(MARSHALL, Texas) – Whenever a commencement ceremony is held, the provost of each Texas State Technical College campus is given the chance to present the Provost’s Outstanding Achievement Award to a deserving graduate.
During his time as provost of the Marshall campus, Barton Day had given the award only once. But as the recent summer 2023 commencement ceremony approached, Day decided to give the award to a second student: Colt Kimbrough, an outstanding Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology student who was set to receive an Associate of Applied Science degree.
“When looking for a possible recipient of the Provost’s Award, I look for things that indicate a student has gone above and beyond in helping those around them, (such as) volunteerism, demonstrated leadership among their peer group and pitching in to help others around campus.” Day said. “In this case, Colt received five nominations from various departments around campus, making for a pretty easy decision.”
Kimbrough’s childhood in Edgewood, Texas, could be considered one giant construction lesson. Several of his family members have either worked in or grown up around construction and electrical work. Kimbrough was able to help wire houses from an early age.
“The mystery of how we control electricity to use it in the way we do is amazing to me,” Kimbrough said. “I get to be amazed by it and be able to do something a lot of people in the world do not want to do and also be able to work with my hands.”
Kimbrough takes the term “hard worker” to a whole new level. Even before coming to TSTC, he spent his summer working with a lineworker contracting crew for a utility service company. As a TSTC student, when not in class, he could be found leading a Marshall campus Bible study that he started, volunteering at his newfound church, or offering his services in the dorms as a resident assistant.
Off campus, Kimbrough held several part-time jobs and eventually assisted in home remodeling by helping with framing and residential construction and demolition. If he had a second of free time, he was helping others or bettering his work ethic.
Though Kimbrough’s winning of the Provost’s Outstanding Achievement Award surprised no one at TSTC, Kimbrough himself was quite humble about the honor.
“I don’t like to be recognized when it comes to helping — it’s just my personality to do that,” he said. “It’s amazing that I got an award for it.”
Kimbrough knows without a doubt that the TSTC instructors and staff love their jobs and are just as dedicated to their work as he is.
“TSTC is a place to jump-start a career,” Kimbrough said. “It’s not a school that makes us go through a class that we won’t use in our actual career. It’s a place that actually gets what you’re wanting to go into, and (the staff) devote themselves to making sure you can do it to the best of your ability.”
Today, Kimbrough has relocated to Greenville, Texas, for a six-month competitive internship with Farmers Electric Cooperative. If hired afterward, he plans to work his way up to a journeyman role with the company. He is considering pursuing an electrical engineering degree in the future.
According to onetonline.org, electrical power-line installers and repairers can earn an average annual salary of $65,730 in Texas. The website projected that there would be a 24% increase in the number of such jobs in the state from 2020 to 2030.
TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree and a certificate of completion in Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology at its Abilene, Fort Bend County, Harlingen, Marshall and Waco campuses.
The program is part of TSTC’s Money-Back Guarantee, which refunds a participating graduate’s tuition if he or she has not found a job in their field within six months of graduation. For more information, visit tstc.edu/mbg.
For more information on TSTC, visit tstc.edu.