Park(ing) Day takes place annually in cities around the world, always on the third Friday of September. Honors students have embraced the concept and will be the first representatives of UTC to participate in Chattanooga’s event.
What is Park(ing) Day? The idea originated in 2005 in San Francisco as a way to highlight the need for more urban open spaces and to help people think about how urban space was allocated and used. A single metered parking space was temporarily transformed into an urban park that stood for two hours, the length of time purchased on a parking meter. The idea became a worldwide movement to create inviting spaces, and “parklets” were created for a variety of purposes; they might call attention to a city’s needs, provide a service to the community, entertain, or educate.
Park(ing) Day in Chattanooga is sponsored by the River City Company, a non-profit organization dedicated to the stimulation of economic, cultural, and social growth of the community Our students will promote the Chautauqua concept, a movement that originated in the late 19th century in Chautauqua, NY. The original Chautauqua Centers brought instruction, culture, entertainment, and intellectual stimulation to smaller communities around the country where such opportunities were not readily available. The notion of sharing knowledge, a skill, or talent with others has become a tradition in the honors community and our parklet on September 18th will serve as a space for visitors to have a variety of experiences. A series of programs will include everything from musical and theatre performances to story-telling, as well as interactive activities like art design, yoga lessons, and face-painting. If you’re in the area, come find us between 10:00-4:00 on Market St. around Miller Plaza, one of many parklets created for the day in the downtown area.
On Saturday, August 29, Honors Students in Brock Scholars, Innovations in Honors and the High-Achieving Mocs Living Learning Community gathered for a day of fun and frolic at Camp Vesper Point in Soddy Daisy, TN. To start off the day, students were divided into teams: purple, red, green, pink, and blue. Each team was assigned a station: ultimate Frisbee, soccer, or a puzzle. The teams squared off in fierce competition vying for ultimate bragging rights. After dominating every station the blue team reigned victorious. The most entertaining part of the day was the Chautauqua event, where students shared knowledge, music, poetry, and more. Ukuleles were strummed along to familiar tunes, poetry was read and performed, a story was told by 6 individuals, and interpretive dancing left everyone laughing. After all the bonding activities and lunch, students headed down to the lake to swim, canoe, slide down the water slides, and of course, jump on the blob.
All in all, the day was fun and relaxing, and achieved the ultimate goal of creating camaraderie among students in different honors programs. We’re all looking forward to the next annual Honors College Play Day.
Honors College freshman took to the highways and byways of Chattanooga on Saturday, August 22 to explore their new home. Together with the High-Achieving Mocs freshman, 65 students spent the day participating in the City-as-Text™ program, a national project designed to get students off campus and into the community in a way that allows them to immerse themselves in the city.
Students began their day with a panoramic introduction to the City’s topography and built environment from the roof of the Electric Power Board parking garage, led by City of Chattanooga Transportation Director Blythe Bailey, before setting off by bus, bike, or foot along designated paths through the city. Their travels took them through many parts of Chattanooga, from Hixson to Highland Park and all points in between. They talked with residents, enjoyed local food, and observed some important virtues and challenges of the City they now call home.
Following their journeys, the students met back at campus and shared their experiences with their peers. City Councilman Moses Freeman and local writer and historian Meghan O’Dea were also in attendance to listen to the group’s reports and share stories and feedback about Chattanooga. Aside from a few mishaps and side adventures, the Freshman left the weekend with a new and better understanding of Chattanooga, many of them full of ideas on how to affect the areas they had visited.
DaiMeshia Seay has won the nationally competitive Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship, completing a very successful freshman year as a Brock Scholar in the Honors College. Meshia is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Integrated Studies, combining her interests in biology, public administration, and business to prepare for a career in health care administration following graduate school.
The Gilman Scholarship program was founded in 2000 in honor of retired New York congressman Benjamin A. Gilman to provide opportunities for undergraduates to live and learn in a different environment, a social and cultural experience to prepare students to live and work in a global society. The principle objective of the Gilman Scholarship is to expand international opportunities for undergraduate students who have financial need and who have traditionally been under-represented in study or internship programs abroad.
Meshia will return in the spring semester to implement the project she developed for her Gilman application, a series of programs to inform others about the Gilman Scholarship and the benefits of studying abroad. “My project was to not only reach out to college students with this information,” says Meshia, “but to parents, high school teachers and high school students.” She plans to host information seminars for various groups to talk about her own experience and the benefits of living and studying abroad, help students explore their options, address financial barriers and solutions, and encourage early planning.
Meshia will spend the fall semester in Australia at the University of Southern Queensland. She hopes that classes she will take, like “Indigenous Perspectives” and “Australian Stories,” as well as the time she will spend with Australian students, will help her gain a better understanding of the development of Australian culture and history.