2015 Michigan Tech Magazine: Issue 1

1400 Townsend Drive

By Kara Sokol

Spring Career Fair Sees Record Number Of Recruiters on Campus

Huskies are in high demand. There's no better way to illustrate just how much companies want Tech grads than with the success of our twice-annual Career Fair. This February's event was the largest spring fair yet, drawing big-name companies like Amazon, Caterpillar, and Target—and connecting thousands of eager job seekers with corporate recruiters.

  • 242 companies in attendance
  • Nearly 3,000 student attendees (in 1 packed-to-the-brim Multipurpose Room)
  • Corporate reps from 26 states and 1 Canadian province
  • 2,100 interview slots for students during the days following the Fair

John Lehman Tapped For Experience In Cultivating Stem Skills

John Lehman, associate vice president of enrollment, marketing, and communications, has authored a chapter in Advancing a Jobs-Driven Economy: Higher Education and Business Partnerships Lead the Way focused on how higher education institutions can work with companies to host science and engineering festivals.

Associate Vice President John Lehman tests the ooblek?an ooey-gooey substance that allows kids to
Associate Vice President John Lehman tests the ooblek--an ooey-gooey substance that allows kids to "walk on water."

It's a fitting topic, considering the success of Tech's Mind Trekkers program, which sends a student-run traveling science and engineering roadshow across the country.

"We like to think of it as a growth mindset, though. Anyone can grow into a STEM field."John Lehman

"In the US, we tend to look at science, technology, engineering, and math skills in kids with a fixed mindset," Lehman says. "People think you either get it or you don't. We like to think of it as a growth mindset, though. Anyone can grow into a STEM field."

There are many companies that want to engage in STEM outreach but don't necessarily know how, he says. His chapter offers options and examples—and talks about how to get young students to realize their budding STEM skills, ultimately filling the enormous demand for college-educated scientists and engineers.


The Science Of Communicating Research

What can happen if research scientists and engineers don't properly communicate their work to the general public?

Nicholas Bolton
Nicholas Bolton
Alex Mayer
Alex Mayer

The answer, according to Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Alex Mayer: all sorts of bad things. Funding can dry up as policymakers who don't understand science pull the plug. Advocacy groups can unite to oppose their research. The news media can misinterpret and disseminate misunderstanding.

To combat the issue, Mayer—the Charles and Patricia Nelson Presidential Professor at Michigan Tech—is helping the next generation of researchers learn how to communicate their work more effectively. With a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, Mayer is overseeing a fellowship program that teaches PhD students in a variety of fields to explain their research in K-12 classrooms and to write news releases to communicate with the public through the media.

A handful of graduate students have already completed the training, which began last fall semester. Nicholas Bolton, a PhD candidate in Forest Science, worked with Michigan Tech's director of news and media relations to learn how to craft the perfect press release.

"I'm a much more efficient communicator now," Bolton says. "Because of this experience, I'm able to articulate my work to people and show the application of my research in their daily lives."


Have Knowledge, Will Travel

Michigan Tech adds three new PCMI programs

As a student, Amber Lily Kenny '07 served as a Peace Corps Natural Resource Management and Agriculture volunteer in Togo, West Africa, and worked with USAID in Kenya. Today she is a tenured agricultural foreign officer with USAID in Uganda.
As a student, Amber Lily Kenny '07 served as a Peace Corps Natural Resource Management and Agriculture volunteer in Togo, West Africa, and worked with USAID in Kenya. Today she is a tenured agricultural foreign officer with USAID in Uganda.

Michigan Tech's award-winning Peace Corps Master's International (PCMI) program is offering three new options: Master of Science degree programs in Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Geographic Information Science.

The new degree options will enable more students to take part in PCMI—a program in which students earn a master's degree while simultaneously serving in the Peace Corps. Students typically take two semesters of courses on campus before volunteering for two years overseas and then returning to Michigan Tech to complete their degree.

"The new programs in computer science and ECE were pitched to the Peace Corps as an opportunity for our students to serve in math and science education or other sectors needing IT and technology expertise," said Kari Henquinet, PCMI director at Tech. "Our new PCMI students will bring technical training together with the strong interdisciplinary training that all of our Tech PCMI students have."

Professor Leonard Bohmann, faculty coordinator for the new ECE PCMI program, thinks the benefits his students can provide will be far-reaching.

"ECE students would be well-versed in applying many technologies to help the communities in which they volunteer, " he says. "They might work on wireless technology projects or remote, standalone power systems, like photovoltaic or hydro-energy. One of the problems in many remote locations is access to power, especially for medical clinics. ECE students can help power them and keep medicines cold that need to be cold."


UpLode

A student's-eye view from the Michigan Tech Lode

"Give us the freedom to determine how we learn best and what instruments best complement our learning."Adam Romanko urges all Michigan Tech instructors to permit portable tech in their classrooms.

"Most people in the world today are labeled with letters more commonly used as variables in math equations."Andrea Spencer discusses the challenges of generational labels like Gen X, Y, and Z.

"While there are negative voices out there, there are also louder voices waiting to combat them."A glass-half-full outlook is revealed during a pro-con debate about the dangers of promoting harmful stereotypes on social media.

"First, remember to sleep. Whether you like it or not, you will eventually succumb to it."Pratik Joshi offers essential study advice prior to final exams.


Overheard On Social Media

Current student Ben Wittbrodt shared this amazing photo with us. Thanks Ben! #PureMichigan
Current student Ben Wittbrodt shared this amazing photo with us. Thanks Ben! #PureMichigan

Comments

Ben Wittbrodt

I sure was surprised when I saw the shooting star streak across the sky! Perfect night for no sleep and aurora spotting!

Lori Caelwaerts

I recall "chasing" the lights one night when I walked out of rehearsal in Walker about 10 pm and a bunch of us spotted the lights. Then we kept driving north to try and find a less impeded view. Ended up watching them from McLain until 6 am. The TA teaching my 8 am Revisions section was unimpressed with my attempts to stay awake in class…

Britt Daiss

One of the things I miss most about da Tech!

Margie McCormick

The first time I ever saw the Northern Lights was when I was visiting Snow Carnival 1986. Breathtaking ^-^

Fun Facts About Northern Lights

Earth isn't the only planet with "night lights"

Auroras have been spotted on Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

They're aptly named

The name ‘aurora' comes from the Latin word for sunrise.

There's a "down under" version

In the southern hemisphere, the Lights are referred to as aurora australis.

They truly are high in the sky

Most auroras occur at a height of 55–80 miles. Astronauts on board the International Space Station are actually at the same altitude as the Northern Lights and see them from the side.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 60 countries around the world. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our beautiful campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.


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