Category Archives: Events

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!

Diversity Forums: a Dunwoody tradition

Since 2002, Dunwoody has hosted a monthly Diversity Forum inviting students, faculty and community members to discuss new topics surrounding diversity.

Kimberly Brown sings with her group of singers, Kimberly's Krew, at the February Diversity Forum celebrating Black History Month.

Kimberly Brown sings with her group of singers, Kimberly’s Krew, at the February Diversity Forum celebrating Black History Month.

Throughout the years, Dunwoody has hosted more than 160 speakers including Minnesota Council on Foundations President Trista Harris, Former Minneapolis Mayor and Executive Director of Generation Next R.T. Rybak, and Minneapolis Deputy Police Chief of Staff Medaria Arradondo.

Most recently, Dunwoody featured Grammy Award Winner Kimberly Brown and KSTP TV 5 Broadcast Journalist Cleo Greene at the February Diversity Forum last Wednesday celebrating Black History Month. More than 100 students and faculty filled the College’s McNamara Center to listen to Brown sing along with her group, Kimberly’s Krew. Afterward, Greene spoke about her experience growing up and fulfilling her dreams of becoming a broadcast journalist. As Greene shared her background story, she urged students to think about what they are posting to social media and how it reflects their personal brand – and how they are being perceived. “We are the owner of who we are as a brand,” Greene said.

KSTP TV 5 Broadcast Journalist Cleo Greene speaks at February's Diversity Forum celebrating Black History Month.

KSTP TV 5 Broadcast Journalist Cleo Greene speaks at February’s Diversity Forum celebrating Black History Month.

Don’t miss the next Diversity Forum where Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson will speak about Women’s History Month and her experience being elected as the first female attorney general in Minnesota. The Forum will take place at 12:30 p.m., on March 15, in the College’s McNamara Center. All are welcome, and refreshments are provided.

For more information on Dunwoody’s Diversity Forums — or to RSVP to the next event — contact Dr. Leo Parvis at lparvis@dunwoody.edu. Dr. Parvis is the Diversity Programs & Education Coordinator at Dunwoody College of Technology.

Dunwoody’s Snowplow earns third place in 2016 Autonomous Snowplow Competition

Photo of Dunwoody snowplow at 2016 Autonomous Snowplow CompetitionDunwoody College’s Snow Devil 01102 Snowplow earned third place—and a $2,000 prize—at the 6th annual Institute of Navigation (ION) Autonomous Snowplow Competition held January 28-31 during the Saint Paul Winter Carnival. The team also won the $500 Professor Nattu Sportsmanship Award for the second year in a row.

Dunwoody’s 2016 team—coached by faculty members E.J. Daigle, John McShannock and Alex Wong— included Electronics Engineering Technology students Alan Stafford, Matt Herrick, and Andy Haug; and Automated Systems & Robotics students Ryan Dailey and Dustin Forcier.

Competition aligns with Dunwoody’s approach to education

Photo of Dunwoody snowplow at 2016 Autonomous Snowplow CompetitionAccording to the ION Autonomous Snowplow Competition website: “The purpose of this competition is to challenge university and college students as well as the general public, to design, build, and operate a fully autonomous snowplow to remove snow from a designated path.”

This year, eleven teams from the top engineering universities in the Upper Midwest and Canada participated. Dunwoody’s Robotics & Manufacturing Department is one of just two teams 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 2015.

“The competition provides great credit to the application-based engineering culture here at Dunwoody,” Daigle said. “Especially as we prepare to launch new engineering programs over the next 5 years.”

Photo of Dunwoody snowplow at 2016 Autonomous Snowplow CompetitionThe team’s knowledge and experience with the competition appeared to be evident to other teams as well. Daigle said that at one point during the competition, a team announced they were going to quit due to technical difficulties when another team suggested they, “find the Dunwoody guys–they can fix anything.”

Daigle said that the cooperative competition displayed by his team was one of the best parts of this year’s contest.

