The creative work of South Texas College’s digital imaging students will be helping officers in Hidalgo County put an end to illegal dumping.

That’s right! STC’s Digital Imaging Program was contacted by the Hidalgo County Precinct 2 for their help in designing a vehicle graphic for three patrol vehicles.

Students in the first semester Digital Imaging 1 class and third semester students in the Design Communication 1 class were asked to submit their work for a chance to have it printed on officer vehicles.

The graphic will be used to identify the new task force that will be patrolling general areas and hot spots for illegal dumping. The county has had its share of illegal dumping in the area and is eager to put a stop to it.

“Most of the dumping is being done by commercial businesses, but officers will cite and prosecute anyone in the general public if caught,” said Hidalgo Commissioner Hector “Tito” Palacios.

The commissioner, along with Chief Administrator Humberto Garza, judged the entries based on the impact of the design and how well it communicated the purpose of the task force.

The work of Jose Daniel De La Rosa, Design Communication 1 student, met all these requirements and was chosen as the winner of the contest. He is also the current STC CADD Club president and is very involved in promoting the program in the community.

“It’s great to know that my work will have a direct impact and influence in the community,” said De La Rosa. “My victory belongs to everyone. Contests like these raise awareness among the community about the world of design and its opportunities. There’s no greater reward than helping the department grow in order to enlighten others to the quality education at STC.”

“The students’ involvement gives them the opportunity to experience a ‘real world’ project,” said Laura Salas, STC Computer Aided Drafting and Design Program (CADD) instructor. “And although the contest did not involve any type of monetary award or compensation, the recognition and opportunity to have a piece of work printed and professionally produced to serve a purpose benefits students far more. There are many opportunities that can arise from this type of involvement in the project, not just to benefit our students, but also our program and STC. Everybody wins!”

The new Hidalgo Task Force for Illegal Dumping is expected to produce satisfactory results. If the project is successful, STC students may be contacted for their expertise in designing graphics for other precincts around the Valley.