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Knapp named America’s top welding educator

Knapp named America’s top welding educator

CHICAGO, IL – A member of the faculty at Northeast Community College has been recognized as the nation’s top educator in his field.

The American Welding Society (AWS) presented its Howard E. Adkins Memorial Membership Award to John Knapp during the association’s 100th Annual Meeting and 68th Annual AWS International Welding Show in Chicago, which attracted over 35,000 attendees recently.

The award is sponsored by Mrs. Wilma Adkins and her family and presented as a means of recognizing high school, trade school, technical institute, and community college instructors whose teaching activities advance their students’ knowledge of welding. Knapp is the only recipient of the award this year.

Knapp’s distinguished career has spanned an array of fields. He worked in private industry for seven years and has served as an educator since 1988. He has been at Northeast in 2011, where he serves as welding coordinator/instructor. In the time he has been at the College, enrollment in the welding technology program has doubled in size.

In her nomination letter, Shanelle Grudzinski, dean of applied technology at Northeast, praised Knapp’s impressive career.

“Not only has Mr. Knapp been instrumental in developing and initiating curriculum changes and facility expansions, he remains influential in the development of opportunities in 21st century technologies for students in areas of robotic welding and welding processes. He also offers techniques that showcase the advancement of science, technology and applications in the welding field.”

Grudzinski also noted Knapp’s dedication to his students’ success.

“Mr. Knapp has mastered the art of being firm but fair, having rules yet maintaining relationships, and most importantly, encouraging his students to try harder and achieve more for the betterment of themselves, their community and the welding industry.”

Knapp is active in the local Section 81 of the American Welding Society. He has been responsible for the design of numerous welding facilities in Nebraska and Oklahoma and was also instrumental in beginning the first accredited test facility in Oklahoma.  

In promoting the manufacturing fabrication industries and the image of welding, Knapp serves on the Nebraska AWS Board of Directors and the AWS SENSE (Schools Excelling through National Skills Education) Committee. He is also helping to revise the welding curriculum for the National Center for Construction Education and Research and the Multistate Academic and Vocational Curriculum Consortium.  

The American Welding Society was founded in 1919, as a nonprofit organization with a global mission to advance the science, technology and application of welding and allied joining and cutting processes. AWS serves over 70,000 members worldwide and is composed of 22 Districts with 250 Sections and student chapters. The Society is dedicated to supporting hundreds of thousands of industry professionals, including: welders, business leaders, sales and service teams, manufacturers, vendors, associations, educational institutions, committee volunteers, and students.

The welding diploma program at Northeast Community College focuses on the major welding and cutting processes, including Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW), Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW), Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) and Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW). The coursework helps in the development of quality welds in all positions on plate and pipe. Successful completion of the diploma gives students the technical information required for entry-level employment.




                                                           PHOTO CUTLINE


John Knapp, welding instructor at Northeast Community College, (center) is presented the American Welding Society’s (AWS) Howard E. Adkins Memorial Membership Instructor Award by AWS President Thomas Lienert (left) and Sudarsanam Babu, AWS Awards Committee Chair, in Chicago recently. The award recognizes high school, trade school, technical institute and junior college instructors whose teaching activities advance their students’ knowledge of welding. Knapp is the only recipient of the award in 2019. (Courtesy Photo)