Best Fit, Top Value: MTU Alums' College Shopper Makes Choosing the Right College Easier

Ashley K and Erin T

Since 2018, Michigan Tech alumni Ashley Kern ’15 ’17 and Erin Thompson ’02 have helped colleges around the country increase enrollment, sharpen budgets and improve student retention with predictive analytics company SightLine. Now they’re making the college decision easier for high school students and their parents with a site called College Shopper.

“At SightLine, we’re constantly asking the questions, ‘How do we help students figure out their educational path earlier? How do we match them to successful outcomes?’” says Kern. “And so much of this approach comes directly from our experience as students at Michigan Tech.”

“Michigan Tech has always talked about value, and they’ve always backed it up,” Kern continues. “Tech has some of the best job placement rates in the country. The ROI of Tech is amazing, and it has a great alumni network. You can’t really deny Tech’s outcomes. But it’s not like that at every university, or in every degree program. With the College Shopper, we want to help families sort through all the numbers and set them up for success as early as possible.”

Check out the full story at Michigan Tech News.

Innovation Week 2023 Talks and Events: Registration Is Open!

Husky Innovate is hosting five innovation-themed events during Week 2 (Jan. 17-20) of the spring semester. Innovation Week celebrates innovation and entrepreneurship by hosting speakers and events to inspire and support innovation and entrepreneurship. These events are a great way to connect with alumni, students, faculty and the community.

Check the Innovation Week webpage for full event descriptions. Pre-registration is required for each event. Join us for one event or several!

  • Keynote Speaker: Leading Innovation with Charles Nwatu
    Tuesday, Jan. 17, 4-5 p.m. via Zoom
    Our keynote speaker, Charles Nwatu, head of security technology assurance and risk at Netflix, will kick off Innovation Week by discussing how diverse perspectives lead to innovation. He will share his journey as an intrapreneur developing innovative solutions within a company, and how his mindset has led to an impactful Silicon Valley career at LinkedIn, Twilio, Stitch Fix and now Netflix. 
    Register now — Deadline: Jan. 13

  • New Venture Creation with Eric Roberts
    Wednesday, Jan. 18, noon to 1 p.m., MUB Ballroom A 
    Eric Roberts, MTU alum and executive director of Traverse City business incubator 20Fathoms, has spent a long, diverse career innovating in spaces from Silicon Valley tech startups to mobile giants like Motorola and Blackberry. He will talk entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship, and share experiences with launching new ventures (both successful and unsuccessful). Tips and strategies will be offered for all types of innovators. 
    Register now — Deadline: Jan. 15

  • Reverse Pitch Presentation with Nate Yenor
    Thursday, Jan. 19, noon to 1 p.m. via Zoom 
    Nate Yenor, director of tech business incubation with the Office of Innovation and Commercialization at Michigan Tech, will report on applied research’s top teams poised to launch their innovation into a startup. Teams may be looking for talent, champions and industry-specific advice during this reverse-pitch event. Interesting and valuable for innovators, entrepreneurs and MTU community members who want to know what’s new and innovative at Tech. Make connections and support our innovation and entrepreneurship community!
    Register now — Deadline: Jan. 17

  • 15th Bob Mark Business Model Pitch Competition
    Thursday, Jan. 19, 5-7:30 p.m., MUB Ballroom A 

    Michigan Tech graduate and undergraduate students will pitch their business model for a chance to win cash prizes. This legacy event is a tribute to late Professor of Practice Bob Mark. Faculty, staff, students, alumni and the community are invited to attend in person or virtually. Refreshments will be served and a pre-event mixer will begin at 4:30 p.m.
    Student contestants: Register now — Deadline: Jan. 13
    Virtual attendees: Register now to attend remotely

  • Financing Your Venture Panel Discussion
    Friday, Jan. 20, noon to 1 p.m. via Zoom
    Hear what investors look for when deciding whether to invest in your company — during both early-stage commercialization and late-stage buy-outs. Experts will share real-world experiences and insight into how investment decisions are made. This talk is helpful for anyone interested in commercializing their venture or for investors who want to hone their skills. Panelists John Rockwell (CEO and president, Accelergy Corporation) and Jeff Helminski (co-founder and managing partner, Auxo Investment Partners) are both Tech alumni and successful venture capitalists, and they will share their insight into venture financing.
    Register now — Deadline: Jan. 18

Nominations Open: Bhakta Rath Award and Michigan Tech Research Award

The Vice President for Research Office is accepting nominations for the Bhakta Rath Research Award. The award offers an opportunity to promote and reward excellence in scientific and engineering research in the fields of physical and natural sciences and engineering. For complete submission guidelines, see our Bhakta Rath Research Award page.

