TechAlum News

August 30, 2004 (Vol. 11, No. 16)

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

      I walked up to the elementary school this morning, with my school board hat on, to have breakfast with the teachers and staff. The school has a great view--you are looking out over the Portage to a high point near South Range.

     With the sun (briefly) shining on the trees, a distinct yellow tint was visible. Not a change of color, but certainly a hint of what will soon come. In fact, my family members have pointed out this week that some trees have begun to change. That can mean only one thing.

    Batten down the hatches. The TechAlum colorologist returns next week. In the past, he has spent summers at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, coloring their weather maps (you may have seen these on the Weather Channel. He spent this summer, though, visiting color highlights across the US: the Painted Desert, Yellowstone, the Red River valley, the Yellow Rose of Texas and the green green grass of home.

     I'm sure he will tell you all about it as the color season cranks up over the next month. (If you'd like a blast from the past -- 1999 -- go here:

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

MROZ SAYS "FOCUS" IS KEY: Now more than ever is the time for Michigan Tech to focus on its strengths, President Glenn Mroz told an audience of faculty, staff and students Tuesday at his second campus forum. "Tough times are why you have a strategic plan," Mroz said, noting that in good times, organizations are more likely to deviate from their course and make decisions that they later regret. "This is the time to stick to our strategic and tactical plans," he said. "To really be great, you have to prioritize and do what you do best." More

McGREW APPOINTED TO LEAD TECH FUND: Trent "Shea" McGrew has been named vice president of the Michigan Tech Fund, Ross Roeder, president of the Tech Fund Board of Trustees, has announced. McGrew, vice president for university relations at Capital University, in Ohio, will assume his responsibilities at Michigan Tech Oct. 18. At Capital University, McGrew has been responsible for marketing, development, alumni relations, public relations, publications and more since joining the institution in 1998.

ECE SEEKS ADVISOR: The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering has an opening for an academic advisor, with the primary responsibility of providing academic advising to undergraduate electrical and computer engineering majors. Qualifications: Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, computer engineering, or a related field. See the complete job description.

BASHING PEP BAND ALUMNI: Michigan Tech's fine arts department invites pep band alumni to loosen up the lips for the Bash at the Big House on November 6. There will be an alumni pep band and an alumni pep band section at the stadium and official Alumni Pep Band shirts. You'll find all the details here.

BASH AT THE BIG HOUSE UPDATE: Michigan Tech and Grand Valley State, the teams matched up to battle in the Bash at the Big House on November 6, both opened their 2004 campaigns with victories over rivals last Saturday (Aug. 28). Michigan Tech dominated Northern Michigan, 45-6, to claim the Miner's Cup trophy in front of an Michigan Tech-record crowd of 4,332 at Sherman Field. Number one-ranked GVSU took care of business with a 24-6 victory at Ferris State to claim the Anchor Bone Trophy.

Ticket sales for the Bash continue to go well, with nearly 20,000 sold for the event. Fans are encouraged to go to to purchase tickets and to get more information.

VOLLEYBASH ADDED: The Bash at the Big House has developed into an entire weekend of activity surrounding the football game. Michigan Tech is hosting a Michigan YES (Youth Engineering Science) Expo for high school students in Crisler Arena Saturday. The Michigan Tech basketball team is playing Michigan at Crisler Arena Sunday (Nov. 7) at 2 p.m. And, just last week, the volleyball teams at Michigan Tech and GVSU announced they are moving their Saturday, Nov. 6, match from GVSU's campus to Ann Arbor. "VolleyBash," as it has been termed, will be played at Pioneer High School following the football game at 5 p.m.

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

Around Town

RENTAL INSPECTION PROGRAM IN HIGH GEAR: Don O’Donnell is Houghton's new code enforcement officer, charged with inspecting all rental properties within the city limits for safety violations. The program was started in September 2003, with inspections begun in November. The city has an estimated 400 rental properties. City regulations require an inspection be done on every rental property. The code requires a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, a smoke alarm in each bedroom and one for each living area floor of a home, such as first- and second-floor hallways. One carbon monoxide detector for the house is also required.

From the E-mailbag

E-mail from Jim Rathbun '81 (jim.rathbun(at)

     Hi Dean,

     My wife and I just got back home after dropping-off  kid No. 2 at  Hoton Tech.  This one was kind of  special because we moved my son into the same room in  Coed/McNair that I moved into as a freshman 27 years  ago (my wife moved into Co-ed 26 years ago...).  Although a lot has changed... The name of the place(it  will always be Co-ed to me), Microwaves, Play  Stations, full size TV's (with more then just Channel  6!), laptops, desk tops, printers etc, etc...Much has  stayed the same, the rooms, the building, the  nervousness, the excitement and anticipation has not  changed.  

     I'm trying to lead a movement (so far I am the only  one) to change the floor name back to "Nads".  It's  Bastille now - I guess some changes are good...

     We also ran into another pair of  Co-ed alum -  they  were dropping off their son on the same floor!  It was  fun to see the circle of four Co-ed Hall residents  continue, we all have much to be proud of as alumni.

E-mail from Nancy Bach '76 (n.oconbach(at)

     Our teenagers did a raid on the "kids' closet" when we  visited my parents in Menominee recently. They came  home with a stack of 45's (Beatles and Bee Gees) that  they're trying to figure out how to play. The records  may be obsolete, but the 30-year old Michigan Tech T- shirts they found are now being worn to Charlotte  North Carolina schools. On the next visit we'll look  for the bookbag and slide rule....

