Archives—February 2014

Spring Break Travel and Upcoming Events

Hello Parents,

I hope you’re all having a great week! Things on campus have been exciting as we head into the halfway point of the semester. Just one more week and your students will already be on Spring Break—well deserved considering the frosty weather we’ve had this past week. Time really does fly when you keep busy, and I’m sure your students are experiencing the same feeling.

Daryl Roberts' America the Beautiful film poster
Daryl Roberts’ America the Beautiful film poster

Speaking of Spring Break, now’s the time for your students to start considering their options for transportation as they travel home or away during break. The Inter-Residence Housing Council (IRHC) sponsors a ride board which allows students to post about carpooling to and from their homes across the state or even across the country. This is great for students who don’t have vehicles, or for student with cars who want to split the drive time and cost of gas. The online student forum, Barkboard, also helps students with carpooling and travel options. Both sites are University sponsored and ensure the confidentiality and safety your student needs when sharing rides with others. Greyhound is also a travel option for students without a vehicle. The bus service travels across the state and proximal midwest and makes stops at various locations along the way. Although this may not be the ideal option for your student due to lengthy travel times, it’s still a viable option to consider.

In addition to Spring Break excitement, there are a plethora of events going on this week, both on campus and within the community. On Tuesday, February 25, director, writer, and producer Daryl Roberts was invited to Tech’s campus to host the first-ever showing of the third installment of his film series, America the Beautiful, which questions the extreme cultural emphasis on beauty and thinness within the United States. Sponsored by Counseling Services and the Association of Psychology Students, this event was hosted during National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, with Counseling providing free and confidential eating disorder screenings. Roberts came to Michigan Tech last year for the showing of the second film in the series, America the Beautiful 2: The Thin Commandments, which was a great opportunity for students to gain more insight on this issue and speak with the filmmaker himself. The triquel of the series, America the Beautiful 3: The Sexualization of Our Youth, brings up issues within our society regarding the sexual stigma that many young girls face in the United States. For more information on Daryl Roberts and his film series, please visit America the Beautiful.

On a different note, the Wadsworth Hall Student Association (WHSA) will be hosting their monthly coffee house/open mic night on Friday, February 28. Any student can show off his or her musical talent by performing songs and musical acts in front of fellow classmates. In addition to music, students can perform comedy routines or read poetry, or express themselves in whichever style of performance they find inspiring (as long as it’s audience appropriate). This is a fun and exciting opportunity for Tech students to showcase their talents and step outside of their comfort zones, and also to just enjoy themselves and have fun. If your student isn’t a performer, it’s still fun to attend and enjoy the entertainment and free refreshments!

The run for the 5th annual Jibba Jabba Rail Jam, taking place this year on March 1.
The run for the annual Jibba Jabba Rail Jam, taking place this year on March 1.

In addition to these two campus events this week, the community-sponsored Jibba Jabba Rail Jam will take place Saturday, March 1. Sponsored by the local business Rhythm Skate Shop, the Jibba Jabba Rail Jam is entering its fifth year. In this event, local snowboarders and skiers have the chance to show off their freestyle skills on homemade rails and jumps. The event takes place on a snow-piled, closed-off road in downtown Houghton—perfect for exhilarating slopes and jumps. Everyone is welcome to participate, and there is no age limit or experience level required to compete. This event brings a lot of spectators and is a fun event for all to enjoy, whether as a competitor or an audience member. For more information on the Jibba Jabba Rail Jam, please visit the City of Houghton Website.

That’s all for this week! I hope your students have been enjoying the sunny weather we’ve been having here. If you have questions about any of the events that I’ve mentioned or have questions about a more specific topic, please feel free to email me at Until next week!



Transportation, Career Fair, and More

Hello Parents,

I hope you’re all having a great week. In last week’s post I forgot to mention some of the Winter Carnival photos that you all might enjoy looking at. Michigan Tech has

A photo of students meeting with companies at the biannual Career Fair
A photo of students meeting with companies at the biannual Career Fair

a Flickr account that has a lot of good photos of the snow statues and the students building them. If you’d like to take a look, please visit Michigan Tech’s Flickr page. Be on the lookout for the overnight statue I helped build, which was was of the dog, Balto!

Last week I received an email from a parent inquiring about transportation options for her student who is without a car. After I answered her questions, I realized that some of your students may be in the same situation and may also have the same question. The following is information about transportation options around campus for your student to be aware of.

The most convenient transportation option for students is Zipcars. With a simple membership and $7.50 a day, he or she can drive anywhere in and around the community. It’s great for groups—get a few people together and split the cost of a trip to the grocery store or on a local adventure. Houghton also offers a good public transportation system; punch cards can be purchased for $20 each and will allow your student to travel all around the Copper Country. There are also many cab services in the area. Michigan Tech also offers a shuttle service for students traveling across campus and to the ski hill, Mont Ripley.

