Category Archives: Brownwood

TSTC Names Rick Denbow Provost

(WEST TEXAS) – Texas State Technical College has named Rick Denbow as the Provost over its four West Texas campuses. Denbow served as Interim Provost for the campuses since May.

Along with functioning as Interim Provost, Denbow was also the Senior Field Development Officer for The TSTC Foundation, an instrumental role in supporting the efforts of TSTC’s new technology center in Abilene. Denbow began working for TSTC in 2009 as the director of the Welding and Transportation Technology Division.

Denbow said he is honored to have been selected.

“It’s a lot of responsibility, but I’m very excited also,” he said. “In my tenure with TSTC, I’ve spent my time in West Texas working with the four campuses and I’ve come to know the programs and the faculty and staff. I’m really excited about going forward. Some of the things the college has done, like the most recent reorganization, have really positioned us to be successful.”

The West Texas community is one of Denbow’s favorite things about his job.

“The communities at each of the four locations are very supportive of TSTC and what we’re trying to do, and that makes our job a little bit easier,” he said. “Also, the faculty and staff are just awesome. They’re always willing to go that extra mile and I’m honored to be able to work with them.”

Denbow has lofty goals for TSTC in West Texas.

“As the Chancellor stated in an email to employees a few weeks back, there’s one word and that’s growth,” Denbow said. “That can have different meanings depending on the campus. Is it growing enrollment? Is it growing capacity? Is it growing placement? I would submit it’s all of the above. Each campus in West Texas is unique and one of my goals is to make sure we grow at each of our four campuses.”

TSTC Vice Chancellor & Chief Marketing Officer Jeff Kilgore said he is excited to welcome Denbow in the role.

“Through his experiences, Rick has a really good sense of the communities and needs of industry in the West Texas Region,” Kilgore said.

Denbow graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from University of Texas at Austin.

“I come from the business world,” Denbow said. “With Chancellor Reeser’s focus on making TSTC a little more entrepreneurial, a little more business-like, that fits very well with my background. I think I can add value to the West Texas campuses in the provost role.”

Denbow added that TSTC’s new Industrial Technology Center in Abilene is ahead of the construction schedule. They hope to start moving employees in on Aug. 1, and classes will begin in the building in the fall. Denbow says the campus signifies a new beginning for TSTC in Abilene.

“That campus, the design and how it’s laid out, the Abilene community has never seen anything like that from TSTC,” he said. “The Abilene campus has been housed in an old hospital and we didn’t really have an opportunity to put any heavy equipment and industrial trades in there. This is a new start.”

For more information on Texas State Technical College, visit

TSTC welcomes new recruiter

(BROWNWOOD) – Texas State Technical College in Brownwood welcomed a new recruiter, Laura White, earlier this month.


White was born in Bogota, Colombia, and raised in Florida. She currently lives in Abilene. White and her husband moved to the area when he was stationed at Dyess Air Force Base.


“I used to work for Bank of America merchant services,” White said. “I loved it. I worked there for a little over a year, and then we got orders to move to Abilene.”


White said she wanted to work at TSTC after hearing about it around town.


“I hear a lot of people in the community always saying how much they love TSTC,” she said. “There are just so many great things they say about TSTC. I also have friends who attend as students in the nursing program in Sweetwater. I’ve just always had it in mind that TSTC was a great place. So I went to the website and saw a job opportunity, and here I am.”


So far, her favorite part is working one-on-one with the students.


“TSTC as a whole focuses on making sure we walk the students step by step through the process,” she said. “If there is any additional help they need, we’re always there and that’s awesome. It’s customer service to a T.”


White has always prided herself in the customer service she offers.


“I relate to that because that’s how I am in any job I’ve ever had,” she said. “I really loved coming into that atmosphere and joining people that are willing to go above and beyond for the students. I love that culture, and that’s what it is — it’s a culture within TSTC.”


TSTC is currently hiring for positions at its 10 campuses statewide. For information on open positions at TSTC, visit

Annual TSTC Open House a Success

(BROWNWOOD) – Texas State Technical College in Brownwood held its annual open house Friday, opening its campus for tours and to meet with faculty. The event, designed for prospective students who want to learn more about the college, hosted han 50 visitors.


Jeannette Gist, TSTC director of Student Recruitment in West Texas, said they changed some things around this year and it was a success.


“This year we moved everything up and had it a little more condensed,” Gist said. “I wasn’t sure how that would flow, but I love it. I think it’s so fun. People walk right into the party instead of having to walk down the hall to find the party.”


Six people applied after visiting with employees.


“We have people who are genuinely interested in TSTC,” said Devin Crenshaw, TSTC outreach representative. “That many applicants isn’t common for this type of event.  We’ve also had a lot of people who have already applied and also want to go to the open house in Sweetwater.”


Gist said all of the programs saw traffic.


“I saw people at every station,” she said. “I think everybody had visitors today. Sometimes everyone is there to see one program, but there was a good mix. The more hands-on our programs can be, the better it is for the prospective student and also the faculty because it draws students. It’s a richer experience for both.”


Programs such as Diesel Equipment Technology and Environmental Science from TSTC’s other West Texas campuses also met with students at the event. Visitors also got to learn about Electrical Power & Controls, Industrial Maintenance Technology and Welding Technology, which will begin in Abilene in the fall with the opening of TSTC’s new Industrial Technology Center.


TSTC will hold open houses from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at its campuses in Breckenridge and Sweetwater on March 2 and March 23, respectively.


For more information on open houses, visit To learn more about the college and its programs, visit

TSTC to Host Open House at Brownwood Campus

(BROWNWOOD) – Texas State Technical College in Brownwood will hold its annual Open House from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16. This event is designed for prospective students who want to learn more about the college, but it is also open to their parents, families and friends.

Visitors can tour the campus and speak with instructors about the programs offered, including Business Management Technology, Chemical Dependency Counseling, Computer-Aided Drafting & Design, Computer Networking & Systems Administration, Database & Web Programming, Emergency Medical Services and Welding.

Faculty from the Electrical Power & Controls and Industrial Maintenance programs, which will begin in the fall at Abilene’s newest TSTC campus, will be present to speak about those programs.

Financial Aid information sessions will be held at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Prospective students can also meet with TSTC Student Support Services representatives.

Interested persons should register online at For more information, call 940-447-7714.

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 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.



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

– # –
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

TSTC Culinary Grad to Head Kitchen in New San Antonio Restaurant

Duttry cooking(ABILENE) – San Antonio bakery La Panadería has something new cooking, and Texas State Technical College Culinary Arts graduate Travis Duttry is the chef behind the fire.

The 2014 graduate was hired last month as head chef for the soon-to-open restaurant and has been busy readying operations since.

“It’s slightly chaotic right now,” Duttry said. “I’ve been working on writing the menu, getting recipe books set up, making sure that everything is delivered properly — we’re still getting equipment coming over from Europe, and I’ve put up a few ads for hiring here in San Antonio. We’re just running straight forward trying to get everything set up.”

But success didn’t come easy for the chef. Duttry says hard work was what got him where he is today.

“I’ve been working two jobs for the last six years or so,” he said. “I always thought I could get more experience working two jobs rather than one. While going through school I probably cooked more than I slept. I was working almost 100 hours a week.”

Culinary instructor Kayleen Moon said Travis definitely showed initiative.

“He commuted for class and had better attendance than those who lived in town,” she laughed. “I’m so impressed that he got a job as a head chef with a certificate. He asked a lot of questions in class and cross-trained outside of school. It screams potential.”

Duttry, a Brownwood resident, chose TSTC for its proximity to home and traveled to school in Abilene.

“TSTC was the closest school to me, and I didn’t want to owe a lot of money when I graduated,” Duttry said.

He enjoyed his experience at TSTC.

“Chef Kayleen Moon was awesome. She was very informative,” Duttry said. “I always felt like I learned as much in school as I learned out of school. There are certain things I learned there that I would have never learned in a small town, like the classic mother sauces and steak au poivre. Stuff like that I never would have learned in a small town, but I got to learn those skills there, use those in the professional world and build on what I learned in school.”

Duttry enjoys cooking what he likes to eat.

“Anything that’s Italian; Mexican food, and I don’t mean Tex-Mex, but traditional Mexican food; upscale bar food; and classic comfort food — that’s what I like to cook.”

Set to open Friday, the downtown San Antonio location will be the second store for La Panadería and will be located at 301 E. Houston St.

Duttry recommends that culinary arts students and aspiring chefs get as much experience as they can.

“Do your best in school and outside of school,” he said. “Try to find a nicer restaurant to work in so you can implement what you learned in school. The things you learn at work and in school, they’re going to build off of each other. And you make money while you’re doing it!”

