A growing enterprise

Engineering Drafting & Design student Aaron Rasmussen is finding success in business and at Dunwoody.

Not many 19-year-olds can say they own a business. Even fewer can say they started that business when they were 12. But Dunwoody Engineering Drafting & Design student Aaron Rasmussen can.

Photo of Dunwoody Engineering Drafting & Design student Aaron Rasmussen

First-year Engineering Drafting & Design student Aaron Rasmussen

Rasmussen is the sole owner of Rasmussen and Associates, a lawn care, cleaning and moving service in Winsted, Minnesota. Despite being just out of high school, Rasmussen has upwards of 30 seasonal employees as well as some major customers. And the client list keeps growing.

Recently Rasmussen & Associates was hired on by several local banks to help clean out and spruce up foreclosed properties all over the state, including towns like Bemidji and Detroit Lakes.

What started out as a friendly favor quickly evolved into a large, successful business; and likely no one is more surprised by that than Rasmussen himself.

Starting Rasmussen & Associates

Rasmussen has always had an interest in managing. From high school clubs to part-time jobs, Rasmussen has consistently found himself in leadership positions.

But when it came to starting his own lawn care business? Well, according to Rasmussen, that venture began almost unintentionally.

It all started when Rasmussen’s neighbor asked him to cut her grass. He agreed, not anticipating how much his neighbor would like the end result. Word traveled quickly, and soon Rasmussen was working all over the neighborhood.

It didn’t take long before Rasmussen had more requests than he could handle. He needed help. So, he asked a few of his friends to join him, splitting the payment.

“I realized I could make money doing that,” he said. And just like that Rasmussen and Associates was born.

Finding success in 3-D Printing
Photo of Dunwoody College's 3-D Printers

A couple of Stratasys 3-D printers in Dunwoody College’s newly renovated Metrology Lab

As if balancing high school, his lawn care business, and his part-time job wasn’t enough, Rasmussen also had a second part-time job working at Lester Building Systems, a leading pole barn manufacturer. 

Here Rasmussen managed the company’s 3-D printing activity, specifically designing products to improve the day-to-day activities of residential construction workers.

Several of Rasmussen’s ideas have been adopted and mass-produced by the organization. In fact, next summer Rasmussen will visit Lester’s corporate headquarters in South Carolina to see a machine he designed become a reality.

Rasmussen said it was during his time at Lester Building Systems that he realized his love for designing and 3-D printing. And despite owning a successful business, Rasmussen knew he was ready for something more. So, when he saw that Dunwoody had a degree in Engineering Drafting & Design — and access to some of the most advanced 3-D printers in the world — Rasmussen was sold.

Despite only being a few weeks in, Rasmussen has already founded a Combat Robots club and was elected Treasurer of Student Government.

Moving toward the dream job
Photo of Dunwoody College's 3-D Printers

A student project being printed inside Dunwoody’s 3-D printer

After college, Rasmussen wants to continue with product development, specifically in 3-D printing for the construction industry. A Dunwoody degree will help with that, he said. And one day owning his own 3-D printing company? Well, that would be the dream job.

His advice for young entrepreneurs out there is to just do it. But make sure you’re a personable boss and you’re okay with putting in long days.

“I don’t sleep much,” he laughed. “But, other than that, it’s pretty good.”

Dunwoody opens new Veteran and Military Student Center

Dunwoody’s new Veteran and Military Student Center is a central point for veterans and military students to study, find resources, and socialize.

Dean of Students Kelli Sattler began her work at Dunwoody College of Technology in July 2015 with a clear vision for creating a well-rounded student experience.

“Another important part of my role is to step back and think big picture about what our College is doing to support and empower students to be at their best,” Sattler wrote in a letter to students and parents. “In doing so, I collaborate with faculty, academic support, student services, and colleagues across campus. I also listen to students and lead the way in implementing their vision for the future.”

So when veterans and military students spoke up last spring about their need for a bigger space with more resources on campus, Sattler put a focus group together, listened to their needs, and got to work on a plan for a new Veteran and Military Student Center.

The Center opened earlier this fall.

Dunwoody students build a new center

New Veteran & Military Student CenterDanial Hannover is a Construction Management student and President of the Student Government Association (SGA). He also served in the United States Marine Corps from 2008 to 2016. In that time, Hannover was deployed to Afghanistan twice. When he was honorably discharged in 2016, he was a Staff Sergeant (E-6).

Hannover has been working with Sattler to ensure that the new space offers the right kind of environment for veterans and military students to thrive.

New Veteran & Military Student Center“It’s a complete 180 from the last Veterans Center,” Hannover said. “Whenever I come in here there are at least four or five people studying, doing homework. And you see people talking and connecting with each other, which is cool.”

Donavan Sullivan also played a vital role in building the new Center. In addition to his four years of service in the Marine Corps, Sullivan was the Student President of the College’s honor society – Phi Theta Kappa – and the Multi-Cultural Student Union. Since graduating in May 2016, Sullivan has stayed with the College as an Admissions Counselor.

New Veteran & Military Student CenterWith his experience as a veteran, student, and employee, Sullivan offered a unique point of view.

“Some of the things that I suggested were moving it to a bigger space and updating the materials and resources in the Center,” Sullivan said. “We’re also working to get some TVs in there. One of them will play a PowerPoint presentation to show resources for students like the VA number and the suicide hotline. Suicide is a big issue in the veteran community. So I want that hotline number to just be out there constantly.”

Dunwoody establishes new programs to support veterans

In addition to building the new space, Sattler has been working with veterans on campus to establish Warrior Wednesdays and the Veteran and Military Student Organization.

Comcast talks to students at first Warrior WednesdaySattler’s goal for Warrior Wednesdays is to invite veteran-friendly employers in to talk to veteran students, giving students a chance to network with companies who are interested in hiring veterans. Comcast was the first company to participate in October.

“This will be sort of a one-company career fair,” Sullivan said. “Just to get them to come and meet with students about job opportunities for veterans.”

The Veteran and Military Student Organization had its first meeting in early November with plans to customize their agenda based on the needs of the group. Their goal is to become another resource of information and support for students on campus.

The effects of a new space
President Rich Wagner speaks to a veteran student during the Grand Opening of the new Center

President Rich Wagner speaks to a veteran student during the Grand Opening of the new Center

Hannover is already seeing what he had hoped the Center would do for veterans on campus.

“It’s bringing students together talking and connecting with each other. That’s one of the biggest things that veterans have an issue with.” Hannover said. “They’re not around the people that they’ve been around for the past four to 20 years of their life. And they all have the same mentality. So it’s good to see people connect and create a support system for each other.”

Sattler is hoping that this new Center will encourage other students to speak up about their own experiences on campus as well.

“If students see that we listen as an institution and that we care about the things that are working and the things that aren’t, and that we’re willing to make improvements based on that feedback, I think that goes a long way,” Sattler said.

Dunwoody celebrates Veterans Day

Dunwoody will be celebrating Veterans Day on Friday, Nov. 11, with a flag raising ceremony at 10:45 a.m. followed by a presentation featuring Lorne Brunner at 11:30 a.m. in the McNamara Center.

Brunner served in the U.S Navy for 20 years. His military career encompassed six tours of duty in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Japan, and the Bering Sea. He was a chief petty officer and cryptologist assigned TAD with two SEAL teams. He will share his journey from leaving a Navy career after significant combat injuries and rehabilitation, to a successful occupation as a licensed private investigator and certified forensic fire and explosion expert.

Q&A with a Dunwoody Computer Networking Technology Alum

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

Andhi Michaux, ’03 Computer Networking Technology
Chief HR Officer, Garda Capital Partners

Photo of Andhi MichauxQ. Where is the weirdest place you have ever met a fellow alum?

A. Atlanta. I have three siblings who live there and while visiting I struck up a conversation with someone who was a Dunwoody alum and living in Dunwoody, which is a suburb of Atlanta. You just can’t make that stuff up.

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

A. I think the first time I felt that way was on my first business trip to London. I had never been to the UK before and it was an absolutely wonderful experience and the fact that I was there on business made it even more exciting. I was still quite young in my career at the time, but it was a pretty cool experience to be on a business trip in a different country while only being a few years out of school.

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

A. They would probably be surprised that while I did work in my field of study (IT) after graduation, I was actually able to parlay those skills into a completely different field (Human Resources) and now I am a department head for a multi-billion dollar hedge fund. Definitely not how I saw things going, but I couldn’t be happier with my career.

Q. What is your favorite memory of Dunwoody?

A. My favorite memories of Dunwoody will always be the people and the connections made during my time there.  My classmates, teachers, student workers, colleagues and fellow Alumni Board of Managers members…these are the people that I truly hold in high regard and will always be the frame through which I happily look back on my Dunwoody experience.

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

A look inside Dunwoody’s Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

The first cohort of Mechanical Engineering students began in August 2016, pioneering one of the College’s latest bachelor’s degree offerings.

When Dunwoody College of Technology announced the launch of its Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering last year, it did not want to ignore its hands-on, project-based, and industry-driven educational heritage.

Instead, Mechanical Engineering students were given an experienced instructor from industry; access to state-of-the-art technologies from companies like Carl Zeiss, Haas, MTS, and Stratasys; and a curriculum chalk-full of hands-on learning.

Dunwoody hires from industry for a hands-on education
Mechanical Engineering Instructor Jonathan Aurand works with a student in the Metrology Lab.

Mechanical Engineering Instructor Jonathan Aurand works with a student in the College’s Metrology Lab

The College has always developed its programs with the needs of industry in mind–and the Mechanical Engineering degree was no different.

So when it came time to hire an instructor for the program, Dunwoody looked for someone with robust industry experience to design a curriculum that could encourage students to translate theoretical knowledge into real-world practice.

Jonathan Aurand–Dunwoody’s Mechanical Engineering Instructor–fit the bill.

Aurand comes to Dunwoody with an experienced engineering background. He holds a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering. He also worked as an Analysis Manager at HRST, Inc.–an engineering consulting firm providing service and products to the combined cycle and cogeneration industry–for nearly seven years, inspecting units, and creating solutions for design problems.

Aurand has always had an interest in teaching, and Dunwoody’s hands-on approach attracted him to the position.

“Some people are more research-based and don’t have any interest in actually building something,” said Aurand. “And if that’s you, then Dunwoody probably isn’t the best fit.”

The Dunwoody Difference

At Dunwoody, Mechanical Engineering students are not taking two years of general classes before applying to the engineering program. These students are registered for Mechanical Engineering from day one. And all their general theory classes are held alongside their hands-on labs, allowing students to see theory applied in action.

First-year Mechanical Engineering students complete an in-class, impromptu design challenge

Mechanical Engineering students complete an in-class, impromptu design challenge

During the first semester, Aurand has prepared in-class, impromptu design challenges for the students.

“I break the students up into three to four groups and lay out an engineering problem. They have to solve the problem using certain design requirements in a certain amount of time,” Aurand said. “They compete against one another to see whose design works best with a specific application in mind.”

The first of these design challenges was just two weeks into the first class. Teams of students were asked to improve on the simple paperclip design to see which group could successfully hold the most sheets of paper together.

“I’m really excited for these challenges,” Sierra Oden, first-year Mechanical Engineering student, said. “We’re doing something besides staring at a whiteboard and listening to a lecture.”

In addition to these smaller design challenges, Aurand will assign a larger project for the end of the semester. He will ask students to design a bridge in SolidWorks and actually build a prototype in the College’s Engineering Materials, Mechanics, and Metrology (M3) Lab. The objective of the project will be to support the greatest load while meeting Aurand’s design specifications.

