“Dunwoody’s committed to developing the skills that are necessary for employers in the community to have job-ready, young people to fill the needs that we have for growth,” said Vicki Hold, President & CEO of Proto Labs.
Mortenson Selected as General Contractor For Major Renovation of Iconic Minneapolis Campus
MINNEAPOLIS, MN — Dunwoody College of Technology, the leader in technical education for more than a century, is taking a big step towards its next one hundred years. The College is breaking ground on a new construction project on its Minneapolis campus: a major renovation of its currently under-utilized gymnasium to create a state-of-the-art Learning Commons and a Welcome Center for students and their families. The project is part of a comprehensive plan that will transform the Dunwoody campus to better meet the future needs of a growing student body, which will help bridge the skills gap in the Minnesota workforce.
“This is more than an upgrade to the physical spaces of our campus,” says President Rich Wagner, Dunwoody College of Technology. “It’s about continuing to create the kind of collaborative, immersive learning spaces Dunwoody has become known for as well as staying ahead of what’s needed to fully prepare our students, from all walks of life and all parts of the state, for success in the 21st Century workplace. There’s a critical skills gap in Minnesota and around the country; this renovation is the next step in our efforts to meet employers’ needs this year, this decade and well beyond.”
Part of that need is spurred by the growth of students in the College’s new School of Engineering. In addition, many of Dunwoody’s other programs are growing and technology is merging across many of the programs requiring space for students to gather and work on sophisticated projects.
The Dunwoody Board, working with project management firm NTH, Inc., has selected Mortenson as General Contractor. Credo Campus Planning & Architecture drew up the multi-year, comprehensive master plan.
“Dunwoody College is one of the oldest technical colleges of its kind in the nation,” says Ken Sorensen, Senior Vice President of Minneapolis operations, Mortenson. “But even more importantly, it’s an iconic building in the Twin Cities metro landscape. Our team is obviously thrilled to partner with Dunwoody and help realize the next stage of the College’s long history.”
Demolition begins later this fall and will focus on a re-imagining of the space currently occupied by the under-utilized gymnasium, which was first constructed in 1924. Smart re-use of this existing space will create 24,000 square feet of space dedicated to support students with a new Learning Commons and Welcome Center. The Learning Commons will house a library, technology for research and additional digital library access, classrooms and multi-use spaces for faculty and student collaboration. The new Welcome Center, capable of accommodating events of up to 200 attendees, will provide students with space to collaborate to work on multi-disciplinary projects and will house the College’s Admissions department.
The original plan for Dunwoody’s main building allowed for the flexible use of space as well as additions and in-fills. Since the building was completed in 1917, the College has taken advantage of this pre-planned flexibility but until now it has not undertaken such a thorough and comprehensive review of space usage for current and future needs. The project is expected to be completed in late 2018 and is funded by capital investments from alumni, industry partners, and other friends of Dunwoody College.
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About Dunwoody College of Technology
Founded in 1914, Dunwoody College of Technology is the only private, not-for-profit technical college in the Upper Midwest. It has provided a hands-on, applied education to more than 200,000 men and women, who in turn have gone on to meaningful and rewarding careers and become outstanding technicians, successful entrepreneurs and industry leaders. Located on the western edge of downtown Minneapolis, Dunwoody offers more than 30 certificate, associate’s degree and bachelor’s degree programs in the areas of Applied Management, Automotive, Computer Technology, Construction Sciences & Building Technology, Design & Graphics Technology, Engineering, Radiologic Technology, Robotics & Manufacturing, and Workforce Training & Continuing Education.
Founded in 1954, Mortenson is a Minnesota-based, family-owned company. As one of the nation’s top builders and developers, Mortenson provides a complete range of services, including planning, program management, preconstruction, general contracting, construction management, design-build and turnkey development. Mortenson has offices in Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Portland and Seattle with international operations in Canada.