The Vice President for Research Office is also accepting nominations for the Michigan Tech Research Award, which offers an opportunity for an individual to be recognized for outstanding achievements in research. For complete submission guidelines, see our Michigan Tech Research Award page.

Nominations for both must be submitted electronically in PDF format, per the guidelines, no later than 4 p.m. on March 2.

All nominations must be sent to Natasha Chopp at

Mind Trekkers Seeking Student Volunteers for STEM Festival

Mind Trekkers, Michigan Tech's traveling STEM roadshow, is seeking additional student volunteers to host hands-on STEM demonstrations at the Hidden Coast Festival in Escanaba, Michigan, on Jan. 26 and 27.

Guided by Michigan Tech students, pre-college festival attendees will discover firsthand the awe and power of science through experimentation. From being inside a bubble, to skewering a balloon without popping it, to playing a piano made of bananas — Mind Trekkers serves to bring communities together to support an educational ecosystem and strong future workforce in STEM.

Mind Trekkers events are a wonderful way for Michigan Tech students to give back to communities and develop public-speaking, communication and leadership skills. Students will leave campus Jan. 26 in the afternoon and return Jan. 27 in the evening. Proctoring is available by Center for Educational Outreach staff. Transportation, lodging, some meals and a daily stipend will be provided.

Interested students can sign up using our form. For additional information, please reach out to

We greatly appreciate Michigan Tech community members sharing this opportunity with students!

Register for the Bob Mark Business Model Pitch Competition

Husky Innovate collaborators, Pavlis Honors College, the College of Business and the Office of Innovation and Commercialization invite Michigan Tech graduate and undergraduate students from across campus disciplines to pitch their business model to a panel of judges for a chance to win cash prizes in the Bob Mark Business Model Pitch Competition.

Our judges represent Michigan Tech’s innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E) ecosystem — their expertise will provide helpful feedback for students to move their ideas forward. 

This legacy event recognizing student entrepreneurial spirit and paying tribute to the late Professor of Practice Bob Mark will be held Jan. 19 from 5-7:30 p.m. in MUB Ballroom A. Faculty, staff, students, alumni and the community are invited to attend in person or virtually. Refreshments will be served. In addition, a pre-event mixer will begin at 4:30 p.m.

Bob Mark Business Model Pitch Competition prize categories:

  • First Prize: $2,000 — sponsored by Rick and Jo Berquist
  • Second Prize: $1,000
  • Third Prize: $500
  • Honorable Mention: $250
  • Audience Favorite: $250 — sponsored by Dan Green (MTU alum and principal, BlackFin Group)
  • Breakthrough Innovation Award: $1,000 — sponsored by MTEC SmartZone and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation
  • Social Impact Award: $1,000 — sponsored by Gates Professor Elham Asgari (COB)

Student contestants can register to pitch their business model through Friday (Jan. 13).

Virtual attendees, please register to watch the event remotely.

Spring Semester Portrait Sessions By Appointment

Faculty, staff and graduate students can have their complimentary professional portrait taken by University Marketing and Communications (UMC) at one of the following sessions:

  • Wednesday, Jan. 25 — 10 a.m. to noon
  • Thursday, Jan 26 — 1-3 p.m.

The sessions will take place in the UMC Studio, located in Admin G37.

An appointment is required and can be scheduled online. On the calendar, go to Jan. 25 or Jan. 26, choose the time you want, then click Save. You must use your account when scheduling a time slot.

Portraits will be emailed to the attendee within four weeks after the session. Alternatively, departments or individuals can contact Brockway Photography at 906-482-1900 to schedule a session and purchase portraits at any time.

A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum Closed Through Sunday

Welcome back from break, Michigan Tech! While students may be back in class, the museum and gift shop will remain closed this week — from today through Sunday (Jan. 9-15) — as we work on reorganizing one of the galleries.

We will reopen to the public for our usual hours next Monday (Jan. 16).

MLK Day Interfaith Vigil and Reflection

The Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) and the Cooperative Campus Ministry are organizing an interfaith prayer vigil/reflection on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (MLK Day). The event will take place next Monday (Jan. 16) at noon in the Library East Reading Room. We are inviting faculty, staff and students from all faiths to share a prayer, personal reflection or excerpt from one of King's prayers, sermons or speeches.

