Semien uses teamwork, innovation to keep campus facilities running
(WACO, Texas) – Kevin Semien knew that the recent weather events experienced in Texas were not something to take chances with.
Semien is executive vice president of facilities and maintenance, as well as interim airport operations manager, at Texas State Technical College.
During the weather crisis, he worked with TSTC’s physical plant, custodial and maintenance staff to identify power issues that affected TSTC’s campuses statewide. He was grateful that some staff members could get to their campuses to check on buildings.
Edgar Padilla, TSTC’s provost in Waco, said Semien was a key member of the Waco campus’ incident command team, which met several times daily to ensure the health and safety of all students.
“His calm, thoughtful and expert insight proved to be invaluable not only to the facilities and maintenance considerations, but also the student services, housing, public safety and communication pieces of the event,” Padilla said. “His commitment to TSTC will pay dividends for years to come.”
Semien sees the root of his work as having a desire to solve problems. He likes to get an idea of what is happening in the facilities on each campus.
“You can’t know every single thing, but you can keep me in the loop for anything outside the norm,” Semien said.
Some of Semien’s goals at TSTC include creating standards to be used in support departments at all of TSTC’s campuses. He wants to encourage employees to be open to new ideas to make work easier. Semien wants to build relationships and foster a teamwork concept that easily allows directors and staff members to make suggestions and have productive discussions.
“He (Semien) has great ideas,” said Arturo Aguilar, TSTC’s custodial supervisor in Waco. “Overall, he is a great leader and also great as a person to work with.”
Terry Pritchett, the TSTC physical plant’s senior executive director in Waco, said Semien brings a high measure of professionalism to his position.
“He is down-to-earth and easy to talk with, whether in a work or personal matter,” Pritchett said. “He is understanding and caring of the TSTC mission and makes his decisions based on our organizational goals. I look forward to many years of service under his leadership.”
Semien said his advice for people interested in the facilities and maintenance field is to be ready to learn and work well with other people.
“The opportunity is there if they jump into it early,” he said.
Semien’s previous work has been in facilities in the casino and health care industries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
“All of the experiences have rolled into the opportunity here,” Semien said.
Semien is a graduate of Lamar University in Beaumont.
During the month of February, TSTC wants to honor the Black students, staff and faculty who make TSTC a special place to learn.
For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.