Construction Management adds faculty as demand for program grads continues

A rise in the number of students enrolled in Construction Management has led to the addition of two new faculty members. The increase in enrollment is both mirrored and fueled by the growth of the Minnesota construction industry.

“We went from graduating 12 students last spring to anticipating graduating 45 this spring,” said Construction Management Program Manager Heather Gay. “Construction has really come back…with a vengeance you even might say.”

Student growth brings expert faculty to campus

In an effort to accommodate the high number of interested students and the increase in job openings, Gay–who helped launch the Construction Management Bachelor’s Degree in 2012–hired Jon Hassenfritz and Rick Larrabee to join her team.

Photo of Construction Management Instructor Jon Hassenfritz

Jon Hassenfritz

Hassenfritz graduated from Dunwoody with an associate’s degree in Architectural Drafting & Estimating in 2007. After graduation, Hassenfritz joined several remodeling companies where he worked as a drafter, estimator, project manager, and salesman. Despite being new to teaching, Hassenfritz says that his recent career move into higher education has been “a very positive change.”

“I wanted to share my knowledge and help educate the future of the industry that I love,” said Hassenfritz. “I have always wanted to teach, and Dunwoody and this program are a great fit.”

Larrabee, who founded Master Builders–a general contracting business specializing in residential and light commercial construction, is also enjoying his new position.

“I appreciate the student demographics here at Dunwoody. There is a greater percentage of non-traditional students as well as students who already have construction experience. Both groups are serious about their education and are excited to be in your class, which makes teaching much more enjoyable,” he said.

Photo of Construction Management Instructor Rick Larrabee

Rick Larrabee

Larrabee brings with him many years of teaching experience. He previously taught Construction Management at UW-Stout and carpentry at Chippewa Valley Technical College. Larrabee says he decided to teach at Dunwoody because he knew the College valued “industry experience and hands-on, applied learning.”

New faculty members help improve residential construction curriculum

Both Larrabee and Hassenfritz started earlier this year and are currently full-time Construction Project Management faculty members. Since then, the Construction Management team has made a number of enhancements to the program, including improvements to the residential construction curriculum. The Construction Management team believes that these improvements will allow program graduates to enter the workforce with more career paths and better job opportunities.

“It’s what makes our program so unique,” Gay said. “With a degree in Construction Management, you can be a Project Manager, Field Engineer, Sales Manager, etc. Sometimes degrees can be so specialized you really only have one path–that’s not the case for our graduates.”

Larrabee also suspects the high need for Construction Management graduates will not falter anytime soon. “The Department of Labor projects shortages of qualified Construction Managers and skilled workers for the next several years, making jobs in the construction industry even more appealing to students making career choices,” he said. “It really is a great time for our students to be graduating from our Construction Management programs.”

Learn more about Construction Management

Dunwoody Construction Management is a stackable bachelor’s degree program. Students start by earning a certificate or an associate’s degree from Dunwoody’s two-year Construction Project Management program. Interested applicants—as well as transfer students—can then earn their bachelor’s degree in Construction Management after an additional two years of study.

Graduates of the Construction Management program take on a wide array of professional roles including project managers, construction managers, estimators, drafters, business leaders and entrepreneurs. The average annual salary for Construction Managers in the state of Minnesota is $90,340*.

Learn more about Dunwoody’s Construction Project Management and Construction Management programs.

 

 * Based on May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates for the state of Minnesota published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov.

 

HR professionals give students an inside look at the hiring process

Micah Thorson has been the President of Dunwoody’s Institute of HR professionals and hiring managers speak to students about the hiring process at large companies.Industrial Engineers (IIE) student chapter since it started about a year ago with a goal to connect students with professionals in the industry and expose them to hands-on experience.

As part of this initiative, IIE hosted a panel of HR professionals  from Liberty Carton, and 3M and a hiring manager from Target Corp. to help students understand what these hiring managers look for in successful candidates.

“The interview process can be a little more rigorous for large companies,” said Thorson, “we wanted to invite them to campus to find out what they look for so we could be better prepared.”

Writing a successful resume

Allie Rikke–an HR Generalist at Liberty Carton–mentioned that the first thing she looks for on a resume is metrics. She said, “once you start talking money, people start paying attention.” Rikke suggested that applicants applying for industrial engineer positions should translate their projects into dollars and cents to illustrate the impact of their work.

3M Sourcing Agent Amelia Simonet explained that she pays attention to leadership roles. “Stay away from words like ‘assisted’ or ‘helped,'” Simonet advised. She said she prefers to hear what the applicant took the lead on—not what the applicant helped with.

Doug Meldrum, Group Manager at Target Corp., suggested students should get involved in organizations and clubs on campus, explaining it was a great way to highlight leadership skills on a resume.

