The Instructional Bonds of Pandemic Chemistry Classes

Gloved hands hold a bottle with clear liquid.

Through remote instruction, hybrid classes and adaptive lesson plans, Department of Chemistry instructors helped their students through the pandemic. None of them want to do it again — but the pandemic, and its challenges and silver linings, varied between instructors, students and classes. 

Some profs learned they liked online lectures and want to keep them. Some dreaded hybrid class prep, with its inevitable tech issues and 600-plus separate containers needed to run a single lab experiment. They’re grateful for teaching assistants (TAs). Most are still weary. One plans to burn the face shield they wore during in-person lectures — Viking funeral pyre-style.

Read their stories on Unscripted, the University’s research blog.

New H-STEM Enterprise Team

A new Enterprise team will be launched for the fall 2021 semester. The H-STEM Enterprise will provide students with project-based experiences that ultimately aim to improve human health.

The team is seeking undergraduate and graduate students from a broad range of backgrounds (e.g., biology, biomedical engineering, exercise science/kinesiology, mechanical engineering, computer science, psychology and human factors) to tackle clinically oriented problems in health care and pioneer solutions.

For more information about the H-STEM Enterprise, contact Steven Elmer (KIP) at and/or attend one of two information sessions, which will be held virtually on Zoom tonight (Aug. 4) and Tuesday (Aug. 10). Both sessions will begin at 6 p.m.

Physics Colloquium

Visiting teacher Tamala Sebring will give a special colloquium talk on Friday (Aug. 6) at 1 p.m. in Fisher Hall, Room 101.

Sebring's talk is titled "Astrophysics for High School Physics Students."

Sebring, who earned her M.S. in Applied Science Education at Tech in 2020, is a physics teacher at Pittsfield High School in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Starting in June, she worked with Michigan Tech members of the High-Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) Gamma-ray Observatory project during a six-week-long Research Experience for Teachers (RET). Part of the RET was spent learning about the project and attending meetings with the group members as they discussed their research work. The majority of the time was spent designing and writing a unit of lesson plans intended to introduce high school students to the photoelectric effect and its uses.

The unit includes a variety of activities to pique students’ interest and immerse them in the details of the photoelectric effect. Students will also examine how the photoelectric effect is used in everyday objects, such as solar cells and digital cameras, and in astrophysics research arrays.

In her talk, Sebring will discuss the photoelectric effect unit lesson plans, demonstrate how to discharge a charged electroscope with light and share an additional resource that teachers can use to answer high school student questions.

MS Defense: Grant Thivierge, BioSci

M.S. candidate Grant Thivierge (BioSci) will hold his thesis defense at 1 p.m. today (Aug. 4). This is an online defense with virtual attendance via Zoom.

Thivierge's defense is titled "Dose-Dependent Arterial Stiffness Responses to Binge Alcohol Consumption."

He is advised by John Durocher and William Cooke.

Athletics Hires Communicator Zach Nicholas

Michigan Tech Athletics has hired Zach Nicholas as assistant director of athletic marketing and communication. Nicholas will serve as the primary media contact for soccer, Nordic skiing, and track and field. He will also assist the director of advertising sales with the execution of partnership contracts and artwork.

Nicholas continues with Michigan Tech after three years as an athletic communications intern. He is a native of South Range, Michigan, and completed his B.S. in Scientific and Technical Communication from Michigan Tech in 2019.

"I am very thankful to have the opportunity to promote my hometown Huskies, tell stories of our incredible student-athletes and establish and maintain strong relationships in the community," Nicholas said. "I am very appreciative of the invaluable experience and knowledge I have gained as an intern and am excited to continue with Michigan Tech in a new role."

Read more on the Michigan Tech Athletics website.

Tennis Huskies Receive ITA Academic Recognition

The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) has recognized Michigan Tech men's and women's tennis programs as 2021 ITA All-Academic Teams and named several players ITA Scholar-Athletes.

Teams are recognized for earning a team GPA of 3.2 or above. Individual scholar-athlete accolades are awarded for a GPA of 3.5 or above.

 Huskies recognized individually by the ITA are:

Women's program: Dominika Bobik, Marina Fernandez, Mirna Golac, Ivona Gorgioski, Samantha Johnson, Neva Manas and Lauren Opalewski. 

Men's program: Nico Caviglia, Andrew Freel, Vitor Jordao, Siddhesh Mahadeshwar, Ricardo Nunez Cuesta, Eli Pinnoo and Ambarish Rao.

Read more on the Michigan Tech Athletics website.

2021 GLIAC Football Virtual Media Day

The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) has announced the 2021 GLIAC Football Virtual Media Day Show will air on Monday (Aug. 9). The program will reveal the preseason poll, provide exclusive coverage and feature interviews and analysis of all eight league teams.

Sports analyst Jeanna Trotman and Emory Hunt will bring fans the latest insight, breakdowns and who to watch this upcoming season, beginning at 1 p.m. on the GLIAC's Facebook and YouTube channels.

Michigan Tech Football will be represented in the team preview interviews by head coach Steve Olson, junior quarterback Will Ark and All-American senior defensive lineman Nate LaJoie.

Read more on the Michigan Tech Athletics website.

Job Postings

Job Postings for Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021

Staff and faculty job descriptions are available on the Human Resources website. For more information regarding staff positions, call 906-487-2280 or email

For more information regarding faculty positions, contact the academic department in which the position is posted. 

Custodian* (12 months/ 40 hours/ first shift) #21193 and #21194, Facilities (AFSCME posting Aug. 4 to Aug. 10, 2021 — external applications will only be reviewed after internal applications). Apply online.
* Two positions available.

Custodian (nine months/ 40 hours/ third shift, Sunday-Thursday) #21195, Facilities (AFSCME posting Aug. 4 to Aug. 10, 2021 — external applications will only be reviewed after internal applications). 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 for an interview, at Michigan Technological University, please notify the Human Resources office at 906-487-2280 or

On the (Virtual) Road

Andrew Fiss (HU) presented a paper at the 26th International Congress of History of Science and Technology (ICHST) hosted virtually by Charles University, Prague, on July 27.

The paper is titled "Towards a history of math anxiety: From oral examination to written testing in American redefinitions of student performance, 1890s-1920s." Arguing for a history of math anxiety before the coining of the term, the presentation followed the redefinitions of student performance and written testing at the early years of Columbia Teachers College. 

Fiss presented the paper at a symposium titled "Placing mathematical knowledge in a world of and beyond nations." The symposium received additional sponsorship from the International Association for Science and Cultural Diversity (IASCUD) for its goal of advocating new perspectives in the history of modern theoretical sciences.


Get Vaccinated, Continue Washing and Sanitizing Hands

While Michigan Tech is at Health and Safety Level One, face coverings and daily symptom monitoring are no longer required. However, those who wish to continue wearing a face covering are encouraged to do so.

The MTU Flex Task Force also encourages University community members to get their vaccinations and continue with handwashing and hand-sanitizing practices.

Today's Campus Events

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

Kappa Delta Fraternity Golf Outing

Kappa Delta Fraternity Golf Outing


Master's Defense: Reza Habibi

Computer Science Co-advisors: Keith Vertanen and Scott Kuhl Detecting Surface Interactions via a Wearable Microphone to Improve Augmented Reality Text Entry Attend...


PinT 2021: 10th Parallel-in-Time Workshop

Please join us for the 10th parallel-in-time workshop, held virtually, Aug 2- 6, 2021. More details are available at the conference website:


UP & Moving Lunchtime High Noon Activity Break

We are a group of Michigan Tech graduate students who are focused on improving the health of our community. We are contributing to the COVID-19 response by providing health...


UP & Moving Lunchtime Noon-Thirty Activity Break

We are a group of Michigan Tech graduate students who are focused on improving the health of our community. We are contributing to the COVID-19 response by providing health...


Master's Defense: Grant Thivierge

Biological Sciences Co-advisors: William Cooke and John Durocher Dose-Dependent Arterial Stiffness Responses to Binge Alcohol Consumption Attend Virtually:...


South Portage Entry Boat Wash

The Keweenaw Invasive Species Management Area (KISMA) is partnering with Isle Royale National Park (NP) to offer a free boat wash at the South Portage Entry Boat Launch.


Master's Defense: Tessa Kriz

Statistics Advisor: Kui Zhang Construction and Analysis of Genetic Regulatory Networks with RNA-SEQ Data from Arabidopsis thaliana Attend Virtually:...