IPS Hosted Gappa Lunch and Learn

Gappa is a Hindi word which loosely translated means “conversation among friends.” Michigan Tech’s International Programs and Services (IPS) hosted a Gappa Lunch and Learn last month.

Three of Tech’s international students spoke about their home countries at the event. Among the speakers were Aseem Upadhyay, a graduate student in computer science from India, and Japanese first-year exchange student Yuika Fukui.

Upadhyay spoke on topics such as the geography, culture, ethnicity, traditions, society and religions of India.

He especially enjoyed talking about common Indian hand gestures. “Since Michigan Tech has a lot of students from India, I felt the audience would be eager to know about what the various hand gestures in India mean,” he explains.

For example, the Western side-to-side hand movement for “hello” is frequently interpreted by Indians as “no” or “go away.”

A guest approached Upadhyay after the Gappa, telling him her son had an Indian friend who used hand gestures that she found strange at times. She told Upadhyay that thanks to his presentation, she now knows what those gestures mean.

Fukui talked about her home city of Shiga Prefecture. She spoke of the differences between her home university, University of Shiga Prefecture, and education in the United States. “I want to encourage people who are interested in Japan and thinking of studying abroad in Japan to visit my university,” she says.

Fukui says she was excited to talk about Japan because there are so few Japanese students at Tech that it is hard for people to understand the culture.

Both Upadhyay and Fukui say they would encourage their international friends to participate in future events like the Gappa. They added they enjoyed learning about their peers’ cultures as well.

Laura Givens of Michigan Tech’s IPS says she organized the event because she wants the campus community to really get to know the international students.

“We only know what the media, movies and TV portray about other cultures. I have learned so much about our student backgrounds and cultures that I wanted everyone to see how amazing our international students are,” she explains.

Givens adds she received nothing but positive responses from those who attended the Gappa. She says a few departments have reached out about hosting their own departmental Gappa.

Gappas are held once or twice a month in the IPS office. Another Gappa Lunch and Learn is being planned for the fall 2017 semester.

Michigan Tech has approximately 1,200 international students and scholars from 62 different countries.

If you’d like more information on international studies or hosting a Gappa, contact Givens.

KIP Engages Local Schools in Physiology Outreach

Last month, Michigan Tech's Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology (KIP) coordinated its first-ever Physiology Understanding Week. PhUn Week 2016 was celebrated under the nationwide umbrella of the American Physiological Society.

KIP thanks all the students that participated and helped make this a success including Travis Wakeham from Biology who assisted with the planning and coordination.

Jason Carter (KIP) and more than 20 graduate and undergraduate students reached out to local K-12 teachers and were invited into six different classrooms to lead interactive, hands-on physiology activities.

Approximately 150 students from elementary to high school participated in engaging lessons aimed at increasing their understanding of physiology.

Morgan Farrell, an exercise science major had this to say about her participation in PhUn week.

“Phun week was an amazing opportunity to reach out to the local schools and get elementary through high school students excited about physiology. Through this outreach program my group was able to teach middle-school students about the heart and the benefits of exercise while having fun doing hands-on activities,” she says.

She added, “This program is definitely worth being a part of, because it was so much fun to work with K-12 students to get them interested in something that I am interested in.”

The response from Michigan Tech students and local schools was overwhelmingly positive and the KIP Department plans to continue coordinating PhUn Week activities annually.

Winter Break Reminders

Energy Management during Break

All heating and ventilating equipment will operate as normal over the semester break except during the designated holidays of Dec. 26, 27, 29, 30. 
On those days operations will be similar to normal weekends.

Notify the Central Heating Plant if you have special operational needs for your department during the holiday week. E-mail your schedules to chp@mtu.edu by Dec. 23. Planning ahead will help us accommodate operational needs while minimizing unnecessary energy use.

Facilities Management reminds you to:

  • Shut off lights, equipment, computers, research setups, fume hoods and exhaust fans whenever possible
  • Keep windows and doors closed
  • Shut off unnecessary water, gasses and utilities to equipment to avoid leaks and spills
  • Return chemicals to their proper containers and storage locations

As a reminder, calls regarding temperature requests, power outages, utility breaks and other maintenance emergencies are to be made directly to the Facilities Management emergency line at 7-0001.

Snow Removal

During the week of Dec. 26, the Department of Facilities Management will perform snow removal on a daily basis. Parking lots, campus roadways and primary sidewalks will be maintained to ensure safe access for the campus community. 

Snow removal will also be conducted as needed for University-hosted events. On Christmas Day and New Year's Day snow removal will be limited to primary roadways and fire lanes only.

