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CTE Month: Diesel Technician Student Breaks Barriers in Male-Dominated Field


Diesel Technology student, Gabriel Campos pictured at her place of  work with Pharr’s Dogget Freightliner, a semi-truck dealership where she inspects, maintains and repairs the commercial trucks.  

For Gabrielle Campos, career curiosity began in her family’s backyard. Huddling with her cousins to see what her uncles were fixing, she was intrigued with how her grandparents' trucking company operated.  

“I would remember how they would park the trucks in the back of the house, and it would always amaze me seeing the trucks and what they were capable of hauling and how they did it,” said Campos. 

Once a young girl observing her uncles turn wrenches, the Diesel Technology student is turning wrenches herself through STC’s dynamic diesel program.  

In high school her father became a CDL (Commercial Drivers License) truck driver working with several truck companies, adding to the family’s industry knowledge when he eventually opened his own business. 

“At the start of my college career, dad opened a trucking business and at the time I was in the nursing program with STC,” shares Campos. “I would help my dad out by going to buy parts he needed from the different truck part companies, and it started getting to where he would ask me to help him by replacing parts or draining the oil.”  

Her experience and knowledge of the commercial trucking business made Campos rethink career paths.  

“That’s when I thought, ‘Hey I don’t see myself working in an office, maybe I should try something I know,’” she said.  

While having supportive relatives on the change of career paths, she was often warned by her friends it was a “man’s job.” 

“I was hearing the doubts from people saying, ‘We don’t see many females in the diesel industry,’” remembers Campos. “I decided just to go for it, and I realized I wasn’t the first female to make this decision and that made me strong.”  

Campos said her instructors and peers saw her as the aspiring professional and not just “a female trying to become a diesel technician.”  

“I felt welcomed to become one of them,” she said.  

Since the start of the program, she has worked for Chevrolet Payne as a general technician working on light diesel work.  

Campos said she likes to give herself a challenge and make a difference.  

Today she is at Dogget Freightliner in Pharr as a diesel technician conducting preventative maintenance, predelivery inspections and repairs on commercial trucks.  

She has proved that you can be successful in a male-dominated field. 

“I want to make others feel like, ‘Hey, yeah maybe females can get the job done just as well as their counterparts,” she said. “I am happy with my decision, and I am glad I came to this pathway with the help of all my instructors.”  

STC’s Diesel Technology program offers a Diesel Technology Certificate and a Diesel Technology Associate of Applied Science degree teaching students the repair of diesel engines, electrical and electronic control systems, suspensions and more through a combination of lecture and lab work.  

For more information about the Diesel Technology program, visit https://www.southtexascollege.edu/academics/diesel/