May 18, 2009
Vol. 15, No. 19
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Family Affairs

mattilaThe Mattila brothers were honored Saturday. More

The outpouring of Commencement congratulations, including those from many of you, has been overwhelming. It got me thinking about all the support my family provided.

That family extends to my on-campus supporters and all my family members who have graduated from Tech—my wife, my daughter, a niece, brother-in-law—the list goes on and on.

The 2008 Mid-Year Commencement had forty-six legacies (family members of alumni) graduating, and two weeks ago we had 105 legacies at Spring Commencement.

So, we started wondering, how many family members do have you who graduated from Tech?

We'd love to hear of all the family members you've had walk across the stage in the MacInnes Student Ice Arena, Wood Gym, or wherever else Commencement was held.

And, speaking of families, Saturday's Armed Forces Day Parade of Thanks honored nine Mattila brothers (pictured above) who served in the military. Now, that's some family tradition.

Dennis '92, '09

At Tech

Tech Student's Two-Click Calendar: Now Playing at an iPhone Near You

Back in high school, 17-year-old Craig Otis didn't much care for any of the calendars he used to keep track of his schoolwork. "I used programs like Zimbra, but I didn't like how complicated they were," said Otis, now a fourth-year Michigan Tech student majoring in software engineering. "You had to type in all kinds of information. I wanted something that could do everything I wanted with a couple of clicks." More

Kryptos Complex: Cracking the Mother Lode of Codes

Gary Phillips II wants to set the record straight. Despite what Wired magazine says, he did not abandon his software business to devote all his waking hours to solving "Kryptos." "I was already closing down my business," says Phillips, a junior majoring in computer science at Michigan Technological University. "I was changing careers." In 2004, he switched to construction. Then, in 2006, his life really changed when he was in a head-on collision. More

Midwest Climate Change Research Center Awards $1.5 Million in Federal Grants

The Midwest Regional Center of the National Institute for Climate Change Research, based at Michigan Technological University, has awarded $1.5 million in US Department of Energy grants for four new collaborative research projects in seven states and eight continuing projects. The newly funded projects involve researchers from the University of Michigan, Ohio State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Minnesota, the University of California, Kansas State University and the University of Illinois. More

Gilbert Receives NIH Grant

Michigan Technological University has received $164,521 in federal economic stimulus monies to conduct medical research. U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin announced today that work by Ryan Gilbert, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering, is being supported by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding through the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grant is the first increment of a potential two-year award totaling $388,708. More

Michigan Tech Not Affected by Governor's Budget Cuts

The Michigan House and Senate Appropriations Committees have approved Governor Jennifer Granholm's executive order cutting more than $300 million from the State of Michigan's current year budget. The cuts do not affect the base budgets of the 15 state universities, including Michigan Tech. More

Michigan Tech Board of Control Approves Nine New Degrees


Nine new degree programs—most of them in business and computer engineering—were approved today by the Michigan Technological University Board of Control at its regular meeting in Houghton. The board’s action included final approval for a Master of Science and a PhD in Computer Engineering, which were initially approved at the Board’s March meeting and sent to the State Academic Affairs Office for review and endorsement. Computer engineering is a hybrid discipline born of computer science and electrical engineering. One of the seven new degree program proposals approved to advance to the State Academic Affairs Office is a Master of Science and PhD in Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors. More

Alumni Around the World

Alumni Benefit from Career Networking

Jim Turnquist

Director of Career Services, Jim Turnquist '79, reviews a resume with an alumnus.

Last week Detroit-Metro area alumni attended Career Networking events in Ann Arbor and Sterling Heights. In the present economic environment, many alumni are facing career transitions and were pleased to know their alma mater has a wide range of career tools and services available to support them. The Michigan Tech Alumni Association collaborated with Career Services, Graduate School, and Institutional Partnerships to develop the event program.

The evening began like any other event with alumni sharing stories from the Keweenaw and discussing their current careers. After a brief presentation of online tools, graduate school options and career services, keynote speaker Terry Bean (, chief networking officer and Founder of Motor City Connect and Networked Inc., delivered a motivating presentation on personal networking and how to find and use your connections to develop your career.

After the presentations, lively round table discussions ensued facilitated by staff and alumni volunteers on a variety of topics including, resume reviews, graduate school, entrepreneurship, and networking tools. "Alumni left the events with many questions answered and more prepared and confident to pursue any career opportunity in front of them. Michigan Tech is here to support our alumni and friends with their career transition," said event organizer Brent Burns '03, associate director of alumni relations. To access the career services and tools offered to alumni please visit the new Career Tools website at

Miscowaubik Club
Exploring the Miscowaubik Club

Lisa ('97) and Cormack Ronan enjoy a glass of wine at the Miscowaubik Club.

