Former Machining Student Honored with Gerstner Tool Box

Academic Excellence Award winner and 2015 Dunwoody Graduate Marc Svihel was recently honored with a Gerstner toolbox valued at over one thousand dollars. The box is estimated to be more than 50 years old.

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Academic Excellence Award winner and 2015 Dunwoody Graduate Marc Svihel

 The toolbox was donated by The Grant Wahlberg Estate–through Grant Wahlberg’s sons–who wanted it to go to Dunwoody.

 IMG_9204-smallUpon further inspection of the box and it’s contents, Ron Underhill, Tool Crib Attendant in the Machine Tool Technology program, noticed just how valuable the box was.

“I realized that this box needs to be in a shop with a top Machining student,” Ron said, “not in the Tool Crib to be forgotten and gather dust. I am sure Grant Wahlberg would agree with that statement as well.”

Marc was chosen by Dean of Robotics & Manufacturing E.J. Daigle and Senior Instructors Brian Nelsen and Keith Jirak as a deserving recipient based on his high GPA, consistent attendance and desire for extra learning projects. Marc recently graduated Magna Cum Laude with an Associate of Applied Science in Machine Tool Technology.

Leadership Lecture Series Brings Fabcon CEO & President Michael LeJeune to Campus

CEO & President of Fabcon Companies Michael (Mike) LeJeune presented at the College’s latest Leadership Lecture Series event on May 7, 2015. The series—offered the first Thursday of every month—has brought several prominent speakers to campus to speak on a variety of leadership topics.

The premise IMG_8461-smallof Mike’s presentation was the “Importance of Corporate Culture” and what leaders can do to create a successful one.

Mike began his presentation by sharing the progression of his professional life with the audience, highlighting some of the challenges he first began to experience during his early years with Fabcon. Mike explained that after years of trying to find the root of the problem, he realized it was something much bigger than he was expecting: it was the overall culture of the organization.

“The most important thing I can do as a CEO is create a corporate culture where everyone can succeed,” Mike said.

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Mike’s decision to shift the corporate culture of Fabcon ultimately shaped a set of important guidelines he and his employees now follow–something they call “the Fabcon way”:

  1. Keep your integrity.
  2. Focus on what is right instead of what is wrong.
  3. Say thank you.
  4. Treat everyone with respect.
  5. Focus on the process, not the person.
  6. Really listen.
  7. Know it’s okay to make a mistake.
  8. Explain why you want someone to do something; share with them the big picture.
  9. Celebrate success.
  10. Have fun.

Mike explained that by following this simple but effective list of corporate ethics, Fabcon—and its employees—have emerged stronger and more successful than ever. He hopes his story and these tips encourage organizational leaders in a similar situation to do the same.

small may leadership lectureThe Leadership Lecture Series continues with Dale Mulfinger, FAIA Principal Emeritus, SALA Architects, Inc. Thursday, June 4 at 7:30 a.m. RSVP to alumni@dunwoody.edu.

 

Viking Electric, IDEAL Industries donate tools for Electrical Construction & Maintenance

IDEAL Industries Key Account Area Manager Gary Shantz recently spoke to first- and second-semester Electrical Construction & Maintenance students about new electrical hand tools and technology used by industry professionals. Following his presentation Shantz donated more than $1,500 worth of tools to the College on behalf of IDEAL Industries—including screwdrivers, wire strippers, drill attachments, wire nutdrivers and meters for use in classroom labs.IDEAL donation

IDEAL Industries develops products and practical technology demanded by industries including electrical, wire processing and construction. Viking Electric Supply is an electrical industry wholesaler, distributing products from over 400 manufacturers.

The College’s partnership with Viking Electric goes back to 1988.

Senior Instructor Jeff Chase says he appreciates not only the donation, but also the presentation by Shantz because “it provides students with industry tool knowledge that they can use once they graduate and are working in the electrical industry.”

CaringBridge founder Sona Mehring to keynote Dunwoody College Commencement

Photo of Sona Mehring, founder and CEO of CaringBridgeDunwoody College of Technology is delighted to announce that Sona Mehring, CEO and founder of CaringBridge, the leading website for rallying support during a health crisis, will be the keynote speaker at our Commencement on Thursday, May 14, at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Throughout her successful career in computer programming, Sona always searched for a way to help others with her skills. Her expertise was such that she owned and operated her own computer consulting firm that came with it’s own rewards. However, in 1997 when close friends experienced a serious medical crisis, Sona was inspired to create a solution around how to communicate with family and loved ones during a critical time and CaringBridge was born.

