Tech's Terry McNinch, Tim Colling Honored

Jennifer Donovan, director of public relations

Terry McNinch, director of Michigan's Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP), and Tim Colling, assistant director of LTAP, have received the Charley V. Wootan Award, presented annually by the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Research Council (NRC).

The award recognizes their outstanding paper in the field of policy and organization. It was presented at the Thomas B. Deen Distinguished Lecture and TRB Awards Ceremony at the Transportation Research Board's annual meeting, January 10-14, in Washington, DC.

The Wootan Award was established to honor the director of the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University, who was active in TRB for many years.

McNinch and Colling's prizewinning paper is "Making Asset Management Work: Innovative Components for Successful Implementation by Local Agencies in Michigan."

Sue McNeil, chair of the TRB Asset Management Committee and a professor at the University of Delaware, applauded the selection. "I am delighted that Terry and Tim are being recognized for their work promoting asset management, particularly for local agencies. In addition to their award-winning paper, they have conducted workshops, worked one-on-one with agencies, spoken at conferences and meetings, and provided technical support to local agencies. This particular paper not only documents the experience in Michigan, but identifies the benefits experienced by 'early adopters.' It is of value to both researchers and practitioners. I look forward to seeing many more papers from Terry and Tim."

Over the past three years, working with its partners, Michigan LTAP has hosted 120 training events related to applying asset management to transportation infrastructure. More than 4,000 people have participated, 70 percent from county road commissions, cities and villages.

McNinch said that although he and Colling will receive the award, 'It's really about the people who help make it all happen. Our entire staff works hard making Michigan LTAP trainings top-notch and RoadSoft as good as it is," he noted. "They all deserve a lot of credit."

Colling added: "Recognition also goes out to the county road commissions and cities that are grabbing hold of these concepts and making good things happen. Adopting these assets is a big leap for many road commissions and cities. It's a completely different way of looking at the road business, which is sometimes a hard sell. These agencies deserve a lot of credit for what they have done, too."

Cited in the award-winning paper is the city of Manistee, Michigan (population 6,600), where city managers recognized that the 49 miles of city streets were in fair condition but would soon deteriorate to poor if something wasn't done. The managers attended an asset management workshop in fall 2007. In January 2008, the city's elected officials attending training. In April, pavement condition data were collected using the RoadSoft® Laptop Data Collector (LDC). In June, the managers were using RoadSoft's asset management analysis features to build pavement maintenance strategies and optimized budgets. By August, they were able to present to the city council an efficient and effective maintenance strategy for preservation of city streets.

RoadSoft is an integrated roadway asset management system designed to address the specific needs of counties, cities and villages. A geographic information system interface helps agencies manage their roads, signs, culverts, driveways, bridges, guardrails, pavement markings, sidewalks, traffic counts and traffic crashes. It is currently in use by more than 370 local agencies in Michigan, other local agencies throughout the US, and most recently in a World Bank-funded project by a state Department of Transportation in Brazil. Developed over the past 15 years by the staff of the Technology Development Group of the Michigan Tech Transportation Institute, RoadSoft is now available worldwide under a nonprofit license.

As shown in McNinch and Colling's paper, successful implementation of transportation asset management by counties, cities and villages is critical when transportation resources are limited and dwindling every month--the current situation in Michigan.

Carmine Palombo, director of transportation programs at the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, and chair of the Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council (TAMC), said that McNinch and Colling help promote "the gospel of asset management" throughout Michigan. "It's through their efforts and the work of other dedicated professionals throughout the state that the concepts of asset management are getting into the hands of local agencies, thereby improving roadway management in the face of scarce resources. We look forward to continuing our partnership with them."

Steven A. Warren, deputy director of the Kent County Road Commission and member of the TAMC, also recognized the pair's outstanding efforts. "Because of their sincere appreciation and understanding of the challenges local transportation agencies face, Terry and Tim are able to provide valuable assistance to these agencies as they strive to implement asset management," Warren said.

NOSOTROS Collecting Donations for Haiti Relief

Michigan Tech's Hispanic student organization, NOSOTROS, is collecting donations to support Haiti after the earthquake that struck the country last week.

The fundraiser will continue until Wednesday, Jan. 20. The organization is accepting donations from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., daily, at the Memorial Union Building.

Donations can also be made at any local branch of the Wells Fargo Bank. Walk in and direct your donation to the NOSOTROS Haitian Earthquake Victims Fund.

For other ways to help, visit The White House website at http://www.whitehouse.gov/ .

University Cell Phone and Internet Transition

submitted by Human Resources

Michigan Tech is changing its processes for the purchasing, reimbursement and approvals associated with home internet and cellular telephone service required by employees to fulfill University business needs. These changes are intended to simplify and standardize our process for providing these services while still providing departments with the needed flexibility to require and provide these services to employees. Implementing the new policy requires transitioning all current services that are not in compliance with the new policy. Instructions for transitioning these services are outlined below.

* Internet Service: Internet service will now be reimbursed through a monthly allowance program.

If an employee's internet service is currently provided through the University, the employee will need to get the contract and bill changed to his/her name by Monday, Feb. 1. The employee will pay the bill personally and complete an internet allowance request form to receive a monthly allowance beginning in February.

If an employee is currently being reimbursed for internet service via a check request, check requests can be processed for all bills due in January. An internet allowance request form must be completed for all bills due in February and beyond. The employee will pay the bill personally and begin receiving an allowance in their paycheck in February.

* Cell Phone Service: Cell phone service charges will now be reimbursed through a monthly allowance program. Employees may optionally choose to move their cell phone service to a Michigan Tech contract instead.

If an employee is currently being reimbursed for cell phone service via a check request, check requests can be processed for all bills due in January.

There are two options for employees who are currently paying their cell phone bills and being reimbursed via a check request. If the employees prefer to continue paying their cell phone bill personally, a cell phone allowance request form should be completed to receive a monthly allowance in their paycheck beginning in February.

The second option is to contact Telecommunications at 487-2000 or telcom-request@mtu.edu to have cell service provided through Telecommunications and directly charged to a University index. No cell phone allowance request form is necessary if the phone service is provided through Telecommunications.

Cell phone bills on purchase orders and blanket orders should continue to be sent to Accounts Payable for processing. The transition to a cell phone allowance for those with purchase orders and blanket orders will be completed over the next few months. Departments will be contacted by Telecommunications to move their services to the new corporate accounts (AT&T or Verizon).

If the employees' internet or cell phone service has been pre-paid by Michigan Tech, they can put it in their own name now, but will need to wait until the account is due again to begin receiving the allowance.

If you have any questions about these changes, contact the appropriate area as outlined above.

Internet and cell phone allowance policies can be found at:
http://www.admin.mtu.edu/admin/policy/bus_fin/2009.htm

The allowance request form is available at:
http://www.admin.mtu.edu/acct/pdf/Cell_Internet_Form.pdf .

Reminder: Youth Programs Information Session

Youth Programs will hold an information session tonight for summer employment. All interested candidates must attend a session in order to be considered for employment. Tonight's session will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m., in Memorial Union Ballroom A2.

A second session will be held at the same time and place on Thursday, Jan. 21.

For questions or more information on Youth Programs employment, email ypjobs@mtu.edu .

HuskyPAW Program Will Begin Weekly Health Tips

Sometimes a timely reminder is all it takes to nudge us in the right direction. Starting this month, HuskyPAW will do that routinely with respect to a healthier lifestyle.

Specifically, Husky PAW (Physical Activity and Wellness) will publish a "healthy tip of the week" every Monday in Tech Today, starting later this month.

"We are seeking ways to motivate and encourage people," says Karen Hext, coordinator of benefits. "A healthy lifestyle benefits our employees and Michigan Tech. People are happier, healthier and more productive."

HuskyPAW was established a year ago by the TechCommunity Wellness Committee, whose charge is to encourage employees to lead healthier lives.

Toward that end, HuskyPAW encourages a wide range of activities that help participants track physical activity and nutrition, lose weight, quit smoking, and, in general, maintain a healthy lifestyle.

"The weekly tips about health and fitness will keep those opportunities in the minds of the campus community," Hext says.

Participants in the HuskyPAW program earn incentives and rewards along the way--from gift certificates to gift baskets.

HuskyPAW dovetails with the TechFit program for faculty and staff that provides financial support for eligible employees who take part in wellness activities at area fitness, recreational and health centers.

For more information on any of these programs, contact Benefits at 487-2517 or kphext@mtu.edu .

To be an active member of PAW, go to: http://www.admin.mtu.edu/hro/techcomwellness/index.shtml .

MLK Banquet Tickets Available--But Not for Long

The annual MLK celebration banquet will be held at 6 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 23, in the Memorial Union Ballroom.

The guest speaker is Joe Rogers, former lieutenant governor of Colorado and founder of The Dream Alive Program. Rogers, who came to Tech for the 2005 MLK banquet, is an inspirational speaker who focuses on the heritage of King and other leaders of the civil rights movement. Tickets are $20 and are available through Wednesday, Jan. 20, from Multicultural Affairs by calling 487-2920.

For more information, contact Kevin J. Walker, interim coordinator of African-American student support, at kjwalker@mtu.edu .

Reminder: Club Indigo Becomes Club "Finndigo"

The Calumet Theatre will present its annual food and film event, Club Finndigo, on Friday, Jan. 29, not Friday, Feb. 29, as previously reported.

The all-Finnish buffet from the Keweenaw Co-op is at 6 p.m., Friday, Jan. 29, followed by the movie at 7:15 p.m.

The award-winning movie is "Mother of Mine," a story about a boy shunted from a Finnish home to one in Sweden during the war with Russia.

For seating at the buffet, call the Calumet Theatre at 337-2610.

This special Club Indigo event is sponsored by Mu Beta Psi music fraternity and is linked to Finlandia University's "Heikinpaiva" celebration.

DiversiTEAS begin on January 20

The first DiversiTEA of 2010 will be held from 4 to 5 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 20, in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge.

The session is titled "Class and Privilege Among Students." Bill Kennedy, director of the Center for Teaching, Learning and Faculty Development, will discuss how class and privilege impact the policies, practices and relationships that shape our lives.

DiversiTEAS were instituted in the fall of 2008 after a campus survey indicated such opportunity for social dialogue would be welcome. They blend the interchange of ideas and the enjoyment of refreshments and teas from around the world. The monthly event will continue until April and is open to the public.

Diversity is one of Michigan Tech's strategic goals--that is, a community of scholars whose intellectual, social and professional development is enriched by the diversity of our students, faculty and staff.

Workshop on Interactive Teaching Thursday

The Center for Teaching, Learning and Faculty Development (CTLFD) is conducting a workshop, "Rethinking Classroom Instruction: Interactive Teaching (Part One)," from noon to 12:55 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 28. Lunch will be provided to those who register by Monday, Jan. 25.

The traditional model of the college classroom has the instructor as purveyor of knowledge and the students primarily acting as passive receivers. In this model, the goal is for the student to reproduce a desired subset of that which has been presented in the lecture and gleaned through the completion of homework assignments.

The workshop will review the work of a group of progressive educators who've developed and refined instructional methods that re-envision the classroom experience and increase the depth and durability of student learning.

This first session will examine two components of this model: Just-in-time teaching and peer instruction. Using these tools, instructors can reignite their passion for teaching and the enthusiasm for learning of their students.

Registration is open until Monday, Jan. 25. To register, contact the CTLFD at 487-2046 or via the online registration website: http://www.admin.mtu.edu/ctlfd/workshops .

Reminder: NSF "Lunch and Learn" Session

Sponsored Programs will hold a National Science Foundation (NSF) "Lunch and Learn" session at noon, Tuesday, Jan. 19, in Memorial Union Ballroom A1. This session will address how to submit a proposal, deadlines and cost-sharing policies of NSF.

Desserts and beverages will be provided; bring your lunch.

To enroll in this session visit: http://www.admin.mtu.edu/research/vpr/registration/index.php?session_1d=16 .

For additional information, contact Dawn Pichette of Sponsored Programs at 487-2226 or dmpichet@mtu.edu .

Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences Seminar

Cognitive and Leaning Sciences will host Ernesto Bustamante, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Idaho, who will present, "Theoretical Implications and Practical Applications of the a-b Signal Detection Theory Model," from 10 to 11 a.m., today, in Rekhi G06.

Bustamante holds a PhD in Human Factors from Old Dominion University. His expertise is human factors and human performance; cognitive engineering and decision making; aviation psychology; and behavioral science research methods. His work is particularly important for researchers and practitioners studying human-automation interaction factors. The presentation is open to the campus community.

For more information, contact Susan Amato-Henderson at slamato@mtu.edu or Brad Baltensperger at brad@mtu.edu .

In the News

Bob Johnson, professor of rhetoric, composition and technical communication in the humanities department, will be featured on National Public Radio's Marketplace at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 19. Johnson will talk about the job market for graduates from liberal arts curricula, in particular how the market for rhetoric and composition grads bucks the downward trend for other liberal arts graduates. NPR is carried locally on WGGL 91.1 FM, an affiliate of Minnesota Public Radio.

On the Road

Professor Christa Walck (SBE) presented a workshop, "Designing Artifacts to Create Sustainability: Turning Culture Theory on its Head," at the Sixth International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability in Cuenca, Ecuador, January 5-7.

New Funding

Susan Liebau, director of ExSEL and associate director of COMPASS, has received $297,000 from the State of Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth for a two-year project, "4S Project Rise--ExSEL."