Ragan Norman awarded the first SGTC Mike Cochran Aviation Maintenance Scholarship
South Georgia Technical College President Dr. John Watford along with Nancy Cochran, and her daughter, Kelly Cochran Bazemore of Albany, gathered with the entire Aviation Maintenance instructor team to present the inaugural Mike Cochran Aviation Maintenance Scholarship to Ragan Norman of Americus.
South Georgia Technical College retired Aviation Maintenance Instructor Mike Cochran passed away suddenly in an airplane crash in 2019. His family and friends created a lasting legacy by establishing an endowed scholarship for future generations of Aviation Maintenance students at South Georgia Technical College. All of the aviation maintenance instructors, many of which had taught with or been taught by Mike Cochran, gathered with Dr. Watford, Nancy Cochran and Kelly Bazemore Cochran to present the first Mike Cochran Aviation Maintenance scholarship in his memory.
“On behalf of everyone at South Georgia Technical College, I would like to thank Nancy Cochran and their two daughters, Kelly and Katie Cochran Sklar and their extended families, and all of Mike’s friends for helping to establish this endowed scholarship. His legacy will continue to live and inspire others to pursue a career in the field of aviation maintenance that Mike loved so much,” said President Watford. “We are pleased that we can be here today to honor his memory and continue his legacy through the next generation of aviation maintenance students attending South Georgia Technical College.”
Ragan Norman of Americus, was pleased and humbled to be selected as the first Aviation Maintenance student at South Georgia Technical College to receive this scholarship. “I would like to thank Mr. Cochran’s family and friends for this opportunity,” said Ragan Norman. “I am very honored to be selected and I promise you that I will do my best to live up to the expectations that he and others have of me because of this scholarship.” Ragan is the son of Tony Norman of Americus and is a graduate of Southland Academy in Americus.
Nancy Cochran thanked Dr. Watford and each of the Aviation instructors for their support and said, “Mike loved this college and he loved his students. It means a lot that you recommended this young man for this scholarship. I thank all of you for your part in making this happen. We all still miss Mike but we are glad that we can give back and help others to succeed in the field that he loved.”
Mike Cochran retired as an aviation maintenance instructor at South Georgia Technical College in 2012. He spent over 27 years working as an instructor at the college and was a second generation graduate of South Georgia Tech. He earned his Electronics Technology Degree from South Georgia Tech in 1978 and worked for Williams Office Equipment, Southern Bell Telephone Company and Storer Cable Communications Company before accepting a position as an Electronics Technology Instructor at South Georgia Tech in 1985.
While he was an electronics instructor, he earned his Aviation Maintenance Technology and Avionics Diploma. In 2003, he became an Aviation Maintenance Technology and Avionics Technology instructor at South Georgia Technical College and held that position for nearly 10 years.
In addition to his South Georgia Technical College education, Mike earned his Associate of Applied Science Degree in Avionics Maintenance Technology from Georgia Southwestern State University and then he graduated with honors from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science in Education, Technological Studies in 2008. He earned licenses/certifications from the FAA in Airframe and Powerplant. He was an FAA certified private pilot and was licensed by the FCC. He also had the NOCTI Electronics Technology certification and was IMACA Air Condition certified.
Mike is survived by his wife Nancy, and his two daughters, Kelly Bazemore and Katie Sklar and their families.