Category Archives: Abilene

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 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 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.

Computer Programming Technology Coming to TSTC in Abilene

(ABILENE, Texas) – Texas State Technical College in Abilene will offer a new program of study starting this fall: Computer Programming Technology.

Students who successfully complete the five-semester program will earn an Associate of Applied Science degree.

“We brought the CPT course to Abilene because industries are moving forward to digital and electronic-based needs. This helps us fill a local and statewide need to develop business and industry along with it,” TSTC Associate Provost Justin Price said.

With a majority of modern technology using software programs, job opportunities are endless.

“Computer programming is like the brain of the human body. Just like the brain tells your hands to move, the software tells the hardware what to do. Today hardware is anything from cars, robots, industrial equipment to the laptop sitting on your desk; they all need someone who can program them to work how we need them to,” Tony Torres, lab assistant, said.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there is an expected job growth of 24 percent  between 2016-2026 for computer software developers; almost four times the job growth national average.

“The demand for workers in this field will continue to rise as we keep using technology. You can find your niche and work in a team or go solo, or work in the field or in an office,” Torres said.

The program will educate students about six different programming languages such as C++, Visual Basics, C Sharp, Java and more. Students will learn how to apply those languages to be used in online settings or in physical applications.

The program is a hybrid course with a mix of online classes and face-to-face instruction.

Torres encourages anyone interested in learning how to keep the world functioning to apply.

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

Computer Programming Technology is coming to TSTC in Abilene. Students can start registering for the fall semester now. 

TSTC Program Fills Diverse Needs in Texas Industries

(ABILENE, Texas) – Why learn just one skill when you can learn multiple?

The Industrial Maintenance Technology program at Texas State Technical College in Abilene is commonly known as the jack-of-all trades program; something both students and instructors says is one of the best selling points of their chosen career field.

“My favorite thing about industrial maintenance is that you always get to work on something new,  whether its related to hydraulics or electrical or welding or pneumatics, you know how to do it all, and work on it all. You’re never bored, that’s for sure,” instructor Daniel Diaz said. 

With over 35 years of shared field experience between Diaz and fellow instructor Demetri Jones, students are getting a true insight to their job demands.

“Daniel and I both are TSTC alumni and we both worked in the field for years. So we get the chance to relate to these students on the level as ‘hey, we’ve been in your shoes’ but also as professionals who know what industry needs and wants now,” Jones said. 

Diaz graduated from TSTC in Brownwood in 2004 and Jones graduated from TSTC in Waco in 2009. Both gentlemen earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Industrial Maintenance Technology. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas has the highest level of employment for Industrial Machinery Mechanics and Machinery Maintenance Workers with an expected job growth of seven percent between 2016 to 2026. 

“There are so many career fields these students can choose to enter, whether it’s wind energy, oil field, working in a hospital or an office building or a factory, the options are limitless honestly,” Diaz said. 

On top of having a diverse skill set, the class itself is full of students from all walks of life. One student, always gets a laugh that he is older than the instructors he learns from.

“I graduated high school in 1980, before a few of my classmates were even born,” David Cooley, student in Industrial Maintenance said. “This is my first time in college and after working in industrial maintenance for about 30 years and seeing how quickly the technology was changing, I knew I needed the degree from TSTC to stay current.”

Cooley is a Hawley High School alum and is currently pursuing his Associate of Applied Science degree. He is expected to graduate in April of 2020. 

Cooley’s classmate, Caleb Ames is a little younger, but just as excited for what the program has to offer him. 

“I spent a couple years working to figure out what I did and didn’t want to do and I learned I love to work with my hands. This program is great because there are so many job opportunities for us out there and we are working with our hands everyday on something different,” Ames said. 

Ames graduated from Abilene High School in 2014 and is expected to graduate from the Industrial Maintenance program with a Certification of Completion 1 in August 2019.

No matter the age or career goals, the Industrial Maintenance program has a place for you. 

“We welcome everyone. Whether you’ve never touched a wrench or you’ve spent your whole life turning wrenches, we can teach you and we want to see you succeed,” Jones said. 

Diaz and Jones encourage anyone interested in the program to come to the campus and schedule a tour.

