Monthly Archives: October 2016

NVC Cross Country Represents at HILLotes Run

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The Northwest Vista Cross Country team ran in the Battle of HILLotes this past weekend. It started off a little cold but was great running weather. The course was definitely a battle of Hills for the Half Marathoners and 10k runners.

Again Northwest vista College was very well represented by an amazing team, that did fantastic. All 11 athletes that ran placed overall or in their age group. There were several teams participating in the race with about 1,000 participants overall, but none had as many members as we did on the podium.

In addition, the team volunteered to help with packet pickup, during and after the race. NVC was well represented as was apparent by the sea of purple shirts handing out race shirts, medals, water/Gatorade and packing up equipment (even after running the race). The race director was very impressed and said he had never seen such a hard working and disciplined group of volunteers.


HALF Marathon Runners (13.11 miles):

  • Sergio Luera                       1st Place 21-24 Male
  • Jason Hunts                        1st Place 15-20 Male
  • Aaron Beattie                    2nd Place 15-20 Male

10K Runners (6.25 miles):

  • Rudy Orozco                       1st Place 15-20 Male
  • Abigail Arredondo           1st Place 15-20 Female

5K Runners (3.125 miles):

  • Aidan Garza                        1st Place Overall Male (beating out all of the competition!!)
  • Zoey Viera                           1st Place Overall Female (very first female to cross the line!)
  • Jorge Aguilar                      1st Place 20-29 Male
  • Husam Al-samti                2nd Place 20-29 Male
  • Robert Dreamkowski      4th Place 20-29 Male
  • Yaritza Sandoval               1st Place 1-19 Female




Vista Women Win, Men Fall


On Wednesday, Oct 19, the NVC’s men’s and women’s basketball teams traveled to Victoria to play Victoria College in Southeast, Texas.

The Victoria Pirates – the women’s league defending champions – came out immediately with a full-court zone trap that netted them the first six points of the game. NVC Coach Daniel Johnson called a time out to settle his team down and provided a game plan to beat the trap.

After the time out, the Wildcat women came out clawing and scratching to tie the score. Afterwards, the cats came out with a full-court, man-to-man trap that caused numerous turnovers and a 74-63 win for Vista.

The Vista men are the back-to-back league champions and have been beating teams down for the last two years. However, this year with only two returning players and other teams getting hyped to play against our men, the new players have not quite found their flow or how to adjust to very competitive teams in the league.

The first half of the game was very aggressive and exciting basketball as both teams had small leads only to lose the lead due to better defense. At the half, NVC was down by only four points, 36-32. At the start of the second half, Victoria came out and hit four baskets in a row and Vista was never able to recover with missed free throws. The final score was Victoria 90, NVC 82.

The next game for both teams is at Northwest Vista College Huisache Gym vs the University of the Incarnate Word. The women play at 6pm an the men’s team play at 8 pm.

The NVC’s women volleyball team played its first game on Oct. 20 at the Huisache gym vs. San Antonio College. After a few nervous serves and losing the first set in front of a huge crowd, the Lady Wildcats relaxed and played with a lot more intensity – winning three straight sets out of five in less than an hour.

The NVC women’s volleyball team plays again on Oct. 27 at the NVC Huisache gym against St. Philip’s College.

Summer International Internship Experience

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Summer of 2016 was not an average summer for me. After hearing a presentation from a former NVC student, Marcus Nejera, in Dr. Zhou’s Introduction to Engineering course that talked about the importance of searching for internships.

I felt inspired to search for one myself. In that process I applied to various companies, including some located in Asia. To my surprise, I was accepted to intern over the summer with an EPC company by the name of Toyo-Thai Corporation Limited (TTCL). TTCL is in Bangkok, Thailand. They also have an American division that goes by the name of Toyo-Thai United States (TTUS).

In this internship, I was chosen to be the first western student to train with the company. I was offered compensation for my work as well. So, I accepted and immediately following the end of the spring semester, I flew to Thailand where I would spend the next three months. I worked with the instrument department of the company, and was given two projects to work on. The two projects I worked on were for PPG chemicals, and two chemical plants they are building in Southern Thailand.

As a computer engineering major, I learned a lot of valuable things, involving control systems, and instrumentation. The projects I worked on were real projects the company was doing for customers, so I got the full experience.

Aside from the learning aspect of the internship, I also made many new friends and got the opportunity to travel across southeast Asia, and throughout Thailand itself. The opportunity I got was a great eye opener for me, and has given me more motivation to continue my education, and to search for more opportunities. It taught me that putting yourself out there is important if you want to find opportunity, and success. If you don’t try, then you can never succeed.

Bobby Reyes—Current Engineering Student at NVC

It’s Strength…Not Stigma

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Mental health illness is a condition that can be treated. Research has done tremendous efforts with people living with such a condition. However there are still many who are undiagnosed or need help to accept their illness.

