Category Archives: West Texas

TSTC in Sweetwater to Host Blood Drive

(SWEETWATER) – Texas State Technical College will host a Meek Blood Center blood drive from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 17, in front of the Student Center on the TSTC campus in Sweetwater.


Griselda Sanchez, community standards liaison at TSTC, said the students requested that the school host the drive.


“They wanted to donate and asked if I could make that arrangement,” she said.


Sanchez hopes to make the blood drive a recurring event on campus.


“We have had this in the past, but it was a few years back,” she said. “I want to make it a regular thing, and the Meek Blood Center is really excited to do that. I feel like TSTC should be known as a location that not only is here to educate our students in technologies, but also in serving opportunities.”


TSTC hopes the drive will help those in need of this lifesaving gift.


“Many have a personal tie to donating, so in lieu of naming this drive, I hope each student and employee who donates comes with their special person in mind,” Sanchez said.


Frances Baker, marketing and business development manager at Meek Blood Center, said donating blood is a powerful action.


“We don’t have a lot of opportunities in our lives to save someone else’s life, but blood donation is one way to do that,” Baker said. “You can save three lives with one donation. There’s a lot of power in the blood.”


Sanchez said everyone benefits from the drive.


“Those in need of blood benefit, and those who donate will feel like they have made a difference.”


Meek donations benefit patients over a large area.


“Meek Blood Center provides blood to 17 area hospitals, including Sweetwater’s Rolling Plains,” Baker said.

Donors will receive a T-shirt. For more information on the blood drive, call 325-235-7311.

TSTC Receives Equipment From Lincoln Electric

(ABILENE) – Texas State Technical College has received 10 welding machines from Lincoln Electric to jump-start the welding program at its new Abilene campus.

“This support gives our students access to the newest technology out there,” said TSTC Interim Provost Rick Denbow. “Our students have the advantage of becoming familiar with industry-standard equipment before they begin working.”

Lead TSTC welding instructor Gregory Nicholas said the equipment is highly advanced and will be utilized to its highest potential.

“This support from Lincoln provides our students with the most up-to-date multiprocess welders on the market,” Nicholas said. “It gives them every tool needed and available to become the welder that industry needs. These machines will help TSTC ensure that our students are proficient in all welding processes and can pursue a career in the industry.”

The Lincoln Electric equipment is from their Power Wave, Power Feed and FlexTec lines.

“Lincoln Electric is pleased to support and advance Texas State Technical College’s welding program,” said Jason Scales, Lincoln Electric’s business manager, education. “By expanding access to state-of-the art welding solutions, training and skills, TSTC graduates are better positioned to build successful, long-term careers in advanced manufacturing.”

With the upcoming addition of the welding program at the Abilene campus, TSTC will offer welding at all 10 of its locations. Officials broke ground on Abilene’s new campus last April, and classes are set to begin there this fall. The new building, which is being constructed off Loop 322 next to Abilene Regional Airport, will also house Electrical Power & Controls and Industrial Maintenance Technology programs.

Lincoln Electric is the world leader in the design, development and manufacture of arc welding products, robotic arc welding systems, plasma and oxyfuel cutting equipment. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Lincoln has 63 manufacturing locations, including operations and joint ventures in 23 countries and a worldwide network of distributors and sales offices covering more than 160 countries.

For more information on TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

TSTC Culinary Arts Watches Calendar for Winter Vegetables

(WACO) – The winter months mean an abundance of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and other vegetables for students to learn about in Texas State Technical College’s Culinary Arts programs.

Of Texas’ five growing zones, according to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, three include TSTC’s campuses. TSTC’s Culinary Arts program in Abilene is in a zone stretching from the Red River to the Rio Grande. The technical college’s Culinary Arts programs in Waco and Williamson County are in a zone extending from the Rio Grande to the Houston coast. And, TSTC’s Culinary Arts program in Harlingen is in a zone made up of the Rio Grande Valley.

TSTC students learn about the seasonality of vegetables in classes, said Aaron Guajardo, an instructor in the Culinary Arts program in Waco. He said paying attention to when vegetables are at their height of availability can mean more quantity and lower food and shipping costs.

“The flavors are going to be better because the conditions will be more favorable for them to grow,” Guajardo said.

Winter vegetables are those that are planted in the fall and early winter and are harvested before spring planting, said Colleen Foleen, a McLennan County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agent for family and community health.

“The roots and leafy greens are going to be the ones you are going to have,” Foleen said. “If you look when they are available at the stores it’s best from November to April. Things in season and grown fairly locally are going to have a higher nutrition value, will be cheaper and have no artificial means of sunlight to grow.”

Each of the state’s growing zones bring different soil, climates and planting schedules. For instance, beets can be planted about Aug. 15 in the Panhandle and as late as Dec. 15 in the Rio Grande Valley, according to the extension service. The Ruby Queen and Detroit Dark Red beets are available in Texas from October to April as growing seasons move southward, according to the extension service and the Texas Department of Agriculture.

Foleen said kale is currently being harvested and spinach and lettuce are growing well in McLennan County.

“It gets too hot here for most of the greens, but they will grow well in the wintertime,” she said. “We have a lot of vegetables that are winter that are considered spring and summer in other climates.”

Kayleen Mills, a Culinary Arts instructor at TSTC’s Abilene campus, uses celery and onions in stocks. Locally grown celery is available from December to April and onions can be planted in November and December in Central and South Texas with crops being available from March to August, according to the state extension service.

“It’s a huge money saver and time saver and it’s neat for the students to see it too,” Mills said. “Things like that do very well in the winter.”

Herbs are also available year-round throughout the state. Mills said she and other faculty members grow herbs in raised gardening boxes in the parking lot next to the T&P Depot in downtown Abilene.  

“The students see how intense the herbs are in flavor when you grow them versus purchasing them,” Mills said. “It’s a huge thing when you are manipulating recipes.”

Seeing when vegetables are in season helps with menu planning at TSTC’s student restaurants in Abilene, Harlingen and Waco.

“It comes down to how you get the best product at the end of the day,” Guajardo said.

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

TSTC in West Texas Holds Fall Commencement

(ABILENE) – More than 120 graduates received certificates and associate degrees at Texas State Technical College’s Fall 2017 Commencement held Monday, Dec. 11, at the Abilene Convention Center.

Students from TSTC’s campuses in Abilene, Breckenridge, Brownwood and Sweetwater took part in the ceremony.

Many of the graduates already have jobs.

Arnulfo Leyva, 19, of Kermit earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Diesel Equipment Technology. He began work in the summer repairing bulldozers, backhoes and excavators at Warren CAT in Odessa.

Leyva was a member of Phi Theta Kappa. He said his pride gave him motivation to work hard to become an honor graduate.

“It was fun at TSTC,” Leyva said. “I met new people and had a good time.”

Some graduates are preparing to job hunt.

Eric Collins, 25, a U.S. Air Force veteran, earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Aviation Technology. The Laurinburg, North Carolina, native and Abilene resident said he chose his major because of the work he did in the military.

Collins, a Phi Theta Kappa graduate, said he will take Federal Aviation Administration written and practical tests and apply for airplane maintenance jobs in the Abilene area.

Some graduates will continue on with academic work.

Karli Bernal, 26, of Anson graduated with a certificate in Vocational Nursing. She plans to work on her Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing in Sweetwater.

“It took a lot of dedication and sacrifice,” Bernal said about her studies at TSTC. “I have three kids so it takes a lot.”

For more information, log on to tstc.edu.

 

Mark Your Calendar: TSTC Registration Rally on Nov. 29

(ABILENE) – Texas State Technical College in Abilene will host a Registration Rally on Wednesday, Nov. 29 – all part of an effort to make the registration process as easy as possible for incoming students.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Mark Your Calendar: TSTC Registration Rally on Nov. 28

(SWEETWATER) – Texas State Technical College in Sweetwater will host a Registration Rally on Tuesday, Nov. 28 – all part of an effort to make the registration process as easy as possible for incoming students.   

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

The Registration Rally will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Sears Building. Attendees will be able to meet with faculty, learn more about the different technologies offered at the Sweetwater campus and tour the facilities.

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

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

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

 

Spring 2018 Registration Begins at TSTC

(SWEETWATER) — Texas State Technical College in West Texas has begun registering students for the Spring 2018 semester. Registration will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays through Tuesday, Jan. 2. The college will be closed for the winter holiday Dec. 22 through Jan. 1, and classes will begin Monday, Jan. 8.

TSTC offers a variety of educational avenues, including certificate options and full associate degrees. High school students who want a head start on their college education may also opt for online training or dual-credit programs.

Among the many programs the college offers are Chemical Dependency Counseling, Computer-Aided Drafting & Design, Diesel Equipment Technology, Health Information Technology, Nursing, Welding and Wind Energy.

Students seeking financial aid should contact the TSTC Financial Aid office immediately at 325-236-8206 to allow time for processing. More information on financial aid, including an online application, is available at tstc.edu.

For more information on registering or the college, call 325-235-7300.

TSTC Automotive Technology Receives Large Donation

(HARLINGEN) – Texas State Technical College Automotive Technology programs at Harlingen, Waco and Sweetwater recently received large donations from San Antonio’s CarFest and TSTC industry partner Jasper Engines and Transmissions.

The donation from CarFest totaled $30,000 and was divided equally among the three campuses and will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the TSTC Foundation for student scholarships.

Jasper donated another $2,500 to each campus for the purchase of automotive engines and transmissions to be used for industrial training.

Combined, Automotive Technology at TSTC’s Harlingen campus received $12,500.

TSTC Automotive Technology and Auto Collision Technology Lead Instructor Adan Gutierrez said these recent contributions are not only great for the program, but also for its students.

“We are so grateful to have received these donations,” said Gutierrez. “It helps us train more students and gives us the opportunity to give them access to the newest technologies.”TSTC Automotive Technology

TSTC’s Waco campus is a second-year sponsor of San Antonio’s CarFest, an event organized to help repair vehicles for local families in need and dedicated to building a culture of continuous skill building, quality and pride in the automotive industry.

Faculty and students from TSTC’s Technical Drag Racing Association and Automotive SkillsUSA Club arrive at the event ready and willing to get under the hood, diagnose the problem, complete repairs and return the car to the family ready to drive.

TSTC Automotive programs Statewide Department Chair Rudy Cervantez said this is the second year they have received a donation of this magnitude from CarFest.

“This is an organization that likes to give back to its community,” he said. “And they definitely give back to our students in more ways than one.”

He added that CarFest gives the students a hands-on, real-world experience and an opportunity to speak with industry professionals in addition to the donations that help pay for tuition, books and equipment.

“We’re really excited for next year’s CarFest in April,” said Cervantez. “Our Waco team will be there and we’re encouraging our other campuses to join us.”

Gutierrez said he is working diligently to get his students from TSTC’s Harlingen campus to San Antonio in April for the event.

“This is great experience for our students,” said Gutierrez. “And our goal is to get our students there and have them experience this event first hand and to give them the opportunity to give back to an organization that has given them so much.”

For more information on TSTC’s Automotive programs, visit tstc.edu.

TSTC Culinary Arts Student Awarded James Beard Foundation Scholarship

(ABILENE) – Matthew Kepner, a first-semester Culinary Arts student at Texas State Technical College in Abilene, was selected to receive a $10,000 scholarship from the James Beard Foundation.

The James Beard Foundation’s scholarship program, which was established in 1991, assists aspiring and established culinary professionals further their education at accredited culinary schools or hospitality institutions, colleges and universities. In 2016 the foundation awarded over $7 million in financial aid to more than 1,850 recipients.

Beard was a culinary pioneer and hosted the first TV food program in 1946. Also a chef, cookbook author and teacher, Beard was dubbed the “Dean of American cookery” by the New York Times.

Kepner applied for the scholarship after finding the information online, and he was excited to find out he was selected.

“I was at work when my mom got the mail,” he said. “She called me crying. It was really exciting.”

So far, the scholarship has helped Kepner in school.

“It’s really helped me with books, paying for classes and registering for everything,” Kepner said. “It helped get me supplies like notebooks, pencils and things I need like that.”

Culinary Arts instructor and chef Kayleen Moon said she sees a bright future for Kepner.

“The prepared ones are the ones that do well,” she said. “He was one of those. He started emailing me long before any of the actual paperwork to get into the school.”

She said Kepner’s cooking experience outside of school will help him succeed.

“He’s worked hard for what he has,” Moon said. “He has experience, actual chef experience in a kitchen. He knows actual culinary terms, not just ‘home kitchen words.’ When I say things like ‘depouillage,’ he knows what it means. He’s already coming in gifted and experienced.”

Kepner will graduate in 2019 and hopes to find a job working on an offshore oil rig or in Alaska.

“Since those jobs are two weeks on, two weeks off, on my two weeks off I’d like to travel abroad to learn about other cultures’ cooking and hopefully study under some other chefs,” he said.

Authentic Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine are Kepner’s favorite foods to cook.

“I love the culture and history around Mexican food and Tex-Mex,” he said. “I learned a lot from my neighbors who are from Mexico. They’ve taught me about cooking meat underground and stuff like that and cooking for hours and hours at a time. I just love the smells; they’re the best thing in the world to me.”

For more information on Texas State Technical College and the Culinary Arts program, visit tstc.edu.

TSTC Culinary Arts Student Awarded $2,500 Grant

(ABILENE) – Gissell Lomas Tavarez, a Texas State Technical College Culinary Arts student, recently was awarded a $2,500 grant from the National Restaurant Association.

Tavarez said the application process involved completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), writing an essay and getting three letters of recommendation.

“It does take a lot of work, but I finished it, and the association was really nice,” Tavarez said. “The essay, if you like doing what you do, you’ll write brilliantly about it.”

Chef Kayleen Moon, a TSTC Culinary Arts instructor, said that Tavarez absolutely deserved the grant.

“She’s very diligent. She had to go through a few more hoops to get here than most,” Moon said. “She’s very independent and still manages to do well in school. I’m very impressed with her. She worked really hard to get this scholarship.”

Tavarez said the money helped her take a break from work and focus on her studies.

“I was so excited,” Tavarez said. “I knew I wasn’t going to struggle as much. It’s so hard because after a while you’re like, ‘How am I going to do it? I’ll have to work more.’ So I was happy to know that I can take time off work and focus on my school because I know I have that backup money.”

She also used some of the money to help buy supplies for class.

“You think you’re going to be able to use it on yourself, but you use it always for school. I thought, ‘Oh, I’m going to buy myself something nice!’ No,” she laughed. “It really helped me get my books. Our pants and our shoes are done in like three months because we walk so much, and our knives are very expensive, so I used a lot of that money for that.”

After Tavarez graduates in May, she hopes to help her mother grow her business, Rossy’s Cafe, in the Texas Panhandle city of Hereford.

“My mom owns a little business already, and I think I want to expand it,” Tavarez said. “That’s why I came here, to get more of the information on how to actually manage it. I just wanted to take over a little bit because it is stressful owning your own business, very stressful. So I want to co-work with her, and hopefully we can do way more.”

Tavarez said the cafe shows potential.

“It’s a kind of diner place, very chill and relaxed, but there can be way more added to it,” she said. “It’s just hard when you’re trying to pay for what you already have and expand. So hopefully after this I can help Mom make it bigger. I know it can be way bigger than what it is.”

For more information on Texas State Technical College and the Culinary Arts program, visit tstc.edu.