Archives—June 2010

Fourth of July Celebrations in the Keweenaw

Fireworks in Copper Harbor.  Photo courtesy of
Fireworks in Copper Harbor. Photo courtesy of

The Fourth of July is truly one of my favorite holidays.  What could be better than spending time with friends and family, enjoying the warm summer weather, watching fireworks, grilling out, and playing with sparklers.  I must say what is even better is celebrating the Fourth of July in the beautiful Keweenaw.  This weekend starting on Friday, July 2 there will be several Independence Day celebrations in the local area.

July 2

On Friday, July 2 the Independence Day Celebrations begin in Dollar Bay and Lake Linden.  In Dollar Bay, on Friday, there will be free horse and wagon rides at 6:30 p.m. and a street dance at Pioneer Park at 7:30 p.m.  In Lake Lindon, on Friday, there will be a fireworks display at dusk in the village park.  Prior to the firework display there will be live music, food, and refreshments in the park starting at 6:30 p.m.

July 3

On Saturday, July 3 the celebrations continue.  In Lake Linden, on Saturday, there will be a parade running through town starting at 9:30 a.m.  There will also be live music and food available at the village park throughout the day.  A Children’s Parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the village park.  In Hubbell, on Saturday, there will be a parade at 10:30 a.m. that will start from Peninsula Copper Industries.  Throughout the afternoon and evening there will be music and games at the Lake Front Park in Hubbell.  In Dollar Bay, on Saturday, there will be a VFW Memorial Service at 11:00 a.m. and a parade at 12:00 p.m.  Throughout the afternoon there will be snacks, a chicken BBQ, pasty sale, live music, and children’s games at the fire hall and Pioneer Park.  In Hancock, on Saturday and Sunday there will be a Guts Frisbee Tournament at the Hancock Driving Park.

July 4

In Mohawk, on Sunday, July 4 there will be a flag raising ceremony and children’s parade at 10:00 a.m.  In Gay, on Sunday, there will be a parade at 2:00 p.m. as well as a Bazaar from 12:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. at the Gay Community Hall.  In Ahmeek, on Sunday, there will be a bicycle parade at 11:00 a.m. with activities and concessions throughout the afternoon at the Gabe Chopp Park. In Hancock, on Sunday, in addition to the Guts Frisbee Tournament noted above there will also be a Horse Tail Scramble Trail Run and Fitness Walk at 1:00 p.m.  The event will begin just 4.5 miles past the Hancock Beach on the way to McLain State Park.  After the Scramble, participants are invited to enjoy the Fourth of July festivities at Churning Rapids. In South Range, on Sunday, the Fourth of July Celebrations begin with children’s games at 12:30 p.m. at Range Veterans Memorial Park.  The day continues with a wood carving expo from 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.  At 4:oo p.m. there will be tours of the Keweenaw Brewing Company and from 12:00-4:00 p.m. there will be a Tasting Extravaganza at the Carrousel Winery.  A parade will begin on Main Street at 3:00 p.m. with a Cruise-In Classic Car Show taking place afterward.  There will be a firework display at dusk at the Range Veterans Memorial Park.  In Copper Harbor, on Sunday there will be a parade at 10:00 a.m. followed by a BBQ and activities.  There will be a fireworks display at dusk on the waterfront.  In Houghton, on Sunday, the Pine Mountain Music Festival will be performing at the Houghton Waterfront Park at 7:30 p.m.

In addition to all the organized Fourth of July events listed above there are many other fun activities to do with friends and family over the Fourth of July weekend.  Some other fun activities include eating at one of the great restaurants in the local area, bike riding on the trails, hiking, going to the beach, visiting the Mineral Museum, or exploring and sightseeing.  For ideas of local attractions to visit and restaurants to eat at, check out the Keweenaw Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Wherever you choose to celebrate the Fourth of July I hope you have a wonderful time and find yourself in the company of friends and loved ones!

Please feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or suggestions you may have! Check back for next week’s article, I will be writing about the upcoming Strawberry Festival.

End of Track A Summer Courses

Bridgefest 2010

The firework display on Saturday night.
The firework display on Saturday night.

