February 19, 2007 (Vol. 13, No. 38)

A weekly electronic newsletter for alumni and friends of Michigan Technological University

Edited by Dennis Walikainen (MS ’92), Senior Editor, University Marketing and Communications

For past issues, see our archives.

In this issue:

Getting a Job

It's the bottom line for Tech students, obviously. They want to know that all that studying and writing and lab work are going to pay off. And, with events like Winter Job Fair, they can rest assured that, most likely, they will.

The folks at the Career Center <www.career.mtu.edu> do a nice job of organizing the Job Fair, which is being held Tuesday at the SDC. More than 170 organizations will be represented, and it's always interesting to take a walk around the room. Many of the recruiters are Tech alums.

I've interviewed students in the past, and it reinforces the great image of a Tech student: serious, career minded, anxious to get out into the "real world." And, coming after Carnival, it is a nice reminder of the many facets of our students: adventurous and focused, creative and dedicated, cutting loose and moving on.

We know they will be well prepared. We know it's hard here, but the payoff is worth it. (And, in our household, we remind our sophomore that there is an end to it all, though it doesn't seem that way at times.)

Here's hoping that they land that first great job. And, with an average of six interviews per student, I've a feeling they'll do okay.


Snowfall Totals (from KRC)

Snowfall total: 106.75"
Depth on ground: 33.0"
Snowfall total last week: 101.25"
Depth on ground last week: 36.0"
Snowfall total last year: 168"
Depth on ground last year: 31"


At Tech

BILL BLUMHARDT DIES: Bill Blumhardt, 56, director of campus facilities planning, died Saturday at his home. The funeral will be held Friday, Feb. 23, at 11 a.m. at St. Ignatius Loyola Catholic Church, in Houghton. Blumhardt, whose career spanned nearly 30 years at Michigan Tech, was involved in the construction and renovation of about half of the university’s modern campus, including the Student Development Complex, the Walker Arts and Humanities Center, the Minerals and Materials Engineering Building, the Dow Environmental Sciences and Engineering Building, the U. J. Noblet Forestry Building, the Rozsa Center, the Memorial Union and the Rekhi and Opie additions to the library and Fisher Hall. He came to the university in April 1977 as supervisor of steam plant distribution and received a series of promotions until he was named to his current position in 2006.
More: <http://www.admin.mtu.edu/urel/ttoday/previous.php?issue=20070220#1>


HUNDREDS OF GIRLS WISE UP AT TECH: Nearly 350 middle school girls came to Tech recently to be inspired. The goal of the Get WISE (Women In Science and Engineering) program is to prompt girls to consider careers in science and engineering, fields in which women are chronically underrepresented. The day began with a welcome by Admissions Director Allison Carter and a magic show by SBE Lecturer Robert Mark. After a keynote address by Tess Ahlborn, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, the girls built their own catapults, with help from Engineering Fundamentals lecturers Gretchen Hein and Amy Monte. "It was fun," said Kathy Carter, associate coordinator of Youth Programs, which organized the event. "The girls had a short time to build a catapult, and I think they really enjoyed flinging the marshmallows at the end." The team whose marshmallows were farthest flung received a prize.
More: <http://www.admin.mtu.edu/urel/ttoday/previous.php?issue=20070215#2>


Submitted by the Center for Teaching, Learning and Faculty Development

Each year, Michigan Tech recognizes two educators for their outstanding contribution to the instructional mission of the university. The first stage in this process involves the identification of 10 Distinguished Teaching Award finalists (five in the Lecturer/Assistant Professor category, and five in the Associate Professor/Professor category). Over 46,000 Student Rating of Instruction scores from the spring and fall 2006 semesters were used to determine the 10 finalists. The selection committee will solicit and review comments from students, staff, faculty and alumni of Michigan Tech in making its final decision. Comments on the nominees should be sent to Nancy Seely, nsseely(at)mtu.edu , by March 30. The finalists are

