Category Archives: North Texas

TSTC Welcomes Two New Recruiters

(RED OAK) – Texas State Technical College welcomed two new student recruiters in April at its North Texas campus.

Shaunice Cyrus, of Mesquite, and Brandy Robertson, of Powell, joined the recruitment team at the beginning of April.

Cyrus comes to TSTC after working as a student worker in recruitment during her time at Tarleton State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Work. Most recently, she worked in customer service.

“At Tarleton, I did tours and other recruitment duties such as planning events,” she said. “I worked very closely with the recruiters, like I do now.”

So far, Cyrus is enjoying the added duties.

“Here, I am actually going out to different schools and traveling to recruit the students, attending college fairs, career days and things like that,” she said. “So, with this job it’s more responsibility, but it’s also a lot more fun.”

Cyrus said she loves what the college stands for.

“I love the fact that it’s so affordable and it’s a really good option for students who don’t think that they’re going to go to a traditional college, or don’t think they’re going to college at all,” she said. “It gives them an opportunity to broaden their horizons and see what all is out there.”

She takes pride in knowing she can possibly change the future for someone.

“I’m glad just being able to explain to a student the options that they have for higher education,” she said. “So many times in high school they told us ‘Go to this school. Go to the big names,’ but there’s so many other options out there. It just really warms my heart to show students that they can get a degree in welding and have a job making more money than somebody who had a degree from a four-year university.”

Robertson, who holds business degrees from Navarro College and Texas A&M Commerce, is also no stranger to the field of higher education.

“Before here, I worked at Vista College in the admissions department doing recruiting, admissions, helping register students, tours and sending them to financial aid,” she said. “Basically I would walk the students through the enrollment process.”

Robertson enjoys speaking with potential students at college fairs.

“They really give you an opportunity to get out there, mingle and help the students and spread the word about our school,” she said. “It’s pretty cool.”

One thing that has stood out to her is the enthusiasm of TSTC’s instructors.

“The instructors I’ve had the privilege of working with so far have all been great,” Robertson said. “I love how passionate they are about their programs. You can walk in and ask any of the instructors whose program is number one and they’re all going to say their program is best.”

She was glad to join the TSTC team, and hopes she can help students make smart educational choices.

“I like the fact that I am able to reach more students and help them,” Robertson said. “Here, we actually put students first. I feel like I’m making a difference in students’ lives by going out and showing them that they can still do all these things they love, for not even a fourth of the cost of other colleges. It’s amazing. I like it here. I feel like I’m at home.”

TSTC Provost Marcus Balch said they are proud to welcome Shaunice and Brandy to the team.

“As a growing campus they will play a vital role in the surrounding communities as well as in the local school districts,” Balch said. “Both come to us with experience in the field and we are pleased that they will be working with our prospective students and their families.”

TSTC prides itself on being “a great place to work” and is currently hiring for positions at its 10 campuses statewide. For information on open positions at TSTC, visit

TSTC to Hold Welding Competition May 5

(RED OAK) – Texas State Technical College is giving area high school welders a chance to put their skills to the test at its welding competition Saturday, May 5. More than 40 students from nine area schools will compete in the contest beginning at 8 a.m.

TSTC welding instructor David Reed said he hopes the contest will pique interest in the North Texas campus.

“We’re bringing in juniors and seniors for the competition,” Reed said. “It’s a friendly game. We bring them out here and showcase the instructors, our welding lab, TSTC in North Texas — it’s a win-win.”

Reed said they asked the participating schools to create a school crest to be judged at the competition.

“Ahead of time, they are supposed to manufacture these before the competition, according to certain parameters,” he said. “It shows school pride for them.”

Alvin Adams, also a TSTC welding instructor, said students will have a few different welds to do and will also compete in a cutting contest.

“They’ll be doing a 1-2-3F — that’s fillet welds,” Adams said. “One, two and three are different positions. That represents the position of the weld. They’ll be doing a 1-2-3V-groove weld also. Then we’re going to have the cutting contest.”

In the cutting round, students will be judged on uniformity, dross (residue left behind in the melting process of metals) and speed. Each contest is staged in rounds.

“From each discipline, we will be giving a first-, second- and third-place medal,” Adams said. “As we go, we’ll go through the process of elimination.”

Students will compete individually, but schools will earn a team trophy for first, second and third place overall.

The Northeast Texas Blacksmith Association will also be attending the event.

“Several of the founding members from their club will be here with furnaces and anvils, hammering out metal,” Reed said. “I’ll be out there myself because a lot of my students enjoy watching the artistic work. I’ll be making roses out of single pieces of rebar and be demonstrating to the students. If there are students who want to, they’ll be able to come up and hammer out some metal with myself and the other smiths.”

Reed hopes students will not only learn to work together, but also be able to see where they stand among their peers in a welding environment.

“A lot of people from small ag shops think they weld really well, but they get out to these competitions and they say, ‘Man, I need to step up my game’ or ‘Wow, we did really well. This validates our program here.’ And TSTC will further complement the program that they have,” Reed said.

TSTC is registering now for the fall semester. The last day to register is Monday, Aug. 20, and classes begin Monday, Aug. 27.

For more information on TSTC, visit

Campbell Earns Chancellor’s Excellence Award

(RED OAK) – Texas State Technical College employee Kim Campbell takes pride in making a difference in students’ lives. That passion has led her to receiving TSTC’s Chancellor’s Excellence Award, an honor given to TSTC faculty and staff who model excellence at the college.

Campbell joined TSTC in North Texas in 2016 and, as of April, serves as campus director and academic manager. Campbell said she was delighted to receive the award.

“I’m extremely honored to have been nominated for this award, and I was very excited and happy to have been selected,” she said. “I’m looking forward to the conference and the dinner with my family.”

Campbell, along with 15 recipients of the award from TSTC’s nine other campuses, will be honored later this month at the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development awards dinner and celebration in Austin.

Campbell feels that being at the relatively small campus in North Texas has helped her grow closer to her peers. She believes she was nominated because her co-workers know they can depend on her.

In her earlier role as a career services coordinator at TSTC, Campbell felt a sense of accomplishment in helping students reach their goals.

“Being in career placement and having students come in and say, ‘I got that job you helped me with!’ is so rewarding,” Campbell said. “I wish I had a bell on the outside of my door that I could ring every time someone came in. The excitement that you see on the student’s face is so gratifying. Just sharing that thrill and excitement with the student made it all worth it.”

Campbell is proud to work for the college.

“I like knowing that I helped make a change in the students’ lives, not just today, but for their future and for their families,” she said. “TSTC is such an amazing place to work.”

The Chancellor’s Excellence Award began in 2001, and over the past 15 years nearly 300 TSTC employees have received the honor. Recipients are chosen based on outstanding contributions and achievements, commitment to excellence, and character. Honorees serve as agents of change in the advancement of TSTC initiatives.

TSTC prides itself on being “a great place to work” and is currently hiring for over 100 positions at its 10 campuses statewide. For information on open positions at TSTC, visit

TSTC in North Texas Graduates 19

(RED OAK) – Nearly 400 students were eligible to walk the stage at Texas State Technical College’s Spring Commencement Ceremony Monday night in Waco. Of those graduates, 19 were North Texas students earning certificates and associate degrees in the college’s technical programs.

TSTC Provost Marcus Balch led the ceremony.

“I’ve probably been to 55 ceremonies over my 18 years, and I’ve never been center stage, so I’m excited for that opportunity,” Balch said. “We have 19 for North Texas, so we’ll get to see them cross the stage.”

Balch said he’s proud of those graduating and the milestone they’ve reached.

“I think we have some really great graduates, and if it’s any indication, most of them already have jobs,” he said. “We have some really good graduates who I think are ready to go to work.”

Guillermo Herrera earned a certificate in Diesel Equipment Technology but plans to continue his education at TSTC.

“I’m going back to TSTC in North Texas to study welding,” Herrera said. “Diesel involves a lot of welding – they kind of go hand in hand, so that’s why I chose welding. I’m very excited to be graduating.”

Saul Zepeda, also a Diesel Equipment Technology graduate, hopes to move to Odessa to find work.

“There’s a company there that works on transmissions,” Zepeda said. “My dad is a mechanic, so I got some experience from him. I grew up as a mechanic’s helper, so I wanted to do the same thing. It feels pretty good to reach this step.”

Jacob Smoot earned his associate degree in Computer Networking & Systems Administration.

“It feels good,” he said. “I’m still working on lining up a job, but I think I learned 95 percent of what I’ll need to know for the job. I’m sure there’s some things only experience will teach you.”

TSTC in North Texas graduates earned degrees in all 10 programs offered at the campus — Computer-Aided Drafting & Design, Computer Networking & Systems Administration, Cyber Security, Electrical Power & Controls, HVAC, Industrial Maintenance, Logistics, Precision Machining and Welding.

For more information on TSTC, visit

TSTC Names Campbell Campus Director

(RED OAK) – Texas State Technical College in North Texas has named Kim Campbell its new Campus Director and Campus Academic Manager.

Campbell previously worked at TSTC in Abilene from 2000 to 2009, holding positions including Recruiter, Coordinator of Support Services, Student Government Advisor and Director of Student Activities.

In 2009, Campbell married and moved to Lubbock, where she worked as Director of Career Services for Vista College, and after a period of self-employment, Enrollment Coordinator for Virginia College.

