August 26, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 26

Making New Students Feel Right at Home

Student Leaders Making New Students Feel Right at Home

I am on medical leave for a while. I will miss you all, but a group of stellar Michigan Tech personalities have stepped up to write guest columns while I am away.  Today, Bonnie Gorman, dean of students, tells you about an unusual group of student leaders who go to great lengths to make incoming students feel welcome at Michigan Tech. —Dennis

It has been a wonderful week on campus for those of us who work with student leaders. Our Resident Assistants (RAs) and Orientation Team Leaders (OTLs) returned to prepare for 1,367 new undergraduate and transfer students. Actually, they’ve been preparing all summer.

This year, each of our 79 OTLs made welcome videos and posted them on YouTube. They then sent postcards to the students on their teams telling them where to find their video. You can check out my personal favorite.

The RAs also spent some time this summer working through an online course that included an introduction to crisis response, as well as an overview of more routine responsibilities such as how to fill out facility management forms. That freed up some on-campus training time to focus on developing communication skills and gaining insights into cultural differences, two components of a rich curriculum that strengthens their overall leadership skills.

I had the good fortune to spend time with both of these groups during the week. We met every day for a few minutes, which was a good time to learn more about them and share professional development tips for Orientation week and beyond. We also practiced a skit for Parent Orientation that helped to communicate how parents can best support their students. The students were great!

Here’s what I else learned about these impressive student leaders:

  • They are as energetic as can be and looking forward to making a difference in the lives of others.
  • They are committed to the important role they play in making the incoming class feel welcome.
  • They are dependable and generous with kind hearts.
  • They like to get their work done and have fun.
  • Finally, they are proud to be part of the Michigan Tech legacy.

In the short time I spent with them, I saw them become more confident and eager to welcome new students and their families to our community, which says a lot about our staff as well. And, we had a great opening weekend and received numerous compliments—no real surprise with these students leading the way.

Bonnie B. Gorman, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students

At Tech


Frank Pavlis Muses on Changes at Tech as Pavlis Honors College Opens

Gazing across the Portage Canal at the lush green hills to the north, Frank Pavlis remembered a very different view from the campus of Michigan Technological University.  When the 1938 graduate was studying chemical engineering at Michigan Tech, those hills were barren.  “There were no trees,” Pavlis recalled. “They’d been taken down for mining and . . . [ Full Story ]


Breakthrough Understanding of Biomolecules Could Lead to New and Better Drugs

There’s a certain type of biomolecule built like a nano-Christmas tree. Called a glycoconjugate, it’s many branches are bedecked with sugary ornaments.

It’s those ornaments that get all the glory. That’s because, according to conventional wisdom, the glycoconjugate’s lowly “tree” basically holds the sugars in place as they do the important work of reacting with . . . [ Full Story ]

Alumni Around the World

Shipyard Group Photo

Alumni in Virginia

Cara Hanson ‘10 & Jeff Decker ’09 from the Southeast Virginia chapter rounded up the Michigan Tech Alumni working at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard and sent us this awesome photo.

Do you work with a bunch of Tech Alumni? We would love to see a photo of your group deck out in Tech Gear!

Alumni Profile

Thomas Gatzke ’97


Tom Gatzke, 33, class of 2000, came to Tech because of its reputation for engineering and its location – in the middle of some good fishing.He allows that he skipped more than a few classes to indulge his passion for piscatorial pursuits. Nevertheless, he went on to earn a bachelor's in environmental engineering and a . . . [ Full Story ]

Tech Sports


Major Award Winners for 2013-14 Named

Michigan Tech today revealed its major award winners from the 2013-14 season. The Raymond L. Smith Award for the outstanding senior student-athletes went to men’s basketball player Austin Armga and soccer player Lindsey Van Rooy. The Terry Wilson Award winners as outstanding freshmen student-athletes were track athlete Jamie Dompier and hockey player Shane Hanna. The . . . [ Full Story ]

Fill in the Blanks

From the Email Bag

Fundraiser in Remembrance of Craig Sytsma

You may have heard of the tragic loss of fellow alumnus Craig Sytsma (Metallurgical Engineering ’92). During the evening of July 24, he was fatally attacked by two dogs while jogging on a rural road in Lapeer County. A cancer survivor, he left behind three children (two grown sons and one fifteen-year-old daughter) and a . . . [ Full Story ]

Officer’s Final Mission Helps Fellow Vets

I found this story through a mutual friend. Justin Fitch is a 2005 Business Administration graduate and is a Sigma Phi Epsilon brother. This story is truly heart wrenching and shows just how much a dedicated person can achieve.

Lauren Warren ‘07

1969 Michigan Tech Class Ring

Found Class Ring

Family members were cleaning the home of a woman who recently passed, and they discovered a Michigan Tech class ring from the class of 1969. The woman had been in possession of the ring for many years. The family is unsure whether she found the ring locally or during one of her travels (she spent . . . [ Full Story ]

Featured Alumni Benefits

Career Tools for Alumni

Michigan Tech alumni exploring new employment opportunities can take advantage of a wide range of career services including:

  • Post your resume, search for jobs online using HuskyJobs.
  • Participate in resume and interview skill seminars, Michigan Tech Career fairs, company information meetings on campus.
  • Attend regional career networking events.
  • Join the exclusive Michigan Tech Alumni LinkedIn group.
  • Use the Career Center’s video and career planning library.
  • Check out the Career Spots online video library with great job search tips

Visit our Career Tools or contact the Career Center (906) 487-2313 for more information.

Around the Keweenaw

Job Opportunities

On Campus

Miss the great Keweenaw lifestyle? If you’re looking for a way to get back to this awesome corner of the world, check out these positions available right here at Michigan Tech.

View a listing of our on-campus career opportunities.