TechAlum News

December 19, 2005 (Vol. 12, No. 28)

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:

Home for the Holidays 

I prefer the Bing Crosby version of the song, which has now been usurped by Wal-Mart commercials, since I'm old school. And the song and phrase have more meaning each year. This season, our daughter has returned from out East and our son is around occasionally when he's not being a Tech freshman and all that that means.

We should count our blessings about being home, especially up here, for the holidays. We probably don't do it often enough, but I have found a couple of occasions when the season has "hit home": cleaning the snow off the bird feeders and enjoying the all-too-rare silence of snow falling down, hearing an old friend's laughter cut across a room, noticing people in stores being more pleasant than usual, saying goodbye to student workers after finals week.

But the best moments are even closer to home: watching our daughter sleep on the couch or our son scooping the deck, eating grandma's date cookies (I'm addicted), or reading cards from the old Detroit neighbors, who still write my mom nearly forty years after we moved.

Mostly, I'm amazed at our house transformed, in spirit and in décor, to a home welcoming back the wanderers old and new and remembering the many great ones gone too soon.

Let it snow. (Like we have to say that up here.)

And, yours truly will take a break from Techalum-L next week. We'll publish again January 2, 2006.

Until then, I'll be home.

Snowfall Update


As of December 16, 2005

                    This week     Last Week           Last year

Snowfall to date      101.7"         76.5"               36.5"

On the ground         21.0"          16.0"               8.00"

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

HOUGHTON ALUMNI CHAPTER SOCIAL: On Wednesday, December 21, there will be an After Work Social at the Northern Lights Tap Lounge from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. There is no RSVP needed, and questions may be addressed to Mike Drewyer at 482-0535.

COMMENCEMENT GRADUATES 400: As Aaron Somero approached the stage at Michigan Tech University's Mid-year Commencement ceremony Saturday, not only was he prepared to venture into a new career, but a new life. The 22-year-old Houghton native, who received his bachelor's of science in business administration, is also getting married come Saturday, before moving to West Palm Beach, Fla. Dec. 28, where he will start his career with Ernst & Young accounting firm. Somero was one of the 400 Michigan Tech students honored this mid-year commencement. Of the graduates, a total of eight associate degrees and 268 bachelor's degrees were awarded. In addition, 106 master's degree recipients and 19 Ph.D. graduates were honored. Commencement speaker, Dr. Kathryn Clark, vice chair of the Board of Control for Michigan Tech and former chief scientist with NASA, led a discussion on the reputation of Michigan Tech and the student's role in upholding it. "Reputation comes from two sources ... faculty ... and the second source of a reputation in a school is the alumni," she explained, recalling a recent dinner party she attended where she had a conversation with a General Motors executive. Revealing she was a member of the Board of Control for Michigan Tech, the executive said "at General Motors, we will hire someone simply because they have a degree from Michigan Tech" Clark retold, adding that she asked if GM would do the same with other schools. "He replied, 'nope, only one,'" she said, explaining that he said Michigan Tech consistently prepares the caliber of person they are looking for.

ED HALTENHOFF PASSES AWAY: Civil engineering professor Charles Edwin "Ed" Haltenhoff died December 6, 2005. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and attended Brooklyn Technical High School. After graduating in 1942, he served in WW II and received many commendations, serving in France, Belgium and Germany. Returning home, Ed attended Lehigh University, graduating in 1951 with a degree in civil engineering. In 1951, he joined Merrit-Chapman and Scott Corporation as a construction engineer. In 1954, he was appointed project engineer for all on-site construction engineering pertaining to the foundation for the Mackinac Bridge. In 1956, he joined the Mackinac Bridge Authority as chief engineer and remained as general manager until 1965 when he joined Elzinga and Volkers, Inc., where assumed the presidency in 1968 and chairman of the board in 1978. In 1980, he joined the civil engineering department at Tech, where he received the University's Distinguished Teacher Award in 1990, was awarded the department's Outstanding Teacher Award four times, and was designated a Distinguished Lecturer in 1992. His final award was the Alumni Outstanding Service Award in 1995. While at Michigan Tech, he published many articles on construction management and published a construction management textbook. Ed is survived by his wife of 55 years, Harriet; seven children; 15 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. Private memorial services were held December 9. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be given to Sts. Peter & Paul Lutheran Church, 323 Hancock St., Hancock, MI 49930 or Copper Country Humane Society, P.O. Box 354, Hancock, MI 49930.

JAZZ NIGHT IN TRAVERSE CITY: The Michigan Tech Alumni Association is sponsoring a Jazz Night on Tuesday, January 3, 2006, at the City Opera House, Downtown Traverse City. The concert is slated for 7:00 p.m. with dessert social before and after. Music will be provided by the Michigan Tech Jazz Lab Band. The event is being held in conjunction with several TC-area jazz programs, so many students and jazz lovers are expected to attend. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students, and can be purchased at the door, but you are advised to call or email Tanya ahead: 906-487-2400 or tfmaki(at) Ticket sales will help support young musicians in the region.

ALAN PARSONS COMING TO TECH: Legendary rock artist Alan Parsons will bring his band, his music, and his world-class sound-and-light show to Houghton's Rozsa Center for two long-awaited performances with the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra during Michigan Tech's Winter Carnival on February 10 and 11. Parsons, who started out as recording engineer for the Beatles and Pink Floyd before founding his great studio band, the Alan Parsons Project, has been at the cutting edge of popular music since the 1970's. The Houghton shows will feature many of Alan Parsons' familiar classics, including "Games People Play," "Eye in the Sky," and "Time," and songs from his latest recording, A Valid Path. In addition to Alan Parsons, stars of the Alan Parsons Live Project include lead singer/songwriter (and Houghton native) PJ Olsson. Parsons' stage producers will also be in residence at Michigan Tech during the week of the show, working with students in Michigan Tech's new degree programs in entertainment technology and sound design. The KSO, conducted by the chair of Michigan Tech's Department of Fine Arts, Milton Olsson, father of PJ Olsson, will play orchestrations expressly written for Alan Parsons by noted film composer Andrew Powell, keyboardist Manny Focarazzo, and Milton Olsson. "The symphony orchestra has been at the core of Parsons' music since his earliest studio recordings," Olsson notes. More information about the Alan Parsons shows is available from the Department of Fine Arts (email fineart(at) and on the web at Tickets are available now from the Rozsa Center Box Office, 906-487-3200 and

Tech Sports

SPLIT FOR HOCKEY HUSKIES: The Michigan Tech hockey team split a home series with Minnesota State, Mankato, by scores of 5-4 and 3-2. Chris Conner (2-1--3), Mike Batovanja (0-2--2), Taggart Desmet (1-1--2) and Lars Helminen (1-1--2) each notched multi-point games this weekend. Michael-Lee Teslak tied a career high by stopping 41 saves in earning the fourth win of his freshman season in Saturday's victory. The Huskies will take a week off before taking on Michigan State on Thursday, December 29, in the 41st annual Great Lakes Invitational at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

WOMEN'S HOOPS STREAK AT SEVEN: The Michigan Tech women's basketball team owns a current winning streak of seven games, thanks to a 72-67 victory at Findlay last Saturday (Dec. 17) in its only game of the week. The Huskies are 8-1 on the season, with their only loss coming to a team they defeated six days later (Lewis). The school record for consecutive wins is 15, a mark that was tied by last year's team.

Michigan Tech SKIING HOSTS CHRISTMAS CLASSIC: The Nordic skiing teams took part in the Holiday Inn Christmas Classic at the Tech Trails this past Saturday and Sunday. Over 300 racers from the CCSA and beyond participated in the event. Kristina Owen took home seventh place in the five-kilometer freestyle race Saturday and finished fourth in the 10-kilometer classic race Sunday to pace the Huskies. On the men's side, Ben Beard was the top male performer in Saturday's 10 kilometer freestyle race with a 15th place finish, while Aaron Ditty recorded a team-best ninth place showing in the 10 kilometer classic race. Tech's next competition is the U.S. National Championships (January 1-8) in Soldier Hollow, Utah.


