Working for a living…
Adjunct College Instructor
(Since 2016) Victoria College, Victoria, TX, USA
I teach developmental English and writing courses to new students entering the local two-year institution, as I work on finishing my Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing at the University of Houston-Victoria and take advantage of Victoria College night school trade courses as an electrician. By years end, I’ll have completed both, meaning I could feasibly write you a book and wire your house, at the same time.
Reader/Scribe for the Disability Support Office
(Since 2016) Victoria College, Victoria, TX, USA
Assist college students with a variety of disabilities ranging from blindness to ADHD to cerebral palsy stay calm, focused, and complete their required course exams in a timely fashion.
Quality Assurance Inspector
(2011-2016) Gene’s Machine Inc., Victoria, TX, USA
Served as lead inspections man for this local manufacturer of industrial and oilfield parts and equipment, certifying dimensionals on every part made to detailed customer prints and specifications, as well as conducting NDE examinations on all welds and inlays and hardness testing to verify materials used were in compliance with said specifications. I also assisted in securing the company’s first-ever internationally-recognized ISO industry certifications, helped write a companywide policy manual, helped organize employee training sessions, and implemented a much more stringent shop-wide recordkeeping system.
(2009-2010) Waco Tribune Herald, Waco, TX, USA
Wrote a weekly news column and managed content for the mid-sized daily newspaper’s weekly farm and ranch section as a freelance contract writer and editor, a section re-launched with my arrival after a several year hiatus and widely used in newspaper promotions and billboard advertising across the largely rural readership area.
Field Editor/Staff Writer/PR Specialist
(2006-2010) Texas Farm Bureau, Waco, TX, USA
My primary focus was keeping the bureau’s print and online publications stocked with content (Texas Agriculture‘s 20 issues per year; Texas Neighbor’s four issues per year, The Cornerpost member newsletter’s 52 editions a year, Texas Ag Online, a daily Texas ag news source), work that took me all over Texas, the United States and a dozen foreign countries. I also shot regular footage, recorded interviews and wrote stories for the bureau’s regular RFD-TV Network shows and the statewide radio news network, stories that regularly won top national press awards. Additionally, I wrote and edited a pictorial history book during the bureau’s 75th anniversary, ghost wrote several speeches and commentaries for organization leaders, assisted in drafting of state and national legislation, served on the bureau’s issues management team, and assisted with training and support of local members across state.
Editor & Publisher/Managing Editor
(2003-2006) Granite Publications Inc, including The Aransas Pass Progress/The Ingleside Index/The Sealy News/The Gulf Coast Farmer-Rancher, Aransas Pass/Sealy, TX, USA
Completed Granite’s yearlong publisher training program in just under two months before I was handed the reins to two new company acquisitions on the Texas Gulf Coast, where I was charged full business operations and distribution, overseeing a dozen employees, advertising and editorial content and community relations for the respective communities we served. That promotion followed one of my best award years ever in the news business as ME in Sealy, where we won 18 regional and statewide press awards in 2005, more than the other 25 newspapers in my group combined that year.
(1986-2003) Spanning papers from West Texas to the Gulf Coast and the Panhandle to South Texas
I wrote my first newspaper stories when I was still in junior high, just pleased as punch my words found their way into those pages. I even launched and edited a monthly rag in high school. But I wouldn’t get paid for anything I wrote until my college years in the early 1990s, mostly as a game stringer on Friday nights. Fulltime news posts wouldn’t start for a full year beyond college in 1995. But with those fulltime posts (which took me to The Albany News (weekly), El Campo Leader-News (semiweekly) and Abilene Reporter-News (daily) and all in Texas) also came the first of what would become a perennial string of regional, state and national press awards until I parted ways with the news business in 2010, a time when many news institutions across the nation either massively downsized or shuttered altogether.
Graduate Teaching Assistant & Writing Center Tutor
(1996-1997) Hardin Simmons University, Abilene, TX, USA
In addition to teaching three noncredit, prerequisite courses of introductory college writing courses each semester, I also worked as writing tutor for walk-in students in need of assistance on whatever writing project they might be working on, assistance with APA or MLA style formatting or simply good proofreading/project guidance on a term paper. I also taught occasional sections of sophomore and junior-level literature courses as part of my own MA coursework and as a faculty substitute when duties called them elsewhere. I managed these teaching assignments, straight A graduate coursework (which qualified me, twice, for the President’s Scholar Award), and a fulltime job with The Albany News, where I also won some of my very first regional and statewide press awards those years. Unfortunately, my house burned down that spring. I barely got out, but everything I owned was destroyed, forcing me to return to South Texas and ultimately abandon the program.
Undergraduate Teaching Assistant & Research Assistant
(1990-1994) Texas State University, San Marcos, TX, USA
Working with faculty members of the school’s largest sophomore, junior and senior-level English and literature courses, I helped grade student exams and writing assignments, prepare class materials, manage class records, and, generally, keep them organized through their teaching load and whatever writing/research projects required of their respective tenure levels. I the respect, I helped with the research and production of more than a dozen of scholarly and literary projects they had going. Just two (that I’m aware of) ever credited me for my efforts: Dr Scott Slovic, a wrote one of the very first Environmental Literature anthologies ever (and later went on to chair one of the country’s top program in that field at the University of Nevada in Reno), and Dr. Allan Chavkin, who not only taught the single largest sophomore literature course on campus (with 500-plus students), he also collaborated with his wife, Dr. Nancy Feyl Chavkin, chair of the university’s graduate social work program, to write an interview series on two prominent Native American writers at the time, themselves and husband and wife collaborative writing team for several projects.
Volunteer Adult Literacy/ESL Instructor
(1990-1993) Hays County Adult Literacy Project, a fledgling program headed by Texas State University’s School of Education, San Marcos, Texas, USA
If we ever wanted to get placed as student teachers in Texas State’s School of Education, we needed to show a record of volunteerism, we were told in our introductory education class. The gave us this list of possibilities, and considering I had no car, I took the closest at the old San Marcos Public Library. I was required to put at least five hours each week for a semester. I wound up enjoying the classes quite a lot, teaching regular adult GED prep courses each Tuesday evening and advanced English as Second Language classes on Thursdays. Oddly, it students teaching got me the door, but I never got enrolled in the program. The school forbid students enrolled in student teaching from holding any sort of outside employment while student taught. I worked my way through college, at least 60 hours at various part-time jobs, I landed around town. I would’ve starved to death before I could’ve held out that long with no income for an entire semester.
MFA in creative writing
University of Houston-Victoria, Victoria, TX, USA (2016-2018)
Maintaining 4.00 GPA with 30 graduate hours completed so far
Member of both Sigma Alpha Pi and Gamma Beta Phi Honor Societies
DRAFT 1 of my MFA thesis project, a story collection, completed on 4.1.2018… Anticipated completion of final version & degree 12.15.2018…
Electrician Trade Classes
Victoria College, Victoria, TX, USA (2016-2018)
Completed three of the four NCCER-certified electrician courses offered through the local junior college’s adult education program
I hold a current state electrician’s license and national NCCER certifications, which I obtained while also maintaining straight A’s in UHV’s graduate program studies and teaching two developmental English classes at Victoria College per semester
Plan to finish fourth and final course in August 2018
Summer Beef Cattle Symposium
Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA (2004-2009)
Attended the annual summertime Aggie Beef Cattle Short Course programs offered in College Station, Texas
Collected 90-plus continuing education hours in both ranch management and animal husbandry
Three-time volunteer instructor with Texas AgriLife Extension Service’s summertime lineup of kids wildlife conservation camps offered through the Bobwhite Brigade programs begun A&M Wildlife Specialist Dr. Dale Rollins
Photojournalism Short Course
Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX, USA (1998)
Attended the Texas Press Associations’ inaugural photojournalism shortcourse for working news professionals offered by the TCU Journalism Department and a host veteran photogs from the Star-Telegram, Dallas Morning News, The Associated Press, Sports Illustrated, Better Homes and Gardens, Time Magazine and Texas Monthly
In addition to composition and darkroom training, we also put together our own on-campus photo exhibition
Earned photojournalism certifications from Texas Press Association, training which later earned me top photography awards from regional, state and national press groups every year I competed in the annual photo contests thereafter.
