Monday, June 11, 2012

MARVIN'S BOOK & the Hero Scholarship*


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (November 7, 2011) – Melissa Soldani-Lemon, who has long been an advocate for the needs of military veterans, has now found another way to show her support. The Tallahassee Community College faculty member has written a book that is in many ways a salute to veterans. Marvin’s Book: The Story of a Professor and a Promise is published by Visual Impressions Publishing and will be available online as an e-book beginning on Veterans Day, November 11, 2011. A paperback edition will follow. 
The book recalls a promise Soldani-Lemon made to a student 10 years ago--and traces a journey to find meaning and hope in the face of tragedy. It’s full of stories by and about TCC students, especially student-veterans and students who face profound obstacles with dignity and optimism. 
Soldani-Lemon, who is an associate professor of history at TCC, sees herself as both a scholar and a storyteller. “I’ve been working on the book for a decade,” she said. “It took me this long to find a happy ending for it.” That happy ending is the creation of the Hero Scholarship, designed to help students who have overcome heroic odds pay for their college education. Soldani-Lemon made a significant personal pledge to initiate the scholarship, and a portion of the book’s proceeds will go to fund the Hero Scholarship. 
“Going to college is an act of optimism,” she explained. “We cannot do enough for our veterans here at TCC.” 
Soladani-Lemon also tries to connect the College with veterans in the community. Last summer, she and her students collected and delivered food for Veterans Village, a transitional residential community for homeless veterans. The food was for an Independence Day party, as well as for stocking the facility’s pantry. Her current students continue to make weekly donations to Veterans Village and are gathering supplies and gift cards for a Veterans Day barbeque for residents. 
In addition to her teaching duties at TCC, Soldani-Lemon writes regularly for her blog, Stories for Invisible Friends. 
For information about the book, contact the author at
For information about the HERO Scholarship, contact the TCC Foundation at (850) 201-8580 or