Michigan Tech Magazine Winter 2008-09 Cover

Kranka village children loved receiving their first computer, “but really began yelling and screaming after the flash of the camera,” says Nana Manteaw, in the blue shirt. Mitchell Edbauer, in the Huskies shirt, was part of the Pavlis Institute for Global Leadership and helped organize the trip with Marcella Campione and Cory Padilla.

Kranka village children loved receiving their first computer, "but really began yelling and screaming after the flash of the camera," says Nana Manteaw, in the blue shirt.

International Business Ventures Enterprise

To the Heart of Africa

by John Gagnon

A group of steadfast students traveled to Ghana last summer, on a mission to bring better medical care to that west African nation. The trip was both inspiring and disturbing.

The students tested and demonstrated an infant heartbeat detector that could reduce newborn deaths.

The device quickly recognizes if a newborn’s heart is beating. Without this kind of technology, sometimes midwives set aside depressed and nonresponsive babies to die.

On this life-altering journey, the students encountered raw sewage in gutters alongside roads everywhere; wonderfully fresh mangos and plantains; a lack of restrooms and a proliferation of cell phones.

Running water was as scarce as the electric service, which was at best sporadic. So students bathed with a bucket of cold water. “I use more water here just to get it warm,” says Brooke Smith, one of four who made the trip.

With organizations like Keweenaw Pride, Michigan Tech and its students have made strides to further the progression of GLBT acceptance.

In searching for the answer, one finds that the truth—acutely different for each student—often lands somewhere in the middle.

Keweenaw Pride, Safe Place Program

Another Side of Tech

by Kara Sokol

In the frosty chill of an October morning, a handful of students gather along a well-traversed sidewalk on Michigan Tech's campus. Each arrives carrying chalk, tape, and posters. They greet each other warmly, eye the steely skies, discuss the possibility of rain. Then they set to work.

Fifth-year mechanical engineering student Michael Senkow chalks a massive circle on the sidewalk. He stands back and claps the dusty residue from his hands. Around the exterior of the circle, he has written the group's plea: "Sign if you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. Allies, too."

"The hope is that there'll be so many signatures by the end of the day they'll spill out of the circle and cover the sidewalk," Senkow explains. "We'll see."

A few errant students stroll by; some ignore the visual display; others smile and nod or wave. A few linger nearby, watching curiously. The group continues to work, refusing to let the overcast sky dampen their spirits. Their mission is clear—to remove the stigma associated with the word "gay."

Top Row: Kendra Wolk, Margot Hutchins, Leslie Semler; bottom row: Samantha Carlson, Megan Killian, Jessica Brakora.

Top row: Kendra Wolk, Margot Hutchins, Leslie Semler; bottom row: Samantha Carlson, Megan Killian, Jessica Brakora.

Running Together: a Long, Long Way

by Ian Marks

After graduating, alumni stay in touch with classmates via emails, Facebook, or face-to-face visits. Six Tech cross-country and track alumnae reconnected by running a very long distance together.

Why?

"I wanted to see where we could go with more-challenging distances and an all-female relay team," says Megan Killian '05.

So, the six women competed in the 2008 Ragnar Relay, covering 187 miles in Washington state. Not only did the team finish first of the eleven all-women's teams, but they finished eighth among all 142 teams competing—135 of which had up to twelve runners on their teams.

The former Huskies (and a friend) finished in 23:31.03, a 7:37-mile pace.

Larry Golin '58 hold the artificial leg he designs, builds, and gives away.

Larry Golin '58 holds the artificial leg he designs, builds, and gives away.

Let Them Stand On Their Own

by Marcia Goodrich

Larry Golin is at Michigan Tech for his fiftieth class reunion, and he confesses that he hasn't seen many familiar faces on campus. This is probably because most members of the Class of '58 aren't from Bangladesh, or Bengal, or Brazil, and most of them have two reasonably good legs.

Golin is walking a different road, one that began at Tech in 1956 with an overwhelming conversion experience. "I went to sleep, and when I woke up in the morning, my whole life had changed," he says. "From then on, it's been a blessing, and a blessing, and a blessing."

He found himself called, both to spread the Christian gospel and to help the helpless, regardless of their faith.

Tackling Society's Toughest Problems

by Susan J. Burlingame

The news is spreading fast and far: Michigan Tech is addressing society's important issues.

The work of Roshan D'Souza, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, was featured by the New York production company ScienCentral, which does science news pieces on National Science Foundation-funded research for ABC. D'Souza and his students found a way to use video graphics cards to model the progression of diseases and to better understand the human immune response.

David Hand, professor of civil and environmental engineering, was quoted in the Washington Post on the new water recovery system for the International Space Station. The story was distributed widely.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette included Michigan Tech's railway engineering program in an October 14 story about unusual majors, titled "Some Schools' Majors Fall Off the Beaten Path."

In November 2008, the Detroit Free Press featured the YES! Expo in an article titled "Detroit Expo's Video Games and Experiments Get Kids Hooked on Science." Since 2004, Michigan Tech has been the chief organizer of the YES! Expo, which attracts thousands of middle- and high-school students each year.