TechAlum News

August 23, 2004 (Vol. 11, No. 15)

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

     A couple items in last week's Daily Mining Gazette left me shaking my head and saying, "Only in da U.P."

     Take the man in Menominee County. Troopers made a traffic stop and the driver fled on foot. While waiting for backup, police were confronted by a man who claimed to own the land. He became belligerent and tried to run them over with a backhoe, hitting a parked vehicle in the process. He was arrested after a short standoff. It is not known if he was also the driver of the vehicle. It *is* known that he was intoxicated.

     Then there was the Hancock woman called to the police station with her juvenile son, who police wanted to question in a larceny investigation. Officers allege that, while leaving the station, the woman took a key ring with keys to the station and a squad car, then threw it out of her car window on the way home. Police recovered the key ring and, upon arresting the woman, allegedly discovered marijuana in her possession.

     These won't make the Darwin Awards, but they do leave you scratching your head, eh?

     Meanwhile, the freshmen have arrived for orientation week. The Resident Assistants (RAs) were here for their pre-orientation training last week. It was nice walking across campus and hearing groups of people shout "Good morning!" to one another. Athletics are starting, the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts has released another great schedule and downtown Houghton is hopping.  It sure is a nice time of year; once again, the campus becomes vibrant.

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

US NEWS RANKS TECH THIRD: Michigan Tech continues to be the third-ranked university in the state, according to US News and World Report. The magazine released its annual rankings on August 20. In addition, three of the university's undergraduate engineering programs ranked among the top 25 in the country. Environmental engineering ranked 16th, materials science and engineering was 18th, and mechanical engineering was 25th. More.

OUTER SPACE CAMP: Michigan Tech's Aerospace Enterprise team had the chance to test their nanosatellite in zero gravity this summer, thanks to a trip on a NASA jet. The team boarded a modified KC-135 at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Known as the Weightless Wonder, the aircraft climbed to 36,000 feet before going into a steep dive. For 30 seconds, until the plane leveled out at 22,000 feet, the five lucky team members chosen to participate experienced complete weightlessness.

BIG HOUSE BASH COMING: The NCAA Division II football attendance record of 67,143 will be on the line November 6, when Michigan Tech hosts Grand Valley State at the Bash at the Big House at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. Buy your tickets and merchandise now at

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

Around Town

WAL-MART CONTRACT AWARDED: Moyle Construction of Houghton was awarded the contract to expand the existing Wal-Mart building from 98,000 square feet to 198,000 square feet. The store will become a "supercenter," offering a bakery, deli, groceries and other items.

POWER OUT LAST WEEK: High winds caused two power outages in Houghton and the surrounding area last Wednesday afternoon and evening, leaving about 5,000 customers, plus all of Michigan Tech, without electricity for nearly seven hours. A tree on a transmission line near Tapiola caused the outages, according to officials with the Upper Peninsula Power Co.

COUNCIL LOOKS AT SMALL BIZ BUILDING: The Keweenaw Industrial Council is conducting a feasibility study on a 7,500-square foot building at the Houghton County Airpark designed for small businesses. The building, which would be called the KIC Business Development Center, would be located in the airpark’s tax-free renaissance zone. The building would be divided into three 2,500-square foot spaces available for lease or purchase.

Tech Sports

     If you would like a weekly dose of Tech sports details, sign up for the TechSports newsletter. If you didn't receive a copy this morning, then you aren't on the list. Send the following command to majordomo(at)

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What's Happening This Week
Monday, August 23, 2004
  Cross County (Women & Men) Practice Begins
Friday, August 27, 2004
  Women's Volleyball at AmericInn Labor Day Bash(Mankato, Minn.)      --vs. Central Washington, 1 p.m.
     --vs. Winona State, 7 p.m.
Saturday, August 28, 2004
  Football hosts Northern Michigan, 1 p.m., webcast
  Women's Volleyball at AmericInn Labor Day Bash (Mankato, Minn.)
--vs. Wisconsin-Parkside, 1 p.m.
     --at #19 MSU-Mankato, 9 p.m.
All Times are Eastern 

From the E-mailbag

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


I often read the comic strip  "FRAZZ," about a janitor in a middle school and his interaction with the students and faculty. This is a great strip, drawn in Michigan by Jef Mallet of Lansing. It's syndicated nationally.

In the August 9th strip, which I saw in the Detroit Free Press, the school principal is wearing what appears to be an "Michigan Tech" shirt.  After my previous comments about wearing Tech gear on all my airplane trips, I looked for a high quality on-line copy of this strip so I could print it for my office--but I couldn't find one. I emailed Jef and asked him how I could get a copy. Here's his response:

"I can send you a black and white copy, and all it takes is a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Send it to me at 3310 Colchester Road, Lansing, MI 48906. Thanks -- and go Huskies! --Jef"

E-mail from Anita (Elam) Uhlir (pixiesings(at)

I would really enjoy some pictures of the process of the update. I've seen the plan site and read the articles. If I could have traveled at reunion I would have personally checked it out. I lived in Wads 1976-78 - one of the re-pioneering women on ground floor. I enjoy the construction view of things. If you can't get pictures of the process, how about some before and after shots???? I bet the other dorm former residents would like those pictures for their former homes, too.

Thanks, Dean, for keeping a little Tech in my life.

E-mail from Alan Mitchell '66 (Alan.Mitchell(at)

Alums looking to read about the U.P. should go to their local library and pick up Robert Traver's book Anatomy of a Murder.  Then check your cable channels for the next showing of Otto Preminger's 1959 movie of the same name.  Traver (real name John Voelker) has other books too, including Trout Madness, that readers would enjoy.  I recently read The Sweater Letter (by a journalist whose name I can't recall) about a real murder case in the U.P. A significant part of the story (and the basis for the title) involves people in Chassell.  Thanks for the newsletter, Dean.  I enjoy your touch of the U.P. every week.

E-mail from Stacey Morrison (stacey.e.morrison(at)

Robert Traver in "Anatomy of a Murder," describes the UP very well.  It was made into a move and I have a copy of the video.  When I want to remind myself of Ishpeming and Big Bay, I play the video.  Robert Traver (not his real name) was a district attorney for Marquette County for awhile and then he became a defense lawyer after someone beat him in the election.  After this case, he was elected to district attorney again.  "Laughing Whitefish" is also a good one.  He also wrote "People vs. Kirk," but I don't think that one is set in the UP.  He has two other books about trout fishing.  One is called Trout Magic and the other is Trout Madness I believe.  His books are on

Cully Gage writes stories about the UP in his Northwoods series.  Barnes and Noble sells them on their website.  Cully Gage is the son of Dr. Van Riper who has a park named after him in Ishpeming. 

Da Yoopers have some books at "Da Tourist Trap" ( that are based on the UP.  When I used to read science fiction magazines there was a short story in one of them that used Michigan Tech as part of the backdrop.  I don't remember which story it was, but I thought it was cool that Michigan Tech was mentioned.  I think the author actually went to Tech.  One of these days I am going to have to write of my adventures in a camp for handicapped adults at Bay Cliff up in Big Bay.  Maybe when I retire.     

E-mail from Diane McKee (mckee(at)

Here are a couple of suggestions for those who like their mysteries with a U.P. flavor: A Superior Death, by Nevada Barr, and Ice Hunter, by Joseph Heywood (this is the first in a series).

E-mail from Richard Cottrell (rgcottrell(at)

Another excellent UP based mystery is A Superior Death by Nevada Barr.  It starts from Houghton, but takes place mostly on Isle Royale.  This of course is not news to you, as I believe it is this newsletter that pointed me toward her books a few years back.  I have now read several of her books, as I enjoy the tie in to the National Parks.

E-mail from Matt Cromie (matthew.a.cromie(at)


In response to several folks commenting on authors who set there stories in the UP one that I have found to be very entertaining is Joseph Heywood. He has written a series about a conservation officer named Grady Service that is very good. The titles are "Chasing a Blond Moon", "Ice Hunter", and "Blue Wolf in Green Fire".

I had a chance to meet and talk with Mr. Heywood a few years ago at a reading he did to promoted Blue Wolf in Green Fire. He is a very talented writer and truly does capture the feeling and the nature of the UP in his stories.

Please pass along his name and the titles of his books to the list. Keep up the good work we all enjoy your weekly stories of Tech.

E-mail from Ken Nickel (BIKWNICKEL(at)


I was pleased that you put my e-mail in regarding Steve Hamilton's novels.  I have received two e-mails mentioning other authors that cover the UP. One author was Joseph Heywood- the person that sent me that name said he includes the UP and it is more fantasy than mystery.  I have two books of his now and will check them out while I go on my vacation back to Colorado to see the grand kids.

This is an excerpt from one e-mail that I received:

"You might also check out my own offering which involves Tech grad students... A SUPERIOR STATE OF AFFAIRS. I have a webpage on my site devoted to it at with an introduction and the first three chapters on it.  Check it out! It's an adventure novel set in the near future. The ISBN number is 1418427624."

I don't know much about this one, will have to check when I get back from Colorado.

E-mail from Diane Henderson Messner (dianemessner(at)

A very interesting event happened this summer in Houghton.  In 1958 Phi Lambda Beta was chartered at Tech.  We were one of two sororities on campus and we were known for our outstanding performances during winter carnival with winning snow statues and skits,  and also for having the highest scholastic average of the Greeks ( there were two sororities and five fraternities!).  In 1980, Alpha Gamma Delta arrived on campus and Phi Lambda Beta was the link for that sorority.

I was the president in 1961-62, and after gathering with some of the sisters this past winter, we thought   it would be fun to get as many together as possible in Houghton during a special day in July. We did - and the result of that was that we are planning a real reunion next summer in conjunction with the all Tech reunion in August - however, we will gather several days before that one.

We were a very special group of women - small in  number at the time - I think there were all of 6 women in my graduating class in 1962.  Some of us have kept in touch all of these years and we are planning some fun things next year.  We have been in contact with the alumni office and we are planning to update the "Beta Phi Lambda" portion of the data base which had nothing in it and we will make sure that it is Phi Lambda Beta! I think it would be nice if there were something of this mentioned in the newsletter as there is a great following of it.  Anyway, the Phi Lams will be back!

TechAlum Subscriber Stats

We're at 6,955 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.

1954  Guenther Frankenstein frankenstein(at)

1957  James Bruin           jbfbbruin(at)

1961  Robert Zalobsky       jpzalobsky(at)

1968  Curt Wagner           cwagner1(at)

1969  Neal Barber           BARBERNSB(at)CS.COM

1969  Jerry Kahn            jdkahn(at)

1983  Arthur Bayuk          ajbayuk(at)

1984  James Sima            jrs7(at)

1988  Ann Guzdial           macguz2(at)

1989  Peter Lincoln         peterlincoln(at)

1996  Carla Gamet           cgamet(at)

1996  Matthew Strand        mattstrand(at)

1998  Joseph Stasiek        jtstasiek1(at)

1998  Deborah Taege         dataege(at)

1999  Aaron Green           aarongreen50(at)

2000  Steven Hartsock       shartsock(at)

2001  Bradley Bertocchi     blbertoc(at)

2003  Jonathan Tiefert      jonathan_tiefert(at)

2003  Kelly Gossiaux        klgossia(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.


28 -- Atlanta Chapter picnic at Newtown Park. Contact Mark Mueller (mark.Mueller(at) by August 20.


14 -- Keweenaw Chapter presents "Guatemala's active volcanoes," a presentation by Gregg Bluth, associate professor of geology. Contact Mike Drewyor (482-0535)


 9 -- Michigan Tech Homecoming vs. Wayne State


 6 -- Bash at the Big House, football vs. Grand Valley at Michigan stadium (

Job Opportunities This Week

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

  • Academic Advisor--Electrical and Computer Engineering

  • Research Engineer I--Civil and Environmental Engineering

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

  • Geotechnical Engineer

  • Cement Block Plant manager

  • Project Engineer

  • Quality Engineer

  • Senior Software Engineer

  • Engineering Technician

  • Associate Product Metallurgist

See you next week