Michigan Tech Remains the Nation's Top Peace Corps Master's International Graduate School

by Jennifer Donovan, director, public relations

Michigan Tech ranks as the No. 1 Peace Corps Master's International (PCMI) university nationwide for the seventh consecutive year. With 31 PCMI graduate students currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers, Michigan Tech has earned top spot in the 2012 rankings of Peace Corps' Master's International and Paul D. Coverdell Fellows graduate schools.

The Peace Corps' Master's International program allows students to incorporate Peace Corps service as credit toward their graduate degree. The Coverdell Fellows Program provides returned Peace Corps volunteers with scholarships, academic credit and stipends to earn an advanced degree after they complete their Peace Corps service.

"The heart of the program is the students we attract, not just in numbers, but in quality," said Professor Blair Orr (SFRES), PCMI director. "They bring an interest in the world at large and the desire to help others. They return from two years in a different country with stories of new friends, new ideas and a different perspective on how things do work and should work. They have succeeded professionally and personally in a different culture. Many of the skills and traits they acquire along the way are also the skills that employers are looking for."

Michigan Tech became a Master's International partner in 1995. Offering eight distinct graduate programs affiliated with Peace Corps, Michigan Tech has the largest number of Peace Corps Master's International programs in the country. They include Applied Science Education, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, Mechanical Engineering, Rhetoric and Technical Communication, Biological Sciences, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Applied Natural Resource Economics, and Forestry.

Michigan Tech's PCMI graduate students have served in many countries, including Armenia, Belize, Bulgaria, Fiji, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Paraguay, Uganda and Zambia. More than 190 Michigan Tech alumni have served in the Peace Corps overall. There are also students enrolled in the program who are on campus fulfilling the academic portions of their master's degree, including Megan Abbott, who recently returned from Belize, and Colin Casey, who is back from Uganda.

2012 Top Peace Corps Master's International institutions:
(The number in parenthesis is the number of students enrolled in the program and serving overseas as of Sept. 30, 2011.)

Michigan Technological University (31)
Tulane University (27)
University of Washington (26)
Monterey Institute of International Studies (26)
University of South Florida (22)

About the Master's International Program
Peace Corps partners with more than 80 colleges and universities nationwide to enable students to earn a master's degree while serving in the Peace Corps. Students begin their studies on campus, serve overseas for two years, then return to school to finish graduate work. As part of the service, volunteers work on projects related to their master's studies. The program began at Rutgers University–Camden in 1987 and since then, more than 1,000 volunteers have participated. For more information, visit Master's Program.

About the Peace Corps
Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 200,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 9,095 volunteers are working with local communities in 75 host countries. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment, and the agency's mission is to promote world peace and friendship and a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries. For more information, visit Peace Corps.

It's Boom Time in Small-town Wisconsin

by Dennis Walikainen, senior editor

What's causing the booms in Clintonville? Residents of the small Wisconsin town have been hearing deep, rumbling sounds from time to time since March 18. To find out why, a professor and his grad students are lending their expertise.

Greg Waite, assistant professor of geology, along with graduate students Josh Richardson and Kathleen McKee, installed four seismometers and eight sound sensors around Clintonville, with help from City of Clintonville workers. They are trying to record anything that could relate to the booms that began last month.

"These types of noises have been reported for small shallow earthquakes in many places worldwide," Waite said. "However, the noises in Clintonville were somewhat difficult to explain, because earthquakes are uncommon in Wisconsin, and most of sounds were not accompanied by felt earthquakes."

For the full story, see Boom.

Research Excellence Fund Awards Announced

The vice president for research is pleased to announce this year's recipients of the Research Excellence Fund Awards, which total $515,000.

The recipients follow in their respective award categories:

Infrastructure Enhancement Grants
Daniel Fuhrmann, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Michael Gretz, Biological Sciences
Charles Kerfoot, Lake Superior Ecosystem Research Center
Sean Kirkpatrick, Biomedical Engineering
Mark Plichta, Materials Science and Engineering
Noel Urban, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Scholarship and Creativity Grants
Kari Henquinet, Social Sciences
Kedmon Hungwe, Cognitive and Learning Sciences
Saurav Pathak, School of Business and Economics
Andre Laplume, School of Business and Economics
Manish Srivastava, School of Business and Economics

Mentoring Grants
Qingli Dai, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Ranjana Mehta, Cognitive and Learning Sciences
Thomas Werner, Biological Sciences

Research Seed Grants
Qing-Hui Chen, Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology
Niloy Choudhury, Biomedical Engineering
Stefaan De Winter, Mathematical Sciences
Bruce Lee, Biomedical Engineering
Wenzhen Li, Chemical Engineering
Nina Mahmoudian, College of Engineering
Amy Marcarelli, Biological Sciences
Ranjana Mehta, Cognitive and Learning Sciences
Rebecca Schmitz, Mathematical Sciences
Xiaoqing Tang, Biological Sciences
Thomas Werner, Biological Sciences
Feng Zhao, Biomedical Engineering

Technology Commercialization Grants
Lanrong Bi, Chemistry
Bahne Cornilsen, Chemistry
Haiying Liu, Chemistry

The vice president for research thanks all of the review committee members for participating in this important internal award process.

