Meet the SSS staff…
Shirl S. Gholston
Ms. G, as we know her, has been the director of SSS since 1993. During this time, she also taught Freshman Seminar and Principles of Effective Study courses. Ms. G is very passionate about making sure that SSS students have the support they need to graduate from UTC. Over the years, she obtained approximately $6 million in external funds, awarded through competitive grants to improve the graduation rates of SSS students.
Firmly believing in being prepared to give her best to students, she keeps herself educated on current and effective innovations designed to enhance the retention and graduation rates of students.
She has earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Counselor Education and a Masters of Education from South Carolina State University.
When not on campus, she enjoys being with her family, cooking, reading, and decorating.
Christopher W. Stokes
Christopher Stokes is the Academic Specialist for the Student Support Services (TRIO) at UTC. Chris is a native of Nashville, Tennessee, the third of seven children, and the first in his family to attend and graduate from a four-year college or university. He received his B.S. in Anthropology from UTC in 2003. He spent the next two years as a Resident Director with the UTC Residence Life Department. He has since served as the Coordinator for the Upward Bound Math Science (TRIO) Program for four and a half years. In January 2011, he accepted the role of Academic Specialist for SSS.
“Stokes”, as students refer to him, brings a combined wealth of knowledge and resources, with over 6 years of professional experience. During this time his primary roles has been in engaging and preparing project eligible students for the rigors of postsecondary entry, persistent, and advancement.
Melissa Laseter has served as Student Support Services Tutor Coordinator since 2008. Originally from Knoxville, Tennessee, Melissa earned her B.S. in Secondary Education (English concentration) in 2004. Since that time, she has taught in the public school system, worked in the private tutoring business, and now has found a home back at her alma mater.
Melissa’s role at SSS is to insure the smooth operation of the peer tutoring program while assisting with SSS goals such as study skills assistance, counseling, and academic advising. Additionally, she also edits essays, research papers, and resumes for SSS students who would like the extra help.
In her free time, she enjoys reading, nature, volunteering, and spending time with her husband and two little boys.