Dunwoody College of Technology is pleased to announce that Will Steger– environmentalist, author, educator, and explorer–will be the keynote speaker at the College’s Commencement on Saturday, May 20, at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
Steger is known for his numerous polar expeditions, deep understanding of the environment, and his efforts to raise international awareness to environmental threats. Steger has been an eyewitness to climate change. He has traveled tens of thousands of miles over 50 years leading teams on some of the most significant polar expeditions in history.
Steger received his B.S. in Geology and M.A. in Education at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN. Steger joined Amelia Earhart, Robert Peary and Roald Amundsen in receiving the National Geographic Society’s prestigious John Oliver La Gorce Medal in 1995. In 1996, he became the National Geographic Society’s first Explorer-in-Residence. He has received the Explorers Club Finn Ronne Memorial and Lowell Thomas Awards and the Lindbergh Award. Steger is the author of four books: Over the Top of the World, Crossing Antarctica, North to the Pole, and Saving the Earth and has received several Honorary Doctorate degrees.
Steger is the founder of two nonprofits, the Will Steger Wilderness Center in Ely, MN, dedicated to innovation and leadership in a wilderness setting; and Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy, headquartered in Minneapolis, with a focus on engaging educators, youth, and communities in solutions to climate change.
Paige Fischer, Industrial Engineering Technology
Expected Graduation: May 2019
Women In Technical Careers (WITC) Scholarship, Graco Scholarship
Industrial Engineering Technology student Paige Fischer always knew she wanted a hands-on career. Now in her second year at Dunwoody she is looking forward to a career as a manufacturing engineer in the medical device industry after she graduates.
“I’m excited to be a manufacturing engineer with a machinist background. My dream job is a medical manufacturing engineer,” Fischer said. “The motivation is being able to be a woman who makes differences.”
Meet Vern Discher, ’48 Engineering Drafting & Design Technology
Visit Vern and Shirley Discher’s Prior Lake home and you’ll see Dunwoody pride. A Dunwoody pennant hangs over the door in the den. Certificates acknowledging Vern’s membership in the Dunwoody 50-Year-Club and the Legacy Association are displayed on the wall, next to scores of family pictures and a map showing the couple’s travels around the world and to all 50 states.
“Shirley and I have been truly blessed in our journey through life,” says Vern. “This isn’t a ‘me’ story; it’s a ‘we’ story.”
The couple met on a double date in Minneapolis when they were still in high school. Vern was hooked instantly, but marriage had to wait until after he completed his military service in Germany and graduated from Dunwoody.
Once he had settled into work at West Bend Aluminum Company (a job the College arranged for him), he and Shirley launched their life together.
In the following years, Vern moved through a series of positions that built his knowledge of extruded aluminum manufacturing and sales.
“I was always looking for better jobs with higher pay, so I moved around from company to company in those early years,” he explains, admitting that there were a few times when he tried some “wild scheme to be my own boss” that didn’t work out. “I think I just had a built-in desire to be independent,” he explains.
In 1975, he was named general manager of Northland Marine, a division of Northland Aluminum Products that manufactured marine windshields and portholes.
The company was struggling, and Vern and CEO/owner Dave Dalquist turned it around by moving into extruded aluminum fabricating, an industry Vern knew very well.
With a new name of Northland Fabricators and a new product line, sales took off. In 1979, when Northland Aluminum was ready to sell the division, Vern and plant manager Larry Holen, bought the company, renaming it Norfab.
“A lot of the success of Norfab was my ability to hire the right people,” explains Vern. He focused on sales, and let other people do their jobs.
Shirley was often at his side at trade shows, business dinners and calls on key customers. “She did an excellent job,” says Vern. “She loved people and people loved her. We’d go to a trade show, and they’d show up at our booth and say, ‘Where’s Shirley?’”
In 1987, Vern sold his share of the company and retired to travel the world with Shirley.
“I have great personal pride in the fact that after more than 25 years, Norfab is still very much in business and that most of the employees that were there when I left are either still working there or have retired from Norfab.”
