July 29, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 24

Pasties, iClickers, Outdoors: Reunion 2014

The Outdoor Adventure Program has lots of options to get into the Keweenaw!

Was the perfect storm really perfect? And what’s with all those new-fangled classroom do-dads? Visitors to the 2014 Alumni Reunion can learn the answers to these very different questions at two intriguing Tech Talks. One looks at the latest classroom technology, the other takes a scientific look at two Hollywood blockbusters.

Lots more fun and interesting campus events are planned for Alumni Reunion, Aug. 7-9. You can also canoe, bike or hike in the great outdoors and explore the Keweenaw Waterway in the University’s research vessel, the Agassiz.

Reunion is a great opportunity for all former students and members of the University community to meet new friends and rekindle old relationships. The featured groups this year include the Classes of 1964, 1974, 1984, 1989, 1994 and 2004, as well as the Golden M’s, who graduated 50 or more years ago. This year’s affinity groups are women’s basketball, tennis, Sigma Rho and Sigma Tau Gamma.

Plus the Ford Forestry Center is celebrating its 60th anniversary. For more information, go to www.mtu.edu/forest/fordcenter/Ford_Center_60th.html. And the Seaman Mineral Museum is offering free admission throughout reunion to attendees wearing their nametag. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

You can still sign up by going to www.mtu.edu/reunion and clicking the registration button at the top. Or, you can register and buy tickets by calling 906-487-2400 or visiting the Alumni Reunion Registration Area, which will open in the Memorial Union on Wednesday, Aug. 6. Attendance at some events is limited, so consider registering early. I’ve pulled out some highlights below:

Thursday, Aug. 7
Welcome Breakfast
at the Memorial Union Building, 8:30 a.m., followed by walking tours.

Tech Talks—In Fisher 139, physics faculty members John Jaszczak and Michael Meyer will present “From Slide Rules to iClickers: Learning at Michigan Tech, Then and Now” at 10 a.m. In this interactive session, they will introduce the technologies that are the hallmark of “blended learning” and modern classrooms.

“Hollywood Meets Ocean Science: ‘The Perfect Storm’ and the ‘Search for Red October’” follows at 11 a.m. Guy Meadows, director of the Great Lakes Research Center, will use applied physics to answer these questions and more: “Could the perfect storm really occur? And how do submarines communicate underwater?”

Pasty Picnic follows at 4 p.m. on the campus green between the Electrical Energy Resources Center and the Chemical Sciences Building (rain site: Memorial Union). Pasties, pickled eggs, KBC beer, salads, desserts and other beverages are included.

Keweenaw Alumni Chapter Social at the Keweenaw Brewing Company, 6 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 8
All-Class Alumni Breakfast at the MUB with President Glenn Mroz ’74 ’77

Children’s Science Exploration—Kids will have a chance to build their own launchers—devices that propel an object by turning stored energy into kinetic energy. 10 a.m. Great Lakes Research Center. [ ALMOST FULL ]

Starting at 1 p.m., boat tours in the RV Agassiz will leave hourly from the Great Lakes Research Center dock until 4 p.m. [ ALMOST SOLD OUT ]

Alumni Reunion Dinner and Awards Banquet, 5:30 p.m. social, 6:30 p.m. dinner, MUB.

Saturday, Aug. 9
First there’s coffee at the Alumni House, then Explore the Keweenaw!

The Outdoor Adventure Program is hosting a four-hour canoe trip on the Sturgeon River. Meet at 9 a.m. at the Alumni House. [ SOLD OUT ]

At 2 p.m., OAP is leading its first Alumni Reunion a mountain-biking tour of the Michigan Tech Trails, on Sharon Avenue.

If you’d rather walk and ride, join the Keweenaw Waterfall Tour and Hike, which starts at 2 p.m. [ SOLD OUT ]

So, there you have it. So many great reasons to come home, again. I know you’ll find something, and some alumni and friends, to make the trip worthwhile.

Dennis ’92 ’09

P.S. I’m taking a break from TechAlum for a bit, but you’ll have plenty of good stuff to read in here over the next few issues, I guarantee it. And, keep the emails coming.

