March 8, 2010
Vol. 16, No. 14
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Lessons Learned

Bob Johnson
Bob Johnson helps a couple of grad students in the library.

We all remember those professors who made a difference, those teachers who taught us the important lessons, sometimes telling us what we didn't want to hear.

My freshman composition teacher was one such example. On the second paper I handed in, he wrote, "You can do better, and you know it." Ouch. On the other end of the spectrum, I recall the first teacher who said my work was worthy of publication. I was on cloud nine.

Most recently, my mentors in graduate school have been many, but a couple stand out. Randy Freisinger, humanities professor emeritus, challenged me to write an autobiographical piece that remains one of my most meaningful works. It was about family and Frisbee and life and death. In addition, his poetry continues to inspire me.

Finally Bob Johnson, also of humanities, led me through my latest schooling. He possessed a great ability to cut to the essence of what I was trying to do, even when I didn't know what that was. He was also a great editor (as are many Tech faculty I've worked with over the years).

We'd love to hear your favorite faculty stories, too. You can send them to the 125th anniversary website. The Alumni Association Facebook page is another way to share your memories.

You can send your memories to me, too.

Dennis '92, '09


Snowfall totals (airport totals)
Season total: 150.5"
Snowfall last week: 1.5"
On the ground: 27.5" and fading fast.

Last year's total: 198.5"
On the ground: 31"

At Tech

Tech Legacies Wanted

We are looking for Tech legacies, families with generations of Michigan Tech graduates. We’d like to hear from you about your families whose grandparents, parents, and children went to Tech. Also, we’d like to know about families with siblings and and/or extended family members who graduated from Michigan Tech, such as aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews. You can help us find our great stories about Michigan Tech generations! Just email me your Tech connections, with years and degrees earned, if possible. You can also attach photos, if you have any. Thanks in advance for helping us out.

Board of Control Extends President's Contract

Citing exceptional leadership and results, the Michigan Tech Board of Control has extended the contract of University President Glenn D. Mroz for another two years, to June 30, 2014. "We wanted to demonstrate support for President Mroz and the extraordinary team he has assembled," Board Chair Russell Gronevelt said Thursday, March 4. "Michigan Tech has been seizing great opportunities at a time when many universities are doing everything they can to just hold the line, and much of that is due to Glenn’s leadership." More

Board Makes Strong Commitment to Student Financial Aid

The Michigan Tech Board of Control has announced a significant increase in financial aid for students struggling to afford a college education. In special remarks delivered at the Board’s regular meeting today, Finance & Audit Committee Chairman Steve Hicks said that Michigan Tech will increase financial aid by approximately 10 percent for next school year. More

Stacey David GEARZ TV Show Films at Michigan Tech

Stacey David, host of a popular cable TV program called "Stacey David GEARZ," spent part of this week at Michigan Tech, shooting a segment for his program about Michigan Tech's engineering research and education. The program, which will air on the Speed Channel on a date not yet scheduled, will focus on research being conducted at Michigan Tech on E3 sparkplugs in automotive and snowmobile engines. The company also is a sponsor of the Stacey David GEARZ show. More

Scholarship Donors, Recipients Honored

President Glenn D. Mroz hosted an appreciation luncheon for local scholarship donors and recipients at the Memorial Union Ballroom recently. "We wanted to celebrate our donors and recipients and bring them together so they could meet each other," explained Shea McGrew, vice president for advancement.

Ron Helman, a local donor who helped establish the Michigan Tech Student Foundation in 1977, talked about the importance of providing scholarships, recalling a $150 scholarship that enabled him to stay in college. The MTSF's theme is "Students Helping Students," and its goal," Helman said, "is to inspire philanthropy in the younger generation."

David Heiden, president of the MTSF, said the student-led foundation now has more than $400,000 in endowments, enabling the group to grant $15,000 in scholarships annually. He introduced new MTSF scholarship winners. Cara Hanson, Natalie Noha, Ashley Thode and Rachel Wagner won Leadership awards. Anna Uhl and Jessica Thoresen received Winter Carnival queen and runner-up awards.

Jen Jung also spoke at the luncheon. She was an MTSF Working Student scholarship recipient last summer and now is manager of Michigan Tech's Telefund. Jung, who was expecting to graduate last May, described her shock and dismay upon learning that she still lacked one course in her major. "The MTSF scholarship is the only thing that enabled me to walk with my class and earn my final credits during the summer and get the job I wanted here," she said.

Old Fire Hall to be Restored as Student Center, Public Entertainment Venue

Fire Hall

Michigan Tech students and people from the Copper Country soon will have a new place to congregate and socialize: the old Fire Hall in downtown Houghton. Michigan Tech has sold the historic building to Jonathan Julien and partners Adam and Thomas Yeoman. Julien’s firm, LJJ Construction, will do the renovations. More

Alumni Around the World

Traverse City, Cleveland, Columbus Alums Gather

Traverse City
Joe Wilderberg '67 riding the Zamboni with driver John Travis '82

Northstars Hockey Game, Traverse City, February 27

More than twenty alumni and friends came out to watch their local Northstars in some hockey action. Northwest Michigan Chapter Leaders, Gary '83 and Linda Wittbrodt '83, helped organize the dinner and game watch. Thanks to an inside alumni contact (Zamboni driver John Travis '82) one lucky alum won the chance to ride on the Zamboni between periods.



Pub Night, Cleveland, March 4

Alumni from the Cleveland area gathered at a local brewery and got a chance to see an update on Michigan Tech and the newest research video from campus. Cleveland Chapter Leader, Keith Kessler '78, and his wife Robin helped organize this long awaited event in the Cleveland area. Keith works for the Cleveland Metro-parks, so the next area event may be a family picnic. Bob Seaton '52, mentioned his personal efforts to promote Youth Programs by delivering materials to his local high school. Local outreach efforts from alumni like Bob really help Michigan Tech towards its strategic goal of attracting world class faculty, staff, and students. If anyone else would like Youth Program materials to deliver to their local high school, please contact

Alumni show their Husky pride in Columbus. (from left to right: Dave Bergman '75, Kurt Huizing '93, Dave Erickson '92, and Kay Erickson)

Hockey Game Watch, Columbus, March 5

Thanks to John McDermott '92, Columbus Chapter Leader, over 20 alumni and friends came out to a local sports bar to watch their Huskies take on North Dakota in a hard fought battle. Many had previously attended the Huskies vs. Northern nationally televised football game in the fall of 2008. A few alumni such as Paul Liimatta '61 and Erling Sund '57 reminisced about watching the Huskies play in Dee stadium where it was so loud you couldn't hear the person next you. Curt Walz '06 talked about participating in a local broomball tournament with fellow alumni. The former McNair league champion wasn't bashful about their team’s odds. "The other teams didn't know what hit 'em, we scored within the first few seconds. They created rules during the tournament to try to stop us such as no sliding and no shots from your knees, but that didn't stop us." Curt may be building a team to compete in the alumni-student broomball tournament for the Alumni Cup at Homecoming 2010.

Fill in the Blanks

Doc BerrySpeaking of professors, if someone has the story on this shot of students fencing with Doc Berry, email me. I'm sure there are a few other Doc Berry stories out there!

Junior pics 2006

junior olympics
Were you involved in the 2006 Junior Olympics held on the Tech Trails? Email me.
View more sports >

Tech Sports

The Wrap-up

What’s Happening This Week

Monday, March 8, 2010
Women’s Tennis vs. Olivet Nazarene (Ill.), 12 p.m. (at Orlando)
Men’s Tennis vs. LeMoyne, 12 p.m. (at Orlando)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Women’s Tennis vs. Dallas Baptist, 11:30 p.m. (at Orlando)
Men’s Tennis vs. Dallas Baptist, 11:30 a.m. (at Orlando)
Men’s Tennis vs. Cumberland, 5:30 p.m. (at Orlando)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Huskies Drive Time, 7:30-8:00 a.m., Live Radio, Mix 93.5 FM
Women’s Tennis vs. Martin Methodist, 8:30 a.m. (at Orlando)
Men’s Tennis vs. Indianapolis, 1:30 p.m. (at Orlando)

Thursday, March 11, 2010
Men’s Tennis vs. Martin Methodist, 8:30 a.m. (at Orlando)
Nordic Skiing at NCAA Championships Classical Races (at Steamboat Springs, Colo.)

Friday, March 12, 2010
Women’s Basketball hosts NCAA Midwest Regional
Michigan Tech vs. Northern Kentucky, 6 p.m. (Live Radio, Mix 93.5 FM)
Hockey at Denver, 9:37 p.m. (Live Radio, Mix 93.5 FM)

Saturday, March 13, 2010
Nordic Skiing at NCAA Championships Freestyle Races (at Steamboat Springs, Colo.)
Women’s Basketball hosts Midwest Regional Semifinal, 7:30 p.m. (Live Radio, WMPL 920 AM)
Hockey at Denver, 9:07 p.m. (Live Radio, Mix 93.5 FM)

Sunday, March 14, 2010
Hockey at Denver (if necessary), 9:07 p.m. (Live Radio, Mix 93.5 FM)

All Times Eastern. Home events in bold.

Complete Schedule

Last Week’s Results

Women’s Basketball (28-2, 20-2 GLIAC)
3/2 — at No. 5 Michigan Tech 78, Northwood 52
3/5 — at No. 5 Michigan Tech 72, Lake Superior State 43
3/6 — at No. 5 Michigan Tech 73, Northern Michigan 69

Hockey (5-28-1, 4-24-0 WCHA)
3/5 — at No. 7 North Dakota 5, Michigan Tech 1
3/6 — at No. 7 North Dakota 3, Michigan Tech 2

Women’s Tennis (13-5, 7-2 GLIAC)
3/6 — Michigan Tech 6, Puerto Rico Mayaguez 3 (at Orlando, Fla.)
3/7 — at St. Leo 5, Michigan Tech 4

Nordic Skiing
Did not compete

Men’s Tennis (3-2, 0-0 GLIAC)
3/7 — at St. Leo 6, Michigan Tech 3

Top News of the Week

The Michigan Tech women’s basketball team will play in its 15th NCAA Tournament this weekend when it hosts the Midwest Regional at the SDC Gym. The No. 1-seeded Huskies will take on No. 8-seeded Northern Kentucky Friday (Mar. 12) at 6 p.m. The game is a rematch of last year’s Midwest Regional Semifinal at NKU which Tech won 76-53. Tickets for the regional are available at the SDC Ticket Office or by calling 906-487-2073 beginning tomorrow (Mar. 8) at noon. The full schedule of games is below.

NCAA Midwest Women’s Basketball Regional
Quarterfinals • Friday, Mar. 12

Game 1: #3 Drury vs. #6 Southern Indiana, 12 p.m.
Game 2: #2 Indianapolis vs. #7 Northern Michigan, 2:30
Game 3: #1 Michigan Tech vs. #8 Northern Kentucky, 6 p.m.
Game 4: #4 Wisconsin-Parkside vs. #5 Findlay, 8:30 p.m.

Semifinals • Saturday, Mar. 13
Game 5: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 5 p.m.
Game 6: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 7:30 p.m.

Championship • Monday, Mar. 15
Game 7: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 7 p.m.

Michigan Tech will play at No. 1-ranked Denver in a first-round WCHA Playoff series this weekend. The best-of-three format series will be played Friday, Saturday and if necessary Sunday (Mar. 12-14). The Huskies have played a decisive third game in two of their last three WCHA Playoff series including a 2-1 series win at Colorado College in 2007 the last time they played postseason games in Colorado.

Seniors Oskar Lund and Henna Riikonen-Purtsi will each compete in the NCAA Championships in Steamboat Springs, Colo., this weekend. Lund will be making his second straight appearance at the NCAA Championships after posting four wins this season. Riikonen-Purtsi finished as the top skier for the Huskies in every race she competed in this season. The classical races are set for Thursday (Mar. 11) and the freestyle races are on Saturday (Mar. 13).

Michigan Tech faculty, staff, students and fans are encouraged to continue to vote for Eli Vlaisavljevich, a hockey player who is one of 10 national finalists for the Lowes' Senior CLASS Award. Voting is done online at: or via sending a text message "H10" to 74567.

Huskies Edge NMU 73-69 for GLIAC Tournament Title!

Katie Wysocky
GLIAC All-Tourney selection Katie Wysocky

It was a picture-perfect night for the No. 5-ranked Michigan Tech women’s basketball team: winning the GLIAC Tournament Championship over arch rival Northern Michigan in front of 2,253 fans at the SDC Gym. Senior Katie Wysocky, who Thursday was named GLIAC Player of the Year, became Tech’s all-time leading scorer in the second half and was named tournament most valuable player. The game featured 16 lead changes, and the Huskies’ seniors made the plays down the stretch to come away with a 73-69 victory. More

Wysocky Named GLIAC Player of the Year; Barnes Coach of the Year

Michigan Tech women’s basketball student-athlete Katie Wysocky (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) was named Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year and John Barnes was named GLIAC Coach of the Year as the league handed out awards at its pre-tournament banquet tonight. Those two, plus four other Huskies, garnered All-GLIAC accolades for their 2009-10 success. More

Around the Keweenaw

Community Honors 1431st Company

They shook hands with officers, high-fived, chest-bumped. They ran through the gauntlet with mothers, fathers, wives, fiancees, sons, daughters. But most of all, they were appreciated. More

SkyWest Takes Over

The first week of operations for SkyWest Airlines at Houghton County Memorial Airport is going smoothly. SkyWest, which is working with United Airlines, is making two round-trip flights to Chicago on a 50-seat regional jet. SkyWest began flying under a two-year contract at the airport Monday under the federally subsidized Essential Air Service program. More

Isle Royale Park HQ Ponders Move

The National Park Service is considering moving the Isle Royale National Park headquarters from Houghton, and where it might go was a topic of discussion during a joint meeting of the Houghton and Hancock city councils Monday night. More

From the Email Bag

Broomball Pic

I have no clue what year the photo was taken. But I do know that I played Broom Ball in Dee while a member and resident of Triumvirate. Triumvirate was the 3 dorm groups located on the west end of Wads, 5th floor in 1963-64. We were not so formal as to have names on our shirts and uniform brooms as shown in the photo. As I recall we had real straw brooms taped up, used sneakers for skates and fell on our collective a_ _ es many times during a game. We had more fun than a barrel of pickled eggs at the Dog House. I will always have memories of Dee and watching the games as a member of the pep band that stood in the end above the goal. Entry cost was one thin dime which was a lot in those days. Especially when you were trying to get thru with no scholarships.

Thanks for the memory.

Rick Martin, PE, F.ASCE
Class of 1968 Civil Engineering

The Old Bridge

The emails of the old bridge remind me of the dedication of the new lift bridge in 1960, or so. We lived just above the bridge in Hancock and watched the new bridge being built. On the night before the governor was to break a bottle of champagne on the new bridge, an ore boat sounded its horn (I suppose they have a ship name for “horn”) and when the bridge did not return its signal, it finally reversed its engines. When that didn’t stop the ship, it threw out its anchors dragging up some communication cables between Houghton and Hancock. When that didn’t work, it grounded the ship at the base of the new bridge. In the morning, there was the ore boat stuck in the bank for the dedication. The sleeping bridge master was fired and life in the Copper Country resumed. But, I finally understood why the old swing bridge was opened when we couldn’t even see the ship in the distance. They need better brakes! (Some details may be in error. Heck, it’s been 50 years!)

I hope to attend the reunion in August. I taught at Tech from ’57 – ’61 so I’d like to see some of my former students. (Tech used to hire a couple of us math geeks to teach freshman math back then!)

Merle Potter ’58, ‘61

The Bridge House

West end of town instead of going over the bridge, you took the loop around past the Clark station and headed east.

