TechAlum News

July 5, 2005 (Vol. 12, No. 6)

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 local wags say the UP tourism season gets into full gear on the Fourth of July. Last night, it was 56 degrees at fireworks time. Today, the predicted high is 59, with drizzle. But it should be in the 80s by the end of the week.

I've regaled you in the past with stories of a Copper Country Fourth, complete with lots of food and parades with as many as 17 fire trucks, with lights flashing and sirens blaring. As the kids get older (and adults, too), the parades, hot dog stands and kids games don't have the same allure.

But there other ways to celebrate. Yesterday we attended a gathering that kicks off with your choice of a 3-mile fitness walk or a 6-mile run--both on single-track trails (and, it seemed, mostly uphill). Then you get to strap on the feedbag at a huge potluck with a live band. The kids swim and, according to some offspring, the adults do what we do best--talk.

Our family tradition has been to rent a movie for post-dinner viewing, then retire to the back yard for sparklers. You'd think, with teens, the sparklers would become--how do you say?--lame. But creativity can come from the simplest of sources. It is amazing the geometric shapes into which you can place series of sparklers, making them burn in different ways. They also make quite a sight when thrown across the yard.

We added some spice on an impulse buy at ShopKo (always dangerous to send Dad there unsupervised). The $6 package (a well-spent $6, if I do say so myself), produced by a company called TNT, included what turned out to be miniature versions of fireworks, including such names as "Crystal Fountain" and "June Bugs," and "Precious Stones." They don't match what you can buy down in Baraga, I know, but I was excited.

The boxes had basically the same warning labels, which rank right up there with traffic signs developed by Captain Obvious. ("Do not pass when opposing traffic present." Ya think?) For example (and these were in all capital letters, of course): "Emits showers of sparks. Use only under close adult supervision (my wife argues that "adult" needs to be better defined). For outdoor use only. Place on level surface. Do not hold in hand. Light fuse and get away."

Next year, we will spring for the Proud Eagle package for $35. But only if I can get to ShopKo without telling anyone.

ALUMNI BULLETIN BOARD: Remember the alumni bulletin board for you to use for discussions related to this newsletter, Tech sports, or anything else:

Tech In the News

Here are some recent highlights of news coverage of Michigan Tech. To see these and other stories, go here.

  • The concrete canoe team's third place finish, nationally, is received considerable attention, including WLUC-TV6 Marquette and WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, as well as several newspapers in South Carolina and Wisconsin.
  • The university's 2005-06 budget received state-wide coverage. There were a number of stories reporting that President Mroz would present a balanced budget, then stories from the board meeting about the budget and tuition increase. Our web site has a sampling, including WLUC-TV Marquette, WOOD-TV Grand Rapids, and the Detroit Free Press.
  • Glen Barna and Tech spin-off IT Telemetrics received a state-wide award and some press, including WWJ Radio's IT Report and Crain's Detroit Business.
  • One story received a lot of play: football alum Joe Berger signing a three-year with the Carolina Panthers (which should skew the Career Center's annual starting salary report). The Charlotte Observer did a feature about Berger almost not playing football when Tech's
    program was almost cut.
  • Isle Royale has legs: The Isle Royale story that ran in the St. Paul Pioneer Press a month ago (and includes information on the wolf/moose study associated with Tech) continues to have legs and has appeared around the country. The latest clips are from Bradenton, Florida, and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

If you'd like to receive the monthly In the News e-mail, send a message to majordomo(at) with this in the body: subscribe inthenews-L

At Da Tech

CONCRETE CANOE TAKES THIRD IN NATION: Michigan Tech's team nabbed a bronze, its best finish ever, at the 18th Annual ASCE National Concrete Canoe Competition, held June 25-27 at Clemson University. Twenty-one teams had earned the right to compete in the nationwide contest. "Our team placed in the top five of all events but one," said civil and environmental engineering professor Neil Hutzler, who attended the event. "I am very proud of them." More:

BUSINESS PROF NAMED FULBRIGHT: Karol Pelc, professor in the School of Business and Economics, has been named a Fulbright Scholar. He will travel to Slovenia in 2006 and present lectures and seminars at the Universities of Maribor and Ljubliana on economics and the management of technological innovation.

WOMEN IN ENGINEERING CONTINUES: Michigan Tech hosted 133 high school students last week in the annual Women in Engineering Youth Program. Participants explored eight different areas of engineering and science, work on group engineering projects and interact with role model speakers. They also experienced a mini-version of college life by living in residence halls, participating in recreational activities, and interacting with peers and counselors who act as mentors.

