Not Sure What You Want to Study? Tech's Undeclared Program Helps Students Choose a Major

Three Michigan Tech students look out over the horizon in a forest ecology class.

When it comes to choosing the right major, pre-college students and their families often put undue pressure on themselves. Fear of making the wrong choice can be paralyzing.

One of the ways Director of Admissions Beth Fitzpatrick helps to dial back the stress is asking older guests who visit campus with their pre-college students to raise their hands if they’re doing what they thought they’d be doing when they were 18.

Typically very few hands go up.

“We can’t expect all our prospective students to know exactly what they want to do when they grow up. Many don’t even know what their options are,” said Fitzpatrick. “Most careers aren’t ‘climbing the corporate ladder’ — it’s more like climbing a jungle gym. Sometimes you move up, down and sideways. Students don’t have to figure out their entire lifetime — just the next step.”

Learn how Michigan Tech’s Undeclared: Exploring Majors program helps students take that next step at Stories from Husky Nation — and feel free to share the story with families you know who might benefit from the resources.

No TikTok on Government Devices Act

The No TikTok on Government Devices Act was passed as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023. Effective June 2, a new Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) interim rule (FAR 52.204-27) was issued and took effect implementing the change, requiring specific language be included in federal contracts.

What Is Prohibited by the Interim Rule?
The regulatory language prohibits having or using the social networking service TikTok or any successor application or service developed or provided by ByteDance Limited or an entity owned by ByteDance Limited on any information technology used or provided by the contractor under a contract, including equipment provided by the contractor's employees.

What Does That Look Like in Practice?
All information technology devices (computers, tablets, cell phones) that are used in the performance of a contract that includes this provision may not have TikTok installed on them, nor may they be used to access the URL associated with TikTok or any successor application or service.

Some existing contracts are being modified to include FAR 52.204-207 and some new contracts will include this term. The Sponsored Programs Office (SPO) will notify principal investigators (PIs) if their contract contains FAR 52.204-207.

What About My Personal Cell Phone or Computer (or My Grad Student's)?
The rule is the same for you, your graduate student and anyone else working on the contract. If you utilize your personal cell phone, computer or other electronic device in the performance of the contract, such as by reading or composing related emails or for related phone calls or Zoom meetings, then the prohibition applies to your personal device. The prohibition does not apply to any personally owned devices that are not used in the performance of such a contract.

Who Is Responsible for Telling People Working on These Contracts About This Rule?
The PI for the contract is responsible for ensuring that everyone working on the contract is advised of this rule. If additional support is needed in communicating with those working on the contract, the PI should contact Senior Research Security Specialist Ramona Englund.

Does the Prohibition Apply to Subcontracts?
Yes. If Michigan Tech is the subcontractor or if Michigan Tech contracts work out to a subcontractor, the prohibition applies.

Are There Any Exceptions?
The interim rule does not apply to information technology that is incidental to a federal contract. This means that human resources or Financial Services and Operations (FSO) employees who do not work directly on a federal contract but may process some supporting paperwork are not covered by the prohibition. However, employees more closely tied to the federal contract and contract compliance (e.g., those in the Vice President for Research Office and departmental coordinators who are involved in supporting such contracts) should comply with the prohibition at least until further guidance is received.

Seeking Leadership and Participation in Essential Education Implementation Team

The implementation of Essential Education, Michigan Tech's revised general education curriculum, is already underway, and a coordinated campus effort is required to meet our key milestones. We are seeking expressions of interest for a variety of leadership roles and committee-level positions.

In addition to supporting a campuswide change, these roles will provide valuable networking and professional development opportunities for individuals that are interested in expanding their on-campus networks or gaining valuable experience for taking on future leadership roles.

We invite faculty and staff to express their interest in participation using the Essential Education Implementation Team and Task Forces form.

Celebrating 10 Years at the Michigan Tech Testing Center

As the Michigan Tech Testing Center starts our 10th year of operation, we will be bringing you tips and fun facts — one each week for 10 weeks.

Week 1 Fun Facts:
Thanks to a generous gift from William G. Jackson, the Testing Center was established in conjunction with the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). A server room and office space in the center of the Van Pelt and Opie Library were renovated to make three private and seven quiet spaces for testing.

Opening in fall 2013, the Testing Center was started to assist students with accommodations. Prior to that, students were left in classrooms or put into conference rooms or even instructor’s offices.

