April 9, 2007 (Vol. 13, No. 45)

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:

Snow and hockey revisited

Okay, in case you thought we were getting soft up here, not even hitting 150 inches for the year and actually closing the University when the county pulls the plows, let me put your mind at ease.

How more than 50 inches of snow in a few days?

That's what we received in certain areas up here. We get our Techalum snow numbers from the Keweenaw Research Center near the airport, where they are windblown, and their totals are not as high. But Painesdale received 64.5 inches from April 3 to 8!

We were blasted in West Hancock, too, where I snowblowed three times Wednesday, and of course, the snowblower was operating on one-half auger that morning. And that's when the heavy, wet snow was deepest near the road.

And that's the day I saw the manager of Portage Lake Golf Course, who said they were going to open in less than two weeks before the monster snowfall. It would be funny, if it weren't so sad. We had to settle for watching golf on television and putting in the basement, where it's cold again.

And, speaking of sports on television (and winter), the Frozen Four had me thinking. Our Huskies were the last team to sweep North Dakota, who represented the WCHA in St. Louis (where Tech won it in 1975), and I believe we could have played well against Boston College, or MSU, for that matter.

In a recent interview, head coach Jamie Russell said as much: "I think we're at the point now where we expect to win every game. I think we're a team that needs to be top three in the WCHA. I think we need to make a run at the MacNaughton Cup (the regular season title). I think we need to get home ice for the playoffs. I think we need to make a run for the Broadmoor Trophy, the playoff championship. I think we need to win the Great Lakes Invitational. We should be challenging for a top-ten spot in the country. We should be pushing to have a tournament bid before the playoffs even start. So expectations are lofty, but I think those expectations are very attainable."

Enough said.


Snowfall Totals through April 8 (from KRC)

Snowfall total: 162.25"
Depth on ground: 20"
Snowfall total last week: 132.25"
Depth on ground last week: 0"
Snowfall as of April 5, 2006: 219.5"
Depth on ground last year: 8 "

At Tech

TECH STUDENTS WIN NATIONAL INVESTMENT COMPETITION: Tech's Applied Portfolio Management Program Gold Team has taken first place in its class at the seventh annual RISE conference. The Redefining Investment Strategy Education conference, held March 29-31 at the University of Dayton, is the largest student investment event of its kind in North America. This is the second year that Michigan Tech has won top honors in the undergraduate division's value category, reporting an impressive 20.96 percent annual return on their portfolio of stocks and bonds. By comparison, the all-stock S&P 500 yielded 15.78 percent. "Value is a bird-in-the-hand style of investing," explained their advisor, Dean Johnson, an associate professor of business and economics. "The students focused on assets with a low price-to-earnings ratio, which are cheap relative to their current performance."
More: <http://www.admin.mtu.edu/urel/ttoday/previous.php?issue=20070406#1>


TECH WINS CONCRETE CANOE COMPETITION: The student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers took first place in the poster session, oral presentation, and all five canoe races to dominate the 2007 North Central Conference of the Concrete Canoe Competition held on the Tech campus and at Saginaw recently. Advisor Bogue Sandberg, professor of civil engineering, said "the canoe they've got this year is one of the nicest I've seen." The national competition will be held in Seattle this June.


SCHULZ NAMED DEAN OF ENGINEERING: Tim Schulz has accepted appointment as Michigan Tech's next dean of engineering effective July 1, Provost Dave Reed has announced. Schulz came to the university in 1992 as an assistant professor and now chairs the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He is the department's Dave House Professor and directs the Center for Integrated Systems in Sensing, Imaging and Communications. "The search committee did a great job," Reed said. "They gave the university community a very strong pool of applicants. The decision was difficult because the candidates were so good." Schulz was selected in part because of his views on the college's future. "He has had a very positive influence on his department," Reed said. "But in particular, we were impressed by his vision for the college and his enthusiasm for working with people across a wide variety of disciplines."
More: <http://www.admin.mtu.edu/urel/ttoday/previous.php?issue=20070404#1>


Tech Sports

JOSH HAGER NAMED ASSISTANT FOOTBALL COACH--New Linebackers Coach to Begin Duties Immediately: Josh Hager, a ten-year veteran in the collegiate coaching ranks, has joined Michigan Tech's football coaching staff effective immediately. Hager replaces linebackers coach Scott Hazelton, who left to accept a position at NCAA Division I North Dakota State. Hager spent last season as the wide receivers coach at NCAA Division I-AA Central Connecticut State, where he helped the Blue Devils to an 8-3 record. CCSU's offense set seven school records and finished among the top 10 in the country in Division I-AA in scoring (33.0 points per game) and total offense (386.8 yards per game).
More: <http://www.athletics.mtu.edu/news.php?source2=news&source=0704030209mfb.txt>

MEN'S NETTERS SCORE 8-1 WIN OVER LAKE SUPERIOR STATE--Huskies Improve to 2-3 in GLIAC Play: In their best performance of the year, the Michigan Tech men's tennis team claimed an 8-1 triumph over Lake Superior State in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference match. The Huskies improved to 7-13 overall and 2-3 in league play. Tech swept the doubles points, with none of the teams surrendering more than four games. Chris Calder and Brett Girard combined for an 8-4 victory at number one doubles. At number two, Rick Halverson and Andy Sims were 8-2 winners. Brandon Ellefson and Alan Parenteau gained their 12th victory of the year at number three by an 8-1 count.
More: <http://www.athletics.mtu.edu/news.php?source2=news&source=0704050756mtn.txt>


WOMEN'S TENNIS FALLS TO LSSU, 7-2--Oliveros Involved in Two Wins: The Tech women's tennis team fell, 7-2, to Lake Superior State Wednesday evening at the Gates Tennis Center. Sophomore Silvia Oliveros was involved in both wins on the day for the Huskies (9-13). Oliveros and number one doubles partner Amy Palmgren knocked off LSSU's Celina Grondin and Lindsay Gentz by a 8-5 score. Tech's number three doubles duo of Heather Neff and Whitney Schoep were a break away from a win, but lost by an 8-6 count. In singles, Oliveros rallied from a first set loss and claimed a 1-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory at number one singles. Palmgren and Schoep also played three set matches.
More: <http://www.athletics.mtu.edu/news.php?source2=news&source=0704040746wtn.txt>


Recent Results

Wed, April 4
Women's Tennis: Lake Superior State 7, at Michigan Tech 2
Men's Tennis: at Michigan Tech 8, Lake Superior State 1


What's Happening This Week

Sat, Apr 14
Men's and Women's Track & Field at SVSU Invitational, 11 a.m.
Men's Tennis hosts Grand Valley State, 10 a.m.

All Times are Eastern

Around the Keweenaw

Adapted from the Daily Mining Gazette

SNOW MAKES A MESS: This week's fresh snow has created a mess for local employees whose job it is to clear the roads, and it hasn't even melted yet. Houghton County Road Commission Superintendent Jerry Gagnon said that the roads are cleared, but it hasn't been easy. "It's been very slow, very, very difficult because the roads are so soft, we're sinking in the trucks trying to push the snow around," he said. "We're sinking in the mud." The Houghton County Road Commission deals with county roads, such as M-26 and US Highway 41, while roads within municipalities are handled by public works departments. The area was hit with a low pressure storm from the northeast beginning Tuesday and continuing through Thursday. The National Weather Service reported that places such as Phoenix received as much as 32 inches [as of Thursday]. A blizzard warning was in effect on and off throughout the two days.
More: <http://www.mininggazette.com/stories/articles.asp?articleID=6468>


INVASIVE SPECIES CAN DAMAGE LOCAL ECOSYSTEMS: Right now they are under at least a foot of white, but eventually, green spring plants will emerge. While the vast majority of these green spring plants will be a welcome site to residents of the Copper Country, there are a few species that homeowners should be wary of. They are invasive species that can cause major problems for the local ecosystem. Among the invasive species currently in the Copper Country are spotted knapweed, Japanese knotweed, purple loosestrife and Norway maple. Spotted knapweed is found just about everywhere, geographically. In fact, according to Michigan Tech  Associate Professor of Silviculture Linda Nagel, "spotted knapweed is ubiquitous."
More: <http://www.mininggazette.com/stories/articles.asp?articleID=6481>


WOODEN CRIBS FOR FISH IN ALBERTA POND: Fish in Alberta Pond had nowhere to go before a class at Michigan Tech began work on a project last year. The bottom of the pond looked like a quite barren landscape when the Michigan Department of Transportation drained it to replace dam components in 2005. "When we saw the bottom, there was no vegetation, absolutely no structure," said Tech Lecturer Jim Rivard. He teaches the class, part of the university's wildlife ecology and management degree, that is building a series of nine fish cribs. These cribs are made of logs fastened together into a box, kind of a large crate. For the past several weeks, four of the cribs have sat atop the ice on Alberta Pond. Two of the concrete-weighted cribs sunk to the bottom of the lake during the recent melt. Two others remained stubbornly afloat earlier this week. "Two already sunk and two were hanging onto the ice just a little bit there," Rivard said. "In the event that they don't sink, we will have to go out and add more weight to them."
More: <http://www.mininggazette.com/stories/articles.asp?articleID=6461>


From the Emailbag

Ice chips: This is the first Frozen Four since the tournament went to seeding the each team in the four regionals in 2003 that a No. 1 seed did not reach the semifinals. Boston College was a second seed. North Dakota, Michigan State and Maine were No. 3s. Their 51 losses were the most for a Frozen Four since Wisconsin, Northern Michigan, Minnesota and Michigan Tech combined for 50 in 1981. This is the second time the championship is in St. Louis, the first coming in 1975 when Michigan Tech beat Minnesota. Next year's tournament shifts to Denver and then will be held for the first time in Washington, D.C., in 2009. Detroit, St. Paul and Tampa/St. Petersburg complete the rotation through 2012.

Scott Hartz


I transferred up to Tech in `84. Never heard of a toot. . .

Bob Crump `87


Hi Dennis:
I was saddened to read of Adele [Meese's] recent passing, but it's somewhat comforting that 'Mom' is with 'Dad' now.

For those unfamiliar with the Pep Band tradition: Dean Meese and Adele were known to the Pep Band as Mom and Dad, as their son Paul (aka Meeko) was a member of the band's percussion section. Between periods of each home hockey game (and on occasion a few away ones) we'd all stand up and yell "Hi Mom, Hi Dad, Hi Jerry (Hockey Coach John MacInnes' wife). Each would stand up in turn and wave back enthusiastically at us.

With sincere condolences to the Meese family,
Mary West
BSFR '82


Dear Dennis,
I am an Michigan Tech alum ('84) now a faculty member at Miami University. I am conducting a survey on possible uses of Rationale in software development and I'm looking for alums working in software development (in any role) to help me with a research project. As a way of saying thank you for their time, we're offering a chance to win a $200 American Express gift card. If any Michigan Tech alums are willing to help me out between now and 15 April, a description of, and link to, a 15-minute survey can be found at:


Additional details about the nature of the survey and who to contact with information about the research, the survey, and your rights as a survey respondent, can be found at the above link. Information for the gift card raffle will be kept separate from survey results and no other identifying information will be collected.

Thank you for your assistance,

Janet Burge '84


Editor's Note: Regarding last week’s question about the CC Anthem:

There is not much of a difference between the two songs (There is a chord held before we play, and we only play the second verse of the Blue Skirt Waltz.  There is no score for the piece, but if you let me know the orchestration for it, I can either get copies, or if you prefer, digitally send them to you.  Either way.  If they are only looking for the melody, I can get the trumpet part, or send all the parts.


Editor's Note: Regarding being glad to be from Tech:

Darned right, Dennis!

Forty-five years since I graduated, and I keep coming back!


Frank Shoffner


I just finished reading Bob Carnahan's E-mail regarding the hockey team bus accident. The bus accident occurred in January 1950 when we were returning to Houghton from a successful trip to Michigan State. We won both games. The accident happened outside of Wolverine, Mi. Our bus was sideswiped by another bus. Bobby Gitzen and Dick Loutit were killed on our bus. Also, there were fatalities on the other bus. Coach Amo Bessone, Mel Weir and our bus driver Bert Colombe were seriously hurt. Others received cuts and bruises. I stayed in Grayling with coach Bessone and returned with him to Houghton by train when he was discharged from the hospital. I only think about the accident when an athletic team has a fatal accident which happened last month to the Bluffton baseball team. For those who remember Amo, I talked to him when Verdie Cox died and he was looking forward to his 90th birthday this spring.

Bob Monahan 1954


(I've already posted this job opening to eRecruiting, but I don't think many Alumni use it, it's pretty clumsy if you aren't a student. This may be of interest enough to note in the newsletter, considering we are only a 2.5 hour drive from Houghton)

The City of Ashland has an opening for a civil engineer with 3-5 years experience (streets and stormwater) for the position of Assistant City Engineer.  A perfect opportunity for any alumni looking to come "home" to the northwoods.  Contact Kerstin Henry (BSCE 96) at khenry(at)coawi.org for more information.

Also of interest:  Ashland's City Engineer (me), Transportation Engineer (Brendon Shields BSCE 2006), GIS Coordinator (Leslie Jagger MS Forestry 97), and most of our 2007 Summer Engineering Interns are Techies. Many of the consultants and contractors that we use also have Michigan Tech connections. It is usually an instant icebreaker, although we sometimes annoy the non-Tech-alum. ;-)



Editor's note: Regarding last week's "Where Are You From?" Article":

Dennis, I always have problems with this question because I was born in Biloxi, Mississippi, but I have lived in many states and one foreign country (my father was in the military). I usually tell people that I am from Michigan because I graduated from high school in Gwinn, Michigan, and went to Tech in Houghton.  Most people here in Texas do not understand the Upper Peninsula and ask how close is Gwinn to Detroit or some such like that. When I say it is closer to Green Bay, Wisconsin, they get a little confused. 

There is one man I work with who went to Michigan State and one of the other guys said that I wear my Michigan Tech jacket to gain points from the guy from Michigan State. I knew that I was actually losing points due to the fact that there is a big rivalry between the lower peninsula and the Upper Peninsula. If you are not from Michigan, you do not understand these things. 

I will be coming up for the Presidents Council of Alumnae meeting this year. It will be nice to see Tech and the new buildings. I have not been up there since 2003.  It will be nice to be back home again for a little while.   

Stacey E. Morrison, MS


Alumni Association Programs


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

22 Grand Rapids, Spring Dinner for the West Michigan Chapter
23 Green Bay, Annual Golf Outing

2 Grand Rapids, Annual Golf Outing
9 Detroit, Golf Outing

13 Saginaw, Annual Golf Outing at the Sawmill

2-4 Houghton, Alumni Reunion

Job Opportunities This Week

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

Major Gifts Officer (2), Advancement

Assistant Professor of Accounting, School of Business and Economics

Facilities Engineer, Campus Facilities Planning

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

Michigan Tech is on the web at <http://www.mtu.edu>. For the alumni pages, click on "Alumni/Friends" at the top of the home page.

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University Marketing and Communications
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