October 2 , 2006 (Vol. 13, No. 20)

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:

Home Sweet Homecoming

The Army ROTC cannon blasted off, the smoke from it swirled through the multicolored leaves surrounding Sherman Field, and the football Huskies charged onto the field. It was Homecoming 2006.

An overcast sky dropped sprinkles here and there, but that didn't faze the nice crowd on hand. There was tailgating before, a VIP feast under the pavilion, and Vollwerth's hotdogs from the concession stand weren't bad either.

The Pep Band, and some other students, had their hobo clothes on (from the night before?). The hobo parade itself has changed, progressing from campus to the Houghton Beach, where they have a pep rally. Later, the scene was surreal as the hobos walked back to downtown and campus along the waterfront. Greeks had set up hobo housing on their front lawns this year, and some spent Thursday night in there. The temperature was in the low 40s! (We spotted another sleeping soul Sunday morning.)

Back at the game, the defense came up big in the red zone, with two stops at fourth down and short, a blocked point after touchdown, and an interception. Hillsdale also had a field goal called back by penalty to help the Huskies' cause.

The Huskies lead 7-6 at the half, after a nice pass from freshman quarterback Steve Short to junior Kirk Williams. A king and queen were crowned during halftime: Sarah Stream and Jeff Eul. The Pep Band did their usual irreverent show, this time dedicated to America's "king and queen of the 1960s: JFK and Marilyn Monroe."

The Huskies scored again in the second half on a 17-yard, broken-play run by their workhorse running back Lee Marana. They also stopped a two-point conversion after Hillsdale scored, and they hung on for a much-needed first victory of the year, 14-12.

Overall, it was a great game: few penalties, great defense, some offense (the Huskies ran four reverses, and Short can throw and run), and the crowd left Sherman Field feeling that they might have had some say in the victory. I believe they did. 


Colorologist: "Around eighty percent." That's some jump from last week, I said. "Hey," he said, looking hurt, "I'm still more accurate than a U.P. weatherman!" So, why are there so many reds this year? "I don't know, ask a Twig!"

At Tech

TECH PURCHASES DOWNSTATE RESEARCH DIVISION: Thanks to a $1 million gift from the House Family Foundation, Michigan Tech has entered into an agreement with the Altarum Institute of Ann Arbor to purchase its Environmental and Emerging Technologies Division (EETD). The acquisition will do more than support university and faculty research initiatives. Over the next few years, net revenues from the division will be set aside to fund an endowed professorship. "It's a great fit for us," said Provost David Reed. "It increases our capacity for graduate studies and research in the key areas of engineering and the environment. And it helps us fulfill our charge from the state, to help build Michigan's capacity to thrive in a knowledge economy." More: <http://www.admin.mtu.edu/urel/news/media_relations/516/>


INDUSTRY DONORS SUPPORT YES! EXPO: Corporate sponsors are stepping up to the plate in support of the YES! Expo, which aims to interest Michigan youth in science and engineering. A total of 20,000 students in grades 8-12, primarily from southeast Michigan, are expected to attend the Expo, sponsored by Michigan Tech. This year's event, set for Nov. 2 at Detroit's Ford Field, will feature a visit from Bill Nye, the Science Guy. The YES! (Youth, Engineering and Science) Expo will introduce students to technologically oriented professions through dozens of displays and exhibits that showcase science, engineering and health careers. The Expo includes exhibits by dozens of corporations, organizations, all 15 of the state's public universities and a number of private colleges. Expo 2006 takes place at a pivotal time, according to Pete Cattelino, director of the YES! Expo at Michigan Tech. "Increasing the number of engineers and scientists is critical to the future of Michigan's industry and economy, yet statistics indicate that the number of science and engineering degrees awarded in the U.S. has dropped dramatically," he said. "As a result, auto industry officials say not enough skilled engineers, scientists and technicians will be available to meet demand." More: <http://www.admin.mtu.edu/urel/ttoday/previous.php?issue=20060929>


SFRES RANKED AMONG BEST FORESTRY RESEARCH PROGRAMS: A new study published in the Journal of Forestry puts the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science among the top forestry research programs in the nation. Measuring quality in academia can be an exercise in fuzzy logic, as the study's authors note. David N. Laband and Daowei Zhang, of Auburn University, were inspired to undertake their analysis while watching a college football game. During a break in the action, they saw a promotional clip from a university touting its forestry program as second best in the nation. "...[W]e found this eye opening because we are aware of little-to-no basis for it," they write in their introduction. So they shouldered the task of ranking university forestry research programs throughout the U.S. and Canada based on something real: the measurable performance of their research faculty. In particular, they looked at publications in five prestigious scientific journals and at citations, the number of times a faculty member's work is cited by other authors. Citations in particular reflect the impact work has on the community of science. When they finished counting, Michigan Tech's forestry faculty had generated 526 citations apiece on average, enough to rank them first in this category. More: <http://www.admin.mtu.edu/urel/ttoday/previous.php?issue=20060926>


Tech Sports

HUSKIES GAIN 14-12 HOMECOMING VICTORY OVER HILLSDALE: Lee Marana rushed for 125 yards and Michigan Tech's defense came up with plenty of big stops to propel the Huskies to a 14-12 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory over Hillsdale on Homecoming at Sherman Field. Will Clark's tackle on the Charger's two-point conversion try with 6:15 to go proved to be one of the biggest plays of the game. "It's great to get a win on Homecoming with great crowd support," said first-year head coach Tom Kearly, who earned his first career win. "We were able to cut out the big mistakes and our defense did what it needed to do." More: <http://www.athletics.mtu.edu/news.php?source2=news&source=0609300517mfb.txt&PHPSESSID=0e3eed26eb66ef545a91c25151626a62>


KLETT NAMED GLIAC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Senior Bryan Klett (Green Bay, Wis./Southwest) recorded 11 tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss and a fumble recovery in the Huskies' 14-12 victory over Hillsdale last Saturday (Sept. 30). The linebacker was all over the field, helping Tech force the Chargers into four turnovers in Michigan Tech territory (twice on downs, a fumble and an interception). Klett, who leads the Huskies in tackles (31) and tackles-for-loss (6-25) this season, had seven solos and four assists against the Chargers.


HOCKEY SEASON OPENS FRIDAY: Michigan Tech's 86th season of intercollegiate hockey will commence Friday when the Huskies take the ice against Lakehead. Head coach Jamie Russell, who enters his fourth season at the helm of the Tech program, has a 26-player squad with three seniors, eight juniors, nine sophomores and six freshmen. Co-captains for the 2006-07 season are Mike Batovanja (Hinton, Alberta) and Lars Helminen (Brighton, Mich.).


HILLSDALE SWEEPS MICHIGAN TECH IN VOLLEYBALL: The 10th-ranked Hillsdale volleyball team pushed its season unbeaten streak to 19 games after defeating Michigan Tech 3-0 (30-22, 30-18, 30-21) Sunday afternoon at Jesse Philips Arena. The loss dropped the Huskies' record to 8-10 overall and 4-5 in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference games. "Hillsdale is a great team and we didn't play at the level we needed to win," said head coach Krista Mikesch. "We have to believe in ourselves and realize that we are good enough to beat the top teams in this league. Now we need to regroup and prepare for Lake Superior State." Redshirt freshman Kelly Jorgensen (Eden Prairie, Minn.) led Tech in kills (9) and hitting percentage (.368) and pitched in one block assist. Sophomore Jen Jung (Andover, Minn./Coon Rapids) compiled eight kills, four block assists and one block solo. Junior Kali Jeter (Middleton, Wis.) added nine digs, four kills, two service aces and two block assists. More: <http://www.athletics.mtu.edu/sport.php?sport=wvb>


MICHIGAN TECH VOLLEYBALL TEAM SWEEPS WAYNE STATE: Michigan Tech held Wayne State to a -.019 hitting percentage and increased its own attack percentage in each game to pave the way for a 3-0 (30-22, 30-22, 30-20) victory in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference volleyball competition Saturday afternoon. The Huskies improved to 8-9 overall and 4-4 in the GLIAC, while the Warriors saw their record drop to 1-14 overall and 1-9 in league play. "We started with quite a few unforced errors, but we improved as the match went on," said head coach Krista Mikesch. "Overall, it was a great day for us because we were able to give everyone a chance to play. Now we have to turn it up a notch as we get ready to take on a very strong Hillsdale team."


