Category Archives: Commencement

Dunwoody’s class of 2017 graduates

More than 450 alumni join Dunwoody’s proud history, most already employed

Last weekend, Dunwoody welcomed more than 450 new alumni to the College’s long and proud history of exceptional graduates. Dunwoody’s 2016-2017 Commencement Ceremony took place on Saturday, May 20, at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Dunwoody 2016-2017 Commencement

Dunwoody 2016-2017 Commencement

Rob Borchardt, Associate Director of Career Services, reported that by the time Commencement arrived, 86% of Dunwoody’s 2016-17 graduates were already employed.

Will Steger keynotes Dunwoody Commencement

Environmentalist, Author, Educator, and Polar Explorer Will Steger was the ceremony’s keynote speaker.

Steger—who is working closely with Dunwoody Architecture students on the building of a Dining Hall for the Steger Wilderness Center—commended the College’s applied approach to education:

Dunwoody Commencement Keynote Speaker Will Steger

Dunwoody Commencement Keynote Speaker Will Steger

“Dunwoody’s form of education is hands-on, working one-on-one with faculty, collaborating. It’s a remarkable school,” he said. “When I walk into Dunwoody I see classrooms working as a team, getting to where you can’t get as an individual. We need more education like this.”

He also urged students to make the most out of their degree and to make a positive difference in life.

“You are at the right place, at the right time, with your [Dunwoody] diploma in your hand,” Steger said. “A baton is now passed to you. You are now the teachers, the mentors, the example-setters. It’s not just about getting a good job. It’s about who you are as a human being.”

Student Speaker Danny Treat reflects on Dunwoody experience

Student Speaker Danny Treat, who has accepted a position as a Drafter for leading air conditioning manufacturer Daikin, shared his story of bouncing around various colleges before finding the right fit in Dunwoody’s Engineering Drafting & Design program.

Dunwoody Commencement Student Speaker Danny Treat

Dunwoody Commencement Student Speaker Danny Treat

“The first semester was a revelation,” he said. “Dunwoody had a feel that I had never got from another college. There was a sense of purpose in the air and professionalism in the classrooms.”

He also shared: “The lessons taught and learned aren’t just ones for the classroom either. The determination and perseverance that it takes to complete a degree doesn’t only apply to your career. Those are skills we will use for life. As we move forward in our lives and careers we can lean on our Dunwoody experience with confidence, and know we are well equipped to handle any situation.”

President Rich Wagner inspires Dunwoody grads

After the degrees were awarded and diplomas handed out, President Wagner reminded the graduates that it’s now their turn to build on the legacy created by previous alumni.

Dunwoody President Rich Wagner

Dunwoody President Rich Wagner

“And now, you carry a responsibility to hold fast to the values a Dunwoody education represents and to take with you the challenge of perpetuating Dunwoody’s great reputation through your actions and accomplishments,” he said. “After the pomp and circumstance fades away, I want to remind you that your greatest accomplishments lie ahead of you.”

Congratulations to all of Dunwoody’s 2016-2017 graduates. We wish you well.


Photo credit: Stan Waldhauser Photo/Design

Looking for more Commencement photos? Head over to the College’s Facebook page.


 

Dunwoody College Spring 2017 Commencement

Whether you’re a graduate or an attendee, here’s what you need to know about the event on Saturday.

The Dunwoody College of Technology Spring 2017 Commencement is this Saturday. And the College could not be more excited to celebrate its graduates’ success.

Whether you’re a graduate or an attendee, here’s what to expect over the weekend:

Graduate Reception

Date: Friday, May 19
Time: 5-7:30 p.m.
Location: Dunwoody College of Technology campus

Family at Graduate ReceptionGraduates and their friends and family are invited to the Graduate Reception on Friday, May 19, to relax and celebrate their success before the Commencement Ceremony on Saturday. During the reception, graduates are encouraged to show their friends and family their work, the campus, and introduce them to their instructors. Hors d’oeuvres will be served.

Commencement Ceremony

Date: Saturday, May 20
Time: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Location: Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55403

Group photo at Graduation

Schedule of events:
10 a.m. Graduates must check-in at Exhibit Hall B. Doors to the Auditorium will open for guests.
10:40 a.m. Graduates will begin lining up for processional in Exhibit Hall B.
11 a.m. Graduation processional begins.
About 1 p.m. The Commencement Ceremony will come to a close.

Parking and Driving Directions

The preferred parking ramp is the 3rd avenue Convention Center (600) ramp. For more information on parking and for driving directions, visit minneapolisconventioncenter.com.

