July 10, 2006 (Vol. 13, No. 9)

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:

The World's Game

Not football; futbol. We watched the World Cup this weekend, and we were not disappointed. It had all the action and tension of the best sporting events: the home team, Germany, was in the running for cup and ended up third; the fourth-place team from Portugal had a superstar who was accused of "diving" to get penalty calls (a la hockey); the runner-up, France, had a star player ejected in overtime for a head-butt; and the final score resulted from penalty kicks, roughly equivalent to shoot-outs in hockey.

Of course, they showed the fans going crazy in Rome, after Italy's victory, but they also showed fans gathered in Paris and Boston to watch the game. Soccer is still trying to gain in popularity in the United States, and I think it will get there soon.

Locally, we have many children involved in soccer, probably at least as many as are playing little league baseball. The soccer fields here at Tech are busy most nights, as are the fields at the Driving Park in Hancock.

Tech's soccer clubs also have a long history, and they've often had an international flavor. Players have come from Nigeria, Irag, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Spain, and elsewhere. Currently, we have both women's and men's clubs, and the president of the men's team, Rob Gilreath, has been experiencing soccer up close. He is on a study-abroad assignment in Stuttgart, Germany, and he has shared his encounters via the Student Abroad website: http://www.mtu.edu/current/student_abroad/.

Over the last month, I've gained a new appreciation for the sport, thanks in great part to the incredible camera work that portrayed the action. The footwork and stamina of the players (sometimes as much as two hours of nearly constant running) and unbelievable fan support were a joy to watch, even in a 0-0 game. And, I'm not obsessed with scoring anyway. After all, I'm a hockey fan, too.

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

TECH STUDENT WINS NISSAN AWARD: Tech junior Sunny Pereira was one of 16 students from across the nation to win the Inaugural Nissan-World Wildlife Fund Leadership Award presented in Washington, DC, recently. The students receive $5,000 and a research expedition to South Africa in August. More information on Pereira's award is here: <http://home.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/index.jsp?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20060705005758&newsLang=en>


TECH ELIMINATING USE OF SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS: To protect the security of employees and students, the University will stop using Social Security Numbers on most routine documents. Instead, everyone will be issued a Michigan Tech ID number starting July 22. Most employees won't see a change, but you will have to use that ID number instead of your Social Security Number on travel request forms, payroll paperwork, etc. Generally, the only departments asking for Social Security Numbers will be Financial Aid, Human Resources, Accounting, Admissions, and Student Records and Registration. Other departments should review and modify their forms, processes and mailings to eliminate the use of Social Security Numbers.


TECH NOW HAS INSTANT MESSAGING: Instant messaging is now available to all members of the networked Michigan Tech community. IM allows sending of messages back and forth instantaneously with other users, as if chatting back and forth. Distributed Computing Services recently started the service, which is available to anyone with an mtu.edu email address.


ALUMNI REUNION AROUND THE CORNER: This year's reunion is scheduled for August 3,4, and 5, and we'll be honoring the Golden "M" Club (all classes that have previously celebrated their 50th reunion), the classes of 1956, 1966, 1976, 1981, 1986, and 1996. Everyone's invited! More information is available here: <http://www.admin.mtu.edu/alumni/reunion/>


Tech Sports


August 3-5: Volleyball Alumni Reunion <http://www.volleyballreunion.mtu.edu>

Thursday, August 24: Volleyball Season Opener: vs. Abilene Christian, 1 p.m. (at Marquette)

Friday, September 1: Women's Cross Country Season Opener: UP Collegiate Opener, 3 p.m. (Tech Trails)

Friday, September 1: Men's Cross Country Season Opener: UP Collegiate Opener, 3 p.m. (Tech Trails)

Saturday, September 2: Football Season Opener: Huskies host Wayne State, 1 p.m.

Friday, September 8: Women's Tennis Season Opener: Huskies host Findlay, 3 p.m.