Associate Professor/Professor Category
* Associate Professor Susan Amato-Henderson (Education)
* Professor Thomas Drummer (Mathematical Sciences)
* Professor Blair Orr (SFRES)
* Associate Professor Raymond Shaw (Physics)
* Professor Bryan Suits (Physics)

Assistant Professor/Lecturer Category
* Assistant Professor Ann Brady (Humanities)
* Lecturer Sean Clancey (Chemical Engineering)
* Assistant Professor Robert Froese (SFRES)
* Assistant Professor Guy Hembroff (Technology)
* Lecturer Robert Mark (SBE)

The process for determining the Distinguished Teaching Award recipients from this list of finalists involves the additional surveying of their classes by members of ODK. The Distinguished Teaching Award Decision Committee makes the final determination of the award recipients.


NEW ONLINE ALUMNI COMMUNITY GROWING: Early responses have been very positive from the Tech alums who are joining the new Online Alumni Community . They are able to update their directory information, email, chat and post photos and class notes. In addition, they will be able to build mini-sites for clubs and groups from within the larger alumni community. The site will also be a place to register for alumni events in their area, check out news about the university or post classified ads. It's a great opportunity to connect with other Michigan Tech grads.

As the community grows, there will be opportunities for departments to get involved and be in touch with their graduates. Information about this will be announced in April. The new community can be found at <http://www.alumnicommunity.mtu.edu>. The public will be able to read news articles and sign up for events. Members will need their First Time Number, which will be included in their mailing next week, in order to log into the secure information. For more information about the Michigan Tech Online Alumni Community, contact mtualum(at)mtu.edu or the Alumni Relations office at 487-2400.


TECH JOINS HIGHER ED SUSTAINABILITY ASSOCIATION: Michigan Tech will be featured on the home page for the Association of Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education Feb. 15-22 <http://www.aashe.org>. Tech is a member of AASHE, a nonprofit organization that promotes sustainability at colleges and universities. The AASHE membership includes over 150 colleges, universities and community colleges, as well as about 50 businesses, agencies and organizations with an interest in and commitment to sustainability. AASHE provides resources and professional development for students, faculty and staff ranging from help with class assignments to information on sustainable purchasing and building practices.
More: <http://www.admin.mtu.edu/urel/ttoday/previous.php?issue=20070215#1>


Tech Sports

HOCKEY TO CLOSE OUT REGULAR SEASON HOME SCHEDULE: Michigan Tech hosts Wisconsin this weekend in its last home series of the 2006-07 regular season. Games are scheduled for Friday (Feb. 23) and Saturday (Feb. 24) at 7:07 p.m. both nights. Tech’s three seniors Mike Batovanja (Hinton, Alberta), Lars Helminen (Brighton, Mich.), and Tyler Skworchinski (Marathon, Ontario) will be honored in a ceremony following Saturday's game. Saturday will also be Fan Appreciation Night, with randomly selected fans receiving prizes.
More: <http://www.athletics.mtu.edu/sport.php?sport=mho>

NORDIC SKIERS GAIN ALL-REGION HONORS: Four members of the Michigan Tech Nordic skiing team garnered All-Region accolades to lead the Huskies at the NCAA Central Regional Championships held at the Al Quaal Recreation Area Saturday (Feb. 17) and Sunday (Feb. 18). Three skiers -- Kristina Owen (East Wenatchee, Wash./Eastmont), Jesse Lang (St. Louis Park, Minn.) and Kevin Heglund (Andover, Minn./Anoka) -- gained regional honors in both the freestyle and classic races, while Aaron Ditty (Brooklyn Park, Minn./Park Center) finished among the top 10 collegians in the classic competition.
More: <http://www.athletics.mtu.edu/news.php?source2=news&source=0702181051mns.txt>

BASKETBALL VS. NORTHERN MICHIGAN SATURDAY! The final game of the 2006-07 basketball regular season for Michigan Tech is Saturday (Feb. 24). The Huskies host rival Northern Michigan in a doubleheader at the SDC Gym beginning with the women's game at 1 p.m. The day has been dubbed Senior Day and Fan Appreciation Day. Tech's four seniors Jenna Bartels (La Crosse, Wis./Logan), Stephen Folson (New Haven, Mich.), Radayl Richardson (Detroit, Mich./De Porres) and Ed Ross (Fond du Lac, WIs.) will be honored in a ceremony between games. In addition, randomly selected fans will receive prizes at halftime of each contest.

