Category Archives: Student News

Fall 2017 Graduates Announced

Dunwoody College of Technology is delighted to recognize the following Fall 2017 graduates. The individuals listed below completed their Dunwoody degree in December 2017.

The Commencement Ceremony for Fall 2017 and Spring/Summer 2018 graduates will take place Thursday, May 17, 2018, at the Minneapolis Convention Center. More details can be found at the Registrar Office’s Commencement Page.

For questions about the list of Fall 2017 graduates, please contact the Registrar’s Office at registrar@dunwoody.edu.

Albrecht Alexander
Andersen Benjamin
Andersen Matthew
Anderson Peter
Anderson Trevor
Beck Tylor
Beery Grant
Benson-Devine Jacob
Billmeyer Kirsten
Bloom Corey
Brown Joseph
Campbell Matthew
Carlin Samuel
Caza Chad
Chang Ma
Dahlquist Aaron
Dallman James
Davis Michael
Dobson Sean
Eisele Dylon
El Hmamsi Adam
Elrod Jay
Evans Dustin
Fahey Kaela
Fanslow Jared
Faraone Dale
Gagnon Sarah
Grauf Ryan
Gretz Jacob
Grzeskowiak Jason
Hajlo Nicholas
Hanscom Marc
Hibbs Andrew
Hiniker William
Holt Dustin
Humann Andrew
Ibiyemi Victor
Janiak Jordan
Jeske John
Jocelyn Jeremy
Jordan Tyler
Jurgens Joshua
Kallies Brandon
Kelliher John
Kloos Brian
Koerner Megan
Kohman Steven
Kragt Saige
Krause Glenn
Kretsch Tyler
Kritz Brigitte
Kuchta Benjamin
Lambert Derek
Langford William
Levine Charles
Lofgren Chad
Lutz Ashley
Madden Daniel
Magnuson Scott
Maupin Erik
McLaury Lacy
McNamer Patrick
Meier Shane
Miller Charles
Miner Marcus
Molenaar Michael
Moryn Jacob
Muckala Jonathan
Negasi Dawit
Nguyen Michael
Nodes Cameron
Novellino Peter
O’Brien Brandon
Ostwald Mitchell
Petersen Andrew
Peterson Ben
Peterson Nolan
Quasabart Grant
Rachor Paul
Reese-Carriger Geoffrey
Rodewald Madelyn
Rodriguez Roberto
Roeun Saray
Rosckes Justin
Rynda Daniel
Sager Amber
Salazar Alonso
Schafer Taylor
Schneider Lucas
Smith Cody
Smith Jacob
Smith Luke
Snyder Matthew
Steelman Joshua
Stoffels Karl
Stuhr Haylee
Thomson Steven
Townsend Xavier
Valley Jesse
VanderWal Julie
Vang Ba
Vang Brian
Vath Rachel
Walczak Joel
West Karen
Wilson Arthur
Wollschlager Gavin
Wright Molly
Xiong Khue
Xiong Pang
Yu Wei
Zentner Ryan
Zmuda Charles

Robotics & Manufacturing students compete, help out teams at Autonomous Snowplow Competition

Dunwoody students receive sportsmanship award for fourth year in a row.

While most don’t necessarily relish the idea of snowstorms and clearing driveways…there are some folks who do. And you’ll likely find them at the annual Autonomous Snowplow Competition.

Dunwoody Robotics & Manufacturing students have competed in the Institute of Navigation (ION’s) Autonomous Snowplow Competition, since its inauguration in 2011. Held during the St. Paul Winter Carnival, the event serves as an opportunity for universities, colleges, and the general public to showcase hand-built machines that can independently clear piles of snow without any manual control.

It’s one of the Robotics & Manufacturing student’s favorite and most successful competitions, and the teams have the record to prove it.

Last year, Dunwoody placed 3rd and 5th in the competition.

And this year, Dunwoody earned its highest place to date when Team Wendigo brought home 2nd place and a $4,000 prize.

Dunwoody’s Snow Devils Team closely followed with 5th place and a $700 prize.

But for Dunwoody students, the annual event is about more than just winning. It’s also about sharing their love and knowledge of technology with the judges and spectators—and even the competition itself.

Snowplow Competition about more than just winning

“All that knowledge and experience doesn’t count for much if you don’t find ways to use it,” Automated Systems & Robotics student and Wendigo Team member Jeremy Berg said.

“This event isn’t just about who can take first place—it’s about seeing different ideas for autonomous thinking in action,” Berg added. “These people are our future coworkers and friends, and we want to be the go-to people to lend a hand or solve any issue.”

