Technology, Meet Policy, Ethics and Culture

Every day we’re introduced to better-performing technology. Beyond the achievements are the human factors: who benefits, who doesn’t, and why? Michigan Tech's Institute for Policy, Ethics, and Culture (IPEC) asks the questions. The newly formed Institute brings school and community activist Marika Pfefferkorn to campus this week to get the techno-cultural conversation going. The first in its campus speaker series, Pfefferkorn’s guest lecture “Equipping Communities in the Algorithmic Age” is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday (Nov. 7) at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

Friday (Nov. 8), following the 7 p.m. performance of George Orwell’s dystopian classic "1984" by New York City’s Aquila Theater, Pfefferkorn joins Michigan Tech faculty for a panel discussion with the audience about the new technologies and analytics that govern society today. 

“Marika is about community involvement. She’s interested in policy-making and outreach — that is her commitment,” said Institute Founding Director Jennifer Daryl Slack from Michigan Tech’s Humanities Department. “She wants to make her knowledge available to make a difference in our community.

”While IPEC’s speaker series is the most visible part of the Institute, it’s one among many components, as members focus on the need to address policy unique to the emerging technological environment along with ethical and cultural challenges, implications and strategies.“These matters are equally important for researchers, students, entrepreneurs, industries, institutions and local communities,” said Slack. “IPEC is designed to address and serve all of these.” Learn more about the Institute and its plans in “Technology, Meet Policy, Ethics and Culture,” on Michigan Tech News.

Kaitlyn Roose Named Director of Esports at Michigan Tech

Kaitlyn Roose has been named the Director of Esports at Michigan Tech, Director of Athletics Suzanne Sanregret announced on Monday (Nov. 4). Roose is the current President and Co-Founder of the Esports Club at Michigan Tech, and a mentor for the Husky Game Development Enterprise. She is pursuing her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors Psychology.

"Kaitlyn brings vast experience in gaming—including scouting, analysis, research and competitive play—to her new role as the Director of Esports. Additionally, she was a softball student-athlete during her undergraduate collegiate career," Sanregret said. "I would like to thank the search committee for recruiting such an excellent candidate. We are thrilled to welcome Kaitlyn to the Michigan Tech Athletics family, and I look forward to working with her as we grow our esports program."

Read the full story on michigantechhuskies.com.

New Undergraduate Research Program in Social Sciences

A new program in the Social Sciences department, Undergraduate Program for Exploration and Research in Social Sciences (UPERSS), will start in Spring 2020. UPERSS provides research opportunities for undergraduate students to work closely with a faculty mentor (or advanced graduate student) to undertake research, creative work or a community-based project. 

Students earn one unit of academic credit for every three hours worked per week (limited to a total of three credits). UPERSS is open to all Michigan Tech undergraduates, with priority given to Social Sciences undergraduate majors.

Questions about the new program can be directed to the Social Sciences Undergraduate Director, Melissa Baird. 

Embed the Library in Your Canvas Course

Search the library’s resources directly from your Canvas course. The Library has developed a Canvas page that brings together a live search and links to essential library services in one place, making it easy for students to start their research and writing projects.

For more information on how to import this page into your course, visit our guide: Embed the Library in Your Canvas Course.

Interested in a library Canvas page tailor-made for your course? Please fill out our Instruction Support Form to begin working with a librarian.

Western Upper Peninsula Food Summit

Do you know where your food comes from? How far it traveled to reach you? How far away is the nearest grocery store or farmers market from your house? The Western U.P. Food Summit will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. tomorrow (Nov. 6) at the Ojibwa Casino.

The summit will bring together those interested in area food sovereignty (what is it, anyway?), farmer education, local policy and greater incorporation of fresh and local food into schools, hospitals and restaurants.

