Author Archives: Daniel Perry

TSTC and Norbord Inc. Celebrate TWC Skills Development Grant

(MARSHALL) – Leaders from Texas State Technical College, the Texas Workforce Commission and Norbord Inc. of Jefferson gathered Wednesday to commemorate a $223,939 Skills Development Fund grant aimed at improving workers’ skills.

The grant will provide technical training to upgrade 93 workers’ skills in production, maintenance, electronics and manufacturing. The on-site training began in August and is scheduled to end in January, said David Golden, Norbord’s human resources manager.

“It is a partnership we try to take full advantage of,” said Golden about his company working with TSTC. “The training adds to the value of our plant and community.”

Aaron Demerson, director of employer initiatives for the Texas Workforce Commission, said he and state leaders want Norbord to stay competitive globally.

“We want you to come back for more to train the next generation of Texans,” Demerson said.

Norbord and TSTC have worked together before on training. Twelve employees attended two sessions earlier this year to learn basic Excel at the company’s training center.

“Partnerships like this are a continued affirmation of the great investment Texas continues to put into workforce development,” said Barton Day, provost of TSTC in Marshall.

Norbord is based in Toronto, Canada, and is a global manufacturer of wood-based panels, particleboard, oriented strand board and medium-density fiberboard. The company has 2,600 employees at 17 plants in Canada, Europe and the United States. The Jefferson plant on Nexfor Boulevard has 108 employees, some of whom are TSTC graduates working as millwrights and electricians.

For more information on Norbord, go to Norbord.com.

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

TSTC Student Sees Bright Future in Construction Industry

(WACO) – Bradley Castanon is eager to use his creative energy to make homes environmentally friendly and cost efficient.

Castanon, 23, of Bryan is a candidate for graduation for the Associate of Applied Science degree in Solar Energy Technology and a certificate in Energy Efficiency Specialist at Texas State Technical College’s Fall 2017 Commencement at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 8, at the Waco Convention Center.

One of the concepts he learned about was passive solar energy, a way to use the sun’s natural path to heat and cool structures through the use of building materials. He also became familiar with the International Energy Conservation Code, which is used in worldwide construction.

“He has been a good student, but more than that he has shown an interest in understanding the complete subject matter,” said Tony Chaffin, an Energy Efficiency Specialist instructor in TSTC’s Building Construction Technology program.

Castanon was home-schooled starting in seventh grade. In ninth grade, he joined a homeschool co-op where he took classes and did assigned work at home.

Some of Castanon’s relatives worked in the heating, air conditioning and ventilation field. He said relatives built two family cabins near Hearne. But when it came time for college, Castanon started studying kinesiology and later business.

“I am a kinetic learner,” Castanon said. “I have to be doing something to learn it. I could not see myself sitting behind a desk all day looking at a computer.”

He found TSTC’s Building Construction Technology program through online research.

“It was more out of personal interest in a new technology to produce my own energy,” Castanon said about choosing his majors. “I also know it is a slightly growing industry in power and electrical generation. I figured it would be a good way to make a living.”

Castanon worked two semesters as a resident advisor at Lavaca Hall at TSTC in Waco.

“What he brings to the job is consistency and reliability and attention to detail,” said Shane Hill, a TSTC campus housing coordinator.

After graduation, Castanon wants to work in the Bryan area apprenticing in the plumbing and heating and air conditioning fields. He wants one day to be a general contractor.

For more information on TSTC’s Fall 2017 Commencement, go to tstc.edu/about/graduation.

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

 

TSTC Student Plants Career with Family Roots

(WACO) – The first steps on the mountain that Talgat Pate continues to climb started in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Pate, 23, of Brenham and a student at Texas State Technical College in Waco, spent the first 10 years of life at an orphanage in the former Soviet republic.

“My mom had me at maybe 13 or 14,” he said. “I have biological siblings in Kazakhstan I have never met. I was schooled at the orphanage, where they would throw algebra problems at us.”

Pate will finish classes for his Associate of Applied Science in Biomedical Equipment Technology in December and quickly begin work at his family’s company, CardioQuip, in Bryan. His job as a biomedical field services technician will count toward the degree’s required internship, which means he will receive his degree in the spring.

“I’ll be traveling many places across the United States and other countries troubleshooting and calibrating cardiovascular medical equipment,” Pate said.

Michael Overcash, lead instructor in TSTC’s Biomedical Equipment Technology program, said he was impressed with Pate’s positive attitude. Pate took three classes with Overcash.

“He is very teachable,” Overcash said. “To me, it is amazing to see what he has come from and what he has done and how his future is very bright.”

Pate met the couple that would eventually adopt him when he was 8 while on a two-week visit to Texas as part of the Here I Am Orphan Ministries nonprofit Christian ministry. The adoption took two years and included securing a birth certificate, Social Security number, a passport and other legal paperwork.

“I never received love from anyone,” Pate said. “I lived an orphan life by following the rules and working a lot as a kid. When I was adopted, my parents showed me the compassion and love that I never had. That was when I turned my life around.”

He grew up with three siblings that were born to his parents and five adopted sisters from Colombia, along with an adopted brother from Kazakhstan. The family is in the process of adopting an American foster child. Their ages range from 14 to 36.

“Honestly it is a lot of fun seeing the variety of cultures and to understand each other,” Pate said. “We have problems and fight over things, but we care for each other and help each other out.”

Pate grew up speaking Russian and Kazakh. When he came to Brenham to live permanently, he was home-schooled for the first year so he could grasp the basics of English.

“My mother would help me read baby books and help me pronounce words,” Pate said.

Pate was enrolled at Grace Lutheran School in Brenham for third grade and later jumped to fifth grade because of his age. He eventually moved on to Brenham Christian Academy, where he graduated in 2014.

He attended Blinn College for two years to improve his reading skills and take academic courses. Pate researched online and found TSTC after relatives encouraged him to pursue biomedical equipment technology as a career.

“I have enjoyed the hands-on work and not just sitting at my desk,” Pate said. “The technical college has taught me discipline and how to work with people.”

TSTC offers the Biomedical Equipment Technology program at the Harlingen and Waco campuses.

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

 

TSTC in Waco Student Q&A with Ian MacFarlane of Temple

(WACO) – Veteran Ian MacFarlane, 39, of Temple is about to get an Associate of Applied Science degree in Avionics Technology from Texas State Technical College.

MacFarlane grew up in Sidney, Montana and is a U.S. Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient.

MacFarlane is scheduled to graduate at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 8 at the Waco Convention Center and return to TSTC in January to begin work on an Associate of Applied Science degree in Aircraft Airframe Technology.

When did you join the Army? “I enlisted in May 2005. I was a power generation equipment repairman. I did that for 10 years. I made sergeant in three-and-a-half years. I was deployed twice to Afghanistan and Iraq. Then, I medically retired in December 2015.”

How did you learn about TSTC? “There was a counselor at Fort Hood that used to work at TSTC and she pushed me in that direction. Fort Hood was my last duty station. I applied to TSTC first, then visited the campus.”

How have you enjoyed being in the Avionics Technology program? “This was a great learning experience. It taught me more in-depth about electronics than I knew. It is smaller components to work with for radio systems. The instructors are very knowledgeable.”

Have you had a job on the Waco campus? “I was a student-worker in the Veteran Center. You see how academics and veteran benefits go hand-in-hand. It was a good experience to talk to the veterans and see them every day.”

What advice would you give to high school students? “Go to colleges and check out what they have. Do your research and find out which school suits you the best.”

What is your career goal? “I want to work with unmanned systems in the military.”

There were more than 18,600 aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians in Texas as of May 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of jobs in the fields are expected to rise nationally to 157,000 through 2026, according to the federal labor statistics bureau.

TSTC in Waco offers the Associate of Applied Science degree in Avionics Technology.

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

TSTC in North Texas to Host Registration Rally for Spring Semester

(RED OAK) – Texas State Technical College will host a Registration Rally for the 2018 Spring Semester from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 5, at the Jim Pitts Industrial Technology Center on North Lowrance Road in Red Oak.

“We are looking forward to meeting our new students and helping them get one step closer to earning their associate degrees,” said TSTC Provost Marcus Balch. “Registration Rally days are set up to make the registration process as smooth as possible.”

Visitors can take campus tours and talk to faculty members about the 10 technical programs offered at the North Texas campus, including Computer Aided Drafting and Design Technology, Cyber Security and Welding.

People interested in enrolling should bring a copy of their driver’s license, high school transcript or GED, any college transcripts, proof of bacterial meningitis vaccination, housing application and TSI scores.

TSTC is having registration events at its 10 campuses throughout the state this fall. For information on the closest Registration Rally, log on to tstc.edu/rally.

For more information, contact TSTC in North Texas at 972-617-4040.

TSTC in Marshall to Host Registration Rally for Spring Semester

(MARSHALL) – Texas State Technical College will host a Registration Rally for the 2018 Spring Semester from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 5, in the Administration Building on East End Boulevard South in Marshall.

“The spring Registration Rally will be a one-stop shop for students that are ready to register for the spring semester,” said Patty Lopez, a TSTC student recruitment coordinator. “This event will make the registration process as easy as possible for incoming and current students.”

Visitors can take campus tours and talk to faculty members about the 12 technical programs offered at TSTC, including Computer Aided Drafting and Design Technology, Cyber Security and Process Operations.

“TSTC is an affordable college that caters to placing more Texans in great-paying jobs,” Lopez said. “The first step is to visit the campus.”

People interested in enrolling should bring a copy of their driver’s license, high school transcript or GED, any college transcripts, proof of bacterial meningitis immunization, housing application and TSI scores.

TSTC is having registration events at its 10 campuses throughout the state this fall. For information on the closest Registration Rally, log on to tstc.edu/rally.

For more information, contact TSTC in Marshall at 888-382-8782.

New Members of TSTC Board of Regents Sworn In

(WACO) – Texas State Technical College recently celebrated the installation of three new members of the Board of Regents.

A special meeting was held Wednesday, Nov. 15, at the John B. Connally Technology Center on the Waco campus and included a meal prepared by the TSTC Culinary Arts program.

Tony Abad and Curtis Cleveland, both of Waco, and Alejandro G. Meade III of Mission were sworn in for six-year terms by 19th State District Court Judge Ralph Strother. They were recently appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott.

Abad is a mechanical design engineer at SyberJet Aircraft. He is a past board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of McLennan County and past president of the Hispanic Republican Club of McLennan County, Sanger Heights Neighborhood Association and the Waco Sunrise Rotary.

Abad has an associate degree in drafting and design from TSTC in Harlingen.

Curtis Cleveland is vice president at Central Texas Iron Works Inc. in Waco. He is a member of the Greater Waco Advanced Manufacturing Academy Executive Committee, the Extraco Bank Advisory Board of Directors, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors and other organizations.

Cleveland has been a member of The TSTC Foundation Board of Directors since 2002.

Cleveland has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Texas Tech University.

Meade is chief executive officer of the Mission Economic Development Corporation in the Rio Grande Valley. He is a member of the Texas Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors and the Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation. He is also a nationally certified public manager and certified economic development finance professional.

Meade has a bachelor of business administration degree in economics from St. Edward’s University. He also has a master of business administration degree from The University of Texas at Brownsville and a master of public administration degree from The University of Texas Pan American. UTB and UTPA have since combined to form The University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley.

Texas Rep. Kyle Kacal presented Board Chairman Keith Honey with a gavel for his service to the technical college and to commemorate TSTC Day at the Capitol held in the spring. The gavel was used to bring the state House of Representatives to order.

“TSTC is one of the most incredible educational opportunities for the youth of Texas,” said Kacal, a Brazos Valley legislator who represents a portion of McLennan County and attended the event.

Leaving the board are Penny Forrest of Waco, who served from 2009 to 2017; James Virgil Martin of Sweetwater, who served from 2004 to 2017; and Linda McKenna of Harlingen, who served from 2009 to 2017.

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

 

TSTC Student Q&A with Luke Mawhirter of Woodway

(WACO) – Luke Mawhirter, 22, of Woodway is a Visual Communication Technology major at Texas State Technical College who is scheduled to graduate in spring 2018.

Mawhirter graduated in 2014 from Robinson High School, where he was active in theater and the National Honor Society.

Have you always been interested in the arts? “Ever since I was a kid, I have liked to draw. Art has always been part of my life. When we got Photoshop, I started playing with it in fifth grade. It’s always been pretty natural. Technology has come easy to me. I have always enjoyed working with computers. The technology helps when doing visual arts.”

How did you enjoy growing up in the Waco area? “I have always loved Waco. My mother will say it’s small but not too small and big but not too big. There is so much attention on Waco. It’s always been a friendly place. It’s been cool to see the re-emergence of Waco.”

How did you become interested in TSTC? “I had heard about TSTC in high school. It was a known thing that it was here. I had friends that were taking classes there. What drew me to it was its simplicity. It’s so straightforward.”

Do you work on campus? “I am a work-study student. Sometimes, I help with business cards and talk about designs with the Creative Services staff. I do a lot of folding and organizing. I like to see it as a study thing. I have learned how to work a lot of the machinery. I was able to use this as my internship class. It’s been incredibly valuable.”

What is your career goal after graduation? “My main goal is to be an in-house graphics director.”

What advice would you give to high school students? “Don’t limit yourself. Explore every option that is available to you. Know your value and worth and pursue those things about you.”

Graphic design jobs are expected to rise to 278,800 through 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Texas currently has more than 12,000 graphic design jobs, with more than 100 of those in the Waco area. The annual mean wage in Texas for graphic designers is $48,360, according to the federal labor statistics bureau.

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

 

TSTC in Waco to Host Registration Rally on Nov. 17

(WACO) – Texas State Technical College will have a Registration Rally for the spring semester from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 17, at the Student Services Center on Campus Drive.

The event is part of an effort to make the registration process as easy as possible for incoming students.

“The Registration Rally is a great opportunity for students to get all of their paperwork complete in one place before classes begin in January,” TSTC Provost Adam Hutchison said. “We’re setting aside some of the routine business of the day to concentrate our efforts on helping new students enroll more quickly and easily.”

Visitors can take campus tours and talk to faculty members about the more than 40 technical programs offered at TSTC, including Aircraft Airframe Technician, Avionics, Cloud and Data Center Management, Radiation Protection Technology and Web Design and Development.

People interested in enrolling should bring a copy of their driver’s license, high school transcript or GED, any college transcripts, proof of bacterial meningitis vaccination, housing application and TSI scores.

TSTC is having registration events at its 10 campuses throughout the state this fall. For information on the closest Registration Rally, log on to tstc.edu/rally.

 

TSTC Hosts First American Female Space Shuttle Commander

(WACO) – Texas State Technical College’s Aerospace Division recently hosted America’s first female space shuttle commander for a talk to students and faculty members.

Col. Eileen Collins was commander in 1999 on the Columbia space shuttle mission that deployed the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. She also commanded NASA’s 2005 Discovery mission.

“When NASA wanted someone who was cool under pressure, they chose her to command the return to flight mission after the Columbia space shuttle disaster (in 2003),” said Carson Pearce, TSTC’s statewide Transportation Division director. “This kind of insight and perspective gives TSTC students an anchor from which they can realize that someone has dreamed big, achieved that dream, and it motivates our students to do the same.”

Collins shared some facts with the students about space travel, including that space shuttles were about 200 miles above the Earth during missions and the International Space Station is solar powered.

Collins told attendees to focus on the missions they are doing, from completing class assignments to helping expand space travel.

“We need a revolutionary change in how we think about space travel,” she said. “You need to use your imagination, thinking of creative ways to do different things. You should be proud of your accomplishments.”

Collins grew up in New York and received degrees from Corning Community College, Syracuse University, Stanford University and Webster University. She is a U.S. Air Force veteran.

Collins also helped present student awards.

“We have never ceased to be amazed at how our students react to having a real live American hero hand them their hard-earned awards,” said Pearce.

Receiving awards were:

Air Traffic Controller Top Mic Award: Kha Pham

Avionics Technology: Thomas Fletcher

Aircraft Pilot Training Technology Top Gun Award: Stephanie Hughes

Aircraft Dispatch Technology: Eric Neuendorf

Aviation Maintenance Technology Top Wrench Award: Cole Nolin

Student of the Year for Aerospace: Shane Howard

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