Category Archives: Events

Women in Technical Careers Scholarship Provides More Than Financial Support

Women in Technical Careers (WITC) is Dunwoody’s new scholarship program designed to help women students succeed in technical degree programs at Dunwoody. Recipients of the scholarship receive $20,000 in scholarship funding and childcare assistance if needed.

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However, WITC is much more than just financial assistance. It also serves as a series of support services and networks–all designed to remove barriers that often prevent women from seeking non-traditional professions.

“Throughout their time at Dunwoody, WITC students participate in a cohort program, a mentorship program and monthly professional development workshops. They also have direct, one-on-one support from an advisor,” said Women’s Enrollment Coordinator Maggie Whitman. “While the scholarship funding helps, it’s these support services that really make a difference.”

IMG_1692Perhaps one of the most successful support services offered is the mentorship program. Modeled after research findings on the best way to support women students in a technical career, the program pairs each student with a local, successful woman in the same profession.

Mentors include women such as Claire Ferrara, Interim Executive Director of MEDICO; Cathy Heying, Founder of The Lift Garage; Karin McCabe, Workforce and Vendor Outreach Coordinator from McGough Construction; and many more.

“The mentorship program is important because it connects our students with women who are experienced at navigating workplacesIMG_1747 where few women work,” Whitman said. “Mentors can share job searching advice, industry information, and personal experiences that will prepare our students for their lives after graduation. It’s important for our students to hear this type of feedback and advice from women who have had similar life experiences. A simple, ‘I’ve been there, and I made it through…’ can go a long way.”

The mentorship program officially kicked off last month at a social event on campus. Students and their mentors were able to meet in person for the first time and get to know one another over appetizers and beverages.

“The students were very excited to meet so many professional women in their chosen careers,” Whitman said. “I also heard from the mentors that they appreciated the opportunity to network with other professional women. I think this program will be beneficial for everyone involved.”

IMG_1750Mentors and students will meet in person several more times throughout the next two years. They will also communicate regularly online.

The WITC scholarship was awarded to 22 women in 2015. The students are currently enrolled in programs like Automotive, Computer Technology, Robotics & Manufacturing and Construction Sciences & Building Technology.

The WITC students are expected to graduate in Spring of 2017.

Learn more about Women in Technical Careers.

The Design Library Introduces New Meet the Author Series

Larry Millett speaks at the first Meet the Author Series Event

On Thursday, Oct. 1, about 80 students and faculty gathered as Kyle Huberty – Dunwoody’s AIAS Chapter President – introduced Larry Millett at the Design Library’s first Meet the Author Series event. Larry Millett – prominent Minnesota author of both history and mystery books – focused on his body of published work, including his newest book, Minnesota Modern: Architecture and Life at Midcentury, available this fall. Larry Millett wrote many influential Minnesota architecture books including, Lost Twin Cities, the AIA Guide to the Twin Cities, and Once there were Castles.

About the new Meet the Author Series

Librarian Sarah Huber explains that the Design Library’s Meet the Author Series is intended to bring in authors to talk about topics related to the College’s design programs like interior design, architecture, graphic design, and any of the construction sciences areas. Because Larry Millett is a local author specializing in Minnesota’s architectural history, Sarah felt like he was the perfect fit to kick off the series. “I want to promote reading in students’ programs, whether it is books, ebooks, journal articles, blogs or web sites,” Sarah said, “I think the greatest outcome of reading in my field is that I feel inspired about what I do. My hope is that these author talks have that effect on students.”

There will be a new Meet the Author Series event each academic semester. Stay tuned for details about the Spring Semester author event. Until then, click here for more information on the Design Library’s resources and offerings.

Dunwoody-Built Fish House To Be Raffled at Rebuilding Together Twin Cities Fundraiser

Exterior photo of Dunwoody College student-built fish house.Over the last seven months, Dunwoody students and faculty have been building a one-of-a-kind, luxury fish house. The house is part of a fundraising project for Rebuilding Together Twin Cities, which makes critical home repairs for Twin Cities’ homeowners in need.

The 128 square-foot house was designed and built by Dunwoody students and faculty from Construction Management, Interior Design, Welding, and HVAC Installation & Residential Service programs.

The fish house will be raffled at Rebuilding Together Twin Cities’ Flannel Fling event on Friday, Oct. 30, at Nicollet Island Pavilion. The fundraiser begins at 6 p.m. and will also include a live and silent auction; local craft beer; dinner; live entertainment; games and much more.

Raffle tickets for the fish house are $20 each with proceeds benefiting Rebuilding Together Twin Cities and Dunwoody College of Technology.

To purchase tickets, or for more information, contact Heather Gay at hgay@dunwoody.edu.

CEO Russ Becker Talks About the Impact of Leadership Development at APi Group

Leadership development is a journey that “takes time, energy, investment and commitment,” said Russell Becker, APi Group, Inc. CEO and President.

 Becker shared the importance of that journey and its overall impact at APi Group, during the Sept. 3 Leadership Lecture at Dunwoody College of Technology. Under Becker’s leadership, APi Group has grown to a $2.5 billion parent company. APi Group includes more than 40 complementary businesses, which provide fire protection and industrial and specialty construction.

 When Becker was promoted to CEO and President he began re-investing in leadership development. “Leadership, and leadership development, has been a huge part of our company, really since I joined the corporate company in 2002,” Becker said.

 As part of the company’s leadership development journey, Becker talked about the importance of first aligning their company values and corporate culture, as well as making sure they had the right leaders in top positions.

“We have 200 locations; each one of those locations needs to have great leadership,” Becker said.

 Becker said leaders at APi are problem solvers who have a sense of urgency. They are results driven and focus on building relationships. The company utilizes the Leadership Institute as well Leader Labs for ongoing training and development. APi also creates individual development plans for its leaders and utilizes a strategic leadership advisor and a Chief Learning Officer.

For APi Group, Becker said he can point to the company’s increased revenue and profitability over the past 13 years as proof that the investment is paying off.

The breakfast lecture series is held the first Thursday of every month and features key executives from the business community, who are invited to speak on a range of leadership topics. The next event will be held at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 3 and will feature Russell Becker, President and CEO of APi Group, Inc. For more information, or to view past events, visit www.dunwoody.edu/alumni/jackson.

Dr. Whitney Harris Speaks at 72nd Diversity Forum: Multicultural Student Day

Dr. Whitney Harris Speaks at Diversity ForumAround 30 Dunwoody students, local high school students, and employees attended the 72nd Diversity Forum on Sept. 16, joining Executive Director of Diversity at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Dr. Whitney Harris to celebrate Multicultural Student Day. His talk focused on the importance of being rooted in one’s self and striving toward open-mindedness.

“One thing that most Americans don’t know … is that from the very day this country was founded, we were already the most diverse country in the world, “ Dr. Harris said, “I think there’s a connection between that and some of the things we’ve been able to accomplish as a people.”

To continue moving forward and growing as a people, Dr. Harris encouraged students to sharpen these four diversity skills:

  • Be comfortable with who you are
  • Be comfortable with differences
  • Be comfortable with the ever-changing environment
  • Take Risks

“Diversity is just the guts of this country,” he said, “there is no group here that can claim to have built this country. We all did.”

Diversity Forums, which are held once a month throughout the academic year, help the campus community explore different cultures and various perspectives.

Dr. Whitney Harris poses with President Rich Wagner and Dr. Leo Parvis

From left to right: President Rich Wagner, Dr. Whitney Harris, and Dr. Leo Parvis

October Diversity Forum
The next Diversity Forum will be a Festival of Cultures held at 11:30 a.m. in the McNamara Center on Thursday, Oct. 8.

Computer Technology Department Hosts Summer Arts-n-Crafts, Robots and Computing Camp

Dunwoody’s Computer Technology Department recently hosted an Arts-n-Crafts, Robots and Computing Summer Camp–a weeklong educational camp for junior high school students ranging in grades from 5th – 8th.

Student examining Lego robot

The camp brought 20 students to Dunwoody’s campus where they learned the basics of computing through multiple arts and crafts projects–including the assembly of Lego robots and the creation of their very own interactive, electronic game or phone app.

The games/phone applications, created by either Scratch (a programming language and online community) or App Inventor (a program used to create apps specific for Android phones and tablets,) provided campers with an opportunity to enhance their programming and creativity skills, while experiencing first hand what a career in programming or web development might look likeTwo students working on computers .

“One of the students created a virtual paper doll with changeable outfits,” said Web Programming & Database Development Instructor Paula Merns. “Another created a game where a skydiver caught money as he fell. The logic used in creative ways exactly mimics what programmers do when they get onto a job.”

Student holding Lego robotMerns says the student-designed Lego robot sculptures were also highly interactive. “One team created a ‘Tunneling Robot’ that started upon touch, and then changed lights when it reached the back of a dark space. Another created a robot cat that wagged it’s tail when petted (see picture to the left).”

The campers were also able to explore—and even test—many of Dunwoody’s robotic machines as well as participate in an interactive, electronic scavenger hunt in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.

Students watching a robotic demonstration

Dunwoody’s Arts-n-Crafts, Robots and Computing Camp is not only the first of it’s kind for Dunwoody, but also a first for many of the campers, as it combines the world of arts into science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines…turning the popular STEM acronym into STEAM.

“Technology and art work together all around us. This camp gave the campers a chance to play with that intersection,” said Merns.

RStudents outside on a scavenger huntob Bentz, Program Manager of Computer Technology, said, “Ultimately, we chose to run the camp to introduce junior high level kids to technology. There is research, for girls in particular, that shows junior high is where decisions are made to pursue technical or engineering type jobs in the future. We hoped we could persuade a few of our campers to consider just that.”

The camp is expected to run again in summer 2016.

For additional photos of the 2015 camp, visit our Facebook page.

Top Tool CEO Shares Personal and Powerful Message on Leadership

On Thursday, August 6, Elizabeth Abraham shared her personal journey – from an early career as a psychologist to the current CEO and Owner of a precision micro-parts manufacturing company. Abraham was the featured speaker in August for the C. Charles Jackson Leadership Lecture Series at Dunwoody College of Technology.

Abraham speaking Abraham related her powerful personal story to a series of leadership lessons ranging from learning from your mistakes to surrounding yourself with a great team.

A licensed psychologist, Abraham grew up in New England and taught at the Chicago Medical School in the 1970s. She also did small business consulting and taught Marketing & Small Business Development at the University of St. Thomas and at the Carlson School of Management. All of those experiences helped shape her leadership values, which have become part of the Top Tool culture.

Founded in 1966, Top Tool Company was a tool and die shop that created precision progressive dies, which manufactures used to make metal parts for electronic devices and other products. After purchasing the company with her husband in 1987, Abraham diversified the company into metal stamping and manufacturing of precision micro-parts and has seen annual double-digit growth since 2010. Top Tool has also steadily gained new customers in the defense and medical device industries.

Abraham believes strongly in giving back and has served on numerous boards, including the Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association and the Minnesota Manufacturer’s Coalition of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. She was also a founding member of the Women Leaders in Manufacturing Council.

For her leadership and advocacy of the manufacturing industry, Abraham received the “American Eagle Award” from the Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association. She was also named an “Industry Leader of the Year” by the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal.

Abraham & Ylinen smiling

The breakfast lecture series is held the first Thursday of every month and features key executives from the business community, who are invited to speak on a range of leadership topics. The next event will be held at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 3 and will feature Russell Becker, President and CEO of APi Group, Inc. For more information, or to view past events, visit: www.dunwoody.edu/alumni/jackson

Robotics & Manufacturing Department Hosts Summer STEM Camp

Dunwoody’s Robotics & Manufacturing department hosted the College’s first ever STEM Camp June 23-25.

Group shot of STEM Camp students

The camp—sponsored by Boston Scientific—introduced STEM programs/careers like mechanical, civil, electrical, software and industrial engineering to 37 high school juniors and seniors.

Student wiring electronic flashlight During the camp, students were able to participate in group lectures and brainstorming exercises, watch faculty-led demonstrations and explore the College’s classrooms and campus. Campers also engaged in multiple hands-on activities including bridge building and testing; designing, 3D printing and wiring a flashlight; creating a software business plan for a food truck business; and a large Lego manufacturing simulation led by Boston Scientific engineers (pictured below.)

STEM camp students working on a Lego manufacturing simulation The 3-day camp also covered topics in science, physics and mathematics.

“It’s important for students interested in STEM to understand all of the options available to them,” Industrial Engineering Technology Principle Instructor and camp coordinator Janet Nurnberg said. “And although this camp just scratched the surface of STEM opportunities, we are excited to help students along their journey of exploring their future career options.”

Janet says the Robotics & Manufacturing Department has plans to run the camp again next summer.

For additional photos of the 2015 camp, visit our Facebook page.