HANCEVILLE, ALA. –  Wallace State Community College will welcome author Tricia Downing to campus on Wednesday, Oct. 4, at 9:30 a.m. at the Betty Leeth Haynes Theatre in the Student Center.

Downing’s memoir, “Cycle of Hope: A Journey from Paralysis to Possibility,” is currently serving as Wallace State’s selection for its annual Common Read initiative.

Downing was a well-known cyclist and athlete, competing in prestigious cycling events, when her life was tragically altered in 2000. She was hit by a motorist as she was riding her bicycle in Colorado, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down.

Downing didn’t let the disability dictate her passion and attitude toward life. She is now a motivational speaker, author and has completed more than 100 races since her accident, including marathons, duathlons and triathlons.

“Cycle of Hope” chronicles her life during this period from the accident through her recovery to emerging as a world-class wheelchair athlete. Her book explores themes such as overcoming challenges, thriving through change, exploring diversity, setting goals and developing mental toughness.

“We are honored that Ms. Downing can visit our campus and our students can meet her. I feel like we all can benefit from her message, and I think this will be a great experience for our students. Ms. Downing’s book deals with a lot of adversity and obstacles and how to overcome them. I know our students face adversity at times or it may be affecting their loved ones,” said Wallace State’s Hallie Christensen, chair of the Common Read Committee and the college’s library assistant and English adjunct instructor. “She should be an incredible inspiration to us all.”

Wallace State has had the privilege of welcoming a number of Common Read authors to campus, including Garth Stein, author of “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” last year.

As is the case each academic year, Wallace State’s English Department has incorporated discussions boards about the Common Read into its curriculum.

Christensen has also received positive comments about the book from students.

“We have received great feedback. I had a random encounter with a student in Books-A-Million in Cullman, and they expressed how much they’re enjoying it. It’s great to see the students enjoy it,” Christensen said.

Admission to event is free and open to the public.

Downing plans to spend time answering questions at the conclusion of her presentation.

For more information about Wallace State, visit www.wallacestate.edu.




Russell Moore

Staff Writer, Communications and Marketing

Wallace State Community College

P.O. Box 2000, Hanceville, AL 35077

1-866-350-9722    256-352-8443 direct

Visit us online at www.wallacestate.edu


Kristen Holmes
Communications & Marketing Director, and

Administrator, The Evelyn Burrow Museum

Wallace State Community College

801 Main Street NW | Hanceville, AL 35077
E-mail: kristen.holmes@wallacestate.edu
Office: 256.352.8118 | Cell: 256.339.2519 | Toll Free: 866.350.9722