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Engineering grad ready to build a successful future

An average student at Great Bridge High School, Tommy Babcock came into his own at Tidewater Community College. “I’m successful today because I grew up and started to care about my future,” he said. “I finally saw the value of education.”

Babcock graduates in May 2015 with an Associate of Science in Engineering and will pursue a bachelor’s in engineering at Virginia Tech. “TCC was everything a college should be for me,” he said. “The faculty put tools in my toolbox and gave me the skills to excel in my field.”

Tommy BabcockLast fall, Babcock became the college’s first STIHL Scholar, earning him $5,000 from STIHL Inc., the Virginia Beach-based manufacturer of outdoor power equipment. He was also named to the Phi Theta Kappa All-Virginia Team in April.

A Chesapeake native and the first in his family to go to college, Babcock said, “I came to TCC because of finances, but I’ve gained so much more. Being able to talk with my professors and be part of this tight-knit community has been so beneficial. I don’t think I would have found this anywhere else.”

Babcock credits engineering faculty members Stephen Ezzell and William Simmons, as well as Doug Thiele, English professor, for his academic success.

“TCC has helped me decide my future route and also establish a new way of solving problems in complex areas,” he said. “I’ve gained confidence and know that I have what it takes to be successful in my future.”

Tommy Babcock in his own words

Babcock served as the student speaker for the dedication of the Precision Machining Laboratory on the Chesapeake Campus, sharing his story with industry representatives, community members, faculty, staff and students.

“Looking back it’s surprising to see how far you can go – especially with the help of faculty and the students at TCC,” he told them.

Babcock is founding president of the Science and Technology Club at the Chesapeake Campus, a chemistry tutor in the Learning Assistance Center and a former senator for Student Government Association.

“My involvement with student groups allowed me to further develop my social skills, as well as step into leadership positions,” he said. “The process of achieving a common goal with a group of people is truly an unforgettable experience.”

Babcock plans to pursue a career as a chemical engineer. “I love chemistry and engineering, so it’s a good fit,” he said. “I’m excited about the diverse job opportunities and ready for all of it.”

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