Professor of Practice Joel Tuoriniemi Passes Away

We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Joel Tuoriniemi, professor of practice in accounting in the College of Business, on Tuesday (Sept. 19).

An open memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday (Sept. 24) at the Hidden Pine Barn, next to the Erickson Crowley Funeral Home on Pine Street in Calumet, Michigan. The Tuoriniemi family welcomes all members of the Michigan Tech community to attend, especially Joel’s current and former students.

Joel would often tell his students that he didn't see teaching as a job; he simply showed up on campus each morning to do what he loved most — which was being with his students, all day, every day. “And,” he would say, “for some reason the University continues to put money in my bank account for it.” 

Joel approached all situations by saying, “If we ask what is in the best interests of the students, the answer on what to do is usually obvious.” He would simply tell everyone, “Just be nice.”

Joel is remembered by his colleagues and students for his dedication to always providing whatever was needed to benefit students. He often proclaimed he had the best job in the world, and it showed in his passion for teaching. His rhinoceros tattoo reminded him how to approach every class.

A native of the Keweenaw, Joel received his bachelor’s in business, concentration in accounting, from Michigan Tech in 1994, and his juris doctorate from Michigan State University in 1997. He completed postdoctoral studies in accounting at the University of Florida.

Joel started at Michigan Tech as an instructor in 2001, teaching Foundations of Taxation. As time went on, he also picked up Business Law, which was a perfect fit given his JD. In 2006, he was hired full-time as an assistant professor of business law, and in 2014 he became a professor of practice in accounting. His teaching ability spanned from introductory accounting to the MBA and MSA, to the Applied Portfolio Management Program. He conducted research in taxation, financial statement analysis and contractual bargaining power.

Joel earned the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award and the College of Business Teaching Award, and was a member of the University’s Academy of Teaching Excellence. He held memberships in the American Taxation Association and Taxation Section of the Michigan Bar Association, and was the Ed and Betty Robinson Faculty Fellow in Accounting. In 2020, President Koubek appointed Joel as the MTU faculty athletics representative.

Joel’s office reflected the important items in his life: photos of his wife Julianne ’95 and children Wyatt, Hanna and Hunter; thank-you cards from students; hockey and golf memories; accounting and APMP posters; and a Keweenaw County map.

Read Joel’s full obituary and leave a memory if you wish. The College of Business has provided an additional space for memories at Kudoboard.

Scheduled Maintenance Affecting Password Resets

Michigan Tech IT will be performing routine quarterly maintenance on the Fischer/mylogin system on Sunday (Sept. 24) from 8 a.m. to noon. During this maintenance, password resets and will be unavailable.

If you have any questions about this maintenance, we can help. Contact us at or call 7-1111.

ADVANCE Monthly Roundup: Tomato or Tomahto?

We have heard the saying "Tomato or tomahto?" often enough, and have laughed about it. We put it down to the quirks of the English language and how the queen's English is "different." However, this jovial acceptance does not transfer to the speech from non-native English speakers. Their accent becomes the focus of discussion, description and decision-making.

Many non-native speakers will be able to relate at least one instance where they were openly mocked for their accent or manner of speaking. Many will probably say they smiled or shrugged it off. Unfortunately, this polite or most probably embarrassed chuckle is taken as license to further perpetuate stereotypes.

A research report titled "Speaking Up" published by the Sutton Trust states, "Rather depressingly, nearly half of the employees surveyed reported that they had been mocked for their accents in social settings. This resulted in understandable levels of anxiety about one's accent. The researchers believe this could have a particularly strong impact during the mid-life stage of our career as social class differences become more prominent, but they nonetheless believe that it's a factor throughout our careers."

Jeffrey Grogger in his article "Speech Patterns and Racial Wage Inequality" notes, "Even after controlling for measures of skill and family background, black speakers whose voices were distinctly identified as black by anonymous listeners earn about 12 percent less than whites with similar observable skills."

The solution seems obvious: diverse teams that work together and build trust, empathy and understanding.

Today’s feature was shared with us by the Advocates and Allies Advisory Board (A3B). If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Monthly Roundup.

The ADVANCE Monthly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity and inclusion. Past articles are available on the ADVANCE Newsblog.

To learn more about our featured topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us or visit our website.

Lucas Sheppard, Olivia Hohman Present at Life Sciences Showcase

Graduate students Lucas Sheppard and Olivia Hohman attended the 2023 Michigan Life Sciences Showcase, organized by MichBio and held Sept. 18 in Lansing, Michigan. Both students are advised by Tarun Dam (Chem/HRI).

