TechAlum News

March 7, 2005 (Vol. 11, No. 41)

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

We took a little trip up to Copper Harbor yesterday--believe it or not, the first time we have been there in the winter. The object: a cross-country ski trail that loops up to the Clark Mine, near the Estivant Pines, then drops down to follow the south shore of Lake Fanny Hooe.

Since I had the map, the first thing that happened was a wrong turn. Not a real big deal--we just would go along the lake shore first. A closer inspection showed this "slight" rerouting would actually double the length of the trip.

Conditions weren't the greatest, with temperatures just above freezing and icy tracks. This required klister--a wax that is somewhere between liquid and solid. It grips like a vise when it is cold, but melts into a stringy, sticky goo when you take the skis inside to scrape.

We skied for a couple of kilometers (remember from your Tour de France lesson--it is pronounced KILL-o-meters). That's when the groomer had come across a fallen tree and turned back towards home. We slogged on, but it was tough going and we soon decided to head back to the trailhead.

When we returned to the car, we noticed a trail going off in the opposite direction. We followed that and came across a couple of ponds and an open field. The groomer had circled around, then went straight for awhile, then circled back, then straightened out again. While it sounds odd, it was actually quite a bit of fun. A light snow had started falling, to boot, giving the whole thing a fairyland quality.

After cheeseburgers at The Pines, we ended the visit with a chocolate fix at the Country Village shops. Not a bad way to spend the day.

Snow Watch '04-'05

As of March 6, 2004 
                    This week Last week Last year 
Snowfall to date     151.51"    140.01"    216"
On the ground          36"       32"      33"
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

RESEARCHER BUILDING SOUTH POLE ROAD: Russ Alger, director of Tech's Institute of Snow Research, has returned from his fourth trip to Antarctica, helping to build a 1,000-mile overland supply route to the pole. Alger took with him a device developed at Tech's Keweenaw Research Center called an automatic penetrometer, used to test the strength of the surface at regular intervals. As in past years, Alger was the point man on the traverse, traveling ahead of most of the convoy to watch for crevasses. More:

BRIDGING THE GAP WITH PRE-COLLEGE STUDENTS: Every year, hundreds of high school and middle school students come to Michigan Tech to learn more about everything from computer science to hockey. They constitute a ready-made pool of potential undergraduates, and the university is undertaking an effort to better reach them. One effort is the use of portals--specialized webpages with links to pages that appeal to a specific interest. More:

11th time in 15 years, the Michigan Tech women's basketball
team has earned a bid to the NCAA Division II Tournament. The Huskies gained the fourth seed in the Great Lakes Regional, which will be played at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich. Michigan Tech will face fifth-seeded Indianapolis in a quarterfinal game Friday (Mar. 11) at 8 p.m. (ET).

STREAM FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Michigan Tech freshman Sarah Stream was named Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year. In addition, junior Amanda Sieja (Middleton, Wis.) and Stream each garnered All-GLIAC North Division Second Team laurels, while sophomore Catherine Rottier (Seymour, Wis.) earned GLIAC North Division All-Defensive Team honors.

BUETTNER PLAYER OF THE YEAR AGAIN: Michigan Tech senior All-American Josh Buettner earned GLIAC Player of the Year honors for the second straight year. Senior Jason Marcotte collected GLIAC North Division First Team and All-Defensive Team laurels and sophomore Radayl Richardson was named to the North Division All-Defensive Team.

OWEN OFF TO VERMONT: Tech's outstanding Nordic skier, Kristina Owen, will travel to Stowe, Vermont, this week to participate in the NCAA Championships. Owen qualified based on her performance at the regionals at the Tech trails a couple of weeks ago.

SKIIERS FEATURED ON SKINNY SKI: The top Nordic ski page in the Midwest included interviews with four collegiate skiers recently, including two from Tech: Chris Harvey and Kristina Owen. You can read what they have to say about Michigan Tech and collegiate skiing:

DISTINGUISHED TEACHING AWARD FINALISTS: Alumni are invited to comment on the finalist for the Distinguished Teaching Award finalists. Send any comment by April 1, 2005, to Nancy Seely (nsseely(at) In the associate professor/professor category, finalists are Tomas Co (chemical engineering, Dean Johnson (business and economics), Dennis Lynch (humanities), Charles Nelson (humanities), John Sandell (chemical engineering), and Anne Wysocki (humanities).

     Finalists in the assistant professor/lecturer category are: Ann Brady (humanities), Sean Clancey (chemical engineering), Brian Davis (electrical and computer engineering), Karyn Fay (biological sciences), Michael Moore (College of Engineering), and Michael Powers (School of Technology)

BULLETIN BOARD UPDATES: The alumni bulletin board now includes separate boards for each reunion class and reunion group for 2005. For more information about the reunion in general, contact mtu_reunion(at) or toll-free 877-688-2586. You'll find the bulletin board here.

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

Around Town

REALITY STORE TEACHES LESSONS: Tenth-grade students from Hancock Central High School and Dollar Bay-Tamarack City schools learned some life lessons at "Reality Store," a program intended to teach fiscal and personal responsibility. The students were assigned a checkbook and an occupation, and instructed to travel through the Reality Store's 15 booths, where they were given the opportunity to choose everything from housing options to brand of deodorant, with the intent of having money left over at the end of the month. Much was determined at Booth One, where students literally rolled the dice to find out their marital status and number of children.

CRIME STATS FAVOR COPPER COUNTRY: Recently released crime statistics reinforced the safety of the Keweenaw. In terms of violent crime, for example, the statewide average for 2000-2003 was 5.42 violent crimes per 1,000 people per year. The Copper Country saw only 1.97 violent crimes per 1,000 people. Burglary, larceny, auto theft, sex offenses, drug offenses and disorderly conduct are all more common elsewhere than in the Copper Country. However, the rate of drunk driving offenses is well above the statewide average, and violations of liquor laws (such as minor in possession) are nearly double the rest of Michigan.

HANCOCK SEEKS BLOCK GRANT: Hancock has applied for a $306,000 Community Development Block Grant to assist in the rehabilitation of the historic Scott Hotel (which currently houses Hancock Hardware). The grant would be used to fund half the cost of a five-stop elevator, site work consisting of a 50-car public parking lot and the purchase of a conservation easement to keep the historic facades intact.
New owner Mike Lahti proposes to convert the five-story, 45,000 square-foot structure into an elderly housing unit while also allowing commercial space. He said the plan includes eight units on each of the top four floors with the first floor open for commercial use.

ALUM HEADS KEWEENAW HOSPITAL: The Board of Directors of Keweenaw Memorial Medical Center has appointed Chuck Nelson as chief executive officer and president. Nelson had been serving as chief operating officer and interim chief executive officer since August. Nelson holds bachelor degrees in business and engineering from Michigan Tech

LAURIUM NAMED HISTORIC DISTRICT: The National Park Service has named Laurium a National Historic District. The program offers a federal recognition of historical significance as well as historical preservation tax incentives for property owners. The village started in 1877 as a subdivision of 20 lots owned by the Laurium Mining Company. As Red Jacket (now Calumet) pushed up against the bounds of Calumet & Hecla Mining Co. land, the village attracted much of the overflow population. In 1890, the year after the village was incorporated, the village had 1,159 residents.

SKI TEAM SECOND IN STATE: The Hancock/Houghton combined downhill ski team placed second last week at the Michigan State High School Championships at Marquette Mountain. Traverse City St. Francis took the class B-C-D title.

From the E-mailbag

E-mail from Shannon (Gleeson) Hopkins '95 (shanhop(at)

I remember a cold Wednesday in January of 1994 (I
think that's the right year!) when Tech closed. It had
been deathly cold all week (-45 was reported one
night); people were calling the Governor Engler
requesting that he step in. Classes were cancelled at
noon that Wednesday, and remained closed for 24 hours.
The funny thing was in warmed up and Thursday we were
the only school in the state closed.

If I remember correctly, the decision was made to
cancel classes because the steam plant was having
problems keeping up with demand, and they need to be
able to shutdown academic buildings so they could keep
the residence halls heated.

E-mail from Christy Klimek '02 (chrismarie19(at)


I just wanted to give everyone a heads up about a
website. now has a spot for the
college alumni as well as the high schools. It's just
another place to look at to remind us all of "home"!

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


Did Tech close the day the Edmund Fitzgerald went down
in November of 75? I remember ropes stretched between
the ME-EM and Chem building in the early afternoon so
we could hold on to keep from being carried away by
the "venturi" created by the two buildings - some
windows were sucked out also. The winds were amazing!
No snow related shut down here!

Dean sez: No closure on Fitz day.

E-mail from Mark Steverman (MSteverman(at)


During my tenure at Tech, I was truly amazed with the
snowfall amounts. But now that I live at the very
foot hills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, I have a
new appreciation of snowfall amounts. The ski area
that I ski, Mt. Rose, already has had 332" of snow
this year, with more to come, I'm sure (and hope). I
live maybe 30 miles to Mt. Rose but yet have only had
maybe 20" of snow in my yard. The majority of this
snow came from a strong storm which us Michigander's
would take in stride totally wrecked havoc on Reno,
which has a very large number of Southern California
transplants. I currently have no snow in my yard.

All of this snow will afford me skiing hopefully until
Memorial Day. WOOHOO!!! But what a change in climate
from Northern Michigan to Northern Nevada. Snow AND
sun and a butt-load of snow a half hour drive away
with 50 degree days. What a life it is here in the
high desert.

I just thought that I'd share.

TechAlum Subscriber Stats

We're at 7,143 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.

1965 Wade Wood mandwinchina(at)

1970 Glen Bahr singbass(at)
1973 Michael Connors mikelconn(at)
1973 Gary Hagler ghagler(at)

1981 Peter Speers pete.speers(at)
1981 Kenneth Hughes khughes6(at)
1989 George Bugg georgebugg(at)

1991 Heidi Foster (Griswold) foster5210(at)
1992 Steven Plite splite(at)
1995 Anna Jacobi anna.jacobi(at)
1999 Tonya Bakke tbakke(at)

2000 Kathleen Crumrine (Kathleen Wysocki) Kathleen.crumrine(at)
2001 Kevin Dudeck midnightminer(at)
2002 Nicole Foster (Richards) nkfoster21(at)
2002 Quentin Smith here_in_reality(at)
2004 Melanie Nizzola manizzol(at)
2004 Andrew Fleming andrew(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.


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 Golf 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)

ALPHA SIGMA TAU plans 25th REUNION:  Alpha Sigma Tau's 25th Reunion will be held over Labor Day weekend, September 2-5, 2005.  Details will be sent over the alumnae email list.  Please contact Emily Callow at elcallow(at) with any questions.

PHI LAMBDA BETA REUNION: Phi Lambda Beta Sorority, which was active on campus from 1958 thru 1978, is planning a reunion in Houghton, August 2 thru August 4, 2005.  After a year of searching and correspondence, many sisters are planning to be in Houghton for this event. Phi Lambda Beta later became Alpha Gamma Delta. There are many sisters who remain on our "lost" list, and we would like very much to contact as many as possible.  Any information:  please contact:  Diane Henderson Smith-Messner at dianemessner(at) 

DELTA UPSILON REUNION MAY 14:  I am setting up a 25th Anniversary for the Delta Upsilon International Fraternity/ Alpha Delta Upsilon Colonization on May 14, 2005 in Houghton. For more information visit or email Adam Mitteer (aamittee(at)

DELTA PHI EPSILON REUNION: Delta Phi Epsilon's 20th reunion date is Sept 2-5, 2005. Please contact Tamsen Bissell (tamsenbissell(at) or Natasha Bruggeman -- reunion chair (nkbrugge(at) for more information.

Job Opportunities This Week

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

  • Coordinator of Michigan Tech/Ford PAS Programs and Secondary Educator Outreach--Educational Opportunity (Position duration dependent upon external funding)
  • Research Scientist/Engineer I--Civil and Environmental Engineering (Position duration dependent upon external funding)
  • Assistant Research Scientist--School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science (Position duration dependent upon external funding

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

See you next week