Fall Career Fair

Hello Parents!

I hope everyone has had a good week! It is definitely starting to feel more like fall up here and with that comes some great opportunities around campus, including the Fall Career Fair on Tuesday, September 29 in the Student Development Complex (SDC). There seems to be a continuing trend of having the biggest career fair yet and this fall is no exception with 369 registered companies. As many of you probably know, there are a lot of alumni that come back to career fair as recruiters.

The 369 companies that come to Houghton, specifically looking for Michigan Tech students, represent everything from construction companies to places like IBM. Regardless of where someone is in their academic career, there are opportunities to hand the companies a resume and present their elevator speech.There are numerous companies for students to talk to about co-op or internship opportunities to gain experience before graduation. For graduating seniors, there are many companies looking for full time employees as well.  Following Career Fair, many companies stay in Houghton to schedule and conduct interviews in person.

To help prepare for this potentially stressful time for students, Career Services has lots of resources that any student can  take advantage of to improve their chances of getting a job. Some of the biggest events they hold are the Resume Blitz and mock interviews.  Mock interviews can be scheduled to help ease some anxiety or stress in talking to a company representative with useful feedback. The resume blitzes give students another set of eyes to check out what could be improved on their resumes. Career Services also provides help with dressing appropriately, professional name tags and head shots.

In addition to these resources, the companies and other student organizations hold events to help students get to know them and their company. The individual companies hold information sessions to give students an opportunity to get to know them before deciding whether or not to pursue opportunities there. Sponsored by the Society of Women Engineers, the Evening with Industry is another way to get to know company representatives before career fair. For additional information, follow this link to the career services website.

As you can tell, career fair is taken pretty seriously at Michigan Tech. Through this, students are able to connect with companies, expand their networks, and hopefully get experience through jobs. I mentioned before that many alumni come back to Tech for this specifically. They keep coming back because they know the quality of work that these students produce and what they can do for the respective companies.

If anyone has any questions, feel free to email me at esleclai@mtu.edu.

Have a good week!


Fall Semester has begun!

Hello Parents!

I hope everyone has enjoyed the last bit of summer. In Houghton, we’ve had some HOT weather for the start of classes. My guess is that summer is trying to hold on by a thread before we start the rather quick descent into the winter months. In the midst of Welcome Week, campus is buzzing with activity. Students and faculty are hurrying to get to classes, the computers in the library are full and tapping on the keyboards is constant, and friends are hanging out in the gardens and sitting on the benches throughout campus. There are plenty of things to be excited about for this fall too, including traditions that take place at the beginning of the school year.

One of these traditions is KDay (the “K” stands for Keweenaw Day) and is one of the best times at Michigan Tech. Taking place on the Friday, September 11 at McLain’s State Park, this event provides an opportunity for new and returning students learn about all of the student organizations and opportunities for involvement while enjoying Lake Superior and the outdoors. From Greek Life to Rugby, Anthropology Club to Fishing Club, there is a wide variety of options to get involved and meet plenty of people.  If you want to learn more about KDay, follow this link.

KDay is one of the first traditions that students can experience here at Michigan Tech.
KDay is one of the first traditions that students can experience here at Michigan Tech.


Along with all the events and activities specifically set up for Welcome Week and the beginning of the school year, there are also Michigan Tech Athletes that are getting into action. Fall sports such as football, soccer, volleyball, and cross country are starting their competitions for the year. The first home game for the football team is tonight, Thursday September 3 at 6PM. The Women’s soccer and volleyball teams begin on Friday, September 4. To keep up with the Michigan Tech Huskies Athletics throughout the year, click this link. Also, if students are interested in participating in sports outside of the Varsity sports, there are tons of intramurals to stay active. Follow this link to learn more.

With everything getting started and so much to get involved in, it can be easy to lose sight of why we’re really here as students. Luckily, we have amazing faculty, staff, and student leaders that encourage getting involved while remaining aware of our studies and the work we must put in to our classes. Michigan Tech is truly a great place to be. As always, if there are any questions, feel free to email me at esleclai@mtu.edu.

Have a good week!


Orientation Week

Hello Parents!

Orientation Week (O-Week) can bring out the best in students.  There is a lot to gain from participating in this week as they learn all about what Michigan Tech has to offer!  They are assisted by their Orientation

Throughout O-Week there are activities available to get new students involved.
Throughout O-Week there are activities available to get new students involved.

Team Leaders (OTLs) in realizing their potential, and they are provided the time and opportunity to get out and explore. Whether that exploration be of the campus, the community, the Keweenaw, or all the groups and clubs, there is no shortage of options. There is definitely something for everyone.

One of the most important parts of O-Week is the Orientation Team Leaders. These are students who have been hired to work with incoming first-year students, and they provide valuable insight on Michigan Tech and university life. During the week, the OTLs work with groups of students to debrief after presentations, tour buildings and campus resources, and build relationships before the beginning of the semester. I had a great experience with my OTL, and I am still able to go to him with questions or even just to talk. I cannot say enough about how awesome OTLs truly are. They put in the effort to be available to first-year students and provide a smooth and fun transition into the throes of college life.

Another part of O-Week that is incredibly useful and interesting for all students is Day Zero. It was one of my favorite parts about orientation.  Day Zero classes are meant to give students an idea of what  some of the core or university wide classes are like (such as Calculus, Chemistry, and Global Issues), and they are set up to introduce professors and the material to be covered. It is an invaluable experience to get a head start on the semester and see what’s going on.

Of course, there is a significant amount of other activities, presentations, and events that occur during O-Week. There is always a chance to get involved, whether it be with trips around the Keweenaw,  free movies put on by Film Board, or on-campus events. The events that students participate in during O-Week can translate into involvement during the school year, new friends, and a better idea of everything that Michigan Tech has to offer.

There is plenty to do and see while in the Keweenaw. For more information on the schedule of events during Move-In Weekend and Orientation Week, click here. Otherwise, feel free to contact me at esleclai@mtu.edu.

Have a great week!


End of Summer

Hello Parents!

As you all know, the last few of weeks of summer are here. I hope you enjoy what you can before the school year starts and everyone gets busy! In Houghton, we’re in the last week of classes for Track B and have seen a change in the weather. After some very dry weeks, we have started to get some rain and things are looking beautiful. Keep in mind the weather up here, like in many other places, is unpredictable. I would recommend having your student bring a fan with them, as well as any fall or winter jackets that will come in handy later on in the semester.


One tradition during Orientation Week is the HUGE banana split.
One tradition during Orientation Week is the HUGE banana split.

As I’ve noted above, the end of summer is upon us and that means students (and parents) have to be ready to come to Michigan Tech for the fall semester. For first year students, Orientation week will be an awesome experience to get to know people interested in the same kinds of things and start to experience all that Michigan Tech has to offer. It is a very busy week for those students, but definitely worth every minute! From Day Zero classes to trips around the Keweenaw, there is plenty of things going on to stay active and involved from the start of Orientation week until the first day of classes. In my blog post next week, I’ll talk about the events occurring during Orientation Week until then for more information, follow this link.

To be prepared for the upcoming school year, one of the best things to remember is to double check what is needed and figure out if you have it. This could be anything from a good backpack, to pens and pencils, to clothes to match the weather. It is a huge transition to go from high school to college and Orientation Week is meant to make that transition as easy as possible. Once the fall semester starts and classes get going, the best advice I have for students is to get into a routine. Eat meals at the same times every day, go to all classes, and complete homework at the same time every day. By being in this routine, students will be able to adapt to college life smoothly.

Remember, if there are any questions about this information or anything else, you can email me at esleclai@mtu.edu. I hope everyone has a good week and an enjoyable end to their summer!


Alumni Weekend and KSEF

Hello parents!

This week has cooled off in the Keweenaw, but that doesn’t mean there is a lack of things to do!  Alumni Reunion and the Keweenaw Science and Engineering Festival are in full swing, bringing together the community, visitors, and science.

The Alumni Reunion is an annual event that brings together alumni from around the country and includes plenty of activities to get everyone involved. From campus tours to class gatherings and photos, it is a busy weekend for people who spent their undergraduate time at Michigan Tech. To review events that occur during the Alumni Reunion, follow this link.  This year the classes that graduated in 1965, ’75, ’85, ’90, ’95, and 2005 are being recognized along with hockey alumni. Additionally, the Golden M’s, any alumnus/a that has graduated from Michigan Tech over 50 years ago, are being honored.

This is an example of some of the work that will be displayed at the Rozsa gallery.
This is an example of some of the work that will be displayed at the Rozsa gallery.

The Keweenaw Science and Engineering Festival (KSEF) is a brand new event designed to get more people interested in science, technology, engineering and math.  The schedule of events may be viewed here if you are interested in learning more about it. In conjunction with KSEF, there is an exhibit in the Rozsa Center Gallery called Scale: Balancing Art and Technology which will be displayed through September 11.

