(RED OAK, Texas) – Tyson Skinner, an alumnus of Texas State Technical College’s Drafting and Design program, recently returned to TSTC’s North Texas campus to become an instructor in the same program.
Skinner graduated from TSTC three years ago with an Associate of Applied Science degree and has been working in the drafting and design industry since.
Skinner said that before attending TSTC as a student, he had been working in an industry in which he had lost interest.
“I kind of felt lost and stuck between careers,” he said. “I wasn’t exactly sure where I was going or what I was doing, but I knew from a couple of drafting courses that I’d taken back in high school that I was good at this. When I came here (to TSTC) and looked into this specifically, it sort of recaptured my interest and my imagination. I finally felt like I was excited about what I was doing and I had a direction to go.”
Skinner said it was the ability to be creative and use his imagination that originally interested him about drafting and design.
“I’ve always been interested in how things work,” he said. “Just understanding the mechanism for things, and what drafting and design does, not only allows you to understand these things to sort of pick them apart, it’s also the ability to create something from scratch or improve what you see around you. Having that skill set under my belt allows me to look at the world around me, create something from scratch, and then bring it into reality.”
Skinner said he had been thinking about his time at TSTC and considering a shift in his career path when he received a call from Victor Ramirez, lead instructor for TSTC’s Drafting and Design program in North Texas.
Ramirez said he remembers Skinner as a creative and hardworking student who took a leadership role during the transition from in-person to online classes during COVID.
“I always say that the classroom is based off the synergy of the students and how the students engage,” Ramirez said. “With Tyson in that cohort, he and a couple of other students made it to where the students were not afraid to engage in that online learning environment.”
Ramirez said he still uses one of the projects that Skinner created during his time as a student, a Nerf gun prototype, as an example in his classes.
“You see projects and creativity by other students or former students, and it inspires those new students,” Ramirez said. “That’s the other part of bringing Tyson along. I thought if he’s that inspiring, and he doesn’t know any of the students that I’m presenting the project (to), I can’t imagine what his passion can bring in front of the students.”
Skinner said that as an instructor, he is excited to continue learning and to give back to the students as he does so.
“I had no idea whenever I was considering coming in for the program just how much it was going to impact my life,” he said.
For more information on TSTC, go to tstc.edu.