Chattahoochee Technical College student Chris Rosson is not a traditional student at age 34. But the married father of two is now representing Georgia’s largest technical college as its Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) nominee.
Out of the approximately 11,000 students at Chattahoochee Technical College, 33 were nominated for the award this year. As the winner, Rosson will go on to compete at the regional level for a chance to win the state competition and a prize package that includes a new car. GOAL winners are selected at each of the state’s other technical colleges as well as the two Board of Regents colleges with technical education divisions.
To win the award at Chattahoochee Technical College, Rosson had to deliver a speech and answer questions from a panel of judges both from the college and local community. Nominees and finalists were evaluated on their leadership abilities, academic achievement, knowledge of technical education and educational and career goals.
“After my speech was finalized, I must have rehearsed it at least 50 times,” said Rosson. “To help with the question and answer section, I watched some of the presidential debates and made notes on how each candidate answered the questions.”
Rosson, who is enrolled in Chattahoochee Technical College’s Technical Specialist program, was nominated for the honor by his Accounting instructor, Nate Akins. According to Akins, it was Rosson’s work ethic and positive attitude that made him stand out in the crowd.
“He was very passionate about not just memorizing the material, but understanding it and how it applied to his job at the Home Depot,” Akins said. “It was also his demonstration of his determination to succeed in the class and help others succeed as well. He has made a relentless effort to take what he learns and immediately apply it to the workplace and build a better life for his family.”
Rosson began working at The Home Depot in 2000 in the company’s mail room. Over the years, he has gradually worked his way up, including most recently to Senior Financial Analyst. Two of those promotions have come since starting his studies part-time at Chattahoochee Technical College.
Chattahoochee Technical College has offered Rosson the opportunity to begin his higher education studies at a lower cost than four-year colleges and universities. While he plans to eventually pursue his bachelor’s degree and a master’s in Accounting, the smaller classes and the flexibility of locations made CTC the best choice for him.
“Technical Education has been the bridge between my past and my future,” Rosson said in a speech.
Akins, who notified Rosson of his nomination via e-mail, said his student recognizes the value of technical education and its contribution to the modern workplace.
“Chris exemplifies how a person in any stage of life can come to a technical college, receive an interactive education and achieve their personal goals,” said Akins. “It is his work ethic, professionalism and personification of how technical education translates to success that sets him apart.”