For Zoltan Holden there was no other choice but to commute from Olympia to attend Centralia College. No other college in the region offered the program he wanted. When he graduates in 2013, he’ll have an Associate in Technical Arts in Electronics, Robotics, and Automation (ERA).
The skills he learns in this college program will serve him well as he develops his interest in electronics.
When it comes to computers Zoltan is a natural. He started by taking apart TVs and VCRs as a kid, later being mentored in electronics and computers from members of his church. It’s what he loves to do; in fact, “Zollie” as his friends know him, is the go to guy if they’re having any problems with their computer. He is able to fix anything from broken lap top screens, to software glitches, and often helps people that he doesn’t know.
“Since starting college, I have already learned so many new techniques that I use in my hobby of working on computers. Now I can’t imagine going to any other college than Centralia College, the commute from Olympia is definitely worth it,” Holden said.
How he got here was an even longer commute. Born in Romania, he was adopted by American parents at the age seven and brought to the U.S., first to Minnesota, then Alaska, and finally landing in the Pacific Northwest. He is a 2003 Yelm High School. He then worked mostly in menial jobs before deciding to attend Centralia College.
It’s the Centralia College instructors that have most impressed him.
“They are so patient; they take their time to help and are never in a hurry. They want you to succeed,” Holden said. He is especially thankful to electronics associate professor “Cal” Taylor for his “knowledge, and encouragement,” and Elisa Sunflower from TRiO Club, and Math Department for her “warmth and patience” when explaining difficult math problems, a subject he finds challenging.
Holden enjoys the student activities on campus, especially ultimate Frisbee, and projects with the Electronics Club; he has made many lifelong friends. Holden believes that his prospects have expanded with a bright future in robotics and in the computer industry. He feels that Centralia College is the reason behind this, with its “challenging classes and encouraging instructors”.