At Tech


Programmers Score Russian Success: Finished as Top Michigan School

A team of current and former Michigan Tech students did well at the recent International Collegiate Programming Competition. They finished 64th of 122 schools from across the globe and the top school from Michigan. The team included Tom Holmes, computer science; Ryan McNamara, recently graduated math major; and Eric Rinkus, computer science, along with coach . . . [ Full Story ]


Tang Receives $2.5 Million Grant to Enhance Knowledge of Crop Genetics

Cereal crops may seem as simple as snap, crackle, pop, but in reality they are among the most complicated species in the plant world, at least from a genetics standpoint. As a result, scientists have been hard put to tease out what genetic mechanisms are responsible for which characteristics. But now a biologist at Michigan . . . [ Full Story ]

Alumni Around the World

Ford pasty picnic

Pasty Picnic for Ford Alumni and Interns

More than 100 Michigan Tech alumni and interns from Ford turned out for pasties and reminiscing. Many thanks to Scott Wolfe ’97 for organizing the Ford Pasty Picnic in Dearborn.

Alumni Profile

James J. Parm ’81


A native of Jenison, Michigan, James Parm earned a BS in Electrical Engineering in 1981 and his MBA from Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business. Today, Jim is president and CEO of Stratos Global, a post he has held since 2003. During this time, Parm led the transformation of Stratos from a regionally . . . [ Full Story ]

Tech Sports


Shawhan Named Assistant Hockey Coach

Michigan Tech hockey coach Mel Pearson  announced the hiring of Joe Shawhan as assistant coach. Shawhan served as assistant coach at Northern Michigan for the last six seasons. He replaces Damon Whitten, who left to become the head coach at Lake Superior State in April. ”I’m extremely pleased to welcome Joe to the Michigan Tech hockey . . . [ Full Story ]


Armga Named GLIAC Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Former Michigan Tech basketball player Austin Armga (Waupun, Wis./Waupun), and former Grand Valley State track and field athlete Kristen Hixson (Remus, Mich./Chippewa Hills) were named the GLIAC 2013-14 male and female “Scholar-Athletes of the Year,” respectively, as voted by the league’s faculty athletics representatives. Armga posted a 3.78 grade point average (4.0) in exercise science and earned three GLIAC . . . [ Full Story ]

Fill in the Blanks


1958 Wads in the Gazette

Classic old Gazette photo and caption:

“Few of the collegiates of yesteryear had it as good as these fellows in Wadsworth Hall. Here Daniel Macaluso, pursuing an electrical course, studies with Dan Shuke, right. Macaluso is from Dowagiac and Shuke hails from Sebewaing. Both are sophomores.”

Know these guys?

Email me.

From the Email Bag

robots, students, and faculty

2005 Robot Pic

I recognize Ryan Bishop in the brown shirt to the left of the robot. We worked together as student callers for the Tech Annual Fund.

Tim Long


In the July issue of the TechAlum newsletter, fill in the blanks, “Robots in 2005″, I am the guy third from the left. I was . . . [ Full Story ]


1951 Photo

Just read your 7/14 email. I’m one of the last of the ’51 Forestry class. I was looking forward to seeing Bob Todd next month and was shocked to read of his recent passing. He (from Plymouth) was one of my best buddies, and least year we lost Bob Bunney another of our . . . [ Full Story ]


More on “Yooper” in Dictionary

From Frank Shoffner:

Yooper (NEW WORD ADDED for 2014)

noun:a native or resident of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan – used as a nickname

The land of the Yoopers-the Upper Peninsula, or U.P.-is connected to Michigan’s Lower Peninsula by means of the Mackinac Bridge.

“Every Yooper I’ve ever met was an uncommonly unique character-a real . . . [ Full Story ]

Doc Fencing

Doc Berry and the “Alcohol Lecture?”

Dennis,  I remember him well. Freshman chem and I got along all right. I believe I may still have class notes, somewhere. At that point in my academic career I was still rather conscientious. I don’t believe I missed many of Doc’s lectures. He was awfully good and terribly entertaining. The attendance did tend to . . . [ Full Story ]

Featured Alumni Benefits

license plate

Be True to Your School!

Order your Michigan Tech license plate today.

When you purchase a Michigan Tech license plate, not only do you show your Husky Pride, but you also support programs for alumni and students.  For an additional fee, your Michigan Tech plate can be personalized.

Don’t live in Michigan? Then you need a collector Michigan Tech license plate!

Whether you purchase a regular plate or collector plate, a portion of the fee is given to the university to support programs for students and alumni.

To order visit: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/orderform_mtu_16221_7.pdf

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.