As we approach the halfway point of the semester, a plethora of academic and professional events have been happening these past few weeks. Campus has been buzzing with Career Fair excitement—the Spring 2014 Career Fair took place on Tuesday, February 18, in the Student Development Complex (SDC). Sponsored by Career Services, the Career Fair is a biannual event that allows Michigan Tech students the opportunity to involve themselves in the professional workplace. Over 200 companies made the trek up to Michigan Tech to find students to fill positions for co-ops, internships, and even full-time employment! Students have spent the last few weeks prepping their resumes, planning their interview outfits, and getting ready to meet with employers and hiring managers.

In addition to the Career Fair, the Graduate Research Colloquium also took place this week on Wednesday, February 19. The Graduate Research Colloquium is a poster and presentation competition among graduate students that gives them the opportunity to present what they’ve done in their current area of research. Posters and presentations are judged by Michigan Tech faculty, with a cash prize for the first three places in both the poster and presentation competitions. Awards are also presented to the Outstanding Student Scholar and Outstanding Student Leader and Graduate Mentor at the Colloquium banquet. Although the competition is only open to graduate students, it’s a truly great opportunity for undergraduate students to attend and learn more about research, especially if they’re involved in or would like to get involved with a research project at Michigan Tech.

A photo of students participating in Get WISE Day in 2010
A photo of students participating in Get WISE Day in 2010

Get WISE Day is another great academic event, taking place on Tuesday, February 25, just after National Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day (February 20). Get WISE stands for Women In Science and Engineering, and the day is designed to get local middle school students, specifically females, interested in engineering and the hard sciences. Michigan Tech Youth Programs sponsors this event and provides activities and games focused on science and engineering, along with keynote speakers and presentations from other successful female engineers. This is a great opportunity for young students to learn more about their future career options, and a great way for your student to get involved.

On a different note, summer school housing applications are now being accepted by Housing and Residential Life. If your student is considering taking classes over the summer and would like to stay in the residence halls, it’s important that they submit an application to ensure that they have a room, which includes an unlimited meal plan. Students can stay for Track A, Track B, or the whole summer. Rooms are only available in Wadsworth Hall, so your student will be in the company of other summer school students. Here are the rates for summer housing:

Single Room:
$1,904.00 per Track A or B
$3,808.00 for full summer

Double Room:
$1,631.00 per Track A or B
$3,262.00 for full summer

If you have any questions about summer housing, please contact Housing and Residential Life at or via phone at 906-487-2682.

That’s it for this week! I hope your students have been getting involved and are enjoying their semesters. If you have any questions about anything or would like to see more information about a specific topic, please feel free to email me at  Until next time!


Winter Carnival Wrap-Up and Adventure Spring Break

Hello Parents,

I hope your students enjoyed Winter Carnival. With the festivities concluded, campus is once again calm.

The winning snow statue in the Fraternities division, created by Phi Kappa Tau.
The winning snow statue in the fraternities division, created by Phi Kappa Tau.

Like every year, this year’s Winter Carnival was fantastic and invigorating. The overall winner was Air Force ROTC, taking first place in special events, second place in Stage Revue, and second place in the snow statue competition in the student organization division. The 2014 Winter Carnival Queen was Janna Clement, who was sponsored by Delta Zeta sorority and Swift’s True Value Hardware.

My favorite part part of Winter Carnival is the snow statue competition, and they were quite impressive this year. Phi Kappa Tau won the fraternities division, Alpha Sigma Tau won the women’s groups division, Summit/Women In Engineering took the residence halls division, and Army ROTC won the student organizations division. Although Winter Carnival is now over, it’s nice to see the statues still standing on campus. It gives us all a sense of promise as we continue to work our way through the semester.

As we approach the bulk of the semester, it’s time for your student to start considering his or her plans for Spring Break. This year, Spring Break will take place March 10 through 14. Through the Outdoor Adventure Program (OAP), Michigan Tech offers a variety of Adventure Spring Break (ASB) adventures for students to participate in. ASB provides opportunities to explore new places through excursions outside of the Keweenaw. This year, a number of different adventures are being offered, including a trip to Puerto Rico, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and Buffalo River, Arkansas. All ASB trips are lead by student trip leaders who are certified in Wilderness First Responding and have had prior experience with ASB trips. ASB is not only a wonderful opportunity for your student to broaden their horizons and break out of their comfort zones, but their participation can also earn them Physical Education credit for Track A of the Spring 2014 semester! Below, you can find more more information about the trips offered through ASB.

