Food Waste to Fertilizer: Dining Services Launches Composting Pilot Program

Food waste will help gardens grow and promote healthy landscapes on the Michigan Tech campus thanks to the new composting unit in the dish room of Wadsworth Hall kitchen. About the size of a residential washing machine, the electrically operated unit can process up to 250 pounds of food waste in a 12-to-15-hour cycle. It generates water as a byproduct of the hydration process, reducing compostable waste weight and volume 83 to 93% and producing an end product that can be used to improve soil.

Dining Services is currently piloting the system using pre-consumer food waste—material generated in the kitchen during food preparation—but plans to expand collection to post-consumer wastes as dining hall operations return to normal. Students are involved in the project on the research end, analyzing the dry, granular end product, which appears similar to oatmeal flakes or sawdust, to determine its most beneficial uses as a fertilizer and soil amendment. Their research will help the Grounds Department decide how best to use the product for operations including turf management and maintenance of Michigan Tech’s numerous gardens.

This sustainability initiative comes at an opportune time. Through the course of the global pandemic, Dining Services has worked hard to adapt to changing guidelines while safely providing a variety of food options for students, faculty, and staff on a daily basis. A significant increase in food-related wastes, including takeout containers, carry-out bags, and post-consumer food waste is an unfortunate consequence. Adjustments were made to manage the increased trash volume, but the best alternative is to reduce waste volume altogether.

A 2019 Recycling Infrastructure Grant awarded to the University from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) has helped to fund a number of recycling initiatives on campus, including the Ecovim 250® in-vessel composting unit. A portion of the unit’s costs was also covered by a matching contribution from Dining Services. If you have any questions about the composting pilot at Wadsworth Hall, contact Dining Services at 7-2664.

Use Duo When Traveling

 If your holiday plans must include international travel, please review the options for using Duo while traveling. It is important to remember that SMS and Call Me options may not work in certain countries. We recommend using the Duo app on a mobile device (connected to WiFi) and choosing either the push notification or the passcode option if no network is available.

If the Duo app isn’t an option for you, contact IT before leaving to discuss alternative solutions. For questions about Duo, we can help. Contact us at or call 7-1111.

Stay Physically Active with UP and Moving

A team of Michigan Tech graduate students in the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology is offering an "UP and Moving" initiative for campus and community members. UP and Moving aims to keep adults physically active and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic by:

  • Increasing awareness about the importance of regular physical activity
  • Providing resources to keep the community informed, active, and healthy
  • Delivering a free virtual exercise program to increase weekly physical activity

Join us on Zoom or Facebook Live for any of our guided weekly workouts (30-45 min). No special equipment is required and the workouts can be done right from home. The workouts will be held:

  • Saturday — 10 a.m.
  • Tuesday — 6 p.m.
  • Thursday — 9:30 a.m.

Also, join us on Zoom for a shorter lunchtime workout (15-20 min). This workout is designed as a quick movement break from prolonged sitting/computer work and can be done right from the office or home.

  • Wednesday noon and again at 12:30 p.m.

For more information about staying active visit the UP and Moving website.

Update to Fitness Center Hours December 4-18

Beginning today (Dec. 4) and running through Friday, Dec. 18, hours for the SDC Fitness Center will be as follows:

  • Monday - Friday, 6 a.m. - 8 a.m. MTU faculty/staff SDC members only
  • Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. MTU students & MTU faculty/staff SDC members combined
  • Monday - Friday, 7 - 8 p.m. MTU faculty/staff SDC members only
  • Saturday & Sunday, noon to 5  p.m. MTU students & MTU faculty/staff SDC members combined

View the full SDC building schedule.

ADVANCE Weekly Roundup

Are you ready to be an ally for equity in higher education? Today’s edition of the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup features an article from The Chronicle of Higher Education focusing on ways Black academics believe their white colleagues can better support them within their units and across campus. Use today’s resources as a launchpad but be sure to simultaneously have regular conversations with underrepresented individuals to ensure your allyship is best positioned as an effective partnership.

For example, while we all know that hard work is requisite for success in academia, not everyone recognizes that underrepresented minorities often face an even heavier work burden in order to be successful. As a double whammy, perceptions of the value of contributions are not equitable either. Simply confronting these inequities is one place where allyship can be critical.

If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.

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. These articles are available on the ADVANCE Newsblog.

To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us or visit the ADVANCE website.

PhD Dissertation Proposal: Joshua Gonzalez

Joshua Gonzalez will present his PhD Dissertation Proposal titled "Short-term Fasting and Autonomic Control" from 2 to 3 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 10).

