Faster Internet Means Happy Veterans


DCTC’s IT department work wonders on Hastings Veterans Home wireless Internet system

Every year, Dakota County Technical College staff, faculty, and students volunteer time to service-learning opportunities that not only promote citizenship; they also build partnerships within the community. In 2011, the college reached 9,795 hours of service-learning and volunteerism, surpassing its goal for the second consecutive year. This year, the goal is to pass 9,000 hours again.

Todd JagersonOn April 6, 2012, DCTC’s information technology department and Joe Bouley, a student in the Network Administration program, supported the college’s civic engagement mission by donating their time to the Hastings Veterans Home. The Hastings Veterans Homeprovides special care, such as therapeutic recreation, skilled nursing care, and vocational rehabilitation, to twenty-five veterans on a 128-acre, serene wooded campus just twenty minutes east of Rosemount, Minn.

In order for the veterans to feel more at home, the Hastings Veterans Home needed to upgrade their slow, archaic, 5-year-old wireless Internet system. Dan Jordan, Volunteer Service Coordinator at the Hastings Veterans Home, is in charge of special projects and said the wireless Internet system has been a thorn in his side since he started a year ago. He used the analogy that it’s like poking holes in a garden hose with only a trickle of water at the end.

DCTC’s Chief Information Officer, Todd Jagerson, heard about their need for IT expertise, so he brought five of his IT gurus and Bouley, some computer gear, and two boxes of donuts to Hastings on a day off.

Thomas KennedyMark Kryzer, Business Manager at the Hastings Veterans Home, got more than he bargained for. Not only did the IT team donate their time, they also donated the equipment. After a few phone calls and some paperwork, the Hastings Veterans Home took ownership of some new Ciscorouters that DCTC had remaining after a recent upgrade. Thomas Kennedy, Network and Server Administrator at DCTC, said, “Who better to give the equipment to than the veterans who could really use it. It’s the least we could do.” The equipment happened to be exactly what the Veterans Home needed: newer, larger routers for their wireless Internet system.

“Their original system outgrew its usefulness and was more trouble than it was worth, so the new system will help tremendously,” said Jason Dean, Information System Specialist. The new system gives the veterans a larger range of service, less disruption, more consistency, and a stronger single access point. The new system also allows the residents to roam throughout

Andrew Flocchini, Ray Pascoe, and Jason Deanthe building without hopping on and off each router, entering a new password every time. “The veterans are looking forward to the stability,” said Kryzer. “They are excited that we are finally able to upgrade our system and provide them with better access.”

Kryzer, Jordan, and Jagerson hope to build their relationship for more service-learning opportunities. “I hope and encourage them to call us in the future, whether it’s to help residents on Office or how to set up Skype,” said Jagerson. Bouley is also looking forward to working with the IT department again. “Everyone thinks an IT person is just a computer geek, but there’s more to it. Service-learning is a great experience to see how an IT team parlays tasks and manages themselves in a building where nothing is perfect,” said Bouley. “If Todd [Jagerson] will have back me for another project, I’d be happy to do it.”

To learn more about Civic Engagement at DCTC, contact:
  • Mike Opp
    Dean of Transportation and Industry; DCTC Civic Engagement Co-chair