November 13, 2006 (Vol. 13, No. 25)

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:

Lunch at Wads

It's come a long way since "wallets" and "potato chip casserole." That mystery meat and bizarre concoction have given way to more food than we could comprehend.

We had a chance to have lunch at Wadsworth Hall last week, and the selection was amazing: hamburgers, hotdogs, pizza, corndogs (!), huge salad bar, desert bar, sandwiches made to order, etc. Instead of one or two lines of cafeteria-style offerings, we had to choose from a half-dozen food zones that all looked and smelled great.

After opting for the burger, fries, and salad bar, we sat down with a couple of students and picked their brains. Caroline was a sophomore from Wausau, Wisconsin, transferring in to major in materials science and engineering, and Robert was a first-year mechanical student from Grand Rapids, Michigan, who also came for engineering, but Tech was his most affordable choice.

She did a year at U-W Stout before coming up and is very happy with Tech. She was a fan of racquetball and was teaching other women to play, proud that they haven't learned enough to beat her, yet. She also said she came close to defeating some men. He loves the Tech Trails and can't wait for the ski hill to open. He was also active in the Tech Rowing Club and talked about the rugged training it takes.

Both the students said that they like the residence hall, like the food, were "too busy to vote," and didn't know about hockey this weekend (where the Huskies took three out of four points from Minnesota-Duluth).

As we left, we were full, both with the huge meal and with the knowledge that these students are more focused, and better fed, than we ever were!

At Tech

by Michigan Tech President Glenn Mroz

The passage of the Michigan Civil Rights Ballot Initiative (MCRI), Proposition 2, has prompted a number of actions. The MCRI basically ends affirmative action programs in the State by Dec. 22. Currently, the law is being challenged in the courts, and state officials as well as our own legal counsel are exploring our obligations and options in the coming weeks and months. It appears this proposition will be the subject of litigation for a long time. In the meantime, I am assuring our partners and the campus community that we remain committed to our strategic plan that embraces diversity, and we will do everything within the law to continue our efforts to promote diversity in all aspects of campus life.

While MCRI has removed affirmative action as a tool, it is especially important at this time of uncertainty to remember why a diverse university community is critical to all of us. Diversity is often discussed in the context of composition. These different characteristics encompass race, gender, sexual orientation, culture, national origin, disabilities and others that reflect a broad spectrum of human experiences. Our structural diversity, however, is not an end in itself. The benefit is the intellectual advantage that is derived by each of our students, faculty and staff by living and learning in a diverse community. This is where we will continue to focus our attention and reflection.

As faculty and staff who are educators by profession and by heart, we often talk about creativity and critical thinking skills that are essential to the success of our students. Certainly, these are learned in the classroom. But in large measure, they are honed by experience--the experiences that come through day-to-day interaction with others who are different from us and challenge us with new ideas. The more we are challenged, the more we grow both as individuals and as a community. We improve in our knowledge and understanding of cultures and in our abilities to interact constructively with others, to lead, to adapt, to change and to achieve our goal of serving the state, nation and world. Our commitment to this simple notion will ensure that that we will create a community that understands and values diversity as a resource that enhances life, learning and creativity.

In order to prepare students to create the future, Michigan Tech remains committed to all aspects of diversity and an inclusive campus environment.


TECH ATHLETES TOPS IN GRADUATION RATES: Michigan Tech student-athletes had the best graduation rates among NCAA Division II schools in the state, as reported in this Detroit News article: <>


FORESTRY CLUB SELLING CHRISTMAS TREES: It's that time again: local alums can get a nice tree! The Tech Forestry Club and Xi Sigma Pi are having their annual Christmas tree sale right now. The sale ends Friday, Nov. 15. Prices are as follows:

  • Frasier Firs--6 feet for $32, 7 feet for $36, 8 feet for $40, 9 feet for $45, 10 feet for $50, 11 feet for $55 and 12 feet for $60
  • Douglas Fir--3 to 5 feet for $16, 5 to 6 feet for $20, 6 to 7 feet for $24, 7 to 8 feet for $28, 8 to 9 feet for $32, 9 to 10 feet for $40 and 10 to 12 feet for $50
  • Spruce and Balsam--6 feet for $20, 7 feet for $22, 8 feet for $25, 9 feet for $28, 10 feet for $32, 11 feet for $36 and 12 feet for $40

To order, contact Chad Fortin, crfortin(at) , or Brandon Bal, bjbal(at) . All trees must be pre-ordered. Pick-up is Dec. 6 and 7 at the Forestry building, from 3 to 8 p.m. There is local delivery for a charge of $5.


Submitted by International Programs and Services

Michigan Tech will celebrate International Education Week from today, Monday, Nov. 13, to Nov. 17. International Education Week is a national initiative launched by former US President Bill Clinton. This initiative recognizes the significance of international students, curricula and programming in US higher education. This year, the Office of International Programs and Services, in partnership with international student clubs and organizations, academic departments, the Memorial Union and different units of the university, will offer a series of educational and cultural opportunities. More: <>


NANOTECHNOLOGY PROGRAM FEATURED: A story about Tech's nanotechnology education program appeared in the fall 2006 Nanoadvisor < >. Professor John Jaszczak (Physics) is also featured in the article and was instrumental in getting the story published.

Tech Sports

MARANA ENDS CAREER AS SECOND-BEST RUSHER AT Michigan Tech: Senior Lee Marana (Ishpeming, Mich./Westwood) tallied 175 yards and two touchdowns on 45 carries at Findlay last Saturday (Nov. 11) in his final game as a collegian. He ran his season rushing total to 1,274 yards and career total to 4,784 yards, just four yards short of tying the school record held by Jim VanWagner (4,788). Marana moved into second place during the game, passing Jeremy Monroe (4,695). The 5-11, 213-pound running back finished his standout career with 57 touchdowns, 24 100-yard games, and three 1,100+ yard seasons.


FOOTBALL WINS SIX STRAIGHT TO WRAP UP 2006: Tech won its last six games of the season to finish at 6-4 and above .500 for the third straight year. The Huskies, with a 9-2 record in 2004 and 6-3 mark in 2005, are 22-9 (.710) since the final game of 2003. More: <>


TECH STAYS UNDEFEATED AT HOME: The Tech hockey team improved to 6-3-1 overall and 3-2-1 in the WCHA after taking three of four points from Minnesota Duluth this past weekend at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. Last Friday (Nov. 10), the Huskies played to a 0-0 tie with the Bulldogs, which marked the first scoreless game played by a Michigan Tech team in Houghton since 1968. Tech recorded a 4-1 victory in Saturday's (Nov. 11) contest, and in the process moved into a three-way tie for fourth in the WCHA standings. Michigan Tech owns a 4-0-1 mark at home, its best such mark since the 1993-94 campaign when the Huskies started the year with a 4-0-0 record. More: <>


BASKETBALL HOSTS GLIAC/GLVC CHALLENGE: The Tech basketball teams will host the GLIAC/GLVC Challenge this weekend at the Student Development Complex Gymnasium. Friday (Nov. 17), Lewis will take on Lake Superior State in a women's/men's doubleheader at 1/3 p.m., followed by Tech vs. Wisconsin-Parkside in a women's/men's doubleheader at 5:30/7:30 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 18) will see four more games. Wisconsin-Parkside and Lake Superior State face off in the opening games (1 and 3 p.m.), with Tech and Lewis clashing in a doubleheader (5:30 and 7:30 p.m.) to close out the weekend.


VOLLEYBALL NIPPED AT NCAA TOURNAMENT: The Tech volleyball team came within three points of its first NCAA Tournament win since 1995 with a 3-2 loss to Southern Illinois-Edwardsville last Thursday (Nov. 9). The third-seeded Huskies were nipped, 30-20, 27-30, 28-30, 30-8, 15-12, in the five-game match by the sixth-seeded Cougars. Tech wrapped up its 2006 volleyball campaign with a 15-15 overall record.


Recent Results

Hockey (6-3-1, 3-2-1 WCHA)
11/10 -- at Michigan Tech 0, Minnesota Duluth 0
11/11 -- at Michigan Tech 4, Minnesota Duluth 1

Football (6-4, 6-4 GLIAC)
11/11 -- Michigan Tech 33, at Findlay 15

Volleyball (15-15, 11-7 GLIAC)
11/9 -- SIU-Edwardsville 3, Michigan Tech 2 (30-20, 27-30, 28-30, 30-8, 15-12) (at NCAA Regional • Hillsdale, Mich.)

Women's Basketball (0-0, 0-0 GLIAC)
Did not compete

Men's Basketball (0-0, 0-0 GLIAC)
Did not compete


What's Happening This Week
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Huskies Drive Time, Live on Mix 93.5 FM, 7:30-8 a.m.

