GLRC Celebrates World Water Day

The Great Lakes Research Center at Michigan Technological University has several events planned to commemorate World Water Day. While officially celebrated on Wednesday, March 22, there will be events throughout the week of March 20th to focus on the issue of clean water.

The theme of this year’s World Water Day is “Wastewater.” Globally, 80 percent of all wastewater flows back to nature without being treated or reused. Not only does this pollute the environment, but valuable nutrients and potentially recoverable materials are lost. Daisuke Minakata from Civil and Environmental Engineering says “Wastewater is no longer a collection of liquid and solid wastes but our valuable resource so that we can create potable water from wastewater with advanced treatment technologies and recover valuable materials and even energy from waste. In this sense we no longer call it a wastewater treatment plant but water resource recovery facility.”

Reuse of wastewater is the theme of Michigan Tech’s World Water Day Keynote lecture. George Tchobanoglous, professor emeritus in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Davis will present “Planned Potable Reuse: The Last Frontier.” His talk will take place at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 21 in Dow 641.

The nation’s water supplies are derived from a variety of sources, including local and imported surface water, groundwater and other sources. Public water supplies in many regions are becoming stressed because of population growth, urbanization, the growth of megacities, cyclical droughts and climate change.

Read the full story.

Cesar Chavez Day of Service and Learning

Student Activities, the Undergraduate Student Government and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion are hosting Cesar Chavez Day of Service and Learning, a spring semester day of service similar to the fall semester event, Make a Difference Day.

Cesar Chavez Day of Service and Learning will take place Saturday, April 1. Check-in and educational demonstrations about Cesar Chavez will occur from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday, March 31 in the Memorial Union Building Alumni Lounge. If you're unable to check-in on Friday, there will also be a check-in from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday, April 1 in the same location.

The final deadline to register is 3 p.m. Thursday, March 23. 

Volunteer projects will vary but most will happen locally from 10 a.m. to noon. Everyone who participates will receive a free t-shirt for their volunteer efforts.

All members of the Michigan Tech community are welcome to participate.

For more information, see this webpage. Click here to sign up.

Michigan Tech Signs Letter to President Trump Supporting "Dreamers"

Michigan Tech has signed a letter to President Trump thanking him for his positive remarks about the "Dreamers" — young adults brought to the US illegally as children and now enrolled at college campuses across the country — encouraging him to enable these productive and high-achieving individuals to continue working and studying while his administration and Congress arrive at a permanent solution.

The letter, written by the American Council on Education, says that the higher education community is eager to work with the President to find a path forward.

Colleges and universities nationwide have been invited to sign the letter.

A Year in Germany Gives Michigan Tech Student New Insights

Why would someone put acceptance to a prestigious law school on hold to spend a year in Germany?  That’s just what Russell Lawson did, and he doesn’t regret a minute of it. 

Lawson, who earned his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with a minor in economics at Michigan Technological University in 2016, has been accepted into the University of Michigan Law School, but he chose to spend this year participating in the Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange program.  In Germany, he’s going to school, working a job, immersing himself in the culture. 

Lawson calls the competitive program, known as the ‘’Parlamentarisches Patenschafts-Programm’’ in German, a “cultural exchange program aimed at promoting understanding and cooperation between the two countries.”  It includes 75 participants chosen from all over the US, representing a majority of states and multiple fields of study. “We have engineers, bio chem majors, those who study music, politics, international relations, two welders and four chefs/bakers, really a diverse group,” Lawson explains.

Read the full story.

Army/Air Force ROTC Cross Country Ski Race Saturday

On Saturday (March 18) the two great ROTC programs here at Michigan Tech will compete head-to-head at the Tech Trails to prove which group of cadets has the most stamina and, dare I say it — tenacity — to survive winter and come out on top.

Blair Orr of the Nordic Ski Club has enthusiastically offered to host a cross-country ski race, a 2.2K paired sprint, classic style, beginning at 12:15 p.m. The Army ROTC and Air Force ROTC programs are both very successful, dedicated and proud, as well as intense friendly rivals. The mood promises to be exciting as the cadets give their best effort to prove their mettle in the (hopefully) waning days of winter. The public is welcome to attend and cheer for their favorite service.

African Night is Saturday

The African Student Organization at Michigan Tech invites you to its annual African Night, starting at 6 p.m. Saturday (March 18) in the Memorial Union Ballroom. 

Dinner, featuring delicious authentic African food and drinks, begins at 6 p.m. with performances starting at 8 p.m.

The show includes a cultural fashion show and two special performances by the Bi-Okoto Drum and Dance Theatre from Cincinnati.

Tickets are on sale now in the MUB Commons. The cost is $10 for students and $15 for the public/faculty. For more information visit their Facebook page.

Introduction to Lean Workshop

The Office of Continuous Improvement is again offering Introduction to Lean workshops for Michigan Tech employees. Training dates and times are:

  • 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, March 30
  • 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, June 13

The training will be in the Memorial Union Ballroom B2. There's no cost for this training.

To register for the course, complete this brief form by selecting a workshop date and entering your name and department. Once registered, we'll add you to a calendar event for the workshop.

Lean is a systematic, intentional model for creating and sustaining an environment where continuous improvement is the norm. Since 2008, Michigan Tech has been experiencing a Lean transformation, learning to increase customer value by eliminating waste and optimizing operations.

In the Introduction to Lean workshop, you'll learn basic Lean concepts and methods you might encounter on the job. You'll learn about Lean culture and the principles of Lean thinking and participate in problem-solving using the PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Adjust) model. You'll use the 5 Whys to discover root causes, identify waste and unsafe acts and conditions and recommend process improvements. When you finish the workshop, you'll be ready to actively participate in a kaizen (improvement) event led by others.

Community Discussion Future of the Keweenaw Forest

Join a discussion and panel by Northern Institute of Climate Sciences specialists Hannah Abbotts, Todd Ontl and Kristin Schmitt to learn how climate and other changes affect our forests.

"Forests of the Future: Adapting to Change" will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday (March 21) at the Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw, located at Huron and Montezuma in downtown Houghton.

The Museum aims to develop deeper interaction between people and the cultural and natural history of our region.

An informal period of mixing and light refreshments will precede the discussion. Everyone is welcome to join this discussion designed for people who live here and care about our environment.


A SFRES forum, "Using Traditional Knowledge, Trophic Ecology and Geospatial Science to Restore Wolves, Fire and Bison to Alberta" will take place from 3 to 4 p.m. tomorrow (March 17) in the Noblet Forestry Building G002. A social will follow from 4 to 5 p.m. 

In this presentation, Earthwatch Chief Scientist Cristina Eisenberg presents the lessons learned and partnerships developed in restoration projects in southwest Alberta, Canada by the Kainai First Nation, the Kainai Environmental Protection Agency, Waterton Lakes National Park and Earthwatch Institute. This approach employed collaboration and balance of Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Western Science.

Eisenberg will discuss how geospatial science and trophic ecology support the Traditional Knowledge perspectives. She will also highlight the value of incorporating diversity on multiple levels (ecological, disciplinary, cultural) in forestry and wildlife research.

Peace Corps Prep Information Session

Interested in working abroad, developing intercultural skills and engaging with community projects? Join the Pavlis Honors College to hear about the new Peace Corps Prep program at Michigan Tech for undergraduates preparing for Peace Corps or similar experiences.

The Peace Corps Prep Information Session is from 4 to 5  p.m. Tuesday (March 21) in the Wadsworth Hall Cherry Room (138W)

Apply to the program online no later than Wednesday, March 26. For more information, visit this webpage or contact Kari Henquinet.

Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar

An Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar will take place from 5 to 6 p.m. Tuesday (March 21) in Dow 641. 

George Tchobanoglous, professor emeritus in the department of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California, Davis, will present "Planned Potable Reuse: The Last Frontier."

The nation’s water supplies are derived from a variety of sources, including local and imported surface water, groundwater, desalinated brackish water and seawater, and recycled water. Public water supplies, in many regions, are becoming stressed because of population growth, urbanization, the growth of megacities (especially along coastal regions), cyclical droughts and climate change.

Further, the opportunity to develop new groundwater or surface water sources is becoming more difficult, if not impossible. While conservation can reduce per capita demand, the existing supplies may not be enough to meet overall water needs.

Consequently, new strategies are needed to help meet future water demands and to develop more sustainable water supplies. One way to meet the increasing demand is to augment public water supplies by means of planned potable reuse of a community’s treated wastewater. Planned potable reuse is the final frontier in wastewater reuse hierarchy that includes agricultural irrigation, landscape irrigation, industrial reuse, groundwater recharge, recreational and environmental use, and other non-potable reuse applications. 


MTRAC Information Meeting Today

The Michigan Strategic Fund has designated Michigan Tech as a Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC) Innovation Hub in Applied Advanced Materials. The program is focused on accelerating the creation and transfer of new technologies from research settings to practical real-world applications. 

Michigan Tech’s Material Hub will receive $525,000, over a two-year period to support research projects across Michigan.

MTRAC Director John Diebel will host an informational meeting for all faculty interested in applying to the MTRAC 2017 Funding Cycle for projects designed to commercialize innovations related to applied advanced materials. The meeting will be held at 4 p.m. today (March 9) in M&M 724. Read the original Tech Today story.


C-Cubed Week 9

C-Cubed lunched 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. 

Sirloin Steak Tips with Red Wine Mushroom Sauce on Pasta (GF)
Tofu Tips with Red Wine Mushroom Sauce on Pasta (GF, VE)
Gourmet Dessert Display

Moussaka (GF)
Vegetarian Moussaka (GF, V)
Greek Salad (V)
Gourmet Dessert Display

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

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


Campus Communicators Meets Today

Have social media questions? Looking to improve the social media presence of your department or area? Join Campus Communicators from 10 to 11 a.m. today (March 16) in Memorial Union B001. 

Shannon Rinkinen, brand manager, and Cyndi Perkins, web writer, will lead a casual social media presentation. Ask questions, share challenges and ideas, and learn more about Michigan Tech's social media strategy, our unique audiences, tone and messaging, ways to engage, tools to support your process and what to do before launch. Students, faculty and staff are all welcome.


Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar

Stephen M. Techtmann (Bio Sci) will present "Microbial Communities as Biosensors: From Environmental Monitoring to Bilge Water" from 4 to 5 p.m. today  (March 16 ) in Dow 642.


Finnish Actor to Attend St. Urho's Social

The Keweenaw Alumni Chapter invites you to join alumni and friends for a social to celebrate St. Urho's Day from 5 to 7 p.m. today (March 16) at the KBC.

Antti Holma, a Finnish actor, comedian, writer and host of the "Antti Holma Show" is in town with a film crew, and plans to attend the social.

They are filming a documentary for the Finnish national television network MTV3 on Finns living abroad. To RSVP click here or call the Alumni House at 7-2400.


Chronicle of Great Colleges to Work For Survey is Active

Employees are reminded to take time to complete the Great Colleges to Work For survey that Michigan Tech is participating in as part of this annual program offered by The Chronicle for Higher Education.

A random sample of 600 Michigan Tech employees (both faculty and staff) will have received a survey invitation via email from Great Colleges (note that this email will not come from an address). All those who receive this invitation are encouraged to take some time to participate in the survey. Michigan Tech is not interested in, nor will we be able to trace results back to individuals.

If you are unsure whether you have been selected to receive an invitation, you may search your email for "Great Colleges." The survey will close at the end of business hours Friday, April 7.

Survey responses will be processed by ModernThink, LLC. Questions can be directed to Ann Kitalong-Will at 7-1809 or by visiting See the original Tech Today article for details.

In Print

Cayce C. Will, director, Office of Information Services, Vice President for Administration, is the co-author of an EDUCAUSE report titled "Higher Education Governance Checklist."

The report is a comprehensive, high-level guide for higher education institutions that are developing new IT governance structures or maturing existing IT governance organizations. The report can be downloaded from the EDUCAUSE Library website.

In the News

WLUC TV6 ran a news story about the Western UP Science and Engineering Festival taking place at Michigan Tech today. Students in grades 4-8 from all over the western UP will be participating.


An AP news article titled "Michigan Tech Students Teach Tech to the Inexperienced," which features Michigan Tech's BASIC (Building Adult Skills in Computing) program, Charles Wallace (CS), and Kelly Steelman (CLS), was published in the Charlotte Observer, Kansas City Star, Miami Herald, Washington Times and many other news outlets across the country.

Both Wallace and Steelman are quoted in the article. The BASIC program offers tutoring in technology for older adults. Michigan Tech recently ran a story on the program on its Unscripted blog.

Job Posting

Job Posting for Thursday, March 16, 2017

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

Groundsperson (9 months/40 hours /1st Shift), Facilities. AFSCME Posting 3/16/17-3/22/17. External applicants will not be reviewed until after all internal applicants. 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.

CTL Tip of the Week

New Interface for Adding People in Canvas

When manually adding a new user to a course, instructors can now benefit from an improved workflow process. This change clarifies how to manually enroll a user in a course and avoid unintentional enrollments. In addition to email address, users could always be added to a course by SIS ID or login ID, but the user window didn’t clearly show instructors how to use the alternative options. The enhanced workflow asks instructors to specifically select how they are adding a user: by email address, login ID or SIS ID (login ID and SIS ID are the same here — everything before in their email address). For each search type, users can be entered manually into the search field, or multiple entries can be copied from a spreadsheet file.

An additional change to this process that we feel is a major improvement is that if an email address is entered, Canvas will search for that user among all Canvas users in the Michigan Tech system. If Canvas is not able to find a match for that user, the instructor can add a name to associate with that email address and create a new user enrollment for the course. Once the user accepts the course invitation sent to that email address, the user would need to create a password, which will create an account for the user in Canvas. This is how instructors enroll someone from outside of Michigan Tech into their Canvas course, but it also provides a safeguard against mistakenly enrolling a Michigan Tech user into a course if the email address is entered incorrectly. You will now be notified that user was unable to be found in our system. You can find out more on Instructure’s How do I add users to a course? Canvas Instructor Guide.

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.