Making a Difference Awards Announced

At an awards program in the MUB Wednesday, the following staff members were honored with the Staff Council Making a Difference Awards. The winners, along with an excerpt from their letters of support, are as follows:

Above and Beyond Award—Lisa Hitch, Business Manager/Technical Communication Specialist, Electrical and Computer Engineering. "During our recent ABET visit, our department chair was suddenly called away from our department at a critical moment in the evaluation process.  Without hesitation, Lisa organized the details of the department meetings between our ABET visitors and more than 50 students, staff, and faculty in a matter of hours.  As a result of her intervention, the visit proceeded without interruption.  When our chair returned, he found a department visit so smoothly tuned and ready that it went forward flawlessly.  Without her initiative the meetings would have been hopelessly uncoordinated and left a terrible impression on our visitors.  She saved the day for all of us.”

Karen Salo, Director of College Administration, College of Sciences and Arts. "Every coordinator in the department can tell of a time when Salo (as she calls herself since there is another Karen in the office) dropped what she was doing to resolve a budget issue, a personnel difficulty, or just fix things by knowing who to call in HR, budgeting, or accounting.  This all comes rather naturally since Karen basically designed this job, built the templates required to do the job, established the processes for how and what a coordinator at the college and department level does, and then set the stand for performance."

Creative Solutions—Allison Mills, Director of Research News, University Marketing and Communications. "Allison is a leader in finding new ways to tell Michigan Tech’s story.  She created the Unscripted blog, which breaks science down without diluting it.  She uses the @mturesearch Twitter account to reach out to other institutions around the world.  She pitches our stories on a national stage and we’re more of a presence because of it."

Outstanding Supervisor—Mike Abbott, Director – Great Lakes Research Center. “Not only does Mike stimulate personal and professional development for his employees through his flexibility in scheduling and encouragement for his employees to attend seminars and classes; Mike is often found right alongside the team pitching in when needed despite the mountain of work at his desk.”

Rookie Award—Zack Fredin, Enterprise Program Coordinator, Pavlis Honors College. “It is rare for a newcomer to step right into a new job role without missing a beat but Zack did exactly that in his first year.  He has a special skillset that has enabled him to succeed on several fronts: securing project funding, managing client expectations, working with faculty advisors and students, and upholding the standards of the Enterprise Program.  I greatly appreciate a person like Zack who focuses on finding solutions, not identifying roadblocks.”

Serving Others—Mary Yeo, Manager Auxiliary Fund & Banking Operations, Financial Services & Operations. “Mary is the face of Michigan Tech in our relationships with financial institutions.  The University’s long standing relationship with Superior National Bank has been very successful due to Mary’s excellent customer service and knowledge in responding timely and positively to any issue that arises.”  A Superior National Bank employee echoes this in her letter of support. “We are thankful to have Mary as our partner.  Her positive attitude and commitment to do the right thing for the University, it’s employees and students are the reason I support her nomination."  

Unsung Hero—Ed Trinklein, Research Engineer, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics. "This past spring our Michigan Tech student-built nanosatellite was at risk of missing a technical milestone set by the Air Force.  If this milestone was missed our 7 year long program would have come to an end without a launch into space.  Ed dropped everything he was working on, rolled up his sleeves, and inserted himself into my laboratory where he discovered complicated errors in our serial communication architecture—which he quickly fixed.  The satellite shipped to the Air Force in June and, as a result of Ed’s work, will launch into orbit in April, 2018.”

Zinc: A Shorter Stint as a Stent

Researchers at Michigan Tech are creating bioabsorbable stents with zinc and zinc alloys that could prove safer than current stent materials.

Building better metallic stents to support weakened arteries has been the work of several years and the focus of a flurry of publications from Michigan Tech researchers and their collaborators.

The researchers hope to solve a tricky issue in stent construction: The stent itself begins to create more problems than it solves. Read the full story on Unscripted.

Revised Common Rule Will Affect Researchers

Final revisions to the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects (aka the “Common Rule”) were issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Jan. 18, 2017.

The majority of changes will go into effect next Friday, Jan. 19. Our institution will not be changing the method of processing continuing reviews at this time, and our current informed consent template has already implemented guidance for incorporating the new changes within your written consent forms.

What to expect:

Our institution asks that all research be submitted to our office for evaluation purposes.

Exemptions and Limited Review

The Compliance, Integrity and Safety (CIS) Office announces the launch of a new human subject research submission form to be used by all researchers whether faculty, staff or students effective Jan. 19.

This new form will incorporate new categories and clarification of existing categories. Some exemptions may require “limited IRB review” (similar to an expedited review process). The form will ask questions to determine whether or not exemption applies or if limited review is needed. NOTE: Not all research planned will be able to use this form; it is intended for use for only research qualifying under the explained exemptions, or the new Limited Review categories (example research types: benign social behavior projects, class assessment, research about a process and not someone, etc.).

