Category Archives: Community

Great Lakes Invitational (GLI) Information

Are you or someone you know going to the Great Lakes Invitational (GLI)  this year? Buy your tickets online through the link below and part of your ticket purchase will go to help the Husky FAN Pantry! Tickets prices remain the same.

WHO: You, your friends, family, alumni, etc

WHAT: Great Lakes Invitational College Hockey

WHERE: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit Michigan

WHEN: December 29 and 30

WHY: Support the Huskies Hockey Team and the Husky FAN Pantry.  The pantry provides food, meal swipes, emergency food packs, and educational programming to the campus community at no cost.

HOW: Go to this website and enter the promotion code: MTUGREEK

This fundraiser is sponsored by Michigan Tech’s Fraternity and Sorority Life.

If you have any questions, please email Rochelle Spencer ( for Michigan Tech related questions or Lauren Kalinosky ( for ticket questions or to purchase tickets over the phone.

Bob Mark Elevator Pitch Competition

Hello parents!

I hope everyone has been doing well. I’m sure people would agree that the weather up here has been crazy. Students have been studying and enjoying the sun. We’re two weeks into November and today is the first real snow we’ve seen.  Students have registered for broom ball teams for next semester and are starting to think ahead to Winter Carnival. One of the events that  occurred this week is the Bob Mark Elevator Pitch Competition.

The Bob Mark Elevator Pitch Competition is an annual opportunity for students with great ideas to present those ideas in front of an audience and compete for prize money. This is event is hosted by the School of Business and Economics and is open to all students. Using an elevator pitch, students make a two minute long speech to explain a business idea before a panel of expert judges . This year the first place winner receives $1,000 cash, a $5,000 expense account, 1 year of Smartzone office space, and $2,500 worth of business consulting.  Prizes are also awarded for second and third place, as well as audience favorite. There are some very impressive ideas that come through this competition from the crazy smart students we have here at Michigan Tech.

In addition to the Bob Mark Elevator Pitch competition, there are plenty of opportunities for students to get involved on campus while still being able to focus on exams and final projects. From Film Board movies to mini golf hosted by MUB Board, the opportunities for fun study breaks are always around.

If there are any questions, feel free to email me at Have a good week!


41 North Film Festival

Hello Parents!

Hard to believe we’re already eight weeks into the semester. For better or worse, we’re settling into one of the most important times for students (in my opinion). The weather keeps getting colder and it won’t be too long before we start seeing the snow stick. There are still some awesome things happening on campus this week, including the 41 North Film Festival, October 23-25.

The 11th annual 41 North Film Festival, formerly known as the Northern Lights Film Festival, shows independent films that are released and Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 9.57.51 AMin discussion at the moment. It is an event that is getting students and the local community involved in the world of these films throughout the weekend. The films are absolutely free and open to the public. In addition to the films themselves, this festival allows the audience to interact with the filmmakers, producers, and other people in the industry. “Destination Cinema at Michigan Tech” is providing a chance for students and community members take a look at this films and gain some new perspective through watching the films and discussions about them.

In addition to the critically acclaimed movies that are being shown in the Rozsa, there will also be prizes at each screening. Sponsors have donated items to be raffled off throughout the weekend. Between the afternoon and evening screenings there will be live music shows in the Rozsa lobby. These are local bands and there will be a different one for each day of the festival. Additionally, attendees will have the opportunity to order food from local places and have it delivered after the afternoon screening, during the break.

With plenty of cool things going on, it can be difficult to want to stay in and study. However students here have some of the best work ethics and can always be seen the library or in a classroom getting things done. If there are any questions about events or happenings around Michigan Tech, feel free to email me at

Have a good weekend!


Fall Semester has begun!

Hello Parents!

I hope everyone has enjoyed the last bit of summer. In Houghton, we’ve had some HOT weather for the start of classes. My guess is that summer is trying to hold on by a thread before we start the rather quick descent into the winter months. In the midst of Welcome Week, campus is buzzing with activity. Students and faculty are hurrying to get to classes, the computers in the library are full and tapping on the keyboards is constant, and friends are hanging out in the gardens and sitting on the benches throughout campus. There are plenty of things to be excited about for this fall too, including traditions that take place at the beginning of the school year.

One of these traditions is KDay (the “K” stands for Keweenaw Day) and is one of the best times at Michigan Tech. Taking place on the Friday, September 11 at McLain’s State Park, this event provides an opportunity for new and returning students learn about all of the student organizations and opportunities for involvement while enjoying Lake Superior and the outdoors. From Greek Life to Rugby, Anthropology Club to Fishing Club, there is a wide variety of options to get involved and meet plenty of people.  If you want to learn more about KDay, follow this link.

KDay is one of the first traditions that students can experience here at Michigan Tech.
KDay is one of the first traditions that students can experience here at Michigan Tech.


Along with all the events and activities specifically set up for Welcome Week and the beginning of the school year, there are also Michigan Tech Athletes that are getting into action. Fall sports such as football, soccer, volleyball, and cross country are starting their competitions for the year. The first home game for the football team is tonight, Thursday September 3 at 6PM. The Women’s soccer and volleyball teams begin on Friday, September 4. To keep up with the Michigan Tech Huskies Athletics throughout the year, click this link. Also, if students are interested in participating in sports outside of the Varsity sports, there are tons of intramurals to stay active. Follow this link to learn more.

With everything getting started and so much to get involved in, it can be easy to lose sight of why we’re really here as students. Luckily, we have amazing faculty, staff, and student leaders that encourage getting involved while remaining aware of our studies and the work we must put in to our classes. Michigan Tech is truly a great place to be. As always, if there are any questions, feel free to email me at

Have a good week!


Alumni Weekend and KSEF

Hello parents!

This week has cooled off in the Keweenaw, but that doesn’t mean there is a lack of things to do!  Alumni Reunion and the Keweenaw Science and Engineering Festival are in full swing, bringing together the community, visitors, and science.

The Alumni Reunion is an annual event that brings together alumni from around the country and includes plenty of activities to get everyone involved. From campus tours to class gatherings and photos, it is a busy weekend for people who spent their undergraduate time at Michigan Tech. To review events that occur during the Alumni Reunion, follow this link.  This year the classes that graduated in 1965, ’75, ’85, ’90, ’95, and 2005 are being recognized along with hockey alumni. Additionally, the Golden M’s, any alumnus/a that has graduated from Michigan Tech over 50 years ago, are being honored.

This is an example of some of the work that will be displayed at the Rozsa gallery.
This is an example of some of the work that will be displayed at the Rozsa gallery.

The Keweenaw Science and Engineering Festival (KSEF) is a brand new event designed to get more people interested in science, technology, engineering and math.  The schedule of events may be viewed here if you are interested in learning more about it. In conjunction with KSEF, there is an exhibit in the Rozsa Center Gallery called Scale: Balancing Art and Technology which will be displayed through September 11.

A couple of other reminders as the summer is winding down. New student orientation is just a few weeks away. To ensure you and your student are prepared, follow this link to the Orientation website. For students living in the residence halls, the wait-list for parking is now available. Follow this link to transportation services for more information on how to sign up.

As always, feel free to email me at with any questions on this information or anything else.

Have a good week!



Outdoor Activities

Hello Parents!

Following one of the hottest weekends of the year in the Keweenaw, I wanted to share some more of the things that are available to do up here. One good resource for the outdoor adventuring student is the Outdoor Adventure Programs (OAP). They hold events throughout the summer and school year. This summer they are offering kayaking and paddle boarding clinics, have organized a trip to Isle Royale, and other camping and adventuring trips. For Orientation Week, OAP holds day trips to local places. In addition to hosting these events, OAP also rents gear, from bikes to paddle boards.

The Keweenaw History Center located in Calumet.
The Keweenaw History Center located in Calumet.

There is plenty to do around the Keweenaw. One of my personal favorites is to walk around touring some of the historical sites, and there are numerous opportunities to experience this rich history.  If you are interested in the history of copper mining, there are several places to explore that also include an underground tour. The Quincy Mine, the Adventure Mine, and the Delaware Mine are great options to learn more about mining and you can click on the name of the mine to see its website. All of these mines are Heritage Sites associated with the Keweenaw National Historical Park (KNHP). The KNHP covers a significant area of the Keweenaw and includes heritage sites, like the mines, that were integral to the history of the area. To learn more about the park, click here.

The sun over the water at the Houghton Breakers.
The sun over the water at the Houghton Breakers.

Of course, with all the Keweenaw has to offer, there are plenty of things to do and places to see without a guide or organized trip. If you are interested in learning more about the trails for hiking, biking, skiing, or snowshoeing, this site has great information. Beaches are also one of the most popular attractions around the Keweenaw. One of the student favorites is the Houghton Breakers. It is a stamp sand beach right on the edge of the Portage and is perfect for swimming, bonfires, and watching the sunset over the water. For more on the beaches in the Keweenaw, this website is a good resource.

If anyone has any questions on other things to do around the Keweenaw, feel free to email me at


Musical and Community Events

In the Copper Country, we are starting to get into some of the busiest times of year, especially for local musicians. This week has seen some ups and downs in the weather, but most people are still excited for the things to come.

The Pine Mountain Music Festival (PMMF) began at the end of June and will continue through July 18. It is a celebration of all types of music, from professional opera to chamber music and many others. This week the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts will be hosting performances of The Barber of Seville. The Barber of Seville is a beloved opera buffa (a comic opera) about the desire to win a woman’s heart without money. The Bergonzi String Quartet will be playing at the Calumet Theater, a local landmark and beautiful theater. These performances, among others, will continue throughout the Upper Peninsula. If you are interested in finding out more out about the PMMF, follow this link to its website.

A band performing at The Really Big Show. Photograph by Ray Bosley. Courtesy of
A band performing at The Really Big Show. Photograph by Ray Bosley. Courtesy of

Another musical event coming up is PJ Olsson’s Rock Camp (for more info, click here). This is a camp for students, ages 11-20, to get some intensive and awesome mentoring in playing instruments, singing, performing, setting up, and controlling the performances. During the two week camp, students develop their skills and come together as bands and groups. They create a set, practice and memorize their performance. At the end of the two weeks, the campers hold “The Really Big Show”, this year on Saturday, August 1.  For local young musicians, it is an incredible opportunity to learn, make new friends, and have a lot of fun. I have personally been to the final performance in the past; it is a great way to show support for these students and to get the chance to see some amazing young talent.

This weekend is the annual Strawberry Festival held in Chassell. The short drive is always worth it to see the parade, get some strawberry shortcake, or watch the Strawberry Festival queen pageant. At the peak of strawberry season, the Copper Country Strawberry Festival gets the community out and about to enjoy some of the awesome things (and one of my personal favorites) about living here . The strawberries are fresh picked from local farms, most of which provide picked strawberries as well as pick your own services. If you are interested in learning more about the Strawberry Fest or any of the berry farms, check out their website here.

Summer Youth Programs (SYP) are an amazing way for middle and high school students to experience different fields at Michigan Tech. Many of the students that participate in these programs end up coming to school full time at Michigan Tech (I joined those ranks when I started college). There are many options for SYP, for example students can see what it would be like to be a civil engineer, get hands on experience in a blacksmith shop or adventure through the Keweenaw on hikes. Needless to say, it is a great program for students who aren’t quite sure what they want to do yet, where they can try out majors and career paths as middle and high school students. For those students who decide on  Michigan Tech when they start college, the Center for Pre-College Outreach hires students to work as counselors, providing another great opportunity to get involved.

If you have any questions about what I have discussed here, any other events going on in the Keweenaw, or just in general, feel free to email me at

Have a good week!


Hello, Parents!

As Track B for summer classes begins and everyone is starting to get into the dog days of summer, I am getting started at the new ParentNet writer! My name is Erica LeClaire and I will be taking over for Valerie as she begins her journey after undergrad. She has been an awesome writer for ParentNet, a great student, and a perfect example of how one can succeed in college. I’m hoping that she trained me well to take over her position and that I’ll be able to continue her high level of work for my tenure. I want to wish her good luck as she sets off for graduate school.

