Author Archives: Debra Gonzalez

TSTC Looks to Expand Team

(MARSHALL) – Texas State Technical College is looking to expand its Marshall campus team and is hiring for several instructor and staff positions.

Jamee Quaid, a TSTC human resources manager, said she hopes interested applicants will believe in TSTC’s role in strengthening the Texas workforce.

“What we do here, ‘Place More Texans,’ is a mission that all of us believe in,” Quaid said. “We offer a tremendous asset to our local community by providing qualified students as our community’s next generation of employees. We are always looking for dedicated teammates who share the vision of changing lives by providing our students with great career opportunities.”

Patty Lopez, coordinator of student recruitment, needs another recruiter for her team.

“The student recruiter position is one of the most fulfilling positions because you get to work with individuals who are looking to take the next step in their education,” Lopez said. “Whether it is working with nontraditional students or high school students, each day in the recruitment office is totally different. If you enjoy interacting with people from all walks of life, the student recruitment office is a great place to be.”

TSTC Provost Bart Day said he hopes those interested in joining TSTC will gain more than just a job.

“There is a universal thought I always like to express to folks when they consider joining any piece of the TSTC team: I came here for the mission and stayed for the people,” Day said. “The family atmosphere, teamwork and true sense of purpose drive every aspect of what we do.”

TSTC has 10 campuses statewide in Abilene, Breckenridge, Brownwood, Fort Bend County, Harlingen, Marshall, North Texas, Sweetwater, Waco and Williamson County. Each campus provides a unique atmosphere with programs chosen to suit the area’s employment needs.

Quaid said part of what makes working at TSTC so great is the relationship between co-workers.

“We encompass a family atmosphere that not only extends to our employees, but also to our students,” she said. “Our leadership is so dedicated to making TSTC a greater place to work, that it is now one of our top strategic goals.”

TSTC offers benefits such as retirement, medical, dental, vision and more.

For information on open positions at TSTC, visit tstc.edu/about/employment.

TSTC Alum Returns as New IT Field Tech

(MARSHALL) – When Scott Hodkinson joined the Texas State Technical College team earlier this month, it was like coming back home.

Hodkinson, a graduate of TSTC’s Computer Networking & Systems Administration and Cyber Security programs, began working as a field tech in the Office of Information Technology at the Marshall campus on April 16.

Hodkinson graduated from TSTC in August 2017 but worked as a restaurant manager for the last six years. He chose to go into information technology because it is something he has always been interested in.

“I’ve always wanted to do IT,” Hodkinson said. “I was doing restaurant management to get by until I found something that I really wanted to do. The hours and the stress level at a steady job are so much less than I’m used to — it’s amazing.”

The main part of Hodkinson’s job is keeping the campus’ computer network up and running.

“My main duty is to fix anything that breaks as it comes up,” he said. “I’m trying to make sure that everyone has what they need to succeed on their end of things.”

Hodkinson said he was happy to join the TSTC team.

“This campus feels like home,” he said. “Everyone knows everybody. We’re all one big family here at the Marshall campus. It just feels comfortable. It really is the people that make TSTC my favorite — my coworkers.”

Terrye Newcomb, OIT Manager III, said she is happy that Scott joined the organization.

“Scott is a great asset to the Marshall campus,” she said. “He knows the technical field, and he has jumped on board with the rest of the employees. I am glad that he was chosen to be on my team.”

TSTC Provost Bart Day also said he was proud to have Scott join the team.

“It’s especially great to add another TSTC graduate to our full-time family,” Day said. “Scott brought a terrific can-do attitude to the team and has been making a great impact since his first day with us.”

So far, Hodkinson’s favorite part of the job is the challenges he sees daily.

“I like the challenge of having to come up with something to make things work,” he said. “Sometimes I have to try to make something out of nothing, but that’s what I like.”

TSTC prides itself on being “a great place to work” and offers benefits such as retirement, medical, dental and vision. For information on open positions at TSTC, visit tstc.edu/about/employment.

