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Program: Building Construction
Education: AAS Degree from Southeast Community College, Architectural Technology; BS from UNL, Vocational Education; MEd from UNL, Education
Has taught at SCC since: August 1978
Years of Work Experience Outside of SCC: 5 Years at Mid-West Lumber Company
Teaching Philosophy:Every day I try to help students understand and bridge the gap between the knowledge and education we are providing them today to the reality of the world of work tomorrow. It is important to teach students the art of problem solving and decision making and how that will play into their careers and the success that they experience in that career and to make them realize they can advance farther than they ever imagined.
Why did you decide to teach at a community college?As a former student on the Milford Campus, I realized and experienced the passion that my instructors had for teaching and the amount of time and energy they put into trying to help students succeed and benefit from their education. I felt a personal connection from some of them because of the opportunity they provided me and the faith they placed in me as a student. This caused me to want to do the same for other people and I pursued that option by attending UNL after my graduation from SCC-Milford.
What can prospective students expect when they enroll in your program?It has always been my belief to challenge students beyond their comfort zone so that they learn how to be aggressive and move forward with projects, activities and decisions that affect their lives. I want them to become good problem solvers and decision makers as that is the key to a productive education and the key to successful employment. I strive to make them understand that our program wants them to graduate and move towards being the leaders of the industry as soon as is possible. We help students decide what type of job and work setting is best suited for them as we discuss and compare their personal goals and employment goals and help them select viable employment opportunities that fulfill both important aspects of their life.
What experiences outside of SCC do you bring to the classroom/laboratory that enhance student learning?I feel that my community service work with Kiwanis has helped me bring a lot to the classroom due to the experiences I have had in working with adults in many capacities and understanding their differences and working to mesh them together into a productive and functional group. I have done a significant amount of training and marketing with Kiwanis and I feel this helps me in the classroom because it helps me understand the many different learning styles and reminds me that marketing the benefits of our Building Construction program is necessary for future student enrollment.
What advice do you have for students pursuing a degree in your program?My best advice is for potential students to understand the need for them to excel and challenge themselves to be the best in the industry. I advise them to keep all of their career options open and examine all possible aspects of the industry in an attempt to prevent them from having “tunnel vision” when it comes to employment. Students need to see and experience all that is possible in their industry and from that create goals and desires that will help propel them along the path to success. I desire for them to be the leaders of the industry and not the followers.
What do you enjoy most about working with students?Even after many years of teaching, I have to admit that I learn as much about life and work from students than I do from any other source. I guess that relationship with young people helps keep me young and with a fresh and updated perspective on life around us. I love to see students that continually improve their skills and knowledge and that begin to put together a work ethic and philosophy that will take them far in the industry. Students remind you that you are human and sometimes you have to help them experience the joys and sorrows in their life but the appreciation they give you in return for helping them through tough times is priceless. Equally important is the appreciation that they give you for helping them advance and succeed. When treating students with respect and sincerity, you flourish in the respect and honesty that is returned to you.
What is the best part about being an SCC faculty member?In addition to all of the benefits of working with and enjoying the process of teaching, I feel like a member of a giant family. This family respects each other and goes out of the way to assist and help each other out. Our staff works cooperatively to make our students successful as well as to make our program successful. Just knowing that everyone is working together for a common goal and doing it with their heart, soul and passion makes being a faculty member a terrific honor.
What was your proudest moment as an instructor?Although there have been some personal recognition of me that I am very proud of, my greatest pride comes in seeing former students call or visit and share their “success” story with me and thank me for being a part of it. It is truly a joy to see where their lives and careers have taken them. Another important moment for me was when I was recognized for having spearheaded the effort to raise industry funds to build the Building Construction addition. It was a tremendous amount of work, but I suppose that effort came from my love of the program and the desire for future students to benefit from the facilities.
What do you like to do when you’re not teaching?I mentioned before that I am involved with the service organization Kiwanis. I have participated with this group for about 15 years and have served various officer positions as well as the Kiwanis Governor of the Nebraska-Iowa District. I am still actively involved in leadership positions and enjoy the travel and fellowship with people all around Nebraska-Iowa as well as the country. I enjoy yard work and some gardening as well during the summer months. My other passion is creating and developing videos for Kiwanis in addition to those for SCC and that hobby keeps me busy during the winter months.
What would students be surprised to know about you?Students know a lot about me, but probably not the fact that I am a dedicated Elvis Presley fan and I attended one of his last concerts in Lincoln, NE two months before his death in 1977.