Tennessee Alumnus

Proud and Personal

(Above) UT Martin students Paul Zacarias, Brandon Blankenstein and C.J. Barrow formed the trio Arc Percussion with the encouragement of associate professor Julie Hill. Students created some of their percussion instruments from junk yard items or objects with completely different purposes such as super bouncy balls that were cut in half and used to scrape on top of the drum. Photo by Nathan Morgan

Day 3: UT Martin

Established in 1900 as Hall-Moody Institute

Colleges: Agriculture and Applied Sciences; Business and Global Affairs; Education, Health and Behavioral Sciences; Engineering and Natural Sciences; Humanities and Fine Arts

Students: 7,423

Employees: 1,085

Alumni living in Tennessee: 28,360

Website: www.utm.edu

Did you know? UT Martin’s in-state undergraduate tuition and fees were more than 8 percent below their peer institution average for 2013-14.

(Above) UT Martin students Paul Zacarias, Brandon Blankenstein and C.J. Barrow formed the trio Arc Percussion with the encouragement of associate professor Julie Hill. Students created some of their percussion instruments from junk yard items or objects with completely different purposes such as super bouncy balls that were cut in half and used to scrape on top of the drum. Photo by Nathan Morgan

With small town charm, UT Martin is big on personal relationships between faculty and students. There are stories told of professors recognizing students who return to campus 20 years later. Todd Hampton (Martin ’96) remembers the impact of a plant sciences professor putting his hand on Hampton’s shoulder in class. “You don’t want to let (the faculty) down,” Hampton says. “It’s like they are talking with us not to us.” The size is exactly why Mykaela Van Selus chose to join the Skyhawks’ equestrian team, an NCAA sport offered nowhere else in Tennessee. “I fell in love with the small town and small school,” says Van Selus, an agricultural business major from Littleton, Colo.

Video: Professor Julie Hill introduces an innovative percussion group and shares how teaching inspires her.

UT Martin’s head equestrian coach Meghan Corvin trains Donna the horse. Photo by Nathan Morgan
Three women instrumental in the history of women’s athletics, including Pat Summitt as a UT Martin player, are immortalized as campus statues. Photo by Synthia Clark

When the renovated fine arts building opened in fall 2013 with twice the square footage of the original footprint, “student access to all the cool stuff” was a priority,” says Doug Cook, chair of the visual and theatre arts department. With a swipe of their Skyhawk card, students get into certain rooms of the building. Even through completely online classes, faculty make an effort to forge relationships with students. Sandy Mehlhorn, assistant professor of agricultural engineering technology, has been teaching online for five years and often talks to students by phone and records messages of advice or encouragement to post online. “We do a good job with (relationships) just like we do with our campus students,” she says.