June 6, 2011
Vol. 17, No. 21
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Living Local

PhD candidates
DiscoTech Ultimate's legendary Frisbee House.

Although residence hall living has improved exponentially since back in the day, to really experience the Keweenaw, you need to move into some local housing.

I'm sure I'll hear tales about what it was like renting when you were students, but my latest experience with living local was through my childrens' eyes.

She roomed with volleyball and basketball players, and was always dwarfed in the accommodations, wherever they were. It was great, though, as she was able to experience some of their highs and lows and meet their families over the years. She's kept track of a couple, too, getting career, wedding, and childbirth news occasionally.

He found a new home first with the paintball guys. What a crew that was, including a pit bull for a mascot! They were definitely safe from intruders! The guys were a unique mix of majors and backgrounds, and I think they all graduated!

Next, he was in the Frisbee House for a couple of years. The DiscoTech Ultimate Frisbee Club still has a headquarters near Franklin Square downtown. They made some "improvements" to the house entertainment systems while he was there. We even donated a recliner that is still in use, so we've been told.

That first taste of independence was good for them both, as they got to wrestle with parking, snow plowing, rent checks, and roomies who partied more than studied.

And, for the most part, the landlords were pretty good, not needing much interference from mom and dad, which was the whole point with moving out and living local to begin with.

Dennis '92, '09

At Tech

Steel Bridge Team Takes Second in the Nationals

Bridge Team
Michigan Tech’s team nabbed a second-place finish at the AISC National Student Steel Bridge Competition, held May 20-21 at Texas A&M University. Sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction, the contest challenges future structural engineers to display their skills in steel design, steel fabrication and teamwork. Forty-eight student teams from across the US and Canada participated. More

Audrey Mayer Receives Powe Award

Audrey Mayer
Audrey Mayer, whose research focuses on multidisciplinary sustainability science, has been named a winner of a 2011 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award. Mayer is an assistant professor with a dual appointment in the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science and the Department of Social Sciences. More

Sorby Honored for Spatial Visualization Work

Michigan Technological University professor Sheryl A. Sorby has received North Carolina State University’s Orthogonal Medal for outstanding accomplishments in improving students’ spatial visualization skills. More

Alumni Around the World

Grand Rapids Alumni Industry Event

GR Alumni Event
More than 120 Alumni and friends gathered at Flanagans in Grand Rapids to enjoy some pickled eggs and swap stories over a favorite beverage. This relaxation took place after a long day at the SAE NVH Conference in May.

The collaboration and event was enjoyed by all. Thanks to the Alumni Association for providing some door prizes.

Pictured are the organizers of the alumni industry event: From left, Jan Leuridan, LMS; Jay Meldrum, Michigan Tech KRC; Joe Morril PCB, and Bill Myers '85, Tri Link.

1969 Alum Wins the First Snowfall Contest

snowfall contest
The results are in from the first Snowfall Contest, where alumni and friends were asked to predict the total amount of snow to fall in the Keweenaw during the 2010-11 season. Ron Streib ’69, metallurgical engineering, was the closest with his prediction of 178.3 inches, only two-tenths of an inch from the total, according to the Keweenaw Research Center, of 178.5 inches.

There were a few guesses at 178 and a few at 179, but Ron wins the grand prize of two nights at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge and a Michigan Tech Winter Survival Kit (hoodie, gloves, hat, scarf, blanket, and snowbrush). Ron mentioned that he and his wife had been talking about making a tour of the Copper Country and will be able to enjoy the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge this summer.

There were 1,001 entries ranging from a low of 100 inches to a high of 385!

Mark Nitz ’90 a chemical engineering alumnus was chosen from all entries to win the consolation prize of a smaller Michigan Tech Winter Survival Kit. Mark’s prediction had been 178 inches, so he was also quite close. When asked where the prize should be sent, he suggested Alumni Relations hang onto it, as his son, who will be back for his second year at Tech in the fall, will need it more.

Stay tuned for the Second Annual Snowfall Contest for the 2011-12 season!

KRC snow totals site.

Check out the Snow Memories posted by alumni and friends:

HuskyLink Contest Winners Announced

huskylink contest
The Alumni Association is pleased announce the winners of the HuskyLink Contest, which celebrated the launch of the newly designed HuskyLink.

