Update on Presidential Search

The University's Presidential Search Committee (PSC) and search consultants from Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates continue to make progress in the search for Michigan Tech's next president. The PSC and the Board of Trustees appreciate the contributions from the University community as well as the continued interest in the search. 

The update meetings, open to the University and local communities will continue, with the next meeting scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 14 in Memorial Union Ballroom A2.  The update meetings will now be live streamed for those unable to attend the meetings on campus. The Dec. 14 meeting can be accessed here.

The PSC and search consultants met Nov 17. Discussions included a recruitment progress update and a review of the resources utilized in the search process. PSC participation is critical in the search process. 

While the PSC remains committed to a collaborative, transparent, inclusive and legally compliant process, it remains dilligent in protecting the confidentially of all applicants in order to attract the most qualified candidate pool possible. The Board of Trustees and the PSC will continue to follow best practices for executive search processes in the competitive higher education market.

The PSC will meet with the search consultants to plan the next phase in the search process at the Dec. 14 update meeting. The Focus Group will also meet on Dec. 14. 

Through a national recruitment effort, a pool of candidates is being assembled. However, the University community and the public are welcome to submit nominations. That information can be shared directly and confidentially with the search consultants or through the Presidential Search website.

You are encouraged to share the prospect's name as well as any advice on the best way to approach the individual. The PSC is aware that the success of the search depends on the involvement of all members of the Michigan Tech Community. All names and information will be treated with full confidentiality.

Michigan Tech's Board of Trustees, the members of the Presidential Search Committee and the search consultants appreciate the interest and support from the entire University community. They wish you a safe and healthy holiday season.  

Graduate Students Speak Out on Proposed Federal Tax Plan

Honor. Courage. Commitment. They’re the core values of a Marine, the values Jeff Brookins lived by during his years in the U.S. Marine Corps, and the values he continues to live by today.

Brookins is pursuing a master of science within the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. His research group focuses on biodegradable metals for medical devices that could save lives, like cardiovascular stents that open up blocked arteries and safely absorb into the body once their work is done.

Because Brookins is a veteran, his undergraduate degree—earned at Michigan Technological University—was paid for by the GI Bill, but his graduate degree is funded differently. Read the full story on the Michigan Tech News Website.

Listening to Parks

What do you hear when you walk in the woods? What are the natural sounds and rhythms of the forest? The lakes? The skies? Christopher Plummer (VPA), Libby Meyer (VPA) and Kent Cyr (VPA) with artist Steve Brimm, and artists from area schools, will open a multimedia and soundscape installation with a reception at 5 p.m. tommow (Dec. 2) in the Rozsa Gallery A-Space, in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

The installation is a part of the "Listening to Parks" project. "Listening to Parks" is an "Imagine Your Parks" project, an immersive installation based on collected images, video and audio recordings from the Lake Superior National Parks—Keweenaw National Historical Park, Isle Royale National Park, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore and Grand Portage National Monument.

In May, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Park Service (NPS) announced $1,067,500 in support of 50 "Imagine Your Parks" grants in 27 states, including an award of $20,000 to Michigan Tech to support "Listening to Parks."

The installation has been touring sites in the Upper Peninsula region, culminating in this exhibition. The reception and exhibition are free and open to the public.

The recorded sounds from this project were used for a composition for orchestra by Meyer to be performed by the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra. It is part of the Sinfonia Antartica concert to be held at 7:30 p.m. Sat. Dec. 9 at the Rozsa Center.

For more information, visit the Listening to Parks website. Follow “Imagine Your Parks” on Twitter @NEAarts and @NatlParkService, #ImagineYourParks #NEASpring16.

The exhibit will be on display from Saturday through Dec. 22 and then after break from Jan. 16 through Jan. 26. Gallery hours are 8 a.m to  8 p.m. M-F and Sat. 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Winter Weather

A reminder from Human Resources that with winter weather approaching, it is a good time for departments to discuss communication procedures for weather-related absences. During times when weather conditions deteriorate, each person within the University community must exercise personal judgment about their ability to get to or from campus.

Interruptions in work due to weather are no different than other events that cause us to leave work early or arrive late. The first thing employees should do is contact their supervisors directly and explain the situation.

Hourly employees may use vacation or comp time to make up for hours missed due to bad weather. Exempt employees are expected to fulfill their regular job responsibilities.

Exercise caution in adverse conditions. In the event the local public schools are closed, remember that Michigan Tech has a policy regarding Children in the Workplace.

For questions or concerns, employees should contact Human Resources at 7-2280 or email Amy Mensch.

Outage Notice for Sunday

IT will conduct system maintenance from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 3). During this time, the following services will be affected by the outage:

  • Appworx/UC4

  • ArcGIS
  • ASPIRE
  • Banner INB
  • Banner Self-Service (http://www.banweb.mtu.edu)
  • Banner Workflow
  • CAS
  • CORAL
  • Confluence
  • Cumulus
  • EMS Pro
  • Fischer
  • MyMichiganTech (mymichigantech.mtu.edu)
  • ODS/EDW
  • Oracle Reports
  • PaperCut Printing
  • Perceptive Content (Imagenow)
  • Pinnacle
  • RedHat Satellite
  • Rhythmyx CMS
  • Sunapsis
  • VCenter
  • WebFOCUS
  • T1,T2 and T3 MySQL databases
  • T2 PostgreSQL databases

Thank you for your patience during this time. If you have any questions regarding this system maintenance, contact us at it-help@mtu.edu or call 7-1111.

2018 W-2 and 1095-C Forms Preparation for Employees

Mail delivery

All employees, especially those who will receive paper W-2 and 1095-C forms, are encouraged to review their addresses in Banweb.

Paper W-2s and 1095-Cs will be mailed to the W-2 address on file, or if a W-2 address is not on file, forms will be sent to the mailing address. If neither a W-2 or mailing address is on file, forms will be sent to the home address.

To view/update current addresses, navigate to the Personal Information tab in Banweb and select Update Address(es) and Phone(s). Follow directions to update an existing address or add a new address type.

Paper forms will be mailed by Jan. 31, 2018. Note, requests for duplicate 2017 W-2s must be in writing and will be processed on or after Feb. 15, 2018.

Electronic delivery

Employees who have not already done so are encouraged to consent to electronic delivery of their W-2 and 1095-C forms:

  • Eliminate the chance that your forms and the sensitive information they contain will be lost or stolen during delivery.
  • Access your forms earlier.
  • Access your forms at any time, from any device with internet service.
  • Contribute to cost and natural resource savings (paper, printing and postage).

To consent to electronic delivery, navigate to the Employees tab in Banweb, select 'Tax Forms' and choose the 'Electronic Consent' link. Check the boxes to consent to receive your forms electronically and submit your request.

Each January notifications are sent via e-mail and posted in Tech Today when forms are available on Banweb.

Email Payroll Services or call 7-2089 with questions regarding W-2s or email Benefit Services or call 7-2517 with questions regarding 1095-Cs.

Winter Break Operating Hours

The University will be closed on the following days:
Monday Dec. 25, Tuesday Dec 26, Friday Dec. 29 and Monday Jan. 1.

Business Operations has posted the departmental hours of operation during the Winter Break on its website.

This will be updated regularly prior to Dec. 22. If your department has not yet submitted your Special Operating Hours, do so using the google form posted on the Business Operations website.

Note: For employees in units considered critical areas of operation, regular hours and shifts will continue as usual and as needed over the entire break. Check with your supervisor to determine if you or your area is considered a critical area of operation.

For questions, contact Business Operations at 7-2148.

Continuous Improvement Connection

Now that Thanksgiving is over, everyone will be moving into the holiday spirit. Guess what? You can incorporate Lean into your holidays also. There are many Lean tools that you could use to help simplify your holiday season.

