December 16, 2014, Vol. 21, No. 8

The Legacy of a Tech Education

Alphabetical college touring, starting with the A’s: John and Jodi Lehman and their daughter, Maddy, meet with a professor at Adrian College. (We think she’ll find her perfect fit once she hits the M's…)
Alphabetical college touring, starting with the A’s: John and Jodi Lehman and their daughter, Maddy, meet with a professor at Adrian College. (We think she’ll find her perfect fit once she hits the M's…)

I am on medical leave for a while. I will miss you all, but a group of stellar Michigan Tech personalities have stepped up to write guest columns while I am away.  Today, Associate Vice President for Enrollment, Marketing and Communications John Lehman tells us about legacy students. —Dennis

My wife, Jodi ‘09, and I have started taking our 16-year-old daughter on college tours.  Working with college recruitment and enrollment programming for more than 20 years, I find it fascinating to be seeing this process from the other side of the table.  I know from years of experience working with families searching for colleges that the best school for our daughter will be one that she chooses herself, with guidance and support from her parents.  Of course, as an alumna, my wife as well as I would be ecstatic to see our daughter attend Tech.

In a recent survey of Michigan Tech students, more than 50 percent said that the most influential source of information that helped them choose Tech was a friend or family member.  You who are reading this are among those influential folks.  More than one in ten students at Michigan Tech is a” legacy student”–a student whose parents or grandparents attended Tech.  If we could account for aunts, uncles, neighbors and influential teacher/mentors, no doubt that percentage would be much higher.

Legacy students enjoy a bonus scholarship, but they also play a role in our student body.  They are the link between the institution’s rich history of success and its bright future.  That link is especially evident when we see parent and grandparent alums helping their first-year students move into Wadsworth, DHH, and McNair (co-ed) each fall.  In their eyes, we can see these grads remembering moving into those very halls themselves.  It is easy to feel the pride all parents exhibit as they move their students into the halls, but it is on a whole different level for those who are returning to their alma mater to watch their child begin college. All parents are nervous on that day, but those returning to Tech seem to have a bit more confidence about the whole affair.

Like all parents, my wife and I want the best college possible for our daughter after she graduates from high school.  We’d like her to have a transformative education where she can work closely with talented and uncompromising professors in a community that cares and looks out for one another.  There are plenty of institutions that would fit that bill for our daughter. Tech is at the top of the list for her mother and me, but honestly, it’s her choice.  Our job as parents is just to weed the mailbox of brochures from other institutions and hope for the best.

Did you send a legacy student to Tech, or were you one yourself? Tell us your story.

At Tech


Michigan Tech, Calumet Firm Receive $2.1 Million from Southwestern Energy Company

Michigan Technological University and REL, Inc., a Calumet-based technology company with a focus on material-process development, have been awarded a .1-million, three-year investment from Southwestern Energy Company (SWN) of Houston, Texas.

The grant charges an interdisciplinary team of Michigan Tech researchers and REL engineers with designing, fabricating and testing a conformable, compressed natural gas tank . . . [ Full Story ]


A Drifter’s Voyage across the Big Lake

On Thanksgiving Day, Michigan Tech Biological Sciences Professor Nancy Auer was walking her dogs on the Lake Superior beach near her Allouez Township home when she found a beat-up object known as a drogue—a hand-built floating device dropped off a dock or boat. When she examined it, she discovered that it belonged to Sam Kelly, . . . [ Full Story ]


Seeing is Believing

If seeing is believing, C.K. Choi has a passion for clarity—in a very tiny world.  The assistant professor of mechanical engineering’s  research lies at the micro-scale, in channels no thicker than a strand of hair.

Choi’s first visualization breakthrough came more than 10 years ago when his team, for the first time . . . [ Full Story ]

Alumni Around the World

snowfall contest

5th Annual Snowfall Contests Now Open

The flakes are flying, and we Huskies couldn’t be more excited that the season of snow is upon us. Do you think you know what Heikki Lunta has in store for us each month and for the entire 2014-15 season?

Alumni, friends, students, faculty, staff, and Michigan Tech retirees are invited to predict our monthly snowfall . . . [ Full Story ]

Annual Fund

Annual Giving

As we approach the end of the 2014 calendar year, we want to take a moment to remind our alumni and friends that there is still time to make an annual contribution in support of Michigan Tech—and receive a 2014 tax deduction on your federal tax return (if you itemize.)

You can phone the Michigan . . . [ Full Story ]

AAW - Van Wagner

Football’s All-Time Leading Rusher VanWagner Passes Away

Michigan Tech Sports Hall of Famer Jim VanWagner, the Tech football program’s all-time leading rusher, passed away on Nov. 29, at his home in Grants Pass, Oregon, at the age of 59.

VanWagner played for the Huskies from 1973-76, accumulating 4,788 career yards—most in Tech history and third-most in NCAA Division II at the time. . . . [ Full Story ]

AAW weatherpredict-3

Houghton Has Most Unpredictable Weather

“Most every American has some basis to complain about unpredictable weather. As a mid-latitude country with shining seas and majestic mountain ranges and fruited, wind-swept plains, we’re subject to pretty much every type of weather meteorologists have thought to identify…”

In this article, Houghton ranks #1 in the country for having the least predictable . . . [ Full Story ]

AAW - Bad Feminist book cover

Bad Feminism Makes Good Reading!

The collection of essays, Bad Feminism, by RTC alumna Roxane Gay (PhD 2010) has just been named to The Atlantic’s “The Best Book I Read this Year” list.  Here’s an excerpt from Tanvi Misra’s review:

The essays jump from her childhood obsession with Sweet Valley High to why she hates Django Unchained. (“My slavery revenge fantasy would probably involve being . . . [ Full Story ]

2014 GLI_Logo Color Light Background

50th Annual Great Lakes Invitational

December 28-29, 2014 marks the 50th year of one of College hockey’s greatest traditions.  The Great Lakes Invitational (GLI) has grown into one of the premier college and holiday sporting events in the country.

Get your tickets today! Use the Special Offer Code: MTU2014 to sit with your fellow Michigan Tech Husky Fans and get a . . . [ Full Story ]

Alumni Profile

Don T. Makay ’99, ’99


An organization in Iraq led by a Michigan Technological University alumnus is seeking to help Iraqis rebuild their nation.The Iraqi Hope Foundation (IHF), founded by Major Don Makay ’99, is a nonprofit “dedicated to the stability and prosperity of Iraq through investment in private, small and mid-size business and entrepreneurs,” according to its mission statement.He . . . [ Full Story ]

Tech Sports


Late Goal By Neville Lifts Huskies to Victory

Michael Neville scored his first goal of the season with 19 seconds left in the third to break a 3-3 tie and give the No. 4-ranked Huskies a non-conference weekend split with No. 9 Minnesota Duluth.

Michigan Tech (13-3-0) entered the third period with a two-goal cushion. UMD got goals by Dominic Toninato (7:28) and . . . [ Full Story ]


Ladies Remain Unbeaten with 68-55 Win over No. 8 Wayne

Michigan Tech knocked off No. 8-ranked Wayne State 68-55 in a battle of undefeated teams today at the SDC Gym. Sharita Brown had 20 points and 21 rebounds for the Warriors, but Tech got double-digit scoring from four players to move to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the GLIAC.

“It was a great game for . . . [ Full Story ]


Pengelly 57th of 245 at NCAA Championships

Michigan Tech’s Sean Pengelly finished 57th of 245 runners at today’s NCAA National Championships hosted at Sawyer State Park.

The sophomore, who was just the second-ever men’s runner from Tech to qualify for the Championships, completed the 10-kilometer course in 31:47. He was just 18 seconds away from the top 40, which earn All-America . . . [ Full Story ]

Fill in the Blanks

GLI Hockey Tournament Banquet 1965


The Great Lakes Invitational is right around the corner. Do you have any stories about attending the game over your semester break? Let us know.

From the Email Bag

Tech Team Cover

“Tech Team” Assemble!

I saw the mention of “Tech Team” comics in the most recent newsletter. I thought others might like to see what they were all about. I picked up one of the original issues off Ebay a few years ago. I had to laugh when I paged through it for the first time. Only at Michigan . . . [ Full Story ]


Winter Carnival West

The annual Snow Sculpture contest in Breckenridge, Colorado, attracts contestants from all over the world. [Thanks for sharing, Mike!]

Mike Werner ’68

wedding photo

Michigan Tech Matrimony

I met Kristopher Falasco ’13 in the pep band and wind symphony. Our wedding was very Tech themed. Our party was full of Tech grads, and we entered with the Pep Band entrance song. All the tables were places in Houghton that were meaningful to us, and we served pasties and KBC for dinner. Our . . . [ Full Story ]

The commute could be worse...

Chrysler Correction

Your picture of the cars in the snow is new Chryslers that were driven from a shipwreck on the east side of the Keweenaw in, if I recall correctly, 1931. Not traffic…

Mike Wank ’82 ‘85

Even More Epic Drives

It was the winter of ’68 or ’69 and Prof. Joe Kirkish let me park my car next to his apartment while I took off for Christmas vacation. When I returned 10 days later, I couldn’t find my car! She was buried under a massive snowdrift. It took several friends and me hours to free that . . . [ Full Story ]

Featured Alumni Benefits


Michigan Tech Alumni Group Insurance Programs

As a Michigan Tech graduate, you qualify for a special group rate on many of your personal insurance needs.

These partner companies provide 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.

Around the Keweenaw

Job Opportunities

On Campus

Miss the great Keweenaw lifestyle? If you’re looking for a way to get back to this awesome corner of the world, check out these positions available right here at Michigan Tech.

View a listing of our on-campus career opportunities.