October 30, 2006 (Vol. 13, No. 24)

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:

A Family Tradition

The Muck Run was held Saturday, and it was our third time entering as a father-son team. "Team" is a loose definition here, as he was already finished and rested by the time the old man trudged up the hill.

The Muck Run is held on the Tech Trails, a hilly, slippery, wooded track looping and turning back on itself near the softball fields and across from Sherman Field. The trails have seen major improvements over the years. And Saturday it was cold and windy and a pair of gloves would have been a smart idea, as would a chook, and maybe some long pants.

In true Keweenaw fashion, when it comes to weather on the Muck Run, you never know. Our first year it was raining sideways, miserable, then the sun and a rainbow came out at the end. My son and I finished third in our age brackets, somehow. The second year was sloppy and cold, but the rain had stopped by race time.

I don't know how we finished last year or this year, and we really don't care. We really do it for the t-shirts: a snazzy brown one this year. One more nice thing: students cheered me on as I passed them toward the end of the race; they later passed me back, of course. Some students also had Halloween costumes on, but most were just bundled up.

This year, besides my wife, my mom and step-dad came to cheer us on in the cold, warming up in the car between start and finish. And that "fan club," of course meant more to us than any time we might record or finish we might make.

And, like I hope the Detroit Tigers and their fans are saying, "We can't wait till next year!"

At Tech

TECH STUDENTS TAKE SECOND AT CONSTRUCTION HEAVY/CIVIL BID COMPETITION: A team of six Michigan Tech students earned second place in the Associated Schools of Construction Great Lakes Region III Heavy/Civil Bid Competition recently. The competition requires student teams to develop a proposal for a construction project in 16 hours. Students are required to stay in their hotel rooms without any contact with the outside world. The team consisted of civil engineering students Matt Skop, Matt Miller, Lauren Bendes, Brian Geiger and Jacob Barden and environmental engineering student Jessica Robinson. All of these students are part of the Pavement, Design, Construction and Materials Enterprise. This year's challenge was a wetlands mitigation project in California, involving the construction of a lagoon. Among other tasks, the students were required to read and understand the contract, perform quantity takeoff, develop a plan to execute the project, determine crew productivity/cost, identify the risks associated with the project, properly submit a bid and explain the process to senior management. More: <http://www.admin.mtu.edu/urel/ttoday/previous.php?issue=20061027#2>


TECH STUDENT DIES IN AUTO ACCIDENT: Michigan Tech student Nicholas Pierce was killed in a single-auto accident early Wednesday morning. Another Michigan Tech student, Joseph Mitchell, was also injured. Houghton Police report that the accident occurred at approximately 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25, on Sharon Avenue. Pierce was admitted into Portage Health System before being transferred to Marquette General Hospital. "This tragedy impacts all of the Michigan Tech community," said Les Cook, vice president for student affairs, "and our thoughts are with Nick's family and friends." Pierce was active in snowmobiling, lacrosse, whitewater rafting and the Wolf Pack hockey club.


MSE ACADEMY INDUCTS NEW MEMBERS: The Academy of Materials Science and Engineering inducted eight new members at a ceremony held Oct. 7. The new members include Richard H. Bauer, Stephen P. Clough, Kathy L. Hayrynen, Charles K. McArthur, Paul H. Mikkola, Arbutus E. Raisenen, Alexander K. Sample and Gary J. Shiflet. More: <http://www.admin.mtu.edu/urel/ttoday/previous.php?issue=20061024#1


Tech Sports

HOCKEY RECORDS SECOND STRAIGHT SWEEP!: The hockey Huskies are now 5-1-0 after defeating #19 Alaska Anchorage, 9-0, 5-3, in both teams first WCHA series of the season. Tech is off to its best start since the 1993-94 campaign when it compiled a 5-1-2 record to begin the season. This weekend's 14-goal output was the Huskies' highest two-game series total since Jan. 26-27, 1996, when they recorded an 8-2 win and 6-6 tie against Wisconsin at home. Michigan Tech heads to the Rocky Mountains next Friday (Nov. 3) and Saturday (Nov. 4) for a two-game series at Colorado College. More: <http://www.athletics.mtu.edu/sport.php?sport=mho>


MARANA MOVES WITHIN 180 YARDS OF RUSHING RECORD: Tailback Lee Marana (Ishpeming, Mich./Westwood) rushed for 192 yards and a touchdown on 45 carries at Gannon last Saturday (Oct. 28). The senior now owns 4,609 career-rushing yards and needs 180 more in the Huskies' final game at Findlay (Nov. 11) to become the school's career rushing record holder. Jim VanWagner (1973-67) is the current record holder at 4,788 yards, while Jeremy Monroe (1990-93) is second on the list at 4,695 yards.


