September 25, 2006 (Vol. 13, No. 19)

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:

Road Trip

A recent trip downstate had me thinking of the thousands of Tech students over the years who have survived I-75, US-141 into Wisconsin, or US-2 toward Minnesota, in every conceivable type of weather.

Even if we don't travel down these roads that often, it's amazing how much we remember. For this trip, we remembered stopping at a little mom-and-pop convenience store/gas station on the corner of US-2 and M-117 that is now closed, its gas price now permanently stuck at a dollar less than current prices. Just before the Mackinac Bridge, we remembered eating at a little restaurant in Naubinway with my parents and getting a good burger for a good price.

South of Gaylord, I remembered a late winter ride through roads that went from bare to icy ruts to slush to bare again while the skies rotated through rain, snow, cloudy, and clear. It was white-knuckle driving for many miles and not knowing what to do with the windshield wipers.

We have similar memories on Wisconsin road trips: an Italian restaurant, now gone except for its sign, where we had to stop to change one of the kid's clothes (no details will be revealed). Another time, at a railroad crossing, we stopped just to watch the train go by because we don't get trains up here anymore. The kids were enthralled.

We also made new memories on this latest trip: finally stopping at a golf course on I-75 that we had passed by many times and leaving our mark, so to speak; stopping at a different mom-and-pop to celebrate the end of the Seney stretch on the way back home.

We all have our road trip stories, and, whatever road they are based on, we know that it's always great to get back home, whether that's back to Tech or wherever.


Colorologist: He said the colors are at 57.3 percent and that he preferred an HP calculator when figuring it out. I was impressed that he read Techalum. "I read a lot of stuff I don't retain," he said.

At Tech

HAND WINS TEACHING AWARD: The Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors recently awarded Michigan Tech professor David W. Hand its 2006 Outstanding Teaching In Environmental Engineering and Science Award. The award "honors a faculty member who has made substantive contributions directly through class-oriented teaching, as enhanced through the development of pedagogic techniques." Hand's nomination for the award was led by Neil Hutzler, chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and received several letters of support from environmental engineering practitioners and professors from around the country. Specifically, he was recognized for his assistance in writing the textbooks "Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering" and "Water Treatment: Principles and Design" as well as for his work on the development of the Environmental Technologies Design Option Tool (ETDOT,) a suite of software for use in designing treatment strategies for by-product waste stream. Hand will be presented with the award at a ceremony at the 2006 Water Environment Foundation's Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference, to be held Oct. 21-25 in Dallas. The Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors consists of over 700 members from around the world who provide education in the sciences and technologies of environmental protection.


HOMECOMING WEEK AT TECH: The Hobo Parade, king and queen, powder puff football, tailgate party, and Huskies football versus Hillsdale highlight Homecoming 2006. Details here: <>.


ROWING COACH TAKES GOLD: Terry Smythe, head coach of the Tech Rowing Club, earned five gold medals at this year's FISA World Master's Championships. The competition, held in Princeton, N. J., is a rowing regatta for master rowers 27 years of age and older. Smythe competed alongside approximately 4,000 participants from nearly 40 nations. Smythe won the C and D 2x (double) competitions, the WD4+ (four with coxswain), the WC8+(eight with coxswain) and the WC4x (quad). She also set the five fastest times in these five different events.

"To quote one of my members, this experience was an all-time high," Smythe said. "As for strategy/secret, I am blessed with good health, genetics, family, friends and work. No one is a success alone. I have a husband who supports the passion I have for rowing and my work in fitness. I choose everyday to make fitness a priority so that I can wake up everyday and know that I can ride my bike for 100 miles or row hard, lift weights, run, whatever I want to do. It's a can do attitude and a determination to live life to the fullest because I can. My job humbles and motivates me daily as it always reminds me of how lucky I am not to have a disease or disability." Smythe's motto is, "Life is short, max it out, volunteer, be fit no matter your age, size or shape. No excuses!" Smythe has been retired from racing since 1987, but thinks she is back after this.

Tech Sports

SEVEN TO BE INDUCTED INTO MICHIGAN TECH SPORTS HALL OF FAME: Michigan Tech will induct seven new members into its Sports Hall of Fame during induction ceremonies scheduled for Saturday, October 28. The group includes former football standouts John Benaglio and Dave Paris, men's basketball star Pete Hoffman, volleyball standout Stephanie Livingston (Johnston), men's ice hockey stars Damian Rhodes and John Rockwell, and women's basketball standout Dawn Zarling (Plitzuweit). The seven 2006 inductees will join the 152 members already in the Michigan Tech Sports Hall of Fame, which was started in 1985.


