Deans' Teaching Showcase: Martin Auer

Upon the recommendation of Civil and Environmental Engineering Chair David Hand, College of Engineering Dean Wayne Pennington has chosen Martin Auer (CEE) as his final spring 2017 Deans' Teaching Showcase member.

Pennington selected Auer for his ability to influence the career trajectory of both graduate and undergraduate students, as well as his extensive commitment to K-12 outreach programs. Pennington credits Auer's teaching for "transforming the lives of graduate and undergraduate students and influencing them to pursue careers in environmental engineering related to surface water quality."

Michael Erickson, an alumnus and now the senior vice president for ARACADIS confirms this, saying "Sometimes you can look back to when someone lifted us to view a horizon we could not see. Dr. Auer did that after singling me out for a high score on a tough modeling exam. His words realized my potential to excel. That triggered a shift in my thinking, gave confidence to shoot higher and opened a graduate school opportunity."

Another alumnus, Steven Tomaszewski, who is now the director of global facilities at GM and a member of Michigan Tech's Board of Trustees, credits Auer's teaching for much of his work worldwide. "My technical base is highly influenced by his teachings. I often leveraged Dr. Auer's technical and ethical standards while negotiating permits to construct new assembly plants in Russia, India, Mexico, Brazil and Korea. From a small classroom in Houghton, Michigan, his influence has had global ramifications on these billion dollar investments. I suspect that he doesn't realize the reach of this teachings, but it is far greater than he would have ever expected, and one that I'm proud to be part of."

Auer has gone above and beyond his graduate and undergraduate teaching responsibilities by spearheading the outreach component of the Great Lakes Research Laboratories. According to Hand, this program "brings in thousands of K-12 students from the local area and under-represented urban areas to learn about the importance of environmental stewardship and lake ecosystems."

Auer's leadership includes research trips to Isle Royale with Native American students and seminars for teachers from Flint to learn about water quality and how to educate their students. But perhaps the most influential outreach experience is Auer's leadership in the GM sponsored "Ride the Waves" program.

In describing Auer's role, Tomaszewski says "Utilizing a research vessel (the Agassiz) as the platform, Dr. Auer choreographed a program offering students from low-income areas a world class STEM experience. Students and educational institutions that would never have the means to touch the water are now performing experiments with some of the best scientists in the Great Lakes region. In the last four years, this passion for water quality research has brought more than 3,000 students to Michigan Tech. A researcher with marketing skills is a rare combination and one that is sought by many universities. Michigan Tech and General Motors are proud to have his leadership driving this initiative."

Hand wraps up his recommendation by saying, "Martin Auer is truly deserving of being recognized for his commitment to teaching on a grand scale."

Auer will be recognized at an end-of-term luncheon with 11 other showcase members, and is now eligible for one of three new teaching awards to be given by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning this summer recognizing introductory or large-class teaching, innovative or outside-the-classroom teaching methods, or work in curriculum and assessment.

College of Engineering Seeks Input on Dean Draft Position Description

The College of Engineering is engaging in the search process for a new dean, and the search committee is soliciting feedback on the draft position description as per Senate procedure.

The draft description and associated survey to provide comments and feedback are open to current Michigan Tech faculty, staff and students. A link to the content is available on the provost's web site.

The search committee will hold a public Open Forum to present and discuss the draft dean position description at 4 p.m. on Monday, April 17 in Dow 642.

The search committee welcomes the involvement of the campus community and stakeholders in providing comments and feedback as the search process completes the definition phase and progresses toward an active phase of seeking and engaging potential candidates.

Modern Languages Spring Celebration

Join Modern Languages faculty and students from 5 to 6 p.m. Tuesday (April 11) in Walker 134 for an international celebration of spring. Appearing live will be the French Canadian group, Maple Sugar Folk, and other guest performers who will perform and teach songs in French, German and Spanish.

Enjoy refreshments and learn more about spring and Easter traditions in other countries. No prior language experience is required. Families are welcome.

For more information, contact Karin Schlenker.

Thai Food at Khana Khazana

Today's Khana Khazana features tastes of Thailand. Serving is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Memorial Union North Coast Grill and Deli.

The menu features:

  • Stir Fry Chicken with Basil
  • Fried Egg Spicy Salad
  • Sweet Potato with Coconut Milk

The cost is $7.95 and includes a fountain beverage. Visit Khana Khazana on Facebook.

Hanna, Roy Named Hockey MVPs

The Michigan Tech hockey team recently passed out its annual awards at a team dinner. Defensemen Shane Hanna and Matt Roy received the Merv Youngs Awards as the team most valuable players.

