A Walters State student has been recognized with prestigious award for her writing.
Donna Mosley, an English major from Sevierville, was one of only four students nationwide to receive the Reynolds Award. The award includes a $500 prize funded by the Donald Reynolds Foundation. The foundation honors the memory of Donald W. Reynolds, founder of the Donrey Media Group. The award is given through Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for community colleges.
“On behalf of the college, I congratulate Donna and note that this award recognizes her as one of the outstanding writers among community college students,” Dr. Tony Miksa, president of Walters State, said.
Mosley’s short story, “Grandma’s Room,” will appear in the 2023 edition of “Note Bene,” the honor society’s literary journal. The works of 24 students will appear in this issue. Mosley was also recognized last year when her poem received first place in the poetry division of “Tennessee Mosaic,” the publication of the Tennessee Phi Theta Kappa. Her winning poem was titled “The Ballad of Patti Bird.”
Mosely works full-time as a coordinator of operations at Dollywood. She decided to pursue her lifelong dream of going to college when she heard about Tennessee Reconnect, a grant given to adult learners. That grant has paid her tuition.
“I am happy with my job now, but I always wanted to go to college,” Mosley said. “I also enjoy writing so I took creative writing courses. I never thought I was good at it, so this is a big honor for me.”
Mosley started as a full-time student during the early stages of the pandemic. All of her classes have been online.
“I did not think I would be able to participate in extracurricular activities like PTK being an online student. It’s been very convenient,” Mosley said.
Mosley is on track to receive her associate’s degree during May commencement ceremonies.