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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.

Dunwoody students to compete in Minnesota SkillsUSA Championships Conference

The 45th Annual Minnesota SkillsUSA Championships Conference will be held Friday, March 23 – Sunday, March 25. Dunwoody has 36 students participating in a number of contests, ranging from web design to collision and auto refinishing. Last year, five Dunwoody students went on to compete in the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference and Championship.

Dunwoody will be hosting a variety of these contests. Time and location are listed below; please come out and support our students! The awards ceremony will be held at 10 am, Sunday, March 25 at the Doubletree Hotel in Bloomington.

March 23 competitions (all held at the Doubletree Hotel in Bloomington)
Blue Print Reading at 3 pm
Job Skill Demo at 3:30 pm
Web Design from 4 – 6 pm

March 24 competitions
Architectural Drafting (held at Dunwoody; morning start)
Collision and Auto Refinishing (held at South Central College in Mankato; morning start)
Computer Maintenance (held at Dakota County Technical College; morning start)
Computer Programming (held at Dunwoody; morning start)
Electrical Construction Wiring (held at J.H. Larson; morning start)
Internetworking (held at Dunwoody; morning start)
Sheet Metal (held at St. Paul College; morning start)
Telecommunications Wiring (held at Dunwoody; morning start)

For more information about SkillsUSA Minnesota, go to: http://www.mnskillsusa.org/

Dunwoody teams up with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity

The Moore Multi-Cultural Center invites students, faculty and staff to spend the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday rebuilding the community, one home at a time.

On Monday, January 16, Dunwoody is hosting a build with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity (TCHFH), which makes housing stable and affordable for families in need. Dunwoody’s last TCHFH volunteer outing was April 8, 2011. Faculty, staff and students flexed their muscles building a shed door, tearing down a garage frame and flooring the basement of a Brooklyn Park home for a deserving family.

The Dunwoody volunteers at the Build on April 8, 2011.

“Habitat for Humanity is such an appealing way to help people because it’s about contributing to a family so they may have a home of their own,” said Sarah Huber, library assistant at Dunwoody who volunteered her time at the last build. “It’s such a worthy cause.”

According to the TCHFH website, more than 860 families have purchased homes since 1985 through the homeownership program. Volunteers make TCHFH houses into homes.

“[Dunwoody] partners with TCHFH several times a year to support their effort,” said Pepe Wonosikou, student services advisor. “Most projects depend on the worksite and may consist of installing windows and doors, siding, shingles, measuring, cutting, nailing and hauling construction supplies.”

Not only is volunteering an outstanding way to give back, but it also serves as a tool to make connections.

“We believe these kinds of projects help our student’s network and make important connections with the community as well as developing experience and relationships in their field of study,” said Pepe.

To accomplish as much work as possible for the site on January 16, Dunwoody is hoping for a group of eight to 12 people.

Are you a Dunwoody student, faculty or staff member who would like to volunteer? Sign up via VolunteerHub here: http://tchabitat.volunteerhub.com/SignIn.aspx. If you are a first time user to VolunteerHub, please contact Pepe Wonosikou at pwonosikou@dunwoody.edu.

For more information on Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, check out their website: http://www.tchabitat.org/

The 2011 Kate Dunwoody Luncheon celebrates the women of Dunwoody

2011 Kate Dunwoody Scholar Corrie Turner with Cindy Wagener Robin

The 2011 Kate Dunwoody Luncheon on Thursday, October 27 attracted 157 guests, female students, faculty and staff to celebrate the women of Dunwoody.  When Kate Dunwoody died in 1915, she added $1.5 million to the $3 million her husband left in his estate for the establishment of a technical school we now know as Dunwoody College of Technology.

Cindy Wagener Robin, director of operations at Morrie’s Automotive Group, was the keynote speaker with the message that all women should discover and employ their strengths. Ms. Robin used examples of successful women within Morrie’s to illustrate the benefit to the employee and to the company when one applies their strengths.

2011 Kate Dunwoody Scholar Corrie Turner spoke. An Architectural Drafting and Estimating student, Corrie shared her personal story about her Dunwoody experience.

“It means a lot to be the Kate Dunwoody scholar,” said Corrie. “It feels good to be role models for new women enrolled at Dunwoody and know they can stand out in a male dominated college.”

Board of Trustee member Talla Skogomo was the emcee and marveled at the growth of this event from decades ago when less than two dozen gathered to celebrate the legacy of Kate Dunwoody.

Design & Graphics Technology Department Open House

The Dunwoody College of Technology Design & Graphics Technology Department is having an Open House from 5 to 8 pm, Thursday, October 27, 2011 on the Dunwoody campus.

The Open House is to allow the public to see the new equipment, which will be used in the Press & Prepress Programs. New equipment includes state-of-the-art machines such as the Mark Andy 2200 and P3 Press, Esko CDI Spark 2530 and Delta Crusader. The CAD table used for prototyping structural designs will be featured as well as the new ink lab and Print Service’s print shop.

