Tech Community Mourns Death of Student

The University is deeply saddened to inform our community of the tragic loss of a member of our Michigan Tech family.
Senior Forestry student, John Wheeler, passed away Wednesday Nov. 23, from injuries received in an automobile accident.  John was traveling with two younger brothers, Toby, a first-year student in Civil Engineering and Leo, a student in Houghton High School.
Toby and Leo were hurt but are expected to make full recoveries.  We offer our sincere condolences to Wheeler family, friends and loved ones.  

Service arrangements have not yet been made, but will be found here when finalized.  

Pavlis Honors College Sets New Standard

Since the Pavlis Honors College came on the scene two years ago, it has done more than offer a new take on the concept of an honors college—it is redefining the way we think about honors education.

Traditionally, honors programs at colleges and universities require a high grade point average (GPA) for admission and continued involvement. With Pavlis now in its third year, Dean Lorelle Meadows along with her faculty and staff believe more than ever that a student’s potential for success is much more than a reflection of their GPA.

In fact, GPA doesn’t even factor into admission to the Pavlis Honor College, only a student’s commitment and motivation to achieve their individual goals. The Pavlis Honors College is one of the first honors programs to look beyond a student’s grades when considering admission, a concept Meadows says is gaining attention nationwide.

Meadows and Assistant Dean of Academic Programs Mary Raber presented their honors model at the 51st Annual National Collegiate Honors Council Conference in Seattle recently. The positive reception they received indicates other universities are interested in following and potentially emulating what Michigan Tech has started.

"Reframing honors by removing GPA as a consideration for admission and enrollment is a matter of equity and access and also of honoring the whole student and everything they do to enhance their learning,” Meadows says.

 “When you think about honors programs across the country offering opportunity only to students who arrive at college prepared to thrive in a traditional classroom environment and on standardized tests, you miss out as a university on the talent at your doorstep. Honors programs across the country are grappling with challenges associated with diversifying their student body. Challenging the use of a very limiting measure such as GPA as a filter can be a way to make a difference and value what every student brings to our campus."

While GPA is not a factor in acceptance to the honors college at Michigan Tech, academics is certainly a key factor, and the college’s students are consistently showing achievement both in and out of the classroom.

Read the full story.

Medical and Prescription Drug Coverage ID Cards

As part of the 2017 benefit changes, Michigan Tech has carved the prescription drug (RX) benefit out of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, and has joined a larger RX coalition to leverage the volume for better pricing on prescriptions.

Initially Benefit Services was hoping to offer employees the convenience of one card for both medical and prescription coverage.

After further research we are unable to accommodate one card for both. Employees will be receiving a new card from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan for medical coverage, and a card from Express Scripts for prescription coverage. Cards should be received by January 1, 2017.

Be sure to present your new cards to your medical and prescription providers.

Please contact Benefit Services at or 7-2517 should you have any questions or concerns.

TechTalks 2016

Two minutes, two slides, 13 faculty—a research showcase at (not quite) warp speed.

The Michigan Tech Research Forum is a new University presentation series showcasing the work of Michigan Tech faculty, postdocs, and researchers.

Join us from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Thurs. Dec. 1 in MUB Ballroom B for the third Michigan Tech Research Forum of the semester and the second TechTalks session.

Thirteen researchers from across campus will present rapid-paced samplings of their work, both published and unpublished. Via warp speed talks, attendees get a quick taste of the cutting edge research and can follow up with one-on-one discussions that lead to collaborative ventures and strengthen our community.

Complimentary snacks and drinks will be provided.

Special note: On-site, low-cost childcare at the MUB is available during the TechTalks. Childcare will be available on-site for the Dec. 1 TechTalks. Pre-registration is required by Nov. 29 to ensure adequate caregivers. Complete the the registration form.

TechTalk speakers include:

  • Andrew Fiss, Department of Humanities: "Learning from the Past: 19th Century Student Perspectives on Science Education"
  • Stefka Hristova, Department of Humanities: "Culture In-color"
  • Laura Kasson Fiss, Department of Humanities: "Clubs for the Unclubbable: Humor and Literary Sociability"
  • Jeff Naber, Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics" "Energy and Transportation"
  • Latika Gupta, School of Business and Economics: "Energy and the Macroeconomy"
  • Michael Mullins, Department of Chemical Engineering: "Electrospun Nanofibers as Neural Guidance Scaffolds"
  • Feng Zhao, Department of Biomedical Engineering: "Stem Cell and Tissue Engineering Research"
  • Chad Deering, Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences: "Ignimbrites to Batholiths"
  • Darrell Robinette, Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics: "Gearing for Future Connectivity"
  • Trisha Sain, Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics: "Mechanics of Soft Polymers"
  • Beth Veinott, Department of Cognitive & Learning Sciences: "Premortem Light: Improving Planning Using a Lightweight, Perspective-shifting Technique"
  • Latha Poonamallee, School of Business and Economics: "Co-opting Capitalism through Sneaky Social Ventures: Possibilities and Challenges"
  • David Flaspohler, School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science: "Bird Response to Land Use Change in Northern Argentina"

Michigan Tech Research Forum events are presented by the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs in coordination with the Office of the Vice President of Research.

Additional TechTalks sessions are coming up in Spring 2017. Interested in nominating yourself or others? Use this online form.

Design Expo 2017 Registration Now Open

Design Expo 2017 will be held in the MUB Ballroom on Thursday, April 13th. Save the date.

Design Expo highlights hands-on, discovery-based learning at Michigan Tech. More than 600 students on Enterprise and Senior Design teams showcase their work and compete for awards.

A panel of judges, made up of distinguished corporate representatives and Michigan Tech staff and faculty members, critique the projects. Many team projects are sponsored by industry, which allows students to gain valuable experience through competition, as well as direct exposure to real industrial problems. Design Expo is co-hosted by the College of Engineering and the Pavlis Honors College.

Registration is now open for Senior Design and Enterprise teams. Visit the Design Expo website to register before the deadline, Monday, Feb. 6.

We need faculty, staff, and professionals to serve as distinguished Design Expo judges. Interested? Register to be a judge or RSVP to let us know you’re coming.

Modern Languages Christmas Celebration

Join Modern Languages faculty and students from 5 to 6 p.m. Wednesday (Nov. 30) in Walker 134 for a unique celebration of French, German and Spanish Christmas traditions. Appearing live will be the French Canadian group, Maple Sugar Folk, as well as Christina Reyes.

Learn Christmas songs in each language for the sing-along and listen to traditional holiday music. Play Christmas Bingo and enjoy a variety of Christmas treats from different cultures. No prior language experience required. Families are welcome.

For more information, contact Karin Schlenker.

This Week in Career Services

Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) - Recruiting Event

If you think you might be interested in a career developing, integrating and sustaining the "right technology solutions for all manned and unmanned DoD ground vehicle systems (GVS) and combat service support (CSS) equipment to improve Current Force effectiveness and provide superior capabilities for the Future Force", then this event is for you. The event is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. today (Nov. 28). Find out more here

Graduating Senior Series

Graduation is right around the corner. You found all the right tools to get your degree: now it's time to get the tools you'll need to navigate life and finances after college. (And eat some snacks and maybe win some prizes too). The Graduating Senior Series will take place at noon tomorrow.

Husky Talks

Thinking About Grad School? Career Services Can Help. Learn how to write effective and compelling graduate school application documents, as well as strategies that'll help you get in.

This is a 20-minute presentation with lots of time for your questions. There are two presentations, 12:10 - 12:50  p.m. tomorrow, or 12:10 - 12:50 p.m. Wednesday.

Literature: Finding it and Reading it

Lauren Movlai, Instruction Librarian, will lead an interactive discussion on identifying excellent resources. 

The workshop will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, in room 244 of the Library.

This will be followed by a graduate student panel sharing their experiences and recommendations for how to approach finding and reading journal articles.  

For information on other upcoming undergraduate research workshops click here.

Huskies Basketball Signs Three

The Michigan Tech Men's Basketball Head Coach Kevin Luke announced the addition of three players to the program for the 2017-18 season. Dawson Bilski (Powers), Trent Bell (Negaunee) and Kyle Clow (Germantown, Wis.) have all signed National Letters of Intent to join the Huskies next season.

"We signed another great class for Michigan Tech both academically and athletically," Coach Luke said. "All three players are excellent students and great basketball players who will make a big impact on our program. All three of these players come from winning programs. They know how to win, they know what it takes to win, they have been coached and they can handle the academics here at Tech. I'm really excited about this recruiting class."

Bilski, a 6'2 guard, from Powers-North Central High School where he helped lead the team to two state championships. He is averaging 15 points and five assists each time he takes the floor. Bilski has garnered numerous accolades, including UPSSA Class D 1st Team Honors, 3rd Team All-State, and 1stTeam All-Skyline Conference as both a sophomore and a junior.

"Dawson is another one of the great shooters that we have recruited here," Luke said. "He can really shoot the ball well from three-point land and is an excellent athlete. He is going to be counted on to be one of those guys that comes in and shoots the three with regularity."

Bell, a 6'7 forward, is at Negaunee High School and currently averages 12 points and nine rebounds per game. Bell has been a second team All-ABC Team selection and earned a spot on the All-Mid-Peninsula Conference second team.

"Trent is an excellent prospect because he can play both inside and outside," Luke said. "He is very versatile, a good athlete, can shoot the three, he is effective inside, and can help us a lot with what we do with mismatches."

Clow, a 6'4 forward, attends Germantown High School where he is averaging eight points per game. Germantown has won seven straight North Shore Conference titles and Clow has been a major contributor in helping the streak to continue. He was named Honorable Mention All-North Shore and has played with the highly successful Wisconsin Swing AAU program.

"Kyle is a great athlete and solid perimeter player that can score, can penetrate, can defend one through four on the court, and is very versatile defensively," Luke said.

To read the full story and find out more about Husky sports, visit


Upcoming Security Presentations

The security presentation that has been rescheduled from it's original date of October 28th will now be presented at 2 p.m. on Thursday Dec. 1 in Rekhi G06.

This is an informative session on cyber attacks that explains who the attackers are, what their motivations are and how we can attempt to prevent data breaches by blocking each stage of an attack. A recording of the security presentation that was done on Monday Oct. 31 is now available for viewing here.

This presentation covers risks and methods of protection against common attacks on your accounts and identity. Both presentations are open to the campus and do not require any prior security knowledge.

Difficult Conversations Coffee Chat

A number of instructors have requested strategies to facilitate challenging conversations between or with students regarding the recent election.  

The Center for Diversity and Inclusion, the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning, and International Programs will co-host an informal coffee chat from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Thursday, (Dec. 1), in Rekhi Hall room 215. 

No formal presentation will be made, but Directors from all three areas will be available to discuss specific concerns individually or in small groups and/or share strategies over coffee and snacks.   No pre-registration is required; all interested instructors are encouraged to attend! 


Materials Science and Engineering Seminar Today

Cameron McNamara, doctoral candidate (Professor Stephen Kampe, advisor), Materials Science and Engineering, will present "Recent Developments in HSLA-Al" at 4 p.m. today (Nov. 28) in M&M 610.


Mary Durfee Retirement Celebration

The Department of Social Sciences invites you to a retirement social in honor of Mary Durfee to celebrate her 24 years of service to Michigan Tech from 4 to 6 p.m. tomorrow (Nov. 29) in the Memorial Union Ballroom A1. 


University Holiday Luncheon

The University Holiday Luncheon will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6 in the Memorial Union Ballroom. The cost is $8 per person.

For details on the menu and tickets, see Tech Today article.

IT Connect

Moving an Office Computer

Computers often need to be relocated when faculty, staff, and grad students move offices. If you need to move an office computer, please call Michigan Tech IT to begin the process. We’ll make the necessary changes on the network and set up a convenient time to move the equipment. We’ve posted signs in our Graduate Computing labs as a reminder to contact us beforehand.
If you have any questions regarding a move, contact us or call 7-1111.


Wayne Pennington Honored for Turning Point Definition

Wayne Pennington's (GMES/CoE) work was honored during a Geophysical Society of Houston luncheon on Nov. 15 in Houston.

The presentation, made by Vaughn Ball (Hess Corporation) and co-authored by Michelle Thomas, JP Blangy and Mark Kittridge, acknowledge that seismic petrophysics is "coming up on the twentieth anniversary of Wayne Pennington's turning point definition of seismic petrophysics in the 1997 edition of The Leading Edge."

In the News

Pengfei Xue (CEE) and his modeling work through the Great Lakes Research Center, which led to a more comprehensive climate and hydrodynamics model for the whole Great Lakes region, has been featured in several science media outlets including Science Daily,, Terra Daily and Supercomputing Online News. The story was shared numerous times by collaborators and the science community on Twitter.


Job Posting

Job Posting for Monday, November 28, 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.

 Enterprise Program Coordinator, Pavlis Honors College. 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.