Robert Weckwerth receives Student Leadership Award from Alumni Board of Managers

Dunwoody Alumni Association President Chris Swingley with 2012 Student Leadership Award winner Robert “Bobby” Weckwerth.

To say Robert “Bobby” Weckwerth, 50, of Ham Lake, is a leader is an understatement.

In addition to receiving various honors during his 25 years in the military—retiring a Master Sergeant, being a volunteer fireman for more than 17 years and working as a commercial carpenter for the past 24 years, on July 25 Weckwerth received the Student Leadership Award from Dunwoody College of Technology’s Alumni Board of Managers.

“The Student Leadership Award was developed in 2004 by the Alumni Board of Managers to honor the most outstanding students that this school has to offer,” said Alumni Association President Chris Swingley.  “To date, 21 students have received this award. Typically the faculty and staff present the Board Leadership Committee with the nominations each year. The students must have a GPA of 3.5 or better, show exemplary leadership skills and have outstanding Dunwoody school spirit.”

Weckwerth has all of those qualities, Swingley said at the Board of Managers quarterly meeting where he presented the award to Weckwerth.

Weckwerth said he pursued an education at Dunwoody because of its location, small class sizes, rich history and great reputation. He received a degree in Construction Supervision & Project Management last June.

“I’ve heard people call Dunwoody the Harvard of technical colleges,” he said. “That says something about its reputation. They’re the front. They’re leading edge in everything they do and I think they work really hard to do that.”

Weckwerth said there was a bit of a learning curve going into college. After not setting foot in a classroom for more than 20 years he needed to relearn how to type, take notes and study.

“I was scared at first,” he said. “It’d been so long. I graduated from high school in 1980 and here it was 2010 and I was going back to college.”

Instructor James Strapko encouraged him to get involved in extracurricular activities at Dunwoody, which he did.

In addition to meeting people and networking, Weckwerth thought getting involved on campus would look positive to potential employers.

“There are a lot of companies out there that want to see people that aren’t going to do just the bare minimum,” he said. “You show up to an interview and you have all these extracurriculars on your resume, and another person shows up and they have just whatever they accomplished in the classroom, it tells you something.”

Weckwerth got involved in a variety of clubs on campus. He was named President of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society (PTK) and of the student chapter of the Association of General Contractors (AGC), he was also a member of Historic Green, Nation Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Construction Specifications Institute (CSI).

Once he got involved in clubs on campus, he recruited his classmates to join, too.

In addition to participating in various activities and fundraisers, Weckwerth led PTK  from a three-star rated chapter to a five-star rating from the national organization. Officer positions in PTK increased from three to 11 by the end of the 2011-12 academic year, and Weckwerth hopes the number of participants will continue to grow.

While being involved in extracurriculars consumed a lot of Weckwerth’s time, he said it was worth it for the teamwork and companionship as well as the good feeling of helping others.

“I like to help people. And I hope it helps develop people who help people, too,” he said. Though he learned a lot about leadership in the military, Weckwerth said, “I didn’t want to be a dictator, because in my mind we were all developing leadership skills. I tried share what I’ve learned throughout the years. I was really fond of my classmates and I wanted to see them succeed.”

Weckwerth said over the course of two years he became close with his fellow club members and classmates.

“It’s almost like a small family,” he said. “I was kind of like the dad of the class.”

Leadership Award 

While Weckwerth was honored to receive the sole Student Leadership Award this year, he said there are a lot of great student leaders at Dunwoody.

“I’m really honored to have received it. It’s a big deal. They only give it once a year, and most of the time it’s only a few students out of the whole school,” he said.  “Tristan Zieman and Jesse Lovejoy were also great leaders– in my opinion. I would have liked to have seen them win the award, too.”

Continuing education

Now that Weckwerth has his associate’s degree, he says he’s ready to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

“You should never stop learning,” he said of his decision to continue his education.

Weckwerth applied for the new Construction Supervision Leadership Bachelor’s completion program offered at Dunwoody.

He said he plans to participate in clubs on campus again, but he’ll leave the officer positions and leadership roles to other students.

Dunnwoody’s TTEN students celebrate their success

TTEN group at track

Dunwoody students, alumni and staff members spent the afternoon of June 14 racing go-carts.

In February the Dunwoody College of Technology TTEN (Toyota Technical Education Network) program was recognized as No. 2 among 54 TTEN schools nationwide.

