May 1, 2006 (Vol. 12, No. 46)
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:
From the President
Editor's Note: President Glenn Mroz reported to the Michigan House Subcommittee on Higher Education last week and summarized his points for the Tech Board of Control Friday--
On Wednesday, April 26, it was my honor to report to the House Subcommittee on Higher Education on the role of Michigan Tech and the progress this university has made this past year.
In my remarks and the discussion with the Legislators
that followed, we
noted that the world demands graduates who have the knowledge and skills
to develop, understand, apply, manage and communicate science and
We talked about accomplishments: The Enterprise and Honors Programs, Pavlis Technological Leadership programs, support for our School of Business from the Dow Foundation and many other donors, the Yes Expo that brought nearly 13,000 students to better understand science and engineering, and the new programs that have been developed and approved--all with fidelity to a university that has technological for a middle name. Also, we showed the high costs but high value of education in science, technology, engineering, and math.
We noted Michigan Tech's commitment to research and innovation:
In short, we noted that there are good reasons why our College of Engineering is among the largest 25 in the US, that Michigan Tech ranks among the top-20 nationally for the proportion of research funded by business and industry, that we were recently recognized as one of the top-500 research universities in the world, and top-200 research universities in the US, that we are classified as a High Research University by the Carnegie Foundation while at the same time, being one of the 150 Best Values in undergraduate education in the US, an achievement unequalled by any other institution in this State.
Importantly, we noted that the efforts behind all the numbers are done for one compelling reason: our young people need our help and in striving to provide that help to the best of our ability we become a great University and asset to this State.
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>
MORE THAN 900 WALK FOR COMMENCEMENT: The parking lots were full, the Wurlitzer organ echoed from the rafters, and the MacInnes Student Ice Arena was packed for Spring Commencement 2006. Viewed from the back of the ice surface, the arena was a sea of faces in the stands searching for their graduates. When "Pomp and Circumstances" began, it was everybody up and camera flashes blasting from all corners of the room, and camcorders were everywhere, too, it seemed. There were several goose-bump moments. The faces on the relatives looked on to the grads as if they were seeing them for the first time. An elderly couple in front of me teared up as their daughter passed. It took more than 15 minutes just to get everybody through the procession. The commencement speaker, Susan Brechting Kiehl, metallurgy '83, a Lockheed Martin executive, got several nice laughs and made some good points: graduates will go from following policy to making policy; there's a big difference between what they have to do, what they should do, and what they want to do; and they should find employment in what they really like and not forget to laugh along the way.
Outstanding Young Alumni Award winner Jayson Ripke (metallurgical engineering and chemical engineering degrees), who works for Midrex Technologies, thanked Professor Komar Kawatra and his own family for all their support over the years. A posthumous Phd in Rhetoric and Technical Communication was presented to the widow of David Gaskill, and the crowd rose for a standing ovation. The next standing o was for the ROTC graduates, now lieutenants, as they all stood tall with the enormous American flag behind them. Wow.
As the degree candidates filed up the stairs, I recognized the occasional name: they worked in our department, the campus leaders everyone knows, the local students whose parents, grandparents, or other relatives I know. Finally, Scott Hartz welcomed them all into the Alumni Association, and someday maybe we'll welcome them into techalum-l!
BOARD GIVES MROZ HIGH MARKS: The Board of Control has found the performance of President Glenn D. Mroz to be exceptional following a formal review process at its meeting. In closed session, board members discussed their written evaluations of President Mroz's progress and accomplishments. This conversation followed the use of a new three-part evaluation process which included using performance criteria established by the board, reviewing a written self-review by President Mroz, and examining input from the University Senate and other constituents. "Glenn has done an admirable job. He came into a challenging situation two years ago and quickly gained the confidence of the board and the campus community. My colleagues and I are particularly pleased with the progress toward greater financial stability, the development of an exciting strategic plan, and how well he has been received by Tech's external audiences, particularly our elected officials," Board Chair Mike Henricksen said.
