ICCTA Pacesetter Award
2002 Recipient

Raymond Connolly
Adjunct faculty, welding technology program, Southwestern Illinois College
Southwestern Illinois College (1999)

Ray Connolly pursued a college-prep program during his high school years but decided to follow a personal interest in welding technology when he enrolled at Southwestern Illinois College.

In 1998, he won the state gold medal in welding and the national title in 1999. As America's welding champion, he represented the nation in the International World Skills Competition and won the international gold medal in Montreal.

Raymond Connolly accepts his Pacesetter Award from ICCTA Awards Committee members Dr Clare Ollayos (left) and Mary Nolan.

Raymond Connolly accepts his Pacesetter Award from ICCTA Awards Committee members Dr. Clare Ollayos (left) and Mary Nolan.

Today Connolly consults with industries around the world and has trained other American welders for international competitions in Ireland and Korea. He also teaches welding classes at his alma mater.

"I've had great teachers myself, so now I have a lot to offer," Connolly says. "I hope to do for my students what Southwestern has done for me."

Connolly says that his future plans include attending Ferris State University as an engineering student.

"His is truly a story to ignite our imaginations," says ICCTA executive director Gary Davis.

For additional information on ICCTA's Pacesetter Award, please contact Kim Villanueva at 217-528-2858, ext. 1.

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Illinois Community College Trustees Association
401 E. Capitol Ave., Suite 200
Springfield, IL 62701-1711
217-528-2858 (phone)
217-528-8662 (fax)
ICCTA@communitycolleges.org (e-mail)

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