Campbell rejoined the TSTC team in March of 2016 as a Career Services Associate.

Campbell said she’s excited about the new role she’s taken on.

“I have worked with the Student Services side of TSTC for over ten years,” she said. “Working with Student Learning will be an opportunity of new growth and challenges to excel in.”

In the new role, Campbell will work more closely with the instructors, and statewide department chairs and directors. She will make sure statewide guidelines and procedures are met.

“I feel truly blessed to be working with such an amazing team of instructors at North Texas and I’m looking forward to the new journey,” Campbell said.

Campbell said that, though she’s worked for other schools, TSTC is where her heart is.

“I love working for TSTC and my passion is working with the students,” she said. “I’ve worked at other colleges but I’ve always thought about TSTC as a home and as my family.”

Vice President of Student Learning Mike Bowers said Campbell’s background made her the right choice.

“Kim has held many roles at TSTC and has over 15 years of experience in higher education,” Bowers said. “Kim was selected as Campus Director because of her background and proven leadership skills. We’re happy to welcome Kim to our team.”

TSTC prides itself on being “a great place to work” and is currently hiring for over 100 positions at its 10 campuses statewide. For information on open positions at TSTC, visit

TSTC in North Texas Designated American Welding Society Testing Facility

(RED OAK) – Texas State Technical College in North Texas has been designated as an accredited testing facility by the American Welding Society, joining seven other Texas sites approved to certify welders.

The AWS Accredited Test Facility (ATF) program establishes minimum requirements for test facilities, their personnel and equipment to qualify for accreditation to test and qualify welders.

TSTC Welding Technology instructor Donnie Williams said he was approached by the AWS last August.

“We had to be audited by the AWS, and they had to come and see that our facilities and programs are up to par,” Williams said. “Our facilities are now accredited to do AWS certifications.”

Williams said the accreditation is a substantial achievement for TSTC.

“It’s a feather in the hat for TSTC,” Williams said. “It’s a validation for our program to be recognized by an industry organization, and it puts us on the map as far as the welding industry is concerned.”

The school’s being an accredited testing facility directly benefits TSTC students.

“It offers them a welder certification that is transferable,” Williams said. “These certifications come from the AWS and are entered in a national database.”

Though TSTC in North Texas is the first in the college’s system to receive this designation, Williams said it can also benefit the college’s other nine campuses.

“The ATF services are available to our other campuses also,” he said. “We can test remotely, so I can go to other campuses and certify other students who want to participate.”

TSTC Provost Marcus Balch said he is proud to see his campus become one of three test facilities in North Texas offering this distinction.

“One cool thing about this certification is that it is recognized worldwide, and, if maintained, the certification is valid for a lifetime,” Balch said.

Williams said a grant from the Texas Department of Labor helped to get the facilities accredited.

“We’re going to be offering certifications to industry and the general public also,” he said. “State organizations can also send their welders to us for certification.”

Balch believes the accreditation will offer great opportunities for regional welders.

“This certification program will bring welders from all over the region to our campus,” he said. “It will help provide more exposure to our welding program and, in turn, produce more welders that are earning a great wage for the state of Texas.”

TSTC is registering now for the fall semester. The last day to register is Monday, Aug. 20, and classes begin Monday, Aug. 27.

For more information on TSTC’s welding program, visit

TSTC Logistics Program Sees 100 Percent Placement

(RED OAK) – Since its inception in 2015, the Logistics program at Texas State Technical College in North Texas has graduated 10 students, all of whom are employed in their field.

Logistics instructor William Scott said he thinks the 100 percent placement rate is due to a couple of things.

“First of all, this is a very dynamic, large marketplace for logistics people,” Scott said. “The second thing is we’ve tailored the program to the specific requirements that the employers have asked for.”

Graduates of the program are working for companies such as Walmart, DB Schenker and others. Scott said the areas in which they work vary.

“It ranges across the board,” he said. “We have a couple of people involved with inventory control. We have somebody in shipping and receiving. We have somebody that is a supervisor for a distribution center.”

The program currently has 11 students in various stages of the curriculum.

“One will graduate this spring,” Scott said. “That student already has a job and is working at it. We have another student graduating in the summer, and they’re doing interviews right now.”

Ashley Roper, a 2016 graduate of the program, works as a shipment coordinator at DB Schenker. She manages shipments and handles customer issues.

“I assign trucks and make sure that the correct trailers get assigned to the correct shipment so the correct customers get them,” Roper said. “We have shipments that go to Canada, and we have to make temperature monitors which capture the temperatures to make sure that it’s at the correct temperature, so when it gets there, the product isn’t damaged. We have stuff that goes overseas, and we have processes … to make sure it gets across the border.”

