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Q&A with a Dunwoody Construction Project Supervision Alum

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 11.02.38 AMDunwoody alumni are innovators, entrepreneurs, top technicians, and skilled workers.  Here is a quick Q&A with just one!

Sarah Pendergast, ’13 Construction Project Supervision, ’12 Interior Design

Construction Coordinator, Northern Tool & Equipment

Q. Where is the weirdest place you have ever met a fellow alum?

A. I was on a blind date with one. We started talking about our education history and I found out he graduated the year before I started at Dunwoody. Ha, small world.

Q. Has there been a moment in your career when you thought “My job is awesome!” and what was that moment?

A. Yes, when I was on the company’s private jet for a quick three-day trip to visit a few of our stores in Florida.

Q. What would your classmates be surprised to know about you now?

A. That I was a Project Manager and built a church in Maple Grove so soon after graduation.

Q. What is your favorite memory of Dunwoody?

A. So many good memories to choose from. My favorite is when I was able to join the 50th Alumni Reunion with my father in 2013. He was in the graduating class of 1963.

Dunwoody College names Associate Dean of Students

Dunwoody hires 10-year student services veteran to assist with student accommodations and support.

Associate Dean of Students John Richardson

Associate Dean of Students John Richardson

Dunwoody College of Technology is delighted to name John Richardson as the new Associate Dean of Students. Richardson will assist Dean of Students Kelli Sattler in student affairs, particularly focusing on student accommodations and support.

A 10-year veteran in student services, Richardson comes to Dunwoody from The Art Institute of Colorado where he served as the Director of Student Services.

“My favorite part of working with students is seeing students grow and graduate with great jobs,” Richardson said.

Richardson holds a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from the University of Denver and has experience working with students on housing, disability services, counseling, programming, student leadership, and veteran affairs support.

“What I like about Dunwoody is how it’s a technical school, and it’s much more hands-on. The type of student here is different than a liberal arts college, and I enjoy the career-focus,” Richardson said. “And I really like all the cool equipment and technology here.”

In Richardson’s spare time, he enjoys trail running, cycling, fishing, snowboarding, and taking his kids camping.

Richardson can be reached in the Pinska Center or by email at

The entrepreneur: an alum profile

Meet Jack Mowry, ’48 Engineering Drafting & Design Technology

Photo of Jack MowryOn paper, Jack Mowry’s two companies, Metal Craft in Elk River, Minn. and Riverside Machine and Engineering in Chippewa Falls, Wisc., employ around 225 people.

“But we think of it as 225 families,” says Jack, ’71 Engineering Drafting & Design. “We have all these families who depend on us to do our jobs, and we depend on them to do their jobs. We all work together to make a nice living.”

Jack is now semi-retired, helping his children Sean and Trisha, the current owners, learn the business.

“I don’t think I’ll ever completely leave the business,” says Jack. “I’ll always be here.”

Jack grew up in Pine City, Minn. and Howard City, S.D., with eight brothers and sisters. When a high school teacher gently told Jack he wasn’t cut out for industrial engineering, he didn’t listen. Instead, when he heard that Dunwoody was offering a six-month tool and die program to help meet an urgent industry need, he enrolled.

“At the beginning of the course they told us they’d make sure that the top half of the class got jobs, and that the bottom half was on their own,” remembers Jack, though he suspects that nearly everyone got jobs anyway. “Dunwoody gave me confidence. When I left there I had no doubt I could do whatever I wanted to do.”

Later, when he wanted to learn more about designing parts to take on more responsible work for his employer, he completed Dunwoody’s mechanical design program.

Confident that he could do even more challenging work, in 1978 Jack returned to machining and founded Metal Craft in a 200 square-foot basement with just a couple of milling machines and a saw. Shortly thereafter, the stakes went up considerably when the company bought its first CNC (Computer Numeric Control) milling machine at a cost of $39,000.

“That was more than I paid for my house,” says Jack.

Since then, his shops have evolved dramatically and kept up with emerging technology. In 1996, Jack acquired Riverside Engineering  in Chippewa Falls from Cray Research.

“The change in the equipment since I started is so dramatic,” explains Jack. “Today we machine with laser, wire and water. The changes are just phenomenal. It’s like going from the dark ages to now.”

About 25 percent of the business is involved with aerospace and defense manufacturing, and 75 percent is machining close-tolerance parts for surgical instruments and implants.

“The work we do is complex in more ways than one,” says Jack. “We have to trace every step of the job to ensure that we haven’t added any new chemicals or processes without notifying the customers.”

Today, engineers are involved in all steps of production, from quoting to processing to inspection.

“The hardest part of being in business is getting good, qualified people who can help you,” says Jack. “What upsets me most is that we don’t have enough women applying for these machining and engineering jobs. Some think that it’s a dirty, grimy job, but it’s not.  It’s a clean job, and you don’t have to bow your head to anybody, because it’s an occupation that will always keep you employed.”