NVC will be hosting a Mental Health Fair on November 3. It is hosted by Psi Beta Sigma. NVC Psychology Professor Jennifer Fox, who is helping to organize the event, also lives with mental illness.

Fox says, “I too, have struggled with major depression and generalized anxiety disorder since the age of 18.”

According to One in four students have a diagnosable illness. Also:

  • 40% do not seek help
  • 80% feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities; and
  • 50% have been so anxious they struggled in school.

Fox recounts, “I hid behind a shroud of secrecy and shame from friends and family, as well as myself.”

This is the purpose of this event – to take the first step and speak about it to someone. This event is also for people who are not suffering from a mental illness but to become a little more educated to understand it and possibly help someone who may be suffering from mental illness.

Fox adds, “I wholeheartedly credit my courageous students who’ve lifted their own shrouds of secrecy by sharing their stories with me for the perseverance and dedication.”

Fox concludes, “I invite all of you to join us at the closing of the mental health summit as we courageously stand together to raise awareness, celebrate our resilience, and transform the stigma into strength.”

By NVC Student Jay Jimenez

Cross Country, Bball, Soccer Updates

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Northwest Vista College’s club sports programs are off to a good start – stomping much of the competition coming their way.

NVC Cross Country:

The Northwest Vista Cross Country team had a great Oct. 1 weekend at the SWTJC Cross Country Meet in Uvalde. The men and women both ran a 5K course and both teams came in second place behind Texas Lutheran University.

On the men’s side, coming in first for the NVC Wildcats was Sergio Luero – he was 9th overall. Following close behind him was Freshman Nelson Villa in 10th and Freshman Rudy Orozco in 11th place. Aaron Beattie and Micah Florence were the final points earners for the team coming in 21st and 23rd, respectively. Aidan Garza and Jason Hunt were right behind in 24th and 25th.  Rounding out the strong showing was Jorge Aguilar in 31st, Husam Al-Samti in 33rd and David Allen in 34th.

On the women’s side, every runner counted towards the point as the team only had five runners. Karla Presa finished strong with a third place finish, breaking up a perfect score by TLU. Zoey Viera and Yaritza Sandoval were in the top 10 in the field, finishing 8th and 9th. Abigail Arredondo and Gabby Urrabazo round out a strong showing by the women, finishing in 15th and 16th.

The Wildcat Cross Country team will travel to the University of Incarnate Word next Saturday, October 8th to finish out their college racing season.

NVC Soccer: 

Team coach David Galino said the NVC Soccer team is currently undefeated and untied in the Texas Collegiate Soccer League D-Conference.

They have an opportunity, if they continue to win, to win the team’s first conference championship. The team has defeated: the University of Houston, Texas A&M, A&M Corps of Cadets, University of Arkansas- Costatot, and Texas Tech. The Wildcats go up next against San Angelo State and Tarrant County College.

NVC Men’s & Women’s Basketball:

Both teams play St. Philip’s College (SPC) on Oct. 5 at the Huisache Gym on campus. NVC Men 86; SPC Men 89. NVC Women 58; SPC Women 30.

The two-time defending league champs, NVC Men’s team got off to a slow start while SPC came out firing five 3’s in a row. NVC battled back to tie the game in the 2nd qt. From then on, it was an exciting back and forth game. In the end, NVC’s Jhamir Trott attempted a 3pt shot hitting the back of the rim and time ran out. NVC was led by Rolando Villalobos & Taizel Cooper both with 21pts.

NVC Women by the end of the first qt. had a commanding lead of 18-2 and never looked back. Ausset Culberson came off the bench to lead all scorers with 15 pts follow by Emily Castor with 12pts.

The next game is Oct. 12 for both teams is at home against SAC, Women play at 6pm, Men at 8pm.

On another note, the NVC men’s basketball team is trying to raise funds to get equipment to help players improve their skills. They are currently raising money for a Shoot-A-Way ( that players from the high school, collegiate and professional arenas use to become better players.

NVC Volleyball:

The women’s volleyball team kick off their season on Oct. 20 when they face San Antonio College in the Huisache Gym.

Basketball Women Play at 6pm and Men Play at 8 pm

  • Wed. Oct 12 -Men & Women: Palo Alto College @ Northwest Vista College
  • Wed. Oct 2- Men & Women: University of Incarnate Word @ Northwest Vista College
  • Wed. Nov 2- Men ONLY @ 7:00pm: Texas A&M SA @ Northwest Vista College
  • Wed. Nov 9 – Men & Women: Lackland AFB @ Northwest Vista College
  • Wed. Nov 16 – Men & Women: San Antonio College @ Northwest Vista College
  • Sat. Dec 10 -Women Only: St. Edwards Univ. @ Northwest Vista College   1pm

Women Volleyball Schedule: Games at 7pm

  • Oct 20: Sac @ NVC
  • Oct 27: SPC @ NVC
  • Nov 3: Trinity Univ. @ NVC
  • Nov 17: TAMUSA @ NVC
  • Dec 1: Victoria College @ NVC
  • Feb 23: TU @ NVC
  • Mar 2: PAC @ NVC
  • Mar 9: TAMUSA @ NVC
  • Mar 30: NLC @ NVC

For more information, contact Daniel Johnson at

From GED to NASA

FCR Team Template with 2 Patches

Paul (center right, wearing purple polo) worked with this group during Orion’s EFT-1 launch in December of 2014. He helped to prepare the control center architecture for launch and also wrote a program that flew on the spacecraft.

My name is Paul Hamilton and I was once sitting right where you’re at: at Northwest Vista College. Those days were tough, I remember. I was working full-time at a Chinese delivery restaurant making minimum wage just barely scraping by. Thankfully FAFSA came through and NVC was affordable!

I spent two-and-a-half years at that campus, starting in the spring of 2011. I took all of my basic prerequisites before I transferred to UTSA’s engineering college.

During my tiLR_Job_0048.jpgme at NVC, Math Professor Dennis Gittinger and his College Algebra course really gave me the confidence to pursue engineering. I didn’t really have a “plan” so to speak but by the end of my first semester, having spent it with Dennis, I was convinced of my own potential and declared as a pre-engineering major. From there, I was accepted into the NVC’s MIM (Math-Intensive Majors) calculus program where I did Calculus I & II. This program helped me tremendously in preparing for the intense math that awaited me at the four-year university. I was fortunate to be a part of MIM and I greatly appreciate the dedication that NVC Professors Claudia Verdin and Manuel Escobar provided through the wonderful program
. Beyond that, I think it was the easy-going feel of NVC and the small classes that helped me the most in transitioning.

Transitioning to the university was tough for me but my time at NVC made that easier. I didn’t have the greatest GPA, or scholarships, or anything really. I was just very ambitious when starting at UTSA and I made it a goal to shake hands with as many professionals as I could. I quickly made contacts in various research programs and volunteered my time to help them with their events to illustrate my work ethic and willingness to sacrifice my free time to better myself.

I did a few different research programs at UTSA, starting with the Transfer Academy for Tomorrow’s Engineers. This is an excellent summer bridge program that introduces STEM majors to higher order mathematics while also allowing them real research experience (which is excellent to have on your résumé). That program helped me get familiar with the campus and the faculty during the two-week in-class portion of the program. From there I continued networking and volunteering my time until I received a job as a tour guide at UTSA. I continued applying for as many programs as I could, with little luck. I was finally accepted into the LSAMP research program where I spent one semester working with one of the doctors at UTSA. That program was very good to me and ultimately took me to Florence, Italy, for the whole summer in 2014, all expenses paid. When I returned from Italy, I continued taking classes while also participating in UTSA’s Air Force ROTC detachment as a contracted cadet.

I half-heartedly applied to NASA’s Pathways program in the fall without the expectation of even receiving a phone call back. To my surprise, I was accepted into NASA’s Pathways program and spent the better part of two years, intermittently, working for the agency. And I am so thankful and humbled to say that just three weeks ago I was offered a full-time position with NASA’s Johnson Space Center. All this to say, it doesn’t happen overnight. And, it’s not easy. It’s just not! But that’s something that makes it worth the time and the struggle to get there. And I promise you that if I can do it, so can you.

I made it out of a minimum wage job and a GED program to one of the premier engineering entities in the world. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. Make up your mind that you’re not going to hit that snooze button, then roll out of bed and make it the best day you can! Consider how privileged you are compared with some of the other people around the world. Humble yourself and network. Smile and shake hands, even if it feels awkward. It gets easier. You’ll meet a lot of great people throughout community college and the university you choose to attend. Keep in touch and don’t be afraid to ask for help. You choose the life you lead. Choose carefully!

– Paul Hamilton

Note: Paul received his associates in pre-engineering from NVC in the spring of 2013. He is currently finishing his Bachelor of Engineering at UTSA and will start with NASA as an engineer when he graduates in May. As an undergrad student, Paul was able to join the NASA Pathways program, which offers federal employment for students and and graduates.

NVC Female Students: Apply by Nov 4 for Spring 2017 Scholarship

scholarship480Eligible women attending Northwest Vista College may apply for a $500 scholarship from Network Power/Texas. The deadline to submit applications is Nov. 4. Applications are available in Manzanillo Hall, Room 104D.

To be eligible for the scholarship, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be a female student currently enrolled at Northwest Vista College
  • Have a current 2.5. or higher Cumulative GPA
  • Student must have a minimum of nine (9) credit hours already completed
  • Must submit completed application, transcript (can be unofficial) and typed essay by the Nov. 4, 2016, deadline.

Applicants should deliver a hard copy of the completed application, transcript and essay to Manzanillo Hall, Room 104D by 3 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4.

Questions should be directed to