From Tandy to teaching
Saul Reyes’ journey through computers and education
A love for computers goes back to a pivotal moment in childhood, according to Saul Reyes. Reyes recalls the day his father returned from Radio Shack with a Tandy computer that would ignite an intense curiosity and fascination for all things computer-related that continues to this day.
A love for computers goes back to a pivotal moment in childhood, said Saul Reyes, South Texas College alumnus and Coordinator for Centers of Learning Excellence (CLE) at STC’s Technology Campus.
Reyes graduated from STC with an associate degree in Computer and Networking and a Bachelor of Applied Technology in Computer and Information Technologies, but his love for all things computer-related really started in 1995.
He said he recalls the day his father had just returned from Radio Shack with the family’s new home computer, a Tandy 5000 model from Radio Shack, that would ignite an intense curiosity and fascination that continues to this day.
“I was maybe 7 years old, and we had a bunch of kid-friendly games; and really just having a computer at home at the time took me levels ahead from my classmates at the time,” Reyes said. “When I was in elementary school, they didn’t have computer labs like they do now, so when I got a little older, I remember helping my fifth-grade teacher plug in all the cords for our classroom computers, which only had maybe five cables, but I was pretty proud at the time.”
When I arrived here, not only did I feel better in smaller classes, but I was also inspired by instructors who were more invested. You don’t really see this aspect until you are actually here.
By the time he was in high school, Reyes said he was taking classes in computer maintenance and was on the verge of knowing definitively what he wanted to do in a future career.
“There were lots of kids just goofing around and playing Halo in class, but there was also a handful of us who were actually interested in the content,” Reyes said. “I can remember asking the instructor what he went to school for, and he told me he had a degree in something called Information Technology, which I wasn’t too familiar with at the time, but it became my foundation. This is what started me off, just like the Tandy computer did when I was younger.”
Reyes would eventually attend the former-University of Texas Pan-American but didn’t do well in his core classes. What he was really looking for was an education in a smaller environment where he could collaborate with professors on a one-to-one basis.
Reyes said he transferred to South Texas College and essentially never left.
“I started out over there (UTPA), but I didn't do well in the basic classes like English and Math. Looking back, maybe I just wasn’t ready for school at the time, but that all changed when I moved to South Texas College,” he said. “When I arrived here, not only did I feel better in smaller classes, but I was also inspired by instructors who were more invested. You don’t really see this aspect until you are actually here.”
Reyes would complete two degrees from STC, an associate degree in Computer and Networking and a Bachelor of Applied Technology, but there was an added benefit from taking classes at the college.
Reyes said it was his upbringing as a young computer guru that enabled to dedicate himself to aiding students in achieving their own academic goals.
His unique journey from student to educator equipped him with an understanding of the challenges and opportunities that the students themselves face.
“Maybe two semesters before I finished my bachelor's degree, I was tutoring students in the associate degree program for Information Technology and I really began to enjoy helping the students in something we had a shared interest in,” Reyes said. “It was about connecting with students just as much as the content.”
For more information on STC’s Centers for Learning Excellence, visit www.southtexascollege.edu/cle/.