When Umberto Tinajero, professor of Industrial Manufacturing Technology (IMT) and the Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) instructional coordinator, first set foot on ECC’s campus 20 years ago, it was as an ESL student. After improving his language skills, he left to pursue a career in manufacturing, but it was far from the last time he’d be on ECC’s campus.
In 2007, he enrolled in the IMT program and graduated with high honors. A few years later, he was hired as an adjunct faculty member for the IMT program. Tinajero didn’t stop there, though - In 2018, he earned his Industrial Management and Applied Engineering bachelors – again with high honors! This led to his hiring as a full-time professor and instructional coordinator at ECC.
With a passion for education and a dedication to his work and his students, Tinajero is currently pursuing his doctoral degree, capping off an amazing transformation over the last 20 years. Read on to learn his secret to success (hint: it makes a great t-shirt slogan):
In your words, what do you do at ECC? What do you want others to know about your job? Or what would help others understand your job?
I coordinate and instruct in Industrial Manufacturing Technology program.
What is your greatest accomplishment since you’ve been at ECC?
My greatest accomplishment at ECC is getting to work closely with our industry partners and bringing in $1.3 million worth of machinery donations. Today, manufacturing jobs focus on cutting-edge technology. The field has well-paying jobs that are interesting, engaging, and satisfying. The donated high-tech machinery will tremendously impact our students’ training and their lives after ECC.
Name a job or role at ECC that you would like to try for one day and explain why.
I have the perfect role. Teaching is my passion, and I will not change it even for a day. Seeing students change their life through the learning process is a privilege.
If you could instantly be an expert in one thing, what would you choose?
Linguistics. I would like to comprehend all languages
What do you enjoy doing outside of work (i.e., hobbies/interests)?
I enjoy spending time with my family, specifically metal detecting, magnet fishing, and traveling. I also like to play and watch soccer and basketball.
If you could live in a TV show, which show would it be and why?
“MacGyver” because he possesses a genius-level intellect, proficiency in multiple languages, superb engineering skills, and military training.
Where is the best place you’ve traveled? Or where would you like to visit?
The best places I have traveled to are Hawaii and Italy. I would like to visit the Holy Land one day.
You have to wear a t-shirt with just one word on it for an entire year. What would that word be, and why?
“Dedication,” because to be successful in any walk of life, the secret is dedication, perseverance, and diligence.
Share a fact about you that might surprise people to learn.
I know nothing is impossible. I came to this country at the age of 22 without speaking any English, but with dedication, I finished my Manufacturing Engineering Degree and I’m looking forwarded to earning my PhD.
What job have you held (besides ECC) that was the most fun, interesting, or difficult? Explain why
I worked for a Japanese company as a Manufacturing Applications Engineer designing, manufacturing, and implementing CNC programs. It was a fascinating job.
Name someone you admire and explain why.
“Gandhi,” because he expended all his energy in service of others
What was your most valuable life lesson?
“Good things don’t come easy.” If you want to have a good life with a successful career and emotional satisfaction, you have to work hard.
Complete this sentence: “I enjoy working at ECC because...”
Teaching is the best job in the world. Sharing my knowledge with others is very rewarding.