TECH TO BUILD CHILDCARE CENTER: The Board of Control authorized a $500,000 bond issue to establish a childcare center on campus. The center will address a longstanding need at the university, according to Michigan Tech President Glenn Mroz. "For years, our faculty and staff have discussed establishing affordable, quality childcare on campus," he said. "In particular, this is a matter of critical importance in attracting and retaining new faculty, many of whom have young children." One of the university's main strategic goals is to support a world-class and diverse faculty, staff and student population. "To do this, we need to provide an outstanding work environment, and part of that is providing access to child care," Mroz said. "This will allow us to be more competitive with other universities offering such facilities."
BOARD APPROVES STRATEGIC PLAN: An ambitious strategic plan for Michigan Tech was approved today by the Board of Control. The plan's vision statement calls for Michigan Tech to elevate its reputation as a leading technological university: "Michigan Tech will grow as a premier research university of international stature, delivering education, new knowledge, and innovation for the needs of our technological world." President Glenn Mroz endorsed the document. "This is the product of insightful thinking by many people about Tech's value to Michigan and the nation. Economic growth and responsible use of resources are dependent on our ability to produce effective, marketable innovations. And, we need graduates capable of being technologically-oriented leaders with business acumen," he said. To view the plan, visit http://www.mtu.edu/stratplan .
BOARD OKS NEW DEGREES: The Board of Control gave final approval to two BS degree programs and initial approval to a master's program Friday. In addition, it approved a name change for the Department of Physical Education. Earning final approval were BS degrees in Exercise Science and in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The exercise science degree will be the first offered by the newly renamed Department of Exercise Science, Health and Physical Education. The biochemistry and molecular biology degree will be offered jointly by the Departments of Chemistry and Biological Sciences. The board voted to proceed with a Master of Business Administration.
MIRON LEADS WAY AT BULLDOG OPEN: Senior Jessica Miron finished among the top four in three events to pace the Michigan Tech track and field team at the Bulldog Open hosted by Minnesota Duluth Tuesday. Miron took first in the triple jump with a leap of 11.21 meters (36.78') and ranked third in the long jump after reaching a distance of 5.25 meters (17.22'). In a field that included a pair of Division I runners from Minnesota, Miron secured fourth-place in the 800 meters after she ran a 2:24.47 in the event."We expected Jess to do well in the jumps, but her performance in the 800 was a pleasant surprise," said third-year head coach Joe Haggenmiller. Junior Bridget Zimney turned in a third-place effort after clearing 10' 6" in the pole vault. "Bridget felt like she had a pretty average day and that tells me her expectations are getting higher," said Haggeniller. "She wants to be over 11' in the next few weeks." Senior Scott Lutasek was the top racer on the men's side, as he finished second in the 800 meters with a time of 1:58.67. "I was pretty happy with Scott's time in the 800, as he ran a smart race," said Haggenmiller. Sophomore Nick Weinmann's toss of 43' 2" was good for seventh in the shot put. "Nick is starting to come into his own, which is good to see," said Haggenmiller.
TECH NORDIC SKIERS RECOGNIZED AT AWARDS BANQUET: Owen and Ditty Selected Most Valuable Skiers--Kristina Owen, who last month became Michigan Tech's first-ever Nordic skier to secure All-American honors in back-to-back seasons, culminated a standout junior campaign by garnering most valuable skier accolades as the Huskies handed out their annual team awards Sunday. For the third time in as many years, junior Aaron Ditty was selected the most valuable skier on the men's side.Owen compiled a ninth-place finish in the five-kilometer race and ranked 17th in the 15-kilometer competition at the 53rd annual NCAA National Collegiate Skiing Championships in Steamboat Springs, Colo. A member of the US Ski Team (USST) that competed in the International Ski Federation (FIS) U23 World Championships in Kranj, Slovenia, Owen also recorded a 27th-place showing in the 10-kilometer race at the 2006 U.S. Cross Country Championships in Soldier Hollow, Utah.
