COVID-19 Vaccinations: What MTU Employees Should Know

Earlier this year distribution of COVID-19 vaccines began. In the wake of the initial vaccinations, there are a lot of questions. The obvious question from most in the campus community is "When can I get vaccinated?"

Sarah Schulte, general counsel and secretary to the Board of Trustees, answers some of the questions employees and others may have in the following Q&A.

Q: Does the University have a vaccination plan?

SS: Michigan Tech is committed to making it as easy as possible for our employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and is working regularly with the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department (WUPHD) and local health care providers to understand vaccine availability and distribution in our area.

Q: How will they prioritize who gets the vaccine and when?

SS: Prioritization is set by the State of Michigan and includes these priority groups:

  • 1A — Health care workers and long-term care residents and employees
  • 1B — Essential front-line workers
  • 1C — Other essential workers
  • 2 — Everyone else

Michigan Tech and the WUPHD are currently determining which of our employees fit within each vaccine priority group. Due to the increased risk of severe illness in older individuals, the State of Michigan has also determined that those 65 and older may receive the vaccine at this time — running that group concurrent with the top of the 1B group. 

Q: What is the timeline for vaccinations?

SS: Earlier this month, in partnership with the WUPHD, we were able to hold our first vaccine clinic for those at the top of the 1B category, including COVID-19 lab employees, medical first responders and our police officers, as well as some local preschool teachers. We are hopeful that soon the amount of vaccine in our area will be sufficient to enable us to partner with either the WUPHD or a local health care provider to distribute additional vaccine in accordance with the state's prioritized levels.

Q: Will the University be vaccinating employees?

SS: Information regarding vaccine clinics will be provided to supervisors as their employees become eligible and vaccine is available. However, employees do not need to wait for a vaccine clinic on our campus — they may obtain the vaccine elsewhere. Information on how to obtain the vaccine is available from several sources, including WUPHD, Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center, Aspirus and UP Health System - Portage. At this time, we are hopeful that we will be vaccinating priority group 1C (Beyond the 65+ age group) by late spring. But that will be determined by vaccine availability.

Q: Will MTU employees be required to get the vaccine?

SS: Michigan Tech is not requiring any employees or students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and there is no need to report your vaccination to the University if you receive it at a location other than a Michigan Tech vaccine clinic. We want to make the vaccine widely available to all of our students, faculty and staff as soon as possible, and we will continue to make this a priority as long as the need remains.

Q: Once I have been vaccinated, will I still have to wear a face covering and follow other COVID-19 protocols?

SS: Yes, employees who have received the COVID-19 vaccine still need to follow all COVID-19 campus protocols. This includes social distancing, wearing a face covering, and daily symptom monitoring prior to arriving on campus.

Here is the response from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the topic:

"Not enough information is currently available to say if or when the CDC will stop recommending that people wear masks and avoid close contact with others to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide in real-world conditions before making that decision. Other factors, including how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities, will also affect this decision. We also don’t yet know whether getting a COVID-19 vaccine will prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to other people, even if you don’t get sick yourself. CDC will continue to update this page as we learn more.

While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic.

To protect yourself and others, follow these recommendations:

  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others
  • Avoid crowds
  • Avoid poorly ventilated spaces
  • Wash your hands often

Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19.

Q: Who do we contact if we have more questions?

SS: All questions may be emailed to

2021 COVID-19 Town Hall Series

The COVID-19 Community Town Hall series returns. How is the Upper Peninsula impacted by COVID-19? Join us for an in-depth look at the many facets of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Town Hall series will be presented monthly, January-April on the last Thursday of each month. The first COVID_19 Town Hall for 2021 can be heard at 7 p.m. Thursday (Jan. 28) and the last Thursday of each month, through April.

Organized by the Health Research Institute at Michigan Technological University, the 60-minute town hall broadcasts can be heard live on 97.7 The Wolf (WOLV-FM) and 99.1 (WIKB-FM) and viewed through a Zoom Webinar and Facebook Live.

The town hall can also be viewed on ABC 10 the following Sunday at noon EST. Over the course of the series, moderated by Steven Elmer and Kelly Kamm (KIP/HRI), clinicians, public health officials, researchers and community experts will discuss a range of pandemic-related issues.

This month's Town Hall will focus on "Vaccines.” More information along with the Town Hall Series can be found here.

Debweyendan Community Food Sovereignty Initiative

The Debweyendan (“believe in it”) Indigenous Gardens (DIGs) community food sovereignty initiative strengthened the partnership between the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) Natural Resources Department, Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC), and the Western U.P. Planning and Development Region (WUPPDR).

The collaboration aimed to promote food sovereignty, strengthen well being and cultural identity, and sustain knowledge for future generations.

Made possible by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund Community Health Impact in 2019, community members were welcomed to join a series of twelve (12) garden and harvesting workshops (both tribal and non-tribal community members).

The following resources have been created to share information about inter-generational learning and access to healthy foods and medicines through a community-driven food sovereignty initiative.

  1. Story Map Debweyendan (“believe in it”) Indigenous Gardens (DIGs)
  2. A Portfolio for Community Workshops - Debweyendan (“believe in it”) Indigenous Gardens (DIGs)
  3. Program Evaluation: A Report for Debweyendan (“believe in it”) Indigenous Gardens (DIGs)

Chemistry Olympiad 2021

There is still time to register your children/students for Chemistry Olympiad UP Section Exam. Registration is open until Sunday (Jan. 31).

Chemistry Olympiad 2021 will be an online Chemistry competition open to all high school students from any UP school or home school. Participation is free and no travel required.

Sign up on the google form Sunday.

  • Exam Date: Saturday, March 27, 3 - 4:45 p.m. (EST)
  • All registrants will be put into drawing for prizes! (regardless of exam participation) We prepare a lots of prizes so there's a great chance of winning
  • All exam participants receive participation gift. Participation certificates upon reques.
  • Top scorers Receive medals and prizes (Amazon Gift cards and more) and the opportunity to participate in US National Chemistry Olympiad (also online)

More information and event updates can be found here. The UP Chemistry Olympiad, is hosted by the American Chemical Society and Michigan Technological University. Please contact the coordinator, Momoko Tajiri for any questions!

Hockey Ranked in Top 20

The Michigan Tech hockey team is ranked in the top 20 nationally for the first time this season. The Huskies are ranked No. 18 in this week's Top 20 poll. As of Monday, the Huskies have won six straight games and are 7-3-1 overall. Tech has received votes in 10 of the 11 previous polls this season. The last time the Black and Gold cracked the top 20 was January 13, 2020.


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.


"Automate Your Funding Search" Session Tomorrow

Set aside this hour on your calendar from noon to 1 p.m. tomorrow ( Jan. 27). In this session, we'll help you get your profile set up on GrantForward, Michigan Tech’s funding search database, to optimize your search for external research funding.

Once your profile is set up, you can opt to receive notifications of funding opportunities that match your research interests. Do you have a recent electronic CV or list of publications handy? Join us in this Zoom session. Contact if you have questions.


This Week in the Lode

Featured this week in the Michigan Tech Lode:




Check out our website to see past articles and more.


Parenting All Rainbow Kids Meets Today

Parenting All Rainbow Kids (PARK) is a faculty/staff-led group for the parents/guardians of LGBTQIA* youth. PARK aims to offer group members a confidential, supportive community where we can learn and grow as parents/guardians together.

During the spring semester meetings will be held at 10 a.m. on the third Tuesday of each month.

Our next meeting is at 10 a.m. today (Jan. 26) via Zoom. Everyone is welcome.Everyone is welcome. For questions or concerns, contact Michelle Jarvie-Eggart, Amber Kemppainen, or Amy Howard.

In Print

Kari B. Henquinet (SS/PHC) published article "Time, (Com)passion, and Ethical Self-Formation in Evangelical Humanitarianism" in a special issue of the Journal of Religious Ethics focused on the anthropology of ethics, moral experimentation, and humanitarianism. The article is available here.


Adam Wellstead (SS) and Gemma Carey (University of New South Wales) published "Introduction: The Virtual World of the Public Servant," In: Sullivan H., Dickinson H., Henderson H. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of the Public Servant. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Today's Campus Events

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

DENALI: Artists Respond to Music Inspired by Wilderness

Friday, Jan. 22 - Saturday, April 17. Art and music inspired by Alaska's wild places. This gallery exhibit features new musical compositions and works created in response to...


Private Equity for Innovation: Panel with Michigan Tech Alumni Experts

Entrepreneurs exploring financing options for their innovation, future private equity investors, and current equity investors will find this panel discussion with Michigan...


CTL instructional Awards: Curriculum Development, Katrina Black

Tuesday, January 26, 2021 at 3:30PM


Youth Indoor Rock Climbing Spring Session 1

Is your child literally climbing the walls this winter? Sign up now for the OAP Youth Indoor Rock Climbing Class and let them climb our wall! We try to meet each participant...


Youth Huskies Group Tennis Lessons Spring Session 1

Youth Huskies Group Tennis Lessons are now being offered all spring. The first session is 5 weeks, January 19 - February 20. Options for participating 1 or 2 days a week. Our...


UP and Moving - High Intensity Interval Training "HIIT"

Michigan Tech students in the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology are offering an "UP and Moving" initiative for campus and community members. UP and Moving...


WMTU Music Trivia Night 2021

Join WMTU for a virtual music trivia event on January 26th from 6 to 7 PM! Test your knowledge of pop artists, classic rock, song lyrics, moments in music history, and much...


Adult Huskies Swim Clinic Spring Session 1

Adult Huskies Swim Clinic provides additional attention and competitive guidance to swimmers ages 18 and older who are looking to improve their swimming skills and fitness...


Chemistry Undergraduate Overview

Bring your questions and find out how our programs in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology – Chemistry Focus, Cheminformatics, Chemistry, and Pharmaceutical Chemistry prepare...


DENALI: Music and Art Inspired by Wilderness

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...