Detroit to Houghton, Husky Network Builds Mentorships and Memories

On June 26, this period 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 mates.

Wayne Gersie, VPDI at Michigan Technological University, 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, manager of Global Engagement Applications at MTU’s Pavlis Honors College and Michigan Neighborhood Provider Commission member.

Michigan Tech’s incoming Dean of College students Wallace Southerland III was also on hand,
together with five possible college students and their people, two present-day college students, and
13 alumni and their people.

The picnic was originally established for the Detroit Riverwalk, but was shifted downtown
to Greektown since of weather conditions (Huskies are nothing at all if not flexible). As usually,
it was a time to pull out photograph albums and reminisce — and to welcome new and possible
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 mates at the annual picnic. (Impression credit history:
Paige Quick)


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 reported A4 grew to become considerably less lively about 10 decades in the past. “Some of us, together with Doris
Sturdy, felt strongly about relaunching the annual picnic, which we did four or five
decades in the past,” she reported. As a former
regional admissions manager (RAM) for Tech, Morris understands how important it is for possible Huskies and their
people to see acquainted faces in their personal group and in Houghton. 

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

“The A4 picnic is substantial since college students get began setting up their communities
early,” Sturdy reported. “You get to meet new faces that you may well not see on campus otherwise.
Your children start off to meet and variety a relatives and construct their group now, ahead of
they journey so significantly absent from you.”

Morris reported she and Sturdy were delighted with the engagement among the the group of 34.

“Students and their people want to meet folks who have long gone through the experience,”
she reported. “I know how lots of uncertainties I had. Anything we can do to relieve that —
a mentor from their major, possible college students who can connect with their friends,
mother and father who can make connections and obtain resources — the levels of experience are
all important.”

VPDI Motion Strategy

Stick to the site, obtain resources and keep linked to initiatives to foster and sustain
a perception of belonging in the Michigan Tech group by way of the
VPDI site.

Gersie appreciated everyone’s participation in the event, which he reported lays a solid
foundation for the ongoing resources obtainable to college students through the MTU campus
group 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, present-day
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 generally held outdoor, but stormy June weather conditions ruled that

“Students and their mother and father are listed here to know that when they come to Michigan Tech,
you can find a aid method in location that’s going to assist them matriculate efficiently
through the system, supplying treatment and ensuring a perception of belonging for them,” reported
Gersie. “If they really don’t feel that, then the anxiousness and the sensation of impostor syndrome
can be heightened. But when they have the aid to be profitable and connect with
mentors and resources, they can turn out like these alumni who are listed here sharing their

“Occasions like A4 are important to supporting college students who are coming to Michigan Tech with
hopes and aspirations of finding a degree, having that degree and translating it into
improving upon their good quality of lifetime for by themselves, their people and their communities.
It will allow them to see and hear from role products who have presently reached, like our
alumni.”Wayne Gersie, Vice President for Range and Inclusion

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

“I’m straight-up Detroit. I feel some amount of obligation to continue to keep our alumni linked
to what is actually happening on campus.”Darnishia (Slade) Morris ’98, A4 Organizer

Board member and alumnus Sanders reported the downstate gathering indicates a lot to Huskies.
“Just since you really don’t cross the bridge and do that five hundred-and-some-odd-mile travel isn’t going to
indicate that you’re not as significantly in really like with Michigan Tech as any other person,” he reported.
“And so, it can be usually fantastic to reconnect with alumni at this event.” The gathering is
important for possible college students who have not visited campus since they’re equipped
to get a perception of the Tech experience through the strong stories alumni share, Sanders

“This is a testomony to Michigan Tech and the status that the University has all
the way down listed here in the Detroit area of Michigan,” Sanders reported.

Expanding outreach in the Detroit area is an important part of Michigan Tech’s mission.
In addition to viewing with alumni, Gersie linked experience-to-experience with groups and
people he’s been actively functioning with considering the fact that he arrived on campus in late 2020
— together with Bruce Ross of the Michigan Division of Normal Means, Mike Reed
of the Detroit Zoological Modern society, Lionel Bradford with the Greening of Detroit and
Robert Magee of the Engineering Modern society of Detroit (it was a welcome adjust from Zoom

This is the final of a three-part Michigan Tech Information collection on range and inclusion
initiatives at Michigan Tech. Get information updates, obtain resources and find how you
can aid initiatives for range, inclusion and a perception of belonging on the VPDI site.

Michigan Technological University is a public analysis university, property to more than
7,000 college students from 54 countries. Started in 1885, the University provides more than
a hundred and twenty undergraduate and graduate degree plans in science and know-how, engineering,
forestry, business enterprise and economics, health and fitness professions, humanities, arithmetic, and
social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Higher Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway
and is just a few miles from Lake Outstanding.

Maria J. Danford

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