Category Archives: West Texas

TSTC Student Strives to Set Example for Siblings

(BROWNWOOD, Texas) – Not many people know exactly what they want to do before they graduate from high school, but Texas State Technical College student Ethan Saucedo had a game plan since his junior year. 

 

“TSTC came to our school, and I knew they had a good program. So I visited TSTC and met with Ms. Renee, the instructor, and I just knew this was where I wanted to be,” Saucedo said. 

 

Saucedo is now a first-semester student in the Computer Networking and Systems Administration program at the Brownwood campus. He is also the first in his family to go to college. 

 

“I have a lot of younger cousins and two younger siblings, and I want to set a good example and encourage them to pursue college,” he said.

 

While earning his associate degree, Saucedo is commuting over 70 miles a day from his hometown in Eden to attend classes.

 

“I want to better myself and do good for my family, so you just have to do what it takes to get the work done,” Saucedo said. 

 

Saucedo’s work ethic has not gone unnoticed. His instructor, Renee Blackshear, says she is very impressed with what he has already accomplished and is looking forward to what he will do. 

 

“Ethan is a great kid. He works hard and has such a positive attitude. He is planning on competing for us in SkillsUSA, and I think he will do very well and grow even more,” Blackshear said. 

 

Although he has only been with TSTC for one semester, Saucedo is already excited for what the future holds.

 

“I’m really glad I’m here. I’m excited to compete in SkillsUSA, and graduate and eventually find the right job,” Saucedo said. “I would encourage anyone to look at TSTC because I really enjoy my program.”

 

Registration for the Spring 2020 semester is underway. For more information about TSTC, go online at tstc.edu.

Ethan Saucedo is a Texas State Technical College student in the Computer Networking and Systems Administration program at the Brownwood campus. He is the first in his family to attend college. 

 

Student Veteran Earns Two Degrees at TSTC

(ABILENE, Texas) – Why stop at one college degree when having two is twice as nice? 

 

Texas State Technical College student and Army veteran Devan Moore is earning his second degree at TSTC and is expected to graduate this December. He graduated from the Sweetwater campus in 2018 with an associate degree in Wind Energy Technology and is now pursuing an associate degree in Industrial Systems at the Abilene campus. 

 

“I wanted to make sure I found the career that was perfect for me, so I decided to earn the second degree to make sure I could find the company and type of work that I would love,” Moore said. 

 

Moore enrolled at TSTC right after leaving the Army in 2016. Upon completing his first degree, he immediately reenrolled for the second degree. 

 

“I’m excited to be done with school, but I’m very proud of what I have accomplished,” Moore said. “I’m interviewing for the right job, and as I tell employers everything I am learning and have learned, it seems to impress them because the programs are so comprehensive.”

 

One of Moore’s favorite things about his time at TSTC is the relationship he has built with fellow veterans, classmates and TSTC Veteran Services representative Annette Collins.

 

“Annette is a rock star. She makes sure we have everything we need for our benefits and allows us to focus on learning and getting that degree. And that allows me to build up these friendships with other veterans and then be available to offer advice to the younger guys in class,” Moore said. 

 

For Collins, seeing the veterans succeed is what makes her day.

 

“Those students are my babies. I think of them as my children, so it makes me so proud to see them working hard and doing so well,” Collins said. 

 

Collins is a 20-year Air Force veteran. 

 

She and Moore both agree that TSTC is a great place for veterans to continue their education. 

 

“There is a lot going on when you leave the military, and it’s hard to feel normal again. But this environment, where you get to work with your hands and be around other people who understand what you’re going through, is awesome,” Moore said.  

 

  For more information about TSTC, log on to tstc.edu.

Texas State Technical College student veteran Devan Moore is pursuing his second degree at TSTC. He is expected to graduate with an Associate of Applied Science degree in the Industrial Systems program. 

 

TSTC Combines Art and Technology for Project With Abilene Cultural Affairs Council

(ABILENE, Texas) –  Texas State Technical College has partnered with the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council to help create the newest addition to the Adamson-Spalding Storybook Garden in Abilene. 

 

Three metal panels of sculptural vines standing about 7 feet tall and titled “Cardinal Vines” will be added to the garden in 2020. On the vines will be representations of 21 cardinals, and the leaves can be engraved to honor someone special. 

 

 

TSTC Architectural Design and Engineering Graphics Technology instructor Magaly Valdez designed the vine panels, and student Justin Morrow designed the cardinals and leaves.

 

“This was an awesome opportunity to show what the Architectural Design program can do and a great way for us to give back to the community,” Valdez said. 

 

Morrow is an Abilene native and said he felt honored to be part of the process.

 

“I think it’s really cool to take what I’ve learned in class and apply it to a project for my community,” Morrow said. 

 

The idea for the project was presented to TSTC by Lynn Barnett, Abilene Cultural Affairs Council executive director, and Pam Tippen, co-chairperson of the Storybook Garden. 

