Q&A with a Dunwoody Auto Alum

Dunwoody alumni are innovators, entrepreneurs, top technicians and skilled workers.  Here is a quick Q&A with just one!

Photo of Jeremy Leizo

Jeremy Leizo

Jeremy Leisenheimer, ’06 Automotive Service Technology
Emergency Vehicle Technician & Fleet Manager,

City of Rochester Fire Department

Q. Where is the weirdest place you have ever met a fellow alum?

A. At Chester’s Kitchen and Bar in Rochester.

Q. Has there been a moment in your career when you thought “My job is awesome!” and what was that moment?

A. Almost every day is awesome, what little boy doesn’t dream of playing with fire trucks everyday? One particular moment was when I was verifying a repair made to our aerial platform. It’s quite the view from way up there.

Q. What would your former classmates be surprised to know about you now?

A. That I work on fire trucks instead of cars and that I have taken woodworking up as a hobby.

Q. What is your favorite memory of Dunwoody?

A. I don’t have just one favorite memory, I enjoyed most of my time in school.

You can read more Q&As with Alumni & Friends in the Spring 2016 edition of the Alumni & Friends Magazine.

Q&A with a Dunwoody Baking Alum

Dunwoody alumni are innovators, entrepreneurs, top technicians and skilled workers.  Here is a quick Q&A with just one!

Photo of Tiffiny Meinert

Tiffiny Meinert, ’88 Baking
Owner, Tiffiny’s Tipton Bakery

Q. Where is the weirdest place you have ever met a fellow alum?

A. I live in very rural Iowa so I have not met a fellow Dunwoody alum yet. I have, however, through social media contacted my roommate from when we were both attending Dunwoody. She is in California now.

Q. Has there been a moment in your career when you thought “My job is awesome!” and what was that moment?

A. My job is awesome…. Well to be honest I have not had a “job” since I purchased the bakery 4 years ago. See I don’t have to go to work, I get to do what I love. Yes, there are trying times and I put in a lot of long hours but it has never felt like a “job.”

Q. What would your former classmates be surprised to know about you now?

A. My former classmates would most likely be surprised that I became a grandmother this year to twins.

Q. What is your favorite memory of Dunwoody?

A. My favorite memories of Dunwoody are when we would all work around the big wooden table rolling dough with Mr. Galloway, and
Mr. Letty showing me how I can make my flower cake designs have more dimension.

You can read more Q&As with Alumni & Friends in the Spring 2016 edition of the Alumni & Friends Magazine.

 

Dunwoody Faculty and Staff recognition awards announced

As the 2015-2016 academic year comes to an end, Dunwoody is honored to recognize the many faculty and staff members who have made a difference to the College, its students, and the broader community by presenting several service awards.

Congratulations to the following 2016 Dunwoody Recognition Award winners:

Building Community Award winner: Senior Instructor Denise Bailey
The Building Community award goes to an individual whose projects or efforts demonstrate and heighten Dunwoody’s commitment to cultural awareness being integrated in the campus and community.

Outstanding Team Award winners: Employee Survey Task Force and Students of Concern Intervention Team (SCIT)
The Outstanding Team award is given out annually to a cross-departmental team of employees whose work has had a significant impact on the way Dunwoody serves its constituents.

Employee Survey Task Force: Registrar Yun Christenson, Senior Instructor Teresa Milligan, Manager of IT Operations Mark Anderson, Senior Instructor Reem El-Radi, Senior Instructor Denise Bailey, Principal Instructor Tom Kleinman

Students of Concern Intervention Team: Dean of Students Kelli Sattler, Women’s Enrollment Coordinator Maggie Whitman, Student Service Advisor Zac Mans, Admissions and Student Life Coordinator Jonathon Moore, Financial Aid Counselor Charla Hudlow, Senior Student Services Advisor Molly Malone Docken, and YCAP Coordinator Peggy Quam.

Outstanding Academic Innovation Award winners: Instructor Alex Wong and Architecture and Interior Design Program Manager John Dwyer
The Outstanding Academic Innovation award is awarded to faculty members who demonstrate a commitment to implementing innovative instructional strategies in the classroom.

Instructor of the Year Award winners: Senior Instructor Teresa Milligan, Principal Instructor Kelly Ness and Industrial Engineering Program Manager Janet Nurnberg
Nominations for the Instructor of the Year award come from current Dunwoody students. The award is given out annually to instructors who are committed to the students’ academic success, serve as a professional role model to students and colleagues, aim for academic excellence in curriculum development and aim for academic excellence in instruction.

Distinguished Teach Award winner: Principal Instructor Rich Arboleda
The Distinguished Teacher award is given to faculty members who have committed a significant portion of their career to the art of teaching and who demonstrate an ongoing commitment to education and lifelong learning.

William and Kate Dunwoody Outstanding Service Award winners: Registrar Yun Christenson and Senior Instructor Scott Zubrod
The William and Kate Dunwoody Outstanding Service award is given to employees who have consistently performed outstanding work for the College.

Three high school robotics teams earn Dunwoody Engineering & Design Award at State Robotics Tournament

MSHSL Robotics Competition at Mariucci sponsored by Dunwoody College of Technology. On Saturday, May 21, Dunwoody gave out three Outstanding Engineering & Design Awards at the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) Robotics Championship at Mariucci Arena. Dunwoody Engineering Drafting & Design Adjunct Instructor Al Jaedike judged each of the state’s top 30 FIRST Robotics teams competing in the tournament and made selections based on unique engineering design solutions to robotic challenges.

FRC Team 4539 from Frazee-Vergas

FRC Team 4539 from Frazee-Vergas

The award acknowledges that while winning the tournament is a major achievement, innovation can come from creative thinking, experimentation, failure and budgetary and/or engineering constraints. Each of the winning teams took home a trophy and a check for $500.

FRC Team 4009 from Duluth-Denfield

FRC Team 4009 from Duluth-Denfield

Congratulations to the following high school FIRST robotics teams for earning the Outstanding Engineering & Design Award:

• Team 4009 Duluth-Denfield
• Team 4539 Frazee-Vergas
• Team 5172 Greenbush-Middle River

FRC Team 5172 from Greenbush-Middle River

FRC Team 5172 from Greenbush-Middle River

Dunwoody has been a friend and sponsor of the Minnesota State High School League’s FIRST Robotics competition for several years. This is the second year that Dunwoody has given out the Outstanding Engineering & Design Awards.

Dunwoody welcomes more than 400 alumni to proud tradition

This weekend, Dunwoody welcomed over 400 new alumni to its long history of outstanding graduates. The College’s Commencement Ceremony took place at the Minneapolis Convention Center at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 21.

Photo of Scott Crump

S. Scott Crump, co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Stratasys Ltd.

In his keynote speech, S. Scott Crump, co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Stratasys Ltd., shared the experiences, personal habits and attributes that led to his success as an inventor and innovator, including the invention of the first 3D printer with FDM, which revolutionized the product process by automating prototyping. He discussed the importance of creative, free thinking and the ability to follow through with the ideas that arrive through such thinking:

When you have a great idea, you need to create a clear vision of your new idea and have the persistence to prove its feasibility and then eventually convince others that new is possible. However, as a heads up, you should expect resistance to new.

We are all curious but generally, we resist change. So: most people are too afraid of the risk of social criticism and ridicule to take the chance of sharing inventions and innovations.

In fact, I believe this is the single biggest barrier to invention, because it actually threatens your comfort zone. To counter that fear, I always try to operate out of my comfort zone.

Mr. Crump also gave a challenge to the graduates:

Learn to use your creative zone, and make sure that you have a lot of fun along the way, which gives you the passion to make a difference; because it’s not just about a job.

Dream and follow your dreams; I challenge you to make a difference in this world. Solve big problems and don’t conform, be a non-conformist.

Alex Mars, who served as the Class of 2016’s student speaker, shared the impact an applied education at Dunwoody has made on her life:

Photo of Alex Mars

Alex Mars, Dunwoody Class of 2016 student speaker

We often hear the clichéd phrase “the sky is the limit”. I finished my last semester of the Welding program at Dunwoody in December. I took a welding position at an Aerospace company in Eagan. I build helicopter frames and airplane engine mounts for a living. The phrase “the sky is the limit” has taken on a literal meaning for me. Using the skills I have earned at Dunwoody, I build aircraft and send my dreams up into the sky.

In his concluding remarks, President Rich Wagner reminded the graduates:

Photo of Dunwoody College of Technology President Rich Wagner

Dunwoody College of Technology President Rich Wagner

The Dunwoody legacy is evident around our city, from the buildings Dunwoody alumni have designed and built, to the companies they’ve started, to the products they manufacture, to the designs they’ve created, and the projects they’ve managed. It is humbling and overwhelming to look at the impact Dunwoody alumni have had and continue to have on our neighborhoods, on our communities, on our state and on our nation.