This past weekend the Portage Lift Bridge celebrated it’s 50th birthday.  The birthday celebration, otherwise known as Bridgefest, started on Friday, June 18 and lasted through Sunday, June 20.  The weekend’s events included helicopter rides, a parade, a fishing derby, the Keweenaw Chain Drive bike race, a water-ski show, live music, a firework display, and several other fun events.  Also, a part of Bridgefest was the Houghton Rotary Seafood Fest which was held in Kestner Park on the Portage Waterfront.  Michigan Tech students and local community members flocked to the downtown area to enjoy the delicious food, great music, and good times.

End of Track A

Believe it or not seven weeks have already flown by since the end of the spring semester.  For those Michigan Tech students taking summer courses that means it is time to prepare for final exams.  Although Bridgefest was a perfect distraction for students, including myself, who were trying to avoid studying for final exams, it is definitely time to buckle down and prepare to wrap up another semester of classes.  Final exams for Track A Summer Courses are scheduled for Friday, June 25, however, some professors due to students requests, are moving the final exams to Thursday, June 24.  After final exams students will have a short weekend break and then Track B Summer Courses will begin on Monday, June 28.   Track B Summer Courses will end on Friday, August 13.  Taking summer classes can be a lot of hard work and can take a lot of discipline.  At times summer courses may seem easier because student organizations are not meeting and there are not as many campus activities, but summer classes are also at a much faster pace than courses during the normal academic year.  During the academic year courses are fourteen weeks long and usually take place every other day.  This provides students not only with more time to take in and study the material but also more time to work on homework assignments.  During the summer courses are seven weeks long and typically take place Monday-Thursday.  Students do get typically get three day weekends with Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off but overall students are still learning the material much faster and therefore, have exams and homework assignments more frequently.  My advice for students looking to take summer courses in the future is to definitely do it but don’t overwhelm yourself.  It is really a great experience to be in Houghton in the summer and enjoy all the fun activities but I would recommend taking no more than 6-9 credits each track in the summer.  Leave time to enjoy what the Keweenaw has to offer and also make sure you leave time to do your course work.  Best of luck to students who will be taking exams this week!

Please feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or suggestions you may have! Check back for next week’s article, I will be writing about the upcoming Fourth of July celebrations.

Michigan Tech Celebrating 125 Years

The Houghton Fire Hall was constructed in 1883. In 1885 Michigan Tech's first classes were held on the second floor.
The Houghton Fire Hall was constructed in 1883. In 1885 Michigan Tech’s first classes were held on the second floor.

The Beginning of Michigan Technological University

In the late 1800’s the Houghton area was known as the heart of copper mining.  Over 175,000 people lived in the Houghton area and depended on the wealth that was produced from the mining industry.  The Keweenaw Peninsula was one of the wealthiest areas in the United States.  During the mining peak in the late 1800’s there was a realization that there was a serious shortage of men educated in the sciences of ore extraction and processing.  The shortage of educated men in the field of mining engineering could have resulted in a slump in Michigan’s booming mining economy, however, a school was established to meet the demands of the industry.  On May 1, 1885 the Michigan Mining School was founded by the state of Michigan.  The Michigan Mining School was established to train mining engineers to better operate the local copper mines by providing curricula in mining engineering and metallurgy.  The school was housed in the second floor of the Houghton Fire Hall.  The great institution that we know today as Michigan Technological University began 125 years ago as the Michigan Mining School, a school with 4 faculty members, 23 students, and just 2 curricula.

Michigan Technological University Through the Years

Michigan Tech has come a long ways from it’s humble beginning at the Houghton Fire Hall.  Throughout the late 1800’s and early 1900’s Michigan Tech was known for training nationally and internationally recognized mining engineers.  In the late 1800’s under the supervision of Michigan Tech’s President Marshman Wadsworth (1887-1898) the university moved to its current campus location.  Under the supervision of Michigan Tech’s subsequent Presidents the university experienced several areas of growth.  Over the years Michigan Tech experienced increasing enrollment numbers.  To meet the needs of the enrolling students the number of faculty increased as did the number of academic buildings and degree options.  As Michigan Tech grew and expanded it’s name changed from the Michigan Mining School, to the Michigan College of Mines, to the Michigan College of Mining and Technology, to the university we know today, Michigan Technological University.  Today Michigan Technological University has over 7,000 students enrolled and has over 400 professors.  Michigan Tech now has over 120 degree options 13 of which are engineering programs.

Making memories at Michigan Tech.
Making memories at Michigan Tech.

Share Your Memories

As a part of Michigan Tech Celebrating 125 Years, Michigan Tech alumni, students, faculty, staff, and even parents are encouraged to share some of their Michigan Tech memories.  Memories can be shared by visiting the Michigan Tech Celebrating 125 Years website.  You may also visit the website to read the memories posted by others.  You may search through the memories posted by others based on category or by decade.  The categories include Why Tech, Traditions, Academics, Life After Tech, Special Places, and Local Living.  The decades span from the 1930’s to the 2000’s.  This site is a great way to experience Michigan Tech through the years and the impact the university has had on the lives of alumni, current students, faculty, and staff.  Encourage your student to share their Michigan Tech memories today!  Or share a Michigan Tech memory of your own!

Please feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or suggestions you may have! Check back for next week’s article, I will be writing about the last week of Track A Summer Courses.

Summer Youth Programs


The Aquatics Ecology exploration did a field study at Gration Lake last summer.
The Aquatics Ecology exploration did a field study at Gratiot Lake last summer.

Each summer Michigan Tech’s Summer Youth Programs offers over 70 career explorations to provide 6th-11th grade students with the opportunity to learn about various fields and topics they may be interested in.  The explorations each last a week-long and participants can choose to participate in just one-week long exploration or they can participate for several weeks in different week-long explorations.  For each week-long exploration participants will spend approximately thirty-two hours exploring their areas of interest through hands-on labs, classroom activities, and field experiences.  The explorations participants have a wide variety of explorations to choose from.  Some of the options include Aquatic Ecology, Digital Photography, Video Game Programming, Aviation and Aerospace and more!  The explorations are instructed by Michigan Tech faculty, graduate students, and local specialists.  Summer Youth Programs are truly more than another summer camp.  Summer Youth Programs provides middle school and high school students with the opportunity to experience what’s it’s like to take classes on a university campus and what’s it’s like to learn from university faculty and other experts in the field.  At Summer Youth Programs, exploration participants get to learn about topics that they are truly interested in, providing them with insight into areas that they may wish to study in the future.  Summer Youth Programs is also a great place for participants to make friends with similar interest.  Summer Youth Programs is truly an international program.  Last year there were participants from across the United States and even participants from Monaco, Spain, Columbia, and Puerto Rico.  For a complete listing of the Explorations offered click 2010 Summer Camps & Career and Adventure Explorations.


Some middle school and high school students in the local area participate in Summer Youth Programs and they may choose to commute from their home or from a relatives home each day that they are attending an exploration.  Several Summer Youth Program participants travel from very long distances to attend Summer Youth Programs and choose to stay in one of Michigan Tech’s Residence Halls, Douglass Houghton Hall.  Douglass Houghton Hall houses just under 400 students and all of the Summer Youth Programs Offices are located in the building during the summer months.  Douglass Houghton Hall provides Summer Youth Programs with a secure location where only the Summer Youth Program participants and staff will have access to the building.  Douglass Houghton Hall is the site of all the after-class activities where participants can enjoy living, dining, and participating in a variety of recreational activities.

Student Staff

Last year's Summer Youth Program Acitivites Counselors and Residence Counselors.
Last year’s Summer Youth Program Activities Counselors and Residence Counselors.

In addition to the Summer Youth Programs instructors and professional staff that plan the programs there are also several student staff members that assist throughout the summer to make Summer Youth Programs a success.  Summer Youth Programs hires several Michigan Tech students and other local college students to serve as Activities Counselors and Residence Counselors.  The Activities Counselors supervise the participants during their free time in the evening.  Activities Counselors lead fun recreational activities and games.  Residence Counselors supervise the participants during breakfast, lunch, and the evening hours.  The Residence Counselors live in Douglass Houghton Hall with the Summer Youth Program Participants.  There are approximately ten students per Residence Counselor.  The Residence Counselors hold nightly meetings to update the participants on upcoming recreational activities and other important information.

