Nominations Sought for Michigan Tech's Diversity Award

The Diversity Council is seeking nominations for faculty and staff deserving of the 2023 Michigan Tech Diversity Award. Nominations are due April 28.

Nominees contribute to diversity, equity, inclusion and sense of belonging (DEIS) on campus through exemplary leadership and actions, demonstrating a commitment to DEIS in areas such as:

  • Recruitment and retention efforts
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Culturally responsive mentorship
  • Inclusive programming
  • Diversity literacy
  • Community outreach activities

The award recipient will receive a $2,500 award and will be honored during a University awards dinner held in September.

More information, criteria and nomination instructions are listed on the Diversity Award webpage.

Volunteer to Judge at Design Expo 2023

Michigan Tech’s 23rd Design Expo will be held April 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This year’s event will be spread across the first floor of the Van Pelt and Opie Library and the MUB Ballroom.

Design Expo is an annual event that highlights hands-on, discovery-based learning with a showcase of Enterprise and Senior Design/Capstone team projects from all across the Michigan Tech campus. That means teams from the College of Business, College of Sciences and Arts, College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, and College of Engineering.

Design Expo Showcase
More than a thousand students will showcase their work and compete for awards. A panel of judges, made up of distinguished corporate representatives, alumni, community members and Michigan Tech faculty and staff, will view and critique project videos created by each team, then come to the Design Expo Showcase to meet the teams and ask questions live and in person.

Sign Up To Be a Judge
We welcome individuals from various professions, disciplines and backgrounds to serve as distinguished judges. In-person judging on the day of the event usually takes about an hour, depending on the number of volunteers. Prior to the event on April 18, judges will gain access to a digital gallery of student-created videos in order to preview the videos prior to judging.

Design Expo Social Hour and Awards Ceremony
After judging concludes at 2 p.m. April 18, everyone's invited to a social hour at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts starting at 2:30 p.m., with light refreshments, entertainment and door prizes. Then, at 3:30 p.m., we will begin the Design Expo Awards Ceremony, where student teams will be recognized — and more than $3,000 in cash will be awarded.

All Design Expo events are free and open to the public. We encourage everyone to come help us celebrate our students and their achievements!

Design Expo is hosted by the Enterprise Program and the College of Engineering. Check out team project videos from past years in the Design Expo 2022 video gallery at

Call for Submissions: Humanities Media Student Showcase

The Department of Humanities will be holding its first annual Humanities Media Student Showcase on April 20, designed to celebrate and raise awareness about the media and design work done by students in humanities media courses, by humanities majors, and those in the media production minor.

It is often the case within media courses that one moves from project to project, and those projects inevitably remain unseen on a hard drive. The intent of the media student showcase is to shake off the digital dust, bringing greater awareness to excellent design and media work produced in the humanities department each and every semester.

Professional visual designers from the community will join the event, providing applicants the opportunity to seek feedback on their work. A best in show and two runners-up awards will be announced during the event. Refreshments will be available.

The deadline to submit is Friday (April 7). Submission guidelines and criteria can be found on the Humanities Media Student Showcase page.

Questions may be directed to the organizers: Tom Adolphs at and Samantha Canevez at

We look forward to your submissions!

Volunteers Needed for Virtual Reality Research Experiment

Michigan Tech students, staff and faculty, and members of the Houghton community, are solicited for participation in a perception experiment being conducted by faculty and students of the Department of Computer Science. The experiments involve viewing and moving around in computer-generated virtual reality environments or real environments and making perceptual judgments.

To participate in this experiment, you must be between 18 and 35, have normal or corrected-to-normal vision, no history of epilepsy or seizures, and the ability to walk without impairment. Participants will be compensated for their time.

If you are interested, please contact or visit the project website.

Learn more on the Computing News Blog.

Artificial Intelligence and Academic Integrity

“Academic integrity is the moral code and ethical policy of scholarly work. It requires the adoption of educational values and the maintenance of academic standards. Academic integrity and honesty are central components of a student's education, and the ethical conduct maintained in an academic context will be taken eventually into a student's professional career. Academic integrity is essential in a community of scholars searching and learning to search for truth. Anything less than total commitment to integrity undermines the efforts of the entire academic community. Both students and faculty are responsible for ensuring the academic integrity of the university.”
— Michigan Tech Academic Integrity Policy (University Senate Policy 109.1)

While artificial intelligence (AI) can be a valuable resource for students, it also poses a significant challenge to academic integrity. The use of AI tools in academic settings raises questions about cheating, plagiarism and fabrication. Students must ensure that they are using AI ethically and in accordance with academic integrity policies. Here are some tips for maintaining academic integrity while using AI:

1. Understand the limitations of AI tools.
AI tools can be incredibly powerful, but they also have their limitations. Students should understand the capabilities of the AI tools they are using and be aware of the potential biases or errors that may arise. They should also double-check the output of AI tools and verify their accuracy before using them in their work.

2. Use AI tools as a supplement, not a replacement.
While AI tools can be useful, they should not be used as a replacement for critical thinking and analysis. Students should use AI tools as a supplement to their own research and writing, rather than relying on them entirely.

3. Cite sources properly.
When using AI tools to generate ideas or write portions of their papers, students must ensure that they cite their sources properly. If the AI tool has been trained on a particular source, it is essential to credit that source in the paper. Failure to do so could lead to accusations of plagiarism.

4. Be transparent about the use of AI tools.
Students should be transparent about their use of AI tools in their work. If an AI tool has been used to generate ideas or write portions of the paper, this should be disclosed in the paper. Being transparent about the use of AI tools can help to avoid accusations of academic misconduct.

5. Seek guidance from instructors.
Finally, students should seek guidance from their instructors if they are unsure about how to use AI tools ethically. Instructors can provide valuable guidance and resources to help students maintain academic integrity while using AI tools.

In conclusion, academic integrity is a crucial principle that all students must uphold throughout their academic careers. While AI can be a valuable resource for students, it also poses significant challenges to academic integrity. Students must ensure that they use AI tools ethically and in accordance with academic integrity principles.

Open AI’s Chat GPT 3.5 was utilized to assist in the creation of this article.

Lab Software Requests Due in May

Michigan Tech IT is collecting lab software requests for fall 2023. If you still have not submitted a request for fall 2023, this needs to be done by May 8. As a reminder, requests should be completed one semester in advance of intended use.

Please refer to the Knowledge Base article on requesting lab software for information about request guidelines and access to the submission form.

Please note that there is no need to request currently available software. These requests are for additional software that is not already installed in the labs.

If you have any questions, we can help. Contact or call 7-1111.

Husky Bites: 'Birdwatching — Quality of Life'

“Worldwide, birding numbers grew dramatically during the pandemic as people looked for safe, healthy activities to replace some of the social things they used to do,” says Professor David Flaspohler, interim dean of the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science.

What are you doing for supper tonight (April 3) at 6 p.m. ET? Grab a bite on Zoom with Flaspohler. He'll talk about the practice of bird-watching and birding, how you can get involved in it, the many physical and mental health benefits of birding — and what we can learn from birds that will enrich our lives and help us deal with challenges in life.

Joining in will be forest science Ph.D. student Ryne Rutherford and social sciences undergraduate Brendan Leddy — both avid birders.

As a researcher, Flaspohler seeks to understand how organisms interact with their environment. He pays particular attention to human-altered ecosystems — and species that are most sensitive to such changes.

Flaspohler also teaches Field Ornithology, a one-credit course that takes students on a three-day camping trip of birding throughout Michigan's Upper Peninsula during spring migration in early May.

Everyone's welcome at Husky Bites, a free interactive Zoom webinar hosted by College of Engineering Dean Janet Callahan. This will be the last session of Husky Bites for the spring 2023 semester (it will be back again in fall 2023!).

This family-friendly event is BYOC: Bring Your Own Curiosity. Learn something new in just 30 minutes (or so), plus plenty of time after for Q&A. Register to attend this Zoom session.

Read more about Flaspohler's upcoming Husky Bites session on the College of Engineering Blog.

