Category: Alumni News

Guzdials Enrich Campus with Bench, Statue

Chris ‘63 and Jan Guzdial made a gift of a granite bench and bronze Husky statue, which is placed just outside the McAllister Welcome Center in the Memorial Union Building.

The location will be a magnet for students—both current and prospective—to sit next to the husky and snap a photo.

“We want to put smiles on students’ faces,” said Chris. “It was a struggle to get through Michigan Tech as a student, but Tech really helped me. I wanted to do something for Michigan Tech and the students here.”

Chris, a chemical engineering graduate, claims he “learned how to learn” at MTU, citing a couple of his instructors. “Mr. T.E. Vichich said in his class that you couldn’t just cram the night before an exam and expect to pass. You needed to do your homework daily. That proved to be true for me.

“Another instructor was my chemical engineering advisor, Dr. G.M. Machwart, who taught me lessons that stayed with me my entire career.”

The Guzdials were inspired in their gift by William Bernard and family and their role in adding the Bernard Family Clock Tower to the west end of campus in 2018.

“We were going to contribute to that project, but it was already taken care of,” said Jan. “This bench was an opportunity to further add to campus. Universities need these extra things to enrich campus life.”

The bench was dedicated July 26 at a small ceremony with the Guzdials and their friends in attendance. 

“I look forward to seeing the photos of students sitting on this bench, hugging the husky, and having a good time.”


Remembering Professor Francis

William P. Francis, age 81, died Friday, September 3 at his home surrounded by the love of his family following a year long struggle with complications from heart disease. Bill was born March 15, 1940, in Columbia, Missouri.

Bill spent his early years living in many different places both in and outside of the United States during his father’s service in the Air Force, graduating from Ramsey Abbey Grammar School in England in 1957. He received his bachelor of science degree in physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Cornell University. He was briefly employed at Bell Labs in New Jersey prior to working at the University of Windsor in Ontario as a post-doctoral researcher. Bill joined the faculty of Michigan Technological University in the department of mathematics in 1970 where he taught math, physics and computer science for 35 years retiring as professor emeritus in 2005. While a member of the math department, Bill served as acting department head, coauthored a calculus textbook still used in classrooms today, and was instrumental in the establishment of the math department computer lab. He served on many department and university committees, and received numerous academic and service awards, including the state of Michigan Teaching Excellence Award. He was the principal investigator on a government contract at the Keweenaw Research Center conducting mathematical modeling of laser reflection imagery of military vehicles.

During his teaching career, Bill tutored and counseled thousands of students, many who have reached out with gratitude. He was always willing to meet with students to assist with math problems, or discuss their career goals. He is especially remembered for encouraging students to pursue the career they envisioned for themselves and not what was expected of them by others.

Bill stayed active following his retirement working part time as vice president of Shafi, Inc, a company specializing in vision guided robotics programming solutions at the Houghton Innovation Center. He was also involved with many of the volunteer programs through AARP, receiving the President’s Volunteer Service Award for his work as an AARP Tax-Aide volunteer for 19 years.

Throughout his life Bill enjoyed participating in sports including handball, racquetball, squash, tennis, softball and hockey. He received the intramural distinguished athlete award from Michigan Tech in 1998. He worked out on a daily basis and played handball several times a week until the age of 80.

Bill’s great passion was music. He was a member of the Michigan Tech Concert Choir, Copper Country Choral, Studio North Opera, Pine Mountain Music Festival, Maple Sugar Folk, and the Copper Country Chords barbershop quartet. He performed for many charity events and enjoyed singing the “old” songs at senior homes.

Bill performed with the MTU concert choir on international tours of Mexico, Eastern Europe, Russia, China, the Baltics, South America and the Adriatic coast. Bill and Cindy cherished the memories and friendships developed during these trips.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents Justin and Marjorie (Oliver) Francis and a sister, Serrye Roy. He is survived by his wife Cynthia (Pike) Francis, his children Catherine (Todd) Wielinski, David Francis (fiance Casandra Nuques), Laura Francis (Myckey McNutt), as well as stepsons B.J. Whipple and Terry Bartlett. Bill is the proud grandfather of Victor, Quinn and Stryker McNutt, John Santiago, and Matthew Bartlett. He was previously married to Judy (Davis) Spahn, the mother of his children.

The family would like to thank the dedicated medical personnel at Marquette ICU and Cardiac Rehab, the Covenant LTAC Hospital of Saginaw, and Portage Health Systems. We will be forever grateful to the nurses, staff and volunteers at Portage Home Health and Hospice who were our constant companions in providing compassionate care for Bill.

