Event Students Volunteer at Fam Glam


Service-learning provides real-world experience at a major fundraiser

Rosealee Lee

Rosealee Lee

A team of students in the Meeting & Event Management program at Dakota County Technical College volunteered for a service-learning project that took them to the Chase Boardroom at the Marriott City Center in downtown Minneapolis for Fam Glam 2013, a Ronald McDonald House Charities-Upper Midwest annual event that celebrates FAMilies in GLAM style. The fundraiser, held Saturday, Oct. 5, brought in $258,545 for the charity, which supports families by keeping them together and strong during a child’s health care crisis.

“Fam Glam is a wonderful opportunity for our students to put into action what they’ve been learning,” said Rosealee Lee, a Meeting & Event Management instructor at the college. “They get to see firsthand what their future careers will be like. What’s great about events like Fam Glam is knowing that what we do as professionals is so meaningful to others.”

fam-glam12-300x212Carynn Roehrick, director of volunteers at RMHC-UM, has been involved with Fam Glam for 11 years. Roehrick reported that she has worked with Lee and her students going on five years. “The DCTC students have been invaluable in helping us put on the event,” she said. “Volunteers are the backbone of our organization. We find it super helpful to have volunteers from Rosealee’s program because they understand event planning and know what they’re doing.”

Banner photo courtesy of Mike Krivit

Student Perspectives

Katie Sturm

Katie Sturm

Katie Sturm • Age: 29 • Farmington, Minn.

Major: Meeting & Event Management, working on her certificate; previously earned her diploma in Photographic Imaging Technology at DCTC

“I wanted to learn how to do my own event planning—birthdays and holiday gatherings. I checked out the DCTC program and fell in love with Rosealee.”

What do you like about the Meeting & Event Management program?
“I like getting hands-on experience working at events like Fam Glam. I also like that I can take my classes online.”

Future career plans:
“I want to work as an event planner at an established venue.”

What do you like about volunteering at Fam Glam?
“I like knowing I am helping out children and their families. This is my second year. Last year, I worked the auction; this year, I’m involved with setup. I like the idea of helping a great organization like Ronald McDonald House.”

Hobbies or interests:
“I’m planning a candy-land theme birthday for my 3-year-old daughter, Stella.” Sturm also owns her own portrait and wedding photography business: Katie’s Photography.

Becky Tollefson

Becky Tollefson

Becky Tollefson • Age: 35 • Rosemount, Minn.

Major: Meeting & Event Management, working on her certificate; previously earned her B.A. in sociology from Concordia College

“I’ve always had an interest in wedding planning. I searched online for programs and looked at DCTC because the campus is near where I live. My husband knew I had found the right college because I was very excited and couldn’t stop talking after talking to Rosealee.”

What do you like about the Meeting & Event Management program?
“Rosealee’s classes are never boring. She knows so many people in the industry and she really wants to pass on her knowledge. Rosealee makes learning fun.”

Future career plans:
“I want to be an event coordinator at a resort or hotel.”

What do you like about volunteering at Fam Glam?
“I think it’s fun to see how things take shape at an event. I like getting out and seeing how what we talk about in class works in the real world, things like design and lighting. And Fam Glam is a really class event.”

Hobbies or interests:
“I foster dogs and work at St. Francis of Assisi Animal Rescue in Forest Lake. I have a 10-year-old lab-weimaraner mix named Sienna who is a rescue dog.”

Ali Olejniak

Ali Olejniak

Ali Olejniak • Age 20 • Bloomington, Minn.

Major: Meeting & Event Management, working on her A.A.S. degree; works full-time as a research clinic receptionist at the University of Minnesota

“I like that my classes at DCTC are online. I love being a college student. I could go to school for the rest of my life.”

What do you like about the Meeting & Event Management program?
“I like being part of someone’s big day. I like the teachers in the program. Rosealee is my mentor. I have good classmates, too. I like that I can count on them and that I’m part of a team.”

Future career plans:
“I will be starting my own event planning business next year, Alison Gordon Wedding Planning—I’m also getting married. I plan to take some entrepreneurship classes at DCTC.”

What do you like about volunteering at Fam Glam?
“It’s cool to see all the different sides of an actual event. I like seeing how all the different groups come together to create the big picture.”

Hobbies or interests:
“I love sewing. Right now, I’m making a friend’s wedding dress.”

Rosealee Lee believes that volunteer opportunities like Fam Glam keep her program tuned to the event planning industry while giving her students the experience they need to succeed.

“Professional development is a very important aspect of service-learning,” Lee said. “But what my students really learn is the wonder of giving back to the community. They get to do what they do best, have fun and help others. It doesn’t hurt that they can also put Fam Glam on their resumes.

For more information about the Meeting & Event ManagementHospitality Lodging Managementand Spa & Resort Management programs at DCTC, contact:

‘Tis the Season to be Giving


Birthday Bags and Food Shelf Drive

Holidays come and go but the need for food and shelter is an everyday battle for some children and local families. In fact, one in eight Minnesotans struggle with food insecurities and hunger in the state has doubled since 2008. Dakota County Technical College’s Lions Club and Office Procedures class members are doing their part to give back.

FoodShelfBirthdayBags_1200x800As part her class, Charlotte Kodner, Office Careers Instructor, had students choose two organizations to support. All 14 students then led drives for each cause: Birthday Bags for Cheerful Givers and, in conjunction with DCTC Lions Club, a Food Shelf Drive for 360 Communities in Rosemount.

“The purpose of this assignment is for students to be able to give to others,” explained Kodner. “They find where there’s a need and then become part of the solution.”

Sheena Azariah, an Office Careers student, is excited to be involved in both projects and she said the entire class as stepped up to participate. “This has been an excellent way to reach out to the community. Coordinating and implementing both drives has also brought all of our class members closer together, which has been great to experience.”

Both drives end TODAY, Nov. 21!

Birthday Bags
Help make a difference in a child’s life! Donate new small toys for children ages 3-12. Drop boxes are in the cafeteria, front office, student life and the Office Careers area (near room 2-512).
Suggested items include, but are not limited to:

  • Crayons
  • Balls
  • Pencils
  • Puzzles
  • Coloring books
  • Activity books
  • Stickers
  • Small stuffed animals
  • Yos-yos

360communities-logoFood Shelf Drive
The DCTC Lions Club and students in the Office Procedures class are collecting non-perishable food items. Drop boxes are located at all college entrances and throughout the campus. Help them reach their goal of 1,000 units!

For more information about Office Careers programs at DCTC, contact:
For more information about the DCTC Lions Club, contact:

FHR Supports DCTC Technical Programs

(left to right) Dale Olson, Foundation Treasurer; Ann Byre, Foundation Secretary; Bob Erickson, Foundation Chair; Tim Wynes, J.D., DCTC Interim President; Tharan Leopold, Executive Director of Foundation & Alumni; Lowell Stolte, DCTC Foundation Director and FHR Environmental Director

(left to right) Dale Olson, Foundation Treasurer; Ann Byre, Foundation Secretary; Bob Erickson, Foundation Chair; Tim Wynes, J.D., DCTC Interim President; Tharan Leopold, Executive Director of Foundation & Alumni; Lowell Stolte, DCTC Foundation Board Member and FHR Environmental Director

DCTC Foundation receives $5,000 from high-tech manufacturer

On Oct. 28, 2013, the Dakota County Technical College Foundation received a $5,000 grant from Flint Hills Resources to fund scholarships for students pursuing technical careers. FHR is a high-tech manufacturer that employs hundred of engineers and skilled workers and are committed to supporting high-quality education in the Twin Cities.

biomed_spring2013_1200x800The grant will provide five (5) $1000 named scholarships for the 2013-14 academic year. Specifically, these scholarships will support students enrolled  in any of the following program areas: Biomedical Equipment Technology, Civil Engineering Technology, Electrical Construction and Maintenance Technology, Electrical Lineworker, Energy Technical Specialist, Nanoscience Technology and Welding Technology.

“Flint Hills Resources believes one important way we contribute to the community is by actively participating in the education of tomorrow’s leaders,” said Lowell Stolte, Environmental Director at FHR and DCTC Foundation Board Member. “We support diverse education programs that emphasize entrepreneurship, STEM education and environmental stewardship. Flint Hills Resources is committed to adding value to its community by supporting organizations and programs that help enrich and educate Minnesota learners.”

DCTC is one of a number of education-based organizations and programs with which Flint Hills Resources have longstanding partnerships in Minnesota, including:

About FHR
Flint Hills Resources in an independent refining, chemicals and biofuels company. It strives to create value for its customers and society–through the way its facilities operate, its efficient use of resources, the products it produces and markets, and its involvement in its communities. The company, based in Wichita, Kan., has expanded its operations through capital projects and acquisitions worth more than $7.6 billion since 2002.

About the DCTC Foundation
Established in 1983 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the DCTC Foundation is governed by a board of directors with up to 18 members. Since its inception, the Foundation has generated more than $3.2 million in financial assistance for students while building a general endowment fund and establishing private endowment funds.

