Tag: Alumni

Alumni Race to the Altar

Karl Walczak and Margot Hutchins after completing the Canal Run.  Photo courtesy of the Daily Mining Gazette.
Karl Walczak and Margot Hutchins after completing the Canal Run. Photo courtesy of the Daily Mining Gazette.

Karl Walczak and Margot Hutchins recently participated in the 35th annual Canal Run – and got married on the same day.  The Canal Run holds a special place in their hearts, as they also announced their engagement at the same event one year ago.

The Graduate School wishes Karl and Margot the best as they begin their married life together.

Read more about Karl and Margot in the Daily Mining Gazette.

Thirteen Students Inducted into SBE Honor Society

The Michigan Tech School of Business and Economics chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma international honor society recently inducted 13 students into its membership. Beta Gamma Sigma recognizes students of high scholastic achievement and is among the highest honors that a business student can receive at Michigan Tech.

The following students in the School of Business and Economics were inducted:

  • Nicole Baumruk, Management Information Systems (MIS)
  • Stephanie Behrens, Finance
  • Jacob Carlson, Finance
  • Lucy Dernovsek, Accounting
  • Ming He, Management
  • Adam Kastamo (MBA Student)
  • Lindsey Lindstrom, Marketing/Management
  • Rebekka Mikkola, Marketing/Management
  • Asel Otunchieva, Accounting
  • Michael Schott, Management Information Systems (MIS)
  • Kipp Vaughn, Management
  • Geoffrey Weston (MBA Graduate)
  • Lijuan Xie, Accounting

The Michigan Tech chapter advisor for Beta Gamma Sigma is Mari Buche.

Visit the business newsblog for more information and photos from the induction ceremony.

Published in Tech Today.

PCA Inducts New Members and Honor Students

On Friday, April 16, nine alumnae were inducted into the Presidential Council of Alumnae (PCA). In addition to the nine new inductees, 30 PCA members were also on campus for their annual business meeting April 14-16.

The PCA advises the President on campus climate issues, provides suggestions for enhancing the University’s environment for students, and assists the President by identifying programs and activities that will benefit Michigan Tech. PCA works with the Office of Institutional Diversity, the Advancement area and the academic departments to help implement their ideas and support the University’s strategic plan.

The inductees are as follows:

  • Nancy A. Auer (Arnold), Biological Sciences, ’95 (PhD Alumna Graduate)
  • Ellen M. Bauman (Barrett), Electrical Engineering, ’90 and ’93 (MS Alumna Graduate)
  • Elzbieta G. Berak, Civil Engineering, ’81, Engineering Mechanics, ’85 (PhD Alumna Graduate)
  • Michelle-Anne Christensen (Irmen), Geological Engineering, ’84, Civil Engineering, ’86
  • Kathleen Haselmaier (Calder), Computer Science, ’84
  • Wendy L. Kram (Davidson), Mechanical Engineering, ’91
  • Catherine A. Leslie (Kuchta), Civil Engineering, ’83
  • Barbara K. Lograsso (Kiiskila), Metallurgical Engineering, ’80 and ’82, Metallurgical and Materials Science, ’91 (MS, PhD Alumna Graduate)
  • Erin A. Zimmer (Atwell), Chemistry, ’98

Another component of the PCA program includes the annual Women of Promise awards. This award recognizes current female students from each academic department who go above and beyond what is expected of them in terms of being a well-rounded student. The award goes to students who have demonstrated academic achievement, campus and community leadership, good citizenship, creativity and other characteristics of high-achieving individuals.

The honorees are as follows:

  • Anne E. Aho, Social Sciences
  • Ashley N. Benjamin, School of Technology
  • Kaitlyn J. Bunker, Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Danae N. Danen, Mathematical Sciences
  • Heather L. Dickey, Computer Science
  • Andrea Dixon, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences
  • Roxane Gay, Humanities (PhD Alumna Candidate)
  • Krista M. Kasuboski, Exercise Science, Health and Physical Education
  • Chelsea R. Leighton, Visual and Performing Arts
  • Britta C. Lundberg, Material Science and Engineering
  • Amanda L. Malburg, Civil Engineering
  • Jaclyn E. Nesbitt, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics (MS Alumna Graduate,  PhD Candidate)
  • Annie L. Putman, Chemistry
  • Leslie M. Sabbann, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics (undergraduate)
  • Erin M. Scanlon, Physics
  • Alison J. Springer-Wilson, Chemical Engineering
  • Danielle M. Stoll, Biomedical Engineering
  • Anna A. Uhl, Biological Sciences
  • Donieka R. Walker, Cognitive and Learning Sciences
  • Katherine R. Waring, Environmental Engineering
  • Jill C. Witt, School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science (PhD Alumna Candidate)
  • Katie L. Wysocky, School of Business and Economics

Published in Tech Today

Special Flag Day

A special flag was flown over the ROTC building for the last 24 hours.  The flag was sent to President Mroz from Lt. Col. Otha Thornton, a former faculty member and graduate of the Rhetoric and Technical Communication program at Michigan Tech.  Lt. Col. Thornton is currently serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq.

The flag has previously flown over Al Faw Palace on September 14, 2009.  The flag, which will be lowered and given back to President Mroz today, will be carried by the color guard at spring commencement.

“It’s a reminder how small our world is and how interconnected we all are,” Mroz said.

Published in Tech Today

Alumnus Endows Bhakta Rath Research Award

When Bhakta B. Rath was earning his master’s degree in metallurgical and materials engineering at Michigan Tech in 1958, the US was an undisputed world leader in science and technology. Now he’s the associate director of research and head of the Materials Science and Component Technology Directorate at the US Naval Research Laboratory, and Rath worries about a declining interest in this country in studying science and technology.

So he and his wife, Sushama Rath, have endowed the Bhakta Rath Research Award to motivate Michigan Tech faculty and doctoral students to conduct the kind of research that will meet the nation’s needs and the challenges of emerging technologies. The annual award will be $2,000, split between a graduate student and his or her faculty advisor.

Rath’s gift supports the strategic direction of Michigan Tech: to grow and strengthen its research enterprise and graduate program.

Published in Tech Today

Notes from Iraq

We had a chance to talk with Lt. Col. Otha Thornton via email and a 15-minute telephone call.

The former leader of the Army ROTC program, who also was our commencement speaker in May of 2009, is stationed in Iraq at Camp Victory in north Baghdad. He is helping facilitate the drawdown of troops, but his biggest and most challenging job is what he calls “casualty operations,” which involves taking care of the wounded and the deceased.

“Probably one of the toughest jobs I’ve had,” he says. “We track the fallen from the time they go down until they get to the US. To perform these duties–from the front of the spear–truly reinforces the gravity of our business.”

How is he treated by locals?

“Very well. I deal with both civilians and military. They’re appreciative of what we’re doing.”

The war is divisive on the home front. What’s the mood among the soldiers?

“The morale is pretty good. They’re highly disciplined. They understand why they’re here and what they’re doing. In the military, you pray for peace but prepare for war.”

Are you in harm’s way?


Are you scared?

“No. I believe when it’s a person’s time to go, it’s time to go. I wake up and take care of my profession for the day. Then the next day I get up and do it all over again.”

Is the American public well-informed or misinformed about the war?

“Generally pretty well informed. They realize that Iraq can be a regional model of democracy.”

Where is your family?

“My wife and son are in Maryland. I talk to them at least once a week. The technology to do that from the battlefield is wonderful.”

Do you miss Houghton?

“Oh, yeah. I’m coming home in April and I’ll be up to visit in the spring or fall. I’m counting the days.”

Over 20 years in the military, Thornton has served in 22 countries but never traveled far from his values. “I am extremely proud to be an American,” he says.

He was stationed at Michigan Tech from 1999 to 2002 and served as a recruiter, public affairs officer and assistant professor of military science. While here, he earned a master’s degree in rhetoric and technical communication. He received the Outstanding Alumni Award in 2003.

by John Gagnon, promotional writer
Published in Tech Today

Mining History Comes to Life at Michigan Tech Commencement

Excerpt from Michigan Tech News – read the full article online and see a picture of Cameron Hartnell wearing the hood.

In 1932, a distinguished Michigan mining engineer named Scott Turner received an honorary doctorate in engineering from Michigan Technological University, at that time called the Michigan College of Mining and Technology.  At Michigan Tech’s midyear Commencement on Dec. 12, 2009—77 years later— one of the first recipients of the University’s PhD in industrial heritage and archeology will wear Turner’s historic academic hood to accept his degree.

Graduate Students Present at the 2009 Annual Conference of the Society for Industrial Archaeology

Published in Tech Today

An incoming faculty member and several Michigan Tech graduate students of the Industrial Heritage and Archaeology program of the Department of Social Sciences presented papers at the 2009 Annual Conference of the Society for Industrial Archaeology, held May 28-31 in Pittsburgh.

  • master’s student Seth DePasqual, “Winning Coal at 78 Degrees North: Mining, Management and Negotiations at Old Longyear City”
  • master’s student Megan Glazewski, “Discovering Landscape Gardening Practices within Industrial Landscapes of the 19th Century: William Kemble’s Cottage, Cold Spring, New York”
  • doctoral candidate Cameron Hartnell, “High Arctic Coal Mining: The Strategy of the Arctic Coal Company”
  • doctoral student Marc Henshaw, “The Steamboat Industry in Brownsville, Pa.: The Beginnings of the Industrialization in the Upper Monongahela Valley”
  • doctoral student Erik Nordberg, “The Nordberg Manufacturing Company of Milwaukee: History, Archives and Research Potential”
  • incoming Associate Professor Fredric Quivik (Social Sciences), “What Has Happened to Other Gritty Cities: Putting Paterson into Context”
  • doctoral candidate Scott See, “National Heritage Area Candidate: The Iron Ranges of Lake Superior”

The society awarded Michigan Tech alum Marco Meniketti ’98 (MS in Industrial Archaeology) its 2009 Robert M. Vogel Prize. The award honors the author of the best article to appear in the society’s journal, IA, every three years.

Conference organizer and doctoral candidate Bode Morin (Industrial Heritage and Archaeology) was quoted in the May 29 issue of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette here.

Graduate Students Earn Honors

Published in Tech Today.

CEE Professors, Graduate Student Win Rudolph Hering Medal
Alex Mayer and David Hand, both professors of civil and environmental engineering, and Karen Endres, a former PhD student, have been named winners of the 2009 Rudolph Hering Medal from the American Society of Civil Engineers. The award is given annually for the best paper on environmental engineering or water resources published in an ASCE journal during the previous year.

Their award-winning paper is titled “Equilibrium versus Nonequilibrium Treatment Modeling in the Optimal Design of Pump-and-Treat Groundwater Remediation Systems.”

The prize is a prestigious one among environmental engineers. The medal will be presented at the Environmental and Water Resources Institute Annual Congress May 17 in Kansas City.

Graduate Student Awarded Travel Assistance to Railway Conference
Graduate student Shane Ferrell, a member of the Rail Transportation Program, was awarded $1,800 in travel assistance from the International Heavy Haul Association to attend its June 2009 conference in Shanghai, China.

The Rail Transportation Program at Michigan Tech was established by the Michigan Tech Transportation Institute in 2007. The program provides rail-related education and research activities, engaging students and faculty with industry partners.