One example, is decorating. Who doesn’t love decorating? But, do you really need ALL of those decorations? You could 5S your decorations, to see which ones you really do want/need, and which ones you could live without.

Essentially with a 5S, you go through all of the items, and for the ones you find you don’t need and would maybe like to get rid of, you mark it with a red tag, or something else that makes it known to you that it can go. Then once you go through everything, you gather up all the items that are marked and get rid of them in a proper manner.

While putting up your decorations, don’t you just hate having to go back and forth continuously getting more decorations once you empty one box? Well, we have something to help that too.

It’s called a spaghetti diagram, essentially you take a piece of paper and map out the area you are decorating/getting the decorations from. Then you draw a continuous line of everywhere you go, every stop you make, and if you do go to one place more than once, mark it. With the spaghetti diagram you can see where there are places that you might not need to go as many times, to cut down on waste of time and movement. You can implement the spaghetti diagram and 5S into your workplace too.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more information, don’t hesitate to contact us here at the Office of Continuous Improvement, we would love to help. Our email is improvement-l@mtu.edu

Fighting Hunger at the Library Cafe

Fight Hunger with Alpha Gamma Delta. On Wednesday (Dec. 6), throughout the entire day, 10 percent of all sales made at the library cafe will go toward fighting hunger locally and nationally.

An anonymous donor will double all sales made that day, including card and cafe sales. The money the donor is giving us will go to Husky FAN and Little Brother's Friends of the Elderly, while the other money raised will go to the Alpha Gamma Delta Foundation to fight hunger nationally.

Want an AGD discount card? They will be available for purchase in the library on Dec. 6.

TUBACHRISTMAS! Free Holiday Concert Sunday

While we may not have snow by Sunday (Dec. 3), we will have one of the surest signs of the Holiday season: "TUBACHRISTMAS!"

TUBACHRISTMAS (it is always capitalized and connected a’ la rail car, tuba players LOVE TUBACHRISTMAS!) is an annual December event that occurs in honor of the first truly great tuba virtuoso, William "Bill" Bell who was born on Christmas Day.

Tubists gather yearly in mass numbers around the globe to play songs of the season in performances free to the public. Michigan Tech its first one in many years here in Houghton last year, and we had 37 tubists.

In fact, the great state of Michigan ranks 3rd in the US with 17 TUBACHRISTMASES! Anyone who wants to play in the show is welcome. Bring your tuba, euphonium or baritone at 3:30 p.m., Sunday for rehearsal in the Rozsa Lobby. There is a $10 registration fee.

 Want to see the show? Join us here at 7:30 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 3) in the beautiful Rozsa Center Lobby for the sounds of Christmas and TUBAS.

The evening concert is free and open to the public.

Workshop: Write a Better Lab Report

The English Language Institute will host a workshop that focuses on the written conventions of a lab report. The workshop will be held from 3-5 p.m. Monday (Dec. 4 ) in Fisher 101.

EPSSI Seminar Monday

There will be an Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences Institute (EPSSI) seminar at 4 p.m. Monday (Dec. 4), in M&M U113.

Lynn Mazzoleni (Chem) will present "Investigating Complex Mixtures using Ultrahigh Resolution Orbitrap Elite Mass Spectrometry: The Molecular Composition of Wildland Fire Aerosol."

Biological Sciences Seminar

Paul D. Goetsch, University of California, Santa Cruz Department of MCD Biology, presents "Illuminating developmental regulatory networks to reveal how cells establish identity" at 1 p.m. Tuesday (Dec. 5) in R.L. Smith (MEEM) 402.

For more information, visit Biological Sciences website.

ACSHF Forum

The ACSHF forum will be held from 2-3 p.m. Monday (Dec. 4) in Meese 109. Steven Landry will present "The Development and Testing of the iISoP's Dancer Sonification System" and Kaitlyn Roose will present "Cognitive Task Analysis and Eye Tracking: Dynamic Duo or Lone Rangers."

