TechAlum News

October 3, 2005 (Vol. 12, No. 18)

A weekly electronic newsletter for alumni and friends of Michigan Technological University

Edited by Dennis Walikainen (MS ’92), Director, Web Development, University Marketing and Communications

For past issues, see our archives.

In this issue:


This weekend was another gem: temperatures in the seventies, sunny, and great for golf or even mowing the lawn (in October!). It was made to order for Family Weekend, where parents and siblings of current students come up to make sure their sons and daughters are okay. It’s also a chance for the sons and daughters to make sure mom and dad are okay.

There was plenty for the families to do: boat cruises on the Keweenaw Star, Russian State Chorus concert, Greek house tours, Quincy Mine Tours, a football game (another Huskies victory), chair lift rides at Mont Ripley, and an Expo in the Rozsa Center, where various academic and administrative departments were represented. I was there on behalf of ParentNet, a listserv and websites aimed to keep parents connected to Tech and vice versa. Chatting with the parents, the conversations ranged from “he was lonesome at first, but he’s okay now” to “we never hear from her because she’s so busy.” For the most part, the students were surviving the rigors of the Tech education and being away from home.

family weekend crowdWhat the parents and I also remarked on was the differences between now and when we went to school. First, in general, we didn’t seek that much input from our folks, and they didn’t seem to want to involve themselves too greatly in our college lives. It was a mutual understanding. Secondly, we never had all these great tools to stay in touch. The rare phone call to or from the dorm room has been replaced with email, cell phones, and even instant messaging. Finally, we agreed that there is a fine line between involvement and intrusion.

We all want them to grow and be independent, but we also want to help them succeed. And, thanks to all this neat technology, we can stay engaged in their lives. One of the reasons for events like Family Weekend is that the increased involvement of the students’ family helps increase retention at Tech. We want the students to succeed, too. While we all agree that they must do so on their own, it doesn’t hurt to get a little help from their family, the Tech family, or, with apologies to Ringo, their friends.

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

At Tech

TECH BUCKS NATIONAL TREND: RESEARCH SPENDING IS UP: At a time when most government R&D funding has been stagnant or shrinking, Michigan Tech research has been attracting more and more dollars. The university's federal contract and grant awards for last fiscal year jumped 13.7 percent over the previous year to a record $25.1 million, Provost and Vice President for Research David Reed told the Board of Control Sept. 29. Overall contract and grant awards were up 15.2 percent, to $33.1 million. "Federal R&D spending is not up, and in many areas, it's down," Reed said. "What's happening here is not due to a federal funding increase." The burgeoning research program is not due to any one star's success, Reed said. "There's a whole mix of things going on at the same time," he said. A number of six- and seven-figure grants have come through in widely different areas, from nanotechnology to fuel cell research and from forestry to mathematics. "It's really all due to the activities of the faculty, staff and students," he added.

BOARD OK’S LAND PURCHASE FOR MUSEUM: The Board of Control unanimously approved the purchase of property to be developed as the new site of the Seaman Mineral Museum. The transaction paves the way for the university to begin construction and renovation at the museum’s future location, north of the Quincy Mine Hoist of the Keweenaw National Historical Park on U.S. 41 in Hancock. The property will be purchased from the Quincy Mine Hoist Association for $2,000. “I’m very pleased to see this come to fruition,” said Board Chair Mike Henricksen. “The new museum will be a very valuable asset to the university.” The museum complex will include the old Quincy Mine blacksmith and machine shops, as well as a service center for visitors and administrative offices. The next step will be to begin the first phase of the $15 million project, restoring the machine shop, which will cost an estimated $5 million.

