TechAlum News

May 31, 2005 (Vol. 12, No. 3)

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 went to see Porky yesterday. Not Porky Pig--although I do have a very funny audio file of a comedian singing Blue Christmas as Porky Pig. No, actually, we saw the Porkies, as in Porcupine Mountains.

After lunch at Syl's diner, we drove to the far western edge of the park to hike along the Presque Isle River, which forms several waterfalls as it makes its final descent to Lake Superior. With blue skies and 60 degrees, it was a perfect finish to a weekend that included open houses and high school graduations.

The trail often climbs up the bluff, then drops to the river's edge, offering opportunities to see the falls up close and to skip stones in lazy pools of water. After a little over a mile, you cross a bridge and head back down the east side of the river. This side of the river provides a few opportunities to walk on rock outcroppings (which would be covered during very high water) and feel like you are standing in the middle of the river. A walk across an island (well, it is an island when the water is high) and small suspension bridge takes to back to the parking lot.

All the way along, we shot photos (can't have too many photos of waterfalls!), ran and skipped (well, those under 18 did that), and explored the rocks and branches, flora and fauna along the river bank.

Afterwards, Laura suggested we stop on one of the sandy beaches along M-107 and Lake Superior, and kick off our shoes. In the distance, the color of the water and clouds were identical, so it seemed as if there was no horizon. It was quite a treat. Jay celebrated with the first plunge of the season. He confirms that the water is cold. I wouldn't know--my feet and ankles were numb.

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

EMPLOYEE NEWSLETTER GOES DAILY: The weekly Tech Topics newsletter has become the daily, Tech Today. Tech Topics was distributed in paper, by e-mail and on the web. Tech Today is a web-only communication that will appear at the end of each work day. See:

ENHANCEMENT COMMITTEE SUGGESTS IMPROVEMENTS: The Presidential Committee to Enhance Campus and Community has released its interim report. Recommendations include enhancing Michigan Tech's waterfront property, improving pedestrian safety and the visual appeal of the US 41 corridor through campus, encouraging the enhancement and preservation of residential neighborhoods near the Michigan Tech campus and reviewing classroom design. The report is here.

CHARLESWORTH RECEIVES INNOVATION AWARD: Paul Charlesworth, associate professor of chemistry, is the first recipient of the newly created Fredrick Williams Instructional Innovation Award. Charlesworth was selected largely for his efforts to introduce WebCT, initially in the first-year chemistry course and later throughout Michigan Tech. He was also cited for implementing the studio model of lab instruction, which strives to eliminate the boundary between lecture and lab. More:

BRAUN NAMED DONOVAN WINNER: Recent graduate Emily Braun has been chosen to receive the Clair M. Donovan Award for Outstanding Service by Blue Key National Honor Fraternity. The annual award goes to an Michigan Tech student, faculty or staff member for exemplary service during the preceding year. Braun, of Fond du Lac, Wis., graduated this spring with a BS in Materials Science and Engineering. She was selected for her contributions to student organizations, including the Society of Women Engineers and Blue Key. More:

Around Town

PHOTO DISPLAY BACK AT DEE: Beginning tomorrow and spending the summer at Dee Stadium will be a display over 2,000 historic area photos, courtesy of Houghton Police Chief and chief photo collector Ralph Raffaelli. Many of last year's organizations have returned for 2005, including Main Street Calumet, the Houghton Keweenaw Genealogical Society, Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College and the Delaware Mine. Newcomers to the History and Photo Fair include displays by the communities of Trout Creek, Kenton, Covington, Tapiola and Toivola.

COUNTY HAS INTEREST IN HORACE GREELEY SITE: Keweenaw County is in preliminary talks with at least two organizations interested in the Mount Horace Greeley site. The facility was most recently the Keweenaw Academy juvenile correctional facility, which closed in 2004. Originally, the site was the Calumet Air Force station. BHK (Baraga/ Houghton/Keweenaw) Child Development officials may be interested, as well as one other unidentified organization.

