COVID-19 Stay at Home Protocol Extended

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has extended the "Stay Home, Stay Safe" executive order through the end of the month. The extension was announced Thursday (April  9). In response, Michigan Tech's COVID-19 Protocol is now in effect through April 30 as well.

Except as specifically addressed, all University employees who are able to perform their work remotely are required to do so, except when on approved leave or sick leave. Additionally, the University adopted a COVID-19 Pandemic Leave Protocol.

The latest information can be found at

You’re Invited to Design Expo 2020

Happy 20th Anniversary to Design Expo, the annual Enterprise and Senior Design project showcase that puts our undergraduate student innovators and their corporate and faculty sponsors front and center. Every year, teams solve complex, real-world and life-changing challenges in a competition featuring thousands of dollars in awards and priceless recognition.

This year’s Expo is Thursday, April 16. The challenges are bigger than ever for students, judges, organizers and everyone who looks forward to attending the event. But we’ve got this covered: virtually.

Sign up, and show up, to tour the virtual gallery open to the public. Vote for your favorite student projects via text. You can register for opening remarks, and be there for the first-ever live awards ceremony.

Get more details in “MTU Design Expo Unveils Student Innovations” on Michigan Tech News. Spread the word and see you there!

Isolation, Collaboration and All That Jazz

Despite the challenges of social distancing and virtual instruction, the COVID-19 pandemic has inspired some creative collaborations that span not only academic disciplines, but hundreds of miles. Adam Meckler (VPA), Michigan Tech's director of jazz studies, recently connected with a former college classmate and both brought along students for the collaboration.

The project is a video/audio exchange between Meckler’s jazz students at Michigan Tech and students from the Department of Dance at the State University of New York-Brockport. Meckler’s partner at SUNY-Brockport is Greg Woodsbie, lead professional staff accompanist and music instructor. Meckler said the idea of a jazz/dance collaboration began to take shape when he and Woodsbie were undergraduates at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, nearly 20 years ago.

“We played in many bands together over the years, but the first was a 12-piece salsa band when we were students at Lawrence,” Meckler said. While the salsa band spent many hours rehearsing, they didn’t “get it” until their first gig. “There were dancers there. It was then that we recognized how the dancers elevated the music and likewise how the music elevated the dancers.”

It is this mutual elevation that Meckler and Woodsbie’s students are exploring, even though they are more than 800 miles apart. “Each Tech student is paired with a dancer,” Meckler explained. “Our jazz students will send over 30 seconds of recorded music and the dancers will send over 30 seconds of dance.”

The guidelines are simple — there aren’t any. “The music can be anything the students can dream up and execute,” he said. “Some will improvise on a trumpet, trombone or saxophone while some might record multiple layers and instruments.” The same goes for the dancers — their contribution can be virtually anything.

Once the students exchange material, the fun begins. “The musician will record music over the dance video and the dancer will do some kind of choreography to the music sent in the exchange,” Meckler said. Following a dialogue to discuss what worked and what didn’t, the students will vote on their favorite collaborations, with the winners forming a single video to be released on social media.

Meckler said he and Woodsbie feel the collaboration goes to the heart of the two art forms. “Historically, music and dance are not two separate art forms, but one. We are well-served to explore these folkloric roots, in turn integrating art into our lives and culture.”

At the same time, it’s also a fun and healthy form of symbiosis — musicians and dancers complementing each other. “The dialogue between music and dance elevates both parties,” he said. “Dancers deepen the practice that is crucial to artists — developing an intimate relationship with your materials. Musicians are reminded of the body and that music ultimately comes from movement.”

Meckler, Woodsbie and their students are proving that creativity and art can flourish, even in the time of social distancing. As Meckler puts it, “The dialogue between the dancer and the musician will teach both parties the benefits and challenges of interdisciplinary collaboration. The participants will observe these benefits and challenges and will discuss perceived successes and failures in dialogue throughout this process.”

Online Education Session and IDEA Pub

Join us for the next in our series of virtual IDEA hub/CTL Online Education Sessions from 3 to 4 p.m. today (April 10), followed by our IDEA Pub social hour from 4 to 5 p.m.

