Theresa Molln is a new welding instructor at Illinois Valley Community College. When asked about why she chose teaching welding as a career, she said, “I have always loved helping others figure things out and watching people when the ‘lightbulb moment’ happens.”
Her life is full of friends and family who support her. The attitude she has towards her students is only positive and she wishes for all of them to succeed.
Molln’s job title is a full-time faculty member and she teaches Oxy-fuel welding and cutting. She teaches shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), gas metal arc welding (GMAW), and gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW). She teaches in the classroom using bookwork as well as welding activities in the lab and, when talking about choosing teaching as her profession, she said, “I feel this is where my calling has been leading me all along.”
After being asked about why she decided to work for IVCC, she said, “I was very impressed with the quality of the faculty and staff.”
She started her career here at IVCC when she did an internship in the welding department and worked as a student helper in the lab and she said, “I loved every minute of it.” She feels IVCC is special because “The faculty and staff care about the students on and off campus. They invest the time a student needs.”
One of her students, Courtney Baxter, really enjoys her class and the way she teaches. Her teaching inspires students like Baxter to continue on their dreams of welding for a career. Baxter said, “She’s very helpful. She’ll take the time and explain herself if you don’t get what she means at first. She’s very easy to talk to and just all around a very nice person.”
Molln was born in Arizona on an Army base, but her parents grew up locally. Her father enlisted in the Army which led to her family moving every three years. Because of this, she went to many different schools in her youth, but graduated from La Moille High School.
After she graduated, she couldn’t afford to go to college, so instead, she worked and lived on her own for two years until she got married to her high school sweetheart, Rich. They have been happily married for over 35 years.
Molln and her husband run part of his family farm together and they herd 40 Angus cows and their calves. She has three successful children: Brandi, Aubrey, and Thomas. Part of her success is owed to her children because she describes one inspirational conversation they shared.
She said, “After telling our children that they could do or be anything they wanted (many times), one fired back with, ‘so can you mom’, So I did.”
After being asked about what she does in her free time she said, “First and foremost: Faith, Family, Friends.”
When she isn’t teaching, she serves as a co-leader in a women’s group at her church and she has also been an Election Judge for our township for 35 years. She has also spent her time as a Den Leader for the Cub Scouts since 2006 and acts as a committee person for Boy Scout Troup 1055, helping with their paper recycling venture. Molln is also our AWS Section (American Welding Society) secretary/treasurer.
For her future goals, Molln plans to build on the welding department at IVCC and she hopes to encourage other women in their dreams of becoming welders. In addition, she plans to become more involved with the students and look into the various clubs and organizations offered on campus.
She graduated IVCC with an Associate’s degree with a 4.0 GPA and said she may continue her education and is “looking into a bachelor’s degree in welding.”
Molln said, “We all have a technique (physical welding) that works best for us, I hope to help them [her students] find theirs.” She is determined to bring the positivity and guidance to her students and help however she can with their future endeavors in welding.