TSTC Registration Rally Set for July 19 in Marshall

(MARSHALL) – Texas State Technical College in Marshall will host a Registration Rally on Thursday, July 19 – all part of an effort to make the registration process as easy as possible for students starting classes in the fall semester.

Recruiting and Admissions staff will be on standby to walk students through the registration process. They will also offer tours and help with applications.

The Registration Rally will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the campus at 2650 East End Blvd., South. Attendees will be able to meet with faculty, learn more about the different technologies offered at the Marshall campus and tour the facilities.

In addition to Recruiting and Admissions, personnel from Financial Aid, Testing, Student Success and Veteran Services will be available to answer questions and lend a helping hand. Prospective students will be able to learn all about resources available to them.

Students who need help finalizing their registration are encouraged to bring the following: copy of driver’s license, high school transcript or GED, any college transcripts, proof of bacterial meningitis vaccination and TSI scores.

For more information on the Registration Rally, go to tstc.edu/rally.

TSTC Registration Rally Set for July 17

(RED OAK) – Texas State Technical College in North Texas will host a Registration Rally on Tuesday, July 17 – all part of an effort to make the registration process as easy as possible for students starting classes in the fall semester.

Recruiting and Admissions staff will be on standby to walk students through the registration process. They will also offer tours and help with applications.

The Registration Rally will be held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the campus at 119 N. Lowrance in Red Oak. Attendees will be able to meet with faculty, learn more about the different technologies offered at the North Texas campus and tour the facilities.

In addition to Recruiting and Admissions; personnel from Financial Aid, Testing, Student Success and Veteran Services will be available to answer questions and lend a helping hand. Prospective students will be able to learn all about resources available to them.

Students who need help finalizing their registration are encouraged to bring the following: copy of driver’s license, high school transcript or GED, any college transcripts, proof of bacterial meningitis vaccination and TSI scores.

For more information on the Registration Rally, go to tstc.edu/rally.

Los Fresnos Superintendent gets his start at TSTC

(HARLINGEN) – It all started in 1987 at Texas State Technical Institute, now Texas State Technical College, for Los Fresnos Consolidated Independent School District Superintendent Gonzalo Salazar.

Fresh out of high school, the Brownsville native enrolled in what is now Architectural Design and Engineering Graphics, to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming an architect.

“For as long as I can remember I wanted to be an architect,” said Salazar. “And I was finally in college, I felt accomplished. This is was my shot to pull my family out of poverty.”

Growing up one of eight siblings, Salazar helped his parents pay bills and put food on the table, so while enrolled at TSTC he worked fulltime at a service station in Brownsville.

“I was in a position many of our students are in,” he said. “I was a disadvantaged student, with an unreliable car that made it difficult some days to get to class.”

So when a customer, who was a border patrol agent suggested he join the force, Salazar took it to heart and withdrew from TSTC.

“I thought the border patrol was a great idea, but getting in turned out to be a long, drawn out process. A lot of waiting,” said Salazar. “And I had to do something while I waited.”Gonzalo Salazar

That’s when Salazar, through encouragement from his parents, enrolled at the University of Texas at Brownsville, now the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1996 in Bilingual Education and Spanish and in 1999 a master’s degree in Educational Administration.

It’s safe to say, Salazar never got to the border patrol, but instead found a different career path that was fulfilling and rewarding.

Immediately after earning his bachelor’s degree he accepted a job as a fourth grade teacher at Dr. Cash Elementary School in San Benito, later joining the Los Fresnos CISD family.

“There was guilt about leaving TSTC that’s why I never went back,” he said. “But I feel that everything that has happened was God’s plan for me. Education was my calling, it just took me time and some failures to realize it.”

With more than 20 years of experience in education and 18 years with the district having served as an assistant principal and principal for Los Fresnos CISD, the district’s Board of Trustees appointed Salazar superintendent in 2006.

