AlumKnights Newsletter Winter 2023

DCTC campus community back at school for spring semester

2022 The Gift of Inspiration Alumni Fund Drive

Campaign raises $9,070

Last month, DCTC’s Alumni Advisory Board coordinated the 6th annual Alumni Fund Drive, The Gift of Inspiration, with the campaign attempting to raise $10,000 by December 16, 2022. Graduates were encouraged to make a contribution with proceeds providing scholarship awards, emergency funds, free food through the campus Food Pantry, and more.

The support and generosity of our graduates serves as a reminder of what’s possible with hard work and determination. Additionally, financial gifts provide students with a boost of confidence knowing someone who once walked in their shoes believes in their ability to succeed.

Altogether, our graduates contributed $9,070, just shy of the 2022 goal. Thank you, graduates, for investing in educational opportunities and supporting DCTC students as they pursue their career aspirations.

Tax-deductible alumni donations can be made at:

Or send checks to:

DCTC Foundation
1300 145th Street East
Rosemount, MN 55068

Thank you!

Transportation Showcase Fall 2022

Area high school students tour DCTC Transportation program areas

Dakota County Technical College held a Transportation Showcase Wednesday, November 16, 2022, on the DCTC campus in Rosemount, Minnesota. Students from area high schools toured the college’s five Transportation program areas. The students engaged with DCTC faculty, staff, and students along with industry leaders to learn more about the advantages of technical education while exploring the numerous career opportunities in the transportation sector.

The Transportation Showcase featured hands-on activities and interactive presentations. Experts in their fields, instructors in the Auto Body Collision Technology, Automotive Technician, GM ASEP, Heavy Construction Equipment Technology, and Heavy Duty Truck Technology programs greeted the students in the college’s state-of-the-art labs. Employers from local dealerships, manufacturers, and businesses introduced the students to the latest industry products.

Jason Wetzel, MBA, transportation, construction, and manufacturing dean at DCTC, thanked faculty, staff, and students who worked as a team to make this Transportation Showcase the most successful to date.

“Numerous compliments were given from all parties participating in the event,” Dean Wetzel said. “Many folks who took part in previous showcases mentioned that this was the smoothest running event they have attended. Specifically, they liked the size of student groups, organization/structure of the stations, and flow of the event. So many of you went above and beyond to create a wonderful environment and well-run day.”


Megan Ewing: Alumna Spotlight

Megan Ewing

2016 grad working as a clinic supervisor at BFP and TCO

Megan Ewing, 32, earned her Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in the Medical Assistant program at Dakota County Technical College. Megan graduated from DCTC in May 2016. She then joined the staff as a certified medical assistant (CMA) at the Allina Health Shakopee Clinic. She completed her required program practicum at the Allina Clinic in Eagan.

Daughter Madison with family Rottie

Today, Megan serves in a clinic supervisor role at Burnsville Family Physicians (BFP) and Twin Cities Orthopedics (TCO) in Burnsville, Minnesota. She started at the clinic in 2018 and was previously the lead of CMAs. She is looking forward to advancing her career as a healthcare management professional.

“I would like to continue my education in this area,” Megan said, “and one day become a district manager overseeing multiple clinics.”

During her time at DCTC, Megan carried a full load of courses and worked full-time all while caring for her daughter as a single mother. She was inspired to enroll in the Medical Assistant program for a number of reasons.

“I had been in retail sales for so long and absolutely loved working with people, but I wanted to try something different rather than sales,” Megan said. “I have always cared a lot about people, and healthcare interested me. My friends and family were telling me they always thought I would end up in healthcare with my people skills and the empathy I showed.”


DCTC Joins ALL IN Most Engaged Campuses for College Student Voting

Campus community works to increase student voter turnout

Dakota County Technical College joined 394 colleges and universities in earning the inaugural ALL IN Most Engaged Campus for College Student Voting recognition, which honors the intentional work the campus community accomplished in 2022 to institutionalize nonpartisan democratic engagement to increase student voter turnout.

DCTC earned the recognition by completing the following four actions:
  • Participate in the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge
  • Shared 2020 NSLVE Reports with campus voting data with ALL IN
  • Developed and submitted a 2022 democratic engagement action plan with ALL IN
  • Have a current signatory to ALL IN’s Higher Education Presidents’ Commitment to Full Student Voter Participation

Anna Voight serves as associate director of student life at DCTC. Anna reported that students in the college’s Voter Engagement Group—Jonathan Torrence, Emily Walzer-Kuntz, Jarred VanHorn, and Danielle Jones—deserve all the credit for their work to increase student voter turnout and the ALL IN recognition.

“In the 14 years I have been involved in voter engagement work at DCTC, I have never worked with such a passionate, diligent, and innovative group as our students were this year,” Anna said. “They brainstormed innovate ideas about how to engage their peers in discussions about voting that would inspire them to vote.”


