May 14 , 2007 (Vol. 13, No. 50)

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:

Giving Back

The topic came up at a fundraiser this weekend, and a Tech alum was used as an example. The fundraiser was for hockey and the alum was Randy McKay '88. Since returning to the Keweenaw after his NHL career, Randy has been heavily involved in junior hockey programs and fundraising efforts on behalf of Tech and the local hockey scene.

There's a payback to the giving back: better hockey programs and facilities help create better players, and Tech can benefit, and has, from an improved talent pool. Hancock's Peter Rouleau lead the team in scoring and was most improved player this year, and he follows in the footsteps of Pat Mikesch, now assistant coach, and other Keweenaw players who have helped the Hockey Huskies over the years.

The improved facilities up at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena include other examples. The locker room, the Peter Grant Hockey Educational Center, the study facilities, and a new skating treadmill all add up to making this a great place to get and stay involved with hockey. Whether you are getting someone started on wobbly ankles or finishing up and settling down, it's true: you always get more than you give.

At Tech

MICHIGAN TECH RESEARCH INSTITUTE DEDICATION THURSDAY: Tech will dedicate its Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI) Dave House Center in Ann Arbor on May 17. The research institute was purchased from the Altarum Institute by Michigan Tech last year with a gift from the House Family Foundation, established by former Intel executive Dave House, a Michigan Tech alumnus. During the dedication, trustees of the Michigan Tech Fund, legislators and other invited guests will tour the institute, where research focuses on the development of innovative technology for measuring and analyzing natural and man-made environments. MTRI's 30 scientists and their student interns design and test sensors that can measure water quality, help eliminate traffic congestion and road safety hazards, assess factors contributing to global climate change, and conserve and protect natural resources.
More: <>


BOARD APPROVES NEW DEGREES: The Board of Control gave final approval Friday to two new degree programs, a PhD in Atmospheric Sciences and a BS in Health and Physical Education. The interdisciplinary doctoral program will take advantage of the growing number of faculty and grad students working in atmospheric sciences, in physics, geology and environmental engineering. The BS degree will "provide students with a broad scientific, theoretical and practical foundation in health and physical education." It will be offered by the Department of Exercise Science, Health and Physical Education. Both programs will begin enrolling students in the fall. The board also approved a proposal to change the name of the MS in Mineral Economics to MS in Natural Resource Economics, to reflect ongoing changes in the program. The board approved a request by the Department of Education to change its name to Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences.


TECH PROF--FEDERAL RULING MAY PUT ENDANGERED SPECIES IN DANGER: Ecologists and philosophers across the nation are protesting a new and narrowed definition of "endangered species." In a letter sent Monday to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and the House Committee on Natural Resources, they warn that the new definition-spelled out in a legal opinion from the Solicitor of the U.S. Department of the Interior in March-will substantially weaken the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973. Wolves, grizzly bears, and jaguars are among the species that could be hurt by the new definition, which limits endangered species to those simply "at risk of extinction." The scientists and philosophers protesting the ruling say that the original law defined an endangered species as one "at risk of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range."
More: <>


Tech Sports

VERDIE COX MEMORIAL HELD: Following is a link for the audio from Verdie Cox's Memorial at the Rozsa Center Friday, May 11, 2007. The speakers during the event were (in order): Bob Lurtsema, Jay Dishnow, Chuck Finkbeiner, Bill Lucier, Terry LaJeunesse, Jack Keily, Anthony Verdie Cox, Martha Cox Dufresne, and Thomas Verdie Cox. Vocalist--Jamie Derosier. Pianist--Barbara Merriman.

