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Service-Learning in the News

Smart Communities Initiative Honored by Southeast Tennessee Development District

Office of Sustainability, University of Tennessee website
Posted 12/02/16

The UT Smart Communities Initiative has been honored by its partner, the Southeast Tennessee Development District. SCI began in the 2014-15 academic year, connecting faculty and students with Tennessee cities, counties, special districts, and other governmental organizations to engage in real-world problem solving aimed at improving the region’s economy, environment, and social fabric. The SCI program was chosen to receive the Flame Award – an award given to outstanding local projects that inspire bigger things.  Read more >

UT Tourism Management Students Work to Attract Tourists to Lenoir City

TN Today
Posted 11/03/16

KNOXVILLE—Retail, hospitality and tourism management students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, are trying to identify niche tourism markets that may help Lenoir City’s downtown revitalization efforts.

The students are a part of a class taught by Stefanie Benjamin, an assistant professor of retail, hospitality and tourism management in UT’s College of Education, Health and Human Sciences.

The senior-level students are working with students from various disciplines including architecture, public relations, consumer sciences and Spanish on projects for Lenoir City as a part this year’s Smart Communities Initiative.

The students will produce a sustainable strategic tourism marketing plan, rack card and photography portfolio for Lenoir City. Read more>

UT PR Students Creating Campaign for Downtown Lenoir City

UT College of Communication & Information
Posted 10/18/16

Nineteen public relations students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, are working on a PR campaign that will help get residents excited about revitalization efforts afoot in downtown Lenoir City.

The students are part of a class taught by Candace White, a professor in the School of Advertising and Public Relations in UT’s College of Communication and Information.

The public relations students are working with other students from various disciplines including architecture, retail, hospitality and tourism management, consumer sciences and Spanish on projects for Lenoir City as a part this year’s Smart Communities Initiative, which is overseen by UT’s Office of Service-Learning.  Read more >

Smart Communities Initiative Working on Projects for Downtown Lenoir City

Tennessee Today
Posted 10/04/16

From seeking new uses for old buildings to finding ways to stimulate tourism, UT students are putting classroom lessons into practice in collaboration with Lenoir City, Tennessee, as part of this year’s Smart Communities Initiative (SCI).

“Our Smart Communities Initiative is now in its third year and we’re excited to collaborate with our program partner, Lenoir City, on a cluster of projects focused on the downtown area,” said Kelly Ellenburg, director of UT’s Office of Service-Learning, which oversees the SCI.  Read more >

Apply Now for Experience Learning Course Designations

Tennessee Today
Posted 09/27/16

Faculty can now apply to receive Experience Learning designations for courses they teach that include research or service-learning activities that meet the definition of experiential learning.

A detailed explanation of the R designation and the course proposal form are available on the Office of Undergraduate Research web page. A detailed explanation of the S designation and the course proposal form are available on the Office Service-Learning web page.

The deadline to submit course proposal forms for this year is Monday, October 31. Read More >

Lenoir City, UT staff and students partner for 2016-17 Smart Communities Initiative

Tennessee Town & City
Posted 09/26/16

The University of Tennessee-Knoxville has selected Lenoir City as its partner for the 2016-17 Smart Communities Initiative (SCI) as part of efforts to help bring university resources to smaller communities across the state.

Through the initiative, UT pairs faculty and students with Tennessee cities, counties, special districts, and other governmental organizations to engage in real-world problem solving aimed at improving the region’s economy, environment, and social fabric.  Read more >

Smart Communities Initiative Honored by Southeast Tennessee Development District

Tennessee Today
Posted 09/23/16

UT’s Smart Communities Initiative has been honored by its past and continuing partner, the Southeast Tennessee Development District.

Through SCI, which kicked off during the 2014–15 academic year, UT connects faculty and students with Tennessee cities, counties, special districts, and other governmental organizations to engage in real-world problem solving aimed at improving the region’s economy, environment, and social fabric. SCI is a key component of Experience Learning, the university’s initiative that emphasizes experiential learning.

Last year, SCI partnered with the district. Faculty and students in twenty courses worked on twenty-two projects ranging from researching Cherokee Indians who walked the Trail of Tears to developing proposals for water quality improvements across the region.

“The SCI program has been selected to receive the Flame Award from the district,” said Chuck Hammonds, assistant executive director of the Southeast Tennessee Development District.

“Our agency holds a full board meeting every two years and presents some awards for outstanding projects in our area. The Flame Award is the overall agency award and is named because of the symbolism of a flame or spark that kindles or starts a fire,” he said. “We are recognizing the SCI program because of the university’s commitment to engage the community to solve real-world problems and to ignite the imagination of our future leaders.”   Read more >

 

News from UT – UT to have Smart Communities Initiative Showcase

Knoxville News Sentinel
Posted 04/18/16

The UT Smart Communities Initiative is ending its second year and will have a showcase to display students’ work for the initiative’s community partner, the Southeast Tennessee Development District.

Projects span parks and recreation to policy analysis and more from 22 courses working in the initiative.

The showcase is 5 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the West Club of Neyland Stadium. It is free and open to the public.

The initiative will continue to work the development district next year as well as with Lenoir City as a new community partner.  Read more >

News from UT – Lenoir City, UT Pair for Initiative

Knoxville News Sentinel
Posted 03/28/16

Lenoir City and UT will pair for the 2016-17 Smart Communities Initiative program.

The program pairs UT students and faculty with cities, counties, districts and government organizations in the state for real-world problem solving.