Sona was the first to recognize that the Internet could be a powerful tool in helping people connect and rally support during difficult times. Seeing her friends struggle with communication, Sona created a website that allowed them to easily share updates with their support community. What started as an act of kindness for her friends soon became Sona’s passion, and eventually her new career.

CaringBridge logoPeople around the world are now able to share news, receive comfort and coordinate care by creating private, personal websites through CaringBridge. Since its creation, CaringBridge websites have been visited nearly 2 billion times. Sona’s business insight told her the success of CaringBridge could be lucrative, but she cared more about its benefit to others than to herself. Choosing mission over profit potential, Sona made the website a nonprofit in 2002. This ensured that CaringBridge remained free from outside financial pressures and focused on helping anyone, anywhere get the social support they need during their health journey.

Sona serves on the National Caregiver Council, a group of leaders in the industry that studies the issues and technology impacting caregivers and their families. Sona is an active member of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, Women Business Leaders of the U.S. Health Care Industry Foundation, and is on the board of Minne*, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing Minnesota’s technology community. She has also participated as a speaker and panelist at many healthcare and caregiver related events.

Sona is the author of Hope Conquers All: Inspiring Stories of Love and Healing from CaringBridge.

Sona has received numerous honors for her leadership and vision, including:

  • 2015: Star Tribune’s Annual “Ten to Watch” List
  • 2014: The Breast Cancer Education Association Award for Outstanding Support and Outreach to the Breast Cancer Community
  • 2014: 1 of 35 Women Leaders in Minnesota Healthcare by The Women’s Health Leadership TRUST
  • 2013: 41st on Minnesota Monthly’s List of 75 Most Influential People of the Twin Cities
  • 2011: One of Fast Company’s “Most Influential Women in Technology”
  • 2010: The Health Care Heroes Award from Twin Cities Business Magazine
  • 2009: 25 Women Industry Leaders in the Twin Cities by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal
  • Good Neighbor Award – CBS affiliate WCCO-TV
  • Alumni Excellence Award – University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
  • Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for outstanding service to the community

Kate’s Club members visit woman-owned Iron Maiden Metal Fabricating

Nine Dunwoody women visited the woman-owned blacksmithing and metalwork shop Iron Maiden Metal Fabricating located in Minneapolis.

Nine Dunwoody women visited the woman-owned blacksmithing and metalwork shop Iron Maiden Metal Fabricating located in Minneapolis.

Earlier this month, nine Dunwoody women visited the woman-owned blacksmithing and metalwork shop Iron Maiden Metal Fabricating located in Minneapolis.

According to ironmaideniron.com: “Iron Maiden Metal Fabricating is a one-woman custom metal fabricating company run by Heather Young. She’s worked in the metalwork business since 1995, first as an office assistant and then in the shop. Formally educated in Minneapolis and trained through the Guild of Metalsmiths in St. Paul, she takes on industrial, commercial, and residential fabrication.”

Young honed her welding skills through a Workforce Training & Continuing Education course at Dunwoody.

Young honed her welding skills through a Workforce Training & Continuing Education course at Dunwoody.

Young honed her welding skills through a Workforce Training & Continuing Education course at Dunwoody.

She talked about her welding career and experience as a mother and small business owner. She also demonstrated blacksmithing processes by creating a decorative hook.

Young demonstrated blacksmithing processes by creating a decorative hook.

Young demonstrated blacksmithing processes by creating a decorative hook.

The group of Dunwoody women left inspired by Young’s story of setting up a blacksmithing shop at an orphanage in South East Africa before starting a metal fabrication business out of her garage in Minnesota—in 2009 she moved the business into a rented warehouse space.

Current students from the College’s Welding Technology department who attended the field trip were offered occasional work at the Iron Maiden shop.

The group of Dunwoody women left inspired by Young’s story of setting up a blacksmithing shop at an orphanage in South East Africa before starting a metal fabrication business out of her garage in Minnesota—in 2009 she moved the business into a rented warehouse space.

The group of Dunwoody women left inspired by Young’s story of setting up a blacksmithing shop at an orphanage in South East Africa before starting a metal fabrication business out of her garage in Minnesota—in 2009 she moved the business into a rented warehouse space.

Young’s business plan: to not have a plan and adapt to the industry’s needs. So far, her plan has been as strong as iron.

For more information about Iron Maiden Metal Fabricating, visit www.ironmaideniron.com.

For information about upcoming Kate’s Club events, email katesclub@dunwoody.edu.

YCAP revved Lakeram Seriram up for an automotive degree

 Seriram said he was intrigued by the culture of the Lexus of Wayzata dealership so he applied for a job. He’s been working at Lexus of Wayzata since August 2014 and his formal internship starts in fall of 2015.


