Community college often serves as a bridge after high school for students seeking to build a solid educational and social foundation before enrolling in a four-year institution. For civil engineering sophomore Dillon Tubb, Motlow College has been that bridge both personally and professionally.
Before he became the dean’s list student that he is now, Tubb was shy and like most 18-year-olds, he didn’t know what he wanted as a career. Through his time at Motlow, Dillon has discovered his job path and more.
“Before coming to Motlow, I didn’t know myself,” said Tubb. “Every day I find out who I am more and more.”
Tubb graduated from Warren County High School in 2012. While he originally planned to attend a four-year institution, his parents urged him to consider community college as the next step.
“In the beginning, my intentions were to go straight to Tennessee Tech, but my parents thought it was better for me to go to Motlow first,” said Tubb. “I never quite understood what a community college was before coming here. However, I came here with an open mind and now I would recommend community college to anyone because it definitely helps the transition.”
One challenge Tubb faces during his daily life is he has Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), which he was diagnosed with in fourth grade. The way he processes information is different from most students and he requires a more hands-on approach.
Going to Motlow gave Tubb a real opportunity to overcome his learning disorder. Because he was able to have smaller class sizes and a more direct relationship with his professors, he was able to learn how to use CAPD to his advantage.
“I’m more of a sit down with me, hands-on learner,” said Tubb. “It’s like my brain is running faster or slower than my ears so I just have to work problems over and over in the library. However, I feel like I know the material more than most students because I retain the material more than just a couple of days because I go over the problems so much.”
Excellent grades allowed Tubb to become a member of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) honor society. He currently serves as the regional vice president of PTK, as well as the McMinnville Center’s PTK president.
“At the beginning of my freshman year I was a really quiet person and didn’t talk to too many people,” said Tubb. “However, my teacher Dayron-Deaton Owens came to me and urged me to join PTK. Initially I wasn’t very involved. However, when I saw what it was all about, I got really excited about the opportunities.”
PTK provided Tubb the opportunity to become an active leader.
“When you’re in high school you don’t have as many responsibilities,” he added. “PTK is about getting you ready for the real world. When I was elected regional vice president, I was given many new responsibilities. It helped me become a leader as opposed to being a follower.”
Motlow and PTK have helped Tubb understand and recognize his professional goals too. Previously unsure, he is now committed to becoming a civil engineer.
“I thought about doing something like business banking because that’s what my brother does,” continued Tubb. “However, my father was a civil engineer with the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), so I began researching American infrastructure. I soon found out that there’s over 70,000 bridges in the United States that are considered condemned. I want to become a civil engineer because I could help create something that will help our bridges last longer.”
Tubb understands the importance of solid infrastructure. Through the help of faculty, Motlow has become just that for his personal and educational pursuits.
“Dayron, Laura Brown, Gregg Garrison and Misty Griffith have helped me become the Dillon that I am now,” he continued. “Through PTK, I have made friends at Motlow with people I never thought I’d be friends with. We’re like a family here because if one person struggles we’re all there to help.”
While he has received a full scholarship to Lipscomb, Tennessee Tech is providing Tubb an internship opportunity and he will be continuing his education in Cookeville as a Golden Eagle next fall.
“Make college worth something,” Tubb concluded. “Go explore and meet new people. Join a club. It doesn’t have to be PTK, just get involved.”