Month: February 2022

2022 Alumni “Snow” Statue Results

Thanks to all the Michigan Tech alumni and friends who participated in our second annual contest. Congratulations to our winners!

Multi-Day Snow Statue

Multi-Day Snow Statue – Winner

Title: Freezy’s Skeeball
Participants: Max Dehtiar ’06
Story: Childhood memories of carnivals aren’t about what you got to see, but about the things you got to do! This year’s theme was perfect for an interactive statue that is a fully playable version of the most classic midway game of all – Skeeball! The perfect thing to beat cabin fever and the social distance blues. A fun front yard game for neighbors, friends, and classmates to come play and be kids, or for grown-ups to feel like one again. 

The skeeball game has three scoring zones, and an internal tunnel that returns the balls to the tray in front. The scoreboard detail documents the statue’s year. The game is hosted by an adorable carnival barker penguin named Freezy. With him cheering you on, no one can resist giving this game a try!

Multi-Day Snow Statue – 2nd Place

Title: Snowy Circus
Caption: Baby animals in training for the big top bring our snowy circus to life/Through the years, times may have changed, but the spirit of winter carnival has stayed the same. Baby animals join us so we can cheer, to help us ring in the next 100 years!
Participants: Laurie Stark (’08/current employee), Susan Mattila (’08), Ryan Ploetz (’08), Ashley Ploetz (’08)
Story: Come one, come all to our 100th Carnival! Watch as our baby tiger jumps through a ring of fire and our sweet baby bear finishes up her hula-hooping dance! As our baby circus animals finish up their greatest big top acts, we take a look back to the first Michigan Tech carnival. 

A glimpse into this first carnival would show us circus-style acts, people dressed up as circus animals, bands, and contests. Over the years, the themes have changed from circus to heroes to cartoons, and more, but the spirit of that first winter carnival is still alive today as we celebrate with snow statues, broomball, and comedians. As we ring in the next 100 years, the future possibilities are endless!

24-Hour Snow Statue

24-Hour Snow Statue – Winner

Title: Come One, Come All! Keep your Eye on the Ice Ball.
Caption: Step right up and enjoy the show!  You’ll forget all about your frozen fingers and toes as Patty the Snowbank Elephant deftly contact juggles her pyramid of ice spheres for your amusement.
Participants: Drew Vettel ’05 ’06, Maeda Vetta (4 years old), Ben Thompson ’09, Aspen Thompson (10 months old)
Story: We took a family vacation with friends to Bessemer, MI and stayed at an airbnb near the base of Big Powderhorn. The statue was built in the front yard (out of the plow paths) so everyone in the neighborhood could enjoy it. We harvested icicles from the roofline for tusks and froze clear ice spheres using balloons. Patty’s curved trunk dips into the snowbank before curving up to reveal the 1st ice sphere for her contact juggling routine. There is a snow bench facing Patty so we could take refreshment breaks and relax when needed. The statue was mostly built by Ben and Drew, but our daughters helped a bit and we had some playtime in the snow with them too (sledding, making snow angels, etc.). We spent some time skiing, snowshoeing, and relaxing with our families while introducing our children to the beauty of the UP and the variety of fun outdoor winter activities.

24-Hour Snow Statue – 2nd Place

Title: Minecraft-Go-Round
Caption: Rising from the frozen ground, Our very own Minecraft-Go-Round
Participants: Michelle BalkLudwig ’08, Adam BalkLudwig, Tim Pongratz, Ken Lewis, Jenny Lewis, Olivia Lewis
Story: The statue shows three Minecraft animals saddled and ready to ride in a merry-go-round. It is located in the BalkLudwig front yard in Spooner, Wisconsin. We knew right away that we wanted to do a merry-go round to allow for multiple design ideas within a cohesive overall plan, but were struggling a bit to figure out the animals. Then our resident creative planner Olivia (age 14), suggested rideable Minecraft animals. Thus the pig, horse, and llama were selected. The base is 8 feet in diameter. We used storage tubs to form the general shapes of the animals, and then carved and added as needed. Olivia headed up the pig design, Tim handled the horse, and Adam carved the llama.