Ticket Information:

Tickets are not required for the event, and there is no limit to the number of guests you may bring. Large groups of guests wishing to sit together are encouraged to arrive early.

Special Accommodations:

Dunwoody strives to accommodate participants or guests with special needs. Please note that wheelchair accessible seats are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Wheelchairs and scooters may be rented for Commencement from The Mobility Shop. The Mobility Shop recommends reserving your equipment online at themobilityshop.com in advance to ensure its availability. All equipment is picked up and returned on-site at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Cameras

Guests are welcome to bring cameras to Commencement, however; they may only take pictures from their seats and should not disturb those around them Only official photographers will be permitted in the graduates’ area or in the area around the stage.

Professional photos will be taken during the ceremony. Proofs can be viewed and photos ordered at gradimages.com. Grad Images will send proofs to the graduates’ personal email.

Visit dunwoody.edu for more information about Commencement. If you have any further questions, email the Registrar’s Office at registrar@dunwoody.edu.

Celebrate your success!
Family at Graduation

The Minneapolis Convention Center is centrally located and nearby many restaurants and activities to help you celebrate your great achievements. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

Nearby restaurants: 

Brit’s Pub & Eating Establishment
1110 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Butcher & the Boar
1121 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Hell’s Kitchen
80 S 9t St
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Hen House Eatery
114 South 8th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55402

Manny’s Steakhouse
825 Marquette Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Activities:

Visit exploreminnesota.com for more ideas on what to do in the Twin Cities area.

 

Dunwoody’s Academic Regalia

As the faculty and graduates enter, they will be wearing academic regalia. This practice dates back to the 12th and 13th centuries when universities in Europe were first taking shape.

Originally, academic regalia was worn at all times by the faculty and students, but, for practical reasons, it is now worn mainly at college commencements.

The standard academic dress includes a robe, some type of cap (usually a mortarboard) and a hood. A tassel is worn on the cap, and after the degrees are awarded, the students move the tassel from the right to the left to indicate their status as a graduate.

There are several variations of regalia based on student achievements. In addition to the traditional red cap and gown, here’s what you might also see at Commencement:

PTK Regalia

A yellow stole and tassel means that a student was inducted into PTK, the College’s national honor society. These graduates are recognized for their outstanding academic achievement by earning a minimum GPA of 3.5. Once inducted into PTK, these students maintained a 3.25 GPA and conducted a minimum of three hours of community service each semester.

IMG_2027

If a graduate is wearing gold cords over their robe, this means they’re graduating Summa Cum Laude. These are students who have attained a cumulative grade point average of 3.9 or better.

IMG_2028If a graduate is wearing silver cords over their robe, this means they’re graduating Magna Cum Laude. These are students who have attained a cumulative grade point average of 3.70 to 3.89.

IMG_2030

If a graduate is wearing white cords over their robe, this means they’re graduating Cum Laude. These are students who have attained a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 to 3.69.

IMG_2039

Red, white, and blue tassels indicate that the gradate is serving in the military or is a veteran.

IMG_2032

Today’s bachelor’s degree candidates are wearing hoods with a black shell silk-lined in silver and red, representing the colors of Dunwoody. The graduates’ academic majors are represented by the following colors:

IMG_2036

Brown: Applied Management & Leadership or Applied Management & Leadership with MIS Concentration

IMG_2041

Maroon: Construction Management

IMG_2035

Orange: Industrial Engineering Technology

IMG_2037

Purple: Interior Design

IMG_2044 copy

Dunwoody also honors alumni who weren’t able to walk during their commencement year by allowing them to participate in current Commencement ceremonies. These alumni are signified by the gray robes and caps.

Dunwoody faculty will be wearing the regalia from their alma mater, donning hoods that feature their institution’s traditional colors.

Find more information on Dunwoody’s 2017 Commencement Ceremony.

Academic Excellence Award: Peng Her

Her_Peng

Peng Her
Electrical Construction & Maintenance ’16
Fresno, California

Peng Her’s path to Dunwoody was not an easy one—but it most certainly paid off.

Growing up near Fresno, California, Her found himself living a lifestyle he didn’t want for himself anymore. Ready to make a change, he packed his bags, moved to Minnesota, and decided to apply to Dunwoody.

“When I was younger, my dad told me that I was a smart child. If I would pay attention and put my heart into what I wanted to do, I would succeed,” Her said. “As we grew up, I got distracted and was conformed to the world around me. I ended up taking the wrong roads to satisfy my needs and did not realize what my dad meant.”

“Before I started Dunwoody, my dad told me the same thing. My dad hoped that since I had grown, I would take his advice and [do] my best at Dunwoody.”

And do his best he did.

Just weeks into his first semester of Dunwoody’s Electrical Construction & Maintenance program, Her was already at the top of his class.

“Peng’s performance set the bar high for his fellow classmates,” Senior Instructor Jeff Chase said. “As a leader in the classroom, his skills created and maintained a culture that allowed students to strive for excellence.”

But Her didn’t set that bar just for himself—he wanted his classmates to reach it too.

“He never hesitated to assist his fellow classmates,” Chase said. “He always had time to explain concepts, share lecture notes, and even just give a word of encouragement to a peer.”

Her’s drive to succeed earned him a spot on the Dean’s List for every semester he attended Dunwoody. Her was also inducted into the College’s Honor Society, Phi Theta Kappa, and is the 2017 Academic Excellence Award recipient for the Construction Sciences & Building Technology department.

“[Winning the award] is an honor,” Her said. “It made me recognize that hard work pays off. It does not matter who you are or what you have done. Work hard and someone will recognize you.”

Her graduated Dunwoody in December of 2016. He has since been working as the Corporate Director of Maintenance for Lancer Hospitality, a national organization that provides food and beverage services to a number of venues including corporate cafeterias, schools, and public attractions such as the Minnesota Zoo and Como Park Zoo and Conservatory.

Academic Excellence Award: Bradley Williams

IMG_1706 copy

Bradley D. Williams
Automotive Service Technology ’17
Excelsior, Minnesota

Before enrolling in the Automotive Service Technology program at Dunwoody College of Technology, Bradley Williams hadn’t really considered a career in the automotive industry. In fact, he had originally planned on becoming a high school history teacher.

He even attended Winona State University for a year, before deciding that life in a classroom just wasn’t for him.

“I liked working with my hands,” Williams, a Minnetonka High School graduate, said. “And I’ve always enjoyed taking things apart and then putting them back together again. So I thought automotive would be a good fit.”

As it turns out, it was more than just a good fit – it was the perfect fit. Williams has excelled in his courses during the past two years and received the 2017 Academic Excellence Award in Automotive.

The accomplishment is even more impressive when combined with the fact that Williams underwent brain surgery this past fall. Early in his second year, Williams started experiencing headaches. After visiting the doctor, he learned that the headaches were caused by a tumor in his brain and he would need surgery. The news was scary, but Williams was determined to not let it stop him from earning his degree.

Scheduling the surgery over Thanksgiving break, Williams worked with faculty members to stay current with his coursework during his two and a half week recovery – studying from his bed and checking-in on a daily basis. When he returned to campus, it was like he hadn’t missed a single day.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support and help of my teachers,” Williams said.

Williams said that he discovered Dunwoody after a friend from high school attended the welding program and got a great job after graduation.

Since enrolling, he has come to love spending most of his day working with the latest and greatest in automotive technology, a trait he might have inherited from his grandfather who enjoyed a career as a diesel mechanic.

Williams said the most important lessons he’s learned at Dunwoody is to take your time, be thorough and don’t be afraid to make a mistake. “Working in the automotive field requires a lot of problem-solving and creative thinking,” he said.

Automotive technicians are in high demand, so choosing the right career path has been Williams’ biggest focus. “Having a Dunwoody degree puts you ahead of other candidates,” Williams said.

Academic Excellence Award: Cecilia Oberg

Cecilia Oberg

Cecilia Oberg
Pre-Media Technologies ‘17
St. Paul, MN

Ceclia Oberg has always had the desire to do something hands-on. So when she joined the Air Force five years ago, she signed up for an HVAC installation job, learning the trade in a compact 6-month program.

Enjoying the construction industry and wanting to follow in her father’s footsteps, Oberg began classes at Dunwoody two years ago in the Surveying & Civil Engineering program.

But after one semester in the program, Oberg felt she wanted to go in a different direction. With the guidance of Student Advisor Zac Mans, Oberg found her passion when she walked into the pre-media packaging lab.

“When I came into the design lab and talked about packaging and being able to build packages, that really sparked my interested,” Oberg said. “I really wanted to get into that.”

Serving as a leader in the classroom, Oberg immediately excelled in the program. And when it came time for her cohort to prepare for the annual Intern Showcase, Oberg was chosen as the project manager for the Intern Showcase Guidebook.