Winter Break Shuttle Schedule

Transportation Services will run a limited shuttle service during winter break, Monday, Dec. 19 through Friday, Jan. 6.

The shuttle will run on campus from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and will not operate during University closed holidays.

In addition to its regular route, the shuttle will stop at the Lakeshore Center hourly.

The City of Houghton shuttle does not operate during University breaks.

For questions, contact parking@mtu.edu.

State Minimum Wage Increasing Jan. 1

Effective Jan. 1, 2017, Michigan's minimum wage will increase to $8.90 per hour. Therefore, all hourly rates that fall below this rate will be increased on Dec. 31.

This will have an impact on departments that pay students and temporary employees less than this amount. For jobs starting after Jan. 1, use the minimum wage of $8.90 per hour. Since the rates for current employees will be automatically increased, EPAFs will not be needed.

Lucchini Named ASN Player of the Week

Timing is everything, and nobody in college hockey has had better timing this season than Michigan Tech sophomore Jake Lucchini. Especially this past weekend against WCHA rival Bowling Green.

Lucchini notched back-to-back game-winning goals to lead the Huskies to 3-1 and 2-1 road victories at Bowling Green and garner American Sports Network Men's Player of the Week honors.

The game-winners were his fourth and fifth of the season, most in the nation. He has seven goals and five assists on the season.

Tech, 12-7-3 overall, sits alone in second place in the WCHA standings behind Bemidji State with an 11-3-2-1 conference record. The Huskies are a sparkling 9-1-1 over the past 11 games.

As a freshman Lucchini was named to the WCHA All-Rookie Team as a forward and received the Norbert Matovich Memorial Award as the team's top freshman after scoring 7 goals and 10 assists in 37 games, including one game winner.

Undrafted, he attended the Edmonton Oilers' development camp this past summer.

Tech, the only college team not to have a weekend off through the first half and having played 15 road games, is idle until Dec. 29 when it competes in the 52nd annual Great Lakes Invitational — the final GLI at Joe Louis Arena.

Tech plays Michigan for the third time this season while Michigan State and Western Michigan face off in the second semifinal.

Basketball Teams at Home Tomorrow

The Michigan Tech men's and women's basketball teams continue their home stand with a Saturday afternoon GLIAC double header against Findlay.

The women's game tips off at 4 p.m. followed by the men's contest at 6 p.m.

Both games can be heard on local radio on 93.5 FM and live streamed on pasty.net. The games are video streamed as well. Live stats are available here.

Tech will be off for the Holidays and return to the court on Thursday, Jan. 5 at Ashland. The Huskies will then take on Tiffin Saturday, Jan. 7.

Information Sharing Session on Jan. 31

A steering committee for the Office of the Vice President for Administration has planned an Information Sharing Session for 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31 in the Memorial Union Ballroom. Human Resources will host this second information session.

Faculty, staff and students are invited and encouraged to attend. These sessions are held each semester to provide timely information and updates from units under Administration. Units/topics were selected by interests expressed by the campus community in a survey that was conducted over the past summer.

The Spring 2017 session will include:

  • Nicholas Sirdenis, general manager at Mont Ripley, will speak on Mont Ripley's new tubing park
  • Ruth Archer, director of Continuous Improvement, will discuss the current state and future direction of Lean at Michigan Tech, including student opportunities for Lean learning
  • Renee Hiller director of Human Resources and her team will focus on the following topics — new employee orientation program, wellness initiatives, informational trainings, immigration and labor relations.

These sessions are open to everyone on campus, including students. Release time will be provided for hourly staff with the approval of their supervisor. 

If you would like to submit a question prior to the session, you may do so here. Questions will be collected until Wednesday (Dec. 21).


No Tech Today For Next Two Weeks

Michigan Tech's Tech Today online publication will go on its annual two-week holiday hiatus beginning Monday. There will be no Tech Today from Dec. 19-30. 

Tech Today will resume on Monday, Jan. 2, 2017.


Tomorrow's Commencement Streamed Live

Tomorrow's midyear commencement will be live streamed so those unable to attend the ceremony may watch it live. The stream will be available here.

Midyear commencement will begin at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow in the SDC's Wood Gym. Members of the campus community can request tickets to the Midyear Commencement through Ticketing Operations at 7-2073 or by emailing tickets@mtu.edu.


Human Resources Closed This Afternoon

The Human Resources Office located at the Lakeshore Center will close at 1:30 p.m. today, (Dec. 16),  for a departmental meeting.

They will reopen for regular business hours on Monday, (Dec. 19).


Michigan Tech I-Corps Site Workshop

The Michigan Tech I-Corps Site Program and the Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship will host its next NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Workshop in January over a 4-week period, with the first session starting on Saturday, Jan. 7.

The I-Corps Site program is a team-based program structure that was developed through a partnership between the National Science Foundation (NSF) and successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. The workshop provides an introduction to the Lean Start-up business development methodology which focuses on getting out of the lab and using the proven tools of Customer Discovery and the Business Model Canvas to evaluate the commercial potential of innovative technologies. The deadline to sign up is Jan. 2. Read the full Tech Today story.


C-Cubed Week 15

C-Cubed lunches are held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge.

Roasted New York Strip Loin of Beef (GF) with Horseradish Sauce (V, GF)
Vegetable Napoleon (V)
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes (GF, VE)
Steakhouse Wedge Salad (V, GF) (We'll provide some without bacon for Vegetarians)

V—Vegetarian, VE—Vegan, GF—Gluten Free

Note: There will be no C-Cubed events during Winter Break. We will continue to hold C-Cubed once the Spring Semester starts.

Send any suggestions to Christina Fabian or fill out a feed-back form online


Panopto-Huskycast Scheduled Maintenance Downtime

The Panopto-Huskycast video platform will be down for scheduled maintenance between 7 and 11 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 17). During this time, you will not be able to access recordings and any attempts to upload from clients will result in a "Server unable to connect" message. Contact IT User Services if you have any questions at 7-1111, or it-help@mtu.edu.


Deadline for Calendar Year 2016 Donations to the Michigan Tech Fund

Many donors make calendar year-end gifts to the University to benefit from a tax deduction for the current year. Forward all gifts you receive during December to the Michigan Tech Fund as soon as possible. Include the envelope and supporting documents.

Credit card donations and gifts of cash or checks will be accepted at the Michigan Tech Fund Office (First Merit Bank Building, eighth floor) until 2 p.m. Dec. 30. A credit card contribution can be made online until 11:55 p.m. Dec. 31.

The University relies on the goodwill of donors and processing their gifts in an efficient and timely manner is crucial to nurture that goodwill.


Keweenaw Alumni Chapter Holiday Social

The Keweenaw Alumni Chapter invites you to enjoy a festive evening at the Keweenaw Brewing Company with Michigan Tech alumni, staff, faculty and friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 20.

Cost is $10. Appetizers will be served and a cash bar will be available.

Register by today online or by calling 7-2400. Contact Kay Larson or Erin Thompson at 7-2400 with questions. 

Job Posting

Job Posting for Friday, December 16

Staff and faculty job descriptions are available in Human Resources. For more information regarding staff positions, call 7-2280 or email jobs@mtu.edu. For more information regarding faculty positions, contact the academic department in which the position is posted.

Assistant or Associate Professor Geospatial and Surveying Engineering, School of Technology. Apply online.

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

On the Road

Loredana Valenzano (Chem) recently participated in the GIAN program of the Government of India as a co-organizer with Ravindra Pandey (Chem).

Valenzano gave a series of lectures on modeling of materials to graduate students and faculty members at the workshop. She introduced state-of-the-art computational modeling methods to the next generation of students in chemistry, physics and materials science. The workshop was organized by Guru Jambeshwar University of Science and Technology at HIsar, Harayana, India.

Michigan Tech has a large presence in the GIAN program — Amitabh 
Narain (MEEM), Chandrashekhar Joshi (Bio) and S. Komar Kawatra (ChE) have also participated in the program activities in India.

In the News

An article on solar energy by Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) appeared in the Regulation section of the Harvard Business Review Wednesday.

Pearce was also quoted on investment in solar energy research by NASA paying off in an article, "Is NASA a Waste of Money?" in Machine Design.


Scientia, a global science news website, published an article about John Vucetich's (SFRES) work on the marriage of science and ethics in natural resources management.  

New Funding

Xiaohu Xia (Chem), is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $168,789 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation. The project is titled "CAREER: Engineering Bimetallic Nanstructures as Peroxidase Mimics for Diagnostic Applications."

This funding is the first two years of a potential five-year project totaling $457,783.
 Alex Mayer (CEE/GLRC), is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $52,771 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation. 
The project is entitled "EAGER: Collaborative Research: The Role of Citizen Science in Watershed Hydrology Research: Relationships Between Volunteer Motivations, Data Quantity and Quality, and Decision-Making."
This is a one-year project.