March 10, 2008
Vol. 14, No. 21

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Uphill, Downhill, Across the Bridge

Uphill, Downhill, Across the Bridge

There was some great action on both sides of campus and locally in the last couple of weeks. The women’s basketball team won the GLIAC Tournament Saturday night, with a lopsided win over Ashland. There was a nice crowd there, considering most students were gone on spring break. After the game, the team was serenaded by Pep Band students who were still around, singing “You Are My Sunshine.”

The Huskies will now travel to Missouri to play in the NCAA Regional Friday night. The team is a nice combination tough defense, speed, and three-point shooters; and they have the potential to go a long way!

Downhill at the Walker building, the Department of Visual and Performing Arts put on the play “The Memorandum” (pictured here) and did a nice job. The story’s premise was: they introduce a new language to “improve” communications at an office. Of course, the language was gibberish, and the rest of the play involved unraveling the mess that the language created, only to create another mess. Funny stuff, and the set was incredible!

We also saw one of our daughter’s friends get married in Hancock, and we were reminded again of how we are getting older, as more and more of these events take place.

Finally, the local Calumet High hockey team won the Michigan state hockey championships, as we listened to a nerve-wracking overtime game on the radio. We all stick together when our local teams make it to the finals in the metro-Detroit area, and Saturday was Calumet’s turn (and they beat our Hancock team in a close game to get out of the region a week ago). And the Marquette High team was named "co-champions" as they played to an eight-overtime tie!

We are now enjoying our “spring” break (temperatures in the single digits; snowbanks above our heads) with a visit from our daughter and son. The family unit will be together again, for a while.

Dennis Walikainen '92

Snowfall Totals from the Keweenaw Research Center, Houghton County Airport

Season total to date: 148.5"
On the ground: 32.5"

Total last week: 145"
On the ground: 35.5"

Total last year: 129.75"
On the ground: 25"

At Tech

President Mroz Testifies Before Senate Subcommittee

Michigan Tech President Glenn D. Mroz testified before the State Senate Higher Education Subcommittee, at a hearing at the University of Michigan-Dearborn on Monday, March 3. Representatives of UM-D, the University of Michigan-Flint and Oakland University also testified about higher education in Michigan and the state's 2008 budget.


Clean, Green Snowmobiles


In the world of motorsports, "clean and quiet" don't often pair up with "driving excitement." But at the SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge, teams of college students from across the US and Canada are building green machines that still sizzle. All 17 will be showing off their sleds to the public on Wednesday, March 12, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Copper Country Mall.


Michigan Tech Board of Control Approves $6.15 Million Bond Issue

Acting to advance Michigan Technological University’s strategic plan and meet its primary goals, the University Board of Control today authorized issuing $6.15 million in bonds for buildings and facilities.

A portion of the bond revenue will be used to construct a new building at the Keweenaw Research Center at the Houghton County Memorial Airport and to perform maintenance to the third floor of the Memorial Union Building. The remainder is earmarked for purchase of the UPPCO building in downtown Houghton and related remodeling of campus buildings.


New Theater Program has a Tech Twist

by by Dennis Walikainen, senior editor

Michigan Tech’s newest degree program, a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Electronic Media Performance, offers potential actors more than a place to polish their Shakespeare and Arthur Miller. It will also make them more marketable, according to Roger Held, chair of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts.

“We know that 50 percent of an actor’s income comes from outside of the theater,” Held says. “We want to enhance the technical abilities of a film student, for example, so he or she will be able to work in industrial and educational videos. It’s a new approach.”


Alumni Around the Country

North Carolina Alumni Network

alumni gathering

North Carolina Michigan Tech Alumni, Elizabeth Lulich '94 and Randy Down '74, contacted the Alumni Relations Office and wanted to help jump start alumni activity in the North Carolina area. Jump start was an understatement as the March 1 Carolina Hurricane hockey game and dinner event was sold out in a matter of weeks with sixty Huskies alumni, friends, and family registered on HuskyLink.

Alumni were represented from the classes of 1960 through 2005. The VIP arena club venue was a great: right inside the RBC Center. Assistant Director of Alumni Relations Brent Burns '03, presented an update on Michigan Tech including a slide show and 2007 accomplishments video. Many alumni had not been back to campus in decades and were happy to see all the new and exciting changes and programs offered at their alma mater.

After dinner, the group rallied in the stands as the Hurricanes won decisively 5-1 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. All alumni left the event excited and eager for more Husky engagement and activity in their area.

Warren Sawicki '64 (chemical engineering): "It was great! My family enjoyed it very much. Met some wonderful people. Look forward to a Pasty Party next time. Again, thank you."

One of the big raffle winners of the night was Paul Ulanch '91 (biological sciences) and his family (pictured above) as they won the cuddly Husky Dog and Michigan Tech license plate.

Tech Sports

Women Claim GLIAC Tourney Title


Katie Wysocky

Michigan Tech torched the SDC Gymnasium nets with 14-of-19 3-point shooting to defeat Ashland, 81-53, and claim its first GLIAC Women’s Basketball Tournament title since 2001. The Huskies (23-7) cut down what was left of the nets following the win, which assured them a spot in next week’s NCAA Great Lakes Regional.

Tech drained its first nine 3-pointers in the first GLIAC Tournament Championship game in Houghton since 1995. The score remained close through the first 18 minutes, though, as Ashland made six of its first seven triples.


Wysocky, Rottier Make All-GLIAC First Team


Catherine Rottier

Three Michigan Tech women's basketball players received awards as the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference announced its All-GLIAC teams tonight during a banquet in conjunction with the GLIAC Final Four. Sophomore Katie Wysocky (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) and senior Catherine Rottier (Seymour, Wis.) were both selected to the All-GLIAC North Division First Team.


Hockey Huskies Split at Mankato

The Michigan Tech hockey team closed out the WCHA regular season with a 3-2 road win Saturday (March 8) over No. 9 Minnesota State. The Huskies (13-18-5, 9-15-4) out shot the Mavericks (18-14-4, 12-12-4) 33-25 in the contest.

“Our play tonight was a stark contrast to last night,” said head coach Jamie Russell. “We played well in front of both nets.”

Sports Events View Composite Schedule
at Orlando Women's and Men's Tennis
at Missouri S&T, NCAA Regional, Springfield, Missouri Women's Basketball, 1:00 p.m.
at North Dakota Hockey, 8:37 p.m.
at North Dakota Hockey, 8:07 p.m.
at North Dakota (if necessary) Hockey, 8:07 p.m.
at Canadian Nationals, Vancouver, BC Women's and Men's Nordic Skiing
at St. Cloud State Women's Tennis, 3:00 p.m.
at St. Cloud State Women's Tennis vs. SW Baptist, 9:00 a.m.

Around the Keweenaw

adapted from the Daily Mining Gazette

Congress Wants Lakes Report

A congressional committee, which includes two Michigan representatives, is seeking information from the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about a report finished in July but not yet released concerning the health of people living around the Great Lakes.

The members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee want to know why the report, called “Public Health Implications of Great Lakes Areas of Concern,” has not been released and why its author, Dr. Christopher De Rosa, was demoted after trying to get the report released to the public.


Powerline is Nearly Built

American Transmission Company expects to wrap up work on a major power line installation later this month or early in April. The new, 14-mile transmission line runs from a substation in Atlantic Mine to Laurium. It is one of two major transmission lines serving the Keweenaw Peninsula north of the Portage Lake Canal.


Happy Birthday PastyCam

A popular Keweenaw Web site is celebrating its 10th anniversary today. Known to its online community as the Pasty Cam, features a different Upper Peninsula photograph each day, ranging from scenic views to historical images to unique photos only Yoopers would appreciate. “I think that’s one of the unique features that keeps people coming back,” said Charlie Hopper, owner of the site’s host, Pasty Central and Internet provider Pasty.NET. “They know that every day there’s something new.”


From the Email Bag

To all Michigan Tech Alums...

The following is open to all people and is intended as a fundraiser for cancer research in honor of two fellow MTU Alums that were lost to the disease. Feel free to pass this along and we hope you can attend!

2nd Annual Spring Swing and Social
Connie (Ernst) Harris and Kathy Cramer Memorial Golf Outing
(To Support Detroit Komen Race for the Cure)
Friday, May 16, 2008
1:00 p.m. Shotgun Start
Devils Ridge Golf and Country Club of Oxford
Four-Person Scramble

Please contact Denise Girschner (248) 922-0572 if you are interested. Thanks!

We heard of an alum who's done pretty good for herself:

Click Here

Regarding Pajama Parades

The following was sent to Lode writer Elise Herron, who was looking for alumni stories.

The "Pajama Parade" was some sort of tradition, I gather. MCM&T freshmen dressed up in pajamas, then paraded through Houghton and over the old swing bridge into Hancock.

The last one was in October (I think) of 1957. Houghton police involved themselves, for whatever reason, unknown to me. Prominent in this ruckus was that intrepid policeman "Pasty," who was infamous to a generation of Tech students.

Anyway, the result was termed a "riot." I don't recall whether the Houghton "police" arrested any students. The students involved were mostly 18-year-olds, so I don't believe that alcoholic spirits were the cause. But the whole chain of events seemed overwhelmingly ridiculous.

I was not certain what precipitated the "riot," but it seems likely, in retrospect, that there was more than enough blame to go around. The Van Pelt administration reacted with "decisiveness" by terminating this holy Michigan Tech tradition.

Upon further consideration, perhaps the freshman class of '57 contained more than the usual share of nonconformists. This was the same class, too, when the Van Pelt administration, in its wisdom, decreed a "dress code" for the evening dormitory meal.

The men of Douglas Houghton Hall reacted by forming "The Sons of Liberty," because they were not about to "dress" for dinner. One thing led to another, and finally there was a "showdown," with all of its residents showing up for dinner in their usual khakis and blue jeans. Their meal cards were collected by DHH staff. The particulars were sent out to the wire services. Well, to complete the story, the Van Pelt administration wound up rescinding this "dress code," in all dormitories.

I should go a little further, however, and point out that the Van Pelt administration was doomed to failure from the beginning, for failing to take into consideration the many GI Bill students in DHH who had lived for years under the domination of the U S Armed Services. These guys were not about to be cowed by a mere college administration!

Very truly yours,

Frank Shoffner '62

Teaching Awards

Help select the 2008 Distinguished Teaching Award Recipients

Each year, Michigan Tech recognizes two educators for their outstanding contribution to the instructional mission of the University. The first stage in this process involves the identification of ten Distinguished Teaching Award finalists (five in the Lecturer / Professor of Practice / Assistant Professor category and five in the Associate Professor / Professor category).

Over 47,000 MTU Student Rating of Instruction scores from the spring and fall 2007 semesters were used to determine the ten finalists. The selection committee will solicit and review comments from students, staff, faculty, and alumni of Michigan Tech in making its final decision. Comments on the nominees should be sent to Nancy Seely,, by March 31, 2008.

The finalists are:

Associate Professor/Professor Category

Heidi Bostic (Associate Professor) Humanities
John Daavettila (Associate Professor) Technology
Randall Freisinger (Professor) Humanities
Linda Nagel (Associate Professor) Forest Resources and Environmental Science
Carl Nesbitt (Associate Professor) Chemical Engineering

Lecturer/Professor of Practice / Assistant Professor Category

Mari Buche (Assistant Professor) Business and Economics
Sean Clancey (Senior Lecturer) Chemical Engineering
Robert Froese (Assistant Professor) Forest Resources and Environmental Science
Ryan Gilbert (Assistant Professor) Biomedical Engineering
Robert Mark (Professor of Practice) Business and Economics

The process for determining the Distinguished Teaching Award recipients from this list of finalists involves the additional surveying of their classes by members of the Michigan Tech Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), a national leadership honor society. The Distinguished Teaching Award Decision Committee makes the final determination of the award recipients. The recipients of the 2008 Distinguished Teaching Award will be formally announced during the fall 2008 semester.

For a complete list of Distinguished Teaching Award recipients: Click Here

From the MTU Center for Teaching, Learning, and Faculty Development

Featured Alumni Benefits

Michigan Tech Group Insurance


Michigan Tech WorldPoints MasterCard

Show your Husky spirit and earn points too! This is the only credit card that supports your Alumni Association programs for students and alumni and earns points towards cash back, air travel, merchandise and more-all with no annual fee and a low annual percentage rate! For every new account that is opened and every purchase made with the card, Bank of America will make a contribution to the Michigan Tech Alumni Association to support programs for students and alumni-at no additional cost to you! Members may review information about the rates, fees, other costs and benefits and apply by clicking here or calling 1-800-932-2775. TTY users, please call 1-800-833-6262.


More Alumni Benefits & Services information <>

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

Job Opportunities

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

Clinical Counselor, University Counseling Services, Regular, nine-month position

Youth Programs Coordinator, Educational Opportunity, Position duration dependent upon external funding

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.