The audio file is 94 minutes long and 86 MB (extremely large), so it may take a while to load. Program actually starts more than a minute into the clip. More: <>


HAYNES STRIKES AGAIN WITH ANOTHER SCHOOL RECORD IN 200 METERS--Kayser Ties High Jump Record by Clearing 6' 8": Sprinter Robert Haynes (Lansing, Mich./Sexton) continued his assault on the Michigan Tech track and field record book Wednesday (May 9), as the sophomore turned in a first-place finish and program-best time of 21.14 in the 200 meters at the Aquinas Twilight Open. The performance not only broke his old personal best mark of 21.26, but it provisionally qualified Haynes for the 2007 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships May 24-26, hosted by Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C. Haynes has also provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 100 meters after posting a school record time of 10.48 at the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Outdoor Track and Field Championships last Friday (May 4). In addition, Haynes' record-breaking times in the 100 and 200 rank among the top 15 in all of Division II.
More: <>


MISHICA SET TO BE THREE-SPORT ATHLETE AT MICHIGAN TECH--Hancock Product Will Start Collegiate Career in 2007-08: Michigan Tech cross country, Nordic skiing and track and field coach Joe Haggenmiller has announced the addition of Christina Mishica (Hancock, Mich.) to all three program's rosters. She will attend and compete for Michigan Tech beginning this fall. A standout in three sports at Hancock High School, Mishica gained Michigan Interscholastic Track Coaches Association (MITCA) Division II All-State accolades on three occasions (2003-05) as a member of the Bulldogs' cross country team. She compiled a second-place finish at the U.P. Cross Country Finals in 2005 and ranked third at the same event in 2006. Mishica was recognized as a Division II All-Upper Peninsula selection in three consecutive seasons (2003-05). Her personal best time in a five-kilometer race is 18:56.
More: <>


Upcoming Events
Thursday-Saturday, May 24-26: Track and Field NCAA Championships, Charlotte, NC.

Around the Keweenaw

Adapted from the Daily Mining Gazette and WLUC TV6

STATE EDUCATION SUPPORT AT ISSUE, SENATE HEARING HELD HERE: University officials, including Michigan Tech President Glenn Mroz, testified to the importance of maintaining the state's funding for public universities during a state subcommittee hearing Friday. The Michigan Senate Higher Education Subcommittee held the last of four sessions around the state at Michigan Tech. Gov. Jennifer Granholm recently proposed a shift to a two-tiered funding system, where money for the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University would be handled in a different bill. Mroz said all of the state's universities need proper funding. "It's one of the essential ingredients in order to have the people and the knowledge to propel Michigan forward," he said.
More: <>


BIO-ATHLON GIVES STUDENTS HANDS-ON TRAINING: Seventy-two students from across the western Upper Peninsula competed in the 18th Annual Michigan Tech BioAthalon this week. Teams of four from 18 schools had to dissect and identify an animal and identify objects in the woods. Plus the students competed in a nutritional analysis and answered questions during a physiological test. The challenge was that they didn't know the problems beforehand. "Our teacher gave us all the animals that he thought we might end up dissecting and we looked over them all," said contestant Louis Hendges, from Bessemer High School.

This year students dissected a dogfish. Michigan Tech students helped out by dying the veins blue and red so the students would be able to find them easier. "They are either teaching here, or doing research here, and support the overall mission of the institution, and they're interested in helping students, and that's why they're here," said John Adler, the Chair of Biological Sciences at Tech. West Iron County won the contest, earning each student a $200 savings bond. Westwood High and L.L. Wright High Schools came in second and third place, also winning savings bonds.


GREEN BUILDINGS DISCUSSES AT WORKSHOP: Constructing environmentally friendly buildings cannot only help to save the green planet, it can also save green dollars. This was one of the lessons taught Monday by architect Robert Kobet during a workshop for Michigan Tech students, faculty and staff about green building construction and design. Kobet, a representative of the United States Green Building Council, spoke about the Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Building Rating System, also known as LEED. LEED is an accreditation system for green building construction and renovation. It focuses on a building's sustainability, innovation, indoor air quality and its water, energy and material efficiency. A point system categorizes LEED certified buildings as certified, silver, gold or platinum. Kobet said green building focuses on aligning environmental stewardship with economic opportunity.
More: <>

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) or call 888-688-1885.

All Saints Central Catholic, Bay City, 6/5, 9:00 AM
Crossroads Charter Academy, Big Rapids, 5/24, 7:00 PM
Delton Kellogg, Delton, 5/18, 9:00 AM
Dollar Bay/Tamarack City, Dollar Bay, 5/22, 9:00 AM
Edwardsburg, Edwardsburg, 5/24, 7:30 PM
Fremont, Fremont, 5/22, 7:00 PM
Holton, Holton, 5/21, 6:30 PM
Houghton Lake, Houghton Lake, 5/21, 7:00 PM
Johannesburg-Lewiston, Johannesburg, 6/6, 8:00 PM
Manistee Catholic Central, Manistee, 5/31, 7:00 PM
Onaway, Onaway, 5/16, 7:00 PM
Onsted Community, Onsted, 5/15, 7:00 PM
Saint Francis, Traverse City, 5/30, 9:30 AM
Saint Mary Cathedral, Gaylord, 5/31, 6:30 PM
Saint Joseph, Saint Joseph, 5/21, 7:15 PM
Stephenson, Stephenson, 5/16, 7:00 PM

Caledonia, Caledonia, 5/22, 7:30 PM
Mayo, Rochester, 5/23, 6:45 PM
Northland, Remer, 5/21, 6:00 PM
Rochester Lourdes, Rochester, 5/22, 8:00 AM

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

West Virginia
Hedgesville, Hedgesville, 5/23, 8:00 AM

Bonduel, Bonduel, 5/16, 7:00 PM
Park Falls, Park Falls, 6/1, 9:00 AM
Potosi, Potosi, 5/23, 7:30 PM
Saint Catherine's, Racine, 5/23, 6:00 PM
Shell Lake, Shell Lake, 5/17, 9:30 AM
Three Lakes, Three Lakes, 5/16, 7:00 PM
Waukesha West, Waukesha, 5/23, 6:00 PM



Michigan Tech 2007/2008 Alumni Scholarship, Awards Presentation and Annual Meeting

The Northwestern Michigan--Michigan Tech Annual Alumni Scholarship Committee (NW-MTAAS) will be hosting a combined Scholarship Award Presentation and Annual Business Meeting event. The event will be held at Ruby Tuesdays on Front Street on the East side of Traverse City from 5:30--7:00 PM on Monday, May 14. 

The session will begin with the announcement and introduction of our five scholarship recipients who represent High Schools from both Grand Traverse and Leelanau Counties. Linda Seder, Michigan Tech's Western Michigan recruiter will also be present and give a brief update on her role and some key future events at Tech.

The business portion of the meeting will include an update on our fundraising and other future activities and nomination and election of officers for the coming year. A social will follow.

Please be sure to mark your calendars and come meet this year's scholarship recipients!

Please RSVP to Timage03(at)


Guess which one of these 5 "most beautiful and a picture of healthy living women" is a Michigan Tech alum in the contest currently being held by Prevention magazine and ABC news?  For this contest the women were interviewed by ABC television and their interviews are on the web.

It's hard to get this link into your browser as a single line, but if you paste the whole thing in two pieces, it does work.


And you can vote for her to "win" the contest (she will appear on Prevention's magazine cover and her story will be printed)


John D. Protasiewicz

John: I cheated, with a little help from a friend, and discovered that the alum in question is Janet Vittone. It's a great story, and I think we should all give her a vote!


Hi Dennis,
In reference to recent letters about the Weed Room, I owe my Michigan Tech diploma to it!  During my junior year of too much skiing, card playing, and beer, I was placed on academic probation, and got an invitation to a heart-to-heart chat in Dean Meese's office. Winter term grades for my four classes were a C, D, F, & F.  I resolved to get away from the bad influences of my roommates, and my own non-existent study habits, by walking to the Union and studying in the Weed Room every night from about 7:00 p.m. to whenever it closed (11:00?). Absolute silence in the room was enforced by the "gunners" who studied there regularly. I can't remember for sure, but the atmosphere was probably smoky, in those unenlightened days.

There were a few lapses in my recovery (I had to walk by Chuck's Bar on my way home to the downtown Houghton apartment), but the plan worked. I had a much-improved grade point in my second junior year, then went on to somewhat coast through my senior classes, and walk with the graduates in Dee Stadium.

Blessings to the Weed brothers, and to the memory of Dean Harold Meese, one of the best.

