Ishi Keenum Wins DOC Gold Medal

Assistant Professor Ishi Keenum's work at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was recently awarded a 2023 Gold Medal Award by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) for the rapid development of a positive control reference material to ensure the validity of diagnostic testing for mpox, previously known as monkeypox.

The Gold Medal Award is the highest award given by the DOC. It honors “extraordinary, notable or prestigious contributions that impact the mission of the Department of Commerce and/or one operating unit, and which reflect favorably on the Department.”

Roger Woods Selected for Deans’ Teaching Showcase

Dean Johnson, College of Business dean, has selected Roger Woods, teaching professor in operations management and engineering management and affiliated faculty with the construction management program, for the Deans’ Teaching Showcase. Woods will be recognized at an end-of-term event with other showcase members and is a candidate for the CTL Instructional Award Series.

Woods has taught 10 different classes with an emphasis on getting students to “Think!”, not just repeat information from lectures. As the primary faculty for BUS2300 Quantitative Problem Solving, Woods teaches business and nonbusiness majors that Excel is not just a calculator, but a communication tool. His emphasis on formatting details sends students off to be critical of other spreadsheets that don’t follow his “Cardinal Rules for Spreadsheet Modeling.” And, Woods’ infamous take-home exam challenges students to incorporate all the concepts, techniques and models in the context of an actual business. In addition to the exam’s 20 versions, each iteration has unique values based on random number generation. As any College of Business alum will note, completing the exam is a badge of honor.

“Students don’t always appreciate his teaching until they have been out in industry — then they get it,” said Jodie Filpus-Paakola, coordinator of academic services.

Woods’ high expectations carry on to other upper-division courses. His hands-off approach to Advanced Project Management allows students to grapple with the question of which methods are appropriate to the presented scenario, instead of just applying all of the tools they have available. Woods also uses a combination of lecture, discussion, in-class exercises and quizzes to engage students in his Six Sigma class, which includes a variety of nonbusiness majors. From Woods’ “Question of the Day” to his useful/useless piece of knowledge, students engage in discussions and class activities. With all of his classes, he uses a variety of markers (black, blue and red) to create points of emphasis, which students appreciate.

“I truly want to thank you for your passion and how much you care about your students,” an alum wrote to Woods. ”Your excitement about the topics you teach fuels our fire and willingness to learn. I would also like to thank you for caring about your students far beyond what your job requires, it really makes all of the difference.”

Mari Buche, associate dean of the College of Business, said Woods plays a critical teaching role in the College: “For the majority of incoming business students, their journey to earning a tech-savvy business degree starts with Roger’s course. For students graduating with a supply chain/operations management degree or engineering management degree, their journey to a successful career is launched by his hands-on upper-division curriculum.”

Johnson emphasized Woods’ rigor combined with his dedication to student-centered experiential education: “While his Quantitative Problem Solving take-home final exam is legendary, students continually rave about his teaching ability and his dedication to the individual student. His Advanced Project Management class has consistently placed well in project management competitions, including first and second place awards this last year. His commitment to student-centered learning and experiential education directly support the College of Business’s mission and reputation.”

ADVANCE Roundup: Anti-DEIS Legislation Impacts Public Colleges

Decades of efforts of improving diversity, equity, inclusion and sense of belonging (DEIS) in public colleges are facing a national backlash.

According to a Chronicle of Higher Education analysis, at least 14 states this year will consider legislation that seeks to restrict funding for DEIS in colleges and universities. For example, the Chronicle has identified at least 19 such bills to be considered in the coming months to defund DEIS offices. Anti-DEIS efforts have taken effect in five states so far. Broader anti-DEIS efforts are expected in more states in the coming months and years. Marginalized students, faculty and staff in public colleges will undoubtedly feel the impact of these cutbacks.

Anti-DEIS efforts are already changing how colleges operate in three aspects: physical space, policy and the classroom. Some colleges have taken “diversity” away from the names of offices and job titles, have modified or discontinued diversity training, or have stopped asking for DEIS statements in their hiring and promotion processes. Some colleges have removed sociology courses from the general education curriculum or shut down gender studies programs.

What actions should you take in light of this trend? What action can you take to protect our DEIS efforts?

Today’s feature was shared with us by the MTU Advocates team. 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.

Hockey's Next Game Starting Later

The starting time for Michigan Tech hockey's game at Bowling Green next Friday (Feb. 23) has been pushed back. The puck will now drop at 7:37 p.m. at the Slater Family Ice Arena.

Bowling Green announced the change due to a men's basketball game between the Falcons and Toledo being rescheduled at the Stroh Center, which is located near the ice arena.

The Huskies have this weekend off, and will play their final road series of the regular season at BGSU on Feb. 23-24. The teams split their first meeting of the season Dec. 1-2 in Houghton, with the Huskies earning 4-of-6 CCHA points. The Falcons won the first game 2-1 in overtime and Tech bounced back with a 3-2 victory in game two.

See the hockey schedule at Michigan Tech Athletics.

Job Posting

Job Posting for Friday, Feb. 16, 2024

Staff and faculty job descriptions are available on the Human Resources website. For more information regarding staff positions, call 487-2280 or email For more information regarding faculty positions, contact the academic department in which the position is posted.

System Administrator – Research Computing, Information Technology. Apply online.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Accommodations are available. If you require any auxiliary aids, services, or other accommodations to apply for employment, or for an interview, at Michigan Technological University, please notify the Human Resources office at 906-487-2280 or

New Funding

Will Cantrell (Physics/EPSSI) is the principal investigator (PI) on a project that has received a $1,499,560 research and development co-op joint agreement from the United Arab Emirates.

The project is titled "Laboratory and modeling studies of cloud susceptibility to hygroscopic seeding."

Raymond Shaw and Jesse Anderson (both Physics/EPSSI) are co-PIs on this potential three-year project.

According to the project brief, the research team aims to identify the specific cloud characteristics and conditions under which hygroscopic seeding or modification by electrical effects will produce changes in the cloud, which leads to precipitation enhancement.

The project will use a unique facility at Michigan Tech known as the Pi Chamber to create and sustain steady cloud conditions over extended periods, enabling the collection of high-fidelity, high-resolution data on cloud characteristics. This will be the first step toward runaway collision-coalescence and rain formation. Furthermore, parallel simulations will provide additional context and pathways for scaling, facilitating adoption in operational contexts.

In the News

Mary Cyr (VPA) was quoted by WJMN Local 3 in a story previewing Michigan Tech Theatre’s “Imagining (Im)Possibilities: Museum Explorations” event, which began yesterday (Feb. 15) and continues tonight and tomorrow (Feb. 16-17) from 7-10 p.m. in McArdle Theatre. Attendees are invited to embark on 30-minute tours of the exhibit, which explores the craft and design of museum exhibits and presentations. The story was picked up by Yahoo! News.


Zhanping You (CEGE/MTTI) was quoted by the Gladwin County Record and Beaverton Clarion in a story about the “big potential” for recycling scrap tires by incorporating them into road pavement. Trial road projects using rubber-modified asphalt are “performing pretty well,” according to You. The story was originally published by Great Lakes Echo.


Robin Clark (CFRES) was the subject of a Keweenaw Report story covering her appointment to serve on the Michigan Natural Resources Commission. Clark, who earned her Ph.D. in Forest Science from MTU in 2021, is the first Anishinaabe woman to serve on the commission.


Undergraduate Joe Dlugos (environmental engineering), president of Blue Key National Honor Society, was quoted by UPWord in a story about the many pivots made by Upper Peninsula events this winter because of the warm, dry weather.


ABC 10 mentioned Michigan Tech in a segment previewing the Lunabotics Exploration Event being hosted on campus tomorrow (Feb. 17) for middle and high schoolers. The Multiplanetary INnovation Enterprise (MINE) is holding the event as part of the team’s participation in NASA’s Lunabotics Competition.


The Daily Mining Gazette, WLUC TV6, WJMN Local 3, Rink Live, and Yahoo! News covered Michigan Tech hockey’s Blake Pietila being named the CCHA Student-Athlete of the Year.


Industry Today picked up a ThermoAnalytics’ press release about Mark Hepokoski (M.S. Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics) being appointed chief scientist for physiology and comfort.


Faculty Invited to Participate in 2024 Spring Commencement Ceremonies

Michigan Tech's 2024 Spring Commencement will be held as two ceremonies: a Graduate Ceremony on April 26 at 3 p.m. and an Undergraduate Ceremony on April 27 at 10:30 a.m. Both will take place in the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

Michigan Tech faculty are cordially invited to participate in the faculty procession to support students in their department at either ceremony. Faculty presence means a great deal to the students and their families. Members of the procession wear regalia, march in the procession and sit as a group to show support for the graduates.

To participate in either ceremony, please submit the Faculty Participation Form by Wednesday (Feb. 21).

