News and Events

Keeping you in touch with Southeast Technical

President's List announced for spring 2012

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Congratulations to students who made the President's List for this past spring semester. Student who complete a minimum of 12 credits during an academic term and achieve a GPA of 3.5 or above are named to the list. View the full spring 2012 President's List.

South Africa delegation visits SE-Tech jewelry program

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South Africa Visit Jewelry Shop
Jewelry instructor Todd Hawkinson demonstrates jewelry-making techniques to visitors from South Africa.

Southeast Technical jewelry instructor Todd Hawkinson recently played host to a captivated audience of economic development, government and industry representatives from Johannesburg, South Africa, on the Red Wing campus. The visit grew out of Hawkinson’s previous experience working with Hennepin Tech’s Customized Training department, which led the delegation on their visit through Minnesota.

Because the Johannesburg region is uniquely rich with the ideal minerals for making jewelry, the visitors set out to research opportunities for developing this industry back home. In addition to explaining Southeast Technical’s Jewelry Manufacturing & Repair program and providing a tour of the workshop, Hawkinson demonstrated jewelry-making techniques and presented each individual with a pair of handmade earrings, a gift that drew rounds of appreciation.

South Africa Visit Group
Economic development, government and industry officials from Johannesburg, South Africa, pose for a group photo in the Red Wing campus's atrium.

Taking numerous photos along the way, the South African visitors also swung by Southeast Technical’s Band Instrument Repair, Violin Repair and Guitar Building & Repair programs and were treated to a brief tour of Red Wing landmarks led by native Red Winger Katie Hardyman, a business relations manager at Southeast Technical.

The visit made a strong impression on Pilisiwe Twala-Tau, Johannesburg’s executive director of community development and wife of Parks Tau, the Mayor of Johannesburg. With an artistic college-age son, Twala-Tau was excited to relay information about studying the jewelry manufacturing trade at Southeast Technical, imparting to college staff upon leaving, “You have a real gem in this school.”

SE-Tech breaks ground on transportation facility addition

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Transportation constructionSoutheast Technical is excited to announce that construction on the college's transportation building expansion kicked-off during a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday, May 22. Completion of the project is scheduled for fall 2012.

The transportation building expansion calls for a 25,000 square foot, $2.3 million addition to what is currently the truck driving training building. In addition to the Truck Driving program, the expanded facilities will house the Auto Body Collision Technology and Automotive Technology programs. Space on the Winona main campus currently occupied by these programs will be given to the Computerized (CNC) Precision Machining Technology, Industrial Technology, and Welding Technology programs, which have been renting space at the former airport campus now owned by Plasticomp.

Graduation photos now available for purchase

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Graduation 2012 PhotosProfessional photography images taken during both the Winona and Red Wing commencement ceremonies are now available for purchase from the Jolesch Photography website. Click a link below for your campus.

SE-Tech awards four Above & Beyond scholarships

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Above & Beyond 2012
Above & Beyond award recipients pose with Southeast Technical President Jim Johnson. From L to R: Brandon Brokaw, Bridget Witt, President Jim Johnson, and Cody Sailor (Pahoua Xiong not pictured).

Southeast Technical was proud to present four $1,000 scholarships to area high school students honored through the Above & Beyond awards. Each year, the Winona Daily News, Southeast Technical, Winona State University, and St. Mary's University combine efforts to recognize students who have overcome extreme odds to successfully complete their high school education and pursue college. At this year's ceremony, hosted on Southeast Technical's Winona campus, the college awarded scholarships to Brandon Brokaw of Hope Lutheran High School, Pahoua Xiong of Winona Senior High School, Cody Sailor of Lewiston-Altura High School, and Bridget Witt of Houston High School. For full coverage of the event and to learn more about the Above & Beyond awards, please see the Winona Daily News.

SE-Tech announces 2012 Outstanding Alumnus awards

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Southeast Technical is pleased to announce the recipients of the college’s 2012 Outstanding Alumnus Award, Kip Earney for the Red Wing campus and Jerry Kottschade for the Winona campus. The Outstanding Alumnus Award honors alumni who have reached significant achievements in their careers or made significant contributions to their communities and Southeast Technical.

Kip Earney, Red Wing Outstanding Alumnus

Kip EarneyNominated by Business Relations Manager Katie Hardyman, Christopher (Kip) Earney has made his footprint in Red Wing not only as a small business owner, but also as a generous community volunteer and donor. 

After a sports injury derailed his plans to attend a four-year college, Kip, a Bay City native, attended Inver Hills Community College, but transferred to Southeast Technical to be closer to his future wife Cathy. At Southeast Technical, Kip studied small business and retail management in hopes of someday owning a small business. “My instructors were great. They were sales people and business people and the courses were streamlined, covering all of the fundamentals I needed to pursue business ownership,” Kip says.

Upon graduating in 1986, Kip found his small business opportunity. His wife’s parents purchased West End Liquor & Fine Cigars in Red Wing and were busy trying to balance business ownership with their family farm. With a business plan in hand crafted during his time at Southeast Technical, Kip took half-ownership of the liquor store. When his in-laws retired in 2000, Kip purchased their share. 

Besides being known for maintaining an excellent level of customer service at West End Liquor & Fine Cigars, Kip has played a large role in supporting local charities and organizations, including the Red Wing Area Food Shelf, Goodhue County Christmas Project, Toys for Tots, Women in Business, youth baseball and basketball, and Red Wing Hospice. For nominator Katie Hardyman, Kip’s goodwill has not gone unnoticed. “I chose Kip because he’s a great example of the success a Southeast Tech graduate can have, and because he chooses to give back to the community and the college in so many ways through his volunteerism.”

Jerry Kottschade, Winona Outstanding Alumnus

Jerry KottschadeNominated by Auto Body instructor Tom Brandt, Jerry Kottschade has built a career and business using the foundational skills he learned at Southeast Technical. “The education gave me all the basics I wanted. It was a good experience for me,” Kottschade, a Class of ’68 graduate, says.

After graduating from Southeast Technical’s Auto Body program, Jerry worked at Ben’s Beeline Auto collision shop in Mankato while earning a degree in Business Administration from Mankato State University. Pairing his technical skills with strong business acumen, Jerry opened Jerry’s Body Shop, Inc., in 1971 in Mankato with his wife Geralynn (Geri). Through the years, Jerry’s Body Shop has grown to support a crew of 23 technicians and office staff at a 19,000 square foot facility constructed in 1987.

In addition to serving in leadership roles for several automotive associations, Jerry was instrumental in shaping Southeast Technical’s Auto Body program as it is known today. As a member of a five-year program evaluation team in 1986, Jerry reviewed the college’s program and helped make significant steps toward restructuring it to align with employer and industry expectations, spending his own time contacting business connections and helping secure needed equipment to update the college’s shop. Jerry even invited a group of Auto Body advisory committee members and school administrators to visit his shop in Mankato, a tour which was the inspiration for upgrades that took place on the Winona campus in 1988.

Jerry has high regard for Southeast Technical’s Auto Body program and has hired graduates over the years, some staying long term. His wife Geri has also been supportive of the program and helped one of the first female students in the program secure an industry scholarship.

Criminal Justice students find fulfillment in service learning

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Criminal Justice Students
Southeast Technical Criminal Justice students Amanda Davis and Lydia Flanagan lead an art session with Wabasha County Jail inmates.

“No time for crime”—it’s a notion that motivated Southeast Technical Criminal Justice students Lydia Flanagan and Amanda Davis to volunteer at the Wabasha County jail. Together, the duo leads “Creative Minds with Lydia and Amanda,” an activity session where inmates create handmade gifts for their loved ones with donated art supplies.

Lydia and Amanda’s idea to organize an art supplies drive and volunteer at the county jail grew out of a panel discussion between inmates and Criminal Justice students. “Several students went inside the jail and joined inmates for a question and answer session,” explains Criminal Justice instructor Greg Cady. “Our seating arrangement consisted of a circle of inmates and students sitting side-by-side in a secure setting. It was a very powerful learning opportunity.”

“That experience will stick with me because we got to hear about the inmates’ personal lives and different contributing factors that might have led them there,” says Lydia, who hopes to become a correctional officer and possibly earn a certification in substance abuse.

For Amanda, who has her sights set on working with juveniles, visiting with inmates had a similar impact. “Meeting with the inmates taught me so much. Most important was that I am pursuing the right career. It just feels like the right fit.”

Both Lydia and Amanda cite the opportunity to make a difference in society and help people make better choices as motivation for choosing the criminal justice career field. Through their volunteer experience, they’re learning that making a difference can come in small and unexpected ways.

“The art activities give inmates a diversion from staring at their cells all day,” says Lydia. “I’ve had tremendous feedback and they are extremely appreciative—not only the inmates, but the jailers as well. It also allows the family to receive a personal card from their loved one.”

“They were all very appreciative that we held the art sessions and that we are taking time out of our lives to do this,” adds Amanda.