December 18, 2006 (Vol. 13, No. 31)
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.
Note: Techalum-L will not be sent until January 8, 2007.
In this issue:
A Good Year
Before I take a break from Techalum-L for a couple of weeks, I can look back at 2006 with a smile. To quote Frank Sinatra, "It was a very good year."
On campus, we've made important strides in enrollment and our bottom line keeps improving. Recent renovations to Fisher Hall, Walker Arts and Humanities Center, and even our beloved Ad Building have made for a better place to study, do research and work for students, faculty, and staff.
Our football team made a great turnaround, going from 0-4 to 6-4, and hats off to Coach Kearly on a great season. Lee Marana finished second overall in career rushing yards (by just five yards), and there are plans afoot to improve Sherman Field. Stay tuned. The hockey team has turned the corner, including a sweep at North Dakota, and good things are coming there, too.
Closer to the alums' homes, you'll be seeing new communication tools coming your way. It's all part of our constant attempt to improve the way we talk, and listen, to you.
Closer to my home, it’s been an especially good year. Both my children are home for the holidays, one from Delaware (the state, not the town), one from Houghton, and I am close to moving on to another stage in my seemingly never-ending paper chase. For that, I know, my family will be especially grateful.
So, here's to a great holiday season to you all, and I'll see you in 2007, January 8, to be exact.
Snowfall Totals (from KRC)
Snowfall to date: 33.5"
TECH MAKES PC MAGAZINE'S TOP-20
WIRED COLLEGES: Michigan Tech has been ranked number seven among PC Magazine's 2007
Top 20 Wired Colleges. The leading technology publication in the United
States, and The Princeton Review, the premier test prep and educational
services company, announced the winners Tuesday. Michigan Tech, the
only university in the state to make the list, was cited for involving
undergraduates in information technology and system administration
at the earliest stages of their careers. Many stay on to work at the
university. "A large number
of the IT pros here are former students," said Michigan Tech CIO
Walter Milligan. "A lot of people here provide outstanding IT services
to students, faculty and staff, and our students themselves deserve a
great deal of credit for that," Milligan said. "We have some
of the best students in the country, and they bring a fresh, innovative
approach to important problems."
MROZ REVIEWS FINANCES AT OPEN FORUM: President
Glenn Mroz reviewed Michigan Tech's finances at Tuesday's open forum.
The news is good, but for uncertainty brought on by a shortfall in
state tax revenues. As the university approaches the halfway point
of the fiscal year, it is on track to finish approximately $400,000
in the black, he said. That would diminish the cumulative general fund
deficit to about $9.0 million. The balance in the current fund, which
includes all of the university's funds, would increase to $15.0 million.
Mroz warned that the state may revisit its appropriation to Michigan
Tech. "The state isn't collecting as much money as they
anticipated," he said. If the university's appropriation is reduced,
as happened in the past, the year-end $400,000 balance could be used
as a cushion. However, he stressed, "We'll make every effort to
minimize the impact, similar to the situation we faced in 2005. You can't
cut your way to greatness." The university is focusing on growth,
particularly in research and fundraising. "Our intention is to do
the best we can to move Michigan Tech forward."
TECH RECEIVES FEMA GRANT: Michigan Tech has received
$56,250 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to create
a multi-hazard mitigation plan as part of its Disaster Resistant University
Program. The program helps universities plan ahead to reduce their
vulnerability to natural, manmade and technological disasters. Hazard
mitigation is any action taken before, during, or after a disaster
to eliminate or reduce risk to life and property. In addition to reducing
risk, the planning process helps universities form partnerships and
build better relationships with the surrounding communities. "We're looking forward to working with
our partners as we develop the multi-hazard mitigation plan," said
Jon Ahola, Michigan Tech's director of Safety public safety. "We'll
be looking at what preparations we have in place, fine-tuning and improving
our existing plans, and investigating opportunities for more cooperation
within the community."
BOARD APPROVES NEW PHD PROGRAM: The Board of Control
gave preliminary approval Friday for a new PhD program in Atmospheric
Sciences. The program brings together faculty and research programs
in three departments: civil and environmental engineering, physics,
and geological and mining engineering and sciences. "We have about 10 faculty members working on projects
dealing with the Earth's atmosphere, and we are already working together," said
Raymond Shaw, associate professor of physics. "We want to foster
the collaboration that's taking place. Our hope is that it will allow
the faculty to work together even more than we have in the past and nurture
a sense of community among the students." Currently, graduate students
focusing their studies on atmospheric sciences earn advanced degrees
in areas such as physics or environmental engineering. By creating a
new PhD program specific to atmospheric science, students interested
in the field will be more likely to consider attending Michigan Tech.
