Day: May 28, 2019

Lucas Grulke

 Lucas Grulke

Somebody who knew someone, who knew someone, convinced me to come to Michigan Tech and here I am — and almost graduated. During O Week I thought I had made the worst decision of my life. The only reason I got up every morning was Army Physical Training (PT).

Coming in, I only had the money to afford one year of college. After that, I either had to pull out a lot of student loans, drop out and go into the military, or figure something out. Army ROTC (AROTC) has a three-year scholarship you have to compete for, and in order to compete, you have to have a good PT score, good grades, and in general, show you participate in activities. So that really became the only driver to keep me in college. I had a semester and a half to be awarded the scholarship and I needed to make sure I could secure it. It was a grind. I kept trudging through it and in February of my second semester, I was awarded the scholarship and it was instant relief. And honestly, from there, it’s been the normal path. I’m not a believer in luck. I think a lot of it is what you prepare for.

We’re in the Third Brigade. There are eight brigades in the USWe’re the gritty cadets because we don’t train in the nice warm weather, we train in the frozen tundra. We do everything in snowshoes. While I’m here, I’m focused on doing all I can to be a top candidate and a leader. AROTC has given me a lot of opportunities like going to Chile for Cultural Understanding and Leadership Proficiency for a month and being Battalion Commander. From June 16 to July 19, I’ll attend Sapper Leader Course.

I had to compete against the entire Third Brigade for the spot and it’s not guaranteed I’ll pass [it’s called tabbing, actually; he’d earn a sapper tab for his uniform] when I complete the course. I told my buddy, “Either I’m coming out with that tab or I’m coming out on a stretcher.” Also, I have a little brother, Caleb; he’s a first-year student here. I will not let him hold [my not tabbing] above me the rest of my life. He’s also in ROTC, an engineering management major, and he’s actually—him and my good friend, Greg, are helping me with all the training. They PT with me five days a week. They keep me accountable. That way I don’t slack off. My parents don’t really know why Caleb and I were so inclined to do the military. I say it’s because no one ever plays navy; instead, they played soldiers. I don’t know if that’s what it was, maybe we just like a challenge and hard work. That’s just kind of how it panned out. I guess it’s a good thing, especially knowing that Caleb came here means I might have done something right. He sees it as a good thing. The cadre lets me know every day that he’s doing better than I did as a first year. And I like to think if he wasn’t that means I didn’t do my job.


Tyler Shelast

Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Michigan Technological University, National Strength and Conditioning Association-certified strength and conditioning specialist. Professional Hockey Player — 2008-2013.

During the school year, my job is more like 6 to 6 instead of 9 to 5. Sometimes teams work out four days a week, sometimes they go to two or three, it depends on the season. Getting to work with Michigan Tech athletes is the best part of my day.

My job allows me to teach and educate young athletes on the shortcomings I experienced when I was an athlete. I had a tough road and went through a lot of pain and suffering. My goal is to help these athletes learn and understand that they can take anything that’s thrown at them. I learned more from my downfall than I did from my success, and ultimately, those are the lessons I want to share with Michigan Tech athletes — to help them grow out of darkness.

In a week it’s groups, office time, more groups, practices, and then during the hockey season, I go on the ice for hockey practice daily and am there for the team at all the games. I can’t coach, but I play an integral part in hockey due to my former playing. I really like to work out, that’s probably my favorite thing, so I try to work out once a day.

I have a lot of pride in everything I do that is Michigan Tech because I want it to excel. I want us to be the best at everything. We’re kind of like a hidden little snowglobe type place, but we need to embrace that because it’s what makes us special. Michigan Tech’s a very proud school, so I feel lucky to have a hand in shaping our culture. There’s so much that goes into seeing student-athletes grow, I mean, that’s ultimately why I’m in it, why I love being here. I’m very fortunate to work with great people.


Emi Colman

Emi Colman with rocket

I’m super into rocketry. In high school, I was the captain of one of the rocket teams and was on the team for three years. Actually, Mr. Ratza, our advisor, also recommended I do the women in engineering Summer Youth Program (SYP), so I attribute a lot to him. I came for SYP the summer into my senior year. Michigan Tech is the only school I applied to. I’m studying mechanical engineering, I’m outreach coordinator of the Keweenaw Rocket Range student organization, and I’m staying over the summer to take classes and be a SYP weekend counselor. In the fall, I’ll be an orientation team leader. I’m a very sociable person, so it’s not hard for me to be outgoing. Just genuine talking—I’m good at that.

The way I got the job (as outreach coordinator) was by raising my hand at the info session. No one else raised their hand. I’m actually really enjoying it. We’re going to New Mexico for a competition in June. Even though I’m really heavy into rocketry and this leadership stuff, I think it’s important to not get focused solely on those things, but rather, be flexible and versatile. I’m also interested in videography. Because mechanical engineering is so broad, I don’t want to specialize myself in the beginning of my college career, I’d rather be open and see where it takes me, and if rocketry doesn’t end up being my career, I can just make it a hobby because I like it; so that’s my advice—flexibility.