Two female SPC students opt for careers in Diesel Service - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Two female SPC students opt for careers in male-dominated profession

Two female students at South Plains College are studying how to service diesel powered trucks. (SPC Photo/Wes Underwood) Two female students at South Plains College are studying how to service diesel powered trucks. (SPC Photo/Wes Underwood)

From SPC

LEVELLAND – When James Brown sang, "This is a man's world," he was referring to man's contributions to society. For years, it was true that man sat on the top rung of the industry ladder, but now women have been able to break down barriers to earn their own place on the ladder of success.

At South Plains College, two female students, Rachel Zikmund and Joann Byrne, have journeyed through the Diesel Service Technology program. Now they are emerging as highly-trained technicians just like their male counterparts.

Zikmund of Springfield, Mo., will graduate Friday (May 10) from SPC with an Associate of Applied Science in Diesel Service Technology. She also will carry the banner for the Division of Technical Education during the 55th Annual Commencement ceremony. Additionally, Zikmund already has accepted a job with Amarillo Truck Center. She is only the third female to graduate in the 30-year-old program.

"To overcome the stereotype, I had to challenge myself to fight and be just as good as they are," Zikmund said.

On a typical week, Zikmund spent 30 hours in the classroom and lab. The lunch hour was used to run errands, and Zikmund worked part time at Red Lobster Restaurant in Lubbock. Her work ethics have not only earned her the respect of her peers, she also has impressed the instructors in the program. Zikmund received the Diesel Engines and Controls Certificate as well as the Diesel Service Technology Certificate.

Byrne has completed her second semester in the program. The Lubbock native still has a year remaining. She said that working with Zikmund has made the journey more tolerable.

"The guys in the program gave us a hard time and they really treated us like we didn't belong here," Zikmund said.

"Yeah, but they were the ones out getting manicures," Byrne added.

As part of their classroom requirements, the two girls had to rebuild a ‘92 Detroit engine. The girls finished the project three weeks earlier than their peers, and the engine started the first time.

"Our biggest fear was that it wouldn't start," Zikmund said.

"We knew we had done everything right, but you're still afraid that you might fail," Byrne said.

Byrne added that the girls were dedicated to the task, and made sure that all of the parts needed for the engine had been used and assembled correctly. After the success of rebuilding their first engine, the girls rebuilt a second engine, a Kubota.

Away from campus, Zikmund collects reptiles – snakes mostly. She has in her collection 24 snakes including a python, a Central American boa and a corn snake among others. Byrne enjoys riding horses. She has 10 of them – Elvis, Scooter, Tavi, Tier, Ice, Sara, Ex, Pops, Envy and Leonidas.

Zikmund now has turned her attention to graduation. In just a few short days, she will be leaving the classrooms of South Plains College to enter the workforce. Byrne's journey still has a year to complete. However, she knows she wants to work in research and development. Both girls aspire to one day own their own shops – in five years, at least that's the plan.

"If you're going to run your own shop, you have to know how to do everything," Byrne said. "From cleaning the toilet, mopping the floors to signing the paycheck, you should be able to do everything the job requires as well as being able to turn a big wrench."

  • Local News on KCBD.comNewsMore>>

  • 1 dead, 15 injured in Cincinnati nightclub shooting

    1 dead, 15 injured in Cincinnati nightclub shooting

    Sunday, March 26 2017 5:46 AM EDT2017-03-26 09:46:59 GMT
    Sunday, March 26 2017 11:22 AM EDT2017-03-26 15:22:38 GMT

    One person was killed and another 14 injured in a mass shooting at a Cincinnati nightclub early Sunday morning.

    One person was killed and another 14 injured in a mass shooting at a Cincinnati nightclub early Sunday morning.

  • Fire Weather Warning for this afternoon

    Fire Weather Warning for this afternoon

    Sunday, March 26 2017 10:33 AM EDT2017-03-26 14:33:36 GMT
    Sunday, March 26 2017 10:33 AM EDT2017-03-26 14:33:36 GMT
    The South Plains has been placed under a Fire Weather Warning valid from this afternoon at 1 p.m. until 8 p.m. this evening. Sustained winds at 20-30 mph, warm temperatures and low relative humidity values will create an elevated to critical fire weather risk for our area. A cold front will move through our area late tonight, shifting winds out of the north. Monday morning will be cool and breezy.
    The South Plains has been placed under a Fire Weather Warning valid from this afternoon at 1 p.m. until 8 p.m. this evening. Sustained winds at 20-30 mph, warm temperatures and low relative humidity values will create an elevated to critical fire weather risk for our area. A cold front will move through our area late tonight, shifting winds out of the north. Monday morning will be cool and breezy.
  • DC eagle cam: Eggs expected to hatch soon

    DC eagle cam: Eggs expected to hatch soon

    Sunday, March 26 2017 9:07 AM EDT2017-03-26 13:07:03 GMT
    Sunday, March 26 2017 9:07 AM EDT2017-03-26 13:07:02 GMT

    Eagle eggs typically take 35-38 days to hatch, and Sunday marks Day 35 for the first of the two eggs.

    Eagle eggs typically take 35-38 days to hatch, and Sunday marks Day 35 for the first of the two eggs.

Powered by Frankly