Tech Among Best Colleges for Student Voting

Michigan Tech is listed among the top U.S. colleges for a commitment to encourage student voting according to Washington Monthly. In what it calls "our first-of-its-kind list of the schools doing the most to turn students into citizens," the magazine named 58 institutions "America's Best Colleges for Student Voting."

Because voting rates of students are not typically publicly available, for this first-ever list, Washington Monthly looked at four measures of a college's commitment to student voting.

Institutions received points for:

  • Participating in the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement (NSLVE)
  • Signing up for the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge
  • Releasing NSLVE data publicly
  • Making their ALL IN action plan public

Out of 1,488 schools included in Washington Monthly's main rankings, only 58 received the top score of 4, including Michigan Tech. More than three-quarters of the top 58 schools are public universities.

Michigan Tech has initiated efforts to encourage voting among students. Last December, Tech joined the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, a national awards program that recognizes colleges and universities for a commitment to increase student voting rates.

On Sept. 17, the University hosted the Michigan Secretary of State's Mobile Office. The mobile office offered voter registration and other services to Michigan Tech students, faculty and staff. They registered nearly 200 new Michigan voters that day.

A Michigan Tech campus-wide committee developed and is implementing the ALL IN action plan to increase student democratic engagement. Students in Angie Carter’s (SS) Introduction to Sociology class and Xi Sigma Pi (the Forestry Honor Fraternity) also assisted in volunteering for the Sept. 17 voter-registration effort.

Kari Henquinet (SS) is among those leading the student-voting initiative at Michigan Tech. She said the Washington Monthly ranking is a validation that Michigan Tech is taking significant steps to improve student voter engagement.

“Michigan Tech has a core group of faculty, staff and students committed to improving civic engagement on our campus. As one of the outcomes of a recent task force on community engagement, a number of us began to focus on ways to improve student voter registration over the past year by collaborating with Michigan’s Secretary of State, the League of Women Voters and the Houghton City Clerk's Office on student voter registration events.”

You can read the full Washington Monthly article here.

Michigan Tech Faculty Honored for Teaching, Diversity Efforts, Research Excellence

Everyone knows there are shining stars among Michigan Tech’s faculty. This week, the University honored some of its best and brightest.

At an awards ceremony and reception held Tuesday (Oct. 23), the Michigan Tech community celebrated the winners of the 2018 Research Award, the Bhakta Rath Research Award, the Faculty Distinguished Service Award, the Distinguished Teaching Award and the University Diversity Award.

“Those we are recognizing here exemplify the true tenacity and spirit of Michigan Tech, be it through their research, teaching or service to our community,” said President Richard Koubek. “We are here to honor what those whom we aspire to be like have accomplished.”

Read the full story on

Open Enrollment 2019

New Husky Flexible Benefit Plan – Benefit Forums and Open Enrollment 2019

Open Enrollment will begin Monday, Nov. 5 and run until midnight Friday, Nov. 30. Open enrollment is your opportunity to assess your individual and family needs and elect the benefit package that is right for you.

This year, the enrollment process is mandatory. Current coverage and elections will not automatically roll over. The Benefits Office will host Benefit Forums with information about the new Husky Flexible Benefit Plan and Open Enrollment process.

Due to the changes on how benefits will be offered, it is very important that faculty and staff attend one of the Benefit Forums and use the tools and resources provided to learn more about the Husky Flexible Benefit Plan. Release time will be provided to attend the Benefit Forums.

The dates, times and locations are listed below:

  • Nov. 7, 2 – 3:30 p.m. MUB – Ballroom B2 and B3
  • Nov. 15, 2 – 3:30 p.m. MUB – Ballroom B2 and B3
  • Nov. 20, 2 – 3:30 p.m. MUB – Ballroom B2 and B3

Open Enrollment Assistance During the week of Nov. 12-16

In-person, one-on-one Open Enrollment assistance will be available between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the MUB.

Employees may schedule an appointment or stop into the Enrollment Café for assistance.

Starting Oct. 31 you can visit this website (employees may begin scheduling appointments on Wednesday, Oct. 31).

Should you have questions on the benefit plans or the enrollment process, there is a call center to answer your questions. The Call Center will be available from Nov. 12 - 30 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday-Friday. The Call Center phone number will be available prior to Nov. 12.

The Call Center schedule is as follows:

  • Employees with Last Names A- J to Call-In Nov. 13-16
  • Employees with Last Names K-Q to Call-In Nov. 19-21
  • Employees with Last Names R-Z to Call-In Nov. 26-28
  • Open to ALL to Call-In Nov. 29-30

If you have any questions, contact the Benefits Office at 7-2517 or email

Winter Weather Safety

With winter weather approaching, now 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 on the 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.
For questions or concerns, employees should contact Human Resources at 7-2280 or email Amy Mensch.

Welby Altidor, of Cirque du Soleil, Presents "Creative Courage" Lecture

What does it take to spark innovation in life, art, business, engineering and technology? According to Welby Altidor, former executive creative director of Cirque du Soleil, it takes courage. But not just any courage—it takes creative courage.

Join Michigan Tech Career Services and the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6, to hear Altidor speak.

Altidor spent more than 20 years at the cutting edge of theatre, storytelling, human performance engineering and technology. In his book "Creative Courage: Leveraging Imagination, Collaboration, and Innovation to Create Success Beyond Your Wildest Dreams," Altidor explains why fear and the status quo are the enemy of innovation.

During his presentation, he will address ways to unleash creative genius by practicing collaboration and controlled failure. Altidor believes that each of us possess creative genius, but it must be cultivated and developed through practice. Creative courage is more than practical tools and strategy, it’s a way life for Altidor and those who dare to embrace it.

On Wednesday, Nov. 7, Altidor will meet with a small group of Michigan Tech faculty at 8 a.m. and with a select group of students at 9 a.m. for an interactive discussion and Q&A session. Advanced registration is required to attend.

As a sought-after creative leader, Altidor continues to serve as a consultant for creative firms around the world and has been an invited guest speaker for Fortune 100 companies like Nike, Sephora and SAP.

He is currently the group chief officer for Cityneon, where he oversees international projects that include partnerships with Marvel (Disney) and Jurassic Park at Universal Studios.   

Tickets are free and available now by phone, 7-2073, online, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex or at the Rozsa Box office the night of the show. Note the Rozsa Box Office is only open two hours before performances.

Faculty Breakfast with Welby Altidor

Welby Altidor, former executive creative director for Cirque du Soleil, will lead an instructor Q&A breakfast from 8 to 9 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7. Altidor's role and teaching experience have given him a unique view of failure and its important role in the creative process. The discussion will focus on how to preserve opportunities to be creative in the classroom and encourage students to have a relationship with failure instead of avoiding it.

He’ll offer suggestions on how to stimulate both risk taking and reflection in a learning process. Don't miss this opportunity for cross-disciplinary insight from an expert in managing the creative process. Breakfast will be provided to those who register by Friday, Nov. 2.

This event is sponsored by Career Services and the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts and is endorsed by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning.

WW1CC Art & Warfare will run again next week

Due to popular demand, the "World War I & the Copper Country" exhibit, "Art & Warfare," will run for four days next week in the Immersive Visualization Studio, EERC 510. There will be special hours:

  • 5-6 p.m. Monday (10/29)
  • 3:30-5 p.m. Tuesday (10/30), Thursday and Friday (NOV. 1-2)

This exhibit features the sketches and paintings of the Official Artists of the American Expeditionary Forces, a group of eight accomplished artists sent to France to visually depict the war.

Their work is dramatically displayed on the Immersive Visualization Studio’s screen wall—twenty-four 48” screens supported by eight computers—and accompanied by jazz renditions of contemporary wartime popular songs arranged and performed by Bill Carrothers from his collection, "Armistice 1918."

