Auto Instructor Lonny Lunn Receives Instructor Recognition Award

Congratulations to Senior Automotive Instructor Lonny Lunn, a 2015 recipient of the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Industry Education Alliance Instructor Recognition Award!

Lonny holding award.

The ASEIEA award is used to recognize instructors who have gone above and beyond in helping their students and advancing their career in technical education.

To achieve this recognition, instructors must meet a number of criteria, including at least five years of teaching experience; documented attendance at instructor training events; a history of placing students in work-based learning assignments; and ASE Master Certification in the area in which they teach.

Lonny talking with student next to car.

“Receiving this award is a great honor,” said Lunn. “Being with the students is the best part of my job. I enjoy nothing more than that learning moment—that moment when I see something click with my students.”

Lunn has been with Dunwoody since 2002. He currently manages the Honda Professional Auto Career Training (PACT) program.

Sewing Program Featured on PBS Documentary Series Dropping Back In

Dunwoody College’s partnership with the Makers Coalition will again be featured on the PBS documentary series Dropping Back In.

ThSewing students at work.e five-episode series illustrates the enormous personal and societal costs to students who drop out of high school, and how successful training-based programs—such as those offered by Dunwoody—can help counter those losses.

Dunwoody’s Dean of Workforce Training & Continuing Education Debra Hanson (Kerrigan) as well as two sewing program graduates are featured in the fifth episode of the series “Building A Better Future.”

Two sewing students examining project.

“Building A Better Future” will air Sunday, Sept. 27, at 7:30 p.m. on Twin Cities Public Televison (tpt), with repeats on October 3 and 4. Pioneer Public Television (KWCM) will run the show on September 27 and 29.

If you can’t catch the documentary those evenings, the full show can also be found here:

Dr. Whitney Harris Speaks at 72nd Diversity Forum: Multicultural Student Day

Dr. Whitney Harris Speaks at Diversity ForumAround 30 Dunwoody students, local high school students, and employees attended the 72nd Diversity Forum on Sept. 16, joining Executive Director of Diversity at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Dr. Whitney Harris to celebrate Multicultural Student Day. His talk focused on the importance of being rooted in one’s self and striving toward open-mindedness.

“One thing that most Americans don’t know … is that from the very day this country was founded, we were already the most diverse country in the world, “ Dr. Harris said, “I think there’s a connection between that and some of the things we’ve been able to accomplish as a people.”

To continue moving forward and growing as a people, Dr. Harris encouraged students to sharpen these four diversity skills:

  • Be comfortable with who you are
  • Be comfortable with differences
  • Be comfortable with the ever-changing environment
  • Take Risks

“Diversity is just the guts of this country,” he said, “there is no group here that can claim to have built this country. We all did.”

Diversity Forums, which are held once a month throughout the academic year, help the campus community explore different cultures and various perspectives.

Dr. Whitney Harris poses with President Rich Wagner and Dr. Leo Parvis

From left to right: President Rich Wagner, Dr. Whitney Harris, and Dr. Leo Parvis

October Diversity Forum
The next Diversity Forum will be a Festival of Cultures held at 11:30 a.m. in the McNamara Center on Thursday, Oct. 8.

Elftmann Student Success Center Receives 1st Place Website Excellence Award

WEA1-2015_NCLCA-LSCHEThe Elftmann Student Success Center (ESSC) received first place in the 2015 NCLCA/LSCHE Website Excellence Awards competition, which was announced earlier this month.

The Website Excellence Award is awarded annually to  a postsecondary learning support center that’s website exhibits accuracy, support and strong student engagement.

Elftmann Student Success Center staff left to right: Teresa Milligan, Ross Brower, Eeris Fritz

Elftmann Student Success Center staff left to right: Teresa Milligan, Ross Brower, Eeris Fritz

The competition–co-sponsored by the Learning Support Centers in Higher Education (LSCHE) and the National College Learning Center Association (NCLCA)– is open to all college and university learning center websites. This is Dunwoody’s second time entering and placing in the competition. The ESSC also received third place in 2012.

The Elftmann Student Success Center’s mission is to provide quality academic support and development to all Dunwoody students. Currently, the center includes support services such as tutoring, Guided Study Recitations, tip sheets, a technical video library, a Math Center, and a Writing Center.

“The changes in learning support within higher education have made it necessary for centers such as ours to get creative about how to support academics, and how to be responsive to changing student needs,” said Teresa Milligan, Senior Instructor and website manager. “Winning this award means we’ve made great strides toward providing that support.”

Students studying in the Elftmann Student Success Center

Elftmann Student Success Center

Websites qualified for the NCLCA/LSCHE Website Excellence Award must meet nearly 30 different set criteria, including an up-to-date announcements section; working alt labels on all graphics; a detailed history of the center; and recent photos of both students and faculty active in the center. All website content must meet the standards of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS).

“In the higher education landscape, this award has really allowed Dunwoody—a non-profit, private, technical college—to act as an exemplar and represent a sector of higher education that is often overlooked. This award has given us a chance to be recognized and promote positive changes,” said Milligan.

Milligan will accept the NCLCA/LSCHE Website Excellence Award on the center’s behalf October 6, at the NCLCA Conference in Milwaukee, WI.

Learn more about the support services the Elftmann Student Success Center provides.

Welding Students Showcase Skills at the Minnesota State Fair

The Minnesota State Fair is often thought of as a place to eat fried cheese curds, groove to a concert in the Grandstand and visit the livestock barns, but for the second year in a row attendees were also able to learn how to weld at the Careers in Welding trailer. The 53-foot trailer, which houses five virtual welding stations, was at the fair Aug. 27-30.

