Author Archives: Daniel Perry

TSTC Graduate Upholds Mission to Serve and Protect

(WACO, Texas) – Henry Herring of Temple has gone from serving and defending our country to protecting technology networks throughout Texas.

Herring, a 2018 graduate of Texas State Technical College’s Cyber Security and Digital Forensics Specialist programs in Waco, is director of security operations at Sentinel Cyber Intelligence in downtown Waco.

“This is not just a job,” Herring said. “This is a lifestyle and something you need to have a passion for.”

Sentinel Cyber Intelligence was founded in 2015 and specializes in digital forensics, cyber security and private investigations. Most of its clients are city and county governments and school districts throughout the state.

“The more technology develops, the more we are going to have our hands in it,” Herring said. “There will always be someone out there who needs protection.”

Herring spent more than 15 years in the U.S. Army working with tactical communications.

“Back then, we had some low-tech and high-tech stuff,” he said. “We had AM radios we had to transmit with.”

Jonathan Owens, a TSTC Cyber Security instructor, encouraged Herring to consider Sentinel for professional experience.

“He was a great student and is a wonderful person who strives to excel at each task and create relations with each person he meets,” Owens said. “He continues to challenge himself, and he now shows his TSTC spirit by helping TSTC students get local internships at Sentinel Cyber Intelligence.”

The business usually has five TSTC interns at a time working around their class schedules.

“We try to find interns with longevity,” Herring said. “We like them to have at least a year to train them. Here, this is not textbook because these are live clients. We do a lot of research on the stuff that is coming through and the latest threats.”

Owens said he welcomes opportunities for high-achieving students to work at Sentinel.

“It is always a great thing to receive an email from Richard Martin (a Sentinel co-managing partner) or Henry asking for new interns,” Owens said. “Richard and Henry provide inspiration and direction to each intern, building on the foundation that TSTC provides.”

Michael Mata, a Cyber Security major from Waco, is currently a Sentinel intern.

“They have taught me a lot of different software and programs,” Mata said. “They have shown me how to use open-source services. I feel security is at the top of people’s minds. We have to know our job and how people can exploit the systems. Malicious hackers are becoming more common.”

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to


TSTC, High Schools Prepare for SkillsUSA National Conference

(WACO, Texas) – Some high school students from Central and Southeast Texas spent Thursday and Friday at Texas State Technical College, where they worked with TSTC students to perfect their hands-on skills in preparation for a national contest.

The students from Belton High School and the Pasadena Independent School District’s Dr. Kirk Lewis Career & Technical High School in Houston, along with participating TSTC students, are gearing up to compete in the 55th annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference on June 24-28 in Louisville, Kentucky.

The students won the right to compete nationally after winning gold medals at their respective  state-level contests earlier this spring.

Belton High School sent its four-person TeamWorks group to work alongside TSTC’s TeamWorks group in building mock structures with plumbing fixtures, electrical components, masonry and a mini-roof.

The electrician for TSTC’s TeamWorks group, Leonardo Mata of Fort Worth, said an added challenge to the two days was working with an alternate because a team member was unable to make the practices.

“It kind of made us see our differences, and we knew where to fill in the gaps,” Mata said.

This will be Mata’s first trip to the national competition. He said he looks forward to representing TSTC and showing others how talented the students are.

Students from TSTC and the Houston school also did a mock contest in preparation for SkillsUSA’s Carpentry competition.

On another part of campus, students from TSTC and the Houston school worked on their techniques to prepare for the Collision Repair Technology contest.

Alfredo Rodriguez, a senior at the Houston school, said he enjoyed using equipment he had not worked with before. One of the skills he learned from TSTC’s Auto Collision and Management Technology faculty was nitrogen plastic welding.

Rodriguez said he hopes the knowledge he learned will give him an advantage over other students at the national conference.

“It should be an experience,” he said.

For more on SkillsUSA, go to

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to

TSTC Hosts Mock Interview Sessions for Students

(WACO, Texas) – More than 30 Texas State Technical College students have become better prepared for job hunting after practicing their interview skills on Wednesday and Thursday.

