April 24, 2006 (Vol. 12, No. 45)

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:

Final(s) Push

Driving through campus Saturday night, I notice the parking lots around the library were full of cars, and the library itself was full of activity. Finals Week has begun, and the future engineers, scientists, and business leaders were cramming in the last bits of information for those last tests.

I always dreaded finals, but my last foray in academia nearly got me missing the final push. I was fortunate to have a Spanish class last semester with a passionate professor, Ciro Sandoval, who really helped me get through and seemed to appreciate the fact that I was a "nontraditional" student. That means "old."

I joked with him after one quiz that it was the first sit-down test I'd taken since 1978. He laughed and laughed. We would chat in his office about my trials with Spanish verb tenses, but would more often than not end up talking about Tech, its students, its future, and whatever.

But, when I took the two-part final last December, I had those anxious moments, like the 6,400-plus will be feeling, starting today, including the first-year student in our house. He's got four finals, and he will be "free," after the last one, at 2:45 p.m. Thursday (not like he's counting the hours). Someday, I hope he appreciates the pursuit of the paper chase. And I know, eventually, he'll have that one or more special professors with whom he'll stay in touch.

Finals aren't the finale.


ALUMNI BULLETIN BOARD: Remember the alumni bulletin board for you to use for discussions related to this newsletter, Tech sports, or anything else: <http://www.admin.mtu.edu/pps-cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl>

At Tech

TRANSPORTATION BILL INCLUDES FUNDING FOR ENCLOSED CROSSWALK: Funding for an enclosed crosswalk near Wadsworth Hall and Fisher Hall has been included in a special transportation capital funding bill supported by Governor Jennifer Granholm and the leadership of the state legislature. Pending approval by the legislature, the agreement paves the way for more than $400 million in road programs throughout the state. The agreement includes $1.5 million for an enclosed pedestrian crosswalk over U.S. 41. Primary users will be the over-2,000 students in McNair and Wadsworth residence halls, as well as residents of the university's Daniell Heights apartments. The university has been requesting state funding for the walkway for years. As the main route into Houghton, U.S. 41 experiences heavy traffic, and students cross the highway in great numbers as they travel between campus and the residence halls.


TECH RECEIVES $1 MILLION FOR CLIMATE RESEARCH: Tech will receive $1,191,867 from the U.S. Department of Energy, Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Menominee) has announced. The funding will be used to support grant proposals submitted to the Midwestern Regional Center of the National Institute for Climatic Change Research.  NICCR is administered through four regional centers, each hosted by a different university. The grant will allow the university to continue as one of those research anchors, examining climate change patterns in 13 states. "The research Michigan Tech is doing is extraordinarily important not only to Michigan and the Midwest, but to the entire country," Stupak said. "We're pleased the Department of Energy supports our research to better understand how climate change will impact Midwestern forests and farms," Kurt Pregitzer, director of the Midwest Regional Center, said. "Michigan Tech has top-flight faculty in the climate research field," Stupak noted. "Allocating these funds will bring more students interested in climate change to the university, build Michigan Tech's reputation and, thus, draw to the Upper Peninsula students interested in other areas of study."


MAKE A DIFFERENCE STUDENTS HONORED IN NATIONAL MAGAZINE: It took a little elbow grease on a rain-soaked October day, but it was enough for Tech to make it onto the pages of the April 21-23 issue of USA Weekend magazine. The magazine congratulated the 300 students who took part in the fifth annual Make a Difference Day last year when the students joined local volunteer groups on a Saturday for a day of dirt and grime. "It was a really good sense of accomplishment," said Jenny Greyerbiehl, assistant director of student life. "It's one of the largest community service events we host." Students came for a breakfast Saturday morning on campus and then met with group leaders before spending the day at one of several projects, including picking up trash, organizing items at Goodwill, visiting the elderly, painting, landscaping with Habitat for Humanity, cleaning Humane Society trails and pens and collecting donations for local shelters.

Tech Sports

WHITE TOPS BLACK, 22-12, IN ANNUAL SPRING FOOTBALL GAME: Huskies Conclude 2006 Spring Drills: The Michigan Tech football team wrapped up its 2006 spring drills with its annual Black-White Intrasquad Game Saturday. A nice crowd at Sherman Field watched the White Team came away with a 22-12 victory over the Black Team. Michigan Tech officially opens its 2006 season on September 2 at Sherman Field vs. Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference rival Wayne State.


STUDENT-ATHLETES HONORED AT MAJOR AWARDS PRESS CONFERENCE: Conner, Haynes, Kangas, Magee and Sieja Named Major Award Recipients: Tech honored its student-athletes and handed out awards at its inaugural major awards press conference Wednesday in the Begg Conference Room of the Peter J. Grant Hockey Educational Center. Senior Chris Conner (Westland, Mich.) of the hockey team and senior Amanda Sieja (Middleton, Wis.) of the women's basketball team were named the recipients of the Raymond L. Smith Award, given annually to the outstanding senior male and female student-athletes at the school. A pair of multi-sport athletes--Robert Haynes (Lansing, Mich./Sexton) and Laura Kangas (Chassell, Mich.)--were named the Terry Wilson Award winners as the top freshman male and female student-athletes. In addition, women's basketball player Sarah Magee (Green Bay, Wis./Bay Port) was given the Rick Webster "SISU" Award.



Football: Annual Spring Game: White 22, Black 12


Tue, Apr 25, Women's & Men's Track & Field at Minnesota Duluth Bulldog Open, 5 p.m.

All Times are Eastern

Around the Keweenaw
(Adapted from the Daily Mining Gazette)

ACCUSED GUNMAN CAUGHT, CHARGED: Just 17 hours after being the most wanted man in the Copper Country, Patrick James Kruse entered the Houghton County District Courtroom Friday with a bit of dirt under his fingernails and nursing a right-leg limp. After leading law enforcement on a seven-hour foot chase through the back woods of Cole's Creek Road, Kruse, 27, of Chassell, was apprehended Thursday at about 4:24 p.m. near Liminga and South Superior roads in Stanton Township, according to Lt. Mike Loyd of the Michigan State Police Calumet Post. He was arraigned in Houghton County District Court before Judge Phillip Kukkonen for the felony offense of committing an assault at 49624 Gedvillas Rd. Thursday. The charge carries a punishment of up to 20 years in prison. Houghton County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Fraser Strome asked the judge for a $1 million bond because Thursday "was a highly dangerous situation." Loyd said the search for Kruse began after a 9:20 a.m. "short and brief" call to 911 from someone saying an armed robber had entered their home on Canal Road in Houghton. "He had forced his way into the house and demanded $500," Loyd said, adding that Kruse is also a suspect in a high-speed police chase from last weekend in the Copper Country.


ARSON SUSPECT APPEARS IN COURT: A Calumet woman was charged with arson in Houghton County District Court Friday for allegedly setting an apartment on fire Thursday. Vicki Johnson, 41, was charged with one felony count of arson at 112 5th St. Apt No. 8. The charge carries a maximum of 20 years in prison. No injuries were reported in the incident, according to the Calumet Police Department. The resident was not in the apartment while it burned. He was at a neighbor's residence calling 911, according to Calumet Police Chief Craig Plante. Plante spoke during the arraignment and said that Johnson had been at the apartment earlier, at about 3 a.m.


AIRPORT STILL SEEKS NONSTOP FLIGHT TO DETROIT: Dennis Hext is working to increase use of the Houghton County Memorial Airport, but he needs the help of passengers to do that. Hext, who is manager of the airport, said although the county recently was awarded a $700,000 Small Air Service Grant from the federal Department of Transportation to reinstate non-stop flights to Detroit, there's uncertainty if the money will actually be put to use. "Shortly after (the grant award), Northwest filed for bankruptcy, " Hext said. Northwest Airlines is parent company of Mesaba Airlink, which used to fly non-stop to Detroit. The Hancock to Detroit non-stop flights ceased in 2002, and the Hancock to Marquette to Detroit flights stopped in 2003. People wanting to fly to Detroit now have to use Sawyer International Airport in Gwinn. Currently, Mesaba is flying only three flights from Houghton to Minneapolis. Hext said although officials with Northwest have not said definitely they won't reinstate the non-stop flights to Detroit, they do have some minimum requirements for considering it. At least 25 passengers per flight each way need to be on the planes, which is 18,250 passengers per year. Since the airport currently serves 4,500 to 5,000 passengers per year, Hext said he's not certain more than 18,000 passengers for a flight to Detroit can be found in this area.


From the E-mailbag

Hello, Dennis,
Nearly three weeks ago, my cousin and her husband, who live in Durham, NC, took me to visit the Duke University campus nearby. My impressions? - Duke is a showplace, easily the most beautiful campus I have ever seen.  The buildings have a Gothic appearance reminiscent of Oxford and Cambridge.  The Duke Chapel is exquisite - lovely!

My regretfully bare pate needing shielding from the sunshine, I was wearing my "Michigan Tech Alumni" cap.  Walking near Duke Chapel, I was stopped twice within a few minutes by people inquiring if I had graduated from Michigan Tech.

My response:  "Yes, indeed!"

Naturally I was surprised.  But I was struck in both cases that these people not only knew of Michigan Tech, but obviously respected it.

Made my day!

Frank Shoffner  '62


The Michigan Tech Fight Song ring tone? Bah - 'In Heaven There Is No Beer' is more likely to remind me of my college days  :)

Diane (Churches) Beagle
BSME '91, MSMY '94


While Tom's request for the Michigan Tech fight song was noteworthy, I personally believe that another song, often played by that amazingly spectacular group of musicians known as the Michigan Tech Pep Band, would be appreciated (and probably more recognized) by many Tech Alum.

Please provide the links for the Michigan Tech Pep Band rendition of "In Heaven There is no Beer"


Kevin Jarchow
Class of '82



The ring tone fight song is a good idea, but to represent the true tech spirit.... Is there an mp3 file of the "No Beer" song?


Editor's Note: We are working on that one, too, which seems to be in high demand!

Also from last week's email, our sources tell us the smelt are running in the Falls River near L'Anse, but not much action elsewhere in the UP.

Alumni Association Programs

Michigan Tech Alumni Relations and Admissions are proud to present the following Michigan Tech SPOTLIGHT NIGHTS, as part of the STARnet volunteer program.

* See the dates listed below.

Know bright, motivated, and adventurous students in these areas? Encourage them to come out! Pass it on. Michigan Tech Spotlight Night is a great place to check out Tech.

The purpose of the Spotlight Night programs is to introduce prospective students to Michigan Tech. The event will showcase the seven interest areas of study:  Arts and Human Sciences, Business, Computing, Engineering, Environmental Studies, Sciences, and Technology, along with showcasing various Enterprise and Senior Design projects. Prospective students and guests including parents, teachers and counselors are welcome and encouraged to attend.

For the Spotlight Night schedule, posters and more information, www.mtu.edu.

Information is also available on the Alumni & Friends and Admissions homepage, or contact: Kim Klender at ksklende(at)mtu.edu  (906.487.3674)

RSVP:  <www.admin.mtu.edu/alumni/volunteer/spotlight.htm>


ALL CHAPTER EVENTS: For more information on alumni chapter events, e-mail mtu_alumni(at)mtu.edu or see the alumni chapter site on the web:



24 - Greater LA National College Fair
25 - Ventura National College Fair
27 - San Francisco National College Fair
29 - Spring Commencement


3 - Grand Rapids Spring Dinner/Presidential Reception
4 - Austin Alumni Dinner with Engineering Advisory Board
6 - Sudbury Alumni Dinner
8 - Boston Presidential Reception
9 - Philadelphia Presidential Reception
10 - Duluth Spotlight Night*
11 - Minneapolis Spotlight Night*
16 - Saginaw/Bay City/Midland Spotlight Night
17-18 - Detroit Spotlight Night*
22 - Marquette Spotlight Night*
23 - Traverse City Spotlight Night*
24 - Grand Rapids Spotlight Night*
24 - Green Bay Golf Outing
24-26 - Washington DC (MTF Board Meeting), Presidential Reception
25 - Kalamazoo Spotlight Night*



YOU CAN GIVE OUT SOME AWARDS: The Admissions Office is looking for alums to help out at high school awards ceremonies. The schools are listed below, and the contact person is Kathy Ross (kgross(at)mtu.edu)1-888-688-1885.

School, City, Date of Event, Time of Event

Millennium, Goodyear, 5/17, 6:00 p.m.

Kalaheo, Kailua, 5/17, 6:30 p.m.

Byron, Byron, 5/8, 7:00 p.m.

Athens, Athens, 5/23, 7:30 p.m.
Beaver Island Community High School, Beaver Island, 5/31, 2:00 p.m.
Beaverton, Beaverton, 5/31, 7:00 p.m.
Benzie Central, Benzonia, 5/24, 7:00 p.m.
Big Bay De Noc, Cooks, 5/17, 7:00 p.m.
Blissfield Community, Blissfield, 5/23, 7:00 p.m.
Bullock Creek, Midland, 5/18, 7:00 p.m.
Byron Center, Byron Center, 5/23, 7:00 p.m.
Chassell, Chassell, 5/30, 7:00 p.m.
Chippewa Hills, Remus, 5/11, 6:45 p.m.
City High-Middle School, Grand Rapids, 5/9, 7:00 p.m.
Clinton, Clinton, 5/18, 7:00 p.m.
Concord Academy, Boyne City, 6/6, 10:00 a.m.
Corunna, Corunna, 5/17, 7:00 p.m.
Creston, Grand Rapids, 5/17, 7:00 p.m.
Dollar Bay-Tamarack City, Dollar Bay, 5/23, 2:00 p.m.
Edwardsburg, Edwardsburg, 5/25, 7:00 p.m.
Forest Area High School, Fife Lake, 5/16, 7:00 p.m.
Forest Park, Crystal Falls, 5/22, 7:00 p.m.
Gaylord, Gaylord, 5/17, 7:00 p.m.
Gobles, Gobles, 5/26, 8:00 a.m.
Grand Ledge, Grand Ledge, 5/11, 8:30 a.m.
Grant, Grant, 5/15, 7:00 p.m.
Gull Lake, Richland, 6/5, 7:00 p.m.
Harbor Springs, Harbor Springs, 5/31, 7:00 p.m.
Haslett, Haslett, 5/30, 7:00 p.m.
Kalkaska, Kalkaska, 5/23, 7:00 p.m.
Kenowa Hills, Grand Rapids, 5/18, 7:30 p.m.
Lake Linden-Hubbell, Lake Linden, 5/19, 9:00 a.m.
Lakeshore, Stevensville, 5/25, 7:00 p.m.
Linden, Linden, 6/2, 10:00 a.m.
Lumen Christi, Jackson, 5/15, Noon
Mayville, Mayville, 5/31, 7:00 p.m.
Millington, Millington, 6/1, 7:00 p.m.
Mio-AuSauble, Mio, 5/10, 7:00 p.m.
Montague, Montague, 5/26, 8:30 a.m.
Ogemaw Heights, West Branch, 5/11, 6:00 p.m.
Paw Paw, Paw Paw, 5/25, 7:00 p.m.
Pellston, Pellston, 5/24, 7:00 p.m.
Pewamo-Westphalia, Pewamo, 5/9, 7:00 p.m.
Reeths Puffer, Muskegon, 6/5, 7:00 p.m.
Saint Francis, Traverse City, 5/31, 9:30 a.m.
Shepherd, Shepherd, 5/23, 7:00 p.m.
Stephenson, Stephenson, 5/17, 7:00 p.m.
St. Joseph Public, St. Joseph, 5/22, 7:30 p.m.
Tecumseh, Tecumseh, 5/16, 7:00 p.m.
Westwood, Ishpeming, 5/16, 6:30 p.m.
Whitmore Lake, Whitmore Lake, 5/23, 7:00 p.m.

Brainerd, Brainerd, 5/15, 6:30 p.m.
Cathedral High School, St. Cloud, 5/26, 9:30 a.m.
Duluth Central, Duluth, 6/1, 7:00 p.m.
Falls, International Falls, 5/22, 7:00 p.m.
Hermantown, Hermantown, 6/5, 7:00 p.m.
Orr High School, Orr, 5/10, 7:00 p.m.
Rochester Lourdes, Rochester, 5/23, 8:00 a.m.

Trinity, Washington, 6/6, 8:30 a.m.

Coupeville, Coupeville, 6/5, 7:00 p.m.

Appleton West, Appleton, 5/23, 6:30 p.m.
Bayfield, Bayfield, 6/6, 6:00 p.m.
Cashton, Cashton, 5/17, 1:30 p.m.
Chippewa Falls, Chippewa Falls, 5/17, 6:30 p.m.
Coleman, Coleman, 5/22, 7:00 p.m.
Colfax, Colfax, 5/3, 7:00 p.m.
Drummond, Drummond, 5/24, 6:00 p.m.
Fox Valley Lutheran, Appleton, 5/17, 9:00 a.m.
Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau, Galesville, 5/29, 7:00 p.m.
Gillett, Gillett, 5/24, 6:00 p.m.
Hurley, Hurley, 5/24, 6:30 p.m.
Laconia, Rosendale, 5/10, 7:30 p.m.
Marion, Marion, 5/15, 7:00 p.m.
Menasha, Menasha, 5/30, 9:00 a.m.
Mercer, Mercer, 5/28, 2:00 p.m.
North Crawford, Soldiers Grove, 5/24, 7:30 p.m.
Northeastern  Wisconsin Lutheran, Green Bay, 6/3, 10:30 a.m.
Northland Pines, Eagle River, 5/1, 6:30 p.m.
Oregon, Oregon, 5/24, 7:00 p.m.
Osceola, Osceola, 5/15, 7:30 p.m.
Park Falls, Park Falls, 5/26, 9:30 a.m.
Preble, Green Bay, 5/17, 6:00 p.m.
Somerset, Somerset, 6/7, 7:30 p.m.
South Shore, Port Wing, 5/17, 6:30 p.m.
Southwest, Green Bay, 5/24, 6:30 p.m.
Sturgeon Bay, Sturgeon Bay, 5/25, 9:00 a.m.
Waupaca, Waupaca, 6/1, 8:00 a.m.
Wausaukee, Wausaukee, 5/17, 6:30 p.m.
Winter, Winter, 5/20, 1:30 p.m.
Wrightstown, Wrightstown, 5/24, 6:30 p.m.


Job Opportunities This Week

ON CAMPUS: Complete job descriptions are available by e-mailing jobs at mtu.edu

Director of First-Year Math/Lecturer--Mathematical Sciences

OFF CAMPUS: For off-campus positions, visit the alumni section of the career center's web site ( http://www.career.mtu.edu/alumni.php)