Category Archives: Events

Tiara Hill named YCAP Leon Rankin Award recipient at year-end celebration

Hill is also the recipient of the 2017 Academic Excellence Award for the Robotics & Manufacturing Department and the Alumni Board of Managers 2017 Leadership Award.

Tiara Hill with YCAP's Associate Director of Special Initiatives Peggy Quam

Tiara Hill with YCAP’s Associate Director of Special Initiatives Peggy Quam

Earlier this month, Tiara Hill was named the recipient of the 2017 Dunwoody College of Technology Leon Rankin Award at the year-end YCAP graduation reception. Hill recently graduated with an associate’s degree in Welding & Metal Fabrication.

The Leon Rankin Award is given to a Dunwoody Youth Career Awareness Program (YCAP) student who shows academic excellence by maintaining a GPA of 2.5 or higher, has a 100% attendance record at all YCAP events, and acts as a mentor to their fellow students both in YCAP and in the classroom.

The award is named in honor of Leon Adam Rankin, Jr. After moving to Minnesota in 1958, Rankin attended Dunwoody College, earning an Electrician Journeyman License. He became a Master Electrician and contractor in 1968. He was a respected citizen, civil rights activist, businessman, teacher, family and marriage counselor, and one of two African-American Master Electricians in Minnesota. Rankin and former Dunwoody President Warren Phillips co-created YCAP in 1988 to provide enhanced career opportunities for under-represented youth by empowering them to graduate from high school and obtain a degree from Dunwoody.

A graduate of Park Center Senior High School, Hill wasn’t sure if she would be able to attend college. She had applied for a number of scholarships, but none of them had worked out. So when a case manager at a local non-profit suggested Hill apply for the YCAP scholarship at Dunwoody, she was skeptical.

“Before Dunwoody, college was nothing but a dream for me,” Hill said. “I really think this was the best decision I ever made.”

As a first-generation college student, Hill has made great strides in her education, now serving as a mentor to other YCAP members. Hill was also a student worker in the Welding Shop and testified before the Minnesota Legislature on behalf of YCAP to provide background on a bill that would give grants to pilot programs in Ramsey County focused on serving girls of color.

Hill is also the recipient of the 2017 Academic Excellence Award for the Robotics & Manufacturing Department and the Alumni Board of Managers 2017 Leadership Award.

Former YCAP student and program manager speaks at celebration

In addition to awarding the Leon Rankin Award, the year-end YCAP celebration is a time for students to reflect on their success and gear up for their future. So it was fitting that the guest speaker for the event was YCAP alum and former YCAP Program Manager Benito Matias.

From left to right: Vice President of Enrollment Management Cindy Olson, Principal of Ascension Catholic School Benito Matias, and Associate Director of Special Initiatives Peggy Quam

From left to right: Vice President of Enrollment Management Cindy Olson, Principal of Ascension Catholic School Benito Matias, and YCAP’s Associate Director of Special Initiatives Peggy Quam

Matias graduated from Patrick Henry High School and came to Dunwoody on a YCAP scholarship. After graduating from Dunwoody, Matias went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Technology from Bemidji State University.

Although his studies are in technology, Matias has spent the last 25 years in the field of education.

Matias’s educational work has included being a Dunwoody Instructor, a Minneapolis Public School District teacher, the YCAP program manager, and the Executive Director of MetroTech Career Academy. He currently serves as the Principal of Ascension Catholic School in Minneapolis.

Learn more about Dunwoody’s YCAP program at dunwoody.edu.

Dunwoody College Spring 2017 Commencement

Whether you’re a graduate or an attendee, here’s what you need to know about the event on Saturday.

The Dunwoody College of Technology Spring 2017 Commencement is this Saturday. And the College could not be more excited to celebrate its graduates’ success.

Whether you’re a graduate or an attendee, here’s what to expect over the weekend:

Graduate Reception

Date: Friday, May 19
Time: 5-7:30 p.m.
Location: Dunwoody College of Technology campus

Family at Graduate ReceptionGraduates and their friends and family are invited to the Graduate Reception on Friday, May 19, to relax and celebrate their success before the Commencement Ceremony on Saturday. During the reception, graduates are encouraged to show their friends and family their work, the campus, and introduce them to their instructors. Hors d’oeuvres will be served.

Commencement Ceremony

Date: Saturday, May 20
Time: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Location: Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55403

Group photo at Graduation

Schedule of events:
10 a.m. Graduates must check-in at Exhibit Hall B. Doors to the Auditorium will open for guests.
10:40 a.m. Graduates will begin lining up for processional in Exhibit Hall B.
11 a.m. Graduation processional begins.
About 1 p.m. The Commencement Ceremony will come to a close.

Parking and Driving Directions

The preferred parking ramp is the 3rd avenue Convention Center (600) ramp. For more information on parking and for driving directions, visit minneapolisconventioncenter.com.

Ticket Information:

Tickets are not required for the event, and there is no limit to the number of guests you may bring. Large groups of guests wishing to sit together are encouraged to arrive early.

Special Accommodations:

Dunwoody strives to accommodate participants or guests with special needs. Please note that wheelchair accessible seats are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Wheelchairs and scooters may be rented for Commencement from The Mobility Shop. The Mobility Shop recommends reserving your equipment online at themobilityshop.com in advance to ensure its availability. All equipment is picked up and returned on-site at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Cameras

Guests are welcome to bring cameras to Commencement, however; they may only take pictures from their seats and should not disturb those around them Only official photographers will be permitted in the graduates’ area or in the area around the stage.

Professional photos will be taken during the ceremony. Proofs can be viewed and photos ordered at gradimages.com. Grad Images will send proofs to the graduates’ personal email.

Visit dunwoody.edu for more information about Commencement. If you have any further questions, email the Registrar’s Office at registrar@dunwoody.edu.

Celebrate your success!
Family at Graduation

The Minneapolis Convention Center is centrally located and nearby many restaurants and activities to help you celebrate your great achievements. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

Nearby restaurants: 

Brit’s Pub & Eating Establishment
1110 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Butcher & the Boar
1121 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Hell’s Kitchen
80 S 9t St
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Hen House Eatery
114 South 8th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55402

Manny’s Steakhouse
825 Marquette Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Activities:

Visit exploreminnesota.com for more ideas on what to do in the Twin Cities area.

 

Dunwoody’s Academic Regalia

As the faculty and graduates enter, they will be wearing academic regalia. This practice dates back to the 12th and 13th centuries when universities in Europe were first taking shape.

Originally, academic regalia was worn at all times by the faculty and students, but, for practical reasons, it is now worn mainly at college commencements.

The standard academic dress includes a robe, some type of cap (usually a mortarboard) and a hood. A tassel is worn on the cap, and after the degrees are awarded, the students move the tassel from the right to the left to indicate their status as a graduate.

There are several variations of regalia based on student achievements. In addition to the traditional red cap and gown, here’s what you might also see at Commencement:

PTK Regalia

A yellow stole and tassel means that a student was inducted into PTK, the College’s national honor society. These graduates are recognized for their outstanding academic achievement by earning a minimum GPA of 3.5. Once inducted into PTK, these students maintained a 3.25 GPA and conducted a minimum of three hours of community service each semester.

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If a graduate is wearing gold cords over their robe, this means they’re graduating Summa Cum Laude. These are students who have attained a cumulative grade point average of 3.9 or better.

IMG_2028If a graduate is wearing silver cords over their robe, this means they’re graduating Magna Cum Laude. These are students who have attained a cumulative grade point average of 3.70 to 3.89.

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If a graduate is wearing white cords over their robe, this means they’re graduating Cum Laude. These are students who have attained a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 to 3.69.

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Red, white, and blue tassels indicate that the gradate is serving in the military or is a veteran.

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Today’s bachelor’s degree candidates are wearing hoods with a black shell silk-lined in silver and red, representing the colors of Dunwoody. The graduates’ academic majors are represented by the following colors:

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Brown: Applied Management & Leadership or Applied Management & Leadership with MIS Concentration

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Maroon: Construction Management

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Orange: Industrial Engineering Technology

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Purple: Interior Design

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Dunwoody also honors alumni who weren’t able to walk during their commencement year by allowing them to participate in current Commencement ceremonies. These alumni are signified by the gray robes and caps.

Dunwoody faculty will be wearing the regalia from their alma mater, donning hoods that feature their institution’s traditional colors.

Find more information on Dunwoody’s 2017 Commencement Ceremony.

Dunwoody celebrates first graduating class of WITC Scholarship Program

Women In Technical Careers (WITC) helps 16 women begin their careers in technical fields

IMG_0581On May 20, 2017, 16 Dunwoody Women In Technical Career (WITC) students will walk across a stage ready to begin the next chapter of their lives. Dunwoody is thrilled to announce that the first cohort of the WITC Scholarship Program will graduate this month.

The program, which started in 2015, was created to help women students succeed in technical degrees and careers considered “non-traditional” for women. Recipients receive a scholarship of up to $20,000 as well as childcare stipends, monthly professional development workshops, a strong peer support network, and career-focused mentoring.

“It’s very exciting to see our first class of WITC graduate,” WITC Program Manager Maggie Whitman said. “It’s been an honor to watch these students gain technical skills and confidence, and now we are seeing them secure high-paying jobs and internships. Those were the exact outcomes we were hoping for.

“College is not easy for anyone, and when you compound that challenge with being a woman in a non-traditional field, parenting, working full-time, being a first-generation college student, and the many other identities and responsibilities these students juggle, it’s very impressive.”

WITC combats obstacles that prevent students from pursuing college
Dunwoody HVACR Systems Servicing Graduate Jessica Hertel

HVACR Systems Servicing Graduate Jessica Hertel

HVACR Systems Servicing student Jessica Hertel knows about juggling responsibilities well. A mother of two, Hertel shared that deciding to pursue post-secondary education wasn’t an easy decision.

“When I first applied for college, I was so incredibly nervous. I decided and undecided thousands of times. I didn’t know if I could actually do it,” Hertel said.

But after learning about the other women who would be a part of the cohort and the additional childcare support services WITC would provide, Hertel said she was sold.

“After I spoke with Maggie, I was so excited and ready to be here because I knew that no matter what happens I will have a group of women who support me—even if it’s just emotionally. Knowing that someone would be there was really essential for me.”

Dunwoody Automotive Service Technology Graduate Beverly White

Automotive Service Technology Graduate Beverly White

Scholarship dollars are what ultimately allowed Automotive Service & Technology Student Beverly White to attend Dunwoody—her first choice for college.

“Growing up, my parents never really showed a particular interest in school,” White said. “When I got older I had to find self-interest in school. I joined a college readiness program in high school, and we toured colleges all over Minnesota. To me, college was naturally just the next step after high school. I figured if I wasn’t 100% sure on what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, a more mature learning environment might help me narrow down my options.”

White found that learning environment at Dunwoody, but other schools with lower tuition were tempting. When White learned she was accepted into the scholarship program, her dream of attending Dunwoody became a reality.

“The WITC program alone is what [allowed me] to attend Dunwoody,” White said. “I was definitely interested, but I was weighing my options with other schools that I had close to full scholarships to, or a school I wouldn’t have to take out many loans for.

“When I received the [acceptance] email from Maggie, my decision was made,” she said.

Workshops prepare students for their careers, life after college
Dunwoody Web Programming & Database Development Graduate Siri Springer

Web Programming & Database Development Graduate Siri Springer

In addition to emotional and financial support while at Dunwoody, WITC also helps women prepare for life after college.

Every month the cohort meets to touch on different professional development topics that will help them navigate workplaces where few women work. Past workshop topics have included interview preparation, public speaking, interpersonal savviness, and workplace rights such as Equal Opportunity.

During their first year of the program, students were also paired with a local, successful woman in the same profession. This partnership allowed the cohort to see first-hand that enjoying—and thriving in—a typically male-dominated profession is completely possible.

Web Programming & Database Development student Siri Springer shared that these various workshops and presentations have helped her to “feel more at ease” about entering a field with few woman.

“It’s made me feel not so stressed about it,” Springer said. “It’s totally okay, and I have the impression that I’m the one probably making a bigger deal out of it. I just go on with my day and [know that no-one] is going to single me out.”

Workshops and various speakers have also helped Engineering Drafting & Design student Jazmine Darden to feel more informed and prepared for future life events like budgeting income and purchasing a home.

