January 8, 2007 (Vol. 13, No. 32)

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.

Note: Techalum-L will not be sent until January 8, 2007.

In this issue:

Snow Business

Okay, this is too much of not enough. I ran the snowblower just once over the last two weeks. We received seven inches, maybe, all that while. I jogged in shorts on January 4th. And, the local businesses felt the pinch of hardly any snow on the ground for the holiday season.

It's just unnatural.

But, through it all, they still held the US Cross-Country Ski Championships January 3 through 7 on the Tech Trails. Sherman Field, the soccer fields, and the softball diamonds were all stripped of snow, and, with great help from the City of Houghton crews, the snow was then moved to the Nordic ski trails, where volunteers shoveled it onto the trails. The ski championships attracted some 460 skiers, so it helped alleviate some of the missing tourist dollars.

Also, Mont Ripley kept at least a couple of runs going, so there was some downhill action, as rough as it was. But, snowmobiling was out, and the trailers I saw heading south were towed by drivers with long faces--they came up north for naught.

Finally, we need some quick snow action for the Carnival statues. Bare grass in front of the fraternity and sorority houses is scary. We got a dusting last night and promises of more on the way this week, so hopefully the students can start statue construction next week when they return to campus.

As good as the snow engineers are, they still need some help from Mother Nature, who I believe is either a Twig or biology major, what do you think?


Snowfall Totals (from KRC)

Snowfall to date: 40.25"
Depth on ground: 1.0"
Snowfall total 12/18/06: 33.5"
Depth on ground 12/18/06: 1.0"
Snowfall total last year: 101.7"
Depth on ground last year: 21.0"

At Tech

MEEM STUDENTS GAIN HONORS: Michigan Tech ASME Student Section representatives Daniel Vanderhoff, Daniel Michalski and Nick Dumler took first place at the ASME's Strategic Diversity Workshop for their entry, "Envisioning the Future of Engineering." As first place winners, they received $750 and presented their paper at the ASME's International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition in Chicago in November. Their travel expenses were paid for by ASME. The ASME Student Section faculty adviser is Roshan D'Souza. Donna J. Michalek brought the competition to the attention of the Student Section. To see the winning paper, visit http://www.asme.org/Communities/Diversity/Envisioning_Future.cfm .

The MEEM Senior Design Project "A Dynamic Test Stand," sponsored by Whirlpool Corporation, earned first place at the Second International Student Capstone Design Fair at the Seoul National University of Technology, Korea, in November. The fair had 313 entries from the US, Singapore, China and Japan. The team members were Jeff Van Karsen, Karen Hauch, Brad Rush, Kelly Willett and Richard Bellenbaum. Jeff Van Karsen and John Gershenson represented the team and department at the competition. The faculty adviser for the senior design project was Nels Christopherson.


SYMPOSIUM TO HONOR MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.: Martin Luther King Jr., his life, and his work will be the basis of a mid-January campus symposium called "To Follow in His Footsteps." The six-day gathering will feature presentations on breaking through stereotypes; black culture; racism, poverty, and war; nonviolence; social justice; and King himself and his iconic speech, "I've Been to the Mountaintop." "King was a person who saw not only how things were, but also how they might be," says Betty Chavis, director of outreach and multi-ethnic programs. "His life is a model of justice and freedom, and these are the foundation of the symposium. It's a chance for all of us to grow."

The event runs from Tuesday, January 16, to Tuesday, January 23. It will begin with a march from the Memorial Union to the Rozsa Center. The highlight of the event will be a dinner featuring JazzTech and the keynote speaker, Tech alumnus Michael Weaver, who graduated in 1993 with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. He works for the Housing Commission in Grand Rapids and is responsible for the development of low-income housing in that city. While at Tech, Weaver co-founded the Society of African American Men. He started the West Michigan Minorities in Architectural/Engineering Consortium, a nonprofit organization that provides scholarships to ethnic minority and female students who want to work in engineering. "To Follow In His Footsteps" is supported by Educational Opportunity. Other sessions are sponsored by the Black Student Association, the African Students Organization, the National Society of Black Engineers, NOSOTROS-the Hispanic-Latino Student Association, and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.


KARNOSKY HONORED BY UNIVERSITY OF TARTU: David F. Karnosky, professor of forest genetics and biotechnology in the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, received an honorary doctorate Dec. 1 from the University of Tartu, in Estonia. "This was a real honor," said Karnosky. "Probably the highlight of the trip was meeting Estonia's President Veljo Tormis, who attended the ceremony, and chatting with him about his visit earlier the same week with President Bush." The ceremony was held as part of the university's anniversary celebration. Founded in 1692, the university has strength in ecology and biology. Karnosky has sponsored several scientists from the university, who have collaborated in his research on the effects of elevated carbon dioxide and ozone on forest trees. "I have had continuous collaboration with the University of Tartu faculty and students for the past 15 years," said Karnosky.


