Honor Roll Spotlight: Norwood “Woody” Nelson

Photo of Woody Nelson, '60 Electrical GeneralWhen Woody Nelson graduated from Dunwoody in 1960 he could never have imagined where his degree would take him. The Electrical General degree not only landed him his first job doing electrical maintenance and repair work in the J&L Steel mines in Northern Minnesota, it also opened the doors that would eventually lead him into facilities management.

Before retiring in 1999, Nelson served as the Director of Corporate Facilities for all of Cummins/Onan — a global power generation leader. Nelson’s career at Cummins spanned more than three decades and took him all over the world. Even after retirement, Nelson has stayed active in his professional organizations and as a consultant.

Growing up on a small farm near Cloquet, Minnesota, Nelson said “fixing things was a way of life.” And during his senior year of high school he was a trainee working as an electrician for a paper company in Cloquet. The job appealed to him and after graduation he made the decision to move to Minneapolis and enroll at Dunwoody.

During the 18 months Nelson was at Dunwoody, he really enjoyed getting to know his classmates and knowing that he was learning a skill that he enjoyed doing.

Photo of Woody Nelson and classmates from 1960.

Woody Nelson (far right), 1960, with Dunwoody classmates.

After graduating, Nelson went to work for J&L Steel while his wife finished up her master’s degree in Library Science at the University of Minnesota.

Understanding that the career opportunities for both he and his wife were far greater in the Twin Cities, Nelson answered a general ad in the Star Tribune for an electrical tester and sent in a letter and resume. At the time, he didn’t know the position was with Onan Corporation, which would later be acquired by Cummins Engine Company. Nelson believes his degree from Dunwoody was one of the reasons he not only got an interview, but was offered a job the same day.

His career at Onan took a different path than the one he expected. He was soon tapped to take on the foreman position and that position led him into his career in facilities management. By 1971, Nelson was the Manager of Plant Engineering for Onan.

Nelson liked the variety and challenge of his work. His work not only meant managing the current facilities, but helping design the new ones. He also became active in several professional associations, including serving as President of the American Institute of Plant Engineers (now Association for Facilities Engineering – AFE) local chapter and serving on the National Board of AFE for 12 years, becoming National President in 1993. In fact, Nelson was honored professionally by his colleagues in 1996 when he was inducted into the AFE’s College of Fellows.

During all this time, Nelson has stayed active and connected to Dunwoody. He and his wife Muriel feel strongly about giving back and have made the decision to become Legacy Association members by including the College in their estate planning.

“Muriel and I have been blessed, so we want to give something back to the places that helped us,” Nelson said. “I hope that in doing so, someone else will have the opportunity to have as much fun as I did in this career and in this life.”

Read more feature stories in the 2015 Annual Report.

 

Construction Management program receives $60,000 grant

Construction Management Program Manager Heather Gay and Instructor Jon Hassenfritz hold large $60,000 check at the NAHB 2016 Residential Construction Management Competition

Photo courtesy of NAHB Student Chapter’s Facebook page

Dunwoody College of Technology is thrilled to announce the Construction Management program has received a $60,000 grant from the National Housing Endowment Foundation’s Homebuilding Education Leadership Program (HELP).

The National Housing Endowment is a philanthropic arm of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), which aims to increase education and training opportunities for future leaders in the residential construction industry. HELP awards grants to leading colleges and universities in an effort to create or improve residential construction management programs.

“We applied for the grant because we did not have a strong residential construction focus in the classroom,” said Heather Gay, Construction Management Program Manager. “As a result, students weren’t going into the residential field. There was an interest, but we just didn’t have that knowledge in the classroom. This grant, and our program’s recent faculty hires, will change that.”

Specifically, the $60,000 donation will be used to:

  • Train faculty and students to be Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS) and Certified Green Professionals (CGP).
  • Enhance relationships with industry through organized site visits, a lecture series, and various guest speakers/presentations.
  • Increase admissions outreach by targeting high school students in residential construction classes or skilled trades people looking to advance in their career.

Gay said that the outreach plans and any success stories will also be shared with other interested colleges. Gay as well as members of HELP hope that this form of open dialogue will encourage collaboration among all colleges with a residential construction program.

Learn more about Construction Management.

