Power Co-Op Evaluating Development of Pumped Storage Hydropower at Closed Mines

Michigan Tech is collaborating with Dairyland Power Cooperative of La Crosse, Wisconsin, and Mine Storage International AB of Stockholm, Sweden, to explore the potential for pumped underground storage hydropower in the Upper Midwest.

With input from Tech and Mine Storage, Dairyland will evaluate closed mines in the region for the development of pumped underground hydro, an opportunity that the company said will support grid reliability and renewable energy generation while repurposing retired industrial sites in an innovative way.

Read the full press release at Michigan Tech News.

Husky Teams Sweep State Project Management Competition

Michigan Tech teams earned both first and second place in THE Project 2023, a semester-long project management competition sponsored by the Western Michigan Project Management Institute.

Finals were held last month at the Pinnacle Center in Hudsonville, Michigan, where Huskies went up against competitors from Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University, Hillsdale College and Western Michigan University.

Read details on the CoB news blog.

Michigan Tech Entrepreneurs Pitch Off-Site This Week

Two Michigan Tech student teams will pitch their innovations at offsite pitch competitions this week. Jordan Craven will pitch Sizelogic at TCNewTech and Rourke Sylvain and Ali Dabas will pitch imi at the prestigious Rice Business Plan Competition. Best of luck to both teams!

Jordan Craven is the founder and CEO of Sizeologic. Sizelogic is committed to improving the online clothing retail industry by providing a comprehensive solution that makes it easier for customers to find clothes that fit them perfectly. Craven is in her fourth year of studying management in information systems and computer science at Michigan Tech. View her TCNewTech collegiate pitch tomorrow (May 9).

The TCNewTech University Pitch Showdown is part of the Northern Michigan Startup Week, a weeklong celebration of entrepreneurship, innovation and the startup community in Northern Michigan.

Rourke Sylvain, founder and CEO of imi (integrated molecular innovations), and Ali Dabas, imi's co-founder and CTO, are pitching a biowearable device that revolutionizes healthcare by eliminating the need for centralized clinical testing. Their device will provide patients with the ability to monitor their hormone levels continuously.

Sylvain is currently completing an M.S. in biomedical engineering and an M.S. in data science and is transitioning into the Ph.D. program for biomedical engineering at Michigan Tech. Dabas completed a B.S. in biomedical engineering ('23) and has an associate’s degree in math and science.

At the Rice Business Plan Competition, they will present their elevator pitch on May 11 at 6 p.m. and participate in the live finals 15-minute pitch on May 13 at 12 p.m., both of which can be watched on YouTube or at the Rice Business Plan Competition website.

ADVANCE Internal/External Evaluation and Advisory Boards, Evaluators and Coordinators

In celebration of the ADVANCE Adaptation grant progress, today we feature the Internal Evaluation and Advisory Board (IEAB) and the External Evaluation and Advisory Board (EEAB), along with key evaluators who have conducted formative and summative evaluations of ADVANCE’s programs and efforts.

Twice annually, the IEAB hears progress reports from the ADVANCE team, provides their input and then reports recommendations to the EEAB. The EEAB also reviews progress from the ADVANCE team, reflects, and provides combined recommendations for improvements for the subsequent year’s programs and efforts. IEAB/EEAB feedback led to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup, the A&A biweekly Journal Club at C-Cubed and many other refinements that have improved the education and community of Michigan Tech.

We extend heartfelt gratitude to the members of the IEAB — Parisa Pour Shahid Saeed Abadi (ME-EM/BioMed/MSE), Tara Bal (CFRES), Mari Buche (COB), Daniel Fuhrmann (AC/ECE), Wayne Gersie (OVPDI), Shekhar Joshi (BioSci/CFRES), Richard Koubek (PRES), Josh Olson (IT), Linda Ott (CS), Cecile Piret (Math) and Kellie Raffaelli (SA/IPS) — for their time, guidance and wisdom.

Our EEAB members — Canan Bilen-Green, North Dakota State University; Patrice Buzzanell, University of South Florida; Jenna Carpenter, Campbell University; Candy McCorkle, Western Michigan University; Denise Sekaquaptewa and Abby Stewart, University of Michigan; Alice Stuhlmacher, DePaul University; and Bevlee Watford, Virginia Tech — shared their wisdom and experience time and again; we are forever grateful.

The ADVANCE team was able to report on programmatic details as well as the assessments of the impact of the programs due to the tool development and analysis of our internal evaluator Chris Wojick (GLRC) and external evaluator Kerry Englert. Our graduate students (featured in Tech Today on May 5) were also instrumental in analyzing data and refining the survey tools.

ADVANCE has also benefited from the passion and efforts of three ADVANCE coordinators during the course of the grant. A special thank-you to Brad Wells (CEO), Kate Van Susante and our new ADVANCE coordinator who is onboarding, Mackenzie Mentel, who can be reached at ADVANCE-mtu@mtu.edu.