MA in English (specializing in American literature and rhetoric)
Hardin Simmons University, Abilene, TX, USA (1996-1997)
Attended graduate program as HSU’s President’s Award scholarship recipient
Taught introductory college writing courses as a Graduate Teaching Assistant and worked as a tutor for walk-in students needed help with writing assignments
Attended 1996-1997 academic year, but devastating house fire and subsequent (and substantial) reporting job offer 10 hours away back in South Texas help encourage my leaving the area, and eventually, the MA program, too
BA in English/history/secondary education
Texas State University, San Marcos, TX, USA (or, as it says on my degree, Southwest Texas State University, 1994)
Majored in English (under writing intensive classification), minored in history, with a specialty in secondary education
Worked all four years of undergraduate degree with faculty members of the English department as either a teaching or research assistant, helping with preparation, grading or management of large classes (some as large as 500-plus students), or assisting with faculty publication projects.
Volunteered with fledgling local adult education program (1990-1993), teaching weekly GED prep classes as well as advanced English as a Second Language (ESL)sessions.
Gonzales High School, Gonzales, TX, USA (1990)
Despite attending three separate high schools–Columbus, Texas (1987-1988), Liberty Hill, Texas (1988-1990), and Gonzales, Texas (1990)–I finished high school in just three years, skipping my junior year entirely by means of accelerated summer study programs offered to me as a sophomore at Liberty Hill
Letterman in athletics (football, baseball, basketball and wrestling), earning letters for each individual sport, most of them during my sophomore year (barring a trip to the state finals in wrestling my senior year) while attending in Liberty Hill; several University Interscholastic League (UIL) academic events: Lincoln-Douglas debate, extemporaneous speaking and individual acting events (Columbus and Gonzales), and for my active involvement in several school clubs and organizations: FFA, FHA, JETS (Junior Engineering and Technical Students), and Drama Club (as a freshman in Columbus) and Art Club (as a senior in Gonzales)
Because I graduated early, I was not permitted to join National Honor Society nor enjoy any privileges that may have come with class rank; my final grade average, taking honors classes throughout high school, was 98.67, a full three points higher than my class valedictorian’s
Professional & Civic Organization Affiliations
Gamma Beta Phi Society
- Member since 2017
- Current Historian of UHV Chapter
- Inducted into the national honor society for maintaining 4.00 GPA in graduate studies in UHV’s MFA creative writing program
Sigma Alpha Pi National Society of Leadership and Success
- Member since 2018
- Current Publicity Chair of UHV Chapter
- Inducted into the national honor society and leadership building organization based on that same 4.00 GPA in my graduate studies at UHV
Texas Historical Commission
- Member since 2016
- Particular interest in ongoing historic sites associated with Texas revolution and writings centered on post-Reconstruction-era Texas and settlement of the state’s western regions during that time
Professional Writer Groups
- The Author’s Guild (New York) Member since 2016
- The Poetry Foundation (Chicago) Member since 2017
- Society of Professional Journalists (Indianapolis) Member since 1998
- Writer’s League of Texas (Austin) Member since 2016
- Gemini Ink (San Antonio) Member since 2016
- OutlawAuthorz.com (Victoria) Founder and Author, 2018
- Knights of Columbus, Catholic service and fraternal organization since 2002
- Third Degree Member of Victoria’s Holy Family Council No. 9088
- Voted Knight of the Month, Council No. 9088, July 2011
- Past board member (Trustee) of Aransas Pass’s Council No. 11420
- Past Publicity Chair of Sealy’s Council No. 3313
- Sons of the American Legion, since 2002
- A.C.T.S. Retreat (2012 & 2012) Retreatant & Team Member at Holy Family Catholic Men’s Retreat, music co-director, and liturgical director
- Rotary International (1998-2005), member in El Campo, Sealy, and Aransas Pass
- Toastmasters International (2006-2010) “Competent Communicator” in Waco’s Fish Pond Club