Retired Administrators' Art Exhibit Opens "Beyond the Fifth Floor"

Retirement for most means slowing down and taking it easy. Two of Michigan Tech's retiring professors, Christa Walck and Max Seel look to retirement as an opportunity to showcase their artistic talents.

The Kerredge Gallery, located in the Copper Country Community Arts Center (CCCAC) in Hancock, will host an exhibit of their work titled "Beyond the Fifth Floor"  now through June 11, with a public opening reception at 6 p.m. today.

"Beyond the Fifth Floor" has special meaning to both Seel and Walck, signifying their 30 years of service to Michigan Tech as professors, deans, provost and associate provost.

When Seel served as provost and Walck as associate provost, their offices were on the fifth floor of the Administration building. It is there that they built a friendship and discovered their mutual love of art.

"When we retire, we should do an exhibit," Walck suggested when the two would show each other their latest creations.

After 30 years of working together, that wish is now a reality. Seel uses mixed media in his abstract art. His piece titled "Integrated Systems" utilizes actual computer components that have been manipulated and brought to life using color and texture.

He says he tries different things "to see what fits; sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't." Seel explains that some pieces require detailed planning and others "just come along." He has been developing his artistic skills since he was young. "Art is like making music or thinking about a physics problem, it takes your mind off everything else," he says.

Walck artistically expresses herself through a variety of applications, using computer generated "paint" programs, her current favorite, as well as larger board and paper paintings.

"I always loved art on paper" she says as she shows some of her beautiful creations.

"Art is how we express the world we see and feel, form and color and line say something about the world and the artist."

Walck's view of the world consists of pieces that are largely unframed and are very simply displayed. It is in this simplicity that one truly appreciates the piece for what it is, art, she believes.

Seel and Walck were asked about plans they had for retirement. Seel plans to travel more and dedicate more time to his art, while Walck is relocating to Philadelphia after she returns from Italy. Then she too plans to dedicate more time to her art.

Both Seel and Walck have left their mark on Michigan Tech. Their academic accomplishments and their work on the fifth floor was impressive, but it is beyond the fifth floor that you actually see their hearts and their passion—through their art.

GEAR UP Program Coming to Campus Tomorrow

Tomorrow (May 13), approximately 370 11th grade students from across the Upper Peninsula will visit Michigan Tech for a conference-style event to learn about college.

During the day, they will learn about the wide array of post-secondary options to consider, college admissions requirements and what it’s like to be a college student—from living in a residence hall to potentially competing as a college athlete.

The participating students are part of a national program called GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs). GEAR UP strives to expose students to all options after high school—be it community college, apprenticeship or university—and prepare them to be successful in those pursuits.

The students have been involved with GEAR UP as a cohort since the seventh grade, which enables the program to grow alongside them and shift focus as each school year’s educational milestones approach.

“GEAR UP is a comprehensive, hands-on approach to college readiness,” explains Dollar Bay-Tamarack City teacher Jesse Kentala. “Our students are more prepared and focused on long-term goals, specifically college, because of the GEAR UP program.”

Eight area schools will be represented including Baraga, Calumet, Chassell, Dollar Bay-Tamarack City, Hancock, Lake Linden-Hubbell, L’Anse and part of Houghton’s junior class.

Also attending will be a group from the North Star Academy which is Northern Michigan University’s GEAR UP cohort.

Students will attend interactive sessions throughout the day on a variety of topics: how to apply for scholarships and financial aid; what it can be like having a roommate for the first time; and how to stay happy and healthy while away from home.

The sessions will be hosted by representatives from many entities including Michigan Tech, NMU’s Jacobetti Complex, Finlandia University and the UP Construction Council.

“We are very excited to bring together so much wisdom from across the western UP,” noted Liz Fujita, who coordinates the GEAR UP program at Michigan Tech. “It’s critical for the GEAR UP students to hear from a wide array of people with different experiences so they can better choose the best career path for themselves after high school.”

By the end of the day, students will have many new ideas and skills to add to their repertoire as they tackle the challenge of finding the best fit for their future career path.

"Driving Miss Daisy" at Tomorrow's Club Indigo

The May food and film event, Club Indigo, at the Calumet Theatre will take place tomorrow (May 13).  The movie is the multiple award winner, "Driving Miss Daisy" and the buffet will complement it with a gourmet treat of Southern-style cooking.

We meet Daisy, an elderly Jewish lady who fights age with a solid glare and clipped language and her chauffeur, Hoke, a black fellow with a keen awareness of where he stands among "white folks," yet can hold his own when it appears necessary. 

The movie begins at 7:15 p.m., preceded at 6 p.m. by a buffet from Kangas Cafe & Catering. The cost for the dinner and film is $22, film only is $7. 

Special discount for children ten and under. For tickets to the buffet, call the theater at least a day ahead: 337-2610.  The movie is sponsored by Jim Boyce of Houghton. Club Indigo is also supported by the Michigan Tech chapter of Mu Beta Psi National Honorary Musical Fraternity.

Hockey Spring Carnival Set for May 20

Michigan Tech will host a Spring Hockey Carnival from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, May 20 at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. The event is free and open to all ages and will feature food, games for kids, raffle and door prizes, photo opportunities with the MacNaughton Cup and autographs with hockey players and staff.

Youth are encouraged to bring their sticks to play floor hockey with Michigan Tech players. The Huskies will also run skill sessions, which will include a chance to shoot against Tech goaltenders.

A bounce house, video games on the arena's video board, music and Blizzard T. Husky, will also be part of the evening.

The free food offerings are hot dogs, popcorn, pop and bottled water. Other food options will be available for purchase. Raffle prizes include University Images gift cards, a free week at Michigan Tech Hockey School, sticks signed by the Huskies and family ticket packages.

Tickets to watch the Huskies defend their 2015-16 WCHA regular season championship will be on sale during the event. More information on season tickets will be released next week.


In the News

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) is quoted in an article in Network World where Michigan Tech is highlighted as one of six colleges turning out open source talent.
Pearce's article on how to calculate the ROI for open hardware made the Editor's picks for must-read articles at OpenSource.

New Funding

Bruce Lee (Bio Med/LSTI) is the principal investigator on a project that received a $294,960 research grant from U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Naval Research. The project is entitled "Smart, Moisture-Resistant Adhesive Inspired by Marine Chemistry."
This is the first year of a potential three-year project that could total $517,588.


Cody Kangas (Enrollment Services/PIOI) is the principal investigator on a project that received a $49,500 contract from the Michigan Department of Transportation. The project is entitled "2016 FHWA National Summer Transportation Institute at MTU."