HOCKEY SWEEPS NORTH DAKOTA!: Michigan Tech recorded its third series
sweep of the season with 3-1 and 3-2 victories at #17 North Dakota last
weekend (Dec. 15-16). Sophomore goaltender Rob Nolan (Sherwood Park,
Alberta) got both wins in net as he stopped 59-of-62 shots in the series.
The Huskies evened their season record at 8-8-2 and improved to 6-0-1
when scoring three goals or more. The four-point weekend moved Tech into
a tie for fifth in the WCHA standings heading into the holiday break.
Michigan Tech is off until it hosts the 42nd Annual Great Lakes Invitational at
Detroit's Joe Louis Arena on Dec. 29-30.
WOMEN'S HOOPS WINS 15TH STRAIGHT
VS. GLIAC SOUTH: Michigan Tech defeated
Findlay, 76-57, last Saturday (Dec. 16) to move to 4-1 in Great Lakes
Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play on the season. The Huskies are
2-0 vs. teams from the GLIAC South Division on the year and undefeated
in their last 15 contests vs. GLIAC South foes, dating back to the 2003-04
RICHARDSON TIES A SCHOOL RECORD: Radayl Richardson Detroit, Mich.) tied
a school record for free throw percentage in a game by knocking down
all 12 of his attempts in a 22-point second half effort last Saturday
(Dec. 16) vs. #9 Findlay. The senior guard's output tied the mark which
is also held by Matt Cameron (Dec. 11, 2002) and Chris Gutkowski (Jan.
25, 1980), who both hit 12-of-12 from the foul line.
NORDIC TEAMS IN NEED OF SNOW: The past weekend's Christmas Classic/Pre-U.S. Nationals was canceled because of a lack of snow at the Michigan Tech Nordic Training Center. The Huskies hope to be able to host a time trial this Saturday (Dec. 23) in preparation for the U.S. Nationals scheduled for Jan. 2-9 at the Nordic Training Center.
Hockey (8-8-2, 5-7-2 WCHA)
Women's Basketball (6-3, 4-1 GLIAC)
Men's Basketball (5-4, 3-2 GLIAC)
What's Happening This Week
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006 (Husky Friday: wear school colors!)
Saturday, December 23, 2006
All Times are Eastern
Adapted from the Daily Mining Gazette
KEWEENAW APPROVES ZONING: It took more than three
years and required many meetings and public hearings, but the Keweenaw
County Planning & Zoning
Commission completed a revised zoning ordinance recently. Jon Soper,
commission chairman, said the plan will now be sent to planning and zoning
consultant Mark Wyckoff of the Planning & Zoning Center Inc. in Lansing
for review. It will then be sent back to the commission who will send
it to the Keweenaw County Board of Commissioners for their approval. "Once
they approve it, it's law," Soper said. The current ordinance was
established in 1975, and has had few changes, Soper said. Before the
commission could approve the document Thursday, however, they had one
more task to complete. They had to decide on a definition of a yurt and
decide how they could be used in the county. Originally, yurts were round
structures with a conical roof covered in animal skin on a collapsible
frame developed by nomadic people of inner Asia. That basic form has
been adapted with various types of outer coverings as either a permanent
or temporary dwelling structure. One of the uses the commission discussed
Thursday was how they're used by the owners of Mount Bohemia Ski Resort
near Lac La Belle. The yurts at Mount Bohemia are used as lodging and
warming facilities, and at the Thursday meeting, Lonie Glieberman, president
of the Mount Bohemia Ski Resort, said the use of yurts is becoming popular
at the most prestigious ski facilities.
CAR HITS DOWNTOWN HOUGHTON PARKING
DECK, PARKED VEHICLE: In the second
downtown Houghton accident in two months, a vehicle driving down Shelden
Avenue crashed into a parked car Monday. John Hermanson, 88, of Houghton,
veered into empty parking spaces, crossed the sidewalk and smashed into
the concrete foundation of a parking garage. His vehicle then bounced
back toward the street and struck a parked 1995 GMC Jimmy owned by Sean
Deffendall, 23, of Traverse City. The accident occurred directly across
the street from the Four Seasons tea shop, near where a similar accident
occurred in October on the opposite side of the street. In the October
accident, a 74-year-old Laurium man struck a parked vehicle, causing
a domino effect of crashes along the line of parked cars, eventually
involving five vehicles. He was the only victim taken to the hospital
by Mercy Ambulance that day. It was the same with Monday's accident.