Today, the Testing Center uses a testing-specific software called RegisterBlast that tracks time allotments for each different exam, the available seating and hours of the Testing Center, and specific instructions and accommodations for different students. There are a huge number of variables to track, and this software helps keep them all straight.

Week 1 Tip:
Find more information and instructional videos on our website:
Scheduling Procedures | Michigan Tech Testing Center | Michigan Technological University

If the Testing Center can assist you or your students, please reach out to us at or 906-487-1001.

Dean Dennis Livesay's Open Office Hours

During the fall 2023 semester, Dean Dennis Livesay, College of Computing, will be available for open office hours on Friday mornings from 9-10 a.m., beginning Sept. 15.

All students, faculty and staff are invited to schedule an appointment with Livesay by contacting Vicky Roy at

Showcase [AI] Student Poster Competition

The Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC) and the College of Computing invite students to register for a spot in the Student Poster Competition to wrap up Showcase [AI] and Manufacturing Day on Oct. 6. Student research will be viewed by judges and scholarship prizes will be awarded in undergraduate and graduate categories.

The competition will be held in the Memorial Union Building Alumni Lounge, with setup from 8-11:30 a.m. and judging from 2:30-4:30 p.m.

More information on setup, poster printing and additional details will be sent before the event.

Please contact with any questions. Snacks and beverages will be provided to attendees.

Fill out the Showcase [AI] Poster Competition Entry Form to enter.

Career Fair: Request for Interview Rooms

Fall Career Fair is Sept. 19! As we have done in the past, Interview Day will be Sept. 20, and we need your help.

In order to provide the best interview experience for both students and employers, we are requesting office and room spaces for interviews on campus. Please submit any available rooms to be included for our Interview Day schedule using our Rooms for Interviews form.

On average, there are over 1,000 individual interviews conducted on campus following Career Fair.​​

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to

IPEC Launches Podcast

The Institute for Policy, Ethics, and Culture (IPEC) is pleased to announce the launch of our podcast, “IPEC Presents,” which debuted today (Sept. 5).

Each episode is dedicated to discussing the research IPEC conducts in service of policy engagement, and teaching that addresses the ethical and cultural challenges, implication, and strategies unique to the emerging techno cultural environment.

In our first episode, guest Richard Canevez (HU) and host Kendall Belopavlovich (HU) discuss Canevez’s rising academic career and research as an IPEC executive committee member and research area lead. Canevez is a multitalented professional whose expertise draws on multiple disciplinary backgrounds, including philosophy, information sciences and technology, artificial intelligence, and communication.

“IPEC Presents” can be found on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify.

It is also available on the Institute for Policy, Ethics, and Culture website.

Rozsa Hosting GeekU.P. Mini-Con Charity Event

The fifth annual GeekU.P. Mini-Con Charity Event will be held at Michigan Tech's Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday (Sept. 9) from 12-7 p.m.

GeekU.P. celebrates geek culture, offering an artists' alley, vendors, cosplay contest, celebrity Q&A sessions, autograph sessions and more.

This year's charity recipient is Unite Mental Health and Wellness, located in Houghton. Unite Mental Health and Wellness is a nonprofit mental health service organization committed to helping individuals in our community connect to non-emergency mental health care. Partnering with providers both locally and remotely, they support professionals and services currently available in our community while filling in the gaps where care may be lacking.

GeekU.P. has an exciting celebrity guest lineup this year and they will take part in Q&A sessions and autograph signings for attendees. Visit the GeekU.P. website to see who's attending.

"We're very excited about what we have in store for GeekU.P. this year," said Shana Porteen, GeekU.P. co-founder and owner of Black Ice Comics & Books in Houghton. "We want to welcome folks of all ages to GeekU.P. to come have a great time. Even if it's been years since you read a comic, or you've never played a video game, we can't wait to share the fun, have folks meet our fabulous celebrities, and help us raise money for Unite Mental Health and Wellness."

"I'm thrilled to celebrate local arts and culture in the community I grew up in! I certainly hope to inspire and provide insight for budding artists who may be thinking of a related career path," said Patricia Summersett, GeekU.P. co-founder and guest celebrity. "Shana and I dreamed up this event several years ago and I'm amazed how the festival has evolved so considerably. I'm excited to imagine how it may grow and expand in years to come!"

More information and the developing schedule can be found at the GeekU.P. website. Tickets can be purchased at the door using cash or credit.

Join the Michigan Tech New/Young Investigators Writing Group

Have you thought about joining a writing group but didn’t know if one existed? Perhaps you would like to start working on a CAREER or another key proposal but struggle to find the time to put your thoughts on paper (figuratively speaking, of course). Maybe you have been working on the same manuscript for months and just can’t seem to find the time to finish writing the paper?

