Category Archives: Faculty News

Dunwoody hosts MIE meeting to help enhance international students’ experience

Dr. Leo Parvis talking to audience at October MIE Meeting at Dunwoody College of TechnologyThe College recently welcomed members from Minnesota International Educators (MIE) as they attended a board meeting on campus. The MIE is a professional association that works to help staff and educators in international student admissions and/or services create a positive experience for international students across the state of Minnesota.

“We decided to host the meeting at Dunwoody because we wanted to bring more visibility to the College. We wanted other schools to know where we are located and that we do accept international students,” said International Student Admissions Counselor Meera Weist. “It is also a great opportunity to find out what other colleges are doing and determine what we can and should incorporate here as well.”

MIE board member talking to audience at October MIE Meeting at Dunwoody College of TechnologyThe three-hour meeting included updates from the MIE and the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP); a discussion on immigration changes; and a student panel.

The panel—consisting of international students from MCAD, UM-Twin Cities and St. Olaf College who are also part of the LGTBQ community—described how their gender identity and/or sexual orientation affected their study abroad experience, and what educators can do to help improve it.

MIE board members and guests discussing updates at October MIE Meeting at Dunwoody College of TechnologyA first time event for Dunwoody, Weist says the meeting was an excellent way for the Dunwoody Admissions team to continue to understand—and enhance—international student’s stay here in the Twin Cities.

If you are an international student looking to continue your education at Dunwoody, please contact Weist at

Bridget Reynolds Inducted into International Fraternal Organization

International Order of Hoo-Hoo LogoBridget Reynolds, Dean of Construction Sciences & Building Technology, was concatenated (inducted) into the International Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo at the 123rd International Hoo-Hoo convention, which was held in Minneapolis earlier this month.

The International Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo, Inc. is a fraternal and service organization whose members are dedicated to the progression and welfare of forest-based industry. Members include individuals from professions like forestry, education, research and manufacturing who work closely with wood-based products and/or the lumber industry.

Reynolds was welcomed by Snark of the Universe—and the fraternity’s first female Snark since it’s founding in 1892—Mary Beth Moynihan from J.B. O’Meara, Inc.

Reynolds will now serve on the education board of the Twin Cities Hoo-Hoo Chapter #12.

Construction Project Management students Melysia Cha and Andrew Hoogenakker also attended the convention. Cha and Hoogenakker supported the convection’s logistics by welcoming members and assisting with registration setup.

Cha and Hoogenakker said the most enjoyable part of the day was listening to stories from attending members – some of who had traveled from Australia and Malaysia to be there.

For more information on Hoo-Hoo, visit

Auto Instructor Lonny Lunn Receives Instructor Recognition Award

Congratulations to Senior Automotive Instructor Lonny Lunn, a 2015 recipient of the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Industry Education Alliance Instructor Recognition Award!

Lonny holding award.

The ASEIEA award is used to recognize instructors who have gone above and beyond in helping their students and advancing their career in technical education.

To achieve this recognition, instructors must meet a number of criteria, including at least five years of teaching experience; documented attendance at instructor training events; a history of placing students in work-based learning assignments; and ASE Master Certification in the area in which they teach.

Lonny talking with student next to car.

“Receiving this award is a great honor,” said Lunn. “Being with the students is the best part of my job. I enjoy nothing more than that learning moment—that moment when I see something click with my students.”

Lunn has been with Dunwoody since 2002. He currently manages the Honda Professional Auto Career Training (PACT) program.

Elftmann Student Success Center Receives 1st Place Website Excellence Award

WEA1-2015_NCLCA-LSCHEThe Elftmann Student Success Center (ESSC) received first place in the 2015 NCLCA/LSCHE Website Excellence Awards competition, which was announced earlier this month.

The Website Excellence Award is awarded annually to  a postsecondary learning support center that’s website exhibits accuracy, support and strong student engagement.

Elftmann Student Success Center staff left to right: Teresa Milligan, Ross Brower, Eeris Fritz

Elftmann Student Success Center staff left to right: Teresa Milligan, Ross Brower, Eeris Fritz

The competition–co-sponsored by the Learning Support Centers in Higher Education (LSCHE) and the National College Learning Center Association (NCLCA)– is open to all college and university learning center websites. This is Dunwoody’s second time entering and placing in the competition. The ESSC also received third place in 2012.

