(HARLINGEN) – Juan Alferez recently traveled to Austin with his family to receive his 2017 Chancellor’s Excellence Award at the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development awards and dinner celebration.
The Texas State Technical College Wind Energy Technology instructor joined 13 other TSTC employees at the banquet who also received this honor.
“I’m speechless about this award. I don’t know what to say,” said Alferez. “I’ve only been here for one year so I never expected an award like this so soon.”
Although he was surprised, Alferez said he is very thankful and appreciative to his colleagues who nominated him.
“I want to thank the person or people who nominated me,” he said. “This is a great honor. I’m very pleased. It goes to show that hard work pays off.”
Alferez, who is also a United States Navy veteran having served from 1998 to 2004, first came to TSTC as student in 2002 earning associate degrees in Electrical Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Technology.
While in the Navy the Edinburg native studied Engineering Common Core, Electrical Core and Auxiliary Equipment Technology. At the time he was stationed in the Mediterranean assisting in the Kosovo War and with operations in South America and patrolling the New York harbors after September 11.
“Coming to TSTC opened so many new doors of opportunity for me and my family,” said Alferez. “It brought me into a new life and new career that I would not have had otherwise.”
Before coming back to TSTC as an instructor in 2016, Alferez completed a bachelor’s degree in 2004 in Applied Technology and spent a decade with Toshiba International as an application engineer associate, production application engineer and sales engineer traveling across the U.S. and Mexico.
“After some thought and being away a lot from my daughter and wife I decided it was time for another career change,” said Alferez. “That’s where TSTC came in.”
Wind Energy Technology Lead Instructor David Gomez said it is Alferez’s dedication that earned him this prestigious award.
“Juan is a dedicated employee that develops good relationships with his students,” said Gomez. “We congratulate him on his achievement.”
Alferez is once again a student pursuing a master’s in business administration saying that for him part of being a good instructor is continuously learning new subjects he can incorporate into his curriculum.
“I love my job and having the power to change lives,” he said.
“My goal as an instructor is to always be helpful and share my knowledge,” Alferez added. “And somewhere in the middle of everything, my students end up teaching me a thing or two also.”