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Industrial Engineering graduate puts degree to work in the medical device field

Photo of Dunwoody Industrial Engineering alum Tim TrembulakTwo months before receiving his diploma in Industrial Engineering Technology from Dunwoody College, Tim Trembulak accepted his first position as a manufacturing engineer.

The May 2018 graduate is now working for Coloplast in Minneapolis, a medical device company based out of Denmark.

“Dunwoody prepared me for my current position by providing excellent instruction in several relevant areas,” Trembulak said. “The various classes provided a solid foundation for my current position. I was able to contribute on the first day as a manufacturing engineer because of the practical, real-life learning at Dunwoody.”

Work ready, day one

In his new position, Trembulak works on new equipment validations, process improvements, and process simulation.

“Each and every day there are new challenges and opportunities to make things more efficient,” he said.  “While it is not my primary function to focus on continuous improvement, I am encouraged to think of improvements and ways improvements can be implemented which is something I really enjoy.”

This is the second Dunwoody degree for Trembulak. Prior to earning his bachelor’s completion degree in Industrial Engineering Technology, Trembulak graduated with an associate’s degree in Electronics Engineering Technology in 2016.

“I found the hands on practical approach the most beneficial about my education at Dunwoody,” he said. “I learned things that I could apply right away when I started my new position. Even before I finished the program at Dunwoody, I felt well prepared to start a role as a manufacturing engineer.”

Continuing his education

Trembulak isn’t finished with his education yet. He is already pursuing a master’s degree in manufacturing engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, which he hopes to complete in the spring of 2020.

“As I continue my career I would like to move into engineering management. I am also interested in teaching down the road so that I can take what I have learned in industry and share some of that knowledge and help prepare other engineers for the field.”

Find out more

For more information about the bachelor’s completion degree in Industrial Engineering Technology, visit:  dunwoody.edu/engineering/industrial-engineering-technology/

YCAP Student Profile: Cindi Young

A perfect place to pursue design

When Cindi Young toured the Dunwoody campus in 2015, she knew she had found the right college for her. Three years later – Young is still convinced.

As the third oldest of nine siblings, the dream of attending Dunwoody might not have been possible without the Youth Career Awareness Program (YCAP) scholarship.

Photo of YCAP Student in Welding area.

YCAP student Cindi Young shows off her welding project. The scholarship recipients spend six weeks at Dunwoody during the summer exploring different career fields and participating in hands-on activities.

Young was one of 28 students selected for the YCAP scholarship. The program is open to students who just finished their junior or senior year of high school.

The scholarship program includes a summer camp experience that introduces students to technical careers and helps prepare them for the college experience.

Finding Dunwoody

Young is a 2018 graduate of the Academy for Sciences & Agriculture (AFSA) High School and is enrolled in the Graphic Design program at Dunwoody.

“I took a tour and I fell in love,” Young said about her decision to attend Dunwoody. “I knew this was going to be my school because I never felt that way when I toured other colleges.”

The small class sizes and hands-on approach were also key deciding factors for her.

The summer program began on June 11, and Young said it has been helpful to explore all of the different Dunwoody program areas and get to know some of her fellow students.

Looking to the future

As a student who has always sought out leadership opportunities, Young said she also appreciated the leadership component to the YCAP program.

“I will definitely be getting involved with different clubs and activities at Dunwoody,” Young said. “And I’m looking forward to meeting new people.”

In addition to participating in hands-on activities on campus, the YCAP students also spend time visiting businesses and industry partners to get a feel for what it will be like to work in different fields.

Young is already looking ahead to her future career and hopes to start off as a graphic designer and work her way up to becoming an art director.

But in the meantime, Young is excited to start the fall semester at Dunwoody and take the next step in her education.

Interested in applying for the YCAP scholarship? More information about all of Dunwoody’s scholarship opportunities can be found online at: dunwoody.edu/scholarships.

Dunwoody Construction Project Nearing Completion

Image of the new welcome desk under construction.

A new welcome desk will greet visitors when they enter the space from the east.

From painting walls to installing cabinets and hanging doors, the 24,000 square foot renovation and expansion of the Dunwoody campus is heading into its final stages of completion.

The project is expected to be completed sometime this August, just in time for the Fall Semester.

The new space will include: a Welcome Center for students and families; a 12,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Learning Commons on a newly added mezzanine level; community gathering spaces; and additional collaborative learning areas.

General contractor Mortenson Construction broke ground on the project last fall. The expansion and renovation project is the first phase of a campus-wide improvement plan and is being funded entirely through donor support.

Photo of the Learning Commons under construction.

Private study areas and collaboration spaces line one side of the new Learning Commons.

Image of Welcome Center under construction.

A brick wall with fireplace is the new centerpiece in a large gathering area located on the main floor near the west entry.

