Showcase Interview

John Petro

John Petro

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Commuting from Colorado doesn’t deter John Petro from enjoying his teaching career at UW-Stout. Prior to teaching, he spent 25 years in industry. He says his change to teaching was “a nice change…very stimulating.” Spending several years in the industrial workforce gave Petro an abundant amount of hands-on-experience relevant to the courses he now teaches at Stout. John instructs many of the courses related to the Manufacturing Engineering and Engineering Technology majors. He enjoys teaching all of these courses because they are all closely related. He generally instructs Materials, Mechanical Design, Mechanics of Materials and Welding.


John has discovered that one of the most effective methods to help students “get it” is to simply bring relevant examples of the material to class. He believes that it is important to apply problems and material to real life so students can see exactly how the lesson will apply to their post-collegiate careers. Petro feels strongly that if students “can’t explain something clearly to someone else, they don’t understand it” well enough to use in the workforce.

Petro stresses learning the “core basics” when it comes to getting the most out of a course. He explains, “[As professors] we have to teach the students the core basics in college…then they can later build on the basics.” Apart from this, Petro works hard to explain the material clearly and tries to present only quality, applicable information when instructing.