November 20, 2006 (Vol. 13, No. 27)

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:

Cheating Winter, Seeking Venison

If the forecast holds up, we'll be in the 50-degree range on Wednesday, just in time for Thanksgiving travel and those last minute around-the-house projects that haven't been touched since May.

A year ago this upcoming weekend, we already had a total of 32 inches of snow and 9 inches on the ground. It was too much of an early snow for deer hunters, and the numbers suffered. This year, early reports are good, in spite of little or no snow, but I haven't received any venison gifts yet, and I've dropped some hints.

Our hunting tradition has faded a bit in the last couple of years, and I admit I do miss it. We never got a deer, but I fondly recall four years of sitting in a blind in complete silence, except for the wind, rain or snow, and once, in our last year, the thundering hoofs of buck chasing doe. Never got a shot off.

Later that same day, my son could have shot a nub-horn, but he decided to wait for a bigger one for his first deer. It never came. But the knowledge of trying hard and doing the right thing, the quiet time, the meals and poker games in the camp, the laughter: that's what's great about deer camp.

Maybe I can sneak out to one this weekend.  . .

At Tech

TECH ENDORSES 25X'25 INITIATIVE: Michigan Tech has become the first university in the state to endorse "25x'25—America's Energy Future," a grassroots initiative calling for increased reliance on clean, renewable energy sources. "We believe in the concept that America should get at least 25 percent of its energy from renewable resources by the year 2025," said Margaret Gale, Michigan Tech's dean of forest resources and environmental science and the university's 25x'25 representative. "Both from an environmental and a geopolitical standpoint, this is a goal our nation should be pursuing. And, as the educators of the scientists, engineers and technologists who will be developing and researching renewable energy sources, we have a special obligation to take a stand." A group of volunteer farm leaders first envisioned the goal of 25x'25 (pronounced 25-by-25), and it quickly gained the support of a broad cross-section of the agriculture, and forestry, environmental and energy communities. Now leaders from business, labor, conservation and religious groups are joining this alliance. The Energy Future Coalition, a non-partisan public policy group funded by 15 nonprofit foundations, supports the initiative. More: <>


by Mark Blehm, student writer

Tech's Challenge X Competition hybrid vehicle team recently traveled to Oshkosh, Wis., for an engine control training workshop sponsored by Mototron, an Oshkosh-based engine company. Challenge X is a four-year competition sponsored by General Motors, the U.S. Department of Energy and other automotive industry sponsors. It pits 17 teams against each other to re-engineer a Chevrolet Equinox sport utility vehicle to minimize energy consumption, emissions and greenhouse gases while improving performance. As teams prepare for the third year of the competition, Mototron recognized the need for advanced engine control training for the teams and agreed to host multiple workshops for them. "In town, you have 43 of the best students in our country who want to make a difference in solving energy problems," Mototron Business Development Director Rich Swortzel said. "We're teaching a boot camp on how you take the world of computer controls and machinery and use it to solve unique problems."

"I learned how to build the electrical system for a hybrid vehicle, " said Ryan Solberg, a mechanical engineering technology major who went on the trip. "They offered us specialized training to actually build projects. It's also fascinating to plug a laptop computer into a vehicle and see how much information you can get in just seconds." David Daavettila, a mechanical engineering major, said his favorite moment of the trip was riding on a large houseboat that was controlled by Mototron software. Mototron is a wholly owned subsidiary of Brunswick Corp.'s Mercury Marine. The company has 80 employees and continues to look for skilled engineers to join the company and help it continue its rapid growth pace.


PROVOST SEARCH COMMITTEE HIRES OUTSIDE HELP: Based on the recommendation of the Provost Search Committee, Academic Search, Inc., a national search firm that specializes in searches for university presidents and senior administrators, has been retained to assist in the current provost search. Robert Lawless has been assigned as the lead consultant to work with Michigan Tech. He can be contacted directly at rwl(at) . All nominations and application materials should now be sent to mtuprovost(at) .

Tech Sports

TECH HOCKEY TEAM RECORDS 3-3 TIE AGAINST #11 DENVER-Sophomore Jordan Foote Notched Two Points in Stalemate: In a game that contained back-and-forth action from the first drop of the puck until the final whistle, the Huskies (6-4-2, 3-3-2 WCHA) battled the Denver Pioneers (7-4-1, 5-2-1 WCHA) to a 3-3 draw in Western Collegiate Hockey Association action at Magness Arena Saturday night. Jordan Foote (Edmonton, Alta.) recorded a goal and an assist for the Huskies, while sophomore netminder Rob Nolan (Sherwood Park, Alta.) made 18 saves in goal. More: <>


MEN OPEN 2-0 WITH GLIAC/GLVC WINS: The Tech men's basketball team recorded a pair of tight victories in the GLIAC/GLVC Challenge at the SDC Gym last weekend to open their 2006-07 regular season. The Huskies defeated Wisconsin-Parkside, 80-69, in overtime Friday (Nov. 17) after allowing the Rangers just one point in the extra session. Saturday (Nov. 18), the Huskies edged Lewis, 61-59.


