(WACO) – The fall semester of 2014 is one that Alexander Gonzalez may not forget.
The 29-year-old was finishing his first semester at Texas State Technical College as Michelle Gonzalez, his wife and a TSTC employee, had their daughter Natalia. He juggled taking finals, visiting his wife and newborn daughter at the hospital and working on their home in Bellmead to get it move-in ready.
“She has always been big on education and motivating people to get an education,” he said about his wife. “I saw her study and earn a psychology degree at Baylor University and I wanted to have something as well.”
Gonzalez and more than 460 other students will graduate at Texas State Technical College’s Spring Commencement at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Waco Convention Center. He will receive an associate degree in Electrical Power and Controls.
Gonzalez got hands-on experience with low and high voltage systems, power line design and other aspects of electricity in his courses.
“They have the labs that really start you right off with good experiences,” he said.
Dan Bateman, program chair of Electrical Power and Controls, said his job would be easy if he had more students like Gonzalez.
“I don’t think he missed a class,” Bateman said. “He turned the assignments in on time. I think any company would be lucky to have him.”
Graduates with Electrical Power and Controls degrees can work for utility companies, government entities and computer and electronic manufacturing companies. The career field is expected to grow in Texas through 2022 by more than 2,500 workers, according to projectionscentral.com. The average median wage nationwide was $61,130 in 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Gonzalez is currently interviewing for jobs and hopes to work in the Waco area.
He and his wife want to be good examples for their daughter. He hopes that one day his daughter, and future TSTC students, will get assignments and studying done on time and listen to the advice of instructors.
“I think we are definitely going to encourage her and have her see the payoff in going to school,” he said.
Gonzalez likes to work on his house and play guitar when he is not studying.
Gonzalez is a 2004 graduate of La Vega High School in Waco. Shortly after high school he met his future wife, who is a college outreach representative in New Student Outreach/Admissions at TSTC.
He worked in the insurance field and at other jobs to support her as she studied at Baylor.
“He has supported every aspiration and goal I have had both educationally and professionally,” Michelle Gonzalez said. “It has been my absolute joy to return that support and love as he has worked so hard to obtain this degree. I have no doubt that he will do great in his field and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for him professionally.”
Registration is going on now for Summer and Fall semesters. Go to tstc.edu for more information.