Mind Trekkers Perform at Dow STEM Festival

Walking on water, 60-second ice cream and objects floating in mid-air are just some of the marvels of science that can be seen at the 4th annual Dow Great Lakes Bay STEM Festival, powered by the nationally-known Michigan Tech Mind Trekkers. The Dow Chemical Company and Delta College are teaming up again with Mind Trekkers to present the Great Lakes Bay STEM Festival this Friday and Saturday at Delta College.

Mind Trekkers, a traveling, hands-on science and engineering show from Tech's Center for Pre-College Outreach, and Delta College faculty, staff and volunteers are working with more than 29 STEM partners to bring more than 150 science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities to the festival.

Mind Trekkers has gained national acclaim for its high-energy demos of the science behind what looks like magic, like turning a few drops of liquid into huge foam gnomes or making ice cream in one minute using liquid nitrogen. Students will also have opportunities to explore STEM careers in the area as they meet with the many STEM professionals who are also participating in the event.

"Our goal is to create a spark and an environment of excitement and interest in science and technology," says Cody Kangas, director of Tech's Center for Pre-College Outreach.

This will be the fourth year Mind Trekkers has traveled to Delta College for a STEM festival. The group travels throughout the United States to schools, festivals and expos, to the delight of hundreds of thousands of students, parents and teachers.

Delta College Professor of Biology Cindy Drake has been instrumental in helping coordinate the Mind Trekkers visits.

"STEM festivals are an excellent opportunity for families to explore the worlds of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in an engaging, exciting and informal environment," says Drake. Students of all ages can experience the "WOW" of STEM through fun, hands-on activities while also learning more about the many profitable STEM careers available in our area.

"Statistics show that fewer students are continuing to study STEM fields past middle school, while at the same time STEM careers are growing, causing a deficit of skilled workers in these areas" Drake goes on to say. "This event is an opportunity for students to re-engage in fields that have excellent forecasts for future growth and to see how much fun they can have while learning. They will have opportunities to see how STEM is connected to the arts as well. More than 8,000 middle school students and their families attended the last three festivals we held and we are excited to welcome many more this September."

Like the past three years, the first day of the festival will host middle-school students during morning and afternoon sessions. Festival organizers expect more than 3,500 middle-school students to attend on Friday. On Saturday, the second day of the event, the festival will be free and open to the public.

This year's STEM Festival premier sponsor is once again The Dow Chemical Company. Dow's educational mission is to build the workforce of tomorrow by supporting educational leaders, motivating student achievement, developing careers and collaborating with communities to transform education into a driver for innovation, manufacturing and economic prosperity.

"Events like the STEM Festival provide a perfect opportunity for students to learn more about science, technology, engineering and math while also fostering participation through hands on experiences," said Rich Wells, vice president of operations, Canada and USA North, and site director for Michigan Operations. "We support events like this to create an interest in and love for science that develops into great careers for these bright minds."

Midland Area Community Foundation, Saginaw Community Foundation, Bay Area Community Foundation, Michigan Department of Transportation, SC Johnson and Nexteer are also sponsors of the festival.

Money Magazine Gives Michigan Tech High Marks

Money Magazine has ranked Michigan Tech among the top 50 public universities in the nation, at 36th, and listed Tech 31st among the top 50 colleges "you can actually get into." The magazine ranked 706 colleges and universities in its annual "Best Colleges" report.

According to Money, the rankings are designed to spotlight schools that deliver the most value—defined as "a great education at an affordable price, that helps students launch promising careers."

Rankings are based on quality of education, affordability and outcomes, including early-career and mid-career salaries of graduates.

See the rankings here.

Michigan Tech Improves Campus Pride Index Score

Michigan Tech's score on the Campus Pride Index has risen from 2 out of 5 stars to 3.5 out of 5 stars. The Campus Pride Index is a national LGBTQ bench-marking tool for colleges and universities to create safer, more inclusive campus communities. The survey takes eight factors into account when assessing the LGBTQ friendliness of a campus. These include LGBTQ policy inclusion, LGBTQ support and institutional commitment, LGBTQ academic life, LGBTQ student life, LGBTQ housing and residence life, LGBTQ campus safety, LGBTQ counseling and health, and LGBTQ recruitment and retention efforts.

The survey is used to improve the quality of life for LGBTQ and ally people on college campuses and is a way for prospective students and families to search LGBTQ-friendly campuses. Michigan Tech chooses to participate in this assessment tool as a means to increase the recruitment and retention efforts for LGBTQ prospective students, faculty and staff. "We are excited that we have made progress and will continue to strive to create a more inclusive environment at Michigan Tech," says Christa Spielman.

Limited Space Available in Night Owls ESL Community

Limited space is still available for the Night Owls ESL Community, a seven-week program for the international spouses of Tech faculty, scholars and graduate students.

The Night Owls meet for two hours every Tuesday evening through Nov. 8 to practice informal English language and experience local culture. The first session for Fall 2016 begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27 in Van Pelt and Opie Library room 243.

The program will feature a guided "Passport to Success" to connect participants to Copper Country resources such as volunteer opportunities, sports and recreational events, shopping, art or history venues, and parties in American homes.

The Night Owls group welcomes any level of English learner—beginner through advanced. Register as soon as possible by emailing a note of interest. The fee this term is $10.

Health Risk Assessment (HRA) Incentive

Benefit-eligible employees who have an annual physical and complete a Health Assessment with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan by Dec. 31, 2016 can earn one of the following incentives:

  • $100 deposited into a Health Savings Account (HSA)
  • $100 deposited into a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
  • $100 deposited into Techfit
  • $200 deposited into a T2 account (funds may only be used at a Michigan Tech facility)

To complete the Health Assessment through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan—Log in to your account at bcbsm.com (You can easily register if you are not currently set up). Click “Health & Wellness” in the blue bar at the top of the page. Click “Take Your Health Assessment” to begin.

Once completed, print a copy of the confirmation page for your records. Paper Health Assessment forms will not qualify for the incentive.

Employees who have met the above requirements will be contacted to choose their incentive in 2017. Incentives will be awarded in March 2017. Contact Benefit Services with any questions.

Film Board Presents "Finding Dory"

This Weekend, Film Board Presents "Finding Dory."

Friday, Sep. 23—5:30, 8:30, 11:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sep. 24—5:30, 8:30, 11:30 p.m.
Sunday, Sep. 25—2:30, 5:30 p.m.

Located in Fisher 135. Tickets are $3 and concessions are $1 each. Finding Dory is rated PG for mild thematic events.

C-Cubed: Week 4

Come and join the C-Cubed (Conversation, Community, Collegiality) University lunches. They are offered from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays throughout the year in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge. Stop in to enjoy outstanding food and company and help continue to make this community-building initiative a success.

Lunch is $10 (cash, credit and C-Cubed Gift Certificates accepted); attendees may bring their own lunch instead of purchasing the buffet. Coffee, tea, fruit-infused water, cookies and fruit are available for all. All faculty and staff, along with their guests, are invited.

Char-grilled Turkish Lamb with Tomato Sauce (GF)
Turkish Shepherd's Salad (VGF)

Pasta Puttanesca (VGF)
Linguine with White Clam Sauce (GF)
Harvest Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette
Toasted Italian Bread with Garlic and Herbs

Send any suggestions to Brenda Randell or fill out a feed-back form online.

Nutritionist Wellness Initiative

Benefit Services invites you to participate in a wellness initiative between Michigan Tech and Aspirus Keweenaw. This is an eight-week program that gives employees access to a registered dietician. The program includes:

  • One 60 minute initial individual consultation (in-person)
  • Two follow up phone calls during weeks 2 and 4
  • One final consultation during week 8 (in-person)

The program is divided into two groups, Nutrition Basics and Nutrition Enhanced. Nutrition Basics is designed for employees interested in paying more attention to foods they eat or employees that need guidance on where to start. Nutrition Enhanced is designed for those who have already made changes to their eating habits but need additional support. Employees may choose the plan that best meets their needs. For additional program information, visit the wellness website.

This program is for active, benefits eligible employees and will begin on Oct. 10 and run through Dec. 6. You may register for the program here until 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30. Space is limited to a total of 30 participants and enrollment is based on a first-come, first-served basis.

Contact Benefit Services at 7-2517 or email benefits@mtu.edu if you have any questions.

WCHA.tv Packages for 2016-17 Season Now On Sale

For as low as 56 cents a game, fans of the WCHA can take the league and their favorite team with them wherever they go via WCHA.tv—the Association's official online streaming platform.

In partnership with industry leader Stretch Internet, WCHA.tv allows fans to stream all 10 league teams and up to 191 games during the 2016-17 season on just about any device—computer, tablet, phone and many Smart TVs—with a responsive experience customized for that particular medium. High-quality HD streams, when available from the originating arena, will be viewable in multiple screen layout options (including picture-in-picture, multi-view format to watch up to four games simultaneously and full-screen video).

Read the full story and find out more about Michigan Tech sports at michigantechhuskies.com.

MIT Professor to Deliver Kliakhandler Lectures

The Second Annual Kliakhandler Lectures will be held Sept. 29-30 at Michigan Tech. Richard Stanley of MIT will deliver the lectures which are sponsored by the Mathematical Sciences and funded by a generous gift from former faculty member Igor Kliakhandler. The Kliakhandler lecture series brings a top mathematician to campus each year to give a pair of lectures.
Stanley is a prolific mathematician who has won numerous honors, is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has won the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics' George Pólya Prize in Applied Combinatorics, the Leroy P. Steele Prize for Mathematical Exposition from the American Mathematical Society and the Rolf Schock Prize for Mathematics.
His first lecture is from 5 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29 in Dow 641. Stanley's lecture will be "Plane Tilings," in which he will discuss the challenges of filling a planar region with a given collection of shapes (tiles).  A jigsaw puzzle is a familiar type of tiling, though it is not very mathematical; decorative tile floors often use plane tiling to create an aesthetic effect. The physicist Roger Penrose created a family of tilings that are known as Penrose tilings.
Stanley will survey some interesting mathematics associated with plane tilings and discuss questions such as the following: Is there a tiling? If so, how many are there? If no tiling exists, how can we prove this? What special properties, such as symmetry, can a tiling possess? These questions involve such subjects as combinatorics, group theory, probability theory, number theory and computer science.
From 1 to 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30 in Fisher 138, Stanley will deliver a colloquium entitled "A Survey of Alternating Permutations." Permutations are fundamental transformations in mathematics, and alternating permutations comprise one of the most important families of permutations. Stanley will discuss several aspects of the theory of alternating permutations and describe applications to topics such as group theory and geometry.

Informational Sharing Session

A steering committee for the Office of the VP for Administration has planned an Information Sharing Session for 2 p.m. Oct. 26 in the Memorial Union Ballroom. Facilities Management will be hosting this first informational session. We invite and encourage faculty and staff on campus to attend. These semesterly sessions will provide timely information and updates from units under Administration. Units/topics were selected by interests expressed by the campus community in a survey that was conducted over the summer.

The Fall 2016 session will feature keynote speaker Bob Hiltunen. His presentation will focus on all the upgrades to the Memorial Union Building and the changes in Dining Services.

Additional speakers include Brian Cadwell, Director and Chief of Public Safety and Police Services, who will discuss recent leadership changes as well as safety on campus and Dan Liebau, site engineer and manager of Grounds and Gardens, with Quincy Higgens-Arney, master gardner, who will do a presentation on Gardens to Grounds including information on preparing for winter weather conditions on campus.

Release time will be provided for hourly staff with the approval of their supervisor.

If you would like to submit a question prior to the session, you may do so here. Questions will be collected until Sept. 27 to allow the planning committee to compile them and get them to the appropriate speaker.


Steel Day is Today

The Steel Industry provides the main ingredient for everything from your bike, to your car, to the bridge you drive it over. Learn just how steel is made: from iron ore to finished two-ton rolls and speak with company reps about their work, company and their job opportunities.

Steel Day will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. under the CareerFEST Tent. Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. There will be a poster session from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Wadsworth Annex. Students can speak with classmates and learn about how they got an internship/co-op in the steel industry. Participating companies include Arcelor Mittal, Gerdau, Charter Steel, Nucor, Steel Dynamicas, Inc., Cliffs, Caterpillar and SSAB.


Ford to Donate $61,000 to Pre-College Outreach STEM Programs

The Michigan Tech community is invited to attend a check presentation at 4 p.m. today (Sept. 21) at Husky Plaza. Cynthia Protas Hodges, an '87 mechanical engineering alumna who is now chassis supplier technical assistance site manager at Ford, will present a $61,000 check from Ford to support STEM programs in the Center for Pre-College Outreach. 

The gift from Ford will fund youth programs designed to engage young women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.


Lunch 'N Learn: Study Abroad Faculty-Led Opportunities

International Studies Abroad (ISA) will host an information session discussing study abroad faculty-led opportunities. A faculty-led program is a unique study abroad program where Michigan Tech professors bring Michigan Tech students abroad to teach Michigan Tech courses. 

Carlos Amador (HU) will also be in attendance to discuss his Lima, Peru faculty-led program. The session will take place from noon to 1 p.m. tomorrow (Sept. 22) in the Wadsworth Cherry Room. This is a bring-your-own lunch session. Refreshments and dessert will be provided. 

Email Vienna Chapin with questions.


Panel Discussion of Astute Business Alums - Presidential Council of Alumnae

The  School of Business and Economics will host a panel discussion from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. tomorrow (Sept. 22) in the Memorial Union Building Alumni Lounge. Learn about their career choices and professional experiences. The panel is open to all members of the community.

For more information on the panel discussion, see Tech Today article


To Stress or Not To Stress: A Stress Management Workshop

Are you feeling overwhelmed with classes, Career Fair or life on campus? If so, come to our "To Stress Or Not To Stress" workshop. This stress management workshop will discuss common stressors among college students, healthy ways to deal with stress and campus resources you can use to your advantage.

This workshop is from 6 to 6:30 p.m. tomorrow (
Sept. 22) in Walker 107 (Multiliteracies Center).


KIP Fall Seminar Series

KIP Fall Seminar Series kicks off on Friday, Sept. 30 with Stephen DiCarlo, professor in the School of Medicine at Wayne State University. He will present "Too Much Content, Not Enough Thinking, and Too Little Fun!"

Visit our webpage for a brief presentation abstract and to view for the complete list of our fall seminar series dates.


CTL and KIP to Host Luncheon, Workshops.

Stephen DiCarlo, professor in the School of Medicine at Wayne State University, will present his education-based research on "How Students Learn."  

While on campus, DiCarlo will host three events:

CTL GUEST SPEAKER LUNCHEON—Noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29. "A Pretty Model is, in Itself, More Engaging and Inspiring than Copious Content Extracted from our Minds"  Teachers often overrate the importance of their content and underrate their influence.Lunch will be provided to those who register by Monday, Sept. 26.

CTL PEDAGOGY WORKSHOP—2-3:15 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29. "Shock and Awe Pedagogy: 'Building' Bonds and Brains" The success of shock and awe pedagogy may be attributable, in part, to a powerful emotional connection. Refreshments will be provided to those who register by Monday, Sept. 26.

KIP DEPARTMENT SEMINAR—3-4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, ATDC 101. "Too Much Content, Not Enough Thinking, and Too Little Fun." By making learning fun, our students will be impatient to run home, study and contemplate—to really learn. No registration is required for this seminar.

Read the full Tech Today story.


Campus Store Career Apparel Services

Effective Tuesday, Sept. 6, the Campus Store retired its fitting services and will no longer be providing measuring or alteration drop-off/pick-up services.

For the Career Fairs in September and February, the Campus Store will schedule limited fitting accommodations with a local vendor for in-store purchases for Michigan Tech students. Due to the limited nature of Campus Store services, students need to prepare early and watch for upcoming fitting dates.


In the News

Voice of America reported on Isle Royale National Park and the wolf-moose predator-prey study conducted by Michigan Tech researchers there. See more here.

Job Posting

Job Posting for Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Staff and faculty job descriptions are available in the Human Resources Department. For more information regarding staff positions, call 7-2280 or email jobs@mtu.edu. For more information regarding faculty positions, contact the academic department in which the position is posted.

Endowed Professor for Preventative & Community Health. Apply online.

Endowed Professor for Medical Informatics. 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.