The form will also indicate when you do not qualify for any of the categories, in which case you will need to complete and submit a protocol document and/or informed consent information along with other applicable documents for the study.

The new exemption form will be contained in the human subject library of the software tool our institution uses along with all other forms and templates. You must be a registered user of to download all forms, templates, samples and instructions.

Existing studies: Those investigators who currently have ongoing human subject protocols approved before the effective date of Jan. 19, there is nothing that you need to do at this time. Your study may not be affected at all, however, if your study qualifies for any burden-reducing changes such as annual review, you may apply the new rule and request to minimize your burden at the time of your next annual review.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Research Compliance Coordinator Cheryl Gherna at 7-2902 or email

Additional information is available online.

Recent Changes in the Library and Institutional Equity

Ellen Marks, director of the J.R. Van Pelt and Opie Library, retired from Michigan Tech at the end of December. Provost Jacqueline Huntoon said, “Ellen has been a phenomenal asset for the University, and I have personally valued the opportunity to work with her. She has taken on some difficult challenges and has transformed—literally transformed—the role of the Library on our campus.” Ellen is leaving the University and area to spend more time with her family. Although Ellen requested no formal retirement party, we would like to recognize her years of service and dedication to Michigan Tech.

Jill Hodges had announced her intent to retire from Institutional Equity early in 2018, but given Marks' recent decision—and knowing there are many other searches underway—Hodges agreed to step in and serve as the interim director of the Library for the remainder of this fiscal year. One of Hodges' major assignments will be to lead a search for a new director. This appointment also allows her to collaborate with the new leadership of Institutional Equity, Executive Director Beth Lunde-Stockero, to ensure a smooth transition for that office.

Barr's Short Story Semi-Finalist in State Contest

A short story written by Nancy Barr, director of the Engineering Communications Program in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, was recently chosen as a semifinalist in the sixth annual Write Michigan Short Story Contest. Her story, titled "Peace," is about a woman coming to terms with her father's death and heroic, but unsung, service during the Vietnam War. 

Barr's story is one of ten posted for public voting to determine the Readers’ Choice winner in the Adult category on the Write Michigan website. You can vote online for her story the maximum number of times (once per day). The Readers’ Choice Winner will receive a cash prize of $250.

Her story will be reviewed by a panel of judges to determine the Judges’ Choice Winner and Runner-up. These winners will receive $250 and $100 respectively. The Readers’ Choice and Judges’ Choice short stories, along with two additional semi-finalists’ stories, will be printed in the Write Michigan Anthology.

In addition to teaching two graduate engineering communication courses, Barr is the author of the "Page One" mystery trilogy, published by Arbutus Press and set in the western and central Upper Peninsula.

Change in Procedures for Department Charges and Gift Card Purchases

To provide better customer service, Dining Services has changed department charge procedures for gift card purchases and meals in the retail locations.

Want to charge meals in a Dining Services retail location to a department index?

Step 1: Go to the Dining Services website

The Department Charge Form is located under Resources.

Step 2: Fill out form

Fill out all requested information completely on the Department Charge Form including the retail location you would like to use.

Step 3: Send form

The form must be sent to us at least 24 hours prior to the charge. This allows us time to get your request to the proper retail location. Cashiers will not accept any department charges at the register without the authorized form given to them.

You can either email the Department Charge Form to, or you can send the form to the Memorial Union Office, room 101.

Step 4: Go to the retail location

Let the cashier know that you have a department charge and place your order.

Want to purchase Dining Service Gift Cards using a department index?

Step 1: Go to the Dining Services website

The Department Charge Form for Gift Cards is located under Resources.

Step 2: Fill out form

Fill out all requested information completely on the Department Charge Form for Gift Cards including the date needed.

Step 3: Send form

The form must be sent to us at least 24 hours prior to the date that you need the cards. This allows us the time to prepare the gift cards for you.

You can either email the Department Charge Form to:, or you can send the form to the Memorial Union Office, room 101.

Step 4: Pick up gift cards

We will contact you to let you know when your gift cards are ready to pick up.

NOTE: Gift cards can also be purchased from cashiers in retail locations using cash or credit cards only. If you have any questions, call Dining Services at 7-2664.

Dining Services and Grand Valley State University Internship Collaboration

Last semester, dining services completed their second year as  a preceptor for interns from Grand Valley State University students working on their master’s degree for clinical dietetics.

GVSU developed and began their internship program in 2016 and Michigan Tech Dining Services was one of the first university dining service programs to work with GVSU and accept interns from their master’s program.

Dining Services has been developing projects that would encompass their learning objectives during the four-week internship at Michigan Tech.

