Martha Sloan Receives Distinguished Service Award

By John Gagnon | Published

Martha Sloan, professor and associate chair of the electrical and computer engineering department, has received Michigan Technological University's 2012 Distinguished Service Award. She has been at Michigan Tech since 1969.

Sloan was cited for service and leadership in the University Senate, her department, the College of Engineering and, overall, the University.

Colleagues single her out for bringing international stature to Michigan Tech via work in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), where she served as president, the first woman to do so. "She represents Michigan Tech to the world," says Associate Professor Mark Johnson, of the School of Technology.

As well, Sloan was saluted for mentoring female faculty and students. She evidenced "undying support and encouragement of mentoring before it was vogue," according to Professor Dana Johnson, of the School of Business and Economics. She says that Sloan is selfless and dedicated to "furthering careers other than her own."

Mark Johnson adds, "I don't think she realizes what an impact she has on so many faculty because she sincerely wants everyone to excel and do well."

Sloan has many professional affiliations, and she is a member of Tech's Women in Engineering program; a founding member of the IEEE Women in Engineering Affinity Group, the first student chapter in the nation; a founding member of WISE (Women in Science and Engineering), which aims to increase the number of women faculty in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines at Michigan Tech; and chair of the ECE Promotion and Tenure Committee. Beyond her official duties, she hosts get-acquainted socials at her home.

Professor Pushpalatha Murthy, chemistry, sums up Sloan's character: "principled, bold and persistent." Her mentoring, she adds, has been a source of "unflagging" support for women faculty and "unflinching advocacy of women at all levels." Murthy says Sloan's work is marked by "compassion, understanding and zest for life."

Sloan's reach has extended beyond her discipline. People from six departments and two schools endorsed her nomination for this award. Computer science professor Linda Ott says Sloan was instrumental in establishing the computer science program at Michigan Tech.

Professor Emerita Janice Glime, of the biological sciences department, addressed Sloan's service on the University Senate, where she gave a voice for faculty and staff in University governance. Glime says Sloan builds consensus and is a calming presence in discussion and dialogue. "She has gained the trust and respect of faculty and has a reputation for being supportive, not just sympathetic." She provides a service to which all faculty and staff should aspire, Glime says: "thorough, compassionate, reasoned, nonconfrontational, timely, and innovative." Her Senate duties have involved her as a sounding board for issues of "diversity, inequity and academic integrity."

Faith Morrison, an associate professor of chemical engineering, describes Sloan as "a world-renowned faculty member" who provides mentoring, leadership and a voice to women faculty, researchers, and graduate students in STEM fields. Her service and leadership, Morrison adds, have been "essential and long-standing." Because of her, Morrison adds, the presence of female faculty in the College of Engineering has "grown and flourished."

She concludes, "For the entire 22 years of my tenure at Michigan Tech, Martha Sloan has never shied away from a colleague in need."

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 54 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.

Last Modified 10:44 a.m. March, 28 2019