Civil Engineering Tech Grad Working in Alaska

Matt Miller lands dream job in nation’s largest state

Matt Miller CET grad in Alaska

Matt Miller graduated from the Civil Engineering Technology program at Dakota County Technical College in May 2014 with a range of career options and a strong desire to work outdoors, applying his new knowledge and skills on actual job sites. He probably could not be more outdoors than the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska, working on a highway project in an area too remote for cell or Internet service.

Kenai Peninsual, Alaska“I had a bunch of job offers before school was over,” said Matt, who worked as a civil tech for Atlas Foundation in Rogers, Minn., when he first graduated. “The opportunity in Alaska came up and I went for it. I wanted to get out of the office and out in the field.”

A native of Lakeville, Minn., Matt, 25, graduated from Lakeville North High School in 2007. He is also an Iraq War veteran, having served as a recovery mechanic with the 34th Red Bulls Infantry Division. “We were deployed in Basra,” Matt said. “I look back on the experience as an adventure. I used the GI Bill to pay for my education at DCTC.”

Matt Miller | CET grad in Alaska

Matt Miller in Alaska

When he accepted the job as a construction inspector for EDGE Survey & Design out of Anchorage, Ala., Matt was following in the footsteps of Justin Winter, a 2013 graduate of the CET program. Justin, a St. Paul native, set his sights on moving to Alaska while still in college. During his time in the program, he was impressed by the adjunct instructors who teach the curriculum.

“They are straight from the engineering industry,” Justin said, “and are more than current with the technology students need to know.”

Alan Hancock, the program’s full-time instructor, remembers Justin as a student focused on landing a job. “He was bound and determined to go to Alaska, ” Alan said. “His whole second year he applied with companies in the state. Matt went to Alaska on a whim after Justin invited anyone from the class of 2014. Justin told Matt about life working in Alaska and helped him with the logistics of the move.”

Matt Miller • CET grad in Alaska

Even though they both work for EDGE, Matt rarely sees Justin. “We’re with the same company,” said Matt, who has an apartment in Anchorage, “but we work on different projects. I work as the company’s liaison with Alaska and I’ve traveled all over the state. I’m currently working on the Seward Highway project on the Kenai Peninsula. My duties include surveying, testing, documenting and checking on work progress at the site. I’m doing exactly what I learned in college. As a construction inspector for EDGE Survey & Design, I’m the eyes and ears of Alaska.”

Matt spends his free time hiking, mountain biking, and fishing for rainbow trout and salmon. He misses his family—he has three brothers and three sisters, but the scenery of Alaska is hard to beat.

“I’m so spoiled,” Matt said. “It’s ridiculous how beautiful it is.”

For more information about Civil Engineering Technology at DCTC, contact:
  • Alan Hancock
    Civil Engineering Technology Instructor

Matt Miller | CET grad in Alaska


Five days of fun with learning


Dakota County Technical College hosted the 4th annual Teens eXperiencing Technical Education event July 28 through Aug. 1, 2014, on the college’s main campus in Rosemount, Minn. Linda Foster, DCTC instructional technology director as well as the creator and organizer of TXT, reported that the week-long workshop series gave about 200 girls in grades 5–7 the chance to explore programs in the DCTC Business & Management, Design & Technology, Health & Human Services, Industry Careers and Transportation departments. Dakota County 4H and six area robotics teams also provided experiential learning workshops during TXT.

“TXT is a fun, hands-on way for girls to gain a new appreciation for opportunities in technical career fields,” Foster said. “We get the chance to showcase DCTC programs and faculty—and the girls always have a great time.”

TXT2014 Day 1

Auto Body Collision Technology
Civil Engineering Technology
Heavy Duty Truck Technology
Heavy Construction Equipment Technology
Railroad Conductor Technology
Welding Technology

TXT2014 Day 2

Architectural Technology
Biomedical Equipment Technology
Computer Hardware, Networking and Programming
Electrical Construction & Maintenance Technology
Interior Design

VCOM photos courtesy of Leah Dwinnell

TXT2014 Day 3

Automotive Technician
Exercise & Sport Science
Medical Assistant
Nanoscience Technology

Photography photos courtesy of Leah Dwinnell

Photos from a studio photography workshop taught by Photography Instructor Bill Eilers

All above photos courtesy of Bill Eilers

TXT2014 Day 4

Dakota County 4-H

TXT2014 Day 5

KING TeC–Prior Lake High School
Robotics Blaze–Burnsville High School Robotics
Cobalt Catalysts–Eastview High School Robotics
High Tech Kids
St. Michael Catholic School Robotics
Thomson Reuters

Robotics photos courtesy of Leah Dwinnell

For more photos of TXT2014, visit DCTC on Flickr:

Top photo courtesy of Bill Eilers

For more information about TXT2014, contact:
  • Linda Foster
    Instructional Technology Director

Men’s Soccer Ranked #11 in Nation

NJCAA Division I Fall 2014 poll released Aug. 6

Blue Knights

The men’s soccer team at Dakota County Technical College is ranked #11 in the nation by the NJCAA Division I Fall 2014 Top 20 poll. Last season, 2013–2014, the Blue Knights turned in an overall record of 16–3–1, winning all nine of their home games at the Ames Soccer Complex on college’s main campus in Rosemount, Minn. The team lost the last game of the season, falling 1–3 to eventual NJCAA DI national champion, Iowa Western Community College, in the NJCAA Region XI championship. DCTC was ranked #14 on the Top 20 poll in November 2013.

