May 22, 2006 (Vol. 13, No. 2)

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:

Parade of Thanks

The traffic on the backstreets of Houghton and Hancock was changed to two-way. People lined up and claimed prized parking spots an hour before the 10:00 a.m. Saturday start. It was Armed Forces Day, and small-town America, in this case ours, paused and said "Thanks."

The Parade of Thanks ran from Houghton to Hancock and featured more than 200 entries. After a fly-over of an A-10 Warthog, the parade showcased the 107th Engineers, recently returned from the Middle East; all the branches of service; veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm; all the local American Legion and Veterans of Foreign War posts; a high school marching band; bagpipes; a radio station playing patriotic music; groups of Harley riders; ROTC and JROTC outfits; Huskies athletes and Blizzard T. Husky; numerous local businesses; fire departments; and other organizations with words of gratitude on their vehicles.

Folks walking along with the entries gave out small American flags in addition to the normal handfuls of candy. Small children scurried after the goodies and waved their flags toward those in the parade, especially those in uniform. And, all during the one-hour long event, there was nearly constant applause from the crowd.

The most poignant tributes were the photos of those who served or are still in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some said "son," "brother," "my dad," or "my mom." And, I knew some of the soldiers; they went to school with my son or daughter; or I knew their families. (This is where everyone knows everyone else, so it seems.)


It was a different parade for the Keweenaw. No politics to speak of, just "thank you." To the point and meaningful. The rain held off just long enough for the parade, but came down during the rally in Hancock afterward. Those in attendance popped their umbrellas and gave one more salute in the rain for jobs well done.



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

Do you know any high school women who are interested in computing? This summer, we will be offering a weeklong workshop for high school girls sponsored by IBM. The workshop is only a month away (June 18-24) and we still have spaces available. As you may know, very few young women are entering the computing fields. We are hoping to encourage those who are interested in computing and provide an opportunity to learn more about computing for those who are curious about the field.

I would appreciate it if you would encourage any young women that you know who would be good candidates for this workshop to apply. Details can be found at <>.  I'd be happy to answer any questions about the workshop. Email (linda(at) or call (906-487-2209).  If there is someone in particular that you think I should reserve a space for, drop me an email.

I hope all is well with each of you. I appreciate any help that you can give us in this effort.

Warm regards,

Linda M. Ott
Chair and Professor
Department of Computer Science


FALL ASTRONOMY CLASS ONLINE: Take astronomy without coming to class! Beginning fall 2006, Introductory Astronomy is offered both in class and online. Simply download lectures onto your computer or iPod. Take tests over the web. Introductory Astronomy (PH1600: available online: Monday and Wednesday, 4:00-5:00 p.m.) and Introductory Astronomy Labs (PH1610: Monday, 7:00-9:00 p.m.) are offered every fall semester and can be enrolled in separately. Facilities: Amjoch Observatory with 16-inch automated telescope, 25-inch Dobsonian, and 8-inch Meade telescopes. Inquries: epollins(at), 906-287-2086,


IT'S OFFICIAL: THREE WORLD RECORDS--As of last week, Michigan Tech's three world-record attempts are now recognized by Guinness World Records. On February 10, 2006, Michigan Tech students, staff, and faculty; school kids from all over the Copper Country; and other community members assembled at Sherman Field. They created the world's largest snowball fight, the most snow angels ever in one place, and world's largest snowball. Travis Pierce, assistant director of student life, who coordinated the effort, was beside himself. "I just got off the phone with London," he said. "I can't wait to tell our friends in North Dakota." According to Guinness's final numbers, Michigan Tech bested the record previously set by Bismarck, ND. In the category "most people making snow angels simultaneously in a single venue," the University's total, 3,784, more than doubled Bismarck's record of 1,791. The University also trumped Wauconda, IL's largest snowball-fight record, 3,745 to 3,084. And it rolled over Benton Harbor with its snowball measuring 21 feet, 3 inches around, compared to the earlier record of approximately 16 feet, 9 inches. Student groups spearheaded the world record attempts, primarily the Wadsworth Hall Residents Association with support from the Blue Key Honor Society.


CARTER TO DIRECT ADMISSIONS: Allison Carter has been named director of admissions. Carter joined Michigan Tech in 1998 as the regional admissions representative, working as the Wisconsin territory representative before moving on to cover southwest Lower Michigan. She was promoted to assistant director and moved to Houghton in 2004, leading the campus visit program before managing communications and programming for the department. Carter has served as interim director of admissions since last October. John Lehman, assistant vice president for enrollment services, said, "Since October, Ali has been a key player in our efforts to reinvent the business of enrollment at Michigan Tech. I have all confidence that she will lead our admissions team effectively and efficiently." Carter graduated from Michigan Tech with a BS in Business Administration in 1995.

Tech Sports

YEO NAMED 2006 GLIAC DONAHUE AWARD RECIPIENT: Rick Yeo, former athletic director at Michigan Tech, has been named the 2006 recipient of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tom Donahue Service Award. The Donahue Service Award is presented annually to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the GLIAC and intercollegiate athletics. The award-winners exemplify the high standard of dedication to the league and its student-athletes set by Tom Donahue, former commissioner of the GLIAC. Yeo served the GLIAC for more than 15 years. Holding the position of athletic director at Tech from 1990 through 2005, Yeo now serves as senior director of athletic development for the Huskies. Besides heading the Michigan Tech athletic department, he served on many GLIAC and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) committees. Yeo presided over the GLIAC Basketball Tournament Committee for several years and was twice president of the GLIAC's Executive Committee.


MEN'S BASKETBALL TO HOLD GOLF OUTING FUNDRAISER--Event Scheduled for June 24 at Portage Lake Golf Course: The Michigan Tech men's basketball team will hold a golf outing fundraiser at Portage Lake Golf Course on Saturday, June 24. The format for the event will be a four-person scramble with a shotgun start. Cost is $100 per person and includes range balls, golf, cart, dinner, and snacks on the course. There will also be the opportunity to meet the current Michigan Tech men's basketball student-athletes. "This is going to be a fun event," said 12th-year Michigan Tech men's basketball coach Kevin Luke. "We're looking forward to having quite a few of our former players back, and expect that many folks from the community will join in as well." Registration for the event will begin at 11:45 a.m., with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. Dinner and awards for the first, seventh and 14th-place teams will follow golf. Major sponsors for the event are Pettibone, Quiznos Subs and Dr. Wade Liston. All proceeds from the event will directly benefit the 2006-07 Michigan Tech men's basketball team. For more information or to pre-register, call 906-487-2988 or e-mail mjaugust(at)




Saturday, June 24: Men's Basketball Golf Outing, Portage Lake Golf Course, 11:45 a.m.

August 3-5: Volleyball Alumni Reunion


Around the Keweenaw

HOUGHTON COUNCIL APPROVES $580,000 PLAN: The Houghton City Council committed to financing for $580,000 in city improvements recommended by Honeywell Building Solutions. The proposal includes heating and lighting upgrades to the City Centre, as well as lighting upgrades to Dee Stadium. The City Centre's existing steam boiler will be replaced with four hot water boilers, enabling the city to better target zones of the building. "This was needed," Houghton City Manager Scott MacInnes said of the heating system work. "It's 50-some years old and it cost us a lot of money." The option was the middle of three presented by Honeywell. Others considered were a $206,571 option consisting of just lighting, while a near-$1 million plan, which MacInnes referred to as the "Cadillac option," would have added work on the ventilation system of the Houghton City Centre's top two floors.


OPENING SET FOR APPLEBEE'S: A new Applebee's Neighborhood Bar & Grill for Houghton is still under construction, but shaping up as shown. After a lengthy wait to find out just when, exactly, residents will get to eat good in the Houghton hood, owners Miller-Apple, L.P., have set Aug. 21 as the official opening date for the restaurant on Razorback Drive. Martha Sanford, public relations coordinator for the Flint-based company who own and operate 18 Applebee's restaurants in total, said the Houghton eatery will feature local memorabilia including tributes to police and fire departments and a wall dedicated to a hometown hero.


