Category Archives: Student News

Architecture Student’s Present Design Proposals for Steger Wilderness Center Dining Hall

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.

 

 

Dunwoody Automotive adds online training for Audi and Subaru vehicles

 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.

A photo of Dunwoody's Automotive LabDunwoody 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 Audi and Subaru trainings are completely free for students enrolled in the College’s Automotive Service Technology, Mopar Career Automotive, or Honda Professional Auto Career Training programs.

A close-up of an Audi vehicle’s engine, recently donated to Dunwoody College

A close-up of an Audi vehicle’s engine, which was recently donated to Dunwoody College

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.

A close-up of a Subaru vehicle’s engine, recently donated to Dunwoody College

A close-up of a Subaru vehicle’s engine, which was recently donated to Dunwoody College

“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

If you are interested in an Automotive career, join us at our next open house on Tuesday, Jan. 17, or visit dunwoody.edu to learn more.

Learn more about Dunwoody Automotive.

Dunwoody students give back for the holidays

This holiday season, Dunwoody’s Student Government Association is focusing on giving back to the community and families in need.

IMG_9312 copyIn addition to overseeing clubs and organizations on campus, Dunwoody College of Technology’s Student Government Association (SGA) focuses much of its efforts on volunteerism and giving back to the community.

In September, SGA volunteered with Feed My Starving Children. The students packed 136 boxes of food that would provide 29,376 meals to children in Haiti. And in November, the students spent time at Ebenezer Care Center where they played bingo with the residents of the nursing home.

“We’re representing the student body and being in a leadership role, I think it’s crucial to give back to the community,” SGA President Danial Hannover said. “Volunteering and doing a little extra is all a part of being a leader.”

SGA hosts holiday drives for families in need

In addition to volunteering their time, SGA organized several drives to benefit families in need this holiday season.

With Thanksgiving in mind, SGA held a food drive throughout the month of November. The drive benefitted The Food Group, a full-service food bank with over 200 hunger relief partners throughout Minnesota. The Food Group provides free food, access to bulk food purchasing, and food drive programs to communities throughout the state.

By the end of the drive, SGA collected enough food items from the Dunwoody community to fill a 55-gallon barrel.

This month, SGA is focusing on the winter holidays by collecting winter clothing and gear donations for the Salvation Army. They’re also holding a competition to see which academic department can raise the most toys to benefit Toys for Tots.

The Association will be collecting winter clothing and gear until Friday, Dec. 23. Academic departments will be collecting toys for Toys for Tots until Friday, Dec. 16. Winners of the Toys for Tots drive will be announced on Monday, Dec. 19.

“There’s a lot of families out there in need – especially during the holiday season,” SGA member Tommy Dao said. “We take a lot of things for granted, and we want to give a helping hand whenever we can.”

Learn more about SGA.

Birchwood Café Chef helps Architecture students design Steger Wilderness Center Dining Hall

Chef’s critiques and background in restaurant industry influences student James Matthes’ kitchen design.

Earlier this year, third-year Architecture students were asked to help design and build a brand new dining hall for the Steger Wilderness Center, an ecologically-focused building devoted to sustainability education and climate change solution.

Photo of Birchwood Café’s Chef Marshall Paulson critiquing student designs.

Birchwood Café’s Chef Marshall Paulson critiques student designs, shares tips and best practices on kitchen design

The project—led by Architecture Instructor Molly Reichert and Center Founder Will Steger—began in late August, when students spent a week at the Center in Ely, MN. Here students studied the Center, learned of the building requirements set forth by Steger, and camped at the location where the new structure will be built!

Students have since split into several small teams, each working to design a different options of what the dining hall could be. Steger will then use the designs as he seeks funding for the structure.

But creating the schematic design proposals hasn’t been as easy as some of the student’s past design projects. It has required a lot of one-on-one time with the client, new approaches to design, and even critiques from the Birchwood Café’s Chef Marshall Paulson.

Advice from industry experts gives students a taste of life in the industry

As someone who has spent most of his time in a kitchen, Paulson was able to provide students with a unique and necessary perspective to each of their designs. During his presentation, Paulson shared industry tips and best practices on things that might not have immediately come to mind for the students, including sink location, cabinetry space, number of drawers, preferred shelving structures, ideal appliances, kitchen health codes, budgets, and timelines.

Architecture student James Matthes said that the critique was extremely valuable, helping him and his group identify a few areas of improvement that could be made to their design.

“It was really good to have his perspective,” Matthes said. “We bounced ideas off of him, and he was able to pick out a few things that we had missed, especially in regards to the openness of the kitchen to the dining room.”

