Faculty Spotlight: Anne Painter

Anne Painter
Anne Painter

Architectural Technology instructor directs new Construction Management program

Anne Painter heads the Architectural Technology, Construction Management and Interior Design programs at Dakota County Technical College. Anne began teaching at DCTC in the fall of 2014.

Anne earned a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Interior Design from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. She holds a Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. Anne’s education has given her the opportunity to study in multiple cities in Italy; she also completed internships at various architecture firms in Berlin, Germany.

Her past teaching experience includes serving as faculty at the University of Kansas, Duke University’s TIP program, Rio Salado, The Arts Institute and ITT. Anne has also been a guest reviewer for the School of Architecture at the University of Minnesota.

Anne started her own design/build firm directly out of graduate school. Over the course of her professional career, she has gained experience working with many different types of architecture, including multifamily residential, retail, office, prison and medical. She has buildings constructed from California to Kansas and has earned many awards for her projects. One of her first projects was awarded Architecture Magazine’s Home of the Year Award in 2004.

While she enjoys her success as a professional architect, Anne finds the most fulfillment in academia. She excels in working with students to help them achieve their academic potential and careers goals.

About Construction Management at DCTC…

Anne Painter serves as the director of the Construction Management program. Anne is also an instructor in the program. She reported that one the program’s strongest features is that all courses are delivered online.

“Most of our students are already working in the construction industry,” she said. “They want to move up at their workplace, make more money and take on a managerial role that requires less strenuous physical labor, but they need to keep the job they have while going to college. They have the knowledge, but they need the degree. Online coursework is the best way to make that happen.”

Construction management is a very high-wage career, paying well above the statewide median of $20.07/hour. In Minnesota, the median wage for construction managers is $43.92/hour. Minnesota State CAREERwise Education

Anne noted that DCTC has a transfer agreement with Minnesota State University Moorhead, which offers an online B.S. in Construction Management, meaning students can take full advantage of the flexibility and convenience of earning a bachelor’s degree via the Internet.

“Our students also take advantage of Credit for Prior Learning, or CPL,” Anne said. “They can turn their know-how and experience into college credits. For example, if they’re proficient with AutoCAD, they can get credit for that skill.”

Anne explained that this fall the Construction Management program started its second year at DCTC, having been relocated from Inver Hills Community College.

“Scott Holm taught Construction Management courses at Inver Hills,” Anne said. “He is now an instructor in the program at DCTC and his expertise is essential. Scott works in the industry and has many professional contacts. He also serves on our advisory board.”

Scott Holm

Scott Holm

Born and raised in Cokato, Minnesota, Scott Holm has more than 35 years of experience in the construction industry, including 24 years as a building inspector. Augmenting the practical understanding he achieved working as a carpenter and concrete worker, Scott earned an M.Ed. in business and industry education and a B.A.S. in Construction Management from the University of Minnesota as well as an A.A.S. in Building Inspection Technology from North Hennepin Community College and a two-year certificate in Carpentry from St. Cloud Technical & Community College.

Program overview

The Construction Management program prepares you for supervisory and management positions in the construction industry. The curriculum combines basic fundamentals with key courses in applied management, engineering, design and business that are required to manage complex construction projects.

Construction management is an ideal career choice if you have a strong, general interest in building and design plus an aptitude for taking the lead role on big projects from start to finish. As a construction manager, you’ll oversee all phases of a project, from planning to budgeting to production.

The program offers two associate degrees: Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) and Associate of Science (A.S.). The A.S. degree is designed to transfer to the following four-year schools:

University of Minnesota: B.A.S. in Construction Management
Minnesota State University Moorhead: B.S. in Construction Management (Twin Cities)

More about Anne…

Originally from Dundee, Illinois, Anne graduated from Dundee High School, Class of 1997. Her husband, Joe, is a senior construction lead technician with SRF, a consulting firm offering engineering, planning and design services. Joe and Anne have two daughters, Colie, 11, and Ellen, 7. The family has three cats, Fred, a 20-pound black cat-cat, Tilliono, a 20-pound black cat-cat, and Meera, a regular-size white cat-cat from Arizona.

When she’s not teaching, Anne enjoys watching sci-fi and action movies. Two of her favorites are the original Alien and original Blade Runner. She read some good books and some bad books over summer break.

