TSTC auto collision program awarded laptops from I-CAR

(HARLINGEN) – Auto Collision and Management Technology at Texas State Technical College in Harlingen was recently award a Progressive Insurance laptop grant by the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) Collision Repair Education Foundation during the 2018 SEMA Show in Las Vegas.Auto Collision & Management Technology

The SEMA Show is the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world. It draws industry’s brightest minds and hottest products to one location and provides educational seminars, product demonstrations, special events and networking opportunities.

With this grant, TSTC Auto Collision and Management Technology will receive 10 laptops by the end of the year to use for training purposes.

“Every student in our program will benefit from these laptops,” said TSTC Auto Collision Technology lead instructor Jose Vasquez. “This is a huge upgrade and a big deal for our program. We are very grateful to have received this award.”

Vasquez said this award is part of group effort within departments at TSTC.

“Everyone from administration, statewide leads to the marketing department helped make this award possible,” said Vasquez. “And we are so thankful that everyone was able to do his/her part to help prove our need.”

 

The laptops will be implemented for training in the program’s Estimating/Shop Management course.

Vasquez said these laptops, which will be equipped with estimating and management programs used in industry, will allow his students to quickly research auto body parts and write up repair estimates for class assignments and live projects, where students research damage and parts and estimate repairs for vehicles brought in by folks from the surrounding communities.

Auto Collision & Management Technology

“Our priority is to prepare our students for the industry and these laptops will allow them to experience firsthand what they will see when they begin working. This is industry-recommended training,” said Vasquez. “This will improve students’ training and will make their research and estimates instant, instead of the manual way we’re doing things now.”

TSTC Auto Collision and Management Technology and I-CAR, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing the information, knowledge and skills required to perform complete, safe and quality repairs, have a long-running partnership.

I-CAR has provided students from TSTC’s auto collision program with scholarships, tool grants, U.S. Armed Forces veteran grants and also grants for TSTC shop upgrades.

“We are honored to provide TSTC in Harlingen with the Progressive Laptop Grant and other assistance throughout the year. This is a well-deserved award,” said Melissa Marscin, director of operations and administration for the Collision Repair Education Foundation. “TSTC’s collision program has proven to be great and we know these laptops will help them become an even better program. We hope that this donation will help them improve their access to I-CAR training, estimating and vehicle service information.”

Vasquez said he is thankful for everything I-CAR has done for the program and his students.

“Year in and year out, as a member of their foundation, I-CAR has helped us improve our training and kickstart careers,” said Vasquez.

Auto Collision and Management Technology is offered at TSTC’s Harlingen and Waco campuses and offers certificate and associate degree tracks.

For more information on TSTC Auto Collision Technology, visit tstc.edu.

Student Success Profile – George Ganze

(HARLINGEN) – George GanzeGeorge Ganze is an Agricultural Technology student at Texas State Technical College. The 55- year-old expects to graduate with his associate degree Spring 2019.

The Rosebud, Texas native currently holds a perfect 4.0 grade-point average and volunteers with the TSTC Veteran Students Alliance Club.

Ganze served four years in the Marines and was deployed to serve in Desert Shield and Desert Storm and is also a retired San Diego County, California deputy sheriff.

What are your plans after graduation?

After I graduate I plan on returning to Waco, where I have some land, and start a farming/cattle business. This is a new career for me and it will supplement my retirement and carry me through the rest of my life.

What’s your dream job?

My dream is to own a business. I was born and raised in Texas where farming and ranching is a big part of life and it’s time to make something of the land that I own.

What has been your greatest accomplishment while at TSTC?

My greatest accomplishment while at TSTC is being placed on the Chancellor’s Honor Roll and being recognized for maintaining high grades. The last time I was in a classroom was in 1981, so this is a huge accomplishment for me.

What greatest lesson have you learned about yourself or life?

At my age I’ve learned many lessons, but the ones that have stuck with me are: you never quit learning or experiencing new things, be sure to take life one day at a time, meet new people, always laugh and be happy.

Who at TSTC has had an influence on your success?

