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Dunwoody Design & Graphics Technology students work in industry before graduation

At Dunwoody, Design & Graphics Technology students don’t just gain real-world experience in the state-of-the-art digital press and packaging design lab on campus. They also gain real-world experience in, well, the real world.

This year nearly all second-year Design & Graphics Technology students are working in the field through internships while finishing their last semester of the program. All but one of these internships are paid.

Second-year Design & Graphics Technology student talks to prospective employers at the annual Design & Graphics Intern Expo. Internship resources for students

Students find internships through many resources offered on campus, including the annual Design & Graphics Technology Intern Expo and professional connections made through faculty networks.

The Intern Expo happens on the third Thursday of February every year. “Many of our employers know this and put it on their calendar months in advance,” Pre-Media Technologies Principal Instructor Pete Rivard said.

During the Expo, students set up their own booths and present their portfolios to prospective employers.

“This event is the culmination of all the work they have done since starting in the program. I am always impressed with the quality of the final portfolios,” said Senior Graphic Design Instructor Gerald Timmreck. “My favorite part is watching them explain their work and interact with the industry professionals.”

In addition to the Expo, students obtain internship opportunities through professional connections made by faculty.

“Most – if not all – of the internships this year were the direct result of personal faculty connections to employers. We try and stay connected throughout the year – for past grads and current students as well,” Graphic Design Principal Instructor Tom Herold said. “Many of our first-year students are already working in the field – at least one student was working before starting the first week of class.”

Instructors maintain these relationships with employers by participating in industry organizations like Printing Industry Midwest (PIM) and by keeping a pulse on industry needs.

Second-year Design & Graphics Technology students pose for a photo in the College's photo studio. Students working and interning in the field

Students are working and interning in places like Graphic Measures International (GMI), which certifies, monitors and measures the performance of packaging suppliers worldwide.

“Right now – by my count – we have seven program graduates and four current students placed at GMI,” Rivard said. ” At least four of our grads working at GMI now have significant global travel and international business experience in places like China, India, Costa Rica and Ireland.”

Darren Davis, a second-year graphic design student, is working as a graphic designer and marketing assistant at C3 LLC, the creators of the caster-lift shopping cart safety ropes used to gather and transport shopping carts from the parking lot to the store – standard equipment used among the world’s leading grocers and retailers.

“I’m already applying what I’ve learned at Dunwoody in different ways. While C3 has a very specific brand I must adhere to, I’m also given a lot of freedom to develop new ideas for ways to spread awareness of their product,” Davis said.

Graphic Design Instructor Tom Herold works with a student during class. Minnesota is the Promised Land for design and graphics; Dunwoody trains to employers’ needs

“People from all over the world send their design and packaging work to Minnesota,” Rivard said, explaining that Minnesota has a $9 billion design and graphics industry.

Dunwoody’s Design & Graphics Technology faculty members work closely with the industry to train students to employers’ needs. Through this approach, faculty members have developed a hands-on curriculum unique to Dunwoody.

At the beginning of their studies, students’ are issued a Macbook complete with roughly $40,000 worth of packaging and design software – including Adobe Suite, Esko, and CAD programs. In addition to being trained in industry-standard software, students gain hands-on experience in the College’s state-of-the-art printing and packaging lab – complete with a Xerox iGen4 Diamond Edition digital press and an Esko Kongsberg V20 cutting table. The combination of design and packaging projects gives students a well-rounded education on both the print and package design processes.

“Dunwoody is the only college in Minnesota that teaches both packaging and design side by side,” Rivard explained. “That’s why employers go nuts over our students.”

Interested in learning more or applying to the program? Get more information on Design & Graphics Technology offerings.

Dunwoody Surveying students place 1st in 2016 NSPS Student Competition

Second-year students Wyatt Spencer, BJ Klenke, Doug Pouliot, Joe Irey, Brandon Davis, Jake Blue and team observer Patrick Kowal took first place in the two-year degree program category of the 2016 National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) Student Competition earlier this month.

Photo of Wyatt Spencer, BJ Klenke, Doug Pouliot, Joe Irey, Brandon Davis, and Jake Blue.

L to R: Wyatt Spencer, BJ Klenke, Doug Pouliot, Joe Irey, Brandon Davis, and Jake Blue.

The annual event—which was held in conjunction with the 2016 Surveying & Mapping Conference—was held in Crystal City (Arlington), VA, and was open to all two- and four-year colleges across the country.

