GSG Merit Awards: Nominations Closing Today

Nominations for this year's Graduate Student Government (GSG) Merit Awards are still open until 11:59 p.m. tonight (Feb. 17).

This is a time to celebrate all the hard work that graduate students, faculty and staff have put in over the last year. GSG gives out four awards each year:

  • Exceptional Graduate Mentor,
  • Exceptional Staff Member,
  • Exceptional Student Leader, and
  • Exceptional Student Scholar.

To see full information about the criteria for these awards, please visit our website. If you wish to nominate someone, please fill out the Merit Awards Nomination Form.

Nominations will close tonight at 11:59 p.m. Please help us in recognizing some of the outstanding individuals on our campus by submitting a nomination today!

Elham Asgari Selected for Deans’ Teaching Showcase

Dean Johnson, dean of the College of Business (COB), has selected Elham (Ellie) Asgari, assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship, as the featured instructor this week in the Deans’ Teaching Showcase.

Asgari will be recognized at an end-of-term luncheon with other spring showcase members, and is a candidate for the next CTL Instructional Award Series.

Asgari is being recognized for innovative in-class teaching methods including a crowdfunding campaign where students gauge interest for their startups while simultaneously attracting resources; using customer discovery to help students assess startup potential; connecting students with MTEC SmartZone mentors; advising students in writing SBIR/STTR proposals to attract funding; and working one-to-one with students preparing them for regional and global investment pitches.

“Dr. Asgari brings the role of Gates Professorship in Entrepreneurship and Innovation to life in and out of the classroom. The above-and-beyond effort mentoring students preparing for dozens of pitch competitions is apparent in the results — students earning top awards and prize dollars,” said Johnson.

From e-pitch opportunities to on-campus traditions like the Bob Mark Business Model Competition to Central Michigan University’s New Venture Competition, Asgari’s work supporting entrepreneurially minded students has resulted in renewed motivation among students, helping them make positive impacts in the campus community and around the world.

Asgari offers the Social Impact Award as part of the Bob Mark event, recognizing students’ societal impacts. In addition, a portion of Asgari’s professorship funding is directed toward sponsoring the New Venture Competition awards, bringing goodwill and collaboration to the University.
Mentoring students in I-Corps workshops and guiding them in applying for I-Corps National Science Foundation grants is also a priority for Asgari. The process assesses market potential of new technological developments and has been successfully awarded to an MTU student.

New to campus is the Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization (CEO), a student organization which Asgari serves as an advisor and supports students to attend the CEO Global Conference, where one Husky made it to the top 25 of 600 applicants. In 2022, Asgari also helped launch and execute COB’s Summer Youth Program — ”Be Your Own Boss.”

For her impact with hands-on entrepreneurial education at Michigan Tech and beyond, the College of Business is honored to recognize Elham Asgari in the Deans’ Teaching Showcase.

ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: More Evidence of Bias in Government Research Funding Agencies

In a previous Weekly Roundup, we highlighted a meta-analysis of funding by the National Science Foundation (NSF) over a 10-year period. To review, in 2019, NSF funded 31.3% of proposals from white scientists, but only 22.4% for Asian scientists; the overall funding rate was 27.4%. This translates into a single-year award surplus of 798 grants for whites and a single-year award deficit of 432 awards below the average for Asian-identifying principal investigators (PIs). Over a 10-year period, the award deficit is 175 for Hispanic/Latinx and 417 for Black/African Americans.

In addition, related trends have been found in other agencies. An article in Science Magazine noted that racial disparities among National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant recipients was reported in 2011, and in 2016, data revealed a gap of up to 13 percentage points in success rates between white and Black scientists. A gender report to Congress that also included the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Defense illustrated men were favored to receive funding. According to Science Magazine, the former NIH Director Francis Collins apologized in 2021 to “individuals in the biomedical research enterprise who have endured disadvantages due to structural racism.” An NSF spokesperson says although the agency is proud of its array of programs designed to address equity and inclusion, “there is still much [work] to do.”

Receiving funding (or not) can have serious career implications, particularly if there is a belief by decision-makers that funding allocations by government agencies are only merit-based. At the institutional level, those who make decisions about the promotion of faculty and reward allocations such as salary increases need to recognize that proposal funding has not been solely based on merits of the proposed idea.

Today’s feature was shared with us by the ADVANCE Advocate Team. If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity and inclusion. Past articles are available on the ADVANCE Newsblog.

To learn more about our featured topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us or visit our website.

Register Now for Family Fun Day!

Registration is now open for the 2023 Family Fun Day on March 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

On Family Fun Day, Michigan Tech employees and their families are invited to enjoy free access to the SDC facilities and other campus amenities. Lunch will be provided, along with pool access, eSports and more!

A schedule of events is located on our website.

If you plan to join us, please register online by March 8.

American Red Cross Lifeguard Certification Blended Learning Course

Editor's note: The registration opening date has been updated. It was originally March 3.

Earn your American Red Cross Lifeguard Certification in this three-day intensive training course located at the Michigan Tech SDC Pool. The certification includes Lifeguard/First Aid/CPR/AED certifications and all training materials.

All 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 two 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. Class size is limited.

Registration opens March 17 at 8 a.m. and closes April 6 at 11:59 p.m. Cost is $200 per participant.

For more information visit Michigan Tech Recreation's Lifeguard Certification page.

PhD Defense: Sodiq O. Waheed, Chem

The Department of Chemistry (Chem) is pleased to announce that Ph.D. candidate Sodiq O. Waheed will be presenting a final Ph.D. defense on Tuesday (Feb. 21) at 11 a.m. The defense will be presented online via Zoom.

Waheed's defense is titled "Multiscale Molecular Modeling Studies of the Dynamics and Catalytic Mechanisms of Iron(II) and Zinc(II) Dependent Metalloenzymes."

Technical Presentation with CS Faculty Candidate Minghan Wei

Department of Computer Science (CS) faculty candidate Minghan Wei will give an on-campus-only technical presentation today (Feb. 17) at 1 p.m. in Fisher 126.

The title of Wei's talk is "Energy-mapping and energy-aware path planning for field robots."

Wei was awarded his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Minnesota in January 2022. Their Ph.D. research was on robot mapping and planning, with a focus on improving robots’ energy efficiency.

Blake Pietila Named Mike Richter Award Semifinalist

Michigan Tech hockey goaltender Blake Pietila has been named a semifinalist for the Mike Richter Award, given annually to the top goaltender in men's NCAA Division I hockey since 2014.

Pietila is a senior from Howell, Michigan, and is one of the semifinalists for the third straight year and the lone CCHA goaltender to advance in the award. He is also a Hobey Baker candidate for the third season in a row and was named the CCHA Goaltender of the Month for January and October, the CCHA Goaltender of the Week six times, and the Most Valuable Player of the Desert Hockey Classic.

Read more at the Michigan Tech Athletics website.

Nordic Skiers Travel to CCSA Conference Championships

For the final time this season, the Michigan Tech Nordic ski teams are heading to Minnesota, this time to Minneapolis for the CCSA Conference Championships, taking place at Theodore Wirth Park on Saturday and Sunday (Feb. 18-19).

The Huskies will race a skate sprint on Saturday and the classic distance on Sunday, with competition starting at 8 a.m. on both days.

Superior Timing will be the official timer for the CCSA Conference Championships and the event will be streamed live.

"We have such incredible depth on the men's side this year and it's really cool to have five or six guys really fighting for not only podium positions but NCAA championship spots," head coach Tom Monahan Smith said. "It's going to be exciting to watch them through these next couple of weeks with conference and regionals next week.

"The women's team at large has some improvements that we know we can make as an entire team, but we know we have the team we need to come away with team titles. It's just a matter of having the whole team put together solid days, which will be a big focus through this championship season."

Read the preview at the Michigan Tech Athletics website.

Job Postings

Job Postings for Friday, Feb. 17, 2023

Staff and faculty job descriptions are available on the Human Resources website. For more information regarding staff positions, call 487-2280 or email For more information regarding faculty positions, contact the academic department in which the position is posted.

Administrative Aide 7 (12 months/ 40 hours/ first shift) #22343RP & 22358RP, Business Support Center (UAW posting dates Feb. 17 to Feb. 23, 2023 — external applicants are encouraged to apply; however, internal UAW applicants are given first consideration if they apply during the internal UAW posting dates). Apply online.

Food Service Helper (12 months/ 40 hours/ first shift) #23041, Dining Services (AFSCME posting dates Feb. 17 to Feb. 23, 2023 — external applicants are encouraged to apply; however, internal AFSCME applicants are given first consideration if they apply during the internal AFSCME posting dates). Apply online.

Health and Wellness Coordinator, Human Resources. 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

In the News

Raymond Shaw and Alex Kostinski (Physics) were quoted by Reuters in a story examining possible explanations for three objects shot down by the U.S. military over North America last week. The story was picked up by 32 outlets worldwide, including the Gazette in Colorado Springs, MSN and U.S. News and World Report.


WZMQ 19 News quoted Reid DeVoge (PSPS) in a story highlighting security measures and safety protocols in the wake of the shooting at Michigan State University on Monday (Feb. 13). Michigan Tech’s response to the shooting was also mentioned by WLUC TV6.


Biomass Magazine mentioned Ezra Bar-Ziv (ME-EM/APSRC) and Michigan Tech in a story about a new technique for combining nonrecyclable plastics and paper fiber to form pellets with an energy content like bituminous coal.


The Daily Mining Gazette published an article written by Sigrid Resh (CFRES/ESC) and undergraduate students Lauren Fliearman (applied ecology and environmental science) and Erin Mauk (wildlife ecology and conservation) linking the impacts of invasive species with native species and ecosystem services.


WTCM-FM in Traverse City mentioned Michigan Tech during its monthly manufacturing show, “Made in Northern Michigan.” A segment of the show discussed the John T. Parsons History Project, a study of the Parsons Corporation in Traverse City led by Steven Walton (SS).


Oregon State University mentioned Michigan Tech researchers as collaborators in a study that suggests soil moisture is the key determinant of how well soil stores carbon. The story was picked up by Innovation News Network, AZoCleantech and central Oregon’s KTVZ NewsChannel 21.


The Daily Mining Gazette and the Keweenaw Report mentioned Michigan Tech’s Sustainability Demonstration House in coverage of the latest Houghton County Board of Commissioners meeting. Part of a $10,000 microgrant approved by the board will fund SDH research on ways to increase recycling in the county.


The Vilas County News-Review mentioned Michigan Tech in coverage of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Clean Snowmobile Challenge, held at the World Championship Derby Complex in Eagle River, Wisconsin, from Feb. 7-9. More than 160 engineering students participated.


The Daily Mining Gazette announced Michigan Tech’s Carissa Beyer, Clayton Sayen and Marc Sippel as recipients of the 2022 Fall GLIAC Commissioner’s Award, given to six female and six male student-athletes who excel both in the classroom and in competition. This is the first Commissioner’s Award for Beyer and Sippel, and the second for Sayen. 


WLUC TV6 and the Daily Mining Gazette ran stories announcing Michigan Tech hockey’s Kyle Kukkonen and Brett Thorne as CCHA players of the week. FloHockey also profiled Kukkonen in a story about standout freshmen in the CCHA. 


The Rink Live mentioned Michigan Tech hockey’s Blake Pietila as a frontrunner for this year’s Richter Award, given to the nation’s top collegiate hockey goalie. Pietila leads the nation with eight shutouts.


Pictures of Phi Kappa Tau’s winning snow sculpture from Winter Carnival were featured in a story by WCRZ-FM, which was picked up in eight other regional news outlets downstate. 


