Category Archives: Uncategorized

Dunwoody hosts MIE meeting to help enhance international students’ experience

Dr. Leo Parvis talking to audience at October MIE Meeting at Dunwoody College of TechnologyThe College recently welcomed members from Minnesota International Educators (MIE) as they attended a board meeting on campus. The MIE is a professional association that works to help staff and educators in international student admissions and/or services create a positive experience for international students across the state of Minnesota.

“We decided to host the meeting at Dunwoody because we wanted to bring more visibility to the College. We wanted other schools to know where we are located and that we do accept international students,” said International Student Admissions Counselor Meera Weist. “It is also a great opportunity to find out what other colleges are doing and determine what we can and should incorporate here as well.”

MIE board member talking to audience at October MIE Meeting at Dunwoody College of TechnologyThe three-hour meeting included updates from the MIE and the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP); a discussion on immigration changes; and a student panel.

The panel—consisting of international students from MCAD, UM-Twin Cities and St. Olaf College who are also part of the LGTBQ community—described how their gender identity and/or sexual orientation affected their study abroad experience, and what educators can do to help improve it.

MIE board members and guests discussing updates at October MIE Meeting at Dunwoody College of TechnologyA first time event for Dunwoody, Weist says the meeting was an excellent way for the Dunwoody Admissions team to continue to understand—and enhance—international student’s stay here in the Twin Cities.

If you are an international student looking to continue your education at Dunwoody, please contact Weist at

Minnesota Multi Housing Association awards Construction Project Management student with MADACS Award

Construction Project Management student and WITC Scholarship recipient Marydithe Edgerton holding MADACS awardCongratulations to Construction Project Management student and WITC Scholarship recipient Marydithe Edgerton, who was recently awarded with a Multi housing Achievement in Design, Advertising and Community Support (MADACS) Award in Individual Maintenance.

The Award—given annually by the Minnesota Multi Housing Association (MHA)—recognizes an individual who independently manages the maintenance of an apartment building while also making significant contributions to the progression of the multi housing industry.

The MHA is a state-wide, non profit organization with over 2,000 members representing more than 250,000 housing units.

A better life

Earlier this year, Edgerton applied for Dunwoody’s Women in Technical Careers Scholarship, which provides financial, academic and personal support to women pursuing a non-traditional career.

Edgerton, who graduated high school in 2010, said it was a “no-brainer” to go back to school—the difficult part was figuring out how to balance five days of work and four nights of class each week.

But, “I knew I had to go to college to make a living,” she said.

So, a few months later, when Edgeton learned she was not only accepted into Dunwoody but had also received the scholarship, she knew it was time to go back.

Edgerton is now halfway through her first semester in the Construction Project Management program.

Despite now being a full-time student, Edgerton still helps manage The Lamoreaux apartment complex, an affordable housing building in Minneapolis. Her responsibilities range from replacing drywall, to fixing a leaky faucet, to helping set up cable TV. Edgerton also confirms that the apartment’s lights work, doors lock, and the carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are on—ensuring the building is a clean and safe place to live. 

The nomination process
The Lamoreaux Apartments. Photo credit to

The Lamoreaux Apartments. Photo credit to

Edgerton’s supervisors nominated her for the award this past spring, impressed by her consistent dedication to the building. Over the summer, MHA Judges visited the apartment complex where Edgerton showed them the building, explained her responsibilities, and participated in a formal Q&A. Edgerton discovered she won the award in late September.

“Winning this award means a lot to me,” Edgerton said. “Especially because I have only been in maintenance for about a year and a half.”

“Since then, I have put so much of myself into this building. Not only in the pride I take in it, but also on behalf of all the residents that live here. They know that I am here to help them. I don’t ignore them or discount their opinions. I work with them as much as I can because, after all, this is their home.”

Edgerton will graduate with an associate’s degree in Construction Project Management in Spring of 2017. She hopes to continue her career in affordable housing as a Project Manager—preferably at Aeon, the company she currently works for.

Learn more about Construction Project Management or Women in Technical Careers.

Toyota donates additional 4 vehicles to Dunwoody’s T-TEN program

Students and faculty from Toyota’s Technician Training & Education Network (T-TEN) program are celebrating Toyota’s recent donation of four new Toyota and Lexus vehicles.A photo of a 2015 Toyota Sequoia 4WD; 2007 Tundra 4WD w/ TRD Supercharger option; 2013 Lexus GS350 RWD; and 2014 Lexus IS250F.

