Ian Milligan has been named the 2022 Carl Sandburg College Faculty Member of the Year, after students and fellow faculty members nominated him for his exceptional work in the classroom.
Milligan was recognized as the winner this week during Sandburg’s 54th-annual Commencement in Galesburg. A manufacturing technology instructor, Milligan has been a full-time faculty member at Sandburg since 2020, according to a Friday release.
Milligan graduated from Sandburg in 2014, having earned four different welding certificates in just one academic year. He then spent six years as a production welder at CNH Industrial in Burlington, Iowa, and served as an adjunct instructor at Sandburg in 2019-20.
A Lincoln Electric Education Partner Schools (LEEPS)-qualified instructor and member of Sandburg’s Outcomes Assessment Committee, Milligan quickly adapted to his students’ needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, adjusting the shop’s layout to account for proper social distancing and hosting summer night labs for students who were forced to take online classes.
Milligan continues to host open labs each Friday for students who want extra practice, and he holds monthly weld competitions among his students.
“I approach my role as a manufacturing technology instructor with the goal to inspire students and fuel their passion for the industrial trades,” Milligan said. “My goal is to give students a real-world experience with high expectations — just as they will encounter in the workplace — so they are well prepared to enter the trades and make a positive impact on our local economy. With safety at the forefront, I also focus on instilling responsibility, productivity, creativity and a competitive, yet team spirit within my students.”
Milligan routinely visits industry partners to maintain and build productive relationships between the College and businesses as well as to review course content and have an informed understanding of what employers expect and desire from Sandburg graduates when they join the workforce.
“The relationship I’ve built with stakeholders and industry partners enhances the program curriculum and outcomes and embeds learning activities that require students to think critically and solve problems, both independently and as part of a team,” Milligan said. “I also foster a respectful, approachable and fun learning environment, modeling the environment I experienced during my tenure in the trades as a welder at CNH Industrial.”