Tag Archives: TSTC in Abilene

TSTC Instructors Raise Awareness of Educational Opportunities for Children in Foster Care

(ABILENE, Texas) – Young adults who have been in foster care in the state of Texas can go to college for free.
Two Texas State Technical College instructors of Industrial Maintenance, Daniel Diaz and Demetri Jones, are making it their mission to let foster youth know about this opportunity.
The two instructors and their wives are foster parents themselves.
Diaz and Jones are raising awareness of the State College Tuition Waiver available to foster youth currently or formerly under the conservatorship of the Texas Department of Family and
Protective Services (DFPS) and for those adopted from DFPS.
The State College Tuition Waiver exempts or waives payment of tuition and fees at state-supported colleges and universities.
In Texas there are more than 30,000 children in foster care, according to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Many of these children are eligible for a tuition-free college education.
“It’s important to share this information because we see a lot of kids who age out of foster care that didn’t get the buildup that they should have to know they can go to college. (The waiver) is an option, a free option, for them,” Diaz said.
Diaz was adopted by his grandparents as a child. Now he and his wife, along with their four children, have opened their home to foster children.
“We felt called to serve through fostering, and when we learned of this opportunity for these kids, we had to share it,” Diaz said. “We want these kids to know that a technical college is a perfect avenue if the traditional college route isn’t what they want.”
As he and his wife entered the foster care process, Diaz began teaching at TSTC and met fellow instructor Jones, who has adopted two of his three children through foster care and is currently fostering.
“We found out about (the waiver) for our kids, and we want others to know,” Jones said. “My kids were raised around a technical college and have seen the success that I had because of it, and I want that for others.”
Diaz and Jones are both TSTC Industrial Maintenance alumni.
“These (foster) kids all come from different backgrounds, and some have been through some bad things, but they deserve the opportunity to succeed,” Jones said.
For potential students to take advantage of the tuition-free education, they must be enrolled in a state-supported college or university before their 25th birthday.
Foster youth and foster parents are urged to call512-438-5442 to learn more about the State College Tuition Waiver and eligibility requirements.  Or, for more information on TSTC programs, go to www.tstc.edu.
TSTC Instructors Raise Awareness of Educational Opportunities for Children in Foster
From left to right, Daniel Diaz and Demetri Jones are instructors at TSTC in Abilene Industrial Maintenance Technology program. The instructors are raising awareness of education opportunities for young adults formerly in foster care.

Two Employees at TSTC Recognized for Outstanding Service

(Abilene) – Two employees at Texas State Technical College in Abilene have been honored for their dedication and service.

Matt Briggs, the clinical coordinator for the Emergency Medical Services program, and Susan Cowart, an instructor for academic English and Humanities, were selected to receive 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. Matt and Susan 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,” TSTC Chancellor Mike Reeser said. “Due to their caring and dedicated efforts, TSTC continues to make a difference in the employment success of our students.”

Briggs joined TSTC in 2015 and said he was shocked by the recognition. He says he is determined to find out who nominated him so he can say thank you.

“It’s just such an awesome honor because there are so many people who are doing their job really well, and to be recognized as one of those people makes me want to keep going and do even better,” he said.

Briggs said TSTC has become part of his family and he loves working with people who have the same passion as he has.

“My favorite part of this job is watching our students walk across that stage and graduate because you know they are about to make a positive impact on the world,” he said.

After working as a paramedic for nine years, Briggs felt called to enter the education world and help people in a new way. He hopes to help expand the EMS program at TSTC and spread awareness of the need for more EMS professionals.

Cowart was also surprised to learn she was a recipient of the Chancellor’s Excellence Award.

“I was in a state of shock because I haven’t been here very long, but it felt so validating,” she said.

Cowart began teaching English and Humanities classes at TSTC in 2015. She teaches both online and in-person classes.

“Education is so powerful. And if I can help these students become good communicators, that opens so many doors on top of their technical skills,” she said.

Cowart earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Louisiana State University at Alexandria and her first master’s in English from DePaul University. She decided to pursue a second master’s in Education Technology and Instructional Design from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi to better serve her students. She completed the degree while continuing to teach her regular course load.

“I am so glad I am at TSTC in West Texas because there is a definite sense of family and support here. It just makes you want to do your best,” Cowart said.

Briggs and Cowart 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.

Matt Briggs, from Texas State Technical College in Abilene, is the Clinical Coordinator for the Emergency Medical Services program. He was awarded the Chancellor’s Excellence Award. 
Two Employees at TSTC Recognized for Outstanding Service
Susan Cowart, from Texas State Technical College in Abilene, teaches academic English and Humanities. She was awarded the Chancellor’s Excellence Award. 

Houston Company Representatives Visit TSTC’s EPC Program

(ABILENE) – Representatives of a Houston company recently spoke to Electrical Power and Controls program students at Texas State Technical College about industry growth and the jobs outlook.

“We want TSTC students because we know that what they’re learning in the class is what we need in the field. We’ve hired students from TSTC before but this new location means more potential talent,” Alan Postiglione, Business Development Manager for Absolute Testing said.

Founded in 2008, Absolute Testing Services, Inc. has grown from having five technicians to an organization that serves customers internationally. One of the first five technicians was TSTC alumnus Blake Forester.Forester graduated in 2003 from TSTC in Waco with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Instrumentation Technology.

“Absolute drew me in because I would get the chance to start with a company from the ground up,” Forester said. “Since then, it’s been the people who are amazing and that they keep us busy with all different types of work that make me happy to be here.

He is not the only TSTC alumni recruited by Absolute. Cody Lindsey graduated from TSTC in Waco’s Electrical Power and Controls program in 2014 and started working for Absolute.

“You’re never treated like a number. (Absolute) is very family oriented and gives you the chance to learn and grow,” Lindsey said.

Lindsey says if there was any advice he could offer this class of graduates, it was to never be afraid to ask questions and find a company that aligns with your personal goals.

TSTC opened the Industrial Technology Center in Abilene last fall  with new programs in Electrical Power and Controls, Instrumentation Technology and Welding.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to www.tstc.edu.

Houston Company Representatives Visit TSTCs EPC Program

Representatives from Absolute Testing Services, Inc. spoke with TSTC in Abilene Electrical Power and Controls students about career opportunities.