2023 CTL Instructional Awards and Luncheon Announced

The Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) congratulates the following 2023 Deans' Teaching Showcase members who have been selected to receive 2023 CTL Instructional Awards.

  • Elham Asgari (COB) — Innovative or Out of Class Teaching
  • Tim Wagner (Math) — Large Class Teaching
  • Pasi Lautala (CEGE) and Radheshyam Tewari (ME-EM) — Curriculum Development and Assessment

This year's recipients will present an overview of the efforts that led to their teaching awards at a CTL Lunch and Learn event on Sept. 12 at noon in the MUB Alumni Lounge. Each presenter will receive formal recognition and a cash award.

Please register in advance to attend the luncheon.

The CTL would also like to thank previous instructional award recipients who were instrumental in the selection process.

We're looking for nominations for the upcoming 2024 Deans' Teaching Showcase during spring semester. Please consider suggesting (to your dean or chair) instructors whom you've seen make exceptional contributions in curriculum development, assessment, innovative or out-of-class teaching, or large class teaching.

Contact the CTL at ctl@mtu.edu for more information.

DataSENSE to Train Next Generation of Data Scientists

Michigan Tech has been awarded its first National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Traineeship (NRT) Award aimed at training the next generation of data science professionals. The title of the research project is "Integrative Training in Data Science-Enabled Sensing of the Environment for Climate Adaptation (DataSENSE)."

Principal investigator (PI) Laura Brown (CS) says that the goal of the NRT DataSENSE project is to provide integrative, culturally responsive and equity-minded training, research and mentoring experiences for doctoral students, educating future professionals prepared to address complex, climate-adaptation-related problems.

Dennis Livesay, Dave House Dean of Computing, says that the award represents the growing importance of computing-centered efforts to Michigan Tech’s research mission.

“This work tackles a critical societal problem through the integration of climate science, sensorization and data science,” Livesay says. “No one piece is sufficient, but bringing them together allows us to simultaneously work to reduce the impact of the climate crisis and train the next generation of interdisciplinary data scientists.”

"Doctoral education in today’s world is about providing students with opportunities to contribute to society, wherever they see fit — in the academy, in industry, as entrepreneurs, in government,” says Will Cantrell, associate provost for graduate education and dean of the Graduate School. “The NRT experience enhances Michigan Tech’s ability to do just that.”

Learn more about the NRT DataSENSE grant on the Computing News Blog.

Visit Michigan Tech's DataSENSE website.

No Tech Today Monday

Tech Today will not publish on Monday (Sept. 4) in observance of the Labor Day holiday.

Submissions for the Tuesday (Sept. 5) issue of Tech Today are due by noon on Friday (Sept. 1).

Film Board Presenting 'Cocaine Bear'

This weekend, the Film Board is presenting "Cocaine Bear," which is rated R for drug content, bloody violence, gore and language throughout.


  • Friday, Sept. 1 — 5:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m., 11:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Sept. 2 — 5:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m., 11:30 p.m.

Located on Michigan Tech's campus in Fisher 135.

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

First Friday Social

  • When: Friday (Sept. 1) at 4 p.m.
  • Where: Grad Commons, located at 207 East Street (across US-41 from the library)

Come hang out and celebrate the first Friday of the semester at the Graduate Commons. Meet students, Graduate Student Government (GSG) representatives and faculty, and learn about some of the other departments.

See more details on GSG's First Friday Social event page.

VPR Research Series: 'Creating SciENcv Biosketches, C&P Docs, and Changes to NSF PAPPG'

Save the Date: Join us next Thursday (Sept. 7) from noon to 1 p.m. for the next session in the Vice President for Research Office (VPR) Research Series: "SciENcv: Creating Biosketches, C&P Docs, and Changes to NSF PAPPG."

As of Oct. 23, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will begin requiring that all senior personnel listed on NSF proposals use an online tool called SciENcv to prepare their biographical sketch and current and pending support forms, which are required proposal elements. Those unfamiliar with SciENcv have been able to use fillable PDF forms; this flexibility will end in October, so this session is for anyone interested in NSF proposals who has not yet learned the SciENcv system.

The session will cover all steps, from sign-up to producing the required documents; no prior experience is necessary. This session will also briefly cover recent changes to the NSF Proposal and Awards Policy and Procedures Guide.

Join us on Zoom next Thursday (Sept. 7) from noon to 1 p.m. to learn how you can create and maintain your biographical sketch and current and pending support documents in SciENcv. Once you get the initial setup done, you'll be able to easily make any updates and generate biosketches and current and pending documents that are compliant with the current rules of the agency.

Any questions should be addressed to rd-l@mtu.edu.

ME-EM Graduate Seminar Speaker: Caryn Heldt

The next Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics (ME-EM) Graduate Seminar speaker will present at 4 p.m. tomorrow (Aug. 31) in MEEM 112.

Caryn Heldt will present "Mixing and moving to continuously purify viral vaccines."

Caryn L. Heldt is the director of the Health Research Institute, the James and Lorna Mack Chair in Bioengineering, a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and an affiliate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Michigan Technological University.

This Week in Michigan Tech Athletics

Thursday (Aug. 31)
• Volleyball vs. Winona State, 6 p.m. at SDC Gym on FloSports and Mix 93.5 FM WKMJ
• Soccer vs. St. Cloud State, 7 p.m. at Kearly Stadium on FloSports

Friday (Sept. 1)
• Volleyball vs. Concordia-St. Paul, 2 p.m. at NMU Tournament

Saturday (Sept. 2)
• Cross Country hosting Yooper Skirmish at Tech Trails, 10/11 a.m.
• Volleyball vs. Minnesota Crookston, 11:30 a.m. at NMU Tournament
• Soccer vs. Minnesota Duluth, Noon at Kearly Stadium on FloSports
• Volleyball vs. Hillsdale, 4:30 p.m. at NMU Tournament


Athletics News
Read more in the MTU Athletics weekly update.

New Funding

Yan Zhang (BioSci/HRI) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $469,500 research and development grant from the National Institutes of Health.

The project is titled "High urinary phosphate induces TLR4-mediated inflammation and cystogenesis in polycystic kidney disease."

This is a potential two-year project.

In Print

Laura Connolly (COB) is a co-author of a paper published in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

The paper is titled “Labor mobility and the Affordable Care Act: Heterogeneous impacts of the preexisting conditions provision.”

Matt Hampton in the College of Business at Austin Peay State University and Otto Lenhart in the Department of Economics at the University of Strathclyde are also co-authors of the paper.

In the paper, Connolly, Hampton and Lenhart use data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics for years 2009 through 2019 and estimate difference-in-differences models to determine whether the Affordable Care Act (ACA) preexisting conditions provision improved labor mobility for individuals with chronic health issues. The results highlight the heterogenous labor market impacts of the provision on different subgroups of the population.

In the News

Lei Pan (ChE) was mentioned by Gear Technology in a story about U.S. efforts to develop a  domestic supply chain capacity for electric vehicle (EV) batteries, the manufacturing of which is heavily reliant on critical minerals. Pan is the principal investigator of a $2.5 million research project on carbon storage and extraction of critical minerals from mine tailings at MTU. The research and funding award were the subject of a Michigan Tech News story in January.


Paul van Susante (ME-EM) was quoted by SpaceRef in a story covering the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory's meeting with strategists and technologists to identify what's needed to establish a Lunar Proving Grounds to test technology functionality in the “ruthless lunar environment.” van Susante, described in the story as a lunar specialist, was one of the meeting participants.


Zhanping You (CEGE) was quoted by WLUC TV6 in a story about an upcoming road paving project in Dickinson County that will use recycled glass and tires from across the Upper Peninsula.


Hairong Wei (CFRES/CS/Math) was mentioned by Kansas State University in a story about a National Science Foundation award of $1.9 million to a project seeking to identify genetic elements that enhance scientists’ ability to generate farm crops and other plants from tissues or cells. Wei is a collaborator on the project, which is being led by three KSU researchers.


WLUC TV6 covered the beginning of the 2023 fall semester at Michigan Tech. Huskies Olivia Capelle (biomedical engineering), Ben Penix (electrical engineering) and Perry Mesloh (history) were quoted in the story.


The Iron Mountain Daily News ran a story about Michigan Tech’s Board of Trustees approving a design-build agreement for a new undergraduate residence hall on the east end of campus. The first details on the project were announced in May by Michigan Tech News. The story was picked up from the Daily Mining Gazette.


The Keweenaw Report ran a story about engraved pavers available for purchase at Michigan Tech’s new gateway entrance at the west end of campus. The gateway is currently being constructed, with completion expected in October.


CareerFEST Launching Soon!

Next Wednesday (Sept. 6), Career Services will kick off the fall recruiting season with 906 Day, our first of five CareerFEST days. 906 Day is sponsored by Invest UP and will feature companies located in the Upper Peninsula.

  • Wednesday, Sept. 6 — 906 Day (featuring Upper Peninsula companies, sponsored by Invest UP)
  • Thursday, Sept. 7 — Fox Cities Community Day (sponsored by Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce)
  • Tuesday, Sept. 12 — CareerFEST (all companies)
  • Wednesday, Sept. 13 — CareerFEST (all companies, sponsored by Grand Valley Chamber of Commerce)
  • Friday, Sept. 15 — Career Services Partner Days (sponsored by Career Services partner companies)

These in-person recruiting and networking opportunities allow employers to meet with students in an informal setting across campus — and employers often bring swag, gadgets, their company's latest technology or product, etc., to encourage students to come to their tents/table to chat. No resumes, no business suits — just casual conversation.

Save the Date: The fall Career Fair will be held Sept. 19 from 12-5 p.m. in the SDC Multipurpose Room and the Varsity Gym.


Fall Semester Portrait Sessions by Appointment

Faculty, staff and graduate students can have a complimentary professional portrait taken by University Marketing and Communications (UMC) during one of our fall semester portrait sessions. 

  • Wednesday, Sept. 20 — 10 a.m. to noon
  • Thursday, Sept. 21 — 10 a.m. to noon
  • Friday, Sept. 22 — 10 a.m. to noon

Portraits will be taken in the UMC Studio, located on the ground floor of the Administration Building (Admin G37). An appointment is required.

Schedule an appointment through our online calendar. You must use your mtu.edu account to schedule an appointment.

  • Sign in to the calendar with your mtu.edu account
  • Find the portrait session date you want — Sept. 20, 21 or 22
  • Click the appointment time you want between 10 a.m. and noon
  • Click Save
  • Smile!

Portraits will be emailed directly to you three to four weeks after your session.


Changes to State Mandated Instructional Staff Fire Safety and Evacuation Training Requirements

Husky safety is Environmental Health and Safety’s goal. Maintaining that overall safety, especially in an emergency, is a joint responsibility between you, the University and our local emergency response agencies.

An essential component of that safety is preparing every instructor for classroom emergencies.

The Michigan Fire Prevention Code requires universities to certify fire evacuation training for all instructional staff annually, not just when first hired. In addition, records of each instructor's training must be made available upon request from the Michigan Bureau of Fire Services.

To comply with state requirements, every instructor will be assigned the “Fire Safety on Campus” course through the Safety Skills training platform. A brief attachment with information specific to Michigan Tech will be included with the training. Training will be assigned by EHS this week.

In an emergency, students look to instructors for guidance. Michigan Tech requires classroom and laboratory instructors to familiarize students with basic evacuation routes and emergency procedures.

What should instructors do?

  1. Familiarize yourselves with the building, floor and classroom where you are teaching. Orient yourselves to the emergency evacuation postings. Email ehs-help@mtu.edu if you would like to include classroom evacuation maps (PDF format) for your syllabus.
  2. Communicate evacuation routes and assembly areas to students.
  3. Remind students to self-identify (in private if desired) if assistance is needed to exit a building during an emergency. If there are questions regarding emergency accommodations, please contact ehs-help@mtu.edu.
  4. Provide leadership and follow established procedures for all building alarms and emergencies. Stop instruction and immediately proceed to the nearest exit during a fire alarm. Do not use the elevators in emergencies.
  5. Include a section of Emergency Preparation in your syllabus and revisit the plan throughout the school year.
  6. Familiarize yourselves with the University Safety Manual and individual departmental safety plans for additional information regarding emergency action and fire prevention plans.

For any questions or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us at ehs-help@mtu.edu.

Today's Campus Events

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Boats, Buoys, and Books

Navigate the perilous library stacks to find any book with a nautical theme, snap a picture of the book you find and bring the picture down to the "Ask Us Station" for a prize.


Getting ready for CareerFEST!

Everything you need to know about the upcoming CareerFEST! events and how to prepare.


Race Practice

Race practices are pretty casual. We set a few marks in the portage and have a few races on Monday and Wednesday nights. Anyone is welcome to attend, regardless of sailing...


SAE Aero Design Intro meeting

The meeting shall be this Wednesday (8/30) 5-6pm! The location is MEEM 405. With this intro meeting we are doing an introduction to the current team, and past and current...


Open Cheer Practice

The cheer team will be hosting their first open practice outside on Walker Lawn. Come and join us for basic stunting, jumps, and learn a cheer or two! All skill levels are...


USG Weekly Meeting

This meeting includes weekly updates from all representatives, liaison positions, and committees. Official business carried out by USG is conducted throughout old and new...


Mens Hockey Club (Wolfpack) Tryouts

Men's Club Hockey Tryouts Each individual skate will be $5 in total $15 for all tryouts. Please show up early to get checked in with the team.