weekly electronic newsletter for alumni and friends of Michigan Technological
University. Written and distributed by Dean
Woodbeck '78, Senior Director of University Communications. For past issues, see our archives.
In this issue:
Have you had those days when you wished you had just stayed in bed? I had a trip like that.
We headed to the Land of Trolls for Turkey Day, driving out of a beautiful Copper Country day into a snowstorm, creeping at 25 mph from Mt. Pleasant to East Lansing. We must have seen a dozen cars in the ditch. Jay and I took our bikes with us (and we did use them). It must have looked pretty funny--this snow-covered car with snow-covered bikes on the back end.
The car chose the day after Thanksgiving to not start. People keep telling me the good news--that the non-start happened in my mother-in-law's driveway and not at a rest area somewhere north of Gaylord or somewhere along the Seney Stretch. The best news would have been for it not to start in *my* driveway (well, I guess the best news would be for the distributor to work forever, or at least until after I sell the car).
We had it towed to a service station in Okemos and they were--good news--working on Friday. However--bad news--their parts suppliers weren't. And they wouldn't get the distributor assembly until Monday, which was the day *after* we planned to leave for home.
The kids figured they could just skip school for the week and wait for the repairs. But, through some coincidences, we found we could drive my mother-in-law's car back here, then trade back on Thursday in Traverse City.
The trade worked out fine--particularly for me, since my wife was the one who actually drove to Traverse City and back. Well, most of the way back. She called from Republic--the oil light is flickering. She called from the L'Anse Holiday station--the car won't start. Same symptoms. As I drove to L'Anse to pick her up, I'm figuring bad distributor.
After racking up a bill to have the car towed to Hancock, I received the diagnosis: bad timing belt, proving once again that timing is everything. Mine was horrible. I was about two weeks late in deciding to sell this beast.
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
RUPPE TO SPEAK AT MIDYEAR COMMENCEMENT: Former congressman Philip Ruppe will address graduates at Midyear Commencement on Saturday, Dec. 11. The university will honor the achievements of more than 400 graduating students, including 295 bachelor's degree candidates and seven graduates receiving associate degrees. Eighteen doctoral degrees will be awarded, as well as 81 master of science degrees and two master of engineering degrees. More:
GREAT LAKES SEPTIC PROBLEMS REPORTED: Kathleen Halvorsen, associate professor in social sciences and forest resources, has released a report showing that septic regulations around the Great Lakes are unevenly enforced. "Septic is the most serious form of decentralized pollution that we have," said Halvorsen. For that to change, according to the report, homeowners and local governments must realize that septic tanks need to be taken just as seriously as sewage treatment plants. More:
PROF RECEIVES $800,000 FROM NSF: Assistant Professor Seyed "Reza" Zekavat (Electrical and Computer Engineering) has received two National Science Foundation grants totaling more than $800,000. With a $350,000 grant, he aims to conduct fundamental research on wireless local positioning systems. With a $462,000 award, he will develop a new multidisciplinary version of the traditional course, "Introduction to Electrical Engineering for Non-Electrical Engineers." More:
BOARD OF CONTROL MEETS FRIDAY: Michigan Tech's Board of Control will meet at 9 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 10, in the Memorial Union Ballroom. Agenda items include a proposed university legal counsel, new furniture for Douglass Houghton Hall and a closed session for a periodic evaluation of the university president.
COMMUNITY COLLEGE TRANSFERS UP 9 PERCENT: The number of students transferring to Michigan Tech last year was up about 9 percent, and the majority are from community colleges. Mark Provoast, assistant director for recruitment in Admissions, spearheads the ongoing effort to attract qualified transfer students to the university. He and the admissions staff visit community colleges in Michigan at least once a year, and also cross the border to meet with students in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois. More:
1901 PHYSICS FACULTY GET A GUINNESS WORLD RECORD: Michigan Tech's entire physics faculty will be recognized by Guinness World Records in the next edition of its famous book, a mere 103 years after their record-shattering feat. While researching the department's history, physics professor Bryan Suits discovered that four former faculty members, including James Fisher, Nathan Osborne, Elmer Grant and Fred McNair, had built several 4,000-plus feet (1.3 km) pendulums in the old Tamarack Mine shafts near Calumet back in 1901. Suits contacted Guinness and found that their current record pendulum was only 22.5 meters, about 75 feet. More:
MUSHROOMS IN THE MOUNTAINS: Mycologist Dana L. Richter chronicles multitudes of remarkable mushrooms from the Huron Mountains in Michigan Botanist, Vol. 43, No. 2. The research scientist in the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, has been surveying mushrooms on the 20,000-acre Huron Mountain Club property for years, concentrating on the 7,000 acres of old growth forest near the south shore of Lake Superior. More:
ORR HONORED BY PEACE CORPS: Blair Orr, an associate professor in the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, has received a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Recognition Award. Orr received Peace Corps's individual award for returned volunteer service for his contributions in creating educational opportunities for returned volunteers. In 1995, Orr developed the first Master's International program at Michigan Tech and is currently the program's coordinator. More:
NEW TENANT IN THE SMARTZONE: SHAFI, Inc., a company developing and implementing 3D vision and robot guidance software, has become the seventh tenant of the Powerhouse incubator in the Michigan Tech SmartZone. The company's headquarters are located in Brighton, but company president and Tech alum Adil Shafi was interested in establishing an office in Houghton to develop stronger ties with Michigan Tech and its students.
