Female student wins welding competition

Kathleen Ocampo

For centuries, the world has stereotyped men and women. There are certain things acceptable and the rest remain to be absurd. Yet slowly, the world is becoming more open to change – to new and different things.Say hello to new and different right here at Pierce College. Say hello to Victoria Koziar, gold medalist for SkillsUSA Regional Competition – Arc Welding Event.She is very excited to attend the state finals in Fresno from April 10 to 13. “It feels really good,” Koziar said when asked about placing first.Her professor, Gary Wheeler, chose Koziar to attend the competition to represent Pierce. Wheeler chose three other students: Phillip Gonzalez, Francisco Aguirre and Greg Smith, all of who won gold medals.SkillsUSA is a national organization serving teachers and students who are preparing for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations, including health occupations.Formerly known as VICA (the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America), they offer an applied method of instruction providing quality education experiences for students. Programs include local, state and national competitions in which students demonstrate occupational and leadership skills. This information can be found on their official Web site.Six or seven different schools attended the regional. In the arc-welding event, the contestants took a comprehensive exam to test their knowledge of welding. Next, they were given the same blueprints on a project. Though triumphant in the category, Koziar is looking into entering in a different one next year.Koziar is currently working towards her associate degree in science. She said that she has always been interested in what the Industrial Technologies Department offers.”I think it’s good that she goes for it, regardless of people that think that it’s a guy’s thing,” said Libby Groves, 19.Truthfully, the class hardly enrolls girls. According to Rodolfo Fajardo, who helps with the material for the class, they get about three or four.”Most of them drop, but Victoria-” Fajardo said as he smiled, “-she stayed.”