The topic is "Giving Feedback Online and Using Media." The facilitators are Nancy Barr (ME-EM) and Libby Meyer (VPA). Click the link to register and be added to the calendar invite which will include the Zoom link.

If you have questions or do not get the calendar invite, please email

Immediately following the education session, join us in our virtual “IDEA Pub” for a happy hour from 4 to 5 p.m.  (No registration necessary)

This will be a chance to kick back with your beverage of choice (bring your own!), socialize, and connect with one another. We’ll provide some prompts to get the conversation going.


Love in the Time of COVID-19: A Virtual Poetry Reading

As we face a new normal to our day-to-day lives, maintaining a creative, expressive, and connected community has taken on new meaning and importance.

In celebration of National Poetry Month, Amy L. Howard (CDI) and M. Bartley Seigel (HU) cordially invite you to submit work for participation in a virtual poetry reading engaging any facet of life and love in the time of Covid-19.

The virtual poetry reading will take place at 4 p.m. Friday, April 24 via Zoom. This event is open to all. Selected poets must be available to read in person via Zoom.

Please submit the following Google Form to participate. The submission deadline is 5 p.m. Friday, April 17. Poets will be informed by Monday, April 20.

Graduate Student Government Announces Executive Board

The Graduate Student Government (GSG) has elected its Executive Board for the 2020-2021 session. The new Executive Board members are:

  • Nathan Ford (MEEM), President
  • Michael Maurer (ECE), Vice-President
  • Aaron Hoover (Humanities), Secretary
  • Laura Schaerer (Biological Sciences), Treasurer
  • Sarvada Chipkar (Chemical Engineering), Research Chair
  • Yasasya Batugedara (Mathematical Sciences), Professional Development Chair
  • Eric Pearson (Chemical Engineering), Social Chair
  • Marina Choy (Humanities), Public Relations Chair

The new Executive Board will assume office on May 1 and is looking forward to serving the graduate student body and the community at large.

Tuoriniemi Appointed Faculty Athletics Representative

Michigan Tech President Richard Koubek has appointed Joel Tuoriniemi, (CoB) the next faculty athletics representative (FAR). Tuoriniemi replaces Bill Sproule who has held the position since 2010.

"I'm very pleased that Joel Tuoriniemi has agreed to replace Bill Sproule as Michigan Tech's faculty athletic representative," said Koubek. "I wish to thank Bill for his service and am confident that Joel will play a key role in safeguarding the academic integrity of our Athletics program and further strengthening the Michigan Tech student-athlete experience." 

"I would like to thank Dr. Sproule for dedicating his time to enhancing the student-athlete experience through mentorship, scholarship and department, and NCAA governance," Athletic Director Suzanne Sanregret said. "I appreciate the time he spent working directly with student-athletes on post-graduate and finishing-degree scholarships. He was an excellent liaison between athletics and academic units. 

"I am excited to welcome Joel Tuoriniemi as the next faculty athletic representative at Michigan Tech. Joel is very prepared to continue to develop relationships and advance the department. The faculty athletic representative is an important position and one that is valued by our staff, coaches and student-athletes. Joel brings a great perspective not only in the academic pursuits of our student-athletes but also understands the unique challenges that our 350 plus student-athletes face. I look forward to working with Joel to continue communication between our athletic programs and academic departments."

"It is a privilege to be named the next faculty athletic representative here at Michigan Tech," Tuoriniemi said. "I was fortunate to work with past representatives, Pat Joyce and Bill Sproule, and look forward to doing what I can to enhance the experience of our student-athletes. They are great ambassadors for the University, and I am excited to work with Suzanne and the rest of the campus community to create the best possible learning environment for them."

Tuoriniemi joined Michigan Tech's College of Business in 2002 and presently serves as the director of the Master of Science in Accounting Program. He also holds the Ed and Betty Robinson Faculty Fellow position in accounting.

The Faculty Athletics Representative plays a strategic role at the institution, ensuring the academic integrity of the intercollegiate athletics program, facilitating institutional control of intercollegiate athletics, and enhancing the student-athlete experience at Michigan Tech.