This is the house on the corner of the street you never tried to use after a snow storm.

Larry Day

Larry: And smart people still don't use Bridge Street when it's icy!

Chicago Snow Days


I just wanted to forward the information about myself and 2 other Tech Grads.

Adam Warmack, Keith Frick and I competed in the "Chicago Snow Days" snow sculpting event and placed third out of a very impressive international field.

For more information, please follow the link below. If you need pictures, I can send you a link to several quality images.


Dan Cushard

Dan: Nice work! Some engineering skills never leave you!

Sports Memories

>.................... the 2003 hockey Huskies coming from a 6-3
>deficit with seven minutes left in the third period to beat Northern
>in OT. . .

I saw that one, too. Fortunately, I was visiting da' Copper Country that weekend.

Frank Shoffner '62

Memories of Women at Tech

Just a little info from many years ago. I came to Tech in September of 1945 and was one of 19 girls to live in the first house for girls. Oh how many residents and professors were not happy to have us. At the time, I believe there were only 40 of us female students. The men were just getting out of the service, I think there were 300 that fall, and it went up by about 300 every term. I met Bob there and we married in March of '46. We lived in 3 different vets housing while there. 1st close to the East Engineering Bldg, next up on the hill across the highway, and last , in steel 2 family houses built for the South Pacific, located down by the football field. What a joke!! We did not have to buy ice for our ice boxes all winter long, we had such an ice build up on our eaves and they crumpulled if the ice was not removed. From December on, Bob used to be able to walk from the snowbank to the eaves to remove it. While at the house, we girls spent a lot of time down the hill at "Georges", many a night, someone would go down and bring us back grilled peanut butter sandwiches. Still eat them today, and they always bring back many fine memories.

Bob passed away in December 2008, in March 2009, we would have been married 63 years. We had 3 girls while we lived at Tech, and finally had our son the year after Bob graduated in '50.

Many many thanks to Tech for the memories. Jane Spear Melberg

More Thanks

Dear Dennis,
I don't remember signing up for the news letter,but if I didn't I'm glad someone did because I really enjoyed it. Is this a teaser that I have to follow up to continue getting it? If so tell me what I have to do.

Thx,EW( Bill) Olson '60

Editor's Note: Thank you, Bill. We are sending it out to many more alums now, so you can stay in touch with us! And, you don't have to do a thing, just read and respond when you are so moved.


Thank you for issuing this newsletter to me continuously without failed. I really appreciate your good efforts. If it is too much for you, can I request something? Where can I get the list of ex-students (Bsc. in Chemistry), year 1991 - 1993. They all were my classmate during that year period. If you have the list, I would appreciate if you could forward it to me. I need the information such as their names, their e-mail address, what are they doing now, etc. I just want to keep in touch with them (sharing knowledge, experience or more than that) if possible.


Editor's Note: We got Kamal into HuskyLink, which helps alums find their friends.

Dick Robbins '56 Technology Mentioned Here

Dennis, Thought you would appreciate the mention of the Robbins technology in the new approach to mining that is being investigated by Rio Tinto in Australia.

Bob Brown '53

Rio Tinto to develop new systems for underground mines Link

Rio Tinto is expanding its Mine of the Future™ programme to develop new equipment and systems for deep underground mines and has selected three partners to work on the project.

Featured Alumni Benefits

Michigan Tech Group Insurance:
Liberty Mutual and the Alumni Association

liberty mutual
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!

Eastern  Michigan: Renee Kurowski (989-832-4865)

Western Michigan and the UP: Chris Napolillo (800-865-1870 ext. 56821)

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

Liberty Mutual provides funds to the Michigan Tech Alumni Association as part of this collaboration. Agreements like this help support a wide range of programs and services for alumni and students.


More Alumni Benefits and Services information

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

Job Opportunities

On Campus

Professor of Practice, Nontenure Track, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Assistant Director, Tribal Technical Assistance Program, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Engineer, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Complete Job Descriptions are available on the Human Resources website.

Off Campus