November First Friday Social Today

Faculty, staff and graduate students are invited to attend the November First Friday University Social from 4 to 6 p.m., today, at the Rozsa Center Art Gallery (downstairs from the Lobby). A cash bar along with complimentary soda and snacks will be provided.

This month’s sponsors are the Vice President for Research Office and the MTEC SmartZone. Come and meet your colleagues in a relaxed atmosphere.

The First Friday University Socials began in 2006 to provide a casual setting for members of the campus community to get together informally, share their work and get to know each other. Such informal gatherings often lead to more productive work relationships and an appreciation for diversity.

In an effort to increase the effectiveness of the initiative, this academic year will continue to feature departmental partners who will sponsor each month’s event. There are still a few dates available to sponsor, including next month, December 7! If your department is interested in hosting a social or would like more information, please contact Megan Ross at 487-3123 or

Fine Food, Just Food: The Bay Area Food Revolution and What it Means for the Rest of Us

by Marcia Goodrich, magazine editor

Is food democracy possible in the era of Big Food? Sally K. Fairfax says yes, and she will explain how in her talk "Fine Food, Just Food: California and Possibilities," set for 4 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 6, in the East Reading Room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library.

Fairfax, the lead author of "California Cuisine and Just Food" (MIT Press, 2012), is the Henry J. Vaux Distinguished Professor Emerita in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the University of California, Berkeley. She will be joined by coauthor Louise Nelson Dyble, an assistant professor of history at Michigan Tech.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, unexpected alliances have formed among stakeholders as diverse as high-end restaurants, the Black Panthers and the Berkeley Co-op, all in the common cause of "food democracy": sustainable agriculture, access to good food for all, fairness for workers and producers, and public health.

Fairfax will make the case that progress in the Bay Area has been significant: innovators have generated new expectations about food quality, and activists have targeted the problems created by the conventional food system.

Along with Dyble, she will also explain how the California experience relates to a much broader national food movement and what it might mean for Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.

A reception and book signing will follow. For more information, contact Dyble at

Fairfax's visit is sponsored by the Center for Water and Society, the Department of Social Sciences, the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science and the Visiting Women and Minority Lecturer/Scholar Series, which is funded by the President's Office and a grant to the Office for Institutional Diversity from Michigan's King-Chavez-Parks Initiative.

Lean Report Out Invitation

The campus community is cordially invited to a series of Lean Report Outs to be held from 8:15 to 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6 in Ballroom B of the Memorial Union Building. Lean Report Outs are presentations made by a Lean Kaizen team to showcase and celebrate improvements made. Each report out will cover a specific Kaizen Event, as follows:

8:15 a.m.--Introduction: What is a Report Out?
8:30 a.m.--IT Printer Deployment Improvements
8:50 a.m.--Duplicate Persons in Banner
9:10 a.m.--Standardize Content of Gift-Planning Files
9:30 a.m.--Sponsored Program Accounting's Invoicing Process
9:50 a.m.--Forestry, Otter River Camp Access
10:10 a.m.--Michigan Tech Policies and Procedures Submission Process
10:30 a.m.--Facilities Engineering Services Project Close Out
10:50 a.m.--Closing Remarks

These Kaizen Event Report Outs are a conclusion to Lean training for 32 employees. Michigan Tech received funding through the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to improve labor-management relations and communication on campus by implementing a Lean culture-building model and approach to continuous improvement. Two cohorts of employees will be concluding their formal training:

Lean Facilitators--trained to facilitate Kaizen Events for any campus department or area interested in making improvements.

Lean Implementation Leaders--trained in Lean concepts aimed at building a Lean practice into the day-to-day work for an area or department.

For any questions, contact Wendy Davis, manager of process improvement at

FinnFest 2013 Housing Reservations

FinnFest 2013 will be coming to Houghton, June 19 to 23, 2013. Many of the visitors will be staying on campus here at Michigan Tech. The Housing website is able to take reservations for the guests. Information about staying on campus during FinnFest 2013 can be found at FinnFest Housing.

