Tech Alumnus Tapped to Lead State Agriculture Department

by Marcia Goodrich, senior writer

This afternoon, Keith Creagh is running a minute or two late. "Just catching up with the head of the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board," he says, by way of explanation.

Creagh (pronounced "kray") is catching up with many people these days. The 1974 forestry graduate was tapped by Michigan's then-governor-elect Rick Snyder to lead the newly named state Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, and he's been busy laying the groundwork for what he hopes will be at least four years of collegial, effective policymaking.

The words "collegial" and "effective" do not immediately spring to mind in association with Michigan state politics, which has suffered from much the same partisan acrimony as the nation as a whole. Nevertheless, Creagh is unfazed.

"I am familiar with the waterfront," he notes.

The full story is available on the Michigan Tech News site .

Annual Martin Luther King Week

Michigan Tech celebrates its annual Martin Luther King Week. Events include King's iconic "I Have a Dream" speech; a peace march in the spirit of the great peacemaker; actor Barry Scott's tribute to his idol; and a closing banquet that features Charles Pugh, president of the Detroit City Council, a respected journalist turned popular civic leader.

Here is a schedule of events, beginning today:

Monday, noon--"I Have a Dream" speech, Memorial Union steps, followed by a candelight vigil and a peace march to the Rozsa Center.

Monday, 1 p.m.--Reception, Rozsa atrium.

Monday, 2 p.m.--Actor Barry Scott's tribute to King, Rozsa Center.

Tuesday, noon--Traveling Trunk exhibit in the Van Pelt and Opie Library; includes photos, videos, speeches and background information.

Wednesday, noon--Blood drive, Van Pelt and Opie Library Reading Room

Friday, 4 p.m.--Basketball invitational, SDC Wood Gym

Saturday, 9 a.m.--Service Saturday at the Keweenaw Family Resource Center's Tree House, where there will be stories and snacks for the children.

Saturday, 6 p.m.--Banquet, Memorial Union Ballroom, features Charles Pugh, president of the Detroit City Council. Admission is $15 a person.

For more information, contact the Center for Diversity and Inclusion at 487-2920.

Don't Be A Victim--Secure Your Property

submitted by Public Safety and Police Services

Over the past several months, a number of thefts have occurred in the SDC. All of the victims were customers engaged in physical fitness activities. Some of the thefts occurred in the locker rooms and some in the hallways.

The common factor in all of these thefts was that the stolen property was left unsecured and unattended while the victims exercised. All of these losses could have been prevented if the victims had taken the time to safeguard their property.

When using the SDC, please either leave your valuable belongings locked in your vehicle or locker. If you see anything suspicious when using the SDC, report it immediately to DPSPS at 487-2216.

Green Film Series Starts This Week

by Jennifer Donovan, director of public relations

The Michigan Tech Center for Water and Society, the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative, the Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and the Keweenaw Land Trust are sponsoring a Green Film Festival at Michigan Tech, starting Thursday, Jan. 20.

The films will be shown from 7 to 8:30 p.m., on the third Thursday of each month, from January through June, in the Noblet atrium and Hesterberg Hall G002.

A facilitated discussion will follow each film. Coffee, tea and dessert will be served.

The films are free, but a $3 donation is requested.

The first film in the series is "Tapped." It examines whether access to clean drinking water is a basic human right or a commodity to be bought and sold. The film takes a look at the big business of bottled water. The discussion facilitator is Professor Alex Mayer (CEE), director of the Center for Water.

The rest of the festival will feature:

* Feb. 17, "Weather Report"--takes us to places where global warming is having an immediate effect, to meet people who are early victims of the global crisis that will soon affect us all. The discussion facilitator will be Chair Sarah Green (Chemistry).

* March 17, "Build Green"--a refreshing look at environmentally smart building materials and practices that better protect against the elements while saving money and resources. The discussion facilitator will be Dave Bach, a builder.

* April 21, "Homeland: Four Portraits of Native Action"--inspirational stories of Native American activists who are fighting back against the environmental violations to their homelands. The discussion facilitator will be Chuck Brumleve from the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Department of Natural Resources.

* May 19, "Good Food: Sustainable Food and Farming"--family farmers making a comeback, growing more and healthier food, using less energy and water than factory food, and most is organic. The discussion facilitator will be Karen Rumisek, Keweenaw Co-op.

* June 16, "Thirst"--powerful corporations turning the world's water supplies into commodities have catalyzed community resistance to globalization in Bolivia, India and the US. The discussion facilitator will be Ellis Adams, a graduate student in social sciences.

Benefits Offers Helpful Tips

submitted by Benefits

As we begin a new year, Benefits would like to share several tips and helpful reminders. View our website for current information, including an updated version of the massage therapy claims process; a newsletter which we hope to share on a quarterly basis; 2011 health plan summaries; helpful tips and updated forms.

For more information, contact Benefits at 906-487-2517 or .

Health Risk Assessment Incentives

Employees who completed the Health Risk Assessment (HRA) on the Aetna website in 2010 will be contacted by Benefits at the end of January or early February with instructions on how to make your choice of one of three incentives offered. The incentive will post in the month of February.

Students Recycle

The remodeling of the second floor of the Admin Building is underway, and students took advantage of the work to do some recycling.

Specifically, two student groups, Habitat for Humanity and Students for Environmental Sustainability, brought a couple of trucks to Admin and hauled 16 doors to the Habitat for Humanity Restore in Calumet.

They did that at the behest of Jim Schultz, of Facilities, an operation that is always thinking green.

Schultz said the contractor also is recycling metal--wall studs and conduit.

"Every little bit means a lot," he said.

Community Programs Offers Noon Classes

Community Programs offers aerobic and pilates classes from noon to 12:45 p.m. Aerobics classes are from Monday through Friday at the SDC. Pilates classes are on Mondays and Wednesdays in the Lakeshore Center; and on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the ROTC Building. Registration for classes is available now.

Full passes and punch card options are available. Participants can also use the Tech Fit benefit. For more information, contact Community Programs at 487-2975 or at the website .

MTU Preschool Receives Donation

MTU Preschool has received $5,000 from Hancock Coca-Cola, through the Coca-Cola Bottlers Foundation, for capital and infrastructure improvements.

Preschool President Jason Keith said the gift was the largest single donation from a business that the preschool has received. He said it will be use to replace worn-out furniture and make classroom upgrades.

"Our students and teachers will benefit from this donation for years to come," Keith said.

Spokesperson Brita Odegard added, "The teachers are very excited about the donation. We have been wanting to purchase new tables and chairs for a few years, and this donation makes that possible."

MTU Preschool is a nonprofit facility that serves children ages 3-5.

For more information, call 487-2720 or visit .

Biomedical Engineering Candidate Seminar

Zannatul Ferdous, of the Parker H. Petit Institute of Bioengineering and Bioscience, Georgia institute of Technology, will present a seminar, "Tissue Engineered Models for Fundamental Study and Treatment of Heart Valves," at 2 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 19, in ChemSci 211. Ferdous is a faculty candidate in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Lunch and Learn: Bedtime Routines for Children

Benefits and the Little Huskies Child Development Center will host a Lunch and Learn at noon, Tuesday, Jan. 18, in the Memorial Union Ballroom B3. Susan Donnelly, psychologist, will present "Bedtime Routines for Children." Bring your lunch; beverages will be provided.

Reminder: Blackboard Training Session for Instructors

Educational Technology Services will host an "Introduction to Blackboard" training session for interested instructors and teaching assistants from 3 to 4 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 18, in Library 242.

Instructional Designer Tom Freeman (ETS) will cover logging in and accessing your Blackboard course; basic uses of blackboard courses; adding files, folders and links; and making student grades available. You will need to have instructor/designer access to a Blackboard course to fully participate in the training. If you have a syllabus or other file you would like to upload and post on your Blackboard course, you can bring a digital copy of it on a CD or USB flash drive.

For questions and to register, visit BlackBoard support at or email .