October 20, 2008
Vol. 15, No.4
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Two Hands

shelden ave.

When we still had all our color.

A recent trip had me describing where I was from to people unfamiliar with the Keweenaw and Michigan Tech. I did the old "two hands" to show the Upper and Lower Peninsulas, which always helped locate us to the unknowing. It also caused more than a few chuckles.

I was wearing my academic hat this time on the road, and the people I talked to at the conference, however, were very aware of Michigan Tech, even if they didn't know exactly where the Keweenaw was.

I was surrounded by other graduate students, faculty, and graduates of Tech's rhetoric and technical communication program who were presenting or attending the conference. The RTC alums had gone on to jobs in Washington, New York, Illinois and elsewhere.

To say all the Tech people were held in high esteem would be an understatement. In many cases, they are nationally renowned in their areas of expertise. It's great to see our humanities department recognized as such. It was rewarding to rub elbows with them and all the other people who looked up to them as colleagues and mentors.

But it was even better to return home over the weekend, and I could put my hands to a different use, like raking leaves.

Dennis '92



He was up at the Huskies football game Saturday.

"The colors are fading away," he said.

The wind isn't helping. It's chilly.

"But the Huskies'll warm things up."

Sure enough, they came from behind for a fourth quarter win.

Are you a football prognosticator now? I asked.

"No, just a fan. And Saginaw Valley next Saturday should be a blast."

Given the alumni buzz about that game already, I think he was right, again.

At Tech

Research with Wolverine Power Cooperative on Biomass Energy

Michigan's forest industry produces thousands of jobs and hundreds of thousands of tons of unused residues each year. Why not use that woody material to help generate clean electric power? That was one of the important questions Wolverine Power Cooperative asked Michigan Tech professor Robert Froese and colleagues regarding the cooperative's Wolverine Clean Energy Venture near Rogers City, Mich. More

New York Man Pleads Guilty in 2001 Attempted Firebombing at Tech

Ian Jacob Wallace, 27, of East Setauket, N.Y., pled guilty Wednesday in connection with the attempted fire bombings of Nov. 5, 2001, at the U. J. Noblet Forestry Building and the US Forest Service Laboratory. As part of the agreement, Wallace pled guilty to one count of attempted destruction of US government property, instead of the more serious federal arson charges. More

DOE Gives Fuel-Cell Materials Research Center $1.2 Million

Michigan Tech's Center for Fundamental and Applied Research in Nanostructured and Lightweight Materials has just been awarded $1.23 million in continuing funding from the Department of Energy, bringing its total DOE support since 2004 to nearly $3 million. The center had its genesis almost nine years ago, when Professor Michael Mullins (Chemical Engineering) was tapped to serve on a National Academy of Sciences review panel charged with evaluating America's transportation energy needs for the 21st century. Super-clean hydrogen fuel cells seemed like a perfect alternative to greenhouse-gas producing internal combustion engines, but the panel identified some major shortfalls. More

Michigan Tech Announces Administrative Initiative

President Glenn D. Mroz has announced a new, multifaceted administrative initiative that aims to 1) better integrate research priorities into administrative operations, 2) respond to concerns expressed by the University community in the Climate Study, 3) address needs for succession planning, and 4) improve communication and overall working relationships among administrative units. A key part of the initiative is the transfer of budget operations. The Budget Office, headed by Debbie Lassila, which had reported to Mroz, will now report to Dave Reed, vice president for research. The change brings all research, budget and planning staff under one umbrella. In addition, a new Office of Institutional Systems Development and Analysis, led by the current controller, Mike Hendricks, will also report to Reed. A search to fill the controller's position will begin soon. More

Alumni Around the World

Alumni Meet in Alabama, Wisconsin, Colorado


Gulf Coast Gathering

Alumni, family and friends from the Central Gulf Coast region met at the Five Rivers Delta Resource Centre in Spanish Fort, Alabama to share Michigan Tech stories, eat barbeque, and hear a Tech update from Alumni Relations Director Brenda Rudiger.

