CSCC Alumni Melissa Alley Woody

Thursday, September 7, 2017 - by Holly Vincent

How many people can say they have managed to always have a job they can be passionate about and believe in? According to CSCC Alum Melissa Alley Woody, she is one of those people. 

Woody, the vice president of Tourism Development for the Cleveland / Bradley Chamber of Commerce, told herself once she stops believing in something, then it will be time to move on, but so far, that just hasn’t been the case. When Woody started her educational journey at Cleveland State, she wasn’t quite sure what she wanted to do with her life. Fast forward a few decades and she couldn’t be more certain of her career decision. Another decision she is sure about—her decision to attend CSCC. 

“When you are at a community college, you are still finding out who you are outside your high school bubble. It is really a great time to better define what your interests are and then what your path is going to be to get there.” 

For Woody, she decided on a General Transfer degree before transferring to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where she majored in Communications with a minor in History. She came to this decision based on an interest exam in the CSCC Counseling office that assisted students in finding their strengths and weaknesses and then offering advice on majors. Woody scored very high in two categories—public relations and private investigation. Although the two topics may not seem related, Woody said she sees now how they can go hand in hand. With her position at the Chamber, she has to do a lot of research and questioning or as she calls it “investigating.” 

“When I looked back on my college career, I could not remember that many of my UTC professors, maybe one or two in the Communications Department, but I knew the names of so many people at CSCC who I had met during my time there—Jerome Taylor, John Bradley, Fred Wood, Spencer Culbreth, Bob Taylor, Tom Losh, Steve Longley, “Cig” (Jim Cigliano), Judy Watts, Renate Basham, David Suttles, Norma Davis…I have so many great memories of all of these people.”

And speaking of memories, Woody recalls one of her favorite memories from CSCC was having Dr. Renate Basham for French and being invited to her home to celebrate the end of the semester with a fancy French dinner. 

“We were able to invite people, so my mom went with me,” stated Woody. “It was such an amazing experience and something I will never forget. It still is such a wonderful memory for me. That was my first recipe using capers!” 

Woody received an Academic Principal’s Scholarship to attend CSCC which required her to work five hours on campus each week. For her work assignment, she worked for Coach Steve Longley in the Athletic Department and Bob Taylor in Student Relations. She was also actively involved in several clubs and organizations on campus including the Student Hosts where she was a tour guide for prospective students vising the college. Working on campus allowed Woody to meet a lot of new people. In fact, two of her best friends are people she met while enrolled at CSCC. One was a graduate of Polk County High School, and the other, Cleveland High School, while Woody was a graduate of Bradley Central, so without CSCC, they may never have met.

“Cleveland State is a real jewel in our community,” stated Woody. “The people there are great. You get one on one attention from your instructors. The campus is beautiful. It’s such an amazing place…My wish is that the campus will continue to thrive, and people will see the value of what’s offered there and the community will realize what a great institution we have right here in our community and continue to support its current and future growth.”

Woody takes her role as a CSCC alum very seriously and says she always recommends the college to students that come to mentor or job shadow at the Chamber. She has also recently taken on the role of Chair of the Alumni Community of Cleveland State. This is the newly formed organization established with a mission to “Connect, Engage and Celebrate” Cleveland State’s alumni within the wider community of employees and friends of the college. 

For more information on the Alumni Community at Cleveland State or to register as a CSCC Alumni, contact Cindy Dawson, coordinator of Development and Alumni Relations, at 423-472-7141, ext. 703. You can also visit the website at www.clevelandstatecc.edu.



Lee To Welcome Miller To Speak On Desegregation

Lee University will host “Desegregation at Lee College” with guest speaker Bishop Quan Miller, one of the first African-American students to attend Lee. The event will take place on Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the Walker Lecture Hall, located in Lee’s Science & Math Complex.  “Lee doesn’t have a written history, so it’s easy to gloss over the more difficult parts of our history,” ... (click for more)

Chattanooga State And South College Sign Articulation Agreement

Dr. Rebecca Ashford, president of Chattanooga State and Mr. Steve South, president of South College, signed an articulation agreement between the two institutions on Jan. 9. This articulation agreement will guarantee qualified students enrolled in Chattanooga State’s pre-pharmacy classes an interview with the School of Pharmacy to pursue a doctor of pharmacy degree. The agreement ... (click for more)

BlueCross Sells Huge Tract Along River For $8.1 Million

BlueCross BlueShield has sold a huge tract along the riverfront in Lupton City for $8.1 million. The purchaser is listed as Riverton LLC., 651 E. 4th St., Suite 403, Chattanooga. BlueCross had bought the 216-acre site in 2001 as a possible site for its corporate headquarters. However, it wound up building a $299 million campus on Cameron Hill instead. BlueCross started ... (click for more)

1 Person Injured In Duplex Fire In East Lake Wednesday Night

One person was injured when fire broke out in a duplex Wednesday night in East Lake. The Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm at  11:53  p.m. on  Wednesday  and responded to the 4800 block of General Thomas Boulevard with several fire companies.   When the first firefighters arrived on the scene, Captain Chris Cordes with Engine 9 said ... (click for more)

Thank You, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thank you, Dr. King for stepping-out.  Thank you for your lasting voice to what it's all about. Thank you, Dr. King for  stepping up and also showing-up, ...when decisions were being made and  your refusal  to shut-up.  We find your fingerprints on both directions and toward progress.  your modeling, mentoring,  and reactions helps ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Kids Are Still Funny

I have never seen nor heard of a child actually getting one’s “head pinched off” but by modern-day standards the threat just switched in overdrive. There are children in our communities who haven’t been to school for six long days and the brutal temperatures drove the little darlings to inside where they most predictably stirred up all manner of mayhem. Back when I was in Elementary ... (click for more)