Detroit to Houghton, Husky Network Builds Mentorships and Memories

Victoria D. Doty

On June 26, this time of reunions and re-emergence was also a time for introductions,
as Michigan Tech’s very first Vice President for Variety and Inclusion (VPDI) met with
Detroit region alumni and buddies.

Wayne Gersie, VPDI at Michigan Technological College, attended the African-American
Alumni Association (A4) annual picnic in Detroit. Also there were Michigan Tech Board
of Trustees Chair
Brenda Ryan ’76 Board of Trustees member Derhun D. Sanders ’97 and Darnishia (Slade) Morris ’98, manager of World wide Engagement Courses at MTU’s Pavlis Honors College or university and Michigan Group Provider Commission member.

Michigan Tech’s incoming Dean of Students Wallace Southerland III was also on hand,
together with 5 prospective college students and their families, two latest college students, and
13 alumni and their families.

The picnic was originally set for the Detroit Riverwalk, but was shifted downtown
to Greektown for the reason that of weather (Huskies are practically nothing if not adaptable). As generally,
it was a time to pull out image albums and reminisce — and to welcome new and prospective
Huskies to the fold. 

A group of Michigan Technological University Black alumni and prospective students pose for a group shot in front of a brick wall in Detroit's Greektown.
Huskies renew friendships and make new buddies at the annual picnic. (Impression credit history:
Paige Shorter)

 

An older woman talks with a younger man in a wooden restaurant booth with iron-scrolled black grilling behind them.
MTU Board of Trustees Chair Brenda Ryan talks with Jimmie Cannon ’20.

Morris said A4 turned a lot less energetic about ten many years ago. “Some of us, which includes Doris
Sturdy, felt strongly about relaunching the annual picnic, which we did four or 5
many years ago,” she said. As a former
regional admissions manager (RAM) for Tech, Morris appreciates how vital it is for prospective Huskies and their
families to see familiar faces in their individual local community and in Houghton. 

Sturdy, who graduated in 1997, is no stranger to parenting MTU Huskies. She’s mom
to each a current graduate (who starts master’s research in the fall) and an incoming
very first-year college student.

“The A4 picnic is major for the reason that college students get started off building their communities
early,” Sturdy said. “You get to meet new faces that you could not see on campus otherwise.
Your kids start off to meet and form a loved ones and create their local community now, prior to
they vacation so considerably away from you.”

Morris said she and Sturdy were delighted with the engagement between the team of 34.

“Students and their families want to meet folks who have gone by way of the experience,”
she said. “I know how a lot of uncertainties I had. Everything we can do to ease that —
a mentor from their significant, prospective college students who can link with their friends,
dad and mom who can make connections and find resources — the levels of experience are
all vital.”

VPDI Motion Program

Comply with the blog site, find resources and stay linked to efforts to foster and keep
a perception of belonging in the Michigan Tech local community by way of the
VPDI web-site.

Gersie appreciated everyone’s participation in the event, which he said lays a robust
basis for the ongoing resources available to college students by way of the MTU campus
local community and alumni network.

Five people stand in a restaurant near a pizza table with others sitting in the background with wood-finished walls and many wearing Michigan Technological University Huskies t-shirts and other swag at the African American Alumni Association annual picnic in Detroit.
From left, Darnishia (Slade) Morris ’98, Doris Sturdy ’97, Cornelius Sturdy ’97, latest
Tech college student Jailynn Johnson (chemistry), and MTU Vice President for Variety and
Inclusion Wayne Gersie hold out with other Huskies in downtown Detroit’s Greektown.
The annual A4 picnic is normally held outdoors, but stormy June weather ruled that
out. 

“Students and their dad and mom are in this article to know that when they appear to Michigan Tech,
there is a assistance system in spot that is going to assistance them matriculate effectively
by way of the procedure, furnishing care and ensuring a perception of belonging for them,” said
Gersie. “If they do not sense that, then the anxiousness and the feeling of impostor syndrome
can be heightened. But when they have the assistance to be prosperous and link with
mentors and resources, they can convert out like these alumni who are in this article sharing their
tales.”

“Events like A4 are essential to encouraging college students who are coming to Michigan Tech with
hopes and aspirations of receiving a degree, getting that degree and translating it into
enhancing their excellent of daily life for themselves, their families and their communities.
It allows them to see and hear from function styles who have previously accomplished, like our
alumni.”Wayne Gersie, Vice President for Variety and Inclusion

Morris said for her, the reunion rejuvenates the determination to fortify the bonds
between her hometown and Michigan Tech. 

“I am straight-up Detroit. I sense some amount of responsibility to continue to keep our alumni linked
to what’s taking place on campus.”Darnishia (Slade) Morris ’98, A4 Organizer

Board member and alumnus Sanders said the downstate gathering implies a lot to Huskies.
“Just for the reason that you do not cross the bridge and do that 500-and-some-odd-mile push does not
suggest that you might be not as much in adore with Michigan Tech as any other individual,” he said.
“And so, it can be generally excellent to reconnect with alumni at this event.” The gathering is
vital for prospective college students who haven’t frequented campus for the reason that they are capable
to get a perception of the Tech experience by way of the strong tales alumni share, Sanders
said.

“This is a testomony to Michigan Tech and the track record that the College has all
the way down in this article in the Detroit region of Michigan,” Sanders said.

Escalating outreach in the Detroit region is an vital element of Michigan Tech’s mission.
In addition to checking out with alumni, Gersie linked face-to-face with teams and
people today he’s been actively operating with given that he arrived on campus in late 2020
— which includes Bruce Ross of the Michigan Section of All-natural Methods, Mike Reed
of the Detroit Zoological Society, Lionel Bradford with the Greening of Detroit and
Robert Magee of the Engineering Society of Detroit (it was a welcome improve from Zoom
conferences).

This is the very last of a 3-element Michigan Tech News series on variety and inclusion
initiatives at Michigan Tech. Get news updates, find resources and find how you
can assistance initiatives for variety, inclusion and a perception of belonging on the VPDI web-site.

Michigan Technological College is a public exploration university, household to far more than
seven,000 college students from fifty four international locations. Established in 1885, the College features far more than
120 undergraduate and graduate degree plans in science and know-how, engineering,
forestry, business enterprise and economics, health professions, humanities, arithmetic, and
social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway
and is just a few miles from Lake Exceptional.

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