About TCC Stories

About 50,000 students and more than 2,000 employees come to Tarrant County College. All of them have a story to tell.

One works at General Motors during the day so that she can learn languages here at night. One, when she’s not teaching sculpture, sculpts her own works, including one in DFW Airport’s international terminal. One doesn’t let spina bifida get in his way, thanks in part to his truck.

In its third year now, TCC Stories is an attempt by the Reporting II class on NE Campus to describe who makes up this college. Let us know what you think. Thanks.

Jordan Kingsley

Jordan Kingsley plans to experience the Australian Outback when he finishes his degree in psychology.

Until then, he spends his time studying in class on NW Campus and working as an indoor soccer referee.

Fellow students might think they’re seeing in double vision when he meets with his identical twin brother John in between classes.

Kingsley described his brother as having the funnier personality of the pair and himself as having the “smarts.” They often say the same thing at the same time and are known to finish each other’s sentences.

As children, the brothers switched kindergarten classes without anyone noticing but got tired of being called the opposite name and went back to their proper classrooms.

“It’s like having a best friend all the time,” Kingsley said.


Bonnie Dixon

 

South Campus student Bonnie Dixon is one of the busiest people you will ever meet.

Not only does she work in the bookstore, she also a tutors, takes 13 credit hours, serves as president of the health science club and participates in the student government association.

“I guess you have to thrive to survive,” she said.

Bonnie has always been interested in the field of science and believes it engages the mind more so than subjects like English, history or even math.

“It engages your mind while allowing you to make contributions to the field in a way that is beneficial to others, as well as yourself to progress,” she said. Bonnie will be transferring to a university this fall and working toward her dream of becoming a surgeon.

Carol Vega

South Campus bookstore employee Carol Vega has never met a person who she couldn’t make laugh or smile. Vega says when students come into the bookstore, she likes to try and brighten their day a bit.

“When someone walks up [to the counter] that’s someone’s mom or daughter or son or dad,” she said. “I try to treat everyone the way I want to be treated.”

Vega has worked at the bookstore for the past four years and says she loves it. She attended South as a student back in 1986 and earned an associate degree. She also worked as a Spanish tutor during that time.


She said that she used to be very shy, which is something the people who know her today would find hard to believe. But after years of working various retail jobs, she has gotten over that and now loves interacting with students and faculty when they come into the store.


“Not only do I get something from this job, I give something to people,” she said. “A lot of students come back and say thank you. They actually feel like I influence them and that makes me feel good.

Annie Dobbins

South Campus counselor Annie Dobbins has worked on South Campus for the past 32 years and says she’s enjoyed every minute of it.

Dobbins holds degrees in both counseling and social work and says that working with people is something she always wanted to do.

At the center for academic success on South, Dobbins helps to get at-risk students back on track. In addition to that, she teaches student success seminars, works with disabled students and serves as faculty sponsor of the African-American Student Organization.

From the moment a student meets Dobbins, it is clear that she’s passionate about the work she does.

“I believe the more you give back, the more you get back,” she said.

Alexis Cortez

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Well, that is what SE student Alexis Cortez does on a daily basis. Cortez, who has been in bands in the past, met the owner of Trust Printshop at a concert that he played with him a few years ago.

“I got the job because my band and Matt’s band played a show together once,” he said. “We’ve been friends ever since.”

Matt Lucas, the owner of Trust Printshop, offered Cortez the job about a year ago. They have printed shirts for bands such as Train, Jet, Something Corporate and Boys Like Girls.

“It’s pretty awesome because it’s just a tiny little shop in Mansfield, and we only have five guys that work there,” he said. “We’re pretty much the best.”

Kenya Sanchez


While most students stop after learning one language, NE student Kenya Sanchez says one language isn’t enough.

“I need one more language to be a polyglot,” she said. “That’s a multilingual person.”

Sanchez, 33, is currently enrolled in French and Spanish classes on NE Campus and plans to learn Portuguese, Arabic and/or Chinese.

“After TCC, I intend to go to UTA to major in teaching or translating,” she said.

Sanchez said she came to TCC to do something different and explore her options. The Detroit native, a mother of two, has worked on an assembly line for General Motors building cars for 10 years.

“TCC gives me a life,” she said. “Here, I meet new people. Usually, it’s just work and sleep.”

Sanchez used to work the “graveyard shift” 5 p.m.-4 a.m. Recently, she was promoted and currently works the day shift 6 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

“With my hours now, I can take more classes and learn more,” she said.

Sanchez said she can’t wait to spend more time with her children.

Brianna Ochoa


NE student Brianna Ochoa said if she had not joined Phi Theta Kappa, she would have missed out on several beneficial opportunities.

Ochoa came to NE Campus after graduating high school in 2007 and became a Phi Theta Kappa member in 2008.

She became involved in various Phi Theta Kappa events, such as fundraisers, meetings and orientations, which eventually led her to become inducted as an enhanced member.

Afterward, Ochoa was elected historian and then public relations officer. Her responsibilities included sending e-mails to members about events and inductions, and creating induction ceremonies for new members.

She has traveled to Tyler, Houston and Orlando, Fla. with her team for leadership conventions. Last year, Ochoa was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa District Two Hall of Fame.

“I have learned a lot as an officer and plan to take my skills and apply them forward,” she said. “Being part of Phi Theta Kappa has allowed me to overcome my fear of public speaking. I love it now.”

Ochoa said she came to TCC undecided about what she wanted to study, but taking classes at NE Campus has allowed her to explore many new fields.

“My visual communications class was actually the class that inspired me to pursue design,” she said.

This is Ochoa’s final semester at TCC. She plans to attend the University of North Texas or the University of Texas at Arlington to study in interior design.

Anitra Blayton

Many fascinating sculptures can be found throughout Dallas-Fort Worth Airport that move and inspire daily travelers. NW sculpture and drawing professor Anitra Blayton is one contributor of those pieces.

The 17-foot resin and steel sculpture, Standing Ovation, is located near the international gates in the ticketing area of Terminal D. Filled with almost 2,000 hands posed in applause, the site-specific work is a celebration of goodwill that invites the visitor to “bring it with you when you come and take it with you when you go.”

Blayton began building large sculptures in 1998, which she said can take a couple of years to complete.

“My work is socially engaging,” she said. “My installations are community-sensitive and pedagogical in nature.”

Blayton also has sculptures at the Dallas Zoo and the Kidd Springs Park in the northern Oak Cliff area of Dallas.

Her current project is a public art master plan for Lake Como Park in Fort Worth, which requires other local artists.

“It will mark individual areas of the environment and infrastructure issues of the park,” she said.

Aside from her high-profile work, Blayton teaches Sculpture I and II, Drawing I and II, Life Drawing I and II and Design II on NW Campus.

Blayton said she enjoys being attached to society because it keeps her exposed to the public.

“I have a better bridge with my students because I am connected to the community,” she said.

Jay Green

NW psychology instructor Jay Green found love at first sight when he began teaching human sexuality.

“It’s like going out on a blind date and falling madly in love,” he said about discovering his interest for the psychology class.

Green applied for a full-time teaching position at TCC in 2001 without knowing what to expect. He’s now in his 10th year of teaching students about psychology and the often-uneasy topic of sex.

“It took me a while to feel comfortable about teaching the subject,” he said.

Green’s classes involve explanations and discussions focusing on in-depth topics about the anatomy and psychology of sex, and the textbook is decked with detailed, blush-inducing pictures. Have no fear, Green is there to educate and help students feel comfortable in their own skins. He is ready to dismiss all the myths and uncover the facts.

“Sex is biology, and you shouldn’t be afraid of biology,” he said.

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