Update on MTU's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Efforts

The Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion is pleased to announce the hiring of two individuals to support the University’s efforts to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment. Michael Blanco joins Michigan Tech as the director of diversity and inclusion operations after a 28-year stint in Penn State's Multicultural Resource Center and the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity. During this time, his efforts focused on student counseling, grants administration and diversity strategic planning. In his new role, he will support the University-wide development and implementation of the Michigan Tech Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan. Additionally, Paige Short, currently a project manager for University Marketing and Communications, will join the team as assistant to Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Wayne Gersie.

To further the work of the newly created office, President Rick Koubek recently established the President’s Council Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion. The task force is charged by President Koubek to develop initiatives that support the University’s systemic diversity and inclusion goals in a way that delivers transparent, high-impact action items within a 120-day time frame. In the coming weeks, the Office of the VP for Diversity and Inclusion will launch a website to catalog all the University’s activities and provide resources, programming, and other diversity, equity and inclusion updates. We encourage you to visit the site to sign up for email updates.

Finally, to consolidate the University’s diversity and inclusion efforts, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) will now report to Vice President Gersie. During this transition, he will work closely with various campus stakeholders to reimagine the goals and objectives of the CDI to best serve our students and the broader campus community.

Several MTU Degree Programs Ranked Among Nation's Best

Several degree programs at Michigan Tech have been ranked among the best in the nation by Intelligent.com. In addition, the research guide ranked the University number three among all colleges in Michigan.

Intelligent.com looked at nearly 2,300 accredited colleges and universities nationwide making evaluations based on curriculum quality, graduation rate, reputation and post-graduate employment. Programs were evaluated on a scale of 0 to 100 with Michigan Tech making it to the final list for 12 separate degree programs.

Michigan Tech programs rated by Intelligent.com and their national ranking are:

The 2021 rankings are calculated through a scoring system that includes student engagement, the potential return on investment, and leading third-party evaluations.

Michigan Tech Research Forum Feb. 25

Yoke Khin Yap (Physics) will be featured at the Michigan Tech Research Forum (MTRF) on Thursday, (Feb. 25). The lecture will begin at 4:30 p.m. Yap’s presentation is titled "Positive Use of Negative Properties at the Nanoscale." Additional details can be found on the MTRF website. The presentation will be available via Zoom.

The MTRF is presented by the Office of the Provost in coordination with the Office of the Vice President for Research. The forum showcases and celebrates the work of Michigan Tech researchers and aims to strengthen discussions in our community. All are welcome, including the general public.

This Week in the Lode

Featured this week in the Michigan Tech Lode:





Check out our website to see past articles and more.

PS — Do you enjoy writing, editing, photography or graphic design? We are currently in need of new individuals to join our staff! We meet weekly on Wednesdays and publish the same night on our website. Eventually, we will be returning to print publishing as well. We are a dedicated and fun group of individuals who enjoy representing campus life through news. Email us to find out how you can join the Lode.

Advance Weekly Roundup

 The COVID-19 pandemic has had profound impacts on all aspects of academia. An article from Science reports that recent studies indicate that the pandemic’s impact has hit academic mothers particularly hard. It has exacerbated existing disparities and created further challenges for women, including significant loss of time dedicated to research. Today’s edition of the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup features this article which encourages the use and consideration of COVID-19 impact statements in current and post-pandemic tenure and promotion reviews.

If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu 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 our website.

Children’s Book Drive

The Panhellenic Council is organizing a book drive to benefit Houghton Elementary School students. Through Feb. 28, they are collecting books, to be given to students in March, which is reading month.

Please consider donating some of your new, old or gently used children's books so together we can give the gift of reading.

Please bring your donations to the Memorial Union Building, room 112, there is a drop-off box there.

ACSHF Forum Monday

The next Applied Cognitive Sciences and Human Factors (ACSHF) forum takes place from 2 to 3  p.m. Monday (Feb. 22) via Zoom.

Chris Brill will present "Enhanced Validity from Field Studies: Why Laboratory Studies Can Only Get You So Far."

Brill is a Senior Research Psychologist at the Air Force Research Laboratory.

Abstract: Although laboratory studies can offer the best control, the artificiality of the laboratory can limit the generalizability of research results. This is especially true for studies of human-machine trust, where complacency or under-trust of a system offers little to no consequence. To this end, Brill will illustrate the benefits of leveraging field studies to validate the science borne of the laboratory, as illustrated by studies of US Air Force automated rotorcraft systems and the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.

Top 20 Women's Basketball Teams Meet this Weekend

Both teams are Nationally ranked. Both teams bring an impressive win streak. Only one team can prevail as No. 19 Michigan Tech travels to No. 9 Grand Valley State for two games tomorrow and Sunday (Feb. 20/21) at noon and 2 p.m. respectively at GVSU Fieldhouse Arena.