That mentality has contributed to the College earning the sportsmanship award in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, and again this year, 2018.

Sportsmanship Award has meaningful history

Created by ION in 2012, the sportsmanship award honors the team that exhibited the best sportspersonship throughout the competition.

The award was renamed the Dr. Nattu Natarajan Golden Smile Award just a few years later after University of Michigan-Dearborn professor and competition leader Dr. Narasimhamurthi (Nattu) Natarajan, who passed away from a lung illness on the Saturday morning of the 2016 competition.

The award and its significance means a great deal to Dunwoody.

“I worked with Professor Natu at the competition those first few years,” Robotics & Manufacturing Dean E.J. Daigle said. “And he loved the Dunwoody students and teamwork.

“Many of these teams are traveling hundreds or even thousands of miles to compete. As a local team, it is easy for us to pack up extra tools and supplies to help teams make repairs to their vehicles.

“We have made it our mission each year to ensure that every team competes.”

And that’s exactly what they did.

The value of teamwork

Daigle shared that one of the reasons Dunwoody received the award this year is because his students were able to help out Case Western’s Sno-Joke robot, which had completely dead batteries on the last day of the competition.

With no safe or easy way to charge it at the event, the team thought they might be out of luck.

But by using personal jumper cables from Dunwoody students’ cars, “We were able to find a way to parallel their batteries with ours and maintain running the battery chargers at full capacity,” Daigle explained. “This allowed us to charge their machines and our machines at the same time.”

Thanks to the students’ quick thinking, the team, which had originally missed their scheduled run time, was able to compete at the end of the day Sunday—even beating out Dunwoody for fourth place.

The students helped another team in a similar scenario back in 2016.

Daigle recalls that at one point during that competition, a school announced they were going to quit due to technical difficulties when another team suggested they, “find Dunwoody–they can fix anything.”

“To me, that is far more valuable than whatever place you come in,” Daigle said. “I couldn’t be any prouder.”

Learn more about Dunwoody Robotics & Manufacturing.

Designs for Steger Wilderness Center forge ahead

New class of Architecture students help bring previous design proposals to life

A new group of Architecture students visited the Steger Wilderness Center in August 2017 to prepare for their semester project

In August of 2016, third-year Architecture students were challenged with one of the program’s largest and most innovative projects yet: to design a brand new dining hall for the Steger Wilderness Center.

The venture inspired the program’s first studio course, Dining Wild, led by Architecture Senior Instructor Molly Reichert and wilderness adventurer and Center founder Will Steger.

Dining Wild

Throughout the studio, students spent their semester touring the site, working with local businesses in the culinary industry, and creating design proposals. And in December of 2016, students pitched three different design ideas to Steger.

But, the project didn’t end there. Instead, those three designs were saved for the next class of Architecture students, who were charged with turning their predecessors’ proposals into one final building design.

Same project, new students

“The second semester of Dining Wild was very interesting in that we were not starting from scratch,” Reichert said. “Typically architecture studios start with a clean slate and students can let their ideas run wild over the course of the semester. This semester required a much more rigorous and focused approach to move the design forward and respond to the client’s needs.”

Students meet with Will Steger to flesh out building plans

With help from Steger, the new group of students spent their fall semester combining and refining last year’s schematic designs.

“It was good to have a starting point,” Architecture Student Jacob Larson said. “And working with Will is really interesting.

“You know what he likes and you can incorporate that into the design,” he said. “Working with your client is really helpful because you get that clear feedback.”

The process

To ensure their final design would remain environmentally friendly as well as respond to the chilly site conditions of northern Minnesota, students spent several days visiting and exploring the build site. They also received helpful information and building tips from industry professionals.

Architecture students learn from a SIPA representative in class lecture

Last semester, Marvin Windows and the Structural Insulated Panel Association (SIPA) presented on sustainable methods of building and how windows and Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS) can contribute to a more efficient construction schedule.

Mechanical Engineer Craig Tarr—who specializes in alternative energy—also shared what mechanical systems and appliances were most efficient and ecologically sound.

Students even enlisted help from Dunwoody’s Surveying & Civil Engineering Technology program. Last spring, Surveying students surveyed the Center grounds to provide the Architecture students with necessary site information to help move the project forward.

The result

Using this information, students worked in separate groups, each tackling different pieces of the final building documents. Groups included a Drawing and Renderings team, a Material and Product Specifications team, and a Physical Model team.

Students present final proposal to Steger and his team

Students then combined their findings and suggestions into one ideal construction plan. This plan was then proposed to—and immediately approved by—Steger and his team late last month.

The Center is expected to break ground later this year.

“It was fun working on a project that is actually going to be built,” Larson said. “It’s an experience I won’t forget!”

Read more about the students’ semester experience by visiting their class news blog.

See the final design proposal.

Students take part in Random Act of Kindness project

As part of the Interpersonal Communications course, Assistant Professor Reem El-Radi recently gave her sections an optional assignment called the Dunwoody Random Act of Kindness project to be completed throughout the month of October.

“The objective of the assignment is to recognize kindness as a lifelong interpersonal skill that’s critical to the success and creation of caring communities,” El-Radi said.

As part of this initiative, several students banned together to do some extraordinary things in their community.

One group of students elected to clean Dunwoody’s parking lot. Prepared with their own cleaning supplies, they spent an hour collecting trash from the large lot.

Another group raised $600 for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico. The funds will be donated to Direct Relief, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a stated mission to “improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergency situations by mobilizing and providing essential medical resources needed for their care.”

And finally, first-semester Architecture students signed up to volunteer raking leaves for elderly residents in East Saint Paul on October 27. Despite the snow coming down that day, students showed up to rake leaves for two residents in the neighborhood.

Thank you to all the students who participated in this optional assignment to make your communities a better place!

Dunwoody committed to transforming lives

“I always thought that I had that creative mindset, but I was never able to bring it to reality,” Mechanical Engineering Student Tommy Dao said. “Before Dunwoody, I never touched a mill or a lathe. And so for me to grab raw material and make it into something that has value, it was very rewarding.”

Dunwoody earns First Place in annual AICC Competition second year in a row

Dunwoody students earned First Place in AICC’s Annual Corrugated as Art competition along with a $500 cash prize, and an all-expense paid trip to the Association of Independent Corrugated Converters (AICC)’s Annual Meeting in Las Vegas.

AICC Competition Team 2017

From left to right: Kris Patterson, Kristin Warehime, and Brann Haugen

When Pre-Media Technologies student Kristin Warehime found out that the theme of this year’s AICC Corrugated as Art student competition was “Las Vegas,” she immediately thought of the Bellagio.

“I wanted to figure out how to get some movement in there,” Warehime said. “I liked the idea of somehow moving the water in the hotel’s front fountains.”

With this in mind, Warehime teamed up with Graphic Design students Brann Haugen and Kris Patterson to design and build a replica of the Bellagio Hotel made entirely out of corrugated cardboard – complete with its signature fountain.

Their hard work recently paid off, earning them First Place, a $500 cash prize, and an all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas to attend AICC’s Annual Meeting.

Building the Bellagio

The BellagioAdding movement to the Hotel’s fountains wasn’t easy, but the team took on the challenge.

Haugen invented a pull-tab mechanism that could rotate and shift the water on a set of gears, giving the piece a dynamic user experience.

“I had to adjust the size of the teeth on the gears multiple times,” Haugen said. “It was really a trial and error process. It wasn’t like anything I had done before, so it was a good learning experience.”

The students also worked with Architecture Adjunct Instructor Stephen Knowles to learn more about the College’s Boss Laser table. With this machine, they could take their replica to the next level by refining the details in the cutouts.

“The Boss Laser worked really well for cutting the water,” Patterson said. “We wouldn’t have been able to get that much detail without it.”

In addition to designing and building the structure, the students had to submit an instruction manual and essay. All of which contributed to their First Place prize.

The team travels to the AICC Annual Meeting

The team will be traveling to Vegas for AICC’s Annual Meeting at the end of September where they will have the chance to network with professionals from the packaging industry.

In addition to networking, the students will be paired up with seasoned structural design industry professionals in a multi-day design lab where they will learn design and production tips and techniques.

“The Annual Meeting is where the leaders in the industry gather,” Principal Pre-Media Technologies Instructor Pete Rivard said. “The networking will be unbelievable.”

The Dunwoody Difference

“Our program has been evolving over the past decade toward an emphasis in packaging and retail in-store displays – which features heavy use of corrugated substrates – and reflects our geographical region’s expertise, career opportunities, and international standing in this market,” Rivard said.

In their first year of study, students in the Design & Graphics Technology department are challenged to find innovative ways to use the state-of-the-industry software and equipment in the College’s print and packaging facilities, including ArtiosCAD.

“[Building the Hotel] was a good review of the Artios program,” Warehime said. “I feel like this experience really built on the stuff I learned in the packaging class.”

