MTU Huskies Zoom in to Help Community Connect

Digital communication matters — maybe now more than ever. That’s why the Michigan Tech tutors who teach folks how to clear technological obstacles are getting back to BASIC Saturdays.
BASIC, the Building Adult Skills in Computing program, is offering online sessions from 10-11 a.m. every Saturday from this Saturday (April 4) through April 25.

The program, now in its 10th year, welcomes technological newcomers as well as anyone looking to expand their digital skills. The difference for the remainder of spring semester: both tutors and learners will be online, using Zoom.
BASIC co-leader Chuck Wallace (CS) said he initially worried that not meeting in person would be an obstacle. “I had this barrier in my head — what if people can’t get online to get in touch with us?” However, he changed his mind with encouragement from co-leader Kelly Steelman (CLS). “We can still do a lot using video conferencing,” Wallace said. “We can even share screens and see what is happening as we help people. And learning how to use Zoom is a useful skill in itself — you can use it to stay in touch with friends and family.”

Computer science graduate student Ann Ciesla said tutors benefit from the program, too. “I really enjoy meeting with people who come in for help on Saturdays. We always have good conversation, not just about technology, but also about Houghton, Michigan Tech, the weather, or whatever else is going on at the time,” she said. “I was sad to think about the people I met with before spring break who were so excited to come back and learn more and how we would have to put their learning on pause until next fall. Moving the program online offers people the chance to continue (or start) their learning, which is really exciting.” 

Huskies are asking the Michigan Tech community to spread the word to people who want to learn how to connect to friends and family. All it takes is a phone call to get started. Get the details in the story on Michigan Tech News.

2020 Design Expo Goes Virtual

Nothing can stop us from celebrating the 20th anniversary of Design Expo. More than 1,000 students in the Enterprise and Senior Design programs have come together to put on a virtual showcase of their work and compete for awards. This year, a panel of judges, made up of distinguished corporate representatives, alumni, community members, and Michigan Tech staff and faculty will critique videos of team projects, solutions and results. 

Similar to past years, teams have a chance to earn cash awards along with well-deserved recognition among their peers. This year, total student awards have been increased to more than $3,500. As always, many projects are sponsored by industry, which allows students to gain valuable experience solving real industrial problems. Additionally, many teams engage in student-initiated ideas that embody the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit that comes with being a Husky.

This event is free and open to the public. We encourage current and future students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, families of students. etc to help us celebrate our students and their achievement—register today to virtually attend Design Expo (see registration links below). 

2020 Schedule of Events:

Tuesday, April 14

Noon: Remote Judging Opens 

Thursday, April 16

10:00 a.m.: Opening Remarks via live webinar

10:15 a.m.: Virtual gallery open to public

2:00 p.m.: Remote judging closes

4:00 p.m.: Presentation of Awards via live webinar

4:30 p.m.: 2020 Design Expo concludes

Register to attend Design Expo live events today.

Design Expo: Kickoff & Opening Remarks

Design Expo: Presentation of Awards

Text In Voting
New this year, participants will have the chance to vote for their favorite student project. Using the number (919) 351-8683, participants can vote for as many competitors as they like, but can only vote once for each competitor. Text in voting will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, April 16.

To vote, a participant might text the following case sensitive message to the phone number above:
101 to vote for Baja Blizzard or 201 to vote for Medical Device Ball Bearing Temperature Test Fixture

Team numbers will be available on April 16 via the Design Expo website, and all who register for Live Webinars. 

Interested in judging for the 20th annual Design Expo? 

This year, judges will have the flexibility to vote anytime between noon on  April 14 through 2 p.m.  April 16. Judging should still take about an hour, depending on the number of volunteers. Please register to become a judge today.

Check out all of the details of Design Expo here. For questions, please reach out to Briana Tucker.

The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation Renews MTU Collaboration with $1.5 Million Gift

The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation has renewed its partnership with Michigan Tech to support the operation of Mi-STAR. In 2014, the foundation provided the inaugural $5 million gift to Michigan Tech that resulted in establishment of Mi-STAR, which stands for Michigan Science Teaching and Assessment Reform. The foundation’s board of trustees approved the partnership renewal at its annual meeting.

The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation President Ruth Alden Doan stated, "The Board of Trustees is pleased to continue its support of the Mi-STAR program. Michigan Technological University’s ability to expand its funding base to support the Mi-STAR program is validation of the value school districts and science education advocates found in the curriculum."

Mi-STAR’s curriculum was designed to fully align with all of the Michigan Science Standards and the national Next Generation Science Standards. Each unit in the curriculum focuses on a problem related to one or more of the 21st-century grand challenges identified by the National Academy of Engineering and other professional science/engineering societies (e.g., energy, water, sustainability, health).

Teachers who use Mi-STAR are supported by the Mi-STAR Professional Learning Program, which includes web-based modules, a help desk and a community forum. They learn to use the curriculum and enhance students’ "transferable" or "employability" skills (e.g., communication, problem-solving, critical thinking). Membership in the Mi-STAR Network, which includes teachers and others who have completed the professional learning program, reached an all-time high of 1,187 in 2019.

Michigan Tech President Richard Koubek said, "We appreciate the commitment of the Mi-STAR team to advance the educational outcomes of middle school students throughout Michigan. They exemplify the role Michigan Tech plays in advancing the vitality of our state."

Stephanie Tubman, Mi-STAR’s coordinator of curriculum development and implementation in Michigan Tech’s Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, stated: "The Mi-STAR program was founded five years ago through a partnership between The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation and Michigan Tech. Due to that partnership, the program has had the freedom to make tremendous innovations over the last five years. Mi-STAR is now generating substantial benefits for middle school students and their teachers around Michigan. None of this would have been possible without The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation’s collaboration."

Michigan Tech’s Mi-STAR program has also received support from the National Science Foundation, the MiSTEM Advisory Council through the Michigan Department of Education, and from schools and districts throughout Michigan.

WiFi in Your Car

During this time of social distancing, Michigan Tech IT and the Department of Public Safety and Police Services are working together to provide access to WiFi without leaving your car.

There are two locations on campus where you can park your vehicle and receive a good WiFi signal. When you arrive, please call the Department of Public Safety & Police Services at 7-2216 to let them know you are there. To ensure social distancing, you are required to stay in your vehicle while using this service.

Location One is parking lot 14, located between Hamar House and the broomball rinks. WiFi is provided by the Emergency Blue Light phone near the rinks. Parking in a legal parking spot within 50 feet of that pole will provide service.

Location Two is parking lot 1, located next to Alumni House. Again, WiFi is provided by the Emergency Blue Light phone. Parking in a legal parking spot within 50 feet of that pole will provide service.

You can view all parking lots on the campus map.  Note: only Lot 1 and Lot 14 have available WiFi access.

Remember, you are required to remain in your vehicle while using this service.

Virtual Preview Day was a Success

The first Virtual Preview Day was held last Saturday (March 28) for admitted undergraduate students and their families. “We know students are nervous and anxious about their plans for fall and they need the information to make their final college decision amid all the uncertainty they are experiencing,” said Allison Carter, Director of Admissions Operations. “Moving from an in-person event to one based online just made sense. It was the best way for us to service students and give them an idea of what being a Tech student is like.”

Events were virtualized as much as possible to allow students and families to have an experience similar to what they would have if they had come to campus. In place of the student welcome and student-led campus tour, videos of these events were available. Faculty and staff from across campus jumped in to assist by pre-recording the information sessions they normally would have offered in person. Live student panels, virtual open office events, and academic department tour videos were offered to give greater insight into (typical) daily life on campus. All of the live sessions were recorded and are available on demand.

More than 550 admitted students and/or family members from 31 states or countries checked-in and participated in the event. Before registration was closed due to COVID-19 guidelines, 276 students had registered to attend the in-person event.

While the virtual event is certainly not what we had spent months planning for, but thanks to the support and tenacity of so many on campus, we were able to reach out and provide students with an exceptional experience. Thanks to everyone who was involved in making the event a huge success.

Virtual Preview Day will remain live throughout the summer. Faculty and staff are welcome to explore the site online.

Nordic Skiing Announces Team Awards

 Michigan Tech Nordic ski coach Tom Monahan Smith recognized eight Huskies with annual team awards. Sarah Goble and Reid Goble received the Most Outstanding Skier Awards. Monahan Smith and his staff were also named the Central Region Coaching Staff of the Year on the women's side.

The coaching staff included Student-Manager Eric Houck, Graduate Assistant Mike Choiniere, and Program Coaches Kristen Monahan Smith and Tom Monahan Smith. The Huskies sent a full team to the NCAA Championships for the first time in school history.

The women's team also captured the US Cross Country Ski Championships College Cup on its home course in January. The Huskies had 19 all-region honors, four All-CCSA First Team selections, and three All-CCSA Second Team skiers.

Senior Sarah Goble placed seventh in the skate at the NCAA Championship, earning All-America honors after qualifying for her third straight championship. She was also all-region in both the classic and skate as a First Team All-CCSA selection after winning three individual CCSA races. Goble also competed in the U23 World Ski Championships in Germany. She is graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics.

Reid Goble, a junior, was all-region in both the classic and skate races. He was named First Team All-CCSA after five podium finishes in conference races. Goble placed 24th in the skate at the NCAA Championship to wrap up the season. In the U.S. Nationals, he placed 17th overall, seventh collegiately, and third in U23 at the 30K classic.

