For more information on other alumni chapter events, e-mail mtu_alumni(at) or see the alumni chapter site on the web:


21 Mt. Holiday Mixer, Northwest Michigan

27 Brunch at Marie's, Grand Rapids


1 Hockey vs. UAA Seawolves, Anchorage

7 Basketball vs. Grand Valley, Allendale

19 Job Fair, Houghton


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And, in the new email version of Techalum, there are new features that appear in this spot! You'll have to get it, through HuskyLink, to get it all!

The Clean Snowmobile Challenge returns in March.

January 21, 2008 (Vol. 14, No. 19)

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
* New and Improved Again
* At Tech
* Tech Sports
* Around the Keweenaw
* From the Email Bag
* Featured Alumni Benefits
* Job Opportunities

Time to buy those books.

Recent women's basketball action.
The Huskies are playing very well!.

New and Improved Again

In our ongoing effort to improve TechAlum, we are changing formats beginning Monday, February 4.

We’re sure you will like the new version, as we have created it, in great part, with your input. You will receive a simple email that will provide you with a link to a new, more-robust web version of TechAlum.

This does a couple of really great things: it makes our email message must cleaner since we are limiting the use of images and other items that bog it down, and it also allows us to do more with the web, which is a much better place for a newsletter to converse with you.

All the departments will remain: At Tech, Around The Keweenaw, Tech Sports, and, most importantly, the Email Bag—the heart and soul of TechAlum. It is through the Email Bag that we hear your voices, and that means the most to us (and probably you, too).

We are excited about the new format, and we will do back-to-back issues. February 11 will highlight all the Carnival happenings, and it’s an example of the special editions that we can do much more easily in this format.

Finally, I’d like to thank all of you for your input, patience, loyalty, and kind words as we continue to improve. You have made TechAlum a lot of fun to work on. In fact, you have made TechAlum, period. Our ongoing conversation with you has made it what it is, since its inception long ago.

It’s an honor to talk with you regularly, and rest assured, the best is yet to come.

Dennis Walikainen ’92


Snowfall Totals from KRC, through January 18

Snowfall to date: 89"
Depth on ground: 23"

Snowfall total last week: 72"
Depth on ground last week: 13"

Snowfall total last year: 59.5"
Depth on ground last year: 14"


At Tech

CARNIVAL SITE IS LIVE: The 2008 Winter Carnival website is now live and can be viewed at "Frightful Creatures with Chilling Features" is the theme this year, and the site features links to all the news and events.


ALUMNI TRAVEL PROGRAM IN THE WORKS: We hope you will help us plan a pilot alumni travel program to accompany five students in the first cohort of the Pavlis Leadership program on a pilot international project in Kumasi, Ghana, July and August, 2008. The program is structured as follows:

* July 1: Students complete a five week program on campus including cultural and language training with Michigan Tech Ghanaian students.
* August 4: Students spend five weeks in Kumasi, Ghana working on projects which may include:

1. Neonate heart monitor – acceptability, usage, guidelines, training issues with hospitals, clinics and midwives (assisting the International Business Ventures Enterprise team)
2. Investigate possible opportunities for placing computers for an NGO that wants to distribute computers widely throughout the country
3. Engineering World Health (EWH) opportunities for placing refurbished medical equipment
4. Identify needs in community and opportunities for EWB & ESW projects

Click here for more information on the Pavlis Institute for Global Technological Leadership.

To help us assess alumni interest in participating in this program, please click here to access the short survey.


MLK OBSERVANCES AT TECH: Michigan Technological University is holding a series of events Jan. 21-26, in recognition of Martin Luther King's birthday, observed Monday, Jan. 21. The MLK events are sponsored by the Black Student Association and Educational Opportunity. MLK Week observances are capped by the Martin Luther King Jr. Banquet, set for 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26. State Rep. George Cushingberry (D-Detroit) will be the keynote speaker; he will be introduced by State Rep. Mike Lahti (D-Hancock).


by Dennis Walikainen, senior editor, University Marketing and Communications

Moussa Sissoko, a 2004 civil engineering graduate, has been selected as Modern-Day Technology Leader in the 22nd Annual Black Engineer of the Year Awards and will receive the award in Baltimore this February. Modern-Day Technology Leaders are people of color who are shaping the future of engineering, science and technology through outstanding performance and achievements that merit national recognition. Sissoko is a structural engineer at Black & Veatch Energy in Ann Arbor.

For the SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge, 2008 is the year of biofuel. Set for March 10-15 at Michigan Technological University, the Clean Snowmobile Challenge is the Society of Automotive Engineers' newest collegiate design competition. Teams of engineering students from participating schools take a stock snowmobile and reengineer it to reduce emissions and noise while maintaining or improving performance.


HYBRID CRUISIN': A layer of packed snow covered M-26 from Ripley to Lake Linden. M-203 running along Lake Superior and the Portage Lake Shipping Canal down into Hancock was mostly white. “We haven’t seen dry pavement since we left Houghton,” Todd Cimermancic said. Behind the wheel of a 2005 Chevrolet Equinox he and a team of Michigan Technological University students have modified into a gas/electric hybrid, Cimermancic wasn’t criticizing local plow crews. He was just pointing out the reality of the conditions their vehicle — they call it the “Huskynox” — needs to perform in.


BELOVED FORMER TECH PROFESSOR DIES AT 51: Inetta Harris, a former Michigan Technological University fine arts professor and Juilliard-trained soprano, died in Oakland, Calif., Monday from long-term health-related issues. She was 51.


Tech Sports

TECH DEFEATS HILLSDALE, 84-67, IN BATTLE OF GLIAC DIVISION LEADERS: Four players scored in double figures to lead the Michigan Tech women’s basketball team to an 84-67 victory over Hillsdale today in a battle of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Division leaders today at the SDC Gym. The North Division-leading Huskies won their ninth straight outing to improve to 15-3 on the season and 8-1 in the league. The South Division-leading Chargers fell to 5-2 in conference play and 12-3 overall.



TWO HUSKIES REACH 1,000 POINTS ON SAME NIGHT: The stars aligned at the Student Development Complex Gymnasium tonight as two Michigan Tech basketball seniors — one from the women's team and one from the men's team — both reached the 1,000-point milestone in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) doubleheader.



HOT SHOOTING HILLSDALE HOLDS OFF HUSKIES MEN, 83-77: Hillsdale shot a blistering 81 percent in the first half and fended off a late-charging Michigan Tech team to claim an 83-77 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball win at the SDC Gym today. Tech’s Robby Springborn scored 26 of his 28 points in the second half, but the visiting Chargers kept pace and scored the most points of any Tech opponent this season.


SKI TEAMS FINISH FOURTH AND FIFTH AT NCAA QUALIFIER: The Michigan Tech men's Nordic ski team finished fourth and the women's team finished fifth at the second of four NCAA qualifying meets at the NTN Trails today. We left ourselves in a little bit of a hole," said head coach Joe Haggenmiller. "We will have better days in the future."


Upcoming Athletic Events

Thursday, January 24
5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Women's and Men's Basketball vs. Ashland

Friday, January 25
7:07 p.m., Hockey vs. Colorado College

Saturday, January 26
1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m., Women's and Men's Basketball vs. Ferris State
7:07 p.m., Hockey vs. Colorado College
TBA, Men's and Women's Nordic Skiing, Central Super Tour

Sunday, January 27
TBA, Men's and Women's Nordic Skiing, Central Super Tour
at N/A Central Super Tour

Friday, February 1
11:37 p.m., Hockey at Alaska Anchorage

Saturday, February 2
1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m, Women's and Men's Basketball at Lake Superior State
11:07 p.m., Hockey at Alaska Anchorage

All Times Eastern

Around the Keweenaw

Adapted from the Daily Mining Gazette

STORMY KROMER TO TALK WITH OLYMPICS: After the opening ceremonies of the 2006 Winter Olympics, Bob Jacquart was beseiged by more than 200 phone calls and e-mails asking him why the U.S. athletes weren’t wearing Stormy Kromer hats. Now Jacquart, owner of Jacquart Fabrics, which manufactures Stormy Kromers, has a chance to present his case for putting the iconic hat on the heads of U.S. Olympians. He has a meeting Saturday with the U.S. Olympic Committee’s CEO Jim Sheer.