"Art & Warfare" realizes the integration of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) by facilitating multisensory reflections on aesthetics, technology and warfare.

Hockey Begins Long Road Trip in Wisconsin

The Hockey Huskies start an eight-game road trip tonight in Madison where they'll take on the No. 14 Wisconsin Badgers. The puck will drop at the Khol Center at 8:07 p.m. The Huskies also travel to Alabama Huntsville (Nov. 2-3), Ferris State (Nov. 9-10) and Clarkson (Nov. 16-17) before Thanksgiving.

The Huskies are looking for their first win of the season after dropping a pair at home against defending national champion Minnesota Duluth to open the season Oct. 12-13.

This weekend's games will be broadcast on local radio on 93.5 FM, online at pasty.netvideo streamed and live Tweeting. In addition, today's game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Wisconsin Plus, while tomorrow's game will be carried by FloHockey.TV.

Tech is 51-101-11 against Wisconsin in a series that dates back to 1927. The Huskies are 26-63-7 in Madison and have won five of the last seven meetings. 

Read the full story and find out more about Tech sports on

Michigan Tech Ranks Fourth in First Midwest Regional Rankings

The Michigan Tech volleyball team is ranked fourth in the Midwest Region in the first NCAA Division II Regional Rankings of the season.

The rankings, released every Wednesday after Oct. 24, determine the potential seedings in the NCAA Regional Tournaments in each region. A team's in-region record and in-region rating percentage index (RPI) is given greater weight than a team's overall record or overall RPI. The top eight in each region are selected for the NCAA Regional Tournaments.

Ranked 25th in the latest AVCA Division II Coaches Poll, Michigan Tech holds a 20-4 overall record and a 17-3 record against teams in the Midwest Region and the Central region.

Ranked first in the Region and projected to host the Midwest Regional Tournament is Drury with an 18-3 in-region record and 21-4 overall record.

Michigan Tech hosts Northern Michigan at 7 p.m. tonight (Oct. 26)  to close out the regular season home schedule. For the complete regional rankings, click here.

Huskies Women's Basketball Picked Second in GLIAC Preseason Poll

Practice is underway and the opening tip-off for the 2018-19 Michigan Tech women's basketball season is drawing near. The Huskies will enter a new era under first-year Head Coach Sam Hoyt.

Hoyt was named the ninth head coach of the Michigan Tech women's basketball program on May 29. She returns to Tech from the University of Sioux Falls, where she served as an assistant coach. Hoyt was a standout player for the Huskies, helping lead the program to the 2011 NCAA Division II National Championship game as well as garnering multiple individual awards, including All-American honors.

The Huskies are picked to finish second this season in the GLIAC North Division the coaches' poll announced yesterday. Tech earned 50 points in the poll along with a pair of first-place votes, landing behind Northern Michigan, which tallied 60 points and 10 first-place votes. 

Over in the South Division, Grand Valley State holds the No. 1 position with 58 points and seven first-place votes. 

The Huskies will host an exhibition game against St. Norbert at 6 p.m. tomorrow (Oct. 27) in the SDC Wood Gym. Admission to the game is a cash or canned-goods donation to the Husky Food Access Network (Husky FAN).

Learn more about HuskyFAN at and read the full season preview at

Materials Science and Engineering Seminar Tuesday

Prasad Pramod Soman (Erik Herbert and Steve Hackney, co-advisors), doctoral candidate, Materials Science and Engineering, will present "Isolating Solute Effects in Grain Boundary Strengthening Using Nanoindentation" at 11 a.m. Tuesday (Oct 30) in M&M 610, following a meet and mingle with refreshments beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar

The next Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar will take place from 3 to 4 p.m. Monday (Oct. 29) in GLRC 202. Dylan Miner will present "This Land is Always." Miner is director of American Indian and Indigenous Studies, associate professor, Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, Michigan State University.