Visitors may reserve rooms to stay in the residence halls. Most guests will be housed in McNair and DHH. If necessary, additional rooms will be opened up in Wadsworth Hall. Rooms are $40 per night, with a three-night minimum stay required. The room is a traditional residence hall room, with two twin extra long beds in the lofted position above the desks and chairs. Each room has a closet or a wardrobe. Reservations are now being accepted online with a credit-card payment.

Reminder: Flu Clinics

Working with Portage Health, Benefits is pleased to announce flu vaccine clinics.

All employees and their dependents, as well as students, are welcome to attend one of the clinics scheduled on campus. Due to supply availability at each clinic, shots will be on a first-come, first-served basis; no appointment is necessary. In order for the flu shot to be paid by Michigan Tech, employees and dependents must participate in Tech's Aetna health care plan.

Employees and dependents should be prepared to provide a picture ID and/or an Aetna member card for verification. (Spouses and dependents can show up without employee.) Students or those employees not covered under the Aetna health plan may still attend the clinic; cost is $25 per shot, payable at the time of service.

Anyone under the age of 18 cannot be vaccinated without parental permission. Clinics will take place in the Memorial Union Peninsula Room.

There are two more clinics:

* Tuesday, Nov. 6, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
* Thursday, Nov. 8, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

For more information, contact Benefits at .

Superior Wind Symphony: "What We Imagine"

Don’t miss an evening sure to spark your own imagination! The Superior Wind Symphony presents a concert titled “What We Imagine” at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts tonight at 7:30 pm.

The program will include: The only large wind ensemble work by Prokofiev; Sousa’s only march that was inspired by a feat of engineering; one of Bach’s rare five voice fantasies; Gabrieli’s masterful contrasting of two brass choirs; evocation of celestial ideas from Holst and Erb; Grainger’s effort to make a sustained note interesting; Steven Grimo’s commission for a US Air Force percussion ensemble; and Hollenbeck’s beautiful setting of Sufi master Hazrat Inayat Khan’s poetry about music, featuring Michigan Tech Music Professor Jared Anderson.

Joseph Bruchac to Speak at Ojibway CC

Joseph Bruchac, a well known Native American author, storyteller, and traditional musician, will present at Ojibway Community College in Baraga at 7 pm, Wednesday, November 7. The program is free and open to the public. For more information about Joseph Bruchac, visit: . Rides to the event are available from the Center for Diversity & Inclusion (487-2920) or the Western UP Center (487-3341). The program is sponsored by Baraga Area Schools, a Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative (LSSI) partner. Other sponsors include the Keweenaw Bay Tribal Council, Ojibwa Community College, and the Ojibwa Community Library. The mission of LSSI and its 14 partner schools and more than forty community partners (of which MTU departments & centers make up five) , is connecting schools and communities in the stewardship of Lake Superior.

Environmental Engineering Seminar

Gary Fahnestiehl (Bio Sci), will be presenting, "Lake Michigan Under Siege: Dreissenid Mussels Flexing their Muscles (The Rest of the Story)." from 3 to 4 p.m., Monday, Nov. 5, in GLRC 201.

Guest seminar Monday: "Obamacare and Public Lands Management: A Nervous-Making Connection"

Sally K. Fairfax will lead a seminar for graduate students and all interested faculty and staff on the implications of recent court decisions for natural resource management.

"Obamacare and Public Lands Management: A Nervous-Making Connection," will be held from 4 to 5:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 5, in Academic Office Building 201.

Fairfax is the Henry J. Vaux Distinguished Professor Emerita in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the University of California, Berkeley.

RSVP to Louise Dyble,, for suggested readings.

Fairfax's visit is sponsored by the Center for Water and Society, the Department of Social Sciences, the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science and the Visiting Women and Minority Lecturer/Scholar Series, which is funded by the President's Office and a grant to the Office for Institutional Diversity from Michigan's King-Chavez-Parks Initiative.

For more information, contact Audrey Mayer,, or Louise Dyble,

Grain Processing Seminar Series in Chemical Engineering

Megan C. Frost (Bio Med), assistant professor, will be presenting, "Developing Nitric Oxide Releasing Polymers and Test Platform to Understand Cellular Response to Nitric Oxide," at 10 a.m., Friday, Nov. 9 in Fisher 139. Refreshments will be served.

