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Dunwoody gives out Outstanding Engineering & Design Awards at Minnesota State High School Robotics Championship

Earlier this month, Dunwoody College of Technology gave out three Outstanding Engineering & Design Awards at the Minnesota State High School Robotics Championship on Saturday, which was held at Williams Arena on the University of Minnesota campus.

Dean of Robotics & Manufacturing E.J. Daigle judged each of the 32 teams and selected 3 teams for a new award, which recognizes robotics teams that exhibit unique engineering and/or design solutions.  The award acknowledges that while winning the tournament is a major achievement,  innovation can from creative thinking, experimentation, failure and budgetary and/or engineering constraints.

The award was given to FIRST Robotics Team 2530 Inconceivable from Rochester,  Team 4008 Denfeld Nation Automation (DNA) from Duluth Denfeld, and Team 3055 Furious George from Austion. Winning teams received both a trophy and cash prize of $500 for the team to use for 
materials, training and other costs to compete in future years.

Dunwoody has been a friend and sponsor of Minnesota State High School League’s FIRST Robotics competition for several years, but this is the first year that the College has given out an award.

Dunwoody Students Tylor Klish (Welding) and James Olson (Automated Systems & Robotics) staffed a table at the tournament and told interested students and parents about Dunwoody programs and promoted this summer’s STEM Camp.

Also: check out an Austin Daily Herald story on the Furious George team.

2015 Dunwoody Recognition Award Winners

As the 2014-2015 academic year comes to an end, Dunwoody is honored to recognize the many faculty and staff members who have made a difference to the College, its neighbors and its students by presenting several service awards.

Congratulations to the following 2015 Dunwoody Recognition Award Winners:

Building Community Award Winner: Barb Russell

The Building Community award goes to an individual whose projects or efforts demonstrates and heightens Dunwoody’s commitment to cultural awareness being integrated in the campus and community.

Outstanding Team Award: Bachelor of Architecture Team, Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Team and Support for Campus Women’s Initiatives Team

The Outstanding Team award is given out annually to a cross-departmental team of employees whose work has had a significant impact on the way Dunwoody serves its constituents.

Bachelor of Architecture Team: John Dwyer, Stephen Knowles, Paul Strother, Bridget Reynolds, Olawale Falade, Molly Reichert, James Howarth and Charlie Radloff – Posthumously

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Team: Jane Bohl, Janet Nurnberg, E.J. Daigle, Tim Flugum, Andrew LeRoy, Jim Nyberg, Mary Anne Jaedike and Carla Pogliano

Support for Campus Women’s Initiatives Team: Maggie Whitman, Janet Nurnberg, Karen Schmitt , Mary Zawadski and Jenny Saplis

Outstanding Academic Innovation Award Winners: Tom Herold, Stephen Knowles and Janet Nurnberg  

The Outstanding Academic Innovation award is awarded to faculty members who demonstrate a commitment to implementing innovative instructional strategies in the classroom.

Instructor of the Year Award Winners: Jeff Bixby and Andrew LeRoy 

Nominations for the Instructor of the Year award come from current Dunwoody students. The award is given out annually to instructors who are committed to the students’ academic success, serve as a professional role model to students and colleagues, aim for academic excellence in curriculum development and aim for academic excellence in instruction.

Distinguished Teacher Award Winners: Hank Beadell and Jim Nyberg

The Distinguished Teacher award is given to faculty members who have committed a significant portion of their career to the art of teaching and who demonstrate an ongoing commitment to education and lifelong learning.

William and Kate Dunwoody Outstanding Service Award: Tou Vang (Honorary), William Morris and Jane Bohl

The William and Kate Dunwoody Outstanding Service award is given to employees who have consistently performed outstanding work for the College.

Two Dunwoody 2015 Graduates are Finalists in Sherwin-Williams STIR Student Design Challenge

Two 2015 Interior Design graduates—Andrea Mbali and Jessica Curtis—are among the ten finalists in the Sherwin-Williams STIR Student Design Challenge.

IMG_8720-smallThe challenge—open to all students in the United States, the District of Columbia and Canada—provides applicants with an opportunity to create and submit a color rendering of an interior space for a residential and/or a commercial design. The submission requires the use of at least three Sherwin-Williams paint colors in addition to a project statement describing the project and explaining how color was essential in creating the design.

Each submission undergoes two rounds of judging and is scored on originality (30%); overall design aesthetics (30%); best use of color palette (30%); and the overall project statement (10%).

“We always let students know about all competitions that are open to them,” Interior Design Principal Instructor Colleen Schmaltz said, “and we particularly encourage them to enter since we know that our students consistently show strong work. The students also know that winning a national competition is a significant addition to their professional resume and portfolio, and in some cases a great source of prize cash and scholarships. This is the first year two of our students have chosen to enter this particular competition—and now both are national finalists!”

Both Andrea and Jessica used part of their mini-capstone project—created in the Fall semester of their senior year at Dunwoody—in their submission. The capstone project requires students to learn and become fluent in design programs such as REVIT and the Adobe Creative Suite including InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator—programs widely used in the Interior Design profession.

“All of the studio classes and building technology courses have taught me how to design creatively and utilize real practices,” says finalist Jessica Curtis, “and [Principal Instructor] Nada Sarraff-Knoweles really challenged me to create a unique design.”

Andrea Mbali also paid tribute to her instructors saying, “Colleen Schmaltz really inspired me to enter my project. Without her encouragement, I probably would have ben consumed with day-to-day projects and schoolwork and not have applied. Nada Sarraff-Knoweles also helped me during the design process. Nada pushed me to push myself creatively and was able to tell me when things were or were not working.”

Practice made perfect for Andrea when it came to designing. “Throughout class projects, my rendering skills in REVIT have developed tremendously,” she said, ”and I now typically build all of my own furniture, lighting and other necessary structures instead of using online prebuilt models. I feel this gives me an edge because I am not limited to what the internet provides.”

Andrea—who hopes to specialize in Hospitality design—took the idea of a traditional spa in a whole new direction in her STIR competition submission titled “Felicity Day Spa.”

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Andrea Mbali: Felicity Day Spa 

“My inspiration was drawn from my own experiences of going to spas and not feeling like they were cool enough for younger generations. Not everyone always wants zen,” Andrea said, “I was also inspired by my travels and seeing what the world has to offer outside of the Midwest. Everything here is so safe, and I love the unexpected and daring in design and fashion.”

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Andrea Mbali: Felicity Day Spa Locker Room

Jessica’s submission—titled Flex Art Gallery and Studios—takes a more commercial design approach, inspired by real Minneapolis structures and landmarks.

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Jessica Curtis: Flex Art Gallery and Studios Entry

“My project is a flexible art gallery and studio space,” says Jessica, “It started with being an adaptive reuse space utilizing the Bauhaus (Tap room) in Northeast Minneapolis. It incorporated different spaces where local artists could come and work and for the public to take classes. An expansion was then ‘built’ onto that to create an art gallery. The Art Gallery is an all-encompassing glass box façade offering a spectacular view of the Mississippi River and the Minneapolis skyline.”

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Jessica Curtis: Flex Art Gallery

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Jessica Curtis: Flex Art Studio

Both projects are currently being reviewed and judged by Sherwin-Williams Director of Color Marketing Jackie Jordan as well as two celebrity judges.

A first place prize in both the residential design category and the commercial design category will be announced in early June. Winners will have their work featured in the 2015 edition of STIR magazine and receive $2,500 in cash.

Former Machining Student Honored with Gerstner Tool Box

Academic Excellence Award winner and 2015 Dunwoody Graduate Marc Svihel was recently honored with a Gerstner toolbox valued at over one thousand dollars. The box is estimated to be more than 50 years old.

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Academic Excellence Award winner and 2015 Dunwoody Graduate Marc Svihel

 The toolbox was donated by The Grant Wahlberg Estate–through Grant Wahlberg’s sons–who wanted it to go to Dunwoody.

 IMG_9204-smallUpon further inspection of the box and it’s contents, Ron Underhill, Tool Crib Attendant in the Machine Tool Technology program, noticed just how valuable the box was.