CAREER DAY A RECORD-BREAKER: Career Day hosted 197 companies and other employers Tuesday, which breaks the previous record of 186, Career Center Director Jim Turnquist has announced."An amazing part of this is that there are many new companies from various industries that participated," he said. Among them are Alticor, based in Los Angeles, and also the Los Angeles Department of Public Works, Microsoft, Intel, the Department of Defense and the U.S. Patent Office."A diplomat from the State Department also conducted an informational meeting for Michigan Tech students," he said. "That was interesting."Many companies that attended in the past were back on campus, including 3M, ADM, BASF, Bosch Corporation, Caterpillar, Ford, GM, Daimler Chrysler, Toyota, Guidant, John Deere, Kohler, Kraft Foods, Polaris, SC Johnson and many, many more.  Turnquist credited the hard work of the Career Center staff for making Career Day a success. "The day after Career Day, 155 companies were conducting interviews with students," he said. "How many schools can say that?"

COLOROLOGIST: “Forty-eight to fifty-three percent turned,” the colorologist blurted out at me Sunday. Are you sure, I asked? “I went beyond science and math this time,” he answered. “I took the chairlift ride at Mont Ripley Saturday. Next two weekends should be nice.”

Tech Sports

RECORD-BREAKING DAY NETS GRAHAM GLIAC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS: Daryl Graham broke both the school and Sherman Field records for rushing yards in a game with 307 on 36 carries vs. Gannon last Saturday (Oct. 1). The sophomore tailback tallied four rushing touchdowns and also had two receptions for 12 yards. Graham had just 83 yards at halftime before exploding with 224 yards in the second half (135 in the third quarter and 89 more in the fourth). The 5-8, 185-pound runner averaged 8.5 yards per carry and had a long run of 75 yards -- for a TD in the third quarter. Graham raised his season rushing average from 77.2 coming into the game to 123.3 after it. In addition, he moved into 10th on Michigan Tech’s career rushing list with 1,603 yards.

LET’S PLAY HOCKEY! The 2005-06 college hockey season kicks off Friday (Oct. 7) on the Michigan Tech campus when the Huskies host Mercyhurst for the first of a two-game series at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. Face-off both Friday and Saturday nights is 7:07 p.m. Tech and Mercyhurst, which are both members of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference for other sports, have never met on the ice. The Lakers belong to the Atlantic Hockey Association. Michigan Tech is a charter member of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, and opening its 85th year of varsity hockey.

MEIKLE NAMED GLIAC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Jake Meikle helped Michigan Tech score 28 points in the first 5:45 of the second quarter vs. Gannon last Saturday (Oct. 1). He intercepted two passes in that span and returned them a combined 34 yards. The junior safety also had a team-high nine tackles (three solo) in the game as well as another pass breakup. Meikle owns three interceptions on the season and six for his career. He is Michigan Tech’s first GLIAC Defensive Player of the Week since Nov. 4, 2002 (Dustin Daniels).


Saturday, October 1, 2005

FB: at #13 Michigan Tech 45, Gannon 17

WTN: at Lake Superior State 7, Michigan Tech 2

Friday, September 30, 2005

VB: at Ferris State 3, Michigan Tech 0 (30-25, 30-25, 30-28)

MCC: 1st of 2 Teams in U.P. Invitational

WCC: 2nd of 3 Teams in U.P. Invitational

Thursday, September 29, 2005

VB: at Grand Valley State 3, Michigan Tech 0 (30-16, 30-19, 30-19)


Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Volleyball hosts Minnesota Duluth, 7 p.m.

--Live Radio, 93.5 FM

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Huskies Drive Time, 7:30 - 8:00 a.m. on WKMJ, 93.5 FM

Friday, October 7, 2005 (Husky Friday - wear school colors)

Women’s Tennis hosts Northwood, 3 p.m.

Hockey hosts Mercyhurst, 7:07 p.m.

--Live Radio, 93.5 FM

Saturday, October 8, 2005

Women's Tennis hosts Saginaw Valley State, 10 a.m.

#13 Football at Wayne State, 12 noon

-- Live Radio, 93.5 FM

Volleyball hosts Wayne State, 4 p.m.

Hockey hosts Mercyhurst, 7:07 p.m.

--Live Radio, 93.5 FM

Sunday, October 9, 2005

Volleyball hosts Hillsdale, 2 p.m.