This Week at the Rozsa

Trombone Choir — Thursday, April 6, at 6 p.m. 
Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts Lobby
Presented by Michigan Tech Music

The melodious Michigan Tech Trombone Choir performs this concert in the beautiful Rozsa Lobby. Learn more.

Can’t attend in person? The concert will be livestreamed for far-away Michigan Tech Music lovers and alums.
_ _ _ _ _

Video Game Jazz Ensemble — Saturday, April 8, at 7:30 p.m.
Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts Lobby
Presented by Michigan Tech Music

Join the Video Game Jazz Ensemble for an evening of jazz covers of music from the Mushroom Kingdom and more! Learn more.

Silent Auction

This year’s Xi Sigma Pi members are hosting a silent auction in the U. J. Noblet Forestry Building Atrium on Wednesday (April 5) from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. to support MTU’s Xi Sigma Pi Forestry Honors Society.

Auction Details:

  • All bids will be done in person on paper, with a name and email required alongside the bid amount (higher than the last bid value).
  • All winners will be announced at 6:30 p.m., with emails being sent to anyone unable to stay for the announcement.
  • All proceeds will be directed to Xi Sigma Pi to support their annual symposium on natural resource based topics and costs for the maple leaves for induction each year.

View the silent auction poster.

Retirement Party for Sheila Milligan

Please join the College of Business (COB) as we gather to celebrate the retirement of Sheila Milligan, associate teaching professor in accounting, on April 12 in the Rozsa Center Lobby.

Milligan’s career at Michigan Tech began in 1989, with a hiatus for family life. Her passion has always been students and the learning environment campus provides. During Milligan’s tenure, she was awarded COB’s Innovative Teaching Award and Outstanding Teaching Award, and the Provost’s Award for Sustained Teaching Excellence Award, and she was inducted into the Academy of Teaching Excellence. Milligan was also a finalist for the Michigan Association of CPAs’ Accounting Teaching and Excellence Award. A point of pride for Milligan: Five of her students have gone on to teach in the College. Her students may always remember that she humorously taught how to steal and get away with it — and how to live a good life afterward.

Stop by the reception for hors d'oeuvres and dessert from 4-6 p.m. A celebration program will begin at 4:30 p.m. Students are welcome — we hope to see you there!

2023 Graduate Research Colloquium Winners

On behalf of the Graduate Student Government (GSG), we would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all the participants, judges, sponsors and collaborators who made the 2023 Graduate Research Colloquium (GRC) a resounding success. Last week, we witnessed over 80 presentations from graduate students all across the campus, showcasing their outstanding research, creativity and academic excellence.

The GRC ended on a high note with the banquet and award ceremony on Thursday (March 30). We would like to extend our warmest congratulations to the GRC award winners for their exceptional work and dedication.

This year's GRC winners are:

Poster Presentations

  • First Place: Tania Demonte Gonzalez (ME-EM)
  • Second Place: Roya Bagheri (ME-EM)
  • Third Place: Shreya Joshi (Physics)

Oral Presentations

  • First Place: Tania Demonte Gonzalez (ME-EM)
  • Second Place: Kyle Wehmanen (KIP)
  • Third Place: Jordan Ewing (GMES)

We would also like to thank our esteemed judges for their invaluable time, expertise and insightful feedback. Your participation has been crucial to the success of the GRC and the development of our graduate students.

Our sincere appreciation goes to our sponsors and collaborators — the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Computing, and College of Engineering, the Dean of Students Office, and the Graduate School — for their generous support and partnership. Your contributions have made it possible for us to provide a platform for our graduate students to showcase their research and build their professional networks.

Once again, we thank everyone who participated in and supported the GRC. Your engagement and enthusiasm have made this event a remarkable and memorable experience. We look forward to seeing you again at the next GRC.

PhD Defense: Sarvada Chipkar, ChE

Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering candidate Sarvada Chipkar will present their Ph.D. defense on Thursday (April 6) at noon in person in Chem Sci 201 or virtually via Zoom.

Chipkar is advised by Rebecca Ong.

The title of Sarvada's defense is “Studying drought effect on switchgrass and identifying associated microbial inhibitors.”