Around the Keweenaw

LOCAL POPULATION SHIFTING SLOWLY: The Keweenaw's population declined mildly in the U.S. Census Bureau's newest annual estimates. The estimates, which cover July 2004 to July 2005, show a slight gain in Houghton County, while Baraga, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties all posted drops. Ontonagon County fared the worst, losing a projected 163 residents, or 2.2 percent of its population, to fall to 7,363. The drop was Michigan's highest by percentage, as was the 5.8 percent decline over the five-year period. That's a "pretty fair" assessment, said county Board of Commissioners vice-chairman Louis Paulman. "There's jobs, but there's no new jobs," he said. "If we don't get no new businesses, we ain't going to get no new jobs." Baraga and Keweenaw counties' populations stand at 8,746 and 2,195, drops of 10 and 20 people, respectively. Houghton County led the area with a 13-person gain, going from 35,692 to 35,705. While that beats a loss, it's still part of a 15-year stagnant trend, said Mike Lahti, chairman of the Houghton County Board of Commissioners. Like Paulman, he cited a lack of jobs as a limiting factor. "That affects population, because people have to move away to find work," he said.


HANCOCK COUNCIL AGREES TO SKATEBOARD ORDINANCE CHANGES: The Hancock City Council approved modifications to its April 5 skateboarding ordinance. Lisa McKenzie, member of the city council's subcommittee charged with studying skateboarding issues in the city, proposed changes to Section 3 of the ordinance, and was partially successful in that attempt. The council did not agree to delete Section 3.A in its entirety, which currently restricts skateboarding in the downtown business district except between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. However, council members did agree to extend that time frame to allow skateboarding between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.


HOUGHTON GETS DOWNTOWN GRANTS: Houghton's grant applications for work in the downtown were among the best received in the state. Houghton will receive $200,000 in Downtown Facade Improvement Initiative funding for work on seven local buildings. The City of Houghton also received $165,000 through the Signature Building Initiative, which it will use to purchase the former Superior Music Building on Shelden Avenue. Houghton was one of 18 cities to receive a Community Development Block Grant in a recent round of federal funding. Both projects are being done in conjunction with the city's downtown blueprint strategy, which stresses highlighting Houghton's historic attributes. The city is seeking a developer to buy the former Superior Music building for the appraisal price of $197,500 and renovate the site. The tenant must finish all work by the end of 2007 and hold the site for at least five years. The facade grant money will go towards $426,500 in work, with the rest coming from the businesses and the city's revolving loan fund.

The seven sites receiving the facade improvement grants are:
• the Downtowner Lounge, 100 Shelden Ave.
• Coon's Alignment & Repair, 401 Shelden Ave.
• H&R Block, 323 Shelden Ave.
• Scott Ala's building, 317 Shelden Ave.
• the Bezotte Building, 506 Shelden Ave.
• Pizza Works (Briggs Building), 414 Shelden Ave.


From the E-mailbag

Editor's note: From the number of "out-of-office" emails (literally hundreds) I received last week, I know many of you were having a well-deserved vacation. Welcome back!


Hi Dennis

Congratulations on Tech offering a MS in Business Administration. It may be of interest in knowing that my father, Ernest J. Townsend, started the first business department at Tech. I think it was held in Hubbell Hall at the time.

Joie Townsend Hendrix



I suppose it's a little late to be asking this question, but if you have the time, maybe you could tell me what a "Michigan Left" is.  I don't think any of the letters ever defined it.  The subject is dying off now, but I'm still curious.

Jim Bentley '57

Editor's note: I'll leave the description of this (unique to Michigan?) road detail to a civil-engineering alum or other brave soul.


Alumni Association Programs

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: http://www.admin.mtu.edu/alumni/chapters/usamap.html

14 - Saginaw Annual Golf Outing
23 - Detroit Tigers Group Outing

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

Job Opportunities This Week

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

Director of Corporate Development--Michigan Tech seeks a qualified individual to lead its ambitious corporate fundraising effort. Must have extensive demonstrated experience (ten years minimum) in dealing with highly placed corporate executives and developing mutually beneficial partnerships. Ability to understand and articulate the capabilities and needs of a technological institution is essential. Experience in fundraising is a plus but not required. This is an extension of an ongoing search, which began late last year. If interested, click on the link below to view the position description and application instructions. <http://www.admin.mtu.edu/hro/postings/index.shtml>

Coordinator, Study Abroad Programs--International Programs and Services

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