Purpose-Driven Service in the Spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Every year on the third Monday of January, we celebrate the life, work, and sacrifice of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is widely known that Dr. King fought for a day when America would be a country of equals—when we would be judged by our merits, no matter the color of our skin, the religion we profess, or the place we were born.

The power of Dr. King’s words and the beauty of his dream are often the focus on this day. The phrase “I have a dream” is recognized by millions of Americans. Because Dr. King was one of the great orators of the 20th century, there is a tendency to focus on his inspirational quotes and powerful messages. But if we are truly to honor his legacy, particularly in these tumultuous times, we must go further. We are called to act. We must live the teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Institutions of higher education have long played a key role in the struggle for civil rights. Students have so often been agents of change throughout history. Michigan Tech is a place for invention, innovation, collaboration, and transformation, where all can contribute and make a difference. It is equally imperative that we at MTU continue to work toward advancing greater diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice. To that end, I repeat the words of Dr. King: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

If we are to move closer to becoming a nation free from inequality and injustice, I believe it will require our purpose-driven service. Service brings together people of all backgrounds and builds community across differences. It unites us through a shared commitment to a common goal or shared cause. Volunteering helps us see the humanity in each other and the ways we are alike. Further, what may seem impossible on our own is attainable when we create a culture of global volunteerism and collectively work toward our aspirational future.   

On MLK Day 2021, to honor Dr. King’s legacy and his impact on his own community and the nation, I encourage you to take some time to reflect on causes you are passionate about or ways you could help others. Then tomorrow, next week, next month, and throughout your lives, I urge you to get involved.

Here are links to resources you may find useful:

I ask you to consider committing to engage in activities that not only contribute to our mutual responsibility in solving the social problems facing our nation but also break down barriers and build bridges.

As we look to the months ahead, in the spirit of purpose-driven service, my office commits to developing a strategy for creating a more inclusive environment at Michigan Tech to answer life’s most persistent and urgent question. I look forward to collaborating with all of you on this important endeavor.

“Everyone can be great because everybody can serve.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

For a list of Michigan Tech's MLK Week, "More than a Day 2021" events, visit the Center for Diversity and Inclusion webpage.

University Senate to Meet Tomorrow

The University Senate will meet (meeting #652) at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow (Jan. 20) via Zoom.

Senators are responsible for making their constituents aware of the agenda for this meeting.

Senators who are unable to attend should arrange for their alternates to attend in their place. 

Review the agenda for meeting #652.

Among the items on the agenda, Josh Lohr (VPA), chair of the Ad-hoc Committee to Review Institutional Policy and Procedures for On-Campus Events will present The Ad-hoc Committee’s Report.

Stay Physically Active with "UP and Moving"

Michigan Tech students in the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology are offering a 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 FREE guided weekly workouts (30-45 min). No equipment is required and the workouts can be done right from home.

The workouts are held on:

  • Monday - Strength Workout (5:30 p.m.)
  • Tuesday - High Intensity Interval Training "HIIT" (6 p.m.)
  • Thursday - Circuit Workout (9:30 a.m.)
  • Friday - Yoga (9 a.m.)
  • Saturday - Surprise Workout (10 a.m.)

Also, join us on Zoom for a shorter lunchtime movement activity (15-20 min). This is designed as a quick movement break from prolonged sitting/computer work and can be done right from the office, desk, or home. It is held at noon and again at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.

All workouts are recorded and available to watch on our website through a YouTube channel. For more information about staying active visit the UP and Moving website or contact Steven Elmer (KIP).

Denali: Artists Respond to Music Inspired by Wilderness

The Department of Visual and Performing Arts and the Rozsa Center are pleased to announce "Denali: Artists Respond to Music Inspired by Wilderness," an exciting collaboration culminating in both a Rozsa Gallery A-Space exhibit and a virtual event

The project features composers and artists, their music, and the art inspired by it. "Denali: Artists Respond to Music Inspired by Wilderness," exists in the confluence of two languages — music and visual art.

