“Dunwoody’s committed to developing the skills that are necessary for employers in the community to have job-ready, young people to fill the needs that we have for growth,” said Vicki Hold, President & CEO of Proto Labs.
“I always thought that I had that creative mindset, but I was never able to bring it to reality,” Mechanical Engineering Student Tommy Dao said. “Before Dunwoody, I never touched a mill or a lathe. And so for me to grab raw material and make it into something that has value, it was very rewarding.”
Dunwoody students earned First Place in AICC’s Annual Corrugated as Art competition along with a $500 cash prize, and an all-expense paid trip to the Association of Independent Corrugated Converters (AICC)’s Annual Meeting in Las Vegas.
When Pre-Media Technologies student Kristin Warehime found out that the theme of this year’s AICC Corrugated as Art student competition was “Las Vegas,” she immediately thought of the Bellagio.
“I wanted to figure out how to get some movement in there,” Warehime said. “I liked the idea of somehow moving the water in the hotel’s front fountains.”
With this in mind, Warehime teamed up with Graphic Design students Brann Haugen and Kris Patterson to design and build a replica of the Bellagio Hotel made entirely out of corrugated cardboard – complete with its signature fountain.
Their hard work recently paid off, earning them First Place, a $500 cash prize, and an all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas to attend AICC’s Annual Meeting.
Building the Bellagio
Adding movement to the Hotel’s fountains wasn’t easy, but the team took on the challenge.
Haugen invented a pull-tab mechanism that could rotate and shift the water on a set of gears, giving the piece a dynamic user experience.
“I had to adjust the size of the teeth on the gears multiple times,” Haugen said. “It was really a trial and error process. It wasn’t like anything I had done before, so it was a good learning experience.”
The students also worked with Architecture Adjunct Instructor Stephen Knowles to learn more about the College’s Boss Laser table. With this machine, they could take their replica to the next level by refining the details in the cutouts.
“The Boss Laser worked really well for cutting the water,” Patterson said. “We wouldn’t have been able to get that much detail without it.”
In addition to designing and building the structure, the students had to submit an instruction manual and essay. All of which contributed to their First Place prize.
The team travels to the AICC Annual Meeting
The team will be traveling to Vegas for AICC’s Annual Meeting at the end of September where they will have the chance to network with professionals from the packaging industry.
In addition to networking, the students will be paired up with seasoned structural design industry professionals in a multi-day design lab where they will learn design and production tips and techniques.
“The Annual Meeting is where the leaders in the industry gather,” Principal Pre-Media Technologies Instructor Pete Rivard said. “The networking will be unbelievable.”
The Dunwoody Difference
“Our program has been evolving over the past decade toward an emphasis in packaging and retail in-store displays – which features heavy use of corrugated substrates – and reflects our geographical region’s expertise, career opportunities, and international standing in this market,” Rivard said.
In their first year of study, students in the Design & Graphics Technology department are challenged to find innovative ways to use the state-of-the-industry software and equipment in the College’s print and packaging facilities, including ArtiosCAD.
“[Building the Hotel] was a good review of the Artios program,” Warehime said. “I feel like this experience really built on the stuff I learned in the packaging class.”
“This win continues to validate our decision to concentrate our curriculum on packaging design with an emphasis in materials exploration and aesthetics,” Rivard said.
Learn more about Dunwoody’s Design & Graphics Technology Department.
Mortenson Selected as General Contractor For Major Renovation of Iconic Minneapolis Campus
MINNEAPOLIS, MN — Dunwoody College of Technology, the leader in technical education for more than a century, is taking a big step towards its next one hundred years. The College is breaking ground on a new construction project on its Minneapolis campus: a major renovation of its currently under-utilized gymnasium to create a state-of-the-art Learning Commons and a Welcome Center for students and their families. The project is part of a comprehensive plan that will transform the Dunwoody campus to better meet the future needs of a growing student body, which will help bridge the skills gap in the Minnesota workforce.
“This is more than an upgrade to the physical spaces of our campus,” says President Rich Wagner, Dunwoody College of Technology. “It’s about continuing to create the kind of collaborative, immersive learning spaces Dunwoody has become known for as well as staying ahead of what’s needed to fully prepare our students, from all walks of life and all parts of the state, for success in the 21st Century workplace. There’s a critical skills gap in Minnesota and around the country; this renovation is the next step in our efforts to meet employers’ needs this year, this decade and well beyond.”