Seriram said he was intrigued by the culture of the Lexus of Wayzata dealership so he applied for a job. He’s been working at Lexus of Wayzata since August 2014 and his formal internship starts in fall of 2015.

Lakeram Seriram is finishing up his first year in the two-year Toyota Technical Education Network (TTEN) program at Dunwoody College of Technology. As he reflects on the milestone in his college career Seriram says he’s thankful for the support of his family and the College’s Youth Career Awareness Program (YCAP) that prepared him for the rigors of higher education.

The mission of YCAP is to enhance the career opportunities of under-represented youth by empowering them to graduate from high school and obtain a degree from Dunwoody.

Seriram lived in Guyana before moving to the United States at three and a half years old. The 2014 Fridley High School graduate says he grew up observing his uncle, Motie Seriram, working on cars, which sparked his desire to pursue a career in the automotive industry.

During his search for the right college, Seriram and a friend attended one of Dunwoody’s open houses where he learned about the College’s small class sizes, emphasis on hands-on learning and how the YCAP program could help him pay for college and transition smoothly from a high school to college learning environment.

Since he is the first in his immediate family to attend college, Seriram thought YCAP would be a great option for him to explore the various aspects of technical education.

During the summer, YCAP students take college-level classes in the morning—like math, business, and physics—and in the afternoon hands-on technology classes in almost all of the technologies that Dunwoody offers. On Fridays, students visit companies to network with professionals in the fields they are interested in.

Seriram said during the summer months YCAP students get to know their instructors and other students—and it removes the “awkward stage” at the start of the school year.

“The YCAP summer program shows you what’s coming up in the future. You can’t slack off at Dunwoody. You have to do work here, I learned that my first semester,” he said. “I like the small classes. I don’t get drowned out by 60 other people, and the teachers are always listening and helping.”

Seriram grew up observing his uncle, Motie Seriram, working on cars, which sparked his desire to pursue a career in the automotive industry.

Seriram grew up observing his uncle, Motie Seriram, working on cars, which sparked his desire to pursue a career in the automotive industry.

“Lakeram is a shining example of a YCAP student fully utilizing the career and college-readiness resources the program aims to provide. He’s had perfect attendance and is actively engaged during YCAP events and activities,” said YCAP Program Manager Peggy Quam.

One of the YCAP activities Seriram participated in during the summer of 2014 was a tour of the Lexus of Wayzata dealership.

It was that dealership tour that solidified Seriram’s decision to enter the TTEN program. “I liked the environment. Sure, it’s a strict dealership, but I could tell that everybody was close and liked each other. They were joking around but still getting their work done,” he said.

Seriram said he was intrigued by the culture of the Lexus of Wayzata dealership so he applied for a job. He’s been working at Lexus of Wayzata since August 2014 and his formal internship starts in fall of 2015. “I get to see what I’ve learned at Dunwoody in the real world,” he said. “Each day at work is something different. One day I can be doing oil changes, the next day all tires. I like the thrill of things never being the same.”

“I get to see what I’ve learned at Dunwoody in the real world,” he said. “Each day at work is something different. One day I can be doing oil changes, the next day all tires. I like the thrill of things never being the same.”

“I get to see what I’ve learned at Dunwoody in the real world,” he said. “Each day at work is something different. One day I can be doing oil changes, the next day all tires. I like the thrill of things never being the same.”

Seriram said he hopes to have a long career at the Lexus dealership and maybe even open his own shop someday.

The next YCAP application deadline is May 1. For more information or to apply, visit www.dunwoody.edu/ycap/ or contact Peggy Quam at 612-381-3067 or pquam@dunwoody.edu.

 

 

 

2015 CAD Table installed for Dunwoody Design students

Dunwoody students and faculty are celebrating the installation of the College’s newest piece of equipment- a Kongsberg V20 CAD (Computer-Aided Design) Table. Kongsberg, a division of Esko, Inc. (a valued partner to the Design & Graphics Technology department) manufactures its tables in the Czech Republic and sells them worldwide.

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The new table and software allows users to design and produce cartons, containers, retail displays, signage and die cut art made from a wide array of materials including paper, plastic and corrugated cardboard. The upgraded table cuts 1,150 inches per minute- nearly 10 times faster than the College’s previous CAD table.

While students of multiple Dunwoody design programs will use and benefit from this new piece of equipment, perhaps those most excited are students of the Design & Graphics Technology department, particularly first years enrolled in the “Intro to Packaging Design” course.