--Live Radio, 93.5 FM

All Times are Eastern

Around Town

JIM’S FOODMART MINIMALL DEBATED: Houghton City Mayor Tom Merz summed up a recent City Council meeting in a few short words. “It was a long night, but an important one," he said. Much of the night's content centered on issues regarding variances and re-zoning changes requested by Jim's Foodmart owner Bill Winter, whose proposal to construct two strip malls on his current property had received approval by the City's Planning Commission. "I've held two public meetings with local residents and believe that the tenants I propose would provide much welcomed and needed services," he said. "Because of the overwhelming support of the community and the planning commission, I believe these small variances are justified." Winter's parking issues did not elude council member Rachel Lankton, who questioned why Winter's plan included only 72 proposed spaces out of the 125 needed by the ordinance. "When Jim's was built, it was a premier store," Winter explained. "Now I'm a secondary source with much more foot traffic, and I'm comfortable with the plan." Council member Eric Peterson urged the zoning board to consider the variance carefully, as he believed the strip mall would attract businesses that otherwise may locate in the city's ailing downtown district. Winter's request for a variance was ultimately granted in a 3-2 vote, with Board chairman Bob Backon, member Rachel Lankton and member Craig Kurtz voting yes, and Peterson and member Robert Megowan voting no.

PUBLIC OPPOSES LAKESHORE DRIVE RENTAL: City residents turned out in droves recently to voice their objections to a property that, legally, they may have to live with. The Houghton Zoning Board of Appeals took over 40 minutes of public comment on a request made by property owner Robert Sundstrom for a parking and landscape variance at 709 and 711 West Lakeshore Drive. Sundstrom bought the property about two years ago with the intention of turning the building into apartments. It was zoned B-3 more than 30 years ago. That move apparently shocked many of the neighboring property owners, who assumed the section of town was zoned R-1 for single-family dwellings. "We bought that property thinking it was single family," said Michael Cischke of 601 Lakeshore Drive. "Perhaps it's technically not a residential zone, but for practical purposes it is, and changing that neighborhood now will lower our property values and all of those properties on the lakefront." Sundstrom made his first of many rebuttals of the night, citing townhouses, a doctor's office and the Michigan Tech University SmartZone Powerhouse incubator as evidence of the mixed interests on the street, as well as the area's adjacency to M-26. "It's not a residential neighborhood in a legal sense, and it's more than a residential neighborhood from anyone who drives down there," he said. John Sullivan of 907 Lakeshore Circle particularly objected to Sundstrom's parking plan, which he said did not provide enough parking on private property and would necessitate parking on the road's right-of-way. "He'll need to put all these cars on the shoulder," Sullivan told the board. "Don't consider this for a moment, folks."

From the E-mailbag

Most of our e-mails mentioned the passing of Cheryl DePuydt.

I just read about Cheryl DePuydt in my TechAlum newsletter & it immediately brought tears to my eyes. Cheryl was one of the kindest & most wonderful people I've ever had the pleasure to know. She got me back into figure skating even when I was very busy with classes, hockey, & working. She gave me a job coaching precision (synchronized) skating to a feisty bunch of jr. high girls... of all different attitudes & skating levels. She reassured me & told me that I was doing a great job with those girls.. even when things were tough. We traveled with her to Duluth for a skating competition & had a ton of fun! She knew how to help me achieve more than I ever thought I was capable of. She ALWAYS had a smile & a sunny attitude... & made my time @ tech a more memorable & personal experience.

She will be greatly missed.

- Sara Nurmela '99


Was so sorry to hear of Cheryl DePuydt's death. I knew Cheryl personally when I was a student at Tech from 1976 to 1980. I was a member of the men's club volleyball team during that time and we used to scrimmage the women's team at their practices in Sherman Gym (there's a blast from the past) when the women's volleyball program was first started. She was a 1st class person and I'm sure will be missed by the Michigan Tech community.     

