October 3, 2011
Vol. 18, No.3
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PCA @ Tech

President Mroz with new PCA inductee Paula Wittbrodt '93.

Michigan Tech is always looking for new ways to reach out to alumni and friends, including the Presidential Council of Alumnae (PCA). Formed in 1996, the women’s group seeks to recognize alumnae who have gone on to do great things and get those alumnae reacquainted with the University.

PCA just had their 16th annual meeting on campus, and they inducted nine more worthy members into their fold. Also during the induction ceremony, twenty-three current students were recognized as Women of Promise were honored. These are current students, nominated from each department, who go above and beyond what is expected of them in terms of being well rounded.

PCA is also an important advisory board for the University and the Office of Institutional Diversity, and President Glenn Mroz ’74 ’77 appreciates the group’s input on women’s issues and more.

“They advise us on issues that affect all students at Michigan Tech,” he says. “Over the years, it’s really become a conversation, with them weighing in on issues of student enrollment, fundraising, marketing and communications, branding.”

Chris Anderson addresses the group at the ceremonies. Paula Nutini, director of annual giving (right), helps run the ceremonies.

The PCA also has given the University good advice on how to attract more female students to Tech, Mroz says, “and that’s become one of our biggest accrediting efforts.”

It’s also an example of input that has helped increase the current female student population to an all-time high: 1,837 (26 percent of the total).

“It’s good to have a group of people you can bounce ideas off of,” says Mroz. “We discuss some pretty heavy subjects, and they are honest without being judgmental.”

He claims there has been a great level of trust built up over the years, characterized as “lively exchanges” at times.

“Improving the culture at Tech is an example,” he says. “They can talk to the Women of Promise and other students and see how things are now, compared to back when they were students.”

“Those Women of Promise are also the type of women who could be inducted into PCA in the future,” says Chris Anderson ’72, a PCA member and one of the originators of the organization. “The alumni members want to interact with students, and that has grown to include structured activities each year, with guest speakers for example. This year, we had some 200 students listen to and interact with Erin Zimmer [’98 grad, adjunct professor at Northwood University and former recruiter for Dow Corning Corporation].”

The idea for PCA came from Anderson, former staffer Lisa Dietlin, and alumnae Cindy Hodges ’87 ‘90 looking for a way to involve more women in an advisory capacity, like academies and advisory boards were doing for the colleges, schools, and departments.

“It gave deans, department chairs, and the president a chance to hear how women experience Michigan Tech when they are here and what they do when they leave,” Anderson says.

Anderson agrees that PCA is also instrumental in coming up with ways to recruit more women to campus, especially to their academic departments, and that’s always an important concern of the University.

“These women are doers,” Anderson says, “and they want to work with admissions, for example, in a deliberate way to get students to come here.”

“They were involved with Blue Key, sororities, other groups,” Mroz agrees, “and now are reconnected with the University. And it’s great that, where they live, they can tell young women about Tech. That’s important for the future of Michigan Tech.”

2010 inductee Kathy Haselmaier '84 summed it up nicely: “Being a member of PCA has caused me to pay more attention to issues about women pursuing STEM careers and educations, and I strive to provide helpful info to Tech on these topics.”


The Colorologist

"That was some nasty wind Thursday night," he says.

Knocked the leaves and pine needles all around.

"We are close to peak away from the lake, with some room to go elsewhere."

So, the prognosis for Homecoming?

"It'll be ideal. Get those football, hockey, volleyball, and tennis victories, new Hall of Fame members, and chair lift rides at Mt. Ripley."

You sound like a tour guide.

"I'm a fanatic and a close friend of Huskies and Twigs [foresters]."

And close enough to an expert, I believe.

"Bring your cameras."

Dennis '92, '09

At Tech

Michigan Tech Video Game on Xbox Live

video game
The Husky Game Development Enterprise (HGD) is finally enjoying the fruits of its labor. Its video game Arcane Brawlers is now available on Microsoft's Xbox Live Indie Marketplace. This is a first for the group and the culmination of nearly two years of intensive effort for the game's creators, including Ryan Wilson, who earned his BS in Computer Science from Michigan Technological University in spring 2011. More

Michigan Tech Dedicates New Solar Energy Research Facility

It was a damp and cloudy day, but the solar panels were still churning out electricity today as the Keweenaw Research Center dedicated the new Michigan Tech Solar Photovoltaic Research Facility. “It’s amazing what free energy is out there to gather up,” KRC Director Jay Meldrum told the crowd jamming the conference room in KRC’s Engineering Building. More

Michigan Tech Faculty, Students Honored for Great Lakes Research

Lake Michigan
The International Association for Great Lakes Research has honored five Michigan Technological University faculty members and students. The Chandler-Misener Award for the outstanding article published in the Journal of Great Lakes Research (JGLR) in 2010 was given to coauthors Professor W. Charles Kerfoot and PhD student Foad Yousef of the biological sciences department, chemistry Professor and Chair Sarah A. Green, former faculty member Judith W. Budd, and David J. Schwab and Henry A. Vanderploeg of NOAA. More

Alumni Around the World

ArcelorMittal Alum On Campus: Recruiting and Giving Back

west MI
(Left to right): Ryan Hoagland '98 EE; Mark Plichta, MSE chair; Paul Sanders, MSE; Adam Johnson, Corporate Partnerships; Joe Nowosad '87 metallurgical and materials engineering; Jim Turnquist, Career Services director; Jim Frendewey, School of Technology dean; Bill Lepak '90 EE; Rick Berkey, College of Engineering; Not pictured: Kate Nowosad, freshman; Chad Arney, J. R. Van Pelt and Opie Library.

Joe Nowosad '87 was on campus this week for some recruiting and a check presentation on behalf of ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steel company. They also had a nice display in the library.

Joe had a successful recruiting session during the Career Fair, too. He'll be offering some twenty students positions at the company, and there are more internships, too. "We have many baby boomers retiring who we must replace," he said. Looks like he came to the right place.

adam and Joe

Daughter Kate, who didn't apply to any other university, is a computer engineering major and was also on hand. Her mom, Brenda (Stinson), is also an alum, class of 1989. She's a math major teaching high school physics.

Adam Johnson accepts a check from Joe Nowosad.

Come Back for Homecoming—October 7–8!

There are many unique traditions at Michigan Tech and Homecoming is one of the best! Your Michigan Tech Alumni Association is hosting special Alumni Homecoming events for alumni and friends.

Reconnect with your Tech friends for a fun filled weekend and enjoy watching the

• Cardboard Boat Races
• Tech Football VIP Tailgate*
• Husky Hockey Box Suite*
• 3rd annual Alumni Broomball Invitational*

MacInnes Ice ArenaCheck-in at the Downtowner and receive your free alumni gift.

*Limited space available

Whether you want to participate and relive your student days, or just watch the action, you don't want to miss Homecoming 2011!

WHEN: Friday and Saturday, October 7-8
WHERE: Houghton

For a full list of events and to register please visit
or call 877-688-2586

Make a Difference Day—October 22!

Make a Difference Day is the most encompassing national day of helping others - a celebration of neighbors helping neighbors. Everyone can participate.

maddMichigan Tech students have been participating in Make a Difference Day for many years.  Last year over sixty alumni from nine chapters throughout the nation joined more than 500 (on campus) students in this national day of helping others.

This year it's time for you to participate with fellow Huskies in your own communities throughout the world.

Most events are expected to last for a couple hours in the morning and encourage all ages and family members to participate. Each volunteer will receive a special Husky t-shirt.

What will you be doing on Make a Difference Day?

Please visit http://apps.alumni.mtu.edu/make-a-difference-day/2011/ to register your event or sign-up to volunteer.

Fill in the Blanks

Leadership 2005

Were you paddling in the 2006 Cardboard Boat Race? It's clickable. Email me.