BIG PLAYS PROPEL #1 LAKERS OVER TECH, 41-20, IN GLIAC FOOTBALL--Turnovers Costly to Huskies' Upset Bid: Turnovers proved costly in Tech's 41-20 loss at #1 Grand Valley State tonight in front of 10,209 fans at Lubbers Stadium. The Huskies had the edge in time of possession and first downs, and compiled 306 yards of total offense to the Lakers' 312 yards. GVSU jumped ahead, 7-0, after a 54-yard reception by Eric Fowler led to a four-yard touchdown run. Tech answered immediately. Robert Haynes set up the offense at midfield after a 46-yard return. Eight plays later, starting quarterback Drew Schaft scrambled five yards into the endzone. Alex Tiseo's point after try was no good, however, leaving the score, 7-6. Grand Valley scored twice in under 90 seconds in the second quarter -- the second on a 30-yard interception return by Buster Larkins. Steve Short entered the game at QB for the Huskies on the next series and drove the Huskies 71 yards in 10 plays. His five-yard run on a draw made the score, 21-13, with 2:46 to play in the second quarter. The Lakers were able to answer quickly by going 61 yards in five plays to make the margin, 28-13 at the half. More: <>


FERRIS STATE WINS FIVE-GAME MARATHON OVER MICHIGAN TECH--Jung Leads Huskies With 19 Kills: The Tech (7-9, 3-4 GLIAC) volleyball team held a 2-1 lead, but Ferris State (13-3, 5-2 GLIAC) rebounded with wins in the final two games to record a 3-2 victory Sunday afternoon at the SDC Gym. The Bulldogs won by scores of 27-30, 30-24, 25-30, 30-15, 15-10. "It's certainly a tough match to lose, but we battled until the end," said head coach Krista Mikesch. "Ferris State has a lot of size and it's a team that always plays us tough here. That being said, we to have to get over the hump in these close matches." More: <>


MEN'S RUNNERS 27TH OF 52 AT ROY GRIAK INVITATIONAL--Airoldi 87th in Field of 505 Collegiate Runners: The Tech men's cross country team placed 27th of 52 teams in an enormous field of more than 500 runners at the Roy Griak Invitational hosted by the University of Minnesota at Les Bolstad Golf Course. The event is annually the largest collegiate race in the nation, and today was no different as teams from as far as California traveled to Minnesota. Junior Adam Airoldi was 87th of 505 collegiate men that started the race. He paced the Huskies on the soggy eight-kilometer course with a time of 27:26. More: <>


WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY SCORES TOP TEN FINISH AT GRIAK--Huskies Ninth of 29 Teams in Women's DII Race: Head coach Joe Haggenmiller was pleased with the Tech women's cross country team's performance today at the Roy Griak Invitational hosted by the University of Minnesota at Les Bolstad Golf Course. The Huskies finished ninth of 29 teams from across the country in what is annually the largest collegiate race in the nation. "Today was a really good day for us," said Haggenmiller. "Times weren't fast because of the soggy conditions, but we raced smart and fought hard all day." Senior Kristina Owen was 18th among 277 collegiate women in the race. She finished the six-kilometer course in 23:33. Sophomore Jessica Pontius was only 20 seconds back in 26th position. More: <>


LAKE SUPERIOR STATE EDGES TECH, 5-4, IN WOMEN'S TENNIS--Lakers Claim Two of Three Critical Doubles Points: Lake Superior State edged Michigan Tech, 5-4, in women's tennis today at the Gates Tennis Center. A 2-1 advantage after doubles proved too tough for the Huskies to overcome. Samantha Jang-Stewart and Monika Malinska made quick work in their number two doubles match with an 8-2 victory. At number one doubles, Silvia Oliveros and Amy Palmgren let a 5-2 lead slip away. LSSU's Cellina Grondin and Lindsay Adams won the final six games of the pro-set for an 8-5 decision. Tech's number three duo of Heather Neff and Whitney Schoep nearly turned the tables on the Lakers by overcoming a 5-0 deficit to force a tiebreaker. They eventually lost, 9-8 (7-1), however, and Lake State held its 2-1 match lead. More: <>


MEN'S TENNIS FALL SEASON COMPLETE AFTER ITA REGIONAL: Tech men's tennis team had a tough day at the 2006 Wilson/ITA Great Lakes Regional hosted by the University of Indianapolis at North Central High School. All three Huskies' singles players and their lone doubles team in the event were defeated in opening round matches. In singles, Brett Girard faced a difficult draw against third-seeded Ali Chaudhry of Drury and lost, 6-2, 6-0. Rick Halverson dropped a 6-2, 6-2 decision to Nathan Moore of Southern Indiana. Justin Foley was knocked off by Drury's Nikola Prpic by a 6-0, 6-1 count. In doubles, Girard and Halverson faced Findlay's Travis Whipple and Jitrat Jaidee. The Tech duo lost their pro-set, 9-7. The ITA Regional wraps up the men's tennis schedule until next February.


