What do We do Now? Family Members and the Brain Dead

by Dennis Walikainen, senior editor

When a patient is declared brain dead, what options are available for family members? Who decides his or her fate? A recent case in California triggered the interest of Syd Johnson, assistant professor of philosophy at Michigan Tech.

Her article, “A Tragic Death and a Fight for Life,” was published in Impact Ethics: Making a Difference in Bioethics.

In it, she addresses the California case and the many issues involved in it and similar cases.

“The 13-year-old girl went in for a tonsillectomy, had complications from the surgery, and was considered brain dead,” Johnson says. “The hospital wanted to withdraw life support, and the family disagreed on religious grounds. Taking to social media, the family raised enough money to move her to a facility to keep her alive.”

Read the full news story.

Society of Women Engineers Supports Women in STEM

by Monica Lester, student writer

Watching this year’s Super Bowl, you may have seen the commercial for a new innovative toy for young girls: Goldieblox. The toy encourages girls to build and engineer and to challenge the lack of women going into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

According to the US Department of Commerce, women hold less than 25 percent of STEM jobs. At Michigan Tech, less than 21 percent of engineering undergraduates are women.

But, toys aren't the only way to encourage female interest in STEM.

This month, Michigan Tech hosted more than 700 women from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, as well as Michigan. They came to attend the 2014 Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Region H Conference. Tech’s SWE chapter won the bid to host the conference, titled “Extracting the Elements” and including keynote speakers, sessions on professional development and a Career Fair.

Women in STEM fields—and the lack of them—was a main topic at the conference, not surprising, since 98 percent of the attendees were female. Many described discrimination in the field, but the women at Michigan Tech offered other perspectives.

See the full story online.

RTP Scholarship Winners Announced

Congratulations to 2014 Rail Transportation Program (RTP) Scholarship Recipients. $12,000 dollars in Michigan Tech Scholarships were awarded to students in the RTP program, as well as additional scholarships received from American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association (AREMA).

RTP recipients of 2014 scholarships are:
Chris Blessing
-Union Pacific
-AREMA Presidential Scholarship

Nicholas R. Lanoue
--Union Pacific
-AREMA Committee 27 - Maintenance-of-Way Work Equipment Scholarship

Tanja S. Mattonen
-AREMA Union Pacific William E. Wimmer Scholarship

Renee C. Oats
-AREMA Michigan Tech Alumni Scholarship

Antonio A. Passariello
-AREMA Committee 1 - Roadway & Ballast Scholarship

Sean P. Pengelly
-Union Pacific
-AREMA Committee 27 – Maintenance-of-Way Work Equipment Scholarship

Hamed Pouryousef-
-AREMA Michigan Tech Alumni Scholarship

Irfan Rasul

Akalu Tafesse

Michigan History Day Takes Place Saturday

Almost a hundred elementary, middle and high school students will compete at the District 1 regional event for Michigan History Day on Saturday, March 1, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Michigan Tech in the MUB. Finalists in the youth, junior and senior divisions will move on to the state contest on April 26 at Saline Middle School.

Michigan History Day is an educational program of the Historical Society of Michigan and offers a fascinating opportunity to move social science beyond routine learning. Students perform research on an individually chosen topic. They then present their work through the disciplines of writing, art, literature, music, drama and/or visual communications.

“We are expecting a lot of great entries this year,” said Tamara Barnes, Michigan History Day state coordinator. “The students applied this year’s theme—Rights and Responsibilities in History—to create a variety of performances, exhibits, papers, websites and documentaries. We’re excited to see what topics in history come out of this year’s competition.”

Participants from District 1 include students from Houghton-Portage Township Schools, Hancock Public Schools, Lake Linden, Chassell, and Dollar Bay. The public is invited to attend the event. The District 1 competition is sponsored by Michigan Tech.

For more information, see the link.

Graduate Student Government Travel Grant Award Winners for Spring 2014

Travel grants for spring 2014 have been awarded. The full list of graduate recipients can be accessed online.

Travel grants are awards that help subsidize cost of attending and presenting at conferences. These awards are sponsored by the Graduate Student Government (GSG) and the Graduate School. For more information on travel grants, please visit the webpage.

Should you have any questions, contact the GSG treasurer Jennifer Winikus (jawiniku@mtu.edu).

Escape with the Superior Wind Symphony's Concert "Flights of Fantasy"

This Saturday, March 1, at 7:30 p.m., Michigan Tech's Superior Wind Symphony, under the direction of Mike Christianson, presents a concert at the Rozsa Center titled “Flights of Fantasy,” that will present a mixture of the musical form “fantasia” through history.

General admission is $13, youth tickets (17 and under) are $5, and Michigan Tech student tickets are free with the Experience Tech Fee. To purchase tickets, call 7-2073, go to the Rozsa Center Website, or visit Ticketing Operations at Michigan Tech’s Student Development Complex (SDC).

Coffee Chat March 4

The William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning will be hosting a coffee chat on Tuesday, March 4 at 3:30 p.m. Last summer, Nancy Auer (Bio Sci), Brigitte Morin (Bio Sci), and Mike Meyer (Jackson CTL) attended a week-long National Academics Institute at the University of Minnesota. The workshop focused on teaching science in a way that is “more faithful to the true nature of science by capturing the process of discovery in the classroom” (Handelsman et al., 2004).

The method focuses on constructivism, active learning and unique methods of assessment, and could be applied to almost any discipline. In late march, Mark Decker, one of the institute leaders, will visit Michigan Tech for a general presentation. This Coffee Chat will give preliminary exposure to the principles and methods. Those who find the approach interesting will be invited to a reading group and special meeting with Mark during his visit.

Coffee and light refreshments will be provided to those who register by Monday, March 3. To register, please call the Jackson Center at 7-2046 or register online.

Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar

Marc P. Blanchard, director of Agro and Forestry Investment, will be presenting, "Biomass Carbonization and Energy Supply in Sub-Saharan Africa: From Ancestral Processes to Modern Technology" on Tuesday, March 4, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. in Dow 641. The public is welcome.

CTL Tip of the Week

Submit Mid-Term Grades via Banner or Canvas and Coursetools

Instructors have two choices for submitting grades. Mid-Term (and Final) grades can be submitted electronically either via Canvas, or via Banner Self Service. Banner Self Service is the simpler of the two systems; instructors can enter grades directly, click submit, and be finished!

Grade submission through Canvas requires a couple more steps. It is often most beneficial for larger classes or courses where grades are already entered in Canvas or another spreadsheet program. Grades will need to be entered or uploaded into the “Mid-Term” column in Canvas first, and then extracted from Canvas and submitted to Banner using “Coursetools.”

Mid-Term grades only need to be submitted for first-year students and only SA and UN grades can be used. Information and instructions can be accessed on eLearning’s Electronic Grade Submission Information and Resources page.

The CTL Tip of the Week is brought to you by the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). For more general information or help with Canvas at Michigan Tech, be sure to visit Canvas One Stop.

In the News

Michigan Tech was featured in a Detroit News story about President Obama's Michigan manufacturing partnership.


Inside Higher Ed mentioned Michigan Tech's new Master of Science in Accounting program.


Associated Press interviewed Research Scientist Rolf Peterson about an Isle Royale National Park gray wolf that died after crossing an ice bridge from the island national park to the mainland of Canada. Michigan Radio, part of the National Public Radio network, aired the story. See the story online.

On the Road

Pasi Lautala (CEE) traveled to Lansing on Feb. 11 to participate in the inaugural meeting of the Commission for Logistics and Supply Chain Collaboration in Lansing. Lautala is the only member from the Upper Peninsula in the seven-member commission appointed by the Governor. The commission is housed within the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and will advise state agencies on freight transportation and supply chain management issues.

Job Postings

Staff and faculty job descriptions are available in Human Resources or at http://www.mtu.edu/hr/job-postings/ . For more information regarding staff positions, call 487-2280 or email jobs@mtu.edu . For more information regarding faculty positions, contact the academic department in which the position is posted.

Scholarship Coordinator
Financial Aid Administration
Apply online at http://www.jobs.mtu.edu/postings/1434 .

Office Assistant 5 (Internal & External)
Financial Aid Administration
Apply online at https://www.jobs.mtu.edu/postings/1471 .

Michigan Technological University is an equal opportunity educational institution/equal opportunity employer, which includes providing equal opportunity for protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.