Friday, November 17, 2006 (Husky Friday: wear school colors!)
Basketball hosts GLIAC/GLVC Challenge
    Lewis vs. Lake Superior State, 1 p.m. (Women)
    Lewis vs. Lake Superior State, 3 p.m. (Men)
    Michigan Tech Women host Wisconsin-Parkside, 5:30 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)
    Michigan Tech Men host Wisconsin-Parkside, 7:30 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)
Hockey at Denver, 9:37 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

Saturday, November 18, 2006
Basketball hosts GLIAC/GLVC Challenge
    UW-Parkside vs. Lake Superior State, 1 p.m. (Women)
    UW-Parkside vs. Lake Superior State, 3 p.m. (Men)
    Michigan Tech Women host Lewis, 5:30 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)
    Michigan Tech Men host Lewis, 7:30 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)
Hockey at Denver, 9:07 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

All Times are Eastern

Around the Keweenaw

Adapted from the Daily Mining Gazette

COLLEGE MOTEL IS GONE: Many buildings in Houghton are well over 100 years old, but some just don't make it that long. Although it was only 51 years old, demolition began Friday on the College Motel on College Avenue to make room for a 20-unit apartment complex. Dan Palosaari of DP Construction in Chassell, which had the demolition contract, said Steve Kinnunen of Atlantic Mine intends to construct four-bedroom apartments on the site. Although the weather is getting colder, Palosaari said that wouldn't hold up work on the new building. "Construction will start this week," he said. Palosaari said demolition began early Friday morning, and expects it will be completed in about two days.


HOUGHTON APPROVES LEASE, PURCHASE PACTS FOR SUPERIOR MUSIC BUILDING: The City of Houghton moved forward on a plan to develop the former Superior Music building with two votes. The City Council unanimously voted to authorize Mayor Eric Peterson and Clerk Kurt Kuure to sign a purchase agreement for the building, as well as a development agreement with Moyle, Inc. "This is something we've been working on for quite some time," said City Manager Scott MacInnes. MacInnes said he hopes to close on the deal Tuesday. Money for the $197,500 purchase will come out of the city's general fund. The city will be receiving $165,000 under the state's Signature Building Grant program for the building. Houghton will own the building for five years, at which time it will sell the building to Moyle for the appraised value of $197,750. Prior to that, Moyle will lease the building, paying $546 in rent per month. As part of the agreement, Moyle must guarantee the creation of at least 10 jobs paying at least $7.75 per hour. Additionally, Moyle must hold the building for at least five years after its purchase. The facades for the building must also be consistent with the guidelines drawn up in the city's downtown plan.


VICTORIA LAND DEAL WITH UPPCO FALLS THROUGH: After working for months to sell property adjacent to the Victoria hydroelectric project and some additional lands to the Flintsteel Restoration Association, Upper Peninsula Power Company (UPPCO) announced that Flintsteel has decided not to proceed with the proposed acquisition. The national conservation group The Conservation Fund (TCF) was also participating in the effort through its Duluth, Minn., office. "We began discussions with Flintsteel and TCF in the fall of 2005. Those talks stalled until early this year when we agreed in principle to a deal that allowed them some time to analyze the properties to determine suitability to their mission and arrange financing for our three Victoria properties, " said Roger Trudeau, Director - Real Estate. "Unfortunately, it seems that Flintsteel has decided not to proceed further."


EPA HONORS SEWAGE PLANT: The Portage Lake Water & Sewage Authority's plant is among the best in the country. The Environmental Protection Agency awarded the Authority second place among US medium-sized sewage system in October. The board received the award in a presentation Thursday. "We really had never considered entering the competition before, so I guess we're overdue," said board chair C. Robert Baillod, a civil and environmental engineering chair at Michigan Tech University. "We are really pleased to receive this national award of recognition." The Authority had previously won first place in the EPA Region 5 competition for Operating and Maintenance Excellence. The region encompasses Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin. In choosing winners, the EPA looked at two categories: the efficiency of the plant's operation, and its economy. Part of that means allocating resources wisely. For instance, Baillod said, the plant takes some reactors offline when university students leave for the summer. But when spring runoff comes, the plant is operating at full capacity. The last overflow occurred in 1977, 16 years before the construction of the new plant. "Since then, we haven't had a drop of untreated wastewater put in the lake," Baillod said.


From the Emailbag

Job opening sent from an alum:

Electronic Assembly Plant Customer Service Representative

Burton Industries is looking for a customer service representative to serve as the single point of entry for customers of their electronic assembly facility located in Ironwood, MI. This position will serve as the liaison between Burton customers and the internal department structure: a broad knowledge of electronic manufacturing processes as well as account management experience is preferred. A full job description is available lat Resumes can be sent to:

Burton Industries
Lynne Wiercinski, Human Resource Manager
1260 Wall Street
Ironwood, MI 49938

(906) 932-7363


Dennis, I voted in my first Presidential election in Houghton in 1984. I was dressed up in my Air Force ROTC uniform because it was Tuesday and that was ROTC day. I also received my first jury summons in Houghton, but I was able to get out of it because I was a student. I voted in my first election in Gwinn, Michigan, where the Democratic Primary decided who the winner was. I did not understand why I had to vote for the same person twice. I just voted this morning and it will be interesting how the election here in Texas will go. We have a four-way race for Governor and a write-in candidate for the former House Majority Leader's seat. Unfortunately I am not in that district, so I cannot affect it one way or another.  It was also the first time that I used an electronic voting machine for a national general election. I have used one for school board elections and the primary, but not for a general election until now. Before we had to color in the little circles next to the one to vote for. We did not even get to have hanging chads. I am looking forward to seeing the results of this election. It is almost as interesting as a presidential election. I am so glad that your son is going to have this experience. My daughter has five years to go, but we have been bringing her to the voting booth since she was a baby. Hopefully the next generation will turn the tide and show up at the polls because having such a low voter turnout means that those that vote have control of what goes on in the country. Jessie Ventura was elected in Minnesota because of the young voters coming out. We will see if this happens in Texas with Kinky Friedman. Who knows what could happen if people actually came out to vote?  

Stacey E. Morrison, MS
SA Export Control Representative
NASA/Johnson Space Center

Editor's note: Voter turnout was better than expected in the UP: 53 percent.


As a candidate for City Council in our small town of St. Helena, the best thing about the election tomorrow is that the negative campaigning will finally end and the voters will decide who prevails. Running against two incumbents is enough of a challenge but when blatant misinformation about one's past history appears in the local press it makes one wonder why anyone would run for office.

We need more engineers in decision-making positions according to ASCE, my engineering society, so I am running to help our community solve its problems. It has been a very challenging experience to say the least, but with the encouragement of many supporters I am going for it with gusto.

I have noticed during my many campaign walks that it is usually the senior voters who are proud to claim how many consecutive years they have made it to the polls. I can vividly remember my first national voting experience back in 1968, standing in a long line late in the evening. It was a thrill!

A fifty percent turnout to me signifies that a lot of young people are staying away from politics, which is a real shame. Remember, those who don't vote can't complain about the results! So voice your opinion at the polls this year and become part of the political process.

Marty Oldford, '65


Hello, Dennis.
I could not help but add to the legacy stories. We will have a minimum of 10 family members over three generations who have graduated from Tech when our son graduates in May 2007:

Alvin Kempainen (1959, ME) and Carl Puuri (1960, Forestry) married sisters.

Alvin's daughter Janet Kempainen (1981, SMT) married me, Daniel A. O'Brien (1981, Forestry) and my sister married Timothy P. Mahoney (1979, Biology).

Alvin's son, Alan J. Kempainen, graduated in 1993 in ME, and returned a few years later for his Master's.

Janet and my sons are Wesley J. Corey (1996, CE) and Jeffrey D. O'Brien (2007, ME).

Wesley is married to Jaime Csmarich Corey (1997, SMT) and her dad, Thomas Csmarich graduated in 1967 in business.

I'm sure that there may be other extended family members, but these are the ones easily identified.  Have a great day.

Daniel A. O'Brien


Hey, Dennis,

I know this has probably been asked of you hundreds (or thousands) of times, but is there a website where we can listen to streaming broadcasts from 93.5?  It would be great to hear some Husky Sports here in Raleigh, NC. Thanks!

Dave Clark '84

Editor's note: The way the Hockey Huskies are playing, it should be great to tune in, and don't forget the basketball teams. They both should also be good! <>


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:


18--Denver, Hockey--Alumni Dinner


20--Houghton, Keweenaw Alumni Chapter, Holiday Social, Thirsty Fish, 5:00-6:30 p.m.

29-30--Detroit, GLI Hockey at the Joe Louis 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, utstanding 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)>   if you have any questions.

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 (