Following the event, we are inviting the campus community to gather at the Husky statue at 1 p.m. for a peace march across campus.

Please feel free to contact Rob Bishop at or Rachael Hathcoat at if you would like to participate and/or have any questions.

Spring Semester HuskiesFit Group Classes Start Today!

Start your New Year off right with the HuskiesFit Ultimate Punch Card! Commit to be HuskiesFit and gain a variety of group fitness classes to choose from. The spring semester class schedule begins today (Jan. 9).

The HuskiesFit Ultimate Punch Card is good for one year from the date of purchase, comes in eight- or 16-punch options, AND allows you to attend a great selection of classes that are open to anyone 16 years of age or older. Class day passes are also available for $10.

And don't forget... SDC access holders (minimum one month) may attend HuskiesFit group fitness classes for FREE as a benefit of membership! Just present your access ID for entry to class.

HuskiesFit session classes begin today, as well. Session-based classes include: Aikido, Aqua-Fit, Erg/Rowing and Self Defense. These classes are not included in the HuskiesFit Ultimate Punch Card and are not free for SDC access holders, so sign up for them today!

Visit HuskiesFit Programs for more information. Commit to be HuskiesFit in 2023!

Making a Difference Award Winners Announced

Congratulations to all of our 2022 Making A Difference Award nominees and winners, who were honored at an awards program Jan. 4 in the Memorial Union Ballroom.

A special thank-you to those who nominated an employee or wrote a letter of support. Through your efforts and thoughtfulness, we are able to celebrate these staff members. And thank you to this year’s judges and committee members: Jennifer Biekkola, Mia Kemppainen, Brianna Kratz, Pattie Luokkanen, Madeline Mercado Voelker, Christopher Sanders, Laurie Stark and Joan Tapani. Finally, thank you to the President's Office for providing the award each winner will receive.

To read the full story featuring the nominations and comments about the winners, visit the Staff Council website.

2022 Making a Difference Award winners:

Above and Beyond: Brittany Buschell, Geological Mining Engineering and Sciences

Behind the Scenes: Karen Patterson, Waino Wahtera Center for Student Success

Legacy Award: Peter Larsen, assistant vice president for research development

Outstanding Leader: Michelle Meneguzzo, Sponsored Programs Accounting

Rookie Award: Amanda Stump, College of Computing

Serving Others: Jonathan Lund, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Unsung Hero: Darlene Saari, Engineering Fundamentals

Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar

The next Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar will take place at 3 p.m. today (Jan. 9) in the Great Lakes Research Center, GLRC 202.

Professor Eric Seagren (CEGE) will present "Professional Development for Environmental Engineers and Scientists."

Read the abstract on the University Events Calendar.

Physics Colloquium: Grad Student Presentations

Physics graduate students will be presenting their research progress at this week's Physics Colloquium:

  • Seth Nelson (advised by Miguel Levy)
  • Jeff Kabel (advised by Yoke Khin Yap)

This will be an in-person event — the students will give their talks at 4 p.m. Thursday (Jan. 12) in Fisher 139.

Event details, including the students' presentation titles and abstracts, are available on the University Events Calendar.

Library Orientations for New Students

New students: The Van Pelt and Opie Library is here to help you succeed! At our Library Orientation for New Students, librarians will share tips and tricks for getting the most out of the library's electronic and physical resources. After that, we'll tour the library so you can find your favorite study room, check out a GoPro, take a peek at the 3D printers and learn where to get research help once the semester has started.

This event will take place in the Library East Reading Room. Enter the library through the main doors and walk straight ahead. Walk all the way down the central area; the East Reading Room will be to your left and signs will highlight the event.

Orientations are taking place today (Jan. 9) from 1-2:15 p.m. and tomorrow (Jan. 10) from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Registration is required. Please register for today's event or register for tomorrow's event.

Youth Dialogue on the National Climate Assessment

If you are a high school or university student, you are invited to a special Youth Environmental Alliance in Higher Education (YEAH) event on the Draft Fifth National Assessment (NCA5).

NCA5 is a major U.S. government report on how climate change affects people and places in the United States. By attending this virtual event, you will learn how to submit comments to ensure that this report reflects the climate change concerns of young people in the U.S.

The event will be held via Zoom on Thursday (Jan. 12) from 2:30-5 p.m. Register to participate!

Michigan Tech is a YEAH participating institution.

In Print

Michelle Jarvie-Eggart, Mary Raber, Brett Hamlin and Amy Hamlin (EF), Marika Seigel (Provost/PHC), Thomas Freeman (CTL) and Michael Meyers (Physics) are co-authors of an article published in Studies in Engineering Education.

