Day: July 10, 2014

Humanities Filmmakers are 2014 Lecturers of the Year

YooperaSenior Lecturer Erin Smith, director of the Humanities Digital Media Zone, and alumna Suzanne Jurva ’82 have been named the Finlandia Foundation National’s Lecturers of the Year for 2014. The filmmaking team produced the documentary, Yoopera!

The film’s title combines the word for UP residents–Yoopers–and the Finnish word for opera–ooppera. The documentary tells the story of the collaboration of Finnish and American talent in the making of “Rockland: the Opera,” an opera that focuses on events around the shooting deaths of two Finnish miners during a labor strike in the UP mining town of Rockland in 1906. “Rockland: the Opera” premiered in Houghton and in Finland in 2011.

“Our film looks at how our small, remote community was able to commission a major opera and build an audience for it through the efforts of community artist Mary Wright and her Story Line Project,” says Smith. “We are just completing a new edit of the film for submission to film festivals and are screening the film at various Finlandia Foundation chapter events around the country this year.”

Jurva, an award-winning filmmaker and Michigan native who now lives in Atlanta, directed and produced the documentary. Smith, who teaches digital media and film at Michigan Tech, is its editor.

From Tech Today.


Former Physics Faculty Robert Mount

Robert MountProfessor Emeritus Robert H. “Bob” Mount, a longtime member of the physics faculty, passed away July 2 at his home in Hancock. He was 86 years old.

Mount came to Michigan Tech in 1954 from Cleveland Cliffs Iron Co., where he was employed as the chief geologist. He retired from the University in 2000. For much of his career, he taught introductory physics courses. “His 46 years of service is the second-longest in department history—the longest being James Fisher,” said physics professor Bryan Suits.

His colleagues remember Mount as health conscious. “His extensive early-morning exercise routine was very important to him,” Suits said. “He would retire early so he could get up at 3 or 4 a.m. to do his workout. Hence, he often passed when it came to attending the department’s evening events—they were past his bedtime.”

Read more at Tech Today.