Other Material “Snow” Statue

Other Material “Snow” Statue – Winner

Title: 100 years of circus crowds enjoyed by one and all at frigid carnival
Participants: Jim Cesarz ’94, Diane Cesarz ’94, Ken Stevens ’93, Tim Storey ’93
Story: 100 years ago MTU students enjoyed the 1st carnival dressed up as circus animals. Today they continued the tradition, dressing up, dancing and balancing on circus balls while enjoying a heavy snowfall. A simple brick house welcomes everyone home with a warm cup of hot chocolate. While Tech provides many traditions, memories and a wonderful education, the deep and life-long friendships are priceless. Mi Casa es su casa! Welcome home, my friend.

Reminiscent of times past, this black and white photo, captures the MTU pep band enjoying the various statues. True to their fun nature they cannot resist adding a little song to gear up the circus acts and serenade their Winter Carnival Queen.

Other Material “Snow” Statue – 2nd Place

Title: There’s no Fun Like Snow Fun
Participants: Katie Kioski ’09 and Kristie Kioski
Story: Step right up and have a ball as we celebrate Michigan Tech’s 100th winter carnival. Inspired by the classic circus games, we have a duck pond, bowling, skee ball, and high striker. We hope you bring along your appetite. This sweet scene is made out of marshmallows.

John Scott / Joe Berger Jersey Raffle

Play Message from Bill Predebon video
Preview image for Message from Bill Predebon video

Message from Bill Predebon

The Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Department at Michigan Tech is raffling off two jerseys (one signed by John Scott and one signed by Joe Berger) to support student and faculty development in the department. Raffle tickets are available here. Deadline for purchasing tickets is Friday, February 11.

State of Michigan raffle license # X05892

Tech Twosomes. What’s Your Story?

Share your story! Tell us your Tech Twosome story in the comments below.

Maybe you met in class or at the dining hall. Maybe you had your first date at the bowling alley or Mt. Ripley. Maybe, like Marie and Tom ’69 Cain, you had your first dance at the SnoBall during Winter Carnival half a century ago.

Play Winter Carnival Love Story video
Preview image for Winter Carnival Love Story video

Winter Carnival Love Story

We are honored that Tech holds a special place in your hearts, as you do in ours. Celebrate this Valentine’s Day by spreading the love with a gift to Michigan Tech in honor of your special connection. Your gift helps the next generation of students write their stories.

Other Tech Twosome Stories:

Liz ’12 (Cloos) and Patrick ’12 Dreyer
We at the LeaderShape leadership camp in January 2009, the week before the spring semester of our freshman year. We started dating after only 12 days of knowing each other and have been together ever since.

During our senior year, we decided that we wanted to get engaged to get married. Patrick wanted to surprise Liz. His first idea was to “feign car trouble” on our way back to Michigan Tech from Detroit and pull off the road in Alberta where we first met three years prior. However, Patrick realized that the entire family would be VERY upset that they wouldn’t get to see the newly engaged couple for many months. So, Patrick shifted his plans and proposed to Liz in Detroit four days before Christmas.

We’re now happily married for almost eight years.

Alissa ’17 (Alexander) and James ’15 Kanka
James and I met my first semester at Tech in fall of 2011 at Sigma Pi Haunted Haus. I was joining Theta Chi Epsilon sorority and was a tour guide for the charity event. James was a brother of Sigma Pi fraternity and came to help out after he got off work. One of my sisters that knew him introduced us and it was love at first sight. We started dating in January and were inseparable. We were even able to take some classes together during our time at Tech! James graduated in 2015 and was able to stay in the Houghton area with me until I graduated in 2017. We married in July of 2017 and just welcomed our first child, Nash, into the world in January of this year. We look back fondly at our time at Michigan Tech and wouldn’t change a thing about it as it has lead us to where we are now!