Category Archives: Student News

Engineering Drafting & Design graduate Danny Treat to speak at Dunwoody Commencement

2017 Commencement student speaker Danny TreatDunwoody College of Technology is pleased to announce that this year’s student speaker for Commencement will be Engineering Drafting & Design graduate Danny Treat.

Treat has always had a lot of interests in life –Dunwoody College of Technology has given him the focus and drive he needed to steer those interests onto a promising career path.

Growing up in San Diego, Treat struggled with traditional high school but then found success at a charter school that emphasized real work experience.

With interests that spanned a wide spectrum of fields, Treat explored multiple options at a community college before admitting he just wasn’t ready for more school.

Treat was interested in several service-learning programs available through non-profit organizations. He eventually settled on a three-month commitment with Catholic Charities, helping rebuild homes in New Orleans. He continued that work with AmeriCorps, eventually serving as one of the project managers and volunteer coordinators.

A hands-on learner, Treat enjoyed the carpentry and construction aspects of the job, but he also liked the idea of helping design a project. With those interests in mind, Treat enrolled at the University of New Orleans in the naval architecture and marine engineering program.

But the four-year, traditional college model wasn’t a good fit. “There was no ‘hands-on’ learning,” Treat said, adding that it wasn’t until the final year of the program that you got to do the “fun stuff.”

By this time, Treat had met his now fiancée who was from the Twin Cities and wanted to move back to start her teaching career.

After moving to Minneapolis Treat found work installing closets and looked into joining the electrical union. Then his fiancée’s mother, who happens to be a career counselor, suggested Dunwoody as an option.

So Treat attended an Open House and checked out a number of programs eventually landing on Engineering Drafting & Design.

“When I saw the 3D printers and heard about the program, I knew that was it,” Treat said.

It was a decision he never regretted. “I felt more at home here than I did at either the community college or the four-year university,” Treat said. “I connected more.”

Treat was impressed with all of the hands-on work and has excelled in all of his coursework. Treat is also one of the 2016-17 Owen Scholarship recipients.

“I haven’t had a day when I haven’t wanted to come to school,” Treat said. After completing his current internship with Proto Labs, an on-demand manufacturer of custom prototypes using CNC machining, injection molding, and 3D printing, Treat will start a new position as a Drafter for Daikin, one of the world’s leading air conditioning manufacturers.

Commencement will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 20, at the Minneapolis Convention Center

Two Dunwoody students advance to 2017 SkillsUSA National Competition

Dunwoody brings home 6 medals in 2017 State Competition.

Architectural Drafting & Design student Eli Abnet and Electrical Construction & Maintenance student Matthew Longendyke are headed to Louisville, Ky., for the National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC) thanks to their first place wins at the 2017 SkillsUSA MN Competition earlier this month.

Abnet won the Architecture portion of the competition. Longendyke took first in the Related Technical Math contest.

In addition to the two gold medals, Dunwoody students also brought home a 2nd place medal in Related Technical Math (Andrew Schmitz, Electrical Construction Design & Management), 2nd place medal in Architecture (Reid Schumacher, Architectural Drafting & Design), and two 3rd place medals in Collision and Automotive Refinishing (John Spartz, Automotive Collision Repair & Refinishing).

In total, 12 Dunwoody students competed in six different areas in the 2017 competition.

Abnet and Longendyke will join more than 6,000 other technical education students—all state winners—at the National Competition Wednesday, June 21, and Thursday, June 22.

The event is open to the public and free of charge.

To get involved in SkillsUSA 2018, contact Dunwoody SkillsUSA Coordinator Polly Friendshuh at 612.381. 8107 or pfriendshuh@dunwoody.edu.

Student Spotlight: Aaron McCauley-Aburto

Student Spotlight
Aaron McCauley-Aburto, Bachelor of Architecture
Expected Graduation: May 2019

Aaron McCauley-Aburto is a military veteran and part of the first group of students who are enrolled in the Bachelor of Architecture program here at Dunwoody.

“There is a huge sense of ownership in the program,” McCauley-Aburto said. “Not only do we get to be founders in a new architecture program, but we get to have ownership in a new architectural style of learning, where we place emphasis on technical abilities and learning our tools first and then we transition into theory. I respond really well to that.”

Women in Technical Careers (WITC) scholarship recipient Jessica Hertel testifies in Minnesota State Legislature to help student parents

Hertel joins MN Representative Ilhan Omar, author of both bills, to advocate for additional support services to parents pursuing postsecondary education.

Jessica Hertel

Dunwoody College Student Jessica Hertel

Dunwoody College of Technology student Jessica Hertel testified before the Minnesota House of Representatives Higher Education Committee earlier last month, encouraging the passing of two new bills that would provide additional support services to pregnant students or student parents.

