Huntington, W.Va. – Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant told groups of future engineers and social workers Thursday that they both have a responsibility to build a strong foundation for the future of West Virginia.
Engineers build our highways and bridges while social workers build our communities and citizens.
Both have the know-how to turn an idea into reality.
Secretary Tennant speaks at the SAME
Conference luncheon at Marshall on
February 24, 2011.
Tennant spoke to more than 200 at the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) annual conference at Marshall University. She also met with high school tudents from West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio.
She recognized the 1092nd Engineer Battalion based in Parkersburg, which recently returned from a deployment in Afghanistan.
“It is up to us to ask engineers challenging questions,” Tennant said. “We must continue to visualize projects that push engineers to come up with innovative ways to solve our problems. And our leaders must provide an environment that allows not only that progressive vision but also that bold solution. That’s what I have done as your Secretary of State – provided a culture in our office that encourages questions and encourages new solutions. People asked us tough questions, and we in the Secretary of State’s Office came up with bold solutions. That is what we have done since I took the oath as your Secretary of State, and that is what we will continue to do.”
Tennant also congratulated three students who were rewarded SAME scholarships.
Tennant also met with more than 25 social work students in Pritchard Hall at Marshall to discuss not only the duties of the Secretary of State’s Office, but the valuable contribution they make to the state.
The students also questioned Secretary Tennant for more than 30 minutes on the election process – including safe and secure military and overseas voting and the compressed special election to fill Senator Byrd’s senate seat.
“I appreciate the work you do, and I appreciate your questions. I love the back and forth and talking about how we do things and why we do things.”
Tennant especially thanked John Mathis, a social work student who also served in the military. He started an on-campus group called Veterans for Veterans that now boasts hundreds of members.