Category Archives: Sweetwater

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.

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.

 

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 Veterans Receive Another $75,000 Gift from EMA Electromechanics

(SWEETWATER) – EMA Electromechanics donated $75,000 to Texas State Technical College in a check signing ceremony Friday, Oct. 20. The donation brings EMA contributions to TSTC to a total of $150,000.

The gift funds an account called Sweetwater Veteran’s Funds for College Education, which was established in 2015 when EMA gave the first gift of $75,000. Funds will go toward helping veterans complete their technical training at the college’s West Texas campuses in Abilene, Breckenridge, Brownwood and Sweetwater.

EMA created the account as a way to honor area veterans.

“We want to give back to them for what they do for us,” said EMA Manager Gabriel Acosta. “The way we see it is that we enjoy freedom in the U.S. because of their efforts.”

Since 2015, 36 veterans have benefited from the Sweetwater Veteran’s Funds for College Education. TSTC currently serves 68 veterans across its four West Texas campuses.

EMA hopes the gift will ease the transition veterans face when returning from service.

“The purpose of this gift is to make sure that they have a chance to go back to civilian life with some help if they need some, to go back and get a career or improve their knowledge,” Acosta said.

Robert Schneider, an Air Force veteran who is an Automotive student at TSTC, was one of the recipients of the scholarship.

“I will forever be grateful for EMA being a helping hand in a time of need,” Schneider said. “I probably speak on behalf of many veterans when I say thank you. Being able to receive help from this company has lifted a lot of burden off of my shoulders at very crucial times.”

EMA was founded in 1952 in Argentina, but in 2010 it expanded to open its Sweetwater location, where it develops and manufactures specialized electromechanical equipment for wind generation.

TSTC Interim Provost Rick Denbow said the college is grateful for EMA and its contribution.

“TSTC is very thankful to EMA Electromechanics’ gift to our veteran students,” said Denbow. “Relationships like these not only strengthen TSTC, but bolster our students and community as well.”

For information on making a difference for TSTC students, visit tstc.edu/tstcfoundation.

 

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BEST Robotics to Kick Off Saturday

(SWEETWATER) – Big Country BEST Robotics will mark the start of its 2017 competition with a kickoff event at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 9.

The event, held at The Center at Texas State Technical College, will give students a glimpse into this year’s contest objectives.

“This is where we’ll reveal this year’s game challenge,” said Richard Smola of Ludlum Measurements, who is serving as co-hub director of Big Country BEST Robotics. “They’ll see the scenarios and learn how their robot will need to perform.”

Students will also go over contest rules and pick up their robot-building supplies at the event.

“We give them everything that they need,” Smola said. “Plywood, PVC, wire — everything they need to build a robot. Supplies like motors and programming tools are reused each year. These are middle school and high school students, and they all receive their supplies to start building on the same day.”

Texas State Technical College partners with Ludlum Measurements to co-sponsor the Big Country BEST Robotics program, with Ludlum leading the event this year and TSTC supplying the venue and event volunteers.

“We couldn’t do it without the volunteers, and the venue is really important,” Smola said. “With The Center we have a nice, big space, and we have the expertise of those volunteers from TSTC and Ludlum who’ve helped in prior years.”

BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology) is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to help students develop technological literacy skills and encourage interest in engineering, science and technology.

Students have six weeks from the kickoff event to the final game day event. Game day will take place at 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at The Center at TSTC.

For more information on TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

 

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TSTC to Celebrate Student Center’s 20th Anniversary

(SWEETWATER) – Texas State Technical College in Sweetwater will celebrate the 20th anniversary of “The Center,” the campus’ 36,000-square-foot recreational facility, with a commemorative ribbon cutting event at 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 8, inside the building’s Seminar Room.
Former TSTC President Homer K. Taylor, who served as manager of development at the time, said in the ’90s TSTC exhibited a need for this building.
“First and foremost, our campus is somewhat isolated,” Taylor said. “We are a few miles from town, so our residential students needed a place to be able to use. Prior to this building, our students had a small building where students had like two pool tables and some table tennis. The building was shared with health services and the Dean of Students office. It was a very small place for the number of students we had. Students needed a place to add winter-type intramural sports and a cardio/fitness center. We were also in the middle of adding more housing for students, so we needed a facility that resident students could use and enjoy.”
Taylor said the facility not only filled a need for TSTC, but for the community as well.
“Dr. Clay Johnson, president of TSTC in Sweetwater at the time, had a dream to build a facility that was first class that both our students and the community could use and enjoy,” Taylor said. “In pursuing the plans for the Student Center, Clay and I visited the Cooper Fitness and Cardio Center in Dallas and modeled parts of the facility after the Cooper Center. The Center (at TSTC) offered the community a public place that would have a cardio/fitness center, a workout facility and a public meeting place.”
Maria Aguirre, TSTC executive director of compliance, agrees.
“The Student Center is a place the community has used since its opening,” she said. “We’ve hosted banquets, proms, meetings, workshops, competitions, conventions, practices for basketball and so much more for many community organizations and companies. The Rotary Club of Sweetwater regularly meets in the Seminar Room and has done so for many years. The Student Center is at the heart of our community.”
Since The Center was considered an auxiliary building, state funds could not be used to build it. A community-wide fundraiser was held to raise money to construct the building.
“This was the first time in Sweetwater to conduct a fundraising campaign to build such a facility,” Taylor said. “In The Center, there is a plaque of early donors that made a pledge and financial commitment for this facility. The goal for this building was to raise about $1 million to $1.5 million for this project.”
Aguirre said that even after 20 years, people ask if The Center is a new facility.
“The staff at the Student Center has cared for that facility very well,” she said. “Most prospects or visitors to the campus give great compliments to our Student Center and are surprised to find out it has been around for 20 years.”
Cake and punch will be served at the ribbon cutting. After the ceremony, attendees can also enjoy a lunch of grilled lemon pepper chicken or hamburgers for the discounted rate of $7.

 

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President and CEO of Abilene Chamber of Commerce to Speak at TSTC Commencement

(ABILENE) – Doug Peters, president and CEO of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce, willspeak at the Texas State Technical College summer commencement ceremony, which starts at 7 p.m., Friday, Aug. 18, at the Abilene Civic Center.
Peters took on his current position of CEO in 2015. He oversees the strategic direction of the chamber and its affiliate organizations, including the Abilene Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council and the Abilene Industrial Foundation.
He totes up 30 years of experience in chamber of commerce and economic development environments, having begun his career in Dayton, Ohio. He later went on to work for chambers of commerce in Richmond, Indiana; Findlay, Ohio; and Fayetteville, North Carolina, where he also served on the Economic Alliance.

Peters is a member of the Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives Association, the Grace Museum board, the Junior League of Fayetteville advisory board, the board of the United Way, and various other local, state and national organizations.

He is married to his lifelong sweetheart, Whitney, and together they have three children.

TSTC expects to award over 100 degrees and certificates across its four West Texas campuses Friday.

TSTC awards associate degrees and certificates in areas such as Aviation Maintenance, Computer-Aided Drafting & Design, Emergency Medical Services, Environmental Technology, Nursing, Welding, Wind Energy and more. The college is currently registering for the fall semester.

For more information on TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

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Who: Texas State Technical College students, faculty and staff; Abilene Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Doug Peters
What: Texas State Technical College Summer Commencement Ceremony
When: Friday, Aug. 18, 7 p.m.
Where: Abilene Civic Center, 1100 N 6th St., Abilene

Two TSTC Employees in Sweetwater Earn Chancellor’s Excellence Award

(SWEETWATER) – Texas State Technical College has announced the recipients of this year’s Chancellor’s Excellence Award, and seven West Texas employees were honored. Of the seven, two employees from Sweetwater received the award.

This year’s Sweetwater award winners are Marina Wilcox, interim provost and vice president of Dual Enrollment, and Julie Browning, executive administrative assistant.

Browning has worked at TSTC for four years and said she was honored to receive the award.

“I guess I do my job well!” she laughed.

It is interaction with people that motivates her to come into work every day.

“I’m passionate about TSTC because of the people I work with and the students I work for,” Browning said.

Wilcox, who has worked at TSTC for a collective four years, felt the same sentiments.

“I was absolutely honored and humbled that my peers felt that I was worthy of this award and that I helped serve and lead them in a capacity that they felt was of benefit to them and the college,” she said.

Wilcox returned to TSTC in 2015, having previously worked at the college from 2007 to 2008.

“When I returned to TSTC, the college was on the ground level of going through the transition period of moving from separate colleges into one TSTC,” she said. “There was a great deal of change that was going on, on multiple levels.”

She was happy to guide her team through the shift.

“I’m glad I was able to be part of such an exciting transition and that I helped lead my team through that transition,” she said. “I’m glad they were able to see the positive effects the transition was having on the college in the present and where we’re going in the future. Every day is full of change and opportunities to be that servant-leader, to lead your team through the changes and to see the great effects it has in each of their areas.”

The Chancellor’s Excellence Award began in 2001, and over the past 15 years more than 280 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 touts itself as being “a great place to work” and is currently hiring for over 90 positions at its 10 campuses statewide. For information on open positions at TSTC, visit tstc.edu/about/employment.

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TSTC Hosts First Auto Tech Day

(SWEETWATER) – Local high school students had the opportunity to work side-by-side with Texas State Technical College Automotive Technology students during the college’s first Auto Tech Day.

The event was focused on recruiting students to TSTC’s Automotive Maintenance and Repair dual enrollment pathway – an educational initiative that allows high school students to take college courses.

“We want to make sure students are aware of the college opportunities available to them while still in high school,” said TSTC Manager of Dual Enrollment for West Texas Rene Rolston.

Students at the event were treated to breakfast and got to hear from TSTC West Texas Campus Provost Eliska Smith, TSTC Automotive Instructor Henry Ortega, TSTC Automotive Division Director Mark Koslan and TSTC Automotive Advisory Board member and owner of J&M Automotive in SweetwaterTSTC Auto Tech Day Josh Waldon.

After presentations, the high school students were paired with TSTC students to get hands-on experience in areas such as air conditioning, diagnostics, brake repair and engine maintenance and repair.

“When choosing a career path it’s important to know what you’re getting into,” said Rolston. “And there’s no better way than having an event dedicated to exposing students to a field and giving them an opportunity to experience it hands on.”

Rolston said she hopes this event will encourage students to pursue this pathway because there are benefits to enrolling in dual enrollment courses.

“When a student enrolls in dual enrollment they are saving themselves time and money in the future,” she said. “When they complete the pathway they have one semester under their belt.”

TSTC currently has 43 school districts that are utilizing the dual enrollment pathway for its junior and senior high school students in Sweetwater and surrounding counties, including nine online pathways for those who are too far to travel to campus.

Dual enrollment classes are typically offered Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on the TSTC campus.

“We have students as far as 250 miles away taking dual enrollment courses through TSTC,” said Rolston. “So our online pathways make dual enrollment a reality with us when students live too far but want to take advantage of this great partnership.”

For more information on the dual enrollment Automotive Technology pathway call 325-235-7319 or go online at tstc.edu.

TSTC Reduces Housing Costs to Help New, Current Students

(SWEETWATER) – Texas State Technical College Housing student Zachary Reece will be having a little extra money in his pocket beginning Fall 2017.

TSTC has announced it will reduce the cost of living on campus between $130 and $140 to assist students in lowering their expenses.

Reece, a Diesel Equipment Technology student pursuing a certificate, says that being a full-time student means living on a tight budget. .

“I think what TSTC is doing is a really good idea,” said Reece. “This helps me lower my spending and any bit of money saved goes aTSTC Housing Reduces Costs long way when you’re a college student.”

The Olney native has lived in a dorm at TSTC since January and said he is glad the college is doing something extra to help its students.

“We know that college is a big investment,” said TSTC West Texas Housing Director Jose Navarrette. “And we believe this change will help students save some money and focus more on school.”

Like Reece there are another 216 students living on TSTC’s Sweetwater campus working toward the same goal: finishing college.

“Our goal as a college is to graduate students and get them good paying jobs,” said Navarrette. “We feel that by alleviating some of the financial stress, they’ll fulfill their goals and that of the college.”

Associate Vice Chancellor of Auxiliary Administration Kevin Dorton said the initiative of reducing housing costs began about a year ago as a way to spur enrollment.

“This is a cost-savings solution for our incoming and current students,” said Dorton. “Our goal is to offer our students affordable housing options. In return, we believe this will increase our enrollment and the number of students living on campus.”

Students in Sweetwater have housing options: a dorm room and student apartments such as Bluebonnet Inn, all of which are shared with other students. Those living on campus also have a meal plan included in their rental package. Internet, cable and utilities are also included.

“Our goal is give our students a comfortable place to call home,” said Navarrette. “We want them to be relaxed and have food on their tables so they can enjoy college.”

Dorton said the housing cost reduction is isolated to West Texas at the moment, but there are studies and research being done for the college’s other campuses.

For more information on TSTC Housing call 325-235-7368.

Registration for Summer and Fall 2017 is already in progress. For more information on TSTC programs offered near you go online at tstc.edu.