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Dunwoody’s Snowplow earns third place in 2016 Autonomous Snowplow Competition

Photo of Dunwoody snowplow at 2016 Autonomous Snowplow CompetitionDunwoody College’s Snow Devil 01102 Snowplow earned third place—and a $2,000 prize—at the 6th annual Institute of Navigation (ION) Autonomous Snowplow Competition held January 28-31 during the Saint Paul Winter Carnival. The team also won the $500 Professor Nattu Sportsmanship Award for the second year in a row.

Dunwoody’s 2016 team—coached by faculty members E.J. Daigle, John McShannock and Alex Wong— included Electronics Engineering Technology students Alan Stafford, Matt Herrick, and Andy Haug; and Automated Systems & Robotics students Ryan Dailey and Dustin Forcier.

Competition aligns with Dunwoody’s approach to education

Photo of Dunwoody snowplow at 2016 Autonomous Snowplow CompetitionAccording to the ION Autonomous Snowplow Competition website: “The purpose of this competition is to challenge university and college students as well as the general public, to design, build, and operate a fully autonomous snowplow to remove snow from a designated path.”

This year, eleven teams from the top engineering universities in the Upper Midwest and Canada participated. Dunwoody’s Robotics & Manufacturing Department is one of just two teams that have been competing in the annual event since it first began in 2011. The College has since taken home several awards, including a third place prize in 2015.

“The competition provides great credit to the application-based engineering culture here at Dunwoody,” Daigle said. “Especially as we prepare to launch new engineering programs over the next 5 years.”

Photo of Dunwoody snowplow at 2016 Autonomous Snowplow CompetitionThe team’s knowledge and experience with the competition appeared to be evident to other teams as well. Daigle said that at one point during the competition, a team announced they were going to quit due to technical difficulties when another team suggested they, “find the Dunwoody guys–they can fix anything.”

Daigle said that the cooperative competition displayed by his team was one of the best parts of this year’s contest.

Final results:

1st place: University of Michigan “Yeti 6.0”

2nd place: Case Western Reserve University “Otto X”

3rd place: Dunwoody College of Technology “Snow Devil 01102

4th place: University of Michigan “Zenith 2.1”

5th place: Case Western Reserve University “Snow Joke”

6th place: North Dakota State University “Thundar 2.0”

7th place: University of St. Thomas “John Snow”

8th place: University of Minnesota “Ground Squirrel”

9th place: University of British Columbia “Snow Flake”

10th place: North Dakota State University “Snow Blight”

11th place: Bemidji State University “BeaverBot”

Heating & Air Conditioning Engineering Technology student receives $2,000 ASHRAE Scholarship

This past summer, representatives from American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) hand-delivered a $2,000 scholarship check to Dunwoody employees. The check was to be awarded at the start of spring semester to a student who showed promise of a successful career in the HVAC&R field.

Dunwoody is pleased to announce that the chosen recipient for the 2016 spring semester ASHRAE scholarship is second-year student Matt Svihel.

Photo of Dunwoody Heating & Air Conditioning Engineering Technology student Matt Svihel

Svihel—who is set to graduate this May—says it is a great feeling to be rewarded for his hard work here at Dunwoody.

Svihel has a 3.83 grade point average (GPA) and is an active member in Dunwoody’s ASHRAE student chapter.

Learn more about Heating & Air Conditioning Engineering Technology.

Two Surveying students benefit from tuition scholarships awarded by VAA

Jake Blue and Brandon Davis are celebrating their recent scholarship awards from long-time Dunwoody College industry partner Van Sickle, Allen & Associates (VAA).

The scholarships—put towards the student’s 2016 spring semester’s tuition—are valued at $2,000 a piece.

The application process

For the past several years, VAA, an engineering, planning and design company, has allocated money specifically for two Dunwoody student scholarships. The scholarships—offered to students in the Architectural Drafting & Design, Surveying & Civil Engineering Technology, Heating & Air Conditioning Engineering Technology and Electrical Construction Design & Management programs—are competitive and require interested students to draft a personal essay, submit a letter of recommendation, and complete an in-person interview with a panel of Dunwoody and VAA employees.