“When I look back on my career, I see that things just evolved,” says Vern. He’s pleased to see that Dunwoody continues to evolve too. “When I was there, Dunwoody was all drafting boards and tee squares,” he remembers. “Now it’s all computers. It fascinates me to go through it and to see what the young people are doing and the things they’re creating.”
In August 2016, third-year Architecture students were asked to help design a brand new dining hall for the Steger Wilderness Center, an ecologically-focused building devoted to sustainability education and climate change solution.
Splitting into three groups, the students spent their fall semester studying the land, documenting their experience, creating schematic designs of the hall, designing 3D digital models and building full-scale detail models of the building. Birchwood Café’s Chef Marshall Paulson even critiqued the students designs.
In December 2016, students presented their design proposals to students, faculty, Will Steger, and members of the design faculty.
These are their final designs.
Latest offerings boost Dunwoody’s number of manufacturer programs to five.
As the need for Automotive technicians continues to rise, so does Dunwoody’s list of program offerings.
Dunwoody will soon offer online, add-on credentials for students interested in working on both Subaru and Audi vehicles.
Audi is the College’s first European manufacturer program, which means Dunwoody is now recognized as a Premium Plus – Audi Education Partnership Program (AEP) College. The two new programs will join the already impressive spread of manufacture-specific programs at Dunwoody, which include Honda, Mopar, and Toyota.
“We are very fortunate in that we now have five manufacturer programs,” said Steve Reinarts, Automotive Dean. “Many colleges don’t have a single one.”
Online training to complement student’s campus training, boost job opportunities
The add-on credentials aim to complement the training students will already be receiving on campus. Reinarts explained that when a student is studying engines in class, they will also study engines specific to either Subaru or Audi online. The online training as well as all course materials come directly from the manufacturer, ensuring students are learning the most up-to-date information.
Upon completion of the training, students receive an Audi or Subaru General Skill Level certificate, which allows them to work at any Audi or Subaru dealer in the country. Combined with the student’s associate’s degrees, hands-on training, and internship or job experience, the additional certification aims to place students at the top of the resume pile.
Auto department to receive brand new Audi and Subaru equipment, vehicles
But the training doesn’t just benefit those who take it, Reinarts explained. “The entire Automotive department as a whole benefits from these programs.
“Because of these manufacturer programs, the Auto department is donated tools, equipment, vehicles—all of which are brand new,” Reinarts said. “So, all of our students get exposed to brand new service information and the latest and greatest of everything.
“These programs also benefit our new students because we can offer them all kinds of options,” Reinarts continued. “Some students love to work on just one type of vehicle, others like to learn and train on a wide variety of vehicles. We have opportunities for both.”
The College’s Subaru training option is available now. Audi training will most likely be available starting fall 2017.
Discover the Dunwoody Difference
Dunwoody Interior Design Principal Instructor Cindy Martimo to start second term as the Secretary/Treasurer for the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC).
Earlier this month the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) announced the 2017-2018 Board of Directors, naming Cindy Martimo Secretary/Treasurer for the third year in a row.
The mission of IDEC is to advance interior design education, scholarship, and service. Founded in 1962, the organization strives to advance responsible design thinking through professional development, innovative teaching resources, and open dialogue/collaboration projects.
“IDEC is the place where excellent teaching ideas are shared as well as opportunities for scholarships, grants, and presentations by our faculty,” Martimo said. “The organization provides an opportunity for instructors from across the country to connect.”
As the Secretary/Treasurer for the organization, Martimo manages the minutes and notes from all board and annual meanings, oversees the budget, maintains the Policy and Procedures Manual, and chairs the finance committee.
“I like my role as Secretary/Treasurer,” Martimo said. “It provides an inside look at the organization as a whole and the opportunity to provide the voice of a teaching institution.”
Martimo has been involved with the organization since 2010. Her second term officially begins May 1, 2017.