The College of Engineering started a writing group last year for assistant professors. Encouraged by the success, we want to continue and even expand the group beyond the College of Engineering this year.

Why join a writing group? Benefits include getting valuable feedback on your writing, being accountable to the group, receiving valuable feedback and refining your writing progress, just to name a few, as stated by last year participants:

  • “Participating in the young investigator writing group was a transformative experience, providing me with a dedicated and consistent writing routine throughout the semester. The group gently motivated me to write without undue stress, with the bonus of networking with esteemed faculty members and the administration of the College of Engineering.”
    — Jung Yun Bae (ME-EM)

  • “When I stepped away from my office to write with the group, I was able to treat this time as ‘sacred,’ with no email or meeting distractions. This meeting allowed me to break through on a couple of proposal topics as well as to push through a paper draft that I had been procrastinating. As a bonus, I got to meet College leadership and spend time with fellow early career faculty as we walked to/from the writing group and during writing breaks.”
    — Ana Dyreson (ME-EM)

  • “The young investigator writing group was a great way for me to block out the noise that is inherent to being a new faculty and focus on writing papers and proposals. I also was able to meet and network with other faculty through the writing group.”
    — Vinh Nguyen (ME-EM)

Interested in participating? Fill out the survey in the Young/New Investigator Writing Group interest form by Friday (Sept. 8) and select the times that would work for you for getting together with the group. We hope to get the group started within the next two weeks.

For other questions, please contact Pasi Lautala at

BioSci Seminar Series Speaker: Adriana San Miguel

Adriana San Miguel will present as part of the Department of Biological Sciences (BioSci) Seminar Series on Thursday (Sept. 7) from 3-4 p.m. in the Great Lakes Research Center, GLRC 202.

San Miguel will present "High-content analysis of neurodegeneration and stress in C. elegans."

San Miguel is an associate professor in the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University. She is also part of the NC State's Synthetic and Systems Biology Cluster. Her work combines engineering and biology and focuses on developing tools to perform high-throughput automated experiments with the model organism C. elegans. These tools are used to better understand aging, stress and neurodegeneration. 

San Miguel received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering at the Monterrey Institute of Technology in Mexico and obtained a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at Georgia Tech, where she worked with Sven Behrens. She trained as a postdoctoral fellow with Hang Lu at Georgia Tech and with Marc Vidal at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She has received several awards, which include the NIA K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award, DOD New Investigator Award, the AMED Interstellar Initiative on Healthy Longevity, and a Goodnight Early Career Innovator Award.

From the abstract:
C. elegans has served as a crucial model organism to understand a plethora of fundamental biological phenomena. In particular, these nematodes are excellent model systems to study aging and neurodegeneration. Being transparent and amenable to easy genetic manipulation, C. elegans allows analysis of many biological processes by in vivo microscopy. In our work, we incorporate microfluidics and machine learning to enable rapid quantitative analysis and sorting of individual C. elegans in high-throughput. These systems allow the analysis of complex and subtle phenotypes at the cellular and subcellular level from fluorescent images, and the genetic pathways that modulate them. While C. elegans is commonly used, most analyses focus on rough readouts, such as viability. Combining high-resolution microscopy with computer vision presents an opportunity to look deeper into the effects of environmental and genetic perturbations in C. elegans. In this talk, I will present work on high-content pipelines for analysis of aging, stress, and neurodegeneration induced by environmental exposures, which have revealed robust evidence of the link between structure and function in neurons and early biomarkers for aging.

Scientific Outreach Through YouTube: An Inspiring Story

Scientific outreach is one of the key components of any National Science Foundation (NSF) project, specifically CAREER programs. Having a strong outreach can significantly enhance the rating of a proposal. YouTube is a platform for broader outreach.

The Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences (GMES) is hosting Rachel F. Phillips, a Ph.D. candidate from the University of Texas at El Paso, who has successfully launched a YouTube channel about geology (@GEOGIRL). With over 38,000 subscribers, she has achieved an inspiring record in scientific outreach.

Phillips will share her experience with the Michigan Tech community though an Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences Institute (EPSSI) Seminar on Monday (Sept. 11) from 4-5 p.m. in the Minerals and Materials Engineering Building, M&M U113.

The seminar is titled "Promoting Global Inclusivity and Engagement in Geoscience Through YouTube."

Find more information and read the abstract on the University Events Calendar.

Open Lecture: 'What Is Code-Switching and How Does It Impact Belonging?'

Join us for an open lecture with author, entrepreneur and public speaker George Paasewe on his book: "How Black College Students Learn Code Switching."

Paasewe helps institutions increase their attraction, retention and graduation rates of students of color through education on the adverse effects of code-switching and how it impacts belonging. He shares best practices to help eliminate the unconscious exclusion and marginalization of students of color while encouraging and supporting students to show up as their authentic selves. He also illustrates how students of color are experiencing higher levels of student burnout as they code-switch to navigate professional and social spaces where they are underrepresented.

All are welcome to attend the lecture. Complete the RSVP form to register.


  • What: "What is Code-Switching and How Does It Impact Belonging?" lecture
  • When: Tuesday, Sept. 12, at 4 p.m.
  • Where: Memorial Union Building in MUB Ballrooms A and B

Please direct questions to 906-487-2920 or For more information about the speaker, visit his website: The Code Switcher.

CFRES Seminar with Kristin Brzeski

The College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science (CFRES) will host a seminar at 12:30 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 7) in Noblet G002 with speaker Kristin Brzeski, assistant professor, CFRES.

The title of Brzeski's talk is: "Wolves, Bears, Ticks—Oh my! Wildlife Genetics and Biodiversity Conservation in the Keweenaw and Beyond."

Brzeski is a conservation geneticist who conducts research at the intersection of applied conservation and wildlife ecology. She uses genomic and epigenetic sequencing, noninvasive genetics and a variety of field-based techniques to unravel the ecology of little-known species and protect endangered wildlife.

With a primary focus on wild canid genetics, Brzeski has made significant contributions in her field as director of the Gulf Coast Canine Project and contributor to the Canine Ancestry Project. In addition to her canid research, she is a co-founder of Biodiversity Initiative, an NGO focused on the protection of biodiversity in Central Africa through the collaborative creation, study and management of protected areas.

In this talk, Brzeski will discuss her current research and future directions in the field of wildlife conservation.

In the News

Mary Ellen Miller (MTRI) was mentioned by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group in a post-wildfire hydrology statement about the York Fire, which began July 28 in the Mojave National Preserve in San Bernardino County, California. The statement describes Miller’s contributions as the hydrologist as part of the York Fire’s Burned Area Emergency Response team, including measuring burn severity and modeling post-fire hydrologic events.


The Ticker mentioned Michigan Tech in a story about funding and technology developments in Traverse City this summer. The story listed MTU as a partner on the Freshwater Research and Innovation Center planned at the Discovery Center & Pier on West Grand Traverse Bay. Approximately $15 million in state funding was allocated to the project in Michigan’s fiscal year 2024 budget.


Awesome Mitten mentioned the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum in a story guiding visitors exploring the Keweenaw National Historical Park in the Copper Country.


ChE Seminar Series Speaker: Douglas Wicks

Douglas Wicks will present as part of the Department of Chemical Engineering (ChE) Seminar Series tomorrow (Sept. 6) at 1 p.m. in person in Chem Sci 102 or virtually via Zoom.

Wicks will present "Facing the Abyss — the Minerals Challenge to the Clean Energy Transition."

Read the abstract on the University Events Calendar.

Wicks is a program director at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).


Fall Blood Drive 2023

Come stop in and donate blood at the Fall Blood Drive 2023 hosted by the Order of Omega tomorrow and Thursday (Sept. 6-7) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the MUB Ballroom.

The American Red Cross recommends that everyone make an appointment; however, walk-ins are welcome based on availability.

Find more details and sign up to donate on the Involvement Link event page.


¡La Peña! Spanish Conversation Hour

Join us today (Sept. 5) for the first La Peña of the fall semester.

Come unwind and meet new people at the Spanish Conversation Hour, all while you refresh your Spanish! Everybody is welcome. We will meet from 5-6 p.m. in the HDMZ (Humanities Digital Media Zone), Walker 120A.

Other Peña dates of the semester: Sept. 19, Oct. 10, Oct. 24, Nov. 14, Nov 28.


Export Controls and Foreign National Restrictions — Education Session

The Vice President for Research Office (VPR) will host an educational session, "Review of Export Controls and Foreign National Restrictions," from noon to 1:30 p.m. next Wednesday (Sept. 13) in the Memorial Union Building Ballroom A1. Registration is open now and ends next Tuesday (Sept. 12).

