Student News

2023 Student Leadership Award

Jason Hetland, Business Management & Leadership

A dedicated leader in and out of the classroom, Jason Hetland is this year’s recipient of the Alumni Association’s Student Leadership Award. Hetland graduated in May with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management & Leadership.

“I picked Dunwoody because of the school’s reputation, job placement percentage, recommendations from others, and the hands-on learning model,” Hetland said. “I chose this program because I wanted to climb the leadership ladders and gain more leadership knowledge.”

The Alumni Association Student Leadership Award recognizes students who exemplify leadership, scholastic excellence, community service, and school spirit. Students must be recommended by a faculty member and have a minimum GPA of 3.0.

“Jason exemplifies excellence in every aspect of his life,” said Derek Clarkin, President of the Dunwoody Alumni Association Board.

Hetland said that receiving the award was an honor, and highlights that “hard work and dedication, along with stepping up within the community can make a difference in not only your personal life, but in the lives of many others that you surround yourself with.”

This is the second degree Hetland has earned from Dunwoody. He first received his Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Design & Production in 2021, after a career in the Armed Services.

Hetland joined the military after graduating from Duluth Central high school in 1994 and spent nine and half years as a Combat Medic, deployed to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He discovered Dunwoody through Veterans Affairs and has appreciated his time at the College.

When asked what he has valued most, Hetland was quick to recognize the faculty. “The way that the faculty treats us and makes us feel like a person and not just a number,” he said. “The way that the staff show they whole-heartedly care about their students and want the best for each of them.”

Looking back at his time at Dunwoody, Hetland said he most enjoyed working on the AICC National Champion Ryder Cup packaging project because of the teamwork that was involved. “We were able to come together as a team, share our talents, and compete with some of the best schools in the country,” he said.

Outside of school, Hetland is the Director of Facilities Management at Good Samaritan Society Specialty Care in Robbinsdale. He is also a professional rodeo announcer and a peer mentor with the Wounded Warrior Project.

Hetland credits much of his success to his father, who raised him as a single parent and did everything he could to help him become the person he is today.

“Dunwoody will always have a place in my heart, along with the great staff,” Hetland said. “I look forward to being an active alumni member for future years.”