ATLANTA — MTSU Provost Mark Byrnes led a team from the university to Delta Air Lines’ world headquarters in Atlanta recently with the goal to layer veteran outreach and adult degree completion opportunities upon the already substantial partnership between the two organizations.
Byrnes was joined by retired Army Lt. Gen. Keith Huber, MTSU’s senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives; Hilary Miller, director of MTSU’s Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center; and Peggy Carpenter, associate dean of MTSU’s University College.
The three, along with others from MTSU in support roles, met with the leadership of Delta’s Propel program, which provides select students in the university’s Department of Aerospace with “qualified job offers” that detail a defined path and an accelerated timeline to become a pilot for the airline.
MTSU was one of eight universities nationwide selected by Delta in 2018 to participate in Propel.
Byrnes and Huber pledged to work with Delta to make Propel more visible among MTSU’s student-veteran population, which numbers more than 1,100 and with whom aerospace is the most popular major.
The MTSU team also toured Delta’s flight operations and technical operations centers and huddled with the airline’s Veterans Business Resource Group, an employee-led effort to support a corporate commitment to recruit and hire those who have served in the armed forces.
Air Force veteran Kurt Robinson, Delta’s manager for quality control and receiving inspection and president of the veterans group, pledged to visit Huber at MTSU early next year to step up recruitment of student-veterans.
Robinson presented Huber with a replica of Delta’s pilot wings, embossed with the five service seals of the armed forces, to honor the retired general’s commitment to veterans.
Meanwhile, Byrnes and Carpenter opened talks with Delta’s Scholarship Committee to offer MTSU’s services through its Adult Degree Completion Program to airline employees hoping to finish up a college degree online.
The MTSU executives welcomed Army veteran Tyrone Barmore, a Delta supply attendant and secretary of its veteran group, who will enroll at the university in January through the program.
— Andrew Oppmann (Andrew.Oppmann@mtsu.edu)