Abigail Anderson: 2020 Dave Schroeder Outstanding Student

December 2019 graduate recognized with annual award

Abigail Anderson, 22, of Farmington, Minnesota, has received the Dakota County Technical College 2020 Dave Schroeder Outstanding Student Award. Abby graduated from DCTC in December 2019, earning an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) from the Executive Assistant program.

Abigail Anderson

“Receiving the award means so much to me,” Abby said. “I am so grateful to be surrounded by such wonderful teachers and staff. I could not have completed my schooling without all of their kindness and support.”

Each year, DCTC recognizes outstanding students in honor of the college’s first president, Dave Schroeder, who served from 1970 to 1999. Students are nominated by faculty and staff for their involvement in college initiatives and activities, academic performance and service to the community.

More about Abby…

Abby was an exceptionally active student beyond the classroom, participating in Phi Theta Kappa, Campus Lions Club, Student Senate (two years as secretary), Multicultural Student Leadership Association (MSLA) and the college’s Budget Committee. She was also a student ambassador, helping out during student orientations and campus tours as well as Enrollment Services and Student Life Center events. She is a Heart of a Leader intensive training graduate.

Other extracurricular engagement included serving on the Activities Committee, assisting at a variety of campus events such as American Red Cross Blood Drives, Chili Cook Offs and Ready, Set, GO! As a member of the Creative Arts and Writing Club, Abby won third place and a $100 prize in the 2017 DCTC Student Writing Competition with her short story, “Petals on Water”

Abby is certified in Microsoft Office Word 2016, PowerPoint 2016 and Excel 2019. She received a certificate of completion from the Career Leadership Academy.

Before enrolling at DCTC, Abby attended the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists her freshman and sophomore years. She graduated from Minnesota Connections Academy in 2015.

Abby completed an internship as an administrative assistant in Academic Affairs at DCTC. She now works as a student life assistant at the college. Her key duties include event planning, helping maintain cleanliness in the Student Life Center, and providing information to students, staff and guests with questions.

In her free time, Abby enjoys organizing and hanging out with her dog, a miniature schnauzer named Boo.

Three words that described you as a college student:

Faculty perspective…

Amy Evanson, administrative technology faculty at the college, nominated Abby for the award. As her instructor in the Executive Assistant program, Amy was impressed by Abby’s affirmative attitude and strong academic performance.

“During her time as a student, Abigail a maintained a high cumulative GPA, and she was inducted as a member of Phi Theta Kappa,” Amy wrote in her nomination letter. “This level of academic success is not surprising given the hard work and ambition I have seen in the classroom from her. She is a highly motivated, extremely detailed and well-organized individual.”

Amy went on to write that Abigail was a cheerleader for other students, offering encouragement and support. Abby helped lift others up and provided guidance to many students.

“Abigail touched many lives as a student at DCTC,” Amy wrote, “and she continues to do so in her current role as a student life assistant.”

Amy concluded: “Anyone who has worked with Abigail during her time as a student would agree that she embodies what this award stands for. She’s gone above and beyond to excel in her studies while contributing to the DCTC campus and our community. This is only the beginning for Abigail, and I’m so excited to see what else she has in store!”

Abby at DCTC gallery

Abby Anderson Q & A

Why did you choose your career path?
My mother suggested I take secretarial college courses to broaden my knowledge. I wanted to work for her as her secretary for her job as a marriage and family therapist at the time. It’s really because of her that I went to college in the first place.

What is the greatest challenge facing your generation?
I think social media has had such an impact on our generation. Social media is such an important part to helping promote our companies and businesses. However, sometimes we compare ourselves to the other successful lives we see online, making it difficult to remember our own self-worth and importance.

I think in our generation it’s important that we find a healthy balance between utilizing social media for entertainment or work and remembering how valuable we already are as individuals without comparing ourselves.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
I would like to be working somewhere in southern California as an executive assistant, hopefully, for a performing arts or film company.

More about David L. Schroeder…

Dave Schroeder, former DCTC president

First DCTC president: 1970 – 1999

When he took over as the first director of the Dakota County Area Vocational-Technical Institute in October of 1970, David L. Schroeder brought a philosophy for technical education focused on providing incoming students with effective pathways to rewarding, secure careers.

President Schroeder was taking the helm of a school whose main campus building wouldn’t be completed for three years. Classes ran all year and tuition was free. The first students attended class in rented space across an archipelago of buildings. Enrollment was three shy of 50.

“We started with nothing and created programs that changed people’s lives.”

David L. Schroeder
DCTC President
1970 – 1999

Working three years straight with no time off, President Schroeder put in 60-hour weeks creating programs, hiring faculty and staff, buying equipment and coordinating everything on the fly. When the main building opened in Rosemount, Minnesota, in 1973, enrollment had reached 700 students in some 30 programs.

“By the time I finally took a vacation, I was totally wiped out. I went up north to our family cabin and sat in the woods for two weeks,” President Schroeder remembered with a smile. “But it was a fun time and everyone was up to the task.”

After two name changes, the tech institute, as it was nicknamed, became Dakota County Technical College in 1989. Six years later, when DCTC merged with other higher education institutions in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, Dave Schroeder assumed the role of president of the college.

“From the very beginning, our mission was Education for Employment,” said President Schroeder, who retired in 1999. “When I look back on my career, I feel the strongest about serving students and getting them jobs. We started with nothing and created programs that changed people’s lives. It was hard to leave, but after thirty years it was time. I loved the place.”

Coming soon on DCTC News: Sakshi Soneji: 2020 Dave Schroeder Outstanding Student

Sakshi Soneji

Learn more about the Administrative Assistant program at DCTC by contacting:

Amy Evanson
Administrative Technology Faculty

Anika Stafford
Academic and Financial Aid Advisor

…or read “Program Spotlight: Administrative Assistant” on DCTC News

Learn more about Student Life at DCTC by contacting:

Nicole Meulemans
Director of Student Life and Activities

Anna Voight
Associate Director of Student Life

PTK Induction Ceremony Spring 2019