Alumni Spotlights

Manuel Olvera
Manuel Olvera 17'

Manuel joined the United States Marine Corps after graduating from high school, and served in the Middle East until returning home in 2014. During his time at MVC, he functioned as President of SALUTE Honor Society, Vice president of Students Veterans of America, and was an active member of SGA and PTK. Recognized for his academic accomplishments, Manuel focused his leadership efforts at MVC on bringing more attention to the presence of veterans in college life, and helping them with their unique position as incoming students. He is currently enrolled at Texas Christian University, and working on a BA in Finance and BS in Political Science, with the goal of becoming an IRS special agent, and a commissioned officer for the Marine Corps.

Best advice he got at MVC. “I was planning to only get my credits and transfer, but my advisor recommended me to take one more class in order to get my Associates Degree”. For Manuel, the AA provided more than a breather, worked as fallback plan and attested to the completion of an academic degree.

Role Model. Two role models influence Manuel’s views on leadership and success. A retired marine and mentor taught him “the key to becoming a good leader is to listen and adjust.” A second role model, Booker T Washington, changed his perspective on measuring success by the journey it takes to get to the end-result, and not the result itself.

Secret to success: Pace yourself.

Stephanie K Garrett
Dr. Stephanie K. Garrett 97'

Dr. Garrett currently heads the Social Studies Department at Timberview High School in Mansfield, TX. In addition to teaching AP history courses and working on curriculum design, she serves as an adjunct faculty at Mountain View College. She has been recognized for her contributions to the field of education and history by Dallas Baptist University and Old Chisholm Trail Chapter of NSDAR (National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution). Dr. Garrett came to MVC after graduating from high school and became involved in multiple theater productions and the Madrigals choir. After taking a 25-year break, she completed her credits at MVC, transferred to DBU and went on to obtain her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University-Commerce. "As a non-traditional student, I felt valued and accepted at Mountain View College. It was a very inclusive place." In her view, everybody at MVC is committed to creating a supportive atmosphere for students.

Best advice she got at MVC: Maintain balance. Do not overload yourself.

Getting a job after graduation: Dr. Garret's transition to her first job in secondary education was smooth. With her teaching certification, she moved from a paraprofessional role to a classroom leader at Cedar Hill high school. One of her mentors ignited her love for history. She now maintains a museum at Timberview High School with historic artifacts she has collected from multiple travels. 

Secret to success: Time management.    

Taylor Souryachak
Taylor Souryachak 14’

Taylor currently works as Program Coordinator for the Upward Bound/TRIO program at SMU College Access. In her current position, she provides support to first generation and low-income students in preparation for college entrance. During her years at MVC, she served as president of PTK’s Omega Omega Chapter, volunteered as an ambassador and was chosen as the student speaker at graduation. She transferred to SMU to get her bachelor’s degree and was one of the recipients of the North Texas Community College Scholarship. “When I started looking for a job after graduation, I was purposeful to apply to places that serve others. I've learned that I wanted work that feeds my soul and helps others.” Taylor is now working to get her prerequisites from Richland College, to apply for graduate school. Her goal is to obtain a PhD in organizational psychology.

Secret to Success. Getting involved in student organizations.

Proudest moment at MVC. When the Omega Omega Chapter, under her leadership won awards at both Texas Regional & International PTK conventions.