Puerto Rico
Cost: $1,300
Includes transportation (rental cars and airfare), breakfast, lodging, surfing lesson, waterfall hikes, and snorkeling. For more information, contact: Carly at or 248-881-5494, or Ryan at

A sunset at the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. Photo courtesy of Gettysburg College.
A sunset at the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. Photo courtesy of Gettysburg College.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Cost: $450-500
Includes transportation, food, backpacking, whitewater rafting, historic mill tours, waterfalls, and exploring. For more information contact: Karl at

Buffalo River, Arkansas
Cost: $450
Includes transportation, food, canoeing, and hiking. For more information contact: OAP at

These are truly great opportunities for your student to embark on new experiences and learn something new. If your student is interested in participating in any of these trips, I would recommend that they attend the informational meeting on February 13 at 7:00 p.m. at the OAP House. If you or your student have any questions about ASB, email

That’s it for this week! I hope you all have a great rest of the week and enjoy the lovely winter weather. If you have any questions about Adventure Spring Breaks or would like to see more information about a specific topic, please feel free to email me at Until next time!



Winter Weather

Hello Parents,

The local Hungarian Falls during the winter months.  Photo courtesy of
The local Hungarian Falls during the winter months. Photo courtesy of

I hope you’re all having a great week! With Winter Carnival events underway, campus has been buzzing with excitement and anticipation. As I mentioned in a few of my earlier posts, the weather here has been extraordinarily frosty. There were multiple days last week that reached a windchill of -40 degrees, and the snow has been piling up nicely as student and Greek organizations continue to work on their snow statues. According to the Michigan Tech Research Center, we’ve received 144.25 inches of snow this winter, with 34 inches of current accumulation! Compared to last year’s 225.75 inches, we still have a ways to go, but we’ve already out-snowed the 132-inch 2011-2012 winter.

According to a recent article in the local newspaper, the Daily Mining Gazette, Lake Superior is more than 75 percent frozen and is on its way to being fully frozen over! This will be the first time that this has happened since the winter of 1996-1997, although it was a normal occurrence in the 70s and 80s. Because of the large amount of lake effect snow that the Copper Country receives from Lake Superior, it’s predicted that the lake’s freezing will decrease the amount of snow we receive for the remainder of the winter. It’s also predicted that the already-cold temperatures we have will drop even more.

Although this winter has been cold and dreary, there are a plethora of fun and exciting winter activities to brighten up the season. Here are some of the many activities that the community, and your student, can participate in this season:

Snowmobiling is a very big part of the Copper Country community, both for its residents and for out-of-towners. There are snowmobiling trails that wind all around the Keweenaw Peninsula. There’s also a snowmobile club on Tech’s campus, Sledheads, that provides students “the opportunity to experience snowmobiling.” If students are interested in renting a snowmobile, they can do so at various snowmobile rentals in the Upper Peninsula.

Downhill skiing/snowboarding
Michigan Tech students can use the local ski hill, Mont Ripley, at no cost with their Experience Tech Fee. Mont Ripley is a 24-run, 3-lift ski hill that is great for all levels of skiers and snowboarders, beginners to experts. New this year is a free shuttle service that runs from campus to Mont Ripley every Monday through Friday so students can have more access to the ski hill.

The Michigan Tech Trails
The Tech Trails are located across from the Student Development Complex (SDC) and offer a wide variety of activities such as skiing, mountain biking, hiking, snowshoeing, and running—all free of charge for Michigan Tech students.

  • Cross country skiing is the one of the most popular winter activities at the Tech Trails, with more than 30 km of groomed skiing trails offered. Students can rent cross country skis at a very reasonable price, or they can join the Nordic Ski Club, which offers free rentals with a $10 paid annual membership. That’s a real bargain!

  • Snowshoeing is another beloved winter activity at the Tech Trails, as there are over 11 km of groomed snowshoeing trails. The Outdoor Adventure Program (OAP) offers snowshoe rentals for students at a very reasonable price, and students’ first rental is free!

Ice skating
Students can ice skate at various local ice rinks, both indoor and outdoor. The Student Development Complex (SDC), Dee Stadium, and Houghton County Arena all offer open skating free of charge. There are also various outdoor rinks open to the public—such as Laurn Grove Ice Rink, Baltic Recreation Center, Dodgeville Ice Rink, and West Houghton Neighborhood Park Rink.

Snow bikes
The OAP recently purchased snow bikes, which are like regular bikes with thicker tires and more flotation so that they can be ridden in the winter. Students can ride these on the Tech Trails or around town for a fun and unique winter experience!

The Keweenaw offers plenty of spots that are great for scenic winter beauty—historic landmarks, waterfalls, ice caves, and more. Check out the Keweenaw Convention and Visitor’s Bureau for ideas about local explorations.

With all of these activities, it can be hard to find time to do them all! I hope your student finds opportunities to get outside, get active, and explore the area this winter.

That’s it for this week! I hope you all have an enjoyable week and have an opportunity to take advantage of some of the winter activities in your own town. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at  Have a great weekend!