A STRUCTURE FOR SAFETY; WEATHER TOWER GOES UP IN COPPER HARBOR: A new tower will act as more of a bridge for the people of Keweenaw County. “It basically provides a link of communication to people up here that didn’t exist,” Houghton/Keweenaw County Emergency Services Coordinator Jack Dueweke said of a new weather tower erected Thursday in Copper Harbor.


EASEMENT MAY THREATEN TREES: A request for an easement through the Houghton County Marina failed to receive approval from the Houghton County Board of Commissioners Tuesday. County Attorney Jim Tercha made the request on behalf of Franklin Township and the Portage Lake Water and Sewer Authority.


UP MAKES WEATHER CHANNEL TOP-10 WINTER LIST: It may seem like kind of a strange tourism promoter, but The Weather Channel recently picked the Upper Peninsula as No. 6 in its top-10 list of Winter Family Getaways. Whether or not that designation will translate into more tourist dollars is uncertain, but at least one marketing professional doesn’t think it will hurt.


From the Emailbag

Editor's Note: We've been on this "remember when" tangent lately, and I'd like to ask if any of you recall the days of the annual snowball fight across US Highway 41, between Wads and the Walker Building. It was a short-lived tradition, if I remember correctly.

Also, "Prince's Point" on the Keweenaw Waterway near campus: where'd the name come from?

And, I never did hear if Muddy Waters jammed with Tech students back in the 1970s.

As usual, thanks in advance for the info!


Regarding Concerts at Tech:

Back around '60 or '61, the Ralph Marterie Orchestra performed in Sherman Gym. I remember that, in between pieces, he told Jewish jokes. Laughter was sparse, not because of being offended - thank goodness for the absence of PC in those days - but hardly any of us knew what he was talking about.

Frank Shoffner '62


The most memorable--and not the most pleasant--concert I remember from my time at Tech was Winter Carnival--I think 1969.

Linda Ronstadt had her first big hit, "Different Drum" with the Stone Poneys during the Summer of Love--1967. When she was announced as the headliner for Carnival, we were all excited--we didn't get big names (as a rule) to head to the Copper Country in those days. When she showed up, she had another band with her (we later learned it was mostly members of what became the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band)--and they played nothing but country music. Slide guitar, Nashville twang, that sort of thing.

Trust me, this was NOT what most of us had come to hear--we had expected folk-rock and pop sounds. Bob Dylan was about to release Nashville Skyline, which brought country music out of the Grand Ol' Opry and into the pop mainstream, so perhaps we were seeing leading-edge uber-hip musicianship.
Soon after, Ronstadt also released a ground-breaking alternative country album, but not many of us were anywhere near that hip (unless you mean hip-deep in the snow).

Worse, Ronstadt was nearly dead drunk during the performance. When a few boos erupted, it got ugly as she started criticizing us as an audience. It was all rather weird and many people walked out before the show in Sherman Gym was over.

Mike Anleitner, '72


Dennis: I graduated from Michigan Tech in 1958 and during the '57-'58 winter, Louis Armstrong entertained at Sherman Gym. Being one of my all time favorites, I made sure I got tickets. My date? As I was married and living on Sheldon Ave., there is no way I would have gotten out of the apartment without my wife. The show was fantastic, as back then, most of the Louis Armstrong band were originals. I was fortunate a couple of years later to again see and hear him and his band at Northern Michigan University when he appeared there.

Jim Ombrello, ME 1958


Your piece on Tech concerts reminded me of how uncool we were back in the day.

During my years at Tech, I can recall only one "name" concert that was offered, and it took place in either 1955 or 1956. It was held in old Sherman gym, and featured the music of Eddy Howard and his orchestra. Their theme song was "Careless", a topseller in the late 1940's. Now how old is that?

Their music offered a sharp contrast to the fare offered on the local radio station which ran heavily to Frankie Yankovic or the Six Fat Dutchmen.

Ron Sadler
Forestry 1957


During the 1959-1961 time frame, I served as the audio tech for concerts in Sherman Gym. One year we had Louis Armstrong and the next we had “The Four Freshman”. My impression was that I didn’t get much chance to interact with Satchmo, but I did with the Freshman. Since I was leader of the local big band and a smaller group, I wanted the interaction. It was great fun and I think everyone enjoyed the concerts even though Sherman wasn’t exactly an ideal location. It was, afterall, the only choice we had. Both concerts were great!

