Category Archives: Brownwood

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 Hires New Director of Instructional Support Services

(BROWNWOOD) — Texas State Technical College in Brownwood welcomed a new Director of Instructional Support Services June 1. Dr. Les Plagens took over the role after leaving Howard Payne University, where he worked for 23 years, serving the past 18 years as dean and professor for the School of Business.

Plagens provided leadership in attaining specialized accreditation with the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education and in developing the MBA programs in Brownwood, El Paso and New Braunfels.

Previously, he served as principal of Brownwood State School from 1991 to 1997 and taught distributive education in the Kerrville ISD and Shallowater ISD career and technology programs from 1977 to 1982.

Plagens earned a Bachelor of Science (1977) and Master of Arts in Teaching (1979) from Angelo State University, and a Doctorate of Education (1986) from Texas A&M University, with a major in post-secondary vocational education administration.

Dr. Plagens and his wife, Camille, have been married 38 years and have three children and two grandchildren.