Friday, May 05, 2006--Men's and Women's Track & Field at GLIAC Championships (Big Rapids, Mich.), 11 a.m.
RESEARCH FIRM READIES NEW BRANCH: With the Issues and Answers call center set to open on target date May 15, the market research firm has already begun contributing to the community's economy, according to Phil Musser, executive director of the Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance. Not only will the company be providing jobs for the area, but Musser said Issues and Answers has been procuring the goods and services of local businesses to prepare for opening day. "There are two major economic contributions for the community," he said. "First is the pay roll that 120 people will receive as the result of the call center, and further, they have committed themselves to procuring supplies from local businesses." Musser said that while this provides an immediate economic impact on the area, Issues and Answers is interested in making a long-term investment. "Issues and Answers has signed a five-year contract," Musser said. "That's a long time to commit to the community and a significant amount of dollars." Construction is underway at the Red Ridge Plaza on Sharon Avenue.
KRUSE BOUND OVER ON MULITPLE CHARGES: Four more charges were added to the list against the man who allegedly led law enforcement on a seven-hour chase last week. Patrick James Kruse, 27, of Chassell, made his second appearance in Houghton Court District Court to waive his preliminary exam. Kruse was initially charged with a felony offense of committing assault with a dangerous weapon on April 20 at a home in Stanton Township. An amendment was later added to include a first-degree felony offense of home invasion, a felony offense of assault to rob while armed and a second felony count of assault with a dangerous weapon. Kruse was also charged with the felony count of fleeing and eluding police in a high-speed chase on April 15. All the charges will be tried together. Kruse was apprehended April 20 at about 4:24 p.m. near Liminga and South Superior Road in Stanton Township, after Kruse allegedly committing an assault at 49624 Gedvillas Road and attempted to rob the occupants of $500, according to Lt. Mike Loyd of the Michigan State Police Calumet Post shortly after the event.
SEAFOOD FEST CHANGES SCHEDULE: Seafood Fest returns this year, this time with a revised schedule and a swanky kickoff dinner.The Houghton Rotary-produced festival, which takes place during Bridgefest weekend, will now run June 15 through 17. Traditionally, it had mirrored Bridgefest's Friday to Sunday schedule, ending on Father's Day.Elizabeth Foy, a member of the Seafood Fest committee, said the switch would enable both the eventgoers and Rotary members to enjoy more of the holiday."It's Father's Day, so we're going to use the day to break down and let families spend the day together," she said.More information is available at <www.houghtonrotary.org >.
Your recent article describing finals week reminded me of a few choice Tech memories. It seemed that no matter what courses I was taking, the final exams for each one always fell on the same day and typically toward the end of finals week! This was good in one respect (extra study time...yeah, right!), but bad in another (I was about the last person to head south for the holidays!). Of course, the marathon test day was a bit grueling as well! Who among us can forget that awful feeling in the pit of our stomach when while de-briefing the exam with our chums while heading back to the dorm you realize you are the only person in class who selected answer "B" for question 6! All you can say is "yeah, that's what I got too."
I found this article pretty interesting. Tom Gatzke graduated from tech with a BS and MS in Civil.
Thanks for doing a great job on the email. Love to see it every Monday.
I personally don't have a story. I felt it was safer at the median than standing at a corner in Pittsburgh since the PAT Transit Buses sometimes climbed the curb with tragic consequences.
How about placing various band tunes on the Michigan Tech
website? I would love to hear the Copper Country Anthem
Editor's note: We are working on getting the other songs in digital format.
, fight, engineers,
Tom Kirby '54
Tom: It's on the website listed after the next note.
Craig Callewaert '86
PS - Thanks also for the ringtone generator web site link.
Editor's note: Pep Band Website: <http://www.fa.mtu.edu/~dawgs/>
Additionally, you mentioned keeping in touch with professors who had a significant impact on one's education. I still keep in touch with Dr. Janice Glime (biological Sciences) after all of these years.
Mark Walter ('75)
I too, as so many alums have stated, look forward each week to your comments and news about Tech and the Copper Country.
WHAT!?! "In Heaven, There Is No Beer" ISN'T the Michigan Tech Fight Song?
John Gonser '58
Editor's Note: John, you'll be glad to know it's still done at home. Perhaps our Pep Band alums can talk about GLI or elsewhere and the playing of the Copper Country Anthem.
Second, I'm glad to read about a covered overpass for students to get across US-41. I hope the engineers include snow load weights in the design!
Third, although I don't really travel back to Houghton often enough to influence the numbers for travel to CMX from either DTW or the Twin Cities, the last two years I flew back to visit Michigan Tech around Carnival weekend and chose to fly to MQT rather than CMX. For the extra 100-mile drive from MQT to Houghton I had no complaints. The first year I think we flew Midwest Airlines from Philly to Milwaukee to Marquette. I highly recommend Midwest!
Finally, I really do agree with the statement about having a memorable instructor somewhere in the curriculum of courses who ends up being a contact for many years in the future. This was the case at Michigan Tech as well as Villanova where I achieved my MSEE a couple of years ago. Unfortunately I never met the Villanova instructor personally since the class was offered on the web as a Distance Learning course. Interestingly enough, both of my favorite instructors happen to know each other and have similar teaching styles and other outside interests as well. Hmm, come to think of it, it was really the outside interest that really caused things to click between me and the professors!
P.S. Forgot, I always wear Michigan Tech apparel while traveling as well. Sometimes I get comments, but not always. Michigan Tech isn't like those other big schools where you can walk into nearly any store, or even though college specialty shops to find "their" logos on T's, sweats and hockey jerseys. I figure seeing somebody with an MSU or UofM (or most other big schools) logos does not indicate they actually attended there (I've asked several and most said they just like the team or the colors/logo and didn't actually go there), whereas everyone I've ever seen wearing Michigan Tech logo clothing has definitely attended (or is a parent of somebody who had). I forget the name of the large store that has an unbelievable amount of college clothing but of course when I was looking for Michigan Tech it was no where to be found, not even in the hockey jersey section! I know the two main places to get my Michigan Tech gear, and luckily they are always very friendly via phone or simple enough via the web as well.
Editor's note: Tech personnel are strongly encouraged to wear Tech apparel when traveling. It's amazing how many people know about, or want to know about, Michigan Tech when you are on the road.
Thanks for the great newsletter, if you can, please put out this notice:
The Sigma Tau Gamma Alumni Association is hosting a "dual city" golf outing/BBQ on Saturday, June 3rd for the Association members & friends. Simultaneous outings will be held in the Chicago area and the Detroit area. Please contact Bob Wojcik at--bobwojcik(at)sbcglobal.net --for further details.
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)
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:
3 - Grand Rapids Spring Dinner/Presidential Reception
3 – Grand Rapids Annual Golf Outing
14 –Saginaw Annual Golf Outing
03-05 – Alumni Reunion
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.
Millennium, Goodyear, 5/17, 6:00 PM
Saint Paul Catholic, Bristol, 5/16, 7:00 PM
Kalaheo, Kailua, 5/17, 6:30 PM
Homewood-Flossmoor, Flossmoor, 5/24, 7:30 PM
Academy of Inkster, Inkster, 6/3, 10:30 AM
Brainerd, Brainerd, 5/15, 6:30 PM
Stivers School for the Arts, Dayton, 5/24, 6:30 PM
Trinity, Washington, 6/6, 8:30 AM
Cino Ranch, Katy, 5/16, 6:30 AM
Appleton, North Appleton, 5/31, 7:00 PM
ON CAMPUS: Complete job descriptions are available by e-mailing jobs at mtu.edu
OFF CAMPUS: For off-campus positions, visit the alumni section of the career center's web site ( http://www.career.mtu.edu/alumni.php)