Student Profile – Daniel Reyes

(HARLINGEN) – Daniel Reyes, Student Success ProfileHarlingen native Daniel Reyes is a Welding Technology student at Texas State Technical College. He expects to earn his third associate degree this semester.

His other associate degrees were earned in Auto Collision Technology and Automotive Technology in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

When the 26-year-old isn’t in the classroom, he is an active member of several TSTC student organizations, such as Advanced Leadership Academy, Intramural Sports Club, SkillsUSA, Veteran Students Alliance Club and Catholic Campus Ministries. Reyes is also the SGA senator for the Industrial Manufacturing division.

What are your plans after graduation?

After I graduate this spring, I hope to get a job in the automotive industry and gain some experience in my field and save money to open a business. Eventually I want to return to TSTC to get an associate degree in Business Management Technology.

What’s your dream job?

My dream is to open a business in Harlingen that will include automotive and welding services.

What has been your greatest accomplishment while at TSTC?

My greatest accomplishment is, honestly, getting this far and being able to earn multiple degrees. For me, school is fun and I love learning the skills I need to be successful one day. My goal is to leave TSTC as well-rounded as possible in my field.

What greatest lesson have you learned about yourself or life?

The greatest lesson I have learned may sound cliche, but it’s to never give up. Life has a way of knocking you down sometimes. For me, I never had enough money to eat, so I would literally go days without food. But thanks to the TSTC Student Center food pantry, I was able to pick myself up each time and keep pushing forward and working toward my goals.

Who at TSTC has had the greatest influence on your success?

The people who have had the greatest influence on my success are Library Technician Gamaliel Sauceda, New Student Orientation Coordinator Larissa Moreno and Student Life Coordinator Belinda Palomino. Each one of these people has touched my life in different ways with encouragement, advice and support.

What is your advice for future TSTC students?

My advice for future TSTC students is that when you take your first step into TSTC, choose a major you are passionate about and focus on everything the instructors are teaching you because all of it is going to lead to a successful career someday.

 

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 tstc.edu/openhouse. To learn more about the college and its programs, visit tstc.edu.

Ag Mechanics Winners Receive TSTC Scholarships

(WACO) – Several Bosqueville High School students received scholarships to Texas State Technical College at the recent McLennan County Junior Livestock Show’s Ag Mechanics Competition.

Bosqueville FFA students were the contest’s overall grand champions with team members receiving $1,000 scholarships and reserve grand champion winners getting $500 scholarships.

“This is an awesome opportunity for the students in our county, as well as those from Bosqueville High School,” said Charles Prause, a Bosqueville agricultural science teacher and superintendent of the agricultural mechanics show. “Many of our students might not have the financial resources to attend college after graduation to pursue a career in a desired trade skill. TSTC has made that possible by awarding scholarships. We appreciate the partnerships we have established with TSTC.”

Division grand winners received $500 scholarships and division reserve winners were given $250 scholarships. Students from Bosqueville, Gholson, Lorena, Midway and Robinson high schools and the University of Texas – University Charter School at the Methodist Children’s Home placed in these divisions.

All of the scholarships are only for use at TSTC.

“We want to support local McLennan County agriculture programs, student projects and the agriculture industry,” said Trey Pearson, a TSTC recruitment coordinator.

The event was held Friday, Feb. 9, at the Extraco Events Center in Waco. More than 120 students from several county high schools entered 47 projects for outdoor cooking, livestock, farm machinery and other areas of agriculture. All students who attended the event received TSTC bags, and all counselors received an upscale TSTC bag.

This is the third year the mechanics show has been held, though the junior livestock show has operated since the early 1980s.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.

Student Profile – Carlos Gamboa

(HARLINGEN) – Carlos GamboaCarlos Gamboa is an Education and Training student at Texas State Technical College. The La Feria native expects to graduate Spring 2019 with his associate degree.

When the 19-year-old is not busying studying he can be found at the TSTC Wellness and Sports Center volunteering with the Intramural Sports Club.

What are your plans after graduation?