Dave Funston


I saw Maynard Ferguson in the Gym. It must have been around 1990 give or take a year. I got up early and waited in line for tickets the first day (I turned out to be the only one in line that early), and ended up getting front row center. I believe a couple of my friends came along. It was a great concert in which he played a nice blend of old and new stuff.

Sadly, he passed away a year or two ago, so at MTU will be the last time I see him play.

John Andree
BSEE 1989
MSEE 2005


Recalling memories of concerts at MTU, my first, and most memorable, was freshman year, December 1980. Two housemates (from "Tucker Inn", 2nd floor Coed West) and I walked across the lift bridge to find Christmas trees. We ended up buying one at a tree farm, and "obtaining" two others along the way. I remember we rolled them down Mt. Ripley on our way back, and carried them back across the lift bridge and to the dorm. We hung the trees upside down from our lofts to let the bows reshape. That night, we went to see Head East, with Shooter as the opening act. We were quite sore & tired from the tree "hunt", but we thoroughly enjoyed the concert.

Dave Clark '84


Hi Dennis – I remember going to see Maynard Ferguson in the early 80’s. After the concert I was allowed to see him backstage before any reporters were even allowed back. My mother worked for the National Association of Music Merchants under the President, so I had the right connections. Maynard’s lips were still blue when I was talking to him!

Thanks for a great newsletter!!

Cindy Richardson Unangst
Class of 1983


Hi Dennis,
There was a Woody Herman concert and a Stan Kenton concert as well as Maynard there during the time I was there ('72 - '76). I actually have a recording of the Woody Herman concert. It was broadcast on WGGL and a friend of mine recorded it on his reel-to-reel. I have a CD now with that concert. It is very cool.

Art Rathke


The Northwest Michigan Alumni Chapter and Scholarship Group are hosting a mixer at Mt. Holiday Monday January 21st from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. There will be a gathering in the bar area and also tubing is available through Mt. Holiday ($10/hr/tube). If there are any questions people can contact me . Or they could also check out our new webpage: . Thank you.

-Tim Wolf '05
MTAS Publicity Chair


From HuskyLink:
In a past newsletter, I think you had a link to an article about the use of "eh" in the UP. Can you tell me how to access that again?

George Hermanson

Editor's Note: I sent George a link featuring a certain former student who lived in our house.


Hi Dennis:

This article appeared in the on-line version of The Wall Street Journal.

Regards…Tom Phillips


Featured Alumni Benefit

NEW Michigan Tech Email Service for Alumni

Alumni can now take advantage of a new email service provided by the Michigan Tech Alumni Association in cooperation with Michigan Tech's Information Technology Services.

Alumni email accounts include:
• Comprehensive virus protection and anti-spam software tools
• 100 MB of message storage space
• Message forwarding to another email address

Sign up for your alumni email account today through the HuskyLink online community If you are not already a member, visit for details on how to join.

Once you have set up your “” email account, you can access your email on the web from anywhere by visiting or set up your favorite email program (Outlook, Thunderbird, etc) to use Michigan Tech's email server.


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

Systems Administrator/Programmer, Educational Technology Services/Online Learning

Programmer Analyst, Information Technology Services



Information Technology Professional - Houghton, MI
Ford Motor Company, Information Technology, Information Technology Manufacturing Application

Job Details: Discover....
Driving to work each day and loving it ….
Love what you do. For most of us, work comprises a large portion of our time so it is important to enjoy what you do during those hours. At Ford Motor Company, job satisfaction of our employees is a top priority. Not only do we offer a challenging and rewarding work environment, but we also have a commitment to providing the best employee programs including employee resource groups, tuition assistance, community service, training, diversity, work life, recreation and significant product discounts. It is important to us that you excel personally and professionally while you put your career in drive with Ford Motor Company.

Relocation to Houghton, MI is required. Relocation costs are not covered for this position.

Level(s) of Responsibility: Experienced Professional
Hiring Location(s): Michigan, USA
Education Preference:
Employment Type: Full time
Russ Louks
ADS SD Supervisor
Phone: 32-29416
Cell: 734 612-1744

For other 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