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19 Keweenaw Alumni Chapter Holiday Social, Houghton

28-29 Great Lakes Invitational Hockey Tournament, Detroit

8 A Big Band Show—Jazz Concert, Traverse City


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They Might Be Giants rocked the Rozsa.

December 3, 2007 (Vol. 14, No. 16)

A bimonthly 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
* They Might Be Giants
* At Tech
* Tech Sports
* Around the Keweenaw
* From the Email Bag
* Featured Alumni Benefits
* Job Opportunities

Women's Hockey Club in action.

Campus mall between the library and MUB.

They Might Be Giants

We remained in the 1980s and 1990s again this weekend, but this time we enjoyed the music of alternative rock legends They Might Be Giants, who played to a nice crowd at the Rozsa Center Saturday night.

The first thing they did was get much of the crowd up on their feet and packed in at the front of the stage. I didn’t venture into the pit, but many students did (including my son and his date), and it had the feeling of rock concerts of long ago.

The band was astonished at our weather, as we've just had a week’s worth of heavy snow and were still getting snow-blown Saturday night. They joked that they’d be playing here again Sunday from the looks of it.

Their musicianship was impressive. Besides the two Johns: Flansburgh and Linnell, who played guitar and keyboards, the rest of the band was very talented. And, as a fan of the accordion, I always appreciate when the old squeezebox is used in concert. Must be my polka roots. They played many of their hits, including "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)," "Particle Man," and the theme from Malcolm in the Middle, all 33 seconds of it.

They allowed all their players to take turns on solos, and the bass guitar and drums had the seats vibrating, as I was only about ten rows back. Their staging and lighting was minimal but impressive, and for their “high-tech” effect, they used a slide show and screen for “phone calls to the dead in the permafrost of Houghton.” The “dead” sang along.

By the end, the crowd exhorted them to come back for a couple of encores, and they ended with “New York City,” a song about their hometown and loved ones.

And, it was good to slide back home afterwards, ears-a-ringing, to the warm, holiday-decorated house and Huskies hockey (who split this weekend at Minnesota) on the radio. If the hockey and basketball Huskies keep playing well, they might be giants, too.


Snowfall Totals

Snowfall to date: 27.25"
Depth on ground: 18"

Snowfall total last week: 4.25"
Depth on ground last week: 0"

Snowfall total last year: 15.5"
Depth on ground last year: 5.5"

At Tech

MICHIGAN TECH RISES IN NSF RANKINGS, MATH MAKES TOP 100: Michigan Tech has moved up six places in the National Science Foundation's annual report on research expenditures, to 173rd from 179th, Vice President for Research David Reed has announced. Most notably, the Department of Mathematical Sciences has seen a phenomenal boost in the rankings. In its breakdown of research expenditures by field, the NSF publishes only the top 100, and in fiscal year 2005, Michigan Tech's math department did not make that list. But in FY2006, it rocketed up to 79th.


Tree uncovered near Arnheim

A PREHISTORIC FOREST RISES FROM A FARMER'S POND: Dennis Myllyla thought he'd struck a fine bargain with the Michigan Department of Transportation. MDOT would get fill for a nearby highway construction by dredging a pond on his farm near Arnheim, Mich., and Myllyla would get the pond. Neither Myllyla nor MDOT expected to find a prehistoric forest too. But that's exactly what they uncovered, about 15 feet down.


Powerhouse Building in Houghton

MICHIGAN TECH, GE AVIATION PARTNER TO KEEP WORK IN MICHIGAN: GE Aviation of Grand Rapids, Mich., has announced an expansion of its University Development Center in Houghton, Mich. The new facility, a partnership with Michigan Technological University, will bring 50 new jobs to Houghton—the home of Michigan Tech—and employ engineering students to do exactly the kinds of work that they are studying at the University.


PROFESSOR EMERITUS NAMED TO ENGINEERING ACADEMY BOARD: C. Robert Baillod, professor emeritus and former chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has been elected to a three-year term on the Board of Trustees of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers (AAEE). Baillod was one of two board-certified environmental engineers elected to a three-year term by the AAEE membership.

Tech Sports

Sophomore guard Katie Zimmerman

WOMEN DOWN DEFENDING GLIAC CHAMPS GANNON, 76-65: Behind 24 points from Katie Wysocky and a career-high 18 points from freshman Lisa Staehlin, Michigan Tech triumphed over defending Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champion Gannon, 76-65, today at the Hammermill Center. The Huskies (4-2 overall, 2-0 GLIAC) shot 53 percent from the field and 86 percent at the foul line to win their fourth straight.


GANNON TAKES 75-65 WIN OVER TECH MEN: Gannon knocked down 8-of-14 3-pointers and defended its home court with a 75-65 victory over Michigan Tech in men’s Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference basketball action today at the Hammermill Center. Senior Tim Strom scored 16 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds but it wasn’t enough as the Huskies fell to 3-3 overall and 1-1 in the league.


HUSKIES FALL TO MINNESOTA, 3-1: Junior Michael-Lee Teslak made 34 saves for Michigan Tech but the Huskies could not complete the sweep of Minnesota losing 3-1. The Huskies fall to 6-7-1 overall and 5-6-1 in the WCHA while the Gophers improve to 8-7-1 and 3-6-0 in the WCHA.


Seth Soley

SIX PLAYERS SIGN WITH MICHIGAN TECH HOCKEY TEAM: Four players have signed National Letters of Intent to join the Michigan Tech hockey team for the 2008-09 season while two others have committed for the 2009-10 season. Seth Soley, a 6-0, 190 lbs. forward, has appeared in five games this season for the Omaha Lancers who lead the USHL West Dvision with a 13-5 record. The Elk Mound, Wis., native has scored two goals and added three assists. Soley has joined the Lancers after competing in the Upper Midwest High School Elite League. He led the league in points with 46 (23 goals and 23 assists) in 12 games for Team Wisconsin.


TICKETS ON SALE FOR GLI: Join your friends and fellow alumni to cheer on our Michigan Tech Huskies!

Since its founding by Michigan Tech in 1965, the Great Lakes Invitational Hockey Tournament has brought thousands of Michigan Tech alumni, Husky fans and friends to the legendary Joe Louis Arena for what is one of the greatest traditions in college hockey.

Friday, December 28, 2007
4:36 pm U of M vs. Providence
8:06 pm Michigan Tech vs. Michigan State

Saturday, December 29, 2007
4:06 pm Consolation Game
7:36 pm Championship Game

Metro Detroit Chapter
As part of the fun, you're invited to a social event under the stands in the Garden Room hosted by the Metro-Detroit Chapter of the Michigan Tech Alumni Association!

Several great ticket options are available for both students and families. Ticket orders due by December 4, and will be mailed by December 11. All Michigan Tech Alumni are eligible to win a FREE hotel stay upon registration. Get your tickets today at: to register.


Upcoming Athletic Events

Wednesday, December 5
5:30 p.m., Women's Basketball vs. Minnesota Duluth

Saturday, December 8
1:00 and 3:00 p.m., Women's and Men's Basketball at Northern Michigan
TBA, Women's and Men's Nordic Skiing UP Collegiate Challenge Meet

Sunday, December 9
TBA, Women's and Men's Nordic Skiing UP Collegiate Challenge Meet

Tuesday, December 11
7:00 p.m., Men's Basketball vs. Wisconsin-Stout

Friday, December 14
7:35 p.m., Hockey at Northern Michigan

Saturday, December 15
1:00 and 3:00 p.m., Women's and Men's Basketball at at Findlay
7:07 p.m., Hockey vs. Northern Michigan
TBA, Men's Nordic Skiing, Pre US National Championships/Michigan Tech Christmas Classic

Around the Keweenaw

Adapted from the Daily Mining Gazette

THOUSANDS OF SMILES SPREAD FOR MILES; ROTARY/ROTC SEND STUFF ANIMALS: What started out as an afternoon of spring cleaning for Jack Ham snowballed into a project spanning clear across the globe. It all started with a bag of stuffed animals he found kickin’ around the house. That’s when he approached Michigan Technological University ROTC Commander Dallas Eubanks and together, the Houghton Rotary members came up with the idea of sending Beanie Babies and other small stuffed animals to U.S. Army troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.