“I’ve really had a fantastic and very rewarding career, and it all started at TSTC,” said Salazar. “I may have abandoned one dream to find a new one and although I’m not designing buildings, I’m still designing.” Salazar added, “We’re designing futures here at Los Fresnos CISD. And what we do shapes the world.”

Salazar said as superintendent he works to maintain a partnership with TSTC and other higher educational institutes because of the impact college has on lives.

Not only did TSTC kickstart Salazar’s college career, but it also touched his son’s life when he graduated from the college with an Academic Core certificate before even graduating from high school.

“It’s amazing how life comes full circle,” said Salazar. “This was a proud moment for me. TSTC and all higher education creates pathways for our students and gives them the chance to forge a brighter future.”

Salazar said the advice he shares with his children and his students about education is the same thing his late grandfather and father shared with him.

“My grandfather always said, ‘You must work hard to get out of poverty and, although life will give you challenges, education holds a promise,’” said Salazar. “And like my dad always said, ‘The years will go by anyways, have something to show for it.’”

With that being said, it took Salazar nearly seven years to complete his doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from UTRGV, but he finally crossed the finish line this summer officially becoming Dr. Gonzalo Salazar.

“My goal is to continue modeling lifelong learning and to continue making a difference in the young lives that cross my path,” he said.

Student Success Profile – Hugo Gamboa

By Emily Swartz

(HARLINGEN) – Hugo GamboaHugo Gamboa of Los Fresnos is a Mechatronics Technology student at Texas State Technical College. He expects to graduate with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Spring 2019.

What are your plans after graduation?

After I graduate I hope to work for a company like Toyota. I want to get a few years of work experience under my belt and then go back to school.

What’s your dream job?

My dream job is to become a mechatronics engineer for Toyota. I first became interested in the company when my family purchased their first Toyota, plus I have heard that they offer great benefits and opportunities to grow.

What has been your greatest accomplishment while at TSTC?

My greatest accomplishment so far is a project that I am working on: Creating a do-it-yourself vending machine. It’s amazing to see something you build come to life. And I am also extremely proud of the work I’ve done around TSTC repairing other vending machines.

What greatest lesson have you learned about yourself or life?

The greatest lesson I have learned is not to procrastinate. I was guilty of this in high school and had to learn the hard way when I enrolled at TSTC. TSTC has been a pleasant surprise and has helped me with my study habits. I have also learned to never take opportunities for granted and to never give up on my dreams.

Name a TSTC person who most influenced your success.

It’s difficult to pick just one person because all of my instructors at TSTC have been great and accommodating. They calm me down when I am stressed and tell me not to worry and that I will get through it. They show that they have faith in me, which further motivates me.

What is your advice for future TSTC students?

Trust your teachers. You may not know them well at first, but they are more than willing to run a mile for you if you show them that you are willing to put in the effort. Also, take your education seriously, but do not let it stress you out too much. Learning is like a dance. In order to perform it seamlessly, you have to know the steps and the beat first. Lastly, always pick yourself back up when you fall.

Republic Airline Representatives Visit TSTC

(WACO) – Representatives of Indianapolis-based Republic Airline visited Texas State Technical College on Wednesday afternoon to talk to aviation students about careers.

The airline, like others in the United States, needs qualified pilots. The number of airline and commercial pilots is expected to grow to more than 129,000 through 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many positions need to be filled due to retirements, with some of the best job possibilities being at regional airlines, according to the federal agency.

Republic Airline opened a new crew and maintenance base July 1 at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, its first in Texas. Lauren K.E. Isaacs, a college relations consultant for Republic Airline, said having a larger Texas presence could mean a new labor market to fill jobs for pilots, aviation mechanics and other support fields. The airline’s bases are primarily in the Midwest and Northeast.

The airline has the RJet Cadet Program for students at federal Part 141 aviation schools who have their instrument rating, a cumulative 3.0 GPA, no more than two checkride failures and are authorized to work in the United States.

The airline also has the RJet Ambassadors Program for college students to be part-time employees to represent the company on campus.

Thomas Schroeder, 21, of Conroe is a TSTC Aircraft Pilot Training Technology major who became an RJet Ambassador in January.

He said he was glad airline staff made the trip to Waco.

“It shows they have a vested interest in the future of the industry,” Schroeder said.

The airline offers summer internships for students interested in communications, engineering, flight operations, graphic design, supply chain management and other fields. Selected interns work in Indianapolis, Isaacs said.

Parker Allan, 24, of Martindale is a TSTC Aircraft Pilot Training Technology and Aircraft Dispatch Technology major scheduled to graduate in 2020. He wants to stay in Texas to work after graduation.

Allan said he enjoyed hearing details of the pilot’s life in selecting the best place to live and working with flight schedules. He said the information gave him a good start thinking about his future as a pilot.

“It was eye-opening,” Allan said.

Republic Airline was known as Chautauqua Airlines when the first flight was made on Aug. 1, 1974, from Jamestown, New York.

Today, the airline has about 5,500 employees and partners with American Airlines, Delta Airlines and United Airlines. The airline has a fleet of more than 190 Embraer 170/175s.

For more information on Republic Airline, go to rjet.com.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.


TSTC in Abilene to Introduce New Electrical Power and Controls Program This Fall

(ABILENE) – A new way to study power technology that keeps electricity flowing will debut in August in the Big Country.

Texas State Technical College will offer the Associate of Applied Science degree in Electrical Power and Controls this fall at the new Industrial Technology Center on Navajo Trail in Abilene. The degree is the first of its kind to be offered at TSTC’s four West Texas campuses.

Some of the skills that Electrical Power and Controls majors can acquire include an understanding of the National Electrical Code, how direct and alternating currents function, and electrical design.

“Our guys go to work with utilities and testing and maintenance in the wind industry,” said Dan Bateman, a senior instructor in TSTC in Waco’s Electrical Power and Controls program. “A lot of companies will hire a contractor to maintain their substations and generators. The companies come here to interview.”

The Woodlands – Houston – Sugar Land area has the highest number of electrical and electronics engineering technicians in Texas with more than 3,700, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. West Texas, excluding Amarillo, Lubbock, Midland and Odessa, had about 200 technician jobs.

Some of the other jobs graduates can go into include electrical and electronics repairers for substations, powerhouses and relays, and electrical and electronics engineering technicians.

Ryan Bartholomew, a human resources consultant at AEP Texas in Abilene, said he cannot consider applicants for jobs in the field without an associate degree. He said AEP Texas has hired TSTC Electrical Power and Controls graduates in the past.

“I build relationships with people and have phone conversations and try to make a cognitive effort to email TSTC and say, ‘When is your next graduating class? I have this job coming open,’” Bartholomew said.

The program’s instructor in Abilene, Kevin Staton, owned an electrical business in Virginia before moving this summer to join TSTC. He said students are in for a “wonderful experience” with the hands-on learning.

“You have to respect electricity or it will hurt you,” Staton said. “There is one thing you can count on, and that is always having a job in this field. It’s going to be hard for a computer or anything to take over this kind of trade.”

The Electrical Power and Controls program is part of TSTC’s Money-Back Guarantee, which promises graduates will secure jobs in their field within six months of graduation or receive their tuition money back.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.

TSTC Alumnus Connects Students with Job Opportunities

(WACO) — Networking is all about creating connections.

Jonathan McElmurry, a Texas State Technical College alumnus and network engineer at Cisco Systems Inc. in Richardson, recently enlightened TSTC students about job opportunities in the computer networking industry.

“I want students to know that getting a job at Cisco is within their grasp. Apply as many times as needed, and it’s not out of your reach. This school prepared me perfectly to get in the door and get a job,” McElmurry said.

McElmurry graduated from TSTC in August 2017 with an Associate of Applied Science degree in in Computer Networking and Systems Administration and started working for Cisco three months later.

Cisco is the worldwide leader in networking for the internet.

“Cisco gives us 40 hours a year to give back, and the first thing I wanted to do was come back to TSTC and advocate for Cisco,” McElmurry said. “It’s so important to have someone come back and let other students know that a company like Cisco is a real opportunity for them.”

Cyber security and digital forensics student Lori Wise said that McElmurry’s advice was all she needed to have the courage to apply at Cisco.

“I think it’s so important that a company wants to invest in you. And he (McElmurry) was a big help in what information to add to my resume and what to expect during the interview process. I’m going to apply immediately,” Wise said.

TSTC instructor John Washington was more than happy to organize the meet and greet when McElmurry reached out to him.

“I think it gives the students something real when the alumni come back and talk and give advice to the current students. It’s more real for them, and Jon has really embraced the Cisco culture to become a great advocate,” Washington said.

Before ending his discussion with the students, McElmurry offered some guiding wisdom that he says allowed him to thrive at his job.

“Don’t worry about knowing everything; you never will. This school lets you get prepared to do well in this industry and anything else you can learn along the way,” McElmurry said.

TSTC students visit the Cisco campus in Richardson with Washington once a year and can network with other alumni through the TSTC alumni LinkedIn account.

Registration for fall classes at TSTC is underway. For more information, visit tstc.edu.

Student Success Profile – Dalila Martinez

(HARLINGEN) – Texas State Technical College student Dalila Martinez, 20, is currently working hard on completing her pre-requisites for the Registered Nursing program. The San Benito native is a hard-working student and has achieved a 4.0 grade-point average. She expects to graduate in Spring 2020 with her associate’s degree in Biology.Dalila Martinez

What are your plans after graduation?

I plan on pursuing a Bachelor of Science in nursing and get a job in my field to serve the Valley.

What’s your dream job?

I consider myself a compassionate person and one of the things I enjoy is helping as a volunteer at the hospital in the emergency room, which is why I hope to become a registered nurse and specialize in pediatrics.

What has been your greatest accomplishment while at TSTC?

I enjoy helping tutor other students. Achieving a high grade-point average was a great accomplishment especially because I struggle with math. But with the support of my instructors, it was possible and has allowed me to help other students.

What greatest lesson have you learned about yourself or life?

Before TSTC, I attended Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi but was unable to finish due to a back injury. Fortunately, I was able to overcome all odds and enroll at TSTC to return to college.

Name a TSTC person who most influenced your success.

I have too many wonderful instructors to list one in particular. They are all invested in my success and they motivate me to become a better student and maintain good grades.

What is your advice for future TSTC students?

My advice would definitely be to use your resources. TSTC provides the help that students need to be successful.

TSTC’s annual MAARS program is building opportunities

(HARLINGEN) – There has been extra sawing, cutting and sanding going on at the Texas State Technical College Building Construction Technology workshop with students from the Migrant Academic Achievement Residential Summer (MAARS) program completing their projects.

For Kimberly Muniz these sights and sounds bring back memories, yet represent her present.

The Raymondville native was part of the MAARS program, a six-week camp designed to meet the needs of high school migrant and seasonal farm workers in pursuing higher education, in 2015 and 2016 as a student at Lyford High School and is now a student in the Building Construction Technology program at TSTC.

“The MAARS program played a huge role in why I enrolled at TSTC,” said Muniz. “It introduced me to career options I never considered before and taught me so much about college and myself.”

Before MAARS, the 19-year-old had plans to attend a four-year university to pursue a degree in kinesiology and now she hopes to find a good paying job in the construction industry and opening a cabinet and furniture business.

“I have no regrets,” she said. “MAARS and TSTC was the best decision I ever made.”

This year, more than 50 high school juniors and seniors from Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy counties are participating in the program and living on campus.

MAARS gives students two major opportunities: to receive two academic high school credits in an attempt to prevent them from falling behind or to allow them to get ahead in school, and to receive exposure to TSTC’s technical programs and college life.

