Archives—August 2014

Preparations for the Upcoming Year

Hello Parents,

Incoming students gathering during the beginning of Orientation Week
Incoming students gather during the beginning of Orientation Week

I hope you’re all having a great week! It’s been bittersweet here as Track B courses finish up, and students are getting ready to embark on their last two weeks of summer break before the 2014–15 academic year begins. Incoming first-year students are finishing up their last-minute preparations as they ready themselves to start their college career at Michigan Tech. (Saturday, August 23 is the beginning of Move-in Weekend for first-year students.) And upperclassmen are preparing to make the move back to Michigan Tech for another awesome year. With the start of school right around the corner, it’s important for your students to start preparations for the new year.

Room Items
If your student is living in the residence halls this year, the following kinds of items are recommended:

  • Blanket/comforter

  • Cleaning supplies

  • Cups/plates/utensils

  • Desk lamp

  • Dish soap

  • Fan

  • Full-length mirror

  • Hangers

  • Mattress pad and sheets (extra-long twin, measuring 36×80 inches)

  • Pillows

  • Plastic crates

  • Small personal safe

  • Snacks

  • Storage boxes/tubs

  • Tools

  • Towels

There are also items your student should leave at home:

  • Candles/incense

  • Electric heaters

  • Air conditioners

  • Halogen lights

  • High-school textbooks

  • Many suitcases

  • Toaster

  • Toaster oven/hot plate

These items are not allowed in the residence halls and will be confiscated if they are found in your student’s room.

Buying textbooks is one of the most important preparations your student can make before the start of the new year. Students can buy new and used books at Tech’s Campus Bookstore or at many online retailers. When buying textbooks online, it’s important to order them weeks before the start of classes to provide time for shipping. For students on a budget, I would recommend buying as many used textbooks as possible. However, for classes such as physics, math, or chemistry (that may require an online access code to complete course assignments), it’s important to be aware that used textbooks don’t come with access codes like new books do, and thus must be purchased separately. In cases when a class requires additional online resources, I recommend buying the book new, since new books already come with the access code.

It’s also important to be aware of the correct edition of the book to buy. Some students choose to buy the older, cheaper edition of the required textbook to save money, but these older editions may organize material in a different way, problem sets may be different, and there may be missing chapters or other information that the new book has.

Students also buy and sell their textbooks on Barkboard, Tech’s student-only online buying and selling forum. This is another great way to find good deals on the textbooks your students need.

School Supplies
Here are some highly recommended suggestions of what students should consider bringing to campus:

  • Paper and notebooks

  • Pens and pencils

  • Flash drive/thumb drive

  • Graphing calculator (TI-89 recommended)

  • Highlighters

  • Hole punch

  • Paper clips

  • Scissors

  • Stamps/envelopes

  • Stapler/staples

  • Tape

As you can see, there’s a lot to keep in mind as the summer finishes up and the school year begins. If you or your student have any questions about new school-year preparations or what to bring to campus, please feel free to email me at You can also look online at what Michigan Tech suggests your students bring at the Admissions Office website.

I wish your students the best of luck as they embark on a new academic year! I look forward to continuing to write to you through ParentNet as the new year begins. Enjoy the rest of your summer, and have a great weekend!


Alumni Reunion Weekend and Orientation Week 2014

Hello Parents,

A photo of the 2013 Orientation Team Leaders.  The 2014 Orientation week begins on Monday, August 25.
A photo of some 2013 Orientation Team Leaders. Orientation 2014 will begin on Monday, August 25.

I hope you’re all having a great week! Although Track B is almost over, it feels like summer is finally here with all of the beautiful weather we’ve been having this week. Even so, It’s hard to believe that the 2014–2015 academic year will begin in less than one month!

Exciting things are happening at Michigan Tech this week as we host Alumni Reunion Weekend, which starts Thursday, August 7 and spans to Saturday, August 9. The featured classes will be the Golden M’s, which are those who graduated 50 or more years ago, as well as the classes of ’64, ’74, ’84, ’89, ’94, and 2004. In addition, there will be features with the members of the past women’s basketball teams as well as the men’s and women’s varsity tennis teams. There will be a wide variety of activities going on this week for alumni, including special events specific to the Golden M’s, guided tours of campus, boat cruises, visits with our various academic departments, a pasty-making demonstration, reunion picnic, presentations about new and modern teaching methods that are being implemented on campus, a canoeing excursion, and many more exciting events! This is a fantastic opportunity for the alumni of Michigan Tech to reacquaint themselves with campus and to catch up with old classmates.

Also coming up this weekend is the inaugural Italian Festival—located right here in Houghton! The Italian Festival is designed to celebrate Italian history and culture found right here in the Copper Country. With the mining rush that took place here in the late 1800s, migrants from all over the world came to work in our copper mines, including miners from Finland, Cornwall, and even Italy. The festival will take place in Houghton County Arena (in Hancock) on Saturday, August 9 from 11 a.m.–10 p.m. There will be a $5 admission fee, which will cover booths, music, and other cultural activities.


Since Track B is almost over and the academic year is on its way, it’s time to start thinking about some important dates and events.

Move-in Weekend begins on Saturday, August 23 at 8 a.m. and lasts through Sunday, August 24. Move-in Weekend is open to both first-year students and upperclassmen alike; students can move into the residence halls and Hillside Place apartments, which are also owned by Michigan Tech. Orientation Team Leaders, Housing and Residence Life student staff, and hundreds of volunteers will staff the various entrances to the four on-campus living locations to help our students move into their new rooms. First-year students are required to move in during this time, where as upperclassmen can move in any time before the start of the fall semester.

Family Picnic will take place after Move-in Weekend on the evening of Sunday, August 23. Family Picnic is held for students and family members to enjoy a meal and the start to their student’s college career together. University staff and faculty members, Orientation Team Leaders, and Housing and Residence Life student staff will be there to welcome families to Michigan Tech, answer any questions they might have, and ease their concerns about starting college. The Picnic is free for students to attend, and family members can purchase tickets for $10. Following the Family Picnic is the University Welcome, where students and their families will attend a presentation, hear from the president of the University and the vice president of Student Affairs, and receive a special welcome to Michigan Tech from the Orientation Team Leaders.

Orientation Week will begin immediately after Move-in Weekend on Monday, August 25. This week is designed to help first-year students find their bearings here at Michigan Tech, learn their way around campus, and adjust to life in college. The incoming class is broken up into teams consisting of approximately 15 other students who share the same major and are led by an Orientation Team Leader—who is an upperclassman who serves as a guide and mentor for the team throughout the week. Orientation Week consists of a plethora of events and activities that help first-year students better acquaint themselves with Michigan Tech and learn about what will be expected of them as students here. Examples of some of the events that take place during the week include academic presentations, workshops on various resources and facilities we offer for students, and orientation team meetings with Orientation Team Leaders, where teams discuss important aspects of college life and their expectations of what it will be like to start school. There will also be fun events taking place throughout the week too, such as the famous 500-foot-long banana split, a campus-wide capture the flag game, and other fun and thrilling activities.

As you can see, there’s a lot to look forward to as the beginning of the academic year approaches! If you have any questions about Orientation or the events taking place throughout this time, or would like more information written on a specific topic, please feel free to email me at Until next week!


A Weekend of Music

Hello Parents,

This photo depicts a performance of the 2012 PJ Olsson Rock Camp. The 2014 PJ Olsson Rock Camp will take place August 2.
This photo depicts a performance of the 2012 PJ Olsson Rock Camp. The 2014 PJ Olsson Rock Camp will take place August 2.

I hope you’re all having a fantastic week! This week has been nice and sunny, and many students have been taking advantage of it by spending time outside and enjoying Houghton and Hancock.

As the summer flies by, the academic year nears—and with that comes updates for the upcoming school year. Here are a few items your student should be aware of:

Meal plan changes
If your student wants to make changes to the meal plan they signed up for, they can do so via the Meal Plan Changes website until 5:00 p.m. on September 12.

Housing assignments available
Starting on August 1, students living in DHH, McNair, Wads, and the Honors House will be able to view their room assignment and roommate contact information on their MyMichiganTech account. If your student submitted their housing information very late, their assignment may not be given until slightly after this date. If you or your student have any questions about housing, please feel free contact Housing and Residential Life at 906-487-2682 or via email at

Wadsworth dining hall closed for the summer
Wadsworth dining hall will be closed until August 16 for cleaning. Students living in Wads for the summer can eat their meals at the McNair dining hall during this time.


Upcoming events

One thing I love about the summer is the wide variety of musical events hosted throughout these warm months. This weekend happens to be chock-full of exciting musical festivities for community members and students alike to enjoy.

  • The 2014 Farm Block Fest will be held Friday, August 1, through Sunday, August 3, in Allouez. The Farm Block Fest is designed as a fundraiser for the Dan Schmitt Gift of Music fund, which helps local youth purchase instruments to pursue their interests and talents in music. This year’s festival consists of live music from more than 25 musicians, great food, art vendors, and a 3-on-3 basketball tournament. 100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to the Dan Schmitt Gift of Music fund.
  • The 20th Annual Agate Beach Jamboree will also take place this weekend, Saturday, August 2, through Sunday, August 3, in Toivola. This two-day event will be have live music performances from 11:00 a.m. though 9:00 p.m. each day! Admission is free and open to the public, and concessions are available for purchase. Spectators are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs, and are even allowed to camp in the area on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • The PJ Olsson Rock Camp final concert will take place at the Rozsa Center on Saturday, August 2. The PJ Olsson Rock Camp is an intensive, two-week music camp where 40 young musician have the opportunity to work closely with professional musicians, audio technicians, and a crew in learning the art of music and performance. The conclusion of the camp is this weekend’s rock concert, where the young musicians can show off their hard work to a crowd of more than 1,000! This is an absolutely incredible experience for the young people in the area, and provides an epic concert for community members to enjoy as well. For more information about PJ Olsson’s Rock Camp, please visit the Rock Camp website.

As you can see, we have an exciting weekend of wonderful music coming up! Attending these events is always something I try to take advantage of while I can. I hope you all get the opportunity to explore the musical culture in your own hometowns this summer.

That’s all I have for you this week! If you have any questions about any of the events mentioned or then new updates for the upcoming academic year, please feel free to email me at  Until next week!