The upcoming school year is the third year of the program.

In 2016-17, UT will continue work with the Southeast Development District, its partner from the current academic year, as well as take on projects with Lenoir City to enhance the downtown central business district.   Read more >

 

UT partnering with Lenoir City

WVLT
Posted 03/22/16

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.– The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has chosen Lenoir City to be its 2016–17 Smart Communities Initiative “Mini” program partner.

UT pairs faculty and students with Tennessee cities, counties, special districts, and other governmental organizations to engage in real-world problem solving aimed at improving the region’s economy, environment, and social fabric.

The university says SCI emphasizes experiential learning through real-world problem solving.

UT’s inaugural partner was the city of Cleveland in 2014-15. This year, UT has partnered with the Southeast Tennessee Development District. Faculty and students in 20 courses have been working on 22 projects ranging from researching of Cherokee Indians who walked the Trail of Tears to developing proposals for water quality improvements across the region.

During the 2016-17 academic year, SCI will work on five to 10 projects for Lenoir City aimed at enhancing the downtown central business district.

 

UT Chooses Lenoir City as 2016-17 Smart Communities Initiative Partner

TN Today
Posted 03/22/16

UT has chosen Lenoir City to be its 2016–17 Smart Communities Initiative (SCI) “Mini” program partner.

Through SCI, UT pairs faculty and students with Tennessee cities, counties, special districts, and other governmental organizations to engage in real-world problem solving aimed at improving the region’s economy, environment, and social fabric. SCI is a key component of Experience Learning, the university’s initiative that emphasizes experiential learning through real-world problem solving.

The 2016–17 academic year will be the third for SCI. UT’s inaugural partner was the City of Cleveland in 2014–15. This year, UT has partnered with the Southeast Tennessee Development District. Faculty and students in twenty courses have been working on twenty-two projects ranging from researching of Cherokee Indians who walked the Trail of Tears to developing proposals for water quality improvements across the region.  Read more >

 

Maryville offered help by UT’s service-learning program

Maryville Daily Times
Posted 03/19/16

Maryville was not chosen as the University of Tennessee’s Smart Communities Initiative partner this year, but UT still is interested in possibly providing support to the city for two projects included in Maryville’s grant application last month.

“UT awarded the grant to another applicant, but has requested that we resubmit next year,” said Maryville Senior Planner Dave Prichard, who applied for the program Feb. 12 on behalf of the city. “The projects we submitted are important, and the city will continue to pursue them.”

Instead, Prichard said UT staff told him the university would be interested in helping the city with two of the 10 projects he outlined in the application: creating an urban green space plan and evaluating the bike network to propose bikeways that would connect popular destinations and enhance the greenway.  Read more >

 

Architectural drawings are reviewed by city’s Taylor’s Spring committee

Cleveland Daily Banner
Posted 03/02/16

Detailed drawings for ramps at Taylor’s Spring Park were presented to the Taylor’s Spring committee Tuesday.

The architectural sketches dealing with elevations at the site were presented by Ben Berry of Berry Construction.

Ramps at the site will go from First Street down to the spring area. Since digging for posts at the site could accidentally redirect the spring, the design calls for the supports to be put on top of the dirt. The ramps will be reinforced with footers on each side.

The design would make the historic site accessible to those who have difficulties with stairs. The technical drawings work off of designs provided by the University of Tennessee Smart Communities Initiative team.  Read more >

Former Whirlpool site still getting activity

Cleveland Daily Banner
Posted 02/09/16

Parts of the former Whirlpool site are still in use as the company studies potential future uses.

The Cleveland City Council had expressed concern during its last meeting that the site was abandoned and could become a magnet for crime.

Doug Berry, vice president for economic development at the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce, attempted to put these concerns to rest during a presentation to the Council Monday.

Many of the University of Tennessee Smart Communities Initiative students’ ideas proposed developing this area as a community park or recreation area.

In looking at ways the former site could be redeveloped, Whirlpool has hired a nationally known planning company and looked at the designs prepared by the UT Smart Communities Initiative students last year.  Read more >

Governor’s Rural Task Force – Smart Communities Initiative 

TN.gov
Posted 01/19/15

Chuck Hammonds, Assistant Director of the Southeast Tennessee Development District, and Kelly Ellenburg, Director of Service Learning and the Smart Communities Initiative presented their recommendations on the Smart Communities Initiative to the Governor’s Rural Task Force.  Read more >

UT student project tells little-known stories of East Tennessee Cherokees

Chattanooga Times Free Press
Posted 01/11/16

 

Most people have never heard of Isabel “Belle” Cobb, a Cherokee girl who lived with her family near Red Clay in Bradley County during the 1860s and 1870s

The little girl who would become the first doctor in Indian Territory made her way to a one-room schoolhouse by crossing Candies Creek and a ridge by the same name where homes, apartment complexes and shopping centers stand today.

“It was when women in the rest of the country couldn’t even vote yet,” said Christine Johnson, one of the students who participated in a historical research project during fall semester at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

The students were in UT professor Dr. Julia Reed’s upper-level history course, titled “Not just Sequoyah and John Ross: Cherokee History through Biography.”

Reed’s course is tied to the Smart Communities Initiative, a service-learning partnership between UT and the Southeast Tennessee Development District, which represents 13 counties in the lower right corner of the state.  Read more  >

Public Health Students Implement Research to Southeastern Counties

TN Today
Posted 11/18/15

With help from UT students, Grundy County in southeastern Tennessee may soon be a better place for senior citizens to live and thrive.

