Debra KerriganDebra Kerrigan, BSCE, M.Ed.
Dean of Workforce Training & Continuing Education
Click to read more about Debra


Barb ObershawBarb Obershaw
Account Executive
Click to read more about Barb

Leah CollinsLeah Collins
Project Manager of Continuing Education
Click to read more about Leah

Mary ZawadskiMary Zawadski
Project Manager of Innovative Projects
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Emily Karboski

Communication Liaison
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Debra Kerrigan Bio

Debra Kerrigan is the Dean of the Workforce Training and Continuing Education Department at Dunwoody College of Technology. In this position Debra’s leadership and follow-through is vital when working with business and industry to create cutting edge, job-placing programs. She also manages the quality of training in the common areas such as HVAC, Precision Manufacturing, Electrical, Green Sustainable Practice, and Facilities Service Maintenance.

After following the trends in adult education and observing the recent economic downturn that forced individuals out of work, Debra focused on sharing her technical knowledge, collaborative management skills, and customer service skills to work with the unemployed/underemployed individual. Debra’s main focus is on closing the skills gap for employers by designing new programs, and she has just recently designed a program for industrial sewing. Debra was Dunwoody’s technical liaison in initiating the first draft of the “Right Skills Now” Program in collaboration with the President’s Council for Jobs & Competitiveness, the Manufacturing Institute, and ACT. Debra continues to work jointly with business, industry, state agencies, the Department of Education, the Higher Learning Commission, and other national organizations to create and provide solutions for the future needs of our American workforce. Her approach to launching new delivery methods for training has given her the opportunity to work with international companies in the development of apprenticeship programs.

Debra holds a Master’s Degree in Education along with a Certificate in Adult Education from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Marquette University. She has been at Dunwoody for 15 years and has served in various roles including instructor, Manager of Dunwoody’s Southwest Metro Campus in Chaska, and Director of the Evening College. Before coming to Dunwoody Debra spent several years in the structural and civil engineering industry working for companies in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and California. She has also been an adjunct instructor in the Construction Management Bachelor’s Program at the University of Minnesota.

She continues to bring value add to Dunwoody by working jointly with business, industry, state agencies, the Department Of Education, the Higher Learning Commission and State and National Organizations to create and provide solutions for the future needs of our American workforce.

Barb Obershaw Bio

Barb started with Dunwoody in 2008. Since then she has used her extensive background to reach out to businesses and the community-at-large to assess, develop and implement custom training programs. Training is tailored to meet business and organizations’ unique educational needs leveraging Dunwoody’s legacy and the “Dunwoody Difference.”

Barb holds her bachelors of science in nursing degree, which led to many different positions within the health care field, including medical product sales and health related training positions. A focus on business and industry occurred when Barb departed from the nursing field and became the president of two metropolitan Chambers of Commerce focusing on economic development, jobs and a well-trained workforce.

Today, Barb utilizes her business and industry professional network as well as sales and customer service skill sets to design and implement training business solutions. Her territory includes Minnesota as well as neighboring Upper Midwest states on topics ranging from technical skills, to green education courses to professional development skills.

Leah Collins Bio

Leah joined Dunwoody College in January 2013.

Leah has a strong background in cultivating unique applications for delivering communication strategies. Her professional background incorporates elements of developing creative marketing strategies, coordinating corporate initiatives, and managing the creation of internal and external collateral materials.

Leah has experience developing and standardizing corporate policies and procedural documents. These areas all required a high level of efficiency in analyzing policies as well as writing and developing corporate forms.

Leah received a bachelor’s degree from the College of St. Catherine in Communication Studies and spent the last 8 years working in the construction industry. During this time she was responsible for many different areas including construction project management, corporate training implementation and corporate communications.

While working in the construction industry Leah began instructing courses related to HR, New Hire Orientation and more focused technical training classes in project management software, general media platforms and policy instruction.

Her cultivated communication skills have solidified her reputation for effectively collaborating within cross departmental teams. Through providing a proactive and solution driven leadership style she has successfully worked to bring about unified vision to overlapping departments.

Mary Zawadski Bio

Mary Zawadski, current project manager, past educator, and life-long learner. Mary has been at Dunwoody College of Technology since 2009 in a variety of roles. Her most recent role is Innovative Project Manager in the Workforce Training and Continuing Education department. In this capacity Mary primarily works with groundbreaking educational projects that link Dunwoody with industry and more importantly the surrounding communities. Mary currently manages the Bühler Apprenticeship Program and the NEW Dunwoody College – Corporate and Community Training Center in Winsted, MN.

Mary is currently working on her Associates of Applied Science degree in the Computer Networking Systems program at Dunwoody College of Technology. She has always been an avid learner and has completed a variety of certificate completion programs at the University of St. Thomas.

Prior to joining the Workforce Training and Continuing Education team Mary worked in the Information Technology department at Dunwoody as a Customer Service representative who solved faculty, staff, and student issues as needed. In addition to her departmental responsibilities Mary commits time and energy as a Kate’s Club adviser, a campus organization dedicated to all the unique populations of Dunwoody women. Before becoming part of the Dunwoody family Mary worked for over two decades at RR Donnelley, formerly known as Banta Corporation, as a quality control project manager.

Mary’s inspiration and motivation to helping people succeed adds enormous value to our entire team and the customers we serve. Her technical skills stimulate new ideas for managing information as well as increasing the efficiency of our Workforce Training & Continuing Education department.

Emily Karboski Bio

Emily is an Americorps VISTA serving as the Communication Liaison in the Workforce Training and Continuing Education Department (WTCE) at Dunwoody College. She is a member of the Phillips Sectoral Employment Initiative (PSEI), a program launched by the Jay & Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota and designed to increase employment opportunities for low-income adults.

As a PSEI VISTA Emily is participating in professional development training aimed to enhance the skills and knowledge useful in the non-profit sector. She is implementing these skills in her position at Dunwoody College to build capacity for the WTCE department by standardizing and streamlining their processes.

Emily received a bachelor’s degree  from St. Olaf College in Psychology, with concentrations in Neuroscience and Middle Eastern Studies. Her liberal arts background and experience working in multicultural environments support her role as Communications Liaison. She will be working to create testimonials of students, faculty and industry partners in pamphlets as well as a professional video. In addition, her strong research skills equip her with the ability to understand and synthesize complex processes which will be applied in her department improvement plan.