Our first on-campus barbershop. Support for Ukraine. A new campus master plan. Research in solar energy, electric-vehicle battery recycling, and high-frequency radar. Meet the Select Six, award-winning faculty, and Michigan Tech’s new head football coach in this edition of 1400 Townsend.
The pop-up barbershop at Michigan Tech offers hair care for all textures—and boosts student self-esteem. Why did we do it? To help Huskies feel a sense of belonging.
The shop and visiting barber Manny Hernandez serve everyone, including students who were waiting months to get cuts at home, those cutting each other's hair, and students spending time and money driving 100 miles to the closest shop.
"Barbering is a culture," said Hernandez. "There's music, positivity, good lighting—a familiarity and comfortability. That's part of my mission, to make them feel as good and comfortable as possible."
Helping students find hair care for all textures has been an ongoing need at Michigan Tech. A student-athlete's discovery more than a year ago catalyzed the campus barbershop concept.
"I went two and a half months without a haircut when I came here," said Justin Davis. "As a Black man, in our culture, haircuts, the way we look, our style is really important."
"When I don't have my hair cut, I wear a hat," he added.
Davis, who played wide receiver for MTU's football team, earned his MBA at Tech in 2022. He discovered Hernandez through a friend in Marquette and sought ways to bring the experience to Tech. The idea didn't materialize until this year, when Michigan Tech Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Wayne Gersie went to Hernandez for his own haircut.
"He said, 'We really need something like this at Tech,'" recalled Hernandez. And so the plan took shape.
Both Hernandez and Davis say the biggest takeaway from the barbershop initiative transcends student hair care—it's showing Huskies the importance of making their needs clear to people who are ready to listen.
"Ask and communicate what you want. You can already tell Michigan Tech is here for their students. And that's not just related to barbering," Hernandez said. "It's related to your experience here and your time here at Tech."
Support for Ukraine
On February 27, 2022, Ukrainian students Adelina Oronova and Nazar Gora, along with Zenia, a Russian student who prefers their last name to remain anonymous, organized the Support for Ukraine movement after the country was invaded by Russia.
The students held demonstrations at the Husky Statue every day the week following the invasion. During these gatherings, they connected with Nadija Packauskas and started the Yoopers for Ukraine group, which has been holding a weekly Walk for Ukraine from Houghton to Hancock for almost a year. Walkers meet Sundays at 3:30 p.m. on the Houghton side of the Portage Lift Bridge.
"It is important we're doing this," Gora said at a Support for Ukraine meeting in March, "because we show that Ukrainians are here in the Keweenaw, that Michigan Tech cares, and we show that we support Ukraine. It is very important to express this right now. If we gather small things, we can get something bigger."
The student organizers of the Support for Ukraine movement pledged to continue "until the war is over."
To add your support, donate to charities dedicated to Ukrainian relief, such as Come Back Alive NGO, Razom Emergency Response Fund, Serhiy Prytula Foundation and the Ukrainian Red Cross. You can also write to your representatives in Congress.
Bill Predebon Retires
After nearly 47 years at Michigan Tech, William W. Predebon retired on June 30, 2022. Prior to his retirement, Predebon was the J.S. Endowed Department Chair and Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics (ME-EM). He served as department chair for 25 years.
"As I look back on all those years as department chair, I want to acknowledge that the progress we made was on the shoulders of those who came before us and the great faculty, staff, students, and alumni who have been a part of this journey with me," Predebon said.
"If there was a hall of fame for mechanical engineering department chairs, Bill would get in on the first ballot," said Greg Odegard, the John O. Hallquist Endowed Chair in Computational Mechanics. "Bill is a tremendous mentor. He worked hard to help young faculty develop into world-class researchers and teachers. He has a very calm, nondramatic approach to leadership. He is simply honest and straightforward."
Under Predebon's watch, ME-EM made great strides in conducting interdisciplinary research, growing the doctoral program, expanding research funding, and updating the curriculum and laboratories. His efforts helped grow diversity in both the faculty and student body.
Predebon's next steps after retirement? To keep working—this time in outreach activities as a professor and chair emeritus, and as a special assistant to the vice president for student affairs. He also hopes to travel to Italy at some point to meet relatives there for the very first time.
Campus Master Plan
After two years of community input and discussion, the Michigan Tech Board of Trustees voted to adopt the University's campus master plan at its October 2022 meeting. According to the resolution presented to the Board, the plan represents a "collection of ideas that establishes a flexible, realistic, and multiple-decade framework for coordinating facility improvements across the institution."
While adjustments to the plan are anticipated as a natural facet of long-range planning, and while initiation of specific projects will remain individually subject to Board approval, the campus plan will serve as a beacon to guide Tech as it continues its steady rise as Michigan's flagship technological university.
Michigan Tech President Rick Koubek said the campus master plan is a necessary vision document for the University, which is on track to meet its goals for measured growth, including increases in student enrollment, faculty recruitment, and research expenditures, along with a $300 million endowment.
"The campus master plan presents a collective vision from our students, staff, and faculty about the future of Michigan Tech and the facilities we will put in place to support that vision," said Koubek. "We are grateful to the Board of Trustees for their support and confidence as we implement this plan for Michigan Tech."
- No. 1on College Factual's list of the "Best Computer Science Schools in Michigan"
- 66%of fall 2022 incoming biomedical engineering students are women
- Top 25among all U.S. colleges for ROI, as ranked by Forbes' "Top 25 Colleges for Your Money"
- No. 8Houghton's rank among "The 55 Most Beautiful Small Towns in America," according to Architectural Digest
Michigan Tech was featured in the Princeton Review's "Guide to Green Schools" for 2023
Michigan Tech received the highest-level Gold rating from the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency in its list of "Veteran-Friendly Schools for 2022"
Solar Energy RTC
In August 2022, Congressional representatives, state and federal government officials, and industry leaders joined Michigan Tech and partner Sandia National Laboratories for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tour of the US Department of Energy's (DOE's) newest solar energy Regional Test Center (RTC) at the University's Advanced Power Systems Research Center (APS LABS).
Established in 2012 by the DOE's Solar Energy Technologies Office, and under the technical oversight of Sandia National Laboratories, the RTC program represents a consortium of five outdoor solar research sites located in varied climate zones across the US. Collectively, they form a state-of-the-art technical platform for evaluating the performance and reliability of emerging photovoltaic (PV) technologies.
The RTC program gives US solar companies access to these research facilities and to the technical expertise of Sandia and its academic partners to validate new technologies under rigorous conditions. Pairing industry with laboratory and academic expertise helps drive both product innovation and commercialization of new high-efficiency solar products.
The newly built Michigan Tech facility offers the RTC program a unique location to demonstrate the resilience and efficiency of new-generation PV technologies in severe winter environments and to document the energy gains from novel designs. Research is also underway at the Michigan Tech RTC to develop new methods of rapid snow removal from PV panels.
The research facility plays a key role in driving the growth of solar in northern regions by helping identify the factors that will ensure the nation's solar infrastructure is robust, dependable, and high performing. The test center will also provide opportunities for research, workforce training, and education to further the deployment of PV in rural Upper Peninsula counties, while fostering increased collaboration between the community and the University.
MTU and Eagle Mine Partner for EV Battery Recycling Innovation
On November 16, 2022, the Biden Administration announced a $74 million funding package to advance domestic battery recycling and reuse that will strengthen the nation's battery supply chain. Michigan Technological University and Eagle Mine are co-recipients of part of this funding, receiving $8.1 million to prove new research technologies that develop sustainable processes to supply critical minerals for electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing.
An additional $2.5 million from the US Department of Energy's Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy grant program was also awarded to Michigan Tech and Eagle Mine, which will enable the University to study carbon dioxide mineralization opportunities in Eagle Mine's tailings facility. The money will be used to develop new technologies that enable accelerated carbon mineralization using mine tailing minerals.
"The state of Michigan is the home to the automotive industry, nickel mining industry, and future lithium-ion battery industry in this nation," said Lei Pan, associate professor of chemical engineering at Michigan Tech and principal investigator of both funded projects. "Addressing both the supply of critical minerals and reprocessing and reuse of mine tailings is critical to advance sustainability in the mining industry."
"This robust investment will support Michigan Tech's researchers, faculty, and students' continued efforts to develop and deploy the next generation of technologies to recycle electric vehicle batteries that will guide the future of the auto industry in Michigan and nationwide," said Rick Koubek, president of Michigan Tech. "We thank our industry partners and Eagle Mine for supporting this research that will lead to new critical mineral technologies."
HF Radar Commissioning
In August 2022, Michigan Tech and the Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS)—the regional node of NOAA's Integrated Ocean Observing System program—hosted Safety in the Straits. This event brought together elected officials, state agencies, community members, businesses, and researchers to commission the first freshwater high-frequency radar (HFR) system installed in the Straits of Mackinac.
