(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Cars and trucks decorated with balloons and window art lined up across the Health Science and Technology Building parking lot at Texas State Technical College recently to celebrate the newest graduates of the Surgical Technology program.
While maintaining social distancing guidelines, one graduate at a time exited their vehicle and walked up to a tent, where they were presented with their surgical technology pin, a rose, and even a festive cookie to celebrate the occasion.
The original pinning ceremony, which was planned for early August, had to be canceled because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. However, the program instructors felt that the 28 graduates still needed to be celebrated.
“We knew we wanted to do something special for our students,” said Surgical Technology instructor Yolanda Ramirez. “We have been planning the pinning parade since the start of the summer semester.”
Like many TSTC students this year, this cohort had to adjust rapidly to the environmental changes of their program, including hybrid learning with online classes and in-person labs.
“Each of our students worked so hard to continue their education and achieve the goal of graduating from the Surgical Technology program,” said Ramirez. “This class had to quickly adapt to our current situation, and it was important that we honor their hard work.”
Surgical Technology program director Anna San Pedro added that this cohort is well equipped to leave their mark on the industry.
“The faculty and I send our most sincere well wishes to our students,” she said. “We are confident that our graduates will have a prosperous future, and we look forward to seeing their continued success in life and in the surgical technology industry.”
She said that teamwork was an effort that guided this class on the way to graduation.
“I always start a cohort by saying ‘we are a team until the end, and we will get through the program together, one step at a time,’” she said. “In the end, we become a family. Now these graduates have become part of the TSTC Surgical Technology alumni family.”
Registration for fall classes is underway. For more information, visit tstc.edu.