Category Archives: Student News

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.


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.

Surly Brewing Company Provides Electrical Construction Design & Management Students with Electrical Tour

Second year Electrical Construction Design & Management students were provided with a behind-the-scenes tour of Surly Brewing Company earlier last month.

Electrical Construction Design & Management students smiling while on an electrical tour of Surly Brewing Company.

Students were able to see the many different electrical uses throughout Surly’s facility, from the industrial motors and sensors involved in the brewing lab to the various light fixtures inside the restaurant.

“Surly was a great building to tour simply because they do so much there,” Senior Instructor Nick Bohl said. “They of course have their brewery operations, but they also manage a restaurant with a kitchen; an event center; and space for kegging and canning. It was a great opportunity for students to see the many different aspects of construction, design and maintenance that go into a building like that–especially from an electrical standpoint.”

Tour guide referencing large machine to Electrical Construction Design & Management students while visiting Surly Brewing Company.This was just one of many site visits Bohl has planned for his students. Earlier this year, students also toured an electrical substation operated by Excel Energy. A trip to Monticello to visit a nuclear generating plant is also planned for later this semester. Towards the end of the program, students will even visit locations that directly pertain to their capstone projects.

“Each building we tour has a unique story and provides students with opportunities to ask questions and learn from an experienced professional in the industry,” said Bohl. “It’s an excellent way of showing students all that they’ll be capable of doing by the end of their program.”

Learn more about the Electrical Construction Design & Management program.

Students Design and Build Weed Whip Prototypes Using Stratasys 3D Printers

Students pose with their weed whip prototypesOn Wednesday, Sept. 30, six groups of second-year Mechanical Design students presented their custom-designed weed whip projects and demonstrated their prototypes on Dunwoody’s lawn. Instructor Alex Wong gave each group the motor and wiring from a standard Black and Decker weed whip, a budget of $200, and about five weeks to make design improvements on the store-bought Black and Decker weed whip model.

“In addition to the professional skills required for the 3D modeling and documentation, the students also had to do a lot of problem-solving,” Alex said. The students were required to do research and develop sketches of their own weed whip concept. When this initial design process was complete, students brought their sketches to life using parts they made with the Stratasys 3D printers in the College’s Metrology Lab.Student tests weed whip prototype

Mac Cameron – an Applications Engineer at Stratasys – came to watch the demonstrations of the students’ projects. “I travel all over the place to see what people are doing with our printers,” he said, “but this is one of the cooler projects I’ve seen on a college campus.”

In addition to the project guidelines, Alex also graded students on criteria like teamwork, decision-making skills, and quality of the documentation.

Click here for more information on the Engineering Drafting & Design program.

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

ASHRAE Donates $2,000 Scholarship to Second Year Heating & Air Conditioning Engineering Technology Student

Representatives from American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) stopped by Dunwoody College of Technology on July 7 to hand deliver a $2,000 scholarship check.

The check will be awarded to a student (or potentially more than one student) entering his/her second year of the Heating & Air Conditioning Engineering Technology program.

ASHRAE & Dunwoody representatives holding check

Pictured from left to right: Rob Warnke, REHAU, ASHRAE Minnesota Chapter Treasurer; Vin Gupta, 3M, ASHRAE Minnesota Chapter Scholarship Chair; Chuck Taft, Dunwoody College of Technology, Dunwoody ASHRAE Student Branch Advisor; Tom Walters, MAG Mechanical, Dunwoody Alum and ASHRAE Minnesota Chapter Student Liaison; Cindy Olson, Dunwoody College of Technology.

The $2,000 scholarship will be put towards the awarded student’s tuition for the 2015-2016 academic year. Upon completion of the program, the winning student will also be able to meet with ASHRAE representatives to discuss his/her future career in HVAC&R.

The scholarship will be awarded for the Spring 2016 Semester.

Click to learn more about the Heating & Air Conditioning Engineering Technology program or Dunwoody’s ASHRAE Student Branch.

Automotive Collision Repair & Refinishing Student Surprised with Tool Grant

Earlier this spring, ABRA Auto Body partnered with the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) and awarded 10 collision repair students with tool grants.

With the help of Automotive Collision Repair & Refinishing Principal Instructor Bruce Graffunder, Dunwoody student Anthony Pung learned he was one of those students during a class lecture:

The grant—open to high school seniors and/or post-secondary students studying collision repair—provided the winning students with the opportunity to select $2,000 worth of Snap-On tools and equipment from a list of entry-level body tools.

Anthony smiling after receiving tools from ABRA representatives

A few weeks after learning he was a grant winner, Anthony was able to meet representatives from ABRA and select his desired tools.


“The grant will make a huge difference in my life by providing me with the tools that I need to be successful in my career path,” said Anthony.

Anthony is currently an intern at Albertville Body Shop where he is learning and performing a wide variety of collision repair practices. Upon completion of his internship in August, Anthony will graduate from with an associate’s degree in Automotive Collision Repair & Refinishing.

Anthony plans to use the awarded tools as a starter set for his future employment as a body technician.

