Category Archives: Commencement

Dunwoody announces 2018 employee recognition awards

As the 2017-2018 academic year comes to a close, Dunwoody is proud to present several service awards in recognition of the many faculty and staff members who have made a difference to the College, its students, and the broader community.

The following awards and achievements were announced at the All Employee Celebration on May 21:

Dunwoody Leadership Development Program graduates:
  • Andrew Stevens, Industrial Engineering Technology Senior Instructor
  • Karie Johnson, Construction Project Management Senior Instructor
  • John Columbus, Software Engineering Assistant Professor
  • Craig Heinen, Human Resources Specialist
  • Marcus Seraphine, Head Librarian
  • Kerstin Leonard, Prospect Development Analyst

From L to R: Andrew Stevens, Craig Heinen, Marcus Seraphine, Kerstin Leonard, John Columbus, and Karie Johnson

Staff and faculty members who completed a degree:
  • Lee Frisvold, Automotive Service Technology Senior Instructor, B.S., Applied Management
  • Lonny Lunn, Automotive Service Technology Assistant Professor, B.S., Applied Management
  • Scott Zubrod, Automotive Service Technology Assistant Professor, B.S., Applied Management
  • Amber McCollow, Senior Admissions Counselor, M.P.A., Public Administration
  • Karie Johnson, Construction Project Management Senior Instructor, M.S., Organizational Leadership
  • Yun Christenson, Registrar & Director of Institutional Research, M.A., Educational Leadership
  • Mirja Hassan, Cashier & Accounts Payable, A.S., Accounting

From L to R: Scott Zubrod, Lonny Lunn, Lee Frisvold, Karie Johnson, Yun Christenson, and Mirja Hassan

 Building Community Award recipient: 

Reem El-Radi, Arts & Sciences Assistant Professor

The Building Community Award goes to an individual whose projects or efforts demonstrate and heighten Dunwoody’s commitment to cultural awareness being integrated into the campus and community.

Outstanding Team Award recipients: 

The Employee Survey Task Force Team:

  • Karie Johnson, Construction Project Management Senior Instructor
  • Marcy Cheeseman, Executive Director of Institutional Advancement
  • Harry Edelman, Arts & Sciences Assistant Professor
  • Zac Mans, Student Services Advisor
  • Teresa Milligan, Student Success Assistant Professor

From L to R: Teresa Milligan, Karie Johnson, Harry Edelman, Marcy Cheeseman, and Zac Mans

The No Fail Fall Committee leaders:

  • Alicia Stoe, Assistant Director of Financial Aid
  • Charla Hudlow, Senior Financial Aid Counselor
  • Mao Rebman, Assistant Registrar
  • Macy Lee, Senior Admissions Counselor
  • Meera Wiest, Senior Admissions Counselor
  • Mary Rasmussen, Senior Admissions Project Coordinator
  • Allie Dresser, Content Marketing Specialist
  • Amber McCollow, Senior Admissions Counselor
  • Tina Nevala, Assistant Registrar
  • Zac Mans, Student Services Advisor

From L to R: Zac Mans, Alicia Stoe, Charla Hudlow, Allie Dresser, Tina Nevala, and Mao Rebman

 The Outstanding Team Award is given out annually to a cross-departmental team of employees whose work has had a significant impact on the way Dunwoody serves its constituents.

Outstanding Staff Innovation Award recipients:
  • Mao Rebman, Assistant Registrar and Drew Rodiles, Assistant Registrar
  • Craig Heinen, Human Resources Specialist
  • Rob Borchardt, Associate Director of Career Services

From L to R: President Rich Wagner, Mao Rebman, Drew Rodiles, and Yun Christenson

From L to R: Cindy Olson, Craig Heinen, and President Rich Wagner

From L to R: Cindy Olson, Rob Borchardt, and President Rich Wagner,=

The Outstanding Staff Innovation Award is awarded to staff members who demonstrate a commitment to implementing innovative strategies to improve efficiency, productivity, cost savings, customer service, and the inclusive climate of Dunwoody.

 Outstanding Academic Innovation Award recipients:
  • Chris Fulton, Web Programming & Database Development Instructor
  • Joey White, Automated Systems & Robotics Instructor

From L to R: Rob Bentz, Chris Fulton, and President Rich Wagner

From L to R: E.J. Daigle, Joey White, and President Rich Wagner

 The Outstanding Academic Innovation Award is awarded to faculty members who demonstrate a commitment to implementing innovative instructional strategies in the classroom.