The Huskies (13-1) boast the eighth-best defense in NCAA Division II (53.1 points against) but will be tested against the Lakers (13-1), who have gone unbeaten (5-0) on their home court so far. Both games can be watched on the Grand Valley Sports Network. Tech fans can also tune in on AM 920 Saturday and 93.5 FM Sunday as well as online at pasty.net.

Men's Basketball Closes Home Portion of Schedule Against GVSU

Michigan Tech men's basketball takes on Grand Valley State in the final regular-season home series of the year at noon today (Feb. 19) and 11 a.m. tomorrow (Feb. 20). Both games are available for streaming via MTU's Stretch Internet Portal. Fans can also listen live on 93.5 FM or at pasty.net. Senior Isaac Appleby will be recognized in a special ceremony following the conclusion of Saturday's game.

The Huskies (9-5) enter the weekend in first place in the GLIAC North Division but hold a very narrow margin over Wisconsin-Parkside (8-6) with four games to play. All six teams in the Division are separated by just three wins. Meanwhile, Grand Valley State (8-5) enters on a three-game win streak, eyeing first place in the South. MTU and GVSU split the season series last season but the Huskies bested the Lakers 69-53 in the conference tournament semifinals, which subsequently caused the Lakers to miss out on a selection to the NCAA Regional Tournament.

Hockey Huskies Host Bemidji State

No. 18 Michigan Tech hosts Bemidji State this weekend for a WCHA series against the Beavers.

The puck drops at 7:07 p.m. today (Feb. 19) and 6:07 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 20). The two teams split their nonconference meeting in Bemidji in December.

The games can be heard on 93.5 FM, online on TheMix93.com or Pasty.com.


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.


''Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]' Tonight and Tomorrow

The Tech Theatre Company's virtual performances of "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]", by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, Jess Winfield and originally produced by the Reduced Shakespeare Company, continues tonight and tomorrow (Feb. 19/20). Join us for a whacky, entirely socially distanced theatre experience, live from the safety of your home.

Due to current coronavirus restrictions, the performances will only be available virtually. Performances will live-stream (yes, performed live) and will continue next Thursday through Saturday (Feb. 25-27). All performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. For tickets, please visit mtu.edu/rozsa or call Michigan Tech Ticketing Services at 7-2073. General public tickets are available for $10 (suggested donation) per device. Michigan Tech Students have free tickets available through the Experience Tech program. 

For more information, check out the full Tech Today story.


Chemical Engineering Seminar Today

The next Chemical Engineering Seminar Series will take place at 1 p.m. today (Jan. 19) via Zoom (passcode: 197174).

Michael S. Archambo, a PhD candidate in Chemical Engineering at Michigan Tech will present "New Horizons for Processing and Utilizing Red Mud."


Board of Trustees Meeting

The Board of Trustees will meet from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, via Zoom Webinar. A note for those attending: Due to the format of the Zoom webinar and to maintain a secure environment, non-Board members will not be able to use the microphone function, screen share, or view participants at the meeting aside from the individual currently speaking. The chat feature will be disabled.

Members of the public are invited to make public comments to the Board of Trustees in accordance with the Board of Trustees Bylaw 1.14. Those who wish to address items in the agenda and who have filed their intent with the Secretary of the Board as required by Bylaw 1.14 will be limited to five minutes.

Those addressing general topics are limited to three minutes. If you wish to provide public comments to the Board of Trustees, please submit your intent to Sarah Schulte, Secretary of the Board of Trustees, by Friday (Feb. 19).


American Red Cross Lifeguard Certification Course

Earn your American Red Cross Lifeguard Certification in a three-day intensive training course March 5-7 at the SDC Pool. The certification includes Lifeguard/First Aid/CPR/AED certifications and all training materials. Participants must be 15 years of age or older by the first date of the course (documentation required). Required water skills include the ability to swim 300 yards continuously, tread water for 2 minutes, and complete a timed event in which participants retrieve a 10-pound brick from a depth of 7-10 feet and swim 20 yards with the object. Online training prerequisites must be completed by the first day of classroom instruction. The instructor will contact class participants with online course information and directions. Cost $110/participant. The deadline to register is Feb. 26.


Chemistry Seminar Today

The next Spring Chemistry Seminar Speaker will be held at 3 p.m. today (Feb. 19), via Zoom.

Joseph J. Pignatello, chief scientist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experimental Station, will present “Interactions of organic compounds with natural and human-made pyrogenic carbonaceous materials—sorption, reaction, and catalysis.”


Participants Needed for Short-term Fasting Study

We are conducting a study to better understand how a 24-hour water-only fast influences blood pressure, heart rate, cerebral blood flow, and nerve activity.

You are eligible to participate if you :

  • Are between 18-40 years old
  • Are not taking oral contraceptives
  • Are not pregnant or trying to become pregnant
  • Have not been diagnosed with diabetes, a respiratory illness, or hypertension
  • Are not taking prescription stimulants or depressants
  • Have no history of nicotine use, blood clots, or fainting during procedures involving needles
  • Able to not eat for 24 hours

There is monetary compensation for participation Please send an email to jegonzal@mtu.edu if you have any questions about the study or to set-up a brief zoom orientation.

Deans' Teaching Showcase

Dean Johnson, Dean of the College of Business (COB), has selected Ulrich Schmelzle as our sixth Deans’ Teaching Showcase member. Johnson chose Schmelzle, an assistant professor of Supply Chain and Operations Management, for his “key role in the creation of the COB's Masters in Engineering Management degree, as well as a renewed interest in the COB's supply chain management degree.”

Johnson also noted that Schmelzle was inducted into the Academy of Teaching Excellence in 2020 and has seen an enthusiastic student response to his teaching. Schmelzle credits this positive reception to his willingness to adapt his teaching to the needs of his students. He calls himself a “student-centric gardener-instructor who adapts his teaching style to students’ needs and guides them towards self-directed growth and development.”

Schmelzle often has students work in small groups of two or three on exercises he calls “stretch goals.” He tries to connect the topics of these exercises directly to students' future careers and makes it a point to share his enthusiasm for the field. He provides an example: “One assignment in OSM4700 is to develop a transportation plan for specific Airbus aerospace products. The students identify the detailed transportation requirements, scan the logistics market, develop decision criteria, search for prices of different modes, and justify their decision. Afterward, we compare their decisions, and the feedback has been excellent. Students commented on feeling like a supply chain manager, understanding now why we discussed evaluation techniques.”

Schmelzle also believes that variety and fun are important in maintaining student motivation, so he uses “a range of activities such as field trips, case studies, negotiation exercises, business simulations, or role-plays to complement the traditional lecture format.” He emphasizes “The right mix is important.”

Comments from his students certainly seem to indicate he’s crediting the right reasons for his success. One student emphasized the value of activity and variety, responding "The instructor's emphasis on class participation was key to my success in the course. Also, having a variety of in-class and homework assignments kept my schedule structured." Other students mentioned the welcoming and “fun” atmosphere as a key, saying “Your classes are my favorite, and I look forward to coming. You greet your students, make jokes and are very welcoming.” Still others appreciate the real world experience and research connections Schmelzle weaves into the classroom. In their words, “The use of real life examples really helps solidify the learning of the material.”

But perhaps the main reason Johnson chose Ulrich was summed up by a fourth student, who simply said “Ulrich is a fantastic professor.”

Schmelzle will be recognized at an end-of-term luncheon with other showcase members, and is also a candidate for the CTL Instructional Award Series (to be determined this summer) recognizing introductory or large-class teaching, innovative or outside the classroom teaching methods, or work in curriculum and assessment.

In the News

Michigan Tech student researcher Lynette Webber was quoted in the story "Black History Month: How a runaway slave found a copper mine in Ontonagon County," on WJMN TV3.


Wayne Gersie, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, was quoted in the story "Honoring Black History: Diversity and inclusion on MTU’s campus," on WJMN TV3.


Michigan Tech was mentioned in the story "Earthquake shook parts of South Carolina Saturday night," which ran in several news outlets including Yahoo News.

Today's Campus Events

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

Black History Month Exhibit

This event is to showcase the excellence of black accomplishments throughout history. This will be an art exhibit in the east reading room in the library.


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...


UP and Moving - Yoga

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...


Creating Career Confidence

Wishing you had a little more confidence for your job search, interviews, future work relationships and more? This workshop will focus on building confidence, self-care during...


New Horizons For Processing and Utilizing Red Mud

Chemical Engineering Seminar Michael Archambo PhD Candidate Chemical Engineering Michigan Technological University Abstract Red mud is a dangerous waste material that...


Chat & Chill Group

We used to be the board game group. Then COVID... Now, we just chat and chill, and someday, we hope to meet in person again. For now, the goal is to relax, meet new friends,...


Interactions of organic compounds with natural and human-made pyrogenic carbonaceous materials—sorption, reaction, and catalysis.

Chemistry Seminar Series Dr. Joseph J. Pignatello , Chief Scientist at The Connecticut Agricultural Experimental Station Abstract: Pyrogenic carbonaceous materials (PCM)...


The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised] by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, Jess Winfield Tech Theatre presents a ZOOM virtual theatre experience LIVE for...


Winter Wonderhack 2021

Winter Wonderhack is a hackathon hosted annually by MTU's very own Humane Interface Design Enterprise, or HIDE. Typically the event is hosted in the library but due to Covid,...


Call for Submission: The Art of Valuing Water

World Water Day Event Community Art Show - "The Art of Valuing Water" Call for Submission: Artwork should be submitted between February 1, 2021 to March 1, 2021 for...


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...