Harold Brown - Columbus State Community College 50th Anniversary

Richard Brown was just 11 years old when he set a foundation for a future career: building and flying a remote control plane.

Those early days in Marietta served him well. Richard earned his associate degree in Aviation Maintenance from Columbus State Community College in 2007. He's now an Unmanned Aircraft Systems Technician at the Applied Aviation Researcher Center of Kansas State University Salina. In that position, Richard builds and maintains unmanned aircraft.

"... pound for pound, dollar for dollar, Columbus State was by far the best investment of my time and money."

"The education and Federal Aviation Administration certification I received from Columbus State have been absolutely instrumental in the progress of my career," says Brown. "The education was just the practical, straight-forward information that you need to know how to do the job. I have a bachelor's degree, but pound for pound, dollar for dollar, Columbus State was by far the best investment of my time and money."

Following his graduation from Columbus State, Richard went on to earn his bachelor's degree in aviation management from Ohio University in 2009.

Richard has worked as an aircraft maintenance technician in the corporate, airline, and heavy maintenance environments. But he has found his niche at the Salina, Kansas, campus. When he started there in 2010, the university had just two aircraft. The program now has three rotor-wing and eight fixed-wing aircraft, three of which Richard created.

Images: A Year in the Life of Columbus State