2023 Dave Schroeder Outstanding Student Award Winners

Ashley Sarne and Jarred VanHorn recognized with prestigious collegiate honor

Two upcoming Dakota County Technical College graduates, Ashley Sarne, 20, a sophomore in the Software Development program, and Jarred VanHorn, 22, a sophomore in the Architectural Technology and Technical Management programs, have been recognized as the college’s 2023 Dave Schroeder Outstanding Students.

This award is given in honor and memory of Dave Schroeder, the college’s first president, who served from 1970 to 1999. Ashley and Jarred will be formally recognized during the 2023 DCTC Commencement Ceremony May 12, 2023, at 7 p.m. at Aldrich Arena in Maplewood, Minnesota. Ashley will be the student keynote speaker at the event.

2023 Dave Schroeder Outstanding Student Award Nominating Committee comments:

“Both Jarred and Ashley are excellent, top-notch students and people who are very deserving of this award.”

“The testimonies from the individuals who nominated Ashley and Jarred were inspiring and helped me make the decision to choose them as winners.”

“When reviewing the nominees, I feel Jarred and Ashley have gone above and beyond to excel in the classroom and in their extra curricular activities. They clearly demonstrate a love for DCTC, their fellow students, and their communities. Both are extremely deserving of this award.”

2023 Dave Schroeder Outstanding Student: Ashley Sarne

Ashley Sarne

Ashley Sarne is earning her Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Software Development at DCTC. Ashley is an exceptionally engaged student at DCTC. She serves as the college’s lead student ambassador. She’s also a member of the Student Senate and president of the newly formed IT Club.

After graduating from DCTC in May 2023, Ashley plans on pursuing her career goals on becoming a UX/UI designer and developer. She also plans on starting her creative studio called ‘Janelle Studios’ that provides services, such as graphic and web design, to help small businesses craft and elevate their brand.

Ashley is originally from Quezon City, the most populous city of the Philippines and located just northeast of Manila, the nation’s capital. She moved to Minnesota with her mom in 2018. When asked what she loved most about life in Quezon City, she said, “Living in Quezon City means that you are mostly at the center of all the places you’re looking for. From great places you can go for food, entertainment, leisure activities, and even schools—all of these are nearby with the help of public transportation.”

Ashley’s favorite place in the Philippines is somewhere she hasn’t visited yet, El Nido, Palawan—or any beaches in Palawan. What she misses most about her birthplace are her friends and other family members.

“And the food!” she added.

“I am overwhelmed with gratitude to receive the Dave Schroeder Outstanding Student Award. My time at DCTC has provided me with opportunities for leadership and growth that I will continue to cherish in my future endeavors.”
Ashley Sarne
Software Development Major
2023 Dave Schroeder Outstanding Student
Dakota County Technical College

Learn more about Ashley by reading her story on DCTC News:

Student Spotlight: Ashley Sarne

2023 Dave Schroeder Outstanding Student: Jarred VanHorn

Jarred VanHorn

Jarred is double-majoring in Architectural Technology and Technical Management at DCTC, earning A.A.S. degrees in both programs. He holds a 4.0 GPA and made the President’s List in fall semester 2021, spring semester 2022, and fall semester 2022.

Jarred was recently named a 2023 Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society New Century Workforce Pathway Scholar. He was selected for the honor as the DCTC student on the All-Minnesota Academic Team nominated for the All-USA Academic Team.

Originally from Farmington, Minnesota, Jarred graduated from Farmington High School, Class of 2019, having played varsity soccer for the Farmington Tigers. He played forward for the Blue Knights NJCAA soccer team in 2021–2022 season.

Jarred previously studied at the Colorado School of Mines and the University of St. Thomas. His academic journey was completely transformed after he found his way to DCTC. He explained how the college changed his perspective on higher education in a speech he gave at the DCTC Student Life Dinner in spring semester 2022.

“I learned a lot from the past three years,” Jarred said, “but the most significant thing I learned was how important mental health and other basic needs are when it comes to being successful in college.

“I am incredibly grateful and humbled to receive the Dave Schroeder Outstanding Student Award this year. It’s an incredible honor and also a great reminder of the importance of hard work, perseverance, and building a community of supportive-loving people around you. I am so grateful for the lessons I’ve learned and the people who have helped me in achieving this award!”
Jarred VanHorn
Architectural Technology and Technical Management Major
2023 Dave Schroeder Outstanding Student
Dakota County Technical College

Learn more about Jarred by reading his story on DCTC News:

Student Spotlight: Jarred VanHorn

More about the Dave Schroeder Outstanding Student Award

Dave Schroeder, former DCTC president

Dave Schroeder

Dave Schroeder
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.

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.

“We started with nothing and created programs that changed people’s lives.”
David L. Schroeder
Dakota County Technical College President
1970 – 1999

“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 and passed away in 2011. “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.”

Dave Schroeder Outstanding Student Award nominations are based on the following criteria:
  • College involvement and participation
  • Academic performance
  • Service to community
  • Other considerations, including perseverance in the face of adversity or unique challenges
Learn more about Student Life and the Dave Schroeder Outstanding Student Award by contacting:
Associate Director of Student Life
Dakota County Technical College