Snowman Record Attempt Draws Huge Crowd

A crowd estimated as large as 1,500, of all ages, came to Michigan Tech's Sherman Field on a frigid, but sunny day Saturday, to set the Guiness World Record for building the most snowmen in one hour. And while nothing is official, they just might have done it.

The event, sponsored by the Undergraduate Student Government and the MUB Board, took place at 1 p.m. Saturday. Dozens of volunteers were on hand to register participants, provide arms (wooden skewers) and even hand out complimentary face warmers.

Despite concerns that an 8-degree temperature and dry snow wouldn't accommodate snowman construction, preliminary figures indicate the old record of 2,036 may have been eclipsed by as many as 200.

For sure, none of the snowmen would challenge Frosty in the looks department, (there were rigid constructions guidelines, but aesthetics weren't considered). This was all about numbers and organizers are optimistic they have them.

It will take some time until the record is verified and made official, but hundreds left Sherman Field convinced they had the world's record.

If it is confirmed, this will mark the fourth time Tech students and community members gathered to set a Guiness World's Record. On Feb. 10, 2006, exactly 12 years to the day before "Snowman Left Behind," three records — Largest Snowball Fight, Most People Making Snow Angels Simultaneously in a Single Venue and Largest Snowball. All three records were subsequently broken but in 2013 Tech recaptured the Largest Snowball record and it still stands.

Organizers were unsure when they'll be notified if Michigan Tech set the snowman record.

Update for Michigan Tech MPSERS Employees

Michigan Tech employees that are a part of the MPSERS State retirement program and contributed 3 percent of their compensation to the Retiree Healthcare Fund between July 2010 and September 2012, will see a refund of those contributions. 

Those expecting a refund should have received an e-mail from ORS on Jan. 19 that contained the amount of their refund. If you did not receive this e-mail or have questions about your refund, visit the ORS website for more information. 

Human Resources is working to finalize the refund process for MPSERS employees and retirees to ensure the process is compliant and accurate. All MPSERS employees and retirees will receive an e-mail notice from Human Resources when the refund process and dates are determined. 

Undergraduate Research Symposium Call for Judges

The Pavlis Honors College invites University faculty and staff to serve as distinguished judges at the sixth Annual 2018 Undergraduate Research Symposium from 1 to 5 p.m. Friday, March 23 in the lobby of the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

Judging entails reviewing the posters and accompanying poster presentations of up to five undergraduate researchers for one to two hours. The Symposium will highlight the cutting-edge research being conducted on Michigan Tech’s campus by some of our best and brightest undergraduate students. The students presenting represent a wide array of scientific and engineering disciplines from across campus and highlight the diversity of research areas being explored.

If you would like to serve as a judge for this event, fill out this judging form. We received a record number of abstract submissions last year and have similar expectations for 2018. We need help providing an exceptional learning experience for our participants, so consider working with us to further the professional development of our undergraduate researchers. 

Visit the Undergraduate Research Symposium website for more information. Share this opportunity with interested faculty, staff and local community members.

Physics Colloquium Friday

There will be a Physics Colloquium at 3 p.m. Friday (Feb. 16) in Fisher 101. Abhihit Biswas will present "Deep Space Optical Communications." 

Biswas is currently supervisor for the Optical Communication Systems Group at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology (Caltech). He is also serving as the project technologist for the Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) Project at JPL that is planning the first deep space optical communications demonstration, hosted by the Psyche Mission spacecraft, planned for launch in August 2022.  

Blue Cross Online Visits

With the start of a new year, Benefit Services reminds you about Blue Cross Online Visits, formerly known as 24/7 Online Healthcare. When you use Blue Cross Online Visits, you will have access to online medical and behavioral health services anywhere in the US.

Using Blue Cross Online visits, you and your covered family members will have access to a doctor for minor illnesses, such as a cold, flu, sore throat and sinus or respiratory infections, when your primary care doctor isn’t available. You also have access to behavioral health clinicians or psychiatrists to help work through challenges such as anxiety, depression and grief.

When your doctor isn’t available, you can use your smartphone, tablet or computer to access a US board-certified, state-licensed doctor.

Visit the Benefit Services website for more information on Blue Cross Online Visits. Email Benefit Services or call 7-2517 if you have any questions.

Government Internships Available for Summer and Fall 2018

Have you ever wondered how our government works? Do you want to make a difference in public policy? Then you may be interested in a government internship.

