(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 tstc.edu/openhouse. For more information, call 940-447-7714.
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.
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 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.
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 tstc.edu.
(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 tstc.edu.
(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 tstc.edu.
The Bangs, Texas, resident graduated from the Emergency Medical Services program at TSTC in Abilene in 2011. She served as a paramedic throughout the Big Country area for the last six years before teaching at TSTC.
Young was inspired to break into the industry by her brother, who is also a paramedic.
“My brother was a paramedic right out of high school,” Young said. “We’re only 14 months apart.”
But after getting married and having children at a young age, she decided to put her college plans on hold.
“I had my first child when I was 18,” Young said. “You’re kind of strapped to the kids at that point. I worked in real estate for a long time, but I always wanted to be an EMT. I just had a passion for it and for helping people.”
So once her children were able to care for themselves, she took the plunge into the emergency medical services field.
“I decided that it was time for me to do it,” Young said. “I went through the paramedic program at TSTC in Abilene and I loved it so much. I really think the education I got at TSTC is what brought me back here to teach.”
Beginning work at TSTC just a few weeks before classes began for the fall, Young was nervous.
“When I got into this, I was worried about the teaching portion of it, but I realized very quickly that it’s not just teaching,” Young said. “There’s a lot involved—recruitment, getting the kids in here and registered, following up with learning programs the EMS department uses. I’m kind of getting used to the software and everything, but I’ve found that—since I’m passionate about it and about EMS— teaching has come easy.”
So far, her favorite part has been working with the students.
“We had a class yesterday and we were going over anatomy and physiology, cells and our body’s responses to injuries,” Young said. “The students were reading it on their own and they didn’t quite understand, but then they came to class and we were able to shed light on the subject. It’s really awesome to see the students get excited. And I think that’s my favorite part—that they enjoy learning.”
The Emergency Medical Technician certificate is now offered at the Brownwood campus. For more information on the program, visit tstc.edu.
Texas State Technical College in Brownwood will begin offering an Emergency Medical Services certificate beginning in fall 2016.
Andy Weaver, Allied Health division director for TSTC in West Texas, said the new program revives a previously offered program.
“We used to offer Emergency Medical Services a number of years ago in Brownwood,” Weaver said. “Now, there was some local motivation for more health care programs to be available, so we’re bringing it back.”
The 16-credit-hour certificate can be completed in two semesters and prepares graduates to enter the field as an emergency medical technician.
Chris Furry, Lifeguard-Brown County EMS chief said Lifeguard is excited that TSTC is again offering the program in Brownwood.
“We are excited for the opportunity to work with the TSTC EMS program,” said Furry. “With the local program, students will be able to gain a direct understanding of Lifeguard’s services and patient care expectations, thus expanding our local candidate pool as they complete the program.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 29 percent growth in emergency medical technician and paramedic jobs through 2022, with Texas being the nation’s top employer in that field.
“We have an ever-growing geriatric population and a reduction in the workforce,” Weaver said. “These combined are making it more challenging for organizations to remain staffed. We want to open and grow the Brownwood Emergency Medical Services program to help serve the EMS industry in and around Brownwood.”
Before enrolling in the program, students must attend an information session, where they will be given a packet with pre-requirement information. Sessions will be offered at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, July 27, and Wednesday, Aug. 10, in Brownwood. Students can also attend a session in Abilene, where they are offered every Tuesday.
For more information on the program or the information sessions, contact TSTC in Brownwood at 325-643-5987.