Virtual welding stations housed in the Careers in Welding trailer

The exhibit was sponsored by the American Welding Association (AWS) and Lincoln Electric and staffed, in part, by Dunwoody instructors and students. In fact, Dunwoody welding instructors Mike Reeser and Mark Schwendeman – along with 15 of their students – generously volunteered over 135 man-hours. Reeser, Schwedeman and their students also put on a “best of the best” contest to compete against one another and showcase the high-quality skills taught through Dunwoody’s Welding program, which offers both a certificate and a two-year degree.

Impressed by the number and caliber of the Dunwoody students, Lincoln Electric decided to donate a brand new 300 amp welder to the College.

Dunwoody Student with a virtual welder machine

“this 300 amp welder will allow us to continue offering students the newest technology in Gas Metal Arc Welding/Mig (GMAW),” Reeser said.

 Click here for more information about Dunwoody’s Welding degrees.

Alumni Brick Installation Holds Great Meaning to Dunwoody Employee

Axel Jr. holding brickPrincipal Math Instructor Eeris Fritz and her 90-year-old father Axel M. Fritz Jr. placed a memorial brick in honor of Eeris’ grandfather, Axel M. Fritz Sr., earlier this summer.
Axel Sr. was a 1920 welding graduate from Dunwoody Industrial Institute. His diploma–which hangs in Eeris’ office–was signed by Charles A. Prosser, a pioneer in vocational education and Dunwoody’s director at that time.

Axel Jr. proudly shared that his father’s success was attributed to hisAxel Jr. placing brick into walkway training at Dunwoody. Axel Sr. went on to becoming an executive at Union Brass and Metal. Axel Sr. died in 1963 but his legacy lives on.

Axel Sr.’s memorial brick is part of the alumni walkway outside of Carlson Commons.

For more information on alumni bricks, please contact our Alumni Department at or 612-381-3064.

Computer Technology Department Hosts Summer Arts-n-Crafts, Robots and Computing Camp

Dunwoody’s Computer Technology Department recently hosted an Arts-n-Crafts, Robots and Computing Summer Camp–a weeklong educational camp for junior high school students ranging in grades from 5th – 8th.

Student examining Lego robot

The camp brought 20 students to Dunwoody’s campus where they learned the basics of computing through multiple arts and crafts projects–including the assembly of Lego robots and the creation of their very own interactive, electronic game or phone app.

The games/phone applications, created by either Scratch (a programming language and online community) or App Inventor (a program used to create apps specific for Android phones and tablets,) provided campers with an opportunity to enhance their programming and creativity skills, while experiencing first hand what a career in programming or web development might look likeTwo students working on computers .

“One of the students created a virtual paper doll with changeable outfits,” said Web Programming & Database Development Instructor Paula Merns. “Another created a game where a skydiver caught money as he fell. The logic used in creative ways exactly mimics what programmers do when they get onto a job.”

Student holding Lego robotMerns says the student-designed Lego robot sculptures were also highly interactive. “One team created a ‘Tunneling Robot’ that started upon touch, and then changed lights when it reached the back of a dark space. Another created a robot cat that wagged it’s tail when petted (see picture to the left).”

The campers were also able to explore—and even test—many of Dunwoody’s robotic machines as well as participate in an interactive, electronic scavenger hunt in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.

Students watching a robotic demonstration

Dunwoody’s Arts-n-Crafts, Robots and Computing Camp is not only the first of it’s kind for Dunwoody, but also a first for many of the campers, as it combines the world of arts into science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines…turning the popular STEM acronym into STEAM.

“Technology and art work together all around us. This camp gave the campers a chance to play with that intersection,” said Merns.

RStudents outside on a scavenger huntob Bentz, Program Manager of Computer Technology, said, “Ultimately, we chose to run the camp to introduce junior high level kids to technology. There is research, for girls in particular, that shows junior high is where decisions are made to pursue technical or engineering type jobs in the future. We hoped we could persuade a few of our campers to consider just that.”

The camp is expected to run again in summer 2016.

For additional photos of the 2015 camp, visit our Facebook page.

Top Tool CEO Shares Personal and Powerful Message on Leadership

On Thursday, August 6, Elizabeth Abraham shared her personal journey – from an early career as a psychologist to the current CEO and Owner of a precision micro-parts manufacturing company. Abraham was the featured speaker in August for the C. Charles Jackson Leadership Lecture Series at Dunwoody College of Technology.

Abraham speaking Abraham related her powerful personal story to a series of leadership lessons ranging from learning from your mistakes to surrounding yourself with a great team.

A licensed psychologist, Abraham grew up in New England and taught at the Chicago Medical School in the 1970s. She also did small business consulting and taught Marketing & Small Business Development at the University of St. Thomas and at the Carlson School of Management. All of those experiences helped shape her leadership values, which have become part of the Top Tool culture.

Founded in 1966, Top Tool Company was a tool and die shop that created precision progressive dies, which manufactures used to make metal parts for electronic devices and other products. After purchasing the company with her husband in 1987, Abraham diversified the company into metal stamping and manufacturing of precision micro-parts and has seen annual double-digit growth since 2010. Top Tool has also steadily gained new customers in the defense and medical device industries.

Abraham believes strongly in giving back and has served on numerous boards, including the Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association and the Minnesota Manufacturer’s Coalition of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. She was also a founding member of the Women Leaders in Manufacturing Council.

For her leadership and advocacy of the manufacturing industry, Abraham received the “American Eagle Award” from the Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association. She was also named an “Industry Leader of the Year” by the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal.

Abraham & Ylinen smiling

The breakfast lecture series is held the first Thursday of every month and features key executives from the business community, who are invited to speak on a range of leadership topics. The next event will be held at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 3 and will feature Russell Becker, President and CEO of APi Group, Inc. For more information, or to view past events, visit: