Tag Archives: Travel

Traveling from Lower Michigan

After spending the past few years traveling along the Upper Peninsula’s beautiful coastline, I decided I would like to share with you some of the great attractions you can visit when you bring your student to Michigan Tech in August. Many families don’t have the opportunity to travel through the U.P., so driving your student to Michigan Tech can be the perfect time for a fun family vacation. The following are some of my favorite places to stop and see on the way to Houghton.

From Lower Michigan

Enjoying the beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline that borders U.S. 2.

When I drive to Michigan Tech from my hometown of Jackson, Michigan, I really enjoy traveling on U.S. 2 in the Upper Peninsula. U.S. 2 begins off Interstate 75 just after the Mackinac Bridge. Following U.S. 2 you can see miles of the beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline. The road borders a great sand beach for nearly ten miles west of St. Ignace; there’s a wide shoulder and you’ll often find vehicles pulled over and people walking or swimming the beach. The views from U.S. 2 are truly amazing; however, I do caution you to be aware. The beautiful scenery can be distracting for drivers and the route is typically busy with travelers. Make sure you watch your speed limit and be aware of other drivers if you choose to take this route.

Pictured Rocks in Munising photo credit:http://www.thingstodointheup.com

From U.S. 2 I usually cut through the middle of the Upper Peninsula by taking one of the highways that run north and connect with M-28. The portion of M-28 that passes through the center of the Upper Peninsula between Seney and Shingleton runs along the border of the Seney National Wildlife Refuge. The Seney Stretch is considered to be a “straight-as-an-arrow highway.” It is 25 miles long and has few curves and little change in elevation. Although it may not be the most exciting section of highway to travel, it will get you to the Lake Superior shoreline quickly. The first major Superior-side town you’ll hit along M-28 is Munising. Munising is a nice town to stop in and stretch your legs after a couple hours of driving. There are restaurants and several visitor attractions, including the famous Pictured Rocks Boat Cruises. Although I have not been on a cruise, I have heard that the views of the rocks are phenomenal. The cruises last approximately 3 hours and tickets for adults are $35.

From Munising to Marquette, M-28 travels along the Lake Superior shoreline for several miles. There are many roadside parks along the way. Marquette is one of the U.P’s larger towns, with plenty of fast food options, chain restaurants, and unique eateries. After passing through Marquette, M-28 veers away from Lake Superior and meets up with U.S. 41, which runs straight up to the Keweenaw Peninsula and Houghton.

The beauty of Northern Michigan is truly unique and unforgettable. Whether it’s walking the sandy shores, taking a boat tour, or simply stopping at a roadside park, I hope you and your family have the opportunity to enjoy the splendor of the Upper Peninsula.

Please feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or suggestions you may have!

-Samantha Allen, seallen@mtu.edu

Travel Diaries

Michigan Tech students are provided with tons of opportunities— like the experience of doing an internship or co-op! This week and next, I will share some of their stories with you; below are three students’ experiences. Thank you to the students willing to share their experience with the parents Michigan Tech!

Nicole Wright

Hi, my name is Nicole Wright and I will be a second-year mechanical engineering student this fall at Tech. I am from Grand Rapids, Michigan, and am working this summer as a manufacturing engineering intern for General Motors.

I work specifially at the Fuel Cell Activities Research and Development Center in Honeoyer Falls, New York. I started here on May 7, and will wrap up my summer internship on August 3. Believe it or not, I obtained this opportunity only one month into my first year at Tech. I polished off my resume and researched companies and marched myself up to the Fall Career Fair where I spoke briefly with a GM recruiter and had an official interview the next day.

Up until now, I wasn’t really sure what mechanical engineering entailed or even if it was for me. Interacting with and working alongside these brilliant and talented engineers, as well as getting hands-on experience in the field, has convinced me that I’m where I want to be. I seriously underestimated just how much this experience would impact me as a person, student, and future engineer. I look forward to returning to Tech in August with a whole new outlook on school and a suitcase full of new knowledge and skills. It is one thing to be book smart as an engineer, but it is another to be able to think and act as an engineer. I believe that my internship experience has taught me this and so much more.

Dan Stevenson

My name is Dan Stevenson, I’m an electrical engineering technology major from Grand Haven, Michigan. Last summer I interned at EMC Corporation in Lisle (about 30 minutes outside of Chicago), working as an account servicerepresentative to help customers better understand their products. I received the position from a scholarship resume database that I found through the financial aid office here at Tech. As an ASR intern, I really grasped the lifestyle of a fortune 500 company and obtained an unprecedented amount of understanding of working with customers. I try to see everything as a customer would, and always try to bridge the knowledge gaps.
I’m currently interning at Somero Enterprises Inc. in Houghton. I actually began during the school year part time. I adapted quickly to the way things work here, and I now work full time as an electrical engineer intern. I design electrical systems, pick components to replace old or inefficient ones, and I’ve really learned how to get things done as an engineer. Between reading data sheets to determine the correct part to order and actually ordering the part, there are numerous tests that need to be run and countless scenarios to play out.
I’ve learned that the world is a network of possibilities and if you place yourself in the center of that web, you can go anywhere you want. My internship is not even half done and I’ve learned so much and applied so much of my schooling… it’s somewhat surreal to think about!

Gabrielle Elser

Hi! My name is Gabrielle Elser and I am a scientific and technical communications major at Tech. I am a fourth-year from Milford, Michigan. I am currently working for Benteler Tube Management GmbH in Paderborn, GERMANY! I am currently living and working in Germany and have the opportunity to be here for eight months.

I am doing market research for Benteler and I really want to work in marketing in the future. I would like to work in the automotive industry as well, and this company supplies to many automotive companies. I have developed skills in the German language as well as living in a new culture. This is a huge contribution to my German minor at Tech. I have only been in Germany for a month and already my view of the world has changed.

While working abroad, I am keeping a blog about the experiences I have and places I visit. Feel free to follow me, or just check it out at marketgermany.blogspot.com.

Samantha Allen, seallen@mtu.edu

Ready for Fall Break?

Fall Break Transportation

Enjoy Thanksgiving with your students home!

With less than two weeks until Fall Break, Michigan Tech students are looking forward to taking some time off from classes to relax friends and loved ones. This year’s Fall Break will be Saturday, November 19, through Sunday, November 27. Students who wish to leave campus have several options for traveling back home for the week. The Inter-Residence Hall Council Rideboard is available online for Michigan Tech students to post a ride request if they are searching for a ride or to post a trip indicating where they are headed if they have a vehicle. This is a great way for students who live in the same region to pair up, split gas money, and have enjoyable company on the ride home. Students may also choose to take the Indian Trails bus. The routes for the Indian Trails bus will be advertised via posters and will also be available on the Indian Trials Website under the Scheduled Service.

Reminders for Students

All students who live in the residence halls should have received a “You Deserve A Break” newsletter in their mailbox and an email with a link to the online newsletter this week. This newsletter has important information about when the dining halls, Campus Café, and reception desks will be closing for Fall Break. The newsletter also contains important reminders for students leaving campus for Fall Break regarding room security and parking.

For students who are planning on leaving campus for Fall Break, it is important to remember to close and lock the windows, unplug nonessential electrical equipment, turn off lights, and lock doors before leaving for the week. The University also encourages students who will not be using their vehicles frequently to leave their cars at home during the winter months since the amount of space in the parking lots is greatly reduced due to snow.

As an additional reminder, students who are not taking their vehicles home or who are staying in the residence halls over Fall Break need to make sure their vehicles are moved to commuter Lot 26 by Sunday, November 20, to avoid towing. Vehicles should be moved back to their assigned lots by 11:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 27.

Students with bikes must remove them from the bike racks by Friday, November 18 (racks are moved during Fall Break to new snow-friendly locations). They are available for use throughout the winter in their new locations. Students also have the option of placing their bikes in on-campus storage; bike storage takes place November 12 and 13 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., and the location varies by building. I encourage your student to look at the “You Deserve A Break” newsletter for more specific bike storage information.

Students who wish to stay on campus during Fall Break or for part of Fall Break will need to register at their residence hall reception desk by Thursday, November 17. This includes students who plan on leaving after 8:00 p.m. on Friday, November 18, or returning prior to noon, Sunday, November 27. There is no extra charge for staying in the residence halls during fall break. Hall kitchenettes will be open over Fall Break—dining halls close Friday, November 18, at 6:00 p.m., ad do not reopen until Monday, November 28.

Please feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or suggestions you may have!


Samantha Allen


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.

Summer Coming to the End

Students walking to and from class on campusIt has come down to this, the last week of summer before First-year Michigan Tech students begin their orientation to college. It’s amazing how time flies when you’re enjoying your summer, right? For many this is going to be an interesting time in their life as they get to experience a change that takes them away from home to challenge their intellect and help them grow as individuals. As you, the parents, prepare yourselves for the journey to the Upper Peninsula, there are some important things to remember when getting to campus. Although much of the information in here might seem like repeat information, I think it is important to have all the necessary info for what to do when first arriving to campus.