Applicants are then evaluated on academic achievement, school and community activities and work experience. The recipients must have a grade point average (GPA) of 3.2 or higher.

 The scholarship recipients

 This year’s recipients include Jake and Brandon, both second year Surveying & Civil Engineering students, who say they couldn’t be happier with the results.

Photo of Dunwoody Surveying & Civil Engineering student Jake Blue

Dunwoody Surveying & Civil Engineering student Jake Blue

“Winning this scholarship is a wonderful reward for the hard work I have put into my schooling, “ Jake said. “It gives me confidence in the skills I have gained at Dunwoody.”

Jake—who’s pursuing his second professional degree at the College– has a 4.0 GPA and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa and Dunwoody’s Survey Club. Currently, he is a self-employed production arborist.

“As a self-employed student,” he said, “this scholarship is extremely helpful. It will allow me to work less and focus more on my school work.”

Jake plans to seek employment in the Civil Engineering field upon graduation.

Photo of Dunwoody Surveying & Civil Engineering student Brandon Davis

Dunwoody Surveying & Civil Engineering student Brandon Davis

Brandon, who’s currently a student worker at the Minnesota Department of Transportation, says this scholarship will also help him “make ends meet.”

“It’s a great feeling to know that there are people or organizations out there that are willing to sacrifice some of their financial security to help individuals who have found themselves in financial need,” he said.

Brandon is the fundraising officer for Engineers Without Borders and president of both the Dunwoody Surveying Club and the Multicultural Club.

Upon graduation, Brandon hopes to become a professional surveyor.

Learn more

Since receiving their scholarships, Jake and Brandon have also received personal introductions to VAA employees, a full facility tour and a celebratory lunch.

A big thank you to the VAA for their generosity and congratulations to Jake and Brandon!

Learn more about Surveying & Civil Engineering.

Dunwoody places second at NAHB Residential Construction Management Competition

Photo of Dunwoody Construction Project Management team members at 2016 NAHB Residential Construction Management Competition.

Photo courtesy of NAHB Student Chapter’s Facebook page

Congratulations to Construction Management students AJ Flagg; Brett Broekema; Andrew Hoogenakker; Tyler LaBeaux; and Joe Myhre on their second place win at the 2016 National Association of Home Builder’s (NAHB) Residential Construction Management Competition (RCMC). Hoogenakker also received an “NAHB Outstanding Student” award at the event.

The annual competition—part of NAHB’s International Builders’ Show (IBS) —required students to solve real-life construction management problems and present their solutions to a panel of industry representatives.

Fifty-three teams from various universities, technical schools, community colleges and high schools across the nation participated in the competition, which was held in Las Vegas, NV, January 18-20.

Preparing for the competition

Construction Management Program Manager Heather Gay said preparation for the competition began at the start of the 2015 fall semester when the team received basic floor and elevation plans for a single-family residential home. The students’ task was to bring the plans to life through the creation of working construction drawings; labor and materials estimates; a project schedule; and a value engineering option (a detailed plan on ways to reduce construction costs during building).

The goal of the project was for the students to create a full and persuasive proposal on why homebuilders should choose their construction team for the build. The submission was due in late December 2015. Students then presented their proposal to a panel of residential construction experts in Las Vegas at the IBS.

 Students learn valuable, real-world skills

“The entire project really gave the students an overall snapshot of what their job is going to be like when they start their careers as project managers,” said Construction Project Management Instructor Jon Hassenfritz, who also served as the competition coach. “They got to see what all goes into creating the entire package for a client—from concept all the way to the building stages.”

Gay agreed with Jon: “It’s the best method for simulating a real-world experience. Students learn to work with teams, deal with conflicts, meet deadlines, and practice time management; they learn to balance all of those components to create a good end product.”

The College received second place in the Two-Year College category of the competition.

Dunwoody Construction Sciences students have been participating in the competition since 2005, and this is the highest award they have received since 2010.

Full results:

First place: Brigham Young University-Idaho (Rexburg, ID)

Second place: Dunwoody College of Technology (Minneapolis, MN)

Third place: State University of NY at Delhi (Delhi, NY)

Construction Management program receives $60,000 grant

Construction Management Program Manager Heather Gay and Instructor Jon Hassenfritz hold large $60,000 check at the NAHB 2016 Residential Construction Management Competition

Photo courtesy of NAHB Student Chapter’s Facebook page

Dunwoody College of Technology is thrilled to announce the Construction Management program has received a $60,000 grant from the National Housing Endowment Foundation’s Homebuilding Education Leadership Program (HELP).

The National Housing Endowment is a philanthropic arm of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), which aims to increase education and training opportunities for future leaders in the residential construction industry. HELP awards grants to leading colleges and universities in an effort to create or improve residential construction management programs.

“We applied for the grant because we did not have a strong residential construction focus in the classroom,” said Heather Gay, Construction Management Program Manager. “As a result, students weren’t going into the residential field. There was an interest, but we just didn’t have that knowledge in the classroom. This grant, and our program’s recent faculty hires, will change that.”

Specifically, the $60,000 donation will be used to:

  • Train faculty and students to be Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS) and Certified Green Professionals (CGP).
  • Enhance relationships with industry through organized site visits, a lecture series, and various guest speakers/presentations.
  • Increase admissions outreach by targeting high school students in residential construction classes or skilled trades people looking to advance in their career.

Gay said that the outreach plans and any success stories will also be shared with other interested colleges. Gay as well as members of HELP hope that this form of open dialogue will encourage collaboration among all colleges with a residential construction program.

Learn more about Construction Management.

Kate’s Club on the rise

Karen Schmitt talks to women at a Kate's Club meeting.

Karen Schmitt talks to women at a Kate’s Club meeting.

Electrical Construction & Maintenance Senior Instructor Karen Schmitt began working in a non-traditional career in 1978 and has since been looking for ways to help other women in technical fields. With this in mind, Schmitt started Kate’s Club to give female students a space to find mentorship and network with other women in non-traditional careers.

“What good is it if I don’t share my experience with someone and bring some awareness to how hard women have worked to get to this point?” Schmitt said, noting how difficult it was for her as a woman working on various construction sites.

Kate’s Club on the rise

Since the beginning, women at Dunwoody have been drawn to Kate’s Club for its supportive and empowering atmosphere. For this reason, membership has grown and Karen has passed the Club leadership onto the students.

“I enjoy being able to network with other women and collaborate with them,” said Construction Management student Melysia Cha. “We have such great faculty mentors with valuable stories and experiences to share.”

Cha serves as the Secretary of Kate’s Club and has high hopes for its future. Her goal for this semester is to find more members from both day and night classes and to host more meetings and events for women on campus to get involved in.

Leadership also includes President Kayle Moss, who recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Management & Leadership, and Vice President Megan Swanson, a Graphic Design & Packaging student.

To kick off the semester, the Club will be hosting a “Souperbowl” Chili Cook-Off to raise funds for future events.

The 2nd Annual “Souperbowl” Chili Cook-Off

The 2nd Annual “Souperbowl” Chili Cook-Off fundraiser takes place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28, in the McNamara Center.

Karen Schmitt and members of Kate's Club

Karen Schmitt and members of Kate’s Club

Proceeds from this cook-off will benefit Kate’s Club by funding events like last year’s trip to Iron Maiden Metal Fabrication, a woman-owned blacksmithing and metalwork shop in Minneapolis. Trips like these allow the women of Dunwoody to network with other women in technical careers and learn about opportunities available to them.

To learn more about events and opportunities at Kate’s Club, email Karen Schmitt at katesclub@dunwoody.edu

75th Diversity Forum: looking to the future to solve today’s problems

Minnesota Council on Foundations President Trista Harris speaks at Dunwoody's 75th Diversity Forum.

Minnesota Council on Foundations President Trista Harris speaks at Dunwoody’s 75th Diversity Forum.

The 75th Diversity Forum featured a performance by saxophonist Jason Weismann and a talk given by Minnesota Council on Foundations President Trista Harris in celebration of MLK Day. Harris spoke about how to use the tools of futurism to build on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream for a better future.