Senior Amanda Kautzer received the Scholastic Achievement Award after her 4.0 grade-point average in biomedical engineering. Kautzer was the Elite 90 Award winner at the NCAA Championship, leading all participants in GPA. She was all-region in classic and skate and was also an All-CCSA Second Team selection. She also competed in the U23 World Ski Championships in Germany and participated in the NCAA Championships for the third straight season. Kautzer is graduating with her bachelor's degree this spring.

Junior Patrick Acton earned the Scholastic Achievement Award on the men's side with his 4.0 fall and 3.92 cumulative GPA in pharmaceutical chemistry. Acton qualified for the NCAA Championships for the second season in a row. He had all-region finishes in both the classic and skate and was named All-CCSA First Team. He led all CCSA skiers with the 15K skate at the US Nationals

Sophomore Oda Hovland was recognized with the Most Improved Skier Award. She qualified for the NCAA Championship and was all-region in both classic and skate.

Junior Mark Ousdigian received the men's Most Improved Skier Award after qualifying for the NCAA Championships. He was an all-region skier in the skate and had five top 10 finishes in CCSA races.

Freshman Henriette Semb was honored with the Harold Meese Sportsmanship Award. She was All-Region in both classic and skate and was an alternate at the NCAA Championships. Semb earned All-CCSA Second Team honors after she placed second in the 10K skate at US Nationals and second in the 5K skate at the UWGB Invitational. She was the sixth-place qualifier in the skate sprint at US Nationals.

"We have been incredibly impressed with Henriette's competitive team spirit as a true freshman on our team," Monahan Smith said. "She always races for the team, not just herself"

Sophomore Mitch DeLong received the Harold Meese Sportsmanship Award. He qualified for the NCAA Championships and was an alternate. DeLong was all-region in both the classic and skate and had six top 10 finishes in CCSA races.

"Mitch was a captain for us this year as he truly encompasses everything we look for in our student-athletes," Monahan Smith said.

Senior David Jaszczak is also graduating this spring with a degree in chemical engineering.

Job Postings

Job Postings for Friday, April 3, 2020

Staff and faculty job descriptions are available in Human Resources. For more information regarding staff positions, call 487-2280 or email jobs@mtu.edu. For more information regarding faculty positions, contact the academic department in which the position is posted. 

Assistant Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering. Apply online.

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Research Assistant Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering. Apply online.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.   Accommodations are available. If you require any auxiliary aids, services, or other accommodations to apply for employment, or for an interview, at Michigan Technological University, please notify the Human Resources office at 906-487-2280 or mtujobs@mtu.edu.

Reminders

Advocates Team—Call to Action

Help make campus culture more equitable for all. We encourage you to apply to join the Advocates team.

What is Advocates and Allies?

Advocates and Allies is one of three programs currently being adapted to the Michigan Tech culture as part of the NSF-funded ADVANCE Initiative. This program is dedicated to engaging majority stakeholders in the dissemination of knowledge on gender equity as well as actively participating in activities to increase allyship on campus. Advocates and Allies at Michigan Tech has been in startup phases over the past few years through a series of video conferences and in-person visits with Roger Green from North Dakota State University (NDSU). The program launched in earnest with a series of workshops in October 2019 facilitated by a team from NDSU and Auburn University. The Advocates and Allies initiative seeks to leverage the momentum from the October workshops and the formation of an Advisory Board of minority stakeholders (women, minorities, and gender diverse individuals) by forming an Advocates team of majority stakeholders to further institutionalize the commitment to gender equity.

Read the full story in Wednesday's Tech Today

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Faculty Candidate Khalid Miah Lecture Today

The College of Computing's Department of Applied Computing invites the campus community to a lecture by faculty candidate Khalid Miah. The lecture will be held at 3::30 p.m. today (April 3), via an online Zoom meeting. The title of the lecture is, “Fiber-Optic Distributed Sensing Technology: Applications and Challenges.” The link to the Zoom lecture and more information is available here.

Per a new Michigan Tech policy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, all College of Computing currently scheduled faculty candidate interviews and lectures will take place online through Zoom meetings.

Deans' Teaching Showcase

Dean Adrienne Minerick and the College of Computing (CC) have selected Leo Ureel, computer science lecturer and PhD student, for this week’s Deans’ Teaching Showcase. Ureel also serves as coordinator of the College of Computing Learning Center (CCLC) in Rekhi Hall and is the faculty advisor to the Computer Science Learning Committee in McNair Hall.

Minerick’s selection was primarily for Ureel’s student-centric efforts which have increased retention and diversified the cohort of first-year computing students. In coordination with many other valuable college members, his work has increased the visibility of Michigan Tech and the College of Computing, both on campus and in the community.

Ureel’s work has provided him the opportunity to develop rich collaborations with researchers across the U.S. in the U.K., Europe and Africa. He recently led an Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE) working group of international researchers examining first-year student experiences in CS.

His interest in student success was also a focus of a close collaboration with Linda Ott, chair of the Computer Science department, in a project funded by the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT). As part of the collaboration focused on first-year student retention, a structure was developed to more effectively place students in their first programming course. Ott, in describing this collaboration and Ureel's essential role, says “By improving the placement of students based on their previous programming experience, both students new to programming and those with experience are more satisfied and more successful in their first programming course at Michigan Tech. Leo is constantly thinking about ways to engage students in programming”. His additional research in classroom teaching has garnered support from the National Science Foundation and Google.

This research drives Ureel’s innovative and effective teaching of the entry-level programming classes in Computer Science. “My classrooms are hands-on learning environments where I combine small hands-on projects with blended learning techniques to engage students and provide individual feedback” Ureel explains. “I’ve developed a software system, WebTA, that provides students with individualized feedback on their code while they are working on it — even when I am personally unavailable. (For example, at 2 a.m. when students are working on their programming assignments). This engages students in the following programming practice: design, code, receive feedback, reflect and repeat. The more I can engage the students in these tight cycles of programming and reflection, the better they learn to program.”

But Ureel is also part of a student and faculty team that regularly hosts community outreach and workshops for middle and high school students like Code Ninjas, Copper Country Coders and numerous other programs. “My work with K-12 outreach activities, such as Code Ninjas and Copper Country Coders, benefits both the K-12 students, who are learning to program, and Michigan Tech undergraduate students, who volunteer as K-12 mentors,” Ureel says. “The undergraduate students benefit from the teaching process; learning more about computer science as they strive to articulate basic computer principles in simple language and entertaining memes for the K-12 students.”

Ureel’s success in teaching students with no coding experience also sparked the pilot of a foundational computing course for non-majors at Michigan Tech. Ureel was the key thought leader driving course structure and content for CS 1090, Computational Thinking, a course for non-Computing majors that teaches computing fundamentals using the Python language. The course, which could help instill computational thinking across campus, is being piloted this semester with students from outside the College of Computing. Designed to be compatible with the College Board AP Computer Science Principles course, the CS 1090 pilot is expected to be expanded through the IDEA Hub.

Finally, Ureel’s innovation is also evident in his leadership of the College of Computing Learning Center (CCLC). With the College of Computing transition, he and his coaches have transformed the CCLC into an inclusive learning hub for all CC majors and courses, with a steadily increasing number of students from across campus seeking out the CCLC. He worked closely with Nilufer Onder (CS) to incorporate into CCLC services an upper-level Student Academic Mentors (SAM) program that Onder developed and spearheaded in Computer Science courses. Most recently, Ureel coordinated the transition of CCLC services to an online format as part of the campuses response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“What becomes apparent immediately when thinking about Leo’s contributions is how much Leo cares about and invests into his student’s learning,” says Minerick. “Student success is at the heart of all that he does.”

Ureel will be recognized at an end-of-term event with other showcase members, and is also a candidate for the CTL Instructional Award Series (to be determined this summer) recognizing introductory or large-class teaching, innovative or outside the classroom teaching methods, or work in curriculum and assessment.

In the News

Michigan Tech's Innovative Global Solutions Enterprise Team, was mentioned in the article "How can the world solve the global ventilator shortage problem? Pt 2" in Sensor Tips. Team Co-advisor Robert Warrington, retired professor and former dean of Pavlis Honors College, was quoted in the article.

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A Michigan Tech report was mentioned in the article "Fish tale: Chances of Arctic grayling return to Michigan ‘Very good’" in Great Lakes Echo.

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Michigan Tech Nordic skier Sarah Goble was featured in the article "Petoskey's Sarah Goble closes collegiate career with Huskies as All-American," in the Petoskey News-Review. Goble was also named Michigan Tech's Outstanding Nordic Skier (see article above).

Today's Campus Events

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

C-Cubed Luncheon

This week's C3 luncheons take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge (#107). All faculty and staff, along with their...

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IDEA hub/CTL Online Education Session I

Friday April 3, 2020 3:00PM to 4:00PM https://mtu.libcal.com/event/6628339

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Faculty Candidate Lecture: Khalid Miah

The College of Computing Department of Applied Computing invites the campus community to a lecture by faculty candidate Khalid Miah on, April 3, 2020, at 3:30 p.m., via an...

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Postponed: Surround Sound Music Festival - Audiopharmacy

NOTE: In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, this event is being postponed with the intent of it being rescheduled for a later date. Surround Sound Music Festival - A festival...

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Environmental Graphiti Online Exhibit

The Art of Climate Change Alisa Singer The work of Chicago-based artist Alisa Singer, Environmental Graphiti is a series of digital paintings created to enhance public...