Meet Head Librarian: Marcus Seraphine

Happy National Library Lovers’ Month from Dunwoody College of Technology!

Did you know February is National Library Lovers’ Month? Help Dunwoody celebrate by getting to know one of the College’s newest employees: Head Librarian Marcus Seraphine!

Q&A With Marcus Seraphine:

Marcus Seraphine, Head Librarian at Dunwoody College of TechnologyQ: Where did you grow up?

A: I grew up in Brooklyn Center, so not too far from Dunwoody.

Q: What was your job prior to joining Dunwoody?

A: My last job was being the librarian at Kamehameha Schools- Maui Campus in Hawaii.

Q: Why did you decide to work at Dunwoody/move back to MN?

A: I am originally from the Twin Cities, so I have always known about Dunwoody. I have a few family members and friends from high school who have gone through programs here and they all had positive things to say about the college. So, when I saw there was an opening here in my field I was really interested in it.

I have not really lived in Minnesota since high school. I did my undergraduate degree in Education at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and after that I taught in Chippewa Falls and South Korea. I came back to the U.S. to get a Master’s in Library Science and worked in the library at Chippewa Valley Technical College before going to Hawaii for two years. After all of that moving around I wanted to try and find something closer to family.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about Dunwoody:

A: I really like how there are so many different programs/areas of study going on in such a small space. It is really interesting to be able to walk from a machine shop on the Black Level, to a photo studio on the Red Level, and then be able to listen to a guest speaker in the McNamara. Also Fred’s waffle fries in the cafeteria are really good.

Q: How long have you known you wanted to be a librarian:

A: I am a little surprised I became a librarian. It was never a career I thought I would get into growing up. I did not know I wanted to be a librarian until I was in college. I was an Education major and during my third year of college I started working in my university’s library. It seemed like a lot of the things the librarians were doing were very similar to what I was learning about in my Education classes and it felt like a good fit for me.

Q: What are a few of your hobbies?

I like to travel, go to concerts, watch football, and find new restaurants.

Q: What is your favorite book?

Asking a librarian/former English teacher to choose their favorite book is really difficult! I have to pick at least two. I mostly read nonfiction, historical fiction, or science fiction. One of my favorite books is called Shantaram. It’s a novel about an Australian man who escapes from prison and starts a new life in India. My other favorite is A Canticle for Leibowitz. That is a science fiction book about what happens in the United States after a nuclear war.

Q: Anything else students should know about you?

A: It’s ok to talk in the library; I won’t “shush” you.

Marcus can be found in either the Butler Library on the Black Level or the Design Library on the Red Level Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. He can also be reached at

Welcome to Dunwoody, Marcus, and Happy National Library Lovers’ Month to all!

Dunwoody teams win Third and Fifth at 7th Annual Autonomous Snowplow Competition

Dunwoody teams also received the Dr. Nattu Natarajan Best Sportsmanship Award


Dunwoody College of Technology recently competed in the Institute of Navigation (ION)’s Autonomous Snowplow Competition held during the St. Paul Winter Carnival in Rice Park January 26-29. The College entered two robotic snowplows–the Snow Devil and the Wendigo.

The Snow Devils earned fifth place and a $700 prize, while Team Wendigo placed third, earning a $2000 prize and the Bronze Snow Globe Award.

The College, as a whole, also brought home a $500 prize for the Dr. Nattu Natarajan Golden Smile Award for best sportsmanship. The Award is named after University of Michigan-Dearborn professor Dr. Narasimhamurthi Natarajan (often called “Nattu”) who was known for his quick, insightful analysis followed by a joke and a smile.

Nattu passed away from a lung illness on the Saturday morning of the 2016 competition while his two teams were competing. ION renamed its team sportsmanship award in honor of his leadership.

This year, thirteen teams from the top engineering universities in the Upper Midwest participated. Dunwoody is one of just two schools 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 2016.

Dunwoody adds new robot to roster

This year, Dunwoody decided to try something new by adding a second robot to its snowplow roster.

“With the new engineering programs coming online, we had a lot of interest from our Mechanical Engineering students,” Dean of Robotics & Manufacturing E.J. Daigle said. “We always have interest from our Automated Systems & Robotics students. We even had a welder interested in it this year. So we had a lot more interest up front.”

From To to Bottom: Team Wendigo, Snow Devils

From To to Bottom: Team Wendigo, Snow Devils

 The Snow Devil was built to compete in the first year of the competition. Since then, students have refined and added to this original design. The robot functions by following magnetic strips that can be installed on any sidewalk or driveway.

The new Wendigo machine was created to complement the Snow Devil.

“When I found out they were letting us build a whole new robot, I thought, okay, we need to make this separate from the Snow Devil,” Automated Systems & Robotics student William Hiniker said. “Wendigo sounded cool and scary, so we went with Wendigo. Hopefully, you know, people see it move snow and they say, ‘wow that looks cool’”

The Wendigo uses a combination of a machine vision system and an inertial measurement unit to navigate up and down sidewalks and driveways.

