Cool Hobbies

Many Michigan Tech alumni live by the mantra of “work hard, play hard.” That can lead to some pretty amazing hobbies. Here are a couple we recently heard about.

• Daniel Madrid ’10 (Computer Network and Systems Administration) creates works of art with wood including 3D puzzles. One of his pieces is a 3D puzzle of the Portage Lake Lift Bridge.

Portage Lake Lift Bridge 3D Puzzle by Dan Madrid

• Gary Johnson ’66 (Mechanical Engineering) is a retired engineer and an accomplished water color painter. He has produced hundreds of works including this one titled “Shadows from a Bygone Era,” which won the Bronze Award at the Mid-Southern Watercolorists exhibition in Little Rock, Arkansas, last spring. You can view a guest blog he’s written here.

Shadows from a Bygone Era by Gary Johnson

What’s Your Hobby?
Whether it’s art or something else entirely, what hobby do you have? Let us know by commenting below.


4 Comments on "Cool Hobbies"

  • Mark Mitchell '77 (Biological Sciences)
    February 11, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    I’m in my sixth year of playing trombone with the Coast Big Band. We are a 20+ piece band that plays at festivals, parks, casinos, weddings, parties, churches, Mardi Gras functions, and balls on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I’ve played trombone since the fifth grade and played in the Pep Band and Jazz Lab Band for four years while at Tech. It gets me out of the house and gives me a little “walkin’ around money”.

  • John R. Baker '71 (Mechanical Engineering)
    February 11, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    When I was a student at ‘da Tech’ I did some free lance photography work. I took photos around the campus and the area, many of which found their way into several yearbooks and other campus publications, including the Winter Carnival Pictorials. I was also responsible for the ME-EM department’s darkroom for two years and took many photo’s for faculty and graduate students in support of various programs and research projects. About 20 years ago the university made a request asking for historical photos taken around the campus and the area, that could they be donated to the school. I offered nearly 800 original color slides, negatives and prints to the archive (if you search on my name, you’ll find that many of those images are accessible to the public). And while I worked as an engineer for nearly 50 years, I continued to take photos, many while I was traveling around the world for my job. Today, I have an archive of nearly 50,000 images, going back to when I was in high school. Since I retired four years ago, I’ve started to offer many of the my image for sale thru a stock photo house and while I’m not making a lot of money (yet) I have sold a decent number of images, several of which were taken in the UP over the years.

  • Ken sikora
    February 12, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    Ken Sikora, ME, Dec.’70

    I’ve been a backyard beekeeper for over 25 years in Green Bay, ever since a fellow Michigan National Guardsman offered me his equipment at one of our drills. Along with beekeeping, I’ve also been a grower of wildflowers/prairies for years, working to improve the habitats for all pollinators – many of which we are losing because of significant habitat loss.

    Along with habitat loss, beekeeping can be a challenge because of a problem with mites (smaller than a wood tick). If the mites aren’t under control in a hive, then getting them through Winter can be difficult. But, it is a fascinating much studied insect, because of its importance to our welfare. A bee hive is considered a super-organism – controlling the hive temperature, raising brood, storing food, working as a team, etc. Always glad to discuss bees – kfsikora42@yahoo.com.

  • Stacey Keener
    February 19, 2020 at 2:40 pm

    I am a certified church musician in the ELCA Lutheran Church and American Episcopal Church. I have directed bell choirs and chancel choirs as well as children’s choirs over the years. Now I am learning how to play guitar so I can accompany myself when I sing. I also make yarn covered hangers which I learned how to do in Girl Scouts.

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