Category Archives: Abilene

Hendrick Health System Donates to TSTC Digital Media Design Program

Hendrick Donationsm(ABILENE) – Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene is bringing the dream of a college education a little bit closer for students of the Digital Media Design program at Texas State Technical College.

Hendrick has donated $2,500 to TSTC’s Make a Texas-Sized Difference Campaign, helping to offer the Texan Success Scholarship to new students in the program. The funds allow TSTC to give students $500 scholarships to be used toward equipment they will need in the program. The TSTC Foundation matches donated funds for this campaign, so the Digital Media Design department will have $5,000 in scholarships to award.

Christina Hollis, division director of Computer Information Systems and Design at TSTC, said the scholarships will help students get a head start.

“Not all students have the funds to purchase a laptop at the beginning of our program,” Hollis said. “These funds will help those students hit the ground running the first day of class with the technology they need to be successful.”

A longstanding partnership, TSTC’s Digital Media Design and Culinary Arts departments helped with Hendrick’s annual Cancer Survivorship Program event, the Survivorship Culinary Showdown.

“The Digital Media students created the event’s intro video,” Hollis said. “We also created the postcard sent for the event and the program, did photography and hosted a live feed of the event.”

Norm Archibald, vice president of development at the Hendrick Medical Center Foundation, said Hendrick was proud to partner with TSTC and the Digital Media Design department.

“We appreciate the opportunity to work with the young talent in our community, and we’re excited to have a hand in helping students reach their educational goals,” Archibald said.

TSTC is registering through Aug. 22 for the fall semester. Visit for more information.

TSTC Student Art Featured in Exhibition

13620352_10209835387026816_4543642920853365105_n(ABILENE) – Twenty-two pieces of art by Texas State Technical College’s Digital Arts and Digital Media Design students will be displayed in an exhibition called “Building the Future” through the end of July.

The exhibition, located at the Cockerell – Upstairs gallery at 1133 N. Second St., features pieces from video to photography and digital painting.

TSTC Instructor Amelia Carnagey said the show gives students an opportunity to get their name out to the community.

“Abilene is a very college-oriented and art-oriented city,” Carnagey said. “With the exhibition, we wanted to instill in our students a desire to get out into the community. We not only show them that they are artists, but we also help to introduce them to the community in a professional light.”

Students from the program submitted their work to be considered, and TSTC faculty chose the best to be featured. First place was awarded to Digital Arts student Amber Hernandez for her piece “Fly Fishing.” In second place was Digital Media Design student Alejandro Salcido with “Girl in Endless Field,” and in third place was Digital Arts student Hannah Elliot with “Before Ballet Class.”

The works of art will be on view at the Cockerell – Upstairs gallery through July 30. Each piece is available for purchase through the artist.

For more information on the Digital Media Design program, visit or call 325-672-7091.

TSTC Students to Challenge for Gold

(WEST TEXAS) – Two students from Texas State Technical College in West Texas are preparing to travel to Louisville, Kentucky to contend for gold medals at SkillsUSA’s National Leadership and Skills Conference.


Rachael Thompson will compete in First Aid-CPR and Jon William Lewis will compete in Information Technology Systems at the conference, which is scheduled for June 20 to 24. More than 6,000 high school and college students are expected to compete in about 100 contests.


“We are very proud,” TSTC in West Texas Provost Eliska Smith said. “We are excited that we will be represented again at SkillsUSA. It’s wonderful for them to have this experience to compete against other college students around the nation.”


The TSTC Foundation honored the students with a special send-off on Friday, June 10, in Abilene.


Winning a gold medal at the national competition can add another credential to students’ resumes and make them more marketable when job hunting.


“SkillsUSA is an excellent opportunity to get the attention of important people, whether it be the contest chair who is selected from industry or a potential employer through one’s resume,” said Lewis, 21, of Abilene and a May graduate in Computer Networking and Systems Administration.


Students from TSTC in West Texas, Waco and Harlingen won more than 30 gold medals, and more than 70 medals total, during SkillsUSA’s statewide postsecondary competition in early April in Waco.


“The biggest success I think we have had this year for our campuses in West Texas has been the amount of medals we have taken home this year,” said Crystal Latham-Alford, a SkillsUSA campus director for the Abilene, Breckenridge, Brownwood and Sweetwater campuses. “Also, this is the second year we have been up in participation numbers in the last five years. We continue to grow and the future looks bright.”


SkillsUSA is a professional organization teaching technical, academic and employability skills that help college students pursue successful careers. Members build these skills through student-led team meetings, contests, leadership conferences and other activities.


Registration continues for the fall semester at TSTC. For more information, log on to

TSTC Holds Annual Spring Team Challenge Cook-off

(SWEETWATER) – Texas State Technical College held their annual Spring Team Challenge Cook-off Tuesday, bringing together faculty, staff and students aspiring to show off their grilling talents during a fun-filled day of camaraderie.

Competing teams were challenged to come up with dishes based on chicken, steak, potatoes, beans and a mystery item. This year’s mystery items were squash and zucchini. There was also an award for “best camp,” given to the teams who put the most effort into creating a theme for their cooking area.

Team “Los Chivos” was the Overall Champion, bringing home second place awards in steak, chicken, beans, mystery item and the best camp categories.

“Brown Chicken Brown Cow” out of Abilene took second Overall Champion, with first place in chicken and best camp, second place in potatoes, and third in steak and mystery item.

“Brown Sugar” took home third Overall Champion, and first place awards in steak and mystery item.

Veronica Maldonado, an Electromechanical Technology student, was part of the Los Chivos team.

“I wanted to compete in the cook-off because it seemed like a really fun idea, and I also love grilling,” Maldonado said. “The best part for me was that, of the Sweetwater campus, I was the only female student in the competition. I wish we would have more events like this; more friendly competitions.”

Justin Price, department chair of Computer-Aided Drafting & Design, competed for the first time this year. Price was part of the Brown Chicken Brown Cow team, along with the Computer Networking & Systems Administration department chair, and students from both programs.

“I thought it was a good opportunity,” Price said. “It was a fun time to get out and interact with the students and faculty outside of the classroom. It went good for our team; we had fun and I enjoyed it.”

TSTC’s Team Challenge Cook-Off has been held every year in the fall and spring since 2012.


TSTC Students Prepare for Pop-Up Restaurant Opening

Texas State Technical College Culinary Arts students will open their temporary restaurant beginning Tuesday, Nov. 3 at T&P Depot on North 1st Street in Abilene.

(ABILENE) – Dusty Barnett, a first-year culinary arts student at Texas State Technical College in Abilene, is eager to be in the middle of the quick pace of a restaurant atmosphere for the first time later this fall.

“I love to cook, so I decided to get that degree in something I enjoy doing,” said Barnett, 34, of Abilene and a Class of 2000 graduate of Paint Creek High School in Paint Creek. “I enjoy the cooking and how the food tastes to other people and knowing that I had a part in creating that food.”

Barnett and other TSTC culinary arts students are preparing for the opening of a temporary student-run restaurant at T&P Depot at 901 N. 1st St. in Abilene.

People interested in visiting can make a reservation beginning Thursday, Oct. 1. by calling 325-670-9240 or online at The restaurant will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays to Thursdays on Nov. 3-5, 10-12, 17-19 and Dec. 1-3 and 8-9.
Students have several options to study culinary arts at TSTC’s campuses.

Students in West Texas can pursue an associate degree in Professional Cooking or a certificate in Food Service Technology in Abilene.

TSTC also offers culinary arts at the Waco, Harlingen and Williamson County campuses.

TSTC to Hold Second Annual Reach for Recovery Car & Bike Show Saturday

(ABILENE) – Texas State Technical College will hold its second annual Reach for Recovery Car & Bike Show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19 at the campus in Abilene.

There will be a $20 fee per vehicle per class to enter the show. Classes include antique, classic, muscle, import, pick up, orphan, unfinished, Volkswagen, Corvette, rat rod, low rider and motorcycle.

Several TSTC programs will be participating, including Emergency Medical Services performing wellness checks, Digital Arts drawing caricatures, and Welding creating the trophies for car show winners. Digital Media Design also designed fliers for the event, Drafting mapped out the event area, Software & Business Management organized the vendors and the Chemical Dependency Counseling program is hosting.

A variety of booths will be present, and the animal shelter will have a food drive and adoption event. There will also be vendors selling food and crafts.