Bill requested that in lieu of flowers contributions be made to the Milton Olsson Endowed Scholarship at The Michigan Tech Fund.

Obituary courtesy of O’Neill Dennis Funeral Home


Alumni Reunion 2021 Attendee List

As of 08/05/2021 8:00am

Last NameFirst Name Preferred ClassMajor
Agrawal Pradeep Chemical Engineering
Aho Karla 1993 Business Administration
Aittama Bruce 1981 Mechanical Engineering
Anderson Dyche 1981 Chemical Engineering
Anderson Britta 2015 Electrical Engineering
Archer Glen 2013 Electrical Engineering
Argentati Carol
Aro Dave 1990 Mechanical Design Eng Tech
Barr Nancy 2011 Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Bates Dallas 1971 Chemistry
Batten Dan 1990 Business Administration
Becker Chris 1981 BSBA
Benedict Brandon 2012 Computer Science
Benedict Brandon 2015 Electrical Engineering
Bennett Barbara 1978 Forestry
Bosio John 1979 Business Administration
Bowen Jim 1996 Mechanical Engineering
Bowes James 1971 Mechanical Engineering
Brandt Andy 1981 Civil Engineering
Brodeur James 1968 Biological Sciences
Burger Grace 1984 Business/Accounting
Calder John 1967,  1976 Mechanical and MBA
Callahan Janet
Chopp Natasha 2006, 2015, 2017 Business Administration, MBA, and Masters in Data Science
Cleveland Marie 1982 Business
Cleveland Michael 19’82 Chemical Engineering
Colvin Joshua 2000 Mechanical Engineering
Coon William 1971 BSMY
Coon (Bourdage) Katherine 1971  
Cote James 1961 Electrical Engineering
Craanen Nickolas 2002 Electrical Engineering
Crull Brian 1996 Electrical Engineering
Dennis Ashley 2014 Applied Ecology/Environmental Science
Desrochers James 1989, 2016 BSEE, MBA
Dick Richard 1956 Mining Engineering
Doherty Dennis 1977 Biology
Doherty Jr Dennis 2008 EET
Dressel Thomas 1961 BSME
Du Chene William 1991 Mechanical Design Technology
Dumler Richard 1971 Electrical Engineering
Emaus Karen 1981 BSME
Englander Gary 1981 Mechanical Engineering
Epple Carl (Herb) 1961 Mechanical Engineering
Eslinger Mark 1971 Civil Engineering
Fanello Shawn 2009, 2010 ME & MBA
Frahm Wes    
Franco Lou 1981 BSME
Franklin Bart 1996 Civil Engineering
Fream Julie 1983 BSChE
Gammicchia Robert 1971 Mechanical engineering
Gothard David 1971 Forestry – Science & Technology
Gothard Diane 1974  
Graff Lorrie    
Gustafson Kim 1982 Business
Gutierrez John 1994 BSCE
Halonen Eric 1991 Accounting
Harris Tim 1981 Social Sciences
Hartley David 1971 BSForestry
Hayrynen Kathy 1986, 1989, 1993 Metallurgical Engineering
Heidtke Sally 1981 BSChE
Hicks Brian 1971 CE
Hintz Dan 1981 Mechanical
Hodges Cynthia 1987, 1989 BSME, MSME
Holli David 1961 Forestry
Horn Donald 1971 Civil Engineering
Hubert Dave 1981 BSME
Hukkanen Robert 1971 Metallurgical Eng
Huntoon Jacqueline
Jensen Leanne 2001 MET
Johnson Dana 1980 Business Administration
Jouppi Brian 1999 Chemical Engineering
Jouppi Mandy 2000 Chemical Engineering
Julien Connie 1974, 1978, 1986 BS/MS Chemistry, MBA
Kainulainen Kevin    
Kaiser Christopher 1971 Chemistry
Kallgren Christopher 1981 Chemical Engineering
Kearly Tamyra 1984 Civil Engineering
Kero Dale    
Kloote Marney 1988 Civil
Kolodge Kristin 1995 Mechanical Engineering
Kolodge Sean 1995 Mechanical Engineering
Koski Mark 1976 Forestry
Kreiger Megan 2012 Materials Science & Engineering
Kuffer Bruce 1971 Civil Engineering
Laird Jane 1968 EE
Lane II Richard 2011 CNSA
Lara Carlos 1981 Metallurgy
LaTendresse Ildiko 1970 Chemistry
Laurila Charles 1959 Mechanical Engineering
Laverne Robert 1980 Forestry
Levengood Larry 1971 Biological Sciences
Lewis Jerome 1971 Chemistry
Livesay Dennis    
