May 8, 2012
Vol. 18, No. 19
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"Welcome to the Journey"

Pep Band
The Pep Band sends off the Class of 2012.

Waiting to enter the MacInnes Student Ice Arena before the ceremony, the grads were given their last exam over the loudspeaker: “You have to line-up two by two.”

April Hintzman was on her way to the Marshfield (Wisconsin) Lab after graduation. The clinical laboratory science major from Menomonie, Wisconsin, was smiling and ready to move on. Brock Dean, a software engineering grad from Marlette, Michigan, was on his way to Dematic in Grand Rapids, a conveyer, sorting, and logistics company.

Civil engineer Dena Andrie, from Traverse City, had three interviews lined up: Payne and Dolan, OHM, and Integrys; the first two are construction and engineering concerns, the third focuses on energy. She had high hopes. Chemical engineering major Tyler Brown from Midland was headed to Monroe, Michigan, and Gerdeau Special Steel, where he’ll start his career as a management associate.

Our youngest attendee was eighteen-day-old Collette Ingram. She was getting fed by dad, Allan, from Cleveland, before getting to their seats and watching his brother (and her uncle) Mark take his oath with fellow Air Force ROTC cadets. Mark was on his way to Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Martha Sullivan ’80 was the commencement speaker and received an honorary doctorate. Her talk focused on the pursuit of possibilities, expanding boundaries, and finding neglected frontiers. She implored the graduates to begin with questions “that would get under your skin,” citing her own beginnings at Texas Instruments and her eventual leadership role with Sensata Technologies, maker of sensors and controls. Next, she said the pursuit must be their own.

She wanted her career to be challenging and full of travel, and recently she had been to Japan, Korea, Malaysia, China, France, Bulgaria, and “the strangest land of all: Hollywood.”

She said that, during rough times, they would encounter a purveyor of the problem and to recall the Janis Joplin song, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.” The analytical skills learned at Tech will help them succeed, she said.

Addressing the female grads, she said their biggest obstacle would be self-doubt, “that the guys just hide better,” especially in the work/life balance. “Be all in,” she said. “The treasure is in the pursuit, the thrill of discovery, the experience in the adventure."

And to everyone: “Welcome to the journey.”

TV6 Coverage.

Dennis '92 '09

At Tech

Researcher Using Nanoclays to Build Better Asphalt


Long before freeways and parking lots, a naturally occurring asphalt first appeared on roads in about 600 B.C. You can still see patches of it in the ancient city of Babylon. More

Students Reach Out to India and Its Poor

Two teams of undergraduate engineering students at Michigan Tech have developed two low-cost, workable prostheses—one a knee, one a foot—and brought them to India, the first step in an effort to make them available to that nation's many poor. More

“Paradise Lost” Wins Regional Chem-E-Car Competition

Chem-E Car
Michigan Tech’s ingenious little vehicle took first place and nabbed honors for creativity at the North Central Region Chem-E-Car Competition, held April 21 at the University of Akron. The event is sponsored by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and Chevron. More

Back to the Future: Mining Engineering Returns to Tech

Beginning in fall 2012, Michigan Technological University will offer a Bachelor of Science in Engineering with a technical emphasis in mining engineering, the first step in moving toward a Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering. More

Alumni Around the World

The Donald W. Carmody Wildlife Art Exhibit Reception

Continental Fire Company

Dean Peg Gale, Bill Carmody '61, and Erlene Carmody.

Alumni and friends gathered in Houghton for a reception in the U. J. Noblet Forestry Building to honor donors Bill Carmody '61 and Erlene Carmody. The Donald W. Carmody Wildlife Exhibit is home to 113 signed prints and original watercolors by internationally renowned artists Dietmar Krumrey, Roger Tory Peterson, and David A. Maass.

Beer-Naming Contest

We need your help!

For the first time in Michigan Tech’s history, we are honoring all Women of Michigan Tech at this year’s Alumni Reunion (August 2-4). To mark this special occasion, the Keweenaw Brewing Company has created a special Hefeweizen brewed with locally grown berries. This beer needs a name! Help us name the beer, and if your entry is chosen, you’ll win a KBC party pack!

Please send entries to

The Women of Tech @ Reunion

Women of Tech

Alumni Reunion is slated for August 2-4 and 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 for more details.


More Fun Facts

  • In 1953, Gale Brown from Detroit was the second woman chosen as editor of The Lode, Margaret Waters Perlich '46 was the first.
  • Also in 1953, the first female varsity letter winner was announced: Nada Fenton of Houghton, who lettered in riflery.
  • The big news in fall 1962 was Wadsworth Hall going co-ed. Smith House and Robinson House (below) were the residences for the women before this bold move. (Were there others?) Dean of Students Harold Meese said, "Colleges that have tried coeducational housing have found the plan popular and well received. In many cases, the atmosphere of the men's residence halls was improved with the addition of women students."

Fill in the Blanks

Robinson House Robinson residents

Robinson House is new to me. It looks like some nice architecture. Where was this located? You can click it for a description. Also, pictured here are the residents from 1962. It, too, is clickable.
Email me.

