Making A Difference Awards Announced

At an awards program in the Memorial Union Ballroom Wednesday (Jan. 9), the following staff members were honored with the Staff Council Making a Difference Awards. The winners, along with an excerpt from their letters of support, are as follows:

Above and Beyond Award—Allison Hein, research engineer and scientist, Materials Science and Engineering.

Her nominator says, "Allison’s competence and effectiveness is revealed by the inarguable impact that it has had on the productivity of the MSE department and its faculty."

A letter of support states, “In our roles we work with researchers from across campus. When a large of complicated project is initiated, one of the things we regularly hear is 'how can we involve Allison in this project?'"  

Behind the Scenes—Jerry Norkol, master machinist, Chemical Engineering.

As one letter of support states “Jerry has always been available to help with various tasks in my lab or office, most things you would never notice. Whether it is helping hang things on the concrete walls, installing a rug, assembling furniture, installing laboratory equipment, making modifications to equipment and materials that accommodate my experiments, ordering parts or finding gas regulators, Jerry is efficient and helpful.”

Legacy Award—Peggy Gorton, executive assistant, School of Technology

Peggy’s nomination letter states “Peggy has managed numerous transitions and changes within the School of Technology. For example, during her time as executive assistant she organized and completed the binder and related paperwork for each of the programs within the school that transitioned from two-year to four-year degrees. She also facilitated the transition to semesters in 2000, three ABET accreditation rounds (six  year cycles) and the addition of two master's degree programs. Each of these activities has left a legacy for students, faculty and alumni. 

During alumni weekend last August, an alumnus returning to GMES exerted considerable effort to track down Peggy because she had been such a positive and encouraging force for him to complete his degree. 

Outstanding Supervisor—Brent Burns, director of Federal and Industry Relations, VP for Research Office

Brent’s nominator says, "Brent does not command or micromanage the team, but truly leads the team and welcomes all feedback and new ideas. Common phrases heard in our team meeting are 'what do you think? Can we do that? What do you need from us?'  I have many times been assigned a task and given free rein to approach it as I see fit."  

A letter of support states that “For the past three years, Brent has been my supervisor. Throughout that time, I have appreciated Brent’s practical approach to allowing for flexibility in achieving tasks."  

Rookie Award—Brent Kari, central receiving manager, Facilities

Brent’s nominator states, “An area where Brent has shined over the past year was during Career Fair which is one of the busiest times in Central Receiving as we receive all of the company displays and materials for the event. These materials then have to be documented into a spreadsheet, sorted and brought up to a storage area at the SDC. Brent was running non-stop during this time as there were 201 packages that were delivered specifically for Career Fair within a couple day period that needed action immediately.  Brent was at work early, staying late, and fielding constant calls, text messages and emails all while keeping his typical positive attitude."  

Serving Others—Alisha Kocjan, curriculum services support coordinator, Registrar’s Office

Alisha’s nominator state “Alisha consistently volunteers her time to help others—both as an official volunteer and unofficial volunteer. For example, she has participated as a Summer Reading Facilitator for first-year students, she was a LeaderShape cluster facilitator and part of the Food Insecurities Committee since the programs inceptions. She also volunteered her time for mock interviews at Career Services." Outside of Michigan Tech, Alisha serves in many volunteer roles in the community. 

Unsung Hero—William Corrigan, Dining Services. Bill’s nominator states “I like to consider Bill and myself the babysitters of the Memorial Union Building. This is because for every event, and we average around 10 events every day, both small and large, full china and disposable, we have to make sure that the delivery person is getting orders correct and on time, that the cooks are running on schedule and if they are behind Bill is the first person to step in and help where it is needed."  

—Julie Ross, academic advisor, Civil and Environmental Engineering. Julie’s nominator states “When the faculty member who established the CEE Student Success Center left the University, Julie picked up the role of advisor for this group because she knew the services provided by the student success coaches were essential to the Department’s teaching mission. Without her stepping up and taking the advisor reigns, this group would not exist today.  

Read the full release on the Staff Council Blog. Training Portal Available to Staff and Faculty

As the Spring semester gets underway, all Michigan Tech staff and faculty are reminded to make use of their full access to the library, an on-demand learning solution designed to help you gain new skills and advance your career.

From time management fundamentals, to network security, to HTML for educators, you’re sure to find a training course to meet your needs and interests.

All Michigan Tech staff and faculty have:

  • Unlimited accessChoose from more than 5,000 video tutorials covering technology, creative and business topics
  • Personalized recommendationsExplore the most in-demand skills based on your experience
  • Expert instructorsLearn from industry leaders, all in one place
  • Convenient learningAccess courses on your schedule, from any desktop or mobile device
  • Helpful resourcesReinforce new knowledge with quizzes, exercise files and coding practice windows

Michigan Tech Staff/Faculty can log in to by following these steps:

  1. Go to
  2. Choose "Sign in" option in upper right corner
  3. Choose "Sign in with your organization portal"
  4. Enter "" in the "" field
  5. Enter MTU ISO credentials to gain access as staff or faculty

The training portal is sponsored by the Accessible Technology Working Group (ATWG) and Michigan Tech IT for the 2018-19 academic year. All University faculty and staff are encouraged to take advantage of this new resource.

For more information, contact Jeff Toorongian.

Rekhi Innovation Challenge

The Rekhi Innovation Challenge is a crowdfunding competition to help promote and support student innovation and entrepreneurship through the use of Superior Ideas.

The competition will run for the month of February and the team that raises the most money will receive a monetary match up of to $1,000. Additional monetary awards will also be offered.

Projects must be submitted by 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25 on Superior Ideas in order to enter into the competition. The application and guidelines can be found on Husky Innovate or by contacting Natasha Chopp.

Second Saturday at the Michigan Tech Archives

From noon to 5 p.m tomorrow (Jan. 12), the reading room in the Michigan Tech Archives will be open to the public for Second Saturday.

The Archives will offer the full range of its research support services and genealogy assistance during Second Saturday hours. The next Second Saturday the reading room will be open is Feb. 9.

For more information about Second Saturday, email the Michigan Tech Archives or call 7-2505. Find us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter @mtuarchives and Instagram, michigantecharchives.

Nordic Skiing Competes at Nationals

The Michigan Tech Nordic Ski team concluded its first competition of the 2019 calendar year in Craftsbury, Vermont at the 2019 U.S. National Ski Championships. Sophomores Reid Goble and Patrick Acton finished in the top five of Tuesday's (Jan. 8) Freestyle sprint final on the men's side, while freshman Oda Hovland narrowly missed out on racing in the women's Freestyle sprint final.

Goble and Acton both finished first in their respective quarterfinal brackets. They were joined in the semifinals by sophomore Mark Ousdigian, who finished second. Acton and Goble both advanced to the final, with Acton finishing second at 3:04.08 and Goble finishing third at 3:01.04. In the final, Goble finished second with a time of 3:00.06, and Acton took third with a time of 3:00.23.

For the women, Hovland placed second in her bracket with a time of 3:42.69, and just narrowly missed advancing to the final with a time of 3:40.15 in her semifinal group. Hovland's time placed her fourth, just 1.48 seconds behind Abigail Jarzin of Northern Michigan.

In the Classic races on Tuesday (Jan. 3), senior Gaspard Cuenot was the highest-placing Husky on the men's side as he placed 49th with a time of 45:03.4. Freshman Kristoffer Vollset finished 64th (45:51.9) and 31st in Wednesday's (Jan. 4) Classic Sprint with a time of 3:30.01. Cuenot finished the Classic Sprint race with a time of 3:31.03 to place 34th. In the 30k Skate mass start race on Sunday (Jan. 6), Vollset and junior David Jaszczak were the top finishers for the Michigan Tech men, as Vollset placed 59th (1:27:03.8) and Jaszczak took 67th (1:30:53.4).

Senior Amanda Kautzer and junior Sarah Goble were consistently among the top finishers for the Black and Gold women. Read the full story at

Job Posting

Job Posting for January, Friday 11, 2019

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

Enterprise Program Coordinator, Pavlis Honors College. 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.  

In the News

Mary Raber (Pavlis Honors College) was quoted in the article "How a 'Pay it Forward' Woman helps improve education in Kenya and Tanzania," in the Christian Science Monitor. The article focused on Erna Grasz's work in Africa. Raber has accompanied Tech students in the Global Leadership Program as they undertake international projects.


The effect of the partial government shutdown on Michigan Tech's winter study of the wolves and moose on Isle Royale has been extensively covered by media outlets throughout the country, including public radio stations WKAR and WCMU.


Michigan Tech's online electrical engineering degree was mentioned in the article "Do You Want More Freedom This Year?" on the blog Moments with Mandi


The Michigan Tech news story "Bridge Inspections in the Age of Drones," was picked up by Michigan Ag Connection

New Funding

Scott Miers (ME-EM/APSRC) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $92,219 research and development contract from Argonne National Laboratory. The project is titled "Alternative Fuels Research with Argonne National Laboratory."
This is a one-year project.
Tim Colling (CEE/CTT) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $135,003 contract from the Michigan Department of Transportation. Nick Koszykowski (CEE/CTT) is the Co-PI on the project, "20196 MERL Development and Support."
This is a one-year project.


Participants with Elevated Blood Pressure Needed for Meditation Study

Adults ages 18 to 45 years old are needed to participate in a National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded study titled "Mindfulness and Neural Cardiovascular Control in Humans." To qualify, participants must have a resting seated blood pressure of greater than or equal to 120/80 mmHg. Participants should have little or no previous experience with mindfulness meditation.

This study will randomize participants into an eight-week stress management education course or an eight-week, mindfulness-based stress-reduction course. Each course will take one evening per week.

Review the study qualifications and email graduate students Sarah LewAllen or Aditi Vyas if you think you meet the study restrictions. We are planning to start our next group of participants in early February.

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