There will be demonstrations of the equipment and technology, presentations from industry leaders and free food and beverages, provided by Twin Cities Flexo Assocation (TCFA).

Registration and networking begin at 5 pm with opening remarks from Dunwoody President Rich Wagner at 5:45 pm. From 6 to 7:30 pm, attendees will split into four groups to participate in presentations. A second networking opportunity will take place at Joe’s Garage in the Lowry Park neighborhood after the open house has ended.

For more information, contact Ed Dedman from the Twin Cities Flexo Association at 763-432-2142 or
tcfa@tcflexo.org. To register, click this link.

The event is sponsored by TCFA.

Dunwoody’s 2011 Employee Awards

At this year’s annual Employee Celebration, faculty and staff were recognized for their contributions to Dunwoody’s success.

The Outstanding Team Award was presented to the Semester Guidance Team whose teamwork and steadfast attention to detail, which will aide in a smooth transition from quarters to semesters.

The Outstanding Academic Innovation Award was presented to Mark Carter (Welding Technology), Tim Flugum (Arts & Sciences), Pete Rivard (Graphics & Printing Technology) and Kevin Wendt (Web Programming & Database Development). These awards were nominated by faculty and staff. These awards were given to individuals whose ingenuity added to the Dunwoody culture, programs, curriculum or overall experience.

Instructor of the Year Awards were made based on nominations from students of instructors who showed excellence and commitment in the classroom. James Nyberg (Engineering Drafting & Design), Cindy Martimo (Interior Design) and Bob Brandon (Automotive) received this honor.

Al Jaedike  (Engineering Drafting & Design) received the Distinguished Teacher Award and was presented with a medallion to wear with his academic regalia that was created by the faculty in Machining Technology.
The William and Kate Dunwoody Outstanding Service Award, which is awarded to an employee whose work for the college is consistently outstanding, was awarded to two employees this year: Carla Pogliano and Heather Gay.

Director of Planning & Institutional Effectiveness Carla Pogliano’s nominator Ann Iverson, dean of learning, chief academic affairs officer, expressed gratitude for Carla’s “unprecedented determination” to ensure Dunwoody’s regulatory compliance. Ann said, “Carla maintains a constant ‘can help and will help’ attitude, which is reflected in her unwavering work ethic.”

Heather Gay, construction supervision senior instructor, received the award in recognition of her “high quality, innovating curriculum and engaging instruction,” as nominated by Bridget Reynolds, academic director for architectural drafting & estimating, construction supervision and HVAC. Heather took Historic Green Chapter students to New Orleans for service learning as well as involving students in Rebuilding Together – Twin Cities.

Congratulations to all of the employees who received awards!

Dunwoody Spring Commencement

The Orpheum Theatre marquee

Saturday, June 11, 2011, marked Dunwoody College of Technology’s first Commencement held off campus — in the beautiful and historic Orpheum Theatre in downtown Minneapolis.

More than 1,350 family members and friend attended the Commencement to support their graduates.

Construction Project Supervision graduate Steve Domeier took the podium as the student speaker.

“Being in college was not always easy for me,” Domeier said. “I was able to overcome many of the obstacles with the support of the Dunwoody staff, fellow students and family.”

Domeier encouraged his fellow grads to contribute their talents in the workplace and community.

A 1956 Graphic Arts graduate, Howard Siewert, served as the keynote speaker. Howard is the founder of Ideal Printers.

Siewert’s words provided humor and perspective. The key messages of his speech included the importance of maintaining a positive attitude, taking advantage of opportunities and developing friendships -. He ended with this note:

“Believe me, and I say this with a bit of prejudice, if I’m out applying for a job, I would much rather have Dunwoody College of Technology on my resume …Congratulations to all of you for sticking with your chosen career plan and receiving your degree today. I am sure 50 years from now you will feel as I do, it was a good thing to have done. ”

Graduates receiving attendance awards, Latin honors, and honor society members were recognized by President Rich Wagner. After all 287 graduates in attendance received their degrees and recessed from the theatre, a gauntlet of faculty and staff applauded and congratulated them as they exited on to Hennepin Avenue.

Afterward, grads could be seen in their regalia throughout downtown Minneapolis celebrating with family and friends.

Dunwoody Spring Fling Carnival 2011

Dunwoody’s end of the year celebration was held Thursday, May 26. The Spring Fling Carnival, which is sponsored by Dunwoody’s Student Government Association, featured Wii games, poker, 3-on-3 basketball, spin art, carnival fare, volleyball, palm reading and much more.

The opportunity to soak faculty and staff in the dunk tank was a spectator and participant favorite. President Rich Wagner and Instructor Tim Flugum were a few of the “dunkees” who fell victim to some great throws by students, faculty and staff.

Watch a short video of the day’s “funtivities” here.