Kate’s Club on the rise

Karen Schmitt talks to women at a Kate's Club meeting.

Karen Schmitt talks to women at a Kate’s Club meeting.

Electrical Construction & Maintenance Senior Instructor Karen Schmitt began working in a non-traditional career in 1978 and has since been looking for ways to help other women in technical fields. With this in mind, Schmitt started Kate’s Club to give female students a space to find mentorship and network with other women in non-traditional careers.

“What good is it if I don’t share my experience with someone and bring some awareness to how hard women have worked to get to this point?” Schmitt said, noting how difficult it was for her as a woman working on various construction sites.

Kate’s Club on the rise

Since the beginning, women at Dunwoody have been drawn to Kate’s Club for its supportive and empowering atmosphere. For this reason, membership has grown and Karen has passed the Club leadership onto the students.

“I enjoy being able to network with other women and collaborate with them,” said Construction Management student Melysia Cha. “We have such great faculty mentors with valuable stories and experiences to share.”

Cha serves as the Secretary of Kate’s Club and has high hopes for its future. Her goal for this semester is to find more members from both day and night classes and to host more meetings and events for women on campus to get involved in.

Leadership also includes President Kayle Moss, who recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Management & Leadership, and Vice President Megan Swanson, a Graphic Design & Packaging student.

To kick off the semester, the Club will be hosting a “Souperbowl” Chili Cook-Off to raise funds for future events.

The 2nd Annual “Souperbowl” Chili Cook-Off

The 2nd Annual “Souperbowl” Chili Cook-Off fundraiser takes place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28, in the McNamara Center.

Karen Schmitt and members of Kate's Club

Karen Schmitt and members of Kate’s Club

Proceeds from this cook-off will benefit Kate’s Club by funding events like last year’s trip to Iron Maiden Metal Fabrication, a woman-owned blacksmithing and metalwork shop in Minneapolis. Trips like these allow the women of Dunwoody to network with other women in technical careers and learn about opportunities available to them.

To learn more about events and opportunities at Kate’s Club, email Karen Schmitt at katesclub@dunwoody.edu

75th Diversity Forum: looking to the future to solve today’s problems

Minnesota Council on Foundations President Trista Harris speaks at Dunwoody's 75th Diversity Forum.

Minnesota Council on Foundations President Trista Harris speaks at Dunwoody’s 75th Diversity Forum.

The 75th Diversity Forum featured a performance by saxophonist Jason Weismann and a talk given by Minnesota Council on Foundations President Trista Harris in celebration of MLK Day. Harris spoke about how to use the tools of futurism to build on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream for a better future.

 Three-Step Guide to a Better Future

Harris pointed out that “we treat the future now like it’s something that happens to us, not something we create for ourselves.”

Instead of thinking about today’s problems this way, Harris encouraged the audience to think about what positive impacts they would like to leave on the world. With that, she provided a simple, three-step guide to looking to the future to create something better:

  1.  Stop loving the problem. Instead of dwelling on what the problems are, Harris encouraged people to understand the problem then immediately move to step two.
  2. Look around you. Pay attention to trends and headlines to get a grasp on where you might find solutions for your problem.
  3. Go, try it out. “If you fail faster, you succeed sooner,” said Harris, try new ideas to learn what works and how to move forward.

The next Diversity Forum will feature KSTP TV 5 Broadcast Journalist Cleo Green and Grammy Award Winner Kimberly Brown in honor of Black History Month. For questions or to RSVP, contact Dr. Leo Parvis via email at lparvis@dunwoody.edu. Dr. Parvis is a Principal Instructor and the Diversity Programs & Education Coordinator at Dunwoody College of Technology.

Honor Roll Spotlight: Gary N. Petersen

Gary N. Petersen
Retired President and COO of Minnegasco
Dunwoody Board of Trustees
1990-present

Photo of Gary N. Petersen

Gary N. Petersen

Gary Petersen has always approached his service to Dunwoody College of Technology with a “never say no” philosophy.

For the retired President and Chief Operating Officer of Minnegasco (now Centerpoint Energy) this has translated into 25 years of volunteer service as a member of the Dunwoody Board of Trustees, including two years as Chair and another two years as Treasurer. In addition, Petersen has served on numerous committees and even chaired the Good to Great Capital Campaign, which ran from 2001-2009.

