Wednesday, January 2, 2013

“Turning wrenches” and small-town living

By Rebecca Bell
Dean of Community Relations & Special Events

Midland College (MC) definitely feels like “family” for 24-year-old Bubba Youngblood. He was the second sibling in his family to attend MC — his older sister Jessica graduated from Midland College, and his younger sister Jacie plans to attend MC starting in the fall. In addition, Youngblood met his fiancée Tiffany Bagwell at Midland College. The couple plan to marry in June.

“Tiffany and I met during our freshman year,” explained Youngblood. “We were both in the Student Ambassador program and living on campus at Craddick Hall. We are both from small towns — I’m from Wink, and Tiffany is from Crane. I guess that is one thing that attracted us to each other.”

Youngblood, a 2007 Wink High School graduate, completed MC in May 2009 with an associate degree in Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration. Today, he has a successful career managing T. W. Compressors in Wink. He said that his job keeps him busy; however, he is once again back at MC — this time taking classes in MC’s bachelor of applied technology program.

As Youngblood prepares to graduate with a bachelor’s degree this coming May and marry the love of his life, he explained that the newlyweds will make Wink their home. Youngblood said that the couple enjoy small-town living. Youngblood has lived in Wink since he was in the 4th grade and stated that there were 21 people in his graduating class.

He laughed and said, “On my high school football team, most of the players played both offense and defense. I played left tackle on the offensive line and then turned around and played defensive tackle. We were all pretty tired after the games, but I wouldn’t trade those days for anything. Small towns are a great place to live.”

In addition to enjoying the benefits of small-town living, Youngblood is also extremely happy with his responsibilities at T. W. Compressors. He said, “I intend to make a career out of it, but the oil patch is up and down. I figure that a bachelor’s degree in management not only will help me with my current responsibilities, but also will be good to have in case I ever need to look for another job.”

Youngblood has worked in the oil industry for several years, even while working on his MC associate degree when he worked at Tommy White Supply in Midland. Currently, at T. W. Compressors, Youngblood supervises two people and is responsible for 125 rental compressors used in the oil and gas industry.

He stated that he could never see himself in an office: “I like to ‘turn wrenches.’ My job takes me from Snyder to Fort Stockton, and I love every minute of it!”

“MC’s organizational management classes have certainly helped me to become a better manager,” continued Youngblood. “I would advise anyone who wants to be in a management position, regardless of the field, to go through this program. The classes have helped me in financial management, leadership, customer service and employee relations.”

Youngblood credits a great deal of his success to his MC instructors and advisors. He explained that Robert Isbell, Ryan Peckham and Amme Cole have been “awesome instructors” in his baccalaureate courses.

“The classes are ‘hybrid,’ which means that while there is classroom instruction, there is also an online component, so we attend classes every-other week,” explained Youngblood. “Ocassionally, I get to class a little late because I’ve been out in the field all day. I have yet to come across a teacher in the program that isn’t understanding and accommodating with my 12- to 14-hour workdays.”

In addition to his organizational management instructors, Youngblood also spoke highly about Student Development Coordinator Julia Vickery.

“Julia is in charge of the Ambassador program, and she was like a second mom to all of us,” he said. “She also serves as advisor to the baccalaureate students. I couldn’t have gotten this far without her.”

Vickery feels the same way about Youngblood: “Bubba is the type of person that I would love for my son to become. He is kind, happy, hardworking and never gives up. When Bubba was an Ambassador, I knew I could always count on him to be present, and more importantly, be joyful. He made an event fun! He is bright and capable, and I have been honored to serve as his advisor all these years!”

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