Minnesota State College Southeast - News, Events, and Updates MSC Southeast - News and Events
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MSC Southeast News and Events

News and Events

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16 Students get Workforce Development Scholarships

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Workforce Development Scholarships - 2018
From left: Interim President Larry Lundblad, new nursing student Trisha Woodcock, Rep. Barb Haley, RWHS Principal Todd Herber.

16 MSC Southeast students will be ready to launch high demand careers with the help of new Workforce Development Scholarships

This spring, 16 Minnesota State College Southeast students got the great news that they are being awarded $2500 scholarships through the Workforce Development Scholarship program. The scholarships are designed to help them launch a career in a high-demand occupation in Minnesota.

The Workforce Development Scholarships were initially funded by the 2017 Minnesota Legislature. Representative Barb Haley of Red Wing (District 21A) was instrumental in making the scholarships possible.

"I am pleased to have authored the bill to create the Workforce Development Scholarships that the legislature funded last session. These opportunities are critical to addressing our workforce shortages by providing more students a pathway into high demand fields," said Representative Haley.

The 16 students will major in CNC Machine Tool, Cyber & Information Security, Medical Laboratory Technician, Network Administration & Technology, Nursing, Software Development & Support, and Welding Technology.

The Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association contributed an additional $2,000 towards workforce scholarships. Four students -- all majoring in Welding Technology -- were awarded an additional $500 scholarship.

This fall, Welding Technology instructor Casey Mann will be welcoming seven new students who have been awarded scholarships.

"The Workforce Development Scholarships are a good way to get students to come to college and help them pay their way once they're here," Casey Mann said. "When they enter the workforce, they'll be highly-skilled and highly-trained, plus as college grads, they will have additional math and English skills. They will be well-positioned to become valuable employees."

Alissa Heide will start in the Welding Technology program this fall. "I was in Ag Mechanics in FFA, and welding was one of the categories we had to do," she said. "I would come in before school every day and practice welding. I really liked it, and it felt like I was naturally good at it."

To save money, Alissa will commute 45 miles from home and work part-time during college. She noted, "The Workforce Development Scholarship will really help with keeping the cost of college down."

$2500 Workforce Development Scholarship Awards will be made to:

  • Roberta Callahan, Zumbrota: Medical Laboratory Technician
  • Joshua Doust, Duluth: Welding Technology
  • Paige Fahnel, Wabasha: Nursing
  • Joshua Hansen, Elgin: CNC Machine Tool
  • Alissa Heide,* Fountain: Welding Technology 
  • Matthew Johnson,* Winona: Welding Technology 
  • Pierce Lind,* Peterson: Welding Technology 
  • Brendan Marcotte, Winona: Network Administration & Technology
  • Reginia Meyer, Houston: Nursing
  • Nickolas Meyer, Welch: Welding Technology 
  • Angel Najera, Winona: Software Development & Support
  • Logan Sammon,* Red Wing: Welding Technology 
  • Martin Sanchez, Winona: Welding Technology
  • Michelle Waller, Red Wing: Cyber & Information Security
  • Trisha Woodcock, Red Wing: Medical Laboratory Technician
  • Rainy Yangtz, Winona: CNC Machine Tool

 *Awarded additional $500 scholarship from the Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association.

"We are all concerned about the current workforce crisis. The Workforce Development Scholarships are a way of encouraging prospective students to prepare for careers in technical fields. Graduates will find amazing opportunities await them in these high skill, high demand areas," said MSC Southeast Interim President Larry Lundblad, adding, "The college is in the process of identifying employers who might provide matching funds for additional scholarships."

The Workforce Development Scholarships are available to students who will be entering any Minnesota State two-year college to earn an associate degree, diploma, or certificate in high-demand sectors of Minnesota's economy. Programs that qualify for the scholarships are in advanced manufacturing, agriculture, health care services, and information technology.

Jay Dureske honored with 2018 Outstanding Alumni Award - Winona

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 Minnesota State College Southeast honors Jay Dureske with 2018 Outstanding Alumni Award - Winona

Jay Dureske and Larry LundbladSince graduating from the Electronics Technology program in 1992, Jay Dureske has advanced in his career to a leadership role as an Engineering Supervisor at Benchmark Electronics and has become a valued supporter of Minnesota State College Southeast.

On Wednesday, May 9, he was honored with the "Outstanding Alumni of the Year" award at the college's Winona campus graduation ceremony. The award recognizes outstanding personal and professional achievement and service to others.

"In my 35 years here, I have never seen a single community member do so much for our college behind the scenes," said Electronics Technology instructor Mike Wadewitz in nominating Jay Dureske for the award. "He has always graciously volunteered his time when working with current and future students."

Jay served in the Armed Forces Reserves for twelve years -- six years in the Marines and six years in the Army. While enrolled at MSC Southeast, he was called up and served in Desert Storm. Despite the interruption to his education, he returned to college and graduated from the Electronics Technology program. "He was a great student," remembered Mike Wadewitz.

Benchmark's Winona facility manufactures supercomputing, aerospace, and medical components. Jay began his career at Benchmark in 2005 as a bench technician, and then moved into a supervisory/leadership role in 2008. He credits his education at MSC Southeast for setting him on the right path.

"The instructors do a really a good job at setting us up with a base of knowledge and giving us the resources to learn more going forward," Jay said, noting that, "The technology I learned back in 1992 is long gone. The industry is continually evolving so you have to ready to learn to keep up with it."

In a similar vein, Jay has helped arrange internships for MSC Southeast instructors to come to Benchmark and keep up with the latest technologies. "These opportunities have helped the college maintain a very well-known and highly respected Electronics Technology program," said Mike Wadewitz.

Jay's connections to MSC Southeast remain strong. He refers employees to the college for additional training and brings first year electronics students to Benchmark for tours. He also comes to campus to present at high school and college career fairs. "I believe Benchmark's partnership with the college is vital for us to be able to fill our new employee pipeline," he said.

In addition to his service to the college, Jay is very active in the Winona community. He has been involved in the EMS field for more than 20 years, volunteered on several community outreach mission trips, and serves as Chairperson and Head Cook for a weekly free community meal at Central Lutheran Church.

"On behalf of the entire college community, I am happy to congratulate Jay Dureske for receiving the 2018 Outstanding Alumni - Winona Award," said Interim President Larry Lundblad. "This is an honor well deserved."

Mike Corrigan honored with Outstanding Alumni Award - Red Wing

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Mike Corrigan, Band Instrument Repair graduate, honored with 2018 MSC Southeast Outstanding Alumni Award - Red Wing

Mike Corrigan and Larry LundbladMike Corrigan of Overland Park, Kansas, received the 2018 Outstanding Alumni Award at Minnesota State College Southeast's graduation ceremony in Red Wing on May 8. He was nominated for the award by all three of the college's Band Instrument Repair Instructors -- Greg Beckwith, John Huth, and Lucas Pemberton.

A graduate of Band Instrument Repair (BIR) in 2000, Mike has since gone on to found several successful business ventures, most notably Best American Craftsman (B.A.C.), a company manufacturing musical instruments in Kansas City. B.A.C. makes individually crafted custom brass instruments for top players. The company also designs and markets high quality instruments for professional musicians, students, and marching bands.

To date, over 100 instruments have been made by hand at B.A.C. in Kansas City. These instruments have been played by professionals the world over and seen on television with top musical groups including Wynton Marsalis' Jazz at Lincoln Center, Trombone Shorty, Bruno Mars, Kool and the Gang, Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, John Legend, and many, many more.

"When I started seeing my horns being played on the Grammy Awards and the Oscars, I started thinking, 'I may not be on stage performing with these guys, but part of me is,' " he recently told a newspaper reporter.

"Mike continues to push both repair and instrument manufacturing forward by applying his understanding of historic instrument making techniques to modern day instruments," said BIR instructor John Huth in nominating Mike Corrigan. "His designs and resulting instruments are making B.A.C. a familiar name in music circles."

Mike maintains close ties with the college. He visits MSC Southeast regularly to share his story with BIR students and recruit potential employees. He is an active member of the Band Instrument Program Advisory Committee and has presented clinics at the college through the National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians (NAPBIRT). He has also made donations of used musical instruments to the BIR program and arranged the purchase of B.A.C. instruments at a discount.

Moreover, Mike is a tireless ambassador for the college. "He is a loud proponent of the Band Instrument Repair program in Red Wing, continually singing our praises and encouraging musicians to attend the college," John Huth said.

Beyond his connections to MSC Southeast, Mike gives back to the larger community in other ways. Following Hurricane Katrina, Mike and his staff travelled to New Orleans to help repair damaged instruments free of charge. In 2011, he received a key to the city from Mayor Mitch Landrieu for his efforts, and even spoke at the World Economic Cultural Forum for Cultural Leaders.

In Kansas City, Mike Corrigan and B.A.C. are part of the historic jazz district's revival. His commitment to the area's significant role in the development of jazz is fostering other entrepreneurs to invest in the neighborhood.

"Mike Corrigan's business success and passion for the craft of musical instrument repair and building is a credit to our college, our instructors, and our Band Instrument Repair program," said Interim President Larry Lundblad.  "We are proud to call him one of our own."

Congratulations to Mike Corrigan!

© 2019 Minnesota State College Southeast

RED WING CAMPUS | 308 Pioneer Road | Red Wing, MN 55066 | 651-385-6300
WINONA CAMPUS | 1250 Homer Road | Winona, MN 55987 | 507-453-2700

Minnesota State College Southeast is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and employer. ADA accessible. MSC Southeast is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in employment and education opportunity. No person shall be discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment, personnel practices, or access to and participation in, programs, services, and activities with regard to race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, or sexual orientation. In addition, discrimination in employment base on membership or activity in a local commission as defined by law is prohibited.


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