Category Archives: Uncategorized

Dunwoody students study abroad in Cuba

Eight Dunwoody students have another bullet to add to their résumé (and a lot of photos to add to their portfolios) thanks to a recent study aboard trip to Cuba!

IMG_3234

Architecture students Alex Stanley, Celina Nelson, and Gianna Madison; Surveying & Civil Engineering Technology student Patrick Kowal; Construction Project Management student Kate Anderson; and Construction Management students Freddy Jara, Aaron Davis, and Jake Benson-Devine joined Senior Instructor Alex Wong, Program Manager Heather Gay, and Dean Bridget Reynolds on the nine-day adventure late last month.

During their trip, students had the opportunity to experience the city-life of Havana, the small town charm of Santa Clara, the history behind Trinidad port, and the captivating beauty of Topes De Collantes National Park.

Trip highlights included:
Havana
  • Studying the reconstruction and restoration of Havanna
  • Learning what technical education looks like in another country
  • Experiencing different types of food and music
Santa Clara
  • Learning what construction materials and methods are used for restoration projects in a more rural area
  • Learning how smaller educational institutions train students for jobs
  • Understanding how a construction site is prepared in another country
Trinidad
  • Discovering the national influences and inspirations behind the port’s design
  • Seeing the many different goods being imported and exported
  • Learning the history behind residential design and how pirates and weather played a role
  • Studying the evolution of the port’s economy and society

Topes De Collantes National Park

  • Hiking the Escambray Mountains
  • Swimming in the basin of a waterfall
Trip photos:

The College plans to offer another study abroad trip summer of 2018.

To learn more about the 2017 Study Abroad trip, visit: https://cubacmgt1901.wordpress.com

Discover the Difference in Dunwoody’s Design and Graphics Technology curriculum

Dunwoody’s Design and Graphics Technology Department is known for its hands-on, applied approach to design.

“Our students are making things all the time. They’re not just working on a laptop or a computer. They’re running a real printing press or a CAD table or any of the other pieces of equipment that we might have,” Principal Pre-Media Technologies Instructor Pete Rivard said. “So we feel that the learning goes all the way to the bone”

Learn more at dunwoody.edu/graphics.

The Self-Starter: An Alum Profile

Meet Vern Discher, ’48 Engineering Drafting & Design Technology

Discher_Vernon1Visit Vern and Shirley Discher’s Prior Lake home and you’ll see Dunwoody pride. A Dunwoody pennant hangs over the door in the den. Certificates acknowledging Vern’s membership in the Dunwoody 50-Year-Club and the Legacy Association are displayed on the wall, next to scores of family pictures and a map showing the couple’s travels around the world and to all 50 states.

“Shirley and I have been truly blessed in our journey through life,” says Vern. “This isn’t a ‘me’ story; it’s a ‘we’ story.”

The couple met on a double date in Minneapolis when they were still in high school. Vern was hooked instantly, but marriage had to wait until after he completed his military service in Germany and graduated from Dunwoody.

Once he had settled into work at West Bend Aluminum Company (a job the College arranged for him), he and Shirley launched their life together.

In the following years, Vern moved through a series of positions that built his knowledge of extruded aluminum manufacturing and sales.

“I was always looking for better jobs with higher pay, so I moved around from company to company in those early years,” he explains, admitting that there were a few times when he tried some “wild scheme to be my own boss” that didn’t work out. “I think I just had a built-in desire to be independent,” he explains.

In 1975, he was named general manager of Northland Marine, a division of Northland Aluminum Products that manufactured marine windshields and portholes.

The company was struggling, and Vern and CEO/owner Dave Dalquist turned it around by moving into extruded aluminum fabricating, an industry Vern knew very well.

With a new name of Northland Fabricators and a new product line, sales took off. In 1979, when Northland Aluminum was ready to sell the division, Vern and plant manager Larry Holen, bought the company, renaming it Norfab.

“A lot of the success of Norfab was my ability to hire the right people,” explains Vern. He focused on sales, and let other people do their jobs.

Shirley was often at his side at trade shows, business dinners and calls on key customers. “She did an excellent job,” says Vern. “She loved people and people loved her. We’d go to a trade show, and they’d show up at our booth and say, ‘Where’s Shirley?’”

In 1987, Vern sold his share of the company and retired to travel the world with Shirley.

“I have great personal pride in the fact that after more than 25 years, Norfab is still very much in business and that most of the employees that were there when I left are either still working there or have retired from Norfab.”

“When I look back on my career, I see that things just evolved,” says Vern. He’s pleased to see that Dunwoody continues to evolve too. “When I was there, Dunwoody was all drafting boards and tee squares,” he remembers. “Now it’s all computers. It fascinates me to go through it and to see what the young people are doing and the things they’re creating.”

Interior Design Summer Camp challenges perceptions of profession

Dunwoody Interior Design opened its classrooms to 11 high school students at the College’s first-ever Interior Design Summer Camp late last month.

Photo of Interior Design campers

Sarraf-Knowles, Interior Design Principal Instructor and Camp Coordinator, said the camp was created to help challenge students’ assumptions of what an Interior Designer actually does.

“I wanted people to understand that it takes a lot to actually do a project. It’s not just moving furniture around or choosing some colors,” she said. “It’s way more than that. There’s a lot of gathering information, connecting and interviewing with a client, and developing an actual design solution.”

To better show this to the students, Sarraf-Knowles developed a hands-on, interactive project that would allow them to actually experience the creative design process—something Interior Designers typically do when given a project.

Interior Design is more than one might expect

Photo of a "brainstorming wall" where campers posted ideas, graphics, notes for design inspiration. On day one of the camp, campers were asked to create a hypothetical exhibit space for a real-life fashion designer. The exhibit had to be realistic, original but practical, and incorporate the designer’s actual branding.

Students began the project by researching the designer and working on an overall design concept. This required the campers to experiment with colors, patterns, materials, technology, and lighting. The students then created a 3-D protoype of the room, and presented their final project and design solution to Dunwooody faculty and industry professionals.

“The project was very similar to what our students would be expected to do here on campus,” Sarraf-Knowles said.

Exploring Interior Design career paths, employers

Photo of campers listening to a lecture at Dunwoody.When students weren’t working on their displays, they were out exploring possible education and career paths. Campers toured Dunwoody’s Interior Design classrooms, experimented with materials in the Design Library, and explored the College’s fabrication lab and print and packaging lab.

Students were also given the opportunity to tour and meet with professionals from HDR Architecture, a local Architecture firm, and Fluid Interiors, a furniture design shop and dealership.

While touring HDR Architecture, campers met with HDR’s Interior Designer and learned how Architects and Interior Designers work together—particularly at an Architectural firm.

At Fluid Interiors, students learned how Interior Designers work with companies to simplify and customize their workspaces. Campers were able to explore the organization’s many showrooms, giving them an inside look at the types of furniture and light structures designers create and use.

Both visits illustrated the day-to-day responsibilities, projects, and work spaces of an Interior Designer.

Photo of campers by their finished 3D prototype of a fashion boutique. “I hope campers ultimately learned what the profession of Interior Design actually is, including what an Interior Design degree is, what can you do with that degree, and what that degree is like here at Dunwoody,” Sarraf-Knowles said.

Learn more

This is the first time the College has offered an Interior Design summer camp. Sarraf-Knowles plans to run a similar camp again next summer. To be notified of the 2017 camp, please contact Sarraf-Knowles at nsarrafknowles@dunwoody.edu.

Learn more about Interior Design.

Need for women in trade careers inspires Rosie’s Girls Summer Camp

Middle-school girls explore STEM programs, professions with Dunwoody instructors.

Rosie’s Girls— a summer day-camp inspired by a program started by Vermont Works for Women and Girl Scout camp programming—launched its first-ever Minnesota camp at Dunwoody College late last month. The camp was held in partnership with Girl Scouts River Valleys.