Hanna, a senior who appeared in every game of his career at Michigan Tech, was second on the team with 27 points on eight goals and 19 assists. He was named to the All-WCHA Second Team, earning all-conference honors for the fourth year in a row.

Roy, a junior who recently signed an NHL contract with the LA Kings, was the team leader in assists with 21. He also received the Gitzen-Loutit Memorial Award as the outstanding defensive player. Roy was named to the All-WCHA First Team after being on both the coaches' and the media's Preseason All-WCHA Teams. 

Sophomore forward Jake Jackson received the Elov Seger Memorial Award as the most improved player. 

Junior forward Joel L'Esperance received the Gary Crosby Memorial Award as the team's leading scorer. He had 27 points on 11 goals and 16 assists, finishing tied for 13th overall in the WCHA.

Senior forward Reid Sturos received the Harold Meese Sportsmanship Award. Sturos had a breakout offensive season as a senior with 25 points on 11 goals and 14 assists.

Senior defenseman Cliff Watson took home the George McCarthy Performance Award for Scholastic and Athletic Achievement. The two-time team captain appeared in 162 games in his four-year career. He was named a WCHA Scholar-Athlete this season and appeared on the WCHA All-Academic Team three times. 

Freshmen Angus Redmond and Mitch Reinke received the Norbert Matovich Memorial Award as outstanding freshmen. Redmond played in 38 games for the Huskies, starting the final 37. He ranked third in the country, and second in the WCHA, with a 1.85 goals against average. Redmond signed an NHL contract with the Anaheim Ducks late last week after being an All-WCHA Rookie Team selection and Hobey Baker candidate. Reinke played in 41 games on the blue line, tallying 20 points with six goals and 14 assists. He was 11th nationally and third in the WCHA amongst rookie defensemen in scoring. 

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

Men's Basketball Hands Out Awards

The Michigan Tech men's basketball program announced the 2016-17 team award winners Wednesday.

Sophomore Kyle Monroe was selected as the Ken Hamar Award winner for Most Valuable Player. Monroe, a sophomore forward from Green Bay, was named to the All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference first team, the GLIAC all-tournament team, the Division II Conference Commissioners Association all-midwest region second team and the National Association of Basketball Coaches 2017 midwest all-district second team.

Junior forward A.J. Grazulis was picked for the Bill Gappy Award which goes to the Most Improved Player. Grazulis, a native of Marquette, averaged 7.0 points per game and knocked down 59.2 percent of his field goal attempts during the 2016-17 campaign.

Freshman Tommy Lucca was tabbed for the Bob Olson Award which goes to the Outstanding Newcomer on the team. Lucca, a guard from Genoa, Illinois, also earned a spot on the All-GLIAC Second Team and was chosen as the GLIAC Freshman of the Year.

Senior guard Jordan Chartier earned the Harold Meese Sportsmanship Award. Chartier, who hails from Chatham, was also selected as an All-GLIAC Second Team member in addition to being named to the GLIAC All-Defensive Team. 

Senior forward Nic Stoll picked up this year's Scholastic Achievement Award. Stoll, a Chemical Engineering major from Holly, Michigan boasts a 3.87 GPA and appeared in 24 games this past season. Stoll converted 55.6 percent of his field goals attempts in 2016-17.

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

Women in IT Panel Discussion

Women who work in technological fields have a lot of stories to tell. A diverse group of female information technology professionals will share their experiences and insights during the semi-annual "Women in IT" event from 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday (April 11) in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge.

The participants represent a wide range of career stages and industries. They will provide advice to help students in technical majors navigate the somewhat confusing job search/internship journey. Come with questions and bring a friend.

The panel discussion will be free and open to the public. Students will also have the opportunity to chat with the panelists at a reception/roundtable discussion. A mini-grant from the Ford Foundation is helping to sponsor this session. Refreshments will be provided.

Questions can be directed to the event organizer, Mari Buche, in the School of Business and Economics.

Dmitry Yu. Zubarev Faculty Candidate Seminar

Dmitry Yu. Zubarev, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University, will present "Evolution of Prebiological Reaction Networks as the Earliest Stage of Abiogenesis" at 3 p.m. Monday (April 10) in the Memorial Union Ballroom B1.


Night of Hope Tomorrow

The Michigan Tech Relay for Life, a student-based organization, is partnering with the Houghton County Relay for Life for an evening to honor and remember cancer survivors and caregivers tomorrow. 

The Night of Hope will be held at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow (April 8) in the lobby of the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. The evening features appetizers, desserts, music and informative presentations. Read the original Tech Today story.


C-Cubed Week 12

C-Cubed lunches are offered from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays throughout the school year in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge.

Soba Noodles with Edamame and Peanuts (VE)
Soba Noodles and Beef
Miso Soup (VE)

V — Vegetarian, VE — Vegan, GF — Gluten Free

Send any suggestions to Christina Fabian or fill out a feed-back form online.


Graduating Senior Series — Investing Your Hard-Earned Money

Live the life you always dreamed of. Learn how to take your hard-earned money and make it pay off for your future.

Join us for conversation with financial advisor and Michigan Tech hockey alumnus, Brent Peterson of Edward Jones from noon to 1 p.m. today (April 7) in the Memorial Union Ballroom.


Chemistry Seminar

Marina Tanasova (Chem) will present "Molecular Probes for Targeting and Assessing Biomolecular Processes" at 3 p.m. today (April 7) in Chem-Sci Room 101.


Biological Sciences Seminar

Rebecca Hobmeier, fourth-year Biological Sciences student, will present "Drosophila Gene Regulation in the Formation of Complex Color Patterns in Yellow Evolution of Guttifera" from 4 to 5 p.m. today (April 7) in Dow 642.


April First Friday Social 

Faculty, staff and graduate students are invited to join the Van Pelt and Opie Library for this month's First Friday Social from 4 to 6 p.m. today (April 7) in the Opie Reading Room. Complimentary refreshments will be served. 


Chicago Boyz Acrobatic Team to Perform Today

The Chicago Boyz Acrobatic Team from the Chicagoland area is coming to Michigan Tech at 7 p.m. today (April 7) in the SDC wood gym. These professional Acrobats were season eight semi-finalists on America's Got Talent and regularly perform half-time shows for NBA and NCAA teams across the country.

Their performance includes amazing acrobatic stunts and tricks inside twirling jump ropes, catapulting off mini trampolines and thundering tumbling routines with impeccable timing.


Grad School Dean to Discuss Growth with Local Community

Pushpalatha Murthy, associate provost and dean of the Graduate School, will speak about graduate programs intended growth and how that may impact the local community at the 57th annual meeting of the League of Women Voters of the Copper Country.

The meeting will take place at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow (April 8) in the Portage Room of the Ramada Inn, Hancock. The public is invited. League members will have a luncheon and business meeting after the presentation.


"Please Don't Have a Seat Week"

Don't take your work week sitting down. Sign up and commit to standing, walking and/or stretching for a few minutes twice during your workday. Earn an extra 200 HuskyPAW points for participating.

"Please Don't Have a Seat Week" is April 10 through 14. Sign up
 and commit to standing, walking and/or stretching for a few minutes twice during your workday.

Need a reminder? Check "yes" on the sign up form to receive a calendar invitation sent out at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day. Daily emails with tips and inspiration will also be sent.

Already have an active job? Sign up and commit to stretching twice during your workday. Questions? Contact Shannon Brodeur.


OAP Annual Gear Auction April 14

The Outdoor Adventure Program (OAP) is again hosting it's annual gear auction. The event will be held from 11 to 1p.m. Friday, April 14 in the Memorial Union Ballroom.

For more information, read previous Tech Today article.


Chronicle of Great Colleges to Work For Survey is Active

Employees are reminded to take time to complete the Great Colleges to Work For survey that Michigan Tech is participating in as part of this annual program offered by The Chronicle for Higher Education. 

If you are unsure whether you have been selected to receive an invitation, you may search your email for "Great Colleges." The survey will close at the end of business hours today (April 7).

See the original Tech Today article for details.


Help Us Recognize Alumni Volunteers 

Do you have alumni who help out as guest speakers, mentors or give their time and talents to your department another way?

Volunteer Appreciation Week is coming up April 23-29. We would like to recognize all of our alumni volunteers who help out across campus by sending out a message of thanks with a special discount code to the bookstore.

If you have alumni you would like us to include in our message of thanks, complete this form today or contact the Alumni Office at 7-2400 or


Get the Sticks Out

It's time to carry your golf clubs up from the basement, out of the garage or down from the attic, dust them off and get ready to enjoy a beautiful spring day at the University’s own Portage Lake Golf Course.

Did you realize an annual pass for 2017 can be purchased for the equivalent of only 14.5 rounds of golf with cart all summer?

For more information on passes, and other deals, read original Tech Today article.

On the Road

Jim Baker, executive director of innovation and industry engagement chaired a session at the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) 2017 Annual Meeting in Hollywood Florida. 

The session was titled "Statewide Support Programs and Cross-University Collaboration:  Case Studies from Michigan, North Carolina and Ohio" and included summaries of best practices and outcomes of Michigan Tech commercialization programs supported by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.