Cristina Barroso’s public health course is a part of this year’s Smart Communities Initiative (SCI), which partners faculty and students across campus with communities or municipal groups to engage in real-world problem solving to help improve economic, environmental and social conditions in the region. Overseen by the Office of the Provost’s service-learning staff, SCI is a key component of UT’s new Experience Learning initiative.

About 400 students and seventeen faculty members from seven colleges and twelve departments are working on projects as part of this year’s SCI partnership with the Southeast Tennessee Development District (SETDD). Read more >

Engineering Eureka Trail, UT students ‘blueprint’ Rails to Trails

The Daily Post-Athenian
Posted 11/16/15

A group of University of Tennessee engineering students provided a blueprint for further development on the Eureka Trail.

The recreational Rails to Trails project stretching along abandoned railway from Athens to Englewood continues to be developed and provided a unique learning experience for some soon-to-be college graduates. The miles-long path was recently renamed Eureka Trail.

A cooperative project matched the City of Athens with the University of Tennessee’s Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, which is being facilitated by the Southeast Tennessee Development District.

A group of eight UT seniors planning to graduate in December are conducting their capstone project. Eureka Trail is giving them an opportunity to move outside the classroom and apply what they’ve learned in a multidisciplinary group environment. Read more >

Our County

Bradleyco.net – posted by D. Gary Davis, County Mayor
Posted 9/29/15

This past year was the first time that our annual report was presented electronically and it was titled “Gearing Communities for Prosperity”. Two of the multiple highlights were detailed in the report but two that held regional and Bradley County significance were the Smart Communities Initiative and a Brownsfield Coalition Grant. This past year our region competed for and was selected by the University of Tennessee at Knoxville to be awarded their Smart Communities Initiative. Through this service learning partnership, our region will have access to some of the brightest and talented graduate level students who will provide additional capacity to engage in real world problems identified by our local governments aimed at increasing the level of economic vitality, environmental sustainability and the social integrity of the region. Read more >

 

‘Cleveland: Exploring Our Future’ exhibit to be displayed at mall

Cleveland Daily Banner
Posted 9/26/15

Those who have not seen the “Cleveland: Exploring Our Future” exhibit will have another chance, starting Oct. 3.

When it is not being presented to businesses and civic organizations, the exhibit will be at Bradley Square Mall.

“Cleveland: Exploring Our Future” showcases project ideas developed by the University of Tennessee Knoxville Smart Communities Initiative students. Space is also included for the public to leave comments about what they liked or disliked about the project.

“We are still receiving feedback,” community relationship coordinator Brian Moran said. Read more >

Smart Communities Initiative: Year Two Brings New Resources to Regional Challenges

UT Office of Community Engagement and Outreach
Posted 9/4/15

After the completion of its pilot year, the Smart Communities Initiative is now coordinating efforts to kick start year-two and a new partnership with theSoutheast Tennessee Development District (SETDD), a regional coalition that encompasses 10 counties.

Faculty are embedding many SETDD projects in their courses this year that include a focus on the state’s growing population of seniors, improvements to rural healthcare, water quality improvement, and economic development for local businesses, including a farmer’s market, preliminary architecture design, and master planning for a public resort in Watts Bar, among others.  Read more >

Making a Difference: Smart Communities Initiative

UT Office of Community Engagement and Outreach
Posted 9/4/15

The Smart Communities Initiative (SCI) is founded upon the idea that universities and communities should work together to improve the health and vitality of their areas. Through interdisciplinary research and scholarship, community dialogue, human capacity, reflection, and innovation, SCI community and university partners collaborate toward smarter, more vibrant communities. The program works with a different community partner each year, taking on projects related to that community’s needs and priorities. The SCI just completed its pilot year with the City of Cleveland, TN, in which it engaged over 400 students and 13 faculty from across campus in projects connected to the City’s strategic plan. The 2015-16 partner will be the Southeast Tennessee Development District (SETDD), a special purpose unit of government comprised of municipal and county governments within the Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia region. Read more >

 

Smart Communities Initiative: Year Two Brings New Resources to Regional Challenges

UT Office of Community Engagement and Outreach
Posted 9/4/15

After the completion of its pilot year, the Smart Communities Initiative is now coordinating efforts to kick start year-two and a new partnership with the Southeast Tennessee Development District (SETDD), a regional coalition that encompasses 10 counties.

Faculty are embedding many SETDD projects in their courses this year that include a focus on the state’s growing population of seniors, improvements to rural healthcare, water quality improvement, and economic development for local businesses, including a farmer’s market, preliminary architecture design, and master planning for a public resort in Watts Bar, among others.

“We’re certainly excited to have public health involved this year and to work with local communities on aging and rural health needs,” Ellenburg said. Read more >

 

UT Pairs with SETDD for Second Year of Smart Communities Initiative

TN Today
Posted 9/4/15

This semester, UT faculty and students will be assessing livability conditions for senior citizens in Grundy County, developing a business plan for a farmers market in Pikeville, laying the groundwork for local and regional disaster planning, and designing commemorative spaces along the Trail of Tears.

These are among the projects that classes are undertaking throughout Tennessee as part of this year’s Smart Communities Initiative. SCI is part of Experience Learning, a newly launched initiative brings real-world problem solving into the classroom.

