Archives—August 2010

The Last Weekend of Summer

With first-year students settled in to the residence halls and Orientation Week fully underway, it is clear that fall is in the air and classes are about to begin. This past move-in weekend was a great success. I loved seeing the enthusiasm and excitement all the first-year students and their families had for Michigan Tech. Class of 2014, you have four (or more) wonderful years ahead of you at Michigan Tech, make the most of it!

This Week’s Events

Students trying their luck at the tables at Vegas Night last year.
Students trying their luck at the tables at Vegas Night last year.

Student’s can begin making the most of their Michigan Tech experience right now. With all the fun events of Orientation Week it’s impossible to not have a great time and meet a lot of new people. This week’s evening events include Vegas Night, the famous Banana Split, the MHA Dance, and Craig Karges the Illusionist. Tuesday, August 24 is Vegas Night, sponsored by the Wadsworth Hall Student Association and the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, which takes place in the Wadsworth Hall Dining Hall from 10:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. The activities at Vegas Night include dancing, games, and snacks. On Wednesday, August 25, first-year students get to partake in a 500-foot long banana split that is prepared for them by the Orientation Team Leaders. Not only do first-year students get to enjoy a yummy treat but they also get to hear a performance by Four Thunders, a Native American drumming group from Baraga. On Thursday, August 26, students can dance the night away in the West McNair courtyard at the McNair Hall Association Dance from 10:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. On Friday, August 27 students can see Craig Karges the Illusionist perform on the Rozsa Center stage at 8:00 p.m. Craig Karges uses full audience participation and will amaze students with various illusions and displays of unbelievable phenomena. Also taking place on Friday from 9:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. is the Greek Life Luau. The event’s activities include music, dancing, and food.

Students participating in the sidewalk chalk competition at School Yard Olympics last year.
Students participating in the sidewalk chalk competition at School Yard Olympics last year.

This Weekend’s Events

The fun activities and the opportunity to meet new friends continues this weekend with the Orientation Trips, the F’All Nighter and the Schoolyard Olympics. This upcoming weekend there are seven Orientation trips planned for first-year students to participate in. The trips range are all under fifty dollars and include a community service project, a trip to Copper Harbor, a trip to the Porcupine Mountains, a camping and canoe trip, and much more. For first-year students that stay on campus this weekend, the F’All Nighter will be taking place on Saturday night at the Student Development Complex. Several of Michigan Tech’s student organizations host fun activities at F’All Nighter. This event provides first-year students the opportunity to have a great time and also learn more about Michigan Tech’s student organizations. Students can enjoy using the Student Development Complex facilities or participate in a euchre tournament, dancing, crafts, or another fun activities. On Sunday, August 29, the Inter-Residence Hall Council will be sponsoring the fourth annual Schoolyard Olympics. The event will take place in front of Douglass Houghton Hall on the front lawn from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Students will participate with their Residence Hall house and will compete against the other 60+ Residence Hall houses. The challenges of the School Yard Olympics include an obstacle course, water-balloon toss, steal the bacon, and a sidewalk chalk competition.

Please feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or suggestions you may have! Don’t forget to check back for next week’s article in which I will be writing about the the first week of classes and Welcome Week.

Inspire: Parent and Family Orientation

A dad looks on while his son checks in for Orientation
A dad looks on while his son checks in for Orientation

In just a couple of days, Michigan Tech first-year students will be moving into the Residence Halls and will begin preparing for Orientation Week. Orientation, however, is not only for first-year Michigan Tech students. Michigan Tech parents, guardians, and families are invited to attend a special Orientation just for them. Parents and family members are a very important part of a student’s transition to university life. You can find out more about the resources Michigan Tech has for parents and families by attending Parent and Family Orientation.

Parent and Family Orientation

Michigan Tech’s Parent and Family Orientation takes place from Saturday, August 21 to Monday, August 23. The events and activities included in Parent and Family Orientation are both informative and fun. The Parent and Family Orientation schedule includes campus tours, a reading discussion, information sessions, the family picnic, and the University Expo.

On Saturday, August 21 first-year Michigan Tech students can check-in at the Rosza Center and move-in to the Residence Halls. A campus tour will be available for parents, families, and students, on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Going on a campus tour will not only help you and your student become more familiar with the Michigan Tech campus, but you will also learn a lot about the history and tradition of the local area. On Saturday evening there is also a Parent and Family Summer Reading Discussion which will take place at 7:00 p.m. Did you read the Summer Reading book, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian? Are you interested in learning more about the book? If so, attend the Summer Reading Discussion and share your thoughts on the book while having the opportunity to meet other Michigan Tech parents and families.

On Sunday, August 22, Parent and Family Orientation is in full swing with several events. The Opening Session begins at 10:00 a.m., where the Dean of Students and COMPASS staff present “Parents as Partners: Together in Transition.” Campus tours will again be available on Sunday for parents and families at 11:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 3:00 p.m., 3:30 p.m., and 4:00 p.m. From 1:00 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. there will be several information sessions available for parents to attend. I will be speaking at the one of the sessions along with Michelle Nightingale on parent resources and ParentNet. This information will be great for parents that want to know how they can stay in the loop and best support thier first-year Michigan Tech student.

A shot from the 2009 Family Picnic
A shot from the 2009 Family Picnic

As mentioned in last week’s article the Family Picnic will take place on Sunday, August 22 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Parents and families may join their first-year Michigan Tech student for a great meal after a busy weekend of moving in. Several Michigan Tech staff members will also be present at the picnic and will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Tickets for the family picnic are $10 per person and can be ordered by clicking a time on the right hand corner of the Parent and Family Orientation website. First-year students and children under the age of five eat for free. After the Family Picnic parents and families are invited to join us for the University Welcome with their first-year student in the Student Development Complex from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. To end the evening, parents are invited to a Parent Reception from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. downtown at the Keweenaw Brewing Company.

On Monday, August 23, Parent and Family Orientation concludes with the Academic Department Introductions and University Expo. The Academic Department Introductions, which take place from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., will allow you and your student to learn more about the department and the faculty. Parents may also attend the University Expo from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. where they can learn helpful information about the various resources and services that the university and local community provide.

Sibling Orientation

As part of Parent and Family Orientation, Michigan Tech offers a Sibling Orientation for the siblings of first-year Michigan Tech students. While first-year students and parents are busy attending Orientation, siblings who are in grades 6-8 or 9-11 can participate in their very own Orientation. There are different activities for the siblings depending on the grade level they have completed at the time of registration. The Sibling Orientation activities will provide siblings the opportunity to learn more about Michigan Tech while also doing team building and projects. The Sibling Orientation activities will allow youth to experience a minature version of Summer Youth Programs Career Explorations. Tickets are just $25 per sibling. Tickets can be ordered by clicking the age group of your child on the right side of the Sibling Orientation website.

Please feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or suggestions you may have! I hope you, your student, and your family enjoy Orientation!

Inspire: First-Year Orientation

Arrival at Michigan Technological University

Last year's Orientation Team Leaders doing what they do best...having fun!
Last year’s Orientation Team Leaders doing what they do best . . . having fun!

In less than two short weeks first-year students will be moving into the residence halls and will be preparing for orientation week. When you and your student arrive to campus you should check-in at the Rozsa Center. The Rozsa Center will be open for new student check-in on Saturday, August 21 from 9:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. and on Sunday, August 22 from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.. The Rozsa Center will have a packet with your student’s room key and parking decal (if they registered their vehicle). Also included in the packet will be information regarding orientation. Your student will receive their orientation team assignment and the orientation schedule. Next, your student may begin moving their belongings into their residence hall room. The Michigan Tech Welcome Team, composed of Michigan Tech students, staff, and faculty, will be at the entrances of the residence halls to direct you to the unloading areas and to assist you in moving. Your student’s resident assistant will also be floating around the “house” or area where your student will be living, so feel free to introduce yourself.

Throughout your student’s first weekend at Michigan Tech they can take some time to explore the campus, get to know their roommate, and introduce themselves to the student’s they will be living by in the residence halls. On Sunday, you and your family can join your student at the family picnic from 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. on the campus green. Michigan Tech first-year students eat for free. Family members and guests must purchase tickets in advance for $10 per person by clicking one of the links on the right of the Parents and Family Orientation web page.

Orientation Week

This year’s theme for Orientation is “Inspire”. It is the hope that orientation will not only ease first-year students transition to Michigan Tech but that it may also inspire students to be a leader on campus by participating in student organizations, pursuing excellence in academics, and taking full advantage of all the great opportunities that Michigan Tech has to offer. Orientation officially begins on Sunday, August 22 with the University Welcome which will take place in the Student Development Complex. Family members and guests are invited to attend. After the University Welcome all the first-year students will gather together to have a first-year class photo taken. On Monday, August 23, first-year students will meet their orientation team and their Orientation Team Leader. An orientation team consists of about 20 students who are all in the same degree program. This is a great opportunity for your student to get to know others in their degree program and to build relationships because it is very likely that your student will have at least a couple of courses with the students from their orientation team. Your student’s Orientation Team Leader will lead the orientation team through the week’s activities which include getting to know the academic department, learning about campus resources, understanding campus policies, and having fun! Some of my fondest Michigan Tech memories are from orientation week. Your student is going to have a great time during orientation. Whether their partaking in a 500 foot banana split, watching a hilarious skit put on by the Orientation Team Leaders, or attending the end of the week McNair Hall Association Dance, your student is going to have a blast. For a complete listing of orientation activities see the First-Year Orientation Schedule.

This book should be read by all first-year students prior to arriving for Orientation.
This book should be read by all first-year students prior to arriving for orientation.

Orientation Reminders

Prior to arriving to campus first-year students need to complete the AlcoholEdu for College and read the summer reading as inquiry book, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Students must complete AlcoholEdu before they may finalize their course schedule at the end of orientation week. AlcoholEdu is an online, interactive, science-based program that aims to teach students the facts about alcohol. Students may access the AlcoholEdu Program under the enrollment checklist after they log into the Husky Hub. For further program specific information checkout the AlcoholEdu website. Each year Michigan Tech chooses a Reading as Inquiry book. This year’s book is The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. The purpose of Reading as Inquiry is to prepare first-year students for college-level reading and discussion. All first-year students are expected to read the book prior to arriving to Michigan Tech. During orientation week each orientation team will discuss the book along with their Orientation Team Leader, a member of the Residence Life student staff, and a faculty member. On Tuesday, September 14 at 7:00 p.m. student’s can go see author Sherman Alexie’s public address at the Rozsa Center. For more information regarding the book visit the Reading as Inquiry website.

Please feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or suggestions you may have! Don’t forget to check back for next week’s article in which I will be writing about Parent and Family Orientation.

A Journey for the Rest of Us

Note: Guest writer this week is Erik Stolberg. He is a recent graduate of Michigan Tech with a degree in Electrical Engineering, and will be beginning the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program this fall. I’ll return for next week’s article. –Ang

In last week’s article, Angela covered the drive from Lower Michigan to Houghton, Michigan. As a student from Minnesota who has made the journey back and forth close to 45 times, I would like to offer some insight on the drive up to Michigan Tech from the other side of Lake Michigan.

From Minnesota and Central Wisconsin

mapStarting from my hometown of Forest Lake, Minnesota near the Twin Cities, there are actually two routes that compare both in mileage and driving time.

For those of us who prefer straightforward, cruise-control driving, Interstate 35 provides a direct route from the Twin Cities north to the city of Duluth. Located at the westernmost tip of Lake Superior, this once-booming port town still remains active, with over 1,000 ocean-going and Great Lakes freighters annually (meaning there is a good chance you may see one or more during your stay). The hillside descent into the city offers panoramic views of the lake and harbor. With numerous restaurants and abundant parks along the waterfront, this is a nice place to stop and take a travel break. From Duluth, the drive heads east, cutting across the top of Wisconsin on US-2, the same highway Angela mentioned in her previous article. If you have time, the town of Bayfield is a short 30 minute drive and is said to be the “Gateway to the Apostle Islands.” Another good place to stop is the small town of Ashland, Wisconsin, which is approximately the half-way point between the Twin Cities and Michigan Tech. Here you will find plenty of places to eat and fill up your gas tank, but the main attraction again is the great view of Lake Superior. Just as you cross over the border between Wisconsin and Michigan, the old iron mining towns of Ironwood, Bessemer, and Wakefield greet you with a nice small-town feel. This area has often been called “Big Snow Country” and prominently flaunts its three main ski resorts. I encourage all of you who ski to try out at least one of these ski areas sometime. In addition, at the intersection of US-2 and M-28 in downtown Wakefield, the road wraps around Sunday Lake and past Eddy Park, an old-fashioned shady park with a pavilion and swimming beach.

For those of you who prefer an often more scenic route or those traveling from central Wisconsin, taking US-8 straight east will first lead you through rolling farm lands and then scattered wooded areas. Upon reaching the city of Rhinelander, the drive switches to a more northern route that will lead you through the heart of Wisconsin’s north woods. Resort towns like Eagle River, Wisconsin are surrounded by beautiful lakes and rivers, and typically have twice as many tourist gift shops as gas stations. Just north of the Wisconsin/Michigan border in the town of Paulding, Michigan, a backwoods phenomenon known as The Paulding Light might be an attraction to add to your list. A bit farther north on M-26, the Twin Lakes State Park is a family-friendly place to stop. The park is located right next to the road, and features shady picnic areas and great swimming in Lake Roland.

The drive to Michigan Tech is filled with scenic views and historic towns. Make a point to stop and check out some of these unique places, whatever route you take. As one final note, please remember that Michigan Tech is in the Eastern Time Zone, so there is an hour difference while driving to and from campus if you are traveling from the Minnesota or Wisconsin areas.

I’ve enjoyed the experience to share my insight with you. If you would like to know more about any of the places I mentioned or for more information on traveling to campus from “the other side” of the UP, please feel free to contact me.

As always, please feel free to email Angela with any questions, comments, or suggestions you may have!  Don’t forget to check back for next week’s article in which Angela will be writing about Orientation.