March 26, 2013
Vol. 19, No. 15
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Alt "Spring" Break

Silicon Valley
Tech students make their mark at The Tech Museum of Innovation.

While most of us were scooping, snowblowing, shoveling, and plowing, a couple groups of students got out of town for spring break. Lucky them.

One of the groups ventured to Silicon Valley, where they visited high-tech giants, including Brocade Communications and their board chairman Dave House '65. Brocade sponsored the trip.

The students also visited Autodesk, Google, Cisco, Kyocera, and Tesla, some of which employ Michigan Tech alumni. Students learned about the technology of these cutting-edge corporations, career paths in Silicon Valley, and successful business strategies. They also got to visit a couple of vineyards owned by alumni.

"It was an unforgettable experience and has changed my understanding of the companies we visited and the Silicon Valley area," said Sean Thorpe, a software engineering major. He said he would definitely like to work there.

The campuses sounded amazing.

"Google, for example, provided their employees free food, swimming pools, and volleyball courts all to keep them happy and productive," said Shaun McKeehan, a computer engineering major from Green Bay. "It was a great opportunity to be able to meet and network with company representatives in the hopes for future employment as well."

Krista Anderson, a psychology major from Kingsford, agreed. "Being able to be part of this experience definitely reassured me that I want to work for a high-tech company someday."

Another student commented on the location: "We had a heavy schedule of touring companies, but there was also plenty of downtime in which to relax and explore the surrounding area," said Adam Funkenbusch, a computer engineering major from Hudson, Wisconsin. "I had the opportunity to visit Chinatown, bike across the Golden Gate Bridge, and swim in the ocean! I hope I can sneak back on the trip next year!"

Meanwhile, another group of students, members of the Tech chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, traveled to Detroit (not quite as warm) and spread the good word about engineering to some middle- and high school-aged students.

"Being able to give back to the community I came from allowed me to have a bigger vision of the potential for black engineers working together collectively through the NSBE," said Reggie Hicks, marketing major.

The Tech students did much more than talk—they brought hands-on activities to Family Engineering Night events at some of the schools, as well as sharing their personal experiences. Activities included “Mining for Chocolate,” “Brainsaver,” and “Launcher,” enabling the whole family to participate and get inspired by engineering.

"The evening was a great success with over 130 parents and children!" said Joy Reynolds, science teacher at Ludington Magnet Middle School. Clippert Academy Middle School had similar numbers. Science teacher Tracy Ortiz said that they had nearly 100 students attending, plus their parents, at Family Engineering Night.

“This is a great way to increase diversity on our campus, but more importantly, to have students who can relate to these kids and show them that a college education and a career in STEM is possible for them,” said Joan Chadde, education/outreach coordinator for the Western UP Center for Science, Math, and Environmental Education, who accompanied the students.

She also thought the event went very well.

"The NSBE students did a fantastic job, donating three and a half days of their spring break to reach out to Detroit youth," Chadde said. "I heard lots of positive comments from the teachers and school principals where the students did their classroom presentations and conducted the Family Engineering Nights."

And why does it work so well?

"The NSBE students are able to relate to these Detroit youth, having graduated from Detroit schools," she said. "And they can encourage and inspire them to pursue a college degree and consider an engineering career."

And our Detroit pipeline will continue to garner more Tech students ready to create the future.

Dennis '92 '09


Snowfall Totals
Snow to date: 190.75 inches (much more in Calumet and Twin Lakes)
On the ground: 53 inches (the most I've ever seen at the airport)

Two weeks ago: 165.25 inches
On the ground: 36 inches

One year ago total: 130.5 inches
On the ground: 25 inches

At Tech

Michigan Tech Scientist Honored for Food Safety Innovation

Microbes lurk almost everywhere, from fresh food and air filters to toilet seats and folding money. Most of the time, they are harmless to humans. But sometimes they aren’t. Every year, thousands of people sicken from E. coli infections and hundreds die in the US alone. Now Michigan Technological University scientist Jaroslaw Drelich has found a new way to get them before they get us. More

Will Cantrell Named Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year

Will Cantrell
The Presidents' Council, State Universities of Michigan, has named Will Cantrell a 2013 Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year. The associate professor of physics shares the honor with professors from the University of Michigan-Flint and Wayne State University. More

