Working Together: Two Familiar Faces Take the Helm of MTU's Student Affairs Division

Michigan Tech's vice president for student affairs and dean of students talk about their work in the Waino Wahtera Center for Student Success

If you don't know Laura Bulleit or Kellie Raffaelli, chances are you're a newcomer to campus — and they won't be strangers to you for long.

As leaders in Michigan Tech's Student Affairs division, these two are expanding their longstanding efforts to build community and provide resources that help students find success — Bulleit as the University's vice president for student affairs and Raffaelli as dean of students.

In a Q&A at Stories from Husky Nation, they share how they're working together to help students thrive personally and academically, and offer practical tips for Huskies as we enter the activity-packed final weeks of the spring semester.

Art in Silico Keynote with Chantal Rodier

The 2024 Art in Silico computational art event series will feature an exciting collaboration with the University of Ottawa, including a keynote address and virtual panel discussion next Wednesday (April 3).

Keynote Address
The keynote address will be given by Chantal Rodier, STEAM project coordinator and artist in residence at the University of Ottawa, at 5 p.m. in GLRC 202.

Rodier’s keynote, titled “Generative AI breaking artistic and programming barriers,” will discuss the role of generative artificial intelligence in computational art, with commentary on how this revolutionary and rapidly evolving technology will allow more individuals to participate in art and coding than ever before. She will also give a brief synopsis of her research and background.

Student Panel Discussion
Earlier in the day, select Michigan Tech students who submitted their work to the Art in Silico exhibition will be part of a virtual panel discussion with four University of Ottawa students who also prepared submissions. The panel members will discuss each work, covering the inspiration and process, as well as converse on computational art as a whole. The event will take place on Zoom from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

More information, including Zoom links and Google Calendar invites, can be found on the Art in Silico website.

'Inspire Inclusion' Feminist Celebration of International Women's Day Month

Join us in a celebration of International Women’s Day Month. This year, we will gather in the Rozsa Lobby on Thursday (March 28) from 1-4:30 p.m. to “inspire inclusion.”

The Department of Humanities, in conjunction with the Rhetoric, Theory, and Culture (RTC) graduate program, invites faculty, students, staff and members of the community to contribute short presentations, from five to 15 minutes in length, with the purpose of showcasing a sampler of the diversity of feminist and inclusive scholarship, research and creativity across the wide range of disciplinary expertise on our campus and within our community.

Emerging from a tradition of “Feminists Reading Feminists,” which has occurred in Walker’s Petersen Library in March for decades, this year’s celebration aspires to showcase all that we do to inspire inclusion on campus and throughout our community.

Join us and share your research, poetry, a short story, artwork, music and reflections on feminism and feminist worldviews. Alternatively, read from one of your favorite feminist writers, artists or scientists.

View the event flyer.

If you have questions, please reach out to Heather Chosa or Dana VanKooy.


The Student Success Council's Sense of Belonging group invites you to attend an LGBTQIA campus social! This event is open to students, faculty and staff. This is an opportunity to meet and network with others on campus who are in and support the LGBTQIA community. All are welcome. Refreshments will be provided.

The social will take place in Wads G42 tomorrow (March 27) from 5-7 p.m.

This event is informal, so feel free to stop by for a few minutes, or stay for the entire two hours! Please RSVP.

MS Defense: Cassandra Reed-VanDam, CFRES

M.S. in Applied Ecology candidate Cassandra Reed-VanDam will present their master's defense at 10 a.m. Monday (April 1) in person in GLRC 202.

Reed-VanDam's defense is titled "Restoration is Repairing Relationships: Bridging Indigenous and Western Sciences to Assess the Socio-ecological Restoration of Wild Rice (Zizania Palustris) on Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Homelands."

Reed-VanDam is advised by Val Gagnon, and committee members include Rod Chimner (CFRES), Noel Urban (CEGE) and Erin Johnston of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community.

From the abstract:
Manoomin (wild rice, Zizania palustris) is an ecologically and culturally significant plant relative for the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC). Historically, manoomin was present across much of the Great Lakes, however their presence has declined since the early 1900s and by 1990, virtually disappeared within KBIC homelands. Employing ethnography, surveys, focus groups, and conversations with Ojibwa knowledge holders, this research defined successful manoomin restoration for KBIC and developed socio-ecological attributes and indicators to assess restoration presented in the Medicine Wheel Framework for Manoomin Restoration. Surface water, sediment, and pore water samples at 6 different manoomin sites were analyzed to contribute to a comprehensive database on manoomin conditions and to test the feasibility of the Framework. The Framework offers visual insight into how balanced attributes are between Teachings, Ecosystem Relationships, Response to Challenges, and Manoomin Health, offering a model to bridge Indigenous and Western science to assess manoomin restoration efforts.

CEGE Faculty Candidate Presentation with Nitin Tiwari

Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering (CEGE) tenure-track faculty candidate Nitin Tiwari will give a research presentation today (March 26) from 10-11 a.m. in Dow 875.

The title of Tiwari's talk is “Engineering Solutions for a Climate-Changed World: Towards Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructures.”

From the abstract:
Climate change is accelerating the frequency and intensifying the severity of extreme weather events across the United States. In the past two years alone, an astonishing 100 million Americans have directly experienced the impact of these events. Communities are grappling with unprecedented and catastrophic flooding, wildfires, extreme heat, drought, seismic events, and other challenges. This situation underscores the urgent need for sustainable, climate-resilient infrastructure. With a commitment to innovation and sustainable practices, geotechnical engineers are increasingly tasked with leveraging the properties of natural materials to develop solutions that are not only effective but also aligned with ecological principles. In accordance with this approach, my research aims to explore three interdisciplinary domains crucial to the advancement of sustainable and resilient infrastructure. In the first part of the presentation, the focus lies on sustainable and resilient approaches to enhancing the behavior of expansive soil. Biogeotechnics and mecho-chemical approaches are utilized for stabilization, taking into account the effects of flooding and freezing-thawing to evaluate the effectiveness of the stabilization methods. The second part of the presentation will delve into ongoing research concerning the seismic behavior of shallow and deep tunnels when subjected to Rayleigh waves. Additionally, advancements in lightweight deflectometer testing and analysis will be highlighted.

Tiwari is a postdoctoral research assistant at the Lyles School of Civil Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Indore, India, and his M.Eng. from the University Institute of Technology, Rajiv Gandhi Technical University, Bhopal, India.

Chemistry Seminar with Gregg Fields

Gregg Fields, professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Florida Atlantic University and the co-director of the Memorial Cancer Institute/Florida Atlantic University (MCIFAU) Cancer Center of Excellence will be presenting at this week's Chemistry Seminar.

The seminar will be held virtually at 3 p.m. Friday (March 29) on Zoom (use passcode 873025).

Fields’ presentation is titled "How Altered Type II Collagen Processing May Contribute to Chondrocyte Disfunction and Rheumatoid Arthritis Initiation.”

From the abstract:
Early reactivities of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), such as anti-citrullinated protein antibodies and rheumatoid factor, may be pathogenic, regulatory, or only a secondary phenomenon not related to the pathogenesis. Type II collagen is the major protein in joint cartilage and is also the target of most known autoantibodies that can induce RA. The present seminar focuses on autoantibody modulation of type II collagen processing by matrix metalloproteinase 13 (MMP-13), the main collagenase responsible for degradation of articular cartilage during RA. Also discussed is the role of citrulline posttranslational modification on MMP-13 processing of type II collagen.

Fields received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from the University of Florida and Florida State University, respectively, and was a postdoctoral scholar with Professor Ken A. Dill at the University of California at San Francisco. Fields joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota in 1991 as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 1995 and then achieved the rank of full professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in 1997.

In 2008, Fields became a Robert A. Welch Foundation Distinguished University Chair in Chemistry in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. He relocated to the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies in 2011, where he was a full member, vice president of research and distinguished chair of metalloproteinase and multiple sclerosis research.

Fields joined FAU in 2014 as a full professor and chair in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the director of the Center for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (CMBB). In 2019, he was appointed as executive director of the Institute for Human Health and Disease Intervention (I-HEALTH) at FAU. In 2021, he became the co-director of the MCIFAU Cancer Center of Excellence, and in 2023 was appointed interim vice president for research at FAU.

Fields is also a courtesy professor in the Department of Chemistry at the Herbert Wertheim UF Scripps Institute for Biomedical Innovation & Technology. He is an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and has authored or co-authored more than 300 scientific publications and presented more than 190 invited lectures.

BioSci Seminar Series Speaker: Dr. Nobuaki Kikyo

Dr. Nobuaki Kikyo will present virtually as part of the Department of Biological Sciences (BioSci) Seminar Series from 3-4 p.m. Thursday (March 28) via Zoom.

Kikyo's presentation is titled "The circadian regulator PER1 promotes cell reprogramming by inhibiting inflammatory signaling from macrophages."

From the abstract:
Circadian regulation of gene expression is prevalent and plays critical roles in cell differentiation. However, its roles in the reprogramming of differentiated cells remain largely unknown. We recently found that one of the master circadian regulators PER1 promoted virus-mediated reprogramming of mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) to induced neurons and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells). Unexpectedly, PER1 achieved this by repressing inflammatory activation of contaminating macrophages in the MEF culture, rather than by directly modulating the reprogrammability of MEFs. This study uncovers mechanistic links between cell reprogramming, bystander inflammatory macrophages, and circadian rhythms, which are particularly relevant to in vivo reprogramming and organoid formation incorporating immune cells.

Kikyo is a member of the Stem Cell Institute and the Masonic Cancer Center. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. from Tokyo University Medical School, Japan. He studied genomic imprinting in Azim Surani’s laboratory at Wellcome/CRC Institute, University of Cambridge, as a postdoctoral fellow. He then moved to Alan Wolffe’s laboratory at the National Institutes of Health to study biochemical mechanisms of somatic cell nuclear cloning with Xenopus. After becoming a principal investigator at the University of Minnesota, he expanded the research to the circadian regulation of myogenesis, bone remodeling and the reprogramming of fibroblasts to iPS cells and induced neurons.

MTTI Hosting ARPA-E Seminar

The Michigan Tech Transportation Institute (MTTI) will be hosting a public seminar on April 8. Our featured speaker, Robert Ledoux, program director for the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E), will be on campus to address investigators interested in ARPA-E research. All are invited to attend the seminar from 11:15 a.m. to noon in MUB Ballroom B3.

The seminar is titled "Modeling the intermodal freight system to ensure a low-carbon resilient future.” 

The goal of ARPA-E is to advance high-potential, high-impact energy technologies that are too early for private-sector investment. ARPA-E awardees are developing entirely new ways to generate, store and use energy. MTTI has had multiple research projects awarded by ARPA.

Ledoux's areas of interest include the intersection of nuclear physics and non-proliferation, energy production and transportation.

The seminar is open to all.

Hockey Takes Down Bemidji to Win CCHA Mason Cup

Michigan Tech hockey captured their first-ever CCHA Mason Cup Championship with a 2-1 victory at No. 20 Bemidji State on Friday (March 22). The Huskies punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament for the third straight season.

"Huge congratulations to Bemidji. What a great hockey team they are. They had a big-time push and there was no quit in them. They had a great year," Tech coach Joe Shawhan said. "This was just a one-shot game, and we happened to make it, and our goaltending was great — as always."

"I just have a lot of love for our team," Shawn continued. "It's a great group of guys, win or lose. The leadership of this group with the desire to keep playing and to share more experiences is tremendous. I couldn't have asked for a better group to be around."

Bemidji opened the scoring 14:07 into the game, and Chase Pietila responded with a goal for MTU just 52 seconds later. Ryland Mosley scored the game-winner in the second period. The Beavers pressured in the third with 17 shots on goal, but Blake Pietila was there each time. Bemidji got the only power play of the game with 4:58 remaining, but Tech's penalty-killing unit shut them down, only allowing one shot.

Huskies Heading to NCAA Tournament
Michigan Tech earned the CCHA's automatic bid to the 2024 NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Tournament. The Huskies will open against No. 1 Boston College at 2 p.m. Friday (March 29) at Amica Mutual Pavilion in Providence, Rhode Island.

ESPNU will televise Friday's regional semifinal, with ESPN2 carrying the regional championship on Sunday (March 31) at 4 p.m. Mix 93.5 WKMJ-FM broadcasts all Michigan Tech games, with an online stream available at or

Fans looking for tickets can email the SDC Ticket Office at or call 906-487-2073 to get into the Michigan Tech block.

In the News

Shane Oberloier (ECE), Ian Raymond (HU) and undergraduate student William Forney (robotics engineering) were quoted by the Daily Mining Gazette in a story about the 2024 Maker Fest, held Saturday (March 23) at Houghton High School. The event celebrated the process of making and offered nearly 30 hands-on activities. Raymond let visitors engage in stop-motion filmmaking. Forney, an Open Source Hardware Enterprise member, offered 360-degree 3D scans of people’s heads. Also mentioned was the Society of Women Engineers, which ran a booth on building paper circuits.


The Good Men Project mentioned Michigan Tech in a story advocating for the restoration of wolves to their historic ranges. The story, originally published by, referenced a 2023 MTU study assessing how changing gray wolf genetics impacted the Isle Royale National Park ecosystem over two decades. The study describes the genetic impact of a single wolf, “The Old Gray Guy,” whose story was featured on Michigan Tech’s Unscripted Research Blog.


Northern Express and the Ticker mentioned Michigan Tech in a story about the next steps for the planned Freshwater Innovation and Research Center, to be constructed along West Grand Traverse Bay. The center is a collaboration between MTU, 20Fathoms, the Discovery Center & Pier, Northwestern Michigan College and Traverse Connect.


Yahoo! Sports, the Daily Mining GazetteFloHockey, Minnesota’s Star Tribune, the Hockey NewsWLUC TV6 and the Iron Mountain Daily News mentioned Michigan Tech hockey’s victory over Bemidji State University in the 2024 CCHA Mason Cup Championship game. The Huskies defeated the Beavers 2-1 last Friday (March 22).


The Detroit News, Boston Herald, WLUC TV6 and the Keweenaw Report mentioned Michigan Tech hockey’s NCAA regional semifinal game, set for Friday (March 29) in Providence, Rhode Island. The Huskies will take on Boston College at 2 p.m.


Nominations Sought for KCP Future Faculty Fellowships

Applications are being accepted for the King-Chávez-Parks (KCP) Future Faculty Fellowship, a program funded by the state of Michigan. The purpose of the KCP Future Faculty Fellowship Program is to increase the pool of academically and economically disadvantaged candidates pursuing faculty teaching careers in postsecondary education.

Funding may begin in fall 2024. Complete applications received by 4 p.m. on April 9 will receive priority for consideration. Pending availability of funds, applications received will be considered on a rolling basis until the state’s application portal closes on April 30. Applicants are highly encouraged to submit well in advance of the portal closing.

Applicants will complete the following steps:

KCP fellowships provide students up to $20,000 (M.S. students) or $35,000 (Ph.D. students) to pursue their degrees. Funds may be used to support students, including faculty and staff, pursuing degrees at Michigan Tech. For Michigan Tech students, the Graduate School and nominating department must also contribute matching funds to help support the student.

Complete information about eligibility criteria and materials needed for an application is available on our webpage. Please note that applications will be submitted through the MILogin Citizens Portal. Questions about eligibility or the application procedure can be directed to Debra Charlesworth at


Registration Closes Today for the Michigan Tech Rec Indoor Triathlon

You don't have to win, you just have to TRI! Michigan Tech Recreation is hosting an indoor triathlon for MTU students and SDC Access Pass Holders (minimum one-month) next Wednesday (April 3) at 7 p.m. at the SDC. Today (March 26) is the last day to register!

Unlike a traditional triathlon, which covers fixed distances of swimming, biking and running, indoor triathlons challenge competitors to race the greatest distance within a fixed time frame. Beginners and seasoned athletes are welcome to participate in the 10-minute swim, 15-minute bike and 10-minute run! Transition time is provided between events. Event capacity is limited.

Open to MTU students and SDC Access Pass Holders (minimum one-month) with a valid MTU student ID or SDC Access Pass. Must be 16 years of age or older to participate.

Event Details:

  • What: Michigan Tech Rec Indoor Triathlon
  • When: Wednesday, April 3, at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Student Development Complex
  • Registration: Closes Tuesday, March 26, at 11:59 p.m.
  • Cost: It's free! (But you must register to participate!)

Learn more and find the registration link on Michigan Tech Recreation's Indoor Triathlon page.


CTL Technical Workshop: Intro to Panopto

Are you looking for a way to incorporate video recordings to increase student engagement or provide course materials to be viewed in preparation for class? Perhaps you’re seeking a recording tool for lectures or meetings which can capture multiple video sources at the same time, and then easily edit and share them. Compatible with multiple operating systems and file formats, Panopto is a robust and straightforward tool to fit those needs and many more.

Join the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) for an Introduction to Panopto workshop Thursday (March 28) at 11 a.m. in Library 242. Workstations (Windows operating system based) will be available if you would like to follow along — or feel free to bring your own device!

Register to attend.

For questions or accommodation requests, please contact Jess Hendrickson at or 906-487-2275.


AC Faculty Candidate Presentation with Wenqi Shi

Department of Applied Computing (AC) tenure-track faculty candidate Wenqi Shi will give a research presentation today (March 26) at 1 p.m. in Rekhi 214.

The title of Shi's talk is "Advancing Personalized Medicine Through Generative Artificial Intelligence."

Read the talk abstract and candidate bio on the Computing News Blog.


PhD Defense: Fangyao Zhu, Math

Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics candidate Fangyao Zhu will defend her doctoral dissertation tomorrow (March 27) at 9 a.m. in Dillman 208.

The title of the dissertation is "Bound Preserving Discontinuous Galerkin Methods for Euler Equations & Nonequilibrium Flows."

Zhu is advised by Yang Yang.

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...


Master's Defense: Erin Mauk

Geographic Information Science Co-advisors: Mickey Jarvi and Sigrid Resh Prioritizing Landscapes for Invasive Species Surveying & Management


PhD Defense: Praveen Tharuka Wijewardana Perera Hettige

Statistics Advisor: Benjamin Ong An Incremental Multiscale Non–Linear Manifold Approximation Method Attend Virtually:


Talk About It Tuesday: Resumes and AI

Bring your lunch and your lap top. We will be workshopping your resumes to beat out Application Tracking Systems (ATS).


VPR Research Series: Safe & Inclusive Off-campus Research

Join us at the next session of VPR research series for a panel focusing on developing safe and inclusive (SAI) off-campus research plans. These plans are required when any MTU...


TIAA Webinar: Live with Confidence in Retirement - 5 steps to creating your retirement income plan

Register here: If you’re thinking about making the transition to retirement, this webinar is essential...


Master's Defense: Kristoffer Larsen



Adult Huskies Swim Lessons Spring 2024 Session 2

Adult Huskies Swim Lessons provides aquatic education for the beginner to the intermediate swimmer who is looking to become more comfortable in the water and learn the...


Adult Huskies Swim Training Spring 2024 Session 2

Adult Huskies Swim Training provides additional attention and competitive guidance to swimmers ages 18 and older who are looking to improve their swimming skills and fitness...


NCSA General Meeting

Join NCSA in their weekly meeting, where we talk about news from the Tech industry, give updates on team projects, and have guest speakers from industry talk about what they...


SuperTour Finals & Spring National Championships (Duluth, Minn.)

SuperTour Finals & Spring National Championships (Duluth, Minn.)