Registration for the Fall Semester 2019 has started. 

For more information about TSTC, go online at tstc.edu.

Industrial Maintenance Technology student David Cooley is helping construct a water flow system to that will be used by him and other students.

TSTC Faculty Member Recognized for Excellence

(ABILENE, Texas) – Carly Kahl, senior history instructor and assistant department chair for General Education at Texas State Technical College, was recently recognized for her exceptional service to TSTC with the W.R. Potter Award of Teaching Excellence during the college’s Employee Appreciation Day. 

The Potter Award was established in 1996 to recognize outstanding teaching at TSTC’s four West Texas campuses. Only one winner is selected each year. 

“Carly is a servant-leader who always works to support the core values of TSTC: excellence, accountability, service and integrity.  She challenges her students to not just get by, but to do the very best work possible,” TSTC Provost Rick Denbow said. 

Kahl, a native of Andrews, Texas, said she was trying to figure out who the winner was as the announcements began and was surprised when she realized it was her.  

“I was utterly shocked. I was not anticipating it at all. I started to cry when I walked up to receive it because it’s such an honor,” Kahl said.  

With over 11 years of service to TSTC, Kahl has held various roles in the college but always knew teaching was her calling. She started her career as a technical writer, moved to curriculum design, then became an adjunct instructor. 

Kahl became a full-time history instructor in 2014. She is now working toward her Ph.D. in history at Texas Tech University. 

“For 11 years I’ve watched excellent faculty be recognized for their hard work, and every time the winner has been so deserving. It always encouraged me to want to meet that standard as well as they did,” Kahl said.

Receiving the award was even more special for Kahl because her son, Kyle, was there to witness it.

“I convinced him last minute to go with me, and it was really great for him to get to see that all my hard work had paid off,” Kahl said. 

 To earn the Potter Award, employees must be nominated by their co-workers with supporting letters of recommendation. The winner is selected by an independent third party. 

Terra Alvarado, TSTC’s director of Division Support for Development Education, said her recommendation letter was just one of many supporting Kahl. 

“I was just so impressed with how much work she has put in, not just in her current role, but also with the extra work she volunteers for. She always goes one step further, and she is so reliable,” Alvarado said. 

Kahl said she is excited about her future with TSTC.

“I have such a great team, both local and statewide. They all really do a great job, and we collaborate to make sure the students are getting the best education. I’m excited to see what the next years bring and to keep growing,” she said. 

Kahl encourages her students and her peers to strive for continuous improvement and to keep learning. 

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

Carly Kahl received the  W.R. Potter Award of Teaching Excellence for her exceptional service to Texas State Technical College.

 

TSTC Hosts Stop the Bleed Training

(SWEETWATER, Texas) – Texas State Technical College recently partnered with local first responders to host Stop the Bleed training for students, faculty and staff at its campuses in Abilene and Sweetwater.

Stop the Bleed is a national campaign initiated by the National Security Council to better prepare the public to save lives and raise awareness of basic actions to stop life-threatening bleeding following emergencies or disasters.

TSTC police patrolman Jeff Miller learned about the campaign during a training exercise and thought it was vital to share with TSTC students and employees.

“This course’s key message is training everyday people to save lives because there is nothing more sad than a preventable death,” Miller said.

The course takes about 90 minutes, including a formal presentation and hands-on practice of direct-pressure application, wound packing and tourniquet use.

“We are bringing this to TSTC to educate on bleeding control. This program is specifically designed for everyday people to be able to save lives in case of a catastrophic accident, traffic accident or disaster of that nature,” Grant Madden, fire chief for Sweetwater Fire Department, said.

The Stop the Bleed training is free, and more than 500,000 people have been trained in almost 90 countries and all 50 states.

“This training is important, and we are coordinating it with the police department and the local first responders because the safety of our employees and students is paramount to us,” said Holle England, training supervisor with TSTC Employee Development.

After the training was completed, 18 Stop the Bleed personal bleeding control kits were left for TSTC to distribute throughout its campus buildings.

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

Grant Madden, fire chief for Sweetwater Fire Department, shows TSTC employees how to use a tourniquet at Stop the Bleed training.

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