Ron Hugonett is a welding instructor with Summit College’s trade and technical department, which also offers the Electrical and HVAC programs. In addition to teaching courses, Ron assists in writing the syllabi and curricula for this program. He has been teaching at Summit College for about one year and overall ten years in higher education.
Welding has been a passion of Ron’s since he can remember. He recalled how out of high school he was walking by a muffler shop and saw a guy working on an exhaust system. The man asked Ron, “Can I help you?” to which Ron replied, “No, I’m just doing this in school and thought I’d watch.” The man invited Ron to come and help him. That experience confirmed to Ron how cool this type of work was and how much he wanted to be a part of it. The guy ended up hiring Ron on the spot and they eventually became partners. Ron later bought the company, and operated the business for many years to follow.
Along the way he joined the Navy to become a welding apprentice. He completed a four-year welding program and obtained all of his certifications through the Navy. Once finished, he began specializing in custom fabrication for race cars and motorcycles as well as designing and fabricating award-winning products for ATVs and jet skis.
Ron is truly an expert in the field. It is his knowledge, and his natural inclination to lead others, that encouraged him to pursue teaching. “I pretty much have done it all my life, from hiring people for my business to training my own son.” His son, now 31 years old, is a fabricator for Lucas Oil racing team.
When asked what brought Ron to Summit College specifically? He beamed with pride as he discussed the high quality of Summit College and how his students are getting jobs, good jobs, and starting careers. “It is a very well-rounded program and quite beneficial.”
When asked what students may struggle with once they graduate and start out in the field, Ron immediately responded, “Just getting used to the fact that it’s more hands-on than anything.
Some guys are just used to computer, Internet, looking at things. But some guys will simply jump in and the next day have it figured out. “Guys want to able to build things, contribute to a building.” He wants his students to pursue their personal passion. Through struggles and frustrations, Ron tells his students “If you have a dream, make the dream happen. Don’t just dream about it.
It does not take long to understand that Ron is successful because he is knowledgeable and talented, and that he is inspirational and impactful because he is passionate and truly cares about his students. One graduation night, a student of his told Ron of her nerves about having to give the big speech. He explained its natural and just say what comes from her heart. She got a standing ovation! It is moments like these that illustrate the strength of Ron’s support and positive influence.
Something Ron wants all prospective and current students to believe is that you should “Give it your best. Don’t give up. If it’s something you really want to do, make it happen. There is no such thing as ‘no can do’ in the welding field. If so, it’s because you didn’t give it 100%.” Inspirational words from a truly genuine, caring and inspirational man.