Sheppard and Hohman presented two posters, titled “A broad spectrum natural cytolysin with therapeutic potential” (Sheppard) and “Detection of disease-related biomarkers by a new method” (Hohman). Their research was partially supported by the National Science Foundation and their travel was generously sponsored by Graduate Student Government and the Health Research Institute at Michigan Tech.

The posters were included in the event app. Sheppard and Hohman also uploaded videos of their respective research work to show the attendees before, during and after the event. Their work has clinical applicability and has the potential to be commercialized.

First-Year Engineering Lecture with Marty Lagina

Mechanical engineering alumnus Marty Lagina ’77 will deliver the First-Year Engineering Series Lecture to Michigan Tech’s incoming engineering majors on Oct. 2 at 6 p.m in the Rozsa Center Auditorium.

Lagina is the CEO of Heritage Sustainable Energy, a winemaker, and an executive producer of the long-running reality TV show “The Curse of Oak Island,” now in its 10th season on the History Channel.

The title of Lagina's lecture is “I’m Not Here to Give You Advice.”

“The First-Year Engineering Lecture Series provides an exciting opportunity for our students to hear from some of the nation’s most innovative engineering leaders,” said Mary Raber, chair of the Department of Engineering Fundamentals. “It gives them a sense of the many different career paths that are open to engineering graduates — career paths that allow them to positively impact the world.”

Lagina said his engineering education has given him the confidence to try new things throughout his life. “I was thinking of going to law school, and my father told me: ‘You would make a better lawyer if you knew how things worked.’ So I went to Michigan Tech to study engineering, and I liked it. And it prepared me very well for what turned out to be a very multifaceted career.”

The First-Year Engineering Lecture Series is hosted by the Department of Engineering Fundamentals and the College of Engineering. Due to room capacity, it is closed to the public. For more information, please contact Kimberly Geiger at

Empowering Women to be Leaders in Science and Engineering: Leadership and Negotiation Workshop

Women scientists take on leadership roles every day — in the classroom, in their department or institution, and in their professional organizations.

This fall, Women in the Academy (WIA) and the Office of the Provost are co-sponsoring a workshop designed to give participants the basic concepts of leadership, describe recent research on leadership qualities that lead to success and failure, discuss effective leadership styles for women in different cultures, provide strategies for career advancement into leadership roles, and discuss effective negotiating techniques and developing and maintaining strong leadership networks.

The workshop is led by Pushpa Murthy, who has offered similar workshops across the world.

Event Details:

  • When: Friday, Oct. 13, from 1-4:30 p.m.
  • Where: MUB Ballroom A1
  • RSVP Deadline: RSVP by Sunday, Oct. 8

If you are interested in the workshop but cannot attend, please consider responding anonymously to help us better understand the barriers to attending such events.

EPSSI Seminar with Gwenore Pokrifka

Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences Institute (EPSSI) guest Gwenore Pokrifka, a Ph.D. candidate of the Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science at Pennsylvania State University, will give a talk on Monday (Sept. 25) at 4 p.m. in M&M U113.

Pokrifka's talk is titled "Measurements of Small Ice Particle Growth Rates to be Used in Cirrus Cloud Models."

Event details can be viewed on the University Events Calendar.

From the abstract:
Cirrus clouds are often composed of small ice crystals and their growth is poorly understood. Many begin as spherical frozen droplets, but develop into complex shapes, or “habits”. For an ice habit to form, water vapor must deposit more efficiently onto some surfaces than others. This growth efficiency is called a deposition coefficient, α. In numerical cloud models, the deposition coefficient is often assumed to be unity, meaning that all vapor molecules incorporate into the crystalline lattice. This would force the small crystals to remain spherical, which contradicts our recent in-cloud observations that showed branched and hollowed particles even at small sizes (maximum dimension < 100 µm). Here, we present data-driven approximations for the deposition coefficient and the processes that produce hollowing and branching. These approximations are derived from almost 300 single-particle growth experiments of small, cirrus-like, ice crystals. The particles grew in a thermal-gradient diffusion chamber at cirrus temperatures (-65 to -40°C) and supersaturations ranging from ice- to liquid-equilibrium. At low supersaturation, the measured growth is well represented by a supersaturation-dependent deposition coefficient function. At high supersaturation the influence of hollows and branches is characterized by a simple power-law. The approximations based on these data can easily be incorporated into cloud and weather forecasting microphysical models.

Volleyball's On the Road for GLIAC Matchups

Michigan Tech volleyball opens its GLIAC road schedule this weekend.

The Huskies are traveling to Wisconsin-Parkside today (Sept. 22) for a 7 p.m. EST match. They'll wrap the trip up at Purdue Northwest at 3 p.m. EST tomorrow (Sept. 23).

Tonight's match with the Rangers will be livestreamed on FloSports (a subscription is required — discounts are available for students). Tomorrow's match against the Pride will be streamed on Jed TV.

Read the previews at the Michigan Tech Athletics website.

Cross Country Traveling to Twin Cities for Roy Griak Invitational

The Michigan Tech cross country squads return to competition this week, heading to the Twin Cities for the historic Roy Griak Invitational today (Sept. 22) hosted by the University of Minnesota at Les Bolstad Golf Course in St. Paul.

The men compete at 12:30 p.m. EST, covering 8,000 meters in the Jo Rider Men's Maroon Race (Divisions II and III), with the women following at 1:15 p.m. EST, pacing 6,000 meters in the Suzy Wilson Women's Maroon Race (Divisions II and III).

Of note, the men of Michigan Tech made history by winning the Jo Rider Men's Maroon race a season ago.

Live results of the races can be found at PrimeTime Timing.

Read the preview at the Michigan Tech Athletics website.

Soccer Prepped for Road Conference Weekend

Michigan Tech soccer has their first road weekend of conference play queued up.

The Huskies are traveling to Saginaw Valley State today (Sept. 22) at 3 p.m. On Sunday (Sept. 24), they'll tilt against Ferris State at 1 p.m.

Fans can catch the contests on FloSports (a subscription is required — discounts are available for students).

Read the previews at the Michigan Tech Athletics website.

Still Available: Single-Game Hockey Suite Rentals

Michigan Tech hockey has several single-game suites and platforms still available for the upcoming season. Enjoy the best seats in the Mac with your friends, family, coworkers or clients!

There are single-game rentals available for opening weekend, the Wisconsin series, Winter Carnival and more.

See pricing at the Michigan Tech Athletics website

For more information, call 906-487-1604 or email

Men’s Basketball Season Kickoff Fundraiser

Michigan Tech men's basketball has announced this year's Basketball Raffle Fundraiser Event will take place Oct. 28 from 7-9 p.m. at the banquet hall of Bonfire Steakhouse in Houghton (408 Montezuma Avenue). Those planning to attend must RSVP by Oct. 21.

The fundraiser is a reverse raffle. All tickets go into a drum and the last ticket drawn out is the winner of a large cash grand prize. Seven additional prizes will be drawn. A maximum of 200 raffle tickets will be sold.

Proceeds will help fund a future international trip for the team. Those in attendance will get an exclusive opportunity to hear insight from head coach Josh Buettner, assistant coach Zach Flener and players, previewing all things Huskies basketball in 2023-24.

Tickets are available through current players and members of the coaching staff (men's basketball office: 906-487-1575). All checks should be made out to Michigan Tech Basketball.

Read about the team at the Michigan Tech Athletics website.

12 Former Huskies at NHL Training Camps

Twelve former Michigan Tech hockey players are at NHL training camps that began this week. The NHL preseason starts tomorrow (Sept. 23).

  • Trenton Bliss — Detroit Red Wings
  • Pheonix Copley — Los Angeles Kings
  • Brian Halonen — New Jersey Devils
  • Michael Karow — Dallas Stars
  • Tanner Kero — Colorado Avalanche
  • Jujhar Khaira — Minnesota Wild
  • Joel L'Esperance — Detroit Red Wings
  • Jake Lucchini — Minnesota Wild
  • Mitch Reinke — Seattle Kraken
  • Matt Roy — Los Angeles Kings
  • Mark Sinclair — Ottawa Senators
  • Colin Swoyer — Washington Capitals

Read more about them at the Michigan Tech Athletics website.

In the News

Brad King (ME-EM) was quoted by UPWord in a story about Lake Superior State University’s new one-year Space Missions and Operations Certification program intended to train Upper Peninsula residents for careers in the aerospace industry.


Jenna Lane (Career Services) was quoted by WLUC TV6 in a story about Michigan Tech’s fall 2023 Career Fair, held Tuesday (Sept. 19) with 376 employers in attendance. MTU undergraduate Nathaniel Vogler (marketing) and alumna Katie Amar-Fox ’19 (B.S. Materials Science and Engineering) were also quoted in the story.


Adjunct Professor Anita Risch (CFRES) was quoted by myScience in a story about her election to the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research.


Crain’s Detroit Business mentioned Michigan Tech as the second-best college in Michigan for return on investment, behind only the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. The ranking was based on Smart Asset’s most recent list of “Best Value Colleges.”


Exhibitor mentioned Michigan Tech as one of the universities participating in a research and development section at the AutoMobili-D technology showcase (AMD) during the Detroit Auto Show.


The Mining Journal mentioned Michigan Tech hockey being predicted to top the CCHA 2023-24 regular season standings.

In Print

A research team led by Professor Christo Christov (Chem) and including Ph.D. student Bathir Jaber Sathik Rifayee (chemistry, the first author); Ph.D. graduate Shobhit Chaturvedi ’22 (M.S. Ph.D. Chemistry, currently a postdoctoral researcher at UCLA); undergraduate students Cait Warner (biological sciences), Jon Wildey (chemical engineering) and Walter White (chemistry); Associate Professor Martin Thompson (Chem); and Professor Christopher Schofield of the University of Oxford, U.K., has published an article in Chemistry – A European Journal.

The article is titled “Catalysis by KDM6 Histone Demethylases – A Synergy between the Non-Heme Iron(II) Center, Second Coordination Sphere, and Long-Range Interactions,” and was selected for a journal cover feature. The cover feature was prepared with the great help of Sarah Atkinson (RD).

The study revealed the catalytic mechanism of the non-heme Fe(II)/2Oxoglutarate-Dependent histone demethylases from class 6 – KDM6A and KDM6B – enzymes involved in epigenetics regulation and being validated target for drug design. The study revealed the vital role of the second coordination sphere surrounding the non-heme iron center to stabilize the key catalytic species along the catalytic cycle and importantly elucidated the differences in the transition state-stabilization residues between the two enzymes, thus providing background for enzyme-specific drug design.

This research is supported by NIH grant 1R15GM139118.


Banner Production System Maintenance on Sunday

A production system maintenance window is scheduled for Sunday (Sept. 24) from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The following production services will be unavailable during that time:

  • Banner
  • Banweb
  • MyMichiganTech
  • Aspire
  • Confluence
  • Course Tools
  • Fischer/
  • OAP Rental System
  • Oracle Reports
  • Perceptive Content (Imagenow)
  • Pinnacle
  • Sunapsis
  • UC4/Appworx
  • Virtual Cashiering
  • WebFocus

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


Math Seminar with Juntao Huang

The Department of Mathematical Sciences (Math) will be holding the first seminar of this year's series today (Sept. 22) from 1-2 p.m. in Fisher 327B.

Our guest speaker will be Juntao Huang, assistant professor at Texas Tech University.

Huang's presentation is titled "Structure-Preserving Moment Models for the Radiative Transport and Free Surface Flows."


ChE Seminar Series Speaker: Jennifer McConnell

Jennifer McConnell will present as part of the Department of Chemical Engineering (ChE) Seminar Series today (Sept. 22) at 10 a.m. in person in Chem Sci 102 and virtually via Zoom.

McConnell will present "Using Machine Vision to Drive Nanoscale Discoveries That Solve Real-World Problems."

Read the abstract on the University Events Calendar.

McConnell is the senior manager of marketing and product management at Protochips.

Today's Campus Events

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

Layered in Between: Prints by Erin Hoffman Presented by Michigan Tech Art

Erin Hoffman is an artist and printmaker from Muskegon, Michigan, who deals primarily with political and social concerns. Through the presentation of mismatched ideas and...


Faculty, Staff, Graduate Student Portrait Session (by appointment)

Faculty, staff, and graduate students can have a complimentary professional portrait taken by University Marketing and Communications (UMC). WHEN: September 20, 21, and...


Mathematical Sciences Seminar Series Speaker : Dr. Juntao Huang : Texas Tech University

Title: Structure-Preserving Moment Models for the Radiative Transport and Free Surface Flows Abstract: The computational cost of solving high-dimensional mathematical models...


Using Machine Vision to Drive Nanoscale Discoveries That Solve Real-World Problems

Chemical Engineering Seminar Jennifer McConnell Senior Manager of Marketing & Product Management Protochips Abstract In order to fine-tune materials for stronger steels,...


(Women's Soccer) Michigan Tech at Saginaw Valley State

Women's Soccer: Michigan Tech at Saginaw Valley State


Girls' Basketball Little Huskies League

Learning skills, working as a team, and having fun: that’s Michigan Tech’s Little Huskies Girls’ Basketball League. It’s a great introduction to the sport for young, budding...


Portage Waterway Cruising

The Sailing Club at Michigan Tech has weekly cruises on the Portage Waterway, most Friday nights in the fall semester (weather permitting). No previous sailing experience is...


ASO General Body Meeting

African Students organization monthly general body meeting.


(Women's Volleyball) Michigan Tech at Parkside

Women's Volleyball: Michigan Tech at Parkside


Roy Griak Invitational - Hosted by Minnesota

Roy Griak Invitational - Hosted by Minnesota, Les Bolstadt Golf Course, 10:30 AM (Men's Maroon) / 11:15 AM (Women's Maroon)