Author Archives: Daniel Perry

TSTC Student Q&A with Andrew Hebron of Arlington

(RED OAK) – Andrew Hebron, 21, of Arlington is a Computer Aided Drafting and Design Technology major at Texas State Technical College in North Texas.

Hebron is a 2013 graduate of Juan Seguin High School in Arlington, where he was in the Chess Club and played trumpet in the band program. The high school is a Texas Project Lead the Way campus for engineering and biomedical science course sequences.

He is scheduled to graduate from TSTC in spring 2018.

Does working in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields run in your family? “My brother is working in engineering and my father works in information technology.”

How did you discover TSTC? “Research. My family and I found the Waco campus after I graduated from high school. Then, we heard about the North Texas campus.”

How have your experiences been attending TSTC in North Texas? “I like the family environment. The instructors are good at what they do.”

How did you become interested in Computer Aided Drafting and Design Technology? “I did Texas Project Lead the Way classes in high school. I took computer aided drafting and design technology and also a class in electronic current boards. I did soldering and designing and discovered real quick it was not for me. I am more of the drafting side.”

What advice would you give to prospective students? “Look at your learning type. I learn best by doing and watching.”

What do you like to do when you are not studying or working? “I enjoy music, calligraphy, woodworking and playing the organ. I started playing the trumpet in the sixth grade. I use a portable joystick and play flying simulations on my laptop. The simulator I play has the ability to follow real weather patterns. It’s my stress relief.”

Architectural, civil, electrical and mechanical drafting are some of the career fields that Computer Aided Drafting and Design Technology majors can pursue. The Woodlands – Houston – Sugar Land and Dallas – Plano – Irving metropolitan areas have the highest concentrations of drafters in Texas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Overall, the state has more than 1,900 people working in drafting fields.

Registration for fall semester is taking place now, with two special Registration Rally events planned from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on July 13 and Aug. 8 at TSTC in North Texas.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to

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TSTC in Marshall Recognizes Longtime Employee

(MARSHALL) – Texas State Technical College’s Marshall campus has been educating East Texans since 1991, and one employee has been around to see much of its history.

Patricia A. Robbins, the admissions director and registrar, was recently honored at TSTC’s Employee Appreciation Day for 25 years of employment.

“Working with someone who is a walking encyclopedia of TSTC’s history here in Marshall is an absolute joy,” said Provost Barton Day. “I bet Miss Pat won’t say this, but she remembers several of our current faculty members when they first walked onto campus as students.”

Robbins said what has kept her working at TSTC has been her love for the students and seeing them succeed. She said in her job she keeps a positive outlook and encourages students to reach their academic and career goals.

“I feel true happiness when I see them on the road to success,” she said. “I counsel with them and pray with them along the way. Sometimes all they need is a little support and knowing that someone truly cares.”

Robbins’ work sweeps across several functions of the technical college, including dual enrollment.

“Pat has been very helpful and supportive,” said Michelle Ates, dual enrollment manager. “She provides great leadership to make sure the dual enrollment students’ admission and registration goals are met. If there are problems, she will look for the best means to ensure a positive experience for the high school students that leads to success.”

Before coming to TSTC in August 1992, Robbins worked for 17 years as an academic affairs administrative assistant at Wiley College in Marshall.

Robbins has a bachelor’s degree in office administration from Wiley College.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to

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TSTC Student Q&A with Marco Rico of Haltom City

(RED OAK) – Marco Rico, 20, of Haltom City is an Electrical Power and Controls major at Texas State Technical College in North Texas and is scheduled to graduate in spring 2018.

Rico is a 2015 graduate of Richland High School in North Richland Hills, where he was a defensive end on the soccer team.

How did you learn about Texas State Technical College? “My friend’s brother went to TSTC in Waco and graduated from there. I started off in Waco and transferred to the North Texas campus. This is my first semester in North Texas.”

How did you become interested in studying Electrical Power and Controls? “I work for an industrial and commercial electrical company at night and know the field has good money. I have learned a good bit in this program. I’m more of a hands-on learner. My favorite class has been Motor Controls. I like the field because you are indoors and using your head.”

What are your career plans after graduation? “I would like to move up in my work and stay in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.”

What advice would you give to high school students who are thinking about higher education? “I would not want them to wait a year after graduating from high school to decide to go to college like I did.”

What do you like about living in the Fort Worth area? “It’s good because you are around everything you know. I like to go to the Texas Rangers and Dallas Cowboys games.”

What is your favorite soccer team? “Real Madrid.”

TSTC in North Texas will host summer Registration Rally events from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on June 20, July 13 and Aug. 8 for prospective students to enroll for the fall semester.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to

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TSTC in Waco SkillsUSA Students Honored at Luncheon

(WACO) – Several Texas State Technical College in Waco students and faculty members were honored Friday with a fries and hamburger lunch before departing this weekend for Louisville, Kentucky to take part in SkillsUSA’s 53rd annual National Leadership and Skills Conference.

TSTC in Waco will send 41 students to the conference which brings together more than 6,000 high school and college students nationwide to compete in contests ranging from automotive technology to welding from June 19-23 at Louisville’s Kentucky Exposition Center.

“Hopefully we are going to bring home some medals,” said James Matus, TSTC statewide SkillsUSA manager.

Marcus Crespin, 21, of Victoria will return to the conference to take part in the Residential Systems Installation and Maintenance contest which he won the national gold medal for in 2016. Crespin is a Computer Networking and Systems Administration major scheduled to graduate in August.

“I know what I’m capable of,” Crespin said. “I’m hoping for a bit more competition to test the skills I have.”

The national conference will mark Boyd native Logan Moore’s last work with TSTC. He graduated in the spring with an associate degree in Culinary Arts and will give up his SkillsUSA state presidency after the conference.

Moore, 21, finished sixth in last year’s SkillsUSA Restaurant Service contest which he will take part in again this year. He has practiced for the contest in recent days with TSTC Culinary Arts faculty members.

“I’m ready to compete and improve on what I did last year,” Moore said.

Moore is eager to collect pins from SkillsUSA delegations. He said he was successful last year getting pins from all 50 states and U.S. territories and hopes to repeat the feat this year.

The TSTC students qualified for the national conference by placing first in SkillsUSA’s Texas postsecondary competitions held in the spring in Waco.

The group is scheduled to return to Waco on Saturday, June 24.

For more information on SkillsUSA, go to

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to

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TWC Grant Partners Jonell and TSTC for Job Training

(BRECKENRIDGE) – More than 100 employees at Jonell Filtration Products Inc. will receive valuable job training from instructors at Texas State Technical College, thanks to a $210,320 Skills Development Fund grant from the Texas Workforce Commission.

TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez presented the check to representatives from Jonell and TSTC in a ceremony held Friday afternoon at the company’s Breckenridge facility.

Jonell specializes in the development and manufacturing of filtration and separation products for the oil and gas industry, including offshore exploration and production, gas production and transmission, refinery and petrochemical applications and power generation.

The grant will provide customized training for 106 new and incumbent workers in the West Central Texas area during a period of 12 months.

“The workers will receive training in classes aimed at improving the skills of maintenance technicians and operators,” said John Dosher, executive director of Workforce Training and Continuing Education at TSTC.

Dosher explained that classes will focus on general plant safety along with mechanical and electrical safety. Other classes will be taught to improve the skills of front office and sales staff and leadership classes will teach employees about conflict resolution and active listening skills.

Virgil Moore III, executive director of the Breckenridge Economic Development Corp., commented on the importance of the grant’s impact on the community.

“Jonell is Breckenridge and Stephens County’s largest private employer and has been a vital part of the local economy for many years,” he noted. “This training will improve the quality of Jonell’s employees, resulting in higher quality products and service and a stronger local company that successfully competes in an international market.”

