2023 MTU Wellness 360 Program Rewards Update

Michigan Tech employees who successfully earned MTU Wellness 360 incentives from 2023 will receive their payouts starting this week.

HSA and FSA Payouts
Tax-free lump sums were deposited into your accounts this pay period. Your Feb. 23 paychecks will reflect that payout.

Keweenaw Cash and Tech Gift Card Payouts
Monday (Feb. 26) Only — Pick up your Keweenaw Cash or Tech Gift Card from an HR representative located in the Business Support Center in the MUB (MUB 101) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Starting Tuesday (Feb. 27) — Keweenaw Cash and Tech Gift Cards will be available to pick up at the Benefits Services office in the Lakeshore Center (second floor).

The value of your Keweenaw Cash or Tech Gift Card payout was added as a taxable benefit to your Feb. 23 paycheck. Under the Federally Taxable Benefits section, you will see this listed as “Other Taxable.”

Stay tuned to Tech Today and our the HR Wellness Benefits page for information about the 2024 MTU Wellness 360 program.

Report Movement of Tagged Property

Location changes of equipment and furniture tagged as Michigan Tech property must be reported to the Property Office.

If your department will be moving equipment into the H-STEM Complex or other spaces, please work with your equipment coordinator to make sure new locations are reported. If you are unsure who to notify, a list of equipment coordinators by department is available in the Property Procedures Manual.

Dining Locations’ Spring Break Hours

Starting today (Feb. 23) through March 3, several dining locations on campus will be closed or have different hours of operation for spring break.

  • The Food Hall at Douglass Houghton Hall — Closed today (Feb. 23). Reopening March 4 during regular scheduled hours.

  • The Eatery at McNair — Closing today at 1:30 p.m. Reopening March 4 during regular scheduled hours.

  • The Food Hall at Wadsworth Hall — Closing today at 6 p.m. Reopening March 3 at 11 a.m.

  • The Campus Café in Wadsworth Hall — Closed today. Reopening March 3 at 6 p.m.

  • Brkfst & Co in the MUB — Open during regular hours, with grab-and-go sandwiches and salads available.

  • Bowl Life in the MUB — Open today. Closed starting tomorrow (Feb. 24). Reopening March 4 during regular scheduled hours.

  • The Library Cafe — Closing today at 1 p.m., and will remain closed throughout the break as new partner Velodrome Coffee Company makes updates to the space. Reopening March 4.

David Wanless Selected for Deans’ Teaching Showcase

Dean Audra Morse has selected David Wanless, associate teaching professor in the Department of Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology (MMET), for this spring’s Deans’ Teaching Showcase. Wanless will be recognized at an end-of-term luncheon with other spring showcase members and is a candidate for the CTL Instructional Award Series.

Students are motivated by Wanless’ use of projects similar to those they might experience in industry. He has developed and taught MET4210 Applied Quality Techniques for over 15 years, and all iterations have included laboratory experiences around the production of a product. Lately, he has designed and implemented an experiential learning project around stringed instrument production. This past fall, it was a banjo. In previous semesters, he had students produce an electric guitar and a bass guitar.

Wanless had 14 years of experience in quality engineering and management prior to entering academia. He utilizes the banjo project to engage students, as it relates to the course content. Students divide into groups that undertake each aspect of its production. While constructing the final working banjo, students actively apply quality methods, generate process control charts and implement process improvement methods.

“Dave's Applied Quality class is a hands-on production-like environment,” one student commented. “It allows students to get a well-rounded understanding of quality control while working on a fun project.” Another student said, “Dave takes the applied portion to heart. He doesn’t hold your hand throughout the process. He knows what he wants from his students and sends them off to solve problems like a real engineer would.” Students draw on previous experience in machining, machine design or product design to select the proper production methods, design the process and then test the process to produce a working component for the instrument.

In addition, Wanless advises the MMET undergraduate two-semester capstone design sequence (MET4575 and MET4675 Senior Project I and II), where students participate in the National Fluid Power Association’s (NFPA’s) student fluid power vehicle challenge competition. Participating in the NFPA competition requires students to prepare and deliver technical presentations to industry experts who are assigned to mentor the teams. “Dave literally goes the extra mile to advise students, often traveling across the country for the NFPA competitions,” said John Irwin, chair of MMET. “His advising involves technical guidance in fluid power, but exceedingly it is about career guidance, whether related to the fluid power industry or not.” In the process, students are exposed to many potential employers in the fluid power industry, resulting in many graduates ending up in careers at major fluid power firms, such as Parker Hannifin and Ross Controls.

“Dr. Wanless’ engaging projects challenge our students in so many ways,” said Morse. “The experience they gain as they meet the expectations that he sets out for them gives them the skills that are highly sought after by potential employers.”

NSF CAREER Information Session

The Research Development team will be hosting several upcoming sessions on proposal development for the NSF Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER). The first will be held Monday (Feb. 26) at noon.

During this first session, we'll be discussing the basics of the CAREER program, including key dates and principal investigator eligibility, which has some nuances.

