TSTC’s Fort Bend County campus sees first graduates

Degrees earned in precision machining technology

(Submitted Photo) Salman Maredia graduated with his associate degree in precision machining technology during Texas State Technical College’s fall 2016 commencement ceremony in Waco. He was one of two to become the first graduates from the new Fort Bend County campus in Rosenberg.

(Submitted Photo)
Salman Maredia graduated with his associate degree in precision machining technology during Texas State Technical College’s fall 2016 commencement ceremony in Waco. He was one of two to become the first graduates from the new Fort Bend County campus in Rosenberg.

There are two students from Texas State Technical College in Fort Bend County who made history on Friday by being the first to graduate from TSTC’s new Industrial Technology Center.

Chris Calmes and Salman Maredia both earned their associate degrees in precision machining technology during the commencement ceremony held in Waco. Both students also hold a certificate in the same program.

“Honestly, the idea of graduating and being the first two from the new campus to graduate hasn’t sunk in yet,” said Calmes. “I guess we’re the big guys on campus right now. I feel kind of special.”

Calmes was raised in Needville and had tried attending a four-year university prior to enrolling at TSTC. He said he knew immediately he had not made the right decision.

“I’ve always considered myself a hands-on learner,” said Calmes. “I wasn’t getting that at the university. I tried it, but it wasn’t for me.”

The 23-year-old said he is glad he decided to pursue a technical education instead.

(Submitted Photo) Chris Calmes graduated with his associate degree in precision machining technology during Texas State Technical College’s fall 2016 commencement ceremony in Waco. He was one of two to become the first graduates from the new Fort Bend County campus in Rosenberg.

(Submitted Photo)
Chris Calmes graduated with his associate degree in precision machining technology during Texas State Technical College’s fall 2016 commencement ceremony in Waco. He was one of two to become the first graduates from the new Fort Bend County campus in Rosenberg.

“TSTC and the hands-on learning has made all of the difference. And it’s been a privilege to work on the new state-of-art machinery we have at the new campus,” he said. “Going back to a university to pursue engineering may be in my future, but I’m going to concentrate on working and enhancing my skills in my field first.”

Calmes said he has received all the training and education he needs to feel confident when applying and interviewing for industry jobs. He has a couple of job opportunities, but is still seeking other options. Calmes hopes to eventually end up at a machining or oilfield service companies such as DMG Mori, Schlumberger or Halliburton.

“I’m so excited and nervous about graduating,” said Calmes. “I needed the degree and I got it. It’s time to move forward.”

As for Maredia, a Houston native said it was his father who was inspired to pursue a precision machining technology degree.

“My dad always had a dream of opening his own automotive engineering shop, and now I can carry on with his dream,” Maredia said.

On top of getting closer to realizing his dream, Maredia is also excited to be one of the first two graduates from TSTC’s new Fort Bend County campus.

“Being one of the first graduates from the new campus is pretty neat. I mean we’re making history,” he said.

Maredia hopes students will take advantage of a technical education and think out of the box in terms of skills needed to find a job.

“We can get the theoretical approach anywhere, but it’s the hands-on training that makes us unique,” said Maredia. “TSTC has helped me gain a set of skills that I know will set me apart from the crowd.”

Calmes and Maredia were among the 960 students who graduated and earned certificates or associate degrees at TSTC campuses statewide.

Registration for spring 2017 is in progress. To register or apply anytime, visit tstc.edu.

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