Hi everyone,

I hope you all had a great week, and that Career Fair went well for you.  The following may sound like idealistic drivel, but bare with me, because it’s true, and I’m an unapologetic idealist!  I have been particularly preoccupied with looking ahead, and considering what my future holds. as I’m sure many of you have done as well.  These reflections make a lot of sense this time of year; the entire world is preparing for new beginnings around us!  Soon leaves will be back on the trees, we’ll be able to see the grass again.  For some of us, graduation is just around the corner (which is still hard to comprehend!), and for others, a summer of internships, coops, jobs, and opportunities awaits.  Our futures as representatives of Michigan  Tech are unfolding before us, and that is really exciting!  We have acquired many technical skills, understand our chosen fields better than ever, and have created invaluable memories.  Hopefully, too, we have learned more about ourselves, and the world around us, how to identify with and accept people from many different cultures and mindsets, and how to embrace new experiences.  We can go forward knowing how to create lasting and meaningful change.

 Last week, I ordered my graduation regalia for April, and the reality that my time at Michigan Tech is quickly drawing to a close came crashing down.  This is a profoundly bittersweet feeling, and one that induces a great deal of reflection.  I have grown so much as a student and a person, and have had so many great opportunities here, which I am sad to see end.  However, I also know that an entirely new chapter of my life is about to begin, and that it will be time to start a new adventure soon.

I hope that you are excited about your future, and take every opportunity to make it amazing.

Board Games, Anyone?



Hi all,

I hope you had a terrific Winter Carnival, and enjoyed your time off.  Now here we are at Week 5, that joyous little window between Winter Carnival and Career Fair.  And as most of you probably know, we are going to take this opportunity to have a break from studying and statue-building to gather for a Game Night.  This event will be specifically for transfer students, so I hope you can make it!

Just as a reminder:

We will meet in Fisher 130

at 7 pm

on Wednesday, February 10th

Please bring your favorite board game! 

Snacks will be provided 

What About Week Three

 Hi everyone,

I hope you’re all doing well as the first exams of the semester quickly approach. This can be a hectic time for a lot of students: tests are coming up, assignments are due, and Winter Carnival and Career Fair are just around the corner.  Remain calm!  We are transfer students, and we’ve got this…wave the flag!  Stay organized with your work; prioritize what needs to be done, and remain diligent in finishing your assignments.  Use a planner, a to-do list, or whatever method that works for you to keep on track.  Find a study spot that is most conducive for your learning: does studying with others distract or help you? Can you concentrate better at home or at the library?  Do you need background noise or complete silence?  These questions may seem obvious, but they can really help when it is time to get work done.

With Career Fair coming up as well, be aware of the resources that are available to you.  This is a great experience, and an opportunity to network with a lot of companies, so take the opportunity to prepare:

  • Resume Blitz Week (starting Feb. 9th at 11am):  https://events.mtu.edu/event/resume_blitz_week#.VqpOdPk4GUk
  • Mock Interview Week starting Feb. 8th at 9am): https://events.mtu.edu/event/mock_interview_week_28-212#.VqpPhPk4GUk
  • Business Dining and Etiquette Dinner (Feb. 11th at 5pm): https://events.mtu.edu/event/business_and_dining_etiquette_dinner#.VqpPM_k4GUk
  • Many other opportunities and resources at http://www.mtu.edu/career/careerfest/

In the midst of all this, don’t forget to take a breath, give yourself a break, and remember that balance between studying and relaxation is important.  If you neglect your homework, your grades will suffer, and if you dedicate every waking moment to your homework, you will be thoroughly burnt out by mid-semester.  Be diligent during the week, and keep up-to-date on your assignments, then take Saturday to relax and have fun, or find another method of work-life balance that works for you.

One More Challenge

Happy Week 14, Transfer Students!  I hope that your final week of classes is off to a good start, and that those last few projects and assignments are going well.  This will be my last blog entry of the semester, and I just wanted to leave you with a few survival tips for Finals Week, some things to keep in mind for the rest of the semester, and, of course, to congratulate you on completing the Fall 2015 semester!

First, as you know, next week is the infamous Finals Week.  It sounds imposing, and it definitely can be.  However, if you plan accordingly, manage your time well, avoid stressing out (as much as possible), and stay focused, Finals Week becomes much more manageable.

Here are some things that have really helped me prepare for finals over the years:

  • Utilize your notes, quizzes, and exams when studying; these can help you review material you may have forgotten, and can be great guides for studying
  • Create a review sheet: The format depends on whatever works best for you, but try to make an organized outline of the material that will be covered on the exam in a way that makes sense to you.  Think of this as a form of review as well!  The more you integrate the material in different ways (writing it down, reading it out loud, organizing key points in a chapter), the more likely you are to remember it
  • Don’t underestimate the value of practice exams!  If your professor provides them, definitely use them in your preparation
  • Be sure you know the place and time of your final exams; you don’t want to bother with looking this up on the day of the test

Exam preparation can be very subjective among students, so if you have a study method that has proven to be effective and efficient, please share it in the comments section of this blog!

As you prepare to take your exams and go home for the holidays, there are some things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t forget about the Commuter/Transfer Student Study Break tomorrow!  We will be in Library 114 at 5pm, so feel free to stop by
  • If you live on campus, be advised that Quiet hours begin this Friday (Dec. 11)!

Otherwise, safe travels and Happy Holidays to you all!  And, of course, good luck with finals!


Welcome Back!

Hello, fellow transfer students!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving break, and had a chance to relax!  We are on the final countdown of the semester; deadlines and holidays are quickly approaching.  In the midst of all this chaos, I wanted to take the time to congratulate each of you on a successful semester here at Tech.  Whether this was your first semester or your tenth, it’s important to keep in mind what you have accomplished!  All that hard work, the late nights at the library, has brought you to this: you’re one step closer to achieving your goals, and that’s nothing to sneeze at!  It’s incredible to contemplate that this is the last Fall semester I will spend at Tech; in some ways, it feels like I just got here!  Likewise, before you know it, you will be preparing to graduate as well.  So hang in there, and enjoy the time you have here at Tech, because it really does go by quickly!

With finals just around the corner, several organizations/departments around campus are putting together some events to give you a break from studying:

Wednesday, 12/9 (5pm): The Commuter Assistant and I are teaming up again to host a Study Break Social for transfer and commuter students.  Location is still TBD, but we will keep you informed.  Take a minute to say hi and grab some free snacks!

Thursday, 12/3 (1-2pm): FINALS: The Other “F” Word.  Join the MUB board in MUB Ballroom A2 to learn new stress-management techniques, and how to effectively prepare for finals.  Yes, there will be snacks!

There are always other events scheduled around campus as well, so keep your eyes open for something that interests you.

I hope to see some of you at the Study Break Social next week.  Otherwise, best of luck in finishing up your classes, and preparing for finals!


Community Matters

Hi everyone,

I hope the week is off to a good start for you!  In the midst of the excitement around the quickly-approaching break, I wanted to take a minute to reflect on the significance of the upcoming holiday, and how that relates to our time here at Michigan Tech.  I know, that sounds really cheesy, but don’t tune out on me yet!

One of the most emphasized values of Michigan Tech is its sense of community.  I’ve always been really impressed that these aren’t just a collection of words that look good on a mission statement, Michigan Tech really means it!  For a lot of us, our campus is really far away from our hometowns, and with winters being what they are here in the U.P, most of us can’t manage to go home for a weekend visit on a regular basis.  Therefore, it’s really important to find your niche here on campus, and in the Houghton community, to find your Michigan Tech family!  This doesn’t mean that you have to be a constant social butterfly with scores of friends (unless you want to be!).  Rather, I mean that there is immense value in finding a place in the Michigan Tech community where you feel you belong, and make connections with people who make you feel welcome, and are there for you.  In turn, it is crucial that you return the favor.  There are few compliments higher than being a good friend, being accepting, empathetic, and non-judgmental toward each fellow member of the Michigan Tech community.

We’re in this journey of higher education and self-discovery together, and our community is what we make it!  Let’s renew our drive for making Michigan Tech (our home away from home) a safe, fun, and tolerant place for everyone.

So in the spirit of community, diversity, and learning, don’t forget that this week is International Education Week.  Keep an eye out for events that might interest you: https://events.mtu.edu/

I hope you all have a wonderful break!  Happy Thanksgiving, and safe travels!


Movie Night!

Hello fellow transfer students,

I hope you had a great weekend, and that Week 11 is off to a good start! We’re on the final stretch before Thanksgiving break, so keep up the good work; you’re almost there!  Since this is such a busy time, it is always good to take some time to relax and have fun.

That being said, don’t forget that tonight is our Transfer Student Movie night in Fisher 230!  We’ll be meeting at 6pm to watch “Free Birds” (a Thanksgiving-themed animated comedy), and enjoy some snacks.  You’ve earned it, and this event is just for you, so I hope to see you there!

Check out this website to learn more about tonight’s movie: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1621039/


On a more serious note, use this week and a half before Thanksgiving wisely!  Make sure you are keeping up with homework and other assignments, and that you know exactly what is due immediately after the break.  It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of going home and enjoying the holiday, but before your vacation begins, make sure that every assignment is turned in, and that you have a gameplan for working on the assignments that will be due when you get back.  When you are home, set aside just a little time to work on upcoming projects.  Remember, there will be just two more weeks of class once we return from Thanksgiving break, so you don’t want to have to scramble to get things done in that short amount of time.

So, be aware of what needs to be done, stay up-to-date on homework, and don’t completely forget about academics over the break; these strategies will all help you stay ahead, and avoid excessive sleep deprivation when preparing for finals!

Week 10? Bring it on!

Hey everyone,

I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween!  Can you believe that it’s November 3rd, and the sun is shining like nobody’s business?!  As I mentioned in my last post, we usually have a good layer of snow on the ground by now, so this mild weather is a nice change of pace for this time of year!  Equally unbelievable is that we’re already on Week 10 of the semester!  Perhaps it’s because I know I will be graduating in the Spring, but this semester seems to have flown by incredibly quickly!  Most of us are probably already thinking about final projects, and all the other last details of the semester.

As the end of the semester quickly approaches, it can be easy to run out of steam; the majority of the work is over anyway, right?  Well, yeah, it’s true that we have come a long way, and that we’re almost done with our Fall classes, but try not to get too caught up in looking ahead.  Those final projects still need to be finished, those last few exams need to be taken.  You’ve made it this far, just keep up the great work!  I know, it’s a challenge to use the upcoming Thanksgiving and semester breaks as motivators to keep going, without losing focus of the tasks at hand, but I have all confidence that you can do just that.

I also wanted to include the following dates as a quick reminder of what is coming up:

Friday, November 6th: Last day to drop full semester course with a “W”

Friday, November 20th: Thanksgiving Recess begins at 10pm

Monday, November 30th: Classes Resume

I’ll keep you updated as other key dates approach.  And remember that you can always check the academic calendar at http://www.mtu.edu/registrar/students/calendars/academic/

Hang in there guys, Thanksgiving is almost here!


Looking Ahead

I know I’ll regret writing this, but I can’t believe how nice the weather has been lately!  For those of you who have been at Tech for a while, you know what I’m talking about, and for those preparing to spend their first winter here, you’ll know soon enough!  Now, I don’t want to make the snow, ice, and cold of the U.P seem so harrowing.  Indeed, I was really nervous about moving here and facing the notorious winters, even though I had lived in Lower Michigan my whole life, and was no stranger to the harsh season.  But when I got here, and the first snow fell in mid-October (hence my surprise at this year’s weather!), I began to realize that winter is a way of life here in the U.P. Yes, people complain, yes the weather is a hassle, and sometimes downright brutal, but it is also an endearing part of living here.  My first year here, I watched students and locals alike don coats and boots fit for the Arctic, and wade through snow that reached past their knees.  Through all these hardships of the Houghton winter, people just shake their heads, a knowing smile teasing at their lips, and say, “That’s the UP for ya!” Now, in my senior year, having braved countless snowstorms, felt the pain of leaving my gloves at home, and making a habit of wearing two pairs of socks, I find myself adopting the same resignation.  Even though the winters here can be harsh, they also bring the campus to life, especially when the snow first falls.  So, ultimately, I encourage you to embrace the (roughly) six months of snow that lie ahead, and find at least one thing that you enjoy doing during the winter.  Visit the OAP (http://www.mtu.edu/student-activities/oap-wellness/rentals/) and rent some snowshoes to take on the Tech Trails, head over to Mont Ripley (http://www.mtu.edu/mont-ripley/) and try your hand at skiing or snowboarding!  Or, if you’re like me, and prefer to remain inside where it’s warm, try to find a hobby that will keep you busy on those days when going outside just isn’t gonna happen!  There is a lot to do on campus, even when winter is at its peak, so I encourage you to take part in whatever interests you!

Plans for the Weekend?

Hi everyone,

Thank you again to those who were able to make it to our first gathering of the semester!  It was great to meet you, and I hope that you’ll be able to make it to our next event.  Until then, I wanted to alert you to some of the fun events going on around campus that are worth keeping in mind if you’re looking for something to do.

First, there is the 41N Film Festival, which begins this Friday, and ends on Sunday.  This is a compilation of independent films, and is free to students and community members!  You will have the opportunity to see some interesting and engaging films, and to interact with directors, producers, and critics.  I would definitely encourage you to check out the festival’s schedule: http://hdmzweb.hu.mtu.edu/41north/2015/index.php/schedule/ and see what interests you.

Also coming up this weekend is a benefit concert to support Michelle Crisz-Brill:

Michelle is a PhD student in Forestry and a returned Peace Corps Volunteer who has recently been diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. A benefit concert will be held at the Continental Fire Company on Saturday October 24th from 6-11 PM.

Don’t miss out on this rocking evening at the Continental Fire Co in support of the wonderful Michelle and her husband Kyle! Doors open at 6 pm, Silent Auction, and Live music from 7 pm featuring Samuel Akbar and the Traps, Electric Park, Erika Vye and Steve Brimm, and other local musicians who will share their talent.

See the Facebook Event for more information or donate directly to a GoFundMe account set up for her.

If you have questions about this event, please contact Jarod Maggio (jcmaggio@mtu.edu

I hope these suggestions are helpful in planning your weekend!  Otherwise, just try to get outside and enjoy this awesome weather!