The group took a pontoon boat ride around the second largest Delta in North America to view a variety of birds and even a couple of American alligators.

Guests included Don '50 and Janet Green, Merv Johnson '57, John '66 and Brenda Schmidt, Curt '73 and Marsha Johnson, Bob Johnson '73, Ed '77 and Precy Eiswerth, Bruce Renkert '78, Todd '87, Rhonda, Alexis and Josh Thorley, and Bret Wazny '08. Many thanks to event hosts Mark Mitchell '77 and his wife Sharon Knowles.

colorado collegeColorado Pasty Pre-game

Brent Burns '03, Associate Director of Alumni Relations, and George Tackels '46 of Colorado Springs, CO enjoy reminiscing about Michigan Tech.

More than fifty alumni and friends gathered at the World Arena Bar in Colorado Springs to have an authentic UP pasty dinner shipped in from pastycentral.com. Alumni from the classes of 1946 to 2005 were out Saturday night with even one alumni who traveled over seven hours from Kansas City to reconnect with friends and watch the Huskies play Colorado College in the first WCHA series of the season. The Huskies lost two close games Friday and Saturday night, but with the help of long time local volunteers Nick '75 and Linda '77 Milicia, and Kurt Eckert '76, the Colorado Alumni Network reconnected after not having a visiting Husky hockey team in the 2007-2008 season.

green bayPacker's Tailgate at Stadium View

Grant Botz '06 borrows his sister Lindsey's '01 newly won cheese head for the game.

The Green Bay Alumni Network and Paul Nygaard '93, local alumni leader and Alumni Association Board Member hosted the second area event with 100 attendees in as many months (Michigan Tech Football Game Watch - September 18th). A VIP area inside the Stadium View Banquet hall was crowded with Packer fans (and one Colts fan) enjoying each others company and an all-you-can eat and drink buffet. Many alumni and friends left with prizes ranging from husky stuffed animals to cheese heads. Thanks to Sally Heidtke '81, Alumni Association Board Member from Iron Mountain, four lucky fans received the grand prize, 20 yard line lower bowl tickets to watch the Packers beat on the Colts 34-14.

Looking for Outstanding Alumni and Friends!

The Michigan Tech Alumni Association supports a wide range of award programs to recognize the many outstanding achievements of alumni and friends. Consider nominating a deserving individual for one of the following awards:

Outstanding Service Award: presented to alumni and friends making significant contributions to the success of the Alumni Association and/or the University.

Outstanding Young Alumni Award: presented to alumni under the age of 35 who have distinguished themselves in their careers. The award recognizes the achievement of a position or some distinction noteworthy for one so recently graduated.

Distinguished Alumni Award: presented to alumni who have made outstanding contributions both in their careers and to Michigan Tech over a number of years.

Honorary Alumni Award: honors individuals who have provided service and support of the University characteristic of a dedicated alumnus or alumna. The Association reserves this award to recognize the strongest non-alumni supporters of Michigan Tech.

Help us recognize the many outstanding accomplishments and contributions of our alumni and friends! The deadline for nominations is January 1. Award recipients are selected at the Association’s Winter Carnival meeting each year and presented at the August Alumni Reunion.

For more information on the awards, past recipients and the nominating process, see www.alumni.mtu.edu/awards or contact the Office of Alumni Relations at alumni@mtu.edu 906-487-2400.

Become a Mentor


Share your experience with a student Have you been there, done that? Consider sharing your professional experiences with a Michigan Tech student through MentorNet.net, an online mentoring program that pairs students with industry professionals.

The benefits of having a professional mentor are vast. Students need to know what they should be doing now to be successful later, or what to anticipate after graduation. What better way to learn than to ask someone who knows firsthand what it is like to work in a chosen field? MentorNetís mission is to encourage diversity in science and engineering, but the program is looking for mentors from many majors represented, including business.

The program is free and available to students from any background. It requires about 20 minutes per week and it is all done by email! Visit www.mentornet.net today and sign up to be a mentor. Itís that easy.

If you have any questions, the contact for Michigan Techís MentorNet Partnership is Susan Liebau, Director of ExSEL and Academic Enrichment Programs. You can reach her at slliebau@mtu.edu or 906-487-3539. If you would like more information on other ways you can support Michigan Tech students, please contact the Office of Alumni Relations at alumni@mtu.edu, or call us toll free at 1-877-688-2586

Fill in the Blanks

Sig Eps
In the great GLIAC Championship year of 2004, the Huskies played Northwood in a "snow bowl."

I know of at least one more snowy game at Sherman Field with Northern and perhaps another with Ferris.

Do you recall these or any others?

Email me.

Fill in the Blanks: II

SAE cars
An alum mentioned Andy's Restaurant, and this photo shows owner Andy McCormick.

Any memories of this old Houghton eatery?

How about Andy's old store in Hurontown?

Email me.

View more sports >

Tech Sports

Huskies Come Back to Defeat Indy


Another week, another nail-biter and another win for the Michigan Tech football team. For the second straight week, the Huskies’ offense scored a fourth quarter touchdown and the defense made a big play at the end to preserve a victory—this one a 31-28 triumph over visiting Indianapolis at Sherman Field. Steve Short completed a 2-yard pass to fullback Michael Macpherson with 1:26 to play, then Michael Cardwell sacked Greyhound quarterback Lance Lasker on the game’s final play as the visitors were driving inside the Huskies’ 30-yard line. More

Hockey Huskies Lose 2 at CC

Michigan Tech battled with No. 3-ranked Colorado College for all 60 minutes, but it was the host Tigers who came away with a 4-2 Western Collegiate Hockey Association victory tonight at World Arena. The Huskies (1-4 overall, 0-2 WCHA) came within a goal in the closing minute before CC scored an empty net marker. CC jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the opening period, but the Huskies answered early in the second as Jordan Baker tallied his third goal of the season. Alex MacLeod and Bennett Royer drew assists on the play. More

Volleyball Team Splits Pair at GLVC/GLIAC Challenge


The Michigan Tech volleyball team split a pair of matches at the GLVC/GLIAC Crossover Tournament Friday (Oct. 17). Tech fell 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 29-27) to Missouri-St. Louis before posting a 3-2 win (25-23, 25-22, 18-25, 24-26, 15-8) over No. 17 Lewis. The Huskies, who are now 15-6 overall, avenged their 3-1 loss to the Flyers earlier this season. “We came out strong blocking against Missouri-St. Louis, but we didn’t play strong defense otherwise,” said head coach Krista Mikesch. “We had a lot of unforced errors and did not put ourselves in a position to win.” More

Around the Keweenaw

Keweenaw County Passes ORV Ordinance

The Keweenaw County Board of Commissioners Wednesday approved a proposed ordinance governing off-road vehicles on county roads. Keweenaw County Sheriff Ron Lahti recommended passage of the ordinance which would prohibit operation of ORVs on a public street or road with some exceptions for short distances between trail systems. The county's ordinance modifies Public Act 240 of 2008 which prohibits ORV operation on county roads, except in those counties allowed in the law to adopt individual ordinances. More

EDC Says More Money on the Way

After Robert Sawyer's tour of the Houghton/Hancock region Friday morning, the Economic Development Agency's Chicago regional director had a promise: There's more checks on the way. "I like to bet on a winner, and you're already winning here," he said at the former Upper Peninsula Power Co. building in Houghton. Taylor was one of many on hand to celebrate the latest of those victories - a $3.02 million EDA grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. to renovate the UPPCO building for Michigan Tech Economic Corp. SmartZone use, as well as a $500,000 grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. for a 20-year lease of the building's first floor. Tech purchased the building in July. More

Camping in the Poor Economy

The attendance at Michigan state campgrounds this past summer has been fairly good although down compared to last year due to a poor economy and high gasoline prices, and at Upper Peninsula parks attendance was about 50 percent less than at Lower Peninsula parks. Mike Halt, Michigan Department of Natural Resources unit supervisor at McLain State Park north of Hancock, said whether attendance there was high or low depended on which week a visit was made. "It was up and down all summer," Halt said. "The fall was a little better than last year." During the fall color tour season last year rain kept attendance low, Halt said, but this year was relatively dry. More

Fed Reserve Bank President Visits

The current economic slump will continue for the near future, following the example of the early 1990s, Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Gary Stern said Thursday during a visit to Michigan Technological University. More

From the Email Bag

Fill in the Blanks: The Sig Ep Car

Sig Eps

Boy that photo brings back some memories. That car was a white Cadillac, with vacuum operated power windows. When oil was added to the carburetor, smoke also came out of the doors.

Brian Urlaub '82


Wow! A blast from my past. I was on that smokin ride, those days were some of my best memories. Just so you can share with others, the guy driving the car is currently a military pilot, his name is Kevin Oatley 82'. I hope his jet engines run better than our hobo car. Thanks for the memories.

Kevin A. Maguire


I think this may have been taken in the early '80s.

Driving: Kevin Oatley, I think
Back seat:Rob Nicely
Multi-colored hat : Bob Swenson
Blond fro:(his real hair) Mike (Eggs) Benedict
Adjusting his hat: JR Van Dam
Standing up, facing forward: Tom Lahnala, Brian Urlaub, (either Kevin
Maguire or Wayne Romatz)
Tailgate, back to camera: John Brittain

Not sure about others ...

I'll send it (cc:ed) to other Sig Eps (who may have taken the photo) or been around also.

- Larry Hilliard MTU '83


Dennis that smoke problem turned into an overall auto malfunction. As we tried to get up the hill to the SDC we had to recruit help from a fellow brother, Nate Jones, and his pickup truck to tow us up.
I believe this was homecoming 1997 or 1998. I am the guy in the back seat barely visible through the smoke. Being the car had no stereo I was holding a boom box playing our theme song "Automobile" by Adam Sandler. The driver is brother Bryan Gahan, I believe the others pictured are Jeremy Jasiolek, Dan Sinnot (sitting on a full sized couch we strapped to the trunk), Josh Purrenhage, Justin Kusterer, Rob Johnson, Scott Doyle, and Craig Pelletier. The best part of the picture is cut off. Sticking out of the front of the car was a long plank with a chair strapped to it. It held our two hood ornaments; Josh Brown and Kevin Essenmacher, of course wearing helmets for protection!

Stephen Meier c/o 2000
Sig Ep Winter 1996

Fill in the Blanks: Pyramid Photo

SAE cars

The top of the pyramid is Jill (Behrens) Kuzinski. Curly hair on the 2nd row down is Karrie (Schemmel) Abbitt. Beyond that I really can't tell without a better resolution.

Laura Boom

Jobs while at Tech

Hi Dennis:
I thought I would share with you my job experience while at Tech. As summer approached, and being very short of money, it occurred to me that if I could get a summer job in Houghton I could avoid transportation home to Toronto. I also thought I could start earning money right away and avoid a job search in Toronto.

I visited the Mayor and explained my financial plight and asked if the town had any work available - working on a garbage truck for instance. The Mayor asked me if I’d like to be a town policeman. “You bet” was my quick answer. Minutes later I was interviewed by Chief McGuire - a great guy. He explained responsibilities which involved the night shift. I was hired!

The ’57 Chev police car had no radio, so I was told to watch out for a yellow overhead light on Shelden Avenue which indicated request for police attention. The firehall was headquarters during the night and police needs were communicated from there.

To make a long story shorter, about two hours from leaving home to look for work I trudged back along College Avenue to my place, employed and carrying a police hat, badge, newly acquired blue pants and shirt, a gun belt with bullets as well as a 38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver!

