(Sweetwater) – The journey from student to employee has come full circle for two Texas State Technical College alumni who have been honored for their dedication and skills as employees at TSTC in Sweetwater.
Maria Aguirre, statewide senior executive director of Communication and Creative Services, and Elizabeth Reyes, graphic designer, have received TSTC’s Chancellor’s Excellence Awards.
“The Chancellor’s Excellence Award is a yearly recognition for teammates who consistently go above and beyond their normal job duties to improve our students’, and/or our College’s, success. Maria and Liz display, on a daily basis, these lofty attributes,” Rick Denbow, provost at TSTC in West Texas, said.
The Chancellor’s Excellence Award began in 2001 and has been given to more than 300 TSTC employees statewide. Recipients are nominated by their peers for their work toward advancing the technical college’s mission.
“The teammates who win this award model excellence for us all and are recognized for both their sound character and for advancing TSTC’s new direction,” said TSTC Chancellor Mike Reeser. “Due to their caring and dedicated efforts, TSTC continues to make a difference in the employment success of our students.”
Aguirre graduated from TSTC in Sweetwater in 1986 with an Associate of Applied Science degree in General Office Technology, an Associate of Applied Science degree in Accounting Systems and a Certificate of Completion in Information Processing. Starting as a student switchboard operator in a work-study program, Aguirre has been employed by TSTC for over 34 years.
“I have dedicated my adult life to TSTC, and I believe in it. I have seen how it changes individuals and families and generations of families — how it can have a positive impact. It’s been my life, and I am honored to be a recipient,” Aguirre said.
She was the first in her family to attend college and has since earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees while moving up within TSTC. She is also a recipient of the Avery Award of Excellence for TSTC staff.
Aguirre is a member of multiple educational organizations and has held several leadership positions as well. She is currently treasurer of the Texas Association of Community College Marketers.
Reyes was surprised to learn she won the award and was overwhelmed with emotion.
“This award means everything; I almost started to cry. It means I’m doing right by the people who hired me and by TSTC,” Reyes said.
Reyes graduated from TSTC in Waco in 2013 with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Graphic Design and Advertising, and from TSTC in Sweetwater in 2014 with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Software and Business Management. During her time as a student, Reyes worked as a campus housing resident assistant and a secretary for TSTC.
“I hope I can inspire others as my mentors here have inspired me. I am so thankful to TSTC in so many ways because they have shown me that they care about me and treat me like family,” Reyes said.
Reyes has worked with TSTC for over five years and plans to keep growing with TSTC.
Aguirre and Reyes will join 33 other TSTC employees statewide who will be honored at the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development’s Excellence Awards Dinner and Celebration in May in Austin.
For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to www.tstc.edu.