1979 Pyramid in the Mud

pyramidPyramid from 1979. Remember it? Email me.
View more sports >

Tech Sports

Hockey Defeats Lakehead 5-3

The Mel Pearson era opened at Michigan Tech with plenty of offense as the Huskies defeated Lakehead 5-3 in an exhibition game Saturday (Oct. 1). Jacob Johnstone paced the Huskies with a hat trick and Carl Nielsen and Tanner Kero each added two assists. “I really like how we battled back tonight, especially when we found ourselves behind in the second,” said Mel Pearson following his first game as head coach of the hockey team. More

Football Wins Big at Ohio Dominican 35-13

Michigan Tech turned in a dominating performance with a 35-13 victory at Ohio Dominican today in GLIAC football. The No. 21-ranked Huskies outgained the Panthers 443-to-276 in total offensive yards in moving to 4-1 overall and 3-1 in league play. "It was a hard-fought game, and I thought we came ready today," said head coach Tom Kearly. More

Ploy Named GLIAC Women's Tennis Athlete of the Week

Michigan Tech women's tennis player Ploy Suthijindawong (Bangkok, Thailand) has been named women's tennis athlete of the week by the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Suthijindawong went 3-0 in singles and 2-1 in doubles during three road matches in as many days last weekend.More

Irwin Named GLIAC Runner of the Week

Michigan Technological University sophomore Deedra Irwin (Pulaski, Wis.) was named the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) women's cross country "Runner of the Week" after placing 12th at the Roy Griak Invitational last week. More

Sports Wrap-Up

What’s Happening This Week | Complete Schedule

Monday, Oct. 3, 2011
Mel Pearson Show, 8:45-9 a.m. on WKMJ Mix 93.5 FM

Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011
Huskies Drive Time, 7:30-8 a.m. on WKMJ Mix 93.5 FM

Friday, Oct. 7, 2011
Cross Country at UP Championships (Marquette, Mich.)
Women's Tennis hosts Saginaw Valley State, 1 p.m.
Women's Soccer at Tiffin, 3 p.m.
Volleyball hosts Tiffin, 5 p.m.
Hockey hosts American International, 7:07 p.m. (Live Radio, WKMJ Mix 93.5 FM)

Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011
Women's Tennis hosts Northwood, 10 a.m.
Football hosts Saginaw Valley State, 1 p.m. (Homecoming) (Live Radio, WKMJ Mix 93.5 FM)
Volleyball hosts Ohio Dominican, 4 p.m.

Michigan Tech Sports Hall of Fame Induction (MUB Ballroom), 5 p.m.
Hockey hosts American International, 7:37 p.m. (Live Radio, WKMJ Mix 93.5 FM)

Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011
Women's Soccer at Findlay, 12 p.m.

All times Eastern. Home events in bold.

Last Week's Results

Hockey (0-0-0, 0-0-0 WCHA)
10/1 --- at Michigan Tech 5, Lakehead 3 (exhibition)

Football (4-1, 3-1 GLIAC)
10/1 --- No. 21 Michigan Tech 35, at Ohio Dominican 13

Women's Soccer (4-5-1, 2-5-1 GLIAC)
9/30 --- Ashland 2, at Michigan Tech 1
10/2 --- at Michigan Tech 2, Lake Erie 1

Volleyball (2-11, 0-8 GLIAC)
9/30 --- Northern Michigan 3, at Michigan Tech 0

Women's Tennis (3-6, 3-6 GLIAC)
9/30 --- at Tiffin 5, Michigan Tech 4
10/1 --- Michigan Tech 7, at Findlay 2
10/2 --- at Wayne State 9, Michigan Tech 0

Cross Country
Did not compete

Top News of the Week

Homecoming Football Game Saturday
Michigan Tech will host its annual Homecoming celebration this week. A full slate of activities is schedule on campus during the week including a parade and pep rally Friday (Oct. 7). The week will culminate in Saturday's (Oct. 8) football game. The No. 21 Huskies will host Saginaw Valley State at Sherman Field at 1 p.m. in a battle of one-loss teams in the GLIAC North Division.

