Category Archives: Student News

Robert Weckwerth receives Student Leadership Award from Alumni Board of Managers

Dunwoody Alumni Association President Chris Swingley with 2012 Student Leadership Award winner Robert “Bobby” Weckwerth.

To say Robert “Bobby” Weckwerth, 50, of Ham Lake, is a leader is an understatement.

In addition to receiving various honors during his 25 years in the military—retiring a Master Sergeant, being a volunteer fireman for more than 17 years and working as a commercial carpenter for the past 24 years, on July 25 Weckwerth received the Student Leadership Award from Dunwoody College of Technology’s Alumni Board of Managers.

“The Student Leadership Award was developed in 2004 by the Alumni Board of Managers to honor the most outstanding students that this school has to offer,” said Alumni Association President Chris Swingley.  “To date, 21 students have received this award. Typically the faculty and staff present the Board Leadership Committee with the nominations each year. The students must have a GPA of 3.5 or better, show exemplary leadership skills and have outstanding Dunwoody school spirit.”

Weckwerth has all of those qualities, Swingley said at the Board of Managers quarterly meeting where he presented the award to Weckwerth.

Weckwerth said he pursued an education at Dunwoody because of its location, small class sizes, rich history and great reputation. He received a degree in Construction Supervision & Project Management last June.

“I’ve heard people call Dunwoody the Harvard of technical colleges,” he said. “That says something about its reputation. They’re the front. They’re leading edge in everything they do and I think they work really hard to do that.”

Weckwerth said there was a bit of a learning curve going into college. After not setting foot in a classroom for more than 20 years he needed to relearn how to type, take notes and study.

“I was scared at first,” he said. “It’d been so long. I graduated from high school in 1980 and here it was 2010 and I was going back to college.”

Instructor James Strapko encouraged him to get involved in extracurricular activities at Dunwoody, which he did.

In addition to meeting people and networking, Weckwerth thought getting involved on campus would look positive to potential employers.

“There are a lot of companies out there that want to see people that aren’t going to do just the bare minimum,” he said. “You show up to an interview and you have all these extracurriculars on your resume, and another person shows up and they have just whatever they accomplished in the classroom, it tells you something.”

Weckwerth got involved in a variety of clubs on campus. He was named President of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society (PTK) and of the student chapter of the Association of General Contractors (AGC), he was also a member of Historic Green, Nation Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Construction Specifications Institute (CSI).

Once he got involved in clubs on campus, he recruited his classmates to join, too.

In addition to participating in various activities and fundraisers, Weckwerth led PTK  from a three-star rated chapter to a five-star rating from the national organization. Officer positions in PTK increased from three to 11 by the end of the 2011-12 academic year, and Weckwerth hopes the number of participants will continue to grow.

While being involved in extracurriculars consumed a lot of Weckwerth’s time, he said it was worth it for the teamwork and companionship as well as the good feeling of helping others.

“I like to help people. And I hope it helps develop people who help people, too,” he said. Though he learned a lot about leadership in the military, Weckwerth said, “I didn’t want to be a dictator, because in my mind we were all developing leadership skills. I tried share what I’ve learned throughout the years. I was really fond of my classmates and I wanted to see them succeed.”

Weckwerth said over the course of two years he became close with his fellow club members and classmates.

“It’s almost like a small family,” he said. “I was kind of like the dad of the class.”

Leadership Award 

While Weckwerth was honored to receive the sole Student Leadership Award this year, he said there are a lot of great student leaders at Dunwoody.

“I’m really honored to have received it. It’s a big deal. They only give it once a year, and most of the time it’s only a few students out of the whole school,” he said.  “Tristan Zieman and Jesse Lovejoy were also great leaders– in my opinion. I would have liked to have seen them win the award, too.”

Continuing education

Now that Weckwerth has his associate’s degree, he says he’s ready to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

“You should never stop learning,” he said of his decision to continue his education.