ADVANCE Weekly Roundup

During the social distancing period that accompanied the Black Plague, Isaac Newton entered a period of his research career known as the annus mirabilis or “year of wonders” due to his prolific productivity during this time. Isaac Newton, however, didn’t have to cope with moving to online instruction. Unlike Isaac Newton, most of us don’t have the luxury of focusing solely on our research due to the closure of labs, the uncertainty of travel for fieldwork, or numerous other factors. This doesn’t have to mean that we abandon our research agendas though. Today’s Weekly Roundup article from Inside Higher Education focuses on how we can reassess, re-prioritize, and rethink our research agendas to maintain momentum through these uncertain times.

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Contact us to learn more about our mission, programming, and to check out our growing collection of resources.


 Virtual Magic Show Tonight

You're invited to a night of laughs, magic and fun as Late Night Programming presents Comedy Magician Trent James. Join us virtually at 9 p.m. (EDT) today (April 10)

James brings a fresh new feel to the “classic magic show.” His high-energy performance combines mind-boggling magic with gut-busting humor that has earned rave reviews in 17 states. James is quickly becoming one of the top magicians in the country. His unique sleight of hand magic and hip vibe have made him a huge hit at colleges, comedy clubs and corporate events.

Everyone is invited and the show is family-friendly. You will even get to learn a trick or two! Anyone with the link can join on Zoom.


Testing Center Staff Available to Help with Canvas Quiz Conversion

With the Stay-at-Home order, the Testing Center is no longer physically open. But, the staff is now available to assist with transcribing paper / pencil quizzes/exams into Canvas. To do this: Send the exam (Google, Word Doc, or PDF) to with the correct answer noted. Include any special instructions.

By default, the Testing Center will use the settings of shuffle answers on multiple-choice questions and show only one question at a time. Be sure to include a name for the quiz or exam (e.g. MEEM3400 S20 Exam 3) and the deadline by which it needs to be completed.

A canvas course will be created and shared with you when the transcription is completed. Within that course, you will find the quiz/exam(s). Once you are satisfied with the transcription, you can import the quiz into your canvas course.


MERET Faculty Candidate Lecture Today

The College of Computing's Department of Applied Computing invites the campus community to lecture by MERET faculty candidate Sidike Paheding, at 3:30 p.m. today April 10) via an online Zoom meeting.

The title of Paheding’s lecture is, "Machine Learning in Multiscale and Multimodal Remote Sensing: From Ground to UAV with a stop at Satellite through Different Sensors." Find the meeting link on the blog.

Deans' Teaching Showcase

Lorelle Meadows, dean of the Pavlis Honors College, has selected Rick Berkey, professor of practice, director of The Enterprise Program and faculty advisor to Supermileage Systems Enterprise as our week 12 member of the Deans’ Teaching Showcase.

For his excellent guidance as a student team advisor, in 2014 Berkey received the SAE Faculty Advisory of the Year Award, recognizing the value that his strong industry experience plays in teaching and mentoring his students. But at a more local level, Dean Meadows chose him because he “translates this care for student learning into his courses and his advising.”

Throughout his roles, Berkey enriches the lives of a huge number of students on Michigan Tech’s campus. With nearly 900 Michigan Tech students engaged in Enterprise each year, he assures each of them a valuable, relevant, action-based learning experience that provides them with key learning outcomes for the education of the 21st century.

Dean Meadows asked Berkey's students in the Supermileage Enterprise and his Six Sigma Enterprise Module to share their impressions of his teaching. She found the responses extraordinary: “What stood out among all of their responses was the way that Rick allows his students to learn through experience, both through success and failure. He is that instructor who stands to the side, guiding his students through their learning, and allowing them to take charge of it in their own ways. I believe this is what makes Rick an exemplary instructor — his ability to guide on the side — a key characteristic of an instructor of the 21st century.”

