Motivation — Tips for You

What’s the deal with motivation? Why do we sometimes seem to have it and other times it mysteriously retreats far beyond our reaches? How do we keep up the motivation to get up, perform and repeat day after — wait, hold on, I need to go check my email, order dog food, stare blankly at a scuff on my ceiling, and eat 30 snacks.

Ok, I’m back. What was I working on again? The motivation fairy didn’t show up, but, thanks to all of you who showed up for last Friday’s IDEA Hub, I’ve got a list of tips to share for motivating ourselves and our students.

Research tells us that change (or motivation) needs some key ingredients: social incentives, progress monitoring, and immediate rewards. Here are some of the ideas we came up with to help with these three ingredients:

Tips For You:

  • Keep a routine. Get up at the normal time, shower, and get dressed (from head to toe — skip the pajama bottoms).
  • Exercise. From Zoom Crossfit to a 30 day yoga challenge to outdoor hobbies and walks, y’all are really moving. Let’s keep at it — and don’t forget to put those positive social incentives out there for others — can you start a department challenge, join Strava to track your time at Tech Trails, or post a pic on Instagram?
  • Spend time learning something new (or picking up an old hobby). You’re going to feel old and crusty and cooped up if you let yourself live in stagnation. While I might not be picking up Python anytime soon (like my IDEA Hub compadres), I’ve found reinvention in … well, nothing yet, but this sounds really nice, and I should totally do this.
  • Practice Mindfulness. I love this tip! Someone in our group shared that they’ve spent time “finding pleasure in the differences compared to life before.” Yes, yes, and yes! It’s too easy to get bogged down with the bad. Take a deep breath, right now. Feel that immediate reward.
  • Find your pandemic silver linings — shout out to the IDEA Pub discussion on silver linings — connections with old friends, home refinancing, precious time with adult children back in the home, increase in awareness of teaching tools and methods. Talk about some amazing rewards.

Check in tomorrow for part II — how to help with student motivation.

Senate Meeting Today

The University Senate will meet at 5:30 p.m. today (Wednesday, April 22) via Zoom. The link to the Zoom Webinar meeting is:

A note for those attending: due to the format of the zoom webinar, most non-Senate members will not be able to use the microphone function, screen share or view participants at the meeting aside from the individual currently speaking but will be able to engage in the meeting through the Q&A function and hand raising function after attendance is taken.

Summer Reading Facilitators Sought

Faculty and staff are invited to facilitate a student group discussion for Michigan Tech’s Reading as Inquiry project. This year, first-year students will be reading "The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit" by Michael Finkel.

Many people dream of escaping modern life. Most will never act on it—but in 1986, twenty-year-old Christopher Knight did just that when he left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the woods. He would not have a conversation with another person for the next twenty-seven years.

Drawing on extensive interviews with Knight himself, journalist Michael Finkel shows how Knight lived in a tent in a secluded encampment, developing ingenious ways to store provisions and stave off frostbite during the winters. A former alarm technician, he stealthily broke into nearby cottages for food, books, and supplies, taking only what he needed but sowing unease in a community plagued by his mysterious burglaries. Since returning to the world, he has faced unique challenges—and compelled us to reexamine our assumptions about what makes a good life. By turns riveting and thought-provoking, "The Stranger in the Woods" gives us a deeply moving portrait of a man determined to live his own way.

Facilitators will lead a small group discussion of approximately 25 first-year students with assistance from upper level students during Orientation week. A facilitator information session will be held in August and the student group discussions are scheduled from 3 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 25*. The book discussion will follow an address by the author.

As a part of the Reading as Inquiry events, Finkel will give two author’s addresses during Orientation Week. The author’s addresses will take place at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 25*, 2020 the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

* Please note that the schedule will be adjusted according to any changes in fall start dates.

If you are interested in serving as a facilitator, register here no later than May 10. Facilitators will receive a free copy of the book. Contact Heather Simpson at  with any questions.

