April 24, 2012
Vol. 18, No. 18
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How's Your Health?

Ginny Gierke
Genny Gierke describes her research during our tour of health-related labs recently.

It’s a question we seem to ask more often as we age. Even after something as mundane as raking the yard, those twinges in our backs and legs remind us that we aren’t getting any younger.

You might be surprised to know that there’s a lot of health-related research going on at Tech. And much of it involves undergrads and grad students.

We took a tour of some labs recently, with alumni from the Tech Fund Board of Trustees, and we were enlightened.

Jason Carter, chair of the kinesiology and integrative physiology department, started us out with an overview of research at the SDC. He and the students in his lab have been concentrating on hypertension, hypotension (low blood pressure), and insomnia.

Biology PhD student Huan Yang described her work on sleep deprivation—twenty-four hours with no sleep for thirty men and women to compare with their normal sleep patterns. Afterwards, testing for blood pressure revealed "a new insight into understanding the link between sleep deprivation and hypertension in women."

In Assistant Professor Karen Roemer’s biomechanics lab, biomed PhD student Stephanie Hamilton ran through routines to record movement, before they upload the data and work on projects like balance analysis for seniors and rowing machine ergonomics for everyone.

Her interest in physical therapy led Stephanie to the PhD program. At Tech, she said she had “great opportunities for research and knowing she could make a difference in peoples’ lives.”

On the other end of campus, and on the other end of a science to engineering spectrum, Biomedical Engineering Chair Sean Kirkpatrick led us through more labs with impressive research. (Biomed’s got impressive numbers of female enrollment, too: 41 percent of 275 undergrads and 50 percent of grad students.)

In Assistant Professor Megan Frost’s biomaterials lab, graduating senior Genny Gierke discussed her work with nitrous oxide, platelets, and inflammation, and PhD student Sean Hopkins was looking at polymeric materials for implanting.

Another lab focused on stem cell work, and students were heavily involved in the biosensor lab, where they showed us a manufactured piece that would go between a prosthetic and a person’s leg, for example.

Student Brandon Pereles began as an undergrad and liked the work so much he stayed for graduate study. Undergraduate Thad Sansom was also present and submitted a paper to the journal IEEE Sensors, as his paper was proudly displayed in the lab.

“Compared to a calculus class, I really like this experience,” said Thad. “This is more like the real world.”

That was evident as I made my way back to the office, impressed with what I'd seen and heard and rubbing the small of my back.

Dennis '92 '09

At Tech

Celebrating a Special Teacher

Dean Johnson, Dee and Jim Trethewey
Dean Johnson, left, chats with Delores and James Trethewey.

A packed MUB Ballroom was a testament to Dean Johnson, the James ’67 and Delores Trethewey APMP Professor in the School of Business and Economics, his students, and the couple who have endowed his professorship. More

Sullivan to Address Graduates at Spring Commencement

Martha Sullivan
Martha Sullivan, the president of Sensata Technologies, will address more than 1,000 graduates during Michigan Tech’s Spring Commencement. The University will honor the achievements of 854 undergraduates and 199 master’s and PhD candidates during ceremonies on Saturday, April 28. More

Environmental Engineering Pioneer C. Robert Baillod Passes Away

Bob Baillod
Charles Robert “Bob” Baillod, a pioneer in the field of environmental engineering, passed away Thursday, April 12, at his home in Pointe Mills Estate in the presence of his family. More

Tech Remains Top Peace Corps Master's International School

Peace Corps
Michigan Tech ranks as the No. 1 Peace Corps Master’s International (PCMI) university nationwide for the seventh consecutive year. With 31 PCMI graduate students currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers, Michigan Tech has earned top spot in the 2012 rankings of Peace Corps’ Master’s International and Paul D. Coverdell Fellows graduate schools. More

Alumni Around the World

Continental Fire Company in Houghton

Continental Fire Company

The view from above at Houghton's newest club.

On Wednesday, April 18, 260 Michigan Tech alumni and friends joined the Keweenaw Alumni Chapter for an exclusive history tour and social in the newly renovated Continental Fire Co.in downtown Houghton. In 1885 this building was the first home of what was then known as the Michigan Mining School.




West Michigan Annual Spring Dinner

Over thirty alumni and guests attended the West Michigan annual spring dinner held at Egypt Valley Country Club. The guest speaker Victor Foerster '74 presented a summary of his new book Naked In The Stream with exciting stories of his adventures on Isle Royale.

Elections were held for new Board of Director members and various raffles were held.

A signed Michigan Tech hockey stick was won by Lynn Grzelak. Kathleen Cabrera '92 won a signed hockey jersey (left).