 Instructor of the Year Award recipients: 
  • Jake Blue, Surveying & Civil Engineering Technology Senior Instructor
  • John Rogoz, Construction Project Management Adjunct Instructor
  • Andy Stevens, Industrial Engineering Technology Senior Instructor
  • Ken Wolfe, Electronics Technology Adjunct Instructor

From L to R: Bridget Reynolds, Jake Blue, and President Rich Wagner

From L to R: Janet Nurnberg, Andy Stevens, and President Rich Wagner

From L to R: E.J. Daigle, Ken Wolfe, and President Rich Wagner

Nominations for the Instructor of the Year Award come from current Dunwoody students. The award is given out annually to instructors who are committed to the students’ academic success, serve as a professional role model to students and colleagues, and aim for academic excellence in curriculum and instruction.

Distinguished Teacher Award recipients: 
  • Tom Larson, Machine Tool Technology Assistant Professor
  • Richard Thompson, Applied Management Adjunct Instructor

From L to R: E.J. Daigle, Tom Larson, Provost Jeff Ylinen, and President Rich Wagner

From L to R: President Rich Wagner, Richard Thompson, and Provost Jeff Ylinen

The Distinguished Teacher Award is given to faculty members who have committed a significant portion of their career to the art of teaching and demonstrate an ongoing commitment to education and lifelong learning.

William and Kate Dunwoody Outstanding Service Award recipient: 
  • Lesley Arntzen, Senior Financial Aid Counselor

From L to R: Cindy Olson, Lesley Arntzen, and President Rich Wagner,

The William and Kate Dunwoody Outstanding Service Award is given to employees who have consistently performed outstanding work for the College.

Dunwoody Class of 2018 joins proud history

85% of Dunwoody’s graduating class already employed in their field

On Thursday, May 17, more than 480 students walked across the stage and joined Dunwoody’s long and proud history of motivated and determined alumni.

Dunwoody’s 2017-18 Commencement Ceremony took place at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Rob Borchardt, Associate Director of Career Services, reported that at the time of Commencement, 85% of the graduating class was already employed in their field.

“Our core mission is to ensure students find work in their field upon graduating,” Borchardt said. “Dunwoody staff and faculty are committed to ensuring our students are highly employable. This year was no different. We are very proud of the graduating class.”

Student Speaker Gianna Madison reflects on time at Dunwoody
Bachelor of Architecture graduate Gianna Madison

Bachelor of Architecture graduate Gianna Madison

Gianna Madison, one of the College’s first graduates from the Bachelor of Architecture program, was selected as the student speaker. The 2018 graduation ceremony marked the third degree she has received from Dunwoody.

“During my time at Dunwoody, I have seen the school expand, in terms of programs and footprint,” Madison said. “I have seen community outreach become more deliberate. And I have seen collaboration among the different departments become a priority. All of these changes have taught me that not only is change inevitable, but it is also necessary if progress is to be made.”

Madison also shared eight important lessons she has learned throughout her professional and college career, urging graduates to do the same:

    1. Be grateful for every day, and show appreciation.
    2. Ask for help when needed. It teaches humility.
    3. Help others whenever possible. It builds character.
    4. Build a strong support system and rely on it.
    5. Challenge yourself, your thoughts, and your beliefs.
    6. Don’t procrastinate.
    7. Embrace challenges because a challenge is an opportunity yet to be explored.
    8. No matter what, never give up. You will never know what level of greatness you can reach if you don’t give yourself the opportunity to do so.
Mark Sherry keynotes Dunwoody Commencement
President of Mortenson Development Incorporated and Senior Vice President of Mortenson Construction Company Mark Sherry

President of Mortenson Development Incorporated and Senior Vice President of Mortenson Construction Company Mark Sherry

Mark Sherry, President of Mortenson Development Incorporated and Senior Vice President of Mortenson Construction Company, was the ceremony’s keynote speaker.

Sherry, an ‘87 Dunwoody Architectural Drafting & Estimating Technology alum, described his journey to Dunwoody and lessons learned throughout his 30-year career with Mortenson Construction. He also applauded the Class of 2018 on their accomplishments and shared what they can expect now because of their degrees.

