Sandy Cole, Executive Director, Center for Community Career Education
Located in the College of Health, Education and Professional Studies, Ms. Cole is responsible for directing the overall efforts of the Center for Community Career Education, which includes the Educational Opportunity Center, Educational Talent Search, Upward Bound Math/Science and Positive Action With Success (an elementary collegiate awareness initiative). Primary objectives are to provide quality services to our participants, to build true collaborations in the community and to continue to raise community awareness concerning the services the Center provides. Experience includes over twenty-five years in career and education advisement; professional development programming for adults; technical preparation program development (Tech Prep); pre-employment preparation for disabled and youth populations; project management and conference and meeting management. Her experience includes five yeards as an admission's officer, seven years as assistant director of registration and seven years as associate director of continuing education. Her ehigher education experience includes both two-year and four-year institutions. Certified to interpret the Myers Briggs Type Indicator by Consulting Psychologist Press. Serving as a 2003 and 2006 Board Examiner for the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence. Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, a Master's Degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, and an ED.S. in Educational Technology from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Cynthia Wallace, Project Director, Educational Opportunity Center (EOC)
Responsible as director for providing educational outreach and counseling for the Southern Appalachian Educational Opportunity Center which assists low-income, potential first generation college students pursuing post-secondary education. Experience includes four years in educational planning and administration, eleven years in family support coordination and counseling with the U.S. Department of the Army, and an internship in employment and career counseling. Certified to interpret the Myers Briggs Type Indicator by Consulting Psychologist Press. Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Wendy Yates , Program Coordinator, Positive Action Action With Success, TCCY
Wendy Yates coordinates Positive Action With Success (P.A.W.S.) at Brown Academy. This project, funded by the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, works with 4th and 5th graders and has a primary focus on positive after school programming and early college awareness. UTC students serve as mentors to the children and assist with monthly campus field trips.
Twyler Boykin, Project Director, Upward Bound Math Science (PRISM)
Responsible as director of the Upward Bound Math Science: PRISM program which is designed to strengthen and further develop the math and science skills of participating area high school students and encourage them to pursue postsecondary degrees in these fields. Experience includes five years as an Academic Counselor and as a Disabilities Academic Coordinator working with students building individual education plans and serving as advocate for students with disabilities, hiring and training individuals to work with disabled students. Also served as a school psychologist intern in the Hamilton County and State of Tennessee educational systems. Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology and Recreatiion Specialist, Master of Science Degree in Psychology (Concentration in School Counseling) from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Currently pursuing a Master of Education Degree in Counseling (Concentration in School Counseling).
Belinda Brownlee, Director, Upward Bound
Belinda Lee Brownlee is a native Chattanoogan and a graduate of Howard High School. She is a first-generation student whose passion is helping young people realize “their dreams can become a reality”. She has worked with the Upward Bound program in various capacities since 2000. Upward Bound’s goal is to provide low-income and/or potential first-generation high school students assistance in their academic pursuits in high school and postsecondary education. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Management from Southern Wesleyan University, a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management from Clemson University and is currently pursuing an Ed.D in Educational Leadership. As I share my personal story, I hope that everyone within my reach understands that nothing is impossible if you persevere. Life may present obstacles, finding a way to move beyond them is a challenge as well as an opportunity.
Demtria Jordan, Coordinator, Upward Bound
Demetria Jordan is a native of Chattanooga, TN. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where she holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice. She worked with several youth organizations, developing and implementing programs after graduating from the university. Her passion for youth along with her experience working with youth inspired her to work for Hamilton County Department of Education (HCDE) as a Family Partnership Specialist. After six years of working with HCDE, Demetria has decided to continue working with youth in another capacity. She now serves as Coordinator for the Upward Bound Program, where she is able to exercise her gift of working with youth and inspiring them to achieve their goals and further their education.
Hunter Huckabay, Director, Gear Up
Since 2000, Hunter Huckabay, the project director for GEAR UP, has directed four GEAR UP grants, including UTC’s current grant, which was awarded in 2011. He wrote the proposal for two of those grants, and the 2011 proposal was the only GEAR UP grant awarded in the state of Tennessee that year. Additionally, he has been an adjunct professor at UTC since 2003, teaching the history of English and the syntax of English, lecturing on African American Vernacular English, overseeing an independent study of after-school programs, and serving on a dissertation committee. He earned his Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Washington in 1990.
Catherine Brown , Education Advisors
Responsible for providing educational outreach and counseling for the Southern Appalachian Educational Opportunity Center which assists low-income, potential first generation college students pursuing post-secondary education. Outreach focus in the six county service area includes Marion, Sequatchie and Hamilton counties in Tennessee, and Dade County, Georgia.
Karen Vann, Director, Educational Talent Search
Karen is a first generation college graduate who has spent more than a decade in higher education in the area of K12 reform. She holds a master's degree in English, with areas of concentration in technical and proposal writing. Karen has worked for many years administering both Federal and foundation grant programs, and has a background in technical writing and curriculum development. As director of the ETS program, Karen's responsibilities include overseeing programming to ensure compliance to all Federal and State regulations, interpreting and following all TRIO legislation, as well as budget management and Federal reporting and program evaluation.
Floyd Mathis, Talent Search Education Specialist
Floyd Mathis, a first-generation student himself, came to Talent Search first as a volunteer with his wife, Tara. When Tara Mathis accepted the position of Associate Dean of Students at UTC, the Talent Search staff was happy to welcome Floyd as her full-time replacement. Floyd attended Orchard Knob Middle as a young man, and fully recognizes and appreciates the many challenges that are faced by our student participants. He has dedicated his life and career to assisting Chattanooga youth in order to help them stretch to achieve their goals in all aspects of their lives.In addition to working as education specialist for Talent Search, Floyd is an accomplished athlete and a personal trainer and motivator. He regularly participates in area athletic associations and programming, trains and coaches young people in various sports, and is a dedicated and involved member of the Chattanooga community. Floyd received a Bachelor of Science degree in management from Carson-Newman College.
Carmen Carson, Talent Search Graduation Coach
Carmen Carson is a UTC Alumni. As a native of Knoxville, Carmen came to UTC as participant of the University Honors Program. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2003, with her Bachelor’s degree in Human Ecology: Child and Family Studies PreK-4. Immediately after graduation, she began her teaching career at Howard Elementary School, working with fourth grade students. When that school was closed after only two years, Carmen began teaching at Normal Park Museum Magnet School. From there, she continued her work in education by becoming a math coach / lead teacher for Hamilton County. In this position, she coached teachers on the best practices for mathematical and science instruction. After serving as the math coach at East Side Elementary, she left elementary education and began to work with students in higher education at UTC. She began as the academic specialist of the TRIO Student Support Services program. Then in the fall of 2010, Carmen began working with Talent Search as the graduation coach. Her goal is to help students and parents understand and efficiently complete the graduation process so that they can be adequately prepared for success in college.
Alicia Coller, Talent Search Administrative Support
Alicia was a Peer Leader at St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley while studying for degrees in Communication and Life Sciences. She transferred to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and completed a B.S. Biology in 2010. A long-time member of the Trio family, Alicia has worked with Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math Science and Educational Talent Search since 2004. Alicia also volunteers with Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Chattanooga Area in her free time. As administrative support assistant, Alicia is responsible for maintaining all the State and Federal documentation required by our funders, while assisting with annual Federal reporting and tracking of services. Alicia also enjoys participating in the more engaging aspects of our program, including summer camps and the extracurricular activities we provide for our students.
Cairon Reagan, Education Specialist, Educational Talent Search
Provides academic, career, and personal development support to first-generation, low-income college-bound youth. A first-generation college graduate, Mrs. Reagan delights in serving as a TRiO professional. Related experience includes coordinating at the college level in areas of recruitment, advising & retention, career planning, post secondary options, student activities and summer youth programs. Prior service also includes DFCS case management, hospitality sales & marketing, and administrative support UTC Adult Services Center. BA Social Sciences, Anthropology, Thomas College.
Floyd Mathis, Education Specialist, Educational Talent Search,
Provides academic, career, and personal development support to first-generation, low-income 9th-12th graders. Mr. Mathis is also a first-generation college graduate. He believes in Trio and he believes in the students that he helps. Mr. Mathis received his BS degree in Management from Carson-Newman College.
Debby Corey, Program Resource Specialist
Responsible for offering computer and technology support to the Educational Opportunity Center. Also responsible for keeping department financial records, purchasing and support for miscellaneous special projects as needed. Experience includes twenty-two years' experience in purchasing, accounts receivable/payable, customer service, sales, and technical support.
Cathy Barham , Education Advisor
Responsible for providing educational outreach and counseling for the Southern Appalachian Educational Opportunity Center which assists low-income, potential first generation college students pursuing post-secondary education.
Melinda Lomenick, Accounting Specialist
Responsible for management and coordination of support services area; financial accounting functions and related funding source reports and invoices; budget analysis and projections; monitoring and informing staff of regulations and guidelines for both the University and funding sources. Experience includes 26 years in office management, as well as accounting experience in retail, media and private companies.
Ruby Watkins, Administrative Support, Upward Bound Math Science (PRISM)
Responsible for processing documents, mail distribution, ordering office supplies, maintenance of equipment inventory and program files. Experience includes fifteen years as a senior procurement clerk processing purchase orders and invoices, four years in administrative support, as well as several years teaching low-income students in the community.
The Center typically employs 5-6 students per semester. They are a vital part of our support services area. They provide assistance with general office procedures, as well as gaining valuable work experience. Student assistants are supervised by and work directly with the individual secretaries.