Simon Carn to Present at Michigan Tech Research Forum

The Michigan Tech Research Forum was developed to showcase and celebrate the work of Michigan Tech researchers and to strengthen discussions in our community.

It is a privilege and honor to announce Associate Professor Simon Carn (GMES) was selected from nominees across campus as the 2017 Distinguished Lecturer.

Carn will give his lecture at 4 p.m. Thursday (April 6) in the MUB Ballroom. He will present "Volcanology — Multidisciplinary Science for a Versatile Campus." The session will feature ample time for mingling over snacks and refreshments before and after the lecture. All are welcome. In addition, on-site, low-cost childcare at the MUB is available for those who need it during the Distinguished Lecture. Learn more online.

John Gierke, chair of the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences nominated Carn for the award.

According to Gierke, Carn, “was a leading scientist in the application of sensors on the satellites forming what is called the Afternoon Constellation or 'A-Train' to Earth observations and specifically to volcanology.

"Simon possesses a unique knack for compiling and presenting information on satellite sensors and volcanic processes in visually appealing ways and for making compelling arguments in support of scientific observations of volcanoes.”

Quoting from the NASA website that features the A-Train, "This coordinated group of satellites … are in a polar orbit, crossing the equator … within seconds to minutes of each other. This allows near-simultaneous observations of a wide variety of parameters to aid the scientific community in advancing our knowledge of Earth-system science and applying this knowledge for the benefit of society.“

Carn joined the faculty of the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences as an assistant professor in 2008. He came to Michigan Tech from the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He holds a PhD in volcanology from the University of Cambridge, UK, a DEA in volcanology and magmatic processes from the Université Blaise Pascal in Clermont-Ferrant, France and a BA in geology from the University of Oxford, UK.

Carn has received multiple research grants totaling more than $2.8 million from NASA, the National Science Foundation, the National Geographic Society Committee for Research and Exploration, the Royal Society and the European Union.

He has taught, lectured and supervised students since 1994 at Michigan Tech and across the world at the International Volcanological Field School in Russia, Cambridge University, the Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology and at international workshops in France, Italy, Iceland, Indonesia, Singapore and Costa Rica.

Carn has been a member of the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior and the American Geophysical Union since 1994. He recently served on a National Academy of Sciences Committee on Improving Understanding of Volcanic Eruptions. His current research focus is the application of remote sensing data to studies of volcanic degassing, volcanic eruption clouds and anthropogenic pollution. His main focus is SO2, a precursor of sulfate aerosol, which plays an important role in the atmosphere through negative climate forcing and impacts on cloud microphysics.

Night of Hope for American Cancer Society

The Michigan Tech Relay for Life, a student-based organization, is partnering with the Houghton County Relay for Life for an evening to honor and remember cancer survivors and caregivers. 

The Night of Hope will be held at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 8 in the lobby of the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. The evening features appetizers, desserts, music and informative presentations.

A highlight is the luminary ceremony featuring candle-lit paper bags with names to honor cancer survivors and to remember those who have lost their battle with cancer. Luminary bags may be purchased in advance by emailing Laurie Stark or calling 7-1081. Bags will be available for purchase at the event. 

Tickets to the Night of Hope are $10, but free for cancer survivors compliments of Aspirus Keweenaw. The event is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

Jean Burich, transfer services coordinator in the Registrar's Office, is one of the advisors to the Michigan Tech Relay for Life. She says whether its students, staff or community members, everyone has been touched by cancer.

"Most everyone knows someone who is currently battling cancer or who has fought the disease. This event is an uplifting and positive way to honor those individuals."

Anita Quinn, special assistant to the vice president for administration is another advisor to the student group and brings to the position first-hand cancer experience.

"As a survivor of breast and thyroid cancer, I really  appreciate all the American Cancer Society and its teams do for those who have heard the words 'you have cancer.' I am thrilled that this year Michigan Tech's student team has merged with the community group to celebrate a Night of Hope in the Rozsa."

Tickets are available at the Aspirus Houghton clinic, Michigan Tech Employees Federal Credit Union, WMPL radio in Hancock, by emailing Quinn or at the door.

For more information, contact Michigan Tech Relay for Life chair Brooke Basto.

Equal Pay Day Marked on Campus

Women earn less than men do, on average. This difference, the gender wage gap, is approximately 20 percent across all workers. The gap is even larger for women of color. The problem is present even just one year from graduation.

Tuesday (April 4) is Equal Pay Day, a day that symbolizes the extra days women work to catch up to what the average man earned the previous year. Red is worn on this day as a symbol of how far women and minorities are "in the red."

Join the Copper Country League of Women Voters and the Keweenaw Business and Professional Women for a "Red Out" Tuesday to recognize Equal Pay Day. Cookies and literature will be handed out. The event will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. near the Husky statue across from the library.

Michigan Tech Co-hosting Women in Computer Science Celebration at Michigan State

The Sixth Biennial Michigan Celebration of Women in Computing is taking place today and tomorrow (March 31 - April 1) at Michigan State University.

Michigan Tech, Michigan State and Oakland University are hosting the gathering. The two-day event includes presentations, panel discussions, a poster session and career exploration.

Students will network with computing professionals and peers from Michigan colleges and universities to learn more about computing fields. Educators and IT professionals will both mentor and expand their own networks of professional contacts, and be updated on what their peers are doing in industry.

Thirty-nine young women from Michigan, representing the state's upcoming female computer science students, will receive Aspirations in Computing Awards at ceremonies tomorrow (April 1).

Another 35 young women will be awarded honorable mentions, and a National Aspirations Award recipient from Michigan and 15 young women who received National Honorable Mentions will be recognized.

Chinese Food at Khana Khazana

Chinese cuisine is on tap at today's Khana Khazana at the Memorial Union North Coast Grill.

The menu features:

  • Capsicum Fried Chicken and Sausage
  • Hot Tofu Soup
  • Scrambled Eggs with Tomatoes

Serving is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cost is $7.95 and includes a fountain beverage.

Visit Khana Khazana on Facebook.

Chicago Boyz Acrobatic Team to Perform April 7

Have you ever seen professional acrobatics live? Now's your chance.

The Chicago Boyz Acrobatic Team from the Chicagoland area is coming to Michigan Tech at 7 p.m. Friday, April 7 in the SDC wood gym. These professional Acrobats were season eight semi-finalists on America's Got Talent and regularly perform half-time shows for NBA and NCAA teams across the country.

Their performance includes amazing acrobatic stunts and tricks inside twirling jump ropes, catapulting off mini trampolines and thundering tumbling routines with impeccable timing.

This is an act you won't want to miss, plus admission is free.

Biomedical Engineering Master's Seminar

Biomedical Engineering student Samerender Namgam Hanumantharao will present his master's defense at 11 a.m. Monday (April 3) in EERC 501. The title of his defense is "A 3D Biomimetic Scaffold Using Electrospinning for Tissue Engineering Applications."

ICC Seminar: Hairong Wei

The Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC) will host a seminar from 3 to 4 p.m. today (March 31) in Fisher 101. ICC member Hairong Wei (SFRES) will present "Computational Algorithms for Discovering Novel Biological Knowledge from Big Gene Expression Data."

The abstract can be found online. Refreshments will be served.

CLS and KIP to Host Combined Forum

The departments of Cognitive and Learning Sciences and Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology are hosting a combined forum at 2 p.m. Monday, April 10 in EERC 214.

Karen Z H. Li will present "Cognitive and Sensorimotor Aging: Interactions, Tradeoff and Improvements."

Large-scale cross-sectional and longitudinal studies indicate that cognitive and sensorimotor abilities become increasingly intercorrelated with age. This pattern is echoed in experimental studies that demonstrate an age-related increase in performance costs when perceptual and motor tasks are performed with a concurrent cognitive load (dual tasking).

Li completed her doctoral studies in cognitive aging and working memory in 1996 at University of Toronto, followed by post-doctoral fellowships at Duke University and the Max Planck Institute for Lifespan Development. She joined the Psychology Department at Concordia University in 2000 and is presently a full professor of psychology, with a research focus on cognitive aging, and the role of executive functions in gait and posture.


Kay Tislar (CLS) will present "Eliciting Best Practices in Digital Literacy Tutoring: A Cognitive Task Analysis Approach" at the ACSHF forum from 2 to 3 p.m. Monday (April 3) in Meese 109.

