This month, Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College (SKCTC) will hold ribbon cuttings for Veterans Centers on four of its campuses. According to SKCTC President Dr. Vic Adams, “These centers will offer student veterans a state-of-the-art networking, socializing, and educational environment.”
On Thursday, October 18, events will be held on the Whitesburg at 11:00 a.m. and on the Middlesboro Campus at 2:00 p.m.
The following Thursday, October 25, events will be held on the Cumberland Campus at 11:00 a.m. and on the Harlan Campus at 2:00 p.m.
Plans for this project been germinating from some time. Dr. Rebecca Parrott, Vice President of Student Affairs and Middlesboro Campus Director, says that in 2016, she attended a conference where a panel of veterans spoke about the invaluable support these centers gave them on their respective college campuses.
“These spaces allowed veterans to study together, to uplift each other, and to experience a camaraderie that helped them succeed as students. I knew right then that this should be a goal of ours,” says Parrott.
Last year, SKCTC student Ty Gibbs approached Dr. Parrott, reigniting the idea and helping to see it through to fruition. Prior to enrolling at Southeast, Gibbs served in the U.S. Marine Corps in Afghanistan. Now a student in the Honors Program, he plans to graduate in May with a degree in business.
“I am glad I was able to play a small role in this project,” says Gibbs. “It has allowed me to give back to a college that has given so much to me.”
These areas were renovated and furnished thanks to a grant from the Kentucky Veterans Program Trust Fund. President Adams says that the college is grateful to the Trust Fund’s committee. He also credits Representative Rick Nelson and veterans advocate and former Miss America Heather French Henry who were both “instrumental in connecting us with the resources to make this happen.”
Of the importance of these centers, Parrott says, “Our number one goal at Southeast is to make sure our students succeed. These veterans have sacrificed and served our country, and I hope that giving them a dedicated space will be one more step in ensuring their success.”
For more information about Veterans Affairs at SKCTC, call Kim Hobbs at 606.248.0143 or Kim.Hobbs@kctcs.edu.