 Three-Step Guide to a Better Future

Harris pointed out that “we treat the future now like it’s something that happens to us, not something we create for ourselves.”

Instead of thinking about today’s problems this way, Harris encouraged the audience to think about what positive impacts they would like to leave on the world. With that, she provided a simple, three-step guide to looking to the future to create something better:

  1.  Stop loving the problem. Instead of dwelling on what the problems are, Harris encouraged people to understand the problem then immediately move to step two.
  2. Look around you. Pay attention to trends and headlines to get a grasp on where you might find solutions for your problem.
  3. Go, try it out. “If you fail faster, you succeed sooner,” said Harris, try new ideas to learn what works and how to move forward.

The next Diversity Forum will feature KSTP TV 5 Broadcast Journalist Cleo Green and Grammy Award Winner Kimberly Brown in honor of Black History Month. For questions or to RSVP, contact Dr. Leo Parvis via email at lparvis@dunwoody.edu. Dr. Parvis is a Principal Instructor and the Diversity Programs & Education Coordinator at Dunwoody College of Technology.

Dunwoody College Of Technology’s 2015 Fall Semester Dean’s List

Congratulations to the following students who have been named to Dunwoody College of Technology’s fall semester dean’s list. The students listed received this honor by upholding a 3.5 (or higher) grade point average while being a full-time student*.

