First-Ever Scholarship at Georgia VECTR Center Awarded to Veteran

September 17, 2018

Warner Robins, Ga. – Adding financial resources for education to its one-stop-shop for veterans, the Georgia Veterans Education Career Transition Resource (VECTR) Center presented its first-ever scholarship last week to a former Army officer.

In a brief ceremony, the Center awarded the General Alfred G. Hansen Scholarship to James Harris, a Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) program student for his exhibition of leadership, academic achievement, and adherence to military core values.

“His instructor nominated Mr. Harris based on his academic performance, leadership, and demonstration of those attributes written on the wall behind you,” said the Center’s chief operating officer, Ret. Col. Patricia Ross, speaking of a digital camouflage wall in the Center full of words, which describe veterans and active duty personnel, “such as, integrity, service, and dedication”.

Named for Ret. Gen. Al Hansen, of the Air Force, the scholarship fund was created to honor the 37 years of service for the four-star general. Hansen’s service in the Air Force was packed with aircraft operation and maintenance experience, flying 113 combat missions including the Apollos spacecraft recovery, assignments in Thailand and Vietnam, and transitioning to a position as an aircraft maintainer. He was also executive vice president of Lockheed Martin, chief executive officer and president of EMS Technologies, and president of his own aerospace marketing and manufacturing consulting firm.

Harris, the scholarship recipient, holds a bachelor’s degree in Physics and served in the Army as a Nuclear Medical Science officer for four years. Due to life circumstances, he found himself in need of new life skills and a career outlook, both of which the VECTR Center provides.

Distinguished guests at the event included Gen. Henson and his wife, Donna, Carl Swearingen, former president of Bellsouth and the individual behind the scholarship’s creation, Dr. Ivan Allen, president of CGTC, Jeff Scruggs, executive vice president of CGTC, and Tonya McClure, assistant vice president for Advancement and Foundation.

The Central Georgia Technical College (CGTC) Foundation oversees the scholarship. Requirements for application include a veteran’s enrollment in training programs at the VECTR Center, demonstration of leadership and progression towards program credentials, the exhibition of significant achievement in meeting educational goals and objectives, as well as being a dedicated member of the community who exhibits military core values. Instructor nomination and interviews with VECTR staff are part of the selection process. The Foundation presents awards of $250 for the fall and spring semesters to qualified students selected by the Center.

About the Georgia VECTR Center

Since it’s opening in August of 2016, the VECTR Center has served well over 15,000 veterans, service members, and their families through educational coaching, career counseling, community resource assistance, resume assistance, and workforce training. In 2017, the Center came under the administration of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) through Central Georgia Technical College.

The VECTR Center’s one-stop-shop model has garnered interest from delegations from the states of Kentucky, Tennessee, and most recently, North Carolina. VECTR received the 2016 Innovation Award from the University System of Georgia and the Good Government Service Award from the 2016 Robins Regional Chamber of Commerce.

VECTR Scholarship presentation.

Photo:(From left to right) Donna Hansen joins scholarship recipient, James Harris, Ret. Gen. Al Hansen and VECTR Center chief operating officer, Ret. Col. Patricia Ross, to recognize Harris as the Center’s first scholarship recipient.