It features eighteen works of art made in response to original chamber music inspired by composers’ experiences in Denali National Park, in central Alaska. The in-person gallery experience opens in the Rozsa Gallery A-Space on Friday (Jan. 22), and both the live and virtual events will be available through Saturday, April 17.

Gallery hours are:

  • M-F: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. 1:00 - 8:00 PM
  • Saturdays: 1 - 8 p.m.

The Denali virtual event can be streamed anytime from Jan. 22 to April 17 by visiting the Rozsa website.

QR codes, posted with each work of art throughout the gallery exhibit, provide links to the related pieces of music by scanning with a QR code reader on a smartphone.

Musical scores, program notes, artist statements, and biographies of all project participants will be available both inside the gallery exhibit and digitally as part of the virtual experience.

According to project leaders Terri Frew (VPA) and Libby Meyer, (VPA), “What do you get when you set nine composers loose in Denali National Park? You get nine great pieces of music. Give this music to artists as inspiration and you get eighteen great pieces of art!”

In conjunction with the A-Space Gallery exhibit, participants of Composing in the Wilderness, a shared wilderness experience for adventurous composers and members of the Elements Artist Group, will discuss the collaboration, share performances of the music and images of artwork in virtual music and art experience, featuring a series of videos with each composer, their music and artwork related to each piece of original music.

The Elements Artist Group comprises six artists anchored in Alaska including Charlotte Bird, Susan Campbell, Nancy Hausle-Johnson, Mary Bee Kaufman, Margo Klass and Ree Nancarrow.

The nine composers from the 2017 Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival’s Composing in the Wilderness Program include Jesse Budel, Christian Dubeau, Corinna Hogan, Aaron Keyt, Brent Lawrence, Libby Meyer, Christina Rusnak, Dawn Sonntag and Jennifer Wright.

The idea for the project was originally sparked by a painting Elements artist Mary Bee Kaufman rendered while listening to music written by Christina Rusnak in 2012. Their successful collaboration resonated with other Elements artists who were eager to explore a new challenge – making visual art in response to music inspired by a place they all love, Denali National Park.

Stephen Lias, Composing in the Wilderness director, shared the proposal with his Composing in the Wilderness musicians and they enthusiastically said, “Yes.”

In 2017, Lias led nine experienced composers into the backcountry of Denali National Park. They composed original chamber music inspired by their experiences in the wilderness and then shared recordings of their compositions, along with their scores, ideas, and inspiration with the Elements artists. Elements artists created visual responses to the music, generating eighteen works of art – two responses to each of the nine musical compositions. Artists worked in a variety of media including fiber art, ceramic tiles, painting, poetry, and artist books. Denali: Artists Respond to Music Inspired by Wilderness is evidence of the surprising results that emerge when artists collaborate.

The generous support of a Community Arts Development Grant from the Alaska State Council on the Arts helped fund the project along with sponsorship by the National Park Service, Alaska Geographic, Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, and Composers in the Wilderness.

A lecture by former GMES graduate

Michigan Tech alumna Shannon Kobs Nawotniak, (BS geology, '03), an associate professor at Idaho State University, will present a Zoom lecture “Submarines, Volcanoes, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life” at 6 p.m. Thursday (Jan. 21) at Muskegon Community College.

The lecture link is here.

CS Dept. Lecture: Shane Mueller, CLS


The Department of Computer Science will present a lecture, by Shane Mueller (CLS) at 3 p.m. Friday (Jan. 22)

Mueller is an associate professor in the Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors program.

His lecture is titled, “Explainable AI, and principles for building human-centered XAI systems.” Mueller’s research focuses on human memory and the representational, perceptual, strategic, and decisional factors that support it. He employs applied and basic research methodologies, typically with a goal of implementing formal quantitative mathematical or computational models of cognition and behavior. He is also the primary developer of the Psychology Experiment Building Language (PEBL), a software platform for creating psychology experiments.

Join the lecture here.


