Meet Ian Repp—New Director of University Marketing and Communications

Canoes and creativity—just two of the magnets that drew Ian Repp from his marketing agency job in Indianapolis to his new position as director of University Marketing and Communications at Michigan Tech.

Repp, who started at Michigan Tech on Sept. 15, loves the out-of-doors. He and his wife, J. R. Repp, have canoes that they can’t wait to launch into Lake Superior and other waters of the Keweenaw. They’re looking forward to kayaking, too.  

Even more exciting to Repp professionally is the creative team in University Marketing and Communications. "The creativity here is awesome," he says. "I’m eager to dive in and be part of that."

Repp’s family owns a cabin on Lake Superior, on the Canadian side of the border above Sault Ste. Marie. He’s been spending summers there for years. "So I feel like I know the UP, even though I’d never been to Houghton," he says.

Coming from nearly 10 years as a creative director for a marketing agency, Repp is looking forward to applying his experience to university marketing and communications. "I want to be involved in something that can make a long-term difference," he explains.

Repp grew up in a university community. His father is vice president of information technology at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. Repp was raised in that college town and finds the college-town environment familiar and appealing.

"I like knowing everybody, seeing the same people at work and in town and at civic and cultural events," he says.

Repp and his wife have two children, Cale, 4, and Crosby, 1, and two beagle-spaniels, Goose and Pepper. An elementary school teacher, J. R. plans to stay home with her children for a while but looks forward to going back to teaching eventually. She’s also pleased that her children will start school here. "I hear nothing but good things about the Houghton schools," she says. 

After he earned a bachelor’s degree at Ball State, Repp went to Los Angeles to study at the UCLA Professional Program in Screenwriting. He worked as a screen writer for Sony Pictures. "But I soon realized that I didn’t want to be in Hollywood," he says.

Then he worked in marketing for a Public Broadcasting System (PBS) affiliate at Ball State University, transitioning from a focus on visual storytelling to marketing educational content to major donors. 

During his years with marketing agencies, he conducted marketing campaigns for the Indiana Pacers, the New York Knicks, the New York Rangers and the Indiana Economic Development Council. He also did marketing for University of Wisconsin Athletics and Northwestern University Athletics.

He’s heard about Houghton’s legendary snowfall. It doesn’t intimidate him.  A runner, hiker, backpacker and Tough Mudder, he expects that he and his family will get involved in winter sports, too.

"I like trying new things, learning new things," Repp says. "If I’m anxious at all, I’m just anxious to dive in and become an advocate for Michigan Tech."

Reminder: Staff Council Invites New Members

Staff Council welcomes new members to its annual organizational meeting at noon, Thursday, Sept. 18,  in the Memorial Union Building Alumni Lounge. Snack and beverages will be provided.


Staff Council was created in 1991 as a service organization for the University. The council, made up of staff members from all levels at Michigan Tech, supports activities and resources that provide recognition for staff achievements and opportunities for professional development, as well as enhance Tech's working environment and campus community.


Staff Council sponsors the following annual events: Making a Difference Awards, Family Fun Day, Staff Service Recognition Awards and Technology Day/Professional Development Day; the council also hosts the President's Campus Forums. Members serve on search committees and help out with special University initiatives and task forces that require staff representation, create and distribute the employee wall calendar, sponsor an annual blood drive and assist with various other campus activities.

For more information, visit or email

Teaching Resource of the Week

When students arrive in your class lacking prerequisite knowledge, it’s often difficult for them to succeed. With the wealth of video tutorials available, an instructor can really help these students by providing resources they can use independently to dust off content not used in a while or really learn topics that never were mastered.

One good source for videos like this is Khan Academy. Khan started with math, so the collection is best in that subject area but has been expanded to include all science fields, economics and finance, a good share of the arts and humanities and computing. Again, instructors can register, build a catalog of resources and track student progress if desired, but the strength of this resource is in the short, indexed, topic-oriented explanations of common content.

If you’d like to talk more about how you might make use of Khan Academy videos, or if would like to share teaching resources you’ve found, email Also, stop by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning in Van Pelt and Opie room 219.

New Community-linked Seminar through Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw


Professor Bill Rose has unveiled a new kind of seminar series which is hoped to reach the non-university community—he said, "I have lived here for 45 years, but I haven’t done a good job for the local community. I’d like to change that, now that I am retired. How does the university help the local community? How do we communicate?  I have found that non-university residents are inhibited about coming to campus—many feel isolated from the university community. I also perceive that university faculty do not think that community service is as highly valued by the University as service away from home. Maybe we can correct that to some degree. The Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw is off campus and is an entity of the city, not the university—-could it serve as a place where the town community and the university meet?" As a Carnegie Board member, I have planned a seminar series for the next 10 months on subject related to Natural History of the Keweenaw—a big part of the museum’s mission."  


"The seminars will happen every second tuesday (except one) from September to April. I contacted experienced senior researchers to address topics that connect with our lives—about things that should interest teachers, students, residents and the university community. I am hoping that the presentations will attract the community as well as the university, partly because we will do the sessions in a newly remodeled room in the Carnegie Museum—in downtown Houghton in early evenings. We have comfortable chairs, refreshments and good projectors. There will be informative discussions about important local themes. We will cover lots of science issues—earth science, botanical and animal issues, the atmosphere and weather, Lake Superior, First Nations communities and global change. But we will target a general audience. I think the topics are all things of broad interest to Keweenaw residents. What do University researchers think are important local issues to discuss? What are residents interested in? We will find out.”


Biological Sciences Seminar Friday

Celia Chen, research professor of biological sciences at Dartmouth College will present “Factors Controlling Mercury Fate in Aquatic Food Webs,” on Friday, Sept. 19, at 2 p.m., in Dow 642. This seminar is sponsored by The Department of Biological Sciences, Visiting Women and Minority Lecture/Scholar Series (VWMLS) and the Center for Water and Society.

VWMLS is funded by the President's Office and a grant to the Office of Institutional Equity from the state of Michigan's King-Chavez-Parks Initiative. For more information, visit the Biological Sciences webpage

Reminder: William G. Jackson Luncheon and Gamification Workshops Tomorrow


Todd Wilmore will host a lunchtime session on the changing role of instructors in higher education, as well as a 75-minute workshop on using game theory in class design (gamification) on Tuesday, Sept. 23. Wilmore is an adjunct professor at both Central Michigan and Saint Leo Universities.

Don’t miss this opportunity to explore innovative techniques with an expert that you can use to motivate your students. To register for these events, call 7-3000 or register online using the links below. Lunch will be available for those who register by Thursday, Sep. 18.


The gamification workshop will be offered twice (one morning session and one afternoon session), but enrollment will be limited to 40 for each session. Wilmore will demonstrate a number of innovative techniques to motivate student participation and learning. During this very active hour, you'll experience a "gamified" learning environment and discuss how game theory might be applied in your classroom.

A growing body of research indicates that games work to reinforce learning if they trigger real emotions and are compelling and immersive. It is a method that can be used to create a desire to explore and collaborate in students, and allows the addition of elements of surprise and interest that is difficult to do in traditional formats. 

Luncheon—The Changing Nature of Higher Education

Speaking from his experience as a faculty member and educational consultant, Wilmore will discuss the changing role of the university instructor at a luncheon event. According to Elliot Felix, the director of Brightspot Strategy, “Both museums and libraries used to be the containers for information, and people would go to them to get information. But there’s more information available online than anybody knows what to do with. So, now that people can get information instantaneously, libraries and museums need to be about services and experiences if they expect to stay relevant.”

Wilmore will assert that the same is true in higher education. If we expect to remain relevant, we must blow up the myth that extensive knowledge is necessary to teach and that explanation is necessary to learn.

Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar Today

Peace Corps Master's International students who have recently returned from their field experiences and new international students in the environmental engineering graduate program will share their unique insight into the most urgent environmental issues facing their home or Peace Corps countries.

Student presentations will be held today at 3 p.m., in GLRC 202. Students will address the key environmental issues facing China, Ghana, India, Iran, Panama and Paraguay.

A panel discussion/question-and-answer session will follow the presentations. The public is welcome.

Van Pelt and Opie Library Announces Fall Workshop Lineup


The Van Pelt and Opie Library is offering a variety of workshops in the fall 2014 semester open to all Michigan Tech students (undergraduate and graduate), faculty, and staff, as well as community members not affiliated with Michigan Tech. Workshop topics and dates are listed below; please see online for full workshop descriptions and to register. Registration is required for all workshops. For workshops with multiple dates, attendees should choose just one. Contact Sarah Lucchesi, Instruction and Learning Librarian, with any questions at or 7-3379.

Google Power Users


Thursday, Sept. 25, 2-3 p.m.

Citation Searching


Thursday, Oct. 2, 3-4 p.m.

Copyright in the Classroom


Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2-3 p.m.

Copyright and Your Thesis or Dissertation


Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2-3 p.m.

EndNote Basic I


Tuesday, Sept. 16, 5-6 p.m.


Thursday, Sept. 25, 5-6 p.m.

EndNote Basic II


Tuesday, Sept. 16, 6:15-7:15 p.m.


Thursday, Sept. 25, 6:15-7:15 p.m.

Basic Patent Searching


Tuesday, Oct. 7, noon-1:30 p.m.


Thursday, Oct. 9, 5:30-7 p.m.

Advanced Patent Searching


Tuesday, Oct. 14, noon-1:30 p.m.


Thursday, Oct 16, 5:30-7 p.m.

Trademark Searching


Tuesday, Oct 28, noon-1:30 p.m.


Thursday, Oct 30, 5:30-7 p.m.


Job Posting

Staff and faculty job descriptions are available in the Human Resources office or online. For more information regarding staff positions, call 7-2280 or email For more information regarding faculty positions, contact the academic department in which the position is posted.

Assistant or Associate Professor
Biomedical Engineering
Apply online

Michigan Technological University is an equal opportunity educational institution/equal opportunity employer, which includes providing equal opportunity for protected veterans and individuals with disability.

In the News

Progressive Railroading magazine featured Michigan Tech's Rail Transportation Program in an article on universities adding rail education to the curriculum.


Joshua Pearce's (MSE/ECE) lab was featured in "Printing a Better Community," published in Laboratory Equipment. It was was highlighted by Open Electronics in "Building your Science Lab with Open Source." 
Pearce was also interviewed on opportunities for mechanical engineers in the solar industry in "Have You Overlooked Photovoltaics?" for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.