FacultyWatch Course Material Survey Extended to April 30

The FacultyWatch Course Material Survey has been extended until April 30 in order to garner more participation numbers at some educational institutions; this gives Michigan Tech an additional opportunity to increase our numbers as well.

To better serve our campus community, especially our students, we ask for faculty participation in a short survey about course materials. This nationwide survey is an opportunity to make our voices heard, maximize learning outcomes and be the driving force for making changes to course materials. This industry-wide survey investigates faculty members' attitudes towards course materials, their value, preferred formats, the adoption process, open educational resources (OER) and the role of the campus store.

The more data collected, the better informed decisions we can make at the campus level.

The link to the survey came in one of two emails to faculty. If you no longer have the link, contact the Campus Store and they can pass it along to you.

Professor Emeritus Ronald Gratz Passes Away

The University community is mourning the passing of Ronald Gratz, professer emeritus in Biological Sciences. Gratz died April 11 at his South Range home, following a lengthy illness.

Before his retirement in April of 2011, Gratz was director of the Biological Sciences Department's pre-health professions  programs for 30 years. He also established the Peace Corps Masters International Program in biology.

Kari Henquinet, director of Tech's PCMI says, "Ron established the Peace Corps Master's International program in Biological Sciences, and even after retirement, he regularly attended our Peace Corps Master's International social gatherings and defenses. As a returned Peace Corps volunteer who served in the Philippines, Ron had many stories to share with the students."

Henquinet says this past year, Gratz recorded memories from his Peace Corps service in an extensive memoir with photos and vignettes to share with the students. "He will be much missed in our community," Henquinet says. 

Casey Huckins (Bio Med) is the current program director of the PCMI in Biological Sciences. He fondly recalls his friend and former colleague.

"Ron was the original motivator of our PCMI program and he and I did the final implementation before he retired. As a return peace corps volunteer Ron was actively interested in and attentive of the student's success. He recently  told me he was very satisfied to see our first students defend." 

Gratz joined the Michigan Tech faculty in 1978 after completing his PhD in zoology from the University of Oklahoma. Over his 33-year career he taught anatomy and physiology, cardiopulmonary physiology and introduction to pre-health. His research included study into animal respiratory physiology, specifically the control of breathing in snakes and other species. 
Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology Chair Jason Carter had the unique opportunity of knowing Gratz both from the perspective of a student, Gratz served on Carter's graduate advising committee and as a colleague.
"Ron was highly influential to me personally and was a key supporter in helping us create the kinesiology program. Ron's first priority was always the students and his 20-plus years of cultivating health sciences education at Michigan Tech laid the foundation for our ongoing human health initiative. He will be sorely missed."

Gratz was active in the local community and was a former president of the Copper Country Habitat for Humanity and a member of the Community Arts Council. He was an avid photographer who developed a love of the outdoors growing up in rural New Jersey. According to his artist statement on his photography website, "I cannot provide a deep philosophical statement as to why I photograph what I photograph. Essentially I go to places I like to be and look for things I like to see."

Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time and are being handled by the Memorial Chapel and Plowe Funeral Home.

MEEM 4201 Intermediate Thermodynamics Poster Session

Students from MEEM 4201 "Intermediate Thermodynamics" will present the results of their semester-long projects related to the course from 10 a.m. to noon tomorrow (April 21) in the Memorial Union Commons.

Some topics investigated include:

  • Exergy Efficiency of Solar Collectors
  • Characteristics of Flame Propagation during Combustion
  • Exergy Analysis of Renewable Energy
  • Energy and Exergy Analysis of Thermal Power Stations
  • Atkinson Cycle in the Internal Combustion Engine

2017 DEA National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day April 29

America is experiencing an epidemic of addiction, overdose and death due to the abuse of prescription drugs, particularly opioid painkillers. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans aged 12 and over — 2.4 percent of the population — abuse prescription drugs. That is more than cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens and methamphetamine combined.

The majority of prescription drug abusers report they obtain their drugs from friends and family, including from home medicine cabinets. Overdoses from all drugs are now the leading cause of injury-related death in the United States, eclipsing deaths from motor vehicle crashes or firearms.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will hold its 13th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Saturday, April 29. The goal of this ongoing collaborative effort with state and local law enforcement agencies is to remove potentially dangerous controlled substances from our nation’s medicine cabinets. It provides an opportunity for the public to surrender expired, unwanted or unused pharmaceutical controlled substances and other medications to law enforcement officers for destruction.  

During the Take Back Day last April, DEA and its partners, including many United States Attorneys’ offices, collected nearly 447 tons of unwanted prescription drugs, and all Take-Back Days to date have resulted in the collection of more than 3,200 tons of drugs in total.

This year’s collection is planned for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 29. The collection site will be the Houghton County Sheriff’s Office located at 403 E. Houghton Avenue in Houghton.