TSTC’s Logistics program teaches students the ins and outs of the industry. The process begins with raw materials, which get made into inventory and then are transported to warehouses for distribution. Students can complete an associate degree in the program in four semesters.

Roper said she learned a lot in the program and it has helped her in her current position.

“Everything they talked about when I got here I already knew, but it’s really cool to be able to actually see it in real life,” she said.

TSTC began registering students for the summer and fall semesters on April 2. For more information on the college, visit

TSTC to Host Program Highlight Day

(RED OAK) – Texas State Technical College in North Texas will host Program Highlight Day for its Electrical Power & Controls program from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, March 22.

Prospective students will be able to participate in hands-on activities directed by Electrical Power & Controls faculty and learn more about the program, which covers engineering, design, installation, calibration, testing, troubleshooting, computer instrumentation, robotics interfacing, and electrical construction.

An associate degree in Electrical Power & Controls is also covered under TSTC’s Money-Back Guarantee program. If graduates of the program do not find a job in their field within six months of graduating, they will receive their tuition back.

Those interested in attending the event can register at

Who: Texas State Technical College
What: Electrical Power & Controls Program Highlight Day
When: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, March 22
Where: TSTC in North Texas, 119 N. Lowrance Road, Red Oak, Texas 75154

TSTC Program Receives Truck Donation

(RED OAK) – The Diesel Equipment Technology program at Texas State Technical College in North Texas recently received a 2009 Freightliner Cascadia truck valued at $10,000.

The donation was made by the south Dallas location of Premier Truck Group. Jeff Wicks, assistant service manager, said the donation was made because of a customer who gave the truck’s title to the business after he could not pay for repairs.

“We ended up making the repairs and getting it running and then donating,” Wicks said. “We knew TSTC would appreciate it and that it would be a training tool relevant to what we do with the technology that is applicable for what we do. The students could learn on something that could help them.”

TSTC Provost Marcus Balch said the heavy vehicle would be used for lessons in electronics, brake systems and other diesel components. The truck will be functional but remain in the program’s lab.

“The donation is a good thing for TSTC in North Texas because as a new program, there are just some pieces of equipment that we do not have yet,” Balch said. “By this company stepping up to provide this, it is going to allow us to grow our program and grow our labs so that we have an opportunity to continue to provide equipment that is fresh out of the box.”

Premier Truck Group has more than 70 technicians, warranty personnel, foremen and delivery drivers who maintain and troubleshoot heavy commercial vehicles.

TSTC in North Texas students can earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in Diesel Equipment Technology – Heavy Truck Specialization or a certificate in Diesel Equipment Technology – Heavy Truck, among others.

Diesel Equipment Technology is one of the largest programs on campus with about 50 students.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to

Annual TSTC North Texas Open House a Success

(RED OAK) – Texas State Technical College in North Texas 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 more than 300 visitors.

Shannon Gaspard, TSTC director of Student Recruitment, said the event was successful.

“We’ve doubled our attendance from last year, which is great,” Gaspard said. “This year, we also partnered with Region 10 and Region 11 and we worked with them to get the word out about our event to students. It worked out a lot, and we now have recognition in a lot of those different counties with the schools.”

Gaspard said it’s also a win for the instructors.

“Now you have students who are learning about different programs,” she said. “We have a group who’d never heard of welding and had never been in a welding lab, but they’re racing to welding now because they’re interested in learning more about it, taking a look at the equipment and just seeing the different cool things that are made from like a simple cutting machine.”

Renvy Smith, a teacher from LEAP Academy in Midlothian, said the school only brought a small group, but they had a good time.

“They had an idea of what areas they were interested in, so we visited those,” Smith said. “The students did enjoy those areas.”

John Tanner, CTE teacher at Cleburne’s Team School, brought about 20 students to the event. He said they also enjoyed it.

“The students had a good time,” he said. “I think they learned a lot.”

All of TSTC’s programs participated in the event.

“The programs were doing a sort of show-and-tell,” Gaspard said. “So they’re showing the equipment and tools, but they’re also doing different types of competitions in their labs. Industrial Maintenance had cranes and were showing the students how the hydraulics and all these different parts equal out to what you do in the field. They’re doing that while moving building blocks, and whoever stacks them the tallest wins.”

Gaspard said one of the most popular sessions of the day was the “TSTC Experience.”

“That was the session where students could learn more about what we offer, the programs and how to apply,” she said. “We were at capacity every session.”

Another aspect the students loved was the game room.

“We had some fun games, like one where you have to move a cookie from your forehead into your mouth without using your hands,” Gaspard said. “Students loved it!”

TSTC will begin registering students for the summer and fall semesters on Monday, April 2. For more information on the college, visit