Recent Results

Volleyball (7-9, 3-4 GLIAC)
9/23 #2 Grand Valley State 3, at Michigan Tech 0 (30-22, 30-27, 30-27)
9/24 Ferris State 3, at Michigan Tech 2 (27-30, 30-24, 25-30, 30-15, 15-10)

Cross Country
9/23 Women 9th of 29 teams; Men 27th of 52 teams at Roy Griak Invitational (St. Paul, Minn.)

Football (0-4, 0-4 GLIAC)
9/21 at #1 Grand Valley State 41, Michigan Tech 20

Women's Tennis (4-1, 2-1 GLIAC)
9/23 Lake Superior State 5, at Michigan Tech 4

Men's Tennis (0-0, 0-0 GLIAC)
9/22 Michigan Tech at ITA Great Lakes Regional (no team scores)


What's Happening This Week

Homecoming Week, 2006
Visit <> for complete schedule

Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Take-on-a-Husky Night, 7 p.m. (SDC)
-(Tech Students Can Challenge Varsity Athletes)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Huskies Drive Time, Live on Mix 93.5 FM, 7:30-8 a.m.
Fall Sports Luncheon, 12 noon (Grant Hockey Ed. Center)

Thursday, September 28, 2006
Homecoming Hobo Challenges, 7 p.m. (Walker Lawn)

Friday, September 29, 2006 (Husky Friday: wear school colors!)
Women's Tennis hosts Grand Valley State, 2 p.m.
Homecoming Parade, 5:30 p.m. (Campus to Houghton Waterfront Park)
Homecoming Pep Rally, 6:30 p.m. (Houghton Waterfront Park)

Saturday, September 30, 2006
Women's Tennis hosts Ferris State, 10 a.m.
Football hosts Hillsdale, 1 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)
-(Free Student Tailgate in Parking Lot, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.)
-(VIP Tailgate Party, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Champions Way Pavilion)
Volleyball at Wayne State, 4 p.m.

Sunday, September 24, 2006
Volleyball at Hillsdale, 2 p.m.

All Times are Eastern

Around the Keweenaw

Adapted from the Daily Mining Gazette and WLUC-TV6

Michigan Tech CENTER FOR WATER AND SOCIETY RECEIVES GRANT: Water sampling and future planning for the Huron Creek watershed will continue, thanks to a grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Earlier this month, Tech's Center for Water and Society received a $38,667 grant, one of 19 awarded across the state to restore and protect Michigan's lakes and streams. The grants, totaling more than $6.3 million, will fund a broad range of activities including local watershed-based planning and education, stream restoration and protection, and innovative storm water treatments such as green roofs and rain gardens. Alex Mayer, director of the MTCWS, said the funding would be used to continue conducting research, testing the water quality and collecting data at Huron Creek. The three-mile creek, which flows from the Green Acres Road in Portage Township to the Houghton Water Front Park, was used during the 1850s into the 1940s by the Huron and Isle Royal mines. Remains of the site can still be seen today. The water quality of Huron Creek further decreased following the development of the M-26 corridor in the 1970s. Leaking landfills, sediment and chemical runoff, exposed stamp sands and aging septic systems are all factors affecting the water quality. More: <>


CALUMET THEATRE SHOWING SIGNS OF AGING: What to do about a large leak in a wall of the basement of the Calumet Theatre, which lets in a large amount of water, was discussed by the Calumet Village Council recently. Jim Lowell, executive director of the Calumet Theatre, told the council that although there have been attempts to patch the leak that appeared after a large storm in July, it is still a problem. "This is a continuing concern," Lowell said. "I want to push for a resolution to this problem." The theatre is at the corner of Sixth and Elm streets, and Village President Tony Bausano said the plans for repairing Elm Street may take care of the leak in the basement, which may be caused by improper draining of rainwater. "What we're hoping (for) with the Elm Street project we can add some bells and whistles," he said. Eric Waara, engineer with U.P. Engineers and Architects in Houghton, said a Community Development Block Grant has been applied for work on Elm Street through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. "We should know next week," Waara said. More: <>


HOUGHTON STORE SPECIALIZES IN FOOD FROM OTHER NATIONS: World Foods, a unique store in downtown Houghton in the former Haug's Jewelry building is bringing the tastes of the world into the Upper Peninsula. World Foods opened two years ago to cater to the variety of culinary needs of the diverse cultures drawn to Michigan Tech. There are at least 700 international students and faculty on campus. But the food choice also brings people from as far away as Wisconsin to find some of the specialty items the store has. To help keep the cost of the foods down, the owner drives to Minneapolis and Chicago to pick up items direct.


