March 10, 2015, Vol. 21, No. 14

Baseball, Pasties, Too Much Snow, and Finals


Somehow I don’t think that’s how the old Chevrolet jingle is supposed to go. With apologies to our GM alumni.

This time last year I was at my sister’s place in Miami. It was my very own spring break, just as it is for our students this week. The idea of it being hot in March was a bit foreign to me, but a week in the pool was nice. It was also the first week or two of spring training games for baseball. It turns out that it’s too warm and occasionally stormy in South Florida for teams to hold camp there, and there weren’t any games within driving distance. I watched some on television, some humid air floating through the patio in the evening.

It was a preview—of a single sport and of the long summer that was to come. Baseball is a ritual, a process, a renewal each year. What I love about the sport is that the entire season is a story. It’s the ride, not the destination for me. There are a few teams I keep track of—the Mariners, Orioles, Nationals, and Brewers—and a ballgame is my soundtrack for making dinner or falling asleep. It’s my context for an entire half of the year.

What I remember most clearly from spring training last year was, of all things, a television commercial they ran repeatedly on MLB Network. It was a collection of shots of players getting ready for the 2014 season. The music from it stuck in my head for most of that spring: it was Public Enemy’s track “Harder than You Think.”

So it’s time to leave you a preview
So you too can review what we do

Spring training and spring break come at the same time. The former is indeed the preview, where you don’t know anyone’s name who is playing after the third inning. Yet. Spring break, however, is indeed the review, a chance to review what our students have done, now with the end of the academic year in sight.

I got to spend some time a week ago talking with students from the Consumer Product Manufacturing Enterprise team. They were showing us one of their products for an upcoming story, but there were something like six total projects underway. They come in as requests from industry, solving specific problems to give a potential boost in the marketplace.

I have to remind myself—as they’re hard at work on solving all of the problems in the world—that they’re still students. Conversation was peppered with references to lectures, labs, and upcoming exams. They’re juggling so much, especially when you add in the special events on campus. It’s a good thing they get a break this week.

I’m ready to get going, for the snow to melt, to get on with what’s next. Our students take that bit of a breather this week, a chance to review where they’ve been and preview where they’re going.

What about you? What does spring mean? I’m getting ready to start up my flowers for this year—growing convolvulus and cardinal climbers this year. The ice will be gone from Great Sand Bay and McLain State Park. Glimpses of the sun are just a preview. There’s a lot I want to do; what do you have in store once the weather turns?

In other news:

Our latest issue of Research should be arriving in homes as I type this. Make sure to check out the online version if the paper copy is out of your reach.

Houghton and hockey are pretty tightly connected. Any of you familiar with the CBC will have seen commercials in recent years for Kraft Hockeyville, a competition between communities for local stadium improvements.

The competition has come to America. We have to win it, don’t you think?

If we can pull this one out for the Keweenaw, it would mean a big chunk of change for Dee Stadium improvements, a pre-season NHL game here at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena (I’ll compromise—let’s bring your Wings AND my Canucks), and the chance to showcase what we’re all about on a national level.

Here’s what you can do:

  • If you’re in the area, come to the Dee at 6pm tomorrow for the kickoff event. Wear your favorite hockey sweater.
  • Visit to nominate the Dee Stadium and Ice Rink in this contest. You can nominate up to three times per email address and must be 13 or older. Nominations close March 18!
  • Hit up our Facebook page for updates, and follow the Twitter account @PACKtheDEE.

Let’s do this.

Thanks for reading.

At Tech


Studying on the Rolling Ocean

Many dream of traveling to faraway places, but not many students get the chance to live their dream while they are still in college, let alone travel to 12 different countries within four months while still pursuing a degree.  But that’s exactly what Sasha Burnett is doing as she studies abroad with Semester at Sea.

. . . [ Full Story ]

Mapping the Great Lakes’ Wetlands

Fluorescent bands of color outline the Great Lakes on a new, comprehensive map of the region’s coastal wetlands. This publicly available map is the first of its kind on such a broad scale — and the only one to trump political boundaries. Both Canadian and US wetlands are shown along more than 10,000 miles . . . [ Full Story ]


New Insight into Carbon Emissions from Big Carbon Sinks in Peat Bogs

Flooding is the way of life in peat bogs. The standing water helps create an environment where mosses, sedges and shrubs flourish. As each year passes, a thick new layer of vegetation buries the old. Layer and layer of partially decomposed organic matter piles into peat, which slowly gathers and stores tons of carbon over . . . [ Full Story ]

Alumni Around the World

AAW - Superior Ideas photo

Superior Ideas—Multitasking Grasses

The soil in the Upper Peninsula has been heavily contaminated with heavy metals due to mining. Our researchers aim to remediate the impacted soil in a two-step process; their project is titled “Multitasking Grasses: Improving Soil and Producing Biofuel”.

First, they will remove contaminants from the soil using plant matter such as grasses, and then, . . . [ Full Story ]

Alumni Association 2015 Award Recipients Announced

The Michigan Tech Alumni Association Board of Directors is pleased to announce the 2015 award recipients.

Outstanding Young Alumni Award—Britta Jost ’02 ’04
BS Mathematics and MS Mechanical Engineering
Presented to alumni under the age of 35 who have distinguished themselves in their careers. The award recognizes the achievement of a position or

. . . [ Full Story ]


Food, Fun, and College Hockey!

More than 40 alumni, family & friends from the Chicago Alumni Chapter gathered at a local watering hole to stream the Husky Hockey Game on March 28th.  Many thanks to Bob Wojcik ‘91 for organizing the event!

Make sure to check out the Chicago Chapter on Facebook.

Visit the WCHA for more information about . . . [ Full Story ]


Twin Cities Hockey Pregame Party

Husky fans of all ages put on their black and gold to cheer on their Hockey Huskies as they took on the Mankato Mavericks. Alumni and friends swapped stories of their time and Tech and picked up a pomp oms to waive at the game during their pregame part at Pub 500.

Special thanks to . . . [ Full Story ]


Paver Project Opportunities Return

You may have read about, heard of, or seen the dedication of the new Husky statue on campus.  If so, then you probably also became aware of the 800+ engraved pavers that were installed surrounding the statue. Alumni and friends of the University lined up to reserve their paver and become a permanent part of . . . [ Full Story ]


Familiar Face Returns to Athletics

Michigan Tech has hired Darcy Way, who played hockey and previously worked in athletics, as an advancement officer. The 1982 graduate returns to Tech to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward major gifts for athletics.
Way’s long association with Tech began in 1978, when he joined the hockey program as a goaltender. He returned to serve as . . . [ Full Story ]

Alumni Profile

Jim Anttonen ’65


Jim Anttonen ’65 became a pioneer in environmentally sustainable construction long before the term “sustainable” became a household word.In 1985, Anttonen launched ARS Denver Inc. with his partner, Kim Haarberg. The Colorado-based corporation has grown to become one of the top firms in the country specializing in soil stabilization and asphalt reclamation.Using methods that are . . . [ Full Story ]

Tech Sports


Huskies Sweep NMU To Wrap Up Regular Season

MARQUETTE, Mich. – No. 4 Michigan Tech defeated Northern Michigan 3-1 on Saturday (March 7) at the Berry Events Center to pick up the WCHA series sweep of the Wildcats on the final day of the regular season. The Huskies picked up their 26th win to improve to 26-8-2 overall and 21-5-2 in the WCHA.

. . . [ Full Story ]

Tech Women To Host 2015 NCAA Midwest Regional

INDIANAPOLIS — Michigan Tech will host the NCAA Midwest Regional for the third time in the last six years as it was awarded the region’s top seed. The announcement came via video stream on

Tech, which earned the GLIAC’s automatic bid, will face No. 8 Cedarville in the opening round of the tournament . . . [ Full Story ]


Men’s Basketball Earns At-Large Bid to NCAA Tournament

INDIANAPOLIS — The Michigan Tech men’s basketball team has earned an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament it was announced tonight by the NCAA. The Huskies will be the No. 6 seed in the Midwest Regional hosted by Bellarmine in Louisville, Ky.

Tech’s first-round game will come against No. 3-seeded Indianapolis. The contest will . . . [ Full Story ]

Fill in the Blanks


Waiting for Spring to Fling

We’re supposed to be above freezing all week here in the Keweenaw, saw while oozeball is still a number of weeks away, it’s going to be that slushy, sock-soaking terrain coming up.

This is also the time of year when, as soon as the snow is thin enough, the flowers start busting out of the . . . [ Full Story ]


The Great Outdoors

Now that the weather is warming—or, perhaps, for our alumni in warmer climes, the nice weather just keeps coming—what outdoors fun do you want to get to first?

For me, it’s disc golf. As soon as the ground is reasonably dry, I’ll be out there. If you aren’t familiar with the sport, it’s similar to . . . [ Full Story ]

From the Email Bag

Term of Endearment

The son of a friend recently finished his graduate work  and we  were talking of the many great times we each had while at Tech.

I mentioned something about TOOTS and he was completely unaware, that during our time there, the local folks called the student body TOOTS. The reference, of course, was to the future . . . [ Full Story ]

Getting to Houghton

Houghton Train Station

Even though I was born in Biloxi, Mississippi, I consider myself a Yooper. My grandfather worked in the Houghton Train Station for the Soo Line. My grandmother and father lived in L’Anse and my grandfather would live in Houghton for the week and then come back to L’Anse for the weekends. I . . . [ Full Story ]

Some Favorite People

Hello Kevin,

I saw in the newsletter asking alum for the faculty that made the most difference in ones lives and thought I would contribute. For me it wasn’t necessarily a direct faculty member per say, although the Chemical Engineering faculty at the time was fantastic…  But it was a staff member.

I had gone . . . [ Full Story ]

Career Fair

Off to build a career

I found myself being one of those mentors.

I got to see some of the students I met in the fall….some getting ready to graduate.

I got to do some interviews with those that impressed me.

Our company has extended some offers.

Hope some of those prospects will decide to . . . [ Full Story ]

More Mail!

Hello Kevin, Welcome aboard sad to learn that your predecessor won’t be returning, we all wish him well. If you’ve followed the letters closely the past few years you might recognize my name as I’ve been a regular contributor, class of ’53 Metallurgical Engineering. As I close in on my fourth 21st birthday this coming . . . [ 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 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.