Part of that need is spurred by the growth of students in the College’s new School of Engineering. In addition, many of Dunwoody’s other programs are growing and technology is merging across many of the programs requiring space for students to gather and work on sophisticated projects.
The Dunwoody Board, working with project management firm NTH, Inc., has selected Mortenson as General Contractor. Credo Campus Planning & Architecture drew up the multi-year, comprehensive master plan.
“Dunwoody College is one of the oldest technical colleges of its kind in the nation,” says Ken Sorensen, Senior Vice President of Minneapolis operations, Mortenson. “But even more importantly, it’s an iconic building in the Twin Cities metro landscape. Our team is obviously thrilled to partner with Dunwoody and help realize the next stage of the College’s long history.”
Demolition begins later this fall and will focus on a re-imagining of the space currently occupied by the under-utilized gymnasium, which was first constructed in 1924. Smart re-use of this existing space will create 24,000 square feet of space dedicated to support students with a new Learning Commons and Welcome Center. The Learning Commons will house a library, technology for research and additional digital library access, classrooms and multi-use spaces for faculty and student collaboration. The new Welcome Center, capable of accommodating events of up to 200 attendees, will provide students with space to collaborate to work on multi-disciplinary projects and will house the College’s Admissions department.
The original plan for Dunwoody’s main building allowed for the flexible use of space as well as additions and in-fills. Since the building was completed in 1917, the College has taken advantage of this pre-planned flexibility but until now it has not undertaken such a thorough and comprehensive review of space usage for current and future needs. The project is expected to be completed in late 2018 and is funded by capital investments from alumni, industry partners, and other friends of Dunwoody College.
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About Dunwoody College of Technology
Founded in 1914, Dunwoody College of Technology is the only private, not-for-profit technical college in the Upper Midwest. It has provided a hands-on, applied education to more than 200,000 men and women, who in turn have gone on to meaningful and rewarding careers and become outstanding technicians, successful entrepreneurs and industry leaders. Located on the western edge of downtown Minneapolis, Dunwoody offers more than 30 certificate, associate’s degree and bachelor’s degree programs in the areas of Applied Management, Automotive, Computer Technology, Construction Sciences & Building Technology, Design & Graphics Technology, Engineering, Radiologic Technology, Robotics & Manufacturing, and Workforce Training & Continuing Education.
Founded in 1954, Mortenson is a Minnesota-based, family-owned company. As one of the nation’s top builders and developers, Mortenson provides a complete range of services, including planning, program management, preconstruction, general contracting, construction management, design-build and turnkey development. Mortenson has offices in Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Portland and Seattle with international operations in Canada.
Nick Freeland, ’15 Mechanical Drafting & Engineering Systems, and Angela Freeland, ’20 Mechanical Engineering, saw firsthand the value of a Dunwoody education when their father James enrolled at the College following a 20-year career as automotive mechanic.
James Freeland had returned to school and earned his Mechanical Drafting & Engineering Systems Degree in 2013. He now designs parts in the medical field. His decision made an impact on his two oldest children, and it wasn’t long before they both decided to follow in their father’s footsteps.
Nick had spent a year attending the University of Minnesota Duluth and was about to enroll in classes for his second year when he decided that the hands-on, professional atmosphere at Dunwoody that his father described would actually be a better fit.
“I’m more math-based and I learn better with hands-on opportunities. Plus I wanted a career more on the engineering side,” Nick said. “My dad was going here, so I just decided to enroll [at Dunwoody].”
Father and son were at Dunwoody together for only one semester, since James was about to graduate, but having two generations in one family attending at the same time – and in the same program – is still a rarity.
Right away, Nick felt at home in the small-class environment with students who were serious about their education and focused on their career choice. He especially liked working with the Computer-aided Design (CAD) software, which felt more like a game than actual work.
During his first year at Dunwoody, Nick was hired for a paid internship at Johnstech, a manufacturer of high-performance precision test solutions in the semiconductor test market. The internship continued during his second year and then turned into a full-time job after graduating. Today, Nick is a CAD Designer, Level II and designs components for the company.
