UAW Certification Graduation Tomorrow

The first graduation ceremony for Michigan Tech employees enrolled in a program conducted by Michigan Tech and  Gogebic Community College will be held Friday.

The ceremony will take place at 3 p.m. Friday in the Wadsworth Hall Annex. Twenty-four members of UAW Local 5,000 at Michigan Tech participated in the two-year program and will be awarded certificates.

The program was established in March of 2014 when Tech President Glenn Mroz along with the UAW University Negotiation Team and Local 5,000 leadership, worked collaboratively to establish a UAW certification program to support professional development of University staff, one of the goals of Tech’s Strategic Plan.

Mroz says the University Senate takes an annual survey to evaluate the president and the general climate of the University. “The idea for the program was born when the results of the 2013 survey showed many staff felt they needed more education to be promoted in their jobs,” Morz said.

 In that survey, nearly 80 percent of UAW members indicated interest in taking an education course specific to the UAW and Michigan Tech and said they would be interested in a Michigan Tech-specific master certification program to help improve their work and job opportunities on campus.

 Mroz said a small group representing Human Resources and the UAW got together. “They did some additional survey work of UAW members and their supervisors to identify needs, and worked with both people on our campus as well as faculty at Gogebic to put together the course sequence,” he said.

Dawn Pichette, administrative aide in University Marketing and Communications, is among the first graduates. She said the program was worthwhile, especially for those employees who were relatively new to Michigan Tech.

 “The material that was covered, and the way in which it was presented was very useful to professional development. The material was Michigan Tech specific but was presented in a context from outside the University, which was interesting and helpful,” Pichette said.

The four course offerings were Microsoft Suite, Social Media, Business Communication and a Michigan Tech-specific course.

UAW Locall 5,000 President Amanda Cadwell said she is pleased with the way the program has developed.

“I think this has been a wonderful chance for UAW employees to sharpen their skills and learn some new things,” she said.

Cadwell said in addition to the specific skills taught in the program, the overall experience was beneficial on several levels.

“This was a chance for us to get to know each other. Many of us work together through email or on the phone, and this program gave us a change to but a face to the voice. It has also built great and stronger working relationships.”

Cadwell said the program is ongoing with strong numbers in classes. “In the fall of 2014 there were 76 employees enrolled in courses. Last spring there were 62, last fall there were 65 and currently 60 employees are enrolled. Those are pretty good numbers. “

Mroz said the collaboration between a community college and a university was successful. "Its the kind of cooperation that is unique to our area, and we are thankful for and proud of the people who have been the pioneers in the program."

GCC President James Lorenson said collaboration between the two institutions is not something new. 

"We have collaborated for  years, especially in ensuring the successful transfer of students and curriculum alignment," Lorenson said.

"The UAW Certification Project is another example of how two institutions can work together to strengthen our employee skills, create new opportunities and share resources.  We are all stronger by working together, and we better serve our respective constituents and the Upper Peninsula by doing so."

The program is ongoing, with the second graduating class expected next spring. 
Here are the first graduates of the program:
Laura Baril                                  Shanda Miller
Joan Becker                                Amy Olson
Nancy Bykkonen                       Dawn Pichette
Amanda Cadwell                       Janey Pindral
Gina Dunstan                             Kim Puuri
Laura Harry                                Michelle Reed
Mary Beth Hodges                    Darlene Saari
Taana Kalliainen                        Lois Sedar
Katherine Kallio                         Devin Seppala  
Marjorie Lindley                        Mary P. Stevens
Tanya Maki                                 Karen Wade
Rose Martell                               Sandra Wheaton

Lot 27 to Close for Motorcycle Stunt Show

The Full Throttle Motorcycle Club will host a motorcycle stunt show during Spring Fling on Friday, April 15 in the Pay Lot (Lot 27, between the Memorial Union Building and Admin Building). This parking lot will be closed all day for the event.

One group will perform: Sick Air FMX, a premiere freestytle motocross stunt performance team. Shows will begin at 1 and 3 p.m. The event is free.

For more information, contact Jeff Staten.

KSO Presents "Shakespeare at the Symphony" at Calumet Theatre

The Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra returns to the Calumet Theatre to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death. The concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 15 at the Calumet Theatre.

The KSO performs orchestral music inspired by several of the Bard's plays, including "The Tempest" (Sibelius), "Hamlet" (Berlioz), "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (Mendelssohn) and "Romeo and Juliet" (Berlioz and Prokofiev).

Music Director Joel Neves (VPA) says "the KSO is excited to perform at the historic Calumet Theatre for the first time since 2011. The music of Shakespeare is dramatic, expressive, colorful, inventive — the perfect companion to his plays.  Our concert will be a revelatory experience for those who enjoy the fusion of music and literature.  I look forward to sharing this with our patrons." 

Tickets are on sale now, $19 for adults, $6 for youth, no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech fee. Tickets are available by phone at 7-2073, online, in person at the Central Ticket Office in the Student Development Complex or at the Calumet Theatre Box Office.

Gender Pay Gap Brochure Available

Michigan Tech's first Equal Pay Day event Tuesday was a great success with 300 brochures distributed along with dozens of cookies and local media coverage. The purpose of Equal Pay Day commemorations is to educate the community on the gender pay gap, which strongly affects STEM graduates (one year after graduation, women engineers earn only 88% of male engineers, all reasonable factors accounted for). The Michigan Tech Society of Women Engineers and the League of Women Voters of the Country send thanks who all who stopped by. If you did not get a brochure and would like one, it is available online.

High School Students Explore Nanotechnology

Professor Yoke Khin Yap (Physics) held a workshop for ninth and tenth grade students from L'Anse High School on Monday. The theme of the workshop was "Introduction to Nanotechnology" and was part of the outreach and education activities in Yap's research grant funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

This workshop was co-organized by Michigan Tech's GEAR UP, a Pre-College Innovative Outreach Institute, with the assistance of Liz Fujita. The goal of the workshop was to help stimulate the interest of pre-college underrepresented groups (girls, students with disabilities, etc.). A total of 91 students and three teachers participated.

During the workshop, students were introduced to the concept of nanoscale and hands-on experience in making molecular structures. Following lunch, there was a discussion on the potential applications of nanoscale materials. "Since Michigan Tech is the only research-intensive university in the area, we regularly provide educational support to the local communities," says Yap. This is one of the annual outreach events planned during the three-year NSF research project.

Safety Liaisons Get to Work

Fifty-Nine safety liaisons from across campus met last Friday in an ongoing effort to improve the culture of safety at Michigan Tech.   

The meeting, hosted by the Business Operations office of the Vice President for Administration, focused on common safety needs across campus, logistics of future meetings and how to best leverage time and resources toward improving our safety culture. 

The liaisons provided excellent ideas and feedback on how to continuously improve the safety liaison program.

Employee Wellness Benefits

Need help making healthy changes such as managing your weight, lowering your stress levels, stopping smoking and more?

Check out our website, Wellness Benefits at Michigan Tech, to see what programs and benefits are available to assist you.

Thanks to a collaboration between Employee Wellness, University Marketing and Communications and Continuous Improvement, we've updated our Wellness Benefits website to make it more visually appealing and easier to navigate.

Model UN at Michigan Tech

Model UN is an academic simulation of the United Nations where participants (delegates) role play as representatives of a country, organization or a body (Amnesty, NATO, EU etc.).

A Model UN brings in a lot of skills that employers look at these days. These skills include but are not limited to; problem solving skills, critical thinking, creativity, people management, co-ordinating with others, emotional intelligence, judgement and decision making skills under crisis situations, negotiations and cognitive flexibility.

In order to bring this into the Tech culture, the aim is making a student organization of the same and having a Model UN conference at Michigan Tech on an annual basis.

This would not only imbibe various skills that are of particular importance in today's job seeking environment, but would also develop one as an individual and help them see what's going on in the world and in what ways could the world's problems be rectified.

As this club is yet in its budding stage, we are looking for an advisor who has Model UN experience or knowledge regarding the geopolitical scenario who could guide us in our endeavor to make this event happen at Tech.

We are also looking to fill the position of Secretary for the Model UN Association at Michigan Tech and request all interested faculty and students alike send an email if you are interested in joining the club in any form—advisor, executive committee or regular member.

Men's Hoops to Host Little Huskies Camp Next Week

The Michigan Tech men's basketball team will host a Little Huskies camp for boys in grades two through six Monday through Thursday of next week (April 18-21) in the Student Development Complex Gym and multi-purpose room.

The camp, which will run from 4-6 p.m. daily, will give young athletes a chance to learn and practice key basketball skills with members of Tech men's basketball team.

The cost of the camp is $45 for individuals or $25 for siblings (discount can be applied if sibling took part in girls' camp). Those interested in participating can register online or at the first session of the camp on Monday. A waiver form for each Little Husky must also be completed prior to the start of the camp.

For more information, call 7-2975. Find out more about Husky Sports at

KIP Seminar

Join us from 3 to 4 p.m. tomorrow (April 15) in the ATDC building for the next KIP Seminar.

Zixi Cheng, associate professor in the Burnett School of Biomedial Sciences at the University of Central Flordia, will present "Functional Changes and Anatomical Remodeling of Brain-Heart Connection Following Chronic Intermittent Hypoxia."

Visit the KIP Seminar Series webpage for a presentation abstract and biography.


Biological Sciences Seminar

The next Biological Sciences Seminar will take place at 4 p.m. tomorrow (April 15) in Dow 64. 

For information on the presentation, see Tech Today story.


This Weeks C-Cubed Menu

Today, April 14
Curried Seafood Salad on Soft Flat Bread Pita's
Artichoke and Roasted Portobello Mushroom Torpedo Sandwiches (V)
(We will have some of each sandwich filling in lettuce cups for those who cannot have gluten) 
Vegetarian Minnesota Wild Rice Soup (VGF)
Oyster Crackers (V) 
Sriracha Slaw (VGF) 
Sun Chips (V)

Tomorrow, April 15

Chicken Piccata 
Roasted Bell Peppers, Broccoli and Squash  (VGF) 
Radiatore with Pesto Cream Sauce (VGF) 
White Bean Salad with Tomatoes  (VGF) 

V—Vegetarian  GF—Gluten Free  VGF—Vegetarian/Gluten Free


Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar

There will be a Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar from 4:05 to 5 p.m. today (April 14) in Dow 642. Richard Anderson, P.E., Dist. M. ASCE, will present "Geotechnically Related Failures of Projects."


Film Board Presents "Kung Fu Panda 3"

This weekend, Film Board presents "Kung Fu Panda 3."

Friday, April 15 — 5:30, 8:30, 11:30 p.m. 
Saturday, April 16 — 2:30, 5:30, 8:30, 11:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 17 — 2:30, 5:30 p.m.

Located in Fisher 135. Tickets are $3 and concessions are $1 each.

New Funding

Steven Elmer (KIP) was selected as a recipient of a $10,000 American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Research Endowment Grant. His project is entitled "RENEW-U! A New Exercise for Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury" and will involve students from the College of Sciences and Arts and College of Engineering.

For more information see the KIP Newsblog.

In the News

A new study examining climate change consensus among experts, co-authored by Sarah Green (Chem), came out Tuesday. Media coverage so far includes a number of science blogs,, ScienceDaily, The Guardian and Climate Home.

On the Road

Charlesworth, LaManna Present in Chicago

Debra Charlesworth (Graduate School) and Marco La Manna (PhD Candidate in Electrical Engineering) represented Michigan Tech at the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) 72nd Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois last week.

Charlesworth and La Manna presented a paper, "Using Lean to Improve Communicating the Degree Completion Process." They described the results of a Kaizen held in the Graduate School in 2014 to improve the process of communicating degree requirements to faculty, staff, and students. You can see one result of the Kaizen on the Degree Completion Timeline web pages of the Graduate School. Meeting details, including slides from many of the presentations, can be found online.


Smith to Present in Nashville

Jacque Smith of the Graduate School will be co-presenting at the National Association of Graduate Admission Professionals (NAGAP) national conference in Nashville, Tennessee on April 14. The title of the presentation is "Partnering to Support Holistic Review in Graduate Admissions". Co-presenting with Jacque will be Julia Kent, assistant vice president, Communications, Advancement and Best Practices, Council of Graduate Schools and Amika Mathur, dean of the Graduate School, Wayne State.