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EASTERN Alumni Spotlight: Dan Kistner, Welding Technology

student and teacher

Eastern Center for Arts and Technology (EASTERN) and Hatboro-Horsham High School 2018 graduate, Dan Kistner, has parlayed his eight years of welding experience into teaching welding at the University of Alaska - a position he began in September. While back in the area for the semester break, he came back to EASTERN to speak to the current Welding Technology classes about his career path and experiences.

After high school graduation, Kistner went right to work in his chosen field.  He had a successful career in the aerospace industry working as a welder for Environmental Tectonics Corporation (ETC) headquartered in Southampton, PA.  He greatly enjoyed his time with ETC, and through this job was able to work in places all over the country and the world – from here, all the way to Dubai, and Abu Dhabi.

He would spend his summer vacation with family members in Ketchikan, Alaska, and every time he returned home, he questioned why he was not making a life for himself there – the place where he felt most at home.  Last summer, he made the very difficult decision to leave his job and home and move to Ketchikan.  The day he moved to town, he met someone from the University of Alaska who told him about their need to hire a Welding Professor. He immediately applied for and obtained the job. 

“Don’t let negative feedback or opinions from others hold you back from doing what makes you happy.  Find a career that you love,” said Kistner.  “Choosing EASTERN was a great decision for me.  Immediately after going into the workforce, my employers were impressed with my ability to read prints.  Sometimes I would be the only one in a welding shop who could read prints.  I would have missed out on many opportunities had I not attended EASTERN and begun my career at a young age.”

Kistner plans to stay in teaching and become a Certified Welding Inspector (CWI).  He will begin his CWI classes this July, and when he passes the test, he will be the only CWI in Alaska – adding even more value to his teaching position at the University.  The American Welding Society’s CWI program involves great responsibility and remarkable skill demonstration. The CWI is widely recognized nationally and internationally, and successful companies have come to rely on this AWS certification to ensure the highest level of quality workmanship.