If you have any expired, unwanted or unused pharmaceuticals that you wish to dispose of, bring them to the Houghton County Sheriff’s Office at that time to drop them off.

Invitation to CNSA Senior Project Presentations

The School of Technology and the Computer Network and System Administration (CNSA) program invites you to Senior Project Presentations from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, April 27 in the R.L. Smith Building (MEEM) room 111.

10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Development of an Interactive and Dynamic Cyber Security Gaming Infrastructure

11 to 11:45 a.m.
Mobile Hacking with a Raspberry Pi 3: A Study of Small-Scale Covert Hacking Feasibility and Practicality

11:45 a.m. to noon
Virtualization Cluster — Research and Development

Everyone is welcome to attend and no RSVP is required. However, to plan and balance presentation audiences, if you are able to confirm attendance for a presentation, or for more information, email cai@mtu.edu.

Payroll Workshop Offered

Payroll Services will host a 45-minute workshop at 1 p.m. Tuesday, May 2 in the Memorial Union Conference Room B001.

The purpose of the workshop is to review the Payroll Services Standard Practice Guide and answer payroll and time entry related questions. This session is offered to assist supervisors, timekeepers and department administrators in following time and reporting procedures and deadlines. 

Register online. If you have any questions, contact Payroll Services at 7-2130.


Campus Forum Today

University President Glenn Mroz will host a campus forum at 2 p.m. today (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. Do not use the chat feature within the live streaming player.


Mobility Summit Today

Michigan Tech announces its inaugural Mobility Summit. The Summit will take place on campus from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today (April 20).

Kirk Steudle, director of the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), will be the featured keynote speaker. The summit will include poster presentations, research discussions and visioning in the broad theme of mobility technologies (similar to the recent Tech Talks) and a lunch session with Steudle.

For more information, read the full story.


C-Cubed Week 14

C-Cubed lunches are held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday and Fridays in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge. Faculty and staff, along with their guests, are invited.

Poppy Seed Chicken Pitas
Pan Seared Chickpea-Arugula Pitas with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (VE)
Lemony cucumber salad (VE, GF)
Herb Tabbouleh with Pomegranate and Zaatar Dressing (VE)

Pasta with Artichokes, Sundried Tomatoes and Feta (GF, V)
Snap Pea and Radish Sauté (VE, GF)
Herbed Quinoa and White Bean Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing (VE, GF)

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

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


Michigan Tech Bands Present Music with Heat

The two wind bands of Michigan Tech, Superior Wind Symphony and Campus Concert Band, will present their yearly combined concert at 7:30 p.m. tonight (April 20) in the Rozsa Center.

This year's theme is "En Fuego!" — a concert featuring music that is imbued with heat. Mike Christianson (VPA), director of bands, will first lead each band individually, finishing with the two combining into a “megaband” of 120 musicians.

For more information, read original Tech Today article.

In the News

Michigan Tech's annual Winter Study, detailing updates on the ecology of Isle Royale National Park, was featured in the Detroit Free Press, Techcentury, Michigan Radio, MLive, Lansing State Journal and many other publications nationwide. The report was co-authored by Rolf Peterson and John Vucetich and marks the 59th year of the longest running predator-prey study in the world.

CTL Tip of the Week

To Do List Links for Summer 2017 Canvas Courses

The new Canvas course shells for teaching Summer 2017 course are now available. Once the upcoming semester’s Canvas courses become available there are a few things many instructors and instructional staff often want or need to do in Canvas. We’ve included links to help you with a handful of them below.

You may want to Customize your Courses drop-down menu to add and remove courses from that menu both now and at the beginning of the new semester. Instructors at Michigan Tech can use the Combine Canvas Sections tool on the CourseTools page to combine two or more BANNER sections into one Canvas course. You’ll want to do this first before doing any building or importing, and be sure to choose “Yes” to both of the options you are presented with when using the Combine Sections tool. Go to Combining Canvas Sections for directions. If you would like to copy the content in one of your previous Canvas courses into a new Summer 2017 Canvas course, you can do that too. See Copying Content from Another Canvas Course to find out how. If you would like to enroll a TA, additional instructors, etc. into your course, see Adding New Users to your Canvas Course. And finally, you will need to Publish your Canvas course in order for your students to be able to see and access it. See How do I publish my course? for directions. Also, check out the new Michigan Tech Course Set-Up Directory on the temporary home page of all new Canvas course shells.

You may just want some help or information, and the best place to start is Canvas One Stop. From there you can Contact Support, find out about eLearning walk-in hours for face-to-face help, get quick links to online help resources and more. The CTL Tip of the Week is brought to you by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL).

New Funding

Mary Muncil Jennings, director of the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts, is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $2,000 grant from the Arts Midwest Touring Fund.
The title of the project is "Cirque Mechanics, Pedal Punk" and could potentially total $4,000.