“The education you have received at Dunwoody gives you a competitive advantage in the marketplace,” he said. “You will come to business better prepared with a hands-on applied learning experience. At Dunwoody, your educators have worked in the field they are teaching…you have had the opportunity to utilize state of the art equipment and tools. And because of your hard work and Dunwoody’s partnership with industry, you likely find yourself already employed, or soon to be.”

“You are very lucky,” he continued. “You are graduating at a time where the need for you in business is at an all-time high. You are in that proverbial right place at the right time with the right degree. It’s a great time to be a Dunwoody grad.”

President Rich Wagner challenges Dunwoody grads
Dunwoody College of Technology President Rich Wagner

Dunwoody College of Technology President Rich Wagner

After the degrees were awarded and diplomas were distributed, President Rich Wagner reminded graduates that it’s now their turn to build on the Dunwoody legacy.

“We hear from employers that they hire Dunwoody graduates first,” he said. “We have employers tell us their best employees are Dunwoody graduates. Employers tell us how far ahead Dunwoody graduates are compared to other programs. When you tell people that you attended Dunwoody, you’ll hear how wonderful the school is, when I talk about Dunwoody I hear the same. And all of this is because of Dunwoody’s reputation. A reputation built by Dunwoody alumni.”

“…the legacy of Dunwoody is now in your hands,” he continued. “You now represent the best Dunwoody has to offer, and your actions and accomplishments will build Dunwoody’s reputation for the next generation of Dunwoody students. We look forward with great anticipation to hearing about your successes.”

Congratulations to all of Dunwoody’s 2017-18 graduates.

Photo credit: Stan Waldhauser Photo/Design

View more Commencement photos.

Global Citizen Award Winners: Alexis Koren & Viviane Vaaj

Since 2013, Dunwoody College’s Diversity Council has presented a Student Global Citizen Award to a student or students whose accomplishments exemplify an enthusiastic awareness of issues related to working and living successfully in our diverse society. The 2018 award recipients are Alexis Koren and Viviane Vaaj.


Alexis Koren
Automated Systems & Robotics
Inver Grove Heights, MN

Photo of Alexis KorenAlexis Koren didn’t have the smoothest high school experience. Not only did she experience bullying, but she also broke her back in six places during her senior year. She was able to graduate six months early, but couldn’t carry on with her education. About two years down the road to recovery, she was determined to put her shattered dreams back together and go to college. She wanted to prove wrong those who were skeptical that she would be able to do so. One of her biggest motivations for this was Hastings High School electronics and electricity instructor Dave Davenport. Because of his classes, Koren had come to love programming robots.

Koren had a desire to attend Dunwoody as her love for electronics and robots was growing. After touring the College, she knew that it was the right place for her.

While attending Dunwoody, Koren got involved in volunteer work — she joined the Leaders of Today and Tomorrow (LOTT), a program that seeks to help young women become leaders in their professions and communities. For her community engagement project with LOTT, she gathered menstrual products for the residents of Simpson Housing Services. Volunteering is an activity she has loved to do ever since she began helping out with her aunt in homes for the elderly at the age of 12.

Koren is excited to start her career. But she also hopes to continue to help others, especially by being an inspiration to them like Dave Davenport was for her.

“I want to be a mentor for other men and women,” she said. “Just because there are so many people who feel like they’re not good enough for the world. Everyone is worth it. It only takes one person to believe in you, for you to believe in yourself.”


Viviane Vaaj
Electrical Construction Design & Management
Rosemount, MN

Photo of Viviane VaajPrior to attending Dunwoody, Viviane Vaaj earned a nursing degree and then worked in real estate, which brought her into contact with a local general contractor firm. After learning more about the field from the general contractor, she developed an interest in electrical construction design. She decided to attend Dunwoody because of the small class sizes and the hands-on method of instruction.

It was not a career she had been aware of right out of high school.

“I have to say, as a woman and minority, I was not encouraged to attend technical schools like Dunwoody,” she said. “We were always encouraged to attend the liberal arts schools.”

While at Dunwoody, Vaaj, who is Hmong, helped others learn more about her background by participating at the College’s yearly Festival of Cultures. She is also very active in her community.

“I didn’t choose to advocate for diversity,” she said. “It was part of who I am.”

Vaaj hopes to help diversify the construction industry by encouraging more women and people of color to enter the field. She understands, though, that any change is going to take time and will require people working together to understand each other.