Angela was still in high school when both her dad and brother were attending Dunwoody. So when she learned about Dunwoody’s Youth Career Awareness Program (YCAP) at a college fair during her junior year, it seemed like a good fit.
The summer program allowed Angela a chance to explore all of the different career paths and programs offered at Dunwoody. She was drawn to the graphic design program.
Like her father and brother, Angela is also mathematically and mechanically-inclined. So after a semester she switched her program and is now a student in the four-year Mechanical Engineering program.
“I like the idea of being able to design and build something, and you can work in almost any field,” Angela said.
Nick wasn’t surprised by either his sister’s decision to attend Dunwoody, or the switch to Mechanical Engineering.
“I always knew she’d be my boss someday,” Nick said with a laugh.
Angela, who is a member of Dunwoody’s Student Government, is already enjoying the project-based learning and hands-on environment with instructors who have all worked professionally in the field.
“I like the project work and the instructors are great,” Angela said, adding that having a mix of older and younger students in the program has also been an advantage.
While it is still three years away, Angela is already thinking about her career after Dunwoody. She is interested in exploring mechanical engineering in the construction industry and would like to become a project manager someday.
The three Freelands aren’t the only relatives in the family to attend Dunwoody. On their mother’s side, the pair have two uncles who have attended the College — Carroll Gackstetter and Michael McMonigal.
“Dunwoody is a really good fit for a lot of people,” Nick said. “As a graduate, you have a lot of opportunities in technical industries.”
Angela agrees, adding that technically-trained workers will always be needed.
Where did you grow up?
North of Chippewa Falls, WI, on a dairy farm in the Town of Anson.
Where did you attend high school/college?
I attended Chippewa Falls Senior High School and graduated with a class of 341. My grade school was a one-room schoolhouse for grades 1-8, with total enrollment of 25-35—no indoor plumbing or water. Going from a class of two to 341 was a real shock!
I have A.A.S. degrees in Computer Operations and Accounting from District One Technical Institute (now CVTC) in Eau Claire, WI.
How long have you been working at Dunwoody?
Just over 10 years.
What is your favorite part about working at Dunwoody?
The family-like atmosphere and the constant learning and breadth of knowledge available to both employees and students.
What are a few of your hobbies?
My most recent hobby is “grand-parenting”! I also really enjoy going to the movie theater. It is a time to unwind, and I love theater popcorn!
What are your top three favorite foods?
Pizza, theater popcorn (I do consider that a meal!), and liver and onions.
What is your favorite movie?
No favorites, but movies need to be seen in a movie theater!
What is your favorite thing to do in Minneapolis?
Visiting museums or sites I’ve not yet explored.
- My husband and I have been married for 44 years and have two sons; one grandson; 41 nieces and nephews; 57 great nieces and nephews; and 3 great-great nieces and nephews.
- I love being a Packer fan in Viking territory.
- I lived in Fort Collins, CO, for 7 years, where at one point I may have worked for the mafia!
Dunwoody alumni are innovators, entrepreneurs, top technicians, and skilled workers. Here is a quick Q&A with just one!
Brennan Schumacher, ’00 Electrical Construction & Maintenance Technology
Q. What are you doing now?
A. After running a small consulting firm for the past 12 years, I have started a Lighting Studio within a large MEP firm. It is great to have all of the resources and tools and focus on the design.
Q. Where is the weirdest place you have ever met a fellow alum?
A. This thing called World Wide Web.
Q. Has there been a moment in your career when you thought “My job is awesome!” and what was that moment?
A. I have had the opportunity to work several National Award Winning projects. My biggest moment came when walking my family through The Exploratorium in San Francisco, which was my most challenging and rewarding project.
Q. What would your former classmates be surprised to know about you now?
A. I have two children, and have been living in Colorado since graduation day, but I’m still a huge fan of the Green Bay Packers.
Q. What is your favorite memory of Dunwoody?
A. I remember how involved the electrical industry was in our program. The program did a tremendous job preparing us for real world experience.
For four generations, members of the Stone family have found rewarding and life-long careers thanks to their Dunwoody education.
“I honestly don’t think I’d be where I am today without my Dunwoody degree,” said Steve Stone, retired co-owner and Vice President of Electrical Service for Parsons, a leading electrical and technology provider in the country.
