Tech Marks Fifth Straight Year of Enrollment Increases

Preliminary enrollment figures required by the state of Michigan have been tabulated by Michigan Technological University. At 7,319 students, Michigan Tech marks a fifth straight year of enrollment growth. With 51 students more than last year, this is the fourth straight year Michigan Tech has recorded its largest student body since 1983.

The number of undergraduates grew by 90 students (1.5 percent). This year Michigan Tech will enroll its second-largest class of new graduate students (428) after graduating a record number of graduate students last year. The 651 graduate degrees (PhD, MS and certificates) awarded last year represented an 11.5 percent increase from the previous year.

There are 1,983 women enrolled at Michigan Tech this fall, the highest number ever recorded. The proportion of women grew again this year, making up 27.1 percent of the student body, at the same time overall enrollment was increasing as well. That’s nearly a three percentage point increase since 2005. Domestic student diversity comprised of underrepresented ethnic populations increased to 491 students, also an all-time high, making up 8.2 percent of the student body.

Retention improved by approximately one half of one percent to 83.2 percent. The average high school GPA of the entering first-year class is 3.72. Read the full story.

Outage Notice

Information Technology announced that certain systems will be unavailable between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday (Sept. 17), in order to provide necessary maintenance.

Though the upgrade and outage will affect Canvas and Confluence, the downtime will be minimal. These services will only be down for a few minutes between 7 and 7:30. However, it is important to note that PaperCut (printing) on campus will be down during this service window. Click here to see a full list of what will be impacted. You can also follow this work on our status page.

If you have any questions, contact or call 7-1111.

Tech Band Director to Play Lincoln Center Tonight, Tomorrow

Michael Christianson (VPA), Michigan Tech’s director of bands, will perform in “Jazz at the Lincoln Center” with the legendary Fred Hersch, Kurt Elling and Kate McGarry in a performance titled “Leaves of Grass,” in the Appel Room at Lincoln Center in New York City, tonight and tomorrow. 

Christianson, trombonist and fifth generation band leader, came to Michigan Tech from New York City in 2012. Originally from Fargo, North Dakota, Christianson moved to the New York area to become a low brass performer after finishing his degree in Moorhead.

He has built a varied, interesting and successful career as a musician—recording, touring and performing with the greatest musicians of his time—from Ray Charles to Philip Glass.

He has also performed in more than 30 Broadway shows, is an active participant in the NYC free-lance scene where he established the Gotham Wind Symphony, continues to make special new music performances including Philip Glass’ "The Bacchae in Central Park," Henry Brant’s "Orbits" for 80 trombones at the Guggenheim and Anthony Braxton’s "Composition #19" for 100 tubas at the World Financial Center.

Grammy-winning composer and pianist Hersch will travel to Houghton in March. The Rozsa Center will present a film based on his life titled “The Ballad of Fred Hersch” on March 22, and The Fred Hersch Trio will perform on the Rozsa stage on March 24. For tickets and more details about the Fred Hersch events at the Rozsa Center, visit

Energy on Display and a Power Bus for Hands-on Play

CareerFEST continues with Energy Day today. Eight companies representing electric, petroleum and alternative energy resources are here to greet students under the tent. CE Power brought their Power Bus, a traveling demo facility and a 6,000 pound, modified Ford Transit 350 for students to see and experience.

The Power Bus includes a retrofill breaker (MV), three LV circuit breakers, SEL relays, AC Pro trip units and GE Multilin Relay. Hemlock Semiconductor (HSC) will display various distillation tray styles used at HSC and will also showcase their raw material and final products using acrylic suspension trays.

HDR is bringing a 3D Oculus Virtual Reality Viewer for students to experience.

Displays and representatives from Systems Control, ITC Holdings, Marathon Petroleum, Flint Hills Resources, Black & Veatch and Michigan Tech's Alternative Energy Enterprise are also features of this year's event.

Strategic Plan Open Comment Period Ending Soon

This academic year, the process of revising the Strategic Plan will begin. The Strategic Plan describes the priorities for the next five years that must be addressed in order to advance toward the Portrait of 2045.

Suggestions and comments are welcome and your feedback is anonymous. If you would like to leave feedback, you can do so at the following link: Strategic Plan Feedback or visit the Strategic Plan webpage.