Ahlborn Named Woman of the Year by Transportation Group

Tess Ahlborn
Tess Ahlborn has been named Woman of the Year by the Michigan chapter of WTS, an international organization dedicated to the professional advancement of women in transportation. Ahlborn, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Michigan Technological University, will be accepting the award and giving the keynote speech at the awards ceremony, set for March 14 in Hartland. More

Superior Ideas Hits $50,000

brook trout
Superior Ideas, the crowdfunding website, has raised $50,000 from over 130 donors in three different countries, and twenty-four different states. The Superior Ideas website has new features that include researcher biographies, a register/login option, the ability to submit a question/leave a comment, and soon you will be able to donate with PayPal. More

Featured: • Restoration of the Coaster Brook Trout and Their Endangered River
• Rice Callus: A Side-Effect-Free Solution to Cancer?

Alumni Around the World

Alternative Spring Breaks in Utah . . .

As part of an Alternative Spring Break trip, eight Tech students spent their spring break skiing the slopes of Utah. Eight alumni and friends joined the students, Les Cook (vice president for student affairs), and John Lehman (assistant vice president for enrollment services), for a casual dinner (below) on March 12. One adventurous alum even joined the students one day on the slopes!

. . . and Louisiana

Twenty Tech students spent their spring break in Louisiana working on a Habitat for Humanity project (above). Two alumni joined in on the project on one day, and thirteen alumni and friends met the students out for dinner (below), after a long day of swinging hammers on March 13.

. . . and San Jose Student/Alumni Social

San JoseOn March 10, more than two dozen engineering and business students left the snowy campus of Michigan Tech behind them and spent their spring break not in Cancun, but in the Bay Area of California. They were not armed with suntan lotion, but instead with notebooks and iPads; learning the insides of Silicon Valley companies. 

Gene Klippel and Dave HouseThe army of students, staff, and faculty joined local alumni for an event at The Tech Museum of Innovation. Dave House ‘65 (above, right, with SBE Dean Gene Klippel) hosted wine tastings and pours from the House Family Winery while students shared their week’s stories with alumni who in turn shared their own adventures and advice; often with a glass of wine in one hand and a resume in the other.

Many thanks to Brocade Communications for helping to sponsor the Silicon Valley Spring Break Experience.

Milwaukee Social

More than thirty-five students, alumni, and friends came together for a social hosted by the Milwaukee Chapter on Thursday, March 21, at the newly renovated Turner Hall Restaurant. Many thanks to Chapter Leader Kevin Demeny ’07 ’12 for organizing the event!

Check out the Milwaukee Chapter on Facebook.

Florida Event

Two football alumni, Jay Dishnow ’67 (left) and Matt Desotell ’10, share plays at the Husky Happy Hour in Naples!

Alumni and friends in Florida gathered last week in Naples, Tampa , Orlando and Jacksonville to share a beverage and their best stories about their Michigan Tech experience with Brenda Rudiger, executive director of alumni relations.

Save the Date for Alumni Reunion 2013, August 1–3!

2012 Pasty Picnic
Make plans to catch up with fellow alumni and rediscover campus during Alumni Reunion 2013. The featured groups for Reunion 2013 include the Class of 1963, 1973, 1983, 1988, 1993, 2003, the Golden M's (those who graduated fifty-plus years ago), and the Women of Michigan Tech.

A variety of activities for all ages will be offered including family activities, campus tours, seminars, pasty picnics, and much more!

For a preliminary schedule, lodging information, and to RSVP, please visit

Distinguished Teaching Awards Seek Input

The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) seeks input for its annual Distinguished Teaching Awards, which recognize outstanding contribution to the instructional mission of the University.

Based on over 51,000 student rating of instruction forms, eleven finalists have been identified for the 2013 awards. The selection committee is soliciting comments from students, staff, faculty, and alumni to aid in its deliberation process.