The person who has had the greatest influence on my success is my Agricultural Technology instructor Sammy Gavito. When I came down from Waco he was the first person I met here at TSTC. He’s a great man and has been my guidance and support throughout the program.

What is your advice for future TSTC students?

My advice to future TSTC students is to take advantage of everything TSTC has to offer. This has been a great program and college for me and I highly recommend it.

TSTC Chemical Technology grad finds career at TSTC

(HARLINGEN) – On December 1, Texas State Technical College Chemical Technology alum and lab assistant Monique Jeudy will celebrate her anniversary with the college.

The 43-year-old graduated with an associate degree from TSTC in 2017.

“My senior year in high school, in 1993, an instructor from TSTC’s Chemical Technology program came to talk to us and the career possibilities stayed in my mind,” said Jeudy. “It was impressive.”

For Jeudy, college did not happen immediately. She is the mother to three girls, and the oldest was born immediately after Jeudy graduated from high school.

“I had to grow up fast. I was a mom,” she said. “I had a baby to support.”

So Jeudy put college on hold and worked odd jobs – Taco Bell, Cinemark and other office work. She even did medical billing and coding for her family’s home health business for nearly a decade.Monique Juedy

“After I had my youngest, I was tired of never having a stable job and worrying about making ends meet,” said Jeudy. “It was time to do something for myself, get a degree; and that’s when I remembered TSTC.”

Jeudy began her journey at TSTC in the Fall of 2015 nervous and unsure how she would do, especially as the oldest student in her class.

“I was scared, but after my first semester I had straight A’s and I lost all doubt,” she said. I knew I could do it. I even became the class den mother.”

The Harlingen native would assist her classmates if they needed help and would sit with them to encourage the completion of their homework.

Her goal was to have everyone graduate together. She succeeded.

“There was no reason to not succeed in this program,” said Jeudy. “Every instructor had an open door policy and was always willing to help. It was refreshing seeing instructors care so much about the success of their students.”

Jeudy even served as the president of the Chemical Technology Club.

All of her experiences as a student, she said, prepared her for her current position as a lab assistant.

“I love my job and the sense of being part of something bigger than me,” she said. “Everyone was welcoming. My colleagues and students have become a second family to me.”

She said her job is rewarding and after completing a recruitment presentation at her alma mater – Harlingen High School, she said everything for her has come full circle.

“Being back on my high school campus reminded me about the TSTC guy who talked to us when I was a senior. Little does he know how his visit has impacted my life,” she said. “I hope that my visits can impact someone the same way.”

Jeudy said she is thankful for the opportunities that TSTC has given her, as a student and staff member. And although she already feels accomplished, she is eager to keep moving forward for herself and her daughters.

Jeudy’s middle daughter is about to complete her first semester at TSTC and Jeudy is also completing classes at the college so she can begin working toward a bachelor’s degree.

“I don’t want my girls to wait as long as I did to get a college education,” she said. “I want them to lead a better life and I want to set that example.”

She said she eventually wants to find a job in the industry as a plastics researcher, to create plastics using renewable and biodegradable resources.

“Because of TSTC I’m doing better for myself and my daughters,” said Jeudy. “I highly recommend the college, not because I work here, but because it has changed my life.”

For more information on Chemical Technology, visit tstc.edu.

Registration for Spring 2019 is underway. The deadline to register is January 2.

TSTC Auto Collision and Management Technology Program Receives National Grant

(WACO) – Texas State Technical College’s Auto Collision and Management Technology program will soon buy new equipment because of a recently awarded national grant.

The program has received a $1,000 Ultimate Collision Education Makeover Grant from the Collision Repair Education Foundation. The announcement was made in late October at the 2018 Speciality Equipment Market Association Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. The money will be available in January.

High school and college auto collision programs undergo a rigorous application process to be considered for the grants.

Clint Campbell, TSTC’s statewide Auto Collision and Management Technology chair, said it took two months to complete the application, which includes information on the program’s budget and student job placement, as well as recommendations from industry representatives.

“It’s a good deal for the program,” Campbell said. “It makes sure you are doing things correctly and for the right reasons.”

Campbell said it is not only critical to the auto collision industry to teach students how to repair dents and paint, but also to use technology to reset collision avoidance systems being built for new vehicle models. Securing grants to purchase new equipment enables the program faculty to use money in areas where it is most needed.

John McIntyre, 33, and Blake McIntyre, 28, both of San Angelo, are working toward Auto Collision Refinishing certificates and are scheduled to graduate next summer.

The brothers chose to attend TSTC to learn techniques to use for a restoration shop they want to open in their hometown after graduation. They want to purchase older models of trucks, rehabilitate them and sell them at automotive auctions.

“Automotives are a passion,” John McIntyre said.

Blake McIntyre said he had an extra motivation for pursuing the certificate: He has been dissatisfied with past automotive paint jobs. He said his favorite class so far has been Automotive Plastic and Sheet Molded Compound Repair.

TSTC in Waco has about 90 students pursuing the program’s associate degrees and certificates.

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

 

TSTC Student Takes Degree Overseas

(SWEETWATER) — Living in a foreign country is a dream to most, but getting paid to live in a foreign country is the way Texas State Technical College student Kaitlin Sullivan is realizing that dream.

Sullivan is expected to graduate this fall from TSTC in Sweetwater with an associate degree in Wind Energy Technology and has already accepted a job with Koenig & Bauer, the oldest functioning printing press manufacturer in the world. She will complete her apprenticeship in Germany for two six-month terms, then train with a technician in Dallas for three months until being upgraded to a technician job herself.

“This is an amazing opportunity,” Sullivan said. “I am so excited to travel and learn more about the culture and lifestyle in Germany, all while doing something I’m genuinely interested in.”

Although this is not the path Sullivan ever expected to be on, she is not looking back.

“I did the traditional four-year college, how ‘society’ expects you to, and I couldn’t find a job I liked,” Sullivan said. “So after a year of job searching, I decided I needed something different and came to TSTC.”

Sullivan completed her bachelor’s degree at Tarleton State University, but after having trouble finding a job she was interested in, she took some inspiration from her hometown and made a change.

“I’m from Dumas in North Texas, where there are tons of wind turbines,” Sullivan said. “They’re fascinating to me. So I did some research, and TSTC popped up with the right program.”

Upon arriving at TSTC, Sullivan immediately impressed her instructors with her drive and dedication to education. Wind Energy Technology instructor Billie Jones taught Sullivan in at least one class each semester and recognized her ambition.

“There is nothing Kaitlin can’t do once she dedicates her mind to it,” Jones said. “One of the first things she said to me was that she was in competition with everyone else, just that no one knew it yet. I believe it was that mentality and her willingness to learn that got her where she is today.”

While the job Sullivan accepted is not in her degree field, it is associated with the sister program, Electromechanical Technology. Since there was only a five-course difference between it and Wind Energy Technology, Electromechanical Technology instructor Ron Rendon agreed to meet with Sullivan and help her cross-train.

“Kaitlin is a great leader and very willing to learn. She doesn’t like not knowing,” Rendon said. “She will be a huge asset wherever she works, and I think she’ll do amazing things.”  

For anyone hesitant to take the alternative route from a four-year degree, Sullivan says don’t be afraid.

“People told me I shouldn’t or couldn’t do it,” Sullivan said. “And I’m glad I didn’t listen because I got this job offer two semesters before graduation. Don’t let them tell you you can’t, and if they do, prove them wrong.”

Sullivan is expected to graduate on Monday, December 10, at 7 p.m. in the Abilene Convention Center.

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

TSTC Alumna Uses Degree, Experience to Help Heal Others

(BROWNWOOD) — Battling addiction takes determination, drive and a support system. Texas State Technical College alumna Stephanie Narramore used these tools in her own recovery and now uses them to help others.

Narramore graduated in 2015 from TSTC in Brownwood with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Chemical Dependency Counseling and is now Associate Director of Clinical Services at Starlite Recovery Center in Center Point, Texas.

“TSTC was a really important part of me changing and my recovery. I suffered from a (drug) addiction for 14 years, and it was time for a change for my daughter and for me,” Narramore said.

When Narramore arrived at TSTC, she was nervous to be going back to school as a nontraditional student but was surprised by the support she found.

