Strong support for veterans key piece of awardPhoto courtesy of David Lancaster
Dakota County Technical College was named an MSCSA Star Campus by the Minnesota State College Student Association. Student Life Director Nicole Meulemans reported that the college received the prestigious award at the 2011 MSCSA Annual Awards Dinner over the April 16 and 17 weekend at Breezy Point Resort in Breezy Point, Minn. More than 300 students and 30 advisors attended the event.
“Earning Star Campus status is very difficult,” Meulemans said. “The college needs to participate in MSCSA events and activities over the entire year. MSCSA has put together a rigorous program.”
Meulemans pointed out that DCTC’s commitment to U.S. military veterans and their families played an important role in achieving Star Campus recognition. She looked back to Feb. 14, 2011, and the Basement Hearing Room of the Minnesota State Office Building. Meulemans, Jason Johnson and Jessica Jackson, the latter two U.S. Army veterans and DCTC students, testified before the Veterans Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives regarding continued funding related to the South Metro Region Higher Education Veterans Program. MSCSA values such contributions to the legislative process.
Stephanie Serres, 19, a Photography student and MSCSA member, attended the awards banquet with Meulemans and nine other students. The treasurer and vice president-elect of the DCTC Student Senate, Serres, a resident of Prescott, Wis., was delighted when DCTC’s name was announced. “We really stepped up our game, ” she said. “This all goes back to Anna Voight (2009 DCTC graduate) and how she helped us set goals we knew we could accomplish. DCTC is one of only six colleges out of forty-seven to be named an MSCSA Star Campus.”
Mike Pues, 22, the current Student Senate vice president and a student in the Architectural Technology program, also attended the banquet. “We did what we needed to do,” said Pues, a Richfield, Minn., resident who will graduate from DCTC this spring. “It was very rewarding to see the students come together and participate at such a high level.”
Jaycob Martin, a Graphic Design Technology major and student senator, was elected MSCSA platform representative alternate.
Meulemans noted that the MSCSA Star Campus program works on a point-based award system with at least 10 points needed to earn the honor. “We worked hard to meet the criteria,” she said. “We are all gratified that the college received this distinction. MSCSA is a great organization with a membership dedicated to the mission of higher education.”