Loucks Jeremy 2011 Geology
Lundgren Bryan 1976 EE
Maki Michael 1971 EE
Massey William 1964 Mining
Matas Erin 2025 Applied Cognitive and Learning Sciences
Mazany Donald 1970 Forest Management
McDonald Emily 2012 Environmental Engineering
McGowan Wesley 2010 CNSA
McMackin Keith 1971 Chemical Engineering
Meyers David 1981 Civil Engineering
Meyers John 1972 Business Administration
Mikkola Paul 1966, 1989 Metallurgical Engineering
Mitteer Adam 2003 BS Business Administration 2003,  MS Data Science 2017
Moore Don 1970 EE
Moore-Bouchard Tonya 1996 BS Electrical Engineering
Morgan Erica 2011 Civil Engineering
Morse Audra
Mroz Glenn 1974 Forestry
Muller Mike 1986 Mechanical Engineering
Naperala Sarah 1997 Biology
Naperala Troy 1997 Environmental Engineering
Nelson William 1971 Civil Engineering
Newhouse Tom 1969 ME-EM
Niemczyk Jim 1982 ME-EM
Nygren Harold (Tom) 1961 Forestry
Oberloier Sarah
O’Brien Erich 2000 Applied Physics
O’Grady Alicia    
Paddock Michael 1988 Civil Engineering
Panella Joe 1982 ME-EM
Paradee Jeff 1981 Civil Engineering
Paradis Mike 1975 ME
Parm James 1981 Electrical Engineering
Parm Jean 1982 Computer Science
Pattullo Scott 1981 Electrical Engineering
Perrie Andrew 1964 Mathematics
PredebonWilliam
Price Robert 1975 BSME
Price P. Carol 1977 Forestry
Purcell Jr Derrick 2011 Electrical Engineering
Quinde Maria 2019 Mechanical eng
Rajewski Robert 1981 BSEE and BSCS
Rathbun Jim 1981 Civil Engineering
Rendall Jeff 1971 Metallurgical Engineering
Renier Mike 1989 chemistry
Richards John 1970 CE
Rickert Brad 1997 BSEE
Rockwell John 1979 Business
Rodriguez Stephanie 1996 Liberal Arts
Ross Shirley 1981 Biological Sciences
Rudiger Brenda
Saari Darlene
Salmi Tom 1971 Forestry
Santeford Sally 1970 Bio-Sci
Sarver Reed 1984 ME
Scheuern Craig 1992 Electrical Engineering
Schwartz James 1971 Chem Eng
Schwartz James 1971 Chemical Engineering
Siprak-Weill Rita 1980 BS Medical Technology
Smith Jody 2001 Environmental engineering
Soulliere Owen 2019 Mechanical Engineering
Sparrow Gary 1970 Chemical Engineering
Speight Kevin 1978 Nursing
Sproule Bill 1970 Civil Engineering
Stenger Robert 2018 Physics
Stevens Laura 1981 Computer science
Storer Andrew
Swager (Mikkola) Karen 1992, 1994 Metallurgical Engineering
Swanson Victor 1950 BS ME
Tatch-Julian Deb 1982 Business – Accounting
Thomas Timothy 1981 BSME
Thomson Julie 1983 Medical Technology
Timmons Richard 1969 Civil Engineering
Toth Dennis 1971 Business Administration
Toth Linda 1974 Biological Science
Toth Jonathan 2009 Business Administration
Umbarger Adam 2009 Software Engineering
Van Dyke Andy 2011 Forestry
Van Dyke Karin 1978 Forestry/Forest Management
VanSelus Robert 2011 Electrical Engineering
Vezzetti Eugene 1969 Business
Wade Barb 1978 Wood Science
Waitkins Arlene    
Weathers Bryant 2010 STC
Wicker Guy 1982, 1983 Electrical Engineering
Wilson Richard 1971 Civil
Winans Randall 1979 Chemistry
Wright Matthew 1982 Mechanical Engineering
Wyllie Dennis 1970 Forestry
Young Lorraine    
Zeigler Charles 1966 Applied Physics


Remembering Professors Carr and Huang

Professor Emeritus Bernie Carr

Bernard Warren Carr (Bernie)–also known to some as Butch—died at Omega House in Houghton, MI on June 7, 2021. He was born April 22, 1943 in Munising, Mich., to Frank and Irma (Kumpu) Carr, and raised in Christmas, Mich. He graduated from Munising’s Mather High School in 1961. While working as a Forestry Aide in the Seney area he met the love of his life (Karen Ruth Ketola) in the fall of 1961. They were married on August 29, 1964 in Germfask, Mich.