From the E-mailbag

E-mail from Kate Willette (kate.willette(at)


I was a CE student in the late 70s at Tech (later
transferred to the University of Washington in
Seattle), and I'm trying to find a copy of a textbook
I used in a Dynamics class. It was a self-taught,
sophomore-level course, and the text was written by
one of the professors who also taught the class in the
ordinary lecture/test way.

I don't know the name of the instructor, or the text,
and I'm looking for a way to find both. It's a reach,
I know, but I'd really like to get my hands on a copy
of that book, if any still exist. The reason I want
the book is that I still remember how cleverly it was
designed, and I want to use the concept for a project
I'm doing at work.

Can you suggest someone I might contact to help me
find it?

Dean sez: Can anyone help Kate?

E_mail from Tom Cieslinski '63 (tomciesl(at)

Just wanted to comment on how much I enjoy Joe
Kirkish's movie reviews. One of the latest he reviewed
is "Crash" which he gave an A. Based upon his review
I went to see the movie and am pleased to report that
it is well deserving an A. I tend to stay away from
those with loud and continuous soundtracks so not sure
yet if I will see the latest Star Wars Episode. The
last two were awful.

We are a full two weeks behind in leaf out here in
Maine. Normal leaf out is May 10 and as I write it is
pouring rain and cold and the trees are not happy
though the grass is quite green. The buds on our oak
tree in the back yard have barely started to open. It
is supposed to be cloudy with rain all week. We are
about 5 inches above average in rainfall for this time
of the year. It is the worst "spring" I have seen in
my 35 years in this State. In Maine we sort of go
from late winter to early summer about the second week
of June (May showers bring June flowers!). But we
still have hope as there are reports from other parts
of the country that the sun still exists.

E-mail from Lance Olson '87 (lance_r_olson(at)


I have to agree with John Baker (TechAlum News, May
23, 2005) that they have great beer in Australia.
However, since leaving Duluth with my wife on our
sailboat in 1999 I have sampled the beer in many
exotic destinations and find that I always enjoy the
local brew. From Wadadli in the Caribbean to Hinano
in Tahiti and in Vailima in Samoa they are all good
when served icy cold at the local pub after a long
passage. As a dedicated beer drinker, I consider this
a most enjoyable part of my experience of the local

We spent the past winter back in Minnesota and the
U.P. working and introducing our new family (2 girls
born in New Zealand) to their grandparents, cousins,
etc. It was great to see snow again after many years
and we spent a weekend at our cabin at Big Traverse
Bay in the Keweenaw. We didn't get the chance to stop
in at Tech, but I was sure impressed by all the new

Thanks for the weekly newsletter. It is always great
to hear news of Tech. I always receive it on Tuesday
because of the time difference, so I'll look forward
to it on Wednesday next week.

E-mail from Ted Reed (ted.reed(at)

Burma Shave verse I remember:

Don't try passing
On a slope
Unless you have
A periscope

TechAlum Subscriber Stats

We're at 7,137 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.

1973 Randall Kriscunas rkriscunas(at)
1977 Thomas Bauer tmbauer(at)
1979 Craig Prudian crprudian(at)
1979 Robert Winn robert.winn(at)
1984 James Russell jarussell13(at)
1990 Amy Sakkijha (Hanshaw) aksakkijha(at)
1992 Norman Farhat njf126(at)
1994 Jonathan Leinonen leinonen(at)
1998 Shane Ringle stringle(at)
1998 John Brugeman dbrugeman(at)
2000 Kristy Jones (Fox) kristy.l.jones(at)
2002 Alicia McNeil (Boller) asmcneil(at)
2002 Christy Klimek (Lancour) chrismarie19(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.

4 West Michigan Chapter Annual Golf Outing
7 Los Angeles Alumni Event
11 Detroit Chapter 2005 Golf Outing

15 Mid-Michigan (Saginaw, Midland, Bay City) Annual
Golf Outing

GREEK REUNION INFORMATION has been moved to the web. For the link, go here:

Job Opportunities This Week

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

  • Data Analyst--Accounting Services

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