ADVANCE programs have all been institutionalized. As mentioned previously, Advanced Career Management (ACM) is now housed with the provost's office and is run by Shari Stockero. Advocates and Allies (A&A) is now housed in the Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion and overseen by Wayne Gersie. The Academy for Responsive Leadership (ARL) has inspired a new generation of department chair onboarding and training. The ADVANCE Faculty Equity Query Tool (AFEQT) is maintained by Institutional Research and Information Technology-Enterprise Application Services. However, the spirit and goals of ADVANCE — cultivating equitable opportunities, support and sense of belonging for all faculty — lies in each of you. Please continue to learn and advocate for policies, practices and daily acts of community to achieve this goal.

"Data Carpentry Workshop on R" is May 22-23

Michigan Tech will host an in-person "Data Carpentry Workshop on R" May 22-23, 2023, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. The emphasis of the workshop is on ecology. The workshop will take place in the Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC), Room 202.

All Michigan Tech students, faculty and staff are invited to attend this free workshop. Please note that learners are expected to commit to attending the entire workshop. Please register by Friday, May 12, 2023. Space is limited and the workshop will likely fill quickly.

Confirmation of your registration will be emailed on Monday, May 15, 2023.

This workshop curriculum includes:

  • Data Organization
  • Introduction to R
  • Data Manipulation with R (tidyverse)
  • Plotting and Programming with R (ggplot2)

Learn more about the workshop on the Computing news blog.

PhD Defense: April Lindala, RTC

Ph.D. in Rhetoric, Theory and Culture candidate April Lindala will present a Ph.D. dissertation defense at 1 p.m. May 16 in Walker 120C. Virtual attendance is also invited by Zoom.

Lindala's dissertation is titled "Ceremony and Storywork: Decolonizing Strategies in Contemporary Indigenous Documentary Film."

Lindala is co-advised by Erin Smith and Diane Shoos.

From the abstract:
This dissertation centers on multiple Indigenous-directed documentary and experimental films directed by an emerging class of Indigenous storyworkers who are making space on the cinematic screen to increase society’s consciousness of Indigenous peoples and their stories. I focus on films produced between 2015-2022 from six Indigenous directors representing diverse Indigenous communities from within Canada and the United States: Alethea Arnaquq-Baril (Inuit), Christopher Auchter (Haida), Sarain Fox (Ojibwe), Sky Hopinka (Ho-chunk), Tasha Hubbard (Plains Cree), and Ciara Lacy (Native Hawai’ian). These Indigenous documentarians have been generating a dynamic wave of cultural productions that contribute to Indigenous knowledge production, enact and represent narrative sovereignty, strengthen Fourth Cinema’s presence within the broader filmmaking world, and counter or question perceived universal truths stemming from Eurocentric hegemonic thought. The collection of films contains overlapping themes of culture, family, community (an expanded notion of community) as well as demonstrate a reverence for Indigenous language, Indigenous voices, and ancestral memory.

To complete this study, I lean on the guiding principles of Indigenous storywork (Archibald, 2008, 2019) and pair these principles with the practice of neurodecolonization (Yellowbird, 2012, 2017, 2019) in order to synergistically prepare for and engage with the nine selected Indigenous-directed films. I call this combined approach a decolonizing cinematic engagement practice. I also reflect and remark on what it means to adopt a decolonizing cinematic engagement and offer it as a humble gift of practice for Indigenous students. I assert that the pairing of Indigenous methodology with Indigenous method expands the breadth and depth of intellectual pathways and generates novel possibilities for students of documentary film as well as students of Indigenous studies. In alignment with these approaches, I composed this dissertation drawing on the contemporary cultural activity of a powwow to serve as an overarching metaphor to provide readers with culturally distinct directional signposts.

Bird Migration Forum

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Through Forestry series continues with a bird migration forum, featuring speakers Jen Owen (Michigan State University), Joseph Youngman and David Flaspohler (Michigan Tech).

This forum will bring awareness of the plight of migratory bird populations, highlight migration and population information for the Keweenaw Peninsula, and provide instruction from researchers to community members who wish to enhance bird habitat on their land.

A panel of resource professionals will also be available to discuss the development and implementation of Forest Stewardship Plans. More event information may be found in the Mining Journal.

The forum will be held from 6-9 p.m. on Tuesday, May 9 at 135 Fisher Hall at Michigan Tech.

Huskies Collect Two Podium Finishes to Open GLIAC Championships

The Michigan Tech track & field team saw two podium finishes paired with 12 Huskies advancing into Friday's finals to conclude the first complete day of the GLIAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

The duo of Huskies that made the podium were Kyle Samluk in the men's 3,000m steeplechase and Hannah Loughlin later in the evening in the women's 10,000m. The two both placed third in their respective events.

"We had a solid day today," head coach Kristina Owen said. "For the events with preliminary heats we set ourselves up nicely for tomorrow's finals."

Read more on the Michigan Tech Athletics website.


On-Campus Meetings Available with TIAA Financial Consultant

Ryan Hallowell from Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA) will be available on Michigan Tech's campus on the following dates and times for one-on-one sessions:

  • Monday, May 15 — 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., MUB Alumni Lounge A
  • Tuesday, May 16 — 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., MUB Alumni Lounge A
  • Wednesday, May 17 — 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., MUB Alumni Lounge A
  • Thursday, May 18 — 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., MUB Alumni Lounge A

No matter where you are in life — just getting started or planning for retirement — a session with Hallowell can help you create a plan for your goals. And, it's at no cost as a part of your retirement plan. You'll get answers to these questions and more:

  • Am I invested in the right mix of investments to help meet my goals?
  • Am I saving enough to create the retirement income I need?
  • How do I take income from my retirement account once I stop working?

RSVP today, as space is limited. Register for sessions with TIAA directly, or register by calling 800-732-8353 on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.


Workshop on Energy and Community Resiliency

The Center for Innovation in Sustainability and Resilience (CISR) invites you to participate in a Workshop on Energy and Community Resiliency, taking place at the Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC) at Michigan Tech on Wednesday and Thursday (May 10 and 11). The workshop is open to both Michigan Tech employees and external attendees.

This two-day workshop will highlight expertise on campus in the domain of resilience and provide opportunities to network with other external partners, discuss diverse perspectives on resilience and identify opportunities to address community resilience needs.

Day 1 of the workshop will focus on resilience and energy services. Day 2 of the workshop will focus on resilience, hazards and health. You can participate on one or both days as best fits your schedule. Lunch and coffee will be provided for full-day attendees, and a Zoom option will be available for attendees who want to attend online.

Please RSVP by completing the Energy, Health, and Community Resilience Workshop RSVP form or emailing Chelsea Schelly at cschelly@mtu.edu. If you email, please confirm if you are able to join us on one or both days of the workshop and your preferred mode of attendance. If you plan to attend in person and have special dietary or other needs, please include this information in your RSVP.

More information about the workshop will be provided for attendees, and we welcome your questions, suggestions and ideas for making this a great workshop experience!


Research Development Team Traveling, Limited Availability

The Research Development Team will have limited availability today through Friday (May 8-12) as we take the road to Washington, D.C. Due to full itineraries, our response time to inquiries may be longer than normal; thank you for your patience.

Any questions should be directed to the Research Development Team at rd-l@mtu.edu.


Retirement Party for Nancy Byers Sprague

Please join the Graduate School on Friday, May 12, from 3-5 p.m. at the Great Lakes Research Center to celebrate the retirement of Nancy Byers Sprague.

Nancy has been a valuable member of our campus community for more than 45 years, and has been with the Graduate School for the last 20. During this time, countless students, faculty and staff have been impacted by her caring and compassionate nature, and it will be hard to imagine campus life without her.

Please join us in wishing her well as she “sails” toward retirement at the end of June.

In the News

Tech Telegraph picked up a story from Becker’s Hospital Review about Michigan Tech’s new B.S. in Nursing program.


The Mining Journal published a story previewing a bird migration forum being held at Michigan Tech by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. David Flaspohler (CFRES) is one of three presenters at the event, planned from 6-9 p.m. Tuesday (May 9) in Fisher 135.


The Mining Journal ran a story about the hiring of Ph.D. student Julia Petersen (environmental and energy policy) as the Nature Conservancy’s new Keweenaw Heartlands project manager.


Stories in the Daily Mining Gazette, WLUC TV6, ABC 10, and the Keweenaw Report announced the 2023-24 schedule for Michigan Tech hockey.


John Lehman (URE) and Andrew Storer were quoted by WLUC TV6 in a story about Michigan Tech’s plans to build a new undergraduate residence hall and to start a new four-year nursing degree, both of which were officially announced by Michigan Tech News earlier this week.


Michigan Tech was mentioned in a story from WZZM 13 in Grand Rapids about the impact of electric vehicles on Michigan’s economy. Michigan Tech was noted as one of three Michigan universities selected for the state’s $10,000 EV Scholars program, which promotes in-state electric vehicle (EV) and mobility careers. The story was picked up by WTOL 10 in Toledo, Ohio. 


WisBusiness and Sweden’s Energi Nyheter ran stories about a partnership between Michigan Tech, Dairyland Power Cooperative, and Mine Storage International AB (Mine Storage) that will explore the potential for pumped underground storage hydropower in the Upper Midwest. The collaboration was announced on Thursday (May 4) in an MTU News press release.