From the E-mailbag

I arrived at Tech in the fall of 1964, another high schooler not ready for college. Doc Berry's remedial recitation class was my particular problem, and it peaked when I fell asleep in the final. Doc woke me up and suggested I turn it in because I was out of time. It only took me two terms to flunk out, and therefore I spent 4 years in the Navy.

When I returned to Tech in fall of 1969, I was back in Doc's recitation section, and on the first roll call he looked at me and asked me to meet him in his office.  He found that he had taught me earlier but he didn't keep his records that far back.

Doc's comment was "I don't remember your face, but I remember the name, and the memory is not pleasant. I hope you've grown up."

What a professor. I've spent an entire career with the memory of the short comment driving me to uphold the academic tradition of Tech. Tech will be hard pressed to find a better educator.

Bye Doc. I can't remember your face, but I remember your legacy and it's one of the best memories of my life.

Scott A. Murray, PE
BSME, Dec 1972
Madison, AL


Doc Berry was the uncommon commonality for engineering and science students during his era at Michigan Tech. During the 1971-72 academic year, I found it necessary to sit in the front row of 135 Fisher Hall, add my tape recorder to the others on the edge of the dais, and record Doc's lectures while furiously scribbling notes. Many fellow students in East Coed Hall borrowed my tapes to listen again to his lectures. Occasionally, we would hear dry, witty jokes that we had overlooked during lectures. What I remember most was his usual opening, "When the bell rang last, we were talking about..."

--Robert Aho, BSBS, Class of 1974, Student No. 35477


If it was not for Doc Berry, I would not have graduated from Tech. He took me under his arm and made me work my tail off. I still remember him stopping me in the Fisher Hall on the first day and saying you're Len Wendel from Plymouth, Michigan. I answered that is correct but do not remember meeting you before. He said I will be you chemistry teacher and you better come prepared. I also remember that he would have study sessions at his house and I believe his wife would serve hot cider and cookies. Doc knew every student in his class. He was a remarkable man and teacher. I also would like to give my condolences and sympathy to Doc's family.

Len Wendel BSBA Class 0f 1975


Hi Dennis,
I, too, have to disagree with K Day being traditionally at McLain Park. In '57 classes started right after Labor Day with orientation week being the previous week. K-Day, as I remember, was the first nice Tuesday in October. Other than the destination being Fort Wilkins for hot coffee & hot dogs, I don't remember it being highly organized. I don't know the numbers of students taking part, but it seemed that you had to hook up with someone with a car to get there, which must have restricted some of the participation. It was a fun day however and I enjoyed the back roads side trips to abandoned locations & mines and waterfalls, including Douglas Houghton Falls. I wish I knew where they were now. The mines are probably barricaded.

I, also, was saddened to hear about Doc Berry. I only had him for one term of recitation, but he was a memorable figure and reputation with his bow tie & Mr. Peepers-like look.

Re: someone's comment awhile ago wondering if girls had gotten Lincoln logs & erector sets for toys if that would make a difference in their life plans. I did get those toys in the early '50's, probably because I was the firstborn and no boys came along for a few years. I was never into "girl's toys", but the erector set with the motor was one of my favorites.  HOWEVER, when it came time to take aptitude tests & declare a field in high school, I was told that "girls don't do that!" which totally astounds girls these days. I didn't know enough to rebel, so I went into a "women's" science field--medical technology. When I got to tech I discovered that there *were* girls in "men's fields", (a few, at least) but by that time, I didn't have the required prerequisites to do anything different without adding a lot of extra time (and money) to my education.

Gail Richter '61


Dear Dennis,

Where can I find the complete lyrics to the Michigan Tech Engineers Song?  You know, "We are we are we are we are we are the Engineers, We can we can we can we can drink all of 40 beers, etc."  When one of the letters here said there was a verse about Doc Berry that got me curious.


Natalie (Rybicki) Kelly
Class of 1980

Editor's Note: <>


Dennis, it's good to see historical renovations like Mike Lahti's Scott Building project in downtown Hancock. We visited the Copper Country 2 weeks ago and were a bit disappointed with the condition of downtown Hancock, and especially Houghton. Buildings have been left to stagnate or else buildings have been remodeled with no historical architectural connection. The CC has such a rich history as evidenced in its old architecture, and this should be preserved. I would also hope that businesses can be lured back to the downtown areas to make them more vibrant attractions to residents, visitors and Tech students. When I attended Michigan Tech in the early 70's, downtown was "where it was at," but competition from other areas, especially in west Houghton (M-26), seems to be hurting the downtown areas. The communities need to support historical preservation and renovation and any enterprise that will improve the downtown areas.

George H. Hermanson, '73

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

No Job Postings this week.

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