Last summer I had the opportunity to be a Residence Counselor with Summer Youth Programs and I had a blast.  I think my favorite part of the experience was holding the nightly meetings and hearing what the participants had done that day in their explorations or in their afternoon recreational activities.  The participants always had something new that they had learned to share with me.  This summer I am excited to have the opportunity to teach one of the week-long explorations for Summer Youth Programs.  I will be instructing the Psychology in Action course in late July.  I am excited to share my enthusiasm for the field of Psychology with the Summer Youth Program participants that signed up for the course.

Please feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or suggestions you may have! Check back for next week’s article, I will be writing about Michigan Tech Celebrating 125 Years.

Money Management Tips for Students

Hiking to Quincy Falls.  Searching for waterfalls can be a fun and inexpensive way to spend an afternoon.
Hiking to Quincy Falls. Searching for waterfalls can be a fun and inexpensive way to spend an afternoon.

When you’re in college managing money can be a very challenging thing to do. Students attending college may not be used to buying things for themselves, having a job, or managing a bank account. As a student it can be challenging to save money and prioritize purchases. For this reason, I would like to offer five money management tips for students.

Open a Bank Account

I would strongly encourage students to open a bank account at one of the banks in the Houghton area. Having a bank account is a great way to keep track of your money without it burning a hole in your pocket. As a student you don’t have to worry about losing money or having it stolen if you deposit it in your bank account. Also, if you have your money in a bank account you are more likely to know how much money you have available to you and you can save your money for special purchases. There are several banks in the local area. Check out the Keweenaw Local Resource Guide for a complete listing of banks in the Houghton area.

Be Cautious with Credit Cards

An important part of becoming an adult is effectively managing your credit. College students must be very cautious applying for credit cards and making charges on credit. College students should limit themselves to one credit card and should limit the purchases they make on credit. It is a good idea to not buy something on credit that you couldn’t buy with cash the same day. It is also important to keep track of your credit card bills and make sure that you are never late on a payment. Late fees and increased interest rates can take even more money out of a college students small income. Some students find it helpful to have their credit card payments automatically pull out of their bank account. If you choose to do this just make sure you always have enough money in your bank account to cover your bills and make sure you are still reviewing your credit card statement carefully for any errors or incorrect charges.

Get Involved in Campus Activities

A great way to have fun for free or at a very low cost is to get involved in campus activities. As a student, part of being in college is taking advantage of all the great performances and events that take place on campus. At Michigan Tech there is always something going on. Whether it’s a performance in the Rozsa Center, a comedian in the Memorial Union Building, an athletic event, or a student organization meeting, there is something for everyone to get involved in. If you’re a college student looking for something fun to do check out the Student Organization List, the University Calendar of Events, the Student Activities Comedy Series schedule, the Rozsa Center Shows, and the Athletic Calendar.

Go on an Adventure

As a student at Michigan Tech the options are really endless when it comes to going on an adventure. You could go to the beach, drive along the Keweenaw, go kayaking, hiking, birdwatching, mountain climbing, or take part in a local community event. There are several activities that students can do for free within walking distance of campus. For a listing of local community events go to the Keweenaw Peninsula Chamber of Commerce website. The Michigan Tech’s Outdoor Adventure Program also helps students out who would like to go on an adventure by offering students the opportunity to participate in various trips and rent equipment at a very low cost. It’s amazing the money you can save by making a conscious effort to stay active and enjoy the beautiful outdoors.

Haing a job in college can be fun!  In picture: 2009 Orientation Team Leaders.
Having a job in college can be fun! In picture: 2009 Orientation Team Leaders.

Get a Job

Getting a job in college can be a great way to earn money, save money, and get valuable work experience. Having a job can help you as a college student be independent and learn important life skills. There are several opportunities for employment at Michigan Tech and in the local community. Michigan Tech’s Career Services is a great resource for students searching for employment. Career Services has a listing of Local Jobs that are available for Michigan Tech students. Career Services also hosts several interview skills workshops and resume review sessions throughout the year to help students be successful in finding employment. In addition, each semester there is a Student Employment Expo held in the Memorial Union Building where students can learn more about on campus jobs and the departments that hire students. Follow this link for a partial listing of the University departments that hire students.

These are just a few helpful tips of things students can do to effectively manage their money. College can be expensive but in many ways it doesn’t have to be. There’s plenty of ways to have fun while saving money!

Please feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or suggestions you may have! Check back for next week’s article, I will be writing about Michigan Tech’s Summer Youth Programs.