Dam, Talaga Win Bhakta Rath Research Award

Congratulations to Melanie Talaga and Tarun Dam (chem) for winning the 2016 Bhakta Rath Award. The award is given to an exceptional doctoral student and advisor pair who has made a difference with their research.

The two study the biomechanics of glycoproteins—or the behavior of what Dam call "candy-coated" molecules. This research is a body of work including both cancer assay research—as described in this video and news story from last fall—as well as the discovery of molecular principles that could help drug development.

"Here we have shown the power of biophysical techniques in revealing the 'difficult-to-detect' behavior of molecules" Dam explains, adding that in science the process is never over.

"No discovery is final, discovery is a journey rather than a destination. As our technology becomes more sophisticated everyday, tomorrow will certainly add more to today's discovery"

For Talaga, excitement for the unknown inspired her to pursue research. She says Dam's enthusiasm is contagious.

"I did not expect that pursuing a doctoral degree could be so interesting and exciting," she says.

"The research doesn't feel like work when you enjoy what you are doing and look forward to coming to lab each day." She adds that knowing her work lays the foundation for future cancer detection and drug development is also inspiring. She says her graduate career and winning the award "has exceeded my expectations many times."

Shaw Wins Research Award

Congratulations to Raymond Shaw (Atmospheric Sciences, Physics) for winning the 2016 Research Award.

In the words of Ravi Pandey, chair of the Department of Physics, Shaw is "widely recognized in the national and international community of atmospheric scientists investigating cloud microphysical processes."

His research is both detailed and big—from the minutiae of raindrops to understanding the patterns of cloud formation. As part of this research, he collaborates with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) to lead a team of scientists to conduct holographic imaging of cloud droplets from an airplane laboratory. The research was published in Science last fall and was the subject of a Michigan Tech Research Magazine story.

"The unifying aspect of my research is the atmosphere," Shaw says, adding that the process of research inspires him. "It's like working on an incredibly diverse set of intertwined and nested puzzles. Every now and then a burst of insight allows us to solve a part of one of them."

Shaw is also recognized for his teaching and says that teaching is another aspect of research. "Students learn at a deeper level when they dig into a research problem," he explains.

"The advisor-grad student relationship is the closest thing I know to an apprenticeship, where the grad student masters a craft by working side by side with a mentor."

He considers Alex Kostinski (Physics) his own mentor who has helped him on Michigan Tech's campus from day one. Along with Pandey's support and the insight from his students, Shaw says, "Perhaps it sounds quaint, but I do feel like being recognized with the MTU research award is a larger recognition of the colleagues and students with whom I have worked."

Summer Shuttle Schedule Starts Monday

The Transportation Services shuttle will operate 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. during the summer session beginning Monday, May 2.

The shuttle services the Memorial Union to the SDC and through both the Lower and Upper Daniell Heights, stopping at the bus shelters.

Additionally, the shuttle services the Lakeshore Center at the top of the hour. For questions contact 7-3288.

View the summer session shuttle bus schedule.

Research Excellence Fund (REF) Awards Announced

The Vice President for Research Office announces the 2016 REF awards and thanks the review committees, the deans and department chairs for their time spent on this important internal research award process.

Infrastructure Enhancement (IE) Grants

  • Will Cantrell, Physics/EPSSI - Refrigerated Water Re-Circulating System
  • Andrew Burton, Forestry/ESC - Leica Geosystems TS11 Total Station
  • Jared Anderson, Visual and Performing Arts - Yamaha CL5 Digital Mixing Console
  • Hugh Gorman, Social Sciences - Archaeology Lab Furnishings
  • Steve Kampe, Materials Science and Engineering/IMP - Electrochemical Workstation
  • David Hand, Civil and Environmental Engineering - 3D Mapping with Faro 3D-X330

Portage Health Foundation (PHF) Infrastructure Enhancement (IE) Grants

  • Jim Frendewey, School of Technology - Clinical Data Repository
  • Victor Busov, Forestry/LSTI - High Frequency Ultrasound Scanner

Research Seed (RS) Grants

  • Ebrahim Tarshizi, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences
  • Erik Herbert, Materials Science and Engineering/IMP
  • Andrew Barnard, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
  • Scott Wagner, School of Technology
  • Cecile Piret, Mathematical Sciences
  • Jae Yong Suh, Physics
  • Mark Rouleau, Social Sciences

Portage Health Foundation (PHF) Research Seed (RS) Grants

  • Bruce Lee, Biomedical Engineering
  • Feng Zhao, Biomedical Engineering
  • Adam Feltz, Cognitive and Learning Sciences
  • Zhiying Shan, Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology

Scholarship and Creativity Grants

  • Soonkwan Hong, School of Business and Economics
  • Mike Christianson, Visual and Performing Arts
  • Christopher Plummer, Visual and Performing Arts
  • Marcelino Viera-Ramos, Humanities
  • Abraham Romney, Humanities
  • Stefka Hristova, Humanities
  • Melissa Baird, Social Science
  • Jonathan Robins, Social Sciences,
  • Amy Lark, Cognitive and Learning Sciences
  • Yang Yang, Mathematical Sciences

Jackson Graduate Online Learning Grant Winners Announced

The William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning announces the funding of three proposals intended to build and strengthen online learning at the graduate level.
These proposals were selected for their potential to expand online graduate enrollment and help instructors learn online instructional tools and current best practices.   
The funded proposals are:
  • "Master's Degree Program in Natural Resources." PI—Andrew Storer (Associate Dean, SFRES), $21,000.
  • "Core Courses for Applied Sciences Education Masters." PI— Shari Stockero (CLS), $10,000.
  • "Pilot Development for Graduate Program in Powertrain Systems." Co-PI's—Jeff Burl (ECE) and Jeremy Worm (ME-EM/Mobile Lab Director), $5,000.

Principal Investigators will begin work with their departmental teams this summer, building both online teaching skills and new course materials with the help of CTL staff. 

Work will continue through the 2016-17 academic year, with new courses implemented in the fall of 2017. Congratulations to these recipients, and thanks to all of those who submitted proposals.

Anna Catton, Troy Bouman Receive Prestigious Award

Anna Catton and Troy Bouman, students in "Acoustics and Noise Control" (MEEM 4704) taught by Andrew Barnard (ME-EM) have won the Leo Bernaek Student Medal for Excellence in Noice Control, presented by the Institute of Noise Control Engineering. Catton, a senior VPA major and Bouman, a PhD student in ME-EM, were notified of the honor Wednesday at the final exam of the class. 

The medal will be presented publicly at NOISE-CON 2016 June, 15 in Providence, Rhode Island. 

Barnard said, "Troy and Anna have been exceptional students in the Acoustics laboratory in the ME-EM department. Troy was nominated for his general expertise in designing acoustic test fixtures and acoustic LabVIEW codes. Anna was nominated for her evaluation of ME-EM reverberation chamber and designing and building a new set of acoustic drivers for that chamber." 

Diversity Council Following President's Proposals

In fall 2013, as response to ongoing climate studies on campus, the University created the Diversity Council to work on issues of campus climate as related to diversity. The chair of the Council is Jill Hodges, executive director of Institutional Equity and Inclusion. In its first phase, the Council grew to about seven members, but expanded in the 2015-16 academic year to its current size of 19 members.

On February 5, President Mroz sent the following charges to the Michigan Tech Diversity Council:

1. In collaboration with responsible units, develop hiring and enrollment goals for campus wide diversity which incorporate faculty, staff and students. (Hiring and Enrollment Goals Subcommittee)
2. In collaboration with responsible units, develop a plan for monitoring and reporting on the progress of various diversity-related initiatives that are intended to meet Strategic Plan goals. (Marketing and Communications Subcommittee)
3. In collaboration with responsible units, develop a plan to collect information on diversity-related initiatives and publish an annual report (Department Liaison Subcommittee; Marketing and Communications Subcommittee)
a. Provide information on a regular basis to President and Provost (Council Chair Hodges)
b. Publish information on a regular basis to campus community (all)
4. Make recommendations for increasing impact (e.g., training, best practices, resource allocation, criteria and priorities for funding) (Action Subcommittee)
5. In collaboration with responsible units, develop a plan to identify best practices (all)

The Council meets every four weeks throughout the year, and has organized itself into four subcommittees: Hiring and Enrollment Goals; Marketing and Communications; Department Liaison; and Action. Ad hoc subcommittees are formed as needed for short-term tasks.

The Diversity Council will be guided in its actions by the Departments' Diversity Plans, which indicate how units on campus plan to meet diversity goals. Progress on these goals will be reported to the Diversity Council and will form the majority of the Council's report to the President, scheduled to be submitted annually in January. The Council will also work with units as they update their diversity plans and will endeavor to spread best practices that emerge from the successes that arise from the plans.

Watch the website of the Diversity Council for more information on its activities. Questions should be directed to Jill Hodges.

Michigan Tech I-Corps Site Program

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work with a team to take a technology-focused startup idea to the next level? Spend four weeks discovering the commercial potential of your technology in a real-world, hands on, immersive learning workshop brought to you by the ​Michigan Tech I-Corps Site Program and the Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship.

