by Victoria De Souza
[Editor’s note: This story is part of an ongoing project in conjunction with the South Plains College Alumni Association. The project highlights former SPC students and their achievements.]
Like many other students, Kate Jo McCasland found a place to discover her passions in college.
McCasland, who was born in Lubbock, was raised in Clovis, New Mexico, where she was closer to her family.
After graduating from Clovis High School in 2008, McCasland decided to follow her sister and enroll at South Plains College.
McCasland was introduced to SPC through her sister Carli Layton and her neighbors, Jerry and Vanneta Beach, the parents of Jeri Ann Dewbre, director of Human Resources at SPC.
“They encouraged my sister to go to SPC to get her basics,” McCasland recalled. “She enrolled and started school at SPC, and I just followed in her footsteps.”
Moving away from home was a big change in McCasland’s life. Having familiar faces at SPC such as Jeri Ann Dewbre and her husband Dane Dewbre made her be more confident to take the risk.
“I wanted to go to a smaller college so I could take my basic courses and get them completed before I continued my major education courses,” explained McCasland. “I also wanted to go somewhere where it was familiar to me. I felt so safe knowing familiar faces such as Dane and Jeri Ann.”
While attending SPC, McCasland worked as a student assistant at the Office of College Relations and Visitor’s Center, giving tours to incoming freshmen and visitors. She also was involved in the Baptist Student Ministry at SPC.
During her time on campus. McCasland says she enjoyed being able to meet many people and participate in SPC events.
“The people were so friendly,” she said. “I met some of the sweetest friends at SPC.”
McCasland attended SPC until Spring 2009, when she returned home to finish her basics at Clovis Community College.
“I used that time to work and figure out what I wanted to do after my basics,” she said.
After finishing her basics McCasland went on to attend Texas Tech University to study Apparel Design & Manufacturing, but later changed majors.
“Within a year of studying ADM, I decided that I needed to change my degree into something more practical,” McCasland said.
In 2013, McCasland graduated from TTU with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Communication.
“I love agriculture, and I’m so grateful I discovered that department at Texas Tech,” she said.
McCasland is currently working in a printing and mailing company as a Sales Representative at Plains Presort Services in Lubbock.
One important activity for McCasland is being involved in the community. She is the Vice President of Programs in AWC (Association of Women in Communications) and a Chamber Ambassador for the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce.
“It’s important to be involved,” said McCasland, “because it will advance your network group and you will meet valuable resources, whether it’s in your professional field or your personal life.”
McCasland continues to be very involved in the SPC community by supporting events held at the school.
“I am still involved because I love the people and the memories I made at SPC,” explained McCasland. “I sincerely believe every student should try a junior college before enrolling in a major university.”