MLive covered this year’s Ice Mass hosted by St. Albert the Great Catholic University Parish at the chapel of Our Lady of the Snows. Other outlets covering the Ice Mass included the National Catholic Register, Ave Maria Radio and Cleveland Catholic Radio.


WLUC TV6 mentioned Michigan Tech in a story about the Copper Country Intermediate School District’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) recruitment week. 


The Working Forest ranked Michigan Tech at No. 5 in its list of 10 schools in Canada and the U.S. with forest-related programs that have high post-grad job placement rates.


ABC 10 mentioned Michigan Tech and the Ford Center and Forest’s Alberta Sawmill in a story about a progress report on efforts to preserve the sawmill to the Baraga County Commission.


The Keweenaw Report picked up Michigan Tech Facilities Management’s update on the progress of the H-STEM Engineering and Health Technologies Complex, published Wednesday (Feb. 15) in Tech Today.


The Iron Mountain Daily News ran a profile of Benjamin Feldhausen ’96, the new chair of the Professional Advisory Board for the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering at Michigan Tech. Feldhausen graduated with dual bachelor’s degrees in surveying and civil engineering.


Business North mentioned Michigan Tech in a story about four new trustees appointed to the board of trustees for Blandin Foundation. Among them is Julie (Varichak) Marinucci ’02 (BS mining engineering).


The Cañon City Daily Record mentioned Michigan Tech in a story about Cañon City’s new public works director, Leo Evans ’04 (civil engineering).


Board of Trustees Formal Session

The Board of Trustees will meet next Friday (Feb. 24) from 9-11 a.m. in the Memorial Union Ballroom B, and public attendance is welcome.

Members of the public are invited to make public comments to the Board in accordance with 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 to the Board of Trustees, at The deadline to submit your intent is today (Feb.17).


Film Board Presents: 'Wakanda Forever'

This week, Film Board presents "Wakanda Forever," which is rated PG-13.

Summary: The people of Wakanda fight to protect their home from intervening world powers as they mourn the death of King T'Challa.

  • Friday, Feb. 17 — 5:30, 8:30, 11:30
  • Saturday, Feb. 18 — 5:30, 8:30, 11:30

Located on Michigan Tech's campus in Fisher 135.

Tickets are $3 and concessions are $1. We hope to see you at the movie this weekend and have a great day.


Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar

The next Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar will take place at 3 p.m. on Monday (Feb. 20) in the Great Lakes Research Center, GLRC 202.

William Bulleit, professor emeritus, Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering, Michigan Tech, will present "The Engineering Way of Thinking: Uncertainty and the Future."

Read the abstract on the University Events Calendar.


Career Week for Michigan Tech’s Visual and Performing Arts Students

For most students at Tech, Career Fair means ”Lights! Camera! Action!” To prepare, students need to research the roles they are interviewing for and the companies they will be interviewing with. They rehearse responses to typical interview questions and dress appropriately for the interview. The typical Career Fair experience for Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) students is no different.

Just as the giants of the automotive, chemical, consumer products and other industries converge on Houghton to hire outstanding engineers, so do the major players in arts and entertainment. They are looking to hire full-time employees and this summer’s interns. It all kicks off this week with virtual presentations from half a dozen companies.

“Tech students are grounded in physical sciences and math, and those are quite important for the work that we do (design consulting for performing arts facilities)," said Josh Loar, senior consultant (AV) of Charcoalblue LLC, a consulting firm working on everything from concert halls to theme parks for clients across the globe. "We need young candidates who have exposure to a wide variety of entertainment practices, and one of the strengths of Tech’s VPA programs is that they don't pigeonhole students in the way that a lot of programs do. As a result, students are ready to consider things outside of one track of experience, and that’s a valuable skill for design consultants in my world to have.” 

Read the blog to learn more about who is coming and how to participate.

Today's Campus Events

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

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Film Board Presents: Black Panther Wakanda Forever

Join Film Board this weekend as we show Black Panther: Wakanda Forever! Showings are on Friday 2/17 and Saturday 2/18, more information on our website...


Film Board Presents: Black Panther Wakanda Forever

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

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