Faculty may order caps and gowns through the Campus Store’s Cap and Gown Order page before noon on Tuesday (Feb. 20) to receive the lowest price. Expedited shipping fees will apply to all orders placed after that date. Orders placed after noon on March 18 are not guaranteed to arrive before Spring Commencement.

The Commencement Team hopes you will join us!


Save the Date: Enterprise Day

Do you know a student who might be interested in learning more about Enterprise at Michigan Tech? Or a student who wants to join an Enterprise, but is not sure which team is right for them? Please take a moment to invite any and all students to Enterprise Day, happening Tuesday (Feb. 20) from 6-8 p.m. in the MUB Ballroom (A&B).

During this time, students will learn more about Enterprise by talking with program staff and students from various Enterprise teams, all in one place. Teams will be spread out across the MUB Ballroom.

Students will be able to visit with the following teams:

Advanced Metalworks • Aerospace • Alternative Energy • Blizzard Baja • Blue Marble Security • BoardSport Technologies • Built World • Clean Snowmobile Challenge • Consumer Product Manufacturing • Formula SAE • Green Campus • H-STEM • Hotforest • Humane Interface Design Enterprise • Husky Game • Innovative Global Solutions • ITOxygen • Multiplanetary Innovation Enterprise (MINE) • Open Source • Robotic Systems • Strategic Education through Naval Systems Experiences (SENSE) • Supermileage Systems • Velovations • Wireless Communication

For more information about each team, please visit our Enterprise Day webpage. Registration is not required for interested students who would like to attend. If students have any questions, please reach out to


Chemistry Seminar Series Speaker: Jason Pearson

Jason Pearson, professor of chemistry at the University of Prince Edward Island, will be presenting at this week's Chemistry Seminar. The seminar will be held virtually at 3 p.m. today (Feb. 16) via Zoom (use password 334925).

Pearson's presentation is titled "Machine Learning as a Predictive Tool in Chemistry.”

From the abstract:
In this talk, we will provide a survey into the versatile applications of artificial intelligence (AI) in chemistry, drawing significantly from recent work in the Pearson group. Starting with a broad introduction on strategies in machine learning, we will then highlight how AI can be used to rapidly predict chemical properties, model chemical reactivity and accelerate molecular discovery. We'll then describe the findings of extensive studies involving thousands of undergraduate chemistry students across North America. These studies reveal the ability of AI to offer personalized tutoring, improve writing and critical thinking skills, correct flawed logic in real-time, and quicken accurate recall, ultimately enhancing student readiness and performance. This talk is designed for a wide audience curious about the transformative impact of AI on chemistry and academia. Attendees will gain an understanding of the current state of AI, its various applications, and its potential to shape the future of the world in which we live.

Speaker bio:
Pearson leads an interdisciplinary research group in computational methods for chemistry spanning quantum chemistry, electronic structure theory, and artificial intelligence for molecular discovery. He is also a co-founder of Stemble Learning, a seed-stage data-driven teaching and learning platform for chemistry classes and laboratories. Stemble delivers course content and learning analytics to over 10,000 students each semester across North America. These include assessments driven by artificial intelligence, and fully interactive virtual lab experiences. He is the winner of numerous SoTL awards, including the Reg Friesen Award from the Chemical Education Division of the Canadian Society for Chemistry, the Hessian Award, the Janet Pottie Murray Award for Educational Leadership, and the Brightspace Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning from the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.


KIP Seminar: Student Research Forum

Please join us today (Feb. 16) from 3-4:15 p.m. in ATDC 101 for this month's Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology (KIP) Seminar — a student research forum.

This seminar will showcase the current research and educational and outreach projects that KIP's undergraduate and graduate students are working on. Students will present their projects and answer questions. This is a great way for them to receive feedback before they go on to present at regional and national conferences.


ChE Seminar Series Speaker: Michael Betenbaugh

Michael Betenbaugh will present as part of the Department of Chemical Engineering (ChE) Research Series today (Feb. 16) at 10 a.m. in person in MEEM 402 or virtually via Zoom.

Betenbaugh will present "Biomanufacturing: A Mix of Chemical Engineering, Metabolic Engineering & Systems Biology."

Read the abstract on the University Events Calendar.

Betenbaugh is the director of the Advanced Mammalian Biomanufacturing Innovation Center (AMBIC).


CS Colloquium: Daniel Wakeman ’90

Daniel Wakeman ’90 (B.S. in Computer Science) will present a Department of Computer Science (CS) Colloquium lecture today (Feb. 16) from 3-4 p.m. in Rekhi 214 and via Zoom. The title of Wakeman’s talk is “How Software has Become the Business.”

