Allison Mills

Allison Mills


  • Associate Director of Research Communications, University Marketing and Communications


A through and through geek, Allison writes university research stories. She studied geoscience as an undergrad at Northland College before getting a master's in environmental science and natural resource journalism at the University of Montana. She moonlights as a dance instructor, radio fiend, and occasional rock licker.

Links of Interest

Her Beats

  • Sciences, Engineering and Technology
  • School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science

About Allison

  • She focuses on writing new stories about Michigan Tech research -- everything from robotic prostheses to mesocosms to the physics of raindrops.
  • A University of Montana graduate, she earned a master's degree in environmental science and natural resource journalism, which built on her bachelor's in geoscience from Northland College.
  • She also teaches dance through the Student Development Complex's community programs.
  • She's a radio geek.

Recent Stories

Q&A with Shawn vanDoorn, Future Mining Engineer

Shawn vanDoorn grew up in the Midwest and starts her career in mining out West next       summer.

Q: What made you want to get a mining engineering degree? A: I grew up in a really small town in Wisconsin, so I looked into different engineering majors and I chose mining — it’s been really great. I was originally a bachelor’s of science in engineering with a mining eng minor but then the full degree went through . . . Read More

Be Brief: Glow

Changes in pH cause the rhodol dyes to glow differently, offering insight into diseases       that affect mitophagy.

Dysfunctional mitochondria have been linked to neurological and cardiovascular diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and even to some types of cancer. To keep these powerhouses working efficiently, cells remove damaged mitochrondria. This process, called mitophagy, is like a cell taking out the trash. In diseased cells, the . . . Read More

The Mathematikado: A Parody of a Parody

“The Mathematikado” is an 1886 parody of the famous opera “The Mikado” by Gilbert       and Sullivan.

Laura Kasson Fiss accidentally discovered "The Mathematikado" as a graduating senior at Vassar College. She was perusing a local bookstore, the kind with used books that smell like history in the making, when she came across a thin paperback with a red-inked title. Together with Andrew Fiss, she gradually recognized it as one of the plays used . . . Read More

The Secret Strength of Gnashing Teeth

Researchers in the field have found in experiments that adding small defects to glass       can increase the strength of the material 200 times over. Credit: Jilbert Ebrahimi       via Unsplash

The strength of teeth is told on the scale of millimeters. Porcelain smiles are kind of like ceramics — except that while china plates shatter when smashed against each other, our teeth don’t, and it’s because they are full of defects. Those defects are what inspired the latest paper led by Susanta Ghosh, assistant . . . Read More