Nicolet College welding student Chad Lawfer displays the Nicolet College Welding Student of the Year Award he received recently in Rhinelander, Wis. Pictured with Lawfer are, from left, welding instructor Warren Krause and adjunct instructors Craig Deer and Chuck Kopp.
RHINELANDER, Wis. - Three weeks after starting Nicolet College's welding program, Chad Lawfer, of Minocqua, was ready to quit.
Learning the tig welding process was proving to be more than a challenge.
"I have to say, there was one point where I had just had it," Lawfer said. "I was ready to walk."
But he didn't, digging deep to persevere.
On Dec. 17, Lawfer was named Nicolet's Welding Student of the Year.
"Lawfer definitely deserves it," welding instructor Warren Krause said. "He could have taken the easy way out and just quit, but he didn't. He stuck with it and one day everything just clicked for him and he was able to do all of welds."
Not only was he able to do the welds, he did them to a very high standard, earning straight As.
As good of a student as he is technically and academically, he also has other talents called soft skills which employers seek out, according to Chuck Kopp, adjunct welding instructor.
"Lawfer always comes in with a positive attitude and is always willing to help other students," Kopp said. "He has a strong work ethic, knows how to communicate well, and is just a great guy to be around. Manufacturers today want new employees with these traits and skills."
Lawfer said his instructors deserve the credit for his success. "They've just been fantastic," he said. "They take the time to work with you until you really understand what they are teaching. I owe it all to them."
Terry Rutlin is a communications specialist for Nicolet College.