Photo of all of Rosie's Girls

More than 40 middle-school girls attended, building their awareness of—and their experience with—STEM-related higher education programs and careers. The camp comes at a time when skilled trade jobs, especially those within the construction industry, are in need of more women workers.

Building trades need more women workers

Photo of girl building in the construction lab

Photo Credit: Girl Scouts River Valleys

“Our demographic is nine percent women and 91 percent men, so we need to make that change,” said Heather Gay, Construction Management Program Manager, in a recent Kare 11 interview.

Electrical Construction & Maintenance Principal Instructor Polly Friendshuh attributes those low numbers to a lack of exposure of STEM programs and careers to young students—especially women.

“By high school, most students have already chosen or have some idea of the direction they are going upon graduation—and most of those students never have any exposure to the construction trades,” she said.

“This camp provides that before they have a pre-conceived idea of what they want to go into and perhaps will spark the idea that there are many pathways available to them.”

Girls learn to build, weld, and wire at Rosie’s Girls

Photo of girls holding their Little Free Library

Photo Credit: Girl Scouts River Valleys

During the camp, the girls were able to participate in a wide array of hands-on, STEM-related projects, including building Little Free Libraries; welding sculptures; and wiring a switch, light and receptacle. For two weeks, campers were able to accurately see what a career in carpentry, welding, electrical wiring, drafting and design, or surveying could be like.

“It’s important for young girls to get exposed to the trades and skills early on so that they know it’s a career path,” Gay said in a KARE 11 interview.

Rosie’s Girls sparks confidence

When girls weren’t exploring Dunwoody labs and equipment, they were participating in other physical activities like rock climbing, archery, and team building games. Campers also worked on their leadership skills, participated in arts activities, and learned how to successfully work and communicate as a group.

Photo of girls holding power tools

Photo Credit: Girl Scouts River Valleys

Girl Scouts River Valleys’ staff noted that “by offering girls a chance to ‘do things’—particularly things they or the adults in their lives may not have believed were appropriate for girls to do—the Rosie’s Girls Program seeks to reverse the downward trajectory in girls’ self confidence.”

Friendshuh, who led a number of camp activities, said that not surprisingly not every girl identified with every activity and career—but it was an incredible feeling seeing those who did connect with an activity succeed and have fun.

Photo of girl welding in welding lab.“The trades can provide a career option that not only pays well but can be obtained without a four-year degree. I hope the camp helped them to gain a better idea of what a technical college is and what it can mean for them as they move on into high school and beyond.”

And while college plans and the girl’s professional lives might still be a ways off, Friendshuh said above all, she hoped the camp gave the girls “a sense of accomplishment, empowerment, and the realization that they can be anything they want.”

Photo Credit: Girl Scouts River Valley

 

Dunwoody-built Little Free Libraries coming to a community near you

Student clubs and organizations provide undergrads with unique volunteer and professional development opportunities.

One of the many perks of a Dunwoody education is the abundance of professional clubs and student organizations on campus. With over 20 to choose from, these clubs are more than just extra-curriculars. They serve as valuable ways for students to meet industry professionals, participate in community outreach, and build their résumés and portfolios.

And the College’s National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) student chapter, led by Construction Project Management Instructor Jon Hassenfritz, is no exception.

Photo of one of the student-built Little Free Libraries.Students build Little Free Libraries for BATC

Earlier this semester, the NAHB student chapter was approached with a unique volunteer opportunity: to help build three Little Free Libraries for the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC).

The libraries resemble small houses and operate as a free book exchange for anyone interested. Once constructed, the student-built libraries would be put on display—and to work—in the towns of Oakdale (near Cardinal Place neighborhood), Apple Valley (near the Government Center and the city library and park) and Anoka (near Walker Methodist senior living community).

“The goal is to encourage reading at home as studies have shown that having more books at home improves literacy levels and school-readiness among children,” said Heather Griffis, BATC Office Manager and project coordinator.

Photo of Dunwoody students working on the Little Free Library

Photo Credit: Builders Association of Twin Cities

“BATC’s relationship with Dunwoody and the Construction department at Dunwoody has always been good. It’s important to us to work with our members. We thought this was a good opportunity for the students at Dunwoody to do something fun while working on their degree.”

NAHB members and project volunteers John Jeske, John Bautch and Bradley Toenges agreed, jumping right in to the project.

Student activities promote professional development

Hassenfritz said that throughout the project Jeske, Bautch, and Toenges were able to enhance their building and project management skills.

“We were provided with two designs for the libraries and then were able to design the third one ourselves,” Hassenfritz explained. “Students had to learn to read and understand the build plans so that they could cut and assemble the houses.”

The students were also able expand their knowledge of a variety of different hand and power tools.

Photo of one of the Little Free Libraries.“Participating in the student chapter of the NAHB has a lot of benefits for students,” Hassenfritz said. “Through the club they have access to networking events, trade shows and many other experiences that other students don’t.”

“This gives them the opportunity to meet and talk with people in the residential construction field. These connections they make can open up opportunities for internships and full-time employment,” he said.

Learn more

The libraries are currently in their final building stages. Upon completion, the finished houses will be sent back to the BATC for painting and decorating. The finished products are expected to be installed by the end of the summer.

Learn more about where these libraries can be found.

Learn more about Construction Management.

Dunwoody College of Technology’s 2016 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 (or higher) grade point average while being a full-time student*.

*Student must take a minimum of 12 credits to be considered full-time. 

Eli Abnet
Alexandra About
Samuel Albers
Alexander Al-hilwani
Jacob Allen
Satiya Amporful
Angela Anderson
Brett Anderson
Katelyn Anderson
Matthew Anderson
Tyler Anderson
David Andresen
Daniel Arboleda
Alysa Arnold
Joseph Aspelin
Megan Augustine
Brandon Autey
Austin Autio
Matthew Backus
Sarah Barry
John Bautch
Alec Becklin
Mackenzie Berger
Maxime Berger
Alexander Biggs
Kirsten Billmeyer
Macklan Blankenship
Corey Bloom
Thomas Blossom
Kyle Blouin
Jacob Blue
Kazimir Bluhm
Jackson Boehmer
Brittney Boie
Alex Boline
Adam Booth
Alex Brand
Joseph Broadston
Amanda Bronson
Chad Brooks
Christopher Bruneau
Robin Bry
Kyle Burnside
Derek Busse
Chad Caddy
Samuel Carlin
Anna Carlson
Joseph Carlson
Matthew Carlson
Robert Carson
Connor Chamberlain
Ma Chang
Kurt Christianson
Randy Dahlberg
Aaron Dahlquist
Brady Dalton
Jazmine Darden
Michael Davis
Adam DeCurtins
Walldo Deluna
Bradley Devriendt
Tristan Dewitte
David Dietz
Robert Donohue
Jamie Dulebohn
Vasile Dumbravanu
Scott Duncan
Parker Dunn
David Edwards
Adam El Hmamsi
Patrick Epperhart
Jon Erickson
Kaela Fahey
Jared Fanslow
Paige Fischer
Rachel Fisher
Mark Fujitake
David Gainous
Michelle Gaveske
Benjamin Gherity
Craig Gorman
Travis Granlund
Ryan Grigoleit
Robert Grindahl
James Grommersch
Jason Grzeskowiak
Charles Guelcher
John Guion
Andrhea Gulden
David Haerle
Keven Halloran
Neil Halvorson
Sandra Hammerlund
Robert Hammond
Brandi Hanisch
Danial Hannover
Jacob Hardie
Ryan Harris
Nicholas Harvey
Daniel Hattenberger
Anthony Hawks
Caleb Hays
Peng Her
Matthew Herrick
Andrew Hibbs
Aidan Hicks
Michael Hiepler
Joshua Hill
Tiara Hill
William Hiniker
Michael Hinrichs
Tan Ho
Vincent Hoang
Parris Hobson-Powell
Daniel Hoffman
Nathan Hole
Nicholas Holman
Benjamin Holmgren
Andrew Hoogenakker
Oudomphone Houngsombath
Heather House
Kyle Huberty
Paul Huff
Katherine Humphrey
Benjamin Hunerberg
Nicholas Hunstad
Ashley Hurner
Andrew Hurrle
Troy Hyland
Joseph Irey
Blake Isetts
Jordan Janiak
Paul Januszewski
Katherine Jenkins
Leo Jensen
John Jeske
Michael Jindra
Jettana Jitlak
Andrew Johnson
Brent Johnson
Briana Johnson
Chris Johnson
Harry Johnson
Isaiah Jolly
Levi Kavadas
Brandon Keizer
Thomas Kerner
Edward Kibira
Shelby Kiltinen
Jaslyne King
Matthew Kinne
Kyle Kissinger
Austin Kleineschay
Benjamin Klenke
David Klinkner
Brian Kloos
Christian Klus
Mitchell Knutson
Joel Koenigsmark
Megan Koerner
Connor Koll
Samantha Kollasch
Patrick Kowal
Matthew Krei
Michael Kretsu
Kasey Kromschroeder
Benjamin Kuchta
Derek Lambert
Benjamin Larsen
Jacob Larson
Justin Larson
Anthony Laylon
Scott Leighton
Ashley LeMay
Joseph Lerum
Robert Liebelt
Alex Linahon
Eric Lindenfelser
John Lo
Chad Lofgren
Eric Lorentzen
Bennieco Luangrath
Alison Luedtke
Ashley Lutz
John Mabusth
Joseph Machtemes
Alex Maciej
Alex Maciej
Michael Mack
Andrew Madison
Scott Magnuson
Richard Makori
Thomas Mallinger
Kerry Mandt
Matthew Mannella
Paxton Martensen
James Matthes
Erik Maupin
Thomas Mavencamp
Patrick McGinn
Kyle McGinnity
Lacy McLaury
Patrick McNamer
Jacob Meyer
Michael Miazga
Charles Miller
Steven Mitchell
Michael Molenaar
Christopher Monson
Madison Montgomery
Jonathan Moreno
John Moynihan
Jonathan Muckala
Celina Nelson
Heidi Nelson
Matthew Nelson
Karl Newsome
Son Nguyen
Stephanie Nguyen
Joshua Noer
Travis Northway
Peter Novellino
Brandon O’Brien
Justin Ofsthun
Grady O’Gorman
Andrew Olson
Benjamin Olson
James Olson
Corin Osborne
Michael Otten
Elisabet Pace
Taylor Parker-Greene
Taylor Paschke
Linsey Patten
Ricky Perez
Jonathan Peter
Andrew Petersen
Ben Peterson
Drew Peterson
Jacob Peterson
Jon Peterson
Matthew Peterson
Brian Pevensie
Sylvester Phandanouvong
Zach Pollei
Douglas Pouliot
Mary Price
Michael Prudhon
Grant Quasabart
Richard Reese
Adrienne Reich
Austin Reinertson
Mark Reznikov
Collin Ripley
Cory Roberts
Eric Robertson
Blake Robinson
Madelyn Rodewald
Saray Roeun
Makto Rono
Henry Rudolph
Randal Rue
Nathan Rumpza
Christian Saltness
Justin Sapp
James Scanlan
Taylor Schafer
Lucas Schneider
Sarah Schroeder
Trevor Schroeder
Will Schulzetenberg
Brianna Schumacher
Reid Schumacher
Jeremy Scollick
Kurtis Seurer
Luke Shaw
Matthew Shephard
Zachary Shorter
Lloyd Show
Sarah Silver
Stanley Silverberg
Ross Skattum
Gabriel Smith
Luke Smith
Thomas Smith
Devyn Smoter
Matthew Snyder
Erik Soberg
Shane Soberg
Rebekah Somers
Eric Sosa
Jerred Speller
Wyatt Spencer
Siri Springer
Mark Stafford
Dylan Stang
Alexander Stanley
Tanner Stearns
Paul Steffens
Daniel Stellburg
Brian Stewart
Charlie Stewart
Aaron Stoehr
Jason Strand
Dmitri Strohman
Kevin Strum
Donavan Sullivan
Heidi Sunne
Matthew Svihel
Dustin Szumowski
Sheldon Taylor
Anthony Thiery
Andrew Thompson
Kathleen Thompson
Micah Thorson
Alek Tomann
Brittney Tompkins
Daniel Treat
Timothy Trembulak
Miles Tristani
Mark Tully
Andrew Unger
John Vaccaro
Gabriel Vail
Jesse Valley
James Vanderbosch
Adam VanderVorste
Julie VanderWal
Julian VanDoeren
Choua Vang
Rachel Vath
Myles Voigt
David Voorhees
Daniel Wambach
Jerry Wang
Isabel Waryan
Marcus Wayman
Christopher Wenthe
Justin Wenz
Kimberly Wieting
Laura Wiley
Michael Willems
Brandon Williams
Michael Williams
Blake Wilson
Christopher Wilson
Shelby Wittibslager
Brian Witzany
Keith Wojciechowski
Elias Wolde
Gregory Woolsey
Timothy Wright
B Billy Xiong
Bee Xiong
Nhia Yang
Pierre Yang
Ryan Young
Rodrigo Zangano
Austin Zimmermann
Charles Zmuda

