Melissa Alley Woody

An unlikely combination for an exceptional success story.

As the Cleveland-Bradley Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Tourism Development, Melissa Alley Woody gets paid to market her hometown. It’s a task that is easier to perform for those coming from outside Cleveland’s borders.

“We tend to take for granted what’s in our own backyard,” Melissa says. “With my job, I see people do that every day with the mountains and the Cherokee National Forest.”

Same Story

Melissa also sees people do it with Cleveland State Community College. Because it’s been here for fifty years, Melissa feels people don’t realize the great resource the college is. She certainly does. And she did when she was in the midst of earning her general transfer degree from the college, which prepared her for her four-year degree at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Feeling that staying close to home was a better option, Melissa attended classes and worked on the CSCC campus. She worked for Steve Longley in CSCC’s athletic department and Bob Taylor, who was an activities-relations professional for the college and later became Director of Bradley County Schools. Melissa fondly remembers the day when her position with Coach Longley gave her the opportunity to announce a basketball game over the intercom system.

Exciting as this day was, it pales in comparison to something many students also take for granted: an entrance exam offered by the Cleveland State counseling office.

“When I took that entrance exam, I scored very high in public relations and private investigation,” Melissa says. Though she didn’t understand how the two meshed together, she now sees that both play a role in her job, as she must do lots of research and questioning—investigation—to perform her PR-centric job.

Exciting Growth

Like many CSCC alumni, Melissa continues to keep up with the college since her 1989 graduation. She is impressed with the ever-growing class offerings and sees the community offerings as a particular benefit. In fact, she reaped the benefit of one community class herself by participating in a Cleveland State yoga class.

“Cleveland State is a real jewel in our community,” she says. “The people there are great, the campus is beautiful—it’s just a great place. My wish is that the campus would continue to thrive, the students would more clearly see the value of what’s offered there, and the community would realize what a great institution we have right here in our community and continue to support its current and future growth.”