The open comment period will end at 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22. Comments that are posted can be viewed at the bottom link of the Strategic Plan webpage.

Terrific Teaching at Tech

The Engineering Fundamentals department is teaching in a new space and using some new methods this fall. It’s interesting stuff, pushing technological boundaries and using near-peer learning assistants. 

They’ll have great information to share with a bit more experience. But they are also generating ideas that could be implemented anywhere, by any instructor.

This week, one of the instructors involved stopped into the CTL for other reasons and described some of the ill-posed, real-world problems they’re pushing students to try to solve. The problems force students to research, estimate and model, unavoidably “embracing the ambiguity” of the situation.

That phrase “embracing ambiguity” really resonated for me, in terms of pushing our students and ourselves toward better learning. In my own classes, I routinely see students who “freeze” when faced with a problem for which they can’t see the solution from start to finish.  

We have to work on getting comfortable with not knowing exactly what to do, but doing something that’s likely to be productive anyway. “Wandering into the woods” this way is often the only way to eventually see the other side, and it often involves several false starts before a path is found.

But that’s the easy part of this. As our classrooms move toward more learning-centered teaching, instructors, too, are challenged to “embrace ambiguity.” It’s relatively easy to plan out a lecture where we control the content and pace and perform virtually all of the activity.   

There is substantial uncertainty in allowing students to direct class by choosing examples, asking questions or injecting their own ideas. There is lots of ambiguity in getting students active, because we don’t really know exactly where things are going to go.

I’m convinced that there is increasing value in finding ways to making at least parts of class time responsive to student needs.

In my own class, I’ve discovered that using a tool called Strawpoll to let students pick which homework problems to review is very effective. Using response systems, pre-class assignments, exit tickets, student whiteboards or group quizzes are other ways to give students a voice in the classroom. The biggest challenge is still to set aside my own agenda to do what they need when they use it.

If you’d like to talk more about ways to embrace ambiguity in your classroom, stop into the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning.

Continuous Improvement Connection

We, as a university, have several variations of strategic goals that we strive for. Whether these are creating an exceptional and diverse community, distinctive and rigorous action-based learning or encouraging growth through cultivating a prosperous world, we have goals that we'd like to achieve through every practice we follow and install.

In order to do these sorts of things, there must be customer(s) that can receive the benefits of these goals. Who are our customers here at Michigan Tech? First and foremost, our customers are the 7,000+ students that walk our campus daily.

Here in the Office of Continuous Improvement, we strive to keep the customer at the center of our model as we flow through improvement events, day-to-day tasks and engage with our family here on campus. One way that we do this is by supporting the Leaders in Continuous Improvement student organization.

Another way is through the three classes offered to students pertaining to lean culture, continuous improvement principles and lean manufacturing. Our third way is through hosting information sessions each semester to promote lean and continuous improvement to our customers, to the students. We also offer lean training to any interested faculty and staff throughout the year.

If you'd like to jump on board and help spread Michigan Tech's lean culture to our students, then give us a call at 7-3180.

Interview Day

With Career Fair and Interview Days just around the corner, less than two weeks to go, Career Services is requesting donations of any available rooms on campus from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28. Any space that has or can fit a table and 2-3 chairs will do.

There are 338 companies (and counting) registered for the Career Fair. Over 1,200 recruiters will be on campus interviewing our students. Help us by welcoming them into your space, and giving our students the best chances at securing jobs.

If you have space available and have not yet done so, let us know by filling out this form.

CTL Coffee Chat: Rubrics and Responsibility

Good teaching is often associated with clear expectations, and students increasingly want to know what they need to do to be successful. In support, instructors are increasingly asked to define objectives, create grading rubrics and provide scaffolding as students learn. Simultaneously, most instructors hold independent learning as an ultimate goal, and therefore drive students toward self assessment.

In this Coffee Chat, we'll share ways to advance the progession from "listen-and-regurgitate" to content ownership without over stressing students. Join us at 3:30 pm on Thursday, Sept. 28 for this conversation and discussion. Coffee and light refreshments will be available to those who register by Monday, Sept. 25.

Food Pantry Volunteers Needed

The HuskyFAN Food Pantry on campus is in need of volunteers. The Pantry is open from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and is located in the Hamar House (CDI). 