LODGE AWARDED $300,000 IN MEDC FUNDS: Monies earmarked for water system: The Keweenaw Mountain Lodge has received another boost to its $3.5 million expansion project in the form of a $300,000 grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Cathi Cole, MEDC's account manager for business development, presented the check to Lodge trustee Joel. "We're happy to bring funding to the people of the Upper Peninsula," said Cole, based in Lansing. "Often people in the UP feel they don't get their fair share." The MEDC was acting as a pass-through agency for the monies provided by the federal Community Development Block Grant program. The funds will be used to construct two new groundwater wells necessary to upgrade the lodge's water system. "We're extremely pleased to receive this funding which is the final step in a process that started three and a half years ago," Tuoriniemi said before a dozen stakeholders in the project, including members of Keweenaw County's newly-formed parks and recreation committee, economic development committee and board of commissioners.


FIRE DESTROYS STUDENT APARTMENTS: Three Tech students were displaced after their apartments at 202 Franklin Street suffered severe damage from a fire Saturday, May 15, according to the Houghton City Fire Department. No injuries were reported. Houghton City Fire Chief Jim Lightfoot said the fire was started by an electrical problem in an outlet on the second story of the four-story building. The cause was not immediately known however and the Fire Marshal was called in for an investigation. Fire department personnel stayed on the scene until 3 a.m. and the south side of the building suffered "considerable damage." The students that were displaced have been provided housing and money through the fire department's hockey team Pigs 'N Heat, Lightfoot said.


HANCOCK COUNCIL MAY RECONSIDER SKATBOARDING ORDINANCE: The new ordinance restricting the riding of skateboards in Hancock may be less than one month old, but it's already facing opposition from some residents and now the city council may reconsider it. Within days of council approving the ordinance on April 5 by a vote of 4-1, some city residents started circulating a petition to have it repealed. The ordinance as approved by council states in part that skateboard riding downtown shall be restricted to sidewalks during the hours of 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., riding is restricted in Porvoo Park, the Historic Stairway on the east side of the city, riding is prohibited on walls, handrails, stairs and any private property without permission of the owner. Although the petition to repeal the ordinance failed because only 350 of the required 455 signatures were gathered, Councilwoman Lisa McKenzie said the number of people who did sign indicates a serious concern in the community about the ordinance. "I think it's a wake-up call to the city council to have another discussion (about the ordinance)," McKenzie said. Mayor Barry Givens asked McKenzie to contact the various people interested in the skateboard ordinance to see if they'd be interested in coming to a future meeting to discuss it.

From the E-mailbag

Hey Dennis,

If you're readers are still interested in obtaining the Tech Fight Song, check this site:

James W. Clark  '88



Below is an article from today's Star Tribune....Note the Michigan Tech Reference...Go Youz Huskies!!!

Brian Kolak BSEE '84

State to test overlay that holds de-icer: A bridge that de-ices itself?
A test in Hibbing this summer may bring science fiction highways to the Iron Range.

Matt McKinney, Star Tribune

Developers at Cargill Inc. say they know how to make roads behave in bad weather. The company has licensed a pavement overlay composed of aggregate and epoxy that stores de-icing chemicals for weeks at a time, releasing them as the weather turns sour.

"It in essence acts like a hard sponge and can hold the chemical," said Bob Persichetti, general manager for Cargill SafeLane, a unit of Minnetonka-based Cargill. The result is a road that de-ices itself. The overlay doesn't replace the need for de-icing chemicals, it merely makes them last longer. The company says highway departments can cut their chemical use by 75 percent once the overlay is installed. For example, if rock salt is spread on the roads to melt off the ice, the overlay will reabsorb the salt water.  The overlay costs $5 to $6 per square foot if the state does the work, and $8 to $9 if the work is contracted out. The overlay is particularly effective on bridges because they tend to ice over faster than roadways.

The state last year used 273,000 tons of salt, 91,000 tons of sand and 2.5 million gallons of brine to de-ice roads at the cost of $12 million, according to Kevin Gutknecht, communications coordinator for the state Department of Transportation.  The technology that's behind SafeLane was invented by Russ Alger at the Institute for Snow Research at Michigan Tech University. The institute is on Michigan's Upper Peninsula, a region known as one of the snowiest in the nation. The first test of the product in Minnesota will occur next winter on the Hwy. 169 Mitchell bridge near Hibbing, a stretch notorious for winter-time crashes. A Cargill road crew plans to install the overlay this summer.