TSTC’s Career Services office hosted an interview practicum at the Murray Watson Jr. Student Recreation Center on the Waco campus for students to sit down with area business recruiters and TSTC staff for mock interview sessions.

“Many of our students have not had an interview before, and this event is a great opportunity for them to get practice in doing so,” said Jose Muniz, a Career Services director.

After the sessions were completed, TSTC staff and area business people filled out forms highlighting the students’ strengths and areas to improve on.

Joe Razza, a regional recruiter at Crown Lift Trucks in Arlington, said he liked the students’ demeanors, but some of them had difficulty talking about their hands-on experiences at TSTC.

“We are setting them up for success,” Razza said.

Mick Henry, a Precision Machining Technology major from Waco, participated in the interviews because he wants a great-paying job after graduation.

“The first two interviews were definitely informative,” Henry said. “I got help on my resume. On the third interview with Mr. Razza, I learned about the employers’ perspective with interviews.”

Jesus Acevedo, an Instrumentation Technology major from Gholson, said his interviewers liked his eye contact.

“It went better and better as I went along,” Acevedo said. “I grew more positive and less nervous.”

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to


Women in TSTC Instrumentation Technology Program Hope to Inspire Others

(WACO, Texas) – The city of Glen Rose in Somervell County has proven to be an inspirational place for Texas State Technical College student Iris De La Fuente.

De La Fuente, an Instrumentation Technology major, once worked as a painting foreman at Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant in Glen Rose. Hearing the success stories of TSTC alumni working at the power plant motivated her to go to college for the first time.

“Everyone is helpful here at (TSTC),” De La Fuente said. “You have so many tools to be successful here. This is the best decision of my life.”

De La Fuente and classmates Brittany Cobb of Weatherford and Cara Conte of Kenai, Alaska, are all working toward the Associate of Applied Science degree in Instrumentation Technology at TSTC. Instrumentation is the science of measurement and control of flows, levels, temperatures, pressures or other variables used in industry in process control.

“Iris, Cara and Brittany are going to be our best ambassadors,” said Linda Martin, an instructor in TSTC’s Instrumentation Technology program in Waco. “They are going to be making a good living, and other women will see that.”

The students have already done internships at Comanche Peak, earning valuable in-the-field experience.

“They put you to work one-on-one with a technician,” said De La Fuente. “You learn what you will see in the next semester.”

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected more than 14,000 electromechanical technician jobs being available by 2026. Electromechanical technicians can work in the aviation,  energy, machine manufacturing, robotics and other fields, according to

“The only way to get more females in the program is to get more females,” Martin said. “Once they graduate, others can see that and realize they can do it also. Most of the women we have here are coming into the program from other jobs.”

De La Fuente is the first in her family to go to college, while Conte is the first to attend a technical college in her family.

Conte worked in the oil fields of Alaska as a cook and housekeeper before coming to TSTC. She said Martin is one of her biggest influences in pursuing a job in the instrumentation field.

“I can go to her and tell her what I am thinking,” Conte said.

Although Cobb has a bachelor’s degree in theater performance, she was encouraged to pursue instrumentation while working at Comanche Peak as a pumps setup and contamination control contract laborer.

“I liked the hands-on work,” Cobb said. “I would get in a tank and get covered in dirt.”

During this period, Cobb happened to meet a TSTC graduate from the Instrumentation Technology program who also had a theater degree.

“I needed formal training to get a skill set,” Cobb said. “I definitely feel like I made the right decision.”

Conte said it helps having an inquisitive nature and appreciation for the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields when choosing to study instrumentation technology.

“I think you have to go in with the mentality of it being hands-on and something different daily,” she said.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to

TSTC Students Set to Compete in First National SkillsUSA Competition

(WACO, Texas) – Two Mechanical/Electrical Drafting Technology students at Texas State Technical College will be the first to represent the Waco campus in the Additive Manufacturing contest at the 55th annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in late June in Kentucky.

Brandon Lund of Millsap and Cody White of China Spring were put together as a team by their instructor, Bryan Clark. Clark said he liked Lund’s interest in 3D printing and White’s machining background.

The students will find out what their competition project is during the conference’s contest orientation.

“We have the best of both worlds,” Clark said.

Lund and White earned their way to the national conference by placing first in the SkillsUSA Texas Postsecondary State Leadership and Skills Conference in April in Waco. During the state Additive Manufacturing contest, the students had to design, print and demonstrate a coin-flipping apparatus. Their project had to be 3D printed in less than two hours.

The students went through nine prototypes before finding a winning combination.

“As they would discover a problem, they would log it,” Clark said.

Lund said he became interested at age 18 in 3D printing, a component of additive manufacturing, when he saw it being used for a video game prop.

“You need spatial awareness,” he said. “You have to visualize something in 2D and 3D at the same time.”

White has an Associate of Applied Science degree in Precision Machining Technology from TSTC and said after working in the field for less than a year that he wanted to get technical drafting experience. He said he had never used a 3D printer before coming to TSTC.

“You want to understand how products will be made,” he said. “You need to be concerned with machine time with 3D printing.”

Clark said the students have plenty to be excited about in the future of 3D printing.

“These guys will be incredibly valuable,” Clark said. “The need for people to model and design in the virtual world is becoming more necessary.”

The military and the automotive, construction and health care industries are some of the areas where 3D printing is being used.

“The whole industry is in a phase of dramatic growth,” Clark said. “There will come a day when you have a 3D printer like you do a microwave.”

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to

TSTC Students Set to Compete in First National SkillsUSA Competition

TSTC Instructors Named AWS Educate Cloud Ambassadors

(WACO, Texas) – Three instructors in Texas State Technical College’s Cloud Computing program were recently named Amazon Web Services (AWS) Educate Cloud Ambassadors.

Andy Kroll, Clint Pate and Rus Teston went through an application process and created a video explaining their philosophy in promoting cloud computing education.

“It’s an honor to be accepted,” Teston said. “As Amazon is growing, they are expanding their own avenues where the cream rises to the top. To be part of the inaugural class of these ambassadors, that is a special thing.”

Some of the benefits of being named AWS Educate Cloud Ambassadors include special AWS training events, conference discounts and scheduled talks with AWS service personnel and solutions architects.

“They invite instructors to sit with the AWS corporate course development team to get input in the education arena,” Teston said. “Being part of the ambassadors gives us a peek under the covers. We can understand what is coming down the pike before everyone else does.”

TSTC’s program enables students to graduate with AWS Cloud Practitioner and AWS Solutions Architect certifications.

Kroll said students can earn other Amazon certifications on their own. He said the program’s students have earned more than 40 AWS certifications in the last seven semesters.

The program will have a revamped curriculum starting this fall that will utilize competency-based education starting this fall, Kroll said. Some of the courses students will take include Introduction to DevOps Engineering, Introduction to Infrastructure Automation and Advanced Infrastructure Automation.

“The students get a world-class education,” Kroll said.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to

TSTC Instructors Named AWS Educate Cloud Ambassadors


TSTC Student Restaurant to Open June 12

(WACO, Texas) – Texas State Technical College’s Culinary Arts program opens its student-operated restaurant for the summer semester on Wednesday, June 12.

The restaurant, which is located at the Greta W. Watson Culinary Arts Center on Campus Drive, is open to the public by reservation. Diners can choose from dishes planned and prepared by students and based on regional cuisines.

Meals are served from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays from June 12 to Aug. 9. The restaurant will be closed the week of the Fourth of July. The serving days and themes, which can be subject to change, are:

June 12 and June 14: Texas

June 19 and June 21: Brazil

June 26 and June 28: Greece

July 10 and July 12: Cajun

July 17 and July 19: Mexico

July 24 and July 26: Southern

July 31 and Aug. 2: Indian

Aug. 7 and Aug. 9: Live-action Buffet

Weekly menus will be posted on the Facebook page for the Greta W. Watson Culinary Arts Center at TSTC.

To make reservations, call 254-867-4868 or email Visitors must arrive at least 15 minutes before their seating time. Reservations are not accepted on restaurant serving days.