Aurand’s first-semester curriculum also features field trips to engineering firms around the Twin Cities. And as the program progresses, he will assign collaborative projects that will require Mechanical Engineering students to work with students from other programs from across the College.

Pioneers of the program

The first Mechanical Engineering cohort is made up of 10 students. Four of those students are first-year college students, three transferred in from other colleges or universities, and the remaining three were previous Dunwoody students returning for a bachelor’s degree.

Mechanical Engineering student Sierra Oden

First-year Mechanical Engineering student Sierra Oden

Oden, a 2016 graduate of Park High School in Cottage Grove, wanted to become a pilot until she started working on cars and building ham radios out in the garage with her dad. That’s when she realized she liked to take things apart, learn how they work, and put them back together.

“When I first walked in [Dunwoody’s] machine shop, I was like, ‘Alright, I’m going here’” Oden said. “When I visited other colleges, they maybe had one mill, one CNC machine–just one of everything. And then I walked in here, and there was a class set of mills. And that’s not a thing anywhere else.”

Oden was also the captain of her high school’s robotics build team, where she met Edina High School alum and robotics team member Phoebe Sanders.

First-year Mechanical Engineering student Phoebe Sanders

First-year Mechanical Engineering student Phoebe Sanders

Sanders became interested in Mechanical Engineering during her senior year on Edina’s robotics team. She started looking for colleges outside of Minnesota with a goal to get as far away as possible.

In that year, Sanders’s parents encouraged her to attend Dunwoody’s Mechanical Engineering launch event at Carl Zeiss Industrial Metrology to get her to start thinking about a backup school closer to home.

“At the launch event, I heard E.J. speak about the program, and I realized that this is all hands-on,” Sanders said. “I’m not going to have to take two years of generals before getting into my major. Why is this not at every school? Why isn’t this part of every program?”

Dunwoody’s School of Engineering

The launch of the bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering was just the first step towards building the College’s School of Engineering.

The Higher Learning Commission recently approved a Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering, launching in fall 2017. This degree is also being built with the College’s life-long values of hands-on learning, problem-solving, teamwork, and professionalism.

The Mechanical Engineering and Software Engineering degrees will be featured at Dunwoody’s next Open House from 3 to 7 p.m. on November 15, 2016. The $50 application fee is waived for students who decide to apply during the Open House. RSVP to this event at dunwoody.edu/admissions/open-house-rsvp/.

Learn more about Dunwoody’s School of Engineering.

Dunwoody College of Technology building

IISE Student Chapter holds industry panel

Dunwoody College of Technology’s Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE) Student Chapter recently held a panel to discuss career paths and experiences in the engineering field.

IISE meeting in Holden CenterDunwoody’s IISE Student Chapter started in March 2015 with a goal to connect students with professionals in the industry and expose them to hands-on experiences.

As a part of this initiative, the Chapter holds two to three events a year to help Industrial Engineering Technology students network with industry professionals and learn how to do things like write a rèsumè, interview for jobs, and more.

IISE hosts panel of engineers

In addition to learning about how to get a job in industry, IISE also works to give students an idea of what to expect on the job after graduation.

IISE holds industry panel in Holden CenterTo do this, the Chapter recently invited a panel of five engineering professionals to speak during their meeting. These working engineers – made up of two engineers involved with the IISE Twin Cities Professional Chapter and three Dunwoody graduates – spoke about their career paths and experiences.

The panel consisted of:

  • Nate Andrican, Boston Scientific, IISE Twin Cities Professional Chapter
  • Chris Heinze, UTC Aerospace Systems, IISE Twin Cities Professional Chapter
  • Dan Burns, St. Jude Medical, Dunwoody graduate
  • Mandi Drevlow, Design Ready Controls, Dunwoody graduate
  • Chai Thao, Minnetronix, Dunwoody graduate

“The coolest part was hearing five different people that all graduated with the same or similar degrees that do completely different things in industry,” Dustin Szumowski, IISE Student Chapter President, said. “What I took from it is that if you get a job in industry that you don’t like, there’s a lot of options out there, and you can keep searching.”

Industrial Engineering Technology at Dunwoody

Industrial Engineering Technology allows students with associate’s degrees in manufacturing-related fields to earn an ABET-accredited Bachelor of Science and grow in their fields as engineers.

This program offers course instruction at night, allowing students to work full-time while completing their degree.

Learn more about Industrial Engineering Technology.

Dunwoody’s Pete Rivard becomes AIGA MN Director of Education

Dunwoody Pre-Media Principal Instructor Pete Rivard has taken on a new leadership role as the Director of Education for the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) of Minnesota.

The American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) was founded in New York in 1914 and has since spread across the nation, boasting 70 chapters and over 25,000 members. The organization is the oldest and largest professional membership association for graphic designers and professionals in related fields like printing, prepress, photography, illustration, paper manufacturing/distribution, and writing.

AIGA Minnesota with 1,300 members ranks as the fourth largest chapter in the nation. It’s also known for being among the most active chapters, holding monthly networking events, an annual Design Camp, and more.

“During this year’s Design Camp, I met people from Connecticut and Montana,” Pre-Media Principal Instructor Pete Rivard said. “They’re designers whose chapters apparently don’t feature that ambitious of an event, so they just jump on a plane and join in on what we’ve got going on here.”

Rivard accepts AIGA MN Board of Directors position

Pre-Media Technologies Principal Instructor Pete RivardAlong with this large and active membership body, there comes a need for a strong board of directors made up of members from across the Minnesota design profession. These board members each take charge of an area specifically suited to his or her talents and interests in order to benefit the full membership.

And there’s no question why Rivard was chosen to take over as Director of Education.

Along with his 13 years working in prepress technician and management roles and five years in technical support and training, Rivard has spent the last 17 years teaching at Dunwoody. And he’s made a big impact at the College in that time. He is constantly developing the Pre-Media Technologies program curriculum to meet industry needs, training future designers and packaging technicians, and helping students build their networks and find internships.

And now Rivard hopes to bring his experience to AIGA MN.

“I feel like there’s way more opportunity for collaboration among high school and college faculty regionally,” Rivard said. “And especially in terms of getting kids from middle school and upwards aware of the thousands of jobs in the graphics industry in this state, and how much need there is for fresh talent.”

In an effort to promote this collaboration, Rivard will be responsible for organizing educational events for all three of AIGA MN’s constituencies–students, faculty, and practicing professionals–throughout the year.

Rivard raises the profile

Rivard is also excited to have the chance to get Dunwoody’s name out there.

“We have a real opportunity to raise our profile in the design community through this,” Rivard said. “Some creative studios still don’t recognize the Associate of Applied Science degree as well-rounded preparation. They’d like to see a BFA. But at the same time, our students are just killing it in terms of technical chops and landing design jobs upon graduating.”

These students are doing things like earning first place in national design competitions and designing and producing POS displays for real-world clients.

Rivard is committed to the valuable, hands-on experience and education that Dunwoody provides. And he hopes he can continue to increase the Design & Graphics Technology program’s visibility throughout his two-year term as Director of Education at AIGA MN.

Learn more about Dunwoody’s design programs.

Radiologic Technology student wins Third Place in state-wide knowledge bowl

First-year Radiologic Technology student Julie VanderWal recently won Third Place at the Minnesota Society of Radiologic Technologists’ (MSRT) annual Knowledge Bowl.

Every year, the Minnesota Association of Radiologic Students (MARS)–a subcommittee of the Minnesota Society of Radiologic Technologists (MSRT) made up of twelve rad tech programs throughout the state of Minnesota–holds three events to encourage students to network with one another and stay up-to-date on the current issues facing the rad tech industry.

One of those meetings is the annual MARS Knowledge Bowl.

Dunwoody student wins Third Place at 2016 MARS Knowledge Bowl

First-year Radiologic Technology student Julie VanderWal with Dunwoody Radiologic Technology Program Manager David Blake

First-year Radiologic Technology student Julie VanderWal with Dunwoody Radiologic Technology Program Manager David Blake

The 2016 MARS Knowledge Bowl attracted 130 students from eight schools across Minnesota to compete on Thursday, Sept. 29, at Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Welch, MN.

Dunwoody student Julie VanderWal won third place in the overall competition—earning the title for highest-performing first-year student—bested only by students from Lake Superior College and the Mayo Clinic Rad Tech program.

In addition to a cash prize, VanderWal will receive free MSRT membership after graduation.

Radiologic Technology at Dunwoody
Dunwoody’s Rad Tech program offers small class sizes and robust clinical rotation experiences. The College 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.

Learn more about Dunwoody’s Radiologic Technology program.

Dunwoody College of Technology launches Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

OCTOBER 5, MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Dunwoody College of Technology is now accepting applications for its new Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering, which will begin classes August 2017. The degree will prepare students to enter the field of engineering as software engineers. Software engineers design, develop, test and improve software applications for a variety of fields, including medical, financial, manufacturing, consumer, military, enterprise and other uses.

The degree will incorporate the College’s life-long values of hands-on learning, problem-solving, teamwork and professionalism. Prospective students and others interested in learning about Software Engineering or Mechanical Engineering or both are invited to RSVP for an Oct. 25 School of Engineering Information Session to be held on the Dunwoody campus.

Other Points of Note: 

  • Software Engineering students will benefit from the lab spaces and equipment already present on campus, including networking and web development deployment environments used by Computer Technology students and automated systems and electronic controls labs used by Robotics & Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering students.
  • The decision to launch a bachelor’s degree in software engineering was made in consultation with numerous industry leaders and professionals who highlighted a need for software engineers who combine both theoretical and practical skill sets and experience.
  • Software Engineering is the second degree offering the College’s School of Engineering, which launched with its first class of Mechanical Engineering students in August 2016.
  • Dunwoody is exploring which other engineering disciplines will join software and mechanical as the core majors for the School of Engineering. Currently electrical and civil engineering are at the top of the list.
  • Dunwoody has been approved to offer the degree by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education as well as the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. The commission’s web address and phone number are: www.ncahigherlearningcommission.org and 312-263-0456.

Comment:

“As we explored the various options, Software Engineering made the most sense as the second major to add to our School of Engineering,” President Rich Wagner said. “The industry partners we spoke with saw a need for professionals who can design and lead complex software projects. We already supply many of the web developers and computer networking professionals hired by local industry. By adding software engineering we build on those current strengths to help address the need for IT professionals who can bring engineering thinking and skills to the field.”

More Information:

For more on Software Engineering and the School of Engineering: http://www.dunwoody.edu/engineering/

Media Contact:

William Morris, Director of Marketing & College Relations
wmorris@dunwoody.edu; 612-381-3367

For Admissions information:

dunwoody.edu/admissionsinfo@dunwoody.edu; 612-374-5800

Founded in 1914, Dunwoody College of Technology is the only private, not-for-profit technical college in the Upper Midwest. It has provided a hands-on, applied education to more than 200,000 men and women, who in turn have gone on to meaningful and rewarding careers and become outstanding technicians, successful entrepreneurs and industry leaders. Located on the western edge of downtown Minneapolis, Dunwoody offers more than 30 certificate, associate’s degree and bachelor’s degree programs in the areas of Applied Management, Automotive, Computer Technology, Construction Sciences & Building Technology, Design & Graphics Technology, Engineering, Radiologic Technology, Robotics & Manufacturing, and Workforce Training & Continuing Education.