Dunwoody’s Cindy Martimo elected to second term as Secretary/Treasurer of IDEC

Dunwoody Interior Design Principal Instructor Cindy Martimo to start second term as the Secretary/Treasurer for the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC).

Dunwoody Interior Design Principal Instructor Cindy Martimo Earlier this month the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) announced the 2017-2018 Board of Directors, naming Cindy Martimo Secretary/Treasurer for the third year in a row.

The mission of IDEC is to advance interior design education, scholarship, and service. Founded in 1962, the organization strives to advance responsible design thinking through professional development, innovative teaching resources, and open dialogue/collaboration projects.

IDEC is the place where excellent teaching ideas are shared as well as opportunities for scholarships, grants, and presentations by our faculty,” Martimo said. “The organization provides an opportunity for instructors from across the country to connect.”

As the Secretary/Treasurer for the organization, Martimo manages the minutes and notes from all board and annual meanings, oversees the budget, maintains the Policy and Procedures Manual, and chairs the finance committee.

“I like my role as Secretary/Treasurer,” Martimo said. “It provides an inside look at the organization as a whole and the opportunity to provide the voice of a teaching institution.”

Martimo has been involved with the organization since 2010. Her second term officially begins May 1, 2017.

Learn more about Dunwoody Interior Design.

Dunwoody students give back for the holidays

This holiday season, Dunwoody’s Student Government Association is focusing on giving back to the community and families in need.

IMG_9312 copyIn addition to overseeing clubs and organizations on campus, Dunwoody College of Technology’s Student Government Association (SGA) focuses much of its efforts on volunteerism and giving back to the community.

In September, SGA volunteered with Feed My Starving Children. The students packed 136 boxes of food that would provide 29,376 meals to children in Haiti. And in November, the students spent time at Ebenezer Care Center where they played bingo with the residents of the nursing home.

“We’re representing the student body and being in a leadership role, I think it’s crucial to give back to the community,” SGA President Danial Hannover said. “Volunteering and doing a little extra is all a part of being a leader.”

SGA hosts holiday drives for families in need

In addition to volunteering their time, SGA organized several drives to benefit families in need this holiday season.

With Thanksgiving in mind, SGA held a food drive throughout the month of November. The drive benefitted The Food Group, a full-service food bank with over 200 hunger relief partners throughout Minnesota. The Food Group provides free food, access to bulk food purchasing, and food drive programs to communities throughout the state.

By the end of the drive, SGA collected enough food items from the Dunwoody community to fill a 55-gallon barrel.

This month, SGA is focusing on the winter holidays by collecting winter clothing and gear donations for the Salvation Army. They’re also holding a competition to see which academic department can raise the most toys to benefit Toys for Tots.

The Association will be collecting winter clothing and gear until Friday, Dec. 23. Academic departments will be collecting toys for Toys for Tots until Friday, Dec. 16. Winners of the Toys for Tots drive will be announced on Monday, Dec. 19.

“There’s a lot of families out there in need – especially during the holiday season,” SGA member Tommy Dao said. “We take a lot of things for granted, and we want to give a helping hand whenever we can.”

Learn more about SGA.

Kate and William Hood Dunwoody honored with Legacy Award

Kate and William Hood Dunwoody founded the region’s only nonprofit polytechnic college over a century ago, which to date has produced more than 250,000 graduates.

December 14 is always a special day at Dunwoody College of Technology. It marks the anniversary of its beginning.

Over a century ago today, Kate and William Hood Dunwoody bequeathed $4.5 million (or $108 million in today’s dollars) to found Dunwoody College of Technology — the region’s only nonprofit, polytechnic college.

And every day since then, we have been working to change lives by building opportunities for graduates to have successful careers, to develop into leaders and entrepreneurs, and to engage in “the better performance of life’s duties.
(Quote is from the Last Will and Testament of William Hood Dunwoody.)

The Dunwoody’s were recently recognized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals with The Legacy Award — an award reserved for givers who are no longer living.

Birchwood Café Chef helps Architecture students design Steger Wilderness Center Dining Hall

Chef’s critiques and background in restaurant industry influences student James Matthes’ kitchen design.

Earlier this year, third-year Architecture students were asked to help design and build a brand new dining hall for the Steger Wilderness Center, an ecologically-focused building devoted to sustainability education and climate change solution.

Photo of Birchwood Café’s Chef Marshall Paulson critiquing student designs.

Birchwood Café’s Chef Marshall Paulson critiques student designs, shares tips and best practices on kitchen design

The project—led by Architecture Instructor Molly Reichert and Center Founder Will Steger—began in late August, when students spent a week at the Center in Ely, MN. Here students studied the Center, learned of the building requirements set forth by Steger, and camped at the location where the new structure will be built!

Students have since split into several small teams, each working to design a different options of what the dining hall could be. Steger will then use the designs as he seeks funding for the structure.

But creating the schematic design proposals hasn’t been as easy as some of the student’s past design projects. It has required a lot of one-on-one time with the client, new approaches to design, and even critiques from the Birchwood Café’s Chef Marshall Paulson.

Advice from industry experts gives students a taste of life in the industry

As someone who has spent most of his time in a kitchen, Paulson was able to provide students with a unique and necessary perspective to each of their designs. During his presentation, Paulson shared industry tips and best practices on things that might not have immediately come to mind for the students, including sink location, cabinetry space, number of drawers, preferred shelving structures, ideal appliances, kitchen health codes, budgets, and timelines.

Architecture student James Matthes said that the critique was extremely valuable, helping him and his group identify a few areas of improvement that could be made to their design.

“It was really good to have his perspective,” Matthes said. “We bounced ideas off of him, and he was able to pick out a few things that we had missed, especially in regards to the openness of the kitchen to the dining room.”

In addition to help from Paulson, Matthes’ background in the restaurant business has also helped shape his schematic design.

Family business helped shape Architecture student’s design
Initial sketches/designs from Architecture students James Matthes, Aaron McCauley, Guyon Brenna, and Marcos Villalobos.

Initial sketches/designs from Architecture students James Matthes, Aaron McCauley, Guyon Brenna, and Marcos Villalobos.

“My dad owns a restaurant and I worked there for several years,” Matthes explained. “So I’ve been surrounded by kitchens my whole life—it’s kind of in my blood.”

With good Italian food, reasonable prices, and catering capabilities, Matthes’ family restaurant, Marino’s Deli’s, cliental and sales varied greatly. And those experiences have helped Matthes decide what the Center Dining Hall could look like and how to best accommodate a wide-array of customers and kitchen-needs.

“We have a very small restaurant, and we keep our prices fairly cheap so we get a huge mix of people coming in. So, I got that small, day-to-day interaction with people, but we also cater really large events. And that’s kind of what this Dining Hall space has to be flexible with: the people and both small events and big events.”

But one thing Matthes said he and his classmates were not as prepared for was the challenge of making a sustainable kitchen.

“It’s really tough to make a sustainable kitchen,” Matthes said. “You have these big pieces of equipment, and you’re constantly washing things—it’s a waste. But we’re exploring ideas on how to deal with waste and recycling and composting, and Will is interested in adding a root cellar and using an icehouse. And that’s not something we’ve done in past projects, like when we were-designing an apartment complex in downtown Minneapolis. It’s just not something we are used to seeing. So it brings a whole other perspective that should help all of us in the long-run.” 

Studio provides real-world experience

While this studio hasn’t been the student’s first stab at design, Matthes shared that this particular project has been much more real than the projects conducted in year one and two.

The combination of hearing from industry experts, working with a real client, and knowing this is a structure that will actually be built, has forced the teams to approach their designs in a much more practical, real-world way—an approach to education that Dunwoody College prides itself on.

A potential dining hall design for the Steger Wilderness Center created by Architecture students James Matthes,<br /> Aaron McCauley, Guyon Brenna, and Marcos Villalobos.

A potential dining hall design for the Steger Wilderness Center created by Architecture students James Matthes,
Aaron McCauley, Guyon Brenna, and Marcos Villalobos.

“In the past it’s been ‘okay, here is our design. This looks cool, so let’s just go with that,’” Matthes said. “Whereas now [we ask] ‘does this appeal to the client and is it going to fit?’ And so from the get-go that was something we really concentrated on: to make sure that the design worked.

“It’s exhausting every design idea that we’ve had, and it has been stressful, but in the end, it’s worth it. It’s worth it to see a client happy and enjoying what they’re seeing.”

Learn more

The students will present their designs at 9:30 a.m., Friday, Dec. 16, at Dunwoody. Steger and Paulson as well as Founder of Birchwood Café Tracy Singleton and Mechanical Engineer and Alternative Energy Consultant Craig Tarr will be in attendance.

After the presentation, Steger will choose several student designs, or portions of their designs, to move forward with. The final building design will be dependent on funding and community support. The hope is to break ground in 2018.

Learn more about Dunwoody Architecture.

Radiologic Technology graduates honored at Pinning Ceremony

Dunwoody Rad Tech graduates ready to enter the profession.

IMG_9956 copySeven of Dunwoody’s Radiologic Technology students officially graduated on Thursday, December 8, at a Pinning Ceremony where they were honored for the successful completion of the program.

Program graduates must also take and pass the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam in order to secure employment. The current five-year average pass rate for Dunwoody is 88%.

The College’s Rad Tech graduates earn an Associate of Applied Science degree over two years (four semesters and two summer sessions). During this time, students rotate between 10-15 different clinics and hospitals 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 before graduation–from level-one trauma centers to geriatric hospitals. There are two graduating cohorts per year–one in July and one in December.

IMG_9991 copyCongratulations to the following December 2016 Rad Tech graduates:

  • Summer Bachmeyer
  • Brittney Boie
  • Kayla Canfield
  • Rami Erickson
  • Rhea Gulden
  • Kim Kotila
  • Josh Olson
Students graduate with honors

During the Pinning Ceremony, Rad Tech faculty and staff also recognized students with various awards. Congratulations to the following graduates:

Dunwoody Clinical Excellence Award: Rhea Gulden
This award is given to a student who exemplifies the ideal behavior in a clinical environment. This student works well with students, staff technologists, and other clinical instructors in their clinical setting. The student receiving the Clinical Excellence Award personifies the type of student that Dunwoody and the Radiologic Technology Program would want every student to strive to be in their clinical setting.

Most Improved Award: Josh Olson
This award is given to the student who exemplifies the most improvement from day one through their graduation—not only in the classroom setting, but in the clinical setting as well.

Best Patient Care Award: Kim Kotila
This award is given to a student who demonstrates superior care to the patients that they work with during their clinical rotations. The student selected for this award ensures that the patient comes first and that all the needs and concerns that a patient may have are taken care of.

Learn more about Dunwoody’s Radiologic Technology program. 

A passion for solving problems: An alumni profile

Allen Wentland, ’86 Computer & Digital Systems Technician, has built a business by finding solutions

When Allen Wentland, ’86 Computer & Digital Systems Technician, was hired as the first employee of the newly formed Washburn Computer Group he never imagined that the title behind his name would one day be “owner.” More than 25 years later Wentland may now be the boss, but his biggest joy still comes from doing what he was first hired to do – solving problems for customers. Now he just accomplishes that goal on a much larger scale.

Photo of Allen Wentland at Washburn Computer Group.

Allen Wentland, ’86 Computer & Digital Systems Technician, is the owner of a Monticello-based computer company — Washburn Computer Group.

The road to business ownership

Wentland’s path to business ownership is anything but traditional. Growing up in a small Minnesota farming community, Wentland began working maintenance at a foundry after high school. And while the job wasn’t what he wanted to do for the rest of his life, he did discover a talent and passion for fixing electronics.

So at the age of 31, Wentland took it to heart when his uncle Leo Wentland, ‘49 Electrical Construction & Maintenance, said to him, “Allen, go to Dunwoody.”

Two years later, Wentland got his degree and his first job in the industry. He was hired by Dataserv to work in their new Point of Sale (POS) division, repairing the POS computers and equipment that make sales in the service industry possible. The POS industry includes everything from the cash registers to the software systems.

The company went out of business, but Wentland’s experience in the POS industry got him a job as a technician for a brand new company – Washburn Computer Group. In the beginning, the company was simply buying and selling POS equipment.

“During my first week I remember thinking that this was going to be one of the easiest jobs I ever had,” Wentland laughingly recalls.

It wasn’t long before Wentland’s knack for solving problems kicked in. “In the beginning, we were just buying and selling, no maintenance,” Wentland said. “So I started putzing with some of the broken equipment to see if I could repair and resell it.”

The idea was a good one and today the repair side now accounts for about 80 percent of Washburn’s business.

A unique side of the computer industry

When you tour the company you get a feel for the scope of services Washburn provides. Instead of just throwing out equipment that doesn’t work, companies send the broken equipment to Washburn. Once it arrives everything is cataloged, stripped apart and then cleaned. Parts are even painted to look brand new. Technicians go to work diagnosing and then repairing the problem before everything is reassembled and shipped back to the customer. As for the parts that cannot be repaired – those are destroyed and then recycled.

As the business grew, so did Wentland’s responsibilities. The job titles changed as well, from Technician to Head Technician to Vice President. And then one day, the past owner approached Wentland with the news that he was ready to sell the company.

Wentland wasn’t ready for the role of owner, but he also wasn’t ready to let go of a company he had helped build from the ground up. So on December 28, 2005, Wentland added the title of Owner to his name.

From employee to owner

At the time, Washburn had between 20 and 30 employees and was handling the repair of about 2,000 pieces of equipment a month.

Today, the business has nearly tripled and now employs close to 80 employees and repairs and ships about 6,000 pieces of equipment a month out of its two locations – the main facility in Monticello, Minnesota, and a second shipping center in Las Vegas.

The path to success was not an easy one. Wentland knew the technical side of the company, but he had to learn the business side. He surrounded himself with good people and learned from several mentors. To this day, Wentland is still grateful for the help and plans to pay it forward when he retires by mentoring other small business owners.

The success of Washburn can also be seen in its growing list of customers. “We don’t lose customers,” Wentland said. Today the company serves a wide range of well-known companies in the service industry – from casinos to home improvement stores.

Wentland is still amazed by the two-person business he helped grow into the thriving company it is today. His advice to young entrepreneurs? “Don’t give up. Surround yourself with problem-solvers who take pride in serving your customers.”

When he is not at work, Wentland can be found up north tackling his next challenge – the renovation and rebuilding of an old cabin. A getaway he shares with his wife Janice and their extended family, including 19 grandchildren.

Read more stories about alumni entrepreneurs in the Fall 2016 edition of the Alumni & Friends Magazine.

3D printing: more than just modeling

3D Printing at Dunwoody is more than just prototyping of parts.

Engineering Drafting & Design students were recently tasked with creating their own golf putters. Students designed putter heads in SolidWorks and printed prototypes using the College’s Stratasys 3D Printers. But they didn’t stop there. Students then took their models to Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center to make metal castings of their designs before machining and refining them into polished, ready-to-use golf putters.

Dunwoody Architecture students visit the Delos-Mayo Clinic Well Living Lab

Latest Architecture studio shows students how the design of a building can influence the health of the people in it.  

Photo of Well Living Lab Door21 hours a day. According to the Well Living Lab, that is the amount of time the average American spends inside a building. For Dunwoody Architecture students, that brings up a whole lot of questions:

How does being indoors affect our health and well-being? Can alterations to a building or structure improve that experience? How can we change the way most people think and feel about indoor spaces?

The Dunwoody Architecture Studio 7 class chose to tackle these questions head-on by touring the Well Living Lab, a Delos-Mayo Clinic Well collaboration focused exclusively on human health and the built environment.

 Well Living Lab research inspires latest Architecture studio

“I always feel that it is important to introduce students to contemporary ideas that push them out of their comfort zone. We have been discussing many design issues in class and how our environment can impact human health in both positive and negative ways. Learning how researchers are measuring our built environment and its users could help students get a better understanding of how their design decisions impact health,” said Architecture Principal Instructor Stephen Knowles.

Dunwoody Architecture students tour Well Living LabDuring the tour, students were exposed to the many different ways researchers study and alter the interior of a room. The lab has 5,500 square feet of configurable space dedicated to researching how the indoor environment impacts our comfort, health, and productivity.

And this left quite the impression on Architecture student Roman Zastavskiy:

“[The tour] helped me realize how often buildings are being repurposed,” Zastavskiy said. “Usually when you design a building you design it for a specific use. So, it’s comfortable when you’re using it for that case, but then if it’s reused, things are completely different.”

And changing the actual building is not as easy as changing the building’s purpose. The fixtures, lights, floors, and vents are for the most part rooted in place, which can be challenging for those remodeling and those who will use the building after the remodel. Zastavskiy explained that the Well Living Lab recognizes these difficulties and incorporates potential solutions into their space:

Photo of tinted lights at Well Living Lab

An example of how lighting within a room at the Well Living Lab can change colors and brightness.

“At the Lab, it was a very dynamic system,” Zastavskiy continued. “The lights change tints, the floors are retractable, so you can move it to re-plumb or re-do electrical work, etc. It is kind of a one-building fits all approach, which allows you to say ‘okay, this space doesn’t work for this reason anymore. So let’s change it.’” 

In an effort to make the studio more hands-on, a tour of the Lab wasn’t the only thing required of the students. They were also asked to find a specific aspect of indoor living they would like to help improve.

Throughout the semester, students studied and researched their topics, and later this year will present architectural drawings that show how a structural change could potentially fix that very problem.

Project focuses include sound acoustics (interior and exterior); active design (a planning approach to creating buildings that promote physical activity); biophilia (the study of interior and exterior foliage impacts), and for fourth-year Architecture student Gianna Madison: individual thermal control by way of heating and cooling:

Photo of Well Living Lab showcasing a wall of indoor plants/greenery

This particular Well Living Lab room has an entire wall of indoor plants and greenery.

“The focus of my project is individual thermal control,” Madison said. “I chose this particular subject because this is a real life problem that is encountered, within most buildings, and it remains one of the most difficult things to regulate. Most often someone is always going to be too hot or too cold, rarely is there a happy medium.”

“And when you have someone in an office that is freezing, there are statistics that say they’re less likely to be productive because they’re so busy trying to keep warm. The same is true if they are too hot; it’s difficult to focus,” she explained.

Studio encourages new thoughts, ways of designing

Both Zastavskiy and Madison shared that focusing on a singular topic—and how it can affect someone’s well-being—requires a completely different way of thinking; something that they haven’t quite done before.

A wall of computers that control the Lab’s rooms and features

Students were also able to see how many of the Lab’s rooms and features are controlled.

As Zastavskiy explained: “[In prior projects] it has been all fun and games. You can design whatever you want. Usually it looks nice but does it actually make sense? Well, probably not. Because you didn’t really think it through and you didn’t really research these different aspects. You could design a building that looks nice, but then after building realize it’s freezing cold because you loved windows so much you built the whole thing out of glass.

“Where as now, even just focusing on my project focus, which is sound—you start to pay attention. How will people feel in this building? If I walk into this space, will it be loud? Will it be quiet? I never really thought about that. Now I approach [designing] completely differently. A project like this forces you to start thinking about that kind of stuff. That’s what I really like about this studio.”

Learn more

The Studio 7 students will present their findings and recommended building designs during their final project presentation in mid-December.

Learn more about Dunwoody Architecture.

Learn about previous Dunwoody Architecture studios with Will Steger and Minnesota’s Independent Filmmaker Project.