The newest vehicle additions (from L to R) include a:

  • 2015 Toyota Sequoia 4WD;
  • 2007 Tundra 4WD w/ TRD Supercharger option;
  • 2013 Lexus GS350 RWD; and
  • 2014 Lexus IS250F.

Earlier this year, Toyota also supplied the College with a:

  • 2014 Toyota Highlander AWD;
  • 2014 Toyota Camry;
  • 2008 Sequoia 4WD; and
  • 2011 Lexus LX57.

The total donation is valued at approximately $232,000.

However, according to T-TEN Instructor Lee Frisvold, these cars don’t stay pristine for very long; almost immediately after they arrive on Dunwoody’s lot, they are taken apart for training purposes.

Donated cars help Dunwoody students prepare for their career

“We try to make the program as real-world as possible,” said Frisvold. “So we take the donated cars and we put faults in them. Those faults are usually based on whatever is being taught in the class at that time. The students are then expected to be able to diagnose the faults—whether they are electrical issues, such as the car not starting, or problems with the car’s transmission—and then fix them, just as they would while working at a dealership.”

Frisvold says that because cars can only be disassembled and reassembled so many times, Toyota tries to replenish T-TEN’s fleet—in total—every four to five years. This also allows the students to keep up with the latest technologies and newest models.

Learn about the unique features of some of the vehicles by viewing the photo gallery below!

“Students also become very familiar with Toyota and Lexus cars before they start working at a dealership,” Frisvold said. “This makes them much more confident in diagnosing and talking with customers.”

Dunwoody and Toyota’s partnership continues to thrive

Dunwoody’s partnership with Toyota began around 14 years ago, and since then has produced nearly 100  successful graduates– with a majority of them still working at the dealership they interned at.

“Having a partnership with a top manufacturer that cares about the education of future technicians is very important to Dunwoody,” Frisvold said. “Toyota has helped us in so many ways, whether it’s through donated cars and tools or simply by creating a sense of a T-TEN community. To this day, they continue to help us keep on the cutting edge of instructional techniques and lab sheet design.”

Learn more about Dunwoody’s T-TEN Program.




Dunwoody Hosts Waterborne Spray Paint Training and Demonstration

Dunwoody’s Automotive Collision Repair & Refinishing Department recently held a free, six-hour training session on aqueous paint systems for collision repair. The training was followed by an in-booth waterborne base coat and clear coat spot repair demonstration.

A photo of a Dunwoody classroom filled with event attendees

The purpose of the training was to inform the public—especially those in the automotive industry—the benefits of using, and properly applying, waterborne paint, instead of traditional solvent-based paint, on a newly repaired vehicle.

Nearly 30 individuals participated in the demo, including representatives from Heppner’s Auto Body & Collision Repair; Keystone Refinish (LKQ Corp); Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MNTAP); University of Northern Iowa Waste Reduction Center; Environmental Initiative Group; Kansas State University; PPG Automotive Refinish; and the City of Minneapolis were in attendance.

The training comes at a time when many auto repair shops are adopting the more environmentally friendly paint system technologies.

The Benefits of Using Waterborne Based Paint

Over the last few years, water-borne based paints have gained A photo of the waterborne paint expert talking at the event inside Dunwoody's waterborne spray paint booth traction around the U.S. and internationally. They have been proven to:

  • Produce better color matches;
  • Improve spot repairs;
  • Reduce solvent exposure;
  • Emit fewer air pollutants; and
  • Produce less hazardous waste–making them a popular choice in many auto repair shops.

Due to this shift in technology, Dunwoody installed a waterborne spray paint booth in its Collision Repair Shop earlier this year. The booth was made possible through several donations and a grant from the City of Minneapolis. Since then, the Automotive Collision & Repair program’s curriculum has drastically changed, focusing heavily on waterborne-paint application.

Event Attendees Learn Best Practices from Local Professionals

Dunwoody’s curriculum, additional grant opportunities from the City of Minneapolis, and waterborne paint application tips and techniques, were discussed at the event. Attendees were also able to participate in a virtual paint demonstration, which analyzes a person’s spray technique, rates their overall performance, and provides helpful feedback on how the painter can improve.

The program concluded with an actual waterborne spray paint demonstration inside Dunwoody’s paint booth.

Make the Switch to Waterborne: Learn MoreA photo of event attendees listening to the waterborne spray paint demonstration inside Dunwoody's spray paint booth

Dunwoody’s seminar was held in conjunction with the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) at the University of Minnesota; Environment
al Initiative; the City of Minneapolis; and MPCA’s Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP). All organizations aim to improve air quality, eliminate waste, and better train local painters.

For more information on waterborne paint, contact Bruce Graffunder. For financial assistance opportunities to fund your shift to waterborne paint, contact the City of Minneapolis, MN Tap, or the Environmental Initiative Group.

Dunwoody & Mortenson Construction Win “Best Meal Award” at 2015 CANstruction

Team Donates 6,000 + Canned Goods to Second Harvest Heartland

IMG_2033-smallDunwoody’s Construction Sciences & Building Technology Department teamed up with Mortenson Construction for the 2015 Minneapolis CANstruction fundraiser—an annual event where participating teams build colossal structres made entirely out of cans of food.

The CANstruction team earned the “Best Meal” Award at the event, which was held at the Mall of America last month. The award is given annually to the team that uses the most nourishing, protein-packed food items.

Proceeds from the Minneapolis event were given to Second Harvest Heartland, the Upper Midwest’s largest hunger-relief organization.

There are over 150 CANstruction events held throughout the world each year.

Minnesota History Inspires 2015 CANstruction Sculpture Theme

IMG_8751-smallThe 2015 sculpture—designed and built by Interior Design and Construction Management students–was themed “Feast Like a Viking.” Cans of beans, tomatoes, vegetables and coconut milk made up the ship—complete with oars, a mast, sail and dragon head—while cans of tuna were used to represent ocean waves.

The CANstruction team chose the Viking theme because it represents the rich history of Minnesota. The voyage of Leif Erikson—who is often considered to be the first European to discover America—was recreated in 1927, with a final landed in Duluth, Minnesota. Journal entries from that expedition were kept and often detailed the crew’s difficulty in finding fresh fish and ripe vegetables.

This inspired the CANstruction team’s motto, which is “no-one’s ‘voyage through life’ should be limited by hunger”…especially today.

CANstruction Provides Students with Beneficial, Real World Experience

The entire project lasted about five weeks. During that time, Mortenson Construction and Dunwoody students not only designed the sculpture but also collected more than 6,000 cans of food.

Interior Design Principal Instructor and CANstruction Coordinator Cindy Martimo said that although the students were working with canned goods, the project did require students to use skills and best practices they would also perform on a real job.

“It required two very different departments to work together—especially on build day,” said Martimo. “Only five people could build at a time. So those who weren’t building had to provide various levels of support to the builders by unpacking boxes, passing cans, etc. The team had to practice time management, communicate with one another, follow a set of plans, and ultimately create the structure they designed.”

Click below to view a timelapse video of the CANstruction team assembling the sculpture at the event.

This is the fourth year the Construction Sciences & Building Technology Department has participated in a CANstruction event, and, according to Martimo, the students support and dollars raised grow each time.

“The event has really become a great opportunity for our students,” she said. “They get to be creative, design something and raise money for charity. In addition, their creations are judged by the very people who might someday offer them a job. The other teams out on the floor are all architecture and engineering firms. These are people that the students will be working with –or be hired by–one day. To have that kind of industry presence and to be able to add the CANstruction event to their resumes is very beneficial.”

Get Involved in CANstruction 2016

The Construction Sciences & Building Technology Department plans to continue the event next year. The project is open to all students in the Department. 

To get involved in CANstruction 2016, contact Cindy Martimo at


A big thank you to this year’s sponsors: Mortenson Construction, Parsons Electric, Custom Drywall, and Ames Construction

Bachelor of Architecture Granted Initial Candidacy by National Architecture Accrediting Board

Dunwoody College of Technology’s Bachelor of Architecture has been granted initial candidacy by the National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB). The candidacy comes after a site visit last spring by a visiting team consisting of representatives from national academic and professional organizations.

 Initial candidacy marks the first two-year phase of the program’s professional accreditation.  Future phases include initial accreditation which will be considered after the program graduates its first class of students in 2018.  As a candidate school, Dunwoody Architecture will submit and publicy share its Architecture Program Report, Visiting Team Report, and Annual Statistical Reports.

Dunwoody Architecture offers the only five year bachelor of architecture degree in the state, providing students with a short, clear path to becoming a licensed, practicing architect. In addition, Dunwoody is one of the only schools in the nation that allows students with two-year architectural degrees to transfer into year three of a professional degree program. Its degree employs a hands-on approach to architectural education that starts with two years of focus on employability through proficiency in design and building technologies. The remaining three years provide advanced skills in design and professional leadership.  Applications for Fall 2016 are now open.

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.