Petersen’s long history with Dunwoody first began in 1990. As the new Chief Operating Officer for Minnegasco, Petersen was proud of the company’s long history of hiring Dunwoody grads.

“Dunwoody has always provided the best technicians,” Petersen said.

So when he was asked to join the Board of Trustees, Petersen was happy to say “yes.”

“When I joined, the Board had so much great experience and leadership,” Petersen said. “It took me a couple of years to figure out how I could contribute.”

Of the 160 individuals who have sat on the Dunwoody College of Technology Board of Trustees over the past 101 years, Petersen has had the pleasure to know and serve with 81 of them.

A Certified Public Accountant, Petersen graduated from Iowa State University with a B.S. degree in Computer Science. His career first began in public accounting, which led to his work with public utilities and then to senior management. His background in finance meant Petersen was a natural fit for the Finance and Audit Committee at Dunwoody.

In addition, Petersen’s leadership experience in the areas of strategic thinking and planning led to his involvement in developing Dunwoody’s formal program evaluation system, which is still used by the Board to this day.

In 1998, Petersen retired from Minnegasco and became an independent consultant. Even after his departure from the utility company, Petersen has remained a valued and active member of the Board of Trustees.

Besides giving of his time and talents, Petersen and his wife Barbara have also donated generously to the College. “There is definitely a joy of giving” Petersen said, adding that his affinity to Dunwoody comes from knowing that there really is a Dunwoody Difference that can be seen in the students and graduates who leave here ready to work from Day 1.

In addition to his volunteer service to Dunwoody, Petersen also served as a Board Member for the YMCA for more than 20 years and held several volunteer roles with his church. In fact, through his involvement with all three organizations, Petersen has been directly involved in eight different capital campaigns.

And when he is not serving on Boards or giving back to his community, Petersen is an avid sports fan who enjoys spending time with his family.

When he looks to the future, Petersen is excited about the direction that Dunwoody is heading, with the addition of more 4-year Bachelor of Science degrees offered through its new School of Engineering.

“We’re on the cusp of taking off in the next 100 years,” Petersen said.

Read more spotlight stories in the 2015 Annual Report.

 

 

Dunwoody College Of Technology’s 2015 Fall Semester Dean’s List

Congratulations to the following students who have been named to Dunwoody College of Technology’s fall semester dean’s list. The students listed received this honor by upholding a 3.5 (or higher) grade point average while being a full-time student*.