Loved every moment of the job including the first call to the firehall. “There’s a rat in Mrs. Opie’s toilet” the fireman told me. I argued that this was a fireman’s assignment versus police officer. No luck!

Over the years I have told this story many many times and haven’t met anyone who believes me! But it did happen and I didn’t even have a Michigan driver’s license.

Grant Nuttall (’59)

Pep Band

Dennis -
Reading the pep band column in the most recent newsletter reminded me to write - I don't think I've been more proud to be a former pep band member than when, during the MTU-NMU football game on Fox, the announcers kept making the point that the band wasn't allowed to bring
their instruments in to the Yooper Dome! I can remember that the band couldn't go to the hockey games at Northern either, because it was too much like home ice when we were in attendance - it sure was fun!

John P. Travis (AAS-CET 1982)

John: We stood near the Pep Band at the football game Saturday, and they were very good and very loud, as they should be! There's also the cannon that Army ROTC shoots off when Tech scores, which never fails to make me jump!

Broomball in Ohio?

Good morning Dennis
A quick question for you. We took our son on a college visit to Miami of Ohio this past weekend and stopped by their ice arena. I was amazed to see intramural broomball going on! During our visit, one of the students talked about broomball being very unique to Miami. This caught me very off guard. Do you know how long broomball has been played at Tech? Also, their brooms are not brooms at all, the look kind of like a short shuffle board stick. Has Tech gone to something like that? They even have broomball shoes! Making things even worse was the fact that they were playing indoors in short sleeve shirts.

Joe Brownson

Joe: We have indoors broomball at the Dee Stadium, but not in T-shirts. And the brooms remain. You'll be able to see for yourself on the webcams. Stay tuned.

Song Lyrics

I’m sure you’ve already heard this several hundred times, but I couldn’t let it pass. Joni Mitchell wrote Big Yellow Taxi, which has the line, “they paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” I don’t doubt that Joan Baez sang the song more than once or twice, but I think Mike should’ve quoted the source.

Carol Kietzke
BS STC ‘87

Carol: You are correct, and if we get going on song lyrics (especially from 1960s and 1970s), well my colleagues will warn you . . . ;>}

Gino's Pizza in Hancock

Hi Dennis,
About Gino's Pizza in Hancock I remembered very well that I've my first bite with a friend at Tech who gave me a ride and I enjoyed its taste! Imagine that in Bangkok in '56 the year I'd left Thailand to come to Tech there's not any pizza place and I think only a few Thais ever know this kind of food including me. Though 5 years later I've had variety of this wonderful meal in several European countries I still have the fond memory of my first bite of "Pizza" at Gino's. Thanks to my first experiences of the first hitch-hike and the bite and Tech's students friendships.

Wera ME '60

Wera: Gino's is still there, serving good food, especially spaghetti and burgers!


Featured Alumni Benefits

Michigan Tech Email Service for Alumni

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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
-Message forwarding to another email address

Sign up for your alumni email account today through the HuskyLink online community www.huskylink.mtu.edu.

If you are not already a member, visit www.huskylink.mtu.edu/join for details on how to join. Once you have set up your "@mtu.edu" email account, you can access your email on the web from anywhere by visiting huskymail.mtu.edu or set up your favorite email program (Outlook, Thunderbird, etc) to use Michigan Tech's email server.


More Alumni Benefits & Services information <http://www.alumni.mtu.edu/products/>

Class Rings
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License Plates
University Images Michigan Tech Clothing and Giftware

Job Opportunities

On Campus

Complete Job Descriptions are available on the Human Resources website.

Tenure-Track Assistant/Associate/Full Professor, Service Systems Engineering, Mechanical Engineering—Engineering Mechanics

Non-Tenure-Track Lecturer, Mathematical Sciences

Benefits Coordinator, Human Resources/Benefits Office

Tenure-Track Assistant Professor, School of Technology

Audiovisual Support Specialist, Educational Technology Services

Off Campus