Michigan Tech ATHLETICS GRAND RAFFLE DRAWING WEDNESDAY: The 20 winners for Michigan Tech Athletics' Grand Raffle will be drawn Wednesday (Feb. 21) and announced live on Mix 93.5 FM at 8 a.m. The winners will then be matched with their prizes during the intermissions of Michigan Tech's hockey game vs. Wisconsin on Friday (Feb. 23). The raffle's top prize of $10,000 cash and 19 other prizes are up for grabs.

CSTV TO FEATURE TECH-NORTHERN HOOPS: Michigan Tech's basketball doubleheader with Northern Michigan Saturday (Feb. 24) will be featured nationally by College Sports Television (CSTV) in a broadband video webcast. The live webcast will be available at <http://www.cstv.com/ncaa/divii/>


Recent Results

Hockey (13-14-5, 8-11-5 WCHA)
Did not compete

Women’s Basketball (17-8, 11-6 GLIAC)
2/14--#15 Grand Valley State 65, at Michigan Tech 42

Men’s Basketball (13-13, 8-9 GLIAC)
2/14--#10 Grand Valley State 69, at Michigan Tech 64, OT

Men's Tennis (2-5, 0-0 GLIAC)
2/17--at Michigan Tech 5, Ripon 4
2/17--at Michigan Tech 5, St. Scholastica 4

Nordic Skiing
2/17-18--Men 3rd of 10 teams, Women 3rd of 11 teams at Central Collegiate Ski Association Regional (at Ishpeming, Mich.)

For up-to-date standings, go to the following links:
WCHA Hockey: <http://www.collegehockeystats.net/standings/wcham>
GLIAC Women's Basketball: <http://gliac.org/womens/basketball/default.asp>
GLIAC Men's Basketball: <http://gliac.org/mens/basketball/default.asp>


What's Happening This Week

Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Huskies Drive Time, 7:30-8 a.m. on Mix 93.5 FM
Grand Raffle Drawing, 8 a.m. on Mix 93.5 FM

Friday, February 23, 2007
Blueline Club Luncheon, 12 noon (Hockey Ed Center)
Hockey hosts Wisconsin, 7:07 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM <http://www.athletics.mtu.edu/REL/huskiesradio.php>)

Saturday, February 24, 2007
Nordic Skiing at American Birkebeiner (at Hayward, Wis.)
Men's Tennis hosts Lewis, 9 a.m.
Women's Basketball hosts Northern Michigan, 1 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM; CSTV Internet Video Broadcast <http://www.cstv.com/ncaa/divii/>)
    --Senior Day; Fan Appreciation Day
Men's Basketball hosts Northern Michigan, 3 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM; CSTV Internet Video Broadcast)
    --Senior Day; Fan Appreciation Day
Men's Tennis hosts Ferris State, 5 p.m.
Hockey hosts Wisconsin, 7:07 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)
    --Senior Day; Fan Appreciation Day

Sunday, February 25, 2007
Men's Tennis hosts Lake Superior State, 1 p.m.

All Times are Eastern

Around the Keweenaw

Adapted from the Daily Mining Gazette and WLUC TV-6

PORTAGE LIBRARY CONCERNED ABOUT SNOWMOBILES: With a new building right up against the waterfront snowmobile trail, Portage Lake District Library board members are concerned about the potential for co-mingling. The city received a letter from the library board prior to Wednesday's City Council meeting, saying it was "acutely and personally aware" of the danger for injury. The board approvingly cited the blinking lights, signage and reflecting boards already in place near the entrance, but referred to reports of snowmobilers traveling over the 15-mile-per-hour limit. The situation, the board said, poses a danger both to the infirm and children "whose exuberance for mobility sometimes outpaces the restrainment of accompanying adults." Possible solutions mentioned by the board included an electronic speed measurer and the posting of the speed limit. City Manager Scott MacInnes likened the situation to that near Dee Stadium, which had yet to produce an accident. "In 30 years, we really haven't had complaints for anything about that," he said.
More: <http://www.mininggazette.com/stories/articles.asp?articleID=5793>


TEREX MAKING PROGRESS: Two years ago, Sander Ansingh told the Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance some crazy moon-man nonsense about more efficiency and a bigger market share. The Terex Handlers general manager landed at KEDA's February meeting Wednesday to tell them of a performance that had met or exceed expectations. The company manufactures telehandlers, which are used for lifting and placing objects. When Ansingh arrived at Terex in 2004, Baraga was producing 80 units per month. By 2006, that had increased to 239. "That was a big challenge for them to believe that a little company in Baraga, Michigan, that was producing four units a day could produce 10 units a day," he said. Sales have jumped accordingly, increasing by nearly $130 million from 2003 to 2006, bringing the company's share of the market from 4 percent to 20 percent.
More: <http://www.mininggazette.com/stories/articles.asp?articleID=5797>


ONE DIES, ONE INJURED IN TWO SNOWMOBILE ACCIDENTS: One person died and another was injured in two separate snowmobile accidents Monday, February 12. Timothy Dean Pierson, 46, of Otter Lake, was driving a snowmobile on trail No. 431 about 3.3 miles north of M-28 at about 7 p.m. Monday evening, according to the Michigan State Police Newberry Post. He lost control of the snowmobile and struck a tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene. In a second accident, Melvin Schmucker, of Florida, was traveling on a snowmobile trail between Greenland and Mass City at about 5:15 p.m., according to the Ontonagon County Sheriff's Department. He was riding behind another snowmobile, and his vision was obstructed by the snow dust kicked up by that snowmobile. When the dust settled, he struck a large ditch and was ejected from the snowmobile. Schmucker was transported to Ontonagon Memorial Hospital for his injuries.


SENEY STRETCH CLOSED SUNDAY: It was a very slippery ride along M-28 yesterday, Sunday, February 18, prompting officials to close part of the road. State troopers told TV6 that part of the Seney Stretch had to be closed, yesterday afternoon, to accommodate all the tow trucks trying to haul vehicles out. Police say icy roads caused several minor accidents along the roadway, but fortunately, no one was seriously injured.


From the Emailbag


My little brother's speaker made a high-tech Web site!
Maybe you know about this already?

Olivia Bartlett Michigan Tech '01


I am down here in the sunny desert. I remember helping Prof. Dave Chimino take movies of the parade. We were stationed at the corner of the main street in Hancock where the old bank was. Don't remember the street names. In any case we got UP Power to put in a special electrical drop for us and we used an old arc light that was in the attic of old Hubbell Hall. It worked fine except that the wind caused the arc lights to flutter. It was cold.  We got good movies considering the time.

Roland Hanson
Eng. Physics 1955  


Attached is a copy of a feature in the March issue of SI Kids for the hockey camp at Michigan Tech that my son noticed in the magazine. Although it doesn’t specifically mention Michigan Tech, it still is nice to see Houghton mentioned in a national publication. Hope you can find a link to this on the web. I’m locked out of sports web sites at work.

Jerry Philo

Editor's Note: Jerry, we made the website now: <http://www.sikids.com/camps/> Mouse over Michigan.