Recent Results

Football (1-4, 1-4 GLIAC)
9/30 -- at Michigan Tech 14, Hillsdale 12

Volleyball (8-10, 4-5 GLIAC)
9/30 -- Michigan Tech 3, at Wayne State 0 (30-22, 30-22, 30-20)
10/1 -- at #10 Hillsdale 3, Michigan Tech 0 (30-22, 30-18, 30-21)

Women's Tennis (4-3, 2-3 GLIAC)
9/29 -- Grand Valley State 8, at Michigan Tech 1
9/30 -- Ferris State 7, at Michigan Tech 2


What's Happening This Week

Monday, October 2, 2006
Volleyball at Lake Superior State, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006
Huskies Drive Time, Live on Mix 93.5 FM, 7:30-8 a.m.

Friday, October 6, 2006 (Husky Friday: wear school colors!)
Women's Cross Country at U.P. Championships, 3 p.m. (Marquette, Mich.)
Men's Cross Country at Michigan Intercollegiate Championships, 4 p.m. (Big Rapids, Mich.)
Women's Tennis at Mercyhurst, 4 p.m.
Volleyball hosts Ashland, 5 p.m.
Hockey hosts Lakehead, 7:07 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

Saturday, October 7, 2006
Women's Tennis vs. Charleston (W.Va.), 1 p.m. (at Erie, Pa.)
Football at Ferris State, 2 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)
Volleyball hosts Findlay, 4 p.m.

Sunday, October 8, 2006
Women's Tennis at Ashland, 10 a.m.

All Times are Eastern

Around the Keweenaw

Adapted from the Daily Mining Gazette

Editor's Note: I was remiss to not mention Theta Tau's recent 100-year anniversary celebration. The Gazette did a nice job of covering it, and I include it here:

THETA TAUS'S CELEBRATE 100 YEARS: Tech's oldest national fraternity celebrated a milestone this weekend, with hundreds of alumni and supporters in attendance. Alumni flew in from as far as southern California to take part in the centennial celebration of the Beta Chapter of Theta Tau fraternity, held Thursday through Sunday in Houghton, including a dinner Saturday night where Michigan Tech Board of Control Chair and Beta chapter historian Jim Mitchell presented a slideshow detailing the group's long history with the university. Loren Howard, a class of 1942 alumni now living in downstate Holland, said he especially enjoyed seeing photographs of the former fraternity house on College Avenue. "I never saw those before," he said, fondly recalling House Mother Gertrude ("Mom") Harrington. "She was tough if we broke the rules, but she really looked after us." More: <http://www.mininggazette.com/stories/articles.asp?articleID=3580>


ISSUES AND ANSWERS SEEKING MORE WORKERS: Although the Issues & Answers call center opened in May with great anticipation by its owners, the response to fill the available positions has been less than expected. Issues & Answers President Peter McGuinness said to remedy the situation of too few employees, the company is increasing the opportunity for residents who may have been reluctant to join the company. "We're adding a daytime shift," McGuinness said. "We thought it would be an opportunity to get mothers of school-aged children." The shift will be from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., McGuinness said, which would allow parents time to drop off their children at school and pick them up in the afternoon. McGuinness said Issues & Answers employees make telephone calls for surveys and to check on customer satisfaction for manufacturers and take customer service calls. There is some flexibility with scheduling for work, McGuinness said. "If they want to work Saturday and Sunday, they can," he said. he call center in the Red Ridge Plaza next to Quizno's on Sharon Avenue opened on May 15. Before deciding to move to Houghton, Issues & Answers examined six locations in the state.