WOMEN'S BASKETBALL FRESHMEN STRONG IN DEBUT: Five Tech women's basketball freshmen played their first collegiate games this past weekend in the GLIAC/GLVC Challenge at the SDC Gym. The five players combined for 33 points in the Huskies' season-opening, 73-63 win over Wisconsin-Parkside last Friday (Nov. 17). Freshman forward Danae Danen (Green Bay, Wis./Ashwaubenon) led the five rookies with 10 points and four rebounds in the win.


SCHEDULE CORRECTION FOR MEN'S BASKETBALL: Tech faces Minnesota State Mankato Friday (Nov. 24) and Minnesota Duluth Saturday (Nov. 25) in this weekend's American Family Insurance Classic hosted by Duluth. Some printed schedules mistakenly have the opponents flip-flopped (UMD on Friday). Tip-off for the Tech-Minnesota State Mankato game Friday is at 4 p.m. The Tech-Minnesota Duluth game is set for 9 p.m. (Times listed are Eastern).


Recent Results

Hockey (6-4-2, 3-3-2 WCHA)
11/17 - at #11 Denver 1, Michigan Tech 0
11/18 - Michigan Tech 3, at #11 Denver 3, OT

Men's Basketball (2-0, 0-0 GLIAC)
11/17 - at Michigan Tech 80, Wisconsin-Parkside 69, OT
11/18 - at Michigan Tech 61, Lewis 59

Women's Basketball (1-1, 0-0 GLIAC)
11/17 - at Michigan Tech 73, Wisconsin-Parkside 63
11/18 - Lewis 82, at Michigan Tech 69


What's Happening This Week

Friday, November 24, 2006 (Husky Friday: wear school colors!)
Women's Basketball vs. Tampa, 4 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)
  • at Rollins Classic, Winter Park, Florida
Men's Basketball vs. Minnesota State Mankato, 4 p.m. (Live Radio, 920 AM)
    • at American Family Classic, Duluth, Minn.

Saturday, November 25, 2006
Women's Basketball at Rollins, 2 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)
    • Rollins Classic, Winter Park, Florida
Men's Basketball at Minnesota Duluth, 9 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)
   • American Family Classic, Duluth, Minn.

All Times are Eastern

Around the Keweenaw

Adapted from the Daily Mining Gazette

Michigan Tech: LIFE AFTER PROP 2: Michigan Tech officials say they will wait for the dust to settle before adjusting policies after voters passed a Proposal 2, to ban affirmative action, last week. "We're going to wait until we get some clear guidelines," said the university's Affirmative Programs Director Sherry Kauppi. "We're quite early in the game." The game--a back and forth volley of fairness, preferential treatment and inclusion vs. exclusion--has been in play for many years, she said, beginning hundreds of years ago with the Civil War, women's suffrage and the Civil Rights Era of the 1960s. "This was exclusion at our worst during a very brutal history," she said. Employment during the 1950s was often determined by who knew whom, she said. "Before affirmative action or civil rights, anyone could hire anyone and they didn't have to be qualified," she said. "Then with the information age, it was the seed of power and you wanted qualified people." Recent decades have spurred an ongoing debate, resulting most recently in a state proposal to ban public employers, schools, universities and contract awarders from using race in hiring or admissions. Michigan voters passed the proposal by a 58 to 42 percent margin.
More: <>


SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT ON TRAILS WITH NEW ORV: If he had the money, Houghton County Sheriff Brian McLean said he would have a new 2007 Polaris Ranger off-the-road vehicle parked in his garage at home. For now, he will have to settle for the one parked in the sheriff's department work garage. With the aid of a $7,500 ORV safety patrol grant from the Michigan Department of Natural resources, the department was able to purchase the Polaris for trail enforcement and search and rescue missions. Its mini-version Jeep resemblance comes from the fact that the department was also able to purchase canvas doors, a top, windshield, a winch and a 14-foot aluminum trailer. Sitting in the cab, the driver and passenger are completely enclosed. "The whole front is all glass," McLean said. "It's really neat. You're out of the elements and you don't need heat because the heat from the engine comes up from the (bottom)." The best thing about the vehicle, which was purchased Nov. 1 and is already speckled with mud from test-drives, is that no money was used out of the department's general fund, he said.
More: <>


HISTORICAL MUSEUM OPENS IN HOUGHTON'S CARNEGIE MUSEUM: The Carnegie Cultural Museum opened its doors for the first time Wednesday, drawing a steady stream of visitors to check out artifacts and photo displays. The museum is located in the former Portage Lake District Library building, which the library left earlier this year. In September, the City of Houghton agreed to partner with the Portage Lake District Library to operate the site as a museum and cultural center. The arrangement currently goes through July. In there now are more than 200 photographs from Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties, as well as an exhibit on area Native Americans. The pictures are a mix of those used in the summer Dee Stadium exhibits and newer additions. It will be open from noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
More: <>

From the Emailbag

Interesting perspective on the food. When I visited DHH a couple years back, I was dismayed to see the wholesome, family-type foods replaced by junk food (hamburgers, pizza and hot dogs). The cook that I went to visit felt the same. I loved the beef stroganoff, lasagna (made from scratch at DHH, not the corporate frozen stuff at Wads), and other delights. My first roommate, however, was raised on fast food with two working parents and would often fore-go the meals in the dorm for Burger King.

