IT Staff Awarded Certificates of Appreciation from White House

Tom Kennedy, Shaun Burg, Christine Reinhold, Timothy Bohanon, and Curtis Willcutt recognized by White House Communications Agency (WHCA)

President Joseph R. Biden Jr. visited the Rosemount campus of Dakota County Technical College (DCTC) Tuesday afternoon, November 30, 2021. The U.S. president spoke for about 30 minutes in the college’s Heavy Duty Truck Technology (HDTT) area, focusing on the benefits of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The college’s Technology Services department took on a major role in making sure the visit proceeded smoothly in the areas communications and information systems. The White House Communications Agency (WHCA), which provides assured global information services to the nation’s Executive Branch, recognized five Technology Services staff members, Tom Kennedy, Shaun Burg, Christine Reinhold, Timothy Bohanon, and Curtis Willcutt, for their exemplary work during the historic event.

All five staff members were awarded WHCA Certificates of Appreciation by the WHCA lead communications officer during a Zoom meeting on campus December 9, 2021.

“I cannot thank Mr. Todd Jagerson, his team, and the DCTC staff enough,” the senior leader said. “Their direct support enabled our team to provide the critical resources to the President and his staff. We could not have made this a successful trip without their contributions.”

Todd Jagerson serves as the chief information officer (CIO) at DCTC and Inver Hills Community College. CIO Jagerson reported that his team handled their unanticipated responsibilities with confidence and professionalism.

“The DCTC IT staff make me proud daily to be associated with them,” he said. “This group is not afraid to step up, step in, and look for successful outcomes to any task presented to them. I am fortunate to work with such a great group of persons.”

DCTC President Michael Berndt was on hand at the presentation to congratulate the Technology Services staff members.

“I was pleased to see our IT staff recognized by the White House,” President Berndt said. “There are so many times when our IT and Operations staff tackle challenges of which other departments are not even aware. Preparing campus for the President’s visit was just a more intense example of the minor miracles they perform every day.”

WHCA Certificate presentation gallery

More about President Biden’s visit to DCTC

Before speaking, President Biden toured the HDTT area and met with students to learn more about how the college’s Transportation programs produce graduates essential for infrastructure development and enhancement.

The college’s Construction & Manufacturing and STEM Careers programs also train students who will take on crucial jobs in everything from delivering high-speed internet to repairing and rebuilding roads and bridges to improving public transit to upgrading airports and seaports to neutralizing cyberattacks to modernizing the nation’s clean energy grid to meeting the diverse challenges posed by climate change.

Sarah Riviere-Herzan, a student in the college’s Heavy Construction Equipment Technology (HCET) program, introduced the president to an audience of roughly 100 invited guests and DCTC campus community members, including several students participating in the Student Senate as well as students majoring in Transportation programs.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, U.S. Senator Tina Smith, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, and U.S. Representative Angie Craig also spoke at the event. U.S. Representative Dean Phillips and U.S. Representative Betty McCollum attended the event.

LEARN MORE…

View more event photos by visiting the DCTC Flickr album:

President Biden DCTC Visit 2021


Technology Services staff perspectives

Tom Kennedy

Tom Kennedy

Information Technology Specialist 3
Technology Services
Dakota County Technical College

Principal job duties: I’m the network and systems administrator. I’m responsible for the college networking both wired and wifi. I’m also responsible for most of the “back end” services the IT department provides like servers we maintain on-campus and cloud services. When you log into a college computer, I make sure you can connect to the services you need to use.
Year started working at DCTC: 2006
Age: 44
Hometown: Saint Paul, Minnesota
High school and year graduated: Harding, Class of 1995
Education: Some college at Inver Hills

Tom and his wife, Liz, have been married 18 years. They have three children, Liam, 16, Finn,13, and Clare, 7. The family has three cats.

In his free time, Tom enjoys old cars, woodworking, and amateur radio.

Tom Kennedy Q & A:

President Berndt with Tom

What do you enjoy most about your job at DCTC?

I like the atmosphere with my coworkers. I get a huge sense of satisfaction being part of an organization whose mission it is to do some good in the world by enabling people to improve their lives.

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

There is a mix of boring repetitive work and very complex technical challenges. You need to be good at both to excel in IT, but don’t ignore your people skills either. Having both the deep knowledge of the systems you are dealing with needs to be combined with the ability to help users who need things from IT, but may not have the technical background to know exactly how to ask for them. The ability to understand that gap and know how to bridge it is what makes an IT department great.

What was your role during President Biden’s visit to DCTC?

To help coordinate the IT needs of the White House and press corps teams and provide them with the services they required. Things like temporary cabling in the building, telephone and internet services, and connectivity for the various media organizations that broadcast the president’s speech.

What is your most memorable experience from the visit?

Helping get internet connectivity to the media camera platform at the last moment when they all discovered that they could not get cellular service in the building to establish their live feeds. Security at that time was very tight and getting through and working in that environment was wild.


Shaun Burg

Shaun Burg

Information Technology Specialist 3
Technology Services
Dakota County Technical College

Principal job duties: Server admin, systems admin
Year started working at DCTC: 2012
Age: 43
Hometown: Bloomington, Minnesota
High school and year graduated: Bloomington Kennedy, Class of 1997
Education: Networking Administration A.A.S. from DCTC

Shaun is a big hockey fan and follows the Minnesota Wild and Minnesota Golden Gophers. He also enjoys traveling.

Shaun Burg Q & A:

President Berndt with Shaun

What do you enjoy most about your job at DCTC?

I like that there are always new challenges and that we have a great team. Everyone is willing to help out when needed and everyone brings unique skills to the table.

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

Don’t be intimidated. If you are truly interested in a career in IT—go for it! You will need to put in the work, but it will be very rewarding once you land a job in the field.

What was your role during President Biden’s visit to DCTC?

Setting up/modifying infrastructure to assist the communications and security teams with their operations.

What is your most memorable experience from the visit?

Seeing the DCTC name and logo appear on a national stage. Very cool!


Christine Reinhold

Christine Reinhold

Information Technology Specialist 2
Technology Services
Dakota County Technical College

Principal job duties: Security patching and updating along with collaborating with her coworkers to find solutions for technology-related issues, Mac administration
Year started working at DCTC: 2013
Age: 58
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
High school and year graduated: Northern Chester County Technical School (NCCTS), Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, Class of 1981

Education:
Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Supervisory Management, GPA 3.99
A.A.S. in Networking Administration, GPA 4.0
A.A.S. in Information Systems Management, GPA 4.0
All three degrees from DCTC

Christine’s husband, Greg, works as a welder/fabricator, a job he has been doing since he graduated from Hennepin Tech in 1979. Christine and Greg have two adult daughters, April and Amber, and five grandchildren, Brynn, 13, Brooke, 10, Taylor, 8, Joey, 6, and Zoe, 6.

In her free time, Christine loves to be out on her motorcycle, a Harley Davidson Ultra Classic. She also likes to travel and shop. Christine resides with her family in Farmington, Minnesota.

Learn more about Christine by reading the DCTC News story:

“Essential Worker Spotlight: Christine Reinhold”

Christine Reinhold Q & A:

President Berndt with Christine

What do you enjoy most about your job at DCTC?

The people I work with and knowing that our mission is so valuable.

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

You can’t know everything. You will need other people’s knowledge/resources. There are so many different roles you could fit into.

What was your role during President Biden’s visit to DCTC?

We had to prepare spaces to meet the needs of the support teams that came ahead of time and be on standby if anything else came up.

What is your most memorable experience from the visit?

It was a surreal feeling that is hard to explain and also the pride of knowing our school and such an amazing student were getting recognition.


Timothy Bohanon

Timothy Bohanon

Information Technology Specialist 1
Technology Services
Dakota County Technical College

Principal job duties: Help users solve their technical issues.

Year started working at DCTC: 2017

Age: 30

Hometown: Farmington, Minnesota

High school and year graduated: Farmington, Class of 2009

Education: degrees, diplomas, and certificates:
Networking Administration A.A.S.
Information Systems Management A.A.S.
Both degrees from DCTC

Timothy has been married to his wife, Jami, for more than two years. They have two dogs, Bear and Bella. In his free time Timothy enjoys playing video games, watching movies, and riding his four-wheeler and motorcycle. He also likes to go camping.

Timothy Bohanon Q & A:

President Berndt with Timothy

What do you enjoy most about your job at DCTC?

Being able to help people and learning new things everyday.

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

IT is a great career to get into with many job opportunities out there.

What was your role during President Biden’s visit to DCTC?

I helped run cables for technology use for the President’s different teams and also troubleshooting problems that came up.

What is your most memorable experience from the visit?

To get a new perspective than what I have seen from a different career field when a president visits.


Curtis Willcutt

Curtis Willcutt

Information Technology Specialist 1
Technology Services
Dakota County Technical College

Year started working at DCTC: 2018
Principal job duties: Troubleshoot information technology equipment on campus, including PCs, Macs, printers, and audiovisual equipment.
Age: 37
Hometown: Bloomington, Minnesota
High school and year graduated: Kennedy, Class of 2003

Curtis and his wife, Qunfang, have been married seven years. They have one daughter, Abigail, age 3.

In his free time, Curtis enjoys tinkering with technology, old and new, and learning how to use different computer programs—mostly video game and video game design software. He also likes taking apart old video game consoles and fixing them.

Curtis Willcutt Q & A:

President Berndt and Curtis

What do you enjoy most about your job at DCTC?

There is always something new to learn, and we have a great group of coworkers, staff, and faculty throughout the campus.

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

Keep learning, never stop educating yourself on new hardware and software. Technology is always changing and you must change/adapt with it. Take the knowledge you already have and continue to build it.

What was your role during President Biden’s visit to DCTC?

Supporting with cable management and technology requests.

What is your most memorable experience from the visit?

Waking up early to make sure the tasks given to me were completed.


Learn more about Technology Services at DCTC by contacting:

Todd Jagerson
Chief Information Officer
Dakota County Technical College
Inver Hill Community College
651-423-8518

Shaun Burg, Tom Kennedy, Timothy Bohanon, Curtis Wilcutt, Christine Reinhold

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