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Former Hennepin Tech Presidents Share Memories

Two former Hennepin Tech presidents

Brooklyn Park, Sept. 21, 2022 – Retired employees and former employees are among those who are celebrating with Hennepin Technical College (Hennepin Tech) during 50th anniversary events that are being held throughout the academic year.

On September 20, retired employees and former employees gathered for the Legacy Lunch, which was sponsored by the Hennepin Technical College Foundation. The event was also a fundraiser for the crisis fund, which helps students during emergencies. During the lunch event, two former Hennepin Tech presidents attended and shared their memories.

Sharon Augenstein, former president, Hennepin Tech
Years of service 1995-2005
(In the photo: first from left)

Hennepin Tech: Thank you for traveling to the Legacy Lunch from your home in Arizona! You have an important place in the history of the college. Please elaborate.

Augenstein: I was the first president of the college. We moved away from being part of District 287 and officially became a college. Previously, we had accreditation from the high school level and we moved to accreditation at the post-secondary level. That was an accomplishment that I shared with everyone campus-wide and it was my honor to lead that.

Hennepin Tech: How did the campus adapt to the transition?

Augenstein: We really changed the culture. We created a faculty leadership council. We wanted to give faculty a greater voice instead of top-down administration.

Hennepin Tech: What are your fondest memories of Hennepin Tech?

Augenstein: There was so much talent. For all the faculty and staff, their hearts are in the right place and they are here to do a good job.

We were the flagship technical college in Minnesota – and I believe that is still true today. To me, it was the biggest honor of my career to be president of this institution.

Cecilia Cervantes, former president, Hennepin Tech
Years of service 2002-2015
(In the photo: Second from left)

Hennepin Tech: A major renovation took place while you were president. Share your memories about that.

Cervantes: Well it was such a mess! Everything was torn up and there were even some tunnels we had to walk through. I am so proud that faculty and staff really stepped up and pitched-in to support students. The learning continued.

Hennepin Tech: What did you enjoy most as president?

Cervantes: I loved the difference we made in student lives. All the success was meaningful. I had the opportunity to get to know and love programs such as Plastics and Fluid Power. I learned so much. Now, I’m hearing that the current Dental Assistant program is expanding and has newly-renovated labs. That’s outstanding!

Hennepin Tech: Any new programs launched during your time as president?

Cervantes: We built the law enforcement center. And there were many programs that expanded such as Automation Robotics. Faculty always were looking to improve existing programs and the goal was to remain state-of-the-art. The focus was always providing what the students needed to be successful in their careers.

About Hennepin Technical College
Founded in 1972, Hennepin Technical College (Hennepin Tech) is the largest stand-alone technical college in Minnesota. With campuses in Brooklyn Park and Eden Prairie, the college offers degree and non-degree courses in more than 40 programs. Achieving a high job placement rate, Hennepin Tech prepares students for in-demand and high-paying employment opportunities.

Last updated by mdibba : 2022-11-12 01:36:23