A couple of other reminders as the summer is winding down. New student orientation is just a few weeks away. To ensure you and your student are prepared, follow this link to the Orientation website. For students living in the residence halls, the wait-list for parking is now available. Follow this link to transportation services for more information on how to sign up.

As always, feel free to email me at esleclai@mtu.edu with any questions on this information or anything else.

Have a good week!



Planning Ahead

Hello, parents! This week has been a pretty nice one in the Keweenaw (most weeks in the summer up here seem to be that way).  I hope everyone has been doing well and is enjoying the summer. We’re over half way through it and I’ve already seen school supplies out at the stores, crazy to think there’s only one month until move in day and first year orientation!

As we are getting so close to the beginning of a new school year here at Michigan Tech, I just wanted to share some things for you and your student to keep in mind. One of the best tips I could give anyone starting school is to make a game plan. Even if it doesn’t work out exactly like you want it to, it is useful to try and plan out when you will study, when you will eat and keep those things consistent. The change from high school to college life, especially living in the residence halls, can lead to falling behind. Another option for the start of a new year is to go and meet new people. It could be the people that live around you or someone you met by going to a different club meeting, you never know where or when you could meet new friends. This article, from Buzzfeed, provides some more tips to surviving in your first year of college. Not everything works for everyone, the trick is figuring out what works for each student.

The idea of having a car to be able to make late night food runs or explore the area in any free time is one that can be very

The traditional first year student photo taken as part of orientation 2014.
The traditional first year student photo taken as part of orientation 2014.

appealing. There are quite a few students who bring cars to campus and there is a registration process for vehicles. If your student does plan on having a car with them, check this site for information and to be added to the wait list for resident parking. There is also information provided for commuter parking as well as bicycle registration.

Orientation helps students build a foundation for the rest of their time at Michigan Tech, while they also get to know the campus better and make connections with their fellow students.  If your student is a first year who will be going through orientation, follow this link which will take you to the orientation website.

There are so many things to do before school starts that it can be overwhelming. By planning ahead, you can get an idea of what is needed, what can wait and how to figure it all out. If there are any questions about any of this information or anything else, you can email me at esleclai@mtu.edu.


Outdoor Activities

Hello Parents!

Following one of the hottest weekends of the year in the Keweenaw, I wanted to share some more of the things that are available to do up here. One good resource for the outdoor adventuring student is the Outdoor Adventure Programs (OAP). They hold events throughout the summer and school year. This summer they are offering kayaking and paddle boarding clinics, have organized a trip to Isle Royale, and other camping and adventuring trips. For Orientation Week, OAP holds day trips to local places. In addition to hosting these events, OAP also rents gear, from bikes to paddle boards.

The Keweenaw History Center located in Calumet.
The Keweenaw History Center located in Calumet.

There is plenty to do around the Keweenaw. One of my personal favorites is to walk around touring some of the historical sites, and there are numerous opportunities to experience this rich history.  If you are interested in the history of copper mining, there are several places to explore that also include an underground tour. The Quincy Mine, the Adventure Mine, and the Delaware Mine are great options to learn more about mining and you can click on the name of the mine to see its website. All of these mines are Heritage Sites associated with the Keweenaw National Historical Park (KNHP). The KNHP covers a significant area of the Keweenaw and includes heritage sites, like the mines, that were integral to the history of the area. To learn more about the park, click here.

The sun over the water at the Houghton Breakers.
The sun over the water at the Houghton Breakers.

Of course, with all the Keweenaw has to offer, there are plenty of things to do and places to see without a guide or organized trip. If you are interested in learning more about the trails for hiking, biking, skiing, or snowshoeing, this site has great information. Beaches are also one of the most popular attractions around the Keweenaw. One of the student favorites is the Houghton Breakers. It is a stamp sand beach right on the edge of the Portage and is perfect for swimming, bonfires, and watching the sunset over the water. For more on the beaches in the Keweenaw, this website is a good resource.

If anyone has any questions on other things to do around the Keweenaw, feel free to email me at esleclai@mtu.edu.


Musical and Community Events

In the Copper Country, we are starting to get into some of the busiest times of year, especially for local musicians. This week has seen some ups and downs in the weather, but most people are still excited for the things to come.

The Pine Mountain Music Festival (PMMF) began at the end of June and will continue through July 18. It is a celebration of all types of music, from professional opera to chamber music and many others. This week the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts will be hosting performances of The Barber of Seville. The Barber of Seville is a beloved opera buffa (a comic opera) about the desire to win a woman’s heart without money. The Bergonzi String Quartet will be playing at the Calumet Theater, a local landmark and beautiful theater. These performances, among others, will continue throughout the Upper Peninsula. If you are interested in finding out more out about the PMMF, follow this link to its website.

