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Student Receives Chancellor's Commendation
November 12, 2020

A Walters State Community College student has received the Inaugural Chancellor’s Commendation for Military Veterans. 
Savang Moua, a nursing major, retired from the Navy after 20 years of service.
“While we thank him for his service, we are also proud of his accomplishments as a student,” said Dr. Tony Miksa, president of the college. Miksa presented the award on behalf of the Tennessee Board of Regents and Chancellor Flora Tydings. 
The award is a special challenge coin. A rich tradition in all branches of the military, challenge coins signify special achievement, excellence, hard work, unit pride and respect. 
“This system-level award honors the service and sacrifice of veterans in the Tennessee Board of Regents campus communities,” Miksa said.
Moua excels in the classroom, maintaining a perfect 4.0 grade point average and helps his fellow students as a peer tutor. He also volunteers with the Niswonger Campus Service Learners. Moua was one of two students recognized as outstanding students on the campus earlier this year. He is on track to graduate in 2022.
“I have no doubt that Savang will be an excellent nurse and will continue serving others for many years to come,” Miksa said.
Moua was humbled by the presentation. 
“I was very honored when I learned my name was being submitted,” Moua said. He received about ten challenge coins during his naval career.
“In the military, this is a special honor. It means that your commander has recognized that you have gone above and beyond.”
Moua isn’t just a first-generation college student. He is a first-generation American. His family immigrated to the United State from Laos in 1976 and now lives in North Carolina. A job offer led him to Tennessee after his naval career.
“My naval background was in electronics, but I could not see myself doing that for the rest of my life. I enjoy working with people and volunteered with some non-profit agencies,” Moua said.
“While volunteering, I met a nurse who had graduated from Walters State’s program. She was an excellent nurse and said great things about the nursing program at Walters State. So, I decided to look into it.”
Moua is paying for his education with the Montgomery G.I. Bill. He encourages all veterans to take advantage of their benefits. 
“An education is something that can never be taken away from you.”
For information on using your veterans educational benefits at Walters State, contact Jason Wilder, veterans service coordinator, at 423-585-6896 or Jason.Wilder@ws.edu.

In the photo: Walters State student Savong Moua received the Inaugural Chancellor’s Commendation for Military Veterans, an award initiated by the Tennessee Board of Regents. From left are Jason Wilder, coordinator of veterans services at the college; Moua; and Dr. Tony Miksa, president of the college.