TechAlum News

July 6, 2004 (Vol. 11, No. 9)

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An award-winning weekly electronic newsletter for alumni and friends of Michigan Technological University. Written and distributed by Dean Woodbeck '78, Director of News and Information Services.

In this issue:

  • Husky Tales
  • At da Tech
  • Around Town
  • From the E-mailbag
  • E-mail Updates/Welcome to new subscribers
  • Alumni Chapter Events
  • Job Opportunities
  • Electronic Services for Alumni

Husqi Tales

What's a Fourth of July without ski hats and winter jackets?

We had a cool and rainy Fourth so instead of boating or hiking at the Porkies or picnicking, we cleaned the basement. In honor of the weather, I gave the cross-country skis their last wax job of the season (seriously--although this summer storage procedure was something I should have done in May).

Family traditions continued, including grilling (in sweatshirts), watching a James Bond movie (wrapped in blankets) and enjoying sparklers. The sparklers even produced different colors--the traditional patriotic red, green and blue.

By the time it was dark enough to light 'em up, I felt like I had walked into a Sherlock Holmes novel. The front porch thermometer read 42 degrees, a light mist had started and the fog was rolling in off Portage moor.

While I continued to wear the shorts I had worn all day (to spite the weather), I donned a hooded sweatshirt before we stepped outside. Laura had on jeans, sweatshirt and jacket. Jan put on her winter jacket. Jay had his ski hat on, along with his headlamp (ideal for seeing to light the matches).

As we prepared the grand finale, building towers out of sparklers and mini-bonfires out of the boxes, a steady rain began to fall. I started humming Stars and Stripes Forever. Then we high-tailed it inside for some nice hot showers.

ALUMNI BULLETIN BOARD: Remember the alumni bulletin board for you to use for discussions related to this newsletter, Tech sports, or anything else:

At Da Tech

"BASH" MERCHANDISE AVAILABLE: Bash at the Big House t-shirts and sweatshirts are now available online at The event is a football game between Tech and Grand Valley, November 6, in Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. Organizers hope to break the NCAA Division II football attendance record of 61,143. More than 12,000 tickets have already been sold.
November 6 will also feature the Michigan YES (Youth Engineering Science) Expo, an event in the adjacent Crisler Arena that will expose those in grades 8 through 12 to the interesting careers and outcomes of a science, engineering, and technology based education.

TECH FOURTH AT FUTURETRUCK: Michigan Tech finished its final FutureTruck in the money, coming in fourth in a field of 15 schools hand-picked for the prestigious national engineering competition. "We ran solid in every area," said the team's advisor, Associate Professor John Beard (MEEM). "Everything we did, we did well." In addition to the fourth-place prize of $3,000, the team earned two $500 awards for finishing third in both the Delphi Advanced Powertrain Controls and the Math Works Modeling competitions. More.

FOR MORE INFORMATION from Tech, see the weekly newsletter
Tech Topics:

Around Town

UNWANTED PLANT DISCOVERED IN BOOTJACK: An invasive plant that has the potential to cause severe burns has been found in Houghton County. Giant Hogweed is on the US Department of Agriculture’s noxious weed list. The majestic looking plant, which can grow as tall as 14 feet, closely resembles Queen Anne’s lace. Contact with the plant's sap can cause skin burns.

SKEETERS COOL DOWN: While higher spring rainfall totals may have contributed to a strong breeding environment for mosquitoes, cooler temperatures and subsequent low rain amounts have kept them at bay. The usual summer mosquito explosion has been mitigated somewhat by a cooler-than-normal summer.

From the E-mailbag

E-mail from Mike Anleitner '72 (m.anleitner.68(at)


My wife (Carol Couture) and I (both '72) enjoy the
weekly newsletter greatly. And, while I find the
reminiscing great fun, I've come across something that
I think the alumni can do that will be both fun and a
great benefit to Tech.

I travel a great deal, and, for the past year or so, I
always try to wear an Michigan Tech shirt--especially when I'm
flying. The fun part comes from everyone who
recognizes Tech. Some are alumni, some are Yoopers,
and nearly all of them are immensely proud of the
fact. It's a great conversation starter. In fact, just
last week, I was approached on a flight from Los
Angeles to Detroit by a guy from Iron Mountain. And,
believe if or not, I then sat next to another guy from
Iron Mountain (yes) from Detroit to Nashville. We
loved talking about UP weather and life in the north
in general.

The second thing this does is provide great PR for
Tech. Most people don't know how good Tech is, and
the shirt is a great way to bring this into the
conversation wherever I go. It's also interesting to
see how many people just see "Michigan" and assume
it's an Ann Arbor thing (I went there for grad school,
but that's another email to another address). I love
to catch them on that one and tell them how good Michigan Tech
really is.

For those outside of Michigan, Wisconsin, and
Minnesota, there's very little awareness of Tech.
Building this awareness brings all of us some real
benefits. First, increasing out-state enrollment can't
be a bad thing, and, truthfully, Tech is still cheap
(even with non-resident tuition) compared to private
engineering schools, especially on the east coast.
Second, building Tech's reputation enhances ALL of our

So, let me suggest that all of you out there might
want to try wearing something from Tech on your next
flight. (University Images will also appreciate the
business, I'm sure!)

E-mail from Jenn (Kosacheff) Ridley '86 (jenn.ridley(at)

Kurt Westphal wrote

> 1) I was one of the student tour guides during my
> Junior and Senior years. I actually spent my senior
> summer of '85 as the lone tour guide on campus
> covering the twice daily walks through campus and
> stuffing envelopes with information about Michigan
> Tech's various programs for students around the state
> and country. Giving tours to the high school
> students and their families was a lot of fun and gave
> me an appreciation for Michigan Tech.

I probably worked with Kurt. I was a student tour
guide from fall 1983 to spring 1987 (sophomore through
first year grad school), and worked the summer of 1984
in the admissions office as tour guide/envelope
stuffer/generally useful student employee. I also gave
campus tours for MTSF during freshman orientation. I
really enjoyed giving the year I had a
friend in West Wads who was willing to let me stop by
his room and show a 'typical' dorm room.

On a number of occasions, I had a first year student
come up to me in the band room or at a club meeting
and say "you were my tour guide". (I also remember
being late for a couple of exams as an afternoon tour
would run over. (never failed...the one time a month
I'd have a tour run long would be the same day that I
had an exam.) Fortunately I had an understanding

E-mail from Gail Richter '61 (richter2(at)

Dean wrote:

> At times, the space between trees is just a little
> wider than the width of the handlebars. The bike will
> follow your eyes, I'm told; the key is to keep your
> eyes focused forward.

Hi Dean,

I hate trying to get through those narrow spaces with
a bike. I invariably wobble when I get to them even
thought I know that I will fit through. So lately
I've given up trying & just walk my bike through. It's
what we always called in skiing a "psychological
barrier." Same with the eyes. In a whitewater
canoeing class that I took a few years ago in a rock
garden area of the Wolf River, the instructor told us
to look at the path we want to take, not the rocks.
"If you look at the rock, you'll hit the rock" he
said. Too true! Then there are the ones you don't

E-mail from Erik Garland '93 (egarland(at)


I can sympathize with you 100 percent. Having started
my mountain bike riding during my time at Michigan Tech (about
1991 or so), I have since ridden over a dozen trails
in Michigan and just recently some in Colorado. And
those types of things happen all of the time, to
experienced and inexperienced riders. I am not a big
fan of "man-made" obstacles for mountain biking...
leave those to the "trials" type where balance and
very slow speeds are the virtue. The winding, tree
lined trails with ups and downs as nature provided is
the best. And Michigan Tech as I recall from back then had a
great trail system at that time. Good luck with your
riding and be safe. If I ever make it back up there,
I will look you up for some riding.

E-mail from Paul Duvendack '93 (paul.t.duvendack(at)


We had an ideal route for mountain biking. We started
by putting our bikes in a pick up truck and going up
to South Range and meeting at the Cozy Corner. We had
heard that Barley and hops were good for our muscles,
so we started with a quick round.

By starting our trek in South Range, and ending in
Houghton, the path was generally down hill. This saved
a great deal of unnecessary effort exerted by biking
up the hills. We had plotted a course of trails that
eventually led us to the Tech Trails, where we would
end our ride at the Sig Ep house. After a couple of
Keystones from the pop machine (Keystone was the beer
in a can that tastes like it came from a bottle), we'd
get some brothers to take us back to the Cozy Corner
to finish out the afternoon.

E-mail from Marty Oldford '64 (MSOldford(at)


Keeping the helmet on your noggin when biking is a
Really smart idea. A wayward pickup ran me off the
road into a barbed wire fence recently and my helmet
saved the day. Racing through trees sounds like a
young man's game. Maybe you need a road bike or at
least one of those face guards.

E-mail from Jim Mitchell '65 (jmitchell(at)

Dean, sad to see the White House burn down!
Fortunately, the fire can't take the good memories
with it.

E-mail from Larry Doyle '64 (larry.j.doyle(at)

Hi Dean,

Mohawk's White House Inn brings warm memories of beer
and good dance bands. Reading of the blaze that
destroyed it reinforces a feeling I've had for years.
For the sparse population of the Copper Country, the
area has more than its share of fires destroying
historical/memorable buildings. What is it that
results in such tragedy? During my Tech days in the
early 1960's there were rumors of a teenage gang whose
initiation required the torching of a building. It may
have been an urban legend, but building were lost, as
I remember, about once a year.

Dean sez: Given the age and dilapidated nature of some of these structures, I can't say I've been surprised when there is a fire. However, the Gundlach building loss and the small fire at the Harbor Haus were allegedly arson (someone is in custody).

TechAlum Subscriber Stats

We're at 6,967 subscribers.

Here are the new e-mail addresses from the past week. Please note, we are
using the word "at" instead of the at sign to guard against spambots.

1974 Edward Evans edevans(at)
1981 Karin Kasper (Lind) karinmk1959(at)
1990 Stephen Telehowski sgt2(at)
1992 Dennis Decator dclan4(at)
1994 Robert Claus claus15(at)
1996 Steve Haarstad steve.haarstad(at)
1997 Robert Larsen larsenrl(at)
1998 Jason Reichel jdarius10(at)
2001 Richard Noffke noffke008(at)
2002 Gavin Hanover netmunky(at)
2003 Lyle Lash III lylelash(at)

You can update your information at:

Alumni Association Programs

CHAPTER EVENTS: For more information on alumni chapter events,
e-mail mtu_alumni at or see the alumni chapter site on the web.


16 -- Mid-Michigan Golf Outing -- Sawmill Golf Club
Contact the alumni office (906-487-2400 or

31 -- West Michigan Chapter -- Whitecaps Baseball Outing
and BBQ Picnic, Fifth Third Park. Contact John
Gutierrez (techies(at)

5 -7 -- Alumni Reunion--Houghton

Job Opportunities This Week

ON CAMPUS: Complete job descriptions for these positions are available by e-mailing jobs at

OFF CAMPUS: For complete descriptions, jump to our jobs web site.

  • Clinical Trials Manager
  • Electronic Engineer
  • Production Control Manager
  • Test Engineer--Brakes
  • Power Engineer
  • Entry-level Engineer/Geologist
  • Microwave Engineer
  • Senior Project Manager
  • Staff Level Engineer/Geologist
  • Product Manager
  • Quality Manager
  • Detailer (ME)

See you next week

TechAlum is a weekly electronic newsletter published by the Michigan Tech Alumni Association. For more information, contact Dean Woodbeck at techalum at