Lea Escalera (right), a TSTC Building Construction Technology student, learns how to operate a scissor lift by listening to directions from Rene Rodriguez, a Building Construction Technology instructor, during a recent lab session.

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – The sun was gleaming and a cold January breeze made its presence felt across South Texas, including at Texas State Technical College’s Harlingen campus where more than 2,220 students began the spring 2024 semester on Monday, Jan. 8.

The new year brings a focused mindset not only to TSTC students who have goals that they are determined to achieve, but also to the instructors who are prepared to help them attain those goals.

Ray Longoria is TSTC’s Biomedical Equipment Technology program director and the new program team lead for TSTC’s Wind Energy Technology program in Harlingen. His goals include elevating student success.

“I want to ensure that the students have access to essential resources that will sharpen their knowledge and skills while they prepare for great-paying jobs in the Texas workforce,” he said.

Adrienne Reyes is TSTC’s Nursing program director.

“We would like our first-semester students to grow in their overall communication and practice safety once clinicals begin in the hospital setting,” she said. “For our advanced students, it’s important that they gain memorable experiences in obstetrics, pediatrics and mental-health clinical settings. After they graduate, that determines which health care companies they would like to start their careers with.”

Karina Garza, of San Benito, is a fourth-semester Auto Collision and Management Technology student who would like to become a skilled auto body repairer.

“My focus is to practice with a variety of hands-on assignments so I can develop natural instincts,” she said. “I also plan to research current trends and technologies in the auto repair industry since they always change.”

Emiliano Moreno, of Los Fresnos, is a second-semester HVAC Technology student who also is employed as a part-time HVAC helper with Texas Lone Star AC and Heating in Brownsville.

“I completed my first step to get on-the-job training while I study for an HVAC education at TSTC,” he said. “After I graduate, my plan is to get hired as an HVAC technician.”

Cielo Castillo, of San Benito, is a third-semester Welding Technology student who looks forward to a course project called a “rolling offset.”

“It’s the last hands-on assignment that my classmates and I will work on this semester in the Advanced Layout and Fabrication course,” she said. “It will give me a better understanding of industrial and refinery pipe fitting.”

For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

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