Victoria College students are shining some national light on the small-town community college.

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All colleges that have process technology compete against each other in a mock simulation running a plant. The competition is called the North American Process Technology Alliance’s 2021 Troubleshooting Skills Competition. Victoria College has qualified for the competition in the past and competed without a win, but this year's team pulled through and represented Victoria College so well.

Derrick Gettings, Victoria College Student (2)

Team DCDR was a four-person team was made up of Dave Garcia, Kyle Cooley, Derrick Giddings, and Rolando Garza. The four students were hand-chosen by Professor Lawerence Vick, who saw something outstanding in each one of these individuals.

Courtesy Photo Victoria College (2)

The competition had 19 different teams troubleshoot in specific areas, simulating a real-life experience in the plant. According to Victoria College, the team was faced with simulation in areas including three-phase separation, absorption, biodiesel distillation, boiler systems, compressors, cooling towers, decanters, and ethanol dehydration and fermentation.

Derrick Gettings, Victoria College Student

Derrick Giddings confessed, " Some of the situations that they threw at us during the competition we had never encountered before, but we were familiar enough with it to push through"- and push through is precisely what they did. The team brought home the title of national champions for the Troubleshooting competition.

Courtesy Photo Victoria College (1)
Derrick Gettings, Victoria College Student (1)

"We had a really good team, I couldn't have done it without them, and they would say the same thing," Giddings said as he recounted the fantastic job his team did.

Giddings joked as to why he connects so closely to this field, "I'm a natural-born troubleshooter, my whole life I've been looking for trouble, life finally gave me an opportunity to do it in a constructive way."

Courtesy Photo Victoria College

The team will graduate this Spring, and with them, get to take an early graduation gift: the title of national troubleshooting champions, which bring many opportunities in the future after graduation.

For more information on VC’s Process Technology Program, call (361) 573-3291 or visit

Special thanks to Coy Slavik and Victoria College Marketing and Communications Department.

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