Tech Sports Hall of Fame Induction Set for Saturday
Michigan Tech will induct seven new members into its Sports Hall of Fame at an official ceremony on Saturday (Oct. 1). The new inductees are former men's basketball player Jeff Boinski, former hockey player and assistant coach Dan Farrell, former women's basketball player and coach Darla (Innes) Olson, former football player Jeremy Monroe, former men's tennis player Steve Nykerk, former hockey player Bill Terry and former volleyball player and coach Krista Valdivia.

Around the Keweenaw

Cougar Sighted in Houghton County

A cougar has been spotted in Houghton County, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has confirmed. The cougar was caught on a trail camera in northern Houghton County on Saturday. DNR staff verified the finding on Monday. The specific location is not being released as the land owner wanted anonymity. It is believed to be the same cougar caught by a trail camera in Ontonagon on Sept. 8. More

Movie Premieres in Calumet

Heather Courtney has taken her film Where Soldiers Come From to festivals in Los Angeles and Traverse City, among other places. But she's never had a premiere like the one Sunday night. "This is the most nervous I've been by far, because I really care about what you think," she told a near-sell-out crowd at the Calumet Theatre. "I don't care what strangers think." More

Post Office Meetings Continue: Concerns Voiced in Sidnaw

About 60 people gathered in the Sidnaw United Methodist Church on a rainy Thursday evening to provide feedback regarding the possible discontinuance of the Sidnaw post office, which has been a fixture in the small southern Houghton County town since 1889. More

From the Email Bag

Football 1971?


I love the your articles of old Tech and the scenes that previous grads send in. It brings back great memories and a big smile thinking of all the great fun finding ways to survive 4years in the Copper Country.

Best times include Fall days at the Cheese Factory, Asselin's Market in Calumet, hockey at the Dee and Winter Carnival snow statue building.

Jim Blevins '72

football 1971
football 1971

Thanks, Jim: A couple of things stand out.

First, I don't recall the old houses up at what I think is Hubbell Field.

Second, the downtown Houghton photo looks strange to me. What was in those buildings?

Finally, I think that's Mike Scally running the offense, which would, indeed put this at 1970 or 1971.

Any other guesses?

They are all clickable.





The Campus in 1964

Hi Dennis
I found this great YouTube video of MTU back in 1964. It really shows how much the campus has changed in almost 50 years.


Bob Cunningham '78 EE

Bob: This is incredible! Thanks! And here's what the campus looks like now:


Our Ancestry

Hello Dennis:
I read with interest your Parade of Nations story. Surely, we must be related somehow! My father’s family is from Cornwall. Grandpa was a tin miner there. His father died in a tragic accident at the Levant Mine leaving behind 11 orphan children ages 20 to infant.

My father, David Rowe (MTU class of 51) met my mother, Senia Kinnunen of Boston Location (where the airport is now) at a dance at Tech. Her parents both came from Finland (pretty sure it was Oulu! Will have to ask her) and her father worked in the Keewenaw copper mines.

My Cornish grandpa and my Finnish mother had a running competition over who made the best pasties. Hers with carrots, his without. They were all good!

Becky (Rowe) Smits, class of 1986

Becky: My mom made a different version with ground beef, potatoes, and carrots. They were fantastic, too. She also made a pork and egg, which was the best.


When I arrived at da' Tech (in DHH), I remember one of the two local radio stations (Wimple or Whifdif?) carried Reino Soianen (sp?) and the Finnish News at around 5:30 PM—a Copper Country classic!

Frank Shoffner '62

Frank: And there is still the only Finnish language TV program in the US (I think): Suomi Kuutstu (Finland Calling), which has been on the air for forty-plus years.

Old Computer Memories

1960 KeweenawanDennis,
The section on old computers sure brought back memories. I had classes from McMillin, Anderson and Byers. Here are some recollections:

Dr McMillin's analog computer class where we simulated a weight hanging on a long coil spring. He had a spring/weight setup. The weight was pulled down and released, then it bounced up and down. Torsion induced in the spring slowly caused the weight to start rotating. After a while the weight stopped moving up and down and just rotated. Then the energy slowly returned completely to vertical motion and the cycle repeated. I'll never forget seeing that happen. We simulated that setup and plotted the resulting vertical and rotary motions.