The finalists for the two awards include:
Associate Professor/Professor Category
Professor Andrew Burton (School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science)
Associate Professor Guy Hembroff (School of Technology)
Professor Bruce Mork (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Associate Professor Nilufer Onder (Computer Science)
Associate Professor Christopher Plummer (Visual and Performing Arts)

Assistant Professor / Lecturer / Professor of Practice Category
Assistant Professor Jared Anderson (Visual and Performing Arts)
Assistant Professor Frank Christiana (Aerospace Studies)
Professor of Practice Karyn Fay (Biological Sciences)
Assistant Professor Scott Miers (Mechanical Engineering - Engineering Mechanics)
Assistant Professor Kazuya Tajiri (Mechanical Engineering - Engineering Mechanics)
Assistant Professor Thomas Werner (Biological Sciences)
Comments on the nominees are due by Saturday, March 30, 2013 and should be sent to CTL at this link.

The process for determining the Distinguished Teaching Award recipients from this list of finalists also involves the additional surveying of their classes. The selection committee makes the final determination of the award recipients. The recipients of the 2013 Distinguished Teaching Award will be formally announced in May 2013.

For more information, contact Nancy Seely at 906-487-2046 or .

Fill in the Blanks

2006 Snowmobile Team


Campus Mall in March 2007.

Recognize anyone? It is clickable.

Email me.


Ski Club in 1984

Library globe


Lots of members in this student org, back in the day. It is clickable.


Email me.

View more sports >

Tech Sports

Haidar Named All-America

Ali Haidar
Michigan Tech senior Ali Haidar earned Daktronics First Team All-America accolades for men's basketball recently. Haidar is the first Michigan Tech men's basketball player to earn the award since Josh Buettner in 2003-04. Haidar also earned All-District honors from the National Basketball Coaches Association and will be put on the ballot for All-America. More

WCHA Announces Future Playoff Format; Unveils Updated Logo

The Western Collegiate Hockey Association today announced that its highly-successful men's playoff championship – known as the WCHA Final Five – will head to Van Andel Arena and the City of Grand Rapids, Mich., for the 2013-14 and 2015-16 seasons and will return to Xcel Energy Center and the City of Saint Paul, Minn., for the 2014-15 and 2016-17 campaigns. More

Skiers Conclude Competition at Junior Nationals

Kyle Hanson
Kyle Hanson posted strong finishes in both the freestyle sprints and distance classic races to conclude competition at the 2013 US Junior National Nordic Ski Championships. Hanson, who was competing in his hometown of Fairbanks, Alaska, finished fifth in his semifinal heat of the freestyle sprints. He also finished 18th in the 15-kilometer classic race in 47:01. More

Around the Keweenaw

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

From the Email Bag

Old Jersey Research Needed


Hi Dennis,
I'm hoping you, or my fellow alumni, can help me with a mystery jersey. I recently acquired this jersey for my MTU hockey collection (, and I'm trying to figure out what year(s) this jersey might have been worn by the hockey Huskies.

The "H" being apart from the "uskies" is something I have not seen before in person in my nearly 20 years of collecting. Maybe it is from the very early years that the sports teams were the Huskies? I've always seen the logo as one continuous word. Pre-1980s Photos are so hard to find, I'm hoping some fellow Huskies can help me out. Any info would be appreciated.

Go Tech!
Ryan Johnson '98

Ryan: I think we are asking the right audience!

What Difference a Year or Two Make


President Glenn Mroz sent me this one, and it sums up nicely what we've been experiencing up here.

You have to click on it.

Fred Lonsdorf Statues

With all of the recent statue photos, I'm looking for any pictures of the snow statues that were built of Fred Lonsdorf. They built a statue of his head twice, once in '76 and again '78, which was "Fredenstein". Fred is my grandfather, and we recently found a few photos, however they are in rough shape. It would be great to have better quality photos of those statues!

Brianne (Rootes) Hall '03

Brianne: I've looked through all my publications and can't find any. Maybe the alumni can help?

More on Vetville

Never thought I'd see a picture of "vetsville" housing as I had a summer job, about 1960, moving them to KI Sawyer Air Force Base at Marquette. We'd unbolt the legs from the structure and load them on two huge I-beams that we'd made into a trailer. We'd move one unit a day and sleep in the next one to be moved that night. Hardest part was jacking the legs out of the ground as they had a flat plate on the bottom to stabilize them in the ground from sinking. Mosquitoes were everywhere.

