Roane State student, aiming for FBI post, wins scholarship

CROSSVILLE – An ambitious Roane State Community College student who plans to earn five college degrees has been named a 2020 Coca-Cola Academic Team Bronze Scholar and will receive a $1,000 scholarship.

Anna McClure ultimately wants to become an FBI agent who profiles suspects in cases involving federal crimes. She will graduate from Roane State with full honors in May with an associate’s degree in paralegal studies. She’s only 19.

Roane State President Dr. Chris Whaley is her college advisor. “He’s helped me out tremendously,” McClure said.

“Roane State has helped me grow and mature and given me a vision for what I want to do,” McClure added. “I’ve gotten so many opportunities that I wouldn’t have gotten elsewhere.”

McClure is the vice president of scholarship for Roane State’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for community colleges. 

Coca-Cola Academic Team members were nominated by their college administrators. Selection is based on academic achievement, leadership and engagement in college and community service. 

She was selected as a Bronze Scholar after scoring highly in the All-USA Academic Team competition sponsored by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and administered by the honor society.

McClure is the daughter of Allen and Melissa McClure of Massachusetts and has five younger siblings. Her mother, originally from Crossville, was aware of Roane State and suggested that she attend college there after graduating from high school when she was 17 and taking two semesters at a community college in Massachusetts.

Along with taking 18 hours of college credits at Roane State this semester, McClure works full-time at the Anderson County Public Defender’s Office in Clinton and worked as a waitress at the Cracker Barrel restaurant in Harriman on weekends.

She’s been accepted at prestigious Berea College in Kentucky, which she said is “super hard to get into” and accepts only 50 transfer students each year. She intends to double major in psychology and technology and applied design. McClure said she discovered she has a talent in graphic arts while making illustrations for Roane State’ honor society chapter.

Berea College is a work-study college offering full scholarships where students must work at least 10 hours a week.

“I’ve had a lot of fun at Roane State,” McClure said. 

McClure said she participated in November in the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature in the state capitol in Nashville. Roane State History Professor John Brown was the group’s sponsor.

McClure’s higher education plans also include attending Drexel University’s Thomas R. Cline School of Law in Philadelphia.

Roane State is a two-year college providing transfer programs, career-preparation programs and continuing education. Founded in 1971, the college has locations in Roane, Campbell, Cumberland, Fentress, Knox, Loudon, Morgan and Scott counties as well as a branch campus in Oak Ridge. For more information, visit

Remember, eligible adults can now attend Roane State tuition-free with the new Reconnect grant. Learn more at

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