Graduate Reflections

Cheryl Ball

Cheryl Ball

PhD, Rhetoric and Technical Communication (2005)
Associate Professor of New Media Studies, Illinois State University

“The PhD in Rhetoric and Technical Communication at Michigan Tech taught me to be a flexible, fun scholar. The program allowed me to pursue my own areas of interest within digital writing studies and pushed me into new areas that resonated with a larger, interdisciplinary community.”

Michael Brodeur-Campbell

Michael Brodeur-Campbell

PhD, Chemical Engineering (Spring 2011)

A native of Port Huron, Michael Brodeur-Campbell is a PhD student in chemical engineering. Michael’s research focuses on improvement of enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose to glucose for the production of cellulosic ethanol. This step remains a major hurdle to commercial implementation of cellulosic ethanol. Cellulosic ethanol is a promising technology for the production of a large quantity of renewable liquid fuel from biomass.

Seth DePasqual

Seth DePasqual

MS, Industrial Archaeology (2009)

“As the cultural resource manager for Isle Royale National Park, I credit Michigan Tech’s industrial archaeology program for providing me with the tools and education necessary to perform a wide range of duties associated with my position. The unique curriculum is unmatched by any other institution.”

Michelle Jarvie Eggart

Michelle Jarvie Eggart

PhD, Environmental Engineering (2007)
Barr Engineering Co. and University of Maryland University College

"Michigan Tech was a wonderful place to go to graduate school, with access to four full seasons of outdoor fun. My faculty all knew me by name and provided great mentorship and advice. My graduate studies at Tech made me much more marketable. When I graduated, I had multiple job offers and was able to choose the best fit for me based on my interests. I am currently working on environmental engineering and sustainability projects and am also an adjunct faculty in environmental management. So many more doors are open to me now. I have the option of working in industry, for a regulator, or in academics."

Shreehari Elangovan

Shreehari Elangovan

PhD, Mechanical Engineering

Originally from Coimbatore, India, Shreehari Elangovan is a PhD student in mechanical engineering. Elangovan researches the hypoelastic properties of the human body, focusing on the stresses in the body that cause cysts to form on our nerves. “Michigan Tech has been an ideal environment for research,” says Elangovan. “Students here are taught by extremely knowledgeable and experienced people who have practical experience in the field.”
Jacob Fugal

Jacob Fugal

PhD, Atmospheric Sciences (2007)
Atmospheric Scientist, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry

“Michigan Tech was an outstanding choice for a graduate degree—the funding was always there, my PhD advisor was the best, the teachers in the atmospheric sciences classes were always helpful and easy to learn from, and office staff kept my administrative headaches to a minimum. They really care about their students. Also, going to Michigan Tech put me on the map in my research field. I’m doing the research I want to do, at internationally known institutions.”

Mark Griep

Mark Griep

PhD, Mechanical Engineering (2008)

"Michigan Tech’s international diversity was highly influential on my career. Tech offered vibrant international and cultural opportunities to genuinely experience diversity. It was these experiences that drove me to pursue a Fulbright Fellowship in Taiwan following graduation, and I am now moving toward an international focus in my career."

Stephanie Groves

Stephanie Groves

PhD Candidate, Biological Sciences (Fall 2012)

Stephanie Groves received a BS degree in biological sciences in 2006 and a MS in biological sciences in 2009. She is currently working on a PhD. Her research goal is the optimization of ethanol production by yeast from lignocellulosic biomass. Her project focuses on increasing ethanol yields through adaptation of yeast to lignocellulosic feedstocks and identifying targets for metabolic engineering.

Guy Hembroff

Guy Hembroff

PhD Candidate, Computational Science and Engineering (Fall 2012)

“My research area entails comprehensive security for the medical sector using optimized image-based identification and policy modeling. I aim to improve security within the health-care environment on two levels. First, I will solve problems associated with identification by advancing biometric algorithms in identifying patients and medical staff to develop unique identification for each individual. Second, I will design architecture and policy models to permit the secure transfer and access of data within a fixed or mobile environment.”

Maria Janowiak

Maria Janowiak

MS, Forest Ecology and Management (2007)
Scientist, Climate Change Adaptation and Carbon Management, Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science

“The research that I did as part of my master’s was fun and exciting, and I was fortunate to spend a lot of time in the forests of Upper Michigan. I learned a lot from the faculty whom I worked with, and I continue to collaborate with several of them in my current job. While studying for my master’s, I also developed skills that I use every day as part of my job, including writing, presenting, and working with a variety of collaborators.”

Steven Johnson

Steven Johnson

PhD, Chemistry (2010)
Assistant Professor, University of New England

“Being a graduate student at Michigan Tech was an invaluable experience. I was exposed to opportunities unavailable at larger universities while at the same time performing research in an unsurpassed environment. The faculty’s genuine interest in my education more than prepared me for a career in academia.”

Santosh Karre

Santosh Karre

PhD, Electrical Engineering (2008)

“The time I spent at Michigan Tech was instrumental in setting the direction for my professional life. Currently I am working on some of the exciting technological problems at Intel as senior process technology development engineer. I owe my success to the professors and research facilities at Tech.”

Melanie Laffin

Melanie Laffin

MS, Mathematical Sciences (2011)

“Without my experience at Michigan Tech, I wouldn’t be on my current career path. I took a course in combinatorics that sparked my fascination enough to switch my major to mathematics. The unparalleled opportunities to study and do research, as well as excellent advising, have fully prepared me to continue my education in a mathematics PhD program.”

Nelson Manda

Nelson Manda

MS, Environmental Policy (2008)
United Nations Environment Programme—Geneva

“The environmental policy program has a practical and theoretical nature, which tailors to real-world environmental problem solving. The faculty is friendly, committed, and easily accessible, willing to give you personal and specialized attention. Small class sizes emphasize teamwork and shared responsibility, providing the perfect setting for academic grounding. This program thoroughly prepared me for a new career in international service.”

Katie Maroney

Katie Maroney

MS, Applied Natural Resource Economics (2008)

"I have worked in private industry, as well as academia, and I have always felt that this master’s program provided me with the expertise to be highly successful in all of my endeavors. Now, as a PhD student, I have seen firsthand how important it is to have a solid foundation in the field of economics."

Emily McCarthy

Emily McCarthy

PhD, Geology (2010)
NRC Postdoctoral Research Associate, Remote Sensing Division, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington DC

“As a graduate student in the geology department at Michigan Tech, I received several grants and fellowships from organizations and the University. This allowed me to travel domestically and internationally for conferences and collaborations with other scientists. These experiences were amazing and significant, both personally and professionally.”

Gisselle Mejia

Gisselle Mejia

MS, Forestry (2009)
Peace Corps Volunteer

“I can never thank you enough for giving me the opportunity to join the Master’s International program, which has clearly opened a lot of doors for me. My accomplishments in Peace Corps–El Salvador, coupled with my practical graduate education at Michigan Tech, enabled me to pursue my passion for community development. I was able to work to improve food resources and promote sustainability in low-income neighborhoods in New York City as the assistant manager of community development with City Harvest.”

Kaari Nevanen

Kaari Nevanen

Master of Business Administration (2010)

“After completing the Tech MBA, I felt comfortable speaking in front of large groups. This skill, among others, helped in my job search and, ultimately, with securing my job at Mindovo. Strong communication skills are a necessity, whether you’re an engineer or otherwise.”

Photo by Adam Chartier, Courtesy of Mindovo, Inc.

Essa Paterson

Essa Paterson

MS, Geology (2008)

Spending two years abroad as part of the Peace Corps Master’s International program taught me to function more competently within other cultures. This skill is not achievable within the classroom and is valuable both at home and abroad.

Heather Richards

Heather Richards

Master of Business Administration (2010)

“The Michigan Tech MBA has been an incredible learning experience. This program has helped my communication, presentation, and analytical skills to prepare me for future positions. Michigan Tech’s MBA program has given me the tools to build my own road to success.”

Agustin Robles-Marua

Agustin Robles-Marua

PhD, Environmental Engineering (2011)

“I believe that to advance sustainability science and tackle multidimensional problems . . . we must develop a broader set of research-knowledge-tools that help us integrate studies across disciplines. At Michigan Tech I was encouraged to develop such a skill set.”

Teboh Roland

Teboh Roland

PhD, DABR
MS, Physics (2004)
Radiation Oncology Physicist, John Hopkins University Hospital

Dr. Teboh Roland works in an interdisciplinary department to provide cancer care. Teboh’s team of medical professionals applies radiation to treat over 170 cancer patients on a daily basis. They work hard to make sure each patient’s care plan is complete and carried out in a safe manner.

“Entrance into my field is very competitive and continuous success depends, to a large extent, on your physics background. Michigan Tech provided me the solid . . .

Kristen Roth

Kristen Roth

MS, Civil Engineering (2009)

"Through my experience in the civil engineering graduate program, I greatly expanded my engineering knowledge and enhanced my skills as a writer and researcher. I learned the importance of self motivation, planning, and goals. Having my master’s degree helped me secure a job, and I was given more responsibility upon entering the workforce than I would have been given if I only had a bachelor’s degree."

Megan Schrauben

Megan Schrauben

MS, Applied Science Education (2004)
Director, Jackson County Mathematics and Science Center

While studying at Michigan Tech, Megan Schrauben had the opportunity to teach physics and English in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. She and another student arranged to travel with a few Senior Design teams and volunteer their time in the local schools. With the help of Bolivian road construction crews, they built a new school and designed a drainage system for the school and surrounding community.

Alicia Thorsen

Alicia Thorsen

PhD, Computer Science

Alicia Thorsen, a native of Trinidad and Tobago, is a PhD student in the computer science department. One of only twenty winners of the prestigious 2007 Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship, Thorsen is researching parallel algorithm and application development using the Unified Parallel C (UPC) programming model. Her research will be used to link multiple computers and increase computational speed, allowing the computers to solve larger, more complex problems. Thorsen is committed to introducing young women to computer science and has taught computer science courses for the computer science department and Youth Programs.

Wen Nee Yeo

Wen Nee Yeo

PhD, Chemical Engineering (2011)

“The beautiful UP area and welcoming atmosphere at Michigan Tech caused me to pursue graduate studies. I stayed on following my BS degree to get a master’s in 2003, then returned in 2008 to work toward my doctorate. Helpful faculty and great facilities made the chemical engineering department definitely the right choice for me.”