April 30, 2007 (Vol. 13, No. 47)

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:

Another Finals Week

Remember the pressure during finals week? How can we forget? It's got that heavy connotation: the end. It is the question regarding finals' questions: can you handle the heat, the all-or-nothing nature of the last beast? They can be some of the toughest academic hurdles.

Our resident sophomore has two finals, one today and one Friday. He's been holed up in his room for many hours, hitting the books like a Tech student should.

Out East, our daughter has finished her master's thesis and has started breathing again. That is, before hitting her finals, which come up a bit later out there.

It is another rite of spring: the snowbanks recede, the golf course opens, the snowbirds return (both robins and retirees), and students cram for finals.

They can see the end, and they can hear and smell the new season that finally has arrived.

Best of luck to all of them, especially the offspring.


At Tech

PEACE CORPS DEPUTY DIRECTOR TO SPEAK AT COMMENCEMENT: Michigan Tech will honor the achievements of more than 800 degree candidates during Spring Commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 5. A total of 674 bachelor's degrees will be awarded, along with 14 associate degrees, 42 doctorates and 94 master of science degrees. In addition, nine Master of Business Administration and two Master of Engineering degrees will be presented. Josephine "Jody" Olsen, deputy director of the Peace Corps, will give the commencement address and receive an Honorary Doctorate in Sustainable International Development. Amy Trahey, owner of Great Lakes Engineering Group, in Lansing, and a 1994 graduate of Michigan Tech, will receive the Outstanding Young Alumni Award. Other honorees include Harvard biomedical engineering professor David Edwards, who graduated from Michigan Tech in 1983 and will receive the Melvin Calvin Medal of Distinction; and Pedro Ortega Romero, president of the University of Sonora, in Mexico, who will receive an Honorary Doctorate in Engineering.
More: <http://www.admin.mtu.edu/urel/ttoday/previous.php?issue=20070424#2>


ROCKWELL PLEDGES $500,000 TO HOCKEY ENRICHMENT CAMPAIGN: Former Michigan Tech hockey player John Rockwell (1975-79) has provided $500,000 toward Michigan Tech's $3 million Hockey Enrichment Campaign, Rick Yeo, senior director of athletic development, has announced. The campaign has raised approximately $2.4 million and is slated to continue through June 30. "It is great to see results on the ice and the program looking so promising," said Rockwell, currently the chairman of the Hockey Enrichment Campaign. "I had a very rewarding experience at Michigan Tech and am pleased to be in a position where I can give back to the hockey program."
More: <http://www.admin.mtu.edu/urel/ttoday/previous.php?issue=20070427#1>


By Kimberly Geiger, outreach coordinator, College of Engineering

The 2007 Undergraduate Expo was a tremendous success, with 53 Senior Design, 11 Undergraduate Research and 23 Enterprise teams participating. Complete information, including details on team projects and award winners, can be found at <http://www.expo.mtu.edu/2007/report/index.html>.


HURT SELECTED FOR GM SULLIVAN FELLOWSHIP: Sophomore SherAaron Hurt, a business administration major, has been selected to be Michigan Tech's participant in the General Motors Sullivan Fellowship Program. The Sullivan Fellowship is based on the Global Sullivan Principles of Corporate Social Responsibility. Developed by the Reverend Leon Sullivan, they are a set of human rights principles to be recognized by business and industry. They include providing workers a living wage and a safe workplace, refusing to pay bribes and honoring intellectual property. Hurt was selected based on her grade point average, campus and community involvement, and ability to be an effective ambassador for the Sullivan Principles. She will receive an internship with GM, where she will evaluate her unit's understanding and implementation of the Sullivan Principles. The fellowship also includes a $5,000 scholarship for 2007-08.
More: <http://www.admin.mtu.edu/urel/ttoday/previous.php?issue=20070430#3>

Tech Sports

PIERRO-ZABOTEL RECOGNIZED ON NHL'S CENTRAL SCOUTING FINAL RANKINGS--BCHL Interior Conference MVP Set to Launch Michigan Tech Hockey Career Next Season: Michigan Tech hockey recruit Casey Pierro-Zabotel has been rated among the top 75 North American skaters eligible for the 2007 National Hockey League Entry Draft, according to NHL Central Scouting's final player rankings released today. Pierro-Zabotel inked a National Letter of Intent to play for the Huskies during the early signing period in November. Pierro-Zabotel, who was ranked 86th in the mid-term rankings posted by Central Scouting on Jan. 10, jumped up to the 75th spot in the final rankings. Among the 210 players included in the final Central Scouting rankings, Pierro-Zabotel is the ninth-highest-rated incoming player slated to join a WCHA team in 2007-08.
More: <http://www.athletics.mtu.edu/news.php?source2=news&source=0704250734mho.txt>


DRELLES LEADS HUSKIES AT GINA RELAYS WITH SCHOOL RECORD IN STEEPLECHASE--Hagenbuch Posts Strong Races in 1500 and 800 Meter Races: Megan Drelles posted a record-breaking performance in the 3,000-meter steeplechase to pace the Michigan Tech track and field team at the Hillsdale College Relays this past Friday and Saturday. The junior turned in a time of 11:36.36, which gave her a 19th-place finish overall, and a school record in the event. "Megan [Drelles] put together a very solid day, especially in the steeplechase," said fourth-year head coach Joe Haggenmiller. "She has been gradually getting better and better in the steeplechase, which is allowing her to post some strong times." Junior Kate Hagenbuch continued her strong spring by taking 18th in the 800-meter race (2:19:35), but her best effort of the weekend arguably came in the 1500 meters (4:50.90), where she took 36th against a very competitive field. Sophomore Danielle Holmgren and junior Andrea Metz each ran personal best times in the 1,500, and finished 42nd and 49th, respectively.
More: <http://www.athletics.mtu.edu//news.php?source2=news&source=0704290724wtr.txt>


WHITE SHUTS OUT BLACK, 16-0, IN ANNUAL SPRING FOOTBALL GAME--Short Tallies 196 Yards of Total Offense and Two Touchdowns: Quarterback Steve Short accounted for both of his team's touchdowns as the White defeated the Black, 16-0, at Michigan Tech's annual spring intrasquad game today in front of nearly 600 fans at Sherman Field. Short sprinted into the endzone from 11 yards out on the game's opening drive for a 6-0 lead. The scoring play was set up by a 36-yard pass from Short to Ben James on the first snap of the game. The defenses controlled play throughout the rest of the first half. Jamell Matthias intercepted Drew Schaft's pass and returned it inside Black territory with a minute to play in the second quarter. Two plays later, Short hooked up with receiver Keith White from 47 yards out. White made a nice adjustment on the play to come back to ball and make the leaping catch at the goalline.
More: <http://www.athletics.mtu.edu/news.php?source2=news&source=0704280302mfb.txt>


Michigan Tech NORDIC SKIERS HONORED AT AWARDS BANQUET--Owen and Lang Selected Most Valuable Skiers: Kristina Owen, who last month became Michigan Tech's first-ever Nordic skier to secure All-American honors in three consecutive seasons, topped off her tremendous collegiate career by taking home most valuable skier accolades as the Huskies handed out their annual team awards Wednesday. Freshman Jesse Lang was selected the most valuable skier and rookie of the year on the men's side. Owen, who finished eighth in the 15-kilometer classic race at the NCAA National Collegiate Skiing Championships in Jackson, N.H., also collected all-region accolades in both the freestyle and classic races at the NCAA Central Regional Championships. She finished fifth among Central Collegiate Ski Association (CCSA) skiers at the regionals and was named to the All-CCSA First-Team for her efforts.
More: <http://www.athletics.mtu.edu/news.php?source2=news&source=0704271153mns.txt>


Recent Results

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

Sat., Apr 28
FB Annual Spring Game: White 16, Black 0

Around the Keweenaw

Adapted from the Daily Mining Gazette and WLUC TV6

MISSING CANOEISTS FOUND: Two missing canoeists have been recovered in Keweenaw County. The pair was reported missing around 3:30 a.m. Sunday. They had been paddling on the Montreal River. Eighteen-year-old Russell Gross of Hartford, Wisconsin, and Dieter Rudolph, age 20, of Georgetown, Indiana, both listed at Tech students, were found Sunday morning, about two miles west of the river. Both were in good health. They told rescuers they felt they were not able to cross Bete Gris Bay and put into shore to spend the night.


PORTAGE TOWNSHIP PLANNERS EMBRACE PRESERVE IDEA: An effort to create a 1,000-acre forest preserve in Portage Township gained more traction recently with a presentation to the township Planning Commission. Keweenaw Land Trust executive director Evan McDonald and Jim Baker of Copper Country Trout Unlimited showed slides of the land, located by the Pilgrim River and Boundary Road. The KLT and Copper Country Trout Unlimited are partnering with the Forestland Group, which owns the property. To obtain a Natural Resources Trust Fund Grant, they must also partner with a governmental group. "It sounded very attractive at our Planning Commission meeting," said Supervisor Bill Bingham. At a township board meeting in March, McDonald cited several uses for the land, including fishing, hunting, hiking and education.
More: <http://www.mininggazette.com/stories/articles.asp?articleID=6693>


WILDFIRE BURNS 400 ACRES: A wildfire in Baraga County has burned 400 acres in the Baraga Plains area. No injuries or structure damage have been reported, but 6-10 homes were evacuated Saturday afternoon. The US Forest Service, DNR, and local firefighters are still at the scene just northeast of Sidnaw and will be back in the morning for clean-up. The evacuation order has been lifted, but the cause of the fire is still unknown.