Dunwoody Engineering Drafting & Design Graduate Jazmine Darden

Engineering Drafting & Design Graduate Jazmine Darden

“You learn things that you don’t learn in the classroom,” Darden said. “It’s a time to talk about the things that we don’t think about day-to-day.”

Whitman shared that the goal of each activity—and the program as a whole—was to help women gain confidence in themselves, their work, and their career paths. And as the first cohort prepares to graduate, she believes that not only have they learned to believe in themselves, they’ve inspired others to do the same.

WITC graduates leave their marks at Dunwoody

“In the scholarship essays that they wrote two years ago, many of the women in the WITC program said they hoped to one day be role models for other women and girls,” Whitman said.

And whether they realize it or not they have done just that. Over the past two years, these students have seized opportunities to speak at events for young girls, be interviewed for news articles, testify before the Minnesota legislature, promote technical education in high schools, attend conferences, and mentor new Dunwoody students.

“I am proud of the tenacity of this group of students,” she said. “I know they will continue to pay it forward and shift perceptions surrounding women and the kinds of work we can do.”

Hertel, White, Springer, and Darden will graduate on May 20, 2017, at 11 a.m. The Commencement Ceremony will be held at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Learn more about Dunwoody Commencement.

Apply for WITC.

Mock Interviews gear Dunwoody students up for life after college

Youth Career Awareness Program (YCAP) students learn many life skills during their monthly workshops. The latest month: how to interview for a job.

IMG_0989On Thursday, April 6, Dunwoody College of Technology Youth Career Awareness Program (YCAP) students brushed off their résumés and prepared for mock interview sessions with the City of Lakes Rotary Club.

The Rotary Club has been conducting mock interviews with YCAP students for several years.

“This is one of the Rotary Club’s projects that they really take great pride in,” said Associate Director of Special Initiatives, YCAP Peggy Quam. “It’s their way to give back and stay connected to YCAP.”

YCAP students find mock interviews a valuable learning experience

IMG_1036The mock interviews took place in the College’s Decker Auditorium where each student was paired up with a Rotary Club member for 25 minutes. During that time, students conducted an informational interview and then collected feedback from their partner on their skills. Students interviewed with three different professionals throughout the evening.

“It was a really good learning experience for us,” YCAP student Donald Posterick said. “It was good for getting used to how to act in an interview and strengthening the skills I need to talk to people.”

IMG_0979YCAP Student Erik Ernst had only done a few interviews in the past, and those interviewers hadn’t offered any feedback. “So it was interesting to hear what I had done well and what I needed to work on in the future,” Ernst said.

Preparing for a mock interview

To prepare, students were asked to refine their résumé with Associate Director of Career Services Rob Borchardt.

Borchardt works one-on-one with students every day to make sure they feel confident for their upcoming interviews and their résumés are attractive to employers.

IMG_0982“A well-written résumé is the key to a job interview, so it’s vital that students are able to communicate their skills, experience, and strengths,” Borchardt said. “Dunwoody students are top candidates and a great resume provides a major leg up in any of our students’ job searches.”

About YCAP

Since 1988, Dunwoody College’s YCAP has helped more than 1,300 students gain access to a college education.

YCAP’s mission is to enhance the career opportunities of underrepresented youth by empowering them to graduate from high school and earn a degree from Dunwoody.

YCAP students complete a six-week paid summer internship filled with career exploration, field trips, and college-readiness courses. After the camp, students are eligible for a $20,000 scholarship to attend Dunwoody.

Learn more at dunwoody.edu/ycap.

Polar Explorer Will Steger to Keynote Dunwoody College 2017 Commencement

Will Steger headshotDunwoody College of Technology is pleased to announce that Will Steger– environmentalist, author, educator, and explorer–will be the keynote speaker at the College’s Commencement on Saturday, May 20, at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Steger is known for his numerous polar expeditions, deep understanding of the environment, and his efforts to raise international awareness to environmental threats. Steger has been an eyewitness to climate change. He has traveled tens of thousands of miles over 50 years leading teams on some of the most significant polar expeditions in history.

Steger received his B.S. in Geology and M.A. in Education at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN. Steger joined Amelia Earhart, Robert Peary and Roald Amundsen in receiving the National Geographic Society’s prestigious John Oliver La Gorce Medal in 1995. In 1996, he became the National Geographic Society’s first Explorer-in-Residence. He has received the Explorers Club Finn Ronne Memorial and Lowell Thomas Awards and the Lindbergh Award. Steger is the author of four books: Over the Top of the World, Crossing Antarctica, North to the Pole, and Saving the Earth and has received several Honorary Doctorate degrees.

Steger is the founder of two nonprofits, the Will Steger Wilderness Center in Ely, MN, dedicated to innovation and leadership in a wilderness setting; and Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy, headquartered in Minneapolis, with a focus on engaging educators, youth, and communities in solutions to climate change.

 

Engineering Drafting & Design graduate Danny Treat to speak at Dunwoody Commencement

2017 Commencement student speaker Danny TreatDunwoody College of Technology is pleased to announce that this year’s student speaker for Commencement will be Engineering Drafting & Design graduate Danny Treat.

Treat has always had a lot of interests in life –Dunwoody College of Technology has given him the focus and drive he needed to steer those interests onto a promising career path.

Growing up in San Diego, Treat struggled with traditional high school but then found success at a charter school that emphasized real work experience.

With interests that spanned a wide spectrum of fields, Treat explored multiple options at a community college before admitting he just wasn’t ready for more school.

Treat was interested in several service-learning programs available through non-profit organizations. He eventually settled on a three-month commitment with Catholic Charities, helping rebuild homes in New Orleans. He continued that work with AmeriCorps, eventually serving as one of the project managers and volunteer coordinators.

A hands-on learner, Treat enjoyed the carpentry and construction aspects of the job, but he also liked the idea of helping design a project. With those interests in mind, Treat enrolled at the University of New Orleans in the naval architecture and marine engineering program.

But the four-year, traditional college model wasn’t a good fit. “There was no ‘hands-on’ learning,” Treat said, adding that it wasn’t until the final year of the program that you got to do the “fun stuff.”

By this time, Treat had met his now fiancée who was from the Twin Cities and wanted to move back to start her teaching career.

After moving to Minneapolis Treat found work installing closets and looked into joining the electrical union. Then his fiancée’s mother, who happens to be a career counselor, suggested Dunwoody as an option.

So Treat attended an Open House and checked out a number of programs eventually landing on Engineering Drafting & Design.

“When I saw the 3D printers and heard about the program, I knew that was it,” Treat said.

It was a decision he never regretted. “I felt more at home here than I did at either the community college or the four-year university,” Treat said. “I connected more.”

Treat was impressed with all of the hands-on work and has excelled in all of his coursework. Treat is also one of the 2016-17 Owen Scholarship recipients.

“I haven’t had a day when I haven’t wanted to come to school,” Treat said. After completing his current internship with Proto Labs, an on-demand manufacturer of custom prototypes using CNC machining, injection molding, and 3D printing, Treat will start a new position as a Drafter for Daikin, one of the world’s leading air conditioning manufacturers.

Commencement will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 20, at the Minneapolis Convention Center

Two Dunwoody students advance to 2017 SkillsUSA National Competition

Dunwoody brings home 6 medals in 2017 State Competition.

Architectural Drafting & Design student Eli Abnet and Electrical Construction & Maintenance student Matthew Longendyke are headed to Louisville, Ky., for the National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC) thanks to their first place wins at the 2017 SkillsUSA MN Competition earlier this month.

Abnet won the Architecture portion of the competition. Longendyke took first in the Related Technical Math contest.

In addition to the two gold medals, Dunwoody students also brought home a 2nd place medal in Related Technical Math (Andrew Schmitz, Electrical Construction Design & Management), 2nd place medal in Architecture (Reid Schumacher, Architectural Drafting & Design), and two 3rd place medals in Collision and Automotive Refinishing (John Spartz, Automotive Collision Repair & Refinishing).

In total, 12 Dunwoody students competed in six different areas in the 2017 competition.

Abnet and Longendyke will join more than 6,000 other technical education students—all state winners—at the National Competition Wednesday, June 21, and Thursday, June 22.

The event is open to the public and free of charge.

To get involved in SkillsUSA 2018, contact Dunwoody SkillsUSA Coordinator Polly Friendshuh at 612.381. 8107 or pfriendshuh@dunwoody.edu.