If you're interested in learning more about volunteering, email

Ford Center & Forest to Host Traditional Wild Rice Camp

The Ford Center and Forest will host a Wild Rice (Manoomin) Camp Sept. 22 to 24 in Alberta. The camp is  in partnership with the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community's Natural Resources Department and Ojibwa Community College, Michigan Tech's School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science and Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Known as the food that grows on water, the Anishinaabe people in the Great Lakes region have harvested manoomin ("the good berry") for nearly a millennium. Roger LaBine (Lac Vieux Desert) and Scott Herron (Ferris State) will lead the Camp and share their knowledge, teachings, and experiences with manoomin.

The camp runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday (Sept. 22 and 23) and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 24. Teachings take place all three days. On Sept. 22, the focus is harvest tool-making, including ricing sticks and parching paddles. On Sept. 23, there will be field trips to seed lakes for next year's harvest, and also a Canoomin class, or safety protocols for harvesting, along with more tool-making and processing.

All are welcome! Registration is required and space is limited. Register online here.

Contact Valoree Gagnon at the Ford Center or call 906-201-0393 with any questions about camp or registration.

Benefit Series - Estate Planning, Fidelity and TIAA

Benefit Services, in conjunction with the Office of Advancement, is offering employees an opportunity to learn more about estate planning and retirement planning. They will offer the following three sessions:

  •  Estate Planning with Michael Kolasa –  11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 16 in Memorial Union Ballroom B
  • Invest Confidently for Your Future with Fidelity – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 24 in Memorial Union Ballroom B
  • The Starting Line – Beginning to Save for Retirement with TIAA – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 2 in Memorial Union Ballroom B

If you are interested in attending any or all of these sessions, complete the registration form. For additional session information, visit the Benefit Services website.

We hope you will join us and look forward to seeing you there. Contact Benefit Services at 7-2517 or should you have any questions.

Wicked Ambiguity Explored by Guest Speaker from Facebook

What's it like to create solutions for people you won't know in your lifetime? This wicked problem is faced by designers, artists, engineers, software developers, research scientists, information architects, content strategists—creatives of all sorts.

Jonathon Colman, product usability and lead content strategist at Facebook, offers some answers in his talk, "Wicked Ambiguity," at 7 p.m. Monday (Sept. 18) in Walker 134.

In addition to his primary responsibilities at Facebook, Colman helps to recruit and place college interns. A Michigan Tech alumnus, Colman earned his BS in scientific and technical communication in 1997. Before joining Facebook in 2013, he worked in digital marketing and search engine optimization for REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) and the Nature Conservancy.

This even is sponsored by the Department of Humanities.

Commit to Be HuskiesFit with Your TechFit Dollars

There are many ways you can put TechFit dollars to work for you and your family right here on campus with Michigan Tech Rec. SDC, Tech Trails and Gates memberships, personal training sessions, HuskiesFit adult and youth fitness programs, summer sports camps and SDC action passes are just some of the ways you can use TechFit dollars.

Eligible employees receive $150 for themselves as well as an additional $100 to be shared among dependents each calendar year. Don't let them go to waste. You can also earn additional TechFit dollars by getting your annual physical and completing the Health Risk Assessment by Dec. 31. Visit Recreation to see what we have to offer and for more information about TechFit.

Free Outdoor Concert on Rozsa Lawn

Bring your lawn chairs and your blankets. The Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts presents "Yearning to Breathe Free" a free outdoor concert by Michael Christianson (VPA) director of bands at Michigan Tech. 

The concert features the Superior Wind Symphony celebrating the music of great composers who emigrated to the United States. Spend a beautiful fall evening full of band music at 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24 on the Rozsa/Walker lawn. In the event of rain, the show will be held inside the Rozsa.

According to Christianson, "Many of the great composers of iconic American band music came to the United State from overseas. They were drawn by the words of Emma Lazarus, inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty.

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. 

Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

The concert will feature mostly original works for winds by great composers who were immigrants to the US: Irving Berlin, Antonin Dvorak, Sergei Prokofiev, Darius Milhaud, Paul Hindemith, Igor Stravinsky, Percy Grainger, Chen Yi and Tania Leon. Plus there will be a Sousa march dedicated to his overseas friends. 

