April 5, 2010
Vol. 16, No. 16
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A Little Trouble in the Lab

Sarah Stream
The dreaded punch cards.

Technology and I have always had a love/hate relationship. My lack of patience hasn't helped, but I've learned to function pretty well with most of the computers I have used over the years.

The prehistoric days of the IBM punch cards were another matter. I recall doing a random sample transportation survey for a poli sci class and transferring the numbers to the punch cards. Then, as many of you know, the cards had to be run through some massive and mysterious machine, operated by grad students whose patience rivaled mine.

Of course, if I got one comma, space, letter, or number out of order or wrong, the whole stack was useless. I recall an "X" or some other ominous notation written on blue paper wrapping the stack.

Charlie Brown comes to mind.

If it could go wrong, it would, and of course I would be running the cards through just before the lab was closing, for the weekend, and I needed to hand in the results (in beautiful green-and-white-striped paper) pasted into the middle of my type-written report at 8:00 a.m. Monday.

If the grad student felt sorry for me, he would stay till I got a good run through the IBM beast.

It all taught me at least two good lessons: pay attention to detail and be nice to people who run computer labs (modern translation: be nice to the men and women who keep our Macs running).

Of course, to our children, the computer punch cards we had at home (with Huskies logo on them) elicited the same response as the vinyl LPs we brought down from the attic years ago:

"What are those?"

"Blood, Sweat, and Tears," I said.

Dennis '92, '09


We'd love to hear your "Labs Gone Bad" stories. You can contribute to the 125th anniversary website. There's also the Alumni Association Facebook page. Help us write the history of Tech.

You can send your memories to me, too.

At Tech

Michigan Tech, Portage Health Lauded by the Peace Corps

Michigan Tech has the largest Peace Corps Master’s International Program (PCMI) in the nation, with 55 students enrolled in seven programs. But it wasn’t just the quantity of volunteers that brought the national manager of the PCMI program to the University Tuesday, March 30. It’s also their quality. More

Grad Student Adventure: Russians, Permafrost, Hitching a Military Ride

Chris Johnson had never been out of the US. In fact, he’d never been on a plane until last winter. But he made up for it big time—by flying to Antarctica to conduct research. Johnson is working on a master’s degree in forest ecology and management at Michigan Technological University. His advisors are Tom Pypker and Rod Chimner, assistant professors in the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. More

Safer Helmet, Safer Head: Team Takes its Award-Winning Invention to Inventors Expo

In the heat of a football game, a player is tackled and pounded to the ground. His head takes a mighty sideways whack. What happens next—a concussion or some other kind of traumatic brain injury—is rarely good.

Alumnus Endows Bhakta Rath Research Award at Michigan Tech

When Bhakta B. Rath was earning his master’s degree in metallurgical and materials engineering at Michigan Technological University in 1958, the US was an undisputed world leader in science and technology. Now the associate director of research and head of the Materials Science and Component Technology Directorate at the US Naval Research Laboratory, Rath worries about a declining interest in this country in studying science and technology. More

Hip-Hop Rumpelstiltskin Hits Tech

It was a modern take on classic children's literature: hip-hop, rap and dance transformed Rumpelstitlskin for local schoolchildren and the campus and community alike. "It was a great set, with moveable parts of a playground: merry-go-round, slide, castle, fire pole and various and sundry wild things," said Roger Held, chair of the visual and performing arts department. They was also some audience participation, Held says, as they were asked to help the would-be princess with spinning the gold. More

Alumni Around the World

Big Rapids, Midland, Iron Mountain, Twin Cities Alumni Get Together

Alternate Spring Break

From left: John Fortier ’78, Kyle Fortier ’09 and Don Pedo ’53. Three generations of Michigan Tech civil engineers in Iron Mountain!

Sixty alumni and friends attended a Tech Connect event held in conjunction with the 2010 Michigan Bridge Conference in Big Rapids, MI on March 23. Guest speaker, Civil Engineering Professor Emeriti Henry Santeford Jr. used recent studies to illustrate what can and has occurred when reliance solely on models prevailed over full and careful consideration of the details.
alusIron Mountain alumni  – from left Dennis Rahoi ’64, Gerald Novak ’83, Dave McCash ’91 and Bill Trudell ‘58

Tech Alum Pub Nights in Midland, Iron Mountain and Twin Cities brought out alumni ranging from 1952 to 2009 for good beer and great conversation.

In Iron Mountain, on March 31st, volunteers Sally Heidtke ’81 and Dave McCash ’91 visited with alumni and gathered ideas for future area events.

At the Twin Cities pub night, more than 70 alumni and friends told Tech stories and shared their experience with the ten business students who also attended after spending the day with plant visits in the area. Chapter leaders Rick Elsner ‘80, Carl Craven ‘89, Tonia Erickson ’81 talked with guests about future area events. Thanks to Matt Prater ‘’98 and David Heiden ’10 and also Neil Lowney ‘85 for the warm welcome at his Williams Uptown Pub & Peanut Bar.

Fill in the Blanks

commencement at Dee StadiumTwo things surprised me here. I didn't know they held Commencement at the Dee, and is that Plexiglas? I thought that came many years after the fencing. Email me.

Waterfront from Another Angle

Another view of that flour mill we discussed awhile back. Interesting angle, and I wonder where it was shot from. Email me.
View more sports >

Tech Sports

Wysocky and Stream Earn Major Awards at Elite Eight Banquet

Michigan Tech seniors Katie Wysocky (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) and Sarah Stream (Ishpeming, Mich./Westwood) took home major awards at tonight’s NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Banquet of Champions on the campus of Missouri Western State. Wysocky was named to the State Farm Women’s Basketball Coaches Association All-America Team. Stream gained the inaugural NCAA Elite 88 Award for having the highest grade point average of the participants at the championship. More

Women's Soccer Announces Schedule

Michigan Tech has released the schedule for the inaugural season of women’s soccer. The Huskies will play a total of 17 games, 10 of which will be played at Sherman Field. Tech will host Concordia-St. Paul for the program’s first-ever game on Thursday, Sept. 2. The game will be played under the lights with kick off set for 7:00 p.m. The Huskies will open Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play the following the week when they host rival Northern Michigan on Wednesday, Sept. 8. More

Track and Field Opens Season in Ripon

The Michigan Tech track and field teams opened the season by winning eight events and finishing second in nine others at the Sherman Lukoski Invite hosted by Ripon College Saturday (March 27). Quinn Parnell led the team with a first in the 100 dash in 11.21 and a second in the 200 dash in 22.75. He also helped the 4x100 relay to a win in a time of 43.45. Other members of the team included Jonathon Folse, Aaron Tetzloff and Tylor Rathsack. More

Around the Keweenaw

MTEC SmartZone Company Reaches Global Financial Trading Markets

The Financial Information Exchange (“FIX”) Protocol is a series of messaging
specifications for the electronic communication of global trade-related messages. It has been developed through the collaboration of banks, brokerdealers, exchanges, industry utilities and associations, institutional investors and information technology providers from around the world. More

Body Found on Quincy Hill

body found
The body of a 44-year-old downstate man was found in a remote area of Hancock Tuesday night. The body was found around 8 p.m. in a wooded area off Ryan Street and Roosevelt Road by a resident who lived nearby, said Police Chief Mike Beaudoin. Police are withholding the man's name pending notification of family. More

Pizza Works Opening in Houghton

It's been a longer journey than Eric Szilagyi would have liked, but his goal of opening a Pizza Works in Houghton is about to be realized. The restaurant, located on Shelden Avenue, is one to two months away from opening, Szilagyi said. A large number of the original Calumet location's customers were coming from Houghton, Szilagyi said. More

Quincy Mine Hoist Tram Refurbished

In 1996, the Quincy Mine Hoist Association embarked on a program of constructing a passenger tramway on the hillside. This tram was built to transport visitors from the hoist to the Quincy Mine East Adit. The tram has provided an efficient mode of transportation and dramatic panoramic view of the area. The cogwheel is one of three in the United States, and is the only one operating in the Midwest, according to Glenda Bierman, QMHA manager. More

From the Email Bag

Van Orden's Hill

van orden's hill
It must have been in 1963 or 1964 when a couple of us were looking through the fence to get a glimpse of whatever we could see. The security guard approached us and started up a conversation. He ended up giving us a tour inside where there were a couple of old passenger cars in storage.

Ted Schuster '65


I do remember the general area. The attached pics were taken in, I believe, the spring of 1962 from a small airplane. The photos are not roundhousethe best quality, but do provide a little history lesson of the campus and the Houghton area. For the life of me I cannot remember how I got to take an airplane ride over Houghton. I remember taking the ride and shooting the pics, but not much of the actual circumstances surrounding the experience. The photos are actually slides and taken with an old Minolta SLR. The camera had a fixed lens, probably 50 mm and was 100% manual, with a hand held light meter. It's amazing we got any acceptable pictures at all with the available technology of the time.

Keep up the good work on the newsletter. I look forward to the Monday arrival.

Dan Bessinger
BSME 1969

Thanks, Dan. I made this incredible image clickable. And another one you sent of campus, which shows Sperr Hall on the right, Koenig Hall (I believe) in the center, the Library being built, and Smith House, across the street.


Dennis -
About eight of us Tech students lived at 711 W Memorial Dr during the 1977-78 year in the future path of the new highway. The house was turned over to the State in March, so we didn’t have to pay rent for three months! The house was torn down that summer to make way for the new road. It was an excellent location being one block from the B&B bar. Late evening study sessions were often halted for a quick run to the bar for a six pack – “You buy, I’ll Fly!”. Let’s not forget the great pickled eggs too – 25 cents! When I came back to grad school in 1980 the project was completed, and the house gone.

Chris Pritchard P.E. ’78, ‘81
Mining Engineering


My most vivid memory of VanOrden's HIll was in the mid 1970's on a spring night when I had driven to South Range in the sunshine with a temp of 81. A couple of hours later, after a hard rain, the temp had dropped to 30. Van Orden's was a solid sheet of ice. I was able to safely creep down the hill driving past a dozen or more cars that had slid off the road. Probably my scariest drive ever! Wait 15 minutes in the Copper Country and the weather can change-usually for the worst.

Rona Giese


There is a small shallow stream runs through the property. In the spring during smelt season this stream would get a run of smelt. A "great" Friday night date would be to get a bucket and go smelting at the roundhouse. A net was not needed as you could pick the fish up with your hands. My record was 13 fish with one grab. Another feature is that the stream had a bridge and all your fishing could be done under the bridge not raising a lot of attention with your lights and no one knew it existed.


Doug Owen '62


I wish I could see the picture a little better. I worked at Pamida in '78 - '79 when they built the new M26 there. I was on the Hurontown Fire Dept, too, and I think we fought a fire at the building next to the roundhouse. It might have been farther east. I'm trying to remember the name of the Ski-doo dealer in the lower left corner. It was owned by Jack Stevens and most people just called it 'Jack Stevens', but I think it was named Superior Service or something like that.

Rand Hruska

Rand: That was indeed Superior Service, and he was Jack Stevens, "Mr. Ski-Doo," a great guy. He was instrumental in snowmobile trails being established in the UP, which have become a boon to winter tourism.


Hi Dennis,
Thanks for the old picture of Van Orden's Hill. Lots of cars used to struggle to climb this in the winter; many never made it. We lived at the top of the hill. There was always at least one bad accident with serious injuries at the top of the hill every year....right near our house. We were the first on the scene in a few instances. I'm sure lives have been saved with the new road that eliminated this old dangerous curve and hill; maybe even mine.

The Round House is interesting to remember too. My younger brother caught a 46" Northern Pike fishing off the dock there (pic was in the Gazette); my Dad had it smoked; good eating!

Take Care,
Red Chamberlain

Doc Berry Disappears

Please excuse me for taking too long to respond, but here is my Doc. Berry story. I think you already have heard about it. I had two Science Classes with him for my Freshman and Sophomore MTU years. At the end of each semester’s class, he would assemble all or most of his students in the main auditorium at Fisher Hall for a “final message” before sending us on our way. He was indeed a unique kind of professor that demanded the use of all your talents, both those you knew about and those you were yet to discover. He was very tough; but with a nurturing purpose of getting you off your seat, on your feet and into the game of life.

As for his final message … back then we had heard about some sort of magic trick or illusion he would deliver at the end of a speech about fire & ice, creation & death and the role we all play in the world God created for us. It was not very long, but it definitely got your attention. Then, without much warning at all there would be a large puff of smoke and ole’ Doc Berry would disappear ...vanish…nowhere to be seen! I remember how quiet the entire auditorium was at that moment and then the buzz of HOW DID HE DO THAT? Some of us checked the stage to find no trap door and the curtain was far enough behind him that it was not a realistic escape route either. We all knew it was indeed a trick, but for many years no one really had a handle on how he did it. To this day I think of that speech once in awhile and smile at just how talented Doc was in getting his students to think for themselves and use their education. I will always remember him for that and all the hours of studying he demanded, while molding us into exceptional engineers.

Bruce Kuffer
Class of 71 / BSCE


Dennis...'just a little something for your email bag from 1957...Doc Berry,Annie Callis and Clair Heide were the 1957 judges in the annual baby show which choose Linda Ann Olson as Queen in her class. Her Parents Bill and Gay were quite pleased....Doc Berry was also instrumental in graduating two Korean Vets. He said we both lacked the brains to pass his PChem course,but what we lacked in brains we made up in perseverance. What a guy!!!

EWmOlson '60

Legacies, Continued

Hi Dennis,
I was just reading your mail bag of who graduated from Michigan Tech. In my immediate family, I graduated in Computer Science (1991), my sister Diana graduated in Medical Technology , sisters Sara and Kristine graduated in High School Education, sister Anna graduated in Metallurgical Engineering, and brothers Bob, David and Ken in Mechanical Engineering, brother Erik in Wood Fiber Science, brother Andrew in Civil Engineering and brother Aaron in Civil Engineering Technology. Sister Karen almost finished a BS degree in High School Education but got married in her senior year and had to move away and finish in St Ignace. This was from 1984 through 2006. Four other siblings didn't go to Michigan Tech.

Joanne Johnson


Dear Dennis,
My father, Walfred S. "Jed" Werner, graduated from the Michigan College of Mining & Technology in the spring of 1942, with a BS degree in Electrical Engineering. Being in ROTC, he entered WWII with the Corp of Engineers and served in North Africa and Italy. Upon the end of the war, he married and I was born in February of l946 making me one of the earliest "baby boomers". I graduated from Michigan Tech in 1968 with a BSEE and my younger sister, Sally Werner-Lemmers, graduated in 1975 with a BSEE as well. Her claim to fame is that, unlike so many of our peers at the time, she started out in mechanical engineering and switched to electrical engineering during her freshman year (not the other way around - unheard of!).

I eventually had two sons who would also go on to become third-generation electrical engineers. Living only two hours away in Niagara, Wisconsin, we would frequently travel to Houghton in the dead of winter to take in a hockey game and introduce the boys to the Michigan Tech ambiance and mystique. All part of the plan to encourage a third generation of Tech grads.

Unfortunately, one year we made the mistake of attending a University of Wisconsin football game in Madison and, surprise, surprise, both boys decided that Madison held a greater allure than Houghton. However, years later, my boys and I still plan an annual trip to Houghton, to take in a hockey game (against Wisconsin whenever possible), which sort of constitutes a third generation legacy, at least in my mind. And now, with seven grandchildren, maybe a fourth? By the way, Jed just turned ninety this month, still drives and lives at home. Now that's a legacy!