“I was scared,” Narramore said. “I was really scared to be going to school at my age, 38, but my instructors and the staff were amazing. They helped me to see something in myself that I didn’t at the time. They put in just as much work as I did.”

Elizabeth Jones, a Chemical Dependency Counseling instructor, recognized the willingness to change in Narramore.

“Stephanie came to school determined, prepared and totally ready to make a change in her life,” said Jones, who was also a mentor to Narramore. “She knew that hard work was in her future, and she never walked away from a challenge. She is a role model for other students in the Chemical Dependency Counseling program.”

Driven by her desire to create a better life as a single mother, Narramore earned not only her degree, but also a list of honors along the way.

“I was the guest speaker at my graduation, the Board of Regents Medal of Honor recipient and president of the honor society Phi Theta Kappa. It was very validating,” Narramore said.

Narramore’s attitude and will to succeed left a lasting impression on the people she encountered at TSTC.

“Stephanie is hardworking and determined. She sets goals and doesn’t let hurdles get in her way.” Raquel Mata, associate provost of TSTC in Brownwood, said.

In her current position at Starlite Recovery Center, Narramore says she has found a way to help heal others.

“I’ve been where these patients have been, so I know exactly what they’re going through,” Narramore said. “I found my purpose, and it’s being able to make a difference in someone else’s life.”

The TSTC Chemical Dependency Counseling program is available at the Abilene, Breckenridge and Brownwood campuses.

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

TSTC physics instructor shares his immigration story during Humanities Week

(HARLINGEN) – Born and raised in Cuba, Texas State Technical College Physics Instructor Jose A. Alvarez came to the United States in 1960 and is now sharing his immigration experiences through his writing during TSTC’s annual Humanities Week.

“I love teaching and my students inspire me to tell my story,” said Alvarez. “We are all so different, yet so alike in many ways. And when you’re transplanted into someplace new we have to learn to adapt, deal with the ups and downs and persevere. So I want to show my students that they’re not alone.”

That is why, when Alvarez was invited to be part of an author’s forum during Humanities Week, he felt compelled to accept and tell his story.

Now settled at Rancho Viejo, the 75-year-old began teaching Physics at TSTC in 2011 and brought with him extensive experience in the telecommunications and physics fields.

In 1965, Alvarez earned his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Detroit and went on to earn a master’s degree in Physics in 1967. Later, in 2002, he received a second master’s degree in management from Pace University in New York.Jose Alvarez

“I was only supposed to come to the U.S. for college. I expected to return, but plans changed,” said Alvarez.

Alvarez said he came to the U.S. alone, but when U.S. and Cuba broke diplomatic relations in the 60’s it became difficult to return to his island country.

“There were no direct flights back home and the process for just a visit was a long one,” he said. “And my family tried joining me, but due to legalities they had to move to Spain first, which is where my father was from.”

Eventually, his family settled in New Jersey in the late 1960’s, but by then Alvarez had established his life.

Alvarez worked at AT&T as an internal consultant for technical issues and in management for most of his career.

He also did independent contract work with start-up companies as a telecommunications contractor.

His career and consultant work led him to countries as close as Mexico and Brazil and as far away as the Netherlands and Israel.

“I loved my career. It took me all over the world, which sparked my love for travel,” said Alvarez.

During one of his business trips to Mexico City, Alvarez met his wife who was from Matamoros, that’s when he decided it was time to settle in the Rio Grande Valley.

At this time Alvarez had already begun writing. He wrote about his transition from Cuba to the U.S., his struggle returning home, his family’s struggle joining him in the states and his first trip back to Cuba in 2000.

“After nearly 40 years, I returned to Cuba and it was very emotional for me,” said Alvarez. “I knew I had to write about it and share my journey.”

Though he enjoys writing his vignettes, Alvarez wanted to do more, so as a former algebra teacher, he decided to return to the classroom – which led him to TSTC.

“I heard about TSTC from my morning coffee group at Starbucks,” he said. “I had never heard about TSTC, but here I am. It’s my second home, second family now.”

Alvarez said he enjoys getting paid for doing what he loves and said teaching, for him, is the most rewarding career.