Weckwerth applied for the new Construction Supervision Leadership Bachelor’s completion program offered at Dunwoody.

He said he plans to participate in clubs on campus again, but he’ll leave the officer positions and leadership roles to other students.

Dunnwoody’s TTEN students celebrate their success

TTEN group at track

Dunwoody students, alumni and staff members spent the afternoon of June 14 racing go-carts.

In February the Dunwoody College of Technology TTEN (Toyota Technical Education Network) program was recognized as No. 2 among 54 TTEN schools nationwide.

Such an accomplishment is worth celebrating, and Toyota made it easy by providing funds for 32 Dunwoody students, alumni and staff members to spend the afternoon of June 14 racing go-carts at Stockholm Motorsports Park in Cokato as well as lunching on catered food from Famous Dave’s for lunch.

In addition to the fun day, the Auto program was awarded a scan tool, which students use to analyze the interface of vehicles, said Auto instructor Lee Frisvold.

Frisvold said go-cart racing was the perfect way for the students and staff to celebrate.

“There was a lot of good, close racing,” Frisvold said.

Race winners

Kyle Meyers, 2012 Honda PACT graduate, out-raced 31 of his former classmates and instructors to earn the first place honor.

Kyle Meyers, 2012 Honda PACT (Professional Automotive Career Training) graduate, out-raced his former classmates and instructors to earn the first place honor.

Frisvold said he hopes the day at Stockholm is one his students never forget.

“It was a really fun day. Those are the times people remember,” he said.

This isn’t the first year the Dunwoody program ranked high among the TTEN schools. In 2006 the program earned the School of the Year title and in 2010 the program earned the second place title and a scan tool.

If the TTEN students continue to excel as they have in the past, Frisvold says there is no reason Dunwoody won’t continue to rank as one of the top TTEN schools in the nation.

“Hopefully we will be the School of the Year again someday,” Frisvold said. “It’s always our (instructor’s) goal to do the best we can and make the students the best they can possibly be.”

The Dunwoody Toyota TTEN program prepares graduates to be technicians servicing Toyota/Lexus/Scion vehicles at authorized dealerships. Students train specifically on current model Toyota/Lexus vehicles, information systems, scan tools and training materials. Students also complete an internship under the guidance of a master technician at a sponsoring Toyota/Lexus dealership.

All TTEN instructors are certified as Master Technicians by the ASE (National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence). The National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF), the branch of ASE which certifies and accredits automotive education programs has certified Dunwoody in all areas of service and repair. Dunwoody has received recognition from Toyota for being one of the best TTEN automotive schools in the nation and is a CEED School, the highest level for a TTEN school.

For more information about the TTEN program, go to www.T-TEN.com or email Frisvold at lfrisvold@dunwoody.edu

Autonomous Snow Plow Team to Compete at the 2012 Winter Carnival

The Snow Devils 2, Dunwoody’s Autonomous Snow Plow Team, will be competing in this weekend’s Institute of Navigation’s Autonomous Snow Plow Competition at the 2012 St. Paul Winter Carnival.

Last year, Dunwoody’s team took third place out of six teams, and was their first year competing. The competition was The University of Minnesota, two teams from the University of Michigan, the University of Ohio and Ohio – Miami.

The Snow Devils, Dunwoody's 2011 Autonomous Snow Plow Competitor.

The team designed a new plow utilizing a $20 web cam to search for snow. This data is then analyzed using Visual Basic code, which drives large electric motors via a DC motor controller. The team consists of Joel Berglund (ASRO), Corey Halverson (ASRO), Reed Herme (ASRO), Ryan Bender (MDES), Tim Seidl (WMET), Joe Tebbe (ASRO), Josh Nelson (ASRO) and Ward Freeman (MDES).

An example of the robot operation can be seen here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSCpJ2cJ4T4.

Come out and support the team at the Winter Carnival from 9 am to 1 pm on Saturday, January 28 or from 10 am to 2 pm on Sunday, January 29 at Rice Park, 109 4th St. West, Downtown Saint Paul. This event is free and open to the public.

