Columbia State Community College recently presented the 2020 Chancellor’s Award of Excellence in Philanthropy to Tractor Supply Company on behalf of the Tennessee Board of Regents in a belated ceremony due to COVID-19.
“We are fortunate to have a collaborative partner like Tractor Supply Company that joins us in our commitment to student success and learning internships,” said Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president.
“We were pleased to have had the opportunity to recommend TSC for the Chancellors Award in 2020. Presentation of the award was delayed due to COVID-19. Today, it is our honor to officially recognize TSC for their commitment in time and resources for student success.”
The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Philanthropy was established in March of 2001 as a way of recognizing outstanding fundraising programs that donate their resources and efforts to Tennessee Board of Regents colleges. Honorees are selected through a Donor Recognition Committee comprised of representatives from Tennessee community and technical colleges, donors, Trustees, Regents and employees.
Due to the pandemic, the presentation of the 2020 award was delayed, but was finally celebrated recently at the Williamson Campus.
In conjunction with Columbia State’s Computer Information Systems program, Tractor Supply Company created a capstone course dedicated to supporting workforce development in Williamson County by providing students with hands-on technology experience.
This program allows students to research emerging technologies in the retail industry by exploring areas of study such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, big data and analytics and other progressive topics.
“The Columbia State and Tractor Supply partnership has been a very rewarding experience for our faculty and students,” said Deepa Janakiraman, Columbia State director of CITC partnerships and associate professor of computer information systems. “The capstone partnership is a milestone in the push to develop the workforce needed for the future.”
TSC has presented at the National Lead Conference with Columbia State faculty and staff and serves as important advisors and members of the Computer Information Technology Advisory Council. TSC also is active at Columbia State through an apprenticeship project, guest lectures several times a semester and the Career Exploration Summit for IT. In addition, they provide students with on-site visits to tour TSC headquarters, discuss career topics and understand corporate culture.
TSC employees also make an investment in Columbia State students, college officials said.
Many will take time to work from the Williamson Campus and allow one-on-one meetings with students to discuss career paths and options.
One such employee was Marcus McGee.
McGee served as director of IT marketing at TSC and was instrumental in building the partnership with Columbia State. His passing led his family, friends and the community to establish an endowed scholarship at Columbia State in his memory. The scholarship now helps students participating in the capstone program.
“Columbia State desires a continued and growing relationship with Tractor Supply Company,” said Tachaka Hollins, TBR assistant vice chancellor of academic affairs. “We are all pleased to share this occasion to recognize what has been accomplished and the potential for future success.”
This article originally appeared on The Daily Herald: Columbia State presents Tractor Supply with Excellence in Philanthropy award