September 8, 2009
Vol. 16, No. 1
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Buying Books

Beginning another year of studies, Donna Walstrom packs up a batch of books.

It never fails to take me back. I can remember the first trips to Arlans Department Store in northwest Detroit to get fresh pencils (and pencil case), erasers, protractors, and compasses. (Does anyone use them anymore?)

The excitement continued through my high school and college days, and I found myself looking through the Campus Bookstore shelves recently: it will be my first fall without any schooling since 2001.

I also had a chance to chat with some new students and old staff members.

Don Kilpela, veteran of the book department, said Monday was crazy, and Tuesday he was still busy.

"I don't have time to get back to my computer and order more books!" he said.

ME-EM junior Dave Arnold of Clarkston, Michigan, was lamenting a new $190 Fundamentals of Mechanical Component Design. (That's a long way from a $17.50, 1,000-page Riverside Shakespeare.) He ordered some books online and was up to $500 total before the Fundamentals book, of which he couldn't find a used version.

Chemical engineering sophomore Matt Kraig from Escanaba was finding his books, including some that were "Jumpbooks," electronic versions that are routinely half the price of new books and have enhanced features, according to Kilpela.

"It provides the students an alternative, especially those who want their book on their laptop," he said. "They can mark passages, search, bookmark, and for us, we don’t have to worry about inventory," he said. It is an entry into a Kindle-like presence, Kilpela said.

When the Tech students finally checked out, they were greeted by four cashiers set up for the onslaught and ready to help, including recent retiree Donna Walstrom, who came back to help out.

“How long did you work here?”

“Twenty-one years,” she said.

That was longer than either student checking out had been alive.

“Wow,” they said.

Dennis '92, '09

At Tech

Meyer and Glime Garner Service Award

Faced with two extraordinary candidates, the University has selected two faculty members for the Distinguished Service Award.

Professor Alex Mayer, who has a primary appointment in civil and environmental engineering and a secondary appointment in geological and mining engineering and sciences, receives the 2009 award. Janice Glime, professor emeritus of biological sciences, was honored for 2008, since no Distinguished Service Award was given last year. Each will receive a $2,500 prize. More

Glime, known for her longtime dedication to the University Senate and to student success, . . . More


Evangeline Moore On Life as a Harbinger of Changes

The last thing Susan Carol McCarthy did before she published "Lay That Trumpet in Our Hands" was track down Evangeline Moore. She wanted the blessing of the lone surviving daughter of Harry T. and Harriette M. Moore before publicizing the story surrounding her parents' 1951 murder by the Klan. More

Young Researcher and His Mentor Team up on Lake Inquiry

Scientists at Tech are known for their expertise in lake restoration and management, much of it applied to pristine Lake Superior. Now two researchers, an old hand and a budding scholar, are working on a small UP lake that is nearly choked to death. Iron Mountain's Crystal Lake, once a place for swimming and fishing on the southwest side of the city, doesn't live up to its name anymore. A beautiful little lake has become a blight. More

Alumni Around the World

Fat Tires in Copper Harbor and Tigers Baseball in Southern California

Fat TireMichigan Tech Student Foundation members Alyssa Shomion and David Heiden, along with fellow Tech students Gina Salvi and Andrew Musselman, provided much needed finish line refreshments at the Fat Tire Festival bike races in Copper Harbor Sunday. A second crew of volunteers led by Mike Abbott '80, '88 and Dan Dalquist '76 provided hydration at the aid station located at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge. A large number of Tech alumni and students participate in these challenging 24- and 14- mile Cross Country Mountain bike races each year.

So Cal HuskiesSouthern California alumni and friends gathered to network and watch the LA Angels take on the Detroit Tigers on August 25 in Anaheim. Thanks to Paul Ninefeld '96, VP of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, for hosting the event.

Do you have photos or stories of your own alumni gatherings? Share them by emailing or posting them in HuskyLink.