Larry Doyle
Class of 1964
Grand Ledge, MI


Based on a trivia quiz question on the MTF web site, I got interested in the existence (or lack thereof) of the Michigan College of Science and Technology (MCST). The trivia quiz answer says it existed for 1 hour. My "investigation"
suggests that that may be an urban myth, though it is "plausible."

(For more details see: <>.)
In the course of this, I ran across an article in the gazette (reproduction attached <>) saying some students from 1963-64 had purchased MCST sweaters and rings in anticipation of a name change, which didn't happen.

I wanted to suggest that you simply run a copy of the gazette article in the Alumnus (by its new name which I forget) and ask the readers to send pictures of any MCST articles they may still have. 

Just an idea--this kind of quirky thing makes life more interesting.

Bryan Suits

Bryan: This is great, and another piece of history of which I wasn't aware. Okay alums, do you have any MCST memorabilia?


My husband is a graduate of Michigan Tech (1997). Our daughter is in the 4th grade and for their field day their class picked the Michigan Tech Huskies for their classroom theme. Each year it's something different. This year's theme is Colleges. Any way we have been trying to download the fight song... no luck getting the lyrics and music together. We found the words, and music, but cannot get how they are supposed to be sung together. Any chance as the webmaster you can hook us up... we want to make our classroom's Michigan Tech theme the best!!! Please let me know of any sites I can download, or even listen to. MUCH APPRECIATION!!!!

Teresa Caldwell-Fitzgerald

Editor's Note: I put a call into the Pep Band, and they came through with two versions, which are on their way to Teresa. They are also available here: <> and <>

From the Pep Band:

Don't laugh but the only version I found with both words and music was recorded back in 1948! You can hear the record scratches! I attached this version as well as an instrumental version from the pep band's latest album. You can really hear how the music has evolved.

Let me know if I can be of any more help.



Thanks for the report on Spring Commencement. It brought back a lot of memories. One comment made by our commencement speaker, in the spring of 1976, stands out in my mind.  She was talking about her trip to Tech when she said, "You can't get lost and end up here, you have to want to get here." It brought the house down.

Thanks for the memories.

George Teachman


Great to see you again and get caught up on the upcoming anniversary of the International Frisbee Tournament. My family and I sure enjoyed the early days at Eagle Harbor, Copper Harbor and Calumet. I was honored to be the bagpiper to the Foul Five and my son has several fine trophies as a reminder of his distance and accuracy competitions. Later, while at Tech, our daughter and her girlfriend kidnapped the Nachazel from the Lake Linden field ... in memory of the great chase when it was stolen in the early days. We'll be back up for the celebrations before the 4th.

Also, thanks for looking my book over and listening to my retirement story of the search for the source of continuing supply of toxins such as PCB, toxaphene and chlordane to the Great Lakes and the Arctic. At your suggestion, I visited the Michigan Tech bookstore and they will carry "Cold, Clear, and Deadly" in their Michigan section.

Mel Visser '59 Chem Eng

Editor's Note: Mel stopped by the Ad Building to chat and discuss his new book: "Cold, Clear, and Deadly." <>


Alumni Association Programs


For more information on other alumni chapter events, e-mail mtu_alumni(at) 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
Contact Suzanne Berkovitz sberkovitz(at)

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

Assistant Research Engineer/Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute, Position duration dependent upon external funding

Research Engineer/Scientist I, Michigan Tech Research Institute,
Position duration dependent upon external funding

Training Specialist, School of Technology
Regular, full-time position; variable shifts

OFF CAMPUS: For off-campus positions, visit the alumni section of the career center's web site (

CPA OWNER: Local one-owner CPA firm in Houghton, MI is seeking future owners/entrepreneurs to succeed present owner. A minimum of 10 years of practice and management experience in the CPA profession is considered minimal.   Experienced CPA Auditor is initially desirable however eventual complete succession to new ownership will require a minimum of two future owners to maintain current client base. Current practice employs 5 CPA's (including owner), 4 degreed accountants, 1 paraprofessional and two administrative staff.  Current owner has operated and owned practice for 22 years.  Current practice is technology oriented with an excellent staff that highly utilizes flex time.  Total years of experience for current staff, excluding owner, is estimated at around 65 years. More info: <> or email bruce(at)


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

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