The intern learning objectives were:

  • Real world/hands on experience in evaluating use of resources (time, money and personnel)
  • Analyzing food service data and designing a plan for improvement
  • Designing and conducting a feasibility study for a food product, service or program
  • Conducting customer service quality management activities
  • Predicting environmental impact of food services procedures and recommend interventions
  • Demonstrate use of informatics technology as it relates to food service
  • Appraise safety, security, and sanitation procedures that affect employees, customers, facilities and food
  • Demonstrate management skills in all areas of food service

The internship program has been not only beneficial to the interns but also Michigan Tech Dining Services, the interns learn valuable skills that they will be using in their careers and dining services is able to use concepts that the interns develop.

One of the concepts an intern from this fall developed and defined was a healthy eating concept for the residential dining program. Dining Services plans on further developing this concept and implementing it not only in the resident dining program but also in the retail dining locations.

Retirement Reception for Jenn Donovan Jan. 19

University Marketing and Communications invites the University community to a retirement reception for Director of News and Media Relations Jennifer Donovan.

Jenn is retiring following more than 10 years at Michigan Tech and a successful career in journalism at major newspapers and national magazines. 

The reception will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19 in Memorial Union Ballroom A2. Beverages, appetizers and a cash bar will be available.

Comedian Ian Lara Performs Live Jan. 19

Comedian Ian Lara is coming to Michigan Tech next Friday, Jan. 19. This exciting young comic is just a regular Dominican kid from Queens, New York. Youngest of five and born to immigrant parents, being funny became a way of life for Lara at a young age.

He started comedy right after college after being told by some successful lawyers that he should skip going to law school, and he's loved every second since. You can usually catch him performing every night in some of the best and worst venues in New York City, or he's on the road at a club or college.

Lara might become a household name someday, but his real dream is to big enough where he can wear those big cowboy hats Pharrell wears to awards shows.

Join Late Night Programming for a bunch of laughs with Ian Lara at 10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19, in the MUB Ballroom. This event is free (funded by the Student Activity fee).

Former Husky Captain Named ECHL All-Star

Former Michigan Tech hockey captain Cliff Watson was named an ECHL All-Star last week as a member of the Utah Grizzlies. Watson will play in the 2018 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic on Monday at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum. The game will air live on the NHL Network at 1 p.m.

For the full story and more on Michigan Tech sports, visit

Huskies Ranked 16th in Latest WBCA Poll

The Michigan Tech women's basketball team is No. 16 in the latest Women's Basketball Coaches Association NCAA Division II Top 25 Coaches' Poll, announced Tuesday by the national office. The Huskies were ranked 21st in the preseason poll, moved up to 10th in the first regular season rankings and held the No. 18 ranking for two weeks prior to jumping up to No. 15 Dec. 12. Tech was in the No. 13 spot each of the past two weeks.

The Huskies split a pair of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference contests last week, falling at home to top ranked Ashland University 103-68 on Thursday before bouncing back with a solid 79-42 victory on Saturday afternoon against Tiffin University at home. The official WBCA press release and complete top 25 poll can be viewed by clicking here.


John Diebel Retirement Social Today
The University community is invited to a retirement get together for John Diebel of Innovation and Industry Engagement
Join us in wishing John well from 2:30 to 4 p.m. today (Jan. 12) in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge.
Langston to Speak on Lake Superior Health
Nancy Langston (SS), will present a public program at 10:30 a.m. Sunday (Jan. 14), at the Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, which meets at the BHK Child Development Center, 700 Park Avenue, Houghton (enter on Waterworks Street).
She will speak on how communities can help sustain the health of Lake Superior in the face of mining, climate change, forest change, invasive species and emerging chemicals of concern. The program is free, and everyone is welcome.

New Funding

Jeffrey Allen (MEEM/MuSTI) is the principal investigator on a project that has received $200,000 from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Paul Van Susante (MEEM), Ezequiel Medici (MEEM) and Timothy Eisele (ChE) are Co-PIs on the project, "Low Mass, Low Power, Non-Mechanical Excavation of Gypsum and Other Evaporites and Water Production on Mars." 

This is a two and a half year project.

In the News

ABC News 10 aired a story about Michigan Tech's after-school classes for school children interested in science and engineering.


GCN, a website on technology for public-sector IT managers, quoted Senior Research Scientist Colin Brooks (MTRI) on the use of drones to monitor infrastructure such as roads and bridges. Brooks has been testing a drone set-up for the Michigan Department of Transportation that captures optical, thermal, hill-shade and other data from multiple sensors on the drone.


Rolf Peterson (SFRES) discussed the Isle Royale wolf-moose study on the latest episode of Mismatch. The Mismatch podcast is a production of Graham Media Group with WDIV-Local 4 in Detroit.

Job Postings

Job Postings for Friday, January 12, 2018

Staff and faculty job descriptions 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.

 Residence Life Coordinator, Housing and Residential Life. ​Apply online.​

Custodian (12 months/ 40hours/ 2nd Shift), Facilities. ​AFSCME Posting 1/12/2018 - 1/18/2018. External applicants will not be reviewed until after all internal applicants. ​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.