The first bill, House File 2257, which would increase the amount of the child care grant for college students from $2,800/per child, per semester to $3,000/per child, per semester as well as increase the eligibility to students who attend college from 8 semesters or less to 10 semesters or less.

The second bill, House File 1577, would fund grants to colleges for student parent support programs. Grants could be used for campus childcare services, Student Parent Programs such as support groups of other student parents, and additional assistance with childcare, housing, and transportation.

Childcare stipends help makes postsecondary education for parents possible
Hertel testifying in Minnesota State Legislature with MN Representative and Bill Author Ilhan Omar 

Hertel testifying in Minnesota State Legislature with MN Representative and Bill Author Ilhan Omar

Hertel shared that her reason for testifying was to advocate for other student parents, like herself, who need and have benefited from extra support. Hertel has received the existing child-care grant for the last two years.

“This bill hits home for me,” Hertel said. “I don’t know if I’d be here right now if it wasn’t for that grant. That’s what it comes down to.”

Dunwoody’s WITC scholarship program provides additional support services to women

Hertel applied to Dunwoody’s HVACR Systems Servicing associate’s degree program in May of 2015. Shortly after being accepted to Dunwoody, she was accepted into the College’s Women In Technical Careers (WITC) scholarship program. Led by Program Manager of Women in Technical Careers Maggie Whitman, the program was created to help women students succeed in degrees often defined as “non-traditional” for women. The program also serves as a strong peer support network for women, approximately 1/3 of whom are also parents.

Hertel measuring conduit at Dunwoody College

Hertel measuring conduit at Dunwoody College

Program participants receive up to $20,000 in scholarships, $1,500 of which can be put towards a childcare stipend.

Hertel said that this level of support not only sold her on Dunwoody but college in general.

“After talking with Maggie about WITC and all of the support [we’d receive]—that was exactly what I needed,” Hertel said. “I was so nervous. I was so on the line about even going to college, but, after talking to her I was like, ‘I’m in. Let’s do it. This is my place. This is where I belong.’”

Hertel is set to graduate this May.

Learn more

A video of Omar and Hertel at the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee can be found on the Minnesota House of Representative’s website.

Learn more about Women in Technical Careers (WITC).

Dunwoody Surveying takes 2nd in 2017 NSPS Student Competition

Dunwoody students place in competition for second year in a row.

Second-year students and soon-to-be-graduates Patrick Kowal, Francis Maranga, and Curtis Meriam took home a 2nd place trophy in the associate’s degree category at the 2017 NSPS Student Competition earlier this month.

Photo of Dunwoody Surveying students at the 2017 NSPS CompetitionThe annual event is organized by the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) and is held in various locations across the country each year. This year the competition was held in Silver Spring, Maryland. This is the second time Dunwoody College has participated. 

Competition, critique from judges helps students prepare for their career

Nine teams of students enrolled in surveying and geometrics associate and bachelor degree programs participated in the 2017 event.

In order to participate, student teams were required to complete a project on the topic of “high-precision vertical control applications” prior to the competition. At the event, the students presented their project and findings to a general audience and a panel of four judges. They also took questions and received project feedback from the panel.

“Dunwoody students chose to study the effect of moisture and frost on the vertical position of surveying monuments,” said Kelly Ness, Surveying & Civil Engineering Technology Principal Instructor and Team Leader.

“The group concluded that survey points could move up to an inch and a half vertically between pre-frost and post-frost. This phenomenon could have large impacts on surveying projects that span through the Minnesota winters.”

A press release by NSPS said that event judges and audience members were impressed by the poise and organization of the student teams. Professional surveyors in the audience also commented on the great promise shown by all of the students.

An interview with the Dunwoody student team at the competition can be found on the NSPS YouTube channel.

Kowal, Maranga, and Meriam are set to graduate in May.

Learn more about Dunwoody Surveying.

Changing Lives Through Scholarships: Paige Fischer

Scholarship Spotlight
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.”

Dunwoody teams win Third and Fifth at 7th Annual Autonomous Snowplow Competition

Dunwoody teams also received the Dr. Nattu Natarajan Best Sportsmanship Award

Autonomous_Snowplow_Competition_2017

Dunwoody College of Technology recently competed in the Institute of Navigation (ION)’s Autonomous Snowplow Competition held during the St. Paul Winter Carnival in Rice Park January 26-29. The College entered two robotic snowplows–the Snow Devil and the Wendigo.

The Snow Devils earned fifth place and a $700 prize, while Team Wendigo placed third, earning a $2000 prize and the Bronze Snow Globe Award.

The College, as a whole, also brought home a $500 prize for the Dr. Nattu Natarajan Golden Smile Award for best sportsmanship. The Award is named after University of Michigan-Dearborn professor Dr. Narasimhamurthi Natarajan (often called “Nattu”) who was known for his quick, insightful analysis followed by a joke and a smile.

Nattu passed away from a lung illness on the Saturday morning of the 2016 competition while his two teams were competing. ION renamed its team sportsmanship award in honor of his leadership.

This year, thirteen teams from the top engineering universities in the Upper Midwest participated. Dunwoody is one of just two schools 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 2016.

Dunwoody adds new robot to roster

This year, Dunwoody decided to try something new by adding a second robot to its snowplow roster.

“With the new engineering programs coming online, we had a lot of interest from our Mechanical Engineering students,” Dean of Robotics & Manufacturing E.J. Daigle said. “We always have interest from our Automated Systems & Robotics students. We even had a welder interested in it this year. So we had a lot more interest up front.”

From To to Bottom: Team Wendigo, Snow Devils

From To to Bottom: Team Wendigo, Snow Devils

 The Snow Devil was built to compete in the first year of the competition. Since then, students have refined and added to this original design. The robot functions by following magnetic strips that can be installed on any sidewalk or driveway.

The new Wendigo machine was created to complement the Snow Devil.

“When I found out they were letting us build a whole new robot, I thought, okay, we need to make this separate from the Snow Devil,” Automated Systems & Robotics student William Hiniker said. “Wendigo sounded cool and scary, so we went with Wendigo. Hopefully, you know, people see it move snow and they say, ‘wow that looks cool’”

The Wendigo uses a combination of a machine vision system and an inertial measurement unit to navigate up and down sidewalks and driveways.

The teams presented their designs to a panel of judges on Thursday evening at the Minnesota Science Museum. After safety checks on Friday night, the teams competed on the sidewalk-clearing course on Saturday and then took on the driveway course on Sunday.

Learn more about Dunwoody’s School of Engineering and Robotics & Manufacturing Department.

Congratulations to our 2016 December Graduates!

Dunwoody College of Technology is delighted to recognize the following students who graduated from the College in December 2016.

Dunwoody’s Commencement ceremony for both winter and spring graduates will take place Saturday, May 20, at 11 a.m. at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Applied Management
Anderson Mark
Cole Alan
Automotive Technology
Davis Ryan
Flowers Martice
Gatlin Dondrell
Gerold Mark
Shorter Zachary
Sorensen James
Toenjes Zachary
Wood Parker
Yang Sher
Computer Technology
About Alexandra
Arrington Kyle
Autey Brandon
Chamberlain Connor
Curry Sean
Duncan Scott
Dunn Parker
Felix-Carlson Nicholas
Holmgren Benjamin
Jackson Tanner
Januszewski Paul
Jones Erric
Miller Nicholas
Mroue Kareem
Peterson Jon
Rumpza Nathan
Schopp Benjamin
Seese Jesse
Thormodsgaard Jacob
Wilson Christopher
Construction Sciences & Building Technology
Allen Jacob
Becker Kaitlin
Dilts Stephen
Flagg Andrew
Gabler Zachary
Giese Parker
Guild Luke
Henry Andrew
Henry Josh
Her Peng
Johnson Briana
Johnson Chris
Knutson Kyle
Lee Fu
Littlejohn Brent
Mandt Kerry
Mannella Matthew
Miller Charles
Monson Christopher
Ofsthun Justin
Oldenburg Jared
Pevensie Brian
Pliego-Geniz Brenda
Poindexter Elijah
Rodriguez Brandon
Rodriguez Roberto
Rudolph Henry
Silverberg Stanley
Strand Jason
Swanson Gene
Trask Keith
Weinberger Max
Weinberger Samuel
Witzany Brian
Design & Graphics Technology
Stephens Michael
Health Sciences
Bachmeyer Summer
Boie Brittney
Canfield Kayla
Erickson Rami
Gulden Andrhea
Kotila Kimberley
Olson Joshua
Robotics & Manufacturing
Bauer Christopher
Bigham Wynn
Bloom Jacob
Blossom Thomas
Busse Derek
Conley Ryan
Edwards David
Eitrheim Jacob
Erickson Corey
Hanson Steven
Houngsombath Oudomphone
Hruby Nathan
Hurrle Andrew
Johnson Jeffrey
Kelly Spencer
Klebs Michael
Landvik-Geyen Carson
Lee Kao
Lofgren Rene
Ngaima Momo
Posthumus Christopher
Reese Richard
Ross Jason
Sang Houn
Shaw Jeffrey
Sheforgen Ryan
Stafford Mark
Steiner Gary
Theis Jesse
Vang Choua
Wayman Marcus
Zierke Meicyn