Many Tech Students Find Alternatives for Spring Break

College students on spring break — it’s a phrase that conjures up vivid images. Those of a certain age may think of Connie Francis pursuing Frank Gorshen in “Where the Boys Are,” while a younger generation may picture dancing in foam at Señor Frogs in Cancun.

Spring break may be synonymous with partying and decadence for some, but many students at Michigan Tech are traveling beyond those stereotypes, and in some cases the country, to use their time away from the classroom for the greater good.

Alternative spring breaks combine the suspension of studies with something extraordinary. There have been some pretty exciting excursions in the past and this year is no exception.

Again this year, members of the Tech chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) in collaboration with the Detroit Public Schools, are spreading the excitement of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education. A total of 11 Tech students, all but one from the state of Michigan, will visit Detroit-area middle schools March 6 – 8, while hosting Family Engineering Nights in the evenings.

Joan Chadde, director of the Center for Science and Environmental Outreach at Michigan Tech, says the Family Engineering program was developed at Tech with several partner organizations.

“The goal is to engage, inspire and encourage elementary students to learn about and consider careers in engineering and science through hands-on activities with their parents at Family Engineering events,” Chadde explains. She says the program is designed to address the country’s need for an increased number and greater diversity of students skilled in math, science, technology and engineering. “The Family Engineering program targets six to 12-year olds and their parents.”

Also carrying the message of STEM over break will be Michigan Tech’s Mind Trekkers. For the third year, they will partner with San Jacinto Community College in Houston, Texas to put on a STEM festival for about 5,000 middle-school students.

Amanda McConnon, assistant director for the Center for Pre-College Outreach says the goal of the festival is to light a spark in young people. “We want to create an interest in the STEM fields within the students attending by showcasing hands-on and exciting demonstrations utilizing science, technology, engineering and math.”

Read the full story.

GSG Adopts Resolution in Support of Indigenous Peoples

On Feb. 20, the Michigan Tech Graduate Student Government (GSG) voted in favor of a resolution in support of indigenous peoples.

The resolution aligns with nationwide efforts by several cities, states and universities that have adopted resolutions to endorse the official commemoration of the Indigenous Peoples of North America.

The resolution asks students of Michigan Tech to:

  • Declare the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples' Day
  • Recognize indigenous peoples and communities, including education and dialogue on diversity and solidarity, social justice and decolonization
  • Teach the community about the Ojibwe Peoples’ presence and contributions to the University and the larger community.

National efforts to support indigenous peoples were brought forward to the GSG by the Indigenous Peoples’ Day Campaign at Michigan Tech. Launched locally by the University's Indigenous Issues Discussion Group, with the support of Michigan Tech's Center for Diversity and Inclusion and Michigan Tech’s Diversity Council, the campaign rapidly spread to include Tech faculty, students and staff; the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community; Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College; Northern Michigan University's Center for Native American Studies; and community members from Houghton and Baraga counties.

Deliberations by Michigan Tech’s Undergraduate Student Government on adopting a similar resolution are currently underway.

The full text of the GSG resolution will be available on their website.

Darcy Way Recovering in Ann Arbor

Last Sunday, Darcy Way,  a senior advancement officer at Michigan Tech, was in a multi-car accident in Houghton. He was injured and taken to UP Health System-Portage, then transferred to the University of MIchigan Health System in Ann Arbor, where he remains.

Yesterday (March 1) his family released the following statement:

"Darcy had an aortic dissection that required major cardiac surgery at University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor. He is in the critical care unit and progressing as expected. The injuries he sustained in the car accident were minor and he is recovering from those. Our family is deeply grateful for the outpouring of support and prayers that have been expressed on Darcy's behalf. We are also thankful for the fast thinking of the EMTs and ER medical staff at UP Health System Portage."

Dam's Research to be Presented at Conference

Research from the laboratory of Tarun Dam (Chem) has been selected for an oral presentation at the 'Spotlight Session' of 2017 Experimental Biology/American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Annual Conference in Chicago. This is an international conference attended by scientists from diverse areas.

Nominations Invited for the Michigan Tech Research Forum: TechTalks on March 15

Dear Michigan Tech faculty, postdocs and all researchers:

During the 2016-17 academic year, a new and important opportunity showcases the work of Michigan Tech researchers and aims to strengthen our community.

This internal University presentation series called Michigan Tech Research Forum is continuing this spring. The TechTalks session features up to 15 two-minute talks and will be held from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 15.

Childcare is available. The TechTalks event is a fun, rapid-paced sampling of work from a number of faculty using two slides in two-minutes. This is a venue to showcase work in beginning or advanced stages.