New event, new skills

To enter the competition, the Dunwoody team—advised by Surveying & Civil Engineering Technology Principal Instructor Kelly Ness—had to complete a boundary and topographic survey of a parcel of land, approximately 10 acres in size, for a hypothetical land development project.

The team was then required to create a “metes and bounds legal description” of the land lot (i.e., a description of the land and its boundaries) and construct a plot map of the surveyed area.

This information—along with a safety plan, field notes and data calculations—was compiled into a final project binder and then presented to a panel of industry experts and competition judges.

“In order to complete the project, we had to develop the types of skills that are used everyday in the industry,” Ness said. “That was the most beneficial piece for the students—the knowledge and skills obtained throughout the competition.”

A welcome win

A first-time event for Dunwoody and the students, Ness said he couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome.

“Winning the competition is a huge achievement and one that will be recognized by future employers and peers in the surveying community.”

Spencer, Klenke, Irey, Davis, and Blue will graduate with an associate’s degree in Surveying & Civil Engineering Technology this May. Pouliot will follow in Fall 2016. Kowal hopes to participate in the 2017 NSPS Student Competition next Spring.

The College would like to thank industry partner Westwood Professional Services for their generous donation, which allowed the students to travel toand participate inthe competition.

Learn more about Surveying & Civil Engineering Technology.

Auto industry has the need, Dunwoody has the grads

Industry speaks at March open house

Photo of Auto Open House eventDunwoody Automotive invited representatives from Luther Automotive Group, Walser Automotive Group, and Alliance of Automotive Service Providers-Minnesota (AASP) to speak at the College’s open house event this month, which was held Tuesday, March 15.

Steve Reinarts, Automotive Dean, said the goal of the event was to help organizations find potential hires as well as provide students and their guests with a better understanding of what the automotive job market looks like right now.

And what does it look like?

According to Judell Anderson, Executive Director of AASP: “Desperate.”

All three organizations confirmed that automotive job opportunities are skyrocketing—and shops and dealerships across the nation are in need of technicians.

“When I left my office, we had 43 openings,” said Meg Miller, HR Recruiter for Luther Automotive Group. “The opportunities are endless.”

In fact, auto mechanics are in such demand, many automotive organizations are hiring recent graduates—and even current students—to work. And for organizations like Walser Automotive, Dunwoody College is one of the first places they look.

Why a Dunwoody student?

“For years, we have all gone out and simply tried to steal one another’s technicians,” said Walser Automotive Corporate Service Director Jeff Lamott. “But as a business model, it doesn’t make sense to put an ad in the paper and hope you can get someone from another store.

Photo of students talking at Auto Open House event“Maybe that’s a short term solution for now, but probably a better solution would be to hire people at an entry level—student graduates for an example—bring them in, provide them with mentorship, and then grow them into a technician from the ground up,” he said.

“And to do that, we immediately look for organizations that provide students like that, or we look around and ask where we have gotten people from before…and Dunwoody would be the answer to both of those.”

Luther Automotive also has a long history of hiring Dunwoody graduates.

“Several of our managers and technicians have come from Dunwoody,” Miller said. “We always look for a well-rounded individual–someone who has the skill but also has the drive to learn more.

“We definitely find that in a Dunwoody student.”

Industry reps to return May 24

A first-time event for the department, Reinarts couldn’t be more pleased with the end result.

“I think the most beneficial part of the event—for both prospective students and their parents/guardians and guests—was being able to talk directly with industry,” he said.

“When parents come to an open house, they’ll often ask ‘will my son or daughter be able to get a job, and if so how much will they be able to make?’ Those answers, coming from me or one of our other instructors, could be perceived as self-serving.

“But by having industry there, we direct those questions to them and they’ll tell the parents and the students exactly how much they will be able to make and what the job market and career outlook looks like right now.

“That is why we wanted them there. So prospective students can get the story first-hand and hopefully consider choosing automotive as a future career,” he said.

Photo of guests talking at Auto Open House eventDue to the success of this month’s event, Dunwoody Automotive plans to host industry partners again at the College’s May open house, which takes place on Tuesday, May 24, from 3 to 7 p.m.

Prospective students can RSVP here.

If you are interested in speaking about your organization at the upcoming event, or becoming more involved with Dunwoody Automotive, please contact Reinarts at sreinarts@dunwoody.edu.

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson speaks at Dunwoody’s Diversity Forum

Attorney General Lori Swanson speaks at Dunwoody's Diversity Forum in celebration of Women's History Month.

Attorney General Lori Swanson speaks at Dunwoody’s Diversity Forum in celebration of Women’s History Month.

Around 120 Dunwoody students, faculty and staff attended the latest Diversity Forum on March 15, joining Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson to celebrate Women’s History Month. Attorney General Swanson talked about what the Attorney General Office does and later took questions from the audience.

From left to right: Principal Instructor Karen Schmitt, Principal Instructor Leo Parvis, Attorney General Lori Swanson, Provost Jeff Ylinen, and Principal Instructor Jenny Saplis.

From left to right: Principal Instructor Karen Schmitt, Principal Instructor Leo Parvis, Attorney General Lori Swanson, Provost Jeff Ylinen, and Principal Instructor Jenny Saplis.

Swanson was elected to office in 2006 as Minnesota’s first female Attorney General and reelected in 2010 and 2014. During her time in office, Attorney General Swanson has been an advocate for Minnesota citizens in areas like consumer protection, predatory lending, health care, utility rate hikes, telecommunications, public safety and protecting senior citizens from financial fraud.

In addition to this month’s Forum, Dunwoody is recognizing Women’s History Month by hosting several women-focused events and celebrating STEAM women – women who work in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics.

The next Diversity Forum

Don’t miss the next Diversity Forum entitled Holocaust Commemoration featuring artist, writer, and genealogist Susan Weinberg and holocaust survivor Dora Zaidenweber at 12:30 p.m., on April 19, in the Holden Center. All are welcome and refreshments will be provided.

For more information or to RSVP, contact Dr. Leo Parvis at lparvis@dunwoody.edu. Dr. Parvis is a Principal Instructor and Diversity Programs & Education Coordinator at Dunwoody College of Technology.

Dunwoody College celebrates Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month, and Dunwoody is celebrating in some very exciting ways!

Starting tomorrow, the College has several women-focused events on campus, including:

The 76th Diversity Forum: Women’s History Month with guest speaker Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson.
March 15, 12:30 p.m. in the McNamara Center
Contact: lparvis@dunwoody.edu

A Kate’s Club Meeting for all Dunwoody women interested in attending  a supportive, networking event.
March 17, 2:45 p.m.
Contact: katesclub@dunwoody.edu

A Salary Negotiation Workshop for students in Dunwoody’s Women in Technical Careers (WITC) Scholarship program.
March 18, 4:30 p.m.
Contact: mwhitman@dunwoody.edu

Note: If you are not a WITC student and are looking for salary negotiation tips, please contact rborchardt@dunwody.edu.

The College has also launched a social media campaign to celebrate women in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) professions—occupations that have been historically dominated by men. The campaign features Dunwoody women employees, students, and alumni who are pursuing or already working in a STEAM career.

Several of the campaign’s participants include:

Melysia_Cha

Emily_Miner

Beverly_White

Nicole_Nusbaum
The College invites all women in STEAM careers to participate! To join the campaign, simply tweet or instagram your photo, career choice, and a sentence about what makes you, you.

Make sure to use the hashtag #STEAMwoman or use our social media handle @dunwoodycollege.

Happy Women’s History Month from Dunwoody!

Dunwoody Architecture students help create 8 affordable housing projects at Search for Shelter Design Charrette

Photo of Aaron McCauley-Aburto, Kyle Huberty, and Gianna Madison

From L to R: Aaron McCauley-Aburto, Kyle Huberty and Gianna Madison.

Dunwoody Architecture students Aaron McCauley-Aburto, Kyle Huberty, and Gianna Madison,  joined nearly 60 other students and professionals for a rigorous three-day, pro bono brainstorm at the annual Search for Shelter Design Charrette Feb 19-21.

The goal of the Charrette—organized by industry partner American Institute of Architects (AIA)—is to bring together architects, interior designers, landscapers, students, and affordable housing representatives to help generate housing solutions for the homeless.

Despite Search for Shelter beginning over 3 decades ago, AIA representatives say homelessness continues to be a problem throughout the nation—and right here in Minnesota.

The Dunwoody students volunteered their time and expertise to assist in the project, which could help participating affordable housing organizations to move forward with eight different developments.

The entire Search for Shelter event lasted around 42 hours.

For both the students and the future residents, however, the impact will last much longer.

Dunwoody students humbled by event

“Everyone participating at the event really came together to work for a common goal—one that didn’t have a paycheck attached to it,” Madison said. “It made it a very sincere, untainted and humbling experience.”

Huberty agreed: “I think the appearance of architecture is that sometimes it’s for only the 1% who can afford an architect to design a home–and that is somewhat a reality of the industry. And so, I enjoy when opportunities like this come along where we can serve people who couldn’t normally afford it,” he said.

Hands-on, technical education proved invaluable at event

When asked if a Dunwoody education helped prepare the students for the project, the answer “yes” was unanimous. The group agreed that had they not been receiving a technical education, actively participating in an event of this magnitude would have been nearly impossible.

“Our technical education allowed us to become valuable assets within the group, and to make meaningful contributions to the group—especially as relatively inexperienced students,” McCauley-Aburto said.

Huberty agreed explaining that because of his Dunwoody education, he felt confident in working and designing with the other practicing architects in the room—and in some instances, even felt on the same level of expertise as them.

“I think the impression with a technical school is that it limits your creativity,” Huberty said. “People think since you are focusing on the software, that that gets in the way of the actual artistic expression.”

“But I think it is the opposite,” he continued. “We have been able to get our technical foundation first so that we can jump right into the artistic expression–because we know our tools are sufficient to get us there.”

Students hope to continue with Search for Shelter, affordable housing

The Dunwoody students hope to stay involved with the organization, their projects, and the affordable housing movement. In fact, some of the students are even considering specializing in affordable housing work upon graduation.

And while the students don’t know their exact career plans just yet, the group agreed that no matter where life takes them, they are just looking to “do something meaningful.”

Madison is set to graduate in May 2018. Huberty and McCauley-Aburto follow in May 2019.

Learn more about Dunwoody Architecture.

Buhler Apprentices/Dunwoody students showcase robotic machines

Buhler apprentices/Dunwoody students Matt Stumm, Austin Carline, Andrew Hohn, Mike Schweizer and Virgina Pearson

From L to R: Matt Stumm, Austin Carline, Andrew Hohn, Mike Schweizer and Virgina Pearson

Buhler apprentices/Dunwoody students Matt Stumm, Austin Carline, Andrew Hohn, Mike Schweizer and Virgina Pearson celebrated the end of their final class module during a student showcase event on campus Feb. 23.

Students were able to demonstrate the robotic machines they have spent the last few classes designing, assembling, and programming. The group also displayed several robotic parts that were designed and printed on the College’s Stratasys 3D printer.

Photo of Buhler Apprentices/Dunwoody students demonstrating their robotic machines

The group will finish their final segment of the apprenticeship program by continuing to work towards full-time positions at Buhler.

Industry partner Graco donates InvisiPac system to Dunwoody’s Robotics & Manufacturing department

Students work with the new Graco InvisiPac system in Dunwoody's packaging lab. Graco recently donated an InvisiPac hot melt glue machine — one of its’ latest technologies — to Dunwoody’s Robotics & Manufacturing department. The InvisiPac donation came about as the result of a visit late last year by Graco Engineering Manager Mark Weinberger.

During the visit “one of the students told me about the working assembly lines at Dunwoody that included glue machines,” Weinberger explained. After looking over the assembly line, he approached Senior Instructor Jeff Bixby about replacing the old glue machine with the InvisiPac.

Graco InvisiPac gives students hands-on, industry-standard experience

Automated Systems & Robotics students use the Graco InvisiPac hot melt glue machine for sealing cartons after an MGS Cartoner fills them in Dunwoody’s packaging lab. The automated packaging line then uses these cartons to demonstrate a “product to pallet” approach to machine troubleshooting.

By replacing the older glue machine with Graco’s InvisiPac, students will have hands-on experience with the latest tools currently being used in their field. The InvisiPac is one of the newest technologies to come from Graco and sets a standard for state-of-the-art packaging plants. Here are just a few of the upgrades that students will benefit from:

  • The Graco InvisiPack system works with the MGS Cartoner to fill cartons in Dunwoody's packaging lab. Graco’s InvisiPac is ready to use in 10 minutes versus 35-60 minutes for the older system.
  • It has a superior hose design that minimizes glue charring.
  • Its’ applicators have plug-free modules, eliminating unplanned assembly line downtime.
  • The InvisiPac has an easy-to-use high-tech display, along with glue use tracking and reporting with wireless connectivity.

Graco serves as a great industry partner

In addition to their recent donation, Graco has also supported Dunwoody students by providing internship opportunities and job placement after graduation.

“Two recent hires, Jake Whiteoak and Justin Weldon work in my division.  They both worked as interns for Graco before graduating last year.  Jake and Justin are doing excellent work.  We appreciate Dunwoody’s willingness to allow their students to work as interns,” Weinberger said.  “This is valuable experience for both Graco and the students.”

Associate Director of Career Services Rob Borchardt noted that Graco hired five Dunwoody graduates just last year in addition to hosting several interns.

Click here for more information on the Robotics & Manufacturing department.