By Linda Andersen
Dustin Hart, in the years since his 2003 graduation from Kittson Central, has not only built a rewarding graphic design career, but has learned (through a very scary experience) the value of blood donation.
“Probably the most interesting or life changing thing that’s happened to me since leaving Kittson County would be the wild ride that was the birth of my son,” wrote Hart in a recent email. At http://bekkieanddustin.com/archer-allen/, one can read of the birth of Hart’s son, Archer.
When Hart’s wife, Bekkie, was nearly 38 weeks pregnant, medical professionals induced labor. Due to “an amniotic fluid embolism, triggered by placental abruption,” Bekkie experienced two medical emergencies, both of which required large amounts of blood products, in the hours following Archer’s birth. On the website, Bekkie, who is a clinical lab scientist in the human clinical lab at Mayo Clinic, relates a conversation she had with an anesthesiology resident. Her description of this conversation gives one some idea of the seriousness of her condition. “She (the anesthesiologist) told us that she’d gone through the records as far back as possible, and as far as they could see, I am the only one in Mayo Clinic’s history to ever survive an amniotic fluid embolism. Not exactly the kind of history I ever wanted to make, but I’m certainly grateful I did. The best part is that we ended up with a perfectly healthy, adorable baby boy.”
Archer’s birth occurred about two and one-half years ago and the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Calendar has since featured the Hart’s story.
Now, on to Dustin’s career – Dustin, who is the son of Jeff and Shelly Hart and the brother of Spencer Hart and Sadie Hart, explained how he came to his current work. “When I was young, my dad purchased a Macintosh Performa 850, and I was hooked. Sim City and Oregon Trail were fun, but I really sunk a lot of time in creating stacks in Hyper Studio. (Which later I came to find out was how many early websites were built). So, without realizing it, I was already building websites when I was in junior high. Then, when I was in high school, Mrs. Lindberg got me interested in Photoshop, and that led to my decision to attend Alexandria Tech. and pursue a graphic design career, which in turn brought me to web design.”
“I started by working for a small print shop in Little Falls, Minn. (Spectrum) designing small websites, print materials and apparel. From there I took a job working for a U.K. based company designing monthly magazines and online hobby/craft TV and video websites. After five years there, with a few trips to England in between, I took a job at CWS where I’ve been designing and building websites ever since.”
Dustin said that CWS stands for Corporate Web Services and also operates under Cactus Cow Digital and MedEd Web Solutions. “We build sites for both local (Mayo Clinic as well as mid to large size businesses in the Rochester, Minn. area) as well as larger companies nationwide,” he added.
Contined on page 5
In describing his work, Dustin wrote, “I meet with business owners and marketing specialists to understand what they would like to accomplish with their websites, and from there I design and build websites to help our clients not only have a professionally branded and strong looking site that’s up to date with the latest browsers and devices, but how to turn visitors into customers. So, designing the user experience as well as driving the user’s actions to either become more informed about the topic, or to perform an action such as making a purchase or signing up for a service.”
What advice would Dustin give to a high school student who is interested in technology? “Learn to be self taught. Don’t be afraid to ask for help of course, but the ability to self teach is very important in technology related fields. Being able to adapt as new technology becomes available means being able to continually learn new techniques/languages and practices. You are always learning.”
What does Dustin like about his work? “I like that I get to work on sites ranging from medical and historical, for example, some of the Mayo Clinic websites I’ve done, two local athletic club sites, such as the Rochester Athletic Club. The variety is something I really enjoy. I like that it’s something new each time, a new challenge, and some new area of business that I now get to learn about throughout the design and build process.”
Dustin wrote that CWS is a “fun place to work” and one suspects he is doubly appreciative of family after the “wild ride” of his son’s birth. Regarding plans for the future he stated, “I’m just trying my best to live in the moment and enjoy both my work and family.”
Want to see some of Dustin’s websites? Dustin offered these links to some of the other favorite sites he has created: