TSC alumnus designing his way to a bright future - Brownsville Herald: Education

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TSC alumnus designing his way to a bright future

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Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019 7:15 pm

As a young boy drawing inspiration from his Legos and artistic skills, Gilbert Gonzalez knew he wanted to be an architect.

“I had a thing for drawing, designing and being creative,” said Gonzalez. “I would first sketch and then make elaborate walls and buildings with Legos and I knew early on I was on to something.”

The Los Fresnos native graduated from the TSC Architecture program in 2017, earned his bachelor’s from Texas Tech University and the College of Architecture, graduating top of his class with a near perfect 3.9 grade-point average. Today he is working toward his master’s in architecture and he’s never been more inspired to be in the structural design industry.

“You get to create something every day, something that could live on forever even after you’re gone,” said Gonzalez. “You can design and create something and it can stand through time and through generations. It’s like leaving a piece of you in the world.”

The 25-year-old credits his growing passion and student success at Texas Tech to two TSC professors, Dr. Murad Abusalim and Christopher Collins. Both, he said, have mentored and guided him through his journey.

“They have built the foundation for my career,” said Gonzalez. “It was because of them I came to Texas Tech. They passed on all their knowledge and experience. All my programming, concepts and ideas come from something they’ve taught me. They’ve challenged me to be my best.”

And, he adds, they prepared him well for university studies, especially when it comes to presentations, an important aspect of architectural studies.

“Spanish is my first language and presentations were at first challenging,” said Gonzalez. “But with repeated presentations and positive feedback and critique, they prepared me and my fellow students. I got to Texas Tech and I’ve been able to present with confidence, no matter the audience.”

Gonzalez said it was on his TSC professors’ advice that he did a study abroad program, living and studying architecture in Singapore. He said the experience has challenged everything he thought he knew about design.

“I now see the whole experience of architecture and design very differently,” said Gonzalez. “We had a project designing apartments in Singapore and I learned the importance of taking into consideration the people, climate and the culture. It was a real learning experience.”

Dr. Murad Abusalim, dean of the Division of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, has been following Gonzalez’s academic journey and he couldn’t be prouder of his protégée.

“Gilbert Gonzalez exemplifies the talent of our young generation in the Rio Grande Valley,” said Abusalim. “Since he joined the Architecture program at TSC, I proudly witnessed his success through the educational pathway. I look forward to his architectural career accomplishments.”

Gonzalez plans to return to Brownsville to do an internship with a local architectural firm this summer in the hopes of studying historical preservation, a special interest. He hopes to eventually open his own firm in the Valley.

“I want to partner with other students I studied with at TSC and build a firm that will have a real presence in this industry. I want to give back to the Valley and maybe I can work to expand the architectural program at the college so that others can have the opportunities I’ve been given.”

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