FOOTBALL HOLDS ON FOR 14-13 WIN AT GANNON--Williamson Bats Down Two-Point Try to Preserve Tech's Fifth Straight Win: Tech knocked down a two-point conversion pass attempt with 10 seconds left to preserve a 14-13 victory at Gannon this afternoon in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football action. The Huskies had a 14-0 lead with seven minutes left in the game before a lightning delay helped the Golden Knights change the momentum. More: <http://www.athletics.mtu.edu/sport.php?sport=mfb>


VOLLEYBALL FINISHES THIRD IN GLIAC NORTH: The Huskies capped the regular season with a pair of home wins over Northwood (3-0) and Saginaw Valley State (3-1) this past weekend. The sweep marked the first time since 2001 that Michigan Tech has beaten both NU and SVSU in Houghton on the same weekend. Tech finished third in the GLIAC North Division standings and will travel to Big Rapids, Mich., for a matchup against Ferris State in a GLIAC Tournament quarterfinal contest Tuesday (Oct. 31) at 7 p.m. More: <http://www.athletics.mtu.edu/sport.php?sport=wvb>


BASKETBALL SEASON TIPS OFF THIS WEEKEND: Both Michigan Tech basketball teams will be in action with exhibition games against NCAA Division I opponents this weekend. The women head to Wisconsin-Green Bay to face former Tech head coach Kevin Borseth and the UWGB Phoenix on Saturday (Nov. 4) at 2 p.m. Then Sunday (Nov. 5), the men's team makes its third trip to Ann Arbor, Mich., in four years to take on the Michigan Wolverines. The regular season for both Tech teams will begin Nov. 17-18 when they host the GLIAC/GLVC Challenge at the SDC Gym.


CROSS COUNTRY HEADS TO NCAA REGIONAL: The Michigan Tech men's and women's cross country teams will both take part in the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Meet hosted by Wisconsin-Parkside at Kenosha, Wis. The Huskies will be trying to qualify for the NCAA Division II Championships in Pensacola, Fla., on Nov. 18.


Recent Results
Hockey (5-1, 2-0 WCHA)

10/27 - at Michigan Tech 9, Alaska-Anchorage 0
10/28 - at Michigan Tech 5, Alaska-Anchorage 3

Football (5-4, 5-4 GLIAC)
10/21 - Michigan Tech 14, at Gannon 13

Volleyball (15-13, 11-7 GLIAC)
10/27 - at Michigan Tech 3, Northwood 0 (30-23, 30-26, 30-27)
10/28 - at Michigan Tech 3, Saginaw Valley State 1 (30-28, 30-18, 25-30, 30-27)

Women's Tennis (7-8, 4-5 GLIAC)
10/27 - Ferris State 5, Michigan Tech 2 (GLIAC Tournament First Round)
10/27 - Wayne State 5, Michigan Tech 4 (GLIAC Tournament Second Round)
10/28 - Michigan Tech 5, Mercyhurst 2 (GLIAC Tournament Seventh-Place Game)


What's Happening This Week

Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Volleyball at Ferris State, 7 p.m. (GLIAC Tournament Quarterfinal)

Wednesday, November 1, 2006
Huskies Drive Time, Live on Mix 93.5 FM, 7:30-8 a.m.

Friday, November 3, 2006 (Husky Friday: wear school colors!)
Volleyball at GLIAC Tournament Semifinal, TBA
Hockey at Colorado College, 9:37 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

Saturday, November 4, 2006
Cross Country at NCAA Great Lakes Regional (Kenosha, Wis.)
Women's Basketball at Wisconsin-Green Bay, 1 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)
Volleyball at GLIAC Tournament Championship, TBA
Hockey at Colorado College, 9:07 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

Sunday, November 5, 2006
Men's Basketball at Michigan, 2 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

