Giving Kids Smiles, One Tooth at a Time

DCTC provides free dental services during annual Give Kids A Smile

Derek Olesen, 11, from Lakeville, Minn., gets dental work done during Give Kids A Smile at DCTC

Thirty-six kids, ages three to 18, in the Dakota County area went home with happier, cleaner smiles on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013. Dental Assistant faculty and students at Dakota County Technical College participated in Give Kids A Smile, an annual program sponsored by the American Dental Association to provide dental care to underserved children.

According to the ADA, 40,000 volunteers provide dental services every year to approximately 450,000 children nationwide. This marks the fifth year DCTC has been involved in GKAS. Appointment slots were filled within three days.

Diana Sullivan, a dental assistant instructor, has plenty of volunteers, but out of 41 students in her current class, only 12 could participate during the actual event.

“We had to draw straws, so to speak,” explained Sullivan. “It’s a labor intensive day, but our volunteers are excited and when they get done, they say it’s really cool.”

Jamie Hafoka, a student in the Dental Assistant program, explains that the real-life experience they gain from GKAS is invaluable. “There’s only so much we can do on a manikin or only so much we can read,” she said. “Give Kids a Smile is not only about helping others who need it, it’s also helping us get ready to go out into the workforce.”

The students provide a variety of services to the patients, including cavity detection X-rays, teeth polishing and fluoride treatments. The team rotates throughout the day to get as much exposure as possible on each task. “When you’re comfortable with polishing, you’ll move onto sterilizing or X-rays,” said Hafoka.

This year Marcia Kangus, D.D.S., from Burnsville, Minn., volunteered her Saturday to perform fillings and simple extractions. Sullivan explained that patients who need additional care besides services provided during GKAS have the option to see other volunteer dentists in the area, including an endodontist to perform root canals, an oral surgeon for extractions, and an orthodontist who will initiate the first steps of braces.

“So many dentists in the area have volunteered, all to help these kids,” said Sullivan. ­­­

Jackie Olesen of Lakeville, Minn., has had her boys participate in GKAS at DCTC for the past three years. Tears of joy filled her eyes when asked what this meant to her. “This means so much to me. Without this program and the volunteers at DCTC, my boys wouldn’t get the dental care that they need,” she said. “I sincerely appreciate this.”

Daniel, 13, and Andrew, 10, both got their teeth cleaned, while Derek, 11, had a couple minor cavities filled. Daniel explained that the students performed the work and the instructors checked everything.

“They’re pretty nice. I feel like they know what they’re doing,” said Daniel.

Andrew was pleased with his teeth cleaning. “It was good,” he said. “I feel good about my teeth now.”

Patients aren’t the only ones who return every year; volunteers do as well. Amelia Pho, a second-year student in the Dental Assistant program, has volunteered in the past and plans to participate again next year. “It gives us a good feeling that we are able to help families in the community, do good and we have fun while we’re doing it.”

Diana Sullivan extended a warm thank you to DCTC President Ron Thomas and Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Kelly Murtaugh. “We are very thankful that they opened the building on a Saturday when it normally would be closed,” Sullivan said. “It really means a lot us and to the families of Dakota County.”

About Give Kids a Smile

The American Dental Association launched Give Kids A Smile  nationally in 2003 as a way for dentists across the country to join with others in their community to provide dental services to underserved children. The program initially began as a one-day event in February, but has since grown to local and national events year-round. Dentists and other team members volunteer their time, and services, to provide screenings, treatments and education to children throughout the United States.

For more information about the Dental Assistant program at DCTC, please contact:

Vote for Instructor of the Year

If your instructor rocks, make sure you vote so their efforts are recognized

Voting is NOW open! Is your instructor dedicated to teaching? An inspiration to students? Committed to excellence? If so, elect your awesome instructor to be the next Instructor of the Year. HURRY – voting closes on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at midnight.

Log on here to submit your vote.

Instructors are eligible if they:

  • are currently a full-time DCTC instuctor
  • have completed three consecutive years of full-time teaching
  • have not been awarded Instructor of the Year in the previous five years

Once your vote has been submitted, finalists will receive a rank. Top finalists (up to 10) will proceed to the next stage where they will write an essay and participate in a personal interview. At the end of the process, the finalist with the highest cumulative score will be designated as this year’s Instructor of the Year.

To vote, you will need:

  1. Student ID number (you can only vote ONCE)
  2. Name of the instructor you wish to nominate
  3. A brief explanation of why you think your instructor rocks
VOTE NOW before it’s too late!
Congratulations to previous Instructor of the Year winners:

Patricia Kujala | Practical Nursing

Jill Behnke | Early Childhood and Youth Development

Dan Ruzicka | Heavy Construction Equipment Technology

Charlotte Kodner | Office Careers

Mark Hickman | Automotive Technology

Rosealee Lee | Meeting and Event Management

Mitch Kohanek | Wood Finishing Technology

Sara Woodward | Exercise and Sport Science

Bob Voss | Business Entrepreneur

Diana Sullivan | Dental Assistant

Darrell Tangen | Photographic Technology

Bill Eilers | Photo Technology and General Education

Mark Grant | General Education

Susan Johanson | Office Careers

For more information, contact:

Win $200 at Men’s Basketball Game on Feb. 9

Blue Knights Men’s Basketball team play Kirkwood Community College

Date: Saturday, Feb. 9
Time: 4 P.M.
Location: Salvation Army


Join us this Saturday for DCTC’s Basketball Game. Pepsi will be sponsoring the event. There will be free giveaways for all fans in attendance.

DCTC students will have a chance to win prizes by participating in the halftime game. Following the halftime game there will be a drawing for cash prizes.

Come to support the DCTC Blue Knights and for your chance to win!

Remaining DCTC Blue Knight Basketball Games
  • Feb 14, 2013 | North Dakota State College of Science | 8:00 pm | Wahpeton, ND
  • Feb 16, 2013 | Gogebic Community College | 1:00 pm | Home – The Salvation Army
  • Feb 19, 2013 | University of St. Thomas (JV) | 7:00 pm | Home – The Salvation Army
  • Feb 23, 2013 | Metro All Stars | 2:00 pm | Home – The Salvation Army
  • Feb 27, 2013 | Regional Tournament Gogebic Community College | 7:00 pm | Ironwood, MI

For more information, visit GoBlueKnights.com

Library Receives Muslim Journeys Bookshelf

NEH and ALA award 25-book set

The Dakota County Technical College Library is one of 840 libraries and state humanities councils across the country selected to receive the Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association. The program aims to familiarize public audiences in the United States with the people, places, history, faith and cultures of Muslims living in our nation and around the world.

Reference Librarian Barbara Tuttle

Reference Librarian Barbara Tuttle

Reference Librarian Barbara Tuttle took the lead for the college in applying for the Bookshelf. She noted that she received support from a number of faculty who welcomed the chance to include Bookshelf materials in their course curricula, including Wes Jorde, Anna Verhoye and Denise Strenger. The college also received support from two organizations, CAIR-Minnesota, a state branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and the Islamic Resource Group, an educational outreach organization dedicated to building bridges between Muslims and people of other faiths.

“Our college and library wish to thank Lori Saroya, co-founder and executive director of CAIR-MN, and Zafar Siddiqui, Minnesota director of the Islamic Resource Group, for partnering with us on our Muslim Journeys application,” Tuttle said.

Tuttle added that the college will hold one public program as a condition of the award. “We are leaning toward a showing of Koran by Heart, an HBO documentary about Muslim children coming of age while competing during a global Qur’an recitation contest. We would like to have a scholar or expert introduce the film and lead a discussion after the showing. We also envision having a panel of Muslim students from DCTC who could speak about their experiences and provide additional background.”

Muslim Journeys Bookshelf titles (organized by theme):

American Stories:
Connected Histories:
Literary Reflections
Pathways of Faith
Points of View
Art Architecture and Film

The books and films comprising the Bookshelf were selected with the advice librarians and cultural programming experts, as well as distinguished scholars in the fields of anthropology, world history, religious studies, interfaith dialogue, the history of art and architecture, world literature, Middle East studies, Southeast Asian studies, African studies, and Islamic studies.

The Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys is a project of the National Endowment for the Humanities, conducted in cooperation with the American Library Association. Major support for the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf was provided by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York. Additional support for the arts and media components was provided by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

DCTC Library Mission Statement

Our Library will provide informational resources to the students, faculty, and staff at DCTC and assist the users in locating and using these resources. Our goal is not only to support classroom instruction but also provide information and resources for students to complete assignments, and foster the development of the lifelong skill of using Library tools to satisfy future information needs.

To check out the Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys, please visit the DCTC Library or contact:

Jeff Kleinboehl Recertified as MNLA-CP

Instructor exemplifies best knowledge and experience in green industry

Jeff Kleinboehl | Landscape Horticulture Instructor

Jeff Kleinboehl | Landscape Horticulture Instructor

An instructor in the Landscape Horticulture program at Dakota County Technical College, Jeff Kleinboehl recently completed the necessary qualifications to be recertified through the Certified Professional program administered by the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association, or MNLA. Kleinboehl had to pass a comprehensive examination administered by the MNLA and the University of Minnesota. The examination consists of plant identification, landscape planning, sales and marketing procedures, general knowledge of horticulture and practical application skills.

To fulfill recertification requirements, Kleinboehl had to attend a series of continuing education classes and participate in industry improvement activities. Recertification requirements encourage green industry professionals to remain informed about the latest research and trends in the nursery and landscape trades. The recertification process is required every three years. The designation ensures that business patrons of MNLA Certified Professionals benefit from the best knowledge and experience in the green industry.

About the MNLA

The Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association is a statewide trade association with more than 1,000 members. Association members include nurseries, garden centers, landscape designers, landscape contractors, irrigation contractors, professional gardening services, tree care specialists, commercial flower growers, and turf and landscape management professionals from throughout Minnesota and neighboring states. MNLA represents and provides service to its member businesses through educational programs, conventions and trade shows, marketing activities and public policy initiatives.

About Landscape Horticulture at DCTC

Reflecting the amazing multiplicity found in the all-important world of horticultural, this green-standard program provides the technical and business skills needed to succeed as a professional in the landscaping industry. First-year students learn the fundamental science and technical skills related to all fields of landscape horticulture. Second-year students may elect to specialize in one of three interest areas:

  • Landscape Design and Sales
  • Landscape Construction
  • Greenhouse Production
About the new Sustainable Food Systems Certificate

The new Sustainable Food Systems certificate offers a practical, hands-on learning experience in the eco-smart, evolving and advantageous practice of small-scale and urban agriculture. Students will learn how to grow, harvest and market sustainably grown produce in metropolitan environments. This certificate program is custom-made for people with a rich interest in growing healthy and nutritious foods based on organic, sustainable methods. You will get outdoors and engage your mind and body while learning the best ways to grow and sell the best food possible. The certificate will be offered for the first time starting fall semester 2013.

Seeds @ City Urban Farm | San Diego City College

For more information about the DCTC Landscape Horticulture program, contact: