I believe I was the first (and maybe the only woman to attend Michigan Tech (Alberta campus) in Diesel Mechanics. I had 3 years toward a BA, but my husband was laid off as a police officer in Detroit and always dreamed of being a Forester, so to MTU we came (Ed Kuprel, Forest Technology Class of 78). Always ready to learn more and having a background in mechanics, I applied to be a "Diesel Dork". The main campus lost my application not once, but twice. I persevered and was, at last, accepted. Although there were women foresters, I was the first women in the diesel program. They complained about the big expense to have me, but the only thing they had to do was put a lock on the men’s room so they would not walk in on me. The teachers, Maki and Haaru, were amazed. They never had all the students actually study as the guys hated when I beat them on tests. They used my small hands & fingers to grab bolts, washers, etc out of tight places. They even would tip me upside down to reach down into engines to retrieve parts wedged. I was tool partners with the only other “minority”, Manuel Carezales, perhaps the first Mexican in the diesel program. The worst part of the program was the service calls we made to revive cars in the UP frigid temperatures. Wear gloves and have warm hands or no gloves and feel what you were doing…..until your fingers froze. Warm memories of the Alberta campus and working at the Kaliva Café and Holiday Gas Station. Hilltop cinnamon buns another lasting memory.
Charlene Kuprel ’78