April 23, 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:

From the President: Update on Michigan's Budget Crisis and Implications for Tech

Michigan's legislature and Governor Jennifer Granholm remain deadlocked over how to eliminate the state's budget deficit of about $1 billion. By law, the Michigan budget must be balanced. The Governor's original plan to increase revenues and cut spending, which Tech has supported, has met opposition in the House and Senate. Last week, the Michigan House offered a bill that would reduce higher education funding by $43.2 million. For Michigan Tech, this means a $1.2-million budget reduction.

The House and Senate legislation is at odds with Governor Granholm's position that the number of college graduates in Michigan must double for the state is to effectively compete in a global economy. The most prosperous states are those with the greatest number of college graduates. In the future, our children's success will be ever more dependent upon higher education. Reducing state support places an increased burden on college students and families, as universities will be forced to increase tuition and fees above the rate of inflation. Sadly, this will limit access to a college education for many, and will reduce the number of college graduates in Michigan.

Here at Tech, we are working now to minimize the effects of these proposed cuts. Pursuing growth in research programs, increasing our fundraising efforts, and reducing costs--we have laid the groundwork for a more robust financial position. Nonetheless, the greatest opportunity to meet our budget needs in the immediate future is from the State of Michigan, which accounts for approximately 40 percent of Michigan Tech's general fund.

This is truly a turning point--our elected representatives are struggling to set the priorities, your priorities, for funding higher education. I encourage you to reflect on what Michigan Tech has meant in your life, and to let the Governor and your legislators know the critical role of higher education for the State of Michigan.

Glenn D. Mroz

At Tech

CANDLELIGHT VIGIL HELD: Approximately 250 students, faculty, and staff attended a candlelight vigil for Virginia Tech last Wednesday. The vigil took place in the library and on the campus mall. The Undergraduate Student Government organized the event, which featured The Praise in Effect Gospel Choir, reading of passages, student speeches, and the lighting of candles out on the mall. Religious leaders and Counseling Services personnel were also on hand.
Photos here: <http://www.mtu.edu/vigil.html>.

On Friday, many students, faculty, and staff wore maroon and/or orange, Virginia Tech's colors, and even the Spring Fling remembered Virginia Tech: the logo was chalked on the sidewalks as were the words: "Michigan Tech supports VT."


A Tech alum barely escaped the massacre. Cheng Haiyan, a teaching assistant, had her harrowing experience written up here <http://en.epochtimes.com/news/7-4-20/54342.html>.

Other alums earned their degrees here and teach at Virginia Tech, and vice versa, several faculty members at Tech earned their degrees from Virginia Tech.

Also, from a current student:

Good job on organizing the vigil. I wasn't able to make it, but holding events like these are extremely important.

Personally, I have been to the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg for a research conference: if you took Michigan Tech, made it a little bigger and moved it south, you'd get Virginia Tech. The programs, students, professors and the town itself are almost mirror images of each other. I also had an opportunity to learn from experts in the field of biomechanics, which is my area of interest. One of the Virginia Tech professors in this field, who attended the conference with me, was killed that day.

So, I just want to say that what you do does matter and that you do good work.

Aaron Maki, former USG

I've heard this comparison more than once. "It's just like Tech but bigger," which mad me even sadder and also gave me hope that they will, with time, pull through this. In fact, they are back in class today. That's no surprise. After all, they are Tech people.


UNDERGRAD EXPO 2007 SHOWCASES ALT ENERGY, HEART MONITOR, MANY OTHERS: At 10:00 a.m. Thursday, the senior Tech students standing near their presentations are nervous. Judges are circling, writing down comments, asking questions and, well, judging. From what I saw, they need not worry.

Michigan Tech's best and brightest were dressed up, prepared, and ready to discuss their myriad research topics. Blue Marble Security was typical, if you can call any of the presenters that. This Enterprise team is working on eight different projects, including New Power Tour, which, Project Manager Ryan Goddard explained, is investigating a portable sound stage for musicians or whomever. "It will use solar, wind, and biodiesel power," Goddard says. "We will be able to charge batteries to run the sound equipment when we change from one power source to another" and on those cloudy days when solar doesn't cut it. Goddard and his team are also learning the realities of research and invention: they need money to run the project to its conclusion, and they've got a grant in to NSF to help them continue.
More: <http://www.admin.mtu.edu/urel/ttoday/previous.php?issue=20070420#4>


Tech Sports

MEN'S TENNIS SHUTS OUT LAKE STATE AT GLIAC TOURNEY--Huskies Take Seventh-Place Match by 7-0 Count: Michigan Tech knocked off Lake Superior State today for the third time in men's tennis this season--this time at the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament at the Midland Tennis Center. The Huskies (8-17) won the match, 7-0, to clinch seventh place at the league tournament. Tech teams surrendered just two games in the three doubles matches. Chris Calder and Brett Girard were 8-2 winners at number one. Rick Halverson and Andy Sims were victorious by an 8-0 score at number two, and Brandon Ellefson and Alan Parenteau won by forfeit. The Huskies won four singles points before the match outcome was decided and stopped. Sims gained a forfeit at number six. Calder, Ellefson, and Girard all won in straight sets with none losing more than three total games in their wins. Michigan Tech wraps up its 2007 season with an 8-17 record.


SZATKO TO JOIN HUSKIES FOR 2007-08 MEN'S HOOPS SEASON--6-4 Forward Starred at Naperville Central (Illinois) High School: The Michigan Tech men's basketball team today announced that Mike Szatko (Naperville, Ill./Central) has signed a national letter of intent to join the Huskies next fall. The 6-4 forward is Tech's third signee for the 2007-08 season. Szatko (pronounced ZATT-ko) starred at Naperville Central (Ill.) High School, where he averaged 16 points and six rebounds per game in 2006-07. He earned All-DuPage Valley Conference honors and team most valuable player laurels as a senior. Szatko was a four-time academic all-conference selection and finished his career with 158 three-pointers including a Naperville-area high 77 treys in his final season.
More: <http://www.athletics.mtu.edu/sport.php?sport=mbb>


HAYNES AND BALLUN BREAK SCHOOL RECORDS AT UMD BULLDOG OPEN--Both Student-Athletes Record NCAA Provisional Qualifying Times: Sophomore Robert Haynes (Lansing, Mich.), set a new program best in the 100 meters and sophomore Erin Ballun (Oswego, Ill.) surpassed a school record in the high jump to pace the Michigan Tech track and field team Tuesday (April 17) at the Minnesota Duluth Bulldog Open. Haynes bested his old personal best time of 10.61 in the 100 with a 10.55 reading in just his second race of the season. In addition, Haynes' performance was strong enough to provisional qualify him for the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships May 24-26. Haynes also turned in a first-place showing in the 200 meters with a time of 21.48. Ballun, scaled 5' 6.14" to break Roberta Bucklin's school record jump of 5' 6" registered back in 1983. The effort also helped her provisionally qualify for the NCAA championships.
More: <http://www.athletics.mtu.edu/sport.php?sport=mtr>


Recent Results

Sun, Apr 22
Men's Tennis: Michigan Tech 7, Lake Superior State 0 (at GLIAC Tournament)

Sat, Apr 21
Men's Tennis: Findlay 5, Michigan Tech 4 (at GLIAC Tournament)
Mercyhurst 6, Michigan Tech 0 (at GLIAC Tournament)

Fri, Apr 20
Men's Tennis: at #19 Northwood 9, Michigan Tech 0

Wed, Apr 18
Women's Tennis: at St. Cloud State 5, Michigan Tech 4


What's Happening This Week

Fri and Sat, Apr 27-28
Men's and Women's Track and Field at Gina Relays (Hillsdale, Mich.)

Sat, Apr 28
Football Annual Intrasquad Game, 1 p.m.

All Times are Eastern


Around the Keweenaw

Adapted from the Daily Mining Gazette

MOTORCYCLE GROUP PERFORMS ACROBATICS AT TECH: It may not seem natural for a person to be riding a motorcycle upside down about 30 feet off the ground, but for the members of Sick Air FMX, that and other seemingly incorrect behavior is all in a days work. Sick Air FMX presented two shows Friday in the all-day parking lot at the Michigan Tech Memorial Union Building. The shows were sponsored by Full Throttle Motorcycle Club at Tech. Scott Murray, spokesman for the group, said currently there are four members in the group based in Felch, Mich., which is near Escanaba. One rider has a neck injury and another has a leg injury, so only Murray and group member, Justin Hicks, were jumping Friday.
More: <http://www.mininggazette.com/stories/articles.asp?articleID=6644>


MICHIGAN TECH VIGIL SHOWS SOLIDARITY WITH VIRGINIA TECH: Roses don't take up a lot of space. Thirty-three of them can easily fit across the top of a table. Roses were thus arrayed before a large gathering of students Wednesday night at Michigan Tech's J. R. Van Pelt Library, where students took part in a candlelight vigil for the victims of Monday's tragic shootings at Virginia Tech. "There are 33 roses there," Undergraduate Student Government (USG) Representative J. D. Hill said. "It might not look like a lot, but if you think about every one of them being a human life, someone who was part of your life, it really hits hard." USG organized the vigil. It started indoors with a few speeches, some words to reflect on, and "Amazing Grace" led by the Praise and Effect choir. Those gathered brought candles outside as dusk fell and stood in a circle with their candle flames flickering.
More: <http://www.mininggazette.com/stories/articles.asp?articleID=6619>


HOUGHTON STUDENTS LEARN MYSTERIES OF PHYSICS--Michigan Tech STUDENTS STAGE FAMILY EVENT: Blow air into a tube, and the ping-pong balls inside fly out. Squeeze a bottle, and the weighted pen cap floating inside sinks. Houghton Elementary School students learned the secrets behind those mysteries and others at Family Physics Night on Tuesday. The event was put on by the Michigan Tech Society of Physics Students and the Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education. The 11 exhibits included magnetics, making music with glasses of water and measuring the rolling speed of different objects. Kindergartner Grace Zhang's favorite part was "using the air and pushing the ball up" in the "Amazing Air Tricks" station.
More: <http://www.mininggazette.com/stories/articles.asp?articleID=6607>



From the Emailbag

The Admissions Office is looking for dynamic alumni volunteers to assist in presenting scholarship certificates to accepted students at upcoming high school awards ceremonies. See the listing below for schools that have requested an alumni volunteer at their program. To participate in this excellent outreach opportunity, please contact Kathy at kross(at)mtu.edu or call 888-688-1885.

A D Johnston, Bessemer, 5/16, 1:00 PM
Algonac, Algonac, 5/25, 8:00 AM
Almont, Almont, 5/29, 7:00 PM
Alpena, Alpena, 5/23, 7:00 PM
Bellaire, Bellaire, 5/15, 6:30 PM
Belleville, Belleville, 5/9, 6:30 PM
Bloomingdale, Bloomingdale, 5/16, 7:00 PM
Calumet, Calumet, 5/22, 7:00 PM
Cardinal Mooney Catholic, Marine City, 5/9, 1:50 PM
Carman-Ainsworth, Flint, 5/29, 6:00 PM
Corunna, Corunna, 5/23, 7:00 PM
Delton Kellogg, Delton, 5/18, 9:00 AM
Dewitt, Dewitt, 5/22, 7:00 PM
Forest Area, Fife Lake, 5/23, 7:00PM
Gaylord, Gaylord, 5/16, 7:00 PM
Grand Ledge, Grand Ledge, 5/10, 12:30 PM
Hancock, Hancock, 5/22, 7:30 PM
Homer Community, Homer, 5/16, 7:00 PM
Ishpeming, Ishpeming, 6/7, 7:00 PM
Johannesburg-Lewiston, Johannesburg, 6/6, 8:00 PM
Kalamazoo Christian, Kalamazoo, 5/29, 7:30 PM
Lake Linden-Hubbell, Lake Linden, 5/18, 9:00 AM
Manchester, Manchester, 5/24, 7:00 PM
Manistique, Manistique, 5/9, 7:00 PM
Maple Valley, Vermontville, 5/21, 7:00 PM
Mason, Mason, 5/16, 7:00 PM
Mio-AuSable, Mio, 5/2, 6:30 PM
Morrice, Morrice, 5/15, 8:00 AM
Mumford, Detroit, 6/11, 6:00 PM
Onaway, Onaway, 5/10, 7:00 PM
Rapid River, Rapid River, 5/21, 7:30 PM
Rogers City, Rogers City, 6/1, 6:30 PM
Saginaw Arts & Sciences Academy, Saginaw, 5/17, 6:30 PM
South Lyon, South Lyon, 6/6, 7:00 PM
Sparta, Sparta, 5/16, 7:30 PM
Stephenson, Stephenson, 5/16, 7:00 PM
Waldron, Waldron, 5/10, 6:30 PM
West Iron County, Iron River, 5/8, 9:00 AM