Through SCI, UT connects faculty and students with a Tennessee city, county, special district or other governmental organizations to engage in projects aimed at improving the area’s economy, environment and social fabric. Read more >

 

‘Cleveland: Exploring Our Future’ on exhibit: also viewed by Rotary

Cleveland Daily Banner
Posted 7/29/15

“Cleveland: Exploring Our Future” opened with a successful sneak peak on Monday when about 50 people attended an invite-only look at the exhibit. The momentum continued Tuesday as the Rotary Club of Cleveland heard the background behind the displays and offered comments during its weekly meeting. The exhibit highlights five of the design projects completed by University of Tennessee students as a part of the Smart Communities Initiative. The designs include refurbishing the Old Woolen Mill, adding an Old Woolen Mill Greenway, the city’s marketing brand, re-establishing the Cherokee Hotel and redevelopment of the old Whirlpool plant and surrounding areas.The exhibit is open to the public at The Museum Center at Five Points, free of charge, for the rest of this week.

Several Rotarians were excited about the prospects of redeveloping abandoned industrial sites. Read more >

 

Smart Communities Initiative at UTK

AASHE – The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
Posted 6/11/15

The Smart Communities Initiative (SCI) is a new interdisciplinary program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville which partners faculty and students across campus with one city, county, special district, or other municipal group each year to engage in real-world problem solving aimed at increasing the level of economic viability, environmental sustainability, and social integrity of the region.
SCI is founded upon the idea that universities and communities should work together to improve the health and vitality of their areas. Through the leveraging of interdisciplinary research and scholarship, community dialogue, human capacity, and innovation, municipal and university partners will collaborate toward the pursuit of smarter, more vibrant communities.  Read more >

 

Taylor’s Spring Park Proposal Eyed: UTK Students Present Landscaping Concepts

Cleveland Daily Banner
Posted 6/10/15

A place to contemplate history, enjoy the sound of the spring and the smell of flowers is the concept that University of Tennessee Smart Communities Initiative students have for Taylor’s Spring Park.

The concept was considered by the Cleveland City Council Taylor’s Spring committee during a meeting Tuesday.

The Smart Communities Initiative is a program in which University of Tennessee at Knoxville students complete planning projects as part of their course work for a partner city. Cleveland was the first partner city last year. Read more >

 

UT Students Propose Plans For Old Cleveland Woolen Mill

The Chattanoogan
Posted 5/5/15

Architecture students from the University of Tennessee shared with the community Monday their visions of the future for a Cleveland landmark.

Two days before they were to be graduated at UT, the young architects showed drawings of how The Old Woolen Mill could be used in the future to attract people downtown to apartments, art studios, a restaurant, a cafe or micro-brewery and an events center for all sorts of gatherings.

Two days before they were to be graduated at UT, the young architects showed drawings of how The Old Woolen Mill could be used in the future to attract people downtown to apartments, art studios, a restaurant, a cafe or micro-brewery and an events center for all sorts of gatherings. Read more >

 

Students Map Possible Futures for Cleveland’s Old Woolen Mill

Chattanooga-Times Free Press
Posted 5/5/15

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — University of Tennessee architectural students have unveiled multiple possible futures for the Old Woolen Mill, a Cleveland landmark industrial site that dates back to the 1890s.

Proposed makeovers include a newer and larger event center, a small bed & breakfast, an art center and a multilevel restaurant with a microbrewery.

On Monday, the students discussed their plans with community stakeholders and public officials.

The proposals call for reusing elements of the existing structures and integrating them in such a way that the new uses evoke the building’s historical origins, said Dr. Ron Coleman, who purchased the property about 15 years ago. Read more >

 

Taylor’s Spring Park Concepts Discussed

Cleveland Daily Banner
Posted 4/28/15

 

Details are being discussed for Taylor’s Spring park with help from another Taylor.

Jessica Taylor, a master’s level architect and landscape major at the University of Tennessee, met with the Taylor’s Spring committee Monday to talk about the future of the site.

Taylor said she became interested in the site because of her work with the UT Smart Communities Initiative project developing concepts for a potential extension of the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway. Read more >

 

UTK Initiative Students are Pushing Fundraising for Cleveland Projects

Cleveland Daily Banner
Posted 4/11/15

Cleveland has new opportunities to give to community projects thanks to some University of Tennessee students.

As part of the Smart Communities Initiative partnership between the university and the city of Cleveland, students have created online giving opportunities for Imagination Library, a summer feeding program, a community garden, Learning Trails and a playground renovation in the Blythe Oldfield neighborhood.

Students from English 255 Public Writing used the crowdfunding site Indiegogo to craft text and video messages urging people to donate. Read more >

 

Berry: Development of Old Whirlpool Site is Joint Effort

Cleveland Daily Banner
Posted 4/11/15

Discussions on what will be done with the downtown Cleveland site recently vacated by appliance manufacturer Whirlpool are ongoing as local economic development officials look at options.

Doug Berry, vice president of economic development for the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce, recently addressed what might be done with the buildings and how demands for things like housing could shape the look of downtown.

“This all began in 2010, when we worked with the company to retain their investment here in the community and get them into modern facilities,” Berry told the Bradley Sunrise Rotary Club. Read more >

 

Collett outlines goals for revitalization of downtown for MainStreet Cleveland

Cleveland Daily Banner
Posted 4/11/15

A program detailing possible plans for a park and Greenway extension to the old Hardwick Woolen Mill, as well as ideas on how to revitalize Inman Street, were presented during a March MainStreet Cleveland webinar.

The live streaming presentation was led by University of Tennessee assistant professor Brad Collett of the Department of Plant Sciences and Landscape Architecture Program.