Oberg will be graduating in May as the Academic Excellence Award recipient for the Design & Graphics Technology Department.

“Oberg has brought with her a background that showcases responsibility and leadership.” Principal Instructor Pete Rivard said. “She proves herself time and again to be friendly, collaborative, creative and most importantly, very reliable.”

Oberg is currently interning at Dolan Printing as a graphic designer and production artist. After graduation, Oberg will be deployed for 6 months. Upon return, she hopes to freelance with the long-term goal of starting her own shop for packaging.

Academic Excellence Award: Tiara Hill

Tiara Hill

Tiara Hill
Welding & Metal Fabrication ’17
Minneapolis, MN

Tiara Hill has never let fear stand in her way. In fact, the Minneapolis native was terrified of the sparks when she first experienced the Welding & Metal Fabrication program at Dunwoody College of Technology as a Youth Career Awareness Program student. So when it came time to choose which degree program she would enroll in, the answer was obvious – welding.

“I knew that I wanted to work with my hands, but I had no idea it would be welding,” Hill said, adding that she really enjoys the artistic side of welding.

Two years later, Hill has not only conquered her fear – she’s also excelled as a student. Hill was selected this year as both the Academic Excellence Award recipient for the Robotics & Manufacturing program area and the Student Leadership Award recipient for the Alumni Board of Managers.

A graduate of Park Center Senior High School, Hill wasn’t sure if she would be able to attend college. She had applied for a number of scholarships, but none of them had worked out. So when a case manager at a local non-profit suggested Hill apply for the YCAP scholarship at Dunwoody, she was skeptical.

“Before Dunwoody, college was nothing but a dream for me,” Hill said. “I really think this was the best decision I ever made.”

Now about to graduate with her Associate in Applied Science degree, Hill is already planning to continue her education and has enrolled in the Bachelor completion program for Industrial Engineering at Dunwoody.

“What drives me to keep going is my past and knowing that there is another part of life out there that I want a chance to see and experience,” Hill said.

Hill is motivated to succeed by the people in her life. Her mother has been an inspiration at home, always encouraging her to keep going and never give up. At school, Hill said her instructors, such as Denise Bailey, have served as an amazing support system.

One day, Hill hopes to inspire and motivate others. She already has plans to start her own business, taking on smaller welding jobs, and she hopes to encourage other youth – especially women – to take an interest in technical careers.

For now, Hill is excited about her future and all of the new opportunities awaiting her.

Academic Excellence Award: Paul Steffens

IMG_1769

Paul Steffens
Computer Networking Systems ’17
Monroe, WI

Growing up, Paul Steffens always had a knack for technology. In high school, Steffens and his friends would master video games and build computers. His love for science and the arts led him to Ripon College in Wisconsin, where he graduated with a degree in theatre.

Following graduation, Steffens became a professional actor, landing various acting and set construction jobs in Minnesota and Wisconsin. But the career brought a certain amount of emotional and financial instability to Steffens’ life, which led to his decision to go back to school.

During his search, Steffens was introduced to the College by Dunwoody Student Advisor Zac Mans, a fellow Ripon College alum. After taking a tour, talking with faculty, and learning more about the rigorous curriculum, Steffens decided to enroll in a field he has enjoyed since the very beginning: Computer Technology.

“My liberal arts degree was more steeped in theory,” Steffens said. “Here at Dunwoody, everything is so laser-focused on this hands-on experience. That was one of the biggest attractions of the college and the program itself for me.”

A prior interest in and knowledge of computers allowed Steffens to excel quickly his first year at Dunwoody. His second semester, he was inducted into the College’s Honor Society Phi Theta Kappa. In May of 2016, he accepted a position as a member of the IT Helpdesk in the Dunwoody IT department. Now in his final semester, Steffens is on track to graduate summa cum laude.

He is also the 2017 Academic Excellence Award recipient for the Computer Technology department.

“My drive to succeed has been significantly stronger this time around, in part due to the experiences I’ve had since graduating from Ripon” Steffens said. “Reflecting on where I am in my life, where I need to be going, and where I want to be going has really lit that fire.

“I set some very strong goals for myself coming into Dunwoody. I feel vindicated that all of the work I have been putting into my education—it’s nice to know that has paid off.”

Steffens is currently interviewing for jobs. He hopes his future career will be one that allows him to apply his presentation and theatrical skills to the technical skills he’s gained at Dunwoody.