Northeast instructor earns recognition from American Welding Society

July 14, 2018 GMT

A Northeast Community College welding instructor has won a district-level educator award from a national society.

John Knapp has been selected as a co-recipient of the Howard E. Adkins Memorial Instructor Membership Award by Section 81-Nebraska of the American Welding Society (AWS).

The award is sponsored by Mrs. Wilma Adkins and her family and is awarded as a means of recognizing high school, trade school, technical institute and junior college instructors whose teaching activities advance their students’ knowledge of welding.

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 began teaching at Northeast in 2011.


In her nominator letter, Shanelle Grudzinski, associate dean of applied technology, 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 Section 81 of the AWS, where he serves as the Schools Excelling through National Skills Educations (SENSE) and Student Affairs chairman. He also volunteers as a committee member for the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER).

In his nomination letter, Gregory Schroeter, AWS Section 81 chairman, said, “John brings to the table numerous years of experience that are very helpful in creating new ideas to getting more industry involvement in the American Welding Society. He is a tremendous asset to the industry, and his involvement in the welding community does not go unnoticed.”

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.