April 16, 2007 (Vol. 13, No. 46)

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:

The Business of Tech

I have to admit that I'm a little partial to the School of Business and Economics here. I've had several relatives and friends graduate from there, and I've gotten great help over the years from their faculty and staff whenever I've asked.

I also got to interview legendary Accounting Professor Sam Tidwell on a couple of occasions and got some great stories, in that Southern drawl, about the good old days at Tech (including his involvement in the Kiwanis Chicken Barbeque, which continues to this day).

So, I wasn't surprised when the School’s Applied Management Portfolio Team won the national RISE competition recently. They took first in the value category: the second time they've taken national honors.

I enjoy the fact that the business program helps broaden our accolades beyond engineering and science, and I especially appreciate the teamwork aspect of the RISE competition. And, they produced a whopping 20 percent return on their money last year!

Do you suppose they could take a look at my portfolio?



Snowfall Totals through April 13 (from KRC)

Snowfall total: 162.75"
Depth on ground: 15 "
Snowfall total last week: 162.25"
Depth on ground last week: 16 "
Snowfall Last year: Stopped by this time last year. Is it safe to put away this chart for the season?

At Tech

CS GRAD STUDENT WINS GOOGLE SCHOLARSHIP: Graduate student Alicia Thorsen has been awarded a 2007 Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship. The $10,000 scholarship is given to 20 outstanding female undergraduate and graduate students nationwide who are completing degrees in computer science and related fields. Thorsen expects to receive her PhD in Computer Science in 2008. The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology and Google Inc. created the highly competitive and prestigious scholarships to honor the legacy of Anita Borg and her efforts to encourage women to pursue careers in computer science and technology.
More: <http://www.admin.mtu.edu/urel/ttoday/previous.php?issue=20070413#1>


STUDENTS AWARDED NSF GRADUATE RESEARCH FELLOWSHIPS: Three graduate students received $40,500 each in research funding through the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Gregory LeFevre received his BS in Environmental Engineering at Michigan Tech and will attend the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities; Marie (Wilkening) Mooney received her BS in Bioinformatics at Michigan Tech and will attend graduate school at Carnegie Mellon University; and Matthew Barron, a PhD student in biomedical engineering, will continue at Michigan Tech. The awards consist of a fellowship stipend of $30,000 for a one-year period, while the university is allowed $10,500 for the cost of education. With satisfactory progress, awards are renewable for a total of three years of graduate study and a total award amount of $121,500.
More: <http://www.admin.mtu.edu/urel/ttoday/previous.php?issue=20070413#2>


STUDENTS HELP MAKE BOWL FOR KIDS A SUCCESS: The women of the Alpha Delta Alpha Sorority led a fundraising effort to help draw participants for the Big Brothers Big Sisters' Bowl for Kids 2007 on March 24. The sorority members, some of whom volunteer as big sisters, challenged the Michigan Tech community to form their own teams. A $100 gift certificate to a local restaurant was donated by the Alpha Delta Alpha Alumni Association as a prize to the Michigan Tech team that raised the most money. Overall, 18 teams from Michigan Tech signed up, comprising a third of the overall participants and raised $5,100. The women of Alpha Delta Alpha ended up winning their own challenge by raising $885. The Lambda Chi Alpha Team Strike came in second by raising $480, and Circle K came in third place with $450 in donations.
More: <http://www.admin.mtu.edu/urel/ttoday/previous.php?issue=20070413#4>

Tech Sports

HAGENBUCH LEADS TECH TRACK AND FIELD SQUAD AT SVSU OPEN--Women Finish Third; Men Come in Seventh: Junior Kate Hagenbuch (Hancock, Mich.) put together a first-place showing in the 1500 meters (4:55.86) and a second-place finish in the 800 meter race (2:20.70) to pace the Michigan Tech track and field team at the Saginaw Valley State Collegiate Open Saturday (April 14). Sophomore Danielle Holmgren (Rapid River, Mich.) came in just behind Hagenbuch in the 800 at third with a time of 2:21.23, while junior Andrea Metz (Marathon, Wis.) grabbed the fourth spot in the 1500 after clocking in at 5:00.52.
More: <http://www.athletics.mtu.edu//news.php?source2=news&source=0704150536mtr.txt>