The article is titled "Weaving Academic Grace into the Fabric of Online Courses and Faculty Training: First-Year Engineering Student Advice for Online Faculty During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Faculty Responses in Studies in Engineering Education."

Ph.D. candidate in engineering education Amanda Singer of Ohio State University is also a co-author of the article.

This work examines the advice students had for faculty teaching online during the pandemic, as well as instructional responses suggested by faculty. It highlights essential student needs from faculty for understanding, flexibility and patience, which are defined as academic grace, and makes suggestions for incorporating academic grace into online courses.

New Funding

Miguel Levy (Physics/MSE) has been awarded a $36,440 grant by Photonica Inc.

The grant funds surface reconstruction and nonreciprocal beam-splitting studies for emerging magneto-optic quantum technologies.

This project will run from Jan. 1 to June 30, and is part of an ongoing research effort funded by Photonica Inc.

In the News

Peter Larsen (AVPRD) and Jenny Apriesnig (COB) were quoted by WLUC TV6 in a story about Michigan Tech’s return to an in-person format for Research Day 2023.

The annual event was held Thursday (Jan. 5) with a theme of research networking.


Michigan Tech’s Sigma Pi fraternity and Theta Chi Epsilon sorority were mentioned by the Keweenaw Report in a story about nearly $2,000 donated to the Dial Help crisis hotline. 

The story said Sigma Pi and Theta Chi Epsilon raised close to $4,000 during their annual haunted house event, splitting the money evenly between Dial Help and Pigs-N-Heat.


Lake Superior Magazine and the Keweenaw Report previewed the snow statue workshop held over the weekend at Michigan Tech.

Championship snow-sculpting team Sculptora Borealis of Wisconsin conducted the workshop on the patio outside the Van Pelt and Opie Library. The event was sponsored by Blue Key Honor Society.


Michigan Tech was mentioned by the Daily Mining Gazette, the Anchorage Daily News, Alaska Sports Report and Spot On Colorado in coverage of the U.S. Cross Country Ski National Championships, held last week (Jan. 2-7) at the Tech Trails.


Arizona State University mentioned Michigan Tech hockey in a preview of the Desert Hockey Classic, held Friday and Saturday (Jan. 6 and 7) at ASU's Mullett Arena in Tempe, Arizona.

The story was picked up by BVM Sports.


Check Out These Study Abroad/Away Options!

Ready for an adventure? Want to learn on a train or in a rain (forest)? Consider our study abroad/study away programs. The benefits of international study and travel include intercultural awareness, sensitivity and communication skills, as well as exposure to different cultures, perspectives and geographic regions. Conduct field research and acquire hands-on, real-world experience — all while making lifelong friends.

As a Michigan Tech student, you have two options available to you this summer from the Department of Social Sciences:

  • Cumbria, England and Scotland: Earn up to nine credits. Daniel Trepal (SS) will lead the four-week program, "Crossing Borders.” Get to know Cumbria, Northern England and Southern Scotland through a mix of archaeology and history. Students learn the culture through a mix of field trips and classwork. The application and deposit deadline is March 15.

  • Amtrak Tourism: Western USA: Earn up to 10 credits. Hop on board Amtrak for a three-week faculty-led tour of the Western United States. Work alongside tourism professionals in Red Wing, Minnesota. Hike Glacier National Park. Interact with students at Portland State. Explore the public transport and destination infrastructure of Aspen, Colorado. And, visit the railroad legacy cities of Sacramento, California, and Galesburg, Illinois. Return to the Keweenaw and share your experiences with local stakeholders in the tourism industry. The application and deposit deadline is Friday (Jan. 13).

Cannot fit a study away experience into your packed schedule in 2023? No worry. 2024 will feature additional experiences in Costa Rica, Wales and Detroit. Learn more about all these great programs (and watch student-made videos from past trips too) at our Study Abroad / Study Away page.

Worried about the costs of studying abroad or away? All incoming undergraduate majors in the Department of Social Sciences receive a $2,500 voucher that can be used for one or more of our study away/abroad programs. No joke! Travel for free (or close to it).

Call 906-487-2113 or email to learn more about our study abroad/away options.


Employee Financial Health Webinars by TIAA

Michigan Tech employees are invited to join the Benefits Office for these free, online, live financial health webinars offered through Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA) this January:

  • Basic Estate Planning Strategies — Jan. 10 at 3 p.m.
    Ensuring that our assets will pass to loved ones and causes that are near and dear are important to most of us. Discover the components of a basic estate plan and strategies to ensure that your wishes are met.
    Register now.

  • Quarterly Economic and Market Update with TIAA’s Chief Investment Strategist — Jan. 11 at noon
    Take a closer look at our views on the financial markets, including key market drivers, the U.S. economy, policy and politics, and investing in public markets. We'll also cover the challenges that investors face and how to navigate them.
    Register now.

  • Understanding Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) — Jan. 18 at noon
    You may know about the tax advantages of contributing to a Health Savings Account (HSA), but did you know that HSAs are also a way to save for health care in retirement? We'll help you understand unique aspects of HSAs.
    Register now.

  • Basic Social Security Strategies — Jan. 18 at 3 p.m.
    Social Security will likely play a significant role in building your retirement income. Learn the basics about Social Security, including eligibility, how to apply, how your benefit is calculated and strategies for claiming benefits.
    Register now.

  • Common Estate Planning Considerations — Jan. 19 at noon
    A common goal that we all share is providing for our loved ones or our favorite organizations. Come learn about the components of an effective estate plan and hear about strategies to ensure that your wishes are met.
    Register now.

These webinars count toward Option 2 in your Husky Health Checklist. Follow Michigan Tech Wellness on Facebook for upcoming health and wellness initiatives supported by the Benefits Office, which may count toward your 2023 Husky Health Checklist.

All webinars are recorded and available for viewing 90 days after the live event. Visit to register or watch past presentations on demand.

Spanish-Speaking Webinars
Starting in 2022, TIAA is offering financial education webinars in Spanish. The webinars can be accessed at


ACSHF Forum with Destaney Sauls

Destaney Sauls, Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences (CLS) visiting instructor, will kick off the spring semester forums for applied cognitive science and human factors (ACSHF) with her presentation, "Tried and True: The Role of Perceived Loyalty in Friendship Functioning.”

Sauls' presentation will take place from 2-3 p.m. today (Jan. 9) in Meese 109 and via Zoom.

From the abstract:
Research concerning social relationships has often suggested that loyalty is an important feature of a wide variety of relationships — however, this research has also produced inconsistent results regarding the actual impact of loyalty. Generally speaking, much of the research concerning social relationships has focused on romantic relationships, rather than platonic. The current research utilizes the context of a platonic friendship to examine the possibility that perceived loyalty may be more impactful on a relationship than actual loyalty — essentially, how loyal someone is might matter, but what might matter more is how loyal their friend "thinks" they are.


2022 Husky Health Checklists Due Today

All benefits eligible employees: Don’t forget to complete your Husky Health Checklist with the activities you completed between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2022, to earn up to $450.

Today (Jan. 9) is the last day to submit your Husky Health Checklist for the reporting period of Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2022, to receive your Husky Health payout incentive in early 2023.

Questions? Contact the Benefits Office at or 906-487-2517.

Today's Campus Events

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

Library Orientation for New Students

The Van Pelt and Opie library is here to help you succeed! At this event, librarians will share tips and tricks for getting the most out of the library's electronic and...


ACSHF Forum with Destaney Sauls

Destaney Sauls, Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences (CLS) Visiting Instructor, will kick off the spring semester forums for Applied Cognitive Science and Human...


Professional Development for Environmental Engineers and Scientists

Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar Presenter and Affiliation: Prof. Eric Seagren, Michigan Technological University Presentation Title: "Professional Development...


PhD Defense: Dharmendra Prasad Pant

Computational Science & Engineering Advisor: Ranjit Pati Study of Electronic and Magnetic Properties of Bilayer Graphene Nanoflakes and Bimetallic Chalcogenides Using...


Monday After School Learn to Ski and Snowboard Program

Mondays Ages 8-12 Children of all ability levels have an opportunity to learn to ski or snowboard, make new friends, and explore Mont Ripley together. The focus is on safety,...


Middle School Volleyball Development League

A four-week developmental program for middle school girls in grades 7 & 8 to learn and improve their skills in preparation for the upcoming interscholastic season. This...


Keweenaw Socialists @ MTU General Meeting

Discussion of current org projects and planned socials as well as notable recent news. The meeting will be hybrid in-person and on Zoom. Following the organized portion of the...


Adult and Youth Huskies Tennis and Pickleball Lessons (Session 1)

Youth Huskies Tennis Lessons: After school and weekend Youth Huskies Group Tennis Lessons are available this spring! Join in by age group and level for some fun on the tennis...