TSTC Graduates 12 at First Commencement

(HUTTO) – Texas State Technical College celebrated its first commencement ceremony in Hutto Friday, May 11. Twelve graduates walked the stage in the presence of their family and friends.

“Today is a celebration of our graduates and recognition of all they have accomplished,” TSTC Provost Edgar Padilla said. “Tonight’s ceremony acknowledges the completion of study and dedication by our spring graduates and signifies the beginning of their professional careers.”

TSTC Chancellor Mike Reeser was the keynote speaker at the ceremony. He urged the students to keep learning.

“Technology is moving constantly,” Reeser said. “You picked the best school you can possibly attend in terms of technology, but if you want to be an outstanding employee, if you want to be someone that employers treasure and pay well and promote, here’s what you have to know: as technology moves, you must move too.”

Reeser believes that the students learned more than just technical know-how from TSTC.

“You have been taught, by these faculty, not just knowledge and skills, but how to learn,” Reeser said.

Industrial Electrical Systems graduate Eyosias Gemechu was selected for the Provost Award, an award given to a student who has demonstrated high academic performance, exceptional character and student leadership, and who has influenced their peers to strive for excellence.

“I was so excited and nervous at the same time,” Gemechu said. “I wish my mom was able to be here.”

Gemechu plans to continue his education with TSTC.

Welding graduate Cesar Carrillo, who is working as a welder for Jay-Reese Contractors, said he was happy to reach this milestone.

“It feels good,” he said. “It feels like a weight lifted off my back. I’m being shipped off to Iowa Sunday for work.”

TSTC in Williamson County graduates earned degrees in six of the programs offered at the campus — Culinary Arts, Cyber Security, Industrial Electrical Systems, Industrial Maintenance, Precision Machining Technology and Welding.

For more information on TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

Liptak Earns Chancellor’s Excellence Award

(RED OAK) – Texas State Technical College employee Kevin Liptak goes the extra mile for his students and his campus. Liptak’s initiative has earned him TSTC’s Chancellor’s Excellence Award, an honor given to TSTC faculty and staff who model excellence at the college.

Liptak, who began working at TSTC in 2015, was excited to be chosen for the award.

“Like everybody else, I try to go above and beyond what we’re asked to do,” he said. “I’ve taken on large class loads and worked on a couple of special projects for TSTC.”

Liptak oversees TSTC’s Industrial Maintenance and Electrical Power & Controls programs in North Texas.

“I like my job,” he said. “There are a lot of responsibilities, a lot of tasks here. I run two programs, so every day is new.”

Liptak takes pride in building relationships with his students.

“So far with every student that has graduated, there have been things we’ve helped them out with,” he said. “Whenever Red Oak had tornadoes, there were several students that lost property and we kind of became a support center for them. It’s the right thing to do.”

His favorite part of working at TSTC is the work environment.

“There are a lot of teamwork aspects here that are lacking elsewhere,” he said. “Everyone is here to move forward, and we all work together to get the job done.”

The Chancellor’s Excellence Award began in 2001, and over the past 15 years nearly 300 TSTC employees have received the honor. Recipients are chosen based on outstanding contributions and achievements, commitment to excellence, and character. Honorees serve as agents of change in the advancement of TSTC initiatives.

Liptak will join 15 other TSTC employees statewide who will be honored later this month at the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Awards dinner and celebration in Austin.

TSTC prides itself on being “a great place to work” and is currently hiring for over 100 positions at its 10 campuses statewide. For information on open positions at TSTC, visit tstc.edu/about/employment.

TSTC to Host First Commencement in Hutto

(HUTTO) – When Quinton Hooper walks the stage next Friday at Texas State Technical College’s first commencement ceremony in Hutto, he’ll be joining a long line of technical workers in his family.

Hooper, an Industrial Maintenance student, previously studied under the Digital Forensics program at the Waco campus but decided to change programs to something a little more familiar.

“Most of my family are mechanics,” Hooper said. “It’s a little closer to what the rest of the family is doing.”

While he enjoyed his time at TSTC in Waco, Hooper enjoys the smaller class sizes in Williamson County.

