(WACO) – James Floyd is soaring not only in his studies at Texas State Technical College, but also in receiving a financial boost.
Floyd was one of two college students nationwide to recently receive a $2,000 scholarship from Mesa Airlines and the international coed aviation fraternity Alpha Eta Rho.
“It will help with supplies, books and tuition,” said Floyd, 32. “I am blessed. I’ve worked hard. This will be my 11th semester at TSTC.”
Floyd is president of the Alpha Eta Rho’s Alpha Pi Chapter based at TSTC.
“People want to naturally follow him,” said Robert Capps, a TSTC aviation maintenance instructor. “He was always a cool head.”
Floyd is scheduled to graduate in 2019 with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Avionics Technology. This will be his fourth associate degree from TSTC.
“I wanted to expand my knowledge to work on any part of the aircraft,” said Floyd.
Floyd grew up in Round Rock and graduated from homeschooling in 2003.
He was in the U.S. Air Force from 2004 to 2010 and left the service as a senior airman. He did three deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq and a support deployment to the United Arab Emirates.
“I wanted to serve my country to do my part to ensure our U.S. Constitution is upheld,” said Floyd.
After the military, he worked for an armored courier service but realized he needed other skills to ensure his success.
In 2014, he enrolled at TSTC in Williamson County and graduated two years later with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Welding Technology.
“TSTC in general came highly recommended from my parents, friends and elders,” Floyd said. “I wanted a trade I could fall back on.”
He said he enjoyed precision tungsten inert gas, or TIG, welding and learn it can be used in the aviation field. In fall 2016, he transferred to TSTC in Waco and began studying aviation maintenance.
Floyd finished associate degrees in Aircraft Airframe Technology and Aircraft Powerplant Technology earlier this year.
“You need the A&P (airframe and powerplant) before you touch an aircraft,” he said. “I think I adapted pretty quickly, especially to the airframe side. I had worked with metal before when I was in welding.”
Martin Seagraves, the lead instructor in TSTC’s Avionics Technology department, said graduates having the Aircraft Airframe Technology, Aircraft Powerplant Technology and Avionics Technology degrees means they can fix anything on an aircraft.
“These graduates are in very high demand,” said Seagraves. “Employers come find them.”
For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.
Registration for fall classes is ongoing through the end of the month.