Sam Lambert 62

Sam: Just to further confuse the issue, I've found another married student housing site called Terry Trailer Camp (pictured). I don't know the location, but it was located near the water tower, so it might have been up on the hill. Perhaps it was near the other vetville (on the top of Garnet St.)?

Bioathlon Love Affair

When i was in 9th grade, I was part of a team sent to the Michigan Tech Bioathlon. Ironwood, a small town in the western UP, didn't have much in terms of funding to send 4 students on a 3 hr. bus ride so they arranged to share the bus with our neighboring town Bessemer who also had a team. To be perfectly honest I don't remember much of the bioathlon. I remember it was fun, turtle nostrils are nares, we lost, Bessemer won, and i remembered one of the girls on the bus from Bessemer.

So now it is time to fast forward a bit. I graduated high school, traveled down state to the University of Michigan for undergrad, graduated and took my first job at Michigan Tech Research Institute. After working there for several years I decided to get my master's degree from Michigan Tech Forestry department.

I won't say it happen right when I arrived in Houghton. It was more i would walk by a building and think "i remember this place" and a piece would fall into place from 9 years ago from the bioathlon and every time that would happen i would remember that girl on the bus from Bessemer When the semester ended and winter break began i traveled home to Ironwood to spend time with my family. It is a tradition in the Ironwood/Bessemer area to go skiing on Christmas (the hills offer locals a $10 ticket) So i went and when i was in the chalet warming up I happened to see the girl from Bessemer Kari, drinking hot chocolate with her brother. I wish i can say i had the courage to go talk to her, but it turned out i didn't have to, she came and talked to me. We got married 2 years ago and as i sit here writing this i can honestly say it never would have happened without the bioathlon

Luke Spaete

The Library Globe Mystery Solved

Library globeThe picture was taken in March 1969, when the globe was being installed. In the center is William Dohr president of the company that built the globe in Santa Ana, California. On the left is Pete Mierow who assisted in the assembly. On the right is me. I commuted to school from Baraga and would study in the library, when I was not in class. They needed someone that day to go into the globe to make final connections and adjustments, so I was elected. The globe was donated to the library by Dr. Talbert Abrams. This photo appeared in the Daily Mining Gazette.

Gregory Miron, 1970


The globe in the library was installed during my first freshman year, 1968-69. It was put in after classes began in the fall which at that time was near the end of September so it could have been in 68. I remember going to the library just to check it out, but could not tell you exactly what time of year that occurred. The Lode or Mining Gazette archives could narrow that down for you.

Greg Switek

Greg: You are correct, as verified above.


Lake Superior Youth Symposium Coming in May

Dear MTU Alumni:
The Lake Superior Youth Symposium May 16-19, 2013 will be an outstanding learning opportunity for Grades 8-12 students and their teachers from throughout the Lake Superior and Great Lakes watersheds. Students and teachers will stay in Michigan Tech residence halls. The cost is $140 per participant, and includes three nights lodging and all meals from Thursday dinner through Sunday breakfast, and all activities. Sunday lunch is optional. Students need to come with an adult chaperone.

Registration is now open:

Registration deadline is April 15.

Winter Story from the Past

I really enjoy the TechAlum Newsletter and I can especially relate to the last few issues dealing with winters in the copper country.

My wife, Joanne, and I lived in the Dodgeville Trailer Park. I was studying Forestry and Jo was teaching at Tapiola (John A Doelle, Agricultural School). One of our morning rituals before leaving in our opposite directions was to turn on the radio and listen to the report concerning the arrival that day of the Copper Country Limited, the Soo Line passenger train coming from the West (White Pine, I suppose). Well, one week as each day progressed the train would get later and later e.g. " Monday ... will arrive at 10:00, Tues ..... will arrive at 10.22, Wed .... will arrive at 11:05 and so on until Friday came and they announced ---- "The Copper Country Limited will not arrive today !!" To this day Jo and I laugh when we think about those fun times at Tech.

There were several Techies in the Dodgeville Trailer Park and we often shared driving duties into the University. I had a 1949 straight - 8 Buick . That was one heavy machine and that straight-8 engine out front was like a snowplow. When the snow was especially bad, I was usually the "designated driver". More than once we returned via South Range because we couldn't make Bridge Hill. And equally often we made the trip with one or two sitting on the hood to direct the driver 'away' from the ditches during blizzard conditions.

