November 11, 2021 | Betty A. Proctor | Internal Press Release
One military veteran from each of Tennessee’s community and technical colleges are being awarded the Chancellor’s Commendation for Military Veterans during Veterans Day activities this week. Chattanooga State Community College veteran honorees include Robert Shelton, United States Air Force and Chad Mix, United States Navy. Rob is a computer lab technician in the College’s Technology division. Chad is a student in the TCAT Surgical Technology program.
Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor Flora W. Tydings established the commendation last year to honor the service, bravery, and sacrifices of veterans in campus communities. The awards are presented during Veterans Day ceremonies, observances, or recognitions that the TBR colleges traditionally conduct.
“It is an honor to present Chad Mix and Rob Shelton with the Chancellor’s Commendation for Military Veterans. Before joining the Chattanooga State family as student and as an employee, Chad and Rob both had distinguished careers in service to our country,” stated Dr. Rebecca Ashford, Chattanooga State president. “I thank them for their service. They have made our country and also our college stronger.”
The Chancellor’s Commendation is conferred in the form of a specially designed Challenge Coin. Challenge coins are a tradition in all branches of the military, signifying special achievement, excellence, hard work, unit pride, respect, and esprit de corps.
Recipients of the Chancellor’s Commendation were nominated by their college presidents. This year’s recipients include 14 Soldiers, 9 Sailors, 7 Airmen, 6 Marines and 1 Coast Guardsman. “These 37 men and women represent the spirit and values of our colleges – student success, academic excellence, courage in adversity, and service to campus and community – and the highest ideals of military service,” Tydings said.
“All military personnel take an oath in which they solemnly swear or affirm to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies. That defense of our great nation requires tremendous sacrifice. Our college communities are strengthened by the presence, experience and perspective of veterans and active-duty military personnel – as students, faculty, staff, and alumni. They are an important part of the great diversity of people and backgrounds on our campuses. We’re glad they’re here, and we’re privileged to honor their service – not only on Veterans Day but all year long,” Tydings said.
Veterans can receive ongoing services and support at TBR colleges to help them make the transition, achieve academic success, and earn their degrees.
Underscoring their commitment to veterans, 11 Tennessee community colleges have earned VETS Campus certification as established under the Tennessee Veterans Education Transition Support (VETS) Act enacted in 2014 by the state legislature. Chattanooga State Community College was one of the first community colleges in Tennessee to receive this status.
To earn VETS Campus certification, an institution must prioritize outreach to veterans and successfully deliver services necessary to create a supportive environment where student veterans can prosper while pursuing their education. The Tennessee Higher Education Commission has certified 28 colleges and universities as VETS Campuses. Certification is reviewed annually.
“The Tennessee Board of Regents is fully committed to the academic success of our veterans. The faculty, professional staff and senior leaders on all campuses and at the system office are dedicated to serving all veterans and military personnel, who bring a wealth of training and experience to our institutions,” said Dr. Robert M. Denn, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs and veterans service officer at TBR.