After I graduate I plan on transferring to Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio to get my bachelor’s degree in education.

What’s your dream job?

My dream job is to teach history and coach high school tennis. I played tennis in high school and earned a most-valuable-player award for the district and was a four-time district champ. I want to help other students succeed at the sport also.

What has been your greatest accomplishment while at TSTC?

My greatest accomplishment so far was passing my first semester of college. I was intimidated and had doubts, but I did it. It gave me confidence and made me realize that I could do it. It was a proud moment for me.

What greatest lesson have you learned about yourself or life?

I’ve learned not to give up. Sometimes I’ll fail or lose, but the key is to keep going and keep trying to grow.

Who has had the most influence on your success?

The people who have had the most influence on my success are my parents and my friends. They are all my biggest supporters and are always cheering me on and motivating me to do the best I can.

What is your advice for future TSTC students?

My advice for future TSTC students is to always work toward your goals. It’s going to be a challenging path, but so worth it in the end.

TSTC’S Decade Old Event “Tech Day” Fast Approaching

(HARLINGEN) – For more than a decade Texas State Technical College has been hosting Tech Day, an event focused on high school seniors and their interest in attending TSTC.

On March 1, TSTC will host approximately 1,000 high school seniors from across the Rio Grande Valley for program tours, admission and financial aid advisement, lunch and door prizes.

“Every year we’re so excited to host this event. It continues to grow,” said TSTC Director of Student Recruitment Dora Colvin.

TSTC Tech Day

More than 15 school districts have already confirmed attendance, some coming as far away as Laredo.

The four-hour event will showcase the campus and its technical programs such as Mechatronics, Computer Science, Engineering, Allied Health and Culinary Arts and help students better understand what TSTC is all about and what it offers.

“Tech Day is a tradition for us and those we invite,” said Colvin. “Educators and counselors look forward to sending their students to this event every year and we look forward to welcoming them on campus. It gives us the opportunity to teach them about TSTC and introduce them to our staff and faculty.”

Also readily available to answer questions or give students advice during the event are admissions, financial aid, campus housing representatives and current TSTC students.

“Meeting TSTC students first-hand gives these seniors a glimpse into college life and what it would be like to attend TSTC,” Colvin added.TSTC Tech Day

Students who attend Tech Day, a statewide event also known as TSTC Open House, have already shown interest in a technical education and/or applied to TSTC.

In addition to tours and enrollment and financial advice, all high school seniors will be treated to a lunch, door prizes and scholarship drawings at TSTC’s Wellness and Sports Center.

“We hope we can encourage these students to complete the admissions process and become TSTC students,” said Colvin. “Our job is to get them into a program they love and open doors of opportunity for them into high-paying jobs with a two-year degree.”

Colvin added that every year Tech Day not only serves as a chance to pump up students about college and TSTC, but to also celebrate every senior who is about to become a high school graduate.

For more information on programs at TSTC or campus tours, visit tstc.edu.

 

TSTC Offers Students First Advanced Leadership Academy

(HARLINGEN) – Created by popular demand, Texas State Technical College’s Student Life has launched an Advanced Leadership Academy, an extension of TSTC’s long-running Student Leadership Academy.

“Students were graduating from the Student Leadership Academy quickly and asking me what’s next,” said Student Life Coordinator Belinda Palomino. “We needed another program so we got working on it.”

The Student Leadership Academy was created to instill in students relevant skills and knowledge essential to the achievement of excellence in leadership and founded on the values of integrity, service, communication and innovation.

Recent Student Leadership Academy graduate, a requirement to be part of the advanced academy, and Welding Technology student Daniel Reyes is now a member of the new advanced academy and said he is looking forward to completing the program.

TSTC Advanced Leadership Academy

Alexandra Lugo (right) with other TSTC student leaders.

“We’ve all helped each other become better leaders and people in the academy,” said Reyes. “It has helped me build confidence in my leadership skills and take charge during class projects and community services events. I can’t wait to see what the advanced academy has in store.”

To become a graduate of the Student Leadership Academy, a perquisite to the Advanced Leadership Academy, students must attend the annual Student Leadership Conference, at least six leadership workshops such as Characteristics of an Effective Leader, Servant Leadership and Integrity and Ethics and four additional workshops offered throughout the year.

“Daniel runs the show now. He’s an active member in several student clubs and is always there when we need his help,” said Palomino. “It’s great seeing him and other students like him grow as leaders.

To complete the Advanced Leadership Academy,  students like Reyes and Business Management Technology and Mathematics student Alexandra Lugo,the must complete a community service project as a group, attend an academy orientation and two check-in meetings. There are currently seven students enrolled in the new program.

“We’re pretty ambitious and hope to complete a large-scale project that will impact and benefit the community,” said Lugo. “Our goal is to make a difference.”

Lugo added that before completing the Student Leadership Academy she struggled with being outgoing and although it was not always easy putting herself out there, becoming active around campus has been the best decision she has ever made.

“When I graduate I want to go into management and everything I am learning during my time in the academy will also help me after college and in my career,” said Lugo.

Palomino said she is so proud of all of her students who participate in the both academies.

“Being a part of either academy is not a requirement as a student at TSTC, which means these student do it because they want to,” said Palomino. “They find it in their hearts to better themselves and make a difference. We have some great students.”

For more information on the Student Leadership Academy or the Advanced Leadership Academy call 956-364-4370.

For information on programs offered at TSTC, visit tstc.edu.    

TSTC Student Receives Guitar Once Used by Famous Rock Band

(SWEETWATER) – In the wake of the Bluebonnet Inn dorm fire at Texas State Technical College in Sweetwater, one student had a special request. Isaiah Ornelaz, an Automotive Technology student and avid guitar player, just wanted his guitar replaced.

When TSTC employees heard of the request, Rene Ralston, TSTC’s director of Dual Enrollment programs, made a post on her personal Facebook page, asking if anyone might have a guitar they would be willing to donate. She soon had a response.

Maggie Dickey, owner of Sweetwater Performing Arts Center and wife of the late David Dickey, bassist of the band America, told Ralston she might have a guitar for Ornelaz.

“When we asked Maggie if she was sure she wanted to do this, her answer was, ‘electric or acoustic?,’” Ralston said. “Maggie took the guitar to Abilene on Saturday, had new strings put on it, had it tuned and bought Isaiah a new guitar case.”

Ornelaz said he mentioned the guitar in conversation with TSTC employees he talks to often.

“I talk to them a lot, so they knew I play the guitar,” he said. “When the fire happened, I was like, ‘Aw, I lost my guitar,’ and later they asked me if I had an electric or acoustic.”

The guitar was presented to Ornelaz on Monday at a gathering TSTC Chancellor Mike Reeser held to speak to the students affected by the fire.

“I’m a guitar player, too, and I want you to know that if I lost one of my guitars in a fire, I would really be upset,” Reeser told Ornelaz. “I happened to hear this morning that there are some employees trying to make sure you get your guitar. I knew David Dickey, and he’s quite literally a rock star. He’s the real deal.”

Ornelaz was shocked to receive the gift.

“I was pretty surprised,” he said. “I just thought he knew I played guitar and was talking about it, and then they showed up with a guitar.”

He wasted no time in playing and even looked up music by America, whose music he hadn’t previously heard.

“I played it all last night. It’s awesome,” he said. “I looked up some songs [by America.] They’re pretty good. I’ll listen to them quite a bit now.”

David Dickey, a Sweetwater resident since 1996, joined America in 1972. The band produced hits like “A Horse with No Name,” “Ventura Highway,” “Hat Trick” and “Sister Golden Hair.”

In all, 28 students were left without their belongings because of the dorm fire. The college and the community have rallied together to recoup the students’ lost items and necessities like clothing and books.

Those interested in donating to the students can give to the Sweetwater Fire Emergency Relief Fund at foundation.tstc.edu.