MEN'S TENNIS DOWNED BY GVSU, 9-0--Huskies Wrap Up Home Season: Grand Valley State swept Michigan Tech in its final home men's tennis match of the 2006-07 season today at the Gates Tennis Center. The Lakers (15-5, 6-1 GLIAC) defeated the Huskies (7-14, 2-4 GLIAC) by a 9-0 count. "You need to get off to a good start to beat a good team and we didn't do that," said head coach Mike Axford. "We were playing from behind right away, then being down 3-0 hurt us mentally in our singles matches." Tech fell behind 5-2 in all three doubles flights. Brett Girard and Chris Calder worked back into their match but lost to GVSU's top pair of Adam Sandusky and Tony Dang by an 8-6 score.
More: <http://www.athletics.mtu.edu/news.php?source2=news&source=0704150159mtn.txt>


MEN'S BASKETBALL AWARDS ANNOUNCED AT ANNUAL BANQUET--Strom Named Both MVP and Most Improved Awards: Junior Tim Strom (Marquette, Mich.) received the Ken Hamar Award as the Michigan Tech men's basketball most valuable player during the annual Cager Club Basketball Recognition Banquet at the Memorial Union. Strom led the team in rebounds (153), assists (59), and blocks (17), and finished second in scoring (13.5 per game). The 6-7 forward had team-high point totals in 14 of the Huskies' 28 games including a career-high 27 in Tech's lone postseason game (at Northern Michigan). He also registered two double-doubles. In addition to the MVP award, Strom was also handed the Bill Gappy Award as the team's most improved player.
More: <http://www.athletics.mtu.edu/news.php?source2=news&source=0704130941mbb.txt>


WOMEN'S BASKETBALL AWARDS DOLED OUT AT BANQUET--Stream Collects MVP, Sportsmanship, and Scholastic Achievement Awards: Sophomore Sarah Stream (Ishpeming, Mich./Westwood) earned three of the five women's basketball awards that were handed out at the Cager Club Basketball Recognition Banquet at the Memorial Union. Stream took home the most valuable player, the Harold Meese Sportsmanship, and the scholastic achievement awards. Stream averaged 14.1 points, 3.1 assists and 34.7 minutes per game--all team highs in 2006-07. The 5-7 point guard earned All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference North Division First Team honors and was named to the GLIAC All-Tournament team after leading the Huskies to their first league tournament semifinal in five years. Stream also possesses a 4.0 cumulative grade point average in exercise science and biology.
More: <http://www.athletics.mtu.edu/news.php?source2=news&source=0704130930wbb.txt>


Recent Results

Sat, April 14
Women's Track: Third Place at Saginaw Valley
Men's Track: Seventh Place at Saginaw Valley
Men's Tennis: Grand Valley 9, at Michigan Tech 0


What's Happening This Week

Tue, Apr 17
Men's and Women's Track & Field at UMD Bulldog Open, 4:30 p.m. (Duluth, Minn.)
Women's Tennis at St. Cloud State, 1:30 p.m.
Women's Tennis vs. St. Benedict (at St. Cloud, Minn.), 5 p.m.

Fri, Apr 20
Men's Tennis at Northwood, 1 p.m.

Sat, Apr 21
Men's Tennis at GLIAC Tournament (Midland, Mich.)

