TechAlum News

October 18, 2004 (Vol. 11, No. 23)

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

Random thoughts on a quick trip to lower Michigan last week:

Even with the cruise control set on 65, it is still a long way from Houghton to St. Ignace. (And if there are any state police officers listening in, my car performs best--and gets the best gas mileage--precisely at 65 mph. So there.)

I saw a few Huskies license plates on I-75 and I-96. I tooted the horn, but unless they saw my Michigan Tech sweatshirt, the drivers probably thought I was just another addled driver with a road-raged brain.

Gaylord has a Home Depot. Think about that. When I was a Tech student (yes, I know, several US presidents ago), McDonald's was Gaylord's only draw, and then only because it was at the lunchtime point on the trip from Detroit. I'm not sure there was more than one gas station (Gaylordites: no mail, please. That's a joke).

You can pick up a ton of AM radio stations at night between Newberry and Hancock. Some of them even come in clearly. I played a little game when a station came in strong. I would listen until I found out where it was from, then went to the next frequency.

I heard a call-in computer troubleshooting show from Wheeling, West Virginia. I listened in on the latest woes in Philadelphia on NewsRadio 1060. I picked up some sort of melodic rap in French on 860. I don't understand French, much to the chagrin of the French teacher who put up with me for three years in high school. However, I kept hearing the announcer say "Churchill Fall," which, it turns out, is in Labrador and, when Googled, tells you it is home to the largest underground powerhouse in the world. I heard from Rochester (NY), Louisville, Minneapolis, Chicago, and (of course) from the Great Voice of the Great Lakes--WJR in Detroit.

Tiring of this game (and a little concerned about messing with the dome light and a pad of paper while driving in the dark), I settled on WMVP--ESPN Radio in Chicago--and Game 7 of the American League championship series.

Even though I understand the physics of how this happens, I'm still amazed when my little car AM radio can be in touch with half of North America, simultaneously.

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

SEVEN TO JOIN SPORTS HALL OF FAME: Michigan Tech will induct seven new members into its Sports Hall of Fame Saturday. The group includes men's tennis star and former Tech women's and men's coach John Christianson; football and boxing standout Bob Collins; cross country, basketball, and track star Dr. Kristen Crouch (Brown); former faculty representative for athletics K. Ross Johnson; hockey standouts Gordon McRae and Ray Puro; and longtime Huskies supporter Howard Zollinger. Official induction ceremonies will take place at the Best Western Franklin Square Inn in downtown Houghton Saturday at 5 p.m.

You can see full bios of each inductee at

IRISH RELEASES CD: Mike Irish, Michigan Tech professor and director of jazz studies, has released "Northern Standard Time," highlighting his solo jazz guitar talents. Irish, a 1974 forestry grad, returned to Tech in 1991 and developed a thriving jazz program at the university.

BIOTECH RESEARCHERS RECEIVE $2.1 MILLION: Michigan Tech researchers have been awarded a $2.1 million grant to study a critical mechanism for trees' survival that may also stunt their growth. With the backing of a Plant Genome Research grant from the National Science Foundation, a team of researchers led by Associate Professor Chung-Jui Tsai (School of Forestry and Environmental Science) will investigate the genetic underpinnings of phenolic glycoside production and how it relates to plant growth.

FOOTBALL 8-0; BASH UPDATE: Another week brings Michigan Tech within 13 days of the Bash at the Big House. Eighth-ranked Michigan Tech will host #10 Grand Valley State on November 6 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor in "The Bash at the Big House." The game, which will be the regular season finale for both teams, will attempt to break the NCAA Division II attendance record of 61,143.

     The Huskies are 8-0, #1 in the region and one of only seven teams in the country still unbeaten. Grand Valley State still has hopes of a playoff berth although it dropped a 35-14 decision to #18 Northwood last Saturday (Oct. 23).  The Lakers are the two-time defending national champions. GVSU will travel to play at Northern Michigan Saturday (Oct. 30). Visit for tickets or more information.

BUETTNER NATIONAL PRE-SEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Forward Josh Buettner (Shawano, Wis.) of the Michigan Tech men's basketball team has been selected as the National Preseason Player of the Year by Division II Bulletin in the publication's annual season preview issue released this week. The 6-9 Huskies senior was chosen ahead of more than roughly 4,000 men’s basketball players in NCAA Division II. Buettner averaged 22.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game a year ago in helping Tech to a 22-8 overall record. He was a first-team All-American last season.

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

Around Town

ARSONIST RECEIVES FIVE YEARS: The man convicted of setting the fire that destroyed the Gundlach Construction building on the Houghton waterfront will serve at least five years in prison for the crime. Jeffrey Todd Abramson, 39, was sentenced to five-to-20 years and five-to-10 years for two counts of arson, to be served concurrently. He also pleaded guilty to setting a fire at the Harbor Haus in Copper Harbor, which was contained to a bathroom by firefighters.

TOWNSHIP WRESTLES WITH SANITATION ISSUES: Franklin Township continues to wait for funding to become available to eliminate sewer contamination problems at a number of locations on Quincy Hill. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has requested that the township clean up areas of Quincy Hill that had been contaminated with sewage and other waste. The township is looking into connecting to the sewer system that serves Houghton and Hancock, as well as an option of building its own treatment facility.