Yvette Mendoza, TSTC College Readiness coordinator, said their goal for MAARS is to show students that college is possible and to give them the information they need to make an informed decision about their secondary education.

“It’s great seeing our MAARS students take the next step in their education after high school and realize that they can get a college degree,” Mendoza said.

Irma Padilla, a San Benito High School senior, is one of this year’s MAARS students and said she has enjoyed every aspect of the program.

“I’ve enjoyed my experience of getting to meet new people, being on a diverse campus and getting to explore programs and career options,” said Padilla. “I’m trying to learn as much as I can and take advantage of the time I have here.”

The 16-year-old also said the highlight for her was making a night stand that she gets to keep during her time in Building Construction Technology.

“I’m into being creative, designing and building things so I really enjoyed this,” she said. “It was the best part for me and I hope to enroll at TSTC once I graduate.”

Students like Padilla not only experience two technical programs, three weeks each, such as building construction, Precision Machining Technology, Computer Maintenance Technology, Business Management Technology and Biomedical Equipment Technology, but they also participate in community service projects and have fun on the weekends with events and outings planned by Mendoza and her team.

“The students are really enjoying themselves; we’ve had great feedback from them,” said Mendoza. “And with nearly 30 percent of them returning to TSTC, it’s amazing watching them grow and graduate from college.”

For more information on the MAARS program, call 956-364-4464.

TSTC HEP graduate realizes long-time dream

(HARLINGEN) – Juanita Salinas was looking for a better life when she decided to enroll at Texas State Technical College’s High School Equivalency Program (HEP), and last week she, and nearly 40 other students, earned a General Education Diploma (GED) during the program’s annual graduation ceremony.

“This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a very long time,” said the 38-year-old. “It feels really great to finally be a graduate and moving on to bigger and better things.”

The HEP program at TSTC is federally funded drop-out recovery program that provides services to eligible migrant and seasonal farm workers from the mid to the lower Rio Grande Valley and prepares students to successfully pass their GED along with support services such as academic and career advisement.

The Harlingen native, who used to work the strawberry fields of Mississippi with her family as a child, said after having a baby in high school at 15 she never thought this moment would come, much less be the class speaker.TSTC HEP Graduation

As a teen mom Salinas to dropped out of school to work and support her daughter. She held various jobs in the fast food restaurant industry before holding a job as a cafeteria cook for the Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District for 11 years.

Now, her eight children and her husband celebrate her as she addresses her class with encouragement and hope for the future.

“Education is life changing,” she told her peers. “Today shows us that nothing is impossible and if you want something you can get it.”

Salinas said she decided to finally take this step in life because she wants to be a positive role model for her daughter who also had a baby in high school.

“I pushed her and supported her to finish her high school diploma,” said Salinas. “And now I want to show her the importance of a college education and that no matter what she can get one.”

TSTC HEP Placement Officer Daisy Avalos said she is excited to see Salinas and the rest of her students complete the GED program.

“It’s amazing to watch all of them graduate,” said Avalos. “As for Juanita, it was great seeing her transition and working toward her goals. She was a true leader for her class and always encouraged others to do their best work and to volunteer.”

Avalos added, “I’m so proud of our students and the changes they’re making in their lives. They’re the ones working to break a cycle.”

The HEP program prepares GED students to test in the areas of math, science, history and English and gives students the opportunity to do community service.

Those completing the program also have the flexibility to work and go to class, allowing TSTC to serve more than 100 students per year since its inception 18 years ago, many of which return to TSTC to get a degree.

“We are very proud of our students. I admire their commitment not only to their families, but to their education,” said Toni Luna, TSTC HEP director. “Our students know the true meaning of hard work. It is because of them that our HEP program has been so successful.”

Salinas is now a student at TSTC pursuing an associate degree in Education and Training. Her goal is to become a special education teacher.

For more information about TSTC’s HEP program, call 956-364-4505 or visit tstc.edu/harlingenhep.