At a glance
“This honor is really awesome. It just makes me proud. I just hope that it inspires other people, especially women, to try out a trade.”
Alfred State welding major Delaney Nichols (North Tonawanda, NY - Starpoint) has won the 2023 Vanguard award. The NET (Nontraditional Employment & Training) program presents the award annually. Nichols, who studies at Alfred State’s Northland campus is the first student at that campus to ever receive this award.
The Vanguard Award acknowledges and commends outstanding students enrolled in Tech Prep and other Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs that are not traditional for their gender.
Nichols is excited and proud to be honored. “I have achieved the success that I wanted to reach when I joined this program.”
Her collegiate career started in chemistry but realized that she wanted a more hands-on learning experience. “I grew up in my father’s shop. I really enjoy the technical aspects of welding. It can be artistic at times, and you can really get creative.”
Nichols has seen the growth of her skills and encourages other women to pursue similar opportunities in the field. “I have been able to improve my skills as a welder and as a person. It is a challenge, but I would definitely recommend it to other women who want to pursue a trade.”
Department chair and her current professor Guy Hughson nominated Nichols for the award. “Delaney’s strong work ethic, positive attitude, willingness to help others and desire to succeed has contributed to her success not only as a welder, but as a leader in school which in turn will lead to many years of success in the welding and fabrication industry.”
“This honor is really awesome,” commented Nichols. “It just makes me proud. I just hope that it inspires other people, especially women, to try out a trade.”
After graduation this May, Nichols plans to work in the field with aspirations to eventually return to classroom and teach future welders.
Nichols is one of eight winners across New York and will receive her Vanguard Award virtually at the NET conference on April 13.