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YCAP Student Profile: Luis Campoverde-Loayza

YCAP students learning about a local business.

YCAP student Luis Campoverde listens during one of the summer program’s visits to a local business. The scholarship recipients spend six weeks at Dunwoody during the summer exploring different career fields and participating in hands-on activities.

Focused on his future

Luis Campoverde-Loayza knew he wanted to earn a technical degree when he started exploring his options for higher education.

The Columbia Heights High School graduate attended a STEM camp at Dunwoody a couple of years ago, and the experience piqued his interest in a more hands-on approach to education.

He also knew he wanted to study architecture, so after doing his research and talking with friends, he decided that Dunwoody was the right place for him.

Discovering YCAP

A high school teacher encouraged Campoverde to apply for Dunwoody’s Youth Career Awareness Program (YCAP) scholarship. In addition to tuition assistance, the program also includes a summer camp experience that introduces students to technical careers and helps prepare them for the college experience.

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

The summer program began on June 11, and 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.

“[YCAP] has given me good insight into what I can look forward to in my future career,” Campoverde said. The 2018 high school graduate is enrolled in the Architectural Drafting & Design this fall and plans to continue on with the Bachelor of Architecture program once he completes the two-year degree.

A love of architecture

“Ever since I was young I was always thinking about architecture,” he said. “I kind of leaned towards automotive for a couple of years, but I was still thinking of architecture. So now I’m going to pursue that here at Dunwoody.”

In addition to the hands-on education, Campoverde said he was also drawn to Dunwoody because of the small class sizes with personalized attention from instructors and small campus environment.

Besides providing insight into his future career, Campoverde said the YCAP experience has also helped prepare him for the fall semester.

“YCAP has definitely helped me stay focused and on track,” he said.

Find out more about the YCAP program.

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/

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.

 

Dunwoody students study abroad in Cuba

Eight Dunwoody students have another bullet to add to their résumé (and a lot of photos to add to their portfolios) thanks to a recent study aboard trip to Cuba!

IMG_3234

Architecture students Alex Stanley, Celina Nelson, and Gianna Madison; Surveying & Civil Engineering Technology student Patrick Kowal; Construction Project Management student Kate Anderson; and Construction Management students Freddy Jara, Aaron Davis, and Jake Benson-Devine joined Senior Instructor Alex Wong, Program Manager Heather Gay, and Dean Bridget Reynolds on the nine-day adventure late last month.

During their trip, students had the opportunity to experience the city-life of Havana, the small town charm of Santa Clara, the history behind Trinidad port, and the captivating beauty of Topes De Collantes National Park.

Trip highlights included:
Havana
  • Studying the reconstruction and restoration of Havanna
  • Learning what technical education looks like in another country
  • Experiencing different types of food and music
Santa Clara
  • Learning what construction materials and methods are used for restoration projects in a more rural area
  • Learning how smaller educational institutions train students for jobs
  • Understanding how a construction site is prepared in another country
Trinidad
  • Discovering the national influences and inspirations behind the port’s design
  • Seeing the many different goods being imported and exported
  • Learning the history behind residential design and how pirates and weather played a role
  • Studying the evolution of the port’s economy and society

Topes De Collantes National Park

  • Hiking the Escambray Mountains
  • Swimming in the basin of a waterfall
Trip photos:

The College plans to offer another study abroad trip summer of 2018.

To learn more about the 2017 Study Abroad trip, visit: https://cubacmgt1901.wordpress.com

The Self-Starter: An Alum Profile

Meet Vern Discher, ’48 Engineering Drafting & Design Technology

Discher_Vernon1Visit Vern and Shirley Discher’s Prior Lake home and you’ll see Dunwoody pride. A Dunwoody pennant hangs over the door in the den. Certificates acknowledging Vern’s membership in the Dunwoody 50-Year-Club and the Legacy Association are displayed on the wall, next to scores of family pictures and a map showing the couple’s travels around the world and to all 50 states.

“Shirley and I have been truly blessed in our journey through life,” says Vern. “This isn’t a ‘me’ story; it’s a ‘we’ story.”

The couple met on a double date in Minneapolis when they were still in high school. Vern was hooked instantly, but marriage had to wait until after he completed his military service in Germany and graduated from Dunwoody.

Once he had settled into work at West Bend Aluminum Company (a job the College arranged for him), he and Shirley launched their life together.

In the following years, Vern moved through a series of positions that built his knowledge of extruded aluminum manufacturing and sales.

“I was always looking for better jobs with higher pay, so I moved around from company to company in those early years,” he explains, admitting that there were a few times when he tried some “wild scheme to be my own boss” that didn’t work out. “I think I just had a built-in desire to be independent,” he explains.

In 1975, he was named general manager of Northland Marine, a division of Northland Aluminum Products that manufactured marine windshields and portholes.

The company was struggling, and Vern and CEO/owner Dave Dalquist turned it around by moving into extruded aluminum fabricating, an industry Vern knew very well.

With a new name of Northland Fabricators and a new product line, sales took off. In 1979, when Northland Aluminum was ready to sell the division, Vern and plant manager Larry Holen, bought the company, renaming it Norfab.

“A lot of the success of Norfab was my ability to hire the right people,” explains Vern. He focused on sales, and let other people do their jobs.

Shirley was often at his side at trade shows, business dinners and calls on key customers. “She did an excellent job,” says Vern. “She loved people and people loved her. We’d go to a trade show, and they’d show up at our booth and say, ‘Where’s Shirley?’”

In 1987, Vern sold his share of the company and retired to travel the world with Shirley.

“I have great personal pride in the fact that after more than 25 years, Norfab is still very much in business and that most of the employees that were there when I left are either still working there or have retired from Norfab.”

“When I look back on my career, I see that things just evolved,” says Vern. He’s pleased to see that Dunwoody continues to evolve too. “When I was there, Dunwoody was all drafting boards and tee squares,” he remembers. “Now it’s all computers. It fascinates me to go through it and to see what the young people are doing and the things they’re creating.”

Interior Design Summer Camp challenges perceptions of profession

Dunwoody Interior Design opened its classrooms to 11 high school students at the College’s first-ever Interior Design Summer Camp late last month.

Photo of Interior Design campers

Sarraf-Knowles, Interior Design Principal Instructor and Camp Coordinator, said the camp was created to help challenge students’ assumptions of what an Interior Designer actually does.

“I wanted people to understand that it takes a lot to actually do a project. It’s not just moving furniture around or choosing some colors,” she said. “It’s way more than that. There’s a lot of gathering information, connecting and interviewing with a client, and developing an actual design solution.”

To better show this to the students, Sarraf-Knowles developed a hands-on, interactive project that would allow them to actually experience the creative design process—something Interior Designers typically do when given a project.

Interior Design is more than one might expect

Photo of a "brainstorming wall" where campers posted ideas, graphics, notes for design inspiration. On day one of the camp, campers were asked to create a hypothetical exhibit space for a real-life fashion designer. The exhibit had to be realistic, original but practical, and incorporate the designer’s actual branding.

Students began the project by researching the designer and working on an overall design concept. This required the campers to experiment with colors, patterns, materials, technology, and lighting. The students then created a 3-D protoype of the room, and presented their final project and design solution to Dunwooody faculty and industry professionals.

“The project was very similar to what our students would be expected to do here on campus,” Sarraf-Knowles said.

Exploring Interior Design career paths, employers

Photo of campers listening to a lecture at Dunwoody.When students weren’t working on their displays, they were out exploring possible education and career paths. Campers toured Dunwoody’s Interior Design classrooms, experimented with materials in the Design Library, and explored the College’s fabrication lab and print and packaging lab.

Students were also given the opportunity to tour and meet with professionals from HDR Architecture, a local Architecture firm, and Fluid Interiors, a furniture design shop and dealership.

While touring HDR Architecture, campers met with HDR’s Interior Designer and learned how Architects and Interior Designers work together—particularly at an Architectural firm.

At Fluid Interiors, students learned how Interior Designers work with companies to simplify and customize their workspaces. Campers were able to explore the organization’s many showrooms, giving them an inside look at the types of furniture and light structures designers create and use.

Both visits illustrated the day-to-day responsibilities, projects, and work spaces of an Interior Designer.

Photo of campers by their finished 3D prototype of a fashion boutique. “I hope campers ultimately learned what the profession of Interior Design actually is, including what an Interior Design degree is, what can you do with that degree, and what that degree is like here at Dunwoody,” Sarraf-Knowles said.

Learn more

This is the first time the College has offered an Interior Design summer camp. Sarraf-Knowles plans to run a similar camp again next summer. To be notified of the 2017 camp, please contact Sarraf-Knowles at nsarrafknowles@dunwoody.edu.

Learn more about Interior Design.

Need for women in trade careers inspires Rosie’s Girls Summer Camp

Middle-school girls explore STEM programs, professions with Dunwoody instructors.

Rosie’s Girls— a summer day-camp inspired by a program started by Vermont Works for Women and Girl Scout camp programming—launched its first-ever Minnesota camp at Dunwoody College late last month. The camp was held in partnership with Girl Scouts River Valleys.

Photo of all of Rosie's Girls

More than 40 middle-school girls attended, building their awareness of—and their experience with—STEM-related higher education programs and careers. The camp comes at a time when skilled trade jobs, especially those within the construction industry, are in need of more women workers.

Building trades need more women workers

Photo of girl building in the construction lab

Photo Credit: Girl Scouts River Valleys

“Our demographic is nine percent women and 91 percent men, so we need to make that change,” said Heather Gay, Construction Management Program Manager, in a recent Kare 11 interview.

Electrical Construction & Maintenance Principal Instructor Polly Friendshuh attributes those low numbers to a lack of exposure of STEM programs and careers to young students—especially women.

“By high school, most students have already chosen or have some idea of the direction they are going upon graduation—and most of those students never have any exposure to the construction trades,” she said.

“This camp provides that before they have a pre-conceived idea of what they want to go into and perhaps will spark the idea that there are many pathways available to them.”

Girls learn to build, weld, and wire at Rosie’s Girls

Photo of girls holding their Little Free Library

Photo Credit: Girl Scouts River Valleys

During the camp, the girls were able to participate in a wide array of hands-on, STEM-related projects, including building Little Free Libraries; welding sculptures; and wiring a switch, light and receptacle. For two weeks, campers were able to accurately see what a career in carpentry, welding, electrical wiring, drafting and design, or surveying could be like.

“It’s important for young girls to get exposed to the trades and skills early on so that they know it’s a career path,” Gay said in a KARE 11 interview.

Rosie’s Girls sparks confidence

When girls weren’t exploring Dunwoody labs and equipment, they were participating in other physical activities like rock climbing, archery, and team building games. Campers also worked on their leadership skills, participated in arts activities, and learned how to successfully work and communicate as a group.

Photo of girls holding power tools

Photo Credit: Girl Scouts River Valleys

Girl Scouts River Valleys’ staff noted that “by offering girls a chance to ‘do things’—particularly things they or the adults in their lives may not have believed were appropriate for girls to do—the Rosie’s Girls Program seeks to reverse the downward trajectory in girls’ self confidence.”

Friendshuh, who led a number of camp activities, said that not surprisingly not every girl identified with every activity and career—but it was an incredible feeling seeing those who did connect with an activity succeed and have fun.

Photo of girl welding in welding lab.“The trades can provide a career option that not only pays well but can be obtained without a four-year degree. I hope the camp helped them to gain a better idea of what a technical college is and what it can mean for them as they move on into high school and beyond.”

And while college plans and the girl’s professional lives might still be a ways off, Friendshuh said above all, she hoped the camp gave the girls “a sense of accomplishment, empowerment, and the realization that they can be anything they want.”

Photo Credit: Girl Scouts River Valley

 

Dunwoody-built Little Free Libraries coming to a community near you

Student clubs and organizations provide undergrads with unique volunteer and professional development opportunities.

One of the many perks of a Dunwoody education is the abundance of professional clubs and student organizations on campus. With over 20 to choose from, these clubs are more than just extra-curriculars. They serve as valuable ways for students to meet industry professionals, participate in community outreach, and build their résumés and portfolios.

And the College’s National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) student chapter, led by Construction Project Management Instructor Jon Hassenfritz, is no exception.

Photo of one of the student-built Little Free Libraries.Students build Little Free Libraries for BATC

Earlier this semester, the NAHB student chapter was approached with a unique volunteer opportunity: to help build three Little Free Libraries for the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC).

The libraries resemble small houses and operate as a free book exchange for anyone interested. Once constructed, the student-built libraries would be put on display—and to work—in the towns of Oakdale (near Cardinal Place neighborhood), Apple Valley (near the Government Center and the city library and park) and Anoka (near Walker Methodist senior living community).

“The goal is to encourage reading at home as studies have shown that having more books at home improves literacy levels and school-readiness among children,” said Heather Griffis, BATC Office Manager and project coordinator.

Photo of Dunwoody students working on the Little Free Library

Photo Credit: Builders Association of Twin Cities

“BATC’s relationship with Dunwoody and the Construction department at Dunwoody has always been good. It’s important to us to work with our members. We thought this was a good opportunity for the students at Dunwoody to do something fun while working on their degree.”

NAHB members and project volunteers John Jeske, John Bautch and Bradley Toenges agreed, jumping right in to the project.

Student activities promote professional development

Hassenfritz said that throughout the project Jeske, Bautch, and Toenges were able to enhance their building and project management skills.

“We were provided with two designs for the libraries and then were able to design the third one ourselves,” Hassenfritz explained. “Students had to learn to read and understand the build plans so that they could cut and assemble the houses.”

The students were also able expand their knowledge of a variety of different hand and power tools.

Photo of one of the Little Free Libraries.“Participating in the student chapter of the NAHB has a lot of benefits for students,” Hassenfritz said. “Through the club they have access to networking events, trade shows and many other experiences that other students don’t.”

“This gives them the opportunity to meet and talk with people in the residential construction field. These connections they make can open up opportunities for internships and full-time employment,” he said.

Learn more

The libraries are currently in their final building stages. Upon completion, the finished houses will be sent back to the BATC for painting and decorating. The finished products are expected to be installed by the end of the summer.

Learn more about where these libraries can be found.

Learn more about Construction Management.