Join the colloquium via Zoom.

From the abstract:
In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, software has transcended its traditional role as a tool and has emerged as the cornerstone of modern enterprises. This talk explores the profound shift I’ve seen over my career, where software is not just a support function but the essence of business operations, innovation, competitive advantage, and disrupter.

Speaker bio:
Wakeman serves as an SVP in the FIS Technology Development organization, where he leads the engineering enablement function. As a passionate technology executive, Wakeman is a thought leader in digital transformation with extensive experience leveraging next-generation technology solutions to resolve business challenges, improve operational performance, gain market recognition and enable business growth.

Read more on the Computing News Blog.


Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar with Xin Xi

The next Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar will take place at 3 p.m. on Monday (Feb. 19) in GLRC 202.

Xin Xi, assistant professor, Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, Michigan Tech, will present "Recent extreme dust storms in Central Asia associated with cold air outbreak and drought."

Read the abstract on the University Events Calendar.


New ECE Student Exchange Program: South Korea

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at Michigan Tech has established an undergraduate and graduate student exchange program with the College of IT and Engineering at Kyungpook National University in Daegu, South Korea. The exchange program is available for students to begin applying to attend for the fall 2024 and spring 2025 semesters.

Kyungpook National University has courses offered in English across several departments, but students in the ECE department will be preferred if spots are limited.

Today (Feb. 16) at 10 a.m. in EERC 122, join ECE Department Chair Jin Choi and Manager of Study Away Casey Nelson to discuss the exchange program’s opportunities.

Questions? Please contact Choi at and Nelson at

If you are unavailable to attend the information session but would like to meet to discuss this program, please schedule an in-person or virtual advising appointment with the Study Away and Abroad Office.


MTU IFC Receives Award of Outstanding Community Service

The Michigan Technological University Interfraternity Council (MTU IFC) was selected to receive the 2023 IFC Award of Outstanding Community Service from the National Interfraternity Council.

In the spring 2023 semester, fraternity men of the 11 fraternities at Michigan Tech collectively spent 3,500 community service hours volunteering at various organizations in the Houghton area.

The MTU IFC works hard to provide opportunities for fraternity members to give back to the community and participate in philanthropic events.

Today's Campus Events

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

Simple Machines: Poetry, Letterpress, and the Art of the Little Magazine Presented by Michigan Tech Art

Simple Machines is a two-edition, international, letterpress poetry magazine founded and edited by Michigan Tech’s M. Bartley Seigel, funded through a Research Excellence...


Biomanufacturing: A Mix of Chemical Engineering, Metabolic Engineering, and Systems Biology

Chemical Engineering Seminar Dr. Michael Betenbaugh Director Advanced Mammalian Biomanufacturing Innovation Center ( Abstract The Advanced Mammalian...


New ECE Student Exchange Program: South Korea Information Session

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at Michigan Tech has established an undergraduate and graduate student exchange program with the College of IT and...


Cookies & Coloring

De-stress with an afternoon of adult coloring and learn more about what the Center for Student Mental Health and Well-being offers! Located in the basement of CDI and hosted...


Cookies & Coloring

De-stress with an afternoon of adult coloring and learn more about what the Center for Student Mental Health and Well-being offers! Located in the basement of CDI and hosted...


Cookies & Coloring

De-stress with an afternoon of adult coloring and learn more about what the Center for Student Mental Health and Well-being offers! Located in the basement of CDI and hosted...


Computer Science Colloquium Lecture: Daniel Wakeman '90

Daniel Wakeman '90 B.S. in Computer Science, will present a Department of Computer Science Colloquium lecture on Friday, February 16, 2024, from 3-4 p.m. in Rekhi 214 and via...


Mathematical Sciences Speaker - Xuefeng Liu



Deep Snow Ultimate Football

Friday on Sherman Field there will be some outdoor fun like none other! The plan is for deep snow football, but either way, games will be on the field through snow, rain, or...


Imagining (Im)Possibilities: Museum Explorations Presented by Michigan Tech Theatre

Join the Michigan Tech Theatre students as they explore the craft and design of museum exhibits and presentations. CONTENT GUIDANCE


(Men's Tennis) Michigan Tech at McKendree

Men's Tennis: Michigan Tech at McKendree


(Women's Tennis) Michigan Tech at McKendree

Women's Tennis: Michigan Tech at McKendree