All Times are Eastern


Around the Keweenaw

Adapted from the Daily Mining Gazette

HOUGHTON DPW, AFTER SNOW, BACK TO SQUARE ONE: The Houghton Department of Public Works was ahead of the game. Not only were the streets free of snow, but they were swept. Then the snows came back. Now the department will restart their sweeping, resulting in a 30 percent increase in spending. And some small projects, such as catch basins and ditching, may be put off until next year. "By the time we get done sanding and sweeping, we'll be over budget," said Superintendent Mark Zenner. The department is also out doing cold-patching, after the combination of plows and soft pavement resulted in widespread tearing up. "We did more damage in five days than we did all winter," Zenner said.
More: <http://www.mininggazette.com/stories/articles.asp?articleID=6556>


BUDGET MESS--PRUSI, LAHTI ADDRESS KEDA: The Copper Country's state legislators both expressed hope that the state budget can be balanced soon--but not on the back of the U.P. State Sen. Mike Prusi, D-Ishpeming, and State Rep. Mike Lahti, D-Hancock, spoke at the Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance meeting Wednesday morning. While past budget negotiations have stretched into September, they said they would try to have a proposal by June. But for that to happen, both sides will have be less intractable, Prusi said. "We need to get to the middle ground and find something that we agree on and move Michigan forward," he said. Lahti said he will be heading back to Lansing to work on the House negotiations. The governor's proposal includes the Michigan Business Tax, a replacement for the Single Business Tax, which ended last year. In contrast to the SBT, the new tax will focus on income.
More: <http://www.mininggazette.com/stories/articles.asp?articleID=6541>


ONE FINAL PERFORMANCE--HORN PLAYER LOOKS BACK: The Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra said goodbye to the last of its first Saturday. When the orchestra performed the final concert of the 2006-07 season, it was French horn player Judy Spahn's last concert. Spahn has been with the orchestra since it began in 1970. She arrived in Houghton that year with a musical background that started when she was a fourth grader in Hamburg, New York. "The school that I went to, music was huge, so we started in fourth grade and had weekly lessons in school," Spahn said. Her music teachers there had a role in her choosing the French horn for her instrument. "They looked at your lip structure and decided what you should play--probably what they needed," Spahn said. In college at Cornell University, she played in a concert band and a brass quintet. Then a community orchestra in New Jersey. Then onward to the Copper Country, where she found a number of musicians.
More: <http://www.mininggazette.com/stories/articles.asp?articleID=6545>


From the Emailbag

Editor's note: From the Vault College Buzz Survey (you might remember it from last year).

Dear Alumnus/Alumna,
Michigan Technological University has agreed to participate in the Vault College Survey. The information from this survey may be included in the 4th edition of Vault's /College Buzz Book/ and will appear online on the Vault.com web site. Your participation will help countless prospective students make key choices during the undergraduate application process.

In completing this survey, we encourage you to be candid, as your identity will remain anonymous. Vault may quote your survey responses, in full or in part, in its /College Buzz Book/.

Below are instructions for taking the survey. Please read all of these instructions carefully before beginning the survey:

1) Click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser (do not add "www" or anything else to the URL):


2) Please complete the survey *_by April 20_*.

Many thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to complete Vault's survey.


Hi Dennis:
I'm working on a local history project looking at the somewhat significant potato farming industry in Houghton County from 1930-1970. At its height, local farmers produced more than 900,000 bushels of potatoes annually for sale in local markets and as a cash crop for shipment to major Midwestern urban centers.

It's come to my attention that during the fall harvest, local farmers hired a lot of short-term "pickers" to help bag the spuds that mechanized harvesters couldn't get. Most pickers were paid by the bushel and some were offered the opportunity to take additional bushels home for winter storage and consumption.

I'm wondering if any Tech alum might have participated as potato pickers at Houghton County farms while they were students in Houghton. I'd be interested in collecting any reminiscences about these experiences for a magazine article I'm hoping to have published this year. Photographs would be great, too.

Thanks in advance,
Erik Nordberg


Editor's note: A couple of students are taking on a worthy cause.

Jay Prescott and I are planning to ride our bikes from Houghton, MI, to Seattle, WA, starting May 7, 2007. Not only is the ride one of those "let's do this while we have time" activities, but it is also a cancer fundraiser through the Lance Armstrong Foundation. As of this email, Jay and I have raised over $3100 <http://www.livestrong.org/grassroots/jayridesxcountry>.

