TechAlum News

October 4, 2004 (Vol. 11, No. 21)

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

     We had our first bit-o-snow in the wee hours this morning and temperatures bottomed out at 33F about 8 am. Neighborhood roofs boasted a thin coating of white stuff at sunrise. Anyone coming up for Career Day (which is Wednesday) needn't fret--after today's high in the mid-40s, temps are expected to rebound to the 60s the rest of the week.

     We've seen road rage and Highly Ineffective Habits of Freeway Drivers invade the area the last couple of weeks, as MDOT completes a rebuilding of the southern approach to the lift bridge.

     Lane closures have brought out the worst in some drivers. Most take the sensible and polite approach of forming one lane of traffic well ahead of the barriers. You will remember, after all, that this is a place where drivers with the right-of-way will stop and wave you through the intersection. Confusing, sometimes, but heart-warming nonetheless.

     But there are always a few--and you know who you are--that use the disappearing lane to race past the line, then flip on the turn signal and play the popular game, "I'm merging whether there is room or not." Locals, of course, blame the students. If that is the case, Michigan Tech has a lot more non-traditional students than I thought.

     So far, I haven't seen any fender benders, although I did see traffic piling up behind a truck pulling half of a manufactured home. From my bicycle seat vantage point, it appeared that the roof peak was about two inches taller than the clearance under the "Hancock, Left Lane" sign.

     On Wednesday, west Hancock residents were reporting a 40-minute travel time for the three-mile drive from campus. While that may seem a short commute for you city slickers, from door-to-door the trip to Hancock usually takes 10 minutes, and that includes a stop to buy a newspaper from the box in front of the Kaleva.

     Let's use some creative statistics to put this in perspective. Wednesday's trip to Hancock took four times the usual drive time. For Metro Detroiters who typically commute an hour, this equates to stretching your trip to four hours. Try explaining *that* to your boss when you roll in around lunch time.

COLOROLOGIST REPORT: The Colorologist continues to monitor this odd season, saying color comprises 57.3 percent on those deciduous darlings to the leaf peepers. The colors have been muted, making the prognostications more difficult, but he believes color will peak next weekend.

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

DOW FOUNDATION PROVIDES EXPO GIFT: Michigan Tech has received a $100,000 grant from the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation to help fund the upcoming Michigan YES Expo (Youth Engineering and Science). Michigan Tech is sponsoring the YES Expo, which will allow an estimated 20,000 high school and middle school students to learn about careers in science and engineering. The expo will take place Saturday, November 6, 2004 at the Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor. More:

FACULTY VOTE TO UNIONIZE: Faculty at Michigan Tech have voted to affiliate with the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). The AAUP will represent tenured and tenure-track faculty in collective bargaining with the university. The vote was 152 yes and 134 no to affiliate with the AAUP. More:

TECH PLAYS KEY ROLE IN SEQUENCING GENOME: A team of Michigan Tech researchers has played a key role in an international effort to sequence the first tree genome. Chung-Jui Tsai, director of the Biotech Research Center and an associate professor of forest resources and environmental science, led the Michigan Tech effort. Several universities and national labs participated in mapping the Populus trichocarpa genome. The lead members of this international consortium are the U.S. Department of Energy, Genome Canada and the Umea Plant Science Centre in Sweden. More:

TECH PROF EARNS YOUNG SCIENTIST AWARD: Assistant Professor Seth Donahue (Biomedical Engineering) was honored with the American Society of Biomechanics Postdoctoral Young Scientist Award for his work with black bear bones and their relationship to osteoporosis. More:

STUDENT EARNS PRIZE WITH MICROSCOPE IMAGE: Michigan Tech student Dale Anderson took first place in the Microscopy Images Competition for his image of a snowflake. He saw the image while using a single-beam atomic force microscope as part of his senior design project. The image is actually a substrate contaminated by a minute quantity of lead. For more, and to view the image:

WIN A TRIP TO THE BASH: The Keweenaw alumni chapter is sponsoring a Bash at the Big House raffle. First prize includes charter bus travel for two from Houghton to Ann Arbor, lodging, two tickets to the game and two Bash T-shirts. Second prize includes game tickets and the third and fourth prizes are Bash t-shirts. Only 200 tickets are being sold. The $5 tickets are available by contacting Steph Olsson at 487-2400 or sbolsson(at)

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

Around Town

92-YEAR-OLD ATTACKED AT WALMART: A 92-year-old Houghton man was slashed with a knife last Tuesday afternoon in the Houghton WalMart parking lot. Paul David Moilanen of Calumet has allegedly confessed to the crime. Moilanen was also allegedly involved in a fight Tuesday evening at Shute's Bar in Calumet, where he was arrested. In the WalMart incident, police allege Moilanen slashed Arnold Landstrom in the throat after the victim refused to give up his wallet. Landstrom spent a couple of days in the hospital, but is OK.

BRIDGE WORK ALMOST COMPLETE: Long lines of traffic, sometimes stretching from the lift bridge back to the Michigan Tech campus, should come to an end this week. The Michigan Department of Transportation expects to complete its highway rebuilding at the south end of the bridge this week.

ONE-ROOM SCHOOL RECEIVES BROADBAND: Thanks for a $10,000 grant from the Michigan Broadband Authority, the one-room Copper Harbor school now has high-speed Internet access. The grant allowed to put a generator on Brockway Mountain and provide its wireless service to Copper Harbor and Eagle Harbor.

COUNTY FACES LAYOFFS: Three county employees will be laid off due to budget cuts by the Houghton County Board of Commissioners. Even with the layoffs, the county will balance its $7.2 million budget with about $50,800 from its fund equity.

From the E-mailbag

E-mail from Gary Tunstall (garyt(at)

Greetings Dean,

I just wanted all of your subscribers to know about
gigs downstate this fall.

I'm making two quick trips down to lower Mich. this
fall to play. The first is this next weekend. I'll be
performing at Oade's Bar and Grill in Lansing on
Friday Oct 8th. Info can be found at my web
site (

Also for those who haven't heard I'll be in Ann Arbor
for Bash at the Big House.

I'll be performing at the Michigan Tech Alumni Tailgate Party
before the game in the big tent at U of M golf course
across (kind of towards Crisler arena) from the
stadium. Party starts at 8 am; I start at around 10
am. All ticket holders and friends are welcome.

I'll also be doing a show that evening at Mitch's
Place at 1301 S. University just blocks from the game.
This is not a huge place (around 250 capacity) so
folks might want to get there early. Show time is

Thanks Dean and keep those skis waxed. Snow is just
around the corner. Time to get my boats out of the

E-mail from Brett Crawford (Crawford.Brett(at)


I'm sure the Colorologist knows all of this but for
those leaf laymen out there this is a good site
describing why leaves change color.

Thanks for the great newsletter.

E-mail from Brian Kolak (Brian.Kolak(at)


As many others have stated in past e-mails, the
TechAlum newsletter is eagerly looked forward to each
week. Thank-you.

FYI. I was browsing the net gathering information
regarding Mt. St. Helens and all the volcanic activity
this last week and came across this page
There is a link to the Michigan Tech Volcanoes page on it.
Thought others might be interested.

It won't be long now ...and you and your skis can be
one again!

E-mail from Chuck Matrosic (Charles_Matrosic(at)

Re "Dorkwear:" When she was a teen, my daughter used
to yell as I left the house "Dad!!!! - you aren't
going out looking like that, are you?"

Some things never change.

E-mail from Sandy Easley '84 (Sandy.Easley(at)

Dean -

Speaking of Dork attire, the birthday card that I got
for my son this year (he is 22) simply says "Happy
Birthday - you are one year closer to dressing like
dad". Kinda says it all, doesn't it?

Keep up the excellent work!

E-mail from Marty Oldford (MSOldford(at)


Spandex, helmets and loud jerseys may be "dorkware" to
some but try riding 25 miles in khaki shorts and a
cotton tee shirt. Standing out with heavy traffic
zooming by your left elbow also makes a lot of sense
in my book. Keep cycling for a healthier life.

E-mail from Chris Pritchard '78 (chris_pritchard(at)

Your biking stories hit close to home. Since taking up
mountain biking out west about 10 years ago I have
become a "skin donor", "soil sampler" and "tree
hugger" - all of which are not my usual life choices.
Is interesting to note the hill south of Green River,
WY that I toil up has an elevation change of 1100 ft -
more than the highest to lowest point in Michigan.
Quincy hill is a mere bump. I remind myself of this
fact questioning my sanity most of the time while
doing this ride. Unfortunately it is 25 miles to work
with some nasty hills in between or I would be biking
there also. Oh, let's not forget to mention the
Wyoming wind! Thanks for your humorous notes.

I remember mining Professor Rudy Greuer rode his bike
to school. He lived just two blocks uphill from campus
towards the forestry building so the ride down was
quick and parking convenient. But, he had to walk the
bike AND himself back home as the old three-speed just
didn't quite have the necessary gearing.

E-mail from Barbara Schwaderer (BASchw(at)


My son used to whine and fuss on long bike trips from
the pain of the seat. We finally got him a men's
Liberator bike seat from Terry (
and the complaining stopped. He's 16 now, and none of
us can keep up with him -- though my husband sure
tries. He has a full selection of colorful
"dorkwear" -- looks pretty good on kid who swims
several thousand yards each day.

I recently discovered that a sun visor on a helmet can
protect one from more than the sun. While we were on
vacation in Ottawa and enjoying the extensive bike
trails, I fell. The visor is what kept my face from
being smashed into the ground. Unfortunately, there
wasn't anything to protect my right hand from getting
broken and dislocated. Perhaps I need those training
wheels, too. Now I'm watching this beautiful September
weather go by, and I can't get on my bike.

Enjoy your rides.

E-mail from Soren Barr '97 (SBarr(at)


In response to Mike Benson's email, I'd like to add
that Chuck Hoyer, who owns Grandma's Pasties with his
wife Sandy, is actually a Tech grad, as well.

TechAlum Subscriber Stats

We're at 7,029 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.

1968 John Marshall johnm(at)
1975 David Buck djbuck4(at)
1976 Brian Lindroth bjlindroth(at)
1984 Scott Andrzejews wstrees2(at)
1985 Linda Britton (Petrovich) labritto(at)
1987 Robert Crump bob(at)
1989 Thomas Sturos tjsturos(at)
1991 John Uhrie jluperu(at)
1991 Robert Starbowski robnalicia(at)
1993 Kathryn Marklevitz (Holappa) jmarco(at)
1995 Anthony Senger senger.t(at)
1996 Cathy Tillman (Groth) Cathy.Tillman(at)
1998 John Kriz john_kriz(at)
1998 Ryan VanAuker rjv342(at)
2000 Amy Pelletier (Mesko) amymesko1(at)
2003 Jeremy Gagnon jgagnon(at)
2003 David Labyak David_Labyak(at)
2003 Chad Finkbeiner cafinkbe(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.


9 -- Michigan Tech Homecoming vs. Wayne State

23 -- Maryland/DC Alumni Chapter 2004 Pasty Picnic. More: or contact Pat Kilroy at pat(at) RSVP by Oct. 9

23 -- West Michigan Chapter Michigan Tech vs. Ferris State football in Big Rapids. For more information, see Contact Mike Dejonge at Michael.dejonge(at) RSVP by Oct. 15

23 -- Chicago Chapter Michigan Tech vs. Wisconsin in hockey at the
Kohl Center in Madison. See
Contact Jill Meister (jill.meister(at) Deadline October 15.


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

20 -- Michigan Tech at Colorado College hockey and alumni event.


29-30 Great Lakes Invitational hockey and alumni event
(Michigan Tech vs. Michigan on the 29th at 4:30).


8 Michigan Tech at Denver hockey and alumni event.
18 Michigan Tech vs. Notre Dame hockey and alumni event at Green Bay Resch Center.
22 Michigan Tech at Minnesota hockey and alumni event.

5 Michigan Tech at Grand Valley basketball and alumni event.
9-13 Winter Carnival
26 Michigan Tech at Alaska-Anchorage hockey and alumni event.

Job Opportunities This Week

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

  • Admissions Representative/Multicultural Recruitment--Admissions Office (position based in Detroit area)
  • Head of Technical Services--J.R. Van Pelt Library
  • System Administrator--Biological Sciences Department
  • Assistant Professor--Chemistry Department
  • Web Services Librarian--J. R. Van Pelt Library

OFF CAMPUS: For off-campus positions, visit the alumni section of the career center's web site (

  • Electrical engineer
  • Mechanical engineer
  • Structural engineer
  • GeoTechnical engineer
  • Transportation engineer
  • Research Chemist
  • Marketing Database, Training and Organizational Development Manager

See you next week