Category Archives: Community Outreach

Community Open House marks another year of change, progression at Dunwoody

Dunwoody celebrates new space, thriving initiatives, and five years of enrollment growth

On September 28, 2018, Dunwoody celebrated a milestone: the grand opening of the College’s new Learning Commons and Welcome Center.

Cliff Anderson, Ray Newkirk, and President Rich Wagner participate in a ribbon cutting for the new space.

Current students, employees, members of the community, alumni, and Dunwoody supporters all attended the unveiling, where they were able to tour the renovation and learn about the reconstruction of the College’s former gymnasium.

President Rich Wagner also delivered a few remarks, illustrating the many transformations Dunwoody has gone through in the past four years:

“Today’s significance is the completion of this project and the recognition of the transformation of our building. And it is symbolic of the ongoing transformation taking place at Dunwoody.

 This all started in 2014, when we celebrated Dunwoody’s Centennial.

Since then, under the leadership of Dunwoody’s Board of Trustees, we have been implementing an aggressive strategic plan.

 With your support, we started the Women in Technical Careers program…we expanded the Youth Career Awareness Program…and we strengthened support for veterans attending Dunwoody.

To attract more talent into our area, we expanded our recruiting reach to cover the entire state of Minnesota, Western Wisconsin, and we are now working our way to Chicago.

 This past spring, we graduated our first cohort of Bachelor of Architecture Students.

 And we weren’t done. We heard from our industry partners that there are not enough engineers…so we decided to launch a School of Engineering.

 This fall, through a partnership with the Stadium View apartment complex on the University of Minnesota campus, we started a residential life program.

 Last year, we placed 98 percent of our students in the field for which they were trained, with an average starting salary of over $45,000 per year.

 These initiatives have resulted in five years of enrollment growth, while most institutions of higher education in Minnesota have seen an enrollment decrease.”

President Rich Wagner recognizes alumni at the Community Open House.

Wagner credited much of the College’s success to the overwhelming support it has received over the last few years and announced the public launching of the Leading the Way Campaign.

“Because of the generous support of key community leaders, we have raised nearly $40 million towards our goal of $50 million – the largest campaign in Dunwoody history,” he said. “The success of this campaign to date speaks volumes about the support this community has for the mission of this institution. Thank you on behalf of all the lives you have changed. Thank you for the passion you share for Dunwoody, our students, our faculty, and our staff.”

The College hopes to move on to the next phase of the reconstruction soon. The expansion and renovation project have been funded entirely through donations.

Future projects include a new Student Center, more student support areas, additional classrooms and labs, additional space for the School of Engineering, and restoring the historic entrance to the main building.

Dunwoody helps high school students prep for MN FIRST Robotics Competitions

Free robotics seminars thrive for ninth year in a row

Sharing knowledge and best practices has always been a focal point for Dunwoody. But few departments do it quite like Robotics & Manufacturing.

For the ninth year in a row, Dunwoody’s Robotics & Manufacturing department will offer free seminars for high school students interested in joining and participating in MN FIRST Robotics.

Ties with MN FIRST Robotics strengthen

Currently offered by more than 200 Minnesota high schools, MN FIRST Robotics is a Varsity Letter sport open to all high school students as early as their freshman year. During the season, teams work together to design, build, and program complex robots. Those same robots later compete for points in both regional and state competitions. Teams and team members also compete for various awards recognizing qualities like entrepreneurship, creativity, and innovation.

Dunwoody presents a Unique Engineering & Design Award, which recognizes high school robotics teams that exhibit unique engineering design solutions, each year.

The free Dunwoody seminars were designed for teams looking to brush up on skills or help new team members get up to speed.

“Dunwoody has had a great relationship with MN FIRST Robotics,” Dean of Robotics & Manufacturing E.J. Daigle said. “We have had over 1,000 students attend these seminars since we started them in 2009. I see many of the students at the competitions, and several come back each year.”

Dean of Robotics & Manufacturing E.J. Daigle shows a student how to program a Dunwoody robot at a previous MN FIRST Robotics Competition.

During the seminars, participants receive hands-on training from Dunwoody faculty and students in areas like:

  • Basic electricity and electronics;
  • LabVIEW programming;
  • Shop skills and hand tools;
  • Solidworks Design; and
  • Industrial robotics.
From seminars to careers

Those who complete the training receive a certificate of completion and are eligible for a $2,000 scholarship if they choose to further their education at Dunwoody.

And many do.

“There are more than 50 students currently attending Dunwoody that are FIRST Robotics alumni,” Daigle said. “These seminars show students how a fun competition/high school sport can easily turn into an extremely high tech, rewarding career in automation and robotics.”

The FIRST Robotics season kicks off this January. Dunwoody will host a free seminar each month up until then.

Dates and times include:

  • Saturday, October 6, at 8 a.m.
  • Saturday, November 3, at 8 a.m.
  • Saturday, December 1, at 8 a.m.

All three sessions will be held at Dunwoody.

Students can register here or contact Daigle at edaigle@dunwoody.edu for more information.

Computer Technology students build gaming desktop for Make-A-Wish recipient

Dunwoody partners with Make-A-Wish Minnesota

Photo of two students with a computer case

Dunwoody Computer Technology students preparing the case of the computer before installing all of the components. Note the three fans on the unit. Those, plus the water-cooling system, will keep the computer from overheating when playing graphically demanding video games.

A group of six Computer Technology students volunteered on a Saturday last month to grant a wish for a teenager with a critical illness by building him a high-end gaming desktop. The effort was coordinated by Make-A-Wish Minnesota.

In order to maximize the computing power, Dunwoody students and faculty sourced individual components for the desktop. The students guided the wish recipient through the assembly of the computer, which included the installation and configuration of Windows 10 Pro.

The desktop build included:

  • Intel Core i7 7800X X-series Processor (water cooled)
  • 16GB RAM
  • GTX1070 Graphics card (8GB DDR5)
  • 250GB SSD
  • 4TB Hard Drive
  • 1000 watt power supply
  • CORSAIR Gaming K95 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
  • CORSAIR – M65 PRO RGB Optical Gaming Mouse

All students in Dunwoody’s Computer Technology degree programs—including Computer Networking Systems and Web Programming & Database Development—take a course their first semester that introduces them to the basics of computer systems, including hardware and operating systems.

Dunwoody to offer five summer camps in 2018

Searching for something to do this summer? Interested in exploring Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) careers and Dunwoody programs? Look no further.

Dunwoody is excited to offer five different summer camp opportunities in 2018:

Youth Career Awareness Program (YCAP) College Prep Summer Camp: June 11-July 21, 2018
For students completing their junior or senior year in Spring 2018.

YCAP Summer Camp is a six-week camp that helps prepare high school juniors and seniors for college.

Campers will:

  • Explore technical degrees and career opportunities at Dunwoody
  • Take college-readiness courses
  • Participate in field trips and visits to job sites

Those who are accepted into a Dunwoody program after the camp will be eligible to receive a scholarship of up to $10,000/year for two years.

Questions? Contact Peggy Quam, Assistant Director of Special Initiatives, at pquam@dunwoody.edu or 612.381.3067.

Register for YCAP College Prep Summer Camp.


Stem Camp: June 18-21, 2018
For students entering their sophomore, junior, or senior year of high school in Fall 2018. 

STEM Camp is a four-day camp that allows high schoolers to explore topics in STEM-related fields.

Campers will:

  • Design and build projects
  • Experience 3D printing, electronics, code writing, CAD modeling, and manufacturing
  • Take a tour of Boston Scientific

Questions? Contact Janet Nurnberg, Industrial Engineering Technology Program Manager, at jnurnberg@dunwoodye.edu or 612.381.3351.

Register for Stem Camp.


Power Girls: June 24-29, 2018
For girls entering grades 6-12 in Fall 2018.

Power Girls is a 6-day camp, hosted at Girl Scouts River Valleys’  Camp Lakamaga in partnership with Dunwoody women staff and faculty.

Campers will:

  • Create hands-on projects
  • Practice construction and welding
  • Build a Tiny House

Register for Power Girls.


 Discover Interior Design Camp: June 25-28, 2018
For students entering their sophomore, junior, or senior year of high school in Fall 2018.

Held in partnership with RSP Architects, Discover Interior Design is a four-day camp that introduces high schoolers to the world of interior design.

Campers will:

  • Study color, materials, architectural drawing, and digital media
  • Work with established, professional designers
  • Visit local design firms

Questions? Contact Nada Sarraf-Knowles, Interior Design Assistant Professor, at nsarrafknowles@dunwoody.edu or 612.381.3352.

Register for Discover Interior Design Camp.


Arts-N-Crafts, Robots & Computing Camp: July 16-20, 2018
For students entering grades 6-8 in Fall 2018. 

Arts-N-Crafts, Robots & Computing Camp is a five-day camp that allows middle schoolers to explore the basics of computing through arts and crafts projects.

Campers will:

  • Build and program robots
  • Learn about Artbotics
  • Program with Scratch

Questions? Contact Rob Bentz, Dean of Computer Technology, at rbentz@dunwoody.edu or 612.381.8117.

Register for Arts-N-Crafts, Robots & Computing Camp.

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.

Dunwoody awards high school robotics teams for design innovation

Three FRC teams each earned $500 for their innovative design solutions in the 2017 MSHSL Robotics Tournament.

Dunwoody Mechanical Engineering Instructor Jonathan Aurand

Dunwoody Mechanical Engineering Instructor Jonathan Aurand

On Saturday, May 20, Dunwoody gave out three Outstanding Engineering & Design Awards at the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) Robotics Championship at Mariucci Arena.

Dunwoody Mechanical Engineering Instructor Jonathan Aurand judged each of the state’s top 30 FIRST Robotics teams competing in the tournament and made selections based on unique engineering design solutions to robotic challenges.

FRC Team 2883

FRC Team 2883

The award acknowledges that while winning the tournament is a major achievement, innovation can come from creative thinking, experimentation, failure, and budgetary and/or engineering constraints. Each of the winning teams took home a trophy and a check for $500.

FRC Team 4198

FRC Team 4198

Congratulations to the following high school FIRST Robotics teams for earning the Outstanding Engineering & Design Award:

  • Team 2883 Warroad High School
  • Team 4198 Waconia Senior High School
  • Team 5172 Greenbush-Middle River
FRC Team 5172

FRC Team 5172

Dunwoody has been a friend and sponsor of the Minnesota State High School League’s FIRST Robotics competition for several years. This is the third year that Dunwoody has given out the Outstanding Engineering & Design Awards.

Architecture Students Present Design Proposals for Steger Wilderness Center Dining Hall

In August 2016, third-year Architecture students were asked to help design a brand new dining hall for the Steger Wilderness Center, an ecologically-focused building devoted to sustainability education and climate change solution.

Splitting into three groups, the students spent their fall semester studying the land, documenting their experience, creating schematic designs of the hall, designing 3D digital models and building full-scale detail models of the building. Birchwood Café’s Chef Marshall Paulson even critiqued the students designs.

In December 2016, students presented their design proposals to students, faculty, Will Steger, and members of the design faculty.

These are their final designs.

 

 

Dunwoody students give back for the holidays

This holiday season, Dunwoody’s Student Government Association is focusing on giving back to the community and families in need.

IMG_9312 copyIn addition to overseeing clubs and organizations on campus, Dunwoody College of Technology’s Student Government Association (SGA) focuses much of its efforts on volunteerism and giving back to the community.

In September, SGA volunteered with Feed My Starving Children. The students packed 136 boxes of food that would provide 29,376 meals to children in Haiti. And in November, the students spent time at Ebenezer Care Center where they played bingo with the residents of the nursing home.

“We’re representing the student body and being in a leadership role, I think it’s crucial to give back to the community,” SGA President Danial Hannover said. “Volunteering and doing a little extra is all a part of being a leader.”

SGA hosts holiday drives for families in need

In addition to volunteering their time, SGA organized several drives to benefit families in need this holiday season.

With Thanksgiving in mind, SGA held a food drive throughout the month of November. The drive benefitted The Food Group, a full-service food bank with over 200 hunger relief partners throughout Minnesota. The Food Group provides free food, access to bulk food purchasing, and food drive programs to communities throughout the state.

By the end of the drive, SGA collected enough food items from the Dunwoody community to fill a 55-gallon barrel.

This month, SGA is focusing on the winter holidays by collecting winter clothing and gear donations for the Salvation Army. They’re also holding a competition to see which academic department can raise the most toys to benefit Toys for Tots.

The Association will be collecting winter clothing and gear until Friday, Dec. 23. Academic departments will be collecting toys for Toys for Tots until Friday, Dec. 16. Winners of the Toys for Tots drive will be announced on Monday, Dec. 19.

“There’s a lot of families out there in need – especially during the holiday season,” SGA member Tommy Dao said. “We take a lot of things for granted, and we want to give a helping hand whenever we can.”

Learn more about SGA.