2006 Spring Fling

2006 oozeball
Some Oozeball aftermath.

Recognize anyone?

It's clickable.

Email me.

View more sports >

Tech Sports

Saliga Wins GLIAC Decathlon

Nathan Saliga
Nathan Saliga highlighted day two of the GLIAC Track and Field Championships for Michigan Tech by winning the decathlon with a school record 5,999 points Thursday (May 3). Teammate Patrick Spalding finished fourth with a personal-best 5,459 points, the third best performance in school history. More

Huskies Place Four Tennis Players on All-GLIAC List

Four Michigan Tech men’s tennis players have been honored by the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Seniors Anders Sandholm (Duluth, Minn.) and Luka Stupar (Belgrade, Serbia) have been named All-GLIAC First Team, senior Doug Yossida (Suzano, Brazil) has been named All-GLIAC Second Team, and sophomore James Konarske (Troy, Mich.) has been named All-GLIAC Honorable Mention. More

Six Earn All-GLIAC in Track and Field

The Michigan Tech track and field teams had six student-athletes earn All-GLIAC accolades on the final day of the GLIAC track and field championships Friday (May 4). Quinn Parnell (left) earned all-conference honors after finishing third in the 200 and fourth in the 100. His time of 21.5 in the 200 was a personal-best and the fifth fastest time in school history. His time of 10.67 in the 100 was the eighth fastest in school history. More

Recent Results | Complete Schedule

Around the Keweenaw

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

From the Email Bag

The 1964 College Bowl

College Bowl team
Frank Shoffner '62 stopped by and we started talking about the famous College Bowl team of 1964, coached by Doc Berry.

Unbeknownst to me, Chuck Weber was the son and nephew of local legends Cliff and Rip Weber of Weber's Sporting Goods Store. (The photo is clickable.)

Also, Byron Boyd was the son of legendary metallurgy professor Gil Boyd. Bill Massey still has a summer home up here, Frank says. Massey was a star basketball player. The alternate was Barney Guanaera. We couldn't recall who defeated them. Any ideas?

Frank Shoffner '62Frank was up for a little steelhead fishing, and he missed the run. He was moving on to other species.

And a picture of Frank in my office.


From the Alumni Association Facebook Page, Answers to "What three words best describe your time at Michigan Tech?"

Snow. Friends. Fun.

Should've worked harder!

Challenging but rewarding.

Pink Parking Ticket.

Beer, academic probation . . . just kidding! Cold, Carnival, broomball

Study, snow, beer

Where's my car? (after a big storm in the winter of 1988)

Last call already?

Simply the best.

Tough, grueling, fun.

Great four years!

Go youse Huskies!

Library pizza, Ambassador

MEEM. MUB. Library.

Press on Regardless

Like us on Facebook!

Commencement Poll Results


1970 commencement at the Dee.

What was your strongest memory of commencement?

363 Total

My family being there 179 votes (49.31 percent)

Walking on stage
35 votes (9.64 percent)

The celebration
65 votes (17.91 percent)

70 votes (19.28 percent)

Some interesting "others": It was HOT in Dee Stadium! • Champagne corks flying towards the ceiling during commencement Class of 1983. • Getting married later that same day. • The Pep Band, reminding me of every great Saturday on Sherman Field. • Walking up the hill to the SDC (first graduating class in 1972). • Senior Walk. • Being commissioned as an AF officer on stage. • Looking forward to a new job with NASA. • I was the first person in my family to get a Bachelor's Degree. •
Waking up late and hungover and almost missing it entirely!!!!

Dinner with Doc and Betty. • Having a job and finally being able to support my wife and 3 daughters. • Soichiro Honda's address in Japanese. • Mr. Honda giving away a motorcycle to one of the graduates! • Pulling a another all nighter to finish my senior design project on the Baja Car. • Getting to speak from the stage. • The Ore Ship passing Dee Stadium & Saluting us with her Ship's Horn. • Getting a kiss on the check from Pres. Smith as I rec'd my second degree that day. • Walking down the aisle with a Forestry student that was sprung from jail that morning.

It snowed (1961). • That it snowed that day (May 2008). • My husband and I graduating together! • Breakfast at the Dog before commencement. • The firecrackers and confetti coming out of the ceiling. • Packing the car for the trip home. • Speaker saying "NICE SHOT" at a cork flying through the air. • Having to leave because my brother was getting married the same day - stupid man. • Snow - 1987. • Condensation on the floor of the ice arena.

My Dad being there. • My mom insisting on taking my picture in front of the remaining snow piles.
It snowed that day in May, 1992. • Rosa Parks (1989). • My father walking through the row of graduates to give me a hug! • The Ambassador. • The campus wide power outage just before the May 1985 Commencement. • Being first out. • I was in the front row on the aisle. • Taping my Cap so family could find me.

A New Poll

Graduating Before Commencement and Dedication to Duty

winter 72

On the Wednesday before obtaining my Bachelor's Degree, I left Houghton at 05:00 with 16 other Mind Trekkers for DC (story here). Thursday, we had setup and a "warm-up" event at the Phelps Luck Elementary School. On Friday, the event held a "exclusive preview day" in which the attendees [and exhibitors] were by invitation only. This was the easy day.

On Saturday, I woke up, donned my Mind Trekkers jersey, and went to the event. I noted that Bill Nye would be signing things starting at 11am, so around then I put on my cap and gown, grabbed my diploma cover, and John Lehman (assistant VP, enrollment services) and myself headed over there. Upon seeing the line, I knew it would be nigh impossible to have a "get in get out" photo with the science superstar, so John suggested I simply "photo-bomb" him instead. Since I wanted to get back to Trekking, I agreed. So, I stood behind the man and got my picture taken. After that, I went back to the Mind Trekkers, got "graduated" by Steve Patchin (director of MTU Mind Trekkers), Cody, John, and Liz Fujita (president and co-founder, Mind Trekkers).

After that, my commencement was over. It took all of 10 minutes, but it was, dare I say, just as rewarding as what everyone up in Houghton experienced in place of Mind Trekking. I'm happy with the results, anyway.

Now, I'm sitting in a hotel room on the outskirts of Ohio with my family: our resting place for the night as we travel back to Dotyville, WI after two and a half additional days in which I got to spend more time with my family than I have in the past two years.

I think I'm doing pretty well.

~Ed Leonard, Class of 2012

P. S. It's also worth mentioning that Dr. Mroz also "graduated me" about a week before commencement since both of us knew that I wouldn't be there.

Ed: This is a great story. Lisa Strutz '94 was the alum who set up the Mind Trekkers event in the Columbia, Maryland, elementary school.

Tech Closing for Snow

As I recall, classes were cancelled for snow somewhere between 1963-1965. Probably Jan. or Feb. for one day.

Helen Ostdiek

Helen: Our alum comments from a few years back are long but worth reviewing. I believe it came down to a couple of times each decade:

Trahey Wins Engineering Entrepreneur Award


Amy Trahey, 1994 Civil Engineering, won the 2012 Engineering Entrepreneur Award. Nice article in the Lansing Business Monthly.

Sandra Kent

Former Presidential Candidate Pat Paulsen's Wine Up for Grabs

Pat Paulsen

He's not running for office (he passed away in 1997), but his 1982 wine can benefit Tech!

Bob Carnahan '52 would like the wine auction to benefit the Generations of Discovery Campaign currently underway. He also plans on having it available for viewing at the Alumni Reunion in August. Details below.

The last bid was $225.


I 'd like to send it to campus for the August reunion and prominently displayed to capture some imaginative wine aficionados and get the sipping buds bidding this gem up to a respectable Campaign donation level. It could begin in the Alumni registration area, migrate to the Pasty Picnic, and end up at the awards banquet. Maybe some Class of '62 alum will pop a large bid as an anniversary class donation.

Just want you to know how much I enjoy these bimonthly newsletters.

Ciao, Bob

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

Spring 2005 Grads are Identified

Spring Commencement 2005
Wow, I was just reading through the Alumni Newsletter and found a picture of me and two of my friends asking who we were, and to email you!

My name is Kristin Schmidt, I am the graduate in the center. To the left of me is Karolina Placzek, and to the right of me is Kimberly Segal, I believe her last name is Cyr now. We were STC grads.

If you need anything else, just let me know.

Kristin Schmidt


For the Spring 2005 commencement photo in TechAlum, the one on the far left is Karolina Delrue (Placzek). She used to be a student graphics designer for alumni relations.

Matt McCormick


Karolina Placzek is the girl on the left on the unidentified photo :)

Heather Wiitanen

Cornish Miners Aboard Titanic

Got this one from a native Cornishman Rick Kneebone who worked in Greenville, SC at Fluor for a number of years in the 1990s and retired with his wife, Anne, back to Portreath in Cornwall. Their son and daughter both remained in SC area.

Bob Brown, Publisher
Magnesium Monthly Review

Women of Tech

Dennis, thanks so much for the coverage of the upcoming Women of Tech reunion event! In addition to all the wonderful standard reunion events , there is a lot planned to appeal to women alum and their families. There is really something for everyone!

Sally Heidtke

Sally: It's going to be a great one!

Featured Alumni Benefits

GradMed Short-Term Insurance

GradMed® short-term health insurance is a valuable benefit provided by the Alumni Association.  An ideal product for new graduates and alumni in between jobs, with GradMed you can choose a coverage period and deductible that meets your needs, protecting you from the expenses associated with an accident or illness.  Coverage can begin as early as the day after receipt of your application.

Call 1-800-922-1245  or apply online

The Alumni Insurance Program 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.

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

Coordinator, Center for Pre-College Outreach

Business Systems Analyst, Enrollment Services Information Systems

Staff Associate, MTTI/Center for Technology and Training

Media Specialist and Alumni Liaison, School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science

Apply using the new online system at

Complete Descriptions are available on the Human Resources website.

Off Campus

Keweenaw opportunities:

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

Also, visit the Career Tools webpage for more options.