For menus and other information, go to

TSTC Auto Collision Students, Alumnus Receive Recognitions

(WACO, Texas) – Two students and a recent graduate of the Auto Collision and Management Technology program at Texas State Technical College have been nationally honored for their academic work.

Edward Hernandez of Killeen and Jennifer Watson of Moody are U.S. military veterans who received 3M Hire Our Heroes tool grants valued at $4,500 each. Hernandez also received a $2,000 scholarship from the 3M Hire Our Heroes fund.

Hernandez is studying in TSTC’s refinishing specialization. He said receiving the tools is a relief.

“Now you just worry about getting the job and starting work right away,” he said.

Hernandez came to TSTC because he always wanted to learn how to paint vehicles.

“This is my second life right now,” he said.

Watson was a helicopter mechanic in the Army and worked at DynCorp (now DynCorp International) before coming to TSTC.

“Coming into a completely new career, I realized the tools I have are not useful,” she said. “I have to build a new tool inventory now. For me, it’s a passion.”

Samuel Patterson of Waxahachie graduated from TSTC’s Auto Collision and Management Technology program in April.

He recently received a Sears Votech tool grant, which includes an industry-size toolbox. He was surprised when he opened his new toolbox and saw an assortment of drill bits, wrenches, sockets and other items.

“I am stoked, really excited,” Patterson said.

He said in five years he wants to start his own collision, repair and refinishing shop.

“The main thing is I just want to work for myself,” Patterson said.

The recognitions are sponsored by the 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division and the Collision Repair Education Foundation.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to

TSTC Auto Collision Students, Alumnus Receive Recognitions


TSTC in Marshall ELT Program Hosts Longview Boy for Up-close Visit

(MARSHALL, Texas) – Members of Texas State Technical College’s Electrical Lineworker Technology program on Monday gave a Longview boy an afternoon he will not soon forget.

Five-year-old Luke Harris received his own lineworker helmet and a TSTC Electrical Lineworker Technology poster from the faculty and students. The youngster learned how to operate a digger truck and run wire up a pole. He also gave directions to the students during a pole circle exercise.

“You can never begin too young to have an impact from an education standpoint,” said Eric Carithers, statewide chair for TSTC’s Electrical Lineworker Technology program.

Harris’ visit stemmed from a photograph his father, Matthew Harris, took of his son with a lineworker from Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) working in his neighborhood on May 11. SWEPCO workers were restoring power after a storm with straight-line winds caused more than 70,000 power outages in the area on May 8, said Mark Robinson, a SWEPCO external affairs manager in Longview.

The elder Harris noticed his son looking out the window at the activity taking place near their house. He said his son has been interested in power poles and likes climbing, especially up trees.

“Luke pops out, and he’s got his own little lineman outfit put together that his brother helped him with,” the elder Harris said.

Luke’s father said he could go in the front yard and wave the lineworkers.

Robinson came across the photo on social media and took some promotional items from SWEPCO to the younger Harris and his siblings and asked if the photo could be shared on the company’s Facebook page.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to

TSTC in Marshall ELT Program Hosts Longview Boy for Up-close Visit

TSTC Celebrates Moon Walk With Lecture, Book Signing

(WACO, Texas) – In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing, Texas State Technical College will present a lecture and book signing by Douglas Brinkley, author of “American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race.”

The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 24, 2019, in the auditorium of TSTC’s John B. Connally Technology Center at the corner of Crest Drive and Campus Drive in Waco.

The Apollo 11 space mission occurred eight years after President John F. Kennedy announced a national goal of landing a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s.

In 1969 the late Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon. As he stepped out of the Apollo 11 spacecraft, his words reverberated around his home planet some 238,900 miles away: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Brinkley is the Katherine Tsanoff Brown Chair in Humanities and professor of history at Rice University, a CNN presidential historian, and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. 

In the world of public history, he serves on boards, at museums, at colleges, and for historical societies. The Chicago Tribune dubbed him “America’s New Past Master.” The New-York Historical Society has chosen Brinkley as its official U.S. Presidential Historian.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to

TSTC Celebrates Moon Walk With Lecture, Book Signing