“This win continues to validate our decision to concentrate our curriculum on packaging design with an emphasis in materials exploration and aesthetics,” Rivard said.

Learn more about Dunwoody’s Design & Graphics Technology Department.

Siblings continue the family tradition of attending Dunwoody College

Nick and Angela FreelandNick Freeland, ’15 Mechanical Drafting & Engineering Systems, and Angela Freeland, ’20 Mechanical Engineering, saw firsthand the value of a Dunwoody education when their father James enrolled at the College following a 20-year career as automotive mechanic.

James Freeland had returned to school and earned his Mechanical Drafting & Engineering Systems Degree in 2013. He now designs parts in the medical field. His decision made an impact on his two oldest children, and it wasn’t long before they both decided to follow in their father’s footsteps.

Nick had spent a year attending the University of Minnesota Duluth and was about to enroll in classes for his second year when he decided that the hands-on, professional atmosphere at Dunwoody that his father described would actually be a better fit.

“I’m more math-based and I learn better with hands-on opportunities. Plus I wanted a career more on the engineering side,” Nick said. “My dad was going here, so I just decided to enroll [at Dunwoody].”

Father and son were at Dunwoody together for only one semester, since James was about to graduate, but having two generations in one family attending at the same time – and in the same program – is still a rarity.

Right away, Nick felt at home in the small-class environment with students who were serious about their education and focused on their career choice. He especially liked working with the Computer-aided Design (CAD) software, which felt more like a game than actual work.

During his first year at Dunwoody, Nick was hired for a paid internship at Johnstech, a manufacturer of high-performance precision test solutions in the semiconductor test market. The internship continued during his second year and then turned into a full-time job after graduating. Today, Nick is a CAD Designer, Level II and designs components for the company.

Angela was still in high school when both her dad and brother were attending Dunwoody. So when she learned about Dunwoody’s Youth Career Awareness Program (YCAP) at a college fair during her junior year, it seemed like a good fit.

The summer program allowed Angela a chance to explore all of the different career paths and programs offered at Dunwoody. She was drawn to the graphic design program.

Like her father and brother, Angela is also mathematically and mechanically-inclined. So after a semester she switched her program and is now a student in the four-year Mechanical Engineering program.

“I like the idea of being able to design and build something, and you can work in almost any field,” Angela said.

Nick wasn’t surprised by either his sister’s decision to attend Dunwoody, or the switch to Mechanical Engineering.

“I always knew she’d be my boss someday,” Nick said with a laugh.

Angela, who is a member of Dunwoody’s Student Government, is already enjoying the project-based learning and hands-on environment with instructors who have all worked professionally in the field.

“I like the project work and the instructors are great,” Angela said, adding that having a mix of older and younger students in the program has also been an advantage.

While it is still three years away, Angela is already thinking about her career after Dunwoody. She is interested in exploring mechanical engineering in the construction industry and would like to become a project manager someday.

The three Freelands aren’t the only relatives in the family to attend Dunwoody. On their mother’s side, the pair have two uncles who have attended the College — Carroll Gackstetter and Michael McMonigal.

“Dunwoody is a really good fit for a lot of people,” Nick said. “As a graduate, you have a lot of opportunities in technical industries.”

Angela agrees, adding that technically-trained workers will always be needed.

Dunwoody IISE Chapter earns Silver Chapter status

Dunwoody’s IISE Student Chapter earns silver recognition award by national organization.

The National Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers (IISE) recently awarded Dunwoody’s IISE Student Chapter with a Silver University Chapter Recognition Award. Awards range from bronze, silver, to gold.

This award is given to university and college chapters who show improvements, progress, and overall achievements for the year. Dunwoody’s IISE chapter earned Silver this year by adding more chapter events – like the Six Sigma Training held by the Chapter in June– and promoting more overall engagement on campus and on social media.

“We’re excited about this award,” said IISE Student Advisor Janet Nurnberg. “And we have plans to add to our programming in order to earn Gold-status next year.”

Of over 900 university chapters, 10 IISE student groups earned silver, including Dunwoody. Other schools include Auburn University, Dalhousie University, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Oklahoma State University, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Texas El Paso, University of Windsor, Wichita State University, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Awards are given based on a chapter’s University Chapter Activity Report (UCAR). The report tracks student engagement, activities, and participation in national events, distributing points in several categories. Once points are calculated, chapters can earn a bronze, silver, or gold award.

Learn more about Dunwoody’s award-winning student clubs and organizations at dunwoody.edu/students/orgs.