Photo by S. Paige Allen, Lewis and Clark Community College photographer/media specialist
Travis Jumper (right), assistant professor and coordinator of Lewis and Clark Community College’s welding program, instructs student Richard Frank of Moro. Jumper received the 2015 Howard E. Adkins Memorial Instructor of the Year Award from the St. Louis section of the American Welding Society in December.
GODFREY — Lewis and Clark Community College Welding Program Coordinator Travis Jumper is receiving accolades from the St. Louis section of the American Welding Society.
Jumper recently received the organization’s Howard E. Adkins Memorial Instructor of the Year award.
“I am honored to receive this recognition,” Jumper said. “I enjoy teaching welding and helping students develop their skills in the trade. Welding is a skill that cannot be outsourced and there will always be a need for welders.”
The welding society, founded in 1919, is a nonprofit organization with a global mission to advance the science, technology and application of welding and allied joining and cutting processes, including brazing, soldering and thermal spraying.
The organization serves more than 70,000 members working in all areas — from individual welders to engineers, manufacturers, educators and more. It is the source for qualification and certification of welding personnel and offers international, national and local educational opportunities including seminars, conferences, individual corporate programs and online courses.
Jumper, of Bethalto, joined Lewis and Clark in April 2012 and began developing the welding program curriculum. The program was opened and filled with students by the second eight-week session of the fall semester that same year.
Since then, the demand for jobs in welding has grown, as has the demand for spots in the program. More than 50 students have completed the program at Lewis and Clark.
Jumper said he has been a longtime advocate of vocational and career programs in education.
“For as long as I can remember I have always enjoyed building things,” Jumper said. “When I was in high school, I had a conversation with my assistant principal and football coach about how difficult it was to find qualified high school vocational instructors. That was when I decided I would go to school and become a vocational educator.”
Everything has come full circle for Jumper, who says his teaching style is more like a coach.
“I enjoy working with my students and as they successfully complete our welding program and go on to work in the field to build a better life for themselves and their families,” he said. “I try to be a coach and a mentor to my students. Students learn by doing, and that is how I teach. I am there to show and explain how welding works, and then I let the student work toward mastering the skillset as I coach them.”
Sue Czerwinski, dean of career programs at Lewis and Clark, said Jumper is deserving of this award.
“Travis is a great teacher, coordinator and mentor,” she said. “He has poured his heart and soul into the college’s welding program, and you can tell when you talk to his students that he inspires them to be the best they can be.”
Jumper said he has big plans for the program.
“I would like to make the Welding Technology program at Lewis and Clark one of the elite programs in the country,” Jumper said. “I want members of the AWS all over America to know the name and great reputation of Lewis and Clark Community College and our students.”