September 18, 2006 (Vol. 13, No. 18)

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 Nations

On an overcast Saturday, we had the Parade of Nations <> here, and a nice crowd turned out in Houghton and Hancock to watch the people march by, and the rain held off for most of the parade.

Students, faculty, and staff who had some connection to their countries carried flags from some ninety nations. Often children accompanied the groups, and handed out candy, or in one case, marbles, to other children on the sidewalks. Other children carried inflatable globes. The Tae Kwan Do club exhibition their skill while walking and allowed children to kick at their padded paddles.

It's always impressive to see where our Tech family comes from, and it seems every year there is a new country or group represented. The Hmong, from southern China and parts of Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand, had a nice turnout this year.

The local Native American community led off the parade with dance and song. India had a large contingent, and they had a couple of funny chants going as they walked along. Malaysia always has a good-sized group, as does Finland and China.

Marching bands from Houghton and Hancock and our own Pep Band rocked the streets. Finally, the Cass Tech Band came up from Detroit and was very impressive. We get a fair share of Cass Tech students to attend Tech. I remember from my childhood in Detroit. It was one of schools where the smart kids went, before they went on to Tech. I was glad to know that they still do.


Colorologist: "About 25 percent," he said. "Parts of the Keweenaw are still green, and, no, it's not just the pine and spruce. I'm not a Twig, but even I know that!"

At Tech

FOOTBALL GAME AT GRAND VALLEY THURSDAY TO BE TELEVISED: Tech's football game at Grand Valley State this Thursday will be aired on CSTV (College Sports Television). The Tech-GVSU game will be one of only three Division II football games broadcast by CSTV during 2006. "We're tremendously excited to be a part of this event," said Tech's Director of Athletics Suzanne Sanregret. "It will give Michigan Tech great exposure nationwide and show off the quality of football in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference." In addition to the three football games, CSTV has agreed to provide airtime for six Division II basketball games (three men's and three women's) during 2006-07, with the schedule of teams and dates yet to be announced. The package has the potential to reach millions of homes nationwide. "We're looking forward to playing in a great Division II environment in front of a national audience," said Huskies head coach Tom Kearly. "It will be a good event for our team and the University." CSTV can be seen on DirecTV channel 610 and Dish Network channel 152. It will be available locally on Charter Cable.


GENOME RESEARCH COULD LEAD TO BETTER BIOFUEL: Wood from a common tree may one day play a major role in filling American gas tanks, according to scientists whose research on the fast-growing poplar tree is featured on the cover of the Sept. 15, 2006 edition of the journal Science. The article, coauthored in part by three faculty members in the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, highlights the analysis of the first complete DNA sequence of a tree, the black cottonwood or Populus trichocarpa. It lays groundwork for the potential development of trees that could serve as the ideal "feedstock" for a new generation of biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol. The research is the result of a four-year effort, led by the U.S. Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, uniting the efforts of 34 institutions from around the world, including Michigan Tech. The lead author is ORNL and DOE JGI researcher Gerald A. Tuskan. More: <>


MORE WOMEN ATTENDING TECH: The number of women enrolling at Michigan Tech for the first time is up by about a third, according to preliminary numbers. As of Thursday, Sept. 14, 25 percent of new students are female, compared to 19 percent last year. Overall female enrollment at the university has increased from 23 percent to 24 percent, from a total of 1,523 to 1,575. "We believe this is due to a shift in our marketing," said John Lehman, assistant vice president for enrollment services. "In its brochures, ads and informational publications, the university has made a conscious effort to feature women. "We are offering more degree programs that tend to appeal to women, but the percentage of Michigan Tech women majoring in fields such as engineering is also on the rise," he said. "Our hope is that this new marketing focus is helping more young women broaden their horizons and consider engineering as a career." Total enrollment is up by 36 over the last year, from 6,508 to 6,544. The number of graduate students is up from 897 to 915. Undergraduate enrollment has risen from 5,611 to 5,629. The number of American minority students has risen slightly, from 383 to 392, which reflects the university's efforts to enhance the diversity of the campus, Lehman said.


PETERSON QUOTED BY AP: Professor Rolf Peterson was quoted in a recent AP article on the dangers of wolves becoming desensitized to the presence of humans in the Isle Royale National Park. Peterson warns that although wolf attacks are rare, they may escalate as natural prey populations decline and wolves begin to recognize humans as a viable food source. This article was published in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and numerous internet new sites, including Yahoo. The full article can be viewed at <> .

Tech Sports

#18 NORTHWOOD TOPS TECH, 13-7, IN DEFENSIVE GRIDIRON BATTLE--T'Wolves Stop Huskies on Fourth Quarter Red Zone Chances: Tech had significant advantages in time of possession, first downs and total offense, but it was #18 Northwood who came away with a 13-7 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football victory in front of 2,020 fans at Sherman Field today. The Huskies gained 236 yards of total offense and collected 15 first downs compared to 181 yards and five first downs for NU. The game was a defensive battle with seven combined turnovers between the two teams. Michigan Tech caused the first turnover--a fumble that gave the Huskies the ball at the Northwood 24-yard line. Four plays later, quarterback Drew Schaft scrambled and found receiver Keith White for a 16-yard touchdown. Alex Tiseo added the extra point. Northwood was forced a punt on the ensuing drive and Tech marched 73 yards deep into T'wolves territory again. Schaft was stopped on fourth-and-inches at the NU 13-yard line, however. More: <>


VOLLEYBALL HUSKIES REBOUND WITH 3-0 WIN OVER SAGINAW VALLEY STATE--Three Tech Players Break Double-Digits in Kills: The Tech volleyball team recorded a 3-0 (30-25, 30-28, 30-28) win over Saginaw Valley State and snapped the Cardinals' three-game winning streak Sunday afternoon. The Huskies are now 7-7 overall and 3-2 in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference competition. SVSU saw its record fall to 10-4 overall and 3-3 in the conference. "Today was a great turnaround from yesterday's performance," said eighth-year head coach Krista Mikesch. "We talked a lot about cutting down our unforced errors and we are able to do that against Saginaw Valley. When we avoid a lot errors we have a chance to beat anybody in this league." Sophomore Kali Jeter (Middleton, Wis.), who was named the Superior Player of the Match, registered 13 kills off a .400 hitting percentage and pitched in nine digs and one block solo. Sophomore Veronica Armstong (Battle Creek, Mich.) tallied her fourth double-double of the year with 12 kills and 16 digs. She also contributed two service aces, two block assists and one block solo. Sophomore Jen Jung (Andover, Minn./Coon Rapids) notched 10 kills and compiled a .419 hitting percentage, while also picking up two block assists.


WOMEN'S TENNIS--OLIVEROS AND PALMGREN FALL IN QUARTERFINALS OF ITA: Silvia Oliveros and Amy Palmgren wrapped up their run in the ITA Great Lakes Regional today with a loss in the quarterfinal round. The duo fell to seventh-seeded Julia Gonclaves and Desiree Roset of Northwood by an 8-3 score. The Huskies duo finished 2-1 as a team in the regional.


RUN SEVENTH AT MIDWEST COLLEGIATE MEET--Airoldi Paces Huskies with 8K Time of 27:20. The Tech men's cross-country team finished seventh of 18 teams at the Midwest Collegiate Meet today.Adam Airoldi paced the Huskies with his 28th-place finish. The junior ran the eight-kilometer course in 27:20. Junior Stuart Kramer was 40th among more than 200 participants with a time of 27:50. Freshman Ken Gilkerson was only five seconds and three places behind Kramer. Freshman Ben Beard (67th, 28:36) and junior Sam Kilpela (75th, 28:46) rounded out the team's top five. Freshman Kevin Bence was only nine seconds behind Kilpela."We had an average day today," said head coach Joe Haggenmiller. "We're probably still feeling the effects of a hard training camp. I was excited to see Ken and Kevin battle in a longer and bigger race than they've run in before."


LADIES FIFTH OF 17 AT MIDWEST COLLEGIATE MEET--Pontius Turns in Top 10 Finish: The Tech women's cross country team finished fifth of 17 teams at today's Midwest Collegiate Meet hosted by Wisconsin-Parkside. The Huskies placed four runners in the top 26 of a 195-runner field and defeated two teams from the NCAA Division I ranks in Northwestern and Wisconsin-Green Bay. Sophomore Jessica Pontius earned a seventh-place finish with a time of 19:11 on the five-kilometer course. Senior Kristina Owen followed in 15th place with a time of 19:52. A trio of freshmen rounded out Tech's top five. Allison Springer-Wilson was 22nd in 20:02, Hanna Stadem was 26th in 20:09, and Kristen Monahan was 42nd in 20:35. "Jessica had a really good day and it's great to see the freshmen step up," said head coach Joe Haggenmiller. "It was a solid top-five finish for the team, but I think there's potential for us to do better."