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The Old Bridge

old bridge
Our recent Houghton and Lift Bridge detours had me looking for the old bridge and detours. Remember? Email me.
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Tech Sports

Hillsdale Edges Tech 37-35 in Football Opener


Senior quarterback Steve Short

Michigan Tech engineered a late scoring drive to get within 37-35, but Hillsdale recovered an on-side kick and ran out the clock in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opener for both teams. Tech scored the game’s opening points, but trailed for each of the final three quarters in suffering just its second season-opening loss in the last 12 years. More

Volleyball Teams Splits Two in Sunshine State

The Michigan Tech volleyball team opened Saturday’s (Sept. 5) play at the Sharks Classic like it has every other day this season, with a five-set match. Tech defeated Barry, 3-2, before falling to No. 16 Nova Southeastern. The Huskies jumped out to an early 2-0 lead (25-18, 25-19) against the Buccaneers, but would drop the next two (23-25, 16-25). More

LIttle Huskies Hoops Registration Now Open

The Michigan Tech men’s and women’s basketball teams will host the Little Huskies Basketball League (LHBL) at the Student Development Complex multi-purpose gymnasium beginning Saturday (Sept. 12). The league, featuring Tech student-athletes as coaches, is open to all youth entering third through eighth grades. More

Around the Keweenaw

Verizon on the Horizon

Anyone who has seen a Verizon Wireless commercial is familiar with the horn-rimmed spectacled spokesman followed by his army of technicians and engineers representing "The Network." That network is coming to the Upper Peninsula, following the acquisition of Alltel - a prominent cell service provider in the area - by Verizon in January. The switch-over, which is expected to be completed by the end of October, shouldn't mean too many changes for Alltel customers, Verizon officials said. More

Snowboarder Magazine Features Houghton

Sometimes it's the small town charm that makes people remember the Copper Country, and for the writers and photographers involved with Snowboarder Magazine, it did more than spark a memory. The charm caused a six-week obsession. In the October 2009 edition of Snowboarder Magazine, writer Eddie Wall and photographer Ian Kuhter show off their Upper Peninsula adventure in an 11-page spread that highlights the snowboarding community in the Copper Country. More

Two-way Montezuma Avenue Permanent?

Since the start of construction on Shelden Avenue in downtown Houghton, Montezuma Avenue has been two-way. Now the city is investigating making the change permanent."Based upon the comments we have received this summer, there seems to be a lot of desire to keep the U.S. 41 traffic on Montezuma," said City Manager Scott MacInnes. "We're going to to explore that and see if that's a possibility." More

From the Email Bag

Homecoming 2005

Homecoming 2005Hi Dennis,
In the 2005 photo featuring the sisters of Phi Delta Chi, the girl in the pink jacket in the center is Alissa Kasprzyk. I recognize others, but cannot remember names right now.

Kelly Abbott
Classes of '04 and '05

Big Tires, Big Problems

Hey guys & gals. Check out the Bloomberg article at the link below.

Michigan Tech grad making mining tires that are blowing out prematurely. Tar sand machines. Huge equipment. Tires only Carlton can afford ($42,000 each).

Maybe someone at Tech or the Smartzone can offer to do some testing for these folks, or technical work. Or see if we can find a Canadian to inflate the tires to recommended pressure.

Heck, if they bring over a truck/machine I will volunteer to 'test drive' it up at the airport track to test the tire wear.

Seriously, maybe someone should give this guy a call and see if Tech can provide assistance on the research front. Cutting edge, this tar sands stuff. Would be nice to get a contract or grant to study this issue. I'm sure someone around town has tire design expertise, I would expect, or at least computer modeling capacity. The tar sands are incredibly important in the energy equation going forward.

I don't know the Titan CEO, Morry Taylor, he graduated a few years before I did.

Joe Dancy

Hi Dennis,
With the endorsement of the Alumni Association Board, we created a Michigan
Tech Alumni Association team on Mark Mitchell got the approval we needed and Brenda Rudiger supplied the logos and communication links. Here is what is about:

Kiva's mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty.

Kiva is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs around the globe.

The people you see on Kiva's site are real individuals in need of funding. When you browse entrepreneurs' profiles on the site, choose someone to lend to, and then make a loan, you are helping a real person make great strides towards economic independence and improve life for themselves, their family, and their community. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12
months), you can receive email journal updates and track repayments. Then, when you get your loan money back, you can relend to someone else in need.

I was introduced to Kiva through a business acquaintance and was impressed with the idea of loans because you can see the same money being used again and again. The entrepreneurs are using the money to help their families while providing goods and services to their communities. There are Kiva lending teams and individuals from all over the world. Universities and alumni groups such as UM, MSU, MIT, Auburn and Rutgers have Kiva teams and it is a very effective, fun way for people to come together to fund these loans. Mark Mitchell says: "I hope this group will give our
members the means to further fund good works across the world" Check it out!

Tom Arbuckle '75

Great Old Photo Site

Da' Copper Country is in there, too! (Houghton, Hancock, Dollar Bay, etc.)

This is fantastic seeing the towns we live in way back when. Hope you enjoy this site as much as I did. Very interesting, just click on the site below. When you get to the main page, click on the letter of whatever city you are interested in.

Jo Ann Barnes

Frank Shoffner

Dave Chimino and the Goose

Concerning the story about David Chimino, I assume this is the same Professor Chimino who gave freshman Physics (I took his classes in 1965/66) lectures? If so he had this amazing ability to draw perfect circles using just his arm and a piece of chalk. It almost took your breath away when you saw it for the first time and realized what he had just done, and it didn't seem to make any difference how big or small a circle he drew, they were always prefect.

As for the comment about the 'Blue Goose' (North Central Airlines), yes I also flew many a flight from Saginaw, via Flint, to Detroit and back in the mid-70's. And as for the story about bumping into famous people, I suspect that air travel, both domestic and international, affords perhaps some of the best opportunities to meet or at least see, famous people out of their normal environments, being confined and constrained to the same process as the rest of us. Granted, they may have flown First Class more often than you, but when waiting to board or going through security or waiting for luggage, everyone is pretty well confronted with the same stuff. I can recall encountering dozens of celebrities, from movie stars to politicians to sport stars (it hard to miss a NBA team when walking down an airport concourse), and sometimes you can even get a chance to have a normal conversation with them, including once when helping Ava Gabor pull luggage off a carousel at LAX after a flight from Europe, to holding the door for Arthur Goldberg at Washington National (now Ronald Reagan) Airport, to sitting a couple of rows from Barbara Bush, when she was still the 'second lady', on a flight from Phoenix to Dallas. Yes there is nothing like air travel to increase your 'guess who I saw last week' stories.

John R. Baker '71
Irvine, CA

Extra Courses are Useful

In reference to Roland Hanson's letter, the drawing and shop courses required for each Tech engineering student were alive and well right after he graduated when I began at Tech as an EE major. We took mechanical drawing and shop during which we learned how to forge metals and weld followed by learning how to operate lathes, shapers, milling machines and the like. We even had to hand file a surface on a metal block so that it was at a perfect 90 degrees to an adjoining side over the whole surface. (Not sure to this day what that was all about).

After graduating I worked at GE in Syracuse for a while designing microwave components and receiver systems for radars. Part of the work involved designing waveguide and coaxial components not available off-the-shelf from some microwave house. So we had to do all the steps necessary to build each part in-house ourselves. In that environment, if you could not make an adequate drawing of the new part you wanted or did not understand fabrication methods and tolerances so that a machinist could make the thing, you were not considered much of an engineer. My Tech education prepared me well for that job and the ones that followed.

I also agree with Roland that a history of the courses offered and the reasons for changing the curriculum would make an interesting document.

By the way, I also remember David Chimino as did my roommate who was a Physics Major. Great Guy!

Peter Rankin '59

Featured Alumni Benefits

Michigan Tech Group Insurance

case course
Liberty Mutual and the Alumni Association As a Michigan Tech graduate, you qualify for a special group rate on your auto, home, and renters insurance through Liberty Mutual. For a free, no-obligation quote, contact your Liberty Mutual Representative today!

Northern Michigan: Renee Kurowski (989.832.4865)

Southern Michigan: Todd Smith (800.865.1870 ext. 56826)

Outside of Michigan: Call 1-800-981-2372 or visit the Liberty Mutual website –


More Alumni Benefits & Services information

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

Job Opportunities

On Campus

Tenure-Track Assistant Professor, Statistics, Mathematical Sciences

Tenure-Track Assistant Professor, Management, School of Business and Economics

Complete Job Descriptions are available on the Human Resources website.

Off Campus