Profile: Who is Shane Souza?


Photo Provided by Shane Souza

A photo of Shane Souza, Industrial Maintenance Professor at COS.

Professor Shane Souza works as an industrial maintenance professor here at COS. Professor Souza is 31 years old. In those 31 years, he gained experience and knowledge from his father, uncles, and other family members, who also were industrial mechanics.

Souza teaches at the Tulare Campus of COS in the building labeled Tulare Annex B, in which only Industrial Maintenance is taught.

From a young age, he began an apprenticeship, allowing him to view huge machines for the first time. About this, he said, “seeing all these humongous pieces of equipment, all the guys crawling all over the machines, taking it apart. Seeing how everything worked, I was really kind of sold.”

For eight long years, he got the opportunity to work as a maintenance mechanic at a millwright. He explained that the job requires workers to repair pumps, compressors conveyors, and large-scale equipment, also do mechanical repair, electrical repair, robotics, welding, and fabrication.

He then was as he says, “lucky enough” to go into education. Souza became an ag mechanics teacher at Lemoore High School for five years and started as an industrial maintenance professor at West Hills College part-time, realizing he enjoyed it. So when he was offered the job to teach as a professor at COS, he jumped at the opportunity. In his 16 years of teaching and working in his profession, he was able to reach the next step in his career.

So, how does he stand out among other professors?

He was hired from equivalency. This means that the different schools he has taught at have evaluated his skills and experience from working in the field and made a decision on if he is good enough to have the same skills as someone with a master’s degree. His dedication to his job was shown in the fact that he started from a very young age and ended up touring the U.S. and working for huge companies.

Throughout his years working in the industrial maintenance field, he has not lost interest in the subject, exploring different areas of his field, one of those being his reasonably new job as a college professor. And Souza hasn’t lost sight of his goals outside of his work as well. He has a wife and four children who he is extremely proud of. “Three daughters and a three-month-old son,” He speaks about them in such a way that it is hard not to get emotional.

His tattoos represent his family and his work. They consist of mechanical components, including a gear, a piston, and a crankshaft, which are styled to look like they are inside his arm. He has tattoos of his wife and his kids, and of his time working in the ag field. His work is very much a part of his lifestyle, growing up in a family of mechanical engineers fused his work with his personality.

Professor Souza has a surprising hobby that keeps him entertained and shocks those who don’t yet know. He trains in Brazilian Jujitzu with an elite team where he spends three days a week getting, “kind of beat up”. This is his current personal project that he enjoys.

And that is something that he is most proud of, the ability to have an amazing above-all important family that is his out-of-work project. Being a college professor is just one of his responsibilities. Going to his kid’s plays, musicals, and talent shows, is the side of Professor Souza that makes him such a hard worker and are equally, maybe more, important to him than his work.

This is the side of him that encourages his students so much. He has already done all of the work, and now he gets to teach it to students who apply for this work at their current jobs and will likely continue to do so no matter how far the program takes them. Souza is pushing students toward good-paying jobs that will help them support their family and their community.

Even though he is so focused on his family and students, he strives to move forward, he is currently in the process of getting his associate’s degree himself. Which gives him another way to identify with his students and understand their struggles.

What can we expect from him as a professor at COS?

Due to his extensive training and work experiences, Mr. Souza will never need notes to teach, or a diagram to draw from. It was easy to tell that his students are also benefiting from his experiences. They see his dedication to his past jobs and his current positions through the language he uses and the explanations he provides.

Getting an opportunity to have a look inside his workshop and ask around is fruitful. The students explained that they have a great appreciation for the way he teaches, and can go above and beyond by recounting events that helped him personally. They could even explain what they were doing and how it worked just by being there and showcasing it.

His experience working at Lemoore High has given him the educational training he needed to create a classroom mindset and set goals for his students. This knowledge has now provided him with the opportunity to teach college students who are prepared to do what it takes to get the job they want. Souza takes time to mold these students into hard-working individuals by motivating them.

Souza explains how COS has treated him so far, “Oh, it’s been amazing. . . It’s amazing the community you have here, not even including the students, just from the teacher’s standpoint, you know, they want you to be successful and they give you the tools to be it.” Professor Souza is absolutely grateful for the opportunity given to him by COS.

His goal for his students is to bring real-world experience to the classroom. So his students can head out on their first day out and land themselves a job. With the knowledge gained from his hands-on classroom, he explained, “I am a very active teacher, I like to be involved and walk around and see what they’re doing and try to give them my input, and try to guide them to the correct answer.”

Shane Souza is a professor who values the learning experiences of his students, as well as the ability for them to be hired after they leave his classroom. He represents some of the best and brightest of COS faculty, and will use his experiences in the field and in the classroom to teach generations of students for years to come.