(ABILENE, Texas) – Daniel Diaz wants his Industrial Systems students at Texas State Technical College to succeed in two areas.
Diaz enjoys watching the students progress toward careers, but more importantly he likes to see them grow as people while they are in school. He works to establish a relationship with each student in order to keep up with them after they graduate.
“I love each and every one of our students,” he said. “I use the foster child training I completed with my students because it can also apply to bigger kids. Everybody wants to be loved and appreciated. We need to realize what people need in the classroom and in life.”
In honor of National Mentoring Month in January, Industrial Systems students recognized Diaz for his efforts both inside and outside the TSTC lab. Many of his students have been treated to lunch when Diaz attends the weekly nondenominational Mighty Men of God Bible study in Abilene.
“Daniel is really a genuine person and cares about us as people and students,” said Jonathan McDonald, one of many students who have attended the weekly lunch. “We did not expect him to pay for our lunch, but that is the kind of person he is. He has a passion for his faith, and he shows that he wants us to succeed in life.”
During the weekly study, men of the Abilene community gather for a time of fellowship, Diaz said. They also hear about the needs of the Taylor County community, ranging from women’s shelters to advocacy groups.
“We like to get together to build each other up,” Diaz said. “That is something I want to do with our students all the time. We encourage everyone who attends to do their best.”
The success of his students in the workforce makes Diaz feel “10 feet tall.”
“I love to hear about the success of our students in the field,” he said. “I want them to let me know how well they are doing because it makes me feel great, like I am 10 feet tall. When I hear that our graduates are supervisors, that makes my day.”
But it does not stop there. Diaz has received phone calls and text messages with stories of his students’ personal successes.
“Last semester, one of our students had a child. We celebrated with cupcakes here in class,” he said. “We want our program to be a family atmosphere for everyone.”
Larry Brickner, a student in the Industrial Systems program, sees the family atmosphere when he is in the lab.
“Daniel is very professional and experienced in the field,” he said. “He always stays positive with us in class and takes the time to make sure we understand what we are doing on each phase of the project. He treats this program with the family style because he wants us to succeed.”
If a student does not show up for class, Diaz wants to know why because he cares about their well-being.
“We want to make sure they are OK and do not need any assistance,” he said. “Each one of our students means a lot to me and to everyone at TSTC.”
At its Abilene campus, TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Industrial Systems – Mechanical Specialization and several certificates of completion.
Industrial Systems is one of nine programs at TSTC that have money-back guarantees. The college’s commitment to students is simple: If they do not have a job in their field within six months of graduation, they will receive a full refund of their tuition. For more information on the Money-Back Guarantee program, visit tstc.edu/admissions/tuition/.
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.