14 Local Students Win Portage Health Foundation Making a Difference Scholarships to Michigan Tech

Four students who are entering Michigan Tech this fall to pursue health-related careers have received $8,000 Making a Difference scholarships from the Portage Health Foundation. Another 10 entering first-year students received $1,000 awards.

The $8,000 scholarships went to:

  • Peter Alger, Houghton, computer engineering
  • Alexa Destrampe, Lake Linden, exercise science
  • Hannah Kariniemi, Calumet, biological sciences
  • Karmyn Polakowski, Houghton, biological sciences

Receiving $1,000 scholarships were: 

  • Blake Dupuis, Lake Linden, exercise science
  • Lauren Gabe, L’Anse, biological sciences
  • Austin Goudge, Houghton, medical laboratory science
  • Bella Nutini, Hancock, exercise science
  • Celia Peterson, Calumet, biomedical engineering
  • Anna Pietila, L’Anse, biological sciences
  • Lindsay Sandell, Houghton, biomedical engineering
  • Brooke Tienhaara, Calumet, biological sciences
  • Nicholas Walli, Finlandia University, biological sciences
  • Sloane Zenner, Houghton, mechanical engineering

The students are from Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga or Ontonagon counties. 

The 14 recipients of the 2017 awards have an average GPA of 3.81. Their interests reflect a broad spectrum of majors including biological sciences, exercise science, biomedical engineering, computer engineering, medical laboratory science and mechanical engineering. The scholarship winners flip Michigan Tech’s male to female ratio of 3:1, with 10 female and 4 male recipients. 

The scholarships are part of a Michigan Tech-Portage Health Foundation partnership established in 2015 to support health-related research and education, jobs and community health. The scholarships were first awarded in 2016.

“The awards reflect the high-caliber student talent we have locally, thanks to exceptional schools, outreach programming and parent support,” says Jodi Lehman, director of foundations at Michigan Tech. “We know that student talent is key in supporting the success of college peers and inspiring K-12 students to pursue health science and engineering pathways. 

The Portage Health Foundation and Michigan Tech share the long-term goal of retaining or recruiting back local workforce talent — whether that be orthodontists, doctors, physical therapists, orthopedic surgeons, biomedical engineers or professionals in the field of medical informatics. Scholarships ultimately play a critical role in helping to grow our local economy while fostering healthy communities.”

At a dinner for finalists, the scholarship recipients heard from current students also supported by the Portage Health Foundation through the Undergraduate Research Internship Program (URIP). Both speakers shared their internship experiences and career goals. 

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Search for Dean of the College of Engineering

Following Senate Procedure 802.1.1, Search Procedure for College Deans, a search for a new dean of the College of Engineering has been initiated.

The committee includes: Paul Bergstrom (ECE), chair; Keat Ghee Ong (Bio Med), associate chair; Tomas Co (ChE); Jake Hiller (CEE); Jon Sticklen (EF); Thomas Oommen (GMES); Paul Sanders (MSE); Ezra Bar-Ziv (MEEM); Paula Zenner (director of operations and finance for MEEM) staff representative; Nik Subotic (MTRI), at-large; Ravi Pandey (Physics), at-large; Laura Brown (CS), at-large; Matthew Rennell, undergraduate student representative; Niranjan Miganakallu, graduate student representative; and Renee Hiller (director of Human Resources) serving without a vote.

Throughout the month of March, the committee worked on the job description and plans to have a draft available for review this week.

A public forum has been scheduled for the week of April 17. Details regarding the job description and public comment will be forthcoming — watch Tech Today for this information.

Following is the committee's general timeline for the remainder of the search process:

  • First week of April: Draft position description posted for faculty, student and staff comments and feedback
  • Week of April 17: Public forum to discuss draft position description and take comments and feedback from faculty, students and staff
  • First week of May: Final position description approved and posted to the human resources hiring site, first advertising and broad public communication of the position opening
  • First week of October: Target application date for full consideration of submitted package
  • November to January 2018: Interviews conducted
  • March 2018: New dean announced

Michigan Tech Campus Telephone System Upgrade

Michigan Tech will undergo a major upgrade to the campus telephone system. This project will improve the aging system and include new features to unify communications throughout the University.

The new system is being built and configured in parallel to our current system to minimize impact to campus operations. Many of the upgrades will take place behind the scenes and will not have a direct impact on users. Friday, May 5 through Sunday, May 7, IT will migrate all campus phones to the new system. There will be intermittent interruptions to the following services:

  • Campus Voice Mail
  • Telephones
  • Call Centers
  • Inbound/Outbound Calling

For more information, visit this webpage. Questions and concerns can be addressed to it-help@mtu.edu or 7-1111.

KIP Coordinates National Biomechanics Day Outreach with Local Schools

National Biomechanics Day is Thursday (April 6), a world-wide event for high-school teachers and students to advance the science and education of human biomechanics.

This year’s theme is, “Science Meets Fun on National Biomechanics Day.” The Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology (KIP) Department has collaborated with several departments across campus to invite local students to engage in fun, hands-on activities focused on biomechanics research.

Students will start their visit with KIP faculty, Steve Elmer and Tejin Yoon. Elmer will engage students in building a wooden apparatus that they will use to investigate the influence of rotational inertia on turning performance. To do this students will navigate a slalom course with and without the wooden apparatus. Yoon will demonstrate the many tools used to analyze and describe human motion during exercise, and students will even get a chance to test their strength compared to Michigan Tech football players.