Steve Bell, Jonell’s production manager, said his company strives to be the preferred employer in Breckenridge and the grant will help it achieve that goal. He added that TSTC has offered to be flexible around the company’s plant schedules and has been supportive throughout the entire process, resulting in positive feedback from employees.

Robert Puls, business development consultant at Workforce Solutions of West Central Texas, said that Jonell offers quality employment opportunities in the area.

“The hands-on technical training will enhance the skills of current workers in performing maintenance and supporting changing industry and customer requirements,” he said.

Trainees at Jonell will include application engineers, assemblers, machine operators, material handlers, mechanical designers, packaging clerks, production control engineers and shipping clerks.

For more information on Jonell, visit

Registration Rally events for TSTC’s fall semester will be held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on June 20, July 20 and Aug. 3 at the TSTC Welcome Center on the Breckenridge campus at 307 N. Breckenridge.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to

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TSTC Student Q&A with Amariya Taylor of Dallas

(RED OAK) – Amariya Taylor, 20, of Dallas is a Computer Aided Drafting and Design Technology major at Texas State Technical College in North Texas scheduled to graduate with an associate degree in spring 2018.

She is a 2015 graduate of Skyline High School in Dallas, where she was in the National Honor Society and played volleyball.

How did you learn about Texas State Technical College? “I was originally going to school for prelaw, but one of my teachers said I was good at mathematics and said I should go somewhere else for college. My godfather heard about the technical college from a friend. I visited the campus first and then applied.”

How did you become interested in Computer Aided Drafting and Design Technology? “I like designing and I’m very creative. This is a program where you can design and create, and I have the software programs to do it. It was great once I got adjusted to the work.”

What is your plan for after graduation? “I want to go to work, but I also want to get a bachelor’s degree in engineering or architecture.”

What advice would you give to high school students thinking about attending college? “If you declare a major and then change it, you are starting all over. You have to stay on top of the financial information and not turn your work in at the last minute. You have to talk to your success coach.”

What do you like to do away from classes and studying? “I like to work out at the gym. I go to church and like to take part in church activities. I enjoy going to museums and amusement parks.”

Some of the careers that students who study Computer Aided Drafting and Design Technology can pursue include architectural drafting, civil drafting, electrical drafting, architecture and computer engineering, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

TSTC in North Texas will host summer Registration Rally events from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on June 20, July 13 and Aug. 8 for prospective students to enroll for the fall semester.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to

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TSTC Student Q&A with Timothy Hays of Waco

(WACO) – Timothy Hays, 66, moved from Manor to Waco to study for Aircraft Airframe Technician and Aircraft Powerplant Technician certificates at Texas State Technical College in Waco. He is scheduled to receive his first certificate in August.

Hays grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana, and has studied fine arts and education at universities in Louisiana and Oklahoma.

What have been some of your previous careers? “I was an elementary school teacher and middle school teacher. I was a professor for teachers coming back for a master’s program. I was a civilian employee in the U.S. Coast Guard in Yorktown, Virginia, and left in 2005.”

What made you decide to study at TSTC? “I have a private pilot’s license and have become interested in kit building since I retired. There was a lot I didn’t have experience in.”

How are you enjoying studying aviation maintenance? “It draws on a lot of the fine arts. I was doing painting and focused on three-dimensional design. I am really enjoying the classes. I just got done purchasing a kit plane. I flew to Missouri and rented a moving truck and picked it up and brought it home. Some of the students helped me unload it. Everything I’m learning has a direct impact on the kit I will build. I have learned a lot about hydraulics.”

Why should other retirees consider going back to college? “I would encourage them to go back and do it if they are interested and passionate. Now they have the time and probably have the money. It may be a good second or third life. Don’t let the grass grow under your feet too long.”

TSTC offers certificates and associate degrees for Aircraft Airframe Technology and Aircraft Powerplant Technology. Some of the classes students take in the technical programs include Aviation Physics, Landing Gear Systems, Aircraft Welding and Airframe Inspection.

TSTC will host summer Registration Rally events on June 23, July 14 and Aug. 11. For more information, go to

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to

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TSTC Alumni Help Design Waco’s Future

(WACO) – Bobby Horner, Craig Johnson and Edward Hernandez attended Texas State Technical College in different decades but are united through their majors and work helping Waco grow responsibly.

The men all graduated from TSTC with what were then Associate of Applied Science degrees in Architectural Drafting and Design. Horner received his degree in 1978, Johnson graduated in 1981 and Hernandez walked across the stage for his degree in 1998.

Today, Horner is an inspection supervisor, Johnson is a plans examiner and Hernandez is a building inspector – all for the city of Waco.

“All of us have either had our own business with design and drafting or worked with architects and smaller projects,” Horner said. “We have the training of design and drafting to pull from.”

The three have roles, along with their co-workers, in the planning and construction of structures in the city. And Waco is seeing a lot of development, from the eight-story Marriott Springhill Suites planned for South Jack Kultgen Expressway to apartment development on Bagby Avenue near the Central Texas Marketplace.

“I don’t see a lot of letup, personally,” Horner said. “It’s exciting to me.”

Johnson sits in on weekly municipal predevelopment meetings to discuss several facets of proposed projects, from easements to fire, health and safety matters. The meetings are times to ask questions and develop solutions to make the permit process and construction flow.

Hernandez said the use of modern business materials, such as cardboard siding, has kept himself and his co-workers learning about new construction techniques.

“My background in drafting and design helped me transition into being a plans examiner,” Hernandez said. “Because I knew how plans were put together, I know what to look for.”

Horner said people interested in pursuing drafting and design should have an understanding of construction materials and terminology.

Hernandez said drafting and design graduates can work for companies who will teach them the specific software being used.

The men are members of the Bluebonnet Chapter of the International Code Council encompassing Central Texas. They can earn continuing education credits to keep organization certifications updated.

Horner, 59, grew up in Hamilton and graduated from Hamilton High School in 1976. He said TSTC was his top option because he enjoyed drawing and worked with a builder when he was in high school. Both his grandfathers worked in construction and he also had friends who worked in roofing.

Horner fondly remembers technical college life.

“My dorm room was one of the officers’ barracks,” he said.

Johnson, 56, graduated in 1979 from Midway High School in Woodway. Johnson said he went while growing up to the Lake Air Drive-In where Richland Mall is now located.

Johnson’s interest in drafting and design was piqued as a child while riding his bicycle and exploring Woodway.

“There were a lot of homes being built,” he said. “It fascinated me how the homes were put together. When we moved to Woodway, the western part from Poage Drive was not built.”

Hernandez, 54, grew up in San Antonio and graduated from Antonian College Preparatory High School. He served in the U.S. Navy for six years as a firefighting instructor. He worked in the construction industry before starting classes at TSTC when he was 35. He also taught for nine years at TSTC.

TSTC offers associate degrees in Architectural/Civil Drafting Technology and Mechanical/Electrical Drafting Technology.

TSTC is having summer Registration Rally events for prospective students to finalize plans to attend the fall semester. For more information, go to

For information on the TSTC Alumni Network, go to

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to

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TSTC Building Construction Students Work With Area SkillsUSA Participants

(WACO) – Texas State Technical College’s Building Construction Technology program hosted students from Belton and Mansfield this week for a SkillsUSA construction boot camp.

Four students from Belton High School and one student from the Mansfield Independent School District worked on carpentry and building skills to prepare for SkillsUSA’s 53rd annual National Leadership and Skills Conference taking place June 19-23 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Students from TSTC who will compete in the conference’s collegiate division also perfected their skills and bonded with the high school students.

Michael Carrillo, a TSTC Building Construction Technology program instructor, used past SkillsUSA exercises to simulate timed competitions the students will encounter.

“Sure, we compete under the same roof as the college team, but our kids can communicate with one another,” said Craig Sullivan, a construction technology teacher at Belton High School. “We want Texas represented well. We are rooting for TSTC just like they are rooting for us.”

Sullivan said this was his fourth building construction squad to have won the Texas SkillsUSA high school construction contest in the spring, enabling them to go to the nationwide competition.

Andres Zapata, 19, a 2017 graduate of Belton High School and future TSTC Building Construction Technology major, said framing was his strength on the building team.

“It’s an honor to work with these technical college students,” Zapata said. “It prepares us as well to see teams compete against us. This will make us better.”

Matt Peeler, 27, a TSTC Building Construction Technology major from Belton, did not have the opportunity to take construction technology when he attended Belton High School. But he said if he had the chance to go back to high school to do it, he would.

“I think it’s a great opportunity to work alongside the students,” Peeler said. “It’s a great experience and lets us know where we stand and where they stand.”

Carrillo said the program has hosted SkillsUSA high school students for three years to allow them to work with TSTC students.

“So far it’s going well because it’s pretty much them against a different team,” he said. “They can gauge efficiency, time and coordinating with team members.”

The Belton High School SkillsUSA construction contest group is made up of Chloe Bush, 18; Allan Harlow, 19; Joseph Hermann, 19; and Zapata.

Jacob Dawson, 17, a senior at Mansfield’s Legacy High School who also attended the Ben Barber Innovation Academy, will compete for Texas in the individual carpentry competition. He spent three days on the Waco campus working on blueprint reading, wood framing and other skills, along with meeting program faculty.

“Practicing has made it easier to get a feel for what I am doing,” said Dawson.

Besides Peeler, TSTC’s Teamworks group for SkillsUSA is made up of Building Construction Technology majors Jack Chance, 19, of Waxahachie and Edgar Cuellar, 26, and Jose Perez, 19, both of Waco.

TSTC Building Construction Technology major Larry Johnson of Mount Pleasant will compete in the individual carpentry contest at SkillsUSA. He and Dawson did their own simulation competition to practice for the Louisville contest.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to

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TSTC Precision Machining Technology Program Receives New Machines

(WACO) – Students in the Precision Machining Technology program at Texas State Technical College are working with four new Haas Mini Mill machines installed in May.

Third-semester students studying Advanced Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) Machining are some of the first using the machines to create such things as small cannons and tape dispensers as class projects. The students use written plans and theories to personalize their own creations, said George Love, an instructor in the Precision Machining Technology program.

The new machines contain robotic components, industrial computers and the ability to connect to smartphones and the Internet. The machines can cut aluminum, brass and steel.

“The first thing to know is how to set the lathe manually before letting the computer do the work,” said Fernando Ortiz, 38, a Precision Machining Technology major from Temple scheduled to graduate in December from TSTC.

Nick Huffman, 18, a Machining certificate student from Houston who is scheduled to graduate in August, said he has noticed that manual machines make deeper cuts than automated mills.

He said knowing how the Mini Mills work could help him in his job search after he graduates.

“I want to stay in the Houston area,” Huffman said. “Machinists are needed everywhere, but definitely in Houston.”

The Precision Machining Technology program already had two larger milling machines that students had to take turns to work on.

“The students, hands-on time has now quadrupled (with the new machines),” Love said.

The machines are worth a total of $90,000 and were made possible with a grant from the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006.

“That (recommended purchase) comes from the Precision Machining Technology program’s advisory board,” Love said. “The advisory board wants the students to have more CNC time.”

TSTC’s Precision Machining Technology program in Waco is accredited by the National Institute for Metalworking Skills Inc.

TSTC in Waco will host summer Registration Rally events from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on June 23, July 14 and Aug. 11. For more information, go to

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to

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