Dakota Electric Donates Funds to DCTC

Dakota Electric board of directors with school district superintendents and DCTC president (left to right): Board Chair Paul Bakken, Director Margaret Schreiner, Farmington School District Superintendent Jason Berg, Director Bill Middlecamp, Cannon Falls School District Superintendent Jeff Sampson, Director John DeYoe, DCTC President Michael Berndt

Unclaimed capital credits money also supports area school district projects

Dakota Electric Association recently donated $47,000 from unclaimed capital credits funds to Dakota County Technical College and three area school districts. DCTC President Michael Berndt greatly appreciated the Dakota Electric donation.

“Dakota Electric has been a long-time and valued partner,” President Berndt said. “We are extremely grateful for their many investments in our students and programs. This particular donation will provide invaluable support to our veteran and active military students and their family members, extending financial assistance in areas not covered by veteran benefits.”


Boyer Trucks Donates $27,000 Toolbox with Tools to HDTT

(left to right) Ken Klassen, Pete Szybatka, Brett Weaver, Joel Pearson, Ed White

Heavy Duty Truck Technology students benefit from industry support

Boyer Trucks recently donated a $27,000 Matco toolbox with tools to the Heavy Duty Truck Technology (HDTT) program at Dakota County Technical College. Edwin White serves as faculty in the HDTT program. Ed welcomes the industry support, knowing that his students will take full advantage of the donation.

“Boyer has been a long-time supporter of our program,” he said. “In the past, we have had several students pursue careers with them. We currently have several students working for them while attending class. This donation allows them to use their personal tools on the job while having access to tools for their education. We appreciate everything Boyer Trucks does for our students and program.”

Brett Weaver is a recruiter with Boyer Trucks. Brett believes the Heavy Duty Truck Technology curriculum provides graduates with the comprehensive foundation they need to succeed in the industry.

“Boyer Trucks is proud to support the HDTT program at DCTC as we believe it helps instill values that Boyer stands by—such as taking pride in one’s work and finishing what you start,” he said. “The program helps develop not only the skills future technicians will need to develop into Master Techs on the technical side, but also the soft skills they will need to thrive in the workforce of today and the future.”


Jeremy Bahr: Business Student Spotlight

Jeremy Bahr

U.S. Air Force veteran earning two associate degrees and three certificates

Jeremy Bahr, 40, is an exceptionally busy student at Dakota County Technical College. Jeremy is earning a 60-credit A.A.S. in Technical Management (graduating December 2022), a 60-credit A.S. in Business Administration (graduating May 2023), a 17-credit Supervisory Leadership certificate (completing December 2022), a 17-credit Quality Improvement certificate (completing May 2023), and a 17-credit Human Resource Management certificate (completing May 2023).


The curriculums for all five Business department programs (all 171 credits) are delivered 100 percent online. That approach to learning is ideal for working adults with family responsibilities. Jeremy holds a full-time job at 3M as a master lab technician—he was promoted from his role as a production operator in June 2022. He has worked at 3M since 2014.

Jeremy is married and has four daughters, four dogs, and two cats. Attending college fully online saves him money by reducing travel expenses while giving him a more flexible schedule and more time to be with his family.

Jeremy has also benefited from online coursework in another way. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran who served from 2002–2012. He was an aircraft fuel systems craftsman and was stationed at Hurlburt Field in Florida, Kunsan Air Base in Korea, and the Minneapolis–Saint Paul Joint Air Reserve Station. During his time in the USAF, Jeremy deployed several times, including to Iraq (Iraq War), Afghanistan (War in Afghanistan), Uzbekistan, and Kuwait. His rank at the end of his active service was staff sergeant or E-5.


Best for Vets Ranks DCTC 11th in Midwest

College provides full array of support services for military veterans, active-duty servicemembers, and their families

2022 Military Times Best for Vets: Colleges has ranked Dakota County College #11 for all ranked colleges in the Midwest. Best for Vets included five ranking categories this year. Along with its Midwest ranking, DCTC was recognized in the following categories:

  • 80th in Overall
  • 10th in At Least 2 But Less Than 4 Years
  • 70th in Primarily In-Person Education
  • 65th in Public

According to Military Times, “This year’s Best for Vets: Colleges survey includes responses from more than 300 schools that answered more than 70 questions on their services and programs specific to military students—whether active-duty, veteran, or families and dependents of servicemembers.

“Student success metrics (completion, retention, persistence, GPA1) are the most important factor in determining the relative ranking of schools on this year’s list, followed closely by the range of military-specific resources and the level of financial assistance they offer. Admissions and registration policies, human resources and assorted miscellaneous considerations also factor into the scoring rubric.”


Learn more about the the Alumni Advisory Board and Alumni Association by contacting:

Amy Eppen
DCTC Foundation Development Director
DCTC Alumni Association on Facebook
DCTC Alumni on LinkedIn