Category Archives: Abilene

TSTC Alumna Finds Dream Career at Local News Station

(ABILENE, Texas) –  If you asked Prissa Delostrico three years ago if she thought she would be working at a television news station today, she never would have considered it an option. Now, she doesn’t plan on leaving anytime soon.

Delostrico is a Texas State Technical College Computer Networking and Systems Administration alumna. She graduated in December 2017 and now works as an information technology engineer for KTXS-TV News. 

“I never imagined I would be working for a news station when I started my degree at TSTC, and I was nervous at first. But, I’ve been at KTXS just over a year, and I love it because it’s exciting and really fulfilling,” Delostrico said. 

Delostrico was always interested in computers and recognized the importance technology plays in everyday life. 

“Technology is the future, and I knew I could find a job in that field if I could get a degree in it,” she said. “Any business or organization that uses technology needs IT, and at KTXS I maintain the broadcast equipment, service our machines, care for our computers, laptops — anything I can do to help.” 

As important as it was for Delostrico to get a degree in a lucrative career field, it was also important to find a college that was flexible with her schedule and could accommodate her needs.

“I was a stay-at-home mom, so I needed help with child care. TSTC helped me figure that out, as well as offering counseling services for me when I went through some hard times,” Delostrico said. 

One person who truly stood out to Delostrico was her instructor Renee Blackshear. 

“It was awesome to have a female instructor because it is a male-dominated industry, but she was a great mentor and role model,” Delostrico said. 

For Blackshear, Delostrico was a model student.

“Prissa Delostrico is a wonderful woman and a student any instructor would be honored to work with. She is insightful, works hard, accepting of any challenge, and determined to overcome any obstacles that may come her way,” Blackshear said. “I look forward to many things to come for her.”

One of Delostrico’s greatest motivators to succeed was her goal to be a role model for her daughter. 

“I wanted to show my daughter that she can do anything she puts her mind to. It doesn’t matter if she chooses a career that is male-dominated or not — she can do it,” Delostrico said. 

As a nontraditional student, Delostrico knows how difficult it can be to take the step to go back to school, but she encourages everyone to give it a chance.

“Go on campus at TSTC and talk with the instructors, counselors and career people because you’ll be surprised by how much they want to help you and see you succeed,” she said.

Delostrico, an Abilene native, graduated from Cooper High School in 2005. 

Registration for the fall semester is underway. For more information about TSTC and the many programs offered, go online at tstc.edu.

Prissa Delostrico is a Texas State Technical College Computer Programming and Systems Administration alumna working as an IT Engineer for KTXS Television News.

Computer Programming Technology Coming to TSTC in Abilene

(ABILENE, Texas) – Texas State Technical College in Abilene will offer a new program of study starting this fall: Computer Programming Technology.

Students who successfully complete the five-semester program will earn an Associate of Applied Science degree.

“We brought the CPT course to Abilene because industries are moving forward to digital and electronic-based needs. This helps us fill a local and statewide need to develop business and industry along with it,” TSTC Associate Provost Justin Price said.

With a majority of modern technology using software programs, job opportunities are endless.

“Computer programming is like the brain of the human body. Just like the brain tells your hands to move, the software tells the hardware what to do. Today hardware is anything from cars, robots, industrial equipment to the laptop sitting on your desk; they all need someone who can program them to work how we need them to,” Tony Torres, lab assistant, said.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there is an expected job growth of 24 percent  between 2016-2026 for computer software developers; almost four times the job growth national average.

“The demand for workers in this field will continue to rise as we keep using technology. You can find your niche and work in a team or go solo, or work in the field or in an office,” Torres said.

The program will educate students about six different programming languages such as C++, Visual Basics, C Sharp, Java and more. Students will learn how to apply those languages to be used in online settings or in physical applications.

The program is a hybrid course with a mix of online classes and face-to-face instruction.

Torres encourages anyone interested in learning how to keep the world functioning to apply.

Registration for the fall semester is underway. For more information about TSTC and the many programs offered, go online at tstc.edu.

Computer Programming Technology is coming to TSTC in Abilene. Students can start registering for the fall semester now. 