All Times are Eastern

Around the Keweenaw

Adapted from the Daily Mining Gazette

STUDENT HIRED BY DEFENSE DEPT.: The United States Department of Defense will soon have a presence on Tech's campus and it will look very much like student Robert Frankovich. Under the new Student Training and Academic recruitment (STAR) program, a Tech student--Frankovich for the first run--will be hired as a temporary employee of the Department of Defense. The job includes marketing and promoting DOD career opportunities on campus. Tech and the University of Puerto Rico are the first two universities to participate in the program, said Career Center Director Jim Turnquist. Frankovich, 21, plans to graduate from Tech in April of 2007 with a bachelor's degree in business management. Several students applied for the position and interviewed with a DOD representative last week. "He has the opportunity of a lifetime," Turnquist said of Frankovich. "I think he's still in a sense of oblivion." Patricia Bradshaw, deputy undersecretary of defense for civilian policy, attended a Wednesday press conference announcing the program and credited the Career Center as being the catalyst behind getting the program going. She said the DOD has had problems recruiting students. More: <http://www.mininggazette.com/stories/articles.asp?articleID=4171>


BICYCLISTS TAKE CONCERNS TO HOUGHTON CITY COUNCIL: There needs to be a new approach for biking in Houghton, some residents told the City Council at a recent meeting. After being hit by a car while biking last month, Abigail Clarke of Houghton took her concerns to the City Planning Commission. She then shared the letter with friends and a local biking listserv. Among the issues: the need for a plan encompassing bicyclists, walkers and motorists; motorists hitting bicyclists; bikers having to drop down to the Lake Avenue bike path to get to west Houghton, Hancock, or downtown shops; the hazards of crossing the Portage Lake Lift Bridge in the vehicle lanes; and the lack of access to the path from the Tech campus. To commute by bike to Michigan Tech from west Houghton, Clarke said, cyclists face an uphill climb rivaling that of Agate Street. "I don't think that most people are reasonably going to follow that, despite the law," she said. More: <http://www.mininggazette.com/stories/articles.asp?articleID=4172>


HANCOCK COUNCIL LAUDS VOLUNTEERS: A city is only as good as its citizens, and some of those citizens have really come through, according to Hancock City Manager Glenn Anderson. "We're very appreciative for the continued help we've received from these volunteers," Anderson said, specifically referring to a landscaping project conducted by Boy Scout Troop No. 208 at the Hancock Beach. On Oct. 14, approximately 30 adults and teens volunteered the labor to move 60 yards of sand, 20 yards of topsoil and 215 feet of timber at the site. The project was spearheaded by Eagle Scout Daniel Friedrich and was approved by Anderson on Sept. 25. During the project, the rotting retaining wall at the beach was replaced, new sand was added to the beach and sand was removed from the grass above the retaining wall. Materials were provided by the city, while labor and additional tools were volunteered. "Anyone who's ever moved topsoil knows how much work that is, and it's a great thing for the city," said Mayor Pro Tem Bill Laitila at a recent meeting of the Hancock City Council. More: <http://www.mininggazette.com/stories/articles.asp?articleID=4139>


KEDA INITIATES MICROLOAN PROGRAM: The Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance is offering a new type of loan it hopes will spur entrepreneurial growth in the Copper Country. The "micro loans" loans are offered at amounts ranging from $1,000 to $15,000. "Many beginning entrepreneurs only need small amounts of money to get their businesses up and running," according to KEDA Executive Director Phil Musser. The micro loans are designed to reduce the impediments traditional bank loans can present to people who want to start a business. "We're going to reduce the approval time for those loans and the paperwork so we can make them more quickly and reduce the cost to the borrower," he said. The idea came to Musser following a local news interview where he discussed KEDA's revolving loan fund. That fund grants loans of $25,000 or higher, with the repayments and interest returning to the fund for future loans. After the interview, Musser said he feared his mention of the $25,000 threshold might have alienated potential entrepreneurs whose capital needs were less than that. More: <http://www.mininggazette.com/stories/articles.asp?articleID=4122>


From the Emailbag

Dear Dennis:
Regarding the Legacy of Tech grads "Dennis Question" raised by Pat Parker '75; I believe there have been several threesomes of which I represented the first when I graduated in 1939, following my father, Wyllys A. Seaman in 1907 and my grandfather, A. E. Seaman in or about 1896.

I'll be interested in the results of your "homework."

Bill W. Seaman
Met Eng. & Geology, 1939.