During the summers while in college Bernie worked two summers for the US Forest Service, one summer for the Celotex Corporation, and while a student at MTU he worked as a rodman for Helmuth Steinhilb, a Forestry professor and land surveyor.

Bernie attended Northern Michigan University before finishing a BS degree in Forestry from Michigan Tech University, followed by an MS degree in Silviculture from the University of Maine.

He then accepted a teaching position in Michigan Tech’s newly created Forestry Technician Program within the School of Technology. Upon accepting the position he planned to stay for three to five years and ended up staying for 35 years. The joy and challenges of working with the students was what kept him teaching, especially in the early years. During the 35 year period, he served as the program coordinator and earned the rank of Professor. Upon retirement he was conferred with the title of Professor Emeritus.

Bernie was professionally active in the Society of American Foresters (SAF). He served as Chair of the Michigan SAF, and as the Michigan Society representative on the planning committee for an SAF Region Technical Conference held in Wisconsin. He was elected a SAF Fellow in 1987, and was an SAF Golden Member with more than 50 years of continues membership. He was appointed to the Michigan Forestry Licensing Board by then-Governor Engler. Bernie also served as the first elected chair for two years of the Council of Eastern Forest Technician Schools (CEFTS), and later as elected Secretary and newsletter editor for two years. He also chaired the committee that developed the CEFTS constitution and operating procedures.

Bernie also engaged in public service throughout his life. He was a member of the L’Anse Hockey Association (LHA). He coached, served on the LHA board of directors, and chaired the LHA committee that negotiated implementation of hockey in the L’Anse Township Schools in the 1980s. He was a member of the L’Anse Township Board of Education for eight years, and member of the Copper Country Intermediate School District Board of Education for 12 years. A past member of the Copper Country Building Committee, he participated in a number of home builds over the years. Bernie joined the L’Anse Lions Club in 1974 and transferred to the Houghton Lions in 1991, belonging to the Lions for 47 years. He also served a number of years on the Portage Township Planning Commission and the Board of Review.

Bernie was a member of Good Shepherd Luther Church of Houghton and past member of United Lutheran Church of L’Anse. At both congregations, he served on many committees over the years.

He was a member of the Portage Fitness Center and while there, he “joined” Club 43 which was initiated by Frank Taucher. Other members are John Lawton, Dick Prince, and Bob Haataja (all of whom were born in 1943). With his wife Karen, he received the Ken Hamar Award for exemplary and continuous support of the Michigan Tech Athletic Program through the Blue Line Club. He was also active in the Center Court Club of Women’s Basketball at Michigan Tech.

Preceding Bernie in death were his parents Frank and Irma Carr, and his brothers Richard and Kenneth.

Surviving are his wife Karen Ketola Carr; children Amy Carr (Michael Kirby) of Macomb, Ill., and Frank (Rosa) Carr of Elko, Nev.; sister-in-law Susan Carr, and grandchildren Rachelle Reymers, Savanna Carr, Alysia Carr and Brett Carr.

As a parting thought, Bernie “wished to thank my wife for always being my kindred spirit and supporting me. Also to all my friends and not so friends, please forgive me if I insulted you and hopefully remember the fun times we had.”


Professor Emeritus and Former Graduate School Dean Eugene Huang

Eugene Y. Huang died June 14, 2021, in New Hope, at age 103.

He was born in Changsha, China, in 1917. He was the son of historian Huang Shan and his wife Zhao Yiyun.

As a child, he was raised in a traditional home, and given a Chinese classical education, but was soon drawn as a young student to Western science and technology.

During WWII, he worked in the Chinese National Highway Administration, assigned to a team in southwest China that designed and built roads and bridges in support of the war effort against the Japanese.

He came to the United States for further education in 1948. In 1950, he began to obtain an M.S. in engineering at the University of Utah. In 1954, he was awarded a doctorate in civil engineering from the University of Michigan. Eugene began teaching at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, where he met and married his wife, Helen.

In 1963, he moved with his young family to Houghton. He was a professor of civil engineering at Michigan Technological University, and later a dean of the Graduate School. He retired in 1984.

Eugene and Helen were committed supporters of the arts at Houghton High School and Michigan Tech. His family worshipped at Trinity Episcopal Church.