For more information about the DCTC Foundation, contact:
  • Tharan Leopold
    Executive Director of Foundation & Alumni

Give to the Max Day 2013

 DCTC Foundation participates in Give to the Max Day


The Dakota County Technical College Foundation will participate in the fifth annual Give to the Max Day on Nov. 14. Give to the Max Day is an opportunity for Minnesotans to come together and show their support for non-profit organizations that work to strengthen their communities.

Last year alone, the DCTC Foundation distributed $336,639 and helped more than 596 students pay for tuition, books and emergency expenses. This would not have been possible without the continued generosity of friends, students, parents, alumni and business donors alike.

All gifts–no matter their size–are important as we strive to make higher education accessible to all.

“Not only am I proud of the work the Foundation does, I am thrilled to announce that DCTC has achieved a record high donor participation among faculty and staff this year with more than 85 percent making a gift during our 100% for Students annual fundraising campaign. That percentage is a testament to the support and dedication the college’s internal constituents demonstrate to the success of DCTC students.”

-Tharan Leopold, Executive Director of Foundation and Alumni

This year GiveMN is offering several incentives to encourage donor participation in Give to the Max Day. Friends of DCTC may support the DCTC Foundation and other local non-profits and schools for an opportunity to win prize grants up to $10,000 as top donation earners. During Give to the Max Day 2013, the DCTC Foundation will be eligible for prize grants in the form of hourly Golden Tickets–hourly drawings to add $1,000 to a donor’s gift, randomly selected from donors who give during each hour of the event. One donor giving to a non-profit and one donor to a school will be drawn in the evening for a Super-sized Golden Ticket and have $10,000 added to their donations. To make a gift to the DCTC Foundation, visit http:///givemn.razoo.com/story/Dctc-Foundation.

If you have questions about the DCTC Foundation or Give to the Max Day, please contact:
  • Tharan W. Leopold
    Executive Director of Foundation & Alumni
    Institutional Advancement
    Dakota County Technical College
    1300 145th Street East
    Rosemount, MN 55068
    Phone (651) 423-8293

Military Family Day: DCTC Welcomes Ryan Schmidt

Story of inspiration, perseverance and overcoming PTSD

Dakota County Technical College Military Family Day
Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Dakota Room

Students, staff, faculty and community members are welcome!

Speaker Ryan Schmidt | 12 – 1 p.m.
Join us to hear Ryan’s inspiring story of his military service and perseverance to overcome the obstacles he faced in his life after his service, due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Ryan is a retired Sergeant and U.S. Army recon sniper. He served in Afghanistan (2004-2005) and Iraq (2006-2008), and experienced combat injuries. Ryan has physical injuries, as well as chronic and severe PTSD. Ryan also served as a Corrections Officer for the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department. He is a former member of a world-wide biker organization; current owner/sole proprietor of Consummate Warrior LLC; and a veteran’s advocacy consultant/public speaker.

Veterans Resources Open House | 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

  • Meet and Greet – Stop by the Veterans Club table to take a quiz about Veterans Day and get a free “Support our Troops” yellow ribbon pin! Also, meet representatives from the Veterans club and learn more about how you can get involved. The Veterans Club will be hosting a social on November 18 at 1 p.m. in the Student Life Center. All students, staff and faculty are welcome to attend! Contact: travis.ahlquist@dctc.edu; darryl.erickson@dctc.edu
  • DCTC Photons Club Raffle for Holiday Portrait Sessions - The Photons Club will be selling raffle tickets for a Holiday Portrait session! You can purchase a session for $25 or enter a raffle for $5 at their booth on Military Family Day. Three raffle winners will be selected.
  • Medical Assistant program collecting items for deployed troops - The Medical Assistant program is collecting items to ship to troops overseas. Please donate any of the following items: Travel size toothpaste, shampoo, etc; Ramen noodles, Little Debbie’s snacks, gum, health/fitness/auto magazines, hard candy, sunflower seeds or jerky. They will also be making Support our Troops Survival Bracelets to raise funds for shipping the items to troops. Suggested donation for the bracelets is $5. Contact: margaret.noirjean@dctc.edu.
  • Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Community Network
  • Veterans Resource Center
  • Workforce Center
  • Workforce Center
  • Family Assistance Center
  • DCTC Veterans Services
  • Veterans Services Office

Lions Club Meeting | 1:15 p.m.
The Lions Club is supporting the Rosemount Community food shelf by collecting non-perishable food items. If you bring in a food item donation and stay for the Lions Club meeting free appetizers will be provided! Contact: brett.kolles@dctc.edu.

For more information about Military Family Day activities, contact:
  • Anna Voight
    Assistant Director of Student Life