The event is free and open to the public. The schedule is as follows:

  • 1-1:30 p.m. Keynote speakers Valoree Gagnon,  director of Michigan Tech University-indigenous community partnerships and Karena Schmidt, KBIC Natural Resources Department: “Debweyendan (“Believe in it”) Indigenous Gardens – Restoring Food Sovereignty in the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community”.
  • 1:30-2:15 p.m. Alex Palzewicz: UP Food Exchange website demonstration
  • 2:30-3:15 p.m. Workshop 1: How municipalities can support community food systems. Workshop 2: Growing and harvesting food in our communities
  • 3:30-4:15 p.m. Workshop 3: Creating successful systems for purchasing local food Workshop 4: Plant a garden, watch your community grow
  • 4:15-5 p.m. Meet and greet networking: A chance for farmers and purchasers to make connections

Registration is required. For more information, contact Rachael at 906-482-7205 x116.

SFRES wins Quiz Bowl at National SAF Convention

The School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science (SFRES) sends the officers of its clubs to their National Conference each year, an investment in our students’ professional development and encouragement for participation and leadership in professional clubs.

This year, members of the Forestry Club attended the National Society of American Foresters Convention in Louisville, Kentucky. Each year, an exciting competition takes place between teams from many universities challenging their knowledge of the science of forestry, forest policy, and forestry history.

Michigan Tech students were the Quiz Bowl Champions of 2019. The School quiz bowl team of Anna Ellis, Trent Hibner, Greg Horton, Zach Crawford and Erik Rude (advised by Matt Kelly) won the 2019 Quiz Bowl at the Society of American Foresters National Convention on Oct. 30, beating 31 other teams to the trophy.

Three Minute Thesis Tomorrow

GSG invites you to join us for this years Three Minute Thesis (3MT)  competition. 3MT is an international competition that place graduate students from all disciplines in a contest to present their research in only three minutes using a single PowerPoint slide. This year we have nearly 50 participants, a new record for Michigan Tech, signed up to present.

The competition will be held tomorrow (Nov. 6). Preliminary rounds will be held from noon to 4 p.m. in the MUB Ballroom. Light refreshments will be provided. The finals will be held on stage at the Continental Fire Co. from 6 to 8 p.m.

We encourage you to come out, have some dinner, and get educated while you eat. Come on out and see a showcase of some of the awesome research being done on campus, and help support our graduate students that are presenting.

Weight Watchers at Work Coming Soon

Register here for the 12-week Weight Watchers at Work session, which begins Wednesday, Nov.20, in the MUB. Weigh-in and completion of paperwork is at 11:30 a.m. for the noon meeting.

Open to employees and retirees, participants must register online by Wednesday, Nov. 20. The fee for this 12-week session is $138.00 per participant and includes free access to Weight Watcher's premium "Online Plus" website.

Early Bird Special – Those registering by Nov. 20, will receive a $12.00 discount. Registrations will no longer be done on site—all registrations must be completed online.

You will have the option of paying with a credit/debit card or TechFit. If using TechFit, choose "yes" for "Payroll Deduct." Flexible Spending Account money (FSA) is not accepted as a method of payment. The WW Monthly Pass is not accepted in At Work. Credit/debit cards or bank accounts will not be billed until a minimum of 12 participants have registered for the meeting. Questions? Contact the Benefits Office at 7-2517.

This Week's C-Cubed Luncheons

Dining Services presents this week's C3 luncheons take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday (Nov. 7/8) the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge. All faculty and staff, along with their guests, are invited.

If you are unfamiliar with the event, the C3 lunch buffet menus are created by Executive Chef Eric Karvonen and prepared by Karvonen and his culinary team. As the name suggests, the meals are meant to foster conversation, community and collegiality. Attendees may bring their lunch instead of purchasing the buffet. Fruit-infused water, coffee, tea, cookies, and fruit are available free to all attendees.

The buffet lunch is $12 per person. Cash, credit cards and gift cards are accepted. Submit C-Cubed feedback here. To join the C-Cubed Google Group and receive weekly menus, email reservations-l@mtu.edu.

This week’s menus:

Thursday

  • Beef Barbacoa Tacos
  • Roasted Butternut Squash Wild Rice Tacos — GF V
  • Black Bean Soup — Ve GF P
  • Green Chili Rice — GF V
  • Toppings — Fire-Roasted Salsa, Cilantro Crema, Diced Onions, Pepper Jack Cheese

Friday

  • Chicken Tikka Masala — GF
  • Basmati — GF
  • Warm Flatbread — V
  • Fresh Vegetable Salad — Ve GF
  • Boondi Raita — GF V

V - Vegetarian, VE - Vegan/Vegetarian, GF - Gluten Free, P - Alternative Protein

Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar

The next Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar takes place at 4 p.m. tomorrow (Nov. 6) in EERC 103. Diane McKnight, Civil and Environmental and Architectural Engineering University of Colorado-Boulder will present " A Biogeochemical Perspective on the Reactivity of Dissolved Organic Matter in Natural Waters: From Antarctica to the Arctic." The public is welcome.

In natural waters, dissolved organic matter (DOM) is ubiquitous and is comprised of compounds derived from the degradation of both plant and microbial precursor organic materials. A current trend is that DOM concentrations in lakes and streams are increasing in north temperate regions and the Arctic, which is referred to as “browning” of natural waters, and reflects greater DOM runoff in watersheds. In addition to watershed DOM sources, DOM is produced by plants growing in the nearshore zone of lakes and rivers, and by algae growing in the water column or on the streambed. With the earlier loss of ice-cover in the northern hemisphere, algal growth is starting sooner and algal DOM production is becoming a more important source of DOM. In turn, the concentration and chemical quality of DOM influence the productivity of these aquatic ecosystems. For example, light absorption by the yellow-colored humic fraction of DOM controls the depth of the photic zone, where algae have enough light to grow, and acts as a sunscreen controlling the UV stress due on aquatic biota. DOM is of interest to environmental engineers for several reasons. For example, the transport of trace metals and organic pollutants and the production of disinfection by products in drinking water treatment can be controlled by interactions with DOM. Further, environmental engineers use similar methods for chemical characterization of DOM as biogeochemists and aquatic ecologists, although these research communities address different questions. This talk will discuss how an understanding of ecological and biogeochemical processes in lakes and streams can provide useful complementary insight beyond chemical characterization to understand and manage current environmental engineering issues involving DOM.

Examples will be presented of studies conducted in diverse settings, such as the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica, the Okavango Delta in Botswana, and the arctic tundra in Alaska. This seminar is jointly sponsored by the School of Forestry and Environmental Science’s Distinguished Ecologist Lecture Series and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering's Environmental Engineering Seminars.

Reminders

Nominations Open for Making a Difference Awards

Nominations are now open for the 2019 Staff Making a Difference Awards. Nominate a deserving colleague today in one of seven categories. Each award recipient will receive $500. This year’s categories are:

  • Above and Beyond
  • Behind the Scenes
  • Legacy Award
  • Outstanding Leader
  • Rookie Award
  • Serving Others
  • Unsung Hero

Staff Council is coordinating the awards and asks that you follow these steps:

  • Download the nomination form (individuals only, no team or group nominations)
  • Create your nomination letter
  • Collect your statements of support (no more than three, one-page letters)
  • Email all documents as one PDF file to Staff Council

Nominations will be accepted until 5 p.m. Friday (Nov. 8). Visit the Staff Council website for more information in regard to eligibility and nomination criteria. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Staff Council.

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EndNote Basic and Cite While You Write Workshop

Learn how to use EndNote software to manage your citations and save time. The workshop will be held at 12:05 p.m. Wednesday (Nov. 6) in EERC 421.

In this session, you will:

  • Add references to an EndNote library
  • Import references from databases and PDFs
  • Organize your citations
  • Use Cite While You Write tool to incorporate references into Microsoft Word

No prior knowledge of EndNote is required for this workshop.  Register online for the workshop.