The Elftmann Student Success Center’s mission is to provide quality academic support and development to all Dunwoody students. Currently, the center includes support services such as tutoring, Guided Study Recitations, tip sheets, a technical video library, a Math Center, and a Writing Center.

“The changes in learning support within higher education have made it necessary for centers such as ours to get creative about how to support academics, and how to be responsive to changing student needs,” said Teresa Milligan, Senior Instructor and website manager. “Winning this award means we’ve made great strides toward providing that support.”

Students studying in the Elftmann Student Success Center

Elftmann Student Success Center

Websites qualified for the NCLCA/LSCHE Website Excellence Award must meet nearly 30 different set criteria, including an up-to-date announcements section; working alt labels on all graphics; a detailed history of the center; and recent photos of both students and faculty active in the center. All website content must meet the standards of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS).

“In the higher education landscape, this award has really allowed Dunwoody—a non-profit, private, technical college—to act as an exemplar and represent a sector of higher education that is often overlooked. This award has given us a chance to be recognized and promote positive changes,” said Milligan.

Milligan will accept the NCLCA/LSCHE Website Excellence Award on the center’s behalf October 6, at the NCLCA Conference in Milwaukee, WI.

Learn more about the support services the Elftmann Student Success Center provides.

Alumni Brick Installation Holds Great Meaning to Dunwoody Employee

Axel Jr. holding brickPrincipal Math Instructor Eeris Fritz and her 90-year-old father Axel M. Fritz Jr. placed a memorial brick in honor of Eeris’ grandfather, Axel M. Fritz Sr., earlier this summer.
Axel Sr. was a 1920 welding graduate from Dunwoody Industrial Institute. His diploma–which hangs in Eeris’ office–was signed by Charles A. Prosser, a pioneer in vocational education and Dunwoody’s director at that time.

Axel Jr. proudly shared that his father’s success was attributed to hisAxel Jr. placing brick into walkway training at Dunwoody. Axel Sr. went on to becoming an executive at Union Brass and Metal. Axel Sr. died in 1963 but his legacy lives on.

Axel Sr.’s memorial brick is part of the alumni walkway outside of Carlson Commons.

For more information on alumni bricks, please contact our Alumni Department at or 612-381-3064.

2015 Dunwoody Recognition Award Winners

As the 2014-2015 academic year comes to an end, Dunwoody is honored to recognize the many faculty and staff members who have made a difference to the College, its neighbors and its students by presenting several service awards.

Congratulations to the following 2015 Dunwoody Recognition Award Winners:

Building Community Award Winner: Barb Russell

The Building Community award goes to an individual whose projects or efforts demonstrates and heightens Dunwoody’s commitment to cultural awareness being integrated in the campus and community.

Outstanding Team Award: Bachelor of Architecture Team, Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Team and Support for Campus Women’s Initiatives Team

The Outstanding Team award is given out annually to a cross-departmental team of employees whose work has had a significant impact on the way Dunwoody serves its constituents.

Bachelor of Architecture Team: John Dwyer, Stephen Knowles, Paul Strother, Bridget Reynolds, Olawale Falade, Molly Reichert, James Howarth and Charlie Radloff – Posthumously

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Team: Jane Bohl, Janet Nurnberg, E.J. Daigle, Tim Flugum, Andrew LeRoy, Jim Nyberg, Mary Anne Jaedike and Carla Pogliano

Support for Campus Women’s Initiatives Team: Maggie Whitman, Janet Nurnberg, Karen Schmitt , Mary Zawadski and Jenny Saplis

Outstanding Academic Innovation Award Winners: Tom Herold, Stephen Knowles and Janet Nurnberg  

The Outstanding Academic Innovation award is awarded to faculty members who demonstrate a commitment to implementing innovative instructional strategies in the classroom.

Instructor of the Year Award Winners: Jeff Bixby and Andrew LeRoy 

Nominations for the Instructor of the Year award come from current Dunwoody students. The award is given out annually to instructors who are committed to the students’ academic success, serve as a professional role model to students and colleagues, aim for academic excellence in curriculum development and aim for academic excellence in instruction.