This session will help faculty and staff understand and address Export Controls/Foreign National Restrictions considerations when conducting research. Topics covered will include: managing technical data, intellectual property and proprietary materials; defining and working with foreign nationals, publishing and teaching; and exporting and licensing considerations.

Register to reserve a seat.

This workshop is sponsored by the Vice President for Research Office. Desserts and beverages will be provided; please bring your own lunch.

If you have questions, contact Ramona Englund at 7-2654.


NSF I-Corps Program Registration Now Open

Are you interested in taking your idea, technology or process commercial? Entrepreneurially minded faculty, staff, students and community are invited to attend the Great Lakes Region Hub National Science Foundation (NSF) I-Corps Program offered at Michigan Tech.

Course Description
The NSF I-Corps lean startup program spans five weeks. Using the scientific process, customer discovery and the business model canvas, teams will work to validate key business hypotheses and develop a business model.

Course Benefits
Upon completion of the workshop and the customer discovery interviews (30), you or your team may be eligible for a mini-grant of up to $1,000. Funds may be reimbursed for customer discovery interview expenses.

Teams who complete the program may become eligible for the NSF I-Corps National Teams program and a $50,000 grant.

Participation in the workshop can lead to qualification for research and other funding from several granting agencies, including Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs and various state and regional programs.

Past participants have reported that they saved time and money by better understanding potential applications of their technology, experienced improved engagement with teams and improved their ability to receive add-on funding.

Our cohort will meet virtually on the following dates:

  • Monday, Sept. 11 — 4-6:30 p.m. EST
  • Monday, Sept. 18 — 4-6 p.m. EST
  • Monday, Oct. 2 — 4-6 p.m. EST
  • Monday, Oct. 9 — 4-7 p.m. EST

To participate, please register for the program by Friday (Sept. 8). After registration, a Zoom link will be sent via a Google Calendar invite.


NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Application Support

The Graduate School is assisting graduate students who wish to apply for the National Science Foundation’s (NSF's) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). Support includes Zoom workshops, support via Canvas modules and one-on-one writing support.

Fellowship recipients earn an annual stipend of $37,000 and a $16,000 cost-of-education allowance. To be eligible, applicants must be a U.S. citizen, national or permanent resident; have never previously applied to GRFP while enrolled in a graduate degree program; and have never earned a master’s or professional degree in any field or completed more than one academic year in a graduate degree-granting program. Application deadlines begin Oct. 16.

Workshop Details:

  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Workshop 1: Overview and tips
    • Date and Time: Wednesday, Sept. 6, from 2-3 p.m.
    • Presenter: Sarah Isaacson, NSF GRFP support coordinator
    • Co-presenter: Deb Charlesworth, NSF GRFP reviewer
      Register for Workshop 1.

  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Workshop 2: Crafting your statements (content and organization)
    • Date and Time: Thursday, Sept. 14, from 2-3 p.m.
    • Presenter: Sarah Isaacson, NSF GRFP support coordinator
      Register for Workshop 2.

See the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program website for more details. Questions? Contact Sarah Isaacson, NSF GRFP support coordinator:


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

Join us 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 on 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


Employers Visiting Campus for CareerFEST's 906 Day

We have a nice variety of employers and industries coming to engage with our students for 906 Day tomorrow (Sept. 6). The day will kick off with a helicopter landing near DHH and Parking Lot 8 at 9 a.m. courtesy of Enstrom Helicopter Corporation! (Yes, students will be able to explore the copter while it's parked!)

After the helicopter landing, employers from fields including health care, construction, manufacturing and software development available under tents on the DHH Lawn.

906 Day is the first of five CareerFEST days being held on campus at Michigan Tech this fall and will feature the following Upper Peninsula companies:

  • Aspirus Inc.
  • Calumet Electronics Corporation
  • Christensen Machinery and Supply Co.
  • Enstrom Helicopter Corporation
  • Goodwill Industries of Northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan
  • Kokosing
  • Northern Hardwoods
  • Online Engineering Inc.
  • Precision Edge Surgical Products Company
  • Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital
  • Steelhead Technologies Inc.
  • UP Health System - Portage
  • Xeratec Software Development
  • Caterpillar (Menominee)
  • Systems Control

Also, the 906 Day partners are giving away $4,000 in Campus Store gift cards plus ice cream to students who stop by!

906 Day is a collaboration of organizations promoting work and life in the U.P., including Invest UP, MTEC SmartZone, Michigan Tech, and UP Michigan Works.

Today's Campus Events

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

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