TSTC is registering now for the fall semester. For more information on TSTC’s Culinary Arts program, visit


Recent TSTC Graduate Continues Classroom Work

(BROWNWOOD) – Charles Marr still finds himself in a classroom, but not getting a grade for academic work.

Marr, 29, began work in mid-May as a campus technician at the Brownwood Independent School District. Marr graduated in late April with an associate degree in Computer Networking and Systems Administration at Texas State Technical College in Brownwood.

He troubleshoots and repairs technology issues primarily at Brownwood Intermediate School and works elsewhere in the school district when needed. As the school year ends, Marr said he and his co-workers will work on upgrades and repairs to computers throughout the summer. He will also work on a CompTIA certification.

“Stay open-minded and be optimistic, and there is nothing really you should ever consider out of your reach,” Marr said.

Marr began growing comfortable with computers when he was in elementary school.

“It was more than just figuring out how to play solitaire,” he said. “A buddy of mine and I would mess with computers at his house and tear them apart and play with them.”

Marr graduated in 2005 from Brownwood High School. He joined the U.S. Army and was a combat engineer stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He also lived in Houston before returning to Brown County.

“Moving back here wasn’t in the cards initially. But in coming back and graduating, it was actually easy because Brownwood is kind of a small town, but not what it used to be,” Marr said. “Everyone knows everybody, and that makes it easier.”

Qualities he learned in the military, such as discipline and commitment, helped him succeed in college.

“At the same time, I had to develop patience with people around me,” Marr said.

Renee Blackshear, an instructor in TSTC’s Computer Networking and Systems Administration program, said she was impressed with Marr’s helpfulness and graciousness.

“As a veteran, Charles is determined to be successful with any task he undertakes,” she said.

While at TSTC, Marr participated in SkillsUSA and placed third statewide in the telecommunications cabling contest.

“Charles distinguished himself by consistently demonstrating knowledge and expertise with course content, completing hands-on projects with ease, and submitting exceptionally well-researched and well-written documentation on various topics,” said Blackshear. “Charles is highly intelligent and has good analytical and communication skills.”

TSTC in Brownwood will have Registration Rally events for the fall semester from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on June 7, July 7 and Aug. 8.

For more information on TSTC, go to

Charles Marr resized Brownwood

TSTC Spring 2017 Commencement to Be Held Friday

Marlensm(BROWNWOOD) – You can do anything you set your mind to. That is what Marlen Longoria, who will graduate from Texas State Technical College on Friday, believes. The Santa Anna, Texas, resident grew up in Acuna, Coahuila, Mexico, and moved to Texas in 2009.

“Two or three years ago, I got my GED, thanks to my mother-in-law,” Longoria said. “She always encouraged me to start again, to get my driver’s license first and then to get my GED. She said, ‘Well, you have a brain. You can go to college.’”

Longoria did some research, found TSTC online and visited the campus. She chose to study TSTC’s Software & Business Management Accounting.

“One day we came here to look for information,” she said. “I took two years of accounting in Mexico, and that’s why I decided to study it here. I like it.”

Longoria served as vice president of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society of two-year colleges and academic programs, and was a member of the Student Government Association. She will graduate with a 4.0 GPA. While she was part of the SGA, the group established a food and clothing pantry on campus to help other students.

“We always try to do community service,” Longoria said. “This year we have more members and we’re really active.”

Longoria will join nearly 150 other students from TSTC’s West Texas campuses in walking the stage at the spring commencement ceremony, which will be held at 7 p.m. Friday at the Abilene Civic Center.

After graduating, Longoria plans to attend Howard Payne University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in accounting. She chose one word to describe her experience at TSTC: awesome.

“It’s so much more than I expected,” she said. “The people here are great. They always have a smile on their faces and they always made me feel a part of it. My English isn’t great — it’s not my first language — but they always made me feel comfortable. The instructors have always been patient with me. It’s been a great experience, and they gave me the confidence to continue my education!”

Longoria offered some words of advice to TSTC students and those considering TSTC.

“Never give up,” Longoria said. “There’s no problem that is bigger than your dreams.”

TSTC in Brownwood is currently enrolling for all programs, including Chemical Dependency Counseling, Computer Aided Drafting & Design, Computer Networking & Systems Administration, Database & Web Programming, Emergency Medical Services, LVN-RN Transition, Medical Office Specialist, Software Accounting & Management and Welding. Summer registration continues through May 1. Fall registration ends Aug. 21.

For more information on TSTC and programs available, visit