Students will also have the opportunity to visit additional biomechanics laboratories across campus. Physical Therapist, Caroline Gwaltney, and several Central Michigan University doctorate of physical therapy students will demonstrate how foot position can alter posture.

Students will also make imprints of their foot type and analyze how different foot type impacts movement across multiple joints.

In Mo Rastgaar’s (MEEM) HIROlab, students will place EMG sensors on their arms and move a robotic arm, as well as investigate an agile robotic prosthesis as it moves on a circular treadmill.

Finally, students will wear trackable sensors to experiment with creating sound from their own movement and dance in Myounghoon "Philart" Jeon's  (CLS) Mind Music and Machine lab.    

The event will begin at 9 a.m. Thursday with lab activities scheduled to begin at 9:10 a.m.

April First Friday Social at the J.R. Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library

Faculty, staff and graduate students are invited to join the Van Pelt and Opie Library for this month's First Friday Social from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday (April 7) in the Opie Reading Room. Complimentary refreshments will be served.

Lean into Spring with the Van Pelt and Opie Library is our theme for this First Friday. While you socialize, enjoy talking with library staff about the Van Pelt and Opie Library's Lean Initiatives. There will be displays that show ways the staff have implemented lean practices into their daily work.

First Friday University Socials, started in 2006, provide a casual setting for members of the campus community to get together informally, share their work and other interests and get to know each other. These informal gatherings can lead to more productive work relationships, an appreciation for diversity and a chance to meet some new friends.

This year's socials will feature departmental partners sponsoring each month's event like in years past. Next month's event on May 5 will be sponsored by the Keweenaw Research Center. The schedule can be found online. If you are interested in hosting a social for the 2017-2018 academic year or learning more, contact Christina Fabian at 7-2543.

C-Cubed Week 12

Join the C-Cubed (Conversation, Community, Collegiality) University lunches. They 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. Faculty and staff, along with their guests, are invited.

Lunch is $10 (cash, credit and C-Cubed Gift Certificates accepted); attendees may bring their own lunch instead of purchasing the buffet. Coffee, tea, fruit-infused water, cookies and fruit are available for all.

Spicy Korean Chicken (GF)
Spicy Korean Tofu (VE, GF)
Sautéed Cabbage (VE, GF)

Soba Noodles with Edamame and Peanuts (VE)
Soba Noodles and Beef
Miso Soup (VE)

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

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

Grad School Dean to Discuss Growth with Local Community

Pushpalatha Murthy, associate provost and dean of the Graduate School, will speak about graduate programs intended growth and how that may impact the local community at the 57th annual meeting of the League of Women Voters of the Copper Country.

The meeting will take place at 11:30 a.m. Saturday (April 8) in the Portage Room of the Ramada Inn, Hancock. The public is invited. League members will have a luncheon and business meeting after the presentation.

ME-EM Graduate Seminar Speaker Wednesday

The next ME-EM Graduate Seminar Speaker Series will be held at 4 p.m. tomorrow (April 5) in R.L. Smith Building (MEEM) room 111. P.K. Panigrahi will present "Droplet internal hydrodynamics during evaporation and condensation: Effects of confinement, interaction, substrate temperature and hydrophobicity."
Droplets are encountered in several applications: (a) Condensation, (b) Painting, (c) Drying, (d) Inhalers, (e) Microwell for DNA analysis, (f) Digital micro fluidics, (g) Crystal growth, (h) Ink jet printing, (i) Dehydration of vegetable oil (j) Fuel atomization, and (k) Cloud formation among other applications. Most of the literature till date have focused on interfacial dynamics outside the droplet region, its interaction with solid-gas boundaries, and on flow patterns inside droplets – which are based on simulation studies. The present experimental study reports the internal hydrodynamics of droplet using Micro PIV and color Schlieren measurements.
Panigrahi is currently at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur.His research focuses on development of state-of -the-art experimental techniques with emphasis on using lasers and detectors/sensors that facilitate understanding and analysis of complex flow fields, at both macro and micro scales. The other area of his interest is development of various flow control strategies with overall emphasis on improving the performance of energy systems and processes.  
All graduate students, especially those who are interested in the energy, thermo and fluids area, are highly encouraged to attend this Wednesday seminar. Attendance will be taken. ME-EM 6000 Graduate Seminar students who want to attend this seminar will be given attendance for Thursday's seminar — and will have the option to opt out from attending Thursday, April 6 seminar.


Materials Science and Engineering Seminar Tomorrow

Xiang Zhang, of the NSF Nano-scale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC), professor at University of California, Berkeley, and the materials science Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, will present "Metamaterials: Creating Properties that Do Not Exist in Nature" at 10 a.m. tomorrow (April 5) in M&M 610.


Equal Pay Day Tomorrow

Today (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. 

Cookies and literature will be handed out from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. near the Husky statue across from the library.


Benefits Forum

The University Senate, along with Staff Council, Graduate Student Government and Undergraduate Student Government, is sponsoring a Benefits Update Forum from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 11 in Dow 642.

Ellen Horsch, vice president for administration, Renee Hiller, director of human resources, and Ginger Sleeman, manager of benefits, will present an update on Michigan Tech benefits. Questions and comments are welcome and can be sent in advance of the forum to Senate President Martin Thompson.


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 @mtu.edu 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 ChronicleGreatColleges.com. See the original Tech Today article for details.