Men's Ice Hockey (4-15-1, 3-10-1 WCHA)

Dec. 16: Minnesota State Mankato 5, at Michigan Tech 4

Dec. 17: at Michigan Tech 3, Minnesota State Mankato 2

Women's Basketball (8-1, 4-0 GLIAC)

Dec. 17: Michigan Tech 72, at Findlay 67

Men's Basketball (3-5, 2-2 GLIAC)

Dec. 17: at Findlay 62, Michigan Tech 55

Nordic Skiing

Dec. 17-18: Men & Women hosted Holiday Inn Express Christmas Class (no team scores)


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

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

Women's Basketball at Minnesota Duluth, 7 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

Men's Basketball at Minnesota Duluth, 9 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Men's Basketball at St. Joseph's (Ind.), 7:30 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

41st Annual Great Lakes Invitational

Joe Louis Arena • Detroit, Michigan

Michigan Tech vs. Michigan State, 4:36 p.m. WKMJ, 93.5 FM

Michigan vs. Colorado College, 8:06 p.m.

Third-Place Game • Friday, Dec. 30

Semifinal 1 Loser vs. Semifinal 2 Loser, 4:36 p.m.

Championship Game • Friday, Dec. 30

Semifinal 1 Winner vs. Semifinal 2 Winner, 8:06 p.m.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Women's Basketball hosts Northern Michigan, 5:30 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

Men's Basketball hosts Northern Michigan, 7:30 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

Around Town

FENCE ISSUE SENT TO ATTORNEY GENERAL: A fence placed by people with property next to a section of the proposed Chassell to Houghton Recreation Corridor near Chassell hasn't been removed prompting the Department of Natural Resources to refer the matter to the office of Attorney General Mike Cox. Tom Wellman, land manager of the DNR Forest, Minerals, and Fire Management Division in Lansing, said although the property owners, Eric and Naomi Leukuma, received a letter requesting them to remove the fence by Nov. 24, they have not complied. "It's not been taken down yet," Wellman said. "We will be requesting assistance from the attorney general's office." It's uncertain when Cox's office will be able to give attention to the DNR request, Wellman said, because it has to prioritize the issues brought to the Attorney General. "They take care of cases as they are able to," he said. Last spring and summer, the DNR conducted several public hearings with the Houghton Recreation Corridor Advisory Committee regarding possible uses for the DNR-owned trail, including snowmobiling.

MOTHERLODE CLOSES: A popular downtown Houghton coffee shop and meeting place has closed. Java junkies found the doors of the Motherlode Coffee House closed Tuesday, following a normal day of business Monday. Owner Bill Rosemurgy said that he notified his staff Sunday night of his decision to close the business. "The hours were simply getting to me," Rosemurgy said Tuesday night. "I was finding myself losing my energy and I knew it would take its toll on the business. Once that starts happening, it's time to go." Rosemurgy and his wife, Susan, bought the business two and a half years ago, filling a need for both the former computer specialist and the community. "It was such a shame when it closed, and really left a hole for the downtown as a meeting place," he said. "I was looking to do something different and it just fell into my lap." However, Rosemurgy said despite the joys of following in his father and grandfather's footsteps of owning his own business, it came at a heavy price. "When I took over the business, my son was a senior in high school," he said. "I look back and wonder where that time went, and I know it went into the business."

From the E-mailbag

Dennis, Regarding that Togo's that closed. The new ones aren't even the same so don't lose any sleep. I still patronize the one in Harvey quite often sometimes the one on Third Street too. Maybe it's the fresh buns, or maybe its Vollwerth's ...King of Meats!

Jim Pytleski

Editor's note: Today, when I hit the Togo's on 3rd Street in Marquette, I feel like I'm back to the 1970s and in the one in downtown Houghton: cheese steak, #8, #16!


One gripe about publishing the names of the new subscribers. I've been out of Tech long enough that the children of classmates are starting to appear. OUCH!

Marty Vonk

B.S. Chem. Eng. '74


Dennis - I think there must really be some substance to these old college dreams.  I have them every now and then and, as you, also wake up before anything exciting happens. Amazing what affect a four-year period can have on the rest of our lives.

Tom Wade '65


I was one of the fortunate 35 enthusiastic Tech fans that were able to experience a silent Kohl Arena in Madison this past Friday night. How proud I was to be sitting there yelling until my voice hurt, that once again, the timing was right as the there was an outstanding TEAM effort to put the Badgers in their place. As the saying goes, on any given night, one team can beat any other team. That's why it's so much fun! To those of you who have fallen by the wayside on the efforts of the hockey team, you missed a classic Friday night. As Coach MacInnes and the Dean would have said, they just plain out hustled them! Great job Huskies. I hope to see many more games just like it coming soon!

Paul Meese


TechAlum Subscriber Stats

We currently have 7,250 subscribers. Changes to your TechAlum newsletter subscription should be made via commands to majordomo(at) Questions? Contact Dennis Walikainen (dkwalika(at)

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1958    Glenn S. Arendsen       glennstu(at)

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1963     Peter M. Tampas          ptampas(at)

1963     Jack A. Miotti          jmiotti(at)

1965     Richard H. Crannell       rcrannell(at)

1965     Bernard A. Holm          alholm(at)

1969     Louis W. VanLiere       louvl(at)

1971     Richard J. Saccany        rsaccany(at)

1972     Gary H. Hagstrom       ghagstrom(at)

1975     Kirk L. Payne            klpayne1(at)

1976     Edith M. Waite (Lichtier)     belwaite(at)

1978     Hans T. Petaisto       hans.petaisto(at)

1979     Barbara A. Bonefeld       bbonefeld(at)

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1983     Robert J. Vukovich       rvukovich(at)

1983     Kathleen Calder Haselmaier     kathy.haselmaier(at)

1984     Gregory S. Niemi     gniemi(at)

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1986     Mark E. Foster          markfoster(at)

1986     Janalee A. Graham (Sengelaub)     janalee.a.graham(at)

1987     Brian E. Morgan          powerpointhater(at)

1987     Paul J. Domanski       pdoman(at)

1991     Dawn C. Simpkin          dawnsimpkin(at)

1992     Leonard D. Habel     lhabel(at)

1995     Jacob A. Weller          jacob_weller(at)

1996     Tracy L. Romzek (Cavadeas)     tcromzek(at)

1996     Kok-Ken Lee             pinnacles4(at)

1996     Michele M. Vaughn (Wood)     michele_vaughn(at)

1997     April S. Groendyk       agroendyk(at)

1997     Steven P. Burzinski     spburzin(at)

1997     Roberta L. Edwards        bobbi.edwards(at)

1998     John D. Brugeman       dan.brugeman(at)

2000     Molly L. O'Brien (Renn)     mobrien(at)

2000     Troy G. Kelsey          troykelsey(at)

2000     Sarah A. Dutton (Fausell)     sarah.dutton(at)

2001     Kristopher J. Konyn     kris_konyn(at)

2001     Benjamin X. Hankins        bxhankin(at)

2002     Erica L. Schwartz (Peters)     erica.l.swartz(at)

2003     Gregory R. Leitheiser     gleitheiser(at)

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2003     George R. Mazarello     grmazarello(at)

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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.

December 21 Houghton, After Work Social: Northern Lights Tap Lounge, 5:00-6:30 p.m.

December 29-30 GLI Hockey in Detroit

January 3 Traverse City: Jazz Night (see above)

Job Opportunities This Week

ON CAMPUS: Complete job descriptions 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 (