Voter Registration Day is Tuesday

Tuesday, Sept. 22, is National Voter Registration Day when thousands of national, state and local organizations and volunteers will participate in a massive voter registration effort. Once again, Michigan Tech is taking part in this national event.

Michigan Tech’s effort is led by the Undergraduate Student Government (USG), Student Leadership and Involvement and several faculty members. One student organizer is Zach Olson, USG's Political Affairs Committee chair and a recently named fellow of the Campus Election Engagement Project, a national nonpartisan project that works with college campuses throughout the country to engage student participation in federal, state and local elections. 

Olson said Voter Registration Day activities, held from noon to 3 p.m., will be easy to spot on campus. "We've got a site reserved next to the Husky statue and volunteers will be on campus directing students to the registration effort," he said. "Houghton City Clerk Ann Vollrath will be there to answer any questions." Students may register to vote, check their voter registration and request an absentee ballot all in one convenient location, he added.

Registration efforts will follow COVID-19 guidelines. "We'll practice social distancing and even though we'll be outside you'll be in close proximity to some volunteers, so masks are required," Olson said.

He noted that in 2018 the MTU campus voter registration effort was given a boost by the visiting Michigan Secretary of State mobile office, giving students an ideal opportunity to register to vote and have their election-related questions answered. But the mobile office won’t be present this time around.

"This year, students are taking a more active role," Olson said. "Students should be at the front of voter registration efforts and that's what we're trying to do." 

Earlier this year Washington Monthly magazine placed MTU on the "2020 Best Colleges for Student Voting Honor Roll." Olson appreciates the recognition, but he'd like to see the numbers increase. "The (Washington Monthly) listing reflected a significant increase in voter registration, But MTU is still well below our peers. I'd like to increase our numbers so we are above the national average."

While voter registration will take place outdoors near the Husky statue, students might also hear about the holiday in the classroom. Kari Henquinet (PHC) Kat Hannum (SS) and Richelle Winkler (SS) have created a Canvas Module that instructors can incorporate into their courses to help students learn about the voting process, get registered, and find out what will be on the ballot in November. "The module can easily fit into existing courses and adapted as instructors see fit," Winkler said. 

"Instructors are using the module and some are giving students extra credit for voting. It's good motivation," Olson said. 

All political fronts say this is one of the most important elections in recent American history. Olson said that rhetoric will hopefully lead to increased registration. "Obviously the political environment is caustic with both sides mobilizing an effort to increase voting," he said. "We expect this to help us increase our registration numbers.

He said a campaign that includes social media ads and digital ads is being used in the residence halls. "I think all that is going to help. If we make students aware, they're more likely to participate." 

Michigan residents who are unable to make it to the Voter Registration Day event can register to vote online until Monday, Oct. 19. They may also visit any Michigan Secretary of State office. Residents of all states can find voter information at

UMC Online Photo Database Upgrade Tuesday

University Marketing and Communications' online photo database (Cumulus) will be upgraded beginning Tuesday (Sept. 22).

The system will be unavailable from 7 a.m. Tuesday until 8 a.m. Wednesday (Sept. 23).

Humboldt Fellowship Awarded to El-Ganainy

Ramy El-Ganainy (Physics), has been awarded the prestigious Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers. This fellowship will support El-Ganainy for a period of 18 months (split over three years) to work on "Quantum Optics near Exceptional Points" in collaboration with Kurt Busch at the Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany.

Carol Wingerson Retires After Three Decades at Michigan Tech

Carol Wingerson, senior administrative aide in the Graduate School, has retired after many years of service to Michigan Tech. Until her retirement, she was the longest-serving member of the Graduate School, playing a pivotal role in its daily operations.The Graduate School recognizes Wingerson’s role in its success and congratulates her on a well-deserved retirement.

Wingerson has worked in various capacities at Michigan Tech for more than three decades. Her first job on campus was with the Michigan Tech Bookstore where she was employed for one week for the Fall 1987 book rush. In September 1987, she was hired at the Biological Sciences Department where she served for eight years. She moved to the Graduate School in April 1996 and remained there, for 24 years, till her retirement.

Wingerson has an extremely long track record of seamlessly handling numerous aspects of the Graduate School admission process and meeting the needs of students. She began her work at the Graduate School as a front desk person. In this role, she was responsible for data entering applications for admission, processing mail, greeting visitors, and answering phones among other responsibilities. In 2004, Wingerson became responsible for more of the application/admission processes. From 2006, she interacted with more than 35,000 applicants, processed and prepared over 15,000 graduate acceptance letters, and initialized I-20s for all international graduate students.

Reflecting on her experience at the Graduate School, Wingerson said, “When hired into the Graduate School we had five staff members including the Dean and myself. Now the Graduate School has a staff of 12. I've thoroughly enjoyed my time working at Michigan Tech”

Staff at the Graduate School had this to say about Wingerson’s work: “She has been a great colleague with a strong work ethic and technical expertise. Carol has always had our students’ best interests at heart. She will be sorely missed by all of us.”

She plans to do a bit of traveling during her retirement.

MTU Awarded DARPA Phase 1 Project

A team led by Stephen Techtmann (BioSci/GLRC) with Rebecca Ong (ChE/SFI), David Shonnard (ChE/SFI) and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE), in collaboration with Ting Lu (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), were awarded a Phase 1 project by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Resource Program within the Biological Technologies Office.

The project “BioPROTEIN – Biological Plastic Reuse by Olefin and Ester Transforming Engineered Isolates and Natural Consortia,” is funded at $2.53M (Phase 1) with the potential total award (including Phase 2 and 3) of more than $7.5M. Read more on mtu/edu/news

Chemistry Seminar Friday

There will be a Chemistry Seminar at 3 p.m. Friday (Sept. 18) via Zoom.

Steven M Firestine will present "Adventures in Antimicrobial Drug Discovery: Purine Biosynthesis and Spore Germination."

Firestine is a professor in pharmaceutical sciences at Wayne State University.

Zoom password: 859189

Job Posting

Job Posting for Wednesday, September 16, 2020

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

Administrative Aide 7, Mechanical Engineering - Engineering Mechanics. UAW Posting 9/16/2020 - 9/22/2020. External applications will not be reviewed until all internal applications are considered. 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 an interview at Michigan Technological University, please notify the Human Resources office at 906-487-2280 or

On the Road

Lindsay Hiltunen, University archivist, participated in the virtual Texas Oral History Association Conference, which celebrated 50 years of the Oral History Center at Baylor University and held sessions from luminaries in the field this past weekend.

Networking allowed Hiltunen to continue workshopping “From the Rink to the Repository: 100 Years of Michigan Tech Hockey,” an oral history project through the 2020-2021 season, sponsored by the Michigan Humanities Council.


Fill Out the COVID-19 Symptom Tracking Form Before Coming to Campus

A reminder that no one is permitted to come to campus with symptoms consistent with COVID-19. All employees are required to monitor their symptoms daily before coming to campus. The Daily Symptom Tracking Form is a short form that will help you determine if you have COVID-19 symptoms. 

 In addition, all visitors must fill out the Visitor Symptom Tracking Form each day before coming on campus. 


Alumni and Friends Virtual Book Club

Beginning Tuesday (Sept. 22), join us as we embark on an amazing journey down America’s Great Loop with Hailey, Robin, and Trish. “More Than You Think You Know” written by our very own, Cyndi Perkins (UMC). This is a story about ships and friendships that follows three renegade women piloting a 44-foot steel yacht down the Heartland rivers between Chicago and Mobile Bay.

This experience will be both via live “zoom” coffee chats (weekly on Tuesdays from 2-2:30 p.m.) and optional written discussions. Click here to register today. Don’t forget to pick up a copy of the book so that you are ready to “sail”. More information on the weekly schedule and what to expect can be found here. If you have any questions feel free to contact Heather Sander, assistant director, Alumni Programming or call 7-2466.


TIAA Virtual Retirement Counseling Sessions Available

TIAA is offering virtual retirement counseling sessions on the following days:

  • Thursday, Sept. 24
  • Wednesday, Sept. 30
  • Wednesday, Oct. 14
  • Thursday, Oct. 22
  • Tuesday, Nov. 10
  • Wednesday, Nov. 18

To schedule an appointment with TIAA call 800-732-8353 or book online


Origin of the Term Latinx Presentation Tomorrow

Join the Center for Diversity and Inclusion and the Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) as we discuss the evolution of the term Latinx with Cristobal Salinas. The event will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 17) via Zoom.  

“Latinx" is a term that has emerged in recent years. This presentation will engage in a dialogue about the importance of Latinx/a/o/* students’ identities and labels that have been (mis)used, (mis)interpreted, and have not been fully examined.

The goal is to illuminate how the politics of naming social identities can perpetuate structures of power, and work toward transforming higher education through critical naming processes. 

New Funding

Gordon Parker (ME-EM/AIM) is the principal investigator on a project that received a $49,999 research and development Co-op/Joint Agreement-Cost from the US Dept of Defense, Army Research Lab.

The project is entitled, "Optimal and Machine Learning Management of Energy Networks." This is the first year of a potential three-year project.


Chunxiu Yu (BioSci/HRI) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $463,747 research and development grant from the National Institutes of Health.

The project is entitled, "Functional Dissection of Neural Circuitry in Temporally Patterned Deep Brain Stimulation." This is a three--year project.

In the News

A story on the Isle Royale Winter Study by Associated Press environmental writer John Flesher has been picked up by newspapers throughout the region, including the Escanaba Daily PressStar Tribune (Minneapolis), Pinal Central (Casa Grande, Arizona), the Imperial Valley Press (El Centro, California) and many more.

The story was also covered by writer Jeff Walters for the CBC.


Michigan Tech's virtual K-Day celebration was covered by the Daily Mining Gazette.


Orbion Space Technology was featured in the story "Space Company in UP Scores Satellite Thruster Contract," in dbusiness (Detroit).


Sophia Owen, a junior Electrical Engineering major, has been awarded an American Transmission Scholarship by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). The announcement was made in

Today's Campus Events

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Superior Wilderness: Art from the Isle Royale Collection

Selections of art from the Isle Royale artist in residence program. Exhibit runs Sept. 1 - 16.


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Study Abroad in London

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UPTLC Virtual Workshops: Empowering Students to Learn Without You and The Importance of Self-Care

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Husky Hour- Exploring the Keweenaw

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General Meeting - Career Fair Panel

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Come join the brothers for kickball at the softball fields by the tech trails. Rides can be provided if need be.


USG Weekly Meeting

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