Steer Your Students to this Opportunity for Collaboration

Research Assistant Professor Sara Robinson (SFRES) is crafting a pilot course with a decidedly interdisciplinary focus--for students of all backgrounds and majors, including engineers, scientists, chemists, artists, wood enthusiasts and writers.

"Wood in the Modern Age" will be offered beginning in fall 2012 semester. It is intended to develop a fundamental understanding of the properties, characteristics, and role of wood in today's society--along with its importance in sustainable building.

The course will focus on wood as a biological material and expore its relationship to art, architecture, engineering and science. It is for both undergraduate and graduate students; class sessions will be in the evening.

The course work will culminate with a design project in which the knowledge gained--combined with the unique background of each student--will be applied to a final project. Class instruction will combine lecture, laboratory and studio time, as well as situational learning experiences.

This offering, which also will be open to students at Finlandia University, adds to the more than 100 classes at Tech that have a sustainability component. Robinson says it is a good fit for a world that is increasingly complex and interdependent.

Reminder: Tech Hosts AISES Conference This Week

Michigan Tech's chapter of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society will host the 2012 AISES Region V Conference, Friday and Saturday, April 13 and 14.

Region V encompasses the states of Iowa, Illinois, Upper Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Ontario.

The conference--"A Traditional Path Into The Future"--is geared towards making native students aware of the benefits of pursuing education in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math), while maintaining their traditional values. It begins at 9 a.m., Friday, April 13, in the Memorial Union Ballroom.

Featured speakers and performers include Anton Trever, professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University; traditional speakers Bethany and Bob Moody; and Joseph FireCrow, winner of the 2010 Native American Music Award.

The conference concludes with a powwow from noon to 5 p.m., Saturday, April 14, in the SDC Wood Gym.

A Taste of Thailand at Khana Khazana

Thai food is on the Khana Khazana menu this Friday, April 13. Thai students Parawee Pumwongpitak and Nilsiam "Ake" Yuenyong will be cooking por pia sod--fresh vegetable spring roll in a sweet and sour sauce; gai phat nam prik phao--a chicken stir-fry with chili paste and peppers; and lab tod--fresh spicy lamb and pork balls seasoned with chili powder, green onion, red onion, lime juice, fish sauce and roasted rice powder.

Khana Khazana (food treasure) is a weekly international lunch cooked and served by international students. A full meal costs $6 and includes a beverage. Individual entrees are available for $2 each.

Khana Khazana is served from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Food Court. It is a collaborative effort of international students and Dining Services.

Physics Colloquium: Undergraduate Senior Research

Physics undergraduate senior students will present their research in short oral presentations from 3:30 to 5 p.m., today, in Fisher 139.

Here are the details:

M. Perry Nerem, "Boron-nitride Nanotube Fabrication," 3:30 p.m.

Benedict Malec, "Computational Analysis of Gravitational Settling in Turbulent Flows," 3:45 p.m.

Arin Nelson, "Concentrating Ambient Aerosols via Acoustic Resonance," 4 p.m.

Nigel Anton, "Crystalloluminescence of Water," 4:15 p.m.

Ryan Connolly, "Limiting Energy-related Dispersion in the Universe with Gamma-ray Bursts," 4:30 p.m.

Daniel Burrill, "First Principles Analysis of the Elastic Properties of ReMgxTi7-xB16," 4:45 p.m.

For more information, contact Petra Huentemeyer at 487-1229 or at petra@mtu.edu , or Claudio Mazzoleni at 487-1226 or at cmazzoleni@mtu.edu .

New Funding

Professor Noel Urban (CEE) has received $55,560 from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for "Inventory of Mining Impacted Streams in the Coastal Zone of the Keweenaw."

Items Available

* (4) Assorted office chairs
* (2) Overhead projectors, Dukane model EP1800

If interested, contact Traci Bishop at 487-2252 or trbishop@mtu.edu.

University property may only be transferred between departments. It may not be given or sold to individuals.

Job Posting

Staff job descriptions are available in Human Resources or at http://www.admin.mtu.edu/hro/postings . For more information regarding staff positions, call 487-2280 or email jobs@mtu.edu .

Faculty job descriptions can be found at http://www.admin.mtu.edu/hro/facpers/facvac.htm . For more information regarding faculty positions, contact the academic department in which the position is posted.

Research Associate
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the School of Technology

Apply using new online system at http://jobs.mtu.edu

Please note: Human Resources is transitioning to an online application process for the job posting above. To read the notice to applicants, see Posting.

Michigan Technological University is an equal opportunity educational institution/equal opportunity employer.

Proposals in Progress

Assistant Professor Durdu Guney (ECE), "Collaborative Research: Fabrication of Disconnected Three-dimensional Silver Nanostructures for Functional Bulk Metameterials," NSF

Professor Mahesh Gupta (ME-EM/MuSTI), "Mesh Partitioning Technique for Three-dimensional Simulation of Gas-assist Injection Molding Including Elongational Viscosity Effects," NSF

S. Komar Kawatra (ChE/ASISC), "Utilization of Industrial Waste for Sustainable Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage," NSF

Associate Professor Elena Semouchkina (ECE/CISSIC), "Collaborative Research: Development and Implementation of Large Scale Transmission Cloaking Systems Composed of Dielectric Matamaterials," NSF

Assistant Professor Durdu Guney (ECE), "Collaborative Research: Enhanced Thermal Detection of IR Using a WGM Optical Resonator-metameterial Perfect Absorber Hybrid Platform," NSF