We'll also be sharing information about other programs for early-career researchers and doing some initial planning for the upcoming submission cycles. So, whether you're considering a CAREER submission this year, or just interested in hearing about early-career opportunities and the support that is available, please join us to learn more.

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

MTTI Luncheon with MDOT Research Program Visitors

Michael Townley, engineer of research at the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), will be on campus for site visits and a luncheon on March 15. Townley will be joined by Dean Kartiz, MDOT project program manager, and Heidi Spangler, MDOT innovation engineer.

The Michigan Tech Transportation Institute (MTTI) will be holding a luncheon for the visitors from 12-1:30 p.m. in Alumni Lounge B (MUB 107B) of the Memorial Union. MTTI Director Pasi Lautala will offer a brief overview of MTTI’s transportation research capabilities and Townley will discuss the MDOT Research Program and upcoming opportunities.

This is a perfect opportunity to meet with the MDOT research personnel and hear how you can get involved in MDOT supported research, as MDOT has released the dates of their Research Program Development Meetings for May 6-10. All meetings are virtual via Microsoft Teams this year, and we encourage everyone interested to consider participating in selected sessions. During each of the 20 to 30 program development meetings, MDOT staff will present an approved research idea for the 2025-2027 Research Program

These meetings, a vital step in further developing the research ideas, provide an opportunity for University partners, MDOT staff and transportation stakeholders with common research interests to identify research gaps and opportunities, collaborate and discuss research that addresses the department’s strategic priorities.

All are welcome to attend the luncheon. RSVP is required by March 8.

CTL and Essential Education Lunch and Learn: 'Mastering the Essentials of Essential Education'

Save the Date: Join the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and Essential Education Implementation for an engaging Lunch and Learn session focused on the latest updates about Michigan Tech's Essential Education program. Faculty and staff from the Essential Education working groups will provide insights into the progress and future directions of the program on March 7 from 12-1 p.m. in MUB Ballroom A1.

Delve into discussions and ideation around Essential Education Minors, Essential Education Experiences, Michigan Tech Seminars, and Activities for Wellbeing and Success, and be among the first on campus to earn Essential Education swag! This lunch and learn is an opportunity for all members of our campus community to learn about the program, contribute ideas, and support the success of Essential Education.

Registration is required. Lunch will be provided to those who register by March 5.

For questions or to request accommodations, please contact Jess Hendrickson at jelhendr@mtu.edu or 906-487-2275.

HR Presentation Available: New Hiring Process for Student and Temporary Employees

Human Resources (HR) is updating the process for hiring all student and temporary employees. Beginning March 4, departments wishing to hire students or temporary employees must email hr-help@mtu.edu or visit the online HR Support Center. New hires must provide original documentation regarding Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9. No new hires will be allowed to work without providing the required documentation.

HR hosted a Lunch and Learn on Wednesday (Feb. 21) for University staff who handle hiring students and temporary employees. This event was recorded and is available online for those who could not attend. Human Resources will be posting the recording and slides on the hiring website next week.

Watch the recording now (use passcode !Y32+vQw to access the video).

Any questions about the new processes can be directed to hr-help@mtu.edu.

Nordic Ski Team Set to Host Central Regionals

The Michigan Tech Nordic Ski team continues the championship season, playing host to the NCAA Central Regional at the Tech Trails tomorrow and Sunday (Feb. 24-25).

The Huskies will take to the Tech Trails for the first competition of the season with the 7.5km Skate Interval Start on Saturday and the 20km Classic Mass Start on Sunday.

Michigan Tech Recreation has three webcams placed around the Tech Trails — they can be found on the Webcams page.

Job Posting

Job Posting for Friday, Feb. 23, 2024

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

Senior Dispatcher, Public Safety and Police Services (UAW posting Feb. 23 to Feb. 29, 2024 — external applicants are encouraged to apply; however, internal UAW applicants are given first consideration if they apply during the internal UAW posting dates). 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 humanresources@mtu.edu.

In the News

Emeritus Research Professor Charles Kerfoot (BioSci) was quoted by the Sault News in a story about the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Buffalo Reef Task Force alternatives analysis, which was released for public comment Jan. 30. The reef is a high-value fish spawning ground in Grand Traverse Bay threatened by 2.4 million tons of mine tailings, aka stamp sands. The story was picked up by Yahoo! News.


Libby Meyer (VPA) was interviewed by Arts Midwest as one of three featured Michigan musicians working and creating in rural locations. Meyer mentioned Christopher Plummer and Kent Cyr (both VPA) in the story.


Great Lakes Echo mentioned Michigan Tech in a story about climate change’s impact on the habitat of the piping plover, an endangered Great Lakes shorebird. The story cited research by Pengfei Xue (CEGE/GLRC) projecting that the Great Lakes’ baseline water levels will rise seven to 19 inches by 2050. Xue presented the research at the June 2022 Frontiers in Hydrology Meeting.


WLUC TV6 previewed the collaborative ‘Music for a Sacred Space’ choir concert performed yesterday (Feb. 22) by conScience: Michigan Tech Chamber Singers, the Michigan Tech Concert Choir, and the Northern Michigan University Arts Chorale at St. Peter Cathedral in Marquette.


Business Facilities mentioned Michigan Tech in a story about workforce programs initiated by the state to draw businesses to Michigan. MTU was listed as one of three public universities sharing a $775,000 grant to support technical workforce training initiatives for students and professionals in the mobility industry.


Opportunity to Apply for a KEEN-Sponsored Faculty Fellowship

The KEEN project at Michigan Tech is accepting applications for Faculty Fellows for the fall 2024 and spring 2025 semesters. The KEEN organization (Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network) supports the efforts of faculty to infuse active, experiential-based learning into the student educational experience in a way that fosters a mindset of curiosity, an ability to make connections and a desire to create value for others. Michigan Tech is one of 63 member institutions in the KEEN network.

The fellowships are initially one semester, with the possibility of renewal for a second semester. The goal of this pilot fellowship program is to work with KEEN project leadership to develop programs and resources that will support other faculty to incorporate innovative change into their teaching or research by utilizing an entrepreneurial mindset (curiosity, creativity, connections). Fellows will also help provide mentoring to other faculty engaged in project activities. 

What is an entrepreneurial mindset?
An entrepreneurial-minded approach to learning emphasizes the development of skills, attitudes and behaviors of curiosity, connections and creating value in students, regardless of their intended career paths. This approach encourages individuals to think and act like entrepreneurs, fostering a mindset characterized by innovation, creativity, risk-taking, adaptability and a proactive attitude toward problem-solving.

What are the fellowship requirements?
Ideally, applicants will have participated in previous training that includes one or more KEEN workshops or similar content focused on teaching and learning innovation, and have some experience incorporating innovative change into their teaching or research. Funding may be available to complete this required training.

What are the benefits?
The Faculty Fellow will be provided financial support for one course release (approximately 20% time) each semester. Fellows will benefit from learning more about innovative change, improving their own teaching and research, and developing their leadership skills.

How do I apply? 
Faculty (including instructional-track, tenured/tenure-track and research faculty) wishing to be considered for the fellowship should submit a one- to two-page letter of interest to Shari Stockero at stockero@mtu.edu by Feb. 29. The letter should describe the applicant’s prior training and address the following: 

  1. How have you incorporated innovative change and entrepreneurial mindset into your teaching or research?
    1. How has this enhanced your work?
    2. Where do you see your strengths related to this work?
  2. What ideas do you have for programs or other supports you might develop to engage faculty in using innovative change and entrepreneurial mindset in their work?
  3. One of your roles will be to mentor a team of faculty who are adopting innovative change in their teaching or research. What does mentoring mean to you? How would you mentor a group of faculty?
  4. What additional skills around innovative change, entrepreneurial mindset or mentoring  do you want to develop in your role as a Faculty Fellow? How might you do so?

Applicants will be invited to discuss their ideas with the project leadership team. If a fellowship is offered, the applicant will be required to submit a letter of support from their department chair or dean.


Banner-Related Production System Maintenance

Banner-related production system maintenance is scheduled for Sunday (Feb. 25) from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. The following production services will be unavailable during that time:

  • Banner
  • Banweb
  • MyMichiganTech
  • Course Tools
  • OAP Rental System
  • Oracle Reports
  • UC4/Appworx
  • Virtual Cashiering
  • WebFocus
  • Perceptive Content
  • Apps.mtu.edu

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


2024 Western UP STEM Fair & Festival

The 2024 Western Upper Peninsula STEM Fair & Festival will be held March 16 in the Memorial Union Ballroom from 1-4 p.m. New to the event this year: Participants who develop an engineering design project have the chance to advance to Invention Convention Michigan, a competition held later this year at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn, Michigan.

Students from Houghton, Baraga, Keweenaw, Ontonagon and Gogebic counties in grades 4-8 are invited to participate in the STEM Fair. Registration is open to individuals and teams of 2-3 students. Students will prepare and present on a science investigation or an engineering design project.

A Student Planning Guide, registration forms and other important information can be found at the Western U.P. STEM Fair & Festival webpage. Registration is due by Wednesday (Feb. 28).

The public is invited to attend the STEM Festival, held simultaneously, in the commons area of the Memorial Union Building from 1-4 p.m. The festival is coordinated by the Michigan Tech Center for Science and Educational Outreach.

Approximately 50 science and engineering students and professionals from Michigan Tech, local schools, government agencies and local businesses will volunteer their time to judge the student projects. They will also provide more than 20 hands-on science and engineering activities for K-8 students and their families.

The 2024 Western U.P. STEM Fair & Festival is a collaborative effort of the Western U.P. MiSTEM Network, MTU Center for Science and Educational Outreach, Invention Convention Michigan and the Copper Country Intermediate School District.

Many thanks to our current and past sponsors and volunteers. For more information, please contact Tom Oliver at 906-487-2412 or teoliver@mtu.edu, or visit the Western U.P. STEM Fair & Festival webpage.

Today's Campus Events

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