Hermanson was transported to Portage Health by Mercy Ambulance. Deffendall,
a Michigan Tech University student, said he had just put money into the
parking meter and headed down the block when he heard the crash behind
IMPACT OF ONTONAGON REROUTE STILL
owners here say it is too early to tell what kind of impact the new
bridge on state Route 64 will have on commerce. Syl's Cafe is the closest
restaurant to the mostly-dismantled swing bridge that formerly carried
traffic over the Ontonagon River in this western U.P. town. That means
Syl's is now the farthest restaurant from the highway where cars zip
by over the bridge. But owner Kathy Wardynski hasn't made up her mind
about whether the new traffic pattern has hurt business. "I haven't yet and for two reasons," she
said. "One, it's not the tourist season and two, another restaurant
in town closed." The closure of Wagar's Restaurant has brought more
business Syl's, she said. But even with new customers, she still worries
about the upcoming snowmobile season. "I'm really, really concerned
about how snowmobilers are going to get down to us," Wardynski said.
She said she would have a better idea at the end of next summer's four-month
tourist season. "A third of the year, we do about two-thirds of
our business for the year, so that's when we're going to know for sure," Wardynski
said. It's clear that travelers are a key part of the business at Syl's
Cafe. A guest book stands prominently on the corner of the checkout counter
nearest the door. "It took less than two years and we had somebody
here from all 50 states and we're up to about 12 countries," Wardynski
SOUTH RANGE ALSO HAS NEW LOOK: Michigan Department
of Transportation said safety concerns were the driving force behind
state Route 26's new look near South Range. When the department began
planning the resurfacing of the highway from South Range to Painesdale,
they looked at the former route. That route required drivers going
both directions to turn onto Trimountain Avenue before turning again
onto Baltic Avenue or Globe Avenue. "We
were looking to improve highway safety and reduce the number of crashes
that were happening on that curvy section of M-26," said Andy Sikkema,
a transportation engineer with MDOT's Ishpeming office. "Every time
we do a project, we look at crashes along a stretch of roadway and we
identified a situation that we thought we could improve." Work on
the project was completed Oct. 17. The new route involves a wide road
cut into the hillside south of South Range. "We took over a portion
of Baltic Avenue . . . reconstructed it and it's now a part of M-26," Sikkema
said. Karen Johnson, owner of the antique shop Etc. Etc. on Trimountain
Avenue, fears the new road will make it too easy for motorists to bypass
South Range's business district. "They just go whizzing by without
even looking at the main street, or thinking about it," Johnson
to hear the report.
Cool stuff, especially since my son Mark is in the new Computer Systems and Network Administration program.
Way to go Tech!
Editor's Note: I am with you, Art. We are very pleased here about the ranking, and, with a son in Software Engineering and sys ad, I can vouch for the involvement of undergrads. It's what makes Tech unique.
From our faculty:
NASA has posted an image and a news article that originated with researchers
at Michigan Tech and in Ecuador:
Nick Smith is a graduate student in GMES, and Matt Patrick is a post-doc in GMES.
Wayne Pennington, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences
From the Michigan Tech Fund:
Please Make Your Annual Gift to Tech Soon
Many Tech alumni make year-end gifts to the University in order to benefit from a tax deduction for the current year. If you are planning to make a 2006 contribution to Michigan Tech, please don't wait. The end of the years is rapidly approaching! You can call the MTF at 906-487-2310.
The IRS states that a check you mail to a charity is considered delivered on the date it is mailed. Contributions charged on your bank credit card are deductible in the year you make the charge, so it must be completed by December 31.
Gifts to the Michigan Tech Fund can be made online at <https://www.banweb.mtu.edu/mtu/mtf/giftform.xsql>.
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/index.htm
29-30--Detroit, GLI Hockey at the Joe Louis Arena
ALUMNI ASSOCIATION LOOKING FOR
NOMINEES: The Alumni Association
would like to solicit nominees for the four awards to be given at next
year's Alumni Reunion in August 2007. The four awards are Outstanding
Service, utstanding Young Alumni, Distinguished Alumni, and Honorary
Alumni. Nomination forms can be found at:
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)