Peace Corps Retiring Masters International Program

The Peace Corps announced this week that it is retiring all of its Master’s International graduate school programs after nearly three decades of partnerships with 96 graduate universities across the country.

The move will take place over a number of years so that students in the program and entering the program in the coming year will be able to complete their degrees after their studies and service.

The programs at Michigan Tech are included in the phase-out. From inception, Michigan Tech’s Peace Corps Master’s International (PCMI) became a signature program for the university. Tech’s PCMI program has been the largest among the 96 participating universities in the nation nine years in a row. PCMI students from Tech have served in 52 countries around the world. 

“The Masters International Program has been a very distinctive program for Michigan Tech,” said President Glenn Mroz.  “It was started because there was a shortage of volunteers with forestry training in the Peace Corps. As the relationship grew, we became aware of a number of other hard-to-fill skill areas, and the programs expanded to meet those needs.”

Michigan Tech has 10 PCMI degree programs in departments across campus. They include applied natural resource economics, applied science education, biological sciences, civil and environmental engineering, computer science, electrical and computer engineering, forest resources and environmental science, mechanical engineering, mitigation of geological natural hazards and rhetoric, theory and culture.

“Over the years, we adopted other Peace Corps programs, and those will continue at Michigan Tech,” said President Mroz. They include an undergraduate Peace Corps Prep program and graduate Coverdell Fellowships for returned Peace Corps volunteers.

“We are incredibly grateful that this program laid the foundation for strong relationships with so many universities,” Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said.

“Although the Peace Corps has outgrown the goals of the Master’s International program, we’re looking forward to continuing our collaboration with our valued university partners, knowing there are so many opportunities to unite their strong academic competency with our core mission of sustainable, positive change.”

Kari Henquinet, director of Michigan Tech’s PCMI programs, said: "Universities have partnered with the Peace Corps in many different ways over the past 55 years. While we are sad to see the robust collaboration in Master's International begin to phase out, Michigan Tech is in conversation with the Peace Corps director about not only continuing our other partner programs, but also exploring new ones."

Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, nearly 220,000 Americans of all ages have served in 140 countries worldwide.

Parking Spaces to be Painted

Transportation Services is currently painting the parking space lines around campus. Be prepared for partial lot closures to allow the painting to be completed. If you should arrive in a partially painted parking lot, utilize any available freshly painted parking spaces that are not within a barricaded area so that the painting crew can access the unpainted areas. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. If there are any questions contact Transportation Services at 7-1441.

Robinsons Continue Philanthropy to SBE

Michigan Tech School of Business and Economics Alumnus Ed Robinson and his wife Betty have generously given to the SBE for 50 years. Their latest gifts benefit the School two ways, with an endowed fellow as well as physical improvements to the Academic Office Building that houses the SBE.

Ed Robinson graduated from Michigan Tech in 1966. It’s been 50 years since he left campus, but the culture of philanthropy he fostered in the School of Business and Economics (SBE) will resonate far into the future.

For more than 30 years Robinson and his wife Betty have generously given to the SBE. Last year the couple decided that what they’ve done in the past wasn’t enough and vowed to do more—much more.

Through the Robinsons' philanthropy, the SBE will see significant improvements both academically and in the physical state of its building. What was initially an idea for renovation, ended up as a major improvement to the Academic Office Building, home of the SBE, and a planned bequest for the Edward and Betty Robinson Endowed Faculty Fellow in accounting. The bequest will fund what will be known as the “Robinson Fellow.”

Eric Halonen, Michigan Tech’s assistant vice president for advancement, said students are the beneficiaries of the Robinsons’ service and philanthropy.

“Ed and Betty are building the School of Business and Economics through two facets, with both a building renovation and the faculty fellow position,” he said.

Read the full story.

Volunteers Needed for Disaster Drill

A mock disaster drill will be held at Michigan Tech on Tuesday, May 10, and the University's Department of Public Safety and Police Services is looking for 55 volunteers to play the role of "victims" during the exercise. Faculty, staff, students and community members are all welcome to volunteer.

"Volunteer actors are very important to improving the realistic nature of the exercise and helping make it even more effective for the emergency response personnel who plan to participate," Jon Stone, a crisis management consultant who is running the drill, explains.

To sign up, click here. Stone will be providing more details directly to volunteers later this week.

PLGC Now Open, Titleist Demo Day Today

Michigan Tech’s Portage Lake Golf Course is now is open for business. Annual passes, Punch Cards, Daily Greens Fees and much more are all available.

Season passes include the amenities of guest passes, merchandise and tournament discounts, complimentary pull carts as well as free plays at other local courses. Discounted passes are available for spouse’s and kid’s to make golf affordable for the entire family.    

A reminder, pass holder’s children 11 and younger play for free when accompanied with an adult pass holder. However, should the child wish to play without mom or dad, they will either have to purchase Green Fees or a discounted season pass.

Michigan Tech employees have even more options to save money by utilizing the Techfit benefit. Payroll deduction is also available. For non-Michigan Tech employees, we offer a comfortable payment plan option.

Portage Lake will offer reduced Greens Fees for the month of May. The price to play 18 holes is $25 and a nine-hole round is just $15

Men’s league will begin Thursday, May 19 and women’s league begins Tuesday, May 31. Junior league and lessons begin the week of June 12.

Titleist Demo Day Today

Titleist, maker of the world’s best golf clubs, will host a club testing demonstration period from 4 to 7:30 p.m. today (May 5) at the golf course practice range.

Get your swing speed, club lie, length and flex measured by a professional. Test the club(s) that will improve your golf game. Discounts will be offered during the demo day on all Titleist golf clubs. Bring a friend and hit some golf balls with the world’s finest made clubs.

Call 7-2641 or email with questions or concerns. 

Be a part of the fun at Portage Lake this summer.

Summer 2016 HuskiesFit Youth Classes Open for Registration

Several youth HuskiesFit Program classes are now open for registration for the summer session. Sign your Little Husky up for one of the following today: Swimming, Aikido, Dance, Creative Movement, Zumba Kids!, Intro to Ballet, Learn to Skate and FUNdamentals of Hockey.

Employees may use TechFit to pay for HuskiesFit Programs. For more information, visit HuskiesFit Programs. Commit to be HuskiesFit.

Acoustics Seminar with PCB Piezotronics

Andrew Barnard (ME-EM) will teach a day-long webinar through PCB Piezotronics on Thursday, May 12. The talk focuses on acoustics engineering and will cover best practices for using microphones and other equipment for noise control and acoustic testing. Register here

Safe Place Training

Registration is now open for summer 2016 Safe Place training. If you have not gone through the training before or if it has been a while since you have done so, consider registering as the training has been revamped and updated with current terminology, new activities and a video of Michigan Tech students talking about their experience being LGBT on campus.

The Michigan Tech Safe Place Program is a comprehensive resource to better prepare faculty, staff, students and community members to address the needs of individuals who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex and Asexual (LGBTQIA). The program unpacks the complicated notions of identity in relation to sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, addresses issues that LGBTQIA students often deal with during the coming out process and examines concerns that LGBTQIA students face both in and out of the classroom.

Safe Place training also explores the many ways that you can work toward creating more safe, inclusive and affirming spaces and environments on campus. For times and dates of trainings, as well as additional information about the Safe Place program, visit the site.


David Shonnard (ChE/Robbins Chair, director of the Sustainable Futures Institute) will participate in a workshop to be held in Washington, DC at the Keck Center of the National Academies from May 26 to May 27.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) requests the assistance of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine in convening a two day meeting of experts who are knowledgeable about the commercial viability of advanced biofuels in the short-, medium- and long-term. At the workshop participants will address the following questions:

1. What production volumes do experts predict for different types of advanced biofuels in the short-, medium- and long-term given current conditions?

2. Where should research and development be focused in the short-, medium- and long-term to attract commercial investment and bring advanced biofuels to market?

3. Which of these research and development areas are most likely to need government support?

The workshop participants include members from industry, academia and the government with knowledge of past and current advanced biofuels research and development efforts, trends and outcomes as well as potential future outcomes.


Myounghoon "Philart" Jeon (CLS/CS) received the Best Paper Award at the ArtsIT 2016 Conference held at Aalborg University, Denmark. The paper is entitled, "Aesthetic Computing for Representation of the Computing Process and Expansion of Perceptual Dimensions: Cases for Art, Education and Interfaces." ArtsIT is the EAI (European Alliance Innovation) conference about art and technology integration.


Employee Benefits and Community Service Fair Today

Benefit Services will be on campus today for the Employee Benefits and Community Services Fair which will be held in the Isle Royale Ballroom in the Memorial Union Building from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Visit more than 30 exhibitors hosting a vast array of service organizations including health and wellness, financial and retirement services, life insurance, real estate, recreation and theater. The fair is free and open to employees and retirees, spouses, partners and adult dependents. Attendees may register for one of many door prizes.

All employees are welcome. Up to one hour of University release time is available for employees to attend.

For more details and to see a list of vendors and door prizes, visit Human Resources.

In the News

ChemDesign, a blog about chemistry and the chemical industry, featured an article about the career planning course that Michigan Tech chemistry majors take at the beginning of their sophomore year. See the article here

On the Road

Pasi Lautala, four graduate students and four undergraduate students traveled to Columbia, South Carolina for 2016 Joint Rail Conference from April 12 to April 15. All four graduate students (Sumanth Kalluri, Hanieh Deilamsalehy, Priscilla Addison and Steven Landry) won an ASME graduate scholarship to present their technical papers in the conference.

The paper by Kalluri, "Toward Integrated Life Cycle Assessment and Life Cycle Cost Analysis for Road and Multimodal Transportation Alternatives — A Case Study of the Highland Copper Project", won the best student paper in the conference. All four undergraduate students (Carl Ingalls, John LaLonde, Katherine Tigges and Thomas Weston) won an ASME scholarship to present their senior design/enterprise projects related to rail transportation.