Tag: Student

Student overcomes obstacle with positive attitude

by Desiree Lopez

For Jonathan Rangel, being involved is an important aspect of attending college.

Rangel, a first-generation college student from Littlefield, Texas, is a sophomore pursuing an Associate of Arts degree in radiology.

He said he chose to attend South Plains College because he enjoys the student-teacher ratio and the affordability.

“I lived in Littlefield, and we have small classes, and that’s where I felt the most comfortable at,” explains Rangel. “I knew SPC was close to home and affordable.”

He enjoys the comfortable environment that is provided at SPC and is proud of his decision to attend classes on the Levelland campus.

Rangel finds most science classes intriguing, such as biology and anatomy and physiology. His love for science quickly became one of the reasons why he chose to major in radiology.

In his hometown, Rangel shadowed a radiologist and became more interested in the field.IMG_0389

“I just loved what he did, and I asked him for his pay,” says Rangel, “but he just said that he was very fortunate. And hopefully I can achieve something like him.”

Rangel also gives credit to his parents for constantly encouraging him to get into the medical field.

He says that his biggest role model is his father, who couldn’t have set a better example for him.

“My dad worked so hard doing outside labor,” explained Rangel, “and he said it made him a hard worker. But he didn’t want me to go through that because he struggled.”

Rangel is very involved on the Levelland campus. Last year, he was voted to serve as president of Catholic Student Ministries and was just recently voted president for the second consecutive year. As president, Rangel was allowed to make changes to CSM to attract students and improve the organization.

“When I went to the first mass, they didn’t really have music,” says Rangel, “and to me, music speaks to a lot of people. So as president, I took the executive decision to make music binders and have a speaker to create an atmosphere where students here know that this is something they can look forward to every Wednesday.”

Rangel wants to encourage students to join CSM and to not get the misconception that all they do is pray.IMG_0390

He is involved with intramural sports on campus as well. He plays kickball, volleyball, and flag football. According to Rangel, being involved in intramural sports has given him the opportunity to meet many new friends.

Last year, Rangel was also a nominee for SPC’s Homecoming king.

Rangel plays in the SPC band and is a member of the Meraki saxophone quartet. He has played the alto saxophone for almost eight years and decided to join the SPC band because he didn’t want to let his talent go to waste.

“I auditioned for the SPC band and I got in,” Rangel said. “My instructors have pushed me to be the greatest I can be, and they’ve pushed me hard enough to let me know the potential I have. They remind me of that every day, even when I don’t see it.”

While on campus, Rangel spends most of his free time hanging out in the Student Life Center. He enjoys making new friends and hanging out with his old ones. He considers himself to be very extroverted and is always finding ways to create new friendships.

“You never know who you’ll meet and how they can help you and influence you when you come here [Student Life] and vice versa,” says Rangel. “But that’s only if you let it happen.”

Rangel also enjoys spending time at home with his family and friends. He explains that keeping his friendships alive is among the many priorities in his life.

Rangel currently works as a waiter at Nopalitos restaurant in Littlefield. He enjoys his job and the environment it provides. He works on weekends and during the summer.

His commitments also include his family. Having a close relationship with his family is something that he tries to sustain on a daily basis.

Rangel considers time management to be one of his biggest obstacles in life. He has learned to sacrifice his time of having fun and replace it with studying and being productive.

Last semester, Rangel applied for the 22-month radiology program at the Reese Center campus. Unfortunately, he did not get accepted, but took that opportunity to respond to failure and not let it bring him down. He said he strongly believes that failure should not define who anybody is, and that all you can do is respond to that failure in a positive manner.IMG_0385

Rangel also explains that his faith plays a huge role in his everyday life. When things get tough, he likes to remind himself that Jesus carried his cross even with so much weight for such a great distance. Who’s to say that he can’t do the same?

Rangel encourages students to make the most out of their time at SPC.

“Put yourself out there,” Rangel explains, “because you never know who you’re going to meet, and you never know what you’re going to do or the friends you’re going to make.”

He met two of his best friends while being involved at SPC. He says that being outgoing and involved has allowed him to meet many lifelong friends, and he encourages others to do the same.

International student strives to help her community

By Victoria De Souza

Lucy Kayiuki is pursuing her passion for the medical field to have an impactful change in her community.

Kayiuki lived in Kenya with her mother and two younger brothers until she received an opportunity to obtain her associate’s degree in nursing at South Plains College. 

Kayiuki is the first person in her family to go to college. Prior to coming to SPC, she studied for two years at Kenyatta University.

Kayiuki began by pursuing a medical degree, but she started facing a rough time in following up with the medical school in Kenya. 

Lucy Kayiuki is a first-generation college student from

“School became a little crazy, and I had to take a break for a while,” Kayiuki recalls.

After taking a break from school, Kayiuki saw the opportunity to explore the medical field by studying nursing. With the help of some family friends from Lubbock, Texas, she was introduced to SPC.

“I heard about SPC because I had some friends that attended the school,” said Kayiuki, “and they all said that it is a very good school, and that I should give a try.”

In 2017, she moved to the United States to enroll in college. She said that she is very grateful for the opportunity of going back to school and looks forward to future opportunities to follow up with her college career before returning home.

“I hope to receive opportunities, like scholarships, to continue my education in the United States so I can transfer back to medical school,” Kayiuki said.

Her career goal is to be able to help her home country to improve its medical resources.

As an international student, Kayiuki also goes through a hard time being away from her family.

“I miss having my mom and my brothers around, and my community,” said Kayiuki. “I also miss a lot of our food. They taste so different from the ones here.” 

Her family is an important reason to keep her motivated and keep moving forward while pursuing her career. 

“It is hard being away from my family,” explains Kayiuki, “and I receive a lot of support from my family and my friends. We always challenge ourselves to improve and reach our goals. Also, I want to set a good role model for my two younger brothers.”

This semester, Kayiuki began serving as a residence hall advisor at the Smallwood Apartments on the Levelland campus.

“This job has been very good for me,” said Kayiuki. “It has given me the opportunity to improve my social skills because I have to interact with the residents. Also, it has helped me a lot in developing better time management and leadership skills that I will use after I graduate.”

Despite managing a busy schedule between her classes and working, Kayiuki still finds free time for her friends and hobbies.

“I love singing,” Kayiuki said. “I was in a singing group back home, and every time I go back, I try to go visit them. Now I am working to learn to play guitar, and this has been a very fun experience.”

Student finds path expressing himself through artwork

With marks of a pencil and strokes of a brush, Christian Garcia fills a blank canvas with his colorful view of the world.

Christian Garcia, sophomore art major at South Plains College, uses his artwork as a form of expression and says he hopes others can find it relatable.

Garcia took his first art classes when he was in the sixth grade, but really immersed himself in the craft at home.

IMG_0004“I would say my art is about 70 percent self-taught,” he said. “I spent most of my time making art at my house, or by watching YouTube videos.”

After spending a semester at Texas Tech University, the Frenship High School graduate transferred to SPC.

“At Tech, I kind of felt like this little bitty fish in this big ol’ sea of students that were better at their craft than me, and professors that didn’t care about me,” Garcia said.

Garcia explains SPC was a much better fit for him.

“When I came here, the classroom size is a bit more manageable,” Garcia said. “The teachers seem to care, and it’s a lot cheaper.” he said.

According to Garcia, he was told by one of his instructors that he is one the best artists on campus.

“I wouldn’t say my expertise comes from one really awesome teacher,” he said. “I think it’s more my thirst for knowledge.”

Garcia credits his collection of teachers as having been a huge part of his success at SPC.

“I get a lot of good advice from the drawing professor, Chris Adams,” he said. “I’m learning a lot from ceramics class, painting class, drawing class.”

Branching out into other art mediums has helped to improve his own painting, according to Garcia.

“The metals teacher, Allison Black, has helped me understand 3D things and expand my horizons,” he said. “As a painting person, a 2D person, it’s really hard to wrap my head around 3D, because it’s not something I work with.”

IMG_0013After receiving his associate’s degree, Garcia hopes to transfer to the University of North Texas or the University of Texas at San Antonio.

“After I get my undergrad, I want to live in San Francisco for a little bit, New York for a little bit, or maybe somewhere in Italy,” Garcia said. “I have a very nomadic personality.”

Garcia has been invited to participate in an art show in San Antonio at the Aztec Theatre on April 25.

“There’s going to be a lot of people, artists, a fashion show, and jewelers,” He said. “It’ll be pretty cool.”

The show is hosted by a non-profit company called Raw Artist.

“A scouter found me on Instagram and really liked my work,” Garcia said. “They set up with their show director for an interview. He thought I’d be a good fit for the show.”

Garcia said he gains most of his attention from his social media profiles.

“The biggest jump in my following has been from Instagram,” he said. “It’s probably been the biggest thing. There are a couple of people following me that I have no idea what language their profile is in.”

Garcia says he hopes his followers can relate to his artwork.

“I’m working on painting with a purpose,” Garcia said. “I want someone to see it and gather their own personal meaning from it.”

Trauma and personal pain are a few of the things Garcia gathers inspiration from.

“I think a lot of people from any generation can understand and relate to feeling alone,” he said. “Maybe your parents don’t agree with you or support your dreams.”

Garcia’s artistic pseudonym is ‘Toxic Sheep,’ which has an underlying message for those who enjoy his art.

“I want to tell my audience not to be like the toxic sheep in their lives,” Garcia said. “Don’t be a follower. If you want to have this big bold dream, live it. If you want to be an artist, writer, or entertainer, go do it. Don’t do a toxic sheep, and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.”

You can see Garcia’s artwork on Instagram and Twitter @toxic_sheep811 or on Facebook @toxic.sheep.

Catholic Student Ministry president hopes to help students grow stronger in faith

Jasmine Carty hopes to help people with their personal faith and spiritual growth.

Carty, a sophomore from Palmer, Texas, is a kinesiology major and Catholic Student Ministries president.

Catholic Student Ministry is a group for students looking for a place to practice their Catholicism, which offers Mass, Bible study, and a student-run office. There are Bible studies at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Mass at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.

As president of the CSM, Carty has responsibilities to accomplish with help from her fellow officers.

“I run officer meetings,” said Carty. “The officers work together to do fundraisers. I got to design the t-shirts for officers and the ones on sale school-wide. I run Bible study and give people volunteer opportunities.”

Carty said that she learned about the CSM at summer Orientation and learned more about the organizations and opportunities she has as a student.

“I learned about CSM at Orientation,” explained Carty. “I signed up for the Remind texts. At the CSM Mixer, I signed up to run for president.”

Carty took the opportunity to run for president with encouragement from her friends. As a president of any organization, it is important to be able to speak your mind and lead fellow students toward the right path.

“I ran because my friends told me that I would be a good president,” Carty explained. “I’m outspoken, and I get stuff done and not afraid to say what I mean.”

studentAs president of CSM, it is important to have a strong faith and help other students to build a strong faith and have a leader to guide them, according to Carty.

“I think the most important part of being president is making sure our members are heard,” said Carty. “Normally, in Bible study it would be a good idea to ask me questions one on one, because I enjoy ministering to people and talking about their personal faith and testimonies. I feel like not just as a president but as a Christian, it is my job to help people when they’re struggling or down.”

Carty encourages people to attend CSM and all their events. This organization helps students keep their faith and find some friendly faces. It is a safe place for Catholic students to express their faith and get involved in student activities on campus. This organization allows students to make decisions regarding choices that are made.

As president, Carty listens for input and helps accomplish goals for all of the students involved in CSM.

“Mass is really important for Catholics,” Carty said. “It is a really great way to get the body and blood of Christ. I enjoy the mass on campus. It’s a smaller service. But I enjoy the fellowship and being surrounded by people that share my beliefs and faith, and having that group of friends for me.”

Joining organizations on campus is a great way for students to become involved in something that excites them and is important to them. Running for offices in the organizations gives students a voice in the decisions made regarding the organization.

Carty said that she took this opportunity to become involved in an organization that is important to her as a Catholic and uses her voice to make changes that the students want to see. She encourages other students to use these opportunities.

“If people want to be an officer, they should definitely run,” said Carty. “It looks really good on a resume. It is a good opportunity to have your voice heard and be a part of something bigger than yourself.”

Student pursues passion in film after soccer injury

After a devastating injury that ended his soccer career, Fabio Acosta traded in his soccer cleats for a camera and found a new passion for film at South Plains College.

Acosta, a freshman film major, was born in Ojocaliente, Zacatecas, Mexico, but moved to Dallas, Texas, when he was 2 years old.

“I love the Dallas area,” Acosta said. “Everyone is so open-minded, and they don’t judge you.”

He played soccer for eight years before coming to SPC.

“I started playing when I was 12, which is very late, especially in soccer,” Acosta said. “Most people start playing when they’re 4 or 5.”

After playing on minor travel teams, Acosta started playing on the Lewisville High School team, turning the heads of scouts from NCAA Divison I and II colleges.

“I was offered scholarships from schools in Kanas and Oklahoma,” Acosta said. “The week before I was supposed to take the SATs, my team was playing for the Regional finals. We were losing 2-0, and I did a quick turn. I blew out my knee; I tore my ACL and my meniscus.”

IMG_9735Acosta said that before his injury, his life was all about soccer. He was trying to make a career out of it.

“I had high hopes and dreams,” Acosta said. “That summer, I was going to go to Mexico and try to go pro with a D-II team, and it just did not work out in my favor.”

Acosta started to steer his life in a new direction. From the moment he clicked the shutter-button, he fell in love with photography.

“I picked up the camera and started snapping pictures, Acosta said. “I enjoyed take pictures of stuff and taking pictures of people. I was learning about the shutter speeds and lighting. I wanted to learn how everything worked.”

After receiving a camera of his own for his birthday, he started trying to edit his photos using apps and watching YouTube videos. YouTube is where he found an interest for cinematic videos.

“I thought that was so cool,” Acosta said, “so I started filming and tried putting stuff together.”

Instead of just using apps to edit his videos, Acosta said he wanted to use professional editing tools, such as Premiere Pro.

“So, I started to look at schools,” he said. “I came across South Plains College; it looked unique. I read online that SPC was one of the top junior colleges for film.”

Since coming to SPC, Acosta says his advisor and instructor Greg Cook has taught him so much about editing and film.

“He’s just a really cool guy,” he said. “He’s helped me with everything I needed. Up to now, he’s just been a huge help. I’ve really fallen in love with film and editing.”

After SPC, Acosta hopes to transfer to Texas Tech University or the University of North Texas.

“I like Tech, and UNT is close to home,” Acosta said, “but I’ve thought about moving to L.A., because L.A. is really big on film.”

Acosta plans to travel and make his mark on the world with his camera and the knowledge he gains at SPC.

“I want to show people what I can do,” he said. “I want to show people the world, because I feel like a lot of people are closed-minded. I want to show them different cultures, different cuisines, and different areas.”

One place where he would like to make his mark with his film work is Asia.

“Japan and Korea are two very interesting places I’d like to visit,” Acosta said. “I’m interested in their culture, their food, and especially their film industry. The way they make their music videos is over-the-top. They go all out for them.”

Acosta says he was nervous about making the transition from a big city, such as Dallas, to a small town, like Levelland. But the people he’s met along the way have made it easier.

“For the first three months, I didn’t talk to anybody,” Acosta said. “But then I met some people; they’re pretty cool. They’re my friends to this day.”

Acosta went on to say he enjoys everyone he has met and everything has been able to accomplish at South Plains.

“I’ve met a lot of cool people here,” Acosta said. “It’s awesome. The instructors are pretty awesome too. I’m enjoying all my classes. It’s been fun.”

Students remember Dr. King during MLK day event

Everyone has a dream. For Dr. Martin Luther King, that dream was equality.

Two South Plains College student organizations arranged a Martin Luther King Day celebration to instill the desire for greatness in students, faculty, and staff.

The Student Government Association and Residence Hall Association jointly planned an interactive event for the community to engage with their peers and unite through culture and equality.

The event was held on Jan.16 in the Sundown Room of the Student Center on the Levelland campus, where Miranda English, director of Student Life, greeted those in attendance with hot chocolate and a facts quiz about the man with a dream, Dr. King. The quiz tested college students on their knowledge of Dr. King. Some of the students were surprised by their lack of knowledge about where he grew up and his past that made him such a strong activist for equality.

The purpose for SGA and RHA putting this celebration together was to expand the college’s multicultural campus events, and to encourage the community to understand and remember the values Dr. King possessed, according to English.

“Everyone can be great, because greatness is determined by service,” English says. “We really want to ensure SPC gives back to the community, and Martin Luther King was big on serving the community and finding out what the need is in the community, and filling it.”

IMG_7569English said that she wants all students to remember the character traits such as courage, strength, perseverance, and leadership. Dr. King sought out justice and equality, which can positively impact a community such as SPC.

“SPC wanted to highlight Martin Luther King, not only on MLK day, but for the entire week, and concluded it would tie into Black History month as well,” said English. “I wanted to engage the students by not only putting together a slideshow, but with interactive activities too.”

Some activities were writing dreams out individually, creating posters with a group, and sharing those with others. The group posters were maps, or blueprints, of what the students who participated think is required to reach their dreams and how they should live their best, most successful lives.

The students at the celebration honored Dr. King by working together to come up with ideas and dreams that they want to accomplish in the future. Providing everyone at the event with equal opportunity to state what their dreams are, and the possible ways they can achieve those dreams, was a perfect example of showing how Dr. King’s legacy can impact so many people. It was a great way to inspire students to reflect on how they want to change the world. A big change Dr. King instilled in the world was to unite as one and work toward something greater, such as equality.

Other events held in January to honor Dr. King and celebrate Black History month were a documentary called “Remembering Martin,” and a film of impactful moments of King’s speeches. Also planned is a Black History Film Festival on Feb.5, Feb.16 and Feb. 23, beginning at 6:30 p.m. each day in the Sundown Room of the Student Center on the Levelland campus.

Brazilian student grateful for opportunities in America

Many people would love to have the chance to live in tropical areas, but Victoria de Souza Bispo got to experience this.

De Souza lived in Pará, Brazil with her grandparents until she was 14 years old.

Brazil has a lot of different looks,” says de Souza, a freshman at South Plains College. “There’s the Brazil that everybody knows, like Rio. But the Brazil that I know is a lot different, because I’m from the Amazon. We have a lot of trees where I come from. But we have big cities like Lubbock, but with way more trees.”

De Souza explained that school in Brazil was more difficult, due to having a longer schedule. She explained that it was a lot of pressure but gave her more opportunities and a better chance at getting into college in the United States.

“In high school in Brazil, we learn everything that the United States learns in four years in one year,” de Souza explains. “It is way too much pressure. In Brazil, they have this list, and if you are not on the list, you do not get to go to college. Here, you have a lot of opportunities and a lot of different options. And here we have scholarships and financial aid. In Brazil, we don’t have that. You have to pay for it on your own.”

When de Souza was 14 years old, she decided to move to Costa Rica to live with her mother. That is where she learned Spanish.

“My mother was living in Costa Rica,” recalls de Souza.


“I asked my grandparents, because I was living with them, if I could go. So I went to Costa Rica, and I lived there for almost three years.”

After living in Costa Rica, learning Spanish and making new friends, her stepfather got the opportunity to study at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.

After moving to a completely new country, there are adjustments that have to be made. Language and food were her main adjustments, according to de Souza. When she first moved to West Texas, she faced language barriers. She explained that she would watch television in English as an easy way to learn to speak English. She also said the food was a lot different.

“In Brazil, we eat rice and beans and meat,” de Souza said, “so when you come here it is a lot different, because they don’t eat that much rice.

De Souza says that the biggest opportunities that she has had living in the United States are being able to learn a new language and education. She said it’s hard for people to pursue a college education in Brazil.

De Souza, a public relations major, says she chose South Plains because she appreciates having a smaller class.

“I like the small classes because the teachers care about your learning,” de Souza added. “So that is something I appreciate, and that’s why I wanted to come here. I have a hard time with English, so the teachers have time to talk with me because of the small classes.”

Although she has had many opportunities, de Souza said that she had to face being homesick and being away from her grandparents. She explained that her first year away from Brazil was the hardest. She said that it has gotten better because her grandparents come and visit. But she still gets homesick from time to time.

“I did the first year I was gone,” de Souza recalls. “I really wanted to go home because I have a great connection with my grandparents. I grew up with them, so I really miss them. The first year was the hardest because I broke that bond of being with them every day. Right now is not that bad, because they come visit us, so I got happy. Sometimes I sit on my bed and wish I had everybody back around.”

De Souza has overcome moving from three different countries and all the baggage that comes along with moving.

“I have met a lot of people from a lot of different countries,” de Souza said. “It is something that I have really enjoyed.”

Student elected delegate for state physical therapy association

Shelby Jan Nail plans to use her role as a delegate for the Texas Student Physical Therapy Association to promote physical therapy and help benefit future students studying the profession.

tspta girlThe South Plains College student from Zephyr, Texas, has studied at Texas Tech before coming to the Levelland campus to study physical therapy. Nail attended the TPTA annual conference at Corpus Christi on Oct. 26 – Oct. 29.

Student members of the Texas Student Physical Therapy Association elected Nail as a delegate for the program she will represent and make decisions for physical therapy students across the Texas.

The TSPTA was created for physical therapists to advance in improving the movement of health and wellness in Texas. The program has the goals to empower society by recognizing physical therapists as experts in movement and wellness, to empower the association by becoming relevant and dynamic by engaging in membership and meaningful communication, and empowering the physical therapy profession by attaining patient access for equitable payment for physical therapy services, according to the TSPTA website.

As a physical therapy associate (PTA) delegate, Nail sits on the TSPTA executive board with other physical therapy students from across Texas. As a delegate for this program, Nail will have duties to uphold for PTA students across the state by attending the House meeting and becoming involved with the association.

“This position requires my attendance at the House of Delegates meeting in New Orleans next year, said Nail. “I represent PTA students across the state of Texas.”2013_TSPTA_LogoMaster

During her time in New Orleans, she will have to meet with the House for three successive days to make decisions on issues that have far reaching implications for the association and for physical therapy professions. These meetings are executed through parliamentary procedure and address bylaws, the needs of physical therapy publicly along with the members, and reach the goals that the association wishes to meet.

Nail will be able to voice her opinion and work with the TSPTA to improve the profession for other physical therapists and patients with her delegacy. This program allows members to make decisions and amend laws dealing with the physical therapy profession and physical therapy patients. It also is important in making physical therapy relevant and how important it is for recovery.

Nail has plans to learn, advocate, and promote for the physical therapy profession. “I’m excited about the opportunity to learn,” said Nail. “This position is perfect

for advocacy, which is an important value, upheld by the PT profession.”

Nail plans to use her position to make plans that will benefit future physical therapy students and patients.

“PT is vital to patient rehabilitation, but severely underutilized,” Nail explained, “It is my responsibility, not only in this position but as a professional, to promote PT and what is best for future students to best benefit their patients.”

Nail says she hopes to use her position as a delegate to make physical therapy a better experience for people who plan to pursue this profession and for the patients.

Engineering student wants to take career interstellar

If one’s future is written in the stars, there is at least one South Plains College student with an eye turned toward the things to come.

Ethan Villa, a sophomore engineering major from Lubbock, keeps himself busy with a healthy portion of schoolwork, socializing with friends, and generally trying to make sense of the reason things are the way they are.

Villa has an underlying love for reason, whether it be understanding something motorized, such as the inner workings of machinery, or the big philosophical questions facing humanity as a whole. He is currently considering pursuing mechanical engineering as a career, but he’s not saying no to anything else that comes his way.

“I wanted to join the military as well,” Villa said. “Because my dad was a Marine. He was Special Forces. And it was probably something I was looking forward to doing too. I’m kind of debating where to go. And the musician route as well, but I think that’s more of a hobby, and just playing around really.”

He has a background in martial arts as well, having trained in Brazilian jiu-jitsu for more than six years.

“I haven’t trained for three years, but I want to get back into that. But it’s kind of costly.”

There’s nothing he would completely rule out, however.

“I think the most important thing is just—who cares what you do?” Villa said. “If you love doing it, just do it.”

As his primary drive for performing well in life, Villa says it’s something internal that’s so ingrained in him that it’s just second nature.

“College is just a lot of responsibility,” he explained. “It’s either you do it, or you don’t. You get a good grade, or you’re going to fail. A lot of the math classes are like that. If you don’t study, you’re going to fail.”

Villa’s future plans include transferring to Texas Tech University, where he will pursue a bachelor’s degree in engineering.

Something Villa doesn’t believe in is the distraction of endlessly posting updates to social media.

“If you want to know, you can ask and I’ll tell you about it,” said Villa, “but I’m not going to post about it. I’m kind of old school. A lot of my family call me an old man, because I guess I just don’t follow those trends any. I use my phone to text and stuff, but not really too much.”

IMG_0926Villa has a great admiration for the Math and Engineering Department at SPC. He said he really feels connected to it. He once competed in the Robotics program, building and battling robots against other students in his classes, and he says it was one of the most fun experiences of his time on campus.

“They’re just really helpful,” Villa said. “I understand what they’re saying. If you have any questions, they’ll help you answer them. There’s a lot of tutoring. I mean, there’s just a lot of friendly people over there. If you have a question in one of your classes, they will all help each other.”

If money was no object, Villa has a pretty clear idea of what he would put his efforts into, for both himself and the people of the future.

“Honestly? I would like to work on interstellar travel,” Villa said. “I don’t focus on money. Money is nothing to me. Because the richest people have all the money in the world, but in the end, they’re always sad. Whatever I pass on, I want to see that they’re still working on it. I guess something that I can do that people keep on doing. It would be neat to go to different planets, to see what’s out there, instead of being trapped here where we are.”

Villa’s advice for future generations can be summed up in a single idea.

“Be a free thinker,” Villa said. “Free thinking and having creativity really helps the world prosper.”

“And just help each other out,” Villa added. “If you have a group of people that are going the same way, you’re not going to achieve it by yourself. You’re going to have to achieve it with some help. And that’s what I’ve learned in this program. If you try to do it all yourself, you can only go so far.”

Dorris takes unexpected path to play basketball at SPC

Maddie Dorris never thought her basketball career would land her in West Texas.

Having attended a 6A high school in Weatherford for four years, Dorris never thought she would be a member of the South Plains College women’s basketball team.

Before attending SPC in the fall of 2016, Dorris thought she would be going to a university instead of a two-year college.

“My junior year of high school,” says Dorris,” “there were some people who talked to me about going to play basketball.”

According to Dorris, when being recruited, your junior summer when you play basketball is when many colleges start talking to you and recruiting you.

“As senior year came around,” explains Dorris,” I wasn’t getting the calls anymore, or the texts, or letters. I was thinking, ‘Man, if I’m not getting the attention anymore, then basketball might be over for me if nobody is offering it to me.’ Junior college never crossed my mind, and we even have a junior college back home. So, it’s not like I didn’t know about them. It was just something I didn’t want to do.”IMG_2795

According to Dorris, her senior year was when she spoke to Cayla Petree, head women’s basketball coach at SPC.

“She was asking me to come up for a visit,” says Dorris. “I thought, ‘Maybe I didn’t want to go JUCO. That wasn’t going to be for me.’ But I came up here, met coach and she had faith in me that I was going to be a good player. Seeing how dedicated Coach Brock Kimball was and everyone being so nice, the decision was easy after that. I ended up loving it here. I said this to everyone, but the people in West Texas are the nicest people you’ll ever meet.”

Dorris has been around sports most of her life. When she was growing up with her two older siblings, her parents tried to keep them out of the house.

“I grew up playing all the sports,” says Dorris. “I played soccer, volleyball, swim team, anything with a ball. But basketball just had this thing for me. It’s always been a thing for me. I think it’s because of the physicality of it. I think it got my aggression out. You know when your brother or sister annoys you? I played three years of varsity volleyball, track, but basketball has always had my attention.”

Dorris always played the post position when playing basketball, and she plays the same position for the Lady Texans.

“It’s like you always get into a little fight whenever you’re playing the position,” says Dorris.

Dorris is the only sophomore playing this season on the women’s basketball team. She explains that it’s different from last year coming in as a freshman.

“Coming into this year as a sophomore,” says Dorris, “I didn’t know how it was going to be. There is a lot of youthful energy in the locker room. Everyone is excited to be there. I tried to take a leadership role and show them the ropes, because I know being a freshman is really taxing. We have to get up and have 6 a.m. practices every morning. It’s exhausting. I try to be there not only on the court, but off the court to just say it’s going to be OK. I’ve stepped up and hopefully been the person I need to be for them.”

Dorris is majoring in kinesiology, which is the study of the human body. She plans to become an occupational therapist.

“It’s like physical therapy, but you teach life skills,” explains Dorris. “So, if someone had a stroke, you would reteach them how to use that side of their body, or kids with special needs and you help them with fine motor skills. And my mom was a special ed teacher. So, I’ve been around kids. I’ve always enjoyed kids. I want to help people. I think that’s something I will really enjoy.”

Dorris plans to graduate in the spring of 2018, though she doesn’t have any other plans for her future yet.

“We’re going to see how this season goes to see where I’m going after that,” explains Dorris. “Let’s see if I get any offers.”


Video production major hopes for career in live sports recording

by DOMINICK PUENTE//Editorial Assistant

Jazmin Salazar has big plans for her future as she prepares to graduate from South Plains College in May.

After she was born, Salazar’s mother decided to take her to New Mexico where she would spend the next six years of her life.

However, Salazar had no other choice but to move back to West Texas after losing her mother to an automobile accident.

Salazar then spent her childhood moving back and forth between Lubbock and Levelland with her father and grandmother until she decided to finish high school in Levelland.

With graduation around the corner, Salazar was still not certain about what career path she wanted to pursue. Any major that helped people in any way caught her eye.

“I have always been the type of person to help in any way,” explained Salazar. “For a long time, I thought about choosing a career that could help people, such as being a lawyer, doctor or even a veterinarian.”

Although the thoughts of pursuing those careers seemed possible, she always had a certain love for singing, performing, and acting.

“Being in the spotlight is what I loved to do,” said Salazar. “When I was a cheerleader through high school, the spotlight felt right for me, and I figured singing and performing was a way for me to do that and have fun.”

After graduation, Salazar made the decision to attend South Plains College and major in commercial music. As she began college, she wanted to be a vocalist.

She auditioned for multiple college ensembles, such as rock, praise and worship, jazz and funk.

Along with participating in a variety of ensembles, Salazar only lacks two classes to graduate from SPC with her associate’s degree in music business.

As Salazar progressed through the requirements for her major, she was required to take an Intro to Video class, which she enjoyed.

“I loved taking that class,” Salazar said. “It was very fun, and I enjoyed working with my hands and being active in everything that was taking place in the class.”

After taking Intro to Video, she decided to change her major from music business and enter the video program.

“Taking all these video production classes has been amazing,” she said. “I love the new friends I have made, and the fact that the classes are small are great.”

When she first entered the program, it seemed intimidating, since she was the only girl. But that has only encouraged her to be great at what she does.

“I was a bit intimidated at first, being the only girl, and I had no prior knowledge about video production,” recalls Salazar. “After I got the hang of it, I wanted to become the best I could be, and the guys I have class with have helped me a lot through the process.”

Putting in the long hours for quality work and getting a great product in return is what Salazar has enjoyed the most about video production.

“I am fine with putting in long hours to make something great,” she explained. “I enjoy working hard to get what I want exactly.”

She also explained that her favorite part about SPC is the Creative Arts Building.

“Everyone in that building is looking to enter some type of big industry, and we are all connected and intertwined because of that reason, said Salazar. “We help each other out and are networking with one another to do our jobs now and in the future.

Salazar will graduate in May with an associate’s degree in video production technology and will hopefully enter the workforce soon after.

Along with finishing the video production program, Salazar also plans to complete her music business degree in the future.

“Getting my degree in video production technology is where I am putting all my focus,” she said. “I eventually want to finish and get my music business degree. But the video production field is where I see myself becoming more successful.”

Although continuing her education is not in the immediate plans after graduation as of now, Salazar has played with the thought of attending a film school in Albuquerque to gain more information and insight about video production.

“It is directed more towards filming,” explained Salazar, “and I would like to lean towards live event production, such as sports. It would help me understand more about video production, but it is not my priority as of now.”

Salazar said she sees the benefits of joining the workforce as quickly as she can begin her rise through the ranks in video production.

“I see working sooner and trying to climb the position ladder as a big benefit,” she said. “I eventually want to go into more schooling, but working now seems more beneficial than sitting in a classroom for another two years.”

Salazar has been hard at work looking for job opportunities and is attempting to join a production company in hopes of building connections and relationships to climb the position ladder.

“Being able to work for a production company will give me a chance to get my foot in the door and open up a world of opportunities for me to be better at video production and do what I love,” explained Salazar.

As for the main career goal, Salazar would like to be a traveling camera person, director, or producer in the video production realm.

“Sports broadcasting and live sports recording would be a great opportunity, but my main goal would be contracted and franchised by the Carolina Panthers football team,” explained Salazar.

Being in a high level of live sports recording, televising big events all over the world is the biggest platform Salazar wants to reach before all is said and done. 


Phillipines native turns childhood interests into future career

by IRENE RIOS//Staff Writer

From the Philippines to Texas, Arra Delos Santos carries big dreams with her no matter where she goes.

Delos Santos lives in Lubbock, but she is originally from the Philippines. When she was 9 years old, her family moved to San Diego, California and lived there for around five years before moving to Lubbock, Texas. She has been living in Lubbock for the past six years.

When Delos Santos first moved to the United States, she was so shocked by the environment that she threw a temper tantrum.  Continue reading “Phillipines native turns childhood interests into future career”