In addition to help from Paulson, Matthes’ background in the restaurant business has also helped shape his schematic design.

Family business helped shape Architecture student’s design
Initial sketches/designs from Architecture students James Matthes, Aaron McCauley, Guyon Brenna, and Marcos Villalobos.

Initial sketches/designs from Architecture students James Matthes, Aaron McCauley, Guyon Brenna, and Marcos Villalobos.

“My dad owns a restaurant and I worked there for several years,” Matthes explained. “So I’ve been surrounded by kitchens my whole life—it’s kind of in my blood.”

With good Italian food, reasonable prices, and catering capabilities, Matthes’ family restaurant, Marino’s Deli’s, cliental and sales varied greatly. And those experiences have helped Matthes decide what the Center Dining Hall could look like and how to best accommodate a wide-array of customers and kitchen-needs.

“We have a very small restaurant, and we keep our prices fairly cheap so we get a huge mix of people coming in. So, I got that small, day-to-day interaction with people, but we also cater really large events. And that’s kind of what this Dining Hall space has to be flexible with: the people and both small events and big events.”

But one thing Matthes said he and his classmates were not as prepared for was the challenge of making a sustainable kitchen.

“It’s really tough to make a sustainable kitchen,” Matthes said. “You have these big pieces of equipment, and you’re constantly washing things—it’s a waste. But we’re exploring ideas on how to deal with waste and recycling and composting, and Will is interested in adding a root cellar and using an icehouse. And that’s not something we’ve done in past projects, like when we were-designing an apartment complex in downtown Minneapolis. It’s just not something we are used to seeing. So it brings a whole other perspective that should help all of us in the long-run.” 

Studio provides real-world experience

While this studio hasn’t been the student’s first stab at design, Matthes shared that this particular project has been much more real than the projects conducted in year one and two.

The combination of hearing from industry experts, working with a real client, and knowing this is a structure that will actually be built, has forced the teams to approach their designs in a much more practical, real-world way—an approach to education that Dunwoody College prides itself on.

A potential dining hall design for the Steger Wilderness Center created by Architecture students James Matthes,<br /> Aaron McCauley, Guyon Brenna, and Marcos Villalobos.

A potential dining hall design for the Steger Wilderness Center created by Architecture students James Matthes,
Aaron McCauley, Guyon Brenna, and Marcos Villalobos.

“In the past it’s been ‘okay, here is our design. This looks cool, so let’s just go with that,’” Matthes said. “Whereas now [we ask] ‘does this appeal to the client and is it going to fit?’ And so from the get-go that was something we really concentrated on: to make sure that the design worked.

“It’s exhausting every design idea that we’ve had, and it has been stressful, but in the end, it’s worth it. It’s worth it to see a client happy and enjoying what they’re seeing.”

Learn more

The students will present their designs at 9:30 a.m., Friday, Dec. 16, at Dunwoody. Steger and Paulson as well as Founder of Birchwood Café Tracy Singleton and Mechanical Engineer and Alternative Energy Consultant Craig Tarr will be in attendance.

After the presentation, Steger will choose several student designs, or portions of their designs, to move forward with. The final building design will be dependent on funding and community support. The hope is to break ground in 2018.

Learn more about Dunwoody Architecture.

Radiologic Technology graduates honored at Pinning Ceremony

Dunwoody Rad Tech graduates ready to enter the profession.

IMG_9956 copySeven of Dunwoody’s Radiologic Technology students officially graduated on Thursday, December 8, at a Pinning Ceremony where they were honored for the successful completion of the program.

Program graduates must also take and pass the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam in order to secure employment. The current five-year average pass rate for Dunwoody is 88%.

The College’s Rad Tech graduates earn an Associate of Applied Science degree over two years (four semesters and two summer sessions). During this time, students rotate between 10-15 different clinics and hospitals in the Twin Cities area, including North Memorial Hospital. The variety of clinical sites allows students to work with real patients in every healthcare setting and situation before graduation–from level-one trauma centers to geriatric hospitals. There are two graduating cohorts per year–one in July and one in December.

IMG_9991 copyCongratulations to the following December 2016 Rad Tech graduates:

  • Summer Bachmeyer
  • Brittney Boie
  • Kayla Canfield
  • Rami Erickson
  • Rhea Gulden
  • Kim Kotila
  • Josh Olson
Students graduate with honors

During the Pinning Ceremony, Rad Tech faculty and staff also recognized students with various awards. Congratulations to the following graduates:

Dunwoody Clinical Excellence Award: Rhea Gulden
This award is given to a student who exemplifies the ideal behavior in a clinical environment. This student works well with students, staff technologists, and other clinical instructors in their clinical setting. The student receiving the Clinical Excellence Award personifies the type of student that Dunwoody and the Radiologic Technology Program would want every student to strive to be in their clinical setting.

Most Improved Award: Josh Olson
This award is given to the student who exemplifies the most improvement from day one through their graduation—not only in the classroom setting, but in the clinical setting as well.

Best Patient Care Award: Kim Kotila
This award is given to a student who demonstrates superior care to the patients that they work with during their clinical rotations. The student selected for this award ensures that the patient comes first and that all the needs and concerns that a patient may have are taken care of.

Learn more about Dunwoody’s Radiologic Technology program. 

3D printing: more than just modeling

3D Printing at Dunwoody is more than just prototyping of parts.

Engineering Drafting & Design students were recently tasked with creating their own golf putters. Students designed putter heads in SolidWorks and printed prototypes using the College’s Stratasys 3D Printers. But they didn’t stop there. Students then took their models to Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center to make metal castings of their designs before machining and refining them into polished, ready-to-use golf putters.

Dunwoody Architecture students visit the Delos-Mayo Clinic Well Living Lab

Latest Architecture studio shows students how the design of a building can influence the health of the people in it.  

Photo of Well Living Lab Door21 hours a day. According to the Well Living Lab, that is the amount of time the average American spends inside a building. For Dunwoody Architecture students, that brings up a whole lot of questions:

How does being indoors affect our health and well-being? Can alterations to a building or structure improve that experience? How can we change the way most people think and feel about indoor spaces?

The Dunwoody Architecture Studio 7 class chose to tackle these questions head-on by touring the Well Living Lab, a Delos-Mayo Clinic Well collaboration focused exclusively on human health and the built environment.

 Well Living Lab research inspires latest Architecture studio

“I always feel that it is important to introduce students to contemporary ideas that push them out of their comfort zone. We have been discussing many design issues in class and how our environment can impact human health in both positive and negative ways. Learning how researchers are measuring our built environment and its users could help students get a better understanding of how their design decisions impact health,” said Architecture Principal Instructor Stephen Knowles.

Dunwoody Architecture students tour Well Living LabDuring the tour, students were exposed to the many different ways researchers study and alter the interior of a room. The lab has 5,500 square feet of configurable space dedicated to researching how the indoor environment impacts our comfort, health, and productivity.

And this left quite the impression on Architecture student Roman Zastavskiy:

“[The tour] helped me realize how often buildings are being repurposed,” Zastavskiy said. “Usually when you design a building you design it for a specific use. So, it’s comfortable when you’re using it for that case, but then if it’s reused, things are completely different.”

And changing the actual building is not as easy as changing the building’s purpose. The fixtures, lights, floors, and vents are for the most part rooted in place, which can be challenging for those remodeling and those who will use the building after the remodel. Zastavskiy explained that the Well Living Lab recognizes these difficulties and incorporates potential solutions into their space:

Photo of tinted lights at Well Living Lab

An example of how lighting within a room at the Well Living Lab can change colors and brightness.

“At the Lab, it was a very dynamic system,” Zastavskiy continued. “The lights change tints, the floors are retractable, so you can move it to re-plumb or re-do electrical work, etc. It is kind of a one-building fits all approach, which allows you to say ‘okay, this space doesn’t work for this reason anymore. So let’s change it.’” 

In an effort to make the studio more hands-on, a tour of the Lab wasn’t the only thing required of the students. They were also asked to find a specific aspect of indoor living they would like to help improve.

Throughout the semester, students studied and researched their topics, and later this year will present architectural drawings that show how a structural change could potentially fix that very problem.

Project focuses include sound acoustics (interior and exterior); active design (a planning approach to creating buildings that promote physical activity); biophilia (the study of interior and exterior foliage impacts), and for fourth-year Architecture student Gianna Madison: individual thermal control by way of heating and cooling:

Photo of Well Living Lab showcasing a wall of indoor plants/greenery

This particular Well Living Lab room has an entire wall of indoor plants and greenery.

“The focus of my project is individual thermal control,” Madison said. “I chose this particular subject because this is a real life problem that is encountered, within most buildings, and it remains one of the most difficult things to regulate. Most often someone is always going to be too hot or too cold, rarely is there a happy medium.”

“And when you have someone in an office that is freezing, there are statistics that say they’re less likely to be productive because they’re so busy trying to keep warm. The same is true if they are too hot; it’s difficult to focus,” she explained.

Studio encourages new thoughts, ways of designing

Both Zastavskiy and Madison shared that focusing on a singular topic—and how it can affect someone’s well-being—requires a completely different way of thinking; something that they haven’t quite done before.

A wall of computers that control the Lab’s rooms and features

Students were also able to see how many of the Lab’s rooms and features are controlled.

As Zastavskiy explained: “[In prior projects] it has been all fun and games. You can design whatever you want. Usually it looks nice but does it actually make sense? Well, probably not. Because you didn’t really think it through and you didn’t really research these different aspects. You could design a building that looks nice, but then after building realize it’s freezing cold because you loved windows so much you built the whole thing out of glass.

“Where as now, even just focusing on my project focus, which is sound—you start to pay attention. How will people feel in this building? If I walk into this space, will it be loud? Will it be quiet? I never really thought about that. Now I approach [designing] completely differently. A project like this forces you to start thinking about that kind of stuff. That’s what I really like about this studio.”

Learn more

The Studio 7 students will present their findings and recommended building designs during their final project presentation in mid-December.

Learn more about Dunwoody Architecture.

Learn about previous Dunwoody Architecture studios with Will Steger and Minnesota’s Independent Filmmaker Project.

A growing enterprise

Engineering Drafting & Design student Aaron Rasmussen is finding success in business and at Dunwoody.

Not many 19-year-olds can say they own a business. Even fewer can say they started that business when they were 12. But Dunwoody Engineering Drafting & Design student Aaron Rasmussen can.

Photo of Dunwoody Engineering Drafting & Design student Aaron Rasmussen

First-year Engineering Drafting & Design student Aaron Rasmussen

Rasmussen is the sole owner of Rasmussen and Associates, a lawn care, cleaning and moving service in Winsted, Minnesota. Despite being just out of high school, Rasmussen has upwards of 30 seasonal employees as well as some major customers. And the client list keeps growing.

Recently Rasmussen & Associates was hired on by several local banks to help clean out and spruce up foreclosed properties all over the state, including towns like Bemidji and Detroit Lakes.

What started out as a friendly favor quickly evolved into a large, successful business; and likely no one is more surprised by that than Rasmussen himself.

Starting Rasmussen & Associates

Rasmussen has always had an interest in managing. From high school clubs to part-time jobs, Rasmussen has consistently found himself in leadership positions.

But when it came to starting his own lawn care business? Well, according to Rasmussen, that venture began almost unintentionally.

It all started when Rasmussen’s neighbor asked him to cut her grass. He agreed, not anticipating how much his neighbor would like the end result. Word traveled quickly, and soon Rasmussen was working all over the neighborhood.

It didn’t take long before Rasmussen had more requests than he could handle. He needed help. So, he asked a few of his friends to join him, splitting the payment.

“I realized I could make money doing that,” he said. And just like that Rasmussen and Associates was born.

Finding success in 3-D Printing
Photo of Dunwoody College's 3-D Printers

A couple of Stratasys 3-D printers in Dunwoody College’s newly renovated Metrology Lab

As if balancing high school, his lawn care business, and his part-time job wasn’t enough, Rasmussen also had a second part-time job working at Lester Building Systems, a leading pole barn manufacturer. 

Here Rasmussen managed the company’s 3-D printing activity, specifically designing products to improve the day-to-day activities of residential construction workers.

Several of Rasmussen’s ideas have been adopted and mass-produced by the organization. In fact, next summer Rasmussen will visit Lester’s corporate headquarters in South Carolina to see a machine he designed become a reality.

Rasmussen said it was during his time at Lester Building Systems that he realized his love for designing and 3-D printing. And despite owning a successful business, Rasmussen knew he was ready for something more. So, when he saw that Dunwoody had a degree in Engineering Drafting & Design — and access to some of the most advanced 3-D printers in the world — Rasmussen was sold.

Despite only being a few weeks in, Rasmussen has already founded a Combat Robots club and was elected Treasurer of Student Government.

Moving toward the dream job
Photo of Dunwoody College's 3-D Printers

A student project being printed inside Dunwoody’s 3-D printer

After college, Rasmussen wants to continue with product development, specifically in 3-D printing for the construction industry. A Dunwoody degree will help with that, he said. And one day owning his own 3-D printing company? Well, that would be the dream job.

His advice for young entrepreneurs out there is to just do it. But make sure you’re a personable boss and you’re okay with putting in long days.

“I don’t sleep much,” he laughed. “But, other than that, it’s pretty good.”