Michigan Tech Talks Back: Social Mobility, Return on Investment More Important than Arbitrary Rankings

US News and World Report has ranked Michigan Tech 124th among best national universities and 58th among public national universities.

US News ranked 311 national universities that offer a broad range of undergraduate majors as well as master’s and doctoral degrees. 

In 2018 US News undergraduate rankings released yesterday, Michigan Tech’s undergraduate engineering programs ranked 70th in the nation, tied with Colorado State University, Illinois Institute of Technology, Oregon State, University at Buffalo-SUNY, Stony Brook University-SUNY, University of Illinois-Chicago and Washington State University.

Michigan Tech was also listed among “A+ Schools for B Students.”

The University’s president questions some of the assumptions of the US News ranking.  

“As a recent article in Politico pointed out, US News and World Report rankings tend to give a higher score to universities that favor wealthy students,” said Michigan Tech President Glenn Mroz.  “We are proud that more than a quarter of our freshmen come from limited financial means, qualifying them for federal Pell grants.  A bachelor’s degree from Tech will put them smack dab in the middle class within four to five years after graduation. While we appreciate the recognition of a US News ranking, but in the end, we’re not going to give up on those students to chase a few points on a rather arbitrary ranking system. We find rankings like Forbes and Money Magazine that measure social mobility and return on investment for an education more telling.”   

In Money Magazine’s latest report on “Best Colleges for your Money,” Money evaluated 2,400 colleges and universities using 27 criteria and winnowed the list to 711 colleges and universities that the publication considers “best colleges for your money.”  Of those, Michigan Tech ranked 91st among all institutions—public and private—and 46th among public universities.

Michigan Tech also ranked sixth in the nation for early career salaries.  Tech’s average early career salary for graduates is $63,400, higher than the median family income of $59,039 released by the US Census Bureau this week.

Ryzewski to Deliver Keynote Celebrating Industrial Archaeology

As part of the Visiting Women and Minorities Lecture and Scholar Series, the Social Sciences Department, in collaboration with the Michigan Tech Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections, invites you to, "Preserving Legendary 20th-Century Sites in Detroit: The Role of Archaeology in Post-Industrial Communities." The talk by guest scholar Krysta Ryzewski will be held at 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 22 in the East Reading Room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library.

This event, part of "A Celebration: 25 years of Industrial Heritage and Archaeology," is free of charge and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. In this presentation, Ryzewski will discuss Ethnic Layers of Detroit and Unearthing Detroit, two interdisciplinary heritage projects in metro Detroit. She will address challenges, successes and implications of the projects which will be of interest to a diverse audience.

Ryzewski is associate professor of Anthropology at Wayne State University and director of the Digging Detroit project, an investigation of industrial and post-industrial urban communities in the Motor City. She is a leading researcher in historical and contemporary archaeology and the digital humanities. Ryzewski's research visit and presentation are supported by a travel grant from the Institutional Equity and Inclusion office's Visiting Women and Minority Series.

Additional arrangements and refreshments are made possible by the Social Sciences Department and the Michigan Tech Archives. For more information about the Industrial Archaeology program's 25th anniversary, call the Social Sciences department at 7-2113 or email the Michigan Tech Archives or call at 7-2505.

Dow Elevator Update

The north elevator of the Dow Environmental Sciences and Engineering building has been repaired and is now operational. Thank you for your patience.

Talented Lineup at Multicultural Festival

Song and dance from talented local performers highlight the Parade of Nations Multicultural Festival Saturday.

The Festival begins at noon, following the Parade of Nations, in Dee Stadium on the Houghton waterfront. Dance performances by the Michigan Tech Dance Team, Kivijat Finnish Folk Dancers, KBIC Dancers and 47 North are sure to delight the large crowd expected inside the Dee. 

Vocalist Karen Colbert will once again open the show with the National Anthem. New this year is Maple Sugar Folk, a local group of musicians and singers who perform traditional French-Canadian music. There will also be individual performances by well-known local entertainers Jan Arnold, Bruce Rundman and Bob Hiltunen.

The talent show concludes with both singing and dancing with the show-stopping Indian Students Association.

In addition to the stage show, there will be food booths featuring international cuisine and craft booths with gifts from around the world.

This year there is entertainment at the outside craft tent next to the stadium. The theme of the 28th annual Parade of Nations is "Think Globally, Celebrate Locally."

Lunch and Learn Addresses Stress

Stress relief doesn't have to be hard. In fact, the simpler the better. Join us to learn simple techniques to calm yourself with bodywork.

This Lunch and Learn is presented by Lynn Anderson, certified massage therapist, and sponsored by Employee Wellness and WorkLife Connections. It will be held from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4 in Memorial Union Alumni Lounge A.

All attendees will be eligible for a prize drawing for one bodywork session with Lynn.

Register here. HuskyPAW members may claim 100 bonus points for attending.

Feel free to bring your lunch; refreshments will be provided. This free event is open to faculty, staff and students. Email Shannon Brodeur with questions.

Theta Chi Epsilon Sorority Reunion

On Saturday (Sept. 16), the Theta Chi Epsilon Sorority, the first sorority at Michigan Tech (at that time the Michigan School of Mines) will celebrate its origins and rekindling at the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock.

This will mark the 76th anniversary of its initial charter in 1941 and the 50th anniversary of its rekindling in 1967. Women at Michigan Tech have broken ground in the worlds of math, science, engineering and more as well as its once male-dominated culture. In 1941, the women of Michigan Tech organized their first sorority, Theta Chi Epsilon.

Ella Wood, a ground-breaking professor herself, was the sorority's faculty advisor. Wood was the first female faculty member of the Michigan College of Mines and later became head of geography and languages and first Dean of Women.

The influence of World War II was felt at Tech with the motto "Keep 'em Flying" visible on campus. It was also a key influence on the women of Theta Chi Epsilon who, in addition to their studies, participated in archery and rifle teams set up by Sergeant Sherman H. Mount.

In 1945, the retired sergeant and his wife supervised the sorority house at 218 Blanche St. In 1950, the members voted to go inactive in order to reorganize to accommodate the tripling enrollment of women at Michigan Tech.

In 1957, Theta Chi Epsilon was reactivated with the goal to create unity among the coeds at Michigan Tech. A Beta chapter was organized at Lake Superior State but eventually went inactive.

Theta Chi Epsilon went inactive a second time in 1960 due to the Vietnam war and a lack of interest. In 1967, 15 charter members reorganized and re-chartered Theta Chi Epsilon.

The women rented a house at 1206 College Ave. with Anne "Muzz" Rector as house mother and Gigi Kangas as cook. In 1970, the women moved to 1309 College Ave. In 1975, the sorority moved to the present Theta Chi Epsilon house at 213 Hubbell St.

Today, this sisterhood has grown to 621 women. These women represent a spirit of sisterhood, scholarship and service that has been felt over the years at Michigan Tech and its surrounding community.

So many of these women have been ground breakers in their industries and communities. With each new class of sisters of Theta Chi Epsilon, future ground breakers get ready to make their mark on our society.

They will gather to celebrate their rich history. For more information contact Sue O'Neill White, MTU '70 and Theta Chi Epsilon Charter Member #13 via email or call 281-686-5684

Work of Katie Hargrave in Rozsa Gallery

Who owns the wind? The leaves on the trees? When a paper company cuts down a 75-year-old tree, or a landowner clears brush for a better view of the lake, how is an entire ecosystem affected? What ethical, cultural and social questions are raised?

Artist Katie Hargrave, a professor of art at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, explores these questions in her exhibition, "It’s nothing personal (space)." 

The exhibition opens at the Rozsa Center’s gallery A-Space, on Friday, Sept. 22. “It’s nothing personal (space)” is an exploration of the competing ideas of ownership and stewardship as they relate to public and private land, trees and deserts, and individual and corporate voices.

Inspired by a road trip to the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, the site of militia protests during the winter of 2016, the exhibition includes fiber, audio, video and drawings.

A reception which features a discussion of her work by the artist will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22.

The reception and exhibit are free and open to the public. The show will remain open through Nov. 11. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 8 p.m. Saturdays.

Born in Chicago, Hargrave now lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Her work has been shown at DIY spaces, commercial galleries, non-profits, and festivals.

Hargrave is a member of the collaborative groups “The Think Tank that has yet to be named” and “Like Riding a Bicycle.” For more information about Hargrave, visit her website

Peace Talks Sunday

A student-organized event on campus Sunday aims to create an environment of inclusion through conversation. 

"Peace Talks" will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday on Walker Lawn. Organizers say the event includes speeches, art, music and conversation, with the intent of creating an atmosphere that encourages intelligent conversation about how individuals can actively create a more inclusive community.

Speakers, artists, poets and musicians will share personal narratives, followed by small-group discussions. Email peacetalksmtu@gmail.com for more information.

University Senate to Meet Today

The first meeting of the University Senate for the 2017-18 academic year (Meeting #595) will be held at 5:30 p.m. today in Dow 642. The agenda is as follows:

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call of Senators and Recognition of Visitors
  • Approval of Agenda
  • Approval of Minutes from Meetings 593 and 594
  • Presentation: “Students’ Textbook Lending Project” presented by Joshua Marshall
  • President's Report
  • Committee Reports
  • Unfinished Business
  • New Business
  • a. Approval of Proposed Meeting Dates for 2017-2018,
  • b. Approval of 2017-18 Senate Standing Committee List
  • c. Election for Vice President
  • Public Comments
  • Adjournment

Kohlheim Joins Womens Basketball Coaching Staff

Michigan Tech Women's Basketball Head Coach Kim Cameron announced that Brooklyn Kohlheim will join the staff as an assistant coach.

Kohlheim brings a wealth of experience from many levels of collegiate basketball, including NCAA Division I.

"We are very excited to have Coach Kohlheim join our staff," Cameron said. "She loves basketball and loves being around the game. She is extremely knowledgeable and brings new ideas to make our program better. She has been part of very successful teams and understands the importance of the tradition of the Michigan Tech Women's Basketball."

Cameron says Kohlheim has been to Michigan Tech before, both as a player and coach for other teams. "Even then, she recognized and appreciated the community support for the program and what a special place this is. We are fortunate to have her."

Kohlheim's most recent stop in NCAA Division II was as an assistant coach at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She spent the 2015-16 season at NCAA Division I Florida Atlantic University.

Kohlheim played collegiate basketball at Florida Southern College (NCAA II) where she was a four-year starter. She is the programs all-time leader in free throw percentage and 3-pointers made.
Read the full story and find out more about Michigan Tech sports on michigantechhuskies.com.

Finding a Research Mentor Workshop

Do you know any undergraduate students interested in conducting research? Are they unsure how to locate a faculty member to work with?

Lorelle Meadows, dean of the Pavlis Honors College, will host an interactive discussion on how to find and approach a faculty member for a research position. In addition, students will learn about paid research internship opportunities at Michigan Tech and beyond.

The workshop will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20, in Library 243.

For information on other upcoming undergraduate research workshops click here.

CTL Instructional Presentation Series

The first presentation in the new fall award series is "Engaging Students Online: How Unused Equipment Led to the Most Interdisciplinary Enrollment in the SFRES."  

Tara Bal (SFRES), will share the story of how she recognized a need for a new course, built support within the department and developed and revised a very successful interdisciplinary online course.

Following her presentation, she'll be recognized with the 2017 CTL Award for Curriculum Development. Don't miss this opportunity to learn from and recognize her success.

Coffee and light refreshments will be provided to those who register by Friday, Sept. 22.

Biological Sciences Seminar

Caryn Heldt (ChE) will present a lecture titled "When a virus and an osmolyte come together, lots can happen" at 3 p.m. tomorrow (Sept. 14) in EERC 229.

In this age of modern medicine, viral diseases continue to take the lives of millions of people. Heldt's lab is focused on the use of osmolytes to control different aspects of virus particle associations. This talk will explore the many uses of osmolytes to inactivate, purify and detect virus particles.


For more information, click here.


Catherine Fisk on Campus Today

Catherine Fisk of the University of California-Berkeley will be on campus for a pair of events today. At 4 p.m. she will present her take on collective organizing among the creative classes. The presentation is in the East Reading Room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library (note location change). Light refreshments will be served at 5:30 p.m. The lecture is sponsored by the School of Business & Economics and the Visiting Women and Minority Lecturer/Scholar Series (VWMLS) which is funded by a grant to Institutional Equity and Inclusion from the State of Michigan’s King-Chavez-Parks Initiative.

At 6 p.m., also in the East Reading Room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library, Fisk will present a Constitution Day speech, "Free Speech on Campus." Refreshments will precede the talk at 5:30. All attendees will receive a free pocket Constitution.


Flu Clinic Tomorrow

The first of three flu vaccine clinics on the Michigan Tech Campus this fall will be held tomorrow.

The quadrivalent flu vaccine is by injection at a cost of $40 payable at the time of service. Cash, check or credit card will be accepted. Students with Michigan Tech's Consolidated Health Plan (CHP) insurance can have their flu vaccine billed to insurance with their CHP member ID card.

Employees, retirees and family members insured by Michigan Tech’s Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) can also have their flu vaccine billed to insurance with their BCBSM member ID card.

This does not include retirees that have Blue Cross insurance through MPSERS.

Anyone under the age of 18 cannot be vaccinated without parental permission. A spouse and/or child may attend without the employee. The first clinic is from 4 to 6 p.m. tomorrow in the Memorial Union Ballroom.


Portrait Session Tomorrow

University Marketing and Communications is holding a portrait session from 9 to 11 a.m. tomorrow (Sept. 14) on the ground floor of the Administration Building, room G35.

If you are unable to make this session, there will be another from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Sept. 19 in the same location.


Looking for a Mentor?

The WorkLife Connections invites all interested staff to submit Staff Mentoring Interest Forms to team up with a trained mentor for the fall and spring semesters.

A mentor can assist you in developing key workplace skills, help staff who are new to the area learn more about the Keweenaw and Michigan Tech, and serve as a valuable advocate for you as you develop your professional goals. The deadline to submit your Staff Mentoring Interest Form is midnight on Tuesday (Sept. 19).

For more information, see previous Tech Today article.

In Print

Adam Wellstead (SS) coauthored "Policy Advice from Outsiders: The Challenges of Policy Co-construction" in the International Journal of Public Administration. Read it here.

In the News

MLive published a story comparing today's tuition and room and board at Michigan public universities to 1975 rates. See here.