From the abstract:
Developing economically viable and greener pathways to synthesize renewable energy has become an important research theme in recent years. Lignocellulosic biomass is a promising group of feedstocks that can be used for second-generation biofuel production. Recent research has shown that environmental growth conditions alter biomass characteristics and directly influence the extent of biomass conversion to fuels. Previously, drought experienced by switchgrass during the growth phase led to complete inhibition of yeast in the hydrolysate during fermentation. My goal in this dissertation was to characterize specific compounds that led to this inhibition. Switchgrass harvested in drought (2012) and non-drought (2010) years were pretreated using ammonia fiber expansion (AFEX) followed by high solids loading enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation. Additionally, untreated and AFEX processed samples were extracted using solvents (i.e., water, ethanol, and ethyl acetate) to selectively remove potential inhibitory compounds and determine whether pretreatment affects the inhibition. Using non-targeted LC-MS techniques, we found that water extraction of drought-year switchgrass before AFEX pretreatment was most effective in overcoming yeast inhibition. We also identified plant-generated natural laundry detergents in these water extracts that foam on agitation with water. To confirm their biocidal action, add-back fermentation experiments were performed in non-inhibitory hydrolysate using available commercial standards. In addition, the effect of simulated drought-like water-stress on switchgrass harvested on 5 marginal lands in Michigan and Wisconsin was also studied.

MS Defense: Vanessa Cubillos, BioSci

M.S. in Biological Sciences candidate Vanessa Cubillos will present a master's defense tomorrow (April 4) from 11 a.m. to noon in the Great Lakes Center, GLRC 202. Virtual attendance is also invited via Zoom

The title of Cubillos’ defense is "Under Ice Photosynthetic Primary Production and Dark Carbon Fixation in a Temperate Freshwater System."

From the abstract:
Ice-covered lakes are vulnerable to environmental change, especially those in the Northern Hemisphere where ice cover is rapidly declining due to global warming. These changes can alter metabolic processes and disrupt carbon cycling driven by primary producers who form the base of the food chain and are key to sustaining ecosystem function. Photosynthetic primary production and dark carbon fixation were investigated during ice cover in the Keweenaw Waterway using a carbon isotopic labeling (14C-bicarbonate) technique. Results revealed photosynthetic primary production was substantially reduced during ice cover, however, there was a relatively high abundance of chlorophyll-a present during the ice-covered period suggesting photoadaptation. Dark carbon fixation was also suppressed during the ice covered period compared to the open water period. Extracellular release of dissolved organic carbon associated with dark carbon fixation was substantially higher compared to photosynthetic primary production suggesting dark carbon fixation may be an important source of dissolved organic carbon in the water column. Together, these findings give insight into the relative importance of photosynthetic primary production and dark carbon fixation to aquatic carbon production and their response to changing environmental conditions.

'Art in Silico' Panel: 'The Work of Art in the Age of AI Generation'

Please join us for a panel discussion, "The Work of Art in the Age of AI Generation," as part of the "Art in Silico" series. The panel will discuss artificial intelligence (AI) art, ethics and philosophy. Snacks and beverages will be served.

The event will be held from 4-5 p.m. April 12 in the Great Lakes Research Center, GLRC 201/202. Participation is also invited virtually via Zoom.

Panelists include:

  • Stefka Hristova, director of IPEC (Institute for Policy, Ethics and Culture) and associate professor of digital media, Department of Humanities, MTU
  • Donald Landes, artist and associate professor of philosophy, Université Laval Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
  • Scott Marratto, chair of the Department of Humanities and associate professor of philosophy, MTU
  • Alexandra Morrison executive member of IPEC, associate professor of philosophy, and ethics and philosophy minor advisor, MTU

In the News

National Science Foundation CAREER Awards received by Radwin Askari (GMES/RISE) and Hassan Masoud (ME-EM/AIM) were mentioned by the Keweenaw Report. Details of the awards were published last week in a Michigan Tech News story.


Professor Emerita Faith Morrison (ChE) was quoted by WLUC TV6 in a story about the Friends of the Michigan Tech Library annual book sale, held Thursday and Friday (March 30-31) at the Memorial Union Building.


The Midland Daily News mentioned Michigan Tech in a story about $2 million in grant funding awarded by the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy for projects across the state using scrap tire materials. Two MTU road paving projects were funded by EGLE, totaling $901,363.


Skillings Mining Review mentioned Michigan Tech researchers’ idea to turn abandoned Upper Peninsula mines into valuable energy storage facilities in a story about the revitalization of the U.P.’s mining industry.


The Daily Mining Gazette covered the signings of Michigan Tech hockey forwards Tristan Ashbrook and David Jankowski with the ECHL’s Savannah Ghost Pirates and Wheeling Nailers, respectively.


The Mining Journal mentioned Michigan Tech in a story about Lee Marana ’07 ’08 (B.S. Business Administration, MBA) being appointed to the state of Michigan’s Health Information Technology Commission.


Mile High CRE mentioned Michigan Tech in coverage of Carin Ramirez ’98 (B.Eng. Geological/Geophysical Engineering) joining construction and family law firm McConaughy & Sarkissian, P.C. of Colorado as special counsel.


USA Today mentioned Michigan Tech in a story about a pre-draft meeting between the Kansas City Chiefs and NFL draft prospect (and former Husky basketball player) Jake Witt.


PhD Defense: John Velat, HU

Ph.D. in Rhetoric, Theory, and Culture candidate John Velat will present their doctoral defense at 10 a.m. today (April 3). The defense will be held in Walker 318. Virtual attendance is also invited via Zoom.

Velat's defense is titled “The Rhetorical Art of Risk Assessment: Lessons from Risk Management in Rural and Tribal Communities.”

From the abstract:
Risk assessment, mitigation, and communication rely on data from multiple sources to form a complete understanding of hazards and how to manage them. Experts can use these data to make informed decisions about the nature and extent of risks and inform the public to protect health, the environment, and economic welfare. However, in an effort to objectively make decisions, technical experts and policymakers increasingly rely on quantitative data as the most important determinator of risk, which can alienate the public, limit risk understanding, and delay or miss obvious signals of impending catastrophe. I examine several cases based on my experiences practicing and researching traffic safety, public safety, and technical and professional communication (TPC). The cases include a look at the impact of limited quantitative data in addressing motor vehicle traffic injuries and death in American Indian and rural communities; the challenge of collecting accurate data by first responders and firefighters to better understand and respond to health and physical hazards; and a recent history of failures to prevent airline and aerospace disasters due to an overemphasis on quantifiable data and devaluation of expert knowledge. The results of this study call attention to the weaknesses resulting from a quantitative imperative in risk management and a proposal for renewed focus on risk assessment using rhetorical practices and qualitative data readily available from expert and non-expert perspectives.


Pavlis Honors College Accepting Applications for Fall 2023 Soyring Foundation Scholarship

The Soyring Foundation Scholarship is available exclusively for Pavlis Honors College students through a generous gift from an alumnus of Michigan Tech with a passion for education and innovation.

The $1,000 scholarship is available to students expressing research and innovation interests in any of these three areas:

  • Water quality management,
  • Renewable energy, or
  • Solutions to prevent and cure cancer.

If you are interested in applying, please fill out the application form. A short essay is required and it can be uploaded as an Microsoft Word document or PDF file. The application submission deadline is midnight on Sunday (April 9).


PhD Defense: Ranit Karmakar, ECE

Ph.D. in Computer Engineering candidate Ranit Karmakar will defend his doctoral dissertation today (April 3) at 8 a.m. in person in EERC 501 and virtually via Zoom.

The title of Karmakar's dissertation is "Development of Artificial Intelligence Algorithms for Eye Banking."

Karmakar is advised by Sean Kirkpatrick.


Talk: 'Saving Women's Sports'

Please join Young Americans for Freedom in welcoming Riley Gaines at 7 p.m. today (April 3) in M&M U115.

An All-American swimmer and women’s rights activist, Gaines will be sharing her story and how she is fighting to preserve women’s sports.

