Category Archives: Student News

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


“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.”



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.”


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.

IMG_8156-awards-smallDunwoody’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

Two Dunwoody 2015 Graduates are Finalists in Sherwin-Williams STIR Student Design Challenge

Two 2015 Interior Design graduates—Andrea Mbali and Jessica Curtis—are among the ten finalists in the Sherwin-Williams STIR Student Design Challenge.

IMG_8720-smallThe challenge—open to all students in the United States, the District of Columbia and Canada—provides applicants with an opportunity to create and submit a color rendering of an interior space for a residential and/or a commercial design. The submission requires the use of at least three Sherwin-Williams paint colors in addition to a project statement describing the project and explaining how color was essential in creating the design.

Each submission undergoes two rounds of judging and is scored on originality (30%); overall design aesthetics (30%); best use of color palette (30%); and the overall project statement (10%).

“We always let students know about all competitions that are open to them,” Interior Design Principal Instructor Colleen Schmaltz said, “and we particularly encourage them to enter since we know that our students consistently show strong work. The students also know that winning a national competition is a significant addition to their professional resume and portfolio, and in some cases a great source of prize cash and scholarships. This is the first year two of our students have chosen to enter this particular competition—and now both are national finalists!”

Both Andrea and Jessica used part of their mini-capstone project—created in the Fall semester of their senior year at Dunwoody—in their submission. The capstone project requires students to learn and become fluent in design programs such as REVIT and the Adobe Creative Suite including InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator—programs widely used in the Interior Design profession.

“All of the studio classes and building technology courses have taught me how to design creatively and utilize real practices,” says finalist Jessica Curtis, “and [Principal Instructor] Nada Sarraff-Knoweles really challenged me to create a unique design.”

Andrea Mbali also paid tribute to her instructors saying, “Colleen Schmaltz really inspired me to enter my project. Without her encouragement, I probably would have ben consumed with day-to-day projects and schoolwork and not have applied. Nada Sarraff-Knoweles also helped me during the design process. Nada pushed me to push myself creatively and was able to tell me when things were or were not working.”

Practice made perfect for Andrea when it came to designing. “Throughout class projects, my rendering skills in REVIT have developed tremendously,” she said, ”and I now typically build all of my own furniture, lighting and other necessary structures instead of using online prebuilt models. I feel this gives me an edge because I am not limited to what the internet provides.”

Andrea—who hopes to specialize in Hospitality design—took the idea of a traditional spa in a whole new direction in her STIR competition submission titled “Felicity Day Spa.”

andrea-FINal-medspa edited-small

Andrea Mbali: Felicity Day Spa 

“My inspiration was drawn from my own experiences of going to spas and not feeling like they were cool enough for younger generations. Not everyone always wants zen,” Andrea said, “I was also inspired by my travels and seeing what the world has to offer outside of the Midwest. Everything here is so safe, and I love the unexpected and daring in design and fashion.”


Andrea Mbali: Felicity Day Spa Locker Room

Jessica’s submission—titled Flex Art Gallery and Studios—takes a more commercial design approach, inspired by real Minneapolis structures and landmarks.


Jessica Curtis: Flex Art Gallery and Studios Entry

“My project is a flexible art gallery and studio space,” says Jessica, “It started with being an adaptive reuse space utilizing the Bauhaus (Tap room) in Northeast Minneapolis. It incorporated different spaces where local artists could come and work and for the public to take classes. An expansion was then ‘built’ onto that to create an art gallery. The Art Gallery is an all-encompassing glass box façade offering a spectacular view of the Mississippi River and the Minneapolis skyline.”


Jessica Curtis: Flex Art Gallery


Jessica Curtis: Flex Art Studio

Both projects are currently being reviewed and judged by Sherwin-Williams Director of Color Marketing Jackie Jordan as well as two celebrity judges.

A first place prize in both the residential design category and the commercial design category will be announced in early June. Winners will have their work featured in the 2015 edition of STIR magazine and receive $2,500 in cash.

Former Machining Student Honored with Gerstner Tool Box

Academic Excellence Award winner and 2015 Dunwoody Graduate Marc Svihel was recently honored with a Gerstner toolbox valued at over one thousand dollars. The box is estimated to be more than 50 years old.


Academic Excellence Award winner and 2015 Dunwoody Graduate Marc Svihel

 The toolbox was donated by The Grant Wahlberg Estate–through Grant Wahlberg’s sons–who wanted it to go to Dunwoody.

 IMG_9204-smallUpon further inspection of the box and it’s contents, Ron Underhill, Tool Crib Attendant in the Machine Tool Technology program, noticed just how valuable the box was.

“I realized that this box needs to be in a shop with a top Machining student,” Ron said, “not in the Tool Crib to be forgotten and gather dust. I am sure Grant Wahlberg would agree with that statement as well.”

Marc was chosen by Dean of Robotics & Manufacturing E.J. Daigle and Senior Instructors Brian Nelsen and Keith Jirak as a deserving recipient based on his high GPA, consistent attendance and desire for extra learning projects. Marc recently graduated Magna Cum Laude with an Associate of Applied Science in Machine Tool Technology.

YCAP revved Lakeram Seriram up for an automotive degree

 Seriram said he was intrigued by the culture of the Lexus of Wayzata dealership so he applied for a job. He’s been working at Lexus of Wayzata since August 2014 and his formal internship starts in fall of 2015.

Seriram said he was intrigued by the culture of the Lexus of Wayzata dealership so he applied for a job. He’s been working at Lexus of Wayzata since August 2014 and his formal internship starts in fall of 2015.

Lakeram Seriram is finishing up his first year in the two-year Toyota Technical Education Network (TTEN) program at Dunwoody College of Technology. As he reflects on the milestone in his college career Seriram says he’s thankful for the support of his family and the College’s Youth Career Awareness Program (YCAP) that prepared him for the rigors of higher education.

The mission of YCAP is to enhance the career opportunities of under-represented youth by empowering them to graduate from high school and obtain a degree from Dunwoody.

Seriram lived in Guyana before moving to the United States at three and a half years old. The 2014 Fridley High School graduate says he grew up observing his uncle, Motie Seriram, working on cars, which sparked his desire to pursue a career in the automotive industry.

During his search for the right college, Seriram and a friend attended one of Dunwoody’s open houses where he learned about the College’s small class sizes, emphasis on hands-on learning and how the YCAP program could help him pay for college and transition smoothly from a high school to college learning environment.

Since he is the first in his immediate family to attend college, Seriram thought YCAP would be a great option for him to explore the various aspects of technical education.

During the summer, YCAP students take college-level classes in the morning—like math, business, and physics—and in the afternoon hands-on technology classes in almost all of the technologies that Dunwoody offers. On Fridays, students visit companies to network with professionals in the fields they are interested in.

Seriram said during the summer months YCAP students get to know their instructors and other students—and it removes the “awkward stage” at the start of the school year.

“The YCAP summer program shows you what’s coming up in the future. You can’t slack off at Dunwoody. You have to do work here, I learned that my first semester,” he said. “I like the small classes. I don’t get drowned out by 60 other people, and the teachers are always listening and helping.”

Seriram grew up observing his uncle, Motie Seriram, working on cars, which sparked his desire to pursue a career in the automotive industry.

Seriram grew up observing his uncle, Motie Seriram, working on cars, which sparked his desire to pursue a career in the automotive industry.

“Lakeram is a shining example of a YCAP student fully utilizing the career and college-readiness resources the program aims to provide. He’s had perfect attendance and is actively engaged during YCAP events and activities,” said YCAP Program Manager Peggy Quam.

One of the YCAP activities Seriram participated in during the summer of 2014 was a tour of the Lexus of Wayzata dealership.

It was that dealership tour that solidified Seriram’s decision to enter the TTEN program. “I liked the environment. Sure, it’s a strict dealership, but I could tell that everybody was close and liked each other. They were joking around but still getting their work done,” he said.

Seriram said he was intrigued by the culture of the Lexus of Wayzata dealership so he applied for a job. He’s been working at Lexus of Wayzata since August 2014 and his formal internship starts in fall of 2015. “I get to see what I’ve learned at Dunwoody in the real world,” he said. “Each day at work is something different. One day I can be doing oil changes, the next day all tires. I like the thrill of things never being the same.”

“I get to see what I’ve learned at Dunwoody in the real world,” he said. “Each day at work is something different. One day I can be doing oil changes, the next day all tires. I like the thrill of things never being the same.”

“I get to see what I’ve learned at Dunwoody in the real world,” he said. “Each day at work is something different. One day I can be doing oil changes, the next day all tires. I like the thrill of things never being the same.”

Seriram said he hopes to have a long career at the Lexus dealership and maybe even open his own shop someday.

The next YCAP application deadline is May 1. For more information or to apply, visit or contact Peggy Quam at 612-381-3067 or




Dunwoody students earn gold at 2015 SkillsUSA Minnesota contest

Dunwoody College of Technology 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.

Overall, 20 Dunwoody students competed in nine contests, including Architectural Drafting, Automotive Service Technology, Automotive Refinishing, Collision Repair Technology, Electrical Construction Wiring, Industrial Motor Control, Related Technical Math, Web Design and Welding.

Students medaled in five of the contests, with five in first place, two in second place and two in third place.

The following are the medal winners:


Architectural DraftingAdvisor: Paul Strother

1st Place: James Matthes

2nd Place: Chris Herd

3rd Place:  Celina Nelson


Web DesignAdvisor: Kevin Wendt

1st Place Team: Ryan Blaha & Eric Lorentzen

2nd Place: Joshua Eastwood & Nhia Yang

3rd Place: Casey Cross & Andrew Kinniburgh

Collision RepairAdvisors: Bruce Graffunder & Allan Zimney

1st Place: Benjamin Meister


Automotive RefinishingAdvisors: Bruce Graffunder & Allan Zimney

1st Place:  Harrison Reget


Related Technical MathAdvisor: Polly Friendshuh

1st Place:  Matthew Shevich

The National competition will take place June 22 – 26 in Louisville, Ky.

For more information about SkillsUSA Minnesota, visit