(HUTTO, Texas) – Three students from Texas State Technical College’s East Williamson County campus won medals at the recent 2023 SkillsUSA Texas Postsecondary Leadership and Skills Conference in Houston.
“We are proud to have the students representing us and showcasing the local talent here in Williamson County,” said Nelson Adams, associate provost of TSTC’s East Williamson County campus.
Angel Brondel, of Hutto, won gold medals in the CNC 3-Axis Milling Programmer and Extemporaneous Speaking contests. She is in her second semester in the Precision Machining Technology program.
Due to SkillsUSA rules, Brondel can only choose one event to compete in at the 2023 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference scheduled for June in Atlanta, Georgia. She has chosen to represent Texas in the CNC 3-Axis Milling Programmer contest.
“I’m pretty excited,” said Apolinar Ruiz, lead instructor in TSTC’s Precision Machining Technology program. “It is something I did not expect for how long she has been programming and how long I have been teaching her.”
For the state Milling contest, Brondel was given a blueprint and a list of tools available, and had to write a program to develop the designed part. She said she did not get all of the work done but did one key task before the timed contest was finished.
“I remembered to set the tool offset in the simulator,” Brondel said. “It tells you the tool size for when you make the part.”
Brondel knows more work needs to be done to prepare for the national conference. She said she will work on memorizing blocks of code to use for program writing, along with studying precision measurements and perfecting interviewing skills. Ruiz said he will test her in summer semester classes by leaving sections of code out for her to fill in during lab projects.
“The computer science (experience I have) has contributed more than I thought,” Brondel said.
Brondel decided to pursue SkillsUSA after competing in academic decathlons in high school. She also wanted to challenge herself in ways that she does not do in her classes.
“SkillsUSA is a big deal in the trade industries,” she said.
Other East Williamson County campus students who received medals include:
- Silver: Welding, Justin Beene.
- Silver: Welding Sculpture, Jessica Krause.
SkillsUSA is a professional organization focused on employability, leadership and technical skills that help college students pursue successful careers and be part of a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA has more than 100 categories in which students can compete, from 3D Visualization and Automation to Welding Sculpture.
For more information on SkillsUSA, go to skillsusa.org.
For more information on TSTC, go to tstc.edu.