Detroit to Houghton, Husky Network Builds Mentorships and Memories

On June 26, this time of reunions and re-emergence was also a time for introductions, as Michigan Tech’s initially Vice President for Range and Inclusion (VPDI) achieved with Detroit area alumni and close friends. Wayne Gersie, VPDI at Michigan Technological College, attended the African-American Alumni Affiliation (A4) annual picnic in […]

On June 26, this time of reunions and re-emergence was also a time for introductions,
as Michigan Tech’s initially Vice President for Range and Inclusion (VPDI) achieved with
Detroit area alumni and close friends.

Wayne Gersie, VPDI at Michigan Technological College, attended the African-American
Alumni Affiliation (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, supervisor of World-wide Engagement Plans at MTU’s Pavlis Honors College and Michigan Local community Company Fee member.

Michigan Tech’s incoming Dean of Pupils Wallace Southerland III was also on hand,
alongside with 5 future learners and their households, two latest learners, and
13 alumni and their households.

The picnic was at first established for the Detroit Riverwalk, but was shifted downtown
to Greektown because of climate (Huskies are absolutely nothing if not versatile). As normally,
it was a time to pull out image albums and reminisce — and to welcome new and future
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 close friends at the annual picnic. (Image credit score:
Paige Small)


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 stated A4 grew to become considerably less energetic about 10 decades in the past. “Some of us, such as Doris
Solid, felt strongly about relaunching the annual picnic, which we did 4 or 5
decades in the past,” she stated. As a former
regional admissions supervisor (RAM) for Tech, Morris knows how essential it is for future Huskies and their
households to see familiar faces in their have local community and in Houghton. 

Solid, who graduated in 1997, is no stranger to parenting MTU Huskies. She’s mom
to equally a current graduate (who commences master’s experiments in the slide) and an incoming
initially-year pupil.

“The A4 picnic is important because learners get started setting up their communities
early,” Solid stated. “You get to fulfill new faces that you might not see on campus otherwise.
Your young children get started to fulfill and sort a loved ones and build their local community now, ahead of
they vacation so far away from you.”

Morris stated she and Solid were pleased with the engagement between the team of 34.

“Students and their households want to fulfill persons who have long gone as a result of the experience,”
she stated. “I know how numerous uncertainties I experienced. Anything at all we can do to ease that —
a mentor from their key, future learners who can join with their friends,
mothers and fathers who can make connections and locate assets — the layers of experience are
all essential.”

VPDI Motion Strategy

Observe the blog site, locate assets and stay related to attempts to foster and manage
a feeling of belonging in the Michigan Tech local community by means of the
VPDI web site.

Gersie appreciated everyone’s participation in the party, which he stated lays a solid
basis for the ongoing assets available to learners as a result of the MTU campus
local community and alumni community.

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 remaining, Darnishia (Slade) Morris ’98, Doris Solid ’97, Cornelius Solid ’97, latest
Tech pupil Jailynn Johnson (chemistry), and MTU Vice President for Range 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 climate ruled that

“Students and their mothers and fathers are in this article to know that when they occur to Michigan Tech,
there is certainly a help process in put that’s going to assistance them matriculate correctly
as a result of the method, supplying treatment and making certain a feeling of belonging for them,” stated
Gersie. “If they don’t feel that, then the anxiousness and the experience of impostor syndrome
can be heightened. But when they have the help to be prosperous and join with
mentors and assets, they can convert out like these alumni who are in this article sharing their

“Activities like A4 are crucial to assisting learners who are coming to Michigan Tech with
hopes and aspirations of finding a degree, using that degree and translating it into
bettering their good quality of daily life for them selves, their households and their communities.
It will allow them to see and hear from position styles who have already obtained, like our
alumni.”Wayne Gersie, Vice President for Range and Inclusion

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

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

Board member and alumnus Sanders stated the downstate collecting usually means a large amount to Huskies.
“Just because you don’t cross the bridge and do that five hundred-and-some-odd-mile travel isn’t going to
imply that you might be not as substantially in adore with Michigan Tech as any other person,” he stated.
“And so, it’s normally very good to reconnect with alumni at this party.” The collecting is
essential for future learners who have not frequented campus because they’re capable
to get a feeling of the Tech experience as a result of the highly effective tales alumni share, Sanders

“This is a testomony to Michigan Tech and the popularity that the College has all
the way down in this article in the Detroit area of Michigan,” Sanders stated.

Expanding outreach in the Detroit area is an essential aspect of Michigan Tech’s mission.
In addition to going to with alumni, Gersie related confront-to-confront with groups and
folks he’s been actively working with given that he arrived on campus in late 2020
— such as Bruce Ross of the Michigan Office of All-natural Resources, Mike Reed
of the Detroit Zoological Culture, Lionel Bradford with the Greening of Detroit and
Robert Magee of the Engineering Culture of Detroit (it was a welcome improve from Zoom

This is the past of a 3-aspect Michigan Tech News series on diversity and inclusion
initiatives at Michigan Tech. Get news updates, locate assets and explore how you
can help initiatives for diversity, inclusion and a feeling of belonging on the VPDI web site.

Michigan Technological College is a community investigation college, household to far more than
7,000 learners from 54 nations around the world. Founded in 1885, the College gives far more than
120 undergraduate and graduate degree applications in science and know-how, engineering,
forestry, enterprise and economics, wellness professions, humanities, arithmetic, and
social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Higher Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway
and is just a handful of miles from Lake Remarkable.

Rosa G. Rose

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