I saw that someone was asking about the legend of Heikki Lunta. I stumbled on this in the <http://alumnac.com> web site for Yoopers. Hope this helps clarify, or maybe confuse more:

Heikki Lunta: A Modern Copper Country Folk Hero

In 1970 the Range Snowmobile Club of Atlantic Mine, Michigan had planned a snowmobile race for the fourth of December, a time of year when there is nearly always ample snow on the Keweenaw Peninsula. The members of club had been working hard to make the event a success, but the most vital commodity was lacking – snow! A Hancock radio station, WMPL, was sponsoring the event, and station staff was also very concerned. In an attempt to rally community support despite the conditions, a radio-time salesman, David Riutta, concocted the character "Heikki Lunta", getting his inspiration from the well-known county/western singer Hank Snow. In twenty minutes Dave wrote the words to the now legendary "Heikki Lunta Snow Dance Song." The tune to which Dave applied the lyrics had already been with him for a while, so the entire composition took less than one hour.

Dave returned to the radio station and with the assistance of the station owner, Bob Olson, another well-known Copper Country persona, the legend of Heikki Lunta was born. The fictional Heikki Lunta was said to live in the back woods of the Finnish farming community of Tapiola, Michigan, twenty miles south of Houghton. Furthermore, he was reported to have the ability to perform a dance, which would cause the snow to fall from the skies. The talented radio team took to the airwaves and caused a sensation throughout the Copper Country community. Heikki Lunta was an instant hit, and miraculously it began to snow-and snow and snow! Ironically the snowmobile races had to be postponed because there was too much snow.

Heikki Lunta's fame grew, and the snow dance song was sent via UPI to stations around the country. The exploits of Heikki Lunta were mentioned on "The Today Show" and "The Tonight Show." Riutta was invited to winter events as far away as California to sing his magical snow song. Family responsibilities and his employment, however, prevented him from making these trips. A recording of "Heikki Lunta Snow Dance Song" was produced, and the first 3,000 copies sold in a short time.

As with any sudden success story, there was a downside. Perhaps Heikki Lunta danced too much, because the snow kept coming. Strained relations began to appear between the pro-snow and the anti-snow camps. Riutta recalls one incident where he was confronted by a large lumberjack, who was so irked by the amount of snow Heikki Lunta had brought, he expressed the desire to "clean Heikki's [Riutta's] clock." It became apparent that there were others in the community who actually believed the playing of the snow dance song would produce snow. When the winter seemed to be getting a bit too long, Riutta felt compelled to compose a sequel tune, "Heikki Lunta Go Away," which became the flip side to the second pressing of the record.

Happy remembering. New York has nothing on the UP!

Paul Meese


The first ever CopperSpiel is at the Copper Country Curling Club

Check out the CCCC website for particulars:


J. D. Angst


Alumni Association Programs


SBE ALUM HOST FRIDAY NIGHT HOCKEY RECEPTION: All Michigan Tech School of Business and Economics alumni are invited to attend a "between periods" social when your Michigan Tech Hockey Huskies face off against the Wisconsin Badgers on Friday, February 23rd. The game is at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena and starts at 7:00pm. Gather with fellow alumni and enjoy free refreshments between periods in the Begg Conference Center, which adjoins the SDC. To find the Center, go down to ice level at the corner of the arena from which the Zamboni enters. Walk along the end of the rink and look for a door marked "SBE Alumni Event."

More Events

For more information on other alumni chapter events, e-mail mtu_alumni(at)mtu.edu or see the alumni chapter site on the web:

3--Twin Cities, Michigan Tech vs. Minnesota Hockey
<http://www.admin.mtu.edu/alumni/events/Michigan Tech_vs_Minnesota_flyer.pdf>

16--Grand Rapids, Michigan Tech Alumni Night: Hockey with the Griffins

26--Chicago, Chemistry Alumni & Friends at ACS National Meeting


Job Opportunities This Week

ON CAMPUS: Complete job descriptions are available by e-mailing jobs at mtu.edu

Teacher/Director, Michigan Tech Preschool <http://www.mtupreschool.org>

Director of Athletic Development, Athletic Department


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

Operations Engineer, Oglebay Norton Company, Gulliver, Michigan (in the UP) Email: staffingrequisitions(at)onco.com