“I love teaching young minds. I love being in the classroom and answering questions,” Alvarez said. “And as long as my health holds up, I’ll be here. I love TSTC, it’s a great place to work and I’ve enjoyed every minute.”

He hopes to one day turn the vignettes he shared with students during Humanities Week into a book, so he can continue telling his story for many years to come.

For more information on TSTC and the programs offered, visit tstc.edu.

Student Success Profile – Eduardo Perez

(HARLINGEN) – Eduardo PerezEduardo Perez is a Computer Maintenance Technology student at Texas State Technical College. The 23-year-old expects to earn his associate degree next Fall Semester 2019 and holds a 3.6 grade-point average.

The Los Fresnos native also serves as the vice president of his program’s Computer Tech Club and does community service work such as beach clean ups, beautification projects and serves at the Ronald McDonald House.

What are you plans after graduation?

After I graduate I plan on getting a second associate degree in Computer Networking and moving to Houston to begin my career and continue my education until I receive a master’s degree in computer science.

What’s your dream job?

My dream job is to work with a Los Angeles-based company building computers and medical supplies. I know I’ll eventually make it to the West Coast.

What has been your greatest accomplishment while at TSTC?

My greatest accomplishment while at TSTC has been maintaining high grades and getting on the dean’s list and president’s list and organizing fundraisers with the Computer Tech Club to help other students raise money for additional certifications.

What greatest lesson have you learned about yourself or life?

The greatest lesson I have learned is that no matter what, you have to continue forward. I was stuck for a long time, working menial jobs before I enrolled at TSTC. Now I feel like I’m finally moving forward again.

Who at TSTC has influence your success the most?

My classmates at TSTC have had the biggest influence on my success. We help each other out and support each other. There’s always teamwork. It would be really hard getting through this program without them.

What is your advice for future TSTC students?

My advice for future TSTC students is to focus on school, don’t allow anything to distract you from your goal and don’t quit.

TSTC Diversity in STEM Day encourages nontraditional careers

(HARLINGEN) – Monica Sanchez hammered, nailed and stained her very own wooden toolbox and planter during Texas State Technical College’s third annual Diversity in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Day.

“I definitely like creating things, and I’m excited to take home my creations,” said Sanchez, a sophomore at Mercedes High School. “This by far has been my favorite part of the day.”

Sanchez got a firsthand look into TSTC’s Building Construction Technology and Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Technology programs.

She was among 63 high school students from across the Rio Grande Valley who participated in the event that is focused on encouraging girls and women to pursue male-dominated careers and vice versa.

“I think this is a great opportunity that opens doors for us,” said Sanchez. “I’ve learned a lot today about the different careers that are available to us here at TSTC and how I could turn my hobby of building things into a career.”

The event, which was hosted by TSTC’s Enrollment Management, Support Services and Student Recruitment departments, included information booths on admissions, financial aid and other student services.

Attendees heard from keynote speaker Stacey Perales, a TSTC Architectural Design and Engineering Graphics Technology lab assistant, and Marty Capetillo, a TSTC Dental Hygiene student.

Program tours were offered in Architectural Design and Engineering Graphics, Agricultural Technology, Automotive Technology, Building Construction Technology, Chemical Technology, HVAC Technology and Precision Machining Technology.

TSTC enrollment coach Anna Cortez said Diversity in STEM Day is about exposing both girls and boys to nontraditional careers.

“Introducing them to programs early on is important because there is always a fear factor,” said Cortez. “The firsthand look can help ease nerves and allows them see for themselves what the program is about and hopefully find a mentor.”

Each program tour was approximately one hour and included hands-on activities such as building toolboxes and planters, creating dice using machine shop equipment, and changing a tire and the oil of a car.

TSTC Diversity in STEM Day

Weslaco East High School junior Mia Ramos made a pair of dice while touring Precision Machining Technology. She said she has always been interested in designing and would consider either machining or architectural design as a career.

“Today’s event has opened my eyes to program options I can pursue when I graduate from high school,” said Ramos. “It’s been a great experience getting insight into TSTC and hearing from different speakers. But my favorite part was learning how to use new machines.”

