Huskies to the Rescue: Lifeguards Earn National Red Cross Award

Three lifeguards at the Michigan Tech student development complex pool smile in a photo celebrating their lifesaving award.

Their training, skills and teamwork helped save a life. For three lifeguards at the Michigan Tech SDC Pool, there’s no greater reward.

On Tuesday (April 25), Leah Komarzec ’26 (environmental engineering), Skyler Spitzley ’25 (operations and supply chain management) and graduating Houghton High School senior Brett Ceane received the Red Cross Lifesaving Award for Professional Responders, the highest award given to those who save or sustain a life using skills learned in Red Cross training courses.

“Receiving this award is really cool. It's really nice to be recognized for our efforts to save the patron, but this award is nothing to the proudness I feel when I look back and realize that I helped save a life,” said Spitzley.

Learn more about why they became lifeguards and the skills they put into action at Stories from Husky Nation.

Registration Deadline Approaching for 2023 UP Teaching and Learning Conference

The registration deadline is Monday (May 1) for Michigan Tech instructors planning to attend the 2023 Upper Peninsula Teaching and Learning Conference (UP-TLC) on May 15-16 at Lake Superior State University (LSSU) in Sault Ste. Marie.

The event will include a preconference session with Christy Price on May 15, and the main conference on May 16. Registration fees and one night of lodging will be covered by the deans. There are still a few seats available for the complimentary van transportation that will be provided by the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL).

Please register with the 2023 UP-TLC Michigan Tech Registration form, and not directly at the UP-TLC website. We will work with LSSU to provide the list of MTU attendees for the conference.

Contact the CTL at if you have any questions.

PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act and Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

In December 2022, President Biden signed into law two pieces of legislation, expanding federal protections for both pregnant and nursing workers.

  • The PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act expands protections for nursing employees and requires employers to provide reasonable break time to pump breast milk during the workday. It also reaffirms employers' obligation to provide a private place, other than a restroom, that nursing workers may use to express breastmilk. Michigan Tech currently has several lactation spaces available across campus. The PUMP Act, which goes into effect tomorrow (April 28), provides this right for up to one year after the birth of an employee’s child.

  • The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) expands Americans with Disabilities Act level protection by requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations that address a worker’s known limitations due to pregnancy, childbirth and related conditions. The PWFA goes into effect June 27.

Michigan Tech supports pregnant and parenting employees and students. Please visit Benefit Services for more information.

ADVANCE Advanced Career Management Champions

In celebration of the ADVANCE Adaptation grant progress, today we feature the Advanced Career Management (ACM) program for associate professors (or anyone post-tenure seeking to reprioritize, regroup or reinvigorate their career).

ACM was an adaptation from the LIFT program through the ADVANCE initiative at the University of Michigan. Notably, the Early Career Management (ECM) program at Michigan Tech was also an adaptation of the University of Michigan’s LAUNCH program for new faculty. While ECMs were initiated pre-Adaptation award, we heard overwhelming support for a similar support structure for associate professors. Co-principal investigators (PIs) Patty Sotirin and Sonia Goltz championed the implementation of ACMs. The ACM program was institutionalized in the Provost’s Office starting in 2022-2023 and will continue to be overseen by Assistant Provost for Faculty Development Shari Stockero.

ADVANCE would like to extend a heartfelt thank-you to the senior guides who have chaired ACM groups over the four (and counting) years of the program. These guides include Kathy Halvorsen (VPR/SS/CFRES), Jennifer Slack (HU), Nancy Langston (SS/CFRES), David Flaspohler (CFRES) and Sarah Green (Chem). We also thank the senior guides who participated in office hours and created videos for the ACM online video series. They include Shiyue Fang (Chem), Timothy Havens (ICC/GLRC), Adrienne Minerick (ChE), Will Cantrell (GS/Physics), Shari Stockero (AA/Math/CLS), and Raymond Shaw (Physics/ME-EM).

In any given year, the number of associate professors eligible for the program has ranged from 103 to 125; 40 of these individuals have participated in ACM (approximately one-third), hailing from all colleges on campus. Further, 58% of the ACM participants have been women or from historically underrepresented groups.

Tomorrow, we will feature the ADVANCE Faculty Equity Query Tool (AFEQT) development.

APS Labs Offering Diesel Engine Short Courses

Editor's note: The dates of the MEEM5202 course have been updated. They were originally posted as May 28-30.

Despite the industry turn to and customer demand for battery electric vehicles (BEVs), diesel-powered vehicles are still very much on the road.

The expert instructors at Michigan Tech's APS Labs (Jeff Naber, Jeremy Worm, Grant Ovist and Vinicius Bonfochi Vinhaes) know that diesel engines are and will still be with us in the future. So they are teaming up to offer two short professional development courses on diesel engines. These 20-hour (2.5-day) courses are offered in two modalities: in person and live online.

  • MEEM5202 Fundamentals of Diesel Engines will run May 31 to June 2. Its content is designed for those needing foundational knowledge in diesel engines.

  • MEEM5204 Diesel Engine Management Systems, Emissions, and Aftertreatment will run June 28-30. Its content is designed for those who want a deeper knowledge in diesel engine management systems, emissions and aftertreatment.

Both courses are ideal for those interested in pursuing careers in the automotive industry, commercial vehicles, power generation or related fields.

Need more information? Check out the APS Labs Short Courses page or email Vinicius Bonfochi Vinhaes at

Jesse Jacobusse Named GLIAC Track Athlete of the Week

Michigan Tech track and field's Jesse Jacobusse has been named GLIAC Track Athlete of the Week.

Jacobusse won the women's 800 meters at the Phil Esten Challenge meet hosted by the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse on April 21-22. She put in lap splits of 1:08.26 through 400m and an eye-opening 1:02.14 second lap to set a new personal best time of 2:10.39.

Jacobusse won the race by over four seconds and her time now sets her 21st in the nation.

Read more at the Michigan Tech Athletics website.

Nordic Skiing Announces Team Award Recipients

The Michigan Tech Nordic ski team distributed its annual team awards at a recent potluck banquet.

  • Anabel Needham and Skylar Patten were named the Most Outstanding Skiers. This is the third-consecutive season Needham has earned this honor and Patten's second-straight season.
  • Alice McKnight and Adam Witkowski received the Most Improved Skier Award.
  • Henriette Semb, Cedric Keller and Adam Witkowski were honored with the Scholastic Achievement Award.
  • Anabel Needham and William Haapala were the recipients of the Harold Meese Sportsmanship Award.
  • Cat Stow and Wes Campbell received the inaugural Team Husky Award, added this 2022-23 season.

Read more about the skiers and awards at the Michigan Tech Athletics website.

In Print

Jacob Guter (FM) is a co-author of an article published in the Planning for Higher Education Journal.

The article is titled "The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Align Strategic, Physical, and Capital Planning for the Next Generation of Students."

The article discusses how active stakeholder engagement, frequent reviews and vigorous discussion allowed Michigan Tech to craft a campus master plan aligning strategic, physical and capital planning that supports and drives the University’s 2035 vision.

Guter co-authored the article with Doug Kozma of engineering design and architecture firm SmithGroup.

New Funding

Rupali Datta (BioSci/GLRC) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $10,798 research and development contract from the Stevens Institute of Technology.

The project is titled "Green Remediation of Per - and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in Soil and Water."

This is a potential three-year project.

In the News

The Daily Mining Gazette and WLUC TV6 covered MTU lifeguards Skyler Spitzley (operations and supply chain management), Leah Komarzec (environmental engineering) and Brett Ceane’s receipt of a national lifesaving award at the Student Development Complex on Tuesday (April 25). Annie Bengry (REC) nominated them for the award, and received a lapel pin and certificate as their Red Cross lifeguard certification instructor.

The trio’s actions to save the life of a swimmer experiencing a medical emergency at the SDC Pool last summer were also chronicled by Stories from Husky Nation.


The Mining Journal picked up a Daily Mining Gazette story about a special tribute to the late Milt Olsson, Michigan Tech professor emeritus and inaugural chair of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts. The event was held Sunday (April 23) at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. Kiersten Birondo (Rozsa), Jared Anderson (VPA) and JoAnn Brinser ’85 (B.S. Economics) were quoted in the story.


The Daily Mining Gazette mentioned Michigan Tech in a story about the Breakout Sessions hockey-themed podcast, which taps the “wealth of hockey knowledge throughout Upper Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.” The hosts of the podcast have noticed how often their guests mention the U.P. — and particularly MTU.


Radio Results Network picked up a Michigan Tech News story previewing the University’s upcoming Spring Commencement exercises. Tech will hold two ceremonies — one for graduate students tomorrow (April 28) and a second for undergraduates Saturday (April 29).


Indy’s Child Parenting Magazine mentioned Michigan Tech and our “ridiculously fun” hockey games in a travel story highlighting the Keweenaw Peninsula as a road trip destination. 


Sports Illustrated, the Detroit Free Press and the Mining Journal mentioned Michigan Tech in stories featuring former Husky basketball player and NFL Draft prospect Jake Witt. Sports Illustrated’s story was picked up by 24 other news outlets. The NFL Draft begins today (April 27) and continues through Sunday (April 30).

***** mentioned Michigan Tech in a recap of Game 4 in the Stanley Cup series between the LA Kings and Edmonton Oilers. Former Husky Matt Roy scored his first NHL playoff goal in the game.


Joint ROTC Commissioning Ceremony

The Air Force and Army ROTC invite you to the Spring 2023 Commissioning Ceremony tomorrow (April 28) from 7-9 p.m. at the Rozsa Center.

This semester we have 11 Air Force cadets and five Army cadets commissioning. Those commissioning are from the following programs:

Biological Sciences | Civil Engineering | Computer Science | Cybersecurity | Electrical Engineering | Engineering Fundamentals | Engineering Management | Environmental Engineering | Forestry | Mathematics | Mechanical Engineering | Physics

We will also be streaming the ceremony if you prefer to watch it live on YouTube. The stream will go live 15 minutes prior to the ceremony.

Today's Campus Events

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