In developed societies, such as the United States, obesity has emerged as a serious public health challenge. Obesity is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and overall mortality. Fasting is a rapidly growing dieting concept being adopted by individuals wanting to improve their health.

Caloric restriction without malnutrition increases life span and protects against stress in many animal models including yeast, worms, flies, mice, rats, and monkeys. Chronic intermittent fasting regimens improve multiple indicators of cardiovascular health in animals and humans, including blood pressure, resting heart rate, and blood cholesterol.

In humans, periodic fasting as short as 24 hours once a month is associated with a lower prevalence of coronary artery disease and diabetes. However, the question remains as to whether short-term fasting exerts a physiological effect, such as a beneficial cardiovascular stress-response mechanism (i.e. exercise).

The autonomic nervous system uses both sympathetic and parasympathetic outflows to regulate blood pressure, heart rate, cerebrovascular blood flow, and metabolism. Few studies have documented the influence of short-term fasting on the autonomic nervous system in humans.

Central Question: The purpose of this research study is to identify how an acute fast influences cardiovascular and neurovascular control of blood pressure at rest and during stress in both men and women. Please contact for the Zoom link prior to the seminar.

Speaking Up: How Bystanders Can Change The Conversation About Social Bias

Have you ever wondered "Why didn't I say something?" after witnessing social bias- a stereotype, a prejudice, or discrimination- that happened in your everyday life? Deciding whether and how to respond to bias is complicated. Understanding what motivates us to speak up, the challenges we face when doing so, and strategies for effectively responding can help bystanders to better evaluate their options and select effective strategies.

In this web-based workshop, will first learn about bystander reactions to social biases and how these reactions can help or hinder decisions to speak up. Attendees will then be invited to apply these concepts to everyday incidents of bias in academic settings through facilitated interaction and discussion.

This workshop is being offered in conjunction with the ADVANCE Midwest Partnership-Joining Forces, a collaborative effort between Michigan Tech, Iowa State University, North Dakota State University, and Western Michigan University and funded by the National Science Foundation's ADVANCE Partnership grant.

Speaking Up will be offered 3 times from Dec. 14-15 and capacity in each session is limited to 50 from all partnership universities combined. While this program is geared towards faculty, all are welcome to attend.

If you would like to attend, please register.

This Week's Hockey Series Against Minnesota State Moved to Sunday and Monday

The Michigan Tech hockey series against No. 6 Minnesota State scheduled for this weekend has been moved to Sunday and Monday (Dec. 6/7). The puck will drop at 6:07 p.m. Sunday and 5:07 p.m. Monday at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

With the recent State of Michigan Department of Health and Human Services order, fans will not be permitted into the building. Read the Emergency Order. The information regarding organized sporting events can be found under Section 6: Organized Sports Gathering Restrictions.

Fans can watch both games at FloHockey. Annual ($150) or monthly ($29.99) subscriptions are available and each subscriber will have access to all WCHA games along with the full Atlantic Hockey schedule and other exclusive content. An annual subscription also includes all of the WCHA Playoffs. Download the FloSports app today on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and the App Store.

The games will be broadcast on 93.5 FM WKMJ. Fans can listen live on the radio, online at or, or by using your favorite radio streaming app.

This weekend's series will be nonconference with a WCHA matchup scheduled for January 8-9 in Mankato.


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

If you are working on campus while the University is at Health Safety Level Five, remember that no one is permitted to come to campus with symptoms consistent with COVID-19. 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.


Free Holiday Pies

Due to COVID-19, Staff Council is unable to have the annual Holiday Dinner at the MUB this year. However, thanks to an in-kind donation from one of our foodservice vendors, along with additional support from the President's Office, Dining Services and Staff Council, we would like to offer a free pie to our faculty and staff members as a small token of our appreciation for your hard work over the past year.

Please fill out this form to reserve your pie to reserve your pie by 5 p.m. today (Dec. 4). Pies can be picked up from noon to 3 p.m. Dec. 17 and 18 from at the MUB. If you have any questions email Staff Council.


Civil Engineering PhD Defense

There will a PhD defense at 11 a.m. Tuesday (Dec. 8) via Zoom. Sergio Miguel López Ramírez will present "Modeling the Effects of Hydrologic Service Payments on the Hydrology of Tropical Montane Watersheds in Central Veracruz, Mexico


"Reparations 2" Virtual Concert Tomorrow

The Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts/Department of Visual and Performing Arts presents a virtual streamed video concert by the Superior Wind Symphony (SWS), titled “Reparations 2,” planned for 7:30 p.m. tomorrow (Dec. 5)

Led by Michigan Tech’s director of bands Mike Christianson (VPA), the title surrounds the theme of “little-known and under-recognized Black American composers in history.” This concert is free and open to the public, and the "view/stream link" can be accessed on the Rozsa Center website.