“What I’ve learned from diversity projects is that there are so many people who focus on the differences of other people that we sometimes forget our similarities,” she said.

Academic Excellence Award: Brann Haugen

Brann Haugen
Graphic Design ‘18
Minneapolis, MN


Brann Haugen had been searching for the right college for a while. But few schools were leaving much of an impression—that is until he toured Dunwoody.

“I saw all of the equipment and tools available to the students, and I was wowed,” Haugen explained. “And once I heard the education was a more hands-on approach, I was sold.”

Having always had an interest in art and design, Haugen decided to enroll in the Graphic Design program. And it wasn’t long before his talent, dedication, and determination was noticed.

“Brann immediately made an impact,” Graphic Design Assistant Professor Tom Herold said. “His focus, work ethic, and good humor helped create a community of learning within the department and the school.”

During his first semester, Haugen was elected president of Dunwoody’s Design Club.

In 2017, he was a national award winner of the annual Print In America design competition as well as a member of the Dunwoody team that won the American Institute of Corrugated Converters (AICC) Corrugated as Art Competition.

Haugen is also this year’s Academic Excellence Award recipient for the Design & Graphics Technology department.

“Brann has been a leader in the classroom,” Herold said. “He was the last to leave in the evening and the first to connect with other students—during good times and bad. He is very deserving of this award.”

Haugen attributes his success to an inspiring class and always finding ways to improve.

“The most valuable lesson I’ve learned is just knowing I have abilities and that I have a shot,” Haugen shared. “I felt like I was originally living in a bubble in terms of my creative abilities. But working with fellow classmates, and working on real projects, and being able to talk about design with other people has been so valuable. I know I can keep on going forward from here.”

After graduation, Haugen has plans to find another internship that leads into a full-time design job. He also hopes to do some traveling.

Academic Excellence Award: Luke Smith

Luke Smith
Web Programming & Database Development
Mound, Minnesota


Leaving a job he’d held for 15 years and going back to college was a big decision for Luke Smith, but earning a degree in Web Programming & Database Development and securing a new position as a Digital Content Developer has made everything worth it.

Originally from Northern Minnesota, Smith attended Eveleth Gilbert High School and enrolled at a local community college for computer science right after graduation. For two years, Smith diligently went to his college classes, earned good grades, and believed he was working toward a degree. But what he found out after completing his requirements was that the program wasn’t approved yet, which meant he wouldn’t be receiving a degree after all.

Not wanting to give up on his dream of earning a college degree, Smith explored a neighboring university where he was told his general credits would transfer – but they didn’t. To avoid starting over, Smith decided to enter the working world instead.

He took a job as the manager of a direct mail company in the Twin Cities, and spent the next 15 years making a living, but also realizing he wasn’t on the right career path. 

“My son has been my inspiration,” Smith said about his motivation to return to college. “Had he not been around, I don’t think I would have paid attention to how much I needed to make a career change. Going to school and getting a good education makes a big difference.”

Smith had two friends who were instructors at Dunwoody, and they encouraged him to attend an open house and check it out.

After his visit, Smith knew he wanted to go back to what he enjoyed – computer programming. In addition, his desire to return to the workforce as soon as possible convinced Smith that attending Dunwoody was the right decision. So in January of 2016, he left his job and started school fulltime.

“Being older, I wanted to get back into the workforce as soon as possible,” Smith said. “I didn’t want to waste time taking a lot of unnecessary classes. I wanted a more focused approach.”

Smith has always been a hands-on learner and wanted an education that reflected that style. The Dunwoody model ended up being a great fit.

“The instructors are fantastic,” Smith said. “They are always willing to give you any help you need and they present the material to you in a way they know you are going to understand. They really make sure that you are learning the things they are teaching.”

Smith shared that when he made the decision to return to college, he set a number of goals for himself.

“I told myself, if I’m going to do this, I’m going to commit everything possible,” Smith said. “I’m going to treat it just like a job and give it everything I have.”

The strategy worked, and Smith has earned not only a 4.0 GPA and a 100 percent attendance record, but also the Academic Excellence Award in Computer Technology.

“Luke was an exemplary student who demonstrated professionalism and leadership amongst his peers,” said Web Programming & Database Development Instructor Chris Fulton. “Luke would go out of his way to help fellow students with questions and provide insight that he felt would benefit the entire class.”

A peer tutor during his time at Dunwoody, Smith enjoyed the time he spent helping other students.

“I try not to be a student who just shows up and goes home, but to use my experience to help others,” Smith said about being a peer tutor. “You’d be surprised by how much you learn by helping other people.”

Smith said his success at Dunwoody can also be attributed to the fact that he is doing something he loves.

“Decide what your passion is – what you like doing,” Smith said. “School is going to be the easiest if you pick something you enjoy doing from the beginning.”

Bachelor of Architecture graduate Gianna Madison to speak at Dunwoody’s 2018 Commencement

Photo of Gianna MadisonDunwoody College of Technology is pleased to announce that this year’s student speaker for Commencement will be Bachelor of Architecture graduate Gianna Madison.

Madison is a member of the College’s first Bachelor of Architecture graduating class.

This is not her first Dunwoody degree, however. After watching an older sibling earn a degree with the help of Dunwoody’s Youth Career Awareness Program (YCAP), Madison decided that a project-focused education was for her. She too successfully applied to YCAP and was able to earn a two-year Architectural Drafting & Estimating Technology degree in 2006.

At around the time Madison was graduating, Dunwoody launched an Interior Design program. Intrigued by the idea of focusing more on design, Madison decided to continue on at Dunwoody for an additional two years to earn an associate’s degree in Interior Design.

Following graduation, Madison worked as a Construction Project Coordinator for Anoka County. In 2014, she learned about another new Dunwoody program—a Bachelor of Architecture. Just three more years of school would transform her existing two-year year architectural drafting degree into a Bachelor of Architecture, allowing her to pursue the path to become a licensed architect. She had always wanted to be an architect and was already sold on Dunwoody’s approach to education.

This time, though, she would be going to school while working full-time. More importantly, she was now the mother of a toddler and was determined to be there for her daughter as much as possible.

Balancing all those roles wasn’t easy, but Madison has made it work.

“Sometimes I have to spend less time with my daughter in order to work late, sometimes I have to take a day off of work in order to complete a project, or sometimes I have to set homework aside over the weekend in order to attend a dance performance for my daughter,” she said. “In the end it is all about choosing what takes priority, at that moment, and why. The most difficult decision that I have had to make is giving up time with my daughter, which weighed heavy on me, but I have found it comforting to remind myself this isn’t forever, and I am doing this so that I can build a better future for my family.”

One thing that helped was receiving scholarship support, including being named a Whitney and Elizabeth MacMillan Scholar, as well as being able to participate in the Women in Technical Careers (WITC) program, which also offered a peer support network.

“The dynamic of the WITC group has been uplifting,” Madison said. “I was able to meet and be around other likeminded women — some of who faced similar obstacles — and get support on an ongoing basis.”

She also enjoyed her classes, including interacting with instructors, fellow students, and industry professionals.

“I have enjoyed being able to be a part of a team that has designed and built projects that are still standing today,” she said. “I have also appreciated being able to learn from instructors that are experts in the field of architecture.”

Madison’s favorite studio project was one located in a highly sought-after part of South Minneapolis.

“The project site was no longer affordable for the individuals who have lived within this community, even though, according to U.S. Census, most people were employed and had a college education,” she said. “Not only did this project address affordable housing and design, it also addressed common challenges that are currently present in our communities.”

According to Madison: “the most critical, yet fundamental, elements of this project included demographic research, which proved that people are not losing their homes because they are ‘lazy’ (as some would describe this community). In fact, this community is made up of the working middle class. Some individuals even work a second job just to make ends meet. The takeaway is that it is important to understand the bigger picture when it comes to building.”

Madison currently works at RSP Architects as a Senior Technician, where she is part of the Target/National Retail Team focusing primarily on Target exterior store remodels. She is excited to take the rest of the steps needed to become a licensed professional architect (including six exams!) and hopes someday to open her own firm that provides housing and related resources to low-income families.

Academic Excellence Award: Keven Halloran

Keven Halloran
Industrial Engineering Technology
Simi Valley, California


Keven Halloran was looking for more than just a job in life – he wanted a career. While serving in the Army, he found himself stuck in a cycle of deploying and then working random jobs when he returned home. He wanted a change and knew he needed an education to make that possible.

His father-in-law is a Dunwoody alum and suggested Halloran visit the school.

“Jim (Marold) had attended Dunwoody, and I knew how well that turned out for him,” Halloran said. “Asking around I heard time and again how well respected this school is in the community.”

Halloran liked the focus and direction he found at Dunwoody.

“I saw a very clear path that took me from point A to B,” he said. “Obtaining a degree in a technical field would result in having the opportunity to obtain jobs that are very in-demand and well paying. I found some ambiguity when looking at where some other non-technical degrees might take me. But I knew where a Machine Tool Technology degree would take me. After receiving that degree from Dunwoody, it was an easy choice to stay another two years and obtain my bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering Technology.”

Earlier in life, Halloran had taken a few classes at a college in the Los Angeles area, but the experience hadn’t been what he was looking for. His time at Dunwoody has been different.

“When I arrived at Dunwoody, I was given a clear sense of what my possibilities were and how exactly I could accomplish my goals,” Halloran said. “From day one, the school’s entire focus felt like it was about what was best for me.”

The hands-on projects and experiential learning wasn’t only the right fit – it was also fun.

“I never thought I would have a chance to do the variety of things we did during my courses here,” he said. “I felt like a kid in a candy store being able to weld, machine materials, wire-up electronics, design parts, program machines – so many things.”

The dedicated instructors and an educational journey designed with an end result in mind were also great motivators during Halloran’s time at Dunwoody.

“I always had the impression that this school’s main goal was to make me highly successful in my professional career,” he said. “The way classes are designed, the equipment, curriculum, instructor experience – everything felt geared toward this goal. This constant sense of why I am here and what is at stake was what motivated me.”

With graduation now in front of him, Halloran said he is excited to begin his professional career in the engineering field. He plans to continue learning as well and has already thought about earning a master’s degree.

“I want to keep progressing, always be learning and getting better,” Halloran said. “I want to make education a staple of my professional career and hopefully impart that desire onto others. I am very open to the field and type of working environment I will end up in, as long as I can continue to improve and make a real difference.”

His time at Dunwoody has also taught him to keep asking “why” and not accept the status quo. “This is what leads to innovation and continuous improvement,” he said.

Halloran said he was humbled to receive the Academic Excellence Award, pointing to the high caliber of his fellow students.

“I see the caliber of my fellow students and sometimes cannot even imagine being compared favorably to them,” he said. “I see myself as only a reflection of all the hard work others have put into me; be it group work with fellow students, personal investment from instructors, or the love of my family.”

Academic Excellence Award: Tyler Bares

Tyler Bares
Architecture, ‘18
Buffalo, MN


Tyler Bares always knew he wanted to be an Architect.

“I have always enjoyed looking at homes,” Bares said. “I grew up in the same house for my entire childhood. So I know the impact that ‘home’ has on families.”

Following high school, Bares enrolled at a traditional university — one that offered a Bachelor of Science in Architecture. But just a few days into his first semester, Bares said he quickly discovered it was not the type of education he was looking for.

“I was expecting to learn [things about Architecture] that were not even mentioned,” he explained. “The first class was about the theory of design — it wasn’t what I was ready for. I hardly went to class, and I didn’t enjoy it. At the end of the year I was debating, ‘do I change schools?’ ‘Do I change majors?’ Because I just could not stand it. And that’s when I toured Dunwoody.”

After receiving a tour from Architectural Drafting & Design Senior Instructor Paul Strother, Bares said he was sold.

“All of the projects and the graphics I was seeing — that’s exactly what I wanted,” he said.

Fast-forward 5 years later, Bares not only received his associate’s degree in Architectural Drafting & Design from Dunwoody, but he is also about to earn his Bachelor of Architecture degree later this month.

He is also the 2018 Academic Excellence Award recipient for the Construction Sciences & Building Technology department.

“I’m completely grateful [to receive the award],” Bares said. “It’s really motivating and reassuring that all of the work, and the efforts, and the time I’m putting in — it does pay off.”

It’s also validation that transferring to Dunwoody was the right decision.

“I don’t think you will ever find a class or a group of students that are as close as we are — especially in a large, university setting. When you are friends with someone, you care about them. And in our class, that is very evident. We all want each other to succeed, and we all are willing to help each other out. It has created an atmosphere that has enhanced our education in more ways than we can even think of.”

Following graduation, Bares will begin to work full-time at his current employer, Alliiance, a local architecture firm in Minneapolis. He also has plans to travel to places like Puerto Rico, that need rebuilding help.