Head Coach Cam Stoltz reported that the upcoming season is possibly the most promising in Blue Knights history. “This team is more than a decade in the building,” Stoltz said. “Our schedule has been top ten, getting stronger and stronger each year from playing teams like Yavapai and Iowa Western. This year we connected on all recruiting cylinders, signing great players locally and nationally. Our goal is to rise higher in the rankings and ultimately compete for a national championship.”

Two outstanding freshman are Jhony Blanco, a midfielder from Prior Lake High School, and Adolfo Barrera-Gonzalez, a midfielder from North St. Paul High School, the 2013 Class 2A soccer champion. As a senior, Blanco scored 11 regular-season goals for the Lakers; Barrera-Gonzalez nailed the shootout kick that beat Eastview 5–4 in the 2A championship game.

DCTC opens this season Aug. 23 at noon playing a home game against Western Wyoming Community College. The Knights host a rematch with Iowa Western Oct. 1 at 7 p.m.

Top image (left to right): Adolfo Barrera-Gonzalez, Jhony Blanco, Jose Andriano, Clifford Adams, Nathan Schram

Player spotlights

Jose Andriano

Jose Andriano

Jose Andriano
  • Age: 20
  • Hometown: Mexico City, Mexico
  • Residence today: Bloomington, Minn.
  • High School: Bloomington Kennedy; four years playing varsity soccer; team captain
  • Program: Business Management
  • Best aspects of soccer: communication between players and overall culture
  • Upcoming season: “We will work hard. Our goal is to be national champions. We came close last year.”

Sophomore Jose Andriano was an NSCAA/Continental Tire Junior College Division I Men’s Second Team All-American last season. The 5’8, 175-pound attacking midfielder led the team in assists with 16. Andriano holds a full-time job while playing soccer and earning a degree. His career goals include transferring to UC Irvine as a business major after graduating from DCTC. He plans to pursue a pro soccer career and eventually start his own business.

Clifford Adams

Clifford Adams

Clifford Adams
  • Age: 20
  • Hometown: Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Residence today: Eagan, Minn.
  • High School: St. Croix Country Day in the U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Program: General education courses
  • Best aspect of soccer: universal language of the sport
  • Upcoming season: “We will be back with a vengeance.”

Sophomore Cliff Adams grew up in the Virgin Islands. The 6’2, 188-pound fullback likes that DCTC is a small college with classes that offer one-on-one interaction with his instructors and a campus that lets him to see his friends and teammates often during the day. Adams is taking general education courses with plans to become an RN or nurse practitioner. His favorite pastime is meeting new people.

Nathan Schram

Nathan Schram

Nathan Schram
  • Age: 23
  • Hometown: Inver Grove Heights, Minn.
  • Residence today: Inver Grove Heights, Minn.
  • High School: Simley; four years playing varsity soccer
  • Program: Individualized Studies
  • Best aspects of soccer: competition and camaraderie
  • Upcoming season: “We are ready to compete for a national title.”

Sophomore Nathan Schram chose DCTC because he wanted a solid education and the opportunity to play collegiate soccer. Last season, the 5’10, 185-pound midfielder was selected for the NSCAA/Continental Tire Men’s Junior College Division I All-North Region Second Team. Schram enjoys online classes and is considering earning an M.B.A. with the prospect of working in finance. His sister, Nicole, 21, a student in the college’s Early Childhood & Youth Development program, inspired him to attend DCTC.

For more information about NJCAA athletics and men’s soccer at DCTC, visit GoBlueKnights.com, or contact:
  • Cam Stoltz
    Athletic Coordinator
    Men’s Soccer Head Coach

CPWD Celebrates Shutterfly Day in Shakopee

New facility represents strong partnership with customized training

Shutterfly Ribbon Cutting

Staff from the Center for Professional and Workforce Development at Inver Hills Community College and Dakota County Technical College attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Shutterfly, Inc., $60 million facility in Shakopee, Minn, Friday, Aug. 1, 2014 (Shutterfly Day by gubernatorial proclamation). In March of this year, Inver Hills received a $307,955 grant from the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership (MJSP) to fund training for more than 1,000 employees at the facility, which is located off Highway 169 and Canterbury Boulevard. The grant period runs from March 4, 2014, to Feb. 28, 2016. Training emphasis is on computers and technology, and organizational improvements.

CPWD Dean Pat McQuillan

CPWD Dean Pat McQuillan

Pat McQuillan, CPWD dean, reported that the MJSP grant was developed through a collaboration with DEED, Shutterfly and CPWD. “This grant took eight months to establish,” McQuillan said. “We worked with Shutterfly’s California office via webinars to design a comprehensive workforce training program. We’ve already trained close to one hundred Shutterfly employees with plans to train another two hundred over the next three months.”

McQuillan attended the ceremony with four CPWD staff, Peter Hoch, Phil Zuidema, Chris Hinrichs and Marlo Miller, the latter serving as project manager for the MJSP grant. Also in attendance from the colleges were Tim Wynes, J.D., IHCC president and DCTC interim president, and Erin Edlund, DCTC institutional advancement director, IHCC and DCTC marketing director, and Charting the Future team member, as well as Tharan Leopold, executive director of the DCTC Foundation. Speakers at the ribbon cutting included DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben, Shakopee Mayor Brad Tabke, Shakopee Chamber of Commerce President Angie Whitcomb, Scott County Commissioner Tom Wolf and Shutterfly Senior Vice President of Operations Dwayne Black.

Shutterfly Shakopee facility ribbon cutting

From the MJSP Funded Projects and Grant Management Web page:

Founded in 1999, Shutterfly has become a well-known supplier of customized photo albums and other personalized stationary products ordered online. Their line of goods, sold direct to the consumer through ecommerce, includes a wide range of products, such as digital photographic prints, greeting cards, calendars, and wedding products. Shutterfly employs more than 1,500 employees, spread across 11 locations worldwide. Shutterfly is preparing to launch their new $60 million facility in Shakopee which is expected to create more than 1,084 jobs during the next two years, including 227 new permanent jobs, and at least 857 seasonal workers annually (who will be hired during the fourth quarter/holiday season).
(read more…)

For more information about the Center for Professional and Workforce Development at Inver Hills and DCTC contact:

New Volleyball Head Coach

Former player Bailey Anderson leading Blue Knights

Bailey Anderson

Bailey Anderson, a former player on the women’s volleyball team at Dakota County Technical College, is the program’s new head coach. Anderson was an outside hitter for two seasons, the team’s inaugural year, 2011–2012, and second year, 2012–2013. She is looking forward to the challenge of coaching a team coming off a disappointing 3–13 season.

“We have four players returning from last year’s squad,” Anderson said. “One of my early priorities is building team chemistry. The season ahead is going to be intense, but fun.”

DCTC volleyball competes at the NJCAA Division II level. The Blue Knights went 12–14 under Ben Stroud in the team’s first year. Anderson takes over from Jason Uller, who coached two seasons, turning in the team’s best record at 16–9, but following up with just three wins in 2013–2014.

Anderson lettered in volleyball at Eastview High School in Apple Valley, Minn. She has coached Eastview Junior Olympics volleyball at both the head and assistant levels. She is working on her A.A.S. degree in Exercise & Sport Science at DCTC with plans to eventually attend Augsburg College as a health, physical education and exercise science major. Her goal is to pursue a career as an athletic trainer.

“Volleyball has been my passion since I was seven years old,” Anderson said. “I love how the game emphasizes shifts in momentum. One play can turn everything around.”

Player spotlight


Jordan Meyer
  • Age: 19
  • Hometown: Delano, Minn.
  • Residence now: Delano, Minn.
  • Favorite things about volleyball: “I love the team energy on the court and the atmosphere during games.”
  • Favorite things about DCTC: “We have a small, open and diverse community on campus. You get to meet people of all ages and backgrounds. DCTC is a comfortable, affordable place to go to school.”
  • Favorite pastime: Cruising in her car with country music cranked

Jordan Meyer, a 5’10 sophomore, played outside hitter for the Blue Knights in 2013–2014. Meyer has excelled at competitive volleyball since the seventh grade. She chose DCTC as a way to gain experience playing volleyball at the collegiate level while taking general education classes that will transfer to a four-year college or university.

“My long-range career goal is to work as an athletic trainer for a major professional sports franchise,” Meyer said. “I would also like to play NCAA volleyball after DCTC.”

Meyer is excited about competing for a new coach and bonding with her fellow players. She wants Blue Knights fans to fill the seats during games. Meyer’s family alone would make a small crowd on game day. She has six sisters and brothers, Mataya, 22, Dominick, 21, Sidney, 17, Alec, 14, Myka, 9, and Mylee, 8.

“Our team will compete with a lot of intensity,” Meyer said, “and we really like when fans come out to support us.”

DCTC volleyball

The 2014–2015 season begins Aug. 22, 2014, at 7 p.m. with an away game at St. Cloud Technical & Community College. The Blue Knights will host Hibbing Community College in their first home game Aug. 30 at noon; at 4 p.m. that same day, they take on the Waldorf College JV. The Knights play their home games at the High Performance Academy in Eagan, Minn. If you would like to play NJCAA DII volleyball for DCTC, you can notify Coach Anderson via a brief online form at Recruit Me.

To learn more about volleyball at DCTC, visit GoBlueKnights.com. For more information about the team, contact: