2015 Michigan Tech Magazine: Issue 1

From the Alumni Association

By Kara Sokol

Student—alumni broomball invitational, Winter Carnival Pictorial history, an important update to the War Memorial Wall, and more.

Q&A with Liz Fujita

A 2012 graduate with degrees in math and social science, Liz Fujita is a coordinator for Michigan Tech's Center for Pre-College Outreach.

A 2012 graduate with degrees in math and social science, Liz Fujita is a coordination for Michigan Tech's Center for Pre-College Outreach.
A 2012 graduate with degrees in math and social science, Liz Fujita is a coordination for Michigan Tech's Center for Pre-College Outreach.

How did you wind up at Michigan Tech?

Because they were headed up here anyway for a holiday, my parents brought me along to visit the Copper Country for a week when I was in high school. The sort of cheesy-but- real truth is that at the end of the week, I didn't want to go home.

Favorite moment as a student?

Just one?! There's so much more to the student experience than just class, or student orgs, or friendships. Going to Tech is joining the pilot team of a crazy new science outreach program, and watching it take off like wildfire. It's fighting to earn that elusive A in your favorite professor's (notoriously hard) class, then enrolling in another to do it all over again. It's waterfall hunting in late spring with your best friends, or snowshoeing in the silent woods for the first time. It's the mischievous satisfaction in hearing that vuvuzelas are banned at events shortly after you were among the rabble-rousers who gave the blasted things out en masse.

What do you do here?

My job with the Center for Pre-College Outreach primarily involves coordinating our local College Access programs. The main project is GEAR UP—it's a nationwide program that helps get students ready for whatever it is they want to do after high school. I also work to coordinate on-campus events like the Get WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) workshop for middle school girls. Once the academic year ends, I am heavily involved with a lot of the logistics for Summer Youth Programs—room reservations, hiring, communication with instructors, and more. In the crannies between these things, I help out with the Mind Trekkers roadshow.

Why is that important?

Our pre-college work is important because it gives young people an opportunity to explore STEM and potential careers early on. We want students to know that it's all right to try new things—that's why SYP is so hands-on, and why Mind Trekkers is run by friendly, energetic Tech students. It's why GEAR UP brings students to visit college campuses rather than just talking about going to college. We think it really matters to get students involved so that they can see applications of concepts they have heard about, but might not understand.

Who inspires you the most?

I'm most inspired by passionate teachers (elementary teachers all the way up through college professors and beyond). Excellent teachers shape people's lives by believing in us, caring about us, and most importantly challenging us.

What do you still want to do?

I've always known two things: I want to make somebody's life better, and I never want to stop learning new things. I stumbled into outreach completely by accident, but it turns out that it enables me to do both of those things every day. Wherever I end up and whatever I am doing in five, ten, twenty years, I just hope that life keeps surprising me.

What will Michigan Tech be like in 25 years?

Michigan Tech in 25 years will still be crazy smart, and I think that it will continue to grow—both in terms of student numbers and in terms of new and renovated buildings and spaces.


Winter Carnival History , Now Available Online.

For its semicentennial, the 1965 edition of the annual Michigan Tech Lode Winter Carnival Pictorial has been digitized and uploaded to Digital Commons, an online repository for scholarly, academic, and creative works produced at Michigan Tech.

The 1965 pictorial joins a collection of several others hosted on Digital Commons, including editions from 1964, 1974, and 1989.

Visit digitalcommons.mtu.edu/wintercarnival to download pictorials and take part in Winter Carnival's collective history. To view the full physical collection of Winter Carnival pictorials, stop by the Archives Reading Room on campus at the Van Pelt and Opie Library.


Students vs. Alumni: The 2015 Broomball Champs Are. . .

Team Troy vs. Team Big Bird.
Team Troy vs. Team Big Bird.

The Alumni-Student Broomball Invitational was held over the Winter Carnival weekend, with current students matching off against alumni to see who would take home the coveted Alumni Cup.

Alumni players from across the country traveled to campus to compete. All players—young and young-at-heart—enjoyed the new IRHC broomball trailer, which was sponsored in part by the Alumni Association.

After double-elimination playoff rounds, student team Big Bird triumphed over alumni team Troy to win the trophy. The Alumni Association offers our congratulations to both teams!

For more info on the tournament, visit www.mtu.edu/alumni/favorites/broomball.

The Rules Reign

When it comes to Michigan Tech broomball, everyone plays by the rules—including alumni. How well do you remember the guidelines for gameplay?

  • All brooms must be corn with wooden handles
  • Duct tape is the only foreign material allowed on a broom
  • No "high sticking," or raising the broom above the waist on any shot
  • Elbowing, cross checking, charging, or intentionally obstructing play or throwing your broom will result in a two-minute penalty
  • Teams are responsible for the behavior of their fans—no inappropriate or distasteful chants allowed!

From the IRHC–Michigan Tech Alumni Association 2014–2015 Alumni-Student Invitational Rulebook


Pride with Benefits

The Michigan Tech Alumni Association has joined forces with multiple companies to offer you exclusive benefits, services, and discount programs. There are too many to list here, but you can learn more at www.mtu.edu/alumni/benefits/nav-benefits.

  1. Get a 5% discount on ASPCA pet health insurance
  2. Earn points and show your spirit with a Tech Visa
  3. A $50 SYP discount is available for each child and grandchild
  4. Get an official license plate

Alumni Chapter Spotlight: Keweenaw Alumni Chapter

Keweenaw Alumni Chapter Board
Keweenaw Alumni Chapter Board

The Keweenaw Alumni Chapter is one of our oldest Alumni Chapters, and—given their location—they are our go-to group when we need an extra set of hands. They help to calm the nerves at the Orientation parents social and reminisce about the good old days with our alumni returning to the Keweenaw for Reunion.

They support a scholarship fund for local Michigan Tech students and organize a variety of events—from the Winter Carnival All-Nighter Chili Run to the St. Urho's Day celebration at the KBC. This outstanding group of volunteers really does support our mission: Celebrating Traditions, Creating Connections.

You can find a list of our alumni events at www.mtu.edu/alumni as well as on our Michigan Tech Alumni Association Facebook Page.


"They Gave Their Lives in War That We Might Live in Peace"

ROTC students in front of the War Memorial Wall in the Memorial Union Building.
ROTC students in front of the War Memorial Wall in the Memorial Union Building.

In memory of the men and women who served our country in war and in peace and later died as a result of their service. We honor and remember their sacrifice.

It's the inscription on the Memorial Union Building's War Memorial Wall, and—thanks to a recent update to the wall—it carries more impact and meaning than ever before.

Michigan Tech's War Memorial Wall was built in 1952, naming those lost during both world wars and the Korean conflict. Last year, a Michigan Tech alumnus and Vietnam veteran proposed an update of the historic memorial to include alumni who gave their lives during the Vietnam War and subsequent conflicts. The project took shape, and volunteers began working to compare US Department of Defense casualty lists to Tech's student and alumni records.

On Veterans' Day 2014, a new companion wall was dedicated, listing thirteen students and alumni lost in Vietnam and Afghanistan. It's an important tribute to the fallen heroes of Michigan Tech, the men and women who gave their lives fighting for our country.

To view the names, visit the Alumni Association's virtual War Memorial Wall at www.mtu.edu/fallen-veterans.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 60 countries around the world. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our beautiful campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.