Arkansas State University - Newport

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ASUN Lobby
September 2019

#MyASUNstory: Dustin Boyce


Sometimes it can take you 20 years to get where you want to be, and for Dustin Boyce, the journey was worth it. Boyce will complete the Energy Control Technology program at ASU-Newport at Marked Tree in December.

While he took a few college classes after high school, Boyce spent the last 20-years working in a factory making potato chip bags. It wasn’t until last year, he finally was able to come back to school.

“For me, with my family, we had gotten ourselves financially in a position that I could step away from that,” Boyce said. “I’ve always wanted to work for myself, and we got ourselves financially in a position where I could take a pay cut where I could go ahead and come back to school and get my education.”

Boyce, from Bradford, began working for a friend’s energy control business who encouraged him to come to ASU-Newport.

“My current employer came to school here, and he’s the one that turned me onto it,” Boyce said. “I’m a family man, and you can go to school two-days a week here and still be employed and make a living. That is what drew me here as opposed to other schools.

Boyce hopes to own his own energy control business one day where he can be his own boss.

“Just the freedom…That was the thing working in a factory, worked 12 hours a day from 7 to 7,” Boyce said. “Great job, made good money, but I missed a lot of activities that my kids took part in. And now, being in the position I’m in, I can be at my son’s baseball games and be at his basketball games.”

Job flexibility aside, Boyce has always known he should work in a hands-on environment.  

“Like me, there are a lot of folks out there that weren’t meant to be doctors or lawyers or teachers or things of that nature,” Boyce said. “I always knew I was destined to work with my hands, and my biggest regret is that I didn’t do something like this sooner.”

Boyce said he can’t say enough good things about ASUN’s Energy Control Technology program.

“If you want to learn, Mark and Marlin are here to teach you,” Boyce said. “All you have to do is bring that willingness to learn.”

From heating and air units to ice machines and refrigerators, Boyce will soon know how to repair them all. He especially looks forward to the future of the industry.

“Biggest thing with the industry right now is the technological advances going on,” Boyce said. “On installations of new equipment, now, technicians are going to be able to be tied to this equipment without being there, and it’s pretty amazing stuff.”

Boyce already proved his skills by winning gold at the state SkillsUSA competition earlier this year and competed at the national level, as well.

As for his time at ASU-Newport, Boyce said the hour drive to school has been worth it and encourages others who may want to work while they get their education to think about this program.

“You can continue to work, support your family, in my situation, and it’s advantageous for even a young person getting into the program because they can seek employment in the field and be getting that experience,” Boyce said.

To learn more about ASU-Newport’s Energy Control Technology program click here.