Congratulations to our winners:
1st Stephanie Arthur ‘06, Husky Themed iPad2 (approx. value $600)
2nd Thomas Spence ‘70, University Images/Campus Store $300 Tech gear Gift Card
3rd Lara Michaelson ‘09, University Images/Campus Store $200 Tech gear Gift Card
4th Tracy Brush ‘09, University Images/Campus Store $100 Tech gear Gift Card
5th Daniel Rouns ‘87, University Images/Campus Store $50 Tech gear Gift Card

New and current members had an opportunity to win some exciting prizes in the contest, which ran from mid-March until May 31. Alumni were encouraged to check out some of the features of our online community which generated a great deal of member activity:

• 465 New Registered Members (15,000 + Total Members)
• 2,140 Unique Logins (3,599 Total Logins)
• 1,133 Unique Profile Updates (3,751 Total Profile Updates)
• 589 Member to Member Emails
• 186 Instant Notes sent
• 157 Class Notes added

So checkout HuskyLink today and explore your network.

Alumni Association Begins Traditions Fellowships and Scholarships

As the Generations of Discovery Campaign progresses, important initiatives are arising. An excellent example is the new Traditions of Giving Fellowship and Scholarships for incoming and current Michigan Tech students. Sponsored by the Alumni Association, this fund will distribute $90,000 beginning this fall.

Scholarships and fellowships have long enabled students to attend Michigan Tech, including those who might not otherwise be able to enroll.

“I am a foster youth, transitioning to adulthood, and I am on my own when it comes to funding,” said psychology major Angela Hoffman. “So, that scholarship is essential to me being here. While I’m at Tech, I want to learn how to help other people.”

Troy Bouman, a mechanical engineering student, echoed Angela’s thoughts on funding. “If it wasn’t for my scholarships, I could not have come here.”

The fellowships and scholarships are funded by the investment earnings income generated from an endowed fund of the Michigan Tech Alumni Association. This endowment was created through the generosity of alumni and friends who have supported the Alumni Association over the years.

The Alumni Association will provide $30,000 per year for three years, beginning this fall: $10,000 for graduate fellowships and $20,000 for undergraduate scholarships each year. The awards will be $1,000 per student, with the following guidelines:

  • Awardees must contribute to the goals of the Michigan Tech Plan.
  • Awards will be used for incoming and current students in need as defined by Michigan Tech’s Financial Aid Office and Graduate School.

In addition, the Alumni Association Board of Directors will welcome each student to the University, tell them how the fellowship or scholarship was created, and encourage them to connect to the alumni network and get involved in alumni events.

If you would like to help support the Traditions of Giving Fellowship and Scholarships, please contact Alumni Relations at 906-487-2400 or email alumni@mtu.edu

Still Time to Provide Your Support

If you haven’t taken the opportunity to make your 2010-11 Annual Fund gift to Michigan Tech yet, there is still time. The University’s fiscal year comes to a close on June 30, 2011, so you have until the end of the month to reserve your spot on the annual Honor Roll of Donors. Options for making your year-end gift include:

  • Phone the Michigan Tech Fund at 1-877-386-3688 (toll free) or 1-906-487-2310 and make your gift with a credit/debit card.
  • Make your gift online with a credit/debit card by going to www.mtu.edu/giving/
  • Mail your gift to:
    Michigan Tech Fund
    Michigan Technological University
    1400 Townsend Drive
    Houghton, MI 49931

Your phone or mail gift must be received by June 30 at 3:00 pm (EST) to be included for the 2010-11 year. Online credit/debit card gifts can be made up until midnight (EST) on the 30th.

Fill in the Blanks


Were you in Women in Engineering in 2006 and in the ROTC Building? It's clickable. Email me.

Apartment in Downtown Houghton?

bowling alleyMaybe you rented an apartment downtown back in the 1970s, when we think this photo was taken? Email me.
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Tech Sports

Beimborn Added to 2011-12 Women's Hoops Recruiting Class

Michigan Tech women's basketball coach Kim Cameron today announced the addition of Nateah Beimborn (Kimberly, Wis.) to the roster for 2011-12. The 5-7 guard joins three student-athletes: Dani Blake (Midland, Mich.), Kerry Gardner (Middleton, Wis.) and Jillian Ritchie (De Pere, Wis.), who were signed last November. More

Individual Sports Programs Hand Out Yearly Awards

Michigan Tech head coach Joe Haggenmiller recently announced the yearly award winners for cross country, Nordic skiing and track and field. Overall, 24 different athletes were honored. More

Around the Keweenaw

KNHP Documenting History, Conditions of Historic Landscapes

For officials of the Keweenaw National Historical Park, the way the land within its boundaries looks is just as important as the buildings and machinery used for copper mining. Tom Baker, KNHP management assistant, said to make decisions about the look of the park, members of its staff create Cultural Landscape Reports. More

Officials, Public Dedicate ATV Trail Opening

Two bands, two local elected officials, one county sheriff and a large group of people got together Saturday to recognize the official opening and dedication of the Keweenaw County ATV trails. Ray Chase, Keweenaw ATV Club secretary/treasurer, said 10 years ago, the club started developing the trail system, which runs from Hancock to the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula. The development was paid for with financial support from the club's 45 corporate sponsors' fees from its more than 200 members. More

A Superior Summit: Bike Enthusiasts Converge in Copper Harbor

Andrea Grygo and Matthew Evingson came from Duluth, Minn. to attend the Great Lakes Mountain Bike Summit at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge near Copper Harbor Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and they're glad they made the trip. More

From the Email Bag

End Earth Sign

Hi Dennis,
I never actually saw the sign, but somewhere along the way, I acquired a postcard of it. Same picture as you put in the newsletter.

On the back of the postcard is printed: "End of Earth. Houghton may seem to be isolated in the middle of nowhere as emphasized by two Michigan Tech students, John Marchesi and Tom Coccioione, when they constructed this sign and placed it four miles south of Houghton on U.S. 41." The copyright is 1985 by John A. Marchesi.

Tim Burtrum
Class of '69 and '72


Dennis - Very funny story relating to that sign! Last week I was at a Quality Summit for Electrolux. I have worked there for 4 years now, and have never met a Tech alumnus. While I was at this summit in South Carolina, I ran into two other Techies, both that work for Electrolux! One lives in El Paso and the other in Charlotte, NC. Crazy, isn't it??

One of the guys, Jim Seymour, was telling me that his very good friend made and erected that sign!! Look Jim up, he can give you many more details. If you are not able to track him down, email me back.

Thanks for the memories!



Dennis -
I remember it well. It reminded me of signs or plaques at one or more now closed US military outposts. One particular one was in eastern Turkey. That sign said. .....not the end of the world but you can se it from here..... I think there was similar one at a base in Germany before the fall of Berlin wall.

As a LocalMakiFinn I was happy to see this one in the Gazette - I had a subscription - and on my next Houghton visit I bought a stack of the postcards. The owners would have cleaned up with a poster version!

Who remembers the big rustic style wooden sign that earlier stood nearby and once greeted visitors to Houghton reminding all of it's great attraction which was/is "Home of the purest most vitalizing air on earth". I think it was sponsored by Copper Country Vacationist League a business group.

Those were the good old days.....

John W Wehmanen PMP
HHS 67 MTU 71


The road sign was after my time at Tech. I do remember a T-shirt that was available from the book store with the sign and a blacktop road on it. this was in the late 60's. Too bad it is not still available.

Joe Maasterson


I believe the sign was erected specifically for this photo, which was taken by John Marquese (if my recollection is correct). I graduated in 1986, and I have a postcard of it.

Pamela Hollingsworth


I saw that picture prior to 1985. I believe it appeared in the Lode some time before I graduated in November, 1981.

Karl Stoolmiller
BSME, 1981


The sign must pre-date 1985, because I can remember the postcard (never saw the actual sign) from when I was there in 1969-73. Of course I am getting old, so it is possible I latched on to the postcard during one of my many follow up trips up there, but the brain still thinks it dates back to the 1960's

Rich Cottrell 73


Dennis – I graduated in ’83 and vaguely remember seeing a sign similar to that, although the mileage was greater as the sign was closer to Baraga. I have also seen similar photos in offices of Tech grads who predate my time at Tech. My guess is that this sign (or similar) reappears every few years, and the Highway Department has a large collection.

Tom Kispert ‘83


The days before Photoshop… I still have that picture. It is hanging in my basement workroom. My kids look at it and shake their head. I think I bought it in the campus bookstore.

Scott McBain, ‘86



I remember it well! I still have an original copy cut from the newspaper in a frame on my wall!

Rick Stevens
BSChE '87


I remember! I still have a post card made from this sign! Thanks for sharing.

Kip (Howard) Cosan
Class of ’84 and ‘89

Bowling Alley

bowling alley
Yes it was in the basement of the old clubhouse. Now the ROTC building. I bowled a few games on them.

Willard Tschantz
Class of 1949


Dear Dennis,
Your assumption is correct...the bowling alley was in the basement of the ROTC Building

EW(Bill)Olson '60


I believe that the bowling alley was in the basement of the student union building. You could actually get a PE credit for bowling and they had bowling leagues as well.

Alan Boase

Alan: That's what I thought initially, but I think we've nailed down ROTC as the location. Of course, bowling was a favorite winter semester PE credit: warm and on the main campus!


Bob Monahan '54 called to say he remembered setting pins in the old bowling alley beginning in 1948. He had an athletic scholarship and did the alley work in addition to washing dishes in the old Denton House, which was the white house next to the Admin Building's current location.

More on Alumni in Scotland

Hello Dennis, Just wanted to drop you a line in responce to your news letter article about alums in Scotland. After Graduating from Tech in '07 I took a job with Chrysler. As the auto industry took its tumble I decided to look for other opportunities, and in May of '09 I took the jump and left Chrysler for a Scottish company called John Wood Group PLC (more commonly referred to as "Wood Group.")

Wood Group is in the oil and gas / power gen industry and is one of Scotland's largest employers with offices in the US and UK. While I am usually based out of the Houston TX office, I am currently working on a 6 month long project in Dundee Scotland, about 45 miles south of Aberdeen.

Scotland is an amazing country, and no place I have ever been reminds me quite as much of the UP as it does here. The amazing fresh air, small coastal cities, and wooded views of the north sea as I drive to and from work remind me of all the time I spend in the UP.

Aberdeen is an great city, and has wonderful shopping, entertainment, cultural attractions, and is ideally located for day trips into the Scottish Highlands. I am sure Casey will enjoy it here.

If she has any questions about the area feel free to pass along my e-mail address.

Tim Kurdziel
Materials Science and Engineering '07

Alexander Agassiz and Harvard

father and son
Dennis, the wife and I just completed a 3 week, 5,900 mile, 20-21 state road trip from Arkansas to Memphis then on to Charleston, SC up the East Coast to Bar Harbor, ME then through New Hampshire, Vermont to West point and down through the Appalachians, including the Blue Ridge and Smokies, onto to Nashville then home in NW Arkansas. We have never seen much of these states and we have now seen all states except Louisiana and Alaska. Strange, Louisiana is right next to us. And what a big and beautiful country we are blessed to live in.

Even though I will never admit that any school experience was "great" as many profess, I have this "thing" about visiting college campuses. I love them and the knowledge they project. One evening about 9 PM after we checked into a bed and breakfast in Cambridge, MA, we decided against advice about no parking to drive over to see Harvard. When there, I made a choice of asking an older fellow getting into his car versus a couple of students if he could tell some strangers from Arkansas where exactly the Harvard campus might be. He started to tell us about the new campus and the old campus and then asked if he could just show us. We of course were delighted.

During our discussions he admitted modestly that he was just an "administrator" at Harvard. A little further discussion and questioning revealed that he had a bachelors from Princeton and a masters and PhD from Harvard which he dismissed as something that everybody there has. After our trip, I did some Internet research that revealed that he is indeed the director, undergraduate admissions, at Harvard. And he spent at least 45 minutes with strangers, obviously not Harvard candidates, late at night giving them a personal tour.

We also discussed a past Harvard grad(/professor?) and potentially founder of the Calumet & Hecla Mining Company in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where the wife and I were raised. Neither of us were sure of the relationship, but we both noted that a person of a similar name was associated with Harvard. I did some Internet research and have found that indeed there was an Alexander E. Agassiz who was both associated with Harvard and was also the founder and past president and chairman of C& H in Calumet, Michigan where the spouse and I were both raised. In an entry on Wikipedia it appears that Agassiz gave $500,000 of his copper mining fortune to Harvard and indeed even lived in and visited our home town, Calumet, frequently in the later 1800's. For more information see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Emanuel_Agassiz

I thought that he might be interested in this relationship so that he could be able to integrate it into his admissions program for a specific subset of Harvard candidates. In my email to him I was even so bold as to suggest that maybe in his admissions capacity he might come across future candidates from the area and better appreciate the long and close relationship between the people (and implied, the money) from that area and Harvard.

To me, this encounter and connections we developed during our brief talk just emphasizes that a very short discourse with most any specific person can uncover connections that remove them from the category of "total stranger" with whom one does not want to interact. I have proved this time and time again and love the discussions that result with people previously unknown to me.

So, if you have the kids or grandkids who are looking at Harvard be sure to discretely mention the Copper Country/Harvard history. Who knows, it may give an edge to know that the Copper Country got Harvard some serious contributions from a Bostonian who graduated from and was associated with Harvard and who lived and prospered in the Copper Country.

Jerry Davison '66 Math

Featured Alumni Benefits

Show Your Pride!
Order your Michigan Tech license plate today!

license plate 
When you purchase a Michigan Technological University plate, not only do you show your Husky Pride, but you also support programs for alumni and students.  For an additional fee, your Michigan Tech plate can be personalized.

Don’t live in Michigan? Then you need a collector Michigan Tech license plate!

Whether you purchase a regular plate or collector plate, a portion of the purchase fee is given to the university.

To order visit: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/orderform_mtu_16221_7.pdf


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Job Opportunities

On Campus

Dean of Engineering, College of Engineering

Operator/Dispatcher N4, Public Safety and Police Services, Reposted for External Candidates

Assistant Director, Center for Diversity and Inclusion

Training Specialist, Senior Design, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Complete Descriptions are available on the Human Resources website.

Off Campus

Keweenaw opportunities: http://www.keweenawprofessionaljobs.com/

Other employment opportunities: Check out the Linked in group exclusively for Michigan Tech Alumni.

Also, visit the Career Tools webpage for more options.