton. For the office currently I have done more miscellaneous things such as: website review, assisting in USG work, and assisting in social media posts. Outside of that and school work, I’ve been mainly playing video games now that I have more time to reconnect with older friends, on Saturdays I play dnd with my friends in Alpha Phi Omega, and overall getting a ton of dog cuddling time in.


Meet Alex!

Year: 5th year (Accelerated Masters student)

Major: Civil Engineering with Geotech Focus

# of years working for SLI: 3

This is my last semester here at Michigan Tech as I am graduating with my completed degree. After graduation I will be moving downstate to Lansing, MI to start my new full time job. I have worked in the Student Leadership and Involvement office (or Student Activities when I first started) for three years now and I have enjoyed every minute of it. Some of the events I have really enjoyed helping to plan and work are Cardboard Boat, K-Day, and Student Leadership Awards. RIght now I have been working remotely from my Houghton home to make next year’s USG spreadsheet they use to keep track of all student funding.  While sitting in isolation I have been binge watching a lot of TV shows and Facetime/Zooming with my friends and family. While at Tech I have been very involved in both MUB Board and the Huskies Pep Band! Here’s a picture of me with the other graduating conductors at the last home hockey game this year! (I am the one with the headset on)


Meet McKenzy!

Year: 4th year 

Major: Communications, Culture and Media focus in Media Production

# of years working for SLI: 2

I still have one year left here at Michigan Tech and after graduation I’m still working out what I want to do but what I do know is I always want to be able to create and be able to find new ways of communicating and engaging with people. This semester has definitely been an interesting one and it’s allowed me to spend more time on expressing myself through digital art. Working with SLI for the past two years I have grown so much in my skills and I’ve been given a lot of freedom in creating graphics and posters which helped me do that. From helping with summer programming where I got to decorate rocks and eat ice cream to creating a new HuskyLead logo to designing the awards, posters, social media graphics and presentation graphics for Fraternity and Sorority Life Awards and Student Leadership Awards. Working with all the wonderful ladies in the office I have been able to learn new things, be pushed to think outside of the box and really enjoy every day I’m in the office and can see everyone. At Tech I got involved in MUB Board, Women’s Leadership Council, CinOptic Enterprise, and even Club and Intramural sports. Being involved has given me a lot of valuable lessons as well as great memories. But for now I watch way too much Netflix with my plants in between doing my school work and my remote work for SLI. Here’s me and my snake plant, Rhea! I really like plants.