Th​e​ I-Corps ​Site ​workshop is not about how to write a research paper, business plan or NSF proposal. It's about getting out of the laboratory and out of the office to learn through customer discovery using the Business Model Canvas and Lean Start-Up technique. Upon successful completion of the workshop, your team could receive up to $​2​,500 for continued customer discovery and prototyping​​. For more information on the Michigan Tech I-Corps Site Program or to apply, go online. The deadline to submit your application has been extended to Monday, May 2.

Heath Earns NCAA Division II Statistical Championship for Free Throw Percentage

Michigan Tech men's basketball guard Bryan Heath has been awarded the 2015-16 NCAA Division II statistical championship for free throw percentage.

Heath finished the season with a 93.3 percent on free throws (97-104), good for the second-best mark in Tech history and the highest percentage by a Husky since Austin Armga in 2012-13.

To read the full story and find out more about Michigan Tech Sports visit michigantechhuskies.com.

Tech Track Has Another Record-setting Weekend

Five school records fell as the Michigan Tech track and field teams were on the campus of Grand Valley State last weekend (April 22-23) competing in the Al Owens Classic at Grand Valley State University.

Ashley Veale ran the 400-meter hurdles in 1:03.21 to reset the Tech record. She finished fourth in the race.

Jamie Dompier broke another record in the 200-meter event, running the race in 25.37 en route to a seventh-place finish.

The women's 4x400-meter relay team of Veale, Dompier, Aimee Allenand Lauren Tetzloff ran the event in a record-setting 3:50.89 and finished fourth.

Jenna Burns also broke a Tech record with her throw of 42-7.5 in the shot put.

On the men's side, Jevon Maddox completed the 400-meter hurdles race in 54.15 to break a four-year-old program mark. 

"I liked the way that we've progressed forward from where we were earlier in the season," said head coach Joe Haggenmiller. "I think we've set ourselves up in a good position to going into Hillsdale and the GLIAC Championships in the coming weeks. Obviously we set five school records over the weekend and you have to be excited for our student-athletes who have worked so hard throughout the year."

To find out more about Michigan Tech Sports visit michigantechhuskies.com.

Stankowski Honored as 2015-16 Winter GLIAC Commissioner's Award Recipient

Michigan Tech men's basketball forward Kyle Stankowski has earned a Winter 2015-16 GLIAC Commissioner's Award announced yesterday by the conference.

The awards are presented after fall, winter and spring athletic seasons to six female and six male student-athletes who excel both in the classroom and on the fields of play. Stankowski also received the award following the 2014-15 season.

Stankowski was a key reserve for the men's hoops program averaging seven points-per-game while appearing in all 26 contests.

Stankowski was one of just five players in the NCAA Midwest Region to earn CoSIDA Academic All-District Team honors this winter. 

The 6-foot-9 forward carries a 3.94 cumulative GPA and will leave Michigan Tech with degrees in electrical engineering and mathematics.

To read the full story and find out more about Michigan Tech Sports visit michigantechhuskies.com.



Central Energy Plant Shutdown Begins Sunday

The annual Central Energy Plant shutdown will begin at noon Sunday, May 1 and end at noon Thursday, May 5. The shutdown will allow work to be performed on the Steam Generation and Distribution Systems. Steam will not be available during this period and plant personnel will do everything to keep the outage as short as possible.

The following buildings will be affected: Admin, Academic Office Building, ROTC, R.L. Smith Building (MEEM), MUB, Chem, EERC, Library, Rehki, Dillman, Fisher, Dow, M&M, Walker, Rozsa, DHH, Wadsworth, McNair, Hillside Apartments, GLRC, Forestry, Facilities, Ice Arena, SDC and Gates. Read the full Tech Today story.


Seminar—Cecon Mahapatra

Cecon Mahapatra will present at the Biological Sciences Seminar at 9 a.m. Monday, May 2 in DOW 642. His presentation is titled "Comparative Toxicity Assessment of Perfluorinated Carboxylic Acids and Biodegradation."


City to Provide Dumpsters Through Tuesday

The City of Houghton has dumpsters available for students to put their "junk" in through Tuesday, May 3.

There are two locations:

  •  Lot 21, off of Garnet
  •  Under the parking deck downtown

There will be three separate dumpsters, one for regular junk, one for metal and one for e-waste. Please note that these dumpsters are NOT for regular household garbage.

In the News

World News, a news website, published a story about Michigan Tech's upcoming 2016 Spring Commencement.


ScienceCodex, a science news website, published an article about Audrey Mayer's (SS) BioScience journal article on the need for policymakers to pay attention to landscape ecology to make informed decisions for managing climate change, land use and urbanization.