RTP Railway Webinar

The Rail Transportation Program (RTP), part of the Michigan Tech Transportation Institute, will be hosting a Railway Webinar from the University of Illinois, Urbana - Champaign. James LaFave from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will present, "Structural Engineering Research for Railroad Bridge Performance Assessment," at 1 p.m., today in Dillman Hall Room 315. You can also join from your own office. Detailed information is on the UIUC website.

In the News

The Detroit Free Press published a news story about Jacob LaSarge, the Michigan Tech Air Force ROTC cadet who won the US Air Force's annual Cadet Research Award, given to only one cadet in the nation. See Air Force Cadet Award.

Canvas Tip of the Week

Canvas’ SpeedGrader™ now even better with Crocodoc!

SpeedGrader™ is an innovative Canvas feature that vastly improves instructor workflow, which has impressed many instructors here at Michigan Tech and across the country. SpeedGrader™ exemplifies Canvas’ philosophy of embracing new ideas for constant and forward-thinking innovation, which sets Canvas apart from the rest of its competitors. Instructors can use SpeedGrader™ to view different types of online assignment submissions right inside Canvas without needing to download them, and this is a significant innovation in itself. Also, instructors can use SpeedGrader™ to send text and/or audio-video comments to students about their assignment, to attach files for students to view, and to grade using a point scale or rubric, whether the assignment was an online submission or not. Follow this link to Using SpeedGrader™ in Canvas to read more about it.

The ability of SpeedGrader™ to view and grade online submissions right in Canvas has now been improved with the addition of Crocodoc. This latest innovation allows instructors to use Crocodoc in SpeedGrader™ to comment and annotate directly on those online file submissions without the need to download or save files to their computer. Crocodoc’s online annotation features include drawing, highlighting, using strikethrough, adding text comments, and more.

Check out How do I use Crocodoc in the SpeedGrader™? to read more about Crocodoc and see a more detailed list of its tools and features. Refer to Crocodoc Markup in SpeedGrader™ for a video demonstration. For more general information or help with Canvas at Michigan Tech, and to sign up for eLearning workshops, visit the Canvas One Stop page.

On the Road

Michigan Tech's Mind Trekkers took their hands-on science road show to the YES! Expo in Detroit on Thursday, where three Tech staff members and 29 students enthralled school children and teachers with demonstrations of science magic. More than 19,000 school-age students were registered for the massive event at Ford Field.


Biomedical engineering faculty and students attended the Biomedical Engineering Society 2012 Annual Meeting in Atlanta last week.

Assistant Professor Bruce P. Lee was a session co-chair for, "Bioinspired Materials."

Assistant Professor Rupak M. Rajachar was a session co-chair for, "Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials III."

Poster presentations were:

"The Effect of Sub-Micron Mechanical Stimuli on Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells," Undergraduate student Hallie Ray Holmes and Assistant Professor Rupak M. Rajachar

"Fabrication of PEG-Fibrinogen Hydrogels for Controlled Release of Nitric Oxide," Undergraduate student Margaret Brunette and Assistant Professor Rupak M. Rajachar

"Primary Amine Derivatized Natural Polymer Electrospun Fibers for Controlled Release," Undergraduate student Michael Lancina and Assistant Professor Rupak M. Rajachar

"Mechanically Controlled Nitric Oxide Releasing Natural Polymers for Tissue Engineering," Undergraduate student Allison Lebovsky and Assistant Professor Rupak M. Rajachar

"Fracture Resistant Nanocomposite Hydrogel Enhanced by Adhesive Moiety," Undergraduate students Sarah Skelton, Michael Bostwick, Kyle O'Connor, Shari Konst and Assistant Professor Bruce P. Lee

"Nitric Oxide-Releasing Gelatin Nanofibrous Matrix for Antibacterial Wound Dressing," Undergraduate student Caleb Vogt and Assistant Professor Feng Zhao

"Controlled nitric oxide releasing dendronized poly(vinyl chloride) for improved biocompatibility for blood contacting device," Graduate student Sean P. Hopkins and Assistant Professor Megan C. Frost