Anthony Ablack
Eli Abnet
Alexandra About
Samuel Albers
Connor Alexy
Alexander Al-hilwani
Jacob Allen
Satiya Amporful
Angela Anderson
Benjamin Anderson
Brett Anderson
Maria Anderson
Matthew Anderson
Trevor Anderson
Tyler Anderson
David Andresen
Alysa Arnold
Justin Aune
Matthew Backus
Lawal Bada
Tyler Bares
John Bautch
Alec Becklin
Jacob Berg
Michael Berg
Alexander Biggs
Thomas Blossom
Jacob Blue
Jackson Boehmer
Brittney Boie
Adam Booth
Ronald Bridgemon
Joseph Broadston
Richard Brodala
Amanda Bronson
Chad Brooks
Kyle Burnside
Matthew Campbell
Kayla Canfield
Christopher Cao
Anna Carlson
Matthew Carlson
Ross Carlson
Robert Carson
Ling Chang
Paxton Chase
Brady Christian
Samantha Christner
Bryan Coats
Dalton Crouch
Randy Dahlberg
Brady Dalton
Jazmine Darden
Brandon Davis
Adam DeCurtins
Walldo Deluna
Tristan Dewitte
David Dietz
Nathan Donahoe
Mandi Drevlow
Jamie Dulebohn
Scott Duncan
Marydithe Edgerton
Christopher Eklund
Margaret Ellsworth
Daniel Emery
Corey Erickson
Jon Erickson
Steven Fay
Nicholas Felix-Carlson
Paige Fischer
Bryce Fisher
Rachel Fisher
Alexander Froemming
Zachary Gabler
David Gainous
Ryan Galegher
Francis Garsulao
Tarty Gaye
Brandon Goldschmidt
Ryan Grigoleit
Robert Grindahl
James Grommersch
Charles Guelcher
Andrhea Gulden
Nicholas Gustafson
David Haerle
Jon Hagen
Keven Halloran
Neil Halvorson
Sandra Hammerlund
Robert Hammond
Jonathan Hansen
Steven Hanson
Ryan Harris
Benjamin Harvey
Daniel Hattenberger
Andrew Haug
Caleb Hays
Andrew Henry
Josh Henry
Peng Her
Matthew Herrick
Aidan Hicks
Michael Hiepler
Anina High
Joshua Hill
Tiara Hill
Tan Ho
Vincent Hoang
Daniel Hoffman
Nathan Hole
Jesse Hollen
Nicholas Holman
Benjamin Holmgren
Andrew Hoogenakker
Michael Houge
Nathan Hruby
Kyle Huberty
Katherine Humphrey
Benjamin Hunerberg
Ashley Hurner
Troy Hyland
Blake Isetts
Matthew Jarvis
Leo Jensen
John Jeske
Michael Jindra
Jettana Jitlak
Joel Johnson
Andrew Kampa
Kyle Kane
Edward Kibira
Shelby Kiltinen
Matthew Kirchgasler
David Klinkner
Joel Koenigsmark
Kimberley Kotila
Patrick Kowal
Matthew Krei
Mitchell Krienke
Kasey Kromschroeder
Ryan Ksiazek
Wesley Kuhnley
Carson Landvik-Geyen
Benjamin Larsen
Jacob Larson
Justin Larson
Anthony Laylon
Marc Leahy
Yeng Lee
Scott Leighton
Jonathan Leistico
Ashley LeMay
Joseph Lerum
Charles Lesher
Dexter Lewis
Alex Linahon
Brent Littlejohn
Kory Lommen
Richard Longstrom
Eric Lorentzen
Bennieco Luangrath
John Mabusth
Joseph Machtemes
Alex Maciej
Michael Mack
Andrew Madison
Richard Makori
Timothy Malkovich
Kerry Mandt
Matthew Mannella
Francis Maranga
Cole Marsh
Paxton Martensen
Jeffrey Martin
Jennifer Martin
James Matthes
Thomas Mavencamp
Aaron McCauley-Aburto
Patrick McDonald
Kyle McGinnity
Dwight McKinnis
Saul Mellado
Eric Meyer
Jacob Meyer
Michael Miazga
Andrew Miller
Charles Miller
Madison Montgomery
Zachary Moore
Jonathan Moreno
Sharon Mount
John Moynihan
Kareem Mroue
Colin Mulcahy
Celina Nelson
Peter Neraasen
Phat Nguyen
Stephanie Nguyen
Travis Northway
Nicholas Novak
Grady O’Gorman
Andrew Olson
James Olson
Joshua Olson
Travis Olson
Corin Osborne
Michael Otten
Sarah Padovese
Taylor Parker-Greene
Taylor Paschke
Sergey Paskar
Tovah Penning
Ricky Perez
Jonathan Peter
Drew Peterson
Matthew Peterson
Brian Pevensie
Zach Pollei
Julian Prowizor
Michael Prudhon
Thomas Quicksell
Nicholas Ramsingh
Adrienne Reich
Mark Reznikov
Graham Rico-Johnson
Cory Roberts
Madelyn Rodewald
Oscar Romero
Henry Rudolph
Randal Rue
Loren Sabetti
Micah Schoenecker
Sarah Schroeder
Trevor Schroeder
Patrick Schulz
Will Schulzetenberg
Brianna Schumacher
Nicholas Schurhammer
Kurtis Seurer
Luke Shaw
Matthew Shephard
Lloyd Show
Sarah Silver
Justin Sloneker
Thomas Smith
Devyn Smoter
Ryan Solheim
Rebekah Somers
Eric Sosa
John Spartz
Jerred Speller
Zachary Sprung
Mark Stafford
Alexander Stanley
Pierce Stavish
Paul Steffens
Daniel Stellburg
Brian Stewart
Aaron Stoehr
Donavan Sullivan
Heidi Sunne
Matthew Svihel
Dustin Szumowski
Erica Thiel
Anthony Thiery
Chloe Thomas
Steven Thomas
Kathleen Thompson
Steven Thomson
Micah Thorson
Bradley Toenges
Alek Tomann
Brittney Tompkins
Daniel Treat
Timothy Trembulak
Miles Tristani
Mark Tully
Andrew Unger
Christopher Uttke
John Vaccaro
Gabriel Vail
James Vanderbosch
Adam VanderVorste
Choua Vang
Marcos Villalobos
JJ Virnala
Ashley Wagner
Ashley Wagner
Jerry Wang
Isabel Waryan
Thomas Webster
Jacob Wegner
Justin Wenz
Kimberly Wieting
Michael Willems
Brandon Williams
Blake Wilson
Christopher Wilson
Shelby Wittibslager
Brian Witzany
Keith Wojciechowski
Samual Wolters
Gregory Woolsey
David Yang
Pierre Yang
Say Vue Yang
Brandon Young
Rodrigo Zangano
Korin Ziesmer
Austin Zimmermann


*Student must take a minimum of 12 credits to be considered full-time. 

Klein Tools provides supplies to Electrical Construction & Maintenance program, awards student with Outstanding Graduate Award

As Dunwoody students and employees gear up for spring semester, the College would like to take a moment to congratulate our December graduates as well as thank an important donor and partner, Molly Kujawa from Klein Tools.

“Molly has been involved with the electrical department for about seven or eight years now,” said Electrical Construction & Maintenance Principal Instructor Karen Schmitt.

“She always comes through when helping our students. On several occasions, she has provided me with experts who have demonstrated and presented to our class; when I have had students who couldn’t afford something, she is always very quick to help.”

In addition to assisting students, Kujawa also frequently donates tools and materials to the program. Just recently, the Electrical Construction & Maintenance program received several multimeters; numerous low voltage test kits and low voltage hand tools; and multiple display boards.

Klein Tools recognizes Fall 2015 Outstanding Graduate

Each semester, Klein Tools also recognizes an Outstanding Program Graduate. The award is given to a graduating student who has gone above and beyond during his or her time at Dunwoody.

For the fall semester, Max Orman was the chosen recipient.

Molly Kujawa from Klein Tools honors Max Orman with the semi-annual Outstanding Graduate award.

Molly Kujawa from Klein Tools honors Max Orman with the semi-annual Outstanding Graduate award.

“Max has proven to be an exemplary example of what we expect of our students,” Schmitt said. “In addition to a very good GPA, he has had great attendance and an excellent work ethic.”

During Orman’s final class at Dunwoody, Kujawa surprised him with a $150 meter; a rare, etched pair of linesman pliers; and the Top Graduate award signed by the owner of Klein Tools.

Orman graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Electrical Construction & Maintenance last month. He was recently accepted into IBEW Local 292, the Minneapolis electrical union.

CFMA continues history of Dunwoody-giving, awards Construction Management student with scholarship

Construction Management student and CFMA scholarship winner Justin Brastad The Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA)—a nonprofit organization devoted to enhancing the education of today’s construction financial professionals—has awarded its fourth Dunwoody scholarship to Construction Management student Justin Brastad.

The CFMA has a long history of giving to the College, awarding Dunwoody with multiple student scholarships and a generous endowed scholarship over the last several years.

CFMA’s support goes beyond financial assistance

“The goal of the scholarship program is to promote accounting, finance and management careers in the construction industry,” CFMA Scholarship Chairperson Michael Michelsen said. “It is our intent to improve the perception of the value and impact that a career in construction can have for both the industry and the individual.”

The giving doesn’t stop there: members of the CFMA Twin Cities have also joined the College’s Program Advisory Committee; participated in student capstone presentations; and have conducted several presentations to Dunwoody classes, focusing on topics like construction risk management and cash flow management.

Scholarship provides tuition relief for Justin

Justin, a Junior this year, says receiving this scholarship means a great deal to him.

“Being a college student and full-time employee is a huge task in itself,” he said. “On top of that, trying to pay for college and books can be overwhelming. I am very grateful for this scholarship and am honored to have been the one selected to receive it.”

The award will be put towards Justin’s remaining tuition at Dunwoody. Upon graduation, Justin hopes to become a Construction Estimator.

“I am on the right path to do so, but have a lot of learning to do,” he said. “I want to continue to grow and see how far I can push myself in industry. Wherever that takes me, I will be happy. I just want to be able to make a difference.”