June 16, 2015, Vol. 21, No. 21

Dads, Bridges, and Reunions

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Father’s Day is less than a week away, and that always means two things in the Copper Country: Dad and the Bridge. Bridgefest is an interesting event, like a Fourth of July pre-game show. And it’s the big party before we start seeing a higher influx of tourists for the nice weather in July and August.

For the Fourth, the fireworks and parades and parties all happen elsewhere: Lake Linden or Copper Harbor or South Range or Gay. Here in town? It’s a more subdued affair. We all wander away for the holiday, making our way back eventually. It’s the same feeling I get with Alumni Reunion, the one I get with Bridgefest.

It’s that we know we’re coming back. Of course we are. The question is when, not if. With Reunion, it’s as though we did all the warm-up stuff here in Houghton, then we go out for the big show, coming back eventually. The two parallel each other pretty nicely. We meet here a bit before the main event—your lives and careers—and then, in your own time, you make your way back.

You’ll notice down below that the online registration for Alumni Reunion is now open. We’d love to see you come back this year if you can make it. Plenty has changed. And plenty has stayed the same.


My solstice/Solstice visual pun worked far better than I could have imagined; check the email bag for a couple of interesting responses.

Also, I’m getting some great ideas in for a regular column on the Places of the Keweenaw. Keep those coming and I’ll kick that off later this summer. If there’s any place that was a favorite, and you want to see what it looks like now, I’ll troop on out there, take some photos, and give a write-up. Just tell me where to go!

The following came in from our geology friends as Bill Rose is offering some fascinating geoheritage tours. If you’re in town early for reunion, check them out!

Keweenaw Geoheritage Tours by Water and Land – July 27-30, 2015

Join local expert Bill Rose in reading the landscape to learn how the Copper Country came to be the way it is today. Each one-day field trip explores one of four major events in Earth’s history that make up the strong geoheritage of the Keweenaw – Lavas, the Keweenaw Fault, the Jacobsville Sandstone and Copper Mining Waste of Lake Superior. Participants can expect to cover a lot of ground and be outside all the time. Travel is a combination of van transport, short walks, and trips aboard Michigan Tech’s research vessel, the Agassiz. Trips are limited by boat capacity to 17 people. Each trip costs 5 and includes lunch, snacks, and boat and van transport. For more information, trip descriptions, and registration please visit our website.

For specific questions, please email Erika Vye at ecvye@mtu.edu

We never seem to be too far from a Career Fair, either.

Hi Kevin, when is the next career fair?  I need to hire some graduating geological engineers to come work in California!

I know this one! The 2015 Fall Career Fair is set for September 29. Stop by and say hi if you make it into town for it. I’m usually up at the SDC working on a story during the fair itself, but I’m kicking around our offices in Admin otherwise. Would love to see you.

And finally, the amazing Roxane Gay, PhD alumna in Rhetoric and Technical Communication, continues to make all sorts of noise. Check out her appearance at TEDWomen 2015. If you’ve haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Roxane, she’s sharp, witty, funny, bitingly critical, and with her finger firmly on the pulse of our culture. I also once attended a surprise birthday party for her. Trivia.

Thanks for reading.

At Tech


Clues to the Earth’s Ancient Core

Old rocks hold on to their secrets. Now, a geophysicist at Michigan Technological University has unlocked clues trapped in the magnetic signatures of mineral grains in those rocks.. These clues will help clear up the murky history of the Earth’s early core.

The journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters published a paper on the . . . [ Full Story ]


Parade of Nations Announces its 2015 Theme

Dragons, serpents and a host of other mythical characters are headed for Houghton in September, when the annual Parade of Nations celebrates its 2015 theme: World of Lore and Legends.

The Parade of Nations and the Multicultural Festival that follows in the Dee Stadium is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 19. Organizations at Michigan Tech, Finlandia . . . [ Full Story ]


Fruit Fly Genetics Reveal Pesticide Resistance and Insight Into Cancer

For being so small, fruit flies have had a large impact on genetic research. Thomas Werner, an assistant professor of biological sciences at Michigan Technological University, has bridged the miniscule and the massive in an effort to better understand the mechanisms behind several unique features of fruit fly genes.

