Essential Worker Spotlight: Christine Reinhold

IT specialist part of team making sure college’s technology works

Christine Reinhold, 57, started working in the Information Technology (IT) department at Dakota County Technical College in 2013. Christine serves as an IT specialist. Her duties include security patching and updating along with collaborating with her coworkers to find solutions for technology-related issues. Her clients are DCTC students, staff and faculty.

“Most of the time, we are working as a team bouncing ideas and thoughts around,” Christine said, “and just making sure the technology works.”

Before arriving at DCTC, Christine was a truck driver for 25 years. She started out driving Class A tanker trucks hauling hazardous waste, mostly petroleum-based products that were contaminated. She would collect the waste for recycling. She was also part of an emergency response team that would help clean up after accidents such as train derailments and plane crashes.

“Then I hauled fuel and oil—gasoline, diesel and motor oil,” she recalled. “I was again in emergency response, but in a different support role. Those jobs were mainly in California. After I moved to Minnesota, I drove for Wayne Transports out of Rosemount until 2001.”

What do you like most about your job at DCTC?

“The people I am surrounded by. My boss, coworkers and students. The atmosphere is pleasant and upbeat. It makes getting up and doing this much easier to be around good people all day.”
Christine Reinhold
IT Specialist
Dakota County Technical College

Christine completed her driving career working in the sanitation department at the city of Farmington in Class B trucks doing automated garbage collection and roll-off dumpsters. During her trucking career, she earned all CDL endorsements.

“When I was younger, I started working toward becoming a math teacher or CPA at Ventura County Community College in Ventura, California,” she added. “My goal was finishing up at UC Santa Barbara, but I had to drop out to support my daughters. I came to DCTC in 2007 to get my degree in Supervisory Management so I could move up at my job with the city of Farmington—and then the economy crashed and my position was eliminated.”

Christine related that she then made a choice to do something different. She wanted a career that challenged her mind. She wanted a job she would enjoy. Christine dug in and made the most of her time at DCTC.

As it turned out, learning about technology was a hobby Christine liked. She went on to earn her Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Supervisory Management, her A.A.S. in Networking Administration, and her A.A.S. in Information Systems Management with 3.99, 4.0, 4.0 GPAs in each respective program.

Todd Jagerson: CIO perspective…

When Christine was a student, you could tell she was meant to be in an I.T.-related career. She is meticulous taking apart and reassembling a problem and has to understand the “why.”
Christine’s work ethic can only be equaled, not exceeded. She is an asset to the department, the college and the employees and students she works with and does work for.
Todd Jagerson
Chief Information Officer
Dakota County Technical College
Inver Hills Community College

More about Christine…

Christine with family in Florida

Christine grew up all over Pennsylvania, but mainly resided in the suburbs of Philadelphia. She graduated from Northern Chester County Technical School (NCCTS), in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, in 1981, having focused her studies on commercial and graphic arts.

Christine and Greg: dating days

She comes from a fairly large family from the U.S. East Coast. “They are spread all over the country now,” she related. “I met and married my second husband, Greg, when I was living in Southern California. Greg stepped into the role as stepdad to our two daughters, April and Amber, when they were around 7 and 8 years old.”

Greg works as a welder/fabricator, a job he has been doing since he graduated from Hennepin Tech in 1979. April and Amber are now 35 and 36 with families of their own.

“I have five grandkids,” Christine added. “Brynn is 13. Brooke is 10. Taylor is 8. Joey and Zoe are 5 years old. I have one granddog named Ryker, a Husky mix who still thinks he’s a puppy. I also have my own dog, Odie, who walks four miles of trails with me almost every day. Odie was a rescue from Tennessee who came from Last Hope. We got him at 2.5 years old, and he is just about 11 now. Odie is my walking buddy everyday unless it’s raining.😊

Odie, BenBen and Zena

Christine and Greg also have two cats, BenBen and Zena, the Warrior Princess. “BenBen is my little black panther who was also rescued from Last Hope,” Christine said. “Zena is a very big calico. She was brought to me by my daughter after the loss of my beloved Tuxedo cat Booger. I got her when my father passed away.”

In her free time, Christine loves to be out on her motorcycle. “We ride a Harley Davidson Ultra Classic,” she said. “We are preparing for our fifthe cross-country ride in June. This one will be to the Pacific Northwest.”

Christine also likes to travel and shop. She likes cooking, too, mainly because she enjoy eating and trying new foods. Christine resides with her family in Farmington, Minnesota.

Two words that best describe your time at DCTC:


Christine Reinhold Q & A

How did your studies in DCTC IT programs help you become an IT specialist?

At first, I was unsure of which courses I should take as I didn’t know the industry—IT was just a hobby to repair and rebuild computers. It helps tremendously that the instructors at DCTC were current and previous industry workers. They would interject plenty of life examples that gave us an idea of what to expect and what sounded like where we wanted to be and where we didn’t want to be, if that makes sense.

It wasn’t until I participated in a couple of internships that I was able to narrow my focus and decide I wanted to pursue the system administration direction.

What advice would you give IT students about launching a career in IT?

If you don’t have your mind set on a particular area you want to work, try out a couple of different ones. If you do know where you want to focus, try out different work environments. Also, keep up on chat groups and blogs. They really give you a lot of knowledge from those that have been in the industry for a while, and you can learn from them.

What do you like most about your job at DCTC?

The people I am surrounded by. My boss, coworkers and students. The atmosphere is pleasant and upbeat. It makes getting up and doing this much easier to be around good people all day.

Why did you choose information technology as your career field?

It was a sort of hobby for me. I like to be challenged, I also like to keep learning—there is no shortage of that with how much technology evolves and advances.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted your life on the job?

I like being surrounded by people and activity, and it has at times been hard to see the building so idle. Also, I miss the cafeteria. 😊

Three words that describe you as an IT professional:

What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job?

The most challenging aspects are having a difficult issue that can’t be dealt with as fast as you would like or as fast as a user would like. The most rewarding is knowing that we are doing this right and things just run smoothly.

What is one thing every IT specialist needs to know?

Not everything will be solved in the same time frame; you have to have patience and a little creativity and even a little luck sometimes.

Christine with her dad overlooking the Susquehanna River

What person has influenced you the most in life?

Hands down my dad; he instilled my work ethic and integrity. And he cursed me with a fear of failure that keeps me from quitting. His name was Robert, but everyone called him Bob or Bobby.

He was a lifelong car mechanic. He was always involved in learning different things. I grew up with him playing every instrument in rock bands, until he moved onto racing cars and, until his death, he operated a bow hunting shop and taught classes and helped with the local sportsman clubs. He got me interested in tinkering with computers even though I was in Minnesota and he was in the Appalachian mountains of Pennsylvania.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

On a beach somewhere tropical.

More about Technology Services at DCTC…

Information Technology (IT) Services for Students

As we move classes to alternative modes of learning, this information will help you access helpful technology.

Check out a Computer or HotSpot

Students who don’t have access to a computer or internet at home can borrow a Chromebook, Lenovo laptop, or WiFi hotspot from the Library.

  • Must be currently enrolled
  • Chromebooks: semester loan
  • Lenovo laptop & WiFi hotspot: three-week loan
  • Visit the Library in 1-115 or request one online

View instructions on how to login to Microsoft Office 365 on Chromebooks or online.

Extended technical and learning support from Minnesota State

Phone: 844-456-3876

Live support hours

Monday – Thursday: 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday: 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday: 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Help topics:
  • StarID
  • D2L
  • Zoom
  • Office 365 (Teams, Skype, Stream, Email)
  • Kaltura MediaSpace
  • Online Learning

Minnesota State Tech Support

DCTC Tech Support Services

Provides assistance in the following areas:

  • D2L Brightspace
  • Zoom
  • Student email
  • Azure Dev Tools for Teaching
  • Free Online Learning
  • Technology resources
  • StarID
  • On-campus and additional technology resources

Christine Reinhold 12 Answers

  1. Favorite sport or physical activity: I like following baseball, especially the Twins.
  2. Place you would most like to visit: The Maldives or parts of South America if it wasn’t dangerous
  3. The most exciting thing you’ve ever done: I caught a shark deep-sea fishing in the Gulf.
  4. Three things you would do if you won a $1 billion lottery: 1) Give to my family 2) Give to charity 3) Buy a home in Jamaica or somewhere similar
  5. Favorite TV show you’re watching now: Lucifer
  6. Best book you’ve read lately: I just read the eight-book Dexter series. I loved the show so much, and I wanted to read the books, which are completely different and much darker. Typically, I like to read the books first and then see how they adapt them to the screen.
  7. One thing you most want to accomplish in life: Financial freedom—with that comes lots of possibilities
  8. Your national bird if you were your own country: Parrot
  9. Dream occupation: Selling dream homes somewhere tropical
  10. Person you would most like to meet: There are those I admire, like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but no one I want to meet; I think everyday people are way more interesting or fascinating to talk to.
  11. Skill you would most like to learn and master: Swimming
  12. Most important issue or problem facing humankind: Lack of empathy; people have become so selfish and self-centered that they just don’t seem to care about the planet or society as a whole anymore.
Learn more about Technology Services at DCTC by contacting:

Todd Jagerson
Chief Information Officer
Dakota County Technical College
Inver Hills Community College

Learn more about Information Systems Management, Networking Administration and Software Development at DCTC by contacting:

Betty Krueger
Information Systems Technology Faculty

Judy Suddendorf
Information Systems Technology Faculty

Nathan Blommel
Information Systems Technology Faculty

Jeff Owens
Information Systems Technology Faculty