President Mroz Appoints Susanna Peters as Ombuds Officer

by Jennifer Donovan, director of news and media relations

Susanna Peters, a lecturer in law and society in Michigan Tech’s Department of Social Sciences, has been appointed the University’s new ombuds officer. Her appointment takes effect on April 15.

The ombuds officer provides informal conflict mediation services for faculty, staff and students, to help them resolve conflicts fairly and informally before initiating any formal grievance procedure. The Ombuds Office operates independently and confidentially.

Peters, who is an attorney, earned a JD cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She has served as a state certified mediator with the UP Commission for Area Progress, which works with the local courts. She taught at Wayne State University Law School and the University of Toledo College of Law before joining the Michigan Tech faculty in 2001. She serves as coordinator of the Law and Society program and liaison for pre-law students.

President Glenn Mroz spoke highly of Peters and other candidates for the position. “Being ombuds officer is not an easy job. Often you are working with people who are under stress for complex reasons,” he said. “That's why it was so impressive that a group of very talented people applied for the position, and we were so fortunate that Susanna was among them. Her skill and experience will serve us all very well.”

Peters said she is looking forward to her new position. “It is crucial for faculty, staff and students to have access to confidential resources and assistance when they face a difficult situation,” she explained. “My goal as ombuds officer is to help people on campus who are willing to work to solve problems in a productive, positive and flexible manner.”

Starting April 15, faculty, students and staff who would like to contact the Ombuds Office can email or call at 7-2391 to set up an appointment. More information about the Ombuds Office is also available online.

Professional Development Day RFP Deadline Extended to April 1

The deadline for Professional Development Day proposal submission has been extended to April 1. Just as a reminder that session proposals are now being accepted for Michigan Tech’s campus-wide Professional Development Day scheduled for May 20. All faculty and staff are welcome and encouraged to participate by sharing their expertise with others across campus. This is a great opportunity to highlight the outstanding work your department(s) are doing and share that expertise with your colleagues. To submit a proposal, complete the Google form.

Suggested categories for proposals include, but are not limited to:

* Sharing new research or assessment
* Supervising students or staff
* Developing leadership skills
* Balancing work/life strategies
* Using technology
* Developing a mindfulness mindset
* Getting involved on campus
* Creating an inclusive environment
* Using social media
* Embracing change
* How to raise funding
* Grant writing how to’s
* Engaging students in your office/classroom
* Connecting faculty/staff/students to what the Keweenaw has to offer
* How to develop a budget
* Exceeding expectations with excellent customer service
* Being well tips
* Reviewing important federal regulations
* Working with millennial parents

For questions, contact Bill Roberts (7-1742, or Renee Hiller (7-2800,

Bert Hautala Retirement Party Friday

Bert Hautala will be retiring after 17 years of service to Michigan Tech. Come wish him good luck Friday, March 28, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., in the McNair dining room.

Book Sale April 1-2 in MUB

The Friends of the Library Annual Used Book Sale is scheduled for Tuesday, April 1 and Wednesday, April 2, in the Memorial Union Ballroom. As a member of the Friends, during the evening pre-sale you will enjoy early shopping, easy (and free) parking and the best selection on Tuesday from 5 to 7 p.m. Don’t forget to renew your membership.

Watch the Friends link on the Library website for updates.

On Wednesday, the sale continues at 10 a.m., with a new selection of withdrawn books from the J. R. Van Pelt and Opie Library, and ends with the bag sale from 3 to 4 p.m. Due to changes in parking regulations on campus, we will no longer be able to provide complimentary parking during hours when parking rules are enforced (7 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Visitors to campus may park at any metered space for $0.75/hour or in lot #27 (just west of the Memorial Union) for $3/day. The book sale uses standardized pricing for the majority of books, with hardback books priced at $2 and quality paperback books for $1. Mass-market paperbacks (the ones that fit in your back pocket) are a bargain at 50 cents. Antique or special sets are priced separately.

Also, it is not too late to donate books. If you have only a few book sale donations, you may drop them off in the large donation box located in the Library vestibule. Please write ‘Library Book Sale’ on your bags or boxes. If you have a box or bag of books, you may unload them at the Library loading dock. Call a library staff member at the Service Center at 7-2508 to have someone meet you at the back door to help. If you need help getting your book sale donation books to the Library and would like someone to come to your house to pick them up, contact Dana Richter (7-2149,

Bounce-O-Rama April 13

Bounce, jump, run and play with the Michigan Tech Huskies at Bounce-O-Rama! This Make-A-Wish fundraiser event, hosted by the Michigan Tech Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, will take place Sunday, April 13, from noon to 5 p.m., in the SDC Multi-Purpose Room.

Pre-sale tickets are available now through April 11 for $8 at the SDC Ticket Office and online, $10 at the door. For more information, visit

Energy and Jazz: 14th Annual Don Keranen Memorial Jazz Concert Friday

Michigan Tech Jazz Studies brings it all home with the 14th Annual Don Keranen Memorial Jazz Night, Friday, March 28, at 7:30 p.m., in the Rozsa Center. Michigan Tech's Jazz Lab Band and R&D Big Band will perform a wide variety of classic and modern jazz, Latin jazz, fusion, ballads, blues, rock and funk.

Tickets are $13 for adults, $5 for youth and students. Michigan Tech students are free through 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).

Biological Sciences Seminars Today and Friday

Below are the biological sciences seminars for the current week:

Today, Taku Demura from the Nara Institute of Science and Technology in Nara, Japan, will present "NAC Transcription Factors Contributing to Plant Adaptation to Land," at 2 p.m., in Chem Sci 101.

Friday, March 28, Kelly Dyer, assistant professor in the department of genetics at the University of Georgia, will present "Causes and Consequences of Genetic Conflict in Drosophila," at 2 p.m., in GLRC 202. This visit is being partially sponsored/funded by the Visiting Women and Minority Lecturer/Scholar Series (VWMLS), which is funded by the President's Office and a grant to the Office of Institutional Equity from the State of Michigan's King-Chavez-Parks Initiative. It is also partially funded by the Department of Biological Sciences and the BioTechnology Research Center.

On the Road

Mike Abbott (GLRC), Gregg Richards and Jim Heikkinen (Facilities Management) presented at the Winter 2014 MiAPPA (Michigan Association of Physical Plant Administrators) Conference at Wayne State University. Their presentation was based on the sustainability and research goals of the GLRC.

Tribal technical assistant program (TTAP) director John Velat (CEE) participated in the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Strategic Planning Committee meeting for the Local and Tribal Technical Assistance Programs (LTAP/TTAP) recently in Atlanta. The FHWA Strategic Planning Committee (SPC), a representative group of Center staff from across the LTAP/TTAP community, serves to analyze current and future trends in the program and advises FHWA on responsive program management. This work was conducted as part of TTAP's contract with the Federal Highway Administration to advance tribal transportation issues, transportation safety, cultural awareness and tribal self-determination. TTAP serves 64 tribes in 31 Midwestern and Eastern states and cooperates with tribal transportation initiatives nationwide.

Job Posting

Staff and faculty job descriptions are available in Human Resources or at For more information regarding staff positions, call 7-2280 or email For more information regarding faculty positions, contact the academic department in which the position is posted.

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