Dunwoody welcomes more than 400 alumni to proud tradition

This weekend, Dunwoody welcomed over 400 new alumni to its long history of outstanding graduates. The College’s Commencement Ceremony took place at the Minneapolis Convention Center at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 21.

Photo of Scott Crump

S. Scott Crump, co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Stratasys Ltd.

In his keynote speech, S. Scott Crump, co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Stratasys Ltd., shared the experiences, personal habits and attributes that led to his success as an inventor and innovator, including the invention of the first 3D printer with FDM, which revolutionized the product process by automating prototyping. He discussed the importance of creative, free thinking and the ability to follow through with the ideas that arrive through such thinking:

When you have a great idea, you need to create a clear vision of your new idea and have the persistence to prove its feasibility and then eventually convince others that new is possible. However, as a heads up, you should expect resistance to new.

We are all curious but generally, we resist change. So: most people are too afraid of the risk of social criticism and ridicule to take the chance of sharing inventions and innovations.

In fact, I believe this is the single biggest barrier to invention, because it actually threatens your comfort zone. To counter that fear, I always try to operate out of my comfort zone.

Mr. Crump also gave a challenge to the graduates:

Learn to use your creative zone, and make sure that you have a lot of fun along the way, which gives you the passion to make a difference; because it’s not just about a job.

Dream and follow your dreams; I challenge you to make a difference in this world. Solve big problems and don’t conform, be a non-conformist.

Alex Mars, who served as the Class of 2016’s student speaker, shared the impact an applied education at Dunwoody has made on her life:

Photo of Alex Mars

Alex Mars, Dunwoody Class of 2016 student speaker

We often hear the clichéd phrase “the sky is the limit”. I finished my last semester of the Welding program at Dunwoody in December. I took a welding position at an Aerospace company in Eagan. I build helicopter frames and airplane engine mounts for a living. The phrase “the sky is the limit” has taken on a literal meaning for me. Using the skills I have earned at Dunwoody, I build aircraft and send my dreams up into the sky.

In his concluding remarks, President Rich Wagner reminded the graduates:

Photo of Dunwoody College of Technology President Rich Wagner

Dunwoody College of Technology President Rich Wagner

The Dunwoody legacy is evident around our city, from the buildings Dunwoody alumni have designed and built, to the companies they’ve started, to the products they manufacture, to the designs they’ve created, and the projects they’ve managed. It is humbling and overwhelming to look at the impact Dunwoody alumni have had and continue to have on our neighborhoods, on our communities, on our state and on our nation.

And now, you carry a responsibility to hold fast to the values a Dunwoody education represents and to take with you the challenge of perpetuating Dunwoody’s great legacy through your actions and accomplishments.

Additional photos from Commencement can be found on the College’s Facebook page.

Photo credit: Stan Waldhauser Photo/Design