Bring your blanket and your dinner and spread out on the lawn as you enjoy a class band moment with Michigan Tech's Superior Wind Symphony. Concert starts at 7 p.m., sunset starts at 8:01 p.m.

Baltus Named Hockey Captian

Michigan Tech Hockey Coach Joe Shawhan has named Brent Baltus captain of the 2017-18 Huskies. Joel L'Esperance, Dylan Steman, Jake Lucchini and Mitch Reinke will serve as alternate captains.

"These young men understand the expectations on the ice, in the community and in the classroom placed upon them by our staff," first-year head coach Joe Shawhan said. "Brent was a part of the class that reestablished the Michigan Tech hockey tradition. He leads with quiet confidence and has the total support of the locker room.

"The alternates are all individuals who show up to the rink everyday with a positive attitude. They support their teammates and lead by example on and off the ice."

Baltus, a senior forward from Nanaimo, British Columbia, was an alternate captain last year. He played in 14 games, scoring two goals and adding two assists before a season-ending injury. For the full story and more on Michigan Tech sports visit

Soccer Team at Home this Weekend

The Michigan Tech soccer team will look to get back on track as they host Northwood today and Saginaw Valley State on Sunday (Sept.  17) in the final two of four straight home matches.

The Huskies (1-3-0) were defeated in both home games this past week, in a 1-0 decision to Bemidji State last Friday and 3-1 against Minnesota-Duluth on Sunday.

Northwood enters today's GLIAC opener sporting a 2-2 record. The Cardinals of Saginaw Valley State visit Sherman Field with a 3-1 record and have three consecutive wins after a 4-0 loss to Cedarville to start the season. 

The Huskies have two consecutive wins over Northwood after a 1-0 loss to the Timberwolves in 2014. Meanwhile, Tech hasn't lost to SVSU since the 2011 season, scoring nine goals in four games against just three goals allowed. Saginaw Valley State will play at Northern Michigan this afternoon before heading to Houghton for Sunday's contest.

Live video and stats will be available for both games by clicking here.

Materials Science & Engineering Seminar Tuesday

Phil Maziasz, Distinguished Research Scientist and Battelle Distinguished Inventor at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, will present "Advanced Ni-based Superalloys for Advanced—UltraSuperCritical (A-USC) Steam Turbine Applications" at 11:00 am Tuesday (Sep. 19) in M&M 610.

EPSSI Seminar Monday

The EPSSI (Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences Institute) will host a seminar at 4:05 p.m. Monday (Sept.) 18, in M&M U113

Scott Wunsch, Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory will present "A Novel Single Column Turbulence Model for Geophysical Fluid dynamics."

Calling All Communicators: Plain Language Workshop

"Speaking Your User's Language," an interactive workshop focusing on the benefits and challenges of communicating directly and authentically with your audience, will be presented by Nick Rosencrans, User Experience Analyst at the University of Minnesota, and self-described champion for the end user. The workshop is 9:30-11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19 in Walker 120A.

Participants will identify issues of voice and tone in their communications, consider the consequences of prioritizing specific users or audiences over others, and share their experiences with other participants.

Sponsored by the Department of Humanities.


CS Learning Center Open House Today

The CS Learning Center is holding an open house from 4 to 5 p.m. today (Sept. 15), in Rekhi 118. Stop by to see the new space and meet the coaches at our new location. Light refreshments will be served. All are welcome. Read the original Tech Today article


Computer Science Seminar Today

For the CS department's Friday Seminar Talk, Hyungchul (Henry) Yoon (CEE) will be discussing "Enabling Smart City Resilience: Mobile and Visual Sensing Applications for Post-Disaster Response" at 3-4 p.m., Friday, Sept. 15 in Rekhi 214.


CTL Luncheon Workshop Last Day to Register

As students expect more "personalized learning," office hours are an increasingly important place to address questions, offer alternative resources and hear student feedback.

Yet many instructors find they rarely have student visitors, regardless of the number of times they make an invitation. In this luncheon workshop, we'll examine how to break down barriers to attendance and use time efficiently and effectively when students do attend. 
Join us at noon Tuesday, Sept. 19, for this luncheon workshop. Lunch will be provided to those who register today (Sept. 15).

C-Cubed Lunch Today

C-Cubed lunch is today from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge. The buffet lunch is $10 per person. Cash, credit cards and C-Cubed gift certificates (available in the Memorial Union office) are accepted.

All faculty and staff along with guests are invited. C-Cubed lunches are held each Thursday and Friday throughout the academic year. Here is the menu:


  • Lake Superior Whitefish Cakes with Lemon Caper Aioli
  • Lyonnaise Potatoes (GF, V)
  • White Bean-Artichoke Cakes with Lemon Caper Aioli (V)
  • Green Salad with Thimbleberry Vinaigrette (GF,V)

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


Parade of Nations, Multicultural Festival Tomorrow

The 28th Parade of Nations is tomorrow marching from Hancock to Houghton. Representatives from more than 60 countries, many in traditional dress, will show their national pride in the parade. 

Immediately following the parade, the Multicultural Festival takes place in Houghton's Dee Stadium. Food from around the world—including dishes from Iran, Indonesia, China, India, Ghana, Turkey, Nepal, Bangladesh, Africa and Ukraine. The talent show, from noon-3 p.m. features dance and music performances. Read the full story.


China Gold at Rozsa Tomorrow

China Gold, the headline act for the 2017 Parade of Nations, presents a martial arts-based display of strength, speed and agility. Lighting, music, choreography and stage effects underscore feats of athleticism, grace and gymnastic prowess, as these talented performers showcase the Dragon Dance, Lion Dance, Wushu Shaolin Kung Fu and Chinese female dancers.  China Gold is at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Rozsa Center. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children and no charge for students who have paid the Experience Tech fee. Click here for ticket information.


Peace Talks Sunday

A student-organized event on campus Sunday (Sept. 17) aims to create an environment of inclusion through conversation. 

"Peace Talks" will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday on Walker Lawn. Speakers, artists, poets and musicians will share personal narratives, followed by small-group discussions. Email for more information.

In the News

Research by Mary Ellen Miller (MTRI) on wildfire and slope erosion was published in the American Geophysical Union's GeoSpace blog and Pollution Online.

Job Postings

Job Postings for Friday, September 15, 2017 

Staff and faculty job descriptions are available in the Human Resources Department. For more information regarding staff positions call 7-2280 or email

For more information regarding faculty positions contact the academic department in which the position is posted.

Office Assistant 4, Graduate School. Internal/External UAW Posting 9/15/2017 – 9/21/2017. External applications will be reviewed after internal applications. Apply online.

Database Administrator, Information Technology. Apply online.

 Facilities Manager, Facilities. 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.  


PhD candidate Kevin Waters (Physics) is one of 52 new doctoral students nationwide selected for the US Department of Energy (DOE) 2017 Office of Science Graduate Student Research Program.

The program provides support for graduate students to spend 3 to 12 consecutive months at a DOE national laboratory conducting graduate thesis research in a priority research area in collaboration with a DOE laboratory scientist.

Waters will do his DOE research at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington. His PhD research focuses on predictive materials science and chemistry. See here.

On the Road

Researchers and students Attend ASCE Congress on Technical Advancement

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Congress on Technical Advancement was held in Duluth, Minnesota, September 10-13. The congress focused on the theme of “Superior Performance in a Changing Environment.”

Zhanping You (CEE) chaired the Bituminous Materials Committee (BMC) meeting (audio conference). You chaired sessions in the technical meetings and also delivered a presentation on the experience of rubber asphalt with warm mix asphalt technology.

He also reported some research work on the precut technology for asphalt pavement for cold regions in “Design and Operations of Transportation Infrastructure in Cold Regions.”

You’s PhD students Dongdong Ge and Lingyun You also presented three posters: "Evaluating Asphalt Mixture Extraction Using DSR and FTIR," "Mechanical Analysis of Asphalt Concrete Overlay Over Old Asphalt Pavements Considering Cross-anisotropy Properties" and "The Effects of Nano Hydrated Lime Particles on Physical Properties of Water-foamed Bitumen."

The three researchers met and exchanged ideas with attendees from government agencies, researchers and industries.

Michigan Tech Stan Vitton (CEE) and Zhen Liu (CEE) also attended the Congress.