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Dunwoody students to study abroad in Spain

12 Dunwoody students are about to embark on the trip of a lifetime as they head off for a 12-day study abroad trip to Spain.

A panorama of the Toledo Skyline, one of the cities that the Dunwoody Study Abroad group will vista. Image credit: Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

A panorama of the Toledo Skyline, one of the cities that the Dunwoody Study Abroad group will vista. Image credit: Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

The study abroad group consists of six Interior Design students, four Design & Graphics Technology students, and two Construction Management students.

Interior Design Principal Instructor Nada Sarraf-Knowles and Pre-Media Technologies Principal Instructor Pete Rivard will lead the trip.

The itinerary

 During their trip, students will have the opportunity to:

Through journal entries, group projects, guest speakers, and in-depth discussions, students will study contemporary and traditional design (both interior and exterior) as well as enhance analytic note taking and sketching capabilities.

Why traveling matters

When asked why studying abroad is important for students, Rivard said he believes “travel—especially global travel—is important for anybody.”

“It broadens your mind and it puts you in a spot where you are the stranger. I think it helps students understand and be more empathetic to people who aren’t from here,” he said.

Sarraf-Knowles agreed saying studying abroad is an excellent way for students to develop both professionally and personally.

“In addition to it being a resume-booster, students are also able to become more independent, learn about themselves, make new friends and ultimately change the way they see the world,” she said.

“They are about to learn the culture and history of one of the most fascinating countries in the world. I know they are very excited.”

The study abroad group departs for Spain May 23 and returns June 3.

Experience Spain from home

You can catch all the action of the trip by searching the hashtag #DunwoodyInSpain on Twitter and on Instagram.

Dunwoody will also be featuring several student photos and journal entries throughout the next two-weeks on the College’s Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Most of Dunwoody’s Class of 2016 already employed

With Commencement right around the corner, the question of “what now?” might be in full effect for some students—but it isn’t for many upcoming Dunwoody grads.

According to the latest from the College’s Ferrara Career Services Center, 85% of Dunwoody students are leaving campus already employed.

Micah Thorson presenting his capstone project for his bachelor of science in Industrial Engineering.

Micah Thorson presenting his capstone project for his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering.

Associate Director of Career Services Rob Borchardt says this trend is consistent with last year’s Employment Report, which shows that 98.5 percent of the 2014-15 graduating class found jobs in their field within six months of leaving campus.

Employers turn to Dunwoody for new hires

“The state of the economy right now really favors job seekers,” Borchardt said. “Industries we support are in high need for talented graduates and those companies regularly turn to Dunwoody to fill that need.”

And many companies are finding value in engaging with Dunwoody students and faculty before their final semester.

From L to R: College President Rich Wagner, Lakeram Seriram, and YCAP Manager Peggy Quam shortly after Seriram was named the Youth Career Awareness Program Leon Rankin Award recipient.

From L to R: College President Rich Wagner, Lakeram Seriram, and YCAP Manager Peggy Quam shortly after Seriram was named the Youth Career Awareness Program Leon Rankin Award recipient.

This proved to be true for soon-to-be-grads Micah Thorson (Industrial Engineering Technology), Stevie Nguyen, (Engineering Drafting & Design) and Lakeram Seriram (Toyota Technician Training & Education Network):

Thorson found out about his recently accepted position at Andersen Windows and Doors through his Dunwoody instructor; Nguyen developed rapport with her employer, Permasteelia, after they presented to one of her classes back in 2015; and Seriram, who will be joining the automotive team at Lexus of Wayzata full-time, toured his future place of employment nearly two years ago during his summer with the YCAP program.

All three students will walk across the stage tomorrow already employed.

Degree, future brings excitement to students

Stevie Nguyen with the bicycle she helped design and build with her group The Hacks as a capstone project for their degree.

Stevie Nguyen with the bicycle she helped design and build with her group The Hacks as a capstone project for their degree.

“I am excited about everything,” Nguyen said. “I finally completed my first degree and am now off to start my life. I know that this degree will open so many doors for me.”

Thorson, who previously completed an associate’s degree in Engineering Drafting & Design at Dunwoody, agreed: “The part that excites me the most is the opportunities to continue to learn and develop. I hit the ceiling with my associate’s degree and with my bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering I will have the chance to keep growing in my career and continue on with my education if desired.”

Seriram said he too is excited for the opportunity to continue his education.

“It’s only the beginning for me,” he said. “Now that I have my two-year degree, maybe down the road I can get my four-year degree—and even open up my own [automotive] shop.” 

2015-2016 Commencement

Dunwoody College’s Commencement ceremony will be held Saturday, May 21, at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The Ceremony begins at 11 a.m.