The Packaging Design course, a class required for both Pre-Media and Graphic Design programs, centers around a semester-long project requiring students to work one-on-one with real customers on the design and production of a custom package using the CAD table’s 2015 technology.

The project begins once the student identifies a real customer (e.g., a Dunwoody staff member, instructor or a local business owner) who is in need of a container or package for a certain product.

IMG_6582-smallerKeeping in mind the ultimate purpose or goal of the container, the student begins to design a template for the package using Esko’s ArtiosCAD design software. The resulting file is transferred without further conversion to the CAD table’s computer, which runs Esko’s iCut Production Suite software.

The package’s template will ultimately consist of a large collection of lines (pictured above) that tells the table where the material must be cut, perforated or creased for folding.

IMG_6181-smallerOnce the template has been finalized and the designer has chosen an appropriate type of material to cut, the computer will send a message to the table’s tool head (pictured right) to begin cutting.

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Before cutting

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After cutting

The designer then “pops out” the design (pictured below), assembles the container and issues it to the customer. Should the prototype be something the customer is genuinely interested in using or distributing, the student may share the design template with a larger production house for mass production. Any single design can be stepped and repeated or ganged with other design templates before cutting to maximize productivity and minimize waste. All scrap corrugated and paper is collected for recycling (pictured below), quite often returning in the form of new corrugated sheets.

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Scrap corrugated ready for recycling

At the end of the semester students are graded on their knowledge of the CAD table as well as their ability to successfully work with clients, and design and produce a purposeful, real-life product. The project is a great opportunity for students to network, build their resumes and portfolios and experience design and production in its entirety.

“There is a lot of excitement throughout the department right now,” says Pete Rivard, Principal Instructor of Pre-Media Technologies, when discussing the recent installation. “Students are having a hard time paying attention in Photoshop class because they are too busy refining their package designs! Although we obviously want them to pay attention to their other courses, it is neat to see them so excited about their projects. Package design is a complex process. Nobody gets it right the first time, even out in industry. So to have this table in our lab gives every student in the program a second, third or seventeenth chance to adjust their designs to meet the demands of the material. The finished result should be the equal to any carton on any store shelf anywhere.”

The 2015 table is also generating buzz throughout the community as Dunwoody is currently the only College in the state of Minnesota that has this table for the use of packaging and retail display design. Dunwoody also enjoys the support of local corrugated manufacturer and box design business Liberty Carton, who happily provides the graphics program with all the corrugated material it needs.

“The table also helps with the ‘hands-on’ piece of Dunwoody’s curriculum,” says Rivard. “Because of this table, our students will not only learn the process of packaging design, but will really get to experience it first hand. The act of manually folding and assembling and evaluating a physical object that you yourself designed and cut is a powerful experience, and causes students to want to do better.”

Rivard plans to continue the momentum this table has brought by providing CAD table demonstrations for design students and faculty from various Minnesota colleges, as well as professionals in the design and packaging industry, at the upcoming AIGA PIVOT event on April 22.

Dunwoody’s Design & Graphics Technology department offers AAS degrees in both Graphic Design and Pre-Media Technologies.

Dunwoody students earn gold at 2015 SkillsUSA Minnesota contest

Dunwoody College of Technology students performed well again this year in the SkillsUSA Minnesota Contest held last weekend at various locations in the Twin Cities, including the Dunwoody campus.

Overall, 20 Dunwoody students competed in nine contests, including Architectural Drafting, Automotive Service Technology, Automotive Refinishing, Collision Repair Technology, Electrical Construction Wiring, Industrial Motor Control, Related Technical Math, Web Design and Welding.

Students medaled in five of the contests, with five in first place, two in second place and two in third place.

The following are the medal winners:

 

Architectural DraftingAdvisor: Paul Strother

1st Place: James Matthes

2nd Place: Chris Herd

3rd Place:  Celina Nelson

 

Web DesignAdvisor: Kevin Wendt

1st Place Team: Ryan Blaha & Eric Lorentzen

2nd Place: Joshua Eastwood & Nhia Yang

3rd Place: Casey Cross & Andrew Kinniburgh

 
Collision RepairAdvisors: Bruce Graffunder & Allan Zimney

1st Place: Benjamin Meister

 

Automotive RefinishingAdvisors: Bruce Graffunder & Allan Zimney

1st Place:  Harrison Reget

 

Related Technical MathAdvisor: Polly Friendshuh

1st Place:  Matthew Shevich

The National competition will take place June 22 – 26 in Louisville, Ky.

For more information about SkillsUSA Minnesota, visit www.mnskillsusa.org.