In this Subject Matter Expert (SME) Spotlight, we are introducing Eligio Marquez. Mr. Marquez is the Transportation Service Technology Programs Director at Palm Beach State College in Florida. He started in the automotive field in 1985 and has been an educator since 1993. As an instructor, he enjoys rolling up his sleeves and joining the students in the labs every chance he gets.
Mr. Marquez has served as a NOCTI SME for the Automotive Technician and Diesel credentialing assessments. We caught up with Mr. Marquez to ask a few questions about his experience and why he’s committed to Career and Technical Education.
What made you choose your career field?
I would say that contrary to what my parents always wanted me to be, I always liked building 1/3 scale cars and making modifications to them. My passion for this career began when I was a little kid.
As for why I started educating, I owe that to my automotive instructor. After a back injury, I thought I was not going to be the technician I once was. He made me see how I could educate others to be that technician I was and this I owe to him.
What is the most rewarding thing about your job/career?
The biggest reward you can receive (in your job) is when one of your former students sees you in a mall, restaurant, or any other place and mentions how well they are doing thanks to the education and knowledge I gave them.
What made you choose to become an SME for NOCTI?
I was searching the web for testing for a new program I am developing at the college and found NOCTI’s website. The page has the SME section which caught my attention right away. It has always been my plan to be able to help with anything related to the transportation industry. I have been delighted to be able to serve as an SME for NOCTI in a field where my passion has always been.
Please elaborate on some of the more interesting or positive aspects of your associations with NOCTI.
This was my first encounter with NOCTI and my association with NOCTI has been excellent. The professionalism of the NOCTI employees I have spoken to or worked with has been great. I would work with them again at any moment.
What advice would you have for someone considering involvement in a NOCTI test revision or development project?
If you are considering being a NOCTI SME, this is an experience you will not regret. The team I worked with was very professional, and all the cumulated years of experience in the field made it easier to work on the project and meet our deadlines. Best of all, you get to know people like yourself that you can count on from other states and create opportunities to communicate on common interests and/or vehicle issues.
Share something unique or unusual about yourself (this might include hobbies, interests, etc.)
I was born in Puerto Rico and move to Florida as a child. Since I was a little boy, I was always told by my parents that I had to be a doctor. At the age of 10, I started fixing the bicycles of my friends. When I was 14 years old, I started to work fixing bicycles in a small bike shop. When the time came, I went to my mother and said, “I will be a doctor, but of cars!” I started my career in a Quick Lube at the age of 17, back in 1985. From that point forward and until now, all I have done is work with vehicles. During a back injury I suffered, my automotive instructor came to my house and asked me to teach. I said that I was not an instructor, and he said yes you are, and you will be a great one.
After this conversation, I started teaching at a private technical college, and decided to go back to the university and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Post-Secondary Adult, Technical, and Vocational Education. At this moment of my life, I possess a master’s degree in Career and Technical Education, a Graduate Certificate in Local Director for Career and Technical Education for the State of Florida (license in process), and a doctorate in Theology. I have worked in this industry from being a car detailer in a dealership to a mechanic, a technician, instructor/professor, a shop owner, and a program director.
The greatest satisfaction I have had as an educator has been seeing the success of most of my former students in the field. Still, after many years, I have students that call me to discuss an issue they are having with a vehicle. That brings satisfaction to me to know they still remember me and call for my advice or opinion. Being an educator, especially in this career, has brought to me a lot of satisfaction.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Being in the automotive industry has always been my passion. Helping students be successful in this career will always be my goal. Being able to create and share my knowledge of over 28 years in this industry to create tomorrow’s technicians will always bring satisfaction to me.
NOCTI is appreciative of Mr. Marquez’ dedication to education and thanks him for sharing his knowledge of expertise! Learn about becoming part of our Professional SME Network.