The teams presented their designs to a panel of judges on Thursday evening at the Minnesota Science Museum. After safety checks on Friday night, the teams competed on the sidewalk-clearing course on Saturday and then took on the driveway course on Sunday.

Learn more about Dunwoody’s School of Engineering and Robotics & Manufacturing Department.

Congratulations to our 2016 December Graduates!

Dunwoody College of Technology is delighted to recognize the following students who graduated from the College in December 2016.

Dunwoody’s Commencement ceremony for both winter and spring graduates will take place Saturday, May 20, at 11 a.m. at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Applied Management
Anderson Mark
Cole Alan
Automotive Technology
Davis Ryan
Flowers Martice
Gatlin Dondrell
Gerold Mark
Shorter Zachary
Sorensen James
Toenjes Zachary
Wood Parker
Yang Sher
Computer Technology
About Alexandra
Arrington Kyle
Autey Brandon
Chamberlain Connor
Curry Sean
Duncan Scott
Dunn Parker
Felix-Carlson Nicholas
Holmgren Benjamin
Jackson Tanner
Januszewski Paul
Jones Erric
Miller Nicholas
Mroue Kareem
Peterson Jon
Rumpza Nathan
Schopp Benjamin
Seese Jesse
Thormodsgaard Jacob
Wilson Christopher
Construction Sciences & Building Technology
Allen Jacob
Becker Kaitlin
Dilts Stephen
Flagg Andrew
Gabler Zachary
Giese Parker
Guild Luke
Henry Andrew
Henry Josh
Her Peng
Johnson Briana
Johnson Chris
Knutson Kyle
Lee Fu
Littlejohn Brent
Mandt Kerry
Mannella Matthew
Miller Charles
Monson Christopher
Ofsthun Justin
Oldenburg Jared
Pevensie Brian
Pliego-Geniz Brenda
Poindexter Elijah
Rodriguez Brandon
Rodriguez Roberto
Rudolph Henry
Silverberg Stanley
Strand Jason
Swanson Gene
Trask Keith
Weinberger Max
Weinberger Samuel
Witzany Brian
Design & Graphics Technology
Stephens Michael
Health Sciences
Bachmeyer Summer
Boie Brittney
Canfield Kayla
Erickson Rami
Gulden Andrhea
Kotila Kimberley
Olson Joshua
Robotics & Manufacturing
Bauer Christopher
Bigham Wynn
Bloom Jacob
Blossom Thomas
Busse Derek
Conley Ryan
Edwards David
Eitrheim Jacob
Erickson Corey
Hanson Steven
Houngsombath Oudomphone
Hruby Nathan
Hurrle Andrew
Johnson Jeffrey
Kelly Spencer
Klebs Michael
Landvik-Geyen Carson
Lee Kao
Lofgren Rene
Ngaima Momo
Posthumus Christopher
Reese Richard
Ross Jason
Sang Houn
Shaw Jeffrey
Sheforgen Ryan
Stafford Mark
Steiner Gary
Theis Jesse
Vang Choua
Wayman Marcus
Zierke Meicyn

Students compete in Autonomous Snowplow Competition at St. Paul Winter Carnival

This weekend, two teams of students will be competing in the 7th Annual Autonomous Snowplow Competition in Rice Park, St. Paul.

Come support Dunwoody College of Technology students at the 7th Annual ION Snowplow Competition during the St. Paul Winter Carnival in Rice Park this weekend! Snowplows will be competing from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

Dunwoody students have competed in the Institute of Navigation (ION) Autonomous Snow Plow Competition every year for the last six years. The competition challenges college students to design and build a robotic snowplow that can clear both a sidewalk and a driveway without any human interaction.

“This competition gives us a good chance to apply what we’ve learned in our courses,” said Automated Systems & Robotics student Nick Hajlo.

From To to Bottom: Team Wendigo, Snow Devils

From Top to Bottom: Team Wendigo, Snow Devils

This year, Dunwoody will compete with two robots – the Snow Devil and the Wendigo.

The Snow Devil was built to compete in the first year of the competition. Since then, students have refined and added to this original design. The robot earned Third Place in last year’s competition and students hope their design improvements will place them in the top two this year. The robot follows magnetic strips that can be installed on any sidewalk or driveway.

The Wendigo; however, was designed and built just this year. Students from Welding, Automated Systems & Robotics, and Electronics Engineering Technology collaborated to bring this robot to life from the ground up. The Wendigo uses a combination of a machine vision system and an inertial measurement unit to navigate up and down sidewalks and driveways.

Dunwoody students will be competing alongside teams from Case Western Reserve University, Iowa State University, Michigan Technological University, North Dakota State University, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, University of St. Thomas, and Wayne State University.

The teams will present their designs to a panel of judges on Thursday evening at the Minnesota Science Museum. On Friday night, they’ll go through final safety checks before competing on Saturday and Sunday.

Learn more about Dunwoody’s Robotics & Manufacturing Department.