October 9 , 2006 (Vol. 13, No. 21)

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:

Open House

The campus was hopping Saturday for Open House 2006, and it is always refreshing to talk to the prospective students and their parents. In our case we were talking about how we communicate with parents, through ParentNet (a web page updated weekly, that is written by a student about life at Tech), A Student Abroad (same thing, only from, this semester, England), and mtuparent-l listserv (a free-flowing discussion list of information from Tech to parents and vice versa).

Some parents from Duluth wondered about the local roads and navigating campus in the winter. A parent from Lansing asked about the health center on campus (and discussed the old days of Tech hockey and Amo Bessone, who coached for both Tech and State). Parents from Appleton liked the fact that Tech isn't so big that their student could get lost here.

Overall, they were a lively, inquisitive bunch, with parents doing most of the talking while their students stood by. I would routinely ask the students what other schools they were looking at, and I think I might even have convinced one of them to come to Tech instead of that school in Ann Arbor!

Later, I viewed some of the poster presentations highlighting undergraduate research that has taken place on campus. They were set up in the new and improved Fisher Hall (more on that next week). An environmental engineering student analyzed watersheds in New Mexico, Illinois, and Kansas; an ME student looked at cold-starting engines; and a math major tried to see if the Houghton road crews could plow the streets more efficiently. They were only three of a dozen or so, and they showed the variety of research our undergrads do.

And, no, the math major couldn't figure out a better algorithm for plowing Houghton Streets, but she wants to do some more digging. . .


Colorologist: "The downward slide," he said. Kind of negative, I said. "We are past peak, and snow is coming Wednesday night." I thought you didn't listen to local weathermen. "This time, he's right. Swap your golf clubs for your snow scoops." Thanks for that. "See you next year."

At Tech

LOCAL SNOWFLAKE MAKES GOOD: A local specimen is one of four Holiday Snowflakes commemorative postage stamps issued by the U.S. Postal Service Thursday, Oct. 5. The official kickoff was at the New York Mega StampShow at Madison Square Garden and not, unfortunately, in Houghton, where the snowflake in question was photographed by Caltech physicist Kenneth Libbrecht during a January 2005 visit to Michigan Tech. He came to the university at the behest of physics professor John Jaszczak. "I found his book 'The Snowflake: Winter's Secret Beauty' in the Campus Store by chance, and it was amazing," he recalls. Thinking that Libbrecht would be a good speaker to host in the heart of snow country, Jaszczak asked Rozsa Center Director Valerie Pegg to invite him to give a lecture. As it turned out, Libbrecht had long been wanting to come to the UP, so in addition to giving a talk, he spent two weeks in Houghton, much of it capturing snowflakes with his cold-weather camera equipment outside the Best Western Franklin Square Inn. More: <http://www.admin.mtu.edu/urel/news/media_relations/517/>


FRATERNITY BROTHERS RUNNING TO MARQUETTE FOR CHARITY: The brothers of Phi Kappa Theta will drop the puck at the Michigan Tech-Northern Michigan hockey game set for Friday, Oct. 13, and then run it--literally--to Marquette, in time to again drop the puck at Saturday's game at NMU. They are undertaking the 100-mile run to raise donations for the Children's Miracle Network. The fraternity is accepting pledges beginning at $1 per mile for any number of miles desired. Children's Miracle Network raises funds for 170 children's hospitals across North America, providing medical care, life-saving research and preventative education. To learn more, visit <http://www.childrensmiraclenetwork.org/> For more information, or to give your pledge, contact Andrew Fenderbosch, ajfender(at)mtu.edu, 906-281-1285, by Friday's game.


ALUMNI DONATE DEFIBRILLATOR TO MEMORIAL UNION: Cathi Drake, a summer resident of Hancock, was saved by a simple, portable medical device, and she and her husband, John, a Michigan Tech alumnus, hope to pass on the favor. The Drakes have donated an automated external defibrillator to Michigan Tech, where it will be placed in the Memorial Union. With basic training, laypersons can treat heart attack victims on the scene, using the defibrillator to shock the heart back into beating normally. "One of those things saved my life," Cathi said, explaining the Drake's decision to make the $2,000 gift. "Grandmas and grandpas come here, and we decided that Tech should be the place." Cathi was at a local restaurant when she passed out following an apparent heart attack. A bystander, NMU nursing student Naomi Benda, performed CPR at the restaurant, and Houghton police called to the scene revived her with the portable defibrillator. "This is a tremendous gift," said Theresa Coleman-Kaiser, director of the Memorial Union and the Rozsa Center. "We've had medical emergencies before, and this is greatly appreciated." The Drakes, who owned their own business in Warren, Ohio, are now retired and summer in Hancock. John Drake graduated from Tech in 1964 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and in 1969 with an MS in Business Administration.