Recent Results

Sunday, September 17

Women's Volleyball: Michigan Tech 3, at Saginaw Valley State 0

Saturday, September 16

Women's Tennis: Michigan Tech at ITA Great Lakes Regional

Women's Cross Country: Michigan Tech 5th of 17 Teams at Midwest Collegiate Meet

Men's Cross Country: Michigan Tech 7th of 18 Teams at Midwest Collegiate Meet

Women's Volleyball: at Northwood 3, Michigan Tech 1

Football:  #18 Northwood 13, at Michigan Tech 7


What's Happening This Week

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Huskies Drive Time, Live on Mix 93.5 FM, 7:30-8:00 a.m.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Football at #1 Grand Valley State, 7:00 p.m.-- (Live Television, CSTV & Charter Cable Channel TBA)
-- (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

Friday, September 22, 2006 (Husky Friday: wear school colors!)

Men's Tennis at ITA Great Lakes Regional (Midland, Mich.)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Women's Tennis hosts Lake Superior State, 10:00 a.m.

Volleyball hosts #2 Grand Valley State, 1:00 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)-- Hawaiian Day

Cross Country at Roy Griak Invitational (St. Paul, Minn.)

Men's Tennis at ITA Great Lakes Regional (Indianapolis, Ind.)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Volleyball hosts Ferris State, 2:00 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)-- Jersey Day

Men's Tennis at ITA Great Lakes Regional (Indianapolis, Ind.)

All Times are Eastern

Around the Keweenaw

Adapted from the Daily Mining Gazette

OTTAWA NATIONAL FOREST CELEBRATES 75TH ANNIVERSARY: Lisa Klaus calls the Ottawa National Forest "a refuge for the spirit." The forest's public affairs specialist was one of many community members and current and former workers shaped by that refuge who came together Friday to celebrate the forest's 75-year mark. The forest dates back to 1931, when a presidential proclamation set aside land in the western Upper Peninsula; more specifically, Klaus said, "the lands that nobody wanted." Everybody had a point. Runaway logging and mining made the land an easy mark for erosion. The result: a burned-over dust bowl with swaths of white pine stumps. The rebirth began with the Civilian Conservation Corps, which hand-planted stands of white pine during the 1930s. "We're really proud of the CCC," Klaus said. "We know they're proud of the work they've done, because without them we wouldn't have any of this." Current employees such as Forest Supervisor Bob Lueckel, showed up, while many of the retirees also came back. Some people had fathers in the original CCC crews. More: <>


DMA BRIEFED ON SKI NATIONALS: The Houghton Downtown Merchants Association received an update on the Nordic skiing event for the U.S. Skiing and Snowboarding Association National Cross Country Skiing Championships, which will take place in Houghton from Jan. 1-7, 2007. About 100 coaches and 400 to 450 skiers will come to Houghton for the event, including 30 from the national ski team, said Mike Abbott, director of sports and recreation for Michigan Tech University. Senior Olympics members are 20 years and over. The event comes a year after Houghton hosted the Junior Olympics. While that Olympics saw athletes and their families frequently wandering through downtown Houghton, Abbott cautioned retailers to expect a more muted impact with the older crowd. "They come in, they eat, they sleep, they ski, they go," he said. The national championships will also return next year. Dick Gray, president of the Downtown Merchants Association and co-owner of the Keweenaw Brewing Co., said being able to put together two national competitions would likely help Houghton attract more events in the future. "It's far-reaching beyond the scope of one event," he said. Jack Ham, manager of Office Express U.P., suggested giving out tokens to athletes who visit downtown businesses as part of a drawing. Proceeds for the event will go towards the Nordic ski team at Michigan Tech, as well as lighting the Tech Trails.


FRATERNITY SETTLES INTO HISTORIC HOME: It was more than the 56-inch screen TV sitting on the front lawn that drew attention to a well-known historic home on College Avenue last week. Rather, it was the 18 young men of Tech's Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity hauling beds, TVs and boxes into the historic pink mansion, formerly known as the Charleston House Historic Inn, swarming in and out of the house like bees in a stirred nest. "People have been driving by and pointing," said Mike Mueller, member of Phi Phi Zeta House Corp., the alumni group that purchased the home several months ago for about $330,000 and completed construction on the house this summer. "It's definitely high-profile," he said. “We know we're being watched." The Georgian-style house, now in its fifth hands of ownership, began with Allen Rees construction in 1900 where it stayed with the family until 1962 when Tech professor Lawrence Remington purchased it. The Sullivans bought it from the Remington family in 1995. John Sullivan said he and wife Helen ran it as a bed and breakfast until May of 2004. The house was then purchased by Priti Cholan of New York, who put it back on the market after a year when plans to move to Houghton changed. The fraternity then purchased it. More: <>