Final results:

1st place: University of Michigan “Yeti 6.0”

2nd place: Case Western Reserve University “Otto X”

3rd place: Dunwoody College of Technology “Snow Devil 01102

4th place: University of Michigan “Zenith 2.1”

5th place: Case Western Reserve University “Snow Joke”

6th place: North Dakota State University “Thundar 2.0”

7th place: University of St. Thomas “John Snow”

8th place: University of Minnesota “Ground Squirrel”

9th place: University of British Columbia “Snow Flake”

10th place: North Dakota State University “Snow Blight”

11th place: Bemidji State University “BeaverBot”

Kate’s Club on the rise

Karen Schmitt talks to women at a Kate's Club meeting.

Karen Schmitt talks to women at a Kate’s Club meeting.

Electrical Construction & Maintenance Senior Instructor Karen Schmitt began working in a non-traditional career in 1978 and has since been looking for ways to help other women in technical fields. With this in mind, Schmitt started Kate’s Club to give female students a space to find mentorship and network with other women in non-traditional careers.

“What good is it if I don’t share my experience with someone and bring some awareness to how hard women have worked to get to this point?” Schmitt said, noting how difficult it was for her as a woman working on various construction sites.

Kate’s Club on the rise

Since the beginning, women at Dunwoody have been drawn to Kate’s Club for its supportive and empowering atmosphere. For this reason, membership has grown and Karen has passed the Club leadership onto the students.

“I enjoy being able to network with other women and collaborate with them,” said Construction Management student Melysia Cha. “We have such great faculty mentors with valuable stories and experiences to share.”

Cha serves as the Secretary of Kate’s Club and has high hopes for its future. Her goal for this semester is to find more members from both day and night classes and to host more meetings and events for women on campus to get involved in.

Leadership also includes President Kayle Moss, who recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Management & Leadership, and Vice President Megan Swanson, a Graphic Design & Packaging student.

To kick off the semester, the Club will be hosting a “Souperbowl” Chili Cook-Off to raise funds for future events.

The 2nd Annual “Souperbowl” Chili Cook-Off

The 2nd Annual “Souperbowl” Chili Cook-Off fundraiser takes place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28, in the McNamara Center.

Karen Schmitt and members of Kate's Club

Karen Schmitt and members of Kate’s Club

Proceeds from this cook-off will benefit Kate’s Club by funding events like last year’s trip to Iron Maiden Metal Fabrication, a woman-owned blacksmithing and metalwork shop in Minneapolis. Trips like these allow the women of Dunwoody to network with other women in technical careers and learn about opportunities available to them.

To learn more about events and opportunities at Kate’s Club, email Karen Schmitt at katesclub@dunwoody.edu

Automotive Dean’s service celebrated at annual potluck, department continues Toys for Tots donation

Dunwoody Automotive students loading up their lunch plates at the annual holiday potluck event in the Warren buildingFor the past two decades or so, Dunwoody’s Automotive Department has celebrated the holiday season in a memorable way. The Warren Building is festively decorated; long banquet tables are packed with crock-pot treats; Toys for Tots donations are collected; and students celebrate the end of their final exams and presentations.

This year, however, the annual holiday potluck was even more special than usual as students, staff and faculty bid farewell to Automotive Dean Jon Kukachka who is set to retire January 15.

Kukachka leaves Dunwoody with fond memories

Dunwoody Automotive students loading up their lunch plates at the annual holiday potluck event in the Warren building

“The holiday potlucks are definitely something that Automotive graduates remember about their time here,” Kukachka said. “I am going to miss events like these. The students have always been very special to me.”

Kukachka–who has provided the College with over 30 years of service–has been the program’s dean since 2010.

Retiring Dunwoody Automotive Dean Jon Kukachka speaking to Automotive students at the annual holiday potluck event “I have tried to be the kind of dean that students would not be afraid to talk to,” he said. “I wanted students to know that they could come to me about anything—good or bad—whatever was on their mind,” he said.

Faculty applaud student’s Toys for Tots donation

While the farewell was bittersweet, Kukachka was pleased to learn that the Automotive department did well in another  Toys for Tots fundraiser.

“The department has been donating to Toys for Tots ever since Dunwoody got involved with the program in the late ‘80s or early ‘90s,” Kukachka said. “It has become a tradition that the Auto Department does well so every year we try to instill that drive into our students.”

This year a friendly competition was implemented throughout the College with a first place prize of $150 awarded to the department who raised the most dollars and/or collected the most toys.

During the potluck, Automotive donations were totaled, revealing a grand total of about $2,000 in cash and toys—more than any other department.

Dunwoody Automotive students standing next to toys being donated to Toys for Tots

Program faculty decided to continue the season of giving by also donating their $150 winnings to the toy drive.

Kukachka says that this is the most the Automotive department has ever raised, making it a department—and quite possibly a Dunwoody—record.

Dunwoody College wishes Kukachka all the best

“This year’s potluck was very special to me,” Kukachka said.

“I will miss the people—both students and coworkers. I came here in 1980 wondering if I had made the right decision to change occupations. I know now that yes, I made the right decision to work at Dunwoody.”

On behalf of Dunwoody’s students, faculty and staff, the College wishes Kukachka all the best on his retirement.

“40 Under 40” recipient Trista Harris to speak at Dunwoody College’s 75th Diversity Forum

Trista Harris, President of Minnesota Council on Foundations

Trista Harris, President of Minnesota Council on Foundations

Join us for our 75th Diversity Forum at 12 p.m. on Jan. 14, 2016, in the Holden Center at Dunwoody College of Technology in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This Forum will feature philanthropic futurist Trista Harris.

Harris, president of the Minnesota Council on Foundations, was recently named to the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s list of “40 under 40.”

A passionate advocate for new leaders in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors, Harris’s work has been covered by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, CNN, The New York Times and numerous social sector blogs.

Harris is also the co-author of the book How to Become a Nonprofit Rockstar and speaks internationally about using the tools of futurism in the social sector.

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

HR professionals give students an inside look at the hiring process

Micah Thorson has been the President of Dunwoody’s Institute of HR professionals and hiring managers speak to students about the hiring process at large companies.Industrial Engineers (IIE) student chapter since it started about a year ago with a goal to connect students with professionals in the industry and expose them to hands-on experience.

As part of this initiative, IIE hosted a panel of HR professionals  from Liberty Carton, and 3M and a hiring manager from Target Corp. to help students understand what these hiring managers look for in successful candidates.

“The interview process can be a little more rigorous for large companies,” said Thorson, “we wanted to invite them to campus to find out what they look for so we could be better prepared.”

Writing a successful resume

Allie Rikke–an HR Generalist at Liberty Carton–mentioned that the first thing she looks for on a resume is metrics. She said, “once you start talking money, people start paying attention.” Rikke suggested that applicants applying for industrial engineer positions should translate their projects into dollars and cents to illustrate the impact of their work.

3M Sourcing Agent Amelia Simonet explained that she pays attention to leadership roles. “Stay away from words like ‘assisted’ or ‘helped,'” Simonet advised. She said she prefers to hear what the applicant took the lead on—not what the applicant helped with.

Doug Meldrum, Group Manager at Target Corp., suggested students should get involved in organizations and clubs on campus, explaining it was a great way to highlight leadership skills on a resume.

There are many clubs and organizations like IIE available to students in different program areas. Thorson encouraged participation in clubs because they “give students practical experience and build their skills to be successful in their industry,” noting that IIE is hoping to offer a six-sigma training next semester.

Preparing for behavior-based interviews

In addition to resume advice, the panel highlighted the importance of behavior-based interviewing skills, particularly for people applying for technical careers. In order to be effective in a technical position, you’ll need to be able to communicate with your team successfully, they explained.

Behavior-based interviews include questions that allow hiring professionals to learn more about an applicant’s behavior and soft skills in a work environment. This helps them understand how the applicant will work with a team.

Associate Director of Career Services Rob Borchardt is available to help students prepare for these interviews by conducting mock interviews and providing feedback on performance.

“Landing the job is all about your interview prep. There are some tricks I can give to help figure out what questions you might be asked in an interview in addition to some of the standard questions,” Borchardt said, “Practice is key, especially for those harder to answer questions.”

Learn more about the services available to students on the Career Services webpage.

To learn more about upcoming events in the Institute of Industrial Engineers organization, contact Faculty Advisor Janet Nurnberg at jnurnberg@dunwoody.edu.