(WACO, Texas) – More than 480 graduates from Texas State Technical College’s Waco campus received associate degrees, certificates of completion or occupational skills achievement awards at TSTC’s Spring 2023 Commencement held Thursday, May 4, at the BASE at Extraco Events Center in Waco.
“Graduation represents the culmination of all the hard work of our students,” said Beth Wooten, campus provost. “It is truly a time to celebrate and reflect on the journey that each and every student traveled to get to this point.”
Several graduates already have jobs.
Garrett Koch, of Hondo, received two Associate of Applied Science degrees in Diesel Equipment Technology, one with Heavy Truck Specialization and the other with Off-Highway Specialization.
Koch said he enjoyed the friends he made and the instructors he had at TSTC.
“A lot of older guys in my hometown came here,” he said.
Koch said his parents, brother and sister attended the ceremony. He said they would go out to eat after the ceremony.
He will begin work at his family’s business, Koch Landscape and Irrigation Services in Hondo, where he will be an equipment technician.
William Grant, of Del Rio, received an Associate of Applied Science degree in Welding Technology and a certificate of completion in Welding Advanced Pipe Specialization.
“I figured out what I like and did not like about welding,” he said about his time at TSTC. “I figured out how to live on my own in a comfortable setting.”
Grant said he would miss his instructors and the ability to weld as long as he wants.
Grant said he was encouraged to attend TSTC by Tod Townsend, his welding instructor at Del Rio High School.
Grant will begin work next week fabricating brush fire trucks at Skeeter Emergency Vehicles in Hillsboro.
Seana Harris, of Waco, received an Associate of Applied Science degree in Digital Media Design.
“It was good,” she said of her experience in the program. “I dropped out and came back. It was an adjustment with taking the program online.”
Harris said her favorite instructor was Stacie Buterbaugh.
“She is the best,” Harris said.
She will begin work soon at Northern & Nye Printing and Business Supplies in Robinson as a project design coordinator.
“It is a sigh of relief,” Harris said.
Harris said she and her family will travel to North Carolina after graduation but before she starts her new job.
Some graduates are still in the interview process regarding potential jobs.
Edgar Martinez, of Houston, received an Associate of Applied Science degree in Aircraft Pilot Training Technology.
“I will miss the people and the flying experiences,” he said. “It was a lot of fun.”
Martinez was influenced to pursue the aviation field by his parents who both work at Southwest Airlines. He said his parents would take him with them to work when he was young in lieu of leaving him with a babysitter.
Martinez said he is waiting on word from American Patrols in Midland about possible employment there.
Registration for TSTC’s fall semester is underway. For more information, go to tstc.edu.