The first stop needs to be the Rozsa Building, as this is where your student can check-in. Once inside the main lobby of the Rozsa, there will be several check-in desks marked by categories of last name (ex: A-L, M-S, and T-Z). Here students will receive their packet for Orientation Week. This is very important as it contains information to help them get through the week. In addition to having your students Orientation Schedule it also contains their housing schedule, room key, Orientation Team number, Parent Orientation schedule, etc. In addition to checking-in, there will be Student Services tables available. These Student Services are representatives from Financial Aid, Housing and Residence Life, Cashier’s Office, Student Billing, and the Registrar’s Office that will be happy to help you or answer any questions you or your student may have. Here’s the schedule for check-in:

  • Saturday, August 22: 9:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. Rozsa Lobby
  • Sunday, August 23: 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Rozsa Lobby

Once your student has successfully checked-in, make your way to your student’s assigned Residence Hall and begin moving in. For those students that show up after the designated check-in times listed above, it is still possible to take care of check-in/move-in the day you get in to town. All your student would have to do is go to Wadsworth Residence Hall and check-in at the Reception Desk. The Reception Desk in Wadsworth will handle all check-ins after 7pm on Saturday and after 4pm on Sunday. They will help get you checked-in and explain what you would need to do from there. As a heads up, the Reception Desk is only open until 10 p.m. and so after that time your student would have to get a hold of a Management Assistant (MA) to get them checked-in.

Move-in for each Residence Hall lasts 30 minutes for each family and with the help of student, faculty, and staff volunteers it usually takes less than thirty minutes. In the front and back of each Residence Hall is available parking for unloading all your student’s room materials. Move-in material will be in the check-in packet your student receives, so it will help make things run smoothly if you and your student review the move-in process before heading to the Residence halls. The times for move-in are 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday, August 22-23.

After moving your student in completely, you’ll need to move your vehicles to allow the next family to move in. Visitors can park their vehicles either in Lot 9 in front of the Rozsa center or in Lot 10 which is across from the Rozsa Center. If your student is bringing a vehicle to campus, then they should register it early. The online Registration Form will require your student to sign-in with their ISO information (username and password) and then it will ask you to fill out the information about the vehicle. The vehicle decal for the registered parking lot will be included in your student’s check-in packet. Your student should park their car then as soon as possible in the assigned lot (9, 10, 21, or 24). If your student is unable to register their car early, you can still register once you get to campus at the Housing Facilities Office G044 in the ground floor of Douglass Houghton Hall.

One of the most important things that your student will need to pick up when they arrive to campus (I call this item their lifeline to campus as it gets you into just about everything they’ll need) is their Tech Express Identification Card. This ID card is used for meal passes, getting into computer labs, getting into sporting events, purchasing tickets for Rozsa events, etc. Picking it up as soon as possible is highly recommended, especially before August 24. The Tech Express Service Center is where the Tech IDs can be picked up and is located in the Memorial Union Building. Your student will also need a form of photo ID and their M-number to receive their Tech ID. Here is the schedule for getting the Tech ID Cards:

  • Saturday 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m./Sunday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
  • Monday-Friday Regular Hours: 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Another important thing to remind your student about is a required online program that must be completed by August 20! Students received information about this program in their Orientation Pamphlet page 11 titled “ALCOHOLEDU® FOR COLLEGE”. Students need to finish Part 1, which is approximately 2 hours, before they arrive on campus. For more information visit the AlcholoEdu website.

Some of the common lingo you might hear when you arrive on campus is OTL and RA. To help clarify, these are the acronyms for Orientation Team Leader and Resident Assistant. The Orientation Team Leaders, also being called “agent” to fit this year’s theme, is current Michigan Tech student that will be in charge of an Orientation Team. They will lead the team to events, facilitate discussions and meetings, share their experiences and answer questions. The Resident Assistant is the person in charge of your student’s hall and will lead Hall Meetings, help direct the students if they have questions, need assistance, or anything else that might come up during the school year.

Hopefully this information has helped get you prepared for the upcoming Orientation week. The Orientation team is also able to help you if you have any questions specifically regarding some aspect of Orientation. Again, their email is orientation@mtu.edu and their phone is (906) 487-3558. Next week I’ll be saying my goodbyes as I hand over the ParentNet reigns to my successor who will start on August 31.