Tech Sports

TECH FOOTBALL DOMINATES FERRIS STATE, 41-7--Offense Racks Up 499 Yards, 43 Minutes of Possession: Steve Short completed 15-of-22 passes and Lee Marana rushed for 153 yards to lead Tech to a convincing, 41-7 GLIAC victory at Ferris State. The Huskies offense dominated play as it racked up 499 total yards and held the ball for nearly 43 of the 60 minutes. It also tallied 302 rushing yards against a highly touted FSU rush defense. Billy Koenig capped a game-opening, 80-yard drive with a one-yard dive to put the Huskies on the board midway through the first quarter. Alex Tiseo missed the extra point, however, to keep the score, 6-0. Ferris drove 74 yards on their first possession and had first and goal at the six-yard line. Tech's defense stood tall and stuffed the Bulldogs on four straight downs including a fourth-and-goal from a couple inches out. MORE: <http://www.athletics.mtu.edu/sport.php?sport=mfb>


MARANA ECLIPSES 4,000 RUSHING YARDS IN CAREER: With a season-high 153 yards rushing at Ferris State last Saturday (Oct. 7), Lee Marana (Ishpeming, Mich./Westwood) became just the third player in Michigan Tech history to rush for 4,000 yards. The senior tailback joins Jim Van Wagner (1973-76, 4,788 yards) and Jeremy Monroe (1990-93, 4,695 yards) in the 4,000-yard club. Marana now owns 4,075 yards, 20 100-yard games, and 49 rushing touchdowns in 34 career contests.


HOCKEY HUSKIES CRUISE TO 6-1 VICTORY OVER LAKEHEAD--Angelow Provides Two Tallies; Teslak and Nolan Split Time in Net: After holding a 2-1 lead through one period, the Michigan Tech hockey team compiled four unanswered goals to surge past visiting Lakehead, 6-1, in the Huskies season opener Friday night at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. Malcolm Gwilliam got Tech on the board at the 6:42 mark of the first period when he took advantage of a Geoff Kinrade shot at the point to flip the puck past LU goalie Matt Iorianni right in front of the net. Junior Tyler Shelast earned the second assist on the play. The Thunderwolves answered with a power-play goal from Tobias Whelan at 12:57 of the first stanza, but senior Tyler Skworchinski gave the Huskies the lead for good less than a minute later. MORE: <http://www.athletics.mtu.edu/sport.php?sport=mho>


VOLLEYBALL SWEEPS A THREE-MATCH WEEK: The Michigan Tech volleyball team won all three of its matches last week beginning with a 3-1 victory at Lake Superior State on Monday (Oct. 2). The Huskies then returned home to knock off Ashland, 3-1, Friday (Oct. 6) and #23 Findlay, 3-1, Saturday (Oct. 7). The win over Findlay was the first for Tech since the 2000 season. The Huskies moved their record back over .500 both overall (11-10) and in the GLIAC (7-5) with the trio of wins. They currently are tied for third with Northwood in the GLIAC North Division standings with six conference matches remaining.


WOMEN NETTERS TOP ASHLAND, 7-2--Huskies Tennis Team Improves Record to 5-5: All six Michigan Tech women's tennis players won at least one match in a 7-2 GLIAC victory over Ashland. The Huskies concluded their three-match road trip with a 1-2 record and are now 5-5 overall, 3-4 in the league. Tech opened the match in strong fashion by sweeping the doubles matches for a 3-0 team lead. Samantha Jang-Stewart and Katie Lindahl gained a hard-fought, 8-6, victory at the number two flight. The Huskies won at number one and number three doubles both by 8-3 scores. MORE: <http://www.athletics.mtu.edu/sport.php?sport=wtn>


Recent Results

Hockey (0-0, 0-0 WCHA)
10/6--at Michigan Tech 6, Lakehead 1

Football (2-4, 2-4 GLIAC)
10/7--Michigan Tech 41, at Ferris State 7

Volleyball (11-10, 7-5 GLIAC)
10/2--Michigan Tech 3, at Lake Superior State 1 (30-18, 17-30, 30-18, 30-25)
10/6--at Michigan Tech 3, Ashland 1 (30-27, 30-27, 29-31, 30-19)
10/7--at Michigan Tech 3, #23 Findlay 1 (30-28, 30-28, 22-30, 30-24)

Women's Tennis (5-5, 3-4 GLIAC)
10/6--at Mercyhurst 8, Michigan Tech 1
10/7--Charleston (W.Va.) 7, Michigan Tech 2 (at Erie, Pa.)
10/8--Michigan Tech 7, at Ashland 2

Cross Country
10/6--Men 12th of 18 teams at Michigan Intercollegiate Championships (Big Rapids, Mich.)
10/6--Women 2nd of 2 teams at Upper Peninsula Championships (Marquette, Mich.)


What's Happening This Week
Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Volleyball hosts Northern Michigan, 7 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Huskies Drive Time, Live on Mix 93.5 FM, 7:30-8 a.m.

Thursday, October 12, 2006
Fall Sports Luncheon, 12 noon (Grant Hockey Ed Center)

Friday, October 13, 2006 (Husky Friday: wear school colors!)
Blueline Club Luncheon, 12 noon (Grant Hockey Ed Center)
Volleyball hosts Lake Superior State, 5 p.m.
Hockey hosts Northern Michigan 7:07 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

Saturday, October 14, 2006
Women's Cross Country at Wisconsin-Parkside Invitational
Football hosts Saginaw Valley State, 1 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)
    --Bring a Kid to a Game Day
Hockey at Northern Michigan, 7:35 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

Around the Keweenaw

Adapted from the Daily Mining Gazette

FORMER KING'S INN TO REOPEN: The former King's Inn building will once again be open. Hancock businessman Paul Wood purchased the building, which he will open as a Travelodge. He has begun renovation of the exterior and interior. "I expect to open by Dec. 1, if not sooner," he said. "It depends on how things go." The hotel, previously run by Best Value, closed in October 2005. Wood said he expects to hire between 15 to 20 employees. The parent company, Cendant, also operates chains such as Ramada, Days Inn and Super 8. Wood owns Houghton-Dodgeville Welding and Machining, as well as several apartment buildings and student rentals. His wife, Amy, will manage the hotel. Wood has been investigating motels for several years. After heavily researching the current location, he decided to pursue the purchase. Having a major franchise attached will help, Wood said. "I'm very confident we'll do good there," he said. "Being in the city of Houghton is good for us and the city of Houghton. I think it's good that it reopens."


BICYCLISTS WANT ACCESS TO SIDEWALK: Signs on numerous posts along Shelden Avenue in downtown Houghton alert bicyclists that the sidewalk is the domain solely of pedestrians. Cyclists, meanwhile, balk at the idea of riding down a state highway that has cars parked on both sides. "What comes to mind instantly is the accident the other day," Michigan Tech University Copper Country Cycling Club vice president Ryan Tervo said. He was referring to Tuesday's five-car downtown crash, when an elderly man mistakenly hit the gas pedal rather than the brake and struck a parked car, starting a chain reaction of collisions. That accident involved three parked cars and a second moving vehicle. "If there had been a biker in the way ... they probably would have been seriously hurt," Tervo said. "In those kinds of cases, it would be better if cyclists could use the sidewalk." But the sidewalk is narrow, too, and Houghton City Police Chief Ralph Raffaelli said cyclists riding on it would be too great a danger to pedestrians. More: <http://www.mininggazette.com/stories/articles.asp?articleID=3867>