The meeting was designed to gather feedback to help select and develop design ideas for Inman Street based upon the 2004 Downtown Master Plan, which was developed by UTK architecture students under the tutelage of Collett as part of a service-learning project through the Smart Communities Initiative and the Environmental Design Lab. Read more >

 

MainStreet Cleveland Hears Possible Downtown Options

Cleveland Daily Banner
Posted 3/16/15

A program detailing possible plans for a park and Greenway extension to the old Hardwick Woolen Mill, as well as ideas on how to revitalize Inman Street, were presented recently during a MainStreet Cleveland webinar.

Local business, elected officials and property owners were presented with a live streaming meeting, led by University of Tennessee professor Brad Collett.

The meeting was designed to gather feedback to help select and develop design ideas for Inman Street based upon the 2004 Downtown Master Plan.

Various ideas for the extension of the Greenway along Woolen Mill Branch and plans for a revitalizing streetscape of Inman Street were showcased. Read more >

 

East Cleveland Moving with ‘Spirit’: Revitalization Grows in Older Neighborhoods

Tom Rowland Cleveland Mayor
Posted 3/5/15

Exciting revitalization programs are going on in some of our city’s oldest neighborhoods.

The communities around Blythe Avenue and Wildwood Avenue and other East Cleveland areas have become the Read more >

 

Graphic Design and Smart Communities Initiative Making Impact

UT School of Art, Graphic Design website
Posted 2/25/15

Midway through its first year, the Smart Communities Initiative at UT has already made a major impact—both on the students and faculty involved in the projects and on our first-year partner, the city of Cleveland, Tennessee.

This year, faculty and students in twenty courses are working on thirteen projects as part of the initiative. One of the projects is developing a marketing and branding plan for Cleveland.

Just before the winter break, Cleveland city officials came to campus for a two-hour presentation by Associate Professor Deb Shmerler’s senior graphic design class, which spent last semester doing research to lay the groundwork for the branding campaign. Read more >

 

UT’S Smart Communities Initiative to Partner with Southeast Tennessee Development District

Tennessee Today
Posted 2/23/15

UT has chosen the Southeast Tennessee Development District to be its 2015-16 Smart Communities Initiative (SCI) partner. Through SCI, UT pairs faculty and students with Tennessee cities, counties, special districts, and other governmental organizations to engage in real-world problem solving aimed at improving the region’s economy, environment, and social fabric.

The Southeast Tennessee Development District/Chattanooga Area Regional Council of Governments (seder.org) is a special-purpose unit of government created by executive order and composed of municipal and county governments. The district serves ten counties in the southeast region of the Tennessee River Valley Basin (Bledsoe, Bradley, Grundy, Hamilton, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Polk, Rhea, and Sequatchie) and three counties in northeast Georgia (Catoosa, Dade, and Walker). Read more>

 

Making a Difference: Plan East Tennessee (PlanET)

UT Office of Community Engagement and Outreach
Posted 1/30/15

Plan East Tennessee, or PlanET, began in 2010 as a regional partnership of communities building a shared direction for our future. PlanET comprises five counties, 16 cities, and four towns, all investing in one region. PlanET sought ideas about protecting our valuable resources and addressing our challenges regarding jobs, housing, transportation, a clean environment, and community health. UT’s role was to assist in the development of research, critical inquiry, and planning and design strategies that accommodate an anticipated population growth rate of 45 percent through 2040, while protecting our valuable resources and addressing challenges. Read more>

 

Smart Communities Initiative Making Impact

UT Office of the Provost
Posted 1/30/15

Midway through its first year, our Smart Communities Initiative has already made a major impact– both on the students and faculty involved in the projects and on our first-year partner, the city of Cleveland, Tennessee.

This year, faculty and students in twenty courses are working on thirteen projects as part of the initiative. One of the projects is developing a marketing and branding plan for Cleveland.
Read more>

 

Service-Learning in Smart Communities Gives Students Real-World Career Experience

IMPACT – UT Office of Community Engagement Published
Posted 12/19/14

By Nichole Stevens

UT’s multi-disciplinary collaboration with the city of Cleveland, Tennessee is “ a powerful partnership,” said Kelly Ellenburg, campus coordinator for service-learning.

Ellenburg works in a rustic, brick Tudor-style house on Melrose Avenue. Visitors there will find her diligently working away next to her Smart Communities Initiative Design Assistant, Taylor Dotson.

The Smart Communities Initiative program gives UT students hands-on experience as they tackle civic projects through a suite of UT courses, all focused in one city, county, or special district a year. Read more>

 

Green Redevelopment Proposed for Cleveland Industrial Sites

Chattanooga-Times Free Press
Posted 12/12/14

CLEVELAND, TN– City leaders and community stakeholders have been given a glimpse of several possible green futures for renewing 850 acres of industrial property in downtown Cleveland.

In a recent presentation at the Museum Center at Five Points, eight students of the University of Tennessee’s landscape architecture program discussed scenarios intended to inspire new growth and reconnect the Blythe/Oldfield neighborhood to downtown.

Scenarios focused on ideas that increase mobility, inspire urban agriculture, promote education or regenerate industrial usage “gently woven” into the Blythe/Oldfield neighborhood.

“It’s a great thing to see this kind of imagination for renewing the area,” said Gary Farlow, president and CEO of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce. Read more>

 

Students Present Ideas for Whirlpool Area Redevelopment

Cleveland Daily Banner
Posted 12/12/14

Developing a hub for biking, a mixed-use industrial site, starting a center for growing local food, a heritage park or an arts district … decisions, decisions.

Each was a plan to redevelop the old Whirlpool site and the surrounding area presented Wednesday by University of Tennessee Landscape Architecture Studio II students during final presentations to community leaders.

“It has been a really great experience,” UTK professor Brad Collett said.

Each of the students looked at the current needs of the area, but also incorporated elements to consider how future population growth might affect the Blythe community. Read more>

 

Students Present Ideas for Redesign of Whirlpool Site

Cleveland Daily Banner
Posted 11/4/14

University of Tennessee landscape architecture students turned their skill and creativity to redesign of the old Whirlpool site and surrounding areas in presentations to Cleveland community leaders Monday.

The meeting was part of the Smart Communities initiative program, which gives the visiting Knoxville students experience working on project plans for the city of Cleveland.

Eight designs were presented focusing on connecting to the larger Cleveland community, providing industrial jobs and training, mitigating stormwater issues and creating a park or greenway as common themes. Read more >

 

Smart Communities Initiative Gets Community Input

Cleveland Daily Banner
Posted 10/21/14

University of Tennessee Smart Communities Initiative students have been hard at work this semester developing plans for city of Cleveland projects. Many of the groups have come to Cleveland to give reports and meet with city staff or the public. UTK associate professor Deborah Shmerler is the project lead for a class developing a branding and marketing plan for the city of Cleveland. Shmerler visited with community leaders and attended a MainStreet Cleveland meeting Monday. Read more >

 

Smart Communities Initiative Moving Ahead with Projects

Cleveland Daily Banner
Posted 10/20/14

OUR CITY: Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland

The University of Tennessee students involved with the Smart Communities Initiative in our city have started working on their projects now. We extend a special welcome to them and to the faculty members as they get involved with many different aspects of our community. For some, the first steps in their project included the surveying for various sections of Inman Street. Their work results will be used in numerous projects. Read more >

 

Smart Communities Initiative Enters Design Phase

Chattanooga Times
Posted 10/15/14

University of Tennessee, Knoxville students went to Cleveland on Friday and Monday as they transition from gathering data to the design phase of the Smart Communities Initiative. UTK chose the City of Cleveland as its first partner in the university’s interdisciplinary program under which faculty and students will work with city staff on identified projects during the Fall semester.

Planning Director Greg Thomas submitted a list of 19 projects for consideration aimed at increasing the level of economic viability, environmental sustainability and social integrity of the city. Four senior civil engineering students surveyed Inman Street West Friday afternoon as part of a proposal to install sidewalks on Inman Street between Broad and Keith Streets. Inman Street passes east to west through the heart of Cleveland. Read more  >

 

Smart Communities Begins Gathering Data on Cleveland

Cleveland Daily Banner
Posted 10/12/14

A recent discussion between University of Tennessee and Lee University students explored the local students’ opinions on the city they temporarily call home. Graphic design majors Allen Minecci, Jordan Dronebarger and Brayan Zavala directed a series of questions at students in one of Lee professor Arlie Tagayuna’s sociology classes. Tagayuna explained the interview is part of the Smart Communities Initiative between UTK and Cleveland. Approximately 16 projects will be the focus of the initiative. The UTK students primarily focused on gathering information for the project focused on rebranding the city. Read more >

 

Cleveland a Center for Hands on Learning as UT’s First SCI Partner

Tennessee Town & City
Posted 10/6/14

Cleveland, Tenn., will likely hold a special place in the hearts and memories of a number of University of Tennessee Knoxville students, as they city transforms into a place of hands-on learning through UTK’s Smarter Communities Initiative (SCI). Each year, the SCI program pairs classes students normally would take, with needed projects within a selected community. The program submitted a Request for Proposals (RFP) last year, as the faculty planning team helped recruit and select an inaugural partner. As the chosen city, Cleveland committed $100,000 as an investment to the program, with most projects budgeted around $3,000 per semester. Read more >

 

Smart Communities Partnering with Lee

Cleveland Daily Banner
Posted 10/3/14

Lee University has joined the University of Tennessee Smart Communities Initiative as a local partner. Cleveland was selected as the inaugural city for the program UTK started this year as a way to provide students with hands-on experience, and ideas for potential city projects. Arlie Tagayuna, Lee assistant professor of sociology, said Lee would be focusing on projects dealing with building community unity, as well as assisting the students with developing a marketing brand for the city.

“We are here as a community resource. There are people here who care a lot about the community. It’s just we have never been tapped as actively previously. I’m so glad that I’m a part of this project,” Tagayuna said. Read more >

 

Design Class Applies Course Objectives to Service Projects

UT Daily Beacon
Posted 10/2/14

Extreme makeover: Cleveland, Tennessee edition. This year, the newly established Smart Communities Initiative plans to address over 15 locally proposed projects in Cleveland ranging from historical building renovations to constructing a temporary downtown ice skating rink. Created by the Office of the Provost last year, SCI is a senior design course for undergraduate and graduate UT students to apply their individual skills and studies through service learning projects.

Students participating will be paired with Cleveland representatives to facilitate the most efficient solutions to the various proposed projects aimed at revitalizing the East Tennessee community. Brad Collett, professor in SCI’s graduate landscape architecture program, said this is an opportunity for students and cities to partner for mutual gain. Read more >

 

Welcome UT Faculty and Students Involved with the Smart Communities Initiative

The Mayor’s Thoughts, Cleveland, TN city website
Posted 09/30/14

The University of Tennessee students involved with the Smart Communities Initiative in our city have started working on their projects now. Welcome to them and faculty members as they get involved with many different aspects of our community. For some, the first steps in their project was recently surveying sections of Inman Street. Their work results will be used in several projects. Another group has been interviewing people, including Lee University students, about their first impressions of Cleveland. Their assignment is to develop a branding, or marketing, plan for the city. Read more >

 

Smart Communities Initiative Links UT, Cleveland

Priorities, UT Office of the Provost biannual newsletter
Posted 09/24/14

This summer, graduate students in Lisa Yamagata-Lynch’s Professional Ethics in Instructional Technology course began laying the groundwork for a survey that officials in Cleveland, Tennessee, will use to solicit citizen input about city services and facilities. It was the first of seventeen courses that will allow 425 of our students to get some real-world experience as they work with Cleveland on a variety of projects as part of our Smart Communities Initiative (SCI).

SCI partners faculty and students with cities, counties, special districts, and other municipal groups to engage in real-world problem solving aimed at improving the region’s economy, environmental sustainability, and social integrity. It is overseen by our Office of Service-Learning, led by Kelly Ellenburg. Read more >

 

Get Ready to Experience Learning

Priorities, UT Office of the Provost biannual newsletter
Posted 09/24/14

Experience Learning will be our new Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), an important component of our reaccreditation process with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Experience Learning will encompass many types of experiential learning—from service-learning to research to study abroad to volunteering. Led by Matthew Theriot, an associate professor of social work, a committee of about thirty faculty, staff, and students has been working for more than a year to develop the new QEP. Five different programs were proposed, and the campus community shared feedback through an e-mail survey and forums. Experiential learning emerged as the overwhelming favorite. Read more >

 

Smart Communities Initiative Kicks Off in Cleveland, Tenn.

Chattanooga Times Free Press
Posted 09/13/14

CLEVELAND, Tenn.—The Smart Communities Initiative, a University of Tennessee-Knoxville student service learning program, has officially kicked off and its first partner city is Cleveland. The program will give students hands-on experience as they tackle 19 civic projects, including stormwater mapping and analysis, streetscape improvements, greenway extensions and redevelopment of old industrial sites. Faculty, students, city staff and community stakeholders praised the initiative during its opening event at the Museum Center at Five Points in downtown Cleveland. “This is a critical step for us as we look forward to helping our students learn by doing,” said Dr. Susan Martin, UT provost. Read more >

 

UT, Cleveland kick off Smart Communities Initiative

City of Cleveland Civic Alerts
Posted 09/12/14

CLEVELAND, Tenn. Hundreds of University of Tennessee students will be taking part in a variety of Cleveland projects this academic year. The city of Cleveland was chosen earlier this year as the first partner city for UT’s service learning program, the Smart Communities Initiative. The list of projects was unveiled Wednesday evening when university students and officials met with city of Cleveland staff members and people from partnering organizations such as Main Street Cleveland, Impact Cleveland, Lee University, Tennessee Department of Transportation, Chamber of Commerce and many others. Read more >

 

Cleveland, UTK kick off Smart Communities

Cleveland Daily Banner
Posted 09/11/14

Cleveland and the University of Tennessee celebrated the kickoff of the Smart Communities Initiative on Wednesday. The program pairs needed projects with course requirements at UTK to give students hands-on experience. The Cleveland City Council has committed up to $100,000 to the program. Cleveland is the first city selected to participate. “This is a very, very exciting program for us,” said Susan Martin, provost.

“It has been a special pleasure to have the opportunity to meet colleagues from the city of Cleveland, from Lee University and other partners and to sense the enthusiasm in this room. … We are looking forward to a long and successful partnership.” Read more >

 

University of Tennessee Students Return to Transforming Campus

The Memphis Daily News
Posted 08/23/14

Service Learning, Smart Cities

New academic programs at UTK this year include a pilot project on “S” designation courses, those with a service-learning component, and a Smart Cities initiative in which 10 courses will involve working with the nearby Cleveland. Last spring, nine faculty members representing different colleges at UT participated in the service project. The next step is adding an “S” to course numbers to allow student to spot them easily in the course catalog.

“Service-learning aids in critical thinking, complex problem solving, appreciation for diversity, connection of theory to practice, ability to work on a team, and a more nuanced understanding of course content,” says Kelly Ellenburg, campus service-learning coordinator. Read more >

 

Smart Cities Initiative Starts In Cleveland

The Chattanoogan
Posted 05/7/14

Cleveland city staff and local experts in the fields of economic development, the arts and social sciences met earlier this week with professors from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville about a new initiative designed to benefit both the city and the university. It was the first meeting since the March announcement that Cleveland was selected as the pilot city for the Smart Communities Initiative that begins in the fall. SCI was founded upon the idea that universities and communities should work together to improve the health and vitality of their areas. Read more >

 

Provost’s Office Working on “S” Designation for Service-Learning Courses

TN Today
Posted 05/5/14

Published May 5, 2014 in TN Today

The Provost’s Service-Learning Office is working on a plan to give an “S” designation to approved courses with a service-learning component. The application process was piloted this spring by nine faculty members, each representing a different college. The university already has many courses that employ service-learning, and the service-learning office is developing mechanisms to enhance the support and recognition of faculty who do this work.

The next step will be designating courses with appropriate content and outcomes as service-learning courses. This will entail adding an S to the course numbers so students can easily spot them in the course catalog, and they’ll appear similarly on transcripts so employers can take note. Read more>

 

Smart Communities Planning Underway

Cleveland Daily Banner
Posted 05/5/14

A new initiative to combine the expertise of Cleveland city officials and students at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville got underway with a meeting Monday. Cleveland was chosen to take part in the inaugural year of a new program called the Smart Communities Initiative that will allow students to work with city officials and create proposals on ways to address city planning concerns. Monday’s meeting was a time for Cleveland officials and university representatives to get together and discuss the projects so the university can choose which projects its students could most likely accomplish.

When applying to be part of the new program, the city proposed 19 different projects for the university’s consideration. Those who attended the Monday meeting divided themselves into groups to address different areas of concern and discuss each project, with the goal of helping narrow down the possibilities of what the university students will be able to do. Read more >

 

UT Launches Smart Communities Initiative; Cleveland, Tenn., is First City Partner

UT Archinect
Posted 04/8/14

KNOXVILLE—The city of Cleveland, Tenn., has been chosen as the first partner city for the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s new service-learning program, the Smart Communities Initiative. The partnership begins this fall.

“Through the Smart Communities Initiative, we’re going to partner faculty and students with cities, counties, special districts and other municipal groups to engage in real-world problem solving aimed at improving the region’s economy, environmental sustainability and social integrity,” said Kelly Ellenburg, campus coordinator for service-learning within the Provost’s Office. Read more >

 

UT Launches Smart Communities Initiative with Cleveland Tennessee

TN Today
Posted 04/1/14

The city of Cleveland, Tennessee, has been chosen as the first partner city for UT’s new service-learning program, the Smart Communities Initiative. The partnership begins this fall.

“Through the Smart Communities Initiative, we’re going to partner faculty and students with cities, counties, special districts, and other municipal groups to engage in real-world problem solving aimed at improving the region’s economy, environmental sustainability, and social integrity,” said Kelly Ellenburg, campus coordinator for service-learning within the Provost’s Office.

SCI projects could be part of a course or form the basis on an independent study project. Faculty would receive funding to support the projects and needed travel. Read more >

 

City, UTK pair for planning program

Cleveland Daily Banner
Posted 03/31/14

The city of Cleveland has been chosen to participate in the University of Tennessee’s Smart Communities Initiative Program. This fall will be the launch of the university’s program to combine cities’ project planning needs with UTK students’ need for hand-on experience. As a part of the program, Cleveland will receive detailed plans and data for projects that best fit with the classes being offered this semester.

“A continual problem that we have, and I think a lot of communities have unless they are really big and have a lot of staff … is that oftentimes there are opportunities that come for funding but with that funding opportunity comes the expectation that you will have planned and prepared for the projects that you want to fund. When you have staffing limitations … it’s hard to do that kind of stuff because what you wind up spending your time with is the immediate stuff that you have to get built,” planning director Greg Thomas said. Read more >

 

Corrected: UT adopts hands-on city sustainability course for fall

UT Daily Beacon
Posted 01/15/14 | Modified: 1/23/14

Beginning next fall, UT students will be solving problems in Tennessee while earning credit hours and experience. The Smart Communities Initiative, modeled after Oregon’s Sustainable City Year Program, will engage students and faculty of UT with Tennessee cities, counties and regions to provide hands-on experience outside the classroom.

“It all started about five years ago, when faculty was sitting around talking about how every term students turn in this great work, and it just sits and never goes anywhere. These great ideas never get implemented or anything,” said Bob Choquette, the program manager of Oregon’s Sustainable City Year Program.

After Oregon presented their program on UT’s campus in the fall, UT adopted a customized version of Oregon’s model. Every year, the university will work with one Tennessee “host” city, or municipal partner to match projects with academic courses. Although instructors will still adhere to course curriculums, the class will primarily focus on the host city’s projects and culminate in a collaborative written report from the students. Read more >

 

Campus Community Invited to Learn about Oregon’s Sustainable Cities Initiative

TN Today
Posted 12/3/13

As UT moves toward establishing a service-learning program called the Smart Communities Initiative, the campus community is invited to learn more about a similar, and very successful, program operating in Oregon. Representatives from the University of Oregon’s Sustainable Cities Initiative will be on campus Monday, December 9, to discuss their cross-disciplinary Sustainable City Year Program with faculty, staff, students, and members of the public sector. The Sustainable City Year Program partners teaching faculty with city staff to engage students in service-learning projects focused on sustainability, livability, and improved quality of life in their communities. Read more >

View a web video of this presentation here.

 

Assistance Offered for Faculty Who Want to Add Service-Learning to Their Courses

TN Today
Posted 3/12/13

Interested in adding a service-learning component to your course, but unsure how to do it? The provost’s office now has resources to help. Under the auspices of the Office of the Provost, UT Service-Learning has been created to support and increase the level of course-based service-learning across campus. The program’s office is in 217 Greve Hall.  Read more >

 

Resource Will Help Increase Service-Learning Opportunities

TN Today
Posted 10/26/12

Students in Professor Michael Handelsman’s Spanish 494 class put their Spanish language skills to work while they’re learning about the Hispanic population in our community. The students spend one hour a week in the classroom talking about Hispanic issues in the United States They also spend thirty to forty hours during the semester in the community teaching and learning from native Spanish speakers. Some shadow interpreters at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. Others work with young students at Lonsdale Elementary and with adults at Centro Hispano of East Tennessee. Service learning, such as this class provides, is hands-on learning at its finest. Read more >

 

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