More information and rules for the Autonomous Snow Plow Competition can be found at www.autosnowplow.com and www.winter-carnival.com.

Pictures and information on last year’s competition can be found here http://www.dunwoody.edu/blog.

Photo courtesy of the Autonomous SnowPlow Competition Facebook page.

Remember the 1998 Minnesota State Fair?

Remember the 1998 Minnesota State Fair? Ryan Stumpf does. He had his photo taken at the Dunwoody booth and received a personalized calendar. And, apparently, even back then he did see himself in a rewarding career — Ryan has enrolled in the Automotive Service Technology program and will be starting classes when Dunwoody begins its academic year next week. Congratulations Ryan! Welcome to Dunwoody!

And while it’s been a few years since Dunwoody has been at the State Fair, we hope to get back as soon as next year.

Dunwoody students compete in the SkillsUSA Nationals Competition

National SkillsUSA Dunwoody students and advisors

Five Dunwoody College of Technology students participated in the 47th SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference and Championship held June 18-24, 2011, in Kansas City, Mo.

According to the SkillsUSA 2011, the championship event is “a multi-million dollar event that occupies space equivalent to more than 16 football fields.” More than 5,600 students competed in the week-long event; the five Dunwoody students who  competed qualified by taking home first place medals in the Minnesota SkillsUSA competition held in March.

Career and technical education students nationwide competed in more than 95 industry, labor and trade categories, ranging from Culinary Arts and Masonry to Sheet Metal and Firefighting. Each contest had about25 to 40 competitors.

All of the College’s competitors placed in the top half with four out of the five taking fourth place in their respective events:

Ben Anderson (‘11) – 4th place in Automotive Service Technology
Wade Avery (’11) – 4th place in Related Technical Math
Brandon Bomar (’12) – 4th place in Architectural Drafting
Jake Krogstad (’11) – 14th place in Collision Repair
Kade Oeltjenbruns (’11) – 4th place in Automotive Refinishing Technology

Electrical Construction and Maintenance Senior Instructor Polly Friendshuh said, “I feel we had a very strong showing with the level of competition and by having four of our student in the top four in the nation.”

Congratulations to our SkillsUSA National Competition and Championship competitors!

Winter Quarter 2011 Dean’s List

Congratulations to the Dunwoody College of Technology students who are on the Winter Quarter Dean’s List. Nearly 390 Dunwoody students achieved a 3.5 grade point average or higher to qualify for inclusion on the Dean’s List.

Joseph Ackerman, HVAC Systems Servicing
Roger Albrecht, Computer Networking Technician
Bakri Ali, Applied Management
Brian Anderson, Electrical Construction & Maintenance Technology
Jessica Anderson, Architectural Drafting & Estimating Technology
Rochelle Anderson, Interior Design
Travis Armstrong, Heating & Cooling HVAC Systems Servicing
Jershon Baker, Machining Technology
Logan Ballone, Welding
Jason Barry, Welding
Lucas Beck, PrePress and Finishing Technologiess Technologies
Kaitlin Becker, Interior Design

For the complete list of students, please view our Dean’s List page on the Dunwoody website. Again, congratulations on this outstanding accomplishment.

Dunwoody elects 2011-2012 Phi Theta Kappa officers

Congratulations to Dunwoody College of Technology’s newly elected Phi Theta Kappa officers, President Robert John Weckwerth and Vice President Tristan Zieman. Each will serve a one-year term.

Weckwerth is in the construction project supervision program and Zieman is a part of the computer networking systems program.

An induction ceremony will be held at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 10, 2011 in the McNamara Center at Dunwoody.

Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest honor society in American higher education with 1,270 chapters on two-year and community college campuses in all 50 of the United States, Canada, Germany, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, the British Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates and U.S. territorial possessions. More than 2.5 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 125,000 students inducted annually.