Around Town

MEDIA DAY AT THE YELLOW DOG: The National Wildlife Federation sponsored a day-long tour for reporters of northern Marquette County's "Yellow Dog Plains," an area where Kennecott is looking at a nickel sulfide mine. Environmental groups, reporters, and a representative from Kennecott discussed the proposed mine's potential impact on the area and, particularly, the groundwater.

STANDOFF ENDS AT MASS CITY: A 42-year-old Mass City man was arrested Wednesday after a 22-hour standoff with police, including a large contingent from a State Police "emergency support team." The man allegedly fired shots towards the Mass City Little League field behind his house, then shot at sheriff deputies when they entered his house.

ENJOY YOUR TEE SHOTS: The Michigan DNR has moved about 300 geese from Waterford, Michigan (near Detroit) to the Sturgeon River Wildlife Sloughs and the Baraga Plains. The geese are part of a contingent of 3,500 distributed around the state. The nuisance geese create problems for golf courses and homeowners, especially throughout the lower third of the state. For the past five years, the geese have been sent to Iowa but with the increasing number of birds, the DNR had to find an alternative.

From the E-mailbag

E-mail from John Titlow (heterodyne(at), on my
extolling the virtues of a Copper Country summer:

Good morning Dean:

Did the State of Michigan eliminate the black flies
and no-see-ums from the Keweenaw Peninsula? I recall
that the hotter that the air temperature got the more
the flies would bite. I never found the black flies to
be "delightful".

Dean sez: We've banished them to Copper Harbor and
surrounding environs (see the goose story just above; it
is a similar program).

E-mail from Tom Sadler '78 (sadler_thomas(at)


I remember the summer I spent at Tech. I was attending
Forestry summer camp in July and August of 1976. The
weather was mainly in the mid to upper 70s with low
humidity with sunny skies. We would go to Redridge and
McLain State park to watch the sunsets. Forestry camp
was tough but the great weather made things a lot
better. I visited the Keweenaw Peninsula in 1996 and
wish I could come back every summer.

Speaking of bad beer, I have a nominee. I was in the
Navy from 1981-1987. I made one cruise to the
Mediterranean in the summer of 1986. One of our ports
of call was Messina, Sicily. I loved the city but not
the beer of the same name. It too allegedly had
formaldehyde in it as a preservative. It gave you a
nasty hangover and did bad things to your digestive
system. Of course when you little other choice sailors
will drink most anything.

E-mail from Kathy Hellman Kilponen '61 (bkilpo(at)

Dear Dean,

Here's a bad beer story! I have a six pack of original
Bosch Light Sauna beer and a six pack of Bosch Gilt
Edge Premium beer from the Houghton brewery. The beer
was purchased before the brewery closed and that's
about 35 years ago. I was taking them to the trash
when I remembered that this week's Tech stories were
about beer. I stopped to think...and saved both 6
packs. They may be the only Bosch six packs in
existence? If anyone is interested, the six packs are
up for bids. The bottles can be sold and I will donate
the contents. Bill and I will be in the Copper Country
for the Phi Lambda Beta Sorority reunion on August
2-5. Make an offer?

Dean sez: Maybe we should start a web auction service:
BeerBay or bBay?

E-mail from Dave Funston '60


I felt compelled to reply to Rick Stevens note on
Orion Beer from Okinawa. I make no claims for being a
beer connoisseur, but I've had some pretty good beers
in many parts of the world including Germany, Holland,
and Belgium. Orion certainly isn't the absolute best,
but it is a pretty good brew and is head and shoulders
above some of the others. I have found most Japanese
beers to be pretty reasonable. I wish that I had a
better comprehensive rating system for brews like
Bosch, which is only a faint memory at this point in
my life.

TechAlum Subscriber Stats

We're at 7,138 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.

1971 David Tackett davetackett(at)
1979 Warren Brown maxwbrown(at)
1982 John Beardslee JEBeardslee(at)
1982 Trudi Britz (Seid) stbritz(at)
1992 Todd Albert todd_albert(at)
1992 Brett Laughlin brettlaughlin(at)
1993 Amy Kapuga (Fritz) akapuga(at)
1993 Timothy Ruesch ruesch(at)
1993 Jeffrey Niemi jdniemi(at)
1994 Matthew Jachimstal matthew(at)
1996 Kristine Treat (Grove) KLTxyz03(at)
1997 Tom Tickler sara-tom(at)
2001 Ann DeJong (Miller) gardengirlann(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.

15 Mid-Michigan (Saginaw, Midland, Bay City) Annual Golf Outing
30 West Michigan Chapter at Whitecaps baseball

4-6 2005 Alumni Reunion in Houghton.

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

  • No postings this week

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