Working part-time for Dr. Byers in the computer lab during my senior year. I wrote a program for "Benny", the Bendix G-15 computer. The program was for use in a class in the ME Dept to design steam condensers. As I recall, the programming language I used was called Intercom500. The program input was a paper tape reader and the data output device was an IBM typewriter. The lab had a teletype so the program could be punched offline and then read into "Benny" via the tape reader. The toughest part of writing the program was staying within the very limited capacity of the drum memory.

How technology has advanced since then! There is a new Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA. I plan to visit it soon. Website is www.computerhistory.org.

Leroy Keranen, BSEE '61


The story of the early Michigan Tech computers brings back many memories to me. In 1959-60 I was working on my M.S. Degree in a lab in the Ores Research building. I was just down the hall from where the computer lab was then located. Since my project required many hundreds of simple repetitive calculations, I spent much time on the computer lab on the mechanical Monroe and Marchant calculators. After Dr. Byers had seen me there for several weeks, he asked me what I was doing. When I showed him the calculations, he said that he could shoe me an easier way. He wrote a 21 step program in Intercom 500 Language on the Bendix G-15D computer that would do the same calculation. We punched the program into paper tape and after that we ran all my calculations on the G-15D. I was fascinated by the program and, on my own, figured out how it worked. Eventually I figured out how to program, and found that I could do the program in 20 steps instead of 21. I then proceeded to learn another language called POGO, and eventually the machine language which used hexadecimal (it should have been called sexadecimal, but that was too risque). It used 16 digits 0 through 10, and then u,v,w,x,y,z for the numbers 11,12,13,14,15, 16. This makes the numbers look weird. Modern hexadecimal uses a, b, c, d, e, f, for 11,12,13,14,15, 16. I then translated the Intercom 500 program into machine language. Finally Dr. Byers told me to sign up for the computer class that he taught, but since he knew how much work I had done on the computer, I did not actually need to attend the classes, and he would give me an “A”. I do have memories of being in the class, but do not remember if I attended them all. Anyway, I did receive my M.S. In Physical Chemistry and still have pleasant memories of Dr. Byers kindness.

In the 3rd photo of the article which is identical to the one on page 43 of the 1960 Keweenawan, Dr, Byers is looking into the Right hand side of the G-15D with the door open. If you could see what he was looking at. You would see racks and racks of identical vacuum tube modules. The left hand door concealed identical racks. I remember once when the machine went down, it was necessary to find out which module had gone bad, and it required pulling the modules out, one-by-one and replacing them with a module known to be good, until the machine operated properly again. The white rectangle at the top center of the front panel is the punched paper tape holder that was used to boot-up the machine, and to enter the other programs.

Besides the punched tape, there were two other input-output devices. One was a modified IBM Selectric typewriter, and the other was the punched card reader, which was input only. The G-15D did not have very much memory. I remember that if you wanted to do trigonometric calculations, there was a special program you had to read in so that it would do Sine, Cosine, Tangent, etc. calculation. Any modern hand-held calculator is more powerful than the G-15D was.

The description in the article as to how the computer stored, picked-up the numbers and did the calculations is exactly correct, as slow and clumsy as it seems, it did work.

At the time I was there, Dr Byers was using the computer to analyze wind and weather data for Puerto Rico area. Some agency was sending him the data on punched cards. We’ve come a long way in weather prediction since those days.

One of my souvenirs of those days was a copy of the Intercom-500 manual, all of about 50 pages long. It is probably still in my basement somewhere.

Ora L. Flaningam (1957, 1960)


Nice article in the last TechAlum newsletter on the old (50’s) computers. I particularly enjoyed the photos, which brought back many memories. The G-15 was pretty much “state of the art” at the time, but thinking of it now brings a sense of bemusement. During the academic year 59 – 60, I was hired by G. Cleaves Byers (“Gus,” to us, but never to his face) as an operator of the G-15. The task was to compute some data related to weather measurements taken in Puerto Rico.

I believe that Dr. Byers (a key member of the Mathematics Department, although he may also have had some connection with Physics) had been granted some NSF money for this purpose. Cartons of punch cards (about 100 in each stack, held together with a rubber band) would be sent to Tech for processing. It took a little over an hour to process a stack of cards. First the data on the cards had to be transferred to paper tape. The program for the computer to execute was also on paper tape since the computer had no internal storage. Running time pretty much depended on how well the tape reader worked and how many tears had to be repaired as well as how many complete restarts were needed due to various sorts of physical problems (such as a vacuum tube needing to be replaced).

This was pretty good work for a student, since it could be done at whatever time of the day or night you pleased ... and once the machine was running you could relax and study. I used to go in the late hours of the night or the early hours of the morning when things were very quiet and run a couple of stacks while getting in some bookwork. I also did an undergraduate research project under a grant administered by William Funkenbusch (“Bill,” to us, but never to his face). As a part of this project I wrote a program for the G-15 that searched and compared some paths through very small graphs.

A big part of the program involved working our a “drum map” so that the operations would be carried out at the optimal time to keep the number of rotations of the drum at a minimum. Computing time was very dear, the programs took a long time to run, and careful programming could save precious minutes. All of the programming was carried out in machine language. Compared to even to the most basic of home computers(or even calculators) of today, the machines of that time were much more like ox carts than Model T’s.

Richard Sher, Mathematics, 1960

Help for Africa

Thought you may be interested in a Tech alumni making an impact in Africa. (I humbly submit my recent experience in Sierra Leone)

This past September I joined a group of engineers with Engineer Ministries International (eMi) based out of Colorado on a trip to Freetown Sierra Leone West Africa. They were invited by Mercy Ships (a hospital ship whose mission is to serve the poor following Christ's example). Our job was to assess and make recommendations for three government hospitals in Freetown with respect to water, sanitary, electrical and structural needs.

We found that much of the existing utilities were non functional or worked part time at best. The hospitals only receive water from the city on certain days of the week and only during certain hours. The pressure was usually low and the quality was not suitable for drinking. There was no treatment of sewage and the collection system often overflowed and ran on top the ground where people walked and tracked back into the hospitals. The electrical was intermittent and dropped phase frequently when they did have power.

You may wonder how things could become so desperate. We asked ourselves the same question. The one thing we recognized was that people are the same all over the world. In the USA we have been blessed and often take what we have for granted. The west has contributed a great deal to the current state of things on multiple levels. Our solution has been to pump money into the problem and "fix" it for them. By doing so we have created a dependent state. Organizations like Mercy Ships recognize the mistakes of the past and are doing tremendous things toward helping the people of West Africa to help themselves.

This has been my eighth trip to Africa, but the first time actually serving as a civil engineer. It was a tremendous experience.

Daniel Mason, P.E.
Class of '83

Daniel: This is a great thing you are doing. Keep up the great work.

We Appreciate the Appreciation

Dennis...just wanted to congratulate and thank you for presenting such a great newsletter. I can't wait for the next one!!!

Bill Olson (60)

Hotchkiss Redux

hotchkissDear Dennis,
The legacy of Hotchkiss Hall also includes the world-famous Seaman Mineralogical Museum, which was housed, as I remember, on the top floor. While I was there (1963-1967), Professor Kiril Spiroff curated the collection. A number of Tech mineralogists--Spiroff, Mandarino, Williams, Denning, and Rouse to name a few--have even had minerals named for them.

Neil Foreman (Geology, '67)

Neil: You should see the museum now! New digs up on Sharon Avenue.

Featured Alumni Benefits

Show Your Pride! Order Your Michigan Tech License Plate Today!

license plate 
When you purchase a Michigan Technological University license 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


More Alumni Services information 

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Job Opportunities

On Campus

Strategic Faculty Hiring Initiative: Positions in Water and Transportation

Assistant Professor (tenure-track position), Department of Computer Science

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