Douglass Houghton Falls, too?

Any plans to look at restoring access to Douglass Houghton Falls also? I proposed to my wife there after snowshoeing in from downstream since public access has been denied since the late ‘90s. Safe, public access restored from M-26 (if possible) would be a huge re-addition to required Copper Country cruising spots.



Ford Visit and a Future Husky

Hi Dennis,

We at Ford had a great visit yesterday by profs. Allen, Tajiri and Reza. And I also would like to share with you something :-)

Thanks for the updates, keep up great work!

Milos Milacic, Ph.D.

Bridge Stuck in 2010

bridge stuck
Hi Dennis,
I saw that you noted in one of your responses that "Many here recall the Alumni Reunion when the bridge got stuck! 2008 or 2009."

I don't recall it sticking in 2008 or 2009, but it definitely was stuck during the Alumni Reunion of 2010. I remember because our wedding was that same weekend in the Baraga/L'Anse area, and my husband's sister and brother-in-law flew into Hancock on the day the bridge was stuck. My mother-in-law was supposed to pick them up, but hadn't crossed prior to the bridge malfunction. They were essentially stranded at the airport and hadn't had lunch yet, but someone at the airport was kind enough to take them to the Ramada so they could get a bite to eat and be closer to the bridge. It was stuck long enough that we even considered trying to track down someone with a boat to go get them, but thankfully it was fixed eventually and we could pick them up by car.

Anne (Aho) Cox, '10

Anne: You are correct, and the image above proves it (thanks to Google and an old TechAlum)!

Ghana Help

Thanks for the continued info re: MTU

I have misplaced (lost) the issue from about 3 months ago that featured an article near the bottom that was about some Tech students and Ghana. Our church has been involved with a refugee camp there and our group leader would like to contact the Tech group leader. Could you locate the referenced article and (re)send that issue to me, OR at least send the address of the Tech group leader?

Thanks in advance for any assistance.

Barry and/or Ellen Grossman

Editor's Note: I was able to get Barry and Ellen the info about our students creating a mobile medical van for Ghana.

An ID from 2006

2006 Snowmobile Team
The guy in the middle without a hat is definitely Matt Nelson, Class of 2006. I'm not 100% sure about the rest, but I'll send him the link, I'm sure he'll know.

Amber Lass

Featured Alumni Benefits

Long-Term Care Insurance

The Alumni Insurance Program
AlumniLTC® (Long-Term Care)—A New Benefit for Alumni

The Michigan Tech Alumni Association is pleased to announce a comprehensive new AlumniLTC® Program through our Alumni Insurance Program. It offers a portfolio of plans from highly rated insurance companies that bring with it a national network of long-term care specialists to help explain the costs and benefits of this vital program. And, our alumni are entitled to a special discount on certain LTC plans available.

To request a free informational Long-Term Care Planning Kit, visit our plan administrator’s website today at or call 1-800-616-8759.

Michigan Tech Gear—Show Your Michigan Tech Pride!

HuskyBlend Coffee
Official Class Rings and Diploma Frames
Michigan Tech License Plates
Michigan Tech Collector Blanket
University Images—Michigan Tech Clothing and Giftware

More Alumni Benefits, Services and Discount program information

Job Opportunities

On Campus

Strategic Faculty Hiring Initiatives in Water and Transportation

Other Postings
Residence Life Coordinator, Housing and Residential Life

Business Systems Analyst, Enrollment Services

Immigration and Visa Coordinator, Human Resources

Research Scientist I, Forest Resources and Environmental Science

Public Safety Officer (Public Safety and Police Services), Internal/External POA Posting

Telecommunications Engineer I/II, Information Technology Services and Security

Departmental Coordinator, Computer Science

Associate Dean of Students, Dean of Students Office

Associate Curator, AE Seaman Mineral Museum

Business Analyst (Re-posted Internal and External), Human Resources

IT Inventory Operations Analyst, Information Technology Services and Security

Data Analyst, Human Resources

Apply using the new online system at

Complete Descriptions are available on the Human Resources website.

Off Campus

Check out the Linked in group exclusively for Michigan Tech Alumni.

Also, visit the Career Tools web page for more options.