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TSTC in Waco Employees Recognized With Statewide Award

April 21, 2019

(WACO) – Six employees at Texas State Technical College in Waco have been honored for their skills and work.

Meagan Cooper, an instructor in the Electrical Power and Controls program; Kent Kahler, a senior instructor in the Diesel Equipment Technology program; Anju Motwani, senior accountant; Jana Polansky, student accounting coordinator; Raymond Silva, a Culinary Arts program lab assistant, and Caitlin Simmonds, a publication layout specialist, have received Chancellor’s Excellence Awards.

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.”

Cooper has taught for 12 years at TSTC and is being honored for her caring attitude toward students and her loyalty.

Kahler has been at TSTC for 42 years and teaches students about heavy-duty brakes, shop safety and other components of the diesel equipment field.

“The students’ curiosity and willingness to learn all they can about diesel technology keeps me motivated,” he said. “The most rewarding part of being an instructor is when you see the students learn from you and when they finally succeed after a million failures and feel really proud of what they have learned.”

Motwani has been at TSTC for two years. She works with TSTC departments to implement new accounting standards, prepare the institution’s annual financial report and assess and strengthen internal controls. She also processes and analyzes account changes.

“Accounting has always been my passion, but what motivates me are the people I work with,” Motwani said. “I am truly humbled and thankful to be part of such a wonderful team and an institution where I can make a difference.”

Polansky came to TSTC 25 years ago and started as a clerk in the financial aid office. She was previously an accounting assistant before being promoted to her current position in 2017.

One of the things Polansky is proud of in her work is learning and training employees on how to use TSTC’s communication module to correspond with students.

“A huge motivator for me is going to work and knowing that I can and will do whatever is needed to help my co-workers,” Polansky said. “Putting their needs first, along with the students’ needs, is what makes my job so rewarding.”

Silva, who has worked five years at TSTC, prepares the popular takeout meals and fulfills catering orders at the Greta W. Watson Culinary Arts Center. He also helps Culinary Arts students in theri labs.

“I love that I can come to work every day and cook for people or even just help people out,” Silva said. “If I can make one person smile just from the food I serve, that means I have done my job.”

Simmonds who has worked for three years at TSTC. She works with graphic design, advertisements and special recruiting and enrollment projects.  

She said that a good team environment makes her job a fun experience and that she gets to do work she is passionate about.

The honorees will join 29 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 tstc.edu.

Two TSTC Employees Recognized With Statewide Award

April 19, 2019

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

James Spivey, a building maintenance supervisor, and Karen Waller, chief of staff of Strategic Relations, have received TSTC’s Chancellor’s Excellence Awards.

“Yearly, the Chancellor’s Excellence Award honors those who have consistently demonstrated a work ethic above and beyond their job descriptions, which aligns with our core values of excellence, accountability, service and integrity. On a daily basis James Spivey and Karen Waller exemplify these values; hence, their induction into this elite group is well deserved,” 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.”

Spivey joined TSTC in 2016 as a maintenance worker and quickly moved up to a leadership role. He was surprised to learn he had won the award but sees it as a win for his team.

“This means my team is working really hard because they are the ones that make me look good. I am exceptionally proud of them, and I am personally flattered,” he said.

Spivey’s first encounter with TSTC was when he was in high school taking welding courses at what was then known as Texas State Technical Institute. He says fate must have been sending him a sign because he decided to work at TSTC after reconnecting with his high school sweetheart, another TSTC employee, who is now his wife.

“This is my home. A lot of places you work at they don’t even know your name, but here there is compassion. I will be here for as long as TSTC will have me,” he said.

Spivey said this is the first time he has received recognition for his work from a company.

Waller felt honored to win the award and said it fueled her passion even more.

“I truly appreciate that my peers felt I deserve this honor. Our work at TSTC is important because we can affect so many lives and have a positive impact in a student’s life and career,” she said.

Waller has dedicated her career to education and has worked the last 26 years in education administration. She started at TSTC in 2012 and promotes educational partnerships with other community colleges, universities and industry leaders.

“I am very proud of my accomplishments at TSTC and plan to continue to make TSTC a great place to work and also a great place for our students to get an education. We are here to educate our students and provide them with a foundation that will serve them the rest of their lives,” she said.

A Snyder native, Waller has lived and worked in the West Texas area her whole life. She is a certified public accountant and has a bachelor’s degree in interior design and a master’s degree in income tax accounting from Texas Tech University.

Spivey and Waller 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, log on to tstc.edu.

James Spivey, from Texas State Technical College in Sweetwater, is a building maintenance supervisor. He was awarded the Chancellor’s Excellence Award. 

Karen Waller, from Texas State Technical College in Sweetwater, is chief of staff of Strategic Relations. She was awarded the Chancellor’s Excellence Award. 

Two TSTC Alumni Recognized For Outstanding Service as TSTC Employees

April 19, 2019

(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, log on to tstc.edu.

Maria Aguirre, from Texas State Technical College in Sweetwater, is the statewide senior executive director of Communication and Creative Services. She was awarded the Chancellor’s Excellence Award. 
Elizabeth Reyes, from Texas State Technical College in Sweetwater, is a graphic designer. She was awarded the Chancellor’s Excellence Award. 

TSTC and Kilgore College Signal Continued Area Partnership

April 18, 2019

(MARSHALL) – Representatives of Texas State Technical College and Kilgore College signed an updated memorandum of understanding on Thursday regarding technical programs being taught at the East Texas Advanced Manufacturing Academy in Longview.

“It’s not a competition, but a partnership,” said Brenda Kays, president of Kilgore College.

The academy is about to finish its first year of operation in Longview. It offers the opportunity  for area high school juniors and seniors to take technical classes and earn dual-credit hours in programs including Instrumentation and Precision Machining Technology.

Under the updated agreement, TSTC in Marshall will continue to credential the instructors teaching the Precision Machining Technology program and Kilgore College will continue supporting the Instrumentation program.

Elton Stuckly Jr., TSTC’s executive vice chancellor and chief strategic relations officer, said there has been confusion in Longview about TSTC’s involvement in the academy.

“We want to do this today to show that we are area partners here,” Stuckly said. “We come in with the invitation of Kilgore College to work with them here.”

Earlier in the day, Stuckly toured the academy and said he was impressed with the labs and equipment.

For more information on the East Texas Advanced Manufacturing Academy, go to etxama.org.

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

Just Hired Profile – Saul Pena

April 18, 2019

(HARLINGEN) – Saul Pena recently graduated with two associate degrees in Aircraft Airframe Technology and Aircraft Powerplant Technology from Texas State Technical College in Harlingen and is now working as aircraft maintenance mechanic with Hunt Pan Am Aviation in Brownsville.

Pena is only one of the many students who find employment before or immediately after graduating. TSTC statewide holds a 94 percent job placement rate.

Saul Pena

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