In this talk and informal conversation, Miner will discuss his artistic and scholarly practices related to political and ecological concerns. He will focus on his recent work in particular, but will also discuss collaborative projects and ways that artists can intervene in larger socio-political issues. Given that his work circulates around Indigenous knowledge and issues, Miner will integrate these ideas throughout.

Miner's visit is part of a joint effort between the Department of Visual and Performing Arts, the Rozsa Center and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The artist's work is on display in the exhibit, "GAAGO WIIKAA MIZHISOGWASINOO" (Never Empty) in the Rozsa Gallery through Nov. 10.

This program is supported in part by the Visiting Professor Lecturer/Scholar Series which is funded by a grant to the Provost's Office from the State of Michigan's King-Chavez-Parks Initiative.

Job Postings

Job Postings for Friday, October 26, 2018

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

Department Chair, Humanities. Apply online.

Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering Technology, School of Technology. Apply online.

Director of Advancement, Advancement/College of Engineering. Apply online.

Digital Marketing and Content Coordinator, Alumni Relations. 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.


Construction Notice

Be aware that a crane is erected at the southwest end of the Chem-Sci Building to lift construction materials to the roof. This will disrupt the normal flow of pedestrian traffic.

Also, some exterior doors may be unavailable during active lifts of materials. The area will be roped off to prevent access to potentially dangerous areas, but pedestrians should remain alert and cautious while traveling in this area. If you have any questions or concerns, contact 7-2303.


Film Board Presents "Crazy Rich Asians"

This weekend, Film Board presents "Crazy Rich Asians." Located in Fisher 135, showtimes are:

  • Today (Oct. 26) — 5:30, 8:30, 11:30 p.m.
  • Tomorrow (Oct. 27) — 2:30, 5:30, 8:30, 11:30 p.m.
  • Sunday (Oct. 28) — 2:30, 5:30 p.m.

All are welcome. Tickets are $3 and concessions are one dollar each.


C-Cubed Luncheon Today

This week's C-Cubed luncheons take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today (Oct. 26) in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge. All faculty and staff, along with their guests, are invited. The buffet lunch is $12.

Today's menu:

  • Greek Lamb Burger
  • Greek Portobello Burger (VE)
  • Fries with Mediterranean Seasoning (GF, VE)
  • Greek Salad Bar (GF, VE)

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


Social Sciences Brown Bag Today

The next Social Sciences Brown Bag will be held at noon today (Oct. 26) in Academic Office Building (AOB) 201. John Bonnett will present "Focusing on a New Primitive: 3-D as Constituent, 3-D as Focus, 3-D as Catalyst for Scholarship in the Digital and Virtual Heritage."

Bonnett's visit is hosted and sponsored by the Department of Social Sciences and the Geospatial Research Facility.


National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is Tomorrow

Michigan Tech is once again participating in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow  (Oct. 27).
This is an opportunity to properly dispose of all expired and unused prescription drugs. Michigan Tech's Department of Public Safety and Police Services is a registered drop off/collection site. The department is located at 206 MacInnes Drive in Houghton.
Email with questions.

Residence Halls Annual SafeHouse Tomorrow

Residential students, the Inter-Residence Housing Council and the Department of Housing and Residential Life will host the 31st Annual SafeHouse from 3 to 6 p.m. tomorrow (Oct. 27). Children of all ages and their parents are welcome to the residential halls for some trick-or-treating shenanigans. Stop by to help yourself to thrills, tricks and treats.

All SafeHouse events are free of charge. If you need help during the event, contact one of our volunteers in safety vests and SafeHouse t-shirts.


Husky Alpine Run Tomorrow

Are you up for a Halloween challenge? Join the Michigan Tech Department of Military Science in our inaugural Husky Alpine Run tomorrow (Oct. 27). This is a 5 km trail race on Mont Ripley. Don't ski or snowboard? No worries. Many people enjoy skiing or snowboarding the slopes of Ripley, and now you get to run them.  We encourage everyone to show up and run in their Halloween costume as prizes are awarded to the costume contest winner. 

Read the full Tech Today story.


Free Family Bazaar Sunday

The "World War I and the Copper Country" project (WW1CC) is hosting a family bazaar from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday (Oct. 28) at the Dee Stadium Ballroom. This is free and open to the public. The event is a re-enactment of a 1917 “war relief bazaar” featuring live musical performances, activity booths, cake walks and dancing.

Performers include the Chassell Friends of Fashion modeling World War I-era attire, Noteworthy, 1918 Singers, Chassell Centennial Chorus, jazz by Dave Bezotte and Michigan Tech's Superior Wind Symphony.

For more information, read the full Tech Today story.


Stream Gauges on the Keweenaw Peninsula

The Copper Country Chapter of Trout Unlimited is hosting a public presentation and discussion at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30 in GLRC 202. Thomas Weaver, supervisory hydrologist and section chief, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), will present "Stream Gauges on the Keweenaw Peninsula: Why they are important and how we get them back."

Read the full Tech Today story.

CTL Article of the Week

I routinely hear from instructors saying it’s a challenge to get students to read or otherwise prepare for class consistently. Group quizzes, such as those described in “The Daily Quiz” by Della Conti sometimes help address this.    

Conti describes a unique scoring system for her quiz which allows students a minimum score for attendance or an opportunity to earn extra points for being prepared. If this strikes you as too complicated, group quizzes can be implemented using straightforward scoring as well.

Conti also describes a previous implementation where quizzes were at first individual and then retaken as a group. In my own teaching, I’ve found the use of IF-AT forms to work well for this. I ask students to take a multiple-choice quiz individually before coming to class, and then use class time to compare and discuss answers before using the lottery-style forms to check and get immediate feedback.

We have 10 and 25 question forms in the CTL if you would like to try this, and you can order forms in bulk if it works.

Making a quiz collaborative provides two learning advantages. First, students are more likely to prepare because they don’t want to let their group down. And second, if their preparation is incorrect or inadequate, the discussion with the group is likely to help.  Either way, preparation tends to improve.

If you’d like to talk more about a variety of ways that group quizzing might benefit your students, stop by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), on the Library’s second floor.

Note: Due to subscription restrictions, some links in this e-mail will work only while connected through Michigan Tech’s network.

Continuous Improvement Connection

Continuous Improvement is exactly what it sounds like, improving bit by bit, day by day, step by step. One tricky part of being able to continuously improve is that in order to make improvements, you have to set aside the time to make them.

There is always work to be done, so if you wait until you have perfect opportunities and available time to make changes, then you will never quite get around to it. Blocks of time must be designated specifically for making improvements, and it doesn’t have to be large amounts of time, either.

Having time set aside every day to talk about or to make improvements gives you the time to deal with issues or problems that you come across as you come across them. Being able to assess and improve situations or processes allows you to decrease waste within those processes, giving you more time to focus somewhere else.

Do you have time put aside for everyday improvement? If you have any questions for us please email the Office of Continuous Improvement or call us at 7-3180.

In the News

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) and Ram Krishnan were quoted in the article "Farm Sunshine, Not Cancer: Replacing Tobacco Fields With Solar Arrays," in Scienmag. The article also featured a photograph by Sarah Bird (UMC).


The Haunted Mine presented by the Department of Visual and Performing Arts was covered by Keweenaw Report.


The MichiganTech Faculty Awards presentation Tuesday was covered by Keweenaw Report.


Physics alumnus receives APS award

Michigan Tech alumna Heather J. Lewandowski, associate professor, University of Colorado Boulder, is the recipient of the prestigious American Physics Society - Wolff-Reichert Award for Excellence in Advanced Laboratory Instruction.

Lewandowski received a bachelor's of science degree in physics from Michigan Tech in 1997 and was inducted in the Presidential Council of Alumnae (PCA) in 2016.

The American Physics Society has acknowledged contributions of Lewandowski “For systematic and scholarly transformation of advanced laboratories in physics, for building leading assessment tools of laboratories, and for national service advancing our advanced laboratory educational community.”