TOWNSHIP BUILDS LAKE SUPERIOR CAMPGROUND: Construction began Tuesday on a new 14-site rustic campground in Schoolcraft Township just south of the existing township day-use park. The campground is on the Keweenaw's eastern coast. The projected opening date is July 2005. Phase II is tentatively slated for 2006, but is not yet funded. The site will include a campfire ring and picnic table for each campsite, a hand-pumped well, and a vault toilet restroom building.

HANCOCK PHARMACY CLOSED: The Medicine Shoppe in Hancock will be closed indefinitely after the Michigan Department of Community Health summarily suspended its pharmacy license. The suspension is a result of audits of controlled substances that revealed significant shortages of OxyContin, Percocet and Percodan, and the Medicine Shoppe's failure to report to the MDCH the loss of those substances as required by the Public Health Code. Oxycontin, Percocet and Percodan are all highly addictive painkillers.

SNOWMOBILE TRAIL REOPENS: The snowmobile trail adjacent to the Quincy smelter site in Ripley will officially reopen Dec. 1. The DNR closed the trail in July when asbestos was discovered in buildings at the nearby Quincy Smelting Works. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency subsequently built a 7-foot fence around the site, blocking the dirt trail to all-terrain vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. The DNR said the snow-covered trail posed no health threat.

From the E-mailbag

E-mail from Chris Otis (Chris.Otis(at)

Nice story about boating, however one of Tech's old EE
professors, a certain Dr. Jones, did it better on
attempting to launch is boat into the Portage. He told
the story of backing boat and trailer down the ramp
and then getting out of the car to untie the boat from
the trailer. The car was a brand new early 60's
Chrysler Imperial, a huge car.

Anyway, Dr. Jones got out of the car and the car
slipped out of park or whatever and rolled backwards
down the ramp into the water. There apparently was a
drop-off at the end of the ramp and the water was very
deep. At first, the trailer and boat floated, the
trailer being still tied securely to the boat. Once
the car got into the deep water however, it sank and
pulled the boat and trailer down with it. In less
than 10 minutes it was all gone leaving our hapless
professor standing on the shore wondering what to do

E-mail from Tonya Bakke (tonya.bakke(at)


I just returned home yesterday from a week long trip
to the Keweenaw - the colors were gorgeous! Thanks to
Mr. Colorologist for the perfect prediction for the
peek in colors. While making frequent trips from Lac
La Belle to Houghton, I was able to see all the
students going to Career Day (which is how I got my
current job 6 years ago). We also had the fun
surprise of passing through town just before the
Homecoming hobo parade. It was just as much fun to
watch from the side as participating in it as a

We also were able to see many of the little wilderness
creatures (some not so little). At the end of the
week, the count ended at deer: stopped counting at 25,
bear: 3, fox: 3, wolf: 1, and a controversial cougar:
1. One of the locals in Lac La Belle also has a web
camera set up near his bear hunting areas and he
caught a spectacular picture of a cougar ready to
pounce on an unsuspecting deer. I think the deer is
no more.

Thanks for the great newsletter - I look forward to it
every week.

E-mail from Joe Salani (js99(at)


Thanks for the weekly email. I would just like to say
"hats off" to the Michigan Tech Football team. What a year so
far, I am really looking forward to the Bash at the
Big House. I already have my tickets and am hoping
they are still undefeated when they get here. Pretty
good for a team that almost wasn't!!! Keep up the good
work in the alumni news. I'll be up there over
Thanksgiving visiting family and am hoping for enough
snow to go skiing at Mt. Ripley.

E-mail from Mark Adamcik (mjadamci(at)

Hey Dean, just want to let you know I enjoy reading
your weekly tech news. I graduated from Michigan Tech in 2000
and have lived in California ever since. And all your
snow stories bring back memories of cars not starting,
X-country skiing, shoveling, etc.. So some things are
good and bad. Living on the coast of CA is great. No
snow and no high heat (usually). But this past weekend
I went to Lake Tahoe and seeing all those ski resorts
and the colder weather brought back all those good
memories of how nice snow can be! Anyway, thanks for
keeping us updated with TechAlum news!

TechAlum Subscriber Stats

We're at 7,053 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  Robert Monahan    jeanbob6(at)

1961  Robert Lind       blind(at)

1971  Cris Jones        xcjones1(at)

1973  Stephen Benesh    stephenbenesh(at)

1974  Janis Pruett (Petrich)   jan(at)

1975  Alan Cook         acook2468(at)

1985  Julie Wilson      jawilson40(at)

1986  Joseph Blodgett   blodgett12(at)

1989  Julie Haught (Walczak)  julesmtu(at)

1992  David Skoglund    david.skoglund(at)

1993  Jason Holmberg    jasonholmberg(at)

1998  Wendy Warner (Hayse)  wwarner(at)

2000  Bryan Wedan       bwedan(at)

2002  Kevin Walker      kjwalker56(at)

2002  Jamie Archambeau (Basom)  jlarchambeau(at)

2003  Sara Schooley     sara.schooley(at)

2003  Erin Ries (Kehoe) emries12(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.


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

  • Administrative Associate--ME-EM/Sustainable Futures Institute

  • Administrative Associate--The Office of the Chief Financial Officer

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

See you next week