Responding to the increasing need for all citizens to be digitally literate, this research group has led a program for six years that addresses older adults' questions about digital devices and applications. Patrons confront a range of socio-technical barriers as they adopt new technology and explore the digital world, and tutors have developed particular practices to identify and overcome these barriers.

Using a cognitive task analysis methodology, the team conducted semi-structured interviews with experienced tutors to obtain information about barriers and related strategies. From these, a set of effective and replicable practices that can form the basis for similar programs elsewhere were derived.


C-Cubed Week 11

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.

Brunch featuring:
Chicken and Waffles
Strawberry Baked French Toast (V)
Fried Potatoes (V GF)
Sautéed Kielbasa 

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

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



Peter Kennedy, associate professor at the University of Minnesota, will present "Partner Choice in Ectomycorrhizal Symbiosis" from 3 to 4 p.m. today (March 31) in the Noblet Forestry Building G002. A social will follow from 4 to 5 p.m. in the atrium. 


KIP Spring Seminar

There will be a joint human health research seminar sponsored by the Departments of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology and Biological Sciences from 3 to 5 p.m. today (March 31) in Dow 642.

Two presentations will take place. Gregory Fink will present "Mechanisms Linking Accumulation of Visceral Fat to Systemic Hypertension." John Osborn will present "Renal Nerves, Renal Inflammation and Hypertension: Is There a Link?"


Biological Sciences Seminar

John Osborn will present "Renal Nerves, Renal Inflammation and Hypertension: Is There a Link?" at the Biological Sciences Seminar from 4 to 5 p.m. today (March 31) in Dow 642.


Modern Manhattan Gala to Benefit the Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter

The Houghton-Hancock Rotaract Club will put on a Modern Manhattan Gala to benefit the Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter from 7 to 11:30 p.m. tomorrow (April 1) at the Continental Fire Co.

For more information, read previous Tech Today article.


Materials Science and Engineering Master's Defense Monday

Mingyang Li, master's candidate in materials science and engineering, will present "Nonlinear Dielectric Behavior of Field-Induced Antiferroelectric/Paraelectric-to-Ferroelectric Phase Transition for High Energy Density Capacitor Application" at 3 p.m. Monday (April 3) in Fisher 325.

Deans' Teaching Showcase

The next nominee to the Dean’s Teaching Showcase from the College of Sciences and Arts is Assistant Professor Loredana Valenzano, from the Department of Chemistry.
Dean Bruce Seely selected Valenzano, with the strong support of Chair Cary Chabalowski, simply because of her deep enthusiasm for teaching. 
Seely goes on to say "I know from my own experiences as a student (ages ago, to be sure) that chemistry is not always a topic that students look forward to. Yet in this difficult environment, Loredana stands out because of her joy at the opportunity to work with students in the classroom."
When asked about her approach to teaching, Valenzano starts by saying, "I love to teach because I love to learn.”    
In any conversation with her about teaching, the basic truth of this comment becomes apparent. She really does love to learn. But she also acknowledges that a challenging experience in chemistry is hardly unique.
She continues, “The first day of class I always tell my students the truth. 'It’s not going to be easy and we will all need to work hard to succeed. We are in this together. Your success is my success.’”
Good teachers take on this kind of responsibility, but she adds that she believes, “being honest and admitting that there will be difficulties helps in establishing a relation of mutual respect between me and my students.” 
This matters especially in a class like physical chemistry — the dreaded P-chem. She adds, “I feel it is crucial to be honest with them from the beginning. I ask them to trust me because I am there for them. And it works. There is a sort of energy in the class when I teach, and it is always wonderful — I feel it, and I know my students do too.” 
But what Seely loved most was Valenzano's final comment. “From the beginning, my students put me in the optimal condition for doing my job. I am always openly grateful to them for doing so — for allowing me to do what I love to do, and for trusting me.”
Seely says he cannot imagine a better expression of what teachers feel when they truly commit to their craft, but hopes the students realize what they have in Valenzano.
She will be recognized at an end-of-term luncheon with 11 other showcase members, and is now eligible for one of three new teaching awards to be given by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning this summer recognizing introductory or large-class teaching, innovative or outside-the-classroom  teaching methods, or work in curriculum and assessment.

Job Posting

Job Posting for Friday, March 31, 2017

Staff and faculty job description 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.

Purchasing Manager, Financial Services and Operations. 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.