And now, you carry a responsibility to hold fast to the values a Dunwoody education represents and to take with you the challenge of perpetuating Dunwoody’s great legacy through your actions and accomplishments.

Additional photos from Commencement can be found on the College’s Facebook page.

Photo credit: Stan Waldhauser Photo/Design

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.

Engineering Drafting & Design students prepare for industry with a hands-on capstone project

Students prepare to test their electric bikes.

Students prepare to test their electric bikes.

While many recent college graduates spent hours writing their final capstone papers, Dunwoody’s Engineering Drafting & Design students were busy with a more hands-on project. The assignment? To design and build a custom electric bicycle using as many of the skills they acquired from the last two years of their educational experience as possible.

Armed with the electronic components from a Razor scooter, five teams were given a budget of $150 to fabricate a bicycle that could hold a minimum of 160 pounds and make it up the inclined road outside the north entrance of Dunwoody.

“By having a real build with functional requirements, the students are exposed to some of the demands expected in industry as opposed to just a computer model,” Instructor Alex Wong explained.

Open guidelines lead to innovative problem-solving

Because the guidelines for the assignment were relatively open, each team came up with something different. But not without some problem solving along the way.

“In addition to reinforcing skills the students learned in the program – from modeling and drawing to time management and teamwork – all of the teams ran into some issues and had to troubleshoot or adapt to it, “ Wong said. “The real world will always have unexpected situations, and the students were able to think on their feet and overcome these obstacles.”

The Hacks pictured from L to R: Instructor Alex Wong, Hunter Thome, Stevie Nguyen, Ryan Fales and Aaron Abbot

The Hacks pictured from L to R: Instructor Alex Wong, Hunter Thome, Stevie Nguyen, Ryan Fales and Aaron Abbot

Student Ryan Fales – a team member of The Hacks who produced a 1906 Harley-inspired bike – described how their team pushed the limits of their design by using aluminum to produce a curved main frame. He explained that even though aluminum is a brittle material and hard to bend, they needed a light-weight metal in order to get the bicycle to work.

“We wanted to push ourselves and take the risk to see what we could do and what we could handle,” Fales said.

Stevie Nguyen – also a member of The Hacks – said she spent hours researching bendable aluminum tubing, only to find out that the tubing her team already purchased wasn’t supposed to bend.

“We decided, you know what, ‘screw the internet, let’s just try it’” Nguyen said. “It ended up working. And with no fracturing either.”

Killin It Kustomz team pictured from L to R: Austin Zimmermann, Pierre Yang, Grady O’Gorman, and Brady Hansen

Killin It Kustomz team pictured from L to R: Austin Zimmermann, Pierre Yang, Grady O’Gorman, and Brady Hansen

Another team – Killin It Kustomz – was strapped for time when the rear wheel they ordered for their Chopper-style bike was the wrong size. To finish the project on time, within budget and to their aesthetic standard, the team designed a wheel in SolidWorks. They printed the wheel on one of the College’s Stratasys 3D printers and the bicycle was ready to go.

“We put a bike inner tube on the inside [of the wheel] so it doesn’t hold air itself,” student Pierre Yang said during his presentation. “And it works perfect.”

A lesson in teamwork

Engineering Drafting & Design students collaborate with Welding students to fabricate custom bike frames.

Engineering Drafting & Design students collaborate with Welding students to fabricate custom bike frames.

The Engineering Drafting & Design students were also given the opportunity to pair with Dunwoody’s Welding students to fabricate their bike frames.

The welding students made suggestions for ways to simplify the frame to make manufacturing easier and Engineering Drafting & Design students, in turn, gained insight on how to make a more successful prototype.

While presenting Whisp, Team Two’s bike, Cam Treebly explained, “we had a couple points of contention and [the welders] inspired confidence in us probably two or three times. They were very proactive; we really can’t say enough about them.

Instructor Alex Wong believes collaboration between multiple departments is a key piece in developing the soft skills needed out in industry. Recently awarded Dunwoody’s Outstanding Academic Innovation Award, Wong has a passion for creative curriculum that pushes his students to work with other departments to solve problems.

“I think it’s really important for the designers to get to know what goes on in their manufacturing departments,” Wong said. “Especially when they are designing computer models of products.”

Find more information about Dunwoody’s Engineering Drafting & Design degree here.