TechAlum News

February 21, 2005 (Vol. 11, No. 39)

An award-winning 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:

  • 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

The weather forecast couldn't have been more wrong on Sunday. Tech hosted the regional cross-country ski championships over the weekend, and the volunteers were looking forward to 28 degrees and sunshine. Instead, we got snow and wind gusts to 31 mph. While we appreciated the fresh snow, having it all fall in the middle of a race is no fun for the skiers, volunteers, or spectators.

The Tech trails have gained a reputation for their quality and for the enthusiasm of volunteers. Next year, the trail system will host the UP high school cross country running championships, the high school cross country skiing championships, possibly the central region collegiate championships, and the cross country skiing Junior Olympics (the national championships for 19-and-under).

This helps reinforce why students choose to attend Michigan Tech. In a recent survey, more than two-thirds of current students cite academic reputation as their main reason for choosing Tech. Almost half also say that outdoor recreation possibilities also influenced their decision.

The trail system serves skiers, hikers, mountain bikers, snowshoers, dog walkers, runners, and those just wanting a walk through the woods. Mont Ripley provides quality skiing and snowboarding, with an exciting terrain park near the bottom of the hill. And, of course, the Keweenaw has miles of shoreline and trails and other opportunities for outdoor lovers.

This time of year can be especially tough, with Carnival over, winter now in its fourth month (or so), and spring a distant glimmer. It helps to remember, come winter, spring, summer or fall (well, OK, spring isn't the most beautiful time around here), that this really is a nice place to live, work, and go to school.

If the chamber of commerce is listening in, you can make that check payable to "cash."

Snow Watch '04-'05

As of February 18, 2005
                     This week   Last week   Last year  
    Snowfall to date    133.51" 125.76"    200.5"     On the ground         27"        24"         32"
See our snowfall chart, dating back to 1890, at

Day--by-day snowfall:

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

UNDERGRAD RESEARCH PROGRAM SEEKS APPLICANTS: The School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science and the Ecosystem Science Center at Michigan Tech has announced ten summer research opportunities for undergraduates. The program is part of the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. Stipends ($3,000) plus room, board and travel are provided. For details, see

SENATE APPROVES FINE ARTS, CHEMISTRY PROGRAMS: The University Senate has approved four bachelor's degree programs in fine arts and two in chemistry Feb. 9. If approved by the Board of Control and the State Board of Academic Officers, the programs will be instituted this fall. The Department of Chemistry expects to offer BS degrees in Cheminformatics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry. The Department of Fine Arts anticipates offering its first degree programs: BS degrees in Theatre and Entertainment Technology and in Audio Production and Technology; and BA programs in Theatre and Entertainment Technology, and in Sound Design.

GERSHENSON EARNS TEETOR AWARD: John Gershenson, associate professor of mechanical engineering, has been selected by the Society of Automotive Engineers to receive a 2005 Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award. Gershenson is being recognized along with 13 other recipients on April 12. This annual award recognizes outstanding engineering educators. Gershenson directs the Life-cycle Engineering Laboratory at Tech and his research focuses on life-cycle product architecture and lean and sustainable design and manufacturing. More:

TECH JOINS HISPANIC ASSN: Michigan Tech has joined the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. As a HACU member, the university becomes part of a network of more than 390 colleges and universities in 31 states, Puerto Rico and seven countries in Latin America and Spain committed to Hispanic success in higher education. Michigan Tech is one of three HACU members in the state, joining Michigan State University and the University of Michigan.

MATH COMPETITION SLATED: High school juniors from throughout the central and western Upper Peninsula will participate in the Michigan Tech Math Competition, set for Saturday, April 16. Participants will take an hour-long, multiple-choice test based on Michigan state standards for math education through the 11th grade. A $500 scholarship will be awarded to the highest-scoring participant who plans to major in math at Michigan Tech. A $250 scholarship will be given to the highest-scoring student planning to attend Michigan Tech, regardless of their major. The competition is free and is open to any high school junior within the following intermediate school districts: Delta-Schoolcraft, Copper Country, Dickinson-Iron, Gogebic-Ontonagon, Marquette-Alger and Menominee.