Currently, we have a website advertising the ride <http://www.hu.mtu.edu/~jcdambru/cancer/>, and a Lode article was published during the week of 4/4/2007 <http://www.mtulode.com/article.php?articleId=540>.

Thank you!
Jeff Dambrun


I'm with an executive search firm working for a global steel producer and I have a job profile for recently graduated PhDs in Metallurgy or Material Sciences, via email.



Michelle Davis


Michigan hires coach away from Wisconsin-Green Bay

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP)--Michigan has hired Kevin Borseth away from Wisconsin-Green Bay to shore up its struggling women's basketball program, the school said Monday night. The hiring was confirmed by athletics department spokesman Bruce Madej, who said an official announcement would be made Tuesday. The hiring was reported earlier in the day by The Ann Arbor News. Borseth replaces Cheryl Burnett, who retired last month. The Wolverines were 35-83 overall and 10-54 in the Big Ten over Burnett's four seasons at Michigan. Borseth coached nine seasons at Green Bay, compiling a 216-62 record and the Horizon League regular-season championship each of those years. The Phoenix won seven conference tournaments under Borseth and made seven NCAA tournament appearances. The 52-year-old native of Bessemer, Mich., coached Michigan Tech from 1987-98, posting a 225-97 record. He also coached at Gogebic Community College in Ironwood, Mich.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press.

Scott Hartz


Hi Dennis,
I just subscribed to the newsletter again after a friend forwarded me the snow totals for last week. Ouch! That's a lot of snow even for the Keweenaw! I hope that you thaw out soon. I live in the Oscoda/Alpena area, and we didn't see too much snow. Not much more than a dusting, but it was COLD. Not colder than it had been a few weeks before, but cold because we were spoiled by a little nice weather.

Michigan Tech alums are welcome to send me LinkedIn invitations using my home e-mail address: DLJones3423(at)yahoo.com


Donna (Zalensas/Walen/Jones)
BSSTC 1988


You got hit with a whopper of a snow storm and you are complaining?!? Bah! Get your back into it, man, don't be weak. Where is your Sisu? Real Midwestern men don't complain about the bad weather, they wear adequate clothing, and deal with it. And if you cannot stand the weather, then perhaps you should relocate.....  Just like I did: back to the Chicago metropolitan area as soon as I could (*VBG*)!

I love to tell people stories of when I brought up my close friends to experience the great Keweenaw snow blower firsthand (and have Heikki Lunta exceed all expectations). I also enjoy sharing fond memories of cross country skiing the Tech Trails on my birthday... near the end of April. Over 50 inches of snow, eh? Maybe I should road trip.

Cheers, and stay warm.

--John Saporta, ECH 1988

Editor's note: You better hurry, John, spring is coming this week. No, really.


Hi Dennis,
Another thought about late snows in the UP. I ran the mile and 2 mile for MCM&T and will never forget the Tech Invitational my freshman year. The meet was cancelled due to 17 inches of snow on the track, that was May 11, 1950. I did take a couple of 2nd place finishes in the winter carnival snowshoe races, we could have used them that spring.

Bob Carnahan '53

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:

18, Keweenaw, Back to School Event, Fisher Hall Renovation

2, Keweenaw, Nissila's Nursery Tour (May 16 Rain Date)

22, Grand Rapids, Spring Dinner for the West Michigan Chapter

23, Green Bay, Annual Golf Outing
Contact Suzanne Berkovitz sberkovitz(at)new.rr.com

2, Grand Rapids, West Michigan Annual Golf Outing

7, Keweenaw, Progressive Social, A Midsummer's Night Journey into Laurium

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

Director, Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts, Rozsa Center

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.

To subscribe to this newsletter, send the following message to majordomo(at)mtu.edu: subscribe techalum-L.
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University Marketing and Communications
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Houghton, MI 49931-1295
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