Day of Challenges Set for Saturday

by Kevin Hodur, creative writer

Michigan Tech will be hosting its annual Day of Challenges for 5th through 12th grade students on Saturday, Feb. 23, sponsored by the Michigan Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Michigan Tech Army and Air Force ROTC programs. The event focuses on teamwork and mental and physical challenges, with events such as an obstacle course, a leadership reaction course and tests of swimming ability, all the while encouraging participants to learn and have fun.

This year’s Day of Challenges includes two divisions: a senior division for high school students and a junior division for grades 5-8. In addition to the activities themselves, the event also showcases Michigan Tech. “For Army ROTC and Michigan Tech, it is an opportunity to showcase Tech and actual Tech students (cadets with many academic backgrounds) to high school students well before they begin to form strong opinions on college choices,” says Lieutenant Colonel James Spence, a professor of military science at Tech.

Hilary Drake, the ROTC student organizer for last year’s event, remarked on the Day of Challenges’ legacy. “The Day of Challenges has been around for decades, and it is really amazing when your current participants have parents that once enjoyed the event here at Michigan Tech,” she said.

This year’s student organizer, Cadet Caleb Bryant, noted that Day of Challenges is meant to foster the positive elements in students’ lives by reinforcing “the care and education that their parents and teachers provide. It will help them grow into adaptive, creative leaders who will actively contribute to our communities and our nation.”

For Drake, the event is a chance “to give back to the community in a safe and positive environment. The participants really look up to the cadets, and that is a really cool thing to see.”

Spence values that collaboration with the community as well, noting that Day of Challenges is “totally funded by the regional Veterans of Foreign Wars chapters and staffed by Army and some Air Force ROTC Cadets, providing the competitor students a key exposure to Tech’s campus and Tech students.”

University Closure Employee Policy Clarified

As you know, the University closed due to severe weather on Tuesday, Feb. 19, beginning at 12:00 p.m. and remained closed for classes on Wednesday, Feb 20.

As stated in University Policy 2.1010 Closure of University, if there is a declaration of University closure for a specified period of time, most employees will be allowed to go or stay home with pay. However, hourly employees required to stay or report to work will receive equal time off at a later date at the convenience of their respective departments.

Exempt employees are expected to fulfill their job responsibilities and are not required to report exception time for closures.

A link to the University policy is provided below. To review specific instructions for timekeepers, please refer to the Payroll Blog. Please call Payroll Services at 7-2130 with questions or for clarification.

University Policy

Reminder: Farewell Reception for Richard Donovan Today

A farewell reception for Richard (Rick) Donovan will be held today, 3:30-5 p.m. in the Chemical Engineering Conference Room: Chem Sci 201. Light refreshments will be served.

Rick has served in the Sustainable Futures Institute (SFI) as operations manager since 2009. He has specialized in coordinating large multidisciplinary proposals in the "Wood-to-Wheels" biofuels research area with involvement of faculty from several schools and colleges at Tech. Rick will start a new position at the University of California at Irvine in the Research Development Office in March. Robert Handler, currently a postdoc at SFI, will take over as Operations Manager on March 2. The reception is hosted by the Department of Chemical Engineering and the Sustainable Futures Institute.

Upcoming Professional Development Opportunities

Peg Blake, vice president for enrollment management and student affairs at Humboldt State University, will present the following two sessions for the campus community:

“This Much I Know to be True” takes a poignant look at dealing with stress, trauma and triumph as Blake shares her personal story about her life experiences and career in higher education. This session will be held from 3 to 4 p.m., Monday, Feb. 25, in the Memorial Union Building, Ballroom A-2.

The second session “Looking Back/Thinking Forward: 30 Years of Retrospective” will reflect on Dr. Blake’s experiences as an educator and student affairs practitioner of changes that have occurred in our field and possibilities for the future. This session will be held from 9:30 to 11 a.m., Tuesday, Feb. 26, in the Memorial Union Building, Ballroom A-2.

To learn more about the presentations and Blake, visit Professional Development.

If you wish to attend one or both sessions, send an RSVP to .

Great Lakes Showcase Kicks Off March 5

submitted by the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts

The Rozsa Center is pleased to announce the opening of the 2013 Great Lakes Showcase: An Annual Juried Exhibition of Fine Arts and Crafts, sponsored by Michigan Tech’s Department of Visual and Performing Arts. The public is invited to a reception for the artists on Tuesday, March 5, 7 p.m.-9 p.m.

According to Susie Kilpela, artist and longtime faculty member of the VPA, "I am happy to be involved in the GLS, a celebrated art exhibit at Michigan Tech. Every year I look forward to seeing our local talent and also experience new and different works from around our region. Opening night brings out many of the artists and it is fun to mingle with them and hear about their artistic endeavors."

This year, the jurying committee, who chose the works accepted into the exhibit, was made up long-time members as well as some new additions. Likewise, artists represented include familiar favorites as well as some new faces. Please join us in celebrating the Keweenaw’s visual arts community!

This annual juried exhibition showcases recent work by artists in multiple categories including oil, watercolor, acrylic, drawing, printmaking, photography, woodworking, fiber arts, ceramics, multi-media and more.

The 2013 top Showcase awards, as in the past, are sponsored by Michigan Tech's president, provost, and dean of the College of Sciences and Arts. In addition to Best in Show and First and Second Place awards in 2D and 3D categories, there will be three honorable mentions and a Peoples’ Choice award, given at the end of the show based on in-gallery ballots.

According to showcase coordinator Sarah Fayen Scarlett, "The Peoples’ Choice award gives visitors a chance to choose their favorite. Come in and vote for the piece you like best! Also, we are resurrecting the tradition of giving out Purchase Awards this year because it’s a great way for businesses and individuals to show their support for the arts community here in the Keweenaw. Patrons commit in advance to buying a work from the show and then the piece they choose will be recognized over the duration of the exhibition as receiving a Purchase Award."

The show will run through Tuesday, April 2, and is free and open to the public. Regular gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Throughout the Showcase, most exhibition works will be available for purchase through Michigan Tech Ticketing Operations, by calling 7-2073, or online at the Rozsa Center.

Khana Kazana Takes a Trip Around the World Friday

Khana Khazana will celebrate its third anniversary with foods from five countries at its weekly international lunch this Friday in the Memorial Union Food Court. The meal will feature dishes from Cameroon, China, India, Korea and Thailand.

The menu includes fruit skewer (Cameroon); stir-fry peas with pork (China); pav bhaji, a spicy mixture of mashed vegetables (India); kim chi bbok um bab, kimchi fried rice (Korea); and nam tok nuaa, a beef and rice salad (Thailand). Vegetarian alternatives will be provided.

Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. A full meal costs $6.95 and includes a fountain beverage. Individual items are available for $2.50 each.

Khana Khazana is a collaboration of international students and Dining Services.

In the News

PTC blogs, a products, manufacturing and services web site, quoted Professor Alex Mayer (CEE) in an article about ways that engineering students are being taught to communicate with the public. See Blogs.


Railway Track & Structure (RT&S), a rail industry website, reported on CN's $500,000 gift to Michigan Tech's Rail Transportation Program. See RT&S.