From the E-mailbag

I'm very saddened to hear of the death of Doc Berry. He was one of the best. I remember that he would lecture two sections in 135 of Fisher (a new building when I was there in the fall of '65), one on MWF at 11 and another on TTS at 11 and within a few weeks he would know every name and where we usually sat. He never used the PA system and his voice would fill the room. I was also fortunate enough to realize that I wasn't doing well in chemistry and I managed to get transferred to the remedial recitation class that Doc Berry taught personally. I survived my freshman year only with that extra help. I never had chemistry in high school, a big mistake. Many a freshman at Da Tech never got past Doc Berry and found themselves out the door. Anyway, I made it with much thanks to Doc Berry and a few other professors like him.

Chris Otis
BSEE '70


I guess it's only fitting to read of Doc Berry's passing in the same newsletter that mentions the rebuild of Fisher Hall. The lecture room and Doc will always be linked. Others used it in the 70's but...

I was lucky enough to work two years as one of his lab instructors. His expectations were high (what a surprise) but his support was higher.

Marty Vonk, B.S. Ch Eng.  1974


Dear Dennis
I'm sure you'll get tons of email about Doc Berry, but he did make a lasting impression. I was one of 2 women in the freshman chemistry class in Fall '63. I remember 3 things.

1. On my very first day there were 2 guys behind me singing something nasty.

2. He always wore a bow tie

3. Word came in just as class was beginning that JFK had been shot. He cancelled class.

Scottie Adams


Dear Dennis,
Doc Berry was probably the best professor I had at Tech and I had many who were good. As a freshman I like many was having problems with chemistry and trying hard with small results. Doc Berry's 2nd exam was coming up and I plus several others were struggling but showing up for all classes and extra help. In Thursday's class Doc Berry ask several of us to see him after lecture. Friday was a big Tech hockey game! Tech had guys like Rick Best and Tony Esposito in net plus a plethora of other great players. Doc Berry invited us over to his home for a home cooked meal and study session on Friday night starting at 7 pm. We studied thru the game and he helped each of us so we could pass the exam. Although it was difficult to miss the hockey game the feeling of getting a high "C" on the exam felt great. It allowed me to stay academically eligible for varsity skiing. I always felt Doc Berry truly cared for all his students who put forth an effort to try. I'll always remember Doc Berry.

Tony Cooper
Class of 1970


I had the "pleasure" of taking accelerated freshman chemistry from Doc during the summer of 1970. As a barely graduated from high school freshman at Tech, after the first couple of days I was in a total state of panic. But Doc helped me greatly and I managed to pass and not have to repeat. Organic was a different story. I have many fond memories of Doc and when I was in Houghton after graduation I would go to the agate shop in Copper Harbor just to visit with him.  Believe it or not, after all of those students, he would remember my name and what I had been doing for the last couple of years.  Doc Berry was a great man and a wonderful instructor and now that I think of it, he probably influenced my teaching methods when I taught for approximately 9 years. As with Doc, many of my students hated me until they realized that they just might be learning something. My condolences and sympathy to Doc's family. PS--I still have my slide rule and sure do remember that big one in the front of the classroom.

Mark Walter ('75- (should have been '74, but it was not Doc's fault


Dennis - Never thought I'd write to you, but the passing of a truly great person and educator like Doc Berry cannot go without comment.

I knew him at church as a fellow Episcopalian and as a student. Doc Berry and his wife were a truly special couple among all parishioners, especially how they related to and welcomed students far from home.

My most memorable time with Doc Berry was his Chemistry lecture about

Carbon. Anyone who saw a middle age professor break into a dance routine singing "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" will know the true teaching genius Doc Berry had. He made a lasting impression on many students. He was tough but fair, you really had to work to get a grade. After finishing his class, you really had a firm understanding of inorganic Chemistry.

Jim Schluckbier - '69       


How can we ever forget Doc Berry.  The last time I was in Houghton I stopped by his house. He opened the door, with a big hug, embarrassed at his lapse of my name. He began asking if I had heard from my old roommate Duane Warner. Sorry to say, Mrs. Dr. Berry was not at home. 

The line at Doc Berry's office door was legendary and long. Some of us even went there for Chemistry help, but Doc was just as good as mentor, counselor, and friend. It was the same at his home just up the street from the old Dee Stadium.

Now, despite the colorful Doc Berry verse of the Engineer's Song, I am sure the first thing our beloved Doc heard after passing was "Well done, good and faithful servant."

Thanks again, Doc!

Richard Hole PE, BSEE '72, ID# 30413


I too had Doc Berry in the late 70's and early 80's. He was an awesome professor and human being. He was much gruffer on the outside than he truly was. He will be missed by Tech. Is there an on line obituary?

Dave Anderson '83


Sad and sorry to hear that "Doc Berry" passed away. I may not remember valances and redox equations but I will never forget the proper pronunciation of the chemical term "PROCESS".

Mike Sutkowi, BSME '70


"Doc" Berry ... I remember answering 11 questions (of maybe 100) on a freshman chem exam and thinking I failed miserably, only to receive a 'B+' grade!

I remember ... "It's Intuitively Obvious To Even The Most Casual Observer"

I remember Freshman Chemistry ('65-66) as a right-of-passage at Michigan Tech.

-Stan Smart ('69)


Hi Dennis--I'll always remember Michigan Tech on September 11th. I was in the Chem Sci building, in one of my business classes. When class let out, we walked out into the lobby area and there were 30 people standing under the TV mounted on the wall watching the news reports. I don't think it really sunk in until I got home to find all of my roommates on the couch, glued to the TV. We all spent the day together, on the couch, calling family and friends, crying, and talking. My brother was at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey at the time and my family and I experienced the horror of the cell phone and landlines being out. We were able to reach him a couple of hours after it happened, he had been watching the towers and smoke from his dorm room.

Every year on this date I remember where I was, what I was doing, how I felt. This was a defining moment of my generation and I hope that we all remember. God Bless our Troops and God Bless America.

Jessica Kiefer
BSBA '02


With regard to K-Day, I have to differ that it traditionally went to McLain State Park. In the four years I was at Tech (1973-1977) the final destination was Fort Wilkins State Park. It was also later in the month. For my first K-Day (1973) about eight of my friends from DHH piled into my 1966 Plymouth Sport Fury for the trip to Copper Harbor. Along the way we stopped along the cliffs on Cliff Drive to see if we could scale them. The answer was no. Once we reached Copper Harbor we went "bear hunting" in the Copper Harbor dump and then drove as far as we could into the Estivant Pines.

Once we turned around we went back to Manganese Falls and decided to climb up the falls. The water was cold but we made it. We eventually reached Fort Wilkins.  That climb, however, started a tradition for us DHH "Lounge Rats" to find a climb a falls each week until it got cold. Using one of those free Copper Country maps we drove all over the Houghton, Keweenaw, and Baraga Counties in search of waterfalls. We did some serious hiking for some of them. We also did this in 1974.

Another K-Day we went up the east side of the peninsula through Gay, Lac LaBelle, and Bete Gris. We powered that old rear-wheel drive Plymouth up a really rocky two track until it would go no more. We got out and walked the rest of the way to the fire tower that stood over Bete Gris. The tower steps were still open so we climbed to the top. What an incredible view! The Keweenaw stretched out on all sides of us and with the Fall colors at their peak looked very much like a gigantic bowl of fruit loops. Unfortunately, the county tore down the tower in the 1980s because of liability fears. I believe the Mt. Bohemia ski hill is right about the spot where the tower stood.

Boy, I miss those fall colors.

Ken Hafeli (1977)


For those of us who still enjoy the ease of RPN technology...checkout this site and the PC emulator available for the HP41...<>

Brian Kolak
BSEE W '83


To answer Joe Masterson's question, I was only lucky enough to spend one year at Tech, 69-70, but I remember the Chuck U. Farley comic strip. Was always surprised it got away with the lines it did. Lots of fond memories.

Also, we had student numbers then too, not the SS # on our ID cards.

John Lee

Editor's Note: I printed the wrong link to Piled Higher and Deeper comics last week. The one that mentions Tech is here: <>

Alumni Association Programs

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


10 - Tech Legacy Reception, Winter Carnival

Job Opportunities This Week

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

Assistant Professor in Algebra with Applications to Combinatorics--Mathematical Sciences

Assistant Professor in Statistics and Probability--Mathematical Sciences

Assistant/Associate Professor in Organic Chemistry--Chemistry Department

Assistant/Associate Professor in Physical Chemistry--Chemistry Department

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