The connection with Dunwoody began with William Stone, a 1940 graduate of the Painting & Papering program. William’s talent as a painter extended beyond interior finishes. William was also a talented artist, whose paintings are on display in many sites around the Twin Cities, including Fort Snelling and the City of Bloomington.
His sons Russell and Billy Stone also chose to attend Dunwoody. Russell graduated from the Sheet Metal program in 1949 and spent his career working in the HVAC industry. Billy was a 1955 Electrical Construction & Maintenance graduate and enjoyed a life-long career as an electrician.
Steve Stone wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with his life after graduating from high school. Growing up he had watched his father Billy succeed in the electrical business and saw the pride he had taken in his work.
“My dad was very handy and he enjoyed his career – they all did,” Steve said about his family members. “I learned a lot from my dad.”
With than in mind, Steve decided he too would enroll at Dunwoody in the Electrical Construction & Maintenance program. He made the decision without input from his dad. “I think I actually surprised him,” Steve said about his father’s reaction when he told him the news.
When Steve graduated in 1977 he applied for the local apprenticeship program (JATC), hoping to become a Journeyman like his father. But electrical work was slow in the mid-1970s and Steve was told they would contact him when the demand for work increased.
Not content to sit and wait, Steve got out the yellow pages and started calling electrical contractors to see if they were hiring. He remembers getting to the middle of the alphabet before he got a call back. A company in St. Louis Park offered him a job.
It was a summer position and by August or September he got the call from the JATC for an interview. Three years later, after completing his apprenticeship, Steve passed the Journeyman’s test and on the same day the company he was working for made him a foreman.
That same company would soon be bought out by Parsons, and Steve as a service truck driver soon advanced general superintendent then project management. He was promoted to Vice President, and then, brought on as a co-owner/partner, Steve was overseeing the entire service and maintenance department for Parsons.
“Not by any stretch of the imagination did I ever think that would eventually happen,” Steve said about his career path at Parsons. Thinking back, Steve said it was the structure and the discipline he learned from his family and Dunwoody that made it possible.
Steve’s son Corey also made the choice to attend Dunwoody to kick off his professional life in 1999. There were multiple reasons why Corey made his decision to attend Dunwoody, but two stand out.
“I like that the classes and the College are structured and centered around preparing you for the real world,” Corey said. “I really felt motivated and supported every day since students at Dunwoody are here for a purpose and want to be here every day.”
Even during Corey’s Dunwoody career he was working at HTG Architects as a CAD Tech/3D Modeler. After graduating in 2002, Corey began working at Wilson & Associates, a small architectural firm in Minneapolis. There Corey got the chance to really interact with the construction world as he met with clients and conducted construction meetings with trade partners, including Parsons Electric.
Motivated by the desire to continuously improve himself, Corey got an opportunity in 2008 to further his 3D modeling career at Parsons by helping develop their Building Information Modeling (BIM)/ Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) group. And in 2011 Corey was promoted to BIM Manager, giving him the opportunity to further develop the Parsons’ BIM/VDC group.
Throughout Corey’s career at Parsons he was an influential part of the success on a number of Parsons’ largest projects. Most recently, Corey was the BIM/VDC Manager for Parsons Electric on the US Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Vikings. “My wife Angela is a big Vikings fan, so to be able to show her progress photos throughout the construction and then bring her on a tour near the end was priceless for me,” Corey said.
Motivated by a desire to keep learning new things and to continuously challenge himself, Corey is now taking on more Project Management rolls at Parsons Electric.
When he’s not at work, Corey, Angela and their daughter Jade have a nice home where they raise chickens and honey bees throughout the year. “It’s a pleasure coming home and watching your family enjoy being around these privileges, and it all started from a great foundation at Dunwoody,” Corey said.
Steve retired from Parsons in 2015, but the avid woodworker and handyman stays plenty busy with his building projects, golfing, fishing and landscaping. Not to mention traveling and bike riding with his wife Terry and enjoying his role as grandpa to two adorable little girls, Jade and Hayden. Their daughter Hollie is a fourth grade teacher for a local school district.
Despite his busy schedule, Steve still finds time to volunteer as a member of the Dunwoody Alumni Board of Managers.
“I like volunteering and interacting with the students,” Steve said. “And it’s definitely a source of pride that so many of my family have gone here.”