A fishing trip with Anderson Charters was won by Lynn Grzelak. A fishing trip with Jirah Charters was won by Jeff Schut.

Reunion Reminder

1943 distillation plant

Alumni Reunion is slated for August 2-4. It’s the 110th anniversary of the Michigan Tech Alumni Association, and it's going to be the biggest reunion ever!

The 2012 Reunion will be the first ever to celebrate the women of Michigan Tech.

All female graduates, former students, faculty and staff are invited to a number of special events during Reunion including a Saturday evening “Girls Night Out” party hosted by the Presidential Council of Alumnae. Visit www.mtu.edu/reunion for more details.

Some facts

  • The first women to enroll at the Michigan Mining School were "Miss Margaret McElhinney," superintendent of Houghton Schools, and "Miss Louise Bunce," a history teacher at Houghton High, both in 1889, as reported by the Daily Mining Gazette.
  • In 1938, the first civil engineering degree awarded to a woman went to Ilmi Watia of Hancock.
  • In 1949, Tech President Grover Dillman said, ". . . as authorized by the faculty and Board of Control of the College, I vest in the wives of graduates a half-interest in their husbands' diplomas." This was also known as the PhT degree: Putting Husband Through.

Fill in the Blanks

Continuing our photo trip down memory lane: "Women buying groceries. An interior photo of the campus cooperative store during the 1950's. Four women and one man are shown either purchasing or selling goods at the store. Goods for sale include cigarettes, candy, batteries, kleenex, soap, fruit, sugar, tape, cookies, salami and pie tins."

Any additional info on the cooperative?

Email me.

2005 Spring Commencement

Spring Commencement 2005
Maybe you recognize one of these graduating seniors from 2005?

Email me.

View more sports >

Tech Sports

Track and Field Win Six Events in Duluth

Molly Wiltzuis
Molly Wiltzius (left) continued her improvement in the throwing events placing second in the shot put with a personal-best throw of 41-3.75 to break her own school record by nearly a foot. The Kingsford, Mich., native won the discus with the third-best throw in school history (138-8) and placed fifth in the hammer throw with the sixth-best throw in school history (140-10). More

Huskies Finish Fifth at GLIAC Men's Tennis Tourney

Alice Flanders
The Michigan Tech men’s tennis team ended its 2012 season on a high note with wins in the final two rounds of the GLIAC Tournament. The No. 6-seeded Huskies defeated No. 7 seed Findlay 5-1 yesterday before sneaking past No. 5 seed Ohio Dominican 5-4 today. More

Recent Results | Complete Schedule

Around the Keweenaw

Daily Mining Gazette | WLUC TV-6 | Marquette Mining Journal

From the Email Bag

2005 Photo Mystery Solved

studying on the mall
From left to right is Cassandra Pankoff, myself (Sheryl Clifton), Jess Aho, and Holly Burger. I can't remember for the life of me what we were studying, but it felt so nice to be outside that we refused to be indoors. It was then end of our freshman year at Tech. Jess, Cass and I went on to join DZ and Holly and I went to high school together at Inland Lakes in Indian River, MI.


Hi there,
I recognize the people in this picture! left to right, Cassandra Pankoff, Sheryl Clifton, Jessica Aho (myself), and Holly Burger. Wow, I can't believe it's already been 4 years since graduation..

Jessica Aho


If you haven't gotten a response yet for the 05 Study Session Photo, I believe the left-most girl is Cassandra Pankoff.

Eric Winder

Pasty Poll Results



The votes are in!

749 Total

Catsup 464 votes (61.95 percent)

Gravy 137 votes (18.29 percent)

Plain 68 votes (9.08 percent)

Butter 47 votes (6.28 percent)

Other 33 votes (4.41 percent)

Some interesting "others": pickles, chili sauce, bbq sauce, gravy and sour cream, hot sauce, all four ways, salsa, mustard, red pepper, salt and pepper, butter and catsup, catsup and gravy, mustard and catsup, catsup and then butter if there's any crust left, and cheese(!).

A New Poll

More on the Storm of 1972

winter 72
Read the article about the big snowstorm of '72. I remember that storm well. If I remember correctly it was the first time Tech was closed since the 30's because of snow.

Tom Permoda



My memory of the 1972 storm was it was a tough slog to get home from "The Library" that night and the snow totally covered the walk to our house up on Dodge St. Instead of following the walk to the porch, I just walked right over the rail as the drifts were that high. (about 6-8 feet) as the house was on the hill.

The next morning I got up early and proceeded to 'hitch'" to campus. (Thirty one years old and no car.) Not much traffic, so I walked most of the way. When I got to campus there was a closed sign on the Bio building. (I think they said a first since 1938)

Lucky the Union was open (short staffed) so I had some coffee, did some review, and then walked back downtown to the "Library". No need to mention the wind, temperature, and snow, we all know it's snowy and cold at Tech. I'm not sure if that was the day the chill temp was minus 96 or not. I know it was one to the days that year. (actual minus 38).
Lots of other snow stories in my memory bank.

Tom Duvendack

Future Alum Looking for Help for Two Bows

New Venture Competition

Jess Tompkins at the recent New Venture Competition.

As you know, Two Bows LLC has been growing for the last two years and it is now time to work for funding!

Crowdbackers.com has accepted and helped develope a funding project for us to raise startup capital and we are launched!

How it works:

• Two Bows has 88 days from today in order to raise our minimum goal
• Our minimum goal is set at $1000 so that we have it low enough to meet within the time hack. Of course we need more than that but we don't want to start off with a failed funding project.
• People can go onto the website and pledge money, receiving an item in return! We are also open to personalizing some of the items for those who pledge larger amounts.
• However, if we do not meet our goal, the project closes out. Nobody owes any money, and Two Bows does not send out any rewards.
• It is listed on how we will spend the amounts of money we receive.

Here is the weblink:


Please help spread the word! To my Professors and Cadre who have worked with me and my team (Christina Ruth, Walker Derby, and Ye Hu), please pass this message on to your email lists! We really appreciate it! The late Bob Mark was very adamant about helping me start this company, and we will push hard to do so!

Have a great day! I will send out updates,
Jess Tompkins

Alum Co-hosts Conference

Just a short note to let you know that I was co-chair of a conference entitled "Material Challenges in Alternative & Renewable Energy" held Feb. 26-March 1, 2012 in Clearwater Beach, Florida. We had 225 speakers from 37 countries and a "Ride and Drive" of hydrogen fuel celled vehicles from Toyota and GM as well as a student design contest and poster session. The conference was sponsored by The American Ceramic Society, ASM International and TMS, the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society. Attached are photos from the event. Subjects covered are: H2, solar, wind, hydro, nuclear, geothermal, materials availability, advanced batteries and storage, and nanocomposites for energy. Plenary talks and program are available online at: www.ceramics.org/mcare2012. Photo #35 is of Dr. George Wicks on right and myself (co-chairs).

This was the 3rd conference on this subject. The 4th conference will be next July in China and the 5th conference in February 2014 in Clearwater Beach, FL. once again. Interested alums interested in either being a speaker or attending these events can email me at: technology.access@yahoo.com.

Dr. Jack Simon
Class of '63 Metallurgical Engineering

Huskies Abroad T-Shirt Campaign Begins

IPS is launching a campaign entitled, "Where has your Huskies Abroad T Shirt Been?" We mailed our T shirts to students currently studying abroad and asked them to send back pictures of them wearing our shirt. Today, we got our first photo! Hannah Smith is studying in Mexico this semester. She is also a guest blogger for IPS-- see blogs.mtu.edu/student-abroad/

Given how cold it has been in lately, we thought you might enjoy a blast of hot air from South of the border!

Thy Yang
Director, International Programs and Services
Michigan Tech

Pat Paulsen's Wine: We Need New Bids!

Pat Paulsen wine
Bob Carnahan has offered up this bottle of vintage Pat Paulsen Wine from 1982 (yes, that Pat Paulsen).

The Bid History

Tom Arbuckle '75 $82.00
Jeff Paulson '93 $99.00
Jim Blevins '72 $200
Jeff Paulson '80 $225


Anyone can bid. Just send an email to alumni@mtu.edu, and they'll record your amount.You can let TechAlum know, too, so our alumni can follow along.

Featured Alumni Benefits

Career Tools for Alumni

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 planning library.
  • Check out the Career Spots video library with great job search tips

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

New Job Search Video Service for Students and Alumni

  • Fast, informative, engaging web videos
  • Conveniently available 24-7 online
  • Expert advice from leading employers

Looking for job searching tips? Check out these straight forward, compelling videos that clearly illustrate what job seekers and career changers need to know before, during and after the job interview. Each CareerSpots video is under four minutes in length and features a genuine recruiter, career director, student or recent graduate.

Michigan Tech Gear

Show your Michigan Tech Pride!

More Alumni Benefits, Services and Discount program information

Job Opportunities

On Campus

Strategic Faculty Hiring Initiative: Positions in Water and Transportation

Research Engineer/Scientist II--Sensor/Signal Processing Analyst, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Assistant Director, Center for Diversity and Inclusion

Research Associate, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the School of Technology

Golf Course Technician, Portage Lake Golf Course

Apply using the new online system at http://jobs.mtu.edu.

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.