Fall Recipes

The fall semester can be crazy busy for everyone! Margaret Hansen of “Teach To Taste” has some great recipes on her website for chilly fall days that will warm the soul. One thing we really like about Margaret is that she emphasizes the importance of connecting with what’s on your plate.

Our favorite recipes are linked below, but you can also head over to her website yourself, or you can register for our Husky Hobby cooking events next week on Thursday, November 18th. On the 18th, she’ll be teaching a course over Zoom about making your own marinara and how you can pair it with different foods!

An Evening in Italy Recipies | Oat + Fruit + Nut Cookies | Simple Zucchini Cupcakes


What is the Healthy Minds Survey?

The Healthy Minds Survey is a campus-wide survey that will be available to Michigan Tech students until October 15th at 5 pm. The Healthy Minds Survey is a questionnaire that was launched in 2007 in order to examine mental health, service utilization, and related issues among undergraduate and graduate students— it now is used by over 400 colleges and universities in what is known as the Healthy Minds Network for Research on Adolescent and Young Adult Mental Health.

What can I expect from the survey?

Participation is easy and rewarding, only taking 25 minutes. The survey has a bunch of multiple-choice questions that were interesting and thought-provoking to answer. The survey starts off with some generic questions such as gender, age, sexual orientation, and race/ethnicity. Following this, it asks questions about your socioeconomic status, food security, and a plethora of questions about education and college life. Other questions involve citizenship status, disability status, military status, and religious affiliation. Many of these questions have an “other” or “prefer not to answer” option, and none of them are required. 

In the next section, the survey asks Likert scale as well as multiple-choice questions about mental and emotional health. Some of these questions involve suicide, eating disorders, sexual assault, discrimination, substance use, exercise, sleep, COVID-19, and guns. Next, it asks questions about service and support such as therapy and medications. Building on top of that, the survey then asks about your knowledge and beliefs about those services as well as your own knowledge about mental health. It also asks a few questions about how you would handle difficult situations on campus. Then, the survey asks about the mental health climate and culture on campus. At the end of the survey, it asks you if you would like personalized feedback on your answers, which can help you understand how you are in relation to mental health challenges.

All of the questions are confidential and voluntary. Therefore, if you do not feel like answering one, you do not have to. If you would like to view the questions before taking them, you can view the 2021-2022 questionnaire on their website. By taking this survey, you agree to become a part of a de-identified national and aggregate data set. Typically, data is also blinded in relation to schools, except in cases where researchers wish to compare institutions, are doing a regional analysis, or wish to compare other mental health programs. Here is the most exciting part of this survey: upon finishing the survey, you will be entered into a sweepstake to win 1 of 2 $500 prizes or 1 of 10 $100 prizes. The drawing will be held in the summer of 2022 by the researchers at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Winners will be notified by email.

How is my data utilized?

Universities that participate in the Healthy Minds Survey receive customized data sets, data reports, access to the interactive data interface data reports, and even an Economic analysis of mental health services. Universities may use this data in a number of ways. According to their page on benefits, the The Healthy Minds Survey may be used to:

  • Support and strengthen Grant application
  • To advocate for mental health services and programs on campus
  • To evaluate existing programs 
  • To assess the need for programs and services 
  • To assess the training programs or the need for training programs
  • To raise awareness of mental health and campus resources
  • To make comparisons with peer institutions
  • To educate and inform the community about the state of Student Mental Health on campus
  • To inform the Board of Trustees about students attitudes and behaviors regarding mental health
  • To give presentations to faculty and staff

Michigan Tech is in general very interested in the well-being of its students, but has three important questions in mind for this survey: 

  • How has COVID-19 affected our campus community’s well-being? 
  • With respect to well-being, what are some high-risk areas that our students are reporting?
  • How does our Healthy Minds Survey differ this year from 2018?

Now that you know what it is, what to expect, as well as how your data is used, please remember to take the survey!


Let’s Talk About STI’s

September is National Sexual Health Month, so what is a better way to end the month than talking about STIs (or also known as STDs).

Practicing safe sex is essential to our physical and mental health, but what is “safe sex?” We hear this phrase a lot, and it simply means taking steps to protect yourself and your partners during sex. There are many options and methods to ensure healthy and safe experiences with sex. Whether this is through open communication with our partners, using contraceptives or other forms of protection, and regular STI testing. Today’s post is focusing on all the resources available to students and non-students here at Michigan Tech, along with the surrounding community as well. 

First, let’s cover exactly what STIs are. STIs are sexually transmitted infections that are passed from individuals through sexual contact. Sexually transmitted infections are a very common and important aspect of our sexual health. Many STIs can be treated, and some are even curable! However, if they are left untreated they can cause significant problems to our body’s health. This is why it is important for us to practice safe sex, not only for ourselves but for our partners as well. Therefore, it is important for us to be keeping track of our bodies and seeing medical professionals if or when we notice changes in our medical conditions.

So, what are the best ways we can prevent STI transmission when we are sexually active? This is where communication, use of barrier methods (external & internal condoms), and regular STI testing come into play. Communication is attractive, and so is practicing safe sex! Being open and honest with sexual partners can be the first step to safe sex (after consent). Discussing things like barriers and past testing can be great steps to practicing safe sex. Speaking of barriers, using things like condoms can do more than prevent pregnancy, they can also prevent STIs. However, this is ONLY the case for barrier contraceptives. Contraceptives such as the pill, patch, IUD, and a few other contraceptives work to solely prevent pregnancies and do not prevent STIs. Making sure we are informed on which contraceptives keep us protected from each circumstance is essential. Finally, getting tested frequently for STIs is the next step to taking care of your sexual health. By seeking out testing, you are ensuring healthy sex for you and your sexual partners.

But what if you don’t have access to barrier protection, or aren’t sure where to get tested? No problem! There are plenty of resources open to the Michigan Tech community from free condoms to accessible STI testing. 

In search of protection or resources? Check out these places below.

  • The Center for Student Mental Health and Well-Being carries free condoms that are available to everyone. Just head to the campus administration building on the 3rd floor.

https://map.mtu.edu/?id=1308#!m/368429?ct/39008,36886

  • The Center for Diversity and Inclusion also carries free condoms that are available to everyone. 
  • If none of these options work out, try out the local Walmart, Walgreens, or any other drugstores you may be located by. Drugstores often carry a plethora of sizes to surely fit anyone’s needs or preferences.

In search of STI Testing? Check out these places below.

  • Western Upper Peninsula Health Department offers testing for all major STIs. Fees are offered on a sliding scale based on an individual’s income. Students receive a reduced or waived fee. (Yes, free testing is an option!) Located at 540 Depot St, Hancock, MI 49930.
  • Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center provides STD screenings and HPV vaccinations. Call ahead for a face-to-face appointment. Located in the Student Development Complex.
  • Aspirus Houghton Clinic provides STD testing. Call ahead to schedule an appointment. Located next to the Houghton Walmart. 

In search of other resources? Check the ones listed below.

  • If you are looking for sexual health advice or information check out the Center for Student Mental Health website or walk down to the administration building on the 3rd floor for face-to-face help. 

https://www.mtu.edu/well-being/

  • If you are looking for more medical information on sexual health talk to your primary physician!
  • If you are wanting to research more on this topic check out the CDC website for more information.

https://www.cdc.gov/sexualhealth/Default.html

Happy National Sexual Health Month! Go get tested.


What is NAMI?

The National Alliance on Mental Illness or NAMI for short is just that.

Providing support, education, signs/symptoms, and much more, NAMI focuses on providing support to those who are affected by mental illness.

Recently on our Instagram page, we put up some stories with questions from NAMI’s StigmaFree quiz. Our goal was to help engage our student population and get people thinking about what they can do to support their friends, family, and community members who are affected. NAMI is a great resource that we wanted to make available during this time, as it is Suicide Awareness Month. Educating ourselves and others and providing resources is a small step we can take to help build a StigmaFree environment on campus. Not only does NAMI offer a quiz to help individuals think about their actions, but they also have an online pledge that can be taken. This pledge allows you to help facilitate the change in which NAMI is hoping to achieve – ending stigma and creating positive environments for those affected by mental illness.

It is rare that any of us are perfect and will walk around without a bias on the occasion, but participating in the quiz and taking the pledge, can help us put a little more accountability on one another to work on creating safe and inviting environments around our campus. If you would like to learn more about who NAMI is and what they do, go to this link.


Fungi Frenzy

Amy Bachhuber and Rohn Sorensen are the co-owners of Superior Mycology Co.

Both having a love for being in the woods and having a natural curiosity of nature, Amy and Rohn met roughly five years ago and began their partnership by sharing photos of mushrooms with each other. “We started foraging together and had a blast learning and trying new varieties of mushrooms”, they commented. Eventually, after getting to learn about the different seasons of growing, Amy and Rohn decided to start growing indoors to “be able to have fresh mushrooms even when there is snow on the ground”, they said.

Enjoying the ability to grow delicious mushrooms during the “off-season”, Amy and Rohn decided to get a Community Supported Agricultural (CSA), and begin growing there. Amy has a Certified Wild Mushroom Expert Certification in the State of Michigan, which is required to sell mushrooms, specifically ones that are foraged.

While the Houghton and Keweenaw Counties are great places to forage, there are many toxic “look-alikes” that could be misidentified. Because Amy is certified, she knows which are which and has learned proper identification techniques. An example that Amy and Rohn warn about is morel’s, which have a toxic “look-alike” called “the false morel” or Gyromitra esculenta. A warning they stress is, “[t]he existence of these toxic mushrooms in our forests and the possibility for misidentification with a choice edible is very real. We cannot stress enough that an abundance of caution should be first and foremost in foraging wild mushrooms.”

To avoid misidentification, Amy and Rohn have some great safe/edible mushrooms for sale that have some awesome health benefits.

Generally, mushrooms are fat-free, contain very little sodium, and are low in calories. They will add a delicious flavor to meals and for individuals who have plant-based diets, mushrooms can even be substituted for meats. Mushrooms are also packed with vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins, vitamin D, and potassium. Amy and Rohn also shared that some mushrooms, like Oyster Mushrooms, contain beta-glucans. Beta-glucans are currently being studied for their effects on the immune system. Mushrooms can also produce additional bioavailable Vitamin D if they are exposed to UV light before preparation.

Amy and Rohn recommend Oyster Mushrooms as a great place to start if you’re interested in implementing mushrooms in your diet. They also recommend Lion’s Mane, which is sweet like crab meat. Below are a few recipes they recommend for those looking to give mushrooms a try.


Basic Mushroom Sauté

Ingredients:

8 oz of mushrooms

2-3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 T butter or other oil

Sauce:

1 T tamari

1/2 T rice or white wine vinegar

1/2 T sweet cooking wine or white wine

Steps:

  • Tear your mushrooms into pieces.
  • Heat a heavy skillet on medium heat
  • Place mushroom pieces in the skillet with NO oil or butter and let them steam off some of their water.
  • Once they stop steaming and have shrunk to about 1/2 to 2/3 their original size, add butter and chopped garlic
  • Saute until garlic is fragrant and the mushrooms are well cooked.
  • Turn the heat off and add the mixed tamari, cooking wine and vinegar. Toss and allow the sauce to coat the mushrooms
  • Now they can be stored in the refrigerator for about 5-7 days and used in eggs, on pizza, in pasta, over meat or fish, you name it!

Lions Mane or Hericium Mushroom Crabcakes

Ingredients

Mushrooms

  • 1 lb lions mane or other Hericium mushrooms
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons water

Cake mix

  • ¼ cup minced scallion
  • ¼ cup minced red bell pepper
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup high fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons chopped herbs like cilantro tarragon, or Italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon worcesterchire or similar I use mushroom ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning optional, a mix of paprika, cayenne, and extra salt can be substituted
  • 1 large egg
  • Kosher salt to taste

Serving

  • All purpose flour for dredging
  • Flavorless oil for cooking the cakes
  • Fresh green salad
  • Dollop of spicy mayonnaise optional
  • Fresh cut chives optional
  • Lemon wedges

Instructions

Wilt the mushrooms and remove the water

  • Pick the lions mane mushrooms into pieces to resemble crab meat. Put the mushrooms in a pan with the water and salt, cover and bring to a simmer, stir, cover, and cook for a few minutes until the mushrooms are wilted and have given up their juice.
  • Allow the mushrooms to cool, then squeeze out as much water as you possibly can. This step is important as mushrooms, unlike crab, contain lots of water.

Mix with the crab cake mix

  • Combine the mushrooms with the cake ingredients and mix well. Taste a bit of the mixture (you can cook it if raw egg weirds you out) adjust the seasoning for salt and anything else you’re looking for, then allow the crab cake mix to rest for at least 15 minutes to allow the breadcrumbs to hydrate, which will make forming the cakes easier. In a perfect world, you’ll let it sit overnight.

Cooking

  • To cook the cakes, form 4 oz patties of the mixture (it will be delicate, don’t worry—the egg will set as they cook). For the most refined look, form the cakes using a ring mold.
  • Heat a pan with a few tablespoons of oil.
  • Heat an oven to 350F. Meanwhile, gently dredge the cakes in flour on both sides, tap off the excess, and brown gently on medium heat. When one side of the cakes are golden brown, gently flip the cakes and transfer the pan to the oven and cook until hot throughout, about 10 minutes.

Serving

  • Remove the cakes to a plate with a fresh green salad, top with a dollop of spicy mayonnaise or aioli if using, sprinkle with chives and serve with lemon wedges on the side. The cakes are also excellent served on a bun like you would a burger.

Another Suggestion from Amy & Rohn

Simply saute about ½ pound of oyster mushrooms with onions or shallots and garlic. Once the onions begin to soften and mushrooms are cooked, add some thyme and a little white wine (optional). Then add a quart of broth and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and blend the whole thing until creamy. Serve with a little soy sauce and crusty bread!


Photo Gallary


For the Love of Florals

Having a passion for nature and finding beauty in the simple things, Bobbi Bicigo from Protea Floral chatted with us about her journey to becoming a florist.

Originally studying environmental science in school, she came to the realization that it wasn’t something she could see herself pursuing for the rest of her life. Looking for a more creative outlet and making friends with a stranger, Bobbi found herself heading off to the Floral Design Institute in NW Portland. “I had no idea something like that existed, once I found out, I knew I had to do it”, she said. Learning from some of the West Coast’s top floral designers, Bobbi knew she had to continue her passion for floral design wherever she ended up.

Ending up in Hancock, MI of all places, she moved from a renovated camper design studio to her current studio on 100 Navy St. in a matter of roughly six months. Now owning a successful business, Bobbi offers workshops and advice for all the plants in her shop. Typically workshops are held in the spring before the wedding season and after the holidays, but Bobbi still offers advice to those that are interested!

If you’re looking for some bouquets or floral designs, some advice Bobbi has is, “You’ll always receive the best design when you allow for some creative freedom. Trusting the designer will always yield you the best results that stem from heartfelt inspiration. Giving them a color, feeling, or mood you’re wanting to create will allow the designer to choose the best possible blooms for your vision.”

If you’re looking to bring home some new plant friends Bobbi recommends Philodendron Brasil for beginners, because of how easy they are to take care of. But, she notes that it’s easy to love your new plant friends too much! Reminding us that, “it’s better to let the [plants] dry out a little than to over water” and that “not all plants should be on the same watering schedule”.  Another tip suggested is switching your watering schedule in the winter. “Less light means the less they drink. They go into a state of dormancy.”, she notes.

While we did previously mention in our Instagram post the health and well-being benefits of owning plants, Bobbi echoed similar benefits saying, “Not only are they incredible at purifying your air, but there is a whole list of science-backed benefits to having plants in your space. They reduce stress, purify your air, sharpen your attention, may boost your immune system, are therapeutic to work with, and can increase productivity, to name a few.”

If you’re also a lover of plants and floral design head over to Bobbi’s shop at (100 Navy St, Hancock, Michigan 49930) or website to learn more about what she offers and all the plants she has available.


@Keweenaw.rock.hunters

We got to learn about the person behind the Instagram account @Keweenaw.rock.hunters, this past week.

Maddie Pugh, a student at Michigan Tech turned her unexpected downtime from COVID into the opportunity to pursue her hobby again. “I wasn’t able to return to work for a couple of months because of COVID, so I was hiking and rock hunting practically every day with my partner”, she told us.

When talking with Maddie about rock hunting and how she got into it, she explained how she’s been interested in rock hunting since about five or six years old… ” so a long time!”, she noted. Maddie added saying, “[h]owever, I didn’t really get back into hunting until my third year of college. I went for a hike at the Black Creek Nature Sanctuary which made me realize I wanted to look for rocks to collect again.”

We asked Maddie about what made her want to create the @keweenaw.rock.hunters page and she told us, “I thought it would be cool to start a local page to post both our own finds, as well as for others to share their favorite local finds, as well…Basically, I wanted to try and start a little community here where people could geek out about rocks & minerals together!” Loving how Maddie wanted to create a community for a shared hobby, we dove further with a few more questions about her hobby.

Asking Maddie about where she likes to go collecting/hunting in the Keweenaw/Houghton area, she told us “my favorite places would have to be McLain State Park, Gratiot River County Park, Calumet Waterworks Park, and High Rock Bay.” Some of the rocks she’s found when hunting in the Keweenaw/Houghton area are, “…Lake Superior agates, thomsonite, and plenty of copper deposits…You can even find other gemstones such as amethyst, greenstone, and malachite!” She also noted a couple of popular finds are “Yooperlites”® and “U.P. Thomsonite”. P.S. – We looked at some pictures of the thomsonite’s and they look awesome!

Maddie told us that while some rocks are easier to find, such as the “Yooperlites” ®, there are a few rocks that she’s found that are more difficult to find, like “malachite, amethyst, thomsonite, and greenstone” she said.

If you saw our Instagram post, we asked Maddie about tips for finding rocks, and she gave an awesome tip for agates – “…a lot can actually be found by looking in the dry rocks near the shore. The way I describe it is ‘look for rocks that look like orange candy’ because many have a waxy luster.” She also noted that either a ” 365-385nm UV flashlight” is best for finding “Yooperlites”®. If you head over to our linktr.ee, you can find a few links for the UV flashlights that the A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum provided.

Looking at it all – finding time to carve out for your hobbies is important for your health and well-being. It might not be rock hunting like Maddie, but taking the time to do something you enjoy can help to relieve stress from homework, recharge your mental batteries, and help you to meet others who are interested in the same activities. Check out this link to read more about the health and well-being benefits of hobbies, that Australia’s Department of Health published. Maddie shared with us how her hobby of rock hunting was important and rewarding – “…the feeling of finding some of nature’s most beautiful and unique creations, as well as, simply spending time outside! Not to mention, it’s a cost-effective way to collect something that brings you endless joy.”

If you’re like Maddie and have a love for rocks and minerals, you can join MTU’s Geology club! Maddie attests that they are “an awesome group of people!” Or, you can head over to the A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum up by the football field and take a peek at their awesome collection.


Capture Your Adventure MTU: Week 8

For our eigth and final week of #captureyouradventuremtu, the theme is landscapes. Students have until 8pm on Sunday EST to post pictures of any landscapes they’ve seen!

To go with the theme of landscapes our spotlight of the week is focused on Keweenaw Land Trust. This organization promotes and protects the quality of our resources around us in the Upper Peninsula. The graphic we’ve shared on our socials can be found below. More information on all that the Keweenaw Land Trust does and has to offer can be found at the following website.


Capture Your Adventure MTU: Week 7

For our seventh week of #captureyouradventuremtu, the theme is sunrise/sunset. Students have until 8pm on Sunday EST to post pictures of any sunrises or sunsets they’ve seen!

To go with the theme of sunrise/sunset our spotlight of the week is focused on Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula Visitors Bureau. The graphics we’ve shared on our socials can be found below. These are a few different locations throughout the Keweenaw that are awesome for sunrise or sunset viewing. More information on all that the Visitors Bureau has to offer can be found at the following website.


Capture Your Adventure MTU: Week 6

For our sixth week of #captureyouradventuremtu, the theme is campfire. Students have until 8pm on Sunday EST to post pictures of any campfires they’ve had in the past or in a safe zone! We asked this week that students use caution with making fires, as DNR has cautioned the high risk for fire danger in both the Upper and Lower Peninnsula.

To go with the theme of campfire our spotlight of the week was focused on MTU’s Student Leadership and Involvement Office or SLI for short. The graphic we shared on our socials can be found below. This picture was taken at the “S’More than a Feeling” event hosted by SLI this week. More information on all that the SLI offers can be found on the following website.