Semb Wins Freestyle, Women's Team Takes CCSA Victory

Henriette Semb won Sunday's 5K freestyle at the Gitchi Gami Games to help lead the Michigan Tech women's Nordic ski team to a CCSA victory on the weekend. All six skiers for the women's team had top-10 placings in the freestyle.

"Sunday was an awesome day for the women's team," coach Tom Monahan Smith said. "Henriette took the win with a really tight race. She had to come from behind after being four seconds back with a kilometer to go. She just put the hammer down to finish strong.

"Sunday was the best day we've had as a women's team. They all really attacked the racecourse from the start and closed strong to get incredible results."

Semb began the weekend with a second-place finish in Saturday's 10K classic. Olivia Laven was third in the freestyle and fifth in the classic. Anabel Needham also had a podium finish, placing third in the classic and then fourth in the freestyle.

Also in the freestyle, Oda Hovland placed sixth, Johanna Craig seventh, and Mary Lyon ninth. Craig and Lyon had top 15 finishes in Saturday's classic.

Reid Goble led the men's team with a pair of top-five placings. He was on the podium in the 10K freestyle in third and finished fifth in the 15K classic. Aleksi Leino also had a podium finish in the classic and placed eighth in the freestyle.

"We had a strong showing both days with some podium finishes on the men's side," added Monahan Smith. "We still have a little bit of work to do. I think they're still learning how to race again and execute their race strategies. It's nice to have different guys step up to the plate on different days.

"We're confident in where we are at with plenty of opportunities ahead of us. We accomplished our goal of having everyone get some good scoring results to start our NCAA qualification series."

Skylar Patten had a strong showing in the freestyle in fourth place and was top 15 in the classic. Adam Witkowski was ninth both days. Patrick Acton was seventh in the freestyle and 11th in the classic. Cedric Keller also had a top 10 in the freestyle and was 12th in the classic. Mark Ousdigian had a top 15 finish in the freestyle.

Henry Snider, Mitch DeLong, Aiden Truettner, Somer Schrock, and Tres Green also skied for the Huskies on the weekend.

Tech has the weekend off before traveling to Ishpeming on January 30-31 for the NMU Invitational at Al Quaal.

Job Posting

Job Posting for Tuesday, January 19, 2021

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.

Residence Education Coordinator (Four Positions), Residential Education and Housing. 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 mtujobs@mtu.edu.


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 Three, 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.


Tech Forward Campus Update Tomorrow

The Tech Forward leaders will provide the campus with an update on the progress of each initiative and related milestones. Each of the hour-long sessions will feature three Tech Forward initiatives, occurring weekly on Wednesdays for a period of three weeks. Below are the dates along with a link to the webinar for each of the presentations.  

Wednesday, Jan. 20 at noon (EST) 

  • Policy, Ethics, Culture 
  • Data Revolution and Sensing 
  • Health and Quality of Life 

Jan. 20 webinar link: https://michigantech.zoom.us/j/85494251129

Or Telephone:
        US: +1 312 626 6799  Webinar ID: 854 9425 1129


ME-EM Department Chair Search: Candidate Seminar Today

The Department of Mechanical Engineering - Engineering Mechanics is conducting an internal search for a new department chair. The first interview candidate is Jeff Allen (ME-EM).

The search committee invites the campus community to join us for a seminar by Allen on his vision for the ME-EM department, including the candidate’s administrative philosophy and plans for meeting short and long term goals; the direction of undergraduate and graduate education in the department; and resources needed to attain those goals.

The seminar will be held at 2 p.m. today (Jan. 19) via Zoom (password: 765123). The meeting is limited to users with an MTU ISO login.  

We also request campus feedback on the seminar through this Google form. Recordings of all candidate interviews and links to feedback forms will be located on this site. We kindly request feedback for Allen by Tuesday, Jan. 26.

Today's Campus Events

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

Donut Panic

Come grab a free donut in the library lobby for a sweet start to your semester!*while supplies last*


Interview Prep Session

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UP and Moving - High Intensity Interval Training "HIIT"

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More Than A Day: Doc & Talk

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Adult Huskies Swim Clinic Spring Session 1

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College of Computing Undergraduate Overview

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