Editor’s note: Bill, you did better on the assignment than I did! We couldn’t track down the legacy alums, but it is a great honor to hear from the Seaman family, who, of course, are responsible for our great Mineral Museum. Wyllys taught in geology and mineralogy before being curator at the museum, which A.E. founded.



In response to Pat [legacy question], my son is currently up at Tech (majoring in Materials Science Engineering) coming from Oregon now. A third-generation Michigan Tech Husky. My father graduated from Tech in Civil Engineering about '63, and my husband and I graduated from Tech in 1987 in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering.

The number of students at freshman orientation who had parents that were alums was very high.  You might consider having an alumni gathering during that weekend also.

Julie Toll
BSME '87


Editor’s Note: Alum mentioned in Detroit News column:  <http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061027/OPINION03/610270349/1129/SPORTS0104>


Editor’s Note: The snowflake that was from the UP and featured on the US postage stamp is the lower left, image -->


Hi Dennis,

Here's a way to access the obituary of an Michigan Tech alumnus, Gib Butler, a longtime product engineer with Oldsmobile Division of General Motors, but having a strong Yooper connection before he came south.

My own time with Oldsmobile started in 1964.  Although as a manufacturing engineer, I didn't have much contact with Gib, his reputation as a talented innovator and interesting character were well known.

Go to the Lansing State Journal obituary website:


Enter "Butler" in the "Last Name" box of the "Archived Obituaries" search area, and click on "Search".

Larry Doyle
Grand Ledge, MI
Class of 1964


In response to Mark Blehm's article: Congratulations to Nunnemacher/Coughlin for their achievements. They may be the toughest or the meanest all Michigan Tech student team to compete in the Lake Superior (P.O.R.!) but they are definitely not the oldest (or first). In 1988 I entered the race as an Michigan Tech student with an Michigan Tech student Co-driver.(Nunnemacher/Coughlin working towards their Kindergarten diplomas)

Our core service crew consisted of 7 Michigan Tech students and alumni. At least 5 other students or alumni were determined to participate and help us. At the time there was at least one other team of Michigan Tech students but I think they were alumni. That team had competed in the '87 rally and we had heard of others before that. The big names in the '88 Press On Regardless were John Buffum, Rod Millen, Doug Shepherd, Bill Holmes and a newcomer Tim O'Neil.  Buffum edged Millen.  O'Neil won production I think.

Driver:          Mike Conner ('89)
Co-driver:     Stan Thornbury ('89)
Crew Chief:  John Herman
Crew:           Karl Barr
                   Al Blaske
                   Mike Elliott
                   Tom Hynes
                   Dan Pung
                   Dave Strenski

Mike Conner


From Burlington, Vermont, THANKS for the hockey coverage! After 23 years away from daTech, it was a real treat to watch the Huskies on ice. Having lived in the Burlington Vermont area for so long, raised my family here and even taken graduate classes in the engineering college at UVM, I admit to having been a little conflicted about who to root for. But, in the end, the better team won and the goal tending in the second game was some of the best I've seen at the collegiate level. No wonder Nolan won the MVP honors for that game--well deserved. Congrats to the Huskies on a fine away-game performance!

Terry Wright (Chem Eng, '83)

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


1--Detroit, YES! Expo, Ford Field, <http://www.yes.mtu.edu>

3-4--Colorado Springs, Hockey vs. Colorado College, World Arena Bar before games, email tanya(at)mtu.edu

4--Green Bay, Women's Basketball vs. UW-Green Bay, Game at Noon, Post-Game reception, Mackinaws Grill and Spirits, 2:00 CST, 2925 Voyager Drive, Green Bay; 906-487-2400, tanya(at)mtu.edu

5--Ann Arbor, Basketball vs. U of M, Tailgate 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Tip-off, 2 p.m. Crisler Arena, kimk(at)mtu.edu or 906-487-3674

18--Denver, Hockey--Alumni Dinner


29-30--Detroit, GLI Hockey at the Joe Lewis Arena


10--Houghton, 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

Assistant Director of Alumni Relations--Advancement

Assistant Professor of Emergent Media--Humanities Department

Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Scientific and Technical Communication--Humanities Department

Assistant Professor of Diverse Literatures--Humanities Department

Assistant Professor--Department of Fine Arts

Assistant Professor (eight positions)--Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

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