More than 145 graduates received certificates and associate degrees at Texas State Technical College’s Fall 2019 Commencement held Monday, Dec. 9, at the Abilene Convention Center. Graduates from TSTC’s West Texas campuses in Abilene, Breckenridge, Brownwood and Sweetwater were recognized.


For Industrial Systems Technology instructor Daniel Diaz, this commencement held a special place in his heart. 


“This is the first group of students to graduate from our Industrial Systems program at the new Abilene campus with an associate degree,” he said. “It’s amazing to see how much these students have grown and that they are all graduating with great jobs. I am very proud of them,” he said.


One of those students is Abilene native Randy Miller. Miller has started working for PrintPack, which is based out of Granbury. 


“I loved this program and am very thankful for it and for my time at TSTC. But I am glad to be working,” Miller said. 


Several students in various programs could be found talking with classmates and instructors about embarking on their new careers.


April Clark received a certificate of completion in Vocational Nursing and will soon start working at Palo Pinto General Hospital. 


“This is a great feeling and a great stepping stone for me,” Clark said. “I’m ready to do my part to help people and make a positive impact on those battling illnesses.”


TSTC Provost Rick Denbow said commencement is his favorite day of each semester.


“To say today is exciting is an understatement,” Denbow said. “These students have sacrificed and worked hard, and today is the day to celebrate all of that and see them take the next steps in life with a great job.”


For T.J. Mendez, who earned his certificate of completion in Emergency Medical Technology Basic, today was a great personal accomplishment. 


“I started this year with a list of goals, and it is overwhelming that I have reached those goals,” Mendez said. “You just have to keep going and push through because it is worth it.”


Earlier in the day, the Nursing program held a pinning ceremony. 


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