CONCERT CHOIR BACK FROM CHINA: It didn't take long for Tech concert choir members to recover from their jet lag from a trip to China before asking director Milt Olsson when the next trip would be. "Folks are already asking," he said, laughing. "Let's just bask in this trip first." Olsson said the 69-member tour group of undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, faculty and staff, community members and guest singers that spent July 28-Aug. 10 in the People's Republic of China has plenty in which to bask. The group gave an hour and 20-minute, 16-song performance in Beijing, Xi-An, Guillin, Nanjing and Shanghai and spent the off time touring historic sites such as the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and the Terracotta Soldiers. The group also rode the famous magnetic train that connects Shanghai with the Shanghai International Airport. The trip is the sixth tour the choir has done, the others having been to Mexico City, Central Europe twice, Eastern Europe and Brazil. The next trip will probably take place in 2009.


HURON CREEK GROUP DISCUSSES HIDDEN SECTION: The "hidden" section of Huron Creek got its moment in the sun recently. The Huron Creek Advisory Committee's latest meeting centered on the section between Sharon Avenue and Canal Road, one of four to be considered by the group. The group is charged with developing recommendations for a management plan for the creek, which runs 3 miles from Green Acres Road in Portage Township to the Houghton Waterfront Park. The view from the creek is split between a view of foliage to the east and a view of the riprap along M-26 to the west, said Alex Mayer, director of the Center for Water and Society. The view from M-26 doesn't really exist. "It's entirely hidden, unless you're walking," he said. While the water quality for the stream was generally good, Mayer had noted some scattered instances of large items being dumped by the side of the creek. He also pointed out some slower-moving areas of the creek that had become murky from suspended particles. The creek's water quality declined closer to Sharon Avenue, where the highest metal concentrations have been found.

From the E-mailbag

Like everyone else, I remember Doc Berry, for freshman chemistry, his recitation section and incredible memory. I still use and teach the line-mole method for all sorts of problem solving in math and engineering. I had to retake parts of chemistry to get through, but with his style of teaching I was over prepared for non-Tech chemistry. A great man and wonderful teacher.

Chuck Heiden
Class of 1980


A couple more Doc Berry stories, if you please. On the 1968 fall term final exam, the last question was a long and complicated discussion of how to make plum pudding, including the alcohol content, the baking temperature (in Celsius, of course), and a bunch of other stuff. In those days, fall term ended just before Christmas break. Paraphrasing the final line of the question "Plum pudding is traditionally served on Christmas Day, which falls on which day of the month in December?" Apparently, a number of people got the wrong answer, and of course a number of people never got that far on the exam. I can still remember the muffled laughter as one student after another got to that question!

Apparently I did all right on that test, as at the beginning of winter term, Doc Berry called me into his office and asked me to move to the honors chemistry section. He was a great instructor, and as others have noted, always available to students who had the motivation to give him a call. I still remember one classmate who refused to sit anywhere but on the aisle because he was deathly afraid of not staying awake (and the associated exile imposed from the podium by Doc Berry), and was sure that if he sat between two people, the higher CO2 content in the exhaled air would put him to sleep! Oh, the stories.

Kerry Irons '72


Reading the letter in the e-mailbag regarding the Michigan Tech Engineer's Song reminded me of  The Techman's Prayer.  I can't remember it all but ended something like this:  You men of Michigan Tech, you've done your job so well, Pass on through the Gates of Glory, you've spent your time in hell.  Does anyone have this in his or her archives?  

Fred Roman, BSME '66



As I've mentioned in the past, my wife Sara (Spencer - 1971) and I really look forward to the weekly newsletter. I especially enjoyed the recent letter that told of the Cass Tech band coming up from Detroit to participate in the Parade of Nations event. I'm one of the students who graduated form both Cass Tech and Michigan Tech. and, You are right, there were quite a few of us. The article brought back very fond memories of both schools.

I also struggled through Doc Berry's freshman chem class. I have to say, that a lot of us felt that if we could only make it through his class, graduation was a real possibility. He will certainly be missed.

And, finally, during my years up at "Da Tech", K-Day was up at Copper Harbor. I will never forget the fall colors, Scenic 41, Brockway Mountain drive and Lake Superior. Those were some pretty awesome sights that, over the years, we actually took for granted.

Keep up the good work,
Ken Kamlay (1971)

Editor's Note: Exhaustive research has confirmed: The first K-Day at McLain State Park was held in 1976.


Dear Dennis,
Gail Richter's memory is very good, K-day was started around 1953 or 1954 and took place as she said; a trip up the peninsula but you had to find a ride. Always seemed to have a wonderful fall day when being out and about was the very best thing that could be done. Seems to me there was something on campus too for those who couldn't get a ride but I never stayed to find out.

Doc Berry also touched my life although I was never a student in any of his classes since I transferred in from the Soo in 1953. I returned for graduate school in 1959 after being out 4+ years and stayed on after my masters as an instructor. Doc Berry was one of several professionals who advised me to either get a PhD or get out of higher education; excellent advise. In later years whenever I would see him, usually at his agate shop in Copper Harbor, he would remember me by name, asked about the other Saul's who had been students at Tech, (a cousin and a brother), and recall things that had happened mutually while I was a freshman teacher such as the fiasco renaming MCMT during the ConCon (Michigan Constitutional Convention taking place in Lansing, actually they met in East Lansing on the campus of MSU). As I recall there were surveys of alumni, students, faculty and townspeople with some very interesting and often humorous suggestions. Michigan Institute of Technology was turned down due to the presumptuousness of the initials, mining was to be eliminated from the name in spite of the school's history due to the enrollment shrinkage in that area, and the word college was to be retained. The solution arrived at a meeting of all the faculty was Michigan College of Science and Technology. Some sweatshirts were so printed and made available in downtown Houghton. However, President Van Pelt, realizing that all the other schools in the state were presumptuously changing their names to university came up, personally as far as I know, with the present name. A fortuitous choice; every time I read Peanuts I think well of the then President! So these were some of the things Doc Berry and I chatted about and I was always impressed by his memory, insight and friendliness. Michigan Tech is richer for having had him!

William 'Bill' Saul, BS 1955


I too was deeply saddened by hearing of Doc Berry's passing, although I fully was ready for it. A fraternity brother and I were up in Houghton on our individual business last October, and meant to go visit Doc in the nursing home, but never managed to get around to it. Something I deeply regret now. A few great memories do stand out about Doc and freshman Chemistry, though:

1. Study sessions at his house, with Mrs. Berry's cookies and cider. Didn't go to a lot of them, but I made sure to go to a few before each exam for 3 terms.

2. A few lectures into CH 101, Doc paused and said "Now, I'd like you to do something. Look at the person in front of you, the person behind you, and the one on each side" Puzzled, we all did that, wondering what he was up to. He said "Now the reason I had you do that, is that half the people you just looked at wont be here in four years". MAN, what an eye opener to put the fear of God, Doc Berry, and Tech in you!!

3. I'm a Metallurgist, so I saw Doc quite often in the Chem-Met building. 2, 3, 4 years after I had him for freshman Chem, every time I said "Hi Doc", he'd always remember me and say "Hi Courtney", occasionally asking me how I was doing, what classes I was taking, what Met instructors I had, etc. The man truly cared about the students, even after he had no academic contact with them. Even after I dropped out for a few terms to screw my head back on and get some funds, he welcomed me back, asked me if I had gotten everything straightened out, and was I ready to get back to work.

4. After our first CH 101 test in Fall '77, I felt pretty good about how I did. A couple friends and I from Wads, and some girls we knew at Co-ed decided to go out for drinks and dancing at the old Diamond Mike's (funny how they had the giant "weenie roast" just after the legal age was changed to 21!) We came out at about 2:30, and the most amazing Northern Lights I probably will ever see were playing. Spears of all the colors shooting down from the North, playing back and forth like fingers on a keyboard. We stayed up until 5am on a Friday morning (with an 8am Calc class facing me) sitting on the front lawn of Wads. Not hardly talking, just watching. I told Doc about it the next day, and he said "Well, must be a good sign for you". And I wound up getting a high B on the exam!

5. At a TKE rush (where Doc was an advisor) my freshman year, Doc was there holding court with some of his more colorful limericks and anecdotes. Some poor freshman accidentally bumped Doc's TKE mug off the shelf and broke it. Absolute, utter silence. Doc simply said "Don't worry, no problem", walked over to some cupboard in the TKE house, and pulled out another "Doc" mug ready for just such occurrences!

I had some great Metallurgy professors; Don Koss, Bruce Pletka, Darrell Smith, Tom Courtney (RIP Tom, you will be missed), etc. Even Doc Chimino for Physics and his insane perfect circles on the chalkboard. But Doc was in a league by himself. He may be replaced, but never in a million years will he be duplicated or surpassed.

My deepest condolences to Doc's family, and Doc, I hope you took a few UP agates with you to give to St. Peter and company. God bless.

Courtney Fitzsimons, BS MY 83
Harper Woods, MI
Phi Kappa Theta


Re your comments on students traveling back and forth over the years, my most vivid memories of traveling the roads to the Soo Campus and then Houghton are the snowstorms. One time near Gaylord we spun off an ice patch on a two-lane highway (well before I-75), and skidded between two trees right back out to the highway.  We missed both trees by no more than 2 feet on either side. The driver and owner of the car was relieved of his duties, never again to be allowed to drive in snow or ice conditions. In fact he made us so nervous that I don't think we ever let him drive his own car again on trips back and forth to Houghton.

Another time near Gaylord the snow was falling so fast and thick that the front seat passenger, looking out the side window, remarked that "there is only one set of tire tracks further right than yours and they lead into the ditch." We pulled off the road at a restaurant and waited out the squall for about an hour, which we later heard was falling at the rate of 5 inches per hour.

West of St. Ignace on the infamous Route 2 we hit a deer on the right front of the car, bashing in the right passenger door. No one was injured but we waited for a policeman to show and reported the accident. Later we were stopped in West Branch because of the blood on the car but were sent on our way when he called and verified our hitting a deer.

Then there were all those drivers who drove 80 mph and passed cars going uphill in no-passing zones - but that's another story.On another note, I have a Riefler drawing set in a metal case and a Dietzgen 5 1/2-inch double curve pen that I would be willing to let go to those who might collect such things at a reasonable price. My daughters majored in biochemistry and wildlife management so have little use for such things. I also have a K & E slide rule that is not in good condition. All were purchased at the Soo Branch in the fall of 1959.For the time being I am holding onto my compass seeing as I still manage a 40-acre wood lot.

Tom Cieslinski, '63



Your story about road trips reminded me of a road trip home while a student in the mid '70's. I was a passenger in my roommate’s car and he had a habit of playing Inna Gadda Da Vida (sp?) on his "8-track" player when he got to the start of the Seney Stretch. To occupy my time, I noticed the creek signs at the start of the Stretch outside Shingleton and decided to memorize the names. Did you know there were a total of 10 creek signs between Seney and Shingleton up until about 8 years ago when MDOT added two more? I still remember the names but have to recite them in reverse order when traveling west instead of east. From west to east the original ten: Hickey, Prairie, Star, Commencement, Pine, Creighton, Walsh, Driggs, Holland, Clarks Ditch. The two added: Marsh and Ducey after Creighton (I think). I noticed on my way back from August Reunion the Ducey sign was down. Don't know if this creek has already lost its designation for being too small. Most of these creeks look more like drainage culverts than creeks or streams.

Jerry Philo
BSME '80

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

10 - Tech Legacy Reception, Winter Carnival

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, Outstanding Young Alumni, Distinguished Alumni, and Honorary Alumni. Nomination forms can be found at:
There was an outstanding slate of award winners at this year's Alumni Dinner at Reunion including former Michigan Tech President Ray Smith. Any alumni can nominate someone they feel is deserving via the online form. Nominations must be in by January 2007. Feel free to contact Mark Mitchell <mmitch12(at)bellsouth.net>   if you have any questions.

Job Opportunities This Week

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

Analyst/Programmer--Administrative Information 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)