Meadows was also impressed not just by the extremely high end-of-term survey scores Berkey received from his students, but by outstanding scores in three specific components: his personal interest in their learning; his culture of mutual respect; and his encouragement of student ownership of their own learning. One of his Supermileage students summed this up well by saying, “Rick is enthusiastic and is always encouraging us to do our best and continue to learn. Since we are a student-run team, he is able to give us a lot of independence and flexibility, which gives team members a more enriching learning experience. He gives input, suggestions, and feedback when we need it to help steer us in the right direction. Overall, Rick is a positive influence and helps us succeed and achieve our goals.” In terms of his classroom instruction, another student noted “… he teaches very effectively. His teaching style is very discussion-based which is good for getting students immersed in the classroom experience.” It’s clear that Berkey is highly respected by students for his knowledge and experience in the field. This, coupled with the fact that students sense that he cares about them personally and wants to contribute to their educational and future career success, makes it no surprise that Rick’s Enterprise modules consistently attract high numbers of students.

All of this happens within and beyond his role as director of the Enterprise Program, where he applies his Six Sigma expertise to continuously improve the program, assess student learning, and develop new ways for our students to learn while engaged directly in relevant and meaningful hands-on projects. His vast experience and care for student learning was most recently evident in his work to pivot Enterprise during the COVID-19 outbreak. He was one of the first on campus to consider how remote teaching would change student projects. He created a shared document for all of the Enterprise advisors to reference as they consulted with their teams and sponsors. The opening section to this document summarizes his approach, an approach that was a part of his vocabulary on March 13th, long before it was our new state of being: “Staying Focused on our ‘Why’: The primary goal in shifting to online instruction is the safety and health of our community. Everything else is of secondary importance during this time frame.”

Berkey 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

A mobile unit built at Michigan Tech to clean COVID-19 personal  protection equipment (PPE), was covered by WJMN TV3. The story was also covered by Licensing Consultant.


Michigan Tech was mentioned in the article "Who are the key manufacturers in Biomethane Market?" in Open PR.

Today's Campus Events

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Husky Spirit Week

We want you to get creative and have fun with us! We’re making the week of April 5th, Husky Spirit Week. We want you to dress up like the theme and share your kooky, crazy,...


Master's Defense: Neh Claudia Soh

Rhetoric, Theory and Culture Advisor: Karla Kitalong A Cluster Analysis of Social Media Use in the Anglophone Crisis in Cameroon: A Case Study of Facebook Posts Attend...


Master's Defense: YanYun Li

Applied Ecology Advisor: Ann Maclean Trending Analysis of Riparian Buffer Cropland from 2008 to 2018 Utilizing ArcMap Attend Virtually:


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...


Master's Defense: Jackson Waugh

Biological Sciences Advisor: Xiaoqing Tang Role of MicroRNA-483 in Pancreatic ß-Cells Attend Virtually:


Master's Defense: Pruthwiraj Santhosh

Mechanical Engineering Advisor: Darrell Robinette Energy Consumption and Savings Analysis of a PHEV in Real World Driving Through Vehicle Connectivity Using Vehicle...


Idea Hub - Giving Feedback online

Friday April 10, 2020 at 3:00PM


IDEA hub/CTL Online Education Session - Giving feedback online and using media

Friday April 10, 2020 at 3:00PM


Master's Defense: Ian Nichols

Geological Engineering Co-advisors: Kenneth Hinkel and John Gierke Assessing the Accuracy of a UAV Snow Depth Survey - Utqiagvik (Barrow), Alaska CALM Grid Attend...


Faculty Candidate Lecture: Sidike Paheding

The College of Computing's Department of Applied Computing invites the campus community to lecture by MERET faculty candidate Dr. Sidike Paheding, Friday, April 10, 2020, at...


Master's Defense: David Kelly

Geology Co-advisors: Theodore Bornhorst and Chad Deering Fluid Inclusion Study of Selected Calcite Associated with Native Copper, Quincy Mine, Keweenaw Peninsula, Michigan ...


Virtual Magician: Trent James

Comedy magician Trent James is bringing a fresh new feel to the “classic magic show”. Trent’s high-energy performance combines mind boggling magic with gut busting humor that...


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...