TSTC Program Fills Diverse Needs in Texas Industries

(ABILENE, Texas) – Why learn just one skill when you can learn multiple?

The Industrial Maintenance Technology program at Texas State Technical College in Abilene is commonly known as the jack-of-all trades program; something both students and instructors says is one of the best selling points of their chosen career field.

“My favorite thing about industrial maintenance is that you always get to work on something new,  whether its related to hydraulics or electrical or welding or pneumatics, you know how to do it all, and work on it all. You’re never bored, that’s for sure,” instructor Daniel Diaz said. 

With over 35 years of shared field experience between Diaz and fellow instructor Demetri Jones, students are getting a true insight to their job demands.

“Daniel and I both are TSTC alumni and we both worked in the field for years. So we get the chance to relate to these students on the level as ‘hey, we’ve been in your shoes’ but also as professionals who know what industry needs and wants now,” Jones said. 

Diaz graduated from TSTC in Brownwood in 2004 and Jones graduated from TSTC in Waco in 2009. Both gentlemen earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Industrial Maintenance Technology. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas has the highest level of employment for Industrial Machinery Mechanics and Machinery Maintenance Workers with an expected job growth of seven percent between 2016 to 2026. 

“There are so many career fields these students can choose to enter, whether it’s wind energy, oil field, working in a hospital or an office building or a factory, the options are limitless honestly,” Diaz said. 

On top of having a diverse skill set, the class itself is full of students from all walks of life. One student, always gets a laugh that he is older than the instructors he learns from.

“I graduated high school in 1980, before a few of my classmates were even born,” David Cooley, student in Industrial Maintenance said. “This is my first time in college and after working in industrial maintenance for about 30 years and seeing how quickly the technology was changing, I knew I needed the degree from TSTC to stay current.”

Cooley is a Hawley High School alum and is currently pursuing his Associate of Applied Science degree. He is expected to graduate in April of 2020. 

Cooley’s classmate, Caleb Ames is a little younger, but just as excited for what the program has to offer him. 

“I spent a couple years working to figure out what I did and didn’t want to do and I learned I love to work with my hands. This program is great because there are so many job opportunities for us out there and we are working with our hands everyday on something different,” Ames said. 

Ames graduated from Abilene High School in 2014 and is expected to graduate from the Industrial Maintenance program with a Certification of Completion 1 in August 2019.

No matter the age or career goals, the Industrial Maintenance program has a place for you. 

“We welcome everyone. Whether you’ve never touched a wrench or you’ve spent your whole life turning wrenches, we can teach you and we want to see you succeed,” Jones said. 

Diaz and Jones encourage anyone interested in the program to come to the campus and schedule a tour.

Registration for the Fall Semester 2019 has started. 

For more information about TSTC, go online at tstc.edu.

Industrial Maintenance Technology student David Cooley is helping construct a water flow system to that will be used by him and other students.

TSTC Faculty Member Recognized for Excellence

(ABILENE, Texas) – Carly Kahl, senior history instructor and assistant department chair for General Education at Texas State Technical College, was recently recognized for her exceptional service to TSTC with the W.R. Potter Award of Teaching Excellence during the college’s Employee Appreciation Day. 

The Potter Award was established in 1996 to recognize outstanding teaching at TSTC’s four West Texas campuses. Only one winner is selected each year. 

“Carly is a servant-leader who always works to support the core values of TSTC: excellence, accountability, service and integrity.  She challenges her students to not just get by, but to do the very best work possible,” TSTC Provost Rick Denbow said. 

Kahl, a native of Andrews, Texas, said she was trying to figure out who the winner was as the announcements began and was surprised when she realized it was her.  

“I was utterly shocked. I was not anticipating it at all. I started to cry when I walked up to receive it because it’s such an honor,” Kahl said.  

With over 11 years of service to TSTC, Kahl has held various roles in the college but always knew teaching was her calling. She started her career as a technical writer, moved to curriculum design, then became an adjunct instructor. 

Kahl became a full-time history instructor in 2014. She is now working toward her Ph.D. in history at Texas Tech University. 

“For 11 years I’ve watched excellent faculty be recognized for their hard work, and every time the winner has been so deserving. It always encouraged me to want to meet that standard as well as they did,” Kahl said.

Receiving the award was even more special for Kahl because her son, Kyle, was there to witness it.

“I convinced him last minute to go with me, and it was really great for him to get to see that all my hard work had paid off,” Kahl said. 

 To earn the Potter Award, employees must be nominated by their co-workers with supporting letters of recommendation. The winner is selected by an independent third party. 

Terra Alvarado, TSTC’s director of Division Support for Development Education, said her recommendation letter was just one of many supporting Kahl. 

“I was just so impressed with how much work she has put in, not just in her current role, but also with the extra work she volunteers for. She always goes one step further, and she is so reliable,” Alvarado said. 

Kahl said she is excited about her future with TSTC.

“I have such a great team, both local and statewide. They all really do a great job, and we collaborate to make sure the students are getting the best education. I’m excited to see what the next years bring and to keep growing,” she said. 

Kahl encourages her students and her peers to strive for continuous improvement and to keep learning. 

For more information about TSTC, log on to tstc.edu.

Carly Kahl received the  W.R. Potter Award of Teaching Excellence for her exceptional service to Texas State Technical College.

 

TSTC Hosts Stop the Bleed Training

(SWEETWATER, Texas) – Texas State Technical College recently partnered with local first responders to host Stop the Bleed training for students, faculty and staff at its campuses in Abilene and Sweetwater.

Stop the Bleed is a national campaign initiated by the National Security Council to better prepare the public to save lives and raise awareness of basic actions to stop life-threatening bleeding following emergencies or disasters.

TSTC police patrolman Jeff Miller learned about the campaign during a training exercise and thought it was vital to share with TSTC students and employees.

“This course’s key message is training everyday people to save lives because there is nothing more sad than a preventable death,” Miller said.

The course takes about 90 minutes, including a formal presentation and hands-on practice of direct-pressure application, wound packing and tourniquet use.

“We are bringing this to TSTC to educate on bleeding control. This program is specifically designed for everyday people to be able to save lives in case of a catastrophic accident, traffic accident or disaster of that nature,” Grant Madden, fire chief for Sweetwater Fire Department, said.

The Stop the Bleed training is free, and more than 500,000 people have been trained in almost 90 countries and all 50 states.

“This training is important, and we are coordinating it with the police department and the local first responders because the safety of our employees and students is paramount to us,” said Holle England, training supervisor with TSTC Employee Development.

After the training was completed, 18 Stop the Bleed personal bleeding control kits were left for TSTC to distribute throughout its campus buildings.

For more information about TSTC, log on to tstc.edu.

Grant Madden, fire chief for Sweetwater Fire Department, shows TSTC employees how to use a tourniquet at Stop the Bleed training.

-#-

TSTC Student Reaches New Heights While Restoring the Past

(ABILENE, Texas) – As the aviation industry looks toward the future, one Texas State Technical College student is helping to preserve its history.

Trenton Calsoncin, an aviation maintenance student, is earning Associate of Applied Science degrees in Aircraft Airframe Technology and Aircraft Powerplant Technology while working with an area company to restore old warplanes.

“It’s my passion. As a kid, I always liked airplanes. So when I got tired of working on cars as a mechanic in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, I decided it was time for a change,” Calsoncin said.

Since starting at TSTC in fall 2017, Calsoncin has worked with Ezell Aviation in Breckenridge.

“I’m from Breckenridge, and I’ve known the (Ezell) family for years, so I would go out there in my free time and follow the owner, asking him questions. A couple days after I started school at TSTC, he called me up and offered me a job,” Calsoncin said.

Ezell Aviation restores vintage military airplanes and has completed 34 restorations in its 33 years while also performing inspections, maintenance, and major and minor repairs on many others.

“He’s a good kid, hard worker and has lots of ambition,” Heather Ezell, office manager at Ezell Aviation, said. “Nelson (the company’s founder) encouraged him and is very proud of him.”

Calsoncin said one of his favorite parts of the job is how unique the work is and that it usually coordinates with what he is learning in class.

“This program at TSTC is good, it really is. Somehow it’s been working out that I’ll learn something in class and it ends up being something I use at work almost right away,” he said.

TSTC aviation maintenance lead instructor Josh Parker says Calsoncin’s job helps highlight various career opportunities within the aviation industry for the other students.

“Trenton has been a great student and has always been willing to help his fellow students by sharing the skills that he has brought from working in the aircraft restoration business,” Parker said.

As he completes his degrees, Calsoncin will continue to work at Ezell Aviation.

“I plan on staying there after graduation for as long as they’ll have me. It’s kind of like a dream job for me,” Calsoncin said.

Calsoncin is expected to graduate in summer 2019.

For more information about TSTC, go to www.tstc.edu.

TSTC Student Reaches New Heights While Restoring the Past

Trenton Calsoncin is earning Associate of Applied Science degrees in Aircraft Airframe Technology and Aircraft Powerplant Technology while working with Ezell Aviation to restore old warplanes.

 

 

 

TSTC Students and Faculty Observe National EMS Week

(ABILENE, Texas) – This week marks the 45th annual National EMS Week, which honors the dedication of those who provide lifesaving services each day.
As the next generation of emergency medical service providers prepares to enter the workforce, Texas State Technical College students and faculty remember why they chose to serve.
“National EMS Week allows me to pause and have a moment of gratitude for my fellow EMS providers and to feel proud that I am part of a profession that has such an impact on so many people’s lives. I’m humbled by it,” said Ronnie Pitts, TSTC’s statewide department chair for EMS.
Pitts has worked in the EMS field for more than 29 years. Before earning his Associate of Applied Science degree in EMS with a Paramedic specialization at TSTC in 2005, he served as a firefighter/advance emergency medical technician with the city of Vernon Fire/EMS Department.
Pitts says his time in the field and as an instructor has allowed him to make a positive impact on not just his patients, but also the patients his students will care for.
For one student, the opportunity to help others in crisis is what he loves most.
“It’s become my passion,” Zacory Gardner, a student in the Paramedic program, said. “EMS
Week allows the public a better understanding that we are more than a transportation vehicle. We are a mobile ER, and we are here to help.”
Gardner currently works as an EMT basic with MetroCare and is expected to graduate from TSTC in 2020.
Classmate Ian Shannon recently started with MetroCare as an EMT basic and says it is exciting to continue the family tradition of being a first responder.
“My mom is a nurse, and we’ve got family that is in fire rescue and law enforcement. I also wanted to help people but figured I would do it in a different way,” Shannon said. “(Working as an EMT) is a great way to help people.”
Shannon is also expected to graduate in 2020.
As National EMS Week comes to a close, TSTC’s EMS lead instructor Kandell Scruggs hopes her students feel appreciated for their hard work. But she also recognizes the need to thank the families of EMS workers for their sacrifices.
“EMS providers give up a lot of family time and time with loved ones, so this week serves as a chance not only to thank the EMS personnel for their service to the community, but also to thank their family members,” Scruggs said.
Scruggs has worked in the EMS field for 28 years and is excited for her students to become part of the EMS family.
Pitts and Scruggs both encourage anyone who feels called to serve their community to consider a career in EMS by attending an information session about the program held every Tuesday at 2 p.m. in the Industrial Technology Center at 2082 Quantum Loop in Abilene.
For more information on TSTC, go to www.tstc.edu.
TSTC Students and Faculty Observe National EMS Week
TSTC in Abilene Paramedic students practice emergency birth and infant resuscitation procedures during National EMS Week.  
###

TSTC Instructors Raise Awareness of Educational Opportunities for Children in Foster Care

(ABILENE, Texas) – Young adults who have been in foster care in the state of Texas can go to college for free.
Two Texas State Technical College instructors of Industrial Maintenance, Daniel Diaz and Demetri Jones, are making it their mission to let foster youth know about this opportunity.
The two instructors and their wives are foster parents themselves.
Diaz and Jones are raising awareness of the State College Tuition Waiver available to foster youth currently or formerly under the conservatorship of the Texas Department of Family and
Protective Services (DFPS) and for those adopted from DFPS.
The State College Tuition Waiver exempts or waives payment of tuition and fees at state-supported colleges and universities.
In Texas there are more than 30,000 children in foster care, according to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Many of these children are eligible for a tuition-free college education.
“It’s important to share this information because we see a lot of kids who age out of foster care that didn’t get the buildup that they should have to know they can go to college. (The waiver) is an option, a free option, for them,” Diaz said.
Diaz was adopted by his grandparents as a child. Now he and his wife, along with their four children, have opened their home to foster children.
“We felt called to serve through fostering, and when we learned of this opportunity for these kids, we had to share it,” Diaz said. “We want these kids to know that a technical college is a perfect avenue if the traditional college route isn’t what they want.”
As he and his wife entered the foster care process, Diaz began teaching at TSTC and met fellow instructor Jones, who has adopted two of his three children through foster care and is currently fostering.
“We found out about (the waiver) for our kids, and we want others to know,” Jones said. “My kids were raised around a technical college and have seen the success that I had because of it, and I want that for others.”
Diaz and Jones are both TSTC Industrial Maintenance alumni.
“These (foster) kids all come from different backgrounds, and some have been through some bad things, but they deserve the opportunity to succeed,” Jones said.
For potential students to take advantage of the tuition-free education, they must be enrolled in a state-supported college or university before their 25th birthday.
Foster youth and foster parents are urged to call512-438-5442 to learn more about the State College Tuition Waiver and eligibility requirements.  Or, for more information on TSTC programs, go to www.tstc.edu.
TSTC Instructors Raise Awareness of Educational Opportunities for Children in Foster
From left to right, Daniel Diaz and Demetri Jones are instructors at TSTC in Abilene Industrial Maintenance Technology program. The instructors are raising awareness of education opportunities for young adults formerly in foster care.

Two Employees at TSTC in Abilene Recognized for Outstanding Service

(Abilene) – Two employees at Texas State Technical College in Abilene have been honored for their dedication and service.

Matt Briggs, the clinical coordinator for the Emergency Medical Services program, and Susan Cowart, an instructor for academic English and Humanities, were selected to receive TSTC’s Chancellor’s Excellence Awards.

“The Chancellor’s Excellence Award is a yearly recognition for teammates who consistently go above and beyond their normal job duties to improve our students’, and/or our College’s, success. Matt and Susan display, on a daily basis, these lofty attributes,” Rick Denbow, provost at TSTC in West Texas, said.

The Chancellor’s Excellence Award began in 2001 and has been given to more than 300 TSTC employees statewide. Recipients are nominated by their peers for their work toward advancing the technical college’s mission.

“The teammates who win this award model excellence for us all and are recognized for both their sound character and for advancing TSTC’s new direction,” TSTC Chancellor Mike Reeser said. “Due to their caring and dedicated efforts, TSTC continues to make a difference in the employment success of our students.”

Briggs joined TSTC in 2015 and said he was shocked by the recognition. He says he is determined to find out who nominated him so he can say thank you.

“It’s just such an awesome honor because there are so many people who are doing their job really well, and to be recognized as one of those people makes me want to keep going and do even better,” he said.

Briggs said TSTC has become part of his family and he loves working with people who have the same passion as he has.

“My favorite part of this job is watching our students walk across that stage and graduate because you know they are about to make a positive impact on the world,” he said.

After working as a paramedic for nine years, Briggs felt called to enter the education world and help people in a new way. He hopes to help expand the EMS program at TSTC and spread awareness of the need for more EMS professionals.

Cowart was also surprised to learn she was a recipient of the Chancellor’s Excellence Award.

“I was in a state of shock because I haven’t been here very long, but it felt so validating,” she said.

Cowart began teaching English and Humanities classes at TSTC in 2015. She teaches both online and in-person classes.

“Education is so powerful. And if I can help these students become good communicators, that opens so many doors on top of their technical skills,” she said.

Cowart earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Louisiana State University at Alexandria and her first master’s in English from DePaul University. She decided to pursue a second master’s in Education Technology and Instructional Design from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi to better serve her students. She completed the degree while continuing to teach her regular course load.

“I am so glad I am at TSTC in West Texas because there is a definite sense of family and support here. It just makes you want to do your best,” Cowart said.