Research Discussion Planned

The National Institutes of Health recently expanded their definition of clinical trials. The new definition states that a clinical trial is: "A research study in which one or more human subjects are prospectively assigned to one or more interventions (which may include placebo or other control) to evaluate the effects of those interventions on health-related biomedical or behavioral outcomes.” This expanded definition encompasses a significantly larger number of research projects, and many studies at Michigan Tech will now be classified as clinical trials. If you are involved with any NIH-funded work with human subjects, there is a good chance these new guidelines affect you. The new definition goes into effect for proposals submitted on or after Jan. 25.
Michigan Tech researchers may be wondering: Does this new definition affect you? What new paperwork and requirements are required with the implementation of these new rules? What resources and support are available to faculty working to comply with the new guidelines? Join us from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13 in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge to discuss these questions and more. Feel free to bring your lunch.

Computer Science Seminar with Nancy Day

Nancy Day will discuss "Doing More with Less: Declarative Specification and Analysis for Model-Driven Engineering" from 3-4 p.m. Monday (Dec. 4) in Rekhi 214. Refreshments will be served. Nancy Day is an Associate Professor in the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo.

Day's research has won awards at MODELS (International Conference on Model-Driven Engineering, Languages and Systems) and ISSC (International System Safety Conference).

Day's visit is supported in part by the Visiting Women and Minority Lecturer/Scholar Series (VWMLS) funding granted by Michigan Tech’s Institutional Equity and Inclusion.

Terrific Teaching at Tech

The return from break brings a flurry of activity including student end-of-term course surveys.  As important as these are, instructors are often surprised by the procedures, history and options available for these surveys.  Here’s a quick review.

The surveys are administered by the CTL as directed by the University Senate, which determines virtually all of the details including the timing and the questions. For instance, students frequently ask to extend the completion period through finals week, but Senate policy requires they be completed before the exam period begins.  

The Senate also governs how results are distributed.  Currently, written comments are reported only to instructors, while chairs and the Provost see only Likert scale results, and results can be reported for a term only after all grades have been finalized.

The current set of questions have been in use for about five years, which is when we began using online surveys. The Senate Academic Policies committee that composed the current set of questions did so with the main goal of making student feedback more useful and “actionable.” My sense is that they were mostly successful. (I was an ex-officio member.) 

Their research indicated students were more likely to be “fair” in the instructor evaluation if they were first asked to some self-reflection, which motivated the first five questions.  The next seven questions (commonly referred to as the seven dimensions) address the seven characteristics students most commonly associate with effective teaching. (Enthusiasm, Engagement in and out of class, timely feedback, etc.)    

These questions are intended to identify specific instructional elements for improvement. The thirteenth question, “Taking everything into account, I consider this instructor to be an excellent teacher,” is a carryover from the previous survey questions to provide parity/continuity, and will be removed from the default set after spring semester 2019, unless further changes are made by the Senate.

There was much concern about response rates dropping when we moved to online surveys, but our overall response rate has held constant between 65 and 70 percent since before the transition. Research has shown that an instructor’s expressed, sincere interest in feedback is the best motivator, so I attribute high response rate to the good relationship most instructors cultivate.

The high level of integration between our current evaluation tool (called EvaluationKIT) and Canvas also helps; in addition to periodic e-mail reminders, students are persistently encouraged to complete their survey every time they enter the Canvas course during the survey period. (The reminders stop for that course automatically as soon as the survey is completed.)  

Instructors also have the ability to track the number of surveys completed, so that they can motivate and track participation in whatever ways they see as appropriate.  While the anonymity of the survey prevents rewarding individual students who do or do not complete surveys, many instructors set benchmarks with rewards or consequences for the whole section.  These include small opportunities for redemption or participation credit, extra time or resources for final exam review, etc.

The biggest change enabled by the move to online surveys is that departments and even individuals can include unique questions as part of their surveys.   Several departments do this extensively, adding significant depth to their evaluation of specific (e.g. lab) courses, or measuring other aspects of teaching that they find important. 

If you have other questions about how evaluations work or why they are as they are, stop into or e-mail the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning!

Job Posting

Job Posting for Friday, December 1, 2017

Staff and faculty job descriptions are available in Human Resources. 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.

​Office Assistant 5, ​Transportation Services. UAW posting 12/1/17-12/7/17. External applicants will not be reviewed until after all internal applicants. ​Apply online.​

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer, which includes providing equal opportunity for protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Reminders

Mexican Cuisine at Khana Khazana

Today's Khana Khazana at the Memorial Union North Coast Grill and Deli features a menu from Mexico. 

The menu:

  • Poblanos Rellenos De Queso—Poblano peppers stuffed with cheese
  • Arroz Rojo—Mexican side dish with rice, tomatoes, garlic and onions
  • Arroz con Leche Cremoso—Rice pudding

Serving is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today (Dec. 1). The cost is $7.95 and includes a fountain drink. Visit Khana Khazana on Facebook.

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Grain Processing Seminar Today

Chemical Engineering Grain Processing Seminar Series will feature Rachel Getman from Clemson University. She will present "Molecular-Level Insights into How the Structure of Liquid Water Influences the Catalysis of Sugar Alcohol Conversions in Aqueous Phase Heterogeneous Catalysis" at 1 p.m. today (Dec. 1) in Chem Sci 101.

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Pavlis to Sponsor First Friday Social Today

The Pavlis Honors College invites the University community to an evening of fun and philanthropy at the First Friday University Social, From 4 to 6 p.m. today (Dec. 1) in the Pavlis Collaboration Space, Minerals and Materials Building 722.

The event is family-friendly and attendees are encouraged to bring their children for games and crafts. Complimentary hot chocolate, cider, cookies and dessert bars will be served. And as it is the season for giving, the social will provide some no-pressure opportunities to give back to the community.

Read the full story in Monday's Tech Today.

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2017 University Holiday Luncheon Ticket Sales End Today

The luncheon will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday (Dec. 5) in the Memorial Union Ballroom. The cost is $9 per person. The full menu can be found in previous Tech Today article.

Tickets can be purchased at the Ticket Office at the SDC or online. Provide your department name when asked for company name. There are no same-day ticket sales at the door or reserved seating. Ticket sales end at 5 p.m. today (Dec. 1).

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Chemistry Seminar Today

Rudy L. Luck (Chem) will present a seminar titled "On the Syntheses and Applications of Light Gathering Ligands" at 3 p.m. Friday (Dec. 1) in ChemSci 102.

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C-Cubed Luncheons

The C-Cubed luncheon takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today (Dec. 1) in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge. All faculty and staff, along with their guests, are invited.

The buffet lunch is $10 per person. Cash, credit cards and C-Cubed gift certificates (available in the Memorial Union office) are accepted. Find more information and share C-Cubed feedback online. To join the C-Cubed Google Group and receive weekly menus, email karenjoh@mtu.edu.

Today's Menu:
• Carved Ham (GF)
• Couscous with Chickpeas, Tomatoes and Edamame (GF, V)
• Roasted Sweet Potatoes (GF, VE)
• Roasted Rainbow Carrots (GF, VE)
• Kale-Brussel Sprout Salad with Apples, Cranberries, Pumpkin Seeds and Apple Vinaigrette (GF, VE)

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

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Comedian Opey Olagbaju Performs Tomorrow

Come join us for our last comedian of the semester, Opeyemi "Opey" Olagbaju, at 10 p.m. tomorrow (Dec. 2) in the MUB Ballroom and bring your friends. This performance is free and funded by the Student Activity Fee.

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Archives Travel Grant Presentation

Join us for visiting scholar Philip Hartmeyer at 4 p.m. today (Dec. 1) in the East Reading Room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library. This event is free of charge and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

In this presentation, Hartmeyer will discuss the role, techniques and applications of advanced digital documentation methods in surveying the shipwrecks within the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Learn about photogrammetry and panoramic imagery and their applications for research, education and outreach as well as the stories of the submerged cultural resources that line the shores of Thunder Bay on Lake Huron.

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First Friday Literary Reading and Reception

Stephanie Carpenter (HU) will read from and sign copies of her new collection of short stories, "MISSING PERSONS," during First Friday Art Walk in Calumet. The event will be held at from 6 to 9 p.m. today (Dec. 1) at Supernova Yoga, Gallery & Gifts (213 Sixth Street, Calumet), with a reading from 6:30-7 p.m.

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OAP hosting Wilderness First Responder Certification Course

The Outdoor Adventure Program is working with Wilderness Medical Associates to host a Wilderness First Responder Course at Michigan Tech Jan. 8-12.

Successful completion of this course will result in a three-year certification, including CPR certification. Course cost is $625 for MTU Students and $699 for all others.

To see more about the course and content visit here and read the original Tech Today article.

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Nominations Open for MAGS Excellence Teaching Awards

Nominations are now open for the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) Excellence in Teaching Awards. Michigan Tech may nominate one student at the MS and PhD level. Nominations are due to the Graduate School no later than 4 p.m. Jan 10.

Eligible students:

  • will have been enrolled at Michigan Tech during the 2017 calendar year and have a teaching appointment
  • will have earned the Michigan Tech Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award
  • will have an excellent teaching portfolio and student evaluations

Graduate program assistants and directors have been provided a list of eligible students. See the application page for complete details on what is required for a nomination.

In the News

WLUC TV6/Upper Michigan Source did a story about a book-signing and reading by award-winning author Stephanie Carpenter (Humanities), scheduled at Supernova in downtown Calumet today.

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Simon Carn (GMES) was featured in Popular ScienceNASA's Earth Observatory, Mashable and Sky News (an Australian media service) about the ongoing eruption of Mount Agung, a volcano in Bali that last erupted in 1963, killing more than 1,000 people. In the past week, more than 100,000 people have been evacuated from the area surrounding Mount Agung to avoid loss of life.

Today's Campus Events

To have your event automatically appear, please submit them to the University Events Calendar.

Formatting and submission workshops for fall 2017

Are you working on formatting corrections for your dissertation, thesis, or report? Do you need help? Are you unsure where to submit your dissertation, thesis, or...

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C-Cubed Luncheon

All faculty and staff, along with their guests, are invited to C-Cubed (Conversation, Community, Collegiality) lunches, which take place on Thursdays and Fridays during the...

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Career 365: Take your Job Search Home for Break

How can you effectively use your winter break to help you search for jobs? Come to this workshop to find out!

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Molecular-Level Insights

into How the Structure of Liquid Water Influences the Catalysis of Sugar Alcohol Conversions in Aqueous Phase Heterogeneous Catalysis Chemical Engineering Grain Processing...

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Chemistry Seminar

On the Syntheses and Applications of Light Gathering Ligands Dr. Rudy L. Luck One of the goals of our research is to synthesize light harvesting ligands. These ligands...

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Faculty/Graduate Student Hour

Faculty/Grad Students meet on Friday, December 1st in Rekhi 214 from 3:00-4:00 pm. Refreshments provided.

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OPT/CPT 101

Information session held three days per week, giving you all the necessary information on how and when to apply for OPT or CPT. Also see the website here:...

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First Friday University Social

The Pavlis Honors College invites the university community to an evening of fun and philanthropy at a First Friday University Social, December 1 from 4 to 6 p.m., in the...

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Food & Beer Pairing

Food and Beer pairing is almost here! You’ll be sure to fall in love with the delicious food prepared by Chef Eric, and the beer will certainly put a spring in your step....

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Fires in the Mirror

Tech Theatre presents Fires in the Mirror, a play by American playwright, author, actress, and professor Anna Deavere Smith. It chronicles the viewpoints of people from two...