Program: Welding Technology
Education/Industry Certifications: Associate of Applied Science degree, Welding Technology, SCC; American Welding Society Certified welder; AWS Certified Welding Inspector
Has Taught at SCC Since: 2010
Years of Work Experience Outside SCC: Nine
Describe your teaching philosophy.
I try to take the lessons and skills a student will learn and develop real-life scenarios where what they are learning will be useful. Many students are surprised when they leave here and get to their first job and say that they still have a lot to learn, which is absolutely true. We can only cover so many things in the time we have here. It is important to prepare them for that as well.
Why did you decide to teach at a community college?
After graduating from the Welding Technology program and working in the industry for a period of time, I saw the need for more people with the skills necessary to do the work in our industry. When I learned about the opportunity to come back to SCC and help train people in our profession, I did not hesitate to apply.
What can prospective students expect when they enroll in your program?
New students can expect to learn a variety of welding practices. As the student progresses in their training, they can start to choose the direction they want their career path to take. For example, certain students choose pipe welding and fitting as their focus, some choose manufacturing and production welding, and some might choose steel erection and construction, just to name a couple of options.
What experiences outside of SCC do you bring to the classroom/laboratory that enhance student learning?
I worked in the maintenance aspect of our field in a heavy industrial manufacturing setting, and I operated my own welding and repair business on the side for several years. The knowledge that I have gained from those experiences are ones I try to convey to our students. There are so many more areas of our profession than just welding that new people going into the welding field need to be aware of. I bring valuable experience in those areas as well.
What advice do you have for students pursuing a degree in your program?
Manage your time and take your training seriously. As instructors we can only take you as far as you want to go. Where the upper end of your training ends is up to you.
What do you enjoy most about working with students?
My main focus at SCC recently has been industrial training for local business. I really enjoy working with these people and meeting new contacts in the industry that benefit our community. I also occasionally get to work with our program students. I enjoy watching new students develop and graduate and succeed. Sometimes they even com back to us as employees of the companies I mentioned before for further training, so occasionally I get to see them go full circle.
What is the best part about being an SCC faculty member?
I enjoy working with my coworkers a lot. I also enjoy meeting new people and making new contacts in the industry.
What has been your proudest moment as an instructor?
I have had the privilege to work with so many great students that it is hard to pick just one.
What do you like to do when you're not teaching?
I spend the bulk of my free time working on my farm here in southeast Nebraska. I also like to spend time with my family and friends and just enjoy the outdoors as much as possible.
What would students be surprised to know about you?
That's an interesting question. I am pretty straight forward, and I'm pretty much an open book. If there's something you want to know about me just ask. I doubt you'll find too many surprises.