“I realized that this box needs to be in a shop with a top Machining student,” Ron said, “not in the Tool Crib to be forgotten and gather dust. I am sure Grant Wahlberg would agree with that statement as well.”

Marc was chosen by Dean of Robotics & Manufacturing E.J. Daigle and Senior Instructors Brian Nelsen and Keith Jirak as a deserving recipient based on his high GPA, consistent attendance and desire for extra learning projects. Marc recently graduated Magna Cum Laude with an Associate of Applied Science in Machine Tool Technology.

Leadership Lecture Series Brings Fabcon CEO & President Michael LeJeune to Campus

CEO & President of Fabcon Companies Michael (Mike) LeJeune presented at the College’s latest Leadership Lecture Series event on May 7, 2015. The series—offered the first Thursday of every month—has brought several prominent speakers to campus to speak on a variety of leadership topics.

The premise IMG_8461-smallof Mike’s presentation was the “Importance of Corporate Culture” and what leaders can do to create a successful one.

Mike began his presentation by sharing the progression of his professional life with the audience, highlighting some of the challenges he first began to experience during his early years with Fabcon. Mike explained that after years of trying to find the root of the problem, he realized it was something much bigger than he was expecting: it was the overall culture of the organization.

“The most important thing I can do as a CEO is create a corporate culture where everyone can succeed,” Mike said.

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Mike’s decision to shift the corporate culture of Fabcon ultimately shaped a set of important guidelines he and his employees now follow–something they call “the Fabcon way”:

  1. Keep your integrity.
  2. Focus on what is right instead of what is wrong.
  3. Say thank you.
  4. Treat everyone with respect.
  5. Focus on the process, not the person.
  6. Really listen.
  7. Know it’s okay to make a mistake.
  8. Explain why you want someone to do something; share with them the big picture.
  9. Celebrate success.
  10. Have fun.

Mike explained that by following this simple but effective list of corporate ethics, Fabcon—and its employees—have emerged stronger and more successful than ever. He hopes his story and these tips encourage organizational leaders in a similar situation to do the same.

small may leadership lectureThe Leadership Lecture Series continues with Dale Mulfinger, FAIA Principal Emeritus, SALA Architects, Inc. Thursday, June 4 at 7:30 a.m. RSVP to alumni@dunwoody.edu.

 

Viking Electric, IDEAL Industries donate tools for Electrical Construction & Maintenance

IDEAL Industries Key Account Area Manager Gary Shantz recently spoke to first- and second-semester Electrical Construction & Maintenance students about new electrical hand tools and technology used by industry professionals. Following his presentation Shantz donated more than $1,500 worth of tools to the College on behalf of IDEAL Industries—including screwdrivers, wire strippers, drill attachments, wire nutdrivers and meters for use in classroom labs.IDEAL donation

IDEAL Industries develops products and practical technology demanded by industries including electrical, wire processing and construction. Viking Electric Supply is an electrical industry wholesaler, distributing products from over 400 manufacturers.

The College’s partnership with Viking Electric goes back to 1988.

Senior Instructor Jeff Chase says he appreciates not only the donation, but also the presentation by Shantz because “it provides students with industry tool knowledge that they can use once they graduate and are working in the electrical industry.”

CaringBridge founder Sona Mehring to keynote Dunwoody College Commencement

Photo of Sona Mehring, founder and CEO of CaringBridgeDunwoody College of Technology is delighted to announce that Sona Mehring, CEO and founder of CaringBridge, the leading website for rallying support during a health crisis, will be the keynote speaker at our Commencement on Thursday, May 14, at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Throughout her successful career in computer programming, Sona always searched for a way to help others with her skills. Her expertise was such that she owned and operated her own computer consulting firm that came with it’s own rewards. However, in 1997 when close friends experienced a serious medical crisis, Sona was inspired to create a solution around how to communicate with family and loved ones during a critical time and CaringBridge was born.

Sona was the first to recognize that the Internet could be a powerful tool in helping people connect and rally support during difficult times. Seeing her friends struggle with communication, Sona created a website that allowed them to easily share updates with their support community. What started as an act of kindness for her friends soon became Sona’s passion, and eventually her new career.

CaringBridge logoPeople around the world are now able to share news, receive comfort and coordinate care by creating private, personal websites through CaringBridge. Since its creation, CaringBridge websites have been visited nearly 2 billion times. Sona’s business insight told her the success of CaringBridge could be lucrative, but she cared more about its benefit to others than to herself. Choosing mission over profit potential, Sona made the website a nonprofit in 2002. This ensured that CaringBridge remained free from outside financial pressures and focused on helping anyone, anywhere get the social support they need during their health journey.

Sona serves on the National Caregiver Council, a group of leaders in the industry that studies the issues and technology impacting caregivers and their families. Sona is an active member of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, Women Business Leaders of the U.S. Health Care Industry Foundation, and is on the board of Minne*, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing Minnesota’s technology community. She has also participated as a speaker and panelist at many healthcare and caregiver related events.

Sona is the author of Hope Conquers All: Inspiring Stories of Love and Healing from CaringBridge.

Sona has received numerous honors for her leadership and vision, including:

  • 2015: Star Tribune’s Annual “Ten to Watch” List
  • 2014: The Breast Cancer Education Association Award for Outstanding Support and Outreach to the Breast Cancer Community
  • 2014: 1 of 35 Women Leaders in Minnesota Healthcare by The Women’s Health Leadership TRUST
  • 2013: 41st on Minnesota Monthly’s List of 75 Most Influential People of the Twin Cities
  • 2011: One of Fast Company’s “Most Influential Women in Technology”
  • 2010: The Health Care Heroes Award from Twin Cities Business Magazine
  • 2009: 25 Women Industry Leaders in the Twin Cities by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal
  • Good Neighbor Award – CBS affiliate WCCO-TV
  • Alumni Excellence Award – University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
  • Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for outstanding service to the community

Kate’s Club members visit woman-owned Iron Maiden Metal Fabricating

Nine Dunwoody women visited the woman-owned blacksmithing and metalwork shop Iron Maiden Metal Fabricating located in Minneapolis.

Nine Dunwoody women visited the woman-owned blacksmithing and metalwork shop Iron Maiden Metal Fabricating located in Minneapolis.

Earlier this month, nine Dunwoody women visited the woman-owned blacksmithing and metalwork shop Iron Maiden Metal Fabricating located in Minneapolis.

According to ironmaideniron.com: “Iron Maiden Metal Fabricating is a one-woman custom metal fabricating company run by Heather Young. She’s worked in the metalwork business since 1995, first as an office assistant and then in the shop. Formally educated in Minneapolis and trained through the Guild of Metalsmiths in St. Paul, she takes on industrial, commercial, and residential fabrication.”

Young honed her welding skills through a Workforce Training & Continuing Education course at Dunwoody.

Young honed her welding skills through a Workforce Training & Continuing Education course at Dunwoody.

Young honed her welding skills through a Workforce Training & Continuing Education course at Dunwoody.

She talked about her welding career and experience as a mother and small business owner. She also demonstrated blacksmithing processes by creating a decorative hook.

Young demonstrated blacksmithing processes by creating a decorative hook.

Young demonstrated blacksmithing processes by creating a decorative hook.

The group of Dunwoody women left inspired by Young’s story of setting up a blacksmithing shop at an orphanage in South East Africa before starting a metal fabrication business out of her garage in Minnesota—in 2009 she moved the business into a rented warehouse space.

Current students from the College’s Welding Technology department who attended the field trip were offered occasional work at the Iron Maiden shop.

The group of Dunwoody women left inspired by Young’s story of setting up a blacksmithing shop at an orphanage in South East Africa before starting a metal fabrication business out of her garage in Minnesota—in 2009 she moved the business into a rented warehouse space.

The group of Dunwoody women left inspired by Young’s story of setting up a blacksmithing shop at an orphanage in South East Africa before starting a metal fabrication business out of her garage in Minnesota—in 2009 she moved the business into a rented warehouse space.

Young’s business plan: to not have a plan and adapt to the industry’s needs. So far, her plan has been as strong as iron.

For more information about Iron Maiden Metal Fabricating, visit www.ironmaideniron.com.

For information about upcoming Kate’s Club events, email katesclub@dunwoody.edu.