Such an accomplishment is worth celebrating, and Toyota made it easy by providing funds for 32 Dunwoody students, alumni and staff members to spend the afternoon of June 14 racing go-carts at Stockholm Motorsports Park in Cokato as well as lunching on catered food from Famous Dave’s for lunch.

In addition to the fun day, the Auto program was awarded a scan tool, which students use to analyze the interface of vehicles, said Auto instructor Lee Frisvold.

Frisvold said go-cart racing was the perfect way for the students and staff to celebrate.

“There was a lot of good, close racing,” Frisvold said.

Race winners

Kyle Meyers, 2012 Honda PACT graduate, out-raced 31 of his former classmates and instructors to earn the first place honor.

Kyle Meyers, 2012 Honda PACT (Professional Automotive Career Training) graduate, out-raced his former classmates and instructors to earn the first place honor.

Frisvold said he hopes the day at Stockholm is one his students never forget.

“It was a really fun day. Those are the times people remember,” he said.

This isn’t the first year the Dunwoody program ranked high among the TTEN schools. In 2006 the program earned the School of the Year title and in 2010 the program earned the second place title and a scan tool.

If the TTEN students continue to excel as they have in the past, Frisvold says there is no reason Dunwoody won’t continue to rank as one of the top TTEN schools in the nation.

“Hopefully we will be the School of the Year again someday,” Frisvold said. “It’s always our (instructor’s) goal to do the best we can and make the students the best they can possibly be.”

The Dunwoody Toyota TTEN program prepares graduates to be technicians servicing Toyota/Lexus/Scion vehicles at authorized dealerships. Students train specifically on current model Toyota/Lexus vehicles, information systems, scan tools and training materials. Students also complete an internship under the guidance of a master technician at a sponsoring Toyota/Lexus dealership.

All TTEN instructors are certified as Master Technicians by the ASE (National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence). The National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF), the branch of ASE which certifies and accredits automotive education programs has certified Dunwoody in all areas of service and repair. Dunwoody has received recognition from Toyota for being one of the best TTEN automotive schools in the nation and is a CEED School, the highest level for a TTEN school.

For more information about the TTEN program, go to www.T-TEN.com or email Frisvold at lfrisvold@dunwoody.edu

DUNWOODY COLLEGE APPROVED TO OFFER BACHELOR’S COMPLETION PROGRAM IN CONSTRUCTION LEADERSHIP & MANAGEMENT

Minneapolis, Minn., June 21, 2012 — Dunwoody College of Technology has received official approval from the Higher Learning Commission to offer a bachelor’s completion program in Construction Leadership & Management (CLMA). The degree will focus on the principles of leading teams and companies through construction projects while effectively managing construction resources.  The program will accept students who have completed a two-year degree in the area of contruction sciences and building technology and is geared toward working professionals.

“The construction industry demands graduates who exemplify the applicable technical knowledge and leadership skills required to manage all phases and types of construction,” said Bridget Reynolds, Director for Construction Sciences & Building Technology. “The CLMA completion degree was designed with these needs in mind utilizing Dunwoody’s 98 year history of applied education in construction.”

The CLMA program was developed under guidance from working professionals in the construction industry, faculty, and Dunwoody alumni.  A Program Advisory Committee (PAC) is being formed to continue guiding the future direction of the program.

“We’re hearing more and more from our industry partners that they want employees with a bachelor’s degree,” President Rich Wagner said. “They need people with technical skills who also have the business and communication skills to manage teams, interface with customers and handle complex projects. Dunwoody has responded to that need by creating a series of bachelor’s completion programs that our two-years programs feed into as well as graduates of MnSCU colleges and other two-year technical programs. And, of course, just like with our associate’s degree, the focus of our bachelor’s completion programs is a hands-on, applied approach to teaching and learning.”

Dunwoody is also choosing to seek programmatic accreditation from the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE), and the ACCE guidelines were used in the development of the program.

For the full program description, see the CLMA program page on the Dunwoody website.

Dunwoody College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association: http://www.ncahlc.org/

Founded in 1914, Dunwoody College of Technology is the only private, not-for-profit technical college in the Upper Midwest. Located on the western edge of downtown Minneapolis, it has provided a hands-on, applied technical education to more than 250,000 men and women, who in turn have gone on to meaningful and rewarding careers.

Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. receives award from ATEA

The American Technical Educators Association (ATEA) honored Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. with is Silver Award for Excellence at its March 21, 2012, annual conference. The award recognizes Toyota’s commitment to technical education through its’ Technician Training Education Network (T-TEN). Dunwoody College, which is a T-TEN site, nominated Toyota for the award.

T-TEN supports participating schools with internships, employment, training for T-TEN staff, equipment, and vehicle contributions, financial assistance, information sources and up-to-date curriculum. Dunwoody is one of 46 schools across the nation with T-TEN programs and one of seven to be chosen to produce curriculum. Dunwoody has also received full certification as a CEED (Chassis, Electrical, Engine and Drivetrain) school which provides factory level certification credentials to all of its T-TEN students upon graduation.

A photo of Toyota's T-TEN development team with the ATEA Silver Star of Excellence Award

The Technical Development Division, T-TEN Program, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Torrance, Calif. From left to right: Glory Nakamoto, Scott Sandford, Kevin Booth, Rick Lester Tech Development Manager, George Colletti, Russ Casella, Mona Masai. (Not pictured are: Kieko Shimizu, Andrew Passage and Patty Koerner).

Midwest Robotics League regional championship May 19-20 at MOA

WHAT: Teams pit 15lb robots against each other in head-to-head matches in an arena. The match lasts 3 minutes or until one robot is knocked out or taps out. The competition is double elimination. The audience will have opportunities to interact with the robots throughout the weekend.

The competition will include the reigning NRL National Champion: the robotics team from North St. Paul High School and their robot UC3, which went undefeated in the national competition held May 5-6, 2012, in Indianapolis, IN.

WHO: Teams of at least 3 students (middle school, high school or college) and 1 technical adviser. Local and national teams from across the country will be competing.

WHEN:

1 – 6:30 p.m. Saturday, May 19, (Competition Rounds 1-5)

1 – 3:30 p.m. Sunday, May 20, (Competition Rounds 6-9)

4 – 5 p.m. Sunday May 20, (Championship Rounds 10-11 & awards ceremony)

WHERE: Rotunda in the Mall of America, Bloomington, Minn.

ADMISSION: Free and open to the public.

The Midwest Robotics League is sponsored and managed by Dunwoody College of Technology.

American Technical Education Association national office to be housed at Dunwoody College

Minneapolis, MN, May 2, 2012 — The American Technical Education Association (ATEA) has officially relocated its national office to Dunwoody College of Technology. ATEA is a national professional organization that serves faculty, administrators, educational services vendors, and companies that hire graduates from technical programs.

“It is, indeed, a privilege for the premier post-secondary technical education professional development organization to partner with one of the nation’s premier private technical colleges,” said Dr. Larry Moser, Director of the Secondary Technical Center of South Arkansas Community College and ATEA President.

“The central location of Dunwoody College of Technology in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area will give the ATEA greater exposure and access to the many professional educators involved in technical education.  As President of the American Technical Education Association, I know I speak on behalf of our Board of Trustees in affirming that the ATEA/Dunwoody partnership promises to be one of the most strategic decisions made by the ATEA organization.”

Sandra Krebsbach has been hired as the new executive director of ATEA. Dr. Krebsbach holds a Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Administration from the University of Minnesota and has previously served as dean of technical trade and apprenticeship programs at Saint Paul College.

“Dr. Krebsbach brings to post-secondary technical education professional development a strong background of academic involvement in post-secondary technical education and an extensive exposure to the political mechanisms influencing the development of technical education,” Dr. Moser said. “We welcome her contemporary and dynamic approach to enhancing all aspects of technical education professional development and to developing strategies to keep technical careers and technical training in the public discourse.  I and the Board of Trustees anticipate many good things to come from both the partnership with Dunwoody College of Technology as our ATEA office site and the great background and activities of Dr. Krebsbach as our Executive Director.”

“What is unique about ATEA is that our members really know each other,” Dr. Krebsbach said. “Our members develop strong connections and engage in dialogue that helps spread best practices in the field throughout the nation.”

“Dunwoody College has long been active in the ATEA and is pleased to be able to provide a location for the organization,” Dunwoody College President Rich Wagner said. “In fact, as a leading advocate for technical education, the ATEA continues the legacy of Charles Prosser, Dunwoody’s first director and the father of technical education in the United States. We also welcome Dr. Krebsbach and look forward to working with her.” Dr. Wagner is also the vice president and president elect of ATEA.

For the past 34 years, ATEA was housed on the campus of North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton, ND. The move to the Twin Cities brings with it the advantages of a major metropolitan area with many corporate headquarters and access to an international airport.

“I’m excited that ATEA will now be located at Dunwoody,” Dr. Krebsbach said. “I think it will be especially helpful for it to be in the Twin Cities because Minnesota is such a powerhouse in healthcare, printing, information technology, precision manufacturing, automated packaging, construction and other industries that employ graduates of technical programs. Many Minnesota based companies have a national workforce, relaying on technical colleges in other states to provide trained employees. ATEA can be a helpful partner in professional development and best practices in those states as well as in Minnesota”

ATEA was chartered in Delmar, NY, in 1960. From the beginning its goal was to “promote technical education for interested and qualified youth and adults … recommend standards for technical education … [and] provide an opportunity for an exchange of ideas among persons in the technical education field.”

The mission of the American Technical Education Association is to serve as the premier provider of professional development for postsecondary technical educators. It holds both a national conference and regional conferences.   It also gives out yearly awards to educators, students and other individuals who support the organization’s goals and publishes a refereed journal twice a year, which is edited by Dr. Sandra C. Coyner of the University of Akron.

The next national conference will be held March 20-22, 2013, in Chattanooga, Tenn., and will be held in the Twin Cities in 2014, the year that Dunwoody celebrates its Centennial.

As a national organization, ATEA draws its leadership and membership from across the country. Current members of the executive committee in addition to Dr. Moser and Dr. Wagner include: Jane Hildenbrand, chair and professor of early childhood education, Ivy Tech Community College; Dr. James King, vice chancellor, Tennessee Technology Centers; Bob Wallace, director of finance, Tennessee Technology Centers; and Dr. Paul Young, president, North Wyoming Community College.

In addition, the ATEA board includes members from institutions located in the Northeast, South, Midwest and West.

About Dunwoody: Founded in 1914, Dunwoody College of Technology is the only private, not-for-profit, technical college in the Upper Midwest. For more, visit dunwoody.edu.

Senator Franken visit Right Skills Now

(click photo to see a larger version)

Senator Al Franken (top center) visited Dunwoody earlier this month for a tour of the Right Skills Now program, which prepares graduates to become CNC (Computer Numeric Controlled) Operators. Senator Franken visited with each of the students in the program. He also gave an interview with Fox9 News, where he talked about the importance of manufacturing to Minnesota and the United States and the need for more skilled workers.

Right Skills Now is a pilot program by Dunwoody College of Technology and South Central College and is part of the Right Skills Now initiative. Right Skills Now is a partnership of The Manufacturing Institute, ACT, the National Institute of Metalworking Skills, and the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

15 Dunwoody students place at SkillsUSA Minnesota

The SkillsUSA state competition was held last weekend at locations around the Twin Cities, including on the Dunwoody campus. A total of 30 Dunwoody students competed in 11 program areas, and 15 students placed 1st – 4th in their respective competitions. Here is the full list of winners (the faculty advisors for the student who compete are listed next to the completion category):

Architectural Drafting – Bridget Reynolds
Austin Klassen – 1st
Brandon Bomar – 2nd

Automotive Refinishing – Bob Brandon and Bruce Graffunder
Alan Mattson – 3rd

Collision Repair – Bob Brandon and Bruce Graffunder
Don Lundequam – 3rd
Alan Mattson – 4th

Computer Maintenance Technology – David Mansheffer
Donald Geer Jr. – 1st

Computer Programming – Kevin Wendt
Brian Skorseth – 2nd
Michael Pendino – 3rd

Electrical Construction Wiring – Polly Friendshuh
Ashley Chapman – 2nd

Job Skills Demonstration – Bruce Graffunder
Serenity Sullivan – 4th

Telecommunications Cabling – Phil Yeager
Luis Molina – 1st
Andrew Loge – 2nd
Nick Erdmann – 3rd

Web Design – Kevin Wendt
Team 2: 1st
Brett Lidfors
Joe Packer

The following students will be going on to represent Dunwoody and the State of Minnesota in the national competition in Kansas City, MO, this June: Brett Lidfors, Joe Packer, Luis Molina, Donald Geer Jr. and Austin Klassen.

Congratulations students!