With that, I will let you know some more about me. I am a local student here at Michigan Tech going into my third year. Through elementary school, I lived in Livonia, outside of Detroit. Both of my parents are from the Keweenaw, so they decided to move back and we’ve been here ever since! Growing up here, you get a new appreciation for the outdoor activities, the history, and the heritage of this beautiful place. Partially because of my appreciation of those things, I decided to pursue a more non traditional major at MTU and am in the history program.

In addition to studying and classes and all of those parts of college I am involved in some extracurriculars  as well. I am an active member of the Alpha Gamma Delta Women’s Fraternity and I’m the current president of the Anthropology club. Between these organizations, I get to have some pretty diverse experiences and met many different people on campus and in the community. As a part of Greek life at Michigan Tech, not only have I gained an invaluable network of people, but I have been able to find a place that I can lean on for help, trust with anything, and, as our motto states, live with purpose. Though it isn’t for everyone, I found my niche in Greek Life and have enjoyed my experience greatly. Anthropology club, on the other hand, connects me and other Social Sciences majors (or just people interested in it) with each other, our professors, and the greater Social Sciences community.

This is me at Hungarian Falls, a local favorite spot for hiking, snowshoeing, pictures and other things.

With the experience of being a commuter student, it was very important for me to get involved on campus. I have seen people fall on all different sides of the spectrum, from being super involved to not participating in campus life at all. When you don’t live in the dorms it is more challenging to decide to make the conscience effort to go to campus and meet other people, become part of an organization, or whatever it might be. Because of my interest in the lives of commuter students here at MTU, I took over the Commuter Assistant position and have been doing that for the past year. I am a resource for those students to get involved on campus, meet each other, and hopefully gain some new experiences in the campus community.

Working in another integral part of my life. Currently, I am a student security clerk with Public Safety and Police Services, while also working with the Wahtera Center for Student Success for ParentNet and as Commuter Assistant. I’ve mentioned what I do for the Wahtera Center, but as a student security clerk I am involved on campus in an entirely different way. For this job, I walk through campus, meet and interact with undergrad and graduate students, usually open/close a lot of doors.

Another for me that is very important is being involved with the community and volunteering within it. Being part of a sorority helps with becoming more involved in local and national philanthropic endeavors, we work with a local group that provides food for low income children outside of school and we also raise money for juvenile diabetes research and awareness. Recently, I have participated in the local Relay for Life in Houghton and the BridgeFeast fundraiser for the local Rotary.

I would like to thank you all for reading my post. I look forward to getting to share the happenings of Houghton and Michigan Tech throughout the year and hope that you gain something from it. I would once again like to recognize Valerie Taglione and thank her for everything she has done for me, ParentNet, and the university. If anyone has any questions, comments, or would just like to find out more about any of this, you can email me at


Safehouse and Make a Difference Day

Greetings, Parents.

I hope you all had a wonderful week! It’s been very busy around campus, but the weather has been so nice lately that it’s hard to complain. The sunshine and vibrancy of the colors is making this fall as beautiful as ever . . . although the snow we got on Monday is signaling that winter may come early this year!

This part of the semester can get busy for many students because of several great community service events happening on campus, including Make a Difference Day and Safehouse.

Make a Difference Day–taking place Saturday, October 26–is an awesome opportunity for students to get involved in serving the local community.

Michigan Tech Students Raking Leaves for Make a Difference Day

Created by USA Weekend Magazine, Make a Difference Day takes place on the fourth Saturday of every October. Volunteers locally and around the world donate their Saturday mornings to lend a hand to community members in need. Students from Michigan Tech can participate with their halls or student organizations, or as individual volunteers. Volunteers will be assigned to different tasks, such as raking leaves or performing household chores for senior citizens and individuals with disabilities throughout the Keweenaw. Last year, more than 700 volunteers and 50 student groups participated in Make a Difference Day, and this year we hope to have even more! To learn more about the Make a Difference Day national program, please visit USA Weekend Magazine.

A Dungeon crafted during Safehouse

In addition to Make a Difference Day, Safehouse will take place on Saturday, October 26. Safehouse is a unique community service project where students living in the residence halls hand out candy to local trick-or-treaters. Sponsored by the Inter-Residence Housing Council, students and their hallmates festively decorate their “houses” and compete with other halls on campus to create the scariest or most fun decorations. After the students have completed their hall transformations, local trick-or-treaters make their way through campus to collect their candy. This is a great opportunity for students who are normally too busy during the school year to give back to the community and to make Halloween special for local children. Not to mention, they’ll have a blast doing it! The halls are open to the public with a guided tour from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday evening.

In addition to Safehouse, a variety of other festive events will also be taking place this week to celebrate Halloween:

There will be a Halloween Dance sponsored by the Douglass Houghton Hall Council on Friday, October 25, where students can dress up, enjoy free snacks, and dance the night away in their Halloween costumes.

The Wadsworth Hall Student Association will be sponsoring Scary Good Cookies, where residents are invited to make festive cookies and frightening treats on Wednesday, October 23.

Michigan Tech Filmboard will be showing the horrifying classic The Shining on Friday, October 25, and Saturday, October 26 to celebrate the frightening festivities.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you all have a wonderful week! If you have any comments or questions for me regarding ParentNet Weekly, please don’t hesitate to email me at  Until next time!


Fall in the Copper Country

Hello again, Parents!

I hope everyone has been having a wonderful week! As I’m sure you’ve noticed in each of your hometowns, fall is here and is in full swing. Fall is such a

A view of the fall colors. Photo courtesy of David Clark Photography.
A view of the fall colors from Hancock. Photo courtesy of David Clark Photography.

beautiful time in Houghton; the leaves are changing, the air is crisp, and Halloween decorations are making their way onto local doorsteps. Although the leaves have been a bit late to turn this year, the colors are now starting to come out and it’s definitely been worth the wait! The fall color tours are starting up as people from all over come and take rides up the chairlift at Mont Ripley to get a gorgeous view of the town and the vibrancy of the changing colors. In addition to this festive event, the annual Copper Country Color Tour sponsored by the Michigan Tech Cycling club took place on September 28, where cycling enthusiasts could choose to bike a 50 km, 100 km, or even 200 km route around the lively Keweenaw Peninsula! Every year this event takes place during the peak of the color season so cyclists are able to see the beauty that the fall season brings to the Keweenaw. This year, the Copper Country Color Tour was quite successful as it celebrated its 40th year with a multitude of students and community participants!

Fall also signifies another special event for the area: Family Weekend! Family Weekend is an exciting time where parents and family are welcomed to the campus for a weekend filled with fun activities to participate in with their Tech student. This year, Family Weekend will take place on Friday, October 11 and continue through Sunday, October 13. During Family Weekend, the campus is open for families to explore campus and engage in some exciting adventures including tours of local attractions such as the Quincy Mine, the Sturgeon River, and the Chair Lift Color Tour; varsity athletic games in volleyball,  soccer, and football, the high ropes course challenge, and the Portage Lake Sunset Cruise! Family Weekend is great opportunity to both visit your hard-working student and to get to know the Keweenaw a little bit better. For more information on Family Weekend, please visit the website here.

In addition to the events going on around campus, the Keweenaw also has some autumn festivities going on in the area.  Like Mont Ripley, Mount Bohemia  is also having fall color lift rides on Saturday, October 12 and Sunday, October 13 from 11:00 AM until 5:00 PM.  Now residents and tourists alike can explore the vibrant colors of the Keweenaw.

The Annual Fall Festival sponsored by the St. Paul the Apostle church in Calumet took place from Friday, October 4 through Sunday, October 6 and included activities such as bingo, Sunday Mass with polka music, ethnic food booths, a bake sale, and raffles.

The start of the Gratiot River North trail ran in the Fall Color Classic. Photo courtesy of
The start of the Gratiot River North trail ran in the Fall Color Classic. Photo courtesy of

The Fall Color Classic trail run also took place on Saturday, October 5 at 10:00 am. Residents were welcome to participate in an 8 km trail walk/run through the North Woods beside the vibrant shoreline of Lake Superior. Sponsored by the North Woods Conservatory, all of the proceeds of this event go towards Seven Mile Point and the Save the Keweenaw Beaches effort.

That’s all for this week! I hope fall is as festive and celebrated in each of your homes as it is here. Have an enjoyable week!