The 16-year-old said that although she has a dream of graduating as a Texas Longhorn, she will begin her college career at TSTC to get a head start and gain experience in either architecture or machining.

Cortez said overall the event was successful and it was great watching students excitedly share their experiences with one another.

She also said she hopes the program continues to grow and the collaboration between departments, programs and school districts remains strong.

“TSTC students have told us that it’s because of events like this that they were encouraged to enroll, so we know that they have a huge impact,” said Cortez. “We hope that students will feel empowered after completing this event and will realize that they are capable of achieving everything they put their minds to.”

Spring registration for new students begins Nov. 12. There will be a Registration Rally, a one-stop registration event, on Tuesday, Nov. 13, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For more information on the programs offered at TSTC or to apply, visit tstc.edu.

TSTC hosts celebration to honor veterans, name scholarship

(HARLINGEN) – The Veterans Center at Texas State Technical College hosted its annual Veterans Day Celebration in honor of employee and student veterans who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

But this year, TSTC and the Veterans Center also posthumously honored U.S. military veteran Troy Davis, a TSTC Biology graduate and former Veterans Center work-study program employee who passed away only a few weeks ago.

Davis earned his associate degree in Spring 2018 and was working on completing his academic core.

In his work-study position at the Veterans Center, he made it his mission to help those transitioning into civilian life and back into college.

“We’re all saddened by his loss,” said Steve Guevara, TSTC Veterans Center director. “He was working hard and on the path to success. We lost him too soon, but his memory lives on.”

To continue Davis’ legacy and honor his military service, Guevara announced during the ceremony that the veteran scholarship created by the Veteran Students Alliance Club in 2013 will now be called the Troy E. Davis Memorial Scholarship.TSTC Veterans Day Celebration

The funds for the scholarship are raised annually by the club and awarded to three student veterans. The individual scholarships are valued at $300.

“We want our students and employees to know that we support them every day of the year,” said Guevara. “The Veterans Day Celebration and lunch is a token of our appreciation to show them how thankful we are for their service and sacrifice to this country.”

TSTC serves 500 veterans statewide and 139 in Harlingen, in addition to the number of veterans who work at TSTC.

One of those veterans is Erica Gonzalez, a student recruitment coordinator at the college, who shared her story during the ceremony.

Gonzalez was a migrant worker and an avid athlete when September 11, 2001, set her path.

“I walked into the locker room after cross-country, and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. But I knew this would be a day we would never forget,” she said. “This is when I became driven to join the armed forces.”

After attending one semester at the University of Texas-Pan American on a full athletic scholarship, Gonzalez enlisted.

She served four years in the Army under the Military Police Corps, stationed in Germany.

“It is an honor to serve in the military, to answer the call of duty, and to raise your right hand and vow to protect this beautiful nation,” she said. “It taught me integrity and how to stand strong for all of our brothers and sisters who we know, who we don’t know, and the ones we may never know.”

The program also included remarks from master of ceremonies and TSTC Computer Networking and Security Technology student Johnny Rivera, the presentation and retiring of colors by Harlingen High School South JROTC, a Prisoner of War and Missing in Action presentation by the American Legion 15th District Drill team, and recognitions by TSTC veterans program officer Jose Villegas.

“We are so blessed to live in a country with so many opportunities and freedoms because of the sacrifice and service from these brave men and women. Freedom comes with a price,” said TSTC Provost Cledia Hernandez. “TSTC is dedicated to helping veterans transition not only into college, but into civilian life. It is an honor to be able to help them.”

TSTC in Harlingen has been recognized as a Military-Friendly School for eight straight years, and the college has been recognized statewide as a Military-Friendly School for three years.

The TSTC Veterans Center serves as a centralized, one-stop shop for prospective and current students who are veterans, as well as their dependents. The center assists with admission, financial aid, GI Bill and Hazlewood applications. There is also a variety of services, such as internal and external referrals, that veteran students can benefit from.

In addition to the Veterans Center, TSTC also offers competency-based learning for veterans who have gained applicable skills through their service in the military.

For more information on the Veterans Center, call 956-364-4387 or visit tstc.edu/veterans.