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Safe Place Ally Training Registration Open for Fall Sessions

Registration is open for the Fall sessions of Safe Place Ally Training Program. The program is a comprehensive resource to better prepare faculty, staff, students and community members to address the needs of individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual (LGBTQIA*).

The program addresses a wide range of terms that LGBTQIA* students use to define themselves, unpacks the complicated notions of identity in relation to sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, addresses issues that LGBTQIA* students often deal with during the coming-out process and examines concerns that LGBTQIA* students face both in and out of the classroom. Safe Place training also explores the many ways you can work toward creating safer, inclusive and affirming spaces/environments on campus.

For times and dates of registration and training, as well as additional information about the Safe Place program, please visit the Safe Place webpage. If you have any questions, concerns or specific department/organizational needs for Safe Place Ally Training, contact Assistant Director of Campus Diversity Initiatives, Amy Lyn Howard, in the Center for Diversity and Inclusion.

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 USAC Visiting Professor Info Session Tomorrow 

Pavlis Honors College study abroad will host an information session for faculty from 1 to 2 p.m. tomorrow (Nov. 6) in M&M 724 to share a unique opportunity to help internationalize the campus and support our study abroad mission by teaching abroad through the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) Visiting Professor Program.

The info session will include a presentation from USAC staff. Interested faculty can apply to teach during summer 2021, fall 2021, or spring 2022. The application deadline is Dec. 3. If you are unable to attend the info session, please contact Vienna Chapin vrchapin@mtu.edu for more details.

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EndNote Basic and Cite While You Write Workshop Tomorrow

Learn how to use EndNote software to manage your citations and save time. The workshop will be held at 12:05 p.m. tomorrow (Nov. 6) in EERC 421.

In this session, you will:

  • Add references to an EndNote library
  • Import references from databases and PDFs
  • Organize your citations
  • Use Cite While You Write tool to incorporate references into Microsoft Word

No prior knowledge of EndNote is required for this workshop.  Register online for the workshop.

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Jackson CTL Lunch and Learn: JED Campus

A comprehensive team of staff and faculty have been studying student mental health at Michigan Tech for more than a year now as part of the JED Campus program.

Leaders from this team will explain the JED process and share some of what they’ve learned along with proposed interventions. They’ll also provide insight and advice for instructors who are working with a growing number of students faced with mental health challenges.

This Lunch and Learn will take place at noon, Tuesday, Nov. 12. Register for the Lunch and Learn

In Print

Ramon A. Founkoué (HU) has published a new book titled Nation Without Narration: History, Memory and Identity in Postcolonial Cameroon (Cambria Press, 2019). You can find the book here.

On the Road

Humanities faculty and graduate students participated in various capacities at the 42nd annual conference of the Organization for the Study of Language, Communication, and Gender. The conference was held in Cincinnati, Ohio from Oct. 16 - 20 on the theme “Interrogating intersectional masculinities”.

Patricia Sotirin (HU) presented a paper on “Mothers and gun violence: Feminist vigilance about evidence-based research.”

Victoria L. Bergvall (HU) gave a talk on “Brainstorming a feminist model of distributed vigilance.”

Diane Shoos (HU) discussed her paper “Watching with feminist vigilance: Media genres of domestic violence”

Graduate student Nancy Henaku presented on “Paradoxes of state feminist vigilance in the postcolony: A feminist critical discourse analysis” and on “Resistance, discursive activism, and gender politics in Ghanaian social media: A feminist critical discourse analysis.”

New Funding

Chee-Wooi Ten (ECE/AIM) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $99,732 research and development cooperative agreement with the University of California Riverside. The project is entitled, "Discovery of Signatures, Anomalies, and Precursors in Synchrophasor Data with Matrix Profile and Deep Recurrent Neural Networks." This is a 17-month project.

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Rodney Chimner (SFRES/ESC) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $60,823 research and development grant from the University of Minnesota. The project is entitled, "Biophysical Processes and Feedback Mechanisms Controlling the Methane Budget of an Amazonian Peatland." This is the first year of a potential three-year project totaling $163,329.