For more information about Gaines, please see the Riley Gaines Save Women's Sports website.

This event is sponsored by the Leadership Institute.


PhD Defense: Xuewei Cao, Math

The Department of Mathematical Sciences (Math) is pleased to announce that Ph.D. candidate Xuewei Cao will be presenting a final defense today (April 3) at 3 p.m. The defense will be presented both in person and online via Zoom.

Cao's defense is titled "Statistical Methods for Gene Selection and Genetic Association Studies."

Cao is advised by Qiuying Sha.


MS Defense: Kaushik Baruah, ChE

M.S. in Chemical Engineering candidate Kaushik Baruah will present their master's defense tomorrow (April 4) at 9 a.m. in person in Chem Sci 201 and virtually via Zoom.

The title of Baruah's defense is “Chemical Decomposition of Flexible Polyurethane Foam to Generate a Media for Microbial Upscaling.”

Baruah is advised by Rebecca Ong.


Atmospheric Sciences Grad Student Presentations

This week's Atmospheric Sciences graduate student presenters will be:

  • Shreya Joshi (advised by Claudio Mazzoleni)
  • Thusitha Divisekara (Ph.D. in Chemistry candidate, advised by Lynn Mazzoleni)

This will be an in-person event — the students will give their talks at 4 p.m. today (April 3) in Fisher 101.

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


ACSHF Forum: Grad Student Presentations

The Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences (CLS) will host two speakers at the next Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors forum: Katrina Carlson and Brittany Nelson, both ACSHF graduate students. Their presentations will be from 2-3 p.m. today (April 3) in Meese 109 and via Zoom.

Carlson will present "Engineering Self-efficacy and Spatial Skills: A two-part study"

Nelson will present "Title: Preliminary Evaluation for an Educational Intervention: Insights from a Usability Survey"

Full abstracts can be found on our Cognitive and Learning Sciences News blog.


TRIP Application Change

In order to streamline the TRIP (Tuition Reduction Incentive Program) process, we will be using one form for the academic year enrollment and one form for summer enrollment.

The intention is to reduce the number of forms employees need to submit and allow for more efficient process in the Financial Aid office. Deadlines will remain the same and forms will be available year-round. If you have any questions, please contact the Benefits Office.

Today's Campus Events

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

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance by Appointment

The College of Business is pleased to again offer Volunteer Income Tax Assistance. Accounting majors will provide free income tax preparation assistance for students and...


Michigan Tech Art Presents: Snowsports Faculty and Staff Art Show



PhD Defense: Ranit Karmakar

Computer Engineering Advisor: Sean Kirkpatrick Development of Artificial Intelligence Algorithms for Eye Banking Attend Virtually:


PhD Defense: John Velat

Rhetoric, Theory and Culture Co-advisors: Marika Seigel and Andrew Fiss The Rhetorical Art of Risk Assessment: Lessons from Risk Management in Rural and Tribal Communities ...


ACSHF Forum: Grad Student Presentations

The Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences will host two speakers at the next Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors forum: Katrina Carlson and Brittany Nelson,...


Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar

Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar Rose Daily, PhD Student, Environmental Engineering, Michigan Tech Nature-Based Engineering: Development of a Biogarden to Manage...


PhD Defense: Xuewei Cao

Statistics Advisor: Qiuying Sha Statistical Methods for Gene Selection and Genetic Association Studies Attend Virtually:


Atmospheric Sciences - Graduate Student Presentations

Please join this week's Atmospheric Sciences Graduate Student presenters Shreya Joshi (ATM) and Thusitha Divisekara (Chemistry) for their in-person presentations Monday, April...


German Stammtisch Conversation Table

Stammtisch is an informal German conversation table. Join us for casual conversation and snacks! Practice your German, make friends and share interest in German culture....


Birdwatching—Quality of Life

Husky Bites presents Special Guest David Flaspohler Interim Dean and Professor, College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science Michigan Technological...


Riley Gaines- Saving Women's Sports

Riley Gaines is a female competitive swimmer on the University of Kentucky team who spoke out after tying with Lia Thomas, biological male, at the NCAA Championships. Gaines...