Electrical lab fires up the grill


The smell of freshly grilled burgers is drifting through the halls today as the Electrical Trades department hosts a meet-and-greet for students and professionals in the electrical industry.

“This is our first annual Electrical Trades Open House,” Instructor Bill Flockhart said. “It’s an opportunity for students and industry representatives to meet and make connections.”

Attendees include local electrical contractors, suppliers, dealers, and vendors, as well as Western Dakota Tech electrical students and alumni.

The groups are touring the electrical lab and getting an overview of current projects the students are working on. Flockhart says the goal is to have some fun, eat some food, and get to know each other.

“There’s something for everyone here today. First-year students looking for summer experience, soon-to-be-graduates looking for employment, and employers looking for employees,” said Flockhart.

The instructors are also using the relaxed event to turn the eye on their own efforts.

“It’s also a good opportunity for us instructors to explore ways to enhance the program to better serve the students and the industry,” said Flockhart.

The Electrical Trades program is a hands-on four-semester Associate of Applied Science degree program. It is designed to give students a solid foundation in electrical technology and start them on the path to learning advanced electrical trades skills.

The event ends at 1:00 p.m. today. Flockhart hopes to continue to grow the event annually.

For more information about the Western Dakota Tech Electrical Trades program, click here.

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Students put headlines into practice with mock Trump rally security detail


Western Dakota Tech students got a taste of the security detail life today during a mock ‘Donald Trump Rally’ on campus.

Criminal Justice students in Jonni Joyce’s Contemporary Security Practices class were tasked with ensuring ‘Mr. Trump’s’ safety from the moment he stepped on campus to the moment he left. This practice is referred to as Executive Protection Detail or Dignitary Detail.

“They’re learning the mechanics of dignitary detail,” Joyce said. “More importantly, they’re learning the importance of multi-department cooperation.”

The students have been preparing details of the mock visit from aerial photos that were compiled into table top maps by computer-aided drafting students. Students considered a wide variety of issues while developing the plan, including best routes to deliver ‘Mr. Trump’ to and from the speech room, security clearance and safety for all on-campus visitors, location for press personnel, and plans of action for dealing with potential threats.

“There is nothing greater than this exercise to create the level of understanding for students between paper and practice,” said Joyce.

Joyce says the current political landscape has provided real-time learning opportunities for students in the Contemporary Security Practices class.

“Trump is providing us so much information for this class,” said Joyce. “We can come into class Monday and discuss what happened during the motorcade or during the speech at one of his events.”

Steve Buchholz, Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness and Advancement, played the role of Donald Trump. ‘Trump’s’ speech took take place at 11:10 in the Pennington County Community room in the Library. All persons in the vicinity between 10:30-11:30 a.m. were subject to screening.

Students participating in the event confiscated two knives during screenings and thwarted two would-be agitators.

“The students elected to have one undercover patrol in the room during the speech,” said Joyce. “That person was able to identify and stop two agitators and as a result the speech was uninterrupted. I’m very proud of how the students conducted themselves during this event.”

Joyce has experience n Special Operations at Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina. She has worked on dignitary details for a number of high-profile politicians including George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Al Gore, and Jimmy Carter. She also has experience working with bomb-detecting canine units.

Everyone involved in the security detail met for a debriefing after the event. Immediate debriefing allowed instructors to analyze and assess the effectiveness of the event to ensure targeted learning outcomes from the program were being met.

For more information on the Criminal Justice program, click here.

For information about Western Dakota Tech, call (800) 544-8765 or (605) 718-2565 or send an email to admissions@wdt.edu.

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A grisly murder at Western Dakota Tech was the perfect opportunity for Criminal Justice students to jump into the world of forensic science, but don’t be alarmed! The murder was, of course, a staged simulation.

Criminal Justice Instructor, Richard Bleil, used a fake body and planted evidence that gives clues to the murder of “Hanna,” a paper-stuffed mannequin. Students surveyed the scene and collected evidence to support their theories of what happened.

Hanna’s murder will be a semester-long project. Students will focus on various elements of the investigation process each week. Hands-on experience and discussion about the investigation will teach students the skills necessary to navigate a crime-scene as criminal justice professionals.

The Forensics course explores how specific technologies are used by professionals in the criminal justice system to apprehend offenders, secure convictions on the guilty, and exonerate the innocent. Students gain perspective on the every-changing forensic practices of the criminal justice system and the impact to society.

For more information about the Criminal Justice program, click here.

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