"West Side Story" Opens Tomorrow at Rozsa

The Michigan Tech Theatre Company and the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra bring the musical “West Side Story” to the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. The legendary musical opens tomorrow with additional performances Friday and Saturday. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. each evening.

"West Side Story" changed the very nature of American musical theatre. With music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by a young Stephen Sondheim, the play was grounded in a distinctively modern sound with a passionately poetic statement — place where everyone can grow beyond the confines of hate and poverty, a safe and beautiful place.

A modern adaptation of a quintessential tale of star-crossed lovers, "West Side Story" isn't performed often for a very good reason. According to director Patricia Helsel, “It's simply a very difficult play to perform. The show requires many different dance styles ranging from jazz, to 50s "hipster beat," to Latino and ballet. The music is also challenging with complex rhythms and styles for the ensemble, matched with a call for operatic technique for the young lovers. Overall, this is not your typical, run-of-the-mill golden era musical comedy.”

The subject matter is highly charged with racial tension, fear, hate and love — some pretty intense emotion that is intricately woven in textures throughout the play, taking the audience on a meaningful journey.

Comedy plays a matching role in the show, with memorable numbers like "Officer Krupke" and "America."

Tickets are on sale now, $19 for adults, $6 for youth and no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech fee. Tickets are available by phone at 7-2073, online, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex or the night of the event, one hour before show time, at the Rozsa Center Box Office.

Three Students Awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellows

Three students from Michigan Tech have received fellowships from the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF-GRFP), one of the oldest and most competitive programs in the nation. In addition, three students received Honorable Mention, in the prestigious program.

Rebekka Guyon, Mary Kate Mitchell and Roger Guillory II were named GRFP Fellows. Violet Thole, materials research, Kelci Mohrman, physics, and Breeanne Spalding, biomedical engineering, received honorable mention.

Mitchell is an undergraduate chemical engineering major from Plymouth, Michigan who will graduate this spring. Her research focuses on the water-energy nexus, specifically developing more energy efficient methods to remove boron during seawater desalination.

“Current reverse osmosis methods are energy intensive so it is valuable to explore alternative options,” says Mitchell who is appreciative of the prestigious distinction. “I am very grateful to receive this fellowship and want to thank my many mentors I’ve had, throughout my career in industry as well as Michigan Tech.” She says the GRFP will be an invaluable asset to her graduate school career.

Guillory is a biomedical engineering major from Houston, Texas, whose research focuses on evaluating degradable metals (zinc based) for cardiovascular-stent applications. He says the GRFP award is a validation of sorts for the research conducted at Michigan Tech.

“This fellowship proves to me that the work we do here in our labs, and at Michigan Tech have a considerable impact outside of our University and respective disciplines.”

Guyon is a geological engineering major from Detroit. Her research is focused on reducing dust emissions from mine tailings by utilizing bacteria already present within the tailings. Dust emissions impact human health, especially among the Native population where research indicates these dustings have doubled the risk of lung cancer and cause higher incidences of respiratory disease.

“I feel fortunate to receive this prestigious honor,” Guyon says. “Additionally, this is a significant recognition of the mentors, faculty and students that I have worked with over the past few years. Michigan Tech has a very strong intellectual community, so I’m fortunate to conduct my research here.”

Pushpalatha Murthy, dean of Michigan Tech’s Graduate School says, “Being a recipient of the Graduate Research Fellowship or Honorable Mention status in this very prestigious competition speaks to the high caliber of our students and the dedication they have for both intellectual pursuits and serving society. The NSF-GRFP is unique in that it emphasizes commitment to both intellectual inquiry and service to society and are looking to support individuals who have the potential to be high achieving scientists and engineers as well as have a broader impact on society. These awards are a well-deserved recognition of the superior accomplishments of our students and the quality and dedication of Michigan Tech faculty, staff and programs. Crafting a winning proposal is a lot of effort and I want to congratulate the students for their accomplishments and thank the dedication and passion of the faculty and staff who helped them. I look forward to great contributions for our students." 

THE NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines who are pursing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions.

Spring Fling is Friday

Michigan Tech's annual Spring Fling is Friday. Sponsored by the Memorial Union Board, the student-run event features activities, games, giveaways, food, music and even a motorcycle thrill show.

With fingers crossed for sunshine, Spring Fling is planned to be held outside on the main campus. Right now the forecast is calling for a sunny day, but In the event that the weather does not cooperate, we will still celebrate spring, but inside the McInnes Ice Arena.

Make to sure to check us out from noon to 4 p.m. Friday as Spring Fling takes over campus and see what our many Student Organizations have to offer.

Grab your space suits and get ready for this Intergalactic edition of Spring Fling. Note that while we want you to join us for the fun, classes are not canceled at this time.  

Lean Facilitator Graduates 2017

Michigan Tech's new Lean facilitators were recognized yesterday. These new facilitators completed a six-month training program with classroom learning and work-related projects. They received in-depth training on team building, conflict management, organizational change, facilitating techniques and Lean methods and tools. They are now ready to join the current Lean facilitators and will spread continuous improvement using Lean thinking across the University.

The graduates are:

  • Joan Becker — Electrical and Computer Engineering 
  • Debra Charlesworth — Graduate School
  • Paul Charlesworth — Chemistry
  • Johnny Diaz — Information Technology
  • Christina Fabian — Auxiliary Services
  • Megan Goke — Vice President for Administration Office
  • Timothy Griffin — Facilities Management
  • Lori Hardyniec — Human Resources
  • Kristi Hauswirth — Facilities Management
  • Brian Hutzler — Information Technology
  • Austin Kunkel — Dining Services
  • Lauren Movlai — Van Pelt and Opie Library
  • Katherine Purchase — Housing and Residential Life
  • Joseph Snow — Center for Technology and Training, Civil Engineering
  • Madeline Mercado Voelker — Human Resources
  • Maryann Wilcox — Student Activities

For more information about the Lean facilitator training, contact improvement@mtu.edu.

Nine Inducted into Epsilon Pi Tau Honor Society

The School of Technology inducted Nine students into the Michigan Tech Delta Zeta Chapter of Epsilon Pi Tau Honor Society Sunday.

Epsilon Pi Tau is the international honor society for professions in technology recognizing students and technology professionals for academic excellence.

Spring 2017 Delta Zeta — Epsilon Pi Tau Initiates:

  • Sarah Blum — Computer Network and System Administration
  • Benjamin Bogner — Mechanical Engineering Technology
  • Isaac Hermann — Computer Network and System Administration
  • Margaret Miko — Mechanical Engineering Technology
  • Alexander Roberts — Computer Network and System Administration
  • Robby Rollins — Computer Network and System Administration
  • Devon Swanton — Electrical Engineering Technology
  • Jack Warning — Mechanical Engineering Technology
  • Benjamin Webster — Computer Network and System Administration

For more information, contact Delta Zeta EPT Chapter Trustee John Irwin (SoT), Co-Trustee Todd Arney (SoT) or visit the webpage.

Campus Forum April 20

University President Glenn Mroz will host a campus forum at 2 p.m. Thursday, April 20 in Memorial Union Ballroom A.

Release time will be provided for hourly staff with the approval of their supervisor. The presentation will be video streamed live.

If you would like to submit a question during the campus forum, email it to Staff Council

Do not use the chat feature within the live streaming player.

Fundraiser to Support Syrian Refugees

Michigan Tech's Iranian community and the Muslim Student Association are organizing fundraising to support Syrian refugees.

All funds raised will go to the more than 600 victims of the recent chemical attack, to provide antidote medications against nerve gas and to improve the ventilation system.
The fundraiser will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, April 21 in the MUB Commons. Middle Eastern food, including baghlava, falafel and veggie and beef kabobs will be served. The full meal is $8 which includes a fountain drink. A vegetarian option is available. 
Proceeds will benefit Syrian victims through the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS). You can find more information here and also donate on Facebook.

Pad Thai 101

The Thai Student Association with have a Thai food demonstration entitled "Pad Thai 101" from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday (April 15) in the MUB Commons. 

There will be a demonstration on how to cook popular Thai food including Pad Thai and summer rolls. 

Most people who like Thai food know Pad Thai, stir-fried rice noodle with eggs and chopped firm tofu, and flavored with tamarind pulp, fish sauce, dried shrimp, garlic or shallots, red chili pepper and palm sugar, and served with lime wedges and chopped roasted peanuts.

100 servings will be given away (you can get the coupon at the event).

Civil and Environmental Engineering Research Seminar

Anika Kuczynski, surface water quality faculty candidate in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will present her research seminar at 10 a.m. tomorrow (April 13) in Dow 875.

The title of her presentation is "Bioavailable Phosphorus and Nuisance Cladophora in the Great Lakes: Monitoring, Modeling and Management."


National Robotics Week Live Tour

To celebrate National Robotics Week, a team from University Marketing and Communications will be hosting a live lab tour of the Nonlinear and Autonomous Systems Lab. 

Nina Mahmoudian (MEEM) and Donna Fard (MEEM) will talk about their research followed by students demonstrating robots they designed to better navigate an obstacle course in the lab. Join in from 11:15 a.m. to noon today (April 12) on Facebook Live and Twitter #mtulive.


Biological Sciences, VWMLSS Seminar

Carol Lee from the department of Zoology at University of Madison, will present "Rapid Evolution during Habitat Invasions" from 4 to 5 p.m. Friday (April 14) in Dow 642.

The abstract can be found online.


Pure Michigan Soft Skills Program

Institutional Equity and Inclusion (IEI) is often asked by employees for an online program to assist with critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills. IEI highlights Pure Michigan's ELearning Soft Skills Program.  

This is a free series of modules that focus on: humility, communication, conflict, ethical character, personal judgment, problem solving, time management, diversity and inclusion, self-confidence, teamwork, positive attitude, initiative, flexibility and work ethic.

Visit the Pure Michigan Soft Skills Program website for more information. If you have any questions, email IEI at equity@mtu.edu.

Job Posting

Job Posting for Wednesday, April 12, 2017

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.

Regional Admissions Specialist, Admissions. 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.

New Funding

Christopher Morgan (MEEM/APSRC) is the principal investigator on a project that has received $115,000 from the U.S. Department of Defense, Army — TARDEC.

Jeremy Worm (MEEM) and Darrell Robinette (MEEM) are Co-PI's. The project is titled "Delivery of Professional Development Courses in Propulsion Systems." 
This is a four-and-a-half month project.
Joan Schumaker Chadde (CEE/GLRC) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $44,518 public service grant from Wayne State University. The project is "Educating Educators and Their Students Everywhere to Prevent New Invaders."
This is a two-year project.

On the Road

Lindsay Hiltunen, University archivist, chaired and delivered a presentation for a session at the Midwest Archives Conference 2017 Annual Meeting in Omaha, Nebraska. The conference was held April 5-8.

The session was titled "All-Ages Archives: Building Frameworks for Creative Outreach to Younger Researchers."

Hiltunen discussed collaboration with colleagues and community partners to implement outreach to local youth, especially recent improvements in research workshops for Michigan History Day and a partnership with the Keweenaw National Historical Park for Copper TRACES, a multi-day cultural education event with local fourth graders.

In the News

WLUC TV6/Upper Michigan Source covered a maple syrup boil at the Michigan Tech Research Forest in Alberta. Watch the video online.


President Glenn Mroz's plan to return to the faculty in 2018 was reported widely in the news media, including WJMN TV3/UP Matters, WLUC TV6/Upper Michigan Source, Fox News, The Detroit News and Crain's Detroit Business.


Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) is quoted in Newsweek, "Why Donald Trump Can't Save the Coal Industry," and his research was covered in A Proposal To Retrain Coal Miners on North East Public Radio.


Two high school girls who are dual-enrolled at Michigan Tech, Sarah Larkin and Miriam Eikenberry-Ureel, won a Best Poster award in the non-research category at the Sixth Biennial Michigan Celebration of Women in Computing for their poster entitled "Beyond the Basics: A Virtual Reality Workshop for Middle School Girls."

The poster described their workshop on programming in 3-D for middle school girls, which they were able to offer because they received an AspireIT grant from the National Center for Women and Information Technology.

They were the only high school students presenting a poster. All other presenters were undergraduate or graduate students.