PARTIALLY BLACKED-OUT BEACON BOTHERS EAGLE HARBOR RESIDENTS: Some residents in this lakeside community are dismayed over the US Coast Guard's decision to partially darken their landmark lighthouse. Since July 12, the windows on the harbor side of the light have been rendered opaque with black paint, preventing the light from sweeping over nearby residences. Glass panes facing the village itself were blacked out previously, but the light's sweep is now further restricted. Chief Boatswain Mate Chris Evans at Coast Guard Station/Aids to Navigation Portage said a homeowner's complaint about light coming through a window at night prompted the Coast Guard to take another look at the lighthouse earlier this summer. They discovered it did not meet requirements outlined in the guard's Great Lakes Light List. More: <http://www.mininggazette.com/stories/articles.asp?articleID=3851>


HANCOCK COUNCIL OPPOSES PROPOSAL 5: Following the lead of the Michigan Municipal League, the Hancock City Council passed a resolution recently in opposition to Proposal 5. The proposal, which is on the November ballot, would implement a statutory guarantee to provide K-12 public schools, community colleges, and state universities with automatic, annual inflationary increases in state spending. Sponsored by the Citizens for Education, the proposal has the support of the Michigan Federation of Teachers and School-Related Personnel and the Michigan Education Association, among other educational groups. However, the mandatory increases will ultimately hurt municipalities, said City Manager Glenn Anderson. "With Michigan's economy only growing at one percent, that money has to come from somewhere," Anderson said. "The presumption is that it would come from municipalities." More: <http://www.mininggazette.com/stories/articles.asp?articleID=3833>

From the E-mailbag

First of all, I can further confirm the K-Day move; my freshman year (beginning fall 1975) was the last year that K-Day was held at Fort Wilkins up in Copper Harbor. As I recall, either that year (as well as years previous, there had been a few accidents (and close calls) caused by a few Tech Toots returning from the festivities on those narrow, tree-lined forest roads a little 'under the influence.' The change was made to McClain out of safety concerns (shorter distance from campus, along with the wider--and more heavily patrolled--highway along the Portage).

An email in your last newsletter from Ken Kamlay, '71 caught my attention. I too am part of that Cass Tech/Mich Tech connection, although at the time I didn't realize there were so many who had gone before me (also, quite a number since, which is great to see). In high school we had to choose a major, and I selected Chemical-Metallurgy since I enjoyed chemistry, but wanted to stay far away from the organic sciences. My metallurgy instructor, Mr Sharkey, who was well respected in the business, caught me in the hall my senior year and mentioned that the "guy down from Michigan Tech asked me for a recommendation, and I gave him your name." I had to rush to my counselor's office to find out exactly "where the heck was Michigan Tech?" (What's a U.P.??)  Thanks to the his reco, and the generous scholarship $$$ from Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical and PP&G I had a great 4 years at "da Tech." I met up with the Echoes from Heaven Gospel Choir a few years ago during their Northern CA swing, and while swapping stories about the past and (then)-present at Tech, I was joking with them as to how, when I went into the dorm bathroom my freshman year in Wads, and looked in the mirror, I constituted 2/3rds of a quorum of the Black Student Union :-)  Every time I receive your newsletter I'm reminded to whisper a little thanks to Mr Sharkey (wherever you are...). As an alum (x2), glad to see the CT/Michigan Tech tradition is still alive and well...

Finally, have to throw in my "in honor of Doc" memory. . . After one of this famous (infamous?) freshman chemistry exams, I realized that I had left my student ID in the dorm room. Since we were required to show our ID when turning in the exams, I approached the front of the room preparing to give my sob story to the proctor, to see if he could hold my exam while I ran across the street, etc. . . In this case (a rarity for us), Doc was at the front of the room leaning on the stage next to the proctor as the exams were coming in. As I began my sob story, Doc cut in (in that gravelly voice of his) "Ah, that's ok Ken, I can vouch for you."  That was pretty cool, especially since I had never met him, informally or otherwise. . . We had also heard back then that Doc was really intrigued by the fact that over the course of time, that the average scores on his freshman chemistry exams never showed an increase over the years, and that he looked on them as a type of social experiment as well as the Tech Engineers "rite of passage." Back then, Doc's freshman exams were 100 questions, of varying degrees of difficulty, with each question worth one point. Since word was out that he varied the numbers and location of the questions, but the questions themselves were pretty much the same year-to-year (easy pickings for those with "scoop-file" access, yes?), it behooved students to pick off the "low-hanging" fruit first, then next-most difficult, etc. His exam structure was designed to play into the human nature to "plow straight through" from 1-100, so of course most of the difficult questions were up front. I remember he gave his proctors strict instructions that anyone working after time was called failed the exam, as well as the sound of agony of some guys turning in their exams looking on the last page to see that question 99-or so asked "the chemical symbol for hydrogen is: ..."

