TSTC Magazine Spring 2013

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The official Texas State Technical College Waco magazine.

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  • THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF TEXAS STATE TECHNICAL COLLEGE WACO VOL. 4, NO. 1 SPRING 2013

    MAGA

    ZINE

    training workers to fill the states skills gap

    by Sarah-Jane Menefee P. 5 we are the tornadoby Sarah-Jane Menefee P. 11 Q&a with BaYlor stadUiM sUperintendent & tstC alUMby Mary Drennon P. 15

    WE ARE THETORNADO BRINGING A LONG-TIME MASCOT TO LIFE

    WHY EMPLOYERSHIRE TSTC GRADS& WHY THEY ARE WILLING TO PAY TOP SALARIES

    TECH NOTESGRANTS + PARTNERSHIPS KUDOS + SCHOLARSHIPS ALUMNI Q&A WITH JEFF HORN

  • dr. elton e. stuckly, Jr., TSTC Waco President

    PRESIDENTDr. Elton E. Stuckly, Jr.

    MARKETING DIRECTORJan Osburn

    EDITORSarah-Jane Menefee

    ART DIRECTION, LAYOUT& DESIGN

    Mark Burdine

    CONTRIBUTING WRITERSMary Drennon

    Sarah-Jane MenefeeJan Osburn

    PHOTOGRAPHERSMark Burdine

    Sarah-Jane MenefeeMaria Davalos, intern

    PHONE 254.867.3035E-MAIL tstcmagazine@tstc.edu

    NUMBERS TO KNOWMain 254.799.3611Recruiting 254.867.2360Admissions 254.867.2362Alumni Relations 254.867.2038

    TSTC Magazine is published two times a year by the Marketing & Communications office at Texas State Technical College Waco.

    Texas State Technical College Waco is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award Associate of Applied Science degrees and Certificates of Completion. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Texas State Technical College Waco.

    Copyright 2013 Texas State Technical College Waco. All rights reserved.

    A PUBLICATION OF TSTC WACO VOL. 4, NO. 1 SPRING 2013

    WRITE TO US:We welcome your letters. The editor reserves

    the right to determine the suitability of letters for publication and to edit them for

    accuracy and length. Letters should refer to material published in the magazine and include the writers full name, address and

    telephone number. If alumni, please include degree and year of degree.

    E-MAIL: tstcmagazine@tstc.edu

    WRITE:TSTC MAGAZINE3801 Campus Drive Waco, TX 76705 Attn: Marketing & Communications

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    FROM THE PRESIDENT

    Spring brings a variety of visitors to campus

    Equal opportunity shall be afforded within the Texas State Technical College System to all employees and applicants for admission or employment regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, age or disability. TSTC will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities.

    MAGAZINE

    Each spring two major events bring an assortment of visitors to campus. One event is College Preview & Open House, which attracts prospective students looking to find that perfect career field and this years event broke recent attendance records. And the other is Industry Career Day, which draws industry representatives in search of future employees and is the culmination of a students college experience. In the spring 2013 edition of the TSTC Magazine you can find out what brings industry reps back year after year, Why employers hire TSTC grads and what TSTC is doing to help in Filling the skills gap.

    Also in this edition, learn what major Waco project TSTC Building Construction alumni Jeff Horn is heading up in a special Q&A, discover how a tornado represents college spirit, find out about a new wine-related degree on tap, get updated on the collegesre-affirmation, see photos from across campus, and much more!

    As always, thank you for all you do for TSTC!

  • Campus Snapshot Pages 9-10

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    CONTENTS & CALENDAR

    3 tech notesCampus news and accolades

    5 filling the skills gapTSTCs struggle to provide the states workforce

    8 why employers hire tstC gradsAnd what they are willing to offer for more

    9 Campus snapshotA look at Laser Electro-Optics dye laser lab

    11 we are the tornadoCrafting a modern mascot to represent the spirit and unstoppable force of the college

    15 alumni Q&aBuilding Construction alumni Jeff Horn tackles theBaylor University Stadium project

    t on the CoVerAs many as 500,000 jobs arent being filled because employers cant find qualified workers. Its called the skills gap.

    17 people & placesPhotos from TSTC events

    IN THIS ISSUE:

    MAY 1 Deadline to apply for financial aid for fall

    6 First class day of summer term

    27 Student & employee holiday

    28 Registration begins for returning students

    19 Registration begins for new students

    22-23 Student & employee holiday

    JUN 3 Registration begins for new students

    14 Last day to apply for graduation

    JUL 4 Student & employee holiday

    19 Last day to drop with a W AUG 16 End of semester Last day to apply for fall

    Summer commencement 6:30 p.m. Waco Convention Center

    SEP 2 Student & staff holiday

    OCT 11 Last day to apply for graduation

    NOV 8 Last day to drop with a W

    28-29 Student & staff holiday

    For more events, go towaco.tstc.edu/calendar

    CALENDAR OF EVENTS

    Scan this QR code with your u smartphone to view the calendar.

  • starting this fall, tstC golf Course & landscape Management will be partnering with the Viticulture and enology science and technology alliance (Vesta) to offer new certificates and associate degrees in viticulture, the cultivation of grapevines,and enology, the study of wine making.

    The VESTA program is supported by the National Science Foundation and offers introductory and advanced courses via distance education. TSTC will provide practical hands-on training at local vineyards and wineries and a limited number of face-to-face classes.

    In addition, GLM faculty, along with VESTA State Coordinator Evan McKibben, are planting a vineyard this spring on the TSTC campus to serve as a living lab for students in the program.

    There are no other programs like this in the state of Texas, McKibben said. VESTA is a unique opportunity to learn about the wine making business from the ground up through hands-on training at local wineries and in the classroom. TSTC is the perfect partner to bring these degrees to all of Texas.

    For more information on the VESTA offerings at TSTC, contact Terry Ehrhardt at terry.ehrhardt@tstc.edu.

    Wine-related degrees to be offered through VESTA grant

    Military Times EDGE magazine recently published the Best for Vets: Career and Technical Colleges 2013, and TSTC was among the top 15 on the national list. Ranked No. one in Texas and 11th in the nation overall.

    More than 650 universities, community colleges and career and technical colleges nationwide responded to the magazines survey, which covered several categories.

    Kathy Chastain, director of Veterans Services atTSTC (and also a veteran), completed the survey with information regarding on-campus benefits and assistance for student veterans. The magazine

    scored the answers based on what student veterans value most in a college. TSTC was noted for including an on-campus Veterans Office and academic support such as special withdrawal and re-enrollment for deploying service members. The list also highlighted TSTCs high graduation rate for student veterans.

    We are proud of our veterans, said TSTC President Dr. Elton E. Stuckly Jr. We strive to provide our veteran students with the services they need in a higher education environment. Chastain added that she believes the ample assistance TSTC has available for veterans attracts more military students to the college.

    People do research. Every potential student is looking for a school that can provide them with the best benefits, especially veterans, Chastain said. TSTC offers those benefits. We do a lot for them academically, but most of all, we care about them.

    For more information on Veterans Services at TSTC contact Kathy Chastain at kathy.chastain@tstc.edu or call 254.867.4817.

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    CAMPUS NEWS & BRIEFS

    tech notes

    Military Times magazine ranks TSTC number one in Texas, 11th nationally

  • three students from tstCs golf Course & landscape Management have summer internships at prestigious golf courses. Pictured from left are Sean Kleinfeld and Blake Lupton who will be interning at Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina and Brandon Nors who will be at Tournament Players Course (TPC) in San Antonio, which will hold a PGA tour event this spring.

    glM students land prestigious internships

    student kudos

    Become a fan at:facebook.com/tstcwaco

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    CAMPUS NEWS & BRIEFS

    NSF Partnership provides funding for a variety of new programs

    TSTC celebrates five years on FacebookOn Feb. 25, TSTC marked its fifth year on Facebook with a campus- wide celebration. Were proud of what weve accomplished in the five years weve been on Facebook, said Sarah-Jane Menefee, TSTC coordinator of publications & social media. Our social media presence has grown from nothing to a thriving online community.

    The TSTC Facebook page,www.facebook.com/tstcwaco, has nearly 4,000 fans and serves as a place for news, event information and conversations about life at TSTC and the future of technical education in Texas.

    SACS reaffirmation continuesIts highly regarded among colleges and universities in Texas, essential for federal financial aid, adds degree value and allows for the transferring of coursesaccreditationby the Southern Association of Colleges & SchoolsCommission on Colleges, or SACS.

    The process of evaluating anddocumenting begin years beforethe official site review inNovember 2012. The collegehas met many milestonesalong the way, from theoff-site peer review in Mayof last year, to the QualityEnhancement Plan inSeptember and on-sitecommittee chair visit inOctober, to the recommen-dation response earlierthis month.

    All the hard work showedwhen visiting officialsannounced that all 27 core andfederal requirements were met,and of the 75 comprehensivestandards of practice, only five wereidentified for further review or improve-ment, putting TSTC Waco firmly on thepath to reaffirmation. Texas State TechnicalCollege Waco administration, faculty and staffwill hear the final review by the Commission onColleges in June.

    The National Science Foundation (NSF), the only federal agency whose mission is to support all fields of fundamental science and engineering, offers grants to institutions and companies to work in the cutting edge of scientific fields.

    The NSF has recently granted funding for a variety of TSTC projects in the energy field including nuclear power and alternative fuels. These new and exciting projects have made a significant difference in the lives of students at TSTC and in their pursuits after college.

    The NSF provided TSTC with nearly $300,000 in grants to help launch a new advanced certificate program in Nuclear Welding Construction. But thats not all the NSF does to support TSTC. In 2012, another grant was awarded to help develop curriculum for a new advanced technical certificate in Alternative Fuel Vehicles.

    This grant will provide students with substantive training in all major alternative-fuel areas and would be a benchmark program for the region.

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    COVER STORY SKILLS GAP

    TSTCs struggle toprovide the state

    with more technically

    skilled workers.

    Filling the Skills

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    COVER STORY SKILLS GAP

    Twenty million Americans are out of work or underemployed every month since January 2009, according to CBS News. Yet despite this staggering number, there are more than three million job openings in the U.S. Just in manufacturing alone, there are as many as 500,000 jobs that arent being filled because employers say they cant find qualified workers. Its called the skills gap and TSTC is addressing it head-on with the help of industry partners who are hungry for qualified workers. TSTCs Coordinator of Career Services, Edgar Padilla, sees the skills gap as a golden opportunity for TSTCs students to step into great paying, steady jobs rightout of college.

    We are in a unique position to address the skills gap because of our mandate to provide a technically skilled workforce, Padilla said. We have programs intentionally built to produce quality graduates in todays high demand fields everything from manufacturing and energy to automation, robotics and electrical power.

    And TSTCs model is working. Padilla helps hundreds of students each year to get jobs with great starting salaries and promising futures. But, there still arent enough for the companies TSTC partners with. Companies are desperate for qualified workers, he said. There arent enough skilled people to hire and a whole generation of workers is retiring after working in technical trades for 30-plus years. A big part of >>

    We are in a unique position to address the skills gap because of our mandate to provide a technically skilled workforce.

    by Sarah-Jane Menefee

  • COVER STORY SKILLS GAP

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    this gap has a lot to do with the predominant focus on traditional four-year post-secondary education in our nation, and many of these degrees simply dont address the skills companies want.

    According to Padilla and many TSTCs industry partners, a four-year degree is no longer as valuable as hands-on training, specific skills and industry certifications. One area that has really evolved in recent years is information technology or IT.

    Andrew Higginbotham a Master Pro Support Engineer at Dell Global Services is involved in the hiring process at the Austin-based international company. He said the type of degree is less important than proving you know the latest software advances.

    Theres more to it than getting a degree, Higginbotham said. If you can show an employer that you have hands-on experience with a certain trade or program, then you will be a better candidate. Industry-specific certifications are a great option. In IT, we want someone whos knowledgeable and certified in several areas such as Microsoft or Cisco.

    As a Dell representative, Higginbotham serves on TSTCs advisory committee for Computer Networking & Systems Administration and makes recommendations on what curriculum the program should teach so he has qualified candidates to hire. He said the job market is fluid in the fast-paced world of IT and

    his company often needs 10 or more trained people at time due to internal growth.Many times he turns to TSTC for these jobs because its graduates have the experience with systems similar to what Dell uses.

    I really like TSTCs hands-on approach, Higginbotham said. Students have a chance to work on equipment that theyll use in the industry. For instance, TSTCs High Performance Computing technology students set up a data center and monitor it, and there are guys who work with me at Dell who do the exact same thing. Thats very valuable when you interview for a job.

    The same job requirements of work and hands-on experience keep the unemployment rate high as young graduates, often from four-year programs,...