E-mail from Dave Glaser '98 (dsglaser(at)


     I enjoy reading the TechAlum newsletter each week.  Upon reading the excerpt entitled OUTER SPACE CAMP in  the August 23rd issue, I noticed that the excerpt  called the KC-135 the "Weightless Wonder" because when it dives you become essentially weightless for about  30 seconds at a time.

     My father rode the plane once when he was in the Air  Force (actually, it was an older version, but the name  still sticks). At the time it was also (and still is)  affectionately known as the 'Vomit Comet'.

E-mail from David Trestain (datrestain(at)

     Weightless Wonder??!!  I thought the more colloquial  nickname involved the spontaneous release of bodily  fluids!

E-mail from Tom Bushey (tbushey(at)


     That story about the Hancock woman taking the police  station key ring made me think of the Andy Griffith  Show and how Andy kept the keys to the jail cell  hanging within reach of the cell. Does Hancock also  have a local version of Otis Campbell letting himself  into the cell to sleep it off?

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

     Good Morning Dean,

     I can recommend another UP-theme mystery author.  In  the 25 volume series of "The Cat Who ...." books by  Lilian Jackson Braun, Jim Qwilleran solves mysteries  with the help of his two cats Koko and Yum Yum.  The  location is Pickax, in Moose County, 400 miles north  of "Down Below", a thinly-disguised east-of-Marquette  area.  They are light and fun, particularly for cat- lovers.  As with any series, it's best to start at the beginning, "The Cat Who Could Read Backwards."

E-mail from Jamie Holden (jtholden(at)


     The comments about "Anatomy of a Murder" really struck  home.  As you might know, that movie was actually  filmed in Marquette, and the Marquette County  Courthouse was actually used for the trial scenes.  I  had the opportunity to tour that facility in the  summer of 1988, shortly after it had been restored,  and to call it magnificent is almost a criminal  understatement. I've had the privilege (or penance,  depending on your point of view) of appearing in  courts around the country, both state and federal, in  small towns and big cities.  I've also been in several  state supreme courts, as well as various appellate  venues.  I've yet to see a courtroom that is more judicial, or more elegant, than the one in Marquette  County.  If you haven't done so, you should stop and  visit on your next weekday trip to Menard's!

E-mail from Tom Winters (Thomas.Winters(at)

     Dean -  

     As a Yooper and Tech alumnus having to endure living  in the Ann Arbor area for 19 years so far, I have on  several occasions, jealously read of the many contributions by UoM to our nation's space  explorations.  In the several articles written in the  Ann Arbor News concerning the UoM aerospace program, I have never heard the NASA KC-135 referred to as the  "Weightless Wonder". Usually the UoM students have  dubbed it the "Vomit Comet" as has several TV programs  on TLC and the Discovery Channel.  Perhaps our Michigan Tech  students have more intestinal fortitude. I am very  happy to see that Michigan Tech is making such an important  contribution to our space exploration effort.

     On the topic of good novels and mystery stories about  the U.P. One that I just recently finished reading is  "The Sweater Letter" a True Crime story by Dave Distel with Lynn Distel.  It's about a murder that took place  during the firearm deer season in 1992 just outside  Ontonagon.  Much of the story also takes place from  Marquette to Hancock as well. Here is a web site  maintained by the authors:

E-mail from Robert Makolin (rink-rat(at)

     The Sweater Letter was written by Dave Distel with  help from his wife Lynn. They're living in Ontonagan.  We met them in a bar in Fond du Lac after a book  signing in Milwaukee. Nice people. The book can be  ordered by calling (877) 823-9235 or at Also, Dave's e-mail addy is  davedistel(at)  

TechAlum Subscriber Stats

We're at 6,979 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.

1958  Robert Bentley           bentleybc(at)
1966  Robert Piersma           bobandnel(at)
1969  Terry Dupuis             terry.dupuis(at)
1976  Thomas Greyerbiehl       tgreyerbiehl(at)
1976  John Helge               jhelge(at)
1976  Thomas Greyerbiehl       tgreyerbiehl(at)
1978  Alan Dietrich            ald_cmd(at)
1979  Vicki Betts (Mills)      vicki.betts(at)
1986  Thomas Cotter            tmcotter(at)
1990  Caryn Sugden (Turrel)    cy1229(at)
1993  Karla Korpela            kokorpela(at)
1994  Ricky DeVisch            hobbsofmi(at)
1994  Suzanne Lundwall (Reamer) suzanne.reamer(at)
1997  Gary Johnson, P.E.       gjohnson(at)
1998  Vaughn Gerber            vrg122(at)
1999  David Claus              dandl_claus(at)
2000  Lin Ye                   yelin66(at)
2000  Caleb Emmes              Caleb_Emmes(at)
2002  Jeffrey Oosterhouse      joosterhouse(at)
2003  Candice Humphrey-Licht   candicehumphrey(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.


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

  • Asst. Professor--Dept of Education

  • Alumni Outreach Coordinator--Alumni Relations

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

  • Metallurgical Engineer

  • Public Works Civil Engineer

  • Structural Department Mgr.

  • Electrical Engineer

  • Transportation Engineer

  • Tax Manager--Mining

  • Product Engineer (ME)

  • Project Manager

  • Software Apps. Engineer

  • Systems Engineer

See you next week