 

“The ‘Cardinal Vines’ is an opportunity to allow the community to honor a loved one and be part of bettering the Abilene area,” Barnett said “This was Pam Tippen’s brainchild, and I am very excited for what TSTC has done for us and for what this will mean for the community.”

 

The “Cardinal Vines” project is part of a fundraiser for the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council to install more lighting in the Storybook Garden and be able to provide more opportunities for the community to gather. 

 

“This project and so many others are not possible without the help of so many talented people. The community is so amazing in providing their skill set, and we are so thankful for TSTC’s willingness to be part of this,” Tippen said.   

 

“Cardinal Vines” is expected to be unveiled during the Children’s Art & Literacy Festival next spring. 

 

For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

Texas State Technical College instructor Magaly Valdez and associate provost Justin Price (standing), along with Pam Tippen and Lynn Barnett (seated), visit the site where the three panels will be installed in 2020.

 

TSTC to Offer Paramedic Program in Spring

(BROWNWOOD, Texas) – Texas State Technical College will offer a certificate and an associate of applied science degree in Emergency Medical Services Paramedic at the Brownwood campus beginning next semester. 

 

“We are very excited to offer the paramedic program at the Brownwood campus and believe this will be a great opportunity for local community members,” Andy Weaver,  TSTC director of EMS and division director of Allied Health Services, said. 

 

While the paramedic program was offered at the Brownwood campus over 10 years ago, TSTC phased it out due to lack of interest. With rising job demand and need for those with paramedic licenses, the program has been brought back. 

 

“There is a huge need in this community for paramedics, and now we can fill that need and allow our students to further their career path in their hometown area without having to commute or transfer,” Stephen Sharp, instructor for EMS at the Brownwood campus, said. 

 

TSTC is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Educational Programs and recently received approval to teach the paramedic program at the Brownwood campus. 

 

“We are so excited and ready for this program to get started. We have the right staff and the right equipment to serve these students at the highest standard,” Weaver said. 

 

The paramedic program is now offered at the Abilene, Brownwood and Harlingen campuses.

 

Sharp encourages anyone interested in attending the paramedic program at the Brownwood campus to attend an information session hosted every Tuesday at 2 p.m.

 

“My door is always open to provide information about this career field because it such a rewarding field. If you feel called to this line of work and are ready to work hard and help people, we want you,” Sharp said. 

 

Registration for the Spring 2020 semester is underway. For more information about TSTC, go online at tstc.edu.

Texas State Technical College will offer a paramedic program in spring of 2020 at the Brownwood campus. 

 

TSTC Students Volunteer With Houses for Healing

(ABILENE, Texas) – When someone is in need, you can count on Texas State Technical College students to answer the call. 

 

On Friday morning, more than 25 TSTC students, faculty and staff, along with some of their family members, volunteered their time with local nonprofit organization Houses for Healing. 

 

Houses for Healing provides free temporary housing to those who are receiving medical treatment away from home.

 

Michael Leroux, coordinator of Student Retention Services for TSTC’s West Texas campuses, said he was more than happy to partner with the organization. 

 

“I think that it is important that the school gives back to the community it is part of, and it’s important for the students to experience this,” Leroux said. “When we decided to work with Houses for Healing, I discovered the founder, Brian Massey, is a TSTC alum. So I think this makes it an even better opportunity for the students to see someone who has gone through what they have and to learn from him.”

 

Massey graduated in 1991 from the Sweetwater campus after earning an Associate of Applied Science degree in Automation Robotics. Following a successful career, he felt called to do something else with his skills.

 

“We are supposed to love our neighbor, really love them. And after talking and praying about it with our church, we decided this would be how we would embrace that charge,” he said. 

 

Massey said Houses for Healing plans to construct 20 mini-houses total, one for each county of the Big Country, plus a home specifically for veterans. The organization has four homes completed.

 

TSTC welding student Daniel Trevino said it was a great opportunity to get involved in the community.

 

“I love doing stuff like this. After learning what this company was about, it makes me feel even better to be here,” he said. 

 

The volunteers worked from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., clearing away debris and a fallen structure, as well as gutting the interior of an older home on the property. The land is where the next 16 homes will be built.  

 

For aviation maintenance student Omar Alvarez and welding student Curtis Sonstegard, it was a day to meet fellow classmates while doing some good. 

 

“We get to help people who need it. Of course we wanted to be here, and it’s great to be meeting other students and working with our hands,” Alvarez said.  

 

As the event finished, TSTC students and employees alike agreed it was the perfect way to spend a Friday morning.    

 

For more information about TSTC, log on to tstc.edu.

Some Texas State Technical College students and employees, along with some of their family members, volunteered their time with Houses for Healing Friday morning.