Ted Oberhellman

BSChE Class of 1980


I was saddened to hear of Cheryl DePuydt's much too early passing. I fondly remember her as my phy. ed. instructor Freshman year (79-80).  I'd skated since I was little, but didn't know how to do anything other than skate forwards. I was convinced that I'd picked the right place to go to school since skating was offered as a gym class! I took two quarters of figure skating from her, and learned some skills and tricks. Best of all, I learned to skate backwards, and soon found myself on the DHH intramural girls' hockey team. Most of us played in our figure skates, borrow the guys' pads, and had never played hockey before, so it was a hoot. Thanks to Hal Howlett's coaching and cheering, and Cheryl DePuydt's teaching and encouraging, we ended up with a few very respectable and fun seasons.  May

she rest in peace.

Evy Dudey (BSEE 1983)


I was saddened to hear of the death of Cheryl DePuydt. I have to admitI didn't know her well, but I do remember her clearly on two occasions.In the first, I had a "job" (I believe I was paid something like $3 perarticle) to cover women's volleyball. To be fair I think my onlyqualification for the job was that my roommate was dating the sports editor. Cheryl was very kind in giving me, a very uninformed rooky, thefacts to write my articles.  The other occasion was when I took ice-skating to fulfill a PE requirement.  I had no prior experience andagain she was very good at explaining the basics and encouraging results. This probably wouldn't mean as much to me but as fate wouldhave it, I now have two daughters who have an absolute passion forskating.  Between my husband and me we are at the rink five or six days a week. My older one skates on a synchro team coached by Lisa Leuking,the daughter of Prof. Leuking (another Tech connection). I wonder ifour professors actually realize the number of ways they have positivelytouched people's lives over the years. It's probably incalculable (evenfor engineers). Thank-you.



Hi Dennis:

I was shocked to hear of Cheryl's passing. I had her (and "Chris Clean") for First Aid my first semester at Tech back in 1989. She was always full of smiles & a real treat to have as an instructor. She has the dubious honor of being one of the only instructors to ever issue me an "A" on my report card! She'll be sorely missed by all who knew her...

Phil Agius



I am very saddened to hear of the passing of Cheryl DePuydt. During all four of my years at Michigan Tech, I came to know Cheryl through my participation in the Michigan Tech Volleyball Club. Knowing that she really didn't have the extra time in her already busy teaching, coaching, and community service schedules, Cheryl was gracious enough to mentor our Club by allowing us to practice on many occasions with her varsity volleyball team.  While most of the members of the Club already had some pretty fair volleyball skills, Cheryl and her teams, including Diana Brehob (class of '78), spent as much time as they could making us much better, fundamentally (an area that I admittedly needed some help in!). In return (mind you using a net at women's height, not men's), we (many of us males being nearly 6' tall and taller) helped them considerably with their power skills and their defense skills!  Memory does escape me a little these days, yet I do recall that Cheryl's teams during that period were some of the best in the league, and our Volleyball Club was second to none during intramural league seasons on campus. Not only did I continue to practice the volleyball skills that Cheryl and her players taught me for another 20 years, I continue to practice the cooperation and general people skills that I learned from her. I hadn't seen nor spoken with Cheryl since the Spring of '78, yet I will always remember the wonderful young teacher and coach that definitely made a lasting positive impression on me...she will always be remembered as a real class act!

Randy Alpin '78


There are names that you remember over the years but often forget the faces. Cheryl's was not one of them. I will always remember that she was always smiling, always upbeat, always optimistic. People like Cheryl made you want to have a better attitude in your own life. I can just imagine that she was just the same until the end. I spent a lot of time at the SDC and even a year at Sherman Gym and even though I never had her as a coach she touched me greatly. You are a nice memory for me Cheryl. God Bless you.

Jodi (Peters) Maley '84



I am so sorry to hear about Cheryl DePuydt's passing; I know the empty space she leaves behind will not be filled by one person alone.  I was privileged to have a skating class with her during my years at Tech.  Please send my condolences along to her family.

Caryn (Turrel) Sugden
Michigan Tech class of 1990

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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.

October 8 Football—Wayne State, Detroit

October 14-15 Hockey—Anchorage, Alaska

October 21 Hockey—NMU, Marquette

October 26 YES eXpo 2005—Ford Field, Detroit

October 29 Football—SVSU, Saginaw

Job Opportunities This Week

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

  • No job postings this week.

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