“Here, there are more one-on-one classes,” he said. “You get more time with the teachers.”

Industrial Maintenance instructor Lance Antilley said he has admired Hooper’s hard work.

“I have known Quinton for the past 16 months,” he said. “He is an outstanding student in all respects. Quinton has proven that through hard work, follow-through and teamwork, he can accomplish tasks in a courteous and timely manner.”

Currently interviewing for jobs, Hooper hopes to find a position where he can travel with work.

“I’d like traveling, going to different countries,” he said. “I hope to get into a company that I’m able to travel around and not stay in one place too long. I’d like to visit Europe.”

Hooper, a native of Maxwell, Texas, is one of 20 students eligible to walk the stage at the 6:30 p.m. ceremony on May 11 at the East Williamson County Higher Education Center.

Hooper advises those considering TSTC not to bite off more than they can chew.

“Don’t get in over your head,” he said. “If you go into a class and you don’t know a lot about it, study more in that class.”

TSTC’s Chancellor, Mike Reeser, will speak at commencement, as well as Robb Misso, president and CEO of Dynamic Manufacturing Solutions in Austin.

TSTC is registering now for the fall semester. The last day to register is Monday, Aug. 20, and classes begin Monday, Aug. 27.

For more information on TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

TSTC Welcomes Two New Recruiters

(RED OAK) – Texas State Technical College welcomed two new student recruiters in April at its North Texas campus.

Shaunice Cyrus, of Mesquite, and Brandy Robertson, of Powell, joined the recruitment team at the beginning of April.

Cyrus comes to TSTC after working as a student worker in recruitment during her time at Tarleton State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Work. Most recently, she worked in customer service.

“At Tarleton, I did tours and other recruitment duties such as planning events,” she said. “I worked very closely with the recruiters, like I do now.”

So far, Cyrus is enjoying the added duties.

“Here, I am actually going out to different schools and traveling to recruit the students, attending college fairs, career days and things like that,” she said. “So, with this job it’s more responsibility, but it’s also a lot more fun.”

Cyrus said she loves what the college stands for.

“I love the fact that it’s so affordable and it’s a really good option for students who don’t think that they’re going to go to a traditional college, or don’t think they’re going to college at all,” she said. “It gives them an opportunity to broaden their horizons and see what all is out there.”

She takes pride in knowing she can possibly change the future for someone.

“I’m glad just being able to explain to a student the options that they have for higher education,” she said. “So many times in high school they told us ‘Go to this school. Go to the big names,’ but there’s so many other options out there. It just really warms my heart to show students that they can get a degree in welding and have a job making more money than somebody who had a degree from a four-year university.”

Robertson, who holds business degrees from Navarro College and Texas A&M Commerce, is also no stranger to the field of higher education.

“Before here, I worked at Vista College in the admissions department doing recruiting, admissions, helping register students, tours and sending them to financial aid,” she said. “Basically I would walk the students through the enrollment process.”

Robertson enjoys speaking with potential students at college fairs.

“They really give you an opportunity to get out there, mingle and help the students and spread the word about our school,” she said. “It’s pretty cool.”

One thing that has stood out to her is the enthusiasm of TSTC’s instructors.

“The instructors I’ve had the privilege of working with so far have all been great,” Robertson said. “I love how passionate they are about their programs. You can walk in and ask any of the instructors whose program is number one and they’re all going to say their program is best.”

She was glad to join the TSTC team, and hopes she can help students make smart educational choices.

“I like the fact that I am able to reach more students and help them,” Robertson said. “Here, we actually put students first. I feel like I’m making a difference in students’ lives by going out and showing them that they can still do all these things they love, for not even a fourth of the cost of other colleges. It’s amazing. I like it here. I feel like I’m at home.”

TSTC Provost Marcus Balch said they are proud to welcome Shaunice and Brandy to the team.

“As a growing campus they will play a vital role in the surrounding communities as well as in the local school districts,” Balch said. “Both come to us with experience in the field and we are pleased that they will be working with our prospective students and their families.”

TSTC prides itself on being “a great place to work” and is currently hiring for positions at its 10 campuses statewide. For information on open positions at TSTC, visit tstc.edu/about/employment.

TSTC to Hold Welding Competition May 5

(RED OAK) – Texas State Technical College is giving area high school welders a chance to put their skills to the test at its welding competition Saturday, May 5. More than 40 students from nine area schools will compete in the contest beginning at 8 a.m.

TSTC welding instructor David Reed said he hopes the contest will pique interest in the North Texas campus.

“We’re bringing in juniors and seniors for the competition,” Reed said. “It’s a friendly game. We bring them out here and showcase the instructors, our welding lab, TSTC in North Texas — it’s a win-win.”

Reed said they asked the participating schools to create a school crest to be judged at the competition.

“Ahead of time, they are supposed to manufacture these before the competition, according to certain parameters,” he said. “It shows school pride for them.”

Alvin Adams, also a TSTC welding instructor, said students will have a few different welds to do and will also compete in a cutting contest.

“They’ll be doing a 1-2-3F — that’s fillet welds,” Adams said. “One, two and three are different positions. That represents the position of the weld. They’ll be doing a 1-2-3V-groove weld also. Then we’re going to have the cutting contest.”

In the cutting round, students will be judged on uniformity, dross (residue left behind in the melting process of metals) and speed. Each contest is staged in rounds.

“From each discipline, we will be giving a first-, second- and third-place medal,” Adams said. “As we go, we’ll go through the process of elimination.”

Students will compete individually, but schools will earn a team trophy for first, second and third place overall.

The Northeast Texas Blacksmith Association will also be attending the event.

“Several of the founding members from their club will be here with furnaces and anvils, hammering out metal,” Reed said. “I’ll be out there myself because a lot of my students enjoy watching the artistic work. I’ll be making roses out of single pieces of rebar and be demonstrating to the students. If there are students who want to, they’ll be able to come up and hammer out some metal with myself and the other smiths.”

Reed hopes students will not only learn to work together, but also be able to see where they stand among their peers in a welding environment.

“A lot of people from small ag shops think they weld really well, but they get out to these competitions and they say, ‘Man, I need to step up my game’ or ‘Wow, we did really well. This validates our program here.’ And TSTC will further complement the program that they have,” Reed said.

TSTC is registering now for the fall semester. The last day to register is Monday, Aug. 20, and classes begin Monday, Aug. 27.

For more information on TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

Campbell Earns Chancellor’s Excellence Award

(RED OAK) – Texas State Technical College employee Kim Campbell takes pride in making a difference in students’ lives. That passion has led her to receiving TSTC’s Chancellor’s Excellence Award, an honor given to TSTC faculty and staff who model excellence at the college.

Campbell joined TSTC in North Texas in 2016 and, as of April, serves as campus director and academic manager. Campbell said she was delighted to receive the award.

“I’m extremely honored to have been nominated for this award, and I was very excited and happy to have been selected,” she said. “I’m looking forward to the conference and the dinner with my family.”

Campbell, along with 15 recipients of the award from TSTC’s nine other campuses, will be honored later this month at the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development awards dinner and celebration in Austin.

Campbell feels that being at the relatively small campus in North Texas has helped her grow closer to her peers. She believes she was nominated because her co-workers know they can depend on her.

In her earlier role as a career services coordinator at TSTC, Campbell felt a sense of accomplishment in helping students reach their goals.

“Being in career placement and having students come in and say, ‘I got that job you helped me with!’ is so rewarding,” Campbell said. “I wish I had a bell on the outside of my door that I could ring every time someone came in. The excitement that you see on the student’s face is so gratifying. Just sharing that thrill and excitement with the student made it all worth it.”

Campbell is proud to work for the college.

“I like knowing that I helped make a change in the students’ lives, not just today, but for their future and for their families,” she said. “TSTC is such an amazing place to work.”

The Chancellor’s Excellence Award began in 2001, and over the past 15 years nearly 300 TSTC employees have received the honor. Recipients are chosen based on outstanding contributions and achievements, commitment to excellence, and character. Honorees serve as agents of change in the advancement of TSTC initiatives.

TSTC prides itself on being “a great place to work” and is currently hiring for over 100 positions at its 10 campuses statewide. For information on open positions at TSTC, visit tstc.edu/about/employment.

TSTC in North Texas Graduates 19

(RED OAK) – Nearly 400 students were eligible to walk the stage at Texas State Technical College’s Spring Commencement Ceremony Monday night in Waco. Of those graduates, 19 were North Texas students earning certificates and associate degrees in the college’s technical programs.

TSTC Provost Marcus Balch led the ceremony.

“I’ve probably been to 55 ceremonies over my 18 years, and I’ve never been center stage, so I’m excited for that opportunity,” Balch said. “We have 19 for North Texas, so we’ll get to see them cross the stage.”

Balch said he’s proud of those graduating and the milestone they’ve reached.

“I think we have some really great graduates, and if it’s any indication, most of them already have jobs,” he said. “We have some really good graduates who I think are ready to go to work.”

Guillermo Herrera earned a certificate in Diesel Equipment Technology but plans to continue his education at TSTC.

“I’m going back to TSTC in North Texas to study welding,” Herrera said. “Diesel involves a lot of welding – they kind of go hand in hand, so that’s why I chose welding. I’m very excited to be graduating.”

Saul Zepeda, also a Diesel Equipment Technology graduate, hopes to move to Odessa to find work.

“There’s a company there that works on transmissions,” Zepeda said. “My dad is a mechanic, so I got some experience from him. I grew up as a mechanic’s helper, so I wanted to do the same thing. It feels pretty good to reach this step.”

Jacob Smoot earned his associate degree in Computer Networking & Systems Administration.

“It feels good,” he said. “I’m still working on lining up a job, but I think I learned 95 percent of what I’ll need to know for the job. I’m sure there’s some things only experience will teach you.”

TSTC in North Texas graduates earned degrees in all 10 programs offered at the campus — Computer-Aided Drafting & Design, Computer Networking & Systems Administration, Cyber Security, Electrical Power & Controls, HVAC, Industrial Maintenance, Logistics, Precision Machining and Welding.

For more information on TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

TSTC Names Campbell Campus Director

(RED OAK) – Texas State Technical College in North Texas has named Kim Campbell its new Campus Director and Campus Academic Manager.

Campbell previously worked at TSTC in Abilene from 2000 to 2009, holding positions including Recruiter, Coordinator of Support Services, Student Government Advisor and Director of Student Activities.

In 2009, Campbell married and moved to Lubbock, where she worked as Director of Career Services for Vista College, and after a period of self-employment, Enrollment Coordinator for Virginia College.

Campbell rejoined the TSTC team in March of 2016 as a Career Services Associate.

Campbell said she’s excited about the new role she’s taken on.

“I have worked with the Student Services side of TSTC for over ten years,” she said. “Working with Student Learning will be an opportunity of new growth and challenges to excel in.”

In the new role, Campbell will work more closely with the instructors, and statewide department chairs and directors. She will make sure statewide guidelines and procedures are met.

“I feel truly blessed to be working with such an amazing team of instructors at North Texas and I’m looking forward to the new journey,” Campbell said.

Campbell said that, though she’s worked for other schools, TSTC is where her heart is.

“I love working for TSTC and my passion is working with the students,” she said. “I’ve worked at other colleges but I’ve always thought about TSTC as a home and as my family.”

Vice President of Student Learning Mike Bowers said Campbell’s background made her the right choice.

“Kim has held many roles at TSTC and has over 15 years of experience in higher education,” Bowers said. “Kim was selected as Campus Director because of her background and proven leadership skills. We’re happy to welcome Kim to our team.”

TSTC prides itself on being “a great place to work” and is currently hiring for over 100 positions at its 10 campuses statewide. For information on open positions at TSTC, visit tstc.edu/about/employment.