Graduating Artist Recognized by Faculty as Having Heart for the Lord

 

Tymon Aguilar said when he first came to Hardin-Simmons University he had very little interest in art. Three years later he is destined to graduate magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Behavioral Science degree in graphic design. He is one of 271 students who will take part in commencement ceremonies May 10, 2014.

“Art has really been a God thing for me and it happened after I came to HSU. I really got a late start because I never took any art in high school. I am just now really discovering my abilities,” said Aguilar.

Aguilar doesn’t miss a chance to credit his teachers for the spark that now consumes him and promises to dominate his career.

“My professors are very hands-on and laid-back. It’s like being taught by a friend. They are talented and down to earth. That makes it fun to learn,” said Aguilar.

Aguilar has won a number of university art contests, most recently winning 1st Place in the photography division of the 2014 student art competition with his entry of 1ST Corinthians, a project he said was inspired by the verses, “Love is patient, love is kind.”

“Tymon has had much success during his time here at HSU, including winning awards in the student art competition, but he would be the last to tell you because he is very modest,” said Carrie Isaacson, assistant professor of photography. "Tymon has a great attitude and a thirst for learning. He is a pleasure to have in the classroom because he is not only talented and hard-working but he is a good person with a heart for the Lord.”

Isaacson characterized Aguilar as very giving of his time to others. Mike Jones, head of the Department of Visual Arts, points to Aguilar’s volunteer work with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program as an example of the student’s interest in others.

Typifying Aguilar as a great artist with a heart of gold, Jones said he is also a scholar who has managed to overcome some serious challenges.

“I’m dyslexic, so I have learned and continued to discipline myself to try harder in school,” said Aguilar. “When other students were with friends, I was trying to get a head start on studies. I remember doing math in the 5th grade and staying up past midnight just trying to understand it.”

That work paid off. When Aguilar took a college-level algebra class in high school, he was the only one in the class to make an A. Aguilar later graduated as the McCamey High School valedictorian, receiving a tuition exemption for his freshman year, which he spent at Odessa College before coming to HSU in fall 2011.

“I’m not smarter, I just have to try harder than most,” he said of graduating first in his class. “A lot of students just do what is required, but I have always had to push myself. I just want to be the best I can be, even if it’s not a lot,” said Aguilar.

In 2013, Aguilar won 1st place in the student competition’s sculpture category with his unusual Mayan Tooth etched with small Mayan symbols he encountered while researching his family’s culture on the Internet.

“I was intrigued by a photo of teeth I found. I told Steve Neeves, my professor of sculpture, that I had originally wanted to do a Mayan Temple, so he helped me to figure out a way to do both,” said Aguilar.

Despite an interest in his cultural roots, Aguilar said he never learned to speak Spanish. As a child, his mother came to the United States from the Yucatan Peninsula when her dad found work in Texas. He says, when his mom and dad met and married, they spoke Spanish so differently that English worked better as their common language.

"Tymon was no doubt a great student to have in my classes,” said Linda Fawcett, HSU professor of art, “but what struck me the most about him was his outgoing, warm, and inclusive attitude toward everyone he interacted with, from volunteering for extra activities, escorting a friend so they wouldn’t be alone, to working after-hours to help a fellow student struggling with a class lesson."

Aguilar said he is sad to leave his professors and HSU behind but his future is already being molded as he and his brother Josh, a graduate of the Art Institute in Houston, develop an idea to serve emerging businesses with web design, photography, videography, and graphic design.

“He doesn't wait for everything to be handed to him but takes initiative to discover and learn on his own,” said Jones. “It would have been so easy for him to just focus on his own goals, but he has a heart that looks outside himself."

 

 

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