The forum will further offer opportunities to seed collaborative discussions, form partnerships and garner feedback/awareness. Time before and after is provided for socializing with light refreshments to promote camaraderie, community and collaborations. 

We want to feature you and other researchers from across campus in the TechTalks, so self-nominations are encouraged. If you do self-nominate, we will ask for your talk details simultaneously. If you nominate others, they will be invited via email to provide the talk details. All topics are welcome and encouraged.

Visit the form to nominate researchers by Monday (March 6).

Flexible Spending Account Claims Deadline

The deadline for employees to submit claims against their 2016 Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is Friday, March 31. Health care and dependent care claims during the 2016 calendar year are eligible. The claim form can be found at FSA claims.

All medical, dental and optical claims should be processed through your insurance plans before submitting them to your health care reimbursement account. Attach the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) or a claim summary from your insurance plan to the claim form when submitting a claim.

For expenses not processed through insurance, submit the itemized receipt. Over-the-counter medications require a prescription from a health care provider. Dependent care claims require an invoice or receipt from the provider. 

For questions, contact Benefit Services at 7-2517 or

IMPORTANT - IRS Form 1095C Mailed to Employees

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), employers are required to offer affordable health coverage to employees classified as full-time under IRS regulations.

This includes employees such as faculty, staff, students and temporary employees. For 2017, Michigan Tech is required to report on all employees who received an offer of health insurance coverage for 2016 to the IRS.

This includes the previously mentioned employees as well as retirees enrolled in Michigan Tech’s health insurance and offers of COBRA. Anyone who received an offer of coverage in 2016 will be receiving IRS form 1095C.

The forms were mailed Wednesday (March 1). Anyone who elected to receive their 1095C electronically may now access their form via Banweb.

Note that these forms are not required to file your 2016 taxes however, you should keep it with your 2016 tax records in case of an audit. 

In the future if you would like to receive your 1095C electronically, you may do so by following these steps:

  • Log into
  • Select the Employees tab
  • Click on Tax Forms
  • Select Electronic Consent (W-2 and 1095-C)
  • Check the Consent to receive 1095-C electronically

Once you have completed these steps, you will be able to select the 1095 Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Statement link.

If you have any questions regarding your form 1095C, contact Benefit Services at or 7-2517.

Hockey Huskies Host LSSU to Open Playoffs

Michigan Tech is the number two seed in the WCHA Playoffs and will host seventh seeded Lake Superior State in a best-of-three quarterfinal series beginning tomorrow.

The puck drops at 7:07 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday and, if necessary, Sunday at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena.
The Huskies finished the regular season with an 18-13-7 overall record and a 15-7-6-3 mark in the WCHA. 

The Huskies clinched home ice for the first round of the WCHA playoffs for the third year in a row. They advanced the previous years with wins over Alabama Huntsville in 2014-15 and Alaska last year.

The all games can be heard on local radio on 93.5 FM. You can also listen to the games online at or by using the TuneIn Radio App on a smart phone.

Tech and LSSU will meet for the 69th and 70th time this weekend in a rivalry that dates back to the 1969-70 season. Tech is 42-21-5 all-time against the Lakers, including a commanding 27-9-1 record at home.

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

PHC Speaker Series

Victor Vukorpa, a Senior Master Black Belt in Six Sigma at Whirlpool Corporation and Senior Lead of Whirlpool’s Global Operational Excellence (OPEX) program, will share his experiences with Tech via Google Hangouts at 4 p.m. Monday, March 13 in Dow 642. 

Vukorpa has worked in industry for 35 years, the last 31 with Whirlpool Corporation. While at Whirlpool, he has worked primarily in product testing and development on dishwashers, automatic washers and cooking products. His real passion is teaching, mentoring and applying Six Sigma and Lean concepts and tools to solve technical problems.

He became a Whirlpool certified Black Belt in 1998 and a certified Master Black Belt in 2004. Vukorpa received his BSME from Michigan Tech in 1982 and he received his MSME from Western Michigan University in 1993.

All faculty, staff and students are welcome to attend. Light snacks and refreshments will be served.

ME-EM Graduate Seminar Speaker

The ME-EM Graduate Seminar speaker at 4 p.m. today (March 2) in EERC 103 will be Randy Ewoldt from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The title of his presentation will be "Sticky Droplets and Sinking Bubbles: Curious Physics of Complex Yield-stress Fluids."

This talk will discuss Ewoldt's work on droplet impacts (splashing, spreading, sticking) of complex fluids, as well as efforts to design these materials and use them for peculiar behavior, such as making bubbles sink. Research approaches include high-speed video, rheological characterization, structure-properties modeling and fluid dynamics scaling analysis. Two new dimensionless groups will be described that rationalize the two phenomena of (I) splashing of yield-stress fluids and (II) gravity-opposed motion of particles/ bubbles suspended in such rheologically-complex materials.


GM Foundation to Present Grant Today

General Motors, a long-time supporter of Michigan Tech, will present the University with a $110,000 grant.

The campus community is invited to the check presentation at 10 a.m. today (March 2) in Memorial Union Ballroom A.

Steven Tomaszewski, GM's global facilities director of operations North America and a member of Michigan Tech's Board of Trustees, will present the check to President Glenn Mroz. The grant will fund a variety of student activities.


Rozsa Gallery B Presents "Come In We’re Open"

The Rozsa Center and Department of Visual and Performing Arts presents the Rozsa gallery b show "Come In We’re Open," an open house exhibition of student scuptors’ works in progress, as a part of the “Project Learning Lab” alternative classroom project. 

"Come In We’re Open" will run from Monday (Feb. 27) to Saturday, March 4. The gallery will host a public reception from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 2. The reception is free and open to the public.

Rozsa gallery b is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday. Visitors may walk through at any time.


C-Cubed Week 8 

C-Cubed lunches are offered from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays throughout the school year in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge. 

Grilled Prime Rib sandwiches with horseradish sauce on Trenary Rye
Grilled Tofu Sandwiches with horseradish sauce on Trenary Rye (V)
Steak Fries (V)
Coleslaw (V)

Chicken Tikka Masala (GF)
Paneer Tikka Masala (GF, V)
Basmati Rice (VE)
Warm Flat Bread (VE)

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

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


Physics Colloquium

Claudio Mazzoleni (Physics) will present "The Complexity of Atmospheric Particles" at the Physics Colloquium at 4 p.m. today (March 2) in Fisher 139.


Auxiliary Services Customer Appreciation Day Monopoly

Auxiliary Services invites you to our annual Customer Appreciation Day event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday (March 7) in the Memorial Union Ballroom.

"Advance to Go" and join Auxiliary Services in a fun and unique version of Monopoly. Enjoy a fun-filled afternoon playing games, winning prizes and enjoying some yummy treats. Great prizes will also be raffled off including "Free Parking" (2018 Faculty/Staff parking permit), gift certificates, rounds of golf, ski item, a tablet and more.

On the Road

Bruce Lee (Bio Med), Yuan Liu and Weilue He attended the 40th Annual Meeting of the Adhesion Society Feb. 26 through March 1 in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Lee chaired a session entitled "Bioadhesive Chemistry" and was elected vice chair of the Bioadhesion Division within the Adhesion Society. Lee will serve as the chair of the division in the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Adhesion Society in 2019.

Liu gave an oral presentation entitled "Moldable Nanocomposite PEG Hydrogel Formed by Mussel-Inspired Chemistry as Fit-to-Shape Sealant."

He gave an oral presentation entitled "Development of a Novel Fibrin-polydopamine Adhesive Hydrogel for Marine Tracking and Wound Healing Applications," a project directed by Rupak Rajachar (Bio Med).


Ashley DeVoge and Erin Kemppainen of Ticketing Operations attended the 2017 International Ticketing Association (INTIX) Conference Jan. 24-26. Sessions attended included classes in leadership, management, revenue, marketing, technology and college/university sports and performing arts.

DeVoge also attended the 2017 AVConnect annual users conference Feb. 21-23. Sessions included in depth technical software training, reporting and networking opportunities. 

CTL Tip of the Week

New Feature in Canvas: Student Context Cards

Instructors can now view more standardized interaction with student data in a course. Currently, when an instructor or admin clicks the name of a student in a course, the link displays the student’s user details page. With the Student Context Card feature, instructors and admins can click a student’s name in a course and view a sidebar-type overlay that shows quick insights and context about the student. Users with student roles cannot view context cards in a course.

Context cards are meant to be a simplified overview of a student’s progress. The context is generated from grades in the Gradebook and standard page view and participation activity in course analytics.

Context cards are supported anywhere in a Canvas course that displays a link to a student’s name. (They do not apply outside a course, such as in the Conversations Inbox.) In addition to the People page (course roster), frequent areas where student names display in courses include announcement and discussion replies, the Gradebook and the Moderate this Quiz page. You can access more details about Student Context Cards, including illustrated guides and a short video demo, on our Student Context Cards page.

The CTL Tip of the Week is brought to you by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). For more general information or help with Canvas at Michigan Tech, be sure to visit Canvas One Stop.