Trivia Night Tonight

Tonight is Trivia Night. Join us at 8 p.m. (EDT) today (April 22) on Zoom.

This week’s theme will be general trivia! Think you know more than your friends? Full of facts and not sure when you might need them? Prove to everyone you know your stuff.

We will have weekly Wednesday trivia nights until the end of the semester. Our final Trivia Night will be April 29 and the theme will be Disney.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get more information about upcoming trivia topics and other fun events.

All are welcome to play, but only students can win prizes.

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 attend a diverse community derived virtual poetry reading engaging the many facets 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, so please join us in this virtual community event.

Kautzer Receives GLIAC Pat Riepma Postgraduate Scholarship

Michigan Tech cross country runner Amanda Kautzer has received the GLIAC Pat Riepma Postgraduate Scholarship. The honor awards each recipient $5,000 in aid to the graduate school of their choice. Selections were made by the Faculty Athletic Representatives (FARs) of the GLIAC member institutions.

Kautzer raced at the 2019 NCAA Championship and received USTFCCCA All-Academic honors. She was a three-time GLIAC All-Academic Excellence team member and received the team's 2018 Scholastic Achievement Award. She competed in five races in 2019, leading the Huskies at the Blugold Invite and placing one spot outside of an All-GLIAC finish at the conference championship.

As a Nordic skier for the Huskies, Kautzer was a three-time qualifier at the NCAA Championships. She received the NCAA's Elite 90 award in 2020, having the best grade-point average of anyone at the Championships with her 4.0 in biomedical engineering. In 2019 she was a Google Cloud Division II Academic All-American and has been on the USCSCA All-Academic Team three times. Kautzer was a Central Regional Champion in 2019 in the classic and placed 17th at the 2019 NCAA Championship in the classic. She is a three-time All-CCSA selection and three-time All-Central Region finisher.

Kautzer has also performed on the world stage at the 2020 U23 World Ski Championships in Germany and competed at the Junior World Championships three times from 2015-17 as a biathlete.

Kautzer was a captain on both teams and is only the third Michigan Tech female student-athlete to compete at the NCAA Championships in both cross country and Nordic skiing.

The GLIAC Postgraduate Scholarship is awarded in honor of former Northwood University Athletic Director and head football coach Pat Riepma who passed away July 14, 2015 after a lengthy and courageous battle with cancer. Pat spent more than 21 years at Northwood and was the all-time winningest coach in football history as well as the long time Athletic Director.  While his achievements on the field and on behalf of the athletic department are impressive, Pat will be forever remembered for the person he was. Pat was a passionate, spiritual man who inspired thousands of people even before he became sick. While Pat is gone, his mantra of "Go MAD"- Go Make a Difference, will live on.

Past recipients of the scholarship from Michigan Tech are Stephanie Dietrich (volleyball) and Cody Goldsworthy (football) in 2018, Daniel Kulas (track & field, cross country) in 2017, Brett Gervais (football) in 2016, Jacob Clark (football) in 2013, and Angela Guisfredi (basketball) in 2011.


Mark Rhodes Elected to CGSG Board

Mark Rhodes (SS) has been elected to the Executive Board of the Cultural Geography Specialty Group (CGSG). As the seventh largest of the 76 American Association of Geographers specialty groups, CGSG provides a network for its 500+ members while also organizing symposia, sponsored-sessions, marquee speakers and socials, granting awards and elevating the spatially of cultural perspectives throughout the humanities, sciences, and social sciences. Rhodes will serve a two-year term as Nominations Director.

In the News

Michigan Tech alumnus Martin Lagina '77, was featured in the article "How Marty Lagina achieved a net worth of $100 million," in Money Inc.


Michigan Tech was mentioned in the story "DARPA awards nine new contracts to foster drone swarm technology," in C4ISRNET.


KIP Thesis Defense Today

Ben Cockfield will present his MS thesis defense, entitled "Acute Physiological Responses to Arm-Cranking with Blood Flow Restriction" from 3 to 4 p.m. today (April 22) via Zoom.


GSG Academic Webinar Today

Do you have trouble communicating the importance of your research to an audience visually? Well, sit back and relax at home with Graduate Student Government for an online webinar intended to provide you with tips and resources to get started with improving your data visualization skills.

Communication is increasingly difficult amid large amounts of information in our everyday lives. In publications, writers, designers, and editors increasingly use techniques such as figures, tables, graphs and illustrations to make key points, communicate criteria, and pull out plans and results from the sea of text. This webinar will be led by Jessica Brassard from Michigan Tech’s Research Development Office. Topics discussed will center around seizing opportunities to produce a range of visualizations, including:

  • Foundational concepts of design and visual rhetoric
  • Key takeaways like accessibility and occurrence
  • Books and training opportunities for people to go out and get started
  • Examples of how a little visual editing can go a long way

Questions and screen sharing participant examples will be welcome for the last 15 minutes.

  • Where: Zoom
  • When: 4 to 5 p.m. today (April 22)

Space is not really limited but just so we know how many students to expect, be sure to register using this link.


Student Leadership Awards Friday

 You are cordially invited to the 26th Student Leadership Awards Ceremony. At Michigan Tech we are blessed with students who are crazy smart, motivated and adventurous. As faculty and staff, we partner with these students to inspire community, scholarship, possibilities, accountability, and tenacity. We realize how lucky we are to be able to work alongside them in their academic and career pursuits. Now is the time to recognize these students for their commitment, enthusiasm and leadership.

The recipient of each award will be honored at the 25th Annual Student Leadership Awards Ceremony posted Friday (April 24) on the Student Leadership Awards web page.

Today's Campus Events

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

ONLINE: GEOHERITAGE AND THE ARTS: Music in the Keweenaw Mines

ROSE, William I., GMES Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI 49931, RUSH, Stephen, School of Music, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 SCAPPETTONE,...


Master's Defense: Deanna Seil

Forestry Co-advisors: Audrey Mayer and Evan Kane Livestock-Wildlife Dynamics and Subsequent Human Responses in Marginalized Communities within Mexico’s Nationally Protected...


PhD Defense: Jiajun Song

Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Co-advisors: Ossama Abdelkhalik and Jeffrey Allen Optimization of Shape And Control of Linear and Nonlinear Wave Energy...


Master's Defense: Sunilkumar Pinnu

Mechanical Engineering Advisor: Sajjad Bigham High-Performance Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) Treatment of High-Salinity Brines using a Multiple-Effect Absorption Distillation...


Master's Defense: Benjamin Cockfield

Kinesiology Advisor: Steven Elmer Acute Physiological Responses to Arm-Cranking with Blood Flow Restriction Attend Virtually:


Data Visualization Tools

Join us for an online webinar on effective data visualization this Wednesday (April 22) between 4.00 and 5.00PM! Communication is increasingly difficult amid large amounts of...


Keweenaw Land Trust’s 50th Anniversary Earth Day Concert

Copper Country Events Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day John Gillette & Sarah Mittlefehldt Live on Facebook with Marquette musicians & environmentalists John...


Wednesday Night Trivia

Trivia Night! Join us at 8 PM EST on Zoom. Think you know more than your friends? Full of facts and not sure when you might need them? Prove to everyone you know your stuff!...


Earth Day Film: Planet of the Humans

Copper Country Events Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day View Planet of the Humans (90 min.) The film takes a harsh look at how the environmental movement has...


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...


Great Lakes Bioblitz in Your Backyard

Copper Country Events Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day Community members, families, and students across the Great Lakes states and Ontario are invited to...


Self-Guided Walk at KLT Paavola Wetlands

Featuring Houghton Elementary 4th Grade Earth Day Art Copper Country Events Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day The 4th grade art classes at Houghton Elementary...


Stewardship Network Spring Invasive Plant Removal Challenge

Copper Country Events Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day Pull invasive species from your yard, natural area, anywhere! Submit location, number of people, and...