Keweenaw Alumni Chapter board volunteers, Jacque Smith '85 and Elizabeth Hoy '96 hosted more than ninety alumni and friends at the historic Miscowaubik Club last week. It was a great opportunity for guest to mingle throughout the club, play some pool, throw a few balls in the antique bowling lanes and check out the private dining rooms.

Tech Archivist Erik Nordberg's presentations about the storied Calumet club were very well received. Posters were also on display highlighting research projects that have taken place in the area including the Laurium Manor coach house turntable restoration led by PhD candidate Scott Wagner '95.

Alums Needed for High School Presentations

The Admissions Offices needs your help! They need alumni to represent Michigan Tech at high school awards presentations.

The website is

Volunteers can visit this website to view schools who have requested a volunteer to assist at an upcoming award ceremony. Kathy Ross is the contact in admissions: or 1-888-688-1885.

Alum Issues Challenge!

A Michigan Tech alumnus has pledged $50,000 in Annual Fund support this fiscal year if we can attract an additional 2,000 Annual Fund gifts by June 30, 2009. Be assured, your gift matters and makes a difference in many ways. Please help us take a step closer to receiving this generous challenge gift which will benefit both current and future Michigan Tech students!

To make your gift to the Annual Fund,

Toll-free 1-877-386-3688

Michigan Tech Fund
1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, MI 49931-1295

Fill in the Blanks

spring commencement 2005
Spring Commencement 2005, and someone had a miner's cap. Any familiar faces? It's clickable. Email me.

Fill in the Blanks II: Sigma Rho House

KSO/Concert Choir
I recall two fires at the Sig Rho house in Chassell and a famous dog named Dogman. Any Sig Rhos know the stories? Email me.
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Tech Sports

Endurance Sports Hand Out Annual Awards

The Michigan Tech cross country, Nordic skiing and track and field teams handed out their yearly team awards. “The winners of these awards are very deserving due to the fact that we have many quality student-athletes on our teams,” said head coach Joe Haggenmiller. Ken Gilkerson led all student-athletes with four awards. He was named the most valuable athlete for the track and field team after breaking the school record and provisionally qualifying for the 800 meter run in a time of 1:52.5. He was also named the most improved runner for cross country. Gilkerson was also the scholastic achievement award winner for both cross country and track and field. More

Maria Kasza Wins Beta Gamma Scholarship

Michigan Tech business administration major and women’s basketball player Maria Kasza has won a $1,000 scholarship from Beta Gamma Sigma to continue her education in 2009-10. The Rapid City, Mich. resident, who will be a senior in the fall, was selected for her superior performance in the study of business and her leadership potential. More

Former Huskies Lead Texas Team to CHL

Two former Michigan Tech hockey players, Tyler Skworchinski and Peter Rouleau, helped the Texas Brahmas to the Central Hockey League championship last night (May 7). The team posted a 6-2 win over the Colorado Eagles to claim the Ray Miron President’s trophy and its first championship in 11 years. Skworchinski picked up an assist on the Brahmas second goal of the game. The Marathon, Ontario, native finished the season seventh on the team in points with 38 (16 goals, 22 assists) in 64 games. He played in 113 games for Tech, tallying 22 points (12 goals, 10 assists). More

Around the Keweenaw

Copper Country Residents Celebrate Armed Forces Day

Leo Mattila is one of 9 Mattila brothers from the Copper Country to serve in the military. "Dad had 5 sons in World War 2 in that one time," Leo explained. "And fortunately they all came home and I'm the youngest of the 9 boys." Ranging from age 70 to 92---4 of the 5 brothers still living were honored as Grand Marshals of Saturday's Parade of Thanks in Hancock. More

Bike2Work Day Attracts Enthusiastic Crowd

After a cold and windy morning, organizers of the inaugural Bike2Work Day were nervous for the night's activities. Fortunately for them and the hundreds of people that flocked to downtown Houghton Friday night, it was a sunny and warm afternoon, and the Bike2Work Day Expo went on with smiles, laughs and some good times. More

Robots visit KEDA

Three high school robotics teams showed off their finished products during a Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance meeting Wednesday morning. The three teams - from Houghton, Chassell and Calumet - are part of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). The national organization was founded by Segway inventor Dean Kamen in 1992 as a way to generate interest in pursuing technology careers among students. More

From the Email Bag

Hubbell Hall

hubbell hall

In the last Alumni Newsletter a picture of Hubbell Hall was in the Emailbag section. Do you have any history on the bldg. I remember reading somewhere that this was the first bldg built on campus.

As a student "51-54", I spent many class hours in that building. All the math classes such as calc,diff. equations, analytical mechanics, physics, etc. I, also, was employed at Mich Tech in the Physical Plant department, under Gordon Hellman., during the Ray Smith era as President. I remember well when President Smith was trying to get funding to save Hubbell Hall.

Gene Foco "55"



Per the alumni comment in the last newsletter about Hubbell Hall being demolished, here's a photo (above) I took of the event in September 1968.

John Baker

John: Thanks for the great photo, and Gene, as for the history of Hubbell Hall, it initally housed chemistry, metallurgy, and the mineralogical museum on the first floor; math, physics, civil, mechanical, and mining on the second floor; and machine shop, pattern shop, stamp mill, heating and power plant, and a gym in the basement!

KSO/Concert Choir


Well, I was certainly in that photo, which means if it was in 2005, it had
to be actually 2003, or 2004 judging by the people I can recognize. I
graduated in December of 2004, so can't be any different I think. I am 4th from the right (or stage-left) in the second to top row. Concert Choir was always a great experience to be able to learn and grow with Dr. Milt Olsson and all the rest. We were able to meet some local community members as well as some students we otherwise wouldn't have contact with. Plus, there were always professionals brought in soloists for both choral and symphony parts so it was always exciting. We even got to do most of Handel's Messiah one year, which was a real treat. I never got to go to the tour, but I know others whom did and loved it. Thanks for the memories!

-Patrick Mucha
BS Chemistry '04

Old EE Computer


The computer was an SDS 910 manufactured by Scientific Data Services. The photo shows the computer rack and the top of the console, similar to a
Selectric typewriter. A second rack housed a magnetic tape unit which we never, during my stay, got operational.

Dr Born hired me as student lab assistant to operate the machine as assist students in the lab assignments using it. Programs were written in Fortran or machine code and entered on paper tape Felxowriters. I ran the lab in the 1970-71 and 71-72 years. It was located on first floor Hotchkiss Hall just inside the main entrance.

In the fall quarter of 71-72 the local DeMolay chapter, nearly all Tech students, ran a road rally event. All of the segments times were recorded and processed on the SDS 910 to determine the rally winner.

I do not recall typical lab assignment topics, and haven't thought about this marvelous old machine for years, though what I learned using it was foundational to my career.

Is Dr Born still with us and I would like to send him a note. He taught many of my digital logic classes and kindly excluded my exam scores from the grading curve. Kindly as I may not have survived the other students by zeroing the curve.

Also Dennis, is there any chance getting a better resolution copy of the photo?

Thanks so much for this trip down memory lane!

Richard Hole, PE, BSEE 1972

Richard: This was a scan and is the best we can do. Thanks for the great info! I'll check on Dr. Born.

Hockey Champs!


My hockey team, Mostly Michigan, recently won the USA Hockey National Championship Recreational Division for Women Over 50! The tournament was held in Ellenton, Florida, and we won the championship game on April 26 by defeating a team from outside Philadelphia 1-0. I am standing to the left of the banner holding it up.

Dr. Cynthia (Manninen) Kring
Lambda Theta '78

Some Engineering in Space!

Have a look at this..... I never realized the Space Station was so huge!


Frank Shoffner

Michigan Tech's Youth Programs Alumni Special!

Youth Programs is gearing for another summer of innovative and interactive programming. We offer over seventy different Explorations in areas such as: Bridges, Dams, and Skyscrapers–Building Big; Catapults, Rockets, and Robotics–How Stuff Works; Sports Science; Stop the Hackers! Computer Network and Security; Wolf Ecology; Aquatic Ecology; Digital Photography; Mechanical Engineering; Geology; Aviation and Aerospace; Creative Writing in Nature and History; Journalism; Theater; Mountaineering and Orienteering; Michigan Tech Motor Sports; General Engineering; and Be Smart Be Rich, just to name a few. Travel to our web site at to continue exploring the rest of our exciting programming.

As an alumnus or alumna of Michigan Tech you have earned your son or daughter a $50 discount off our normal program fees. Our programs are filling up quickly and we work on a first come first serve basis. Book your adventure today!

Michigan Tech Youth Programs: Where college begins…………….

Featured Alumni Benefits

Career Tools

Michigan Tech alumni exploring new employment opportunities can take advantage of a wide range of career services including:

  • Post your resume, search for jobs online using NACElink.
  • Attend resume and interviewing seminars, Michigan Tech Career fairs, company information meetings, and career networking events.
  • Join the exclusive Michigan Tech Alumni Linkedin group.
  • Use the video and career library.

Visit or contact the Career Center (906) 487-2313 for more information.


More Alumni Benefits & Services information

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

Job Opportunities

On Campus

Regional Admissions Manager, West Chicago, Admissions
(Regular, full-time, nine-month position based in the western Chicagoland area)

Business Systems Analyst, Enrollment Services Information Systems

Accountant, Accounting Services

Complete Job Descriptions are available on the Human Resources website.

Off Campus