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STC Sends Off More Than 250 Health Care Professionals into The Workforce

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South Texas College recently hosted numerous pinning ceremonies to commemorate more than 250 Nursing and Allied Health spring 2024 graduates. STC Image
South Texas College recently hosted numerous pinning ceremonies to commemorate more than 250 Nursing and Allied Health spring 2024 graduates. STC Image
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By Selene Rodriguez  

A significant tradition in the journey of health care professionals around the world, South Texas College recently hosted numerous pinning ceremonies to commemorate more than 250 Nursing and Allied Health spring 2024 graduates, who are about to join the workforce, honoring their dedication to make a difference and help save lives.

“Even before I became the President of this remarkable institution, I had heard glowing reviews about our programs at STC, a reputation reiterated by chief executive officers (CEOs) of hospitals and clinics alike,” said STC President Ricardo J. Solis, Ph.D. “Many of our partners in the medical field constantly praise STC because of the quality of students we graduate. The expectations are high, and you have reached them.”

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Days after STC’s commencement ceremonies, the Nursing and Allied Health Division continued the celebration by hosting the graduates’ friends and families to officially mark their transition from the classroom to the workforce.

As an honorable tradition that symbolizes their entry into their respective professions, each graduate receives more than just a pin. They join a community of professionals dedicated to making a difference and becoming an asset to their community.

As an honorable tradition that symbolizes their entry into their respective professions, each graduate receives more than just a pin; they join a community of professionals dedicated to making a difference. STC Image

“This is the image we envision when we begin to develop an academic program. This is the image we eagerly anticipate – families celebrating, lives transformed,” said STC Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Anahid Petrosian, Ph.D. “This image represents the fulfillment of changed lives, and it’s always a pleasure to see.”

STC’s Associate Degree in Nursing program hosted the largest ceremony with an outstanding total of 93 graduates, followed by Emergency Medical Services with 49 Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Basic certificate, EMT Advanced and Paramedic Associate Degree graduates.

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Other programs that recently celebrated pinning ceremonies were Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Physical Therapist Assistant, Respiratory Therapy and Occupational Therapy Assistant.

“I always knew I wanted to help families of children with disabilities. It’s a creative pursuit, a means of serving others, and it truly fulfills my heart. I want to make a meaningful impact in their lives,” said Maria Lopez, a graduate from the Occupational Therapy Assistant program. “Now that I graduated, I feel accomplished, fulfilled. Being a positive role model for my children and family has always been my goal.”

Lopez, who started the program in the fall of 2022 while pregnant with her third child, credits her success to a strong support system at home and the assistance of STC’s services such as advisors and tutors, which helped her return to school after nearly a decade, balancing the roles of a full-time student and a mother.

“It was a long journey, difficult, but now I know nothing’s impossible,” she said. “I look forward to continuing my growth and becoming an Occupational Therapist in the future.”

Similarly, Diagnostic Medical Sonography graduate Leah Mendiola, a long-time, stay-at-home mom of three, who returned to school after many years, said this was her chance to fulfill a dream she has had for nearly 10 years, venturing into a field she has always found fascinating.

“I wanted to become a sonographer ever since I became pregnant with my first child nine years ago,’ she shared. “Every ultrasound appointment fascinated me. After each child, I would tell myself, ‘Yes, I have to pursue this one day.’”

Commuting every day from Weslaco to McAllen, the recent graduate found strength in her family as she embarked on the journey that ultimately led her to graduate with a job at Knapp Medical Center.

: Days after STC’s commencement ceremonies, the Nursing and Allied Health Division continued the celebration by hosting the graduates’ friends and families to officially mark their transition from the classroom to the workforce. STC Image

“Balancing everything was tough, but I was determined to handle it because my children would see me studying and cheer me on,” she said. “My daughter even made me a sticker with a photo of our family, which I placed on my laptop. Every time I faced an exam, I looked at it. I told myself: ‘If she believes in me, I have to believe in myself too.’”

This month STC’s Nursing and Allied Health Division also graduated students who received an Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assistant Technology, Health Information Technology, Pharmacy Technology or a Certificate of Completion in Medical Coding Specialist and Patient Care Technician.

“We are incredibly proud of this Division because these programs are truly unique,” said Solis. “Our graduates are consistently sought after in the field because of the quality of these programs. No matter where they go, they’ll find opportunities. Graduating from STC’s Nursing and Allied Health Division means excellence, dedication and certainly success.”

For more information about STC’s Nursing and Allied Health programs, visit nah.southtexascollege.edu/ or call 956-872-3100.

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