U.S. Vice President Joe Biden visited Chattanooga and the UTC campus to speak at a memorial service honoring five servicemen killed during a July shooting, and UTC joined the community in standing “Chattanooga Strong.” Thanks to the UT Chattanooga Student Veterans Organization, UTC hosted the first communitywide remembrance the morning following the shootings. Other events brought the community to campus for remembrances, culminating in the official military memorial service on Aug. 15 featuring Biden and U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter. Biden didn’t personally know those killed—Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Randall Smith of the U.S. Navy, Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan, Lance Cpl. Squire K. Wells, or Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt of the U.S. Marines—but says he could empathize based on the recent loss of his son Beau Biden who served in Iraq with the Delaware National Guard.
Center celebrates 35 years of serving community
The UT Chattanooga Center for Community Career Education (CCCE) recently celebrated its 35th year. CCCE specifically caters to low-income and first-generation students, enriching their lives through programs like GEAR UP, PAWS, College Knowledge, Now!, Talent Search, Life Planning, Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math and Science, Each One Reach One and Educational Opportunity Center. “Friends I went to college with say, ‘I can’t believe this is the work you do. You must wake up every morning so excited.’ And it is exciting, when you start telling people about it. It’s kind of amazing,” says Sandy Cole, CCCE’s executive director.
Students apply expertise to help animals
Students from UT Chattanooga’s psychology and biology departments have teamed up to participate in an ongoing project of environmental enrichment for animals at Chattanooga-area facilities. Funded by the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga, students work with the Chattanooga Zoo, Tennessee Aquarium and Reflection Riding to produce stimulating habitats for animals in the facilities’ care.
Sarah Farnsley, UTC adjunct professor and program coordinator, said the process involves researching the animals housed at the facilities, studying their natural needs, and developing ideas for meeting the animals’ needs.
At the Tennessee Aquarium, the otters’ keepers were concerned about how the otters were interacting with their environment. The otters spent a lot of time out of eyesight, at the door where food was supplied. The team brainstormed ideas for encouraging the otters to interact in other locations of their environment and chose to build a raft.
Initially, the otters were curious about the raft and pushed and pulled it from one side of the exhibit to the other, chewing and smelling it intently. Now they use it to recline on the water.
Farnsley says it’s a project where everybody wins.
“The students are getting research experience for their resumes. The animal facilities, sometimes they just want to do more than they have time for. So they benefit from having someone build a raft for them that they may have wanted to do, but they just didn’t have time,” Farnsley says. “And, it’s nice to see (the animals) engaging with something new in their environment.”