SBE Student Wins National Essay Competition

A promotion used at his financial institution, provided the inspiration a Michigan Tech student needed to take the top prize in a prestigious national essay competition.

For the past four years, teams from Michigan Tech’s School of Business and Economics have advanced to the finals of the iOme Challenge. In 2012 the SBE team took home Honorable Mention and a $2,000 prize. Finally this year, a Husky has emerged as the champion.

Jerrid Burdue has been named winner of the iOme Challenge for his essay and innovative video focused on federal government proposals related to education requirements, the myRA program, Social Security taxes and the Saver’s Credit.

As a result of the win, the third-year student from Niles, Michigan, was awarded the top prize of $5,000 and will travel to Washington, D.C. later this month to present his essay at the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER) Forum.

Now in its seventh year, the iOme Challenge is a two-part national competition consisting of an essay and video that illustrates the key elements of the essay. Contestants were asked to imagine their selection by the President-Elect to serve on the Council of Economic Advisors. The CEA was asked to “reimagine the private retirement system to accommodate the needs of workers in traditional work arrangements as well as the changes in the work-life patterns of the millennial generations so they can be confident of a financially secure retirement.”

In his essay/video, Burdue proposes a “retirement app” that automatically forwards a predetermined percentage of a purchase into a “myRA” account.

Burdue says the inspiration came during a personal banking experience. “The idea behind the retirement app came from a feature called ‘It’s Your Change,’ from my credit union. When you sign up, they round up your debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and credit the extra change to your savings account,” he says.

Burdue’s idea expanded on this concept by allowing individuals to designate a percentage of their purchase into the equation as well as link it to a retirement account.

“By doing this, the more a person spends, more money goes into their retirement account since it’s a percentage of their purchase rather than simply rounding up to the nearest dollar,” he explains.

While the essay topped out at nearly 20 pages, it was the 50-second video that Burdue found daunting.

“I have almost zero background in making a video, so that was my greatest challenge,” he says. “I had the idea of creating it with a white board and markers like they do in AsapSCIENCE videos but had no idea where to start.”

Read the full story.

HIV Testing on Campus

In accordance with National HIV testing day, the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department will be on the Michigan Tech campus from 1 to 3 p.m. Monday, June 27 offering free HIV testing. 
Testing will take place at the Center for Diversity and Inclusion in the conference room (garden level). Testing is free to all students, faculty, staff and community and is confidential, anonymous and efficient. 
The performed test is called Alere and only takes 20 minutes to complete with a simple finger prick. Appointments will be available in 30 minute increments from 1 - 3 p.m. and can be made by emailing
Find out more on HIV and testing.

Chief Scientist Training Through UNOLS

How many sailors does it take to set up an acoustic array? Doesn't matter if there isn't a trained acoustics engineer on deck. But clocking time at sea—and knowing how to arrange for experiments aboard a research vessel—is not a straightforward process. To learn more, Andrew Barnard (MEEM) is taking his underwater acoustics research on the R/V Blue Heron next week as part of a Chief Scientist Training Cruise through the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS).

"The cruise is designed to teach young faculty the ins-and-outs of being a chief scientist on proposals and research expeditions aboard the UNOLS fleet," Barnard says, adding that he will be conducting some experiments during his trip. The ship will be out from June 25 to 30, traveling from Milwaukee to Duluth.

Michigan Tech partners with UNOLS along with more than 60 other institutions and national laboratories. Learn more here and stay tuned for an Unscripted photo essay and guest blog from Barnard on his experience aboard the R/V Blue Heron.

New User Interface Coming to Canvas This Weekend

A new, modernized user interface (UI) for Canvas is coming to Michigan Tech this weekend.

The new Canvas UI is intended to provide users with a cleaner and more contemporary interface that enhances the look and feel of Canvas and improves navigation and scalability.

Michigan Tech-specific user guides and video tutorials, along with Instructor guides from Instructure, are available on our New UI First Look Resources page.

For more general information or help with Canvas at Michigan Tech, be sure to visit Canvas One Stop.

IT User Services Director Represents Team USA in Spain

Stephen Eles, director of IT User Services, represented Team USA at the 2016 Aviles ITU Duathlon World Championships on June 5. Stephen placed 82nd overall and 20th in his age group in the Olympic distance. For Team USA, he placed first in his age group and 2nd overall. There were a total of 1,400 athletes competing in races ranging from sprint to Olympic/standard distance.

Youth Tennis Summer Program Begins Monday

The summer session of youth tennis lessons begins Monday, June 27 and runs through Wednesday, Aug. 3.

Classes are split into four age groups: five-seven, eight-10, 11-13 and 14-18. These sessions are a fun and exciting way to introduce kids to tennis and begin a lifetime enjoyment of the sport.

Younger groups will be introduced to basic stroke instruction, match play and simplified scoring through the USTA's QuickStart program. Older groups will also learn basic techniques, but will be taught traditional scoring during match play. For all age groups, the focus is on fun and learning the game in a great atmosphere.

For more information or to register, visit Youth Tennis Lessons, call Gates Tennis Center at 7-2774 or email

Pickleball Tuesdays at Gates

Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the U.S. Combining elements of tennis, volleyball and badminton, it is played on a surface similar to a badminton court and is a great game for all ages.

Beginning June 28, you can experience this fast-growing game from noon to 1:30 p.m. each Tuesday through Aug. 2 at Gates Tennis Center. Pickleball courts will be set up and paddles and balls will be available. Both court time and equipment usage is free of charge during the session. A staff member will be on hand to explain the rules and scoring and to offer general instruction.

Space is limited each week, so call Gates Tennis Center at 7-2774 to reserve your spot.


Thai Cuisine at Khana Khazana

Thai cuisine is featured at tomorrow's Khana Khazana serving from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the food trailer in the MUB Circle.

The menu features:

  • Gang Ped Khai—Chicken Red Curry with Pineapple
  • Por Pia Tod—Egg Roll
  • Sago Kao Pod—Tapioca Pearls with Corn

Cost is $6.95 for the full meal. Like the Khana Khazana Facebook page.

Job Postings

Job Postings for Thursday, June 23, 2016

Staff and faculty job descriptions are available in the Human Resources Department. 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.

Director, Intensive English as a Second Language Program, Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Apply online.


​Office Assistant 6, ​Housing and Residential Life. UAW Posting ​6/23/16 - 6/29/16. External applicants will not be reviewed until after all internal applicants. ​Apply online.​

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Education Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer, which includes providing equal opportunity for protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.  

On the Road

Aurenice Oliveira (ECE), gave an invited talk at Federal University of Bahia, in the city of Salvador, state of Bahia, Brazil on June 13. For more information, see the Electrical and Computer Engineering newsblog.