Image of the Learning Commons under construction.

The new Learning Commons is located on the newly added mezzanine level.

 

High school grad is looking ahead to a career in the Electrical Construction field

Thomas Taylor won’t start his Electrical Construction & Maintenance degree program at Dunwoody until this fall, but the recent Bloomington Kennedy High School graduate already has a plan for his future.

Photo of student Thomas Taylor.I have my perfect plan,” Taylor said. “My plan is to graduate, work in Minnesota for five years, and then I’m going to move down to Florida and work in renewable energy – especially solar panel installation.”

A life-long Bloomington resident, Taylor said he wanted a hands-on education that provided a focused approach in an in-demand field.

“I never enjoyed sitting in the lecture classrooms,” Taylor said. “I always enjoyed more of the hands-on experience.”

He found what he was looking for at Dunwoody.

“[Dunwoody] was actually my first choice and the first college I applied to,” Taylor said. “I was just ecstatic when I got the acceptance letter.”

Taylor had heard about Dunwoody from his neighbor, an alum who works in the electrical construction field. And after hearing about the College, Taylor came to campus and took a tour with his father.

“I was like ‘this is perfect for me,’” he said. “It took one tour and I was sold.”

The hands-on shops and labs were a big selling point for Taylor, who enjoys the challenge of taking things apart and then putting them back together again. “I love seeing how everything fits together,” he said, adding that he is excited to get to work in the wiring labs on campus.

As for his career choice, Taylor was drawn to both the active nature of the job and the options an electrical construction degree would provide.

“That was another selling point – about why I wanted to be an electrician – I realized you can just do so much with it,” he said.

Currently, Taylor works as a detailer for Luther Kia of Bloomington. And in his spare time, he enjoys spending time outdoors, fishing, and snowboarding.

But even though Taylor has his vision for the future – he isn’t closing any doors.

“Being put on a career path where I know I’m going to have a plan later in life and I know I can be successful is something I’m excited for,” Taylor said. “But I’m also excited for all the different possibilities. Just because I want to work in renewable energy now – who knows! Something may come up along the way and change everything.”

Academic Excellence Award: Donald Posterick

Donald Posterick
Electronics Engineering Technology
Grand Rapids, Minnesota

Described by faculty as a student who demonstrates “a focused determination to succeed and an outstanding desire to excel,” Donald Posterick earned not only the Academic Excellence Award in Robotics & Manufacturing, but he also received this year’s Student Leadership Award from the Dunwoody Alumni Association.

“Donald reminds me that the best Dunwoody students not only challenge themselves, but also challenge us as instructors to push harder and farther,” Dean of Robotics & Manufacturing E.J. Daigle said.

Posterick’s love for electronics and engineering started back in high school when his natural curiosity prompted him to join the Robotics Team and the Shell Eco Marathon Team.

When nobody on the Robotics Team voiced an interest in tackling the electronics and programming side, Posterick stepped up and took on the challenge. He then went on to develop a speed controller for the Shell Eco Marathon Team’s prototype electronic vehicle.

“I began to learn how to program using online resources – and a lot of trial and error,” Posterick said. “At first it was hard, but I was determined, and I didn’t let anything slow me down.”

That hard work and determination has also helped him succeed here at Dunwoody.

Originally from Grand Rapids, Minn., Posterick discovered Dunwoody College while out talking with companies about sponsoring the Robotics Team. The vice president of the local Chrysler dealership happened to be the former IT director at Dunwoody and encouraged Posterick to check it out and connected him with Daigle.

Posterick followed up on the advice and applied for the College’s Youth Career Awareness Program.

“I was impressed by all that Dunwoody had to offer – from the fully equipped labs, experienced faculty, and interesting extra-curricular activities. I knew that this was the school for me,” Posterick said. “I was luckily accepted into YCAP. The scholarship from YCAP made it possible for me to attend Dunwoody, and after spending the five weeks over the summer at Dunwoody, I wouldn’t have wanted to go anywhere else.”

During his time at Dunwoody, Posterick has enjoyed the project-based approach to education.

“Here at Dunwoody the material we cover in our theory classes we immediately apply in our labs to build and reinforce the skills that we will need in the future,” Posterick said.

Posterick has excelled beyond the classroom as well. He served as the lead programmer for Dunwoody’s autonomous snow plow teams, resulting in third and second place finishes during the past two years, among 12 of the top engineering universities in the Upper Midwest.

In addition, Posterick and his teammates went above and beyond assisting other colleges and university teams with repairs to their own snowplows, ensuring they could compete – and earning the Professor Nattu Sportsmanship Award.

Posterick is graduating from the Electronics Engineering Technology program and is planning to return this fall as a student in the Software Engineering program.