JOB FAIR TUESDAY: Representatives from about 90 companies will be at Michigan Tech Tuesday, Feb. 22, for the annual Winter Job Fair. "It's looking very good--I should say great--for our students," said Career Services Director Jim Turnquist. "We're really pleased that the Mayo Clinic is coming; this is their first time on campus." Last year, the Career Center documented a 94 percent placement rate for graduating seniors. More:

HIGH SCHOOLERS CAN EARN TECH CREDITS: Officials at Michigan Tech and the Copper Country Intermediate School District today (Friday, Feb. 4) signed an articulation agreement that will allow U.P. students to earn credit toward a Michigan Tech business degree while they are still in high school. Students will be able to earn three Michigan Tech credits by completing approved course work and passing Microsoft Office User Specialist certification exams.

TECH SEEKS ALUMNI OPINIONS: If you haven't done so already, please consider filling out the survey aimed at helping the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering revise the "electrical engineering for non-EE majors" course. To fill out the survey, go to

HOBEY CAMPAIGN ON: Last year, Michigan Tech's Chris Conner won the fan balloting portion of the Hobey Baker selection process, resulting in a lot of publicity for Michigan Tech hockey. This year, Colin Murphy is a candidate and you can vote every day at

Summer Youth Program
Hockey camp

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

Around Town

GOODWILL SEEKS, WELL, GOOD WILL: The regional branch of Goodwill Industries is calling for donations after an unusually large decline. "This year, we've seen an exceptionally large drop in donations," said Jody Coopmans, director of retail for Goodwill Industries of Northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. "People may be focusing their efforts on the global disasters, but local non-profits still depend on their support." Managers of other local shops described their lull as typical for the time of year, but still stressed the importance of bringing in goods.

THREE MEN PULLED FROM LAKE: Three Illinois men were rescued by a Bootjack Fire and Rescue hovercraft after their snowmobiles broke through the ice on the Keweenaw Waterway between Portage Lake and Torch Lake. They were part of a group of 10 snowmobiles headed north on Portage Lake, traversing the narrow strip of water called the "Torch Lake Cuts," at about 11 p.m. Friday.

From the E-mailbag

E-mail from Jay Clark '88 (AJCLARK13(at)

Hey Dean,

Thanks so much for making available the video
broadcasts of last week's Winter Carnival games. It
was the next best thing to being there. I haven't
been to a home game in many years so it was certainly
great to see and hear MacInnes arena buzzing again. I
nearly wept. As you know, down in Southeastern MI the
Huskies don't get much mention, let alone broadcast,
so please keep them coming.

Dean sez: Jay refers to the video webcasts that use the
coaches camera for a live feed. Fans should note that the
Minnesota series, in two weeks, will be carried on both Fox
Sports Net North and Fox Sports Net Detroit.

E-mail from Tim Jenkins '84 (tjenkins255(at)


The members of Alpha Phi Omega, Epsilon Lambda
chapter, are looking for current e-mail and snail-mail
addresses for all alumni brothers. Please contact Tim
Jenkins (pledged 1984) at tjenkins255(at)
with your info and that of any possible "lost"
brothers. Please include the year you pledged.

E-mail from Kevin Britton '97 (kevin.britton(at)


A couple random thoughts from this week's TechAlum,
and from our visit to Tech for Carnival:

1) Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the state
promise no more funding cuts this year if Tech kept
tuition increases at or below the rate of inflation?
And now here they come cutting it anyways. Honestly.
It's like we're dealing with Darth Vader: "I have
altered the deal. Pray I do not alter it again."

2) Great weekend series from the hockey team. The
"Hobey Baker" chants are, in my opinion, well
deserved. I think there could have a strong
argument for Ellsworth as MVP, though...

3) When did the pep band's "power play riff" become
the "short handed riff"?

4) It was kind of weird seeing all the "Watersmeet
Nimrods" apparel at the SDC Pro Shop......but I'm now
in an elite club. I can buy shirts for BOTH my alma
maters in the same store!

5) The library addition and the new Rekhi Hall sure
change the look of campus! We got to see the
insides; very modern, but kind of confusing in
the layout department. Any plans in the works to
renovate/reassign sections of Fisher Hall next?

It was great to visit again!

Dean sez: Tim is right in #1. In fact, the state senate
blocked the governor's executive order last week for just
that reason. Stay tuned. As to #2, vote for Colin Murphy at once a day. #3--don't know. #5: The Fisher
renovation was originally part of the Rekhi addition, but
was not funded by the state. It is still on Tech's "wish

E-mail from John Chamberlin (sierra25(at)

Hi Dean

As a regular reader of the TechAlum News I thought it
time to actually contribute (well...that's debatable).
During my days at Da Tech ('72-'77), I seem to recall
that we sent a shipment of snow balls each year to
Southwest Texas State for their traditional snow ball
fight during their Homecoming festivities. They,
intern, sent their Homecoming Queen to our Winter
Carnival. I recall this because one year I know of two
Blue Key members that ended up in a fist fight arguing
over which one of them would be her escort. Needless
to say she was rather "hot" and received a greater
ovation than did the visiting Miss America - whose
grandmother lived in Calumet - when introduced between
periods of the hockey game. Whatever happened to this

Dean sez: The exchange ended when it became too expensive
to ship snow to Texas.

E-mail from Kerry Irons '72 (irons54vortex(at)


Well, here we go again, with another "I was at Tech
when it shut down for only the second time in the
century." I know we covered this in some distant past
Husqi news, but folks, it appears that Michigan Tech gets shut
down for snow about every 10 years. When we had a big
storm in '72 (shut down Michigan Tech), we were told it "was the
first time in 50 years," but then when you talk to
alumni from the 60s or the 50s, they occasionally
experienced a snow day and heard the same old yarn.
It seems like we all want to believe that the weather
when we were in school was definitely the most
extreme, but big storms do come along, and Michigan Tech shuts
down just like any large organization.

It would be interesting to actually see the list of
Michigan Tech snow days! Sounds like a great project for some
intern in Public Affairs or HR :)

Dean sez: When this last came up, I tried to find such
records. Alas, my search was in vain. I was talking with
someone from northeastern Minnesota over the weekend and
his stories about an institution having the reputation for
never closing sounded just like Tech, only he was talking
about the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

TechAlum Subscriber Stats

We're at 7,139 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.

1961 Monte Clark cmontec(at)
1962 Verl Asmund vcasm(at)
1980 Thomas Zuchnik zuchnik(at)
1981 Leonard Peruski peruski(at)
1991 Daniel Goymerac dan.goymerac(at)
1992 Kenneth Bugenski kenneth.bugenski(at)
1998 Julie VanHoorelbeke julievan3(at)
1999 Joseph Erlewein joe(at)
2000 Jesse Gwidt bellgwidt(at)
2003 Ryan Joy rdjoy77(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.

18 Alumni night with the Fury (Muskegon). See

18 Keweenaw Chapter second annual jazz night. Detroit
jazz composer, Pamela Wise. For more information:

26 Michigan Tech at Alaska-Anchorage hockey and alumni event.

7 Iron Mountain Chapter student send-off

18 West Michigan -- alumni night with the Griffins

14 West Michigan Chapter Spring Dinner

25 Green Bay Chapter 26th Annual Golf Outing

11 Detroit Chapter 2005 Gold Outing

ADA PLANS 25-YEAR REUNION: Alpha Delta Alpha sorority will celebrate its 25-year reunion this summer during the Tech alumni reunion. The event will take place the weekend of August 5-7. For information contact Kim Klender at ksklende(at) or visit the ADA alumni website at

ALPHA XI ZETA PLANS 20TH REUNION: Alpha Xi Zeta is planning its 20-year reunion Labor Day Weekend, September 2-4, 2005. For more information, contact Shannan Fisher at snfisher(at)"

SIGMA PHI EPSILON PLANS 40TH: Sigma Phi Epsilon will celebrate its 40th anniversary during the Michigan Tech alumni reunion weekend this summer, August 5-7.

LAMBDA CHI ALPHA REUNION: The Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity is planning their 25th reunion during reunion weekend, August 5th through August 7th. For information, contact Carl Craven at carl_1955(at)

DELTA ZETA PLANS 30-YEAR REUNION: The Delta Zeta sorority will celebrate its 30-year reunion this summer during the Tech alumni reunion. The event will take place the weekend of August 5-7. For information contact Heidi Mueller at hmuelle6(at) or Ellie Mulcahy at eamulcahy(at)

Job Opportunities This Week

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

  • No new postings this week

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

See you next week