SOCIAL SCIENCES RAISES MORE THAN $1,200 FOR CHARITIES: For the second year in a row, the Department of Social Sciences made a charity auction the centerpiece of its Christmas party. Their December 2006 take of $1,240 exceeded the $1,000 garnered in 2005. These funds were divided between local charities, including Little Brothers, Friends of the Elderly; Dial Help; Habitat for Humanity; Keweenaw Land Trust; the Keweenaw Family Resources Center; the Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter Home; Phoenix House; WGGL; and the Copper Country Humane Society. Social sciences staff, graduate students and faculty donated all items offered for auction. Gifts included creative offers of time, skills, and generosity.

Tech Sports

TECH NORDIC TEAM FINISHES FIFTH IN COLLEGIATE CUP: The Michigan Tech Nordic skiing team ranked fifth among 27 teams in the College Cup competition at the 2007 U.S. Cross Country Championships at the Michigan Tech Nordic Training Center. The Huskies finished with 613 points and trailed only Northern Michigan (790), Dartmouth (757), Alaska Fairbanks (702) and Alaska Anchorage (619) in the final points race. College skiers earned points for their institutions through their finishes in the two distance races during the weeklong competition. Complete results are available at <http://www.seniornationals.org>


OWEN, LANG FINISH IN TOP 40: The Michigan Tech Nordic skiing team kicked off the 2007 U.S. Cross Country Championships last Wednesday by competing in the classic races at the Michigan Tech Nordic Training Center. Despite battling unseasonably mild weather conditions, two-time All-American Kristina Owen (East Wenatchee, Wash./Eastmont) led the women's squad with a 17th-place showing in the five-kilometer race and Jesse Lang (St. Louis Park, Minn.) paced the men's team with a 36th-place effort in his first-ever performance at the nationals.

"All in all, I thought we skied well," said head coach and race director Joe Haggenmiller. "The conditions were very warm so that created pretty substantial challenges for all of the competitors. Waxing became a crucial element of the races, and I think that made things a little tricky for some of our skiers. We responded pretty well though, and we can certainly build on our performances."
More: <http://www.admin.mtu.edu/urel/ttoday/previous.php?issue=20070105>


LADIES UPSET #6 GRAND VALLEY STATE: Michigan Tech trailed by as many as 15 points in the second half at sixth-ranked Grand Valley State last Wednesday (Jan. 3) before rallying for a 64-59 women's basketball victory over the Lakers. Freshman Katie Wysocky (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) made layups on three straight Tech possessions late in the game, and Alicia Schneider (Janesville, Wis./Parker) and Jenna Bartels (La Crosse, Wis./Logan) iced the Huskies' win at the free throw line.
More: <http://www.athletics.mtu.edu/sport.php?sport=wbb>


JUNIOR HOCKEY NIGHT SET FOR SATURDAY: The Michigan Tech hockey team plays its first home games since Dec. 8-9 this weekend when it hosts Bemidji State at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. Games are Friday (Jan. 12) and Saturday (Jan. 13) and 7:07 p.m., and Saturday's contest has been dubbed Junior Hockey Night. All local junior hockey players wearing their jerseys will be admitted for $3. In addition, each youth will receive a free Tech hockey poster and be invited on the ice after the game to skate with the Huskies.
More: <http://www.athletics.mtu.edu/sport.php?sport=mho>


Recent Results

Hockey (8-12-2, 5-9-2 WCHA)
1/5 -- at Minnesota Duluth 2, Michigan Tech 1
1/6 -- at Minnesota Duluth 5, Michigan Tech 3

Nordic Skiing
1/2-9 -- Michigan Tech 5th of 27 schools in Collegiate Cup at 2007 U.S. Cross Country Championships (Houghton, Mich.)

Women's Basketball (10-4, 5-2 GLIAC)
1/3 -- Michigan Tech 64, at #6 Grand Valley State 59
1/6 -- Lake Superior State 73, at Michigan Tech 64

Men's Basketball (8-8, 3-4 GLIAC)
1/3 -- at #10 Grand Valley State 48, Michigan Tech 43
1/6 -- Lake Superior State 71, at Michigan Tech 63


What's Happening This Week

Tuesday, January 9, 2007
Women's Basketball hosts Northland, 5:30 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Huskies Drive Time, 7:30-8 a.m. on Mix 93.5 FM

Friday, January 12, 2007 (Husky Friday: wear school colors!)
Blueline Club Luncheon, 12 noon (Hockey Ed Center)
Hockey hosts Bemidji State, 7:07 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

Saturday, January 13, 2007
Women's Basketball hosts Ferris State, 1 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)
Men's Basketball hosts Ferris State, 3 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)
Hockey hosts Bemidji State, 7:07 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM) -- JUNIOR HOCKEY NIGHT!