After two years and hundreds of hours of software design for the autonomous snowplows I have realized that my true passion is not just electronics, but bringing together electronics and software,” Posterick said. “My plan is pursue a bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering from Dunwoody over the next four years and continue studying and developing autonomous navigation software to be used by our snowplows, but also to create a versatile system capable of autonomous flight control and obstacle avoidance in multirotor platforms.”

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.”

Academic Excellence Award: Kyle Smeaton

Kyle Smeaton
Web Programming & Database Development ‘18
Edina, MN


Kyle SmeatonWeb Programming & Database Development isn’t just a career path for Kyle Smeaton – it’s his passion in life. That excitement and curiosity for his field of study is one of the many reasons why Smeaton was selected as one of two Computer Technology Academic Excellence Award recipients for the Class of 2018.

“I really like programming computers and making them do what I want them to do,” Smeaton said. “And I discovered I could make a living doing it.”

Smeaton attended the Fair School Downtown where he developed an interest in theatre tech. Wanting to give that a try, he attended a community college for one semester, taking classes in stage lighting and sound design.

He liked the field, but wanted to give his main interest a try — computer programming.

Having heard good things about Dunwoody, he decided to attend an open house and soon after made the decision to enroll.

“I liked the idea of a two-year college experience,” he said. “It gets you out in the field faster, and I enjoy the hands-on learning — it’s not just theory. If you really love doing something and you want to get out in the job field, [Dunwoody] is a good way to go.”

Already a hands-on learner, Smeaton had built his first computer back in high school. It was then that he fell in love with Linux, an open-source software operating system.

“My first time talking to Kyle was two months before his first day of school,” said Computer Networking Assistant Professor Curt Gabrielson. “He was so interested in Linux that he contacted me to find out more about the Open Source Club at Dunwoody. He has been involved with the Club since becoming a student and is now the club president. He has also become Vice President of Phi Theta Kappa.”

Smeaton has always liked understanding the science behind what makes things work. In high school, he decided to take apart a large lantern battery so he could turn it into a machine that split water into its component parts using an electric current.

“I get really excited about that kind of stuff,” Smeaton said.

That excitement is evident when Smeaton begins talking about his final project at Dunwoody, which involves another interest — mountain biking. He built a website database that catalogs mountain bikes to make it simple to search for exact specifications.

“I’m kind of loving everything I’m doing right now,” Smeaton said. “I feel like I’ve really grown here. Dunwoody has helped me find myself. It’s really a privilege to get to do something you love.”

Gabrielson said Smeaton is always willing to share his knowledge with others. “Kyle is a pleasure to have in the classroom. He is excelling academically as one of the top students of his cohort, with near perfect grades. He also has a near perfect attendance record and routinely sacrifices time to help other students.”

Looking to the future, Smeaton wants to find a system administration position or a position that includes database work. He also wants to contribute to the programming community and maybe even program a video game someday.

And as with everything he does, Smeaton will bring his self-motivation and his desire to keep improving and learning. “I want to be able to contribute and help other people,” he said.

Construction Management students benefit from sitting down with industry representatives

Mock interviews = real life lessons

The interviews may not have been “real,” but there was real benefit in the experience.

This April, representatives from 12 companies in the construction industry led mock interviews with 12 Dunwoody students in the Construction Management and Construction Project Management program areas. The students walked away with their questions answered and gained some tips and advice to keep in mind when applying for future positions.

Participating companies included: Prominent Construction, LLC; Constructive Builders; H&B Elevators; Kraus-Anderson Companies; Inside Edge CIS; Parsons; Mortenson Construction; Trex Commercial Products, Inc.; CliqStudios/Wayzata Home Products; David Weekley Homes; and Apex Construction & Tile.

Student takeaways

“What I learned from the mock interview was things to keep in mind about the company I interview with – finding out about a company’s values – especially as it relates to the employees.  The most helpful tip was how to focus on my strengths and relay this to a perspective employer and their Human Resources department.”

-Dana Maier, Construction Project Management, expected graduation May 2018

“The mock interview was a great opportunity to get in front of potential industry employers in a pressure-free environment with instant feedback to responses as the questions were asked.”

-Travis Northway, Construction Management, expected graduation May 2019

“What I learned from participating in the mock interview was that you should always come prepared with questions for the company. You want to know what they will do for you just as much as what you will do for them. What I found most helpful was that the recruiters helped us refine our resumes and helped us with how to answer questions.”

-Tyler Fish, Construction Project Management, expected graduation May 2019

“These types of mock interviews give students, such as myself, adequate exposure to what a real life interview is comprised of. You get a firsthand look into what verbal and mental skills may be required to succeed. All that paired with interviewers giving instantaneous, genuine feedback helps me build a platform for continuous growth in my field.”

-Kyle Bliss, Construction Management, expected graduation May 2018