Brainerd, Brainerd, 5/21, 6:00 PM
Carlton, Carlton, 5/23, 7:00 PM
Northland, Remer, 5/21, 6:00 PM
Triton, Dodge Center, 5/23, 7:00PM

Antigo, Antigo, 6/1, 8:00 AM
Ashland, Ashland, 5/30, 7:00 PM
Bonduel, Bonduel, 5/16, 7:00 PM
DePere, DePere, 5/17, 9:00 AM
Gilman, Gilman, 5/20, 5:30 PM
Hayward, Hayward, 5/22, 2:00 PM
Hortonville, Hortonville, 5/7, 6:30 PM
Hurley, Hurley, 5/23, 6:30 PM
Kaukauna, Kaukauna, 5/23, 7:00 PM
Laconia, Rosendale, 5/9, 7:30 PM
Luxemburg Casco, Luxemburg, 5/25, 9:00 AM
Marathon, Marathon, 5/23, 7:00 PM
Menomonee Falls, Menomonee Falls, 5/29, 6:30 PM
Northeastern Wisconsin Lutheran, Green Bay, 6/2, 10:30 AM
Osceola, Osceola, 5/14, 7:30 PM
Park Falls, Park Falls, 6/1, 9:00 AM
Rice Lake, Rice Lake, 6/1, 8:00 PM
Saint Croix Falls, Saint Croix Falls, 5/7, 6:30 PM
Three Lakes, Three Lakes, 5/16, 7:00 PM
Tomahawk, Tomahawk, 5/23, 7:00 PM
Wautoma, Wautoma, 5/23, 6:00 PM
Wrightstown, Wrightstown, 5/30, 6:30 PM


Hi Dennis,
I was rummaging through some old things and came across a bunch of old Michigan Tech Lodes. I thought this article from 1970 about Jim & Ingrid Croce might interest you (see attached file).

Tom Brayak

Editor's note: Tom, this is great. I made a link to it here: <http://www.admin.mtu.edu/alumni/techalum/images/Croces.jpg>


We had some pretty horrendous winters while I was at Tech in the late 50s and I don't remember the campus ever shutting down. I do remember hitching a ride with Dr. Barman (Math Department) in from Chassell (or "Sassell", if you prefer) one morning from the Sig Rho House when it was 34 below. Of course, that was a few years ago when I was young and even more foolish. Fortunately, my timing was such that I only stood there on the roadside a few minutes, otherwise I might still be standing there, a lasting monument to stupidity.

David Elack, '60


When I read last weeks TechAlum News I noted that the Civil engineering department did very well and will be competing at Nationals in Seattle WA. When is this competition and where in the Seattle area is it so I can go and cheer on the Tech team?

I live only a couple of hour drive from Seattle and I'm sure they could use some cheering from some Michigan Tech grads like myself who have relocated to the great Pacific Northwest!

Ed Strieper
BS ChE 1978

Editor's note: The nationals will be held June 14-16 at the University of Washington in Seattle, and more than one alum has expressed an interest in attending. The website is here: <http://content.asce.org/inside/nccc2007/>


Your readers may be interested in this very old video of Michigan:


James Martin, 88


I think all alumni should fill out this college survey questionnaire especially pertaining to how safe Michigan Tech is compared to other universities in light of what happened at Virginia Tech.  Maybe resend another mass email reminding the alumni.


Bonnie Janssen 1984

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, Annual 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

Coordinator, International Admissions, International Programs & Services

Analyst/Programmer, Administrative Information Services

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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