Dunwoody College Of Technology’s 2015 Spring Semester Dean’s List

Congratulations to the following students who have been named to Dunwoody College of Technology’s spring semester dean’s list.  The students listed received this honor by upholding a 3.5 grade point average or higher, while being a full-time student (minimum of 12 credits.)

Alexandra About
Jay Abrahamson
David Adey
Nathan Anders
Charles Anderson
Matthew Anderson
Moustafa Arafa
Nicholas Arneson
Joseph Aspelin
Brandon Autey
Matthew Backus
Lawal Bada
Tyler Bares
Jake Benson-Devine
Alexander Biggs
Colin Black
Ryan Blaha
Jacob Blue
William Bobick
Brittney Boie
Alex Boline
Alex Brand
Nicholas Brenk
Tyler Brezinsky
Richard Brodala
Brett Broekema
Amanda Bronson
Ethan Brule
Jeremy Brunell
Miranda Butler
Kayla Canfield
Anna Carlson
Robert Carson
Kevin Clausen
Ryan Cleary
Bryan Coats
Caleb Coleman
Jared Courtney
Katherine Cramer
Sean Curry
Randy Dahlberg
Brady Dalton
Augustus Danig
Brandon Davis
Darren Davis
Brian Dehn
James Demos
David Dietz
Nathan Donahoe
Mandi Drevlow
Jamie Dulebohn
Scott Duncan
Parker Dunn
Ruben Duran
Timothy Easter
Daniel Emery
Joel Epstein
Rami Erickson
Ryan Fales
Allison Fedie
Matthew Ferguson
Rachel Fisher
Andrew Flagg
Mitchell Formo
Nicholas Freeland
Jesse Gable
Zachary Gabler
Anthony Gabriel
Sarah Gagnon
Francis Garsulao
Barton Genovese
Mark Gerold
Craig Gorman
Christine Goyette
Joel Greimel
Jacob Gretz
Ryan Grigoleit
Jacob Gruber
Brady Grummons
William Grundy
Charles Guelcher
Andrhea Gulden
David Haerle
Bryant Hale
Keven Halloran
Steven Hanson
Jacob Hardie
Benjamin Harvey
Andrew Haug
Brandon Hedberg
Henry Henk
Andrew Henry
Josh Henry
Peng Her
James Herman
Matthew Heshiser
Aidan Hicks
Karl Hilde
Vincent Hoang
David Hofgren
Nathan Hole
Nicholas Holman
Benjamin Holmgren
Samuel Holtberg
Andrew Hoogenakker
Nathan Hruby
Kyle Huberty
Ashley Hurner
Andrew Hurrle
Jacob Huseby
Blake Isetts
Matthew Jarvis
Emmi Kainulainen
Andrew Kampa
Samuel Kaus
Nicole Kehren
Edward Kibira
Eryn Kivo
Zachariah Klein
Benjamin Klenke
David Klinkner
Tylor Klish
Zeth Knyphausen
Adam Konold
Joseph Kooiman
Kimberley Kotila
Matthew Krei
Edo Krivdic
Jake Krueger
Andrew Kuehn
Marin Lahti
Carson Landvik-Geyen
Anthony Laylon
Colton Leekley-Winslow
Justin Lehman
Scott Leighton
Joseph Lerum
Alex Lichman
Robert Liebelt
Samuel Lieberthal
Simon Litke
Kory Lommen
Alexander Lord
Joseph Machtemes
Timothy Malkovich
Kerry Mandt
Matthew Mannella
Alexandra Mars
Jon Mart
Zachary Martell
Max Martens
Jennifer Martin
James Matthes
Aaron McCauley-Aburto
Patrick McDonald
Kyle McGinnity
Samuel McGlennen
Benjamin Meister
Christopher Merrill
Laila Merten
Eric Meyer
Evan Miller
Joseph Montei
Zachary Moore
Jonathan Moreno
Sharon Mount
Joseph Myhre
Celina Nelson
Lee Nguyen
Stephanie Nguyen
Cecilia Oberg
Kyle Ohland
James Olson
Ross Otto
Joseph Packer
John Page
Anthony Palo
Taylor Parker-Greene
Alyx Paschke
Taylor Paschke
Patrick Patrias
Jacob Paulus
Ira Peden
Brian Peterson
Kristofer Petrie
Brian Pevensie
Sylvester Phandanouvong
Ivan Piskun
Jesse Platzke
Evan Prokop
Michael Prudhon
Mark Reznikov
Michael Richardson
Collin Ripley
Madelyn Rodewald
Roberto Rodriguez
Randal Rue
Nathan Rumpza
Abigail Saffert
Dawood Salman
Sean Schaefer
Gary Schlosser
Matthew Schon
Sarah Schroeder
Nicholas Schurhammer
Brady Schuster
Angelica Sedano
Kurtis Seurer
Matthew Shephard
Nicholas Sheridan
Lloyd Show
Paul Sieckert
Nicolas Skrogstad
Nicole Slaminski
Megan Smalkoski
Thomas Smith
Jacob Snyder
Ryan Solheim
Jerred Speller
Michael Steinman
Daniel Stellburg
Brian Stewart
Aaron Stoehr
Alyson Stumbo
Collin Sturdevant
Donavan Sullivan
Kyle Supalo
Phoukham Supanhnapom
Marc Svihel
Matthew Svihel
Anthony Swanberg
Aaron Swandal
Sheldon Taylor
Ross Theisen
Steve Thomas
Christopher Thompson
Micah Thorson
Daniel Treat
Timothy Trembulak
Miles Tristani
Andrew Unger
Christopher Uttke
Gabriel Vail
Alex Vander Heul Matias
James Vanderbosch
Peng Vang
Marcos Villalobos
Michael Vojacek
John Volinkaty
Jerry Wang
Kristin Warren
Isabel Waryan
Eli Wass
Thomas Webster
Samuel Weinberger
Kenneth Weis
Katelyn Welle
Jason White
Jacob Whiteoak
Kimberly Wieting
Laura Wiley
Michael Willems
David Willenbring
Blake Wilson
Christopher Wilson
Brian Witzany
Keith Wojciechowski
Gregory Woolsey
Timothy Wright
Kaullywood Yaaj
Pierre Yang
Matthew Yank
Roman Zastavskiy
Korin Ziesmer
Austin Zimmermann
Mathias Zoubek

Dunwoody’s Midwest Robotics League Team Takes 1st in Regionals, 5th in Nationals

Dunwoody College of Technology students and faculty are celebrating the recent victories of the College’s Midwest Robotics League Team. The Dunwoody team participated in both a regional competition in late April, and a national competition in May, bringing home a consecutive first and two fifth place prizes.

Group shot of Dunwoody's Midwest Robotics Team League

The 2015 team (pictured above) is advised by former Dunwoody student and league participant–now Instructor and League Executive Director–Alex Wong and coaches Beth Spicer; Al Jaedike (Engineering Drafting & Design Adjunct Instructor); and James Jorgenson (Workforce Training & Continuing Education Adjunct Instructor).

The team includes students Chris Spicer (Electrical Construction & Maintenance); Andy Haug (Electronics Engineering Technology); Ken Weis (Machine Tool Technology); Tony Laylon (Engineering Drafting & Design); Kyle Dumas; and 2007 Dunwoody graduate Mike Rhode (Engineering Drafting & Design).

This year’s regional competition was held at the Mall of America and featured twelve competing teams and hundreds of spectators. The national competition followed just a few weeks later in Cleveland, Ohio, where 64 teams participated.

Crowd at Mall of America watching robot battles

Midwest Robotics League’s regional competition at Mall of America

Both the regional and national competitions are held annually and are open to middle school, high school and collegiate teams. Each year, the competing teams are able to enter as many robots as they want under the condition that the robots have been designed and assembled by students. Teams can also use a robot for multiple years until the group decides to retire it or until that robot wins the regional or national competition two times.

This year, Dunwoody entered two robots into both competitions— “Wedgey” the wedge robot and “Reburn,” a robot that deploys a horizontal spinner.

Robot Wedgey

“Wedgey” the wedge robot

Both Wedgey and Reburn were designed and built by the Dunwoody team and have already competed and placed in several regional and national competitions.

“Wedgey has been running for about 3 years, competing in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 events,” said League Executive Director Alex Wong. “Reburn has also been running for about 3 years, but we have been running variations on this design since the start of the League.”

Robot Reburn


The League is open to all Dunwoody students, creating a unique opportunity for students in various programs to work together–each bringing  their own area of expertise to the process. And while the students enjoy the collaboration in designing and creating the robots, perhaps the most fun is had during the combat competitions.

The combat rules are similar for both regionals and nationals—the best robot wins.

“The robots are limited to 15 pounds each, and it is up to the students to design those robots,” said Alex. “A lot of them will have some sort of spinning weapon or use bigger motors so it can drive faster.”

Each robot is then entered into a randomly determined double elimination bracket where they participate in 3-minute rounds.

“The winner,” said Alex “is whichever robot can either “knock out”the other robot by disabling it, or pushes it onto a wall or other position where it can no longer drive. If both robots are still standing after the three-minute match, the winner is determined by whichever robot has the most points. The judges award points based on three categories: aggression—the moves you make when attacking the other robot; damage—the damage caused to the other robot; and control—how well the robot can maneuver.”

Action shot of robots combatting

In addition to combat points, the national judges also evaluate the team’s presentation skills. Prior to the competition, each team must also present their robot to the panel of judges by sharing drawings, describing the design process and explaining why they chose the materials they did.

Regional final award/trophyDunwoody’s students and robots performed well at both competitions ending their season with  several wins and awards. Wedgey scored the team a 1st place prize at the regional competition for the second time in its career. It also tied with Reburn for the fifth overall spot at the national competition. Wedgey was also named one of the “Best Engineered Robots” at the national competition.

The Dunwoody Midwest Robotics League will continue next Fall during the 2015-2016 academic year. Alex says the team has plans to retire Wedgey (as this was its second regional win) and is looking to redesign the current robots as well as build entirely new ones.

If you are interested in joining the Midwest Robotics League for 2015-2016 season, please contact Alex Wong at