Home to the Mackinac Bridge, the Straits of Mackinac share space with other transportation and energy infrastructure, heavy recreational boat traffic, and busy commercial shipping lanes, all in one of the most unpredictable waterways of the Great Lakes.
"We chose the Straits for its strategic importance," said oceanographer Lorelle Meadows, a research associate professor of cognitive and learning sciences at Michigan Tech and founding dean of the Pavlis Honors College. "It's imperative for us to have the best technology available for environmental monitoring, search and rescue, shipping, and other important applications that rely on a more complete understanding of the currents in this complicated area."
Researchers, mariners, and natural resource managers have long needed a better way to understand the water currents in real time—to assist with navigation, research, search and rescue, and real-time intelligence in the event of a pipeline spill.
"After seeing high-frequency radar applied in ocean communities, we knew it would be useful to monitor many of the Great Lakes' critical waterways," said Kelli Paige, CEO of GLOS. "The need for quality, real-time current data in the Straits was clear."
To help put actionable, high-value water data into people's hands, Michigan Tech—with funding from GLOS and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE)—undertook the multiyear installation of the HFR system, which utilizes CODAR Ocean Sensors.
"The high-frequency radar that Michigan Tech deployed in the Straits of Mackinac is a great example of the power of collaboration," said Tim Havens, director of Michigan Tech's Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC). "Together with GLOS, EGLE, and CODAR, the GLRC was able to install the very first current-monitoring radar on fresh water, showing that we can accurately track the movement of the water in the Straits. This capability can, for example, provide emergency responders vital real-time information for search and recovery efforts."
Watts on the Moon
Paul van Susante, assistant professor of mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics and founder and director of the Planetary Surface Technology Development Lab, aka PSTDL or Huskyworks, is leading one of seven teams advancing to Phase 2, Level 2 of NASA's Watts on the Moon Challenge.
The advancement comes with a $200,000 award, building on the team's previous Phase 2, Level 1 award of $100,000, and supports NASA's Artemis missions, which are designed to enable sustainable human exploration of the moon and Mars.
Winners of the first stage of the challenge were eligible to compete for a spot in the design competition of the second phase, submitting technical documentation for their solutions. Of the seven teams competing in Phase 2, Level 2, up to four will win equal shares of the $1.6 million prize purse and advance to compete in the Watts on the Moon Challenge finals. Those four teams will have to prove the viability of their innovations inside a NASA vacuum chamber.
"What NASA wants to do is not just to go back to the moon, plant a flag, and come back home," van Susante said. "The goal is to be there and stay there—to have a permanent presence on the moon. To do that we need to develop a lot of technologies, and that's what we focus on in our lab. For example, you can't burn fossil fuels on the moon, so you need a different source of power. That's what the Watts on the Moon Challenge is all about."
"It's really exciting because we're developing new technology that will enable continuous human presence on the lunar surface," noted Rob Button, deputy chief of the Power Division at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. "Specifically, we're addressing long-distance power transmission and energy storage in very cold conditions."
Why I Love Tech: The First Snow
We asked Husky Nation on LinkedIn: "Do you remember your first snow at Tech?" The responses made it clear that their first snowfall isn't something Huskies forget.
Whether they first saw snow from a plane while landing in the Keweenaw, while cheering on the football team at Sherman Field, or while drinking an iced latte mid-campus, there were lots of great memories shared.
"The Keweenaw is giving our new students their first taste of life on campus in the winter! Alumni and friends, do you remember your first snow at Tech?"
1978-79 nearly 300 inches of snow - what an adventure, classes continued.
It was a home football game, Saturday, October 2, 1993…
Well growing up in the area…
It was November 18, 1977. I remember as it just happened yesterday!
I do! It was just around this time too! By Halloween, we had a hefty blanket and in the winter of 2014, the last snow didn't melt off Ripley until Early June! Heck it was still snowing when I moved out that May!
I have never seen the real snow before I stepped in at MTU. It was an experience since I grew up in Malaysia where the average temperature is between 80 to 95F.
1987….ground floor of Wads. G03E 325" of snow. Started in the end of September.
The middle of September my freshman year (1974) about a half inch fell overnight. It didn't last long. Quite a sight - the trees in their autumn colors and a dusting of snow.
Arrived in Houghton on November 1987 and from the plane I could see the white cotton around the trees. That was my first encounter with snow at tech.
October '09, while walking through campus drinking my first iced latte. The MUB was ahead of coffee shops in offering this fancy drink.
I remember in 1975 Wadsworth got covered for the first two stories and we did high speed tray runs down the Eastside.
The Select Six
For four or more years, Todd Arney, Lisa Johnson de Gordillo, Sheila Milligan, Gordon Parker, Jeffrey Wall, and Christopher Webster—aka the Select Six—have been finalists for Michigan Tech's Distinguished Teaching Award. Because no one understands the impact of their teaching better than their students, what Huskies had to say about the Select Six is probably the greatest honor of all.
Todd Arney, Associate Teaching Professor, Applied Computing
"He is always available to answer questions, even if he is really busy and you have accidentally deleted your entire file system."
"It is easy to tell in any of his classes how much he loves the CNSA (computer network and system administration) department, as well as each class he teaches. There is no other professor I would rather have multiple classes with."
"Great instructors are people who work hard to understand those they are teaching and not just the material. He strives to help his students to the best of his capability. He is interested in hearing about our personal projects/experiences. "
Lisa Johnson de Gordillo, Associate Professor, Visual and Performing Arts
"I could write a book with all the life skills Lisa taught me. She makes an effort to check in with every student every class period at least once to make sure they have what they need, and help them with any issues they're having."
"She is great at getting the whole class involved and talking each and every day. I walk into class on Monday mornings, before I have enough coffee down to wake me up, and she manages to get me to start participating in conversations. Trust me, that's a miracle."
"She seems to care for each individual student's success and takes the time to visit and talk to each student while they are working on their projects in order to make sure they are on the right track."
Sheila Milligan, Associate Teaching Professor, College of Business
"She is the best teacher I've ever had. And I mean it. She is extremely competent, creates a welcoming learning environment and everyone participates."
"She has deep knowledge of accounting and audit. We can count on her to bring real cases, news stories, and her own experience to further clarify accounting concepts. She is able to convey—from a historical and modern perspective—why accounting matters to our society and what constitutes ethical behavior."
"The first day of class she called on almost every single person and asked them a question. This was extremely nerve-wracking; however, doing this the first day definitely set the atmosphere in the class and showed us that it's OK to get answers wrong."
Gordon Parker, John and Cathi Drake Endowed Chair, Mechanical Engineering
"The amount of work he requires for the class is extraordinary, but this is a very effective way to force students to understand the material and prep them for exams."
"He is extremely good at explaining complicated concepts. He uses multiple examples and if you don't get it the first time he'll try a different approach to see if he can relate it in a way that you can understand."
"His love for teaching is evident through all of his actions including his exuberant presence in the class and his helpfulness."
Jeff Wall, Associate Professor, College of Business
"Jeff has our class set up with clear and attainable milestones to ensure our projects are completed on time. Truly, if you follow the path, you will succeed. The final result of the course is built upon the student's effort."
"Jeff is knowledgeable about an impressive amount of subjects and industries. I have had him as a professor for two different IT classes but have learned about much more than just IT."
"Jeff understands that learning is a fluid experience, and that not every student or situation is the same. He expertly adapts the course to meet the needs of both the class and individuals. I have never learned more in a course at MTU than I have with Jeff."
Christopher Webster, Professor, College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science
"Dr. Webster is engaged, passionate, self-aware, and knowledgeable. He brings a light to the classroom that is rare and wonderful. I learned so much in his class and will not easily forget it."
"Chris instills curiosity. He is a roving naturalist. His fascination for many facets of ecology rubs off on students (look at his publication list for proof of the breadth of his interests). He once advised me to spend an hour sitting silently in the forest to think about how it worked. I left that experience more curious and clarified than I began."
"He is an excellent professor and resource for both graduate and undergraduate students. His genuine interest and passion for student success coupled with his expertise in his field provides a fantastic learning environment where students can make the best of their time spent inside and outside of class."
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships
Michigan Tech graduate students Tessa Steenwinkel and Tyler LeMahieu were awarded National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships. The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program is the oldest STEM-related fellowship program in the United States. Its awards recognize exceptional graduate students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines early in their career. The five-year fellowship will support Steenwinkel and LeMahieu through the duration of their graduate education.
LeMahieu is an environmental engineering MS student advised by Cory McDonald, adjunct assistant professor of civil, environmental, and geospatial engineering. LeMahieu's proposal was titled "Understanding Wild Rice Site Suitability in a Changing Climate." LeMahieu is also the recipient of the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering's 2022 Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Year award and a 2022-23 Michigan Space Grant Consortium Graduate Fellowship.
Steenwinkel is a biochemistry and molecular biology MS student advised by Thomas Werner, associate professor of biological sciences. She has been studying the influence of nutrition on the interplay of fertility, fecundity, and longevity in Drosophila, a genus of species commonly known as fruit flies. She plans to focus on medicinal research and how genetic regulation plays a role in infertility.
Xiaoyong (Brian) Yuan, an assistant professor in both applied computing and computer science, received the 2022 ORAU Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award in Mathematics/Computer Sciences. Awarded by the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) Council of Sponsoring Institutions, Yuan was selected from 155 applications at 87 ORAU member institutions. Yuan's areas of research include machine learning, security and privacy, and cloud computing.
DoD SMART Scholarship
Michigan Tech graduate students Dan Yeager and Lucas Simonson received US Department of Defense Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (DoD SMART) Scholarships. The DoD SMART Scholarship provides students with full tuition for up to five years, mentorship, summer internships, a stipend, and full-time employment with the DoD after graduation. Yeager, a PhD candidate in physics, will be affiliated with the Naval Oceanographic Office in Mississippi. Simonson, a PhD candidate in applied physics, will be affiliated with the US Army's Command, Control, Communication, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) Center in Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
Michigan Tech Research Award
For a body of research, teaching, and service that has helped establish Michigan Tech as an international leader in power and energy systems research, Jeffrey Naber earned the University's 2022 Research Award. Naber is the Richard and Elizabeth Henes Endowed Professor in Energy Systems in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, as well as the director of the Advanced Power Systems Research Center.
The Michigan Tech Research Award recognizes outstanding scholarly achievement by a faculty member. It is based on the impact of the person's research, particularly sustained research or a noteworthy breakthrough. The Michigan Tech Research Award is symbolic of the University's high standard for research endeavors.
Bhakta Rath Research Award
For their work to develop a new computational analysis for cerebral aneurysm research, Professor of Biomedical Engineering Jingfeng Jiang and his graduate student Kevin Sunderland were awarded the 2022 Michigan Technological University Bhakta Rath Research Award.
The Bhakta Rath Research Award recognizes a doctoral student and their Michigan Tech faculty adviser. The award was established by Bhakta B. Rath and his wife, Sushama Rath, to recognize those who conduct exceptional scientific and technological research in anticipation of the future needs of the nation while supporting potential advances in emerging technology.
Asteroid Renamed to Honor MTU Professor
The asteroid formerly known as 2002 GB185 is now the namesake of University Professor of Physics Bob Nemiroff. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) renamed the minor planet to honor Nemiroff's work as co-creator of the Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD), which IAU said "provided outstanding contribution to the public understanding of astronomy since 1995." APOD is funded by NASA's Science Activation program and received the inaugural IAU Astronomy Outreach Prize in June 2022.
Adrienne Minerick works at the forefront of culture change in engineering education. Her impact as a national leader, campus advocate, and student mentor was recognized with the 2022 Michigan Technological University Diversity Award.
A professor of chemical engineering, Minerick is the American Society for Engineering Education's immediate past president. At Michigan Tech, she serves as director and principal investigator of the ADVANCE initiative—aka Organizational Change for Gender Equity in STEM Academic Professions. ADVANCE is a long-running, multifaceted program funded by the National Science Foundation to develop and support the diverse talent pool of engineers and scientists needed to address the world's grand challenges. Within and across institutions, it forwards the career progress of women and faculty members from groups historically underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
"When you look at what Dr. Minerick has been able to contribute, not just to Michigan Tech but to the effort to bring diversity, equity, inclusion, and a sense of belonging specifically to the STEM fields, she has truly paved the way for many," said Wayne Gersie, Michigan Tech's vice president for diversity and inclusion.
"It takes a variety of ideas, creativity, and experiences to achieve very unique and valuable problem-solving. Diversity means that end solutions are much more impactful and tied to society than they would be otherwise," said Minerick. "We need to offer faculty, students, and administrators tangible tools that help them approach the unfamiliar so that we can work together. Dealing with another set of experiences can be intimidating. But it's an opportunity for learning and bringing in that unique problem-solving."
Read Minerick's Q&A.
Big Year for Handshake
Computer science major Garrett Lord and co-founders Ben Christensen and Scott Ringwelski were undergrads when they set up Handshake—a mobile networking platform that connects students, universities, and employers—in their $700-a-month Houghton rental in 2014. Less than a decade later, an estimated 12 million college students from 1,400 US colleges and universities use Handshake to find a job, and more than 750,000 companies use the platform to find the perfect candidate.
Handshake's success landed the co-founders on Forbes' 30 Under 30 list for 2017 and, in late 2022, CEO Lord earned a spot on the cover. Money Magazine also named Lord a 2023 Money Changemaker.
"There are talented students everywhere. And what ZIP code you grew up in shouldn't define the career outcome you have after college," Lord told Forbes.
Lord also represented Handshake at the White House in August 2022 to discuss with First Lady Jill Biden and others how Handshake can help address the education system's critical staffing shortages.
100 Years of Michigan Tech Football
In 2022, Michigan Tech football joined the elite ranks of 100-season legends—a milestone few collegiate football programs have achieved. To celebrate, dozens of football alumni returned to campus in October for a weekend of fun activities and seeing old friends.
Football is a special part of Michigan Tech history. Michigan Mining School students played on local high school and community teams in the 1890s, but not until 1920 did the University's club team schedule two games against another college, Northern State Normal (now Northern Michigan University). That season marked the start of intercollegiate football in the Upper Peninsula.
To commemorate the 100-year milestone, MTU Professor Emeritus Willam J. Sproule wrote "Michigan Tech Football: The First 100 Years." The book explores Michigan Tech football history, including teams, coaches, players, awards, and records. The book can be purchased at University Images.
New Head Coach for Michigan Tech Football
Dan Mettlach has been named the new head coach of the Michigan Tech Football Huskies. Mettlach joined Michigan Tech's staff in January 2017 as the offensive coordinator and assistant head coach, and later became the associate head coach.
"It is an honor to be named the next head football coach at Michigan Technological University," Mettlach said. "As a former student-athlete here myself, I am familiar with the tradition of excellence and integrity we strive for as a University and within our athletic programs, and I am excited to be able to contribute to that."
A native of Gwinn, Michigan, Mettlach was one of the top quarterbacks in Michigan Tech history. He played from 2001 to 2004 and was named an All-American, the 2004 GLIAC Player of the Year, and a two-time All-GLIAC selection.
"Our goal is to be successful in all aspects of the program both on and off the field," said Athletic Director Suzanne Sanregret. "A quality football program is a valued part of Michigan Tech's history, and we're excited about the vision that Dan has to get us back to the top of the best NCAA Division 2 conference in the nation. Dan has the backing of our football alumni base and his pro-style offense has been effective at every one of his coaching stops."
Mettlach was the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at Finlandia University for its first three seasons of NCAA Division 3 football. He also had stops at Macalester College (NCAA D3), Hillsdale College (NCAA D2), and Northern Michigan University (NCAA D2) before returning to his alma mater.
"Michigan Tech is an amazing place, and my wife and I couldn't be happier to continue raising our family in this community," Mettlach said. "I am extremely grateful to Dr. Suzanne Sanregret for the opportunity to lead this program and am excited for what I feel we can accomplish moving forward."
Huskies in the Crowd
Anabel Needham made history with the best finish ever by a Michigan Tech Nordic skier at the March 2022 NCAA Championships, crossing the line in fourth place. She covered the 5K course in 13:48.6, finishing just behind two US Olympians and earning First Team All-America honors. "I guess I need to dream a little bigger sometimes," Needham said. "It was an absolutely crazy day, and I cannot thank my team, coaches, and family enough for all the support and smiles!"
Needham graduated from Houghton High School in 2019 and is currently a senior majoring in environmental engineering.
Middle-distance runner Clayton Sayen earned All-America honors at the 2022 NCAA Cross Country Championships in December, leading the Huskies to their best finish in program history. During the 2021-22 track and field season, Sayen placed 11th in the 1,500-meter finals at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships and was named a Second Team All-American in the event by the US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. At the conference level, he won the 1,500-meter title, setting a new record of 3:47.57 to earn First Team All-GLIAC honors and the 2022 Spring GLIAC Commissioner's Award.
A Houghton High School alumnus, Sayen is a senior majoring in engineering management.
Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is home to more than 7,000 students from 55 countries around the world. Consistently ranked among the best universities in the country for return on investment, Michigan’s flagship technological university offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, offering year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.