Ken Lynch, '79


Just another memory of Doc Berry from a local yokel who had the privilege of being in his recitation class in his first term of chemistry in the fall of 1956. It was a nice sunny day, the fall colors were beautiful and the classroom had a view looking across the lake. Needless to say, many were daydreaming about being outside.

Doc sensed this and gave us a problem. He said we were free after getting the problem done. We were studying compounds. He asked us what the compound was that had the following elements: Cobalt, Calcium, Carbon, Oxygen and Lanthanum. He of course rattled these off and we put our heads to the problem. A few handed in a blank paper, some with a given and some calculations, and so on.

The next week one brave soul asked what the compound was and Doc smiled and put the answer on the board......CoCa COLa. He had a sense of humor and taught us to have fun when some of us were taking life too seriously. I feel honored and privileged to have had a class from Doc Berry.

Onni Perala


Not being picky but in typical engineer fashion (my wife and two sons are - ChE, ChE & EE respectively so I know the mindset) there are 10 creeks on the Seney Stretch and one River, Driggs, and one Ditch, Clarks. I hadn't noticed the lack of Deucy signage the last trip through but listening to books on CD's and watching for deer is somewhat distracting. I seem to remember looking over my shoulder for a missing one as we passed a culvert with only one sign facing opposing traffic.  I'll make a point of checking it this Friday on the next trip through. I have to thank Jerry Philo, BSME '80, for showing my wife I'm not the only one remembering such trivia as she just e-mailed your TechAlum Issue #586 pointing it out to me.

I too remember the Doc from taking Chem 101 and 102 one summer in a doubled up class. He was a wonderful man. The last question on the final had me stumped as a history question shouldn't have been on the test and it wasn't until I walked out the door of the exam room that I realized it was a given, I think. My mind was so stressed from the rest of the exam that I couldn't remember, "What color was George Washington's white horse?" Never had the discipline to get a degree but remember the place fondly.

Thanks for the newsy news,
Dick Barclay


Hi Dennis,
Don't know who did the exhaustive research but I'm quite certain that K-Day was held at McLain Park in the 50's. I was class of 51 and then came back for another degree from 54 to 58. If my antique mind is correct it was at both McLain and Ft. Wilkins in the 50's

Larry Watson 51 & 58


This article mentions Korey Kiepert, a Tech grad.  <http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/departments/adultlearning/?article=EngineersDoWhat&GT1=8536>

Ken Thorp


Hi Dennis,
A while back there was a discussion in the Alumni Newsletter about photos from the top of the Mackinaw Bridge. I knew I had some really neat ones somewhere and was hoping they would show up. While cleaning the garage this past weekend I found a box with some photos I shot either in 1974 or 1975 (I think). I just called the Mackinac bridge line one day and the fellow said sure and a few days later I found myself at the top of the North tower. You'll have to excuse the railing in the pictures because my knees were shaking so badly I could not stand and so all the photos were taken from a kneeling position :o(.

What was extraordinary that day was the largest ore freighter (at that time) the Stewart J. Cort (I am pretty sure that's its name), a 1,000-footer, came sailing though the strait. The bridge engineer who drove me to the tower and took me up said he had taken other photographers up to get a picture of the Cort (entered the Lakes in 1972) and they were never successful as the ship's schedule could be counted on. So here I am, knees worthless, shooting as many 35mm shots I could take reveling in my lucky break. What was even neater was another "normal" sized freighter (the size we're used to on the Portage) went under about the same time to give the big ship its scale.

The originals were taken on Kodachrome slide film. These are the scanned shots of the small prints I found. Someday I hope to find the original slides.


Donald '72

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--Houghton, KAC Fall Graduate Research Poster Session Reception, MUB Peninsula Room

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

Lecturer/Forester--School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science
Regular, part-time, 30 hours per week

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs--Provost's Office

Assistant/Associate Professor--Chemical Engineering

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