TECH FUND END-OF-YEAR REMINDER: The Michigan Tech Fund reminds you that the end of the tax year is fast approaching. If you plan to make a donation to Michigan Tech, this is a good time to do so and take a deduction for 2004. For details, or to make a gift online, go to www.mtf.mtu.edu
FOR MORE INFORMATION from Tech, see the weekly newsletter Tech Topics: http://www.mtu.edu/news/ttopics/
From the E-mailbag
E-mail from Bob Cunningham '78 (cunningham.42 (at) nd.edu)
Happy 500th issue! You have done an outstanding job
E-mail from Ken Kamlay '71 (kamlay (at) iglou.com)
Congratulations on # 500. Sara (Spencer) and I really
E-mail from Dave Howell '83 (david.howell (at) autodesk.com)
Although I have not seen all 500, I have been reading
E-mail from Rene Bunster '58 (reneob (at) cox.net)
Thanks very much for this, the 500th, TechAlum, Dean.
E-mail from Jim Spain (jspain.chemskil (at) prodigy.net)
E-mail from Kevin Britton (kevin.britton (at) gm.com)
MEN'S BASKETBALL (1-1 overall)
Yay! We won! Does this mean we get all their brandy?
E-mail from Tim Jackson (Tim.Jackson (at) TRW.COM)
I can remember coming back from Thanksgiving Break
E-mail Gail Richter '61 (richter2 (at) ezwebtech.com)
It used to be that the first quarter ended just before
E-mail from Ken Secord, Class of Sefenty
(KenS (at) westerntel-com.com)
Congratulations on #500, it's one of your best.
E-mail from Tom Maki '71 (makict (at) msn.com)
Thanks for the weekly newsletter. You are chatting
E-mail from Don Ilkka '78 (WndyMdwFrm (at) aol.com)
Am I mistaken, or was there not a twenty-five cent
E-mail from Ron Walkinshaw (rjwalkinshaw (at) mmm.com)
Dean, congrats on reaching the 500 club milestone.
E-mail from Doug Davies (Doug.Davies (at) gems3.gov.bc.ca)
Great news to hear that there may be a video of the
And my wife didn't fair much better. She needed
The whole experience was fabulous. I think we came
E-mail from Dave Cvengros (Cven1008 (at) aol.com)
Dean, it was great to see the football team do so good
E-mail from Mike Burden '89 (mwb (at) mwburden.com)
I just wanted to drop a quick note to all the Tech
http://tinyurl.com/6xvpo G.R. Press Story
E-mail from Curt Fitzgerald '97 (cmfitz (at) tm.net)
I want to thank everyone who responded to my request
E-mail form Kal Stumpf (kastumpf (at) charter.net)
Prime frontage and camp (furnished an option) with
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are the new e-mail addresses from the past week. Please note, we are
1949 Aldo Paradiso aldo (at) chartermi.net
1961 Norman Remington remn (at) copper.net
1971 Patrick Hartman phat711 (at) sbcglobal.net
1984 Mary Crawford (Hunter) mandmcraw (at) aol.com
1990 Scott Darin JSDarin (at) frontiernet.net
2000 Brian Rentner brentner (at) bresnan.net
You can update your information at: http://www.mtf.mtu.edu/update
Alumni Association Programs
Great Lakes Invitational hockey and alumni event
Michigan Tech at Denver hockey and alumni event.
Job Opportunities This Week
OFF CAMPUS: For off-campus positions, visit the alumni section of the career center's web site (www.ucc.mtu.edu/alumni.asp)
See you next week