After Eugene’s retirement the couple enjoyed visits to Europe and Asia. In 2009, he and Helen left their beloved Copper Country and relocated to Henderson, Nevada, where dear friends and a warm climate gave them a new lease on life. In 2018, they moved to Pennsylvania to be closer to family. He was a firm believer in lifelong education, and encouraged his children in all of their studies, research, and professional pursuits.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Helen.

He leaves behind six children, Martha (Andrew) Higgins, Pearl (J. Peter) Hobbs, William, Mary (Jim) Toga, Priscilla (Jonathan) Singer, and Stephen (Jeannie) Chu and 10 grandchildren.


Make a Difference with the Alumni Board!

Join a team of fellow alumni to make a difference at Michigan Tech!

The Michigan Tech Alumni Board of Directors is a group of volunteers elected from around the country to represent their fellow alumni. It sets priorities and works with the University to develop and support programs to connect alumni and support students.

Members of the Alumni Board of Directors participate in a cardboard boat race during Homecoming 2019.

Benefits of Service

  • Meet many amazing Huskies – engage with students, faculty, staff and fellow alumni and gain insight into the university’s vision for the future.
  • Find opportunities for your company to be more engaged on campus
  • Support and Inform students in your community who may be future Huskies.
  • Continue the tradition of “Huskies helping Huskies”
  • An excellent ‘excuse’ to get back to the Keweenaw twice per year.

Learn More or Nominate Someone (including yourself).

Members of the Alumni Board of Directors visited Michigan Tech’s student Mushing Club during Winter Carnival 2021.


Author and Alum – Michael Paddock (’87, ’88) to Present

Join Michael Paddock, PE, PS (’87, ’88) on Tuesday, June 1 from 2-3:00 pm EST, as he presents his book Bridging Barriers: How a Community Changes Its Future with Help from Engineers Without Borders USA Volunteers.

Paddock brings to us a true story about “the trials, tributations and successes of the engineers and community members who gave new hope to Garrucha”. The book details the work that students from Milwaukee’s Marqutte University Engineers Without Borders (EWD) program used to contruct two life-changing projects, a bridge and a water project, for the rural community of La Garrucha, Guatemala.

Learn about what drives Paddock to focus on a life of service, lessons on community-building, and important insights as to what it takes for a project to be sustainable. The invaluable takeaways can be applied to everyone’s personal and professional lives.

Paddock’s service to others earned him the honor of being selected as the recipient of the 2020 Humanitarian Award by the Alumni Board of Directors.

You can learn more about Michael Paddock and his book, Bridging Barriers, here.

Tune in via ZOOM on Tueseday, June 1 at 2:00 pm EST for the live presentation and Q&A at https://michigantech.zoom.us/j/87289829499

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Heather Sander, Assistant Director – Alumni Programming at hesander@mtu.edu or 906-487-2466.


Scholarship Spotlight — West Michigan Chapter Scholarship

A group of Michigan Tech alumni has turned its social events into a significant benefit for Michigan Tech students. Members of the West Michigan Chapter of MTU Alumni, through events like pasty sales and pickled egg contests, are helping students complete their education through an endowed scholarship fund.

Kevin Grzelak has been involved with the West Michigan Chapter since 1997 and its president since 2003. He’s seen activity for the Chapter increase with the high number of Tech alumni living in the area. 

“We weren’t trying to raise money initially, but we started making a little money,” he said. “Then someone donated a fishing charter that we raffled off. It wasn’t long until we decided we should use the funds to start the scholarship.”

Events used to raise the funds include annual events like a Chapter Spring Dinner, a Vollwerth’s pasty sale, a golf outing, raffles for fishing charters, and a pickled egg contest.

Scholarship recipients are high school graduates from the counties of Allegan, Barry, Lake, Kent, Mason, Mecosta, Muskegan, Montcalm, Newaygo, Oceana, and Ottawa on the lower peninsula’s west side. Priority is given to children of Michigan Tech alumni. Students must maintain a 2.5 GPA, and the scholarship is renewable for up to five years.

Over the last 10 years, 14 students have received scholarships to continue their education. Many more will be helped as the endowment balance approaches $100,000.

“The work of the chapter and putting on events is spread over a large group of alumni,” said Grzelak. “We split up the tasks. It’s a pretty active group with good camaraderie, and we’re happy to support our alma mater.”

Contribute to the West Michigan Alumni Chapter Scholarship or support the Annual Fund Scholarship for any student with need.