Chemical Engineering Seminar

The next Chemical Engineering Seminar will take place at 1 p.m. today (Dec. 04) via Zoom (Passcode: 892175). Raisa C.A. Ela, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemical Engineering will present "Innovative Sustainable Wood Preservatives From Pulp and Paper Industry Byproduct".


Online Customer Appreciation Sale

The holidays are rapidly approaching and that means it’s time to visit the Michigan Tech Campus Store and University Images' website for our Online Customer Appreciation Sale today through Sunday (Dec. 4 - 6).

All Michigan Tech branded apparel and souvenirs are 25% off. Curbside pick-up is available at University Images: order online, at checkout choose in-store pick-up, and we’ll contact you when your order is ready!

For inquiries, please feel free to contact us at 1-800-850-0688. Our adjusted hours due to Michigan Tech being at Level 5 are:

  • Friday: Campus Store/University Images – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday: University Images – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Winter Bike Removal and Storage

It is time to move bikes into their designated winter bike storage areas. If left out, bikes will be damaged by snow removal operations. Bike racks around buildings are relocated so that they’re not crushed by plow equipment or accumulated piles of ice and snow. Many of the racks are simply moved closer to the buildings so that they are not in the way of snow plowing. Students, faculty and staff who continue to ride during the winter months can use these bike racks if they choose to. In addition, a number of sheltered bike rack locations are also available on campus as follows:

  • The bike racks on the north side of the Library
  • The bike rack at the entrance of the GLRC
  • There are vertical/hanging bike racks under the DOW overpass along Cliff Drive
  • The bike rack on the south side of the EERC
  • Wadsworth Hall and McNair Hall both have designated winter bike racks for residents

Bikes remaining on racks or left in other locations on campus after 5 p.m. today will be considered abandoned. The University assumes no liability for abandoned bikes on campus and they will be collected by the Department of Public Safety and Police Services. Permanent winter bike storage is available for some students.

Read more about bike storage. If you have any questions on winter bike accessibility on campus, contact Facilities Management at 7-2303.

New Funding

Tim Colling (CEE/CTT) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $527,746.52 other sponsored activities contract-cost from the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT).

The project is entitled, "2021 Michigan Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP)." Pete Torola (CEE/CTT) and Chris Codere (CEE/CTT) are Co-PI's on this 15-month project.

Today's Campus Events

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PhD Defense: Adewale Aremu Adesanya

Environmental & Energy Policy Co-advisors: Chelsea Schelly and Roman Sidortsov A Transdisciplinary Analysis of Just Transition Pathways to 100% Renewable Electricity ...


PhD Defense: Sergio Miguel Lopez Ramirez

Civil Engineering Co-advisors: Alex Mayer and Veronica Webster Modeling the Effects of Hydrologic Service Payments on the Hydrology of Tropical Montane Watersheds in Central...


PhD Defense: Michelle Brill

Forest Science Co-advisors: Rodney Chimner and Sigrid Resh Soil Sustainability Across the Americas Attend Virtually:


Innovative Sustainable Wood Preservatives From Pulp and Paper Industry Byproduct

Chemical Engineering Seminar Raisa C. A. Ela PhD Candidate Department of Chemical Engineering Michigan Technological University Abstract: In the modern forest industry, the...


PhD Defense: Yang Yang

Materials Science and Engineering Advisor: Paul Sanders Influence of Rapid Solidification and Wrought Processing on Precipitation Strengthening and Deformation Mechanisms in...


CS Lecture: Joel LeBlanc of MTRI

Senior Research Scientist Joel LeBlanc of Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI) will present his lecture, "Testing the Validity of Physical (Software) Models in Inverse...


KIP Fall Seminar Series

Back to the Future: Career Experiences in Research and Medical Lab Science with guest speaker Dr. Robert Larson from our own Department of Biological Sciences


Let's Chat Group

Did you have a long week? Feel like you studied so much you can’t possibly fit anymore information in your brain? Want someone to talk to? Or maybe laugh with? Come check out...


Tools for Monitoring RNA Modifications and Drug Interactions

Chemistry Seminar Series Dr. Christine Chow, Biochemistry Professor Wayne State University Abstract: Among different RNA modifications, the helix 69 (H69) region of the...