Jonathan O’Hara Receives 2020 DCTC Staff of the Year Award

Jonathan O'Hara

Academic advisor and financial aid specialist recognized with annual honor

Jonathan O’Hara, an academic advisor and financial aid specialist at Dakota County Technical College, has been received the 2020 DCTC Staff of the Year Award.

The DCTC Staff of the Year Award recognizes a staff member or work group that goes the extra mile, who listens and collaborates beyond their own department, seeks input from members of the campus community, and has contributed selflessly to the college mission while showing boundless support for student success.

“I’m humbled by this honor as I’m only one small piece of the DCTC community of faculty, staff and students,” Jonathan said. “It takes all of us working together to create such a special place to work, learn and grow. I’m looking forward to being part of DCTC’s future collaborations.”

More about Jonathan…

Jonathan earned his Bachelor of Science in Integrated Studies, Business Management/Marketing from Viterbo University. His has an Associate of Applied Science in Marketing from Western Wisconsin Technical College.

He began his role as an admissions specialist in the college’s Admissions department in March 2013. He worked primarily with students and faculty in healthcare programs. He also filled the shoes of academic advisors and financial aid specialists during leave periods.

Before coming to DCTC, Jonathan served as a regional admissions counselor at Grand Canyon University; he has also volunteered his time and expertise with Junior Achievement, Inc.

Jonathan enjoys outdoor activities such as snowmobiling and fishing. His number one favorite thing to do is just hanging out with his family; especially his two little girls, Sydney, 11, and Kadence, 7. In his role as academic advisor and financial aid specialist, Jonathan will continue working with healthcare-related programs.

Recognition Award Program

People on our campus and in our communities are amazingly committed to the DCTC mission: Education for Employment. Each year the DCTC Recognition Awards Program provides the opportunity to nominate choices for an array of awards that honor people who have bettered society and our college through outstanding professional, philanthropic or volunteer accomplishments.

The Awards Committee, composed of staff, faculty and a student representative, collects the nominations and administers the selection process for these awards.

Reasons behind the nominations…

“Jonathan works tirelessly to help faculty and students. He puts in long hours and is always available. He has great ideas and new ways of promoting my program, and I turn to him for advice A LOT. He isn’t afraid to be honest, and I value that honesty.

“He has been an amazing asset to not only my program, but to DCTC. He comes to my classroom to talk with students; he lets me pop into his office unannounced and will talk through whatever I go to him with. He has a positive attitude. He doesn’t let his long hours or chaotic days take over his positive attitude. He isn’t a complainer. Whenever I talk with him we are laughing. He is such a great person and so deserving of this award. I don’t know what I’d do without him!”


“I would like to nominate Jonathan O’Hara, academic and financial aid advisor, for the 2020 DCTC Staff of the Year Award as Jonathan consistently goes above and beyond to serve students and colleagues. Jonathan serves students and colleagues with compassion, listening and caring ears, and implements the appreciative advising philosophy in his daily interactions with students, faculty, department colleagues, and leaders.

“Students seek Jonathan out due to his deep knowledge, caring spirit, and willingness to problem solve with the students to obtain a workable solution. Students respect Jonathan as do faculty, deans, and colleagues. Jonathan has developed strong relationships with faculty in an effort to better serve students.” READ MORE…


“Without Jonathan the Veterinary Technology program would not have any students! He recently helped us change our intake process to help reduce our semester one attrition rate. He put together a new learning community that meets on the 2nd and 4th Fridays of every month at the Rosemount campus. This learning community provides various tutoring opportunities for the students that include math, English, veterinary technology, etc. We have even discussed some day that we may have rabbit yoga! Overall, he just takes fabulous care of all of the students!”


“I am happy to nominate Jonathan O’Hara for the 2020 DCTC Staff of the Year Award. As an academic and financial aid advisor, Jonathan is always going the extra mile to ensure the students, faculty, deans and other staff are connected and have strong lines of communication to best serve the students.

“With the collaboration of faculty and deans, Jonathan has taken the initiative to develop waivers and a second application process for students in some of his programs. This has allowed students to be more aware of the expectation and rigor of the program prior to registering for classes. It has also allowed for these programs to have strong, qualified candidates to start the core courses required, which leads to strong, qualified graduates for industry.” READ MORE…


Congratulations and appreciation to all the nominees on their exemplary work and dedication to serving students. Here are the 2020 DCTC Staff of the Year Award nominees:
  • Anna Voight
  • Justin Jones
  • Karianne Loula
  • Michelle Kleeberger
  • Natalie Hammer
  • Steve Lommen
Learn more about the DCTC Foundation by contacting:

Kim Shaff
Interim Executive Director of Foundation
651-423-8236

Amy Eppen
Foundation Development Director
651-423-8265

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