UPPCO REQUESTS HYDRO LANDS: The destiny of hundreds of acres of property surrounding six Upper Peninsula Power Co. hydroelectric impoundments in the western and central U.P. is now in the hands of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.


SIGN OF THE TIMES: Will there be an electronic signboard by the new Arby’s? It’s not clear yet. The Houghton City Council Wednesday came to a consensus against the proliferation of signs, but will look for more specifics from City Manager Scott MacInnes on square-footage requirements.


EARLY DEER NUMBERS UP; HUNTERS DOWN: Preliminary deer check numbers in: Preliminary numbers are in for the firearm deer hunting season in the western Upper Peninsula. Hunters have reported seeing more deer. But according to the Michigan DNR, there were less hunters out there, and they were mostly from the area.At the Marquette check station alone, 530 deer were registered, that's up 25 percent from last year. Crystal Falls was up 32 percent and Baraga was up 22 percent, while Escanaba was about on par with last year, only up by 4 percent. However, not all the numbers have come in yet, and the DNR will be compiling them through January.


A BUILDING OF DISTINCTION: Temple Jacob only active synagogue on National Register: There are many historic buildings in the Copper Country, and it takes something special to make any individual building stand out. One historic building with that something special is Temple Jacob in Hancock, whose members are getting ready to celebrate Hanukah.


From the Emailbag

Editor's Note: This great response came in for our student researcher. Send yours to me, and I'll pass them on.

Dear Michelle: Memories of DHH, as a freshman in 1952-53. I arrived in Houghton on the Copper Country Limited, an overnight train ride from Chicago. I had never been to the UP. I got off the train on the shores of Portage Lake and looked across to the remnants of the old Quincy Hill mine, all rusted and falling down. I thought, "Where in the hell am I?" I was bused up to DHH. I remember first seeing the big old red oaks in front. Beautiful trees that soon covered the ground with fallen leaves.

Freshmen came a week early to become acquainted with the campus, and be hazed by a crew of sophomores. A big event was the flagpole rush, held behind the old Sherman Gym. A wooden pole was set in the ground, greased, and an item of woman's underwear was nailed to the top of the pole. It was the frosh' job to retrieve the panties. The Sophs were to defend the pole. A few of us decided to tip the scales in our favor by going out the night before the rush, digging down a foot, sawing the pole half-way through, and recovering our work. The next evening, we had a great time wrestling with those we thought were sophomores. They knew each other, we didn't. I recall that we spent a lot of time trying to push Tom Corcoran up the pole; but he just didn't seem to be able to make it. Later, I became friends with Tom. He was a sophomore! After sufficient fun, we pushed the pole over and retrieved the unmentionables. Then we carried the top of the greased pole to DHH and deposited it in the recreation room next to a first-floor entrance.

I recall an upper classman I met in front of DHH, who scared me by saying that MCMT (Michigan College of Mining and Technology) was a tough school. I decided to give it my all and graduated in 1956. But there were some freshmen who were not ready for the academic rigor. Several never returned after Thanksgiving break.

It wasn't all study, however. There were still some hijinks in DHH. We were were watched over by a few upperclassmen who lived in the Dorm. One night, someone removed a bowling ball from the new Student Union (one of very few buildings left from the Tech I remember). During evening study hours, the ball was rolled down the hallway, bashing into the dorm monitor's room door. Most of us were in on the prank and watched the rolling ball. As soon as it hit, doors slammed shut all up and down the hallway.

No one thought it a problem when I kept a shotgun in the dorm closet, for partridge hunting. Far cry from the level of campus security needed today. Just a few "blocks" from DHH, and one could be in woods and pretend he was grouse hunting. It wasn't good habitat: for that one needed to go further. Of course, Wadsworth Hall was not there, and that was the direction I went.

There was only one paved road coming into Houghton, from L'Anse and Iron Mountain. The road to the west was gravel. Route 41 came right through the campus, curving in front of Sherman Gym and DHH and headed west. Someone living in a big white house across the road from DHH owned a large Saint Bernard dog that often slept on the snow in the middle of the road. There wasn't much traffic and everyone expected him to be there and watched for him.

