“I hated English in high school,” MC Business major Serenity Soliz said. “In fact,
it was my least favorite subject. Then, I took Dr. Brown’s [Dr. William Christopher
Brown, co-department chair, English] class, and I learned how to write. Now, I love
English. I can’t wait to take Dr. Brown’s Business & Technical Writing class!”
Her new love of writing resulted in two writing contest awards this past spring semester.
She won first place in both the Women’s History Month Non-fiction Feature Stories
Contest and in the Narrative Nonfiction section of the MC Nonfiction Writing Contest.
“In both cases, I just wrote about people I admire,” Soliz explained. “The article
for the Women’s History Month Contest was about my mother who taught me how to be
independent. She is a single mother who relied solely on herself to provide for her
children. She works at HEB and has moved her way up the career ladder to her current
position as produce manager.
“The article for the Narrative Non-fiction Contest was about my supervisor Dr. Jeff
Grigsby, an optometrist at Vision Health Specialties. I wrote about how he cares
for his patients and the people in his life, how he takes pride in his work and is
extremely thorough in performing his job responsibilities. I strive to pattern my
own behavior and ethics after my mother and Dr. Grigsby.”
Soliz has worked full-time at Vision Health Specialties for 2 ½ years. She currently
serves as Dr. Grigsby’s assistant, a position in which she was promoted after serving
as a general certified paraoptometric. This isn’t the first time her hard work has
rewarded her with a promotion.
She began working at HEB while still in high school and continued working when she
graduated. Soliz served as a cashier for two years and then was promoted to a position
in the cosmetics department where she worked until leaving to pursue a career in healthcare.
She worked for Dr. Turner for approximately eight months until he retired, at which
time she then went to Vision Health Specialties.
“I enjoy optometric work,” she said. “Working for Dr. Grigsby is interesting because
he is also a microbiologist and deals with diseases of the eye. We also work with
two ophthalmologists—Dr. Bradley in Lubbock and Dr. Walters in Austin. Dr. Grigsby
refers patients to them for surgery. I work with Dr. Grigsby for post-op care, and
occasionally I get to scrub in with one of the ophthalmologists during Lasik surgery.
It’s a great opportunity to learn, and I’m also interested in the business side of
the medical field. That’s why I chose Business as my major.”
Soliz first took classes at MC in the fall of 2019 and spring 2020; however, like
many students, after the “COVID pandemic semester” of spring 2020, she didn’t return
the next fall. Then, in fall of 2021 with Dr. Grigsby’s encouragement, she returned
to Midland College. Because she works full-time, she only takes a couple of courses
each semester. Most of her classes are online, which accommodates her busy workload.
When Soliz does take a traditional lecture class, she said that Dr. Grigsby allows
her to juggle her work schedule around class times.
“I like the traditional classroom style because I enjoy interacting face-to-face with
the students and professors, but it isn’t always convenient. The good thing about
online courses is that they have forced me to be more self-disciplined. There is no
set schedule to attend class, so I have to carve out time to complete the class assignments
on my own.”
Besides English with Dr. Brown, Soliz said that her favorite class so far has been
a business computer applications class that she took with Professor Amme Blumenauer.
This fall she is looking forward to taking two more online courses –another English
course and Government.
When she isn’t busy working and studying, Soliz enjoys Netflix binging and being with
her two dogs, Simba, a three-year-old German Shepherd, and Lilo, a German Shepherd/Pit