There are many clubs and organizations like IIE available to students in different program areas. Thorson encouraged participation in clubs because they “give students practical experience and build their skills to be successful in their industry,” noting that IIE is hoping to offer a six-sigma training next semester.

Preparing for behavior-based interviews

In addition to resume advice, the panel highlighted the importance of behavior-based interviewing skills, particularly for people applying for technical careers. In order to be effective in a technical position, you’ll need to be able to communicate with your team successfully, they explained.

Behavior-based interviews include questions that allow hiring professionals to learn more about an applicant’s behavior and soft skills in a work environment. This helps them understand how the applicant will work with a team.

Associate Director of Career Services Rob Borchardt is available to help students prepare for these interviews by conducting mock interviews and providing feedback on performance.

“Landing the job is all about your interview prep. There are some tricks I can give to help figure out what questions you might be asked in an interview in addition to some of the standard questions,” Borchardt said, “Practice is key, especially for those harder to answer questions.”

Learn more about the services available to students on the Career Services webpage.

To learn more about upcoming events in the Institute of Industrial Engineers organization, contact Faculty Advisor Janet Nurnberg at jnurnberg@dunwoody.edu.

Dunwoody hosts MIE meeting to help enhance international students’ experience

Dr. Leo Parvis talking to audience at October MIE Meeting at Dunwoody College of TechnologyThe College recently welcomed members from Minnesota International Educators (MIE) as they attended a board meeting on campus. The MIE is a professional association that works to help staff and educators in international student admissions and/or services create a positive experience for international students across the state of Minnesota.

“We decided to host the meeting at Dunwoody because we wanted to bring more visibility to the College. We wanted other schools to know where we are located and that we do accept international students,” said International Student Admissions Counselor Meera Weist. “It is also a great opportunity to find out what other colleges are doing and determine what we can and should incorporate here as well.”

MIE board member talking to audience at October MIE Meeting at Dunwoody College of TechnologyThe three-hour meeting included updates from the MIE and the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP); a discussion on immigration changes; and a student panel.

The panel—consisting of international students from MCAD, UM-Twin Cities and St. Olaf College who are also part of the LGTBQ community—described how their gender identity and/or sexual orientation affected their study abroad experience, and what educators can do to help improve it.

MIE board members and guests discussing updates at October MIE Meeting at Dunwoody College of TechnologyA first time event for Dunwoody, Weist says the meeting was an excellent way for the Dunwoody Admissions team to continue to understand—and enhance—international student’s stay here in the Twin Cities.

If you are an international student looking to continue your education at Dunwoody, please contact Weist at mwiest@dunwoody.edu.

Dunwoody celebrates National Rad Tech Week

Clinical Instructor Amanda Barker works with Rad Tech students on site at North Memorial Hospital.

Clinical Instructor Amanda Barker works with Rad Tech students on site at North Memorial Hospital.

National Rad Tech Week is celebrated each year by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) to recognize the important role medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals play in patient care across the nation. The celebration takes place annually during the week that includes Nov. 8 to commemorate the discovery of the x-ray by Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen on Nov. 8, 1895.

Since the discovery of the x-ray, the Radiologic Technology field has played a key role in lowering the amount of unnecessary and exploratory surgeries and avoiding inappropriate treatments that inflate the costs of patient care.

Dunwoody offers a hands-on degree

Rad Tech students learn during their clinical rotation at North Memorial Hospital.

Rad Tech students learn during their clinical rotation at North Memorial Hospital.

Dunwoody applies its hands-on approach to the Associate of Applied Science in Radiologic Technology by providing smaller class sizes and offering a variety of clinical settings.

“The instructors care about how you are doing and are more than willing to take time out of their day to go over anything that you are struggling with,” said second-year student Eryn Kivo.

Radiologic Technology Program Manager Dave Blake explains that class sizes typically stay around 10 students. This allows each student one-on-one time with clinical instructors and equipment, gaining hands-on knowledge of radiologic technology’s best practices.

Dunwoody’s clinical partnerships

Rad Tech students work with industry standard equipment during their clinical rotations.

Rad Tech students work with industry standard equipment during their clinical rotations.

Dunwoody maintains partnerships with 10-15 different hospitals and clinics in the Twin Cities area, including North Memorial Hospital. The variety of clinical sites allows students to work with real patients in every healthcare setting and situation–from level-one trauma centers to geriatric hospitals–before they graduate.

During the clinical rotations, students scrub in and work with real patients alongside Radiologic Technologists and Medical Doctors for an eight hour shift. Graduates leave Dunwoody well-prepared, knowing exactly what to expect in their field.

“Getting to learn and apply concepts to the real world in the same week is a great learning experience,” said second-year student Alyson Stumbo. “The teachers and instructors we have are amazing and very encouraging.”

Dunwoody graduates have recently been hired by top hospitals in Minnesota like Hennepin County Medical Center, Methodist Hospital, Park Nicollet Clinics, and Fairview Southdale Hospital.

To celebrate, students will be recognized for their hard work and dedication to the field with free lunches at clinical sites this week.

 Visit the program page to learn more about the College’s Rad Tech program.

Learning the “look” of confidence, turning perception into reality

When Twanya Hood Hill was in elementary school she was painfully shy and her mother would often tell people “She’s bashful, but she’s smart.” From those early experiences, Hood Hill discovered that by adopting “the look” of confidence she could change the way people viewed her – and eventually how she viewed herself.

Twanya Hood Hill speaks at Dunwoody College of Technology for the C. Charles Jackson Leadership Lecture Series

Twanya Hood Hill, Vice President of Leadership Development for Ameriprise Financial Services, shared how self-confidence can be the key to success during the Nov. 5 C. Charles Jackson Leadership Lecture Series.

The Vice-President of Leadership Development for Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., Hood Hill now helps others unlock their own leadership potential by learning the skill of self-confidence. Hood Hill is also an adjunct faculty member in the Master of Arts and Organizational Leadership program at St. Catherine University.

“Confidence is not about how you feel about yourself, it’s how others see you,” Hood Hill explained during the Nov. 5 Jackson Leadership Lecture, held at Dunwoody College of Technology. The lecture series features key executives from the business community, who speak on a range of leadership topics.

During her talk entitled “Self-Confidence: The Key to Success,” Hood Hill provided several strategies for building self-confidence:

  • Fail fast – Put your ideas out there and then learn to adjust
  • Avoid negative thoughts
  • Manage Perceptions – Beware and be aware of how others perceive you
  • Learn the “Charisma Formula” – Strength + Likeability = Charisma

“Eventually people will start to see you differently, and you will see yourself differently,” Hood Hill said.

The breakfast lecture series is held the first Thursday of every month. The next event will be held at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 3 and will feature Nancy Dahl, the President and Chief Operating Officer of Tastefully Simple, a national home tasting company. For more information, or to view past events, visit www.dunwoody.edu/alumni/jackson.

Minnesota Multi Housing Association awards Construction Project Management student with MADACS Award

Construction Project Management student and WITC Scholarship recipient Marydithe Edgerton holding MADACS awardCongratulations to Construction Project Management student and WITC Scholarship recipient Marydithe Edgerton, who was recently awarded with a Multi housing Achievement in Design, Advertising and Community Support (MADACS) Award in Individual Maintenance.

The Award—given annually by the Minnesota Multi Housing Association (MHA)—recognizes an individual who independently manages the maintenance of an apartment building while also making significant contributions to the progression of the multi housing industry.

The MHA is a state-wide, non profit organization with over 2,000 members representing more than 250,000 housing units.

A better life

Earlier this year, Edgerton applied for Dunwoody’s Women in Technical Careers Scholarship, which provides financial, academic and personal support to women pursuing a non-traditional career.

Edgerton, who graduated high school in 2010, said it was a “no-brainer” to go back to school—the difficult part was figuring out how to balance five days of work and four nights of class each week.

But, “I knew I had to go to college to make a living,” she said.

So, a few months later, when Edgeton learned she was not only accepted into Dunwoody but had also received the scholarship, she knew it was time to go back.

Edgerton is now halfway through her first semester in the Construction Project Management program.

Despite now being a full-time student, Edgerton still helps manage The Lamoreaux apartment complex, an affordable housing building in Minneapolis. Her responsibilities range from replacing drywall, to fixing a leaky faucet, to helping set up cable TV. Edgerton also confirms that the apartment’s lights work, doors lock, and the carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are on—ensuring the building is a clean and safe place to live. 

The nomination process
The Lamoreaux Apartments. Photo credit to www.aeonmn.org/properites/lamoreaux

The Lamoreaux Apartments. Photo credit to www.aeonmn.org/properites/lamoreaux

Edgerton’s supervisors nominated her for the award this past spring, impressed by her consistent dedication to the building. Over the summer, MHA Judges visited the apartment complex where Edgerton showed them the building, explained her responsibilities, and participated in a formal Q&A. Edgerton discovered she won the award in late September.

“Winning this award means a lot to me,” Edgerton said. “Especially because I have only been in maintenance for about a year and a half.”

“Since then, I have put so much of myself into this building. Not only in the pride I take in it, but also on behalf of all the residents that live here. They know that I am here to help them. I don’t ignore them or discount their opinions. I work with them as much as I can because, after all, this is their home.”

Edgerton will graduate with an associate’s degree in Construction Project Management in Spring of 2017. She hopes to continue her career in affordable housing as a Project Manager—preferably at Aeon, the company she currently works for.

Learn more about Construction Project Management or Women in Technical Careers.

Toyota donates additional 4 vehicles to Dunwoody’s T-TEN program

Students and faculty from Toyota’s Technician Training & Education Network (T-TEN) program are celebrating Toyota’s recent donation of four new Toyota and Lexus vehicles.A photo of a 2015 Toyota Sequoia 4WD; 2007 Tundra 4WD w/ TRD Supercharger option; 2013 Lexus GS350 RWD; and 2014 Lexus IS250F.

The newest vehicle additions (from L to R) include a:

  • 2015 Toyota Sequoia 4WD;
  • 2007 Tundra 4WD w/ TRD Supercharger option;
  • 2013 Lexus GS350 RWD; and
  • 2014 Lexus IS250F.

Earlier this year, Toyota also supplied the College with a:

  • 2014 Toyota Highlander AWD;
  • 2014 Toyota Camry;
  • 2008 Sequoia 4WD; and
  • 2011 Lexus LX57.

The total donation is valued at approximately $232,000.

However, according to T-TEN Instructor Lee Frisvold, these cars don’t stay pristine for very long; almost immediately after they arrive on Dunwoody’s lot, they are taken apart for training purposes.

Donated cars help Dunwoody students prepare for their career

“We try to make the program as real-world as possible,” said Frisvold. “So we take the donated cars and we put faults in them. Those faults are usually based on whatever is being taught in the class at that time. The students are then expected to be able to diagnose the faults—whether they are electrical issues, such as the car not starting, or problems with the car’s transmission—and then fix them, just as they would while working at a dealership.”

Frisvold says that because cars can only be disassembled and reassembled so many times, Toyota tries to replenish T-TEN’s fleet—in total—every four to five years. This also allows the students to keep up with the latest technologies and newest models.

Learn about the unique features of some of the vehicles by viewing the photo gallery below!

“Students also become very familiar with Toyota and Lexus cars before they start working at a dealership,” Frisvold said. “This makes them much more confident in diagnosing and talking with customers.”

Dunwoody and Toyota’s partnership continues to thrive

Dunwoody’s partnership with Toyota began around 14 years ago, and since then has produced nearly 100  successful graduates– with a majority of them still working at the dealership they interned at.

“Having a partnership with a top manufacturer that cares about the education of future technicians is very important to Dunwoody,” Frisvold said. “Toyota has helped us in so many ways, whether it’s through donated cars and tools or simply by creating a sense of a T-TEN community. To this day, they continue to help us keep on the cutting edge of instructional techniques and lab sheet design.”

Learn more about Dunwoody’s T-TEN Program.

 

 

 

Dunwoody celebrates the launch of its Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at Zeiss

On Wednesday, Oct. 21, Dunwoody held an event at Carl Zeiss Industrial Metrology in Maple Grove to celebrate the launch of the College’s new Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering beginning Fall 2016. Attendees included the program Steering Committee members, prospective students, and industry leaders.

Building the Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the ground up

Dunwoody strives to provide students with a valuable, hands-on education with the needs of industry in mind. With guidance from a Steering Committee made up of working engineering professionals and educators, the four-year bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering is no exception.

“Dunwoody’s Mechanical Engineering curriculum was built from the ground up by engineering professionals working in the industry,” Dean of Robotics and Manufacturing E.J. Daigle said, “They know exactly what they’re looking for when they hire engineers and they’ve tailored our new program to give students the skills they will need to be successful in the workforce.”

The following steering committee members were awarded at the Launch Event in recognition of their contributions to the program:Marcin Bauza accepts award at the Mechanical Engineering Launch Event

Bob Bach, Dunwoody alumnus and current Mechanical Engineering faculty member at St. Thomas University

Greg Barlow, Vice President of Human Relations at TKDA Engineering

Marcin Bauza, Director of New Technology and Innovation at Carl Zeiss Industrial Metrology

John Callahan, Director of Engineering at Polaris

Brian Sheposh, Principle Engineer at Johnstech Engineering

Rusty Steitz, Engineering Group Manager at TKDA Engineering

Scott Tolson, Engineer Manager at General Mills

Charlie Wennen, Manufacturing Engineer/Business Unit Lead at Wilson Tool

Dunwoody provides Degrees of Difference

The Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering is a traditional four-year engineering degree but with an additional emphasis on hands-on experiences, including time in the College’s Engineering Materials, Mechanics and Metrology Lab that houses state-of-the-art technologies from companies like Carl Zeiss, Haas, MTS and Stratasys.

“This experience won’t be like a traditional university engineering program,” E.J. said, “instead of learning theory in a large lecture hall with hundreds of students, our cohort class size will be no larger than 24 students and about one third of our curriculum is focused on hands-on experimentation in the lab.”

 Click here for more information on the College’s new Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.