A study of the nine test sections installed elsewhere last year found they were clear even as snow and ice accumulated on untreated sections of roadway nearby. Heavier snowstorms stumped SafeLane, according to the study, but the snow that accumulated on the treated sections of road did not freeze to the road surface and was easy to plow off, according to the company.

Matt McKinney * 612-673-7329


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! Michigan Tech Spotlight Night is a great place to check out Tech.

Spotlight Night programs 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,

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

RSVP: <>


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


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*

3 - Grand Rapids Annual Golf Outing
3 - Dual City Golf Outing/BBQ for Sigma Tau Gamma Alumni (Chicago and Detroit)
Bob Wojcik--bobwojcik(at) for info
10 - Detroit Annual Golf Outing

14 - Saginaw Annual Golf Outing

3-5 - Alumni Reunion
5 - Grand Rapids Whitecaps Alumni Event
12 - East Coast Gem, Mineral & Fossil Show



The Admissions Office is looking for alums to help out at high school awards ceremonies. You hand out awards that Tech has given to graduating students and have a chance to say a few words about your alma mater. (There is a script, if you prefer.)

The schools are listed below, and the contact person is Kathy Ross (kgross(at) 1-888-688-1885.

School, City, Date of Event, Time of Event

Athens, Athens, 5/23, 7:30 PM
Beaver Island Cmty High School, Beaver Island, 5/31, 2:00 PM
Bellaire, Bellaire, 5/25, 7:00 PM
Blissfield Community, Blissfield, 5/23, 7:00 PM
Byron Center, Byron Center, 5/23, 7:00 PM
Chassell, Chassell, 5/30, 7:00 PM
Concord Academy, Boyne City, 6/6, 10:00 AM
Dexter, Dexter, 6/1, 6:30 PM
Dollar Bay Tamarack City, Dollar Bay, 5/23, 2:00 PM
Harbor Springs, Harbor Springs, 5/31, 7:00 PM
Ishpeming, Ishpeming, 6/1, 7:00 PM
Jeffers, Painesdale, 5/26, 9:30 AM
Madison, Madison Heights, 5/30, 7:00 PM
Meridian, Sanford, 5/24, 7:00 PM
Northport, Northport, 5/25, 7:00 PM
Pellston, Pellston, 5/24, 7:00 PM
Reeths Puffer, Muskegon, 6/5, 7:00 PM
Rogers City, Rogers City, 6/2, 7:00 PM
Southfield Christian,  Southfield, 5/22, 7:30 PM
Sparta, Sparta, 5/26, 9:30 AM
St Joseph Public,  Saint Joseph, 5/22, 7:30 PM

Carlton, Carlton, 5/24, 7:00 PM
Cathedral High School, Saint Cloud, 5/26, 9:15 AM
Dassel-Cokato, Cokato, 5/31, 7:30 PM
Falls, International Falls, 5/22, 7:00 PM
Forest Lake, Forest Lake, 6/5, 7:00 PM
Hibbing, Hibbing, 5/22, 7:00 PM
New Life Academy, Woodbury, 6/1, 8:15 AM
Red Wing, Red Wing, 5/24, 7:30 PM

Stivers School for the Arts, Dayton, 5/24, 6:30 PM

Trinity, Washington, 6/6, 8:30 AM

Drummond, Drummond, 5/24, 6:00 PM
Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau, Galesville, 5/29, 7:00 PM
Greendale, Greendale, 6/8, 8:00 AM
Greenfield, Milwaukee, 6/1, 7:30 AM
Hayward, Hayward, 5/23, 2:00 PM
North, Eau Claire, 5/31, 7:00 PM
North Crawford, Soldiers Grove, 5/24, 7:30 PM
Park Falls, Park Falls, 5/26, 9:30 AM
Phillips, Phillips, 5/24, 7:00 PM
Somerset, Somerset, 6/7, 7:30 PM
South Milwaukee, South Milwaukee, 5/30, 7:00 PM
Washburn, Washburn, 6/1, 6:30 PM
Wrightstown, Wrightstown, 5/24, 6:30 PM

Job Opportunities This Week

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

Coordinator, University Transportation Center--Civil and Environmental Engineering (Position duration dependent upon external funding)

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