Scott Gunderson: 2017 Outstanding Educator

"Welcome to management, the world of gray." -- Scott Gunderson
"Welcome to management, the world of gray." -- Scott Gunderson

Business management instructor has taught at DCTC for 16 years

Scott Gunderson, an instructor in the Business & Management department at Dakota County Technical College, has been named the college’s 2017 Outstanding Educator. In that role, Gunderson has been nominated for the 2017 Minnesota State Board of Trustees Educator of the Year Award for Excellence in Teaching.

All Outstanding Educators will receive a framed certificate and silver medallion suitable for wearing with academic regalia. The Outstanding Educators will also be invited to the 2017 Awards for Excellence in Teaching presentation during a noon luncheon Wednesday, April 19, 2017, at the Saint Paul Hotel in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Tim Wynes, J.D., president of DCTC and Inver Hills Community College, reported that Gunderson’s selection as Outstanding Educator recognizes his superior contributions to students, the college, surrounding communities and the Minnesota State system.

“In 2016, Scott was honored as the DCTC Outstanding Instructor of the Year,” President Wynes said. “He began teaching at our college in July 2000 after a remarkable career in the private sector. In addition to his role as a business management instructor, Scott has also served as a consultant and trainer in the college’s Customized Training and Continuing Education division.”

Business and management experience

Gunderson brought extensive managerial experience to his teaching duties at DCTC, having served early in his career as an innovative, training-oriented manager of three fast-food restaurants in southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

In 1982, Gunderson joined the security and safety team at a nuclear power plant. Over the next 18 years, he worked in a number of roles, including response team leader, shift supervisor, security force manager, quality assurance manager, training manager, human resources director and district manager.

“I stress the importance of emotional intelligence (EI) development as a primary tool business professionals need to adapt to changing business environs and respond in timely, effective ways. Unless the building is on fire, you have time to research your actions.” — Scott Gunderson

In 1995, he became a franchise manager at a top-tier global security company. He was responsible for the state of Minnesota, including all nuclear power plants and a large number of prestigious companies. He also served as adjunct faculty in the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS).

Gunderson discovered college as an older student with an already impressive business background. He has a Master of Public and Nonprofit Administration (MPNA) from Metropolitan State University. He also has a Bachelor of Science in Management from LaSalle University and an A.A.S. in Business Management from Gateway Technical College.

Teaching at DCTC

Shortly after his arrival at DCTC, Gunderson took a lead role in the college’s Business & Management department. He coordinated the research and development of the Associate of Science (A.S.) in Business and followed up by redesigning the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Technical Management. His curriculum design skills led to the launch of three more degrees at DCTC, the A.A.S. in Industrial Distribution, the A.S. in Individualized Studies and the A.S. in Business Administration.

Always ready to serve beyond his duties as a management instructor and CTCE consultant, Gunderson chaired the Business & Management department. He currently serves on the Academic Standards Council (ASC) and the Faculty Shared Governance Council (FSGC) as well as two important committees, Beyond the Yellow Ribbon and Credit for Prior Learning (CPL).

“I saw credit for prior learning as an ideal way to offer my students at DCTC the opportunity to earn college credits for what they had learned from their life and career experiences.” — Scott Gunderson

Gunderson and faculty colleague, Harold Torrence, received a grant from Minnesota State to research and develop certificate and diploma programs in Multicultural Supervision. The programs began fall semester 2008 and are the only ones of their kind at a two-year college.

Institute of Certified Professional Managers (ICPM) certified, Gunderson served on the institute’s board of regents as vice chair in 2016. He currently serves as board chair with his term running until 2019. He also served on the board of trustees for the Industrial Careers Pathways Initiative. He has the prestigious designation of SPHR, or Senior Professional in Human Resources. He also earned the Society of Human Resource Management credential, SHRM-SCP.

In 2016, Gunderson was honored with the Spirit of DCTC Award, which recognizes an individual who has contributed selflessly to the college mission while showing boundless support for student success in the classroom and beyond.

“One amazing feature of our DCTC commencement ceremony is watching students who entered our management programs like lambs accept their diplomas and leave like lions.” — Scott Gunderson

Gunderson has gone through treatments for Hodgkin’s Disease on three different occasions. The experience taught him that life is too short to worry about the minor inconveniences of day-to-day living. He believes in the maxim: If you are unhappy, do something about it. He shares that approach to hardship with his students—and many dovetail the philosophy into their pursuit of life and career goals.

“Scott Gunderson personifies the dedication and inventiveness exhibited by exceptionally talented educators,” President Wynes said. “His endless enthusiasm for lifelong learning is an inspiration to his students, who view him as a role model for enduring success in business and academia. His love for learning is essential to advancing the DCTC mission: Education for Employment.”

For more information about the 2017 DCTC Outstanding Educator, contact:

Mike Opp
Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs
651-423-8319

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