TSTC, Community Offer Support to TSTC Students Affected by Fire

(SWEETWATER) – Texas State Technical College Chancellor Mike Reeser met with students affected by the Feb. 7 Bluebonnet Inn dorm fire on the Sweetwater campus at a 2 p.m. gathering today.

Chancellor Reeser reiterated his support for the students.

“When you enroll in TSTC, you become family,” he told the students. “When tragedy happens, a family gathers together. This meeting is to continue that opportunity for you to know that we care. We’re here for you.”

Reeser said the college will do whatever it can to help students stay on track.

“We’re going to make sure that we do everything in our power to make sure you reach the goal you set — to be a technician in a high-paying field,” he said. “We’re going to do all that we can to make sure this tragedy doesn’t deter you, and the way we’re going to do that is with our support for you.”

While no one was injured in the fire, the dorm and the students’ belongings inside were a total loss. TSTC provided books and tools to the students affected, and elected officials, TSTC supporters, area colleges, businesses, churches and community members from the region have generously offered assistance.

At the meeting, the students were presented with gift cards from Trinity Baptist Church, 4th & Elm Church of Christ and Goodwill-West Texas’ Grounds Division to help replace lost possessions. EMA Electromechanics also made a donation to help the students.

“The community really responded,” said TSTC Provost Rick Denbow. “In less than a week’s time, we’ve had a lot of people reach out. We’re still getting calls asking how they can help the students.”

Rep. Stan Lambert​,​ District 71 (R-Abilene)​,​ also spoke to the students.

“We are concerned, and we’re trying to put ourselves in your shoes and understand what you’re going through right now — not just the loss of physical possessions, but some of the emotions and mental issues that you may be dealing with right now,” Lambert said. “The state of Texas is going to step up and do anything that we can to help you in this recovery effort.”

Lambert said he hopes to help ease the students’ hardship.

“I live in Abilene just east of here,” he said. “What I tell parents who send their children to colleges, and even the Dyess airmen, I tell them, ‘They’re ours now. We’ve adopted them.’ We’ve adopted you, because you’re part of the Big Country. You’re part of our family. I want you to know that we’re committed to do anything we possibly can to help you make this transition as soon as possible and ease your burden.”

Those interested in donating to the students can give to the Sweetwater Fire Emergency Relief Fund at foundation.tstc.edu.

Local Ladies Group Votes to Give TSTC Scholarships

(BRECKENRIDGE) – The Stephens Memorial Hospital “Pink Ladies” auxiliary club of Breckenridge has voted to give two $500 scholarships to Vocational Nursing students at Texas State Technical College.

The group gave their first TSTC scholarship last year, and this year they have expanded it to two scholarships.

“Many of our past students are employed at the hospital, clinics and home health agencies in our community, so helping with scholarships spreads goodwill,” said TSTC nursing instructor Marchelle Taylor. “In doubling the scholarship, two students may receive benefits, and that generosity filters out into the community.”

Donna Pardee, president of the Pink Ladies, said the group loves doing things to help the hospital, and that is why they chose to give the scholarship to nursing students.

“We love doing things for the hospital and the community,” Pardee said. “Every penny we make through fundraising goes right back to the hospital. We don’t keep any of it. This scholarship seemed to be the best way to help a local nursing student in need.”

The scholarships will help students with financial hardships.

“Many of our students live in the surrounding rural areas, so gas and transportation may be an issue,” Taylor said. “Our clinicals are also up to 60 miles away twice a week, so gas money can become an issue. Scholarships may also help students with child care, meals, books and scrubs.”

The group will give one scholarship in the fall and the other in the spring.

“We are hoping to expand the amount next year,” Pardee said. “We realize that it costs a lot to go to college and some of these kids don’t get any help, so we are hoping to help the community.”

Students interested in applying for the scholarships can contact Taylor at marchelle.taylor@tstc.edu.

The deadline to apply for TSTC’s nursing program is approaching soon. Students interested in starting the program this fall must apply to the school online and send in their program application packet by Monday, April 2.

To apply, or for more information on the program, visit tstc.edu.

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 tstc.edu/openhouse. For more information, call 940-447-7714.