Scott Ericksen’s experience in the welding field and the classroom has earned him praise from coworkers and students, and now the distinction of being named the 2024 Adjunct Professor of the Year.

“Scott is the epitome of a professional and a wonderful role model for our students,” said his nominator Dr. Kristine Christensen, professor of Computer Information Systems. “He demonstrates the behaviors and attitudes he expects from students. As a student in his class, I can say firsthand every student in the class respected him and the knowledge and skills he brought to the classroom.”

Ericksen, who has served on the department’s advisory committee since 1996, started teaching at Moraine Valley in 2008, and he thanks Jim Greer, professor of Welding, for that opportunity.

What resonates most to Ericksen about teaching is the ability to connect with the students. “I like helping students learn skills they can use in their personal and professional life and hearing about how they have applied what they learned. I learn from them, as well,” he said.

Ericksen, who has been a welder, supervisor of welders and fabricators, and a welding projects manager for the same company for 28 years, is ecstatic to pass along his life experiences to students interested in a similar career.

“It’s not just a transfer of knowledge. It’s the transfer of the passion for what you’re doing. And for me, that’s welding and metal works. I mean, I really love it,” he said.

His classroom methods embody all the characteristics of a model professor, Christensen said. “Each of Scott’s presentations are comprehensive, and he complements each topic with metal samples of other relevant artifacts, making the lecture more compelling. Additionally, his experience
and stories of real-world scenarios help students gain a better understanding of the industry and how to deal with issues that may arise both in the classroom and while in their careers,” she added.

Students benefit all-around from Ericksen’s experience coupled with his approach to teaching.

“Scott is a natural teacher who shares his passion of welding with all his students. He treats every student with respect and customizes the learning experience for each student based on his or her future career goals while meeting the objectives of the class,” Christensen said. “It is through
this customization, passion and professionalism that he engages his students. He also brings in several of his own tools as well as metals to demonstrate in class and for students to work on.”

Christensen noted Ericksen is a lifelong learner and regularly learns new technologies and subjects that not only help him with his job but with his instruction methods.

“Scott shares his love of learning with his students, and he demonstrates to his students the need for them to be a lifelong learner to be successful,” she said. “He has a strong command over the subject matter and selflessly shares his knowledge with his students. His knowledge and years
of experience in the field easily make him one of the most knowledgeable welding teachers I’ve had the pleasure to learn from.”

Ericksen said he is humbled to have been selected for this year’s Adjunct Professor of the Year.

“I was incredibly honored just by being nominated,” he said. “And then, winning the award. I mean, it’s just amazing. I was surprised and honored to be selected by fellow faculty members for doing something I enjoy so much.”

He is grateful to Christensen as well as his department coworkers for the nomination and their support.

“I want to thank Kristine for the nomination. She’s definitely a great inspiration,” Ericksen said. “And thank you to Jim Greer, my first welding teacher, and Dave Viar [instructor of Welding]
and, of course, all my fellow instructors in the department. We share ideas and teaching techniques, and we all learn from each other. We’ve got a great team here.”