To each his own.

Bob Crump, 1987

Editor's note: I probably didn't do justice to it in my piece, but the options at Wads include many healthy choices, in addition to the examples I sited. I assume that DHH now does the same.


I also had lunch in Wads last week and I agree totally with your assessment. It was amazingly good. Still, my daughter complains about dorm food and I remind her how we had a tray line where you asked the lady in white for either a soy burger or turkey tetrazini, and maybe a side dish of cottage cheese with pineapple chunks. Although the offerings were limited we ate well and most people gained weight. I suggested to cafeteria management they should offer the cottage cheese without the pineapple and they agreed, and did.



Excellent newsletter as always. I hope you told the students that were "too busy to vote" that they have ABSOLUTELY NO RIGHT to complain about what the politicians do.

Griff Coxey


I always enjoy hearing from you every Monday and catching up on the events taking place at Tech and the Copper Country. There hasn't been much recently to stir me into commenting, until this latest newsletter. The two individuals you interviewed, Caroline and Robert, are obviously energetic and intelligent people and, I'm sure lead very busy lives, but it is troubling that neither of them took the time and effort to vote in this most recent election. I suppose being away from home complicates things a little, but the excuse of being "too busy" is just not valid. They are leaving the fate of the country in the hands of old geezers like me and some of us can't be trusted.

The other thing that came out of your meeting that I find equally disturbing is the apparent disregard for the Hockey Team. I know that things have changed considerably at Tech over the years and there are a lot more diversions available to the students and Tech's hockey program has been in the doldrums for some time, but it is hard to believe that anyone attending school there would be unaware of the hockey games scheduled for this past weekend. This is akin to someone attending Ohio State or Nebraska and being unaware that they play football. Somebody needs to get these two people a ticket and show them where the rink is. Tech plays in perhaps the toughest league in the country against major NCAA Division I competition. It just doesn't get any better than that.

David Elack, '60
Overgaard, AZ

Editor's Note: I can only comment on the following Friday night hockey game, vs. UM-D, but the crowd there was substantial.



Just a quick note...I was in Duluth this weekend for my son's Bantam tournament.  After his game we retreated to the common room at the hotel and found the HUSKIES (tech) on the tube this was a real treat, as we usually do not get their games televised in Minneapolis) well as the huskies (St. Cloud) playing the Gophers on another channel... Being amongst mostly Gopher fans, I was unable to convince them to watch the HUSKIES.  So I retreated to my room with my wife and enjoyed a very exciting third period.... Much better than the tie that the Gophers were able to squeak by with against that other husky team...

Brian Kolak
BSEE W '84

Editor's Note: The signs continue to be positive. The hockey Huskies took one point at Denver this weekend and consistently outshoot opponents. And our goalies are great.


I've never replied to an Alumni newsletter before, but your comments regarding the MCRI were disconcerting, compelling me to break my years of silence.  Although no longer a Michigan resident (and therefore not eligible to vote on the initiative), I'm appalled by the hand wringing and post election concerns over the passage of this initiative.  Simply put, all folks will now be judged upon their achievements.  No longer will arbitrary standards be used to include one applicant over another.  Isn't Michigan Tech an engineering institution, at which quantitative measurement without bias is taught?  What lesson do we teach our youth if bias is allowed, much less preferred, in the decision making process?  How would the results of a Chemistry lab be affected if we were allowed to bias our results to "get the right answer?"  I'm fairly certain that, upon review of our results, Doc Berry would not have allowed that kind of decision-making.

It seems odd that so much time and effort is being spent to defeat, post election, an initiative that will simply remove bias from the governmental decision making process.  Wasn't it the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King who once spoke about a dream that one day all men would be judged by their achievements and the content of their character and not by the color of their skin?  What's taken Michigan so long to approach that dream?

Jeff Smith '80

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:


20--Houghton, Keweenaw Alumni Chapter, Holiday Social, Thirsty Fish (old Franklin Square Pub) 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

Research Engineer II/Civil Engineer--Civil and Environmental Engineering-LTAP/TDG
Position duration dependent upon external funding

Revised and Reposted:
Assistant Director of Annual Giving-Telemarketing--Advancement

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