Winning Pitch Cleans Up at Business Contest

by Dennis Walikainen, senior editor

Today’s university students are reminded to be careful about what they put up on their Facebook or Twitter accounts. Sometimes they forget, and that’s a job for Clean It Up, the winning entry in the fifth annual Bob Mark Elevator Pitch Competition held Thursday night.

The late business professor Bob Mark created the competition so students could polish their 90-second, new business pitches, emulating the length of an elevator ride.

The brainchild of accounting major Nikoli Wiens and chemical engineering major Zach Eckert, Clean It Up promises to clean up content and profiles on the Internet, even beyond the cleansing that Facebook and Twitter claim to do upon request.

Read the full news story.

University Senate Forum on General Education Issues Thursday

The University Senate is hosting a forum on the General Education changes and issues related to them Thursday, Nov. 14, from 3 to 5 p.m. in MEEM 111.

Presentations will be made by the General Education Council, giving reasons for the change and the rationale for the changes and by the Senate Academic Policy Committee Chair who will present concerns of some faculty and staff. The current proposal from the General Education Council to revise the General Education Program can be found at

In 2012, the University approved a revision to the General Education core courses and aligned them with University Student Learning Goals

The new proposal aligns the HASS (Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences) and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) components with these goals and addresses assessment of goals. For more information about accreditation and assessment, see

"Please come with your concerns and be ready to find an acceptable solution to this important issue," said Brian Barkdoll, University Senate President.

Reminder: Community Health Lecture Wednesday

“Does Your Community Impact Your Health?” is the title of a health lecture/brown bag lunch to be held Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 11 a.m. in the Memorial Union Building, Alumni Lounge A.

Dr. Gregory S. Holzman will be discussing the link between where we people and the health of their communities. He is the associate chair of preventive medicine and medical director of the Family Medicine Network at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine.

Holzman says access to health care doesn’t necessarily lead to a healthy population. In his talk, he will ask, “Should we rethink health care and focus resources on prevention? Can we be healthy if our community is not?”

The Your Health Lecture Series is a collaborative community event sponsored by Michigan Tech, Portage Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Upper Peninsula Region Campus.

Holzman was previously chief medical executive for the Michigan Department of Community Health, where he worked on several public health policy issues, ranging from smoke-free legislation to funding for a statewide trauma system. He has special interests in social determinants of health, health promotion and disease prevention, elimination of health disparities and building better integration between clinical medicine, public health and community-based organizations.

Reminder: Higher Education Legal Issues Presentation Nov. 18

Student Affairs and Advancement is pleased to host Linda Schutjer JD, for a presentation and discussion on legal issues in higher education on Monday, Nov. 18. You can acquire information, ask questions, and gain understanding of some of the overarching legal principles that affect your work at the University.

Schutjer is senior legal counsel for the Colorado State University System. Her areas of practice include intellectual property, research and compliance, technology transfer, contracting, real estate, campus and student safety, disabilities and discrimination, federal regulations and compliance and international activities. She holds a JD from Temple and an MPA and BA from Penn State. She has presented on a number of occasions on various topics for the National Association of College and University Attorneys and teaches an upper-level course on legal issues in higher education at Colorado State University.

RSVP by Wednesday, Nov. 13, to Susan Sullivan at to obtain the session’s preparatory readings.

The talk will be held in Dow 641 on Monday, Nov. 18, from 2:30 to 4 p.m. More information is online.

Celebrate Veterans' Day Today

Michigan Tech student and employee veterans will host a Veterans' Day Celebration Reception today from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the Van Pelt and Opie Library. Come meet Michigan Tech student and employee veterans, send a Michigan Tech postcard to recovering wounded warriors, pin on a yellow ribbon in support of veterans and learn about developments in the Moving Vietnam Wall coming to Houghton County in 2014. Cake and coffee will be served.

Sustainability Lecture/Game Session Today/Tonight

Interested in sustainable development? Join us for a late-breaking event today and tonight.

Lecture: "Sustainability: A Game-Based Learning Alternative for Sustainable Development" Andres Tarte, MS, Environmental Engineering (2009)
Today, 3-4 p.m., Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar, GLRC 201

Game Session: Sustainability The Game (pizza and snacks provided)
Tonight, 7-9 p.m. Fisher 138

Cosponsored by Global City, Sustainable Futures Institute, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Graduate Program in Environmental and Energy Policy.

Sustainability is a strategy board game that aims to promote ecological thinking for sustainable development. The game dynamics are based on real-world statistics; this allows players to better visualize connections between socioeconomic development and resource consumption. Each player represents a country that has to manage its resources to move toward the Sustainability Quadrant, a place in the game board where socioeconomic development is high and resource consumption is low.

Belote to Speak on Ecuador

Hosted by student organization Global City, local resident and former Peace Corps Volunteer (and Dean of Students) Linda Belote will present "La Mega Cooperativa Artesanal: How Ecuadorian Indian Women Found Economic Success through Hand-Woven Beadwork" on Monday, Nov. 18, in Fisher 133 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Belote will tell the story of five indigenous women's organizations from highland Southern Ecuador who joined together in 2010 in order to bring their handwoven beadwork jewelry to an international market. Aided by Belote and other American friends, their communities' folk art and the story it tells has reached the US and beyond via the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market.

Pizza and snacks will be provided, and the cooperative's beadwork will be available for purchase following the presentation. The public is welcome.

Global City is a student organization dedicated to providing a forum to address critical issues of human development such as economic development, resource distribution, and sustainability. Visit for more information.

Teaching Question of the Week

by Mike Meyer, CTL director

Are your students thinking about how they’re learning?

At this time of semester, I find myself talking with students about disappointing results on exams or homework assignments. For some students, the low results are unexpected, as the students were sure they had a good grasp of topics. In these situations, the conversation often evolves from physics to exam preparation techniques or ways of completing homework.

It’s very interesting to learn that many students haven’t given much thought to these issues. I used to worry that these conversations were off-topic, but my reading and experience has since show me that encouraging “metacognition” is beneficial not only within your class, but in a much broader sense.

There are many ways to encourage metacognition, including asking students to write potential quiz questions, coaching students on how to summarize lessons learned from homework, or directing them to create their own formula sheet for an exam. These articles from the Chronicle of Higher Education and website On The Cutting Edge provide a good definition of metacognition followed by suggestions on how to build it in your students through formative assessment.

For further discussion, stop by the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning.

In Print

School of Technology Assistant Professor Aurenice Oliveira has written a chapter, “Accurate Receiver Model for Optical Fiber Systems with Polarization Induced Performance Degradation,” in the book Optical Fiber Communications and Devices. So far, it has had 2,245 downloads. The book was published by the open-access publisher InTech.


Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) had a commentary published in Physics Today on open-source hardware for research and education.

In the News

Syd Johnson's (HU) bioethics research on non-communicative individuals was featured on the website Medical Press.


The ongoing wolf-moose study on Isle Royale, led by SFRES faculty members John Vucetich and Rolf Peterson, is the subject of an article in the Detroit News, "Park Service to Get Input on Isle Royale Wolves."


KRC Director Jay Meldrum and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) were quoted on the effects of snow on solar energy systems in Solar International--a PV Management Magazine

Through research at the University's Open Sustainability Technology Lab, Michigan Tech was a launch supporter of the Ethical Filament Foundation, whose goal is to create an environmentally friendly and ethically produced filament for the rapidly growing 3-D printing market. The foundation hopes to open up a new market for value added products that can be produced by waste picker groups in low-income countries. The launch of the Ethical Filament Foundation was covered in the media such as TechCrunch