Learn more about Commencement.

Surveying & Civil Engineering students apply GIS to deliver geospatial Solutions on Smart Devices

Surveying & Civil Engineering Technology students presented their final projects earlier this week, demonstrating the unique ways Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can help people make location-based decisions.

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Simply speaking, a GIS is a computer system that allows users to overlay different layers of information on a map to better see patterns and relationships at a given location.

Instructor and Ramsey County GIS System Administrator Jessica Fendos helped develop Dunwoody’s first Geospatial Technology curriculum, which teaches students how to make maps and publish GIS content to the cloud.

Students were able to use this technology in their final projects to compile themed layers from a variety of sources, including U.S. census statistics, CAD drawings, GPS coordinates, satellite images, and multimedia data.

Each group tackled a real-world problem using GIS technologies. Some teams took their projects a step further and also turned their maps into interactive web and mobile GIS applications.

Here are their use case scenarios: 

“Nice Ride Route Analysis”
Brandon Davis, BJ Klenke, Briana Johnson

Photo of Brandon Davis, BJ Klenke, and Briana JohnsonThe Nice Ride application helps visitors and residents using Minneapolis/St Paul’s bike share system, Nice Ride, quickly and easily identify the cities’ 190 different “check-in” spots, which users are required to visit every 30 minutes to avoid surcharges.

Users simply plug in their destination, and the program automatically generates a map showing riders fun destinations (e.g. museums, parks, pubs, bus stops) they can ride to—while also indicating which stations they should check-in at along the way.

“Dinner-Out Application”
Doug Pouliot, Francis Omwoyo, Sean Wadman

Photo of Doug Pouliot, Francis Omwoyo, and Sean Wadman.“A person has to eventually eat.” That’s the reasoning behind the Minneapolis Dinner-Out app, which provides users with a live communication hub where consumers can submit reviews of local restaurants via their mobile devices.

The application also maps out where each restaurant is as well as the various forms of transportation that can get you there.

“Home Sweet Home”
Jake Blue, James Dallman, Patrick Kowal

Photo of Jake Blue, James Dallman, and Patrick Kowal. The “Home Sweet Home” project is designed to help families—specifically those moving cross-country—quickly and easily identify the best places to live in Minneapolis, Minn.

Members from this group began their search by mapping neighborhoods that are suitable based on a number of common house-hunting criteria, including lot size; price range; allowed crime rate; scarcity of nearby condemned properties; location preferences (i.e., proximity to schools, parks, hospitals, etc.); and preferred transportation routes (i.e., bus, light-rail, bike).

The group then identified the top five Minneapolis neighborhoods—using a choropleth map—to showcase areas that could potentially be a good fit for families.

“Do Demographics Influence Elections?”
Stan Silverberg and Chris Johnson

Photo of Stan Silverberg and Chris Johnson.This project aims to identify political trends for the state of Minnesota—with a specific emphasis on the Twin Cities metro area. Using demographics such as race, age, income, and geographic location, users will be able to view a breakdown of voting results by demographics in the rural counties and in the Twin Cities.

 Dunwoody Campus Story Map
Curtis Meriam, Wyatt Spencer, Joseph Irey, Matt Anderson

Photo of Curtis Meriam, Wyatt Spencer, Joseph Irey, and Matt Anderson.The Dunwoody Campus Map application aims to provide prospective students and their families with a better idea of what the Dunwoody campus looks like.

The app incorporates CAD drawings and geo-referenced photos at different on-campus locations to provide a virtual tour of the campus exterior. The app can also evaluate the capacity of parking lots at Dunwoody and show users where each campus entrance and exit is located.

This information is especially helpful for those who are unable to physically tour the Dunwoody campus.

Learn more

Learn more about Surveying & Civil Engineering.

Field trip to Greenheck Fan gives HVAC students a taste of life in industry

Photo of Dunwoody HVAC students visiting Greenheck Fan.Heating & Air Conditioning Engineering Technology and HVAC Installation & Residential Service students recently ventured out to Schofield, WI, for a day-long visit to Greenheck Fan, the leading supplier of air movement and control equipment, including fans, dampers, louvers, and kitchen ventilation.

During the visit, students were able to tour the new Innovation Center, where fans are tested for noise and durability. Students were also able to see how a fan is assembled as well as learn the role engineering plays in fan selection and performance.

Photo of Dunwoody HVAC students looking at machinery at Greenheck Fan. “The students were impressed with the quality control measures Greenheck uses when manufacturing their equipment—and the large volume of fans and equipment being produced,” HVAC Program Manager Chuck Taft said. “This demonstrated how busy the HVAC industry is right now.”

Taft said students also met with Greenheck employees, who seemed “very proud to work at Greenheck.”

“You could tell the employees liked their jobs,” he said.

Photo of Dunwoody HVAC students listening to Greenheck Fan employee.Dunwoody’s HVAC programs have been invited to the Greenheck headquarters every two years since the 1990’s. The tour plays an important role in helping students see the types of jobs and working environments they could be in upon graduation.

Learn more about Heating & Air Conditioning Engineering Technology and HVAC Installation & Residential Service.

Diversity Forum: Holocaust commemoration

On Tuesday, April 19, Dunwoody College of Technology hosted its 78th Diversity Forum, commemorating the Holocaust. Around 30 students, faculty and staff gathered in the College’s Holden Center to hear from artist, writer and genealogist Susan Weinberg and Holocaust survivor Dora Zaidenweber.

Weinberg spoke about her experience researching her family history and learning about family members who survived the Holocaust. Then, Weinberg presented a few paintings and spoke about the meaning behind them.

An instant connection

Dora Zaidenweber and Susan Weinberg talk about their experiences at Diversity Forum: Holocaust commemoration.

From left to right: Dora Zaidenweber and Susan Weinberg

Weinberg and Zaidenweber claim they met through beshert – or fate – when Weinberg discovered Zaidenweber during her research in Poland.

They became instant friends when Zaidenweber showed Weinberg her old photographs from before the Holocaust. Zaidenweber’s relatives carried these photographs in their shoes throughout the Holocaust and later, they came into Zaidenweber’s possession.

These photographs became part of an art exhibit Weinberg was working on at the time. Since then, the two have been great friends since.

Sky Tinged Red

Dora Zaidenweber speaks about her experience in the Holocaust.

Dora Zaidenweber speaks about her experience in the Holocaust.

During the presentation, Zaidenweber shared her experiences during her time in the Radom ghetto, Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bergen-Belsen. She was imprisoned for six years before being liberated from the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp on April 15, 1945, at the age of 21. She was one of only four survivors in her entire family, including her father.

After being separated from her father on the evening of April 28, 1942, she was sure he did not survive. Years later, when Zaidenweber was taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau, the two were reunited. Her father had been selected to work as an intake scribe at the Camp.

Shortly after his imprisonment, Zaidenweber’s father wrote a chronicle of his two and half years as a prisoner in Birkenau entitled Sky Tinged Red. Decades later, Zaidenweber translated his work from Yiddish to English and it was published 2013.

Diversity at Dunwoody

Dunwoody holds a Diversity Forum each month centered on a new cultural topic. All Forums are open to community members.

Don’t miss the next Diversity Forum celebrating Asian American heritage from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., May 5, in the College’s McNamara Center. This event will feature Nirmala Rajasekar, a world-renowned musician known for her collaboration projects exploring South Indian Classical with other musical traditions including Western, Classical and Jazz.

Following the performance, Japan America Society of Minnesota program manager Rio Saito and cultural anthropologist David Zandor will hold a discussion on Asian American Heritage.

Refreshments will be provided. For more information or to RSVP, contact Dr. Leo Parvis at lparvis@dunwoody.edu.

Stratasys Co-Founder S. Scott Crump to Keynote Dunwoody College 2016 Commencement

Photo of Scott CrumpDunwoody College of Technology is pleased to announce that S. Scott Crump, Co-Founder of Stratasys, Ltd, the leading organization for 3D printing innovation, will be the keynote speaker at the College’s Commencement on Saturday, May 21, at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

About S. Scott Crump

Scott Crump is the Chief Innovation Officer of Stratasys, focused on leading and managing innovation by originating and encouraging new ideas, which will result in new solutions and products to market.

Mr. Crump is the inventor of Fused Deposition Technology (FDM) and a co-founder of Stratasys, which began in his home garage along with his wife Lisa Crump. They shipped one system in the first commercial year and now Stratasys has over 150,000 3D Printers with customers.

He served as the CEO, Chairman, and Treasurer of Stratasys from the 1988 start up through 2012.

In addition, he is on the Board of Directors and is currently serving as Chairman of the Executive Committee since February 2015. Prior to that, he served as the Chairman of the Board since inception in 1988.

From 1982 to 1988, Mr. Crump was co-founder and Vice President of Sales of IDEA, Inc. They were a premier brand manufacturer of load and pressure transducers. Mr. Crump continued as a director and shareholder until its sale to Vishay Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: VSH) in April 2005.

Mr. Crump holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Washington State University and attended UCLA’s Business Management Development for Entrepreneurs. Mr. Crump is a registered professional engineer.

International, local Architects donate napkin sketches to scholarship auction

Dunwoody Architecture students and American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) chapter members have spent the last few months asking established architects for sketches of buildings—on paper napkins.

Kyle Huberty, James Matthes, Taylor Parker-Greene, Nick Schurhammer, Brenda Pliego-Geniz, Ryan Kelly, Devyn Smoter, Chris Eklund, Charles Evans  Bille (L to R) and Aaron McCauly-Aburto (not pictured)

Kyle Huberty, James Matthes, Taylor Parker-Greene, Nick Schurhammer, Brenda Pliego-Geniz, Ryan Kelly, Devyn Smoter, Chris Eklund, Charles Evans Bille (L to R) and Aaron McCauly-Aburto (not pictured)

The group of students voluntarily sent out more than 170 letters—reaching 25 different countries and 6 continents—to well-known architectural firms asking for architects to participate in their June 9 fundraiser: a silent auction event where attendees can bid on the one-of-a-kind sketches.

Proceeds from the event, which is titled “Process: Sketches from Masters to Students”, will fund study abroad scholarships for the Architecture students.

Why napkin art?

But, why sketches on napkins?

Well, according to AIAS Treasurer Taylor Parker-Greene and AIAS Chapter President Kyle Huberty, napkin art actually dates back many years, evolving from the notion that writers, artists and architects can’t help but sketch ideas on any form of medium within reach—many times napkins.

“There’s an age-long history to the concept,” Huberty said. “It’s the excessively creative person that just can’t stop. They’re in a restaurant talking–but still drawing something.”

The students explained they were further inspired by the idea of a napkin sketch auction after learning that a few other colleges have held similar, successful fundraisers.

The process

The group began their request earlier last year by first compiling a list of architects to approach for the project—many of whom included students’ inspirations and personal favorites. The students then worked to draft their initial “ask” letter.

However, Huberty and Parker-Greene said their main concern was having the bustling architects even notice—let alone open—the letter.

“We didn’t want it to be just another plain envelope asking for something,” Huberty said.

“We wanted to catch their eye,” Parker-Greene agreed.

So, on each envelope the students sketched a famous building designed by the architect, hoping the personal touch would pique their interest.

Examples of the student-drawn envelopes can be found below.

The student’s approach appears to have worked, as the group has since received 25 sketches back—including art from big names like Renzo Piano (Italy), Tom Wright (United Kingdom), Christopher Charles Benninger (India), and Cesar Pelli (United States). The students are also in the process of contacting local architects in the Twin Cities area.

Parker-Greene and Huberty say they are very excited for the event and the funds it could bring to their program.

To be able to “go to a new place, take tours, meet other architects—it really enriches the student experience,” Huberty said.

About the auction

The auction is scheduled for Thursday, June 9, from 7 – 9 p.m. at the Independent Filmmaker Project: 550 Vandalia St #120, St. Paul. Tickets are $40.

For questions on the event, or to RSVP, please contact arch@dunwoody.edu.

Dunwoody College offers unique summer camp opportunities

Looking for something to do this summer? Dunwoody College of Technology is delighted to offer the following camp opportunities for 2016:


STEM Camp Sponsored by Boston Scientific: June 13-16, 2016

Dunwoody’s Robotics & Manufacturing department invites high school students entering their junior and senior years to explore various STEM programs and careers. Learn from technicians, engineers, students, and instructors through short lectures and demonstrations followed by hands-on projects.

Open to students entering 11th and 12th grade.

Click here to register! 


Discovering Interior Design: June 20-23, 2016

Interior Design faculty and other professional designers from the design community will help participants study color, materials, architectural drawing and digital media. Campers will also visit design firms and beautiful spaces around the Twin Cities.

Open to students entering 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grade.

Click here to register!


Rosie’s Girls: June 20-24 and June 27-July 1

Campers can embody Rosie the Riveter at Dunwoody College’s first ever Rosie’s Girls Camp, hosted by the Girl Scouts River Valleys. Girls entering 6th, 7th and 8th grade will have the chance to learn how to weld, wire, build, draft and design—all with help from women instructors.

Open to girls entering 6th, 7th and 8th grade.

Click here to register!


Arts-n-Crafts, Robots & Computing Camp: July 25-29, 2016

Hosted by Dunwoody’s Computer Technology department, campers will learn the basics of computing through arts and crafts projects. Build and program robots with LEGO Mindstorms ®, learn about Artbotics, and program with Scratch. Dunwoody faculty and staff will lead the activities.

Open to students entering 6th, 7th and 8th grade.

Click here to register!