November 10, 2023 | Payton Potter | Staff Spotlight, Student Success
On Veterans Day 2023, TBR, the College System of Tennessee honored two Chattanooga State Community College veterans with a Chancellor’s Commendation for Military Veterans.
In a four-year tradition started by Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor Flora W. Tydings, one person on each of the system’s campuses is honored annually with a challenge coin emblazoned on one side with symbols for each branch of the military and on the other with the Chancellor’s Commendation designation.
In 2023, 37 students, faculty, staff, and alumni system-wide were given a challenge coin.
ChattState network analyst Mark Terrell, a U.S. Navy veteran, was among the honorees to receive a coin. Terrell has worked for the college for 20 years as a Network Analyst and is a 2011 alumnus of its Electrical Engineering Technologies A.A.S. program.
“I considered it an honor to receive the Chancellor’s Award presented by Dr. Ashford. She is a real supporter of veterans,” Terrell said. “Dr. Tydings and Dr. Ashford are responsible for the success of Veterans Affairs as we know it today.”
Tydings also recognized ChattState’s Tennessee College of Applied Technology student Atlas Rising, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army.
ChattState president Dr. Rebecca Ashford nominated Terrell and Rising for the challenge coins and presented them on Friday, Nov. 10.
The 2023 Chancellor’s Commendation honorees include 17 students, 11 faculty members, 8 college staff members, and 1 alumnus who all served in the military. Of this year’s honorees, 11 served in the Navy, 10 in the Army, 8 in the Marine Corps, 5 in the Air Force, and 3 in the National Guard.
“Our college communities are strengthened by the presence on campus of veterans and active-duty personnel – as students, faculty, staff and alumni,” Tydings said. “They and the experiences and perspectives they bring are an important part of the broad diversity of people and backgrounds on our campuses that benefits everyone.”
ChattState is a certified VETS Campus, meaning it prioritizes outreach to veterans, allocates resources for veterans’ successful transition from service to college enrollment, and delivers services where student veterans can prosper while pursuing an education.
ChattState’s TCAT is among six of the system’s technical colleges to have earned a VETS Campus certification.
“We are committed to serving them as they served our country. It’s a privilege to honor them, not only on Veterans Day but all year,” the chancellor said. “I thank our presidents, our faculty and our entire campus communities for their work in ensuring that veterans are served and welcomed.”