MEN SENTENCED FOR KILLING WOLVES: The killing of gray wolves is an offense representatives of the Department of Natural Resources take very seriously. Two Michigan men recently found that out and are now serving sentences for separate incidences of shooting two of the protected animals. Lt. Tom Courchaine, DNR conservation officer in Crystal Falls, said on March 13, Robert Wudzinski, 70, of Richmond in downstate Macomb County, pleaded guilty in 98th District Court in Ontonagon to shooting a radio-collared wolf while hunting on Nov. 16 near Trout Creek in Ontonagon County. The shooting was discovered by a DNR biologist tracking collar signals in an airplane. The tracking device showed the animal had died, and the site was found by using radio triangulation. Wudzinski paid $2,150 in fines, costs and restitution, received nine months probation and lost his hunting privileges for the rest of 2007.
More: <http://www.mininggazette.com/stories/articles.asp?articleID=6675>


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/ae volunteer at their program. To participate in this excellent outreach opportunity, please contact Kathy at kross(at)mtu.edu or call 888-688-1885.

Buckhorn, New Market, 5/18, 8:00 AM

A D Johnston, Bessemer, 5/16, 1:00 PM
Algonac, Algonac, 5/25, 8:00 AM
Almont, Almont, 5/29, 7:00 PM
Belleville, Belleville, 5/9, 6:30 PM
Benzie Central, Benzonia, 5/23, 7:00 PM
Bloomingdale, Bloomingdale, 5/16, 7:00 PM
Boyne Falls, Boyne Falls, 5/25, 8:15 AM
Bullock Creek, Midland, 5/24, 8:15 AM
Calumet, Calumet, 5/22, 7:00 PM
Carman-Ainsworth, Flint, 5/29, 6:00 PM
Coopersville, Coopersville, 5/16, 7:00 PM
Corunna, Corunna, 5/23, 7:00 PM
Crossroads Charter Academy, Big Rapids, 5/24, 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
Galesburg Augusta, Galesburg, 5/17, 1:00 PM
Gaylord, Gaylord, 5/16, 7:00 PM
Gobles, Gobles, 6/1, 7:45 AM
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
Lakeshore, Stevensville, 5/24, 7:00 PM
Leland, Leland, 5/30, 7:00 PM
Lutheran North, Macomb, 5/21, 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
Orchard View, Muskegon, 5/22, 10:00 AM
Paw Paw, Paw Paw, 5/30, 7:00 PM
Rapid River, Rapid River, 5/21, 7:30 PM
South Lyon, South Lyon, 6/6, 7:00 PM
Sparta, Sparta, 5/16, 7:30 PM
Stephenson, Stephenson, 5/16, 7:00 PM
Utica, Shelby Township, 5/17, 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
Caledonia, Caledonia, 5/22, 7:30 PM
Carlton, Carlton, 5/23, 7:00 PM
Lakeview Christian Academy, Duluth, 5/23, 7:00 PM
Northland, Remer, 5/21, 6:00 PM
Sartell, Sartell, 5/30, 6:30 PM
Triton, Dodge Center, 5/23, 7:00PM

New Mexico
Carlsbad, Carlsbad, 5/1, 7:00 PM

Ontario, Ontario, 5/24, 6:30 PM

James Monroe, Fredericksburg, 6/12, 7:00 PM

Todd Beamer, Federal Way, 6/6, 6:30 PM

Antigo, Antigo, 6/1, 8:00 AM
Appleton North, Appleton, 5/23, 6:30 PM
Ashwaubenon, Green Bay, 5/23, 6:30 PM
Bonduel, Bonduel, 5/16, 7:00 PM
Cumberland, Cumberland, 5/17, 7:00 PM
Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau, Galesville, 5/23, 7:00 PM
Gilman, Gilman, 5/20, 5:30 PM
Hayward, Hayward, 5/22, 2:00 PM
Hurley, Hurley, 5/23, 6:30 PM
Kaukauna, Kaukauna, 5/23, 7:00 PM
Laconia, Rosendale, 5/9, 7:30 PM
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
Potosi, Potosi, 5/23, 7:30 PM
Rice Lake, Rice Lake, 6/1, 8:00 PM
Southwest, Green Bay, 5/23, 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
West High School, Green Bay, 5/30, 6:30 PM
Wrightstown, Wrightstown, 5/30, 6:30 PM


As a Michigan Tech alumni (Forestry BS, 84, MS 86) I would agree that the Virginia Tech campus and town are very similar to Michigan Tech and Houghton, just bigger. I have worked in the College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech since 1987 and one of the reasons I loved it hear from the very beginning was because it was so much like Michigan Tech. Thank you to all of you for holding the vigil last week and for all of your thoughts and prayers that I know have been coming our way. A number of other Michigan Tech alum have contacted me directly and they have all been such a blessing. Things are getting better here, but it is going to be a long time before things are normal.

Thanks again.


Les Fuller, Senior Research Associate
Virginia Tech
College of Natural Resources


Very glad to see that Michigan Tech students held a service remembering those slain at Virginia Tech. My oldest daughter majored in biochemistry at VT from 1996 to 2000 (wouldn't consider Michigan Tech--too cold and snowy, she had enough of that in Maine) and I can vouch for how beautiful the campus is, how demanding the chemistry, engineering and math courses are, and how safe my wife and I thought the campus was. What happened there unfortunately can happen on almost any college campus and there is no way a campus that size can "lock down" as the media would like us to believe. The town of Blacksburg immediately abuts the campus allowing anyone to walk onto the campus from numerous side streets.

The Hokies will recover but it will take time and much courage on the part of the students, their parents and all of the campus staff.

Tom Cieslinski, 63


I'm please to see that Tech had a vigil for the Virginia Tech students. One of my daughters begins her fourth year of veterinary school at Virginia Tech next month (no summer off between 3rd and 4th year). So over the last three years we've made the 200+ mile trip from the metro DC area to Blacksburg many times.

I definitely saw the similarities between Blacksburg and Houghton and she and I have had that discussion a number of times. Other than no ship canal the similarities are striking. For those that need help think Appalachia when you say Blacksburg and you will begin to understand. I'm not sure that I agree with Aaron's comment of the campuses though. Perhaps it's the 45,000-seat football stadium, but the scale from 6,000 students to 28,000 isn't just a little bigger.  However, I do think he got it right when he talks about the students and faculty being similar, which is really what matters.

Lou Bartalot '71 


While scrolling through last weeks email bag, I noticed the letter from David Elack, '60 about hitch-hiking to class from the Sig Rho house when it was 34 below. If he got a ride with Prof. Bahrman during that time frame as he states, he probably rode ensconced in a 1957 Willy's Jeep. In that case it couldn't have been much warmer inside.

Of course I walked to school that day.

Michael Bahrman, BSEE 1970


When I attended Tech from 1959-1964, a good quiet room for studying was a necessity. A room that had comfortable chairs, was close to the snack bar downstairs and the poolroom further down the stairs and fit the bill was the Weed room in the old Michigan Tech Union Building. But a burning question remains from those halcyon days-who or what was Weed?

Don Robinson, 1964

Don: After a little digging (and being able to remember the old Weed room in the old Union), the room was named to honor the Weed family. Stanley and his brother Clyde Weed donated $8,000 in funds that were used to refurbish and furnish the "Quiet Room" in the MUB. The room was dedicated on April 12, 1952.


Hi Dennis,
During my time at Tech (67-70) I had the opportunity to serve as an unofficial liaison between the school and the musicians that came through on the coffee house circuit. It was in that capacity that I met a young couple who limped into town in an old Saab during a late spring blizzard. They had blown a piston in the three-cylinder, two-cycle engine down around Escanaba and made it the rest of the way on the remaining two cylinders.

I had some crazy fraternity brothers who lived off campus and as seniors had pretty much blown school off for the rest of the year and spent their time playing with cars in the woods. We arranged for the Croce's Saab to be towed out there and ordered a piston from a dealer in Marquette. That meant that I had to take a week off from classes myself and spend it driving Jim and Ingrid all over the upper UP. The days were spent telling stories and visiting all around the Copper Country, old mines, ghost towns, funky bars. Nights were spent making music and listening to their shows. It was a very magical time for me.

It was with a bit of sadness on my part when it was time for them to move on. My fraternity brothers delivered their repaired car, they left me with an autographed copy of the LP that is shown in the Lode article. At that time, they were just one of the acts that came through town on the college circuit. They were special to me and left me with a lot of memories, but they were not well known. Over the years I shared that LP with many and remember saying that these guys were special.

It was years later in a bar somewhere when I heard a familiar voice coming from the jukebox. It was "Don't Mess Around with Jim" and a smile came to my face.  He had finally cracked the big time.

A couple of years after that, I was doing a late-night shift as a DJ at the local college FM station when a story came across the AP wire that Jim Croce had been killed in a plane crash. There were tears that night and more than one song played in his memory.

I still have that LP, scratched and worn. I hope someday to stop in at the restaurant that Ingrid owns in San Diego to say "Hi" from an old friend.

Thanks for the memories.

Douglas Fifield, P.E.

PS: I also wrote for the Lode at that time, but I can't remember if I wrote
the article you linked to.


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:

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

Assistant Research Scientist, Biological Sciences; position duration dependent upon external funding; position based in Grand Rapids, Minn.

Non-Tenure Track Lecturer and Director of Instructional Computing Mathematical Sciences

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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