Hats off to Hardesty

Welding instructor earns prestigious award

The American Welding Society has awarded Ferris State instructor Jeff Hardesty the District 11 District Educator Award for the 2009-10 school year.

Hardesty, an associate professor in the College of Engineering Technology, has been in welding technology professionally for 22 years, the last seven of which at Ferris State.

It was during the Welding Society’s visit to Ferris last February that Hardesty was given the award.

“I was very pleased and excited that my peers nominated me and felt I was worthy of earning the award,” said Hardesty.

Hardesty, a graduate of Ohio State, claims to have a history and fascination with engineering. It is the fascination of the many types of engineering that are involved in welding that got him interested in it as a profession.

“It’s been a fun career, I’ve really enjoyed it,” he commented. “I like the variety we get to deal with.”

When asked whether Hardesty’s zeal rubs off on his students, the response is often similar.

“He’s very passionate about the classes he teaches,” said Ferris senior Steve Bieniek. “He cares about our education.”

“He’s very passionate in general,” added Mark Payne, also a senior in the welding program. “Especially when it comes to robots and lasers.”

Hardesty cites Ferris State’s excellent welding program as a reason for enjoying what he does, stating how it has “momentum.”

Of the 33 graduating seniors in the welding technology program, 28 have received job placement.

“We’re 82 percent placed,” said senior David Finch, a welding technology major. “That must mean something.” n