Over the past week, several studies that Werner . . . [ Full Story ]


Bioenergy Across the Americas

Researchers across the Americas look to forests for power, transportation fuel and heat. More than 80 of those researchers from Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Mexico, Uruguay and the US met at Michigan Technological University to discuss bioenergy.

The work is part of the Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE), funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). . . . [ Full Story ]


Minerick Named Associate Dean for Research and Innovation

Wayne Pennington, dean of the College of Engineering at Michigan Technological University, announced  that Adrienne Minerick, professor of chemical engineering with an adjunct appointment in biomedical engineering, has been named the College of Engineering’s first associate dean for research and Innovation. 

In her new position, Pennington said Minerick will coordinate faculty and staff engagement with each other and . . . [ Full Story ]


Seely Retires from USCG Reserve

In 1983, Nancy Seely, associate director of the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning at Michigan Technological University, joined the US Coast Guard Reserve in San Antonio, Texas. She says she joined the Reserve at the encouragement of a work friend, in part because her father served in the Coast Guard during World War . . . [ Full Story ]

Alumni Around the World


Breaking Digital Barriers

Digital literacy is something that everyone should have the opportunity to achieve, including the elderly. Breaking Digital Barriers is bringing that idea to life. Participants are walked through the basics of digital literacy. This project is a stepping stone to building a tight knit community, and bringing everyone together in communication.


Alumni Reunion Registration Open

Plan to reconnect with your classmates and check out what’s new at Michigan Tech during Michigan Tech’s Alumni Reunion, August 6-8, 2015 . Online registration is now open, just visit www.mtu.edu/reunion and click on the registration link. You can also call toll free at 1-877-688-2586 to register.

Bring the whole family to enjoy a variety of . . . [ Full Story ]

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Still Time to Give to the Annual Fund

As we near end of the 2014-15 fiscal 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 place your name on the annual Honor Roll of Donors. You can phone the Michigan Tech Fund . . . [ Full Story ]


If you happen to be in Houghton tonight….

Get ready to connect in a whole new way as we launch the beta version of the new app Gather, developed by Michigan Tech Alumni Jacob Northey ’04 and Craig Otis ’10.

Keweenaw Young Professionals Special Event: Gather Launch Party Tuesday, June 16, 2015 6-8 pm The Continental Fire Co

Alumni Profile

Dr. Robert D. Carnahan ’53, ’00


Why did you choose Michigan Tech? My college interest focus was on Engineering and I learned about Michigan Tech, then the Michigan College of Mining and Technology, from a former Monroe high school alum attending there while he was home on break in December of 1948.  I had considered U of M based on academics . . . [ Full Story ]

Tech Sports


Huskies to Play in Desert Hockey Classic Jan. 8-9

HOUGHTON, Mich. — Michigan Tech hockey will play in Arizona at the Desert Hockey Classic on Jan. 8-9, adding two games to its 2015-16 schedule. The home series vs. Ferris State that was originally scheduled for Jan. 8-9 has been moved up to Oct. 30-31 at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

Arizona State, . . . [ Full Story ]


Football Opens Up VIP Ticket Sales for 2015

HOUGHTON, Mich. — With four home games by Oct. 10 and two night games on the 2015 Michigan Tech football schedule, it will be a great year to hold VIP Four Packs. The popular ticket packages are currently on sale at the Central Ticket Office (906-487-2073).

Each VIP 4 Pack comes with four tickets . . . [ Full Story ]

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Parade Season

This photo comes to us courtesy of the good folks running Bridgefest and their online photo gallery. Now that it’s parade season—and flurries move from probable to doubtful—I’d love to know about these mid-summer celebrations in your life. Did you get involved with Bridgefest here? Or something on the 4th? Has anyone else . . . [ Full Story ]

From the Email Bag


Car Talk

What great memories your Fill in the Blanks brought to mind.  I had some boring, run-of-the-mill sedan, but my roommate, Mark “Bitter” Brandon had an old (it was even old back then) VW beetle.  It had terrible traction so all winter long we’d slide from one snow bank to another.  I also remember that it . . . [ 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. Visit http://www.mtu.edu/alumni/benefits/ for details

·         Auto, home, and renters insurance through Liberty Mutual.
·         Pet Health Insurance through ASPCA
·         Long Term Care Insurance – AlumniLTC®
·         Short-term health insurance - GradMed®
·         Travel Insurance through USI

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.