Stories @ TCAT


Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) Dickson has announced the institution’s nominations for the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) Statewide Outstanding Achievement and Recognition (SOAR) Awards for the 2021-2022 academic year in the faculty, staff, and student categories.

The SOAR Awards are designed to recognize those individuals with exemplary performance in teaching (faculty), academic accomplishment (student) and professional responsibilities (staff). Candidates’ service to their institution, field, and community is heavily considered in the selection process as well.

Robert (Bob) Collins, Senior Instructor of Machine Tool Technology (MTT) at the Dickson campus, was selected for the Faculty Excellence Award. With 45 years of work experience in his industry, Bob brings his skills and expertise to his students in class, to his colleagues as a mentor, and to his industry as the curriculum chair for the statewide MTT programs.

“In his community, Bob is an active volunteer. He serves as a volunteer fireman and emergency medical responder, devoting countless hours to protecting his neighbors,” said Vice President Laura Travis. “Bob’s passion for serving others is evident to all who meet him.”

Cathleen Clark, Human Resources Coordinator, was selected for the Staff Excellence Award for TCAT Dickson and has also been chosen for the next level of competition for an opportunity to attain recognition at the state level.  She has worked at TCAT Dickson since 2006 in several critical capacities, including payroll, reporting, hiring, and training. Her peers voted Cathleen to receive the Golden Hammer Award in 2018, recognizing her dedicated efforts for the good of the campus community.

“Even though Cathleen has a busy role, she is the first to volunteer and assist others with needs that occur on campus,” Travis said.

Carlos D. Felix, Mechatronics student at the Clarksville campus, was selected for the Student Excellence Award.  A veteran who served his country in the United States Army from 2013-2020, Carlos excels academically and volunteers his time as the SkillsUSA President and in other student organizations as well.

“Carlos is a great student and stands out among his peers,” according to Salvatore Evangelista, Clarksville campus Mechatronics Instructor.  “What I have noticed is that Carlos has a way of looking at things that inspires others.... he stands out in our class as a leader”

Carlos attributes his drive and success to this motto he strives to live by: “Always do better today than you did yesterday. Try harder than you did yesterday and learn more than you did yesterday.”

SOAR Award nominees must meet all eligibility requirements and have the support of three letters of recommendation.  For more information on the criteria and/or selection process, please visit 


TCAT Dickson serves as the state provider of workforce development and hands-on technical training in Dickson and the surrounding counties.  For more information, please visit