A band performing at The Really Big Show. Photograph by Ray Bosley. Courtesy of pjsrockcamp.com
A band performing at The Really Big Show. Photograph by Ray Bosley. Courtesy of pjsrockcamp.com

Another musical event coming up is PJ Olsson’s Rock Camp (for more info, click here). This is a camp for students, ages 11-20, to get some intensive and awesome mentoring in playing instruments, singing, performing, setting up, and controlling the performances. During the two week camp, students develop their skills and come together as bands and groups. They create a set, practice and memorize their performance. At the end of the two weeks, the campers hold “The Really Big Show”, this year on Saturday, August 1.  For local young musicians, it is an incredible opportunity to learn, make new friends, and have a lot of fun. I have personally been to the final performance in the past; it is a great way to show support for these students and to get the chance to see some amazing young talent.

This weekend is the annual Strawberry Festival held in Chassell. The short drive is always worth it to see the parade, get some strawberry shortcake, or watch the Strawberry Festival queen pageant. At the peak of strawberry season, the Copper Country Strawberry Festival gets the community out and about to enjoy some of the awesome things (and one of my personal favorites) about living here . The strawberries are fresh picked from local farms, most of which provide picked strawberries as well as pick your own services. If you are interested in learning more about the Strawberry Fest or any of the berry farms, check out their website here.

Summer Youth Programs (SYP) are an amazing way for middle and high school students to experience different fields at Michigan Tech. Many of the students that participate in these programs end up coming to school full time at Michigan Tech (I joined those ranks when I started college). There are many options for SYP, for example students can see what it would be like to be a civil engineer, get hands on experience in a blacksmith shop or adventure through the Keweenaw on hikes. Needless to say, it is a great program for students who aren’t quite sure what they want to do yet, where they can try out majors and career paths as middle and high school students. For those students who decide on  Michigan Tech when they start college, the Center for Pre-College Outreach hires students to work as counselors, providing another great opportunity to get involved.

If you have any questions about what I have discussed here, any other events going on in the Keweenaw, or just in general, feel free to email me at esleclai@mtu.edu.

Have a good week!


Hello, Parents!

As Track B for summer classes begins and everyone is starting to get into the dog days of summer, I am getting started at the new ParentNet writer! My name is Erica LeClaire and I will be taking over for Valerie as she begins her journey after undergrad. She has been an awesome writer for ParentNet, a great student, and a perfect example of how one can succeed in college. I’m hoping that she trained me well to take over her position and that I’ll be able to continue her high level of work for my tenure. I want to wish her good luck as she sets off for graduate school.

With that, I will let you know some more about me. I am a local student here at Michigan Tech going into my third year. Through elementary school, I lived in Livonia, outside of Detroit. Both of my parents are from the Keweenaw, so they decided to move back and we’ve been here ever since! Growing up here, you get a new appreciation for the outdoor activities, the history, and the heritage of this beautiful place. Partially because of my appreciation of those things, I decided to pursue a more non traditional major at MTU and am in the history program.

In addition to studying and classes and all of those parts of college I am involved in some extracurriculars  as well. I am an active member of the Alpha Gamma Delta Women’s Fraternity and I’m the current president of the Anthropology club. Between these organizations, I get to have some pretty diverse experiences and met many different people on campus and in the community. As a part of Greek life at Michigan Tech, not only have I gained an invaluable network of people, but I have been able to find a place that I can lean on for help, trust with anything, and, as our motto states, live with purpose. Though it isn’t for everyone, I found my niche in Greek Life and have enjoyed my experience greatly. Anthropology club, on the other hand, connects me and other Social Sciences majors (or just people interested in it) with each other, our professors, and the greater Social Sciences community.

This is me at Hungarian Falls, a local favorite spot for hiking, snowshoeing, pictures and other things.

With the experience of being a commuter student, it was very important for me to get involved on campus. I have seen people fall on all different sides of the spectrum, from being super involved to not participating in campus life at all. When you don’t live in the dorms it is more challenging to decide to make the conscience effort to go to campus and meet other people, become part of an organization, or whatever it might be. Because of my interest in the lives of commuter students here at MTU, I took over the Commuter Assistant position and have been doing that for the past year. I am a resource for those students to get involved on campus, meet each other, and hopefully gain some new experiences in the campus community.

Working in another integral part of my life. Currently, I am a student security clerk with Public Safety and Police Services, while also working with the Wahtera Center for Student Success for ParentNet and as Commuter Assistant. I’ve mentioned what I do for the Wahtera Center, but as a student security clerk I am involved on campus in an entirely different way. For this job, I walk through campus, meet and interact with undergrad and graduate students, usually open/close a lot of doors.

Another for me that is very important is being involved with the community and volunteering within it. Being part of a sorority helps with becoming more involved in local and national philanthropic endeavors, we work with a local group that provides food for low income children outside of school and we also raise money for juvenile diabetes research and awareness. Recently, I have participated in the local Relay for Life in Houghton and the BridgeFeast fundraiser for the local Rotary.

I would like to thank you all for reading my post. I look forward to getting to share the happenings of Houghton and Michigan Tech throughout the year and hope that you gain something from it. I would once again like to recognize Valerie Taglione and thank her for everything she has done for me, ParentNet, and the university. If anyone has any questions, comments, or would just like to find out more about any of this, you can email me at esleclai@mtu.edu


The 2015 Michigan Tech Concrete Canoe Team

Hello Parents,

The 2015 Michigan Tech Concrete Canoe team's canoe: Talvi Sielu, meaning Winter Soul in Finnish
The 2015 Michigan Tech Concrete Canoe team’s canoe: Talvi Sielu, which means “winter soul” in Finnish. Photo courtesy of Brad Roberts.

I hope you’re all having a great week! Everything in Houghton has been going wonderfully this week, as students are preparing to  take their Track A final exams, Summer Youth Program campers have taken hold of the campus, and prospective students tour the campus to learn more about Michigan Tech. The weather here has been pretty finicky; mother nature can’t decide if she wants the sun to shine or if she wants it to rain and the last few days it’s been raining while the sun is out (which makes for absolutely beautiful scenery!). But as usual, there’s been a lot going on this week. It was pointed out to me in an email from a parent that the Michigan Tech Concrete Canoe team went to nationals last weekend at Clemson University in Seneca, South Carolina!  In response, I’d like to write a short piece to congratulate the team and spread the word of the Concrete Canoe team.

Sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers, the concrete canoe competition consists of both a regional and national contest that judge undergraduate teams in four components:

1) Technical Paper
This professional paper outlines the engineering and design of the canoe, including the concrete mix proportions, design of the boat, construction methods, and everything else that went into creating the canoe.

2) Technical Presentation
The team must summarize the technical paper in a five-minute presentation in front of a board of judges.

3) Race
The team must compete in the following five races: Two-person Women’s Sprint, Two-person Men’s Sprint, Two-person Women’s Endurance, Two-person Men’s Endurance, and Four-person Co-ed Sprint.

4) Final Product
The canoe is then judged based on appearance and adherence to the official rules of dimensions and components of the concrete mix.

A photo of the female race in the National Concrete Canoe competition. Photo courtesy of Brad Roberts
A photo of one of the 2015 Women’s Races in the National Concrete Canoe competition. Photo courtesy of Brad Roberts.

The regional competition that Michigan Tech competes in includes teams from universities such as Western Michigan University and Michigan State University. There are over 200 other teams from across the nation that compete in their own regional competions. The top 10 teams from each regional competition then go on to compete at the national level.

Every year, the Michigan Tech team chooses a theme for the canoe that represents the team in an inspirational and creative way, and this theme is incorporated into the design of the canoe. The Concrete Canoe team works year-round during the academic year to design and build a well-engineered canoe; each member contributes over 3,000 hours of work to complete the final product!

This year, the Michigan Tech Concrete Canoe Team finished 13th overall in the national competition with their canoe, Talvi Sielu! They deserve to be recognized and congratulated for all of their hard work! For more pictures of the 2015 National Concrete Canoe Competition, feel free to visit this informative blog, written by Mr. Roberts, a parent himself. For more information about the National Concrete Canoe competition, please visit the official NCCC website.

As I mentioned last week, this will be my last ParentNet Weekly post and the new writer, Erica LeClaire, will be taking over next week. I will be leaving for Grand Rapids, Michigan to begin medical school at Michigan State in August. I just wanted to extend my heartfelt appreciation to all of you as I conclude my last post; writing for ParentNet has been a great learning experience for me and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time on the site and hearing from some of you through email. I wish you and your students the best of luck as they continue their careers here at Michigan Tech, and if you have any questions about anything, please feel free to email me at vjtaglio@mtu.edu. Thank you all so much!