Briggs and Cowart will join 33 other TSTC employees statewide who will be honored at the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development’s Excellence Awards Dinner and Celebration in May in Austin.

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

Two Employees at TSTC in Abilene Recognized for Outstanding Service

Matt Briggs, picture above, from Texas State Technical College in Abilene, is the Clinical Coordinator for the Emergency Medical Services program. He was awarded the Chancellor’s Excellence Award.

Two Employees at TSTC in Abilene Recognized for Outstanding Service

Susan Cowart, pictured above, from Texas State Technical College in Abilene, teaches academic English and Humanities. She was awarded the Chancellor’s Excellence Award.

TSTC Holds Spring 2019 Commencement

(ABILENE, Texas) – More than 100 graduates received certificates and associate degrees at Texas State Technical College’s Spring 2019 Commencement held Friday, April 26, at the Abilene Convention Center. Graduates from TSTC’s West Texas campuses in Abilene, Breckenridge, Brownwood and Sweetwater were recognized.

For Mary Madden, an instructor in Electromechanical Technology at TSTC in Sweetwater, this was what she looks forward to each semester.

“It’s a time for the students to celebrate their accomplishments and the families to see what they have worked so hard for,” Madden said. “They’re starting a new life, a new career, and it’s exciting.”

One of Madden’s students who also was a teaching assistant, Gary Miller from Sweetwater, walked the stage on Friday.

“I’m proud of him because he not only succeeded in the program, but he helped motivate others to succeed as well,” Madden said.

Miller, an Army veteran, graduated with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Electromechanical Technology. He graduated with highest honors, was awarded the Outstanding Student Award, and has already accepted a job with M&S Engineering.

“I worked in construction before coming to TSTC, and this was a way to move up in life,” he said. “It’s never too late to come back. Just don’t give up, and keep pushing through.”

Several other students could be found thanking their instructors and excitedly talking about having accepted job offers.

Shawn Baldauf, from Abilene, graduated with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Computer Networking and Systems Administration and has already started working for Batts Communications Inc. After serving in the military, Baldauf decided to come to TSTC for the flexibility and hands-on learning.

“I really love computers. I think they are awesome, so I’m very happy to have a career in something I love,” Baldauf said.

Baldauf is a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society and a recipient of TSTC’s Program Excellence Award.

During the ceremony, Mike Reeser, TSTC’s chancellor and CEO, encouraged the graduates never to stop learning and always to have integrity.

“Technology is constantly changing, so keep learning. But honesty and integrity are two things that have not changed, so remain constant in those,” Reeser said.

Chemical Dependency Counseling graduate Roderick Mayfield, from Breckenridge, felt those two ideals were extremely important to remember in his chosen career path. Mayfield earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in CDC so he can help others overcome substance abuse.

“I want to make a change in someone else’s life that was not made for me. I know addiction firsthand and am in my third year of recovery,” he said. “Instead of saying how you want the world to change, why not take those steps to make a change?”

Mayfield also was awarded a TSTC Program Excellence Award.

Many of Friday’s graduates had family members and loved ones in the audience, but one graduate even had his boss present.

Victor Taylor, of Brownwood, earned his Associate of Applied Science degree in Emergency Medical Services with a specialization in Paramedic Services. Taylor is working for Lifeguard Ambulance Service in Brown County, and his boss was there to cheer him on.

“I think TSTC is one of the best schools out there in this field because of the high standard they hold themselves to,” Taylor said. “I’m working already, if that says anything.”  

Taylor also was a recipient of a Program Excellence Award.

Earlier in the day, the Nursing programs held pinning ceremonies for graduates in Abilene and Sweetwater. Best friends Amanda Griswold and Sherri Whitefield celebrated earning their associate degrees in Nursing with “Finding Nemo”-themed graduation caps.

“She’s my exit buddy, so we’re finishing together,” Griswold said.

The students who graduated Friday join an alumni network of 100,000 strong across Texas.

For more information, go to www.tstc.edu.

TSTC Holds Spring 2019 Commencement

More than a 100 graduates received certificates and associate degrees at Texas State Technical College’s Spring 2019 Commencement. 

###