Distinguished Teacher Award Winners: Hank Beadell and Jim Nyberg

The Distinguished Teacher award is given to faculty members who have committed a significant portion of their career to the art of teaching and who demonstrate an ongoing commitment to education and lifelong learning.

William and Kate Dunwoody Outstanding Service Award: Tou Vang (Honorary), William Morris and Jane Bohl

The William and Kate Dunwoody Outstanding Service award is given to employees who have consistently performed outstanding work for the College.

Dunwoody students earn gold at 2013 SkillsUSA Minnesota Contest

Dunwoody students performed well again this year in the SkillsUSA Minnesota Contest held last weekend at various locations in the Twin Cities, including the Dunwoody campus.

The Collision students, advised by Bruce Graffunder and Bob Brandon, made a complete sweep of the awards, taking first through fourth place in the contest. Kevin Wendt advised two teams for the Web Design contest, and they placed first and second.

Overall, 16 Dunwoody students competed in seven contests, including Collision, Automotive Refinishing, HVAC, Computer Programming, Computer Maintenance, Web Design, and Internetworking.  The students medaled in five of the contests with three in first place, two in second place, three in third place, and two in fourth place.  The full results are:


Collision Repair– Advisors: Bruce Graffunder and Bob Brandon

1st: Erik Campion

2nd: Trevor Multhaup

3rd: Huey Lewis

4th: Andy LaRue


Internetworking – Advisors: Rob Bentz and Dave Mansheffer

1st: Donald Geer


Computer Web Design –Advisor: Kevin Wendt

1st Place Team:  Joe Packer and Brett Lidfors

2nd Place Team:  Martin Sheeks and Brady Skaurad


Automotive Refinishing – Advisors: Bruce Graffunder and Bob Brandon

3rd: Erik Campion

4th: Huey Lewis


Computer Maintenance – Advisor: Dave Mansheffer

3rd: Lee Reiners


The first place winners are eligible to compete at the national SkillsUSA competition in Kansas City, Mo., June 24–28.

Kevin Wendt and Bruce Graffunder will be attending the national competition as advisors for the contests.  Four Dunwoody faculty members are going to the national competition to judge: Lonny Lunn and Dave Duval for the Automotive competition, Heather Gay for the Teamworks competition, and Polly Friendshuh for the Electrical Construction Wiring competition.

For more information about SkillsUSA Minnesota, visit


SkillsUSA Minnesota is part of a national organization that serves over a quarter million student members annually, organized into more than 14,700 chapters and 54 state and territorial associations (including Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands). The Minnesota Association has offered leadership opportunities to over 200,000 student members since 1967, with a current annual membership of over 3,000. There are chapters in 29 technical colleges and 50 high schools or cooperative centers, with potential to serve many more. SkillsUSA is governed by a Board of Directors, elected from teachers that advise local chapters, and representing both the high school and college divisions and industry representatives. All programs are offered as integral to the curriculum.



Triumph at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Film Festival

TRIUMPH67, a film produced by Arts and Science Instructor Mohannad Ghawanmeh, will have its world debut at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Film Festival (MSPIFF) this weekend.
Ghawanmeh is also the lead actor in the film, which explores concepts of family, home, memories and deception through the lives of two Palestinian-American brothers. The film takes place in Minnesota and was shot locally.

TRIUMPH67 will premiere Friday, April 15, 2011 at the St. Anthony Main Theatre.

“Our film follows a young Palestinian-American man in Minneapolis grappling with the sudden death of his older brother and forced to confront his own actions…actions that may have inadvertently changed everyone’s life,” said Dan Tanz, co-writer and director of TRIUMPH67.

TRIUMPH67 will premiere at MSPIFF, the state’s oldest film festival, at 7 p.m., Friday, April 15, at the St. Anthony Main Theatre in Minneapolis. It was recently reviewed in Vita.MN magazine by local film critic Colin Covert, who described it as “poignant and moody.” Read the review at Vita.MN.

For more about the film, check out the TRIUMPH67 web site or for details about the three-week  MSPIFF, which features 150 films from more than 50 countries, go to: