A Lifelong Passion for Education

Student Success Story

by Jenny Faubert

Mark Harris

Mark Harris knew at a young age that he wanted to serve his country. Just 10 days after his 17th birthday, he joined the U.S. Air Force. Why the Air Force? His father was in the Air Force, and as far back as Mark can remember, he loved it. For Mark, it was an easy choice making the military his career. During his 30 years of service one of Mark’s greatest achievements was attaining the rank of Chief Master Sergeant, the highest enlisted rank in the U.S. Air Force. Only one percent of the enlisted Air Force holds the rank of Chief Master Sergeant.

His exceptional military career includes several honors and awards including the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor, Commendation Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal and the Kuwait Liberation Medal.

"My Air Force experience made me who I am," said Mark. "The Air Force core values of integrity, service before self, and excellence in all you do are also life values."

The Air Force also instilled a passion for education in Mark, who has two Associate degrees, a Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Aeronautics, and is currently working on an Associate degree in the Radiologic Technology program at MedVance Institute. Mark has perfect attendance and maintains a 4.0 GPA. Even with a busy academic schedule and clinical training, Mark and his fellow students find time to give back to the community through career days, blood drives and the Relay For Life which raises money to combat cancer through research.

According to William May, M.Ed., R.T. (R), FASRT, "Not only does Mr. Harris believe and exhibit the core values of integrity, service before self and excellence in all he does, but [he] also tries to help his classmates understand and follow the same core values instilled in him during his years of military service."

Recently, the Imagine America Foundation awarded Mark Harris the 2007 Imagine America Military Leadership Award. The Foundation established the Military Leadership Award in 2004 to recognize and honor exceptional career college students who have served their country honorably in the military and decided to further their education at participating Imagine America institutions.

Upon graduation Mark's goal is to serve veterans as a radiologic technologist at a veterans’ hospital. With an education from MedVance Institute, there is no doubt that Mark will become a vital part of the medical community.