CV Tech Grad Discovers Merging of Two Passions in Science, Engineering

Efren Silva of Piedmont is pursing his passion for science and engineering at Texas A&M University after spending two years studying Biomedical Sciences at Canadian Valley Technology Center.

YUKON – Efren Silva hopes his painting days are over.

He enjoyed time alongside his father on commercial painting jobs in the area for many years. But he is setting aside his brush and roller in order to save lives.

While engaged in a passion for science as a high school junior and senior in Canadian Valley Technology Center’s Biomedical Sciences program, he discovered a bent toward engineering.

Turns out there is a very specialized degree field that has merged the two.

Silva, 21, and a 2012 Piedmont High School graduate, is now a junior at Texas A&M University pursuing a biomedical engineering degree.

“I’m interested in the development side for a medical device company,” Silva said. “Any device will require a lot of human biology, and that’s my favorite subject.”

Silva said his degree field covers devices from the pacemaker to the prosthetic arm and topics from viruses to hospital management. He’s focused on learning all that he can so people can depend on him in the future.

He admits he is preparing for a job that might not yet exist, but he knows what he is learning is going to valuable to people’s lives, and that’s all that matters to him.

This drive may be hereditary.

Silva’s father, Jose, has a degree in industrial engineering from Oklahoma State University. He owns and operates JS Blast & Paint of Oklahoma City.

“He didn’t try to steer me in any one direction or to go to a particular school,” Silva said of his father. “I have done this on my own, because I know what I want to do.

“I'm a planner. I planned to come (to A&M) for almost two years. A lot of people will do engineering and then get a graduate degree in biomedical engineering. I told my dad I wanted to do biomedical engineering from the start.”

Experience has convinced Silva that he’s not cut out to take over the family painting business.

“I actually painted Canadian Valley’s Cowan Campus in 2008,” he said. “I didn't know I was going to end up there. I painted mainly in the health careers area, the office space and the hallways.”  

While on a brief visit home a couple weeks ago, Silva helped his father by priming a gymnasium for a project in Mustang.

“Since I’m a junior now, I have to get serious about getting an internship next summer,” he said. “So I think I’m through painting.”

High school, for him, was all about getting ready for the next step, so CV Tech’s academically challenging programs in the science, technology, engineering and math (or STEM) areas were of particular interest.

“I saw it as preparing for college and not for getting ahead,” he said. “Biomedical Sciences is purely academic. It's not a typical tech center program.”

Debra Booth, counselor at CV Tech’s Cowan Campus, said Silva was always a determined student.“He wanted to learn everything he could, and he took advantage of the educational opportunities that were placed in front of him,” she said. “He knew what his goal was and saw the opportunity our Biomedical Sciences program would give him.

“We were a great fit for him, but he was also a great fit for us. Efren comes back when he is home and shares that passion with the students in our program. What a great testimony. He will achieve great things.”