Dave Schroeder Award winners announced

Former DCTC President Dave Schroeder
Former DCTC President Dave Schroeder

Hamdi Abdi and Kimberley Hardwick will be honored during commencement for their academic performance and campus involvement

Annually, Dakota County Technical College recognizes outstanding graduates in honor of the college’s former president Dave Schroeder, who served from 1970 – 1999.   Hamdi Abdi and Kimberley Hardwick will be honored for their academic performance, activity on campus and their service to the community.

Nominated by faculty and staff, Hamdi and Kimberley will be honored during commencement. Hamdi will graduate with an A.A.S in Dental Assisting. Kimberley will graduate with an A.A.S in Management for Technical Professionals and a Certificate in Supervisory Leadership. Dedicated students and loyal members of the DCTC community, Kimberley and Hamdi’s hard work and dedication inspire their classmates and future DCTC students.

Hamdi Abdi

Hamdi first attended college at a four year school for graphic design. The experience wasn’t a good fit for her, so she took some time off to work. After five years, Hamdi decided to give college another try. After visiting DCTC, she signed up for the Dental Assistant program and has thrived as a student.Hamdi Abdi student senate and ambassador (4 of 4)

Instructor Diana Sullivan said Hamdi is “an excellent example of a dedicated dental assisting student. She always ensures that everyone has what they need in the classroom. Hamdi is involved in community service on the dental assisting level as well as college wide activities”

Since 2014, Hamdi has been actively involved with a variety of student organization. She credited a fellow student for inspiring her to get involved.  Her list of involvements include work as a Student Ambassador, a Student Senate member, Multicultural Student Leadership Association member, Lions Club, Phi Theta Kappa member, TRIO member, Christians on Campus among others.

Director of Student Life Nicole Meulemans said, “Hamdi encompasses what I believe to be the definition of an Outstanding Student. Her involvement on campus and dedication to the students of DCTC is unmatched.”

In addition to being active on campus, Hamdi serves her community as well. She was a featured speaker for a video created by 360 Communities on Sexual Assault Prevention and volunteered with Armful of Love and Feed My Starving Children.

After graduation, Hamdi hopes to start her career in dental assisting and continue to be active in her community. Recently engaged, Hambi is planning a wedding for next summer.

“I would like to thank all of the people at DCTC who gave me guidance and support over the years,” said Hamdi.

Assistant Director of Student Life Anna Voight said DCTC won’t be quite the same without Hamdi.

“Hamdi is one of those students that you hate to see graduate because of how much they contribute to our campus, but at the same time, you are excited to see them enter the workplace because you know they will be an asset to any organization and will positively contribute to society.”


Kimberley Hardwick

Kimberley Hardwick didn’t think college was for her. She had a learning disability and it didn’t seem possible. And then she met DCTC Instructor Nancy Shoemake.KimberlyHardwick2

As an accounting customer Kimberley would bring in organized paperwork to Nancy to get her taxes done. Nancy thought Kimberley had a knack for accounting and suggested she take some courses. Kimberley signed up for a QuickBooks class and with Nancy’s encouragement registered for an A.A. in Accounting.

“Nancy told me they had my back and everyone here has had my back, that’s for darn sure,” said Kimberley.

While she wasn’t a bad student growing up, Kimberley struggled with tests. As an adult, she decided to get tested and was formally diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, also known as ADHD.

To be successful at DCTC, Kimberley knew she would have to use the resources available through the school. She registered from TRIO and accessed resources through Disability Services. She also worked with her instructors to overcome challenges. The result of all that hard work is a cumulative 4.0 GPA.

“It’s been a great experience. Everyone has been so wonderful here,” said Kimberley.

Last spring Kimberley graduated with an A.A.S. in Accounting. To round out her skills, she chose to come back for a year to get a second A.A.S in Management for Technical Professionals and a certificate in Supervisory Leadership.

In addition to thriving as a student, Kimberley has been active on campus. She’s a member of Phi Theta Kappa or the “smarty club” as she calls it. She is a member of Business Professionals of America in which she has competed in statewide and national competitions. Lastly, she has done work study stints with Disability Services and Student Services.

Throughout her time at DCTC, Kimberley has established relationships with a number of faculty and staff including Disability Services Advisor Anne Swanberg.

“Kimberley is an outstanding student. She is conscientious and determined. Because of her excellent study skills, Kimberley has been an admirable example to all students,” said Swanberg.

After graduation, Kimberley hopes to find a career with a good company. Having started her search, Kimberley said she’s excited to see what the future has in store for her. She’s also excited to welcome her third grandchild in September.