Sponsors include:

GOLD: Abilene Chicken Expresses (owned by TSTC Alumnus Steve Davis), Classic Auto Restyling
SILVER: Arrow Ford, Abilene Behavioral Health, A Party People, 3rd Street Printing and Sign Co.
BRONZE: The 180 House, Mary Kay

Admission is free. Funds raised will benefit Guardians of the Children, and TSTC’s Reach Club and Student Leadership. For more information, visit

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TSTC to Hold Second Annual Reach for Recovery Car & Bike Show

(ABILENE) – Texas State Technical College will hold its second annual “Reach for Recovery” Car & Bike Show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19 at the campus in Abilene. There will be a $20 fee per vehicle per class to enter the show. Classes include antique, import, rat rod, motorcycle and more. Admission is free. Funds raised will benefit Guardians of the Children, and TSTC’s Reach Club and Student Leadership. For more information, visit

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TSTC Chancellor Announces New Leadership for West Texas

(SWEETWATER) – Chancellor Mike Reeser announces the appointment of Eliska Smith, MASCL to serve as provost for the Texas State Technical College campuses in Abilene, Breckenridge, Brownwood and Sweetwater, effective August 10.

 Smith began her career in marketing and communications more than 25 years ago, spanning the economic development and consulting, publishing and health care industries, as well as higher education. Smith’s tenure with TSTC began in 2002. Today, she serves as TSTC’s statewide public relations officer and leads strategic communications from the central administrative offices in Waco. Previously, she was TSTC’s associate vice chancellor specializing in communications, public relations, and leadership development. She also was the founding director and sponsoring executive-in-charge of the TSTC Leadership Institute.

“In essence, the job of the provost is to make TSTC a great place to work and to develop our relationships with the communities in which we operate,” said Chancellor Michael L. Reeser. “I have confidence that Eliska’s keen grasp of the organizational mission and her ability to foster relationships will be an asset to our West Texas family,” added Reeser.

“Eliska’s leadership experience and broad background will serve her well as the provost and leader of our West Texas campuses,” said Gail Lawrence, President Emerita, Vice Chancellor & Chief Culture Officer.

“It will be my joy to call the Big Country home,” said Smith. “I look forwarding to helping TSTC strengthen our partnerships with community and industry leaders to strengthen our economies and to help more Texans prosper,” added Smith.

Smith received a Master of Arts in Strategic Communications and Leadership from Seton Hall University, an advanced certificate in mid-management from SMU/Cox School of Business, and a Bachelor of Arts from Baylor University.

Smith has served in leadership positions within community and professional associations including: President and past president of the board, Christian Women’s Job Corp of McLennan County; lay director of the Greater Waco Emmaus Community; member, Waco LeadershipPlenty; secretary, board member, and president of the Central Texas Chapter Public Relations Society of America; district IV executive committee member for the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations, member of the Leadership Waco Class XX, board member of the Leadership Waco Alumni Association, member of the Rotary Club of Waco, and board member of the Waco Aviation Advisory Board.

Smith is a single mother, with a son, Houston, who is attending Texas Tech University, and a daughter, Caroline, who will be attending Sweetwater High School.

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TSTC to Hold Annual Blossom Day Camp

jessica coxJessica Cox, the first person to fly a plane with only her feet, will speak at the event.

(SWEETWATER) – TSTC will hold their annual Blossom event at the Sweetwater and Abilene campuses on May 19, and the Breckenridge and Brownwood campuses May 20. The camp will take place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

TSTC’s Blossom event aims to teach young women about STEM programs, and raise awareness of the different fields available to them. Registration will begin at 8 a.m. The day will include team building exercises, a guest speaker and tours of the different programs TSTC offers.

Pilot Jessica Cox will speak at the event. Cox, born without arms, is the first person in aviation history to fly a plane with only her feet. Cox holds the Guinness World Record for being the first armless person to earn a pilot’s certificate. Not only can she fly a plane, but she is also a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, she can surf, scuba dive, play the piano and live a normal life using her feet as others use their hands.

A tentative schedule for all four campuses can be seen here.

Blossom at the Abilene and Sweetwater campuses are full, but interested teachers and students (ages 13 and up) can register for the event at the Breckenridge and Brownwood campuses at


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