Internships provide an individual with a monitored or supervised work or service experience where the individual has intentional learning goals and reflects actively on what he or she is learning throughout the experience. These learning goals can include: academic learning, career development, skill development and personal development. Federal or State internship programs are available to students across a wide variety of disciplines while gaining experience in government, politics and international relations.

Applications are being accepted now for Senate and House Washington DC Offices. Federal agencies such as NASA, NSF, DOJ, DOE and others are also accepting applications.

In addition, there are multiple academic/internship programs available in DC and internships through the State of Michigan.

If interested, learn more online. Summer internship deadlines are quickly approaching.

Call for Applications: Songer Research Award for Human Health Research

Matthew Songer, MD (Biological Sciences ‘79) and Mrs. Laura Songer (Biological Sciences ‘80) have generously donated funds to the College of Sciences and Arts (CSA) at Michigan Tech to support a research project competition for undergraduate and graduate students. Remembering his own eagerness to engage in research during his undergraduate years, Dr. Songer established these awards to stimulate and encourage opportunities for original research by current MTU students. The College is extremely grateful for the Songers’ continuing interest in, and support of, Michigan Tech’s programs in human health and medicine.

Students may propose an innovative medically-oriented research project in any area of human health. The best projects will demonstrate the potential to have broad impact on improving human life. This research will be pursued in consultation with faculty members within the College of Sciences and Arts. In spring 2018, the Songers' gift will support one award for undergraduate research ($4000) and a second award for graduate research ($6,000).


Any Michigan Tech student interested in exploring a medically-related question under the guidance of faculty in the College of Sciences and Arts may apply. Students majoring in any degree program in the college, including both traditional (i.e., biological sciences, kinesiology, chemistry) and nontraditional (i.e., physics, psychology, social science, bioethics, computer science, mathematics) programs related to human health, may propose research projects connected to human health. Students are encouraged to propose original, stand-alone projects with expected durations of 6-12 months. The committee also encourages applications from CSA students who seek to continue research projects initiated through other campus mechanisms, such as Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program, Pavlis Honors College activities or the Graduate Research Forum (GRF).

Budget guidelines

Funds from a Songer Award may be used to purchase or acquire research materials and equipment needed to perform the proposed research project. Access to, and research time utilizing, university core research facilities, including computing, may be supported. Requests to acquire a personal computer will be scrutinized and must be fully justified. Page charges for publications also may be covered with award funds, as will travel to appropriate academic meetings. This award may not be used for salary or compensation for the student or consulting faculty. 


Students should prepare a research project statement (up to five pages in length) that describes the background, methods to be used, and research objectives. The statement also should provide a detailed description of the experiments planned and expected outcomes. Students must indicate where they will carry out their project, and attach a separate list of references/citations  to relevant scientific literature. The application package also should provide a concise title and brief summary (one page) written for lay audiences. A separate budget page should indicate how funds will be used. Finally, a short letter from a consulting faculty member must verify that the student defined an original project and was primary author of the proposal. The faculty member should also confirm her/his willingness to oversee the project. This faculty letter is not intended to serve as a recommendation on behalf of the student’s project.

Application Date

Please submit applications in digital form to the office of the College of Sciences and Arts by 4 p.m March 30. Email


The selection committee will consist of Matthew Songer, Laura Songer, Shekhar Joshi and Jason Carter. The committee will review undergraduate and graduate proposals separately. The committee will seek additional comments about the proposed research on an ad-hoc basis from reviewers familiar with the topic of the research proposal. Primary review criteria will be the originality and potential impact of the proposed study, as well as its feasibility and appropriateness for Michigan Tech’s facilities. The committee expects to announce the recipients by mid-April 2018.

This one-time research award will be administered by the faculty advisor of the successful student investigator. Students will be expected to secure IRB approval before funds will be released. Funds must be expended by the end of spring semester 2019; extensions will not be granted. Recipients must submit a detailed report to the selection committee, including a description of results and an accounting of finds utilized, no later than June 30, 2019.


Shekhar Joshi, chair, Biological Sciences (

Jason Carter, chair, Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology (

Bruce Seely, Dean, College of Sciences and Arts (

Sweets for your Sweetheart! Valentine's Day triple-chocolate cake for two.

The campus bakery is offering handcrafted chocolate cakes with chocolate ganache incing snuggled in a heart shaped tin topped with a chocolate candy heart. Only $4.50 each. Order yours today at 
Orders will be taken until 5 p.m. tomorrow (Feb. 13)h. You may pick up and pay for your treats from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday (Feb. 14) at the Memorial Union North Coast Grill.

Tech Hockey Bounces Back To Win MacInnes Cup

Michigan Tech won the MacInnes Cup as Winter Carnival champions for the sixth straight season after defeating Bemidji State 5-1 Saturday at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. BSU won 4-2 on Friday but the Huskies outscored the Beavers 7-5 on the weekend in the total-goals series to capture the trophy.

"I'm extremely proud of the guys," Tech coach Joe Shawhan said. "They competed hard tonight and played with a lot of pride and courage from the goaltender on out. I'm happy for the seniors for winning their fourth straight Winter Carnival. I want them to enjoy this."

Devin Kero was named MVP of the series after stopping 35-of-36 shots in his third straight win as the starter. He stopped eight shots in the first, nine in the second, and 19 in the third.

"That was as good of a college game as you're going to see a goalie play," Shawhan added. "He was on every puck tonight. He shut the door for us."

"I've been to a lot of Winter Carnivals," Kero said. "I know how much John MacInnes means to this university. I've sat around for four years and was finally able to be a part of it. It was a lot of fun tonight."

Five different Huskies scored in the game as Tech buried four straight to break a 1-1 first intermission tie.

Tech remains home next weekend (Feb. 16-17), hosting Arizona State at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena in the final nonconference games of the season. The two teams met earlier this year at the Ice Vegas Invitational. It is the Sun Devils third year in NCAA Division I college hockey and will be their first-ever visit to Houghton.
Read the full story and find out more about Tech sports at

Basketball Sweeps Northwood

The Michigan Tech women's basketball team withstood a fourth quarter charge by Northwood, holding on for an 86-81 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory Saturday afternoon on the road. It was the sixth consecutive win for the Huskies as they head home for the final four regular season games over the next two weeks.

"It was another great win on the road for us today against a very good team in Northwood," Michigan Tech Head Coach Kim Cameron said. "It's been a tough week with Lindsay [Winter] out due to injury and we had to make some adjustments with her out of the lineup. I'm proud of our team for stepping up as multiple players contributed big plays both offensively and defensively."

 The Michigan Tech men's team rallied for a 75-70 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference win at Northwood University on Saturday afternoon. The Huskies trailed by as a many as 12 points in the contest before taking the lead for good in the final two minutes of the game.

"I'm happy for our team that we were able to bounce back and get the win this afternoon on the road," Michigan Tech Head Coach Kevin Luke said. "We had a little bit of a lull from Thursday to start the game, but I thought our team really responded well and we played a great second half to comeback. We played well enough to get caught up, they made a run, but then we were able to make the final run of the day to win it. It was a good team effort all the way around. We are excited to get back home for a couple of big games next week against Ferris State and Lake Superior State."

Tech returns home on Thursday to begin a four game home stand against Ferris State in the SDC Gym. Tech will then battle Lake Superior State on Saturday before hosting Wayne State and Davenport during the final week of the regular season.

Tech Cross Country Earns All-Academic Honors

The US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) 2017 NCAA DII Cross Country All-Academic Awards were announced Friday.

Both the men's and women's Michigan Tech Cross Country teams earned All-Academic Honors. The men's team held the second-highest grade point average in the GLIAC maintaining a 3.34 GPA and the women had the sixth highest with a 3.36 GPA.

The Black and Gold's 2017 season will go down in the books as the best finish for the women's program at the regionals. The women's team finished in eighth place and the men took ninth, the men's team's best competition finish since 2014 (8th place).

In addition to their success on the field, Emily Vigil, Emily Byrd and Robyn Holmes were awarded the 2017 NCAA DII Cross Country Individual All-Academic honors.

To qualify for the Individual All-Academic awards, athletes had to have compiled a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.25 and have finished among the top 30 percent of runners in the regional championships and/or the top half of the field at the NCAA Championships.

Vigil earned All-Region honors at the Midwest Region Cross Country Championships, placing 22nd in a field of 197 runners. She was also named Second Team All-Conference. The junior, majoring in mechanical engineering, holds a 3.84 GPA. 

Byrd, a sophomore environmental engineering student-athlete, holds a 3.68 GPA. She finished 26th at the Midwest Regionals and earned Second Team All-Conference this season.

Holmes, a junior, holds a 3.27 GPA in environmental engineering. Holmes finished in 71st place for the Huskies at the regional meet.

Job Posting

Job Posting for Monday, February 12, 2018 

Staff and faculty job descriptions are available in the Human Resources Department. 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.

Assistant Grant Accountant, Sponsored Programs Accounting. Apply online. 

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Education Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer, which includes providing equal opportunity for protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.  

In the News

Research by Electrical Engineering alumnus Ram Krishnan ‘16 and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) on converting tobacco farms to solar photovoltaic farms was covered widely in the media including; Modern FarmerPopular Mechanics and the Weather Channel.


An article about Joshua Pearce's research on replacing tobacco fields with solar arrays was recently featured in IEEE Electronics 360, Popular Mechanics, the Institute of Engineering and Technology, the Fifth Estate (Australian business newspaper), Solar Thermal Magazine, PV Magazine, Science Daily, the Weather Channel and Big Think.


New Funding

Mary Raber (Pavlis Honors College/LIFT) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $22,800 instruction grant from VentureWell.

Mary Fraley (EF), Brett Hamlin (EF), Amber Kemppainen (EF) and Jomathan Leinonen (SBE) are Co-PIs on the project, "Building a Curriculum that Fosters an Innovation and Entrepreneurial Mindset for Our First-Year Students." This is the first year of a 2.6-year project. 

In Print

Diane Shoos' (HU) book "Domestic Violence in Hollywood Film: Gaslighting" was published by Palgrave Macmillan in December, 2017.


CDI presents Diverse Dialogues: "Thinking Outside the Box: Understanding Identity and Intersectionality"

What does diversity mean and why does it matter? This guided conversation will allow individuals to discuss the meaning of diversity and explore the multiple diversities that exist. Individuals will work to identify the relevance of their own cultural and social identities and leave with an enhanced understanding of how to embrace diversity in order to work more effectively across difference at Tech and within their respective communities.

Join us at noon today (Feb. 12) in MUB Ballroom B1 (and at the future Diverse Dialogues) and engage in meaningful campus dialogue around topics of diversity and inclusion. Bring your own lunch, light refreshments and beverages will be provided.


Library Offers Copyright Workshop for Instructors

Need to share a journal article with your class? What about a YouTube video? What is "Educational Fair Use?" Join us as we explore the need-to-know issues surrounding copyright and instruction. This 25-minute "lightning" workshop will cover best practices concerning copyright, licensing and fair use as well as the services the library provides to assist you with your instructional needs—with time to spare. The workshop will be held at 12:05 p.m. tomorrow (Feb. 13) in Library 242. Register here.


Economics Club Lecture on Great Recession Thursday

It's been more than 10 years since the last recession started. What kind of crisis is coming up next? It's been almost nine years since it ended, but why does it feel like it's still not over? What side-effects can we expect of policies that were enacted in the last 10 years?

See answers to these and other questions in a lecture titled "Borrowing, Bernanke and Beyond: The Whys, Whodunits and What’s-nexts of the Great Recession," taking place from 7 to 8:45 p.m. Thursday (Feb. 15) in R.L. Smith (MEEM) 112.


Spring 2018 Safe Place Ally Training Program

Registration is now open for the spring 2018 Safe Place Ally Training Program. The Michigan Tech Safe Place Program is a comprehensive resource to better prepare faculty, staff, students and community members to address the needs of individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual (LGBTQIA*). 

For times and dates of registration and trainings, as well as additional information about the Safe Place program, visit the Safe Place webpage. If you have any questions, concerns or specific department/organizational needs for Safe Place Ally Training, contact Campus Diversity Educator Amy Lyn Howard in the Center for Diversity and Inclusion.


Instructors Needed for Summer Youth Programs

As Summer Youth Programs (SYP) gears up for another exciting season, we are constantly seeking ways to make explorations engaging, impactful and fun for all participants.

If you are interested in delivering structured, hands-on learning to excited and engaged students from across the country, we’d love to hear from you. See more informaiton, including a list of positions still hiring, in the original Tech Today article. SYP invites interested applicants to contact us via

IT Connect

Service Satisfaction Survey

Michigan Tech IT is always looking for ways to improve our service to you. Remember, you may provide us your feedback via the ticket resolution survey or by completing this survey.

In addition to our support staff, we have an online support center. This web site has answers to a variety of IT-related questions you can search by keyword. We are continually improving this site.

Again, if you have any questions or would like to provide us feedback, contact us at or call 7-1111.