All Times are Eastern

Around the Keweenaw

Adapted from the Daily Mining Gazette

JOE BUKOVICH PASSES AWAY: For the people who knew him, Joe Bukovich was Mr. Hockey in Houghton and Hancock, but more importantly he almost always improved the lives of the people he touched. Bukovich died Thursday at the Houghton County Medical Care Facility. He was 86 years old. Houghton City Manager Scott MacInnes said he knew Bukovich--or Joe Buck as he was also known--for about 50 years, since he came to Houghton with his family when his father, John MacInnes, became head hockey coach at Michigan College of Mining and Technology - now Michigan Tech University - for the 1956-57 season. MacInnes said he was only 5 years old when he met Bukovich, but he does have a few memories from the time. "I remember a lot of things in the early days," MacInnes said. "He was always skating with the Tech hockey team. I can remember him and my dad having (puck) shooting contests." Bukovich was never a member of the Tech hockey team, but he was sort of an unofficial assistant coach, MacInnes said. He had a little ritual with the freshman members of the team where he would have shooting contests hitting certain parts of the goalposts. "He'd hit it nine times out of 10," MacInnes said.
More: <http://www.mininggazette.com/stories/articles.asp?articleID=5205>


NO SNOW MEANS SAVINGS FOR COUNTIES: Lack of snow may be hurting some Copper Country businesses, but local governments are saving money proportional to the amount of snow not falling. Gregg Patrick, Keweenaw County Road Commission engineer, said he's been in that position only four years, but has noticed a reduction of fuel, sand and overtime pay. "We're considerably down," he said. Patrick said he doesn't know exactly how much below normal his department is because the person who tabulates those numbers is out of the office. Although there is a reduction in the amount of sand crews have spread so far this winter ,which will help them next year because it's that much less they'll have to buy, Patrick said not having to buy as much of another necessity is really helping the county. "Our biggest savings is in fuel," he said.
More: <http://www.mininggazette.com/stories/articles.asp?articleID=5155>


AFTER 47 YEARS, "PRINCE OF EGYPT" RETURNS: Dorothy Clarke Wilson's "Prince of Egypt" was a regular checkout at the Hancock Public Library, judging by the blur of due dates stamped on the card inside: Nov. 11, 1959. Jan. 13, 1960. May 19, 1960. They end abruptly with June 2, 1960, a week after ninth-grader Robert Nuranen checked it out for a class paper on Egypt. Almost 47 years later, he came back to Hancock High School Friday morning, returning the book to a stunned librarian. Nuranen said his mother initially misplaced the book while cleaning house. By the time they found it, the urgency had passed. So began a new, more languid pattern for the book: Someone would find the book tucked away somewhere in the house, then forget about it for another decade. That stopped on Thursday, when Nuranen found it at the bottom of a box in the attic while looking for family archives. "I figured I'd better get it in before we waited another 10 years," he said. "Fifty-seven years would be embarrassing."
More: <http://www.mininggazette.com/stories/articles.asp?articleID=5207>


From the Emailbag


In case you haven't already heard:

Hancock was mentioned on CNN's website... A former resident turned in a library book that had been overdue since 1960.


Sara Merrill


When I lived in Houghton/Hancock area I took classes in golf from Verdie Cox. He had a lot of patience because I was not a very good golfer. I was determined to do better. I am sorry that he passed away.

Pat Erickson Weston


More NASA News featuring Michigan Tech:

That site also features another recent submission of ours, of a volcano we are studying with the British Antarctic Survey in the South Sandwich Islands, near Antarctica:


Because the volcano is so remote (and visited rarely), the BAS relies primarily on our satellite data to follow the eruption.

An earlier image (slightly more dramatic) of the same eruption was shown last year while I worked for Univ. Hawaii:


...which was picked up by Discover magazine:


Matt Patrick
Michigan Tech GMES Post-Doc


Greetings Dennis,
I thought that Alums might be interested in a few of the coming shows in their areas.

This next weekend, Saturday Jan 13th, I'll be down in the Twin Cities at Jimmy's in Vadnais Heights.

The Annual Winter Carnival Mu Beta Psi Scholarship Fundraiser Show 'An Evening With Gary Tunstall' is set for Carnival Friday, Feb 9th in the Superior Room of the Franklin Square Best Western.

And a show in Lower Michigan is set for spring break on  March 2nd at Shorts Brewing Company in Bellaire, Michigan.

All of the info can be found at my Website at

Thanks Dennis, Keep up the good work, and Think Snow!!

Gary Tunstall


Hi Dennis,

Here is the Weather Service official statement about our mild Dec.

December 2006 tied with 1994 as the warmest December on record at the Houghton County Airport...

The average temperature in December at the Houghton County Airport was 27.3 degrees... which is 7.1 degrees above normal and ties the previous record high December mean temperature observed in 1994. Eight daily record high maximum and minimum temperature were established or tied in December... and the Mercury never fell below freezing for three consecutive days from December 11th through the 13th.

Only 26.5 inches of snow fell in December. This total is only 46 percent of the normal 57.9 inches and the ninth lowest December snowfall on record.

Pete Cattelino


You can add this to your list of job openings for those in the Houston area.


Stacey E. Morrison, MS

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/index.htm

24--Houghton, Keweenaw Alumni Chapter, 3rd Annual Lecture Series, Settlements on the Mining Frontier, Noblet Forestry Building, 6:30 reception; 7:00-8:00 p.m. lecture by Larry Lankton

28--Grand Rapids, Brunch at Marie Catrib's West Michigan Chapter Event

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 last 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

    Major Gifts Officer--Advancement

     Senior Major Gifts Officer--Advancement

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