The locals called us "toots." Do they still do that? I suppose there were about 15 female students, most in a medical technology 2-year program. Half of them were married. So there wasn't much mixed-sex social life on campus.

Memories from DHH. One of the highlight years of my life!

Jim Bailey


The latest Alumni News had a blurb about the YES! EXPO. Along side was a pic of a FIRST LEGO League competition table (and team) for this year (I know because I coach a team in Ohio). The article doesn't mention FLL at all. Was this photo misplaced, or can you elaborate on FLL in Michigan and/or any connection between Tech and FLL? Don't give away any strategies though. Teams in Ohio compete in the first 2 weeks of December :-)

If you or your readers don't know about FLL, check out these sites:

FLL International Site
FLL Ohio site
FLL Michigan site

Matt Heikkila '87

Editor's Note: Matt: I talked to Pete Cattelino, who is in charge of the YES! Expo, and this is his response.

FIRST Robotics and FIRST Lego League had demonstration activities at YES! Expo in Detroit on November 8. Both groups have been involved in YES! Expo for the past several years to encourage student attendees and teachers to become involved in FIRST and start teams in their schools. The mission of YES! Expo is to inspire middle and high school students to pursue education and careers in engineering and science.


"Nimrod Nation" documentary mini series:


Scott Hartz


Hi Dennis,
I know this is a strange request, but I was reading an article in a TechAlum News dated Aug 28, 2006 that said "After setting three Guinness World Records in February during Winter Carnival, Michigan Tech has had another first. The world's biggest snowball and the world's biggest snowball fight were featured on the Aug. 24 "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" in the "Cold America" segment. Those hard-nosed fact-checkers at Comedy Central also credited Tech with making the world's largest cup of hot cocoa, which may possibly have actually happened without anyone telling us about it, and an aborted attempt to make the world's largest snowman."

I know this is an odd request, but a client of mine needs to know the record for the largest cup of hot chocolate, and since your students have broken the record, I'm hoping you may have that information on file.

If you or any students can offer any information, I'd greatly appreciate it- and if you could let me know by the end of that day I'd REALLY appreciate it!

Juli McGlynn

Editor's Note: Juli: we were able to locate one in Appleton, Wisconsin: <>.


Hockey Free Weight Fundraiser
The Michigan Tech Blue Line Club is raising funds to purchase additional free weights for the hockey Husky program. You can help with a donation of any size -- every dollar donated will help to purchase one pound of weight for the hockey program.

Donors are invited to fill out a "free weight" cutout for display in the Blue Line Club skybox at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. Copies of the form will be available in the skybox during the December 15 NMU game. The form is also also available online under the "spirit groups" link from

Further information is available from Blue Line Club president Kathy Pintar ( and vice president Erik Nordberg (


Featured Alumni Benefit

A Great Way to Support Your Alumni Association PLUS hundreds of deals at places you shop the most…

Your Michigan Tech Alumni Association has created a FREE shopping mall for all alumni and friends.
Members of our shopping mall will receive cash back on purchases made in any of the nearly 1,000 different stores associated with the shopping mall. Cash back ranges from 1% to more than 20%. In addition:

• You'll find great coupon codes at many of our partner stores.
• We post new deals and sales every single day so you find up-to-date shopping information.
• Your Alumni Association also earns cash back on any purchases you make through your shopping mall. These funds support programming for Michigan Tech alumni and students.

Start earning cash back today and also support your Michigan Tech Alumni Association. Just visit


More Alumni Benefits & Services information <>

Class Rings
Diploma Frames
License Plates
University Images Michigan Tech Clothing & Giftware


Job Opportunities This Week

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

Staff Assistant/Technical Writer, Michigan Tech Transportation Institute, LTAP/TDG
Position duration dependent upon external funding

Assistant Research Scientist, School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science
Position duration dependent upon external funding
Position based in Rhinelander, Wis.

Tenure-Track Associate Professor/Professor/Program Chair, Construction Management, School of Technology



For off-campus jobs, go to the alumni section of the Career Center website for alumni jobs.

Also, there is a new local job board.


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

Dennis Walikainen
University Marketing and Communications
1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, MI 49931-1295
(906) 487-3510