 

TSTC Active-Duty Student Hopes to Save Lives

(BROWNWOOD, Texas) – After 20 years of serving his country in the military, Paul Cuellar is ready to continue serving his community as a civilian. 

 

Cuellar is both an active-duty member of the National Guard and a full-time student at Texas State Technical College in the Emergency Medical Services Emergency Medical Technician program. 

 

“Everything is crazy right now because I’m in the process of retiring, so I am balancing full-time work and full-time school and family. But I know this is the field I want to be in when I get out, so it will be worth it,” Cuellar said. 

 

Cuellar said he knew that working as an EMT was the right choice for him because of the skills he learned in the military. 

 

“I had to learn some of these skills during a couple deployments, and I really enjoyed learning them. So when I was exploring what I wanted to do after the military, I saw that TSTC was right here in Brownwood and had the degree I wanted,” he said. 

 

Cuellar and his family live in Brownwood, and he hopes to work locally after graduation.

 

“I’m used to commuting and traveling for work, so I want to be working in Brownwood and serve the Brownwood community,” Cuellar said.

Cuellar’s dedication to serving his community has not gone unnoticed by his instructor, Stephen Sharp.

 

“Brownwood is home for me. And as a community member and as a paramedic for this area, we need people like Paul who are ready to serve. I think he will do great things, and I’m very proud of him for balancing school with his military service,” Sharp said. 

 

Cuellar is expected to graduate this December as an EMT. 

 

Registration for the Spring 2020 semester is underway. For more information about TSTC, go online at tstc.edu.

Paul Cuellar is an active-duty member of the National Guard and a Texas State Technical College student in the Emergency Medical Technician program at the Brownwood campus.

TSTC Student Veteran Balances School, Work and Family

(ABILENE, Texas) – Being a full-time student is no easy task. Add working full time and caring for a family, and you might start to wonder how there could be enough hours in a day. 

 

But Texas State Technical College student veteran Andrew Rowlette wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

Rowlette is an Air Force veteran who is pursuing an Associate of Applied Science degree in the Electrical Power and Controls program at the Abilene campus.

 

“I wanted to better myself. I always knew TSTC was good. And now that I’m here, I love that everyone here is all about bettering yourself and pushing others to better themselves,” Rowlette said. 

 

After serving for six years as an aircraft mechanic in the Air Force, Rowlette started working at Cargill Inc. in Abilene as maintenance supervisor. There, he found a passion for electrical work. 

 

“We were recently doing some upgrades to electrical automation equipment, and I really enjoyed it. So I came in (to TSTC) and signed up,” Rowlette said.  

 

Rowlette is in his first semester and attributes his time in the military to helping prepare him for school.

 

“It was hard to get back in the swing of being in school because I had been out for so long. But I think the military really helped in the process because it taught me to be responsible and show up on time, and how to study,” Rowlette said.  

 

Rowlette is excited for what the future holds for him, and encourages others to look into TSTC.  

 

“I have a family, and my daughter is my world, so this is great to set an example for her and be better for them,” Rowlette said. 

 

For more information about TSTC, log on to tstc.edu.

Texas State Technical College student veteran Andrew Rowlette is pursuing an Associate of Applied Science degree in the Electrical Power and Controls program. 

TSTC Welding Program Meets Industry Need

(SWEETWATER, Texas) – The welding program at Texas State Technical College is training and educating highly skilled welders quickly to continue to meet industry demand. 

Texas has the highest employment level for welders, cutters, solderers and brazers in the nation, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. And demand is expected to keep growing.

“The students come in and earn a Certification Level 1 – Structural Welding in three semesters and are trained in various welds like MIG, TIG, flux-core, stick, oxy-fuel, brazing and more,” Taylor Elston, welding instructor at the Sweetwater campus, said.

As students near graduation, Elston spends time with each one figuring out their career plans and caters to their education with that in mind.

“About the third semester, we’ll start asking the students which type of welding they enjoy most and where they want to live and what kind of job they want. Because in welding there are so many specializations, they can have a choice of where they end up,” Elston said. “So, once we learn what they really want to do, we’ll help them start preparing for that weld test so they can get the job they want.”  

One of the biggest appeals to the welding program for student Kelton Grigsby was TSTC’s proximity to industry and dedication to job placement.

“I want to work in Lubbock, and TSTC is close to those industry leaders. There is a big need for welders. I have family in welding, so I know how lucrative welding can be,” Grigsby said. 

Grigsby began welding in high school. After graduating from Godley High School in 2018, he decided to attend TSTC. 

Clint Faulkner also chose the welding program for career growth opportunities.

“My dad and I have been building metal buildings, carports and other structures for the past four years, and it was important that I get a refresher on my welding and get the technical skills here,” Faulkner said. 

After a nine-year career in truck driving, Faulkner, a Big Spring native, decided he needed a career that was more physically active. 

Grigsby and Faulkner are expected to earn their certificates and graduate in August.

TSTC students spend a majority of their time in the lab with hands-on practice to ensure the technical skills, but Elston says the college is also dedicated to ensuring that students are job-ready.

“With the TSTC Career Services team helping us, we really make sure the students have not only the quality education, but also the soft skills like resumes and job etiquette,”  Elston said. “We make them treat school like their job; they have to show up and show up on time. So when they graduate they won’t just be good welders, but also good employees.” 

Elston encourages anyone interested in the program to come to the campus and schedule a tour.

Registration for the fall semester is underway. For more information about TSTC, go online at tstc.edu.

Texas State Technical College students at the Sweetwater campus practice their welding skills to prepare for high demand careers.

TSTC Alumna Finds Dream Career at Local News Station

(ABILENE, Texas) –  If you asked Prissa Delostrico three years ago if she thought she would be working at a television news station today, she never would have considered it an option. Now, she doesn’t plan on leaving anytime soon.

Delostrico is a Texas State Technical College Computer Networking and Systems Administration alumna. She graduated in December 2017 and now works as an information technology engineer for KTXS-TV News. 

“I never imagined I would be working for a news station when I started my degree at TSTC, and I was nervous at first. But, I’ve been at KTXS just over a year, and I love it because it’s exciting and really fulfilling,” Delostrico said. 

Delostrico was always interested in computers and recognized the importance technology plays in everyday life. 

“Technology is the future, and I knew I could find a job in that field if I could get a degree in it,” she said. “Any business or organization that uses technology needs IT, and at KTXS I maintain the broadcast equipment, service our machines, care for our computers, laptops — anything I can do to help.” 

As important as it was for Delostrico to get a degree in a lucrative career field, it was also important to find a college that was flexible with her schedule and could accommodate her needs.

“I was a stay-at-home mom, so I needed help with child care. TSTC helped me figure that out, as well as offering counseling services for me when I went through some hard times,” Delostrico said. 

One person who truly stood out to Delostrico was her instructor Renee Blackshear. 

“It was awesome to have a female instructor because it is a male-dominated industry, but she was a great mentor and role model,” Delostrico said. 

For Blackshear, Delostrico was a model student.

“Prissa Delostrico is a wonderful woman and a student any instructor would be honored to work with. She is insightful, works hard, accepting of any challenge, and determined to overcome any obstacles that may come her way,” Blackshear said. “I look forward to many things to come for her.”

One of Delostrico’s greatest motivators to succeed was her goal to be a role model for her daughter. 

“I wanted to show my daughter that she can do anything she puts her mind to. It doesn’t matter if she chooses a career that is male-dominated or not — she can do it,” Delostrico said. 

As a nontraditional student, Delostrico knows how difficult it can be to take the step to go back to school, but she encourages everyone to give it a chance.

“Go on campus at TSTC and talk with the instructors, counselors and career people because you’ll be surprised by how much they want to help you and see you succeed,” she said.

Delostrico, an Abilene native, graduated from Cooper High School in 2005. 

Registration for the fall semester is underway. For more information about TSTC and the many programs offered, go online at tstc.edu.

Prissa Delostrico is a Texas State Technical College Computer Programming and Systems Administration alumna working as an IT Engineer for KTXS Television News.

TSTC Students to Pursue New Program

(BRECKENRIDGE, Texas) – Texas State Technical College will offer Occupational Safety Compliance (OSC) Technology at its Breckenridge campus starting this fall, and two current TSTC students can hardly wait to take advantage of it. 

 Ivan Chavez and Brittoni Thornhill are both students in the Environmental Technology program and are expected to graduate in spring 2020 with their Associate of Applied Science degrees. When they found out that TSTC will offer the OSC program in Breckenridge, they chose to stay an extra semester to earn the second degree.

“It just fit really well with what we learned in the Environmental Technology program, but it goes even further and opens up even more job opportunities,” Chaves said. “I’m excited to learn CPR and go more into emergency-response safety.”

The Environmental Technology program has courses similar to what they will study in the new OSC program. This crossover allows the students to add on only one extra semester of college but graduate with two degrees. 

“I was always fascinated with science and knew I wanted to pursue something in that field. TSTC allowed me to explore the various job opportunities in the field and learn the skills that will make me competitive as I look for jobs or continue my education,” Thornhill said. 

The program will educate students about Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations within the workplace to keep employees from harm.

“The demand for workers with a safety degree is rising. Employers need safety personnel to manage the workplace so no one gets hurt,” TSTC Environmental Health and Safety instructor Teresa Purcell said. 

Purcell encourages anyone who wants to ensure safer work environments to apply.

Registration for the fall semester is underway. For more information, log on to tstc.edu.

Pictured left to right, Ivan Chavez and Brittoni Thornhill are students enrolled in the Occupational Safety Compliance program.