“I enjoy fitness—running, hiking, kayaking, yoga, etc.,” she related, adding that she was on the women’s rowing team at Drake. “I also like to travel with my family and sometimes without. I like surrounding myself with interesting people.”

Anne and her family reside in South Minneapolis, which is a “good podcast distance from school.”

Construction Managers

Coordinate all the work that is involved in building or maintaining structures.

This is a very high-wage career. It pays well above the statewide median of $20.07/hour


Median: $43.92/hour
High: $52.67/hour

Seven-county Twin Cities metro

Median: $44.66/hour
High: $53.49/hour


This career is currently in high demand and is seeing high growth compared to other careers. Growth rate is 8.1 percent, or above the statewide average. There will be a need for about 5,247 new Construction Managers to meet market demand between 2016–2026. This includes the demand due to replacement (workers leaving the occupation or retiring) as well as growth.

Minnesota State CAREERwise Education

Anne Painter Q & A

Anne Painter

Anne Painter

Why did you choose architecture as your career field?
Like many architects, I have wanted to be one my entire life. I loved both engineering and design—and architecture is the happy place in between those two.

My mother was a community college instructor as well so that is in my blood.

What do you love most about architectural design?
I love that it is incredibly complex and complicated. There is so much involved in design and construction that, at its best, it is an organized, chaotic dance including a multitude of people working on a common goal. Sometimes, when everything is done, you end up with a beautiful and graceful building that surpasses the effort put in.

What is your teaching philosophy?
The three types of teaching that I focus on are:

  • Active Learning
  • Problem-Based Learning
  • Collaborative Learning

Three words that describe you as a college educator:

What do you like best about teaching college students?
My favorite part of teaching college courses at DCTC is that the students are very motivated. They have come to this school to specifically get an education for employment. They understand their goal and are really focused on achieving it.

Who is your favorite architect and why?
Zaha Hadid. She was amazing and unfortunately passed away in 2016. She would redefine the definition of simple architectural structures like walls and floors. Her architecture is both simple and complex. She is able to get all aspects of the building (HVAC, plumbing, structure, codes and more) to work smoothy together to produce an artistic creation.

She also was on the forefront of the legal battle to protect designers’ creations and fight for the right of the design ownership.

Zaha Hadid

What traits do students need to be successful construction managers?
Problem-solving! This is by far the most important trait that a construction manager needs.

What is the greatest challenge for students studying construction management?
The greatest challenge is how multifaceted the degree is. Students need to learn about all aspects of construction, but also business as well. This combination can be complicated for many students.

One word that best describes your experience at DCTC:


Anne Painter 12 Answers

  1. Favorite sport or physical activity: Basketball—Rock Chalk Jayhawk, Go KU! 
  2. Place you would most like to visit: Istanbul: it is a place where so many cultures meet, and this has created such interesting buildings, art and culture. 
  3. The most exciting thing you’ve ever done: Traveled a lot in my 20s with very little fear or money.
  4. Three things you would do if you won a $1 billion lottery: 1) Start a nonprofit that would invest helping local businesses get off the ground 2) Go on the most amazing worldwide, whirlwind trip 3) Donate, donate, and donate to organizations who needed it more than me
  5. Favorite TV show you’re watching now: Killing Eve
  6. Best movie you’ve seen lately: John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum: Because you never mess with a man’s dog.
  7. One thing you most want to accomplish in life: I would like to get really, really old and wrinkly and have a lot of friends who like to come over because they think I am funny and know I stock good scotch.
  8. Your national bird if you were your own country: The blue-footed booby…because why not?
  9. Dream occupation: I would love to own my own workshop where I could woodwork, weld and forge.
  10. Person you would most like to meet: Changes every day: currently, it is Tony Morrison because she recently passed away, and I am trying to read a lot of her stuff right now.
  11. Skill you would most like to learn and master: I know how to speak a tiny bit of Italian and Spanish, but I would love to be fluent in a second language; I always admire my students who are bilingual.
  12. Most important issue or problem facing humankind: Climate change
Learn more about Construction Management, Interior Design and Architectural Technology at Dakota County Technical College by contacting:
Director and Faculty
Architectural Technology, Construction Management, Interior Design

1 Comment

  • Adam Iverson says:

    Anne Painter is a certified BA who cares deeply about students well-being and has a good time doing it. She also knows where to get the best donuts.

Comments are closed.