Radiologic Technology Program Director Manuel Gavito has had his share of success over the past 40 years while teaching at Texas Southmost College, but nothing has been more gratifying to him than to see about 600 of his students graduate with an associate degree and go on to successful and prosperous careers in the healthcare industry.
“We’ve had a lot of students go on to do well, and that’s a reward. For a two-year program, some of my students are making $80,000 a year,” Gavito said. “Some graduates have used this degree as a stepping stone to do other things. I’ve had students that have moved on to be radiologists. The majority stay in the field, so no matter where I go in the Valley, chances are that the person who is taking the x-rays was a student of mine.”
Another source of pride for Gavito has been the program’s 100 percent pass rate over the past 10 years.
“In Texas, you need a license to work so you need to pass the exam,” said Gavito. “It’s a comprehensive exam and it covers everything we did over the two years. It’s a difficult exam, but our students have done well.”
For decades, TSC’s Radiologic Technology Program was the only game in town, or in this case, the entire Rio Grande Valley.
“It was the only program in the Valley for many years and we are affiliated with most of the hospitals in the Valley,” explained Gavito. “Most of the people working out there came from the program here.”
Gavito has witnessed the changes in the radiology field throughout the years, and he’s adapted TSC’s Radiologic Technology Program to the constant changes and enhancements that have come about with the continued development of technology.
“Technology has changed a lot,” said Gavito. “When I first started it was film and it had to be manually processed. Now, it’s all digital. Anatomy hasn’t changed, though.”
“It’s challenging to keep up with all the rules and regulations,” he added. “You learn something a certain way and now you have to learn it a different way, but you learn the new technology. Change can be hard sometimes because you’re used to things, but you can adapt to it.”
The unique teaching environment, updated equipment and modern facilities that Gavito has helped TSC provide students has allowed them to adapt and flourish in classroom, and in their careers.
The resulting impact he has had on those students has been long-lasting. It even has resulted in Gavito teaching the sons and daughters of former students.
“I’ve had the sons of former students coming into the program, husband and wife teams, and now they’re sending me their kids, so they must be doing well,” said Gavito. “I’ve had about three to four students from one particular family. Not all at the same time, but from the same family over time.”
© Texas Southmost College • 80 Fort Brown, Brownsville, Texas 78520 • 956-295-3600