Anthony Ablack
Eli Abnet
Alexandra About
Samuel Albers
Connor Alexy
Alexander Al-hilwani
Jacob Allen
Satiya Amporful
Angela Anderson
Benjamin Anderson
Brett Anderson
Maria Anderson
Matthew Anderson
Trevor Anderson
Tyler Anderson
David Andresen
Alysa Arnold
Justin Aune
Matthew Backus
Lawal Bada
Tyler Bares
John Bautch
Alec Becklin
Jacob Berg
Michael Berg
Alexander Biggs
Thomas Blossom
Jacob Blue
Jackson Boehmer
Brittney Boie
Adam Booth
Ronald Bridgemon
Joseph Broadston
Richard Brodala
Amanda Bronson
Chad Brooks
Kyle Burnside
Matthew Campbell
Kayla Canfield
Christopher Cao
Anna Carlson
Matthew Carlson
Ross Carlson
Robert Carson
Ling Chang
Paxton Chase
Brady Christian
Samantha Christner
Bryan Coats
Dalton Crouch
Randy Dahlberg
Brady Dalton
Jazmine Darden
Brandon Davis
Adam DeCurtins
Walldo Deluna
Tristan Dewitte
David Dietz
Nathan Donahoe
Mandi Drevlow
Jamie Dulebohn
Scott Duncan
Marydithe Edgerton
Christopher Eklund
Margaret Ellsworth
Daniel Emery
Corey Erickson
Jon Erickson
Steven Fay
Nicholas Felix-Carlson
Paige Fischer
Bryce Fisher
Rachel Fisher
Alexander Froemming
Zachary Gabler
David Gainous
Ryan Galegher
Francis Garsulao
Tarty Gaye
Brandon Goldschmidt
Ryan Grigoleit
Robert Grindahl
James Grommersch
Charles Guelcher
Andrhea Gulden
Nicholas Gustafson
David Haerle
Jon Hagen
Keven Halloran
Neil Halvorson
Sandra Hammerlund
Robert Hammond
Jonathan Hansen
Steven Hanson
Ryan Harris
Benjamin Harvey
Daniel Hattenberger
Andrew Haug
Caleb Hays
Andrew Henry
Josh Henry
Peng Her
Matthew Herrick
Aidan Hicks
Michael Hiepler
Anina High
Joshua Hill
Tiara Hill
Tan Ho
Vincent Hoang
Daniel Hoffman
Nathan Hole
Jesse Hollen
Nicholas Holman
Benjamin Holmgren
Andrew Hoogenakker
Michael Houge
Nathan Hruby
Kyle Huberty
Katherine Humphrey
Benjamin Hunerberg
Ashley Hurner
Troy Hyland
Blake Isetts
Matthew Jarvis
Leo Jensen
John Jeske
Michael Jindra
Jettana Jitlak
Joel Johnson
Andrew Kampa
Kyle Kane
Edward Kibira
Shelby Kiltinen
Matthew Kirchgasler
David Klinkner
Joel Koenigsmark
Kimberley Kotila
Patrick Kowal
Matthew Krei
Mitchell Krienke
Kasey Kromschroeder
Ryan Ksiazek
Wesley Kuhnley
Carson Landvik-Geyen
Benjamin Larsen
Jacob Larson
Justin Larson
Anthony Laylon
Marc Leahy
Yeng Lee
Scott Leighton
Jonathan Leistico
Ashley LeMay
Joseph Lerum
Charles Lesher
Dexter Lewis
Alex Linahon
Brent Littlejohn
Kory Lommen
Richard Longstrom
Eric Lorentzen
Bennieco Luangrath
John Mabusth
Joseph Machtemes
Alex Maciej
Michael Mack
Andrew Madison
Richard Makori
Timothy Malkovich
Kerry Mandt
Matthew Mannella
Francis Maranga
Cole Marsh
Paxton Martensen
Jeffrey Martin
Jennifer Martin
James Matthes
Thomas Mavencamp
Aaron McCauley-Aburto
Patrick McDonald
Kyle McGinnity
Dwight McKinnis
Saul Mellado
Eric Meyer
Jacob Meyer
Michael Miazga
Andrew Miller
Charles Miller
Madison Montgomery
Zachary Moore
Jonathan Moreno
Sharon Mount
John Moynihan
Kareem Mroue
Colin Mulcahy
Celina Nelson
Peter Neraasen
Phat Nguyen
Stephanie Nguyen
Travis Northway
Nicholas Novak
Grady O’Gorman
Andrew Olson
James Olson
Joshua Olson
Travis Olson
Corin Osborne
Michael Otten
Sarah Padovese
Taylor Parker-Greene
Taylor Paschke
Sergey Paskar
Tovah Penning
Ricky Perez
Jonathan Peter
Drew Peterson
Matthew Peterson
Brian Pevensie
Zach Pollei
Julian Prowizor
Michael Prudhon
Thomas Quicksell
Nicholas Ramsingh
Adrienne Reich
Mark Reznikov
Graham Rico-Johnson
Cory Roberts
Madelyn Rodewald
Oscar Romero
Henry Rudolph
Randal Rue
Loren Sabetti
Micah Schoenecker
Sarah Schroeder
Trevor Schroeder
Patrick Schulz
Will Schulzetenberg
Brianna Schumacher
Nicholas Schurhammer
Kurtis Seurer
Luke Shaw
Matthew Shephard
Lloyd Show
Sarah Silver
Justin Sloneker
Thomas Smith
Devyn Smoter
Ryan Solheim
Rebekah Somers
Eric Sosa
John Spartz
Jerred Speller
Zachary Sprung
Mark Stafford
Alexander Stanley
Pierce Stavish
Paul Steffens
Daniel Stellburg
Brian Stewart
Aaron Stoehr
Donavan Sullivan
Heidi Sunne
Matthew Svihel
Dustin Szumowski
Erica Thiel
Anthony Thiery
Chloe Thomas
Steven Thomas
Kathleen Thompson
Steven Thomson
Micah Thorson
Bradley Toenges
Alek Tomann
Brittney Tompkins
Daniel Treat
Timothy Trembulak
Miles Tristani
Mark Tully
Andrew Unger
Christopher Uttke
John Vaccaro
Gabriel Vail
James Vanderbosch
Adam VanderVorste
Choua Vang
Marcos Villalobos
JJ Virnala
Ashley Wagner
Ashley Wagner
Jerry Wang
Isabel Waryan
Thomas Webster
Jacob Wegner
Justin Wenz
Kimberly Wieting
Michael Willems
Brandon Williams
Blake Wilson
Christopher Wilson
Shelby Wittibslager
Brian Witzany
Keith Wojciechowski
Samual Wolters
Gregory Woolsey
David Yang
Pierre Yang
Say Vue Yang
Brandon Young
Rodrigo Zangano
Korin Ziesmer
Austin Zimmermann


*Student must take a minimum of 12 credits to be considered full-time.