Michael Werner

Women's Basketball

Enjoyed the article about the women's basketball team. My how times have changed. When I was a freshman at Tech there were likely not enough women to field a basketball team. All the coeds lived in the first floor east wing of Wadsworth, and there was a door on that wing that would make Ft. Knox proud!

By the way, for your legacies piece, my son Chris graduated from Tech in Mechanical Engineering in 1996. We were living in Phoenix when he decided to go to Tech. We all thought he was a little crazy for wanting to leave the warm sunshine and go up there with all the snow, but we knew he'd get a top notch education.

Larry Felhauer '69


Hey Dennis,
I hope all our alums had a chance to follow our phenomenal Women's Basketball Team this year.

My wife and I traveled to Houghton to watch several home games in January and we returned for the NCAA Midwest Regionals in March. In between, we watched our team play at Ferris, Findlay, and Hillsdale. Our team was so exciting to watch. Every Alum can take great pride in the athleticism and the scholastic achievements of the ladies on this record setting team. Many thanks to the coaching staff for leading our team to the highest level of Div. II competition in the country, and for doing it year in and year out!

Of course, we also watched the men's basketball team play since both teams play the same schedule two hours apart. While their record wasn't impressive this year, our team is very exciting to watch and the talented returning players on this team are in position to return to a winning record next year. They can do it!

I'd like to remind fellow alumni living in the Lower Peninsula and in northern Ohio that most of our teams play many away games at GLIAC Colleges - right in our backyards. Most of us live within an hour's drive of at least one of these schools and many of us are within an hour and a half of 3 or 4 of these schools. Check it out and plan to watch our alma mater play in hostile territory where they can really use our support. There is a good chance that they'll meet the parents of our players - who travel to many away games - and the great coaches that are working hard to support Tech students athletically and scholastically.

Go Tech!

John Northrup '72

John: It was an incredibly special group of women and a great coach, too. What a ride!

Cup of Coffee for a Cause

After losing my Mother and Sister In Law to cancer and learning about my high school and MTU college roommate Peter Olson (1983) being diagnosed with AML http://peterjolson.blogspot.com/ , I started a coffee fundraising program called ONE CUP CLOSER TO A CURE through my company, Fundraising Together (www.fundraisingtogether.com).

One of our first non-profits who adopted this program was Multiple Sclerosis with their MS Empowerment Blend Coffee.

We also developed programs with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Team in Training Blend, and The American Cancer Society, the Relay For Life Blend and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Blend.

All our coffees can be ordered year round. The coffee is fresh-roasted to order and shipped within 10 business days. The coffee costs $144 per case (24 custom labeled 12 oz. bags per case) and we include free shipping within the continental U.S. Fundraising participants either sell the coffee for $10 or $12 per bag, based on their fundraising goals, or give a bag of coffee as a Thank You for a monetary donation. It's a great way for people to support you while getting a product that they can use daily. And you can continue to supply them with coffee as they would like to reorder throughout the year, thus keeping your fundraising efforts going year round.

If there are other fundraising opportunities where the individual or group would like their own signature coffee, we offer complimentary graphic design of a label, choice of bag color and choice of coffee products. http://www.fundraisingtogether.com/14.html Groups such as Hockey Associations have had great success here in the Midwest.

I would appreciate you posting this information in your newsletter and in the alumni class news as appropriate. We would like to get the word out that these products are available to help.

Together, we can get ONE CUP CLOSER TO A CURE.

Thank you,

Jeff Crepeau
Class of 1985
BS Business Administration

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 http://www.mtu.edu/alumni/products/career-tools/or contact the Career Center (906) 487-2313 career@mtu.edu for more information


More Alumni Benefits and Services information http://www.mtu.edu/alumni/products/gear/

Class Rings
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Job Opportunities

On Campus

Regional Admissions Manager, (position is based in Metro Detroit/Southeast Lower Michigan), Admissions

Director, Center for Diversity and Inclusion

Complete Job Descriptions are available on the Human Resources website.

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