Healthcare worker finds passion for writing at Midland College

Serenity Soliz works in health care and is majoring in commerce at Midland College; however, she also discovered a new passion: writing.

“I hated English in high school,” Soliz said. “In fact, it was my least favorite subject. Then I took Dr. Brown’s [William Christopher Brown, co-department chair, English] class, and I learned to write. Now I like English. I can’t wait to take Dr. Brown’s business and technical writing course! »

Her newfound love of writing won her two writing contest awards this past spring semester. She won first place in the Women’s History Month Non-Fiction Story Contest and the Narrative Nonfiction section of the MC Nonfiction Writing Contest.

“In both cases, I just wrote about people I admire,” Soliz explained. “The Women’s History Month Contest article was about my mother teaching me to be independent. She is a single mother who relied only on herself to provide for her children. She works at HEB and has worked her way up to her current role as Product Manager.

“The Narrative Non-fiction contest entry was about my supervisor, Dr. Jeff Grigsby, optometrist at Vision Health Specialties. I wrote about how he cares about his patients and the people in his life, how he takes pride in his work, and is extremely thorough in carrying out his job responsibilities. I strive to model my own behavior and ethics on those of my mother and Dr. Grigsby.

Soliz has worked full time at Vision Health Specialties for 2.5 years. She is currently Grigsby’s assistant, a position she was promoted to after becoming a Certified General Paraoptometric. This isn’t the first time her hard work has rewarded her with a promotion.

She started working at HEB while still in high school and continued working after graduating. Soliz was a cashier for two years, then was promoted to a position in the cosmetics department where she worked until she left to pursue a career in healthcare. She worked for Turner for about eight months until her retirement, when she then went to Vision Health Specialties.

“I love optometric work,” she said. “Working for Dr Grigsby is interesting because he is also a microbiologist and deals with eye diseases. 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-operative care and occasionally meet with one of the eye doctors 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 commerce as my specialty.

Soliz first took classes at MC in fall 2019 and spring 2020; however, like many students, after the spring 2020 “COVID pandemic semester”, she did not return the following fall. Then, in the fall of 2021, with the encouragement of Dr. Grigsby, she returned to Midland College. Because she works full time, she only takes a few classes per semester. Most of her classes are online, which fits her busy workload. When Soliz takes a traditional lecture, she said Dr. Grigsby allows her to juggle her work schedule around class times.

“I like the traditional classroom style because I like interacting face-to-face with students and teachers, but it’s not always convenient. The good thing about online classes is that they forced me to be more disciplined. There is no set schedule for attending classes, so I have to set aside time to complete class assignments on my own. »

Besides English with Brown, Soliz said her favorite class so far was a business computer applications course she took with Professor Amme Blumenauer. This fall, she is looking forward to taking two more online courses – another English and Government course.

When she’s not busy with work and studying, Soliz enjoys binging Netflix and being with her two dogs, Simba, a 3-year-old German Shepherd, and Lilo, a German Shepherd/Pit Bull mix puppy.

Rebecca Bell is the Executive Director of Institutional Advancement at Midland College.